« VorigeDoorgaan »
ters or their friends; and many an be seen our native Highlanders, in honest bruté, with galled sides, and their splendid uniform, the serjeant with pounds of hair at each fetlock, stalking, with face of importance and had the honour to be bestridden at dignified stride, to the sound of the Leith Races, who all the rest of the bagpipe, followed by all bis “prave year toiled at the most homely drud- laads.” In another an ancient serjeant, gery.
with cocked hat and still erect air, Early on the morning of the race marched at the head of those whose the Lists were called about by that blue uniform shewed they belonged most respectable body, the flying-sta- to the artillery ; while in others, all tioners, (which included almost all the the variety of martial cocks and caps, lame beggars of Edinburgh,) in these from the ponderous head-dress of the terms :-“ Here you have a list of all grenadier, to chimney-pot shaped skull the names of the noblemen and gen- caps, and light-bob head coverings tlemen, riders and riders' livery, who heads plastered with soap
and pomais to ride over the Sands of Leith this tum, or black tin queues of immoderate day, for his Majesty's purse of a hun- length,—offered to those inclined to be der guineas o' value.”* An hour be- warriors a choice of avenues to military fore starting, the procession of the fame. “ Sie a braw fallow that is!" Purse, which was elevated on a pole ejaculated my country friend, as a welldecorated with ribbons, and carried known Highland recruiting serjeant by a city officer, attended by a drum passed; " that ’ill be a captain at the and fife, (Archy Campbell, what a feast,” said he, addressing a workman great man wast thou then!) marched who was hastening along the street.from the City Chambers, and proclaim- "A captain, man ! are ye wise enough? ed to all as it went along the doings -D'ye no ken Serjeant Shty? that were to be at Leith Sands. Num- he's just a chairman at the Tron Kirk berless boys attended the procession in for common.
Say ye sae," replied its course, and children were held up my country friend,
(whom I followed by their mothers and servants--and as closely as I could in his walk along country people stared and wondered - the North Bridge, )—" and this auld to see the gaudy shadow of a purse, man, wi' the cockiť bat and blue claes
, the contents of which were such an he'll maybe be something o' the same object of ambition to so many noble- kind, for a' his looking sae like a sodmen and gentlemen. "Eh! I won- ger?”. Na, na! that's auld Serjeant der if the haill hunder gowd guineas Amos o' the artillery; and that next be there,” I once heard a peasant say,
ane ye see coming there-that's the as he stood, and with open mouth famous Serjeant Tapp-Ye'll maybe looked as if he could have swallowed hae heard o' him. Mony a puir felit up, pole and all.-—" Hoot, ye stu- low hås he trepanned in his day, and pid haverel!" answered one who was mony a puir lassie, too, if a' tales be Hear ; “man, there's naething in't but true.-But I maun awa' to the race, some ill bawbees,
wiggies or Brumma- or I'll be ower lang-Gang ye down gems, to keep it frae Hightering in the that way?"-"od, I dinna care though wind. The siller's paid after-hend, i gang a wee bit wi' you,—there's sae
o' the Council Chamber.”—“An mony ferlies to be seen. do they no get that braw pock to haud The cry of “ Fine Findhorn spelit in replied the countryman.- dings,” by a woman with a basket, "Na, na! we keep a' our siller here now attracted my rustic friend's atintil the banks, honest man," said the tention, and he purchased a bunch of citizen." It's wonderfu’!" continued these teeth-trying morsels, to keep his the countryman, as the purse receded chops going on his road to Leith. As from his eye ; " it's very wonderfu’! we he was
turning the corner of the Bridge have nae sic braw things at the Kirk at the Theatre, a young man, in the town o Auldnaigs, except it be the usual Lowland country
costume, viz. minister's wife's red satin prin-cod." blue coat and vest, corduroy breech
Recruiting parties, from all quar- es, and blue stockings, tied with ret ters, also attended the races, and at an garters under the
, with the addiearly hour marched in martial array, tional ornament of a and with military music, down to the twisted round his hatband, camequickscene of action. In one party might ly across the street, and accosted him
with, "Eh, Johnny Knótgrass, is that and fumbled in his breeches-pocket. Fit yöu l-Preserve us a', man, wha wad “I had a nevoy, a tittie's son o' ma
hae thought to seen you here?” at the wife's, in the seafaring line, was killsame time shaking him violently by ed, puir fallow, in that bloody battle;
the hand. “ Gude guide us, Sandy ye maybe kent him; he took on at * Coulter ! if I'm in the body! I'm glad Leith here; they ca’d him Robbie ;" di to see you ; and how's a' wi'ye, man, and he seemed undecided whether to
and your titty Jean, and auld Nanse, give a halfpenny or a penny to the veEn your mither,' wi' her cough ?” teran. " What! Bob Gimmer was it?
