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Aberdeen Magazine Or Universal Repository (Newspaper) - December 1, 1796, London, Middlesex THE ABERDEEN MAGAZINE: o R. UNIVERSAL REPOSITORY, for DECEMBER, 1,796. LIFE of EDWARD GIBBON, and her attachment was fortified by Efq. Author of the Hi/lory of the De- labour -and fuccefs. dine and Fall of the Roman Empire. As foon as the ufe of fpeech had prepared Mr. Gibbon's mind for the MR. GIBBON was born at Put- ambition of knowledge, he was taught ney, in the county of Surrey, the arts of reading, writing, andarith- in the year 1737; the firit child of metic. So remote, fayshe, in hispoft- the marriage of Edward Gibbon, Efq. humous works, is the date, fo vague is and of Judith Porten. From his birth the memory of their origin in myfelf, he enjoyed the right of primogeniture ; that were not the error corrected by but he was fucceeded by five brothers analogy, I mould be tempted to con- and one fifter, all of whom were fnatch- fider them as innate. > In his childhood ed away in their infancy. His ,o\vn he was praifed for the readinefs with conftitution wa3 very feeble ; and ac- which he could multiply and divide, cordingly, in the baptifm of each of by memory alone, two fums of feveral his brothers, his father's prudence fuc- figures : fuch praife encouraged his cefively repeated the Chriftian name of growing talent; and ha.i he perfevered Edward, that in cafe of the death of in this line of application, he thinks the eldeft fon, this patronymic appel- he mould have acquired fome fame in lation might ftill be perpetuated in the mathematical fludies. family. To preferve and to rear fo frail After this previous inftituti'on at a being, the molt tender afiiduity was home, or at a day-fchool at Putney, fcarcely fufficient; and his mother's Mr. G. was delivered, at the age of attention was fomewhat*di verted by her feven years, into the hand of Mr. John frequent pregnancies, by an exclufive Kirkby, who exercifed about eighteen paffion for her hufband, and by the months the office of his domeftic tutor. difiipation of the world, in which his tafte arid authority obliged her to mingle. But the maternal office was fupplied by his aunt, Mrs. Catherine His learning and virtue introduced him to Mr. G�'s fatherand at Putney he might have found af feaft a temporary fhelter from the diftrefs which Porten. A life of celibacy transferred forced him to leave Cumberland, his her vacant affections to her filter's fiiil native country, had not an ac"t of indif-ctild j, his wenknefs excited her pity; cretion again driven hira into the world. 2 17 One
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