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his party. I now see, said he, that the duty of the government is to take the lead, i. e. the initiative, by propounding what really is, as Tom Payne has said, the absolute right of every man.

No marvel that he soon after published an ample recantation by as ample a qualification. The popular mind, said he, before it can be free, requires a higher degree of popular education ? And after all, who did not know all that as well as our highly-gifted Chancellor ? Meanwhile each party sticks to the general creed, which serves each and all in their time of need, viz., “While you are in power catch what you can.” How else could they always have enough to themselves, as well as something to spare, so as to give to each of their helps a share, after first helping all their own relations ? This is every party-man's practical notion of the absolute. Even in a philosophic view, a party-man’s notion is much the same, particularly on all questions which relate to religion. True, the absolute alone is free, but the finite absolutist is not so, even relatively, and yet he presumes, first to declare, and next to impose his own selfish creed, on all who are, as he thinks, bound to obey him. It has even often been the case as respects philosophy. The Pythagoran school would have called any man a fool if the “master philosopher” simply had said it; this was what they called their clencher. Pope Leo the Tenth was as great an absolutist in philosophy as he was in religion. He compelled Galileo to abjure the truth of his great discovery, and yet the humbled philosopher, when he rose from his knees, had the courage to exclaim, “ The world still moves after all !"

The formation of the Destitute Sick Society was also a mean of drawing together the two extremes of the body politic. “Every lame foot requires a helping hand;" the one cannot say to the other, I have no need of thee. I was many years one of its weekly visitors. Another institution became necessary. I saw this at a glance. Typhus fever had suddenly prevailed inourcity; hence I originated and instituted the Edinburgh Fever Board, now merged into the direction of the Royal Infirmary. Again, the Quakers originated a Destitute Prisoners' Society; the late William Ritchie, originator and editor of the Scotsman, and I were its joint-secretaries. It paid no debts, and yet it liberated hundreds of poor debtors! How so? By rational intervention. One day John Wigham tertius, W. Ritchie, and I went to Leith gaol, as missionaries; we in a few hours emptied the gaol of all its prisoners. The gaoler thanked us for our trouble, and said it was a great relief to him, for of them he could gain nothing, they only caused him trouble! The imprisonment of poor tradesmen was a crying sin. The bailiffs used to call on them regularly on every "pay-day.” “Pay me a crown, or to the gaol you must go !” Even at the gaol door the bailiffs often said, “ Pay me only half-a-crown and I will let you go!" These payments did not cover the expense of a poor debtor's apprehension ! We stated this grievance to the Lord Advocate (Rae). “Monstrous ! but I will soon cure that evil!" He instantly brought in a bill, —" ten shillings shall be pre-deposited, i.e. for aliment, should any poor debtor need it. Friendly Societies! It yields me humble satisfaction when I reflect that I held office in all these institutions. The oldest thing I now remember is, that when a child I saw a tented

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* See my printed Report on fever, and the means of its prevention. Typhus fever has again and again decimated Glasgow and Dundee. I intend to republish itas revised by the late Professor Alison, to shew that a medical board should be established in every city of our united empire.

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camp on Musselburgh Links. Its object was to repel a threatened invasion. I next saw, on Edinburgh Links, one thousand carts paraded! They were intended to transport bank treasures, and carry mothers and their children dear far from danger! The number of our volunteers confounded the first Napoleon, hence his flat-bottomed boats lay rotting on their strand. Ah! national bickers are very serious things, as now seen in America !

