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to have stood among the first of the profession in point of character and employment. When the plague of Marseilles in 1719 had occasioned a great alarm in England, the secretary of state, Craggs, applied to Dr. Mead for his opinion of the most effectual method of preventing the contagion from spreading to this country. In consequence of this application he drew up “A short Discourse concerning Pestilential Contagion and the Method to be used to prevent it,” 1702, octavo, in which he decidedly maintained the doctrine, which had been disputed in France, of the infectious nature of the plague, and laid down a plan of cutting off the communication by lazarettos and other means of seclusion. He was also instrumental in preventing the ravages of another contagious disease, the smallpox: for, being physician to the family of the prince of Wales (afterwards George II.), he was directed in 1721 to assist at the experiment of the newly proposed practice of inoculation, performed on some criminals; and his report of it was so favourable that it contributed much to its introduction. As no physician was ever more attentive to support the credit of the profession by practising it in the most honourable manner, and associating with it the character of a friend and patron of learning, so he publicly asserted its dignity in early times, in his “Harveian Oration” pronounced before the college in 1723. In this piece he considered its condition among the Greeks and Romans, and attempted to prove that the healing art was exercised by several Roman families of distinction. To his oration, when printed, was added a dissertation on some coins struck by the people of Smyrna in honour of physicians. This publication called forth an answer from Dr. Conyers Middleton, who undertook to prove the servile condition of the apgjent physicians; and a contrososyo so:::: foot, in which Dr. Mead en•,• tged of his sidt Dr. Ward, the rhetoric-pro### Gosham college. On the whole, the '•' weight of Grudition seemed to be in favour of ‘... :::Modi!:33 out the dispute was conducted in : a ‘rūzoka: i.o. to both parties. In the

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same year he gave an example of the conduct .

proper to be observed from one member of a liberal profession to another, though a rival in fame and business, by the services he rendered to Dr. Freind, who had been committed to the - Tower on suspicion of being concerned in Atterbury's plot. (See the article FREIND). He is supposed to have been very urgent with the - - o

