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Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Henry Home, Lord Kancs, the celebrat.
ed Author of • Eements of Criticism,' &c*. HENRY HOME, Lord: Kames, of the supreme court, as a member of
an eminent Scottish lawyer, and which he was to seek for faine and author of many celebrated works on emolument, he considered as e
effential. various subjects, was descended of a ly neceliary to qualify him to be a very honourable and ancient family, complete barriftr. ile accordingly and born in the year 1696. Lord attended for fonie time the chamber Kames's grandfather, Henry Home, of a writer to the lignet, where he had was a your ger son of Sir John Home an opportunity of learning the styles of Reriton, who held the high office of legal deeds, and the modes of conof lord jut ce-clerk, or chief criminal dating different fpcies of bufibofs. ju dose of Scotland, in the year 1663. ' This wife itep, independently of his He received the estate of Kames from great genius and unwearied applicabis uncle George, brother to the then tion, procured him, after his admifJord justice c'erk. The family of fion to the bar, peculiar resp-ct from Renton is defcended from that of the the court, and proportional employEarls of Home, the representatives of ment in his profeflion of an advocate. the ancient Princes of Northumber. Whoever perufes the law-papers comland, as appears from the records of pored by Mr Honie when a young the Lyon Office.
mun, will perceive an uncommon eleThe county of Berwick in Scotland gance of stylc, b. fide great ingenuity has the honour of having given birth of reasoning, and a thorough knowto this great and ufeful memb of fo. ledge of the law and contitution of ciety. In early youth he was lively, his country. These qualifications, toand eager in the acquifition of know. gether with the strength and vivacity Jeige. He never attended a public of his natural abilities, foon raised his school; but was inftruéted in the an- to be an' ornament to the Scottish bar; cient and modern languages, as well and, on the ad of February 1752, he as in several branches of mathematics, was advanced to the bench as one of and the arts neceffarily connected with the judges of the Court of Seffion,un that science, by Mr Wingate, a man der the title of Lord Kamest: of confiderable paris and learning, Defore this period, however, notwho spent many years as preceptor or withstanding the unavoidable labours private tutor to Mr Home.
of his profesion, Mr Home had faAfter studying with acuteness and voured the world with several useful diligence, at the university of Edio. and ingenious works. In the year burgh, the civil law, and the muni. 1728, he published • Remarkable De. cipal law of his own country, Mr cisions of the Court of Sellion from Home early perceived that a know- 1716 to 1728, in one vol. folio. ledge of these alone is not suficient to In 1732 appeared EfTays upon feve make an accomplifhed lawyer. An tal subjects in law, viz. Jus tertii; acquaintance with the fornis and prac. Beneficium cedendarum actionum; tisal buliness of courts, and especially Vinco Vincentem; and Prescription ;
, and the Life of Dr Henry, in our Magazine for July, we are indebted to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
+ The Lords of Session in Scotland, upon their appointment to that office, are immediately called Lords, and takes their title, as such, from their family effate; bus they figo all their letters, &c. with their christian and surnames.
