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is entitled, Observations on the Dropsy in the Brain. This treatise did not appear till two years after his death, when all his other works were collected and published in one quarto volume, under the direction of his son and of his intimate friend the late Sir John Pringle.
Besides these five works, he wrote many other papers which appeared in different periodical publications, particularly in the Philosophical Transactions, the Medical Essays, the Medical Observations, and the Physical and Literary Essays.
At an early period of life, soon after he had settled as a medical practitioner in Edinburgh, he entered into the married state. His first wife was Miss Robertson, sister to General Robertson, governor of New York; by her he had two children, both of whom died in early infancy, and their mother did not long survive them. A few years after the death of his first wife, he married, as a second wife, Miss Balfour, sister to James Balfour, Esq. of Pilrig. By her he had fourteen children; but in these also he was in some respects unfortunate; for six of them only survived him, three sons and three daughters, and of the former, two are since dead. Although the feeling heart of Dr Whytt, amidst the distresses of his family, must have often suffered that uneasiness and anxiety which in such circumstances is the unavoidable of parental and conconsequence jugal love, yet he enjoyed a large share of matrimonial felicity. But his course of happiness was terminated by the death of his wife, which happened in the year 1765; and it is not improbable that this event had some share in hastening his own death; for, in the beginning of the year 1765, his health was so far impaired, that he became incapable of his former exertions. A tedious
complication of chronical ailments, which chiefly appeared under the form of diabetes, was not to be resisted by all the medical skill which Edinburgh could afford, and at length terminated in death, on the 15th of April 1766, in the 52d year of his age.
Dr Whytt's eldest son Robert, who died at Naples 1776, in the 27th year of his age, had erected a monument in the private burying-ground of the family in Greyfriars church-yard, to the memory of his father and mother, on which was inscribed the following elegant epitaph:
add to this, that the commons engaged him in expensive wars, as far as we can judge, for the purpose of increasing his pecuniary embarrassments. The very monies raised by him in an objectionable manner, were applied to the exigencies of the state, not to his own private purposes; one of his greatest errors was, in making this application to the extent he did.
Had William been placed in his situation, he would have probably made a different application of this money. It is remarkable, that the tax-gatherers of that day were as much bent on reducing the amount of the receipts, as those of the present day are in increasing theirs; probably they did not, in Charles's time, get a per centage on the amount of their collections. By these manoeuvres, a subsidy, which was originally 700,000L when the vaule of money was three times more than in 1642, was dwindled down in Charles's reign to 50,0001. while the commons affected to consider a subsidy then, as equal to one in that of Elizabeth, a mockery of terms, which shows the spirit by which they were actuate d.
Remarks on the Prejudices entertained against the House of Stuart.
TO THE EDITOR.
SIR-The following was written as a note, at the end of the last volume of Hume's history. As it may tend to correct some mistakes prevalent on a subject, certainly very interesting to Scotland, I should be happy to see it inserted in your Miscellany :
HILE the House of Commons were stripping Charles of his illegal exercise of regal power, they were doing so likewise with respect to those rights and prerogatives which he was justly entitled to; these he held by the same tenure that they did theirs as members of parliament; which rights and prerogatives they had repeatedly sworn to maintain to him and his successors. And while thus employed, they were usurping and assuming to themselves privile ges unheard of till then, and contrary to Magna Charta, the then laws of the kingdom. Some of these privileges are continued to this day, and have been exerted with a vigour truly astonishing, especially in the case of what is called breach of privilege. There was no definition of this offence, which might also be extended to any length the house chose to vote it, and at the same time, was not cognisable in any court of law. Besides, it cannot be denied, that Charles had not carried these stretches of power so far as the Tudor family did, who are as much extolled by the English of this day, as the Stuart family are vilified. And he was driven to these irregularities by the commons, who, from the very first year of his reign, withheld from him those supplies which were necessary for carrying on the affairs of the nation;
This interesting period should be studied by every British subject. Unfortunately, the prejudices entertained by Englishmen against the Stuart family, fomented, no doubt, by the endeavours of the descendants of those men who opposed Charles and his sons, do not allow them to give these princes, particularly Charles I. and II. any credit for those inestimable benefits they conferred on the English nation. To mention a few of them only, I shall state the abolition of the high commission and the star-chamber-the habeas corpus and navigation actsCharles I. never interfering in the elections of members of parliament their great attention to the improve. ment of the navy, the signals now in
use being invented by James II.-their.
forgotten how much the English na-
HERE is nothing by which, on many occasions, a man may render himself more useful to others, than by giving them advice. It often happens that persons have abundance, nay, even a superfluity, of every thing external, who yet are very defective in regard to that good sense and knowledge of the proper mode of conducting themselves, from the want of which the possession of these advantages may in effect rather be detrimental to them than otherwise, and serve only to make their follies more glaring, and to give a wider range of destructive consequence to their errors and their vices. In these circumstances, the benefit is incalculable that may be derived from the friendly admonitions of a judicious counsellor, whose experience at once qualifies him to instruct, and gives him the authority necessary to render his instruction effectual. Under this happy influence, the wild sallies of irregular passion may be seasonably. checked; the fatal effects prevented of a blind temerity; and that regular and orderly conduct maintained which is both most respectable in itself, and of which, in every view, the results are most salutary and beneficial. An ́ office of so much importance for those in behalf of whom it is exercised, is naturally honourable to him who discharges it. The qualifications necessary to his doing so with advantage are of that kind which are least accidental or fortuitous. They are in every case the fruit of volun
It is to the oppression of the English, and the avarice and venality of the Scots, that the partiality of these two kings to the Roman Catholic religion was owing; for both Charles I. and his father James were extremely attached to the tenets and discipline of the Church of England; and this attachment was imputed to the former as a crime, both by the Scots nation, and the leading party in Eng land, the Puritans, particularly by the great body of the citizens of London, worse, if possible, than the others, and more dangerous from their local situation.
