Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
Brown
Brown
31

been lately recut) on his tombstone is, 'Thomas Brown, Author of 'The London Spy,' born 1663, died 1704,' but the author of 'The London Spy' was Ned Ward. Shortly after his death appeared a 'Collection of all the Dialogues of Mr. Thomas Brown,' 1704, 8vo, to which was appended a letter (the genuineness of which was attested by Thomas Wotton, curate of St. Lawrence Jewry) purporting to have been written by Brown on his deathbed. Li this letter Brown, after expressing regret for having written anything that would be likely to have a pernicious influence, protests against being responsible for 'lampoons, trips, London Spies,' in which he had no hand. He was too lazy, he tells us, to write much, and yet pamphlets good and bad of every kind has been fathered upon him. A whimsical description of Brown's experiences on his arrival in Hades was published under the title of 'A Letter from the dead Thomas Brown to the living Herodotus,' 1704, 8vo. An epitaph, written shortly after his death, contains the lines—

Each merry wag throughout the town
Will toast the memory of Brown,
Who laugh'd a race of rascals down.

Addison, in his essay on the 'Potency of Mystery and Innuendo' (Spectator, No. 567), after mentioning that some writers, 'when they would be more satirical than ordinary, omit only the vowels of a great man's name, and fall most mercifully upon all the consonants,' adds that Tom Brown, 'of facetious memory,' was the first to bring the practice into fashion.

A collected edition of Brown's works in three volumes, with a character of the author by James Drake, M.D., was published in 1707-8, 8vo. Vol. I. contains essays, poems, satires, and epigrams; original letters; translations of Aristænetus's letters, and of letters from Latin and French. Vol. II. is entirely occupied with ' Letters from the Dead to the Living' (which had been previously published in 1702). These are partly original and partly translated from the French. Brown wrote only a portion of the collection. The contents of vol. iii. are: 'Amusements Serious and Comical, calculated for the Meridian of London' (separately published in 1700); 'Letters Serious and Comical;' 'Pocket-book of Common Places;' 'A Walk round London and Westminster;' 'The Dispensary, a Farce;' 'The London and Lacedæmonian Oracles.' The fourth edition, in four volumes 8vo, is dated 1719; a supplementary volume of 'Remains' (incorporated in later editions) followed in 1721. The eighth and final edition was published in 1760, 4 vols. 8vo. Two (unacted) comedies aro not included in the collected editions:

  1. 'Physic lies a-bleeding, or the Apothecary turned Doctor,' 1697, 4to.
  2. 'The Stage-Beaux tossed in a Blanket, or Hypocrisy à-la-mode,' 1704, 4to, a comedy in three acts, satirising Jeremy Collier.

Among Brown's scattered writings are:

  1. 'Lives of all the Princes of Orange, from the French of Baron Mourier; to which is added the Life of King William the Third,' 1693, 8vo.
  2. 'Life of the famous Duke de Richelieu, from the French of Du Plessis,' 1696.
  3. 'France and Spain naturally Enemies, from the Spanish of C. Garoia.'
  4. 'Miscellanea Aulica; or a Collection of State Treatises,' 1702, with a preface of ten pages by Brown.
  5. 'Short Dissertation about the Mona in Caesar and Tacitus,' appended to Sacheverell's 'Account of the Isle of Man,' 1702, 12mo.
  6. 'Marriage Ceremonies as now used in all Parts of the World.' Written originally in Italian by Signor Gaya, third edition, 1704.
  7. 'Justin's History of the World made English by Mr. T. Brown,' second edition, 1712, 12mo.

Brown's name is found on the list of contributors to the variorum translations of Petronius (1708), Lucian (1711), and Scarron (1772). A collection of 'Beauties of Tom Brown,' with a preface by C. H. Wilson, and a coloured folding frontispiece by Thomas Rowlandson, was published in 1808, 8vo.

[Memoir by James Drake, prefixed to Brown's Collected Works; Wood's Athenæ, ed. Bliss, iv. 662-4; Cibber's Lives of the Poets, vol. iii.; Biographia Dramatica, ed. Stephen Jones; Scott's Swift, 2nd ed., ix. 375; Scott's Dryden, x. 102-3; Ebsworth's Bagford Ballads, i. 88; Notes and Queries, 6th ser. i. 316, 337, ii. 158, 210. 228; Works.]

A. H. B.

BROWN, THOMAS (1778–1820), metaphysician, was born at the manse of Kilmabreck 9 Jan. 1778. His father, minister of Kilmabreck and Kirkdale, died eighteen months later, and his mother removed to Edinburgh. Thomas was a very precocious child. His biographer asserts, 'upon the most satisfactory evidence,' that when four years old he was found comparing the gospels to see in what respects the narratives differed. In his seventh year he was sent to a school at Camberwell by a maternal uncle, Captain Smith. Thence, in a year, he was moved to Chiswick, and afterwards to schools at Bromley and Kensington. On his removal from Chiswick, the other pupils drew up a round-robin asking for his return. A poem on Charles I, written at Chiswick, was inserted by one of the masters in a magazine.