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Dr. Beck visited Europe three times; once in 1847, again in 1857, and the last time in 1858. The last journey was undertaken principally for a literary purpose.
In 1856 he published in the Memoirs of the Academy a most important contribution, on the Age of Petronius Arbiter, in which he takes ground against the hasty conclusions of Niebuhr and Studer, and exhausts the treasures of antiquity and language to prove that this puzzling fiction must have been written either in the reign of Augustus or Tiberius. Finding that the text of Petronius was in a very untrustworthy state, he resolved to collate the manuscripts himself. On his last journey to Europe, in 1858 and 1859, he compared twenty of the twenty-one existing manuscripts of Petronius. The results of these studies he published in a beautiful quarto volume, printed in Cambridge, 1863, at his own expense, and distributed gratuitously. It is not hazardous to say that the manuscripts of no author have ever been collated with a more minute and conscientious accuracy than those of Petronius. It was hoped by Dr. Beck's friends that he might feel inclined to edit Petronius, a task for which he was so peculiarly qualified. He was prevented from doing this partly by occupations which he considered more important, and partly by the publication of a new Petronius in Germany. Beside the two works alluded to, he published a third bearing the name of Petronius, an inedited lexical fragment discovered by him and printed in Vol. VIII. of the Memoirs of the Academy. In former years he had published a number of works; among which were a Treatise on Gymnastics, Northampton, 1828; the Medea of Seneca, 1834; Cicero's Brutus, 1837, and in an entirely new edition, 1853 ; Latin Syntax, 1838, and a second edition, 1844; the Hercules Furens of Seneca, 1845; Munk’s Metres of the Greeks and Romans, (translated with Professor Felton,) 1844; and beside this he had contributed to literary journals.
The same conscientious fidelity which marks his writings pervaded all he did. The rule of his life was to do his duty as he understood it, and the whole of his duty, without fear or favor, and to do all he could for his fellow-men. As an instructor he was rigorous and exacting, but not more so toward his pupils than toward himself. In the distribution of his means he showed judgment as well as generosity. His contributions to the various public calls that have been so frequent, of late years particularly, have been munificent. But his private charities have undoubtedly been greater still. No deserving foreigner ever appealed to him for aid in vain ; and it was his habit to seek out intelligent young American mechanics of good character, and lend them money to begin their trade. As a citizen he was a model man. He took a warm interest in all public matters, national and state ; he was more thoroughly informed about municipal affairs than most born Americans. From the first outbreak of the war he did all he could to help the national cause. He thought that every good citizen should serve his country as far as he could in person, and showed his sincerity by joining a military organization and drilling with the zeal of the youngest recruit. He went with his company into camp, where he was eager to do all the drudgery of a common soldier; and it was a sore trial to him that when the company went into service he was rejected on account of his age. The universal respect in which his lofty integrity and simplicity were held was touchingly attested at his death, which was mourned by the citizens as a great public calamity.
MR. GEORGE LIVERMORE died at his residence on Dana Hill, in Cambridge, on Wednesday, August 30, 1865, of a disease of the veins, followed by paralysis.
He was a son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Gleason) Livermore, and was born in Cambridge, July 10, 1809, being therefore at the time of his decease in his fifty-seventh year. He had been shortly before chosen Treasurer of the Academy, glad, as he said, — with that pleasing modesty which was one of the most winning traits of his attractive character, — to prove his interest and good-will as a Fellow, in an office which did not require the high scientific qualities displayed by his brethren. To all his associates in literary pursuits, and to all who met him in the walks of trade and business, he was known (as only in the more private circles of affection he could be fully appreciated) as a man of rare excellence of native disposition, of lofty integrity, ardent patriotism, and fulness and depth of Christian principle and culture. There was a charm in his gentle bearing, and a grace in his speech and manners which made him a most delightful companion, and impressed all who were brought into contact with him. There was something singularly engaging in his refined simplicity and quietness of spirit, and in the almost feminine delicacy of his nature. Indeed, perhaps even his nearest friends would not have fully known what energy and almost passionate earnestness were latent in that nature, had they not been called out by the perils and struggles of his country during the last four years of his life. An all-absorbing patriotism stirred him to the intensest interest in the war against the rebellion. The delicacy and feebleness of his body alone prevented his becoming a soldier, but his pen and purse, his zeal and practical effort, were devotedly given to filling the ranks of our army, promoting enlistments, gathering recruits, providing for the welfare and comfort of soldiers on the march, in the camp, on the battle-field and in the hospital, and even to furnishing them with copies of a reprint of the famous “ Soldiers' Bible” of the Cromwellian troopers. It was with a view of meeting one of the most exciting of the issues which the war incidentally opened, that he was led to the investigations that resulted in the most elaborate production of his pen. His “Historical Research respecting the Opinions of the Founders of the Republic on Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Soldiers,” an epitome of which he read before the Massachusetts Historical Society, in August, 1862, is one of the most thorough, comprehensive, and exhaustive productions to be found in our historical literature. After his searching investigations had made him master of the whole field covered by his subject, he published the result, at his own cost, in very many forms, some of them elegant and expensive, and distributed them far and wide. Senator Sumner asserts, as of his own personal knowledge, that President Lincoln made use of this valuable " Research,” while preparing his own final Proclamation of Emancipation.
