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< to have received for it the enormous sum of 6oool. . He died in 1773, fome say of high living, others,
of chagrin from the ill reception of his . Narrative:' " for he was a man of the keenest sensibility, and ob( noxious to all the evils of such irritable natures.'
Mr. Samuel Dyer was the son of a jeweller of eminence in the city, who, by his ingenuity and industry had acquired a competent fortune. He, as also his wife, were dissenters, persons very religiously disposed, members of Chandler's congregation in the Old Jewry, and this their youngest son was educated by profeffor Ward, at the time when he kept a private school in one of the alleys near Moorfields; and from thence, being intended by his father for the diffenting miniftry, was removed to Dr. Dodderidge's academy at Northampton. After having finished his studies in this feminary, he was removed to Glasgow, where, under Dr. Hutcheson, he was instructed in the writings of the Greek moralists, and went through several courses of ethics and metaphysics. To complete this plan of a learned education, the elder Mr. Dyer, by the advice of Dr. Chandler, sent his son to Leyden, with a view to his improvement in the Hebrew literature under Schultens, a celebrated professor in that university. After two years' stay abroad, Mr. Dyer returned, eminently qualified for the exercile of that profession to which his studies had been directed, and great were the hopes of his friends that he would become one of its ornaments. To speak of his attainments in knowledge, he was an excellent classical scholar, a great mathematician and natural philosopher, well versed in the Hebrew, and
master of the Latin, French and Italian languages, Added to these endowments, he was of a temper so mild, and in his conversation and demeanour fo modest and unassuming, that he engaged the attention and affection of all around him. In all questions of science, Johnson looked up to him, and in his life of Watts, among the poets, has cited an observation of his, that Watts had 'confounded the idea of space (with that of empty space, and did not consider that " though space might be without matter, yet matter
being extended, could not be without space.'
It was now expected that Mr. Dyer would attach himself to the profession for which fo liberal and expensive an education was intended to qualify him, and that he would, under all the discouragements that attend non-conformity, appear as a public teacher, and by preaching give a specimen of his talents ; and this was the more wished, as he was a constant attendant on divine worship, and the whole of his behaviour suited to such a character. But being pressed by myself and other of his friends, he discovered an averfeness to the undertaking, which we conceived to arise from modesty, but some time after found to have sprung from another cause.
In this seeming state of suspence, being master of his time, his friend Dr. Chandler found out for him an employment exactly suitable to his talents, Dr. Daniel Williams, a diffenting minister, who by marriage had become the owner of a very plentiful estate, and was the founder of the library for the use of those of his profession, in Redcross street, by his will had directed that certain controversial, and other religious
tracts of his writing, should be translated into Latin, and printed the second year after his death, and five hundred of each given away, and this bequest to be repeated when that number was disposed of.
This part of his will had remained unexecuted from about the year 1715, and Dr. Chandler being a trustee for the performance of it, and empowered to offer an equivalent to any one that he should think equal to the undertaking, proposed it to Mr. Dyer, and he accepted it; but small was his progress in it before it began to grow irksome, and the completing of the translation was referred to some one less averse to labour than himself.
Having thus got rid of an employment to which no persuasions of his friends nor prospects of future advantage could reconcile him, he became, as it were, emancipated from the bondage of puritanical forms and modes of living. Mr. Dyer commenced a man of the world, and with a sober and temperate deliberation resolved on a participation of its pleasures and enjoyments. His company, though he was rather a silent than a talkative man, was courted by many, and he had frequent invitations to dinners, to suppers, and card-parties. By these means he became insensibly a votary of pleasure, and to justify this choice, had reafoned himself into a persuasion that, not only in the moral government of the world but in human manners, through all the changes and Auctuations of fashion and caprice, whatever is, is right. With this and other opinions equally tending to corrupt his mind, it must be supposed that he began to grow indifferent to the strict practice of religion, and
the event shewed itself in a gradual declination from the exercises of it, and his easy compliance with invitations to Sunday evening parties, in which mere conversation was not the chief amusement.
In his discourse he was exceedingly close and reserved : it was nevertheless to be remarked of him, that he looked upon the restraints on a life of pleasure with an unapproving eye. He had an exquisite palate, and had improved his relish for meats and drinks up to such a degree of refinement, that I once found him in a fit of melancholy occafioned by a discovery that he had lost his taste for olives!
He was a man of deep reflection, and very able in conversation on most topics; and after he had determined on his course of life, which was, to be of no profession, but to become a gentleman at large, living much at the houses of his friends, he seemed to adopt the fentiments of a man of fashion. In a visit that he made with a friend to France, he met with a book with the title of 'Les Meurs' with which he was greatly delighted, and at length became so enamoured of it, and that free and liberal spirit which it manifests, that, after a conflict with his natural indolence, in which he came · off the victor, he formed a resolution to translate it into English ; but after a small progress in the work, the enemy rallied, and defeated him. Cave was his printer, and had worked off only a few sheets when Mr. Dyer's stock of copy was exhausted, and his bookseller found himself reduced to the necessity of getting the translation finished by another hand, which he did, employing for the purpose a Mr. Collyer, the VOL. I.
author of Letters from Felicia to Charlotte,' and other innocent and some useful publications. The translation was completed, but upon its being sent abroad, met with a rival one that involved Cave, who was interested in the success of the book, in an advertisement-war, which he was left to conduct as he could.
Few who are acquainted with this book, will blame or wonder at Mr. Dyer's partiality for it. It is a work replete with good sense, setting forth the excellence and the reasonableness of moral virtue, in language so elegant and lively, and with such forcible persuasion, as cannot but win on a mind open to instruction.
The earl of Chesterfield's voluminous exhortations to his son have been, by fome, esteemed a system of education, a system which sinks into nothing when compared, either in its foundation or tendency, to that contained in this concise code of ethics. His lordship teaches the baser arts as means to that important end, success in the world ; this writer, that the good opinion of mankind is never to be purchased by deviating from the rule of right, and that we feek in vain for happiness, if we do not exert ourselves in the discharge of our several duties, . Principles such as these, the disciples of the Graces are not likely to relish ; but it is nevertheless true, that the unassuming, the benevolent author of Les « Meurs' understood the art of forming the character of a really fine gentleman, much better than he who taught that infamy was the road to honour. In short, this is a work, in praise of which there is no danger of being too lavish, for those must be wise