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lities as though he had known him all his life; pro 'I tell you the truth. But listen to what followed. tested that such was his marvellous probity, that were The captain of the troop told him he was mad, and asked the pasha to place him in guard over his treasure of him if he did not know that the pasha's own son would Latakia tobacco, he would not even diminish the store not live to finish such a sentence as that in his preby a handful; and finally, he besought his highness to sence. Yauco said that he knew it; but he thought it lift up his eyes and note the commanding stature and better that one should die, than that hundreds of aged great strength and vigour of this candidate for slavery, and infirm should perish in the flames; better that he which would render him such a precious possession. should be tortured, than that so many poor creatures The old Turk was so much moved by these pertinent should become miserable slaves. Well, the other laughed observations, that instead of consigning Yauco to the at him, and the expedition took place; but, friend, they hands of the executioner, he at once named him to an talk of another such very speedily. Nothing would be important post in his household, and then dismissed easier for you than to induce the pasha to order his the whole party, utterly exhausted with the exertion of favourite Yauco to take the command; Yauco would talking so much. Calmly and nobly as the young Bul- refuse; and then'garian had prepared for death, in all the strength and "May you live for ever!' exclaimed his companion, pride of his manhood, it must be owned that his heart starting up in the highest glee. 'It is a brave plot, good beat thick, and his sight grew dim, when the strong doctor, and if it succeeds, you shall have a rare bag of hope of life renewed rushed over his spirit; but he piastres !' turned resolutely from the dreams and promises of a 'I shall have my bag of piastres !' replied the other long futurity which seemed to rise for him from the in a confident tone, and they separated to organise their certainty of his restored existence, for he knew and felt iniquitous project. that he must henceforth walk as on the brink of a pre Meanwhile, Michaïl dwelt friendless and alone in the cipice. Yauco was no longer a man whose actions could home he had made so solitary for a time. So absorbed be guided either by his own wishes or those of others : had he been by his slavish fears, that he could do nothing he had a high and steady principle, which he deemed but rejoice in the relief from all dread which Yauco's it right to obey, and from which neither changing cir- absence afforded him; and he found that he was now cumstance, nor his own self-interest, could turn him. to enjoy a double security; for not only did he, by the He was firmly determined to yield the pasha all due most abject submission, allay the suspicions which submission, and to serve him with fidelity and zeal ; Yauco's conduct had so often excited, but gradually his but when he should be called upon, as he undoubtedly very existence ceased to be remembered, or thought of would be, sooner or later, in obeying his master's laws, at all. Those who had frequented his hut, either as to sin against those of his conscience, he was quietly friends or as enemies of his son, no longer thought of resolved to exchange his obedience for death. For a coming near him; and as he was not personally of a distime all went well : he was at once so active and so do- position to excite an interest in any one, he soon found cile, so intelligent and so zealous, that he rose rapidly himself abandoned to a solitude as safe as it was dismal. in the pasha's favour, and was advanced from one re It is inherent in human nature always to exaggerate sponsible post to another, till at last he found favour in present evils, whilst those that are gone by lose much the eyes of the pasha, to the perilous extent of exciting of their real, and all their artificial gloom, as they rethe jealousy of his other dependents. Even the favourite treat into the region of the rose-coloured past. Michail who owed him his life soon began to regret bitterly soon began to fancy the terrors he had suffered from that his feelings had betrayed him into the rare instance his son's rashness but a trifling ill compared to the of Turkish gratitude which we have recorded; and when dreariness and joylessness of his present existence. The he at last perceived that his whimsical lord was already indestructible power of natural affection was stirring at reposing more confidence in Yauco than in himself, he his heart, too, in secret; and gradually the image of the determined as speedily as possible to take measures for son he had dealt by so cruelly began to haunt his lonely repairing the mistake he had made in so heedlessly hours. At first, it was only in his dreams by night saving him from the bowstring. It was after the lapse that the vision came to him; for by day he drove all of but a few months that the favourite, now quite re- such recollections from his mind. But in his troubled stored to the peculiar prudence and foresight of a Mos- sleep he was perpetually visited by the appearance of lem, went to hold a consultation with the pasha's doctor his son — - sometimes as he remembered him in his on the best and quietest mode of destroying the life guileless, happy childhood, or as he had last seen him which that functionary is expected in all countries to looking round on him with his long gaze, of mournful preserve. This person, who was a most vile little tenderness. At length Michaïl had an attack of the Armenian, was a far greater adept in dexterously re- terrible marsh fever, far more violent than he had ever lieving people of their troublesome neighbours than in before experienced ; and then it was, in sickness and removing their maladies; and when his visitor began pain, unwatched and untended, that his heart yearned to talk of poisons, and whether they were most palat- for the loving child whose unremitting care had often able as administered in coffee, or inhaled in tobacco soothed him through the long sad nights; and with smoke, he interrupted him by asking what he would bitterest remorse he owned to himself that he would give him if he devised a scheme by which the uncon now have braved any danger to behold him once more scious Yauco should be made, so to speak, to cut his in his embrace. In his delirium, when no one was at own throat, and consummate his doom by his own rash- hand to give him the drop of water for which he craved, ness, without the necessity of his quondam friend in- often did he shriek out in agony, thinking he behelá curring any risks. The favourite only answered by him dying or dead; but as the fever began to abate, taking off a splendid ring, and handing it to his adviser. his mind, weakened by illness, became entirely engrossed The Armenian placed it on his finger, and at once pro- by one strong conviction—which seemed to have grown ceeded to detail his plan. You remember,' he said, out of the very necessity he felt for believing it-that
