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the chapter and verse where they were to be found. And, inversely, upon mentioning the chapter and verse, he could repeat the words. It was as might be expected, a favourite amusement of his fellow students to try his powers, and they were never known to fail him in a single instance. This faculty continued with bim unimpaired, to the day of his death : for, astonishing as the assertion may appear, it is believed by all his friends to be literally true, that he never through his whole life forgot one single number, or date, combined with any name or fact, when they had been once joined together and laid up in his memory. When once there, they were engraved as upon marble.
Mr. T.'s recollections were continually put to the test at the meetings of his brother ministers; for if the question . was asked, “ Where did we meet six or ten years ago-On what day of the month-Who was the preacher—What was his text--Was such a person present at that timeWhen did such a minister come among us—When did he leave his place, or die-How old was he-How many children did he leave?" &c. &c.—Questions which in the management of the Widows' Fund often occurred, no man ever thought of looking into the books, or into an almanack for an answer. Mr. T. was ready at a moment; and such was the opinion of his accuracy, that if the books had been consulted, and had reported differently, the error would have been imputed to the secretary, and not to Mr. T.'s memory. This was deemed infallible.
It was this power of retention which enabled Mr. T. with so much ease to make himself master of so many languages. Nine or ten it is certainly known that he read, not merely without difficulty, but with profound and critical skill. It is asfirmed, by a friend who lived near him, and was in the habits of intimacy with him, that he was familiarly acquainted with every language in which he had a Bible or New Testament. The writer does not pledge himself to this, thongh he believes it to be true. He has found in the catalogue of Mr. T.'s hooks, since his death, bibles, new testaments, and other hooks of value and celebrity, in several languages ; and gram. mars, and dictionaries in others, though not bibles; as in the following list : Bibles, &c. English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew with its dialects, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Welch, Dutch, Swedish, Gaelic, Manx. Grammars, dictionaries, &c. Arabic, Portuguese, Danish, Flemish.
That Mr. T. should feel a curiosity to see the grammars of languages which he did not critically read, may be easily
imagined and accounted for, by those who have felt a similar pleasure in studying the theory and constitution of languages in general. And he was too much of a real student, to skim over any subject to which he turned his attention, in a superficial manner. In the Greek Testament, the writer of this can assert, from personal knowledge, that his powers of immediate reference and quotation were similar to those which he possessed in the English translation. It was a favourite entertainment to converse with him upon Greek criticisms; for he could in a moment produce every place in which the same word, in any of its forms or affinities, occurred; and could thus assist, in the most advantageous manner, in throwing light upon what was obscure, and of making easy what before was difficult. In the Hebrew, with its several dialects, he was equally, that is, most profoundly skilled. It is believed, that his talent of immediate reference was as great here as in the Greek, or even the English. But this is not positively asserted. This language he wrote, as indeed he did every thing else, with remarkable neatness of penmanship. The writer has occasionally received letters from him, in which were passages in Hebrew, which were not less striking for the felicity of their adaptation, than for the beautiful manner in which they were written. There was a setness, and perhaps a degree of formality, in his English writing, which suited admirably well for the learned languages; and, for short hand, in which his sermons were written.
The early, and the very strong attachment which Mr. T. formed for the Welch language is well known to his friends and has often astonished and amused them. The writer of this well remembers the overflowing delight manifested by his friend Mr, T., upon receiving through his hands, almost forty years ago, a Welch bible, from a gentleman near Wrexham, to whom he mentioned a commission from Mr. T. to buy one for him. The gentleman said, “ Mr. T.'s father was kind to my son, when an apprentice at Halifax: I feel myself happy in being able to make a small return for that kindness, to his son.
Will you take this Bible, of the best edition extant among us, and present it to him, with my respects, and tell bim, that it is an acknowledgment of his faiher's goodness to my son.”
When Dr. PrieSTLEY went, in the year 1762, to be married to Miss WILKINSON, whose father was an iron master near Wrexham, Mr. T. accompanied him as his groom's man. It had been settled, that in the performance of the marriage service, he should personate the father of the bride, by giving her away. Unfortunately, upon entering Wrexham churcii, Mr. T., delighted with the idea of being now able, for the first time, to gratify his passion for the Welch language at the fountain head, had buried himself in a large and lofty pew, where he had found a bible, and was deeply engaged in studying it, when he was wanted at the altar. The service was at a stand: the father did not appear to give away the bride: a hue and cry was set up after him; and at length he was discovered in his hiding place, ignorant of what was passing, and unconscious of any thing, but of the pleasure of reading his favourite language.
What has been thus far mentioned, forms but a very small part, as to number and extent, of the inventory of what was treasured up in the memory of Mr. T. That faculty of his mind which so readily combined words with ideas, still more remarkably united facts with dates; and numbers with names and with incidents. In history, Mr. T. had, with an accuracy, an extent, and a quickness equal to what we have seen in the English bible, and in the languages, joined so perfectly names, places, and events, with the year, the month, and the day to which they severally belonged, that they lay in his mind in regular order, and in inseparable connection, ready to be produced in a moment, in any company, and upon any occasion. He was a CHART OF HISTORY; the bearings, the distances, and the parts of which, even in their minuter subdivisions, were laid down with wonderful exactness. Of his accuracy in English History, the writer can best speak from personal knowledge: and he believes he can truly say, that he could at once assign the date to almost any person or fact recorded in it, with undeviating correctness.
