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a disappointment was the first result, it was only the means of securing his further elevation. The deanery of Down fell vacant, and he was named to succeed to it; but the duke of Dorset is said to have taken offence at such a step having been taken without his concurrence, and it was thought proper not to press the nomination. The queen, however, at once declared that if they would not suffer Dr Berkeley to be dean (this, however, he already was) in Ireland, he should be a bishop. She kept her promise. In 1736 Cloyne fell vacant, and he was, by letters patent, dated March 17th, in that year, preferred to that see; and in the May following he was consecrated in Dublin, at St Paul's church, by the archbishop of Cashell, with the bishops of Raphoe and Killaloe.
This account, which is that of the biographer from whom our main materials are drawn, is yet, in some slight particulars at variance with the account contained in the bishop's letters written upon the same occasion, though it is to be admitted that the difference may be but apparent, and consequent upon the different aspect in which the facts appeared at different times. By the bishop's account the recommendation came from the duke of Dorset, who was probably, nevertheless, but a consenting party to the wishes of the queen. The following is an extract from the letter written by Berkeley upon the occasion:-“January 22, 1734.-On the 5th instant the duke sent over his plan, wherein I was recommended to the bishoprick of Cloyne: on the 14th I received a letter from the secretary's office, signifying his majesty having immediately complied therewith, and containing the duke of Newcastle's very obliging compliment thereupon. In all this I was nothing surprised, his grace the lieutenant having declared, on this side the water, that he intended to serve me the first opportunity; though, at the same time, he desired me to say nothing of it. As to the A. B. D., (archbishop of Dublin, Dr Hoadly,) I readily believe he gave no opposition. He knew it would be to no purpose, and the queen herself had expressly enjoined him not to oppose me,” &c. After which, he says, “ Notwithstanding all of which I had a strong penchant to be dean of Dromore, and not to take the charge of a bishoprick upon me. Those who formerly opposed my being dean of Down have thereby made me a bishop; which rank, however desirable it may seem, I had before absolutely determined to keep out of.”
Cloyne was let for £1,200 per annum at the time, and had a demesne of 800 acres to the see house. With this accession of wealth and dignity came, as if by virtue of a title, the gout, which paid its first visit in the beginning of February, about ten days after his appointment, and the bishop received the ordinary congratulations on both incidents together. « With my feet lapped up in flannels, and raised on a cushion, I received the visits of my friends, who congratulated me on this occasion as much as on my preferment.”
The charges of his see were so considerable as much to diminish the immediate benefit of his promotion; and, upon the whole, be calculated that, after satisfying demands of every kind, his income would be less than £1,000 per annum.
We may pass the slight circumstances attendant on his removal to Cloyne. He received many recommendations from friends or persons in power, of those upon whom they wished that his patronage should be bestowed. To these he resolved to pay no attention, but to confine his services of that description to 5 ingenuity, learning, and good qualities.”
His time, and that of his household, appears to have been divided and disposed to produce the greatest amount both of profit and pleasant recreation. He rose at a very early hour, and summoned his family to a lesson on the bass viol, from an Italian, whom he retained for the purpose. The still more suitable devotion of the morning, in the house of a christian prelate, cannot have been neglected, though not considered unusual enough to be recorded by his biographer. From that his day was spent in study. Of his ordinary avocations at Cloyne, a few incidental notices occur, from time to time, in his correspondence, which is, however, mostly engrossed by matters which were then of more importance, though now of far less. We easily ascertain that he gave time, thought, and money, for the health and comfort of the poor in his diocese, and took a leading part in every plan of utility. There were vast numbers of the peasantry carried off by a fatal epidemic, in 1741, and the bishop was active in his endeavours to mitigate the evil. He was no less attentive to the public interests in every question which attracted attention by its weight; and the fruits are yet to be found in several compositions to be found among his works.
