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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 423 to receive him at that hour, three times a week, and Burns gladly availed himself of the offer ; and, for three months, whatever happened to be his engagements, and however agreeably he might be occupied, he regularly attended at the hour appointed; and so diligently and so successfully did he apply himselq that, as Mr. Cauvin has often stated, he made more progress in the acquisition of the language in these three months, than any of his ordinary pupils could have done in as many years. In the year 1824 Mr. Cauvin was seized with a disease which terminated in mortification of the toes of the right foot; and it was only after repeated remonstrances that he was induced to call in medical aid. From the vigour of his constitution, however, the disease was checked ; but being attacked by dropsy, it proved fatal to him ; and he was cut off in December of the following year, after a lingering confinement, during which he displayed remarkable fortitude under great suffering.‘ In pursuance of the directions contained in his will, his remains were interred in Restalrig burying-ground, where his father and the rest of the family had been buried. The site of the tomb is on the right hand, immediately before the entrance to the chapel. The following is the inscription, which was placed there by his trustees :- To the Meniory of LOUIS CAUVIN, ESQUIRE, for many years an eminent Teacher of French in Edinburgh, who bequeathed a fortune, acquired by his own skill and industry, to Endow the Hospital in the parish of Duddingstou, which bears his name. He died, 19th December 1825, aged seventy-one.a In passing from the “ Windy Cowl ” to Wester Duddingston the eye ir caught by a square building overtopping the adjoining houses, which might be regarded as the village priron. The history of “ The Tower,” for it is so ycleped in the village, is somewhat remarkable. Having purchased some feu-ground, lying betwixt the mansion-house of the late Colonel Graham and the main street of the village, Mr. Cauvin proceeded to build upon it, having beforehand declined, aa might have been expected, to accept of an offer from the Colonel of the exact purchase-money. As the windows of the new house overlooked the Colonel’s grounds he raised his garden-wall so as to overtop the gable. To countervail such procedure, Mr. Cauvin had the roof taken down and two storeys added, whilst the Colonel on his part raised the garden-wan in proportion ; and it is uncertain how long such unseemly contention might have been kept up, as it was only terminated by the death of Mr. Cauvin. The not inappropriate name of “ Cauvin’s Folly ” is frequently given to ’‘ The Tower.” Colonel Graham survived him five years, i.e. till June 1830. The property of Mr. Cauvin, on which “The Tower ’’ is built, was, two or three years ago, purchased by H. Graham, Esq., son of the Colonel In Hr. Cauvin’s will the following directions occur as to the place of his sepulture :-“My corpse is to be deposited in Restalridge Churchyard, and watched for a proper time. The door of the tomb must be taken 06 and the space built up strougly with ashler stones. The M must be dot up for ewr, lcever tu be opened. There is a piece of marble on the tomb door, which I put up in memory of my father : all I wish is, that there may be put below it an inscription mentioning the time of my death. I beg and expect that my Trustees will order all that is written above to be put in execution.’’ Codicil, dated Duddigston Farm, 28th April 1823.
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424 BI 0 GRAPH I C AL S KETC HE S. Mr. Cauvin was for many years treasurer to the Friendly Society of Restalrig, whose funds he carefully managed, and in whose concerns he took a benevolent and most anxious interest. When the ancient chapel was restored, after his death, there was inserted in the wall of the interior an urn of white marble on a black slab to his memory, with a short inscription. The Hospital, for the erection and endowment of which Mr. Cauvin bequeathed the greater part of his fortune, was opened on the 30th of November 1833. Its management is vested in certain individuals nominated by the Founder,’ and in the Lord Provost of the city, the Principal of the University of Edinburgh, the Rector of the High School of Edinburgh, the Ministers of Duddingston, Liberton, and Newton, the Proprietor of the Lands of Niddry, and the Factor of the Marquis of Abercorn. The trustees afterwards assumed Mr. Pillans, the Professor of Humanity in the University, to act along with them. The recipients of the charity are required, upon admission, to be of the age of six, and under that of eight years, and are maintained for six years. It is enjoined that they shall chiefly be the sons of persons of the two classes with which the Founder himself was so long connected, namely, Teachers and Farmers. His words are-“ An Hospital for the relief, maintenance, and education of the sons of respectable but poor teachers j the sons of poor but honest farmers ; whom failing, the sons of respectable master-printers or booksellers ; and the sons of respectable servants in the agricultural line.” Accordingly, seventeen sons of teachers, and three sons of farmers are at present (1838) enjoying the benefits of the foundation. They are instructed in the ordinary branches of education, and also in Latin, Greek, French, Mathematics, etc. It is apparent from the following declaration, made by the Governors in the Regulations which have been framed, by the testator’s directions, for the management of the Institution, that they have availed themselves of the discretionary power with which they are invested, for advancing the cause of education in this country by raising the profession of teachers to greater usefulness: --“And, first of all, We, the said Governors, taking into consideration that the Founder was for the greater part of his life a public teacher, and that he has shown especial good-will to the profession he belonged to, by preferring to the benefits of this charity the children of teachers, do hereby declare generally, That we regard it as a leading object of the Cauvin Institution, to lay the foundation of a professional education for schoolmasters, so that as many of the boys as circumstances shall permit be prepared to become skilful and accomplished teachers.” The training of a few, therefore, for the profession of public teachers may be regarded as a distinguishing feature in this Seminary ; and in this manner, from time to time, many young men may go forth from its walls qualified for entering upon the duties of public tuition with decided advantage.” These were, Archibald Nisbet, Esq., of Carfin ; Jam- Fergusson, Esq., W.S.; John Tweedie, Esq., W.S.; the late Robert Stewart, Esq., Deputy-Presenter of Signatures ib the Exchequer ; Mr. David Scott, Northfield ; the 1ate;Mr. John Johnstone, Southfielrl; Mr. George Knight, teacher in Edinbnrgh ; and Mr. Andrew Scqtt, W.8.’ Mr. Stewart and Nr. Tweedie did not accept.
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