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Memoirs of the Rev. Samuel Parr

Ch. I. 1747-1752
Ch. II. 1752-1761
Ch. III. 1761-1765
Ch. IV. 1765-1766
Ch. V. 1767-1771
Ch. VI. 1771
Ch. VII. 1771-1776
Ch. VIII. 1771-1776
Ch. IX. 1776-1777
Ch. X. 1779-1786
Ch. XI. 1779-1786
Ch. XII. 1779-1786
Ch. XIII. 1780-1782
Ch. XIV. 1786-1789
Ch. XV. 1786-1790
Ch. XVI. 1776-1790
Ch. XVII. 1787
Ch. XVIII. 1789
Ch. XIX. 1790-1792
Ch. XX. 1791-1792
Ch. XXI. 1791-1796
Ch. XXII. 1794-1795
Ch. XXIII. 1794
Ch. XXIV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXV. 1794-1800
Ch. XXVI. 1800-1803
Ch. XXVII. 1801-1803
Ch. XXVIII. 1800-1807
Vol. II Contents
Ch I. 1800-1807
Ch II. 1807-1810
Ch III. 1809
Ch IV. 1809-1812
Ch V. 1810-1813
Ch VI. 1811-1815
Ch VII. 1812-1815
Ch VIII. 1816-1820
Ch IX. 1816-1820
Ch X. 1816-1820
Ch XI. 1816-1820
Ch XII. 1816-1820
Ch XIII. 1816-1820
Ch XIV. 1819
Ch XV. 1820-1821
Ch XVI. 1816-1820
Ch XVII. 1820-1824
Ch XVIII. 1820-1824
Ch XIX. 1820-1824
Ch XX. 1820-1825
‣ Ch XXV.
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Various characters written by Dr. Parr—Hooker—Meric Calaubon—Bentley—Edwards—Helvetius—Mandeville and Rousseau—Three furred manslayers—Jortin—Leland—Homer—Lunn.

Hooker.—The names which learned men bear for any length of time, are usually well founded. If Duns Scotus was justly called “the most subtle doctor,” Roger Bacon “the wonderful,” Bonaventure “the seraphic,” Aquinas “the universal and evangelical,” surely Hooker has, with equal, if not superior justice, obtained the name of “the judicious.” Bishop Lowth, in the preface to his English Grammar, has bestowed the highest praise upon the purity of Hooker’s style. Bishop Warburton, in his book on the Alliance between the Church and State, often quotes him, and calls him “the excellent, the admirable, the best good man of our order.”1

Meric Casaubon entered at Christ Church: he soon became a student there; he took both his degrees in arts; he published several useful works in literature and theology; he was preferred by Archbishop Laud; he was created doctor in divinity by the order of Charles I. Though deprived of his livings, he refused to accept any

1 Spital Sermon, p. 63.

employment under
Cromwell; when an immediate present of nearly four hundred pounds, an annual pension of three hundred pounds, and the valuable books of his father, which had been purchased by James I., and then deposited in the royal library, were proffered to him at different times. He recovered his ecclesiastical preferment, after the Restoration: he lived prosperously, and studied diligently, till he had reached his seventy-second year; and by his learning, affability, charity, and piety, he proved himself worthy of all the attentions which had been shown to him, by the parent who loved him, the university which had educated him, and the princes who had succoured him.1

Bentley.—The memory of Bentley has ultimately triumphed over the attacks of his enemies, and his mistakes are found to be light in the balance, when weighed against his numerous, his splendid, and matchless discoveries. He has not much to fear, even from such rivals in literary fame as Cunningham, Baxter, and Dawes. He deserved to obtain, and he has obtained, the honourable suffrages of kindred spirits—a Lennep, a Ruhnken, a Hemsterhuis, and a Porson. In fine, he was one of those rare and exalted personages, who, whether right or wrong in detached instances, always excite attention, and reward it—always inform, where they do not convince—always send away their readers with enlarged knowledge, with animated curiosity, and with

