Page images


Imperial Magazine;





Memoir of

lustre that can never fade. We turn from

the contemplation of it with reverence, and JOHN MASON GOOD, M.D. F.R.S. ETC.

congratulate mankind that With a Portrait.)

" The muse forbids the virtuous man to die."

The family of Dr. Good possessed con"Vir bonus, omne forum quem spectat et omne tribunal."-Hor. Epis. 16. lib. 1.

siderable property at Romsey in Hamp

shire, and in the neighbouring parish of GREAT talents command the respect of Lockerley. His grandfather, who was emmankind; and when their possessor is re- ployed in shalloon manufacture, had three moved from scenes of earthly turbulence, sons, William, Edward, and Peter. The his loss is sincerely deplored, and his eldest took up the profession of arms, and memory transmitted to future times; but died young; the second son succeeded his great talents alone, will not secure the ad- father in the manufactory, and inherited miration of posterity, or procure its favour- the family estates; and Peter, the youngest, able judgment, if they were unaccompanied devoted to the ministry of the gospel with religious and moral worth. Strength among the Independents, was placed under of mind, unrestricted by the obligations of the care of the Rev. W. Johnson of Rommorality and religion, is like the chaotic sey. He was afterwards removed to the deep, over whose face darkness brooded, congregational academy at Ottery St. Mary, till the Spirit of the Lord had rested upon in Devonshire, then under the superinit, and given life to its waters. The devo- tendence of Dr. Lavender. At this place tion of transcendent genius to the cause of he made considerable progress in the Latin, piety and virtue alone, ought to excite our Greek, and Hebrew languages, and acveneration and regard, as this, and nothing quired a taste for biblical criticism, Havless than this, can enable a man to pass ing finished his academical studies, he was triumphantly the ordeal of future ages: | invested with the care of a congregation at for he only is truly great and good, on Epping, in Essex.

Epping, in Essex. His ordination took whom all sects and parties look with place on Thursday, 23d September, 1760, reverence, and whose character will bear when an impressive charge was delivered the scrutiny of every tribunal,

by the celebrated John Mason, author of John Mason Good, the distinguished the treatise on “Self-Knowledge.” Not subject of the present memoir, is a grati- long after his establishment at Epping, fying example of superlative talents pro- Mr. Good united himself in marriage with perly restrained, and honourably and use- Miss Sarah Peyto, daughter of the Rev. H. fully employed. Engaged in a profession Peyto, of Great Coggeshall, Essex, and that rendered him peculiarly serviceable to niece of John Mason. This lady died his fellow men, he laboured assiduously to Feb. 17th, 1766, after the birth of her improve those branches of science on youngest child, leaving three children, Wilwhich, as a means, their lives in a great liam, John Mason, and Peter. Within measure depend. His researches into the two years after the death of his first wife, arcana of medical knowledge were ex- Mr. Good entered into a second marriage tensive, and the curative art is deeply with the daughter of Mr. John Baker, of indebted to his labours. But the repu- Cannon-street, London. He then took tation of Dr. Good rests not entirely on charge of a congregation at Wellinghis professional zeal and ability. He cul- borough, in Northamptonshire, but aftertivated elegant literature with a success wards, succeeding to the family estate in that is enjoyed by few, and his lightest Hampshire, he retired thither, and devoted compositions only, would entitle him to his time and talents to the instruction of an honourable place in the annals of lite- his children. rary fame. When to these we add his John Mason Good early acquired, firm and devoted attachment to the Chris- under the immediate eye of his father, an țian faith, his character is reflected with a intimate acquaintance with the Latin, Greek, 128,--VOL. XI.

2 x


Memoir of John Mason Good, D.D. F.R.S. 8c.


