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I'm Writing and I Can't Shut Up

At length the object of his wishes was attained. On the 20th of August, he received an official letter from the secretary of Lord North, informing him that the king had been pleased to allow him a pension of two hundred pounds a year. Of the private interview, with which, a few days after he was honoured by their majesties, he has left the following account in his Diary:. Majendie's at Kew-Green. The Doctor told me that he had not seen the King yesterday, but had left a note in writing, to intimate that I was to be at his house to-day; and that one of the King's pages had come to him this morning, to say 'that his Majesty would see me a little after twelve.

We had been only a few minutes in the hall, when the King and Queen came in from an airing; and, as they passed through the hall, the King called to me by name, and asked how long it was since I came from town. I answered, about an hour. We were received in the most gracious manner pos [Pg xliv] sible by both their Majesties. I had the honour of a conversation with them nobody else being present but Dr.

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Majendie for upwards of an hour, on a great variety of topics; in which both the King and Queen joined, with a degree of cheerfulness, affability, and ease, that was to me surprising, and soon dissipated the embarrassment which I felt at the beginning of the conference. They both complimented me, in the highest terms, on my 'Essay,' which, they said, was a book they always kept by them; and the King said he had one copy of it at Kew, and another in town, and immediately went and took it down from a shelf.

I found it was the second edition. Strahan had told me, in regard to that matter. He had even heard of my being in Edinburgh last summer, and how Mr. Hume was offended on the score of my book. He asked many questions about the second part of the 'Essay,' and when it would be ready for the press. I gave him, in a short speech, an account of the plan of it; and said, my health was so precarious, I could not tell when it might be ready, as I had many books to consult before I could finish it; but, that if [Pg xlv] my health were good, I thought I might bring it to a conclusion in two or three years.

He asked, how long I had been in composing my Essay? He asked about my poems. I said, there was only one poem of my own on which I set any value meaning the 'Minstrel,' and that it was first published about the same time with the 'Essay. We had much conversation on moral subjects; from which both their Majesties let it appear that they were warm friends to Christianity; and so little inclined to infidelity, that they could hardly believe that any thinking man could really be an atheist, unless he could bring himself to believe that he made himself; a thought which pleased the King exceedingly; and he repeated it several times to the Queen.

He asked, whether any thing had been written against me. I spoke of the late pamphlet, of which I gave an account, telling him, that I never had met with any man who had read it, except one Quaker. This brought on some discourse about the Quakers, whose moderation and mild behaviour the King and Queen commended.

I was asked many questions about the Scots universities; the revenues of the Scots clergy; their mode of praying [Pg xlvi] and preaching; the medical college of Edinburgh; Dr. Gregory of whom I gave a particular character , and Dr. Cullen; the length of our vacation at Aberdeen, and the closeness of our attendance during the winter; the number of students that attend my lectures; my mode of lecturing, whether from notes, or completely written lectures; about Mr.

Hume, and Dr. His Majesty asked what I thought of my new acquaintance, Lord Dartmouth? I said there was something in his air and manner which I thought not only agreeable, but enchanting, and that he seemed to me to be one of the best of men; a sentiment in which both their Majesties heartily joined. I answered in the affirmative; and the King agreed, and named the 'Spectator' as one of the best standards of the language.

When I told him that the Scots clergy sometimes prayed a quarter, or even half an hour at a time, he asked whether that did not lead them into repetitions? I said, it often did. I said, yes, and named Campbell and Gerard, with whose names, however, I did not find that he was acquainted. Majendie mentioned Dr. Oswald's 'Appeal' with commendation; I praised it too and the queen took down the name, with a view to send for it. I was asked, whether I knew Dr.

I answered, I did not; and said, that my book was published before I read his; that Dr. We discussed a great many other topics; for the [Pg xlviii] conversation, as before observed, lasted for upwards of an hour, without any intermission. The Queen bore a large share in it. Both the King and her Majesty showed a great deal of good sense, acuteness, and knowledge, as well as of good nature and affability. At last the king took out his watch for it was now almost three o'clock, his hour of dinner , which Dr. Majendie and I took as a signal to withdraw.

We accordingly bowed to their Majesties, and I addressed the King in these words: 'I hope, Sir, your Majesty will pardon me, if I take this opportunity to return you my humble and most grateful acknowledgments, for the honour you have been pleased to confer upon me. I shall always be glad of an opportunity to show the good opinion I have of you. Her Majesty speaks the English language with surprising elegance, and little or nothing of a foreign accent. There is something wonderfully captivating in her manner; so that if she were only of the rank of a private gentlewoman, one could not help taking notice of her, as one of the most agreeable women in the world.

