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Broadside entitled 'Mansie Waugh's Dream Concerning the Execution of Burke, Parts First and Second'


Execution of Burke,

" My old and faithful servant, Tommy Bodkin,
had been long Thomas Bodkin,Master Tailor in
Dalkeith, but removed to Edinburgh,where, by his
skill in the craft,for which he owns himself indebt-
ed to me, he has acquired great fame as a Fashion-
able Tailor,and has a fair prospect of being Deacon
to the Corporation. About the New.year he brought
out Mrs Bodkin in a chaise, on a visit to me and
my Nanse at Lugton. A' the cracks in town and
countrybeingaboutthe West-Port Murders,we na-
turally fell upon that subject. Mr.Bodkin minded
what i though of the irishers langsyne. "But
did you ever think it would come to this?" said he.
Mrs Bodkin said,"Mr Wauch, you have never
come to see us inEdinburgh,ye maun positively   
come and see the fair last show of that monster
Burke;our house is in the Lawnmarket,and ye'll
get a finesight frae the windows;ye'll take the
coach the night before, and get a bed with us: I
winna take a refusal."

"Iam very doubtful whether Icould stand sic
an awfu'sight ,for I canna thole to see our Nanse
draw a chuckie's neck for our Sunday's dinner,"said
I; "yet he is sic a monster, in the shape of a man,
that I think I could see him wagging in a tow, with
something like satisfaction."

To make a long tale short, I took my sent in the
coach,and found Mr. Bodkin waiting to meet me at
the office: he led me up the street on his honour-
ed master at his fire-side. Icannot describe the
grandeur of their house;mahogany chairs and ta-
bles,carpents and window-curtains, looking-glasses,
and what not,every thing more prejinet than
another. Losh me!sic grandeur for Mansie Waugh's
'prentice. As a proof of how the public feel about
that bloosy businees-they told me they were offer-
ed a guinea forevery one who could sit at their win-
dows and see the execution, but they prefered
obliging their friends and customers. After a fine
supper, I got a grand bed, It might have served a
Duke; but I could not sleep for thinking about the
unhappy wretch-I had a kind of dover, but waken-
ed eerie, and was glad at heart when I saw the light
of day. But, losh me ! when I went to the window
and looked to the street, from the Iron Kirk to the
Castle-hill, nothing but a sea of heads, and every
window full where they could get a glint of the gal-
lows ; and, I said, "I never saw the marrow of
that, except when the King was here; I find it is
the dame in the first sight of a monarch whom we
love, and a monstor whom we have."-"That's a
sensible observe," said a lady quoting something ,
which I think she said from Shakspeare. There
now rose a hurrah, which seemed to rend the air,
and we saw the wretch coming up Libberton's Wynd.
Before he appeared, I thought I could lend a hand
to tear him in pices; but now that hi was before
me, and I thought in how short a time he would be
in eternity, and his doom sealed for ever, my heart
grew sair and dunted in my bosom.   When he
mounted the sealfold, my head became dizzy.--I saw
the rope put about his neck-my een dazzled-the
napkin-fell-I heard anither hurrah -I saw his legs
wagging-a cloud came over my sight, and I coupit
back in the floor as dead's a maw! I canna say how
lang I was in the swarf, hor what passed ; but when
I was in the swarf, Nor what passed ; but when
I came to myself, a fine lady was holding a wec

gowd box to my nose, and Mrs Bodkins, washing my
brow wi' cauld water. But in alittle time there
rose up anither wild hurrah, which made the flesh
on my bones creep: I felt the dwawm like to come
o'er me again, when they told me the body was cut
down and the crowd dispersing.

They now set the breakfast, and it was a weel
covered table ; that a Provost's couldna been better :
there was ham, eggs, and finnan haddies, biscuits
and buttered toast, honey and jelly, tea and coffee,
and several things that I didna ken the names o' ;
but, for a' the temtations, ne'er a bit would gang o'er
my craig.-I grew sick, and had to leave the table,
passing a dreary day in bed, where I could think of
nothing but Burke: I got a' gliff o' sleep about
gloamin', and the parlour, Imet half a
for I wakened about nine o'clock, as hungry as a
hawk. When I came into the parlour, I met half a
dozen o'gentlemen, who Mr. Bodkin said, were a'
fain to see me. I found they had a' read my vo-
lume; they paid me many compliments, comparing
me to authors of whom I had never heard, and say-
ing that my name would gang down to distant ages.

