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Social Life in Scotland
Chapter XVII. - An Eighteenth Century Correspondence


BELONGING to the same race of sturdy borderers which afterwards produced Thomas Carlyle, the illustrious essayist, Dr Alexander Carlyle was born on the 26th January 1722. Ordained minister of Inveresk at the age of twenty-six, he there ministered till his death, which took place on the 25th August 1805 —his parochial incumbency extending to fifty-eight years. His career was singularly eventful. He witnessed the public execution at Edinburgh which led to the Porteous mob. In his youth he met at dinner the vacillating Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. He saw Prince Charles Edward enter Edinburgh in September 1745, and from the church steeple at Prestonpans watched the progress of the battle which was there fought between the Prince and the royal troops under Sir John Cope. With the gallant Colonel Gardiner, who fell in the conflict, he dined on the day which preceded the engagement. Among those with whom in early life he was brought in contact was the Honourable James Erskine, Lord Grange. An heritor of Prestonpans parish, Lord Grange had brought thither as its pastor Carlyle's father, who was previously minister of Cummertrees in his native Annandale. As a personal friend, Carlyle the elder was with Lord Grange frequently in the evenings, and they often remained together till late hours. Dr Carlyle believes that they were frequently occupied in prayer, or in settling points of Calvinistic doctrine, for Lord Grange was as remarkable for pious talk as he was notorious for social error. According to Dr Carlyle, he erred and repented by turns. For a season regular in attending religious ordinances, he for another would occupy his Sundays in intemperate pleasures. Days which he dedicated to prayer were followed by nights spent in debauchery. Partially insane he certainly was, but in a lesser degree than his wife, Rachel Cheislie, whom Dr Carlyle describes as in physique realising the notion which in early life he entertained respecting the aspects of the woman represented in Scripture as embodying the impurities of Babylon.

Known to Robert Blair, author of "The Grave," Dr Carlyle enjoyed with John Home, his successor at Athelstaneford, a life-long intimacy. With several reverend brethren he was subjected to censure for being present at a theatre in 1756, when Mr Home's tragedy of "Douglas" was for the first time acted. He attained considerable privileges and honours. In 1762 he was appointed almoner to the King, in 1770 was elected Moderator of the General Assembly, and in 1785 was nominated one of the Deans of the Chapel Royal. Devoted to the interests of his order, he procured for his brethren an exemption from the window tax. Collins's "Ode on the Superstitions of the Highlands," long lost, was through his instrumentality recovered. Possessing a lofty mien and an urbane and gracious manner, he attracted some by his demeanour—others by his benevolence. A leader of the Moderate party, he exercised an important influence in ecclesiastical affairs. At an advanced age he prepared his autobiography, ["Autobiography of Dr Alexander Carlyle, minister of Inveresk," containing memorials of the men and events of his times. Edinburgh, 1860. 8vo.] but it was not printed till many years subsequent to his death. This did not embrace his correspondence, which, however, he had arranged with a view to publication. For this purpose it was entrusted by members of his family to his personal friend, Dr John Lee, latterly Principal of the University of Edinburgh. Dr Lee was one of the most learned persons of his time, but he lacked the virtue of application, and what he eagerly undertook and fully intended to carry out, he generally left untouched. At Dr Lee's death Dr Carlyle's correspondence was secured by the University of Edinburgh. The more interesting portions form the substance of the present chapter.

One of Dr Carlyle's earliest friends was George Dempster, whom he had known in Edinburgh as an advocate. This somewhat remarkable individual was great-grandson of John Dempster, minister first at Brechin, afterwards at Monifieth, in the county of Forfar. His grandfather, a merchant and banker at Dundee, gave loans on mortgage, and by this method became owner of large estates. To these estates George succeeded early in life. Born in 1735, he passed advocate at twenty; and in his twenty-second year sat in the General Assembly as the representative of a burgh, though holding no office in the Church, and in reality a freethinker. In this Assembly, which met in May 1757, he took part in the discussion respecting the tragedy of "Douglas" and the supposed demerits of Dr Carlyle and others who had witnessed its representation. He seconded the proposal for an Act forbidding the clergy to countenance the drama. After spending some years in Edinburgh, he abandoned the life of a lawyer for that of a politician and, after a contest attended by an expenditure of 10,000, he was in 1762 chosen Parliamentary representative of the Fife and Forfar burghs. In the same year was established at Edinburgh, by Dr Carlyle and Professor Adam Ferguson, the Poker Club, for stirring up popular sentiment in respect of the denial to Scotland of the privilege of embodying a militia. For, when in 1757 an Act was passed organising the English militia, it was resolved not to extend the system to Scotland, on the plea that a people among whore had occurred two insurrections within a period of thirty years might not safely be entrusted with arms. In defence of the national claim, both Dr Carlyle and Professor Ferguson had issued pamphlets; while, on entering Parliament, Mr Dempster pledged himself to continue the agitation. As he remained silent, Mr Carlyle, about the year 1768, reminded Lim of a promise which apparently be had forgotten. To his remonstrance, Mr Dempster, in an undated letter, replied in these words:—

"REV. Mr ALEXANDER CARLISLE,—I tell you, once for all, if you come across us politicians with letters of a dozen years old, and remind us of points to which we have pledged ourselves at that distance of time, you will be a most dangerous man to correspond with. However, since I have never once moved a question that I pledged myself to move every year, I am not much surprised at your being a little uneasy at the fate of that measure now that it has been moved. The history of the bill is shortly this: Robinson of the Treasury undertook to prepare it for Lord Mountstuart, [Afterwards Marquess of Bute.] its mover. A Secretary of the Treasury is at all times busy; but we patriots alledge, and I hope you courtiers know, that he is remarkably busy in Parliament time. Much importunity it cost us to get it out of his fingers. A place of 500 a-year for life might have been had with more ease and less solicitation; and for a good reason, that he sometimes has a few of them to dispose of, but the other was not in existence. Lord Mountstuart moved for the bill, and in a very spirited manner. If there be a fair, honourable young man upon earth, I believe he is one, so far as I can judge, from comparing the intercourse I have had with him upon the subject and that which I had with others, about the early period you allude to. He is going straitforward; they go round about. He thinks the influence the Scotch have in his Majesty's councils a favourable opportunity of doing service to Scotland they thought that it might exert a jealousy against our country should any favourable disposition be shown towards it. I offer this as a little apology for having forefeited my life to you concerning moving for a militia every year. Indeed, I had not been long in Parliament before I observed that to obtain a beneficial law, a member must have the patience of a fisher, and he contentedly by the stream till the water be muddy and the day overcast. Now, if the water be not muddy enough I leave you to guess. Less, however, would have been insufficient to have ensured our sport, and I am now in hopes we shall haul out 6000 militiamen at one throw of the line by a very inexperienced fisher."

The augury failed, since the Militia Acts were not extended to Scotland till 1793, nine years after the Poker Club had ceased to agitate or even exist. Mr Dempster concludes his communication by a suggestion which shows that he had contemplated the extension of the franc rise, long interior to that period of attack upon the close system, which dates from the Irish Revolution. He proceeds:—

"When the Poker Club has effected its point as to a militia, may I beg they will turn their attention to the representation of Scotland, and urge its extension, so as to let the industrious farmers and manufacturers share at least in a privilege now engrossed by the great lords, the drunken laird, and the drunkener bailie."

Mr Dempster who had recognised the rising statesmanship of the first Marquess of Bute, also discovered early in his career the great capacity and political aptitude of Henry Dundas, afterwards Viscount Melville. Respecting him, he, on the 9th June 1766, communicated with Dr Carlyle in these terms:-

"Harry Dundas is a great acquisition as things now stand. You may judge of his performances, of the extent of his interest, and also of the high opinion entertained of his talents; and upon my word I think it is well founded. I never knew him till the last trip, and he appears to me to have an exceeding good capacity, and a very good heart."

