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dren go down to a premature grave
Truth sometimes presents her, rather than want a shell or a stone selfin the person of Paradox. How. of“ good old age.” Talk to this ever it may seem a contradiction in inan of the folly of his conduct. He terms, it is still fact, that we often will smile in proud contempt at find pride in humility. There are your want of “reverence for antiqui- men that boast their modesty, and ty;" and while he is shewing at the there are men that “ glory in their wintry wind, that bleak whistle humility.” “Why am I not meek“ through the chinks, which time er than the meekest man, for I nerhas made” in the walls of his habi- er slew an Egyptian ?" is the proud tation, he will tell you, that from soliloquy of the haughty, humble. taste for Grecian architecture he Instances could be produced among values more that-broken cornice, christians, but they are moderns, which was found among the ruins and we cannot call names. But in of Herculaneum; than any well fin- the old world Diogenes of humility ished building, that might afford memory is in point. At the meetwarm shelter for himself and fami-ing of the Cynic with the King of ly, but which should come from the Macedon, it requires little philosohands of a modern bungler. The phy to induce doubt, which was the Antiquarian is mad. He likes things prouder of the two. The idol of because they are old, yet despises DIOGENES was humility and his the world, though older than ever. temple of worship a tub. He avowAlthough immersed mid shells and ed his idolatry; and when he de fossils, ores and minerals, he can
sired ALEXANDER to move from not quite « forget himself to stone” between him and the sun, the utand the horrors of freezing will soon most that he asked of the hero, was bring him to liis senses. But if to let him alone."
D., these will not, nothing can. Tell him of wife and children : the sounds pass him, as the winds he
For the Emeralul. regards not. « Ephraim is joined to idols ; let him alone."
THE BABBLER. Many sincere pretenders to the “ De te fabula narralur.** true religion are yet guilty of idolatry. PATIENCE undergoes no severer The monk, that weeps all day, and trial than by impertinent loquacity. wakes to pray by night,as is born only To be under the necessity of listento wake and weep; that believes in ing to tales without pleasure or salvation by works, and that he is arguments without force, to be perone of the saved, is a man of faith plexed with the unmeaning repetiworse than an infidel. He is the vilest tions of empty garrulity, disgusted of idolaters, an idolater of self-right- with the pride which conceives foleousness. The true christian does ly and the zeal that enforces ii, is a all he can, but distrusts all he can situation that might excusably rufdo. Yet try not to convince the fle the meekness of Moses. The former of his error. The bigot author who is dull may be laid aside would revive, if possible, the bond- at pleasure, and the preacher who age of conscience, and deem it a is heavy kindly invites you to sleep, good work to get you burnt for but from the conversation of the heresy. “ Ephraim is joined to idols ; Babbler there is no possibility of let him alone."
escaping, and the incessant repeti
tion of his clamorous harangues where wise men are uncertain, our admits no opportunity for repose : Babbler has always some private If attention was repaid by any how-channel of communication which ever common information, it would leaves him no room for uncertainty. be some recompence for listening; The plan he adopts is never conbut he who has vanity enough to jecture, because he will strengthen engross all the conversation, has it with so many arguments that no rarely sense enough to make it use- reasonable man will doubt its existful, and his manners are not more ence. But when his garrulity has in opposition to the principles of convinced all, who had rather as
politeness than the tenor of his dis- sent to any thing than be teazed to i course to the refinement of a scholar. death, of the certainty of his con
It is difficult to determine from what jectures, he.generally receives some cause this continued insult on com- advice from a private correspondent mon understanding proceeds, except, or hint: from a high confidential it be from that affectation of superi- friend, that entirely changes the or knowledge which most common- complection of the business and }y distracts and disgusts with igno- leaves again for his eloquence the rance and pedantry.
task of convincing his friends against The tribe of Babblers may be sep- their former opinions, and the still arated into classes. There is a uni- more difficult duty of defeating his formity of disgusting and trouble- own former incontrovertible sentisome affectation which marks the ments. common origin of all, yet particular- There are beings whom we may ities of folly which discriminate in- designate as argumentative Babblers; dividuals.
whose greatest delight is contradicThe political Babbler is to be met tion; to whom wrangling is pleasure with at the corner of every street and and disputation the greatest treat. the in bar room of every tavern in For the purpose of contention they the country. With something like will deny the most obvious principles the Sybii's frenzy he can out run the or defend the most palpable soleoperations of time, and settle by ir- cisms, and enter with all the formalrevocable edicts the conduct of airies of forensic discussion into the ministry, the designs of an ambas- consideration of subjects that might sador or the consequences of a cam- be decided by simple inspection, or paign. To an unlimited knowledge almost by instinct. Too zealous of secret causcs and a piercing pen- however in the investigation of truth etration of principles, or rather (we to listen to the arguments of their should say without irony) an abso- opponents, they give no one but kate ignorance of every thing but the themselves an opportunity of speak. means of “ murdering the King's ing, except perhaps a word or two English,” he will chatter by the when they stop to take breath, but Lour with dogmatic impertinence, rattle along with the rapidity of a and tire the most patient auditor stage horse- answer objections that with incessant streams of loquacity. were never made.--refute positions The newspapers are his bible, and that were never laid down,--take for if the sectaries of other religions granted what was never allowed, woull
pursue theirs with equal as- and conclude triumphantly with a siduity, there would probably be proud demonstration of what refewer of his profession in the world. quired no understanding to inmi seasons of conjecture and douilvestigate, and very little logic
to bring to a different conclu-, B10GRAPICAL AND LITERARY NOTIsion.
