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PRAYERS COMPOSED BY DR. JOHNSON,
Prayer on his Birth-day, September 7-18, 1738,
on the Rambler,
on the Death of his Wife, reposited among her
Memorials, May 8th, 1752,
May 6, 1752,
March 28, 1754,
Prayer on the Day on which his Mother died, January
FATHER PAUL SARPI*
FATHER PAUL, whose name, before he entered into the monastic life, was Peter Sarpi, was born at Venice, August 14, 1552. His father followed merchandize, but with so little success, that, at his death, he left his family very ill provided for, but under the care of a mother, whose piety was likely to bring the blessings of Providence upon them, and whose wise conduct supplied the want of fortune by advantages of greater value.
Happily for young Sarpi, she had a brother, master of a celebrated school, under whose direction he was placed by her. Here he lost no time: but cultivated his abilities, naturally of the first rate, with unwearied application. He was born for study, having a natural aversion to pleasure and gaiety, and a memory so tenacious, that he could repeat thirty verses upon once hearing them.
Proportionable to his capacity was his progress in literature; at thirteen, having made himself master of school learning, he turned his studies to philosophy and the mathematicks, and entered upon logick under Capella of Cremona, who though a celebrated master of that science, confessed himself in a very little time unable to give his pupil further instructions.
* Written for the Gentleman's Magazine, for 1738. C. VOL. XII.