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corded to him by his contemporaries. To his honour it ought also to be stated, that he manifested much filial affection, making it a rule to consume nothing in the shape of food which he collected, till he had carried it home, and this he put into his pocket whether it was in the shape of solids or fluids. At one time, however, he is said to have conceived an aversion to silver money, and therefore his parent employed a boy, who was his nephew " to accompany him in the character of a receiver-general and purse-bearer."
There is not an authority belonging to the close of the eighteenth century, who, to this day, is more generally quoted than Francis M'Nab, Esq., of M'Nab. He has been made to father a greater number of curious sayings and doings than any eccentric Scotchman, we presume, that can be named. "As the Laird of M'Nab said" or "did," is the introduction to innumerable pieces of wit or drollery. He was a confirmed bachelor, but still the parent of a numerous progeny of sons and daughters. It is reported, that when in the course of one of the numerous litigations which troubled him on account of his irregularities, the opposite counsel observed that it was currently believed that the Laird had no less than twentyseven natural children in the quarter where he lived, the accused being in court rose up and said, "it is a pig lee, my lord, I have only four-and-twenty." Kay has represented him in the act of reeling along, a little declined from the perpendicular, a condition that was not, we believe, extraordinary in his history.
Andrew Bell, an engraver and a very odd-looking gentleman, figures in a plate with several other remarkable personages, one of them being Charles Byrne, the Irish giant, who is said to have measured eight feet two inches in height, and to have been proportionally thick. Mr. Bell, with regard to person, rejoiced in an enormously large nose; and while his knees smote one other, his feet were at great variance and wide asunder-thus his nether branches formed an angle which was far from being a very acute one. His example in several respects was worthy of extensive imitation.
"Mr. Bell began his professional career in the humble employment of engraving letters, names, and crests on gentlemen's plate, dog's collars, and so forth, but subsequently rose to be the first in his line in Edinburgh. His success, however, can scarcely be attributed to any excellence he ever attained as an engraver, but rather to the result of a fortunate professional speculation in which he engaged. This was the publication of the Encyclopædia Britannica, of which he was proprietor to the amount of a half; and to which he furnished the plates. By one edition of this work he is said to have realized twenty thousand pounds.
"Mr. Bell did not possess the advantage of a liberal education, but this deficiency he in some measure compensated in after life by extensive reading, and by keeping the society of men of letters, of which aids to intellectual improvement he made so good a use that he became remarkable for the extent of his information, and so agreeable a companion that his company was in great request.
"Mr. Bell was a true philosopher: so far from being ashamed of the unnecessary liberality of nature in the article of nose, he was in the habit of making it the groundwork of an amusing practical joke.
"He carried about with him a still larger artificial nose, which, when any merry party he happened to be with had got in their cups, he used to slip on, unseen, above his own immense proboscis, to the inexpressible horror and amazement of those who were not aware of the trick. They had observed of course, at the first, that Mr. Bell's nose was rather a striking feature of his face, but they could not conceive how it had so suddenly acquired the utterly hideous magnitude which it latterly presented to them.
"Mr. Bell was also remarkable for the deformity of his legs, upon which, however, he was the first person to jest. Once in a large company, when some jokes had passed on the subject, he said, pushing out one of them, that he would wager there was in the room a leg still more crooked. The company denied his assertion and accepted the challenge, whereupon he very coolly thrust out his other leg, which was still worse than its neighbour, and thus gained his bet.
"Mr. Bell acknowledged he was but a very indifferent engraver himself, yet he reared some first-rate artists in that profession. He died much regretted, at his own house in Laurieston Lane, at the advanced age of eighty-three, on the 10th of May 1809.
The only other biographies that we shall at present quote from belong to a plate which contains the figures of three men. The literary works of two of them are known throughout Europe, while those of the other are deservedly esteemed, and will continue to be so, in his native country; we refer to Lord Kames and Lord Monboddo, and to Hugo Arnot, the author of an excellent "History of Edinburgh," besides other books. These were some of the stars which shone most brightly at a time when the capital of Scotland contained a galaxy of mental and literary light, and was earning for itself a reputation throughont the learned world. The lives of such persons as Kames and Monboddo are too well known to require any new sketch of them in so far as their public acts and their writings are concerned. But the author of the present biographies has been at pains to collect many curious notices and anecdotes which, even more perfectly than public deeds can do, illustrate the habits and peculiar modes of thinking of these and other eminent individuals.
