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by the recollection of what he had read, and by reviewing those stores of knowledge which he had reposited in his memory.

This is perhaps an instance of fortitude and steady composure of mind, which would have been for ever the boast of the Stoic schools, and increased the reputation of Seneca or Cato. The patience of Boerhaave, as it was more rational, was more lasting than theirs; it was that patientia Christiana which Lipsius, the great master of the Stoical Philosophy, begged of God in his last hours; it was founded on religion, not vanity, not on vain reasonings, but on confidence in God.

Yet I cannot but implore, with the greatest earnestness, such as have been conversant with this great man, that they will not so far neglect the common interest of mankind, as to suffer any of these circumstances to be lost to posterity. Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult. The skill to which Boerhaave attained, by a long and unwearied observation of nature, ought therefore to be transmitted in all its particulars to future ages, that his successors may be ashamed to fall below him, and that none may hereafter excuse his ignorance by pleading the impossibility of clearer knowledge.

In 1727, he was seized with a violent burning fever, which continued so long that he was once more given up by his friends.

From this time he was frequently afflicted with returns of his distemper, which yet did not so far subdue him, as to make him lay aside his studies or his lectures, till, in 1729, he found himself so worn out that it was improper for him to continue any longer the professorships of botany and chemistry, which he therefore resigned, April 28, and upon his resignation spoke a "Sermo Academicus," or oration, in which he asserts the power and wisdom of the Creator from the wonderful fabric of the human body; and confutes all those idle reasoners, who pretend to explain the formation of parts, or the animal operations, to which he proves that art can produce nothing equal, nor any thing parallel. One instance I shall mention, which is produced by him, of the vanity of any attempt to rival the work of God. Nothing is more boasted by the admirers of chemistry, than that they can, by artificial heats and diges-serted an account, written by himself Sept. 8, tion, imitate the productions of Nature. "Let 1738, to a friend at London; which deserves all these heroes of science meet together," says not only to be preserved as an historical relation Boerhaave; let them take bread and wine, the of the disease which deprived us of so great a food that forms the blood of man, and by assi- man, but as a proof of his piety and resignation milation contributes to the growth of the body: to the divine will. let them try all their arts, they shall not be able In this last illness, which was to the last defrom these materials to produce a single drop of gree lingering, painful, and afflictive, his conblood. So much is the most common act of Na-stancy and firmness did not forsake him. He ture beyond the utmost efforts of the most extended Science!"

Yet so far was this great master from presumptuous confidence in his abilities, that, in his examinations of the sick, he was remarkably circumstantial and particular. He well knew that the originals of distempers are often at a distance from their visible effects; that to conjecture, where certainty may be obtained, is either vanity or negligence; and that life is not to be sacrificed, either to an affectation of quick discernment, or of crowded practice, but may be required, if trifled away, at the hand of the physician.

About the middle of the year 1737, he felt the first approaches of that fatal illness that brought him to the grave, of which we have in

From this time Boerhaave lived with less public employment indeed, but not an idle or a useless life; for, besides his hours spent in instructing his scholars, a great part of his time was taken up by patients which came, when the distemper would admit it, from all parts of Europe to consult him, or by letters which, in more urgent cases, were continually sent, to inquire his opinion, or ask his advice.

beyond doubt, can scarcely be credited. I mention none of them, because I have no opportunity of collecting testimonies, or distinguishing between those accounts which are well proved, and those which owe their rise to fiction and credulity.

Of his sagacity, and the wonderful penetration with which he often discovered and described, at the first sight of a patient, such distempers as betray themselves by no symptoms to common eyes, such wonderful relations have been spread over the world, as, though attested

