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show what his feelings were while this affair continued under agitation.
“ To Thomas Scott, Esq., Douglas, Isle of Man.
“ Edinburgh, 25th May 1810. My Dear Tom,
“ I write under some anxiety for your interest, though I sincerely hope it is groundless. The devil or James Gibson * has put it into Lord Lauderdale's head to challenge your annuity in the House of Lords on account of your non-residence, and your holding a commission in the militia. His lordship kept his intention as secret as possible, but fortunately it reached the kind and friendly ear of Colin Mackenzie. Lord Melville takes the matter up stoutly, and I have little doubt will carry his point, unless the whole bill is given up for the season, which some concurring opposition from different quarters renders not impossible. In that case, you must, at the expense of a little cash and time, shew face in Edinburgh for a week or two, and attend
office. But I devoutly hope all will be settled by the bill
* James Gibson, Esq. W.S. (now Sir James Gibson-Craig of Riccarton, Bart.) had always been regarded as one of the most able and active of the Scotch Whigs -- whose acknowledged chief in those days was the Earl of Lauderdale.
being passed as it now stands. This is truly a most unworthy exertion of private spite and malice, but I trust it will be in vain.”
“ Edinburgh, June 12th. 66 Dear Tom,
“I have the pleasure to acquaint you that I have every reason to believe that the bill will pass this week. It has been committed ; upon which occasion Lord Lauderdale stated various objections, all of which were repelled. He then adverted to your case with some sufficiently bitter observations. Lord Melville advised him to reserve his epithets till he was pleased to state his cause, as he would pledge himself to show that they were totally inapplicable to the transaction. The Duke of Montrose also intimated his intention to defend it, which I take very kind of his Grace, as he went down on purpose, and declared his resolution to attend whenever the business should be stirred. So much for
• The Lord of Graham, by every chief adored,
Who boasts his native philabeg restored.'”*
* These lines are slightly altered from the Rolliad, p. 308. The Duke had obtained the repeal of an act of Parliament forbidding the use of the Highland garb.
“ Edinburgh, 21st June 1810. My Dear Tom,
« The bill was read a third time in the House of Lords, on which occasion Lord Lauderdale made his attack, which Lord Melville answered. There was not much said on either side: Lord Holland supported Lord Lauderdale, and the bill passed without a division. So you have fairly doubled Cape Lauderdale. I believe his principal view was to insult my feelings, in which he has been very unsuccessful, for I thank God I feel nothing but the most hearty contempt both for the attack and the sort of paltry malice by which alone it could be dictated.”
The next letter is addressed to an old friend of Scott's, who, though a stout Whig, had taken a lively interest in the success of his brother's parliamentary business:
“ To John Richardson, Esq., Fludyer Street,
“ Edinburgh, 3d July 1810. · My Dear Richardson,
“ I ought before now to have written you my particular thanks for your kind attention to the interest which I came so strangely and unexpectedly to have in the passing of the Judicature Bill. The only purpose
which I suppose Lord Lauderdale had in view was to state charges which could neither be understood nor refuted, and to give me a little pain by dragging my brother's misfortunes into public notice. If the last was his aim, I am happy to say it has most absolutely miscarried, for I have too much contempt for the motive which dictated his Lordship's eloquence, to feel much for its thunders. My brother loses by the bill from £150 to £200, which no power short of an act of Parliament could have taken from him, and far from having a view to the compensation, he is a considerable loser by its being substituted for the actual receipts of his office. I assure you I am very sensible of your kind and friendly activity and zeal in my brother's behalf.
6 I received the Guerras* safe; it is a fine copy, and I think very cheap, considering how difficult it is now to procure foreign books. I shall be delighted to have the Traité des Tournois. I propose, on the 12th, setting forth for the West Highlands, with the desperate purpose of investigating the caves of Staffa, Egg, and Skye. There was a time when this was a heroic undertaking, and when the return of Samuel Johnson from achieving it was hailed by the Edin
of the Guerras Civiles de Granada,
burgh literati with per varios casus,' and other scraps of classical gratulation equally new and elegant. But the harvest of glory has been entirely reaped by the early discoverers; and in an age when every London citizen makes Lochlomond his washpot, and throws his shoe over Ben-Nevis, a man may endure
every hardship, and expose himself to every danger of the Highland seas, from sea-sickness to the jaws of the great sea-snake, without gaining a single leaf of laurel for his pains.
“ The best apology for bestowing all this tediousness upon you is, that John Burnet is dinning into the ears of the Court a botheration about the politics of the magnificent city of Culross. But I will release you sooner than I fear I shall escape myself, with the assurance that I am ever yours most truly,
I conclude the affair of Thomas Scott with a brief extract from a letter which his brother addressed to him a few weeks later: -“ Lord Holland has been in Edinburgh, and we met accidentally at a public party. He made up to me, but I remembered his part in your affair, and cut him with as little remorse as an old pen.” The meeting here alluded to occurred at a dinner of the Friday Club, at Fortune's Tavern, to which Lord Holland was introduced by Mr Thomas Thomson. Two gentlemen who were present,