When these words were written, Mr Dundas was only in his twenty-fifth year. In the same letter Mr Dempster facetiously proceeds:-

"I should like to see Alexander Carlisle, present minister of Inveresk, transported to the Tron. You don't know him, but I think he would make a very proper successor to poor Jardine. If you are not pre-engaged in favour of some friend whom you prefer to him, I wish you would use your endeavour to bring this point about. He likes society, and should be the very heart of Edinburgh."

Mr Dempster concludes

"Adieu, my dear Carlisle. Please remember me to Adam Ferguson."

The vacancy in the Tron Church, Edinburgh, to which Mr Dempster referred, was caused by the sudden death of the incumbent, Dr John Jardine, which took place on the 30th May, during a sitting of the General Assembly. Possessed of much vivacity and a brilliant humour, Dr Jardine was a cherished associate of that literary coterie to which Dr Carlyle belonged. Dr Jardine's death, which occurred iii his presence, deeply affected him; and he has in his "Autobiography" detailed the circumstances which attended it. The successor of Dr Jardine was Dr John Drysdale, a warm upholder of the views of Principal Robertson, which his position as principal clerk of the General Assemby enabled him to subserve.

On Dr Drysdale's death, which took place on the 16th June 1788, Dr Carlyle was induced, in the interests of the Moderate party, to offer himself as a candidate for the clerkship. The election being regarded as a trial of strength between the two ecclesiastical parties, Mr Dalzel, professor of Greek at Edinburgh, was named by the other side. The rivals made a keen canvass. Nearly a year before the day of election Dr Carlyle had communicated with Mr Dempster in the hope that he would secure election by a burgh as a member of the House. To his letter Mr Dempster, on the 20th July 1788, replied thus:—

When I heard of your stepping forth as a candidate for the honourable ecclesiastical office of clerk to the General Assembly, I was mutch disposed to have given you all the opposition in my power, as I did to the American War, the farming of the public revenue, and the prosecution of our Eastern saviour, Mr Hastings and that from the sincere affection and constant and unaltered respect I entertain for you. It is now twenty years since I found my opposition to any measure—one of the necessary accompanyments of its success. This is true to a ridiculous degree. The approbation of the late peace and the Irish commercial propositions, both failed without another reason being pretended to be assigned for their miscarriage but that I had voted for them.

I shall do you the further mischief of bidding Forfar elect rue a ruling elder, and witness your defeat. . . . I find the doctrine of Faith much more acceptable and popular than that of "Works," under which description, perhaps, the good you have done to the Church may be classed, and in that case you will not be chosen clerk to the General Assembly. ... Do you remember a little good wine you, Principal Robertson, and I drank out of pewter pots in Ross's Tavern one night? ...There was something in that pewter that soldered friendship better than glass bottles. Mine has held very fast ever since, and will, I hope, for ever.

Mr Dempster's apprehension as to the failure of projects supported by himself proved true. At the General .Assembly of 1789 the forces of the two competitors were marshalled under powerful leaders. Henry Dundas led on the part of Carlyle; and it was announced that he had obtained three votes in excess of his opponent, whereupon he took his seat at the clerk's table, and expressed his thanks for his election in a speech in which he referred to his having long sought to abate the progress of fanaticism. On a scrutiny it was found that he had not been chosen, a majority of legal votes having been recorded for Mr Dalzel.

Professor Adam Ferguson was one of Carlyle's most cherished friends. Two years younger, he survived Carlyle eleven years, and was privileged to compose his epitaph. Writing of Professor Ferguson in 1813, Lord Cockburn remarks that he was "then in his ninetieth year, the most monumental of living men. A fine countenance, long milk-white hair, gray eyes, nearly sightless, and a bare, sleep-bullied throat, gave him the appearance of an antique east of this world; while an unclouded intellect and a strong spirit savoured powerfully of the next." He died in 1816. Appointed in 1758 to the chair of natural philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, Professor Ferguson exchanged that office in 1766 for the chair of moral philosophy in the same institution. But the importance of securing to professorial chairs the highest ability and scholarship, by providing ample inducements, was not yet understood; and when, in 1773, Mr Ferguson was offered the office of travelling companion to a nephew of Lord Chesterfield, he readily accepted it. But his chair was kept open, the duties being for two sessions discharged by his eminent colleague, Professor Dugald Stewart.

Returning to London in 1775, Professor Ferguson addressed Dr Carlyle in a communication which proceeds thus:—

"BLACKHEATFH, 29th April 1775.

"My DEAR CARLYLE,—In answer to the two or three letters which you have written to me, I can give you five or six which I had written in my own mind to you before I had received any of yours. The first was from Geneva, where, having had the advantage of lodging in Calvin's own house, and having access to some of his most secret manuscripts. I thought myself without vanity qualified to give you some light into the more intricate recesses of our Church. My second was from Ferney, the seat of that renowned and pious apostle, Voltaire, who saluted me with a compliment on a gentleman of my family who had civilised the Russians. I owned this relation, and at this and every successive visit encouraged every attempt at conversation, even jokes against Moses, Adam, and Eve, and the rest of the prophets, till I began to be considered as a person who, though true to my own faith, had no ill humour to the freedom of fancy in others. As my own compliment had come all the way from Russia, I wished to know how some of my friends would fare, but I found the old man in a state of perfect indifference to all authors except two sorts—viz., those who wrote panegyrics, and those who wrote invectives on himself. There is a third kind whose names he has been used to repeat fifty or sixty years without knowing anything of them, such as Locke, Layle, Newton, &c.—I forget his competitors for fame—of whom he is always either silent or speaks slightly. The fact is, that he reads little or none; his mind exists by reminiscence, and by doing over and over and over whit it has been used to do —dictate tales, dissertations, and tragedies, in the latter with all his elegance, tho' not with his former force. His conversation is among the pleasantest I have met with; he lets you forget the superiority which the public opinion gives him, which is indeed greater than what we conceive in this island. But he is like to make me forget all the rest of my letters. The third was from the face of a snowy mountain in Savoye, higher than all the mountains of Scotland piled upon one another, and containing more eternal ice in its recesses than is to be found in all Scotland in the hardest winter. The bottom of this ice is continually melting in the valleys, like the bottom of a roll of butter placed on end in a frying pan. It is perpetually creeping down from the mountain, where fresh snows are continually falling. Masses come down from the mountains sometimes, and shake all the rocks with a force that nothing but an earthquake can imitate, and drive the air out of the narrow valleys with the force of a hurricane that roots up trees on the opposite hills. I wrote you this letter in the full belief that you are a great natural philosopher, and disposed to believe every word I say. My fourth letter was written from the innermost parts of Switzerland on a Sunday afternoon, where I saw the Militia exercise. They have uniform clothes and accoutrements, all at their own expense, which is not a great hardship, for it is their only public burden. They appear to me to be a very effective military establishment; and as they were the only body of men I ever saw under arms on the true principle for which arms should be carried, I felt much secret emotion, and could have shed tears. But, to conclude, my fifth and last letter was from the neighbourhood of this place, where everything from a pair of snuffers to the Venus of Medicis, and the great Diana of the Ephesians is better provided than anywhere else; where every one is busy enjoying, and no one thinks whence it came nor how it is to be kept. I thought to have finished all my letters here; but as a frank will carry another sheet, I shall take room at least to sign my name. As I have already written you five letters, and this new sheet may pass for another, you will please to observe that you are at least four letters in my debt. I am much obliged to you for your goodness to my wife and my bairns. If I live to return to them, we shall not part so easily again. You may believe I was much surprised at the attempt of the Town Council to shut the door against me; but am obliged to them for opening it again. I may be a great loser; but the end for which I am persecuted cannot be gained, while I have it in my option to return. I have been much obliged to the general voice that was raised in my favour, as well as to the ardent zeal of particular friends. Ilay Campbell has given me proofs of friendship which I can never forget. Pulteney has behaved to me in everything as he would have done at the beginning of the Poker Club. I have always been an advocate for mankind, and am a more determined one than ever; the fools and knaves are no more than necessary to give others something to do. I saw John Home in town yesterday morning; he goes on as usual. Macpherson is listening to the reports of his history. I do not live among readers, and am really ignorant of the general verdict. I have been living here above three weeks. A charming villa in a magnificent scene; sod quis me sistcct gqelidis in naontibus Pentland; and this I do not say on account of the hot weather, tho' it has been for three days the greatest I ever saw in this country.