Chronology is a subject so necessary to be intimately known by those who are much conversant with historical dates, especially relating to ancient times, that it might be presumed that one so well acquainted with these, could not be slightly versed in it. In all the methods of counting time, from the earliest antiquity, Mr. T. was critically skilled. They came before him so frequently, that they were quite familiar to him. And he must have had, from hence, the art of adjusting the different epochas and periods employed in ancient and modern computation, readily to each other: for he could with ease, after a little recollection, give you an ancient date, according to the years, months, and days of modern reckoning.
But the most distinguishing excellence of Mr. T.'s mcmory lay in biography. It had been the business of a long, and uncommonly studious life, to collect the dates of the births, marriages, and deaths, of all the persons mentioned in history, who had fallen under his notice; of all his brethren in the Ministry; his neighbours, hearers, friends; of ecclesiastical men, in all their several offices and honours; of authors and literary men of every description; of generals, admirals, statesmen; and in fine, of all persons with respect to whom, by the help of books, monuments, grave-stones, or oral communication, a date could be known. If the writer of this account were to speak what he firmly believes, as to the number of those records, he would probably appear to his readers so very cre dulous, and the sum would appear so very extravagant, as hardly to deserve a hearing. And yet he speals with seriousness and full conviction, when he avers, that he believes these entries to amount to many tens of thousands: and he is bold and confident when he peremptorily maintains his belief, that of all these Mr. T. never forgot one: and that he had every name, fact, and date, which he had ever read or heard of, ready at hand, to be produced at any moment, with an exactness which was never known to fail him.
Of Mr. T.'s passion for studies of this nature, the writer can mention many instances, from his own knowledge. Mr. T. once wrote to him, informing him, that in a certain bookseller's catalogue, at Manchester, was an inestimable book, of which the title was, “GODWINUS FRANCISCUS DE PRÆSULIBUS ANGLIÆ, &c." and desiring him to examine the book, and if it were, (as far as he recollects) the Cambridge edition, of such a year, to secure the precious treasure immediately. He went down directly, and found that it was the very book, of the very edition, and date, which his friend had described; he paid for it, and brought it home. He then wrote word to Mr. T. that he was in possession of this rich jewel. Soon afterwards Mr. T. came to his house, and upon seeing the book, literally embraced it, with a rapture almost equal to that with which a father would have received an only son returning from the East Indies. He took it up into his chamber at night, and could with great difficulty be prevailed on not to carry it in his arms to Rochdale, twelve miles, the next day. For how could he bcar to be separated from it, till the slow-paced unfeeling carrier might think fit to bring it? A lover could hardly be inore attached to the object of his affections. And this book, Mrs. T. says, was a frequent and favourite companion, and friend, to his death.
This turn for biographical research naturally opened the way to that study of Heraldry, in which probably no man living was half so well conversant as Mr. T. He could at once trace every distinguished family in Great Britain, of which be had ever read or heard (and it was the favourite business of many, many years, to read and ro hear all that was possible concerning them) : he could go through all the successions from father to son, or though collateral lines, and trace with perfect accuracy the births, marriages, extraordinary events, and deaths, of all the names in succession. He could do this, through all the Episcopal Sees, and all the gradations of ecclesiastical order, from their first erection. He could pass through all noble families of every degree, and through all inferior titles, down to the lowest names of which there are any records.
Mr. T.'s extreme curiosity to know these circumstances, of birth, marriage, death, &c. respecting any person of his acquaintance, or of whom he had but slightly heard, appeared to some to be almost trifling. The writer of this seldom received a letter from his friend, which did not contain enquiries of this kind, urged in a manner which seemed to shew, that they were regarded by him as of great moment; or at least, as affording to him peculiar gratification.
The memory of Mr. T. had however its peculiarities. It had its distinguishing line of action. It was not universally tenacious, upon all subjects, and in all directions. Amazing as it was, it did not enable him, or at least his taste did not incline him, to quote you a long passage of fine poetry, or of splendid eloquence. He did not commit his own Sermons to his memory, and repeat them without book. Here he was not at all distinguished. His own compositions were laboured and accurate in a superior degree; and therefore long time must have been employed upon them : and they were written with singular neatness. But they were read with as constant an application of the eye to the page, as those employ, whose memory is most treacherous.
But the noblest excellence of the mind of this venerable man remains yet to be mentioned. His humility was perhaps almost as extraordinary as his memory. No man alive was less proud of what he possessed, less conscious of possessing it, or less assuming on acccunt of it. His modesty was uncommonly great. It was retiring diffidence. It was the feeling of the sensitive plant: it shrunk even from the frown of an infant. He was indeed harmless -- I had almost said, helpless, as a child. Taken out of his study, he was from home, dependent upon others, and almost unable to do any thing for himself. The shortness of his sight added to this disposition of his mind. He could not ride on horseback, for he could not see the ground. Ile could not find his way through a large town, for the turnings of the sirecis mocked his power of vision. We may add that his manner of speaking appeared to a stranger rather formal and