8vo. This first produce of his origis - History of Process in Absence: pal genius, and of his extensive views, History of execution ag. inft' moveexcited not only the attention, but the ables and Land for Payment of Tube: admiration of the ju'ges, and of all - History of Personal Execution for the other members of the college of Payınent of Debt: History of Exejustice. This work was fucceeded. cution for obtaining Payment after in the year 1741, by. Decisions of the Death of the Debtor :--History the Court of Şestion from its first in. of the limited and univerfal Represenftitution to the year 1740, abridged tation of Heis;-Old and new Exand digested under proper heads, in terit. In 1760, he publithed, in foform of a Dictionary,' 2 vols. Folio: lio, • The Principles of Equity; a A very laborious work, and of the work which fhows both the fertility greatest utility to every practical law. of the author's genius and his indelayer. In 1747 appeared • Essays up rigable application. In 1766, be on several subjects concerning Bririth gave to the public another volume in Antiquities, viz. 1. Introduction of folio of: Remarkable Decisions of the the feudal Law into Scotland. 2. Con. Court of Seffion, from 1730 to 1752. ftitution of Parliament.' 3. Honour, In 1777, appeared his Elucidations Dignity. 4. Succession, or Descent; refpecting the Common and Statute with an Appendix upon hereditary and Law of Scotland, 8vo. This book indefeasible Right,'composed in 1745, contains many curious and intereiting and published 1747, in 8vo. In a remarks upon some intricate and du preface to this work, Lord Kames in bious points which occur in the lay forms us, that in the years 1745 and of Scotland. In 1780, he publithed 1946, when the nation was in great a volume in folio of Silea Decisions Suspence and distraction, he retired io of the Court of Seslion from 1752 to the country; and in order to banish 1768.' as much as poffible the uncaliness of From this ikerch of Lord Kames! his mind, he contrived the plan, and compofitions and collections with a executed this ingenious perforinance view to improve and elucidate the
Though not in the order of time, laws of Scotland, the reader may form we hall continue the list of all our fome idea of his great induflry, aod author's writings on law, before we of. bis anxious delire to promote the proceed to his productions on other honour and welfare of his country. fubjects. In 1757, he publihed It remains to be remarked, that ia
The Statute Law of Scotland abr.dg. the fupreme court there, the lawed, with historical notes,' 8vo. ; a writings of Lord Kames are held in most useful and laborious work. In equal estimation, and quoted wih the year 1759, be presented to the qual respect, as those of Coke or Biackpublic a new work under the title of stone in the courts of England. i Historical Law Tracts,' 8vo. It Lord Kames's mind was very much contains fourteen interelting tracts, inclined to metaphysical disquiGtions. viz. History of the Criminal Law : When a your.g man, in order to im. History of Promises and Covenants : prove bimfelt in his favourite ftudy, History of Property :
-History of he corresponded with the famous Securities upon and for Payment of Berkeley tishop of Cloyne, Dr Bur: Debt:
-Hiftory of the Privilege which ler bishop of 'Durham, Dr Samuel an Heir-apparent in a feudal Holding Clarke, and many other ingenious and has to continue the Possession of his learned men buth in Britain and Ire. Ancestor :- History of Regalities, and land. The letters of correspondence, of the Privilege of repledging :-Hif- we are happy to learn, have been tory of. Cousis :Hiftory of Brieves, carefully prelerved by his son and hei?
George Home Drummond, Esq; of on Morality and natural Religion, as Blair Drummond.
containing a compiere vindication of The year 1751 gave birth to the the doctrine of Calvir. For this milfirst fruits of his liruthip's metaphyli. take he was dismissed from his office. cal fudies, under the title of. Elays and excluded from the communion of on the principles of Morality and Na- the lect to which he b.longcd Lord tural Religion, in two parts. Though Kames, like many other great and a small volume, it was replete with good men, continuer a Neceffarian ingenuity and acute reasoning, ex to the day of his death, but in a lubcited general attention, and gave rise fequent edition of the essays, he ex. 10, Bruch controversy. It contained, bibited a remarkable proof of his canin more expicit terms than perhaps dour and liberality of sentiment, by any other work of a religious theilt alıcring the exprellons, which, con. then known in Scotland, the doctrine trary to his intention, had given luch which has of late made so much pojse general oíTerce. under the appella-ion of pilopphical In 1761, be published an Introrectifity. The same thing had indeed duetin to the Art of Thirking.' been tauglit by Hobbs, by Collins, 1217,0. This (mall but valuable book fod by the celebrated David Hume ; was originally intended for the inbut as those authors either were struction of his own family. The profetled infidels, or were fupro ed 10 flan of it is both curivus, amufing, be fuch, it excited, as coning from and highly calculated to catch the atthem, no wender, and provoked for tertion, and to improve the minds of a time very lude indignation. But youth, I consilis of paxiins colk & d when a writer, who exhibited no from Rochefoucault and many o: her fya proms of extravagant feeptic'm, authors. To illustrate thele n-axime, who infinuated nothing against the and to rivet their fpirit and meaning truth of revelation in general, and in the minds of young perfons, bis uh, inculcted win earnestness the lord ship tias added to most of them great duies of morally and natural beaut tul fiorics, tables, and historical religion, advanced at the fame time anecdotes. fo uncommon a doctrine as that of In the department of B:iles Lettres, necesity; a romber of jens were im- his • Elements of Criticam' arje-sof mediately dawn againt him, and for in 1762, in 3 vels. 8vo. This valuaa a while the work and its author were ble work is the first, and a most fucextremely obnoxious to a great part çeksful tempt, to fhow, that the art of the Scottish nat pn. On the cther crit wilm is fuurder on the pricihand, there were lume, and ei:ofe not ples of human naure.
