Obrazy na stronie

Gay is thy morning, flattering hope Thy sprightly step attends;

But soon the tempest howls behind, And the dark night descends.

Before its splendid hour the cloud
Comes o'er the beam of light;

A pilgrim in a weary land,
Man tarries but a night.

Behold ! sad emblem of thy state,
The flowers that paint the field;

Or trees that crown the mountain's brow,
And boughs and blossoms yield.

When chill the blast of Winter blows, Away the Summer flies,

The flowers resign their sunny robes, And all their beauty dies.

Nipt by the year the forest fades;
And shaking to the wind,

The leaves toss to and fro, and streak
The wilderness behind.

The Winter past, reviving flowers
Anew shall paint the plain,

The woods shall hear the voice of Spring,
And flourish green again.

But man departs this earthly scene, Ah! never to return

No second Spring shall e'er revive The ashes of the urn.

The inexorable doors of death
What hand can e'er unfold?

Who from the cerements of the tomb
Can raise the human mould

The mighty flood that rolls along
Its torrents to the main,

The waters lost can ne'er recall
From that abyss again.

The days, the years, the ages, dark
Descending down to night,

Can never, never be redeemed
Back to the gates of light.

So man departs the living scene,
To night's perpetual gloom;

The voice of morning ne'er shall break
The slumbers of the tomb.

Where are our fathers' Whither gone The mighty men of old?

“The patriarchs, prophets, princes, kings, In sacred books enrolled !

Gone to the resting-place of man, The everlasting home,

Where ages past have gone before, Where future ages come.’

Thus nature poured the wail of wo,
And urged her earnest cry;

Her voice, in agony extreme,
Ascended to the sky.

The Almighty heard: then from his throne In majesty he rose;

And from the Heaven, that opened wide, His voice in mercy flows.

“When mortal man resigns his breath,
And falls a clod of clay,

The soul immortal wings its flight
To never-setting day.

Prepared of old for wicked men The bed of torment lies;

The just shall enter into bliss Immortal in the skies.”

The above hymn has been claimed for Michael Bruce by Mr Mackelvie, his biographer, on the faith of ‘internal evidence,’ because two of the stanzas resemble a fragment in the handwriting of Bruce. We subjoin the stanzas and the fragment:—

When chill the blast of winter blows, Away the summer flies,

The flowers resign their sunny robes, And all their beauty dies.

Nipt by the year the forest fades,
And, shaking to the wind,

The leaves toss to and fro, and streak
The wilderness behind.

“The hoar-frost glitters on the ground, the frequent leaf falls from the wood, and tosses to and fro down on the wind. The summer is gone with all his flowers; summer, the season of the muses; yet not the more cease I to wander where the muses haunt near spring or shadowy grove, or sunny hill. It was on a calm morning, while yet the darkness strove with the doubtful twilight, I rose and walked

out under the opening eyelids of the morn.'
If the originality of a poet is to be questioned on
the ground of such resemblances as the above, what
modern is safe? The images in both pieces are
common to all descriptive poets. Bruce's Ossianic
fragment is patched with expressions from Milton,
which are neither marked as quotations nor printed
as poetry.

Yet not the more
Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt
Clear spring or shady grove, or sunny hill.

Par. Lost, Book iii.

Together both, ere the high lawns appeared
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove afield.


Thomas WARton.

The Wartons, like the Beaumonts, were a poetical race. Thomas, the historian of English poetry, was the second son of Dr Warton of Magdalen college, Oxford, who was twice chosen Professor of Poetry by his university, and who wrote some pleasing verses, half scholastic and half sentimental. A sonnet by the elder Warton is worthy being transcribed, for its strong family likeness:–

[Written after seeing Windsor Castle.]

From beauteous Windsor's high and storied halls,
Where Edward's chiefs start from the glowing walls,
To my low cot from ivory beds of state,
Pleased I return unenvious of the great.
So the bee ranges o'er the varied scenes
Of corn, of heaths, of fallows, and of greens,
Pervades the thicket, soars above the hill,
Or murmurs to the meadow's murmuring rill:
Now haunts old hollowed oaks, deserted cells,
Now seeks the low vale lily's silver bells;
Sips the warm fragrance of the greenhouse bowers,
And tastes the myrtle and the citron's flowers;
At length returning to the wonted comb,
Prefers to all his little straw-built home.