"Remember my blessing to Mrs Carlyle and your young ones, of whose thriving state I am happy to hear. Tell Edgar when you see him that I have lately had a letter from Clerk, and shall write to him—meaning Edgar—soon.—I am, dear Carlyle, yours affectionately, "ADAM FERGUSON."

Through the influence of Mr Dundas, Professor Ferguson was appointed secretary to the commissioners who were sent to America early in 1778 to negotiate an arrangement with the revolted colonies. The unsatisfactory result of that mission did not lead him to apprehend that the British authority would be permanently overthrown. The commissioners returned, in December 1778, and in a letter dated London, 9th February 17 79, the secretary communicated with Dr Carlyle in these words:-

"It is the fashion to say we have lost America; so I expect to hear that we have lost Scotland, but in that case I hope to be reckoned, not among the losers, but the lost. I am in great hope nothing will be lost, not even the continent of North America. We have 1200 miles of territory, occupied by about 300,000 people, of which there are about 150,000, with Johnny Witherspoon [Dr John Witherspoon, after ministering at Leith and latterly at Paisley, accepted in 1768 the office of Principal of Princeton College, New Jersey. When the dispute arose with Great Britain, he was elected one of the delegates to the Convention. He was afterwards a member of Congress. When minister of Paisley, he was a formidable opponent of Principal Robertson in the General Assembly.] at their head, against us—and the rest for us. I am not sure that if proper measures were taken, but we should reduce Johnny Witherspoon to the small support of Franklin, Adams, and two or three more of the most abandoned villains in the world, but I tremble at the thought of their cunning and determination opposed to us."

Among the more remarkable of Dr Carlyle's correspondents was the notable John Wilkes, whose acquaintance he had formed when they studied together at the University of Leyden. In his "Autobiography" he refers to his acquaintance with Wilkes in these terms:—

"When we came to John Wilkes, whose ugly countenance in early youth was very striking, I asked (the introducer, Mr John Gregory) who he was. His answer was that he was the son of a London distiller or brewer, who wanted to be a fine gentleman and man of taste, which he could never be, for God and nature had been against him. I came to know Wilkes very well afterwards, and I found him to be a sprightly entertaining fellow—too much so for his years, as he was but eighteen, for even then he showed something of daring profligacy, for which he was afterwards notorious."

Owing to his social qualities Wilkes secured the friendship of persons who reprehended his principles. Andrew Baxter, who met him at Utrecht, dedicated to him his "Appendix to the First Part of the Inquiry into the Nature of the Human Soul," and Dr Carlyle became his correspondent. Writing to Carlyle from Bath on the 26th May 1731, Professor Ferguson remarks:—

"Excuse my intimacy with Johny Wilkes. If you should be questioned about your correspondence with him, remember not that which both into the mouth defileth, but that which cometh out, so keep a good tounge in your own head and you need not care who writes to you."

With Dr John Douglas, latterly Bishop of Salisbury, Dr Carlyle maintained a close intimacy. Son of a small trader at Pittenweem, in Fife, he attained a prominent place both in letters and in the Church. By Dr Carlyle we are informed that he became acquainted with Dr Douglas during his visit to London in 1758. A letter which in 1771, he received from the Bishop supplies some important particulars as to the mercantile value of works by contemporary writers. Dr Carlyle proceeds:-

"The Dr [Robertson] seems to be the only historian from Scotland who can treat successfully with our booksellers. Poor Dr Henry, I believe, met with little or no encouragement from them, and Sir John Dalrymple, I understand, was offered 750 for his "Memoirs," but, as he demanded 1500, the work is now published on his own account. I think there were 500 copies of it sent up from Edinburgh, and in three or four days (for so long only has it been published), Cadell tells me they are almost all sold. I read treat part of it in print several months ago, but though perhaps I have contributed towards the swelling of his table of errata, his eagerness to publish has brought it out with imperfections that nobody could correct. I mean he would not wait for the materials promised from the Secretary's office at Versailles; and he has not, it seems, been permitted by the fathers of the Scotch College to cite King James's Papers for many of the anecdotes which he has inserted in his book, and which, being very unfavourable to the Whigs of the last century, will probably expose hint to the censures of those of the present time. I find it very fashionable in Edinburgh to run down Sir John's performance by more than one letter I have lately seen. But I own I think there is great merit in some parts of the work, even as to the composition, though far from being free from affectation and singularity. As to the matter of it, surely there are many particulars which, if not absolutely new, were not generally known before; and, upon the whole, if it comes to a second edition, and he will take pains and regulate his veracity by the advice of his friends, it will be a very valuable morsel of history."

Early in 1773 Dr Joseph M'Cormick, Carlyle's clerical neighbour at Prestonpans, had ready for the press "The State Papers and Letters" of his granduncle, Principal Carstares. That the work might be introduced to the publishing trade in a manner advantageous to the editor, Carlyle invited Dr Douglas's interposition. In his reply, dated 20th March 1773, Dr Douglas writes thus:—

"I gave them [Messrs Strahan and Cadell] my own opinion, that as Principal Carstares was intrusted with the most confidential affairs in the Scotch Department during the reign of King William, it was natural to suppose his Papers would throw much light on the history of that period, and that the public would have an eagerness to peruse the intended publication. I found them very much inclined to treat about the matter, but was told that they would first choose to have the MS. transmitted to London ; and they desired me to say that if the Doctor would send it up to me, they would, if it answered their expectations, make proposals to which they hoped he would agree. . . . I told Strahan and Cadell that if a volume of a genuine cast was not worth 300, it was worth nothing and, though I have no authority from them to make any offer, yet I should guess, from the whole of the conversation, that they may be brought to give this suns."

Dr M`Cormick's work was accepted, and in 1774 appeared in a quarto volume.

In a letter of the 20th March, Dr Douglas refers to various literary topics. He writes:—

"The success of Mr Home's play' has indeed been very great, but one would hardly suppose that they have forgot their animosity against Scotland who reads the loads of abuse, thrown every day for some time past, on the natives of this part of the island on account of Sir John Dalrymple's book, which has been the only topic of conversation ever since it appeared. The first edition of one thousand was sold off in a few days, and a second edition, which is already published, will, I make no doubt, be also soon disposed of."

In the same letter James Macpherson's recently issued translation of Homer is noticed in these terns :-

"I must do that justice to the public in general, to say that I do not observe there is any such prejudice against Mr Macpherson as he and some of his friends apprehended there would be on this occasion. I have met with some good judges who commend the translation much, but I have scarcely looked into it myself. Do you know that Macpherson is to turn historian? He has undertaken to write the History of England from the Revolution to the death of Queen Anne. I have not the least doubt he will succeed very well in this work of literature, and he has got some very valuable materials. Mr David Hume will not be sorry to have so able a continuator of his History."

Macpherson's translation of the Iliad did not prove a success. In attempting to render Homer's verse into prose after the manner of Ossian, he failed to grasp the meaning, and represent the spirit of the elder bard. He was twitted on his failure by Dr Johnson, who, in his celebrated letter to him, declared that his abilities since the appearance of his Homer had ceased to be "formidable." For his "History of Great Britain" he received 3000. Though condemned by Charles Fox, the work obtained high praise, and on account of its important revelations will continue to be read.

Shortly after the publication by Professor Adam Ferguson of his "History of the Roman Republic," Dr Douglas, on the 2nd November 1783, communicated with Dr Carlyle in these words:-

"I always dreaded the want of a rapid sale for Dr Ferguson's history, owing to the subject being destitute of novelty, and to his not having followed Mr Gibbon's plan of making the narrative only a retreat for attacking the religion of his country. Everybody who has read his book speaks well of it.