Mr. Livermore had in his early years only those means of education which Massachusetts offers to all her youth ; and as soon as his school training was completed, he entered upon the mercantile and business occupations which he pursued for the remainder of his life. In these he was so far successful as to possess himself of ample means for gratifying his fine literary taste and his strong desire for studious culture. The library which he gathered, at great cost, was in itself a remarkable collection, and indicative of the qualities of his mind and character. A visit to Europe had afforded him facilities which he diligently and wisely improved. Without yielding to the mere fancies of the bibliomaniac, he availed himself of them for uses of wisdom. His collection of Bibles, among which was one that had belonged to Melancthon, and of works illustrating the Scriptures by art, was unique and extremely rich. He was a diligent student of American history, seeking for rare tracts and original materials. He had a conscience for accuracy and thoroughness in his researches, and several of the pieces which he published prove a very wide and curious knowledge, obtained by him through processes which justified his challenging the deliberate judgments and statements of professional scholars and historians. He made contributions to the North American Review and to the Christian Examiner. For fifty years a pupil or a teacher in a Sunday school, he was also an efficient worker in the cause of education in his native place. Harvard College, of whose Library Committee he was a valuable member, gave him the honorary degree of A. M. in 1850. Mr. Livermore was a Trustee of the State Library and of the Boston Athenæum, a member of the American Antiquarian Society and of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
JOSEPH EMERSON Worcester died in Cambridge, after a brief illness, October 21, 1865. He was born in Bedford, New Hampshire, August 24, 1784, the second in a family of fifteen children. In 1794 he removed to Hollis, N. H., where he resided till he became of age, assisting his father in labor on the farm. During this period his opportunities for education were limited, but he early manifested an ardent thirst for knowledge ; and it is related that after the toils of the day he often sat up till midnight or later in company with his elder brother, Jesse, reading Rollin's Ancient History, Josephus, and similar works, by the light of pitch-pine knots. At the age of twenty-one, though entirely dependent on his own exertions for support, he resolved, if possible, to obtain a liberal education, and began his preparation for college at Phillips Academy in Andover. He afterwards pursued his studies for this purpose at Boscawen and Salisbury, N. H., and especially at Salem, Mass., where he spent two years or more in teaching. In 1809 he entered the Sophomore Class in Yale College, and was graduated in 1811. After leaving college, he was again employed in teaching for several years in Salem, where he commenced the preparation of his first work, a “ Geographical Dictionary or Universal Gazetteer, Ancient and Modern," which was published at Andover in 1817, in 2 vols. 8vo. (A new edition, greatly enlarged and improved, appeared in 1823.) This was followed by a “Gazetteer of the United States," published in 1818. In 1819, for the sake of greater literary advantages, be removed to Cambridge, which thenceforth became his permanent residence.
The same year he published his “Elements of Geography, Ancient and Modern,” a work far superior to the previous text-books on the subject, and which passed through several stereotype editions. This was succeeded by his “ Sketches of the Earth and its Inhab
itants,” in 2 vols., 12mo, Boston, 1823. His “ Elements of History, Ancient and Modern,” accompanied by an “ Historical Atlas,” admirably adapted to its purpose, was first published in 1820, and has probably been more extensively used in our schools than any similar manual. It has been repeatedly stereotyped. In 1825 Mr. Worcester communicated to the American Academy, “ Remarks on Longevity, and the Expectation of Life in the United States, relating more particularly to the State of New Hampshire, with some Comparative Views in relation to Foreign Countries,” which was published in Vol. I. of the Second Series of our Memoirs. His first production in the field of English lexicography, which he afterwards so successfully cultivated, was an edition of “ Johnson's Dictionary as improved by Todd, and abridged by Chalmers, with Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary combined,” which was published in Boston in 1828. In 1829 he was induced by Mr. Converse, the publisher of Webster's large American Dictionary, to prepare an abridgment of that work. His own “ Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory English Dictionary,” which he had commenced before undertaking the abridgment of Webster, appeared in 1830. Its extensive list of words of various orthography, distinguishing the form commended by the best usage, and, in the case of words differently pronounced by orthoepists, its exhibition of the principal authorities for the pronunciation, were novel features of the work, which greatly contributed to its popularity. Its publication gave occasion to an ill-considered charge of plagiarism on the part of Dr. Webster, who enumerated one hundred and twenty-one words which he regarded as pirated from his Dictionary. Mr. Worcester's reply must be regarded ás completely triumphant, and, as a specimen of good writing, has not often been surpassed in literary controversy.
Near the close of the year 1831, Mr. Worcester made a voyage to Europe, where he spent about seven months, visiting many of the chief places of interest in England, Scotland, France, Holland, and Germany, and furnishing himself with the literary apparatus required for more extensive researches in his chosen fields of labor. In the year 1831 he assumed the editorship of the “ American Almanac,” which he conducted for eleven years with eminent success. His “ Universal and Critical Dictionary of the English Language,” the fruit of many years of labor and study, appeared in 1846, and gave occasion to the famous “ War of the Dictionaries," waged with so much ferocity by the rival publishers. No person was ever less disposed than Dr. Woreester to VOL. VII.