Thursday, March 22, 2012

George Dempster


March 22 [1829].--Being Sunday, I read prayers to our guests, then went a
long walk by the lake to Huntly Burn. It is somewhat uncomfortable to
feel difficulties increase and the strength to meet them diminish. But
why should man fret? While iron is dissolved by rust, and brass
corrodes, can our dreams be of flesh and blood enduring? But I will not
dwell on this depressing subject. My liking to my two young guests is
founded on "things that are long enough ago." The first statesman of
celebrity whom I personally knew was Mr. Dempster's grand-uncle, George
Dempster of Dunnichen, celebrated in his time, and Dundas's father was,
when Lord Advocate, the first man of influence who showed kindness to
me.

Walter Scott speaks highly of MP for Dunnichen  George Dempster in his journal.  According to the Jamesboswell.info site:

Following his death in 1818, Sir Walter Scott sent the following epitaph, supposedly written some time earlier by Dempster himself, to John Wilson Croker: (Boswelliana, p. 34)

Pray for the soul of deceased George Dempster,
In his youth a great fool, in his old age a gamester;
What you're to know, on this tomb you shall see,
Life's thread he let go when just ninety-three.
So sound was his bottom, his acquaintance all wonder'd
How old Nick had got him till he lived out the hundred.
To his money concerns he paid little attention,
First selling his land, then pawning his pension;
But his precious time he much better did manage,
To the end of his life from his earliest nonage,
He divided his hours into two equal parts,
And spent one half in sleeping, the other at cartes.


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