صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

audience with the King and Queen, an interview of which he has given a particular account. It is curious, and, though it has been published before, our readers we think, will be pleased with an extract froin it.

“ We were received in the most gracious manner possible, by both their Majesties. I had the honour of a conversation with them (no body else being present but Dr. 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 couference. 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 bad one copy of it at Kew, and another in town, and immediately went and took it down froni a shelf. I found it was the second edition. “I pever stole a book but one,” said his Majesty," and that was yours (speaking to me); I stole it from the Queen, to give it to Lord Hertford to read." He had heard that the sale of “Hume's Essays" had failed, since my book was published ; and I told him what Mr. 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 iny 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 precarions, I could not tell wben it might be ready, as I had many books to consult before I could finish it; but that if my health were good, I thonght I might bring it to a conclusion iu two or three years. He asked, how long I had been in composing my “ Essay ” praised the cantion with which it was written; and said, he did not wonder that it had em. ployed me five or six years. 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.” My other poems, I said, were incorrect, being but juvenile pieces, and of litile consequence, even in my own opinion. We had much conversation on moral subjects; froia which both their Majesties let it appear, that they were waria 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 hiinself; a thought which pleased the King exceedingly; and he repeated it several times to the Queen. He asked, whether any thing had been writteu against ine. 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 soine 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 and preaching, the medical college of Eamburgh, Dr. Gregory, (of whom I gave a particular character), and Dr. Culien; the length of our vacation at Aberdeen, and the closeness of our attendance during the winter; the number of stuäents that attend my lectures, my mode of lecturing, whether from

notes, or completely written lectures : about Mr. Home and Pr. Robertso!), and Lord Kinpoull, and the Archbishop of York, &c. &c. &c. His Majesty asked what I thought of my new acqaaintance, 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 whiclo both their Majesties heartily joined. “They say that Lord Dart, mouth is an enthusiast," said the King; but surely he says nothing on the subject of religion, but what every Christian may, and aught to say.” He asked, whether I did not think the English language on the decline at present? I answered in the affirmative; and the King agreed, and named the “ Spectator" as one of the best stan, dards 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. “ That,” said he, “I dou't like in prayers; and excellent as our liturgy is, I think it somewhat faulty in that respect."

Some advances were made to our strenuous and succes, ful advocate for Truth, to tempt him over to the Church of England, but he declined the proposal.

“ Might it not (says he) have the appearance of levity and insin. cerity, and, hy some, be construed into a want of principle, if I were at these years (for I am now thirty-eight) to make such an important change in my way of life, and to quit without any appurent motive than that af bettering my circumstances, that church of which, I have hitherto been a member? If my book has any tendency to do good, as I Hatter 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 ine with inconsistency."

Dr. Beattie suffered much from doinestic calamity, His wife became insane ; and both his sons died, after attaining maturity. His spirits gradually sunk under these afflictions, and the loss of his youngest son, Montagu, affected his mind almost to derangement.

“ The death o his only surriving child (says Sir William Forbes) completely unhinged the inind of Dr. Beattie, the first symptom of which, ere many days had elapsed, was a temporary but almost total loss of memory respecting his son. Many times he could not recollect what had become of him; and after searching in every room of 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 be is? She then felt herself under the painful necessity of bringing to his recollection his son Montagu's sufferings, which always restored him to reason. And he would often, with many tears.express kis thankfulness, that he had no child, saying, “How could I bave borue to see their elegant minds mangled with madness !" When he looked for the last time on the body of his son, he said, “ I have now done with the world;" and he ever after seemed to act as if he thought so. For he never applied himself to any sort of study, and answered but few of the letters he received from the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

friends whom he most valued. Yet the receiving a letter from an old friend never failed to put him in spirits for the rest of the day. Music, which had been his great delight, he could not endure, after the death of his eldest son, to hear from others; and he disliked his own favourite violoncello. A few months before Montagu's death, he did begin to play a little by way of accompaniinent when Montagu sung: but after he lost him, when lie was prevailed on to touch the violoncello, he was always discontented with his own performance, and at last seemed to be unliappy when he beard it. The only enjoyment he seenied to have was in books, and the society of a few old friends. It is impossible to read the melaicholy picture which he draws of his own situation ahout this time, without dropping a tear of pity over the sorrows and the sufferinys ef so good a nian thus severely visited by affliction."

After lingering a few years, almost in a state of insensibility, he died in 1803.

Memoirs of M. de Brinboc : containing some l'icios of

English and Foreign Society., 12mo. 3 vols. 12s. 6. Cadell and Davies.

This is the production of a superior writer. The incidents are numerous and strikiny, and the interest is powerfully supported. M. de Brinboc is a Frenchman who has been forced to fly from his country on account of his principles. After various adventures on the continent he arrives in London, and we are adınitted to some curious Views of English Society drawn with mucha skill, and very highly coloured.