• " Ætas, labor, corporisque opima pinguetudo, effecerant, ante annum, ut inertibus refertum, grave, hebes, plenitudine turgens corpus, anhelum ad motus minimos, cum sensu suffocationis, pulsu mirifice anomalo, ineptum evaderet ad ullum motum. Urge. ratio ad prima somni initia: unde somnus prorsus bat præcipue subsistens prorsus et intercepta respi prohibebatur, cum formidabili strangulationis moles. tia. Hinc hydrops pedum, crurum, femorum, scroti, præputii, et abdominis. Quæ tamen omnia sublata. Sed dolor manet in abdomine, cum anxietate sum. ma, anhelitu suffocante, et debilitate incredibili; somno pauco, eoque vago, per somnia turbatissimo : fessus nec emergo; patienter expectans Dei jussa, animus vero rebus agendis impar. Cum his luctor quibus resigno data, quæ sola amo, et honoro unice. Orig. Edit.

artless, but so majestic and great at the same time, that no man ever looked upon him with out veneration, and a kind of tacit submission to the superiority of his genius.

neither intermitted the necessary cares of life, nor forgot the proper preparations for death. Though dejection and lowness of spirit was, as he himself tells us, part of his distemper, yet even this, in some measure, gave way to that vigour which the soul receives from a conscious-visibly in his eyes; nor was it ever observed that ness of innocence. any change of his fortune, or alteration in his affairs, whether happy or unfortunate, affected his countenance.

The vigour and activity of his mind sparkled

About three weeks before his death he received a visit at his country house from the Rev. Mr. Schultens, his intimate friend, who found him sitting without-door, with his wife, sister, and daughter: after the compliments of form, the ladies withdrew, and left them to private conversation; when Boerhaave took occasion to tell him what had been, during his illness, the chief subject of his thoughts. He had never doubted of the spiritual and immaterial nature of the soul; but declared that he had lately had a kind of experimental certainty of the distinction between corporeal and thinking substances, which mere reason and philosophy cannot afford, and opportunities of contemplating the wonderful and inexplicable union of soul and body, which nothing but long sickness can give. This he illustrated by a description of the effects which the infirmities of his body had upon his faculties, which yet they did not so oppress or vanquish, but his soul was always master of itself, and always resigned to the pleasure of its Maker.'

He related, with great concern, that once his patience so far gave way to extremity of pain, that, after having lain fifteen hours in exquisite tortures, he prayed to God that he might be set free by death.

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He was always cheerful, and desirous of promoting mirth by a facetious and humorous conversation; he was never soured by calumny and detraction, nor ever thought it necessary to confute them; "for they are sparks," said he, "which, if you do not blow them, will go out of themselves."

Yet he took care never to provoke enemies by severity of censure, for he never dwelt on the faults or defects of others, and was so far from inflaming the envy of his rivals by dwelling on his own excellences, that he rarely mentioned himself or his writings.

He was not to be overawed or depressed by the presence, frowns, or insolence of great men, but persisted on all occasions in the right, with a resolution always present and always calm. He was modest, but not timorous, and firm without rudeness.

He could, with uncommon readiness and certainty, make a conjecture of men's inclinations and capacity by their aspect.

His method of life was to study in the morning and evening, and to allot the middle of the day to his public business. His usual exercise was riding, till, in his latter years, his distempers made it more proper for him to walk: when he was weary he amused himself with playing on the violin.

His greatest pleasure was to retire to his house in the country, where he had a garden stored with all the herbs and trees which the climate would bear; here he used to enjoy his hours unmolested, and prosecute his studies without interruption.

The diligence with which he pursued his studies, is sufficiently evident from his success. Statesmen and generals may grow great by unexpected accidents, and a fortunate concurrence of circumstances, neither procured nor foreseen by themselves; but reputation in the learned world must be the effect of industry and capacity. Boerhaave lost none of his hours, but, when he had attained one science, attempted another: he added physic to divinity, chemistry to the mathematics, and anatomy to botany. He examined systems by experiments, and formed experiments into systems. He neither neglected the observations of others, nor blindly submitted to celebrated names. He neither thought so highly of himself as to imagine he could receive no light from books, nor so meanly as to believe he could discover nothing but

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what was to be learned from them. amined the observations of other men, but trusted only to his own.

Nor was he unacquainted with the art of recommending truth by elegance, and embellishing the philosopher with polite literature: he knew that but a small part of mankind will sacrifice their pleasure to their improvement, and those authors who would find many readers, must endeavour to please while they instruct.