Her face is much more pleasing than any of her pictures; and in the expression of her eyes, and in her smile, there is something [Pg xlix] peculiarly engaging. Tell me honestly, for I am not accustomed to conversations of this kind. I dined with Dr. Majendie, and their family, and returned to town in the evening, very much pleased with the occurrences of the day. At this time, Sir Joshua Reynolds, having requested Beattie to sit for his picture, produced a likeness of him, which is generally regarded as one of the finest works of that admirable artist.

He is represented in his Oxford gown of Doctor of Laws, with his famous Essay under his arm; while beside him is Truth, habited as an Angel, holding in one hand a pair of scales, and with the other thrusting down three frightful figures, emblematic of Prejudice, Scepticism, and Folly. A striking proof how highly the character and talents of Beattie were appreciated, even by those to whom he was personally unknown, occurred in October of this year , when the chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh was offered to him by the electors, the magistrates of the city.

He, however, declined accepting it, "Though my fortune" he writes to Sir William Forbes, on the subject "were as narrow now as it lately was, I should still incline rather to re [Pg li] main in quiet where I am, than, by becoming a member of the University of Edinburgh, to place myself within the reach of those few as they are who have been pleased to let the world know that they do not wish me well.

The Second Book of The Minstrel , together with a new and corrected edition of the First, appeared in , the author's name being now added. The poem, thus enlarged, suffered no diminution of its popularity. The following year, Beattie and his wife spent several weeks in London, residing during the chief part of the time with Dr. Porteus, one of his kindest and most zealous friends. On this occasion, having shown himself at court, he was immediately recognized by the King, who spoke to him very graciously, and made several inquiries concerning his studies.

In , [T] he gave to the press a new edition of The Minstrel , to which he added a few of his minor poems: this volume he says in the preface contains "all the verses of which I am willing to be considered as the author. Blair, on the improvement of Psalmody in Scotland. In , he published, for the use of the young men who attended his Lectures, a List of Scotticisms , to the amount of about two hundred. And in , he contributed some thoughts On Dreaming to the well known periodical paper, The Mirror.

The following portion of a letter from Dr. Johnson to Beattie shows how sincerely our author was esteemed by the great moralist:. Of this, however, there is no reason for making any reprehensory complaint, sic fata ferunt : but, methinks, there might pass some small interchange of regard between us.

If you say that I ought to have written, I now write; and I write to tell you, that I have much kindness for you and Mrs. Beattie, and that I wish your health better, and your life long. Try change of air, and come a few degrees southward; a softer climate may do you both good. Winter is coming on, and London will be warmer, and gayer, and busier, and more fertile of amusement than Aberdeen.

Death has indeed deprived me of some since I was last here, of Garrick, and Armstrong, and poor Harry Smith; but I have still many left. He not only has better health and a fresher complexion than ever he had before at least since I knew him , but he has contracted a gentleness of manners which pleases every body. The king had not seen me for six years, and yet, to my surprise, knew me at first sight. He spoke to me with his wonted condescension and affability; and paid me a very polite compliment on the subject of my writings.

A passage from a letter of the poet Cowper to the Rev. William Unwin, 5th April, , [W] must not be omitted here:. His health impaired, and his peace of mind destroyed, by the melancholy condition of his wife who, labouring under confirmed insanity, was now removed from her family , we need not wonder that Beattie should endeavour to forget his domestic griefs in the society of his English friends, to whom he was ever welcome. During the year , after passing some time in London, he spent a month with Dr. Porteus who had now attained the rank of Bishop of Chester , at the beautiful parsonage of Hunton, near Maidstone, which he characterizes as "the mansion of peace, piety, and cheerfulness.

Montagu, at her seat, called Sandleford, in Berks. In , his Evidences of the Christian Religion , were published. A remark which he makes in a letter, while engaged in the composition of this judicious summary, is worth quoting: "Whether this work shall ever be of use to others, I know not; but this I know, that it has been of considerable benefit to myself. For though, when I entered upon it, I understood my subject well enough to entertain no doubt of the goodness of my cause, yet I find, as I advance, new light continually breaking in upon me.

As a proof of this, a stranger to your person, and a citizen of a country lately hostile to yours, has expressed his obligations to you for the knowledge and pleasure he has derived from your excellent writings by procuring your admission into the American Philosophical Society; a certificate of which, subscribed by our illustrious president, Dr. Franklin, and the other officers of the society, you will receive by the next vessel that sails to any port in North Britain from this city.