minister for his liberation; it is at least certain that he constantly visited him in the Tower, attended his patients, and was one of his bail when enlarged. In 1727 Dr. Mead was appointed physician in ordinary to George II. His occupations were now so numerous that he had little leisure for writing; and it was not till 1747 that he published a treatise “De Variolis et Morbillis,” which he had sketched near thirty years before. Indeed his attention to the treatment of the smallpox was of a much earlier date ; for it appears from Dr. Freind's letter on the use of purgatives in the secondary fever of the confluent smallpox, that Mead had communicated to him his sentiments on that practice in 1712. This work contains many valuable observations on both the diseases which are its subject, with warm commendations of the practice of inoculation. There is subjoined to it a Latin translation from the Arabic, of the commentary on the smallpox by Rhazes, a copy of the manuscript of which, Mead had obtained from Leyden by the means of Boerhaave. It was chiefly through his solicitations that after many delays Mr. Sutton obtained an order for providing the king's ships with his machine for the extraction of foul air from the hold; and to the description of it published by the inventor in 1749 he added a “Treatise on the Scurvy,” in which he ascribes that fatal disease to moisture joined to putridity. In the same year he published his “Medicina sacra, seu de Morbis insignioribus qui in Bibliis memorantur,” octavo. It was the purpose of this work to consider on medical principles the diseases recorded in the Scriptures, and to account for them as much as possible on natural grounds. In particular, he supported the opinion maintained by some divines, that the demoniacs mentioned in the New Testament were only melancholic, insane or epileptic persons. Whatever be thought of his success in these reasonings, it can scarcely be doubted that his purpose was to remove objections which had been made against the sacred historians. His concluding work was “Monita et Praecepta Medica,” 1751, octavo, the legacy of his mature experience to his brethren of the profession. In this volume he shows himself inclined to the Stahlian theory of morbific matter; the substance of the work is, however, entirely practical, consisting of detached observations on a variety of diseases and medicines, many of which have been adopted by modern practitioners. It is written, as well as his other Latin works, in a pure and classical style. It was frequently reprinted, and was translated into English. The infirmities of age from this time rendered him incapable of farther exertions, and he sunk quietly under debility in February 1754, in the eighty-first year of his age. He was interred in the Temple church, and a monument to his memory was erected by his son in Westminster abbey. He was twice married, but had issue only by his first wife, of which, one son and three daughters survived him. Two of his daughters were married to eminent physicians, sir Edward Wilmott, and Dr. Frank Nicholls. The medical character has rarely obtained more respectability than in the person of Dr. Mead. He was not only in high and general esteem on account of his professional skill, but he stood in the very first rank as a patron of science and polite literature. His ample income was expended in a noble and hospitable way of living, in gratuities to men of learning and the encouragement of learned publications, and in the collection of scarce and valuable books and manuscripts, and literary curiosities,of which no individual of his time in this kingdom possessed so choice a museum. Of these treasures he made the most liberal use, freely admitting learned men of all countries to see and examine them, whom he likewise entertained at his table and treated with singular urbanity. The enlargement of his mind was shewn by his total disregard of party in the choice of friends, or of objects for his patronage; and though he was in principle attached to the political system which produced the revolution and the accession of the house of Hanover, he cultivated an intimacy with several eminent persons of opposite politics. He held a correspondence with many distinguished foreigners, and was constantly visited by all strangers whom the love of science and letters called into England. The collected works of Dr. Mead have frequently been published in various countries of Europe. A French translation of them by Coste, 1774, two volumes octavo, is esteemed for its numerous notes. Biogr. Britan. Hallori Bibl. Med. et Anatom.—A. MECAENAS. See MAEcAENAs. MECHAIN, PETER FRANcis ANDRew, a very sable French mathematician and astronomer in the eighteenth and the beginning of the present century, was born at Laon, in the year 1744. At an early age he discovered a strong inclination for mathematical pursuits, and while he was yet under the instructions of his tutors,


corresponded with La Lande, whom he was degrous of assisting in his labours. At that pe. riod of his life, La Lande sent him the proof sheets of his “ Astronomy,” and informs us that he was then capable qf discovering and correcting errors in them. In 1772, Méchain was invited to Paris, where he was employed by M. Zanoni at the depôt of the marine, and assisted M. Darquier in correcting his ob. servations. Here his merit brought him acquainted with M. Doisy, director of the depôt, who gave him a more advantageous situation at Versailles. At this place he diligently observed the heavens, and in 1774, sent to the Royal Academy of Sciences a “Memoir” relative to an eclipse of Aldebaran, observed by him on the fifteenth of April, which was honoured with the approbation of that body. He calculated the orbit of the comet of 1774 ; and discovered that of 1781. From this time he continued to render constant service to the science of astronomy. In 1782, he gained the prize of the Academy on the subject of the comet, of 1661, the return of which was eagerly ex: Pected in 1799; and in the same year he was admitted a member of the Academy, and soon selected for the superintendence of the “Connoissance des Tems.” That work he conducted with distinguished ability, enriching it every year with his labours; by which means the volumes from 1788 to 1794, are perhaps superior to any that have appeared since the commencement of the work in 1679. In the year 1790, M. Mechain discovered his eighth comet, and communicated to the Academy his observations on it, together with his calculations of its orbit. In 1792, he undertook, conjointly with M. Delambre, the labour of measuring the degree's of the meridian, for the purpose of more accurately determining the magnitude of the earth and the length of a metre : an undertaking which La Lande pronounces not to be worth the time which it cost those able astronomers, and to be lamented from the injury which it occasioned to science by hastening their deaths. It was an enterprize, however, which was eagerly urged by M. Borda, to demonstrate the advantage of his whole circles, which he had brought into very general use, and of which he considered himself to be the inventor. In the month of June 1792, M. Mechain set out to measure the triangles between Perpigman and Barcelona; and, notwithstanding that the war occasioned a temporary suspension of his labours, he was enabled to resume and complete them during the following year. While further prosecuting his undertaking, he met with an accident which greatly affected his constitution, and obliged him to return to Perpignan at the conclusion of the year 1795. Afterwards he encountered a variety of hardships on the dangerous summits of the Pyrenees, and experienced numerous difficulties till he was joined by M. Delambre in 1798; of which a relation is given by La Lande in his “Bibliography.” Having returned to Paris towards the close of the year last mentioned, he was for a long time occupied in drawing up an account of his labours; and he was afterwards employed in arranging the observatory, for which La Lande, when he was director, had procured a mural quadrant worthy of his care. Undaunted by the hardships which he had undergone, and the injury which his health had sustained, M. Mechain was desirous of prolonging the meridian to the island of Yvica,