KNOWLEDGE I; } and French languages. The assiduous care of his parent, in the management of "Next to the knowledge of ourselves, most vala.

able is the knowledge of nature ; and this is to be his studies, led him to perceive, that five

acquired only by attending her through the variety things are essentially necessary to the attain. of her works : the more we behold of these, the ment of knowledge: a proper management

more our ideas are enlarged and extended ; and

the nobler and more worthy conceptions we must of time, a right method of reading to ad- entertain of that Power who is the Parent of uni; vantage, due order and regulation in the versal being."-Solynian and Almend. studies taken up, a power of choosing, Ill health compelling Mr. Johnson to and retaining in the memory, the choicest engage the assistance of a Mr. Babington, flowers of literature, and the improvement between this gentleman and Mr. Good, of solitary thought.' The subject of our who had not yet completed his eighteenth memoir pursued his studies with such year, a close intimacy was soon effected; zeal and attention, and was so entirely but while they were planning schemes of absorbed in the prosecution of his object, co-operation, the death of Mr. J. gave a that he allowed himself no time for recrea- new turn to the views of both. Mr. Good tion; the consequences of which were, engaged himself with a surgeon at Havant, indications of premature debility. At the and his occasional visits at this time to his desire of his father, however, he joined in grand-father, Mr. Peyto, prepared the way the athletic sports suited to his age, and for his partnership with Mr. Deeks of Sudsoon re-acquired the healthy vigour of bury. Previously to his settlement at this youth.

place, he passed the latter part of 1783 When fifteen years of age, John Mason and the spring of 1784 in London, and Good was apprenticed to Mr. Johnson, a attended the medical and surgical lectures, surgeon-apothecary at Gosport; yet, though the substance of which he took down in he devoted an exemplary attention to his short hand. Whilst in town, he formed profession, his new career did not entirely an acquaintance with a Mr. Godfrey of withdraw him from the pursuit of elegant Coggeshall, and became an active member and polite literature. About this period, of a society for the promotion of natural he composed a “ Dictionary of Poetic philosophy. One essay connected with Endings,” and several trifling poems. These ihis society, produced by Mr. Good, enwere followed by “An Abstracted View of titled, “An Investigation of the Theory of the principal Tropes and Figures of Rhe Earthquakes,” is distinguished by a good toric in their origin and powers," illus- style and a spirit of deep inquiry; but it trated by original and selected examples. | wants that ease and freedom which are He then turned his attention to the Italian acquired only by long practice in writing: language, and gathered the sweets of Ari- Mr. Good returned from London in osto, Tasso, Dante, Filicaja, and other July or August, 1784, and commenced the authors, These selections were entered in practice of his profession, when his attencommon-place books; from one of which, tion to business was so unremitting and entitled “ Ertracta ex Autoribus diversis," exemplary, that his partner, Mr. Deeksi we transcribe a few heads, as they serve felt no hesitation in leaving the manageto shew the correct taste and sober judg- ment entirely in his hands. In the course ment of this great man in the earlier years of his visits to Coggeshall, Mr. Good conof life.

tracted an intimacy with the sister of his

friend, Mr. Godfrey, which ended in a Happy Britannia! where the queen of arts, Inspiring vigour, liberty abroad,

marriage with that lady. His domestic Walks tinrough the land of heroes unconfin'd,

felicity, however, was too quickly destroyed And scatters plenty with ansparing hand.” by the death of his wife, in little more


than six months after their nuptials. Time vas when it was praise and boast enough, Mr. Good remained a widower nearly In every clime, and travel where oue might, That we were born her children: praise enough

four years, during which he read much, To fill th' ambition of a private man,

but in a desultory manner. i Early in That Chatham's language was his mother tongue, And Wolfe's great name compatriot with his own.

1790, he formed an acquaintance with Farewell those bonours, and with them farewell Dr. Nathan Drake, author of “ Literary The hope of such hereafter: they have fallen Each in his field of glory, oue in arms,

Hours,” “The Gleaner," &c. His interAnd one in council." - Cowper, Task, book 1.

course with this distinguished individual,

led him to extend and regulate his reading, NIGHT,

and, in addition to a knowledge of clasNight, sable goddess, from her ebon throne, In rayless majesty novy stretches forth

sical and modern languages, he now obHer leaden sceptre o'er a slumb'ring world. tained a critical acquaintance with Hebrew. Silence how dead, and darkness how profound ! Nor eye, nor list'ning ear, an object finds ; ;'

He addressed an epistle, written 'in the Çrcation sleeps."

Foung. Horatian style, to his friend Dr. Drakej .


Memoir of John Mason Good, M.D. F.R.S. dc.