His name with the greatest respect for yours is,. The next year, with his eldest son for his companion, he repaired again to London. While there, he writes thus to his niece, Miss Valentine, now Mrs. I went thither, partly to see some friends, but chiefly that I might pay my respects to the King and Queen. They both received me in the most gracious manner. I saw the King first on the terrace, where he knew me at first sight, and did me the honour to converse with me a considerable time.

Next morning I saw him again at prayers in his chapel, where he was pleased to introduce me to the Queen, who inquired very kindly after my health; observed, that many years had passed since she saw me last; regretted the bad weather which I had met with at Windsor for it rained incessantly, which, said she, has made your friends see less of you than they wished; and, after some other conversation, her Majesty and the Princess Elizabeth, [Pg lviii] who attended her, made a slight courtesy, and stepped into the carriage that waited for them at the chapel door.

The King remained with us for some time longer, and talked of various matters. Our author then proceeded to visit Dr. Porteus at Hunton, and Mrs. Montagu at Sandleford, but was obliged to quit the latter place sooner than he had intended, on account of the illness of his son, who shewed symptoms of that consumptive complaint to which he afterwards fell a victim. For the sake of medical advice Beattie carried him back to the metropolis, and from thence, by very easy stages, to Aberdeen. Soon after his return to Scotland, the invalid improved so much in health that he was able to take upon him part of the management of the class of Moral Philosophy in the Marischal College, having been appointed in June of this year when he was not quite nineteen assistant professor to his father.

In , Beattie put forth the first volume of his Elements of Moral Science ; and superintended an edition of Addison's Periodical Papers, adding a few notes to Tickell's Life of that author, and to Johnson's Remarks on his Prose Writings. He had now to suffer the dire bereavement which he had long foreseen, the loss of his eldest son, the object of his fondest affection. He thus informs the Duchess of Gordon of the melancholy event:. I have lost one who was always a pleasing companion; but who, for the last five or six years, was one of the most entertaining and instructive companions that ever man was blest with: for his mind comprehended almost every science; he was a most attentive observer of life and manners; a master of classical learning; and he possessed an exuberance of wit and humour, a force of understanding, and a correctness and delicacy of taste, beyond any other person of his age I have ever known.

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It was long what physicians call a nervous atrophy; but towards the end of June, symptoms began to appear of the lungs being [Pg lx] affected. Goats' milk, and afterwards asses' milk, were procured for him in abundance; and such exercise as he could bear, he regularly took; these means lengthened his days no doubt, and alleviated his sufferings, which indeed were not often severe: but, in spite of all that could be done, he grew weaker and weaker, and died the 19th of November, , without complaint or pain, without even a groan or a sigh; retaining to the last moment the use of his rational faculties; indeed, from first to last, not one delirious word ever escaped him.

He lived twenty-two years and thirteen days. Many weeks before it came, he saw death approaching, and he met it with such composure and pious resignation, as may no doubt be equalled, but cannot be surpassed. In April of the following year, Beattie again travelled southwards, accompanied by Montagu, [X] his second son and only surviving child. They [Pg lxi] remained some weeks in Edinburgh, and then journeyed slowly to London, which after a short stay they quitted for the summer residence of Dr.

Porteus, who was now elevated to the see of the metropolis. The tranquillity of Fulham Palace, and the kind attentions of its inhabitants, contributed greatly to amend the health and raise the spirits of our author; and he seems to have enjoyed the company of the distinguished persons with whom he had an opportunity of associating.

I had heard him spoken of as a grave and reserved man; but saw nothing of it. He gave me a very frank, and indeed affectionate reception; and was so cheerful, and in his conversation so easy, that I almost thought myself in the company rather of an old acquaintance than of a great statesman. He was pleased to pay me some very obliging compliments, asked about my health, and how I meant to pass the summer; spoke of the Duchess of Gordon, the improvements of Edinburgh, and various other matters: and when I told him, I knew not what apology to make for intruding upon him, said, that no apology was necessary, for that he was very glad to see me, and desired to see me again.

The second volume of the Elements of Moral Science appeared in During the same year the sudden death of his favourite sister, Mrs. Valentine, increased the domestic sorrows of Beattie. His health was at this period so greatly impaired, that being unable to attend to his duties of Professor in the Marischal College, he engaged his old pupil, Mr. Glennie, as an assistant: occasionally, however, he continued to lecture to his class till the commencement of the winter session of For some time past he had occupied himself in the melancholy yet pleasing task of editing a volume of the compositions of his eldest son.

From a pardonable partiality for the writings of a beloved child, and from his not very accurate attainments in classical scholarship, he admitted into the collection several pieces, both English and Latin, which fall considerably below mediocrity. A few copies of the work were privately printed in , under the title of Essays and Fragments in Prose and Verse, by James Hay Beattie , and were "offered as presents to those friends with whom the author was particularly acquainted or connected.

