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(for I should be sorry Darnick and Brigend were beat)—and to all other free and honest fellows who will take share with me on this occasion. I do not wish to take any command farther than such as shall entitle me to go with the corps, for I wish it to be distinctly understood that, in whatever capacity, I go with them, and take a share in good or bad as it casts up. I cannot doubt that I will have your support, and I hope you will use all your enthusiasm in our behalf. Morrison volunteers as our engineer. Those who I think should be spoke to are the following, among the higher class
“ John Usher. * He should be lieutenant, or his son ensign.
“ Sam Somerville.t I will speak to him — he may be lieutenant, if Usher declines; but I think in that case Usher should give us his son.
“ Young Nicol Milne I is rather young, but I will offer to his father to take him in.
“ Harperg is a sine quo non. Tell him I depend
* Mr Usher has already been mentioned as Scott's predecessor in the property of Toftfield. He now resided near those lands, and was Scott's tenant on the greater part of them,
† Samuel Somerville, W. S. (a son of the historian of Queen Anne) had a pretty villa at Lowood, on the Tweed, immediately opposite the seat of his relation, Lord Somerville, of whose estate he had the management.
# NicolMilne, Esq. (now advocate), eldest son of the Laird of Faldonside.
S Harper, keeper of a little inn at Darnick, was a gallant and
on him for the honour of Darnick. I should propose to him to take a gallant halbert.
“ Adam Fergusson thinks you should be our adjutant. John Fergusson I propose for captain. He is steady, right bold, and has seen much fire. The auld captain will help us in one shape or other. For myself, I know not what they propose to make of me, but it cannot be anything very active. However, I should like to have a steady quiet horse, drilled to stand fire well, and if he has these properties, no matter how stupid, so he does not stumble. In this case the price of such a horse will be no object.
“ These, my dear friend, are your beating orders. I would propose to raise about sixty men, and not to take old men. John the Turk * will be a capital corporal ; and I hope in general that all my young fellows will go with me, leaving the older men to go through necessary labour. Sound Tom what he would like. I think, perhaps, he would prefer managing matters at home in your absence and mine at drill.
“ John of Skye is cock-a-hoop upon the occasion, and I suppose has made fifty blunders about it by this time. You must warn Tom Jamieson, Gordon
spirited yeoman-uniformly the gainer of the prizes at every contest of strength and agility in that district.
* One of Scott's foresters — thus designated as being, in all senses of the word, a guliant fellow.
Winness, John Swanston (who will carry off all the prizes at shooting), Davidson, and so forth.
“ If you think it necessary, a little handbill might be circulated. But it may be better to see if Government will accept our services; and I think, in the situation of the country, when work is scarce, and we offer pay for their playing themselves, we should have choice of men. But I would urge no one to do what he did not like.
“ The very precarious state of my poor mother detains me here, and makes me devolve this troublesome duty upon you. All you have to do, however, is to sound the men, and mark down those who seem zealous. They will perhaps have to fight with the pitmen and colliers of Northumberland for defence of their firesides, for these literal blackguards are got beyond the management of their own people. And if such is the case, better keep them from coming into Scotland, than encounter the mischief they might do there. Yours always most truly,
“ To Thomas Scott, Esq., 70th Regiment, Kingston,
“ Edinburgh, 220 December 1819. “ My Dear Tom,
“ I wrote you about ten days since, stating that we were all well here. In that very short space a
change so sudden and so universal has taken place among your friends here, that I have to communicate to you a most miserable catalogue of losses. Our dear mother was on Sunday the 12th December in all her usual strength and alertness of mind. I had seen and conversed with her on the Saturday preceding, and never saw her better in my life of late years. My two daughters drank tea with her on Sunday, when she was uncommonly lively, telling them a number of stories, and being in rather unusual spirits, probably from the degree of excitation which sometimes is remarked to precede a paralytic affection. In the course of Monday she received that fatal summons, which at first seemed slight; but in the night betwixt Monday and Tuesday our mother lost the use both of speech and of one side. Since that time she has lain in bed constantly, yet so sensible as to see me and express her earnest blessing on all of us. The power of speech is totally lost; nor is there any hope, at her advanced age, that the scene can last long. Probably a few hours will terminate it. At any rate, life is not to be wished, even for our nearest and dearest in those circumstances. But this heavy calamity was only the commencement of our family losses. Dr Rutherford, who had seemed perfectly well, and had visited my mother upon Tuesday the 14th, was suddenly affected with gout in his stomach, or some disease equally rapid, on Wednesday the 15th, and without a moment's warning or complaint, fell down a dead man, almost without a single groan. You are aware of his fondness for animals; he was just stroking his cat after eating his breakfast, as usual, when, without more warning than a half-uttered exclamation, he sunk on the ground, and died in the arms of his daughter Anne. Though the Doctor had no formed complaint, yet I have thought him looking poorly for some months; and though there was no failure whatever in intellect, or anything which approached it, yet his memory was not so good, and I thought he paused during the last time he attended me, and had difficulty in recollecting the precise terms of his recipe. Certainly there was a great decay of outward strength. We were very anxious about the effect this fatal news was likely to produce on the mind and decayed health of our aunt, Miss C. Rutherford, and resolved, as her health had been gradually falling off ever since she returned from Abbotsford, that she should never learn anything of it until it was impossible to conceal it longer. But God had so ordered it that she was never to know the loss she had sustained, and which she would have felt so deeply. On Friday the 17th December, the second day after her brother's death, she expired, without a groan and without suffering, about six in the morning. And so we lost an excellent and warm-hearted relation, one of the few women I ever knew whose strength of mental faculties enabled her,