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appeared in 1789; the second volume was published in 1782, and the third and fourth in 1789. The work was from the outset very successful, and was generally pronounced superior to the similar undertaking of Sir John Hawkins, which saw the light in 1776. ‘Posterity, however, has reversed the decision. … Burney, possessed of far greater knowledge than Hawkins, better judgment, and a better style, frequently wrote about things which he had not sufficiently examined. Hawkins, on the other hand, more industrious than Burney, was deficient in technical skill, and often inaccurate.’ Both works are of the highest value, and form the foundation of nearly every English work on musical history which has appeared since; but Burney's is disfigured by the undue prominence he gives to the fashionable music of his own day, and the lack of appreciation he displays towards the compositions of the English schools of the preceding centuries.

In 1774 Burney issued a plan for the establishment of a music school in England upon the system he had seen in full success in Italy. In 1779 he drew up an account of the musical precocity of William Crotch, which appeared in the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ of the Royal Society. At this period of his career Burney was a member of nearly every literary coterie of the day. He was on intimate terms of friendship with Johnson, the Thrales, Burke, Reynolds, Garrick, Mrs. Vesey, Mrs. Montagu, Mrs. Chapone, and Mrs. Delany, many interesting particulars as to whom are recorded in Mme. d'Arblay's memoirs of her father. In 1783 Burke gave him the post of organist at Chelsea Hospital, the salary of which was raised for his benefit from 30l. to 50l. In 1784 he became a member of the Literary Club, and in 1785 published his account of the Handel commemoration which took place at Westminster Abbey in the preceding year. In May 1786, on the death of Stanley, Burney applied for the post of master of the royal music, and though he had a personal interview with George III, the post was given to Parsons. Probably the appointment of his daughter Frances (Madame d'Arblay) as keeper of the robes was made in order to compensate him for this disappointment. After the completion of his ‘History of Music’ he was much engaged in writing criticisms in the ‘Monthly Review,’ but in 1793 he began to be subject to attacks of a nervous feverish character, and when suffering from these used only to write dry fugues and canons. His ill-health culminated in an attack of acute rheumatism, which was only cured after some time by a course of Bath waters. In 1796 the indefatigable musician published a life of Metastasio (in 3 vols.), after which he began to collect materials for a ‘Dictionary of Music,’ a work in which he was interrupted by his wife's death, which took place in October at Chelsea Hospital, where the Burneys were now living in rooms on the top story. To distract him from the state of depression which ensued, Madame d'Arblay persuaded her father to resume a poem on astronomy which he had begun several years previously, and this occupied him for some time, though it was ultimately destroyed unfinished. In 1800 he received another severe blow in the death of his daughter Susanna (the wife of Major Phillips). She died on 6 Jan., and was buried in Neston churchyard, where Burney placed an epitaph to her memory. During the next few years he was occupied in writing the musical biographies of Rees's ‘Encyclopædia,’ for which work he received the large sum of 1,000l. In 1806 Fox bestowed upon him a pension of 300l. Towards the end of the following year Burney was seized with a paralytic stroke. From this, however, he recovered sufficiently to set about collecting materials for his ‘Memoirs,’ a work he had already begun in 1782. After his death these were considered by his daughter too prolix and discursive for publication, but part of them is incorporated in the biography she published in 1832. In 1810 he was made a foreign member of the Institut de France. After 1805 Burney almost retired from the world, spending most of his time in reading in his bedroom. He had survived most of his contemporaries, and had lived to see his own descendants to the fourth generation. He died at Chelsea on 12 April 1814, and was buried on the 20th in the hospital burial-ground. A tablet to his memory, bearing an inscription by his daughter, was erected in Westminster Abbey. In person Burney was short and slight, with prominent eyes and expressive features. All his biographies testify to the charm of his manner and brilliancy of his conversation. His portrait was painted (1) by Reynolds's sister Frances; (2) by Reynolds for Mrs. Thrale, at whose sale it was bought by Charles Burney (1757–1817) [q. v.] (it now belongs to Archdeacon Burney; a replica is in the Music School, Oxford); (3) by Barry, as one of the renowned dead in the ‘Triumph of Thames’ in the large room of the Society of Arts. His bust was executed by Nollekens in 1805. There is also a caricature of him in a print entitled ‘A Sunday Concert,’ published 4 June 1785. The Reynolds picture was engraved by Bartolozzi (1 April 1784), in the ‘Euro-