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George Home Drummond, Esq; of on Morality and natural Religion, as Blair Drummond.
containing a complete vindication of The year 1751 gave birth to the the doctrine of Calvin. For this mif first fruirs of his lordship's nietaphyfi-' take he was dismiffed from his office, cal Audies, under the title of. Eflays and excluded from the communion of on the principles of Morality and Na- the sect to which he belonged. Lord tural Religion, in two parts. Though Kames, like many other great and a fmall volume, it was replete with good men, continued a Neceffariana ingenuity and acute reasoning, ex to the day of his death ; but in a suba cited general attention, and gave rise fequent edition of the essays, he exto niuch controversy. It contained, hibited a remarkable proof of his cang in more explicit terms than perhaps dour and liberality of sentiment, by any other work of a religious theilt altering the expresions, which, con then known in Scotland, the doctrir.etrary to his intention, had given such which has of late made so much noise general offence. under the appellation of philosophical In 1761, he published an · Intronecessity. The fame thing had indeed duction to the Art of Thinking, been taught by Hobbes, by Collins, 1200. This mall but valuable book and by the celebrated David Hume, was originally intended for the in. but as shofe authors either were Itsuction of his own family. The professed iofidels, cr were supposed to plan of it is both curious, amusing, be such, it excited, as coming from and highly calculated to catch the atthem, no wonder, and provoked for tention and to improve the mods of a time very little indignation. - But youth. It consists of
. n.axims collected when a writer, who exhibited no from Rochefoucault and many other fyaiptoms of extravagant fcepticism, autto:s. To illuftrate these maxims, who insinuated nothing against the and to rivet their spirit and meaning truth of revelation in general, and in the minds of young persons, his whu ioc ulcated with earncitness the lordthip I as added to most of them great du ies of morality and natural beautiful ffories, fables, and historical religion, advanced at he same time a.. cdotes. so uncommon a doctrine as that of In the department of Belles Lettres, peceffity ; a number of pens were im his • Lit nients of Cucism'appeared mediately drawn against him, and for in 1762, in 3 veks. 8vo. This valuaa while the work and its author were ble work is the first, and a n:oft sucextremely obnoxious to a great part cetsful attempt, to show, that the art of the Scottish nation. On the other of cri'icism is founded on the princihand, there were fome, and those not ples of buman naure. totally illiterate, who, confounding it might be tir ught, should have proa necefity with predestinatiin, compli- duced a dry and phlegmatic performmenied Mr Home on his malterly alice. Lord Kanes, on the contrary, defence of the ellablished faith; and from the frightliness of his manner though between these two schemes of treating every futject he handled, there is no furt of resemblance, ex bas tendered the Elements of Criti. ..cept that the future happiness or mi- cism 'not only higlily inftructive, but fery of all men is, according to both, one of the moft er tertaining tooks in certainly foreknown and appointed by our language. Before this work was God, yet we remember that a profef. published, Rolin's Belles Lettres, a for in a diffenting academy so far dull performance, from which a stumistook the one for the other, that he dent could derive little advantage jecominended to his pupils the Efaye was univerfully recommended as
Such a plar,
ftandard; but, after the Elements of observations concerning the nature of Criticism were presented to the pub- man ; the produce of much and prohic, Rollin instantly vanished, and fitable reading. In the course of his gave place to greater genius and Atudies and reasonings, he had amaffed greater utility. With regard to real a vast collection of materials. These, instruction and genuine taste in com. when considerably advanced in years, position of every kind, a student, a he digested under proper heads, and gentleman, or scholar, çan in po submitted them to the confideration language and such a 'fertile field of of the public. He intended that this information. Lord Kames accord- book should be equally intelligible to ingly had the happiness of leeing the women .as to min'; and, to accomgood effects of his labours, and of en- plish this end, when he had occasion joying for twenty years a reputation to quote ancient or foreign books, he which he foʻjustlý merited, uniformly translated the paffages.
A fill farther proof of the genius The Sketches contain much useful inand various pursuits of this active formation; and, like all his lordship’: mind was given in the year 17729 other performances, are lively and when his lordship published a work in entertaining. 8vo, under the ritle of · The Gentle We now come to Lord Kames's last man Farmer, being an attempt to work, to which he modestly gives the improve Agricultuie by fựbjecting it title of Loose Hirts upon Éducation, to the test of rational principles. Our chiefly concerning the Culture of the limits do not permit us to give de- Heart. It was published in 1781., Pails : but, with regard to this book, in 8vo, when the venerable and aftowe mult inform the public, that all oishing author was in the 85th year the intelligent farmers in Scotland of his age. Though his lordíhip aniformly declare, that, after peru. chose to call them Loose Hints, the Sing Young, Dịckson, and a hundred intelligent çeader will perceive in this ether., writers on agriculture, Lord composition an uncommon activity of Kames's Gentleman Farmer contains 'mind at an age so far advanced be. the best practical and rational informa- yond the usual period of human life, *rion on the various articles of huf- and an earnest desire to form the minds bandry which can any where be ob of youth to honour, to virtue, to intained. As a practical fawner, Lord duftry, and to a veneration of the Kames has given many obvious proofs Deity, of his skill. After he succeeded, in Beside the books we have enume. right of his lady, to the ample eftate rated, Lord Kames published many of Blair-Drummond in the county of temporary and fugitive pieces in difPerth, he formed a plan for turning ferent periodical works. In the ECa large mcfs, confifting of at leaft says Physical and Literary, pub ished 1500 acres, into arable land. His by a society of gentlemen in EdinJordship had the pleasure, before he burgh, we find compositions of his dizd, to see the plan fuccessfully, lord ship On the Laws of Motion, On though only partially, executed. The the Advantages of Shallow Plough fame plan is now carrying on in a ing, and on Evaporation; all of much more rapid manner by his fon which exhibit evident marks of genius George Home Drummond, Esq. and originality of thinking.
