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he could never be taught the distinct utterance of any word, yet he could easily learn to hum a tune.--All those idle tales which have been published to the world about his climbing up trees like a squirrel, running upon all fours like a wild beast, &c. are entirely without foundation; for he was so exceedingly timid and gentle in his nature, that he would suffer himself to be governed by a child.

"There have also been many false stories propagated of his incontinence; but, from among the minutest inquiries among those who constantly lived with him, it does not appear that he ever discovered any natural passion for women, though he was subject to the other passions of human nature, such as anger, joy, &c. Upon the approach of bad weather he always appeared sullen and uneasy. At particular seasons of the year, he shewed a strange fondness for stealing away into the woods, where he would feed eagerly upon leaves, beech-mast, acorns, and the green bark of trees, which proves evidently that he had subsisted in that manner for a considerable length of time before he was first taken. His keeper therefore at such seasons generally kept a strict eye over him, and sometimes even confined him, because, if he ever rambled to any distance from his home, he could not find his way back again: and once in particular, having gone beyond his knowledge, he wandered as far as Norfolk, where he was taken up, and, being carried before a magistrate, was committed to the house of correction, in Norwich, and punished as a sturdy and obstinate vagrant, who would not, (for indeed he could not) give any account of himself: but Mr. Fenn having advertised him in the public papers, he was released from his confinement, and brought back to his usual place of abode.

"Notwithstanding the extraordinary and savage state in which Peter was first found greatly excited the attention and curiosity of the public, yet, after all that has been said of him, he was certainly nothing more than a common idiot, without the appearance of one. But as men of some eminence in the literary world have in their works published strange opinions and ill-founded conjectures about him, which may seem to stamp a credit upon what they have advanced; that posterity may not through their authority be hereafter misled upon the subject, this short and true account of Peter is recorded in the parish register by one who constantly resided above thirty years in his neighbourhood, and had daily opportunities of seeing and observing him."

A brass plate is fixed up in the parish church of NorthChurch, on the top of which is a sketch of the head of Peter, drawn from a very good engraving of Bartolozzi, and underneath it is the following inscription:

"To the memory of PETER, known by the name of the Wild Boy, having been found wild in the forest of Hertswold, near Hanover, in the year 1725. He then appeared to be about 12 years old. In the following year, he was brought to England by the order of the late Queen Caroline, and the ablest masters were provided for him. But, proving incapable of speaking, or receiving any instruction, a comfortable provision was made for him at a farm-house in this parish, where he continued to the end of his inoffensive life. He died on the 22d day of February, 1785, supposed to be aged 72."

1785, Nov.

3. In the Gent. Mag. for Nov. 1751, we find the following article under HISTORICAL CHRONICLE:

October 27, was a terrible fire in Norwich, which consumed part of the city bridewell, and several other houses. Peter the wild youth, who had strayed from his keeper in Hertfordshire, and was committed to this bridewell as a sturdy vagrant, was with difficulty got away, seeming more to wonder at the fire, than to apprehend any danger, and would probably have perished like a horse in the flames. By his behaviour, and want of speech, he seems to be more of the Ouran Outan species than of the human. Soon after, the keeper coming to the knowledge of the advertisement where his elopement was mentioned, restored him back to the person to whose care he had been committed by the late Queen.

II. Dr. FARMER, see p. 432.

1. DIRECTIONS for the STUDY of ENGLISH HISTORY addressed to a Friend, by RICHARD FARMER, D.D.

YOU will not expect to be sent to the authors, who are usually called Classical, for much information in the English History. Very little is met with in the Greek, and not a

great deal in the Latin. Cæsar, Tacitus, and Suetonius, are the only ones worth mentioning on this subject.

Nor will you chuse to be referred to the Monkish writers. Jeffery of Monmouth, and his story of Brute are now ge nerally given up. Some of them indeed, as William of Malmsbury, Matthew Paris, &c. have a more authentic character; but I suppose any one (except a professed antiquary) will be contented with them at second-hand in the modern historians. Carte has made the most and best use of them, which is the greatest merit of his book. Hume often puts their names in his margin; but I fear all he knew of them was through the media of other writers. He has some mistakes which could not have happened had he really consulted the originals.

The first planting of every nation is necessarily obscure, and always lost in a pretended antiquity. It matters little to us, whether our Island was first peopled by Trojans, Phoenicians, Scythians, Celts, or Gauls, who have all their respective advocates; and the famous Daniel de Foe makes his True-born Englishman, a compound of all nations under Heaven. If you chuse however to read about this matter, Sheringham de Anglorum Origine, 8vo. 1670, is the best book for the purpose. I may just mention, that some writers would cavil at the word Island just above, and insist, that we were formerly joined to the French Continent.