the last time the pasha sent an expedition up to the his son yet lived in spite of all, and would one day mountains, with orders to burn the first village they return to him. Again and again did he dream that he came to, and bring back the young men and women as beheld his boat sweeping down the river towards him ; slaves ?' The listener made a sign of assent. • The and so convinced did he become that this bright vision night before the troop started,' continued the Arme- was one day to be a reality, that as soon as his illness nian, “I heard Yauco the Bulgarian talking to their permitted, he crawled out daily to the river side to chief; and what do you think he was saying? He was watch for the coming of the wished-for bark. The trying to persuade him to go to the pasha, and openly unhappy father had, in fact, become almost imbecile refuse to obey such a command!'
from the effects of the fever-a result which that species What do you tell me?' exclaimed the favourite: of malady often produces in those countries; and this 'you would throw dust in my eyes!'
belief in his son's speedy return was the only idea
which retained possession of his weakened intellect, criticised, in a spirit with which we have no sympathy, thus becoming a kind of monomania. Day after day by Sir John Hill, who published a bitter review of did the wan, haggard, decrepit old man take his station them in 1751. The Tatler' also utters this oblique on the muddy bank of the giant stream, there to watch satire at the scientific acquirements of the then memwith never-wearying eyes the particular point where, bers of the society :- When I meet with a young fellow sweeping round a rapid curve in the river, the current that is a humble admirer of the sciences, but more dull would first bear the boat into sight; and his repeated than the rest of the company, I conclude him to be a disappointments had no other effect than to convince Fellow of the Royal Society. Our own feeling is far him that each new day must indeed be the happy one different: with the eccentric Bishop Wilkins, and the which should restore to him his exiled child. One indefatigable Mr Oldenburgh for their first secretaries, evening-just such an evening as that on which he had those who know the character of these unwearied banished Yauco—his long expectant gaze was at last rarity-seekers, must expect a certain mixture of trifling met by a sight precisely similar to that which on that to be combined with the more solid portions of these fatal day had first drawn the attention of the father volumes. This being also the character of the times, and son as they stood together. Now he stood alone ; | it was the imperfection inseparable from childhood. but his diseased imagination almost believed that Yauco Let it not be forgotten, however, that the genius of was again by his side, as again the body of a criminal Newton, Boyle, Hook, Flamsteed, and many more, illucame floating down the stream, with its shackled feet, minates these pages with rays of light, many of which and hands bound down upon the breast! There was have penetrated into, some probably beyond, our own but one difference, and that was, that the victim was It is right to add that, in 1750, the Royal Society evidently dead long since; some merciful blow against disclaimed the Philosophical Transactions as its reprea rock had probably terminated his sufferings, for he lay sentative, and great care has since been taken to preperfectly motionless, drifting about according to the ca- vent the appearance of inferior articles. What blame price of the sportive waters. There was a sort of fascina- there is for the faults of the first forty-seven volumes, tion in the gaze which the wretched father fixed on this has been laid on the shoulders of the unfortunate secrepassive traveller as the swift tide bore it on nearer and taries, rather unjustly in our estimation ; but from the nearer to him, till at last a whirling eddy tossed up the forty-eighth volume to the present period, these Transcorpse beneath his very feet. He bent down to look on actions are among the noblest literary monuments to the face; then a cry, terrible as the concentrated re- science our country can boast of. morse of months could render it, burst from the lips of But to our gleanings. The vagaries in natural histhe miserable old man. The eyes, fixed, glassy, up-tory to be found in these early papers are very amusing : turned, were the eyes of his once fair Yauco; the form, thus in one of the volumes we find what is denominated the features, were those of the brave son of whose murder a rectification of the account of the salamander. Conhe was virtually guilty! Conscience dealt him his own ceive our surprise in discovering it to be a narrative death-blow at the thought: he stretched out his hands respecting a salamander brought by a virtuoso from towards the body that now was drifting away, and sunk the Indies, which, when cast into the fire, did actually down in convulsions on the ground; while the corpse of swell and vomit forth a thick slimy matter which put his victim, as though it had fulfilled its mission, passed out the neighbouring coals, and repeated this wonderon to seek its mighty sepulchre in the tempestuous ful fire-extinguishing act many times for the space breast of the deep Black Sea.