Such a plan, totally illiterate, who, cofounding it might be thrught, fhould have propocelity with pridestination, compli- duced a dry and phlegmatic performmeoved Mr Home on his matierly aice.
Loro Kanes, on the contrary, defense of the etiablished faith; and frım ihę fjeightliness of his manner though butween . ti ete gwo schemes of treatirg every lutject he hardled, there is no furt of resemblaoce, ex has rendered the E en erts 'ef Crin. cept that the future happiness or mi. cism rot only highly infirective, but fery of all men is, accordiog ro both, one of the motto.terraining torks in certainly to!cknown ard aronted by our language. Before this work was Gol, yet we remember that a profil publisted, Rollin's Belles Lettres, ťa for in a discoting academy so far dull perfornance, from which a tu. muftook the cne for the other, that he dent could derive utile advantage. recommended to his pupils the Eliays was universally recommended as a
standard; but, after the Elements of observations concerning the nature of Criticism were presented to the pub- man ; the produce of much and prolic, Rollin inttantly vanished, and fiab'e reading. In the course of his gave place to greater genius and studies and reasonings, he had amared greater utility. With regard to real a vast collection of materials. There, instruction and genuine taite in con- when conliderably advanced in years, position of every kind, a student, a he digested under proper heads, and gentleman, or scholar, can in no submitted them to the confideration language find such a fertile field of of the public. He intended that this information. Lord Kames accord- book should be equally intelligible to ingly had the happiness of seeing the women as to man; and, 10 accomgood effects of his labours, and of en- piish this end, when he had occafion joying for twenty years a reputation to quote ancient or foreign books, be which he so juttly nerited.
uniformly translated the paffages. A fill farther proof of the genius The Skeiches contain much uitful inand various pursuits of this active formation ; and, like all his lordihip’s mind was given in the year 1972, other performances, are lively and wheo his lordship published a work in entertaining. 8vo, under the title of « The Gentle We now come to Lord Kames's lait man Farmer, being an attempt to work, to which he modestly gives the improve Agriculture by subjecting it title of Loofe Hints upon Education, to the test of rational principles. Our chiefly concerning the Culture of the limits do not permit us to give de. Heart.' It was published in 1981, tails: but, with regard to this book, in 8vo, when the venerable and aitowe must inform the public, that all nihing author was in the 8gih year the intelligent farmers in Scotland of his age. Though his lordihip uniformly declare, that, aster peru- chose to call them Loose Hints, the sing Yourg, Dickson, and a hundred intelligent reader will perceive in this other writers on agricukure, Lord composition an uncommon activity of Kames's Gentleman Farmer contains mind at an age fo far advanced bethe best practical and rational informa- yond the usual period of human life, tion on the various articles of huf- and an eaincst defire to form the minds bandry which can any where be ob- of youth to honour, to virtue, to intaired. As a practical farmer, Lord duflry, and to a veneration of the Kames has given many obvious proofs Deity. of his skill. After he succeeded, in Bélide the books we have enumé. right of his lady, to the ample eftare rated, Lord Kames publithed many of Blair-Drummond in the county of temporary and fugitive pieces in difPerth, he formed a plan for turning ferent periodical works. In the Efa large moss, confilling of at least fays Physical and L terary,' pub.iled 1500 acres, into arable land. His by a fociety of gentlemen in EdinJórdship had the pleasure, before he burgh, we find compofitions of his died, to see the plan successfully, Jordfhip On the Laws of Motion, On though only partially, executed. The the Advantages of Shallow Ploughis fame plan is now carrying on in a ing, and on Evaporation; all of much more rapid manner by his fon which exhibit evident marks of genius George Hone Drummond, Esq. and origmality of thinking.
