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the sensitive plant, at the first approach of danger; prudence is instantly called to his aid, under the name of virtue, which sternly opposes a fhield to defend him from every attack. Behind this impenetrable fhield he rests secure, like the tortoise within its shell, and utters his moral apophthegms in safety. To this virtue, when thus applied, the object of this memoir laid no claim. When the miseries or the misfortunes of others called for sympathy or aid, his heart was never shut against the claims of justice, or the impulses of humanity. The parade of speeches he did, indeed, despise; but he warmly interested himself in the cause of the unfortunate; nor on any occasion forgot to avail himself of every opportunity to serve them. He directed, where he could not otherwise aid; and his sympathising lenity afforded a balm to the wounded heart that no pecuniary gratification could ever have procured.

Nor is it the severe and the selfish, alone, whose propensities dignify vices with the name of virtue. There is also a vicious sympathy which does infinite mischief in the world. Some persons, by being profusely tender to the object which immediately claims. their attention, neglect the infinitely stronger claims of others, who happen to be out of sight at the time. They do not advert that a strict regard to justice and truth is the basis of all virtue. Without it, sympathy becomes weaknefs, and benevolence, itself, a vice. But when a tender disposition is under the steady regulation of this powerful principle, it gives an exaltation to the character, and a mildness to the conduct, that becomes irresistibly engaging. Great, in

deed, must be the foibles that a conduct regulated by this principle, will not effectually cover. In the moral world, its effects may be compared with those of a credit-in the mercantile world, that is above the reach of doubt. It gives a man the power of acting, in some measure, as he himself sees right, without ever incurring the imputation of blame. To this temper of mind Mr Tytler was indebted for that great respectability he bore among his acquaintance in public and in private, a degree of respectability, which, without this ingredient, talents of a much more brilliant cast, would never, alone, have insured. What a noble tribute is this which the public voluntarily pays to virtue! If happiness be the chief pursuit of man, how miserably do those err who hope to attain it, by departing from the fair path of virtue and beneficence!

From the overruling influence of the propensities above explained, resulted a natural ease of manner, and unaffected simplicity of conduct, that could not otherwise have been attained. When the mind is fully engaged in some interesting pursuit, the secret impulses of vanity, implanted in the minds of all mankind, imperceptibly lose their force; and the consideration of self, in some measure, ceases to be the leading motive for conversation. When the ob jects, especially, it contemplates, are pleasing, the social principle is called into full play; and every vivid emotion excites a desire of participation. This is one of the earliest, and the strongest propensities of the human mind. The child feels a want in every enjoyment, until the nurse be called to partici,

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pate in its joy; and every mind that partakes of the innocence of childhood, feels that this is a never-failing ingredient in every enjoyment. But when envy, jealousy, pride, or the overruling influence of selfish pafsions that dare not be openly avowed, come to predominate, it becomes necefsary to assume an artificial disguise, in order to conceal the natural depravity. Conversation then becomes a study. The lips are taught to speak a language that the heart ́ never dictated; and an overstrained complaisance is the necessary result. Mr Tytler experienced none of these restraints. When he felt an emotion that he thought would give pleasure to others, he frankly communicated it, without disguise. When he felt no emotions of that sort, he thought not of conversing, and naturally bestowed attention to what fell from others, in the hope of obtaining information and pleasure in his turn. The social converse of select friends, was, therefore, to him at all times a source of high enjoyment, and what he coveted above all others.

The same kind of impulse that prompted Mr Tytler to converse with vivacity, induced him to become an author. Never could the observation of Rousseau," that most authors write merely from a desire to gratify their own vanity," apply with lefs propriety than to him. He, who was at all times interested in the cause of the friendless, and zealous in defence of truth, naturally became keen in his researches concerning the unfortunate Mary of Scotland. The result of these inquiries was a discovery of circumstances, that, to all the world, appear

ed undoubted evidence that he had suffered great injustice, and which convinced himself that the opprobrium with which her memory had been so long loaded, owed its origin solely to forgeries and frauds of the most attrocious kind. To be silent in such a cause, he would have believed implied a participa→ tion in the guilt; he therefore stepped forward as the willing champion of what he deemed suffering innocence, against an host of foes; who at that time wore a much more formidable aspect than they do at present. His vindication of Mary* first appeared in the year 1759; and forms an era in the literary history of Britain. Before that time, it was the fashion for literary disputants to attack each other like miscreants and banditti. The person was never separated from the cause: and whatever attached the one, was considered as equally affecting the other; so that scurrility and abuse bloated even the pages of a Bentley and a Ruddiman. The historical inquiry was free from every thing of that sort: and though the highest name produced not a mitigation of the force of any argument, the meanest never suffered the smallest abuse. He considered it as being greatly beneath the dignity of a man contending for truth, to overstretch even an argument in the smallest degree, far more to pervert a fact to answer his purpose on any occasion. In the course of his argument he had too often occasion to fhow that

* Entitled, "An inquiry, historical and critical, into the evidence as gainst Mary queen, of Scots, and an examination of the histories of Dr. Robertson and Mr Hume, with respect to that evidence" 8vo 1759. After running through several editions it was printed in 4to 1790, and in Svo, two volumes, with large additions.

this had been done by others; but he disdained to imitate them. His reasoning was forcible and elegant; impartially severe, but always polite, and becoming the gentleman and the scholar. When this book appeared, it was looked on as a phenomenon in the literary world; and was read with the greatest avidity. His arguments did not indeed produce universal conviction; but his work commanded universal applause. In the cause of injured innocence, he neither thought it necessary to brandifh the club of defiance, like the ireful Whitaker; nor to have recourse to the secret stiletto, like the artful Gibbon. His object was not to attack, but to defend. He never deserted his post to pursue a fallen opponent ; but he fhrunk not from the most renowned afsailants; and his succefs has been such as to induce many others, since that time, to range under his banners; all of whom have imitated his example, in as far as their respective talents and dispositions would permit. As a supplement to this work, he read in the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland, of which society he was a warm friend and protector, and for many years vice president, "A difsertation on the marriage of queen Mary to the earl of Bothwel," which forms a distinguished article in the first volume of the transactions of that society, published in the year 1791 in 4to.

All his other writings related to his favourite subject, belles lettres. These his miscellaneous works consist of,

1st,

"The poetical remains of James I. of Scotland, consisting of The king's quair in six cantos, and

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