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Soon after his death she retired to profession, and not indeed withoité the island of Ischia, refusing to lis. having given rise to some suspicion ten to those proposals of other nup- that she was inclined to the doctrines tials, which, as she had no offspring, of the reformed church. her friends were desirous that she Among the Italian writers who should accept. In her retirement have revived in their works the stile she
appears to have acquired a strong of Petrarca, Vittoria Colonna is entit. religious cast of character, which did led to the first rank; and her sonnets; not however prevent her from exer- many of which are addressed to the cising her poetical talents, although shade of her departed husband, or she, from this time, devoted them relate to the state of her own mind, chiefly to sacred subjects. Her ex. possess more vigour of thought, emplary conduct, and the uncommon vivacity of colouring, and natural merit of her writings, rendered her pathos, than are generally to be the general theme of applause among found among the disciples of that the most distinguished poets and school. Her Canzone, or monody, learned men-of the time, with many to the memory of her husband, is of whom she maiutained a friendly however more deservedly celebrated, epistolary intercourse. She was also and is certainly in no respect inferior a warm admirer of the great artist to that of Bembo on the death of Michel Angelo, 'who executed for his brother Carlo : bnt perhaps the her several excellent pieces of sculp- most favourable specimen of ber tature, and appears to have enjoyed lents appears in her stanze, verses her favour and friendship in an emi.
in ottava rima, which, in simplinent degree; she having on several city, harmony, and elegance of style, occasions quitted her residence at equal the productions of any of Viterbo, to which place she retired her contemporaries, and in lively some years before her death, and made description and genuine poetry excel excursions to Rome, for no other them all, excepting only those of the purpose but that of enjoying his so
inimitable Ariosto. ciety. This affectionate attachment, cqually honourable to both parties, was at other times supported by an
SCOTTISH REVIE W. epistolary intercourse. To her Mi. chel Angelo has also addressed seve
The Life of the late Professor Millar. ral of his sonncts, which yet remain,
By John Craig, Esq. (Prefixed to and in which his admiration of her
a new edition of his Origin of the beauty and accomplishments is tem- Distinction of Ranks.) pered with the most profound res. pect for her character. gular anecdote preserved by Condivi
; THIS able
professor, and eminent that this eminent man paid her a vi. Shorts, a small village between Glas. sit in the last moments of her life; gow and Edinburgh. His father was and that he afterwards expressed his clergyman, first there, and afterwards extreme regret, that he had not on at Hamilton, and was much respecto that occasion kissed her face or hered for his abilities, learning, and puforehead as well as her hand. After rity of manners. Young Millar rehaving lived until the year 1547, she ceived the first rudiments of his eduterminated her days at Rome, not cation with his uncle Mr John Milhaving taken upon her any religious lar, who resided at Millheugh, about
eight eight miles from Glasgow. In 1746 he tion now took a decided bent towards went to Glasgow college, where he law, he obtained, without much difdistinguished bimself. For some time ficulty, permission to makethechange. he lodged in college chambers, and About this time he spent two years usually dined with the celebrated with Lord Kames, who had invited Dr Cullen, to whose wife he was re- him to undertake the education of his lated, and whose society must doubt- son. The society of this distinguished less have been of great benefit to him. man must have greatly contributed, He was also intimate in the house of both to improve Mr Millar's powers, Mrs Craig, where he met with a so- and to give them that direction in ciety of inquisitive and intelligent which they afterwards became so disyoung men, among whom was Mr tinguished. About this time too, he Watt, the celebrated mechanical in- enjoyed the acquaintance of Mr ventor, who gives the following ac. Hume; and it is remarkable that, tho' count of the figure which he there differing in politics, be had zealously made.
adopted the metaphysical opinions of
that celebrated writer, which one " In our meetings," says Mr Watt, (in would have thought peculiarly foreign a letter with which he honoured me re
to his steady and practical habits of lative to this memoir) “ the conversa
thought. Mr Hume shewed him “ tion, besides the usual subjects with
the same mark of confidence as Dr “young men, turned principally on lite. ““ rature, religion, morality, history; and Smith, by intrusting him with the “ to these conversations my mind owed education of his nephew, now Profes " its first bias to such subjects. Mr Mil- sor of Scots law in the University of “ lar was always looked up to as the ora. Edinburgh. "cle of the company; his attainments “ were greater than those of the others; 1760, and his first appearances at the
Mr Millar passed Advocate in “ he had more wit, and much greater ar
bar were such as to afford fair pros“gumentative powers." P. iii.
pects of eminence in a profession, During the course of Mr Millar's which leads to higher distinction
than attendance on the University of Glas
other now in Scotland ; so gow,fDr Adam Smith began to offi. that, says Mr Craig, ciate in the class of Moral Philoso. phy; and though this was a class
It was not without surprise that his which he had already attended, he death of Mr Hercules Lindsay, of ap
friends learned his intention, on the yet eagerly embraced the opportunity plying for the Law Professorship at of hearing the lectures of that great Glasgow. It seemed to them an extra.
