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was bufy), and then we were called into a large room, furnished as a library, where the King was walking about, and the Queen fitting in a chair. We were received in the moft gracious manner poffible, by both their Majefties. I had the honour of a converfation with them (no body elfe being prefent 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 eafe, that was to me furprifing, and foon diffipated the embarraffment which I felt at the beginning of the conference. They both complimented me, in the highest terms, on my " Effay," which, they faid, 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 fecond edition. "I never ftole a book but one, faid his Majefty," and that was yours (fpeaking to me); I ftole it from the Queen, to give it to Lord Hertford to read." He had heard that the fale of Hume's Effays" had failed, fince 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, laft fummer, and how Mr Hume was offended on the score of my book. He afked many queftions about the second part of the "Effay, > and when it would be ready for the prefs. I gave him, in a fhort fpeech, an account of the plan of it; and faid, my health was fo precarious, I could not tell when it might be ready, as I had many books to confult before I could finish it; but that if my health were good, I thought I might bring it to a conclufion in two or three years. He afked, how long I had been in compoling my " Effay?" praised the caution with which it was written; and faid, he did not wonder that it had employed

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me five or fix years. He asked about my poems. I faid, there was only one poem of my own, on which I fet any value (meaning the "Minstrel "), and that it was first published about the fame time with the "Effay. My other poems, I faid, were incorrect, being but juvenile pieces, and of little confequence, even in my own opinion. We had much converfation on moral fubjects; from which both their Majefties let it appear, that they were warm friends to Christianity; and fo little inclined to infidelity, that they could hardly believe that any thinking man could really be an atheift, unless he could bring himself to believe that he made himfelf; a thought which pleafed the King exceedingly; and he repeated it feveral times to the Queen. He afked, whether any thing had been written against me. I fpoke 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 fume fcourfe about the Quakers, whofe moderation, and mild behaviour, the King and Queen commended. I was asked many questions about the Scots univerfities, the revenues of the Scots clergy, their mode of praying and preaching, the medical college of Edinburgh, Dr Gre gory (of whom I gave a particular character), and Dr Cullen, the length of our vacation at Aberdeen, and the clofenefs of our attendance



during the winter; the number of ftudents that attend my lectures, my mode of lecturing, whether from notes, or completely written lectures; about Mr Hume, and Dr Robertson, and Lord Kinnoull, and the Archbishop of York, &c. &c. &c. His Majefty afked what I thought of my new acquaintance, Lord Dartmouth? I faid, there was fomething 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 fentiment in which both their Majefties heartily joined. "They fay that Lord Dartmouth is an enthufiaft," faid the King; " but furely he fays nothing on the fubject of religion, but what every Chriftian may, and ought to say." He afked, whether I did not think the English language on the decline at prefent? I answered in the affirmative; and the King agreed, and named the "Spectator" as one of the beft ftandards of the language. When I told him that the Scots clergy fometimes prayed a quarter, or even half an hour, at a time, he asked, whether that did not lead them into repetitions? I faid, it often did. "That," faid he, "I don't like in prayers; and, excellent as our liturgy is, I think it somewhat faulty in that refpect." I. 268-71.

While honours and emoluments were thus accumulating around him, it is rather amusing to notice the tone in which the worthy Doctor speaks of the persecutions and sufferings he has to undergo from the malice of his enemies. Some of Mr Hume's admirers had spoken contemptuously of his metaphysics; and others had found fault with the needless acrimony and invective with which he had enlivened his argument. This, we think, is the full extent of the calamities which his zeal in the good cause had brought upon him; and yet he speaks as if no martyr of old had ever encountered more dreadful injuries; and spirits himself up to endure them, with an air of magnanimity which is really


I have always forefeen,' fays he, and ftill forefee, that I fhall have many reproaches, and cavils, and fneers, to encounter; but I am prepared to meet them. I am not afhamed of my cause,' &c.

And in another place,

What I have avowed, I am ftill ready to avow in the face of any man on earth, or any number of men; and I fhall never ceafe to avow, fo long as the Deity is pleafed,' &c. As to obloquy, I have had a fhare of it as large as any private man I know; and I think I have borne it, and can bear it, with a degree of fortitude of which I need not be afhamed. '

In the end of the year 1773, there was a proposal for transferring Dr Beattie to the University of Edinburgh, which he declined, chiefly from the dread of his infidel cnemies, whose head quarters, he seems to have supposed, were established in that devoted city, and from whose machinations he really seems to have imagined that he would not have been perfectly in safety. There

VOL. X. NO. 19.


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are about thirty pages of anxious elaborate correspondence on this subject, which illustrate, more than any thing we have lately met with, the importance of a man to himself, and the strange fancies that will sometimes be engendered between self-love and literary animosity. With no better grounds of apprehension than we have already mentioned, Dr Beattie writes

Even if my fortune were as narrow, &c. I would ftill incline to remain in quiet where I am, rather than, by becoming a member of the Univerfity of Edinburgh, place myself within the reach of those who have been pleased to let the world know that they do not wish me well,— not that I have any reason to mind their enmity,' &c. • My caufe is fo good, that he who espouses it can never have occafion to be afraid of

any man.

If he had actually been in danger of poison or stillettoes, he could not have used other language. He proceeds afterwards,

As they are fingular enough to hate me for having done my duty, and for what I truft (with God's help) I fhall never ceafe to do, (I mean for endeavouring to vindicate the cause of truth, with that zeal which fo important a caufe requires), I could never hope that they would live with me on those agreeable terms on which I desire to live with all good men,' &c.