Little real knowledge is to be picked up from our History before the Conquest, yet it may not be amiss to have a general idea of the Druidical Government among the ancient Britons; of the invasion of the Romans under Julius Cæsar, and again in the time of Claudius; the struggles for liberty under Caractacus, Boadicea, &c.; the desertion of the Island by the Romans; the irruption of the Picts and Scots; the calling in of the Saxons as allies; who, after a time, turned their arms against the natives and conquered them (some few excepted, who secured themselves in the mountains of Wales; whence their descendants affect to call themselves Ancient Britons); the establishment of the Heptarchy, &c. the union under King Egbert; the invasion and various fortunes of the Danes; and lastly, the Normans under WilJiam the Conqueror.

The best authors for this period are Milton and Sir Wm. Temple; the latter more pleasing, but the former more accurate. Milton's prose works are exceeding stiff and pedantic, and Sir William's as remarkably easy and genteel; but he should have attended more to the minutia of names and dates.

As to the Religion of our ancestors, something of the Druids may be learned from Schedius de Diis Germanis, and an Essay in Toland's Posthumous Works. Christianity seems to have been introduced, perhaps by some of the Romans, in the first century. Some indeed pretend, that St. Paul himself came over.

The Saxons brought their own Gods with them, viz. the Sun, Moon, Tuisco, Woden, Thor, Friga, and Seater, and in imitation of the Romans dedicated to them respectively the days of the week; and hence the names which continue to our times. For this subject I would recommend Verstegan's "Restitution of Decayed Intelligence."

From the Conquest, our annals are more clear than those of any other nation in the world. This happens from the custom or obligation that every mitred Abbey was under to employ a Registrary for all extraordinary events; and their notes were usually compared together at the end of every reign. Hence the great number of Monkish Historians.

It luckily happens, that no party-spirit has biassed the Historians in their accounts of our old Kings; and it therefore does not much signify what author is read. You would smile at my love of black letter, were I to refer you to Hollinshed or Stowe; men, I assure you, by no means despicable, and much superior to Caxton, Fabian, Grafton, &c.; nor will you chuse to read chronicles in rhyme; as Robert of Gloucester and Harding. The most elegant old history we have is that by Samuel Daniel, a Poet of no mean rank. Though he wrote more than half a century before Milton, his style appears much more modern. His continuator Trussel is not so well spoken of. Daniel is very concise in his accounts before the Conquest, but much fuller afterwards. He ends with Edward III. and Trussel with Richard III. This book is reprinted in Bishop Kennet's Collections; but the old editions are the best. The Bishop employed Oldmixon, a hero of the Dunciad, in the re-publication; who, we are told, falsified it in many places.

If we are not content with general accounts of the subsequent reigns, it may not be amiss to look at their particu lar writers. Buck's History of Richard III. is remarkable from the pains he takes to clear his character against the scandal (as he calls it) of other Historians. Lord Bacon's florid History of Henry the VIIth comes next. You must know this King was a favourite with James the Ist; and as it was written to recover his favour, the author, you may suppose, has not been impartial. Lord Herbert's Henry the VIIIth well deserves reading; he was a free-thinker

and a free-writer; his information was good, and the era particularly interesting. The next work of importance, not quite forgetting Dr. (afterwards Sir John) Hayward's Edward the VIth, is Camden's Elizabeth, a performance worthy of its author. The story of Mary Queen of Scots may be more particularly learned from her countrymen, Melvil, Buchanan, &c.

The Stuarts have brought in a flood of histories, many high-flying panegyrics, and many scandalous invectives. On James the Ist, Wilson, Sanderson, Weldon, &c. and a late writer, one Harris, an Anabaptist Parson.

For Charles the Ist appears, our greatest Historian, Lord Clarendon on the other side, Ludlow; who, however, is particularly severe on Cromwell. I omit Whitlock, Rushworth, Warwick, and a thousand others.

After the Restoration, Bishop Burnet's History of his Own Times will come in, and carry us to the end of Queen Anne's reign: a curious work, but to be read with great caution, as the Bishop had strong prejudices. Salmon wrote an an

swer to it.

Rapin seems the next writer of much consequence. Voltaire, certainly a good judge of history, calls him our best Historian; but perhaps he was partial to his countryman. It is, however, a work of much accuracy, but barren of reflection, and consequently heavy in the reading. Carte, who emphatically styles himself an Englishman, wrote purposely against him, on the Tory side of the question.

The latter Historians, Hume, Smollett, &c. you know, perhaps, as well as I do. Hume is certainly an admirable writer; his style bold, and his reflections shrewd and uncommon; but his religious and political notions have too often warped his judgment. (Mrs. Macaulay has just now published against his account of the Stuarts, but I have not yet had an opportunity of reading her book.) Smollett wants the dignity of history, and takes every thing upon trust; but his books, at least the former volumes, are sufficiently pleasing. I have purposely omitted a multitude of writers; as Speed, Baker, Brady, Tyrrell, Echard, Guthrie, &c.

Collections of Letters and State Papers are of the utmost importance, if we pretend to exactness: such as a collection called the Cabala, Burleigh's, Sydney's, Thurloe's, &c.

The last observation I shall trouble you with is, that sometimes a single pamphlet will give us better the elue of a transaction than a volume in folio. Thus we learn from the Duchess of Marlborough's Apology, that the peace of Utrecht was made by a quarrel among the

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