He had no desire to advance his circumstances by change. In 1747, when the primacy became vacant, and several of the bishops were earnestly advancing their claims, he was strongly urged to make application for himelf; but this he resolutely refused. We extract a few lines from one of his letters:-“I am no man's rival or competitor in this matter. I am not in love with feasts, and crowds, and visits, and late hours, and strange faces, and a hurry of affairs often insignificant. For my own private satisfaction, I had rather be master of my time than wear a diadem.” Another letter to the same correspondent, says, “ As to what you say, that the primacy would have been a glorious thing —for my part, I do not see, all things considered, the glory of wearing the name of a primate in these days, or of getting so much money-a thing every tradesman in London may get, if he pleases-I should not choose to be primate, in pity to my children." About the same time an article was inserted in the public papers, which, being also found among the bishop's papers, and seeming to relate incidents of his history, has been attributed to him. It was written upon the recent shocks of an earthquake, felt in London, and is remarkable for the narration of several curious particulars, communicated to the writer in Catania, by count Fezzani, who was witness, and a sufferer in the frightful earthquake which destroyed that place, and more than threefourths of its population, in 1692. Of these one may be here mentioned. “ The count was dug out of the ruins of his own house, which had overwhelmed about twenty persons,-only seven whereof got out
alive. Though he rebuilt his house with all its former accommodations, yet he ever after lay in a small adjoining apartment, made of reeds plastered over. Catania was rebuilt more regular and beautiful than ever: the houses, indeed, are lower, and the streets broader than before, for security against future shocks. By their account, the first shock seldom or never doth the mischief; but the repliche, as they term them, are to be dreaded."
In July, 1746, we ascertain that Berkeley's picture was painted by his wife, and sent as a present to Prior. The bishop thus mentions it: " It is an offering of the first-fruits of her painting. She began to draw in last November, and did not stick to it elosely, but by way of amusement, only at leisure hours. For my part, I think she shows a most uncommon genius; but others may be supposed to judge more impartially than I. My two younger children are beginning to employ themselves in the same way. In short, here are two or three families in Innokilly bent on painting; and I wish it was more general among the ladies and idle people, as a thing that may divert the spleen, improve the manufactures, and increase the wealth of the nation. We will endeavour to profit by our lord-lieutenant's advice, and kindle up new arts with a spark of his public spirit.” The picture here mentioned, after Mr Prior's death, in 1751, went into the possession of the Rev. Mr Archdal, of Dublin, and is now, we believe, the same which hangs in the hall of the university of Dublin. From these, and some further notices among these letters, it is evident that, in addition to what active and useful benevolence maintained in the external economy and occupations of the bishop and his household, their hours of domestic leisure were filled by pursuits of improvement, and ruled by cultivated taste. We also trace in such notices the first impulses of the school of British art, at the same time, or soon after, beginning to arise, when, in the following reign, our countryman Barry, with West and Reynolds, Wilson and Gainsborough, led the van, and dispelled the reproach of English genius. Similar interest appears also to have been taken in the cultivation of music. Considerable efforts were made to procure the best instruments, among which the bass viol seems to have occupied a principal share of the bishop's care. A musical teacher was taken into the family, to instruct all the children; so that, as the bishop wrote, they were “ preparing to fill my house with harmony at all events,”— Mrs Berkeley adding to her other accomplishments that of song, and, in her husband's opinion, “inferior to no singer in the kingdom.” In a letter of invitation to Mr Gervais, he says, “ Courtiers you will hero find none, and but such virtuosi as the country affords—I mean in the way of music, for that is at present the reigning passion at Cloyne. To be plain, we are musically mad.”
In those portions of the bishop's correspondence which we have seen, there is transfused the happiest vein of all the best affections of human nature, combined with an easy and graceful wit, and a polished refinement of thought and style, hardly to be found united in the same degree, in any other letters we can recollect. Altogether, they help 18 to conceive the quiet flow of a well-employed, peaceful, and refined state of life; and the charm of the serene vale of Cloyne, with which the philosophic bishop was so enamoured, that, in 1745, he refused the offer from lord Chesterfield, of an exchange for Clogher, which would have doubled his income.
