A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Blair, Hugh

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Blair, Hugh (1718-1800).—Divine, and man of letters, b. and ed. at Edin. After being minister at Collessie in Fife, he was translated to Edinburgh, where he filled various pulpits, latterly that of the High Church. In 1759 he commenced a series of lectures on composition, and soon after the Chair of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres was founded, to which he was appointed. His Lectures were pub. on his resignation of the chair in 1783. His chief fame, however, rests upon his Sermons, in 4 vols., which had an extraordinary popularity, and obtained for him a pension of £200. Time has not sustained the opinion of his contemporaries: they have been described as feeble in thought though elegant in style, and even as "a bucket of warm water." B. was amiable, kind to young authors, and remarkable for a harmless, but rather ridiculous vanity and simplicity.