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late years were submitted in manuscript and of his own opinion of those printo his revisal, and received from him ciples, I leave the candid reader to valuable emendations. What he pro- judge from the preceding narrative. posed in this way I'never faw reason to In infancy, his health was very delireject.
cate, and he was somewhat timorous ; By some people; more prompt to not more so, however, than well-naturspeak and prone to censure, than acute ed children, who fear to offend, comto observe, his character was mistaken. monly are. But his piety and good They imputed his modesty to timorous- sense; the manly exercises in which he ness; and thought, or faid at least, that delighted, and his being so early acI kept him secluded from fociety, o. customed to the use of arms, got the bliged him to apply too much to books, better of that timidity; so that, before and gave him no opportunities of know- he grew up to manhood, he was as fearing the world. In justice both to him less as a man ought to be. I know not and to myself, I must enter into some any one on whofe fortitude I could have particulars on this subject.
confided more on any perilous emerWhen at home, indeed, he was not gency. Several times I have seen him frequently seen in the street; a laudable in danger; once particularly in Yarregard to health, and a passionate love mouth roads, when every person on of rural scenery, leading him to daily board aur vessel, every person at least excursions in the fields : it is also true, who was on the upper deck, imagined that of tea-tables he was no regular fre- it was on the point of foundering. I quenter; and that at card-tables and in took him by the band, made him swalball-rooms (things of no small impor- low a glass of wine ; and, on looking Eance in a country town) he never ap- at him, saw his countenance perfectly peared at all. By the intelligent rea- undismayed, and I believe more compoder, after what he has heard of him, it sed than any other in the ship. He was will not be supposed, that this was the then in his fixteenth year. effect of any restraint on my part : on It was also lupposed by some, that as the contrary, it would have been an un- he was often seen walking alone, or with reafonable and cruel restraint, if in these me, and seldom or never with more things I had not readily complied, as I 'than one companion, that he must be of constantly did, with his inclination. an unsocial disposition. The reverse
But I doubt, whether any other young was his character ; he was social, cheerman in North Britain, of his years and ful, and affectionate, and by those station, had better opportunities than he, friends who thoroughly knew him, beof feeing what is called the world ; and loved even to enthusiasm. In his choice a more accurate, or more fagacious ob- of friends, indeed, he was not hally. server of it, I have not known. He For, in discerning characters, he was, never was in a foreign country; but in as already observed, singularly perspicaEngland and Scotland, his acquaint- cious; and the flightelt appearance of ance was nearly as extensive as mine ; immorality, vanity, pedantry, coarse aod to many persons, in both countries, manners, or blameable levity, disgusted of great distinction in rank and litera- him ; though he shewed his disgust by ture, he had the honour to be known, bis Glence only, or withdrawing from and to be indebted for particular civili, the company. ties. To give a list of names may be He had a paslon for visiting places thought to favour of vanity rather than that had been remarkable as the abodes of gratitude ; yet it is not improbable of eminent men, or that retained any that gratitude may one day induce me memorials of them; and as in this I re*to give such a list.-Of the principles sembled him, we often walked together on which I conducted his education, on what he called claffic ground. Welt
minster-abbey, in the neighbourhood of ed to study fireworks ; and, finding in which we lived several months, was a London a systematic book on the subfavourite haunt of his, and suggested ject, applied to it fo successfully, that, many images and meditations. He had for several years after, he would now wandered in the bowers of Twicken and then exhibit in that way, for the ham, and amid the majestic scenes of amusement of his friends. Blenheim and Windsor. At Oxford, Among his Latin memorandums, where we passed some time, he met with there is a resolution never to engage in many interesting objects, and attentive games of chance! Cards he detelted; friends. He kissed (literally he did so as destructive of time, at least, if not of the grave-stone which covers the dust of money; which in him I thought the Shakespeare at Stratford ; and fat in the more remarkable, as he had, when a chimney corner, and in the same chair, boy, learned (I know not how) to play in which tradition tells that the immor- at what is called quadrille, and some o. tal bard was wont to sit. " He once or ther games. In those days, he often twice visited the village, the house, and urged me to play at cards, saying he even the chamber (near Colisworth in was sure it would amuse me. I told Lincolnshire) in which Sir Isaac New. him, I had several times attempted quaton is said to have been born. The last drille; but that, of the directions given time he and I were in Cambridge, I me, fome I could never understand, gratified him with a light of those
and some I could never remember. He ments in Pembroke hall, which were begged leave to write a few directions ; once honoured with the residence of my and I gave him leave, being curious to memorable and long-lamented friend. Mr know, how a lad of eleven years
age Gray; of whom he was a warm ad- would acquit himself in respect of style, mirer, thinking him the greatest poetic and the arrangement of his matter. He cal genius that Britain had produced brought me two treatises, (Itill extant) since Milton. He composed an ode, one of quadrille, the other of backgaminfcribed “To the Genius of Gray,” of mon, written with a propriety, perfpiwhich I find among his papers a few cuity, and correctness, that very agreestanzas ; but the far greater part is ir ably surprised me.
