« ПредишнаНапред »
Rev. CYRIL JACKSON, D.D.
DEAN OF CHRISTCHURCH, OXFORD.
Cyril JACKSON was born in the year 1742, at Stamford, in Lincolnshire, where his father had practised, for many years, as a surgeon and apothecary; but, having obtained a diploma for the degree of M. D., he subsequently acquired considerable reputation as a physician. At an early age, young Jackson was sent to Westminster School, where he was presented to a studentship by one of the canons. He soon became noticed, and his company courted by persons of the highest rank and greatest genius, at that time, in Christ Church ; and a cordial friendship was contracted between him and the Archbishop of York, which subsisted to his death.
His connection with Dr. Markham, and other persons of interest and rank, paved the way for his acquaintance with the Prince of Wales, in the regulation and direction of whose studies he enjoyed considerable share. Having been appointed his sub-preceptor, he became much attached to him; and the respect continued mutual.
By honourably filling this office, he opened to himself a speedy way to preferment; and, accordingly, he was almost immediately raised to a canonry of Christ Church, which he enjoyed till the removal of the late Honourable Dr. Bagot to the bishopric of Bristol, in 1783, when he was appointed to the deanery, a place which he seemed eminently calculated to fill.
Upon coming to the headship, Dr. Jackson resolutely applied himself to inspect more narrowly the conduct of the students, and also to correct those deficiencies, and restrain those irregularities, which his mild and less discriminating predecessor had overlooked. The effects of his reforming hand were felt and acknowledged. Christ Church was soon cleared
of the refractory and indolent; the system of education was materially altered, and plans of instruction adopted, to give the student a more comprehensive knowledge of the several sciences.
The dean was a profound mathematician, and greatly encouraged this study; and the high estimation in which this college has of late been held in the world, has made it the resort of the first families in England, Scotland, and Ireland. It generally boasts of from fourteen to twenty noblemen; and, in consequence of his long residence there, the Dean had a principal share in the education of a great number of persons of distinction. His demeanor to them always did him credit ; far from overlooking their irregular conduct, he ruled and repri. manded them with a rod of the severest discipline; and a strict regard for impartiality was one of his conspicuous traits. . Among his other studies, botany was a favourite ; and in this he attained so great a degree of excellence, that, perhaps, there were but few more complete proficients in the kingdom.
Upon the death of Archbishop Newcombe, the primacy of Ireland was offered to him; but he refused it without hesitation. He was also offered the bishopric of Oxford, on the death of Dr. Smallwell, but declined it in favour of his highly-esteemed friend, Dr. Randolph, (afterwards Bishop of London). All the honours of the church lay before him at one period of his life, and he had but to stoop to pick up a mitre. But he preferred a life of learned leisure and seclusion to the preferment so coveted by others.
Although the Dean did not take a public, yet, certainly, he took an active, part in the controversy between the Bishop of Meath and Dr. Vincent. In order to promote the interest of the latter, he is said to have cast severe, and even uncandid, reflections upon his opponent. It should, however, be remembered that he was a Wesminster-man; and some allowances ought to be made for trifling and natural prejudices.
Upon Dr. Wingfield's resignation of the head mastership of Westminster School, the Dean exerted himself, with much vigour, to procure the appointment for his intimate friend Mr. Carey, then a tutor and a junior tensor of Christ Church. After combating many difficulties, he succeeded in his object. Owing to the youth of Mr. Carey, he was deemed ill calculated to fill an office of so much responsibility, and many respectable persons highly disapproved of Dr. Jackson's conduct, and were loud in their censure of it. But Mr. Carey's acknowledged talents and learning, as well as the strict attention he has hitherto paid to his several important duties, have in a great degree vindicated the Dean's measures, and reconciled his opponents.
Dr. Jackson resigned the Deanery of Christ Church in 1809, after maintaining the honours of his station, during a period of twenty-six years, with great dignity and propriety. He was selected by His late Majesty to preside over the education of some of his elder sons; and a little while before his death, he was honoured with a visit from His present Majesty, George IV.
He died at his favourite village of Felpham, in Sussex, August 9. 1819.
