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ed Heaven to afflict her in an unusual de-I had not the extensive grant of land which her gree. The Letters now published extend father obtained been, after the revolution, over a period of about thirty-five years; and included in the new State of Vermont, and in that time, Mrs. Grant had lost six daugh- confiscated as the property of a British offiters, in the early bloom, or full maturity of cer. A residence of some years in Glasgow, graceful or beautiful womanhood; all of at this time, must have added much to her them distinguished by talents and virtues. stores of knowledge, and was a period of She had also lost her eldest son. These great mental activity and general improvewere heavy trials, and fruitfut, if painful, ment; though her vivacious and energetic themes for a mother's letters to those who mind had received its tone and impulse in had known and loved the endeared and America. Of her Glasgow residence she reamiable beings she lamented.
latesThe literary gossip of the Modern Athens in its palmy days, or during the thirty years whose son we were known in America, I formed
With one family of the name of Pagan, to which Mrs. Grant resided in its circles, an affectionate intimacy. At their countrymight promise to be an attractive feature in house, on the banks of the river Cart, near her correspondence; but we question if it Glasgow, I spent part of three summers, will be so felt. The more remarkable of the which I look back upon as a valuable part of persons of whom she speaks, have either fore- mental, perhaps I should rather say moral, edustalled her themselves, or she has been anti- cation. Minds to pure, piety so mild, so cheerful
and influential; manners so simple and artless, cipated by their communicative friends. Mrs. without the slightest tincture of hardness or vulGrant is, besides, a cautious writer, never garity; such primitive ways of thinking, so personal, never satirical; and, moreover, her much of the best genuine Scottish character, I literary history is often inaccurate. It is have never met with, nor could ever have supsuperfluous to point out what was erroneous posed to exist, had I not witnessed. Here were at the time, and is now of no consequence the reliques of the old Covenanters all around whatever. In short, Mrs. Grant must, for a curious traits of Scottish history and manners
and here I enriched my memory with many good while, if not always, in her literary inti- by frequenting the cottages of the peasantry, macies, have belonged to the dowager divi- and perusing what I could find on their smoky sion of Edinburgh society, and could not book-shelves. Here was education for the heart have been in secrets—not, perhaps, much and mind, well adapted for the future lot which worth knowing
Providence assigned to me. With these friends, The Memoir and Letters, which are mod- then a numerous family, I kept up an intimate estly and unobtrusively "edited by Mrs. connexion, which neither time nor absence in
terrupted. Grant's son, the only survivor of a large family, who all, save himself, predeceased It is to the daughters of this family, Mrs. their mother, open with a brief sketch of her Brown of Glasgow, and Mrs. Smith of Jorearly life, from her own pen. It brings her dan Hill, that many of the “ Letters from the personal history down to the opening of her Mountains” are addressed. Many of those ** Letters from the Mountains;" and this new in the new series are to the same stanch sories terminates it, with a short account of her friends. Mrs. Grant's father obtained the
aplatter years, by the editor. Her father and pointment of barrack-master at Fort Augusmother were both Highlanders. No drop of tus; and, still an untaught, unaccomplished, Sasseriac? blood flowed in the veins of Anne but a very clever, largely-informed, and enMacvicar, though she chanced to be born in thusiastic girl, she was transferred to the Glasgow. Her father, after her birth, enter-heart of the mountains. Upon her solid, ed the army; and her childhood, up to the self-earned Lowland and American acquireage of fourteen, was passed in America, at a ments and stores of various knowledge, Dutch settlement below Albany, in the man- Highland romance and poesy were now larner she has so fascinatingly described in the ishly superinduced by her residence at Fort " Memoirs of an American Lady." She may Augustus—then, though a kind of garrison, be said to have been, so far as schools and a much more solitary spot than it is now—and direct instruction are concerned, literally her subsequent residence in Laggan. In self-edueated. Her mother taught her to 1779, she married the minister of that parread; and her intimacy and domestication ish, and became, in every sense, a true High. with the American Lady,” her residence in land matron; proving not only how much the rustic court of Madame Schuyler, must virtue and happiness, but how many beautihave been of incalculable advantage to her. ful talents, how much of refining imagination At the age of fifteen she returned to Scotland and brightening fancy, are compatible with with her father and mother; and, as she was the lowliest duties of a ife and mother, an only child, should have been an heiress, parish-helper; and with circumstances which
many of her future correspondents must have their mental education, but who needed the regarded as very narrow, indeed, if not miser- care and protection of a mother, on their inable poverty. In 1801, she lost her excel-troduction into life, and the affection and solent husband; and was left with a family of ciety of sisters. For many years, her house eight children, and not altogether free from was the home of a succession of young ladies debt. But she had firm faith and high cour- of this description; and she appears to have age,
