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A NEW AND GENERAL

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.

RAMAZZINI (BERNARDIN), an Italian physician, was born of a citizen's fainily at Carpi near Modena, Nov. 5, 1633. When he had laid a foundation in grammar and classical literature in his own country, he went to Parma to study philosophy; and, afterwards applying himself to physic, took a doctor's degree there in 1659. Then he went to Rome, for the sake of penetrating still further into his art; and afterwards settled as a practitioner in the duchy of Castro After some time, ill health obliged him to return to Carpi for his native air, where he married, and followed the business of his profession ; but in 1671, at the advice of some friends, he removed to Modena. His brethren of the faculty there conceived at first but meanly of his learning and abilities; but, when he had undeceived them by his publications, their contempt is said to have been changed into jealousy. In 1682, he was made professor of physic in the university of Modena, which was just founded by duke Francis II. ; and he filled this office for eighteen years, attending in the mean time to practice, and not neglecting polite literature, to which he was always partial, and wrote a very elegant Latin style. In 1700, he went to Padua upon invitation, to be a professor there : but the infirmities of age began now to come upon him. He lost his sight, and was forced to read and write with other people's eyes and hands. The senate, however, of Venice made him rector of the college in 1708, and also raised him from the second professorship in physic to the first. He would have refused these honourable posts; but, be: ing overruled, performed all the functions of them very diligently to the time of his death. He died Nov. 5, his birth.

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day, 1714, aged eighty-one. Ramazzini was a member of several of the academies of science established in Germany, Berlin, &c., and left several works; the principal of which, and one which will ever be held in estimation, is his treatise on the diseases of artists and manufacturers, entitled “ De Morbis Artificum Diatriba,” first published in 1700, and frequently reprinted, and published in Eng, lish. He also published some tracts relative to certain epidemics, both among men and cattle; some " Epheme rides Barometrice ;" a work on the abuse of Peruvian bark; and several orations delivered in his professorial capacity. I All his works have been collected and published together at Padua, Geneva, London, and Naples; the edition of London, 1716, 4to, is the most correct.

RAMEAU (JOHN Philip), chevalier de St. Michel, composer to the king of France, and to l'Academie Royale de la Musique, or serious opera at Paris, was born at Dijon in 1683. He went early in bis life to Italy, and at his rea, turn was appointed organist at Clermont en Auvergne,, where his “ Traité de la Musique" was written, in 1722, He was afterwards elected organist of St. Croix de la Brea tonnerie at Paris. Here his time was chiefly employed in teaching; however, he published harpsichord lessons, and . several other theoretical works, without distinguishing bim-, self much as a vocal coinposer, till 1733, when, at fifty, years of age, he produced bis first opera of “ Hippolite et , Aricie.” 'The music of this drama excited professional envy and national discord. Party rage was now as violent between the admirers of Lolli and Rameau, as in England between the friends of Bononcini and Handel, or, in mo.., dern times, at Paris, between the Gluckists and the Pics cinists. When the French, during the last century, were so contented with the music of Lulli, it was nearly as good, as that of other countries, and better patronized and sup? ported by the most splendid prince in Europe. But this nation, so frequently accused of more volatility and caprice than their neighbours, have manifested a steady persevering constancy in their music, which the strongest ridi. cule and contempt of other nations could never vanquish."

Rameau only answered his antagonists by new, productions, which were still more successful; and, at length, he, was acknowledged by his countrymen to be not only supes,

1. Floy, Dict. Hist. de Medicine. -- Fabroni Vitæ Italorum.

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rior to all competition at Paris, but sole monarch of the musical world. From 1733 to 1760 he composed twentyone operas, of which the names and dates are annually published in the “ Spectacles de Paris," and in many other periodical works. Rameau's style of composition, which continued in favour almost unmolested for upwards of forty years, though formed upon that of Lulli, is more rich in harmony, and varied in melody. The genre, however displeasing to all ears but those of France, which had been nursed in it, was carried by the learning and genius of Rameau to its acme of perfection; and when that is achieved in any style, it becomes the business of subsequent composers to invent' or adopt another, in which something is still left to be done, besides servile imitation. • The opera of “ Castor and Pollux” having been long regarded in France as the master-piece of this composer, Dr. Burney has entered into a strict critical examination of it, for which we refer to his History. He concludes with observing, that, though the several merits of this mu· sician have been too much magnified by partizans and patriots in France, and too much depreciated by the abettors of other systems and other styles, as well as patriots of other countries, yet Rameau was a great man; nor can the professor of any art or science mount to the summit of fame, and be elected by his countrymen supreme dictator in his particular faculty, without a large portion of genius and abilities. I doo

The successful revival of his opera of " Castor and Pollux" in 1754, after the victory obtained by his friends over the Italian burletta singers who had raised such disturbance by their performance of Pergolesi's intermezzo, the « Serva Padrona," was regarded as the most glorious event of his life. The partizans for the national honour could never hear it often enough. “This beautiful opera," says M. de la Borde, without any diminution in the applause or pleasure of the audience, supported a hundred representations, charming at once the soul, heart, mind, eyes, ears,' and imagination of all Paris.".

From this æra to the time of his death, in 1767, at eighty-four years of age, Rameau's glory was complete. The royal academy of music, who all regarded themselves as his children, performed a solemn service in the church of the oratory, at his funerai. . And M. Philidor had a mass performed at the church of the Carmelites, in honour of a man wbose talents he so much revered.'. .

RAMLER (CHARLES WILLIAM), a German poet of great celebrity in his own country, but little known here, was. born in 1725, at Kolberg, and became professor of belles lettres in a military academy at Berlin. In concert with Lessing, he there edited two ancient poets of the Germans, Logau and Wernike. His Lyrical Anthology contributed. much to improve the taste of his countrymen, by those changes of diction which almost every poem received from bis pen. Sixteen odes of Horace he trauslated with great felicity, and composed many original imitations of them. His oratorios, which Graun set to music, would have been warmly admired, but in the country of Klopstock. In 1774, he translated the critical works of Batteux, which he accompanied with considerable additions. ..wir

Ramler's odes were first collected apart in 1772; they had been composed on several occasions, during the preceding fifteen years. Their character is peculiarly Horatian, but they have too much the air of close imitation, yet they have procured him the name of the German Horace. He sung the praises of the king of Prussia with as much spirit as Horace did those of Augustus, but with less flattery. He died March 19, 1798.:

RAMSAY (ALLAN), one of the extraordinary instances of the power of uncultivated gevius, was born at Leadhills *, Oct. 13, 1685 +. His father, John Ramsay, de.. scended of the Ramsays of Cockpen, an ancient and respectable family in Mid-Lothian, waş factor to the eart of Hopeton, and superintendant of his lead-mines. His mo. ther, Alice Bower, was daughter of Allan Bower, a gentleman of Derbyshire, who, on, account of his great skill in mining, had been invited by sir James Hope of Hopeton to set his valuable mines in motion... . When Allan Ramsay was about a year old bis father died, and his mother being but ill provided for, soon after married a second husband in the neighbourhood, by, whom she

* The geographical situation of his more, born in Lead-hill,” &c.* native place is very poetically de- t There is an ode addressed to his scribed in the beginning of an ode for friend sir Alexander Dick of Corstor." his admission into a club of Clyds. phin, written on his seventieth birth, dale gentlemen, printed in the first vo. day, and dated Oct. 15, 1755. lume of his poems, “ Of Crawford , 1 Barney's Hist.' of Music-and life of Rameau in Rees's Cyclopædia. ? Dict. Hist.--Maty's Review, vol. VIll. from a German biography.

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