« VorigeDoorgaan »
ength, he proceeded to shut a strong plate of steel was, to secure the wicket, of which they did not un. which folded down above the keyhole, and was se- derstand the fastenings. The man, terrified at an in. sured by a steel spring and catch. Butler stood still cident so totally unexpected, was unable to perform instinctively while the door was made fast, and then his usual office, and gave the matter up, after several looking at his watch, walked briskly up the street, attempts. The rioters, who seemed to have come muttering to himself almost unconsciously
prepared for every emergency, called for torches, by Porta adrersa, in gens, solidoque adamante columna; the light of which they nailed up the wicket with Vis ut nulla virim, non ipsi exscindere ferro
long nails, which, it appeared probable, they had proCelieolæ valeant-Stat ferrea turris ad auras-&c.*
vided on purpose. Having wasted half an hour more in a second fruit- While this was going on, Butler could not, even if less attempt to find his legal friend and adviser, he he had been willing, avoid making remarks on the thought it time to leave the city and return to his individuals who seemed to lead this singular mob. place of residence, in a small village about two miles The torch-light, while it fell on their forms, and lelt and a half to the southward of Edinburgh. The me- him in the shade, gave him an opportunity to do so tropolis was at this time surrounded by a high wall, without their observing him. Several of those who apwith battlements and flanking projections at some in- peared most active were dressed in sailors' jackcis, lervals, and the access was through gates, called in trousers, and sea-caps; others in large loose-bodied the Scottish language ports, which were regularly great-coals, and slouched hats; and there were several shut at night. A small fee to the keepers would in- who, judging from their dress, should have been called deed procure egress and ingress at any time, through women, whose rough deep voices, uncommon size, and a wicket left for that purpose in the large gate, but it masculine deportment and mode of walking, forbade was of some importance, to a man so poor as Butler, them being so interpreted. They moved as if by some to avoid even this slight pecuniary mulct; and fear-well-concerted plan of arrangement. They had signals ing the hour of shutting the gates might be near, he by which they knew, and nicknames by which they dismade for that to which he found himself nearest, al- tinguished each other. Buller remarked, that the name though, by doing so, he somewhat lengthened his of Wildfire was used among them, to which one stout walk homewards. Bristo Port was that by which Amazon seenied to reply. his direct road lay, but the West Port, which leads out The rioters left a small party to observe the West of the Grass-market, was the nearest of the city gates Port, and directed the Waiters, as they valued their to the place where he found himself, and to that, lives, to remain within their lodge, and make no astherefore, he directed his course. He reached the port tempt for that night to repossess themselves of the in arnple time to pass the circuit of the walls, and gate. They then moved with rapidity along the low enter a suburb called Portsburgh, chiefly inhabited by street called the Cowgate, the mob of the city every. the lower order of citizens and mechanics. Here he where rising at the sound of their drum, and joining was unexpectedly interrupted.
them. When the multitude arrived at the Cowgate He had not gone far from the gate before he heard Port, they secured it with as little opposition as the the sound of a drum, and, to his great surprise, met former, made it fast, and left a small party to observe a number of persons, sufficient to occupy the whole it. It was afterwards remarked, as a striking infront of the street, and form a considerable mass be- stance of prudence and precaution, singularly com. hind, moving with great speed towards the gate he bined with audacity, that the parties left to guard had just come from, and having in front of them a those gates did not remain stationary on their posts, drum beating to arms. While he considered how he but flitted to and fro, keeping so near the gates as to should escape
party, assembled, as it might be pre- see that no etiorts were made to open then, yet not sumed, for no lawful purpose, chey came full on him remaining so long as to have their persons closely and stopped him.
observed. The mob, at first only about one hundred Are you a clergyman ?".one questioned him. strong, now amounted to thousands, and were inButler replied, that "he was in orders, but was not creasing every moment. They divided themselves a placed minister."
so as to ascend with more speed the various narrow "It's Mr. Butler from Libberton," said a voice from lanes which lead up from the Cowgate to the High behind; "he'll discharge the duty as weel as ony Street; and still beating to arms as they went, and
calling on all true Scotsmen to join them, they now "You must turn back with us, sir," said the first filled the principal street of the city. speaker, in a tone civil but peremptory.
