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Floyer Sydenham, the ingenious 2. Donations of ten guineas, and translator of Plato, a profound scholar, upwards, within one year, constirevered for his knowledge, and beloved tute subscribers for life ; and legafor his candour and gentleness, died in cies in trust will be gratefully reconsequence of having been arrested
ceived. and detained for a debt to a victualler, 3. The constitutions and regulawho had, for some time, furnished his
tions are executed by a president, frugal dinner. Åt the news of that event, every three treasurers ; a council of not
vice-presidents, three registrers, friend of literature in the society felt a mixture of sorrow and shame ; and one
more than fifty ; a committee of of the members proposed, that a plan council ; and a general committee should be executed, which had been of twenty-one members, seven of some years under consideration, to pre
which go out annually, according vent similar afflictions, and to assist de. to priority of service, and are then serving authors and their families in eligible into the council; the memdistress.
bers of which, after three years, The plan, though applauded, was not may be re-elected into the general unanimously adopted ; but the spirit of committee, and again returned to the proposer not being discouraged, the council, if required by the soanother Society was formed, consisting ciety. only of eight persons : at the first 4. Presidents, vice-presidents, meeting of which the annexed consti- registrers, and treasurers, are by tutions and an advertisement were pro- their offices members of all comduced, and approved.
mittees, and when they decline The subscription for the purposes of their re-election, are eligible into printing the constitutions, and inserting the council. advertisements in the publick papers, 5. Subscribers residing at conamounted only to eight guineas ; but at siderable distances from London, the next meeting the number of sub
who interest themselves for the soscribers was increased, and the subscription renewed.
ciety, and, while in town, attend the That little faithful band steadily con- committee, may, at the end of three tinued its operations ; and without years, be elected into the council. waiting for the result of yearly sub- 6. All these regulations imply, scriptions, proportioned its contribu- that the parties continue their subtions to the objects immediately in scriptions, or are subscribers for view ; and sustained the expense of life. printing the constitutions and adver
7. The ordinary business of the tisements nearly two years.
society is transacted by the general In that manner the Society gradual. committee on the third Thursday ly acquired stability ; and the first general meeting was appointed on the 18th
in the month, consisting of its offi
cers and members. Five constitute of May,1790 ; when officers were elec. ted, a committee was formed, and the
a quorum. All extraordinary oc
currences and measures are to be annual subscriptions were so increased, as to admit of the application of small referred by the general committee
to the committee of council, or to a sums monthly to the purposes of the Institution,
general meeting of the subscribers.
8. All assemblies and committees CONSTITUTIONS.
are directed by the president, a It is the purpose of this institu- vice-president, by a member of the tion to establish a fund, on which council, or in their absence, by a deserving authors may rely for as- chairman appointed for the time. sistance, in proportion to its pro- The council must be directed by duce.
the president, vice-president, or a 1. An annual subscription, of not chairman from its own body. less than a guinea, entitles the sub- 9. At all assemblies of the subscribers to a voice in the delibera- scribers, councils, or committees, tions of the society.
the decisions are by a majority ;
and the president, or chairman, relief must be to a registrer; who gives only a casting vote on an ea may immediately summon a comquai division
mittee, if the cases be urgent; if 10. The meetings of the General not, he shall present them at the Comowiciee are open to the mem- first meeting. bers of the Council ; who may, on 13. All the stock, property, and all occasions, assist by advice, but revenues, of the society, must be not vote on it ates, unless necessa- invested in the public funds, in ry to make up the quorum. If any public and competent securities, or irregularities or abuses appear, or deposited at a banker's. No money be supposed, to arise, two members must be drawn for, but by an order of the Council, by directions to a of the committee: no securities Registrer, or by letters from them- charged ; nor any part of a capital, selles, may assemble the whole whether in estates or funds, be disCouncil, tr, consider the measures posed of, but by consent of a genein question, to obviate or approve ral meeting of the subscribers. their effects, and to suspend the ope- 16. The assistance afforded to rations of the Committee, of the authors in distress, or to their wide Registrers, Treasurers, and other ows and children, shall be at the officers, until the sense or opinion discretion of the general commitof the subscribers be taken at a tee; and may be transmitted by a general meeting, which must be treasurer, a member of the comwithin a month of the time of sus- mittee or council, or by a subscripensi n. All general meetings to ber, according to its order; for the be summoned by advertisements. receipt of which he is to produce
11. Temporary vacancies in the an acknowledgment committee, or in the offices, may
17. Books of accompts by a be filled up at the discretion of the treasurer, and books of transactions council.
and occurrences by a registrer, are 12. All the subscribers must be always liable to inspection by the summoned annually, by advertise- committee and council, or by any ment, on the third Thursday in of their members. They are open March, to choose officers, and to to any subscriber, applying to the supply the vacancies, by rotation proper officer. or any other circumstance, in the
17. As in the business of the socommittees and council; or such ciety, cases may occur, requiring as may happen in the offices of more enquiry, and more secrecy, president, vice-president, registrer, than are consistent with the proand treasurer. These officers are ceedings of the general committee; recognized or appointed annually: and some deliberation may often be but the offices may be continued in necessary, previous to the proposal the same persons as long as the so- of measures, or the nomination of ciety may think expedient or ne- officers, &c. to the general comcessary.
