Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/29

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Beattie
Beattie
25

In the following April he went with his second son to London, and spent some time at Fulham with Dr. Porteus, now bishop of London. The second volume of 'Elements of Moral Science,' which contained a strong attack on the slave trade, appeared in 1793; and in the same year his favourite sister, Mrs. Valentine, died. His health became now so impaired that he was unable to attend to his duties and was obliged to engage an assistant. He continued, however, to deliver occasional lectures until 1797. In 1794 he issued for private circulation 'Essays and Fragments in Prose and Verse, by James Hay Beattie' (published afterwards for sale in 1799), to which he prefixed an affecting biographical sketch. Meanwhile his second son, Montagu, became seriously ill, grew from bad to worse, and died in 1796. As he looked for the last time on the body, the father exclaimed, 'I have now done with the world.' He was quite stupefied with grief, and for a time his memory forsook him. In April 1799 he was struck with palsy, which kept him almost speechless for eight days. From this attack he recovered, but the malady frequently returned, and he eventually succumbed to it, after great suffering, on 18 Aug. 1803. He was buried next to his sons in St. Nicholas's churchyard, Aberdeen, and Dr. James Gregory wrote a Latin inscription for his tomb. In his later years he had grown somewhat corpulent, but it was noticed that he grew thinner a few months before his death.

A life of Beattie by Sir William Forbes, who had much enthusiasm but little judgment, appeared in 1806. Beattie's letters, of which there is a profusion in these volumes, are for the most part dull and cumbersome.

[Bower's Account of the Life of James Beattie, 1804; Sir W. Forbes's Account of the Life and Writings of James Beattie,' 1806; Edinburgh Review, No. xix. The best edition of Beattie's 'Poems' is in the Aldine Series, edited by Rev. Alexander Dyce. In the British Museum there is a copy of the second edition of Forbes's book, containing manuscript annotations by Mrs. Piozzi, formerly Mrs. Thrale, who (as we loarn from Boswell's Johnson) once declared that 'if she had another husband she would have Beattie.']

A. H. B.

BEATTIE, JAMES HAY (1768–1790), son of Dr. James Beattie, author of the 'Minstrel", was born in Aberdeen on 6 Nov. 1768. Having received the rudiments of his education at the grammar school of his native city, he was entered, in his thirteenth year, as a student in Marischal College. From the first he showed premature capacity. He took his degree of M.A. in 1786. In June 1787, when he was not quite nineteen, on the unanimous recommendation of the Senatus Academicus of Marischal College, he was appointed by the king 'assistant professor and successor to his father' in the chair of moral philosophy and logic. Although very young, he fulfilled the requirements of his position. He was studious and variously cultured, being especially devoted to music. But his career was destined to be brief. On 30 Nov. 1789 he was prostrated by fever. He lingered in 'uttermost weakness' for a year, and died 19 Nov. 1790, in his twenty-second year. In 1794 his heart-broken father privately printed his 'Remains' in prose and verse, and prefixed a 'Life.' The book was published in 1799.

[Beattie's Life of his son.]

A. B. G.

BEATTIE, WILLIAM, M.D. (1793–1875), was born at Dalton, Annandale. His father, James Beattie, had been educated as an architect and surveyor, but his real occupation was that of a builder. He lost his life by an accident in 1809. It has been said that his son inherited from him his classical, and from his mother his poetical, tendencies. The Beatties had been settled in Dumfriesshire for several generations. When just fourteen he went to school at Clarencefield Academy in Dumfriesshire, and during his stay there of six years, under the rector, Mr. Thomas Fergusson, attained a competent knowledge of Latin, Greek, and French. In 1812 he became a medical student at Edinburgh University, and took his M.D. degree with credit in 1818. He helped to keep himself at the university by undertaking, during a portion of his college course, the mastership of the parochial school at Cleish, Kinross-shire, and other kinds of tuition. Of his university days he says: 'At college I acquired the usual accomplishments of young men of my own humble standing in society. I danced with "Doigt," wrestled and fenced with Roland, read to a rich dotard in the evenings, and sat up night after night to make up for lost time, and then took a walk on the Calton Hill as a substitute for sleep; but even then, when surrounded by gay and brilliant companions, I never forgot my religious duties, and the God whom I remembered in my youth has not forsaken me in my old age.' He remained for two years at Edinburgh after taking his diploma, living chiefly lout of his inkhorn,' teaching, lecturing, translating, and conducting a small private practice. During this period he wrote 'The Lay of a Graduate,' 'Rosalie,' and 'The Swiss Relic' He afterwards practised medicine in Cumberland, and in 1822 was in London preparing to settle in Russia. This