Page:Life and death of Rab Ha'.pdf/3

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a farm servant or agricultural labourer, Rab speedily abandoned settled employment for the idle roystering life of a vagrant, and became one of the most perfect specimens of the big beggarman which Scotland could produce. Powerful in frame, and of unbounded capacity of stomach, Rab wandered over all the west country, and was rarely absent from horse-race, fox hunt, or coursing, for which he had a natural taste; but he delighted in these meetings more from the unlimited quantities of meal and drink which were supplied to him occasionally by those who know his failing or ruling passion and were anxious to see how mech the man could devour. Nothing pleased Rab more than when any party foolishly took up a bet on his eating qualities, and it is said that those who staked their money on his powers were rarely the losers. Glasgow was generally his head-quarters, and so long as he had the liberty of throwing his limbs to rest in any stable or straw house, his utmost ambition as to lodgings was satisfied. Rab was a great admirer of the pugilistic art, but he had no great notion for fighting himself; and beyond the appetite to gratify desires little above those of the brute, we are not aware