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stance, no misfortune. By the patronage of the Earl of Selkirk, he was presented to the living of Kirkudbright; but, in consequence of the violent objections that were made by the parishioners to having a blind man for their clergyman, he resigned the living, and accepted of a small annuity in its stead. With this slender provision, he returned to Edinburgh ; and subsisted, for the rest of his life, by taking young gentlemen as boarders in his house, whom he occasionally assisted in their studies.
He published an interesting article on Blindness in the Encyclopædia Britannica, and a work entitled “ Paraclesis, or Consolations of Religion,” in two dissertations, the one original, the other translated from a work which has been sometimes ascribed to Cicero, but which is more generally believed to have been written by Vigonius of Padua. He died of a nervous fever, at the age of seventy.
Blacklock was a gentle and social being, but prone to melancholy; probably more from constitution than from the circumstance of his blindness, which he so often and so deeply deplores. From this despondent disposition he sought refuge in conversation and music. He was a tolerable performer on the flute, and used to carry a flageolet in his pocket, on which he was not displeased to be solicited for a tune.
His verses are extraordinary for a man blind from his infancy; but Mr. Henry Mackenzie, in his elegant biographical account of him, has certainly over-rated his genius : and when Mr. Spence, of Oxford, submitted Blacklock's descriptive powers as a problem for metaphysicians to resolve, he attributed to his writings a degree of descriptive strength which they do not possess. Denina' carried exó aggeration to the utmost when he declared, that Blacklock would seem a fable to posterity, as he had been a prodigy to his contemporaries. It is no doubt curious, that his memory should have retained so many forms of expression for things which he had never seen; but those who have conversed with intelligent persons, who have been blind from their infancy, must have often remarked in them a familiarity of language respecting the objects of vision which, though not easy to be accounted for, will be found sufficiently common to make the rhymes of Blacklock' appear far short of marvellous. Blacklock, on more than one occasion, betrays something like marks of blindness.
THE AUTHOR'S PICTURE.
While in my matchless graces wrapt I stand,
Self is the grand pursuit of half mankind:
In his Discorso della Literatura.
... - VOL. VÍ.
By self the fop in magic colours shown, . ::
Straight is my person, but of little size;
Yet, though my person fearless may be seen, There is some danger in my graceful mien: For, as some vessel toss'd by wind and tide, Bounds o'er the waves, and rocks from side to
side; dis , In just vibration thus I always move: This who can view and not be forc'd to love?
Hail! charming self! by whose propitious aid My form in all its glory stands display'd: Be present still; with inspiration kind, Let the same faithful colours paint the mind.
Like all mankind, with vanity I'm bless’d, Conscious of wit I never yet possess'd. To strong desires my heart an easy prey, Oft feels their force, but never owns their sway. This hour, perhaps, as death I hate my foe; The next I wonder why I should do so. Though poor, the rich I view with careless eye; Scorn a vain oath, and hate a serious lie. I ne'er for satire torture common sense; Nor. show my wit at God's nor man's expense. Harmless I live, unknowing and unknown; Wish well to all, and yet do good to none. Unmerited contempt I hate to bear; Yet on my faults, like others, am severe. Dishonest flames my bosom never fire; The bad I pity, and the good admire: . Fond of the Muse, to her devote my days, : And scribble--not for pudding, but for praise.
These careless lines, if any virgin hears, Perhaps, in pity to my joyless years, «ix. She may consent a gen'rous flame to own ; And I no longer sigh the nights alone. But, should the fair, affected, vain, or nice, Scream with the fears inspir!d by frogs or mice; Cry,“ save us, heav'n! a spectre, not a man!” Her hartshorn snatch, or interpose her fan:
If I my tender overture repeat;
ODE TO AURORA.
ON MELISSA'S BIRTH-DAY.
Of time and nature eldest born,
Of time and nature eldest born,
But as thou lead'st the radiant sphere,