1 Spital Sermon, Notes, p. 119.

wholesome exercise to those habits of thinking, which enable them, upon maturer reflection and after more extensive inquiry, to discern and avoid the errors of their illustrious guide.1

Edwards.—About eighteen years ago I read Mr. Edwards’ “Enquiry into the modern prevailing Notions of the Freedom of Will,” &c.; and I afterwards lent it to a learned friend, whom it completely detached from the common opinions, or, perhaps, I should rather say, from the popular language of men, upon a subject over which the ferrum λογομαχίας has been, and hereafter will be drawn, again and again. Charmed as I was with the metaphysical acuteness and the fervent piety of the writer, I became very desirous to read his Dissertations “Concerning the end for which God created the World, and the Nature of true Virtue.” I met with them about the year 1790; and I found in them the same romantic imagination, the same keen discernment, the same logical subtilty, and the same unextinguishable ardour. Mr. Edwards is a writer who exercises our minds, even where he does not satisfy them; who interests us, where he does not persuade; who instructs and improves us, where he does not ultimately convince.2

Helvetius.—Doubtless, his perspicuity, his vivacity, his facility in gliding through the mazes of metaphysics, and his unrelenting hostility against

1 Critique on the Variorum Horace, in the British Critic, 1794, p. 423.

2 Spital Sermon, Notes, p. 76.

the usurpations, of what he calls, “prejudice,” will always secure him a numerous class of readers. The chief faults which I observe in his writings, as compositions, are, a looseness of arrangement, which sometimes slackens the attention, and sometimes bewilders the judgment of his readers; a fondness for multiplying narratives, which frequently interrupts the continuity of his reasoning; and a wantonness in scattering witticisms, which are often not well suited to the importance of his subjects. In his work upon education, however, he has completely refuted the captivating, but most pernicious paradoxes of
Rousseau: and to his “Essay on the Mind,” though deeply tinged with hatred of priesthood, and lavishly decked with trappings of infidelity, I cannot refuse the praise of brilliant genius, and of benevolence, which, however romantic and ill-directed, I dare not pronounce insincere.

Mandeville and Rousseau. In Mandeville there is but little room for praise: he has a shrewdness and he has vivacity; but his shrewdness degenerates into sophistry, and his vivacity into petulance. His eye is fixedly bent on the darker parts of human character. He seems to take a malignant pleasure in dragging to light what prudence and candour would induce us to conceal; and by the horrid features of exaggeration, in which he paints the vices of his species, he produces a sickness of temper, a secret and restless spirit of incredulity, when for a moment he twists our attention to a contemplation of their virtues.


But in Rousseau there are brighter talents and more amiable qualities. He was himself benevolent; and, upon the minds of others, he inculcated that benevolence, which he loved. He admired virtue in some of her most noble forms; and has displayed her with a splendour, which enraptures the imagination, and warms the heart. Dangerous as I think the tendency of his general system, I am not totally destitute of taste to discern, of sensibility to feel, and of justice to acknowledge, his moral and his intellectual excellencies. But these excellencies may stamp an unjust and fatal authority upon his errors. As an inquirer therefore after truth, and as a friend to religion, I cannot applaud the one without lamenting the other. Fictitious representations of what is praiseworthy are useful, I confess, for preparing the mind of man to act in real life. Yet fiction itself has boundaries, which sound and sober sense has a right to prescribe, but which the acuteness of feeling, and the vigour of fancy, in lieu of genius, are apt to overleap. After repeated—after serious, I am sure, and, I hope, after impartial perusal of his celebrated work, I think the scenes romantic, and the tendency on the whole very pernicious, in the mixed condition of the world, and amidst the mixed characters of those, who form the mass of mankind. The readers, who cannot discriminate, will assuredly be misled; and when admiration overpowers the judgment in persons of a better class, the inclination and the power to discriminate are too often lost. Many of the circumstances which he has supposed will rarely exist; and in
those which do exist, his representation of them will flatter the vain, misguide the unwary, and perplex even the virtuous.1

Three Characters, evidently intended for three late judges, whom Dr. Parr entitled the Three Furred Manslayers.