The Netherbow Port might be called the Temple"For what purpose, gentlemen ?" said Mr. Butler. bar of Edinburgh, as intersecting the High Street at "I live at some distance from town-the roads are its termination, it divided Edinburgh, properly so unsafe by night-you will do me a serious injury by called, from the suburb named the Canongate, as stopping me.
Temple-bar separates London from Westminster. It "You shall be sent safely home-no man shall was of the utmost importance to the rioters to postouch a har of your head--but you must and shall sess themselves of this pass, because there was quarcome along with us,"
tered in the Canongate at that time a regiment of “But to what purpose or end, gentlemen ?" said infantry, commanded by Colonel Moyle, which might Butler. "I hope you will be so civil as to explain that have occupied the city by advancing through this 10 me?"
gate, and would possess the power of totally defeat"You shall know that in good time. Come along ing their purpose. The leaders therefore hastened to .-for come you must, by force or fair means; and I the Netherbow Port, which they secured in the same warn you o look neither to the right hand nor the manner, and with as little trouble, as the other gates, left, and to take no notice of any man's face, but con- leaving a party to watch it, strong in proportion 10 sider all that is passing before you as a dream." the imporiance of the post.
"I would it were a dream I could awaken from," The next object of these hardy insurgents was at said Butler to himself; but having no means to op- once to disarm the City Guard, and to procure arms pose the vilence with which he was threatened, he for themselves; for scarce any weapons but staves was compeled to turn round and march in front of and bludgeons had been yer seen among them. The the rioters, wo men partly supporting and partly hold Guard-house was a long, low, ugly building, (remoing him. During this parley the insurgents had made ved in 1787,) which to a fanciful imagination might themselves masters of the West Port, rushing upon have suggested the idea of a long black snail crawling the Waiter, (so the people were called who had the up the middle of the High Street, and deforming its charge of he gates.) and possessing themselves of beautiful esplanade. This formidable insurrection had the keys. They bolted and barred the folding doors, been so unexpected, that there were no more than the and commanded the person, whose duty it usually ordinary sergeant's guard of the c-ly-corps upon duty; • Wide ; the fronting gate, and, raised on high,
even these were without any surply of powder and With damantine columns threats the sky :
ball; and sensible enongh what had raised the storm, Vain i, the force of inan, and Heaven's as vain To ensh the pillars which the pile sustain :
and which way it was rolling, could hardly be sud
posed very desirous to expose themselves by a valian DRYDEN's Virgil, hook vi. defence to the animosity of so numerous and despa
Subline on these a tower of steel is rear'd.
rate a mob, to whom they were on the present occa-) The same vigilance was used to prevent everybody sion much mare than usually obnoxious.
of the higher, and those which, in this case, might be There was a sentinel upon guard, who (that one deemed the more suspicious orders of society, from town-guard soldier might do his duty on that event- appearing in the street, and observing the movements, fui evening) presented his piece, and desired the fore- or distinguishing the persons, of the rioters. Every most of the rioters to stand off. The young amazon, person in the garb of a gentleman was stopped by whon Butler had observed particularly active, sprung small parties of two or three of the mob, who partly upon the soldier, seized his musket
, and after a strug- exhorted, partly required of them, that they should gle succeeded in wrenching it from him, and throw- return to the place from whence they came. "Many a ing him down on the causeway. One or two sol- quadrille table was spoiled that memorable evening; diers, who endeavoured to turn out to he support of for the sedan-chairs of ladies even of the highest their sentinel, were in the same manne seized and rank, were interrupted in their passage from one point disarmed, and the mob without difficulty possessed to another, in despite of the laced footmen and blazthemselves of the Guard-house, disarming and turn-ing flambeaux. This was uniformly done with a deing out of doors the rest of the men on duty. It was ference and attention to the feelings of the terrified remarked, that, notwithstanding the city soldiers had females, which could hardly have been expected from been the instruments of the slaughter which this riot the videttes of a mob so desperate. Those who stopwas designed to revenge, no ill usage or even insult ped the chair usually made the excuse, that there was was offered to them. It seemed as if the vengeance much disturbance on the streets, and that it was abof the people disdained to stoop at any head meaner solutely necessary for the lady's safety that the chair than that which they considered as the source and should turn back. They offered themselves to escort origin of their injuries.