mittee, or to the society at large13. The pecuniary appointments The president, two of the vicefor collectors and messengers (all presidents, five members of the other offices being discharged gra- council, or of the committee, one tuitously) must be assigned and ap- of the registrers, and one of the proved at their respective elections. treasurers, shall be annually nemiThese officers may be suspended or nated, and constitute a committee discharged by the general commit- of council; the whole to be sumtee, on a complaint properly sup- moned on business, but three to ported by a member of the commit- form a quorum. tee, or of the council, or a subscri- 19. To this committee of council ber. Security may be taken, by all applications made to the general the committee, for the execution of committee, and all other matters, their trusts.
requiring investigation, shall, at 14. All applications or claims of the request of two members, either
of the council, general committee, committee ; that the subjects to be or of the society, be referred. submitted to the subscribers be pre
20. It shall particularly enquire pared by the committee of council; into the situations of authors, re- and that notice be given in the cirported to be in distress, whom cular letter or advertisement to the modesty, or pardonable pride, may subscribers, of the intended revishave prevented from preferring ion. their applications or claims, and The general committee generalgive in its information to the gene
ly dine together on the monthly ral committee, in a manner that
periods of business, but at their shall not expose such authors to
own expence; and all the festivals any mortification.
of the society are at the private ex21. The said committee of coun
pence of the members. cil, if the president should be prevented from attending it, may com
Remarks on cases, in which relief has municate with him, by one or more been administered from the Literary of its members, and take his opin
- Fund, to July 1801. ion on matters to be proposed at The Society for the Literary Fund, any committees, or to the society during nearly i2 years, which have elapat large.
sed since its first institution, has admin22. It shall also, previously to all istered relief in 196 cases of distress elections by general meetings, form the number of persons who has expea list or lists of persons, in its opin- rienced its bounty is 105 ; and the ion, fit to be elected, and submit the sum distributed amounts, in the whole, result of its deliberations to the to 16801. 88. sterling: electors ; not, however, precluding
It has been usual to print short acthe nomination of another person,
counts of these cases, and insert them or persons, by any member of the in a book, distributed to the subscri
bers and other respectable persons, society. 23. The said committee of coun
who might become patrons of this incil, acting only in cases provided
stitution. This mode, however, expe
rience has shewn to be liable to strong for by the constitutions, shall have
objections. If any author relieved had no power of granting relief to au
been expressly named, or the circumthors by its own authority ; but all
stances of the case set forth at large its members, like those of the vice. presidency and council, may supply fect be the same), the feelings of un
(which, in many instances, would in efdeficiencies in the general commit
fortunate persons would be wounded, tee, when unable to form a quorum. and, in some cases, their consideration It shall not interfere with the pow- in life lessened, and their future proser of the society, in establishing pects destroyed.
pects destroyed. It was, therefore, general and permanent rules, or thought fit to publish the cases anondo any act already provided for by ymously, and without such distinct rethe constitutions.
ferences as would guide a stranger to 24. The said committee of coun- the knowledge of the persons relieved, cil shall be open to all the vice- This, however, appeared to most read. presidents, to all members of the ers uninteresting and uninstructive. council, and all the officers of the On the present occasion, therefore, it society, when specially summoned, has been thought fit to examine the at the desire of two members of the
books anew ; to describe, as instances, committee.
a few cases in which, owing to the 25. These constitutions, or any circumstances, delicacy to them is out
death of the parties, or their known article of them, may be revised, of the question, and to offer some gencorrected, or altered, at the annual
eral remarks on the rest. meeting of the subscribers, or at a
The very first case of a meritorious general meeting regularly summon- scholar and author, in distressed cired ; provided a requisition be pre- cumstances, which attracted the notice viously made, to that effect, by the of the committee, was that of the learnmajority of the council or of the ed, but unfortunate, Dr. Harwood ; al man whose perfect knowledge of the become supporters of the Institution. learned languages, and laborious dili- The number of less brilliant, but usegence, both as an oral instructer and ful, writers, relieved within this period, writer, scarcely procured him a scanty is also very considerable, and the cases and precarious support.
