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Dr. John Brown : a biography and a criticism / by the late John Taylor Brown ... ; edited, with a short sketch of the biographer, by W.B. Dunlop, M.A. Brown, John Taylor, 1811-1901. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-186-30607424 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Dr. John Brown : a biography and a criticism / by the late John Taylor Brown ... ; edited, with a short sketch of the biographer, by W.B. Dunlop, M.A. Brown, John Taylor, 1811-1901. A. & C. Black, London : 1903. xiv p., 244 p. : 6 port. on 4 plates ; 21 cm. Coleman A biography and a criticism -- The "Hor5 subseciv5" as a whole -- "Locke and Sydenham" -- "Notes on art" -- "Letter to Dr. Cairns" -- "Dr. Chalmers" -- "The last half-crown" -- "Arthur Hallam" -- Appendix -- John Taylor Brown, a sketch. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1994. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN04380.02 KUK) Printing Master B92-186. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Brown, John, 1810-1882. Authors, Scottish 19th century Biography.Dunlop, W. B. Wk0 : / DR JOHN BROWN from a Remarque aO the margin of an etched portrait of DTJohn Brown byCharles O.Murray Dr. John Brown A :Giograpbh anO a Criticinil By the late John Taylor Brown LL.D., F.S.A. (Scot.) Edited WTith a short Sketch of the Biographer by XV . B. Dunlop, M.A. London Adam Charles Black I903 This page in the original text is blank. to the Memorno of DR. JOHN BROWN OF ALEXANDER STUART LOGAN SHERIFF OF FORFARSHIRE MY BROTHER, WILLIAM SETON BROWN O F JOHN HEUGH OF PROFESSOR CALDERWOOD AND OF DR. ALEXANDER GROSART "As . began this work to entertain and instruct myself, so, if an-y other find entertainment or profit by it, let him lise it freely, judge honourably of my friend, and moleratelv of me, which is all the return that out of this barren stock can be desired or expected."-Lurd Brooke's Life qf thie Renonied Sir Philip Sidney. INTRODUCTORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR TuE AIS. of "Dr. John Brown, a Bio- graphy and a Criticism," came into my hands on the death, in 1901, in his ninety- first year, of my uncle, the late John Taylor Brown. It is only just to his memory that I should explain that the MS. as I found it was unfinished, though he was engaged on this, his labour of love, to within a few days of his death. Considerable portions of it had never been finally revised by the biographer; part of it was written, sometimes in pencil hardly decipherable, on odd sheets and half sheets, on old envelopes, news- Vii Introductory Note paper wfappers, ard other scraps of paper, often without anything to indicate the corntinui-ly of the narrative. And there were frequently many versions of the same passage, without even an indication which Vrersion the biographer intended to adopt. In these circumstances, my endeavour has been to discriminate be- tween thy various versions and to attempt to Unite mny uncle's ipsissima verba, inter- polating as little as possible of my own- for the riost part, only a few words here and there to connect the different portions of the MS. I would ask the reader to deal gently with any lack of continuity or literary finish, wbich he may discover, or at least to Ly the blame of any such defects, not upon the biographer, who has been described by a critic as a " master of Engl-ish v ure and undefiled," but rather upon one whose lot in life has been Viii. Introductory Note cast in paths far removed from those of literary effort. I have appended to the Biography of Dr. John Brown and the Criticism of his literary work, a short notice of the bio- grapher himself, which I have thought might possibly prove of interest to some of the readers of Dr. John Brown's Life. WV. B. DUNLOP. EDINBURGH, Aug ust 190(3. lx This page in the original text is blank. PREFACE I HAVE sometimes been inclined to think that IDr. John Brown had thrown so much of his own beautiful character into his writings that any other memorial of him was not only superfluous, but might even be in dancrer of impairing the true im- pression of himni which had already been sufficiently given by himself. And it is therefore with some hesitation that I venture upon the attempt to record what an intimacy of over fifty years may enable ine to recall of a very remarkable and a very attractive personality. Something, however, as it seems to me, is still wanted to define the exact character and value of his literary work. One generally hears him spoken of as the author of Rab and xi Preface nuts Friends, as if he had produced nothing else worth notice except that and one or two ether, certainly most beautiful and touching narratives. But there is much wise in his work which exhibits very specia. power as a thinker, as an acute critic both of art and of literature, and a shrewd expounder of various practical questions. All this seemed to me to deserve being brought into greater prom- inence and to receive more attention than t had yet obtained. Whether the follow- ing pages will have this effect it is not for ir.e to determine. But it is well at least thiat thie attempt should be made, for even if it does not succeed (and I am very censci')us of its imperfection) it may 'upply the groundwork and suggestion of what -nay be better done by some other pen than that of the present writer can be hoped by him to effect. J. T. BROWN. xii CONTENTS PAGE A BIOGRAPHY AND A CRITICIS1 . . I THl '"HoR.E SUBSECIV.E AS A WHOLE . 1(3 "LocKE AND SYDENTHAl". . . . 127 "NOTES ON ART . . . . . 143 " LFTTER TO DR. CAIRNS . . . 163 " DR. CHAI.AI\ RS . . . 183 " Tin, LAxS'I HALF-CROWN . . . 196 "ARTHUR HALLAM . . . . 198 APEN-DIX . . . . . . 211 JoHN TAYiOR BROWVIN-A SKETCH . . 225 xiii ILLUSTRATIONS I)R. JOHN BROWN (photogravure) THE WIFE OF DR. JOHN BROWN (two portraits). T JOHN TAYLOR BROWN ANI) DR. Jong BROWN . JOHN TAYLOR BROWN (photo- gra vure) Frontispiece Facing p. 90 ,, 126 ,, 225 xiv Part I. DR. JOHN BROWN. This page in the original text is blank. Dr. John Brown A BIOGRAPHY AND A CRITICISM DR. JOHN. BROWN used to say that he was the fifth John Brown of his family in direct succession, and I have an idea that he inherited something from all his forebears. Of the first John, indeed, John Brown the customary weaver of Carpow, we know nothing. " He died and made no sign," at least none that has come down to us. But all the others were men of marked character, intellect and worth. His great-grandfather, in particular, John Brown of Haddington, must have had some of the elements of a very true great- ness. Left an orphan, utterly unprovided Dr. John Brown f-r, at the age of twelve, bare-footed, ill- ciad, and with almost no school-training, As one month only, without his parents' allowance, bestowed upon the Latin," and seilt to herd sheep upon the hills about _beriiethy, he contrived, like the younger Scaliger, to acquire a knowledge of Greek without the aid of Grammar or Lexicon; ard after carrying a pack, keeping a sihool contending with ecclesiastical bigots who accused him of getting his learnivg from the Devil ! and, it is said, serving as a soldier of the volunteers in the rebellion of 1745, fought his way into the ministry of the Secession Church, and finally into the Professor's chair of Divinity. The other two John Browns, his father and grandfather, were both men of mi rk in their day. His father, in particular, was distinguished as a master in biblical interpretation, as an accom- p11shed' scholar, a great preacher, and a man of wide learning and powerful intellect. The distinguishing character- 2 Dr. John Brown istics of the race may, I think, be said to have been intellectual vigour, singular purity of life, piety towards God, and a remarkable serenity and benignity of temper. And all these were trans- mitted in amntple measure to the author of the Horw(e SiubscCivW. Aldith him, however, they blossomed out into genius which, it may be admitted, had hardly as yet been developed in the family. Those who had gone before him were chiefly inen of great acquiring pow er--mlen of learning with strong sense and reasoning ability, but not distinctively gifted with original or inventive faculty. John of Hladdington, indeed, must have seen a good deal of various life, and was certainly something more than a mere scholar. According to traditions still surviving in the family, he possessed a considerable power of dealing with men, and a faculty of ready retort or repartee which must have made him rather a dangerous subject to attack or contend with. These features 3 Dr. John Brown of character were not perhaps particularly conspicuous in his more immediate descendants, John of Whitburn and the first Dr. John, the father, but they dis- tinctl-v revived in the last inheritor of the name. He liked, as he once told me, to ' manage people," and few who knew him could dolot that he generally succeeded; and was s-eldorn at a loss, I think, for a quiclk retort - usually, however, rather humrorous and kindly than cutting or severe, th.ough the sting was not wanting if the occasion required it. Trhe external events of Dr. John Brownl's life were so few that they may almcst be told in half a dozen sentences. He was born in the old Secession Manse of B'igg,,i in Lanarkshire, on the 23rd of September 1810. He came to Edinburgh whena a little more than eleven years of age w Mlay 1822. His early educa- tion up to that time had been con- ducted, I believe,- entirely by his father in priv Le. On coming to Edinburgh 4 Dr. John Brown he went to a Latin school kept by Willi am Steele, a good but somewhat severe master, and not one, I suspect, very capable of infusing into his scholars an interest in classical literature, or, to use an expression of TIr. Thackeray's, of relieving them roin the " nightmare of TV7TW." In October 1824 he passed into the Rector's class in the High School. then under Dr. Carson, a mnan of a different stamp, gentle and kindly, an admirable teacher and an excellent man. Here he remained till August 1826, enter- ing the University in the November following. In MIay 1827 he commenced the study of medicine, beginning at the same time his apprenticeship with iMr. Syme the great surgeon. In 1833 he obtained his degree of I. D., anld immedi- ately began practice in Edinburgh. In ,June 1840 he was Carried to IIiss Catherine MIKay. In March 1846 his literary career miay be said to have coln- mneced with the publication of those 5 I)r. John Brown remarkable criticisms on Art which origin- ally appealed in the Wititess newspaper of that date. In 1849 these were followed by his paper on Locke and Sydenham in the Nort/ British Review. My impres- sion is tlhat it was this paper which brought h im the friendship of Lord Jeffrey anldt Lord Cockburn; and between this tinie and 1855 he became closely intimate with AIr. Ruskin and Mr. Thackevayv In 1858 his friend the late AMr. Thomas Constable induced him to publish the first volume of his collected essays in which "' Rab and his Friends" appeared. This was followed by another volume in 1861. The last, I think, of his writings appeared about 1866, his period of literary activity thus extending over exact'y twenty years. On the 6th of' January 1864 (a day ever afterwards sadly recalled by him as the year came round,, his Leautiful and excellent wife was taken from him after long, most painful, and hopeless suffering. Last of all, his own 6 Dr. John Brown death took place on the 11th of Mlay 1882, at the age of seventy-one years and seven and a half months. His family consisted of' a son and two daughters, of whom the son-the sixth John Brown--alone survives. Mly first acquaintance with him was in May 1822, immediately after his coming to Edinburgh. I met him at a boys' and girls' party ill my uncle David's in Buceleuch Place, of which I can only recollect that he made us all laugh by some outbreak of odd or funny remark- so that I suppose his huumour had begun to show itself even then. What his life before that had been 1 can only con- jecture; he never spoke much about it to me. But I used to suspect that not a little of what constituted the prevailing features of his character was more or less due to his early upbringing. Even when a child he had shown a good deal of a sensitive disposition, and he once told me -what I have also heard from others--that 7 Dr. John Brown his mcother, shortly before her death, had expressed some anxiety about him on this ground. It is probable, therefore, that the in-ipres; ions received in the Biggar manse. whatever they were, would sink pretty deep into his nature. His father, though a Iran of great intellectual power, was curiously silent, retiring and reticent, absorbed in his work, dignified both in person and manners, " not a man to be trifled with." though in his inner nature singularly devout, gentle, pure-minded and benevolent. I rather fancy that there was somnething of a solemn shadow per- vading the early home. The elder Dr. Brown had lost his mother, a woman, I have understood, of remarkable beauty, and no less remarkable character, when hie was still t. boy, but old enough to have recogn.sed ail her excellence, and to have beconm atta.lhed to her with all a boy's enthusiastic love. And, again, after a few happy years of marriage, the light of his life had gone out at the death of his Dr. John Brown amiable wife, the mother of our Dr. John. After this. I suspect, there was not very much laughter in the Biggar house; youthful spirits were perhaps kept under some restraint, and the house had very likely a pervading atmosphere of awe in it-not altogether unfavourable, however, to the growth of habits of filial reverence and obedience, and of modest, humnble, truthful dispositions. This, at least, was the impression which the manners and appearance of the children gave, when their father came to Edinburgh in 1822. After their mother's death they had been brought up by their grandmother, and they had all something of the look of being ' grandmnother's children." John, ds 1 have already said, was at that time not quite twelve years old. and when he made his (ib/Jut among us, some of us boys, I think, were inclined to smile at his simple, primitive, country ways and appearance. I remember particularly his little short-tailed coat. made possibly by 9 Dr. John Brown the Bigrgar .ailor, to whom the fashions of the Ecinburgh boy-world had not yet penet. ated--the rest of us having at that time adoptsd the round jacket for our upper garn-ment. I remember, too, his old-fashioned fatherly way with children a little younger than hiniself. If they had been sick and were recovering, perhaps, from the measles, he would pat them patronisingly on the head, atId give them a kindly sympathetic look or word, just as his old grandfather of Whitburn would have done. However, simple, primitive, and old-fashioned or not, he had -,.o lack of spirit or liveliness; and as he .soon showed that he was a match tor alny one in the school at Latin, it was not long before he took a high place in Stcele's third class ; and after- wards at the Rector's class in the High School he w Is entitled, at the end of his two years' course, to stand second dux in a class of, I think, considerably over one hundred boys. By this time his look of 10 Dr. John Brown rural simplicity had pretty well gone off. He still, however, carried himself in a simple, modest, unaffected way, and his lively, sociable, affectionate disposition made him a very general favourite among his schoolfellows. He was at this time rather tall for his age, and had a lounging, careless walk and gait, with a way of leaning on the shoulders of those who were near him, as if his legs were not quite up to carrying his not very heavy body-rather however, perhaps, as his way of expressing his goodwill and affection to the stoop on which he tested. He was to all appearance strong and healthy at that time, full of spirit and courage, ready even to give wagers of battle in the grounds about the Surgeons' Hall, behind the High School, where affairs of that kind were usually decided. In the business of the class, I do not remember that he was remarkable for anything beyond the complete mastery of the lessons. His translations, I have II Dr. John Brown no doubt, were correct enough, but other boys used ;o produce more rounded and elegant periods in their free renderings, which Carson encouraged them to practise. lie h.ld a quick as well as a retentive memory. B3ut I do not think he was betrayed byi it into slurring over his lessons, which, on the contrary, were at all tildes cal efully prepared at home. At the sane time, he had always an easy, careless, lounging way with him, as if school-work gave him no trouble, and as if' he were only half concerned about it. Oddly enouigh, in one who afterwards wrote so we ll. I have no recollection of his taking ally part in writing the essays which were given out at the short vacation, at the " PrecIlchings " and the New Year. Alap-drawhinr was made an alternative to the essay, and John, if I mistake not, habitually prefevred to draw a map instead of -writing an essay-so that his artistic skill, which was afterwards so striking, seens to have been an earlier 1 2 Dr. John Brown growth than the literary tendency. I do not think, either, that he paid much attention to Latin verse-making, as most of the boys of his standing used to do- at least I have no recollection of his doing so, and I discover no trace of it in the "Course of Study " which Carson printed at the end of thie yearly sessions. The only notice of him which I find there, is the statement that hle had read the whole Iliad and Odiq.sscy (in Greek, of course) as " private studies," i.e., in addition to the regular work of the class. Mly recollection of him at this time, was that he was still in all respects essentially at boy; frank, good-humoured, a little odd, a curious mixture of simplicity and sense, companionable with his schoolfellows in general, taking his due part in their sports, their fun, their mischief; liking those that were likeable and liked by them, and at- taching himself to two or three who came in his way, but carrying himself in careless schoolboy fashion to all and sundry--in '3 Dr. John Brown short, with raanners and character still to a considerable extent unformed, and giving little indication of what he afterwards became. 1 n a large public school it generally happens that the higher boys keep a good deal by themselves, and mringlie little with those who take a lower place in the class. But there was little or nothing of this with John, and I rather think that he had friends pretty well throughout the class, and that Bob Ainslie, the hero of a hundred fights, and Lawrence Douglas, the hero of a hundred "1 palmies," wsho drove Steele almost mad to find that he made no more impression on him with the tazwse than if he had lashed a gooseberry-bush, were probably as congenial to John as John Millar, the great scholar, or Thomas Jackson Crawford, the great Lacin versifier. I hav.e somve doubts if, notwithstanding the high place he took in the class, he cared much at the time for what he learned either at Steele's or Carson's. As 14 Dr. John Brown he had a good memory, he found no great difficulty in mastering the lessons; and as his father naturally wished him to become a good scholar, his sense of filial duty, I have no doubt, had a good deal to do with his success. But apart from this, I suspect that he rather sighed for relief; and though, after leaving school, he went to college in the following November, I think he only attended one or two of the literary classes for one session, and a private class (Mr. AW'alter Nichol's) for mathematics, and then in the following AMay took at once to the study of medicine. At this time,, there was probably the making of a good many things in him. A false step in the after course which they take is not uncommon with boys who have proved good scholars at school, and it often needs some elasticity as well as force of character to avoid doing so. When a lad has succeeded well in Greek and Latin. there is a temptation to keep I 5 Dr. John Brown in the same line. He is supposed to be marked out for one of the learned pro- fessions, and so he sinks down into the routine life of a schoolmaster, clergyman, teache ., or pi ofessor of some kind, in which Greek and Latin may still continue to play the. principal part. And the end of it is, that if you meet him again after twenty years, you find that his intellect has scarcely advanced a step. What he gained att school is supposed to be all that it was iecessary to gain. His mind has settled into .a mere mechanical activity, harping always on the old strings; has ceased to expand or to obtain any further outlook, and !ie passes away, having " un- beseemed the, promise of his spring." A number of J(,hn's compeers I suspect fell into this snare. The better class of mind is, in general, that which makes school and college educ-ition simply the base and starting-point for a new career. And this was the case with him. Whether he had then any marked predilection towards i6 Dr. John Brown medicine, I do not know. His maternal grandfather and uncle were both, I have understood, distinguished physicians in their day, and there may, through them, have been some hereditary tendency in the same direction. But whatever were the influences at work, a young man must do something for his living, and I have little doubt that it was a true instinct which led him to make his " private studies" in the Iliad and Ottlysse his port of departure for a profession which, more perhaps than any other he could have chosen, tended to develop all the best qualities of his intellect and of his character-his benevolent and sympathetic nature, his broad humanity, together with his peculiar power of minute observation, his habits of accurate knowledge and acute discernment- shrewd skill in diagnosis, as doctors call it --and I think I may add, the decidedly practical character of his mind. He once told ine that he was strongly urged by some of his friends, at the time 17 2 Dr. John Brown when it became necessary to choose a professiton, !o go into the ministry, and that hie was thankful to have kept himself from doing so. W\hzn he left the High School, and for a considerable timne afterwards, the friend to whom I think lie most attached him- self was his class-fellow, John Millar, who. both at Dr. Carson's and afterwards at college, proved himself a first-rate classical scholai. Ho carried off the gold medals both in Greek and Latin at the High School, and, according to John, oughit to have obtain-Ad the gold medal in the Hu- mnanity class at college, which, as he alleged, was quite infairly adjudged to another. Millar, on fiiishing his college course, pro- ceeded to the study of divinity, but I rather think did not prove acceptable as a preacher. At all events, lie never got a church. T'tiough a man of high character and ability, lhe had a somewhat impractic- able temper which, I suspect, considerably marred his career in life. After various Dr. John Brown ups and downs, he was, about 1843, ap- pointed classical tutor in the Free Church Divinity Hall, but got into some trouble with the Principal which led to his resig- nation. He afterwards became Rector of the Grammar School of Jedburgh, where he seemed at length to have got into his true sphere, but, in no long time after, he was seized with fever, which cut him off in his 42nd year (February 1855). There is a touching reference to him in the Lifr of' a Probationzer, by the late Dr. James Brown of Paisley. After leaving school, the two friends carried on some reading together in general litera- ture, and recorded their thoughts and criticisms upon it in a sort of album, which John once showed me. Millar, I remember, who, as became a dux, was no way defective in self-confidence, gave his own cogitations on the subljects in hand; but John, with that curious shrinking from venturing on anything of his own, which he still seems to have retained, generally '9 I)r. John Brown contented h.mself with quoting something applicable tt, the matter from the Edin- bmrgh Keviewn, which to him, as to liberal- minded young Scotsmen at that time, I suppose, constituted the chief standard of taste and chief authority on questions of literature and philosophy. His father had a set of the Review in his library, and John, I recollect, browsed a good deal on the earlier volumes, and both knew well and greatly enjoyed the best articles by Jeffrey and Sydney Smith. Whern he began the study of medicine, I lost sight of him for a number of years, and of the details of his life at that time I knew very hIttle. But there can be no doubt that he emerged from his appren- ticeship to Mir. Syme, well-equipped as a physician. I know at least that M1r. Syme was well sat: sfied with his work, and ex- pressed himself very strongly to that effect. His chief intimates at this time were, I think, his cousin William Nimmo, and Henry ilelfrage, the only son of his 20 Dr. John Brown father's friend, the Rev. Dr. Befifage of Slateford, both of whom were studying medicine along with him. The latter of these died very early. .John. I believe, was very much attached to him, and one trace of him I find in a couple of lines, to which Henry's initials are appended, on the back of the title-page of the first volume of the How sitbsccivw, prob- ably a quotation from a letter. So he had sent a loving backward glance upon his early friend's memory when he first became aln author. There are, h1owev er. other traces--in the letter to Dr. Cairns. etc. AWilliam N\immo, from what I have heard, seems to have been a man of strong character, vigorous intellect, a kind of thorough-going energy, some coarseness of nature, a rather imperfect morale, and a considerable violent temper. John liked his strong nature, and was very intimate with him, without, howeveer, being much in sympathy with at least some of the other prominent features of his character, 21 Dr. John Brown or coming mauch under his influence. He went out to the West Indies about 1836, at the invitation, I believe, of some relatives, and returned after two or three years, broken in health and spirits, partly occasioned, I have understood, through some harsh usage he had received which his high spirit could not brook; and reached Scotland only to die. I have just used the w--ords "under his influence," and I think I might extend the phrase a good deal, foe I do not think that either now or after-wards John's character was much affected by any one with whom he became intimate. Even at this early period his moral natuie was, I believe, in all material points well established. He was never in the way of shrinking from com- panionship of any kind, and both in his medical student life and afterwards, well knew, and c;ame freely in contact with, various forms of good and evil; but I believe I may state with absolute cer- tainty that ill his own conduct he never 22 Dr. John Brown deviated from the even tenor of a pure and good life. He was, therefore, more in a position to influence than to be influ- enced, and I rather think that his friend- ships were sometimes a good deal founded on the desire to be helpful to the friend he had chosen, than on any hope of good to come to himself. There was a curiously benevolent tendency in his nature. I do not know when he first became impressed with those strong views of the necessity of a considerably wider culture to a physician than that which is merely professional, which he urges so persist- ently in the first volume of the Horne Subsccivw. And it may have struck the reader as rather inconsistent with these opinions, that he should have entered on his own medical studies with little more than his school-learning as a founda- tion. A lad, however, with any clear tendency to an active life is always im- patient to commence his course of action, and it is generally only afterwards that 23 Dr. John Brown he becomes conscious of his defects. But, howevcr that may have been, it is certain that in his case a tolerably wide reading, both in general literature and in philrsophy, went hand in hand with his medical studies. It is impossible now to specify very particularly what that recrding wvas. Naturally enough, it would be to somie extent desultory, and I believe it was so. But to a powerfully reflective mind like his, even the most desultory reacing would supply what was necessary to the exercise of much of his best thou.oht: and though the literature of the hour occupied a sufficiently large place in his attention, both his father's fine library and others were made avail- able for all that was best in the older English classis-s. Not a little attention too was. I believe, given to metaphysical and mental philosophy. Berkeley's Sins, The 3ny itde Pllilosophlien, and one or two others of his works; Mackintosh, Dugald So.tewart, and at a later time 24 Dr. John Brown Sir William Hamilton-all came in his way. Poetry I know in particular was not overlooked, and it was about this time I believe that he made himself more or less familiar with the best of the older English poets. W1"ordsworth, among the contemporary poets, I know that he very early learned to love; and when I became intimate with him some years afterwards, I found that both his works and those of Coleridge had been much in his hands. Byron he very soon ceased to care for, and I remember that he hailed with a cordial assent the estimate placed upon him by Sir Henry Taylor in the preface to his Philip) z'6ai ArteczL'lde. After about five years under Mr. Syme, he went, by his recommendation, as as- sistant to a medical man in Chatham, and remained there about a year. One incident of his life there which John, with characteristic modesty, had never mentioned, came out in a curious way, many years afterwards, and is worth 25 D'. John Brown telling. On one of Mr. Charles Dickens's last visits to Scotland, John happened to meet him a- the late Sheriff Gordon's. In the course of conversation, Dickens, who was a native of Rochester, which is close by Chatham, said that the thing which had first given him a strongly favourable impression of the character of Scotsmen was what had occurred at Chatham