The poetry-professor died in 1745. His tastes, his love of poetry, and of the university, were continued by his son Thomas, born in 1728. At sixteen, Thomas Warton was entered of Trinity college. He began early to write verses, and his Pleasures of Melancholy, published when he was nineteen, gave a


The reader will easily recollect the fol

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obtained a fellowship, and in 1757 was appointed Professor of Poetry. He was also curate of Woodstock, and rector of Kiddington, a small living near Oxford. The even tenor of his life was only varied by his occasional publications, one of which was an elaborate Essay on Spenser's Faery Queen. He also edited the minor poems of Milton, an edition which Leigh Hunt says is a wilderness of sweets, and is the only one in which a true lover of the original can pardon an exuberance of annotation. Some of the notes are highly poetical, while others display Warton's taste for antiquities, for architecture, superstition, and his intimate acquaintance with the old Elizabethan writers. A still more important work, the History of English Poetry, forms the basis of his reputation. In this history Warton poured out in profusion the treasures of a full mind. His antiquarian lore, his love of antique manners, and his chivalrous feelings, found appropriate exercise in tracing the stream of our poetry from its first fountainsprings, down to the luxuriant reign of Elizabeth, which he justly styled ‘the most poetical age of our annals.” Pope and Gray had planned schemes of a history of English poetry, in which the authors were to be arranged according to their style and merits. Warton adopted the chronological arrangement, as giving freer exertion for research, and as enabling him to exhibit, without transposition, the gradual improvements of our poetry, and the progression of our language. The untiring industry and learning of the poet-historian accumulated a mass of materials equally valuable and curious. His work is a vast store-house of facts connected with our early literature; and if he sometimes wanders from his subject, or overlays it with extraneous details, it should be remembered, as his latest editor, Mr Price, remarks, that new matter was constantly arising, and that Warton “was the first adventurer in the extensive region through which he journied, and into which the usual pioneers of literature had scarcely penetrated.' It is to be regretted that Warton's plan excluded the drama, which forms so rich a source of our early imaginative literature; but this defect has been partly supplied by Mr Collier's Annals of the Stage. On the death of Whitehead in 1785, Warton was appointed poet-laureate. His learning gave dignity to an office usually held in small esteem, and which in our day has been wisely converted into a sinecure. The same year he was made Camden Professor of History. While pursuing his antiquarian and literary researches, Warton was attacked with gout, and his enfeebled health yielded to a stroke of paralysis in 1790. Notwithstanding the classic stiffness of his poetry, and his full-blown academical honours, Warton appears to have been an easy companionable man, who delighted to unbend in common society, and especially with boys. “During his visits to his brother, Dr J. Warton (master of Winchester school), the reverend professor became an associate and confidant in all the sports of the schoolboys. When engaged with them in some culinary occupation, and when | alarmed by the sudden approach of the master, he has been known to hide himself in a dark corner of the kitchen; and has been dragged from thence by the doctor, who had taken him for some great boy. He also used to help the boys in their exercises, generally putting in as many faults as would disguise the assistance.” If there was little dignity in this, there was something better—a kindliness of dis| position and freshness of feeling which all would wish to retain. The poetry of Warton is deficient in natural ex

* Wide Campbell's Specimens, second edition, p. 620.

pression and general interest, but some of his longer pieces, by their martial spirit and Gothic fancy, are calculated to awaken a stirring and romantic enthusiasm. Hazlitt considered some of his sonnets the finest in the language, and they seem to have caught the fancy of Coleridge and Bowles. The following are picturesque and graceful:—

Written in a Blank Leaf of Dugdale's Monasticon.

Deem not devoid of elegance the sage,
By Fancy's genuine feelings unbeguiled ,
Of painful pedantry, the poring child,
Who turns of these proud domes the historic page,
Now sunk by Time, and Henry's fiercer rage.
Think'st thou the warbling muses never smiled
On his lone hours ? Ingenious views engage
His thoughts on themes unclassic falsely styled,
Intent. While cloistered piety displays
Her mouldering roll, the piercing eye explores
New manners, and the pomp of elder days,
Whence culls the pensive bard his pictured stores.
Not rough nor barren are the winding ways
Of hoar antiquity, but strewn with flowers.

