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Miscellaneous Prose: 8

Sir Walter Scott: Miscellaneous Prose Works --- volume I, part 8 =========================================== a machine-readable transcription

Version: 1.0 1997-03-07

Contents:

  • Letters from Malachi Malagrowther, Esq. on the Proposed Change of Currency. On Planting Waste Lands. On Landscape Gardening. Davy's Salmonia. Life of Kemble---Kelly's Reminiscences. Life and Works of John Home. Reliques of Robert Burns.

    MALACHI MALAGROWTHER.

    [picture of Chiefswood Cottage, Abbotsford.]

    ROBERT CADELL, EDINBURGH. MDCCCXLI.

For further information about the printed edition and the transcription, please see the notes at the end of this text file.

CONTENTS.

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Letter I.,

------ II.,

------ III.,

</p> <p><table of contents></p> <p>Letters of Malachi Malagrowther on the Currency, <? p1a></p> <p>On Planting Waste Lands, <? p32></p> <p>On Landscape Gardening, <? p50></p> <p>Davy's Salmonia, <? p68></p> <p>Life of J. P. Kemble---Kelly's Reminiscences, <? p81></p> <p>Life and Work of John Home, <? p103></p> <h2>Reliques of Robert Burns, <? p123></h2> <p> <u>February</u> 21, 1826.</p> <p> =My dear Mr. Journalist,=<*></p> <p><title> Letters<! p1a> from Malachi Malagrowther, Esq. on the Proposed Change of Currency.<p> I am by pedigree a discontented person, so that you may throw this letter into the fire, if you have any apprehensions of incurring the displeasure of your superiors. I am, in fact, the lineal descendant of Sir Mungo Malagrowther, who makes a figure in the <u>Fortunes of Nigel,</u> and have retained a reasonable proportion of his ill luck, and, in consequence, of his ill temper. If, therefore, I should chance to appear too warm and poignant in my observations, you must impute it to the hasty and peevish humour which I derive from my ancestor. But, at the same time, it often happens that this disposition leads me to speak useful, though unpleasant truths, when more prudent men hold their tongues and eat their pudding. A lizard is an ugly and disgusting thing enough; but, methinks, if a lizard were to run over my face and awaken me, which is said to be their custom when they observe a snake approach a sleeping person, I should neither scorn his intimation, nor feel justifiable in crushing him to death, merely because he is a filthy little abridgement of a crocodile. Therefore, ``for my love, I pray you, wrong me not.''</p> <p> I am old, sir, poor, and peevish, and, therefore, I may be wrong; but when I look back on the last fifteen or twenty years, and more especially on the last ten, I think I see my native country of Scotland, if it is yet to be called by a title so discriminative, falling, so far as its national, or rather, perhaps, I ought now to say its <u>provincial,</u> interests are concerned, daily into more absolute contempt. Our ancestors were a people of some consideration in the councils of the empire. So late as my own younger days, an English minister would have paused, even in a favourite measure, if a reclamation of national rights had been made by a Member for Scotland, supported, as it uniformly then was, by the voice of her representatives and her people. Such ameliorations in our peculiar system as were thought necessary, in order that North Britain might keep pace with her sister in the advance of improvement, were suggested by our own countrymen, persons well acquainted with our peculiar system of laws (as different from those of England as from those of France,) and who knew exactly how to adapt the desired alteration to the principle of our legislative enactments, so that the whole machine might, as mechanics say, work well and easily. For a long time this wholesome check upon innovation, which requires the assimilation of a proposed improvement with the general constitution of the country to which it has been recommended, and which ensures that important point, by stipulating that the measure shall originate with those to whom the spirit of the constitution is familiar, has been, so far as Scotland is concerned, considerably disused. Those who have stepped forward to repair the gradual failure of our constitutional system of law, have been persons that, howsoever qualified in other respects, have had little farther knowledge of its construction, than could be acquired by a hasty and partial survey, taken just before they commenced their labours. Scotland and her laws have been too often subjected to the alterations of any person who chose to found himself a reputation, by bringing in a bill to cure some defect which had never been felt in practice, but which was represented as a frightful bugbear to English statesmen, who, wisely and judiciously tenacious of the legal practice and principles received at home, are proportionally startled at the idea of any thing abroad which cannot be brought to assimilate with them.</p> <p> The English seem to have made a compromise with the active tendency to innovation, which is one great characteristic of the day. Wise and sagacious themselves, they are nervously jealous of innovations in their own laws---_Nolumus leges Angli<ae> mutari,_ is written on the skirts of their judicial robes, as the most sacred texts of Scripture were inscribed on the phylacteries of the Rabbies. The belief that the Common Law of England constitutes the perfection of human reason, is a maxim bound upon their foreheads. Law Monks they have been called in other respects, and like Monks they are devoted to their own Rule, and admit no question of its infallibility. There can be no doubt that their love of a system, which, if not perfect, has so much in it that is excellent, originates in the most praiseworthy feelings. Call it if you will the prejudice of education, it is still a prejudice honourable in itself, and useful to the public. I only find fault with it, because, like the Friars in the Duenna monopolizing the bottle, these English Monks will not tolerate in their lay-brethren of the North the slightest pretence to a similar feeling.</p> <p> In England, therefore, no renovation can be proposed affecting the administration of justice, without being subjected to the strict inquiry of the Guardians of the Law, and afterwards resisted pertinaciously until time and the most mature and reiterated discussion shall have proved its utility, nay, its necessity. The old saying is still true in all its points---Touch but a cobweb in Westminster-Hall, and the old spider will come out in defence of it. This caution may sometimes postpone the adoption of useful amendments, but it operates to prevent all hasty and experimental innovations; and it is surely better that existing evils should be endured for some time longer, than that violent remedies should be hastily adopted, the unforeseen and unprovided-for consequences of which are often so much more extensive than those which had been foreseen and reckoned upon. An ordinary mason can calculate upon the exact gap which will be made by the removal of a corner-stone in an old building; but what architect, not intimately acquainted with the whole edifice, can presume even to guess how much of the structure is, or is not, to follow?</p> <p> The English policy in this respect is a wise one, and we have only to wish they would not insist upon keeping it all to themselves. But those who are most devoted to their own religion, have least sympathy for the feelings of dissenters; and a spirit of proselytism has of late shown itself in England for extending the benefits of their system, in all its strength and weakness, to a country, which has been hitherto flourishing and contented under its own. They adopted the conclusion, that all English enactments are right; but the system of municipal law in Scotland is not English, therefore it is wrong. Under sanction of this syllogism. our rulers have indulged and encouraged a spirit of experiment and innovation at our expense, which they resist obstinately when it is to be carried through at their own risk.</p> <p> For more than one half of last century, this was a practice not to be thought of. Scotland was during that period disaffected, in bad humour, armed too, and smarting under various irritating recollections. This is not the sort of patient for whom an experimental legislator chooses to prescribe. There was little chance of making Saunders take the patent pill by persuasion---main force was a dangerous argument, and some thought claymores had edges.</p> <p> This period passed away, a happier one arrived, and Scotland, no longer the object of terror, or at least great uneasiness, to the British Government, was left from the year 1750 under the guardianship of her own institutions, to win her silent way to national wealth and consequence. Contempt probably procured for her the freedom from interference, which had formerly been granted out of fear; for the medical faculty are as slack in attending the garrets of paupers as the caverns of robbers. But neglected as she was, and perhaps because she was neglected, Scotland, reckoning her progress during the space from the close of the American war to the present day, has increased her prosperity in a ratio more than five times greater than that of her more fortunate and richer sister. She is now worth the attention of the learned faculty, and God knows she has had plenty of it. She has been bled and purged, spring and fall, and <u>talked</u> into courses of physic, for which she had little occasion. She has been of late a sort of experimental farm, upon which every political student has been permitted to try his theory---a kind of common property, where every juvenile statesman has been encouraged to make his inroads, as in Morayland, where, anciently, according to the idea of the old Highlanders, all men had a right to take their prey---a subject in a common dissecting-room left to the scalpel of the junior students, with the degrading inscription,---<u>Fiat experimentum in corpore vili.</u></p> <p> I do not mean to dispute, sir, that much alteration was necessary in our laws, and that much benefit has followed many of the great changes which have taken place. I do not mean to deprecate a gradual approach to the English system, especially in commercial law. The Jury Court, for example, was a fair experiment, in my opinion, cautiously introduced as such, and placed under such regulations as might best assimilate its forms with those of the existing Supreme Court. I beg therefore to be considered as not speaking of the alterations themselves, but of the apparent hostility towards our municipal institutions, as repeatedly manifested in the course of late proceedings, tending to force and wrench them into a similarity with those of England.</p> <p> The opinions of our own lawyers, nay, of our Judges, than whom wiser and more honourable men never held that high character, have been, if report speaks true, something too much neglected and controlled in the course of these important changes, in which, methinks, they ought to have had a leading and primary voice. They have been almost avowedly regarded not as persons the best qualified to judge of proposed innovations, but as prejudiced men, determined to oppose them right or wrong. The last public Commission was framed on the very principle, that if Scotch Lawyers were needs to be employed, a sufficient number of these should consist of gentlemen, who, whatever their talents and respectability might be in other respects, had been too long estranged from the study of Scottish law, to retain any accurate recollection of an abstruse science, or any decided partiality for its technical forms. This was done avowedly for the purpose of evading the natural partiality of the Scottish Judges and practitioners to their own system; that partiality, which the English themselves hold so sacred a feeling in their own Judges and Counsel learned in the law. I am not, I repeat, complaining of the result of the Commissions, but of the spirit in which the alterations were undertaken. Unquestionably much was done in brushing up and improving the old machinery of Scottish Law Courts, and in making it move more rapidly, though scarce, I think, more correctly than before. Despatch has been much attended to. But it may be ultimately found, that the timepiece which runs fastest does not intimate the hour most accurately. At all events, the changes have been made and established---there let them rest. And had I, Malachi Malagrowther, the sole power tomorrow of doing so, I would not restore the old forms of judicial proceedings; because I hold the constitution of Courts of Justice too serious matters to be put back or forward at pleasure, like a boy's first watch, merely for experiment's sake.</p> <p> What I <u>do</u> complain of is the general spirit of slight and dislike manifested to our national establishments, by those of the sister country who are so very zealous in defending their own; and not less do I complain of their jealousy of the opinions of those who cannot but be much better acquainted than they, both with the merits and deficiencies of the system, which hasty and imperfectly informed judges have shown themselves so anxious to revolutionize.</p> <p> There is no explanation to be given of this but one---namely, the entire conviction and belief of our English brethren, that the true Themis is worshipped in Westminster Hall, and that her adorers cannot be too zealous in her service; while she, whose image an ingenious artist has depicted balancing herself upon a <u>te-totum</u> on the southern window of the Parliament House of Edinburgh, is a mere idol,---Diana of Ephesus,---whom her votaries worship, either because her shrine brings great gain to the craftsmen, or out of an ignorant and dotard superstition, which induces them to prefer the old Scottish <u>Mumpsimus</u> to the modern English <u>Sumpsimus.</u> Now, this is not fair construction in our friends, whose intentions in our behalf, we allow, are excellent, but who certainly are scarcely entitled to beg the question at issue without inquiry or discussion, or to treat us as the Spaniards treated the Indians, whom they massacred for worshipping the image of the sun, while they themselves bowed down to that of the Virgin Mary. Even Queen Elizabeth was contented with the evasive answer of Melville, when hard pressed with the trying question, whether Queen Mary or she were the fairest. We are willing, in the spirit of that answer, to say, that the Themis of Westminster Hall is the best fitted to preside over the administration of the larger and more fertile country of beef and pudding; while she of the te-totum (placed in that precarious position, we presume, to express her instability, since these new lights were struck out) claims a more limited but equally respectful homage, within her ancient jurisdiction--- _sua paupera regna_---the Land of Cakes. If this compromise does not appease the ardour of our brethren for converting us to English forms and fashions, we must use the scriptural question, ``Who hath required these things at your hands?''</p> <p> The inquiries and result of another commission are too much to the purpose to be suppressed. The object was to investigate the conduct of the Revenue Boards in Ireland and Scotland. In the former, it is well known, great mismanagement was discovered; for Pat, poor fellow, had been playing the loon to a considerable extent. In Scotland, <u>not a shadow of abuse prevailed.</u> You would have thought, Mr. Journalist, that the Irish Boards would have been reformed in some shape, and the Scotch establishments honourably acquitted, and suffered to continue on the footing of independence which they had so long enjoyed, and of which they had proved themselves so worthy. Not so, sir. The Revenue Boards, in both countries, underwent exactly the same regulation, were deprived of their independent consequence, and placed under the superintendence of English control; the innocent and the guilty being treated in every respect alike. Now, on the side of Scotland, this was like Trinculo losing his bottle in the pool---there was not only dishonour in the thing, but an infinite loss.</p> <p> I have heard two reasons suggested for this indiscriminating application of punishment to the innocent and to the culpable.</p> <p> In the first place, it was honestly confessed that Ireland would never have quietly submitted to the indignity offered to her, unless poor inoffensive Scotland had been included in the regulation. The Green Isle, it seems, was of the mind of a celebrated lady of quality, who, being about to have a decayed tooth drawn, refused to submit to the operation till she had seen the dentist extract a sound and serviceable grinder from the jaws of her waiting-woman--- and her humour was to be gratified. The lady was a termagant dame---the wench a tame-spirited simpleton---the dentist an obliging operator---and the teeth of both were drawn accordingly.</p> <p> This gratification of his humours is gained by Pat's being up with the pike and shilelah on any or no occasion. God forbid Scotland should retrograde towards such a state---much better that the deil, as in Burns's song, danced away with the whole excisemen in the country. We do not want to hear her prate of her number of millions of men, and her old military exploits. We had better remain in union with England, even at the risk of becoming a subordinate species of Northumberland, as far as national consequence is concerned, than remedy ourselves by even hinting the possibility of a rupture. But there is no harm in wishing Scotland to have just so much ill-nature, according to her own proverb, as may keep her good-nature from being abused; so much national spirit as may determine her to stand by her own rights, conducting her assertion of them with every feeling of respect and amity towards England.</p> <p> The other reason alleged for this equal distribution of <u>punishment,</u> as if it had been the influence of the common sun, or the general rain, to the just and the unjust, was one which is extremely predominant at present with our Ministers---the <u>necessity</u> of =uniformity= in all such cases; and the consideration what an awkward thing it would be to have a Board of Excise or Customs remaining independent in the one country, solely because they had, without impeachment, discharged their duty; while the same establishment was cashiered in another, for no better reason than that it had been misused.</p> <p> This reminds us of an incident, said to have befallen at the castle of Glammis, when these venerable towers were inhabited by a certain old Earl of Strathmore, who was as great an admirer of uniformity as the Chancellor of the Exchequer could have desired. He and his gardener directed all in the garden and pleasure-grounds upon the ancient principle of exact correspondence between the different parts, so that each alley had its brother; a principle which, renounced by gardeners, is now adopted by statesmen. It chanced, once upon a time, that a fellow was caught committing some petty theft, and, being taken in the manner, was sentenced by the Bailie MacWheeble of the jurisdiction to stand for a certain time in the baronial pillory, called the <u>jougs,</u> being a collar and chain, one of which contrivances was attached to each side of the portal of the great avenue which led to the castle. The thief was turned over accordingly to the gardener, as ground-officer, to see the punishment duly inflicted. When the Thane of Glammis returned from his morning ride, he was surprised to find both sides of the gateway accommodated each with a prisoner, like a pair of heraldic supporters <u>chained</u> and <u>collared proper.</u> He asked the gardener, whom he found watching the place of punishment, as his duty required, whether another delinquent had been detected? ``No, my Lord,'' said the gardener, in the tone of a man excellently well satisfied with himself,---``but I thought the single fellow looked very awkward standing on one side of the gate-way, so I gave half-a-crown to one of the labourers to stand on the other side for _uniformity's sake._'' This is exactly a case in point, and probably the only one which can be found--- with this sole difference, that I do not hear that the members of the Scottish Revenue Board got any boon for standing in the pillory with those of Ireland---for uniformity's sake.</p> <p> Lastly, sir, I come to this business of extending to Scotland, the provisions of the Bill prohibiting the issue of notes under <L>5 in six months after the period that the regulation shall be adopted in England.</p> <p> I am not about to enter upon the question which so much agitates speculative writers upon the wealth of nations, or attempt to discuss what proportion of the precious metals ought to be detained within a country; what are the best means of keeping it there; or to what extent the want of specie can be supplied by paper credit: I will not ask if a poor man can be made a rich one, by compelling him to buy a service of plate, instead of the delf ware which served his turn. These are questions I am not adequate to solve. But I beg leave to consider the question in a practical point of view, and to refer myself entirely to experience.</p> <p> I assume, without much hazard of contradiction, that Banks have existed in Scotland for near one hundred and twenty years---that they have flourished, and the country has flourished with them--- and that during the last fifty years particularly, provincial Banks, or branches of the principal established and chartered Banks, have gradually extended themselves in almost every Lowland district in Scotland; that the notes, and especially the small notes, which they distribute, entirely supply the demand for a medium of currency; and that the system has so completely expelled gold from the country of Scotland, that you never by any chance espy a guinea there, unless in the purse of an accidental stranger, or in the coffers of these Banks themselves. This is granting the facts of the case as broadly as can be asked.</p> <p> It is not less unquestionable, that the consequence of this banking system, as conducted in Scotland, has been attended with the greatest advantage to the country. The facility which it has afforded to the industrious and enterprising agriculturist or manufacturer, as well as to the trustees of the public in executing national works, has converted Scotland, from a poor, miserable, and barren country, into one where, if nature has done less, art and industry have done more, than in perhaps any country in Europe, England herself not excepted. Through means of the credit which this system has afforded, roads have been made, bridges built, and canals dug, opening up to reciprocal communication the most sequestered districts of the country---manufactures have been established, unequalled in extent or success---wastes have been converted into productive farms---the productions of the earth for human use have been multiplied twenty-fold, while the wealth of the rich, and the comforts of the poor, have been extended in the same proportion. And all this in a country where the rigour of the climate, and sterility of the soil, seem united to set improvement at defiance. Let those who remember Scotland forty years since bear witness if I speak truth or falsehood.</p> <p> There is no doubt that this change has been produced by the facilities of procuring credit, which the Scottish banks held forth, both by discounting bills, and by granting cash-accounts. Every undertaking of consequence, whether by the public or by individuals, has been carried on by such means; at least, exceptions are extremely rare.</p> <p> There is as little doubt that the Banks could not have furnished these necessary funds of cash, without enjoying the reciprocal advantage of their own notes being circulated in consequence, and by means of the accommodation thus afforded. It is not to be expected that every undertaking which the system enabled speculators or adventurers to commence, should be well-judged, attentively carried on, or successful in issue. Imprudence in some cases, misfortune in others, have had their usual quantity of victims. But in Scotland, as elsewhere, it has happened in many instances that improvements, which turned out ruinous to those who undertook them, have, notwithstanding, themselves ultimately produced the most beneficial advantages to the country, which derived in such instances an addition to its general prosperity, even from the undertakings which had proved destructive to the private fortune of the projectors.</p> <p> Not only did the Banks dispersed throughout Scotland afford the means of bringing the country to an unexpected and almost marvellous degree of prosperity, but in no considerable instance, save one, have their own over-speculating undertakings been the means of interrupting that prosperity. The solitary exception was the undertaking called the Ayr Bank, rashly entered into by a large body of country gentlemen and others, unacquainted with commercial affairs, and who had moreover the misfortune not only to set out on false principles, but to get false rogues for their principal agents and managers. The fall of this Bank brought much calamity on the country; but two things are remarkable in its history: First, that under its too prodigal, yet beneficial influence, a fine county (that of Ayr) was converted from a desert into a fertile land. 2dly, That, though at a distant interval, the Ayr Bank paid all its engagements, and the loss only fell on the original stockholders. The warning was, however, a terrible one, and has been so well attended to in Scotland, that very few attempts seem to have been afterwards made to establish Banks prematurely---that is, where the particular district was not in such an advanced state as to require the support of additional credit; for in every such case, it was judiciously foreseen, the forcing a capital on the district could only lead to wild speculation, instead of supporting solid and promising undertakings.</p> <p> The character and condition of the persons pursuing the profession, ought to be noticed, however slightly. The Bankers of Scotland have been, generally speaking, <u>good</u> men, in the mercantile phrase, showing, by the wealth of which they have died possessed, that their credit was sound; and <u>good</u> men also, many of them eminently so, in the more extensive and better sense of the word, manifesting, by the excellence of their character, the fairness of the means by which their riches were acquired. There may have been, among so numerous a body, men of a different character, fishers in troubled waters, capitalists who sought gain not by the encouragement of fair trade and honest industry, but by affording temporary fuel to rashness or avarice. But the number of upright traders in the profession has narrowed the means of mischief, which such Christian Shylocks would otherwise have possessed. There was loss, there was discredit, in having recourse to such characters, when honest wants could be fairly supplied by upright men, and on liberal terms. Such reptiles have been confined in Scotland to batten upon their proper prey of folly, and feast, like worms, on the corruption in which they are bred.</p> <p> Since the period of the Ayr Bank, now near half a century, I recollect very few instances of Banking Companies issuing notes, which have become insolvent. One, about thirty years since, was the Merchant Bank of Stirling, which never was in high credit, having been known almost at the time of its commencement by the ominous nickname of <u>Black in the West.</u> Another was within these ten years, the East-Lothian Banking Company, whose affairs had been very ill-conducted by a villanous manager. In both cases, the notes were paid up in full. In the latter case, they were taken up by one of the most respectable houses in Edinburgh; so that all the current engagements were paid without the least check to the circulation of their notes, or inconvenience to poor or rich, who happened to have them in possession. The Union Bank of Falkirk also became insolvent within these fifteen years, but paid up its engagements without much loss to the creditors. Other cases there may have occurred not coming within my recollection; but I think none which made any great sensation, or could at all affect the general confidence of the country in the stability of the system. None of these bankruptcies excited much attention, or as we have seen, caused any considerable loss.</p> <p> In the present unhappy commercial distress, I have always heard and understood, that the Scottish Banks have done all in their power to alleviate the evils which came thickening on the country; and, far from acting illiberally, that they have come forward to support the tottering credit of the commercial world with a frankness which augured the most perfect confidence in their own resources. We have heard of only one provincial Bank being even for a moment in the predicament of suspicion; and of that copartnery the funds and credit were so well understood, that their correspondents in Edinburgh, as in the case of the East Lothian Bank formerly mentioned, at once guaranteed the payment of their notes, and saved the public even from momentary agitation, and individuals from the possibility of distress. I ask what must be the stability of a system of credit, of which such an universal earthquake could not displace or shake even the slightest individual portion?</p> <p> Thus stands the case in Scotland; and it is clear, any restrictive enactment affecting the Banking system, or their mode of issuing notes, must be adopted in consequence of evils, operating elsewhere perhaps, but certainly unknown in this country.</p> <p> In England, unfortunately, things have been very different, and the insolvency of many provincial banking companies, of the most established reputation for stability, has greatly distressed the country, and alarmed London itself, from the necessary re-action of their misfortunes upon their correspondents in the capital.</p> <p> I do not think, sir, that the Advocate of Scotland is called upon to go farther, in order to plead an exemption from any experiment which England may think proper to try to cure her own malady, than to say such malady does not exist in her jurisdiction. It is surely enough to plead, ``We are well, our pulse and complexion prove it---let those who are sick take physic.'' But the opinion of the English Ministers is widely different; for granting our premises, they deny our conclusion.</p> <p> The peculiar humour of a friend, whom I lost some years ago, is the only one I recollect, which jumps precisely with the reasoning of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. My friend was an old Scottish laird, a bachelor and a humorist---wealthy, convivial, and hospitable, and of course having always plenty of company about him. He had a regular custom of swallowing, every night in the world, one of Dr. Anderson's pills, for which reasons may be readily imagined. But it is not so easy to account for his insisting on every one of his guests taking the same medicine; and whether it was by way of patronising the medicine, which is in some sense a national receipt, or whether the mischievous old wag amused himself with anticipating the scenes of delicate embarrassment, which the dispensation sometimes produced in the course of the night, I really cannot even guess. What is equally strange, he pressed this request with a sort of eloquence, which succeeded with every guest. No man escaped, though there were few who did not make resistance. His powers of persuasion would have been invaluable to a Minister of State. ``What! not one <u>Leetle Anderson,</u> to oblige your friend, your host, your entertainer! He had taken one himself---he would take another, if you pleased. ---Surely what was good for his complaints must of course be beneficial to yours?'' It was in vain you pleaded your being perfectly well,---your detesting the medicine,---your being certain it would not agree with you---none of the apologies were received as valid. You might be warm, pathetic, or sulky, fretful or patient, grave or serious, in testifying your repugnance, but you were equally a doomed man; escape was impossible. Your host was in his turn eloquent,---authoritative,---facetious, argumentative,---precatory,---pathetic, above all, pertinacious. No guest was known to escape the <u>Leetle Anderson.</u> The last time I experienced the laird's hospitality, there were present at the evening meal the following catalogue of guests:---a Bond-street dandy, of the most brilliant water, drawn thither by the temptation of grouse-shooting ---a writer from the neighbouring borough (the laird's <u>Doer,</u> I believe)---two country lairds, men of reserved and stiff habits---three sheep-farmers, as stiff-necked and stubborn as their own haltered rams---and I, Malachi Malagrowther, not facile or obvious to persuasion. There was also the Esculapius of the vicinity---one who gave, but elsewhere was never known to take medicine. All succumbed--- each took, after various degrees of resistance, according to his peculiar fashion, his own <u>Leetle Anderson.</u> The Doer took a brace. On the event I am silent. None had reason to congratulate himself on his complaisance. The laird has slept with his ancestors for some years, remembered sometimes with a smile on account of his humorous eccentricities, always with a sigh when his surviving friends and neighbours reflect on his kindliness and genuine beneficence. I have only to add, that I hope he has not bequeathed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, otherwise so highly gifted, his invincible powers of persuading folks to take medicine, which their constitutions do not require.</p> <p> Have I argued my case too high in supposing that the present intended legislative enactment is as inapplicable to Scotland, as a pair of elaborate knee-buckles would be to the dress of a kilted Highlander! I think not.</p> <p> I understand Lord Liverpool and the Chancellor of the Exchequer distinctly to have admitted the fact, that no distress whatever had originated in Scotland from the present issuing of small notes of the bankers established there, whether provincial in the strict sense, or sent abroad by branches of the larger establishments settled in the metropolis. No proof can be desired better than the admission of the adversary.</p> <p> Nevertheless, we have been positively informed by the newspapers that Ministers see no reason why any law adopted on this subject should not be imperative over all his Majesty's Dominions, including Scotland, <u>for uniformity's sake.</u> In my opinion, they might as well make a law that the Scotsmen, for uniformity's sake, should not eat oatmeal, because it is found to give Englishmen the heart-burn. If an ordinance prohibiting the oat-cake, can be accompanied with a regulation capable of being enforced, that in future, for uniformity's sake, our moors and uplands shall henceforth bear the purest wheat, I for one have no objection to the regulation. But till Ben-Nevis be level with Norfolkshire, though the natural wants of the two nations may be the same, the extent of these wants, natural or commercial, and the mode of supplying them, must be widely different, let the rule of uniformity be as absolute as it will. The nation which cannot raise wheat, must be allowed to eat oat-bread; the nation which is too poor to retain a circulating medium of the precious metals, must be permitted to supply its place with paper credit; otherwise, they must go without food, and without currency.</p> <p> If I were called on, Mr. Journalist, I think I could give some reasons why the system of banking which has been found well adapted for Scotland is not proper for England, and why there is no reason for inflicting upon us the intended remedy; in other words, why this political balsam of Fierabras, which is to relieve Don Quixote, may have a great chance to poison Sancho. With this view, I will mention briefly some strong points of distinction affecting the comparative credit of the banks in England and in Scotland; and they seem such as to furnish, to one inexperienced in political economics (upon the transcendental doctrines of which so much stress is now laid,) very satisfactory reasons for the difference which is not denied to exist betwixt the effects of the same general system in different countries.</p> <p> In Scotland, almost all Banking Companies consist of a considerable number of persons, many of them men of landed property, whose landed estates, with the burdens legally affecting them, may be learned from the records, for the expense of a few shillings; so that all the world knows, or may know, the general basis on which their credit rests, and the extent of real property, which, independent of their personal means, is responsible for their commercial engagements. In most banking establishments this fund of credit is considerable, in others immense; especially in those where the shares are numerous, and are held in small proportions, many of them by persons of landed estates, whose fortunes, however large, and however small their share of stock, must be all liable to the engagements of the Bank. In England, as I believe, the number of the partners engaged in a banking concern cannot exceed five; and though of late years their landed property has been declared subject to be attached by their commercial creditors, yet no one can learn, without incalculable trouble, the real value of that land, or with what mortgages it is burdened. Thus, _c<ae>teris paribus,_ the English banker cannot make his solvency manifest to the public, therefore cannot expect, or receive, the same unlimited trust, which is willingly and securely reposed in those of the same profession in Scotland.</p> <p> Secondly, the circulation of the Scottish bank-notes is free and unlimited; an advantage arising from their superior degree of credit. They pass without a shadow of objection through the whole limits of Scotland, and, although they cannot be legally tendered, are current nearly as far as York, in England. Those of English Banking Companies seldom extend beyond a very limited horizon; in two or three stages from the place where they are issued, many of them are objected to, and give perpetual trouble to any traveller who has happened to take them in change on the road. Even the most creditable provincial notes never approach London in a free tide---never circulate like blood to the heart, and from thence to the extremities, but are current within a limited circle; often, indeed, so very limited, that the notes issued in the morning, to use an old simile, fly out like pigeons from the dovecot, and are sure to return in the evening to the spot which they have left at break of day.