The account given by Beattie of the method which he adopted in im [Pg lxv] parting to his son the first idea of a Supreme Being is too striking to be omitted here:. And I was desirous to make a trial how far his own reason could go in tracing out, with a little direction, the great and first principle of all religion, the being of God. The following fact is mentioned, not as a proof of superior sagacity in him for I have no [Pg lxviii] doubt that most children would in like circumstances think as he did , but merely as a moral or logical experiment: He had reached his fifth or sixth year, knew the alphabet, and could read a little; but had received no particular information with respect to the Author of his being; because I thought he could not yet understand such information; and because I had learned, from my own experience, that to be made to repeat words not understood is extremely detrimental to the faculties of a young mind.

In a corner of a little garden, without informing any person of the circumstance, I wrote in the mould, with my finger, the three initial letters of his name; and sowing garden-cresses in the furrows, covered up the seed, and smoothed the ground. Ten days after, he came running to me, and with astonishment in his countenance, told me that his name was growing in the garden.

I smiled at the report, and seemed inclined to disregard it; but he insisted on my going to see what had happened. Yes, said I carelessly, on coming to the place, I see it is so; but there is nothing in this worth notice; it is mere chance; and I went away. He followed me and taking hold of my coat, said, with some earnestness, It could not be mere chance; for that somebody must have contrived matters so as to produce it. Yes, said he, with firmness, I think so. Look at yourself, I replied, and consider your hands and fingers, your legs and feet, and other limbs; are not they regular in their appearance, and useful to you?

He said, they were. Came you then hither, said I, by chance? No, he answered, that cannot be; something must have made me. And who is that something? I asked. He said he did not know. I took particular notice, that he did not say, as Rousseau fancies a child in like circumstances would say, that his parents made him.

I had now gained the point I aimed at, and saw that his reason taught him though he could not so express it that what begins to be must have a cause, and that what is formed with regularity must have an intelligent cause. I therefore told him the name of the Great Being who made him and all the world; concerning whose adorable nature I gave him such information as I thought he could in some measure comprehend. The lesson affected him greatly, and he never forgot either it, or the circumstance that introduced it.

After the loss of this highly-gifted youth, the only tie which bound Beattie to the world was his second son, who, though far inferior to the deceased in learning, was endowed with no ordinary [Pg lxx] talents. Beattie thus communicates to Sir William Forbes the intelligence of his death:.

I am sorry to give you the pain of being informed, that he died this morning at five. His disorder was a fever, from which at first we had little apprehension; but it cut him off in five days. He himself thought from the beginning that it would be fatal; and, before the delirium came on, spoke with great composure and Christian piety of his approaching dissolution: he even gave some directions about his funeral. The delirium was very violent, and continued till within a few minutes of his death, when he was heard to repeat in a whisper the Lord's prayer, and began an unfinished sentence, of which nothing could be heard but the words incorruptible glory.

Pious sentiments prevailed in his mind through life, and did not leave him till death; nor then, I trust, did they leave him. Notwithstanding the extreme [Pg lxxi] violence of his fever, he seemed to suffer little pain, either in body or in mind, and as his end drew near, a smile settled upon his countenance. I need not tell you that he had every attention that skilful and affectionate physicians could bestow. I give you the trouble to notify this event to Mr. I would have written to him, but have many things to mind, and but indifferent health.

However, I heartily acquiesce in the dispensations of Providence, which are all good and wise. God bless you and your family. Such an effect had this fresh calamity on the intellectual powers of Beattie, that a few days after Montagu's death, he experienced a temporary hut almost utter loss of memory respecting him. Having searched every room in the house, he would say to his niece, Mrs. Glennie, "You may think it strange, but I must ask you if I have a son, and where he is?

Often with tears he would declare himself thankful that his children were in the grave, exclaiming, in allusion to their mother's malady, "How could I have borne to see their elegant minds mangled with madness! The following passages from two of his letters, written about this period, are deeply affecting. He tells the Rev.

Laing, 10th April, I fear my reason is a little disordered, for I have sometimes thought of late, especially in a morning, that Montagu is not dead, though I seem to have a remembrance of a dream that he is. This you will say, what I myself believe, is a symptom not uncommon in cases similar to mine, and that I ought by all means to go from home as soon as I can.

I will do so when the weather becomes tolerable. Arbuthnot, to thank you for your very kind and sympathetic letters, but various things have come in my way to prevent it. I need not pretend a hurry of business, for every-body knows I am not capable of any. A deep gloom hangs upon me, and disables all my faculties; and thoughts so strange sometimes occur to me as to make me 'fear that I am not,' as Lear says, 'in my perfect mind.

