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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


216 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. XC. JOHN DHU. THIS is another likeness of the renowned civic guardsman, of whom a short notice has been given in No. 11. The warlike career of the well-known flhhon, however, had not always been confined to the quelling of mob# and drunken squabbles : he was “A soldier in his youth, and fought in famous battles,” having originally belonged to the 42d Regiment, in which he was right-hand man of the grenadiers. He was in every respect a capital specimen of one of those doughty heroes to whom Burns alludes in his “Earnest Cry and Prayer,” “ But bring a Scotsman frae his hill- Clap in his cheek a Highland gi11- Say such is Royal George’s will, An’ there’s the foe- He has nae thocht but how to kill Twa at a blow.” John nobly supported the character of his countrymen at the attack on Ticonderago, in North America, where the U Royal Highlanders ” were distinguished by most unexampled gallantry - although they at the same time suffered severely for their temerity. After sharing in the manifold fatigues of the Canadian war, John was discharged; and, as stated in the former notice, became one of the Edinburgh Town Guard. While in this situation he was met one very warm day, whilst going down to Leith Races, by Captain Charles Menzies, who had been a cadet in the Royal Highlanders in 1758. Not having seen his old comrade for a long time, the Captain accosted him in a very friendly manner-a condescension highly gratifying to John-and, after a short congratulation, observed, as they were about to part, “ that it was a very hot day.” “ Och, och, Captain,” replied ShOn--“no half siccan a warm day as we had at Ticonderago ! ” Although he had been an undaunted soldier, and was a terror to the mobocracy of Edinburgh, he was altogether a man of kind feelings, and by no means overstepped the limits of his duty, unless very much provoked. Many yet remember his conduct towards those young delinquents, whose petty depredations brought them under his surveillance. After detaining them in the guard-house for a short time, and having administered a little wholesome terror by way of caution, should they “ ever do the like again,” Shm would open the half-door of the guard-room, and push them out with a gentle slap on the breech, saying-“ There noo, pe off; an’ I11 say you’ll didna rin awaymeaning that he wquld make an excuse for them. John was the intimate friend of Stewart, the original Serjeant-major of the 42d Regiment, who died about fifty years ago at Danderhaugh.
Volume 8 Page 304
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