</p> <p> Owing to these causes, and others which I forbear mentioning, the profession of provincial Bankers in England is limited in its regular profits, and uncertain in its returns, to a degree unknown in Scotland; and is, therefore, more apt to be adopted in the south by men of sanguine hopes and bold adventure (both frequently disproportioned to the extent of their capital,) who sink in mines, or other hazardous speculations, the funds which their banking credit enables them to command, and deluge the country with notes, which, on some unhappy morning, are found not worth a penny;---as those to whom the foul fiend has given apparent treasures, are said in due time to discover they are only pieces of slate.</p> <p> I am aware it may be urged, that the restrictions imposed on those English provincial Banks are necessary to secure the supremacy of the Bank of England; on the same principle on which dogs kept near the purlieus of a royal forest, were anciently lamed by the cutting off of one of the claws, to prevent their interfering with the royal sport. This is a very good regulation for England, for what I know; but why should the Scottish institutions, which do not, and cannot, interfere with the influence of the Bank of England, be put on a level with those of which such jealousy is, justly or unjustly, entertained? We receive no benefit from that immense Establishment, which, like a great oak, overshadows England from Tweed to Cornwall--- Why should our national plantations be cut down or cramped for the sake of what affords us neither shade nor shelter, and which besides can take no advantage by the injury done to us? Why should we be subjected to a monopoly, from which we derive no national benefit?</p> <p> I have only to add, that Scotland has not felt the slightest inconvenience from the want of specie, nay, that it has never been in request among them. A tradesman will take a guinea more unwillingly than a note of the same value---to the peasant the coin is unknown. No one ever wishes for specie save when upon a journey to England. In occasional runs upon particular houses, the notes of other Banking Companies have always been the value asked for---no holder of these notes ever demanded specie. The credit of one establishment might be doubted for the time---that of the general system was never brought into question. Even Avarice, the most suspicious of passions, has in no instance I ever heard of, desired to compose her hoards by an accumulation of the precious metals. The confidence in the credit of our ordinary medium has not been doubted even in the dreams of the most irritable and jealous of human passions.</p> <p> All these considerations are so obvious, that a statesman so acute as Mr. Robinson must have taken them in at the first glance, and must at the same time have deemed them of no weight, compared with the necessary conformity between the laws of the two kingdoms. I must, therefore, speak to the justice of this point of uniformity.</p> <p> Sir, my respected ancestor, Sir Mungo, when he had the distinguished honour to be <u>whipping,</u> or rather, <u>whipped boy,</u> to his Majesty James the Sixth of gracious memory, was always, in virtue of his office, scourged when the King deserved flogging; and the same equitable rule seems to distinguish the conduct of Government towards Scotland, as one of the three United Kingdoms. If Pat is guilty of peculation, Sister Peg loses her Boards of Revenue---if John Bull's cashiers mismanage his money-matters, those who have conducted Sister Margaret's to their own great honour, and her no less advantage, must be deprived of the power of serving her in future; at least that power must be greatly restricted and limited.<p> ``Quidquid delirant reges plectuntur Achivi.''</p> </p> </p> <p><epigraph> Ergo, Caledonia, nomen inane, Vale!<p> This levelling system, not equitable in itself, is infinitely unjust, if a story, often told by my poor old grandfather, was true, which I own I am inclined to doubt. The old man, sir, had learned in his youth, or dreamed in his dotage, that Scotland had become an integral part of England,---not in right of conquest, or rendition, or through any right of inheritance,---but in virtue of a solemn Treaty of Union. Nay, so distinct an idea had he of this supposed Treaty, that he used to recite one of its articles to this effect:---``That the laws in use within the kingdom of Scotland, do, after the Union, remain in the same force as before, but alterable by the Parliament of Great Britain, with this difference between the laws concerning public right, policy, and civil government, and those which concern private right, that the former may be made the same through the whole United Kingdom; but that no alteration be made on laws which concern private right, _excepting for the evident utility of the subjects within Scotland._'' When the old gentleman came to the passage, which you will mark in italics, he always clenched his fist, and exclaimed, ``_Nemo me impune lacesset!_'' which, I presume, are words belonging to the black art, since there is no one in the Modern Athens conjuror enough to understand their meaning, or least to comprehend the spirit of the sentiment which my grandfather thought they conveyed.</p> <p> I cannot help thinking, sir, that if there had been any truth in my grandfather's story, some Scottish Member would, on the late occasion, have informed the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that, in virtue of this treaty, it was no sufficient reason for innovating upon the private rights of Scotsmen in a most tender and delicate point, merely that the Right Honourable Gentleman saw no reason why the same law should not be current through the whole of his Majesty's dominions; and that, on the contrary, it was incumbent upon him to go a step further, and to show that the alteration proposed <u>was</u> for the =evident utility= _of the subjects within Scotland,_---a proposition disavowed by the Right Honourable Gentleman's candid admission, as well as by that of the Prime Minister, and contradicted in every circumstance by the actual state of the ease.</p> <p> Methinks, sir, our ``Chosen Five and Forty,'' supposing they had bound themselves to Minister's by such oaths of silence and obedience, as are taken by Carthusian friars, must have had free-will and speech to express their sentiments, had they been possessed of so irrefragable an argument in such a case of extremity. The sight of a father's life in danger is said to have restored the power of language to the dumb; and truly, the necessary defence of the rights of our native country is not, or at least ought not to be, a less animating motive. Lord Lauderdale almost alone interfered, and procured, to his infinite honour, a delay of six months in the extension of this act,---a sort of reprieve from the southern _jougs,_---by which we may have some chance of profiting, if, during the interval, we can show ourselves true Scotsmen, by some better proof than merely by being ``wise behind the hand.''</p> <p> In the first place, sir, I would have this Old Treaty searched for, and should it be found to be still existing, I think it decides the question. For, how can it be possible, that it should be for the ``evident utility'<code> of Scotland to alter her laws of private right, to the total subversion of a system under which she is admitted to have flourished for a century, and which has never within North Britain been attended with the inconveniences charged against it in the sister country, where, by the way, it ever existed? Even if the old parchment should be voted obsolete, there would be some satisfaction in having it looked out and preserved ---not in the Register-Office, or Advocates</code> Library, where it might awaken painful recollections ---but in the Museum of the Antiquaries, where, with the Solemn League and Covenant, the Letter of the Scottish Nobles to the Pope on the independence of their country, and other antiquated documents once held in reverence, it might silently contract dust, yet remain to bear witness that such things had been.</p> <p> I earnestly hope, however, that an international league of such importance may still be found obligatory on both the <u>high</u> and the <u>low</u> contracting parties; on that which has the power, and apparently the will, to break it, as well as on the weaker nation, who cannot, without incurring still worse, and more miserable consequences, oppose aggression, otherwise than by invoking the faith of treaties, and the national honour of Old England.</p> <p> In the second place, all ranks and bodies of men in North Britain (for all are concerned, the poor as well as the rich,) should express by petition their sense of the injustice which is offered to the country, and the distress which will probably be the necessary consequence. Without the power of issuing their own notes, the Banks cannot supply the manufacturer with that credit which enables him to pay his workmen, and wait his return; or accommodate the farmer with that fund which makes it easy for him to discharge his rent, and give wages to his labourers, while in the act of performing expensive operations which are to treble or quadruple the produce of his farm. The trustees on the high roads and other public works, so ready to stake their personal credit for carrying on public improvements, will no longer possess the power of raising funds by doing so. The whole existing state of credit is to be altered from top to bottom, and Ministers are silent on any remedy which such a state of things would imperiously require.</p> <p> These are subjects worth struggling for, and rather of more importance than generally come before County Meetings. The English legislature seems inclined to stultify our Law Authorities in their department; but let us at least try if they will listen to the united voice of a Nation in matters which so intimately concern its welfare, that almost every man must have formed a judgment on the subject, from something like personal experience. For my part, I cannot doubt the result.</p> <p> Times are undoubtedly different from those of Queen Anne, when Dean Swift having, in a political pamphlet, passed some sarcasms on the Scottish nation, as a poor and fierce people---the Scythians of Britain---the Scottish peers, headed by the Duke of Argyle, went in a body to the ministers, and compelled them to disown the sentiments which had been expressed by their partisan, and offer a reward of <L>300 for the author of the libel, well known to be the best advocate and most intimate friend of the existing administration. They demanded also, that the printer and publisher should be prosecuted before the House of Peers; and Harley, however unwillingly, was obliged to yield to their demand.</p> <p> In the celebrated case of Porteous, the English legislature saw themselves compelled to desist from vindictive measures, on account of a gross offence committed in the metropolis of Scotland. In that of the Roman Catholic Bill, they yielded to the voice of the Scottish people, or rather of the Scottish mob, and declared the proposed alteration of the law should not extend to North Britain. The cases were different, in point of merit, though the Scots were successful in both. In the one, a boon of clemency was extorted; in the other, concession was an act of decided weakness. But ought the present administration of Great Britain to show less deference to our temperate and general remonstrance, on a matter concerning ourselves only, than their predecessors did to the passions, and even the ill-founded and unjust prejudices, of our ancestors?</p> <p> Times, indeed, have changed since those days, and circumstances also. We are no longer a poor, that is, so <u>very poor</u> a country and people; and as we have increased in wealth, we have become somewhat poorer in spirit, and more loth to incur displeasure by contests upon mere etiquette, or national prejudice. But we have some grounds to plead for favour with England. We have borne our pecuniary impositions, during a long war, with a patience the more exemplary, as they lay heavier on us from our comparative want of means---our blood has flowed as freely as that of England or of Ireland---our lives and fortunes have been as unhesitatingly devoted to the defence of the empire--- our loyalty as warmly and willingly displayed towards the person of our Sovereign. We have consented with submission, if not with cheerfulness, to reductions and abolitions of public offices, required for the good of the state at large, but which must affect materially the condition, and even the respectability, of our over-burdened aristocracy. We have in every respect conducted ourselves as good and faithful subjects of the general empire.</p> <p> We do not boast of these things as actual merits; but they are at least duties discharged, and, in an appeal to men of honour and of judgment, must entitle us to be heard with patience, and even deference, on the management of our own affairs, if we speak unanimously, lay aside party feeling, and use the voice of one leaf of the holy Trefoil, one distinct and component part of the united kingdoms.</p> <p> Let no consideration deter us from pleading our own cause temperately but firmly, and we shall certainly receive a favourable audience. Even our acquisition of a little wealth, which might abate our courage on other occasions, should invigorate us to unanimous perseverance at the present crisis, when the very source of our national prosperity is directly, though unwittingly, struck at. Our plaids are, I trust, not yet sunk into Jewish gaberdines, to be wantonly spit upon; nor are we yet bound to ``receive the insult with a patient shrug.'' But exertion is now demanded on other accounts than those of mere honourable punctilio. Misers themselves will struggle in defence of their property, though tolerant of all aggressions by which that is not threatened. Avarice herself, however mean-spirited, will rouse to defend the wealth she possesses, and preserve the means of gaining more. Scotland is now called upon to rally in defence of the sources of her national improvement, and the means of increasing it; upon which, as none are so much concerned in the subject, none can be such competent judges as Scotsmen themselves.</p> <p> I cannot believe so generous a people as the English, so wise an administration as the present, will disregard our humble remonstrances, merely because they are made in the form of peaceful entreaty, and not <u>secundum perfervidum ingenium Scotorum,</u> with ``durk and pistol at our belt.'' It would be a dangerous lesson to teach the empire at large, that threats can extort what is not yielded to reasonable and respectful remonstrance.</p> <p> But this is not all. The principle of ``uniformity of laws,'' if not manfully withstood, may have other blessings in store for us. Suppose, that when finished with blistering Scotland while she is in perfect health, England should find time and courage to withdraw the veil from the deep cancer which is gnawing her own bowels, and make an attempt to stop the fatal progress of her <u>poor-rates.</u> Some system or other must be proposed in its place---a grinding one it must be, for it is not an evil to be cured by palliatives. Suppose the English, for uniformity's sake, insist that Scotland, which is at present free from this foul and shameful disorder, should nevertheless be included in the severe <u>treatment</u> which the disease demands, how would the landholders of Scotland like to undergo the scalpel and cautery, merely because England requires to be scarified?</p> <p> Or again;---Supposing England should take a fancy to impart to us her sanguinary criminal code, which, too cruel to be carried into effect, gives every wretch that is condemned a chance of one to twelve that he shall not be executed, and so turns the law into a lottery---would this be an agreeable boon to North Britain?</p> <p> Once more;---What if the English ministers should feel disposed to extend to us their equitable system of process respecting civil debt, which divides the advantages so admirably betwixt debtor and creditor---<u>That</u> equal dispensation of justice, which provides that an imprisoned debtor, if a rogue, may remain in undisturbed possession of a great landed estate, and enjoy in a jail all the luxuries of Sardanapalus, while the wretch to whom he owes money is starving; and that, to balance the matter, a creditor, if cruel, may detain a debtor in prison for a lifetime, and make, as the established phrase goes, _dice of his bones_---Would this admirable reciprocity of privilege, indulged alternately to knave and tyrant, please Saunders, better than his own humane action of Cessio, and his equitable process of Adjudication?</p> <p> I will not insist farther on such topics, for I dare say, that these apparent enormities in principle are, in England, where they have operation, modified and corrected in practice by circumstances unknown to me; so that, in passing judgment on them, I may myself fall into the error I deprecate, of judging of foreign laws without being aware of all the premises. Neither do I mean that we should struggle with illiberality against any improvements which can be borrowed from English principle. I would only desire that such ameliorations were adopted, not merely because they are English, but because they are suited to be assimilated with the laws of Scotland, and lead, in short, <u>to her evident utility,</u> and this on the principle, that in transplanting a tree, little attention need be paid to the character of the climate and soil from which it is brought, although the greatest care must be taken that those of the situation to which it is transplanted are fitted to receive it. It would be no reason for planting mulberry-trees in Scotland, that they luxuriate in the south of England. There is sense in the old proverb, ``Ilk land has its ain lauch.''</p> <p> In the present case, it is impossible to believe the extension of these restrictions to Scotland can be for the <u>evident utility</u> of the country, which has prospered so long and so uniformly under directly the contrary system.</p> <p> It is very probable I may be deemed illiberal in all this reasoning; but if to look for information to practical results rather than to theoretical principles, and to argue from the effect of the experience of a century, rather than the deductions of a modern hypothesis, be illiberality, I must sit down content with a censure, which will include wiser men than I. The philosophical tailors of Laputa, who wrought by mathematical calculation, had, no doubt, a supreme contempt for those humble fashioners who went to work by measuring the person of their customer; but Gulliver tells us that the worst clothes he ever wore were constructed upon abstract principles; and truly I think we have seen some laws, and may see more, not much better adapted to existing circumstances, than the captain's philosophical uniform to his actual person.</p> <p> It is true, that every wise statesman keeps sound and general political principles in his eye, as the pilot looks upon his compass to discover his true course. But this true course cannot always be followed out straight and diametrically; it must be altered from time to time, nay, sometimes apparently abandoned, on account of shoals, breakers, and headlands, not to mention contrary winds. The same obstacles occur to the course of the statesman. The point at which he aims may be important, the principle on which he steers may be just; yet the obstacles arising from rooted prejudices, from intemperate passions, from ancient practices, from a different character of people, from varieties in climate and soil, may cause a direct movement upon his ultimate object to be attended with distress to individuals, and loss to the community, which no good man would wish to occasion, and with dangers which no wise man would voluntarily choose to encounter.</p> <p> Although I think the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been rather precipitate in the decided opinion which he is represented to have expressed on this occasion, I am far from entertaining the slightest disrespect for the right honourable gentleman. ``I hear as good exclamation upon him as on any man in Messina, and though I am but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.'' But a decided attachment to abstract principle, and to a spirit of generalizing is---like a rash rider on a headstrong horse---very apt to run foul of local obstacles, which might have been avoided by a more deliberate career, where the nature of the ground had been previously considered.</p> <p> I make allowance for the temptation natural to an ingenious and active mind. There is a natural pride in following out an universal and levelling principle. It seems to augur genius, force of conception, and steadiness of purpose; qualities which every legislator is desirous of being thought to possess. On the other hand, the study of local advantages and impediments demands labour and inquiry, and is rewarded after all only with the cold and parsimonious praise due to humble industry. It is no less true, however, that measures which go straight and direct to a great general object, without noticing intervening impediments, must often resemble the fierce progress of the thunderbolt or the cannon-ball, those dreadful agents, which, in rushing right to their point, care not what ruin they make by the way. The sounder and more moderate policy, accommodating its measures to exterior circumstances, rather resembles the judicious course of a well-conducted highway, which, turning aside frequently from its direct course,<p> ``Winds round the cornfield and the hill of vines,''</p> </p> </p> <p><text> LETTER I.<! p1b><p> Can you tell me, sir, if this <u>uniformity</u> of civil institutions, which calls for such sacrifices, be at all descended from, or related to, a doctrine nearly of the same name, called Conformity in religious doctrine, very fashionable about 150 years since, which undertook to unite the jarring creeds of the United Kingdom to one common standard, and excited a universal strife by the vain attempt, and a thousand fierce disputes, in which she<p> ``umpire sate, And by decision more embroil'd the fray?''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>These Letters were addressed to the author's friend, Mr. <em> James Ballantyne, Editor of the <u>Edinburgh Weekly Journal,</u> </em> and they appeared in that newspaper in February and March, <em> 1826. They were then collected into a Pamphlet, and ran </em> through numerous editions: in the subsequent discussions in <em> Parliament, they were frequently referred to: and although </em> an elaborate answer, by the then Secretary of the Admiralty, <em> Mr. Croker, attracted much notice, and was, by the Government </em> of the time, expected to neutralise the effect of the <em> northern lucubrations---the proposed measure, as regarded </em> Scotland, was ultimately abandoned---and that result was * universally ascribed to Malachi Malagrowther.<p> The universal opinion of a whole kingdom, founded upon a century's experience, ought not to be lightly considered as founded in ignorance and prejudice. I am something of an agriculturist; and in travelling through the country, I have often had occasion to wonder that the inhabitants of particular districts had not adopted certain obvious improvements in cultivation. But, upon inquiry, I have usually found that appearances had deceived me, and that I had not reckoned on particular local circumstances, which either prevented the execution of the system I should have theoretically recommended, or rendered some other more advantageous in the particular circumstances.</p> <p> I do not therefore resist theoretical innovation in general; I only humbly desire it may not outrun the suggestions arising from the experience of ages. I would have the necessity felt and acknowledged before old institutions are demolished---the <u>evident utility</u> of every alteration demonstrated before it is adopted upon mere speculation. I submit our ancient system to the pruning-knife of the legislature, but would not willingly see our reformers employ a weapon, which, like the sword of Jack the Giant-Killer, <u>cuts before the point.</u></p> <p> It is always to be considered, that in human affairs, the very best imaginable result is seldom to be obtained, and that it is wise to content ourselves with the best which can be got. This principle speaks with a voice of thunder against violent innovation, for the sake of possible improvement, where things are already well. We ought not to desire better bread than is made of wheat. Our Scottish proverb warns us to <u>let weel bide;</u> and all the world has heard of the untranslateable Italian epitaph upon the man, who died of taking physic to make him better, when he was already in health.<h2> I am, Mr. Journalist,</h2> <p> Yours,</p> <p> =Malachi Malagrowther.=</p> <p> POSTSCRIPT.</p> </p> <p> Since writing these hasty thoughts, I hear it reported that we are to have an extension of our precarious reprieve, and that our six months are to be extended to six years. I would not have Scotland trust to this hollow truce. The measure ought, like all others, to be canvassed on its merits, and frankly admitted or rejected; it has been stirred, and ought to be decided. I request my countrymen not to be soothed into inactivity by that temporizing, and, I will say, unmanly vacillation. Government is pledged to nothing by taking an open course; for if the bill, so far as applicable to Scotland is at present absolutely laid aside, there can be no objection to their resuming it at any period, when, from change of circumstances, it may be advantageous to Scotland, and when, for what I know, it may be welcomed as a boon.</p> <p> But if held over our heads as a minatory measure, to take place within a certain period, what can the event be but to cripple and ultimately destroy the present system, on which a direct attack is found at present inexpedient? Can the Bankers continue to conduct their profession on the same secure footing, with an abrogation of it in prospect? Must it not cease to be what it has hitherto been ---a business carried on both for their own profit, and for the accommodation of the country? Instead of employing their capital in the usual channels, must they not in self-defence employ it in forming others? Will not the substantial and wealthy withdraw their funds from that species of commerce? And may not the place of these be supplied by men of daring adventure, without corresponding capital, who will take a chance of wealth or ruin in the evolutions of the game?</p> <p> If it is the absolute and irrevocable determination that the bill is to be extended to us, the sooner the great penalty is inflicted the better; for in politics and commerce, as in all the other affairs of life, absolute and certain evil is better than uncertainty and protracted suspense.<h2> LETTER II.<! p11></h2> <p> <u>February</u> 28, 1826.</p> </p> <p> =Dear Mr. Journalist,=</p> <p> When I last wrote to you, I own it was with the feelings of one who discharges a painful duty, merely because he feels it to be one, and without much hope of his endeavour being useful. Swift says that kingdoms may be subject to poverty and lowness of heart as well as individuals; and that in such moments they become reckless of their own interests, and contract habits of submission, which encourage those who wish to take advantage of them to prefer the most unreasonable pretensions. It was when Esau came from the harvest, faint, and at point to die, that Jacob proposed to him his exorbitant bargain of the mess of pottage. There is a deep and typical mystery under the scriptural transaction; but, taken as a simple fact, the sottish facility of the circumvented heir rather aggravates the unfeeling selfishness of the artful brother, to whom he was made a dupe. The ``whoreson Apoplexy'' of Scotland may be rather a case of repletion than exhaustion, but it has the same dispiriting effects.</p> <p> Yet, into whatever deep and passive slumber our native country may have been lulled from habits of peaceful acquiescence, the Government have now found a way to awaken her. The knife has gone to the very quick, and the comatose patient is roused to most acute possession of his feelings and his intellect. The heather is on fire far and wide; and every man, woman, and child in the country, are bound by the duty they owe to their native land, to spread the alarm and increase the blaze.<p> Jam proximus ardet Ucalegon------</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>That is to say, if our superiors of England and Ireland eat sour grapes, the Scottish teeth must be set on edge as well as their own. An uniformity in benefits may be well---an uniformity in penal measures, towards the innocent and the guilty, in prohibitory regulations, whether necessary or not, seems harsh law, and worse justice.<p> I congratulate you, sir, on the awakened spirit of our representatives in the two Houses of Parliament. Our true-hearted Duke of Athole, and Lord Lauderdale, whose acuteness and powers of thinking and reasoning may, without disparagement, be compared with those of any statesman now living, have set an example not to be forgotten; and we know that the slender proportion of aristocracy, which Scotland was left in possession of at the Union, entertain the same patriotic sentiments. We are equally assured of the faith of our representatives in the Lower House, and they on their part may believe they will not serve an ungrateful public. Scotland expects from them the exertions corresponding to their high trust---a trust of which they must render an account to their constituents, and that very shortly. Let every body of electors, from Dumfries to Dingwall, instruct its representative upon their own sentiments, and upon the conduct which they desire he should hold during this great national crisis; and let the Administration be aware, that if any of our members should desert the public cause on this occasion, they are not like to have the benefit of their implicit homage in the next Parliament. Burns's address to them in jest, is language which may now be held to the Scottish representatives in serious earnest:---<p> ``Does ony great man glunch and gloom, Speak out and never fash your thumb; Let posts and pensions sink or soom Wi' those wha grant them; If honestly they cannot come, Far better want them.''</p> </p> <p> I have been told by some cautious friends, that the time for such remonstrances as I do most earnestly recommend to our Scottish representatives, would be now more unfavourable than formerly--- so unfavourable, that they represent the case as desperate. Admitting all I had said in my first epistle, these <u>douce</u> men see no resource but in the most submissive acquiescence to the commands of those in whose breasts, they say, is now lodged the uncontrolled power to listen to reason, justice, nay, compassion, or to prefer the exercise of their own pleasure to the dictates of them all. Your birth-right, proceed these Job's comforters, will be taken from you at all events by superior numbers. Yield it up, therefore, with a good grace, and thank God if they give you a mess of pottage in return---it will be just so much gain. These desponding persons explain the state of total insignificance into which, they say, we have fallen, by a reference to the Irish Union, which has added an hundred more members to Parliament; so that the handful assigned to Scotland (which never possessed a very influential power in the House, so far as numbers go,) must now altogether lose consideration, in opposition to the majorities of a peremptory Minister, who, like the ``merciless Macdonald,''<p> ``from the <u>Western Isle,</u> With Kernes and Gallow-glasses is supplied.''</p> </p> <p> It requires but little arithmetic to compute, that the fated number, forty-five, bears a less proportion to six hundred and thirteen than to five hundred and thirteen, the number of the House of Commons at the time of the Scottish Union. Yet, sir, I am not altogether discouraged with this comfortless prospect. I think I can see means of relief arising even out of the very difficulties of the case. Let us regard the matter somewhat more closely.</p> <p> In the first place, I will consider what we can do by our present Scottish representation,---our own proper force. Next, I will have a friendly word or two with those same auxiliaries of Ireland, whom, perhaps, the Sassenagh may find less implicit followers in the present case, than my chicken-hearted advisers apprehend. Lastly, I will address myself to the English members, and especially to such who, on great occasions, prefer the exercise of their own understanding to an absolute and obsequious deference to the dictates of an administration, however much they may respect the statesmen of whom it is composed, or are disposed to acquiesce in the general principles on which they act.</p> <p> Upon the first point I beg to remind you, that much greater effect is derived from the decided, conjoined, and simultaneous exertion of a comparatively small force, than from the efforts of a more numerous body, not bound together by the same strong ties of duty and necessity. Battles have been often gained, and political measures have been as frequently carried, by the determined urgency, or no less determined resistance, of a comparatively insignificant number.</p> <p> <u>Nos numerus sumus,</u> is a logical argument perfectly understood by an English minister, and has had great weight in the scale. I will give a ludicrous instance of this. There was of old a certain nobleman, who, by means of certain boroughs, sent certain members to Westminster, which members, being there, were certain to hold the same opinions with the Noble Lord, and to vote in the House of Commons exactly to the same tune as his lordship in the House of Peers. The Great Man, who was the animating soul of this Holy Alliance, had occasion to ask some favour of Government. It was probably something very unreasonable---at any rate, it was so disagreeable to the minister, that, I am told, he would as soon have relished the proposal of giving silver for a twenty-shilling note of the Bank of Scotland. The Minister made civil excuses---the peer observed in reply---_We are seven votes_---The minister stopped, cleared his throat, changed his argument---<u>We are seven voices,</u> was again the only answer---The Great Man, usually flattered, became flatterer in his turn---he conjured---he even threatened---The peer was as unassailable, in his numerical proposition, by entreaty or argument, as the sweet little rustic girl in a poem which it is almost a sin to parody---<p> ``Whate'er the minister could say The Noble Lord would have his way, And said, _Nay, we are seven._''</p> </p> <p> They parted on these terms. The Minister retired to rest, and dreamed that he saw the pertinacious Peer advancing to storm the cabinet, after having, like the great magician Kehama, broke himself up into seven subdivisions of equal strength, and by means of this extraordinary process of multiplication, advancing to his daring enterprise by seven avenues at once. The vision was too horrible--- and a ``private and confidential'' note gave the necessary assurance to the Noble Lord, that the magical number Seven had as much weight in Saint Stephen's, as Dr. Slop assigns to it in the Catholic mysteries; so the seven planets continue to move regularly in their political orbit.</p> <p> This is a strong proof, sir, of the <u>vis unita fortior,</u> and contains a good lesson for our Representatives upon the present occasion. It would be strange, indeed, if they, to whom their country has given her confidence, should hesitate to save her from dishonour and deep distress, which may approach nigh to ruin [I will make my words good before I have done,] when it is only necessary that they should be as determined and inflexible, where the safety of an ancient kingdom is concerned, as the selfish old borough-jobber and his political friends showed themselves pertinacious, in pursuit of some wretched personal object of private advantage.</p> <p> The Scottish members of Parliament should therefore lose no time---not an instant---in uniting together in their national character of the Representatives of Scotland. If the scene were to be the British Coffeehouse, the hour half-past six o'clock =p.m.,= and the preliminaries of business a few glasses of claret to national toasts, I should not have the worse opinion of the sense of the meeting. Their first resolution should be, to lay aside every party distinction which can interfere with the present grand object, of arresting a danger so evident, so general, so imminent. It may be at first an awkward thing for Whig and Tory to draw kindly together; for any of the natural Scottish spirit which is left among us has been sadly expended in feeding a controversy in which we must always play a subordinate part, and these party distinctions have become far too much a matter of habit to us on both sides to be easily laid aside. Indeed, we poor Scotsmen are so conscious that our civil wars are but paltry and obscure episodes in the great political quarrel, that we have usually endeavoured to attract attention, and excite an idea of their importance, by the personal violence and noisy ferocity with which we wage them. We, the Whigs and Tories of Scotland, have played in our domestic quarrels the respectable part of two bull-dogs, who think it necessary to go by the ears under the table, because their blue-sleeved beef-eating masters have turned up for a set-to. The quadrupeds worry each other inveterately, while not a soul notices them, till the strife of the bipeds is appeased or decided, and then the bleeding and foaming curs are kicked separate by their respective owners. We play among the great _dramatis person<ae>_ the part of <u>Mob on both sides,</u> who enter and scuffle in the back scene, and shout so that their cries at least may be heard, since no one will attend to any thing which they say in articulate language. You may have been a bottle-holder of this kind, Mr. Journalist, to one or other of the great parties. I am sure I have, and I daresay may have sometimes made mischief, though I have oftener endeavoured to prevent it; for, like the good knight Jacques de Lalain, ``_De feu bouter ne voulois---je <e^>tre consentant._'' Still, however limited my share may have been in those jars, I have lived to see the day when I must regret bitterly my having had the slightest accession to them, could I conceive the opinions of so obscure an individual may have added gall to the bitterness which has estranged Scotsmen from each other. Let these follies be ended; and do not let us, like our ancestors at Falkirk, fall to jealousies among ourselves, when heart, and voice, and hand, should be united against the foreign <u>enemy.