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service. “A town ca'd Glasgow?' echoes the indignant Andrew;

Glasgow's a ceety, man; and, under Andrew's guidance, the adventurer and the reader enter Glasgow together. Defoe corroborates Andrew's description, speaking of Glasgow in 1727 as the emporium of the west of Scotland for its commerce and riches,' and, in a word, one of the cleanliest, most beautiful, and best built cities in Great Britain.' And yet then, and for ten years later, the population was not over 17,000. But it was the time of the rise of the West India trade, when the Glassfords and Dunlops and Cunninghams and Campbells and others, whose names are identified to this day with the commerce of Glasgow, were availing themselves of the new opportunities afforded by the Union to Scottish enterprise, and acquiring, by their mingled thrift and sagacity, what were considered colossal fortunes. These ' tobacco princes,' as they were called, were the aristocracy of Glasgow. On the Plainstanes, where they walked daily in their scarlet cloaks, curled wigs, and cocked hats, with gold-headed canes in their hands, all others made way for them with reverence. Inferior to these were the 'weaver-bodies,' and other members of the trade-corporations, many of whom were substantial citizens. Distinct from both, and yet mingling with both, as a kind of intellectual element, was a little knot of College-professors, medical men, and clergymen. The Professor of Moral Philosophy at that time in the University was the metaphysician Hutcheson. The Professor of Mathematics, and one of the eccentricities of the town, was Robert Simson, the editor of Euclid. Among the younger medical men were William Cullen and William Hunter, the future chiefs of British medicine, though as yet unknown to fame. Half of the professors were clergymen, and, if any of the others had his doubts about Calvinism, he kept them to himself. The whole social economy of the place was rigid, frugal, and methodical. The wealthiest citizens, with few exceptions, lived not in separate houses, but in floors having but one sitting-room for the whole family; and such a thing as a private carriage was unknown in the town. The master of every respectable household was its king and priest, seldom spoken to by his children or servants, and never without awe. In the morning he went to his shop or counting-house ; he returned in the middle of the day to dinner; the afternoon was again spent in business; and only in the evenings did he relax and take his pleasure. The habit then was for the seniors to meet in taverns while the women-folks and young folks had their tea; but punctually at nine o'clock the step of the good man was again heard at his own threshold, and all was hushed for family-worship and supper.


As regards the Presbyterian decorum of the place, we greatly fear Smollett was one of the rebels. Among the various traits of his Scottish nativity, at all events, which he carried with him to the end of his life, we do not find the faintest symptom of attachment to Scottish ecclesiastical forms. There can be no doubt, at any rate, that, in the matter of conduct, he had generally his name on the black books, and that he was a ringleader in college riots and all sorts of mischief. Mr. Gordon, it is said, would take his part against less charitable judges, and when any of his neighbours spoke to him of the superior steadiness of their apprentices, would answer that it might be all very true, but he preferred his own • bubbly-nosed callant wi' the stane in his pouch.' Before his apprenticeship was over he flattered himself that he was a very good-looking fellow and a favourite with the ladies. Now, too, as his friend Dr. Moore expresses it, he began to direct the edge of his boyish satire against such green and scanty shoots of affectation and ridicule as the soil produced,' and he especially attacked Glasgow in its two main characteristics—its commercial or money-making pride, and its religious zeal and strictness. It is a singular fact that most of the Scottish literary men of the last century, from Allan Ramsay downwards, were in this position of antagonism to the Presbyterianism of their country. It is only in later days that there have been remarkable specimens of Scottish literary genius, not only in sympathy with the national religious feeling, but even inspired and inflamed by it.

But there were graver parts in Smollett's character than mere love of frolic. What he makes Roderick Random say of his diligence at college is true of himself: “In the space of three years I understood Greek very well, was pretty far advanced in mathematics, and no stranger to moral and natural philosophy ; logic I made no account of; but, above all things, I valued myself on a taste in the belles lettres, and a talent for poetry which had already produced some pieces that met with a very favourable reception. Among these pieces is to be included his tragedy of The Regicide, which was finished in some shape before he had passed his nineteenth year. Puerile as this effort undoubtedly is, the fact that he should have written so long a piece at so early an age shows that the literary propensity was strong in him, and that he was cultivating it by assiduous reading. Where he got books is something of a mystery, as there was no circulating library in Glasgow till 1753.

The cause, or one of the causes of Smollett's leaving Scotland, was his grandfather's death. The old knight died in 1739 ;


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what property he had was left to his lawyer-sons, James and George, or to their sisters; and there was no provision for the widow and children of his deceased son, Archibald. As Smollett's elder brother was already in the army, and as his sister was either married or just about to be married to a Mr. Telfer, a gentleman of some property in Lanarkshire, it was chiefly his own prospects that were affected. He set out on the then difficult journey of four hundred miles to London, taking with him a small sum of money and a very large assortment of letters of introduction. Whether his relations,' says Dr. Moore,

intended to compensate for the scantiness of the one by their profusion in the other, is uncertain ; but he has been often heard to declare that their liberality in the last article was prodigious.'