I could not help recoverably lost. This ode, I think, telling him, as was true, that I underhe wrote, or planned, while we were stood them much better than any oral palling fome time, in 1787, at Wind- information I had ever received on those sor ; where, from the terrace, he had topics. a view of Stoke church, in which Gray There is another fashionable recreais buried, and toward which I often tion, to which he could not reconcile found him directing his eyes.
his mind, the reading of romances. When his curiosity was raised with The time employed in that way he held sespect to any work of art, he always to be loft Don Quixote, however, wilhed to make himself malter, at least, Robinson Crusoe, and Cecilia, he read of the theory of it. In his early days with pleasure, and began, but could not he was skilled in various sorts of leger- get through, Gil Blas. Hearing that demain ; but left it off entirely, as trif- an acquaintance of his had almost had Jing in itself, and oftentatious in the per- his brain turned with the Adventures formance. One evening of his thir- of Roderick Random, he had the cu. teenth year, he and I arrived in Ne. riosity to ask for that book, bụt quickly wark on Trent, just as an exhibition of laid it aside, and would never after refireworks was beginning in the market- lume it. To amuse some hours of lanplace. It was indeed a magnificent gour, in the commencement of his last spectacle, and the first of the kind he illness, I advised him to look into Fieldbad ever seen. He immediately resolya ing; and he read Tom Jones, and, I think, Amelia. He gave that author his son's character in these affecting no little praife for his humour, for the words : very skilful management of his fable, “ I have lost the pleasantest, and for the variety and contrast of his characters, the last four or five years of his short and, with a few exceptions, for the life, one of the most instructive compabeautiful fimplicity of his style: but still panions, that ever man was delighted the time spent in reading it was lost; with. But-The Lord gave ; the Lord and there was more danger from the in- bath taken away ; blessed be the name delicacy of particular passages, than hope of the Lord-I adore the Author of all of its doing good by the satire, the mo- good, who gave him grace to lead such ral sentiments, or the distributive juf. ã life, and die such a death, as makes it tice dispensed in winding up the cata- impossible for a Christian to doubt of strophe.
4 N 2
bis having entered upon the inheritance Dr Beattie concludes this sketch of of a happy immortality."
OF THE COUNT DE BUFFON*. I BEHELD, says M. Herault, a fine His son has erected a monument to figure, noble and placid. Notwithltanding the father in the gardens of Montbart. he is 78 years old, one would not attri. It is a simple column near a lofty tower, bute to him above 60 years; and although and is inscribed he had spent fixteen sleepless nights, Excelfæ turri humilis columna in consequence of being afflicted with Parenti fuo filius BUFFON, 1785. the stone, he looked as fresh as a child, The father burft into tears on seeing and as calm as if in health. His bust, this monument, and said to the young by Hudon, appears to me very like ; al
man, “ Son, this will do you honour.” though the effect of the black eyes and The fon the wed me about the grounds. brows is loft.
