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vicinity of Newport harbor. They believed the place at first inhabited only by Indians, the race in whose behalf Berkeley had abandoned his native land and undertaken a perilous voyage. They met some fishermen, however, of their own race, who piloted the ship to Newport. The following notice of the arrival appeared in a Boston journal, under date of September 3, 1728 :
"Yesterday arrived here Dean Berkeley, of Londonderry, in a pretty large ship. He is a gentleman of middle stature, and of an agreeable, pleasant, and erect aspect. He was ushered into the town by a great number of gentlemen, to whom he behaved himself after a very complaisant manner. It is said he purposes to tarry here about three months."
Whatever may have been his original design, certain it is, he was so delighted with the beautiful bay, the surrounding scenery, and the climate, which is softened by the Gulf stream, that he decided to settle at Newport in preference to Bermuda. It would appear that he concluded to settle at Newport, if practicable. He calls Newport “the Montpelier of America," and is evidently charmed with the place. He erected a house a short distance from the town, and near the seaside, where it still stands.
Berkeley's time passed happily here at first, and bright were his visions of the future. To enhance his tranquil enjoyment, his wife presented him with a son, who was his idol. He thus writes to a friend : "I snatch this moment to write, and have time only to add that I have got a son, who, I thank God, is likely to live." of this child he writes the following year: “Our little son is a great joy to us; we are such fools as to think him the most perfect thing in his kind we ever saw.” Every thing seemed for a while to prosper. The lands to support the College were agreed for, and nothing was wanted but the promised grant from the Crown. But adversity soon clouded his prospects. His first-born went the way of all flesh: he sleeps in the grave-yard adjoining Trinity Church. Berkeley's own private money-a considerable sum—which he had taken with him, was now expended. He was “ worried to death by creditors," and was “at an end of his patience and almost his wits.” His remittances from England were slow, and for one package he received he had to pay in postage “ four pounds sterling.” This, however, was not the worst. The King died, which was a sad blow to his scheme. Walpole, who, from the first, was opposed to
it, exerted his influence to have the royal grant applied to other purposes. The lands sold in St. Christopher's brought £90,000, of which £80,000 went to pay the marriage portion of the Princess Royal, and the rest was obtained by General Oglethorpe for his new colony of Georgia. Berkeley had now expended a considerable amount from his own private purse, and finding that the promised £20,000 was not forthcoming, as he expected, he induced Bishop Gibson to apply to Sir Robert Walpole, who, at last, made the following characteristic reply : “ If you put this question to me as a minister, I trust and can assure you that the money shall most undoubtedly be paid, as soon as suits with public convenience; but if you ask me as a friend, whether Dean Berkeley should continue in America, expecting the payment of £20,000, I advise him, by all means, to return home to Europe, and to give up his present expectations." This had the effect of awakening Berkeley from his dream, and showing him how vain was the dependence on which he had thrown away so much good money, and seven years of the prime of his life. As an able writer observes, his project was “ too grand and pure for the powers
to England, and when he arrived there, his first act was to return the various subscriptions he had received for his enterprise.
Though Berkeley did not succeed in his grand design, his visit to America was not altogether unfruitful of good. By his presence and example he gave strength to those principles of religious toleration which already prevailed in the most tolerant community of New England. In one of his letters he bears this testimony to the character of the people :
“The inhabitants are of a mixed kind, consisting of many sects and subdivisions of sects. Here are four sorts of Anabaptists, besides Pres. byterians, Quakers, Independents, and many of no profession at all. Notwithstanding so many differences, there are fewer quarrels about religion than elsewhere; the people living peaceably with their neighbors, of whatsoever persuasion. They all agree in one point, that the Church of England is the second-best."
This was remarkable for the times, and presented a strong contrast to the spirit that prevailed in Massachusetts, from which Roger Williams was compelled to fly, for merely advocating toleration. The prevalence of the principles of Williams in Rhode Island, where he settled, and the fact of the Quakers being numerous in the colony, were the chief
causes of the religious freedom of which Berkeley writes in terms of eulogy. He was a universal favorite, and held familiar intercourse with men of all sects. So charmed were the Quakers with his broad charity and liberal principles, that they frequently attended his ministrations in Trinity Church, where he preached every Sunday for the Episcopal clergyman. To that church he presented an organ, whose peals still resound through the old aisles. He presented to Yale College his valuable library of a thousand volumes, the most important collection of books then in America, and which cost him $2,000. He devoted his farm to the support of three free classical scholarships in this institution, which was controlled by a religious denomination the very opposite of his own. He also made a donation to Harvard University. As a proof of the estimation in which Berkeley was held, it may be mentioned that a town of Massachusetts bears his name.