And in another epistolary dissertation on the same subject, he adds, with some reference to the members of the Edinburgh University, which we are persuaded was without foundation,—

I fhould diflike very much to live in a fociety with crafty perfons, who would think it for their intereft to give me as much trouble as poffible; unless I had reafon to think that they had confcience and honour fufficient to reftrain them from afperfing the innocent. '

These are among the things which a more judicious partiality would have led an editor to suppress, but which are of use to the reader, as they enable him both to estimate and to balance the unqualified praises which it is in the nature of that character to bestow.

In a short time after this, however, Dr Beattie declined another offer, upon principles which do him more honour than those assigned for his refusal to come to Edinburgh. Several hints had been given him of the advantage he might expect from taking orders in the Church of England; and in 1774, an offer was made him of a small living in Dorsetshire, with the prospect of speedy promotion. This benefice was only worth 1601.; and it is not to be wondered at that the offer was rejected. In the same year, however, Dr Porteus intimated to him, that one of the Episcopal Bench had a living worth 5001. at his service, which should be kept vacant till he had made up his mind. This offer, also, with all the prospects of further preferment which it implied, Dr Beattie resolved to decline; and as the motives which


he has assigned for his refusal, though somewhat tinctured with vanity and timidity, are upon the whole extremely creditable to his character, we think it but justice to lay the greater part of them before our readers, in his own words. After quite as much gratitude and compliment as the occasion required, he goes on to say,

I wrote the "Effay on Truth," with the certain profpect of raising many enemies, with very faint hopes of attracting the public attention, and without any views of advancing my fortune. I published it, however, because I thought it might probably do a little good, by bringing to nought, or at leaft leffening the reputation of, that wretched fyftem of fceptical philofophy, which had made a most alarming progrefs, and done incredible mifchief 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 poffible, to raise myself higher in the world. So that, if I were now to accept preferment in the church, I should be apprehenfive that I might ftrengthen the hands of the gainfayer, and give the world fome ground to believe, that my love of truth was not quite fo ardent, or fo pure, as I had pretended.

Befides, might it not have the appearance of levity and infincerity, and, by fome, be conftrued into a want of principle, if I were at these years (for I am now thirty-eight), to make fuch an important change in my way of life, and to quit, with no other apparent motive than that of bettering my circumftances, that church of which I have hitherto been a member? 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 1 am afraid that tendency might in fome measure be counteracted, (at least in this country), if I were to give the adverfary the leaft ground to charge me with inconfiftency. It is true, that the force of my reafonings cannot be really affected by my character; truth is truth, whoever be the fpeaker: but even truth itfelf becomes lefs refpectable, when spoken, or supposed to be spoken, by infincere lips.

It has alfo been hinted to me, by feveral perfons of very found judgment, that what I have written, or may hereafter write, in favour of religion, has a chance of being more attended to, if I continue a layman, than if I were to become a clergyman. Nor am I without apprehenfions (though fome of my friends think them ill-founded) that, from entering fo late in life, and from fo remote a province, into the Church of England, fome degree of ungracefulness, particularly in pronunciation, might adhere to my performances in public, fufficient to render them lefs pleafing, and confequently less useful. ’ I. 360-362. In 1774, he had the honour to be attacked by Dr Priestley, along with Dr Reid; and no doubt consulted his own ease, as well as most effectually disappointed that restless controversialist, by making no answer to his attack. We cannot approve, howM 2


ever, of the style of orthodox contempt and asperity, with which he is pleased to speak of a man, at least his equal in point of sincerity and good intention, and unquestionably his superior in science.

• All my friends here,' he fays, have been urging me not to anfwer him; and have told me, what I know is true, that his work cannot poffibly do me any harm; that it has been little read, and will foon be forgotten; and that he is a man of that fort, that it is even creditable (on moral and religious fubjects at leaft) to have him for an adverfary.'

After this, there is but very little incident of any sort in Dr Beattie's life. He published one volume of Essays in 1776, and another in 1783; a little treatise on the evidences of Christianity in 1786; and the outlines of his academical lectures in 1790. He was very unfortunate in his family. His wife became the victim of the most dreadful of all distempers, hereditary insanity; and his two sons, who were all his children, died successively after they had attained the age of manhood. The eldest, to whom he was extremely partial, had been conjoined with him in his professorship; and he never effectually recovered the shock which his spirits sustained from this disaster. Even before this, however, the situation of his wife, and his own precarious state of health, had sunk him into an habitual depression, which he strove to dissipate by frequent excursions in the country, and visits to those friends by whom he was regarded with the greatest partiality. A good part of the second volume is filled with the history of these journeyings, and of the feelings which they were intended to relieve. To Sir William Forbes he writes

The fmallness of my house, and the delicacy of Mrs B.'s nerves, which cannot bear the leaft noise, will not allow me to have any company with me; and the confequence is, that there are only two houses in the town to which I am ever invited. In fact, I have not dined abroad more than twice these three months. Now that I am able to go to the college again, my bufinefs there gives me fome amusement through the day; but all the long evening I fit alone, trying sometimes to read and fometimes to write, except now and then when I give my fon a leffon in Virgil. This must in the end have very bad effects upon my health and spirits; and, therefore, it is no wonder that I long to be from home, and to fojourn for fome little time in a land of friendfhip, tranquillity, and cheerfulnefs.' II. 68.

In the course of these peregrinations, he paid a visit to his friend Dr Porteus, then Bishop of Chester, at his residence of Hunton in Kent, and has so well described both the situation, and the decorous establishment of the family, that we think it will be gratifying to most readers to peruse his account of them.

The houfe is delightfully fituated about half-way down a hill front

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