They're a' gaily, Johnny; I hope śmy messmate, Bob? I knew him ye're weel yoursel, and the
gudewife well; he was popp'd off by the burst* keepin' stout. Are ye for the race?” ing of a gun, wa’n’t he ?"_" Troth,
" I'm etlan to gang, Sandy, gif ye'll ye’re no far wrang; and did ye lose $ gång wi' me, as I'm no very sure of the your legs there? Eh, man, it was a #gate." .“ Od, l’se do that, for I dinna sair dispensation that. There's a sax
gang to Clayslap till the morn. I've pence till ye,” said John, putting the tar to tak out to smear the sheep, and coppers aside ; and if ever ye come by
some iron for the smiddy.” The two Auldnaigs, speer for me, and ye’s no Le friends now joined company, and turn- want a meltith o' meat and a night's
ed their faces down Leith-Walk, where quarters. How glad ma gudewife wad thousands of every age and of everyrank be to hear how ye handled the mounwere hastening to the Sands.
zies that day, for she hates them beLeith Walk, at this period, was the cause they're a' Papists.”—“God bless resort of all the beggars whom disease you !-thank you !” said this mutilaor disinclination prevented from call- ted remains of a man, as he pocketed ing the Lists; and these were stationed the sixpence and stumped off so closely on both sides of the road, A tall blind man, much pitted by and were so very importunate, that one the small-pox, (from which cause prodoes not regret the regulation which bably he had lost his sight,) with unprohibits their appearance within the covered head, and long tied hair, acbounds of police. So many “poor blind companied
by a woman, was now
singpuir lassies, fatherless ing how he had been struck blind by children, and mothers without hus- lightning. " That's nae trouble o' his bands--so many blind fiddlers, and ain bringing on ; that's a sinless inlame musicians of every description, firmity,” said John, and he rolled out were plying their different arts in the a halfpenny from the intricacies of his crowded thoroughfare, that it required shamoy purse. Three little children à more than common share of philoso- who were crying beside their mother, phy to pass along without emptying who had a fourth in her arms, now arone's pockets of their small change. I rested him. " What's the matter wi' have often thought what a fine Essay you, puir wee raggit things ?"_" Eh on the Gradations of Human Miserý gie's a halfpenny to buy a piece; we could have been written from a view haena tasted meat the day!-Eh do't.” of this living picture of congregated This appeal was irresistible; and Mr wretchedness. Here might be seen the John, placing a halfpenny in the hand idiot soliciting, with ineffective stare, of each, and clapping their unprotected ( just ae baubee to buy a row;" the heads, said, "God help us, ye’ré blind appealing with orbless eyes to young thrown on the world; ye canthe humanity of the passers by'; and na want a piece ; but mind ye’re no to the mariner on wooden leg, or with buy sweeties wi't.” fragments of arms, roaring out, with - John, ye're ower simple,” said stentorian voice, “ the dangers of the Sandy; "gifyegangon at this rate, ye'll seas," and the fatalities of battle. no leave as mony bawbees as get a
poor devil a halfpenny, chappin o' ale when we come to the if
you please," said one of these last, tents. I ne'er gie thae bodies ony on wooden stumps as a substitute for thing, for the maist o’them, I've been legs, to the two friends as they went told, are just impostors, and shuldna along ;-" lost both my precious limbs be encouraged.”. " Buy ballants ! buy on the glorious first of June ;” and ballants!” cried an old man with a he held out a piece of a greasy hat basket, containing a perfect library of covered with canvas. John stopped, such articles, their tiile-pages all dis
6 Chuck a
played to view. ." That's weel mind- and gay and comical! But they may it,” said John; “I promised to tak a be very gude and worthy men, for a ballant out to Peggy Morison. Hae that they haena been born to titles. you Sir James the Rose, honest man?”. We're a' o' ae stock, ye ken, Sandy, L" I think you'll find it here," an- and I was never despise a fellow-creaswered he, presenting a parcel of allu- ture that
“But see," again inring histories. “ Jamie of Yarmouth's terrupted Sandy,“ see that coach, and Garland ?” said John, as he put on his the flunkies in green livery--that's the spectacles to assist him in his choice; Duke of Buccleuch’s, a real nobleman, " that's no it. Loudon Tam-That's and a blessing to a'the country round, no it either.
