AS I doubt not but, after my decease, there will be as many Theets ready to claim the honour of my birth, as there were of old cities in the case of my great predecessor, Homer, I have too much respect for the world to leave that matter undecided : it were indeed but an act of charity to my brethren of the quillo leave it in the dark, by way of legacy, as a proper subject for future fixpenny pamphlets, and a refpectable provifion for future dinners : but I have also some compaflion for my own memory, and therefore inform the world, thai I first saw light in it in the polite part of Newgate-street, which is precisely that end of is nearest to Cheapside. My mother died in giving me birth. Of the first years of our lives fo little can be remembered with te. nour, that mankind seem universally to agree to let them pats without that minuteness of relation which decorates the hiftory of after-times. I should therefore have been readily exculed for the omiffion, had I forgot to tell the world that the feren years of my infancy were passed under the dire&tion of a perle and a governess, without any extraordinary emanations of r62fon, or any presages of future excellence.

My father was a busy little man, who had raised himself, as he frequently declared, from nothing ; and as a retrospect of life afforded him a view of no brighter days than he then en. joyed, he was sufficiently pleased both with himself and the world to be merry in it. He was in poffeffion of a repecable branch of trade, which was, perhaps, at first raised with line trouble, and was supported with little attention.-Between his pleasures and his business, he found little leisure to attend to me: no expence, however, was spared ; and he seemed willing, by a fort of profufion, to recompence his own negligence.

At seven years old I was removed to a boarding-school in the neighbourhood of London. In a few years I became a tokr. able proficient in classical learning, and soon after made fo rapid a progress, that I was at once the pride of the mafer, and the envy of the scholars. Applause fo liberally bettowed, heightened my natural avidity-I read while others played applied myself to my studies with the most perfevering ardoor of attention-and in a fhort time was well acquainted with every (ob. ject of elegant and polite literature. At seventeen I had a3 much real learning as many men at twenty-had read the greater part of the best books in our own language, and understood very well the character of others. With fuch qualifications, my father was soon convinced that I was fit for trade, and acqui. esced with the wishes of my master and myself, by sending me to the aniversity, which I entered at the age of eighteen.


Sensible minds are easily elated or depressed-even those whom frequent disappointment might be supposed to have rendered callous, enter upon every new undertaking with new ardour and new expectations—they conceive to themselves all that can ani: mate industry, or excite genius; all that can gratify ambition, or scothe the passions, as lying within the reach of their endeavogrs. When the prospect is so pleasing, the eye of reason is foon divefted of its keenness, and imagination is suffered to wan, der alone into new regions, where every breach is pleasure, and every gale the zephyr of popularity.--Hope necessarily implies doubt ; and where doubt is admitted, fear will generally enter. Whoever hopes to obtain any thing, feels at the same time the danger of lofing it ; and his anxiety encreases or diminthes, as the object of his wishes becomes of more or less importance. By fear, therefore, we are first recalled from the delusions of fancy; and before experience has convinced us of the folly of our defires, we have foreseen every difficulty, and anticipated disappointment. The dream, however, is ftill indulged; and though all admit the uncertainty of success, few are deterred from endeavouring to attain it ; for the greatest part of mankind rush forward into adventure, not because they have fortitude to surmount difficulty, but becaule for a time they hope to avoid it; and thus, without dismay, follow each other into the arms of destruction, in the vain hope that they shall escape dangers which others have encountered, and overcome dilliculties under which others have despaired.

With a mind thus agitated between hope and fear, I entered the univerfity. ---Cato's foliloquy recurred to my memory :

“ The wide, the unbounded prospect, &c. &c." Applause, I conceived, could not long be withheld from me. rit, and I expected every day to be diftinguished by honours ; *which, as they had been long contemplated, I had learned tv * consider without emction. Some time, however, pailet, before my name was perfectly known to all the members of my own college : no enquiries had been made, either as to my character or qualifications ; and I was suffered to live undisturbedly, without any intrusions from respectful curiosity, or any vifits but from rioters and loungers.-- To there, as they neither gratified my vanity, nor afforded improvement, I gave no encouragement; and after having been disturbed by a few nocturnal tallies, they quietly abandoned me to my fate, with the character

of a stupid fellow, who had no taste for life, and no relish for its 'amusements.-Hitherto I had no opportunity of diiplaying my qualifications; I therefore checked my impatience, by reflect.

3 N 2

'. ing

ing that no merit could be known 'till it had been tried ; ani that to hope for reward, where no proofs had been given that it was deserved, was to expect an harveit without the trouble of col. tivation. Occasions, I believed, must loon present themselves, in which my learning or genius would find sufficient means of exerting themselves, and I resolved to wait patiently the events of time and chance, 'till success should crown my hopes, or expe. rience shew that they had been ill-founded. My exercises, as tar as they were known, were received with applause ; which, however, afforded my vanity no gratification, becaute it was equal.y the lot of many others; and I now, for the first time, ciloovered that I was but one of a large number who were all ea. gaged in the same pursuit, with the same expectations of fec. cels, and the same pretensions to distinction. Reputation, there. fore, if acquired at all, could only be obtained by long labour, and patient application by labour of which I was already weary-and application which might perhaps be exerted in vain. Thus ended the first year, in which I lost the vivacity of hope, the ardour of diligence, and the confidence of sapcriority, 'cill chen uncontested.

