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brother-clergyman in the neighbouring villages. Once, however, he conquered his timidity. The Rev. Thomas Mease, who had for upward of fifty years regularly attended the service of St. John's Church, Beverley (usually called the Minster) in a diligent performance of his duty, which was preaching twice on Sundays and once on Wednesdays, died at the advanced age of eighty. Mr. Clarke, thinking it a disgrace that the remains of so venerable a person should be carried to the grave unnoticed, delivered upon
that occasion an excellent and appropriate discourse.
The institution of youth, in this country, is generally consigned to the clergy. Those of them, who from the earliest period of their lives have devoted themselves to this momentous function, are surely entitled to a grateful return for their labours. Yet have we not reason to regret, that they are frequently left unrewarded ? Detached from the bustle and glitter of the world, they know not the windings of that crooked path, which often leads to promotion. But this is not invariably the case. The merit of a Gilpin * has been distinguished by the beneficence of an eminent prelate. An unsolicited preferment, bestowed by the same prelate upon a gentleman in his diocese, who for the space of forty years had sustained the character of a Good Schoolmaster, demands our warmest applause. Such instances are, indeed, too rare; but, when they do occur, they fill the mind with genuine satisfaction.
* The reader, who has a relish for the beauties of nature, will be highly gratified with Mr. Gilpin's · Forest Scenery ;' Scotch Tour,' &c. His “Lectures on the Church-Catechism,' and his Exposition of the New Testament,' are entitled to every encomium. He was presented to a prebend of Salisbury, in 1783, by Bishop Barrington.
Mr. Clarke was induced to expect a presentation from a person, who possessed considerable patronage in a distant county. A vacancy occurred, and a prior engagement was pleaded. A second, a third vacancy followed. Still the promised boon did not arrive. At one time several of the Nobility, with some Members of Parliament, solicited for him preferment from the Duke of Newcastle, then Prime Minister. His Grace, however, resisted the application, urging the hackneyed objection, that “to comply with their request would be to deprive the public of a Good Schoolmaster. He was at length presented by Mr. Jolliffe, formerly one of his scholars, who had married Miss Meek, the daughter of Mrs. Clarke, to a small vicarage in Essex. But his imbecility, both of mind and body, incapacitated him from receiving institution. The living was held for his benefit by the Rev. Robert Ingram, the present incumbent, who had been educated under him. This clergyman, in the privacy of a country-village, devotes his whole time to the study of the Sacred Writings, and particularly of the prophetic parts. The Remarks, which he has published on several passages of the Apocalypse, deserve to be more known. But little encouragement is given to pursuits of this kind, though of infinite consequence to religion when conducted with sobriety and discretion.
A considerable income annually accrued to our amiable preceptor from the uniformly-flourishing state of his school: yet various causes conspired to preclude him from even a moderate acquisition of wealth. He was temperate indeed in his desires, and free from excess in his mode of living; but, upon all occasions, he was beneficent and generous. Having imbibed the very spirit of integrity, he entertained no distrust of the good faith of others : and thus, unskilled in the lessons of secular prudence, he incurred great pecuniary losses. One day examining the state of his finances, he found it so ill according with his expectations, that he burst into tears; agitated no doubt with the dismal apprehensions of distress in that condition of wretchedness, to which he might possibly be reduced by the pressure of age or of disease.
A wise and good man, when he arrives at a certain period of life, conscious of having performed the duties of his station with credit to himself and advantage to his fellow-creatures, cheerfully retires from public bustle, and in the
shade of privacy makes a pause, as it were, before his departure from this world ;
His anxious day to husband near the close,
Thus, to proceed in the language of the Poet, he prepares
to meet his latter end,
This envied portion of human felicity was not granted to Mr. Clarke. The evening of his day was overcast with the dark clouds of despondency and mental depression.
An uninterrupted application to the duties of his office had impaired his health ; and his constitution, naturally tender, discovered symptoms of decay in 1758. An unfortunate incident accelerated the approach of accumulated indisposition. He was desired by a sick clergyman to undertake the care of his church at Rothwell, near Wakefield.
As the frost was severe, he thought it safer to walk, than to ride. Overheated, he entered a damp church, and put on a damp surplice. His perspiration, in consequence, sustained so severe a check, that the next morn
ing he was seized with an alarming stroke of an apoplexy, from which he never perfectly recovered. In the beginning of 1759 he suffered a second attack, which rendered him unable to pay any attention to his scholars. When he found himself under the necessity of relinquishing his employment, the Governors of the school generously presented him with an unsolicited and seasonable benefaction of fifty guineas.
A picture still more unpleasing now obtrudes itself upon our view. His mental powers were nearly worn out by continual exercise; the frame of his body became shattered and debilitated; the exertions of reason were paralysed; the memory surrendered it's ample stock of sprightly ideasthe fire of genius went out! Surely so forlorn a state must excite sentiments of compassion. How humiliating this to the pride of Science, and the parade of Learning! In a letter written to me by the apothecary who attended him, his situation is described to have been so melancholy, that I cannot read the narrative but with anguish of heart.
Yet, to gild this scene of sorrow, some faint gleams of brightness were observed occasionally to burst forth. In his short intervals of convalescence, he amused himself with reading the works of Greek authors, and particularly the Moral Characters of Theophrastus. Though the impressions of the preceding moment almost