When we met in the dining-room, there was a
super set in grand style, the very sight of it made
my mouth water, for I had fasted for near four and-
twenty hours. there was flesh and fish, cooked in
various ways, with sauces and pickles, pastry and
fruits. that I had never seen the like of ; alloa ale
and London porter, Holland and French brandy for
drams ; and when we had made a hearty supper,
we had two bowls of punch, one of Glenlivet Whisky,
and anither of Jamica rum. My health was the
first toast after the king's : and it was drunkwith sic'
a clapping o' hands and clattering o' heels, I kenn'd
na ' how t' look. They then drank the Corporation
of Tailors , of which they said I was the most cele-
brated member except Ferdinand of spain, who
made a petticoat for the Virgin Mary.   "But that
doesna make him a tailor - he's but a manty - maker
at the best," said I, which produced a hearty laugh.

We then began to crack about the murders : and
they a' speak their mind- about Burke and his gang,
of which they considered Dr. Knox a distinguished
member. The verdict of the jury up a M'Dougal
was a ferly to ane and a' o' the company ; and they
didna hesitate to say, that Mr. Cockburn drew the
blade o'er their con, and glamoured their gumption,
by dint of what they termed sophistical reasoning .
Even those who hold their beads high in office were
not spared,-the refusing to let Burke make a full
confession, and not permitting him to be seen, was
bitterly spoken of. The dispasting the turnkey for
disclosing the secrets "of the prison-house," they
said, had a strang appearance ; of availing themselves
as if some folks were fondering of availing themselves
of the quibbles of the law. than of the administra-
tion of strict justice. It was a burgied job at the
best; for. instead of probing the font rair to the bot-
tom, they wished to skin over the deep wound which
humanity and the honour of Edinburgh had received..
"Hout, man ," said anither; "there's reasons for
every thing, and there's wheels within wheels mair
than you think of."    "That maybe," said the first ;
"but such conduct by some winna be soon forgot-
ten and Iwonder they can sleep sound in their beds,
considering the clamour against them, and the state
of the public mind."

Published by W. Smith, No. 3, Bristo Port.

Concerning the Execution

We had a long jolly night of it, but my head   
began spinning like a peerie, and I thought a* the   
room rinning round about, when Mrs Bodkin kindly   
bade her gudeman take me to my bed.    It was a
considerable time before I could sleep, for though   
we had been a' hearty and happy, I thought I saw
Burke just at the fatal moment between time and
elernity, and the wild unearthly yells of the multi-   
tude still rang in my lugs.    Howsoever, at length
and lang I fell asleep, but, Heaven preserve me frae
sic anither night !    For I had a dream so dreadful,   
that it excelled a' I ever heard of read of. There's
a chapter in my book called " The Awfu' Night,"
but that is but mere mockery towhat I suffered on
this occasion, and I wadna wish my greatest enemy
mair punishment, than a dream as dreadful as mine.
I shall set down some particulars, but it defies a' the
powers of my pen to describe its horrors, and there
may be some things inconsistent like, but the reader
will keep in mind it was a dream.

