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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS to CORRESPONDENTS.
We are obliged to W. H. Reid for the Ode he has tranfmitted us; but it has been so often printed, that it would afford no entertainment to our readers.
Mr. Roberdeau's Prologue came too late for this Month. We have no objection to print it in our next.
Mr. W.'s Views are received. We are much obliged to him for them. One is in the hands of the engraver.
By a mistake which was not feen until too late to remedy, feveral Pages of Poetry intended for this Month have unfortunately been omitted.
SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM's GATE, NORWICH.
THIS beautiful Gate is one of the en
trances into the Area of the Cathedral, and was built by Sir. Thomas Erpingham about the year 1417. It may be fuppofed that this favourite of Henry
the Fifth was a great contributor to the decoration of Norwich Cathedral, as his arms very often occur in different parts of the fabric.
AT the defire of fome Correspondents, we deviate this Month from cur ufual cuftom, and leaving literature and politics to a future opportunity, prefent our Readers with what mutt always afford picafure to the beholder-a portrait of a Lady not lefs distinguished by her beauty, than by her high rank and accomplishments. The Duchefs of Gordon is the daughter of Sir William Maxwell, Bart. and was married to the Duke of Gordon in October 1767. By this marriage fhe is the mother of one fon, George Marquis of Huntley, and five daughters: Lady Charlotte, 2. Lady Madelina, 3. Lady
Sufanna, 4. Lady Louifa, 5. Lady
The Duke of Gordon is the fourth Duke, and firft Earl of Norwich, of this family. He was elected one of the Sixteen Peers of Scotland May 5, 1761, in which ftation he ferved until the year 1784, when he was advanced to the English Peerage by patent, dated July the 4th in that year, by the titles of Baron Gordon of Huntley in the county of Gloceiter, and Earl of Norwich in the county of Norwich, with limitation of thofe titles to the heirs male of his body.
An ACCOUNT of the LIFE and WRITINGS of Dr. THO. BLACKLOCK.
THIS perfon, in the words of his biographer Mr. Spence, might be efteemed one of the most extraordinary characters that has appeared in this or any sther age. He was the fon of a poor tradefman at Annan, in Scotland, where he was born in the year 1721. Be
fore he was fix months old, he was totally deprived of his eye-fight by the fmail-pox. His father (who by his fon's account of him muft have been a particularly good man) had intended to breed him up to his own, or fome other trade: but as this misfortune rendered him incapable of any,
* His father and mother were natives of the county of Cumberland, where his paternal acaftors lived from time immemorial. They generally followed agriculture; and were diftinguished for a knowledge and humanity above their fphere. His father was an honeft and worthy tradefman, had been in good circumftances, but was reduced by a series of miffortunes. His mother was daughter of Mr. Richard Rae, an extenfive dealer in cattle, a confiderable business in that county; and was equally esteemed as a man of fortune and impor..
all that this worthy parent could do, was to fhew the utmost care and attention that he was able toward him, in fo unfortunate a fituation; and this goodness of his left fo rong an impreffion on the mind of his fon, that he ever fpoke of it with the greatest warmth of gratitude and affection. What was wanting to this poor youth from the lofs of his fight and the narrownefs of his fortune, feems to have been repaid him in the goodness of his heart and the capacities of his mind. It was very early that he thewed a strong inclination toward poetry in particular. His father and a few of his other friends used often to read, to divert him; and among the reft, they read feveral paffages out of fome of our poets. Thefe were his chief delight and entertainment. He heard them not only with an uncommon pleasure, but with a fort of congenial enthufiafin; and from loving and admiring them fo much, he foon began to endeavour to imitate them. Among thefe early effays of his genius, there was one which is inferted in his works. It was compofed when he was but twelve years old; and has fomething very pretty in the turn of it; and very promifing, for one of fo tender
to, it was from that time that he began, by degrees, to be fomewhat more talked of, and his extraordinary talents more known. It was about a year after that he was fent for to Edinburgh by Dr. Stevenfon, a man of tafte, and one of the phyficians in that city; who had the goodnefs to fupply him with every thing neceffary for his living and studying in the University there. Dr. Blacklock looked on this gentleman as his Mecenas; and the poem placed at the entrance to his works was a gratitude-piece addressed to him, in imitation of the firft ode of Horace to that great patron.
He had got fome rudiments of Latin in his youth, but could not easily read a Latin author till he was near twenty, when Dr. Stevenfon put him to a grammarfchool in Edinburgh. He afterwards ftudied in that University; where he not only perfected himself in Latin, but also went through all the best Greek authors with a very lively pleasure. He was alfo a master of the French language, which he acquired by his intimacy in the family of Mr. Provoft Alexander, whofe lady was a Parifian.
After he had followed his studies at Edinburgh for four years, he retreated from thence into the country, on the breaking out of the rebellion in 1745; and it was during this recefs that he was prevailed on by fome of his friends to publish a little collection of his poems at Glafgow. When that tempeft was blown
Where now, ah! where is that fupporting arm
See his Poems, p. 158. 4to edition.
Dr. Blacklock's father was a bricklayer, and being informed that a kiln belonging to a fon in law of his was giving way, his folicitude for his intereft made him venture in below the ribs to fee where the failure lay; when the principal beam coming down upon him, with eighty bufliels of malt, which were upon the kiln at that time, he was in one moment crushed to death.