The physicians not only advise, but entreat, and indeed command me to go from home, and that without further delay; and I do seriously resolve to set out for Edinburgh to-morrow. Though Beattie never from henceforth engaged in any kind of study, he still found some enjoyment in books, and still derived some pleasure from the society of a very few of his oldest friends. He almost entirely ceased to correspond, even with those whom he most valued; yet when he happened to receive a letter from any of them, his spirits were always excited for the rest of the day.

Music, in which he had once delighted, had become disagreeable to him since the loss of his eldest son. Laing, 5th June, , "have not strength to press down the strings. In this state he continued till the beginning of April, , when he was struck with palsy, which, for eight days, rendered him nearly incapable of utterance.

At different times the disease repeated its attacks, the last of which, on the 5th of October, , deprived him entirely of the power of motion. On the morning of the 18th of August, , he expired without a struggle, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. His remains were laid, according to his own desire, beside those of his children, in the church-yard of St.

Nicholas, at Aberdeen; and a Latin inscription, from the pen of the late Dr. James Gregory, of Edinburgh, marks the spot of his interment. In person he was of the middle size, of a broad, square make, which seemed to indicate a more robust constitution than he really possessed. In his gait there was something of a slouch.

During his later years he grew corpulent and unwieldy; but a few months before his death his hulk was greatly diminished. His features were very regular; his complexion somewhat dark. His eyes were black, brilliant, full of a tender and melancholy expression, and, in the course of conversation with his friends, became extremely animated. It has been asserted that [Pg lxxv] towards the close of life he indulged to excess in the use of wine.

In a letter to Mr. Arbuthnot, he says, "With the present pressure upon my mind, I should not be able to sleep, if I did not use wine as an opiate; it is less hurtful than laudanum, but not so effectual. The prose writings of Beattie appear of late years to have fallen into disrepute; and the once celebrated Essay on Truth is at present as much undervalued as it was formerly overrated.

His fame now rests upon The Minstrel alone. Since its first publication, many poems of a far loftier and more original character have been produced in England; yet still does it maintain its popularity; and still in Edwin, that happy personification of the poetic temperament, do young and enthusiastic readers delight to recognize a picture of themselves.

Though we cannot fail to regret that Beattie should have left it incomplete, yet we do not long for the concluding books from any interest which we take in the story, such as is excited by some other unfinished works of genius, the tale of Cambuscan , for instance, or the legend of Christabel. In The Minstrel , indeed, there is but little invention; it is a poem of sentiment [Pg lxxvi] and description, conveying to us lessons of true philosophy in language of surpassing beauty, and displaying pictures of nature, in her romantic solitudes, painted by a master's hand.

Beattie," says Sir William Forbes, "in what manner he had intended to employ his Minstrel, had he completed his original design of extending the poem to a third canto, he said, he proposed to have introduced a foreign enemy as invading his country, in consequence of which the Minstrel was to employ himself in rousing his countrymen to arms. With the exception of The Hermit and the following exquisite stanza [AD] of Retirement , there is little worthy of particular notice in the minor poems of Beattie.

A journal kept by him, as well as some specimens of his poetry, are still in the possession of his descendants. This last circumstance is the more worthy of being noticed, as it proves that Dr. Beattie derived his poetical turn from his father. It may not be unacceptable to some, however, to be informed, that they rode on one horse; and at a season of the year not the most agreeable for undertaking a journey when good roads were unknown in Scotland of thirty English miles.

As a satirical poet he is far from contemptible. He was nearly related to the famous Dr. Arbuthnot, the friend of Pope and Swift. Chalmers, however Poets , vol. Carnegie, of Charlton, near Montrose. This lady, whose maiden name was Scott, was authoress of a poem called Dunotter Castle , printed in the second edition of Colman and Thornton's Poems by Eminent Ladies. Tytler, of Woodhouselee, in imitation of the old Scottish melodies. Beattie; and they have remained so long ascribed to him without contradiction, that there can be little doubt of their being from his pen.

There is no doubt about the matter; Beattie owns them in a letter to Blacklock. The Fortunate Shepherdess is a poem of great merit: to the second edition of it and I believe to all subsequent editions Beattie's verses are prefixed. Hume, who at an early period had been the patron of Blacklock. Long before the date of this letter they had ceased to have any intercourse. In the letter wherein he declines the second noble offer, he thus expresses himself:. I published it, however, because I thought it might probably do a little good, by bringing to nought, or, at least, lessening the reputation of that wretched system of sceptical philosophy, which had made a most alarming progress, and done incredible mischief to this country.

