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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


B I 0 GR AP €1 I C AL SKETCH E S. 357 who plumed themselves on more respectable connections, but was politically viewed as a hotbed of disaffection and sedition. Under this impression, the General Assembly bent all its influence against the practice; and, in the “Pastoral Admonition” of 1799 (alluded to in our notice of the Rev. Rowland Hill), the teachers of Sabbath Schools were described as persons “ notoriously disaffected to the civil constitution of the country.” The parochial clergy throughout Scotland were consequently opposed to such schools; and, in several instances, carried their authority so far as to order them to be suppressed. In the case in question, the teachers, with the view of securing his approbation and patronage, had requested Dr. Moodie to visit the class. The Doctor accordingly came ; but, without condescending to examine the pupils, or inquire into the motives of the teachers, instantly commanded the scholars to disperse. The friends of the Professor were afterwards anxious to hush up the matter ; but the artist, who was an uncompromising censor of the times, produced his “Modern Moderation,” and gave full publicity to the circumstance. In apostrophising the genius of Kay on this occasion, as “the lash 0’ Edinbro’ city,” the author of the following unpublished lines declares- ‘‘ Thoo’st gien yon billy sic a whauker, ’Twill dash his pride- For now his faut appears the blaclcer, An’ winna hide. * * * * Thy limner fame is widely spread- Even London ne’er thy match has bred- Wha’s like John Kay ? Thou’lt live for aye, ” The REV.D R. WILLIAMM OODIE, whose figure in the foreground cannot be mistaken, was the son of the clergyman, at one time of Gartly, near Strathbogie, and latterly of Monymeal, in Fifeshire. He was first ordained to the church in Kirkcaldy, and from thence translated to Edinburgh in 1787. As a preacher, he was esteemed for the chaste style of his elocution, and the classic polish of his composition. He was an excellent scholar, and especially conversant with the languages of the East. In 1793, he was appointed Professor of Hebrew in the University of Edinburgh, the duties of which he discharged for nineteen years. Besides Hebrew and Chaldaic, which more properly belonged to the professorship, he directed his attention to the other Eastern languages ; and was the first to introduce Persiac into his class-which has since been continued by his successors. His conduct towards his students was that of a gentleman and friend. He had been long in a delicate state of health, and was confined for a considerable period prior to his death. A posthumous volume of his sermons was given to the public. Dr. Moodie died on the 11th June 1812.
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358 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. BXLIV. THOMAS ELDER, ESQ. OF FORNETH, LATE LORD PRQVOST OF ERINBURGH. TRIS gentleman held the office of Chief Magistrate of Edinburgh at the following different periods-first, from 1788 till 1790; again, from 1792 till 1794; and, lastly from 1796 till 1798. Great responsibility WCLS attachable to the office during the second period of his pravostship, in consequence of the disturbed state of the country, and the measures of agitation resorted to by the “Friends of the People.” Provost Elder exerted himself vigorously to check the inroad of democracy, Although the troops then scattered over Scotland were under two thousand, he ventured, assisted by a few only of the more respectable citizens of Edinburgh, to suppress the meeting of the memorable British Convention, held on the 5th December 1793, taking ten or twelve of the principal members prisoners; and, in a similar manner, on the 12th of December, he dissolved another meeting, held in the cock-pit at the Grassmarket. On the 13th January 1794 an immense crowd had assembled on occasion of the trial of Maurice Margarot, for the purpose of accompanying him to the Court of Justiciary. In anticipation of this, the Magistrates, City-Guard, and constables, with a number of respectable inhabitants, met at an early hour in the Merchants’ Hall, and sallying forth, with the Chief Magistrate at their head, about ten o’clock, they met Margarot and a number of his friends walking in procession under an ornamental arch, on which the words “Liberty, Justice,” etc. were inscribed. The canopy was instantly seized and thrown over the east side of the North Bridge; and, with the assistance of the crew of a frigate lying in Leith Roads, the crowd was dispersed, and the two arch-bearers captured. At ameeting of the Town Council on the 9th September, immediately previous to the annual change in that body, they “unanimously returned their thanks, and voted a piece of plate to the Right Hon. the Lord Provost, for his spirited and prudent conduct while in office, and especially during the late commotions.” On the formation of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, in the summer of 1794, Mr. Elder intended, on retiring from the provostship, to enter tbe ranks as a common volunteer ; but this resolution was rendered nugatory by a mark of distinction emanating from the members of the association. For obvious reasons the commission of Colonel was to be invested in the Chief Maa&trate
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