OGIL.-- I read that there
are ten thousand times ten thousand angels that wait
upon God, and sing His praise and do His will; and I
cannot understand how the good angels can be inferior in
number to the evil.
COOL-- Did not I say, that whatever the number be, the
spirits departed are employed in the same business ; so
that as to the number of original deities, where-of
Satan is chief, I cannot determine, but you need not
doubt but there are more souls departed in that place,
which in a loose sense you call hell, by almost an
infinity, than what are gone to that place, which, in a
like sense, you call heaven, which likewise are employed
in the same purpose ; and I can assure you that there is
as great a difference between angels, both good and bad,
as there is among men, with respect to their sense,
knowledge, cunning, cleverness, and action; nay, which
is more, the departed souls on both sides outdo severals,
from their very first departure, of the original angels.
This you will perhaps think a paradox, but is true.
OGIL.-- I do not doubt it ; but what is that to my
question, about which I am solicitous?
COOL—Take a little patience, sir; from what I have said
you might have understood me, if you had your thoughts
about you; but I shall explain myself to you. Both the
good and the bad angels have stated times of rendezvous,
and the principal angels, who have the charge either of
towns, cities, or kingdoms, not to mention particular
persons, villages, and families, and all that is
transacted in these several parts of the country, are
there made open; and at their re-encounter on each side,
every thing is told, as in your parish, in milns, kilns,
and smithies, with this difference, that many things
false are talked at the living re-encounters, but
nothing but what is exact truth is said or told among
the dead ; only I must observe to you,
that, as I am credibly informed, several of the inferior
bad angels, and souls of wicked men departed, have told
many things that they have done, and then when a more
intelligent spirit is sent out upon inquiry, and the
report of the former seeming doubtful, he brings in a
contrary report, and makes it appear truth, the former
fares very ill: nevertheless their regard to truth
prevents it; for while they observe the truth, they do
their business and keep their station, for God is truth.
OGIL.-- So much truth being among the good angels, I am
apt to think that lies and falsehood will be as much in
vogue among the bad.
COOL-- A gross mistake, and it is not alone the mistake
which the living folks fall under with respect to the
other world; for the case plainly is this: an ill man
will not stick at a falsehood to promote his design; as
little will an evil soul departed stop at anything that
can make himself successful; but in admitting report he
must tell the truth, or woe be to him. But besides their
monthly, quarterly, or yearly meetings, or whatever they
be, departed souls acquainted may take a trip to see one
another yearly, weekly, daily, or oftener, if they
please. Thus, then, I answer your question that you was
so much concerned about; for my information was from no
less than three persons, viz., Aikman, who attends
Thurston’s family ; James Corbet, who waits upon Mr
Paton ; for at that time he was then looking after Mrs
Sarah Paton, who was at your house, and an original
emissary appointed to wait upon yours.
At this I was much surprised, and after a little
thinking, I asked him, And is their really, Cool, an
emissary from hell, in whatever sense you take it, that
attends my family ?
COOL-- You may depend upon it.
OGIL.-- And what do you think is his business ?
COOL-- To divert you from your duty, and cause you to do
as many ill things as he can ; for much depends on
having the minister on their side.
Upon this I was struck with a sort of terror, which I
cannot account for. In the meantime he said several
things I did not understand. But after coming to my
former presence of mind, said—
OGIL.-- But, Cool, tell me, in earnest, if there be a
devil that attends my family, though invisible.
COOL-- Just as sure as you are breathing ; but be not so
much dejected upon this information, for I tell you
likewise that there is a good angel who attends you, who
is stronger than the other.
OGIL.-- Are you sure of that, Cool?
COOL-- Yes; there is one riding on your right hand, who
might as well have been elsewhere, for I meant you no
OGIL.-- And how long has he been with me?
COOL-- Only since we passed Brand’s Lee, but now he is
OGIL.-- We are just upon Elenscleugh, and I desire to
part with you, though perhaps I have gained more by
conversation than I could have otherwise done in a
twelvemonth. I choose rather to see you another time,
when you’re at leisure, and I wish it were at as great a
distance from Innerwick as you can.