In company with Smilert, he visited the Indians on the island of Narragansett, and it may be interesting to ethnologists to know the opinion of the painter as to the origin of the race. When he was in Italy, he had been employed by the Grand Duke of Tuscany to paint the portraits of two or three Siberian Tartars, who had been sent as a present to the Prince by the Czar of Russia. The moment Smilert saw the Indians, he recognized them as of the same race with the Siberian Tartarsman opinion confirmed by Wolff, the Eastern traveller, and maintained by Mr. Macfarlane in his work on Japan.
In a sermon preached in 1731, after his return from Rhode Island, and published among his works, Berkeley says: " The native Indians, who are said to have been formerly many thousands, within the compass of this colony, do not at present amount to one thousand, including every age and
And these are either all servants or laborers for the English, who have contributed more to destroy their bodies by the use of strong liquors, than by any means to improve their minds or save their souls. This slow poison, jointly operating with the small-pox and their wars, but much more destructive than both, has consumed the Indians, not only in our colonies, but also far and wide upon our con
It was shortly after his return from America that Berke ley published the most popular of his writings—the Minute Philosopher; in which he adopted the ancient method of the Socratic and Platonic dialogue. It is the happiest imitation of the ancient philosophers in modern literature, pursuing, says Clarke, “the free-thinker through the various characters of atheist, libertine, enthusiast, scorner, critic, metaphysician, fatalist, and skeptic; and very happily employing against him several new weapons, drawn from the storehouse of his own ingenious system of philosophy.” Of his style, Sir James Mackintosh remarks: “It is the finest model of the philosophical since Cicero." At the Court of the Princess of Wales, the literati of the day had free access, for she delighted in their society. Berkeley, as we have seen, was among those who had the entrée, and was a great favorite. The failure of his Bermuda scheme somewhat turned the laugh against him, but such a man was not to be annihilated by any amount of ridicule. His philosophy was a subject of constant debate at these literary reunions. Bishop Hoadley, who believed that Berkeley “ must have something soft in his head," mostly took part with Clarke against Berkeley ; but Sherlocke espoused his side, and when the Minute Philosopher was published, he hastened with a copy to the Princess, and asked her triumphantly, whether such a book could be the production of an unsound mind. The deanery of Down fell vacant, and Berkeley was named to fill it. But the Duke of Dorset, then Lord Lieutenant, took offence at the nomination to the richest deanery in Ireland being made without consulting him. The Queen remarked, that if they would not permit Berkeley to be a dean, he should be a bishop, and she kept her word. The see of Cloyne soon became vacant, and he was preferred to it. Berkeley complained that he was made à bishop against his will, and perhaps he was the only man among the bishops of the Established Church who ever used with sincerity the words of the Latin poem in the ceremony of consecration—" Nolo episcopari.” Upon a subsequent occasion, when the primacy of Ireland became vacant (with $100,000 per annum), he was urged by his friends to press his claims. His reply, as we find it in one of his letters, was: “I am no man's rival or competitor in this matter. I am not in love with feasts and crowds, and visits, and late hours, and strange faces, and a hurry of affairs often insignificant. For my own private satisfaction, I had rather be master of
And this was one of the secrets of his projected college in Bermuda, where he hoped to enjoy that leisure so precious to the philosopher and man of letters. In another letter he says: "As to what you say, that the primacy would have been a glorious thing--for my part, I do not see, all things considered, the glory of wearing the name of primate in these days, or of getting so much money-a thing every tradesman in London may get, if he pleases. I should not choose to be primate, in pity to my children.” He was most active in his benevolence and charity, at the same time that he cultivated his fine taste in the arts. He was zealous in encouraging native talent, and it is owing in no small degree to his efforts, in conjunction with his friends', that the genius of Barry, West, Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Wilson, was developed, and wiped away the reproach of the country as to painting. He promoted a taste for the art among all his neighbors. His wife painted his own portrait-her first effort--which was presented by him to his friend Prior, and is now in the hall of the University of Dublin. Nor was music less his idol. In a letter of invitation to his friend Mr. Gervais, he says: “Courtiers you will here find none, and but such virtuosi as the country affords—I mean in the way of music, for that is at present the reigning passion at Cloyne. To be plain, we are musically mad." What he thought of one of the virtuosi may be gathered from another letter, in which he says his wife is “inferior to no singer in the kingdom.” A musical teacher was taken into his family to instruct all his children, which led him to remark that they were “preparing to fill his house with harmony, at all events.” He continued to write and publish able and useful pamphlets on the topics of the day, until his health began to fail. He then desired to retire to Oxford, to superintend the education of his children; and, at the same time, to enjoy the leisure of a university, by obtaining an office in it suitable to his character. He wrote to the Secretary of State for permission to resign his bishopric, as he could not conscientiously take its emoluments, when not present to discharge its duties. The King, however, astonished at so unusual a petition, declared that Berkeley should die a bishop in spite of himself, but gave him permission to reside wherever he pleased. He directed the proceeds of the lands attached to his house, amounting to $1,000 per annum, to be distributed among
poor housekeepers of Cloyne, and he set out for