George Buchanan; ay, for he stays at hame, and spends his he was the king's fule; what tak ye siller amang ourselves."
! and for this?”_" Threepence.”—“I wad- is that the Duke's carriage? If he na grudge ye the siller, wad ye mak it saw me, he wad speak to me, I'm sure; bigger print,” continued John.“ Bar- for I never met his Grace (God bless bara Allan, The Babes o'the Wood, Sir him) in our country-side, but he says James the Rose ;-ay, here it's now;" to me, ‘John,' says he, how are you? and he treated for an addition to his and how's the gudewife and family? library to the amount of sixpence. and bid me, in his hamely way, if ever
While John was thus engaged, San- I cam to Dalkeith, to gang and take dy, attracted by the cry of Fine ripe my dinner in his hall. I wish a' the berries, twa dips and a wallop," re- nobles o' the land were like him." marked, they “wadna be the waur o' At the bottom of Leith-Walk there a wee pickle groserts,” and received the were congregated, during the time of stipulated measure of this commodity the races, a number of caravans of wild into his hat, to share them with his beasts, horses of knowledge, tumblers friend. The coaches were now rat- and harlequins. My friends had reach.. tling down the road in every variety of ed this spot, when John's attention colour and livery. “ See,” said Sandy, was strongly attracted by a woman as a well-known equipage was passing ; twisting melodious sounds out of an “See to that, Johnny! there's a braw organ, and a clown making grimaces coach for you.” John turned his head to the crowd.-—“Walk in, walk in, towards the road, and answered, “ Ay, ladies and gentlemen, the performance ay, that's very grand, indeed a yearl, is just going to begin-unly twopence or a duke, aiblins; sax horses, and twa walk in, walk in."--" He's a comifunkies on the back o'the coach, and cal fallow that fule, I'se warrant him, twa callants bobbing on the horses, to Sandy; it takes a wise man to be a the bargain ! sic luxury !-The folk fule,” remarked John;“but those mathere, I'se warrant; dinna ken what dams that gang wi' them, and dance it's to want ony thing, and never do a on wires, wi' trowsers on, it's no very, hand's turn, nor need to set their foot becoming in a Christian land. They to the ground unless they like. That's canna be gude, though they look weel; the way o' the
gentry, God help us !" and I'm inclined to think, though we “Na, na, ye're wrang there, John- shouldna judge harshly, that they're ny; the folk there are nae mair gentle just painted Jezebels." - "But see that than you or me, man. That's the ma- wee body sittin' on the man's shougistrates and provost; just bits o'tra- ther,”-his attention being attracted ding bodies in the town. It's lang by a pipe and tabor in an opposite disince the gentry hae gi'en up being “à rection,—“how auld he looks-puir terror to evil doers, and a praise to wee fallow, he's dressed like a sodger, them that do weel, as it is said in too."-" That's a puggy, man,” said
," the Scriptures. The provost o' our Sandy; " and it can gang through the ain burgh o' Clayknows is a better exercise, and shoot a pistol, for as wee gentleman than ony, o' them. The as it is, as weel's ony o' them. But provost, ma lord, as they ca’ him, come awa’-we'll be ower late to see is just a stockin'-weaver; and ane o' the baillies sells ingans; and that's Mr John reluctantly left sights so just ane o' the street coaches they're new to him, and followed in the stream
-“ Weel, that's very strange, of horse and foot, chariot and cart,
* Gentle reader, see the rote at the cnd of chapter seventeenth.