[To be continued.)


in SCOTLAND. A Mile north of Stonhaven lies Urie, the seat of Robert A Barclay, Esq; great grandson of the famous apologist, and the first and most distinguished improver in the country. David Barclay, of Mathers, the apologist's facher, served as a colouel under the great Guftavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, and when the troubles broke out in Charles the Firft's time, did not remain neuter. In that fluctuating period he became a quaker, and, when he retired to live upon his estate, withed to improve bis personal farm. But as he knew norbing of agriculture, he was obliged to trust all to his servants. Having dif. covered that he had an unskilful ploughman, he was at much pains to recommend better methods of plowing, from what he had observed among his neighbours ; but the fellow was obitinate, and would go on in his own way. “ Thou knowed, friend, (said Mr. Barclay,) that I feed and pay thee to do any work in a proper manner ; but thou art wife in thine own eyes, and regardert not the admonitions of thy employer. I have hire therto spoken to thee in a stile thou understandeít noi, for verily


thou art of a perverse spirit: I wish to correct thy errors, for 2my own fake and for thine, and therefore thus tell thee (coming E' over his head with a blow which brought him to the ground)

that I am thy matter, and will be obeyed !”—Though the wea. :: pon was carnal, this was the demonstration of power, and had

the desired effect : the ploughman became tractable, and quiet as a lamb.

Of however little value we may think the property of a few hundred yards of a barren mountain, in former ages grat disputes have arisen, and much blood has been shed, in regard to the march-line of the different heritors, which is commonly marked out by cairns, or large stones, the bearings of which are marked down in writing, and, in case of encroachments, the ground is perambulated by the oldest people in the neighbourhood. A difference of this kind arose between colonel Barclay and a neighbour of his, who had built a sheeling beyond his march, A Theeling is a temporary hut, for those who attend cattle in the fammer time. Mr. Barclay fent the gentleman rotice to remove the hut, fignifying, if he did not, he would come and throw it down. No regard was paid to the message: on which the colonel called together a few of his tenants, and went to the fpot. The other gentleman had heard of his intention, and came also, ready prepared to oppofe force to force. When the belligerent powers, at the head of their respective corps, armed with spades, pitch-forks, swords, and rusty tnuskets, had got within the precincts of death, a halt was commanded on boch sides; when the chiefs advancing between the front lines, with a Lllen silence saluted each other." Friend, (said Mr. Barclay,) I have long ago renounced the wrathful people, and with not to quarrel with any body; but if thou hast a right to build within the march-line between us here, it is but extending that right to build within my arable fielas, which are also unenclosed. Let our people Itand by, while thou and I throw down this hut, injurious to my property, and of no consequence to thee.The other affirmed he had a right to build the hut where it stood, that his neigibour's claim to the ground was very unjust and illo founded, and that he would be the death of the first man who should dare to touch it. “ Friend, (faid the colonel,) the time was when thou would not have dared to speak to me in this itile ; but though I am only the withered remains of what I once was, thou had it better not stir up the old man within me; if thou doft, he will soon be too much for thee. Be thy threats unto thyself ; I Mall throw down the first stone, and do you, my people, level this unjust encroachment of my neighbour.” The


hut was thrown down without the least oppofition, and both parties returned in peace to their respective places of abode.

With whatever wild freaks the sect may have been charged, when it firit (prung up, and whatever grounds their conduct may have given for the charge, it appears that when colonel Bareiay embraced quakeriím, he did it in the fimplicity of his heari, and from a real regard to religion. The great figure which as fon made, as a polemic writer, and the irreproachable character which he uniformly supported through a long life, refied bonous upon the memory of his father, and demonstratively prove that he must have had an excellent education. That the quakers have lo long stuck together, and given to the world an edifying example of brotherly affection, muft, in a high degree, be the result of his excellent apology for their principles. If be had never writ a line, but the dedication of that work to king Charles the Second, the memory of the author would have been dear to every good man. He does not weakly and ridiculoelly endeavour to proselyte the king to quakerism ; but, reasoning upon the great and universally acknowledged principles of mo. rality, in the most dutiful and affectionate manner, lays his daty before him as a man, and a king. There is a fimplicity, yet a force and emphasis in the stile of this dedication, which has rarely been equalled, and never will be exceeded, in the Eaglia language. A quarto edition of this work, on a fine paper, did honour to the press of the late Mr. Baskerville, of Mancheiter.


founded an Hospital at Aberdeen, in Scotland. T HE founder of this hospital was a man of parts, family,

T and education, and is faid to have had a patrimony of twenty thousand marks, (eleven hundred and eleven pounds two fhillings and two pence two-thirds sterling.) In his younger days he visited feveral parts of Europe, in company with a friend ; when, it is supposed, he spent most of his fortune. This is the more probable, as he then seems to have had a genteel taste, which appeared from a good collection of coins and medals found by him at his death. After his return to Scot. land, he never was concerned in trade, and therefore most have amassed the large som he left by hard living, and the accumulation of interest.

One would blush to repeat some stories told of Iris fordid economy, after he had entirely fet his heart upon dying rich. He

« ElőzőTovább »