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Fransham kept up his simple habits to the last. At the age of three score years and ten, he would never allow his bed to be made but once a-week; it was in his opinion the height of effeminacy for a man to have his bed made every day, and he would maintain that such a custom was the nurse of idleness and luxury; nor did his love to the brute creation diminish with age. In proof of which, let the following story suffice. He once hired a horse, with the intention of visiting a friend, who resided at a few miles distance from Norwich; when, however, he had got about a mile out of the city, the horse took him into a pit which was by the road side, for the purpose of drinking; and after the animal had taken his fill, and turned himself out of the pit, instead of pursuing the direction of his rider, he gave visible signs, by the inclination of his head, of his desire to return home. “Well,” said Fransham, “I thank you, my honest creature, for having carried me thus far, and I certainly have no right to make you go further, if it be against your inclination, and therefore we will e’en go back again.” On his return, he explained to the owner the cause of his sudden reappearance, and paid him the fare of the horse for the entire day for which he had hired him. Tea and bread and butter constituted the principal part of his daily meal. Sometimes his butter proved bad; on which occasions, he would put the whole into the fire:
.“ What !” said he,“ offer that to a fellow creature, which I cannot eat myself ! no: I should think myself a monster, were I to be guilty of such an insult. This may be the charity of Christians, but not my charity. If, however, you know of any useful purpose to which bad butter may be applied, I will inform you the next time I happen to have any, and you shall have it, and be welcome.”
In January, 1810, poor Fransham found that the great change was approaching. On the 1st of February, he requested to be moved from his bed to the chair. His last observations were in accordance with the eccentricity of his life. He told his nurse, that he had a great horror of being buried alive, and that therefore he would be obliged to her, when she perceived that he had ceased to move, if she would first shake him well,—then place him by a large fire, with a hot apple-pie within the scent of his nose,--and finally, if the former expedients should not produce any motion in him, to ask some beautiful woman to sit by his side," for,” said he, “ if this last experiment do not succeed, then you may safely conclude that I am dead.” A few minutes after this, his nurse, not having heard him cough, approached his chair, and found him a corpse.
In conclusion, we may note of this worthy man, that he was remarkable for industry. He left behind him five manuscript
volumes, in quarto, most neatly written, which contain original essays and disquisitions, both in verse and prose, on theology, ethics, civil polity, mathematics, metaphysics, education, &c., together with compilations from the best authors. He accustomed himself to rise at five o'clock in the morning during summer, and at six in the winter: in his diet and regimen he was peculiarly temperate, eating but moderately of animal food, and abstaining from the use of all strong liquors ; he consequently enjoyed a sound state of health, and retained the perfect use of his faculties to the last moments of his existence-indeed, till within a few days of his death, he continued to give instructions to his pupils. As a metaphysician, he was an ardent admirer of Newton, whom he would sometimes call the prince of philosophers, and whose “Essay on Natural Religion” he considered one of the most masterly productions of the human mind. This was the only modern metaphysical writer he read with satisfaction. Plato and Cicero were the two gods of his idolatry. As a mathematician, he appears to have been eminent for the solidity, rather than the extent of his knowledge; in this, as in other matters, he said the ancients were better than we; had he lived during the time of the famous controversy between Bentley and Boyle, the latter would have found him foremost in his cause. Like a good judge of wine, he preferred what was old to what was new. He had, says his biographer, a much higher veneration for Euclid, than for Newton, and preferred the “Elements of Geometry” of the former, to the “Principles" of the latter. Indeed, he never could understand the celebrated doctrine of Fluxions, and he has been heard to pronounce the analyst of Bishop Berkeley (a work written in confutation of that doctrine) as one of the finest specimens of reasoning to be met with among the productions of the moderns. The mathematical authors whom he most esteemed were Euclid, Apollonius, and Archimedes. however, be confessed, that he carried his veneration for the ancients to an unreasonable pitch, since he could seldom be induced to look at any modern book on mathematics.
His religion is best described by negatives. He was not a Christian in the common acceptation of the term, though his was a life far more Christian than that of many who glory in that name.