which was pouring down to the sands. thae's fine places for getting a refresh* Arrived at the said sands, which were ment, and mony a ane's at it,” said Mr
thronged, as far as the eye could reach, Knotgrass.- Ay, and the very tap oʻ with coaches, horsemen, and pedestria them's turned to use," answered Sanans, the range of tents along the beach, dy; "we can get up there to see the in the frorit of which the thickest mass race for a penny.”—“Weel, that's cuof people were assembled, and among rious--the very tap o' the places !-a' whom the recruiting parties were ac- thing's made for the penny here," retávely engaged, attracted the attention plied John. of our visitors." Hegh, man, but
Was ne'er in Scotland heard nor seen
Sic dancing and deray,
Christ's Kirk on the Green. In the front of the tents, at a little A crowd at a littledistance, and there. distance, were stationed those who port of a gentleman having been throwni sold gooseberries, gingerbread, speldins from his horse, attracted my attention, (dried haddocks,)
and all the little eat- and I left the friends playing at rowleyiables which custom had taught them powley, to see if the accident was a se
were in demand when a promiscuous rious one. On going up to the crowd, multitude were gathered together; I asked a boy what had happened,
and, at intervals, among these were “Ou! naething at a', sir, but Abraham is placed wheels of fortune, puppet- fa'en into the Prawn Dub." Abraham
shows, tables with dice, a wooden dish in the Prawn Dub, thought I ; this
with an octagonal brass ball, lotteries must be some poor Jew pedlar, whom i for sleeve-buttons and trinkets, and his beard, country, or language, have
numberless other temptations to those incited the boys to abuse, and I presswho wished to adventure in vulgargam- ed forward, with the intention of'renbling; while, on the sands, and occu- dering him assistance. But what was pying a larger space, the players at my astonishment to find that it was Mr rowley-powley cleared an avenue for Abraham Gooseiron, the stay-maker, the path of the stick, thrown at pegs who, in enacting the dandy on horsetopped with penny-cakes of ginger- back, had tumbled from his elevation bread. The sight of three or four of into the said Prawn Dub. Abraham these said cakes, which might be all was quite well known to all the boys, knocked off at one lucky throw, and from his dressing in a more gay and at the trifling expence of a single pene fantastic manner than his compeers, ny, was too much for the philosophy and he met with little commiseration, of Mr John, who already devoured the from having filled his new boots, and sandy morsels by anticipation. “Let destroyed his new coat, by a soaking me try a throw, for ance,” said John, in salt water. To an inquiry as to the handling his penny to the master of ce- manner of the accident, I received for remonies ; " I'm sure I canna miss the answer that “ the horsé funkit him aff
John threw, but the end into the dub, as a doggie was rinnin' of the stick, striking the ground, went
_" But he can easily cabbage off at a tangent, without displacing a as muckle claith as inak' him anither single cake. A loud laugh from the pair o'breeks,” said a second. " The bye-standers, at John's expence, pro- horse has mair sense than him,-he voked him to a second attempt. “ See had nae business there,-he might hae the clodhopper again,” said one, as been on his feet, as weel as his beta John, with teeth set, and eyes fixed ters,” remarked a third. upon the regimented pegs, balanced gets a downcome, some time or ither,” the stick in his hand for another throw. was very solemnly repeated by a fourth. John thréw, and knocked off one.- I never saw a horse smile, though there
Weel dune !-ye're getting the gate ·are such things as horse-laughs ; but o't now,” said Sandy; " let me try- the expression of Abraham's hackney's de’il be in't, gif I dinna gar them coup, face, at this moment, seemed to me or the shins will pay for’t.”
