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But let the little fellows fire away army and navy, to celebrate the day by with their cannon, and set off trains drinking his Majesty's health. The and pioies as much as they please, area of the fine hall called the Outer, while we, gentle reader, take a walk House, was laid out with tables, on along the streets, and see what is go. which were displayed a profusion of ing on among the elder children. All sweetmeats, decorated, at intervals, the horses, on this happy day, were with exotic plants in pots, from the decorated with bunches of flowers, or Botanic Garden. The Lord Provost branches of trees; and the poor ani- presided, a band of music attended, mals seemed to pace the ground more and the worthy town-rots (soldiers of lightly, and with an air of satisfaction, the City-Guard) attended outside the which lightened their load. Most of door, and at every toast fired a volthe tradesmen also displayed their loy- ley, which was re-echoed by the hużalty by sprigs in their hats. At an zas of the crowd in the Square. This early hour in the morning, the eques- manner of celebrating the King's trian statue of King Charles II. in the Birth-day, by pouring out libations
to Parliament Close, (almost the only sta- his health, was discontinued during tue we then had,) was fancifully decora- the lamented illness of his late Majested with flowers, and the railing which ty, and has not since been revived. surrounds it interwoven with birks Though I like to see old customs kept and laurels. The Parliament House up, yet this one in particular, from likewise partook in the general jollity, the almost indiscriminate admission of and forgot for a season legal wrang- all classes to the entertainment, and ling, in the arches of evergreens, and other circumstances, I feel no regret in flowery emblems of kingly dignity, consigning to desuetude: and national distinction, which now
“ For to my mind, though I am native decorated its ample hall. The guns of
here, the Castle were fired at twelve, and at And to the manner born, it is a custom the same hour, there was a parade of More honour'd in the breach than the ob. all the troops in the vicinity, and the volunteers, when they were embodied, The Parliament Square, at this time, who, after firing a feu-de-joie, were congregated the chief part of the idle marched through the principal streets. apprentices and boys, who amused The Battery at Newhaven, and the themselves without in vulgar merriWar-ships in the Roads, fired a salute ment, while their superiors were amuat one o'clock, and all the ships in the sing themselves with wine and sweeties harbour were decorated with colours. within the house. In the Square, at this Little or no work was done among the period, stood a box, which covered the tradesmen; for in Scotland, shows are opening of a water-pipe, to be used so rare, that a very slender apology for in cases of fire ; and, on the top of this keeping a holiday is necessary: The box, it was the strange pleasure of the Town-Guard also, (a small body of crowd in those days to burgher every veterans, which does not now exist) decently-dressed person of whom they in their new uniforms, were placed at could lay hold. This burghering, or the door of the Parliament-House, the admitting to the freedom of the Square, decorations of which, and the display consisted in placing the individual on of the tables and refection, were open- his bottom on the top of the box, ed to the view of all who desired it, which rose like the ridge of a house, during the forenoon.
and then lifting him up by the arms The Blue-gowns, a set of privileged and legs, and bringing him down three beggars, of whom Edie Ochiltree is times, with more or less severity, as the type, assembled on this day at the caprice of the exhibitors, or the unthe Canongate Church, for the pur- willingness of the party suggested. In pose of receiving from his Majesty's general, it went off with good humour ; almoner their annual gratuity in mo- but in some cases, where the person ney, and a new gown. A sermon was resisted the rude attack, and was caralso delivered on the occasion, and a ried to the machine by force, serious dinner was provided.
accidents happened, and the boxes of The Parliament-House was the place this description throughout the city to which the magistrates invited the were very properly removed. most respectable citizens, the nobility The company in the Parliament and gentry, and the officers of the House met at six ; generally separated
by eight o'clock; and their departure singed whiskers. But the seeds sown was the signal for the mob which by the worthies who thus styled themoccupied the Parliament Square to selves, have since rendered the King's move to the High Street, where, and Birth-day, and every other assemblage on the Bridges, they continued to throw of the idle, a scene of turbulence and squibs, and crackers, fire off pistols, &c. mischief. If the Town Guard were till eleven or twelve o'clock.