I may add, that nine-tenths of the people in London who eat calves-head every 30th January, know very little of the history of the two countries during this period; nor have we had, since his time, a more virtuous and well-intentioned or patriotic prince on the throne than Charles I.
While the princes of the Stuart race had their faults, it should not be
tary and continued application of mind. They have in themselves an intrinsic excellence, of which they cannot be divested; and they are what confers upon our nature its truest honour, its most real and most desirable distinction.
The commerce alluded to would always be such as it has been now described on the one side, thus useful-on the other, so respectable, were it always entered into with proper views, and in the spirit essentially and rightly adapted to it. But, here, as in other instances in human affairs, abuses are frequent. Advice is often sought when the design is any thing rather than to profit by it. And it is given when there is neither the necessary capacity, nor indeed any real care for the interests of those upon whom it is bestowed.
If it were truly from a desire of information or direction that advice was in every case sought, then, unquestionably, the application for it would never be deferred till after the step was actually taken, or till some thing nearly equivalent had happened in respect of that, on account of which eventually the advice was solicited. But nothing is more common than such a preposterous procedure. A man will go up to another apparently most anxious to have the benefit of his counsel in regard to a matter which he represents as of the very utmost consequence to him. He unfolds his case at great length, exhibiting very particularly the difficulties which press upon him, as it is considered under one view or ⚫ another. He seems to be quite lost in his deliberations, and would be thought to have had no design in preferring the present suit but that he might be helped out of the perplexing situation from which he finds, such difficulty in extricating himself, and when he is so much in dan
ger of making a wrong and fatal choice. The benevolence of him whom he addresses is interested by a statement thus fraught with cir cumstances to excite attention and sympathy. He puts himself to some trouble in considering the case. patiently goes over all the particulars by, which the result should be effected; and, having formed his opinion with as much care and solicitude as if on the issue were suspended something in which he himself was most immediately and closely concerned, he goes to acquaint his petitioner with the conclusion of his reflections on the subject. He does not wish to impose any thing on him, of the propriety of which he may not be fully satisfied. He enters with him, therefore, anew into the business, exhibiting at length, the reasons which have guided him in his determination, and, with this explanation, leaving it of course to himself either to follow his counsel, or to adopt whatever other measures may seem to him more proper or advisable. That he should have found the sentiments of his friend not entirely to coincide with his own, he would not have been surprised, neither would it have displeased him that, such a difference existing, it should be his choice to adhere rather to what he himself judged most advantageous, than, where so much was in dependence, to give a dangerous. preference to the sentiments of another. But he has certainly cause to be dissatisfied when, in the course of conversation, he comes to understand, that long before he had ever been consulted, every thing was completely and finally arranged as to the line to be pursued in respect to those very matters which, it was pretended, were so wonderfully perplexing, and as to which it was alleged that so much weight was to be attached to
his advice. There is something so singularly strange, indeed, so unprincipled, in this sort of conduct, that it may well appear surprising how any reasonable being, much more, any person pretending to an honourable character, should be guilty of it. Unquestionably, it will be thought that the motives which lead to so apparently unaccountable a proceeding must ever be of the most urgent and most irresistible kind. But, in truth, they are nothing less. They are more commonly such as hardly to deserve to be called by that name—a mere desire of talking-a wish to appear engaged in considerable affairs, or a thirst for flattery, and, in all likeli hood, unmerited praise.
The faults on the part of those who give advice are not less frequent or considerable. There are some who are never satisfied with any appearance of things that actually come before them, who would always be making changes in some respect or another, and who, in short, seem to think nothing right which either they themselves have not done in the first instance, or which they have not, as they conceive, more or less rectified and improved. These people are ever putting themselves forward to give counsel to those who have no desire of such assistance from them, carping at matters which, it may be, they do not understand, and suggesting corrections, of which, in such circumstances, it is not difficult to perceive what will be the real value and importance. The dread of giving offence is so strong in the minds of others that, while they do not altogether decline giving an opinion, which would certainly be the most candid and honourable procedure, they adjust with so much solicitude the opinion which they give to what they imagine to be the wishes of those who require this service, that
they are much more likely to betray than really to benefit them; and so inconsiderate are others, that, as if not aware how much superior commonly the influence of example is to that of precept, they are prone to give advices which are in direct contradiction to the daily tenor of their own lives.
It is perfectly obvious, that the same opinion is by no means to be entertained, nor the same expectations to be formed, in respect to advices given or received under such circumstances of abuse, as may properly be conceived where they are in a state of freedom from those corruptions. When there is no sincere intention to make any use of an advice; the case remains in effect just as if that advice had never been asked, with this difference only, that, by the abortive proceeding which takes place upon such an occasion, a sort of insult is offered to the one party, while the other is guilty of acting in a manner at once base and contemptible. Where advice is not given in such a way as to afford a probability of its being use-, ful, it were better that it should be altogether withheld. No good end is answered by it in the mean time, and a bar is even thrown in the way of those advantages which at future periods might be derived from counsels more salutary, or more wisely adjusted to existing circumstances.
That advice may, on any occasion, be attended with beneficial effect, it will be quite indispensable that that idea of superiority should be as much as possible held out of view, which seems to force itself upon the imagination as almost necessarily implied in the department of giving counsel. That pride which would revolt at the very appearance of any thing dictated to it with a tone of authority, 'may be led often, with the greatest ease,