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all suspicion; and an extreme indulgence. She was a good mother, a faithful friend, and the tenderest, best of wives. This woman, so worthy of esteem and admiration, had but one fault; but this fault disturbed her life, involved her in many inconsistencies, and at length led astray her judgment and her understanding. She had too passionate a taste for literature; so true it is, that the most innocent and even noblest sentiment, when not confined within just limits, may have serious inconveniences, especially to a woman. This having become the ruling passion in one who possessed the consciousness of strength, and who justly thought herself superior, in regard to understanding and information, to all other women, inspired her with an ardent desire of obtaining a great celebrity both for herself, and for the object of her warmest affection, whose glory would be reflected back upon her.
Madame Necker, as well as Madame Geoffrin, was the friend and patroness of all philosophers. But what was very natural in Madame Geoffrin was inconsistent in Madame Necker, because she had religious sentiments. Indulgence does in no degree prescribe that we should make our society consist of all the persons whose principles are most directly opposite to ours. Different circumstances may lead us to form one or two such acquaintances; but it is odd to seek them all, and not to let a single one escape. Madame Necker, though most religious, was, and by her own choice, habitually surrounded only by deists and atheists. With the purest virtue, she wrote to the scandalous author of the Bijoux Indiscrets, as she would have written to Bossuet; she called him a great man, and congratulated him on his genius. She said that there were in Switzerland better morals and much
more virtue than at Paris; but as there is an infinitely greater number of wits at Paris, she confessed that, for this reason, she tired in Switzerland, though she had there all her relations, a charming estate, and all whom she loved. This woman, born for those simple tastes which virtue inspires, could not en
travagant, unveiled by their own author, appeared the strangest thing in the world, even in an age when the public ought to be accustomed to intimate and singular confidential communications.
Character of the late Lord Newton.
ed by those who were dear to her; she needed a court of literary men. Too reasonable to disdain the occu
dure the country, though surround-THE late Lord Newton was descended of the Hays of Rannes, one of the most ancient branches of the family of Hay. He was born in the year 1747, and was callpations of her sex, she could not ap-ed to the bar in 1769. He had so ply to them. The rage of being a thoroughly studied the principles of belle esprit deprived her of all the nathe profession on which he now entural graces of a woman. She had tered, that he used often to say, an inexhaustible craving for learned that he was as good a lawyer at that and witty conversations. She never time as he ever was at any future enjoyed the pleasure of talking about, period. His strong natural abilities, and amusing herself with, trifles; assisted with such preparation for with an extremely good disposition, business, could not fail to attract she never tasted the pleasure of frank notice, and he became soon distingood-humoured conversation; she guished for his acuteness, his learnnever, in short, knew the happiness ing, and his profound knowledge of of writing to her friend without pre- law. It was remarkable of him, that tension, without reflection, whatever he always appeared as much versed struck her fancy: there is not a let- in the common and daily practice ter of hers which was not meditated, of the Court, and even in those corrected, rewritten; she kept co- minute forms that are little known, pies of them all. except to the inferior practitioners, as in the higher branches of legal knowledge, that are only understood by the greatest lawyers. The great simplicity of character, which he carried with him through the whole of his life, was nowhere more conspicuous than in his appearances at the bar. His pleadings exhibited facts; a profound and accurate exa plain and fair statement of the position of the law, and a very abut there was an entire absence of cute and solid reasoning on both; every thing merely ornamental, and especially of those little arts by which a speaker often tries to turn the attention of his auditors on himself. He seemed full of the cause in which he was engaged, and not a word escaped which could lead any one to imagine the thoughts of the
A woman so Christian, a soul so elevated, should naturally have had modesty and sincerity; but an unbounded ambition for brilliant celebrity altered too much, in this respect, her taste and her character. To obtain praises, how many has she
lavished on works which she did not love, and on men whom she did not esteem. Wishing always, from a very respectable sentiment, to associate M. Necker in her pretensions to glory and renown, we see her incessantly braving all received customs and all decorum, in order to extol him with equal exaggeration and intrepidity. It is true that M. Necker has well returned the kindThese domestic concerts of praise, these secrets of a pride so ex
the orator were ever turned to his ⚫wn performance.
Though his reputation continued always to increase, he practised at the bar without obtaining any preferment till the beginning of the year 1808, when, on the death of the late Lord Methven, he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court, by the Ministry of which Mr Fox was a member, and was the only Judge in the Court of Session appointed while that great statesman was in power, a distinction on which he always professed to set a high value.
Lord Newton's talents never appeared to greater advantage than after he took his seat on the Bench. As a lawyer, the opinions he gave were probably never surpassed, for their acuteness, discrimination, and solidity; and, as a Judge, he now shewed that all this was the result of such a rapid and easy application of the principles of law, as appeared more like the effect of intuition than of study and laborious exertion. The clearest and most comprehensive view of every question seemed naturally to present itself; and his opinions, at the same time that they were readily and decisively formed, were considered by professional men as being perhaps less liable to error than those of any other Judge who h appeared in our time. He was unremitting in his exertions; and it is certain that, for his dispatch of business, and the correctness of his judgment, Lord Newton has been rarely excelled.
As to political principles, Lord Newton was an ardent and steady Whig. Owing to the great openness and sincerity of his character, and the entire absence of the least approach to art or duplicity, he passed through a period remarkable for the hostility which political opinions engendered, with fewer per
sonal enemies than any other man, equally unreserved in condemning the measures which he thought wrong, and equally inflexible in supporting those which he thought right.
In private life he was extremely amiable, and his social qualities, as well as his great worth, endeared him to his friends. He possessed an extraordinary fund of good humour, a disposition extremely playful, great simplicity of character, with the entire absence of all vanity and affectation. A few peculiarities or little eccentricities, which he possessed, appeared with so good a grace, and in the company of so many estimable qualities, that they only tended to render him more interesting to his friends.
Lord Newton appeared to possess two characters that are but rarely united together. Those who saw him only on the Bench were naturally led to think that his whole time and thoughts had, for his whole life, been devoted to the laborious study of the law. Those, on the other hand, who saw him in the circle of his friends, when form and austerity were laid aside, could not easily conceive that he had not passed his life in the intercourse of society. With great gentleness and kindness of heart, he had a manly and firm mind; he had hardly any feeling of personal danger; and he seemed to despise pain, to which he was a good deal exposed in the last year of his life. He was a man of great bodily strength, and till the latter years of his life, when he became very corpulent, of great activity.
He was never married, and the large fortune which he left is inherited by his only sister, Mrs Hay Mudie, for whom he always entertained the greatest esteem and affection. Table
Table exhibiting the present State of Roads, Bridges, and Harbours, carrying on or completed in the Highlands of Scotland [From the last (5th) Report presented to the House of Commons, on Highland Roads and Bridges.]
County of Sutherland-Over the Dornoch Frith, ner Portinleik, one arch
Isle of Skye, county of Inverness-From Broadford to the Bay
In the Moray Frith-Shire of Elgin