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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


14 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. v. LORD KAMES. HUG0 ARNOT, ESQ. OF BALCORMO, ADVOCATE. LORD MONBODDO. HENRY HOME, LORDK AMESt,h e first figure in this Print, well known by his numerous works on law and metaphysics, was a judge of the Courts of Session and Justiciary, He was born in the county of Berwick, in the year 1695, and was descended of an ancient but reduced family. But it was to his own exertions, his natural talent, and profound legal knowledge, that he was indebted for the high rank and celebrity he subsequently attained ; for his father was in straitened circumstances, and unable to extend to him any such aid as wealth could afford. His lordship was early destined for the profession of the law, in which he wisely began at the beginning ; having started in his career as a writer's apprentice, with the view of acquiring a competent knowledge of the forms and practical business of courts. After long and successful practice at the bar, he was raised to the bench, and took his seat 6th February 1752. Lord Kames possessed a flow of spirits, and a vivacity of wit and liveliness of fancy, that rendered his society exceedingly delightful, and particularly acceptable to the ladies, with whom he was in high favour. He is accused of having become in his latter years somewhat parsimonious ; what truth may have been in the accusation we know not. Notwithstanding the general gravity of his pursuits, his lordship was naturally of a playful disposition, and fond of a harmless practical joke, of which a curious instance is on record. A Mr. Wingate, who had been his private tutor in early life, but who had by no means made himself agreeable to him, called upon him after he had become eminent in his profession, to take his opinion regarding the validity of certain title-deeds which he held for a sum of money advanced on land. The lawyer, after carefully examining them, looked at his old master with an air of the most profound concern, and expressed a hope that he had not concluded the bargain. The alarmed pedagogue, with a most rueful countenance, answered that he had ; when Mr. Home gravely proceeded to entertain him with a luminous exposition of the defects of the deeds, showing, by a long series of legal and technical objections, that they were not worth the value of the parchment on which they were written. Having enjoyed for aome time Wingate's distress, he relieved the sufferer by thus addressing him-"You may remember, sir, how you made me smart in days of yore for very amall offences : now, I think our
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