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having been sisters. Thus in marriage Mr Smellie connected himself very respectably; but his wife had no fortune ; and however genteel her connexions, they never appear to have been of any service to her husband or family,

Of this marriage, Mr Smellie had thirteen children, six sons and seven daughters ; of whom four sons and four daughters survived him in 1795: His widow, with two sons and four daughters, still survive. Mr AlexANDER SMELLIE, his second born but eldest surviving son, is married and has a family. His eldest daughter has been long married to Mr George WATSON, an eminent portrait painter in Edinburgh, to whom she has a numerous family. The rest of Mr SMELLies children remain unmarried. Although anticipating the order of time, it has been deemed most convenient to insert in this place such information respecting Mr SMELLies family as have come to our knowledge, and have appeared proper to be noticed ; that these incidental circumstances might not break in upon the various subjects of business and literature, which constitute the principal objects of attention in the sequel.

MR SMELLIE was a most affectionate and very indulgent father to all his children, whom he hardly ever corrected with severity, except on occasions of any deviation from truth ; as he always used his utmost endeavours to impress on their young minds a rigid adherence to truth, as the solid foundation of moral virtue and purity of character. To his third son THOMAS, he was particularly partial, as he was of a remarkably docile and gentle disposition, exceedingly attentive to his education, and shewed strong and early indications of rising genius. ThoMas had a particular talent for the acquisition of the learned languages, and much classical taste; and, in the course of his studies, in that department of literature, had completed an entire translation of the works of Tacitus into English ; which his father, who was himself an excellent scholar, and a thorough judge of both languages, thought so well executed, that at one period he had almost determined to publish this version by

But in February 1795, the sanguine hopes he had fondly cherished of the future eminence of this promising youth were fatally blasted, by the effects of a malignant sore throat which then prevailed in

his son.

his family, but of which THOMAS was the only victim. Of this melancholy event. Mr Smellie made the following communications to Mrs MẠria Riddell of Woodley Park in Dumfriesshire, and to the Author of these Memoirs




Edinburgh, 19th February 1795, DEAR MADAM,

ne: For several weeks past, my family has been in a very sad condition. Five sons were all at once afflicted with dangerous sore throats. One of my sons, aged between nineteen and twenty, a good and useful young man, who, from his cradle to his grave, never vexed me, expired after an illness of five or six days. The rest, I hope, are in a state of convalescence. I am, &c,

William SMELIE,




Edinburgh, 28th February 1795. During the last four weeks, my family has been in a dreadful situation. Out of nine children, five were down at once in an abominable sore throat. As SHAKESPEARE says, Poor Tom 's a-cold ! aged between nineteen and twenty. In five days illness, he has left this best of possible worlds. The others are now perfectly recovered.

Į am, &c.


may not be impertinent to subjoin the answer which was returned to this last letter, Mr Smellie and its writer corresponded on business at the time, but that portion of the letter only which refers to the melancholy event communicated by Mr Smellie is here printed.

No. LIX.

To Mr WILLIAM Smellie from Mr ROBERT


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Dear Sir, Millbank, 2d March 1795.

I have heard of the distresses in your family with very sincere concern; and that poor

Tom should have left this best of possible worlds, may be all for the best to him, but must be a very sensible loss to you in many respects. This world would be the best possible for us all, did we not exert all our powers and faculties to make it the worst. I have not room for a long dissertation, but I think it may be demonstrated, That all the evils in the moral world, and a very large proportion of those which are called physical, arise from mankind anxiously pursuing the road of unhappiness for themselves and others, while that of happiness is open to all, yet unpursued by any. This thesis is very ill expressed, but I have no spirits or leisure for nice discrimination. I

am, &c.

Robi. KERR.

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