Dr Smith soon distinguished ordinary want of ambition in a young him from among the crowd of his man, whose talents entitled him to look students, and began a friendship forward to the highest honours of his which continued during their whole profession, at once to abandon all these lives. Dr Smith afterwards entrust- moderate revenue, and the less brilliant
hopes, and sit down contented with the ed Mr Millar with the education of reputation, of a Teacher of Law. They his nephew Mr Douglas, at a time knew that he could not be prompted to when he himself could ill want his such a step by timidity, for his temper company.
was uncommonly sanguine ; nor by inMr Millar had been sent to Glas. dolence, for never was a mind more ac.
tive. He was induced, however, to gow with the view of being educated
take this resolution, by his having, a. as a clergyman, and his father was
bout this time, married Miss Margaret rather anxious that he should follow Craig, a lady nearly of his own age, to that profession ; but as his inclina. whom, whilé visiting on a familiar footDec. 1806.
of the pro
trations. To a man who possessed He saw that it was impossible for a
a complete knowledge of his subject, young lawyer, whatever his abilities and diligence might be, to maintain a fami. and command of words, this system ly, even with the most rigid oeconomy;
must have been attended with many and he was unwilling to risk the becom- advantages. His lectures will be deing a burden on his father and uncle. livered with greater warmth and enThe emoluments of a Professor of Law ergy; they may be enlarged when newere not, indeed, very great; but they .cessary to accommodate the under. were much superior to what, for many standing of the hearer, and may be years, he could expect to reach at the bar; they were sufficient to enable him improved from year to year, accordto maintain a family in a respectable ing to the discoveries made in the manner; and, by his own exertions, he science, and the progress hoped to increase the number of stu- fessor's speculations. Mr Millar is dents, on which, at Glasgow, the emo- said to have excelled peculiarly in the lument of a Professor chiefly depends. easy, familiar, and agreeable manner, The situation, too, if not brilliant, was
in which he delivered his instructions. highly respectable ; and he was happy He brought himself down to the le. to think, that those speculations on law and government, which had always been
vel of his students, allowed them to his favourite studies, were now to be
state their difficulties and objections, come the business of his life, the source and to canvass with perfect freedom of his income, and the foundation of his the doctrines which be had advanced, future reputation.
Before, says Mr Craig, a professor can He obtained this office, and tho? admit of such a practice, he must be comthere was a very general expectation pletely master of his subject, and have acof his greatly improving the reputa. quired some confidence in his own quicktion of Glasgow as a school of law, yet ness, at refuting objections, and detec.. his most saoguine friends never ima- ting sophistry. A few instances of defeat gined he could have raised it to that and to the discipline of the class. But;
might be injurious to his reputation, height which it soon attained under should he possess a clear comprehension his auspices. As Mr Millar's repu. of all the bearings of his system, joined tation rests chiefly upon his exertions to quickness of understanring and toin this capacity, his biographer has lerable ease of expression, he will derive very properly entered into great de. the most important advantages from tail with regard to the subjects and pupils. He will learn where he has
the unrestrained communications of his manner of his lectures. It had been failed to convey his ideas with accuracy, formerly the custom to lecture in where he has been too concise, or where Latin, but this had been dropt by imperfect analogies have led him into his predecessor, after whose example slight mistakes; and he will easily find Mr Millar always lectured in his own
a future opportunity to introduce new language. This is supposed to have illustrations, to explain what has been given him a great advantage over the
misapprehended, or correct what was
really an error. To the students, such Edinburgh professors, who delivered
a practice insures accurate knowledge ; their lectures still in Latin, and did it teaches the important lesson of connot discontinue that practice till af. sidering opinions before adopting them, ter Mr Millar's reputation was so and gives an additional incitement to fully established as to prevent the strict and vigilant attention. Accordpossibility of any competition.
ingly, to be able to state difficulties Mr Millar never wrote his lectures, by the more ingenious and attentive
with propriety, was justly looked upon but was accustomed to speak from students as no slight proof of proficiency; notes containing his arrangement, and and to be an active and intelligent mem
ber of the fire-side committee, never of the subject was treated, and it failed to give a young man some consi- were much to be wished that we had deration among his companions. also the substance of that part of his
P. xviii. lectures which related to other forms
of government: 3. A view of the preThe proper business of his office
sent constitution of England, as setwas to deliver lectures on the Ro. tled at the revolution. man Law; but as he found that this
On Mr Millar's coming to Glasmight be accomplished in half the gow he found a literary society cs. course, he employed the other in tablished, of which he soon became lecturing on the general principles of a zealous and active member. The jurisprudence. At another hour he business consisted in a discourse began, some time after, to give a which was read by each member in course of lectures on government ; his turn ; and in a conversation or deand as these occupied only three bate, which followed on the same days a week, he spent the same hour subject. Mr M. was constant in his on two other days in giving a course attendance, and never failed, during of lectures on Scots Law. Lastly, the period of forty years, either to a few years before his death, he pre. deliver his essay or to take a share in pared and delivered a similar course the debate, His favourite subjects on English Law. Few instances were those connected with the philowill be found of such extensive aca- sophy of mind ; and as he had here demical labours, the greater part of embraced doctrines diametrically opwhich were spontaneously underta- posite to those of Dr Reid, perpetual, ken.
