Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


10 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. he was for binding down to a day for the completion of the work, “will you send me the hair ‘1 ”-“ The hair, sir ! ” replied M‘Nab fiercely ; ‘‘ Py Cot, sir you must give me the hair to the pargain I ” In cases, however, where the Laird is exhibited in the exercise of his own native wit, he by no means cuts the ridiculous figure he is made to do in such stories as the above. The Laird was a regular attendant on the Leith races, at which he bsually appeared in a rather flashy-looking gig. On one of these occasions he had the misfortune to lose his horse, which suddenly dropped down dead. At the races in the following year, a wag who had witnessed the catastrophe rode up to him and said, ‘I M‘Nab, is that the same horse you had last year 1 ” ‘‘ No, py Cot ! ” replied the Laird, (‘ but this is the same whip ;” and he was about to apply it to the shoulders of the querist, when he saved himself by a speedy retreat. On the formation of the Local Militia in 1808, M‘Nab being in Edinburgh, applied for arms for the Breadalbane corps of that force, but which he ought to have called the 4th Perthshire Local Militia. The storekeeper not recognising them by the name given by M‘Nab, replied to his application that he did not know such a corps. “My fine little storekeeper,” rejoined the Laid, highly offended at the contempt implied in this answer, “that may be; but, take my word for it, we do not think a bit the less of ourselves by you^ not knowing us.” This original character, but kind, single-minded man, died unmarried I at Callander, in Perthshire, on the 25th June 1816, in the eighty-second year of his age. THREE GIANTS, WITH A GROUP OF SPECTATORS. THIS Print exhibits Charles Byrne, the Irish giant, and two other giants, also Irishmen, who, although not in Edinburgh at the same time, have been placed by the artist in one group. The spectators are-Lord Monboddo, whose head appears in the background ; William Richardson, solicitor-at-law, on the left behind ; and Mr. Bell, engraver, in front ; on the right, Bailie Kyd, a lady, and a dwarf. Byme, the central of the three principal figures, was eight feet two inches in height, and proportionably thick. He was born in Ireland, of which oountry On one occasion when the opposite counsel, in one of his many causes in the Court of Session, was nnimadvertingon the immoral character of the Laird, he obsemed that it was currently reported that he had no less than twenty-seven natural children in the quarter where he lived. The Laird, being in Court, rose up and said, “ It is a pig lee, my Lord, for I have only four-and-twenty,” One evening, being at a party, a number of young ladies very jocularly asked him why he neyer took a wife. He good-humouredly replied, “ MJ tears, I love you a11 so well that I .Can’t think of marrying any one of you.“
Volume 8 Page 12
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