the vehicles which they had thus interrupted in their On possessing themselves of the guard, the first progress, from the apprehension, probably, that some act of the multitude was to destroy the drums, by of those who had casually united themselves to the which they supposed an alarm might be conveyed to riot might disgrace their systematic and determined •he garrison in the castle; for the same reason they plan of vengeance, by those acts of general insult now silenced their own, which was beaten by a and license which are common on similar occasions. voung fellow, son to the drummer of Portsburgh, Persons are yet living who remember to have heard whom they had forced upon that service. Their next from the mouihs of ladies thus interrupted on their business was to distribute among the boldest of the journey in the manner we have described, that they rioters the guns, bayonets, partisans, halberds, and were escorted to their lodging by the young men who battle or Lochaber axes. Until this period the prin stopped them, and even handed ont of their chairs, cipal rioters had preserved silence on the ultimate with a polite attention far beyond what was consist object of their rising, as being that which all knew, ent with their dress, which was apparently that of but none expressed. Now, however, having accom- journeymen mechanics. * It seemed as if the conspiplished all the preliminary parts of their design, they rators, like those who assassinated the Cardinal Bea. raised a tremendous shout of “Porteous! Porteous toun in former days, had entertained the opinion, that To the Tolbooth! To the Tolbooth !"
the work about which they went was a judgment of They proceeded with the same prudence when the Heaven, which, though unsanctioned by the usual object seemed to be nearly in their grasp, as they had authorities, ought to be proceeded in with order and done hitherto when success was more dubious. A gravity. strong party of the rioters, drawn up in front of the While their outposts continued thus vigilant, and Luckenbooths, and facing down the street, prevented suffered themselves neither from fear nor curiosity to all access from the eastward, and the west end of the neglect that part of the duty assigned to them, and defile formed by the Luckenbooths was secured in the while the main guards to the east and west secured same manner; so that the Tolbooth was completely them against interruption, a select body of the riot. surrounded, and those who undertook the task of ers thundered at the door of the jail, and demanded breaking it open effectually secured against the risk instant admission. No one answered, for the onter of interruption.
keeper had prudently made his escape with the keys The magistrates, in the meanwhile, had taken the at the commencement of the riot, and was nowhere alarm, and assembled in a tavern, with the purpose to be found. The door was instantly assailed with of raising some strength to subdue the rioters. The sledge-hammers, iron-crows, and the couliers of deacons, or presidents of the trades, were applied to, ploughs, ready provided for the purpose, with which but declared there was little chance of their authority they prized, heaved, and battered for some time with being respected by the craftsmen, where it was the little effect; for, being of double oak planks, clenched, object to save a man so obnoxious. Mr. Lindsay, both end-long and ath wart, with broad-headed nails, member of parliament for the city, volunteered the the door was so secured as to yield to no means of perilous task of carrying a verbal message from the forcing without the expenditure of much time. The Lord Provost to Colonel Moyle, the commander of rioters, however, appeared determined to gain admite the regiment lying in the Canongate, requesting him tance. Gang after gang relieved each other at the to force the Netherbow Port, and enter the city to put exercise, for, of course, only a few could work at a down the tumult. But Mr. Lindsay declined to charge time; but gang after gang retired, exhausted with himself with any written order, which, if found on their violent exertions, without making much pro his person by an enraged mob, might have cost him gress in forcing the prison-door. Butler had been led his life; and the issue of the application was, that up near to this the principal scene of action; so near, Colonel Moyle, having no written requisition from indeed, that he was almost deafened by the unceathe civil authorities, and having the fate of Porteous sing clang of the heavy fore-haminers against the before his eyes as an example of the severe construc-iron-bound portals of the prison. He began to enLion put by a jury on the proceedings of military men tertain hopes, as the task seemed protracte, that the acting on their own responsibility, declined to en- populace might give it over in despair, orthat some counter the risk to which the Provost's verbal com rescue might arrive to disperse them. There was a munication invited him.