Dr Douglas, now Bishop of Carlisle and Dean of Windsor, was requested by Principal Robertson to interest himself with the booksellers on behalf of his friend Dr Somerville of Jedburgh, whose "History of Political Transactions " was now ready for the Dress. Writing to Dr Carlyle from Windsor Castle on the 4th April 1791, Dr Douglas proceeds "I had a letter from Dr Robertson about Dr Somerville, but I was so ill at that time that I could not undertake to peruse any part of his MS. I understand, however, that he has sold his work to Cadell for 500, which is a great price."

Dr Somerville's work appeared in 1792 in a quarto volume.

From the Carlyle correspondence, supplemented by various documents which form a portion of the Lairig MSS. in the University of Edinburgh, we become conversant with the personal history of the ingenious but unfortunate John Logan. Ordained minister of the second charge of South Leith in 1773, in his twenty-fifth year, he zealously applied himself to the duties of the pastoral office. His discourses, sound in doctrine, were pervaded by an earnest tone, and composed in a strain at once forcible and ornate. While yet under thirty, he was considered the most effective preacher in the Edinburgh literary circle, which included such eminent names as Dr Robert Walker, Dr John Erskine, Dr Hugh Blair, and Principal Robertson. But Mr Logan enjoyed celebrity

not more as a pulpit orator than as a Ulan of superior culture. In 1779 he became a candidate for the chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, but in his canvass he began to surprise his friends by denouncing his opponents in irreverent and intemperate speeches. From the minister of Inveresk, to whom lie had with strong invectives execrated Principal Robertson, he received a letter, dated 21st March 1779, in which occur these words:—

You lately gave me a new view into your character which I am willing to ascribe to a temporary intoxication or phrenzy, as you said yourself; provided I never see any more of it. Don't suffer yourself to be heated in your clubs of rash and undiscerning young men, against a person who stands justly very high in the republic of letters. And pray don't, in apprehension of imaginary injuries, or even the feeling of real ones, suffer your candour to be so far extinguished as to turn the weaknesses and defects of a fellow-man into the atrocious vices of a devil."

While uttering intemperate speeches towards those from whom he had experienced real or fancied wrong, Logan warmly cherished all who had extended to him an active friendship. Among his attached friends were Professor Ferguson and Dr Hugh Blair, both of whom, amidst his wayward speeches, continued to regard him with much affection. Reciproeating their kindness, he evinced his gratitude by a timely service. When Dr Ferguson had issued his "History of the Roman Republic," and Dr Blair was about to publish his "Lectures on Rhetoric," the rancorous Dr Gilbert Stuart held office as editor of the "English Review." In the interests of his two friends Mr Logan addressed a letter to Dr Stuart, which, though withheld at their request, strongly indicates the benevolence of his nature. The letter, which was found among Logan's papers, is in these terms:—

"LEITH, March 8, 1783.

"DEAR Sir,—The new Review published by Mr Murray bath not reached this place, so that it bath excited without gratifying our curiosity. I wish it success, as to every undertaking that tends to the progress and improvement of literature. This is the season when (if you will indulge me in a pun) the leaf begins to appear. Dr Ferguson's Roman history bath been advertised. The Pomp and glitter, the point and antithesis, and all the tawdry and meretricious ornaments which mark and disgrace some popular historians, he avoids and disdains. He writes history with the simplicity and dignity of an old Ronan. The public, however, will discover that his manly ease of writing is as different from the colloquial cant of such a vulgar scribbler as Henry, [Dr Robert Henry, the eminent author of the History of England. As one of the ministers of Edinburgh, he had given offence to Dr Gilbert Stuart in some of his several attempts at preferment, and was in consequence pursued by him with a malignant pertinacity which is without parallel in literary history. Logan's expressed approval of Dr Stuart's persecution of Dr Henry is much to be deplored.] as the robe of a rustic dictator is from the barb of an ordinary ploughman. Dr Blair's 'Lectures' are also to be published sometime in spring. I need not tell you that I am interested in the fate and fame of aII his works. He hath, I confess, one deplorable fault. From inveterate and incurable habits he is too much connected with a literary impostor, whom you have completely stripped of his borrowed plumes, but at his time of life (the great climacteric) it is hardly worth while to change one's acquaintance. In every other respect he is very deservedly a favourite of the public. Beside his literary merit, he bath borne his faculties so meekly in every situation that lie is entitled to favour as well as candour. He his never with pedantic authority opposed the cause of other authors, but on the contrary favoured almost every literary attempt; he has never studied to push himself immaturely into the notice of the world, but waited the call of the public for all Isis productions. And now when lie retires from the republic of letters to the vale of ease, I cannot help wishing success to Fingal in the last of his efforts. In any work where you are concerned, if you happen to be employed by greater objects, I shall very gladly write any short article that you may have occasion for with regard to him. Your influence to give Dr Blair his Iast passport to the public will be most agreeable to your admirers, and will be a particular favour (lone to me. It will still enhance the obligation if you will write me such a letter as I can. show to him to quiet his fears. Wishing success to your literary undertakings, I am ever, dear sir, your faithful humble servant,

" J. LOGAN."

In the spring of 1781 Mr Logan proceeded to London, intent on offering to the booksellers for publication a volume of poems. From London, in a letter dated 2nd April, lie communicated with Dr Carlyle in these terns:-

"DEAR SIR,—After a very fatiguing journey I arrived at London on Saturday night. I dined at Mr Strahan's two days after. Mr Strahan is not only obliging, but partial to his countrymen. I find that lie will not be adverse to publish the 'Poems.' I told him that in this affair I would be directed by persons of sense and taste, and that when I had them transcribed in a fair hand (as mine is not copperplate) I would show them to some friends. The best judges of poetry and the patrons of poets here are the women. Lady Frances Scott 1 was, I think, well pleased with some poems of mine, that she saw. If you could use the freedom to desire her to show the manuscript that I shall send her to any of her acquaintances remarkable for their taste, and show some patronage to a wandering minstrel, you would do me a very great favour. You may write to her that I am in great habits with Dr Smitlt. If I can pay the expenses of my jaunt by this publication, I shall be very well pleased. I have been two or three times at the playhouse.—Dear sir, yours faithfully and affectionately, "J Logan."

"P.S.—I beg that you will not let any person know my intention of publishing poems, as I do not wish anybody in Scotland to be acquainted with it till I advertise in the newspapers."

In an undated letter to Dr Carlyle, written from Richmond a few days later, Mr Logan has these words: "Thomson the poet used to pass a great part of the summer in this neighbourhood as long as Lord Chancellor Talbot was alive, who had a country seat within a quarter of a mile of Norbridge, now possessed by the Marchioness of Rockingham. I have never seen his ghost, but have often felt his gentle spirit in the nightingale's voice."

In a, letter dated 18th May, Mr Logan requested Dr Carlyle to procure further supply for his pulpit at South Leith, in order that his London visit might be prolonged; he remarks that the tragedy of "Douglas" was next day to be acted "for the benefit of Mr Crawford, who performed the part of Douglas." To Dr Carlyle he writes on the 24th May:-

"The east wind has blown here with a vengeance these three weeks, and has given me a sore throat and hoarseness. . . . I am in the press just now, and what between the printer's devil, and the demon of the east, I am in a most pitiable plight.. . . I gave my poems early to those gentry, but never could get them from their hands. But as they did not 'offer me such a price as I expected, I resolved to publish them at my own expense. [The volume, a thin duodecimo, appeared in 1781, under the title, "Poems by the Rev. Mr Logan, one of the ministers of Leith." London: Printed for T. Cadell in the Strand. Price 2s. 6d. A. second edition was called for during the year of publication.] I saw Douglas' acted lately. Mrs Larry is divine; [Mrs Barry exerted her powers in impersonating Lady Randolph so successfully, that in his tragedy of Alonzo Mr Home who had, as he relates, composed the part of Ormisinda for her special acting, remarked—"She so much exalted the character that she exceeded all imagination, and reached the summit of perfection."—"Home's Life and Works." Edin., 1822.] her husband is a fool. The audience were all in tears. A young lady, very handsome, just beside inc had very nearly cried me out of my senses, but Iuckily I was obliged to go away at the end of the tragedy."

