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ful species of humor. He delighted in good-natured, characteristical anecdotes of his acquaintance, and added powerfully to their effect by his own enjoyment in relating them. He was, in a remarkable degree, susceptible of the ludicrous; but, on no occasion did he forget the dignity of his character, or the decorum of his profession ; nor did he even lose sight of that classical taste which adorned his compositions. His turn of expression was correct and pure ; sometimes, perhaps, inclining more than is expected in the carelessness of a social hour, to formal and artificial periods; but it was stamped with his own manner no less than his premeditated style: it was always the language of a superior and a cultivated mind, and it embellished every subject on which he spoke. In the company of strangers, he increased his exertions to amuse and to inform; and the splendid variety of his conversation was commonly the chief circumstance on which they dwelt in enumerating his talents; and yet, I must acknowledge, for my own part, that, much as I always admired his powers when they were thus called forth, I enjoyed his society less, than when I saw him in the circle of his intimates, or in the bosom of his family.

It only now remains for me to mention his exemplary diligence in the discharge of his pastoral duties; a diligence which, instead of relaxing as he advanced in life, became more conspicuous, when his growing infirmities withdrew him from business, and lessened the number of his active engagements. As long as his health allowed him, he preached regularly every Sunday ; and he continued to do so occasionally, till within a few months of his death.

The particular style of his pulpit eloquence may be judged of from the specimen which has been long in the hands of the public; and it is not improbable, that the world might have been favored with others of equal excellence, if he had not lost, before his removal from Gladsmuir, a volume of sermons which he had composed with care. The facility with which he could arrange his ideas, added to the correctness and fluency of his extemporary language, encouraged him to lay aside the practice of writing, excepting on extraordinary occasions; and to content himself, in general, with such short notes as might recall to his memory the principal topics on which he meant to enlarge. To the value, however, and utility of these unpremeditated sermons we have the honorable testimony of his learned and excellent colleague, who heard him preach every week for more than twenty years. “His discourses from this place," says Dr. Erskine, “were so plain, that the most illiterate might easily understand them, and yet so correct and elegant that they could not incur their censure, whose taste was more refined. For several years before his death, he seldom wrote his sermons fully, or exactly committed his older sermons to memory; though had I not learned this from himself, I should not have suspected it; such was the variety and fitness of illustrations, the accuracy of his method, and the propriety of his style.”

His health began apparently to decline in the end of the year 1791. Till then, it had been more uniformly good than might have been expected from his habits ; but, about this period, he suddenly discovered strong symptoms of jaundice, which gradually undermined his constitution, and terminated at length in a lingering and fatal illness. He had the prospect of death long before him; a prospect deeply afflicting to his family and his friends; but of which, without any visible abatement in his spirits, he happily availed himself, to adorn the doctrines which he had long taught, by an example of fortitude and of christian resignation. In the concluding stage of his disorder, he removed from Edinburgh to Grange-house in the neighbourhood, where he had the advantage of a freer air, and a more quiet situation, and (what he valued more than most men) the pleasure of rural objects, and of a beautiful landscape. While he was able to walk abroad, he commonly passed a part of the day in a small garden, enjoying the simple gratifications it afforded with all his wonted relish. Some who now hear me will long remember-among the trivial yet interesting incidents which marked these last weeks of his memorable life-his daily visits to the fruit trees, (which were then in blossom) and the smile with which he, more than once, contrasted the interest he took in their progress, with the event which was to happen before their maturity. At his particular desire, I saw him (for the last time) on the 4th of June, 1793, when his weakness confined him to his couch, and his articulation was already beginning to fail : and it is in obedience to a request with which he then honored me, that I have ventured, without consulting my own powers, to offer this tribute to his memory. He died on the 11th of the same month, in the 71st year of his age.

I have already hinted at his domestic happiness. Nothing was wanting to render it perfect while he lived; and, at his death, he had the satisfaction to leave, in prosperous circumstances, a numerous family united to each other and to their excellent mother, by the tenderest affection. His eldest son, an eminent lawyer at the Scotch bar, has been only prevented by the engagements of an active profession, from sustaining his father's literary name; while his two younger sons, both of whom very early embraced a military life, have carried his vigor and enterprise into a different career of ambition.* His eldest daughter is married to Mr. Brydone, the well-known author of one of our most elegant and popular books of travels. Another is the widow of the late John Russell, Esq. clerk to the signet, and one of the members of this society.