My enemies have been at great pains to represent my views, in that publication, as very different: and that my principal, or only motive was to make a book, and, if possible, to raise myself higher in the world. So that, if I were now to accept preferment in the church, I should be apprehensive that I might strengthen the hands of the gainsayer, and give the world some ground to believe that my love of truth was not quite so ardent, or so pure, as I had pretended.

Bookman Beattie

If my book has any tendency to do good, as I flatter myself it has, I would not, for the wealth of the Indies, do any thing to counteract that tendency; and I am afraid that tendency might, in some measure be counteracted at least in this country if I were to give the adversary the least ground to charge me with inconsistency. It is true, that the force of my reasonings cannot be really affected by my character; truth is truth, whoever be the speaker; but even truth itself becomes less respectable, when spoken, or supposed to be spoken, by insincere lips.

Nor am I without apprehensions though some of my friends think them ill founded that, from entering so late in life, and from so remote a province, into the Church of England, some degree of ungracefulness, particularly in pronunciation, might adhere to my performances in public, sufficient to render them less pleasing, and consequently less useful.

The worthy Baronet proceeds to observe:. But Sir Joshua, I have reason to believe, had no such thought when he painted those figures. Surely Sir William had never read all the letters which he printed in his Life of Beattie , for in vol. Hume has heard from somebody that he is introduced in the picture, not much to his credit; there is only a figure, covering his face with his hands, which they may call Hume or any body else; it is true it has a tolerable broad back. As for Voltaire, I intended he should be one of the group. Prefixed to the volume is a list of nearly five hundred subscribers, among whom are many distinguished characters in church and state.

This volume he disowned in a public advertisement. In a letter to Beattie, dated Feb.

No ARLC conflict for V'landys: Beattie | Muswellbrook Chronicle

Montagu says, "I was much pleased with your pamphlet on Psalmody. Glennie , Beattie describes the sensation caused in that city by the performances of Mrs. He says that he met her at the house of Lord Buchan; that he played to her many Scotch airs on the violoncello, with which she was much gratified; and that "she sung 'Queen Mary's Complaint' to admiration, and I had the honour to accompany her on the bass. I am informed, by the incomparable actress in question, that the quotation just given contains an utter falsehood, which, when Forbes's Life of our author first appeared, in , she read with astonishment.

She remembers perfectly having been introduced to Beattie at Lord Buchan's, but she is quite certain she did not sing either Queen Mary's Complaint or any other song; and she observes, that if she had sung to his accompaniment, the circumstance would have been so striking that it could not possibly have escaped her recollection. Has Beattie's letter been mutilated, the person who transcribed it for the press having by mistake omitted some lines? From one of Beattie's letters, dated , it appears that she had made a handsome present of money to her godson.

On one of its fly-leaves the ever-ready pen of Hayley has written the subjoined sonnet:. I extract from it a jeu d'esprit—one of those pieces which Beattie printed, in opposition to the advice of Sir William Forbes and some other grave friends. He flourished in the thirteenth century. This was written long before Dr. Franklin's death. He was a zealous materialist. Laing, had superintended the building an organ for himself. In one of our author's letters, 8th June, , is the following passage:.

Having lately seen in print some poems ascribed to me which I never wrote, and some of my own inaccurately copied, I thought it would not be improper to publish, in this little volume, all the verses of which I am willing to be considered as the author. Many others I did indeed write in the early part of my life; but they were in general so incorrect, that I would not rescue them from oblivion, even if a wish could do it.

Some of the few now offered to the Public would perhaps have been suppressed, if in making this collection I had implicitly followed my own judgment. But in so small a matter, who would refuse to submit his opinion to that of a friend?

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It is of no consequence to the reader to know the date of any of these little poems. But some private reasons determined the author to add, that [Pg 2] most of them were written many years age, and that the greatest part of the Minstrel , which is his latest attempt in this way, was composed in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty-eight. The design was to trace the progress of a Poetical Genius, born in a rude age, from the first dawning of fancy and reason, till that period at which he may be supposed capable of appearing in the world as a Minstrel, that is, as an itinerant Poet and Musician;—a character which, according to the notions of our forefathers, was not only respectable, but sacred.

I have endeavoured to imitate Spenser in the measure of his verse, and in the harmony, simplicity, and variety of his composition. Antique expressions I have avoided; admitting, however, some old words, where they seemed to suit the subject; but I hope none will be found that are now obsolete, or in any degree not intelligible to a reader of English poetry. To those who may be disposed to ask, what could induce me to write in so difficult a measure, I can only answer that it pleases my ear, and [Pg 4] seems, from its Gothic structure and original, to bear some relation to the subject and spirit of the Poem.