But to return; our magisterial justice was, in my early days, a very simple thing. 'Old Jamie Laing, clerk of court, was both judge and jury in cases of juvenile delinquency. Confessions by threats were easily obtained. He next dragged them into his back-room, and thrashed them as he saw fit. “Now go," said he, “and if you are brought here again, you shall be locked up in the horrible black-hole !” I, as the fiscal's apprentice, paid the magistrates their shares of the fines once a month. The highest sum I ever paid was paid to Bailie Goldie; it amounted to £29. I thought at the time it was an unusual sum. When I afterwards became a master, I became, of course, “solicitor for the poor.” No criminal can be tried in Scotland without an unpaid agent. No such benefit was allowed in England. My first case was one M‘Millan, “ habit and repute a thief;" his crime was stealing a watch, &c. I first protested that it was illegal to try such a case without a jury, seeing that the crime, as libelled, inferred “the pains of law." “I can easily,” said the judge (substitute), “destroy that objection by ordering the fiscal to minute a restriction, and an interlocutor thereon will be sufficient. This was accordingly done. The prisoner was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment—six months to be fed on bread and water! I then appealed to the sheriff-depute; my radical objection was overruled, “ for,” said the sheriff,“jury trials are not known in any sheriff-court in Scotland.” I instantly drew out a bill of suspension and liberation, and presented it to the Lords of Justiciary. I narrated the history of trial by jury from the earliest times, and shewed that it had been the lust of power" which had led all sheriffs to trample this palladium of our civil liberties in the dust of oblivion. The Lord Advocate, Maconochie, was called on, by next day, to answer it. At the calling his Lordship said, “I find that the bill is unanswerable !” Their Lordships then said, “We have no other alternative than to LIBERATE!” I went direct to bridewell, and set M‘Millan free! I was thus the mean of restoring, i. e. reintroducing “Trials by JURY" into every county in Scotland, even as it is at the present day. I have already said that to Walter M‘Queen I had been indebted for instruction in logic, &c. Hence, when I arrived at the age of seventeen I found its benefit. I had often studied geology when surveying our beautiful Crags, which slope into the Hunter's Bog, and as often lamented over their dilapidation ; and what, said I, is the “ Lord Keeper" of Holyrood Palace not a perfect Goth or Vandal? There is nothing in the world like to those Crags. Why should such barbarism be tolerated ? At last the officers of state directed my master, Francis Wilson, W.S., to apply for an interdict against the late Duke of Hamilton. It was then my duty to draw up memorials (briefs) for counsel. I sat down and I said to myself that the rights and privileges of the duke were necessarily subject to limitation, seeing that he is not proprietor. He might graze the parks, for grass is perishable, but certainly he had no right to alter or destroy a thing committed to his keeping, hence his title “Lord Keeper." Even a pawnbroker dares not wear a pledge, far less has he a right to injure it. Why then should “my lord keeper" be a destroyer? I saw the logical conclusion at

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a glance, i.e. a keeper of a thing is not a destroyer, but, on the contrary, he is a conservator. This word I introduced into the memorial. My master was pleased with the word, and so he might—it gained the day. Even the Lord Chancellor founded on it his interlocutory judgment. Hence the Crags, half-destroyed by mutilation, remain as a monument of ducal vandalism to this very day! Why is the duke's representative not called on to build up what his predecessor had so unfaithfully dilapidated? If I had my will, were his stool as high as Arthur's seat, I would deprive him of his “ heritable ” right, or maybe cast him into the Hunter's Bogie. But what is law? Generally it is use and wont; particularly it is the declaration of a statute. But what is a statute? It is often so ill expressed, and hence so open, that a coach and six might easily ride through it “My lord (once said an advocate) there is the statute.” “True," said Lord Hermond, “ but common sense is paramount to all Acts of Parliament. If they are not common sense, they ought to be it. Hence I decern!" I like the custom of my much respected friend Sheriff Arkley, in cases which baffle all ingenuity, and yet after all seem to shew that a greater part of the claim is justly due. Hence he often says, Can you not divide it? If so, I will decern; if not, I must send it to an accountant. Is not this common sense, for where a pursuer has not been regular, he ought to suffer loss in part, as a just (civil) punishment ? And yet some men are so religious that they are even righteous over-much, This is to many a quæstio vexata ; it simply means, do not exact the uttermost farthing. I once had a case of this description, Hunter v. Bonnar. The claim was for the price of a box of soap. The defence was, “the tare was overcharged one half of a pound." “No," said Hunter, hence both were sent to prove

their averments. The box was produced; I spread out a part which had been injured. The two remaining parts, according to Euclid's law, refused to coincide. I called privately on Bonnar, and said that his conduct was disreputable; but as I was ashamed to prosecute such a case, I offered, if he would give in, to limit my expenses to my outlay. "No," said he, “I will rather fight it out.”

