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JUNE 1, 1869.

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JUNE 15, 1869.

66 The

OUR ENGLISH CORRESPONDENCE.

at Christ Hospital. Sir Robert Peel felt great reLondon, June 1, 1869.

spect for Mr. Allan Cunningham, and offered (I I DEEPLY regret to record the departure from life believe), at all events gave young Peter Cunningof the Rev. Alexander Dyce. He was born at Edin- ham a clerkshipin the audit office when he reached burgh on the 30th June, 1798. His family was 18. He rose in the usual routine of promotion Scotch. His father was a general officer in the until he became one of the heads of the audit East India Company's service. He was for some office. He was the author of many works, namely, years a pupil of the Edinburgh High School, which “ The Life of Drummond, of Hawthornden,” (sehe quitted for Exeter College, Oxford: here he re- lections from his poems were added to the life); ceived a bachelor's degree in 1819. He studied for “ The Songs of England and Scotland;" the church, and after his ordination he was for Handbook of Westminster Abbey ;'' “ The Life of some time Curate of Llanteglos in Cornwall, and Inigo Jones” (for the Shakspeare Society);“ Modern afterwards of Nayland, a village on the borders of London;" “ The Story of Nell Gwynne ;“The Essex, though nominally in Suffolk. Theology, Memoir of J. M. W. Turner" (prefixed to “ Turner however, was less to his taste than literature, and and his Works,”' by John Burnet); avd the “ Handhe surrendered the curacy of Nayland. He made book of London," which has run through seve. London his home about 1827. He appeared before ral editions, and is a universal favorite with resithe public as an author in this year; his first work dents as well as with travellers. He was, too, a was Specimens of British Poetesses." In course of laborious editor and annotator; his editions, pubtime he brought out editions of George Peele, Robert lished in Murray's “ Library of the British ClassGreene, Thomas Middleton, and John Skelton, which ics," of Johnson's “Lives of the Poets," " Horace were remarkable for their care and learning. These Walpole's Letters," " The Works of Oliver Gold were followed by editions of Beaumont and Fletcher smith," etc., had an extensive sale. But I dare say and Marlowe, with excellent biographies; Shaks- his labor most familiar to your subscribers was peare's, Pope's, Akenside's, and Beattie's poems; the “ Table Talk” and antiquarian gossip which he and the biographical notices of these authors, which supplied during a great many years to the “Illusappeared in Pickering's Aldine edition, were by trated London News." This was not the only perihim, and I have seen it stated that “ he was also the odical whose pages he enriched with his industry ; author of numerous other works which appeared with the “Gentleman's Magazine” and “ Once A Week” out his name." It may be remembered that Gifford very frequently pumbered him among their conleft unfinished his edition of James Shirley's works. tributors. He married, in 1841 or 1842, Miss ZenoMr. Dyce completed it with a biography and the bia Martin, daughter of the very eminent painter, poems, "and his edition did much to make popular whose Deluge, Belshazzar's Feast, etc. are familiar the productions of a man who, though far less widely to everybody-I mean the late Mr. John Martin. known than he deserves to be, has been not inaptly After 26 years of hard work in the audit office he termed the last minstrel of the English stage,' retired from public service in 1860 on a pension. with whom what may be properly called the school His health had begun to break some years before. of Shakspeare expired.” Mr. Dyce did not confine The moment he was free he quitted London, and his labors as an editor to our mother tongue alone; made St. Albans, Herts, his home. There he exhe likewise brought out editions of more than one pired on Tuesday, the 18th May, at the untimely ancient classic. But the crowning work of his life was age of 54. a complete edition of the works of Shakspeare, ju As many of your readers have seen Countess diciously annotated, with an excellent bibliography Guiccioli's book upon Lord Byron, they will probaof previous editions. The first volume of this work bly read with satisfaction an account of Byron's life appeared in 1850, the sixth and last was published at Venice which may be found in the “ Athenæum.” in 1858. He found a few years since a poem, Timon, We have had an unusually interesting anniverlong forgotten, but which was republished by the sary dinner of the Royal Geographical Society. Shakspeare Society as the work which suggested There were present at it Sir Roderick I. Murchison Timon of Athens to the great dramatist, Mr. Dyce's (who was in the chair), the Prince of Wales, Privce last work was the edition of John Ford's works just Hassan, Duke of Sutherland, Sir Henry Holland, published. He, with Messrs. John Payne Collier, Sir F. Grant, Sir Henry Rawlinson, Sir George Back, Halliwell, and Wright, was one of the Percy Society Prof. Owen, Dr. W. H. Russell, Baron Bunsen, Prof. for the reprinting of old English ballads, plays, avd Huxley, Prof. Ramsay, Sir M'Clure, Mr. Hassam, etc. poems. His health had been infirm recently, but his After the usual loyal toasts, the President proposed last days were unracked by pain : in peace and life's “The Royal Medalists of the day, Prof. Nordenskiquiet he breathed his last on Saturday, the 15th old and Mrs. Somerville,” and added : “ Instead of May, at his house, 33 Oxford Terrace, Hyde Park. alluding in the first instance to the recipient of the In him “ the world of letters has just lost one of its Founder's Medal, I will pass at once to say a few most learned members-a man who, during a long words respecting that venerable and eminent lady, life of study, united the patient industry of the Mrs. Somerville, on whom the council had bestowed antiquary with a real, yet chastened feeling for the Patron or Victoria Medal. This admirable the beauties of our earlier poets and dramatists, woman, now in her 89th year, and who had been and who was contented to work on, year after year, singularly distinguished throughout her long life with unwearied diligence, and without much hope by the highest attainments in physical science, and of being appreciated by the general reader; yet had written admirable works on physical geography, within the smaller circles of real scholars and men was even at that hour occupied in solving abstruse of refined tastes, no one stood higher as a Shaks- mathematical problems. Having known Mrs. pearean scholar; and it is a question whether we or Somerville for nearly half a centary, and having certain of our poets of the sixteenth and seven- formed the highest estimate of her remarkable teenth centuries are in reality more deeply indebted qualities, including all those which pertained to to his laborg."

the feminine character, I shall have the most sinI am pained to be obliged to add to the record cere satisfaction in conveying to her this medal. of the death of the Rev. Alexander Dyce, men- The Founder's Medal has been adjudicated to Prof. tion of Mr. Peter Cunningham's death. He was Nordenskiold, of Stockholm, as being the leading born in London in April, 1816. His father was man of science in the memorable expedition which the late Mr. Allan Cunningham. He was educated the Swedes, to their great hovor, had been carrying

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