During his residence at Oxford, Dean Jackson was distinguished for his attainments as a theologian; he excelled also, and that in no common degree, in classical literature, while his dignified correctness conferred a new lustre both on himself and the respectable society over which he had so long presided.
This gentleman, long known in the literary and musical world, was born at Rotterdam, on the 26th April, 1747, where he received, and profited by, a very excellent education. His father was a respectable English merchant, who, from circumstances connected with his views in life, had finally taken up his residence in Holland.
At the age of twenty young Twiss set out on the tour of Eu
rope, and travelled, alternately, over England, Holland, Flanders, France, Switzerland, Savoy, Piedmont, Italy, Naples, Boliemia, Austria, Saxony, Prussia, and Germany. During these successive tours he had opportunities of becoming acquainted with some of the most extraordinary characters of the age; and, among others more or less distinguished, Rousseau, the King of Prussia, and Voltaire. His own account of his interview with the Prince of scoffers is curious and interesting. We extract it from a MS. journal which has been kindly submitted to us by the author's son, Francis Twiss, Esq.
« On the 28th of September, 1768, we visited the residence of Voltaire, situated about six miles from Ferney. Close to the house he has erected a small church, with the following inscription over the door, in gold letters, upon black marble :
DEO EREXIT VOLTAIRE. MDCCLXI. « Next to the church is his theatre, which, since March last, has not been made use of. On arriving at Voltaire's house, and inquiring for the master, the servant denied him, under a pretence that he was extremely ill. I then wrote him a note, and, walking through his garden, found him in his vineyard. His dress was remarkable; he had on an old tye-wig, without powder, over which was a blue woollen cap; a new green satin nightgown, and waistcoat of the same, flowered in colours; black velvet breeches, and white cotton stockings. He stooped much, being seventy-five years of age; had fine brown eyes, . particularly expressive, but no teeth in his upper jaw. His
face was very lean and withered, and his enunciation slow. Speaking of his church, · Cette eglise,' said he, que j'ai fait batir est la seule eglise de l'univers qui soit dediée à Dieu seul; toutes les autres sont dediées aux Saints; pour moi j'aime mieux batir une eglise au maitre qu'aux valets !' *
“ I inquired whether it was true that there was an epitaph in his church-yard
". Non,' replied he; c'est apparement de la mienne dont on vous a parlé ; mais elle n'y est pas encore; il n'y a que la
* This church which I have built, is the only one in the world which is dedicated to God alone; all the rest are dedicated to the saints. For my part, I think it is better to erect a church to the Master than to the servants.
« On asking him if he had heard any news, he answered with great vivacity:
66. J'ai oui dire que le Pape a donné un parasol et un fusil à chacun de ses soldats, avec ordre de lui remettre le dernier, dans le même état qu'ils l'avaient reçu, sous peine de la loi du Talion.' +
“ On entering his library, we remarked that a superb edition of his Pucelle D'Orleans was lettered on the back, Ma Jeanne!
“ His domestic establishment consisted of two secretaries, (one of them in all probability an amanuensis,) a porter, and two women servants. I addressed him in English, French, Italian, and German, all of which he spoke with tolerable fluency. He gave us some lemonade and raspberry-juice. His house was well furnished, and contained many excellent pictures. In his library stood a tiger stuffed.
“ He was extremely polite, and took me under the arm in walking; observing that he was old, and incapable either of · giving or receiving pleasure. We returned to Geneva in the evening. * * *
“ On the morning of the 30th, I again visited Ferney on horseback, accompanied only by my servant. I found Voltaire playing at chess with the curate of the place. Having in the course of conversation requested a line of his handwriting, for a remembrance, he wrote down in English the following sentence:— .. .
“ A Englishman who goes to Italy, leaves men to see pictures !
. .. -(Signed) VOLTAIRE..
· * No. It is probably mine that you have heard mentioned; but it is not inscribed yet; there is only a place reserved for it......
+ I have heard say that the Pope has presented a parasol and a gun to each of his soldiers, with orders that the latter shall be restored to him in the same state in which they received it, under pain of the ler talionis.