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cate and fubtile argument, and could, had overlooked, or less attentively on proper occafions, successfully puth confidered, he was able to turn the an abstract principle into all its con- tide of argument, and win his brethfequences, and was ever disposed to ren over to his opinion. bestow the due share of praise on this Yet, though this was perhaps his fort of acuteness in others, yet few peculiar excellence, he was the very were so little apt to be dazzled by reverse of a minute or uufteady lawnew or fplendid notions, or lefs sub- yer. He had, on the contrary, the ject to the imposition of false refine- firmeit hold of the principles and ment. His natural good understand spirit of the law in every department, iog, joined to his knowledge of busi- and on all occasions that gave scope ness, readily pointed out to him the for general reasoning, ever drew his real sources and objects of our customs opinion, not from the authority of and statutes, and the consequences to books and precedents, (which hardly be dreaded, if there were at any time any judge ever dealt less in quotiag), forgotten ; and thus, occupying on but from the source and fountainall occafions a strong and fure ground,.. head of the law,-the strain of our he was not easily tempted to abandon Axtures, and the reason and substance it.
of the thing. To the same constitution of mind, But in reciting his qualifications as he was indebted for his particular e- a Judge, we muft not forget one, minence in that article, wherein per- which was in him amongst the most haps lies the main difficulty of the en inent of any, and on no occasion Judge's talk, the discovering the pre- forsook or misled him,—the natural cise application, or the inapplicability - rectitude and pure honour of his own of the general precepts of law to the mind,- which, in the numerous class particular case in hand. He was no of causes that depend on the judge. wise apt to hallen to a sentence, but ment to be formed of the characler patiently suspended his opinion till and conduct of men, directed him with the due investigations had fully rip- certainty to whatever was faulty in ened the case for judgment, which either, and enabled him to shew, which necessary preparation once made, he he did with much energy and feeling, then earnestly applied himself to un- what the conduct of a truly honest derstand, and get possession of, the pe- man would there have been. Indeed, culiar circumstances and proper com- upon such occasions, where the interplexion of that case. Whence it came, elt of morality, or the purity of judithat in the course of the many years c!al proceedings, was concerned, he he sat upon the Bench, the number was sometimes led to expatiate at a of his judgments as an Ordinary, that length which just taste might perhaps were altered on review of the whole have been disposed to blame, had it Court, was almost incredibly small, been a lels warm and pleasing proof of and that, in a great proportion of the his native integrity and cordial atcauses brought before him, the unsuc- tachment to the cause of virtue. cessful party acquiesced in his opinio With all these powerful aslistances, on, and carried the fu't no farther. which so well qualified him to judge
Hence also, in the deliberations of with firmness and decision for himthe whole Court, it often happened, self, he possesso:/ the still more rare, (as many who now hear me remem- and in a Judge inestimable enber), that, by detailing the cause to dowment, of the most perfect canthe Bench, (which he did with great dour, in listening to and weighing the force and perfpicuity), and fixing up- sentiments of others; which virtue og special circumstances which others was in him so conspicuous, that it
might with truth be said of him, the respect and gravity of the Bench, that he had no predilection for any by his rare and happy talent of suitopinion, merely because it had once able, and earnest, and eloquent exbeen his own: So ready was he hortation to the unfortunate convicts, to reconsider his judgment, the mo- which impressed upon the bystanders, meot he saw any cause to doubt it, and rendered salutary to them, the and with fuch perfe&t openness and examples of justice which his duty indifference did he abandon it, how- constrained him to make. ever firm his former persuasion, upon Mr Miller continued, thus honourbeing (from whatever quarter) con- ably to himself, and profitably to the vinced of an error.
- public, to discharge the duties of these These were his acknowledged me- itations, without interruption, till the rits as a Civil Judge. And his zeal year 1781; at which time, his health for the public service as Prelident of being somewhat impaired by so long the Justiciary, was no less confpicu- a course of constant application to buous and successful, as appears from finess, it was judged adviseable for more than one reformation, which the him to discontinue it, and make a forms and practice of the Court un short trial of a warmer climate. He derwent, during the period of his sit accordingly spent some months in viting at the head of it. Of these, the fiting different parts of France; and moit remarkable was the fuller estab- having thence passed into Italy, he lishment of the diftintion in our law had there the satisfaction of con. between culpable homicide and mur- tervplating the magnificent remains of der ; a distinction which seems to reit the grandeur of the people, for whose upon the strongest grounds in reason language and genius he entertained so and humanity, and even to be sup- high an admiration, and of surveying ported by the language of our books with his own eyes many of the picand statutes, but which, neverthless, turesque scenes which had so often the older practice of the Court could delighted him in the descriptions of scarcely be said to have thoroughly re. their poets. He returned in perfect cognised, and which now, in a great health, after being absent for about a measure, owed its reception into lin year, and resumed his former occupa. bels and verdicts to the weight of Mr tions with his wonted vigour and acMiller's opinion, who lost no propertivity. opportunity to countenance and incul. In the month of January 1788, on care so just a doctrine.