in the year 1882, when the out- break of cholera took place there. A great panic was immediately produced among the English medical men, and every one of them fled from the place, with the single exception of a young Scotsman, an assistant to one of the doctors, X ho stuck firmly to his duties and freely attended to every case he was called to. It then turned out that the young Scotsman was no other than the Dr. Brcown M ho was sitting opposite to him at table. upon which, Dickens im- mediately caine round and shook him cordially by the hand. The incident was 26 Dr. John Brown quite what I would have expected of John. In August 1833, shortly after returning to Scotland, he obtained his degree of I.D., and immediately began practice in Edinburgh. During his medical student life, as I have already said, I had almost entirely lost sight of him, and we very seldom met. But in the concluding months of 1833, 1 was attending Pro- fessor Wilson's class of moral philosophy, and John had a habit of occasionally looking in there, attracted, no doubt, both by his own philosophical tastes and by Wilson's peculiar style of eloquence. After the lecture was over, we often took a walk together, and gradually renewed our early intimacy, meeting perhaps now and then in the evenings, and feeling our way, I suppose, into each other's character and ideas of things. This went on until some time in May or June 1835, when one afternoon, about that time, I had called on him by appointment to take a 27 Dr. John Brown long walk into the country. A new volume of Wordsworth's poems (his Yarr7oze Rev.iited) had appeared shortly before, which I had been reading with strong appreliation, and, being very full of the su-bject. I began talking of it as soon as I came in. I soon found that we were quite at one in our admiration, and I think the most of our talk that evening was .bout the great poet. Wie walked out by the Ferry Road, and 1 remember tha-.. we sat a long time on an old crumiAling dyke (now, alas! improved away) near Craigerook Castle, reading the book together and comparing notes about its finest passages. On looking over tbh old volume now, I can only recall ore or two of the passages we were then so full of and so fervid about. There were the fine lines on a portrait by Stone, in whi qh the words of the old .Jeronymite monk to Wilkie the painter, as the two we.e standing before Titian's picture ce our Lord's Last Supper, in the 28 Dr. John Brown refectory of the Convent of the Escurial, are embodied. " Here daily do we sit, Thanks given to God for daily bread, and here Pondering the mischiefs of these restless times, And thinking of my brethren, dead, dispersed, Or changed and changing, I not seldom gaze Upon this solemin company unmoved By shock of circumstance, or lapse of years, Until I cannot but believe that they- They are in truth the substance, we the shadows." I recollect our smiling at two passages in one of the Evrcing Volitrarics: "Look at the stars, you'll say that there are none; Look up a second time, and, one by one You mark them twinkling out with silvery light." And again:- "The shepherd bent on rising with the sun Had closed his door before the day was done, And now with thankful heart to bed doth creep And join his little children hi their sleep.' The one recalled a falniliar experience of childhood, the other some early re- collection of country life incident. And these lines in the sonnet beginning 29 Dr. John Brown "Why a-t thou silent" did not escape us- "-__ft nmore desolate, more dreary cold Than .a forsilken bird's nest filled with snow 'Mid ists own bush of leafless eglantine." Ah me!, I little thought then how ex- pressive they would become of what is now fulfilled by his death. I reme,.tber that summer evening how animated he became; and when we re- turned to tow,.n I recollect his reading to me with great fervour, by the fading sun- light at hEs fadher's open study window in Albany Ftreet, some passages in Milton's prose, pa-ticularly that one at the end of his ReJo -i1atton ini Englaitd awicd the Causes thaot hitlerto kave kindered it": "But they cor trary, that by the impairing and diminution of the true faith, the distresses and servitude of their country, aspire to high dignity, rule and promotion here, after a shameful end in this life (which God grant them), shall l)e thrown dowII eternally itto the darkest and deepest gulf of Hell, where under the despiteful control, the trample and spurn of all the other damned that in the anguish of their torture, shall have no other 30 Dr. John Brown case than to exercise a raving and bestial tyranny over them as their slaves and negroes, they shall remain in that plight for ever, the basest, the lowermost, the most dejected, most underfoot, and down-trodden vassals of perdition." There was always something curious in his literary sympathies. He was the last person in the world, himself, to write such a terrible invective as the above, and yet he had a strong admiration of its relentless power and passion, and discerned in it, I have no doubt, a generous undercurrent of religious fervour and enthusiastic patriot- ism, and this it probably was which chiefly drew forth his admiration. He admired it because he could not have written it himself. Perhaps it was as a relief to this piece of diabolic Miltonism that he then turned to a passage of a different kind which had struck him, in Henry More's Mllystery of Godliniess, in which the author, referring to some early spiritual experiences which had led to his belief in the immortality of the soul, says:- 3' Dr. John Brown "M My enjoyrncnts then increasing with my victories, and innocency and simplicity filling my mind with ineffable delight in God and His creation, I found myself as loath to die, that is to think my soul mortal, as I rna Eahen a child lo be called in to go to bed inl sumamzer eenintgos, there being still light enough as I lhought to -njoy ,!y p)ay. The homely simile in italics he particu- larly appreciated. I am ;onseious that all this looks very slight in the telling. But I think it was an evening Tong remembered by both of us. He recalled it once long afterwards, not many mcnths indeed before his death, when he was in one of his sad moods- recalled it, therefore, with a shiver as of pain. "Nessun maggior dolore Che ricordarsi del tempo felice Nell i miseria." I say it looks very slight in the telling. But is it not ever so, that just such slight things as these draw two people together and rivet thie bonds of affection, we scarcely know how or why -- some glimpse perlaps into the inner nature 32 Dr. John Brown which a chance unconscious look or word has admitted for a moment. Whatever it was, a lifelong friendship began that evening of our youthful days-a friendship on which no cloud descended until that sad night, nigh fifty years afterwards, on which, with panting breath, he struggled in vain to return my last farewell. How delightful it was I need not say, to have one's own ardours, hitherto perhaps kept to oneself, or if divulged disregarded or perhaps laughed at, thus reciprocated with usury. To me it was a new experience, and one of the happiest which this world had to give. " Come back into memory, like as thou wert in the dayspring of thy fancies, with hope like a fiery column before thee-the dark pillar not yet turned." The portrait which best recalls him to me as he was at that time, and indeed for a good while afterwards, is a calotype by D. 0. Hill, of which a good etching by Charles 0. MIurray was published shortly 33 3 Dr. John Brown after D;. B -own's death. His father had transmitted to him a good deal of his own mIncly ;and refined beauty-beauty decidedlb, but not that which, as he him- self said of his father's beauty, was too beautifti. for a man. There were the same handsoaie features, the same high foreheads (with rather more of breadth and mass in John's case than in his father's), the same aquiline nose, and the same thin, firmly compressed lips. The complexions of the twco x.ere different. His father's was dark, with black hair, early turning into grey; John was rather fair, with brownigh hair (the colour of genius) curling slkghdly and gracefully at the back, where it escaped from under his hat- cres.s)C chi)iOC d'oro jntro i/eitde. The expression ol his face had in it something of a very attractive charm, the exact character and import of w hich it is not quite easy to describe or interpret chiefly, perhaps, because it conveyed so much and was so -various. Mr Andrew Lang has 34 Dr. John Brown described it as exhibiting "the blended expression of mirth and pathos." But I would hesitate about this being the habitual expression of his face. Mirth certainly was not, and pathos, I think, be- longed rather to the later years of his life, when it had received perhaps a more urgent call. Gravity and seriousness were, I would say, distinctly characteristics; seriousness, however, easily relaxing into an honest and cordial smile. Good humour and kindness, sense and intelli- gence were assuredly present, with a look of gentleness and benignity which did away with any idea of severity or insistent dogmatism in his thought or temper. It was a face to captivate easily confidence and affection, and it was set off with a simple charm of manner and address which, as a lady once naively said to me, "no woman could resist." I have compared his face to his father's, but I don't know that the one would have exactly suggested the other. There was certainly less the 35 Dr. John Brown look of command with John than with his father, and less the look of one who stood apart from bis fellows and was sufficient in himself to himself. He walked slowly delibcfate uil this as in most other things; perhaps (lid a good deal of his thinking as he walked, certainly a good deal of his observing. The feature of character which earliest struck anyone in becoming intimate with him, was a certain quickness and breadth of sympathetic insight, which showed itself neo only in reference to men and women, but seemed to enter into almost everything which was worthy of human interest-.ntr art, into poetry, philosophy, good literature, and good thought in almost alny fcrm, even to some extent into the results of physical science, and I need not say into brute-life, particularly of course that of dogs, whose character and thought lie seemed to have anl instinct in divining. ArAd along with this perhaps as its basis ' here was a remarkable power 36 Dr. John Brown of close and minute observation, almost like that of a child. The two things at least w-ere intimately connected. He observed closely (nothing. in fact, seemed to escape him) because lhe was interested in and synmpathised with so much ; and he sympathised so warmly, because lhe had observed so closely, and therefore knew so well. In poetry, for example, the fit word, or the true though1t and its felicitous expres- sion, cauighlt hini in a moment ; and as was once remarked to me by one of his friends (himnself distinguished both as a poet and a critic),' his tact and taste in this discernillg power seemed almost inllflible." Observe how well lhe talks on the subject. " Poetry is the expression of the beautliful-bv words the beautiful of the outer and of' the inner world. It presides over zY'K(s d1l(t('iNlC8s trruoii. It implies at once a vision and a faculty, a gift and an art. There inust be the vivid 1 Tbe lcte Principal Shairp of St. And(lrewvs. 37 D-r. John Brown conception of the beautiful, and its fit manifestation in luminous language. A thought may be poetical and yet not poetry; it m, ;y be a sort of mother-liquor, holding in solution the poetical element, but waiting End wanting its precipitation -its cc-centration into the bright and compacted crystal. It is the blossom and firagranc-y and bloom of all human thoughts pt ssions, emotions, language; having fcr its immediate object-its very essence--plea ure and delectation rather than truth; :rut springing from truth, as the flowuer from its fixed and unseen root. It is not philosophy or science or morality or religion, but it feeds on, it glorifies and exalts, it impassionates them all. Philo- sophy and poetry are not opposites, but neither are tiey convertibles. They ale twin sisters." He then quotes a very happy illustration of the distinctive character of the two from Fracastorius, to this effect: " If the historian describe the ongoings of this visible universe, I am 38 Dr. John Brown taught; if the philosopher announce the doctrine of a spiritual essence pervading and regulating all things, I admire. But if the poet take up the same thing and sing- IPrincipio coxd1umn C terras camposuque liquentes Lucenteinque globuni In Lun, T'itania(ue astra Spiritus intus alit; totanique infusa per artus Mlens agitat molen, et magno se corpore niiscet,' 1 shall not only admire, but I shall love, and I shall feel as if some divine essence were infused into mny soul." In the poetical. quotation, Dr. Brown remarks, " we at once detect the proper tools and cunning of the poet; falncy gives us liquciitds Ccaifij)OS, 7lita ui Iastra, ('('f'lt62ci globaimiiI Lwt u, and phantasy or imagina- tion, in virtue of its royal or transmitting power, gives us iltus alit -- iq jusct paer artits-and that mnagnificent idea, nwiagR1o se corporc uiiscet. This is the dliviitu 11cscio quid, the proper work of the imagination - the master and specific faculty of the poet." 39 Dr. John Brown It was with human character, however, that his symipathetic insight was most conspicuous. Perhaps his tender, affec- tionate naturc night sometimes interfere with his lpenetration, and he was no doubt apt to mnake more than enough of his heroes and heroines. But whatever were the faults of those he liked or admired, if they were balanced by any good qualities, no one could be more quick in discerning them than lie. It might be that in this way his insight into the imperfections of his friends became less pronounced, and that his estimaWe of their general character was thus a litt.e one-sided. It has to be confessed that he was not a " good hater." But, after all, i:; not this the true way of looking at mankind, to take themn always at their best Still, I would not have advised tves - n intimate and cherished friend to -oresurae too far upon his blind- ness to -he evil that was in them. If falseness, or traachery, or selfishness, or meanness, or hollow pretence became too 40 Dr. John Brown obtrusive, there might be a rupture-and once or twice in his life I believe there was--which could not be healed. He had a very true social nature, and it was curious to observe how readily he entered into pleasant and friendly relations with anyone. If a stranger met him for the first time he seemed to have a kind of perfect tact in placing himself at once in the exactly appropriate footing with him. His way was, on being introduced, to move his spectacles uip to his forehead, (and some frank, cordial, original, or unex- pected smiling remark, some odd touch of hurmour, some pleasant reference, perhaps to something the other had done or made himself famous by, broke down at once the barrier of non-acquaintance. I asked him one day how he contrived to get into the fill tide of e'axyfiviiliiw talk with a lady who happened to sit next him at dinner, but whoml he had never met before. " Oh, I find out who is her minister," he said, and then there is no more difficulty" 41 Dr. John Brown He knew;, I suppose, the ecclesiastical proclivities of the feminine mind, and this was probably a humorous general indica- tion of his style of procedure, not to be taken altogether (I la lattrc. N'o matter how any form of mind might differ from his own, Ihe sfeemed always to have a key to obtain entry, and to have something in his personality which at once inspired unlimited confidence, insomuch that he might ask the mnost blunt question. without giving offencu- or even exciting surprise it seemed such a natural thing to open one's whele heart to him. And all his friends knew that they might freely tell him about themselves: what they would not venture to speak of to anyone else; they were sure of kindness and sympathy, and there was no fear of anything being turned io their disadvantage - " Were you ever drunk" he asked one day of a good mama. not, I think, specially intimate, but the answei came without a moment's hesitation: ;Yes, I was, and once or twice 42 Dr. John Brown very drunk." I suppose, however, a physician is accustomed to ask these blunt questions. "Are you not ashamed." he said to a lady, who had come to announce her approaching marriage---"' Are you not a little ashamed to be going away all alone with a mnan in this way " " Oh, no," she quickly rieplied " so many have done the samne thing before, that I don't mind." He was delighted to be thus instantly met upont his own ground. In trouble or sorrow, it is almost need- less to say that he had the almost unconscious art of creating an atmosphere of cheer around the sufferer, who was comforted, he scarcely knew how, for there were 110 comforting " considerations" thrust upon himn. Comfort caine iin some indirect way, without being announced, and without any assumption on the part of the comforter. It was this which made his visit to the sick man better than the medicines which he gave him; and the languor and pain of the sick-bed were 43 Dr. John Brown often relieed by the mere visit, or even by the expectation of it. Very remarkable it was, too, to observe how entirely he entered into all the interests of his friends and made -them his own. If a frieid had got to some critical point in his life, was a candidate for some office-a professor's chair, for example- or had written a book, or a poemn, or a review article, nothing could exceed the generous interest he took in the matter, or the eager effort for his friend's success. It seemed to occupy all his thoughts for the time; and if' he required to wi-rite testimonials of fitness, his subtle dirinminating estimates of character a-,d intellectual qualities were often of tneins Aves worth something as philosophical stadies. I rather think that more than a fewv aspirants to literary dis- tinction we.e not a little indebted to h1n for the kind appreciation and encourage- ment which their youthful attempts re- ceived fromi him. Alight I venture to 44 Dr. John Brown mention that Mr. Andrew Lang, in an admirable obituary notice of Dr. B1rown, which appeared shortly after Dr. B)"rown's death, seems to hint at this having occurred very specially in his own case In his closer intimacies and friendships, indeed, there seemed to be no restraint upon his finest sympathies, and there are some words of Carlyle's in reference to Edward Irving wN-hich often occur to me when I recall John Brown. " But for Irving," lhe says, a . I had never known what the communion of man with man means. His was the freest, brotherliest Inuman soul mine ever came in contact with." This did not arise altogether from the curious sweetness, serenity, and ,renerosity of his moral nature, but rather tf'omn the combination of these with a simugular breadth of' intellectual view-and a largeness of heart, to which no real tllought could be unworthy of entertain- mnent, and no form of human character 45 Dr, John Brown could be entirely alien; a certain frank- ness, too, openness and simplicity of mind, which had nothing in himself to conceal, avid nothing of aptness to distrust in others. No one, I should think, felt unkiidne:1s from a friend more acutely, but he was always unwilling to take offence, and he could always both bear much and be ready to forgive much. I could, if it were necessary, mention instances in which, after receiving verly i'njurious treatmnent, at the hands of mnen from whomn he was entitled to expect something very different, he yet showed to them a sin-ole, childlike placability, and a returning of good for their evil, which, from a man like him, who knew the world and might b'j expected to have caught soine of its ha: dness, often seemed to me very touching. There was something very Christ-lik e in his nature, and this did not a.rise from anything timid or unmanly in his character, for if he was insulted o'r injured he could always bear 46 Dr. John Brown himself with dignity and independence; and though hie seldom cared to dispute or wrangle, I never saw him shrink from assertiiig hiinself with proper courage on the propel' occasion. Charles Lanib somewhere speaks of "a imian of an incorrigible and losing honesty." I miglht say of John that he was a mani of' an incorrigible and losing humlility. His intellectual character w-as of the intuitional rather than the logical kind. He could hold his own, as I have just hinted. foli he had very clear and deter- minate opinions, but lie wvas niot disputa- tious. He "was never able," to use an expression of llr. Mattlhew Arnold's. ,to hit it off happily with the logicians. They imagine truth to be something to be proved, lhe something to be seen ; they, something to be manufactured, he as something to be found." Truth he saw at once; he had not to seek for it by roundabout methods. He saw it as the 47 Dr. John Brown poet does, tne original thinker, the scientific discoverer, the man of insight, the closely practical man; not as the man of learning, Mi no gets his truth at second hand, or r;he reasoner, "the disputer of this world," who accepts nothing but what he can prove demonstratively to be true. His mind was near akin to truth and beauty, and he recognised them at once, as if tlhey had been in his mind before-as perhaps they were. One peculiarity hie had which was apt to give the impression of some unsteadfastiness of mind, but really was not: that if you broached an idea which he had not before considered, he would sometimes, in the eagerness of hWs sympathetic interest, re- ceive it as if ye agreed with it. But if you introduced the subject again, soon afterwar('s, under the notion that you had miade him a cor vert, you found that he was still unconvin ed, and still on the other side. It was occasionally disappointing, but there had been no real vacillation on 48 Dr. John Brown his part. It was only that his mind was always open and expectant towards any new truth, and ever alive to any novelty of thought; and his quickly sympathetic tendency made him ready to seize upon the half truth which not infrequently lurks under even the inost preposterous falsities. But the moment he applied his mind to the subject, the f'allacy becallle apparent, and gave way. In the main, his thought was conservative, and what wee call common sense was always a strongly prev-ailing characteristic of lis intellect. And yet, at least in his writings, lhe had somnething ot an exaggerative way of looking at truth, and in his way of putting it. It was as if he saw truth through a magnifying glass. He held strongly that the poco ])i// was necessary in AXrt, as if truth were something truer than reality. And le would maintain, in accordance with this, that in order to a portrait being a perfect work of Art, it ought to be, as he expressed 49 4 Dr. John Brown it, " liker tc the man than the man himself. There wa, , however, a remarkable balance in his intellectual faculties-a singular absence of excess of any kind, and a contrl fling power of good sense pervading his mind. Though enthusiastic in his love o 2 literature, it never became a passion-o-,, to state it more accurately, in an expre sion of his own, it was im- passioned yet temperate. It never led to any neglect of the duties of his pro- fession, or e ,ven to any abatement of his devotion tin it. AIany men, who wrote as well ats he did, and who acquired so considerable a measure of admiration and even fame, both in this country and in Amierica, migihlt have been seduced into neglecting their professional work and taking largeiy to literature. But he was saved from this unwisdom by being never very mnuch taken up with himself, and being very destitute of ambition. I rather think he placed little value upon 50 Dr. John Brown anything he had written, and would probably have never thought of sending anything to the press-at least, never have become a regular author to the extent he did, if it had not been thrust upon him in the manner so pleasantly described by him in the introductory words of his N' otes oil ejet. His writing was part of himself; something that he could not avoid there was no affectatioii in it no striving after what was not already in his mind. It waS simply what was familiar to him in the natural process of his thought, and had become commonplace without any conscious effort to attain it. Hle was kind, gentle, and affectionate, to all about him, though all the while, as already hinted, curiously clear-sighted to any imperfections of character in those he had to do with, even in his most intimate and attached fiends. He had abounding humour-always there-always ready, but always kept in the background, and only coming out 5I Dr, John Brown when occasion called. He never could have become a regular joker of jokes; never c wuld tiave systematically played the buffoon, or kept the table in a roar, and never could have laid himself open to the feproichl of Pascal (himself a humorist of Lhe rarest kind)--" ditseur (Ie Obwis iiot i/'tz.Yius cara(' t-cr." The pre- vailing tone of his mind, indeed, was, as I have ailreariy said, thoroughly serious. He was a thirker, and it might be justly salid that lie possessed no ordinary depth of thought. But he was at the saime time a practic'il ma l-I would even be inclined to say, essentially a man of action, and that the cha acter of his thought was mainly founded upon action-it was the direct result of his experience. I do not imean Ev a practical man, a man of business, for that was rather out of his way-nor a man whose practicality served his own material ends; but a man, who, being influenced by a sense of duty, knew both how to do it effectively, and how 52 Dr. John Brown not to neglect it. It could not be said of him that he had been infected with what a prophet of our own time has called the Anglo-Saxon contagion of philistinism. His ideals, on the contrary, were always high and generous, unselfish and unworldly. I do not think that either money-makinig or high reputation came much into his thought; and if they had, I suspect that the special character of his practicality would not have stood him in much stead especially not for the former of these. He belonged, in short, to those upper souls who dwell somewhat apart, and are not mnoved by the experiences of life, nor dazzled by its pretensions, its glitter, its false shows. A prevailing characteristic of his intel- lectual nature was instinctive good sense. IHe saw what was right aindl true, and he saw it in the immediate way. His mind was, as I have already said, intuitional rather than logical, but it was, at the same timne, sound amid true. AWrhat he knew he 53 Dr. John Brown knew well. What he learned from books he learned quickly, and he retained well. and utilisedwell: and though lie disclaimed, and perhaps truly disclaimed, being what is called a learned man, lie had read widely, and was thoroughly well informed in most subjects of general interest, and his knowledge was both extensive and accurate, A: a boy, he had made the most of his s-hool and college education, and entered much into the spirit of both Greek anid Li tin literature, but it was not his way to go into minute points of clas- sical scholarship, or deep into science, or into what is called the higher criticism in histo:'y or theology. As to anything more thai- thli, it might perhaps have been said of him, as an old philosopher said of himself: thatw if he had read as much as other men he would have been as ignorant as other men, So far from having any taste for the higher criticism in theology, I might say that he rather seemed to shrink from it with a sort of instinctive 54 Dr. John Brown impatience and aversion; and, what was unusual with him, and hardly character- istic, he sometimes indicated a soit of lurking suspicion of the religious character of those who addicted themselves to such subjects. He took rather the broad aspect of things than the minute and narrow. Though a minute observer, he was hardly a " minute philosopher." In connection with this special structure of his mind, I have an idea that his habit of trusting rather to the intuitive way of seeing truth than reasoning it out, was at the root of not a little of the mental con- flict and disturbance, of which his friends occasionally observed indications, and which. during the later years of his life, repeatedly became very serious in their character, and gave a painfully morbid turn to his thoughts. It has sometimes occurred to me that his early home education may have had something to do with this. His father was not a man to be called illiberal in his style of religious thought, but, at 55 Dr. John Brown least in the earlier part of his life, it un- questionably, w-ent very much on the lines of strict Calt inism : and John having been in his childhood indoctrinated into the same hard aid relentless beliefs, they had sunk so muciA into the essence of his mind, that not being strongly logical, or disposed to speculate on such subjects, he never found himself able to do sufficient battle against them. but allowed them to the end to press I-eavily on his spirit, and perhaps to mar hiS intelligence. He knew so fal that his early ways of thinking were not to be implicitly trusted, but lie never, 1 suspect, hio thoroughly made uip his mind about them as to deal them the final COil]) (de gil 4ce As an instance of how he ap- peared to mIe to be to a certain extent dominated by his tather's opinions, I may mention such;i a question as "Voluntary- ism," which he adopted so absolutely as to apply it not oaly to churches but also to public education and even to medical degrees. He thought that the public 56 Dr. John Brown were sufficiently competent to find out the quality of a doctor's skill, whether it had obtained the sanction of a medical board of examitiers or not. He may or may not have been right on these points. There is probably a basis of truth in them; I am not arguing the question. I merely wish to indicate the style in which he appeared to me