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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. xxxv. THE SAPIENT SEPTENVIRI. KING‘S COLLEGE, ABERDEEN. THE original design of this curious Print was sent to Kay by a Mr. ROSSa, native of Aberdeen, and formerly. student of medicine, of whom all that is known is, that he obtained the situation of a surgeon in the navy, but lost it in consequence of having made his brother officers the victims of his talent for caricatura. The Seven Professors of King’s College, caricatured in this Print, were all hostile to a scheme of the day (1786) for the union of King’s and Marischal Colleges.’ There is perhaps still in existence a similar effort of Ross’s pencil, in which some of the Professors of Marischal College make a not less ridiculous figure. This last Print we have never chanced to see, but we have been informed that the famous Principal Campbell occupied a conspicuous place in it, and that attached to his effigies was the punning interrogatory-“ What do the Scriptures Principal-ly teach P ” In the above print DR. SKENE OGILVY is represented as inculcating on the Septemviri the duty of returning good for evil. The Doctor was senior minister of Old Aberdeen, and was formerly minister of the parish of Skene. He was a man of great natural talents, but was never remarkable for much application. His powers as a preacher were of no ordinary cast, and many yet remember the stirring effect of his eloquence on his hearers. He was remarkable for a vein of broad humour, and abounded with amusing anecdote, but unfortunately his many happy sayings have “ left but their fame behind.” The Doctor carried his contempt of external appearances of religion to a length which some were disposed to regard as inconsistent with the gravity of the clerical character. In reference to this trait, he used to relate with great glee the following anecdote : Soon after his settlement at Skene, he overheard the beadle and sexton of the parish discussing the merits of their new minister ! “ I dinna think,” said the sexton, ((that our new man has the religion 0’ the Weel,” continued the beadle, ‘(if he has nae religion he pretends to as little.” When the Doctor was a student at College, it was customary for the aspirants to the degree of A.M. to deliver a thesis in the public hall of the College: when Skene’s turn came, he mounted the rostrum, and began to make diligent search in all his pockets for his MS. ; no papers, however, were forthcoming. Nothing disconcerted, he very coolly took out an immense mull, and, after a This union was at length effected in the year 1860.
Volume 8 Page 109
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Volume 8 Page 110
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