miles from hence on the Leven, so surrounded with plantations that it used to be known by the name of The Mavis (or Thrush) Nest. Above that house is a romantic glen, or cleft of a mountain, covered with hanging woods, having at the bottom a fine stream of water that forms a number of cascades in its descent to join the Leven, so that the scene is quite enchanting. I have seen the Lago di Gardi, Albano de Vico, Bolsena, and Geneva, and I prefer Loch Lomond to them all; a preference which is certainly owing to the verdant islands that seem to float upon its surface, affording the most enchanting objects of repose to the excursive view. Nor are the banks destitute of beauties, which even partake of the sublime. On this side they display a sweet variety of woodland, cornfields, and pasture, with several agreeable villas emerging as it were out of the lake; till, at some distance, the prospect terminates in huge mountains covered with heath, which, being in bloom, affords a very rich covering of purple. Everything here is romantic beyond imagination. This country is justly styled the Arcadia of Scotland: I do not doubt that it may vie with Arcadia in everything but climate. I am sure it excels it in verdure, wood, and water."

Tobias Smollett received his first instruction in the elements of classical learning at the school of Dunbarton, under Mr. John Love, the learned antagonist of Ruddiman; from thence he went to Glasgow, where he appears to have pursued his studies with diligence; and was at length, somewhat against his own wish, apprenticed to Mr. John Gordon, a surgeon of eminence there. His inclinations led him to a military life, and not being allowed to follow them, he is said to have resented the supposed injury by satirizing his grandfather and his master, under the characters of “ the Old Judge and Mr. Potion,” in his first novel of “Roderick Random.” He did Mr. Gordon justice at a subsequent period, by speaking handsomely of him by name in “Humphrey Clinker.”

When Smollett had scarcely attained his eighteenth year, his grandfather, Sir James, died, neglecting to make any provision for the children of his youngest son; and this, operating with the circumstance before mentioned, gave him the “painful distinction" of being handed down to posterity in the unamiable character of the Old Judge in “ Roderick Random.”

Thus thrown upon the world, without anything to hope for but from his own exertions, Smollett, before he was nineteen, commenced his career of adventure by a journey to London, taking with him “ The Regicide,” a tragedy written during the course of his studies. What can be more romantic? Without friends or protection he launched upon the troubled sea of life, and during his voyage gained that experience and that insight into character which his admirable productions evince. He was some time flattered with the expectation of having his tragedy brought on the stage. Lord Lyttelton approved of it, and Garrick and Lacy had given him some encouragement; but his hopes were ultimately blighted. Of his fruitless attempts and bitter disappointment he has drawn a forcible picture in the story of Mr. Melopoyon; and at the end of ten years he printed his tragedy in vindication of his wrong, with a preface, in which he does not spare the managers or his patron; but the mediocrity of the drama almost exculpates their neglect.

While he was thus kept in suspense he found it expedient to accept the situation of surgeon's mate, on board a ship of the line; and he sailed soon after on the unfortunate expedition to Carthagena. Of this voyage he has left a short account in his “Roderick Random,” and a longer one in the Compendium of Voyages which he compiled and published in 1756. The disgust which a man of any sensibility and cultivation would have experienced in such a situation, degraded as it then was, must have been poignantly felt by one of Smollett's lofty and independent spirit. He abruptly quitted the navy in the West Indies, and resided some time in Jamaica, it is not known in what capacity; but returned to England in 1746. This short period of sea-service was enough to enable the quick and intuitive genius of Smollett to describe sailors in such a masterly manner as to afford models to all succeeding writers.

“The Tears of Scotland,” an effusion which came warm from the heart, was written at this period. One of his particular friends has recorded the enthusiastic manner in which it was poured forth. “Some gentlemen, having met at a tavern, were amusing themselves before supper with a game of cards; while Smollett, not choosing to play, sat down to write. One of the company (the late R. Graham, Esq., of Gartmore), who was afterwards nominated one of his trustees, observing his earnestness, and supposing he was writing verses, asked him if it was not so. He accordingly read them the first sketch of “The Tears of Scotland,” consisting of only six stanzas,

Smollett was at this time settled in London, and tried his fortune in his profession, but failed of success. Whether his spirit was too haughty and unbending to submit to the usual courses of establishing a practice, or whether, as one account says, he had not the art of making himself agreeable to his female patients, certain it is that he hastily abandoned that course of life.

He now commenced his career as an author, renewed his attempts to get his tragedy acted, and sent forth, in 1746, “Advice," and in the following year “Reproof,” both poetical satires of merit, but which served to increase the number of his personal enemies. He had written an opera named

Alceste,” which, in consequence of a quarrel with Rich, was not acted; and he avenged himself by introducing the manager in his “ Reproof.”

About this time he married Miss Ann Lascelles, a lady of great beauty and accomplishments, with whom he became acquainted in the West Indies: he was to have received a fortune of 30001. with her; but of that sum he obtained only a very small portion, after an expensive law-suit. Having established himself genteelly, the increased expense of housekeeping, which he was unable to meet, urged him to have recourse to his pen, and thus “Necessity, that fertile mother of Invention,” gave the impulse which developed his extraordinary talent as a novelist, and produced

“ Roderick Random" in 1748.

The success of this novel was equal to its very superior merit; it brought both profit and reputation to the author. The general opinion that it described his own adventures gave it additional zest, and almost every character was applied to some known individual. There can be little doubt that he figured himself under the character of the hero. Mrs.

Smollett was supposed to be Narcissa; a bookbinder and a barber, the early acquaintances of Smollett, contended for the character of Strap, and the naval officers under whom he had served were Oakum and Whiffle. Marmozet and Sheerwit, in Mr. Melopoyn's story, were intended for Garrick and Lyttelton. The real merit of the work, independent of these personal allusions, would have secured its success; but those who know the keen appetite of the public for satire of the humorous kind, will not doubt that they increased its then unprecedented popularity.



In 1750, Smollett went to Paris, but his prejudices against the French and his ignorance of their language rendered his stay there a short one. The

year after he published “Peregrine Pickle,” which was greatly read and applauded. He received a “handsome reward” for inserting the prurient and profligate memoirs of Lady Vane, and they form such a mere episode, we wonder they have not been expunged. It might suit the morbid vanity of the “lady,” to pay a large sum for the insertion of her memoirs in a popular novel; but what are we to say to the author who received the money for such a purpose ?-one, too, who described himself as

“ Too coy to flatter and too proud to serve,

Thine be the joyless dignity to starve.” Having done it, we are not to be surprised at his “flattering himself that he had expunged every adventure, phrase, and insinuation, that could be construed by the most delicate readers into a trespass upon the rules of decorum:"—the one was a consequence of the other. After “Peregrine Pickle” was published, he resumed his medical profession, and announced himself as Dr. Smollett; but from what university he obtained his degree was a secret, and remains one. With


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