We came to the closet in which this His white hair was accurately drest: great man laboured; it is in a pavilion this is one of his whims, and he ovos called the tower of Saint Louis, and it it. He has it papered at night, and is up stairs. The entrance is by a curled with irons sometimes twice in green folding door. The fimplicity of a day, in the morning and before fupper. the laboratory astonishes. The cicling He had five fmall curls on each side, is vaulted, the walls are green, the floor His bed.gown was a yellow, and white is in squares : it contains an, ordinary · stripe, flowered with blue.
wooden desk, and an arm chair : but His voice is strong for his age, and not a book nor a paper.
This naked. very pleasant : in general, when he ness has its effect : The imagination speaks, his looks are fixed on nothing, clothes it with the splendid pages of but roll unguardedly about. His fa- Buffon. There is another sanctuary in vourite words are tout ca, and pardieu, which he was wont to compose;" The which recur perpetually. His vanity is Cradle of Natural History.” as Prioce undisguised and prominent : here are Henry called it, when he went thither
. a few instances.
It was there that Rousseau prostrated I told him I read much in his works. himself and kissed the threshold. I “What are you reading ?" said he. 1 mentioned this circumstance to Buffon. answered the Vues sur la Nature. “There Yes, faid he, Rousseau bowed down to are passages of the highest eloquence in me. This cabinet is wainscoted, furthem :" replied he instantly.
nished with screens, a fofa, and with
The * Extracted from a MS. journey to Mont- drawings of birds and beasts. lart in 1795, by Herault de Sechelles ; tbe chairs are covered with black leather, work was in the press when Robespierre sent“ and the desk is near the chinney, and ? author to the Scaffold.
of walaut-tree. A treatise on the load
stone, on which he was then employed, is very orderly and exact.
6 I burn lay on it.
(said he to me) every thing which I His example and his discourses con- do not intend to use : not a paper will vince me that he, who passionately desires be found at my death." glory, is sure in the end to obtain it. I resume the account of his day. At The wish must not be a momentary t:it pinę, breaktait is brought to him in the an every day emotion. Buffon said to study. It consists of two glasses of wine me on this subject a very striking thing, and a bit of bread. He writes for aone of those speeches which may be the bout two hours after breakfast and then cause of a great man hereafter: «Genius returns to the houfe. He does not is only a greater aptitude to patience.” love to hurry over his dinner ; during Observe, that patience must be applied which he gives vent to all the gaieties to every thing: patience in finding out and tries which suggest themselves one's line, patience in resisting the mo- while at table. He loves to talk tives that divert, and patience in bear. smuttily, and the effect of his jokes ing what would discourage a common and laughter are heightened by the na
tural seriousness of his age and calmness I will mention some facts of Buffon. of his character : but he is often fo He would sometimes return from the coarse as to compel the ladies to withSuppers of Paris at two in the morning, draw. He talks of himself with pleawhen he was young. A boy was or- sure, and like a critic. He said to me, dered to call him at five, however late “ I learn every day to write ; in my he returned ; and, in case of his linger. later works there is infinitely mare ing in bed, to drag him out on the floor. perfection than in my former. I often He used to work till fix at night. "I have my works read to me, and this had at that time (said he) a mistress of mostly puts me upon some improvement. whom I was very fond : but I would There are, however, passages which I never allow myself to go to her till fix, canoot improve." In this openness even at the risk of finding her gone out." there is a fomething interesting, original,
He thus distributes his day. At five antique, attractive. o'clock he rises, dresses, powders, dic- Speaking of Rouffeau, he said, “ I tates letters, and regulates his house- loved him much untul I read his Coahold matters.
