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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


276 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. where he greatly distinguished himself, he was severely wounded, but was soon enabled to join the regiment. In 1818 he was promoted to be Sergeant-Major; and in 1825 had the honour of being raised to the rank of Adjutant. Not long after he retired on half-pay, and died at Ayr, on the 8th October 1833. Sergeant Duff (for we must still call him Sergeant) was twice married. The manner in which he obtained his first helpmate is somewhat romantic. The lady was daughter to a Lieutenant Hay, who happened to be quartered at Leith Fort at the time the Forty-second Regiment remained in Edinburgh Castle. An intimacy had existed betwixt the L?eutenant and Duff; and on occasion of his daughter’s intended marriage with some neighbouring swain, the latter was invited to the nuptial ceremony, which was to take place at her father’s residence in Perthshire. This occurred in 1817. Duff was then with the regiment in Glasgow, but he travelled all the way; and unluckily for the bridegroom, arrived a post too soon. He was of course introduced to the bride, a blooming, beautiful girl, whom he rallied on the subject of her marriage. (‘ What a pity,” said he, (( that one so young should be bound with hymeneal chains: had I known sooner”-but this is all that is recorded of the “sweet words” employed at the interview by the veteran, though still young and handsome, soldier of Waterloo. From that moment the lady would have nothing more to say to her former lover. The marriage feast had been prepared -the parties were met, and the priest was there; but “ in vain they sought the bride by bower and ha”’-the discarded bridegroom went home without .his bride. Sergeant Duff, in the meantime, returned to his regiment at Glasgow ; but in a very few weeks thereafter revisited his friend the Lieutenant, and was married to his daughter. Unfortunately she did not long enjoy the society of her (‘ soldier laddie,” as she died in a few years afterwards, Sergeant Duff subsequently married while stationed in Ireland. His widow and three children survived, but according to information received they were not left in affluent circumstances. It is gratifying to reflect that the “ Royal Highlanders” still maintain the high character they so early obtained for sobriety and orderly conduct ; and that they invariably carry with them the esteem and best wishes of those amongst whom they have been quartered. After an absence of twenty years-in Ireland, Gibraltar,’ the Island of Malta, Corfu, etc.-they arrived in Edinburgh in September 1836 ; and although not received with such demonstrations as awaited them in 1816, the welcome was such as to convince them that they were hailed as countrymen and friends. During the period of eleven yearn, in which the regiment was stationed at Gibraltar, Malta, and the Ionian Isles, only one hundred and fifteen died, sixty of whom were carried off by the epidemic which raged in Gibraltar in 1828.
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