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king pardoned him, and gave him an estate of 3001. per annum, in Ireland. Blood died in
1680. BOISSI (LEWIS DE) a celebrated French dramatic writer. While all Paris was delighted with his performances, the poor author, with his wife and child was actually starving. His works procured him fame, but he wanted bread. Boissi became a prey to distress and despondence. The shortest way to rid himself at once from all his misery, seemed to him to be death. Death appeared to him as a friend, as a saviour, and a deliverer; and gained his affection. His affectionate wife, who was no less weary of life, listened with participation, when he declaimed with the warmth of poetic rapture, of deliverance from this earthly prison, and of the smiling prospect of futurity; and at length resolved to accompany him in death. But she could not bear to think of leaving her beloved son, of five years old, in a world of misery and sorrow: it was therefore agreed to take the child with them on their passage into another and better world. The mode of death which they adopted was that of starving. They locked the door and began to fast; when any one knocked, they fled trembling into the corner, and were în perpetual dread lest their purpose should be discovered. Their little son, who had not yet learned to silence the calls of nature by artificial reasons, whispering and crying, asked for bread, but they always found means to quiet him. It occurred to one of Boissi's friends, that it was E 2
very extraordinary he could never find him at home, and, at length, burst open the door. He now beheld his friend, with his wife and son, lying on a bed, pale, and emaciated, scarcely able to utter a sound. The parents lay still in a perfect stupor; they never heard the bursting open of the door, and felt nothing of the embraces of their agitated friend. Methods were taken, however, to restore them to health and to the world. This transaction made a great noise in Paris, and at length reached the ears of the Marchioness de Pompadour. Boissi's deplorable situation affected her. She im mediately sent him a hundred louis d'ors, and soon after procured him the profitable place of controlleur du Mercure de France, with a pension for his wife and child, if they outlived him, Boissi was a member of the French Academy, and died in 1758. His works are printed in 3 vol. 8vo. BOYCE (SAMUEL), an ingenious, but unfortunate poet, was the son of an eminent dissenting divine, and born in 1708, in Dublin. After receiving a grammatical education, he was sent to Glasgow, where he married a tradesman's daughter, before he was twenty years of age, This imprudent step, added to his own extravagance, soon involved him in misery, In 1731, he published a volume of poems at Edin burgh, addressed to the countess of Eglington, who liberally rewarded him. He also wrote an elegy on the death of Lady Stormont, entitled, "The Tears of the Muses," which cured from Lord Stormont handsome pre
sent. From Edinburgh he came to London, with a recommendatory letter, written by the Duchess of Gordon to Mr. Pope, and another to chancellor King; neither of which he thought proper to deliver. His principal support arose from writing for the Gentleman's Magazine, and other periodical publications, and from charitable contributions. About
1740, he was so much reduced by his extravagance, that he had not a shirt, a coat, or any kind of apparel in which he could appear abroad; even the sheets of his bed were deposited with the pawnbroker. Thus circumstanced, he was obliged to confine himself to his bed, with no other covering than a blanket. He then had little to support himself but what he obtained by acquainting his friends by letter or petition, with his penury and indigence, and imploring their pecuniary assistance. His mode of studying and writing were too singular to remain unnoticed. He sat up in bed with the blanket wrapped about him; through which a hole had been cut sufficient to receive his arm; and placing the paper on his knee, scribbled his compositions for the press, in the best manner he could. He often descended to the meanest of subterfuges to procure benefactions. Sometimes he would raise subscriptions for poems which did not exist, and sometimes he would direct his wife to report he was at the point of death, to operate on the feelings of such of his friends as were under the influence of compassion. While he was thus engaged, his wife departed this.
this life, and, from his inability to put himself into mourning, he tied a piece of black ribbon about the neck of his dog. He died in May, 1749, after a lingering illness, at an obscure lodging in Shoe-lane, and was buried at the expence of the parish. Some affecting anecdotes of him may be seen in Nichols's select Collection of Poems, related on the best authority. He was a melancholy instance of the wretchedness, contempt, and disgrace, in which the most ingenious persons may involve themselves by an abuse of those powers which Nature hath so liberally bestowed upon them. Boyce's poems, if collected, would make six moderate volumes; two have been already published. But his most celebrated piece was "The Deity," which Hervey styles," a beautiful and instructive poem." It is mentioned by Fielding with great encomium.
BRINDLEY (JAMES) an eminent English mechanic, and particularly excellent in planning and conducting inland navigations, was born at Tunsted, in Derbyshire, in 1716. He served his apprenticeship to a millwright; and after gaining great reputation by constructing mills and machines, he was employed by the Duke of Bridgewater, in his celebrated canal from Worsley to Manchester; in which he acquitted himself with such dexterity, that he astonished the most experienced engineer. He was afterwards employed to conduct another canal from the Trent to the Mersey, for the same nobleman, This very ingenious man, who worked entirely from his own ideas, without
any knowledge of science, died in 1772, havving shortened his days by too intense application. It is remarkable of this intuitive genius, that he never indulged himself in the common diversions or amusements of life, not having any kind of relish for them. When in London, he was once prevailed on to see a play; but he declared, that nothing should induce him to be at another, because it had so disturbed and confounded his ideas, as to render him incapable of business for several days after. When any uncommon difficulty presented itself in the execution of his business, he usually retired to bed, where he has been known to lie one, two, three, or four days, till he has surmounted his difficulty. He had a most extraordinary memory, and could execute his plans without design or model.
BROUWER (ADRIAN), an eminent Dutch painter, was born at Haerlem, in 1608, and died of intemperance in 1638.
Hals took him from begging in the streets, and instructed him in the rudiments of painting. Broad humour was his proper sphere, and in little pieces he gave many proofs of his superior talents in that walk, by representing his pot companions in the act of drinking, smoaking tobacco, gaming, fighting, &c. He performed all this, it is said, with so delicate and free a pencil, introduced so much of nature in his expression, such elegant drawing in the respective parts, and such good keeping in the whole together, that he has been thought superior to any of his countrymen in the humour