then a little roughly handled, it was One of the chief amusements of the all in vulgar humour and rude merrivulgar assemblage, at this time, was ment; and though these singularly the throwing of dead cats, fish heads, useful animals were pelted with mud and every sort of garbage that could be and garbage, it never changed the improcured, at one another, or among perturbable expression of their weathe crowd. Every well-dressed per- ther-beaten countenances. A goodson was sure to have some of those dirty natured threat, or a friendly admonizoological specimens levelled at him tion, was all their revenge. The seizure, as he passed through the multitude; of a Lochaber axe would scarcely have and I myself, when serving the office produced more than a
" tam her of high constable, well recollect, af- shoul.” Then Jamie Laing, worth ter having been greeted with a slimy a whole host of modern policemen, cod's head, and turning round to see held the few vagabonds we possessed who had destroyed my hat and coat by in awe; and the Council Chamber, its administration, felt my neck em as then conducted, preserved the unbraced by the claws of a half-dead grey manageably-disposed from becoming, cat, which was following its friend the more unmanageable.—Now the con
cod's head in its aërialexcursion. Every trast is most striking. One cannot o projecting stair and close-head was fill- walk at night without his pocket
ed by females of the lower ranks, who handkerchief pinned to his pocket, $ posted themselves in these situations and his watch hung in chains round
to see the fun ; and to those receptacles his neck; and should things go on of feminine delicacy were the squibs much farther at this rate, one will reoftenest directed, for the purpose of quire to go hand-cuffed to preserye producing a rush and a squall, or singe- their coat, and have their shoes pad-, ing a few mutches, not to mention more locked to their legs to ensure them serious accidents which sometimes oc- against being run away with. curred. The ringing of all the bells The use of gunpowder in crackers in all the steeples increased the noisy, has now given way to the contrivances demonstrations of loyalty in the streets of modern chemistry. I almost leapalmost to stunning, while the consta- ed over a table lately, at the detonation bles of those days (constables were occasioned by pulling a fold of paper, then gentlemen) walked among the including fulminating powder, from crowd to preserve the peace from being the hand of my youngest boy, and broken by any very hagrant disturb- broke a china jug in alarm at a crackance, till the hour of ten or eleven er or bomb, which weni off on being called the crowd to their beds, and the thrown forcibly on the ground. I do said constables to a supper, partly fur- hope that the discoveries of science nished from the city funds.
may stop before going much farther; I do not know how it has happened, as in a short time, in place of a dinbut till the French Revolution, and ner of three courses, and a comfortable the appearance of the friends of the crack over a bottle of wine for an afpeople in Edinburgh, this noisy cele- ternoon, we may soon be taught to supbration of regal birth generally went ply the stomach with beef gas in a seoff in good humour, without farther cond, and get hearty over a single inharm to the lieges than a dirty coat or spiration of concentrated claret. *
• The ancient mode of celebrating a sovereign's birth-day in Edinburgh, seems to have differed but little from that of modern times." Edinburgh, May 29, 1665, being his Majesty's birth-day and restauration-day, was most solemnly kept by people of all ranks in this city. My Lord Commissioner, in his state, accompanied with his life guard on horseback, and Sir Andrew Ramsay, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Bailies and Council in their robes, accompanied with all the trained-bands and arms, went to church and heard the Bishop of Edinburgh upon a text as fit, as well applied for the work of the day. Thereafter, thirty-five aged men, in blew gowns, each having got thirty-five
Christopher Columbus mistaken for a Highwayman. “ I am a rogue if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have escaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose, my buckler cut through and through, my sword hacked like a hand-saw, ecce signum. I never dealt better since I was a man.--All would not do. A plague on all cowards !”
SHAKESPEARE, Henry IV. The late Sir Joseph Banks, accord- pitchy dark when I sallied forth, and ing to a book of poems set forth by a the removal of the candle at parting, person named 'Peter Pindar, was once tended to make it appear to me still seized in a ditch where he was herbo- more so. The geography of the farmrizing, on suspicion of his being a mur- yard being but partially sketched in derer, concealing himself from the my remembrance, I had not gone befangs of justice. That Sir Joseph was yond a few yards, before I got above not singular in the accident which be- mid-leg in a cundy* which divided the fel him, and that the best of men are middent from the cow-houses or byres. subject to be misrepresented in their An angler does not mind wet feet ; and persons and callings, the following re at one bound I cleared the receptacle lation of what happened to myself
will of fluid manure, and made a lodgment afford a melancholy proof.
upon the shelving edge of the hillock Angling at some distance from the of stable-cleanings. city one fine day, the hours of which Pursuing my course round the base few so swiftly by, that I really thought of the fermenting knoll for an outlet, honest old Time had been more than my progress was stopt by what my usually quick in his paces, I was shins told me were the trams of a cart caught at dusk, hungry and tired, by or carts, and I was forced to return, the side of the Water of Leith, a good groping my way with the fishing-rod distance beyond the village of Colinton. extended before me. Arriving again Unscrewing my rod, I left the trouts at the margin of the candy, and feelto their own meditations, and hasten- ing no particular desire to have my legs ed to my friend Mr Alexander South- wet over again, I coursed along its side, down's, at Woodhall; where a good and finding nothing to interrupt my fire, and good cheer, assisted the pass- progress, I went fearlessly on for a few ing of an hour or two more, ere 'I steps, till I heard, or fancied I heard, thought of returning home. At last the plashing of water under my feet. the hour of nine struck in Mr Alexan- In a second more, O reader, I was up der's eight-day clock, and I started up to the knees in that necessary receptaGood Alexander, indeed, would have cle of water, called a duke-dub.|| This had me to stay all night; but as I was bad enough, but I consoled myself had an engagement for next morning, with the reflection that it might have which could not be conveniently put been much worse—a mill-pond; and as off, I resolved to adventure forth, in I was not quite certain of my being spite of the dangers of robbery, and the amphibious, I retreated as fast as terror of apparitions. The night was sible in the opposite direction,
shillings in a purse, came up from the Abbey to the great church, praying all along for his Majesty. Sermon being ended, his Grace entertained all the nobles and gentlemen with a magnificent feast, and open table. After dinner, the Lord Provost and Council went to the Cross of Edinburgh, where was planted a green arbour, loadned with oranges and lemons, wine liberally running for divers hours at eight several conduits, to the great solace of the indigent commons there. Having drank all the royal healths, which were seconded by the great guns from the Castle, sound of trumpets and drums, vollies from the trained bands, and joyful acclammations from the people, they plentifully entertained the multitude. After which, my Lord Commissioner, Provost and Bailies, went up to the Castle, where they were entertained with all sorts of wine and sweetmeats ; and returning, the Lord Provost countenancing all the neighbours of the city that had put up bonfires, by appearing at their fires, being in great numbers ; which jovialness continued with ringing of bells, and shooting of great guns, till twelve o'clock at night.”-AR, NOP's History of Edinburgh, as quoted from Intelligencer of June, 1605. * Consult Di Jamieson's Dictionary.
