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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


I91 OLD AKD NEW EDINBURGH. [IFeriot Row. lady weak poems, which were noticed by Lockhart in the Quarterly Rmim, and to the paper he a p pended in one copy, which was sent to the senator, the following distich, by way of epitaph :- U Here lies the peerless paper lord, Lord Peter, Who broke the laws of God and man and metre.? The joke chiefly lay in Robertson being led to suppose that the lines were in the entire edition, much to his annoyance and indignation ; but Lockhart penned elsewhere the following good wishes concerning him :- ? Oh! Petrus, Pedro, Peter, which you will, Long, long thy radiant destiny fulfil. Bright be thy wit, and bright the golden ore Paid down in fees for thy deep legal lore ; Bright be that claret, brisk be thy champagne, Thy whisky-punch, a vast exhaustless main, With thee disporting on its joyous shore, Of that glad spirit quaffing ever more ; Keen be thy stomach, potent thy digestion, And long thy lectures on ? the general question ;? While young and old swell out the general strain, We ne?er shall look upon his like again.? Lockhart wrote many rhyming epitaphs upon him, and is reported to have written, ? Peter Robertson is ?a man,? to use his own favourite quotation, ?cast in Nature?s amplest mould.? He is admitted to be the greatest corporation lawyer at, the Scotch bar, and he is a vast poet as well as a great lawyer.? Lord Robertson, who lived in No. 32 Drummond Place, died in 1855, in his sixty-second year. No. 38 was for years the abode of Adam Black, more than once referred to elsewhere as publisher, M.P., and Lord Provost of the city, who died on the 24th January, 1874. Forming a species of terrace facing the Queen Street Gardens from the north, are Abercrombie Place and Heriot Row-the first named from the hero of the Egyptian campaign, and the latter from the founder of the famous hospital on ground belonging to which it is erected. The western portion of the Row, after it was built, was long disfigured by the obstinacy of Lord Wemyss, who declined to remove a high stone wall which enclosed on the north and east the garden that lay before his house in Queen Street. Sir John Connel, Advocate and Procurator for the Church, author of a ?Treatise on Parochial Law and Tithes,? apd who figures among Kay?s Portraits as one of the ?Twelve Advocates,? James Pillans, LL.D., Professor of Humanity in the University 1820-63, and Sir James Riddel, Bart., of Ardnaniurchan and Sunart, lived respectively in Nos. 16, 22, and 30, Abercrombie Place; while on the west side of Nelson Street, which opens off it to the north, resided, after 1829, Miss Susan Edmondston Ferrier, authoress of ? Marriage,? ? Inheritance,? and ? Destiny,? one who may with truth be called the Zast of the literary galaxy which adorned Edinburgh when Scott wrote, Jeffrey criticised, and the wit of Wilson flowed into the Nodes. She was the friend and confidant of Scott. She survived him more than twenty years, as she died in 1854. In the house numbered as 6 Heriot Row, Henry Mackenzie, the author. of the 6? Man of Feeling,? spent the last years of his long life, surviving all the intimates of his youth, including Robertson, Hume, Fergusson, and &dam Smith ; and there he died. on the 14th of January, in the year 1831, after having been confined to his room for a considerable period by the general decay attending old age. He was then in his eightysixth year. No. 44 in the same Row is remarkable as having been for some years the residence of the Rev. Archibald Alison, ?to whom we have already referred; in the same house with him lived his sons, Professor Alison, and Archibald the future historian of Europe and first baronet of the name. The latter was born in the year 1792, at the parsonage house of Kenley,in Shropshire. The Rev. Archibald Alison (who was a cadet of the Alisons, of New Hall, in Angus) before becoming incunibent of the Cowgate Chapel, in 1800, had been a prebendary of Sarum, rector of Roddington, and vicar of High Ercal; and his wife was Dorothea Gregory, grand-daughter of the fourteenth Lord Forbes of that ilk, a lady whose family for two centuries has been eminent in mathematics and the exact sciences. His sermons were published by Constable in 1817, twenty-seven years subsequent to his work on ?Taste,? and, according to the Literary Magazine for that year and other critical periodicals, since the first publication of Blair?s discourses there were no sermons so popular in Scotland as those of Mr. Alison. He enforced virtue and piety upon the sanction of the Gospels, without ehtering into those peculiar grounds and conditions of salvation which constitute the sectarian theories of religion, regarding his hearers or readers as having already arrived at that state of knowledge and understanding when, ? having the principles of the doctrine of Christ, they should go on unto perfection.? Great King Street, a broad and stately thoroughfare that extends from Drummond Place to the
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