of two hours, so often as the coals rekindled!
migratory instinct has always proved too seductive a EARLY DAYS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY.
fancy to be resisted even by Fellows of the Royal So
ciety; therefore are we solemnly assured that it is a If one would learn an instructive lesson of what up- thing most certain that, on the approach of winter, wards of a century and a-half have done for the pro. swallows do sink themselves into lakes, no otherwise gress of knowledge, and just perceptions of nature, it than frogs; the venerable author adding, that it was can scarcely be derived from a better source than the customary to draw them out with a net, together with history of the Royal Society of London. With this fishes, and to put them near the fire, when they revived ! view, it has been our amusement to take from the shelf But this is not half florid enough for another writer, a parcel of the early volumes of the Philosophical who ominously intimates his belief that the earth is Transactions, and contrast them with a few of those accompanied by a hitherto undiscovered satellite, not published during the past four or five years. In so very far off, to whose more hospitable clime our birds doing, we are not long in discovering that we place the of passage direct their flight! Fossils proved a sad child by the giant's side. To those who have the taste perplexity to the philosophers of that epoch. Three or and the opportunity, we heartily commend this exer- four elaborate papers appeared upon this subject; but cise; while, for our own part, we venture to offer, we scarcely expect credit for the extract which follows, neither in an ill-natured, nor in a self-laudatory spirit, a although the articles can easily be referred to. The writer few stray gleanings from the recorded gambols of the having discovered some curious substances in the rocks child-philosophers of those early days.
of the Mendip Hills, which he conceived to resemble We may preface our desultóry gatherings by men- plants, set about the investigation with great ardour, and tioning that the Royal Society was instituted solely for in proper form comes to this decision upon their nature. the encouragement and advancement of physical and These are rock-plants; they grow from fine clay, they mathematical science. But it took origin in days when are at first smooth, and by degrees become covered with the disposition of the minds of philosophers was rather knots; they have a soft pith, which is constantly reprone to the search for the wonderful. Prodigies and freshed by mineral steams and moisture rising through supernaturalities had long been in vogue : they were the its roots. The free supply of moisture is of course more ghosts and bugbears of the common mind; yet they left necessary to these plants than to those which grow a bias even upon the minds of the learned, who were thus above ground, since nature carries on her mineral geneled into the most ludicrous errors. That was a period of ration with a stronger effort than the other. These dim uncertain light, when every object beheld was in-stone-plants have true life and growth : as to that ridivested with an unreality of detail
, and an exaggeration culous opinion, that they were only parts of plants or of outline ; ours is the brighter daylight, less romantic, animals petrified, it seems not to be grounded on any but more faithful. The early papers of those members of practical knowledge;' the principal objection to it was, the Royal Society who contributed to the Philosophical that these productions were totally unlike any known Transactions, forcibly illustrate our position, and the species of either kingdom. Now for the author's theory : volumes of this period present us with a jumble of he says, that as we may see figures in snow, and discern science, blunders, singularities, and follies very droll to landscapes in stones, and the exact resemblance of contemplate. These early papers have been severely | fern leaves in coals, all painted in pure caprice by the
A GLIMPSE AT PAST TIMES.