It admits both simplicity and magnificence of sound and of language beyond any other stanza that I am acquainted with. It allows the sententiousness of the couplet, as well as the more complex modulation of blank verse. What some critics have remarked, of its uniformity growing at last tiresome to the ear, will be found to hold true, only when the poetry is faulty in other respects. BOOK I. See Percy's Essay on the English Minstrels.

The word is used by some late writers, as well as by Milton. About the time the Sun enters Cancer, their fields which a week before were covered with snow, appear on a sudden full of grass and flowers. The conclusion of the poem was written a few days after. Those ravagers are said to have made their first descent on the islands in the Gulf of Florida, of which Cuba is one. If I had composed the following verses, with a view to gratify private resentment, to promote the interest of any faction, or to recommend myself to the patronage of any person whatsoever, I should have been altogether inexcusable.

To attack the memory of the dead from selfish considerations, or from mere wantonness of malice, is an enormity which none can hold in greater detestation than I. But I composed them from very different motives; as every intelligent reader, who peruses them with attention, and who is willing to believe me upon my own testimony, will undoubtedly perceive. My motives proceeded from a sincere desire to do some small service to my country, and to the [Pg ] cause of truth and virtue. The promoters of faction I ever did, and ever will consider as the enemies of mankind; to the memory of such I owe no veneration; to the writings of such I owe no indulgence.

Those who joined the cry in his favour seemed to me to be swayed rather by fashion than by real sentiment. He therefore might have lived and died unmolested by me; confident as I am, that posterity, when the present unhappy dissensions are forgotten, will do ample justice to his real character.

But when I saw the extravagant honours that were paid to his memory, and heard that a monument in Westminster Abbey was intended for one, whom even his admirers acknowledge to have been an incendiary and a debauchee, I could not help wishing that my countrymen would reflect a little on what they were doing, before they consecrated, by what posterity would think the public voice, a character which no friend to virtue or to true taste can approve. See Akenside's Ode on Lyric Poetry.

How far Virgil has thought fit to attend to such a rule may appear from the remarks which the translator has subjoined to every Pastoral. The scene of the first pastoral is pictured out with great accuracy. Flocks and herds are feeding hard by.

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At a little distance we behold, on the one hand a great rock, and on the other a fence of flowering willows. The prospect as it widens is diversified with groves, and streams, and some tall trees, particularly elms. Beyond all these appear marshy grounds, and rocky hills. The ragged and drooping flock of the unfortunate shepherd, particularly the she goat which he leads along, are no inconsiderable figures in this picture.

See the Original, v. This Pastoral is said to have been written on the following occasion. Augustus, in order to reward the services of his veterans, by means of whom he had established himself in the Roman empire, distributed among them the lands that lay contiguous to Mantua and Cremona. To make way for these intruders, the rightful owners, of whom Virgil was one, were turned out. Corydon addresses his favourite in such a purity of sentiment as one would think might effectually discountenance the prepossessions which generally prevail against the subject of this eclogue.

The nature of his affection may easily be ascertained from his ideas of the happiness which he hopes to enjoy in the company of his beloved Alexis. It appears to have been no other than that friendship, which was encouraged by the wisest legislators of ancient Greece, as a noble incentive to virtue, and recommended by the example even of Agesilaus, Pericles, and Socrates: an affection wholly distinct from the infamous attachments that prevailed among the licentious.

The reader will find a full and satisfying account of this generous passion in Dr. Potter's Antiquities of Greece, B. Bayle, in his Dictionary at the article Virgile, has at great length vindicated our poet from the charge of immorality which the critics have grounded upon this pastoral. Flocks are seen feeding hard by. The time of the day seems to be noon, the season between Spring and Summer.

The whole is a prophetic song of triumph. But as almost all the images and allusions are of the rural kind, it is no less a true bucolic than the others; if we admit the definition of a pastoral, given us by an author of the first rank, [A] who calls it "A poem in which any action or passion is represented by its effects upon country life.

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It is of little importance to inquire on what occasion this poem was written. The spirit of prophetic enthusiasm that breathes through it, and the resemblance it bears in many places to the Oriental manner, make it not improbable, that our poet composed it partly from some pieces of ancient prophecy that might have fallen into his hands, and that he afterwards inscribed it to his friend and patron Pollio, on occasion of the birth of his son Salonius. Out of a number of significations that have been offered, the translator has pitched upon one, which he thinks the most agreeable to the scope of the poem and most consistent with the language of the original.

