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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


310 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. At Sydney they were treated by Governor Hunter (a Scotsman) with all the humanity in his power. Here Muir purchased a piece of land, and busied himself in its improvement; while in the society of his exiled companions, he enjoyed as much happiness as the peculiarity of his situation would permit. After remaining in the " distant land of exile " nearly two years, he found means to escape in an American vessel (the Otter) which had been fitted out at New York by some individuals, for the purpose of aiding him in his escape, and which had anchored at Sydney for the ostensible purpose of taking in wood and water, With the Otter he sailed for the United States; but, unfortunately, having occasion to touch at Nootka Sound, he found that a British sloopof- war had unexpectedly arrived a short time before ; and as this vessel had only left Sydney a day or two previous to the Otter, Muir deemed it prudent to go on shore-preferring to travel over the whole American continent to the risk of detection. After many hardships he at length found a passage on board a Spanish frigate bound for Cadiz; but Spain being then leagued with the Republic of France, on arriving off the port of Cadiz, the frigate was ittacked by a British man-of-war, A desperate engagement ensued, in which Muir is said to have fought with great bravery, and was severely wounded. On the surrender of the frigate he was concealed on board for six days, and then sent on shore with the other wounded prisoners. In a letter from Cadiz, dated 14th August 1797, he thus describes his situation :-" Contrary to my expectation, I am at last nearly cured of my numerous wounds. The Directory have shown me great kindness. Their solicitude for an unfortunate being, who has been so cruelly oppressed, is a balm of consolation which revives my drooping spirits. The Spaniards detain me as a prisoner, because I am a Scotsman ; but I have " And oh, my Moffat ! whither shall I roam ? Flow, flow, ye tears ! perhaps the funeral bier ; No-flourish Hope-from thee I ask a home,- Thy gentle hand shall wipe an exile's tear. " Yes, we shall weep o'er each lamented grave Of those who joined us in stern Freedom's cause ; These tears shall Freedom honour with applause. And, as the moisten'd turf our tears shall lave, " I soon shall join the dim aerial band,- This stream of life has little time to flow. Should close-enough-'tis all I ask below. Oh ! if my dying eyes thy soothing hand " This little relic, Moffat, I bequeath While life remains, of friendship, just and pnre,- This little pledge of love, surviving death, Friendship immortal, and re-union aure. " THOMASM UIR" Mr. William Moffat, to whom this flattering mark of esteem is addressed, resided in Edinburgh. He w89 admitted a Solicitor in 1791, and wa5 the legal agent of Mr. Muir. His son, Mr. Thomas Muir Moffat, is named after the Reformer.
Volume 8 Page 434
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