From time to time he continued to write and publish pamphlets on various topics of public concern, which had very considerable effect. His Queries were printed in 1735; a Discourse addressed to Magis. trates, in 1736; Maxims concerning Patriotism, in 1750; all, now collected in his works, remain memorials of his wisdom and zeal for the public good.
In 1744, was published his celebrated treatise on the Virtues of Tarwater, under the title of Siris. It is remarkable for the proof it contains of vast and various knowledge, and of a curious and imaginative intellect. Commencing with tar-water, he ascends, by a connected series of reflections, to the utmost reach of thought.
In 1752, he put into execution a design which had for many years occupied his mind. As his health began to give way to a sedentary habit, unsuited to his robust frame of body, and his enjoyments began more to depend on the communion of learned society; and when, perhaps, he began to feel a sense of diminished capability for the important duties of his station, a wish began to grow for the retirement of a university. To such a mode of existence he always had a strong inclination. The entry of his son in Oxford university, seems to have given the determining impulse to his resolution. He had, indeed, fallen into a very distressing state of health; a colic which “rendered life a burthen to him” for a time, had given way to sciatica; and when he landed in England he was compelled to travel in a horse-litter to Oxford.
As he was deeply sensible of the obligations of a bishop to his diocese, he endeavoured to obtain an exchange for some canonry at Oxo ford. When that failed, he wrote to the secretary of state for leave to resign his bishopric. The king was astonished at so unusual à petition; he declared that Berkeley should die a bishop in spite of himself, but gave permission that he might reside wherever he pleased.
The last act of Berkeley on leaving Cloyne was, to sign a lease of the demesne lands of the see, in the neighbourhood of his dwelling, for £200 per annum, of which he directed the distribution among the poor housekeepers of Cloyne, Youghal, and Aghadoe, till his return.
His residence in Oxford was not long. On Sunday evening, Jan. 14, 1753, as he was sitting among bis family, and engaged in listening to a sermon of Sherlock's, which Mrs Berkeley was reading to him, he expired so quietly that the fact was not perceived till some time after, when his daughter approached to hand him a cup of tea, and perceived that he was insensible. On further examination, he was found to be cold and stiff. The disease is stated by his biographer to have been a palsy of the heart.
He was interred in Christ Church, Oxford, and a marble monument erected by Mrs Berkeley, for which an inscription was written by Dr
Markham, the head master of Winchester, and afterwards archbishop of York. It is as follows:
Si Christianus fueris,
Si amans patriæ,
L. H. P.
There is, it is observable, an error of ten years in the statement of his age. Having been born in March, 1684, he died in January, 1753, which gives nearly 69 years of age at his death.
The moral character of Berkeley, if not sufficiently indicated in the foregoing memoir, is universally known to all who take any interest in literary history.
He is described as “a handsome man, with a countenance full of meaning and benignity; remarkable for great strength of limbs; and, till his sedentary life impaired it, of a very robust constitution.”
It remains to offer some account of his principal writings, which must always fix his place high among that class who have taken to themselves the title of philosophers.
The estimate of Berkeley, as a metaphysical writer, is attended with those difficulties which must needs belong to questions which have no real data, and on which human opinion and subtlety can be exercised without limit. To see his intellectual character rightly, and to form some estimate of the tendencies so strongly and curiously displayed in his most eminent compositions, it may be useful to keep in view the peculiarities already pointed out in this memoir; his disposition to reject the conventions and received notions of society, and to turn, with fearless, but not always prudent or fortunate independence, to seek new methods and inferences for himself. This tendency, common, we are inclined to suspect, to a large class of reasoners, is pre-eminently characteristic of Berkeley. With the keenest perception of logical fallacy, he was, in some measure, the slave, rather than the master, of a boundless ingenuity in the invention of reasons: all that could be said for or against any opinion which it was his will, or which he considered it fit and right to maintain, and contest, seems to have been before him. But, far less sagacious in selecting than in maintaining, it depended on the previous truth or fallacy of his proposition whether his reasoning was to be just or the contrary. To the result, his understanding appears comparatively indifferent; in the selection of data, not scrupulous; but, in the chain of intermediate reasoning, he is perhaps unmatched. The subtlety, the invention, and