to take up some of his opinions. There is, no doubt, more or less of this with all men. Opinions and ways of thinking are drunk in almost with the mother's milk. They formn part of the foundations of our intellectual being, anid, though resting entirely on the authority of another's mind, they grow wvith our growth, and are nevert afterw iards disturbed or questioned. But the peculiarity of Dr. Brown is mind was that he was too clear-sighted to be quite satisfied w ith some of his beliefs, and yet too exclusively given to deal with truth as something to be arrived at by an effort of direct insight. le was too little accustomed to exercise 57 Dr. John Brown his logical 4aculty, so that when a specula tive question in theology, for example, had once obtained an early entrance into his mind, it was apt at length to fester there, and so beec.me rather an occasion of dis- turban e E.nd irritation than of healing and satisf, ing quietude. With many men this style of mind serves all the pur- poses of their life. They settle all mysteries by a single glance of what they call common sense, and sink contentedly into self-complacent indifference or cyni- cism. Dr. John's mind, however, was too serious to be put to rest in this way. In- difference or cynical scepticism were both too alien to his nature to bring him any relief, and something of abiding dis- quietude was the result. I may add, in connection with what I have said of the paternal influence upon Dr. Brownt's style of thought on certain subjects, 'hat in his youthful days the relations between father and child were apt to be considerably different from what Dr. John Brown they are now. With religious people, at least in Scotland, matters of theological opinion were inculcated with an assertive- ness which I think is now unusual. To doubt or question any generally received theological doctrine was regarded as little short of sin, and few young people re- ligiously brought up thought of venturing on such forbidden ground. Religion and dogma were viewed as simply convertible terlms. It was not in the elder Dr. Brown's case that the discipline of the house was severe or high-handed. The control which he exercised over his children was chiefly founded on the reverence and love with which they re- garded him. But it was on that very account all the more powerful to secure unquestioning acquiescence, and, in point of fact, I believe that it did so. I have had some hesitation as to whether these facts in Dr. Brown's inner life were not perhaps too sacred to be thus dwelt on. But they are distinc- 59 Dr. John Brown tively characteristic of his quick, sus- cepti ble, and various nature, and are necessary to any complete picture of his mind. And I may add that lie never himself hesitated to speak of them to his friends. Probably they belong more or less to the very nature of genius, sensitively alive to every wind of thought and 2eeling that blows. And his genius was especially of that brooding order most apt to be visited by these dark thoughts, avid least able to give them a peren- pt'or A void thee!" I have th-rown out all that I have said on this subject as merely an attempt to accouiAt fbc some of the shades of Dr. John Bro wn's mental attitude towards the pFrevaltvnt religious thought of his time. But 1 am quite aware that it by no mrans r.meets all the facts of the case, and that ill point of fact it explains very little, 'heca ise much of his mental trouble was unquestionably purely morbid, prob- ably congenital in its character, and 6o Dr. John Brown therefore incapable of any explanation. In looking over lately many of his earliest letters to me, dating from 1835 onwards, I find even then frequent complaints of depression of spirits, accompanied with heavy self-reproaches generally upon quite slight and inadequate grounds. At a later period, perhaps about 1866, these attacks became more serious, and were occasionally so severe as to compel him to lay aside practice for a time. iMrs. Brown's painful and distressing illness and her death had weighed heavily upon him, and soon afterwards some little domestic troubles, really of no great con- sequence, assumed quite an exaggerated aspect to his mind. He fancied himiself ruined in his worldly circumstances, and he was in despair about his spiritual con- dition, like Cowper, thlnking of himself as a lost soul. Yet all the while, gener- ailly able to talk intelligently either on ordinary subjects or even about his own spiritual condition, insomuch that it was 6i Dr. John Brown difficult to determine that there was any material difference between the state of his mind and that which is by no means uncommou at those critical points of the religious life, when men come face to face wuit the great manifestation of righteousness exhibited in the gospel story, and begin to look at their own life ir. the light of eternity, and in the light of the great work wrought in behalf of mankind by Jesus Christ. But what- ever is the explanation to be given of the nature or origin of the painful mental depression. under which Dlr. Brown suffered for a good many years, one thing is certain, "hat its most prominent result was to produce in him that lowly, humble estimate of himself which was so beautiful a feature of his character-that "poor- ness of spirit,' in short, which belongs to those of whom the divine founder of Christianitv declared that "theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." A more humble- minded man, who was at the same time 62 Dr. John Brown so highly gifted, both morally and in- tellectually - one so ready to believe all others better than himselt-it has never been my fortune to meet. It is pleasant to add that during the last six or eight months of his life his depression seemed almost entirely to disappear and all his old cheerfulness to return, and that in dying he was able, I understand, to express a tranquil faith and trust in his divine Lord and Saviour. I am afraid I must give up the hope of being able to convey any adequate idea of how the singular charm of his person- ality displayed itself in talk, in manner, o1' other outward behaviour. Mr. Andrew Lang, however, has touched upon the subject so happily in the obituary notice already referred to, that I am tempted to quote, and I am sure I shall be excused for quoting, some of its de- tached sentences. After mentioning his "sweetness of disposition and charm of manner, his humour, his unfailing 63 Dr. John Brown sympathy, that singular geniality of his, that temper of goodness and natural tolerant awoction," he adds: " He had no mawkish toleration of things and people intolerable. but he preferred not to turn his mind -hat way. His thoughts were with che good, the wise, the modest, the learned, tie brave of times past, and lie was eager to catch a reflection of their qualities ii the character of the living. From everything that was beautiful and good-from a summer day on the Tweed, or from the eyes of a child, or from the humorous flaying of a friend, or fiom the treasur7ed memories of old Scottish worthies, from recollections of his own childhood. from experience of the stoical heroism of the poor-he seemed to extract matter for pleasant thoughts of men and the world, and nourishment for his own great aend gentle nature. I have never known ariy m-nan to whom other men were so dear-men dead, and men living. . . . He did not bear easily the mis- 64 Dr. John Brown fortunes of others, and the evils of his own lot were heavy enough. They saddened him ; but neither illness nor his poignant anxiety for others could sour a nature so unselfish. . . . How dear the Border scenery was to him, and how well lie could express its legendary magic, its charm wN-oven of countless ancient spells, the inmusic of old ballads, the sorcery of old stories, may be understood from 1Jc1i//c/,oor-." All this is admirablv true and admirably expressed. It is difficult to add anything to it. I mnay say, however, that there was something distinctively Scottish in his manier. I need not sav, it w-as not a got-up manner. It was plail, natural. quite unaffected, and curiously unpre- tentious---as if allything lhe had to say was of no great consequence, yet indi- cating always fine sense and delicate social tact, just w-hat was fittest for the occasion and the comptany. His language .was wvell choseni. and that of a well- 65 5 Dr. John Brown cultured man who had habitually mingled in good society, with something of a Scottish accent, perhaps, and tone of voice, but without any taint either of Scottish provinealism or Anglified affectation. It was tqe language of a gentleman, and with all its plain straightforwardness you could not mistake him for anything else. He had n.) cringilng airs to men of rank. and no ah's of superiority to any others. Lord or k-bourer, he met each upon his own level, without arrogance or assump- tion. He had always a pleasant joke for the I orter who carried his bag to the station, or the cabman who carried him- self, aind ic was curious to observe how both of them at once perfectly under- stood botb his joke and him. He had that hippx air about him which immedi- ately cmwnanded regard, and few could meet l imn, ven once, without thinking of him ever afterwards with interest and something of affection. It used to strike me that there was a 66 Dr. John Brown touch of Sir Roger de Coverley in his manner. It might be said of him as of Sir Roger, that " he was very singular in his behaviour "-not that there was any oddness or awkwardness about it, but simply that " it was not the behaviour of anyone else." His singularity, like Sir Roger's, rather - proceeded from his good sense " and his good heart, and was " con- tradictory to the manner of the world only as the world was in the wrong." One of the peculiarities in which he resembled Sir Roger was, that in any of the houses where he was intimate he generally knew the servants quite as well as the master or mistress, and had often characteristic stories to tell of them. "i XNhen he came into a house he called the servants by their namies and talked to them all the way upstairs to a visit." I need scarcely say that there was nothing modish or formal in his manner. It was simply his own manner, and I do not think he had caught it fromi anyone else. 67 D r. John Brown It never struck you as being out of the way. It rathler seemed the most perfectly natural of adl manners, and you were dis- posed to won .der why everyone else had not the samne minner. It was not, therefore, at all the nlanner of a man who, like Sir Roger, wdas character and an oddity, for he had all his wits alrways about him. There was i An irresistible charmi about it all; and I was often struck with the enthusiaistic way in which even those who must ha k-e known him very slightly would speak o" the impression made upon them by him: so kind, so gentle, so dutiful, in all that he said or did. It is difficult to speak o- hinm without some appearance of exagueration, for to me, at least, he always appeared to be the most faultless charac- ter I ever same in contact with. lie was s;ngulariy free from pride, conceit, ambition, Selfishness, guile, malignity, enry or uncl'aritableness, and in the whole attitude of h-s mind to other men-though he was too clear-sighted to overlook mean- 68 Dr. John Brown ness, falseness, pretension, or selfishness, and never scrupled to denounce them with strong dislike and indignant scorn-no one could be more open-minded to goodness or nobility of any kind in others, even ill those whom on other grounds lie disliked. And in the case at least of his friends or intimates, this did not end inl mere dis- cernment of what was beautiful and good in them, but was in general carried forward to a rare intensity of affection and sympathy. 1\Then I renewed acquaintance with hin in the manner I have already described. and became very closely intimate, it is hardly necessary to say that the galic/wrie of the schoolboy had pretty' well dis- appeared. Something, no doubt, of the straightforward ;iadztce and simplicity of youth still clung to hini, as it did to the last; but he had now finished his pro- fessional studies, had seen something of the world, his character was rapidly forim- ing and beconiiig fixed he was acquiring 69 Dr. John Brown a certain modest self-confidence; he had even beguin to take some place in society-, not merely as a pleasant com- panion, but as a liberal-minded thinker and converser whose ideas and opinions told upon the mninds of his friends, and often opened up a new outlook to their thoughlts. He had found also a circle of ebhice friends with whom he habitually associated-amnong them being Sir George Harvey, the painter; Alex- ander Loga In (cafterwards Sheriff of Forfarshire), then just passed advocate, a man of strong sense and intellectual power, great social as well as professional gifts, '.t warm friend, and possessing the most remarkable power of ready and original hunmour; 1). 0. Hill, the land- scapist, one of the most generous and enthusiastic of men, whose knowledge of Shakespeare and Scott was greater than that of any man I ever knew; Coventry Dick, a man of learning and fine culture, a master in the philosophy of politics; 70 Dr. John Brown John Stuart Blackie, scholar, humorist, a character with a kindly vanity, but a man of sense and worth and lovableness withal. Another friend he had, whom I should like to name, John Heugh: of longer standing than any of the others -a hereditary friend, for their fathers were friends. Ml ore distinctively a man of action, of practical ability, and exhaust- less energy than John Brown, there was yet a strong bond of friendship and sym- pathy between them. Heugh was a merchant, and had travelled extensively (chiefly in the East); had, like Ulysses, " seen many cities and known many men," but was, at the same time, widely read. The reader will perhaps smile, but I think he was the only man I knew--not specially a literary man -- who read the Fac'rie Queen through to the end. He had a true appreciation of much of the best literature as well as of art, was well- informed, largely intelligent, and possessed 7' Dr. John Brown of a renarkable power of penetrative observ-ation. WNrith a fine mranliness of character thelre was conjoined a thoroughly unselfish nat are. full of generosity, benevo- lence, 3nd philanthropy. Energetic as he was. his energy was quite as readily expended on others as on himself. Self. indeed. had never much place in his thoughts. ,A11 this, with a curious simpli- city, openneis, and truthfulness of nature, remarkable in a man of much shrewdness and in!ight, attached his friends to him in a quite unusual degree. In addition to his multiplied and varied private business, lie threw lnUch of his energy into politics, into the question of telegraphic cable com- inunication v ith America, and other great public interests. as well as into not a few private charibies and other widely bene- ficial foirms of enterprise, which brought no gain to hli-nself L He loved work for its own sak(, and this, with his warmn fiiendshiu, often led him-n to undertake not a little w-here lie had no self-interest to 72 Dr. John Brown serve. Another point remarkable about him was, on any subject on which he felt himself to be imperfectly informed, the simplicity with which he yielded to the opinion of others whom he assumed to be more knowing than himself. Other m-len who fail in knowledge are often also those who are the most obstinate in their opinions, and hardest to convince. And where he trusted he never trusted by halves. I regret to say that after making a large fortune lhe was overtaken by severe disaster in business, which. though felt very keenly, he bore uncomplainingly, and, I might almost say cheerfully. The last years of his life were spent in some- what broken health in Italy, a country which he knew well and loved, and in 1893 he died there rather suddenly, and was buried high up on a lonely spur of the Apennines. Peace be to the memory of a true and noble soul! Brave, frank, open-hearted, steadfast, generous, unselfish - a soul 73 Dr. John Brown which had. perchance, in its abounding energy, ove r-weighted itself with too much and too many things, and failed because at last ii came up against the impossible. Theire were probably a good many other friends wLonom I did not know, or may have forgotten. John was now, no doubt, beginning to feel so-mewhat the responsibilities of his profession, though I confess that they did not at th'it time appear to weigh very heavily upon himn. But beside all, and above all, tire common fate of young man- hood had overtaken him, in the coming upon the scene of a young girl of rare and dangerousb zauty, who might be the making or the marring of one whose mind was so susceptible as his, but on whom, whatever might be the outcome, he had lavished all the N ealth of his warmly affectionate nature. So the toga l irifis was now sitting high upon his shoulders. On ienev'ing acquaintance with him, I was struck with how entirely he had 74 Dr. John Brown passed out of his scholastic training. Seven years before, it seemed as if the promise was that he would develop into a great scholar like his father. But now there was no appearance of either school or college learning having had much direct influence in the formation of his intellec- tual character. Even it seemed as if his family associations had been left behind. The truth then doubtless was that his mind had an original character of its own, for which his youthful training had formed a useful discipline; and when he got beyond it he at once felt that it had fulfilled its purpose, and his natural faculties were then free to follow their own special bent. Whether he had at that time taken quite heartily to his profession. I am not altogether prepared to say. One or two of its branches he very early declined alto- gether. and he often expressed a good deal of scepticism as to the reliableness of the ordinary methods of medical practice. It was observable, too. that though he mingled 75 Dr. John Brown freely with men of his own profession, his more intimate friendships were not, I think, with medical men, and his talk ever ran more upon poetry, and art, and high thought of various kinds than upon medicine. And though he had doubtless been a, faithful student of his art, and was thoroughly well equipped at all points in it-for it was not his way to do by halves what he seriously undertook,-it is yet certain that neither then, nor ever after- wards, did it become the object of that exclusive devotion which it does to many physicianS - who are not, by the way, however, the best men in the profession, though the public is apt to think so. For a man can seldom be thoroughly good for any one tling unless he is at the same time good for a good many other things, and it is X ever well to walk always in a rut. On the whole, it appeared to me that tihe love of literature and philosophy had at this time thrown their strong spell over hiIm. During his apprenticeship he 76 Dr. John Brown had evidently found time to absorb a tolerably wide acquaintance with both Scottish and English philosophy (Berke- ley's Siis was to the last a special favourite with him); aind there were few of the great English poets, even the earliest, special passages of whose works hle had not often upon his lips. And of the later men, 1\Toiordswvorth, Coleridge, and Charles Lamb Hartley Coleridge too were all taken to his heart. I rather think that the Circulating Library, too, was drawn upon for a good deal of the lighter literature, bad and good, of the day. Light literature, however, is light or the reverse, very much according to the quality of the mind receiving it, and even the very lightest is sufficient to awaken thought enough in the thinking mind. Arnd so, I doubt not, it was with him. Certain it is at least that nothing of mnarked excellence ever appeared which did not at once attract his attention. PI'iip van A, rtcecl(cl, for example, was 77 Dr. John Brown immediately in his hands, and was thor- oughly appreciated. Southey's Doctor, too, whic i came out about this time, greatlsly interested as well as (he says) "provoked " him. And the PicAkvickA Papci s caught him at once, and of course greatly amused him, though his interest, I think, in 1)ickens very soon waned. Tennyson's two volumes were hardly published before I heard him talking with great admi, ation of them. George Borrow, also, hLe was very enthusiastic about. And a novel, now I think forgotten (though, by the way, 1 saw quite lately some in- quiries about its authorship, in _Yotcs and Queric8), called Violet, or the Danseuse, I rememoer him speaking of as a book of noticeable power. Punch, I think, came to him as s mething like a new tendency in Enylish literature, which continued for a good while in its earlier stages to in- terest him, but which I rather fancy he began to regard as carried to an extreme. But above all, Thackeray, both as a man 78 Dr. John Brown and as an author, almost from the very first captivated all his admiration and all his affection, and I have a strong im- pression that it was he who, earlier than anyone else in Britain, fully recognised the fine genius and noble nature which lurked uender the half-veiled cynical surface of the writings of the author of 'Esimond. 'T'hackeray himself, indeed, seems pretty distiiictly to indicate this in his reply to Dr. Brown, thanking him for the little silver statue of Punch, subscribed for at Dr. Brown's suggestion by the eighty half-crowns of Edinburgh men and women, Lord Jeffrey and Sir William Hamilton being two of the "octogint." The whole story is told in Dr. Brown's inimitable way, in the note at the end of his paper on Thackeray's death. He had a curiously quick way of mastering the contents of a book, which I could never fully understand. It seemed to be almost enough for him to cut open the leaves in order to know all 79 Dr. John Brown that ivas in it, and to form a judgment of its character. And though his thought seeir,-d to be sufficiently matured on whatever he talked about, you seldom saw him, at this time, closely occupied either refiding or thinking. He always appeared disengaged and at leisure, rather louiging than closely intent upon aiiy- thing in p irticular. And there is a remark of his, in his paper on " Arthur Hallam," which perhaps throws some light on this pecutiaritT7, and in which I almost fancy he must have had a side-glance at himself, because what is told of Hallam describes almost exactly his own ways and habits. One of Hallam's friends gives the follow- ing account of his manner of life:-- " Obtwar Ily," he says, " I do not think there was anything remarkable in his habits extept (t irtegularity withi ricgard to tfiles ai1(1 Plaes i qfstudy, which may seem surprising in one whose progress in so many directions was so eminently great and rapid.. I-e was coniuvoizmq to befinriid So Dr. John Brown inl someiftriend'8 r-oomi, reading or convers- in. I daresay he lost something by this irregularity, but less, perhaps, than one would at first imagine. He might seem to be lounging or only amusing himself; but his mind was always active, and active for good. In fact, his energy and quick- ness of apprehension did not stand in need of outward aid." Upon this, Dr. Brown remarks-" There is much in this worthy of more extended notice. Such minds as his probably grow best in this way, are best left to themselves, to glide on at their own sweet wills; the stream was too deep and clear, and perhaps too entirely bent on its own errand, to be dealt with or regulated by any art or device." And is not this very much the style of all peculiarly thoughtful intellects The mind under constraint may be able to make attainments in knowledge. But if fresh thought is to come to it, it must be left a good deal to muse and dream, and look about it. And this was very much 81 6 Dr. John Brown .John's way. He took up his knowledge easily aclnd rapidly; but restfulness, and waiting, and leisurely freedom were requisite for the thought that came after- wards, if it wNas to be worth the dream that brought it. The mere wvriting, how- ever, seemed in general to come easily from him. and to be very spontaneous-- -the firstt pressure of the grape"---the readye outflow of his nature, of his heart. If there had been any throes at the birth of the thought, they must have been over before he sat down to embody it in v ords. J have above expressed some doubt as to whethcr he had at once taken fully to his profession, and I have said that literature had probably, for the time being, flung its strong spell over himi. I recol- lect, too, once or twice heating of patients or their Friends complaining that he had somwewha-. neglected theni. But after all, the sick mian, and especially the sick woman, is apt to be a little exacting- 82 Dr. John Brown more especially from the young doctor, who is assumed to have time enough on his hands to attend to the individual case; and the truth very probably was, that if the case was not very serious, he had not then acquired. and indeed never did acquire. the affectation of making more visits than it really needed. Besides, his mere presence in the sickroom was often felt to do more good than any medicine- and in nine cases out of ten it was his visit that was missed, not his prescription. The languor of sickness would rouse itself to eager expectation as the hour of his call approached, amid sink away into deeper languor if the usual time passed and the loved face did not appear. And so it continued to the end. But this was not to be set down to professional negli- gence; and any apparent indifference to his profession is not, therefore, to be made too much of. He had a good many sides to his character, and a somewhat multifarious brain, and it did not neces- 83 Dr. John Brown sarily follow that because he was much interested in, or addicted to this, he was by consequence less interested in or atten- tive to) tha:. With ali his interest in literature, how- ever, he had up to this time written little or nothing, and I rather think that he scarcely hbd contemplated ever writing anything. He had very little ambition, as I have already said, and could scarcely be called iMpulsive, did most things in a very 1--isurely way, and perhaps he was only wailing until lie had something worth while to say. There was an essay, I reimembrr, which lie intended to write for tie Royal Medical Society, which hung long upon his hands. about 1838. Whether it was ever written or not, I cannot tAl. His first attempt of which I have an-y recollection was an article on somet-hing which had interested him in the Nort't British Reviezw, and which he sent for ir sertion to one of the newspapers. This musi have been about 1844 or 1845. 