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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Edinburgh Picturesque Notes.
heads — ’out of Curiosity; yet I rejoiced to see so many concerned grave Men and Women favouring the Dust of our Martyrs.  There were Six of us concluded to bury them upon the Nineteenth Day of October 1726, and every One of us to acquaint Friends of the Day and Hour, being Wednesday, the Day of the Week on which most of them were executed, and at 4 of the Clock at Night, being the Hour that most of them went to their resting Graves.  We caused make a compleat Coffin for them in Black, with four Yards of fine Linen, the way that our Martyrs Corps were managed. . . .  Accordingly we kept the aforesaid Day and Hour, and doubled the Linen, and laid the Half of it below them, their nether jaws being parted from their Heads; but being young Men, their Teeth remained.  All were Witness to the Holes in each of their Heads, which the Hangman broke with his Hammer; and according to the Bigness of their Sculls, we laid the Jaws to them, and drew the other Half of the Linen above them, and stufft the Coffin with Shavings.  Some prest hard to go thorow the chief Parts of the City as was done at the Revolution; but this we refused, considering that it looked airy and frothy, to make such Show of them, and inconsistent with the solid serious Observing of such an affecting, surprizing unheard-of Dispensation:  But took the ordinary Way of other Burials from that Place, to wit, we went east the Back of the Wall, and in at Bristo-port, and down the Way to the Head of the Cowgate, and turned up to the Church-yard, where they were interred closs to the Martyrs Tomb, with the greatest Multitude of People Old and Young, Men and Women, Ministers and others, that ever I saw together.’

And so there they were at last, in ’their resting graves.’  So long as men do their duty, even if it be greatly in a misapprehension, they will be leading pattern lives; and whether or not they come to lie beside a martyrs’ monument, we may be sure they will find a safe haven somewhere in the providence of God.  It is not well to think of death, unless we temper the thought with that of heroes who despised it.  Upon what ground, is of small account; if it be only the bishop who was burned for his faith in the antipodes, his memory lightens the heart and makes us walk undisturbed among graves.  And so the martyrs’ monument is a wholesome, heartsome spot in the field of the dead; and as we look upon it, a brave influence comes to us from the land of those who have won their discharge and, in another phrase of Patrick Walker’s, got ‘cleanly off the stage.’

CHAPTER VI.  NEW TOWN — TOWN AND COUNTRY.

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