Lord Kames was a man possessed of a great flow of spirits and extremely active. He was also sufficiently eccentric to obtain the study and delineation of our artist. The following are some of the particulars set before us in a sketch of him.
"Amongst his lordship's singularities, which were not a few, was an unaccountable predilection for a certain word, more remarkable for its vigour than its elegance, which he used freely even on the bench, where it certainly must have sounded very oddly. This peculiarity is pointed out in the amusing poem, entitled the Court of Session Garland,' by James Boswell
"Alemoor the judgment as illegal blames
""Tis equity, you b-h," replies my Lord Kames.'
"About a week before his death, which was the result of extreme old age, feeling his end approaching, he went to the Court of Session, addressed all the judges separately, told them he was speedily to depart, and bade them a solemn and affectionate farewell. On reaching the door, however, he turned round, and, bestowing a last look on his sorrowing brethren, made his exit, exclaiming, Fare ye a' weel, ye b-ches!'
"Not more than four days before his demise, a friend called on his lordship, and found him, although in a state of great languor and debility, dictating to an amanuensis. He expressed his surprise at seeing him so actively employed. Ye b-h,' replied Kames,' would you have me stay with my tongue in my mouth till death comes to fetch me?' A day or two after this, he told the celebrated Dr. Cullen that he earnestly wished to be away, because he was exceedingly curious to learn the nature and manners of another world. He added Doctor, as I never could be idle in this world, I shall willingly perform any task that may be imposed on me in the next.'
"During the latter part of his life, he entertained a dread that he would outlive his faculties, and was well pleased to find, from the rapid decay of his body, that he would escape this calamity by a speedy dissolution. He died, after a short illness, on the 27th of December, 1782, in the 87th year of his age."
Of Lord Monboddo, the judicial title of James Burnett, an amiable man and able lawyer, every one has heard; his opinion recorded in his celebrated work on the " Origin and Progress of Language," that the "human race were originally gifted with tails!" being the most usual circumstance by which he is brought to mind. He at an early age distinguished himself by his proficiency in ancient literature, the study of which, in after life, was his ruling passion, to the exclusion of the productions of modern talent. We also learn in the pages before us what were some of his peculiaries in ordinary life.
"Amongst these was his never sitting on the bench with his brethren but underneath with the clerks, a proceeding which is said to have been owing to the circumstance of their lordships having on one occasion decerned against him in a case when he was pursuer for the value of a horse, and in which he pleaded his own cause at the bar. Generally speaking, he was not inclined to assent to the decisions of his colleagues. On the contrary, he was often in the minority, and not unfrequently stood alone. He was nevertheless an eminent lawyer, and a most upright judge, and had more than once the gratification of having his decision confirmed in the House of Peers, when it was directly opposed to the unanimous opinion of his brethren.
"It has been already mentioned that an exclusive admiration of classic literature, which extended to every thing connected with it, formed a prominent feature in his lordship's character. This admiration he carried so far as to get up suppers in imitation of the ancients. These he called
VOL. III. (1837.) No. III.
his learned suppers. He gave them once a week, and his guests generally were Drs. Black, Hutton, and Hope, and Mr. William Smellie, printer, including occasionally the son of the gentleman last mentioned, the present Mr. Alexander Smellie.
"His lordship was in the habit for many years, during the vacations, of making a journey to London, where he enjoyed the society of some of the most eminent men of the period, then residing there, and frequently had the honour of personal interviews with the King, who took much pleasure in conversing with him.
"These journeys his lordship always performed on horseback, as he would on no account even enter a carriage, against the use of which he had two objections: First, that it was degrading to the dignity of human nature to be dragged at the tails of horses, instead of being mounted on their backs; and second, that such effeminate conveyances were not in common use amongst the ancients.
