Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 1


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, 51 It is said that when Sam was in London, on one occasion he was advised to show himself for money, and that although he declined exhibiting himself in his own character, he so far acted on the hint as to dress in female attire, and advertise as ‘‘ The remarkably tall woman.” By this ingenious expedient, Sam became so well furnished with cash that his expenditure attracted the notice of his Colonel, who being curious to ascertain in what way he had obtained his supplies, interrogated Sam, who candidly disclosed the fact, and in this way the secret transpired. Sarn was once persuaded to appear on the stage, whilst in the service of his late Majesty, at the request of his Royal Master. This took place at the Opera-House in the Haymarket, then occupied by the Drury Lane Company. upon occasion of the representation of a dramatic entertainment, called “ Cymon and Iphigenia,” and in which he acted the appropriate part of Hercules.’ Numberless anecdotes are told of M‘Donald, illustrative of his great strengkh. On one occasion, having been challenged by two soldiers of his own regiment on the understanding that he was to fight both at once, Samuel agreed, but said, as he had no quarrel with them, he should wish to shake hands with them before they began. One of the combatants instantly held out his hand. Samuel took hold of it, but instead of giving it the friendly shake expected, he used it as a Iever to raise its owner from the ground, when he swung him round as he would a cat by the tail, and threw him to a great distance. The other combatant, not admiring this preliminary process, took to his heels. Many feats of strength similar to this are, as already mentioned, recorded of him. While in Edinburgh, Sam occasionally patronised Geordie Cranstoun (see No. 19) to whose singing he took much pleasure in listening. He was nevertheless much displeased to find himself associated with him in this Print, which was shown him by Mr. Kay. He remarked to the engraver that he did not choose to be classed with a beggar, and insisted that the little man’s portrait should be expunged. Although this demand was not complied with, the next time that Sarn called on the artist he was in his usual good humour. Sam was six feet ten inches high, four feet round the chest, extremely strongbuilt and muscular, but yet proportionable, unless his legs might be thought even too large for the load they had to bear. No. XXI. MAJOR FISHER. THIS gentleman, represented as giving the word of command, was an officer in the 55th Regiment of Foot, which was in Edinburgh in 1790. Both officers and men conducted themselves with great propriety while there. 1 Gentleman’s Magazine, voL Ixxii. p. 478.
Volume 8 Page 71
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