The following  jeu d’esprit is printed in the Elgin papers as front the Dufftown Magazine, a miscellany circulating in MS. in Dufftown, and to which reference was made in a recent number of the Journal: –

Elgin a city! Brechin a city! Arbroath a city! Every townie or half-score of hamlets that can boast of a broken down kirk or an old castle wall, a city! And Dufftown but a village! Surely the presumption of the would-be citizens unbounded, or our apathy and ignorance unpardonable. We, who conferred the title of city upon Aberdeen when we gave them our bishop!—we, who, burring St Andrews, have indisputably the most ancient claim to an episcopal see and royal favour in Scotland! – we, who enjoyed the privilege of a frequent residence of a prince of the “ blood” —Stuart (Wolf of Badenoch)—at Balvenie!—we, who were visited, admired, and commemorated by James (when at Kininvie)! —to be styled villagers, and the inhabitants of such mush­room towns as Elgin, Brechin, and Aberdeen to be called “ cities.” The thing is preposterous. Dufftown is and shall be a city.

This is no idle bantering boast. The grounds upon which we rest our claims for citizenship are no ideal or speculative theories—no captious interpretation of this or that signet inscription—no scratching upon bells or chiselling upon stone—but broad and indisputable historical facts. It is true we cannot boast of all the conditions laid down by Coke and Blackstone as necessary to form a city; but they were contradictory blockheads, who laid down laws which neither they nor our lathers could understand, and showed their incapacity for judging what was or was not a city, by giving that title to places that never enjoyed the privileges which they declared essential to obtaining the honour. With them, therefore, and their definitions we have nothing to do; and we shall content ourselves with following what appears to us to be more common-sense and consistent judges.

But not to tire the reader with a long list of ancient authori­ties, we must beg of him to suppose that after a great deal of dusting of cobwebs, &c , from these huge old-fashioned vo­lumes, we have deduced the fact that two out of the three following conditions were necessary to form a city. These were—1st. The seat of a bishop or coequal ecclesiastical authority; 2d. The favour of royalty, or a royal residence occasionally occupied by royalty; and 3d. The seat of a uni­versity. Comparatively few of those towns designated cities have enjoyed all these. London, for example, until recently, had no university. Elgin has no university yet; and many more that have enjoyed the title for centuries wanted one or other of them. That Dufftown had the first and second of these there can be no doubt. Not only was our church the second one built in Scotland, but it was the second one in Scotland that had a bishop. As early as 1010 we received marks of the royal favour by having airing added to the church from the royal purse, and so favourably were we re­membered by Malcolm Canmore that a short time after this he elevated our priest to the dignity of a bishop, and gave many other substantial proofs of his royal affection.

We have no means of knowing how our venerable ancestors behaved when the pride of the Aberdonians coveted our bishop and wiled him away to their ugly town, under pretence of pre­siding over their university; but if they bore any resem­blance to their acute and hopeful posterity, they must have perceived that it was of little importance whether my Lord Bishop resided permanently at Aberdeen or Dufftown, seeing that “ once provost, aye my lord” is the rule in making cities, and that therefore it could make no difference to their children’s chances of obtaining the title, it may be said, if all this be true—if Malcolm Canmore was really so much enamoured with the hamlets of I.aichie, or with the brown hills and green valleys around it—why do we find no ancient document, no city seal, or other indisputable evidence that it ever enjoyed the title of city? Now, our answer to this is easy and triumphant. Dufftown, Laichie, or Mortlach—three different names for the same place—never was called a city by ancient or modern historian; but the reason is obvious—the word city was not used so far back as the time when we were in the enjoyment of our privileges. Whether it had been quarried out of some foreign gibberish, and smoothed and polished till it was fit for sitting in company with our Saxon tongue, we cannot tell; but at any rate it was not used to signify or seal the royal favour, nor for nearly a hundred years later, so that there can be no wonder that we were never denominated citizens.

But surely that is no reason why we should not be so now. If Sr George Brown chose to signify his favour for the steed that bore him through the battle by calling him by the name of “ Alma,” surely the charger that as nobly rode, but who lost his master before the christening of horses by the name of engagements had become fashionable, has as much claim to the name—nay, if there is honour or glory to be had from it, he has a double claim to it, seeing that be whose pride it would have been to give it no longer lives to confer it. Dufftown thus claims to be a city, because had the title been in use when it was in possession of the privileges upon which other towns rest their claims to citizenship, it would not only have been one, but the second one in Scotland.

Some captious individuals may say, Dufftown is but of modern erection, and not over half a century old. To such a caviller we would say, what town is the same now as it was six or seven hundred years ago? This one is extending to the east, that one to the west, another to the south, and a fourth to the north; but who would be so stupid as to suppose that because a new street was added, a few new houses built, a few old ones pulled down, that the privileges that attended the mud hotels did not abide with the now palaces, though they do not occupy exactly the same site of ground. The thing is not to he thought of. Dufftown is and shall be a city; and woe betide the man who dares to think or speak against it, for our provost and Magistrates are not men to be trilled with, especially when the honour and dignity of our city is concerned—so let all whom it may concern take warning and beware !

We are not sure when the meeting of Town Council is to take places to take into consideration the size, shape, and weight of the city seal – the inscription to be inscribed thereon—the city coat of arms but no doubt it will be the magisterial robes, &c., &c but no doubt it will be soon—perhaps is already sitting. For it must be remembered that since we date our claims to citizenship from a period prior to the introduction of the word, we cannot be expected to all the appendages that legally hang to it, any more than than a man may be expected to have a chain, and bunch of seals and keys, who had no hope of getting a watch to hang them to. But now that we have found out that we not only possess the watch, but have actually been entitled to it for eight centuries and a half, any the promptest measures will be adopted to exhibit our trea­sure to the world in the most fashionable style. In fact, we are authorised to state, that all the works in the city library that can throw any light upon heraldry have been out for some time, and, for aught we know, tile seal and coat of arms may be fixed upon and on its way to London for the sanction of royalty; and it is confidently expected, that in considera­tion of our long and cruel neglect, Her Majesty will confer the honour of knighthood upon our Provost at least!