In 1773, Lord Kames favoured the How a man employed through life world with Sketches of the History in public business, and in business of of Man,' 2 vols. 410. This work the first importarce, could find leilure consis of a great variety of facts and for so many diferent pursuits, and
Excel in them *, it is not easy for a practising these lessons that Lord meaner mind to form even a concep. Kames rose to literary eminence, in tion. Much, no doubt, is to be at- opposition to all the obftacles which tributed to the fuperiority of his ge. the tumult of public business could nius, but much must likewise have place in his way. been the result of a proper distribution To give a proper delineation of the of his time. He rose early; when in public and private character of Lord the vigour of life, ar four o'clock; in Kames, would far exceed our limits.. old age, at fix; and studied all morn The writer of this article, however, ing. When the court was fitting, who had the honour of an intimate the duties of his office employed him acquaintance with this great and good from eighs or pine to twelve or one ; man for more than twenty years, must after which, if the weather permitted, be indulged in adding a few facts he walked for two hours with some li which fell under his own observacions: terary friends, and then went home Lord Kames was remarkable for to dinner. While he was on the public spirit, to which he conjoined bench, and we believe when he was activity and great exertion. He for at the bar, he neither gave nor ac a long tract of time had the principal cepted invitations to dinner during the management of all the societies and term or seffion; and if any friend boards for promoting the trade, filhcame uninvited to dine with hin, his eries, and manufactures, in Scotland. lordship displayed his usual cheerful-" As conducive to those ends, he was a ness and hospitality, but always re- ftrenuous advocate for making and rerired with his clerk as soon as he had pairing turnpike roads through every drunk a very few glasses of wine, part of the country. He had likeleaving his company to be entertained wise a chief lead in the distributionby his lady. The afternoon was spent, and application of the funds arising as the morning. had been, in study. from the estates in Scotland which had In the evening he went to the theatre unfortunately been annexed to the or the concert, from which he re crown. He was no less zealous ich turned to the society of some men of supporting, both with his writings learning, with whom he fat late, and and perfonal influenoe, literary affiocidisplayed such talents for conversation ations. He was in fone measures as are not often found. Is is observed the parent of what was called the by a late celebrated author, that “ to physical and literary society. This. read, write, and converse, in due society was afterward incorporated proportions, is the business of a man into the Royal Society of Edinburgh of letters.; and that he who kopes to which received a charter from the look back hereafier with sarisfaction: crown, and which daily producing upon past years, mult learn to know marks of genius, as well as works of the value cf single minutes, and ea real utility. deavour to let no particle of time fall As a private and domestic geatle: meless to the ground. It was by man; Lord Kanes was admired by
Upon reflecting on the studiousness of Lord Kames's difpofition, and his numeroun literary productions the reader will naturaliy recal to his mind a truking similarity be:ween his lordship and the laborious pary, the elder. In a letter from Pliny the younger to Macer, the following paffige occurs, which is equally applicable to both; A’onne videtur tibi, recordanti quintum legerit, quantum firipferit, nec in officiis alis, roe in amic atia principum fuile? which is thus traoDated by Memouch: When you ride on the books hie has read, and the volumes be has written, are you 20 inclined to iuipce, that he never was engaged in the aia rs of the public, uz the cervice of his prince?