84 Dr. John Brown And the editor, as I very well remember, dealing with it according to his light, mangled it very considerably. I recollect. too, something in a country newspaper on a pamphlet of Syme's. But his first serious effort was the series of articles on pictures which lie wrote for Hugh Mliller in the Witness newspaper in 1846. These, of course, struck everyone as something new in the style of art-criticism, and the reception they obtained no doubt en- couraged himn to venture upon the article in the 7orthM Britishl Revietcw on Ruskin's Mlodei-n Paidtrs., which I rather think was nearly the first mnarked recognition of MII. Ruskin as a great power in the literature of art; before that time, accord- ing to my recollection, every daw thought it had a right to peck at him. This was followed by his elaborate and very valuable paper on ": Locke and Sydenhamn," which brought compliments and congratulations from many quarters, including a call in Albany Street from Lord Jeffrey-full of Dr. John Brown gay cordiality, which gave him and his wife great delight-in April 1849, a few months only before Jeffrey's death. It is cur-ious to observe how well he wrote even from the first. With most men writing well is a difficult acquisition, and of rather slow growth. But with him it seemed t-h come at once and to cost no effort. fisi art-criticism in the Wite.ess has mu.ch of the ease and freedom of an old practised hand. Htis style is terse, correct, arnd with a distinct character of its own ; without a superfluous word or an awkward pirase, and marked with a kind of freedom, as if he could afford to play with h-is subject. Yet, except in letter- writinA, I almost doubt if he had seriously put pen to paper before. According to his own uiccount, indeed, but for the accident of Hugh Miller's money coming in, and his wife being "peremptory" with him, he would probablynever havetroubled printers with his proofs. He had long known, however, what good writing was, 86 Dr. John Brown and being a very natural, unaffected, and real person, never saying what he did not mean and clearly feel, good writing, I suppose, caine to him by instinct -thouog'l at first, he says, in his humorously ex- aggerative way. w with awful sufferings and difficulty, and much destruction of sleep.' It must have been some time early in 1834 that he had made the -acquaintance of Aliss Catherine (KacOapa. the pure. as he was careful to point out to his friends) INI'Kay. She was then, I think. fourteen, but he was at once attracted by her very peculiar style of delicate and refined beauty. It wNas still indeed little mnore than a girlish beauty, and, except as per- haps indicating a certain cailm thoughtful steadfastness of mnind, it would perhaps have been unsafe to predicate the style of character or intellect that. might underlie the expression. I find, however, in one of his papers a slight loving sketch of a young girl, in which I very distinctly dis- 87 r)r. John Brown cover some traits of what she was at that early time. He represents a young lad of seventeen a.. prowling about the head of North St. David Street keeping his eye on a certain' door, and waiting for MNlr. WThite's famnous English class for girls cominng out. Presently out rushed four or five girls. wild and laughing; then camic one bonj di,ig like a roe: ciCh el/es wvere in hbet head, Al d so mnlwh grace and power ! She was surrounded by the rest, and away they w. ent laughing, s/le iiaking ticii falways long/c the mizore. Seventeen followed at a safe distance, studying lier sin all,firmn, dozlwnright hA; l. The girls dropped off one by one, and she was away home by herself, szwift itnd riserieed--this beautiful girl of thirteen." She was a native, I believe, of Aberdeen, and had just come with her father's family to settle in Edinburgh. On her mother's side she belonged to a somewhat gifted family, one of whom, John Scott, a brother 88 Dr. John Brown of her mother, was well know Nn in the earlier years of the century in the literary circles of London, as editor of the C/taml- pion newspaper, and afterwards of the London llagaz:ine, who fell in a duel arising out of certain articles which ap- peared in Blackwood's Magaczgine about 1819 and onwards. There are references to him, I think, in some of 1Jazlitt's books; and I have seen a considerable number of long letters to him of the most cordial and intimate kind from Mtr. Wordsworth. Some of these have since appeared in the life of the poet by Mr. Knight. MIr. Scott is also spoken of by Lord Brougham as " a writer of great power," and one of Brougham's early speeches at the bar was a defense of him from a Government prosecution for what was then called libel, on account of a strong denunciatory article which lhe had written in 1810 in a Stamford paper, against the horrible system of flogging in the armny, then in full vogue. TRhe article was inserted afterwards in the 89 Dr. John Brown Exainer, and Government prosecutions were raised against both papers, and, ver- diets of guilty having been obtained, heavy penalties were inflicted on the publishers, -penalties w hich, as Lord Broughani remarks, "4 may well make us doubt if we now live in tie same country and under the same sys tem of laws." The public attention, however, thus drawii to the subject by these vindictive proceedings against Mr. Scott and others, happily had "the effect of bringing all state prosecu- tions for libel soon afterwards into a degree of discredit which led to their disuse." John, it is needless to say, soon became a pretty frequent visitor at Miss M'Kay's father's house. And what did lie find ill the young girl Well, I daresay not much niore than we can easily conceive a clever schoolgirl to be: good at her lessons, dutiful to her parents, going out to an occasional public ball or private dance-fer she was then and afterwards 90 'C 1-. -C C This page in the original text is blank. Dr. John Brown fond of dancing and danced well; doing more or less in the novel-reading depart- ment; surrounded by young admirers, pretty largely I fancy of the other sex; gay and lively, innocent and happy, as young girlhood ought to be. But he looked, I suppose, for something more in a wife, and suggestions began to be offered for attention to other than social levities and conventional accomplishments. Shake- speare, as I remember, was introduced to her notice; some good historical reading was recommended; Sir .James Mackintosh's Life, published about that time, was put ill her way, and rather diligently read; Charles Lamb, I happen to know, was not overlooked; very likely Coleridge and Wordsworth betimes, and no doubt a good deal of other literature of a wholesome, invigorating, and elevating kind. Such reading, I rather think, very soon began to tell on her mental progress, and " you cannot think what strong things she some- times says" was the account he gave of 9' Dr. John Brown her remarks oit the effect of Shakespeare or someone else upon her thoughts. And so the coartship in this sort of way went on for several years-very quietly, I take it, very sensibly, very pleasantly, without any serious hin-drances and without anxious or impetuous passion. In the meantime nothing was said, but much was very soon understood bet ween them. And at length the young girl had grown up to woman- hood, th., you: ig physician's practice had tolerably increased, and then a walk was taken out by the Ferry Road, the declara- tion of lox -e was made, and the only ob- jection offered was that it might have been made Iong before, for she "i had been ready to ble spoken to four years ago. Some delay, however, was still necessary, and in tie meanwhile it was thought proper to consult Mr. Syme, which was done as follow,:- J. B.: ' I ha ve come to ask your advice about somrething." Mr. S.: " Oh, indeed. I know what it 92 Dr. John Brown is; you are going to be married." The confession having been made, 'Mr. S.: " Ah! it is all right. And I hope she has not a farthing." His hope, as John said afterwards, as near as possible expressed the fact, for unless it were her clothes, all that she brought with her on her marriage was two or three odd volumes of the kVpectatoi " You'll observe," he remarked to me, "' that all good women love the AS1yPecta tor. The marriage took place on the 4th of June 1840, the bridegroom being twenty- nine and the bride twenty, or, I rather think, twenty-one. Young as she was, however, she was full of good sense, good feeling, good moral and religious principle, and I have no reason to think that she was not also a good manager of her household affairs. Some attention to economy. indeed, was necessary, as the doctor's fees were not as yet super- abundant; and if my recollection serves me aright there was some misconduct of 93 Dr. John Brown an outsider, v hich produced considerable pecuniary emi!barrassment, anxiety, and unhappiness to the young couple almost inmediately after their marriage. They were, hov-rever, completely happy in each other. b3oth he and she were sufficiently domestic in their habits; their social circle was not as yet very large, and she was free fronl vanity, love of dress, or extra- vagance of any kind and although not averse to a little occasional gaiety, as was natural to a young girl, as she still was, yet all was kent in very distinct modera- tion, even to a degree rather remarkable in one who had been accustomed to not a little admiration for her beauty and grace. Her ma uners were entirely ladylike, she had good social tact, her husband's friends found themselves at homne in her house. and, without being highly educated or brilliant in coiversation, she was decidedly intelligent. She read, I think somewhat extensively, was a rather particularly good French scholar, and very soon proved 94 Dr. John Brown herself able to enter filly into her husband's literary tastes and pursuits, and to be in accord with his special ideas and opinions. One marked feature in her character was her truthfulness and honesty. A lady a good deal younger than herself, but who knew her very well, said to me not long ago, - I always liked her, she was so honest." She never pretended to like anything or any person that she did not really care for, and I rather suspect that she did not always scruple to show her impatience with those whom she disliked, rather plainly and bluntly: and, to tell the truth, I fear it must be said that she was not a universal favourite, for plain honesty is not exactly to be called a social virtue, and it is only a small minority to whom "the mixture of a lie doth not ever add pleasure." And with all her good qualities she was not quite destitute of a certain spice of what may be called temper, and her husband once allowed to me that even to him there was now and then a little 95 Dr. John Brown outbreak, but he characteristically added -good, kind, loving soul as he was-that this was rather an advantage," because shewas o sorry afterwards and so kind and affectionate to make up for it. She was fond of the society of clever men, or men of genius, and was generally able to meet them- upon their own ground and be entirelv at home with theim. And I have even heard that M\iss Gossip had her little prattle :nd turning up of the eyes about this;, if Catherine happened to be seen in thi stceet in such company. Thackeray and she were great friends, and "M A adamn" is always affectionately referred to in his letters to her husband after his visit to Edinburgh. "A hundred good wi-lhes to MIadam,. and I wish I was in the carriage taking a drive with her," is his salutatior in a letter now lying before me. " Why did you," she once rather impetu- ously said to him- " Why did you make Esmond marry that old woman" "' My dear lady," was his answer, " it was not I 96 Dr. John Brown who married them. They married them- selves,"-a hint, I suppose, that a novelist's characters sometimes obtain the mastery over him, and get into a position which compels him to dispose of them in a way he would not of himself have chosen to do. Having said thus much, it is proper to add that among others than her husband's, her real, her inner friends were always the good and true of her own sex. In a letter mentioning the death of one of her aunts-a very excellent, clever, and intelligent wooman-Dr. Brown says: " She and Kitty were great friends; they thoroughly understood each other." And this was quite a typical case. - IUnderstood each other." Yes, that is it. " Kitty" was a little apt to be not understood. I do not know that it is necessary to say more of the lady he had chosen for a life-companion, than to recall what he has himself said of her in one of his papers:- " The Sine QiUA Non who will not be pleased at being spoken of, is such an 7 97 Dr. John Brown one as theat vain-glorious and chivalrous Ulric vow i H tten - the Reformation's man of wit, and of the world and of the sword, ec ho slew Monkery with the wild laughter of his LEpistolw Obscurorunit Virorim--had in his mind when he wrote thus to lis friend Fredericus Piscator (Mr. Fred. Fishner) on the 19th May 1519, " Da mlih/ uxorewc, Frederice. ct at scias qual/c, veniutam, (Ic/olesccfntula'm, probe educaftai, kibireiil, zver-cen ttu(da m,pa-tientteml." Quale1m, he lets Frederic understand in the sentence preceding, is one pidcuini ludami1, ity/ j(,'OS coilfcramn, aninornioes et leviis'Cu1las tall Was iniscca 7l, ulbi solicit dinis acieia otcunda in crar in cestus nmitigemi. And if you would know more of the Sine Q16i4 Von, ard in English, for the world is dead to Latin now, you will find her name andc nature in Shakespeare's words when King Henry the Eighth says, "' Go thy w ays.' So, on turning to Henry VIII., Act ii. Scene 4, we find as follows: 98 Dr. John Brown " Go thy ways, Kate: That man i' the world who shall report he has A better wife, let him in nought be trusted For speaking false in that: Thou art alone, If thy rare qualities, sweet gentleness, Thy meekness saint-like, wife-like government- Obeying in commanding,-and thy parts Sovereign and pious else, could speak thee out." NCaote by the Editor The MIS. of the Life ends here. The Editor feels that it is better far to leave the MS. as it is, just as the pen fell from the hands of the Biographer, who loved his friend and knew him as perhaps no one else did, rather than endeavour to bring it down to the date of Dr. John Brown's death. The Editor has the less hesitation in presenting the MIS. as it stands, inas- much as the Biographer has himself dealt in the early part of the M S. with all the outstanding dates in Dr. John Brown's Life. There are, moreover, in the Biographer's Criticism and Appreciation of Dr. Brown's literary work, which forms the second 99 Dr. John Brown part of the MS., so many biographical touches, that there would be little left to tell in a continuation of the MS.; and the Editor shrinks from incurring the risk of spoiling by any words or additions of his own the exquisite tribute left by John Taylor Brown to the memory of his beloved friend I00 Part II. DR. JOHN BROWN'S LITERARY WORK. This page in the original text is blank. THE HORNE SUBSECIV.E AS A WHOLE. IT is difficult to characterise the Horce Subsecivw as a whole. They range over a great variety of topics, and vary not a little in tone and manner of treatment. But apart from this, there are some inci- dental points in them which cannot fail to strike the reader, and make him feel the charmi at once of a remarkable intel- lect and of a very attractive personality in the writer. We discover at once that he is full of a keen but quiet and measured enthusiasm, dwelling with delight on all that is beautiful and true, and best and greatest, either in human character or in inanimate nature. You recognise in him also a man of unfailing sense and intelligence, with a peculiar 103 Dr John Brown power ol insight--a widely-read man, an accurate thinker. and possessing what I would call an original gift of style. It is curious how he throws his whole nature into his literary work -not merely his intellect, as mcst mien do, but his tastes, his loves, hi,., whiins, his hobbies, and the pervading flavour of his humour. Perhaps I might say that the strong personal elemenit in the book, if not to be regarded as its main characteristic, is that which first (ttracts the attention. It swarmns with characters like a novel or a drama, - and almost everyone done to the life, c-nd everyone full of interest. We have, for example, Dr. Andrew Combe; D)r. Henry Marshall, the soldier's friend, a Nvecry excellent and singularly interesting marl interesting both in him- self and for t1 e wonderful work lhe did; the Gideon-Grray types of doctors: Edward Forbes, Samuel Brown, George Wilson, Dr. John Scott and his son--the latter particularly charming with his 104 " Horn Subsecive " wonderful memory and his " minimum of original sin"; Mr. Syme, Sir Robert Christison, the elder Dr. Brown, his father; Dr. Chalmers, the Laird of Stoneywood, and his noble, heroic wife; the Black Dwarf (fuller and truer, more inward than even Sir Walter's delineation of him) ; Ailie in Rab and his Friends, and James, her husband; Arthur Hallam (who in goodness and intellect, depth of thought and beauty of character, might almost stand for a picture of John him- self); Alexander Logan, the warm and very true, though sometimes capricious friend, the most original of humorists and pleasantest of companions, and withal a man of wide reading (especially in history) and wide intelligence, sense and shrewdness, a good and sound lawyer, a clever pleader, and an excellent judge (he was Sheriff of Forfarshire),-I have heard that no legal decision of his was ever reversed in any of the higher courts,- and gifted with a peculiar form of genius 105 Dr. John Brown which, however, never came fully to a head; Miujore Fleming (the wondrous child); M4iss Scirling Graham (the match- less mystifier); Jeems the doorkeeper; "Uncle Johhnston"; and the Duke of Athole (the last quite unequalled, as I think, ir, character-drawing),-Clarendon himself could not have done it, and yet how curiously, one would have thought, out of the ordinary current of the author's sympathies, if any could be so, and yet how ,real, how vivid, how true in every Lie ! But they are endless, and every one distinct and distinctive and distinguished. I have said that they swarm throughout the book. They start up everywherc, in the most unexpected way-in philosophical disquisition, in out- of-the-way stcry, in apt quotation, in bits of song or ballad lore, in remini- scences of his own life. Some of these men and women had, I doubt not, prickles on therm, but he has no unkind word to say of any. They may in some io6 " Horw Subsecivx " cases have had another side than that he tells of; but it was always true. what he tells of them, none the less. If there were faults, they are rather hinted at as setting off the excellences, than ex- pressed. There is a sundial I have heard of, somewhere in Italy, with this inscription on it: Ioras non nnmero nisi serenas, and John was just such a dial.' I It is curious to note the width of his sympathies and his insights. Even his dogs are to him as full of character as his men and women ; one of them he speaks of as a lady. And look at that story he tells, at the end of his pal)er on the " Black Dwarf," of Willie Nicholson, the Galloway poet, the author of the ballad of the Broirinie of B1lediiochi. Nihil humnawnut ab illo alien urni. See how he was touched by all the reckless abandon of that poor lost child of genius. One is half inclined to ask what fine restraining force it was which, with all the quick and strong susceptibilities of his own nature, kept him from being just such a one as the author of the Bron'nze of Blednoch. Notice, too, his theory of the popular legend of the Brownie. "I have often thought," he says, "that lie must have been some sad, mis- shapen creature as the Black Dwarf: strong, willing, and forlorn, conscious of his hideous, forbidding look, and ready to purchase affection at any cost of 107 Dr. John Brown Even in r, serious philosophical disquisition like the paper on " Locke and Sydenham," sketches of character come in, as it were, inevitably. Before he wrote about these two great men, what did we know, or what ideas had we, of their personal characters, of their manner of life as they moved vmong other men They were not to us personalities at all. Does the reader r2member the account given by Hazlitt of a famous evening at Charles Lamb's house, when he and his friends talked far on into the evening " of persons one would wish to have seen " Curiously enough, one of the guests suggested the calling up of 14r. Locke, "as one of the greatest names in English literature." But Lam-b at once rejected him quite impatiently, saying that "he was not a person - not a person you know. He was simply the Essay on the Human Understanding," which, said Lamb, "we labours, with a kindly heart and a longing for human sympathy and intercourse." io8 " Horas Subseciva " have to this day." And the same thing might have been said of Sydenham, who was shut up in his Latin books which nobody read, and of whom no one knew more than that he had been called "the prince of English physicians," and that Boerhaave always took his hat off when he had occasion to mention him in lectur- ing. But in Dr. John Brown's paper both Locke and Sydenham do become "persons" whom we would not only ";wish to have seen," but to have met and talked with:-Locke in particular, no longer, as we are apt to fancy him, a thoughtful recluse, shadowy, shadowless, and uninteresting-solemnly expounding the philosophy of mind, or the principles of government, or the great doctrine of religious toleration; but a shrewd, know- ing, all-alive man of the world, so worldly- wise as to have been engaged to choose, and actually choosing, a wife for the young Lord Shaftesbury; gifted with a gay, sharp, sarcastic, incisive wit and a I09 Dr. John Brown pawky humour 1- chaffing Dr. Mapletoft, for instance, on his love affair, longing for an opportunity of "throwing an old shoe after hinm," in order that he might succeed him a, Gresham lecturer; sitting as a student at Oxford, full of student- like misc'hief, impatient, noisy and tur- bulent at the German Rosicrucian's chemistry lecture, blurting out his not inaudible disdain and disgust at the non- sensical ialk about the transmutation of metals, the elixir of life, and the other secrets of nature known only to the lecturer himnself and his quackish com- peers - the disgust being no doubt sharpened in Locke's mind by the thought that the fees fer the course (as Dr. Brown is careful to tell us) were three pounds, one-half naid in advance. And then afterwards settled at Oxford in the full 1 Anything more full of quiet fun, and the real sense of the ludicrous. than Locke's account of the ceremony ol capping a doctor at Montpelier, it would be difficult So come across. NO " Horax Subsecive and active practice of medicine (a fact apparently hitherto unknown), in close intimacy with Sydenham, and co-operat- ing with him in denouncing the hypothe- tising methods of the common run of the medical practitioners of the time; writing "ludicrous, sarcastic, and truly witty letters " on medical subjects, so plainspoken that Dr. Furley (in whose possession they were) declined giving them to the public " in these days of absurd refinement "- drawing from Dr. Brown the remark that "; we would gladly forswear our refinement to have a sight of them, as anything that Locke thought worth writing down about anything, is likely to be worth reading"; and withal, so accomplished a physician that Syden- ham congratulates himself on the trust- worthiness of some of his own methods, on the ground that they were approved of by Locke, whom he speaks of as ingenhiiii, judiciumzque acre et subactunt. And finally, so widespread was his fame I I I Dr. John Brown as a skilf'iI practitioner, that his medical reputation had even extended to Scotland, some letters of his being still in existence to the celebrated Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, who had consulted him on the health of his brother's wife, which, accord- ing to Dr. Brown. " for unencumbered good sense, rational trust in nature's vis medicatrix, and wholesome fear of polypharmacy and the nimia diligentia of his time. inight have been written by Dr. Andrew Combe or Sir James Clarke"; and then the crowning point in his intel- lectual character is given in the words, that "he knew something of everything that could be useful to mankind." And Sydenham too, how vividly is he also brought before us in Dr. Brown's paper !-so different in temper from Locke, but with an intellect quite as large and free; on the one hand, gentle, sweet- natured, full of piety towards God, unperturbed by all the bitter persecution to which he was exposed from the I I2 " Horne Subsecivae" ignorant hypothetising doctors of that age, yet all the while calmly valiant and defiant for the truth, going on his way with quiet determination and energy, " collecting and arranging his visa, before settling his cogitate," firm in his faith in the inductive method as the only true way of either advancing medical science or successfully practising his art, " making knowledge a means, not an end," and ever regarding medicine as what it really is, in the main observational. Referring to both Locke and Sydenham, Dr. Brown says, " It would not be easy to overestimate our obligations as a nation to these two men, in regard to all that is involved in the promotion of health of body and soundness of mind." And in summing up Sydenham's beautiful char- acter, he uses these fine, tender words: "Human life was to him a sacred, a divine, as well as a curious thing, and he seems to have possessed through life, in rare acuteness, that sense of the value of I13 8 Dr. John Brown what was at stoke, of the perilous material he had to work in, and that gentleness and compassion for his suffering fellowmen, without which no man-be his intellect ever so transcendent, his learning ever so vast, his industry ever so accurate and inappeasable-need hope to be a great physician, mucTh less a virtuous and honest man. The paper on Locke and Sydenham is followed Map by several others bearing a good deal on the same subject of practical medicine. They need not perhaps be more particularly noticed here, further than to say that they seem to me to be worthy of cai'eful study, more especially by young medical men, and indeed so full of good thought of much wider application than to medicine, that it would be hard to say who m-night not study them with advantage. And here I should like, if I could, to bring out, both to my own mind and to that of my reader, a more or less distinct II4 " Horae Subsecive conception of what constitute the special character, the special value, and I think I may add the special charm, of Dr. Brown's writings. They have now, in their collected form, been rather more than thirty years in the hands of the public, and, unlike so much of the literature of the time, they are still sought for and still extensively read; and if I imnay judge from the frequent references made to him both in the periodical press anml elsewhere, there is that kind of interest in his personality which is distinctively derivable from the character of his writings. Something of this is no doubt due to his being thought of merely as the author of Rab aicd Nis Frienls, lr(njoric Fleiin r,-, the .Jacobitc Faitily, and one or two others of his slighter though exquisite sketches. But it is very questionable if his reputation could have lasted so long, or could have gained that degree of solidity which I apprehend it has, had there not been some backbone of substantial wisdomn, goodness, value, and I'5 Dr. John Brown worth. and a penetrating insight of some kind, in his -vriting. He modestly calls his books Iorw Subsecivwf, but they are some-, hing very different from the mere indolent literary exercitations, with which we are all familiar, of a man's idle hours. They are not in any proper sense of the words the produce of the relaxed mind, fox the) are full of a very genuine power, and h-s thought is that which is specially derived from action and from practice-not from mere observation from without, and not from speculative theoris- ing. But with John the thought is always, I think, securely founded on an intimate acquaintance with the best philosophy. It is indeed rather remarkable how wide his reading in philosophical literature had been, and how: just his thought always is. And I amn somewhat at a loss to discover (considering that his life of action com- menced, in hi-; apprenticeship with Syme, within a few -nonths of his leaving school) when and how all his good philosophical ii6 " Horn Subsecive " training and depth of literary culture was obtained. I can only conclude that his father, at a very early period of his student life, directed his attention to the subject, either for its own sake, or as intimately bearing on the study of physic. The elder Dr. Brown, I know, had himself prosecuted philosophical study very keenly early in life, and even continued to do so to the last. So eager, indeed, was his interest in it, that when he was dying he read through the whole of' David Hfume's Tzrcatise on Ilunian. NAhtrc-a curious fact this, and to me rather touching. WVas the good old man trying to found upon Hume's attenuated ideas some conjectural notion and conception of what might be the sort of cognition he would have of persons and things in the world of disembodied spirits-into which he was about to enter He spoke of Hume's book with great admiration, as a miracle of intellectual and literary power for a man of twenty-eight, and as containing the essence II7 Dr. John Brown of all that was best in the philosophy of mind. "-it ic all there," he said, "if you will only think it out." I have therefore a strong impression that a great deal of Dr. John's reading in philosophy went on alongside of his medical studies while serving his ap- prenticeshlip under Mr. Syme. I recollect that he took a v-ery particular interest in Sir \iliram Hamilton's candidature for the chair of logic and metaphysics in the University, aid that he read with particu- lar zest his article on " Reid and Brown," in the _Edinbz.rEgoi Review. Sir William's clinching dilemnma with which he closed his long and crushing criticism of Dr. Thomas Browsn: " Dualism or Nihilism, choose your horn," was often recalled by him with a hearty laugh. Some years later, I can a so recall that he was much taken with the very excellent Dictionnaire des Siemvs P//ilosoplliques, published at Paris between 1844 and 1850. All this seems tc point very clearly to the fact I I8 " Horn Subsecivae " that metaphysical studies had not been taken up lightly, but must have occupied his mind for a long series of years, and been a subject of close and earnest study from a very early period of his life. What then are the special characteris- tics, and what the value, of the thought which resulted from this or from what- ever other training his mind had received In answer I would say that there is a curious combination of great powers of thinking, very varied points of interest, and a singular personal charm in whatever he has written. 1. In the first place, whatever he writes about is what he thoroughly knows, and more especially what he knows as matter either of his own practical experience and observation, or of his own thorough think- ing out. I might almost say that he speaks because he knows, and that it is all the result of a fine and true insight. It is also something which his mind is, and has long been, full of-the inevitable outcome 119 Dr. John Brown of a teeming mind. I need hardly add that it is the outcome not only of a strong, clear, and nenetrating intellect, but an intellect of remarkable soundness-a recti- tude both intAlcetual and moral what Arnauld. as quoted by Dr. Brown himself, called droitwre tie l'[4iie. There are words of his owan in reference to someone else, which ve-:y well describe it: "a sober- minded, sourd-minded, well-balanced mind, with genius subject to his judg- ment, and having genius and judgment to begin with." 2. The style of his writing is unstudied and perfectly unaffected, with a pleasant occasional. touci' of almost childlike naivete. I think I migi t say that there is little or nothing of thee formal or professional author in him. Sometimes it seems as if he were merely speaking to himself, and sometimes almost as if he were putting himself alongside of his reader and speak- ing directly to vim--entering into conver- sation with thin, as it were. It has, in fact, 120 "c Horae Subsecivae" much of the character of good talk, and one feels always at home with him-there is a distinguishing mark of sense, sincerity, and earnestness in all his writing. It is almost needless to add that one special character- istic is, that a pleasant vein of quiet but very true humour runs through it, break- ing out every now and then with a bright and clear sparkle. 