</u> I was about to erase the last word; but let it remain, with this explanation---that the purpose of this invasion of our rights is acknowledged to be kind and friendly; but as the measure is unauthorised by justice, conducted without regard to the faith of treaties, and contrary to our national privileges, we cannot but term the enterprise a hostile one. When Henry VIII. despatched a powerful invading army to compel the Scots to give the hand of their young Queen Mary to his son Edward, an old Scottish nobleman shrewdly observed, ``He might like the match well enough, but could not brook the mode of wooing.'' We equally are sensible of England's good-will, we only do not relish the mode in which it is at present exhibited.</p> <p> The Scottish Members having thus adopted a healing ordinance, reconciled their party quarrels or laid them aside for the time, would by that very act decide the fate of their country; and when drinking to concord among Scotsmen of all political opinions,<p> ``In the cup an <u>Union</u> shall they throw Better than that which four successive kings In Britain's crown have worn.''</p> </p> </p> <p>and becomes devious, that it may respect property and avoid obstacles; thus escaping even temporary evils, and serving the public no less in its more circuitous, than it would have done in its direct course.<p> It is needless to say, that what Scotland demands from her representatives in the House of Commons, she expects, with equal confidence and ardour, from the small, but honourable portion of the Upper House, who draw their honours from her ancient domains. Their ancestors have led her armies, concluded her treaties, managed her government, served her with hand and heart, sword and pen; and by such honourable merit with their country, have obtained the titles and distinctions which they have transmitted to the present race, by whom, we are well assured, they will be maintained with untarnished honour. A Scottish lord will dare all, save what is dishonourable; and whom among them could we suspect of deserting the Parent of his Honours, at the very moment when she is calling upon him for his filial aid? Sir, I pledge myself, ere I am done, to give such a picture of the impending distress of this country, that a Scotsman, and especially a Scottish nobleman, would need to take opium and mandragora, should he hope to slumber, after having been accessary to bringing it on. If the voice of the public in streets and highways did not cry shame on his degeneracy, even inanimate objects would find a voice of reprobation. The stones of his ancient castle would speak, and the portraits of his ancestors would frown and look black upon him, as he wandered in his empty halls, now deprived of the resort of the rich, and the homage of the vassal. But I have no fear of this. A little indolence---a little indifference ---may have spread itself among our young men of rank; it is the prevailing fashion and fault of the day. But the trumpet of war has always chased away such lethargic humours; and the cry of their common country, that invocation which Scotland now sends forth from one end of the land to the other, is a summons yet more imperious, and will be, I am confident, as promptly obeyed.</p> <p> It may be said, that the measures which I venture to recommend to our Scottish representatives, of tacking, as it were, their Petition of Rights, to every other measure, and making it, so far as they can, a <u>sine qua non</u> to their accommodation with Government, may be the means of interrupting the general business of the empire.</p> <p> To this objection I reply, <u>First,</u> that I only recommend such a line of conduct as an <u>ultimum remedium,</u> after every other and milder mode of seeking redress shall have been resorted to, and exhausted without effect. <u>Secondly,</u> In case of need it cannot be denied, that the plan proposed is a Parliamentary remedy, and corresponds with the conduct of patriots upon former occasions, when they conceived that the magnitude of the object in view warranted their making the most vigorous efforts to obtain it. <u>Thirdly,</u> It will not be difficult to demonstrate, that, whatever prejudice may be suffered from a temporary delay of other business, it will be incalculably less than the evil, which will infallibly ensue upon the obnoxious measure in question being adopted; an evil, the effect of which cannot be confined to Scotland alone (for no component part of the empire can have sufferings so local, that the consequences do not extend to the others,) but must reach England and Ireland also. When a limb of the human body is disjointed or broken, the whole frame must feel the effect of it.</p> <p> But to return to the opinion of my cautious friends, who believed that the proportional numbers of the Scottish Members being so small, compared to those of England and Ireland, no good issue could be hoped from their exertions, however united, however zealous. I reply, that their country is entitled to expect from them resistance in her behalf, not only while a spark of hope remains, but when that last spark is extinguished. There is no room for compromise or surrender. Our statesmen of to-day must be like our soldiers in ages past---<p> ``They must fight till their hand to the broadsword is glued, They must fight against fortune with heart unsubdued.''</p> </p> </p> <p>Should Uniformity have the same pedigree, Malachi Malagrowther proclaims her ``a hawk of a very bad nest.''<p> But besides this, I can tell my timorous friends, as Hotspur does his cautious correspondent---``Out of this nettle Danger we pluck the flower Safety.'' I do not think the Imperial Parliament consisting, as it now does, of deputies from every kingdom of the Union, is so likely to take a hasty and partial view of any appeal from Scotland, as it might have been when we had to plead our cause before the Parliament of Great Britain only. I trust we should in no case have been treated unjustly or harshly, and I will presently state my reasons for thinking that we should not; but arguing the question on the illiberal and almost calumnious idea, that, if not confuted in argument, we were in danger to be borne down by force of numbers, I should derive hope, not fear, from the introduction of the third Kingdom into the discussion.</p> <p> Betwixt Scotland and England, Mr. Journalist, there have been, as you are aware, ancient causes of quarrel, lulled to sleep during the last fifty years, until of late, when a variety of small aggressions, followed by the present seven-leagued stride, show that perhaps they have not been so fully forgotten by our neighbours as we thought in our simplicity, and that the English Ministers may not be indisposed to take the opportunity of our torpidity to twitch out our fang-teeth, however necessary for eating our victuals, in case we should be inclined, at some unlucky moment, to make a different use of them. Or, the line of conduct of which we complain, may be compared to a well-known operation resorted to for taming the ferocity of such male animals as are intended for domestication, and to be employed in patient drudgery. The animal becomes fat, patient, sleek, and in so far is benefited by the operation; but had his previous consent been required, I wonder what the poor Scotch stot would have said?</p> <p> Patrick, my warm-hearted and shrewd friend, how should you like this receipt for domestication, should it travel your way? You have your own griefs, and your own subjects of complaint,---are you willing to lose the power of expressing them with energy? You have only to join with the Ministry on this debate---you have only to show in what light reverence you are willing to hold the articles of an Union not much above a century old, and then you will have time to reflect at leisure upon the consequences of such an example. In such a case, when your turn comes (and come, be sure, it will,) you will have signed your own sentence. You will have given the fatal precedent to England of the annihilation of a solemn treaty of incorporating Union, and afforded the representatives of Scotland vindictive reasons for retaliating upon you the injury which you aided England in inflicting upon us. Whereas---step this way, Pat ---and see there is nobody listening---why should not you and we have a friendly understanding, and assist each other, as the weaker parties, against any aggressions, which may be made upon either of us, ``for uniformity's sake?''---Your fathers are called by our Scottish kings, ``Their ancient friends of the Erischerie of Eirland,'' and for my part I have little doubt that Malachi, who wore the collar of gold, must have been an ancestor of my own. Now, what say you to a league offensive and defensive, against all such measures as tend to the suppression of any just right belonging to either country, in virtue of the Articles of Union respectively?--- You are a scholar, Pat---<p> ``_Tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet._''</p> </p> </p> <p>The city of Edinburgh has uttered a voice becoming the ancient Queen of the North. The Law Bodies, and the Gentry of Mid-Lothian, have set the example of petitioning Government, and proclaiming their sense of the measure designed; it has been followed in other counties, and I trust to see it soon spread into the smallest burghs, into the most wild districts of Scotland. There are none which the impending misery will not reach---there are no Scotchmen so humble that they have not a share in a national insult, so lowly that they will not suffer from a national wrong---none that are uninterested in maintaining our rights both individually, and as a people---and none, I trust, that have not spirit to do so, by all legal and peaceable means.<p> But what do I talk of to-day or to-morrow? The cause of Ireland is tried =along with= that of Scotland. She stands, at this very moment, at the bar beside her sister, and the prohibitory decree passed against the system of currency, which has spread universal fertility through Scotland, is extended to Ireland at the very moment when she proposed to have recourse to it, as well suited to the improvement of her rich soil, and promising the extension of means of cultivation, where cultivation is so greatly wanted, and would be so productive in the return. I am certain that I am correct in saying, that, in the course of last summer, there were several banking companies on the Scottish plan on the point of being established in different parts of Ireland, and Scotsmen of experience, capable of understanding and directing such establishments, were eagerly sought for, and invited over to act as superintendents. Whether the system which had been so eminently successful in Scotland might be found quite as well qualified for the meridian of Ireland, it would be great presumption in me to decide. But it is very likely that success would ensue, provided too much were not expected at once, and that the requisite discretion were used in bounding the issue of notes, and the grants of credit. More or less probable, it was at least an experiment which Ireland had apparently a perfect right to make, an experiment by which she might reasonably hope to profit; and if she was willing to undertake it at her own risk, I can conceive nothing more unjust than preventing her from doing so---excepting always the still greater iniquity of interdicting in Scotland a system, the benefit of which has been proved by a century's experience, during all which period it has been attended with advantage, but in the last fifty years with the most brilliant success.</p> <p> Ireland is, therefore, called upon to interfere on this occasion, not merely by the chance of standing, at some no very distant period, in the very predicament in which Scotland is now placed, but from the stake which she herself has in the question at issue. She cannot but remember that Rome subjected the free states around her much less by the force which was actually her own, than by the use which she made of those whom she had rendered her tools under the name of auxiliaries. The Batavians were employed in the conquest of Britain, the flower of the Britons were carried off from their native country, that they might help to subjugate the Germans. But such a policy, were it entertained, is not likely to deceive nations in the present age, when statesmen are judged of not more by the measure which they mete to countries less capable of resistance, than by that which they use in dealing towards one upon whom it may not be immediately convenient to inflict the same unjust terms.</p> <p> Ireland may read her future fate in that of Scotland, as in a mirror. Does she still continue to entertain any wish of imitating the Scottish system? The measure of interdiction about to be passed against her renders it impossible. Does she still expect to be occasionally consulted in the management of her own affairs? She may lay aside for ever that flattering hope, unjess she makes common cause with her sister of Scotland, where every human being in the nation is entreating and imploring that dearest privilege of a free country. Finally, let us have a word of explanation with England herself.</p> <p> And first let me say, that although the urgent necessity of the case requires that it should be pleaded in every possible form which its advocates can devise---although I press upon Scotland the necessity of being importunate, steady, and unanimous--- although I show to Ireland the deep interest which she also must feel in the question at issue, yet it is to England herself, and to her representatives in Parliament, that, taking upon me, however unworthy, to speak for my Country, when the task is perhaps an obnoxious one, I make my most immediate, and I trust not an ineffectual appeal.</p> <p> The motto of my epistle may sound a little warlike; but, in using it,<*> I have only employed the</p> </p> <p>Thus united, sir, their task will be a very easy one. Let each, in his own style, and with the degree of talent, from plain common sense up to powerful eloquence, with which he chances to be gifted, state to Administration the sentiments of his constituents, and those of his own breast; let it be perfectly understood that the representatives of Scotland speak in the name of their country, and are determined, one and all, to see the threatened and obnoxious measure departed from, and till that time to enter into no public business,---I cannot help thinking that such a remonstrance, in a case of vital importance to Scotland, and of such trifling consequence to England, would be of itself perfectly sufficient. But if not, our representatives must stand firm. I would advise that, to all such intimations as are usually circulated, bearing, ``That your presence is earnestly requested on such an evening of the debate, as such or such a public measure is coming on,'' the concise answer should be returned, ``_We are five-and-forty;_'<code> and that no Scottish members do on such occasions attend---unless it be those who feel themselves conscientiously at liberty to vote against Government on the division. Is this expecting too much from our countrymen, on whom we have devolved so absolutely the charge of our rights, the duty of stating our wrongs? We exclaim to them in the language of the eloquent Lord Belhaven---``Should not the memory of our noble predecessors</code> valour and constancy rouse up our drooping spirits? Are our brave ancestors' souls got so far into the English cabbage-stock and cauliflower, that we should show the least inclination that way? Are our eyes so blinded---Are our ears so deafened---Are our hearts so hardened--- Are our tongues so faltered---Are our hands so fettered, that, in this our day---I say, my countrymen, in this our day, we should not mind the things that concern the well-being, nay, the very being, of our ancient kingdom, before the day be hid from our eyes?'' If there is, among that chosen band, a mean-spirited Scotsman, who prefers the orders of the minister to the unanimous voice of his country, imploring the protection of her children, let England keep him to herself. Such a man is deaf even to the voice of self-interest, as well as of patriotism. He cannot be a Scotch proprietor---he hazards his own rents; he cannot be a Scotsman employed in commerce---he undermines his own trade; he cannot be a professional person---he sacrifices the law of his country; he cannot be a Scottish man in spirit---he betrays the honour of Scotland. Let him go out from among us---he is not of us. Let him, I say, remain in England, and we wish her joy of such a denizen. Let him have his title and his pension---for the cur deserves his collar and his bone. But do not let him come back to Scotland, where his presence will be as unwelcome to us, as our reception may be ungratifying to him.</p> <p>If they do so, not only will they play the part of true men and worthy patriots, but they will procure that sort of weight with their constituents which will enable them to be useful, and, with the blessing of God, effectual mediators, in what, I fear, is likely to prove a very distracted time and country.<p> England---were it mine to prescribe the forms, my native country ought to address nearly in the words of her own Mason, mangled, I fear, in my recollection---<p> ``Sister, to thee no ruder spell Will Scotland use, than those that dwell In soft Persuasion's notes, and lie Twined with the links of _Harmony._''</p> </p> <p> Let us, therefore, my countrymen, make a proper and liberal allowance for the motives of the Ministers and their friends on this occasion. We ought not to be susprised that English statesmen, and Englishmen in general, are not altogether aware of the extent of the Scottish privileges, or that they do not remember, with the same accuracy as ourselves, that we have a system of laws peculiar to us, secured by treaties. These peculiarities have not, by any question lately agitated, been placed under their view and recollection. As one race grows up, and another dies away, remembrances which are cherished by the weaker party in a national treaty, are naturally forgotten by the stronger, and viewed, perhaps, as men look upon an old boundary stone, half-sunk in earth, half-overgrown with moss, and attracting no necessary attention, until it is appealed to as a proof of property. Such antiquated barriers are not calculated immediately to arrest the progress of statesmen intent upon some favourite object, any more than, when existing on the desolate mountain in their physical shape, such a bound-mark as I have described, always checks the eagerness of a stranger upon the moors, in keen and close pursuit of his game. But explain to the ardent young Southern sportsman that he trespasses upon the manor of another---convince the English statesman that he cannot advance his favourite object without infringing upon national right,---and, according to my ideas of English honour and good faith, the one will withdraw his foot within the boundary of private property, with as much haste as if he trode on burning marle; the other will curb his views of public good, and restrain even those within the limits which are prescribed by public faith. They will not, in either case, forget the precepts so often reiterated in Scripture, fenced there with a solemn anathema, and received as matter of public jurisprudence by the law of every civilized country--- ``Remove not the old land-mark, and enter not into the fields of the fatherless.'' The high and manly sense of justice by which the English nation has been honourably distinguished through the world, will not, I am certain, debase itself by aggression towards a people, which is not indeed incapable of defending itself, but which, though fearless of inequality, and regardless of threats, is yet willing to submit even to wrong, rather than hazard the fatal consequences to be incurred by obstinate defence, <u>via facti,</u> of its just rights. We make the sense of English justice and honour our judge; and surely it would be hard to place us in a situation where our own sense of general mischief, likely to ensue to the empire, may be the only check upon the sentiments which brave men feel, when called on to defend their national honour. There would be as little gallantry in such an aggression, as in striking a prisoner on parole.</p> <p> It is to explain more particularly to the English nation, the real and deep reason which Scotland has to combat the present purpose of Ministers, that I have chiefly undertaken this Second Epistle.</p> <p> I have stated in my former Letter, that the system respecting the currency, which is now about to be abrogated, has been practised in Scotland for about one hundred and thirty years, with the greatest advantage to the country and inhabitants. I have also shown from the Treaty of Union, that it cannot be altered, unless the preliminary is established to the conviction of Parliament, that the alteration is for the =evident advantage= <u>of the subjects in Scotland.</u> No advantage, evident or remote, has ever been hinted at, so far as Scotland is concerned: it has only been said, that it will be advantageous to England, to whose measures Scotland must be conformable, as a matter of course, though in the teeth of the article stipulated by our Commissioners, and acceded to by those of England, at the time of the Union. I have therefore gained my cause in any fair Court.</p> <p> But protesting that I have done enough to entitle me to a judgment, I have no objection to go a step farther; and, taking on myself a burden of proof, which could not be justly imposed on me, I am willing to explain, in a general and popular manner, the peculiar nature of the paper currency in Scotland, and especially the guards and protections by which it is secured against such evil consequences as have resulted in England from a system the same in name, but operating very differently in practice.</p> <p> The people of Scotland are by no means, as a hasty view of their system of currency might infer, liable to be imposed upon, or to suffer loss, through the rash and crude speculations of any man, or association of men, who, without adequate capital and experience, might choose to enter into a Banking concern, and issue their own notes.</p> <p> The Banking Companies of Scotland, who take on themselves the issuing of notes, are, no doubt, independent of each other so far as they severally contract with the public; but a certain course of correspondence and mutual understanding is indispensable among themselves, and, in that respect, the whole Banks and Banking Companies in Scotland may be said to form a republic, the watchful superintendence of the whole profession being extended to the strength or weakness of the general system at each particular point; or, in other words, to the management of each individual Company.</p> <p> No new Banking institution can venture to issue notes to the public, till they have established a full understanding that these notes will be received as cash by the other Banks. Without this facility, an issue of notes would never take place, since, if issued, they could have no free or general currency. It is not the interest of the established Banks to raise rivals in their own profession, and it is directly contrary to that interest to accept of payment in the notes of a new Company, to whose responsibility there occurs any shadow of doubt. They, therefore, only agree to give currency to such new issues, where satisfactory information has been obtained of the safety of affording it. The public have, in this manner, the best possible guarantee against rash and ill-concocted speculations, from those who are not only best informed on the subject, but, being most interested in examining each new project of the kind, are least likely to be betrayed into a rash confidence, and have the power of preventing a doubtful undertaking at the very outset.</p> <p> The circulation of a Scottish Banking Company, when once established, cannot maintain itself a week without redeeming its pledge to the Banks which receive its notes, by taking them up, and replacing the value either in the notes of such Banks reciprocally, or in specie. A check is thus imposed, which is continually in operation, and every Bank throughout Scotland is obliged to submit its circulation, twice a-week in Edinburgh, to the inspection of this Argus-eyed tribunal. Satisfactory information that any distant Banking Companies were leaving the safe and moderate walk of commerce, and embarking their capital in precarious speculations, would very soon draw upon them the suspicion of the moneyed interest at large, and certainly put a period to their existence before it could injure the public.</p> <p> This important species of check is unknown to the practice of England; nay, it is probably impossible to establish it there, since the metropolis which is naturally the common point of union, is nearly inaccessible to the notes of private Banking Companies. In stating a circumstance, not perhaps generally known, I may perhaps remove some of the prejudice which has extended towards the Scottish system, as if exposed to the same inconveniences with that of the sister kingdom.</p> <p> The cash-credits, as they are called, are a most important feature in our banking system, and, as I believe, entirely peculiar to it.</p> <p> The nature of the transaction is the simplest possible. A person, either professional, engaged in commerce or manufactures, or otherwise so situated as to render an occasional command of money convenient, obtains a cash account to an extent proportioned to his funds, either by pledging his house, shop, or other real property, or by giving the bank two sufficient sureties to be answerable for the balance, if any, which shall be due to the company when the account is closed. The holder of the cash-credit is then entitled to draw on the banker for such sums as he may occasionally need, within its limits. He lodges, on the other hand, with the bank, such cash as he may from time to time receive from the returns of his business, or otherwise. Interest is calculated on the advances drawn from the bank at five per cent., on the customer's deposits at three per cent. only, and the account is finally balanced twice a-year. The interest varies according to the general rate of the money-market. I have stated it upon the general and legal rate, which it never does or can exceed.</p> <p> This very simple accommodation is so general through Scotland, that no undertaking of the slightest magnitude is entered into without sufficient funds being provided in this manner, in order that the expense may be maintained without inconvenience until the profits come round. By means of such credits, the merchant carries on his trade, the agriculturist manages his farm, the professional man discharges the advances necessary in his business and the landed gentleman maintains his credit, and pays his way, while waiting for the tardy return of his rents. The trustees who conduct public works have recourse to the same accommodation. Scarce any one who is not too rich to need an occasional advance (a case very rare in Scotland,) or too poor to obtain credit, but is provided and acts upon some cash-account of this kind, being a sort of fluctuating system of borrowing and lending. In the former case, the customer borrows of the bank the advances which he needs, in such sums and at such times as they are necessary; whereas, without such mutual accommodation, the loan must have been borrowed in an entire sum, and paid up at once, though in the former case it included more money than was immediately wanted; and, in the latter, the settlement of the whole demand at once might be untimely and inconvenient.</p> <p> Supposing the money lodged to exceed the amount of the credit, the customer becomes a creditor to the banker for the balance due to him, and receives a stated interest for it; while, at the same time, it lies, as in an ordinary deposit-account, at his immediate command. This system is, no doubt, liable, like every thing earthly, to abuse. But the general prosperity of the country, managed almost entirely on such an arrangement betwixt those who deal in capital, and those who need the use of it, has shown that the partial abuse bears no proportion to the universal advantage. The system has, in its exercise, been, as Shakspeare says of mercy, ``_twice blessed._'' It has prospered both with the giver and the taker; and while the holder of the account has been enabled to derive wealth from schemes which he could not otherwise have executed, the increasing funds of the banker, and his additional power of serving the country, and aiding, in similar instances, the progress of general improvement, add to the sum of national riches.</p> <p> It is also to be observed, that the intimate connexion between the bankers who grant, and the respectable individuals who hold cash-credits, from <L>100 to <L>1000 and upwards, tends greatly to the security of the former. These customers, of whom each thriving bank possesses many, are the chief holders and disposers of notes; and, linked as they are with the banks who grant the accommodation, by mutual advantage, they have both the interest and credit necessary to quash any unreasonable alarm, and secure the company against what is called a run, a circumstance to which Scottish banks have never been materially exposed, and which is not very consistent with the character of the people.</p> <p> These undeniable facts afford, so far as Scotland is concerned, a decisive confutation to an argument which has been advanced, for abrogating the issue of small notes. It has been alleged, that such issues being chiefly in the hands of the lower classes, these were agitated easily by rumours, and they became the occasion of the <u>runs</u> above-mentioned, by which the banking companies are ruined; as men are crushed to death in a crowd, when those around them are agitated by some cause, very likely a vain one, of panic terror. In itself, it seems, that depriving men of a lucrative branch of their profession, merely because, under certain circumstances, it may become dangerous to their stability, is very like the receipt of Sheepface in the farce, who kills his master's sheep to prevent their dying. But, in Scotland, there exists not the least approach to the disease, which it seems necessary to anticipate in so desperate a manner; for the apprehended <u>runs</u> on Scotch banks, by the holders of small notes, have never taken place, and from the assigned reasons, are never likely to do so. But should such an event occur, the interference of the banks' customers, parties so much interested, would stop such a headlong movement, as a strong and well-ordered police would prevent the fatal agitations of a mob, ere they trode each other to death.</p> <p> The general principle of the Credits thus granted is one which, in a poor country at least, or among poor traders, is highly desirable. It affords the farmer, trader, or country gentleman, a convenient and equitable means of pledging their property for a fund of credit to conduct their undertakings. It resembles in principle, though on a much more equitable and liberal footing, the impignoration of moveables, which affords facilities, without which the small, yet indispensable branches of traffic, could not be carried on. Let us, in due humility, follow out a comparison at which our pride might be justly revolted. In London, and other great cities, the market-women, and persons of that description, are constantly in the practice of raising a small credit, by pledging their little articles of value, whether ornaments or wearing apparel, or the like, on which they maintain their trade till Saturday brings the weekly returns, when the ornaments are redeemed from the pawnbrokers, worn perhaps on the Sunday, and returned to <u>lavender</u> (as the phrase goes) on the next Monday. It is now many years since some well-disposed and benevolent persons, becoming aware of this practice, were shocked and scandalized at the extent of the interest exacted from those poor people, and made or proposed a law for rendering this course of pawnbroking illegal. Sir, the general mass of misery which was about to attend on the well-meant interference of the Legislature, was so evident and so alarming, that the measure was either departed from ere it was completed, or repealed immediately, I forget which.</p> <p> _Paulo majora_---The principle is in effect the very same on which, to restore public credit, the Bank of England itself is about to advance three millions of money on the security of mercantile commodities.</p> <p> In the same way, we have in Scotland got into the regular habit of pledging our credit in the manner above described, for the purpose of raising a disposable capital. The advantage obtained by both parties is very equitably balanced; but, were it as iniquitous as that of the most grinding pawnbroker, still habit and manners have rendered it absolutely indispensable to us; and when a general source of credit is forcibly snatched from a country which has relied on it so long, you literally wrest the crutch from the infirm, because, in your mind, it is not of a handsome fashion.</p> <p> After all, is it not just that we, the party concerned, should be admitted to have a preponderating vote in this matter? If we are eventually losing by adhering to an old and tried system, we can blame no one, but must suffer for our own obstinacy; but if Scotland is to be reduced to distress by having a system forced upon her which she is unable to maintain or carry on, who is to answer for the evils it may bring upon us?</p> <p> It is by the profit arising upon issuing their small notes, that the bankers are enabled to make the beneficial advances which custom has now rendered nearly indispensable to the carrying on business of almost any kind in Scotland. Above all, without that profit, the bankers could not, as hitherto, continue to allow a rateable interest on money deposited in their hands. Let us take a hasty view of some of the advantages attached to this peculiarity of the system.</p> <p> The general convenience of the banker affording interest upon deposits is obvious. It is much more convenient to the individual to receive some interest for his ready cash, than that it should lie idle in his desk; and its being thus put into a productive state, instead of remaining an unproductive capital, must be much more useful to the country. This needs no commentary.</p> <p> It has, besides, tended much to the diminution of crime in Scotland. We have forgot the period preceding the banking system, but it is easily recalled. Look at the old magazines or newspapers, during the time when the currency was chiefly maintained by specie, a ready temptation to the ruffian---the murder of graziers and dealers returning from fairs where they had sold their cattle, was a not infrequent occurrence. Farm-houses of the better class, as well as gentlemen's baronial residences, were defended by bars on the windows, upper and under, like those of a prison; yet these houses were often broken open by daring gangs, to possess themselves of the hoards which the tenant must have then kept beside him against rent-day, and his landlord, for the current expense of his household. At present---_Cantabit vacuus_--- the drover or grazier has a banker's receipt for the price of his cattle, in the old almanack which serves him for a pocket-book, and fears no robbery--- while the farm-house, or manor, is secure from the attack of ruffians, who are like to find no metal there more precious than the tongs and poker.</p> <p> Passing over the tendency of the present system to prevent crime, I come to its influence in recommending industry and virtue; and I am confident in stating, that the degree of morality, sobriety. and frugality, which is admitted to exist in Scotland, has been much fostered, though certainly not entirely produced, by the banks' allowing interest on small sums, which, if the present prohibitory measure passes, they will be no longer in a capacity to afford. Let the effect of such a violent change be considered merely in respect to the lowest order of depositors, who lodge in the bank from the sum of ten pounds to fifty. The first motive to save, among petty tradesmen, mechanics, farm-servants, domestics, and the like, is the delight of forming a productive capital; and in that class, the habit of saving and of frugality is the foundation of a sober, well-regulated, and useful society. Every judicious farmer scruples to repose perfect reliance in a farm-servant or a labourer, till he knows that he is possessed of a capital of a few pounds in some neighbouring bank; and when that is once attained, the man becomes tenfold steady and trustworthy. Instances have occurred, to my certain knowledge, before the time of the Savings-Banks, where the master, to hasten this advantageous step in his dependent's life, would advance a servant of character a little money to complete a deposit, when the man's savings did not amount to ten pounds, which is the least sum received by the Banks. And, by the way, it is not easy to see how these excellent institutions, the Savings-Banks themselves, can be continued in Scotland, if interest is no longer allowed by the general Bank; for we are at too great a distance to avail ourselves of the Public Funds for that purpose.</p> <p> At any rate, the cessation of payment of interest by the Banks, attendant on the abolishing the issue of small notes, would greatly injure, if not effectually destroy, the formation of those virtuous and frugal habits, which are as essential to the class of society a little richer than that to which the Savings-Banks apply, as to the inferior description to whom these invaluable institutions afford encouragement and protection.</p> <p> What is a poor hind or shepherd to do with his <L>20 or <L>30, the laborious earnings of his life, and which he looks to, under God, for keeping his widow and family from the parish, if bankers can no longer afford him some interest for the use of it? Where is he to get decent security for his petty capital? He will either be swindled out of it by some rascally attorney, or coaxed to part with it to some needy relation---in either case, never to see it more. It is difficult enough, oven at present, for masters, who take an interest in their servants' welfare, to, get them to place their money safe in the bank; if this resource is taken away, where is it to be lodged, with any chance of security? But I think I can guess its fate, friend Journalist. The Banks will be forcing back on the hands of the shepherd or farm-servant his deposit, just at the time when they are unwillingly distressing his master for the balance on his cash-account, called up before his well-judged, but half-executed improvements, undertaken on the faith of the continued credit, have become productive. The farmer will, in the hour of need and pressure, borrow the petty capital of his servant; he will be unable to repay it; and then, when the distress becomes chin-deep, they may turn beggars together---for uniformity's sake.