I thoght I had been bousin' wi' some o' the Pro-
fessors o' the College and was comin' doun the
West Port, when my head grew dizzy and heart sick ,
which caused me to learn my back to the wa'.    I
thought a man came to me and got me wheedled to
take haud o' his arm an gang wi' him, but like a
I got better; I could nae speak to him, but, like a
simpleton, I went with him, and he led me in a
dark close, where we entered a wierdless like house ;
and when I looked at him in the light, Gude gra-
cious ! my heart died within me, for I kent him to
be Burke ! and the wretch M'Dougal, with anither
man, (the wretch Hare,) were sitting at the fireside.
My blood ran cauld in my veins-I thought my
heart grippit like as if it had been screwed in a
smith's vice ; every hair in my head stood up like
green rashes in a bog ; my flesh creepit on my bones ;
and believing my last hour was come, I said to my-
self, "Lord , have mercy on my soul !" Hare left
the house, and I thought it was for no good.   How-
ever, I sought a drink o' water,and that brought
me round a wee, and I began to think it possible,
by the help of God, to escape: I took out a shulling,
and said to Burke, "If you could get half a mutch-
kin of good whisky, I think a dram would recover
me;" thinking if I got one out, I would try to
manage the tither. Burke went for the whisky, and
just when Iwas rising, the she-devil came behind
me, rugged me by the coat-tail back owre on the
floor, and in a second of time was lying above my
breast, with a weight like a millstone, her one hand
on my mouth and the other at my thrapple, so that
I had no powerto cry. Anither minute would have
done the job, but I thought if I could feinzie being
dead, she would maybe rise;so I turned up my een,
and shot out my legs, like one in the dead-thraws,
and there I layseemingly as dead as a herring.
The hag had me stripped skin-naked ere any oxe
came in- Hare was the first with a long muckle
kist; thinks I. that's my coffin. They coupit me
into it without difficulty, for I'm a little man, and
before Burke came in the lid was closed.   He sat
down on it with the whisky, and, by a merciful Pro-
vidence, his weight dang a hole in it, which let in   

air to keep me alive. They agreed t' get a porter
directly, as Dr Knox was waiting, and had promised
to pay them that night

In a situation like mine, minutes were like months
in duration ; and I wearied salt for the porter; for I
had once dined with Dr Knox, and had some hope
that, if I were beside him, I had a fair chance for
my life, if I had pith and power to dunt upon the
kist-lid. Weel, the porter came, got a dram, and
was told to bring back the kist immediately, as they
had occasion for it that night. I was hoisted on his
back, and he trudged at a quick step. The kist was
carried directly into the dissecting room ; Burke,
Hare, directly into the dissecting room; Burke,
laid on the dissecting-table. Glad was I to breathe
the air, though it was neither sweet nor fresh, for
there was a fearful ngsome smell. The bruits got
ten pounds as the price of my blood, and Dr Knox
pushed them out. When they were gone, he looked
steadfastly in my face with a candle, and said,
" David, this is Mansie Wauch, the Tailor in Dal.
keith, who is the author of the curious book that we
were reading the other night; he is an original; he
has made more noise in the world than all the frater-
nity of Tailors from the earliest generations; his scull
alone is worth ten guineas to any Phrenological Lec-
turer : when they went away they locked the door,
and left me in the dark with so many instruments
of death around me, that a cauld sweat stood on every
pore of my skin. When I reflected that he had paid
ten pounds for my carcase, and counted upon get-
ting ten guineas for my harm-pan, my hopes in his
mercy vanished like the morning dew. I thought I
was only out o' the frying - pan into the fire; or, as
we say, frae the de'il to the deep sea. I thought
upon Nanse, left a sorrowful, forlorn widow, and
knives.    However, I tried to put up a petition to
Him wha hears always, and from whom no dark-
ness can hide; and I said, " Lord, in thy mercy,
hear and deliver me from this man of blood-this

The Doctor came in with a candle, looking for
something ; he took up legs and arms, whistling a' the
they defy expression.    However, I thought the Doc.
ter was an honourable man ; and I felt, that if never
there was a chance of getting out o' the glede's grips,
now was a chance of getting out o' the glede's grips,
and roared out " Murder-murder ! I'm   Burked,
but I   winna be   Knoxed-Murder !"    The awfu'
consternation I was in made me try to rise ; and I
thought I rowed aff the table, playing thump on the
floor. The fallwakened me from my dream, but I
didna ken where I was still Mr and Mrs Bodkin
come rinning up with a light, and found me spraw-
ling on the carpet, and looking as wild as a wild cat-
It wasna aneasy job for them to convince me I was
safe, and make me sensible of my situation, and I
wasna myself for four-and-twenty hours after.-at
the moment I write this, my heart dunts, and the
blood rins cauld in my body.    Some folk may say
there's nae rationality in the thing, but we canna
aye command our waking thought, and manna ox-
pect reason in a dream."

Published by W. SMITH, No. 3, Bristo Port.

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Date of publication: 1829   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.6(025)
Broadside entitled 'Mansie Waugh's Dream Concerning the Execution of Burke, Parts First and Second'
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