COOL-- Be it so, sir; but I hope you will be as obliging
to me next re-encounter, as I have been to you this.
OGIL.-- I promise you I will, as far as is consistent
with my duty to my Lord and Master Christ Jesus ; and
since you have obliged me so much by information, I will
answer all the questions you propose, as far as consists
with my knowledge; but I believe you want no information
COOL-- I came not here to be instructed by you, but I
want your help of another kind.
Upon the 5th of April 1722, as I was returning from Old
Hamstooks, Cool came up with me on horseback at the foot
of the ruinous enclosure, before we came to Dod. I told
him his last conversation had proved so acceptable to
me, that I was well pleased to see him again; that there
was a number of things that I wanted to inform myself
further of if he would be so good as satisfy me.
COOL-- Last time we met, I refused you nothing you
asked; and now I expect that you shall refuse me nothing
that I shall ask.
OGIL.-- Nothing, sir, that is in my power, or that I can
do with safety to my reputation and character. What,
then, are your demands?
COOL-- All that I desire of you is, that as you promised
that on a Sabbath-day you would go to my wife, who now
possesses all my effects, and tell her the following
particulars—tell her in my name to rectify these matters
That I was owing justly to Provost Crosby £50 Scots, and
three years interest, but on hearing of his death,
my good-brother the Laird of C--l and I forged a
discharge, narrated the bond, the sum, and other
particulars, with this honourable clause, "And at the
time it had fallen by, and could not befound ;” with an
obligation on the provost’s part to deliver up this bond
as soon as he could hit upon it. And this discharge was
dated three months before the provost’s death. And when
his son and successor, Andrew Crosby, wrote to me
concerning this bond, I came to him and showed him the
forged discharge, which silenced him; so that I got upmy
bond without more ado. And when I heard of Robert
Kennedy’s death, with the same help of C--l, I got a
bill upon him for £190, of which I got full and complete
payment. C--l got the half. When I was at Dumfries, the
same day that Robert Grier died, to whom I was owing an
account of £36, C--l, my good-brother, was then at
London; and not being able of myself, being but a bad
writer, to make out a discharge of the account, which I
wanted, I met accidently with one Robert Boyd, a poor
writer lad in Dumfries; I took him to Mrs Carnock’ s,
and gave him a bottle of wine, and told him I had paid
Thomas Grier’s account, but had neglected to get a
discharge, and if he would help me to one I would reward
him. He flew away from me in a great passion, saying, he
would rather be hanged; but if I had a mind for these
things, I had better wait till C--l came home. This gave
me great trouble, fearing what C--l and I had done
formerly was no secret. I followed Boyd to the street,
and made an apology, saying, I was jesting, commending
him for his honesty, and got his promise never to repeat
what had passed. I sent for my Cousin B—m H—rie, your
good-brother, who, with no difficulty, for a guinea and
a half undertook and performed all that I wanted ; and
for a guinea more made me up a discharge for £200 Scots
that I was owing to your father-in•law and his friend Mr
Muirhead, which discharge I gave to John Ewart, when he
desired the money ; and he, at my desire, produced it to
you, which you sustained.
A great many of the like instances were told, of which I
cannot remember the persons, names, and things; but,
says he, what vexes me more than all these, is the
injustice I did Homer Maxwell, tenant to my Lord
Nithsdale, for whom I was factor. I borrowed £2000 from
him, £500 of which he borrowed from another hand: I gave
him my bond, and, for reasons I contrived, I obliged him
to secrecy. He died within the year, and left nine
children, his wife being dead before himself. I came to
seal up his papers for my lord’s security ; his eldest
daughter entreated me to look through them all, and to
give her an account of what was their stock and what was
their debt. I very willingly undertook it; and in going
through the papers, I put my own bond in my pocket. His
circumstances proving bad, his nine children are now
starving. These things I desire you to represent to my
wife, and take her brother with you, and let them be
immediately rectified, for she has a sufficient funds to
do it upon; and if it were done, I think I would be
easy, and therefore I hope you will make no delay.