He knew the importance of his own writings to mankind, and lest he might, by a roughness and barbarity of style, too frequent among men of great learning, disappoint his own intentions, and make his labours less useful, he did not neglect the politer arts of eloquence and poetry. Thus was his learning at once various and exact, profound and agreeable.


But his knowledge, however uncommon, holds, in his character, but the second place; his virtue was yet much more uncommon than his learning. He was an admirable example of temperance, fortitude, humility, and devotion. His piety, and a religious sense of his dependance on God, was the basis of all his virtues, and the principle of his whole conduct. was too sensible of his weakness to ascribe any thing to himself, or to conceive that he could subdue passion, or withstand temptation, by his own natural power; he attributed every good thought, and every laudable action, to the Father of goodness. Being once asked by a friend, who had often admired his patience under great provocations, whether he knew what it was to be angry, and by what means he had so entirely suppressed that impetuous and ungovernable passion? he answered, with the utmost frankness and sincerity, that he was naturally quick of resentment, but that he had, by daily prayer and meditation, at length attained to this mastery over himself.

As soon as he rose in the morning, it was, throughout his whole life, his daily practice to retire for an hour to private prayer and meditation; this, he often told his friends, gave him spirit and vigour in the business of the day, and this he therefore commended as the best rule of life; for nothing, he knew, could support the soul in all distresses but a confidence in the Supreme Being, nor can a steady and rational magnanimity flow from any other source than a consciousness of the divine favour.

careful observation of the precept of Moses concerning the love of God and man. He worship Iped God as he is in himself, without attempting to inquire into his nature. He desired only to think of God, what Gol knows of himself. There he stopped, lest, by indulging his own ideas, he should form a Deity from his own imagination, and sin by falling down before him. To the will of God he paid an absolute submission, without endeavouring to discover the rea son of his determinations; and this he accounted the first and most inviolable duty of a Christian. When he heard of a criminal condemned to die, he used to think, who can tell whether this man is not better than I? or, if I am better, it is not to be ascribed to myself, but to the goodness of God.

He asserted on all occasions the divine authority and sacred efficacy of the holy Scriptures; and maintained that they alone taught the way of salvation, and that they only could give peace of mind. The excellency of the Christian religion was the frequent subject of his conversation. A strict obedience to the doctrine, and a diligent imitation of the example of our blessed Saviour, he often declared to be the foundation of true tranquillity. fe recommended to his friends a

Such were the sentiments of Boerhaave, whose words we have added in the note.* So far was this man from being made impious by philosophy, or vain by knowledge, or by virtue, that he ascribed all his abilities to the bounty, and all his goodness to the grace of God. May his example extend its influence to his admirers and followers! May those who study his writings imitate his life! and those who endeavour after his knowledge aspire likewise to his piety!

He married, September 17, 1710, Mary Drolenveaux, the only daughter of a burgo-master of Leyden, by whom he had Joanna Maria, who survives her father, and three other children who died in their infancy.

The works of this great writer are so generally known and so highly esteemed, that though it may not be improper to enumerate them in the order of time in which they were published, it is wholly unnecessary to give any other account of them.

He published in 1707, " Institutiones Medicæ," to which he added in 1708, "Aphorismi de cognoscendis et curandis morbis.”

"Doctrinam sacris literis Hebraice et Græce traditam, solam animæ salutarem et agnovit et sensit. Omni opportunitate profitebatur disciplinam, quam Jesus Christus ore et vita expressit, unice tranquillitatem dare menti. Semperque dixit amicis, pacem animi haud reperiundam nisi in magno Mosis præ cepto de sincero amore Dei et hominis bene observato. Neque extra sacra monumenta uspiam inveniri, quod mentem serenet. Deum pius adoravit, qui est. Intelligere de Deo, unice volebat id, quod Deus de se intelligit. Eo contentus ultra nihil requisivit, ne ido. lolatria erraret. In voluntate Dei sic requiescebat ut illius nullam omnino rationem indagandam puta. ret. Hanc unice supremam omuium legem esse contendebat; deliberata constantia perfectissime colendam. De aliis et seipso sentiebat: ut quoties crimi. nis reos ad pœnas letales damnatos audiret, semper cogitaret, sæpe diceret; 'quis dixerat annon me sint meliores? Utique, si ipse melior, id non mihi auctori tribuendum esse palam aio, confiteor; sed ita largienti Deo." Orig. Edit.

