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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 313 prayers, to lead them to the balm that is in Gilead, and the Physician who is there. The widow and the fatherless were his peculiar care: he sought out their cause ; and many had occasion to bless him for the seasonable soothing and relief, both temporal and spiritual, which they received through his instrumentality, He was a member, and from time to time in the direction, of almost every charitable institution in Edinburgh, but took a more especial and active interest in those of them connected with the religious instruction of the rising generation and the more extensive diffusion of the knowledge and influence of Gospel truth, whether at home or abroad. It need scarcely now be added that Mr. Dickson was conscientiously and firmly attached to the principles, and approved, in general, of the measures adopted by what is called tho popular party in the Church. But it may be right to mention, that besides, in earlier life, taking no small share in the discussions connected with the questions about patronage and Popery, his first sentiments and convictions respecting both of which he retained till the close of life, he was one of the small majority in the General Assembly who voted against receiving the explanation of Dr. M‘Gill of Ayr, as a satisfactory recantation of the heresy with which he had been charged.’ On two several occasions, also, viz. the settlements of Biggar and Larbert, he actually braved the highest censure of the ecclesiastical courts, rather than surrender the dictates of his conscience to what he had thought their time-serving policy and unconstitutional decisions. In domestic and private life, Mr. Dickson was all that a Christian husband, and father, and friend and companion, could be wished to be. Tender, affectionate, kind, habitually cheerful, yet always dignified, there was a charm in his manner, arising from the natural warmth of his heart, hallowed by genuine religious feeling, which not only endeared him to those with whom he was more intimate, but irresistibly commanded the respect and esteem of all with whom he became but partially acquainted in the intercourse of social life. After a very painful, though not very lengthened illness-during which not a murmur of impatience was heard from him, but, on the contrary, the constant language of submissive resignation, and peaceful waiting for his departing to be with Christhe calmly entered into his rest about midnight on the 3d of August 1820, in the sixty-seventh year of his age, and forty-fourth of his ministry. His surviving family were his eldest son, the Rev. Dr. Dickson, one of the ministers of St. Cuthbert’s ; one married, and two unmarried daughters ; and James Wardrobe Dickson, Esq., Sheriff-Substitute of the Falkirk district of Stirlingshire. And, as he lived, so he died in the faith and hope of the Gospel. - The heresy of Dr. M‘Gill occasioned great excitement at the time ; and the satirical poem of “The Kirk’s Alarm,” by Burns, has given the affair a celebrity likely to last as long as the fame of the bard himself. VOL. 11. 2 s
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314 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. No. CCLXXV. HUGH MACPHERSON, SOMETIME CLERK TO THE PERTH CARRIERS. HUGHM ~CPHERSOoNr, “ Wee Hughie,” as he was commonly termed, was born in the district of Badenoch about the year 1770. His father, who lived to a great age, was shepherd on an extensive farm in that quarter; and both his parents were persons of ordinary stature. When Hughie fist ventured forth of his native fastnesses, he made his debdt in the Lowlands, att,ired in the Highland garb-bonnet, kilt, and plaid-with a pair of top-boots in lieu of hose ! For some years after his arrival in Perth, he was employed as a clerk in the George Inn; next in the shop of a grocer; and subsequently with Messrs J. and P. Cameron, carriers betwixt Perth and Edinburgh. The tartans had, long ere this, given way to a coat of dark green, light vest, darkish trousers, and highheeled boots ;’ a dress to which he adhered without alteration for a length of time. Every new suit, to make sure of being fashionably fitted, cost him a visit to Edinburgh. At length, that he might take charge of his employers’ establishment there, he had the peculiar satisfaction of being removed permanently to the capital. Hugh was a well-known kharacter, the oddness of his figure, and his excessive self-conceit, making him the subject of much diversion. While in Perth, some one having drawn a caricature of him, he at once sought reparation by challenging the offender to fight a duel ; but this display of spirit only tended to make matters worse, for, in another picture, the little mountaineer was grotesquely exhibited brandishing a pair of pistols not much shorter than himself. Proud and vindictive, he was easily affronted; and nothing vexed him more than to be underrated, or looked upon in the light of pity, by the fair sex. If insulted in their presence, he became perfectly furious. On one occasion, at a wedding party in Edinburgh, Hugh was dancing with great spirit, and in imagination as big as the tallest in the company, when a waggish participator in the reel, seizing a favourable opportunity, tripped up his heels, sending him headforemost into the ash-pit. Those who were present will not easily forget the miniature hero’s countenance on regaining his feet. Seizing a candlestick, in a His hat, too, it may be remarked, was particularly high and capacious ; thereby, we presume, to add to the height and dignity of his appearance. Hughie was, in his own estimation, a perfect dandy. Hughie invariably wore boats, not shoes, aa represented in the Print.
Volume 9 Page 417
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