After a short pause, I answered, ’Tis a good errand,
Cool, you are sending me to do justice to the oppressed
and injured ; but notwithstanding I see myself come in
for £200 Scots, yet I beg a little time to consider the
matter. And since I find you are as much master of
reason now as ever, and more than ever, I will reason
upon the matter in its general view, and then with
respect to the expediency of my being the messenger ;
and this I will do with all manner of frankness. From
what you have said, I see clearly what your present
condition is, so that I need not ask any more questions
on that head ; and you need not bid me take courage, for
at this moment I am no more afraid of you than a
COOL-- Well, say on.
OGIL.-- Tell me, then, since such is your ability that
you can fly a thousand miles in the twinkling of an eye,
if your desire to do the oppressed justice be as great
as you pretend, what’s the reason you don’t fly to the
coffers of some rich Jew or banker, where are thousands
of gold and silver, invisibly lift, and invisibly return
it to the coffers of the injured? And since your wife
has sufficient funds, and more, why cannot you empty her
purse invisibly, to make these people amends ?
COOL-- Because I cannot.
OGIL.-- You have satisfied me entirely upon that head.
But pray, Cool, what is the reason that you cannot go to
your wife yourself, and tell her what you have a mind? I
should think this a more sure way to gain your point.
COOL-- Because I will not.
OGIL.-- That is not an answer to me, Cool.
COOL-- That is one of the questions that I told you long
ago I would not answer : but if you go as I desire, I
promise to give you full satisfaction after you have
done your business. Trust me for once, and believe me I
will not disappoint you.
Upon the 10th of April 1722, coming from Old Cambus,
upon the post-road, I met with Cool on the head
of the heath called the Pees. He asked me, if I had
considered the matter he had recommended? I told him I
had, and was in the same opinion I was in when we parted
; that I would not possibly undertake his commissions,
unless he could give me them in writing under his hand.
I told him that the list of his grievances were so great
that I could not possibly remember them without being
put in writing ; and that I wanted nothing but reason to
determine me in that, and all other affairs of my life.
" I know, ” says he, " this is a mere evasion : but tell
me if the Laird of Thurston will do it? ”
"I am sure,” said I, "he will not ; and if he should, I
would do all that I could to hinder him ; for I think he
has as little to doing these matters as myself. But tell
me, Cool, is it not as easy to write your story as tell
it, or ride on what-do-ye-call-him? for I have forgot
your horse’s name.”
COOL-- No, sir, it is not; and perhaps I may convince
you of the reasonableness of it afterwards.
OGIL.-- I would be glad to hear a reason that is solid
for not speaking to your wife yourself; but, however,
any rational creature may see what a fool I would make
of myself, if I would go to Dumfries, and tell your wife
you had appeared to me, and told of so many forgeries
and villanies that you had committed, and that she
behoved to make reparation; the consequence might
perhaps be, that she would scold me; for she would be
loath to part with any money she possesses, and
therefore tell me I was mad, or possibly pursue me for
calumny. How would I vindicate myself; how could I prove
that you ever spoke with me? Mr Paton and other
ministers in Dumfries would tell me the devil had spoken
with me; and why should I repeat these things for truth
which he, that was a liar from the beginning, had told
me? C—p—l and B—r— H--rie would be upon me, and pursue
me before the commissary; everybody would look upon me
as brain-sick or mad : therefore, I entreat you, do not
insist upon sending me so ridiculous an errand. The
reasonableness of my demands I leave to your own
consideration, as you did your former to mine. But
dropping the matter till our next interview, give me
leave to enter upon some more diverting subject. I do
not know, Cool, but the information you have given may
do as much service to mankind, as the redress of all
these grievances would amount to. Mr Ogilvie died very
soon after. --- OLD CHAPBOOK