Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


270 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. it would be disgraceful to our character as Scotsmen were such an act of exclusion recorded in the books of this society. Were he the son of a beggardid his talents entitle him-he has a right to the highest distinction in the land.”’ No. CIX. JOHN WRIGHT, ESQ., ADVOCATE. THIS Print represents the subject of our sketch at a later period of life than the former etching ; and, to judge from his attitude, he may be supposed in the act of addressing the bench. He spoke so very slow that his pleadings were far from being effective. On one occasion he was engaged in conducting a case before Lord Hailes. Mr. -, the opposing council, who first addressed the bench, spoke so thick, fast, and indistinct, that his lordship was under the necessity of requesting him to speak slower, that he might understand him; but the judge found himself in the adverse predicament with Mr. Wright. “Get on a little faster,” said his lordship, addressing the advocate, “ for I am tired following you.” “ If it were possible,” observed Erskine, solta voce, “ to card the two together, something good might be made of them both,” Mr. Wright was unquestionably more fitted for a lecturer than an advocate, and to his success in the former avocation he was chiefly indebted for a livelihood. He also derived no inconsiderable income from his literaT labours. For many years he wrote all the Latin theses. One work on mathematics’ MR. WRIGHTn ever attained to great eminence as a pleader. That the political principles of Mr. Wright were liberal may be inferred from his intimacy with, and the friendship shown him by, Mr. Erskine ; but it may not be generally known that he ever published his sentiments on the subject of Reform. We have, however, accidentally fallen in with a pamphlet which seems to have been published by Mr. Witght in 1784, entitled “ An Essay on Parliamentary Representation and the Magistracies of our Royal Boroughs ; showing tht the abuses at present complained of, respecting both, are late deviations from our constitution, as well as from common sense ; and the necessity of a speedy Reform.” This pamphlet is anonymous ; but from the following words, in the handwriting of Mr. Wright, being written on the title-page, there can be no doubt that the production was his own :-“This Essay ccnatuins the mbstaace of the Author’s idem on Parle’anwntary Representation. Mr. Alison’a opinion of it would oblige his hwn&le servant -JOHN WRIQHT.” The Essay is well written, and affords a luminous review of the rise and progress of feudal government, and the various lawa and enactments which have led to the formation of what is called the British constitution. His observationa extend to almost every branch of national economy. [The MT. Alism alluded to waa probably an accountant of that name who lived in St. James’ Square.] 2 Elements of Trigonometry, Plane and Spherical ; with the Principles of Perspective and Projection of the Sphere.” In 8v0, Edinblwh, 1772.
Volume 8 Page 377
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Volume 8 Page 378
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