of a questionable nature, or where the In the infancy of this Institution, and vigilance of the Committee may have when its funds amounted to little more been deceived, few. They will be than was required for the expenses of fewer in future ; as all cases that ap. printing and advertisements, this de- pear doubtful, may, by a late regilaserving object repeatedly received as- tion, at the desire of any two Members, sistance, which if it did not place him be referred to a Committee of the in affluence, rescued him from misery President, Vice-Presidents, and Counand despair. Other authors, mural and cil, appointed for that among other political, of great merit, and a few of purposes. great and deserved celebrity, received It may, however, be satisfactory, and assistance from the committee, to the not uninteresting to the publick, to utmost of its powers ; but these, being know, that, among the cases during still alive, and it being an inviolable this latter period, was a son of the late rule of the committee, not to publish ingenious and spirited translator of the the names of living objects of their at-, Lusiad; towards the expense of whose tention, those Members of the Society, education the Society more than once, who wish to be ininutely informed, contributed by donations for that pur. have recourse to the records of the com- pose, to the gentleman under whose mittce, which they have a right to in- care the youth was placed. Another spect, and which are always open to the interesting case, which may be menexamination of any subscriber.
tioned, was that of the widow and chil. In this early period of the Institution, dren of that distinguished poet, and oMrs. Charlotte Lennox, a lady well, riginal genius, Robert Burns. To. known for several works equally amus- wards the subscription for their relief ing and instructive, being in narrow and future establis!ıment, the commit. circumstances, was enabled, by the as- tee contributed a large sum, considersistance of the Society, to place her. ing the am unt of the funds then at son in a situation that promised a pro- their disposal, and have since made an vision for life. Thus were some dis- addition; so that the whole amounts tinguished persons assisted from the to 45 pounds. Literary Fund, while its sources were The above are the only cases, which scanty, and its powers necessarily li- it is conceived can, consistently with mited. But several deserving, though any regard to delicacy, or even human. loss eminent, writers, received great ity, be particularly set forth. Many of alleviation in their distresses; one in the others would, if it were proper to particular (a very industrious and use. make them publick, prove that the Soful author) was, for several years, dur- ciety, in distributing relief, have not ing which he sustained the most excru- only bad regard to the talents and wants ciating and incurable malady, preserved of the objects, in behalf of whom it from the aggravated misery of want, was solicited, but also to the nature and when relieved at last by death and utility of their works. Writers, from his cruel sufferings, received a who have contributed to the instruction decent interment, chiefly by the bene., of the rising generation, to the advance. volence of the Society.
ment of morals, or the support of reOf late, as the funds of the Society ligion, have, uniformly, obtained its have increased, and the claimants be. countenance and assistance ; while the come more numerous, in proportion as
authors of slanderous, of immoral, or it was more known, its benefactions of impious works, have, in general, have been more numerous and liberal. been speedily detected, and ignominImongst the cases relieved, during iously repelled. this latter period, are several writers
WILLIAM BOSCAWEN, of distinguished eminence, whom it
Member of the Council. would be a gross indelicacy to name, or particularly allude to; especially ERRATA-In a part of the imsince some of them are now in circum- pression of page 525, line 5 from bottom, stances, that not only prevent their be- for of poverty read and poverty ;P. 546, ing objects, but may enable them to third line froin top, for has read have.
For the Anthology.
Existimat enim, qui mare teneat, eum necesse rerum potiri.
Cic. Attico. lib. 10. ep. 8.
F from speculations upon lit- not more numerous than his deerature, and inquiries into human sires. They tell us, that,unmindconduct and motives, the Remark- ful of the delights of society, reer may be allowed to divert the ato gardless of heat, of cold, and of tention of his readers to one of the hunger, which, in our degeneracy, principal causes of the physical we shrink from as the greatest enjoyment and moralimprovement evils, eager only in the chace of of us all, the advantages of com- his four-footed brethren of the formercial intercourse have a strong est, when wild in woods the noble claim to be considered.
savage ran,' he best asserted the Trade is derived from the na. dignity of his origin. "But the ture of man, and its continuance happiness of such a state, impropis inevitably secured by his weak- erly called the state of nature, is ness and his wants. The authors either visionary, or happiness is of the most simple arts were dei- unworthy our pursuit. The humfied by the barbarians, whom they blest artisan in society is superiour tamed ; nor has their divinity sub- to the independent lord of the dessisted only in the frail memorials ert. All the variety in the condiof their contemporaries. To have tion of uncivilized man consists in increased the comforts of life and the alternation of the horrours of enlarged the boundaries of benefi- starvation and the pains of glutcence by such discoveries, has, in tony, in the silent stupor of indothe opinion of Virgil, been suffi- lence, or the loud orgies of intoxcient to open Elysium. Equal ication, in a mind, destitute of all with holy bards, and pious priests, thoughts of religion, or filled, acand patriots who died for their cording to its narrow capacity, country, he introduces
with notions of the most gloomy
and murderous superstition. The * Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per savage is unsusceptible of love, artes.'
and cowardly in hate ; cruel in The title of philosophers has war, and treacherous in peace. been arrogated by some, who ex- The absolute wants of nature tol above our times the happiness are indeed few ; the earliest and of that golden age, when man's most imperious demands of our purity was equalled only by his senses are quickly appeased ; but ignorance, when his vices were to be dissatisfied with such gratifi.
Vol. IV. No. 11. 4 A