678 which is replete with spirit and beauty. I the greater portion of the miracles recorded About three years previous to the date of in the New Testament.” , this poem, he took, as second wife, the Receiving proposals to enter into part. daughter of Thomas Fenn, esq. of Balling- nership with Mr. W. a surgeon and apodon Halt, an opulent banker at Sudbury. thecary, possessed of extensive practice in of six children, the offspring of this union, the metropolis, Mr. Good, in April, 1793, only two daughters survive.

at the age of twenty-nine, pursuant to his A train of adverse circumstances led agreement with him, came to London, Mr. Good, in 1792, into pecuniary embar- where things appeared, for a time, to wear rassments ; but though his father-in-law, an auspicious aspect. But his rising Mr. Fenn, rendered him some assistance popularity excited the jealousy of his partand would have rendered more, he de- ner, and occasioned å disunion of meatermined to surmount his difficulties, if sures, which ended in the dissolution of. possible, by his own exertions. He made the partnership: Whenever Mr. Good translations from the French and Italian, prescribed one mode of treatment for a and wrote several pieces adapted to the patient, Mr. W. would in his next visit stage ; but having no acquaintance with order an entirely different one. The result the London managers, was unable to get of this may be anticipated. The business his dramatic compositions brought for- was lost, the partnership broken up, and ward. Notwithstanding these discourage- Mr. W. ended his days in the Fleet pri. ments, he continued to persevere, though son. Mr. G. was again assisted by Mr. for some time with very little success. Fenn, but he endeavoured to conceal, as Having opened a correspondence with the much as possible, the extent of his embareditor of the “World,” the Morning Post rassments from his relatives, from a desire of that day, his poetical essays occasionally to surmount them principally by his own appeared in that paper. Among his prose exertions. For three or four years he conessays, written about this time, that on cealed a load of anxiety under a cheerful

A Particular Providence” is, in the esti- demeanour, but was enabled at length to mation of his biographer, Dr. Gregory, the overcome all difficulties, to take his proper best. We have introduced it into the station in his profession, and to live in what pages our Magazine ; the concluding are usually termed easy circumstances. part will be found in the present number. A premium of twenty guineas had been Mr. Good shortly after prepared a critique offered by Dr. Lettsom of the Medical on miracles for the (Analytical) Review, Society for the best dissertation on the which, if not entirely novel, is distin question, “What are the diseaseś most freguished by force and energy. The fol- quent in workhouses, poorhouses, and similowing remark of the reviewer, in the lar institutions, and what are the best course of his critique, is so very im- means of cure and prevention ?" Mr. G. portant, that we make no apology for tran- was so fortunate as to obtain the prize on scribing it.

this occasion, and was further compli“The miracles recorded in the gospel mented by a request that he would publish are not of the momentary kind, or miracles his performance; a request with which he of even short duration; but they were such could feel no difficulty in complying. as were attended with permanent effects." Mr. Good particularly exerted himself The flitting appearance of a spectre, the to preserve the distinction between the hearing of a supernatural sound, may each apothecary and the druggist. In London, be regarded as a momentary miracle: the and in nearly every town of Great Britain, sensible proof is gone, when the apparition men, not'only ignorant of medical science, disappears, or the sound ceases. But it is but of the most illiterate character altonot so, if a person born blind be restored gether, obtained extensive business as drugto sight, or a notorious cripple to the use gists. In several instances, country grocers of his limbs, or a dead man to life; for in blended the chemical profession with their each of these cases a permanent effect is own trade, and the mischief resulting was produced by supernatural means. The such as might be expected. Prescriptions change, indeed, was instantaneous, but the were misunderstood, and consequently improof continues. The subject of the mira- properly prepared ; and even the life of cle remains; the man cured is there; his the patient, it is not improbable, might, in former condition was known, and his pré- some instances, have been sacrificed by the sent condition may be examined and com. ignorance of these pretenders to science. pared with it.

