Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Glorious First of June

'The Antiquary found the magistrate, exhausted with the fatigues of the drill, reposing in his gouty chair, humming the air, "How merrily we live that soldiers be!" and between each bar comforting himself with
a spoonful of mock-turtle soup. He ordered a similar refreshment for Oldbuck, who declined it, observing, that, not being a military man, he did not feel inclined to break his habit of keeping regular hours for
meals--"Soldiers like you, Bailie, must snatch their food as they find means and time. But I am sorry to hear ill news of young Taffril's brig."

"Ah, poor fellow!" said the bailie, "he was a credit to the town—much distinguished on the first of June."...'

As pointed out in the notes to the Edinburgh Edition of Scott's "The Antiquary", characters Jonathan Oldbuck and Baillie Littlejohn, in talking about Richard Taffril distinguishing himself on the first of June, are referring to the British naval victory over Napoleon’s forces that occurred on June 1, 1794.  Admiral Richard Howe led the British fleet in this battle, in which the French lost seven battle ships, either sunk or captured, while the British lost none.

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