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more as the scene of those celebrated nent. There is a certain festivity aschools of philosophy, which have bout Athens which does not equally transmitted their intluence to every belong to any other Greek town; the succeeding age. The stranger, who oppression of slavery is less visibly may be unable to appreciate all the present, and is actually felt in a smalarchitectural beauties of the temples ler degree by the inbabitants. Even of Athens, yet can admire the splen- the Turks here seem to have lost did assemblage they form in their po. something of their harshness, and besition, outline, and colouring ; can come a people of quiet and inoffentrace out the pictures of the poets in sive habits. From whatsoever part of the vale of Cephissus, the hill of Co- Turkey the traveller may arrive, he lonos, and the ridge of Hymettus ; finds himself coming to a sort of can louk on one side upon the sea of home, where various comforts may Salamis, on the other upon the heights be obtained that are unknown elseof Phyle ; and can tread upon the where in this country. Society is spots which have acquired sanctily more attainable, and the Greek fefrom the genius and philosophy of males enter into it in general with which they were once the seats. The much less restraint than in Ioannina, hill of the Areopagus, the Academy, or other Greek towns. the Lycæum, the Portico, the Pnyx, if not all equally distinct in their situation, yet can admit of little error in this respect; and the traveller may
SCOTTISH REVIEW. safely venture to assert to himself, Edinburgh Fugitive Pieces: with that he is standing where Demosthe
Letters, containing a comparative nes spoke to the Athenians, and where
View of the Modes of Living, Arts, Plato and Aristotle addressed them
Commerce, Literature, Manners, selves to their scholars. No where is antiquity so well substantiated as
&c. of EDINBURGH, at different at Athens, or its outline more com
Periods: by the late WILLIAM pletely filled up, both to the eye and
CREECH, Esq.F.R.S. EDINBURGH, imagination.
with a short Account of his Life.
8vo. 12s. Fairbairn. The state of society in Athens is distinguislied from that of other parts THE author of these pieces was so of Greece, by its greater vivacity and universally known, and acted so freedom from restraint. In this cir- conspicuous a part in this city for so cumstance also there will be seen some long a period, that the volume cannot affinity to the habits of the ancient fail to possess attractions for a very Athenians, though it must be owned numerous class of readers. There is that the probable causes are peculiar not, perhaps, in the tranquillity of in part to modern times. The feeble- civilized society, any life so full of ness of the Turkish government here, event and interest, as that of an eshas contributed much to this effect; tensive publishing bookseller. His still more perhaps the constant resi- intimate and confidential communidence of foreigners in the city. The cation with the greatest men of the influence of the latter circumstance is age; his occupation, which consists in distinctly seen in various habits and
a series of interesting, and often bold feelings of the people, and has been speculations, alike combine to banish considerably extended of late years, that monotony which attends the uby the direction which English tra: sual routine of pursuits. No period vellers have taken during their ex- could produce a greater number of ilclusion from other parts of the conti- lustrious men than that, during which
Mr Creech formed the medium by land, and an eminent bookseller. which their works were transmitted This connection induced Crecch to to the public. Bookselling, in Scot. prefer that profession to the medical land, indeed, was not then conducted one, which had been recommended by on the same independent footing his friends. He was accordingly that it has been since. Almost all bound apprentice to Kincaid and Bell, the principal works were undertaken and on the death of his mother, whicha by London booksellers; and Mr happened soon after, he became an Creech was merely the link which inmate in the family of Mr Kincaid. united them with the authors here. In the year 1766, he went to spend He held this place, however, exclu some time, first in London, and ihen sively, and there did not perhaps ap on the continent, with a view to ex. pear a single work of great value tend his knowledge of his profession. during that flourishing era of Scot. He afterwards made an extensive tish literature, which did not bear his tour on the continent with Lord Kil. name. He possessed, moreover, claims maurs, son to the Earl of Glencairn. to public notice, independent of this These opportunities of improvement eminent professional situation. His were doubtless well improved by his attainments in literature were respec. active mind, and prepared bim for the table; his activity of mind and pub. sphere in which he was to act. On lic spirit rendered him conspicuous on bis return, he was received into paitmany occasions; and his social quali. nership by Mr Kincaid, who with ties made his presence every where drew in his favour in March 1773. welcome. For these reasons, there Mr Creech then began his distinguishappears ample ground for erecting the ed professional career. He soon bepresent monument to his name, came a sort of centre for the literature
Mr Creech was the son of the Rev. of Edinburgh. His shop, for a long William Creech, minister of the parish course of years, was, during a part of of Newbattle, a most respectable the day, the resort of most of the clergyman, and of Mrs Mary Buley, clergy of the city, of the professors of an English lady, related to a family the University, and other public men, of rank in Devonshire. His father as well as of eminent authors, many died at the age of forty, and the family of whom also frequented his house in then removed to Dalkeith, where the morning, to discuss their literary young Creech enjoyed the instructions projects. His breakfast room was a of Mr Barclay, a very eminent teach. sort of literary lounge, which went for er, who had the honour of educating a long time by the name of "Creech’s Lord Melville, Lord Loughborough, levee." His shop was situated cerand others who became distinguished tainly in a very happy situation ; in the in after life. An anniversary dinner very centre of the town, fronting the was lately formed of the scholars of cross, the great scene of public reBarclay, and though forty years had sort. Mr Kincaid had succeeded in elapsed since his death, there survived it to Mr James Macewen, a bookyet twenty to pay this tribute to his seller of considerable note; and the memory.
