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Matthew Prior.

In the year 1712, my old friend Matthew Prior, who was then fellow of St. John's, and who not long before had been employed by the queen as her plenipotentiary at the court of France, came to Cambridge; and the next morning paid a visit to the master of his own college. The master (whether Dr. Gower or Dr. Jenkins, I cannot now recollect) loved Mr. Prior's principles, had a great opinion of his abilities, and a respect for his character in the world; but then he had much greater respect for himself. He knew his own dignity too well to suffer a fellow of his college to sit down in his presence. He kept his seat himself, and let the queen's ambassador stand. Such was the temper, not of a vicechancellor, but of a simple master of a college. I remember, by the way, an extempore epigram of Matt's on the reception he had there met with. We did not reckon in those days, that he had a very happy turn for an epigram: but the occasion was tempting; and he struck it off, as he was walking from St. John's college to the Rose, where we dined together. It was addressed to the master.

I stood, Sir, patient at your feet,
Before your elbow chair;

But make a bishop's throne your seat,
I'll kneel before you there.

One only thing can keep you down,

For your great soul too mean ;

You'd not, to mount a bishop's throne,

Pay homage to the queen.

From "The friendly and honest Advice of an old Tory to the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge. Printed for S. Johnson, Charing Cross, 1751,” p. 23.

John, Duke of Marlborough,

This great man, who, by the pen of an enemy, has been acknowledged as the greatest general, and as the greatest minister, that our country, or perhaps any other, has produced; and whom another eminent writer thus pourtrays, "Cet homme, qui n'a jamais assiegé de ville qu'il n'ait

* Bolingbroke's Letters on the Use and Study of History, 1752, p. 300.

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"prise, ni donné de bataille qu'il n'ait gagnée, etoit à Saint "James un adroit courtisan, dans le parlement un chef de parti, dans les pais étrangers le plus habile negociateur de son siecle;" and who avoit fait autant de mal à la France par son esprit que par ses armes;"* appears to have been very ill read in the history of his native country, which is the more remarkable, as his father, Sir Winston Churchill, was the author of a History of England, intitled, "Divi Britannici, being a remark upon the lives of all the kings of this isle, from the year of the world, 2855, unto the year of grace, 1660, fo. 1675." Of the duke the following anecdote is told by Dr. Warner, in his "Remarks "on the History of Fingal, printed for Payne and Cropley,

1762, p. 26, on the authority of Judge Burnet:""The "Duke of Marlborough talking over some point of English "history once with Bishop Burnet, and advancing some

anachronisms and strange matters of fact, his lordship, "in a great astonishment at this new history, inquired of "his grace where he had met with it. The duke, equally

surprised on his side, to be asked that question by so "knowing a man in history as the bishop, replied, Why, "don't you remember? It is in the only English history of "those times that I ever read, in Shakespeare's plays." 1774. Jan.

X. Memoirs relating to CALEB THRELKELD, M. D.

I SEND you a short memoir relating to Dr. Threlkeld; only known in the literary world, among the naturalists, as the author of a book relating to the plants of Ireland. You would not have been troubled with it, but that I know of no account of this writer before extant. It fell into my hands, by purchasing a copy of his book, being written in the blank leaves thereof, at the beginning. And as it bears the marks of authenticity, I judged it worth preserving in your Repository: if you think the same, you will give it a place in your next Magazine.

I am, Sir, &c.

Feb. 10, 1777.

R. P.

* Ocuvres de M. de Voltaire, Dresden, 1752, tom. 6, p. 158.

"CALEB THRELKELD was born the 31st of May, 1676, at Ketberg, in the parish of Kirkoswald, in Cumberland. In the year 1698 he commenced Master of Arts in the university of Glasgow, and soon after settled at Low Huddlesceugh, near the place of his birth, in the characterof a dissenting minister. In this situation he made a considerable progress in the study of physic, and.contracted a love for plants; insomuch, that in 1712, he took a Doctor's degree in Medicine, at Edinburgh; and the next spring, having a strait income, and a large family, he removed to Dublin, and settled there in both characters, as a divine, and a physician. His family, consisting of a wife and three sons, and as many daughters, d.d not follow till more than a year had elapsed; when finding himself likely to succeed, he sent for them over. His practice in medicine soon increased, so far as to enable him to drop his other character entirely, and devote himself wholly to physic; but he died after a short sickness of a violent fever, at his house in Mark's Alley, Frances-street, April 28, 1728, and was buried in the new burial ground belonging to St. Patrick's, near Cavan-street, to which place his obsequies were attended by a set of children educated by a society of gentlemen. And my memorialist adds, that he was much regretted by the poor, to whom he had been, both as a man and as a physician, a kind benefactor."