THE LATE NR. The sentimental Babbler is of a different kind: he is all softness and humility ; full of tender thoughts and philanthropic affection, and forever sighing in your ear some sleep
“ The Minstre!, ing sentiment of pity for the mis- Beattie's reputation was greatly in
creased. Concerning the merits of his fortune of others' lives, or some kind “Essay on the Nature and Immutabilwarnings to secure the happiness of ity of Truth,” considered as a philosoyour own. Drawing from the cir- phical investigation, there were differ. culating library, and mostly from ent opinions. This diversity was oc. that part of it which the German casioned by the various sentiments of novelists have occupied, all his metaphysical subjects which that trea
thinking and intelligent men upon the principles of conduct and ideas of tise embraced in discussion. Those life, he will so continually sing to who held the same opinions which Beatyou of terrors and troubles, that his tie defended, considered his work as company, like an east wind, would having claims to unqualified approba
while others, who entertained fret one into a consumption. Al
speculative notions of an opposite de. though to fashion himself to the nomination, estimated this attack made softness of the fair, he can endure upon them, rather as an effort of popnothing harsh, nor rude, nor bois- ular declamation, than a masterly de. terous ; altho' he deals in civility fence of his own, or a successful confu.
tation of the doctrine of his opponents. as an Apothecary in civet, and can it was otherwise with “ The Minstrel,” endure neither the manners nor the which contains no sentiments but such habit of the world, but is so all over as all must approve of ; whatever be sensibility that the dew drowns him their difference of speculative belief. and the moon beam scorches, yet therefore, not so liable to be veiled by
Its beauties and excellencies were, he is continually whining in notes prejudice, and precluded from their of dolorous pity, and his tongue, portion of due admiration.' tho' not equally fast with his breth- By many, Beattie was now considered ren, is yet equally busy in the com- to be both an eminent philosopher and mon vocation.
a genuine poet ; a twofold character,
which is seldom to be found, and there. There are others of the Babbling fore seems to indicate a mind of the fraternity, whose incessant gabble highest order. A Scottish poet of disruns over an hundred things in a prized the more, since, from the pub
tinguished excellence was likely to be minute and whose noise, like a wa- lishing of “ The Seasons" until this time, ter-fall, diminishes the sound of all few poems of great length, and possess, other disturbance; and there are ing extraordinary merit had appeared
Beattie became, there. others, who like the hero of the in Scotland. new French Melo-drama, take the he was looked to as the ornament of the
fore, the object of general admiration : words out of every body's mouth, university in which he was a Professor, and choose to do all the talking and was judged worthy of being honthemselves. All these however are ored with a diploma, as Doctor of Lats, the mere eccentricities of man
by his colleagues of the Marischal Col.
lege. kind : THEIR folly amuses us, and
For some years subsequent to this we have follies in plenty to amuse period, Dr. Beattie was chiefly engaged them,
in professional studies, in composing DVILIVS.
prelections for the instruction of his pupils, and in discharging the various
duties which his station in the univer- Memory ; Imagination ; Drcams ; the sity imposed upon him. Many of these Theory of Language ; Fable and Ro. prelections were written for, and pre-mance ; Attachment to Kindred ; and viously read in a private society in the Sublimity of Composition. university of Aberdeen, composed of “ The Evidences of the Christian the several Professors. This society Religion, in two small volumes, apis mentioned in the following terms, in peared three years after the Dissertathe excellent account lately published, tions. Dr. Beattie was induced to pub. of the life and writings of its original lish this work, by the advice of his founder and greatest boast :
friend, Dr. Porteous, the present Bishop “Soon after Dr. Reid's removal to of London ; and though it displays the Aberdeen, he projected (in conjunction warmth of his piety, and the greatness with liis friend Dr. John Gregory) a of his zeal for the Christian religion, literary society, which subsisted for yet it is not distinguished by originality many years, and which seems to have of views, or strength of argument. The had the happiest effects, in-awakening author appeals chiefly to the affections and directing that spirit of philosophi- of the reader ; he tries to engage the cal research, which has since reflected heart, rather than inform and convince so much lustre on the north of Scot- the understanding': and though his work land. The meetings were held weekly, may be of use in confirming the young and afforded the members, (besides the and susceptible, who are already preadvantages to be derived from a mutual disposed in favour of Christianity, it communication of their sentiments on will have little influence in converting the common objects of their pursuit) the infidel who seeks for argument. an opportunity of subjecting their Christianity can boast of defences much intended publications to the test of more vigorous and convincing than that friendly criticism. The number of val. of Dr. Beattie. uable works which issued nearly about In the year 1787, his eldest son, the same time from individuals con- James Hay Beattie, was appointed bis nected with this institution, more pa'- assistant, as Professor of Moral Philo. ticularly the writings of Reid, Gregory, ophy and Logic. This ingenious and Campbell, Beattie, and Gerard, furnish interesting young man was the delight the best panegyric on the enlightened of his father, who had bestowed extraviews of those under whose direction it ordinary care on his education, and was originally armed.”
