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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


NOTES TO VOL. I. Page 66, Dr. CARLPLE. For the actual facts regarding Carlyle’s friendship with Home, wide Dr. Carlyle’s Autobiography. He attended two rehearsals along with the author, Lord Elibank, Dr. Ferguson, and David Hume, at the old Canongate theatre, then under the management of Captain Digges, a well-born profligate, who had been dismissed the army, it was said, as a poltroon. The friends of Home were accustomed to meet at a tavern within the Abbey Sanctuary, and out of this originated the Griskin Club, one of the old convivial clubs of Edinburgh. He performed Young Douglas, and Mrs. Ward, Lady Randolph. Page 72, CROCHALLACLNU B. For an account of the Club, vide Ker’s Life of Xmellie, by whom Burns was introduced to the Club. See the poet’s impromptu on Smellie ; and also his addenda to the old song of “ Rattlin’ roarin’ Willie,” in both of which the Crochallan Club is referred to, Page 11 7, Mr. WOODS. Woods the actor was a special friend of the poet Fergusson. Vide ‘‘ My Last Will : ” “ To thee, whose genius can provoke Thy pmsions to the bowl or sock ; For love to thee, Woods, and the Nine, %e my immortal Shakespeare thine,” etc. An Address, in Verse, “ To Mr. R. Ferpsson, on his recovery from severe depression of spirits,” by Mr. Woods, appeared originally in the Culedoninn Mercury, July 9, 1774, and was appended to the first edition of Pequsson’s Poems, 1807. Page 12 3, Dr. BLAIK “ The great Dr. Blair used to walk in a sort of state, with gown and wig, from his house in Argyle Square, down the Horse Wynd, up the Old Fishmzrket Close, and so to the High Church, every Sunday foreuoon when he went to preach. His style of walking was very pompous, though perhaps not affected.”- Fide Chambers’s Traditions. Page 127, ERSKINEAN D THE PHYSICIANHSA’ LL. It is almost necessary to note here that the Physicians’ Hall, a somewhat tasteful building, with a portico of Corinthian columns, was one of the prized architectural features of the New Town in its early days. It was erected in 1775 ; and as it stood opposite St. Andrew’s Church, the two porticoes would have harmonised well in a general view of the street, had not the Physicians’ Hall been thrown back behind the general line of the street. The site is now occupied by the much more imposing building of the Commercial Bank. Page 160, Rev. JOHNM ‘LuRE. Dr. Robert Chambers describes this same character in his Traditions of Edinburgh, hut he gives him the name of Andrew M‘Lnre. He lived “ in the second flat of a house at the head of Bell’s Wynd, fronting the southern wall of the Old Tolbooth, and next door to the Baijen Hole.” This, Dr. Chambers states, was a celebrated baker’s shop, named in Peter Williamson’s Directory for 1784 as Bugon Hole ; but he says “ the origin of the word defies all research.” The Bejauni were the freshmen, or students of the first year in the old universities. In Aberdeen the freshman is still called a Bejeant, as in Paris he was a Bbjaune, i.e. a ninny, in the fourteenth century. No doubt the Eaijen Hole was a favourite resort of the younger students who had not yet lost a schoolboy’s love for gib, candy, etc. Old High School boys will remember Brown’s Baijen Hole, in the old High School Wynd, the reputation of which survived till the desertion of the Old High School Yards for the Calton HilL The word, however, is very significant.
Volume 8 Page 601
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XOTES TO VOL. I. Page 196, IIOPETOFUANM ILY. John de Hope came to Edinburgh in the retinue of the Princess Magdalen, the first Queen of James V., in 1537. His house stood-possibly still stands-in Bailie Fife’s Close, near Knox’s house, with the name Johne Hope cut in bold characters over the doorway, and his shield and initials on the lowest crowstep. His son Edward’s mansion stood in Todd’s Close, adjoining that of the Queen Regent Mary de Guise, till its deniolition in 1845. The late Mr. C. K. Sharpe had some fine carved oaken sareen-work from this house. Page 208, BUFFONAN D SYELLIE. It is said that upon Buffon and Smellie meeting, they found to their mutual surprise that they were unintelligible to each other. Srnellie had mastered the French language for himself, and pronounced it according to its orthography, with all the amplitude of Scottish gutturals and broad vowels, to the astonishment of the great naturalist, who could not guess in what strange language he was addressed ! Page 208, MUGEWO F NATURAHLI STORY. It was the fashion at that date to mingle with the legitimate contents of an archao- It may possibly be worth noticing that all Lectures on Natural History, logical museum, objects of natural history, .such were subsequently handed over to the Royal Society. delivered at the request of the Society of Antiquaries, would now seem ridiculous. Page 213, Right Hon. LORDA DABGXO RDON. The song ‘‘ For Lack of Gold” was composed by Dr. Austin, the fashionable physician in Edinburgh about a century ago. He was the accepted lover of Miss Jane Drummond, and had celebrated her charms in a song, beginning, “ Bonnie Jeannie Drummond, she towers aboon them a.”’ But the rank and title of Duchess, though secured by wedding a Duke, old and unattractive, tempted the fickle beauty. She is said to have given him a hint that she remembered her old troth on the death of the Duke, but the Doctor made no response, and soon after wedded a daughter of Lord SempilL Page 223, ORLANDHOA RTA ND KINGC RISPIN. . It was long the annual custom for the Corporation of Cordiners or Shoemakers to inaugurate a king of the craft, and escort him through the town in grand procession on the 25th of October, St. Crispin’s Day. It was got up in imposing style, and attracted spectators from all the surrounding villages. The hall of the Canongate shoemakers was latterly the favourite place of rendezvous. It stood in Little Jack’s Close, with their arms and the date 1682 over the entrance. William Sawem, bootmaker, was actually crowned as King Crispin on the 25th October 1820, in the Picture Gallery of Holyrood Palace ! The cost of such regal displays finally brought the corporation to bewry. Page 231, THOMANS EIL and the Song “ Sweet sir, for your courtesie.” This well-known song is to be found in Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum. The tune is more ancient, and occurs in the Skene RfS., cir. 1630. The song itself was introduced by Ranisay into his Tea-Table Miscellany, 1724. The song, in its present version, is probably of Aberdeen origin. Dr. Robert Chambers supposes the Bass of Inverury to be referred to in the first stanza. It cannot refer to the Bass Rock, Stanza three should read ‘‘ a pair of sheen ”-the true Aberdonian pronimciation, and there meant to rhyme with Aberdeen.
Volume 8 Page 602
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