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human nature are therein displayed, that the acutest critics of the age could hardly account for the literary phanomenon. The greatest geniuses in painting, as well as poesy, are generally observed not to have produced any considerable works till the age of thirty; whereas this admirable performance was written almost before the author had attained to manhood. To account for this, however, it has been judiciously observed, that to great delicacy of constitution were added a strict purity of manners and temperature of life in Mr. Pope, which preserved him from that dissipation which too frequently injures genius and corrupts the judgment.

From this period the poet went on in his literary career, continuing to gather new laurels, and to acquire the

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most powerful friends. His works have been the delight of other nations, as well as of his own; and his translation of Homer may be justly said to have given new beauties to the Prince of poets.

Mr. Pope died in 1744, and was buried at Twickenham, in the same vault with his parents, to whose memory he had erected a monument.


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THIS eminent experimental philosopher, mechanic, and astronomer, was horn of poor parents at Keith, a small yillage in Bamffshire, in Scotland, in

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His extraordinary genius began, to expand itself at a very early age. He

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learned to read before any suspicion was entertained of his acquirement, by listening to the instructions which his father gave to his elder brother, and by applying to a neighbouring old woman for assistance, when any difficulties occurred.

When his father had, to his agreeable surprize, discovered the progress, which, by these means, he had made, he gave him such farther instructions as were in his power, and then taught him to write. Afterwards he sent him for about three months to the grammarschool at Keith. When James Ferguson was only about seven or eight years of age, he began to conceive a taste for mechanics, by reflecting on the use which he saw his father make ofa lever in raising the roof of his house, which wanted repairs. He

soon brought himself to understand the principles of that mechanical power ; and immediately afterwards his genius. suggested to him the advantages which would arise from converting it into the form of a wheel and axle.

By means of a turning lathe, belonging to his father, and a little knife, he constructed such machines as answered his purpose in illustrating these advantages; and, imagining that he had made an original discovery, he wrote a short account of them, accompanied with figures, sketched out by his pen, over which he exulted with not a little complacency. But upon showing this account to a gentleman in the neighbourhood, he found that his supposed discovery had been familiar to the world long before he was born, and he was convinced of it by


reference to a printed book on mechanics. Notwithstanding that his pleasure received considerable alloy from this information, he had still the satisfaction of finding that his account, as far as he had carried it, agreed perfectly with the principles of mechanics laid down in the printed book. From this time he possessed a strong propensity to improve in his acquaintance with that science. As his father, however, could not afford to maintain him while employed only in such pursuits, he was placed out with a neighbour, to tend his sheep, in which employment he continued some years. During this time he began to study astronomy, devoting a considerable part of the night to the contemplation of the stars, while he amused himself in the daytime with constructing models of spin

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