In 1773, Lord Kames favoured the How a man employed through life world with • Sketches of the History in public business, and in busine's of of Man, 2 vols. 410. This work the first importance, could find leisure contiis of a great variety of facts and for to many different pursu ts, and
excel in them *, it is not easy for a practising 'these lessons that Lord meaner mind to form even a concep- Kumes rose to literary eminence, in tion. Much, no doubt, is to be at opposition to all the obstacles which tributed to the superiority of his ge. the tumult of public business could nius, but much must likewise have place in his way. been the result of a proper distribution To give a proper delineation of the of his time. He rose early; when in public and private character of Lord the vigour of life, at four o'clock; in Kames, would far exceed our limits. old age, at fix; and studied all porn. The writer of this article, however, ing. When the court was fiting, who had the honour of an intimate the duties of his office employed him acquaintance with this great and good from eight or one to twelve or one; man for more ihan twenty years, must aiter which, if the weath:r permitted, be indulged in adding a few facts he walked for iwo hours with some lin which fell unrier his own obfervation. terary friends, and then went home Lárd Kames was remarkable for 10 dinger. While he was
on the public spirit, to which he conjoined binch, and we believe when he was activity and great exertion. He for at the bor, he neither give nor ac- a long tract of tinie had the principal cepted invitations to dianer during the management of all the focietics and term or festiva; and if any friend boards for promoting the trade. fiilcame uninvited to dine with him, his eries, and manufactures, in Scotland. lordship displayed his usual cheerful- As conducive to chose ends, he was a ness and holpirali"y, but always re- ftrenuous advocate for making and retired with bis clerk' as soon as he had pairing turnpike roads through every drunk a very few, gluffes of wine, part of the country. He had likeleaving his company to be entertained wise a chief lead in the distribution by his lady. The afternoon was fpeat, and application of the funds arising as the morning had been, in ftudy from the estaies in Scotland which had In the evening he went to the theatre unfortunately been annexed to the or the concert, from which he re
He was no less zealous in turned to the society of some men of supporting, both with his writings learning, with whom he fat Jate, and and personal influence, literary afsiocidisplayed such talents for converfition ations. He was in fopie measure as are not often found. It is observed the parent of what was called the by a late celebrated author, that' to physical and liter ry society. This read, write, and converse, in due fociety was afterward incorporated proportions, is the business of a man into the Royal society of Edinbu gh, of letters; and that he who hopes to which received a charter from the look back hereafier with fatisfaction crown, and which is daily producing upon past years, mult learn to know marks of genius, as well as works of the value of single minutes, and en- real utility. deavour to let no particle of time fall As a private and domestic gentleuseless to the ground. It was by man, Lord Kanies was admired' by
Upon refleding on the stndiousness of Lord Kames's disposition, and his numerous fiterary productions, the reader will naturally recal to his mind a striking similarity between his lordihip and the laborious Pliny the elder. In a letter from Pliny the putiget to Macer, the following pati ge occurs, which is equally applicable to both ; Aforns videtur tibi, recordanti quantom leverit, quæ tiom feripferit, nec in officiis uilis, nec in amisatis principam fuiffe? which is thus tranflid y Mclmouth : · When you reflect on the
50ks he' has read, and the volumes he has written, are you not inclined to fufpect, illas he never was engaged in the affairs of th: public, or the Lervice of his prince?"