Page images
PDF
EPUB

Bot be improper to enumerate thein in the order of time in which they were published, it is wholly unnecessary to give any other account of them. He published in 1707,

" Institutiones Medicæ,” to which he added in 1708 “ Aphorismi de cognoscendis “ & curandis morbis." 1710,

“ Index ftirpium in horto academico." 1719, De materia medica, & remediorum for" mulis liber;" and in 1727 a second edition.

1720, “ Alter index ftirpium,” &c. adorned with plates, and containing twice the number of plants as the former.

1722, “ Epistola ad cl. Ruischium, quâ fententiam Malpighianam de glandulis defendit.”

1724, “ Atrocis nec prius descripti morbi historia “ illustrissimi baronis Wassenariæ,"

1725 Opera anatomica & chirurgica Andrea Vesalii,” with the life of Vesalius.

1728, “ Altera atrocis rarisfimique morbi mar« chionis de Sancto Albano historia.”

“ Auctores de lue Aphrodisiaca, cum tractatu “ præfixo."

1731, “ Aretaei Cappadocis nova editio." 1732,

" Elementa chemiæ." 1734,

“ Observata de argento vivo, ad reg. soc. & 6 acad. scient.”

These are the writings of the great Boerhaave, which have made all encomiums useless and vain, since no man can attentively peruse them without admiring the abilities, and reverencing the virtue of the author *

* Gent. Mag. 1739, p. 176.

[blocks in formation]

Β L Α Κ Ε.

A А

T a time when a nation is engaged in a war with

an enemy, whose insults, ravages, and barbarities, have long called for vengeance, an account of such English commanders as have merited the acknowledgements of posterity, by extending the power, and raising the honour of their country, seem to be no improper entertainment for our readers * We shall therefore attempt a succinct narration of the life and actions of admiral Blake, in which we have nothing farther in view than to do justice to his bravery and conduct, without intending any parallel between his archievements and those of our present admirals.

Robert BLAKE was born at Bridgwater, in Somersct shire, in August 1598, his father being a merchant of that place, who had acquired a considerable fortune by the Spanish trade. Of his earliest years we have no account, and therefore can amuse the reader with none of those prognosticks of his future actions, fo often met with in memoirs.

In 1615 he entered into the university of Oxford, where he continued till 1623, though without being

• This Life was first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for the year 1740.

much

much countenanced or careffed by his superiors, for he was more than once disappointed in his endeavours after academical preferments. It is obseryable that Mr. Wood (in his Athenæ Oxonienses) ascribes the repulse he met with at Wadham College, where he was competitor for a fellowship, either to want of learning, or of stature. With regard to the first objection, the same writer had before imformed us, that he was an early riser, and liudious, though he sometimes relieved his attention by the amusements of fowling and fishing. As it is highly probable that he did not want capacity, we may therefore conclude, upon this confession of his diligence, that he could not fail of being learned, at least in the degree requisite to the enjoyment of a fellowship; and may safely ascribe his difappointment to his want of stature, it being the custom of Sir Henry Savil, then warden of that college, to pay much regard to the outward appearance of those who solicited preferment in that society. So much do the greatest events owe sometimes to accident or folly !

He afterwards retired to his native place, where “he “ lived,” says Clarendon, “ without any appearance of “ ambition to be a greater man than he was, but inveighed with great freedom against the licence of t the times, and power of the court,"

In 1640 he was chosen burgess for Bridgwater by thç Puritan party, to whom he had recommended himself by his disapprobation of bishop Laud's violence and severity, and his non-compliance with those new ceremonies which he was then endeavouring to introduce.

When the civil war broke out, Blake, in conformity with his avowed principles, dec!ared for the parliament; and, thinking a bare declaration for right not all the duty of a good man, raised a troop of dragoons

for

Аа 4.

for his party, and appeared in the field with so much bravery, that he was in a short time advanced, with. out meeting any of those obstructions which he had encountered in the university.

In 1645 he was governor of Taunton, when the Lord Goring came before it with an army of 10,000 men. The town was ill fortified, and unsupplied with almost every thing necessary for supporting a fiege. The state of this garrison encouraged Colonel Windham, who was acquainted with Blake, to propose a capitulation; which was rejected by Blake with indigo nation and contempt : nor were either menaces or persualions of any effect, for he maintained the place under all its disadvantages, till the siege was raised by the parliament's army.

He continued, on many other occasions, to give proofs of an insuperable courage, and a steadiness of resolution not to be shaken; and, as a proof of his firm adherence to the parliament, joined with the borough of Taunton in returnirg thanks for their resolution to make no more addresses to the king. Yet was he so far from approving the death of Charles I. that he made no scruple of declaring, that he would venture his life to save him, as willingly as he had done to serve the parliament.

In February 1648-9, he was made a commissioner of the navy, and appointed to serve on that element, for which he seems by nature to have been designed. He was soon afterwards sent in pursuit of prince Rupert, whom he shut up in the harbour of Kingfale in Ireland for several months, till want of provisions, and despair of relief, excited the prince to make a daring effort for his escape, by forcing through the parliament's fleet :

this

this design he executed with his usual intrepidity, and succeeded in it, though with the loss of three ships. He was pursued by Blake to the coast of Portugal, where he was received into the Tagus, and treated with great distinction by the Portuguese.

Blake, coming to the mouth of that river, sent to the king a messenger, to inform him, that, the fleet in his port belonging to the publick enemies of the commonwealth of England, he demanded leave to fall upon it. This being refused, though the refusal was in very soft terms, and accompanied with declarations of esteem, and a present of provisions, so exafperated the admiral, that, without any hesitation, he fell upon the Portuguese fleet, then returning from Brasil, of which he took seventeen ships, and burnt three. It was to no purpose that the king of Portugal, alarıned at so unexpected a destruction, ordered prince Rupert to attack him, and rerake the Brasil ships. Blake carried hoine his prizes without molestation, the prince not having force enough to pursue him, and well pleased with the opportunity of quitting a port where he could no longer be protected.

Blake foon supplied his fleet with provision, and received Ørders to make reprisals upon the French, who had suffered their privateers to moleft the English trade; an injury which, in those days, was always immediately resented, and, if not repaired, certainly punished. Sailing with this commission, he took in his way a French man of war valued at a million. How this ship happened to be so rich, we are not informed; but as it was a cruiser, it is probable the rich lading was the accumulated plunder of many prizes. Then following the unfortunate Rupert, whose fleet by storms

and

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »