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at the tea table, when thronged to shape him into a gentleman, and with gossips from every quarter, after visiting the brothels and and of every kind. The ancient gambling-houses of foreign coun. maiden, who too late regrets re- tries, calls himself a buck, and a fusing offers as good as she had man of the world ; these generally Any right to expect ; the gaudy or compose the mass of “ shallow the slatternly wife, who married laughing hearers," whose « loose not from the impulse of virtuous grace" or vague and worthless apaffection, but that she might, with plause give to a gibing spirit the more impunity, indulge her darl influence and eclat it sometimes ing propensities; the pretty in possesses ; upon such suffrages it sipid miss, whose head would be plumes itself, and acquires a conperfectly vacant of ideas, were fidence, which simple honesty and there not in the world such things unaffected goodness observes with as muslin and lace, and trinkets astonishment and fear, and which and gewgaws, and dancing-masters stern wisdom.cannot easily put and beaux; the coxcomb, who hav, down. ing left the college or shop, ap Dec. 18, 1806. plies to his tuilor and shoemaker
* A SIZTCA OJ TAL GLNIUS AND WRITINGS OY DR. BEATTIL, VITI BX
TRACTS FROM HIS LIFE AND LETTERS."
Concluded from p. 576. ALTHOUGH Dr. Beattie expe. and very superciliously seems to rienced the happiness, as a philos- condemn my whole book ;. beopher, to have almost all the em- cause I believe “ in the identity of inent divines on his side, such as the human soul, and that there are Porteus, Hurd, Markham, &c. yet innate powers, and implanted in-' it seems he had not the unanimous stincts in our nature." He hints, concurrence of the Bench of Bish- too, at my being a native of Scotops. For in a letter to Mrs. Mon- land, and imputes my unnatural tagu, of March 13, 1774, he says, way of reasoning, (for so he char« Pray, Madam, be so good as to acterizes it) to my ignorance of favour me with some account of what has been written on the other the Bishop of Carlisle, Dr. Law, side of the question, by some late if he happens to be of your ac- authors. It would be a very easy quaintance. His Lordship, in a matter for me to return such an book lately published, has been answer to his lordship, as would pleased to attack me in a strange satisfy the world, that he has been manner,* though in few words, rather hasty in signing my con
demnation ; but perhaps it will • Considerations on the Theory of be better to take no notice of it ; Religion, by Edmund Lord Bishop of I shall be determined by your adCarlisle, p. 431. Forbes.
The Bishop was of a school of phi. vice. His doctrine is, that the losophers and divines, whom we have since had the happiness of seeing go out of thinking and reasoning, of this hard of fashion. But when the Editor was old man, who then resided there, had at Cambridge, the prejudices in favour not ceased. He was father of the pree pf the dry, coarse, and fallacious modes sont Lord Ellenborougla.
human soul forfeited its immor- kind to him ; but Mrs. Montaga tality by the fall, but regained it has more wit than any body ; and in consequence of the merits of Johnson could not bear that any Jesus Christ ; and that it cannot person should be thought to have exist without the body; and must, wit but himself. Even Lord Ches. therefore, in the interval between terfield, and, what is more strange, death and the resurrection, remain even Mr. Burke he would not alin a state of non-existence. The low to have wit! He preferred theory is not a new one ; but his Smollett to Fielding. He would Lordship seems to be one of the not grant that Armstrong's poem most sanguine of its adherents. on “ Health,” or the tragedy of Some of the objections, drawn “ Douglas,” had any merit. He froin the scripture, he gets the told me that he never read Milton better of by a mode of criticisin, through, till he was obliged to do which, I humbly think, would not it, in order to gather words for be admitted in a commentary upon his Dictionary. He spoke very any other book.”
peevishly of the Masque of Co. In 1776, Dr. Beattie published mus; and when I urged that there his « Essays on Poetry and Mu- was a great deal of exquisite po. sick ; Laughter and Ludicrous etry in it ; “Yes," said he, “but Composition : and on the utility it is like gold hid under a rock ;** of Classical Learning:" .« My to which I made no reply ; for in, principal purpose," says he, “ was deed I did not well understand it, to make my subject plain and en- Pray, did you ever see Mr. Potter's tertaining; and, as often as I could, “ Remarks on Johnson's Lives of the vehicle of moral instruction ; the Poets ?" It is very well worth a purpose, to which every part of reading." the philosophy of the human mind, and indeed of science in 1788, “What Mrs. Piozzi says general, may, and ought, in my of Goldsmith is perfectly true. He opinion, to be made in some de- was a poor fretful creature, eaten gree subservient.”