hand of nature, so here she was creating in the same of a calf with a strong thorax and Wharton Jones's
close in the High Street, where they had spent the Many a traveller's tale finds acceptance in these pages. night in drinking. Nor was it unusual to find two or A Mr Glover, travelling in Virginia, gives a minute three of his majesty's most honourable Lords of Council account of an apparition which astonished him as he and Session mounting the bench in the forenoon in a was leisurely floating down the river. This was none crapulous state. A gentleman one night stepping into other than a merman! a creature with a grim and Johnnie Dowie's, opened a side door, and looking into terrible aspect, and a head and body like a man; but the room, saw a sort of agger or heap of snoring lads on diving, it flourished aloft—and here, we fear, other upon the floor, illumined by the gleams of an expiring folk are flourishing also-a tail like that of a fish. Mr candle. • Wha may thae be, Mr Dowie?' inquired the Glover's friend appears to have been an unlucky Indian visitor. 'Oh,' quoth John, in his usual quiet way, 'just bathing! Many equally veracious statements might be twa-three o' Sir Willie's drucken clerks!'—meaning the selected, had we space. Mr Oldenburgh himself, in young gentlemen employed in Sir William Forbes's criticising Kircher's work on China, quotes the tremen- banking-house, whom, of all earthly mortals, one would dous tales of an elephant eating sugar-canes, and of have expected to be observers of the decencies. their taking root in his interior; and of a boy who ate To this testimony may be added that of all published serpents with as much gusto as eels, with the mild re works descriptive of Edinburgh during the last century. mark, that these accounts seem to require confirmation. Even in the preceding century, if we are to believe
These scientific records were remarkable also for Taylor the Water-poet, there was no superabundance being occasionally occupied with silly communications of sobriety in the town. The worst thing,' says that upon subjects widely different from their express ob- sly humorist in his 'Journey' (1623), “was, that wine jects. What would now be the perplexity of a reader and ale were so scarce, and the people such misers of it, of the Philosophical Transactions to find a paper bear- that every night, before I went to bed, if any man had ing such a title as the following: 'A true and exact re- asked me a civil question, all the wit in my head could lation of the dismal and surprising effects of a terrible not have made him a sober answer.' and unusual clap of thunder, with lightning, that fell The diurnal of a Scottish judge of the beginning of upon the Trumball galley,' communicated by R. M., kettle- the last century, which I have perused, presents a strikdrummer to his majesty ? Or to find next to some of Dr ing picture of the habits of men of business in that age. Faraday's electrical researches, ‘A particular account Hardly a night passes without some expense being in. of two monstrous pigs with human faces?' Or the rela-curred at taverns, not always of very good fame, where tion concerning one Clark, a posture-master; which his lordship’s associates on the bench were his boon Clark, sure enough, was a wonderful man in luis way, companions in the debauch. One is at a loss to underfor he possessed the faculty of disjointing himself all stand how men who drugged their understandings so over,
and reducing a naturally well-made frame at plea- habitually, could possess any share of vital faculty for sure to the condition of a complicated cripple. The the consideration or transaction of business, or how they article states, that he so imposed upon a celebrated sur contrived to make a decent appearance in the hours of geon, that the latter pronounced his case to be utterly duty. But however difficult to be accounted for, there hopeless; and that he often left the room, and returned seems no room to doubt that deep drinking was com80 altered — humpbacked, deformed, and horribly dis- patible in many instances with good business talents, torted—as to draw forth a shower of alms from the com- and even application. Many living men connected with pany, who were ignorant of his being the same person. the Court of Session can yet look back to a juvenile Or supposing we put the account of the way to kill period of their lives, when some of the ablest advocates rattlesnakes with a bunch of pennyroyal by the side of and most esteemed judges were noted for their conProfessor Baden Powell's investigations on light, or Mr Airy's astronomical calculations ; or, to contrast more * From Traditions of Edinburgh,' by R. Chambers; a new and kindred subjects, set side by side the marvellous history much amended edition, just published.
