Scott, George Lewis

, a learned member of the royal society, and of the board of longitude, was the eldest son of Mr. Scott, of Bristow, in Scotland, who married Miss Stewart, daughter of sir James Stewart, lord advocate of Scotland in the reigns of William III. and queen Anne. That lady was also his cousin-german, their mothers being sisters, and both daughters of Mr. Robert Trail, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, of the same family as the rev. Dr. William Trail, the learned author of the “Life of Dr. Robert Simson, professor of mathematics at Glasgow.

Mr. Scott, the father, with his family, lived many years abroad, in a public character; and he had three sons born while residing at the court of Hanover. The eldest of these was our author, George Lewis, named, in both these names, after his god-father, the elector, who was afterwards George I. George Lewis Scott was a gentleman of considerable talents and general learning; he was well-skilled also in the mathematical sciences ,*

*

Dr. Burney, in the Cyclopædia, speaks of Dr. Scott as an excellent musician, and the author of some valuable articles 6n that subject, in the Supplemeat to Chambers’s Dictionary.

for which he manifested at times a critical taste, as may be particularly seen in some letters which, in 1764, passed between him and and Dr. Simson, of Glasgow, and are inserted in Dr. Trail’s account of “The Life and Writings of Dr. Simson.” Mr. Scott was also the author of the “Supplement to Chambers’s Dictionary,” in 2 large folio volumes, which was much esteemed, and for which he received 1,500l. from the booksellers, a considerable price at the time of that publication. Mr. Scott was sub-preceptor, for the Latin language, to his present majesty when prince of Wales. After that he was | appointed a commissioner of excise; a situation which his friends considered as not adequate to his past deserts, and interior to what he probably would have had, but for the freedom of his political opinions. From some correspondence with Gibbon, to whom, in particular, he wrote an excellent letter of directions for mathematical studies, we may infer that he did not differ much from that gentleman in matters of religious belief. Mr. Scott died. Dec. 1730. He was elected F. S. A. in 1736, and F. R. 8. in 1737.

Mrs. Scott, his widow, survived him about fifteen years, and died at Catton, near Norwich, in Nov. 1795. She was sister to the late celebrated Mrs. Montagu, of Portmansquare. From the pen of a very intelligent and equally candid writer, we have the following account of this lady “She was an excellent historian, of great acquirements, extraordinary memory, and strong sense; and constantly employed in literary labours; yet careless of fame, and tree from vanity and ostentation. Owing to a disagreement of tempers, she soon separated from her husband; but in every other relation of life she was, with some peculiarities, a woman of exemplary conduct, of sound principles, enlivened by the warmest sense of religion, and of a charity so unbounded, so totally regardless of - herself, as to be almost excessive and indiscriminate. Her talents were not so brilliant, nor her genius so predominant, as those of her sister, Mrs. Montagu: but in some departments of literature she was by no means her inferior. When she left her husband she united her income with that of her intimate friend, lady Bab Montagu, the sister of lord Halifax, and they continued to live together to the death of the latter. From that period Mrs. Scott continually changed her habitation, for restlessness was one of her foibles. Her intercourse with the world was various and extensive; and there were few literary people of her day with whom she had not either an acquaintance or a correspondence. Yet when she died, not one of her contemporaries who knew her literary habits came forward to preserve the slightest memorial of her; and she went to her grave as unnoticed as the most obscure of those who have done nothing worthy of remembrance. Under these circumstances, the writer of this article trusts to a candid reception of this imperfect memoir, while he laments that Mrs. Scott herself shut out some of the best materials, by ordering all her papers and voluminous correspondence, which came into the hands of | her executrix, to be burnt; an order much to be lamented, because there is reason to believe, from the fragments which remain in other hands, that her letters abounded with literary anecdote, and acute observations on character and life. Her style was easy, unaffected, and perspicuous; her remarks sound, and her sagacity striking. Though her fancy was not sufficiently powerful to give the highest attraction to a novel, she excelled in ethical remarks, and the annals of the actual scenes of human nature. In dramatic effect, in high-wrought passion, and splendid imagery, perhaps she was deficient.

The following is given on the same authority, as an im<­perfect list of Mrs. Scott’s works, all published at London, without her name, and one with a fictitious name, 1. “The History of Cornelia/' a novel, 1750, 12mo. 2.” A Journey through every stage of Life,“1754, 2 vols. 12mo. 3.” Agreeable Ugliness or, the triumph of the graces,“&c. 1754, 12mo. 4.” The History of Gustavus Ericson, king of Sweden, with an introductory history of Sweden, from the middle of the twelfth century. By Henry Augustus Raymond, esq.“1761, 8vo. 5.” The History of Mecklenburgh,“1762, 8vo. 6.” A Description of Millenium Hall,“second edition, 1764, 12mo. 7.” The History of sir George Ellison,“1776, 2 vols. 12mo. 8.” The test of Filial Duty,“1772, 2 vols. 12mo. 9.” Life of Theodore Agrippa D’Aubigne," 1772, 8vo.1