With learning, taste, and genius, which adorned the head, but improved not the heart, one of them was a sober, subtle, inexorable interpreter and enforcer of sanguinary statutes. With a ready memory, keen penetration, barren fancy, vulgar manners, and infuriate passion, another indulged himself in the gibberish of a canting fanatic, and the ravings of an angry scold, before trembling criminals. With sagacity enough to make the worse appear the better cause to superficial hearers, and with hardihood enough not to express much concern for the bodies of men, or their souls, the third carried about him an air, sometimes of wanton dispatch, and sometimes of savage exultation, when he immolated hecatombs at the altar of public justice. Armed with “giant strength,” and accustomed to use it “like a giant,” these protectors of our purses transferred to thievery that severity, which the court of Areopagus employed only against cut-throats, and they did so where judges were not bound by a peculiar, direct, and sacred oath, adapted to the peculiar character of the tribunal, and where offenders had not the chance, as among the Athenians, of a more favourable issue from appeals to Thesmothetæ; nor that privilege of

1 Discourse on Education, p. 71.

going before trial into voluntary exile, which, on the first institution of this court, had been granted to them by legislators, who, ειθ ηρωες ησαν ει τε θεοι ουχ επέθεντο τοις ατιχήμασιν, αλλ΄ ανθρωπίνως επε χούϕισαν, εις οσον ειχι χαλως, τας συμφοράς.

If a Βωμος Έλέου, like that at Athens, had been placed in the avenue to our English courts, these διχασπόλοι ανδρες would have differed from each other in their outward demeanour, and yet would have remained equally guilty of “bearing the sword in vain.” Elaphocardius, upon approaching the hallowed spot, might have paused for a second, winced under a slight stroke of rebuke from the monitor within, and quietly sneaked by on the other side. Cardamoglyphus would have wrung his hands, lifted up his eyes to heaven, implored forgiveness to himself as a miserable sinner, and before sunset would have boasted of “not being as other men are,” regraters, sabbath-breakers, libertines, and more especially, as that execrable criminal who stood before him at the bar. But the steps of Cynopes would not have been turned aside to the right hand or to the left; his eye would have darted upon the emblems of the altar with a glare of fierce disdain; he would negligently have swept the base of it with the skirts of his robe; he would have laughed inwardly at the qualms of one of his compeers, and scoffed without disguise at the mummeries of the other. Happily these arbiters of life and death are now no more; they have left an example not very likely to be imitated by their venerable successors; and my hope is, that the mercy which they showed not to
others in this World, may, in another world, be shown to them.1

Jortin.—As to Jortin, whether I look back to his verse, to his prose, to his critical, or to his theological works, there are few authors, to whom I am so much indebted for rational entertainment, or for solid instruction. Learned he was, without pedantry. He was ingenious, without the affectation of singularity. He was a lover of truth, without hovering over the gloomy abyss of scepticism; and a friend to free inquiry, without roving into the dreary and pathless wilds of latitudinarianism. He had a heart, which never disgraced the powers of his understanding. With a lively imagination, an elegant taste, and a judgment most masculine and most correct, he united the artless and amiable negligence of a schoolboy. Wit without ill-nature, and sense without effort, he could, at will, scatter upon every subject; and in every book, the writer presents us with a near and distinct view of the real man. His style, though inartificial, is sometimes elevated; though familiar, it is never mean; and though employed upon various topics of theology, ethics, and criticism, it is not arrayed in any delusive resemblance, either of solemnity, from fanatical cant; of profoundness, from scholastic jargon; of precision, from the crabbed formalities of cloudy philologists; or of refinement, from the technical babble of frivolous connoisseurs.

