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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


B I 0 GRAPH I C AL SI< E T C HE S. 165 he continued regularly to visit his friends in Scotland ; and, among others, the Hon. William Maule (afterwards Lord Panmure), of whom he always spoke in terms of high respect and esteem. After the Doctor became unable to travel, Lord Panmure, in his journeys to or from London, was in the practice of calling for him at Alnwick-a mark of attention of which he felt proud. For many years Dr. Turnbull was senior freeholder in the counties of Fife and Kincardine. About the beginning of the century, upon occasion of a general election, a venerable Baronet, at the head of one of the courts of law, stood as candidate to represent the latter county in Parliament ; and an application was made to the Doctor for his vote. He promised to vote for the candidate, provided he would answer certain questions. This having been assented to, the Doctor proceeded to put his interrogatories-one of which was, Why the candidate challenged Mr. Fox to fight a duel? The answer to the question did not give entire satisfaction ; but the Doctor agreed to support the candidate, on the condition that, “ if returned member for the county, he would, in his place in Parliament, vote against war and oppression of every kind, both at home and abroad, and against iniquity and injustice, whenever such might be attempted.” He required a guarantee for these conditions, which was immediately offered by the candidate. On Mr. Kay’s first publication of this Print, in place of taking offence, as others had done, at the freedom used, the Doctor purchased a large number for distribution among his friends. He merely remarked that the artist had in one respect not done him justice, as the picture represented him wearing unblackened shoes, whereas his shoes were daily cleaned and blackened. As a landlord, Dr. Turnbull was liberal and indulgent in no ordinary degree; and although in many things he required strictness and punctuality, his principle was, never to exact from his tenants more than they were easily able to pay for their lands. Besides, he took great pleasure in administering to their comfort and happiness, and nothing afforded him more satisfaction than to hear of their prosperity. From his early introduction into society, about the middle of the last century, Dr. Turnbull, in dress, habits, and manners, naturally belonged to the “ olden time ; ” and having been acquainted with many of the most eminent men of his day, he possessed a fund of amusing anecdote and interesting information rega.rding the past. He was a man of rather eccentric habits ; yet his sterling integrity of principle, and his never-ceasing charity and good will to his fellowcreatures- qualities which might have covered a multitude of sins-nobly redeemed a few innocent and harmless peculiarities. Withal, he possessed in a high degree the air and manner of a well-bred gentleman and man of the world-and had received from society all its polish and refinement, without contracting any of its heartlessness and insincerity. To the last his affections were warm, his benevolence active, and his sympathy with the cause of liberty unchilled even by the frost of age. He died at Alnwick in 1831, in the eightyfourth year of his age.
Volume 9 Page 222
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166 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CCXXIX. MARGARET SUTTIE, A HAWKER OF SALT. THIS well-known character was an native of Fisherrow. Her mother, Margaret Suttie-for neither she nor her daughter were ever married-was reputed a witch; and some of her “cantrips,” particularly her encounter with Jamie Vernon’s dog, and the manner in which she retaliated on Jamie’s cows, are still remembered and believed by many among whom the superstitions of a former age are not yet entirely eradicated. After the death of the old woman, Margaret the younger took up her residence at Niddry, half-a-mile south-east of Duddingston, and made her living, as her mother had done before her, by vending salt in Edinburgh-daily going the rounds of the city in the manner portrayed in the caricature. On leaving home in the morning, her route was directed by the Saltpans of Joppa or Pinkie, where she purchased a supply sufficient for the day. The price ‘of salt at the Pans was then thirteenpence halfpenny a peck-about seven pounds weight -which she retailed at sixpence a caup-a wooden measure one-fourth of a peck’ “ Wha’ll buy my lucky forpit oJ wat-Na, na, deil ane yet ! I J was Maggy’s usual cry, sometimes varied into a species of rhyme, as she proceeded along the streets. By lucky she meant good measure; and when questioned as to her reason for repeating the words-“Na, na, deil ane yet “-her reply was, that she always experienced mist luck on the days she used them, Whatever happened to be passing in her mind found unconscious utterance from her lips ; and she was frequently followed by the youngsters, who were amused by her singular ejaculations. One day, while plying her vocation in the Cowgate, an extremely corpulent gentleman of ‘‘ the ‘cloth ” happened to be wending his way a short distance ahead. His waddling gait, and excessive breadth, immediately attracted the notice of Maggy. “Eh, but he’s fat-see how he shugs I-Wha’ll buy my lucky forpit oJ sa-adsee how he shugs ! ” In this way she continued to sing her cry, much to the amusement of the bystanders, until the fat man in black had fairly waddled out of her sight. In consequence of the repeal of the duty on salt, old Maggy’s occupation ceased, and with it the cry of Wha’ll buy sa-at ”-which used to be a source of great annoyance to the inhabitants. It is somewhat remarkable that this Margaret had an inveterate habit of talking aloud. The one end of the meamre wm a forpit ; the other, half a forpit.
Volume 9 Page 223
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