At fix he goes to the feflions, and then I ceased to esteem foresaid study, which is a furlong distant him. I cannot fancy the spirit of the from the house, at the extremity of the man; an unusual process happened to garden. There are gates to open and me with respect to him; after his death terraces to cliin by the way. When I lost my reverence for him.” not engaged in writing, he paces up and
This great man is
very much of a down the surrounding avenues. No one gosip, and, for at least an hour in the may intrude on his retreat. He often day, will make his hair-dresser and valets reads over what he has written, and tell all the scandal of the village. He then lays it by for a time, “ It is im- kõows every mioute event that surrounds portant,
never to be him. in a hurry: review your compositions His confidence is almost wholly enoften, and every time with a fresh eye, grossed by a Mademoiselle Blesseau : a and you will always find that they can woman now forty years old, well-made, be mended.”. When he has made many who has been pretty, and has lived with corrections in a manuscript, he employs him about twenty years. She is very an amanuensis to transcribe it, and then attentive to him, manages in the house, he corrects agaio. He told M. de and is hated by the servants. Madame S— that the Etudes de la Nature de Buffon, who has long been dead, were written over eighteen times. He could not endure this woman.
» said he to me,
adored her husband, and is said to have stone, which suspends his employments. been very jealous of him.
While I was at his house he had acute His works demonstrate materialism; pains, shut himself up in his chamber, yet they were pripted at the royal press. would scarcely fee his son, and not his
My early volumes appeared, (faid he) fifter. He admitted me repeatedly. at the same time with the Spirit of Laws. His hair was always drest; and he reWe were teazed by the Sorbonne, both tained his fine calm look. He comMontesquieu and I, and affailed by the plained mildly of his ill health, and critics. The president was quite fu- bore his pangs with a smile. He rious : “ What shall
answer?” said ed his whole foul to me: made me read he to me.
Nothing at all, president,” to him the treatise on the loadstone, replied I. He could not understand and, as he listened, would reform the fuch cold bloodedness.
phrafes. Sometimes he would send for I was reading to Buffon one evening a volume of his works, and request me fome verses of Thomas on the immor to read aloud the finer efforts of style ; tality of the soul. “ Pardieu, (faid he,) such as the soliloquy of the first man, religion would be a noble present, if all the description of an Arabian desert in that were true.” He criticifed these the article camel, and a still finer piece lines feverely: he is inexorable as to of painting (in his opinion) in the arstyle, and does not love poetry. “ Ne. ticle Kamichi. Sometimes he would ver write verses, (said he,) I could explain to me his fyftem of the formalave made them as well as others : but tion of the universe, the genesis of I soon abandoned a course in which rea- beings, the internal mouids, &c. Some. son marches in fetters : she has chains times he would recite whole pages of enough already, without looking about his compositions ; for he knows them for new ones.”
almost all by art. He listens gladly to Buffon willingly quits his grounds, objections, discusses them, and furrenand walks about the village with his son ders to them when his judgment is con. among the peasantry. At these times vinced. he always appears in a laced coat. He Of natural history and of style he is a stickler about dress, and scolds his loves to talk, especially of the latter. son for wearing a frock-coat. I was No one better understands the theory of aware of this, and had taken care to style, unless it be Beccaria, who did arrive in an embroidered waistcoat and not possess the practice. “The style laced cloaths. My precaution succeed- is the man, (faid be:) our poets have ed wonderfully: he shewed me repeated- no style; they are coerced by the rules ly to his son. 6. There's a GENTLE- of metre, which makes slaves of them.” MAN for you !" He loves to be called How do you like Thomas? I asked. Monsieur le Comte.
“ Pretty well, (Said he,) but he is stiff After having risen from dinner, he and bloated.” And Rousseau ? “ His pays little attention either to his family style is better : but he has all the faults or his guests. He sleeps for an hour in of bad education, interjection, excla. his room; then takes a walk alone; mation, interrogation for ever." Faafter which he will perhaps come in and vour me with your leading ideas on converse, or fit at his desk and look o- style. “ They are recorded in my Difver papers that are brought for his opi- course at the Academy :-however, nion. He has lived thus these fifty two things form style, invention and years. To some one who expreffed expression. Invention depends on paastonishment at his great reputation, he tience : contemplate your subje& long : replied, “ Have not I passed fifty years it will gradually unrol and unfold-till
desk?" At nine he goes to bed. a fort of ele&ric spark convulses for a He is at present amicted with the moment the brain, and spreads down