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quantity of vestments that were bundled there: he went among his fellows of the convent, inquired how they came to be placed there, and learning the manner from them, nothing could exceed his penitence and contrition.

His last, and greatest project, was considered of a still more heinous nature. A lady, who had long been a benefactress to the convent, happening to die, was desirous of being buried in the cloister, in a vault which she had made for that purpose. It was there that she was laid, adorned with much finery, and a part of her own jewels, of which she had great abundance. The solemnity attending her funeral was magnificent, the expenses great, and the sermon affecting. In all this pomp of grief, none seemed more affected than Cyrillo, or set an example of sincerer mortification. The society considered the deposition of their benefactress among them as a very great honour, and masses in abundance were promised for her safety. But what was the amazement of the whole convent the next day, when they found the vault in which she was deposited broken open, the body mangled, her fingers, on which were some rings, cut off, and all her finery carried away! Every person in the convent was shocked at such barbarity, and Cyrillo was one of the foremost in condemning the sacrilege. However, shortly after, on going to his cell, having occasion to examine under his mattress, he there found that he alone was the guiltless plunderer. The convent was soon made acquainted with his misfortune; and, at the general request of the fraternity, he was removed to another monastery, where the prior had a power, by right, of confining his conventuals. Thus debarred from doing mischief, Cyrillo led the remainder of his life in piety and peace.

THE LIFE

OF

THOMAS PARNELL, D.D.

ARCHDEACON OF CLOGHER.

FIRST PRINTED IN THE YEAR MDCCLXX.

[The following Life of Parnell was originally prefixed to an edition of that poet's works in 1768. It was afterwards abridged by Dr Johnson for his Lives of the Poets. Goldsmith has succeeded in com-municating some degree of interest to his sketch, by the justness of his emarks and the graces of his style; but his materials were too scanty to enable him to give that minuteness of detail, which constitutes the principal charm of biography.-B.]

THE LIFE

OF

DR PARNEL L.

THE life of a scholar seldom abounds with adventure. His fame is acquired in solitude. And the historian, who only views him at a distance, must be content with a dry detail of actions by which he is scarcely distinguished from the rest of mankind. But we are fond of talking of those who have given us pleasure, not that we have any thing important to say, but because the subject is pleasing.

THOMAS PARNELL, D.D. was descended from an ancient family, that had for some centuries been settled at Congleton in Cheshire. His father, Thomas Parnell, who had been attached to the Commonwealth party, upon the Restoration went over to Ireland; thither he carried a large personal fortune, which he laid out in lands in that kingdom. The estates he purchased there, as also that of which he was possessed in Cheshire, descended to our poet, who was his eldest son, and still remain in the family. Thus want, which has compelled many of our greatest men into the service of the Muses, had no influence upon Parnell: he was a poet by inclination.

He was born in Dublin, in the year 1679, and received the first rudiments of his education at the school of Doctor Jones in that city. Surprising things are told us of the greatness of his memory at that early period; as of his being able to repeat by heart forty lines of any book at the

first reading; of his getting the third book of the Iliad in one night's time, which was given in order to confine him for some days. These stories, which are told of almost every celebrated wit, may perhaps be true. But for my own part, I never found any of those prodigies of parts, although I have known enow that were desirous, among the ignorant, of being thought so.

There is one presumption, however, of the early maturity of his understanding. He was admitted a member of the college of Dublin at the age of thirteen, which is much sooner than usual, as at that university they are a great deal stricter in their examination for entrance, than either at Oxford or Cambridge. His progress through the college course of study was probably marked with but little splendour; his imagination might have been too warm to relish the cold logic of Burgersdicius, or the dreary subtleties of Smiglesius; but it is certain, that, as a classical scholar, few could equal him. His own compositions shew this; and the deference which the most eminent men of his time paid him upon that head, put it beyond a doubt. He took the degree of Master of Arts the 9th of July, 1700; and, in the same year, he was ordained a Deacon, by William, Bishop of Derry, having a dispensation from the Primate, as being under twenty-three years of age. He was admitted into priest's orders about three years after, by William, Archbishop of Dublin; and, on the 9th of February, 1705, he was collated by Sir George Ashe, Bishop of Clogher, to the archdeaconry of Clogher. About that time also he married Miss Anne Minchin, a young lady of great merit and beauty, by whom he had two sons, who died young, and one daughter, who is still living. His wife died some time before him; and her death is said to have made so great an impression on his spirits, that it served to hasten his own. On the 31st of May, 1716, he was presented, by his friend and patron Archbishop King, to the vicarage of Finglass, a benefice worth about four hundred pounds a-year, in the diocese of Dublin, but he lived to enjoy his preferment a very short time. He died at Chester, in July, 1717, on his way to Ireland, and was buried in Trinity Church in that town, without any monument to mark the place of his interment. As he died without male issue, his estate devolved to his only nephew, Sir John Parnell, Baronet, whose father was younger brother to the Arch

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