Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


Volume 9 Page 116
  Enlarge Enlarge     Pictures Pictures
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. a7 Mr. Foote considered it necessary to reply to this attack ; and, accordingly, in 1771, appeared an “Apology for the Minor, in a letter to the Rev. Mr. Baine.” In this defence the dramatist rests his argument solely upon one point-that he merely satirised the follies and the vices of those who were only pretenders to the character of the religious. The general opinion was, that his comedy could never have been so keenly relished, but for the too ready disposition of a large class of mankind to take hold of everything connected with the imperfections of the professors of religion. In common with all perforinances of a like nature, the Mimr was liable to the blame imputed to it by Mr. Baine, and justified his strictures, though considered by many too severe. Upon the mind of the reverend gentleman himself, the effect tended only to increase his indignant feeling against so daring an outrage on the cause of religion and morals. Mr. Baine departed this life, 17th January 1790, having reached his eightieth year, and sixtieth of his ministry. Though he experienced in his latter days what has happened to many worthy ministsrs-a decline of popularitywhen the novelty of their first appearance had subsided, his name stands conspicuous in the history of the Relief Church, as one of the most remarkable of its early and venerable fathers. No. CCI. E B E N E Z E R WI 1, S 0 N, BRASSFOUNDER. THIS worthy of the old school-long known as the Tron Church bellmanserved his apprenticeship as a brassfounder with Mr. Robert Brown, Lawnmarket, and became a member of the Incorporation of Hammermen in 1774. He carried on business in a small way on his own account in Libberton’s Wynd ; but he was never remarkable for activity or enterprise. In 1788, he obtained the appointment of ringer of the Tron Kirk bell,’ with a salary of ten pounds a-year. This small sum, with a trifling pension from the Hainmermen, was latterly his chief support. At one period, when far “ down in the wind,” Eben petitioned the Incorporation for a little money, saying he had neither work nor metal. Some of the waggish members observed, what was he going to do with metal if he had no work ! Eben was well known to the “ Hie Schule laddies,” by whom he was much annoyed. They used to call him “ Ninepence,” in allusion to his old-fashioned three-cornered hat. Almost every night a band of them assembled at the door He succeeded an old man of the name of Nimmo, a dyer.
Volume 9 Page 117
  Enlarge Enlarge