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equally visible? Your own pious reflections will suggest a thousand proofs that it is: I will only repeat the remark that was most obvious to ourselves; that had this affliction happened about a year and a half ago, when you were living alone, and had no such affectionate nurse to have co-operated with you,-no such bosom comforter to have supported you,-severe as it is, it must have been of a character far severer still. There are a few gracious drops intermixed with every cup
of bitterness-or how could man at times endure the draught? You have them from this source: you have them from the recollection of having sown the good seed, at an early hour, in the best of seasons, and in a propitious soil : but, most of all, you have them in the barvest that has already been produced,-in the safe deposit of the grain in its imperishable garner. It is accomplished : the great task intrusted to you is executed--the object of life is rendered secure—the gulf is forded : the haven of happiness has hold on the anchor.
“We will certainly see you in a short time: Mrs. Good intends herself to write to-morrow, or next day. In the mean while, give our affectionate regards to Mrs. Gregory, for whose health we are very anxious, accept our best wishes and prayers, and believe me, as ever, yours,
“J. M. Goop.”
I have already mentioned that Mr. Good commenced his translation of Lucretius in the year 1797. This work he undertook partly at the entreaty of his literary friends; but principally, as I have more than once heard him state, that he might bring himself under something like the urgency of a moral necessity to
become thoroughly acquainted with the utmost possible variety of subjects, upon which men of literature, science, and investigation, had been able to throw any light. For this purpose he could not, probably, have made a happier selection than that of Lucretius “ On the Nature of Things,” in which the topics are as greatly diversified as the general title of the poem seems to indicate. The translation itself was finished in October 1799, having been carried through in a way very unusual with works of such magnitude: it was composed in the streets of London during the translator's extensive walks, to visit his numerous patients. His practice was to take in his pocket two or three leaves of an octavo edition of the original (I believe, that of Marchetti's,) the text being corrected by collation with Wakefield's; to read over a passage two or three times as he walked along, until he had engraven it upon his ready memory; then to translate the passage, meditate upon his translation, correct and elaborate it, until he had satisfied himself. Having accomplished this, the bare sight of the original brought to mind his own translation, with all its peculiarities. In the same manner would he proceed with a second, third, and fourth passage; and after he had returned home, and disposed of all his professional business, he would go to his standing desk, and enter upon his manuscript so much of the translation as he had been able to prepare satisfactorily. While he was carrying on the translation, he was also levying his contributions towards the notes; a part of the work, however, which called for much more labour, and occupied far more of his time. The translation was not published until 1805, and scarcely a day passed in the six previous years, in
which he did not either add to the notes, or in his own estimation give greater accuracy and elegance to some parts of his version. He obtained access to the British Museum, and other public libraries in the metropolis, and, by fully availing himself of these advantages, considerably enriched the running commentary upon his favourite author. The avidity with which he embraced every opportunity to render his translation correct, will appear in the subjoined extract from a letter to his literary friend at Hadleigh, bearing date September 1798.
“I do not know whether among the extracts you have done me the honour to select from my version, * you have made choice of that which I have given as a specimen in my Prospectus—I mean the little episode on the sacrifice of Iphigenia. There is an error which has crept into the last line but one of my translation, owing to my having forgotten the actual state of the Grecian fleet at the time the sacrifice was demanded, and to my not having had an opportunity of consulting the Iphigenia of Euripides upon the subject. Having, however, obtained of late a perpetual admission into the reading-rooms of the British Museum, among other books, I have been again reading this part of the dramas of the Greek poet-and I find that on the demand of Chalchas the fleet was not in a storm, which such a sacrifice was necessary to extricate it from, but absolutely lying without wind in the harbour at Aulis, and so totally becalmed that it could not possibly proceed to sea. It was to obtain a breeze, therefore, and to get liberated from this imprisonment, that
* That is, for the purpose of insertion in “The Literary Hours.”
Chalchas insisted upon the death of Iphigenia; and the verse to which I refer, instead of being
“Of Grecian navies rescued thus from storms,” should be corrected
“Of Grecian navies favour'd thus with gales." The Latin of Lucretius will apply equally to both, whether a happy escape from port, or from tempests:
“ Exitus ut classi felix faustusque daretur.” It is interesting, however, to remark, since it serves to shew how completely Mr. Good's translation was his own, and how little he was beholden to his precursors in the same region of labour, that in the free translation given in what is usually called Guernier's edition (published in 1743,) the verse in question is rendered
“Only to beg a kind propitious gale for Grecian ships," agreeing in spirit with Mr. Good's amended line.
Mr. Good continued thus for several years to devote a portion of almost every day to this great undertaking: nor was the incessant assiduity with which he pursued it, together with the extensive range of his professional exertions, sufficient to stifle his ardour, or to weigh down and oppress his then inexhaustible activity. Other regions of inquiry invited his curiosity, and corresponding occupations demanded their share of his time and his powers.* I shall here present a mere catalogue of the publications which engaged his attention for a few years, reserving my analysis of the principal of them, as indeed of all his works, to the second section of these memoirs.
* Indeed, his practical maxim was akin to that of another eminent individual of indefatigahle application, the late Dr. E. D. Clarke, who said, “I have lived to know that the great secret of human happiness is this :-Never suffer your energies to stagnate. The old adage of "Too many irons in the fire,' conveys an abominable lie. You cannot have too many; poker, tongs, and all-keep them all going."
Second Address to the Members of the Corporation of Surgeons of London, 1800.
Song of Songs, or Sacred Idyls, 1803.
Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Dr. Geddes, 1803.
Dissertation on the best means of Employing the Poor in Parish Workhouses, 1805.
Translation of Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 1805.
Anniversary Oration delivered before the Medical Society of London, 1808.
Essay on Medical Technology, 1810.
New Edition of Mr. Mason's Treatise on Self-Knowledge, with Memoirs of the Author, and Translations of those portions of the notes which are in Greek, Latin, and other foreign languages.
Pantologia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Words: in conjunction with Mr. Newton Bosworth, (then of Cambridge) and myself. This work, which was published in 12 thick and closely printed volumes, royal 8vo., occupied much of Mr. Good's time from the end of 1804 to the end of 1812.*
The PANTOLOGIA was commenced by Mr. Bosworth and myself in 1802. On my removal to Woolwich in January 1803, another gentleman was associated with us, who, however, in consequence of an unexpected accession of property, retired from the labour in about
* In the year 1800 there appeared an anonymous satirical poem in three cantos, entitled the Millennium, which has been generally ascribed to our author. For some years he contributed largely to Dodsley's Annual Register ; taking, I believe, the entire departments of Natural History and Philosophy, of general literature, and of Poetry, and Belles-lettres. He also assisted Mr. Woodfall in the arrangement of the materials in his edition of Junius's Letters, published in 1812, and in investigating and balancing the claims of different individuals to the authorship of those extraordinary productions.