both sexes. The vivacity of his wiť idle moments in his long protracted and of his animal spirits, even when life. His mind was incessantly eniadvanced in years; rendered his com- ployed; either teeming with new pany not only agrecable, but greatly ideas, or pursuing active and labosolicited by the literari, and courted rious occupations. At the same time, by ladies of the highest rank and ac. with all this intellectual ardour, one complishments. He told very few great feature in the character of Lord fories ; and rarely, if ever, repeated Kames, beside his lite rary talents and the fame story to the fame person. his public fpirit, was a remarkable From the neceffity of retailing anec- innocency of mind. He not only dedotes, the miferable refuge of those ver indulged in detraétion, but when who, without genius, attempt to shine any species of scandal was exhibited in in conversation, the abundance of his his company, he either remained fi. own mind set him free ; for his wit or lent, or endeavoured to give a differhis learning always fuggefted what ent turn to the conversation. As nathe occasion required. He could with tural consequences of this amiable disequal case and readiness combat the position, he never meddled with poopinions of a metaphysician, unravel litics, even when parties ran to indethe intricacies of law, talk with a far: cent lengths in this country; and, mer on improvements in agriculture, what is still more remarkable, he ne or estimate with a lady the merits of ver wrote a senter.ce, notwithịtanding the dress in fashion. Instead of be. his numerous publications, without a ing jealous of rivals, the characteristic ditset and à manifeft intention to bem of little niinds, Lord Kames foftered nefit his fellow creatures. In his tem. and encouraged every symptom of per he was naturally warm, though merit that he could difcorer in the kindly and affectionate. In the friend. Scholar, or in the lowest mechanic. ships he formed, he was ardent, zeal. Before he fucceeded to the estate of ous, and sincere. So far from being Blair-Drummond, his fortune was inclined to irreligion, as fome ignosmall. Norwithstanding this circum- rant bigots infinuated, few men poffance, he, in conjunction with Mes fessed a more devout habit of thought. Drummond, his respectable and ac- A conftant fenfe of Deity, and a vecomplished spouse, did much more neration for Providence, dwelt upon service to the indigent than most fa- his mind. Froni this source arose that milies of grearer opulence. If the propensity which appears in all his prefent necefîcy was presling, they writings, of investigating final caules, gave money. They did more: When and tracing the wisdom of the Supreme they discovered that male or female Author of nature. But here we must petitioners were capable of perform- ftop. Lord Kames, to the great reing any ant or labour, both parties gret of the public, died on the 27th exerted themselves ia procuring that day of December 1782. As he had Species of work which the poor people no marked disease but the debility ne. could perform. In cases of this kind, ceflarily resulting from extreme old which were very frequent, the lady age,' a few days before his death he took charge of the women and h's went to the court of feflion, addreffed Jordfhip of the men. From what has all the judges feparately, told them heep faid concerning the various and he was speedily to depart, and took numerous productions of his genius, a folema and an affectionare farewell. ic is obvious that there could be few
Extract from a Memoir concerning the Existence and Situation of Solomon's
Illands. Presented to the Royal Academy of Sciences, January 9th 1781 ; by M. Buache.
tors, at the same time that they related by Figueroa, cannot be regards have furnished so much knowledge ed as romance ; they contain nothing of the South Sea, have given rise to marvellous, inconsistent with doubts respecting the existence of things actually known, but a simple Solomon's Islands ; and several geogra- narrative of fact. The relation of phers have already been anxious to Men dana's second voyage is alone sufexpunge them from their charts, and ficient to establish the reality of this remove them to the class of fabulous discovery. We see from the first, Lands. It was for some time rather that this voyage was not undertaken, usaal to deny the existence of every like the former, to make discoveries country, which was not found at the at random, but to return to a place place añgned to it by the charts ; already known, and establish a colotvhile, on the other hand, all those ny in it: the fleet was, consequently, lands which were found in tracts of provided with every thing neceffary sea where there were not any marked for such an expedition ; 368 persons, in the charts, were considered as new chiefly married, were embarked in it; discoveries. The more enlightened their course was directed to the partinavigators of the present time, when cular object in view; and they crossed their researches prove unsuccessful, the sea between the 8th and 1 zeh dedraw no other conclufion, than that grees of south latitude, in consequence the lands they are unable to find have of their previous knowledge of the been ill placed upon their gecgraphi- fituation of the places. When they arcal charts; and, before they give a rived at the island of Santa-Cruz, new name to any island that does not Mendana no fooner saw the inhabi: appear there, consider attentively, all tants, than he declared to his crew, those that appear in the fame tracks that these were the people he fought. and at the fame latitudes. In the After the death of Mendana, hist prefent case, . to be qualified to dený widow, who succeeded him in the the existence of Solmon's Iands with command of the fleet, when they quita any reason, it would be necessary to ed Santa-Cruz, was desirous to seek have fought them in all the fituations the island of St Christopher, the most which different authors have asfigned, eastern of Solomon's Illands, and which has not yet been done. I have steered W.S. W. but after the second examined this point of geography day, as this island did not appear, she with attention; and it has appeared changed her course and bore to the to me, that, to any one who has not north for Manilla. It was, without made a vow of fcepticism, the exist. doubt, upon Mendana's instructions ence of these islands is sufficiently de that the dire&ted this search ; and by monstrated by the accounts of Men- the short time she employed, it is evis dana's
voyages. I have also thought dent how pear, that navigator had supe: that, with the knowledge we now posed them. have of the South Sea, we may be Mendana's chief Pilot, Fernand able to ascertain their position more Quiros, could not bring himself to rea precisely, and make them easier to be. linquish his commander's refearchesi found by other navigators.
and regretted the proposal of failing The circumftantial particulars of for Maoilla. He was convinced of
Аа.. Vol. XIV. No. 81