The History of Leith

October 24, 2012

View from the shop of Allan Ramsay

How picturesque is the grouping in the following
paragraph, by one who has passed away, of
the crowd then visible from the shop of Allan
Ramsay :—” Gentlemen and ladies paraded along
in the stately attire of the period; tradesmen
chatted in groups, often bareheaded, at their shop
doors ; caddies whisked about bearing messages or
attending to the affairs of strangers ; children filled
the kennel with their noisy sports. Add to this
the corduroyed men from Gilmerton bawling coals
or yellow sand, and spending as much breath in a
minute as would have served poor asthmatic Hugo
Arnot for a month; fishwomen crying their caller
haddies from Newhaven; whimsicals and idiots,
each with his or her crowd of tormentors ; sootymen
with their bags; Town Guardsmen with their
antique Lochaber axes ; l^rbers with their hairdressing
materials, and so forth.” Added to these
might be the blue-bonneted shepherd in his grey
plaid; the wandering piper; the kilted drover,
armed to the teeth, as was then the fashion ; and
the passing sedan, with liveried bearers.

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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