+ Ditto. o Ditto.
my mind to be more like the force of slung over my shoulder ; and with my a balista, a catapulta, or battering ram, rod in my right hand, and the bridle or like a right-handed hit judiciously in my left, I was lighted past the planted by my friend Mr Cribb, than cundy, the midden, and the pig-stye, any other species of mechanical force and set fairly on the road to Edínwith which I was acquainted. Mr burgh. Southdown, however, after some cogi I jogged on at a quiet trot, till, cotation, declared he had found it out; ming down a lane near Colinton, and and rubbing his hands in ecstasy at riding near the side of the road, which the discovery, shouted out, " De'il's was at that place overhung by trees, in't if it can be ony thing else than I received a smart blow on the chops the tup pet the callants had learned with a stick, which seemed to have to box," that was the operator in this come from some person on the other behind-hand manner of applying phy- side of the dike. "As it is the duty of sical strength.
every man to resist all attempts at Geordy now began to apologize for injury of his person or spoliation of his the part he had taken in the scene, goods, I raised my fishing-rod, unforand hoped '“ I wasna hurt, for he tunately my only weapon, and struck would rather have broken his leg than with my utmost strength in the didune me the slightest injury, had herection from whence I conceived the known wha I was ; but, 'deed, sir, if blow to proceed. My rod broke in two ye kent how we're troubled wi' tink- with the violence of the stroke, lealers, and thae kind o' folk, and how ving part of it in my hand; and being Kirsty lost twa dukes no a week ago, now without other weapon of offence forbye the chickens that were ta’en or defence, I hope it is no imputation awa' by the tod, it's eneugh to pit a on my courage to say, that I hurried body in a passion, and hard for poor forward to avoid farther mischief. folk to lose their substance by land I had not much passed the village loupers, vermin, and vagabonds." of Colinton, when I overtook a man, “ Ye're ay ower rash wi' your hands, apparently a farmer, on horsebaek beGeordy,” said Mrs Christian ;“ ye're fore me. As he seemed to be going ay ower rash; for it's no a year yet till the same road, I thought I could not Hallowe'en sin' ye killed our ain dog, do better than join company for mustriking at a foumart the puir beast tual protection, and with that view was worrying."
pushed the poney alongside the horse By the assistance of my worthy and of the stranger. As soon as I came hospitable friend, I now changed my within hearing, I saluted him by sayapparel, which, with blood, dirt, and ing; “ Dark night, friend !” He made water of various descriptions, too te- no reply, but turned his horse to the dious to be here enumerated, was to- other side of the road. I followed, or tally unfitting for present wear ; sub- rather the poney followed, for the sake stituting for my own pantaloons, the of society likewise I presume.
« Will corduroy breeches of a man twice my you allow me to bear you company, size,-sliding myself into a coat which friend?” again I said. might have contained the body of a ain concerns and I'll mind mine," said bailie,--and drawing on a pair of blue 'he, setting off at a quick trot. Unworsted stockings, which ascended to willing to be repulsed by a shew of near my watch-chain. I have' no doubt incivility, I put spurs to the poney, that I made a most grotesque figure; explaining to the stranger, that if he and as I felt some difficulty in mana were going to Edinburgh, I should be ging my new appointments, my, wor- glad of his company, for the road was, thy friend insisted that I should take in my opinion, not very safe.
“ which kent every stane o' hae nae company frae me,” said he, the road, though it war the mark hour riding still faster ;—"I dinna like sic o'midnight. Ye hae naething to do,” associates, an if it be God's will ye's said he,“ but to leave the beast at no hae my bluid to answer for this Reid's, in the Candlemaker-Row, and night,” continued he, putting his horse I'll send a callant for't in the morn to its utmost speed. My poney, wheing." This offer was too much to my ther froin sympathy or fun, required taste to be refused. I had rather ride but little inducement to go at the than walk at any time. So the poney same pace, and on we splattered as was saddled ; my fishing-basket, or we had been riding for a saddle at a trout-creel, as Geordy called it, was yeomanry race,-the man's breathing
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