In one of his letters, addressed to Dr Carlyle from London, Logan writes thus:—

"There are many reasons for a man taking a jaunt to London when he can afford it. The chief motive that impelled me was to get quit of some impressions arising from an incident in private life (which people conjecture but do not know), which had very nearly unhinged my mind altogether."

When some time in June Logan returned to Leith, lie found that those formerly attached to his ministry were unwilling that he should resume the pastoral duties; for it was generally believed that, while he had formerly committed an indiscretion unbecoming his office, he had become amenable to another charge of a similar character. Retirement from the ministry became imperative, but his people, who deplored his waywardness, were willing that there should be settled upon him a portion of his stipend to secure him against actual want.

Had the means of estimating the condition of Logan's mind at this period and subsequently not been derivable from his letters, his memory would have been open to reproach. Happily for his fame, evidence is afforded, in missives which lie despatched to Dr Carlyle and other friends, that his moral vision was, in consequence of cerebral disease, altogether obscured. Formerly zealous in the cause of liberty he became the advocate of arbitrary power. On the 12th April 1786 he wrote to Dr Carlyle in these words:—

"I now wish for absolute government in these kingdoms. We have had near a hundred years of liberty, which is more than Greece or Rome experienced, and there is neither public nor private virtue in the country sufficient to sustain a free government."

Warmly attached to the Church of Scotland, he sought admission into the English establishment. On the 27th September 1787, in a letter to Dr Carlyle, he requests that he would recommend him for preferment to his friend, Bishop Douglas. "You know," he writes, "that you might expatiate at large on such a subject, about the benefit the Church would receive from having a man of learning and abilities among then, who could defend them against these heretical dos, the dissenters." Though a firm believer in the Christian verities, and an eloquent expounder of the Gospel system, he accompanied his application for admission into the Anglican Church by expressions of coarse infidelity. In a future letter to Dr Carlyle he exhibits a degree of vanity which lunacy only would explain. The necessity of writing for daily subsistence, he remarked, had kept him "from studies of more general and permanent importance," which, he added, "is a great loss to the world, especially to posterity." And only a few weeks before these words were written lie had, in August 1787, sold to Dr Rutherford, the master of an academy at Uxbridge, his "View of Ancient history," which, on a promised payment of 150, he allowed Rutherford to assume as his own composition. Indeed, so fully had he determined that Rutherford should be recognised as the actual author, that, writing to Dr Carlyle on the 20th August, he describes him as a clergyman from Scotland, who "is now publishing 'A View of Ancient History' by subscription;" then extolling Carlyle's benevolence, he desires him to interest the family of Buccleuch on the writer's behalf. "The work," he adds, "will be the best on the subject."

In a letter to Dr Carlyle in the autumn of 1787, Logan expresses himself as possessing from his literary earnings 300 a-year. This estimate of his resources was wholly delusive, for lie only derived a small and precarious income by writing to the "English Review" and some other serials. The cerebral weakness under which he laboured was followed by a general debility. Frequently confined to his sick chamber, he was affectionately attended by his attached friend and fellow-countryman, Dr Donald Grant, minister of the Presbyterian Chapel in Fitzroy Square. To Dr Carlyle, on the 4th December 1788, Dr Grant wrote: "Your good friend is in the last stage of consumption, and is incapable of writing." In his next letter Dr Grant announces his death. Dated the 6th January 1788, the letter proceeds:—

"Your poor friend is now freed from all his troubles. He died on Sunday, 28th December, and was decently and genteelly buried under my direction on Friday, 2nd January. . . . The only money he has left is 200 3 per cent. consols; I do not yet know the extent of his debts, but I fancy he does not owe much"

Dr Grant acids that lie and the Rev. Thomas Robertson, minister of Dalmeny, were named as the executors.

In reference to Logan's affairs, including the disposal of his MSS., a correspondence between Dr Grant and Dr Carlyle was conducted at intervals during a period of about fifteen years. The reverend pretender at Uxbridge School published, as his own, Logan's "View of Ancient History," in two octavo volumes; lie also paid the bill for 150, which he had granted for the transference of the authorship. Under the care of Dr Blair and Mr Robertson of Dalmeny and the celebrated. Henry Mackenzie, were published, in 1790 and 1791, two volumes of Mr Logan's "Sermons." His lectures on Roman History, delivered. at Edinburgh, were found in a state too fragmentary for publication.

Dr Carlyle was informed by Dr Grant that lie had ascertained, from an examination of Logan's MSS., that in the small volume which he published in 1770, under the title of "Poems by Michael Bruce," lie had himself composed "Damon, Menaleas, and Meliboeus: an Eclogue," "Pastoral Song, to the tune of the `Yellow-hair'd Laddie,'" "Ossian's Hymn to the Sun," "Ode to a Fountain," two Danish odes, "Chorus of Anacreontic, to a Wasp," "The Fate of Levina," being 278 lines in the poem of "Lochleven," the "Ode to Paoli," and the "Ode to the Cuckoo." In connection with this last, Dr Grant discovered among his friend's HISS. the following supplementary verse hitherto unprinted:-

Alas, sweet bird! not so my fate,
Dark scowling skies I see;
Fast gathering round and fraught with woe,
And wintry years to me.

It is to be regretted that Dr Grant has not presented the evidence on which he discriminated between the compositions of the two poets. That the Ode to the Cuckoo, slightly altered by Logan, was the composition of Bruce has been proved incontestably. And with respect to the real authorship of the ten paraphrases -which the General Assembly received from Logan, and added to their collection, it appears nearly certain that these were mainly, if not wholly, the work of Bruce. Irrespective of the strong presumptive evidence adduced on behalf of the Kinross-shire poet by his two latest editors, we have, from a perusal of Logan's missives, become wholly satisfied that lie was incapable of morally discerning as to the real meaning of authorship. As he had introduced verses of his own into the posthumous issue of Bruce's poems in 1770, willing that the deceased bard might share his laurels, so we have seen that seventeen years later he handed over to another his "View of Ancient History," a work sufficient to obtain for him literary distinction. [It is to be deplored that in absence of the information which is supplied by his MISS., the two latest editors of Michael Bruce, Dr Mackelvie and Mr Grosart, should have visited Logan with so much hostile criticism. Through active cerebral disease Logan was led into error, but lie did not offend wantonly or with intent.] Dr Donald Grant, Loan's attached friend and executor, died on the 24th April 1800, bequeathing to the University of Edinburgh for exhibitions or bursaries a sum which now yields about 100 per annum.

Dr Joseph M'Cormick, minister of Prestonpans and editor of the Carstares State Papers, was in 1782 appointed Principal of the United College of St Andrews. About a year subsequent to his entering on the duties of his new office, Dr M`Cormick communicated with Dr Carlyle in these terns:—

"ST ANDREWS, 3rd, February 1783.

I am just now throng with a rectorial oration when I demit that magnificent office on the first Monday of March. I think it will be tolerably decent after Hunter and George Hill have lick'd it up a little, and corrected grammatical slips to which I am very liable. I could have wished Mrs Carlyle and you had been here in time enough to see me in my purple and crimson robes . it would have impressed your minds with a suitable sense, and repressed those freedoms which I see you are still disposed to use towards your quondam brother parson."

Though not lacking in scholastic power, Dr M`Cormick was chiefly remarkable for his humorous sayings, but Dr Carlyle has described him as " rather a merry-andrew than a wit." Dr George Hill of St Andrews, then Professor of Greek, was his nephew, and IDr John Hunter, the other reviser of his "rectorial oration," was then and long afterwards leader at the college table of the section adverse to those, who acknowledged Dr Hill as their chief. A good-natured politician, Principal M'Cormick consulted the leaders of both sections, less for the correction of his "grammatical slips" than in order to a clue enjoyment of academic tranquillity. To him, in the spring of 1790, Dr Carlyle applied for a guardian to a young man of fortune, and in his reply, dated the 30th March, the Principal recommended to him as eminently suitable, "Mr James Brown, teacher of mathematics in the University," whom he describes as "a man of great learning and of a firm and vigorous mind, blended with great patience and good temper:" he adds, "he is in a few weeks to be ordained minister of Dunino." To this parochial cure, in the gift of the United College, Mr Brown was admitted on the 13th May. We shall refer to him again.

