Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


210 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. ments and opinions from a narrow-minded feeling, nor obtruded them unnecessarily, or at unseasonable times, from vanity or affectation. His manners were uncommonly mild, gentle, and inoffensive, insomuch that none, even of his own family, ever remember to have seen him out of temper. In his last and long illness he was never in the smallest degree peevish, fretful, or melancholy. He died on the 24th June 1795. MR. ANDREW BELL, engraver, the other figure in the Print (of whom we have already given some particulars), was an intimate acquaintance of Mr. Smellie, and was frequently engaged, jointly with him, in various literary speculations. He engraved all the plates to illustrate the translation of Euffon. The second edition of this work began to be published in 1776. At the death of Mr. M'Farquhar, the other proprietor, in 1793, the whole became the property of Mr. Bell. It is well known that he left a handsome fortune, mostly derived from the profits of this book. By the sale of the third edition, consisting of 10,000 copies, the sum of 542,000 was realised. To this may be added Mr. Bell's professional profits for executing the engravings, etc. Even the warehouseman, James Hunter, and the corrector of the press, John Brown, are reported to have made large sums of money by the sales of the copies for which they had procured subscriptions. After Mr. Bell's death, the entire property of the work was purchased from his executors by one of his sons-in-law, Mr. Thomson Bonar, who carried on the printing of it at the Grove, Fountainbridge. In 1812 the copyright was bought by Messrs. Constable and Co., who published the fourth, fifth, and sixth editions, with the Supplement by Professor Napier. The work still continues to maintain so high a reputation in British literature, that the sixth edition has been followed up by a new (seventh) and stereotype edition, with modern improvements, and additions to its previously accumulated stores. The animal he rode was remarkably tall ; and Andrew, being of very diminutive stature, had to use a small ladder to climb up in mounting it. The contrast between the size of the horse and his own little person, togetherwith his peculiarly odd appearance, rendered this exhibition the most grotesque that can well be conceived; but such was his magnanimity of mind, that no one enjoyed more, or made greater jest of the absurdity than himself. One of them was married to Mr. hlabon, ropemaker, Leith; and the other to Mr. Thornson Bonar, merchant in Edinburgh. Mr. Bell was the principal proprietor of the Encycloym'dia Britannica. Mr. Bell was in the habit of taking exercise on horseback. Mr. Bell left two daughters.
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