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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


54 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. He felt the approaches of old age somewhat early, and was under the necessity of employing an assistant when only about sixty years of age. He restricted himself to a moderate, or rather abstemious diet, and regulated his food and exercise by the measure of his strength. He entertained many apprehensions of a long-continued sick-bed, which he was anxious to avoid, not from any selfish motive, but that it might not occasion trouble or distress to his friends. This anticipated evil was averted by the suddenness of his departure, which took place on the 26th November 1799, while sitting at table with his usual fare before him, viz. some bread, a few prunes, and a measured quantity of milk, diluted with water, with the cup in his hands containing the liquid, resting on his knees. In this posture he was found by the servant who attended him. He was in the seventy-first year of his age. Dr. Black, who had never been married, left more money than any one thought he could have acquired in the course of his career. It was disposed of by his will in a manner highly characteristic : Being divided into ten thousand shares, it was parcelled out to a numerous list of individuals, in shares, or fractions of shares, according to the degree in which he thought they were proper objects of his care os solicitude. He was succeeded, as Professor of Chemistry, by Dr. Hope. “ The aspect of Dr. Black,” says Chalmers,’ “ was comely and interesting. His countenance exhibited that pleasing expression of inward satisfaction, which, by giving ease to the beholder, never fails to please. His manner was unaffected and graceful ; he was affable, and readily entered into conversation, whether serious or trivial; he was a stranger to none of the elegant nccomplishments of life; he had a fine musical ear, with a voice which could obey it in the most perfect manner ; for he sung, and performed on the flute, with great taste and feeling, and would sing a plain air at sight, which many instrumental performers cannot do. Without having studied drawing, he had acquired a considerable power of expression with his pencil, and seemed in this respect to have the talents of a historical painter. Figure, indeed, of every kind attracted his attention-even a retort, or a crucible, was to his eye an example of beauty or deformity. He had the strongest claim to the appellation of a man of propriety or correctness.” The house where Dr. Black’resided was afterwards occupied by the Female Department of the Industrious Blind, in Nicolson Street. No. XXIII. DR. JOSEPH BLACK, LECTURING. THE notice illustrative of the preceding portrait of Dr. Black renders any description of this Print unnecessary, except to add that his “Lectures on the Elements of Chemistry, delivered in the University of Edinburgh,” were published in 2 vols. 4t0, by Professor Robison, in 1803. 1 Biographical Dictinnary,val. v. p. 311. London, 1812, 8vo.
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