moment at which the latter seemed proballe. More than one messenger was dispatched by dif The magistrates, having assembled ther officers, ferent ways to the Castle, to require the commanding and some of the citizens who were willing to hazard officer a march down his troops, to fire a few can- themselves for the public tranquillity, niw sallied non-shot, or even to throw a shell among the mob, forth from the tavern where they held ther sitting for the purpose of clearing the streets. But so strict and approached the point of danger. Their officers and watchful were the various patrols whoin the riot- went before them with links and torches, vith a ho ers had established in different parts of the street, that rald to read the riot act, if necessary. They easily none of the emissaries of the magistrates could reach * A near relation of the author's used to tell of having peen the gate of the Castle. They were, however, turned stopped by the rioters, and escorted home in the nanuer des back
without cither injury or insult, and with nothing scribed. Ón reaching her own home, one of her atendants, 13 ore of menace than was necessary to detor them chair
, and took leave with a bow, which, in the lades opinion, im again attempting to accomplish their en and. argued breeding that could hardly be learned beside he over
drove before them the outposts and videttes of the
CHAPTÉR VII. noters; but when they approached the line of guard which the mob, or rather, we should say, the conspic, but we will better the instruction.
The evil you teach us, we will execute ; and it shall go hard
Merchant of Venice. rators, had drawn across the street in the front of the Luckenbooths, they were received with an unin- The unhappy object of this remarkable disturbance termitted volley of stones, and, on their nearer apo had been thai day delivered from the apprehension of proach, the pikes, bayonets, and Lochaber-axes, of a public execution, and his joy was the greater, as he which the populace had possessed themselves, were had some reason to question whether government presented against them. One of their ordinary offi- would have run the risk of unpopularity by interfering cers, a strong resolute fellow, went forward, seized a in his favour, after he had been legally convicted by rioter, and took from him a musket; but, being un- the verdict of a jury, of a crime so very obnoxious. supported, he was instantly thrown on his back in Relieved from this doubtful state of mind, his heart the street, and disarmed in his turn. The officer was was merry within him, and he thought, in the emtoo happy to be permitted to rise and run away with phatic words of Scripture on a similar occasion, that out receiving any further injury; which afforded ano. surely the bitterness of death was past. Some of his ther remarkable instance of the mode in which these friends, however, who had watched the manner and men had united a sort of moderation towards all behaviour of the crowd when they were made acothers, with the most inflexible invoteracy against quainted with the reprieve, were of a difierent opinion. the object of their resentment. The magistrates, after they augurea, from the unusual stermness and silence. vain attempts to make themselves heard and obeyed, with which they bore their disappointmeni, that the possessing no means of enforcing their authority, populace nourished some scheme of sudden and des were constrained to abandon the field to the rioters, perate vengeance; and they advised Porteo:s to lose and retreat in all speed from the showers of missiles no time in petitioning the proper authorities, that he that whistled around their ears.
might be conveyed to the Castle under a sufficient The passive resistance of the Tolbooth-gate pro- guard, to remain there in security until his ultimate mised to do more to baffle the purpose of the mob late should be determined. Habituated, however, by than the active interference of the magistrates. The his office, to overawe the rabble of the ciry, Porteous heavy sledge-hammers continued to din against it could not suspect them of an attempt so audacious as without intermission, and with a noise which, echo; to storm a strong and defensible prison; and, despi. ed from the lofty buildings around the spot, seemed sing the advice by which he might have been savea, enough to have alarmed the garrison in the Casıle. he spent the afternoon of the eventful day on giving an It was circulated among the rioters, that the troops entertainment to some friends who visited him in would march down to disperse them, unless they jail, several of whom, by the indulgence of the Capcould execute their purpose without loss of time; or iain of the Tolbooth, with whom he had an old intithat, even without quiiting the fortress, the garrison macy, arising from their official connexion, were might obtain the same end by throwing a bomb or even permitted to remain to supper with hìm, though two upon the street.