3. His work, while full of independent thought, shows at the same time the result of very various and extensive read- ing-not reading got up for the occasion, but rather such as has wrought itself into the warp and woof of his mind; and one incidental outcome of this is the curious felicity with which he is always ready, on fitting occasion, with a telling word or phrase or felicitous quotation caught up in his reading, to give point to his utter- ance-to support or illustrate his opinion or confirm his statement. No pat or forcible or especially felicitous word or sentence, indeed, seemed ever to escape 121 IDr. John Brown him.' Prcse cr poetry, old song or ballad, classical author, puritan religionist, or Patristic theologian (St. Augustine comes up once and again), Elizabethan drama or modern poet, quaint characteris- tic Scottish story or expression-all con- 1 One quotation which he seems to have been fond of, as it occurs again and again in his writings, the reader may perlaps be warned not to look for in any classical authc r. It was taken from an old monument ir; the church of St. Just in Cornwall, situated in a quiet sequestered spot on the shore of Falmouth Halrbour. " Heu nimium brevis cevi decus et desideriurn." Thc whole inscription has a curiously quaint pathos which may perhaps excuse it being given at length:- "Ad pedein huj'_s marmoris quod superest jacet Honoria filia unigmnita Ricardi Jack generosi et Honoriae conjugis. Propius etiam inhumantur cor- pora duorum filiorum anonymorum de quibus si vixisse dicimus-di imus omnia-Sed Honoria! heu nimium brevis wevi decus et desiderium Honoria fuit. Obiit anno nata sedecim-decimo nono Novembris, Ai-n. Dom. 1704." One wonders if the touching Latin words had ever beforo recall ed the thought of poor little Honoria to anyone else during the two hundred years she has been in her grave in the chancel of the church of remote, qaiet, and lonely St. Just. 122 " Horn Subseciv " tribute their quota, and never without effect. 4. It will not escape notice that while a good deal of original and unconventional opinion occurs throughout his writings, no small portion of it is also, to use a parlia- mentary word, distinctly contentious; yet I do not think that he can be justly accused of anywhere indulging in what may be called fads or crotchets. On the contrary, it seems to me that his thought is always characterised not only by sound judgment, but by a certain breadth which appears in this, that its principle is dis- tinctly extensible to a wide range of other subjects besides that to which he specially applies it. This feature of it, however, I have already, I think, sufficiently illustrated. It is what John Stuart Mill calls the "Logic of Art." 5. There is very distinct purpose in all his writing. It is never writing for writing's sake, and, with all its literary excellence, it has something in it quite 123 Dr. John Brown apart from a -mere literary character. I have some idea that this, though so prominently the case, has been rather lost sight of. I would be inclined to say that the pre- vailing character of his writing is didactic, not obtrusivelY didactic, yet thoughtfully and earnestly didactic. It may be said of him as Mr. Tb ackeray said of himself, that he set himsei to preach to mankind. He discusses inl a fine spirit of philosophical criticism the whole circle of subjects which bear upon thc practice of medicine-the training of the medical man, the methods of thought, tIte style of observation, of inquiry and investigation, which best conduce to perfect skill and Success in the art of healing; the ethics of miedicine, too, and, in other words, the spirit in which the profession should be purs;ued-all these from the points of view of an experienced practical physician, and, a, I have already remarked, are treated Tith a certain breadth of thought and intelligence which iniparts to them an I24 " Hore Subsecivac " interest to other than medical men, and suggests much which is equally applicable to other professions and other spheres of active life, and even to inquirers in totally different spheres of investigation. I know of no book in which this whole subject is so pleasantly and effectively treated, with such justness of thought, such vivid lucid- ity, and such delightful fulness of apt and humorous illustration. 6. It is the writing of a man whose mind was remarkably open to all fine influence-to poetry, to pictorial art, to religious feeling, to whatever is beautiful or great or interesting in human character or human thought. Wlhatever was especi- ally excellent in literature, whether ima- ginative, philosophical, or deep-thoughted in any form, never failed to attract his admiration; and in judging of it, his in- sight is always strikingly acute and true and immediate, as if he saw it all with his bodily eyes. The instinct both of truth and beauty was peculiarly strong in him- I25 Dr. John Brown I should say, native, eeply inwrought in his origina nature. 7. They are curiously full of a singu- larly bread and generous culture. One gathers from them that the author was in his inner and essential nature a happy man. He is playful, humorous, just- minded, pure minded, full of kindness and benevoleace, nd much else that should make him to he at peace with himself and with all the world. Perhaps we may know from other sources that there were counteracting elements to all this, and that there was also much sadness in his life. But 1 arm speaking of what appears in his writings, and from these it is mani- fest enough that whatever the actual result and reality on the whole may have been, there was at least in the background of his mind a source and supply of cheer to enable him to struggle against whatever obstruction it might meet with, and to " still bear up and steer right onwa." I26 0 0 0 0 0 Ae z 0o This page in the original text is blank. "LOCKE AND SYDENH-AM."' As I have been led to mention the paper on Locke and Sydenham, I may state that it first appeared in the Northi British Reviezw for April 1849; and though I have an idea that its value has never been adequately recognised, it has always appeared to me a very finished piece of authorship, both as to style and contents- a singularly valuable bit of thinking. It seems to me, indeed, to exhibit in a re- markable manner both the fineness of the author's intelligence and his decided power as a thinker. And this at least is manifest in it, that his thought is firmly founded on a wide general acquaintance with the best philosophy. It exhibits, too, some features which did not elsewhere appear in his writing, and which were not I27 Dr. John Brown exactly characteristic of the usual habit of his mind. It was obviously, for instance, the resuIlt of very considerable elaboration, and of no imall amount of literary re- search, as wcll as of philosophical thought. Every source, whether printed or MS., likely to afford information in regard to Locke and Sydenham, seems to have been traced out and examined. Even the British Museum was had recourse to; and I distinctly remember that his friend the first Lord Dunfermline was engaged to get froro Lord Lovelace any letters or diaries of Locke which might have come down to him from his ancestor the Lord Chancellor King, to whom Locke's papers were bequeathed. Lord Grenville's very rare, half-forgotten, but very valuable pamphlet on Locke was somehow ferreted out; old Autbray and Anthony h Wood were consulted; Dr. Furley's curious privately printed volume of letters was got access to Locke's letters here and there and everywhere were made available. 128 "Locke and Sydenham And the result was a distinct accession of new facts and important corrections of previous errors in the lives both of Locke and Sydenham. WVhat, however, constitutes the special value of the paper is less what he tells of the life and character of Locke and Sydenham, than that it opens up. if 1 mistake not, a vein of thougTht wvhich, almost from Lord Bacon's time, has been too much lost sig'ht of both in philosophy and in medicine, but is applicable to a much wider extent than to these illdeed, to almost every branch of knowvvledge which tends towvards practice, or even in many cases to the full establislhnment of some of the mnost subtle and recondite branches of truth. It may be described not inaccuir- ately, I think, as the mnethod of investi- gating such truth as does not lend itself easily to direct observation, but is only cognisable through its practical results. It is the logic of practice. I have an idea that the subject had been long meditated 129 Dr. John Brown by hima, and I remember, many years before he had any thought of authorship to the extent he afterwards followed out, that he spoke to mne of a desire he had long enter- tainc d of writing something on what I think he called the logic of medical practice. What he especially contends for is, that the scientific knowledge of medicine is not that which is chiefly or at least most directly available in the practice of medicine, and that the sci.en- tific habit, of mind is even positively adverse to the practical ends of medicine. The scientific mind, he remarks, "passes rapidly and often passionately from the part.cular to the general" and there finds its end; whereas the practical mind dwells mure especially on the particulars of eaclh individual case with which it has to deal. And this because the phenomena of disease are so endlessly diversified that scarcely tiny two cases of even the same disease are ever exactly alike. There are conjunict, compound, and even opposing 130 " Locke and Sydenhan " causes generally at work wherever disease obtains ; and every different case, there- fore, requires to be watched and observed as special to itself, and so possibly requir- ing some difference in its treatment. A man, for example, may exhibit all the symptoms of disease of the stomach, and yet the root of the disease may not be in the stomach at all, but in the brain, as in the remarkable case mentioned by Dr. Brown, which puzzled all the other physicians, but on which Dr. Abercrombie was called in, and was able at once to pronounce upon the real character of the ailment. \WT1hat is especially required in medical practice, therefore, is, as he points out, a faculty of close, patient, and minute obser- vation, together with the exercise of what is partly a natural gift and partly acquirable by long experience, a peculiar judgment and instinctive sagacity upon the particu- lar symptoms of the case in hand. And the office of the physician is often simply I 3' Dr. John Brown to watch the progress of the disease to see what course the xis iiedi'cahttrix takes, and then, by throwing together the elements of judgment thus obtained, to act upon what seems to him the most likely con- clusion. The practical physician, in short, ouglhr to slave what Dr. Brown, quoting from Richard Baxter, calls "a naturally searching and conjecturing turn of mind" -core'ectiring in a good sense, not a mere reckless jsmping to a conclusion. This then es something distinctly different from science in the usual sense of that word, and it may even be a question whether it does not belonig to a higher order of mind than the scientific mind, which is not un- frequently very wooden and mechanical in its style of operation, lingering among the tiacts which most readily attract ob- servation, and making no efficient attempt either to understand their meaning, or even to ascertain if facts, the most material to the purpose, have not escaped notice. MN'ediclne, as Dr. Brown reminds his I32 "Locke and Sydenham" readers, is not an exact but a tentative science; and in order to complete success in it, something of the nature of genius may be requisite-a mind possessed of what may be called a sort of subtle affinity to truth, and so justifying the remark of Hartley Coleridge, that there is a great deal of what is mysterious in whatever is practical. In all this it will be readily understood that there is no attempt to disparage the scientific knowledge of medicine, but only a caution offered against the prevalent insistency of making science all in all-and this, both to the exclusion of what ought always to go hand in hand with science, and in practice is even more essential to the medical practitioner, and in point of fact is really a stricter science, proceeding as it does from a finer and more delicate scientific spirit. All this was long ago re- marked by Lord Bacon, who attributed the little progress made in medicine from the time of Hippocrates, to the dis- 133 Dr. John Brown continuance of the ancient and serious diligence of that great master in medicine -the aKpiJEta or nicety of observation by which "the divine old man of Cos" achieved so much; and it is curious to find that it. has been so much lost sight of in later times. All that Dr. Brown says on thNs point is full of very delicate and discriminating criticism and philosophy. I have said that the principle of investi- gation which Dr. Brown here discusses is applicable to a good deal else than to medicine, and there is in particular one subject, intimately connected with a certain feature of Sydenham's character, to whkih it seems to me to have a special applicability; and though it may be some- what of a digression, I am tempted by the obvious interest and importance of the subject to advert to it. Dr. Brown, it will be ob.erved, dwells a good deal on the great physician's devout habit of mind, and on his constant recognition, in the midst of t'he known, of a greater, an 134 " Locke and Sydenham infinite, a divine unknown; and it occurs to me that something of this may have been due to his having applied to Christianity the same method of investigating truth that he followed in his medical practice. Christianity, like medicine, is a tentative branch of science. The medical man, when a difficult case is submitted to him, cannot always or at once form a judg- ment as to its real character. The symptoms may point in different direc- tions, and he therefore first of all carefully observes their character, and then, putting them together as best he can, forms by means of his own judgment and sagacity, his conclusion, and acts upon it. So in Christianity the student can find no formal or absolute proof of the truth of the Gospel history ; he can only ascertain with a certain probability the credibility of the witnesses, and the consistency of the facts which they record. This, indeed, is all that can be done in regard to any historical facts of a long past time. But I35 Dr. John Brown he is able so far to assume their truth as to act upon his belief -When he finds, then, that Christ, though represented as in the fcrm of a man, was yet absolutely free from every taint of sin; that He also possessed a power over all nature, being able to control the winds and waves of a stor my sea. to heal all disease and infirm.ity with a touch, and even to raise the dead te life again; that, being full of benignity and love to all men, He exercised all this power in behalf of all who camie to Hilt for that healing; and that He Himself, aftlr being put to a cruel death, rose to life again, and was caught away from htumao, eyes, leaving this promise behind Himn:-" Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world,"- the inferent e becomes inevitable that His naLure was Divine, and that though now unseen, He is still accessible, as of old in Pales cine. and that all may still apply to Him1--not indeed for the cure of theii bod v1v diseases. for H1is mission 136 " Locke and Sydenham " had nothing whatever to do with the effecting of any change in the material order of nature, but simply to exhibit an outward manifestation of the manner of His work- ing upon the human soul; but that for the healing of their spiritual defects and dis- orders they shall not apply in vain. The conclusion which I come to, then, is that Sydenhamn in his study of the New Testament acted upon it just as he did in his practice of medicine; and that, scientific man though he was, he did not, like some scientific men of the present day (and others, indeed, who are not at all scientific), summarily dismiss the subject from his mind with a con- temptuous declaration that he did not believe in the supernatural, but that he carefully and devoutly pondered the subject in his mind, and at length, after a time, found that his soul was subjugated by the intelligence it had brought him- that his heart was moved with love to that great thouigh unseen One, and that I37 Dr. John Brown as he read and thought and prayed for help in his need, his natural selfism, his worldly spirit, his tendency to sin, were gradually abated and promised in time to fade awfray, and the unseen, the future, the spiritual, the eternal, the divine, ruled his mind just as the present, the material, sense and self had previously done. It is M orth while to observe that the peculiar style and form of the Gospels exactly correspond with what we should expect them to be, if the method of belief I have attempted to describe had been distinctly in the minds of their authors, and s-;ecially kept in view by them, as that which was best adapted to produce the full effects of faith. They tell the story of the most remarkable series of events that ever took place in this world. But they tell it without the smallest indication of emotion. The facts are set down in! the most bare, level, cold, and fragmentary manner, and the reader is left to himself to draw his own conclusions 138 " Locke and Sydenham" from them, and to be touched and moved by the thoughts and feelings, which inevitably arise in his breast while he contemplates them. And is not this exactly what should be If we are to be truly and deeply impressed, we must not have the impression thrust upon us from without by others,--by fervours of eloquence, sensational writing, or hortatory importunity. We must be left to our- selves, to the active effort of our own minds -in meditative thought upon the facts simply as these are set down. Is it not so in the teaching of nature The landscape never tells us of its own beauty. It lies quiet and serene, and it is only when we think about it, and our sensibilities are awakened, that we discover how beautiful it is. The stars are the grandest objects in nature, but look, how silent they are! They only shine in their own place, in their immeasurable remoteness, and leave mankind to themselves to learn the lesson they teach. And so in the Gospel--- if wve 139 Dr. John Drown are to be touched to the quick-to be pierced to the heart-that must remain with ourselves. We must turn our mind inward for the awakening power-and this, rather in the silent chamber than in the revival meeting or through the turgid elo- quence of somne modern " Life of Christ," which tries to supply the fancied defects of the Gospels by realistic and emotional de- picturings. The excitement manufactured without, speedily dies away of itself. That which i, pevmanent must originate within us. The wise word of the great Apostle wvas: " MorkA out youir owni salvation.' There is another subject Which I have no doubt w:Ls intimately connected in Dr. Brown's mind with the views set forth in his paper on " Locke and Sydenham," on which they have unquestionably a very special bearing. I refer to his concurrence with Adam Smith, so strongly expressed in the paper at the end of the first volume of the e rae, that all licences and degrees in medicine ought to be done 140 " Locke and Sydenham " away with-the public being, as he held, just as able to judge of the competence of their doctor as of their tailor or carpenter. And if the quality of a physician depends so much more on his practical sense, sagacity, and intuitive insight than on an intimate knowledge of all branches of science, it seems a legitimate inference that a medical degree can be of little value as a security against quackery-the quack being just as likely to be found within the regular profession as outside of it. I suspect this is hardly as yet an opinion which has been generally assented to; it is not within my province to express any opinion on the subject. At the same time, there are strong indications that the question is one which will require to be seriously dealt with ere long. The practical evils connected with the present system of scientific examinations pre- linminary to a medical degree, are now unquestionably very extensively felt by those who have had most experience with I 41 Dr. John Brown the subject. How far Dr. Brown's opinion may leave been founded on the peculiar idiosyncrasy of his intellectual character may of COL rse be a question not easy to determine. I have already said that his mind was rather intuitive than rational- istic; and this, in one who I used to think was apt to be somewhat impatient at the minute deinitions and classifications of science, would naturally predispose him to, it may he, an undue disparagement of what hiad only inferior influence in the deternmination of his own thoughts. On the whole, then, the question may fairly claim to be an open one. Medicine as a science and medicine as an art, as l)r. Brown has well pointed out, are two different things, and belong so much to two different orders of mind that excellence in the one is seldom connected with excellence in the other. Harvey, the great discoverer of the circulation of the blood, was never, as Dr. Brown tells us, much heard of "in the therapeutic way." 142 " NOTES ON ART." His "C Notes on Art" and his delightful paper on " John Leech " have an interest in some respects peculiar to themselves. They show not a little of what was most strongly characteristic of his intellectual tendencies and insights. He seemed to throw more of his real self into the subject of art than into anything else. An artist whose work he admired became, though he had never seen him, very much as if he had been a personal friend. And he understood the language of art (if I may use such an expression) and could interpret it with a penetration altogether his own. The "Notes" are curious, too, as having been the means of awakening in him the consciousness of a faculty for authorship, which strangely enough he seems not to '43 Dr. John Brown have fully realised before. The story, as he tells it, is a pleasant little domestic picture of the wifely government which went on in the house; and none who knew him, his wife, and the " Sputchard" at the time, could fail to recognise the likeness. But what is more to the point, they possess, it seems to me, a very dis- tinct, and I venture to call it an educative, value of their own. Though written hurriedly, and simply to serve the purpose of the dlay, anyone who studies them aright will hardly fail to obtain some expansion of mind, and particularly some enlargeni'2nt of his ideas on art, some fuller comprehension of its just aims, and somne right appreciation of its value in mental cualture. At the time when they appeared, they were distinctly recognised as something fresh in newspaper art- criticism. Dr. John Brown's friends, indeed, had been long familiar with his strong instinctive feeling for both art and poetry, as it came out in his habitual talk. '44 "' Notes on Art" His love of art was not, as it is with most men, an acquired or educated taste: it was not even founded on any very ex- tensive knowledge of art; for he had been little abroad, and I doubt if. except on a short visit to Spain (undertaken chiefly, I think, on account of the state of his health at the time), he had seen any of the great Continental galleries. But with him the appreciation of art was essentially native -part of his mental constitution. " Art." he says in one of his papers, "is part of my daily food, like the laughter of children, and the common air, the earth, the sky; it is an affection, not a passion to come and go like the gusty wind, nor a principle cold and dead; it penetrates my entire life, it is one of the surest and deepest pleasures, one of the refuges from the 'nature of thimngs' into that enchanted region wihere we get a glimpse not only of a paradise that is past but of a paradise that is to come." As an instance of his quick and independent power of insight 145 IO Dr. John Brown into the true way of judging art, I may mention that he was among the very first to iecograise-at least to make any public recognition of-the remarkable character of Mr. Ruskin's writings. For a good many years after Modlerii Painters appeared, it was quite ignored by all the larger reviews; and even in the journals especially devoted to art it met with nothing but ignorant and flatu-ous ridicule and abuse. One auspicious voice alone was heard-that of Dr. John Brown, who pronounced it to be " the unmistakable handiwork of genius," and that " anyone who gave him- self upn to its guidance would find that not only he was richer in true knowledge, but that he would open his eyes upon a new world, ariA his whole inner mlan to a new diseipline." These brave, unhesitating words, and a good deal more to the same effect, ap)eared in the Nort rlitiishl Review for February 1847, and were a voice cry- ing in the wilderness at that time. But they were not long of being recognised as I46 "Notes on Art" the true voice. "W What a glorious article that is on 3illoIcrn Painters!" is the ex- clamation of Dr. Chalmers, in the post- script of a letter to the elder Dr. Brown, now lying before me. On turning to the - Notes " themselves, the reader will find little about the technicalities of art, which ordinary art- critics occupy themselves so much about. Dr. Brown, I rather think, knew quite as well as most men what good "s handling" in a picture is, and fit reference to it will occasionally be found in his criticisms. But what he chiefly attends to is rather the thought or motif' of the picture criticised, and the amount of mental power which it exhibits. What was the idea in the artist's mind AWrhat is the meaning of his work What does it teach Wh'lat story does it tell What power of observation, or truth of character or expression, or fineness of suggestion, or force of irmagination, or beauty of effect, does it evolve And in general, what im- 147 Dr. John Brown pression does it make, or is it fitted to make, on an intelligent student of art These, andl such as these, are the chief questions which he endeavours to answer, and I think I may say answers so well. The idea, in short, which pervades his criticisms is that a picture, to be of any value as a work of art, must be marked by mind and thought as well as manual skill. It must have an idea in it, and not only show mind in the painter but call forth mind in the spectator--" the exercise of mind to b-ing out the mind." Without this, it had no claim to be regarded as art at all. It was the work of a tradesmami and uot oil an artist. It was curious to see how he seemed to penetrate at once into the spirit of a picture-into its mean- ing or intention, and how he sometimes startked e-.ven the artist himself by point- ing out excellences of truth and beauty which the artist had not consciously in- tended or thought of in executing the work, but only put in by an artistic in- 148 "Notes on Art" stinct. He once, for example, surprised and delighted his friend Harvey by the remark on his picture of "4 The Castaway," on the distinctive characters of the man and the dog in it :-the man looking anxiously to the far-away, the dog entirely occupied with the present and the near at hand-with the sea-birds at play within a few yards from him, which he would so fain have seized and made a meal of. "Has art," he asks in one of his papers, "a power to refine man-to soften his manners, and make him less of a wild beast" And his answer is worth attend- ing to. Some," he says, " have thought it omnipotent for this ; others have given it as a sign of the decline and fall of the nobler part of us. Neither and both are true. Art does make nobler in us what is higher than the senses through which it passes; but it can only make noble what is already noble; it cannot regenerate. neither can it of itself debase and emascu- late and bedevil mankind; but it is a 149 Dr. John Brown symr tom, and a fatal one, when art ministers to a nation's vice, and glorifies its naughtiness-as in old Rome, as in Oude, as aiso too much in places nearer in time and space. Art, unless quickened from above and within, has in it nothing beyond itself, which is visible beauty-the ministratior; to the desire of the eye. But apart from direct spiritual worship, and self-dedication to the Supreme, I do not know any form of ideal thought and feeling which may be made more truly to subserve, nct only magnanimity., but the purest devotion and godly fear; by fear, meaning that mixture of love and awe which is specific of the realisation of our relation to Clod. I am not so silly as to seek pa:nters to paint religious pictures in the usual sense ; for the most part, I know nothing so profoundly profane and godless. But if 'b painter is himself religious; if lie feels God in what he is looking at, and in what he is rendering back on his canvas; if he is impressed with the truly divine I50 "Notes on Art" beauty, infinity, perfection, and meaning of unspoiled material nature-the earth and the fulness thereof, the heaven and all its hosts, the strength of the hills and all that is therein if he is himself im- pressed with the divine origin and end of all visible things, - then will he paint religious pictures and impress men re- ligiously, and thus make good men listen, and possibly make bad men good." He then, in illustration of all this, refers to " the landscapes of our own Harvey "- sometimes. as he says, A solemn and full of gloom, with a look that threatens the profane," sometimes " laughing all over with sunshine and gladness." as always suggesting ' something beyond, some- thing greater and more beautiful than their own greatness and beauty." And this, he adds, " is the true moral use of art, to quicken and deepen and enlarge our sense of God," as promotive of i that temper of the soul, that mood of the mind in which we feel the unseen and eternal. '5I Dr. John Brown and bend under the power of the world to come. And wtlen we turn to the "Notes" theniselve,. we at once discover, not merely how ouiek the author is to enter into all the excellences, or to mark the defects, of individual paintings, but how well he understanG's both the true intention of art, and what are its limitations--how it may, on Ihe one hand, " promote the true',t mental devotion," and on the other, how it ma-, also " prove a temptation and a snai e, and even a curse." The first picture criticised is Wilkie's "Distrainirg for Rent," which he pro- noui.es to be NVilkie's " most perfect picture," others having more humour, and one (that ot John Knox administering the sacrament) ' "more of heaven and vic- torious faith, but this has more of human nature. mor-e of the human