1710," Index stirpium in horto academico." 1719, "De materia medica, et remediorum formulis liber;" and in 1727, a second edition.

1728,"Altera atrocis rarissimique morbi marchionis de Sancto Albano historia." "Auctores de lue Aphrodisiaca, cum tractatu præfixo."

1731, "Aretæi Cappadocis nova editio." 1732, "Elementa Chemiæ." 1734,"Observata de argento vivo, ad Reg. Soc. et Acad. Scient."

These are the writings of the great Boerhaave, which have made all encomiums useless and vain, since no man can attentively peruse them

1725,"Opera anatomica et chirurgica An- without admiring the abilities, and reverencing drea Vesalii," with the life of Vesalius. the virtue of the author.*

1720,"Alter index stirpium," &c. adorned with plates, and containing twice the number of plants as the former.

1722, " Epistola ad cl. Ruischium, qua sententiam Malpighianam de glandulis defendit." 1724,"Atrocis nec prius descripti morbi historia illustrissimi baronis Wassenariæ."

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Ar a time when a nation is engaged in a war with at Wadham College, where he was comwith an enemy, whose insults, ravages, and bar-petitor for a fellowship, either to want of learnbarities, have long called for vengeance, an ac-ing, or of stature. With regard to the first obcount of such English commanders as have jection, the same writer had before informed us, merited the acknowledgments of posterity, by that he was an early riser and studious, though extending the powers and raising the honour of he sometimes relieved his attention by the their country, seems to be no improper enter- amusements of fowling and fishing. As it is tainment for our readers.† We shall therefore highly probable that he did not want capacity, attempt a succinct narration of the life and acwe may therefore conclude, upon this confession tions of Admiral Blake, in which we have no- of his diligence, that he could not fail of being thing farther in view than to do justice to his learned, at least in the degree requisite to the bravery and conduct, without intending any enjoyment of a fellowship; and may safely asparallel between his achievements and those of cribe his disappointment to his want of stature, our present admirals. it being the custom of Sir Henry Savil, then warden of that college, to pay much regard to the outward appearance of those who solicited preferment in that society. So much do the greatest events owe sometimes to accident or folly!

ROBERT BLAKE was born at Bridgewater, in Somersetshire, in August, 1598, his father being a merchant of that place, who had acquired a considerable fortune by the Spanish trade. Of his earliest years we have no account, and therefore can amuse the reader with none of those prognostics of his future actions, so often met with in memoirs.

In 1615, he entered into the university of Oxford, where he continued till 1623, though without being much countenanced or caressed by his superiors, for he was more than once disappointed in his endeavours after academical preferments. It is observable that Mr. Wood (in his Athenæ Oxonienses) ascribes the repulse he met

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Gent. Mag. 1739, vol. ix. p. 176. N.
This life was first printed in the Gentleman's
Magazine for the year 1740. N.

He afterwards retired to his native place, where “he lived,” says Clarendon," without any appearance of ambition to be a greater man than he was, but inveighed with great freedom against the license of the times, and power of the court."

In 1640, he was chosen burgess for Bridgewater by the Puritan party, to whom he had recommended himself by the disapprobation of bishop Laud's violence and severity, and his non-compliance with those new ceremonies which he was then endeavouring to introduce.

When the civil war broke out, Blake, in couformity with his avowed principles, declared for the parliament; and thinking a bare declaration

for right not all the duty of a good man, raised a troop of dragoous for his party, and appeared in the field with so much bravery, that he was in a short time advanced, without meeting any of those obstructions which he had encountered in the university.

