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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
FOR OCTOBER, 1810.
IN N our number for August last, we gave a view of the East front of the new range of buildings for the accommodation of the College of Justice. The present view exhibits the West end, which looks towards the High Street. This part of the building will contain a magnificent new library room, 136 feet in length, with other apartments, for the accommodation of the Faculty of Advocates. It will contain also a new Signet Office, with Hall, Library Rooms, and other accommodations for the Writers to the Signet. When the present jail and other old buildings adjoining shall be removed, this front will be in full view of the High Street, and will exhibit a noble specimen of Grecian architecture.
Biographical Notice respecting the late Thomas M'Grugar, Esq. N the Obituary of the Scots Magazine for April last, we announ
Description of the West Front of the New Buildings in Parliament Square.
ced the death of Thomas M'Grugar, Esq. Advocate, with a short notice of his character,—a correspondent having since favoured us with a copy of a letter which he wrote and addressed to a friend, within a very few days of his death, we now lay the same before our readers, not only as an interesting memorial of ing instance of affecting simplicity the writer, but as exhibiting a strikand of genuine superiority of mind, on the approach of the last and most awful crisis:
TO ANDREW STEELE, ESQ. W. S. 26th Feb. 1810.
THIS will be delivered to you soon after my last breath is expired. As we have always lived on a footing of friendly intercourse, and as I have to attend to my funeral, or carry no male relation, in or near town, head to the grave, I earnestly request that you will take the trouble of performing this office for me.
I beg it, therefore, as a particular fa vour, that on receipt of this, you will call at my house in Gosford's Close, where you will find my sister, with whom you may concert what measures should be taken on this occasion, and who will furnish you with what money may be required.
I hope you will find it convenient to perform this last office of friendship to a man who always had a friendly respect for you. I am, Dear Sir, Your sincere friend, THOS. M'GRugar.
(Written by his Sister). Mr M'Grugar died this morning half past 10.
The dates shew that Mr M'Grugar survived this mental exertion only a few days, and his dying request was performed by the friend
was in a manner creditable to both. His remains were consigned to the earth, in presence of a numerous, select company, among whom were to be found some of his professional brethren of the first eminence, who there signified their respect for a man whose merits were not sufficiently known to be universally acknowledged, and who has afforded another proof of a fact already well established, that good talents, a competent share of professional knowledge, as well as great science, joined with inoffensive manners, inflexible integrity, and persevering application, are insufficient, without the co-operation of other circumstances of a less personal nature, to procure for the possessor á just share of the enviable distinction of pre-eminent celebrity and popular fame. Zeno's Letters on the reform of the Scotch Burghs, written by this gentleman while he was secretary to the association for promoting that laudable and patriotic
and it certainly never partakes of the character of the other. Mr Neill, in his Tour to Orkney and Shetland, has undoubtedly fallen into a blunder in marking the Mustela lutris as a native.
Dr Edmondston seems very willing to believe, that Dr Barry, the historian of Orkney, has committed a mistake in mentioning the White Shark, Squalus Carcharias, as having been occasionally cast ashore in that country. Barry is, however, perfectly correct; although our author may very possibly "never have heard of an animal in Zetland that answered the description." Mr Simmons, an active and intelligent naturalist, who visited Orkney about ten years ago, was there presented with the jaw-bones of one of the white sharks, which had been cast ashore, it is believed, in Sanda; and he carried them with him to Edinburgh. The jaws are of a very different structure from those of the shark tribe generally found in our
I now hasten to a conclusion, without entering on the other departments of natural history. have pointed out about a dozen of mistakes in ornithology. In doing so, I think I have rendered some little service to students of British natural history; and notwithstanding the author's uncommonly angry epistle in July last, I have confidence enough in his candour to expect that these will be rectified in his promised " Ornithologia Zetlandica," or that he will take care to bring forward satisfactory evidence of his being in the right.
After the general testimony which I have borne, in Letter IV., in favour of Dr Edmondston's book, I feel it requisite only to add, that those parts of the subject connected with the usual studies of a physician, seem to me to be very ably treated. I allude to the history of the diseases
prevalent among the inhabitants of the islands, and likewise to the account of the distempers to which the domestic animals of Shetland are liable. Oct. 1810.
Monthly Memoranda in Natural History.
October. During the whole of the preceding month, and till the middle of this, the weather has been uncommonly fine. Little or no rain has fallen: the mercury in the barometer has generally stood 30 inches high; and the thermometer has varied from 56° to 68°. Such weather has been very favourable for the labours of harvest, and there is every prospect of plenty throughout the land.
In the Western Highlands, in general, the crop is, this year, superior to what is commonly produced. In the island of Arran it is double.
15-18.-Some strong westerly breezes brought rain, and were ac companied with a good deal of lightning, without thunder.
25.-The general warmth which has prevailed for many weeks, has made some apple-trees in this neighbourhood produce a second show of blossom, which is now expanding, to be nipt in the first frosts.
Water. The late uncommon drought has produced a scarcity of water in Edinburgh, which has more than ever evinced the necessity of introducing a supply by an additional pipe of large caliber. The Crawley Spring, near Glencorse Manse, is both copious and of excellent quality, and it flows from a level, which is understood to command the whole New Town. It seems to be generally wished, therefore, that the city should be supplied from this source. ditional reservoir will not be unacceptable to the citizens. Indeed,