The characters are very numerous and happily discriminated, and tbe style aud sentiments are admirable. Poetic Sketches by T. Gent. 12mo. 45. 61. Yarmouth,

Beart. London, Rivington. 1807. Mr. Gent does not aspire to any high rank as a poet, but his compositions merit the praise of correctness, simplicity, and sometimes of elegance. The following... is perhaps one of the most pleasing specimens that the volume affords,

Of late I saw him on his staff reclin'd,

Bow'd down beneath a weary weight of woes,
Without a roof to shelter from the wind

His head, all hoar with many a winter's snows.
All trembling he approach'd, he strove to speak;

The voice of mis'ry scarce my ear assail'd :
A flood of sorrow swept his furrow'd cheek,

Remembrance check'd him, and his uttrance fair'd.

For he had known full many a better day;

And when the poor-man at his threshold bent,
He drove him not with aching heart away,

But freely shard what Providence had sent;
How hard for him the stranger's boon to crave,

And live to want the mite his bounty gave!
The Rising Sun; a Serio-comic Satiric Romance, by

Cervantes Hogy, F.S. M. Vol. III. i2mo. Apple-
yards, London, 1807.

The sale of the first two volumes of this satire was 80 satisfactory to the publisher, that he has added a third by way of postcript; in which some further adventures of Mr. Merryman, Mr. Windpuff, Mr. Bedboard, Mr. Brownbread, Mr. Mimkin, Mr. Turn-anyway, and other notorious worshippers of the Rising Sun are related with the same blunt whimsicality as ini the preceding volumes. They have amused us not a little, and we can coinmend in pretty warm tèrms thè parody on a fairy tale, to which the author has given the title of Prince Georgiskhan, and the Fairy Prudentia. It is ingeniously managed ; the satire is just, and we hope it may prove salutary. Beachy Head: with other Poems, by Charlotte Smith:

Now first published. 12mo. pp. 219. Johnson, 1807.

It was intended to prefix to these poems a few partia culars of Mrs. Smith's life ; a design which we are not sorry to learn was abandoned, since we are told, that her inemoirs, in lieu of a scanty account, are likely to appear, with a selection of her correspondence, on a anore enlarged plan, and under the immediate authority of her own nearest relatives.

The principal of these poems is Beachy Head. It is in blank verse, and the genius and pathos of this exquisite poet are frequently to be traced in it, but we do not rank it among her happiest compositions. It is often languid and dilated, and the descriptions possess no noveltý. The Studies by the Sea are written with a bolder

pen, and some of the stanzas are extremely beautiful.

What glories on the sun attend,

When the full tides of evening flow,
Where in still trembling beauty blend

With amber light, the opal's glow;
While in the east the diamond how,

Rises in virgin lustre bright,
And from the horizon seems to throw,

A partial line of trembling light
To the bush'd shore; and all the tranquil deepy
Beneath the modost moon is sooth'd to sleep.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Forgotten then, the thundering break

Of waves, that in the tempest rise,
The falling cliff, the shatter'd wreck,

The howling blast, the sufferer's cries;
For soft the breeze of evening sighs,

And murmuring seems in Fancy's ear
To whisper fairy lullabies,

That tributary waters bear
From precipices, dark with piny woods,

And inland rocks, and heatly solitudes. The other poems are thus entitled ; The Truant Dove, a fable from Pilpay ; The Lark's Nest, from Esop ; The Swallow; Flora; The Horologe of the Fields; Saint Monica ; A Walk in the Shrubbery, &c. The notes occupy about a third of the volume. They chiefly explain the names of plants, flowers and birds, which Mrs. Smith was always fond of introducing with rather too much affectation of science. Upon the whole we do not think these productions will add much to her reputation.

Flora and Studies by the Sea, are reprinted from her “ Conversations for the Use of Children and Young Persons.” Anthologia. A Collection of Epigrams, ludicrous

Epitaphs, Sonnets, Tales, Miscellaneous Anecdotes, &c. &c. interspersed with Originals. 12mo. 48. Highley, 1807.

The title is not very appropriate. W. T. of the Middle Temple has collected more weeds than flowers, and some of the former are rather of a noxious quality. We will transcribe two or three of the epitaphs, not tempted however so much from their novelty, as from the assurance in the title page that decies repetita placebunt.

On the Tomb of Dr. Fuller, at Oxford.

Here lies Fuller's Earth.

On William Williams.
Here lies the body of W. W.
Who never more will trouble you, trouble you.'

At Seven-Oaks, Kent.
Grim Death took me without any warning,
I was well at night, and dead at nine in the morning.

The wedding-day appointed was,

The wedding-clothes provided;
But, ere that day did come, alas!

He sicken'd, and he die did.


« السابقةمتابعة »