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ing the fouth, about a mile from Coxheath. My windows command a profpect, extending fouthward about twelve miles, and from east to west not lefs, I fuppofe, than forty. In this whole fpace I do not fee a fingle fpeck of ground that is not in the highest degree cultivated; for Coxheath is not in fight. The lawns in the neighbourhood, the hopgrounds, the rich verdure of the trees, and their endless variety, form a scenery so picturefque and fo luxuriant, that it is not eafy to fancy any thing finer. Add to this the cottages, churches, and villages, rifing here and there among the trees, and scattered over the whole country; clumps of oaks, and other lofty trees, difpofed in ten thousand different forms, and fome of them vifible in the horizon at the distance of more than ten miles; and you will have fome idea of the beauty of Hunton. The only thing wanting is the murmur of running water; but we have fome ponds and clear pools that glitter through the trees, and have a very pleafing effect. With abundance of fhade, we have no damp nor fenny ground: and though the country looks at a diftance like one continued grove, the trees do not prefs upon us; indeed, I do not at prefent fee one that I could with removed. There is no road within fight, the hedges that overhang the highways being very high; fo that we fee neither travellers nor carriages, and indeed hardly any thing in motion; which conveys fuch an idea of peace and quict, as 1 think I never was confcious of before; and forms a moft ftriking contraft with the endless noife and reflefs multitudes of Piccadilly.
Our hour of breakfast is ten. Immediately before it, the bishop calls his family together, prays with them, and gives them his blefling: the fame thing is conftantly done after fupper, when we part for the night. In the intervals of breakfaft, and in the evening, when there is no company, his lordfhip fometimes reads to us in fome entertaining book. After breakfast we separate, and amufe ourselves, as we think proper, till four, the hour of dinner. At fix, when the weather is fair, we either walk, or make a vifit to fome of the clergy or gentry in the neighbourhood, and return about eight. We then have mufic, in which I am forry to fay, that I am almoft the only performer. I have got a violoncello, and play Scotch tunes, and perform Handel's, Jackfon's, and other fongs, as well as I can; and my audience is very willing to be pleased. The bifhop and Mrs Porteus are both fond of mufic. Thefe mufical parties are often honoured with the company of the accomplished and amiable Lady Twifden, of whom I gave you fome account in my last.'
So much for our week-days. On Sundays, at eleven, we repair to church. It is a fmall but neat building, with a pretty good ring of fix bells. The congregation are a ftout, well-featured fet of people, clean and neat in their drefs, and most exemplary in the decorum with which they perform the feveral parts of public worship. As we walk up the area to the bishop's pew, they all make on each fide a profound obeifance; and the fame as we return. The prayers are very well read by Mr Hill the curate, and the bishop preaches. I need not tell you now, M 3
because I think I told you before, that Bishop Porteus is, in my opinion, the best preacher, in respect both of compofition and of delivery, I have ever heard. In this capacity, indeed, he is univerfally admired, and many of the gentry come to hear him from the neighbouring parifhes. After evening fervice, during the fummer months, his lordship generally delivers from his pew a catechetical lecture, addreffed to the children, who for this purpose are drawn up in a line before him along the area of the church. In these lectures, he explains to them, in the fimpleft and cleareft manner, yet with his ufual elegance, the fundamental and effential principles of religion and morality; and concludes with an address to the more advanced in years. This inftitution of the bishop's I greatly admire.' II. 145–148.
Such society, and such occupations, must unquestionably have been medicinal to a mind wounded as Dr Beattie's now was; but after the death of his favourite son, even those remedies were unable to sooth him. He went to London indeed afterwards; but was unable to interest himself in any thing but devotional exercises. He talks a good deal about his distresses in these letters; but his style is so correct and apparently elaborate, that he says little that is interesting. Almost the only passage that struck us was, where he mentions that his ill health prevented him from attending Handel's commemoration; and adds, in allusion to his son's musical performances- But perhaps this was no loss to me. Even the organ of Durham was too much for my feelings. It brought too powerfully to my remembrance another organ, much smaller indeed, but more interesting, which I can never hear any more. He bore up, however, tolerably well, till the sudden death of his only remaining child in 1796. He has given a plain and very affecting account of this calamity, and the effect it produced upon him, in a letter to Dr Laing.