contrary to the rules of the jail. Urged by such motives for apprehension, they ea- It was, therefore
, in the hour of unalloyed mirth, gerly relieved each other at the labour of assailing when this unfortunate wretch was "fuil of bread, the Tolbooth door : yet such was its strength, that it hot with wine, and high in mistimed and ill-grounded still defied their efforts. At length, a voice was heard confidence, and alas! with all his sins full blown, to pronounce the words, “Try it with fire." The when the first distant shouts of the rioters mingled rioters, with an unanimous shout, called for combus- with the song of merriment and intemperance. The ubles, and as all their wishes seemed to be instantly. hurried call of the jailer to the guests, requiring them supplied, they were soon in possession of two or three instantly to depart, and his yet more hasty intimaempty tar-barrels. A huge red glaring bonfire speedi- tion that a dreadful and determined mob had posly arose close to the door of the prison, sending up a sessed themselves of the city gates and guard-house, tall column of smoke and flame against its antique were the first explanation of these fearful clamours. turrets and strongly-grated windows, and illumina- Porteous might, however, have eluded the fury ting the ferocious and wild gestures of the rioters who from which the force of authority could not protect surrounded the place, as well as the pale and anxious him, had he thought of slipping on some disguise, groups of those, who, from windows in the vicinage, and leaving the prison along with his guests. It is watched the progress of this alarming scene. The probable that the jailor might have connived at his mob fed the fire with whatever they could find fit for escape, or even that, in the hurry of this alarming the purpose. The names roared and crackled amons contingency, he might not have observed it. But the heaps of nourishment piled on the fire, and a ter- Porteous and his friends alike wanted presence of rible shout soon announced that the door had kin-mind to suggest or execute such a plan of escape. dled, and was in įhe act of being destroyed. The fire The former hastily fled from a place where their own was suffered to decay, but, long ere it was quite ex- safety seemed compromised, and the latter, in a state ringuished, the most forward of the rioters rushea, resembling stupefaction, awaited in his apartment in their impatience, one after another, over its yet the termination of the enterprise of the rioters. The smouldering remains. Thick showers of sparkles cessation of the clang of the instruments with which rose high in the air, as man after man bounded over they had at first attempted to force the door, gave the glowing embers, and disturbed them in their pas- him momentary relief. The flattering hopes, that sage. It was now obvious to Butler, and all others the military had marched into the city, either from who were present, that the rioters would be instantly the Castle or from the suburbs, and that the rioters in possession of their victim, and have it in their were intimidated and dispersing, were soon destroyed power to work their pleasure upon bim, whatever by the broad and glaring light of the flames, whích, that might be.*
illuminating through the grated window every cor. • The ancient Tolbooth of Edinburglı
, situated and described ner of his apartment, plainly showed that the mob, es in the last chapter, was built by the citizens in 1561, and des. tined for the accommodation of Parliament, as well as of the base offices may we return." The application of these relics of High Courts of Justice ; and at the same time for the confine the heart of Mid-Lothian to serve as the postern gate to a court ment of prisoners for debt, or on criminal charges. Since the of modern offices, may be justly ridiculed as whimsical, but yet year 1619, when the present Parliament House was urected, the it is not without interest, that we soe the gateway through Tolbooth was occupied as a prison only. Gloomy and dismal which so much of the stormy politics of a rude age, and the wit was, the cituation in the centre of the Higli Sirect rendered vice and inisery of later rimes, had found their passage, now 00it so particularly well-aired, that
when the plague laid waste cupied in Ilic service of rural economy. Last year, to complete the city in 1645, it affected none within these melancholy pre. the change, n tom-tit was pleased to build her nest within the
The 'Tolbooth was removed, with the mass of build lock of the Tolbooth,-a strong temptation to have committed ungs in which it was incorporated, in the autumn of the year a sonnet, had the author, like 'Tony Lumpkin, been in a conca.
At that time the kin'iness of his old schoolfellow and tenation accordingly. friend, Robert Johnstone, Esquire, then Dean of Guild of the It is worth mentioning, that an act or beneficence celebratod eity, with the liberal acorriercence of the persons who had con the demolition of the Henrt of Mid Lothian. A subscription, treeted for the work, prorurrd for the author of Waverley tlie raised and applied by the worthy Magistrato above-mentioned, stones whicl. corpo ed she gateway, logether with the door, procured the manuniission of most of the unfortunate tobton and its ponderous frater ny, wylich he cniployed in decorating contined in the old jail, so that there were few or son The entrance of bis kitchen co'irt at Abbotsford "To such ferred to the new place of coincmenl.
determined on theiz tatal purpose; had adopted a | the fatal walls, excepting two or three debtors, whw. means of forcing entrance equally desperate and probably saw no advantage in attempting their es. certain.