heart, and more 1 "Look at Knox's head in the National Gallery," he says afterwards; " was the eye of Faith ever so expreswed-th seeing things that are invisible 152 "Notes on Art" of the ' still, sad music of humanity '-still and sad but yet musical because of its true ideality." On first looking at the picture he says that it appeared to him so real, so impressive, and took such an immediate hold of his mind, that it seemed to be rather a scene in actual life than a picture; and the poor unfortunate family weighed upon him for days after- wards, and he found himself wondering if nothing could be done for it. There is a curiously characteristic personal touch of the wxriter himself here, which the reader will not overlook. Then entering into the details of the picture, he points out how the grouping, the perfect handling. and the wonderful truthfulness with which character and expression are varied in accordance with the various characters of the persons represented, is brought out, all contributing to the realistic effect and the powerful impression it makes. "Remark," he says. "the utter sadness of the husband (the chief sufferer), what I53 Dr. John Brown sober certa.nty of misery, yet how manly and uncomplaining withal, no abjectness, no failure of dignity, reason and steady purpose still uppermost in his beautiful face. Ther the different ways in which the spectators are affected-some full of silent -ympa.thy, some weeping as if their hearts ;voulil break, some full of rage and fury against the unfortunate constable, some railing against him and threatening him with all manner of vengeance, some wholly indifferent, one, a sturdy shoe- maker, expounding the law of' the case, and so on. Human nature all over." The fainting wife, in particular, does not escape the quick eye of the medical critic. " Her heart is failing; the bitterness of death gathering on her soul," and he is especially st ack with the precision with which the painter has caught the exact colour and character of a fainting woman's face. The artist had marked the symptoms with the sanme accuracy as if he had been the physician called in to deal with the case. 154 " Notes on Art"' Another of his remarks is, I think, worth noting. An inferior artist in depicting the constable would have made him, and wished us to call him, " the brutal bailiff." But AWilkie knew better, and his mode of dealing with him, as Dr. Brown says, " is as astonishing as anything in the picture." He is represented as a man with a presence ---inexorable, prompt, not to be trifled with, but in no respect hateful. sWrhat a fine figure he is ! the only one standing erect." And this is as it should be. The man is simply doing his duty, and " pointing to his warrant, indicates that he cannot help it, the law must take its course." WAilkie takes no side but that of our common nature, he is thoroughly impartial, and "does justice to the bailiff as well as to the distressed family." It is not his part to make the law and its execution hateful or unsightly, but to represent things as they are. He leaves the spectator to point the moral. His genius is not '55 Dr. John Brown melodramatic. All this is admirably true and JLUst. The paper closes with some remarks on the true place in art of such men as Wilkie and Hogarth, both of whom have often been misunderstood as well as mis- placed. -' WVilkie," says Dr. Brown, "is not of the Dutch school, not a mere joker upon canas; he can move other things besides laughter, and he rises with the un- consc.ous ease of greatness to whatever height he chooses." Both he and Hogarth " sounded the same depths, and walked the sarne terrible road, but Hogarth was more akint to Michael Angelo, while AWVilkie has mnore of Raphael--his affection- ate sweetness, his pleasantness, his group- ing, his love of the beautiful." The whole of what is said about WN ilkie is a good example of the best kind of cr ticisn, and is well worthy of careful study. Anyone who takes the trouble to enter thoroughly into it will scarcely fail to find himself, not only better able I56 " Notes on Art" to understand and enjoy the greatness of Wilkie's art (which has been somewhat, I suspect, lost sight of since his death), but will have his ideas both raised and expanded as to what all true art ought to be. The result of the criticism seems to be that there was something con- summate in the essential character of Wilkie's art, and that there was nothing in painting which he might not have accomplished had he chosen-no height to which he might not have risen. The admirers of Wilkie will be glad. I think, to have such an attestation of his greatness, for I suspect that his genius, like Hogarth's, has latterly been too much overlooked and underestimated. And as most of his pictures have been admirably engraved, this imperfect appreciation is the less excusable. Thomas Duncan's art can scarcely be said to have stood on the same high level with Wilkie's, and Dr. Brown's remarks upon it strike me as singul.ly discriminat- I 57 Dr. John Brown ing, and Duncan's place as an artist very accurately defined. His power as a colouiist ii, fixed on as the strong point in his work, as being rather toward that than to expression, and it is very felicitously described as " transparent in its depth, rich to gorgeousness, and limiinous astfromi, withtin." His expression, on the other hand, is defined as "rather that wlhich is in close contact with material beauty than with what penetrates deep into character,-though now and then he brought out very happily some fixed type of character common to a class." " His mind,' it is said, "lingered delighted at his eye, so that nature was perceived by him rather than imagined, and he trais- ftr-ed rath/i than transfigured its li/ke- ness." Something of all this was ex- emplified in his great picture of Prince Charles entering Edinburgh, which, according to Dr. Brown, " brings that great pageaat out of its own time into ours, rather than sends us back to it," 158 "Notes on Art"' - a description which seems to me to characterise the picture very distinctively; and he adds, "it was a natural result of the objective tendency of Duncan's mind that his portraits should be of peculiar excellence." There may be some exaggera- tion in speaking of them as " unmatched in modern times," though anyone who remembers Duncan's portrait of Dr. Chalmers will be disposed to concur with what Dr. Brown says about it: " Duncan puts an epitome of a man's character into one look, and the likeness of Chalmers has something of everything that was in him." In this, as in some others of his "' Notes," Dr. Brown has a word or two to say on the personal character of the man whose work he criticises. And this, in the case of a manl of genius, is generally very appropriate to any true estimate of his work. Some artists, indeed, put nothing of themselves into their art. Their work is outside of their minds -a certain I59 Dr. John Brown manual skill, a clever power of imitating what they see-and nothing more. But it is peculiar to genius that the whole nature of the man is thrown into his work, and you see in it his delicate sensiiGilities, his power of subtle observa- tion, the pirrity of his moral nature or the reverse, arid above all, his comprehension of a spiritual meaning in nature, not less than the merely material aspect of outward things. " Duncan," says Dr. Brown, "pos- sessed certain primary qualities of mind witho t which no man however gifted can win and kecp true fame. He had a vigor- oIs a2nd quick understanding, invincible diligence, a firm will, and that combination in action oi our intellectual, moral, and physic il natures, which all acknowledge but cannot easily define, manliness." I may add thit Duncan died when he was still in the full flush of his great power, having just before sent forth some of his finest work. In corwlwidng the paper, the critic is fain 16o "Notes on Art" to follow him into the unseen world where, he thinks, ' the artist's intense perception of beauty, delight in all lovely forms, and in the goodliness of all visible things, will have full exercise and satisfaction, and where that gift which he carries with him as a part of himself will be dedicated to the glory of its giv-er-the Father of Lights." Hitherto the criticisms have been favourable, perhaps I might even say enthusiastic, in the praise bestowed. But these are immediately followed by one which almost tempts me to withdraw what I formerly said of John-that he was not "' a good hatter." " As vinegar to the teeth," is his pronouncement upon Maclise, ", as smoke to the eyes, or as the .setting of a saw to the ears, so are any productions of AMaclise's pencil we have nilet with, to our -esthetic senses. WTe have no pleasure from them but that of hearty anger and strong contrast. Their hot, raw, garish colour --the chalky, dry skin of his w1omenl---the grinning, leathery faces of his I 6 I I Dr. John Brown men--and the entire absence of toning are as oflbnsi' e to our eyesight as the heartless- ness, the grimace, the want of all natural- ness in expression or feeling in his human bei:igs, are to our moral taste." Again,- "The most lifelike in feature andmovement are his bad women. They are prim, not simple; their coyness is as different from true modesty as hemlock is from parsley- a met etric ousness about them all." Then, speaking of another picture than that which he i3 criticising, he says that though of great Fower, it is a sort of imbroglio of everything sensual and devilish-the very ituperitity of naughtiness." And he finishes off by sending Mr. M1aclise to Philippians iv. 8, where he tells him that lie will find a list of subjects more grateful to the moral sense, more for his own good and that of his spectators, and not less fitted to bring into full play all the best powers of his mind, and all the craft of his. hand." This is pretty well, is it not, for a irtan wvho wvas " not a good hater" i6z "LETTER TO DR. CAIRNS." TFHE letter to Dr. Cairns on his father's character is surely a very remarkable piece of writing,-something, I cannot help thinking, almost unique in literature. In the first place, it was a very difficult thing to do-difficult on various grounds. The elder Dr. Brown did not wear his heart upon his sleeve--and I doubt if anyone but his gifted son could have told exactly what manner of man he wTas. His reserve, self-absorption, and silence were such that few could have penetrated, or perhaps would have cared to penetrate, into the inner nature of one who to all appearance cared so little to reveal himself. But John knew something of his father's history which explained much to him-much which awakened all the sympathies of his 163 Dr. John Brown affectionate nature; and above all, from his earliest childhood he had the insight of a verg womlan into character, and this en- abled him so dash aside the veil which hid what was impenetrable to others. He knew. ther(fore, that beneath all his father's reticence there lurked a rich, tender, strongly-m.rked, and very interesting nature. whi h was well worth the attempt to fiathorj,. AInd very touchingly he tells the story of ho"w his father's whole character was fo- the first time suddenly revealed to him "as by a flash of lightning." But before adverting further to this, [ would like to draw my reader's attention to a certain delicacy of thought and expression in his mnanner of introducing the subject of his letter to his correspondent. After thanking Dr. Cairns with a kind of impas- sioned courtesy for the way in which he had done his " last kindness to the dead," he says that what he himself would have wished to do was to give some faint expres- sion of his Eather's life-not of what he 164 "Letter to Dr. Cairns did, or said, or wrote, not even of what he was as a man of God and a public teacher, --but what he was in his essential nature; what he would have been if he had been anything else than a minister of the Gospel -or had lived a thousand years ago. Sometimes he had it all so vividly in his mind that he felt as if he had only to sit down and write it out and do it to the quick. The idea of his father's life would sweetly creep into his study of imagination "1 (iSJf the saied'rcdnss of (hati an7id the bloomed of tetrlity Were on it." But when he tried to put it into words. the image always became broken and bedimmed. The very effort to prolong the picture troubled the vision and killed it. " Everyone," hie says, " whose thoughts are not seldom with the dead must have felt both these conditions; how in certain passive, tranquil states, there comes up into the darkened chamber of' the mind, its ' chamber of imagery '-- uncalled, as if it blossomed out of space- exact, absolute, consummate, vivid, speak- i65 Dr. John Brown ing, not darkly as in a glass, but face to face, and moving delicate,' this idea of a life and then how on an effort to prolong and perpetuate and record all this, the vision disappears. It is as if one should try '.o paint in a mirror the reflec- tion otf a dear and unseen face; the coarse, uncertain, passionate handling and colour, ineffectual Ond hopeless, shut out the very thing its'elf." He had therefore to give up this as :n vai:l, and try by some fragment- ary sketches, scenes, and anecdotes, to tell in some mez sure what manner of man his father was. rThe first clear impression, he then proceeds to -say, which he received of his father's character was when he was five years and a few months old. He was awakened one morning by a shriek of pain in which he recogynised his father's voice; and on running into the room ftom which it came, he saw his mother lying dead on the sofa, and his fat er standing erect with his hands clenched in his hair, his eyes full of 166 " Letter to Dr. Cairns" misery and amazement, and his face white as that of the dead. On seeing the frightened look of the child, however, the bereaved husband at once mastered his agony, took his hands from his head, and said slowly and gently, I'Let us give thanks." The scene revealed to him at a glance the keen, passionate, wildly affectionate nature of his father, his sharp sense of mental pain, and his supreme, instant, and unsparing will, making himself and his terrified household kneel down and give thanks in the midst of all this desolation-and for it. The over- mastering thought with him was that c her warfare was accomplished, her iniquities were pardoned. she had received from the Lord's hands double for all her sins"; and he gave it utterance in thanks to God. This was the second, or perhaps rather the third, great epoch of his father's life-the event which more than any others influenced his character all the rest of his life-the first being the death of his i67 Dr. John Brown beautiful and saintly mother, to whom he had been so devotedly attached. From this, the elasticity of boyhood enabled him ere loing to recover--though the memory of it never ALded away. The second was his first fron ing of the world when, while still a youth. the cold wind of the evening blew chill on his heart as he went forth from Uis fathier's house with a guinea in his pocket to be returned in a month-the last he ever received froom anyone but himself: But of this, too, the strong self- reliant heart bore the stress, though it left a wound unhealed. But now the cup of sorrow was tilled to the brim. He was smitten to tle heart by this last crushing blow-snmitten in his deepest and tenderest affections; and the effect was a change in his life and habits from which he never re- covered. Hi, entire nature got a shock; his blood -vwas driven inward while the surface was chilled; but together with this, fuel -w.as all the more heaped upon the inner- flres. and through sufelring and i68 "Letter to Dr. Cairns sorrow he was all the more nerved for the special life to which he was called. The new hope which so soon faded away, the revived love, the happy family life with its ringing laughter from the parlour over AMiss Edgeworth's or Sir Walter's last novel, had come to an end, and his life for this world was over and gone. But out of his desolation the real nman, tried and tested. came forth in his fufl strength; and the scholar, the saint, the faithful minister, the great preacher, the great Scripture expounder, was evolved. His real life, his true work, the end and purpose of his being, were clearly revealed to hinm---and henceforth stedfastly followed out. He even gave himself to the work of the ministry in a way he had never done before. There was an end put to the flowery sermons, and the entire character of his preaching took a change. He becanme urgent, keen, searching, authorita- tive to fierceness-and this remained to the last. The truth of God's WA-ord I69 Dr. John Brown shone out on him with a new meaning, and with the assistance of two German exegetes iie began to dig into the deep auriferous rock of Scripture, till Isaiah and St. Paul became to him living men and their words living words, instead of; as to many, a dead letter. He became concentrated, but he was not narrowed. He was changed, but the essential elements of his nature were unaffected. There was no shipwreck of any of the higher or even the more delicate qualities of his intellect or his tastes--no unhealthy turn given to his original nature. His love of literature, for example, of poetry, of a good novel occasionally, even of music (like that of Handel), el en of painting, remained. His family and social affections, too, though usually making little show, came out upon occa-lon with an intensity almost startliiig. The volcanic fires were still there, though silent for a time. It seems to me a fine picture, finely touched by an 170 " Letter to Dr. Cairns " artist-hand-a fine example of the manner in which God in His Providence trains up His servants for their special work, teaches thern to fulfil the true purpose of their life, orders their lot aright, and finds a fitting sphere for their best powers. And perhaps in this way even a higher happiness than lie had lost camne to him in God's good time and way. I remember as a boy, perhaps in the year 1829, being struck and touched by some words which escaped him in closing his lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews. " Happier hours," lhe said, " than those spent in the composition and delivery of these dis- courses he did not expect again to find on this side the grave." He was a strong man. and though dark clouds might for a time overshadow him, blight could not take root in a nature like his. The whole man was still there. The current of his mind was changed, but the stream was the same as before. He had been sore pressed and crushed, but he was not I71 Dr. John Brown straitened or narrowed; hie had been cast down. but he was not destroyed. His social nature hald been struck at, but it found an outlet. in closer commiunion with Jesus Chri t and with the great men of the past, whose portraits, if they were obtainable, he liked to halse about him that he might realise them the better. And, by the way, he had hi,; unfriends too, for I rem ember him oointi.-i' ouit to me what he called the vulgarity of Archbishop Laud's face. And after all, the outer world of the present was inot quite shut out. For was there Lot " U ncle Johnston " every Friday night bringing him all the gossip of the world of iliggar, wvhichl he relished in his own quiet way and was curious about He got the knowledge of average mankind from it and turned it to account for his own ends. ii dealing wvith his people for sympathy or reproof or instruction. His students, too, when he became a professor, formed another outlet. " His affectionate ways with them," says Dr. .John, "were 172 " Letter to Dr. Cairns" very often curious; he contrived to get at their hearts, and find out all their family and local specialities, in a sort of shorthand way, and hie never forgot them in after life; and watching him with them at tea, speaking his mind freely, and often jocularly upon all sorts of subjects, one got a glimpse of that union of opposites which made him so much what lie was he gave out far more liberally to them the riches of his learning and the deep thoughts of his heart, than lie ever did among his full- grown brethren." And yet among these " full-grown brethren " what a fine galaxy of friends he had !--but to this I shall have occasion to return. Perhaps his own family were the chief sufferers from the change ill their father's nature. They were all amiable and aiffectionate and full of reverence and devotion to him. But they missed, no doubt, the habitual manifestation of a reciprocating love. Still, they knew that it was there, for it broke out upon occasioii '73 Dr. John Brown through t'ie barriers of reserve, sometimes in rather a startling way. And there was something even in his look which irresist- ibly attracted their sympathy; "a face "-I quote from. Dr. John " almost too beauti- ful for a nian had not his eyes commanded it, and the close, firm mouth ready to say what the fiery spirit might bid: when at rest, his eyes, more than any other's I almost e er saw, expressed sorrow and tender love, a desire to give and to get sympathy. and a sort of gentle, deep sad- ness as if '!hat were their permanent state; but when awakened, full of fire, peremptory, and not to be trifled with; and his smile and Mash of gaiety and fun, something no one could3 forget." "The expression of his affection," as Dr. John says rather happily, "was more like the shock of a Leyden jar than the continuous current of a galvanici. circle." " I have a well of love."' he once said with a strange look of tenderness as if he put his heart and his voice into his eyes, " I have a well of love, I74 " Letter to Dr. Cairns" but to your sorrow and mine it is a draw- well, and it seldom overflows, but you may always come hither to draw." On Sabbath evenings at supper-time, when his work was over, he would linger over his meal, and was generally full of cordial talk, early recol- lections, early friendships, of the rude shock to his young, tender nature when he went forth from home to teach rough colts of schoolboys at Elie. W1rhen he was travelling, too, or on horseback, he was always in high spirits and voluble in talk. And no one who has read the " Letter " can have forgotten the ride out to Juniper Green to pay his last visit to his dying friend Mr. Robertson-how on returning to Edinburgh in the evening, his heart was opened and he spoke of old times and old friends; stopped to look at the exquisite view at Hailes into the valley and up the Pentlands beyond, the smoke fromn his horse's flanks rising in the still, shadowy air; poured out passages from his favourite poets; spoke of Dr. Befifage, as 175 Dr. John Brown they passed Slateford, his great-hearted friend, of his obligations to him; of his son (John's fiiend), both lying together in Coliiton eThurlchyard; of his mother; of himself-his doubts of his own sincerity in religion, his sense of sin, of God; reverting often to his dying friend. "Such a thing," says Dr. John, "only occurred to me with him once or twice all my lite, and then when we were home he was silent, shut up, self'contained as before." There is a curious touch of sad- ness in a11 this, as if for him, in his habitual mood, WXord-. were weak and most to seek Wi hen wanted fifty-fold, And then, when silence could not speak For t'emb)ling lip and changing check, There's nothing told." I have perhaps dwelt longer than I was called on to do on this sketch of the elder Dr. birow.i. But in addition to the interest attached to a somewhat remarkable per- sonality Cvhich was well worth depicting, 176 "Letter to Dr. Cairns" it exhibits, if I mistake not, in a striking way, the special characteristics of the writer--his power of penetrating beneath the surface of human character, and of so delineating it as to make it vivid and real to others. Some of his father's un- demonstrative ways were unquestionably calculated to give a false impression of the man, as if he were essentially haughty, cold, unsocial, and perhaps even selfish, in his self-absorption a student merelyrather than a man in healthy relations with his fellows, or practically interested in human affairs. But in Dr. John's portrait of him all these superficial indications are ex- plained and shown to be misleading; and the real man is disclosed to us as of amnple mental breadth, and various and complete both in his manliness and in his culture. The gentle. tender, ardently affectionate nature, for example, is strongly exhibited, both in other instances and in his anguish at the death of his youngest child, mourning and looking for her all his 177 12 Dr. John Brown days aftei wards in his occasionally brilliant, happy, energetic talk; in his excitable nature needing and relishing excitemnen-. and finding it in his keen political tastes, in his love of imaginative literature, in the highest kind of poetry and of music, in his liking and even hunger for a good novel; in his unqualified enjoyment of all the gossip of Biggar brought to him by " Uncle Johnston " on the Fridav evenings; in his love of a high- bred horse and his splendid riding (" never saw a mnan sit a horse as he did"; "seemed inspired, gay, erect, full of the joy of life, fearless a-id secure"; "if he had not been preacher of the Gospel he would (like Sir Walter) have been a cavalry officer, and would have fought as he preached '). And see what a remarkable galaxy of friends he had. And is it riot interest- ing to find men of that princely and royal natuire aniong the lowly unthought - of ministers of the humble Secession Church I78 "Letter to Dr. Cairns" Men of that stamp do not gather round your narrow, or selfish, or limited men. Could it be that John a little exaggerated their fine qualities 1 rather think not. One or two of the greatest of them I personally knew, and I think I could even add something to their praises. His uncle Ebenezer, whose father, John (of Hadding- ton), said to his son John (of Whitburn), ".John, you and I try to preach, but Eben (cai preach," and whom Brougham, when taken one Sunday by Stuart of Dunearn to hear him preach, pronounced to be "' the greatest natural orator he ever heard," and of whom Lord Jeffrey declared, 1 believe to Dr. John himself, that he had " never heard such words-such a sacred untaught gift of speech." Saintly at all times, but really great once a week-six days brooding over his message. downcast, withdrawn, self-involved, but on the Sabbath--a Son of Thunder. Such a voice, such an eye, such an inevitable forefinger, such a power of asking questions 179 Dr. John Brown and letting them fall deep into the hearts of his hearers, and then answering them himself with an "Al ! sirs " that quivered from him to them. Dr. Henderson of Galashiels, " a preacher for preachers as Spenser was a poet for poets," with " the largest brain I ever saw or measured," but with " a certain lentituide of temperament which shut out his enormous organ of thought and feeling from the outlet of active energy, and rendered I im, instead, intensely medita- tive, bis mind acting by its sheer, absolute power, and therefore seldom requiring to make an effort." " His voice," Dr. John says, "had a singular pathos in it," and the thought of him often brought into his mind ' a spring of pure water I once saw near the top of Cairngorm; always the same, cool in summer, keeping its few plants aliv e and happy with its warm breath in winter, floods and droughts never making its pulse change; and all this because it came from the interior 180 " Letter to Dr. Cairns" heights, and was distilled by nature's own cunning, and had taken its time." Dr. Belfrage of Slateford, a man so pre- eminently honest, wise and true, and above all so distinctively a man of affairs, capax rertm, that his influence over the elder Dr. Brown in all his outward affairs was almost supreme-" a great man in posse," Dr. John says, " greatness being of his very essence, large in body, large and hand- some in face, lofty in manner to equals or superiors, but homely, familiar, cordial with the young and the poor-- a man of a truly royal nature, native and endued to rule, guide, and benefit mankind; one who in another sphere might have been a prime minister, a lord chancellor," or, as John professionally adds, " a Dr. Gregory." Dr. Heugh of Glasgow, " the best-the most endeared of them all," also very different from, almost the reverse of Dr. Brown-peculiarly a man of action, an admirable speaker and delighting in public life, clear-headed, ready, intrepid, adroit, 18I Dr. John Brown with a fine temper, but keen and honest, keeping his eye always on the immediate, the pcssibkc, the attainable, the practicable, but alway,. guided by genuine principle, the finest honour, and the exactest truth. "Had Dr. Heugh gone into Parliament," says Dr..John, "he would have taken a high place as a debater, a practical statesman, and a patriot. He had many of the best qualities of Canning and our own Premier., with pureert nd higher qualities than either." 1 This was written in 1860 or 1861, when Lord Palmerston w as in power, and it must not therefore be taken as referring to any of the more recent men who have since filled the highest place in the Govern- ment, for none of whom, I suspect, Dr. John had any great andmniration. 