that the forty-fifth parallel might be in the .

middle of the total arch. On this design he quitted Paris in 1805; and after his arrival in Spain, took infinite trouble in fixing upon all the stations where he was to make his observations. Having finished at Espadan, in the month of August, he set out for the station of Desierto, near cape Oropesa. This was the fourth station, and he hoped to complete his observations at the four others during the same ear. Unhappily, however, he was attacked i. the summer-fever, occasioned by the exhalations from the rice-grounds, which annually proves fatal to multitudes of persons on the coast of Valencia. To this disease he fell a victim on the twentieth of September, at Castellon de la Plana, in the sixty-second year of his age. La Lande deplores his loss, as that of not only one of the best French astronomers, but one of the most laborious, the most courageous, and the most robust. His last observations and calculations of the eclipse of the sun on the eleventh of February, are inserted in the “Connoissance des Tems” for the year fifteen; and he also published a great number in the “Ephemerides” of M. Bode of Berlin, which he preferred to the former work, after La Laride became its editor. A more extensive memoir of his labours may be seen in Baron von Zach's “Journal” for July 18oo. La Lande's Hist, of Atronomy for 1804.—M. MEDE, Joseph, one of the most learned English divines who flourished in the seven

teenth century, was descended from a respect

able family, and born at Berden in Essex, in

the year 1586. When he was about ten years of age, both he and his father fell sick of the smallpox, which proved fatal to the latter ; after which the superintendence of Joseph's education devolved on a Mr. Gower, his mother's second husband, who sent him to school. He was instructed in grammar-learning, first at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, and afterwards at Weathersfield in Essex. While he was at this last school, during a visit which he paid to London, he bought Bella; mine’s “Hebrew Grammar;” and though his master, who was ignorant of that language, toid him that it was not a book fit for him, yet so great was young Mede's thirst for knowledge, that in a little time he attained no small skill in the Hebrew tongue. Encouraged by his promising parts, and assi-' duous industry, in the year 1692, his friends sent him to Christ's-college in the university of Cambridge, where, by his extraordinary talents, application, and proficiency, he attracted the notice not only of his own college, but of the whole university, notwithstanding that he had an uncommon impediment in his speech, which prevented him from displaying his learning and abilities to advantage. By patience and perseverance, however, he in time attained a considerable degree of mastery over this infirmity. In the year 161 o, he was admitted to the degree of M. A.; at which time he had made so uncommon a progress through the various departments of academical studies, that he was universally esteemed a most accomplished scholar. He was, it is said, an acute logician, an accurate philosopher, a skilful mathematician, a great philologer, a master of many languages, an excellent anatomist, and a good proficient in history and chronology. Of his learning he gave a specimen in a Latin treatise, “ de Sanctitate relativa, &c.” addressed to bishop Andrews; which in his maturer years he cen