up with affectation and envy. He I will now add a few, and a very was the only person I ever knew, few, miscellaneous extracts; for I who acknowledged himself to be fear this article already grows too envious. In Johnson's presence
he was quiet enough ; but in his
absence expressed great uneasiness 1785. « Johnson's harsh and in hearing him praised. He en. foolish censure of Mrs. Montagu's vied even the dead; he could not book does not surprise me ; for I bear that Shakespeare should be have heard him speak contemptu. so much admired as he is. There ously of it. It is, for all that, one might, however, be something like of the besc, most original, and most magnanimity in envying Shake, elegant pieces of criticism in our speare and Dr. Johnson ; as in language, or any other. Johnson Julius Cæsar's weeping to think, had many of the talents of a crit- that at an age at which he had done ick ; but his want of temper, his so little, Alexander should have violent prejudices, and something, done so much. But surely Gold, I am afraid, of an evious turn of smith had no occasion to envy me ; mind, made him often a very unfair which, however, he certainly did ; one. Mrs. Montagu was very for he owned it, (though when we
met, he was always very civil ;) sion of length, that I have seen. and I received undoubted infor. The author must have had an mation, that he seldom missed an amazing command of Latin phrase. opportunity of speaking ill of me ology, and a very nice ear in harbehind my back. Goldsmith's mony. ****, common conversation was a strange “ Being curious to know some mixture of absurdity and silliness; particulars of Dobson, I inquired of silliness so great as to make me of him at Johnson, who owned he think sometimes that he affected had known him, but did not seem it. Yet he was a great genius of inclined to speak on the subject. no mean rank : somebody, who But Johnson hated Milton from knew him well, called him an in his heart ; and he wished to be spired idiot. His ballad of “ Ed himself considered as a good Latin win and Angelina," is exceedingly poet; which however, he never beautiful ; and in his two other was, as may be seen by his translapoems, though there be great ine- tion of Pope's Messiah. All that qualities, there is pathos, energy, I could ever hear of Dobson's priand even sublimity."
vate life was, that in his old age
he was given to drinking. My In 1790 Beattie lost his eldest edition of his book is dated 1750. son ; and in 1796, his remaining It is dedicated to Mr. Benson, son. These successive shocks who was a famous admirer of Milwere too much for a tender heart ! ton ; and from the dedication it already half broken by the sorrow would seem to have been written for their mother's incurable mala. at his desire, and under his patdy. From the last event he atronage.* times lost his senses, "A deep gloom," says he,“ hangs upon
* Dr. J. Warton says, that Benson
"gave Dobson 6.1000 for his Latin me, and disables all my faculties; the
es ; translation of Paradise Lost. Dobson and thoughts so strange sometimes had acquired great reputation by his occur to me, as to make me “ fear translation of Prior's Solomon, the first that I am not,” as Lear says, “ in book of which he finished, when he was my perfect mind.”
a scholar at Winchester college. He
had not at that time, as he told me, (for Yet, on May 15, 1797, he wrote
I knew him well) read Lucretius, which a letter to Mr. Frazer Tytler, would have given a richness and force somewhat in his former manner; to his verses; the chief fault of which from whence the following extract was a monotony, and want of variety of is derived.
Virgilian pauses. Mr. Pope wished him to translate the Essay on Man,
which he began to do ; but relinquish« There is one translation, which
ed on account of the impossibility of I greatly admire, but am sure you imitating its brevity in another lannever saw, as you have not menguage. He has avoided the monotony tioned it: the book is indeed very abovementioned in his Milton ; which rare ; I vbtained it with difficulty
monotony was occasioned by translating
a poem in rhyme. Bishop Hare, a ca. by the friendship of Tom Davies, pable judge, used to mention his Soloan old English bookseller; I mean, mon as one of the purest pieces of mod. Dobson's “ Paradisus Amissus ;" ern Latin poetry. Though he had se my son studied, and I believe, read much felicity in translating, yet his
original poems, of which I have seen every line of it. It is more true to
many, were very feeble and flat, and the original, both in sense and
contained no mark of genius. He had spirit, than any other poetical ver. no great stock of general literature, and 1798. “I am acquainted with he seems to have arrived at the many parts of your excursion utmost height, of which his pok. through the north of England, and ers were capable ; but this is fa: very glad that you had my old from being the case with the poe. friend Mr. Gray's 6 Letters" with try he has left. Beautiful as is his vou, which are indeed so well Minstrel, yet, had he concluded it: written, that I have no scruple to on the plan he originally intended, pronounce them the best letters, which I must venture, in opposi. that have been printed in our lan- tion to Dr. Aikin, to say, was guage. Lady Mary Montagu's easily within the scope of his ge« Letters” are not without merit, nius, he would have contributed but are too artificial and affected very materialiy both to its variety to be confided in as true ; and and its interest. I will add that Lord Chesterfield's have much the innocent and exalted occupation greater fartits ; indeed, some of might have soothed his broken the greatest that letters can bave: spirits, and gilded the clouds of but Gray's letters are always sen- his latter days. sible, and of classical conciseness It is not easy to guess, when and perspicuity. They very much we consider the opinions which resemble what his conversation this excellent author himself prowas. He had none of the airs of mulgated in his philosophical cither a scholar or a poet ; and works, on what ground he deprethough on those, and all other sub; ciated the dignity, or the use, of jects, he spoke to me with the ut his capacity as a poet. But it is most freedom, and without any certain that, at least for the last reserve, he was, in general com- thirty years of his life, he did pany, much more silent than one slight and neglect it most unjustcould have wished.”