and the talent of attracting and attach- had much satisfaction in the character and ing admirable friends, who again interested affection of these pupils, or inmates, whose other friends in her behalf and in that of her presence threw a brilliancy around her famfamily. Nor were her literary talents with- ily circle. But it is more than time that we out their influence. From almost childhood allowed Mrs. Grant to speak for herself. As she had scribbled verses; and now her pat- an example of her tact and self-respect, we rons and friends issued proposals for publish- select the following letter, addressed to Mr. ing a volume of her poetry. It proved the Hatsell, Clerk to the House of Commons. most successful attempt of the kind ever It was written while Mrs. Grant was in Lonmade, we believe, in Scotland; and was but don, sending her eldest son to India, having an earnest of the very remarkable kindness obtained a cadetship for him through the inwhich Mrs. Grant afterwards met with in terest of the late Mr. Charles Grant, the East quarters where she could have no claim, save India Director :that conferred by her virtues and talents, and the condition of her family. Through Mr. To John Harsell, Esq., House of Commons
London. George Chalmers, the author of "Caledonia," she received, in one sum, three hun
London, 2d May, 1805. dred pounds, the contribution of three deavor to recall to your memory a person of
Sir,- The purpose of this address is to enprincely London merchants, Messrs. Anger-whom you had a very slight knowledge indeed, stein, Thomson, & Bonar. A number of at Fort Augustus, thirty years ago, then a girl ladies in Boston published her Letters by of seventeen, and in whose father's house you subscription ; and transmitted her, at differ- resided while there. Since that time I was hapent times, considerable sums. Other gener- that country, who was minister of an adjoining
pily and respectably married to a gentleman of ous individuals appear to have materially assisted her in her struggles; and her publish- was a maa of much humanity and generosity.
parish, and chaplain to the 90th regiment. He ers, the house of Longman & Co., acted to- We lived in an open and hospitable manner, wards her with a liberality of which she was and had twelve children, of whom eight remain. warmly sensible. They not only gave her I hasten to the sad sequel. Three years ago, the fair share of profits on her “ Letiers from a sudden death deprived us of the best of husthe Mountains," to which she was entitled, less family his character and example are a rich
bands and fathers. To his young and helpbut, as a free gift, a considerable part of their inheritance. I do not fear that they will feel abown profits. În her latter years she obtained solute want, nor were they left absolutely desticonsiderable legacies from old pupils and a tute. My friends, however, urged me to publish pension of a hundred a-year; and one of her a volume of occasional verses, which I had wrote patrons, Sir William Grant, Master of the to please them or myself. This volume I have Rolls, left her an annuity to the
taken the liberty of sending you, not to so
licit amount. This, with her other sunds, and an
your name, or derive any advantage in that
way; far otherwise. I do not mention my adnuity as the widow of a Scottish clergyman; dress, to prevent the possibility of having my with her moderate tastes, rendered her old motive inistaken. But, having come to town to age easy and independent.-- -To return: send my eldest son to the East Indies, and con. soon after the death of her husband, Mrs. clude some other matters relative to my family, Grant removed, with her large family, to I happened to hear you spoken of as a worthy Stirling, in which she resided for some years, the time I met with you, the finest gentleman I
and benevolent character; thinking you, too, at Her elder daughters, who had received many ever saw, I was very attentive to your conversamore advantages of education than their
tion, and remarked that you had a taste for litemother, were now of an age to assist her in rature. These are the circumstances that have any plan of active usefulness; and she re-induced me thus to commit myself, by placing a ceived into her family some little boys, of a confidence in you that may lead you to think class that could afford to pay her handsome-oddly of me. I cannot help it. You will never ly, in order to prepare them for school. This see nor hear of me more: and if you do not atscheme was afterwards relinquished for one
tend to my simple request, forget, I beg of you,
that ever I made it. more suitable to her family circumstances; You see, by the subscribers' list, that my own and, settling in Edinburgh, she received a country-people are interested in me, and have select number of young ladies of good for treated me with unexampled kindness; yet my tune, who had finished their school, if not circumstances rendering it difficult for me to ed
ucate so large a family without encroaching on " glorious and immortal;" but, in the trying their little capital, I am now about to publish
era of Pitt, she seems to have become a hightwo small volumes, without my name, of juvenile flying Tory, and in old age she was a Legiticorrespondence, genuine and unaltered, under the title of “ Letters from the Mountains.” Now, mist or Carlist who had never been a Jacob1 send you my poetical volume, first, in return for ite; and sent presents of ptarmigan to Holy. two books you gave me at Fort Augustus; and, rood to the Duchess of Angoulême, and next, that you may read it; and if you think as wrote pretty verses to the little Duke of kindly of it as many others have done, it will per- Bourdeaux. Nay, more, she obtained a new haps interest you in the writer, or, what is much light upon the subject of Antichrist, and disbetter, in a large family of orphans belonging to a covered him to be, not the Pope, as all Reworthy man. You will, in that case, use your forined Scotland had ever believed, but the influence, which I know is extensive, to make the intended publication known. I do not ex
The Reform Bill
French Encyclopedists. pect you to recommend it, because that is use- appeared, to her, to threaten the end of the less
