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BAKER (HENRY), an eminent naturalist, was born in London about the beginning of the 18th century, and brought up to the business of a bookseller, but being of a philosophical turn of mind, and having diligently attended to the methods that might be useful in the cure of stammering, and in teaching deaf and dumb. persons to speak, he quitted his original profession, and embraced the latter, making it the principal employment of his life. He married a daughter of Daniel De Foe, by whom he had two sons. On the 29th of January, 1740, he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; and, on the 12th of March following he was honoured with a fellowship of the Royal Society. From the latter he received, in the same year, Sir Godfrey Copley's gold medal for his microscopical experiments on the crystilizations and configurations of saline particles, Having led a very useful and honourable life, he died on the 25th of November, 1774, aged about 70 years. He published The Microscope made easy' in 1742, and Employment for the Microscope' in 1764. He also wrote original poems, which were published in 1725; but the best of his poetical performances is The Universe.' He communicated a great number of curious papers to the Royal Society, which were inserted in the Philosophical Transactions. But the singularity which principally entitles him to a place in the Eccentric Dictionary, was his resolution that his art of curing deaf

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deaf and dumb persons should die with him; for we are assured that all his patients were enjoined to secrecy; and, at the end of his instruction, he took a bond for 1001. of each scholar, not to divulge his method. He commenced a suit at law to recover the penalty of one of these bonds, against a son of the late earl of Buchan. He acquired a handsome fortune by his practice.

BAKEWELL (ROBERT), a very successful farmer and breeder of cattle, was born in 1726, at Dishley, in Leicestershire. He particularly turned his attention to improve the breed of his cattle, for which purpose he travelled all over England, and into Ireland and Holland. A judicious selection of animals from different parts, was the original stock from which he afterwards propagated his own. He soon had the satisfaction of seeing his efforts crowned with success. and the Dishley sheep distinguished above all others About forty years ago Mr. Bakewell sold his sheep from two to three guineas each, and let out rams at sixteeen or seventeen shillings a-piece; and from that time the prices kept gradually rising from one guinea to ten. But the most rapid increase has taken place since the year 1780-four hundred guineas having been repeatedly given. In the year 1789 Mr. Bakewell made 1200 guineas by three rams. He also greatly improved his black cattle, and frequently let his bulls at 50 guineas a season each. The race of Dishley sheep are known by the fineness of their bone and flesh, the Lightness of the offal, their disposition to quiet


ness, and consequently to mature, and fatten with less food than other sheep of equal weight. Mr. Bakewell died October 1, 1795. This extraordinary man was facetious, intelligent, and hospitable. Many anecdotes are related of his humanity towards the various orders of animals. BALES (PETER), a very extraordinary person, was born in 1547. He was a very celebrated master of penmanship, and one of the first inventors of short-hand writing. He deserves to be noticed here for his great skill in micrography, or miniature writing, as related in Hollingshed's Chronicle, anno 1575. Mr. Evelin also informs us that, in the year 1575, he wrote the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, Decalogue, with two short prayers in Latin, his own name, motto, "day of the month, year of the Lord, and reign of the queen, to whom he presented it at Hampton-court, all within the circle of a silver penny, inchased in a ring and borders of gold, and covered with a crystal so accurately wrought as to be very plainly legible. In 1590 he published The Writing-Master, in three parts;' the first teaching swift writing, the second true writing, the third fair writing. This performance was held in such high estimation, that no less than eighteen commendatory poems, composed by learned and ingenious men of that time, were prefixed to it. He died about

1600. BARCLAY (ROBERT), a celebrated Quaker, was born at Edinburgh in 1648, and sent by his father Colonel Barclay to Paris, under the


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care of his uncle, who was principal of the Scot's College. Having been made a convert to the Roman catholic religion, his father prevailed upon him to quit Paris, and return to his own country; and having himself embraced the opinions of the Quakers, he persuaded his son to do the same. In 1670 he published a defence of his new religion, at Aberdeen; and in 1675 he printed a catechetical discourse, or system of faith. But his great work, An Apology for the Quakers; or, an Apology for the true Christian Divinity, as the same is held forth and preached by the People scornfully called Qua kers,' was printed in Latin at Amsterdam, 1676, and translated into English in 1678. This work is addressed to Charles II. and the manner in which he expresses himself to his majesty is so truly singular, as to demand a place for him in our Dictionary. Among other extraordinary passages, we meet with the following:"There is no king in the world who can so experimentally testify of God's providence and goodness; neither is there any who rules so many free people, so many true Christians which thing renders thy government more honourable, thyself more considerable, than the accession of many nations filled with slavish and superstitious souls. Thou hast tasted of prosperity and adversity; thou knowest what it is to be banished thy native country, to be overruled, as well as to rule and sit upon the throne; and being oppressed, thou hast reason to know how hateful the oppressor is both to God and man: if, after all these warnings and advertise



ments, thou dost not turn unto the Lord with all thy heart, but forget him who remembered thee in thy distress, and give up thyself to follow low lust and vanity, surely great will be thy condemnation." He not only served his party by his writings, but travelled through several countries, particularly Germany and Holland, to obtain converts, and his missions were attended with success. He spent the latter part of his life on his own estate at Ury, and died there in 1690. BETTERTON (THOMAS), a celebrated English actor, was born in 1635, and served his apprenticeship to a bookseller. He was usually styled the English Roscius. He made his first appearance on the stage in Sir William Davenant's company. At the restoration he belonged to the king's company at Drury-lane, and was sent by Charles II. to Paris, to observe the French scenery. At length the two companies were united, and Betterton was regarded as the first performer of the age. Mr. Booth, who knew him only in his decline, often declared, that he never saw him off or on the stage but he learned something from him; and frequently asserted, that he was not an actor, but nature itself; that he put on his part with his clothes, and was the very man or character he undertook to be till the play was over; and nothing more. So exact was he in imitating nature, than the look of surprise he assumed in the character of Hamlet (when he first personated the ghost), astonished Booth to such a degree, that he was incapable of proceeding in his part

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