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under farther difficulties, for want of a knowledge in writing, he taught himself to write a tolerable hand. As he did not know the meaning of the word mathematics, he had no idea of any thing beyond what he had learned. He thought himself a master-piece in figures, and chal. lenged all his companions and the society he attended. Something, however, was proposed to him concerning Euclid; but as he did not understand the meaning of the word, he was silent, byt afterwards found it meant a book, containing the elements of geometry, which he purchased, and applied himself very diligently to the study of, and against the next meeting, in this new science he was prepared with an answer. He now found himself launching out into a field, of which, before, he had no conception. He continued his geometrical studies; and as the demonftration of the different propositions in Euclid depend entirely upon a recollection of some of those preceding, his memory was of the utmost service to him; and as it did not require much knowledge in clasical education, but principally the management of straight lines, it was a study jult to his mind: For while he was attending the business of his farm, and humming over fome tune or other, with a fort of whistle, his attention was certain to be solely engaged upon soine of his geometrical propositions, and, with the afilistance of a piece of chalk, upon the lap of his breeches knee, or any other convenient spot, would clear up the most difficult parts of the science in a most masterly manner. His mind being now open a little to the works of nature, he paid particular attention to the theory of the earth, the moon, and the rest of the planets belonging to this system, of which the sun is the centre; and, considering the distance and magnitude of the different bodies belonging to it, and the distance of the fixed stars, he foon conceived each to be the centre of a different system. He well considered the laws of gravity, and that
AN INSTANCE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENIUS.
of the centripetal and centrifugal forces, and the cause of the ebbing and flowing of the tides; allo, the projection of the sphere, stereographic, orthographic, and gnomical; also, trigonometry and astronomy. He paid particular attention to, and was never better pleased than when he found his calculations agree with observation: and being well acquainted with the projection of the sphere, he was fond of describing all astronomical questions geometrically, and of projecting the eclipses of the sun and moon that way. By this time he was possessed of a small library. He next turned his thoughts to algebra, and took up Emerson's treatise on that subject; and though the most difficult, and that, with Simpson's, are the best authors yet published, he went through it with great success, and the management of surd quantities, and the clearing equations of high powers, were amusements to him while at work in the fields, as he generally could perform them by his memory; and if he met with any thing very intricate, he had recourse to a piece of chalk, as in his geometrical propositions. The arithmetic of infinites, and the differential method, he made himself master of, and found out that algebra and geometry were the very soul of the mathematicks. He therefore paid a particular attention to them, and ufed to apply the former to almost every branch of the different sciences. The art of navigation, the principles of mechanicks, also the doctrine of motion, of falling bodies, and the elements of opticks, he grounded himself in; and, as a preliminary to fluxions, which had only been lately discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, as the boundary of the mathematics, he went through conic sections, &c. to make a trial of this last and finishing branch. Though he expressed some difficulty at his first entrance, yet he did not rest till he made himself master of both a fluxion and a flowe ing quantity. As he had paid a funilar attention to all, rlie intermediate parts, he was become so conversant in every VOL. I. No. II.
branch of the mathematicks, that no question was eve proposed to him which he did not answer, nor any rational question in the mathematicks, that he ever thought of, which he did not comprehend. He used to answer all the questions in the Gentleman and Lady's Diaries, the Pal. ladium, and other annual publications, for several years; but his answers were seldom inserted except by, or in the name of some other person, for he had no ambition in making his abilities known, farther than satisfying himself that nothing palled him which he did not understand. He frequently has had questions from his pupils and other gentlemen in London, the universities, and different parts of the country, as well as from the university of Gottingen, in Germany, sent him to solve, which he never failed to answer; and, from the minute enquiry he made into r.atural philosophy, there was scarcely a phænomenon in nature, that ever came to his knowledge or observation, but he could, in some measure or other, reasonably account for it.-He went by the name of Willy o’th’Hollins for many years after he left the place. He removed to Tatngreen, where he lived about 15 years, and from thence into the neighbourhood of Cartmell, and was best known by the name of Willy Gibson, still continuing his occupation as before. For the last forty years of his life he kept a school of about eight or ten gentlemen, who boarded and lodged at his own farm-house; and having a happy turn of explaining his ideas, he has turned out a great many very able mathematicians, and a great many more gentlemen he has instructed in accompts, for the counting-house, as well as for the sea, and for land-furveying, which profesfion he followed himself for these last forty years and upwards.--He died on the 4th of October in the year 1792, at Blaith, near Cartmell, leaving a widow and ten chile dren. Ris deaili was occafioned by a fall which he met with four days before. He used to study incessantly,
no sooner elected, than he threw away his crutch, and with it all his assumed debility, and, to the great astonishment of the whole conclave, he appeared taller by almost a foot than he had done for several years. Nor was his change in manners less remarkable than in his person: le immediately diverted himself of the humility he had so long professed; and, laying aside his accustomed civility and complaisance, treated every body with reserve and haughtiness.
He was a severe magiftrate, but an excellent reformer of the vicious manners of the inhabitants of Rome; a patron of learning and of men of genius, and though too bigotted, an exemplary pontiff. He died August 27, in the year 1990, having enjoyed the papacy little more than five years.
Remarkable Infonces of BONAPARTE's EXTREME Cruelty
in Egypt. [Extracted from the History of the British Expedition to Egypt,
by Rpbert Thomas Wilson, Lieutenant-Colonel of Cavalry, in
his Britannic Maj fiy's Service, just published.] GENERAL HUTCHINSON at a time being very angry with the Turks, for persistıng in the practice of mangling and cutting off the heads of the French prisoners, remonstrated with the Captain Pacha, who issued very severe orders against it; but the Turks justified themselves by the mafiacre at Jaffa. As this act, and that of poisoning the sick, have never been credited, because of suc! enormities being so incredibly atrocious, an attempt to describe them may not be deemed an intruîon.
Bonaparte having carried the town of Jaffa by assault, many of the garrison were put to the sword; but the greater part flying into the mosques, and imploring mercy from their pursuers, were granted their lives. Three days after
wards, Bonaparte, who had expressed much resentment at the compassion manifested by his troops, and determined to relieve himself from the maintenance and care of three thousand, eight hundred prisoners, ordered them to be marched to a rising ground near Jaffa ; where a division of French infantry formed against them. When the Turks had entered into their fatal alignment, and the mournful preparations were completed, the signal being fired, vollies of musquetry and grape instantly played against them; and Bonaparte, who had been regarding the scene through a telescope, when he saw the smoke ascending, could not restrain his joy, but broke out into exclamations of approval: indeed, he had just reason to dread the refusal of his troops, thus to dishonour themselves, Kleber had remonstrated in the most strenuous manner, and the officer of the Etat-Major, who commanded (for the general to whom the division belonged was absent) even refused to execute the order without a written instruction : but Bonaparte was too cautious, and sent Berthier to enforce obedience. When the Turks had all fallen, the French troops humanely endeavoured to put a period to the sufferings of the wounded; but some time elapsed before the bayonet could finish what the fire had not destroyed, and probably many languished days in agony. Several French officers, by whom these details are partly furnished, declared, that this was a scene, the retrospect of which tormented their recollection, and that they could not reflect on it without horror, accustomed as they had been to fights of cruelry.
These were the prisoners whom Affalini in his very able work alludes to, when he says, that for three days the Turks Thewed no symptoms of that disease, and it was their putrefying remains which contributed to produce the pestilential malady which he describes as afterwards making fuch ravages in the French army. Their bones lie still in heaps, and are thewn to every traveller who arrives ; not