, if it wants merit, and needless if it has. world, or the complete overthrow of religion Longman and Rees are my publishers; they and social order. But these notions were so have some volumes of the work herewith sent far harmless, that they excited no rancorous on hand : these, too, I wish you to make known. feeling towards those of her friends who enIt would gratify me, if you would send a note to Longman and Rees, desiring to have the “ Let- tertained opposite opinions. They are, inters from the Mountains” sent you when they deed, by a younger generation, rather to be are published. If you are a man of delicacy laughed at than seriously animadverted on. and benevolence, you will do this, to show you We must now introduce a few of the illustritake my confidence in good part; if not, be at ous personages whom she describes to her least a man of honor ;-burn this letter, never friends, and who, indeed, form, with the exmention it, and forget the ill-judged presumption ception of the few family letters, the best of your obedient humble servant,
staple of her correspondence. In March
1810, nearly a lifetime since, she writes :Many months elapsed; but Mrs. Grant at last heard from this cautious gentleman, and both called on me, not by any means as a scrib
Walter Scott and the formidable Jeffrey have afterwards found in him an active and useful bling female, but on account of links formed by friend. He brought her book, and her per- mutual friends. You would think, by their арsonal history, under the notice of the Bishop pearance, that the body of each was formed to of London, the venerable Dr. Porteus, who lodge the soul of the other. Having met them criticised and corrected her Letters for a both formerly, their appearance was not any second edition, keeping out some of the more
thing new to me: but Jeffrey looks the poet all trivial letters. It might be wished that some the visibly quick perceptions, keep one's atten
over :--the ardent eye, the nervous agitation, one had performed a similar friendly office tion constantly awake, in expectation of flashes for the present collection, which a near rela- of the peculiar intelligence of genius: nor is that tive can never be the best qualified to per- expectation entirely disappointed: for his converform. During her residence in London at sation is in a high degree fuent and animated. this time, Mrs. Grant acquired several useful Walter Scott, again, has not a gleam of poetic and pleasant friends; and among others Mrs. fire visible in his countenance, which merely sugHook, one of the daughters of the fortunate tions do not strike you as by any means so rapid
the idea of plain good sense; his concep, Scottish physician, Sir Walter Farquhar. or so brilliant as ihose of his critic; yet there is To this lady, the wife of Dr. James Hook, much amusement and variety in his good-huafterwards an archdeacon of the English mored, easy, and unaffected conversation. church, and the mother of Dr. Walter Hook Some months later, she remarks of Jefof Leeds, many of her most elaborate letters frey :: were subsequently addressed. Her English friends were all' High Church, and high his
manifold literary offences, I think I shall be
Do you know, notwithstanding my wrath for Tory: and so
was she, as she takes very forced to like the Arch-Critic limsell. He is, great pains to assure them, osten going out what, indeed, I knew before, the most affectionof her way to express contempt and dislike ate relation possible, and truly good-natured in for the politics of the Liberal party and of society, though so petulant on paper. The Edinburgh Review; and for a something I must tell you how the Arch-Critic, Mr. Jeffrey,
and I have behaved to each other. For some -an abstraction, about which nobody seems uime past I met him at parties, and I thought he to have any definite idea—which Cobbett looked odd and avoided me. Something I knew was wont to call Scotch feelosophy, and Eng, there was, but was not in the least aware that lish High Churchmen, with their ladies, and it was a criticism, having been told formerly Mrs. Grant, “Scotch metaphysics.” In her that he resolved to let me alone. I was, howyouth, Mrs. Grant must have been true-ever, obliged to have, what I much dislike, a blue Presbyterian Whig, and admirer of the small party in summer, on account of some
strangers whose friends had strong claims on Mrs. Grant frequently expatiates upon the my attention. I boldly sent a note to the critic, good nature, the simplicity of manners, and saying, that if he had renounced me, he should unpretending ways of Scott. One good an
at once tell me so, like a brave man as he was; ecdote of him is related. de
if not to come on Wednesday evening, and meet some people whom I knew he did like. He an- A young lady from England, very ambitious swered, that, so far from renouncing, he had of distinction, and thinking the outrageous ad
thought of me more than any body else for some miration of genius was nearly as good as the dor days past; and if a little packet he was about possession of it, was presented to Walter Scott,
to send me to-morrow, did not make me retract and had very nearly gone through the regular my invitation, he should gladly wait on me. 1 forms of swooning sensibility on the occasion. got
, next day, the threatened packet, now before being afterwards introduced to Mr. Henry Macthe public. Here follows the accompanying kenzie, she bore it better, but kissed his hand note, as far as I recollect it—"When I review with admiring veneration. It is worth telling the works of my friends, if I can depend on their for the sake of Mr. Scott's comment. He said, magnanimity as much as I think I can on yours," Did you ever hear the like of that English lass, I let them know what I say of them before they to faint at the sight of a cripple clerk of Session, are led out to execution. When I take up my and kiss the dry withered hand of an old taxreviewing pen, I consider myself as entering gatherer !" the temple of truth, and bound to say what I think.'