At the shadowy and fleeting reputation, which

1 Characters of Fox, Notes, p. 344.

is sometimes gained by the petty frolics of literary vanity, or the mischievous struggles of controversial rage, Jortin never grasped. Truth, which some men are ambitious of seizing by surprise in the trackless and dark recess, he was content to overtake in the broad and beaten path: and in pursuit of it, if he does not excite our astonishment by the rapidity of his strides, he, at least, secures our confidence by the firmness of his step. To the examination of positions advanced by other men, he always brought a mind, which neither prepossession had seduced, nor malevolence polluted. He imposed not his own conjectures, as infallible and irresistible truths, nor endeavoured to give an air of importance to trifles, by dogmatical vehemence. He could support his more serious opinions, without the versatility of a sophist, the fierceness of a disputant, or the impertinence of a buffoon: more than this—he could relinquish or correct them with the calm and steady dignity of a writer, who, while he yielded something to the arguments of his antagonists, was conscious of retaining enough to command their respect. He had too much discernment to confound difference of opinion with malignity or dulness, and too much candour to insult, where he could not persuade. Though his sensibilities were neither coarse nor sluggish, he yet was exempt from those fickle humours, those rankling jealousies, and that restless waywardness, which men of the brightest talents are too prone to indulge. He carried with him, into every station into which he was placed, and every subject which he explored, a solid
greatness of soul, which could spare an inferior, though in the offensive form of an adversary, and endure an equal with, or without, the sacred name of friend. The importance of commendation, as well to him who bestows, as to him who claims it, he estimated not only with justice, but with delicacy, and therefore, he neither wantonly lavished it, nor withheld it austerely. But invective he neither provoked nor feared; and, as to the severities of contempt, he reserved them for occasions where alone they could be employed with propriety, and where, by himself, they always were employed with effect—for the chastisement of arrogant dunces, of censorious sciolists, of intolerant bigots in every sect, and unprincipled impostors in every profession. Distinguished in various forms of literary composition, engaged in various duties of his ecclesiastical profession, and blessed with a long and honourable life, he nobly exemplified that rare and illustrious virtue of charity, which
Leland, in his reply to the Letter-writer, thus eloquently describes:—“Charity never misrepresents; never ascribes obnoxious principles or mistaken opinions to an opponent, which he himself disavows; is not so earnest in refuting, as to fancy positions never asserted, and to extend its censure to opinions, which will perhaps be delivered. Charity is utterly averse to sneering, that most despicable species of ridicule, that most detestable subterfuge of an impotent objector. Charity never supposes, that all sense and knowledge are confined to a particular circle, to a district, or to a country. Charity never condemns
and embraces principles in the same breath; never professes to confute, what it acknowledges to be great; never presumes to bear down an adversary with confident assertions. Charity does not call dissent insolence, or the want of implicit submission a want of common respect.”1

Leland.—Of Leland my opinion is not, like the Letter-writer’s, founded upon hearsay evidence, nor is it determined solely by the great authority of Dr. Johnson, who always mentioned Dr. Leland with cordial regard and marked respect. It might, perhaps, be invidious for me to hazard a favourable decision upon his “History of Ireland,” because the merits of that work have been disputed by critics, some of whom are, I think, warped in their judgment by literary, others, by national, and more, I have reason to believe, by personal prejudices. But I may with confidence appeal to his writings, which have long contributed to public amusement, and have often been honoured by public approbation—to the “Life of Philip,” and to the translation of Demosthenes, which the Letter-writer professes to have not read: to the judicious “Dissertation upon Eloquence,” which the Letter-writer did vouchsafe to read, before he answered it: to the spirited defence of that Dissertation, which the Letter-writer probably has read, but never attempted to answer. The “Life of Philip” contains many curious researches into the principles of government established amongst the leading states of Greece:

