페이지 이미지

wards wrote an elegy), and to the English factory. From thence he proceeded to Constantinople, where he met with a very friendly reception from sir Thomas Bendish the English ambassador, and sir Jonathan Daws, with whom he afterwards kept up an intimate friendship and correspondence. This voyage, from Leghorn to Constantinople, he has described in a Latin poem. At Constantinople, he read over the works of St. Chrysostom, once bishop of that see, whom he preferred to all the other fathers. Having stayed in Turkey above a year, he returned from thence to Venice, where, soon after they were landed, the ship took fire, and was consumed with all the goods. From thence he came home, in 1659, through Germany and Holland, and has left a description of some parts of those countries in his poems.

Soon after his return into England, the time being somewhat elapsed, before which all fellows of Trinity-college are obliged to take orders, or quit the society, Mr. Barrow was episcopally ordained by bishop Brownrig, notwithstanding the unsettled state of the times, and the declining condition of the church of England. Upon the king's restoration, his friends expected he would have been immediately preferred on account of his having suffered and deserved so much ; but it came to nothing, which made him wittily say (which he has not left in his poems),

Te magis optavit rediturum, Carole, nemo,

Et nemo sensit te rediisse minus. However, he wrote an ode upon that occasion, in which he introduces Britannia congratulating the king upon his

In 1660, he was chosen, without a competitor, Greek professor of the university of Cambridge. His oration, spoken upon that occasion, is preserved among his Opuscula. When he entered upon this province, he designed to have read upon the tragedies of Sophocles: but, altering his intention, he made choice of Aristotle's rhetoric. These lectures, having been lent to a person who never returned them, are irrecoverably lost. The year following, which was 1661, he took the degree of bachelor in divinity. July the 16th, 1662, he was elected professor of geometry in Gresham-college, in the room of Mr. Lawrence Rooke, chiefly through the interest and recommendation of Dr. Wilkins, master of Trinity-college, and afterwards bishop of Chester. In this station, he not only discharged his own duty, but supplied, likewise, the ab


sence of Dr. Pope the astronomy professor. Among his lectures, some were upon the projection of the sphere; which being borrowed and never returned, are lost: but his Latin oration, previous to his lectures, is in his works. The same year, 1662, he wrote an epithalamium on the marriage of king Charles and queen Catherine, in Greek verse. About this time, Mr. Barrow was offered a valuable living, but the condition annexed of teaching the patron's son, made him refuse it, as too like a simoniacal contract. Upon the 20th of May 1663, he was elected a fellow of the royal society, in the first choice made by the council after their charter. The same year, Mr. Lucas having founded a mathematical lecture at Cambridge, Mr. Barrow was so powerfully recommended, by Dr. Wilkins, to that gentleman's executors Mr. Raworth and Mr. Buck, that he was appointed the first professor; and the better to secure the end of so noble and useful a foundation, he took care that himself and his successors should be obliged to leave yearly to the university ten written lectures. We have his prefatory oration, spoken in the public mathematical school, March the 14th, 1664. Though his two professorships were not incompatible, he resigned that of Gresham-college, May the 20th, 1664. He had been invited to take the charge of the Cotton library; but, after a short trial, he declined it, and resolved to settle in the university. In 1669, he resigned the mathematical chair to his very worthy friend the celebrated Isaac Newton, being now determined to exchange the study of the mathematics for that of divinity, partly from a strong inclination for the latter, and partly because his mathematical works were less favourably received than he thought they deserved. In 1670, he wrote a Latin poem upon the death of the duchess of Orleans, an epicedium upon the duke of Albemarle, and a Latin ode upon the Trinity. He was only a fellow of Trinity-college, when he was collated by his uncle, the bishop of St. Asaph, to a small sinecure in Wales, and by Dr. Seth Ward, bishop of Salisbury, to a prebend in that cathedral; the profits of both which he applied to charitable uses, and afterwards resigned them, when he became master of his college. In the same year he was created doctor in divinity by mandate. In 1672, Dr. Pearson, master of Trinity-college, being, upon the death of bishop Wilkins, removed to the bislopric of Chester, Dr. Barrow was appointed by the

king to succeed him; and his majesty was pleased to say upon that occasion, “ he had given it to the best scholar in England." His patent bears date February the 13tlı, 1672, with permission to marry, which he caused to be erased, as contrary to the statutes, and he was admitted the 27th of the same month. He gave the highest satisfaction to that society, whose interest he constantly and carefully consulted. In 1675, he was chosen vice-chancellor of the university. This great and learned divine died of a fever, the 4th of May 1677, and was buried in Westminster-abbey, where a monument was erected to him by the contribution of his friends *. His epitaph was written by his friend Dr. Mapletoft.

