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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


384 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Lord Robertson retired from the bench in 1826, in consequence of the infirmity of deafness, which prevented him from discharging his important duties in such an efficient manner as he had hitherto done ; and he spent the remainder of his days in a dignified retirement, enjoying the pleasures afforded by that taste for literature for which he was distinguished amongst those who were best qualified to form an opinion of his merits. Professor Dugald Stewart, in his Life of Principal Robertson, says-" His [the Principal's] eldest son, an eminent lawyer at the Scottish bar, has been only prevented by the engagement of an active profession from sustaining his father's literary name." Lord Robertson died on the 20th of November 1835. He was twice married, but left no children by either of his wives. In the jeu d'esprit called the " Diamond Beetle Case," attributed to George Cranstoun, Esq. (Lord Corehouse), the manner and professional peculiarities of several of the Senators composing the " last sitting " are happily imitated. The involved phraseology of Lord Bannatyne-the predilection for Latin quotation of Lord Meadowbank - the brisk manner of Lord Hermand - the anti-Gallic feeling of Lord Craig -the broad dialect of Lords Polkemmet and Balmuto-and the hesitating manner of Lord Methven-are admirably caricatured. This effusion, humorous without rancour, was much appreciated at the time, and is so characteristic, that we need not apologise for giving it a place here :- '' N 0 TE S TAKEN AT ADVISING THE ACTION OF DEFAMATION AND DAMAGES, ALEXANDECRU NNINGHAMJ,'e weller in Edinburgh, AGAINST JAMERSU SSELLS,*u rgeon there. '' LORDP RESIDENT(S, IRI LAYC A&rPBELL).-Yoiir Lordships have the petition of Alexander Cunningham against Lord Bannatyne's interlocutor. It is a case of defamat,ion and damages for calling the petitioner's Diamond Bdle an Epjptian Louse. You have the Lord Ordinary's distinct interlocutor on pages 29 and 30 of this petition :--'Having considered the Condescendence Mr. Cunningham was a gentleman, who, notwithstanding the aristocratic dislike of the Modern Athenians to persons in trade, was received into the best society. He was understood to be of the Glencairn family, and to have a claim to that dormant earldom. Re was a great friend of Burns, and became possessor, by donation from the Poet's brother, of his punch bowl, of black or Inverary marble, elegantly mounted with silver. Upon his death, in 1814, this interesting relic was offered for sale by private bargain ; but not finding a purchaser, it was sold by auction, on the 20th of January 1816, bythe late John Ballantyne,for eighty guineas, The Ayrshire Club,it is said, were the purchasers. a Afterwards Professor of Clinical Surgery in the University of Edinburgh.
Volume 9 Page 513
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