Such cases can, by no Amidst all his professional engagements, possibility, be resolved into false percep- Mr. Good still found leisure to prosecute tion op trick; and of this kind are by far his literary inquiries. By this time his

of ou


Memoir of John Mason Good, M.D.F.R.S. 8.


extensive talents began to be known, and would alone stamp his character as a man his society was courted by the learned. of high literary talenty His attention was Besides the leading men of his profession, particularly directed to the acquisition of he numbered among his acquaintance, languages, and he appears to have lessened Drs. - Disney, Rees, Hunter, Geddes, the labours attendant on this pursuit by Messrs. Maurice, Fuzeli

, Charles Bulm tracing their analogies, and by a classifica ler, Gilbert Wakefield, and others. His tion of their synonyms. In a letter to Dr. introduction to Mr. Geddes is so charac- Drake, (dated January 29th, 1803,) after teristic of that extraordinary man, that we adverting with thankfulness to the -stüté here insert it in Mr. Good's own words. of his business as a surgeon, (which then

"I met him aceidentally at the house of produced more than £1400i per annum) Miss Hamilton, who has lately acquired a he further states :

17. dois just reputation for her excellent letters on “ I have edited the Critical Review, be education; and I freely confess, that at sides writing several of its most helabothe first interview I was by no means rate articles.

I have every week supplied pleased with him. I beheld a man of a column of matter for the Sunday Review about five feet five inches high, in a black-and have for some days had the great dress, put on with uncommon negligence, weight of the BRITISH Press. 'upon my and apparently never fitted to his form : hands : the Committee for conducting his figure was lank, his face meagre, his which having applied to me lately, in the hair black, long, and loose, without having utmost consternation, 'in consequence of been sufficiently submitted to the opera- à trick put upon them by the proprietors tions of the toilet, and his eyes, though of other newspapers, and which stopped quick and vivid, sparkling at that time abruptly the exertions of their editor, and rather with irritability than benevolence several of their most valuable hands." 94511 He was disputing with one of the com- Towards the end of this busy year, Mr. pany when I entered, and the rapidity and Mrs. Good were visited with a heavy with which at this moment he left his chair, domestic affliction in the death of their and rushed, with an elevated tone of voice, only son, a child of amiable and fascinatand uncourtly dogmatism of manner, ing manners, and aspiring intellectual towards his opponent, instantaneously per- powers.

Mr. G. for some time sunk suaded me that the subject upon which the under this visitation, and fell into a desdebate turned was of the utmost moment pondency which greatly alarmed his friends. I listened with all the attention I could Eight years after this event, his friend and command; and in a few minutes learned, biographer, Dr. Gregory, sustained a simi to my astonishment, that it related to nothing lar loss, and the following letter of conmore than the distance of his own house dolence addressed by Mr. G. to the latter in the New Road, Paddington, from the shows the deep feeling with which, even place of our meeting, which was 'in Guild- then, he contemplated his own losse gusi ford-street. The debate being at length

Caroline Place, May 7th, 1811.T concluded, or rather worn out, the Dr.

H. 1919 new took possession of the next chair to that in “My very dear friend,

which I was seated, and united with my- , "With no common feeling do I sym self, and a friend who sat on my other pathize with you. Your letter has touched side, in discoursing upon the politics of upon a string which vibrates with so much the day. On this topic we proceeded agony through my heart and brain, and I smoothly and accordantly for some time, fear ever will continue to do so, that I Aly till at length disagreeing with us upon from it upon all occasions like the stricken some point as trivial as the former, he deer from the hunter. You have indeed again rose abruptly from his seat, traversed conjectured right, and the similarity of our the room in every direction, with as inde trials is peculiarly remarkable. I, like terminate a parallax as that of a comet, you, had every thing I could wish for in and loudly maintaining his position at one-one only. I enjoyed the presentz. I every step he took. Not wishing to pro- feasted on the future;-at the age of twelve, long the dispute, we yielded to him with the same fatal disease made its attackout further interruption ; and in the course the result was the same--and my arms, of a few minutes after he had finished his like yours formed a pillow during the harangue, he again approached us, retook last gasp, there was the same sense of possession of his chair, and was all play- piety whilst living, and the same prominent fulness, good humour, and genuine wit." shoot of genius. The master of the Char

In the year-1797 Mr. Good commenced ter-House, in a letter to me on the occahis translation of Lucretius, a work which / sion, bewailed the loss of one of their most



Memoir of John Mason Good, M.D.F.R.S.go.