1 Tracts by Warburton and a Warburtonian, p. 194.

many sagacious remarks on their intestine discords: many exact descriptions of their most celebrated characters, together with an extensive and correct view of those subtle intrigues, and those ambitious prospects, by which
Philip, at a favourable crisis, gradually obtained an unexampled and fatal mastery over the Grecian republics. In the translation of Demosthenes, Leland unites the man of taste with the man of learning, and shows himself to have possessed not only a competent knowledge of the Greek language, but that clearness in his own conceptions, and that animation in his feelings, which enabled him to catch the real meaning, and to preserve the genuine spirit, of the most perfect orator Athens ever produced. Through the Dissertation upon Eloquence, and the Defence of it, we see great accuracy of erudition, great perspicuity and strength of style, and, above all, a stoutness of judgment, which in traversing the open and spacious walks of literature, disdained to be led captive, either by the sorceries of a self-deluded visionary, or the decrees of a self-created despot.”

Henry Homer was born in 1751, and was the eldest of seventeen children. His father, the Rev. Henry Homer, was rector of Willoughby, in Warwickshire. He was sent at the age of seven to Rugby School; and became, at the end of seven years, the head boy of sixty. The celebrity of that school, then under the care of the Rev. Mr. Burrows, was not so great, nor the plan of education pursued in it so elegant and compre-

1 Tracts by Warburton and a Warburtonian, p. 193.

hensive, as we have seen them, under the auspices of the very learned
Dr. James. Yet Mr. Burrows possessed, as I am told, very sound understanding, and a very respectable share of erudition: the progress which Mr. Homer made under him was such as to do credit to the abilities of the teacher, and the diligence of the scholar. From Rugby, Mr. Homer was removed to Birmingham School, where he remained three years more, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Brailsford, of whose talents, as an instructor, I cannot speak with precision. But of Mr. Price, his successor, I am warranted in saying that he is a man of very refined taste, and of learning more than common. As Mr. Homer had been the head boy of Rugby School, and as he continued three years at Birmingham, we may presume that he was, for that time, employed in reading some of the best classical authors.

“In November 1768, Mr. Homer was admitted of Emanuel College, Cambridge, under Dr. Farmer; and, in that college, I saw him, at a very early period of his academical life. The pleasantry and good sense diffused through his conversation, and perhaps the singularity of his name, attracted my attention; and produced an acquaintance, which soon grew into friendship. I will hazard the imputation of arrogance for saying that new incitements were given to his industry, and new prospects opened to his curiosity, by my well-meant advice. Mr. Homer proceeded regularly to his Bachelor’s degree in 1773, to his Master’s in 1776, to his Bachelor’s in Divinity in 1783. He had lived in Warwickshire, about three years before he became a
fellow; and returned to the university soon after his election. He then resided much at Cambridge; where his mind was neither dissipated by pleasure, nor relaxed by idleness. He frequently visited the public library; and was well acquainted with the history, or contents, of many curious books, which are noticed only by scholars. Of the Greek language, he was by no means ignorant; though he did not profess to be critically skilled in it. He had read many of the Latin classical authors. About orthography he was very exact. He was not a stranger to many niceties, in the structure of the Latin tongue. He had turned his attention to several philological books of great utility and high reputation. He was well versed in the notes, subjoined to some of the best editions of various authors; and of his general erudition, the reader will form no unfavourable opinion, by looking at a catalogue of the works, in which he was engaged.”—“Mr Homer knew how to adapt docility and firmness to different occasions. His friends he never teased, by impotent cavils and futile inquiries. He never attempted to show off his own powers, in that frivolous jargon, or that oracular solemnity, which I have now and then observed in persons, who prated yesterday, as they prate today, and will prate to-morrow, about subjects, which they do not understand. Such is my opinion of Mr. Henry Homer. He, to my knowledge, had fed on the dainties that are bred in a book. He had eaten paper, as it were, and drunk ink. His intellect was replenished.