In 1645, he was governor of Taunton, when the Lord Goring came before it with an army of 10,000 men. The town was ill fortified and unsupplied with almost every thing necessary for supporting a siege. The state of this garrison encouraged Colonel Windham, who was acquainted with Blake, to propose a capitulation; which was rejected by Blake with indignation and contempt: nor were either menaces or persuasion of any effect, for he maintained the place under all its disadvantages, till the siege was raised by the parliament's army.


He continued on many other occasions, to give proofs of an insuperable courage, and a steadiness of resolution not to be shaken: and, as a proof of his firm adherence to the parliament, joined with the borough of Taunton in returning thanks for their resolution to make no more addresses to the King. Yet was he so far from approving the death of Charles I. that he made no scruple of declaring, that he would venture his life to save him, as willingly as he had done to serve the parliament.

In February, 1648-9, he was made a commissioner of the navy, and appointed to serve on that element, for which he seems by nature to have been designed. He was soon afterwards sent in pursuit of Prince Rupert, whom he shut up in the harbour of Kingsale, in Ireland, for several months, till want of provisions and despair of relief, excited the Prince to make a daring effort for his escape, by forcing through the parliament's fleet: this design he executed with his usual intrepidity, and succeeded in it, though with the loss of three ships. He was pursued by Blake to the coast of Portugal, where he was received into the Tagus, and treated with great distinction by the Portuguese.

Blake, coming to the mouth of that river, sent to the King a messenger, to inform him, that the fleet in his port belonging to the public enemies of the commonwealth of England, he demanded leave to fall upon it. This being refused, though the refusal was in very soft terms, and accompanied with declarations of esteem, and a present of provisions, so exasperated the admiral, that, without any hesitation, he fell upon the Portuguese fleet, then returning from Brasil, of which he took seventeen ships, and burnt three. It was to no purpose that the King of Portugal alarmed at so unexpected a destruction, ordered Prince Rupert to attack him, and retake the Brasil ships. Blake carried home his prizes without molestation, the Prince not having force enough to pursue him, and

well pleased with the opportunity of quitting a port where he could no longer be protected.

Blake soon supplied his fleet with provision, and received orders to make reprisals upon the French who had suffered their privateers to molest the English trade; an injury which, in those days, was always immediately resented, and if not repaired, certainly punished. Sailing with this commission, he took in his way a French man of war valued at a million. How this ship happened to be so rich, we are not informed; but as it was a cruiser, it is probable the rich lading was the accumulated plunder of many prizes. Then following the unfortunate Rupert, whose fleet by storms and battles was now reduced to five ships, into Carthagena, he demanded leave of the Spanish governor to attack him in the harbour, but received the same answer which ad been returned before by the Portuguese: "That they had a right to protect all ships that came into their dominions; that if the admiral were forced in thither, he should find the same security; and that he required him not to violate the peace of a neutral port." Blake withdrew upon this answer into the Mediterranean; and Rupert then leaving Carthagena entered the port of Malaga, where he burnt and sunk several English merchant ships. Blake, judging this to be an infringement of the neutrality professed by the Spaniards, now made no scruple to fall upon Rupert's fleet in the harbour of Malaga, and having destroyed three of his ships, obliged him to quit the sea, and take sanctuary at the Spanish court.

In February 1650-1, Blake, still continuing to cruise in the Mediterranean, met a French ship of considerable force, and commanded the captain to come on board, there being no war declared between the two nations. The captain, when he came, was asked by him, whether "he was willing to lay down his sword, and yield"" which he gallantly refused, though in his enemy's power. Blake, scorning to take advantage of an artifice, and detesting the appearance af treachery, told him, “that he was at liberty to go back to his ship, and defend it as long as he could." The captain willingly accepted his offer, and after a fight of two hours, confessed himself conquered, kissed his sword, and surrendered it.

In 1652, broke out the memorable war between the two commonwealths of England and Holland; a war, in which the greatest admirals, that perhaps any age has produced, were engaged on each side, in which othing less was contested than the dominion of the sea, and which was carried on with vigour, animosity, and resolution, proportioned to the importance of the dispute. The chief commanders of the Dutch fleets were Van Trump, De Ruyter, and De Witt, the most celebrated names of their Q

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