</p> <p> If that settling day should ever come, Mr. Journalist, when the bankers, dunned for deposits in their hands, are compelled to be as rigorous with those who have received advances from them---that awful day, when the hundreds of thousands, nay millions, hitherto divided between the Banks and the public, must be all called up at once, and accounts between them closed---that settling day will be remembered as long in Scotland as ever was the Mirk Monday!</p> <p> But what can the bankers do? their whole profession must undergo a universal change, that discounts and every species of accommodation may be brought within the narrowest possible limits. At present, the profits divided among the profession, upon perhaps a million and a half of small notes, enable them to advance liberally to individuals upon any reasonable security. But if the banker's occupation is henceforth to consist in stocking himself with a great abundance of gold, and for that purpose engaging in an eternal struggle, not to <u>preserve</u> (for that is impossible) but to <u>restore</u> an eternally vacillating proportion betwixt the metallic circulation and the wants of the country, such expensive labour =alone= will be likely to prove quite enough for his talents and funds.</p> <p> The injury done to the bankers, by depriving them of such a principal and profitable branch of their profession, is not to be passed over in silence. The English are wont, in other cases, to pay particular heed ere they alter any peculiar state of things, upon the faith of which property has been vested in a fixed and permanent line of employment. But this proposed enactment will go as far as the in-calling of one million and a half of notes can do, to destroy the emoluments of the profession. You deprive them of those very notes which travel farthest from home, and which return most slowly; nay, which, from various causes, are subject not to return at all. It is therefore in vain to say that thus the profession is left uninjured, when it is limited to the issue of notes of five pounds and upwards. It might be as reasonably stated in a case of mutilation, that a man was left in the entire and uninjured possession of his hand, the prisoner having only cut off his five fingers.</p> <p> If, therefore, the proposed measure shall take place, the banker's profession must suffer greatly, nay, in its present form, must cease to exist. We cannot, as a nation, afford to be deprived of such an honourable and profitable means of settling our sons in the world. We cannot afford to lose a resource which has proved to so many respectable and honourable families a means ad _re-<ae>dificandum antiquam domum,_ and which has held out to others a successful mode of elevating themselves, by liberal and useful industry, to the possession of wealth, at once to their own advantage and to that of Scotland. Thus it must needs be, if the proposed measure should pass; and when we come to count the gains we shall then have made, by change from a paper circulation to one in specie, I doubt it will form a notable example of the truth of the proverb, ``_That gold may be bought too dear._''</p> <p> The Branches established by Banks in remote parts of Scotland must be given up. The parent Banks would vainly exhaust themselves in endeavouring to draw specie from London, and to force it, at whatever expense, into more fertile districts of Scotland, which, of course, would receive it in small quantity, and pay for it at a heavy charge. But as to the remote and sterile regions, it must be with the Highlands and Isles of Scotland, as it is now in some remote districts of Ireland, where scarce any specie exists for the purpose of ordinary currency, and where, for want of that representative for value or paper money in its stead, men are driven back to the primitive mode of bartering for every thing---the peasant pays his rent in labour, and the fisher gets his wages in furnishings. Misery is universal---credit is banished---and with all the bounties of nature around them, ready to reward industry---the sinews of that industry are hewn asunder, and man starves where Nature has given abundance!</p> <p> Great Britain would be then somewhat like the image in Belteshazzar's dream. London, its head, might be of fine gold---the fertile provinces of England, like its breast and arms, might be of silver---the southern half of Scotland might acquire some brass or copper---but the northern provinces would be without worth or value, like the legs which were formed of iron and clay. What force is to compel gold to circulate to these barren extremities of the island, I cannot understand; and, when once forced there, I fear its natural tendency to return to the source from which it is issued will render all efforts to detain it as difficult as the task of the men of Gotham, when they tried to hedge in the cuckoo. Our Bankers, or such as may continue in the profession under the same name, but with very different occupation and prospects, will be condemned to the labour of Sisyphus, ---eternally employed in rolling a cask of gold up a Highland hill, at the risk of being crushed by it as the influence of gravity prevails, and it comes rolling down upon their heads.</p> <p> Mrs. Primrose, wife to the excellent Vicar of Wakefield, carried on a system of specie, with respect to her family, at a much cheaper rate than that at which Scotland will be able, I fear, to accomplish the same object. ``I gave each of them a shilling,'' says the good man, speaking of his daughters, ``though for the honour of the family it must be observed, that they never went without money themselves; as my wife always generously let them have a guinea each to keep their pockets, but with strict injunctions _never to change it._'' Our state is not so favourable, Mr. Journalist. We shall be obliged to lay out our guinea every morning of our lives, and to buy back another every evening, at an increasing per centage, to pay the expense of the next day. Moreover, Mrs. Primrose was more reasonable (begging pardon for the expression) than our English friends; for, although she enforced the specie system in her own family, we do not hear that she was ever desirous to intrude it into that of Neighbour Flamborough.</p> <p> I do not mean to enter into the general question of the difference betwixt the circulation of specie and of paper money. I speak of them relatively, as applicable to the wants and wishes of Scotland only. Yet, I must say, it seems strange, that under a liberal system, of which freedom of trade is the very soul, we should be loaded with severe restrictions upon our own national choice, instead of being left at liberty to adopt that representative of value, whether in gold or paper, that best suits our own convenience!</p> <p> To return to the remote Highlands and Islands, Mr. Journalist, I need not tell you that they are inhabited by a race of men, to use Dr. Currie's phrase, ``patient of labour and prodigal of life,'' for succouring whose individual wants the tenth part of an English coal-heaver's wages would be more than enough, but yet who are human creatures, and cannot live absolutely without food--- who are men, and entitled to human compassion--- Christians, and entitled to Christian sympathy. But their claims as men and Christians are not all they have to proffer to administration and to England. The distress to which they are about to be exposed will return upon the state at large in a way very little contemplated.</p> <p> Those sterile and remote regions have been endowed by Providence with treasures of their own, gained from the stormy deep by their hardy inhabitants. The fisheries in the distant Highlands and Isles, under the management of an enlightened Board, have at length accomplished what was long the warmest wish of British patriots, and have driven the Dutch out of all rivalry in this great branch of national industry. The northern fisheries furnish exports to our colonies and to the Continent, exceeding half a million of money annually, and give employment to a very great number of hardy seamen. The value of such a plentiful source of prosperity, whether considered as supplying our navy or affecting our manufactures, is sufficiently obvious. Now observe, Mr. Journalist, how these fisheries are at present conducted.</p> <p> The branches of these obnoxious establishments the Scottish Banks, maintained at convenient and centrical points in the North of Scotland, furnish all the remote and numerous stations where the fisheries are carried on, with small notes and silver for payment of the actual fisher's labour, and in return accept the bills of the fish-curers upon the consignees. This they do at a moderate profit; on which principal alone private industry, and enterprise, and capital, can be made conducive to the public good. The small notes thus circulated in the most distant parts of Scotland, return, indeed, in process of time, to the Banks which issued them; but the course of their return is so slow and circuitous, that the interest accruing on them during their absence amply reimburses the capitalist for the trouble and risk which attend the supply. But let any man who knows the country, or will otherwise endeavour to conceive its poverty and sterility, imagine if he can, the difficulties, expense, and hazard, at which gold must be carried to points where it would never have voluntarily circulated, and from whence, unless detained in some miser's hoard (a practice which the currency in specie, and disuse of interest on deposits, is likely to revive,) it will return to London with the celerity of a carrier-pigeon.</p> <p> The manufacture of Kelp, which is carried on to an immense extent through all the shores and isles of the Highlands, supporting thousands of men with their families, who must otherwise emigrate or starve, and forming the principal revenue of many Highland proprietors, is nearly, if not exactly, on the same footing with the fisheries; is carried on chiefly by the same medium of circulation; and, like them, supplied by the Bankers with small notes for that purpose, at a reasonable profit to themselves, and with the utmost advantage to the country and its productive resources.</p> <p> Referring once more to the state of misery in the distant districts of Ireland, I must once more ask, if these things be done in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry tree? If the want of circulation creates poverty and misery in the comparatively fertile country of Ireland, what is to become of those barren deserts, where even at present the hardest labour which the human frame can endure is necessary to procure the most moderate pittance on which human life can be supported? The inhabitants are now healthy, enterprising, laborious; and their industry, producing means of existence to themselves, is of immense profit to their country. If their means of obtaining the payment of their labour is destroyed, nay, even interrupted, the state must either feed idle paupers, who once flourished a hardy and independent race of labourers, or it must be at the expense of transporting the inhabitants to Canada and New South Wales, and leaving totally waste a country which few but those bound to it by the _Amor patri<ae>_ will desire to reside in, even if the means of procuring subsistence were left unimpaired.</p> <p> Can any thing short of the =utmost necessity= justify an experiment which threatens to depopulate a part of the empire, and destroy the happiness of thousands? and how can such a necessity exist, without the least symptom of its having been felt or suspected during the last hundred and thirty years, when the present system has been in exercise?</p> <p> Destroy the existing conduit, and let me again inquire, what forcing-pump, what new-invented patent pressure, were it devised by Bramah himself, is to compel specie into those inaccessible regions? The difficulty of conveying the supplies is augmented by the risk of carrying wealth unguarded through the regions of poverty. I know my countrymen are indifferent honest, as Hamlet says; yet I would not advise the Genius of the specie system to travel through Scotland, moral as the country is, after the fashion of the fair pilgrim, ``rich and rare,'' in Moore's beautiful melody, just by way of trying the integrity of the inhabitants. Take my word for it, the absence of temptation is no valueless guardian of virtue. If convoys of gold must be sent through lonely mountains, I venture to say, that smugglers will be converted into robbers, and that our romance-writers need not turn back to ancient times for characters like John Gunn or Rob Roy Macgregor.</p> <p> This I am sure of, that if the mere authority of a legislative enactment can force a sufficient quantity of gold into those parts, to carry on the fishery and kelp manufactures, it can do a great deal more in favour of the poor but hardy inhabitants. Why should our statesmen be so stinted in their bounty, if it depends merely on legislative enactment? Why not enact, that whereas the dress now worn by his Majesty's loving inhabitants of the Lewis, Uist, Harries, Edderachyllis, Cape Wrath, and Loch Erriboll, is scanty, thin, and indecorous, each inhabitant of those districts should in future wear a full-trimmed suit of black silk or velvet; and, as his only representative of wealth has been hitherto a crumpled dog's-ear'd piece of Scotch paper, that, in future, he never presume to stir out of his cabin without having, and bearing about his person, the sum of at least five golden sovereigns? The working the stuffs may be a means of relieving the starving weavers of Spitalfields, and the clothes could be conveniently enough forwarded by the escorts who are to protect the chests of specie.</p> <p> It is not amiss to observe, that this violent experiment on our circulation---demanded by no party in Scotland---nay, forced upon us against the consent of all who can render a reason, fraught with such deep ruin if it miscarry, and holding forth no prospect whatever of good, even should it prove successful,---can only be carried on at a very considerable expense to England. She must coin for the service of Scotland at least a million and a half of specie---sustain the loss of tear and wear---the chance of accident and plunder---of disappearance by pilfering and hoarding---and be at the expense of supplying this immense quantity of precious metals, not for the benefit, but for the probable ruin of our devoted country. It is fairly forcing gold down our throats, as little to our advantage, as when the precious metal was sent in a molten state down the gullet of Cyrus, or Crassus,--I forget which.</p> <p> No argument has been alleged by the English statesmen for pressing this measure, but that of ``uniformity;'' by virtue of which principle, a little more extended, they may introduce the Irish Insurrection Law into England to-morrow, and alter the whole national law of Scotland the day after. This argument, I therefore think, proves a little too much, and is, in consequence, no argument at all. In absence of avowed motives, and great darkness as to any imaginable cause, men's minds have entertained very strange and wild fancies, to account for the zeal with which this obnoxious measure is driven forward. Some, who would be thought to see farther into a mill-stone than others, pretend the real reason is to soothe the jealousy of the Bank of England, by preventing the possibility of Scots notes passing in England. It is easy to see how people must be puzzled to discover the semblance of a possible motive, when they have recourse to such figments as this. Can it be conceived that our dearest interests are to be tampered with for such an object?---It is very true, that in the adjacent counties of England, innkeepers for courtesy, and drovers and others dealing at Scots fairs, on account of convenience, readily accept of Scots notes in payment; but that notes, which nobody is obliged to accept, and which the English banks refuse to change, can circulate to such an extent as to alarm the Bank of England!---why, sir, I will as soon believe, that, during the old wars, the city of London beat to arms, called out their Trained-bands, and manned their walls, because the Teviotdale Borderers had snapped up a herd of cattle in Northumberland. What becomes of the comparative excellence of the specie circulation to be established in England, if apprehensions are entertained that it cannot stand its ground against the reprobated paper system of Scotland? In God's name, are they afraid people will prefer paper to gold---leaving, like Hamlet's misjudging mother, the literally golden meads of England, to batten on a Scottish moor? It is like the ridiculous story told, that there is a by-law, or at least a private understanding, that no Scotsman shall be chosen a director of the Bank of England, lest our countrymen engross the whole management in the course of a few years. Why, sir, these opinions remind one of the importance attached to the fated stone in Westminster Abbey, of which it is said, that the Scots shall reign wheresoever it is carried. But, sir, we must not swallow such flattering compliments. The Bank of England jealous of the partial circulation of a few Scottish notes in the north of England!!! Sir, it would be supposing the blessed sun himself jealous of a gas-light manufactory.</p> <p> A few general observations on England's late conduct to us, and I will release you.</p> <p> A very considerable difference may be remarked, within these twenty-five years, in the conduct of the English towards such of the Scotch individuals, as either visit the metropolis as mere birds of passage, or settle there as residents. Times are much changed since the days of Wilkes and Liberty, when the bare suspicion of having come from North of the Tweed, was a cause of hatred, contempt, and obloquy. The good-nature and liberality of the English seem now even to have occasioned a reaction in their sentiments towards their neighbours, as if to atone for the national prejudices of their fathers. It becomes every Scotsman to acknowledge explicitly, and with gratitude, that whatever tenable claim of merit has been made by his countrymen for more than twenty years back, whether in politics, arts, arms, professional distinction, or the paths of literature, it has been admitted by the English, not only freely, but with partial favour. The requital of North Britain can be little more than good wishes and sincere kindness towards her southern Sister, and a hospitable welcome to such of her children as are led by curiosity to visit Scotland. To this ought to be added the most grateful acknowledgment.</p> <p> But though this amicable footing exists between the public of each nation, and such individuals of the other as may come into communication with them, and may God long continue it---yet, I must own, the conduct of England towards Scotland as a kingdom, whose crown was first united to theirs by our giving <u>them</u> a King, and whose dearest national rights were surrendered to them by an incorporating Union, has not been of late such as we were entitled to expect.</p> <p> There has arisen gradually, on the part of England, a desire of engrossing the exclusive management of Scottish affairs, evinced by a number of circumstances, trifling in themselves, but forming a curious chain of proof when assembled together; many of which intimate a purpose to abate us, like old Lear, of our train, and to accustom us to submit to petty slights and mortifications, too petty perhaps individually to afford subject of serious complaint, but which, while they tend to lower us in our own eyes, seem to lay the foundation for fresh usurpations, of which this meditated measure may be an example.</p> <p> This difference of treatment, and of estimation, exhibited towards <u>individuals</u> of the Scottish nation, and to the <u>nation itself</u> as an aggregate, seems at first sight an inconsistency. Does a Scotchman approach London with some pretension to character as a Preacher, a Philosopher, a Poet, an Economist, or an Orator, he finds a welcome and all-hail, which sometimes surprises those whom he has left on the northern side of the Tweed,---little aware, perhaps, of the paragon who had emigrated, till they heard the acclamations attending his reception ---Does a gentleman of private fortune take the same route, he finds a ready and voluntary admission into the class of society for which he is fitted by rank and condition---Is the visitor one of the numerous class who wander for the chance of improving his fortunes, his national character as a Scotsman is supposed to imply the desirable qualities of information, prudence, steadiness, moral and religious feeling, and he obtains even a preference among the Southern employers, who want confidential clerks, land-stewards, head-gardeners, or fit persons to occupy any similar situation, in which the quality of trustworthiness is demanded.</p> <p> But, on the other hand, if the English statesman has a point of great or lesser consequence to settle with Scotland <u>as a country,</u> we find him and his friends at once seized with a jealous, tenacious, wrangling, overbearing humour, and that they not only insist upon conducting the whole matter according to their own will, but are by no means so accessible to the pleas of reason, justice, and humanity, as might be expected from persons in other cases so wise and liberal. We cease at once to be the Northern Athenians, according to the slang of the day---the moral and virtuous people, who are practically and individually esteemed worthy of especial confidence. We have become the caterpillars of the island, instead of its pillars. We seem to be, in their opinion, once more transmuted into the Scots described by Churchill---a sharp sharking race, whose wisdom is cunning, and whose public spirit consists only in an illiberal nationality, inclining us, by every possible exertion of craft, to obtain advantage at the expense of England.</p> <p> Sir, the Englishman, just and liberal in his ordinary and natural movements, is prone to feverish fits of suspicion, during which he is apt to conceive that those qualities of frankness and generosity render him peculiarly liable to be imposed on. He will always <u>give</u> willingly, but he often becomes shabby and litigious in making a bargain. John Bull is, in these points, exactly similar to his own Hotspur, who, in his dispute with Glendower about the turning of the Trent, exclaims,---<p> ``I do not care---I'll give thrice so much land To any well-deserving friend; But in the way of <u>bargain,</u> mark ye me, I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.''<*></p> </p> </p> <p>Between ourselves, Patrick, John Bull is, not unnaturally, desirous of having rather more than his own share in managing the great national coach-and-six. He will drive four-in-hand; and though he has hitherto allowed you a postilion of your own, yet in some scheme of economy he may dismiss him if you do not look sharp, and drive the whole set of six horses himself. It is different portions of their ancient independence which are reserved to Scotland and Ireland by their respective treaties of union. Scotland retained her ancient laws, and Ireland a typical representation of her national sovereignty. But both rights are held by the same tenure, and if Ireland set an example, by aiding a gross infringement of the Scottish Union---if she aid England, in destroying for mere humour---I beg pardon, for mere ``uniformity's sake,''---every little mark of independence which is left us---if she countenance the obvious desire which exhibits itself to break down all peculiar privileges due to the separate nations of the union, to engross the whole management in Boards, which, sitting in London, and begirt by Englishmen, are to dispense the patronage, and direct the improvements, of another nation of the Union, Ireland will accelerate her own then unpitied degradation. What is our case to-day, brothers of Erin, will be yours the instant you have got a little tranquillity,--- are caught napping---and are in condition to have the aforesaid ceremony practised upon you without danger---I mean danger to the operator, for peril to the creature itself is of no consequence. I see you grasp your shilellah at the very thought! Enough; we understand each other: Let us be friends. Patrick aids Saunders to-day; Saunders pays back Patrick to-morrow, or I will throw away my thistle, burn my St. Andrew's cross, and disclaim my country!<p> The Continent has seen John in both these moods; and not being able to understand the cause of the change, has been apt to suppose his habits are entirely altered; whereas they see only the same man in two different and extreme humours; in one of which he would willingly relieve a begging vagabond, because the rascal must live; and, in the other, will hardly be brought to pay the bill of a poor tradesman, because he is afraid of being over-reached. The ancient and modern mode in which the English travellers did, and do now, pay their ordinary bills on the Continent, are an example of this piebald humour:---Formerly, John travelled <u>en prince,</u> and even overlooked any species of imposition in innkeepers and <u>valets-de-place,</u> as not worth the care of <u>un homme tel que lui.</u> Now, he insists upon a preliminary contract---a solemn treaty for his <u>coutelet</u> and his _vin de pais_---and, neither for love of money, nor for want of money, but from a feverish apprehension that he may possibly be cheated in a reckoning, goes so miserably to work, that all the world cries ``Shame on him!''<*></p> </p> <ul> <li>It was the following verse of an old song:--- <em> </em> When the pipes begin to play <em> <u>Tutti taittie</u> to the drum, </em> Out claymore, and down wi' gun, <em> And to the rogues again. </em> <em> I have laid it aside in this edition, some cautious friends thinking </em> it liable to misinterpretation.---S. The Motto had been * sharply criticized by Mr. Croker.---=Ed.=<p> To the better, more natural, more predominating disposition of our neighbours, I am well disposed to ascribe the many marks of partiality and kindness shown to individual Scotsmen by the English at large---to the latter suspicious, dogged illiberal determination to have the best of the bargain--- that ungracious humour, which forgets even justice as well as liberal feelings, for fear their good-nature should be imposed upon,---I am compelled to ascribe much of their recent behaviour in international discussions. In such fits of jealousy, men are like those who wear green spectacles. Every object they look upon is tinged with the predominant colour, which exists not in the objects themselves, but in the medium through which they are viewed. Talk to an English statesman of the fairest, the most equitable proposal for the advancement of Scotland as a nation, the most just and indisputable claim on behalf of her public establishments or functionaries, the idea of a <u>Scotch Job</u> starts up like an apparition, and frightens all power of equitable decision out of the Minister's head. It is in vain urged, that even the expense of the proposed measure must be discharged by Scotland herself---her sister is ready with the schoolboy's answer to his fag,---``All that is <u>yours</u> is <u>ours,</u> and all <u>ours</u> is _our own._'' Let the scales of Justice be trimmed with the nicest exactness if you will, but do not let Authority throw the sword into the scale from mere apprehension, lest, after having done her utmost to secure the advantage, she be cheated in the weighing.</p> <p> In an old Scottish law, to be convicted of being an Egyptian, or gipsy, was equivalent to conviction that the party was a common and notorious thief. And truly the English seem to think (in public matters, though by no means in private relations,) that being a Scotsman is equivalent to being an embezzler of public money, a jobber, and a peculator. But when they suppose that we are able and willing in all such cases to impose on them, they do injustice alike to their own shrewdness and our integrity.</p> <p> It arises out of this unhappy state of feeling towards us, more than to any actual desire of giving us offence, that England has of late abated our establishment in many respects in which our rank as a kingdom of the Union is in some degree compromised.</p> <p> Last year a bill, deeply affecting the national interests of Scotland, by altering many most important points in our judicature, was depending in Parliament. Grave objections appeared to the Law Bodies and others in Scotland, to attach to some particular arrangements thereby proposed. They required, not that the bill should be given up, but that it should be suspended at least, till the country in which it was to operate, and which alone was to be hurt or benefited by the enactment, should have time to consider the measure in all its bearings, and to express their national sense upon the subject. Can it be believed that it required the strongest possible remonstrances of the great law-officer of the crown with his Majesty's Ministers to obtain a few months' reprieve, as if the demolition, or alteration at least, of our laws, was a matter as little deserving a month's delay, as the execution of some flagrant criminal, justly and fully convicted of the most gross crimes? Take one or two instances more.</p> <p> Till of late, there was generally an Admiral on this station; but since the gallant Sir John Beresford struck his flag, that mark of distinction seems to have been laid aside, probably for ever. Our army establishment is dwindled to a shadow, scarce worthy of being placed under the command of the distinguished Major-General who now holds it, although he only commands the forces, instead of being, as was commonly the case till of late years, a Commander-in-Chief, with a Lieutenant-General and two Major-Generals, under him. I need hardly say, that I would wish this abatement of our dignity, in some measure at least, amended, not by the <u>removal,</u> but by the <u>promotion</u> of the gallant General.</p> <p> It may be replied, that we are complimented in being thus left to ourselves---that we are a moral people, therefore do not require a military force to keep the peace---a loyal people, therefore do not need an armed force to put down tumult---that we have our own brave yeomanry, who, at no distant period, showed themselves capable of affording their country protection in the most desirable manner, anticipating mischief by their promptitude, and preventing evil before it had come to a head. But have these yeomen, who twice in a few months abandoned their homes at a few hours' warning, marched many miles, and by their demonstration of readiness, put an end to a very serious affair, and what might have been a very disastrous one---have they, I say, since that period, received the countenance due for their good-will from the Government, and which should have been rendered alike in policy and justice? I am informed they have not. I am informed that they are, at least particular troops of them are, refused the small allowance made on the days when they are called out for exercise, and must either discharge the duty of training always sufficiently expensive and inconvenient, entirely at their own expense, as some of them have done for two years, or suffer their discipline to fall into decay. Can it be that our English brethren have taken a notion that sabres are only curved broadswords, and that these are unhappy weapons in the hands of Scotsmen? I acquit them of such meanness. But they despise us a little too much.</p> <p> Sir, Discontent is the child of Distress, and Distress is the daughter of ill-timed Experiment. Should we again see disorderly associations formed, and threats of open violence held out---should such a winter and spring as 1821 return, it may not, in the event of the measure with which Scotland is threatened, be quite so easy, as at that period, to assemble on a given spot, within a day or two, twelve or fourteen hundred yeomen to support the handful of military left within Scotland. That general spirit of loyalty will, I am sure, be the same. But when proprietors are embarrassed, tenants distressed, commercial people in doubt and danger, men lose at once their zeal, and the means for serving the public. This is not unworthy of serious consideration.</p> <p> I mentioned in my former Letter another circumstance, of which I think my country has reason to complain. It is that sort of absolute and complete state of tutelage to which England seems disposed to reduce her sister country, subjecting her in all her relations to the despotic authority of English Boards, which exercise an exclusive jurisdiction in Scottish affairs, without regard to her local peculiarities, and with something like contempt of her claims as a country united with England, but which certainly has never resigned the right of being at least consulted in her own concerns. I mentioned the restrictions, and, as I conceive them, degrading incapacities inflicted on our Revenue Boards,---I might extend the same observations to the regulations in the Stamp-Office; ---and I remember, when these were in progress, that it was said in good society, that the definitive instructions (verbal, I believe) communicated to the able officer upon whom the examination and adjustment of the alterations in that department devolved, and who was sent down hither on purpose, were to this purport:---``That he was to proceed in Scotland without more regard to the particular independence of that country than he would feel in Yorkshire.'' These, however, were matters interesting the general revenue---the servants of the Crown had a right to regulate them as they pleased. But if they were regulated with a purposed and obvious intention to lessen the consequence of Scotland, throw implied discredit on her natives, as men unworthy of trust, and hold her recollections and her feelings at nought, they make links in a chain which seems ready to be wound around us whenever our patience will permit.</p> <p> This, sir, is an unwise, nay, an unsafe proceeding. An old chain, long worn, forms a callosity on the limb which bears it, and is endured, with whatever inconvenience, as a thing of custom. It is not so with restraints newly imposed. These fret--- gall---gangrene---the iron enters first into the flesh, and then into the soul. I speak out what more prudent men would keep silent. I may lose friends by doing so: but he who is like Malachi Malagrowther, old and unfortunate, has not many to lose, and risks little in telling truths before, when men of rising ambition and budding hopes would leave them to be discovered by the event. The old tree and the withered leaf are easily parted.</p> <p> But, besides such matters of punctilio, Mr. Journalist, there has been in England a gradual and progressive system of assuming the management of affairs entirely and exclusively proper to Scotland, as if we were totally unworthy of having the management of our own concerns. All must centre in London. We could not have a Caledonian canal, but the commissioners must be Englishmen, and meet in London;---a most useful canal they would have made of it, had not the lucky introduction of steam-boats---_Deus ex machina_--- come just in time to redeem them from having made the most expensive and most useless undertaking of the kind ever heard of since Noah floated his ark! We could not be intrusted with the charge of erecting our own kirks, (churches in the highlands,) or of making our roads and bridges in the same wild districts, but these labours must be conducted under the tender care of men who knew nothing of our country, its wants and its capabilities, but who, nevertheless, sitting in their office in London, were to decide, without appeal, upon the conduct of the roads in Lochaber!---Good Heaven, sir! to what are we fallen?---or rather, what are we esteemed by the English? Wretched drivellers, incapable of understanding our own affairs; or greedy peculators, unfit to be trusted? On what ground are we considered either as the one or the other?</p> <p> But I may perhaps be answered, that these operations are carried on by grants of public money; and that, therefore, the English---undoubtedly the only disinterested and public-spirited and trustworthy persons in the universe---must be empowered exclusively to look after its application. Public money forsooth!!! I should like to know whose pocket it comes out of? Scotland, I have always heard, contributes =four millions= to the public revenue. I should like to know, before we are twitted with grants of public money, how much of that income is dedicated to Scottish purposes--- how much applied to the general uses of the empire--- and if the balance should be found to a great amount on the side of Scotland, as I suspect it will, I should like still farther to know how the English are entitled to assume the direction and disposal of any pittance which may be permitted, out of the produce of our own burdens, to revert to the peculiar use of the nation from which it has been derived? If England was giving us alms, she would have a right to look after the administration of them, lest they should be misapplied or embezzled. If she is only consenting to afford us a small share of the revenue derived from our own kingdom, we have some title, methinks, to be consulted in the management, nay, intrusted with it.</p> <p> This assumption of uncalled-for guardianship accelerates the circulation a little, and inclines one to say to his countrymen,<p> ``Our blood has been too cold and temperate, Unapt to stir at such indignities.''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>summons which my countrymen have been best accustomed to obey. Saunders, if it please your honours, has been so long unused to stand erect in your honours' presence, that, if I would have him behave like a man, I must (like Sir Lucius O'Trigger backing Bob Acres) slap him on the shoulder, and throw a word in every now and then about his <u>honour.