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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


222 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. with which he watched over and soothed the decline of a venerable mother (who died not above four years ago) afforded a convincing proof. The variety of his knowledge, the cheerfulness of his disposition, the unaffectedness of his character, and even the occasional touch of eccentricity in his manners-all contributed to make him as amusing and agreeable an associate as we ever encountered at the convivial board.”-Literary Gazette, 12th July 1834. In Dr. Watt’s Bibliotheea Britannicn, the record of Mr. Rylance’s avowed works, previous to 1824, is limited to-“ A tribute to the Memory of William Pitt,” 8v0, 1806; “Sketches of the Causes and Consequences of the late Emigration to the Brazils,” 8v0, 1808 j and “ A Vocabulary of English Words, chiefly derived from the Saxon, with their Signification in Spanish,”-to which is added, “ A short English Grammar for Spaniards,” SYO, 1813. NO. xcm. LEVELLING OF THE HIGH STREET OF EDINBURGH. THE idea of levelling the High Street was entertained so far back as 1785 ; and the ‘I contest” which ensued is a matter of some notoriety in the civic history of the Scottish capital. The projected improvement was one of considerable importance, as it contemplated the reduction of a very inconvenient and somewhat dangerous rise in the centre of the street, which greatly incommoded the communication by the north and south approaches. Under the patronage of Sir James Hunter Blair, then Lord Provost, the undertaking was acceded to by a majority of the Town Council, and an advertisement issued in consequence, stating that a contractor was wanted “ to level the High Street, and to dig and carry away from it about 6000 cubic yards of earth.” This advertisement was generally understood to mean simply the reduction of the “ crown 0’ the causey” to a level with the sides ; but, when the operation commenced, it was discovered that the plan was much more extensive, and that, in following it out, some parts of the street would require to be lowered more than five feet. The proprietors of houses and shops became alarmed. Meetings were called, and a serious and formidable opposition to the measure was organised. A bill of suspension and interdict (somewhat analogous to an injunction in England) was presented ; and subsequently, on the 8th October, an interlocutor was pronounced, appointing a condescendence (or specification of facts) to be given in, showing in what manner the adjacent houses, vaults, etc., would be affected by the proposed alterations. Reports were then lodged by Messrs. Brown and Kay on the part of the Town Council ; and by Messrs. Young and Salisbury, on that of the proprietors. The bill of suspension was passed.
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