premises above are said to have been On his removal to Edinburgh, Mr Occupied, as a circulating library, by Creech was much befriended by the the celebrated Allan Ramsay. As, family of Mr Kincaid, who had mar. in consequence of the projected imried a lady related to the Marquis of provements, it will soon be removed, Lothian, by whom Mrs Creech was a sketch of the front bas very properalways patronized. Mr Kincaid was ly been preserved in this volume. then his Majesty's printer for Scot. Mr Creech was one of the original
founders of the Speculative Society; were generally very successful; and took an active part in the formation although this species of pleasantry is of the Chamber of Commerce ; was often indulged without much regard an office-bearer in the Society for the to the feelings of others, it was ie. sons of the Clergy, and in that for pro- marked that Mr Creech avoided every moting Christian Knowledge. In this kind of detraction, or personal allusion, age of memoirs and correspondence, that might seriously offend;-indeed there is no one who could have fur. good-nature, urbanity, and affability nished a more interesting collection ; of manner, were prominent parts of and he seems even to have entertained his character. It has been observed, such an intention ; but his numerous that the practice of retailing anecdute engagements of business and society is often the subterfuge of those who led him always to delay it, till declin- without genius wish to shine in con ing health made it too late.
versation;" but if the remark be true Mr Creech, was at different periods in general, we may quote Mr Creech a member of the Town Council; and as an honourable exception. With in 1811.12, he filled the office of no want of genius, and an imagination Lord Provost. It was hoped that the sufficiently vivid, he was remarkably eininence of his character would have fond of narrating anecdotes, and pourretrieved the dignity of that high si traying the singularities of whimsical tuation, which had then suffered some characters; and in no department of diminutin. This hope was riot ful. his social powers did he afford more filled. It is needless to conceal the entertainment to his friends. Few cause. Habits of economy, and even will ever forget the enjoyment they parsimony, induced probably by the have experienced by the recital of his
circumstances of his early many and well-known stories. His life, and increased by age, withheld talents in conversation, however, srere him from the exercise of that open not confined merely to what is light and ample hospitality, the want of and humorous; on almost every topic which our worthy citizens are unable that occurred in convivial intercourse, to brook. Mr Creech accepted the his information was extensive and office reluctantly; and it was unfortu- varied; and where a subject was innate that he should thus have been troduced, which could be treated only forced into the only situation in which by persons of reading and reflection, he did not make an advantageous fi- the stores of Mr Creech's mind were gure.
proved to be choice and abundant.The following particulars are evi. Strangers who happened to be in comdently from the pen of an intimate pany with him, were particularly friend, and are interesting.
struck with his good humour and
powers of conversation, and often, at • While Mr Creech was thus re. a distance, mentioned him as in these marked in literary and public life, he respects singularly agreeable. When was still more distinguished in do- Mr Creech was present, conversation mestic and social circles. Here, in- seldom became insipid; or if it was deed, he was universally known and likely to flag, he had a happy talent admired. Possessed of a constant of introducing some subject that was flow of spirits, and habitual cheerful- interesting or amusing; and by bis ness;---of an uncommon fund of a. varied observations, promoted ease and greeable information, and of manners cheerfulness. With these qualities, the most unassuming and engaging, it may easily be conceived lie was 2 his company was every where court. most desirable guest, and a most plea. ed. His sallies of wit and humour sant companion.
Mr Creech passed a great part of deal outré, and the irony, when he his life in these social scenes, more, in- attempts it, is not well supported. deed, than was, consistent with a due Nevertheless, there are visible traces regard to his private concerns, and to of those talents, which contributed so his bodily health, although that was much, and so long, to the amusement for a long period remarkably entire of this metropolis. We shall first and vigorous. He had more leisure give the following, on a subject which than falls to the lot of most men of must have been familiar to him. business, being little encuinbered with family affairs. He was never • I must state a superiority which married. When in the prime of life, the reader has over him who keeps with all the prospects of a successful company. It consists in the patience career before him, he was engaged to and meekness with which books bear a most amiable and interesting lady, whatever you may advance against who falling into bad health a short their arguments. I have condemned time previous to their intended union, parts of Swift with great indignation, died on the eve of her departure for but he never reviled me; and I have Lisbon, where her physicians had thrown Smollet on the table in dissome hopes she might recover.