the death of President Dundas, he was, We may also mention among the to the entire satisfaction of his coun-' improvements by him suggeited, the try and the Bar, called to preside in late ftatutory dispensation with the the Civil Court. His Majelty, at the tedious, and often u necessary process, same time, thought proper to requite of reducing the testimony of the wite bis long services, by bestowing oo neffes into writing.
him the title of a Baronet of Great Nor muft we pass over his attention Britain. to the exterior decoram of this tribu. It was a very difficult task for any nal, so important to the maintainance man, the youngest and mofi vigorous, of its authority, and which be, in dif- to enter on the extensive labours of ferent ways, materially contributed to this office, after the Lord President support; having abolithcd certain old, Dundas; whose fingular powers for but unleemly practices, and introdu- the rapid dispatch of business will alced various becoming observances, ways be remembered with regret, whonot before his time required; and, a- ever be the person that fills his chair. bove all, having personally added to Yet of his successor, during the short
time he held it, we may with truth temperance and solidity of judgment. say, that he gained an accession of re. Now, these qualities were in hin the putation, by his marner of conducting more to be praised, that they did not himself in this new station, though ad- proceed from any coldness or tardincss vanced to the age of Seventy before he of nature, but were, on the contrary, attained it. And if he sometimes con- united to a very warm and febling fulted with his brethren upon matters heart ; which was manifest in his whole which he might have settled without life and manners. fuch deliberation, this was almost un- No man was perhaps a better citi. avoidable upon the first entry into of- zen, or more genuine patriot, than the fice ; at least in a person like Sir Tho- late President; if we are to esteem him mas Miller, who, with the best preten- such, who not only takes an interest in lions to lead and direct, was free from the internal welfare and prosperity of all desire to exert his influence. This his country, but feels an honest pride mildness of difpofition secured to hiin, and warm concern in its glory and in an uncommon degree, the rcipela consequence as a state, and in the and affection of the Gentlemen at the fplendour of the peoples fame. Of all Bar; whom he always heard with these, the President had, and continued fuch patience, and treated with such to have, even in his latest years, a attention and good breeding, as should, most lively sense; which wis, at one more effectually than the sharpest ani- period of his life, the four e of much madversion, repress all petulance and joy and satisfaction, and at a later peindecorum.
riod of sincere mortification and reHaving thus then gained the fum- gret, and caused him often to lament to mit of his honelt ambition, in rising the rising generation, during the misfor. successively, by his own talents and use- tunes of the late war, that they had only ful labours, to all the great offices of seen a glimpse of the glory of their counthe law ;-having obtained them all try. That part too of the British doa without blame or envy, and held them minions which gave him birth, he was with crcdit and distinction ;-happy attached to with ali the partiality which in retaining, at an advanced age, the a good man naturally feels; nor was full posieflion of health and of his fa- there any subject on which he dwelt culties, and fortunate in his family and more frequently, or with more pleaall his domestic concerns ;-he had sure, than its growing state of improvelittle else to pray for, (since Heaven ment in his own time. had ordered that he should now be call. He was, in like manner, a very focd from the society of persons so dear cial and hospitable man; to his family to him) but an easy ditolution of his and connections, and indeed to all amortal state. And this Divine Pro- bout him, full of gentleness, and kindvidence thought fit to grant him. nels, and cordiality: and this uniform
He died upon the 27th of Septem- ly and without exertion; insomuch ber 1789, after an illness of two days, that no person whom he had rcafon to at his feat of Bartkimming in Ayrshire, esteem or think well of, could ever fly in the 72d year of his age, leaving of him, that he received him coldly, or no good man his enemy, and attended treated him with referre. Good breedwith that sincere and extensive regret, ing indeed, (meaning by the term that which only those can hope for, who kind and open manner which fers a liare occupied the like important fta- stranger or inferior at ease) was in 2 tions, and acquitted themselves as manner natural to him ; and he had it we'l.
to all ranks and conditions of men ; We have spoken of him in his so that in a humane visit to the house public capacity, and noticed his great of a fervant or dependant, he equally
pleased, and was as surely directed to planned, and superintended the exethe very things that were fit and ac- cution of, and successfully conductceptable to be said, as in his inter- ed; though in the hands of most other courle with those of his own rank. men, having the same avocations of Among whom too, and indeed in all business, without the same activity, situations, he was di'tinguished for a contancy, and love of order, they rare simplicity of manners and open- were more likely to have proved aborness of speech ; which flowed from a tive, or even ruinous. purity of thought and intentions, so Sir Thomas Miller was twice marperfect that it was not to be furpaflo ried. By his first wife, Margaret ed.