With the moral speculations of men who wrote prior to the advent of Christianity he best sympathised. He was neither an epicurean, or an academic. Like the Stoics, , he placed perfect happiness in virtue,—like the Epicureans, he held pleasure or happiness to be the chief good of man,-and like the Academics, he resolved some good out of every ill. He had no yearnings for the future—no ardent aspirations-no
inspiring hope-sceptical to the last, at the age of seventy-eight, he fell into what he deemed an eternal sleep. Nevertheless, so pure, and simple, and honest was he, that the observer might have thought that he trusted by good works to win eternal life.
Fransham was a poor man, but, like Dogberry, he was a man that had had losses ; more than that, he had feasted at rich men's houses. There is every reason to believe that he had been for some time tutor to Mr. Windham. He had once spent a day with Dr. Parr. Many of his pupils became professional men. With one of them (Dr. Leeds the reader of “Foote's Comedies” is already acquainted. The tutor and his pupil, as Johnny Macpherson and Dr. Last were, actually exhibited on the stage.
We have thus resuscitated a memory that had almost passed away. For a few minutes, Fransham may again live, and he, and his bandy legs, and green jacket, may arrest the eye, ere he vanish in the palpable obscure for ever. There have been greater-better men; men more rich in the gifts of fortune, and of head; nevertheless, lessons may be gathered even from his life. He had been wiser had he learned with the poet, that
“ Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not our goal ;
Was pot spoken of the soul.” Still he taught how devotion to learning, like virtue, is its own reward—how learning is within the reach of all the poorest and most obscure-how persevering industry must eventually succeed. The favoured sons of fortune, nursed in opulence and ease, dressed in fine linen, pampered with sumptuous fare, are too far from the masses to teach them the lessons of perseverance and hope, though ali learning and genius be their's. But such men as bandy-legged Fransham, Norwich weaver-boys, and such like peasant lads as Nicols; these speak trumpet-tongued to the fustian jackets, to those from whose ranks have sprung some of the greatest benefactors of our race.
THOU ART GONE FROM US ALL.
From “ Echo
BY MRS. CRAWFORD.
Thou art gone from us all, we shall see thee no more :
Thy bright eye is turn'd from the land of thy birth; Thou art gone from us all, to a far distant shore,
And we weep for thee, dearest! beside the lone hearth. Oh! how dark is that hearth! what a blank it appears !
That face beaming sweetness, that lip breathing song, That we've looked on, and listen'd to, many long years, Now tell but of joys that to mem'ry belong.
Thou art gone from us all.
Thou art gone from us all, that have loved thee so well,
For the land of the stranger, that knows not thy worth ; Thou hast broken the circle of home, and the speli
Of thy sweet voice no more can awaken our mirth : Oh! it seems like the darkness that death leaves behind,
As he wreaths with his cypress some well-beloved urn; When, parting for ever, the lovely and kind Leave the home of their childhood, no more to return.
Thou art gone from us all.
NEITHER the girl nor the gallant were aware that they had been watched during their brief conference by a woman, whose tall figure was completely enveloped in a cloak, having the hood drawn across her face. In the eyes that thus looked stealthily on, there was an expression of malignancy that, had it been observed by them, might well have startled both. A visible emotion shook her frame, as the girl received the card; and when the two separated, the woman laughed aloud, and shook her uplifted hand with an air of savage triumph, and slunk out of sight into one of the numerous alleys, with which the Strand was intersected. The girl, meanwhile, pursued her way hurriedly, until she reached the door of a dirty-looking, dilapidated house, situa'ed in a narrow lane, that ran into Hol. born. The door was approached by a flight of worn out steps, fenced with an iron railing, rotted with rust, and partially broken down. The passage and staircase were in appearance so desolate, as almost to excuse the entire absence of cleanliness, which they betrayed; and the accumulated filth of half a century, supplied the place of paint to the heavy balustrade, running to the top of the building. On the broad landingplace of the first floor, the girl encountered two coarse-looking, ill-clad women.
“Well, Jess !” exclaimed one,“ if you'd come home half-anhour sooner you'd have seen your grandmother; she wasn't half pleased at your being out, and went to look for you: have you met with her ?”
“ No!” said the girl, shrinkingly, and, if possible, looking whiter than before ; and without further parley, she passed up another flight of stairs, and then paused for an instant, as if to recover breath, or recollection, or both; and at length opening a door, she entered, and closed it behind her. The room in
Continued from p. 99, vol. liv.