“As the merits of Mr. Homer stand at this
moment in full view before my mind, I will turn my attention towards some points in Mr. Homer’s conduct which have ever fixed him in my esteem; and which, in the judgment of all good men, will do honour to his independence and integrity.

Mr. Homer, in consequence of some religious scruples, refused to take priest’s orders; when, by the statutes of the founder he was required to take them, in order to preserve the rank he had attained in college. From a senior fellow he became a junior; and after various negotiations his fellowship was declared vacant, on the 20th June, 1788. The first intelligence I had of this affair, was sent me by a common friend; and, sure I am, no man living could have been more surprised and afflicted than I was, upon receiving it. I wrote to Mr. Homer several letters of sympathy and counsel. I asked about the unknown cause—I deprecated the probable consequence, but to no purpose—for his answers were short and sharp; evidently intended to check inquiry and to avert expostulation. When I afterwards saw him in London, I twice resumed the subject; and spoke with that mixture of delicacy and earnestness, which was adapted to the difficulties of his situation, and the exquisiteness of his feelings. Twice he repelled and silenced me, by declaring that his conduct was the result of long and serious deliberation; that his mind was made up to all possible inconveniences; and that the interposition of his friends would answer no other purpose, but that of irritation.

“Knowing that enlightened and amiable men
are sometimes hurried into rigorous proceedings by their political zeal; I for a long—yes—a very long time—had painful doubts, whether
Mr. Homer had been perfectly well used. But after strict and repeated inquiry, I was convinced, thoroughly convinced, that my friend had met with fair, and, from some quarters, most indulgent treatment; and that, in a case so very notorious, the statutes left no power of mitigation whatever, in the hands either of the fellows or the master. Mr. Homer persisted in obeying the dictates of his conscience; and the members of the college were compelled to act under the direction of their statutes, and by the force of their oaths.

“Though I collected from the general conversation of Mr. Homer that he was not adverse to a partial and temperate reform of the Church of England; yet, in no one moment of the most private and confidential intercourse, did he open to me his doubts, upon any particular subject of doctrine. When I was talking to him about the events, which had recently passed in college, he, for the first time, told me, that, many years before, he stood aloof from some preferment, which, in all probability, was within his reach; and that he had taken an unalterable resolution of not accepting any living, either from private patrons, or from any academical society. The reasons, upon which that resolution was founded, he did not reveal to me: nor did I think myself authorised to investigate them. But I ever have honoured, and ever shall honour, so much moderation, mixed with so much firmness. He never indulged himself in pouring
forth vague and trite declamation, against the real or supposed errors of churchmen. He never let loose contemptuous and bitter reproaches against those, who might differ from him, upon speculative and controversial topics of theology. He remained a quiet, and, I doubt not, a sincere conformist within the pale of the establishment, after renouncing all share of its profits, and all chance of its honours. On this rare and happy union of integrity and delicacy, panegyric were useless. They who read of his conduct will approve of it; and, among those who approve, some wise and virtuous men may be found, whom his example may encourage to imitate. In praising Mr. Homer, I mean not to censure some enlightened and worthy contemporaries, who, from motives equally pure, may not have pursued the same measures. The propriety of continuing in the church, as he continued, will depend upon personal circumstances, which will be different, with different men, and upon general principles, about which the best scholars and the best Christians of this age are not wholly agreed.

“From the quickness of Mr. Homer’s temper, and perhaps of my own, we now and then wrangled, in our conversation, and in our letters. But the effects of these little altercations were temporary: and I feel the very highest and purest satisfaction in being able to affirm that, from the commencement of my acquaintance with him, to the very latest hour of his life, we never had one serious dispute—one difference which sent us, with throbbing bosoms, to a restless pillow, for
one night; or darkened our countenances with one frown, upon the succeeding day. Many and great were his exertions, in compliance with my requests, and for the management of my concerns. Many, too, are the thanks, which I returned to him; and many the services, which I endeavoured to render him.