On Revisiting the River Loddon.

Ah! what a weary race my feet have run
Since first I trod thy banks with alders crowned,
And thought my way was all through fairy ground,
Beneath the azure sky and golden sun–
When first my muse to lisp her notes begun
While pensive memory traces back the round
Which fills the varied interval between ; -
Much pleasure, more of sorrow marks the scene.
Sweet native stream those skies and suns so pure,
No more return to cheer my evening road!
Yet still one joy remains, that not obscure
Nor useless, all my vacant days have flowed
From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature,
Nor with the muse's laurel unbestowed.

On Sir Joshua Reynolds's Painted Window at Oxford.

Ye brawny Prophets, that in robes so rich,
At distance due, possess the crisped niche ;
Ye rows of Patriarchs that, sublimely reared,
Diffuse a proud primeval length of beard:
Ye Saints, who, clad in crimson's bright array,
More pride than humble poverty display: -
Ye Virgins meek, that wear the palmy crown
Of patient faith, and yet so fiercely frown:
Ye Angels, that from clouds of gold recline,
But boast no semblance to a race divine:
Ye tragic Tales of legendary lore,
That draw devotion's ready tear no more; -
Ye Martyrdoms of unenlightened days,
Ye Miracles that now no wonder raise; |
Shapes, that with one broad glare the gazer strike,
Kings, bishops, nuns, apostles, all alike I
Ye Colours, that the unwary sight amaze, -
And only dazzle in the noontide blazes
No more the sacred window's round disgrace,
But yield to Grecian groups the shining space.
Lo! from the canvass Beauty shifts her throne;
Lo! Picture's powers a new formation own
Behold, she prints upon the crystal plain,
With her own energy, the expressive stain :
The mighty Master spreads his mimic toil
More wide, nor only blends the breathing oil;
But calls the lineaments of life complete
From genial alchymy’s creative heat;
Obedient forms to the bright fusion gives,
While in the warm enamel Nature lives.
Reynolds, 'tis thine, from the broad window's height,
To add new lustre to religious light:

| Not of its pomp to strip this ancient shrine, | But bid that pomp with purer radiance shine:

| worth. In 1766 he was appointed head master of

With arts unknown before, to reconcile The willing Graces to the Gothic pile.

The Hamlet.-An Ode.

The hinds how blest, who, ne'er beguiled
To quit their hamlet's hawthorn wild,
Nor haunt the crowd, nor tempt the main,
For splendid care, and guilty gain!
When morning's twilight-tinctured beam
Strikes their low thatch with slanting gleam,
They rove abroad in ether blue,
To dip the scythe in fragrant dew ;
The sheaf to bind, the beech to fell,
That nodding shades a craggy dell.

Midst gloomy glades, in warbles clear,
Wild nature's sweetest notes they hear:
On green untrodden banks they view
The hyacinth's neglected hue:
In their lone haunts, and woodland rounds,
They spy the squirrel's airy bounds;
And startle from her ashen spray,
Across the glen the screaming jay;
Each native charm their steps explore
Of Solitude's sequestered store.

For them the moon with cloudless ray
Mounts to illume their homeward way:
Their weary spirits to relieve,
The meadows ineense breathe at eve.
No riot mars the simple fare,
That o'er a glimmering hearth they share :
But when the curfew’s measured roar
Duly, the darkening valleys o'er,
Has echoed from the distant town,
They wish no beds of cygnet-down,
No trophied canopies, to close
Their drooping eyes in quick repose.
Their little sons, who spread the bloom
Of health around the clay-built room,
Or through the primrosed coppice stray,
Or gambol in the new-mown hay ;
Or quaintly braid the cowslip-twine,
Or i. afield the tardy kine;
Or hasten from the sultry hill,
To loiter at the shady rill ;
Or climb the tall pine's gloomy-crest,
To rob the raven's ancient nest. w