With Dr M'Cormick's nephew, Dr George Hill, the minister of Inveresk had cherished a close intimacy. Under the leadership of Principal Robertson, they were both prominent debaters on the Moderate side, while on Dr Robertson's death in June 1793 Dr Hill became leader of the party. In this capacity Dr Carlyle informed him that he had ventured to remonstrate with Henry Dundas, then Hoene Secretary, on his dispensing the patronage of the Crown in favour of persons who cherished other than "Moderate" opinions. In acknowledging, on the 20th April 1793, Dr Carlyle's communication, Dr Hill commended his diligence and urged a continuance of his diplomacy:--

"I am," he writes, "exceedingly happy that you have given the Secretary your ideas. . . . If the scheme of equalising court favour goes on, the Moderate interest will soon vanish from the face of the earth. . . . by all means keep in the way of writing to Mr D[undas] as long as you have his ear. It will keel) him out of other people's hands."

In a further communication, Dr Carlyle suggested to the Home Secretary that the Scottish clergy, not being represented, as was the English Church, should, in virtue of their livings, be admitted to the franchise. Forwarding to Dr Hill a copy of his letter, lie received the following answer:—

"ST ANDREWS, 3rd December 1793.

"I am very much obliged to you for taking the trouble of sending me a copy of your most interesting letter to Mr Dundas. I read it with much delight, and with the most entire and cordial approbation; and I shall lay it up in my safest repository, not without hope that I may live to see the day when it may be brought forth to your immortal honour. The ideas stated in it are of such magnitude, and are truths so luminous that I think they are not unlikely to lay hold of the magnanimous mind of Mr Dundas. I know that he thinks the representation ought to be improved in order to adapt it to the present state of the country; and I think it is possible, even without a convulsion, that when the commotions of the day are settled, and Europe has leisure to profit by all the lessons, both to rulers and subjects, which the French Revolution administers, Mr Pitt and he, if they retain their influence both with the King and people, may digest and bring forward some great comprehensive scheme, containing in its principles an antidote against the return of French democratical madness. Such a scheme will not be complete, if it does not embrace the clergy by giving to some portion of our order, or to the delegates of the whole body in every country, a right of voting."

A glimpse at college politics turns up in connection with Mr James Brown, minister at Dunino. In a letter addressed to Dr Carlyle, on the 12th April 1796, Dr Hill has the following:—

"I am not up to your postscript about Brown. We know nothing of the particulars of his canvass; we hear, in general, that he has a food chance. But being all of us considered as hostile to him we receive no communication. If Brown goes, Hunter's son, I believe, will get Dunino"

Brown was now applying for the Professorship of Natural Philosophy in the University of Glasgow, a candidature in which he was successful. [Owing to a nervous disorder, Dr James Brown was, after the trial of a single session, unable to conduct his professorial duties. He died in November 1838. His conversational powers were of a very high order.] In obtaining his appointment, he was indebted chiefly to the vigorous recommendation of Dr John Hunter, and it was not without a sneer that Dr Hill predicted that, in the event of his success, Dr Hunter's son would obtain the cure at Dunino. The augury proved correct. On brown's preferment to Glasgow, Dr Hunter's son, James, was presented to the church living which he had vacated; he was afterwards, under the same patronage, elected Professor of Logic in the United College. For nearly thirty years the professorial chairs at St Andrews, in the gift of the College, were filled by nominees of the one or other of the two rival parties to whom allusion has been made.

On the 17th June 1799 Dr M'Cormick died, and in his office of Principal of the United College was succeeded by Dr James Playfair, minister of Meigle. Without any special reputation as a preacher, or as a debater in ecclesiastical courts, Dr Playfair was known as a scientific inquirer, also as a geographical student. Respecting him, Dr Hugh Blair on the 2nd October 1785 had communicated with Dr Carlyle in connection with the Moderatorship of the General Assembly. In this letter, after referring to the unfitness of Dr Somerville and the declinature of Mr Greenfield, Dr Blair proceeds:—

"Mr Playfair is the only other person whom I have heard named. I believe him to be a very good man; if he be sufficiently known in the Church, and if we be sure of his political principles. He was once, I am told, on the other side, and was made historiographer to the Prince of Wales. At the same time I am persuaded that whomsoever you and I and a few other friends adopt, we have strength in the Church to carry him through."

At this time Dr Playfair's nomination was departed from, but his accession to University honours and the influence which his new position commanded, again invited the attention of Moderate leaders. Dr Hill proposed that Dr P]ayfair should be placed in the chair of the Assembly, and by the members of his party he was authorised to convey their approval. Of the issue Dr hill informed Dr Carlyle in the following letter:—

"ST ANDREWS, 2nd December 1800.

"I have met with much kind attention from all my friends from none more than from Dr Mayfair, who discovers a very sound understanding in himself, and is really, I believe, a worthy, well affectioned man. I read your question to him. But he had made a kind of bargain with me many months ago that we should allow him next year free to finish his great geographical work, after which he should be at our command."

When the limit was passed, for which he required dispensation, Dr Playfair was again approached by his university colleague, who met with an answer evasive as before. This was embarrassing, since it was fully expected that Dr Playfair would, by occupying the moderator's chair of the General Assembly of 1802, permanently unite himself with the Moderate party. By Dr Playfair the contingency was quite understood, and he sought to avoid indebtedness to those with whom he might be unable permanently to co-operate. As to the excuse relating to his "geography," the first of six quarto volumes did not appear till seven years later. To Dr Carlyle, writing on the 9th February 1802, Dr Hill complained that Dr Playfair had disappointed him, but expressed his gratification that the office was accepted by Dr Finlayson, who, he added, "is compleatly one of ourselves." Two years later Principals Hill and Playfair fell into hot conflict. Commencing in a dispute as to whether the brother-in-law of one professor, or the near relation of another, should be appointed to the chair of natural science, the strife was severe and even fierce. After occupying the attention of the ecclesiastical courts till the leading combatants were all but exhausted, they parted, as ancient gladiators met by cordially shaking hands.

Though more of a politician than beseemed a clergyman or the President of a Theological College, Dr George Hill possessed a high literary culture. By Professor Dugald Stewart he was requested to prepare an estimate of Principal Robertson as an ecclesiastical leader; and the narrative which he supplied was, with a few omissions, included by the Professor in the Principal's memoirs. But the rejection of a portion of what he had written was distasteful to hire; consequently, his entire statement was reproduced in the appendix. On this subject lie communicated with Dr Carlyle in these terns:-

"There is a good deal of excellent literary criticism in Mr Stewart's Life of Dr Robertson. But I do not like it as a life. It does not present to you the man, his friends, his habits, and his character. I wish you had corrected in the MS. the errors you mention as to the beginning of his ecclesiastical life. I understood that part was submitted to you. I have a little reason to complain of my MS. being altered, as Mr Stewart says, in some places. This was done without any communication with me, yet the narrative is published with inverted commas as mine. I do not know the extent of the alterations; they may be merely verbal. But the acknowledgment that this MS. has been altered takes from me responsibility as to its contents."

In a footnote to Dr Robertson's memoir, Mr Stewart commends Dr Hill for his "talents and eloquence;" and the suppressed portions which are produced in the appendix simply refer to the writer's own views of ecclesiastical polity.

Sedulously concerned about his literary reputation, Dr Blair did not excel as a letter writer. Communicating with Dr Carlyle from London on the 22nd April 1783, lie adds to the date, by way of evoking humour or exciting commiseration—"17th day of the gout." One of his letters to the minister of Inveresk conveys a further insight into the ecclesiastical habits of the period. John, third Earl of Glasgow, held office as Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly from 1764 to 1772. His speeches were gracefully composed, but did not owe their adornment to his lordship's literary skill. This, we learn from the following note, addressed by Dr Blair to Dr Carlyle:—

EDINBURGH, May 12, 1768.