Murdoch, daughter of John Murdoch, He retained through life the high- merchant in Glasgow, he left issue, eft relish of the beauties of nature, one daughter, and one son, 'now Sir and every year spent a considerable Willian Miller, who follows the same part of the recess of business, in the profeffion in which his father rose to enjoyment and improvement of the fuch distinguished honours. His se. romantic scenes at his place in Barf. cond marriage, of which there is no kimming. It was not, however, to issue, wasto Anne Lockhart, daughter the object of beauty alone, that his ata of Mr Lockart of Castlehill, who has tention at those seasons was directed, the misfortune to survive him. His eldbut also to the better management estbrother Joho haddeceased someyears and substantial melioration of his efs before him, and he succeeded, on that ecate. And this pursuit engaged him vent, to the family estate of Glenlee, in very numerous and extensive ope. which, along with the estate of Barrations, all of which he himself both skimming, has now devolved to his son.
Anecdotes of Dr Franklin,
D ENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Efq; L. L. D. but had procured letters to, and was D and F. R. s. was born in 1706, well received by, Martin Folkes, Elq; and brought up in the profeflion of a afterwards President of the Royal So. printer; in which capacity he worked ciery, and through him was known some years as a journeyman with the to Dr Clarke. He was not, however, late Mr Watts of London. Of his ori gratified with a sight of Sir Isaac gin he made no secret. In a conversation Newton, which he often lamented, at Paris, in company with the Comte and which he had laboured to obtain. d'Aranda and the Duke de la Roche. Great age and increasing infirmities foucault, he replied to an Irish gentle- prevented an introduction to Sir Isaac. man, who had asked him some quef- In 1735, Mr Franklin had a fevere tions about the state of the paper-ma- pleurisy, which terminated in an ab. pufactory there," Few men can give scess on the left lobe of his lurgs, and you more information on that subject he was then almost fuffocated with than myself, for I was originally in the the quantity and suddenness of the printing-trade.” His love of science discharge. A second attack of a fican be traced from an early period. milar nature happened some years af. A letter of his to Sir Hans Sloane, ter this, from which he foon recoveris dated June 2. 1725. He appeared ed, and did not appear to luffer any in London in the line of his business; inconvenience in his respiration from
these these diseases. His own idea of death In 1773 he attracted the public domay be collected from a letter which tice by a letter on the duel between he wrote about 35 years ago to Mifs Mr Whately and Mr Temple. Oa Hubbard, on the death of his brother, the 29th of January, 1774, he was Mr John Franklin of Boston, who heard before the privy council, on a was father-in-law to Miss Hubbard. petition he had long before present
" Dear Child, I copdole with you; ed, as agent for Massachusetts Bay, we have lost a most dear and valuable against their governor, Mr Hutchinrelation ; but it is the will of God fon; when the petition was abruptly and Nature that these mortal bodies dismissed, and Mr Franklin removed be laid aside, when the soul is to en- from the office of deputy postmasterter into real life ; 'tis rather an em- general for the Colonies. Previous bryo itate, a preparation for living; to this period, it is a testimony to a man is not completely born until truth, and bare justice to his memory, be be dead ; why then should we to obierve, that he used his utmost grieve that a new child is born amung endeavours to prevent a breach bethe immortals, a new member added tween Great Britain and America ; to their happy society? We are fpic and it is perhaps to be lamented that rits. That bodies should be lent us, his counsels were disregarded. He while they can afford us pleasure, as from this time entertained so ardent fitt us in acquiring knowledge, or do. a resentment, that neither politeness ing good to our fellow-creatures, is a por moderation could restrain the kind and benevolent act of God. most pointed and bitter sarcasms a. When they become unfit for these gainst the conduct of England in mixpurposes, and afford us pain instead ed companies. It is certain that of pleasure, instead of an aid they be. Franklin foretold all the consequencome an incumbrance, and answer ces, with an almost prophetic faga. . none of the intentions for which they city. In May, 1774, a dispute arose were given, it is equally kind and be in the Assembly at Georgia, concernnevolent that a way is provided by ing his agency. His conference with which we may get rid of them. Dr Fothergill, for negociating with Death is that way. We ourselves America, 1774, may be seen in Dr prudently chuse a partial death. In Lettíom's “ Memoirs of Dr Fotherfome cases, a mangled, painful limb, gill,” p. 163–176; and Dr Frankwhich cannot be restored, we willing. lin's character of that physician, ib. Jy cut off. He who plucks out a 176—178: his correspondence with tooth, parts with it freely, since the Michael Collinson, ib. 266. In the pain goes with it; and he that quits summer of 1775 he returned, to the whole body, parts at once with all Philadelphia, and was immediately the pains, and posibilities of pains elected one of their delegates to the and diseases, it was liable to, or ca. Continental Congress. In Decempable of making him suffer. Our ber 1776 he arrived at Paris, and friend and we are invited abroad soon after took the house which Lord on a party of pleasure—that is to last Stormont had occupied. for ever-his carriage was first ready, The testimonies of Franklin's me. and he is gone before us; we could rit were conceived in the highest not all conveniently start together; ftrain of panegyric. In the year 1777, and why should you and I be grieved Lord Chatham adverted, in a remarkat this, fince we are loon to follow, a le speech, to his dissuasive arguand know where to find him ? Adieu ! nuents against the war, and to the faB. F.” gacious advice of the American New