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a case of this kind ; and I do not find materials sufficient to enable me to give his sentiments on his own authority.
“Essay on the use of the Latin subjunctive mood.” I find a very copious collection of examples on which he meant to establish a theory: of the theory itself there are no traces in his
years ago I have heard him talk very ingeniously on this point; but cannot now pretend to do justice to his opinion. I only remember that I thought his general principle more simple, and more comprehensive, than that of any other grammarian I had heard of.
“ Essay on the reason why philosophy is said ra“ ther to show our ignorance, than to augment our “ knowledge. This accusation is occasioned by not
attending to the nature of philosophy ; and by
supposing, that it should open the secret causes of “ things, when it can only compare and generalize “ facts."
“ Essay on disputatiousness in conversation ;« conducted by misunderstanding or misapplying the
arguments of one's antagonist; by perverse analo
gies; by converting particular affirmations into ge“ neral principles; by attacking a general principle “ from a particular exception.—Danger of maintain“ ing false principles, though apparently trifling ; “ from the consequences they may imply; from the “ mode of reasoning they may authorise ; from the « obstinate habit of disputation, vanity, and bad tem“ per, which they promote. Extensive knowledge
u of the subject in hand, of logick, and of philoso“phy in general, often necessary to qualify one for “ deciding a question which all pretend to dispute “about.”—Among his Latin memorandums, *I find
* Of these I subjoin a specimen. Ecclesia bis Die Dominico adeunda semper, nisi valetudinis manifesto periculo prohibente.
Cogitationes quæ malam perturbationem quamlibet, seu periculosam, possint promovere, fovendæ nunquam. Innumeras formas pulchritudinum, et spem honestam ulteriora scientiæ reperiendi, natura proposuit, quæ animum leni cum delectatione vel mulceant vel excitent. A perturbationibus melancholicis melius erit plerumque mentem diducere, quam divellere. Divulsio ipsa confirmat sæpe imaginem quam velles abolere:
In colloquiis sententia (cum res postulat) proponenda modeste et breviter : fugienda omnis acerbitas et pertinacia disputandi. Rei dignitas yi sustineatur et gravitate verborum, non garrulis cavillationibus. Quid enim ? Coram prudentibus agitur ? Horum judicium de te sententiæ tuæ veritas conciliavit; cavillationibus non firmandum, immo minuendum. Coram stultis agitur ? Non tantum tibi decoris horum assensio pariet, quantum dedecoris cavillationes istæ, quibus assensionem abtinueris.
Præteritä levitatis animi, puerilium cavillationum, et consiliorum bunorum quæ sequi constituissem, nec sum postea secutus, et crudelitatis in animalia innoxia, summa cum pænitenia reminiscar; vitaturus omni posterum quorum præteritorum angat memoria.
Vitanda in colloquiis omnia, quæ malam animi levitatem indicent vel promoveant: servanda sanctissime veritas de omni re atque persona; nunquam, ne minimum quidem deserenda, ut ludicrum aliquid, aut salse acerbum, inducatur. Sermonis hæc condimenta sunto, Veritas, Charitas, Modestia.
In precibus intentio animi minim.e remittenda, &c.
a resolution against giving way to a disputatious humour in conversation. I know no person, to whom it was less necessary to form such a resolution. Dispute he hated and carefully avoided. He knew how it tends to contract and pervert the understanding, deprave the taste, sour the temper, extinguish the love of truth and delicacy, waste precious time, and render the heart insensible to the pleasures of rational converse.
In the memorandum book are many other hints of inquiry, on various topicks of history, mathematicks, botany, chemistry, magnetism, musick, electricity, medicine, &c. : with remarks on
passages ture, and of Cicero, Livy, Aristotle, Quintilian, and other authors. Of these I may perhaps be better qualified, than at present, to give an account, when I shall have found leisure to arrange
his prose writings.
From the Greek drama he expected much entertainment, but was disappointed. In Sophocles he found beautiful passages, a pleasing simplicity, and moral sentences well expressed; but little incident, not much contrivance, and no very nice discrimina. tion of character. He agreed with me in opinion, that antient tragedy must have derived its charm rather from the magnificence of the scene, than from the genius of the poet ; or, at least, that there must have been, in the exhibition, some attractive circum,
stances, whereof we know little or nothing, and are therefore not qualified to judge. He thought, that in any one of Shakespear's best plays, in Othello, for example, or Lear, there was more strength and variety of invention, and more knowledge of human nature, than in any dramatick author of antiquity. Of our wonderful dramatist he was a great admirer: the favourite plays were, I think, Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Henry IV, and the Merry Wives of Windsor.
By some people, more prompt to speak and prone to censure, than acute to observe, his character was mistaken. They imputed his modesty to timorousness; and thought, or said at least, that I kept him secluded from society, obliged him to apply too much to books, and gave him no opportunities of knowing the world. In justice both to him and to myself, I must enter into some particulars on this subject.
When at home, indeed, he was not frequently seen in the street ; a laudable regard to health, and a pas, sionate love of rural scenery, leading him to daily excursions in the fields : it is also true, that of tea. tables he was no regular frequenter; and that at. card-tables and in ball-rooms, (things of no small importance in a country town), he never appeared at all. By the intelligent reader, after what he has heard of him, it will not be supposed, that this was
the effect of restraint on my part: on the contrary, it would have been unreasonable and cruel restraint, if in these things I had not readily complied, as I constantly did, with his inclination.
But I doubt, whether any other young man in North Britain, of his years and station, had better opportunities than he, of seeing what is called the world ; and a more accurate or more sagacious observer of it, I have not known. He never was in a foreign country; but in England and Scotland his acquaintance was nearly as extensive as mine ; and to many persons, in both countries, of
distinction in rank and literature, he had the honour to be known, and to be indebted for particular civilities. To give a list of names might be thought to savour of vanity rather than gratitude ; yet it is not improbable that gratitude may one day induce me to give such a list.--Of the principles on which I conducted his education, and of his own opinion of those principles, I leave the candid reader to judge from the preceding narrative.
In infancy, his health was very delicate, and he was somewhat timorous; not more so, however, than well-natured children, who fear to offend, commonly are. But his piety and good sense, the manly exercises in which he delighted, and his being so early accustomed to the use of arms, got the better of that