cape. The persons we have mentioned reniained in The sudden glare of light suggested to the stupi- the strong-room of the prison, now deserted by all fied and astonished object of popular hatred the pos- others. One of their late companions in misfortune sibility of concealment or escape. To rush to the called out to the man to make his escape, in the tone chimney, to ascend it at the risk of suffocation, were of an acquaintance. “Rin for ii, Rateliffe--the road's the only means which seem to have occurred to him; clear." but his progress was speedily stopped by one of those " It may be sac, Willie," answered Ratcliffe, com. iron gratings, which are, for the sake of secu- posedly, "but I have taen a fancy to leave aff trade, rity, usually placed across the vents of buildings de- and set up for an honest man.' signed for imprisonment. The bars, however, which "Stay there, and be hanged, then, for a donnant impeded his further progress, served to su ort him auld deevil!" said the other, and ran down the pri. in the situation which he had gained, and he seized son-stair. them with the tenacious grasp of one who esteemed The person in female attire whom we have distin. himself clinging to his last hope of existence. The guished as one of the most active rioters, was about surid light, which had filled the apartment, lowered the same time at the ear of the young woman. "Flee, and died away; the sound of shouts was heard with. Effie, flee!" was all he had time to whisper. She in the walls, and on the narrow and winding stair, turned towards him an eye of mingled fear, affection, which, cased within one of the turrets, gave access to and upbraiding, all contending with a sort of stupified the upper apartments of the prison. The huzza of the surprise. He again repeated, " Flee, Effie, flee, for rioters was answered by a shout wild and desperate the sake of all that's good and dear to you!" Again as their own, the cry, namely, of the imprisoned she gazed on him, but was unable to answer. A loud felons, who, expecting to be liberated in the general noise was now heard, and the name of Madge Wildconfusion, welcomed the mob as their deliverers. By fire was repeatedly called from the bottom of the some of these the apartment of Porteous was pointed staircase. out to his enemies. The obstacle of the lock and "I am coming, -I am coming," said the person bolts was soon overcome, and from his hiding-plau who answered to that appellative; and then reiterathe unfortunate man heard his enemies search every | lag hastily, "For God's sake--for your own sake corner of the apartment, with oaths and maledictions, for my sake, Alee, or they'll take your life!" he left which would but shock the reader if we recorded them, the strong-room. but which served to prove, could it have admitted of "The girl gazed after him for a moment, and then, doubt, the settled purpose of soul with which they faintly muttering, " Better tyne life, since tint is gude sough: his destruction.
fame," she sunk her head upon her hand, and reA place of concealment so obvious to suspicion and mained, seemingly, unconscious as a statue, of the scrutiny as that which Porteous had chosen, could noise and cumuli which passed around her. not long screen him from detection. He was dragged That tumult was now transferred from the inside from his lurking-place, with a violence which seemed to the outside of the Tolbooth. The mob had brought lo argue an intention to put him to death on the spot. their destined victim forth, and were about to con. More than one weapon was directed towards him, duct him to the common place of execution, which when one of the rioters, the same whose female dis- they had fixed as the scene of his death. The leader, guise had been particularly noticed by Butler, inter- whom they distinguished by the name of Madgo fered in an authoritative tone. Are ye mad?” he Wildfire, had been summoned to assist at the prosaid, “or would ye execute an act of justice as if it cession by the impatient shouts of his confederates. were a crime and a cruelty ? This sacrifice will lose "I will ensure you five hundred pounds," said the half its savour if we do not offer it at the very horns unhappy man, grasping Wildfire's hand, — "five hun of the altar. We will have him die where a murderer dred pounds for to save my life." should die, on the common gibbet-We will have him The other answered in the same under-tone, and die where he spilled the blood of so many inno- returning his grasp with one equally convulsive,
"Five hundred-weight of coined gold should not save A loud shout of applause followed the proposal, and you.-Remember Wilson!" the cry, "To the gallows with the murderer - To the A deep pause of a minute ensued, when Wildfiro Grass-market with him!" echoed on all hands. added, in a more composed tone, "Make your peace
“Le! no man hurt him," continued the speaker; with Heaven.- Where is the clergyman ?" " let him make his peace with God, if he can; we Butler, who, in great terror and anxiety, had oeen will not kill both his soul and body.'
detained within a few yards of the Tolbooth door, to "What time did he give better folk for preparing wait the event of the search after Porteous, was now their account ?" answered several voices. Let us brought forward, and commanded to walk by the mete to him with the same measure he measured to prisoner's side, and to prepare him for immediate them."