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The elder brother of Thomas Warton closely resembled him in character and attainments. He was born in 1722, and was the schoolfellow of Collins at Winchester. He was afterwards a commoner of Oriel college, Oxford, and ordained on his father's curacy at Basingstoke. He was also rector of Tam

Winchester school, to which were subsequently added a prebend of St Paul's and of Winchester. He survived his brother ten years, dying in 1800. Dr Joseph Warton early appeared as a poet, but is

in the graphic and romantic style of composition at which he aimed. His Ode to Fancy seems, however, to be equal to all but a few pieces of Thomas Warton's. He was also editor of an edition of Pope's works, which was favourably reviewed by Johnson. Warton was long intimate with Johnson, and a member of his literary club.

To Fancy.

O parent of each lovely muse!
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide,
To offer at thy turf-built shrine
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murdered fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
0 nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskined leg, and bosom bare,
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crowned,
Waving in thy snowy hand -
An all-commanding magic wand,
Of power to bid fresh gardens grow
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow,
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea,
While the various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes!
O lover of the desert, hail
Say in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
"Midst falls of water, you reside;
*Midst broken rocks a rugged scene,
With green and grassy dales between; .
*Midst forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
Where never human heart appeared,
Nor e'er one straw-roofed cot was reared,
Where Nature seemed to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne;
Tell me the path, sweet wanderer tell,
To thy unknown sequestered cell,
Where woodbines cluster round the door,

Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
And on whose top a hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest;
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Wrapt in some wild poetic dream,
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove;
Till suddenly awaked, I hear
Strange whispered music in my ear,
And my glad soul in bliss is drowned
By the sweetly-soothing sound !
Me, goddess, by the right-hand lead,
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy and white-robed Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court;
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crownéd heads,
Where Laughter rose-liped Hebe leads;
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
Listening to the shepherd's song.
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ;
Haste, Fancy, from these scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy,
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms and sigh!
Let us with silent footsteps go

considered by Mr Campbell as inferior to his brother

To charnels and the house of wo,

To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promised bridegroom's urn to seek;
Or to some abbey's mouldering towers,
Where to avoid cold winter's showers,
The naked beggar shivering lies,
Whilst whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tottering wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall.
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire;
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
My big tumultuous bosom beat!
The trumpet's clangours pierce mine ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear;
* Give me another horse,' I cry,
Lo! the base Gallic squadrons fly.
Whence is this rage? What spirit, say,
To battle hurries me away ?
'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war,
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where Tumult and Destruction reign ;
Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terror stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And, pointing to the ensanguined field,
Shakes his dreadful Gorgon shield !
O ! guide me from this horrid scene
To high-arched walks and alleys green,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun
The fervours of the mid-day sun 1
The pangs of absence, O! remove,
For thou canst place me near my love,
Canst fold in visionary bliss,
And let me think I steal a kiss.
When young-eyed Spring profusely throws
From her green lap the pink and rose;
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale:
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks;
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold;
At every season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.


A blind descriptive poet seems such an anomaly in nature, that the case of Dr Blacklock has engaged the attention of the o and curious in no ordinary degree. We read concerning him with strong interest, ercept his poetry, for this is generally tame, languid, and commonplace. He was an amiable and excellent man, of warm and generous sensibilities, eager for knowledge, and proud to communicate it. Thomas BLAck Lock was the son of a Cumberland bricklayer, who had settled in the town of Annan, Dumfriesshire. When about six months old, the child was totally deprived of sight by the small-pox; but his worthy father, assisted by his neighbours, amused his solitary boyhood by reading to him; and before he had reached the age of twenty, he was familiar with Spenser, Milton, Pope, and Addison. He was enthusiastically fond of poetry, particularly of the works of Thomson and Allan Ramsay. From these he must, in a great degree, have derived his images and impressions of nature and natural objects; but in after-life the classic poets were added to his store of intellectual enjoyment. His father was accidentally killed when the poet was about the age of nineteen; but some of his attempts at verse having been seen by Dr Stevenson,

