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competent judges. Their countenance is a prefumptive proof of approbation.

We rely on the favours of our Correfpondents, who for paft communications are entitled to our best thanks. To Biography, for the future, we shall pay very confiderable attention. It is a most instructive and pleafing fpecies of compofition. It gratifies the inqufitivenefs of youth, and confirms the experience of age. We also particularly invite juvenile composers to tranfmit us their most finished effays, both in profe and poetry. A periodical work is the usual depository for the efforts which GENIUS firft makes to enlighten and reform the world. Sheltered from the rude blasts of criticism, it here puts forth its tendereft buds, and is gradually brought forward to maturity. Indeed, on our part, no pains thall be omitted to render the MONTHLY VISITOR, both by the elegance of its portraits, and by the variety of its contents, a cheap article of rational entertainment to the RISING GENERATION.

May 24th, 1798.

THE

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London pr.blished as the Act directs June 11798 by HD. Symonds Paternoster Row.

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THE

MONTHLY VISITOR.

MAY, 1798.

BRIEF MEMOIRS

OF

SIR WILLIAM SYDNEY SMITH.

TH

HIS bold and gallant officer is now once more returned into the bofom of his country. His fellowfubjects will naturally congratulate him on the wonderful escape which he has effected. Every one must take an intereft in the hazardous, but fuccefsful flight of this celebrated character. A defire of becoming acquainted with the particulars of his life will be of courfe generated. That laudable curiofity we fhall endeavour to gratify.

In reviewing the naval hiftory of Britain, a long train of heroes prefent themfelves to our view. Each of them is diftinguished by fomething peculiar to himself. This is the characteristic of genius, in whatever line it is difplayed. More particularly fome of our officers have been marked by the vigour of their projects; and others by the alacrity with which thefe projects were carried into execution. But, in the extraordinary fubject of thefe memoirs, both thefe excellencies appear to be united. The truth of this obfervation will be evident on the perufal of the fubfequent narrative.

Sir William Sydney Smith was born about the year 1764. His father was John Smith, Efq. Aid-de-camp

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to Lord George Germain; and his mother, the daughter of Mr. Wilkinson, a merchant of eminence. This marriage, it is faid, fo difpleafed the lady's father, that he left the whole of his fortune to his other daughter, who married the late Lord Camelford. Be that as it may, the happy partners were bleffed with a fon, the prefent hero, who has fignalized himself in the service of his country.

He was educated at Tunbridge fchool, which he quitted in 1773. At a very early period of his life, he embraced the naval profeffion :-scarcely turned of fixteen, he attained to the rank of Lieutenant on board the Alcide; and in his twentieth year he was conftituted a Poft Captain. So rapid a promotion is an indication of merit. We have every reafon to believe, that to this cause his elevation must be attributed. In the hiftory of mankind, inftances frequently occur of an extraordinary degree of excellence appearing, where, from the tender age of the individual, little or nothing was expected.

After peace was restored to this country, in the year 1783, Sir Sydney obtained permiffion to enter in the fervice of Sweden. He went thither about 1788. The Swedes were then at war with the Ruffians. In this conteft, our juvenile hero distinguished himself. His valour and intrepidity were displayed in a variety of enterprises. The court of Stockholm formed fuch a favourable estimate of his fervices, that the honour of knighthood was conferred upon him. This circumftance, of itself, is an ample teftimonial of his active and enterprifing difpofition. Upon the arrival of peace, he might have relinquished the toils of war, and might have partaken, together with his brother officers, of the blef. fings of repofe. But he was, it feems, otherwife determined. He again buckled on his armour, when it had fcarcely been laid afide. His martial ardour was not fuffered to cool. Impelled to new exertions, he faced the hardy Ruffian;-and, in the frozen regions of the north, reaped afresh the meed of glory!

On

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