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siastical elevation. We are confident that he was not ambitious of the compliment; for, when it was first proposed to him, he put a negative upon it. It must be remembered that this honour was not conferred on an unknown man (novus homo); but on a Master of Arts of Cambridge, of name and character, and of acknowledged literary merit*. Had Mr. Pegge been desirous of the title of Doctor in earlier life, there can be no doubt but that he might have obtained the superior degree of D.D. from Abp.Cornwallis, upon the bare suggestion, during his familiar and domestic conversations with his Grace at Lambeth-palace.
Dr. Pegge's manners were those of a gentleman of a liberal education, who had seen much of the world, and had formed them upon the best models within his observation. Having in his early years lived in free intercourse with many of the principal and best-bred Gentry in various parts of Kent; he ever afterwards preserved the same attentions, by associating with respectable company, and (as we have seen) by forming honourable attachments.
In his avocations from reading and retirement, few men could relax with more ease and cheerfulness, or better understood the desipere in loco;— could enter occasionally into temperate convivial mirth with a superior grace, or more interest and enliven every company by general conversation.
* Mr. Pegge, at the time, was on a visit to his Grandson, the present Sir Christopher Pegge, M. D. then lately elected Reader of Anatomy at Christ Church, Oxford, on Dr. Lee's foundation.
As he did not mix in business of a public nature, his better qualities appeared most conspicuously in private circles; for he possessed an equanimity which obtained the esteem of his Friends, and an affability which procured the respect of his dependents.
His habits of life were such as became his profession and station. In his clerical functions he was exemplarily correct, not entrusting his parochial duties at Whittington (where he constantly resided) to another (except to the neighbouring Clergy during the excursions beforementioned) till the failure of his eye-sight rendered it indispensably necessary; and even that did not happen till within a few years of his death.
As a Preacher, his Discourses from the pulpit were of the didactic and exhortatory kind, appealing to the understandings rather than to the passions of his Auditory, by expounding the Holy Scriptures in a plain, intelligible, and unaffected .manner. His voice was naturally weak, and suited only to a small Church; so that when he Occasionally appeared before a large Congregation (as on Visitations, &c.), he was heard to a disadvantage. He left in his closet considerably more than 230 Sermons composed by himself, and in his own hand-writing, besides a few (not exceeding 26) which he had transcribed (in substance only, as appears by collation) from the printed works of eminent Divines. These liberties, however, were not taken in his early days, from motives of idleness, or other attachments—but later in life, to favour the fatigue of composition; all which obligations he acknowledged at the end of each such Sermon.
Though Dr. Pegge's life was sedentary, from his turn to studious retirement, his love of Antiquities, and of literary acquirements in general; yet these applications, which he pursued with great ardour and perseverance, did not injure hi* health. Vigour of mind, in proportion to his bodily strength, continued unimpaired through a very extended course of life, and nearly till he had reached " ultima linea rerum:" for he never had any chronical disease; but gradually and gently sunk into the grave under the weight of years, after a fortnight's illness, Feb. 14, 1796*, in the o2d year of his age.
He was buried, according to his own desire,-ui the chancel at Whittington, where a mural tablet of black marble (a voluntary tribute of filial respect) has been placed, over the East window, with the following short inscription:
"At the North End of the Altar Table, within the Rails,
lie the Remains of
Samuel Pegge, LL.D.
who was inducted to this Rectorv Nov. 11, 1751,
and died Feb. 14, 1796;
in the 92d year-of his Age."
Having closed the scene; it must be confessed, on the one hand, that the biographical history of an individual, however learned, or engaging to private friends, who had passed the major part of his days in secluded retreats from what is called the world, can afford but little entertainment to the generality of Readers. On the other hand, nevertheless, let it be allowed that every man of acknowledged literary merit, had he made no Other impression, cannot but have left many to regret his death.
Though Dr. Pegge had exceeded even his "fourscore years and ten," and had outlived all his more early friends and acquaintance; he had the address to make new ones, who now survive, and who, it is humbly hoped, will not be sorry to see a modest remembrance of him preserved by this little Memoir.
Though Dr. Pegge had an early propensity to the pursuit of Antiquarian knowledge, he never indulged himself materially in it, so long as more essential and professional occupations had a claim upon him; for he had a due sense of the nature and importance of his clerical function. It appears that he had read the Greek and Latin Fathers diligently at his outset in life. He had also re-perused the Classichs attentively before he applied much to the Monkish Historians, or engaged in Antiquarian researches; well knowing that a thorough knowledge of the Learning of the Antients, conveyed by classical Authors, was the best foundation for any literary structure which had not the Christian Religion for its cornerstone.
During the early part of his incumbency at Godmersham in Kent, his reading was principally such as became a Divine, or which tended to the acquisition of general knowledge, of which he possessed a greater share than most men we ever knew. When he obtained allowable leisure to follow unprofessional pursuits, he attached himself more closely to the study of Antiquities; and was elected a Fellow of the Society of AntiauARiEs, Feb. 14, 1751, N. S. in which year the Charter of Incorporation was granted (in November), wherein his name stands enrolled among those of many very respectable and eminently learned men*.
* The only Member of the Society at the time of its In* corporation, who survived Dr. Pegge, was Samuel Reynard$on} Esc|.