“ So be it,” said I, “ for I can now with good grace pursue it." The question involved only fourpence. The loss to Bonnar was £100! and I made him pay

it. Hunter v. Hill, then City Treasurer, was another of the same. Hill had poinded for non-payment of the “Annuity Tax." One day, in anno 1828, I was on my way to the Court. I saw a rouping at the cross. One told me it was a rouping of John Hunter's sugar loaves. I bought them at twopence per pound! John was my client, hence I instituted an action for damages—the loaves were not the poinded articles! I next discovered that the word "annuity” meant stipend for the clergy; I therefore convened them by a supplementary action. Hill refused to settle, hence the case was, of consent, referred to Francis Jeffrey. He awarded ten pounds damages, besides all expenses ! But what of that? The consequences were fatal to the city clergy. Why so? The case brought to light, first, that the tax was a stipend tax, and, secondly, that the Act of 1809, which was its warrant, had been illegally smuggled through both Houses of Parliament. What I said the Dissenters, are we to pay stipends to clergymen who never preach to us, and with whose services we would much rather dispense ? Nay, more, are we to be subjected to an illegal Act?. Hence all the hubbub and uproar from that day to this. Hence thousands of Dissenters still refuse to pay this iniquitious tax, and their number is increasing.--See my “History of the Ministers' Stipend Tax," price One Shilling, and by which I have shewn that

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my exposure in the case of Hunter v. Hill was the finite first cause of the “Disruption"! My reader can now easily answer the questions, What is law? and What is its philosophy? I will add one case more before I draw from these premises my logical conclusion. The late John Cullen, W.s., versus John Mitchell, of Glasgow. This was a case of accounting. The defence was that Cullen was claiming double payment. I lost the case by a unanimous judgment of the Court (Second Division, Hope). What, said Mitchell, have I no redress? Yes, said I, if you appeal it. I reminded him that I had gained one case for him before on appeal, and I felt certain that the Lord Chancellor would ignore the judgment complained of. The case, I said, involves a large amount, hence, I said, "try it." An appeal was lodged. I waited, in London, on our junior counsel (Lord-Advocate Moncreiff), he said he was certain that I would lose it, and that the Chancellor would scold him for advocating it. Will you, my Lord, said I, read a paper which I will write and send to you this night for perusal ? Certainly, said he. I instantly returned to my lodgings, and spent the day in cogitating and composing a second brief of sixteen explanatory pages. Next day his Lordship said that it had caused him to change his opinion, and he was glad to add that he now had great hopes of it. I replied, “Fight you for

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and on return I will fight for you in Leith.” I fulfilled my pledge by securing votes. At last the case was put out for hearing. I had returned to Edinburgh, but a telegraphic message reached me in time to enable me to return to do my duty. As use is, a council of war was held. I said to Sir Richard Bethel that I was responsible for having advised the appeal, and although it was contrary to rule,