vivial habits. For example, a famous counsel named matter of great nicety. The solicitor employed for the Hay, who became a judge under the designation of appellant, attended by my informant, acting as his clerk, Lord Newton, was equally remarkable as a Bacchanal went to the lord advocate's chambers in the Fishmarket and as a lawyer. He considered himself as only the Close, as I think. It was Saturday at noon, the court better fitted for business, that he had previously im- was just dismissed, the lord advocate had changed his bibed six bottles of claret; and one of his clerks after-dress, and booted himself, and his servant and horses wards declared that the best paper he ever knew his were at the foot of the close, to carry him to Arniston. lordship dictate, was done after a debauch where that It was scarcely possible to get him to listen to a word amount of liquor had fallen to his share. It was of him respecting business. The wily agent, however, on prethat the famous story is told of a client calling for limtence of asking one or two questions, which would not one day at four o'clock, and being surprised to find him detain him half an hour, drew his lordship, who was at dinner; when, on the client saying to the servant no less an eminent bon-vivant than a lawyer of unthat he had understood five to be Mr Hay's dinner hour, equalled talent, to take a whet at a celebrated tavern, • Oh but, sir,' said the man, 'it is his yesterday's dinner!' | when the learned counsel became gradually involved in M. Simond, who, in 1811, published a • Tour in Scotland,' a spirited discussion of the law points of the case. At mentions his surprise on stepping one morning into the length it occurred to him that he might as well ride to Parliament House to find, in the dignified capacity of a Arniston in the cool of the evening. The horses were judge, and displaying, all the gravity suitable to the directed to be put into the stable, but not to be uncharacter, the very gentleman with whom he had spent saddled. Dinner was ordered, the law was laid aside most of the preceding night in a fierce debauch. This for a time, and the bottle circulated very freely. At judge was Lord Newton.
nine o'clock at night, after he had been honouring Contemporary with this learned lord was another of Bacchus for so many hours, the lord advocate ordered marvellous powers of drollery, of whom it is told, as a his horses to be unsaddled-paper, pens, and ink, were fact too notorious at the time to be concealed, that he brought-he began to dictate the appeal case, and conwas one Sunday morning, not long before church-time, tinued at his task till four o'clock the next morning. found asleep amongst the paraphernalia of the sweeps, By next day's post the solicitor sent the case to London in a shed appropriated to the keeping of these articles, -a chef-dæuvre of its kind; and in which, my informant at the end of the Town-Guard-house in the High Street. assured me, it was not necessary, on revisal, to correct His lordship, in staggering homeward alone from a five words.' tavern during the night, had tumbled into this place, It was not always that business and pleasure were so where consciousness did not revisit him till next day. successfully united. It is related that an eminent lawOf another group of clever, but over-convivial lawyers of yer, who was confined to his room by indisposition, that age, it is related that, having set to wine and cards having occasion for the attendance of his clerk at a on a Saturday evening, they were so cheated out of all late hour, in order to draw up a paper required on an sense of time, that the night passed before they thought emergency next morning, sent for and found him at of separating. Unless they are greatly belied, the his usual tavern. The man, though remarkable for the people passing along Picardy Place next forenoon, on preservation of his faculties under severe application their way to church, were perplexed by seeing a door to the bottle, was on this night farther gone than usual. open, and three gentlemen issue forth, in all the disorder He was able, however, to proceed to his master's bedto be expected after a night of drunken vigils, while a room, and there take his seat at the desk with the apfourth, in his dressing-gown, held the door in one hand pearance of a sufficiently collected mind, so that the and a lighted candle in the other, by way of showing learned counsel, imagining nothing more wrong than them out!
usual, began to dictate from his couch. This went on Wine and business seem to have inextricably mingled for two or three hours, till, the business being finished, in those days. Blackstone, as we all know, wrote his the barrister drew his curtain-to behold Jamie lost in
Commentaries' over port, and Sheridan his plays over a profound sleep upon the table, with the paper still in sherry. There still lives (1847) a distinguished lawyer virgin whiteness before him! of the last century, and judge of the present, but now One of the most notable jolly fellows of the last age in retirement, who tells that, having one evening a hard was James Balfour, an accountant, usually called Singcase to master, he retired to his room, arranged his ing Jamie Balfour, on account of his fascinating qualipapers, and, by way of following an approved recipe of ties as a vocalist. There used to be a portrait of him his day, caused a bottle of port, and another of sherry, in the Leith Golf-house, representing him in the act of to be placed for marginal reference beside them. The commencing the favourite song of. When I ha'e a saxcase, contrary to his expectation, proved extremely in- pence under my thoom,' with the suitable attitude, and teresting, insomuch that he became wholly absorbed in a merriness of countenance justifying the traditionary it. Nevertheless, after a few hours had passed, he was account of the man. Of Jacobite leanings, he is said to sensible of a strange dimness of vision, as if something have sung · The wee German lairdie,'Awa, Whigs, had gone wrong with either his eyes, his spectacles, or awa,' and 'The sow's tail to Geordie,' with a degree of the candles. Having rubbed the first two, and topped zest which there was no resisting. the third, all without effect, he rose to take a walk Report speaks of this person as an amiable, upright, through the room. After this, his lordship has no re- and able man; so clever in business matters, that he collection of anything which occurred, till he awoke a could do as much in one hour as another man in three; few hours thereafter on the floor, upon which, it would always eager to quench and arrest litigation, rather appear, he had tumbled. What concern the couple of than to promote it; and consequently so much esteemed half-enipty bottles upon the table had had in bringing professionally, that he could get business whenever he about this strange syncope, must be left to the inge- chose to undertake it, which, however, he only did nious imagination of the reader.
