Edinburgh Bookshelf

Kay's Originals Vol. 2


41 0 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Seeing how her humour went, Fox thought he would have better success j and being very anxious to ascertain the amount of the election dinner bills, he began in a round-about way to quiz her on the subject :- “ Had Jfr. Skinner sometimes particularly good dinners in his house P” “Not sometimes, but always, to those who could pay for them.” “Had you a particular good dinner for the Dunfermline party ?” “ Very good ; an’ they needed it-for the gentlemen had come far to be out 0’ the way 0’ “What might a dinner cost for a party at the inn kept by Mr. Skinner ?” “ Whiles mair and whiles less-just accordiug to circumstances,” was the cautious answer. “Well, well ; but can’t you tell what the entertainment cost on the occasion referred to ? ” “ Indeed, sir, it’s no the custom for gentlmn in our quarter to ask the price 0’ a dinner, “ Come, now, say what was the amount of the bill 1” ‘‘ Indeed, sir, I wonder to hear a gentleman 0’ your sense expect me to ken, or be able to tell sic a piece 0’ my husband‘s business-Ehhfyl”. The examination of Lucky Skinner, which was brought to a termination without eliciting anything of consequence, afforded much merriment to all parties ; and having so shrewdly evaded the queries put to her by the members of the Select Committee, she no doubt claimed a due share of the honour acquired in the triumph of her party. The Committee gave in their report to the House of Commons on the 30th of March 1797, finding that the Hon. Andrew Cochrnne Johnstone was duly elected ;1 but that the petition of Sir John Henderson’ was not “ frivolous or vexatious.” For many years after this memorable contest, the fame of Lucky Skinner’s journey to London, and the admirable manner in which she baffled the learned members of the Committee, brought numerous visitors to her house. She had the knack of setting off her narrative to the greatest advantage ; and since the days of Patie Birnie, the famous fiddler, and Johnnie Stocks, the dwarf, who used to entertain the passengers detained at the ferry-the one with his music, and the other by dancing among the punch-bowls and glasses. on the table, all as related by the author of “ The Gentle Shepherd ”-the royal burgh of Kinghorn has had nothing half so attractive as the stories of the redoubted Lucky Skinner. being pestered.” unless they mean to pay for’t 1” No. CCCVIII. MR. PIERIE AND MR. MAXWELL. THE LADIES ARE IN THE COSTUME OF 1785. VERY little is known of the two portly citizens who figure in this Print. They were both bachelors, however ; hence the humour of the artist in representing them in the company of ladies. Col. Johnstone having been appointed Governor of Dominica, a new election took place in a Sir John left one child, a daughter, married to Sir Philip Durham, Bart., proprietor of the 1797, when the late William Tait, Esq., advocate, was returned without opposition. estate of Fordel.
Volume 9 Page 546
  Shrink Shrink   Print Print