I had a letter from Lord Glasgow last post, in which, among other things, he tells rue he is to be in town on Tuesday the 17th, and begs me to sup with him then, in order to concert something proper for the opening of the Assembly. I have always been in use to make my Lord's speeches for him; and I must this year devolve that office upon you. You know how good and worthy, and, at the same time, indolent and helpless a man he is about such matters, and I am sure you will not grudge to take this trouble for him. As I am to set out for London on that very clay, I have wrote to him that you are the fittest person for hire, and that I would desire you to come to town that day, and to call for him in the evening to receive any of his commands relating to the Assembly."

Dr Blair died on the 27th December 1800. In reference to him Dr Hill communicated with Dr Carlyle in these terms:-

"St ANDREWS, January 29, 1801.

"My situation precluded rue from enjoying much of Dr Blair's society. But I shall feel a very great blank. I had the greatest delight in going to him, and have received for a long course of years much kindness, and many paternal counsels from him. Few men have enjoyed so happy a mixture as he, of splendid fame and of affectionate esteem, unpoisoned by envy or any unkindly sentiment, from as large a circle of friends. The mixture was very much owing to that peculiar character of his, which you describe so admirably."

Dr Carlyle's estimate of Dr Blair communicated to Dr Hill is not forthcoming, but it was, doubtless, not inconsistent with the following narrative which we glean from his autobiography:—

"Blair was timid and unambitious, and withheld himself from public business of every kind, and seemed to have no wish but to be admired as a preacher, particularly by the ladies. His con versation was so infantine that many people thought it impossible, at first sight, he could be a man of sense or genius. lie was as eager about a new paper to his wife's drawing-room, or his own new wig, as about a new tragedy or a new epic poem. Not long before his death I called upon him, when I found him restless and fidgety. 'What is the matter with you to-day,' says I; `my good friend, are you well l' 'Oh yes,' says he, `but I must dress myself, for the Duchess of Leinster has ordered her granddaughters not to leave Scotland without seeing me.' 'Go and dress yourself, doctor, and I shall read this novel. I am resolved to see the Duchess of Leinster's grand-daughters, for I knew their father and grandfather.' This being settled, the young ladies with their governess arrived at one, and turned out poor little girls of twelve and thirteen, who could hardly be supposed to carry a well-turned compliment, which the doctor gave them to carry to their grandmother."

Shortly after the death of David Hume, which took place on the 26th August 1776, Dr Carlyle was solicited by his literary friend and neighbour, Mr Ebenezer Marshal, minister of Cockpen, [Whether Mr Marshal contemplated a memoir of David Hume is uncertain. He published a "History of the Union," an "Abridgment of the Acts of Parliament relating to the Church of Scotland," and a "Treatise on the British Constitution."] to supply his reminiscences of the deceased philosopher. To Mr Marshal he despatched the following narrative:—

"As to what you mention about his mode of life, when he lived in the Canongate during the time he wrote his "History," he was an early riser, and being very laborious in his studies, he had little time for exercise, and therefore his custom was, early in the morning to walk round Salisbury Craigs and return to breakfast and his studies. He was much abroad at dinner, which in those days was at two o'clock, and what was singular at the time he gave no vales to servants, though he was at invited dinners four and five times a-week, and what was more singular still, though he was a great eater, but drank very moderately, he returned to his studies in the evening with clearness and assiduity. With respect to his not giving vales, the truth is that in these days he could not afford it, for he had not 50 per annum, though lie wore fine cloaths. The servants, too, finding that he was facetious and good company and made their masters and mistresses very happy, were always as glad to see him as if he had paid them for every dinner. . . . Mr Hume was obliged to live very frugally, for though lie had 40 from the Advocates' Library as librarian (he had sought that merely for the use of the books), he gave the whole salary away in charity. He had a very small house in Jack's Land in the Canongate, and kept only one maid-servant, whom he never parted with all her life, and such was the sweetness of his temper, that even when he became opulent, and his manner of living rare in proportion to his circumstances, he never put a housekeeper over her for fear of offending her. When he lived in the Canongate he gave little suppers now and then to a few select friends, but when he enlarged his manner of living he entertained much and well, and nobody since his death has taken the pains he did to bring together in congenial society the literati of Edinburgh."

To these "reminiscences," found among Dr Carlyle's papers, may be added an anecdote of Hume, presented in his "Autobiography." When the Hon. Patrick Boyle, brother of the Earl of Glasgow, and Mr Hume were lodging together in London, Mr Boyle was informed that his friend had received tidings of his mother's death. Entering his chamber he found the philosopher in tears. Having expressed his sympathy, Mr Boyle added—"You owe this uncommon grief to your leaving thrown off the principles of religion, for if you had not, you would have been consoled by the firm belief that the best of mothers, and the most pious of Christians, was happy in the realms of the just." Mr Hume replied—"Though I threw out my speculations to entertain and employ the learned and metaphysical world, yet in other things I do not think so differently from the rest of mankind as you may imagine."'

Intimate with David Hume, it was Carlyle's privilege also to enjoy the friendship of Hume's powerful antagonist, Principal Campbell. Zealously attached to the moderate party, Dr Campbell vigorously insisted on maintaining the personal purity of the clergy at a period when discipline had become nearly obsolete. On this subject lie thus communicated with Dr Carlyle:—

ABERDEEN, November 19, 1785.

I commend your zeal for the Church, but am strongly inclined to suspect that it is impossible to preserve her longer respectable. The form of process will no doubt admit several amendments. But the radical fault is not in the form of process, but in the judges. A popular assembly does very well for a legislature, but not for a judicatory, especially a criminal judicatory. And though it might do tolerably while there subsisted any regard to decency and virtue in the generality of the members, and a zeal for preserving purity of character in the order, what can we expect nor, when party spirit has almost swallowed up all other distinctions. I am sorry to say it. I would not chance to say it to everybody, though I will acknowledge to you that I never saw a court in which in my opinion there is more flagrant respect of persons and a less regard to the merits of these causes than in the General Assembly. Our Church's judicatories begun in excessive rigour (such was the spirit and power of the times), are likely to end in plenary indulgence, unless these shall produce, as on the Continent they did, reformation."

'Though in his letter names are not introduced, Dr Campbell evidently referred to two cases of libel which were then dragging slowly in the ecclesiastical courts, and which, owing to the numerous appeals and corresponding references to the General Assembly by the inferior courts, were likely to prove interminable. Dr William Dryden, minister of Dalton, had, by the heritors and elders of his parish, been charged with grossly scandalous behaviour. Proceedings commenced in 1782, and three years had passed without a decision. Another case slowly moving from one church court to another was that of Mr Frederick Maclagan, minister of Melrose. The result in both cases justified Dr Campbell's augury, for while the grossest immorality in each instance was clearly proved, one offender was dismissed with a rebuke, and the other was allowed quietly to retire without being deprived of his ministerial status.

Archibald Alison, [The family of Alison, which produced the historian of Europe, was descended from a family settled on the lands of Cupar Abbey, first known as Makallane, next as Allanson, latterly as Alysone and Alison. John M'Allon, son of Margaret Michell, who had jointly occupied the shepherd land of Dalvany, received on the 12th April 1558 a lease for nine years of the office of forester at Glenbrauchty, which John subscribed with his hand at the pen, led by a monk. In 1508 Donald Alanson received, with others, a lease of lands at Percy (Register of Cupar, vol. i., 269; ii., 236, 267). Prospering as agriculturists, the family acquired the lands of Newhall, near Cupar-Angus, where the ruins of a considerable mansion-house point to opulence. Andrew Alison, a younger son of Alison of Newhall, engaged in business at Edinburgh and became Lord Provost of the city. The baptism of of his son, the Rev. Archibald Alison, is thus recorded in the Edinburgh Parish Register:—"November 1757. Andrew Alison, merchant, in Lady Yester's parish, and Margaret Hart, his spouse —a son, named Archibald. Witnesses—Archibald Hart, merchant, in the College Kirk parish, and Alexander Innes, sen. of Cathlaw. The child was born on the 13th Aug., and baptised by Mr Robert Walker, minister in the New Church."] father of Sir Archibald Alison, author of the "History of Europe," gave promise in early life of a vigorous intellect, combined with a taste for classical and general learning. A native of Edinburgh, he had been known to Dr Carlyle from early youth. Bred in the Episcopal persuasion, he qualified himself as a clergyman of the English Church. On his behalf, as an expectant, Dr Carlyle addressed his friend Henry Dundas, the Home Secretary, in these terms:

"Dr Carlyle begs leave to recommend Mr Alison to Mr Dundas's best offices, as a young divine bred in the Church of England, of uncommon merits and accomplishments. After the usual academical education at Edinburgh, Mr Alison studied two years at Glasgow, and from thence was sent as an exhibitioner to Daliol College in Oxford, where he resided nine or ten years, and where he received ordination."