A grove of hazels and elms surrounds this arbour. The season seems to be Summer. The time of the day is not specified. Some, however, are of opinion, that by Daphnis is meant a real shepherd of Sicily of that name, who is said to have invented bucolic poetry, and in honour of whom the Sicilians performed yearly sacrifices. The time seems to be the evening; at least the song does not cease, till the flocks are folded, and the evening star appears. Juno, to be avenged of them for preferring their own beauty to hers, struck them with madness, to such a degree, that they imagined themselves to be heifers.

See Ovid. Sheep and goats intermixed are feeding hard by. At a little distance Mincius, fringed with reeds, appears winding along. Fields and trees compose the surrounding scene. A venerable oak, with bees swarming around it, is particularly distinguished. The time seems to be the forenoon of a summerday. The former adopts the soliloquy of a despairing lover: the latter chooses for his subject the magic rites of an enchantress forsaken by her lover, and recalling him by the power of her spells. The translator did not choose to preserve the conceit on the words puer and mater in his version; as this in his opinion would have rendered the passage obscure and unpleasing to an English reader.

The time is a still evening. The landscape is described at the 97th line of this translation. The critics with one voice seem to condemn this eclogue as unworthy of its author; I know not for what good reason. The many beautiful lines scattered through it would, one might think, be no weak recommendation. But it is by no means to be reckoned a loose collection of incoherent fragments; its principal parts are all strictly connected, and refer to a certain end, and its allusions and images are wholly suited to pastoral life.

Its subject, though uncommon, is not improper; for what is more natural, than that two shepherds, when occasionally mentioning the good qualities of their absent friend, particularly his poetical talents, should repeat such fragments of his songs as they recollected? This the translator has endeavoured to imitate. We behold the forlorn Gallus stretched along beneath a solitary cliff, his flocks standing round him at some distance. A group of deities and swains encircle him, each of whom is particularly described. On one side we see the shepherds with their crooks; next to them the neatherds, known by the clumsiness of their appearance; and next to these Menalcas with his clothes wet, as just come from beating or gathering winter-mast.

On the other side we observe Apollo with his usual insignia; Sylvanus crowned with flowers, and brandishing in his hand the long lilies and flowering fennel; and last of all, Pan, the god of shepherds, known by his ruddy smiling countenance, and the other peculiarities of his form. Gallus was a Roman of very considerable rank, a poet of no small estimation, and an intimate friend of Virgil.

He loved to distraction one Cytheris here called Lycoris who slighted him, and followed Antony into Gaul. Edited by F. The size and style of the volumes are those of Pickering's Aldine Poets , and such of the works of that edition as fall entirely within the plan of the present collection will be embodied in it. Each separate work is sold by itself, and the price of each volume is 75 cents.

Few English books are more charming to the eye. This enterprise is an honor to the American press We do not know any other edition of the English Poets which combine so many excellences. From the latest London trade-edition, reprinted on large type to correspond with the London edition of Macaulay's History.

Eighth edition, revised, enlarged, and brought up to the present time. Edited by Thomas Stewart Traill, M. With upwards of five hundred engravings on steel, and many thousands on wood. To be comprised in 21 vols. The editor has secured the co-operation of the most eminent living authors, who have contributed treatises in the various departments of Science, Literature, the Arts, Manufactures, Commerce, Statistics, and General Knowledge, to supersede those now rendered obsolete by the progress of discovery, improvements in the arts, or the general advancement of society.

Edited by his Brother, Leonard Horner, Esq. Edited by his Son, Robert James Mackintosh. From the second London edition. Revised and abridged from his larger work. By Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson. Illustrated with five hundred wood-cuts. Now first revealed to and edited by David Hoffman. Hoffman has succeeded in producing a volume of intense interest. Uniform with the Aldine Poets. Fifth edition. Foolscap 8vo, cloth.

For the use of Schools and Private Students. With a complete Index. By Lewis Ramshorn. Translated from the German by Francis Lieber. New edition. From his original manuscript. With Notes by James Savage. By Andrews Norton. Second edition. Part I. Part II.

By Samuel Eliot. By Hon. George Bancroft. Edited by Jared Sparks. By Theodore Parker. Translated from the German of the Baron Von Sternberg. By Dr. Henry Lodge. Illustrated by Billings. Small 4to, cloth. From the complete English edition, by Basil Montague. Partly from Dryden's Translation, and partly from other hands. It is a simple plan. Talking directly to members — asking them for their input or opinion and recording it — tells them that they matter. It tells them that they are part of something bigger — something that is working on behalf of all of us.

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