Imágenes de páginas

tion of books, few of them apparently new ones, seated in a high-backed easy chair, the wood-work carved very richly in the ancient French taste, and covered with black hair cloth. On his head he wore a low cap of black velvet, like those which we see in almost all the pictures of Pope. But there needed none of these accessories to carry back the imagination. It is impossible that I should paint to you the full image of that face. The only one I ever saw, which bore any resemblance to its character, was that of WARREN HASTINGS. You well remember the effect it

produced, when he appeared among all that magnificent assemblage, to take his degree at the installation of Lord GRENVILLE. In the countenance of MACKENZIE, there is the same clear transparency of skin, the same freshness of complexion, in the midst of all the extenuation of old age. The wrinkles, too, are set close to each other, line upon line; not deep, and bold, and rugged, like those of most old men, but equal and undivided over the whole surface, as if no touch but that of time had been there, and as if even he had traced the vestiges of his dominion with a sure, indeed, but with a delicate and reverential finger. The lineaments have all the appearance of having been beautifully shaped, but the want of his teeth has thrown them out of their natural relation to each other. The eyes alone have bid defiance to the approach of the adversary. Beneath bleached and hoary brows,

and surrounded with innumerable wrinkles, they are still as tenderly, as brightly blue, as full of all the various eloquence and fire of passion, as they could have been in the most vivacious of his days, when they were lighted up with that purest and loftiest of all earthly flames, the first secret triumph of conscious and conceiving genius.'

So looked, only four years ago, the yet living literary veteran, to whom we are indebted for so large a portion of the beauties which are thick-scattered through the MIRROR and the LOUNGER!-In his manners, Dr. MORRIS represents him as a perfect man of the world, without the least tinge of pedantry in his conversation. He was one who had followed literature as an amusement, never as a toil; and

minently as he now ranks in the galaxy of his country's literati, his habits and his appearance suggested any ideas, but those of the recluse and abstracted scholar.

At that time, he still mounted his poney in autumn, to take the field against the grouse, with a long fowling-piece slung from his back, and a pointer-bitch, to the full as venerable among her species, as her affectionate master

.' He talked with great vivacity of his last campaign in the moors, and anticipated, with an almost boyish keenness, the return of trouting-time *

We know not a richer feast, to a mind ca * See the whole of this admirable description in the first valume of Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk.'--Letter X.


pable of its high relish, than the contemplation of such an otium cum dignitate. A similar one has been enjoyed by the writer of this article, with the veteran Scots poet, Hector MACNEIL, in the evening of his days—just before he departed, crowned with years and laurels. There is an interesting point of resemblance between these kindred spirits, which it would be a fraud upon the memory of him that sleepeth,' to suppress here. It is well known that MACKENZIE, who ever passionately sympathized with neglected genius, became the early patron, and the friend of BURNS: but it is not so notorious, though equally true, that to the discriminating friendship and active exertions of MACNEIL, one of the greatest living poets of the age is indebted for his immediate transit from obscurity to fame.

As MACKENZIE's papers in the MIRROR greatly exceed in number the contributions of all his associates, in the same proportion they exceed them also, with a few exceptions, in beauty. This remark, however, is not to be taken, at the expense of much positive excellence in his coadjutors.--If MACKENZIE excel oftener, let it be remembered that he wrote more, than his friends; and that his opportunities for excelling, therefore necessarily outnumbered their's.—MACKENZIE's pieces in the MIRROR amount very nearly to fifty; while three essays out of the one hundred and ten, are all that we have of CULLEN. Of these, which are all excellent, No. 27, On the silent

expression of Sorrow, is comparable with any in the work for its exquisite feeling, and truth to nature.

ROBERT CULLEN was brother to the celebrated physician and professor of that name in Edinburgh, universally known in the me dical world by his famous work on 'The Practice of Physic: he had another brother, also, who rose to some eminence at the English Chancery bar, and wrote a book on the Law of Bankruptcy. Mr. CULLEN was educated før the Scotch bar, and long practised as an advocate with distinguished success.

He sat as judge in the court of session, with the title of Lord CULLEN. He died upwards of fifteen years ago, leaving behind him a reputation of unsullied probity. He was a pleasant companion, a tolerable lawyer, and a kind friend*.

Mr. ALEXANDER ABERCROMBY, who was raised also to the Scots' bench, and sat as Lord ABERCROMBY, was an elder brother of the late Sir RALPH ABERCROMBY, and of the present member for Calne. His papers in the MIRROR and LOUNGER, are characterized by much taste and elegance: he has been long dead.

Mr. W. CRAIG, who became another judge of the court of session by the title of Lord CRAIG, is also departed from among us. His

• For these few particulars concerning Lord Cullen, and the rest of MACKENZIE's literary colleagues, the Editor is indebted to the kindness of his friend, R. M. CRAUPURD, Esq. W. Ş. late of Edinburgh.

essays possess a considerable degree of refinement and delicacy, and evince a heart alive to the humanities of nature. No. 26, On the rules of external behaviour taken as a criterion of manners, cannot be too frequently read and meditated by those, who are apt to forget themselves in their demeanour towards their attendants, or persons who are subordinately employed.

Mr. MACLEOD BANNATYNE sits at this moment as Lord BANNATYNE, in the justiciary court of Edinburgh. May the early coadjutor and intimate friend of MACKENZIE, yet long enjoy his protracted honours ! The best effort of Mr. BANNATYNE is, perhaps, the 39th paper in the LOUNGER-of which, however, he exists a living contradiction.

Mr. GEORGE HOME, who was one of the principal clerks to the court of session in Scotland, died in 1821. In this situation he had long the happiness of possessing for his associate and colleague, that prince of modern literature, Sir Walter Scott: a name inferior indeed to SHAKSPEARE, but inferior to him alone.

Mr. Home's papers are easy and elegant, and they both exemplify and inculcate a classical taste.

During the publication of the MIRROR, its numbers went abroad without any designatory marks : but on their collection subsequently into volumes, each member of the society subscribed to his own, with some letters of a syl

« AnteriorContinuar »