when he felt himself in need of money. Nature had The High Jinks of Counsellor Pleydell, in 'Guy Man- given him a robust constitution, which enabled him nering,' must have prepared many for these curious to see out three sets of boon companions ;. but after traits of a bypast age; and Scott has further illustrated all, gave way before he reached sixty. His custom, the subject by telling, in his notes to that novel, an when anxious to repair the effects of intemperance, was anecdote which he appears to have had upon excellent to wash his head and hands in cold water; this, it is authority, respecting the elder President Dundas of said, made him quite cool and collected almost immeArniston, father of Lord Melville. "It had been thought diately. Pleasure being so predominant an object in his very desirable, while that distinguished lawyer was life, it was thought surprising that at his death he was king's counsel, that his assistance should be obtained found in possession of some little money. in drawing up an appeal case, which, as occasion for The powers of Balfour as a singer of the Scotch songs such writings then rarely occurred, was held to be a of all kinds, tender and humorous, are declared to have
been marvellous; and he had a happy gift of suiting The moon, shining high in the south, threw the shadow them to occasions. Being a great peacemaker, he of the steeple directly across the street from the one would often accomplish his purpose by introducing side to the other; and the ladies, being no more clearsome ditty pat to the purpose, and thus dissolving all sighted than they were clear-headed, mistook this for a rancour in a hearty laugh. Like too many of our broad and rapid river, which they would require to cross countrymen, he had a contempt for foreign music. One before making further way. In this delusion, they sat evening, in a company where an Italian vocalist of emi-down upon the brink of the imaginary stream, delibenence was present, he professed to give a song in the rately took off their shoes and stockings, kilted their manner of that country. Forth came a ridiculous can- lower garments, and proceeded to wade through to the tata to the tune of Aiken Drum, beginning, “There was opposite side; after which, resuming their shoes and a wife in Peebles,' which the wag executed with all the stockings, they went on their way rejoicing, as before! proper graces, shakes, and appogiaturas, making his Another anecdote (from an aged nobleman) exhibits the friends almost expire with suppressed laughter at the Bacchanalian powers of our ancestresses in a different contrast between the style of singing and the ideas con- light. During the rising of 1715, the officers of the veyed in the song. At the conclusion, their mirth was crown in Edinburgh, having procured some important doubled by the foreigner saying very simply, • De music intelligence respecting the motions and intentions of the be very fine, but I no understand 'de words. A lady, Jacobites, resolved upon despatching the same to Lonwho lived in the Parliament Close, told a friend of mine don by a faithful courier. Of this the party whose that she was wakened from her sleep one summer interests would have been so materially affected got morning by a noise as of singing, when, going to the notice; and that evening, as the messenger (a man of window
to learn what was the matter, guess her surprise rank) was going down the High Street, with the intenat seeing Jamie Balfour, and some of his boon com- tion of mounting his horse in the Canongate, and impanions (evidently fresh from their wonted orgies), mediately setting off, he met two tall handsome ladies, singing The king shall enjoy his own again, on their in full dress, and wearing black velvet masks, who acknees, around King Charles's statue! One of Balfour's costed him with a very easy demeanour, and a winning favourite haunts was a humble kind of tavern called sweetness of voice. Without hesitating as to the quality Jenny Ha's, opposite to Queensberry House, where, it of these damsels, he instantly proposed to treat them is said, Gay had boused during his short stay in Edin- with a pint of claret at a neighbouring tavern; but they burgh, and to which it was customary for gentlemen to said that, instead of accepting his kindness, they were adjourn from dinner parties, in order to indulge in claret | quite willing to treat him, to his heart's content. They from the butt, free from the usual domestic restraints. then adjourned to the tavern, and sitting down, the Jamie's potations here were principally of what was whole three drank plenteously, merrily, and long, so called cappie ale—that is, ale in little wooden bowls- that the courier seemed at last to forget entirely the with wee thochts of brandy in it. But indeed no one mission upon which he was sent, and the danger of the could be less exclusive than he as to liquors. When he papers which he had about his person. After a perti. heard a bottle drawn in any house he happened to be nacious debauch of several hours, the luckless messenger in, and observed the cork to give an unusually smart was at length fairly drunk under the table; and it is report, he would call out, “Lassie, gi'e me a glass o' needless to add, that the fair nymphs then proceeded that;' as knowing that, whatever it was, it must be to strip him of his papers, decamped, and were no more good of its kind.
