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justly remarked, “ knew the value of every fleeting moment,” and therefore had a great dislike to interruptions, especially in the morning, yet he never betrayed any inciyility or impatience when broken in upon by those who, perhaps, from their own want of occupation, would intrude rather indiscreetly on his hours of study.
In the communication of his knowledge he took great delight, and had not the least portion of that narrow jealousy and reserve which too frequently render almost useless the labours of literary men. His books, particularly the classics, abounded with his marginal notes. The use of these, when he had no immediate prospect of making them public himself, he freely imparted to other authors or editors. Of this liberal conduct we could mention various instances.
As to his occupations in English literature, it should be mentioned that, without neglecting later authors, he was extremely attached to our earlier
prose writers—Roger Aschain, p These he might have avoided could he have allowed himself in a practice now almost universal. But in one of his papers entitled “Petty Moralities," to which we have already had occasion to refer, he says, “ I never denied myself to any visitor, of whatever rank or calling, on account of occupation, or any other cause, to my knowledge, in all my life; nor suffered such equivocation in the servants."
Bp. Jeremy Taylor, Lord Bacon, John Hales, Dr. Spencer, (the author of De leg. Hebræor, and a Treatise on Prodigies,) and especially Milton, whose prose-works he again read through, not long before his death, with great delight. It cannot be doubted that the frequent study of these writers had considerable influence on his style, particularly in his later works. Recent publications of merit, he was very desirous of possessing, but, to prevent interruption to the order of his studies, he would often for a long time restrain his curiosity to peruse them.
With respect to his person he was in a small degree below the iniddle stature, somewhat narrow in the chest, and his legs more muscular than his general appearance would have led one to suppose, which enabled him to endure without fatigue so much of his favourite exercise of walking, even, when occasion required, to the extent of forty miles in a day. His complexion was pale, his eyes grey, and the general impression of his countenance in the highest degree intellectual. The engraving annexed to this work from a painting by Mr. Artaud, finished only a day or two before his fatal illness, will, we are persuaded, readily recall his features to the memory of his friends.
In his apparel he was remarkably plain,
perhaps too little regarding external appearance; but not from any slovenly habits, from which he was ever free. To simple neatness of dress and cleanliness of person, especially the latter, he was scrupulously attentive. His motives for economy in the article of dress are thus described in one of his papers, “ Laid out no money on myself unnecessarily in clothes, calculating such expenditure as a great evil by one measure, that of books; regarding such waste of money, as the loss of so many books as it would purchase, necessary to the comfortable prosecution of my studies:" in this respect imitating Erasmus, who says, in one of his Epistles, “ that as soon as he could get any money, he would purchase, first, Greek authors, and secondly clothes."9
Mr. Wakefield was always an early riser,'. and when occupied in preparing any work for the press, it was by no means uncommon for him to be in his study by three, or four o'clock in the morning. Perhaps it was in a great measure owing to this habit of redeeming time that he was singularly punctual to the hour of his engagements.'
9 Jortin's Erasmus, i. 14. " See his “third maxim," “ Mem.” i. 143, • In his private papers he says, “ Never was half a dozen times in my life as many minutes unpunctual to any engagement, or appointment at any time, whetber the place were pear or distant."
In the article of diet he was very abstemious, and, in his latter years, rarely indulged himself in animal food. Indeed, he became, from principle, a decided enemy to the use of it altogether, and, had he lived, it was his design to have published some observations on this subject. It is well known that other virtuous and reflecting men have inclined to this opinion.
From fermented liquors of every kind, he rigidly and conscientiously abstained, excepting when occasionally prescribed in a medicinal view." His principal meal was at tea
+ Dr. HARTLEY considers this subject in the practical part of his great work. Upon the whole, he concludes that the use of animal food is permitted, yet he freely allows “ that taking away the lives of animals, in order to convert them into food, does great violence to the principles of benevolence and compassion." See “ Rule of Life,” prop. 52, in Obs. on Man," 1st ed. ii. 222.
Sir Thomas More in his “History of Utopia," which is generally supposed to convey his own opinions, after mentioning that the Utopians “ employ slaves for killing their beasts,” adds, “ for they suffer none of their citizens to kill their cattle, because they think, that pity and good-nature, which are among the best of those affections that are born with us, are much impaired by the butchering of animals."
“ Utopia," by Dr. Warner, p. u. See his “ second maxim." “ Mem.” i. 143. On this subject also Dr. Hartley has, as usual, many valuable remarks, of which we quote the following:
“ All liquors, which have undergone vinous fermentation, since they obtain thereby an inflammable, inebriating spirit,
time. Tea was his favourite beverage, though he never allowed himself to wear out his pleasures, as he used to express it, by indiscreet indulgence; unlike a celebrated “hardened and shameless tea-drinker,” as he describes himself, “whose kettle had scarcely time to cool, who with tea amused the evening, with tea solaced the midnight, and with tea welcomed the morning.
His hours of leisure were devoted to no recreations beyond the exercise of walking, and the enjoyment of cheerful society with a few friends at the tea-table, which he greatly preferred to the dinner-party. During his earlier years he had been extremely addicted to the amusement of fishing,y which he rehave from this inebriating quality, which impairs reason, and adds force to the passions, a mark set upon them, as dangerous not only on this account, but on others, to bodily health, &c. and as either totally to be avoided, or not to be used, except in small quantities, and rarely. The general agreeableness of wines and fermented liquors to the taste, their immediate good effect in languors, dejections, and indigestion, and their ex. bilirating quality, when taken sparingly, are indeed arguments to shew, that there may be a proper use of them. But this seems rather to be that of medicines, or refreshments upon singular occasions, than of daily food."
Hartley, ubi sup. p. 220. x Johnson's Works, ii. 334. y It is remarkable how much this has been, at all times, a favourite pleasure with men of a contemplative turn of mind.