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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


High Street.] THE QUACK DOCTOR?S ACROBATS. 201 an audience. Then he began to vend his drugs at eightpence per packet. Nicoll admits that they were both good and real, and describes the antics of the assistants. Upon a great rope, fixed from side to side of the street, a man descended upon his breast with ~ ~ ~~~~ danced seven-score times, without intermission, lifting himself and vaulting s k quarter high above his own head and lighting directly upon the tow (rope) as punctually as if he had been dancing on the plain stones.? Four years after a different scene was witnessed THE NETHER BOW PORT, FROM THE CANONGATE. ( F m an Etcking6y Jams SKrrrc of RdGhw.) his arms ?stretched out like the wings of a fowl, to the admiration of many.? Nicoll adds that the country chirurgeons and apothecaries, finding his drugs both cheap and good, came to Edinburgh from all parts of the realm, and bought them for the purpose of retailing them at a profit. The antics and rope-dancing were continued for many days with an agility and nimbleness ?admirable to the beholders; one of the dancers having 28 in the High Street, when, in 1666, after the battle of the Pentland Hills-a victory celebrated by the discharge of nearly as many guns from the Castle as there were prisoners-the captives were marched to the Tolbooth. They. were eighty in number; and these poor Covenanters were conveyed manacled in triumph by the victor, with trumpets sounding, kettle-drums beating, and banners displayed. And Crookshank records in
Volume 2 Page 201
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