sured as a juvenile performance, and therefore

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| s ( dren, and offered to adopt him for his son, if he would live with him ; he refused the offer, preferring, even then, a life of study to any lucrative advantages. Some time after he had taken his degree cf M. A. he was elected fellow of his college, through the particular interest of bishop Andrews, having been repeatedly passed over when vacancies had occurred, owing to a suspicion which was entertained of his being favourable to puritanical principles. He now became an eminent and faithful college-tutor, and adopted an excellent method of teaching his pupils the exercise of their reasoning powers. After he had grounded them well in the classics, logic, and philosophy, by frequent conversations with them he ascertained what particular studies they might respectively be employed in to the greatest advantage ; and, instead of constantly confining himself and them to precise hours for he tures, he set each of them a daily task. In the evening, when they all came to his rooms, the first question which he was accustomed to ask each of them in his order was, “Quid dubitas P’ What doubts have occurred to you in your studies to-day 2 For he was of opinion, that to doubt nothing, was nearly the same with understanding nothing. After hearing and . their doubts, examining their progress, and shewing them how to proceed in their future enquiries, it was his practice to recommend them and their studies to the divine protection and blessing, and then to dismiss them to their apartments. Soon after his election to the fellowship, Mr. Mede was appointed Greek lecturer on sir Walter Mildmay's foundation; which office, by leading him to make Homer his frequent text book, made him perfectly conversant in that author. He was also a diligent collator of the Greek with the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, and made himself familiarly acquainted with the peculiar idioms of all those languages. So entirely did he devote himself to the study of all useful knowledge, that he made even the time which he spent in his recreations subservient to the acquisition or improvement of it. For, as the chief exer

cise which he allowed himself was walking, when,

he was abroad with others in the fields, or in the college-garden, he would take occasion to expatiate on the beauty, distinguishing characters, and useful properties of the plants which they met with; and he is said to have been a curious florist, an accurate botanist, as far as the science was then understood, and profoundly skilled in the book of nature. One of his

greatest entertainments, was to meet and converse with men eminent for their literary acquirements. His principal delight, however, was in his study, where his enquiries were directed to the most abstruse branches of learning, and to subjects the most remote from common investigation. In his younger years, he spent no little time and labour in sounding the depths of astrological science, and he blotted much paper in calculating the nativities of his near relations and fellow students; but his good sense led him afterwards to be convinced of the vanity and folly of this fanciful art. When he relinquished it, he applied to the study of history and antiquities, particularly of those mysterious sciences which made the ancient Chaldeans, Egyptians, and other nations, so famous; tracing them, as far as he could have any light to guide him, in their oriental schemes and figurative expressions, and likewise in their hieroglyphics. He also studied the oneirocritics of the ancients, conceiving that their labours would be found useful in illustrating the language of the prophets. His classical and mathematical studies, likewise, he made subservient to his acquiring a more perfect knowledge of divinity; as he did his curious and laborious researches into antiquities relating to religion, whether the Pagan, Jewish, Christian, or Mahometan. In short, he cultivated most diligently every branch of learning, sacred and profane, which could furnish him with assistance in obtaining an intiimate knowledge of the sacred writings. How well he succeeded in the application of his rich stores of various literature to this great design, his writings bear sufficient testimony. In the year 1618, Mr. Mede took the degree of bachelor of divinity; but his great modesty and humility prevented him from proceeding to the degree of doctor. In the year 1627, he published at Cambridge, in quarto, his “Clavis Apocalyptica, ex innatis et insitis Visionum Characteribus eruta et demonstrata;” to which he added, in 1632, “In sancti Joannis Apocalypsin Commentarius, ad amussim Clavis Apocalypticae.” This “Clavis” was afterwards reprinted at London, and in English, in 1650, quarto. Both these pieces were received with great approbation, in England, and in foreign countries; where they were considered, by the ablest and most dispassionate judges, as containing the most rational and satisfactory explanation of those obscure prophecies, so far as they had at that time been fulfilled. And they have contributed materially to assist the

