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end?” To be sure all the Cameronians and ovenanters were not so frantic as Habbakuk; ut the best of them were elated with spitual pride, and had their good qualities darkned by fierce enthusiasm, which they expressd in strong and emphatic language, rendered nore impressive by the orientalism of Scripure.
The gloom which hung over presbyterianism las in a great measure vanished before the enightening spirit of modern times. Still there ire some preachers in Edinburgh, who seem to be relapsing into their former cheerless and epulsive manner. It appears that their intenion is to infect their hearers with their own nelancholy spirit,
" And force all people, tho' against
They are perpetually railing against that most elegant source of amusement, the theatre; the players are styled the “servants of Satan, and the stage a " seminary of vice and folly," the " temple of the father of lies,” &c. Every one knows the fuss which they made when the accomplished Mr. Home, a minister of the church of Scotland, ushered forth his tragedy of Douglas. The presbytery of Edinburgh attacked the play as highly immoral and irreligious in its tendency, and" lamented the melancholy fact, that there should be a tragedy written by a minister of the church of Scotland.” Mr. Home sent in his demission from
the presbytery, and cared not a pin for all the holy rage of his enemies.
He afterwards received a pension from the prince of Wales; but none of his other dra. matic works have been so popular as Douglas, in which he introduced the tragic muse into the wilds of Scotland, rendered the banks of the Carron and the Grampian Hills as interesting as the shores of the Adriatic, and en. gaged the heart for his Matilda, as if she had been Otway's Belvidera.
One of the most fashionable churches in Ed. inburgh, is that new and magnificent place of worship, which Andrew Thomson occupies, in the finest square and the most elegant neighbourhood of the city. I went to this kirk last Sunday. After a great deal of trouble, I got into a pew; but I was scarcely well seated, before a tall, awkward fellow stalked in, with his wife—I was obliged to make way for them, but received no invitation to reseat myself, although there was “locus pluribus umbris.” This polite and saintly personage was so meagre, and so plain in his dress, that, to use Fal. staff's language, “ you might have trussed him and all his apparel into an eel skin!” The Scotch, by the way, are generally thin; indeed, if Mr. S of our city, were to be so mischievous as 'to.come over here, he would be stared at as a perfect non-descript!
Mr. Creech, in his view of Scotch manners in ’83, says that the number of abandoned women had increased at Edinburgh more than a
hundred fold in twenty years. Impressed as I was with respect for the puritanical habits of the Scotch, I was greatly astonished at the number of receptacles in which those unhappy beings lie crowded together, mad with intemperance, ghastly with famine, and poisoned with disease. As I was returning home a few evenings ago, I perceived a crowd collected at the door of a house. On inquiry, I learned that a young woman above had swallowed poison in a fit of despair. Actuated by curiosity, I walked
stairs and entered a room crowded with persons of various appearance. On the floor was lying a girl in the agonies of death; on her face was seated the ghastly paleness of approaching dissolution. I was filled with hor. ror at this dreadful scene, and left the room with a person who told me that the unhappy wretch had been seduced by one of those infernal Lovelaces who make a sport of such conquests. When all the gates of virtue were shut against her, she found herself unable to resist the torrent of vice; but she was soon convinced that the class of beings with whom she lived, were devoid of all feeling but the selfish gratification of their passions; even the wages of prostitution were grudgingly paid by lovers who possessed her person without her heart. At length she looked only to death as a refuge against the time when the eye of lewdness shall cease to be allured by her charms; when even the lowest haunts of incontinence shall be clos
ed against her, and when she must finish her loathed existence in a hospital!
- I see the hill side all alive,
Edinburgh, January 5, 1819. On the 30th ult. a young man, condemned to death for a robbery, was brought to the scaffold; the fatal preparations were made and the drop fell. But the rope being too long for the fall of the drop, the man rested with his toes upon the platform. Attempts were made to cut away the floor, in order that the sufferer might be relieved as soon as possible, but, before this could be accomplished, a loud shout of horror, with cries of murder! burst from the immense multitude assembled, and instantly a shower of stones thrown by the enraged populace, compelled the magistrates, peace officers and workmen to abandon their stations, and no one but the criminal remained upon the scaffold; some of the stones struck his body, and added to his horrible sufferings-a cry of “ cut him down! he is alive!” succeeded, and a person, genteelly dressed, sprung upon the
platform, and cut the rope immediately a number of persons broke through the railing, and took possession of the scatfold—they lifted up the culprit, took off the rope and cap, which they threw among the multitude below; they then deliberately carried him off-while another party tore the coffin prepared for the criminal to pieces, and threw the fragments against the windows of a neighbouring church.
In the mean time, the police officers rallied in augmented numbers, and retook the criminal from the mob. The miserable being, half alive, stripped of part of his clothes, and his body bruised most shockingly, lay extended on the ground in the middle of the street; the constables dragged him, trailing along for above 20 paces, into their loathsome den; here he was bled in both arms, and the half suspended animation was restored. He was again brought to the scaffold, and, while the rope was adjusting, his clothes fell down in such a manner that decency would have been shocked, had it even been a spectacle of entertainment, instead of an execution. While they were adjusting his clothes, the unhappy man was left vibrating, upheld partly by the rope about his neck, and partly by his feet on the table! At last the drop fell; when (horresco referens!) he was observed to hang with his face uncovered, and his fingers convulsively twisted in the noose. The man's face, still uncovered, exhibited a spectacle which no human eye should ever be compelled to behold, He was several minutes in