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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


472 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. in the magistracy, had, through negligence, allowed a poinding of his furniture to be executed for assessed taxes, Archie advanced the money, amounting to &14 ; and, singular to relate, he encountered the utmost daculty and delay in procuring repayment, as the debtor, though possessed of very considerable wealth, was of a most penurious disposition. On all occasions of public rejoicings, processions, and spectacles of every kind, Archie acted a most prominent part in marshalling the forces and acting as master of ceremonies ; and the authorities have often confessed, that without his powerful aid and experience, they would have many times been completely nonplussed. At public executions, whippings, and other exhibitions of a like nature, Archie was always the officer on duty. Notwithstanding all his honours and employments, he never forgot his poor relations in the Highlands, but was in the constant practice of remitting them small sums of money. He exerted himself to procure situations for his two brothers, Finlay and John ; for the former of whom he obtained the appointment of city officer, and for the latter, that of porter to the Bank of Scotland. When he had occasion to speak of this last-mentioned personage, he always styled him--“ My brither the bankier.” His mother having died in Edinburgh, Archie hired a hearse and carried her to the Highlands to be buried. He returned, it was rumoured, with the hearse full of smuggled whisky. A friend one day began to tease him on the subject. “Wow, man,” replied Archie, “there’s nae harm done. I only carried awa’ the body, and brought back the speerit.” For some years previous to his death, and especially after the losses he had sustained, Archie’s robust bodily frame was visibly impaired. He lived just sufficiently long to learn the entire demolition of the system of self-election, and had many surmisings as to the working of Eurgh Reform. Indeed, it is said that these coming events so preyed upon his spirits as to be the principal cause of his death ; for he was observed to be completely crestfallen, and all his energies were prostrate and subdued. He died in October 1833, within a few weeks of the accession to office of the popularly elected Councillors. It may be added that the Print of Archibald Campbell was the last of all Kay’s Etchings. The venerable artist, then about eighty years of age, complimented several of his friends with impressions, as the farewell production of his pencil, at the same time apologising for its unfinished state.
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