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Book Ii. was that of a busy lawyer; the other, that of a laborious,
scholar. But to Burney's life a few sentences mav be briefly and fitly given. BEMrAc rphg seconci Charles Burney was a younger son of the well-known historian of Music, who for more than fifty years was a prominent figure in the literary circles—and especially in the Johnsonian circle—of London; and in whose well-filled life a very moderate share of literary ability was made to go a long way, and to elicit a very resonant echo. That 'clever dog Burney/ as he was wont to be called by the autocrat of the dinner-table, had the good fortune to be the father of several children even more clever than himself. Their reputation enhanced his own. Th.lit* Charles Burney, junior, was born at Lynn, in Norfolk,
Thhhi on the 10th of December, 1757. He was educated at the Dr0,cha0»' Charter House in London, at Caius College, Cambridge, and at King's College, Aberdeen. At Aberdeen, Burney formed a friendship with Dr. Dunbar, a Scottish professor of some distinction, and an incident which grew, in afteryears, out of that connection, determined the scene and character of the principal employments of Burney's life. He devoted himself to scholastic labours, in both senses of the term; their union proved mutually advantageous, and as tuition gave leisure for literary labour, so the successful issues of that labour spread far and wide his fame as a schoolmaster. He was one of the not very large group of men who in that employment have won wealth as well as honour. It was finely said, many years ago— in one of the State Papers written by Guizot, when he was Minister of Public Instruction in France—' the good schoolmaster must work for man, and be content to await his reward from God.' In Burney's case, the combined
assiduity of an energetic man at the author's writing- Bookii, table, at the master's desk, and also (it must in truthful Bookcandour be added) at his flogging block,* brought him a P°btm"" large fortune as well as a wide-spread reputation. This Bl; fortune enabled him to collect what, for a schoolmaster, I imagine to have been a Classical Library hardly ever rivalled in beauty and value. It was the gathering of a deeply read critic, as well as of an opeuhanded purchaser.
The bias of Dr. Burnet's learning and tastes in literature led him to a preference of the Greek classics far above the Latin. Naturally, his Library bore this character in counterpart. He aimed at collecting Greek authors— and especially the dramatists—in such a way that the collocation of his copies gave a sort of chronological view of the literary history of the books and of their successive recensions.
For the tragedians, more particularly, his researches were brilliantly successful. Of jEschi/lus he had amassed forty-seven editions; of Sophocles, one hundred and two; of Eurijndes, one hundred and sixty-six.
His first publication was a sharp criticism (in the Monthly Review) on Mr. (afterwards Bishop) Hcntingfoud's Collection of Greek poems entitled Monostrojjhica. This was followed, in 1789, by the issue of an Appendix to ScaPula's Lexicon; and in 1807 by a collection of the correspondence of Bkntley and other scholars. Two years later, he gave to students of Greek his Tentamen de Metris ub JEnchglo in choricis cantibus adhibitis, and to the youthful theologians his meritorious abridgment of Bishop Pearson's Book Ii, Exposition of the Creed. In 1812, he published the Lexicon
* More than one of Burney's scholars was accustomed to speak feelingly on the topic of ancient school' discipline' when any passing incident led the talk in that direction in after life.
Chap. III. p -n
Book- Ot PHILEMON.
P°il"*nd ^ne onty Church preferments enjoyed by Dr. Burnky BmErAo wcre the rectory of St. Paul, Dcptford, near London, and that of Cliffe, also in Kent. His only theological publication—other than the abridgment of Pearson—was a sermon which he had preached in St. Paul's Cathedral in 1812. Late in life he was made a Prebendary of Lincoln.
Like his father, and others of his family, Charles Burney was a very sociable man. He lived much with Parr and with Porson, and, like those eminent scholars, he had the good and catholic taste which embraced in its appreciations, and with like geniality, old wine, as well as old books. He was less wise in nourishing a great dislike to cool breezes. 'Shut the door,' was usually his first greeting to any visitant who had to introduce himself to the Doctor's notice; and it was a joke against him, in his later days, that the same words were his parting salutation to a couple of highwaymen who had taken his purse as he was journeying homewards in his carriage, and who were adding cruelty to robbery by exposing him to the fresh air when they made off. came* Some of Dr. Burney's choicest books were obtained
Bi.bnky's when the Pinelli Library was brought to England from Italy. The prime ornament of his manuscript Collection, a thirteenth century copy of the Iliad, of great beauty and rich in scholia, was bought at the sale of the fine Library of Charles Towneley, Collector of the Marbles.
Although classical literature was the strength of the Burney Collection, it was also rich in some other departments. Of English newspapers, for example, he had brought together nearly seven hundred volumes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, reaching from the Bookii,
/» T T-i i • i» *-i Cliap. III.
reign ot James The First to the reign ot George The Book. Third. No such assemblage had been theretofore formed,
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I think, by any Collector. He had also amassed nearly four u "' hundred volumes containing materials for a history of the British Stage, which materials have subsequently been largely used by Mr. Genest, in his work on that subject. For Burney's life-long study of the Greek drama had gradually inspired him with a desire to trace what, in a sense, may be termed its modern revival, in the grand sequel given to it by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He had also collected about five thousand engraved theatrical portraits, and two thousand portraits of literary per
A large number of his printed books contained marginal manuscript notes by Bentley, Casaubon, Burmann, and other noted scholars. And in a series of one hundred and seventy volumes Burney had himself collected all the extant remains and fragments of Greek dramatic writers— about three hundred in number. These remains he had arranged under the collective title of Fragmenta Scenica Grceca.
A splendid vellum manuscript of the Greek orators, in scription of the fourteenth century, had been obtained from Dr. Clarke, by whom it had been acquired during Lord Elgin's Ottoman Embassy, and brought into England. It supplied lacunae which are found wanting in all other known manuscripts. It completed an imperfect oration of Lycttrgus, and another of Dinarchtis. Another MS. of the Greek orators, of the fifteenth century, is only next in value to that derived from Clarke's researches in the East, of 1800. There is also a very fine manuscript of the Geography of Ptolemy, with maps compiled in the fifteenth
Booxii, century, and two very choice copies of the Greek Gospels, Boo*. one of which is of the tenth, and the other of the twelfth E3A" centuries.
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In Latin classics, the Burney Manuscripts include a fourteenth century Plautus, containing no fewer than twenty plays—whereas a manuscript containing even twelve plays has long been regarded as a rarity. A fifteenth century copy of the mathematical tracts collected by Pappus AlexAndrinus, a Callimachus of the same date, and a curious Manuscript of the Asinus Aureus of Apuleius, are also notable. The whole number of Classical Manuscripts which this Collector had brought together was stated, at the time of his death, to be three hundred and eighty-five.
Dr. Burney died on the twenty-eighth of December, 1817, having just entered upon his sixty-first year. He was buried at Deptford, amidst the lamentations of his parishioners at his loss. Doctoe For in Burney, too, the scholar and the Collector had
Chahacteb, not been suffered to dwarf or to engross the whole man. His parishioners assembled, soon after his death, to evince publicly their sense of what Death had robbed them of. The testimony then borne to his character was far better, because more pertinent, laudation, than is usually met with in the literature of tombstones. Those who had known the man intimately then said of him: 'His attainments in learning were united with equal generosity and kindness of heart. His impressive discourses from the pulpit became doubly beneficial from the influence of his own example.' The parishioners agreed to erect a monument to his memory, 'as a record of their affection for their revered pastor, monitor, and friend ; of their gratitude for his services, and of their unspeakable regret for his loss.'