Mr Dundas promised that Mr Alison's claims should not be overlooked, but the promise was forgotten. Dr Carlyle applied with greater success to his former associate, Mr Pulteney, and through this venerable gentlemen, Mr Alison vas, in 1.784, presented to the curacy of Brancepeth, near Durham. Though of a limited endowment, the attainment of this cure enabled him to unite himself in wedlock to the eldest daughter of Dr John Gregory, to whom he lead long been attached. To his benefactor AIr Alison expressed his gratitude in the following letter:—

"LUDLOW, near Thropson, August 9, 1784.

"It was very peculiarly grateful to me that the first congratulation I received upon the event which has made me so happy should be from you. If I have so long delayed offering you my warmest thanks for the kindness of your interest, I assure myself you Will impute it to everything but Want of gratitude. At the tine, indeed, when I wished to write you, and when I had so long to look back to the generosity of your friendship, I felt myself more than ever unequal to the expression of my acknowledgments ; and even now, when I can no longer deny myself the satisfaction, it is rather with the hope of telling you that I am grateful, than of being able to tell you how much I am so. You Will, at least, permit me to assure you that the honour of your friendship is now more than ever important to me, and that my acknowledgments receive no small increase when I recollect your interest in her welfare, from whom I have received all my happiness. While I thus wish, my dear sir, to assure you how unalterably you have bound me to you by the strongest tie my heart can feel, suffer me to offer to Mrs Carlyle every sentiment of the warmest acknowledgment for the kindness of her wishes and her concern. The confidence you permitted me to place in you, though it was the best expression. I could give of my assurance of your regard, has served beyond everything to add to nay sense of obligational attachment to you both, and I must forget everything before I forget either the generosity of your concern or the warmth of my own acknowledgment. May you never know uneasiness or sorrow till I cease to thank or to love you ! My mother has, I suppose, long before this time acquainted you with the whole of Mr Pulteney's generosity, and I am sure it is needless for me to tell you with what sentiments we have received it. The story, indeed, is so romantic, and so little in the common course of friendship, that I neither know how to speak nor to think of it."

One of the resident landowners at Inveresk, a man of eminent accomplishments both as a jurist and an historical writer, was Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes. His lordship showed some special characteristics, one of which was his conspicuous regard for the sanctity of the judicial oath. As a judge lie administered the oath with remarkable solemnity, expressing the several words in a mariner which might not fail to impress even the indifferent. To this feature of his lordship's character is mainly due a correspondence with Dr Carlyle, which otherwise would assign him no inconspicuous place in the ranks of the eccentric. His lordship wrote to Dr Carlyle from "Newhailes," on the 25th December 1786, in these terns:-

"REVEREND SIR,-There has been a great deal of confusion in my family, owing to the following circumstances. My sister missed two bottles of cordial waters, which she had turned over from the still. Much enquiry has been made as to the person guilty. But nothing probative appears. In a matter which concerns myself I do not think myself at liberty to take the oaths of my servants this might be done before a Justice of the Peace. But it occurred to me that as this affair is a matter of scandal, and not intended to be followed out by a criminal prosecution, the better way would be by some sort of oath of purgation before you as a minister, in company with some elder. Please let inc know whether this can be done, and if so what time you can fix for it. The business ought to be done here, as Lady Hailes wishes to be present when the oaths are administered. It is impossible to describe how much she is agitated. I pray God that it may not affect her health too pluck. The bearer will wait for your answer.—I am, reverend sir, your most obedient, humble servant, "DAV. DALRYMPLE."

The humorous minister of Inveresk would certainly indulge a smile at the idea of the health of Lady Hailes (as his lordship designates Lady Dalrymple) being affected seriously by the disappearance of two bottles of cordial waters. Nor would he read with entire composure another letter from his lordship, probably written on the same day as the missive which had preceded it. rrliis second letter proceeds thus:—

"REVEREND Sir,—An oath before a Justice of Peace is not in my opinion so efficacious as one in an ecclesiastical court. If every person clears himself before the kirk-session there is an end of the matter. I have lived too long in the world, and been too Much engaged in business, to rely much on oaths taken either way. But Lady Hailes, judging from her own feelings of right and wrong, and the solemn sanctity of oaths, expects more than I do. Her theory is right, although guy experience may contradict it. As I told you before dinner, she is much distressed. In the situation of a mind perfectly upright, and confounded with reciprocal charges and suspicions, she has nothing else to resort to but some oath of purgation, and nothing else can make her easy. I hope that your health will allow you to go through this disagreeable business sometime to-morrow. Pray appoint the hour by a message to Lady Hailes. I shaII be engaged in the Justiciary Court, with so small a quorum as to render my presence indispensably necessary in Edinburgh both on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is singularly unfortunate, but there is no help for it; at the same time there is a necessity of having the oaths taken without delay. All this ought to have been done ten days ago, but the truth is that I had not a moment to spare from the business of the two Courts, which has been exceptionally severe.—I ever am, dear sir, your most obliged humble servant,

"DAV. DALRYMPLE."

How the affair ended does not appear, but it is hoped that "Lady Hailes" experienced from the prudent counsel of her parish minister more real satisfaction than in the whimsical gratification of her resentment.

With his titled neighbour, Charles, seventh Earl of Haddington, a man of easy manners and powerful wit, Dr Carlyle enjoyed no unprofitable intercourse. Of the Earl's letters several abound with trite and expressive criticisms. "I have often," he writes, "been struck with people endeavouring to establish character in a wide circle, not seeming to know that all character must be regulated by those who know you intimately in a small one, and that from that small one alone the larger take their impression, not to mention how little the great circle care about you one way or other."

Along with a supply of dame to Inveresk manse in December 1801, Lord Haddington addressed a letter to Mrs Carlyle in these words:—

"DEAR MRS CARLYLE,—Your husband intends, in order to show his manhood, to insist upon having currants in his hare soup. I trust you have too great a regard for the prerogative female ever to suffer such an intrusion as this would be on your right of ruling the kitchen. You are so thoroughly acquainted with the world that I need not point out to you, that all friendly hints of this kind are always well intended, and proceed from warm kindness both to a man and wife, and tend much to produce that harmony and concord which ought, but rarely does, subsist between them."

To Dr Carlyle the Earl's counsel is amusingly opposed to the advice tendered to his helpmate. He writes:--

"At last my gamekeeper has got a couple of woodcocks which I send in company of a hare, which I hope you will, like a man of spirit, have male into broth, with currants, after your own taste, in spite of all Mrs Carlyle may say against it."

General Scott, jun, of Malleny, visited Paris subsequent to the peace of Amiens. In a letter dated Vrersailles, 7th November 1802, he describes to Dr Carlyle his presentation to the first consul in these terms:--

"I have seen with admiration all the fine sights of Paris, and been presented to Bonaparte, who is a wonderful man. I contemplated him at my ease for a considerable time; afterwards I stood close to hill, but could not perceive any trait or appearance in him to lead one to suppose he was the man of whom we have heard. He has a sallow and melancholy countenance till lie smiles. He did the honours of the levee with great propriety."


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