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competent judges. Their countenance is a presump: tive proof of approbation.
We rely on the favours of our Correspondents, who for past communications are entitled to our best thanks. To Biography, for the future, we shall pay very considerable attention. It is a most instructive and pleasing species of compofition, It gratifies the inqusitiveness of youth, and confirms the experience of age. We also particularly invite juvenile composers to transmit us their most finished essays, both in prose and poetry. A periodical work is the usual depository for the efforts which GENIUS first makes to en. lighten and reform the world. Sheltered from the rude blasts of criticism, it here puts forth its tenderest buds, and is gradually brought forward to maturity. Indeed, on our part, no pains shall 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 enter: tainment to the RISING GENERAȚION.
May 24th, 1798.
SIR WILLIAM SYDNEY SMITH. THIS bold and gallant officer is now once more re
turned into the bosom of his country. His fellowfunjects will naturally congratulate him on the wonderful escape which he has effected. Every one must take an interest in the hazardous, but successful flight of this celebrated character. A defire of becoming acquainted with the particulars of his life will be of cour gene. rated. That laudable curiosity we shall endeavour to gratify:
In reviewing the naval history of Britain, a long train of heroes present themselves to our view. Each of them is distinguished by something peculiar to himself. This is the characteristic of genius, in whatever line it is displayed. More particularly fome of our officers have been marked by the vigour of their projects; and others by the alacrity with which these projects were carried into execution. But, in the extraordinary subject of these memoirs, both these excellencies appear to be united. The truth of this observation will be evident on the perufal of the subsequent narrative.
Sir William Sydney Smith was born about the year 1764. His father was John Smith, Esq. Aid-de-camp his country.
to Lord George Germain ; and his mother, the daughter of Mr. Wilkinson, a merchant of eminence. This marriage, it is said, fo displeased 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 blessed with a fon, the present hero, who has signalized himself in the service of
He was educated at Tunbridge school, which he quitted in 1773. At a very early period of his life, he embraced the naval profession :-scarcely turned of sixteen, he attained to the rank of Lieutenant on board the Alcide; and in his twentieth year he was conftituted a Port Captain. So rapid a promotion is an indication of merit. We have every reason to believe, that to this cause his eleration must be attributed. In the history of mankind, instances frequently occur of an extraordinary degree of excellence appearing, where, from the tenderage of the individual, little or nothing was expected.
After peace was restored to this country, in the year 1783, Sir Sydney obtained permission to enter in the service of Sweden. He went thither about 1788. The Swedes were then at war with the Russians. In this contest, our juvenile hero distinguished himself. His valour and intrepidity were displayed in a variety of enterprises. The court of Stockholm formed such a fai vourable estimate of his services, that the honour of knighihood was conferred upon him. This circum. Stance, of itself, is an ample testimonial of his active and enterprising disposition. Upon the arrival of peace, he might have relinquished the toils of war, and might have partaken, together with his brother officers, of the bler. lings of repose. But he was, it seems, otherwise determined. He again buckled on his armour, when it had scarcely been laid aside. His martial ardour was not suffered to cool. Impelled to new exertions, he faced the hardy Rulian ;-and, in the frozen regions of the north, reaped afresh the meed of glory!