The History of Leith

September 15, 2012

Sir Richard Steele, of the Spectator

When Sir Richard Steele, of the Spectator, visited
Edinburgh, in 1717, on the business of the Forfeited
Estates Commission, we know not whether he
resided in Lady Stair’s Close, but it is recorded
that he gave, in a tavern there, a whimsical supper,
to all the eccentric-looking mendicants in the city,
giving them the enjoyment of an abundant feast,
that he might witness their various oddities.
Richard Sheil mentions this circumstance, and
adds that Steele confessed afterwards that he had -^
” drunk enough of native drollery to compose a
comedy.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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