His delirium, which was extremely violent, ended in a state of fuch apparent tranquillity, that I was congratulating myfelf on the danger being over, at the very time when Dr ****** came, and told me, in his own name, and in that of the other two physicians that attended Montagu, that he could not live many hours: this was at eleven at night, and he died at five next morning. I hope I am refigned, as my duty requires, and as I wifh to be; but I have paffed many a bitter hour, though on thofe occafions nobody fees me. I fear my reafon is a little difordered; for I have fometimes thought of late, efpecially in a morning, that Montagu is not dead, though I feem to have a remembrance of a dream that he is. This you will fay, what I myself believe, is a fymptom not uncommon in cafes fimilar to mine, and that I ought by all means to go from home as foon as I ca I will do fo when the weather becomes tolerable. Inclination would draw me to Peterhead; but the intolerable road forbids it, and I believe I must go fouthward, where the roads are very good at leaft I hear fo. • Being
Being now childlefs, by the will of Providence, (in which I truft I acquiefce), I have made a new settlement in my fmall affairs; the only particular of which that needs to be mentioned at present is, that the organ, built by my eldest fon and you, is now yours.
I am much obliged to the kind friends who fympathize with me. Montagu was indeed very popular wherever he went. His death was calm, refigned, and unaffectedly pious; he thought himself dying from the first attack of his illness. "I could wifh," faid he, " to live to be old, but am neither afraid nor unwilling to die." II. 310. 311. Sir William Forbes has likewise described the effects of this calamity, in a manner which does honour to his feelings.
The death of his only furviving child, completely unhinged the mind of Dr Beattie, the firft fymptom of which, ere many days had elapfed, was a temporary but almoft total lofs of memory respecting his fon. Many times he could not recollect what had become of him; and after searching in every room of the house, he would fay to his niece, Mrs Glennie," You may think it ftrange, but I must ask you if I have a fon, and where he is?" She then felt herself under the painful neceffity of bringing to his recollection his fon Montagu's fufferings, which always reftored him to reason. And he would often, with many tears, express his thankfulness, that he had no child, saying, "How could I have borne to fee their elegant minds mangled with madness!" When he looked for the last time on the dead body of his fon, he faid, "I have now done with the world:" and he ever after feemed to act as if he thought fo. For he never applied himself to any fort of study, and answered but few of the letters he received from the friends whom he most valued. Yet the receiving a letter from an old friend never failed to put him in fpirits for the reft of the day. Mufic, which had been his great delight, he could not endure, after the death of his eldeft fon, to hear from others; and he difliked his own favourite violoncello. A few months before Montagu's death, he did begin to play a little by way of accompaniment when Montagu fung: but after he loft him, when he was prevailed on to touch the violoncello, he was always difcontented with his own performance, and at last seemed to be unhappy when he heard it. The only enjoyment he seemed to have was in books, and the fociety of a very few old friends. It is impoffible to read the melancholy picture which he draws of his own fituation about this time, without dropping a tear of pity over the forrows and the fufferings of fo good a man thus feverely vifited by afflic tion.' II. 307: 308.
It is scarcely necessary to pursue this melancholy narrative any further. His spirits were never restored, and his health continued gradually to decline, till, in 1799, he was struck with palsy, which affected his speech and memory; and, after being reduced to a state of permanent insensibility, by repeated attacks of the same disease, at last expired in June 1803.
We should now proceed to lay before our readers some speci
mens of those epistolary compositions, which fill the greater part of the volumes. They are almost all, as we have already intimated, of the nature of dissertations; and most of them dissertations on trite subjects. The critical remarks, we think, are not in general worth extracting: they are for the most part safe, sound, and common opinions of common authors. Virgil, Lucretius, Tasso, Ariosto, Fenelon, Ossian, Metastasio, Rousseau, Richardson, Armstrong, Young, and a dozen more as to whom the public opinion has fluctuated as little, are characterized and decided on with as much minuteness and solemnity of method, as if their names had never been heard of in literature; and, from all that we can perceive, Dr Beattie is just of the common way of thinking on those subjects, and writes sometimes prettily, and sometimes tediously, in exposition of it. At all events, what he writes bears no sort of resemblance to familiar letters; and he very seldom submits even to conterfeit that style by any sentences of easy introduction. One epistle begins, I promised to give you my opinion of the Henriade.' Another, I have just been reading Tasso.' And a third, I betook myself lately to the reading of Caesar:'-which striking and appropriate introductions are followed by long disquisitions on the peculiar merit of those respective performances, very much in the manner and spirit of what we must infallibly meet with from any given lecturer on rhetoric. We scarcely think our readers would thank us for retailing any of this criticism. It will be more in favour of Dr Beattie, that they should peruse the following disquisition on public and private education;-a topic which, trite as it is, is judiciously treated, we think, in the following epistle.