</u> But it is not a hostile signal towards you. The drums beat to <u>arms</u> and the trumpets sound <u>Heraus,</u> as well when the soldiers are called out for a peaceful as for a military object. And, which is more to the purpose, the last time the celebrated Fiery Cross was circulated in the Highlands, (it was in the country of the Grants,) the clansmen were called forth not to fight an enemy, but to stop the progress of a dreadful conflagration which had been kindled in the woods. To my countrymen I speak in the language of many recollections, certain they are not likely to be excited beyond the bounds of temperate and constitutional remonstrance, but desirous, by every effort in my, power, to awaken them to a sense of their national danger.</p> <ul> <li>1st Henry IV., Act iii., scene i.</li> <li>See the amusing work called _The English in Italy._---S.<p> This is really, sir, putting the few offices we have left to indicate our ancient independence, on a more ridiculous footing than the Dukes of Normandy and Aquitaine, which imaginary vassals of England used to revive at every coronation, and were each of them allowed a whole man to represent them;<*> while poor Scotland's high officers of</p> </li> </ul> <p>You could not keep a decent servant in your family, sir, far more a partner, if you obviously treated such a person as a man in whom no confidence was to be reposed even in his own department. A ludicrous mode has been lately fallen upon of keeping up in appearance, and as far as the almanack goes, our old list of Scottish offices. First, they deprive a high office of state of all its emoluments, and then they unite it with one to which some emolument is still permitted to attach; so they are doubled, like slices of bread and butter laid face to face---English fashion, as schoolboys used to call it---with this great difference, that only one slice is buttered---an improvement which would scarce suit John Bull's taste. The office of Lord Clerk Register is thus united with that of the Keeper of the Signet, with the emolument attached to the last alone.<*> It was at another time proposed, on the</p> <ul> <li>The Right Hon. Lord Clerk Register has deserved---what <em> he will think better than either office or salary---the solemn </em> thanks of his countrymen, for the frank and decided tone * which he has taken in the Currency Question.---S.<p> ``Two single gentlemen roll'd into one;''</p> </li> </ul> <p>same liberal footing, to unite the office of the Lord Justice-General, (salary suppressed,) though I believe the bill did not pass.<p> ``Magni nominis umbra.''</p> </p> <ul> <li>The good taste which directed the last august ceremony, * dispensed with the appearance of these phantoms.---S.<p> ``What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five, To follow in a house where twice so many Have a command to tend you?''---</p> </li> </ul> <h2>state resemble Coleman's</h2> <p> ---``What need _one?_''</p> <p>or rather remind us of the starveling shifts of a strolling company, in which two parts are performed by one actor and for one salary. There may be an emblem in the thing though. It is perhaps designed to represent an union between two kingdoms, or an incorporating union, in which one enjoys the full advantages and supereminent authority, and the other remains,<p> But what will England take by this engrossing spirit? Not the miserable candle-ends and cheese-parings; these, I dare say, she scorns. The mere pleasure, then, of absolute authority---the gratification of humour exacted by a peevish and petted child, who will not be contented till he has the toy in his own hand, though he break it the next moment. Is any real power derived by centering the immediate and direct control of every thing in London? Far from it. On the contrary, that great metropolis is already a head too bulky for the empire, and, should it take a vertigo, the limbs would be unable to support it. The misfortune of France, during the Revolution, in all its phases, was, that no part of the kingdom could think for itself or act for itself; all were from habit necessitated to look up to Paris. Whoever was uppermost there---and the worst party is apt to prevail in a corrupted metropolis---were, without possibility of effectual contradiction, the uncontrolled and despotic rulers of France---<u>absit omen!</u></p> <p> Again, would the British empire become stronger, were it possible to annul and dissolve all the distinctions and peculiarities, which, flowing out of circumstances, historical events, and difference of customs and climates, make its relative parts still, in some respects, three separate nations, though intimately incorporated into one empire? Every rope-maker knows, sir, that three distinct strands, as they are called, incorporated and twisted together, will make a cable ten times stronger than the same quantity of hemp, however artificially combined into a single twist of cord. The reason is obvious to the meanest capacity. If one of the strands happen to fail a little, there is a threefold chance that no imperfection will occur in the others at the same place, so that the infirm strand may give way a little, yet the whole cord remain trustworthy. If the single twist fail at any point, all is over. For God's sake, sir, let us remain as Nature made us, Englishmen, Irishmen, and Scotchmen, with something like the impress of our several countries upon each! We would not become better subjects, or more valuable members of the common empire, if we all resembled each other like so many smooth shillings. Let us love and cherish each other's virtues---bear with each other's failings--- be tender to each other's prejudices---be scrupulously regardful of each other's rights. Lastly, let us borrow each other's improvements, but never before they are needed and demanded. The degree of national diversity between different countries is but an instance of that general variety which Nature seems to have adopted as a principle through all her works, as anxious, apparently, to avoid, as modern statesmen to enforce, any thing like an approach to absolute ``uniformity.''</p> <p> It may be said that some of the grievances I have complained of are mere trifles. I grant they are---excepting in the feelings and intentions towards Scotland which they indicate. But, according to Bacon's maxim, you will see how the wind sits by flinging up a feather, which you cannot discern by throwing up a stone. Affronts are almost always more offensive than injuries, although they seldom are in themselves more than trifles. The omitting to discharge a gun or two in a salute, the raising or striking of a banner or sail, have been the source of bloody wars. England lost America about a few miserable chests of tea---she endangered India for the clipping of a mustache.</p> <p> But let us humble ourselves to our situation, and confine our remonstrances to the immediate grievance, which surely cannot be termed punctilious or unimportant.</p> <p> To England we say, therefore, Let us appeal from Philip intoxicated to Philip sober. Leave out exasperating circumstances on either side, and examine our remonstrance, not in the jealous feeling of which we have reason to complain, but in the gentlemanlike and liberal tone so much more becoming a great nation, and according, I must say, so much better with your natural disposition. As you mean that a value should be set upon your free public voice by your legislators, allow the natural influence of that of Scotland, in a matter exclusively relating to her own affairs, but so intimately connected with her welfare, that nothing since the year 1748 has occurred of such importance. The precedent is a bad one at any rate; the consequences will be much worse.<p> ``Prevent---resist it. Let it not be so, Lest children's children call against you---_woe!_''</p> </p> <p> Our Scottish Nobles and Gentlemen, I cannot better exhort to resist the proposal at every stage, by the most continued and unremitting opposition ---to be discouraged by nothing---to hope to the last ---to combat to the last---than by using once more the words of the patriotic Belhaven:---``Man's extremity is God's opportunity. He is a present help in time of need; a deliverer, and that right early. Some unforeseen providence will fall out, that may cast the balance. Some Moses will say, Why do you strive together when you are brethren? Some Judah or other will say, Let not our hand be upon him, he is our brother. Let us up then, and be doing; and let our noble patriots behave themselves like men, and we know not how soon a blessing may come.''<h2> I am, Mr. Journalist,</h2> <p> Yours,</p> <p> =Malachi Malagrowther.=</p> <h2> LETTER III.<! p25></h2> <p> <u>March</u> 7,1826.</p> </p> <p> =Dear Mr. Journalist,=</p> <p> This third set of Mr. Baxter's last words is rather a trial on your patience, considering how much <u>Balaam</u> (speaking technically) I have edged out of your valuable paper; how I have trodden on the toes of your Domestic Intelligence, and pushed up to the wall even your Political Debates, until you have almost lost your honoured title of the =Edinburgh Journal= in that of =Malachi's Chronicle.=</p> <p> I returned from the Meeting of Inhabitants on Friday last, sir, convoked for considering this question, with much feeling of gratification from what I saw and heard; but still a little disappointed that no one appeared on the opposite side, excepting one gentleman (``self pulling,'' as Captain Crowe says, ``against the whole ship's crew,'') whose eloquence used no other argument than by recommending implicit deference to the wisdom of Ministers. I am a pretty stanch Tory myself, but not up to this point of humility. I never have nor will bargain for an implicit surrender of my private judgment in a national question of this sort. I am but an unit, but of units the whole sum of society is composed. On the present question, had I been the born servant of Ministers, I would have used to them the words of Cornwall's dependent, when he interferes to prevent his master from treading out Gloster's eyes---<p> ``I have served you ever since I have been a child, But better service have I never done you, Than now to bid you _Hold._''</p> </p> <p> Or in a yet more spirited passage in the same drama---<p> ``Be Kent unmannerly, When Lear is mad.''</p> </p> <p> To return to the business. By the unanimity of the meeting, I lost an opportunity of making a very smart extempore speech, which I had sate up half the night for the purpose of composing. To have so much eloquence die within me unuttered, excited feelings like those of Sancho, when, in the deserts of the Sierra Morena, his good things rotted in his gizzard. To console me, however, I found, on my return to my lodgings in the Lawnmarket, my own lucubrations blazing in the goodly form of two responsible pamphlets. I seized on them as if I had never seen them before, and recited the more animated passages aloud, striding up and down a room, in which, from its dimensions, striding is not very convenient. I ended with reading aloud the motto, which I designed in the pride of my heart to prefix to my immortal twins, hen, side by side, under the same comely cover, whey shall travel down to posterity as a crown octavo;---<p> ``He set a bugle to his mouth, And blew a blast sae shrill, The trees in greenwood shook thereat, Sae loud rang ilka hill.''<*></p> </p> </p> <p>I do not suppose this farce will be continued long. We shall in due time, I suppose, be put all under English control, deprived even of the few native dignitaries and office-holders we have left, and accommodated with a set of English superintendents in every department. It will be upon the very reasoning of Goneril before alluded to:---<p> But while I mentally claimed for myself the honour of alarming Scotland, from Coldstream Bridge to the far Highlands, I was giving, by the noise I made, far greater alarm to my neighbour, Christopher Chrysal, who keeps the small hardware and miscellaneous shop under the turnpike stair. Now, sir, you must know that Chrysal deals occasionally in broken tea-spoons and stray sugar-tongs, dismantled lockets and necklaces (which have passed with more or less formality from ladies to their waiting-maids,) seals, out of which valets have knocked the stones that the setting might be rendered available, and such other small gear,---nay, I once saw an old silver coffee-pot in his possession. On the score, therefore, of being connected with the precious metals by his calling, neighbour Chrysal has set himself up for a patron and protector of gold and silver, and a stout contender for bullion currency. With a half-crown in one hand, and a twenty-shilling note in the other, he will spout like a player over the two pictures in Hamlet, and it is great to hear him address them alternately---<p> ``=This= is the thing itself---Off, off, ye lendings!''</p> </p> </p> <h2>Patrick, will you play Regan, and echo,</h2> <p> I had no sooner apologized to Christopher for the disturbance I had occasioned (which I did with some shame of countenance,) than I politely offered him a copy of my pamphlet. He thanked me, but added with a grin (for you know no man is a prophet in his own common stair,) that he had nothing particular to wrap up at present: ``But in troth, Mr. Malachi,'' said he, ``I looked over your pamphlet in the reading-room, and I must tell you as a friend, you have just made a fool of yourself, Mr. Malachi.''---``A fool!'' replied I; ``when, how, and in what manner?''---``Ye have set out, sir,'' replied he,---for Chrysal is a kind of orator, and speaks as scholarly and wisely as his neighbours, ---``with assuming the principle, which you should have proved---You say, that in consequence of restoring the healthful currency of the precious metals, instead of keeping those ragged scraps of paper, Scotland will experience a want of the circulating medium, by which deprivation her industry will be cramped, her manufactures depressed, her fisheries destroyed, and so forth. But you know nothing of the nature of the precious metals, and how should you?''</p> <p> ``Why, not by dealing in old thimbles, broken buckles, and children's whistles, certainly, or stolen _sprecherie,_'' said I; ``but speak out, man, wherein do I evince ignorance of the nature of the precious metals---tell me that?''</p> <p> ``Why, Mr. Malachi Malagrowther,'' said my friend, in wrath, ``I pronounce you ignorant of the most ordinary principles of Political Economy. In your unadvised tract there, you have shown yourself as irritable as Balaam, and as obstinate as his ass. You are making yourself and other people fidgety about the want of gold, to supply the place of that snuff-paper of yours; now in this, I repeat, you are ignorant.''</p> <p> Here he raised his voice, as if speaking <u>ex cathedra.</u> ``Gold,'' continued he, ``is a commodity itself, though it be also the representative of other commodities; just as a banker is a man, though his business is to deal money. Gold, therefore, like all other commodities, will flow to the place where there is a demand for it. It will be found, assure yourself, wherever it is most wanted; just as, if you dig a well, water will percolate into it from all the neighbourhood. Twenty years ago you could not have seen a cigar in Edinburgh. Gillespie, the greatest snuff-merchant of his day, would not have known what you wanted had you asked him for one; and now the shop-windows of the dealers are full of real Havannahs,---and why?---because you see every writer's apprentice with a cigar in his mouth. It is the demand that makes the supply, and so it will be with the gold. The balance of free-trade, whether the commodity be gold or grain, will go where the one finds mouths to be fed, the other a currency to be supported. What sent specie into the lagoons of Venice, and into the swamps of Holland formerly, as well as into the emporium of London now, while large cities, situated under a finer climate, and in a more fertile country, were and are comparatively destitute of the precious metals?---what, save the tendency of commerce, like water, to find its own just level, and to send all the commodities subject to its influence, the precious metals included, to the points where they are most wanted?''</p> <p> Now, Mr. Journalist, I am a man of a quick temper, but somewhat of a slow wit; and though it struck me that there was something fallacious in this argument, yet, bolstered out as it was by his favourite metaphor, it sounded so plausible, that the right answer did not at once occur to me. Chrysal went on in triumph: ``You speak of your Fisheries and Kelp manufacture, and such like, and seem to dread that they will be all ruined for want of a circulating medium. But, sir, one of two, things must happen. Either =first,= assuming that these branches of industry are beneficial to the individuals, and make advantageous returns; as such they will have the usual power of attracting towards them the specie necessary to carry them on, and, of course, no change whatever will take place. Or, =secondly,= these fisheries, and so forth, produce no adequate return for the labour expended on them, and are therefore a compulsory species of manufacture, like those establishments instituted at the direct expense, and under the immediate control of government, which we see fading in despotic countries, or only deriving a sickly existence by the expenditure of the Sovereign, and not by their own natural vigour. In that latter case,'' he pursued, ``those fishing and kelping operations are not productive---are useless to the country---and ought not to be carried on an hour longer; they only occasion the mis-employment of so much capital, the loss of so much labour. Leave your kelp-rocks to the undisturbed possession of seals and mermaids, if there be any---you will buy <u>barilla</u> cheaper in South America. Send your Highland fishers to America and Botany Bay, where they will find plenty of food, and let them leave their present sterile residence in the utter and undisturbed solitude for which Nature designed it. Do not think you do any hardship in obeying the universal law of nature, which leads wants and supplies to draw to their just and proper level, and equalize each other; which attracts gold to those spots, and those only, where it can be profitably employed, and induces man to transport himself from the realms of famine to those happier regions, where labour is light and subsistence plentiful.</p> <p> ``Lastly,'' said the unconscionable Christopher, ``sweep out of your head, Mr. Malachi, all that absurd rubbish of ancient tradition and history about national privileges---you might as well be angry with the Provost who pulled down the Luckenbooths. They do not belong to this day, in which so many changes have taken place, and so many more are to be expected. We look for what is =useful,= sir, and to what is useful only; and our march towards utility is not to be interrupted by reference to antiquated treaties, or obsolete prejudices. So, while you sit flourishing your claymore, Mr. Malachi, on the top of your Articles of Union, very like the figure of a Highlander on the sign of a whisky-office, take care you are not served as the giant who built his castle on the marvellous beanstalk--- Truth comes like the old woman with the `cuttie-axe'---it costs but a swashing blow or two, and down comes Malachi and his whole system.'' ---So saying, <u>exit</u> Christopher, <u>ovans.</u></p> <p> There was such a boldness and plausibility about the fellow, and such a confidence in the arguments which he expressed so fluently, that I felt a temporary confusion of ideas, and was obliged to throw myself into what has been, for many generations, the considering position of the Malagrowther family: that is to say, I flung myself back in our hereditary easy-chair, fixing my eyes on the roof, but keeping them, at the same time, half shut; having my hands folded, and twirling my thumbs slowly around each other, a motion highly useful in unravelling and evolving the somewhat tangled thread of the ideas. Thus seated, in something short of two hours I succeeded in clearing out the ravelled skean, which evolved itself in as orderly a coil before me as if it had been touched by the rod of Prince Percinet, in the fairy tale, and I am about to communicate the result. I must needs own that my discoveries went so far as was like to have involved you in an examination of the general principles on which the doctrine of currency depends. But since, <u>entre nous,</u> we might get a little beyond our depth on the subject, I have restrained myself within the limits of the question, as practically applicable to Scotland.</p> <p> My present business is to inquire how this meditated change of circulation, supposing it forcibly imposed on us, is to be accomplished---by what magic art, in other words, our paper is to be changed into gold, without some great national distress, nay, convulsion, <u>in transitu?</u></p> <p> My neighbour deems anxiety in this case quite ridiculous. Gold, he says, is a commodity, and whenever its presence becomes necessary, there it will appear. Guineas, according to Christopher, are like the fairy goblets in Parnell's tale,<p> ``that with a wish come nigh, And with a wish retire.''</p> </p> <p>Take care, my good fellow! for you will scarce get a great share in our spoils, and will be shortly incapacitated, and put under a statute of lunacy as well as ourselves.<p> And yet there is some truth in what my neighbour says; for if a man is indispensably obliged to have a sum of money, why he must make every effort to raise it. Supposing I was in business, and threatened with insolvency, I might find myself under the necessity of getting cash by selling property at an under rate, or procuring loans at usurious interest on what I retained, and in that ruinous manner I might raise money, because still nearer ruin stared me in the face if I did not. The question is, how long supplies so obtained could continue;---Not an instant longer than I have articles to sell or to pawn. After this, my usual wants would be as pressing, but I might wish my heart out ere I found a groat to relieve them---No fairy will leave a silver penny in my shoe. Now, I fear it must be by some such violent sacrifices, as those in the case supposed, that Scotland must purchase and maintain her metallic currency, if her present substitute is debarred.</p> <p> Mr. Chrysal's proposition should not then run, that gold will come when it is most needed, but should have been expressed thus,---that in countries where the presence of gold is rendered indispensable, it must be obtained, whatever price is given for it, while the means of paying such a price remain.</p> <p> He amuses himself, indeed, and puzzles his hearers, by affirming that gold is like water, and, like water when poured out, it will find its level. ---A metaphor is no argument in any instance; but I think I can contrive in the present to turn my friend's own water-engine against him. Scotland, sir, is not <u>beneath</u> the level to which gold flows naturally. She is <u>above</u> that level, and she may perish for want of it ere she sees a guinea, without she, or the State for her, be at the perpetual expense of maintaining, by constant expenditure of a large per centage, that metallic currency which has a natural tendency to escape from a poor country back to a rich one. Just so, a man might die of thirst on the top of a Scottish hill, though a river or a lake lay at the base of it. Therefore, if we insist upon the favourite comparison of gold to water, we must conceive the possibility of the golden Pactolus flowing up Glencroe in an opposite direction to the natural element, which trots down from the celebrated <u>Rest and be Thankful.</u></p> <p> If my friend would consult the clerk of the Water Company, at his office in the Royal Exchange, he would explain the matter at once. ``Let me have,'' says Mr. Chrysal, ``a pipe of water to my house.''---``Certainly, sir; it will cost you forty shillings yearly.''---``The devil it will! Why, surely the Lawnmarket is lower than the Reservoir on the Castlehill? It is the nature of water to come to a level. What title have you to charge me money, when the element is only obeying the laws of Nature, and descending to its level?''---``Very true, sir,'' replies the clerk; ``but then it was no law of Nature brought it to the reservoir, at a height which was necessary to enable us to disperse the supply over the city. On the contrary, it was an exertion of Art in despite of Nature. It was forced hither by much labour and ingenuity. Lakes were formed,---aqueducts constructed, rivers dammed up, pipes laid for many miles. Without immense expense, the water could never have been brought here; and without your paying a rateable charge, you cannot have the benefit of it.''</p> <p> This is exactly the case with the gold currency. It must have a natural tendency to centre in London, for the exchange is heavily against Scotland. We have the whole public income, four millions a-year, to remit thither. Independent of that large and copious drain, we have occasion to send to England the rents of non-resident proprietors, and a thousand other payments to make to London, which must be done in specie, or by bills payable in the metropolis. So that the circulation moves thither of free-will, like a horse led by the bridle; while Scotland's attempts to detain it, are like those of a wild Highlandman catching his pony by the tail. Or, to take a very old comparison, London is like Aboulcasem's well, full of gold, gems, and every thing valuable. The rich contents are drawn from it by operations resembling those of a forcing-pump, which compel small portions into the extreme corners of the kingdom; but all these golden streamlets, when left to themselves, trickle back to the main reservoir.</p> <p> My friend's idea of a voluntary, unsolicited, and unbought supply of metallic currency, is like the reasoning of old Merrythought, when, with only a shilling in his pocket, he expresses a resolution to continue a jovial course of life. ``But how wilt thou come by the means, Charles?'' says his wife. ``How?'' replied the gay old gentleman, in a full reliance on his resources,---``How?---Why, how have I done hitherto, these forty years?---I never came into my dining-room, but, at eleven and six o'clock, I found excellent meat and drink on the table. My clothes were never worn out, but next morning a tailor brought me a new suit, and, without question, it will be so ever---use makes perfectness.'' The dramatist has rescued his jolly epicurean out of the scrape before his slender stock was exhausted; but in what mode Scotland is to be relieved from the expense about to be imposed on a country, where industry and skill can but play a saying game, at best, against national disadvantages, is not so easy to imagine.</p> <p> What may be the expense of purchasing in the outset, and maintaining in constant supply, a million and a half of gold, I cannot pretend to calculate, but something may be guessed from the following items:---To begin, like Mrs. Glass's recipe for dressing a hare, _first catch your hare_---first buy your gold at whatever sacrifice of loss of exchange; then add to the price a reasonable profit to those who are to advance the purchase-money---next insure your specie against water-thieves and land-thieves, perils of winds, waves, and rocks, from the Mint to the wharf, from the wharf to Leith, from Leith to Edinburgh, from Edinburgh to the most remote parts of Scotland, unprotected by police of any kind---the insurances can be no trifle; besides, that an accident or two, like the loss of the Delight smack the other day, with <L>4000 of specie on board, will make a tolerably heavy addition to other bills of charges, as the expense of carriages, guards, and so forth---then add the items together, and compute the dead loss of interest upon the whole sum. The whole may be moderately calculated at an expense of more than <u>five per cent.,</u> a charge which must ultimately be laid on the Scottish manufactures, agricultural operations, fisheries, and other public and private undertakings; many of which are not at present returning twelve or fifteen per cent. of profit at the uttermost.</p> <p> My friend Chrysal's reasoning rested on this great mistake, that he confounds the necessity of our procuring gold under the operation of the new system, and the supplies which that necessity must necessarily oblige us to purchase, with a voluntary determination of unbought treasures running uphill to find their level at Stornoway, Tongue, or Oban. He imagines that the specie, for which we have to pay a heavy consideration, will come to our service voluntarily. I answer, in one word, the gold will come, if purchased, =and not otherwise.= The expense attending the operation will be just a tax upon the parties who pay it, with this difference, that it makes no addition to the public revenue. Every sovereign we get, which passes, of course, for twenty shillings, will, before it gets to the north of Scotland, have cost _one_-and-twenty. Illustrations of so plain a proposition are endless. Suppose Government had imposed a stamp-duty upon any commodity, and, whilst with some other cowl'd neighbours I am canvassing its effects, I ask, as a party concerned,---``But how are we to come by these stamps? The branch of commerce to which they apply is not able to bear the impost.'' Up rises my friend Chrysal in reply---``Stamped paper,'' says he, ``is a commodity; and, like all commodities, flows to the point where there is a demand.'' True---but, unhappily, when the stamped paper is in bodily presence, I cannot have a slip of it till I pay the impost; and if my trade does not enable me to do so, I must give it up, or be a ruined man!</p> <p> The same consequences must attend the increased expense of the circulation under the proposed measure, as would apply to a tax in any other form. The manufactures, public works, and private speculations, which are making a return, enabling them to defray the charge attending the more expensive medium of circulation, will struggle on as they can, with less profit by the direct amount, and more disadvantages arising from the means of circulation being at the mercy of winds and waves, and subjected to long and perilous transportation before the gold reaches them. Those, on the other hand, whose trade makes more precarious returns, will be no longer able to wait for better times. They will give up all, and the consequences to Scotland---and England also---omitting all allusion to individual distress, will be a black history.</p> <p> I have already said, that the Fisheries and Kelp shores, and improvements on the more bleak and distant districts, will probably be the first sufferers. And my neighbour replies, with a sweeping argument, that enterprises which cannot support themselves by their own exertions, and natural returns of profit, ought not to have the encouragement of Government---that they are only vain schemes, in which labour and expense are wasted without their bringing the necessary return, and that the force employed in keeping up these barren and fruitless undertakings, should, as soon as possible, be directed into a more productive channel. If I urge, that, although these undertakings may not, as yet, have made the full returns expected, yet they support many people, natives of a country otherwise too poor to furnish the means of livelihood to its inhabitants, why,---the answer is equally ready. Let the Highlander emigrate, or be transported to Botany Bay; and supply his place with sheep,--- ---goats,---any thing, or nothing at all.</p> <p> I do not mean to deny, sir, that there is general truth in the maxims, which recommend that a free trade be left to sustain itself by its own exertions; deprecating the system of forcing commerce when its natural efforts were not successful, and warning against planting colonies in unhealthy or barren spots, where the colonists must perish, or exist in a state of miserable and precarious dependence on the bounties of the mother country. To these political truths I subscribe cheerfully---But an old civilian used to tell me, <u>fraus latet in generalibus;</u> and no general maxim can be safely, wisely, or justly applied, until it has been carefully considered how far it is controlled by the peculiar circumstances of the case. The precepts of Religion herself, as expressed in the holiest texts of Scripture, have been wrested into sophistry---the soundest political principles may, by the frigid subtleties of metaphysical moonshine, be extended so as, in appearance, to authorise aggressions on national rights, as well as on the dictates of sound wisdom and humanity.</p> <p> I have more replies than one to my neighbour's doctrines of Political Economy (though true in the abstract,) when I consider them as applicable to the case in question.</p> <p> In the <u>first</u> place, I deny that the Scottish Fisheries are in the predicament to which the maxim quoted triumphantly by my friend Chrysal, applies. I say that they are already supporting themselves, and producing a moderate but certain profit; only that this profit is as yet so moderate, that it certainly will not bear an impost of probably five or six per cent. upon the gross capital employed; and that, therefore, it is the highest impolicy to smother, by such a burden, important national undertakings, which are, without such new imposition, in a condition to maintain themselves. It would be breaking the reed ere it had attained its strength, and quenching the smoking flax just when about to burst into flame.</p> <p> <u>Secondly,</u> Admitting, from the great poverty of the inhabitants, and other discouraging circumstances, that the Scottish fisheries have for a long time required the support of Government, I still aver, that the expense attending such support has been well and wisely disposed of,---just as a landlord would act not generously only, but most prudently, in giving favourable terms of settlement to a tenant, who was to improve his farm largely. An exotic shrub, when first planted, must be watered and cared for---a child requires tenderness and indulgence till he has got through the sickly and helpless years of infancy. A fishery or manufacture, established in a wild country, and among a population of indolent habits, unaccustomed to industry, and to the enjoyment of the profits derived from it, will, at the outset, require assistance from the State, till old habits are surmounted, and difficulties overcome. There is something in the nature of the people, who have been long depressed by poverty, resembling the qualities of their own peat-earth. Left alone, it is the most anti-septic and inert of Nature's productions; but when, according to the process of compost invented by the late ingenious Lord Meadowbank, this <u>caput mortuum</u> is intermixed with a small portion of active manure, it heats, ferments, changes its sluggish nature, and fertilizes the whole country in the vicinity. No agriculturist regards the expense of the proportion of manure necessary to commence this vivifying operation; and neither will any wise government regret the outlay of sums employed in exciting the industry, improving the comforts, and amending the condition, of its inhabitants. In the present case, Government has done this duty amply---The tree has taken root, the child is rising fast to youth and manhood---the establishments of the fisheries are in full progress to triumphant success. The question is not, if you are yet to continue your encouragement---nor whether the public is to save some expense by withdrawing it? In these questions there would be a direct and palpable motive, that of a saving to the State, which, so far as it went, would be a real, if not an adequate motive, for breaking up these establishments. But the question at issue turns on this very different point---whether, by a measure obnoxious to Scotland, and in which England cannot challenge an interest remote or direct, you are to adopt an enactment so likely to create the ruin of these establishments, now that they have already attained prosperity? The wish of many of the wisest English patriots has been accomplished--- the barren and desolate shores are compensated in that desolation by the riches of the sea---foreigners are driven from engrossing as formerly their wealth, and selling to Britain herself at advantage, the produce of her own coasts. Thriving villages are already found where there were scarcely to be seen the most wretched hovels; a population lazy and indolent, because they had no motive for exertion, have become, on finding the employment, and tasting the fruits of industry, an enterprising and hardy race of seamen, well qualified to enrich their country in peace---to defend her in time of war. <u>All this</u> is =gained.= Shall all be lost again, to render the system of currency betwixt England and Scotland uniform? all sacrificed to what I can call little more than a political conundrum? In my opinion, the Dutchmen might as well cut the dikes, and let the sea in upon the land their industry has gained from it. In the case of Holland, she would at least save the money expended in maintaining her ramparts. In our case, the State gains nothing and loses every thing.</p> <p> Lastly, I would say a word in behalf of the people of Scotland, merely as human beings, and entitled to consideration as such. I will suppose this alteration is recommended by some expected advantages of great importance, but the nature of which are prudently concealed. I will suppose, what is not easily understood, that in some unintelligible manner England is to gain with addition what Scotland is condemned to lose. (The process, by the way, seems to resemble that recommended by Moli<e`>re's quack, who prescribes the putting out of one eye, that the other may see further, and more acutely.) I will suppose that our statesmen, by enforcing this measure, condemn to emigration, or transportation---the punishment she inflicts on felons---the inhabitants of distant and desert tracts, on the mainland and in the Hebrides, to save her from some expense, and because she thinks a country so different from her own fertile valleys, cannot be fit for human habitation. In that case I would say, Consider first, the character of the population you are about to consign thus summarily to the effects which must follow the destroying their present means of livelihood. My countrymen have their faults, and I am well aware of them. But this I will say, that there is more vice, more crime---nay, more real want and misery, more degrading pauperism and irremediable wretchedness, in the parish of Saint Giles's alone, than in the whole Highlands and pastoral districts of Scotland, or perhaps in all Scotland together. Poor as the inhabitants are, the wants of the Highlanders are limited to their circumstances; and they have enjoyments which make amends, in their own way of reckoning, for deprivations which they do not greatly feel. Their land is to them a land of many recollections. I will not dwell on that subject, lest I be thought fantastic in harping on a tune so obsolete. But every heart must feel some sympathy when I say, they love their country, rude as it is, because it holds the churches where their fathers worshipped, and the churchyards where their bones are laid.