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enquiries of the most judicious commentators since his time, both at home and abroad, who have endeavoured to throw light on the book of revelation. In the year 1627, likewise, an honourable tribute of respect was paid to the merits of Mr. Mede, by his being elected to the provostship of Trinity-college, Dublin, on the particular recommendation of his intimate friend, archbishop Usher. This dignity our author's modest diffidence in his own powers, and his aversion to being placed in a situation which would force him from his beloved studies to mix in the bustle of the world, led him to decline; as he did also when it was offered him a second time, in the year 1630. His highest ambition was, only to have had some small sine-cure added to his fellowship, or to have been placed in some collegiate church, or rural deanery; where, retired from the noise and tumult of the world, and possessed of a competent support, he might have pursued his studies without interruption. When, therefore, a report was propagated that he was made chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury, he thus expressed himself in a letter to a friend: “ that he had lived, till the best of his time was spent, in tranquillitate et secessu; and now that there is but little left, should I,” said he, “be so unwise, suppose there were nothing else, as to enter now into a tumultuous life, where I should not have time to think my own thoughts, and must of necessity displease others, or myself? Those who think so, know not my disposition in this kind to be as averse, as some perhaps would be ambitious.” Though possessing only the narrow income arising from his fellowship and college-lecture, Mr. Mede was uncommonly generous and charitable, invariably devoting a tenth part of it to pious and benevolent purposes. That he might be enabled to do so, he constantly exercised the utmost frugality and temperance. He carefully avoided every occasion of unnecessary expence; and when he saw others lavishly squandering more than their circumstances could afford, he used to say, that “they wanted the estimative faculty.” What he eat and drank was rather for the sake of satisfying nature, than of in. dulging his appetite, and seldom consisted of any thing more than his college-commons. The generous design of bringing about an union among all Protestants, was a subject which frequently employed his thoughts, as appears from letters which passed between him and the celebrated John Dury and others; and though

he was sensible that it had great difficulties to surmount, yet he thought it feasible. He was not so extravagant as to imagine, that it would “ever be brought to pass by a full decision of the controversies; but only by abating of that vast distance which contention hath made, and approaching the differences so near, as that either party may be induced to tolerate the other, and acknowledge them for brethren and members of the same body.” His own prudence and moderation, either in declaring or defending his private opinions, were very remarkable ; and he was a friend to freedom of enquiry. He was accustomed to say, that “he never found himself prone to change his hearty affection to any one for mere difference in opinion.” “I cannot believe,” said he, “that truth can be prejudiced by the discovery of truth ; but I fear that the maintenance thereof by fallacy or falsehood may not end with a blessing.” With these sentiments and dispositions, he must have viewed with concern and abhorrence the tyrannical and persecuting proceedings of Laud against the Puritans; and his mind appears to have been impressed with a melancholy foreboding of the dreadful calamities, in which they greatly contributed soon afterwards to involve his country. But he did not live to see these evils, as he died on the first of October 1638, when in the fifty-second year of his age, having spent more than two thirds of his days in studious retirement at his college. In person, Mr. Mede was middle sized, and well proportioned. His eye was full, lively, and sparkling. . His countenance was grave and sedate, and such as commanded reverence; but at the same time tempered with an engaging sweetness. Of his great and extensive learning, his indefatigable application, his ardent thirst for knowledge, and his freedom from ambition, the preceding narrative affords sufficient evidence. • His piety also was ardent and rational, and his morals irreproachable and exemplary. He was free from pride, anger, and selfishness; and eminent for his meekness, patience, and every other virtue. As a companion, he was friendly, affable, and cheerful, and he would frequently intermix with his conversation, much inoffensive pleasantry. Among the instances of his pointed or lively sayings, and of his facetiousness, the following are recorded by the author of the appendix to his life. “He who cannot hold his tongue, can hold nothing.” Those fellow-commoners who came to the university merely for the


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