182 SC DR. CHALMERS." His paper on Dr. Chalmers is somewhat difficult to characterise. It was one of his earlier attempts at writing for the public. i'Tit it shows not a little of the peculiar characteristics of the writer, and has much of his best thought-his keen critical in- sight, his remarkable power of diagnosing character, and his delicate appreciation of the highertand finer aspects of humanity. I question if' anything better has been written about Dr. Chalmiers---anything which conveys a more complete and vivid idea of what he was-of the impression he made upon others---of the whole style of his personality, and mode of life, and being, and action. And yet it is no refined analysis either of his mind or of his in- tellectual nature: how cuiriously uncoil- 183 Dr. John Brown ventional it all is-how unlike anything that was ex er said either of Dr. Chalmers or of anyor-e else! Like a good deal of Dr. John Brown's writing, it seems to me to have .sornething of what I might call a primal caiat-cter--an emanation not merely from the intellect but direct from the man himself--literature before it had become literary, had acquired its regular form, its set phrase, or had developed into the custoim.ary and commonplace. The paper appeared very shortly after Dr. Chalmers's death, and one feels as if the shaoow of the great sorrow which that death occasioned was on the writer's mind as he wrote. Perhaps there miight even have been an added professional regret in Dr. Brown's mind at the time, for I re- memiber him telling me that Dr. Chalmers died when he happened to be quite alone, that he had simply fainted, and that if anyone had been at hand to administer a glass cf brandy his life might have been prolonged for years. Observe the curiosa 184 "Dr. Chalmers ftlicitas of his introduction. Hle hesitates at first to take up the subject. The image of the great man " still lived in the eyes that wept fbr him," and as Professor Wilson once said on a similar occasion, he could not see to read in the valley of the shadow of death. He rather thinks of the man as a whole, and shrinks from "taking his great genial nature to pieces, and scrutinising its composition-weighing this, measuring that, and then summing up and pronouncing." His death had been like the setting of the sun at the close of a long summer day, our eyes following the great lurminary, as it sinks below the horizon, and when it is gone its image still haunts our sight and shuts out everything else. So when a great, good, and beloved man departs, the idea of his life is ever coming into our study of imagination, and we can do little else than let our mind, in a wise passiveness, hush itself to rest. The writer thinks rather of his last hours, and of the loss the torlid 185 Dr. John Brown has sustained by his death. He follows him even into the unseen world where he is gone, end tries to realise the impression there made not only on the great mind of Chalmers himself, but on that made by him oin those who had gone there before him. AN hen the sun sets it rises elsewhere, and so when a great and good man departs he too ris:es elsewhere. And as in the subliimne passage in Isaiah we are told that all hell wa: moved to meet Lucifer at his coming,-o when one who like Chalmers has played a great part here in promoting the good of men and the glory of God enters Heaven, we may well imagine that all heaven would be moved at his coming, and that the intellectual kings of the nations, woild rise from their thrones to welcome a brother. And how would the great childlike spirit of Chalmers himself be affected when the unspeakable scene of the heavenly country burst upon his view, when by so;me inward sense he becomes consciousof theimmediate presence of God, i86 s" Dr. Chalmers" beholds for the first time His honourable, true, and only Sonl, and is admitted into the goodly fellowship of the prophets and apostles, the noble army of martyrs, and the general assembly of just men made perfect " What a change ! " the writer exclaims: " death the gate of life, a second birth in the twinkling of an eye; this moment weak, fearful in the amazement of death ; the next, strong, joyful, at rest, all things new." Such are some of the thoughts which pass through the author's mind as he recalls him who is gone, and the whole passage is in a strain of meditative tender- ness. I could fancy it being composed in some retired corner of a large old garden, the delight and the dream of one's early years, on a quiet midsummer Sabbath evening, when perhaps the only sounds within hearing were the distant moan of the sea and the measured beat of its breakers on the nearer shore. Passing away, however, fromi these 187 Dr. John Brown "heavenly musings," he proceeds to notice sC-me of the more prominent char- acteristic; of Dr. Chalmers's personality. And the reader will speedily find that, with all his love and admiration of that distiYnguished man, what he writes of him is by no means an indiscriminating eulogy, but . veri unbiassed, and as far as I am able to judge a remarkably fair and ac- curate, appreciation of his character. The first thing which strikes him is Chalmers's power over others. "He was a ruler among menl," he says, "an avae Avpov." " Everyone who caine in contact with him felt this At once. You were drawn to him in spite of yourself." And he thinks that there is a curious mystery in the power of one man over his fellows, which we can nesver fully explain, the more especially As through it the great Ruler of the universe "has worked out many of His greawest and strongest acts." Dr. Chalners himself, it appears, used sometimes to discuss this question, and 188 " Dr. Chalmers" held that those who aimed to attain the power of ruling other men were divisible into two classes, men of prompti- tude and men of power. AMen of mere promptitude he did not, of course, recognise as the true men to rule over others, though they often succeed in imposing on the general credulity through the gaping admiration which unusual volu- bility or restless activity are apt to excite; and in stating his classification there would sometimes be a significant twinkle of his eye, and he would add, "C. is a man of promptitude,"-- C." being one of his ecclesiastical compeers with whose promptitude he was very apt to be considerably at variance. If any- one was mentioned as exercising influence, a question with him would frequently be, " Is he a man of weec/t " Dr. Chalmers himself undoubtedly was a man of zcclct--of power, and, for that matter, of promptitude too. Yet in studying the points of his character, as so 189 Dr. John Brown truly touched upon by Dr. Brown, one cannot help suspecting that some of these would be apt to be in the way of his being perfectly successful in the exercise of povier. It is true that as a teacher of righteousness his good bodily presence, his earnestness, his fervour, his enthusi- astic temperament, his simple directness, and hi's eloquence were powerful towards this end; but when we are told in addition to these of his fluency, his lightning im- petuoiity, a nd even his "rage." his "fine frenzy." we begin to question whether as an organiscr in practical affairs of this world (for he was a Church leader, as well as a preacher) he had exactly the qualifications best fitted for leading and ruling over men of a cooler and more cautious temperament. And, as a matter of fact, when we call to mind that many of his favourite schemes were by no means attendad with success-for instance, his scheme for dealing with pauperism, his church extension scheme, his anti-patron- I90 "Dr. Chalmers" age and non-intrusion agitation, and his movement for ecclesiastical independence, -his power over others becomes rather doubtful (though in the last instance, indeed, his failure was perhaps grander than his success would have been); one almost begins to doubt whether Talley- rand's "point de Mele" was not the true way after all. All this, however, is no drawback, but rather the reverse, upon the remarkable life and truth of Dr. Brown's admirable delineation of Dr. Chalmers's character. And there is much more also in his paper worthy of attention. Harking back to Dr. Chalmers's question, -Is he a man of zcech/t and has he promptitude; has he power; has he a discerning spirit" he remarks: " How few even of our greatest men have all these faculties large, fine, sound, and ill 'perfect diapason' I " There is never any lack of what are called clever men (men with promptitude), and how often do we see the simple public led away, to the I9I Dr. John Brown peril of tVe best interests of society, by the flashy brilliance of such men-their impressive c "presences," their serious self- confidenc.-, and, above all, their wonderful outflowiv of words, their "promptitude without Ipower or judgment "! Not that these men. as Dr. Brown remarks, may not on occ-asion be useful, i" but they are apt to run wild, to get needlessly brisk, unpleasan tly incessant." " A weasel," he adds with a touch of his characteristic manner, " is good or bad as the case may be--good against vermin-bad to meddle with: but inspired weasels on a mission are terri'ble indeed, mischievous and fell, swiftness making up for want of momentum by inveteracy. Of such men we have now a deal too many." And how true and wise is the following: " Men are too much in the way of sup- posing that doing is being; that theology and excogitation and fierce dogmatic assertion is godliness; that obedience is only an occasional great act, and not a 192 " Dr. Chalmers" series of acts, issuing from a state like a stream of water from the well." In speaking of Dr. Chalmers's simplicity, he draws a fine distinction between simplic- ity of the mind and simplicity of the heart. Of the former, Dr. Chalmers had none; he was eminently shrewd and discerning. Of the other, Dr. Brown says: " Considering the size of his understanding, his extensive dealings with the world, his large sym- pathies, his scientific knowledge, his relish for practical details and for the spirit of public business, he was quite singular for his simplicity." And this simplicity consisted in a certain straight- ness or greatness of soul, which wvent at once to its object without any distracting thought as to personal consistency or any- thing else. Most people, Dr. Brown remarks, are apt to " set aside one portion of themselves to watch the rest. They must keep up appearances and be respect- able-by hook or by crook, they must be respectable." In a passage of Fenelon '93 I 3 Dr. John Brown quoted by D'Alembert (which Dr. Brown used ofteni to refer to), this virtue is very happily described as that directness of soul which forbids any return upon itself or its actions. It is different from sin- cerity an(l surpasses it. "One sees plenty of people who are sincere without being simAle. They are always anxious to pass for what they are, but are in per- petual alarm lest they should pass for what they are not. The simple man, on the other hand, is never occupied about himself, he seems to have lost that 'ce miloi,' of which most of us are so jealous." Tljere is a good deal more in the paper of Dr. Brown's curiously observant, often deep-thoughted and wise remark, to which I wculd like to call attention, but as to which it v. ould be better perhaps to refer the reader to the paper itself, which seems to me to Fe throughout a piece of strik- ingly true and delicate criticism. I may just rnention the passage referring to the character of Dr. Chalmers's imagination; 194 " Dr. Chalmers that on his style-its thorough effective- ness as a spoken, an oratorical style, but its frequent defects as a written style, " encumbering his thought and the reader's progress and profit," - " from its very vehemence, its haste, there was a w,ant of correctness, of selectness, of nicety, of that curious felicity which makes thought immortal, and enshrines it in imperishable crystal "; and to his remarks towards the end on Dr. Chalmers's posthumous Daily Scrihiprc Reabdings. I95 "' THE LAST HALF-CROWN." I HAVE omitted making any remarks on "Rab and his Friends" and "Pet Marjorie,' but there is another paper of Dr. Brown's which seems to me to have a deeper pathos than either. "'The Last Half-Crown" consists of not quite four pages, an(- tells in simple words, with- out any remark on its intense sadness, the story of a poor outcast, which I think it is difficult to read without tears. Any expression of sorrow, indeed, would perhaps have marred the effect of the tale. In another of his papers, however, which has no refeirenee to this one, but which alludes to the same unhappy class, he says: -Xs io is inclined to cast a stone at such as these Wcho blames them alone AW\ho does not wonder how such things are W\ho would not do them every good one could if one only knew how to reach them " Nor were these words of i96 "The Last Half-Crown" course with him, as the following little anecdote will show. He was coming down the High Street late one night, when one of these poor girls came forward and took hold of his arm and was coming along by his side. He did not shake her off as another might have done, but turned and looked at her for a moment and said gently, in that kind, serious voice we all reemember, "1 Go away home." The poor thing immediately dropped his arm and burst into tears, and then, running into an entry which happened to be near, stood for some time weeping. "If we only knew how to reach them." I think this little High Street story shows that he at least knew something of the secret. One would like to know if any change of life ensued upon these tears; and we not very unnaturally think of what appears to me very similar, in the words of Christ to the woman taken in adultery, when dragged before Hiiii by Scribes and Pharisees.' See Appendix. 197 'ARTHUR HALLAM." As to Dr. Brown's paper on Arthur Hallarn, though so much the larger part of it is taken up with extracts from the feviicir, I rather think that it conveys to me, almost better than any other of his writings, an impression both of the delicate subtletv of his intellect, entering as it does with keen intelligence into all the deepest problems of philosophy which had occupied Hallam's nind, and of the strong en- thusiasm of his peculiarly susceptible nature. Anyone acquainted with John, indeed, can scarcely fail to be struck with many points of resemblance between his nature anc that of Tennyson's friend; they wvere evidently near akin to each other, both: in their moral and in their intellectual character. And, as if there were some indistinct consciousness of this 198 "Arthur Hallam" on John's part, he seems to have been attracted to Hallam by an instinctive sympathy even before he saw the 3lIcnoir. He had been struck by a quotation from it by Henry Taylor, and had been search- ing for the book for many years in vain; and when he at last laid hands on it, he was at once impressed by it as he scarcely remembered being by anything else. I have already referred to John's early attention to the study of philosophy, and I have also alluded to the depressing effect of some of its insoluble problems, which often seemed to trouble his mind. And here, in the case of Hallam, we are told that " in the period of his transition from boy- hood to youth he was taught too soon jbr his pence to sound those depths of thought and feeling from which all that lhe after- wards wrote was derived." And references arerepeatedlyimade throughout theilfl'euoio to "; fits of depression of spirits arising fron his intensity of reflection and feeling." In their ideas of art, too, I seem to 199 Dr. John Brown see a strong general similarity. ";Paint- ing," it is said, "1 was to Hallam but the visible language of emotion; and when it did X:ot excite it, his admiration was withheld. Hence he highly prized the ancient paintings, both Italian and German, which preceded the full develop- ment of art." In all this, it will be found, I think, from Dr. Brown's art-criticismis that he was distinctively in sympathy. I hiave already referred to that irregularity with regard to times and places of study which is noticed as being characteristic of Hallami. "His energy and quickness of apprehension," it is said, "' did not serum to stand in need of outward aid."' And the same thing, I remember, particularly in John's younger years, was rather strikingly the case with him. One was apt to be at a loss to know how and where and when he got his somewhat multifarious knowledge and the curious insight often displayed in his thought. It is aniusing to see how in quoting this 200 "Arthur Hallam" remark about Hallam, he instantly seizes upon it with an immediate recognition of its truth. " There is much in this," he says, " worthy of more extended notice. Such minds as his probably grow best in this way, are best left to them- selves, to glide on at their own sweet wvills; the stream was too deep and clear, and perhaps too entirely bent on its own errand, to be dealt with or regulated by any art or device." I suspect that neither John nor Hallam fully appreciated Dr. Johnson's advice " to set doggedly at it"; it came to themn, I suppose, without the urgency of doggedness-and was all the better for so coming. In Hallam's poetical creed, too, I feel assured that John intensely sympathised. "It seemed to him," says his biographer, "the worst of poetical heresies to desert the absolute, the universal, the eternal, the beautiful and true, which his literary creed taught him to seek in all the higher works of genius, in quest of sonme 201 Dr. John Brown tempcrary historical allusion which could be of no interest to posterity." The common habit of the "Philistine" order of comim entators is to seek in their authors, ahusions to particular persons or incidents of their (i.e. the authors') own time, whereas the true tendency of the highest poetical minds is to look away from these. Shakespeare and Dante have suffered grievously in this way at the hands of their commentators. Who, for example, I jut the most utterly prosaic mind could have admitted the idea that when Dante tells that he "saw and knew him who mrade the great refusal," he was thinking of the weak good man of his own day, who, Aby the way, did not refuwse but revigned the popedom Gwhen he found himself quite unfit for the office The reference is surely to be sought for in some typical person either perhaps in Scripture or in ancient history.' 1 Note iy /Yth Editor.-In this connection I append the following extract fromn the biographer's curiously 202 "Arthur Hallamr" " Manhood with a female eye," a quaint expression of Henry Vaughan's, is used by interesting brochw7e entitled Bibliomania, a work intensely characteristic of John Taylor Brown : " No. 5 is a copy of Dr. Carlyle's translation of the Divine (omedll (out of sight, by the way, the best introduction to the knowledge of Dante in the language. Wvhy has it never been eompleted ) The former possessor has carefully destroyed all trace of his identity. But the volume contains a note which we think ought to excite some curiosity as to its authorship, because it suggests, we believe, a perfectly original and, we are persuaded, a perfectly correct explanation of a very obscure passage in the !njerno, on which no commentator hitherto has been able to throw any satisfactory light. In the third canto, D)ante, speaking of those who lived without either blame or praise (sea- iqznizmia e scw a lodo), says, 'And I saw the shade of him who from cowardice nimtde the great refusal' 'E vidi l'ombra di colui Che fece per viltate il granl rifluto.' The common interpretation is, that Celestine the Fifth, -who abdicated the Papacy ill 1294, is the person indicated. But we may safely conclude that D)ante knew better than to consig'n a Inan to eternal pain for havting declined the path of ambition. (fur MIS. annotator has written on the margin: 'The reference is )robably, to Matt. xix. 2,2.' And there cannot be the slightest doubt of it. A young man came asking our Lord, I'What good thingo she!- do, that I may have eternal life Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in 203 Dr. John Brown John -as describing the quick, delicate insight of Hallam's mind. And I have already remarked that the same feminine keenness of perception used to strike everyone in habitual intimacy with Dr. Brown--indeed, I may say, everyone well acquainted with his writings-as strikingly characteristic of his intellectual nature. It is, however, chiefly in Dr. Browvn's ready Recognition of the truth of Hallam's thought, and complete appreciation of it-whethei that was critical, theological, or philosophical-that we are struck with the nest kinship of the two minds. In speaking of Hallam's poetry, for example, Dr. Brow-n says: " His mind was too heaven ; and come, follow me. But when the young man heard thai saying, hie went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.' It is the only instance recorded in the Gospels in wiich Jesits, 'Iookinog on a mYan and hiving him u,' asked him to become His friend al d companion, but the glorious invitation was declim ed. Certainly nothing that ever happened in this world could so justly be called ' the great refusal.' And t is touchingly characteristic of the deep pumity and spirituality of Dante's mnind that lie so regarded it." 204 " Arthur Hallam" serious, too thoughtful, too intensely dedicated to truth and the God of truth, to linger long in the pursuit of beauty; he was on his way to God, and could rest in nothing short of Him, otherwise he might have been a poet of genuine excellence." In this there is both a just appreciation of the character of Hallam's mind, and a true perception of the effect upon it of two conflicting mental tendencies. In characterising the Tkeodicaa AVovissaima there is not only a singularly just critical estimate of the character and value of Hallam's essay as an inquiry into truth, but a jeelizig perception, indicative probably of an intimate personal experience, of the injurious tendency upon the mind of an addiction to such specula- tions. Tile essay, Dr. Brown says, is- "Not a mere exercitation of the intellect, it is an endeavour to get nearer to God, to assert His eternal providence, and vindicate His ways to men. We know of no performance more wonderful for such a boy. Pascal might have written it. As was to be expected, the tremendous subject remains 205 Dr. John Brown where fie found it-his glowing love and genius cast a -leam here and there across its gloom; but it is brief a, the lightning in the collied night-the jaws of darkness do devour it up--this secret belongs to God.... There is, we all know, a certain awful attra tion, a nameless charm for all thoughtful spirits in this niystery, the greatest in the universe; and it is we I for us at times, so that we have pure eyes and a clean heart, to turn aside and look into its gloom, but it is not good to busy ourselves in clever speculations about it, or briskly to criticise the speculations of others-it is a wise and pious saying of Au-ustine, Verius cogiltur DeIus, quam dicitur; et vetius eat qttaYt, cogd/at/r." In quoting the following remarkable words of Hallam, D)r. Brown has marked the more striking passages with italics, showing how thoroughly he had entered into their truth and made it his own:-- " hesitate not to say that I derive from revelation a conviction of Theism, which without that assistance would have been but a dark and ambiguous hope. I see that th(: Bible fits into every/fold of the hIiuman heart. I aml a man, and I believe it to N.o Go .l's book because it is man's book. If mind hatel nothing to do with the fornza- 206 " Arthur Hallam " tion qf the uivixer-se, doibtless whatever had was competent also to miiake the Bible; and I have gained this advantage from it, that my feelings and thoughts can no longer refuse their assent to w_'hat is ezidently ftaiied to eigage that (assent ; and what is it to inzc that I cannot disprovc the bare logical p)ossibility of myql whole naturiC being ffidlacious 7o seekA. for a certainty Iabove efrtaintqit, an) evideni('C beyonid necessrwy belief, is the verJy hluacy of scepticlsm; we must trust our own faculties, or we can put no trust in any- thing. I amc leterminled, tzherc/brc, to receive the Bible as divinely aut hwori.sed, (and the scheehC / oef nitn and divinie things which it contains (7S essentially truie." One or two other of Hallam's thoughts which took an immediate hold on John's mind, as valuable statements of striking and profound truth, it will be enough simply to quote "T[he great effect of the Incarnation, as far as our nature is concerned, was to 207 Dr. John Brown rendle.r Adii an love fbor the Most high a possiblpe filing.' And again "Reveloltion is a v:oluntaryqapproximation of dle ILOiite Beings to the wiays and thoughits 14ffi/uite liumlaility. "There is something to us very strik- ing," Dr. Brown says, "in these words. It states -he case with an accuracy and a distinctness not at all common either among the opponents or the apologists of revealed religion. In the word of the truth of the Gospel, God draws near to His creatures; He bows His heavens and comes down." A good deal more follows in the further development of this idea. And the whole paper seems to me to bring Christianity very close home to us. I quote for their impressive truth and their pathetic beauty, some of the closing words of Dr. Brown's paper: " There is," tli sayts, " a sad pleasure,-non ingrata ama::itud6, and a sort of meditative tender- ness in conitemplating the little life of this 208 " Arthur Hallam " 'dear youth,' and in letting the mind rest upon these his earnest thoughts; to watch his keen and fearless, but child- like spirit, moving itself aright-going straight onward 'along the lines of limit- less desires'-throwing himself into the very deepest of the ways of God, and striking out as a strong swimmer striketh out his hands to swim; to see him renew- ing his mighty youth, and kindling his undazzled eye at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance. It is good for every- one to look upon such a sight, and as we look to love. We should all be the better for it; and should desire to be thankful for, and to use aright, a gift so good and per- fect, coming down as it does from above, from the Father of Lights. Thus it is that to each one of us the death of Arthur Hallam-his thoughts and affections-his views of God, of our relations to Him, of duty, of the manners and worth of this world, and the next-where he now is, have an individual significance. He is bound up 209 I4 Dr. John Brown in our bundle of life; we must be the better or the worse of having known what manner of man he was; and in a sense less peculiar, but not less true, each of us may say, Tlie tender grace of a day that is dead Will never come back to me.' 'Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand And the sound of a voice that is still.'" T'liere is a sentence near the end of the ifc;ioir by Hallam's father which I can- not iefrniin from quoting, because while it is so Justly applied to Hallam, it also exactly expresses the feeling of John's surv ving friends in reference to him:-- [;rhekr who loved and admired him living, now revere his sacred memory, as of one to whom, in the fondness of regret, they admnit of no rival; they know best what he was in the daily commerce of life, and his eulogy comes better on every account fromn hearts which, if partial, have been rendered so by the experience of frie mdship, not by the affection of nature." "VATTENE IN PACE, ALMA BEATA E BELLA. 2IO APPENDIX.' (See page 197.) Ix this touching little anecdote, so curiously characteristic of John Brown's tender and sympathetic nature, I am I Nole by the lEditor.-The editor has felt consider- able difficulty in regard to this Appendix. He has been advised i)y one or two friends to leave it out altogether; but while fully conscious of his own in- coilpetence to express any opinion upon the correct- ness or the reverse of the view-s set forth therein, he felt that these views were given in so reverent a spirit and without any attempt or desire to force them upon others, that, rightly or wrongly, he has decided to allow the Appendix to go forth, believing that even if those who are competent to judge do not see their way to adopt the author's views, they would prefer to have had the opportunity of perusing and perchlaLnce criticising them, rather than have been without what the editor cannot help regarding as an exquisite piece of literary work-practically the last words of the nonagenarian biographer of D)r. John Brown, for the author was engaged on this Appendix to within a few days of the accident by which he met his death. 