The general view which has already been given of Dr. Robertson's occupations and habits, supersedes the

ecessity of attempting a formal delineation of his character. To the particulars, however, which have been incidentally mentioned in the course of this biographical sketch, it may not be unimportant to add, that the same sagacity and good sense which so eminently distinguished him as a writer, guided his conduct in life, and rendered his counsels of inestimable value to his friends. He was not forward in offering advice; but when consulted, as he was very frequently by his younger acquaintance, he entered into their concerns with the most lively interest, and seemed to have a pleasure and a pride in imparting to them all the lights of his experience and wisdom. Good sense was indeed the most prominent feature in his intellectual character; and it is unquestionably of all the qualities of the understanding, that which essentially constitutes superiority of mind; for although we are sometimes apt to appropriate the appellation of genius to certain peculiarities in the intellectual habits, it is he only who distinguishes himself from the rest of mankind, by thinking better than they on the same subjects, who fairly brings his powers into comparison with others. This was in a remarkable degree the case with Dr. Robertson. He was not eminent for metaphysical acuteness ; nor did he easily enter into speculations involving mathematical or mechanical ideas; but, in those endowments which lay the foundation of successful conduct, and which fit a man to acquire an influence over others, he had no superior. Among those who have, like him, devoted the greater part of life to study, perhaps it would be difficult to find his equal.

* Dr. Robertson's second son is now lieutenant colonel of the 92d regiment. His name is repeatedly mentioned with distinction in the history of Lord Cornwallis's military operations in India; particularly in the general orders after the siege of Nundydroog, where he commanded in the European flank company that led the assault. The following paragraph from Colonel Dirom's narrative contains a testimony to his conduct on this occasion, which would have been grateful to the feelings of his father had he survived to peruse it: “ The carnage which must have ensued in clearing the fort of the enemy, was prevented partly by a number of the garrison escaping by ropes and ladders over a low part of the wall; but chiefly by the exertions of Capt. Robertson, who seeing the place was carried, turned all his attention to preserving order; and preventing the unnecessary effusion of blood. To his humanity the bukshey and killedar owed their lives, and of the garrison there were only about forty men killed and wounded.”

His practical acquaintance with human nature was great, and he possessed the soundest and most accurate notions of the characters of those with whom he was accustomed to associate. In that quick penetration, indeed, which reads the soul, and estimates the talents of others by a sort of intuition, he was surpassed by many; and I have often known him misled by first impressions ; but where he had an opportunity of continuing his observations for a length of time, he seldom failed in forming conclusions equally just, refined, and profound. In a general knowledge of the world, and of the ways of men, his superiority was striking and indisputable; still more so, in my opinion, than in the judgments he formed of individuals. Nor is this surprising, when we consider the joint influence of his habits as an historian, and as a political leader.

Too much cannot be said of his moral qualities. Exemplary and amiable in the offices of private life, he exhibited in his public conduct, a rare union of political firmness with candor and moderation.

“ He enjoyed,” says Dr. Erskine, “the bounties of Providence without running into riot; was temperate without austerity; condescending and affable without meanness; and in expense neither sordid nor prodigal. He could feel an injury, and yet bridle his passion ; was grave, not sullen; steady, not obstinate ; friendly, not officious; prudent and cautious, not timid.” The praise is liberal, and it is expressed with the cordial warmth of friendship; but it comes from one who had the best opportunity of knowing the truth, as he had enjoyed Dr. Robertson's intimacy from his childhood, and was afterwards, for more than twenty years, his colleague in the same church; while his zealous attachment to a different system of ecclesiastical government, though it never impaired his affection for the companion of his youth, exempts him from any suspicion of undue partiality.

In point of stature Dr. Robertson was rather above the middle size; and his form though it did not convey the idea of much activity, announced vigor of body and a healthful constitution. His features were regular and manly; and his eye spoke at once good sense and good humor. He appeared to greatest advantage in his complete clerical dress; and was more remarkable for gravity and dignity in discharging the functions of his public stations, than for ease or grace in private society. His portrait, by Reynolds, painted about twenty years ago, is an admirable likeness ; and fortunately, (for the colors are already much faded) all its spirit is preserved in an excellent mezzotinto.

At the request of his colleagues in the university,* who were anxious to have

* This request was conveyed to Dr. Robertson by Mr. Dalzel and was received by him with much sensibility, as a mark of the esteem and approbation of a society over which he had presided for thirty years.

I neglected to mention in a former note the Latin discourses which Dr. Robertson

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