death. His answer was a supplication that the riot But the opinion of the spokesman better suited the ters would consider what they did. “You are nei. lemper of those he addressed, a temper rather stub-ther judges nor jury," said he. “You cannot have, born than impetuous, sedate though ferocious, and by the laws of God or man, power to take away
the desirous of colouring their cruel and revengeful action life of a human creature, however deserving he may with a show of justice and moderation.
be of death. If it is murder even in a lawful magisFor an instant this man quitted the prisoner, whom rate to execute an offender otherwise than in the tie consigned to a selected guard, with instructions to place, time, and manner which the judges' sentence permit him to give his money and property to whom- prescribes, what must it be in you, who have no war. soever he pleased. A person confined in the jail for rant for interference but your own wills ? In the debt received this last deposit from the trembling name of Him who is all mercy, show mercy to this hand of the victim, who was at the same time permit- unhappy man, and do not dip your hands in his blood, ted to make some other brief arrangements to meet nor rush into the very crime which you are desirous huis approaching fate. The felons, and all others who of avenging !" wished to leave the jail, were now at full liberty to do "Cut your sermon short--you are not in your pulBu; not that their liberation made any part of the set- pit," answered one of the rioters. tled purpose of the rioters, but it followed as almost a "If we hear more of your clavers,” said another necessary consequence of forcing the jail doors. With we are like to hang you up beside him." wild cries of jubilee they joined the mob, or disappear "Peace--hush !" said Wildfire. “Do tho good man ed among the narrow lanes to seek out the hidden no harm-he discharges his conscience, and I like receptacles of vice and infamy, where they were him the better." accustomed to lurk and conceal themselves from He then addressed Butler. "Now, sir, we have justice.
patiently heard you, and we just wish you in underTwo persons, a man about fifty years old, and a stand, in the way of answer, that you'may as well girl about eighteen, were all who continued within argue to the ashler-work and iron-stanchels of Ling
Tolbooth as think to change our purpose-Blood must not rather be described as conspiralors, endeavoured leave blood. We have sworn to each other by the to remove the stone which filled up the socket in deepest oaths ever were pledged, that Porteous shall which the end of the fatal tree was sunk when it was (ie the death he deserves so richly; therefore, speak erected for its fatal purpose; others sought for the 110 more to us, but prepare him for death as well as means of constructing a temporary gibbet, the placo The briefness of his change will permit."
in which the gallows itself was deposited being reThey had suffered the unfortunate Porteous to put ported too secure to be forced, without much loss of m his night-gown and slippers, as he had thrown of time. Butler endeavoured to avail himself of the deed escape up the chimney. In this garb he was now from their desperate
For God's sake," he nounted on the hands of two of the rioters, clasped exclaimed, "remember it is the image of your Creator Iugether, so as to form what is called in Scotland, which you are about to deface in the person of this The King's Cushion." Butler was placed close to unfortunate man! Wretched as he is, and wicked a his side, and repeatedly urged to perform a dyty al- he may be, he has a share in every promise of Scrip. ways the most painful which can be imposed on a ture, and you cannot destroy him in impenitence clergyman deserving of the name, and now rendered without blotting his name from the Book of Lifepore so by the peculiar and horrid circumstances of Do not destroy soul and body; give time for prepathe criminal's case. Porteous at first uttered some ration." supplications for mercy, but when he found that there "What time had they," returned a stern voice, was no chance that these would be attended to, his "whom he murdered on this very spot?--The laws nulitary education, and the natural stubbornness of both of God and man call for his death." his disposition, combined to support his spirits. But what, my friends," insisted Butler, with a ge
Are you prepared for this dreadful end ?" said nerous disregard to his own safety—"what hath con Thuler, in a faltering voice. "O turn to him, in whose stituted you his judges ?" eyes time and space have no existence, and to whom "We are not his judges," replied the same person; a few minutes are as a lifetime, and a lifetime as a " he has been already judged and condemned by lawjuinute."
ful authority. We are those whom Heaven, and our "I believe I know what yoụ would say," answered righteous anger, have stirred up to execute judgment, Corteous sullenly. "I was bred a soldier; if they when a corrupt government would have proiected a will murder me without time, let my sins as well as murderer.” my blood lie at their door."