Mr. Homer, in his last illness, which took place early in 1791, had been for three or four weeks with his father in Warwickshire, before I knew that he was ill. But the very day after the evening, in which the intelligence reached me, I sent a special messenger, with a letter full of anxious and affectionate inquiry; and I received an answer, which I clasped to my bosom; and which I, at this moment, keep deposited among the most precious records of friendship. In a day or two, I hastened in person to his father’s house. With anguish of soul, I found my friend pale, emaciated, and sunk beyond the power of recovery. I talked to him with all the tenderness, which the sight of such a friend, in such a situation, could have excited in the most virtuous breast. I came away with a drooping head, and with spirits quite darkened by the gloom of despair. Again I hastened to see him, if the lamp of life should not be wholly gone out; and again I did see him, on the evening before his eyes were closed in death. With tears, not easily stifled, and with an aching heart, I accompanied his sad remains to the grave; and, in many a pensive mood, have I since reflected on the melancholy scene. Many a look of fondness have I cast upon his countenance, which meets
me, in an excellent engraving, as I enter my study, each revolving day. Many an earnest wish have I formed, that my own last end may be like his—a season of calm resignation, of humble hope, and of devotion; at once rational, fervent, and sincere.”

Mr. Homer died of a rapid decline, May. 4, 1791, in the fortieth year of his age.1

Mr. Lunn resided, as a bookseller, at Cambridge, for ten years. In March, 1797, he came to London, and succeeded Mr. Samuel Hayes, in Oxford-street. On his removal into Soho-square, in 1801, he, by the advice of scholars, and with the approbation of friends, established the Classical Library upon a new and extensive plan. His views were announced in a perspicuous and even elegant advertisement; in which, with a tone of thinking far raised above the narrow and selfish views of a mind, intent only upon profit, he endeavoured to interest in his own favour such persons, as habitually look with veneration to the memory of Bentley, to the erudition of Hemsterhuis, and his illustrious school, and to the sagacity, taste, and learning, of our celebrated countryman, Richard Porson.

The whole of Mr. Lunn’s property was embarked in his trade; and, under circumstances more favourable, his accumulation must have been rapid. But he had to struggle with unusual and most stubborn difficulties. Insurances were high.—Goods were often delayed; for which Mr. Lunn had been obliged to pay before they reached him.

1 Answer to Combe’s Statement.

The course of exchange ran for many years against England; and the loss which Mr. Lunn sustained, from this cause, on the amount of the invoices, was sometimes twenty, sometimes twenty-five, and sometimes even thirty per cent. The sale of books, procured under these unavoidable and irremediable disadvantages, was in many instances slow and precarious. Mr. Lunn, like every other bookseller, was doomed to losses, from the inability of his employers to make their payments. He dealt with men, whose rank, whose delicacy, and, upon some occasions, whose poverty protected them from that importunity, with which the generality of tradesmen enforce their claims. He rarely expected immediate payment—he never demanded it—he allowed for it a reasonable discount; and in the mean time, for the support of his credit both at home and abroad, he was compelled to fulfil his own engagement without deduction, and without delay.

We have now to record the chief cause of those embarrassments, which disturbed his spirits, and shortened his existence. The return of peace, by opening a free communication with the continent, was beneficial to other traders, but most injurious to Mr. Lunn. They accumulated their stock, without the numerous impediments, which Mr. Lunn had encountered. They were exempt from many of those restrictions upon importation, to which Mr. Lunn had for many years been obliged to submit. They were able to buy, and therefore to sell, at a cheap rate those articles, for which Mr. Lunn had previously paid the foreigners a
very high price. They purchased after a favourable alteration in the course of exchange, and with considerable diminution in charges for assurance.

Here follows the interesting passage already given before in this volume,1 and with some further particulars relative to the melancholy situation of Mr. Lunn’s family, the memoir closes.

1 P. 89.