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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


294 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. length, when an ominous vacuum began to render less distinct the hitherto bright and vivid reminiscences of an Italian sky, under which they had been all night, in imagination, enjoying themselves-Stabilini staggered towards the window, through the shutters of which he fancied he beheld a stream of light, and throwing them open, was confounded to witness the full blaze of an autumnal morning. '' Corri ! Corri ! " exclaimed the astonished Stabilini to his drowsy countryman-" Be-gar, it's to-morrow ! " Stabilini was a joyous creature.' He was a great favourite of Skene of Skene-a gentleman of ability and genius, and who loved of all things to spend the night over his glass with his friends. Stabilini-or Stab, as he was famiIiarly called-was his frequent companion, and used to spend weeks with him in the country, where he was in the habit of acting as butler, or rather as factotum of the establishment. While there it was no uncommon thing for to-morrow to dawn before the Bacchanalian orgies of the night had been concluded. Stabilini died at Edinburgh in July 1815, and was buried in the West Churchyard, where a stone fixed in the wall of the south entrance bears the following inscription- " Memoria: Hieronymi Stabilini, Amici Mcerentes Posuerunt : Roma Natus, Edina obiit Mens. Jul. MDCCCXV&., tat. LIV." The third figure in the Print represents a personage of "sterner stuff" than either of the two foregoing, being an excellent likeness of the somewhat notorious CAPTAIN M'KENZIE of Red Castle. The small estate bearing this name is situated in the neighbourhood of Montrose. The old castle, now in ruins, on the banks of the Lunan, is supposed to have been built by William the Lion. This gentleman was an officer in Seaforth's Regiment of Highlanders, at the time of their revolt in 1778. The regiment had for some time been quartered in the Castle of Edinburgh ; but, contrary to expectation, they were at length ordered to embark for Guernsey. Previous to this, a difference existed between the officers and men-the latter declaring that neither their bounty nor the arrears of their pay had been fully paid up, and that they had otherwise been ill used. On the day appointed for embarkation (Tuesday, the 22d September) the regiment marched for Leith ; but farther than the Links the soldiers refused to move a single step. A scene of great confusion ensued: the officers endeavoured to soothe the men by promising to rectify every abuse. About five hundred were prevailed on to embark, but as many more were deaf to all entreaty ; and, being in possession of powder and ball, any attempt to force them would have proved both ineffectual and dangerous. The mutineers then moved back to Arthur Seat, where they took up a position, and in which they continued encamped more than ten days. "hey were supplied plentifully with The tricks he played off upon the natives with his favourite spaniel, at private parties, and in particular at the public dinner in Mid-Calder, will yet be remembered by many.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 295 provisions ’ by the inhabitants of Edinburgh, and were daily visited by crowds of people of all ranks. In the meantime, troops were brought into the city with the view of compelling the mutineers to submission, but no intimidation had any effect. General Skene (then second in command in Scotland), together with the Earl of Dunmore, and other noblemen and gentlemen, visited the mutineers ; and at last, after a great many messages had passed between the parties, a compromise was effected. The terms were-a pardon for past offences ; all bye money and arrears to be paid before embarkation, and a special understanding that they should not be sent to the East Indies-a report having prevailed among the soldiers that they had been sold to the East India Company, So cautious were the mutineers, a bond had to be given confirming the agreement, signed by the Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl of Dunmore, Sir Adolphus Oughton, K.B., Commander-in-Chief, and General Skene, second in command in Scotland. After this arrangement, the Highlanders cheerfully proceeded to Leith and embarked. Kay relates an anecdote of Captain M‘Kenzie, which occurred .during the prevalence of the mutiny, highly characteristic of his fortitude and determined disposition. One day while he was in command over the Canongate Jail, where a few of the mutineers were confined, a party from Arthur Seat came to demand their liberation. The Captain sternly refused-the soldiers threatened to take his life, and pointed their bayonets at him ; but he bared his breast, and telling them to strike, at the same time declared that not a. single man should be liberated. The effect of this resolute conduct was instantaneous-the men recovered arms, and retired to their encampment. Captain M‘Kenzie afterwards incurred an unfortunate celebrity from a circumstance which reflected lees credit upon him than the above act of heroism, and for which abuse of power he was tried at the Old Bailey, London, on the 1 lth December 1784. He had been sent out in 1782, as captain of an independent company, to act against the Dutch on the coast of Africa ; and was there appointed to the command of a small fortification, called Fort Morea. Among the prisoners of the fort was a person of the dame of Murray Kenneth M’Kenzie alias Jefferson, who had been confined for desertion.’ Jefferson, possessing more than common address, prevailed on the sentry to let him escape; upon learning which, Captain M‘Kenzie was in a violent passion. He cahsed the sentinel to be punished with more than fifteen hundred lashes, and immediately despatched a party of soldiers in search of the runaway. The men returned, however, without success ; upon which he ordered the guns to be charged and directed against a small village in the neighbourhood, named Black Town, The Rev. Joseph Robertson Macgregor, of the Gaelic Chapel (formerly noticed), also visited He had deserted twice previously. He had been heard to express his resolution of murdering See a tract entitled an the mutineers, and acted zw an interpreter between the parties. M‘Kenzie, and had, moreover, endeavoured to induce the soldiers to niutiny. “Address to the Officers of the British Army.” London, 1785. 8w.
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