[ocr errors]

pcomising blossoms zand a variety of little b The translation of Lucretius before meneffusions, both in! prose and verse, i found tioned was composed for the most aparti in the well-known chand afterwards, but in the streets of a London, during Mr. never ashewn to any one, and written for Good's extensive walks to visit his patients: personal uamusement alone; 1:seemed suffi- Whilst proceeding with this work, he ciently to justify the opinion so generally united himself with Dr. Gregory and Mr. entertained.

Newton Bosworth in the compilation of 131* But, here, my dear friend, I am afraid an Universal Dictionary./1In 18101 cao-i I must drop the parallel : for in the weak cepting an invitation to deliver lectures at ness of my heart, I freely confess I have the Surrey vInstitution, he met with the not yet acquired thatı strength of duty most gratifying attention and notwithwhich you are already - enabled to mani- standing his close and numerous engages fest.

ments, he continued to cherish the love 094 I dare not examine myself as to what of poësy, in the production of shorti effuI should wish for, if it were in my power. sions on the passing events of life. He

All I have hitherto been able to say is, also contributed many valuable papers to 1Thy will be done!'

the British Review, a periodical whose PO" Mr. was with us when your extinction excited considerable regret: 22916 letter arrived : we were listening to a new In the year 1820, Mr. Good, by the and most sweetly impressive anthem, My advice of his friends, entered upon a higher song shall be of judgment and of mercy department of professional duty, that of a to thee, O Lord, will I sing. What could physician. He had his diploma of M.D. be more appropriate, even if we had been from Marischal College, Aberdeen. It is aware of the melancholy fact, and could dated July 10th, 1820, and is expressed bave foreseen your distressing communi. | in terms of peculiar honour, differing from cation. 32 It struck us forcibly,--and we the usual formularies. He was also electdwelt upon the coincidence. The judg- ed an honorary member of the Medical ment is unquestionable, but is not the and Chirurgical Society of Aberdeen, Nomercy, my excellent friend, equally visible? vember 2d, 1820. At the end of this Your own pious reflections will suggest a year he published a "System of Nosology, thousand proofs that it is : I will only which was followed in 1822 by 2154 The repeat the remark that was most obvious Study of Medicine" in four octavo volumes. to ourselves; that had this affliction hap- To his confinement, occasioned by thesdat. pened about a year and a half ago, when ter work, he referred in their unfavourable you were living alone, and had no such symptoms which now began to appear affectionate nurse to have co-operated with in his health. lIn a letter to Dre Drake, you, no such bosom comforter to have dated August 21st, 1822, he thus writes :supported youn--severe as it is, it must | 20"On Friday I purpose to set off for have been of a character far, severer still. Matlock, with my dear wife and daughter, There are a few gracious drops intermixed for about ten days, for the purpose of bre with every cup of bitterness-or how could creation. You, I apprehend, are still as man at times endure the draught? You busy as ever, and will no doubt travel have them from this crsource : you have further in your easy chair, and probably them from the recollection of having sown over still more picturesque and romantic the good seed, at: can early hour, in the landscapes, than we shall do in our chariot. best of seasons, and in a propitious soil : May you never travel over any, but may but, most of all, you have them in the administer to you solid delight and satisharvest that has already been produced, faction,--tranquillizing or elevating the aniiin the safe deposit of the grain in its im- mal spirits, and reading a useful lesson to perishable gamer. It is accomplished; the mind 1. In one sense, and that the the great task intrusted to you is executed most important, we are all travellers and

the object of life is rendered secure- pilgrims, journeying to an unknown counthe gulf is forded ; the haven of happinesstry, and at a rate we cannot check, though has hold on the anchor.

we may precipitate it. May we, my dear :-“We will certainly see you in a short friend, be enabled to finish our course with time: Mrs. Good intends herself to write joy, and to enter into the rest that remainto-morrow, or next day. In the mean eth, and remaineth A LONE, for the people while, give your most affectionate regards of God.? bedienone

burgised to Mrs. Gregory, for whose health we are In August, 1826, his health having been very anxious, accept our best wishes and greatly shaken, and that of Mrs. Good prayers, and believe me, as ever, yours," being very indifferent, it was thought ex

“J. M. Good." pedient that they should go to Leamingte

« PreviousContinue »