Scott, as every body knows, was a Clerk
of Session; and the Man of Feeling held Mrs. Grant professed herself satisfied. the office of Comptroller of Taxes. Seven years after this, we find her writing
The parish of Laggan lies in the Duke of about a brilliant critique on Byron from Jef Gordon's principality; and the Duchess had frey's pen, with which the Edinburgh co- taken a warm interest in Mrs. Grant and her teries were ringing, and giving him, though family, though she had never seen her preon a quite different score, praise, which we vious to her widowhood, and, indeed, only conceive very high praise indeed, when the
once or twice during her whole life. Of that reckless extravagance, folly, and paltry ambi
great lady, who then made so brilliant a tion, which shortly afterwards plunged so figure in the highest circles of London, as many of his contemporaries into embarrass- not only the leader of fashion, but the friend ment, bankruptcy, and every sort of mean of the minister of the day, Mrs. Grant apness and misery, are considered.
pears to have formed a true idea. While Grant tells that she dined at Mr. Jeffrey's living in Stirling she writes to Mr. Hatsell :A comparatively sinall and select party, where
I every one could see and hear each other, proved
was sitting quietly at the fireside one night very pleasant. At this house I greatly admire lately, when I was summoned, with my eldest the respectable, yet simple and moderate style daughter, to attend the Duchess of Gordon. We of the furniture, entertainment, &c. This, in spent the evening with her at her inn; and very such persons, is the perfection of good sense': it amusing and original she certainly is: extrawould be as absurd for people, who, in the most ordinary she is determined to be, wherever she literal sense of the phrase, live by their wits, to is, and whatever she does. She speaks of you enter into rivalry of this kind with the great and in very high terms, which, you know, always wealthy, as it would be for these to try to excel happens in the case of those whom the Duchess Jeffrey in critical acumen, or Scott in poetry.
“delighteth to honor:" as the highest testimo
nial of your merit that she can give, she says In reference to the puerile
and ribald at- had; and then she pronounced an eloquent eulo
you were one of the greatest favorites Mr. Pitt tacks made on the “Arch-Critic” by the gium on that truly great man. Her Grace's early contributors to Blackwood-by young present ruling passion is literature,—to be the armen trying to write themselves into notice, bitress of literary taste, and the patroness of geand not very scrupulous about the means- nius,-a distinction for which her want of early Mrs. Grant remarks :
culture, and the flutter of a lise devoted to very
different pursuits, has rather disqualified her; yet The town is in an uproar about the Chaldee she has strong flashes of intellect, which are, manuscript in Blackwood's Magazine. however, immediately lost in the formless confuLiterary gossip here holds the place of the petty sion of a mind ever hurried on by contending personalities in little country towns, and of the passions and contradictory objects, of which one more important concerns of foreign commerce can never be attained without the relinquishin greater ones. Formerly these were very ment of others. She reminds me, at present, of harmless contests ; but people have got such a what has been said of the ladies of the old rétaste for war and strong sensations, that what gime in France, who, when they could no longer they cannot find they will make. Jeffrey is the lead up the dance of gaiety and fashion, set up Buonaparte of literature here; and I think this for beaux esprits, and decided on the merits of confederacy of petulant young men seem en- authors. couraged to attack him by the fate of his proto- Having said all this of her Grace, it is but fair type.
