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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


Moray Place.] LORD JEFFREY. 203 Morrison as a suspected person, and you will not liberate him without a communication with me ; and you may inform him of these, my orders. And further, I shall do all I can to prevent him from receiving any compensation from any part of his property which may either be destroyed by the euemy or the King?s troops to prevent it falling into their hands.? In the debate that ensued, Fox and Pitt took animated parts, and Charles Hope ably defended himself, saying that had Mr. Whitbread made such an accusation against him in Edinburgh, ?there would be IOO,OOO tongues ready to repel the charge, and probably several arms raised against him who made it.? He described the defenceless state of the country, and the anomalous duties thrown upon the Lord Advocate since the Union, after which the Privy Council, Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of hate, were illegally abolished, adding that Momson was influenced by the Chairman of the ? Society of Friends of Universal Liberty,? in Portsoy, one of whose favourite measures was to obstruct and discourage the formation of volunteer corps to repel the expected invasion. Pitt spoke eloquently in his defence, contending that ?great allowances were to be made for an active and ardent mind placed in the situation of Advocate-General.? He voted for the order of the day, and against the original motion. When the House divided, 82 were for the latter, and 159 against it ; majority, 77. On the death of Sir David Rae of Eskgrove, in 1804, he was appointed Lord Justice Clerk, and ou taking his seat addressed the Bench in a concise and eloquent speech, which was long one of the traditions of the Court. During seven years that he administered justice in the Criminal Court, his office was conducted with ability, dignity, and solemnity. On the death of the Lord President Blair, in 1811, Charles Hope was promoted in his place, and when taking his seat, made 9 warm and pathetic panegyric on his gifted predecessor, and the ability with which he filled his station for a period of thirty years is still remembered in the College of Justice. He presided, in 1820, at the special commission for the trial of the high treason cases in Glasgow and the West; and sixteen years afterwards, on the death of James Duke of Montrose, K.G., by virtue of an act of parliament, he was ap pointed Lord Justice-General of Scotland, and as such, having to preside in the Justiciary Court, he went back there after an absence of twenty-five years. At the proclamation of Queen Vi<toria he wore the robes of Lord Justice-General. He died and was succeeded in office, in 1841, by the Right Hon. David Boyle of Shewalton; and his son John, who in that year had been appointed Lord Justice Clerk, after being Dean of Faculty, also died at Edinburgh in 1858. No. 24 Moray Place was fie last and long the town residence of Lord Jefiey, to whom we have had often to refer in his early life elsewhere. Here it was, that those evening reunions (Tuesdays and Fridays) which brightened the evening of his life, took place. ?Nothing whatever now exists in Edinburgh that can convey to a younger generation any impression of the charms of that circle. If there happened to be any stranger in Edinburgh worth seeing you were sure to meet him there.? The personal appearance of the first recognised editor of the Edinburgh Review was not remarkable His complexion was very swarthy; his features were good and intellectual in cast and expression ; his forehead high and lips firmly set. He was very diminutive in stature-a circumstance that called forth innumerable jokes from his friend Sydney Smith, who once said, ?? Look at my little friend JefTrey ; he hasn?t body enough to cover his mind decently with ; his intellect is indecently exposed.? On another occasion, Jefiey having arrived unexpectly at Foston when Smith was from home, amused himself by joining the children, who were riding a donkey. After a time, greatly to the delight of the youngsters, he mounted the animal, and Smith returning at the time, sang the following impromptu :- ?Witty as Horatius Flaccus, Great a Jacobin as Gracchus, Short, but not as fat as Bacchq Riding on a little Jackass 1 ? His fondness for children was remarkable. He was never so happy as when in their society, and was a most devoted husband and father. He was Dean of Faculty, and prior to his elevation to the Bench, when he came to 24 Moray Place, had some time previously resided in 92 George Street. Deemed generally only as a crusty and uncompromising critic, he possessed great goodness of heart and domestic amiability. In his latter years, when past the psalmist-appointed term of life, he grew more than ever tendex-hearted and amiable, praised nursery songs, patronised mediocrities, and wrote letters that were childish in their gentleness of expression. ?? It seemed to be the natural strain of his character let loose from some stem responsibility, which made him sharp and critical through all his former life.? In their day his critical writings had a brilliant
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