</p> <p> This is not all. Mountainous countries inspire peculiarly strong attachments into the natives, showing, perhaps, if we argue up to the Final Great Cause, that while it was the pleasure of God that men should exist in all parts of the world, which His pleasure called into being, the Beneficence of the Common Father annexed circumstances of consolation, which should compensate the mountaineers for want of the fertility and fine climate enjoyed by the inhabitants of the plain. Some philosophers, looking to secondary causes, have referred the sense of this local attachment amongst mountaineers to the influence of the sublime though desolate scenery around them, as stamping the idea of a peculiar country more deeply on their bosoms. The chief cause seems to me to be, that such tribes rarely change their dwellings, and therefore become more wedded to their native districts than are the inhabitants of those where the population is frequently fluctuating. The land is not only theirs now, it pertained to a long list of fathers' before them; and the coldest philosopher will regard what is called a family estate with greater attachment than he applies to a recent purchase.</p> <p> But independent of this, the inhabitants of the wilder districts in Scotland have actually some enjoyments, both moral and physical, which compensate for the want of better subsistence and more comfortable lodging. In a word, they have more liberty than the inhabitants of the richer soil. Englishmen will start at this as a paradox; but it is very true notwithstanding, that, if one great privilege of liberty be the power of going where a man pleases, the Scotch peasant enjoys it much more than the English. The pleasure of viewing ``fair Nature's face,'' and a great many other primitive enjoyments, for which a better diet and lodging are but indifferent substitutes, are more within the power of the poor man in Scotland than in the sister country. A Scottish gentleman, in the wilder districts, is seldom severe in excluding his poor neighbours from his grounds; and I have known many that have voluntarily thrown them open to all quiet and decent persons who wish to enjoy them. The game of such liberal proprietors, their plantations, their fences, and all that is apt to suffer from intruders, have, I have observed, been better protected than where severer measures of general seclusion were adopted. <u>Haud inexpertus loquor.</u></p> <p> But in many districts, the part of the soil which, with the utmost stretch of appropriation, the first-born of Egypt can set apart for his own exclusive use, bears a small proportion indeed to the uncultivated wastes. The step of the mountaineer on his wild heath, solitary mountain, and beside his far-spread lake, is more free than that which is confined to a dusty turnpike, and warned from casual deviation by advertisements which menace the summary vindication of the proprietor's monopoly of his extensive park, by spring-guns or man-traps, or the more protracted, yet scarce less formidable denunciation, of what is often, and scarce unjustly spelled, ``<u>persecution</u> according to law.'' Above all, the peasant lives and dies as his fathers did, in the cot where he was born, without ever experiencing the horrors of a workhouse. This may compensate for the want of much beef, beer, and pudding, in those to whom habit has not made this diet indispensable.</p> <p> It is to be hoped that experimental legislation will pause ere consigning a race, which is contented with its situation, to banishment, because they only offer at present their hardy virtues and industry to the stock of national prosperity, instead of communicating largely to national wealth. Even considered as absolute paupers, they have some right to such slight support as may be necessary to aid them in maintaining themselves by their own industry. If the poor elsewhere could be maintained without the degrading sense that they were receiving eleemosynary aid, it would be the better for themselves and their country.</p> <p> I will admit, for argument's sake, that the public funds which have established those fishing stations might have been bestowed to better advantage; still, having been so expended, we ought certainly not to be hasty in withdrawing our support, even if we may judge that it was incautiously granted at first. The philosopher, in the fanciful tale of <u>Frankenstein,</u> acted unwisely in creating the unnatural being to which art enabled him to give life and motion; but when he had, like a second Prometheus, given sensation and power of thought to the creation of his skill and science, he had no title to desert the giant whom he had called into existence; and the story shows that no good came of his being discontented with his own handiwork. But I contend, that the establishments to which I allude exhibit nothing save what may render the founders and encouragers proud of the result of their patriotic labours.</p> <p> I do therefore hope that the present contented and rapidly improving condition of so many fellow-creatures, will be considered as something in the scale, when a measure shall be finally weighed, which, in the opinion of all connected with the north of Scotland, threatens to deprive them of the means of livelihood.</p> <p> On other national topics I have already said enough. Those who look only at states and ledgers, hold such feelings as arise upon points of national honour, as valueless as a cipher without a numeral prefixed. Right or wrong, however, they still have an effect on the people of Scotland, as all can bear witness who were here when his Majesty honoured the capital of his ancestors with his own presence. We would not plead these too high neither, nor cling tenaciously by antiquated pretensions, which may obstruct the general welfare of the empire; but we deprecate that sort of change which is made for the mere sake of innovation. A proud nation cannot endure such experiments when they touch honour---a poor one cannot brook them when attended with heavy loss. We are all aware that many changes must of necessity be---the political atmosphere is heavy and gloomy with the symptoms of them,---<p> ``And coming events cast their shadows before.''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>Ballad of Hardyknute.<p> Seasonable improvements are like the timely and regular showers, which, falling softly and silently upon the earth, when fittest to be received, awaken its powers of fertility. Hasty innovation is like the headlong hurricane, which may indeed be ultimately followed by beneficial consequences, but is, in its commencement and immediate progress, attended by terror, tumult, and distress.</p> <p> This is indeed a period when change of every kind is boldly urged and ingeniously supported, nay, finds support in its very singularity: as the wildest doctrines of enthusiasm have been often pleaded with most eloquence, and adopted with most zeal. One philosopher will convert the whole country into work-houses, just as Commodore Trunnion would have arranged each parish on the system of a man-of-war. Another class has turned the system of Ethics out of doors, and discovers, on the exterior of the skull, the passions of which we used to look for the source within. One set of fanatics join to dethrone the Deity, another to set up Prince Hohenloe. The supporters of all find preachers, hearers, and zealots, and would find martyrs if persecuted. We are, at such a speculative period, obliged to be cautious in adopting measures which are supported only by speculative argument. Let men reason as ingeniously as they will, and we will listen to them, amused if we are not convinced. I have heard with great pleasure an ingenious person lecture on phrenology, and have been much interested in his process of reasoning. But should such a philosopher propose to saw off or file away any of the bumps on my skull, by way of improving the moral sense, I am afraid I should demur to the motion.</p> <p> I have read, I think in Lucian, of two architects, who contended before the people at Athens which should be intrusted with the task of erecting a temple. The first made a luminous oration, showing that he was, in theory at least, master of his art, and spoke with such glibness in the hard terms of architecture, that the assembly could scarce be prevailed on to listen to his opponent, an old man of unpretending appearance. But when he obtained audience, he said in a few words, ``All that this young man can talk of, I have =done.='' The decision was unanimously in favour of Experience against Theory. This resembles exactly the question now tried before us.</p> <p> <u>Here</u> stands Theory, a scroll in her hand, full of deep and mysterious combinations of figures, the least failure in any one of which may alter the result entirely, and which you must take on trust, for who is capable to go through and check them? <u>There</u> lies before you a practical System, successful for upwards of a century. The one allures you with promises, as the saying goes, of untold gold,--- the other appeals to the miracles already wrought in your behalf. The one shows you provinces, the wealth of which has been tripled under her management,--- the other a problem which has never been practically solved. Here you have a pamphlet--- there a fishing town---here the long-continued prosperity of a whole nation---and there the opinion of a professor of Economics, that in such circumstances she ought not by true principles to have prospered at all. In short, good countrymen, if you are determined, like <AE>sop's dog, to snap at the shadow and lose the substance, you had never such a gratuitous opportunity of exchanging food and wealth for moonshine in the water.</p> <p> Adieu, sir. This is the last letter you will receive from,<h2> Yours, &c.</h2> <p> =Malachi Malagrowther.=</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>But with all the contempt he expressed for the paper substitute, I have always seen that it steals quietly back to the solitude of his little pocketbook. Indeed, the barber says Mr. Chrysal has other reasons for wishing a change of currency, or a currency of change, in respect of his own acceptances not being in these sharp times quite so locomotive as usual---They love the desk of the holder, sir, better than the counter of his great Neighbours in Bank Street. You understand me---but I hate scandal.<p> Planting Waste Lands.<*></p> </p> <p>I don't know how it may be in national necessities, but I have some reason to think that friend Chrysal has not, any more than I have myself, found the maxim true, in so far as concerns our personal experience. I heartily wish, indeed, this comfortable doctrine extended to individual cases, and that the greater occasion a poor devil had for money, the more certain he should be of his wants being supplied by the arrival of that obliging article, which is said to come wherever it is wanted. Since Fortunatus's time, the contrary has in general proved to be the case, and I cannot deny it would be very convenient to us to have his system restored.</p> <p>These changes will be wrought in their time; but we trust they will not be forced forward suddenly, or until the public mind is prepared for, and the circumstances of the country require them.<p> To apply the maxim to the art of planting, we would remark, that there are certain general principles respecting planting, pruning, thinning, and so forth, without which no plantations will be found eminently successful, even in the most advantageous situations; and which, being carefully followed, in less favourable circumstances, will make up for many deficiencies of soil and climate. But on the other hand, there are many peculiar modes of treating plantations which, succeeding extremely well in one situation, will in another impede, rather than advance, the progress of the wood. Yet it frequently happens that these very varieties, or peculiarities of practice, are insisted upon, by those who build systems, as the indispensable requisites for success in every case. This leads to empirical doctrines of all sorts, which, perhaps, prevail more among planters than in any other department of rural practice. Such are, violent and exclusive prepossessions entertained in favour of any particular kind of tree, how valuable soever; such are also the differences eagerly and obstinately maintained respecting particular modes of preparing the ground, and the precise season of putting in the plants. Such also, are some particular doctrines held concerning pruning. Upon all these points we find practical men entertain and express very opposite opinions, with as much pertinacity as if they had been handed down, in direct tradition, from the first of men and of foresters. The feuds arising from these differences of opinion have, as in the case of religion itself, been unfavourable to the progress of the good cause; and one of the most important of national improvements has been, in a great measure, neglected, because men could not make up their minds concerning the very best possible mode of conducting it.</p> <p> We are far, very far, from supposing ourselves capable of filling up, by a general sketch, a summary of rules which may be useful to the planter, yet we claim some knowledge of the subject, from sixteen years' undeviating attention to the raising young plantations of considerable extent, upon lands which may be, in general, termed waste or unimproved. Indeed, to lay aside for a moment our impersonality, the author of this article having, in the course of that time, seen reason to change his opinion on many important points, and particularly upon those in which the expense of planting is chiefly concerned, takes the freedom to consider Mr. Monteath's useful and interesting treatise with reference to his own experience, and the facts which that experience has suggested.</p> <p> Every one will own that the subject is of the most momentous interest to this country. It is long since the wisdom and patriotism of the late Lord Melville sounded the alarm on the subject of the decay and destruction of the national forests, announcing the immense increase of the demand for oak timber, the advance of the price of fir timber. the inadequacy of the present forests long to supply the increasing demand, and the apathy with which government omitted to provide for evils which seemed rapidly advancing, although the possibility of doing so appeared plain from his lordship's statement:---</p> <p> ``It is supposed that, exclusive of the royal forests, there are in Great Britain and Ireland, probably more than eighty millions of acres, of which, perhaps, no part is yet brought to the highest state of cultivation, and that certainly not less than twenty millions are still waste. If, therefore, a comparatively very small part of the land of the kingdom is thought essential to be appropriated to the purpose of securing the continuance of our naval strength and pride, it would surely be a very short-sighted policy which should suggest to this maritime country the expediency of trusting to a commerce for the supply of our dockyards with timber; when, without any real risk to the subsistence of the country, and by a sacrifice, comparatively small, we can avoid for ever putting to hazard the supply of an article, on which, confessedly, our strength, our glory, our independence, even our existence as a nation, must now, and at all times depend.''---=Lord Melville'=s <u>Letter to</u> =Mr. Percival,= <u>on the subject of Naval Timber, published in July,</u> 1810.</p> <p> While these facts are granted, it must at the same time, be admitted, that the time of peace is that in which we can best recruit the resources of the nation, and strengthen her sinews for future wars; and that at present, therefore, the country has few more important subjects of consideration, than those which refer to providing a stock of timber for future emergencies. A patriotic spirit, therefore, might be supposed sufficiently rewarded by preparing for the future conquests of the British navy, and for the ornament of his native land; covering sterile wildernesses with the most magnificent productions of the earth, and exercising, slowly indeed but surely, such a change on the face of nature, as the powers of mall cannot achieve in any other manner. Yet we cannot trust to such motives to overcome the inertness of many landholders: to induce them to part for a time with a portion of their yearly income, and be at the outlay of a very moderate sum per acre, we are aware that we must talk to them of pence as well as of patriotism, and indicate a certain return for their advances; since in preaching to them only on the subject of adding to the beauty of the landscape, or the prosperity of the country, we should expose ourselves to the answer of Harpagon to the eulogium of Frosine upon his mistress's perfections: ``_Oui; cela n'est pas mal; mais ce compte l<a`> n'a rien de r<e'>el. Il faut bien que je touche quelque chose._'' We will, therefore, endeavour to convince those who lean to this view of the subject, that the increase of the value of their own rentals and estates is equally concerned in the considerations to which we invite them, as the interest of the country at large.</p> <p> The subject naturally divides itself into plantations raised chiefly for the purpose of ornament, and those which are intended principally for profit. The division is not, however, an absolute one; nor is it possible, perhaps, to treat of the subject in the one point of view, without frequently touching upon the other. No very large plantation can be formed without beautifying the face of the country (although, indeed, stripes and clumps of Scotch firs or larches may be admitted as deformities); and, on the other hand, the thinnings of merely ornamental plantations afford the proprietor who raises such a fair indemnity for the ground which they occupy. But, though this is the case, the two kinds of planting must be considered as different branches of the same art; and we will, accordingly, take leave to consider them distinctly, confining ourselves, for the present, as far as we can, to that in which utility is the principal object.</p> <p> The most useful style of planting, that which can he executed at the least expense, and which must ultimately return the greatest profit, is that respecting large tracts of waste land, which, by judicious management, may be converted into highly profitable woodland, without taking from agriculture the value of a sheaf of corn, or even greatly interfering with pastoral occupation---so far as that occupation is essentially advantageous. For we suppose it will be admitted, that in any case where a stately and valuable forest can be raised by the restricting a few hundred score of sheep to better and richer pasture than they formerly enjoyed, great advantage will accrue to the landlord, and no loss will be sustained either by the tenant, or the poor animal, who, now picking up his grass by piles at a time in a howling wilderness, would then be better supported, and more free from accident of every kind.</p> <p> The scheme of which we are about to show the easy practicability, if it be only undertaken boldly and upon a large scale, by the persons principally concerned, will be found as advantageous to the poor as the rich; providing for the over-population, as it is called, a hardy and healthful occupation, the object of which is the improvement of their native country, while the manner in which it is conducted is equally favourable to their comforts and to their morals. Neither are the landed proprietor and his dependents the only parties benefited. The cheapness and plenty of wood, as it is essential to our shipping, becomes, in that point of view, indispensable to our mercantile and manufacturing interests. But we feel ourselves, unintentionally, again drawn back to the public and political views, which it is almost impossible to separate from this great national subject: we will, therefore, proceed to enter upon it at once, cautioning our readers, that in repeating the truths which we have collected from others, and which have been corroborated by our own experience, we do not pretend to more merit than that of acting as <u>flappers,</u> again to solicit the attention of the public and in particular of landed gentlemen, to this most important topic.</p> <p> The hills of Wales---those of Derby, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Northumberland, and part of Yorkshire and Lancashire, together with the more extensive wastes and mountainous regions which compose by far the greater part of Scotland, have in general, the same character, presenting naked wildernesses of rock, and heath, and moorland, swelling into hills and mountains of greater or less elevation, and intersected by rivers and large lakes, many of them navigable: in short, pointed out by Nature as the site of lofty woods, with which, indeed, her own unassisted efforts had, at an early period, clothed them: for nothing call be more certain than that the sterile districts we have described were, in ancient times, covered with continual forests. History, tradition, and the remains of huge old trees and straggling thickets, as well as the subterranean wood found in bogs and mosses, attest the same indubitable fact. It is not to be supposed that these woods grew at very high points of elevation, on the brow of lofty and exposed mountains, and in the very face of prevailing winds; yet it is astonishing, when the declivities and dales of such a region are once occupied by wood, how very soon the trees, availing themselves of every shelter afforded by the depths and sinuosities of the glens and ravines which seam the mountain side, appear to have ascended to points of altitude where a planter would rationally have despaired of success.</p> <p> These natural woods, however, have long, excepting in comparatively few instances, wholly ceased to exist. This has been owing to various causes. Extensive forests, occupying a long tract of tolerably level ground, have been gradually destroyed by natural decay, accelerated by the increase of the bogs. The wood which they might have produced was useless to the proprietors; the state of the roads, as well as of the country in general, not permitting so bulky and weighty an article to be carried from the place where it had grown, however valuable it might have proved had it been transported elsewhere. In this situation the trees of the natural forests pined and withered, and were thrown down by the wind, and it often necessarily happened that they fell into or across some little stream or rivulet, by the side of which they had flourished and decayed. The stream, being stopped, saturated with standing water the soil around it, and instead of being, as hitherto, the drain of the forest, the stagnation of the rivulet converted into a swamp what its current had formerly rendered dry. The loose bog-earth, and the sour moisture with which it was impregnated, loosened and poisoned the roots of other neighbouring trees, which, at the next storm, went to the ground in their turn, and tended still more to impede the current of the water; while the accumulating moss, as the bog-earth is called in Scotland, went on increasing and heaving up, so as to bury the trunks of the trees which it had destroyed. In the counties of Inverness and Ross, instances may be seen, at the present day, where this melancholy process, of the conversion of a forest into a bog, is still going forward.</p> <p> This, however, was not by any means the only manner in which the northern forests perished, although it may be in some sense accounted their natural mode of death.</p> <p> From the time of Agricola and Severus, to that of Cromwell, the axes of the invading enemies were repeatedly employed to lay waste the forests, and thereby remove a most important part of the national defence. In this way, doubtless, woods which, standing on the banks of rapid streams, or upon declivities where the course of the water is not liable to be intercepted, were not subject to the causes of destruction by the increase of the morass, fell by violence, as in the former case they perished by decay.</p> <p> Nature, however, would, with her usual elasticity, have repaired the losses which were inflicted by the violence of man, and fresh crops of wood would have arisen to supply the place of that which had been felled, had not the carelessness and wantonness of mankind obstructed her efforts. The forest of Ettrick, for example, a tract of country containing two hundred and seventy square miles, was, till Charles I.'s time, reserved as a royal chase, and entirely wooded, except where the elevation of the mountains rendered the growth of trees impossible. In and about the year 1700, great part of this natural wood remained, yet now, excepting the copse woods of Harehead and Elibank, with some trifling remains on the banks of the Yarrow, it has totally vanished. We have ourselves seen an account of a sale of growing trees upon an estate in this district where the proceeds amounted to no less than six thousand pounds, a very large sum considering that the country was overstocked with wood, the demands for it confined to those of rural economy, and the means of transporting it extremely imperfect. There must have been a fall of large and valuable timber to have produced such a sum under such circumstances. The guardians of the noble proprietor, when they made the sale, seem to have given directions for enclosing the natural wood, with a view to its preservation. Nevertheless, about seventy or eighty years afterwards, there was scarcely in existence, upon the whole property, a twig sufficient to make a walking-stick, so effectually had the intentions of the guardians been baffled, and their instructions neglected. It may be some explanation of this wilful waste, that a stocking of goats (of all other creatures the most destructive to wood) had been put upon the ground after cutting the trees. But to speak the truth, agriculture, as Mr. Shandy says of the noble science of defence, has its weak points. Those who pursue one branch of the art are apt to become bigoted and prejudiced against every thing which belongs to another, though no less essential, department. The arable cultivator, for example, has a sort of pleasure in rooting up the most valuable grass land, even where the slightest reflection might assure him that it would be more profitable to reserve it for pasture. The store-farmer and shepherd, in the same manner, used formerly to consider every spot occupied by a tree as depriving the flock of a certain quantity of food, and not only nourished malice against the woodland, but practically laboured for its destruction; and to such lamentable prejudices on the part of farmers, and even of proprietors, is the final disappearance of the natural forests of the north chiefly to be attributed. The neglect of enclosure on the side of the landlord; the permitted, if not the authorised, invasions of the farmer; the wilful introduction of sheep and cattle into the ground where old trees formerly stood, have been the slow, but effectual, causes of the denuded state of extensive districts, which, in their time, were tracts of what the popular poetry of the country called by the affectionate epithet of ``the good green wood.'' Still, however, the facts of such forests having existed, ought now, in more enlightened times, to give courage to the proprietor, and stimulate him in his efforts to restore the silvan scenes which ignorance, prejudice, indolence, and barbarism combined to destroy.</p> <p> This may be done in many different ways, as taste and local circumstances recommend. We will first take a view of the subject generally, as applicable alike to the great chiefs and thanes possessed of what are, in the north called <u>countries,</u><*></p> </p> <p><title> On<!p 32></p> <ul> <li>Article---The Forester's Guide and Profitable Planter. <em> By Robert Monteath. Edinburgh, 1824. Quarterly Review, </em> October, 1827.<p> The indispensable requisites which his undertaking demands are, 1st, a steady and experienced forester, with the means of procuring, at a moment's notice, a sufficient number of active and intelligent assistants. This will often require settlements on the estate, the advantage of which we may afterwards touch upon. If the plantations are to be on an extensive scale, it will be found of great advantage to have the labour of these men entirely devoted to the woods, since they afford various kinds of employment for every month of the year, especially where a great plan is in the progress of being executed, as reason dictates, by certain proportions every year. In such a case, enclosing, planting, pruning, thinning, and felling are going on successively in different parts of the estate in one and the same year;---and these are operations in all of which a good woodsman ought to be so expert as to be capable of working at them by turns.</p> <p> 2dly. The planter, in the situation supposed, ought to be possessed of one nursery or more, as near to the ground designed to be planted, as can well be managed. We have no intention to interfere with the trade of the nurseryman in the more level and fertile parts of the country. Where a proprietor means only to plant a few acres, it would be ridiculous to be at the trouble or expense of raising the plants. But where he proposes to plant upon a large scale, it is of the highest consequence that the young plants should stand for two or three seasons in a nursery of his own. Mr. Monteath recommends that such <u>second-hand nursery,</u> as he terms it, should be replenished with seedlings of a year or two years old, from the seed-beds of a professional nurseyman, justly observing that the expense and trouble attending the raising the plants from seed,---and, he might have added, the risk of miscarriage,---are in this way entirely avoided, while the advantages attained are equal to what they would have been had the plant been raised from the seed by the proprietor himself. On the other hand (though we have known it practised,) we would not advise that seedlings, any more than plants, should be carried from the neighbourhood of Glasgow to the Hebrides, or to distant parts of the Highlands. There is also this advantage, that by raising the trees from seed, the forester makes sure of getting his plants from the best trees---an article of considerable importance, especially in the fir tribes.</p> <p> But whether the planter supplies his nursery from his own seed-bed or that of the professional man, the necessity of having a nursery of one sort or other continues the same. The advantages are, first, that the plants are not hastily transferred from the nurseryman's warm and sheltered establishment, to the exposed and unfertile district which they are meant to occupy, but undergo a sort of seasoning in the nursery of the proprietor, and become, in a certain degree, naturalized to climate and soil before they are, as it is technically termed, <u>planted out.</u> Secondly, the most mortifying and injurious interruptions, incident to the planter's occupation, are thus greatly lessened. It is well known that nothing can be so conducive to the success of a plant, as its being transferred instantly, or with the loss of the least possible interval of time, from the line which it occupies in the nursery, to its final station in the field. If it is to be sent for to a distant nursery, this becomes impossible. Besides, it frequently happens, when plants have been brought from a distance, that the weather has changed to frost before they arrive at the place of their destination, and there is no remedy but to dig them down into some ditch, and cover the roots with earth, and leave them in that situation for days and weeks, until the season shall again become favourable to the planter. If, on the contrary, the plants are supplied from the proprietor's own nursery in the vicinity, they need only be brought forward in small quantities at a time, and the pernicious and perilous practice of <u>sheughing,</u> as we have heard it called, is almost entirely avoided. It is, therefore, in all cases, a matter of high advantage, in many of actual necessity, that the proprietor who means to plant on a large scale should have a nursery of his own.</p> <p> Thus provided with the material of his enterprise, and with the human force necessary to carry it into effect, the planter's next point is to choose the scene of operation. On this subject, reason and common sense at once point out the necessary restrictions. No man of common sense would select, for the purpose of planting, rich holms, fertile meadows, or other ground peculiarly fit for producing corn, or for supporting cattle. Such land, valuable everywhere, is peculiarly so in a country where fertile spots are scarce, and where there is no lack of rough, exposed, and at present unprofitable tracts. The necessary ornament of a mansion-house would alone vindicate such an extraordinary proceeding. Nay, a considerate planter would hesitate to cut up and destroy even a fine sheep-pasture for the purpose of raising wood, while there remained on the estate land which might be planted at a less sacrifice. The ground ought to be shared betwixt pasture and woodland, with reference to local circumstances, and it is in general by no means difficult to form the plantation so as to be of the highest advantage to the sheep-walk. In making the selection the proprietor will generally receive many a check on this subject from his land-steward or bailiff, to whom any other agricultural operations are generally more desirable than the pursuits of the forester. To confirm the proprietor in resisting this narrow-minded monitor, it is necessary to assure him that the distinction to be drawn betwixt the ground to be planted, and that which is to be reserved for sheep, is to be drawn with a bold and not a timid hand. The planter must not, as we have <u>often</u> seen vainly attempted, endeavour to exclude from his proposed plantation, all but the very worst of the ground. Whenever such paltry saving has been attempted, the consequences have been very undesirable in all respects. In the first place, the expense of fencing is greatly increased; for, in order to form these pinched and restricted plantations, a great many turnings and involutions, and independent fences, must be made, which become totally unnecessary when the woodland is formed on an ample and liberal scale. In the second place, this parsimonious system leads to circumstances contrary to Christian charity, for the eyes of every human being that looks on plantations so formed, feeling hurt as if a handful of sand were flung into them, the sufferers are too apt to vent their resentment in the worst of wishes against the devisers and perpetrators of such enormities. We have seen a brotherhood of beautiful hills, the summits of which, while they remained unplanted, must have formed a fine undulating line, now presenting themselves with each a round circle of black fir, like a skimming dish on its head, combined together with long narrow lines of the same complexion, like a chain of ancient fortifications, consisting of round towers flanking a straight curtain, or rather like a range of college caps connected by a broad black ribbon. Other plantations in the awkward angles, which they have been made to assume, in order that they might not trespass upon some edible portion of grass land, have come to resemble uncle Toby's bowling-green transported to a northern hill side. Here you shall see a solitary mountain with a great black patch stuck on its side, like a plaster of Burgundy pitch, and there another, where the plantation, instead of gracefully sweeping down to its feet, is broken short off in mid-air, like a country wench's gown tucked through her pocket-holes in the days when such things as pockets were extant in _rerum natur<a^>._ In other cases of enormity, the unhappy plantations have been made to assume the form of pincushions, of hatchets, of penny tarts, and of breeches displayed at an old-clothesman's door. These abortions have been the consequence of a resolution to occupy with trees only those parts of the hill where nothing else will grow, and which, therefore, is carved out for their accommodation, with ``up and down and snip and slash,'' whatever unnatural and fantastic forms may be thereby assigned to their boundaries.</p> <p> In all such cases the insulated trees, deprived of the shelter which they experience when planted in masses, have grown thin, and hungrily, affording the unhappy planter neither pleasure to his eye, credit to his judgment, nor profit to his purse. A more liberal projector would have adopted a very different plan. He would have considered, that although trees, the noblest productions of the vegetable realm, are of a nature extremely hardy, and can grow where not even a turnip could be raised, they are yet sensible of, and grateful for, the kindness which they receive. In selecting the portions of waste land which he is about to plant, he would, therefore, extend his limits to what may be called the natural boundaries, carry them down to the glens on one side, sweep them around the foot of the hills on another, conduct them up the ravines on a third, giving them, as much as possible, the character of a natural wood, which can only be attained by keeping their boundaries out of sight, and suggesting to the imagination that idea of extent which always arises when the limits of a wood are not visible. It is true that in this manner some acres of good ground may be lost to the flocks, but the advantages to the woodland are a complete compensation. It is, of course, in sheltered places that the wood first begins to grow, and the young trees, arising freely in such more fertile spots on the verge of the plantation, extend protection to the general mass which occupies the poorer ground. These less-favoured plants linger long while left to their own unassisted operations, annoyed at the same time by want of nourishment, and the severity of the blast, they remain, indeed, alive, but make little or no progress; but when they experience shelter from the vicinity of those which occupy a better soil, they seem to profit by their example, and speedily arise under their wings.