to assume an appearance, as, were
« Pride aye
it not for the dread of whip and front of a crowded scaffold ;-" the spurs, it could have laughed heartily. blue jacket has it!-weel done the Abraham, however, dirty as he was, blue !”-and he slapped his thigh in was soon reinstated in his seat, though sympathy with the motion of the rithe attempts to help him, and the com- der ;-"I'll wager a bottle oporter pliments of condolence, were given in that ane gains the race !" John's atthat wicked spirit, which seemed ra- tention was directed in silence to the ther to enjoy than pity the misfortune horses and riders, as they swam before of the unlucky horseman. A shout his eye in the distance, and were seen from the boys, and the application of passing the red flags which margined a switch from some of the spectators, the sea. “ There !--they're' turned as Abraham rode off, made the animal now !” resounded from a thousand once more restive ; and I was much of voices, as they came down the course the opinion expressed by a person at from its eastern extremity. The crowd my side, who exclaimed, “That man pushed closer to the ropes; and the kens naething about managing a horse. clattering of the noble animals, as they Dod, he'll get anither clyty afore he passed at full speed round the starttaks hame the beast."
ing-post, announced that one third of I now returned to my friends, who the heat was over. Three rounds of were still at the rowley-powley, not the course formed the heat, and three playing, however, but eating the gine of these heats generally decided the gerbread which they had acquired. race, though there were sometimes The approach of the hour for starting more. The sands being very soft, the drew the crowd to the places which horses sank much, and the strength commanded a view of the course; and of the animals was generally reserved the two countrymen, remarking " that for the last round. « Od safe us, it was na every day that they were how fast they rin!” said John, while there,” paid their penny, and mount- his lost them in the distance at ed the scaffolding on the top of the the third round ;" it's, by a' the tents. That part of the course froin warld, like swallows fleeing !—The the starting to the distance-post was callant in the pink jacket's first now! roped in, and a guard attended at this weel done, ma wee man !—skelp place, (ye Town-Guard veterans, it it up!-Sandy, I'd wad the price o was hard and trying duty for you !) to the brown cow he gains it!-that's prevent the crowd from bursting over it!-whip him up !" How natural it the cord, and narrowing the space. The is to bet on occasions like these, more distant part of the round was thought I, as Mr Knotgrass held out marked by poles and red flags, stuck his brown cow on the issue; there in at intervals along the wet sands. must be something more in the pracThe stewards of the race, and magi- tice than the warped ideas and constrates, occupied a platform, or stand, firmed gambling of a man of fashion, erected at the starting-post, and cover- when the same passion even agitates ed in by an awning, and in the front of the bosom of a rustic. The horses this was affixed the pole and purse, be- now came thundering on to finish the dizened with ribbons. A roll of the first heat; all eyes were directed in drum in attendance warned the riders eager anxiety to the termination of to prepare; a second announced that the race at the wooden stand; and the horses were ready; and a third was those who were deficient in the necesthe signal for their starting with ar- sary height, added to their elevation by row-speed for the three-mile-heat. The standing on tip-toe, and stretching coaches and crowd were at this time their necks to their utmost length. chiefly ranged along the line which At this moment the press
from beinclosed the course ; and when any un- hind forwards on the scaffolding, where lucky dogs ventured to enter the pro- John and his companion stood, was tected space, in spite of the proclama- so great, that those in the front only tion of the stewards to the contrary, kept their places by holding together the halloos, and repulses, and kicks on for mutual support. It was the misevery side, as they sought an exit, gave fortune of John, however, in his eagerthem often a very good excuse for run- ness to project his head beyond those
on each side of him, to lose his ba“ There!--they're off now !” said lance, and tumble over. An honest Sandy to John, as they stood on the fish-woman, who stood immediately
ning mad in revenge: