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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 239
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170 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. is," said Lord Douglas, " but my butler teIls me it is not good."-" Let's pree't," said Braxfield, in his favourite dialect. A bottle of the claret having been instantly produced and circulated, all present were unanimous in pronouncing it excellent. '' I propose," said the facetious old judge, addressing himself to Dr. M'Cubbin, the parish clergyman, who was present, "as a fama clanosa has gone forth against this wine, that you absolve it."--" I know," replied the Doctor, at once perceiving the allusion to Church-court phraseology, " that you are a very good judge in cases of civil and criminal law ; but I see you do not understand the laws of the Church. We Eever absolve till after three several appearances!" Nobody could relish better than Lord Braxfield the wit or the condition of absolution. After a laborious and very useful life, Lord Braxfield died on the 30th of May 1799, in the 78th year of his age. He was twice married. By his first wife, Miss Mary Agnew, niece of the late Sir Andrew Agnew, he had two sons and two daughters. By his second wife, Miss Elizabeth Ord, daughter of the late Lord Chief-Baron Ord, he had no children. His eldest son, Robert Dundas M'Queen, inherited the estate of Braxfield, and married Lady Lilias Montgomery, daughter of the late Earl of Eglinton. The second entered the army, and was latterly a Captain in the 18th Regiment of Foot. The eldest daughter, Mary, was married to William Honyman, Esq. of Graemsay, afterwarda elevated to the bench by the title of Lord Annandale, and created a Baronet in 1804. The second, Catherine, was married to John Macdonald, Esq. of Clanronald. No. LXXII. GEORGE PRATT (THE TOWN-CRIER). THIS person was Town-Crier of Edinburgh about the pear 1784, and made himself remarkable for the manner of his address in discharging the duties of his office. This singularity consisted in an extremely pompous delivery, which proceeded from the very high opinion he entertained of the importance and dignity of his situation as a public officer. Deeply imbued with this sentiment, George gave forth his intimations to the inhabitants-it might be to announce the arrival of a fresh supply of skate-with an air and manner at once extremely imposing and edifying. It is painful to add, however, that he utterly failed in impressing the boys of the town with the same respect for his person and his office that he entertained himself. So far from this, the irreverent young rogues took every opportunity of annoying him. They laughed at his dignity, and persecuted him with the cry of " Quack, quack !"-a monosyllable which was particularly offensive to his ears. This cry @as sometimes varied into " Swallow's nest, " a phrase which he also abominated, as it made an allusion to a personal deformity. Thia was a large excrescence, or wen, that grew beneath his chin. .
Volume 8 Page 240
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