</p> <p> The improver ought to be governed by the natural features of the ground in choosing the shape of his plantations, as well as in selecting the species of land to be planted. A surface of ground, undulating into eminences and hollows, forms to a person who delights in such a task, perhaps the most agreeable subject of consideration on which the mind of the improver can be engaged. He must take care, in this case, to avoid the fatal yet frequent error of adopting the boundaries of his plantations from the surveyor's plan of the estate, not from the ground itself. He must recollect that the former is a flat surface, conveying, after the draughtsman has done his best, but a very imperfect idea of the actual face of the country, and can, therefore, guide him but imperfectly in selecting the ground proper for his purpose.</p> <p> Having, therefore, made himself personally acquainted with the localities of the estate, he will find no difficulty in adopting a general principle for lining out his worst land. To plant the eminences, and thereby enclose the hollows for cultivation, is what all parties will agree upon; the mere farmer, because, in the general case, the rule will assign to cultivation the best ground, and to woodland that which is most sterile; and also, because a wood placed on an eminence affords, of course, a more complete protection to the neighbouring fields than if it stood upon the same level with them. The forester will give his ready consent, because wood no where luxuriates so freely as on the slope of a hill. The man of taste will be equally desirous that the boundaries of his plantation should follow the lines designed by nature, which are always easy and undulating, or bold, prominent, and elevated, but never either stiff or formal. In this manner, the future woods will advance and recede from the eye, according to and along with the sweep of the hills and banks which support them, thus occupying precisely the place in the landscape where nature's own hand would have planted them. The projector will rejoice the more in this allocation, that in many instances it will enable him to conceal the boundaries of his plantations, an object which, in point of taste, is almost always desirable. In short, the only persons who will suffer by the adoption of this system will be the admirers of mathematical regularity, who deem it essential that the mattock and spade be under the peremptory dominion of the scale and compass; who demand that all enclosures shall be of the same shape and of the same extent; who delight in straight lines and in sharp angles, and desire that their woods and fields be laid out with the same exact correspondence to each other as when they were first delineated upon paper. It is to be conjectured, that when the inefficiency of this principle and its effects are pointed out, few would wish to resort to it, unless it were a humorist like Uncle Toby, or a martinet like Lord Stair, who planted trees after the fashion of battalions formed into line and column, that they might assist them in their descriptions of the battles of Wynendale and Dettingen. It may, however, be a consolation to the admirers of strict uniformity and regularity, if any such there still be, to be assured that their object is, in fact, unattainable; it is as impossible to draw straight lines of wood, that is, lines which shall produce the appearance of mathematical regularity, along the uneven surface of a varied country, as it would be to draw a correct diagram upon a crumpled sheet of paper, or lay a carpet down smoothly on a floor littered with books. The attempt to plant upon such a system will not, therefore, present the regular form and plan expected, but, on the contrary, a number of broken lines, interrupted circles, and salient angles, as much at variance with Euclid as with nature.</p> <p> We are happy to say, that this artificial mode of planting, the purpose of which seems to be a sort of inscribing on every plantation that it was the work of man, not of nature, is now going fast out of fashion, both with proprietors and farmers. A gentleman of our acquaintance had, some years ago, the purpose of planting a considerable part of a farm of about one hundred and twenty acres, which lay near his residence. It rented at about twenty shillings per acre. The proprietor, rejecting a plan which was offered to him, for laying off the ground into fields resembling parallelograms, divided like a chess-board by thin stripes of plantation, went to work in the way we have mentioned above, scooping out the lowest part of the land for enclosures, and planting the wood round it in masses, which were enlarged or contracted, as the natural lying of the ground seemed to dictate, and producing a series of agreeable effects to the eye, varying in every point of view, and affording new details of the landscape, as the plantations became blended together, or receded from each other. About five or six years after this transformation had been effected, the landlord met his former tenant, a judicious cool-headed countryman, upon the ground, and naturally said to him, ``I suppose, Mr. R., you will say I have ruined your farm by laying half of it into woodland?''---``I should have expected it, sir,'' answered Mr. R., ``if you had told me beforehand what you were about to do; but I am now of a very different opinion; and as I am looking for land at present, if you incline to take, for the remaining sixty acres, the same rent which I formerly gave for a hundred and twenty, I will give you an offer to that amount. I consider the benefit of the enclosing, and the complete shelter afforded to the fields, as an advantage which fairly counterbalances the loss of one half of the land.'' The proprietor then showed Mr. R. the plan which had been suggested to him, of subdividing the whole farm by straight rectilinear stripes, occupying altogether about five-and-twenty or thirty acres. The intelligent and unprejudiced agriculturist owned that, _<a`> priori,_ he would have preferred a system which left so much more land for the occupation of the plough, but as frankly owned that the trees could neither have made half the progress, or have afforded half the shelter, which had actually been the case under the present plan, and that he was now convinced that the proprietor had chosen the better part.</p> <p> Another proof of the same important fact occurs, upon a hill which we, at this moment, see from the windows of the apartment in which we are now writing. It is of considerable height, and the proprietor, about forty years ago or more, attempted to raise a plantation on the very crest or summit of the eminence, retaining the rest of the hill for the purposes of pasturage and agriculture. His operations, attempted on this niggardly scale, failed totally, after two separate attempts, every plant dying in the exposed and ungenial situation. On a third essay, the proprietor altered his measures, and brought the limits of his woodland so far down the hill as to include a few acres of tolerable land. The trees on these better spots soon rose, and, sheltering those which were exposed, the whole upper part of the hill became clothed with a wood, out of which the present proprietor has cut annually several hundred pounds worth of timber, to the advantage, not the prejudice, of that which remains standing to a large value.</p> <p> The same change has taken place in the sentiments of intelligent store-farmers as in those of agriculturists like Mr. R. Almost every sheep-farm contains large tracts covered with stones and shingle, or otherwise steep, dangerous, and precipitous; of ravines, which in winter prove the grave of many of the flock; and of other rocky and barren spots, affording little pasture, and that only to be obtained at the great peril of the sheep. There are also on most sheep-walks, extensive moors, which, sheltered by plantations on the mountains, would produce a far different species of herbage from what flocks or herds are now able to glean off them, and, in general, it is now perfectly understood, that when the trees have made such a progress as to afford shelter in the lambing seasons and during storms, the ground they occupy is far from being grudged them by an intelligent shepherd. It is very likely, indeed, that the tenant who possesses a sheep-farm on a short lease may desire some diminution of rent: for when the landlord entertains a desire to enter into possession of a part of his land during currency of the lease, the circumstance is always considered as a kind of God-send, which it would be neglecting the benefits afforded by Providence not to make ample use of. But an intelligent farmer, the length of whose possession must enable him to derive advantage from the shelter and other favourable circumstances which cannot fail to attend the more advanced state of the plantations, will usually be disposed to part, at a very easy rate, with the immediate occupation of such grounds as we have indicated, for the purpose of their being planted. At any rate, we state with confidence that the existence of plantations, even to a very considerable extent, upon a sheep-farm, will, if judiciously disposed, rather increase than diminish the offers for a new lease.</p> <p> The tract to be occupied by the new plantations being fixed, enclosing is the next indispensable point of preparation. If this is neglected, or not executed in a sufficient manner, the improver may as well renounce his plan; for though we believe, as above stated, that the judicious tenant will approve of and respect the plantations of the landholder, yet we cannot venture to hope that his zeal in their behalf will impel him to take great trouble for their preservation. Even if he were willing to do so, his shepherds cannot be expected to possess such liberal ideas, and will see with great apathy an inroad of the flock where the enclosure presents a practicable breach, which, in the spring especially, may do more damage to the young woodland in a few hours' time than it can recover in several seasons. The plantation, therefore, whatever its extent, must be suitably enclosed. For this purpose, quickset hedges are, undoubtedly, the preferable means; but these cannot be generally resorted to in the execution of extensive plans, such as we point at. In wild, coarse ground, thorns will not succeed without much care; in soils of a worse class, they will not rise at all; and even where the ground is fittest for them, they require more labour and trouble than can be expected in executing a very large plan, unless the funds of the projector be ample in proportion. Hedges of furze and of larch have been recommended, but they are precarious, and will only succeed when much attention is bestowed on them. The most effectual substitute, we regret to say it, is the dry-stone wall. The materials of this species of fence, generally speaking, abound in the neighbourhood of such plantations as we now treat of. The wall has this great advantage, that it may be said to be major, and competent to discharge all its duties, even on the day of its birth, and if constructed of flat or square stones of good quality, properly put together, and well erected, will last for many years. It is commonly the readiest and best substitute for a quickset fence; but it must be owned that it is extremely ugly, and, when once it begins to break down, can only be repaired at a considerable expense, which, after a certain time, recurs very frequently, as the best builders of this species of wall cannot so effectually repair the breaches which time makes in it but what they are always making their appearance again at the same places. The unpleasing aspect of these walls may, in some degree, be got rid of by keeping them in hollows: this, indeed, is to be recommended in every case; and upon a large plan, where much ground is at the planter's command, may be very easily managed. Respecting their failure through time, it is to be remembered that it will not take place until the period when breaches may be repaired by wattles made from the plantation itself. We have seen a species of earthen fence used with very considerable success on ground where stones were hard to come at. The earth was dug out of a ditch, which was made to slope outwards, and to present, on the side nearest to the plantation, a straight cut of about a foot and a half; on the verge of that ditch arose the wall itself, composed of sods built up to the height of three feet and a half, so that the whole height was about four feet, and sufficient to be respected by sheep and cattle, except, perhaps, during the time of snow, when no fence can be absolutely trusted to. A single bar of paling placed on the top of this species of <u>vallum</u> greatly improves it. It is the cheapest of all fences, as it may be raised at the rate of fifteen-pence a-rood by contract. Its duration cannot be exactly calculated; but, where the sods are of a close and kindly texture, we have known it last for nine or ten years without symptoms of decay, and after that age the thinnings of the plantation ought to be used to repair the fence, or, if more convenient, sold, and the price applied to that purpose. A hedge may be raised in the inside of such an earth-fence with considerable ease, as the thorns will grow fast among the loose earth; and if this is resorted to, the hedge will be fit to relieve guard when the rampart or earthen wall becomes ruinous.</p> <p> A preparation no less necessary than that of enclosing, and now generally attended to, although often far too superficially performed, is the drainage of such parts of the intended plantation as are disposed to be marshy. Water, which, when pure, is the necessary nutriment of all vegetables, becomes, when putrid or stagnant, their most decided enemy. There exist no trees, however fond of subaqueous soil, which will thrive if planted in an undrained bog. On the other hand, there is scarcely any ground so swampy, that, provided it affords a level for draining, may not be made to bear trees, if the kinds are well chosen. We have seen the spruce, silver fir, and even the balm of Gilead pine, attain great magnitude in a soil so moist that the trees were originally planted in what are called <u>lazy beds.</u> It must be, of course, essential that the drains should be kept open, and scoured from time to time, but it will be found that, as the trees advance, their own demand for nourishment will exhaust a great deal of the superfluous moisture; for, as the fall of a natural forest in a wild country usually creates a morass, so the growth of a wood, when the first obstacles are removed, has a tendency to diminish a bog which has been already formed.</p> <p> Another requisite nearly connected with the above is the formation of paths for walking, riding, or driving through the future plantations. Where the woods are on a large scale, these paths should be at least eight or nine feet broad. This object is easily combined with draining, as the ditch which carries off the superfluous water will, at the same time, drain the road, if it is conducted alongside of it, which, in most cases, will be found the best line for both. Such roads serve at first to facilitate the collection of materials for fencing; they afterwards afford easy means of inspecting the condition of the wood, and, finally, of removing the felled trees from the woodland. When <u>that</u> occasion comes, the making such paths will be found indispensable, and as, if deferred till then, the object cannot be accomplished without a great waste of time, and the paths, after all, can never be so well lined as before the wood is planted, this preliminary season is unquestionably by far the most proper. It is needless to say that the formation and direction of such paths and drives is one of the most agreeable occupations of a proprietor who pretends to taste, and if barely formed with the spade, and drained, they will become, in a year or two, dry green sward, and require no metalling until they are employed in transporting heavy weights. But, whether formed or not, the space for such paths ought always to be left, and, among other advantages, they will be found to act upon the forest like the lungs of the human body, circulating the air into its closest recesses, and thereby greatly increasing the growth of the trees.</p> <p> We may now be expected to say something of the preparation of the soil, by cropping, following, paring, and burning, or otherwise, as is recommended in most books on the subject of planting. There can be no doubt that all or any of these modes, may be, according to circumstances, used with the utmost advantage, especially so far as concerns the early growth of wood. Every plantation, therefore, which the proprietor desires to see <u>rush up</u> with unusual rapidity, ought to be prepared by one of these methods, or, which is best of all, by deep trenching with the spade. But the expense attending this most effectual mode limits it to the park and pleasure-ground, and even the other coarser modes of preparation cannot be thought of, when the object is to plant as extensively and at as little expense as possible. It may be some comfort to know that, as far as we have observed, the difference betwixt the growth of plantations, where the ground has been prepared, or otherwise, supposing the soil alike, and plants put in with equal care, seems to disappear within the first ten or twelve years. It is only in its earlier days that the plant enjoys the benefit of having its roots placed amongst earth which has been rendered loose and penetrable: at a certain period the fibres reach the sub-soil which the spade or plough has not disturbed, and thus the final growth of the tree which has enjoyed this advantage is often not greater than that of its neighbour, upon which no such indulgences were ever bestowed.</p> <p> The next important object is the choice of the trees with which the proposed woodland is to be stocked, and, supposing the production of tall timber trees to be the ultimate object, we would recommend, for the formation of a large forest, the oak and larch as the trees best to be depended upon. Our choice of the first will scarce be disputed: it is the natural plant of the island, and grows alike on highland and lowland, luxuriating where the soil is rich, coming to perfection, in many cases, where it is but middling, and affording a very profitable copsewood where it is scanty and indifferent.</p> <p> Our selection of the larch may seem to some more disputable, but it will only be to such as are disposed to judge from outward show. We cannot, indeed, vindicate this valuable tree in so far as outward beauty is concerned: Wordsworth has condemned its formality at once, and its poverty of aspect. Planted in small patches, the tops of all the trees arising to the same height, and generally sloping in one direction from the prevailing wind, the larch-wood has, we must own, a mean and poor effect: its appearance on the ridge of a hill is also unfavourable, resembling the once fashionable mode of setting up the manes of ponies, called by jockeys <u>hogging.</u> But where the quantity of ground planted amounts to the character of a forest, the inequalities of the far-extended surface give to the larches a variety of outline which they do not possess when arranged in clumps and patches, and furnish that species of the sublime which all men must recognise in the prevalence of one tint of colouring in a great landscape. All who have seen the Swiss mountains, which are clothed with this tree as high as vegetation will permit, must allow that it can, in fitting situations, add effectually to the grandeur of Alpine scenery. In spring, too, the larch boasts, in an unequalled degree, that early and tender shade of green which is so agreeable to the eye, and suggests to the imagination the first and brightest ideas of reviving nature.</p> <p> If, however, in spite of all that can be pleaded in its favour, the larch should be, in some degree, excluded from ornamental plantations, still the most prejudiced admirer of the picturesque cannot deny the right of this tree to predominate in those which are formed more for profit than beauty. The good sense of the poet we have quoted, which is equal to his brilliancy of fancy, has, indeed, pointed out this distinction; and in the following passage, while he deprecates what we do not contend for, he admits the value of the larch in such rude scenes as we now treat of:---</p> <p> ``To those,'' says Wordsworth, ``who plant for profit, and are thrusting every other tree out of the way to make room for their favourite, the larch, I would utter, first, a regret that they should have selected these lovely vales for their vegetable manufactory, when there is so much barren and irreclaimable land in the neighbouring moors, and in other parts of the island, which might have been had for this purpose at a far cheaper rate. And I will also beg leave to represent to them, that they ought net to be carried away by flattering promises from the speedy growth of this tree; because, in rich soils and sheltered situations, the wood, though it thrives fast, is full of sap, and of little value; and is likewise, very subject to ravage from the attacks of insects, and from blight. Accordingly, in Scotland, where planting is much better understood, and carried on upon an incomparably larger scale than among us, good soil and sheltered situations are appropriated to the oak, the ash, and other deciduous trees; and the larch is now generally confined to barren and exposed ground. There the plant, which is a hardy one, is of slower growth, much less liable to injury, and the timber of better quality.'' <*></p> </li> </ul> <p><text> Education has been often compared to the planting and training up of vegetable productions, and the parallel holds true in this remarkable particular, amongst others, that numerous systems are recommended and practised in both cases which are totally contradictory of each other, and most of which can, nevertheless, be supported by an appeal to the fruits they have brought forth. It would seem to follow that the oak is more easily taught to grow, and the young idea how to shoot, than is generally allowed by the warm assertors of particular systems, and that Nature will, even in cases of neglect or mismanagement, do a great deal to supply the errors or carelessness whether of the preceptor or the forester. It would be wasting words, to set about proving that in both departments there are certain rules which greatly assist Nature in her operations, and bring the tree, or the youth, to an earlier or higher degree of maturity than either would otherwise have obtained. But we think it equally plain, that the rules which are found most effectual are of a very general character, and, when put into practice, must be modified according to the circumstances of each individual case; from which it results, that an exclusive attachment to the _minuti<ae>_ of particular systems will, in many instances, be found worse than unnecessary.<p> We willingly shake hands with our Miltonic poet, and enter into the composition which he holds out to the profitable planter.</p> <p> In this capacity, being that which we now occupy, we have much to say in behalf of this same larch-fir. It unites, in a most singular degree, the two opposite, and, in general, irreconcilable qualities of quickness of growth and firmness of substance. In the first, it excels all trees in the forest, and, in the second, equals the oak itself.</p> <p> The mode of preparing or seasoning larch timber is not yet, perhaps, perfectly understood, more especially as the tree is usually cut in the barking season, when it is full of sap, which renders the large wood apt to warp and crack. To avoid this, some take off the bark the season before the tree is cut, upon which subject Mr. Monteath gives us this practical information:---</p> <p> ``In the summer of 1815 and 1816, I was employed to thin some plantations for James Johnstone, Esq., of Alva, on his state of Denovan; and also in the same years, for Thomas Spottiswoode, Esq. of Dunnipace. The trees on both estates were of considerable size, and particularly those on the estate of Dunnipace---many of them containing betwixt thirty and forty solid feet of timber. As part of the trees on both estates were to be used by the proprietors for their own purposes, I had, the year before, cut down and barked a considerable number of larch-fir trees; which, being barked after being cut down, and exposed to the summer's sun, rent in such a manner as to render them of little or no use. To prevent this, if possible, in the future, I barked all the larch trees standing, and allowed them to remain in this state till autumn, which effectually prevented them from rending with the sun or drought. A number of the trees on Dunnipace stood in this peeled state for two summers, and were then cut up; and Mr. Spottiswoode caused his carpenter to make from the timber of those trees some bound doors, which made an excellent job, no part of the wood casting or twisting. Since that time I have myself used, and have frequently seen used by others, the timber of larch-fir trees, after having stood twelve months with the bark taken off, the cut down, and immediately cut up into battens for flooring, and also made into bound doors and windows for the better sort of houses, with equal success. This is a clear proof that the plan of taking off the bark from the larch-fir trees, some time previous to their being cut down, will not only prevent the timber from shrinking and twisting, but has also a tendency to harden, the timber, and make it more durable, as it gradually throws out the resinous substance to the surface, and causes it, in a greater or less degree, to circulate through the whole timber; and this in so particular a manner, that the white wood of the tree is found equally as hard, and becomes as durable as the red wood. The consequence has been, that I am now decidedly of opinion, that the timber of a larch-fir, treated in this way, at thirty years of age, will be found equally durable with that of a tree treated in the ordinary way, cut down at the age of fifty years.''---Pp. 239-241.</p> <p> Mr. Monteath gives a process for flaying the unfortunate larch, which we dare say has proved successful under his direction. We must, nevertheless, always consider it as an objection that the stems of the barked trees must continue standing, like so many Marsyases or Saint Bartholomews, among their more fortunate neighbours; but this is an evil which addresses itself to the eye alone. We believe, however, that there are other effectual modes of seasoning this valuable timber, by steeping it repeatedly, for instance, and thus keeping the outside of the tree moist until the heart gets thoroughly dry. We have seen specimens of such wood employed in panelling by the ingenious and experienced Mr. Atkinson, architect, St. John's Wood, which equalled in smoothness of surface and exactness of jointing, any other wood we have ever seen applied to similar purposes, not excepting mahogany itself. It may also be remarked that as larch increases in size, its bark becomes of less value, and when the tree produces great timber, it would be no mighty sacrifice to give up all idea of barking, and cut the wood in winter, like that of other trees, and thus season it in the same manner. While the tree is only of the size of a pole, it should be thrown, after barking, into a ditch, or else covered with branches, to exclude the sunbeams. It will then dry gradually without warping, and being dried, will be as hard as iron-wood, and eminently fit for any of the numerous purposes to which sticks of that size can be applied. When we add that the larch will thrive almost upon every soil that is moderately dry, except that which lies on free-stone, and that it ascends higher up the sides of the bleakest mountain than the hardiest of the fir-tribe, we have, we conceive, assigned sufficient reasons for its preference in selecting trees for an extensive tract of ground.</p> <p> Our next subject of consideration must be, the manner and time of planting the trees, and the distance at which they ought to be placed from each other; and here we beg to express our complete approbation of the old popular proverb, which says ---``plant a tree at Martinmas, and command it to grow; plant after Candlemas, and entreat.'' If the spring months chance to be moist, the trees then planted will succeed well, but the practice must be regarded as precarious. Here our opinion coincides with general practice, but in respect of the following points, we are not, we believe, so fortunate.</p> <p> It is common, if not universal, to plant the nurses, ---that is to say, the firs, which are designed to be gradually felled for thinning the plantation,---at the same period of time with the principal trees meant finally to occupy the ground. The consequence of this is, that the nurses are too young to perform their expected duty. Larches and firs are seldom planted above nine inches or a foot long, and are both troublesome and precarious when of a larger size. Oaks, elms, and almost all hard-wood plants, are about twice as long, or from eighteen inches to two feet high, when they are put finally into the ground. The necessary consequence is, that the principal trees have no shelter at all until the nurses have outgrown them. In the mean time they suffer all the evils of premature exposure. The organs by which they raise the sap become hardened, their barks mossed and rigid: in short, for the first two years, the hard-wood has no shelter at all, and in some climates may be expected to <u>sit,</u> as it is called, that is, to become a shrivelled starveling, which lives, indeed, but makes no advance in growth, if, indeed, it does not, as is frequently the case, die down entirely. Accordingly, when a plantation so managed is about three years old, it is the custom of all good foresters to have it revised, and, in the course of the operation, to cut over, within an inch of the ground, all the hard-wood trees which are not found thriving, the number of which is generally as ten to one. The nutriment collected by the roots is thus thrown into new and healthy shoots which arise from the original stem. These, of course, derive from the larch and fir nurses, now grown to two or three feet in height, that shelter which could not be afforded by them to the congenial hard-wood, and the plantation goes on prosperously. This process was and is successful, yet it is obvious that both time and labour would be saved could it be dispensed with---since much trouble must be employed both in cutting down the old plants, and afterwards in reducing to a single shrub the little bushes which run from their stem when cut over. To avoid this necessity, it has been our practice, in latter cases, to plant the nurses in the first place, leaving vacant spaces for the principal trees, which we do not put into the earth for three years afterwards. The consequence is, that the principal trees, receiving from the nurses, at the very moment of their being planted out, that shelter which it is their purpose to communicate, do not, in more than one case out of ten, go back, dwindle, or require to be cut down; much expense of repeated revisal is saved, and the desired purpose is attained as soon, and more perfectly, than by the older practice. However, therefore, the natural impatience of the improver may repine at postponing the planting of his principal trees, he may depend upon it that, in all situations not peculiarly favoured in soil and exposure, he will arrive sooner at his ultimate object by following the slower process.</p> <p> In planting an extensive tract of ground, as in preparing it, much of the nicer preparation by pitting may be abridged. We do not deny that to make the pits in spring, as recommended by Nicol and other authors, must be a considerable advantage, as the earth in which the new plant is to be set is thus exposed to the influence of the atmosphere until the planting season. On the other hand, this would require double labour along the same extensive district, and our plan is grounded on the strictest economy. Besides, in the desolate regions, which we would fain see clothed with wood, rain is frequent; and should the pits be left open till November or December, they are often exposed to be filled with water, which, remaining and stagnating there, renders the ground so unfit for the plants, that they certainly lose more by such deterioration than they gain by the exposure of the subsoil to the atmosphere.</p> <p> Our mode of planting them is as follows. A labourer first takes a turf from the sward or heath, of nine inches or a foot in circumference, and lays it aside, while he digs the pit and works the earth carefully with his spade. His assistant, a woman or a boy, then places the plant in the earth, laying the roots abroad in the natural direction in which they severally diverge from the stem, and taking especial care that none of them are twisted or bruised in the operation, which, if it does not totally destroy it, never fails greatly to retard the growth of the plant. The planter ought to fill in the earth with the same care; and having trod it down in the usual manner, he cuts the turf in two with his spade, and places one half on each side of the plant, so that the straight edges of the two sections meet together at the stem, while the grassy or heathy side lies nearest the earth. This answers two good purposes; the covering prevents the drought from so readily affecting the young plant, and the reversing the turf prevents it from being affected by the growth of long grass, heath, or weeds in its immediate vicinity. When the time of planting the oaks arrives, we would observe the same method, taking only still greater care of working the earth, of adjusting the roots, and of covering the pit.</p> <p> And here we may hazard an observation, that, of all accidents detrimental to a plantation, those which arise from the slovenly haste of the workman are most generally prejudicial. Sometimes grounds are planted by contract, which, for obvious reasons, leads to hasty proceedings; but, even where the proprietor's own people are employed, which must be usually the case in undertakings in a distant and wild country, the labourers get impatient, and if not checked and restrained, will be found to perform their task with far more haste than good speed. The experienced woodsman will guard with peculiar care against this great danger; for a tree well planted will be found to grow in the most unfavourable spot, while plants, the roots of which have been compressed, or, perhaps, left partially uncovered, will decay, even in the best soil and the most sheltered situation.</p> <p> We have said, that the forest ought to be planted chiefly with larch and oak, in order to produce an early return, and at the same time to ensure a lasting value; but this is not to be Judaically interpreted, and we must take this opportunity to mention several exceptions.</p> <p> There are points peculiarly exposed in every extensive plantation, which, if covered with a screen, are found most useful in defending the young woods from the prevailing wind. On such exposed elevations, we would recommend that the Scots fir be liberally intermixed with the larches. It grows more slowly, doubtless, and is an inferior tree to the larch in every respect; but retaining its leaves during the winter, and possessing at the same time a wonderful power of resisting the storm, it forms, in such places as we have described, a much more effectual shelter than can be afforded by the larch alone. It will be easily conceived, that such a change of colouring in the forest should not be introduced, as forming defined figures, or preserving precise outlines; but that the different kinds of trees should be intermingled, so as to shade off into the general mass. If this is attended to, the plantation will seem to have been formed by Nature's own cunning hand.</p> <p> Ere we leave the subject, we may remind the young planter, that the species of fir, which in an evil hour was called <u>Scotch,</u> as now generally found in nurseries, is very inferior, in every respect, to the real Highland fir, which may be found in the North of Scotland in immense natural forests, equally distinguished for their romantic beauty and national importance. This last is a noble tree, growing with huge contorted arms, not altogether unlike the oak, and forming therein a strong contrast to the formality of the common fir. The wood, which is of a red colour, is equal to that brought from Norway; and, when a plant, it may be known from the spurious or common fir by the tufts of leaves being shorter and thicker, and by the colour being considerably darker. The appearance of the Highland fir, when planted in its appropriate situation amongst rock and crags, is dignified and even magnificent; the dusky red of its massive trunk, and dark hue of its leaves, forming a happy accompaniment to scenes of this description. Such firs, therefore, as are ultimately designed to remain as principal trees, ought to be of this kind, though it may probably cost the planter some trouble to procure the seed from the Highlands. The ordinary fir is an inferior variety, brought from Canada not more than half a century ago. Being very prolific, the nursery-gardeners found it easy to raise it in immense quantities; and thus, though a mean-looking tree, and producing wood of little comparative value, it has superseded the natural plant of the country, and is called, <u>par excellence,</u> the Scotch fir. Under that name it has been used generally as a nurse, and so far must be acknowledged useful, that it submits to almost any degree of hard usage, as, indeed, it seldom meets with any which can be termed even tolerable. There is a great difference betwixt the wood, even of this baser species, raised slowly and in exposed situations, and that of the same tree produced upon richer soil---the last being much inferior in every respect, because more rapid in growth.</p> <p> The planter of a large region will also meet with many portions of ground too wet either for the oak or larch, although the former can endure a very considerable degree of moisture. This he will stock, of course, with the alder, the willow, the poplar, and other trees which prefer a subaqueous soil. But we would particularly recommend the spruce-fir, an inhabitant of such marshes. This tree is almost sure to disappoint the planter upon dry and stony ground. Even planted in good soil, it is apt to decay when about twenty or thirty years old, especially the variety called, from the strong odour of its leaves, the balm of Gilead. But in wet grounds, even where very moorish, the spruce grows to a gigantic size, and the wood is excellent. The silver fir will also endure a great deal of moisture, is one of the hardiest, as well as most stately, children of the forest, and deserves to be cultivated upon a larger scale than that which is usually practised. The woods of Blair Adam, near Kinross, the seat of the Right Honourable William Adam, afford decided proof, that the spruce and silver fir can be raised to the most magnificent trees, in a moist soil, where the substratum appears to be moss.