and often very warm discussions In his lectures on jurisprudence, took place between them, which Mr Millar was led to consider the however never interrupted the har. foundation of morals; and upon this mony of their private intercourse. subject he had combined the opinions Mr Craig gives also an interesting of his two friends Hume and Smith account of the manner in which he considering utility as the essential forwarded the improvement of the and fundamental principle, while young men whom he received into sympathy gives rise to those intui. his house. tive moral judgments which we are Besides these occupations, Mr in the habit of forming. But his Millar had some legal practice as an great and favourite subject consisted arbiter and what is called a " Chainin those speculations upon the progress ber Counsel." He wrote also seve. of law, government, and manners, of ral anonymous political pamphlets, which he has given such interesting and some articles for the analytical specimens in his two publications on review. Engrossed by his numerous the Origin of Ranks, and on the occupatioos, he went seldom from English Government. His lectures home, but spent his summers at on government were divided into Whitemoss, or Millheugh, in the three parts, comprising, 1. The theo- neighbourhood of Glasgow. retical history of mankind, or the Mr Millar was led by his favourprinciples which regulate their pro. ite studies to take a very warm in. gress and civilization; 2. A view of terest in the politics of the day ; and the particular forms of government we must say, that in his sentiments established in ancient and modern with regard to them, as delineated by times. His work on the English Mr Craig, we do not discover the same constitution affords a valuable specie soundness of judgement, and calmmen of the manner in whish this part ness of temper, as in his general spe
' culations. With regard in particu- less nearly interested, or less violently lar to his opinions during the period affected, he was at the utmost pains to of the French revolution, Mr C. has repress every exterior mark of afflic. entered into a detail, which, consi. tion, every thing which might appear dering how much they were tinged So far did he carry this command o
a demand on the sympathy of his friends. with the passions of the day, and
ver his own mind, that a stranger might how little they have corresponded have mistaken his character, and supwith succeeding events, might we posed him perfectly tranquil, at the think, have been spared without any very time when he was in the deepest injury to his memory. He became affiction. No man could more com. a zealous member of those societies, pletely bring his behaviour to a tone in which were formed for the purpose him : But in his anxiety to accomplish
unison with the feelings of those around of promoting a reform of Parliament. this, and his unwillingness to be any His experience, however, was too restraint on society, he sometimes per. great to allow him to support the haps went beyond the exact line of proplan of universal suffrage. He was priety, and gave an impression of severdecidedly of opinion that the exten. ity and unconcern, which were far from sion of the elective franchise should belonging to his character. In the astoinclude only the independent and well- nishing exertions of self-command he of. informed part of the community:-- that he should not occasionally be carried
ten displayed, it was scarcely possible Yet we think it extremely singular, too far by the violence of the effort over that he should have hoped, through his own feelings, and the want of confi. the medium of societies composed dence in his own strength of mind.almost exclusively of the lower orders, Those who enjoyed his friendship were to effect a reform from which that never deceived by such appearances of class was to be entirely excluded. tranquillity. They saw them not as Their discontent, instead of being ap. indifference ; but as the most unequi
proofs of real ease, far less as proofs of peased, must have been greatly increas. vocal indications of an habitual attened, by a plan of reform which in itself tion to the feelings of others struggling certainly wears somewhat of a se against poignant distress. a
P..cxxix. vere and aristocratical aspect. There can be no doubt, however, of his opi. For another valuable feature in nons upon this subject being per. his character, be was probably much fectly sincere and disinterested ; indebted to his profound researches since he refused an office of great into human nature. emolument, and prospects of advancement, because it might have been Of these virtues, his uncommon canconstrued into an engagement to dour in judging of his own claims, and
those of others, was one of the most an administration whose support measures he condemned. The testi conspicuous. Never was his opinion
warped by his private interest ; never mony of Professor Jardiae, whose did he palliate or excuse that in himself political opinioos were directly op- which he would have blamed in his posite to his, is further decisive upon friend. His conduct was uniformly this point.
guided by the most delicate attention to The character of Mr Millar is de- the rights, claims, and expectations of scribed as generous, sanguine, and others, by the strictest sense of honour. full of sensibility ; yet he was
Always aware of the tendency of a man's
interest, and desires, to pervert his markably ambitious of stilling all
judgment, against such partiality and symptoms of the latter.
self deception, he guarded with the
most vigilant care ; anxious not only Afraid of intruding his grief on others, to abstain from all injustice, but to