It does not appear that Dr. Threlkeld published any other book than that referred to, though he had meditated a his tory of plants in general. His work bears the following title: "Synopsis Stirpium HIBERNICARUM alphabetice dispositarum, sive Commentatio de Plantis indigenis, præsertim Dubliniensibus, instituta; being a short Treatise of native Plants, especially such as grow spontaneously in the vicinity of Dublin, with their Latin, English, and Irish names, and an abridgment of their virtues, with several new discoveries, with an appendix of observations made upon plants, by Dr. Molyneux, physician to the State in Ireland, the first essay of this kind in the kingdom of Ireland; auctore Caleb Threlkeld, M.D. Dublin, 1727." Pp. 262. 12mo.

The author, after a dedication of his book to the Archbishop of Armagh, and a preface, which, though written in a quaint style, proves him to be a man of considerable erudition, enumerates all the plants he had observed in the environs of Dublin, by giving, first, the old Latin name, generally from Caspar Bauhine's Pinax; then the English name, and afterwards the Irish; subjoining, wherever it seems necessary, some account of the quality of the plant,

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and its use in medicine and economy. Besides these he has here and there thrown in a curious observation: for instance, under the word Betula, he says, "The irish grammarians remark that all the names of the Irish letters are names of trees."

Dr. Threlkeld appears to have been better acquainted with the history of plants than with plants themselves; as he seems not to have studied them in the systematic way. He incurred the displeasure of the late learned professor, Dr. Dillenius, by having thrown out, in this book, three or four. criticisms upon that gentleman's introduction of new names into Botany, in his edition of Mr. Ray's Synopsis, published about three years before, and also on his multiplying the species of plants unnecessarily. Dr. Dillenius did not think him an antagonist formidable enough to retort upon; which is not to be wondered at, as few people in England had at that time studied the genera of plants with the attention which this learned professor had bestowed upon them. The professor, in a letter that he wrote to a friend soon after the publication of Threlkeld's book, informs him that there is but one plant therein mentioned that was not known to grow there before; this is the Pseudo-stachys Alpina C. B. (Stachys Alpina of Linnæus); and that, he says, from the observation of another man.

This book of Dr. Threlkeld's is now become somewhat scarce; and as it is not of importance enough to be republished, it is hoped this short account thereof, and that of the author, may be acceptable to those who are curious in these


1777, Feb.

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XI. Anecdotes of the Rev. JEREMIAH MARKLAND.


As there are few articles in your useful Miscellany that are more generally acceptable than biographical anecdotes, I send you some farther particulars of Mr. Markland, of whom you have already given your readers some slight sketches in 1776; and to whose memory two inscriptions are inserted in 1777. If these prove acceptable, you shall hear further from

J. N..

Mr. JEREMIAH MARKLAND, born Oct. 29, 1693, was one of the twelve children of the Rev. Ralph Markland. Educated in Christ's Hospital, he was thence sent to Peter-house; of which, at his death, he was senior fellow. He was one of the most learned scholars and penetrating critics of the age. A Latin copy of verses of his appeared in the "Canbridge Gratulations, 1714;" and his name is to be found as assistant to Ogle in the "Canterbury Tales." But he became first publicly known, in 1723, by his " Epistola Critica," addressed to Bishop Hare, in which he gave many proofs of extensive erudition and critical sagacity. He published an edition of "Statius's Silvæ, 1728," 4to.; Notes on" Maximus Tyrius, 1740;" a valuable volume of "Remarks on the Epistles of Cicero to Brutus, 1745," 8vo.; an excellent little treatise under the title of " De Græcorum Quintâ Declinatione Imparisyllabicâ et inde formatâ Latinorum Tertiâ, Quæstio Grammatica, 1761," 4to. No more than forty copies having been printed, which were all given away; it was annexed, in 1763, to an admirable edition of the Supplices Mulieres" of Euripides, in 4to. Why this was published anonymously, a letter of his to Mr. Bowyer will explain: "As to the compliments of scholars, I believe "you do not set any great value upon them; and I believe "I set as little; to avoid which myself, and to excuse "others the necessity of making them right or wrong, were "two reasons why no name is put to this edition."

The following curious memorandum is taken from his own hand-writing (in 1764) in a copy of that book: "This was "printed at the expense of Dr. Heberden, A. D. 1763. "There were only 250 copies printed, this kind of study "being at that time greatly neglected in England. The "writer of the notes was then old and infirm; and having "by him several things of the same sort, written many "years before, he did not think it worth while to revise "them, and was unwilling to leave them behind him, as "they were in many places not legible to any body but "himself; for which reason he destroyed them. Probably "it will be a long time, (if ever) before this sort of learn"ing will revive in England; in which it is easy to foresee "that there must be a disturbance in a few years, and "all public disorders are enemies to this sort of literature." Fortunately, however, for the world of letters, the notes on the two Iphigenia" were preserved, and presented "Doctissimo, et, quod longe præstantius est, Huma"nissimo Viro Wilhelmo Heberden, M.D. arbitratu ejus

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