the present Lord-Advocate of Scotland.1 It was Murray who gave the motto, at which Sydney Smith laughed,—Judex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur,—from Publius Syrus, though he was innocent of having read Syrus. I forget the motto which Smith offered.2 From here I go to Strachur Park, by Inverary, in the Highlands, to visit the Lord-Advocate; and thus see the other of that association which gave such a new character to periodical literature. I passed nine days in Edinburgh,3 and was received with the greatest kindness; though Lord Jeffrey in one of his letters to me said that I was unfortunate in my time of coming, as everybody was away shooting grouse, and that he could only promise me a hearty welcome. The first day I dined with Sir John Robison (Secretary of the Royal Society); next with Lady Gifford, where I met Lockhart; then with Captain Moore; then with Lord Jeffrey; then with Sir James Gibson Craig; then with Sir William Hamilton;4 then with the officers of the Horse-Guards stationed at Edinburgh; then with Mr. Guthrie Wright, to meet the Attorney-General and my most attractive friend, Lady Stratheden; and last with Mr. Fergusson, the author of the work on Divorce, and a venerable friend of Scott,—to say nothing of breakfasts. Add to this, that I was obliged to decline as many more invitations, and those from the Solicitor-General of Scotland, two from Lord Jeffrey, and also from the Attorney-General and Lady Stratheden. The last lady I admire very much,—the daughter of a peer, and moreover a peeress by creation in her own right; beautiful, accomplished, amiable, bland. I do not remember that I have met another lady of her age, the mother of a considerable family, equally attractive. Sir William Hamilton is the brother of Cyril Thomas Hamilton; he is quite learned, but brusque and gauche in his manners. Wilson I did not see. He was invited once or twice to meet me where I dined or breakfasted; but he took no notice of the invitations, nor of a letter of introduction to him from Sir David Brewster. He was spoken of as very odd, almost mad. Some of my friends wished me to call upon him; but I resolutely declined, having determined never to put myself forward to make an acquaintance in Britain. I find that Willis is much laughed at for his sketches; and Wilson says that he never said what is attributed to
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 2 : Parentage and Family.—the father.
Chapter 3 : birth and early Education.— 1811 - 26 .
Chapter 4 : College Life.— September , 1826 , to September , 1830 .—age, 15 - 19 .
Chapter 5 : year after College.— September , 1830 , to September , 1831 .—Age, 19 - 20 .
Chapter 6 : Law School .— September , 1831 , to December , 1833 .—Age, 20 - 22 .
Chapter 7 : study in a law office .—Visit to Washington .— January , 1854 , to September , 1834 .—Age, 23 .
Chapter 8 : early professional life.— September , 1834 , to December , 1837 .—Age, 23 - 26 .
Chapter 9 : going to Europe .— December , 1837 .—Age, 26 .
Chapter 10 : the voyage and Arrival.— December , 1837 , to January , 1838 — age, 26 - 27 .
Chapter 11 : Paris .—its schools.— January and February , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 12 : Paris .—Society and the courts.— March to May , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 13 : England .— June , 1838 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 27 - 28 .
Chapter 14 : first weeks in London .— June and July , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 15 : the Circuits .—Visits in England and Scotland .— August to October , 1838 .—age, 27 .
1 John Archibald Murray was in Parliament from 1832 to 1835; succeeded Francis Jeffrey, in 1834, as Lord-Advocate, and, losing the office in a few months, resumed it in 1835, and was raised to the bench in 1839 as a Lord of Session. He died March 7, 1859, in his eighty-first year, at his residence on Great Stuart Street, Edinburgh. Save Brougham, he was the last survivor of that company of men who distinguished the society of Edinburgh during the first third of the present century,—Jeffrey, Brougham, Playfair, Sydney Smith, Francis Horner, Thomas Brown, and Henry Cockburn. A note of Sydney Smith, introducing Sumner to the Lord-Advocate, was forwarded to the latter, and was at once recognized by welcoming Sumner to Strachur Park, near Inverary, with directions to come by Loch Lomond, Tarbet, and Cairnclan. In London, he afterwards invited Sumner to take tea at 1 Parliament Place, with Sydney Smith and Harriet Martineau as expected guests.
2 Sydney Smith offered, Tenui musam meditamur avena;,—‘We cultivate literature on a little oatmeal,’—which was rejected as coming too near the truth. Lady Holland's ‘Memoir of the Rev. Sydney Smith,’ Chap. II.
3 He lodged at Tait's Hotel, Princes Street.
4 The metaphysician, 1788-1856.
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