James Beattie

(25 October 1735 – 18 August 1803 / Laurencekirk in the Mearns, Scotland)

James Beattie
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Professor James Beattie FRSE was a Scottish poet, moralist and philosopher.

He was born the son of a shopkeeper and small farmer at Laurencekirk in the Mearns, and educated at Aberdeen University. In 1760, he was appointed Professor of moral philosophy there as a result of the interest of his intimate friend, Robert Arbuthnot of Haddo. In the following year he published a volume of poems, The Judgment of Paris (1765), which attracted attention. The two works, however, which brought him most fame were:

His Essay on the Nature and Immutability of Truth (1770), intended as an answer to David Hume, which had great immediate success, and led to an introduction to the King, a... more »

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Best Poem of James Beattie

The Hares, A Fable.

Yes, yes, I grant the sons of earth
Are doom'd to trouble from their birth.
We all of sorrow have our share;
But say, is yours without compare?
Look round the world; perhaps you'll find
Each individual of our kind
Press'd with an equal load of ill,
Equal at least. Look further still,
And own your lamentable case
Is little short of happiness.
In yonder hut that stands alone
Attend to Famine's feeble moan;
Or view the couch where Sickness lies,
Mark his pale cheek, and languid eyes,
His frame by strong convulsion torn,
His struggling sighs, and looks...

Read the full of The Hares, A Fable.

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