He left his manuscripts to Dr. Tillotson and Mr. Abraham Hill, with permission to publish what they should think proper. He left little behind him, except books, which were so well chosen, that they sold for more than the prime cost. Though he could never be prevailed to sit for his picture, some of his friends contrived to have it taken without his knowledge, whilst they diverted bim with such discourse as engaged his attention. As to his person, he was low of stature, lean, and of a pale complexion, and negligent of his dress to a fault; of extraordinary strength, a thin skin, and very sensible of cold; his eyes grey, clear, and somewhat short-sighted; his hair a light brown, very fine, and curling. He was of a healthy constitution, very fond of tobacco, which he used to call his panpharmacon, or universal medicine, and imagined it helped to compose

and regulate his thoughts. If he was guilty of any intemperance, it seemed to be in the love of fruit, which he thought very salutary. He slept little, generally rising in the winter months before day. His conduct and behaviour were truly amiable; he was always ready to assist others, open and communicative in his conversation, in which he

* The following circumstances, con dies, to cure himself with opium. And, cerning Dr. Barrow's death, are le being very ill (probably) angmented lated by Mr. Roger North, in his Life his dose, and so infamed his fever, and of Dr. John North. “The good Dr. at the same time obstructed the crisis : Barrow ended his days in London, in a for he was as a man knocked down, and prebend's house that had a little stair had the eyes as of one distracted. Our to it out of the cloisters, which made doctor (Dr. Nortli) seeing him so, was bim call it a Man's nest, and I presume struck with horror; for he, that knew it is so called at this day. The mas. him so weil in his best health, could ter's disease was an high fever. It had best distinguish; and when he left been his custom, cuntracted when(upon him, he concluded he should see hiin the fund of a travelling fellowship) he no more ; and so it proved.” was at Constantinople, in all his mala.

generally spoke to the importance, as well as truth, of ar y question proposed; facetious in his talk upon fit occasions and skilful to accommodate his discourse to different capacities ; of indefatigable industry in various studies, clear judgment on all arguments, and steady virtue under all difficulties; of a calm temper in factious times, and of large charity in mean estate; he was easy and contented with a scanty fortune, and with the same decency and moderation maintained his character under the temptations of prosperity. In short, he was, perhaps, the greatest scholar of his times; and, as an ingenious writer expresses it, “ he may be esteemed as having shewn a compass of invention equal, if not superior, to any of the moderns, sir Isaac Newton only excepted.”

Dr. Barrow's works are very numerous, and indeed various, mathematical, theological, poetical, &c. and such as do honour to the English nation. They are principally as follow: 1.“Euclidis Elementa,” Cantab: 1655, 8vo. 2."Euclidis Data," Cantab. 1657,8vo. 3."Lectiones Opticæ xviii,' Lond. 1669, 4to. 4.“ Lectiones Geometricæ xiii," Lond. 1670, 4to. 5. " Archimedis Opera, Apollonii Conicorum libri iv. Theodosii Sphericorum lib. iii.; nova methodo illustrata, et succincte demonstrata," Lond. 1675, 4to. The following were published after his decease, viz. 6.“ Lectio, in qua theoremata Archimedis de sphæra et cylindro per methodum indivisibilium investigata, ac breviter investigata, exhibentur," Lond. 1678, 12mo. 7. “ Mathematicæ Lectiones habitæ in scholis publicis academiæ Cantabrigiensis, an. 1664, 5, 6, &c." Lond. 1683. 8. All his English works in S volumes, Lond. 1683, folio.—These are all theological, and were published by Dr. John Tillotson. 9. “Isaaci Barrow Opuscula, viz. Determinationes, Conciones ad Clerum, Orationes, Poemata, &c. volumen quartuin," Lond. 1687, folio. Dr. Barrow left also several curious papers on mathematical subjects, written in his own hand, which were communicated by Mr. Jones to the au-thor of “ The Lives of the Greshain Professors," a particular account of which may be seen in that book, in the life of Barrow. Several of his works have been translated into English, and published; as the Elements and Data of Euclid; the Geometrical Lectures, the Mathematical Lectures. And accounts of some of them were also given in several volumes of the Philos. Trans.

Dr. Barrow must ever be esteemed, in all the subjects which exercised his pen, a person of the clearest percepţion, the finest fancy, the soundest judgment, the profoundest thought, and the closest and most nervous reasoning. !" The name of Dr. Barrow (says the learned Mr. Granger) will ever be illustrious for a strength of mind and a compass of knowledge that did honour to his country. He was unrivalled in mathematical learning, and especially in the sublime geometry; in which he has been excelled only by his successor Newton. The same genius that seemed to be born only to bring hidden truths to light, and to rise to the heights or descend to the depths of science, would sometimes amuse itself in the flowery paths of poetry, and he composed verses both in Greek and Latin."

Several good anecdotes are told of Barrow, as well of his great integrity, as of his wit, and bold intrepid spirit and strength of body. His early attachment to fighting when a boy is some indication of the latter; to which may be added the two following anecdotes : in his voyage between Leghorn and Smyrna, already noticed, the ship was attacked by an Algerine pirate, which after a stout resistance they compelled to sheer off, Barrow keeping his post at the gun assigned him to the last. And when Dr. Pope in their conversation asked him, “ Why he did not go down into the hold, and leave the defence of the ship to those, to whom it did belong?" He replied, “ It concerned no man more than myself: I would rather have lost my life, than to have fallen into the hands of those merciless infidels."

There is another anecdote told of him, which shewed not only his intrepidity, but an uncommon goodness of disposition, in circumstances where an ordinary share of it would have been probably extinguished. Being once on a visit at a gentleman's house in the country, where the necessary was at the end of a long garden, and consequently at a great distance from the room where he lodged; as he was going to it before day, for he was a very early riser, a fierce mastiff, that used to be chained up all day, and let loose at night for the security of the house, perceiving a strange person in the garden at that unusual time, set upon him with great fury. The doctor caught him by the throat, grappled with him, and, throwing him down, lay upon him: once he had a mind to kill him; but he altered his resolution, on recollecting that this would be unjust,

« 이전계속 »