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They may possibly, even in this imperfect form, assist to rouse the activity of those whose power shall bear some proportion to our friend's solicitude for the improvement of our criminal institutions: men, whose felicity it shall be to have their names united to
"the generons band,
Who, touch'd with human woe, redressive search'd
The manner in which he employed so many of his prison-hours, we are persuaded, will endear his memory to those who recollect how he might have passed them. The luxury of a literary life was still, in a great measure, within his power. Though inadequate to many of his learned projects, the books he could have procured would have furnished a constant entertainment. The kindness of his friends had supplied him with ample means to purchase the good behaviour even of his gaoler, in a place where every thing but liberty has its price.
In his own case, he resisted what he thought an imposition, not from a parsimonious motive, to which he was an utter stranger; but because he would on no account, willingly,
sanction the demands of injustice. marked the condition of the prisoners, and suffered his mind to be occupied with their wants and miseries, because he was one of those who " scorn their ease" for the benefit of others a character that must command respect even where it fails to excite imitation.
Without meaning to detract from the merit of those who have preceded him in the performance of these offices of humanity, we may be allowed to say, that, in his case, it required a fortitude which few can be expected to possess. To explore the recesses of a prison, with Mr. Howard, under authority from a magistrate, and in the character of a superior, might be the occupation of a benevolent man, and must be of great public utility. With Mr.Wakefield—a prisoner under the suspicious eye of his gaoler-to examine
"Where, in the dungeon's loathsome shade,
This was, doubtless, the greater sacrifice to virtue.
We trust, that he did not make this sacrifice in vain. He has certainly added some
thing to a mass of evidence, and argument upon this subject, which must one day command. general attention, from a nation, boasting of freedom, and professing a regard to justice.
"Nor vain the thought that fairer hence may rise
Mr. Wakefield's return to Hackney-Lectures on Virgil-His Illness and Death.
MR. WAKEFIELD left Dorchester, on the fourth of June, to return with his family to Hackney. Having passed a night at Egham, he took that opportunity of paying his personal respects to Mr. Fox, at his beautiful retreat at St. Anne's Hill. Of this interview he often spoke with peculiar pleasure.
For several months past it had been in his contemplation, at the suggestion, and by the advice, of a number of his friends, to deliver, on his return to London, a course of public classical lectures. They were intended to comprehend the Latin language, especially its poetry; to include every object connected with these subjects, and to be founded on the text of some author of acknowledged interest and importance. The second book of Virgil's
Eneid was, in the first instance, selected for the purpose.
He now prepared to execute his design.'
The following copy of Mr. Wakefield's printed proposals will explain his plan, and may possibly afford some useful hints to future Lecturers.
Lectures on Virgil, by Gilbert Wakefield, B. A.
IT has been suggested by some judicious friends, that Lectures on a principal classic author of antiquity, as unexceptionable in their subject, useful in their tendency, and unconnected with all political and theological opinions, would not be unfavourably received by the public.
In consequence of this suggestion Mr. WAKEFIELD proposes to read LECTURES ON VIRGIL;-an author of such preeminent accomplishments, as render him peculiarly adapted to the purpose: and the Second Eneid is selected accordingly for this experiment.
These Lectures will be philological, critical, and explanatory; as intelligible and simple as is consistent with novel and interesting information; unfolding and illustrating whatever respects the etymologies, the proprieties, the energies, and the elegancies of expression; the peculiarities of composition; the construction and the beauty of the numbers; with such occasional illustrations from other authors, Greek and Latin, as may seem likely to promote the general objects of this undertaking.
Young scholars, tolerable proficients in school discipline, will receive most benefit from these Lectures, with such students of the classics, more advanced in years, whose education has been defective, or who may be desirous, after a long interruption of these studies, to renew and improve their know