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in Edinburgh; he quarrelled with all the faculty of the place, whose characters he did not spare, in attacking their opinions. He accumulated debt on debt, till he was obliged to escape from the storm which was gathering over him. He afterwards resided in Paris, where he contracted more debts, and was forced to decamp. He then retired to Italy, where he soon died, a melancholy example of misapplied talents and of the effects of debau chery.
Others believe no voice t' an organ
Edinburgh, April 5th, 1819. To John D
I occasionally pay a visit to the courts of justice, to acquaint myself with the forms of the Scotish law. I cannot help laughing at the capacious wigs and ridiculous trappings worn by the lawyers, who parade the courts with the most ludicrous solemnity, looking, as the French say, as grave as a pot.de-chambre!
Nothing is more laughable than to see one of hese orators at the bar, holding up his head with the most insipid serenity, and now and then smoothing down the curls of his enormous wig that reaches down to his middle, whilst his brows are knitted into an assumed frown of profound reflection. I lately was present at a trial, in which I had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Jeffrey, the celebrated editor of the Edinburgh Review, who is certainly more agreeable as a writer than as an orator; for, not to mention his intolerable Scotch accent, he has none of the suaviter in modo, which gives eloquence half its fascination. As I got heartily tired of his long winded speech, I pulled out a volume of Junius from my pocket, and after taking a survey of the rapacious pettifoggers in the room, I deemed it a singular coincidence, that I opened the book exactly at this passage:
“ If there be any instances upon record of genius and morality united in a lawyer, they are distinguished by their singularity, and operate as exceptions!”
The Scotch lawyers of the highest class are the wealthiest and most influential citizens of dinburgh, which, as it monopolizes most of Ahat precious commodity, the law business, has a great legislative preponderance over the rest of Scotland. The commercial towns have their litigious matters transacted by the lawyers of Auld Reekie, who doubtlessly are fully as honest in their dealings as other members of this laudable profession! It is the fashion in Edin
burgh for every lawyer to be a perfect Proteus in his “ way of life.” In London, an attorney is a plain man of business, and knows nothing of the gayeties of fashion, whilst the “ man of wit and pleasure about the town,” labours in his vocation, and does not trouble his head about the drudgery of business: every man is, more or less, what he gives himself out to be, and nothing more. Here a lawyer is at the same time an attorney, a reviewer, a fashiona. ble beau and a virtuoso! In the morning, he deals out his jargon, under his wig with two hundred curls; when he gets his feet on his andirons at home, he scribbles quires full of criticism, or reads over the “last sweet novel,” or involves himself in the mazes of the Lake poetry; in the evening, he appears in the ball room or in the saloon of fashion,“ neat, trimly dressed, fresh as a bridesgroom.” One would be apt to imagine that such a fellow was a finished Aristippus; but, if you pursue him with a critic's eye, you will find him a clumsy speaker at court, a dry writer at home, and an awkward beau in the modish circles!
In front of the main entrance to the courts of law, is seen a statue of Charles II., one of the most profligate and worthless monarchs that ever sat on the English throne. It is hard to imagine why this pensioned libertine-should be selected from the whole precious line of kings, to receive such an honourable distinction as this. Charles II., (says Burke,) was a man without any sense of his duty as a prince,
vithout any regard to the dignity of his crown; yithout any love to his people; dissolute, false, zenal, and destitute of any positive good quaity whatsoever, except a pleasant temper, and the manners of a gentleman.
It is curious to observe what a number of the Royal have lately died. A king of Sweden has just made his exit, and left his throne to a soldier of fortune-then follow a queen
of Portugal, an heiress presumptive of England, and numberless petty German legitimates, whose states are not much larger than some of our American farms! Then de part a queen of England, (a stingy, narrow-minded, snuff-taking baggage,) a queen of Spain, a queen of Wirtemberg, and an old queen of Spain, with her husband Charles IV. This old
queen, (mother of the embroiderer,) was one of the most notorious royal strumpets in Europe but as she was legitimate, we shall probably hear of a long string of virtues which she possessed. I will admit that she is as reasonably entitled to the epithet of chaste, as the most
gracious queen Charlotte is to that of generous i and liberul!
I will close this medley with a description of the markets of Edinburgh, which are situated on a series of terraces, extending gradually to the slope of the North Loch. The most beautiful of these establishments is the Flower Market, which displays the flowers of the season in all their brilliant colours. The variety of hues and the native perfumes exhaled from
the roses, jonquils and hyacinths, produce the most agreeable effect. The different vases of flowers are arranged in a sort of amphitheatre, which presents the idea of the tiers of boxes at the play-house, crowded with fashion and beauty. The rose, blushing amidst its dew. bespangled leaves, the lily bearing its snowy bosom to the wanton air, the crimson-tipped daisy and the tulip-unfold their silken leaves to the zephyrs, and to the variegated butterflies that flutter around them, and drink their bright sparkling dew. There is a singular contrast between the juvenile freshness of the flowers, and the senilis inertia of the old women who sell them. In this market, the observer forgets for a moment that he is in the midst of a populous city; but the harsh voices of the venders of the flowery ware soon undeceive hini: he finds himself surrounded by hucksters; he is entirely disenchanted! In the evening, I often walk through this market to enjoy the perfumes breathed from plants that wake while others sleep, from the jasmins for instance which, as Moore beautifully observes, keep
“ Their odour to themselves all day,
To every breeze that roams about." Walking down one of the closes of High street towards North Loch, you fall into the Vegetable Market, which presents a pleasing aspect. This market is a square surrounded