heard of; though it is but justice to the Scottish ladies Sir Walter Scott says, in one of his droll little mis- of that period to say, that the robbers were generally sives to his printer Ballantyne, When the press does believed at the time to be young men disguised in not follow me, I get on slowly and ill, and put myself in women's clothes.* mind of Jamie Balfour, who could run when he could The custom which prevailed among ladies, as well as not stand still.' He here alludes to a matter of fact, gentlemen, of resorting to what are called oyster-celiars, which the following anecdote will illustrate :-Jamie, is in itself a striking indication of the state of manners in going home late from a debauch, happened to tumble during the last century. In winter, when the evening into the pit formed for the foundation of a house in had set in, a party of the most fashionable people in James's Square. A gentleman passing heard his com- town, collected by appointment, would adjourn in care plaint, and going up to the spot, was intreated by our riages to one of those abysses of darkness and comfort, hero to help him out. What would be the use of called, in Edinburgh, laigh shops, where they proceeded helping you out,' said the by-passer, when you could to regale themselves with raw oysters and porter, arnot stand though you were out?' Very true, perhaps ; ranged in huge dishes upon a coarse table, in a dingy yet if you help nie up, Ill run you to the Tron Kirk for room, lighted by tallow candles. The rudeness of the a bottle of claret.' Pleased with his humour, the gentle- feast, and the vulgarity of the circumstances under man placed him upon his feet, when instantly he set off which it took place, seem to have given a zest to its for the Tron Church at a pace distancing all ordinary enjoyment, with which more refined banquets could not competition; and accordingly he won the race, though, have been accompanied. One of the chief features of at the conclusion, he had to sit down on the steps of the an oyster-cellar entertainment was, that full scope was church, being quite unable to stand. After taking a given to the conversational powers of the company. minute or two to recover his breath— Well, another Both ladies and gentlemen indulged, without restraint, race to Fortune's for another bottle of claret !' Off he in sallies the merriest and the wittiest; and a thousand went to the tavern in question, in the Stamp-Office remarks and jokes, which elsewhere would have been Close; and this bet he gained also. The claret, pro- suppressed as improper, were here sanctified by the bably with continuations, was discussed in Fortune's; oddity of the scene, and appreciated by the most digniand the end of the story is, that Balfour sent his new fied and refined. After the table was cleared of the friend home in a chair, utterly done up, at an early hour oysters and porter, it was customary to introduce brandy in the morning. It is hardly surprising that habits carried to such an
* It was very common for Scotch ladies of rank, even till the extravagance amongst gentlemen should have in some middle of the last century, to wear black masks in walking abroad, small degree affected the fairer and purer part of crea or airing in a carriage ; and for some gentlemen too, who were vain tion also. It is an old story in Edinburgh, that three of their complexion. They were kept close to the face by means of ladies had one night a merry-meeting in a tavern near
a string, having a button of glass or precious stone at the end,
which the lady held in her mouth. This practice, I understand, the Cross, where they sat till a very late hour. Ascend did not in the least interrupt the flow of tittle-tattle and scandal ing at length to the street, they scarcely remembered among the fair wearers. where they were ; but as it was good moonlight, they August 1817, that at the period above-mentioned, though it was
We are told, in a curious paper in the Edinburgh Magazine for found little difficulty in walking along till they came to the Tron Church. Here, however, an obstacle occurred. intoxicated in good company.'
a disgrace for ladies to be seen drunk, yet it was none to be a little