He continued these annual equestrian journeys to London till he was upwards of eighty years of age. On his last visit, which he made on purpose to take leave of all his friends in the metropolis, he was seized with a severe illness on the road, and would probably have perished on the way-side, had he not been overtaken accidentally by his friend Sir John Pringle, who prevailed upon him to travel the remainder of the stage in one of these vehicles for which he entertained so profound a contempt. Next day, however, he again mounted his horse, and finally arrived in safety and in good spirits at Edinburgh.
"His lordship was very partial to a boiled egg, and often used to say, Show me any of your French cooks who can make a dish like this." " He seems to have been one of those whom Kay had a pleasure in delineating, for he appears in the character of Contemplation in a distinct plate, such as may be supposed to have been the attitude and appearance when he was employed in the composition of his great work. He sits at a table, upon which is seen the apparatus necessary to an author. In a corner of the apartment hangs a picture, in which his notion about tails is illustrated by a group of little fellows adorned with these appendages.
The portraits of the two judges, of whom we have been hearing, contrast strongly with that of Hugo Arnot, whose fellow, in point of exterior, probably does not exist. He was of great height, but nervous disease and other ailments reduced him almost to a shadow, so that he was the subject of many jests and witticisms. As his present biographer says, although Hugo was "the reverse of Falstaff in figure, he resembled that creature of imagination in being not only witty himself, but the cause of wit in others." He was bred to the bar, where he would have risen to eminence had not a severe asthma unfitted him for public speaking and otherwise wasted him. One or two other circumstances concerning him will occupy all the remaining space which we can allot to the present article; but enough has been said and cited to show what is the character of the work-a work which, there can be no doubt, will obtain a large share of popularity.
"In his professional capacity he was guided by a sense of honour, and of moral obligation, to which he never scrupled to sacrifice his interests. He would take in hand no one cause, of the justice and legality of which he was not perfectly satisfied. On one occasion, a case being submitted to his consideration, which seemed to him to possess neither of these qualifications-Pray,' said he, with a grave countenance to the intending litigant, what do you suppose me to be?' Why,' answered the latter, I understand you to be a lawyer.'-' I thought, Sir,' said Arnot, sternly, 'you took me for a scoundrel!" The man withdrew, not a little abashed at this plump insinuation of the dishonesty of his intentions.
"On another occasion, he was waited upon by a lady not remarkable either for youth, beauty, or good temper, for advice as to her best method of getting rid of the importunities of a rejected admirer, when, after telling her story, the following colloquy took place :—
'Ye maun ken, Sir,' said the lady, that I am a namesake o' your ain. I am the chief o' the Arnots.'
"Are you by Jing?' replied Mr. Arnot.
"Yes, Sir, I am; and ye maun just advise me what I ought to do with this impertinent fellow?'
Oh, marry him by all means! It's the only way to get quit of his importunities.'
I would see him hanged first!' replied the lady, with emphatic indignation.
Nay, Madam,' rejoined Mr. Arnot; marry him directly, as I said before, and, by the lord Harry, he'll soon hang himself."
"The severe asthmatic complaint with which he was afflicted, subjected him latterly to much bodily suffering. When in great pain one day from difficulty of breathing, he was annoyed by the bawling of a man selling sand in the streets.
"The rascal!' exclaimed the tortured invalid, at once irritated by the voice, and envious of the power of lungs which occasioned it, he spends as much breath in a minute as would serve me for a month.'
"Mr. Arnot had a habit of ringing his bell with great violence-a habit which much annoyed an old maiden-lady who resided in the floor above him. The lady complained of this annoyance frequently, and implored Mr. Arnot to sound his bell with a more delicate touch: but to no purpose. At length, annoyed in turn by her importunities, which he believed to proceed from mere querulousness, he gave her to understand, in reply to her last message, that he would drop the bell altogether. This he accordingly did; but in its place substituted a pistol, which he fired off whenever he desired the attendance of his servant, to the great alarm of the invalid, who now as earnestly besought the restitution of the bell, as she had requested its discontinuance.
"Mr. Arnot died on the 20th November 1786, in the 37th year of his age, exhibiting, in the closing scene of his life, a remarkable instance of the peculiarity of his character, and, it may be added, of his fortitude. For several weeks previous to his death, he regularly visited his appointed burial-place in South Leith Churchyard, to observe the progress of some masons whom he had employed to wall it in, and frequently expressed a fear that his death would take place before they should have completed the work."