Edinburgh, this benevolent gentleman took their blind author to the Scottish metropolis, where he was enrolled as a student of divinity. In 1746 he published a volume of his poems, which was reprinted with additions in 1754 and 1756. He was licensed a preacher of the gospel in 1759, and three years afterwards, married the daughter of Mr Johnston, a surgeon in Dumfries. At the same time, through the patronage of the Earl of Selkirk, Blacklock was appointed minister of Kirkcudbright. The parishioners, however, were opposed both to church patronage in the abstract, and to this exercise of it in favour of a blind man, and the poet relinquished the appointment on receiving in lieu of it a moderate annuity. He now resided in Edinburgh, and took boarders into his house. His family was a scene of peace and happiness. To his literary pur

suits Blacklock added a taste for music, and played

on the flute and flageolet. Latterly, he suffered from depression of spirits, and supposed that his imaginative powers were failing him; yet the generous ardour he evinced in 1786, in the case of Burns, shows no diminution of sensibility or taste in the appreciation of genius. the blind bard thus pathetically alludes to the supposed decay of his faculties:– Excursive on the gentle gales of spring, He roved, whilst favour imped his timid wing. Exhausted genius now no more inspires, But mourns abortive hopes and faded fires; The short-lived wreath, which once his temples graced, Fades at the sickly breath of squeamish taste; Whilst darker days his fainting flames immure In cheerless gloom and winter premature.

He died on the 7th of July 1791, at the age of seventy. Besides his poems, Blacklock wrote some sermons and theological treatises, an article on Blindness for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (which is ingenious and elegant), and two dissertations entitled Paraclesis; or Consolations Deduced from Natural and Revealed Religion, one of them original, and the other translated from a work ascribed to Cicero.

Apart from the circumstances under which they were produced, the poems of Blacklock offer little room or temptation to criticism. He has no new imagery, no commanding power of sentiment, reflection, or imagination. Still he was a fluent and correct versifier, and his familiarity with the visible objects of nature—with trees, streams, the rocks, and sky, and even with different orders of flowers and plants—is a wonderful phenomenon in one blind from infancy. He could distinguish colours by touch; but this could only apply to objects at hand, not to the features of a landscape, or to the appearances of storm or sunshine, sunrise or sunset, or the variation in the seasons, all of which he has described. Images of this kind he had at will. Thus, he exclaims—

Ye vales, which to the raptured eye Disclosed the flowery pride of May; Ye circling hills, whose summits high Blushed with the morning's earliest ray. Or he paints flowers with artist-like precision— Let long-lived pansies here their scents bestow, The violet languish, and the roses glow ; In yellow glory let the crocus shine, Narcissus here his love-sick head recline: Here hyacinths in purple sweetness rise, And tulips tinged with beauty's fairest dyes.

In a man to whom all external phenomena were, and

had ever been, one “universal blank,’ this union of

taste and memory was certainly remarkable. Poeti102

In one of his later poems, For him the fields no joys contain;

cal feeling he must have inherited from nature, which led him to take pleasure even from his infancy in descriptive poetry; and the language, expressions, and pictures thus imprinted on his mind by habitual acquaintance with the best authors, and in literary conversation, seem to have risen spontaneously in the moment of composition.

Terrors of a Guilty Conscience.

Cursed with unnumbered groundless fears, How pale yon ..". appears For him the daylight shines in vain,

Nature's whole charms to him are lost,
No more the woods their music boast;
No more the meads their vernal bloom,
No more the gales their rich perfume:
Impending mists deform the sky,
And beauty withers in his eye.
In hopes his terrors to elude,
By day he mingles with the crowd,
Yet finds his soul to fears a prey,

- In busy crowds and open day.

If night his lonely walks surprise,
What horrid visions round him rise !
The blasted oak which meets his way,
Shown by the meteor's sudden ray,

The midnight murderer's lone retreat

Felt heaven's avengeful bolt of late;
The clashing chain, the groan profound,
Loud from yon ruined tower resound;

And now the spot he seems to tread,
Where some self-slaughtered corse was laid;

He feels fixed earth beneath him bend,
Deep murmurs from her caves ascend;
Till all his soul, by fancy swayed,
Sees livid phantoms crowd the shade.