I could not with satisfaction return to Scotland unless he listened to me for a few minutes. He, smiling, said, Say your say. I did so, and added, Now let the case go as it may, I have at least done my duty. A macer led us, as in a procession, The great door of the House was opened. We saw something truly grand when we entered the highest Court of the nation. The Chancellor (St Leonards) was sitting on the woolsack. Sir Richard (as senior) spoke first. His eloquence, even in a case of figures, astonished me. No one at the Scottish bar could have equalled him. He put me in mind of the famous Henry Erskine of my young days, or perhaps he is more like to the late George Cranstoun, who, like him, ignored all nonsense, and whose silver tongue was truly eloquent. His sound judgment was even sounder than that of the very soundest of our best divines. Rolt followed on the other side, but he was no match for Sir Richard. Ah, said I when he was done, “Richard is himself again !” Lord Moncreiff acted his part nobly, he had been benefited by his prompter. Mr Anderson, Q.C., concluded the long debate. Lord St Leonards then rose, and resting his right hand on a table, spoke for one whole hour. (I had engaged a reporter.) His concluding sentence was to me the most eloquent and musical of all. He at last pressed his hand more forcibly on the table, and with greater emphasis exclaimed, “It is a most unrighteous claim, and totally without foundation. I move your lordships to reverse the judgment of the Court below." I shook Sir Richard by the hand, and thanked him for his civility and his eloquence as well. We telegraphed the victory to the appellant, and after four hours' anxiety, I first dined with a friend, and next, at the Shades, we enjoyed a magnum of good Port. I mention this on account of a very strange occurrence. I had proposed to my friend to drink my worthy client's health. John Mitchell tapp'd me on the back, and caught us in the very act! Ho! said he, what are you about? And

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what, said I, has brought you hither at the very nick of time? Have you and I really beaten the telegraph ? “Not I,” was his reply. Then I must have done it? Why so? We have telegraphed to Glasgow that your appeal has been sustained, and yet you are here before it! It is indeed, said he, a very strange occurrence, hence “I must call in one magnum more." We could not believe that a similar coincidence had ever before occurred.

But after all, it may be said, what has all this "nonsense," as Ferrier would have said, to do with philosophy ? Much every way. But, first, let me contrast the purity, learning, and independence of the English bench with that of ancient Rome, with all her boasted virtue! But the less that is said of some of our former, such as Jeffrey, Cunningham, Clerk, and Robertson, so much the better for modesty, as every working man unhappily knows full well. But had we not in olden time many men such as Stair, and Erskine, and Blair, as well as Hume, my late Professor, and John S. More, my late and early friend, all mighty men of renown? Yea, verily, Cranstoun, Moncreiff, Gillies, &c., would have done high honour to any bench in the world. But “would any man ever have imagined,” said Seneca," that Clodias should have come off by bribery, for debauching the wife of Cæsar and profaning the public vows for the safety of the people; but the judges were corrupted, and not only with money, but with the bodies of young men and women, so that his absolution was fouler than his crime; the bribe was adultery as well as the offence, and he had no way to be safe till he had made his judges like himself. Name the woman you have a mind for, and you shall have her. Commit the sin, and condemn it if you dare, &c. Nay, the practice was so gross, that the bench desired a guard of the sepate to secure them from the people ! Before the sentence was given, he was an adulterer, in the management of his cause he was a panderer, and his way of escaping punishment was fouler than the offence that deserved it. A lust that spared not the altar, and perverted justice upon the very seat of judgment! The question was, Whether an adulterer should escape unpunished, and the resolution was, that without being an adulterer he could not be secure ! Nor is it likely that their conversation was one jot honester than their sentence-and yet the practices of our times are moderate compared with those when the delinquent pleaded not guilty to the bench, and the bench confessed itself guilty to the delinquent."

Seeing such was the state of matters in Rome--and she, too, boasted of her liberty 1-how thankful ought we to be that law is still administered in the House of Lords by men of undoubted probity, learning, ability, and purity of manners as well! Destroy the House of Lords, along with the supremacy of its Lord Chancellor, and we shall then have bid adieu to all that is noble and valuable in the British constitution, seeing that inferior judges require one acknowledged head possessed of highest reason and intelligence to guide and control them all. Salus populi suprema est lex. The very life and safety of the people depend on the law's supremacy, along with the purity, ability, and independency of its administrators. I feel satisfied that if I had appealed against the vile judgment of our highest court, by which the illegal Act of 1809 was unjustly legalised, the public peace of our city would not have been disturbed, and the liberties of Dissenters would not have been violated, far less would their independence and virtuous personality have been insulted, as it is at this day, by a presumptuous, self-conceited, and usurping city priesthood, who live by legalised

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