to add, that in one point she never varies, which
is active, nay, most industrious benevolence. Mrs. Baillie (for so her elder sister chooses to Silver and gold she has not, but what she has- be distinguished) people like in their hearts bether interest
, her trouble, her exertions--she ter than Mrs. Joanna, though they would not for gives with unequalled perseverance. She was the world say so, thinking that it would argue at as much pains to seek out an orphan, the son great want of taste not to prefer Melpomene. I, of a gentleman who died lately in the High- for my part, would greatly prefer the Muse to lands, leaving a numerous unprovided family; walk in a wood or sit in a hower with ; but in she was at as much pains to seek out this orphan, that wearisome farce, a large party, Agnes acts who lodged in some obscure corner of Stirling, her part much better. The seriousness, simas if he had been a fit match for her grand- plicity, and thoughtfulness of Joanna's manners daughter who accompanied her.
overawe you srom talking common-place to her;
and as for pretension or talking fine, you would Mrs. Grant happened to be in Edinburgh as soon think of giving yourself airs before an on a visit, during the winter of 1809, when Apostle. She is mild and placid, but makes no the Duchess of Gordon, then somewhat in effort either to please or to shine ; she will neither the wane in London, irradiated the northern dazzle nor be dazzled, yet, like others of the metropolis by her presence. She at this higher class of mind, is very indulgent in her time again saw her Grace, and thus describes food for thought than mere amusement.
In the interview :
short, she is not merely a woman of talent, but I called on the Duchess of Gordon yesterday : very unlike any other thing; which is the reason
of genius, which is a very ditferent thing, and she and I having a joint interest in an orphan that I have taken so much pains to describe her. family in the Highlands, which creates a kind of Joanna's conversation is rather below her abilbusiness between us. She had a prodigious ities, justifying Lord Gardenstone's maxim, that levée, and insisted on my sitting to see them out, true genius is ever modest and careless. Agnes that we might afterwards have our private dis- unconsciously talks above herself, merely from cussion. Among other characters at her levée, I saw Lord Lauderdale, who made me start to her intellectual superiors. I should certainly
a wish to please, and a habit of living among see him almost a lean slippered pantaloon, who have liked and respected Joanna, as a person the last time I saw him, was a fair-haired youth singularly natural and genuine, though she had at Glasgow College. He was really like a "memento mori” to me; had I much to leave, I that this is the case with most others.
never written a tragedy. I am not at all sure would have gone home and made my will directly. More gratified I was to see Sir Brook Boothby; though he, too, looked so feeble and
These ladies were at this period, June £0 dismal, that one would have thought him just 1820, on a visit in Edinburgh. Proofs of come from writing those sorrows sacred to Mrs. Grant's sound common-sense are scatPenelope, which you have certainly seen. Being tered throughout the whole correspondence; engaged to dinner, I could stay no longer. The and many of her letters, as those to Mr. Duchess said that on Sunday she never saw Henning the artist, and to Miss Anne Duncompany, nor played cards, nor went out; in bar, along with this display very friendly England, indeed, she did so, because every one
the else did the same; but she would not introduce feelings, and a generous interest in those manners into this country. I stared at well-being of her correspondents; though these gradations of piety growing warmer as it with Mr. Henning she seems a little too “apt came northward, but was wise enough to stare lo teach.” We shall, nearly at random, sesilently. She said she had a great many things lect a few isolated passages, which tend to to tell me; and as I was to set out this morning, establish the soundness of her judgment.
It I must come that evening, when she would be is thus she speaks to a friend of female sepalone. At nine I went, and found Walter Scoit,
aratists : whom I had never before met in society, though we had exchanged distant civilities; Lady Your scruples in detaching yourself, in the Keith, Johnson's Queeney, and an English lady, duties of public worship, from your family, must witty and fashionable-looking, who came and have been, to your feeling mind, of much weight, went with Mr. Scott. No people could be more and, I am sure, unmixed with any lower motive. easy and pleasant, without the visible ambition But I think you are well aware that I do not exof shining; yet animated, and seeming to feel attend this indulgence of opinion to all females home with each other. 'I think Mr. Scott's ap- who choose a separate path; my observation of pearance very unpromising, and common-place life having warranted me in the opinion, that a indeed ; yet though no gleam of genius animates love of distinction and consequence, among a his countenance, much of it appears in his con- certain
set, has more to do with it than the subversation, which is rich, various, easy, and ani- jects of this censure of mine are at all aware of. mated, without the least of the petulance with Nothing can be further from applying to you; which the Faculty, as they call themselves, are who are diffident to a fault: but you may
obnot unjustly reproached.
serve. that most people who separate from their
family in this manner, are of the tribe distinThere is, we think, penetration, besides guished for self-opinion; and that when once nic female iscrimination in Mrs. Grant's they do set up a standard of purer doctrine and estimate of the two Mrs. Baillies.
stricter practice, their charity and good-will be