now leaned upon him as the support of To these remarks, it may be added, bis declining years. But he was not that this literary society, limited as destined long to enjoy the comfort of might be its original object, and howev. bis society and assistance. Mr. Beattie er unassuming the dignity of its ineet- was a highly accomplished youth ; for ings, has, notwithstanding, modelled even at his juvenile years he had made the mass of Scottish literature, and very considerable attainments, both in has, by its direct or less immediate in science and the less laborious branches fluence, given rise to the greater num- of polite literature. He continued for ber of those works which of late years nearly two years to assist his father in have exalted the literary character of discharging the daties of a Professor, Scotland. In recounting these pro- and to delight paternal affection, by the found and valuable works, and compar- display of numerous elegant accom. ing them with the productions of other plishments, by the exchange of rational societies, we are the less convinced of conversation, by filial assiduities, and the efficacy of a crown-charter, in es- exciting the most sanguine hopes of citing the emulation or increasing the his literary celebrity, when a more maresearch of the members of a Royal lure age should have invigorated his Society.
mind. These hopes were not permit. In 1783, Dr. Beattie published, in a ted to be realized. Mr. Beattie, natuquarto volume, his " Dissertations, rally of a delicate constitution, fell into Moral and Critical.” These disserta- a lingering disorder, in the month of tions contained the substance of a course November, 1789, and died in the sanc of lectures which he had originally month of the following year. Froin the read in his class for moral.philosophy, various fragments, both in prose and and embraced the following subjects : / verse, which be left behind him, we
wie justified in the conjecture, that his , acuteness or vigor of intellect ; they fiture years, had he lived, would have rather abound in interesting facts than Esplayed a splendour proportioned to ingenious deductions ; he examines his such a fair dawning ; and our regret subject less with the keen discrimina. for his premature departure is enhanc- tion of a metaphysician, than the di. ed by the reflection, that he who, in so dactic plainness of a common-sensist ; short a career, was able to have done and his treatises are rather to be conso much, should not have lived to ac- sidered as elementary introductions for complish more. *
the use of the tyro, than as throwing Dr. Beattie's mind received a shock new light upon abstruse subjects, which by the death of his darling son, from may guide even the adept in exploring which it could never recover. He was the bewildering labyrinth. now declining into years ; his facul. As a poet, he has few equals. His ties, both of body and mind, were much “ Minstrel, or Progress of Genius,” exhausted by a life of continued study; which, it cannot be sufficiently regretand we are not to be surprised, if, sub. ted, he did not continue, is written in sequent to this event, he never dis- the genuine spirit of those strains of played that activity which had former. the heart which constitute real poetry, ly characterized his studies and intel. Such smaller pieces as he has retained lectual ambition. Deprived of the chief in the last edition of his poetical work's solace of his life, and the object on all breathe the same soul. They come which his family hopes so fondly repos- home to every bosom ; they are uni. ed, he sunk by degrees into a state of versally esteemed ; and the gross and apathy and mental indifference with re- the refined relish their beauties, be gard to every thing which heretofore cause they contain those sentiments had excited his warmest regard. In which can be appreciated by every hu. the year 1796, by the death of his man heart. When the Philosophical younger son, Mr. Montagu Beattie, works of Beattie shall have given place and some father domestic calamities of to others, and be almost forgotten, his most distressing nature, this melan-“ Minstrel," his “Odes to Řetirement choly state of mind was greatly increas and to Hope," and his “ Hermit,” will ed. His literary avocations ceased to be read with tears of rapture by all be interesting, and even his former those in succeeding ages who venerate amusements lost all their charms. He the memory of Goldsmith and the po. experienced that temper of mind which ets of the heart. he has so emphatically described in his Dr. Beattie died on the 18th of Aug. * Ode to Retirement."
ust, 1803. “ For me no more the path invites
Ambition loves to tread ;
For the Emerald.
DESULTORY SELECTIONS, For present pleasure soon is o'er,
And all the past is vain."
Dr. Beattie's amusements were of the Several instances of surprising me. most elegant. kind. Music was his favorite recreation ; and he and his
mory are upon record, which alson, who was also deeply skilled in the
most exceed belief. Of a certain principles of the art, were accustomed General it has been said he knew to spend their leisure hours in small the name and person of every inconcerts with such of their friends as were musical adepts.
dividual in his army. Of another As a philosopher, Dr. Beattie cannot
person that he would repeat sevpank in the highest class, In none of
eral thousand disconnected words his prose works has he evinced much after once hearing them, reversSee the Posthumous Works of James
ing the order in which they were Hay Beattie, with the account of his Life
delivered, and perhaps what is and Writings, by his Father.
more surprising, of the celebra
AND ORIGINAL REMARKS.