"boddies" look out of their garret windows with their lighted lamps or candles, peer into the dark, and try to see what was the cause of the mischief.

Sir David Baird, the hero of Seringapatam, played a trick of the same kind before he went to India.

Among my father's favourite companions were the two sons of Dr. John Erskine, minister of Old Greyfriars, in conjunction with the equally celebrated Dr. Robertson. Dr. Erskine [note: Dr. Erskine is well described by Scott in Guy Mannering, on the occasion when Pleydell and Mannering went to hear him preach a famous sermon.]

was a man of great influence in his day, well known for his literary and theological works, as well as for his piety and practical benevolence. On one occasion, when my father was at play with his sons, one of them threw a stone, which smashed a neighbour's window. A servant of the house ran out, and seeing the culprit, called out, "Very wee!, Maister Erskine, I'll tell yeer faither wha broke the windae !" On which the boy, to throw her off the scent, said to his brother loudly, "Eh, keist! she thinks we're the boddy Erskine's sons."

The boddy Erskine! Who ever heard of such an irreverent nickname applied to that good and great man? "The laddies couldna be his sons," thought the woman. She made no further inquiry, and the boys escaped scot free. The culprit afterwards entered the service of the East India Company. "The boy was father to the man." He acquired great reputation at the siege of Seringapatam, where he led the forlorn hope. Erskine was promoted, until in course of time he returned to his native city a full-blown general. To return to my father's education. After he left "Mammy Smith's, he went for a short time to the original High School. It was an old establishment, founded by James VI. before he succeeded to the English throne, It was afterwards demolished to make room for the University buildings; and the new High School was erected a little below the old Royal Infirmary. After leaving the High School, Alexander Nasmyth was taught by his father, first arithmetic and mensuration, next geometry and mathematics, so far as the first three books of Euclid were concerned. After that, his own innate skill, ability, and industry enabled him to complete the rest of his education.

At a very early period my father exhibited a decided natural taste for art. He used his pencil freely in sketching from nature; and in course of time he showed equal skill in the use of oil colour. At his own earnest request he was bound apprentice to Mr . Crighton, then the chief coachbuilder in Edinburgh. He was employed in that special department where artistic taste was necessary -- that is, in decorating the panels of the highest class of carriages, and painting upon them coats of arms, with their crests and supporters. He took great pleasure in this kind of work. It introduced him to the practical details of heraldry, and gave him command over his materials.

Still further to improve himself in the art of drawing, my father devoted his evenings to attending the Edinburgh Drawing Academy. This institution, termed "The Trustees' Academy of Fine Art," had been formed and supported by the funds arising from the estates confiscated after the rebellions of 1715 and 1745 . Part of these funds was set apart by Government for the encouragement of drawing, and also for the establishment of the arts of linen weaving, carpet manufacture, and other industrial occupations.

These arts were introduced into Scotland by the French Protestants, who had been persecuted for conscience' sake out of their own country, and settled in England, Ireland, and Scotland, where they prosecuted their industrial callings. The Corporation was anxious to afford an asylum for these skilled and able workmen. The emigrants settled down with their families, and pursued their occupations of damask, linen, and carpet weaving. They were also required to take Scotch apprentices, and teach them the various branches of their trade. The Magistrates caused cottages and workshops to be erected on a piece of unoccupied land near Edinburgh, where the street appropriately called Picardy Place now stands, -- the greater number of the weavers having come from Picardy in France.

In connection with the establishment of these industrial artisans, it was necessary to teach the young Scotch apprentices drawing, for the purpose of designing new patterns suitable for the market. Hence

  By PanEris using Melati.

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