Jy. There is no adequate reason
for considering it incor.sistent Dr. Beattie died Aug. 18, 1803, with his professional functions, at. 68.
which his exemplary virtue inducHis character has been as justly ed him to discharge with uncom. and eloquently, as briefly, sketched mon industry and attention. It by Mrs. Montagu, in a letter to would, on the contrary, have rehimself. " We considered you," lieved the toil of them, by a des says she, “ as a poet, with admira- lightful diversity of ideas. But it tion ; as a philosopher, with res- may be suspected, that there was pect; as a Christian, with venera- a certain timidity in this good tion; and as a friend, with affec- man's mind, not entirely consonant tion.” He clearly directed his with the richness of his endow. ambition to excellence, rather as a ments. In the cause of religion philosopher, than as a poet ; and indeed, his piety made him bold ; yet it is apparent, that these studies but he was otherwise a little toe were not congenial to his natural sensible of popular prejudices. taste ; but that they fatigued and The goodness of the cause and oppressed him. In these pathis the particular occasion, has added
an accidental value to his great was by no means qualified to pronounce philosopbical work, « The Essar on what degree of learning Pope pos
on Truth.” But I believe I am sessed ; and I am surprised that Johnson should quote him, as saying, "I not singular in asserting, that his found Pope had more learning than I genius is least capable of rivalit expected." Warton's Pope, V. 240. in that “ Minstrel," on which he
bestowed so little comparative at- Bard of Airshire. He scarce tention : while it is apparent that, ever indulges in sallies congenial even there, his severer studies oc- with the rich warblings, which casionally encumbered and depres- used to flow so copiously from the sed his fancy. Burns knew better harp of the inspired Edwin. the strength which nature had bes- I would now willingly enter intowed on him, and giving full to the peculiar traiis both of the scope to it, succeeded accordingly. poetical and prose works, on
The Letters which are now which Beattie's fame was foundpublished, exhibit Dr. Beatie's ed; but this article is already too moral character in the most amin- long ; (I hope my readers will not ble light. Their style unites ease think it out of place ;) and I have and elegance ; and they prove the now neither room nor leisure for correctness of his opinions, the more, except to say, that as a poet nicety of his taste, and the sound- he possessed an originality, and an -Dess of his judgment. They excellence, to which I doubt whediscover, above all, the tenderness ther justice has yet been done.t of his heart, and the fervour of his July 2, 1806. religion. But the frankness of truth demands from me the con- • I do not recollect that the names fession, that they do not appear to of Cowper, or Burns, orce occur in me to possess those characteristick
Beattie's own letters, which is singular. excellences, as literary composi
† It has long been my wish, if Pro
vidence should ever permit me a little tions, which enchant us in the let- continued leisure from the sorrows and ters of Burns and Cowper ; and perplexities, by which I have for some which none but themselves could years been agitated, to enter into an enhave written. He has nothing tire separate Disquisition on the Poetical like the touching simplicity of the
Character; its tendencies ; the mode in
wbich it should be cherished ; and the poet of Weston; nor any thing
eston ; nor any mms benefits to be derived from it like the ardent eloquence of the
for the Monthly Anthology.
[Concluded from page 567.] THU:NTHTE MASI Xco T PUTA TA pie tai fugemu ayabu.—Plat. de Leg. IV. WE cannot enter into a particu- Ordo locum ; populumque equiti, populo. iar examination of Bentley's cor
que subire rections on the present occasion,
Vulgus iners videas, et jam sine noming es the life of our favourite critick
Sic etiam magno quædam RESPUBLICA has already extended far beyond mundo est. the proposed limits. One emen- In the last line some copies have ciation we must transcribe, as it is
respondere, and the best manuscript very happy, and elucidates a pas has res hendere, instead of respub. sage which was neither measure
lica, which we owe to the critical nor sense. Lib. V. 733.
acumen of Dr. Bentley. The Utque per ingentes populus describitur urbes
word was originally, he supposes, Praecipuumque patres retinent, a proxi
written resp.and from this the blun. mum equester
dering transcribers derived their