Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

giving his children an excellent education; and certainly, in the instance at least of the subject of these memoirs, his kindness was repaid beyond his most sanguine expectations. After having been for several years at a small school at York, Mr. Porteus, then at the age of thirteen, was placed at Ripon, under the care of Mr. Hyde, an upright, sensible, judicious man, of whose attention he ever entertained a grateful remembrance; and from him, at an earlier age than is now usually the case, he was sent to Cambridge, where, by the recommendation and under the immediate superintendence of his elder brother, Mr. Robert Porteus”, he was admitted a 6izer at Christ's College, of which Dr. Rooke was at that time master, and the only person whom he then knew in the University.

a sizer

* This excellent man had the living of Cockayne Hatley, near Potton, in Bedfordshire; and I cannot mention his name, without offering in this place a tribute of affectionate respect to his memory. With

His attention, whilst he continued under-graduate, was directed chiefly to mathematical studies; and in these he gave the best proof of industry and ability, by the situation he obtained of tenth wrangler amongst the honorary degrees of his year. After having taken his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1752, he became a candidate for one of the gold medals, instituted not long before by

His His Grace the Duke of Newcastle, on his election to the chancellorship, as the reward of eminence in classical literature: and on this, the first occasion of their being adjudged, he had the merit, after a long and severe examination, of obtaining the second; the other successful competitor being Mr. Maseres, then a student at Clare Hall, and now Cursitor Baron of the Exchequer, a man of great erudition in every department of learning, and more particularly distinguished by his uncommon depth and acuteness in the abstruser parts of analytical science.

very considerable literary attainments, he combined the greatest gentleness and simplicity of manners. Exemplary in all his domestic duties, he was beloved by his family: indefatigable in the labours of his sacred office, he was revered by his parish.—No one ever more uniformly maintained the Christian character; and by those who knew his many virtues he was most sincerely regretted.—He died in the prime of life, and is buried in Hatley church,

In the spring of the same year, Mr. Porteus was elected Fellow of his college, and became a resident in Cambridge. This, as I have frequently heard him say, was one of the happiest periods of his life. By a series of unlooked for

occuroccurrences, he had been placed in a situation which of all others he most coveted; he had leisure to prosecute at his own discretion those pursuits which were best suited to his taste and disposition; and during the intervals of study, he was passing his time in the society of friends whom he respected and loved.

[graphic]

The happiness however which he thus experienced, was not long without alloy; for about this time he was called suddenly into Yorkshire by the death of his mother; an event which filled him with the deepest grief, and, together with a severe cold which he caught in travelling, brought on a most serious illness, the effects of which he felt occasionally during his whole life.

On his return to college, he found that without his knowledge, his friends had been soliciting for him the situation of

Esquire Esquire Beadle, which had become vacant by the promotion of Mr. Burroughs, afterwards Sir James Burroughs, to the Headship of Caius College. It was an office but ill suited with his turn of mind, and he was at first disinclined to accept it; but in consequence of the kind exertions which had been made in his favour, and, above all, his anxiety to relieve his father from any further expense, he at last complied. He kept it however little more than two years, having determined to make up the deficiency in his income in a way more agreeable to himself, by taking private pupils. These, with his established character and acknowledged talents, were easily obtained : and, amongst others, was the late Lord Grantham, afterwards Ambassador to Spain, and, for a short time, as his father had been before him,

Secretary

« FöregåendeFortsätt »