It is not clear that, when Smollett went to London, his intentions were merely those of a literary adventurer. But, having • The Regicide' in his pocket, how could he resist having a dip into the world of letters ? Even now it is one of the minor miseries of life to be in the vicinity of a young man who has a tragedy in manuscript; and it must have been worse still when there was some shadow of a chance of getting a tragedy acted, and when, consequently, the ordinary form of a young writer's ambition was to be introduced to the manager of a theatre. Smollett, it seems, began his literary experience in this way. As early as the year 1739, he says, ' my play was taken into the protection of one of those little fellows who are sometimes called great men; and, like other orphans, neglected accordingly. Stung with resentment, which I mistook for contempt, I resolved to punish this barbarous indifference, and actually discarded my patron; consoling myself with the barren praise of a few associates, who &c.' The patron here alluded to is said to have been Lord Lyttelton, then Mr. Lyttelton, and Secretary to the Prince of Wales; and, if so, Smollett's introduction to him may have been through Mallet, his under-secretary, or Thomson, his friend. As the tragedy is preserved, we can judge for ourselves how far Mr. Lyttelton was to be blamed. The account which Smollett gives of his feelings is, however, interesting, as showing thus early the irascibility of his nature. According to every account we have of him, he was not one of that canny' order of Scots. who are said to make their way by incessant “ booing.'

Smollett was still busy with his tragedy, when “his occasions called him out of the kingdom. In other words, his friends had procured him an appointment as surgeon's mate on board a king's ship. A youth of eighteen, whose only known qualification was that he had been a surgeon's apprentice in Glasgow,


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could hardly have expected anything better. Indeed, if the descriptions in Roderick Random' of that gentleman's difficulties at the Navy Office and at Surgeons' Hall are at all a record of Smollett's own experience, it was not without some trouble that his friends got him the appointment. It was a time, moreover, of some commotion in the naval service. Walpole, whose long ministry had hitherto been studiously pacific, had been obliged (1739) to declare war against Spain. The war was to be conducted chiefly in the West Indian seas and along the coasts of Spanish America, where there were ships to be captured and settlements to be attacked, and a brilliant beginning had already been made by the taking of Portobello by Admiral Vernon.

Smollett's biographers embark him as surgeon's mate in 1739, and they do not restore him to England till 1746. We know for certain that he served in the disastrous Carthagena Expedition of 1741. He was surgeon's mate on board one of the largest ships of the squadron which sailed from the Isle of Wight in October, 1740, under the command of RearAdmiral Sir Chaloner Ogle, to join Admiral Vernon's squadron in the West Indies; and he was in this ship during the whole of the operations of the combined fleet and the land-forces against Cartbagena in the following March and April, including the terrible bombardment of the Fort of Bocca Chica. When the enterprise was abandoned, the fleet retired to Jamaica, whence part of it returned to England, while part remained for farther service in the West Indian seas. Smollett was with the last portion ; and he seems to have cruised about the West Indies for the better part of 1741, if not longer. It is certain, too, that for a while he resided in the island of Jamaica, where he became acquainted with a Creole beauty, Miss Lascelles, the daughter of an English planter. In any case, he was back in England and his name removed from the Navy Books by the early part of 1744. This is proved by a letter, dated London, May 22, 1744,' addressed to a friend in Scotland, and at the close of which he says,— I am confident that you and all honest men would acquit my principles, however my prudentials might be condemned. However, I have moved into the house where the late John Douglas, surgeon, died; and you may henceforth direct for Mr. Smollett, surgeon, in Downing Street West.'

If this is to be interpreted as meaning that Smollett had then quitted the navy and settled in London in quest of private practice as a surgeon, we may guess in what respects his prudentials ' might be liable to criticism. The war with Spain had by this time been engulfed in the much larger war of the Austrian


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succession, in which Great Britain took part with Maria Theresa against the alliance of the German Emperor, and France, Spain, Poland, Sardinia, and Naples. On the eve of the war, Walpole had resigned (1742); but, as the Hanoverian interests of George II. were involved, and as the war was popular, it was carried on with spirit, levies of British troops being raised for it, and George himself crossing the sea to show his German pluck at Dettingen (1743). In a war of such dimensions there were, of course, unusual opportunities for promotion; and it so happened that the political changes which accompanied it were of a kind that might have been favourable to Smollett's interests. One of the chiefs of the new government, and, till 1745, the sole minister for Scotland, was the Marquis of Tweeddale; and his secretary was the astute Scotchman, Andrew Mitchell, afterwards Sir Andrew Mitchell and British Ambassador-Plenipotentiary at the Court of Frederic the Great of Prussia. If we may judge from numerous letters to Mitchell which we have seen in manuscript, he was supposed by his countrymen north of the Tweed to be all but omnipotent in procuring berths for them ; and among those who wrote to him at my Lord Tweeddale's office at Whitehall' was James Smollett the younger of Bonbill, all of whose epistles begin • Dear Cousin,' and contain requests for favours mixed with family and political gossip. It may easily, therefore, be perceived how upon Scotch principles Tobias might have been blamed by his relatives for deserting the navy at such a promising crisis.

Smollett was only twenty-three years of age when he settler in London. It was the time of the so-called Carteret Administration, which had succeeded that of Walpole, and was itself just about to give place to the ten years' Ministry of Pelham (17441754). Scarcely had the change of administration been effected when the country heard of the defeat at Fontenoy (April 30, 1745); during the same year there were rumours of French invasion ; and before the year was over there was the domestic explosion of the Highland Rebellion.

From the time of his setting up his brass-plate in Downingstreet, the young sailor-surgeon found more to do in talking about public affairs than in attending patients. So far as appears, however, he let the Carteret administration pass without hearing from him; and it was not till the year 1746, when the Pelham ministry had been nearly two years in office, that he allowed his pugnacity to show itself in print. What then roused him was his indignation at the treatment of Scotland after the suppression of the Higbland Rebellion. Inheriting the Whig principles of

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