211 Appendix struck somewhat forcibly with the affinity which it bears to the remarkable incident in the lithe of Christ, His interview with the woman taken in adultery, of which an account is- given in the 8th chapter of St. John's Gospel. And as there are several points of considerable obscurity in the narrative of the incident in question, which receive both a probable explanation and a good deal of a kind of reflected light from what took place between Dr. Brown and the -poor outcast of the High Street, perhaps the reader will excuse a remark or two on a subject which is not destitute of considerable interest, and which will even, I think, be found to convey a some- what v aluable lesson. Ii is strange that an event so remark- able as an interview between the Saviour of the World and a woman taken in adultery 0iould not have attracted more attei'tion than it seems to have done. Diffcultiks. indeed, have been raised as to the Authenticity of the narrative, and its claim to a place in the sacred record, which may partly account for this. But it is impossible, I think, not to be struck with 212 Appendix its vividly realistic aspect, illustrating as it does the character of Christ under very peculiar circumstances. It is thoroughly in accordance with all we otherwise know of Him, and brings out, too, a certain individualising form of His benevolence which it is interesting to obtain--benevol- ence, I mean, as proceeding more especially from a personal interest in the individual benefited than is ordinarily attributed to Him in the Gospels. That a disposition for private friendship was a distinctive feature in our Lord's character is not to be doubted. But on the whole, His life was a public life-a life devoted to public teaching and public acts, indicative rather of a generally diffused benevolence than of private or preferential regard. On these, then, as well as on some other grounds to which I shall presently allude, this singular incident in our Lord's life seems to me to possess a degree of im- portance in His manifestation, which ought not to be lightly overlooked. W\rhen the woman was dragged up before Christ by the guilty-conscienced representatives of respectable hypocrisy, 213 Appendix His conduct seems to me to indicate that He was struck with a surprise of some kind. He may have seen something in the woman's appearance or behaviour which unexpectedly awakened a special sympathy in His mind; or, as I apprehend, He may have been startled to find that she was one of whom He had some previous knowledge. But whatever the cause was. He paid no attention to the accusations made against her, but, as if hesitating how to act in the matter, He stooped, aid making a peculiar motion with His finger on the ground, considered what was best to be done. Presently, however, I-Ile had made up His mind, and proceeded first of all to rid Himself of the unwelcome presence of her accusers, and then turned to and addressed the woman, -thus sh'wing that He concerned Him- self only with her, and, as we are apt to assume, desired to warn her against her evil life, and perhaps draw her to repent- ance. Wlhat He says to her, however, scarcely bears out this idea. He merely asks two perfectly trivial questions, so trivial that we wonder at first why they 214 Appendix should have been asked, and even though asked, why they should have been recorded, intimates to hier that He does not condemn her, and after telling her " to go and sin no more," at once leaves her and goes away. It seems strange. He may have thought that a serious admonition would have been untimely at the moment. But trivial as His words were, from what we know of Christ. they could not have been uttered without a kindness in the tones of His voice, a compassionate sympathy, a clearly marked indication and desire for her well-being. WYe all know that there is often more in an utterance than in the words uttered. All that John Brown said to the poor unfortunate of the High Street was, " Go away home," yet the words drew a flood of passionate tears from her; and we can have no difficulty in understanding that the heart of the adulteress might be touched in the same way by the words of Christ. Wre cannot think of Jesus Christ, when we try to realise Him as He lived and moved and discoursed during His life upon earth, without feeling that there must have 215 Appendix beeds some exquisite and irresistible charm in the entire human personality of that " first true gentleman that ever breathed." and that the simplest words from Him might convey a glimpse of the beauty of holiness to a sin-wearied soul, ligh ing t tip with love to Himself, and through that light imparting to it a sense of its ov. n unworthiness, and perhaps also the conception of its need of a better righteousness than its own. Proceeding then upGn such ideas as these of the possihie effect of our Lord's words, it would be interesting to ascertain some- thing of the woman's after history. Did she fidlfil Christ's hope and become a devout fbllower of Him Did she fall away and l eturn to her fornmer sins The Evangelijs-s, however, evidently desire to throw a xeil over her identity, and for many year-' afterwards no further reference is made to the woman. But it is curious to fi6d that, while maintaining this silence as to her identity, they have not felt precluded from recording a series of incidents which so fall in with and link on to the story of the woman taken in 2i6 Appendix adultery, that it is difficult not to con- jecture that they bear reference to her; but even if they do not, they yet afford not only a vivid picture, but a distinct manifestation of Christ's method of draw- iug a sinful soul out of the depths of its depravity and winning it over to that faith and love to Himself which consti- tutes salvation through Him. The first of these incidents to which I shall refer is that of the woman who came to Jesus as He sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, with her bitter tears of repentance, humbly kissing His feet, washing them wvith her tears, wiping them with her hair, and obtaining from Him the recognition of her love and faith, the assurance of her sins being forgiven, and an invitation to enter into peace. The previous character of the woman is substantially similar to that of the woman taken in adultery; no third woman of the same character is, I think, mentioned in the Gospels. The depth of her humiliation, the pain of her pierced heart, and the bitterness of her repentance, were just what befitted the heinousLess of the sin of adultery, and the 217 Appendix wh -le result exactly corresponded with what might be expected to follow from our Lord's gentle, kindly dealing with her. Al- this is so coincident with what is told of the woman taken in adultery, that it is difficult to avoid at least imaginingr that she might be the same woman. But whether she was or not, she must have come under Christ's influence in the same way. And this much is there- fore apparent, from our Lord's action in the matter, that no sooner is a soul awakenec to a sense of sin, and touched with thlat shame and sorrow which con- stitute repentance, than at that same moment it is visited with a Divine forgive- ness, and may begin to taste of that peace which passeth understanding. It may be wanting in religious knowledge or ex- perience .jr training, and the habits of the new life may hardly as yet have been fornied om realised, yet not the less it has been pardoned, strengthened, and bidden God-spee I in that new way of hope and peace on which the Divine Saviour has invited it. and in some degree prepared it to enter. 2i8 Appendix After this, many years were allowed to elapse, and in all probability the story of the woman taken in adultery had been well-nigh forgotten, while the woman her- self, and probably all her relatives, had been long laid in the grave. But at last, in his extreme old age, the exile of the lonely isle of Patmos, in writing his Gospel, made known the fact that Mlary of Bethany was she who had washed Christ's feet in the Pharisee's house. We have therefore now before us the entire record of Christ's inethod of dealing w ith the sinful soul. Her tears for her sin, her love to Himself had been accepted, and forgiveness had followed. Is it a mere coincidence that we find Christ visiting at a certain house where one of the female members of the family is described as sitting at His feet, listening with eager attention to His words on what He Himself described as " the one thing needful which should not be taken away from her " The reader is startled at the idea that Mary of Bethany should be supposed to be the same woman. But we know nothing of her previous history to 219 Appendix repel this idea. All that we know is that toere was an early tradition in the Church, that a certain Mary, one of Christ's intimate followers, had been a woman of this character. She has generally been sup- posed without evidence to have been Mlary of Mlagdala, and there is no apriori sup- position to repel the idea which I am now propou.nding. On the contrary, it is a singular confirmation of it that we find an express statement by St. John, on his hav- Yi;-g occasion to mention her name, that she was that Mlary who anointed the lord's feet with ointment and wiped them with ber hair." Once more, what was the subject on wvhiclh our Lord discoursed to Mlary when sh.e sat at His feet I am inclined to think that He spoke to her of the decease which He was just about to accomplish at Jerusa nem; and it seems to me that tb.is is qscertainable from the circumstance, that when Alary was reproached with imnpru7ent application of her money on tb) costly ointment, our Lord defended h -r on the ground that she had done it for His burial. He must therefore have 220 Appendix told her that the time of His death was just at hand. I doubt not but that He at the same time explained to her something of the meaning and effect of His death,. that when He was "lifted up" on the Cross He was to draw all men to Him, and that she entered into that meaning, and at once, by anticipation as it were, felt its full effect on her own soul. The remark- able significance, therefore, of her conduct immediately afterwards must not be over- looked. She went and procured the precious oil, which she poured upon His head, thereby intimating, as I understand her act, that she recognised Him as the true TMessiah-the anointed One-spoken of by the Prophets. His more immediate disciples might continue to the last to dispute as to who was to be the greatest in His earthly kingdom, and even after His resurrection to keep asking Him, "W Wilt Thou at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel " But she had already discovered that His Kingdom was far other and grander. Is it allowable to imagine that our Lord, having witnessed in this way the full effect of His great manifestation, was 221 Appendix cheered as He returned to Jerusalem, and strengthened to undergo the terrible suffering and experience on which He was about to enter Perhaps it may be indulging the fancy too fair, but I cannot help being struck by the fact that, after the Resurrection, wvhen He was about to reascend to where He was before, He took the disciples out over against Bethany. MIay the object of this not have been that Mary night have her faith receive its full and final confirmation by being made an actual eye-w-tness of His ascension Such then is the idea I have formed of the effect of Christ's interview with the woman taken in adultery, and afterwards -with her who came to Him in the Pharisee's house, whom I have assumed to have been the same woman, but who may o. may not have been so, for this is not material to my argument. W1'hat I contend for is, that we have here a distinct picture-I prefer to call it a manifestation ---of the process by which a human soul a avan(es out of the original incompleteness and inadequacy of its moral being, to that 222 Appendix higher consciousness and condition of the soul which Christ set forth as the full end and intention of its nature, and which it was the grand object of His manifestation to bring about. I am quite aware that a good deal of all this will, by many of my readers, be re- garded as purely fanciful and, therefore. as unworthy of attention. AWell, be it so. I am not greatly concerned at this. If my reader is able to receive it let him receive it. If not, let him leave it alone. The parables of Christ are purely fanciful. But they are not the less impressive and instructive on that account. Most of the interpretations of difficult passages of Scripture must be more or less uncertain, because they are written in a foreign and dead language, and many of the commentators have been only half- instructed scholars. And thus I leave my interpretation of the narrative of the woman taken in adultery for what it is worth. But I would at least urge this, that the interpre- tation suggested is true to nature-true especially to the nature of Christ, and true 223 Appendix also to the nature of a soul which has wauder-d from the right way, but has not become utterly and hopelessly hardened in its depravity-which perhaps few or no souls ever are. And if all this be so, is it not also natural that we should desire to know- what became of this woman Arid indeed, in whatever way we regard it, this inquiry almost inevitably springs u- in our minds--we warish to know the upshot of the tale. And so I leave the mystery, in the hope tha t it may some day, perchance, be fully unravelled by a younger hand or a keener intellec- than that which is burdened by the weight of over fourscore years and ten. 224 This page in the original text is blank. JOHN TAYLOR BROWN in his 8O.year. From a, photograph by Alex. A.lngihs. Edinburgh. John Taylor Brown A Sketch BY THE EDITOR JoHN. TAYxOIt B1owN was the eldest son of Williaiv-in his turn the youngest son of the Revr John Brown of [laddington. Iorn in 18 i, he eame, more especially on his mother's side, of a long-lived race (his nother died in her 97th year), and he used to rclate how his graindfather told him tales, which again had been told to him by his grandfather, of the exciting times in Scotland during the reign of Charles 11., in which he had lived. Drr Taylor Brown's fther is best known as the author of The Iii Aody ofilli 1or From him he inherited, though in an in- 225 IS John Taylor Brown tensified degree, the family love of books, and that stern and unflinching sense of honour which could neither brook nor understand the slightest deviation from the straight line of truth. His mother was a woman of remark- able individuality of character, emphasised perhap- by the stirring times of her early youth, for she remembered listening to her father as he read aloud from day to day, as they came in, the accounts of the progress of the French Revolution. She M as possessed, as a girl, of great personal beauty, to which were added a charm of rnannei and vivacity of spirit due perhaps to the French blood which ran in her veins. Imbued with all her father's poetic temperament and love of science withal- he was no mean astronomer for his day, as eN idenced by pages of abstruse mathe- matical calculations which lie before me -she was none the less the object of no small admiration on the part of the young bloods of her day in Edinburgh, 226 John Taylor Brown whence she received. upon occasion, a peremptory summons from her father to return to the country home when he thought balls and dances had had their day, and that attention should be directed to more serious matters. Two natures more dissimilar than her own and that of the shy, reserved scholar she married, it would be difficult to im- agine; and yet the marriage proved one of happiness unalloyed, her husband, as she remarked, remaining "a lover" to the last, and delighting to the end of his days in her brilliant and piquant sallies. But we trace in her son's writings the deep poetic feeling as well as a certain generous impulsiveness of nature inherited from her. Dr. Brown was educated at the High School and University of Edinburgh. He was destined by his father for the Church, but these were the days of strict tests, and dogma reigned supreme and unchallenged. Difficulties beset his mind on points not 227 John Taylor Brown novr regarded as essential, and he regret- fullv found himself unable to subscribe the neccssary declaration. I enceforth lie devoted himself to literature; to the acquisition of that immense store of out-of-the-way in- formration and old-world lore which made him so interesting and unique a person- alitv, ; and to that quest for rare and curious books which never palled upon hiir, and which made his library a feature of interest to so many scholars and literary men. After having acted as th editor of newspapers in various parts of the country, Dr. Brown once more settled in Edin- bu-gh in 1863, and at Gibraltar House, that once picturesque old country home, facing Arthur Seat and Salisbury Crags, he spen: the last thirty-eight years of his life-perhaps its happiest period-in the midst of friends old and new; for he had a wond'rful power of attaching the affec- tiois of the young, a circumstance which, 228 John Taylor Brown as his old friends and contemporaries dropped off one by one, served to lessen the solitude which would otherwise have encompassed his later years. He was full of interesting reminiscence of old times in Edinburgh, when society there was led by that brilliant galaxy of talent and intellect whose genius illumined the early numbers of the EdiubwOgh and Quar Rter-ly Reviews. For Cockburn especially he had the greatest love and affection, and revelled in stories of his racy humotur and kindly wit. He remembered Sir Walter Scott. too, and used to relate how, not long before his death, he had met him in Princes Street, sadly changed from what he had once been; but so struck was Dr. Brown with Sir WValter's -' nobility of countenance and expressions that after passing on he felt, he said, impelled to turn and reverently admire. Dr. Brown was a valued contributor to most of the literary journals; but apart from purely literary topics, there were few 229 Tohn Taylor Brown who could treat a touching incident with such patihos, with such a peculiar charm, and yet vith such dignified reserve. He contributed a number of biographies of e-ninent Scotsmen to the EBcyclo- pcedia Britannica and the Dictionairy of National Biography, but he was not a prolific writer of books. St. Paul's Thorn in the I'lesh-what was it attracted no little attention when it appeared ano- nymously in the Horw 5ubseeivC. His cousin, Dr. John Brown, defined it as an exquisite monograph," and proceeds: "Everyone will ask why such a man has not written more-a question my fastidi- ous friend will find is easier asked than answered." That fascinating and in- tensely characteristic monograph on " Bibliomania" appeared first in the Ao\-th British Review, but was after- wards reprinted in book form. In it he describes a number of the unique volumes in his library, finally dispersed by M.Fessrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson Hodge in 230 John Taylor Brown April 1903, and the catalogue of which will ever remain a monument to his pro- found learning and scholarship as well as to his wide culture and catholic tastes. Then there came from his pen, at long intervals, If the Gospel Narratives are mR.t/ical-w/hurt theni and But how if tf/e Gospels are historic Referring to this last work, a friend, in an obituary notice of the author, says: " How his re- ligious faith grew and deepened, till in the evening there was light, will be learned by a study of it. The book is in reality the history of his own experience. Those who knew him best can bear witness to the mellowing effect of those long years of prayer and struggle on one who naturally had his full share of combative- ness. He ends the book, into which he had put his truest, deepest self, with these words, written 28th May 1891: 'The manifestation effected by the Great Deliverer could only have been devised by One who alone knew what is in man; 231 John Taylor Brown who alone knew the greatness of man as well as what is amiss in him, what is wanting and incomplete; who alone knew how hib heart could be touched and his deadly wound could be healed, how his incompleteness of nature could be sup- plied, and the perfection of his being attained.' I quote the following from the same sympathetic hand: "Other guests, how- ever than books could be witnessed to by the house on the hill-human friends this time as deeply loved in their way. There was a worid of tenderness even in the tones with whichi he spoke the names of his friends, unforgettable by those who were present. His best beloved, the cousin and comiade of his life from boyhood, Dr. John Brown, was always simply 'John,' but the monosyllable had a sound of its own on those lips. 'Willie Robertson,' 'John Jleugh,' ' Erskine of Linlathen,' 'Kenned- of Dunure,' 'Robertson Smith,' these and many others did he often linger 232 John Taylor Brown over with a gentleness of expression that was almost a caress. And if it be urged that, on the other hand, he was a good hater, that at times he forgot magnanimity in the heat of controversy, it must be borne in mind that it was for his friends hie fought, in their defence that he used his pen as a weapon. " Though he was far removed from anything savouring of eccentricity or affectation, it must be allowed that his centre differed from that of many of his neighbours. Of worldly-mindedness, con- ventionality, or snobbery he was utterly devoid. All opinions starting from such a standpoint he brushed aside with impatient contempt. . . . His sense of humour was keen. flow his laugh comes back to mind! Not a hearty, loud, short-lived burst, but a reflective, ruminating kind of merriment, now pausing as if the springs of mirth were dry, now resuming as if freshly tickled, till one sometimes wondered when gravity would be restored. His 233 John Taylor Brown reading aloud, too, must be fresh in the recollection of all whom he looked on as in sympathy with him. Perhaps no school of elo _ution would have commended it, but was there not an entire sympathy with the thought of the writer, a tenderness and seriousness in his rendering of a favourite passage, that made it far more effective than a more ambitious attempt To hear hinm read Charles Lamb's well-known say- ing, If Shakespeare were to come into this rooe,, we should all stand up. But if that Person came in, we should all kneel down,' and then to turn to the book and glance at the printed page, is of the nature of a disenchantment. Listening to the pensive and hushed tones of the reader, one felt that just so must Lamb have givers expression to his beautiful, reverent thought." John Taylor Brown was intensely Scottish in his sympathies. He loved his country and he magnified it. The writer can recall the outburst of indignation 234 John Taylor Brown when a Southron friend referred, in his hearing, to the Scotsmtasn as a "pro- vincial paper." The Southron was told in no measured terms that the Scotsman was every whit as much a metropolitan paper in Scotland as any London paper was in England. Next to the proprietor himself and his library, perhaps the most interesting feature of Gibraltar House was its dinner- party. No stiff and formal gathering this, no long menu-list, no "c beggar my neighbour" straining after effect. The writer will ever account it one of the great privileges of his life that he was often admitted to those gatherings, though his r6le was but that of the humble listener. The party never numbered more than eight-that was an article of faith never honoured in the breach. And so the talk was general, never a solitary and dull duet. And there will remain as a memory to those who knew it the unique and picturesque appearance of the long 235 Tohn Taylor Brown low room which stretched from the front to the balik of the house, with windows at either end, the warm glow of the fire lighting l p the long rows of bookcases which lined and counter-lined the walls, and illuwninating the rich though sub- dued colouring of many a fine old tooled binding. And then, as soime point was raised and a statement was made with which the host found himself at variance, hie left his seat and the dinner, to Eearci; for some ancient tome, and neither rested nor returned till he had found it and triumphantly confronted his friend with some unknown passage which upheld his own view. True, the dinner was apt to suffer and grow cold on these occasions; but the appetites of the guests had been whetted by the discussion, and their critical powers as regards the viands perchance somewhat anwsthised. On these occasions he gathered round him all that was test and left of the successors of that old band of literary giants among 236 John Taylor Brown whom in his early days he had lived. And the talk often turned on these vanished days, for there were old men present who remembered them, days when the brilliance of Edinburgh society was second to none. Of the dead and gone I would recall to the memory of the survivors of those quaint dinners the names of Dr. John Brown, Sir Daniel Mlacnee, Sir George Harvey, Sheriff Logan, John Heugh, Sir William Fettes Douglas, Robertson Smith, Alexander Russel, that great- souled editor, and J. R. Findlay the pro- prietor, of the S'cotsiiian, and many others, not forgetting that magnetic personality, "the wizard priest of Irvine "-WVilliam Robertson. ANThlo, who had ever seen him, can forget his look: the long grey hair falling on his shoulders, the thrill of his voice, and the fire of those eyes lit up with enthusiasm, again dying away into an expression of infinite tender- ness One story of his I recall. He was as much at home in Italy 237 John Taylor Brown as in Scotland. He delighted in the sunshine, in the art, in the history, and in th-i people of Italy. And though a Presbyterian clergyman, he was peculiarly attracted to and in sympathy with many of his Lalian friends. One night at Florence, when dining with the late Lord Lindsay, whose house was at that time the centre of cultured society, he found himiself seated next a dignitary of the Church of Rome. The polished courtesy and the refined and exquisitely chiselled features of the courtly Italian appealed to William Robertson, and the two be- came strangely interested in each other: so much so, that the aged representative of Catholicism at last asked him whether he would care to preach from his pulpit. William Robertson turned in surprise to his ncighbour: " But, Monsignor, what would y our co-religionists say" The eyes of thle Italian saddened as he gently replied, " Perchance, Signor, there be some bigots ir thy Church too." 238 John Taylor Brown One of the last of John Taylor Brown's old friends and contemporaries, John Heugh, of whom there is an interesting and loving sketch on page 71, predeceased him in 1893. Some years before Mr. Heugh's death the two made a pilgrimage to Stirling, where iMr. Heugh's father held in his son's early years a ministerial charge. I found among Dr. Taylor Brown's papers a memento of this visit in the form of the following verses by MIr. Heugh, sent by him to his friend. The rhythm and the scansion may be open to criticism, but I quote them for their quaint huumour and the touching pathos of the reference to the financial disasters which in his last years overtook the author. The "1 Backraw Dyke " will be familiar to all who know Stirling. The phrase " Minister Anti-B." (Anti-Burgher) will be understood by those only who have some acquaintance with the phases of difference of opinion in questions theo- logical, which, however slight, were none the less real and determinedly defended. 239 John Taylor Brown They we-e characteristic-and to some extent still are-of the school of Scottish theological thought. "rTHE BACKRAW DYKE." Twa auld men sat on the Backraw Dyke, The Backraw Dyke, The Backraw Dyke, 1hin wa. beld and the tither was yell, V hilk was the aulder ye couldna tell, Ye couldna tell, Ye couldna tell, They cam to look on the land they like. Weel ken they the Housen an' ilka folde, An' ilka folde, An' ilka folde, The bonnie Touch braes, an' whaur they turn Beneath them runs quertly the Ban nock burn, Hills t,) the Wast, an' mair to the North, And tt e fair green carse by the links o' Forth, The links o' Forth, The links o' Forth, An' the sinkin' sun cleds a' in gold. By, do n below, cam a man wi' his son, A man wi' his son, A man wi' his son. Says ti e laddie, " I'll fling a stane at that wa'. An' gar them to flee, thae corbies twa, 240 John Taylor Brown Thae corbies twa, Thae corbies twa," But the faither was nocht for sic fulege fun. M My son," said he, " ye'l1 jist quat that stane, An' leave thae twa to bide alane They arena corbies, fu' little ye ken, They're friends o' the toun, twa decent auld men, Twa decent auld men, Twa decent auld men. " The vin he comes o' auld Bible Brown,I A stieve, thochty, Burgher lad was hie; The tither was bred at the back o' the toun, His faither, the Minister Anti-B., The Minister Anti-B., The Minister Anti-B. But a' thae havers are gane an' deid, Wi' whilk nane o' them twva did fash his heid. " The Burgher lad studied an' thoclit an' wrote, The tither sailed aff into lands remote; The yin frae his studies has gien us a screed That p)raises the Lord and uphauds the auld creed, A book that yer bairns yae day may read, Yae day may read, Yae day may read. "That yin that sailed to far-awa lands, Whiles broclht he hame nmuckle, whiles nocht in his hands, I Dr. Taylor Brown edited a Stirling newspaper for some years. I6 24I Join Taylor Brown An' noo at the last fu' blithe does he dree Ini the lang, level road o' adversitie, For he kens o' a hame in a bonnie Kintree, A hame in a bonnie Kintree, A hame in a bonnie Kintree. "So, Jamnie, my man, it's plain to see, Th gither they've come to their auld kintree, An it sfts ye weel to let them abee. An' learn ye weel to tak' tent and pause fre yt- tak' decent men for corbie craws." And thus the years glided on. Dr. Brown maintainled the vigour of his intel- lect to thc end, and even under the burden of ninety years he retained his power of walking to an extent which ofttimes astonished., and ma(le perhaps slightly enviou,, friends far less weighted by years than himself. The end came suddenly, tragically ; yet to those who knew his dread of c utliving his mental powers, thankful- ness wvas r iingled with regret. To the last he insisted on taking his ante brealkfast. walk on the grassy slopes of hLs bel 9ved hill. And one morning- that of Friday, the 16th August 1901 having +vandered in meditation perhaps 242 John Taylor Brown further than his strength admitted, he took a steep short cut towards his house. stumbled, and, as he fell, lit his head heavily against a rock. Ile lay for some time unobserved, but when found was just able to say, " Take me homne." He never spoke again. Lingering unconscious and oblivious, though once or twice the old tender light of recognition seemed to fill his eyes again, lhe died on the evening of Sunday, the 18th August. The closing scene was not -without a strange pathos and significance. His sister had left his room for a few moments. On her return he had passed beyond the bourne, died as lhe had lived alone. "JE RIlAL SEUL." (Pascal.) The silent chariot standeth at the door, The hotuse is hlutshed and still from roof to floor Nsone hlear(1 the sound of its mysterious wN-heels, Yet each its presence feels. No clhamping' hit, nor sound of pawing feet, All dark and silent u]) and down the street, And yet thou mlast not keep it waiting there, For one last look or lprayer. 243 John Taylor Brown Thy words with some strange other interchanged Strike cold across us, like loved eyes estranged With things that are not fraught, our things that are FLde like a sunstruck star. And .-hou, tco weak and agonised to lift The calp to cuench thy dying thirst, or shift Thy pdLlow, now without our help must rise, Nor wait our ministries. Thou, loved and cherished, must go forth alone, None sees thee fondly to the door, not one; No head is t-irned to see thee go: we stay Where thou art not, and pray. No palpel bass thy white resistless feet, Our G;alls ar- mist to thee; out in the street It wvaits, it waits for thee, for thee alone, Arise, let us begone. Alone. alone upon thine awful way! Do an- show thee kindness Any stay Thy he2art Or does the silent Charioteer Whisper, " Be of good cheer" We know lot, none may follow thee afar, None hear ihe sound of thy departing car. Only 7'ast silence, like a strong, black sea, Rolls in 'twixt us and thee. Fromn an ol1 "'Spectator." PRI'TED BY NEILL AND CO., LTD., EDINBURGH. 244