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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 3 29 the British court. Accordingly he and his family arrived in London, by the way of France, in 1782. Amongst his recommendatory letters, those to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire procured him their kind and powerful patronage. He was subsequently introduced to the Royal family, from whom he received several distinguished favours. Presents and benefactions being, however, no certain provision for his permanent and comfortable maintenance, the Count naturally became anxious, and at last reluctantly yielded to the representation of his friends, by adopting the resolution of exhibiting himself. This he did, first at one guinea-then at five shillings-and afterwards at half-a-crown.’ The acute and sensitive mind of Boruwlaski felt extremely mortified at this humiliating mode of life, although the curiosity of the public proved for several years a source of ample revenue. At the time he published his Memoirs, the novelty had considerably abated ; and the fears he entertained of the future were feelingly alluded to in the concluding part of his narrative. Amongst other evils of which he complained, his servant had eloped with trinkets and valuables to a large amount ; and the small pension which he enjoyed from the King of Poland had been stopped, in consequence of a report having reached that monarch‘s ears that he was accumulating a fortune in this country. When Boruwlaski came to Edinburgh in 1788,’ he was considered an object of great curiosity, and the peculiar circumstances of his case having excited general sympathy, he was taken notice of by several respectable gentlemen, and among others by Mr. Fergusson, who generously endeavoured by their attentions to sweeten the bitter cup of life to the unfortunate gentleman. It was soon discovered that the Count was a person of cultivated mind, and possessed of high conversational powers. The opportunities of seeing men and manners which his mode of life afforded, and the acuteness which he displayed in the perception of character, rendered the little foreigner an object of peculiar estimation. After undergoing the annoyance of “ receiving company,” he used The Count did not, at least in Edinburgh, exhibit himself as a dwarf-indeed his feelings would not have allowed of such a thing-he merely received company. He gave a public breakfast, to participate at which the small charge of 3s. 6d. was demanded. The following is a copy of one of his advertisements :-‘I Dun’s Hotel, St. Andrew’s Square. On Saturday next, the 1st of August (17SS), at twelve o’clock, there will be a public breakfast, for the benefit of Count Bornwlaski; in the course of which the Count will perform some select pieces on the guitar,-Tickets (at 3s. 6d. each) may be had at the hotel, or at the Count’s lodgings, No. 4 St. Andrew’s Street, where he continues to receive company every day from ten in the morning till three, and from five till nine. Admittance One Shilling-*,’ The Count will positively quit this place on Friday the 7th of August.” In 1784 the Scottish metropolis was honoured by the presence of a lady, who, from the description of her in the subjoined advertisement, would have been an admirable companion for Boruwlaski : -“ The Author of Natim is wonderful, even in the least of his works. Just arrived, and to be seen by any number of persons, in a commodious room within the head of Forrester’s Wynd, first door and right hand, from eleven o’clock in the morning till eight at night, THEA YAZINWU OMANIN MII?IATUF~, from Magor in Monmouthshire ; who is, beyond contradiction, the most astonishing curiosity sportive nature ever held out to be the admiration of mankind. She is now in the 26th year of her age, and not eighteen pounds weight. A child of two years of age has larger hands and feet ; and in fact she is the most extraordinary cnriosity ever known, or even heard of in history. We shall say no mow of this wonder of nature-let those who may honour her with their visita judge for themselves.-May 26, 1784.” 2 u
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330 B I0 G R A P 11 I CA L S KE T C H E S. to spend the evenings with those families who were kind enough to receive him into their domestic circle, where he always proved, if not a great addition, at least a very pleasing one. Upon an occasion of this description, when with the family of Mr. Fergusson, the Count having expressed a desire to see how the proceedings were conducted in the Court of Session, his host, in his usual obliging manner, agreed to gratify the Count by calling for him next morning on his way to the Parliament House. Mr, Fergusson was true to his appointment, and the artist having observed the parties, has rendered the circumstance memorable by the foregoing etching, which is remarkable for its correct representation of both individuals. The Count is still (1837) alive, and resides at Durham, in a pretty cottage on the banks of the Wear, near the Prebend Bridge, Having obtained, through the generosity of several kind friends, a small annuity, he now hoards with the Misses Ebdon, the sisters of a minor canon of Durham, and seems much attached to his intelligent landladies. The celebrated Stephen Kemble, of cumbrous magnitude, was long his nextdoor neighbour, and their vicinity to each other, as well as congeniality of disposition, soon occasioned constant intercourse and an amusing intimacy betwixt two persons formed by nature in moulds so different. A nephew of the late Mr. Neil Fergusson happened to visit Count Bomwlaski on the 8th of October 1836, and found him, although then in his 97th year, still in tolerable bodily health, and in full possession of all his mental faculties. He recurred with much feeling to the many acts of real friendship which he had experienced from Mr. Fergusson, and spoke with warm gratitude of several other individuals in the Scottish metropolis, whose delicate attentions had served to mitigate the mortifying hardships of his peculiar lot. While in Edinburgh, Boruwlaski’s name, from a similarity in sound, was waggishly converted into Eamel-of- Whisky, by which appellation he was generally known. No. CXXXIV. DR. ALEXANDER HAMILTON, PROFESSOR OF MIDWIFERY. THE Medical School of Edinburgh had been established for a very considerable period of time before it was found necessary to institute a Chair to teach the principles and practice of Midwifery. So early as 1726, Mr. Joseph Gibson had been appointed by the Town Council to give instructions in the art of midwifery ; but he appears to have confined his teaching to females
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