"I am none, " said the unfortunate Porteous; "that Who was it,” said the stern voice of Wildfire which you charge upon me fell out in self-defence, in " that said to Wilson at this very spot, when he could the lawful exercise of my duty. not pray, owing to the galling agony of his fetters, Away with him-away with him!" was the gethat his pains would soon be over?--I say to you to neral cry. "Why do you trifle away time in making take your own tale home; and if you cannot profit a gallows ?-hat dyester's pole is good enough for by the good man's lessons, blame not them that are the homicide." still more merciful to you than you were to others." The unhappy man was forced to his fate with re
The procession now moved forward with a slow morseless rapidity. Butler, separated from him by and determined pace. It was enlightened by many the press, escaped the last horrors of his struggles, blazing links and torches; for the actors of this work Unnoticed by those who had hitherto detained him were so far from affecting any secrecy on the occa- as a prisoner, he fled from the fatal spot, witnout son, that they seemed even to court observation. much caring in what direction his course lay. A loud Their principal leaders kept close to the person of the shout proclaimed the stern delight with which the prisoner, whose pallid yet stubborn features were agents of this deed regarded its completion. Butler seen distinctly by the torch-light, as his person was then, at the opening into the low street called the raised considerably
above the concourse which throng. Cowgale, cast back a terrified glance, and, by the red al around him. Those who bore swords, muskets, and dusky light of the torches, he could discern a and battle-axes, marched on each side, as if forming figure wavering and struggling as it hung suspended a regular guard to the procession. The windows, as above the heads of the multitude, and could even obdiey went along, were filled with the inhabitants, serve men striking at it with their Lochaber-axes and whose slumbers had been broken by this unusual partisans. The sight was of a nature to double his disturbance. Some of the spectators muttered accents horror, and to add wings to his flight. of encouragement; but in general they were so much The street down which the fugitivd ran opens to appalled by a sight so strange and audacious, that one of the eastern ports or gates of the city. Butler Hey looked on with a sort of stupified astonishment. did not stop till be reached it, but found it still shut. No one offered, by act or word, the slightest interrup- He waited nearly an hour, walking up and down in bon.
inexpressible perturbation of mind. At length he venThe rioters, on their part, continued to act with tured to call out, and rouse the attention of the territhe same air of deliberate confidence and security fied keepers of the gate, who now found themselves hich had marked all their proceedings. When the at liberty to resume their office without interruption object of their resentment dropped one of his slippers, Butler requested them to open the gate. They hesi. dey stopped, sought for it, and replaced it upon his tated. He told them his name and occupation. froi with great deliberation. As ihey descended the "He is a preacher," said one; "I have heard him Bow towards the fatal spot where they designed to preach in Haddo's-hole." Camplete their purpose, it was suggested that there "A fine preaching has he been at the night," said should be a rope kept in readiness. For this purpose another; "but maybe least said is sunest mended." de booth of a man who dealt in cordage was forced Opening then the wicket of the main-gate, the qen, a coil of rope fit for their purpose was selected keepers suffered Buller to depart, who hastened to to serve as a halter, and the dealer next morning carry his horror and fear beyond the walls of Edin. frand that a guinea had been left on his counter in burgh. His first purpose was, instantly to take the exchange; so anxious were the perpetrators of this road homeward; but other fears and cares, connected dining action to show that they meditated not the with the news he had learned in that remarkable day, rightest wrong or infraction of law, excepting so far induced him to linger in the neighbourhood of EdinPorteous was himself concerned.
burgh until daybreak. More than one group of perLeading, or carrying along with them, in this de- sons passed him as he was whileing away the hours a trained and regular manner, the object of their ven- of darkness that yet remained, whom, from the stiKance, they at length reached the place of common Aed tones of their discourse, the unwonted hour when Tecution, the scene of his crime, and destined spot they travelled, and the basty pace at which they Cais susleri nge. Several of the rioters (if they should walked, he conjectured to have been engaged in the
late fatal transaction. * The little meident, characteristic of the extremo compo. Certain it was, that the sudden and total dispersion
seted, like others, from her slumbers, bad gone to the win of the rioters, when their vindictive purpose vas ac4. It was told to the author by the lady's daughter. complished, seemed not the cast remarkable teatun