Ode to Aurora on Melissa's Birthday.

["A compliment and tribute of affection to the tender assiduity of an excellent wife, which I have not anywhere seen

| more happily conceived or more elegantly expressed."—Henry Mackenzie.]

Of time and nature eldest born, Emerge, thou rosy-fingered morn; | Emerge, in purest dress arrayed, And chase from heaven night's envious shade, | That I once more may pleased survey, And hail Melissa's natal day.

Of time and nature eldest born, | Emerge, thou rosy-fingered morn; In order at the eastern gate | The hours to draw thy chariot wait; Whilst Zephyr on his balmy wings, Mild nature's fragrant tribute brings, With odours sweet to strew thy way, And grace the bland revolving day.

But, as thou lead'st the radiant sphere, That gilds its birth and marks the year, | And as his stronger glories rise, Diffused around the expanded skies, Till clothed with beams serenely bright, All heaven's vast concave flames with light;

So when through life's protracted day,
Melissa still pursues her way,
Her virtues with thy splendour vie,
Increasing to the mental eye;
Though less conspicuous, not less dear,
Long may they Bion's prospect cheer;
So shall his heart no more repine,
Blessed with her rays, though robbed of thine.

The Portrait.

Straight is my person, but of little size;
Lean are my cheeks, and hollow are my eyes:
My youthful down is, like my talents, rare;
Politely distant stands each single hair.
My voice too rough to charm a lady's ear;
So smooth, a child may listen without fear;
Not formed in cadence soft and warbling lays,
To soothe the fair through pleasure's wanton ways.
My form so fine, so regular, so new,
My port so manly, and so fresh my hue;
Oft, as I meet the crowd, they, laughing, say,
* See, see Memento Mori cross the way.”
The ravished Proserpine at last, we know,
Grew fondly jealous of her sable beau;
But, thanks to Nature none from me need fly,
One heart the devil could wound—so cannot I.
Yet though my person fearless may be seen,
There is some danger in my graceful mien:
For, as some vessel, tossed by wind and tide,
Bounds o'er the waves, and rocks from side to side,
In just vibration thus I always move:
This who can view and not be forced to love 1
Hail, charming self! by whose propitious aid
My form in all its glory stands displayed :
Be present still ; with inspiration kind,
Let the same faithful colours paint the mind.
Like all mankind, with vanity I'm blessed,
Conscious of wit I never yet possessed.
To strong desires my heart an easy prey,
Oft feels their force, but never owns their sway.
This hour, perhaps, as death I hate my foe;
The next I wonder why I should do so.
Though poor, the rich I view with careless eye;
Scorn a vain oath, and hate a serious lie.
I ne'er for satire torture common sense;
Nor show my wit at God’s nor man's expense.
Harmless I live, unknowing and unknown ;
Wish well to all, and yet do good to none.
Unmerited contempt I hate to bear;
Yet on my faults, like others, am severe.
Dishonest flames my bosom never fire;
The bad I pity, and the good admire:
Fond of the Muse, to her devote my days,
And scribble, not for pudding, but for praise.


JAMES BEATTIE was the son of a small farmer and shopkeeper at Laurencekirk, county of Kincardine, where he was born October 25, 1735. His father died while he was a child, but an elder brother, seeing signs of talent in the boy, assisted him in procuring a good education; and in his fourteenth year he obtained a bursary or exhibition (always indicating some proficiency in Latin) in Marischal college, Aberdeen. His habits and views were scholastic, and four years afterwards, Beattie was appointed schoolmaster of the parish of Fordoun. He was now situated amidst interesting and romantic scenery, which increased his passion for nature and poetry. The scenes which he afterwards delineated in his Minstrel were (as Mr Southey has justly remarked) those in which he had grown up, and the feelings and aspirations therein expressed, were those of his own boyhood and youth. He became a poet at Fordoun , and, strange to say, his poetry, poor as it was, procured his appointment as usher of Aberdeen grammar school, and subsequently that of professor of natural philosophy in Marischal college. This distinction he obtained in his twenty-fifth year. At the same time, he published in London a collection of his poems, with some translations. One piece, IRetirement, displays poetical feeling and taste; but

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