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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


Volume 8 Page 95
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 67 the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in the first volume of whose Transactions it was published ; and by the public in general, as well as by the author himself, it has always been numbered among the h e s t productions of the poet. It is much to be regretted that Dr. Carlyle favoured the world with so little from his own pen, having published scarcely anything except the Report of the Parish of Inveresk, in Sir John Sinclair’s Statistical Account, and some detached pamphlets and sermons. To his pen has been justly attributed “An Ironical Argument, to prove that the tragedy of Douglas ought to be publicly burnt by the hands of the hangman.”-Edinburgh, 1757, Svo, pp. 24.‘ It is understood that Dr. Carlyle left behind him, in manuscript, a very curious Memoir of his time, which, though long delayed, we have now reason to believe will soon in part be given to the world.’ With the following description of the personal appearance of Dr. Carlyle, when advanced in years, the proprietor of this work has been favoured by a gentleman to whom the literature of his country owes much : “ He was very tall, and held his head erect like a military man-his face had been very handsome-long venerable gray hair-he was an old man when I met him on a morning visit at the Duke of Buccleuchs at Dalkeith.” ’ No. XXX. THE MODERN HERCULES. THIS is a humorous piece of satire upon Dr. Carlyle and the opposition he has uniformly met with from the leading men of the popular party. The uppermost head on the hydra is that of Professor Dalzell of the University of Edinburgh- the one below it that of the Rev. Dr. John Erskine of Carnock, minister of Old Greyfriars’ Church, intended for the bar by his father, but his own inclination was for the pulpit-the undermost head that of the much-esteemed Rev. Dr. Andrew Hunter of the Tron Kirk-and the figure with the hand up, cautioning Dr. Carlyle, that of the Hon. Henry Erskine, advocate, who was generally employed as counsel on the side of the popular party. The other three were intended by Kay, according to his MS., for the Rev. Colin Campbell of Renfrew, the Rev. Mr. Burns of Forgan, and the Rev. Dr. Balfour of Glasgow. Dr. Carlyle is said to have written the prologue to Herminius and Espccsia, a tragedy acted at Edinburgh, 1754, and printed that aame year in 8vo. * This has now been published by Messrs. William Blackwood & Sons, one volume 8v0, 1860. A second edition was iasued the same year, entitled “Autobiography of the Rev. Dr. Alexander Carlyle, Minister of Inveresk, containing Memorials of the Men and Events of his tie.’’
Volume 8 Page 96
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