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After losing three sons and a daughter, who had all grown up to the excitement of high expectations from their success in life, the feelings of the Doctor were irreparably injured by these repeated shocks upon a susceptible heart endowed with warm affections, and their loss preyed deeply on his constitution. Yet he repined not, and scarcely complained, but endeavoured to comfort the remaining branches of his family; but the struggle between duty and affectionate remembrance undermined his constitution : In summer 1802 he was suddenly seized with faintness in the pulpit. Soon afterwards he acquired a severe cold by walking on the damp grass for a considerable time near Greenwich, which brought on a cough and pain in his breast. He was advised to try Bristol, where he died on the 27 October 1802, aged 61 years. His character is summed up by a friend as follows: Although one man may be found to fill his place as a minister, a second as a man of active charity and benevolence; a third as an instructor of youth, and a fourth as a literary character; yet we must not expect to see a man speedily arise capable of sustaining all these various cha
racters in one equal to Henry HUNTÊR*." His widow survived him only nine months, and died of a few hours illness. His daughter, Miss Agnes Hunter, has lately published a respectable miscellaneous work, principally calculated for the improvement of young persons of her own sex.
There is a pleasure in recording departed worth, which, if any apology is necessary, must excuse the length of the foregoing biographical sketch of one of the earliest friends of Mr Smellies youth. They had much resemblance in one circumstance, that both were equally negligent of the goods of fortune, though both had numerous families to which they were both most affectionately attached.
The two letters which follow that from Mr SMELLIE to Mr Henry Hunter, are to Mr Smellie from Mr SAMUEL Hunter, an intelligent young man who was bred to the ministry in the Church of Scotland, but died in early life before having procured any charge. The familiar expression Hall, used
Sermons, &c. of the late H. HUNTER, D.D. I. xlvi.
by Mr Smellie in the immediately following letter, arose from this circumstance, that he and his young friend had been accustomed to read the works of SHAKESPEARE together, probably as an exercise in elocution.
Mr WILLIAM SMELLIE to Mr HENRY HUNTER.
I Am afraid, that whoever is so stupid as to procrastinate till he feels the secret motions of the spirit (but, by the bye, what spirit do you mean? Is it the spirit of dullness, of motion, of friendship, or of poetry? If any but the last, I must henceforth consider you to be as great a sinner as any divine in the church) will, agreeably to my
system, never be able to move either leg or limb. Instead of waiting for the spirit, I have delayed writing my friend till I had got a stout dinner of roast beef, with a pretty tolerable suck of Scotch porter. Hence, whatever follows flows from matter, and matter alone, without the intervention of any paul
try god or goddess. Society is doubtless the peculiar happiness of the human species, according to all writers, both ancient and modern, the author' of this letter excepted. I
I affirm, nay, if it please your reverence, I shall swear, that every order of brutes, from the grasshopper that chirps in the meadow to the lion that roars in the forest, delight as much in society, especially on particular occasions, as those of the hu
I could prosecute this theme to a very great length. For example, I could prove even to your satisfaction, à better phrase than to a demonstration, that brutes associate together from far more disinterested motives than men. Why do men flock to large cities as bees to a hive ? You, and all the orthodox, will answer, Because mankind are social animals. But I say, because they are rapacious animals. They come together in order to trick, cheat, and prey upon each other. Of all animals men are unquestionably the most unsocial. Why do men go in crowds to the tavern ? Not surely because they love one another sincerely; otherwise in every room we should find a circle of sincere and disinterested friends. But you well know, dear Hall, how seldom this is the case. The inVOL. I.
satiable desire after wine, humour, and frivolity, or dissipation, forces every individual to run to taverns and tippling houses. Hence vanity, debauchery, and selfishness, are the true sources of this and every kind of human society. Not so the beasts of the field. The fewer horses or sheep there may be in a pasture, so much the better is the chear; and yet experience teaches, that a single horse in a meadow, or a single sheep on a mountain, is not half so gay, frolicsome, or happy, as if some hundreds of their kind fed together, although by that means they may even be forced to live on short allowance. Hence horses and sheep are more social animals than the so much boasted lords of the creation.'
Let me see; what confounded noise is this about horses and sheep, and meadows and mountains, and society, &c. O! I have it. So you are now become portioner of a bee-hive :-an excellent member, i'faith! You unquestionably introduced yourself to Jamie Spittal, that penetrating bee-gazer, and the other members of that respectable body, in the following strain. 6 Gentlemen bee-masters ! I return you my most hearty and gracious thanks for that very singular