This gust, and he never said, Why do you disappointment made a deep and per- so? Such things cannot be done in manent impression on Mr Creech's company. Besides, you may light mind. To the object of his choice he your pipe with whatever offends you was tenderly attached; and, tho'after- in Horace, and he seeks no revenge. wards engaged in a long life of business, You may kick Fielding to the end of and bustle, and gaiety, he was often the room, and there he lies as mute as known, in moments of retirement, to a fish. You may paper band boxes speak with deep alfiction of a loss which with the obnoxious parts of Voltaire, tohim never could be repaired. In the and he murmurs not. Political writers period of confinement which preced. may be sent to the necessary, and there ed his dissolution, and when, although (quiet, inoffensive men!) they will averse to confess it, he must have felt behave with as much propriety as the fatal presages of mortality, he fre- when alive. Poets may be put under quently spoke of this lady as still the tarts, and philosophers wrapped round object of his fondest remembrance.- pounds of butter, and yet neither the Mr Creech's health gradually declin. rhymes of the one, nor the resentment ed for a considerable time before his of the other, be kindled against you. death, and he died on the 14th of If Congreve offends you, you may sell January 1815, having nearly complet- snuff in the obnoxious leaves; and, if ed his 70th year.'
Ben Johnson's levity displeases, you
may stick pins in his plays. Of the pieces now published, the · Woe unto literature in these days most interesting certainly is, the com- of degeneracy! woe unto the Nine parative views of Edinburgh; but as Muses and their suitors! how many these are pretty well known to the epics have stood between the candle public, we shall rather make our ex- and candlestick! how many histories tracts from the smaller and ephemeral have been employed in twist tobacco! articles. Considering how much he and how many philosophers have been was wont to set the table in a roar, made into thread papers, their arguthe humourous effusions attracted our ments into paper kites, and their concuriosity. Yet it is not exactly the clusions into three-penny crackers on kind of humour which can stand be a birth-day!_and yet with what paing printed. It is in general a good tierce and long. suffering they bear September 1815.
all these indignities. I tell thee, The god of good liquor with fervour they reader, and I tell thee truth, that such forbearance and patience ought And before the fifth act they are a' greet
ing fou ; to dictate to thee, that there is no
And still, as a maxim, they keep in their eye hardship in the contempt of the worth- This excellent adage, " that sorrow is dry." less, and that he who, in his writings, has not said against his conscience,
The following ridicule of the fanor violated the laws of rectitude,
shions in 1785, is written with a good may bid defiance to the whole army
deal of liveliness. of pastry-cooks, trunk-makers, milli- • Fashion has long held good sense ners, and venders of snuff, tape, and to- and propriety in thraldom, but her bacco.
triumph has never perhaps been so E. C.'
striking as of late. - A little squat
dumpling figure, under a gypsey hat, The first appearance here of Mrs like Tom Thumb under a bee-hive, Siddons, when she was brought down is the most ludicrous titing that by a body of gentlemen-subscribers, modern fashion has exhibited. Even gave rise to crowds still greater than the tall and laper damsel looks like those which we have recently witness. the pole of her umbrella, when she is ed on the appearance of another ad. rigged out in a flounced gypsey, and mirable actress. The crowd in the then the ventilation of our streets and pit occasioned a heat, which was re
lanes affords so charming an opporlieved by the very blameable expe- tunity of tossing the head about, to dient of introducing different species keep this piece of dress, which is callof strong liquors. This gave rise to ed an ornament, in management. some lines.
* Fashion has often been at variance
with nature and simplicity, but now • Each evening the playhouse exhibits a
she is at perfect open war with them, mob,
and has lately introduced an appendAnd the right of admission's turn'd into a age of dress, which common-sense job.
may deem rather unsuitable to buxom By five the whole pit us'd to fill with sub. beauties; yet they too will be mon
scribers, And those who had money enough to be sters, if it is the fashion. We have bribers ;
long had perfumers who furnish comBut the public took fire, and began a loud plexions, and red cheeks and pale lips And I thought we'd have had a Siddonian for the mahogany skin may be had at
are not uncommon. The lily varnish The committees met, and the lawyers' hot many cosmetic warehouses; but we mettle
have now, for the first time, got botBegan very soon both to cool and to settle ;
tom-shops, and ladies of all ages and of public resentment to blunt the keen edge, dimensions, tall, short, fat, and lean, In a coop they consented that sixty they'd wedge ;
must have enormous b
-s. Spinal And the coop's now so cramm'd it will scarce tenuity and mammillary exuberance hold a mouse,
(see Johnson's Dictionary,) bave for And the rest of the pit's turn'd a true pub
some time been the fashion with the lic house. With porter and pathos, with whisky and
fair ; but a posterior rotundity, or a whining,
balance, was wanting behind; and They quickly all look as if long they'd been you may now tell the country lasses, dining,
if they wish to be fashionable, they Their shrub and their sighs court our noses
must resemble two blown bladders, And their twopenny blends in libation with
tied together at the necks. tears;
Says Lady Winterbottom t'other