• Could mankind lead their lives in that folitude which is fo favourable to many of our moft virtuous affections, I fhould be clearly on the fide of a private education. But most of us, when we go out into the world, find difficulties in our way, which good principles and innocence alone will not qualify us to encounter; we must have fome addrefs and knowledge of the world different from what is to be learned in books, or we fhall foon be puzzled, difheartened, or difgufted. The foundation of this knowledge is laid in the intercourfe of fchoolboys, or at leaft of young men of the fame age. When a boy is always under the direction of a parent or tutor, he acquires fuch a habit of looking up to them for advice, that he never learns to think or act for himself; his memory is exercifed, indeed, in retaining their advice, but his invention is fuffered to languish, till at aft it becomes totally inactive. He knows, perhaps, a great deal of hiftory or fcience; but he knows not how to conduct himself on thofe ever-changing emergencies, which are too minute and too numerous to be comprehended in any fyftem of advice. He is aftonifhed at the most common appearances, and difcouraged with the moft trifling (becaufe unexpected) obftacles; and he
is often at his wit's end, where a boy of much lefs knowledge, but more experience, would inftantly devife a thousand expedients. '
Another inconvenience attending private education, is the fuppreffing of the principle of emulation, without which it rarely happens that a boy prosecutes his ftudies with alacrity or fuccefs. I have heard private tutors complain, that they were obliged to have recourse to flattery or bribery to engage the attention of their pupil; and I need not obferve, how improper it is to fet the example of fuch practices before children. True emulation, efpecially in young and ingenuous minds, is a noble principle; I have known the happieft effects produced by it; I never knew it to be productive of any vice. In all public schools it is, or ought to be, carefully cherished. I fhall only obferve further, that when boys purfue their ftudies at home, they are apt to contra& either a habit of idleness, or too close an attachment to reading: the former breeds innumerable difeafes, both in the body and foul; the latter, by filling young and tender minds with more knowledge than they can either retain or arrange properly, is apt to make them fuperficial and inattentive, or, what is worfe, to ftrain, and confequently impair, the faculties, by overftretching them. I have known feveral inftances of both.'
The great inconvenience of public education arifes from its being dangerous to morals. And indeed every condition and period of human life is liable to temptation. Nor will I deny, that our innocence, during the first part of life, is much more fecure at home, than any where else; yet even at home, when we reach a certain age, it is not perfectly fecure. Let young men be kept at the greatest distance from bad company, it will not be eafy to keep them from bad books, to which, in these days, all perfons may have eafy accefs at all times. Let us, however, fuppofe the beft; that both bad books and bad company keep away, and that the young man never leaves his parents' or tutor's fide, till his mind be well furnished with good principles, and himself arrived at the age of reflection and caution: yet temptations muft come at laft; and when they come, will they have the lefs ftrength, because they are new, unexpected, and furprifing? I fear not. The more the young man is furprifed, the more apt will he be to lofe his prefence of mind, and confequently the lefs capable of felf-government. Befides, if his paffions are ftrong, he will be difpofed to form comparifons between his past ftate of restraint, and his prefent of liberty, very much to the diladvantage of the former. His new affociates will laugh at him for his referve and precifenefs; and his unacquaintance with their manners, and with the world, as it will render him the more obnoxious to their ridicule, will also difqualify him the more, both for fupporting it with dignity, and alfo for defending himself against it. 'A young man, kept by himself at home, is never well known, even by his parents; because he is never placed in thofe circumftances which alone are able effectually to roufe and intereft his paffions, and confequently to make his character appear. His parents, therefore, or tu