</p> <p> Before quitting this part of the subject, we may observe that, without prejudice to the general maxims of economy laid down, a proprietor, of ordinary feeling and taste, will find, in an extensive tract of waste lands, numerous recesses where the climate is mild, and the exposure favourable, an occasional intervention, in short, of<p> ``Sheltered places, bosoms, nooks, and bays,''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>It is customary to say Glengarry's country, MacLeod's <em> country, and the like, to indicate the estates of the great </em> Highland proprietors.---S.<p> We may, however, just hint to planters, as unpoetical as ourselves, that in achieving such a task as we have proposed to them, nature will, in spite of them, realize, in many places, the wishes breathed by improvers of a different description. In the sort of ground which we have described, it happens invariably that particular places are found where the natural wood, in spite of all the causes which combine to destroy it, has used effective efforts to preserve its existence in the various forms of scattered and stunted trees, tangled and briery copse-wood, and small shoots of underwood, which, kept down by the continual browsing of the cattle, affords only twigs, the existence of which is scarcely manifest among the grass. In all these cases, the remains of natural wood arising rapidly, when protected by enclosures against the intrusion of cattle, volunteer their services to the planter. These are often so important, that, by properly trimming the old wood, the introduction of new plants may, in many cases, be altogether dispensed with. In others, the small twigs, invisible when the ground was planted, come up afterwards as underwood and serve for the purpose of harbouring game or forming thickets. Nay, in some, this natural growth will be found ``something between a hinderance and a help,'' encumbering, and sometimes altogether overpowering and superseding the artificial planting. The trees which thus voluntarily present themselves, as the natural tenants of the soil, are oak, hazel, mountain-ash, thorns of different kinds, hack-berry (called bird-cherry,) holly, &c., in the dry places; and in those which incline to be moist, the alder and willow. The forester may look with almost an absolute certainty for the arrival of these volunteer supplies, if he plants a space of two or three hundred acres. They serve to beautify the operations of art, by adding the wild colouring and drapery of nature. According to the old school of planting, it was the business of the forester to destroy, upon such occasions, the natural productions of the soil, in order to protect the much more worthless plants with which he had himself stocked it. Thus, we know a large plantation, in which a natural oak copse was twice rooted out, in order to protect one of base Canadian firs; yet when the woods afterwards began to be managed with more taste and knowledge, the oaks still remained strong enough, despite these two attempts at extirpation, to supersede the intruders; and they constitute at this time the principal part of the existing wood.</p> <p> We are now come to the distance to be observed betwixt the plants, on putting them into the ground. This is a subject on which different opinions are maintained; opinions which, however, we think have been unnecessarily placed in opposition to each other:---the mode of planting closely, or putting in the trees at a greater distance, being each preferable or inferior to the other in relation to the situation of the plantation, and the purposes for which it is destined.</p> <p> And considering this most important point, with relation to the number of the principal trees designed to remain as the ultimate stock on the land, we must confess our opinion, that the number of hard-wood trees planted is generally much greater than is necessary. A common rule allots the space of six or seven feet betwixt each principal plant. This seems far too large an allowance, and adds greatly to the expense of planting, without producing any correspondent return. If planted so near each other, a great number of the hard-wood trees must be taken out as weedings, before they attain any marketable value; and, as they shoot up again after they are cut down, they are apt to interfere with the growth of the trees which it is the object of the planter finally to cherish, unless the roots themselves are got rid of by the expensive operation of grubbing. If the hard-timber trees are planted at ten or twelve feet distance from each other, there will be room enough left for them to attain a foot in diameter before it is necessary to remove any of them. When planted at a smaller distance than the above, many must certainly be removed ere they have attained any value, while the operation, at the same time, gives to the proprietor the painful feeling attached to destroying a fine plant in its very bloom of promise. But this, like many other maxims concerning planting, is liable to be controlled by circumstances. In forming a plantation near a residence, it may be of great importance to place the hard-wood plants at six or eight feet distance, especially if the soil or exposure be indifferent. This gives the planter, at the distance of ten or twelve years, a choice in selecting the particular trees which will best suit the situation, and the power at the same time of rendering the wood a complete screen, by cutting down the others for under-wood, the introduction of which beauty and utility alike recommend. If there are still thriving young trees, which it is necessary to remove, they are, in such a case, useful to the proprietor: he may plant them out as ornamental trees either upon his lawn, or, as we have ourselves practised, these outcasts of the plantation may be scattered about in the neighbouring pastures. If they are planted with a little care among such patches of furze as usually occur in sheep-ground, with some attention to shelter and soil, it is really wonderful how few of them fail, certainly not above one out of ten, even where no great attention is bestowed on the process, except by cleansing such sheltered spots for receiving the trees. Those that dwindle must be cut, even after standing a year; they will generally send up fine shoots upon the season following. Here, however, we are again straying from our immediate task; for profit and pleasure are so intimately united in this delightful pursuit, that it is frequently difficult to distinguish where their paths separate. Upon the whole, however, it may be considered as unnecessary extravagance in a plantation of great extent, and calculated chiefly for profit, to place the principal or hard-wood trees nearer than twelve feet. Should one be found to fail, its place may be easily supplied by leaving a larch as a principal tree in its room, an exchange which ultimately leaves little ground for regret.</p> <p> The quantity of nurses (which, according to our mode of planting, will be chiefly larches, intermingled with Scotch firs where exposure requires it) should seem also a relative question, to be decided by circumstances. If there is a favourable prospect for the sale of the weedings of the plantation at an early period, there can be no doubt of the truth of the old maxim---``Plant thick, and thin early.'' In this case the larches may be set within three and a half feet of each other generally over the plantation, leaving them somewhat more distant upon the places peculiarly sheltered, and placing them something closer upon exposed ridges, and in rows formed to interrupt the course of the prevailing winds.</p> <p> If the planting thrives, the larches will, in the fifth or sixth year, require a thinning, the produce of which, in an inhabited country, will certainly be equal to the expense. The bark, for example, will produce from four to five pounds a-ton, or otherwise, in proportion to the value of oak bark, amounting usually to one half the value of that commodity. The peeled sticks, from an inch and a half to three inches diameter, find a ready demand. The smallest are sawed into stakes for supporting the nets with which sheep are secured when eating turnips off the ground, and immense numbers are wanted for this purpose on the verge of hilly districts. They fetch, generally, about a shilling per dozen. The larger larches make paling of various descriptions, gates for enclosures, &c. &c. For all these purposes, the larch is admirably calculated, by its quality of toughness and durability. The profits derived from these first thinnings can receive small addition from the produce of the Scotch fir, which will, at this period, be worth little else than what it will bring for fire-wood at the nearest village. But we must repeat, that even this first and least productive course of thinning will do more than clear the expense bestowed, in situations where the country can be considered as peopled.</p> <p> There are, however, extensive Highland wastes, which of all other ground, we would most desire to see planted, where the improver must expect no such return. The distance of markets, the want of demand, deny that profit in the larch wildernesses of the North, which is derived from those more favourably situated, and where every stick, almost every twig, may be brought advantageously to sale. If, therefore, the plantations be as closely filled up in the former case as in the latter, one of two things must happen---either that the thinnings are made at considerable expense over a waste tract of wood-land, without any reimbursement from the proceeds; or else the plantation remains unthinned, to the unspeakable prejudice of the wood, since no trees can thrive unless on the condition of removing a part, to give an additional portion, both of soil and air, to those which remain. This painful dilemma may be avoided by preserving such a distance betwixt the plants, when originally put into the ground, as will make thinning unnecessary, until they shall have attained a more considerable value. It has been found by experience, that larches in particular will grow very well, and even in situations of an unpromising character, if placed at the distance of ten or twelve feet from each other, and may therefore be suffered to remain for ten or twelve years without any thinning. The trees thus taken out will be from six inches to a foot in diameter; and, if no other demand occurs, a great quantity of them may be employed in forming internal enclosures in the wood itself, if, as in a large tract of forest ground and in a high country is often highly advisable, it is judged proper to restore a part of the land to the purpose of pasture. This has been a mode of improvement long practised by the Duke of Athole, in the north of Perthshire, where, to his infinite honour, he has covered whole regions of barren mountains with thriving wood, and occupied, with herds of black cattle, extensive pastures, which formerly lay utterly waste and unproductive.</p> <p> A singular and invaluable quality of the larch-fir, first remarked, or at least first acted on, by the patriotic nobleman whom we have named, has given the means of altogether appeasing the fears of those well-meaning persons, who apprehended that the great extent of modern plantations might, in time, render timber too abundant in the country to bring any remunerating price, while, at the same time, it would draw a great proportion of land from the occupation of flocks or herds. The larch plantations are experimentally found, by the annual casting of their leaves to lend material aid to the encouragement of the fine and more nutritive grasses; while, at the same time, they cause the destruction of the heath, and other coarser productions of vegetation. The cause of this is obvious. The finer grasses---white clover, in particular--- exist in abundance in the bleakest and most dreary moors, although they cannot in such disadvantageous soil become visible to the eye, until encouraged by some species of manure. If any one doubts this, he may be satisfied of the truth, by cutting up a turf in the most barren heath in his vicinity, and leaving it with the heathy side undermost in the place where it was cut; or he may spread a spadeful of lime upon a square yard of the same soil. In either case, the spot so treated will appear the next season covered with white clover. Or the same fact may be discovered by observing the roads which traverse extensive heaths, the sides of which are always greensward, although of the same soil, and subject to the same atmosphere, with the rest of the moor. The blowing of the triturated dust, impregnated with horse-dung, has in this case produced the same effect which the application of lime or the turning the turf, in the former experiments, is calculated to attain. The clover, whether as a seed or plant our dull organs cannot discover, being thus proved to exist in the worst soils, and to flourish on the slightest encouragement, there is no difficulty in understanding how the larch-trees, constantly shedding their leaves on the spot where they are planted, should gradually encourage the clover to supersede the heath, and, by doing so, convert into tolerable pasture-land that from which no animal, excepting a moor-cook, could derive any species of sustenance. We understand the fact to be, that, by the influence of this annual top-dressing, hundreds, nay, thousands of acres have been rendered worth from five to ten shillings an acre, instead of from sixpence to, at the utmost, two shillings. Whoever knows any thing of the comparative value of heath and greensward pasture, will agree that the advantages of converting the one into the other are very moderately stated at the above ratio, and this wonderful transformation is made without the slightest assistance from human art, save that of putting in the larch plants.</p> <p> If it is judged advisable to profit to the uttermost by this ameliorating quality of the larch-tree, the expense of the original plantation will be very considerably diminished, as it will be, in that case, unnecessary to plant any oaks in it, and the whole expense of setting it with larches alone, cannot, in such parts of the country as we are acquainted with, approach to twenty shillings an acre. To this must be added ten years' rent of the field which we may suppose, on an average, a shilling per acre, making, on the whole, an outlay of thirty shillings per acre. The cost of enclosing, and the loss of interest, are to be added to this sum. No other expenses have been incurred during these ten years; for the distance at which the trees are originally planted has rendered thinning unnecessary until that space has expired. In the spring of the eleventh year, then, if the bark is considered as an object, a general revising of the plantation takes place, when, probably, one-third part of the larches may be removed. It must be under very disadvantageous circumstances indeed, that four hundred larches do not, in bark and timber, repay all the expenses of fencing by any cheap method, together with the compound interest on the rent and the expenses of thinning. The acre, therefore, which has cost but thirty shillings for the larch woods, may, at ten years old, be occupied as pasture, without much danger to the trees, which cattle and sheep are not known to crop. For this sum the proprietor receives back his acre of land, with a crop of eight hundred larch-trees, twelve years old, which, valued but at threepence a-piece, are worth ten pounds, but which may be more reasonably estimated at a much greater sum, and which, without costing the owner a farthing, but, on the contrary, increasing his income by thinnings from time to time, will come, in process of time, to be worth hundreds, nay, thousands, of pounds. At the same time, the larches have been, in a manner, paying rent for the ground they occupy, by the amelioration of the grass, which is uniformly so great as to treble and quadruple what the land was worth at the first time of planting. To all this large profit is to be added the comfort which the cattle experience in a well-sheltered pasture, where they have at once shade in summer, warmth in winter, and protection in the storm.</p> <p> Yet great and important as are the advantages attending the Athol mode of planting, we would not willingly see it supersede the culture of the oak, the staple commodity of this island; nor do we believe it is permitted to do so in the country of the noble duke himself. But it is evident, that the greatest possible advantage is to be derived from combining the two different systems, and intermixing plantations to be kept entirely for wood, and consisting chiefly of oak and larch, with others which, consisting only of larch-trees, are to be occupied as pasture after the tenth or twelfth year. The beauty, as well as the productive quality, of the region to be planted, will be increased by blending the systems together, and uniting them at the same time with that of copse plantations, on which we are next about to make some remarks.</p> <p> The mode of cultivating the _sylva c<ae>dua,_ or copsewood destined to the axe, has been greatly improved by a discovery of our author, or, at least, a practice which he has been the first to recommend--- the propagating the oak, namely, by layering from the double shoot of young saplings. We will here permit this practical and sound-headed forester to speak for himself:---</p> <p> ``The method of layering from the sprig of a plant is well known to all nurserymen; but we must carry the matter a little farther when we go to the forest. The method of layering in forests, which is agreed on by all those who have tried it, is of the very first and greatest advantage in filling up blanks in a natural or coppice wood: and with this we may commence. When the young shoots in a natural wood have finished their second year's growth, say in the month of November or December the second year (and here, by the way, it may be proper to observe, that, when layering is reqired, the stools of natural wood should not be thinned out the first year, as is directed in the section on rearing of natural or coppice woods,) every shoot should be allowed to grow till the layering is performed, the second year's growth being finished as aforesaid. If the stools have been healthy, these will have made a push of from six to nine feet high. If there is a blank to fill up on every side of the stool, take four of the best shots and layer them down in different directions in the following manner:---take the stem or shoot from the stool; give it a slash with a knife in the under side, very near the stool or root, to make it bend; often the shoot at this age will bend without using the knife; give it also a slash with your knife about one inch above the eye next the top of the shoot. Should there be but one small shoot near the top, and that chance to be next the ground, not to twist the leader or layer, give the shoot a twist round the body of the layer, and bring it upward. Make a rut in the ground about six inches long, and of sufficient width to receive the body of the layer. Pin the layer firmly down in the slit, below the surface of the earth. This may be easily and readily done with a mall pin of wood, about six inches long, with a hook upon its upper end, to keep down the body of the layer; which pins can easily be got from the branches of the trees in the wood. Having pinned it firmly down below the surface of the ground, cover over the layer with the turf from the rut; or a little fresh earth may be put in, and press it firmly down, holding up the end of the young shoot from the body of the layer, pressing the ground about the root of it the same as putting in a plant by pitting, &c., leaving also the top of the shoot or stem thus layered down out of the ground. Thus the layering is performed; and, in one year, if the root or stool from which the layer is taken, be healthy, the top shoot, and the shoot to form the tree, say the small shoot or eye from the top, will make a push of at least two, and I have even known them grow four feet in one season. Nor is there the smallest chance of their misgiving. The top shoot having made a push again, in two years, of very possibly from eight to nine feet, it can be layered down, and led out other eight or nine feet; thus in four years completely planting up and covering the ground on all sides from sixteen to eighteen feet, and (supposing you have stools or roots on the ground at a distance of from thirty to forty feet,) in five years you can completely plant up the whole ground without the expense of a single plant. Nor is there the least risk of their misgiving in one single case, if properly done; and here also you have a plantation of plants, or we may now rather call them trees, of from four to fourteen feet high, which, by putting inplants, you could not have for twelve years, beside the expense of much filling up.''---Monteath, pp. 47-50.</p> <p> In another part of the same work he gives directions for forming a new copse-wood where no old plants exist, and his manner is well worthy the attention of the experimental planter. He proposes that only twenty-seven plants shall be placed in an English acre. Each of these being cut over yearly for five or six years, will, he reckons, produce, in the sixth, plants fit for layering; and having gone twice through that process, they will, in the course of eight years, fill up the ground with shoots at the distance of eight feet from each other, being the distance necessary in a copse-plantation. Screens and nurses of larch we would think highly conducive to the perfection of these operations.</p> <p> Whether formed by planting or by layering, the cultivation of copse-wood is a matter of the highest importance, and seldom fails to be the most certain produce of a Highland gentleman's estate, where the woods are properly treated and regularly cut. The oak coppice will flourish on the very face of the most broken ground, however encumbered with rocks, and where it is impossible to conceive how the roots can obtain any nourishment, except from the rain which oozes among the clefts and crevices of the rock. And as to exposure, Mr. Monteath informs us that the copse-woods in Scotland, and particularly in Argyleshire, on the very tops of hills from five hundred to one thousand feet above the level of the sea, are equally healthy, produce equally good bark and are nearly equally productive with those in the vales, although they are exposed to every wind that blows.</p> <p> In order to give some idea of the profit attending these copse-woods, the following caculation was made for a nobleman who had lately succeeded to a very extensive tract of mountainous country. It was supposed that, being willing regularly to dedicate a sum, which the amount of his income made a moderate one, to this species of improvement, there should be selected each year in the most convenient places, and those where shelter was most likely to benefit the pasture, a hundred acres of waste and unprofitable ground, to be planted or layered as copse-wood. The amount of rent thus sacrificed, for reasons already given, would be very trifling indeed. The expense of planting and enclosing, presuming it to be carried on with liberality and even profusion, could not, in any reasonable view, exceed four hundred pounds. To meet the labour and expense of revision, the proprietor would have the value of thinnings, which, supposing the nurses to be larch, would be found much more than adequate to the purpose of reimbursing them. A similar space of land was supposed to be regularly planted on every year for twenty years, or two or three more, as the general progress of the plantations might render necessary. The hundred acres first planted would then be ready for a fall, the produce of which would afford at east four tons of bark to an acre, and taking the price at ten pounds a-ton, which is certainly not extravagant, would bring in four thousand pounds in return for four hundred expended twenty years before. The subsequent copses being cut in regular rotation, in the order in which they were planted, the noble proprietor would be found to have added four thousand pounds yearly to his estate, in the space of two or three and twenty years; and it is unnecessary to add that the private gentleman who can but afford to plant the tenth part of the extent, must, if the site of his wood is well chosen, derive proportional advantage. It cannot be denied, however, that the larger the size of the plantations, the more likely they are to be thriving and productive.</p> <p> The copse-wood cannot pretend to the dignity of the forest, yet it possesses many advantages. The standing wood must be one day felled, and then it is centuries ere it can arise again in its pristine majesty; nay, as fellers are seldom planters, it too often happens that, once fallen, the mature forest falls for ever; the proprietor feels a sort of false shame in supplying with pigmy shrubs the giants which be has destroyed, and the term when the damage can be repaired is so far beyond the ken of man, that the attempt is relinquished in despair. The copse-wood, on the contrary, enjoys a species of immortality, purchased, indeed, like that of Nourjahad, in the Oriental tale, by intervals of abeyance. Its lease of existence may be said to be purchased by fine and renewal, a portion of it being cut in succession every twenty years. The eye is no doubt wounded for the time by the fall of the portion annually destined for the market, but the blank may be masked by leaving occasional standards, and nature hastens to repair it. In the course of three years, the copse which has been felled generally again assumes its tufted appearance, and in two or three years more, is as flourishing and beautiful as ever.</p> <p> But the _sylva c<ae>dua_ possesses more solid advantages. In the first place, there are doubtless many situations in mountainous districts admirably calculated to grow wood, but where it would be injudicious to raise full-grown timber, on account of the difficulty, nay, impossibility, of bringing it into the market. Bark, on the contrary, a light substance and easily transported, can be brought from the most remote and inaccessible recesses of the forest, without the expense of conveyance greatly diminishing the profit of the planter. The peeled timber is also an object in those districts where fuel is scarce, besides the demand for charcoal in others, and the consumption of the larger pieces in country work. In many places there is a demand for the oak boughs and twigs, to make what is called the pyro-ligneous acid, now so generally used instead of vinegar.</p> <p> Besides their certain return of annual profit, copse-woods, when formed on entailed estates, have the great advantage of affording to every heir of entail in possession, his fair share of this species of property, while, at the same time, it is almost impossible for him to get more. Large woods of standing trees are planted by prudence and foresight, and maintained and preserved by the respect of successive proprietors, in order, perhaps, ultimately to supply the necessities of some extravagant or dissipated possessor, the shame and ruin of the line. But in the case of copse-wood, such an ``unthrifty heir of =Linne='' can only receive the produce of what regularly falls to be cut during his time; nor can the amount be increased, or the time of payment accelerated, either by the rapacity or necessity of the proprietor. This is a subject well worth the consideration of those who are anxious about the preservation of their landed estate in their own family.</p> <p> Thus it will be observed, that each of these several modes of planting has its own peculiar advantages, and far from being bigoted to any one of them, to the total exclusion of others, the proprietor ought, before commencing his operations, to consider maturely, whether his purpose should be to raise a standing wood, to improve his pasturage by the use of larches exclusively, or to crop the land by means of copse-wood, under regular and systematical management. Where plantations of a moderate extent are concerned, the question must be determined by local circumstances, but a large plan affords means of embracing the whole, and can hardly be accounted perfect without exhibiting specimens of the dark majesty of the forest, the gentler beauties of the copse, and the succession of verdant pastures, intermixed with stately and valuable larch-trees, which the Athol system is so well qualified to introduce. By one or other, or all of these methods, the utmost capabilities of the soil will be brought forth, and the greatest change induced in the face of nature which it is possible for human reason to devise, or human power to execute.</p> <p> We should not have accomplished the task which we proposed, did we not mention, though superficially, the two grand operations of pruning and thinning, without which every one now allows, there can be no rapidly growing plantations, or clean, valuable wood. They are both subjects much better understood than they were twenty years ago, when it was common, for example, to prune off all the under branches of a plant, without considering that this severe operation was destroying the means with which nature provides the plant for drawing up the sap, and thus depriving it of the means of increasing in size; while, with similar incongruity, the upper branches were left to form a thick round head, subject to the action of every storm that blows. Since the publication of Mr. Pontey's treatise, every one worthy to possess a pruning knife is aware that the top of the young plant must be thinned for the encouragement of the leading shoot, and the side boughs only removed in cases where they are apt to rival the stem, or rob it of too much nourishment; and in other cases made so to balance each other, that the tree, when swayed by the wind, may, like a well-trimmed vessel, as speedily as possible recover its equilibrium. We have not, indeed, found that the system of very severe pruning, and removing very many of the side branches, has, under our observation, added so much to the thickness and weight of the stem as it appears to have done under Mr. Pontey's management in better climates; but the general principle which he lays down is indisputable, and has produced much advantage. Neither is it necessary now to renew the caution, that the pruning work should be entirely performed by the hand-knife, or by the chisel and mallet, and, consequently, during the infancy of the plant. The woodsman can scarce commit a greater blunder than by postponing this most necessary operation until it becomes indispensable to employ the axe, when ten men will not perform the work of one at the earlier period, and when the wounds which might have been inflicted without injury in the infancy of the plant, are sure permanently to disfigure and deteriorate the young tree.</p> <p> But it may not be so unnecessary to remind the young planter, that the safe and proper time for pruning hard-wood is the summer mouths, when the sap, having ascended, is stationary in the tree, and before it begins again to descend. It is true, all authors agree that to prune a tree while the sap is in motion, either upwards or downwards, is the ready way to cause it to bleed to death. But there are authors and practical foresters, who continue to hold the heretical opinion that winter is as safe, or even a safer period for pruning, than summer. Nicol, for example, in his useful <u>Planter's Kalendar,</u> falls into this error, and enjoins pruning during the winter months. Yet his experience might have convinced him of its inexpedience. During summer, there always exudes, upon the face of the wound, a thin, gummy fluid, which in a few days seals it up, and skins it over. We have never observed that the plant has any tendency to renew the branches removed at this season. But where the same cut is inflicted in winter, the plant is apt to suffer from the action of the frost upon the raw wound; and, moreover, when the spring months arrive, the forester will observe numerous new shoots pushed out from the scar of that which has been removed, and is thus apprised that his task is but imperfectly performed. As to the necessity of pruning, in general, it is proved by a single glance at the short stems and overgrown heads of the greater part of the oaks found in natural woods, compared with the close upright trunks of those which have felt, in infancy, a judicious application of the pruning-knife. The part of the tree, in the former case, which can be sawn out as useful timber, is not, perhaps, above three feet in length, while the stem of the latter has been trained upwards to the height of fourteen. It is in vain to contradict these facts by an appeal to nature. Nature is equally favourable to all her productions. It is the same to her whether the oak produces timber or boughs, and whether the field produces grain or tares. Human skill and art avail themselves of the operations of nature, by encouraging and directing them towards such results as are most useful to mankind. When we see nature raise a field of wheat, we may expect her to produce a whole forest of clean, straight, profitable timber--- till then we must be content to employ plough and harrow in the one case---hatchet and pruning-knife in the other.</p> <p> The mode of thinning is greatly altered and improved of late years. The sordid and narrow-minded system, which postponed the operation until the thinnings should be of some value, is now, we hope, exploded. To treat a plantation in one way or other, with reference to the value to be derived from the thinning, would be as if a carpenter should cut out his wood, not with relation to the ultimate use which he was to make of it, but to the chips which the operation was to produce. These, indeed, are not to be thrown away, if they can be profitably disposed of; but it would be wild to permit them to be considered as a principal object. In modern times, we rarely see those melancholy wrecks of woods which had once been promising, but where the nurses have been allowed to remain until they choked and swallowed the more valuable crop, which they had been intended to shelter; and where the former existence of oaks, elms, and ashes is only proved by a few starting bushes, which, being near the verge of the plantation, have, by straggling and contorting their boughs, contrived to get as much of the atmosphere as is sufficient to keep them alive, whilst the interior of the wood presents only a dull and hopeless succession of spindle-shanked Scotch firs, which, like a horde of savages, after having invaded and ruined a civilized and wealthy province, are finally employed in destroying each other. Timely thinning, commenced in the fifth season after planting, and repeated from time to time as occasion requires, effectually prevents this loss of hopes, plants, and labour.</p> <p> We would just beg leave to remark, that it is an indifferent, though too frequent mode of thinning, which prescribes the removal of a certain number of plants, a sixth part, or as the case may be, indifferently over the whole plantation. On the contrary, we would be disposed to thin freely the bottoms, hollows, and sheltered places, so that the nurses should be entirely removed, in the first instance, from those places where their presence is least necessary, while they are permitted to retain their station longer on the verges of the wood, or on those exposed heights where, like division hedges in large gardens, they have been originally planted with a view of shelter to the lower ground. In process of time, however, these verges and heights must be gradually thinned out; for warmth and shelter cannot make amends to trees, any more than to mankind, for the want of vital air. It requires the attentive watchfulness of the forester to discover where, or in what proportion, the air is to be introduced into an exposed plantation upon the windward side. If the screen is too speedily opened, the trees, suddenly exposed to cold and stormy winds, become disordered in the sap-vessels, hide-bound, and mossed, and, finally, dwindle into unsightly shrubs, or, perhaps, die entirely. If the air be not admitted at all, or in due quantities, they are equally sure to wither and decay for want of breath. This dilemma arises from not observing the address, so to call it, with which trees adapt themselves to an exposed or more sheltered situation. On the outside of the plantation, in hedge rows, or where they stand single or in small groups, trees have great heads, short stems, thick and rugged barks, all of which are accommodated to their peculiar situation; the short stems giving them most resistance against the storm, the great branches best balancing the tree when swayed by the gale, and the thick, rugged bark protecting the sap-vessels against the inclemency of the weather. For the contrary reasons, trees of the same species, placed within the shelter of a grove, rise with clear stems, covered with thin and smooth bark, having lofty, but small heads, and all the attributes of a plant accustomed to a milder climate. But if the shelter be allowed to become too close, the tree, like a valetudinary in an over-heated room, becomes injured by the very means adopted for its preservation. On the other hand, if the physician wished to allow such a patient a fresher atmosphere, he would certainly allow him time to put on warmer clothing. To pay the same respect to the trees in the interior of our plantation, the outside trees must be thinned, and they must be thinned gradually. Some managers of woods contrive to combine both errors, by neglecting the necessary thinning for years, and finally setting about it with a hasty and unsparing hand. Time and experience alone can teach the forester to observe a medium course in this important operation; but as to thinning, in general, it may be received as a maxim, that he who spares the axe hates the wood.</p> <p> The duty, indeed, requires in its own nature some share of stoical resolution, nor is it to be approached without a feeling of reluctance. The lonely, secluded, sheltered appearance of your plantation is violated by the intrusion of your hatchet-men; you look with regret on the hopeful tall plants, whose doom you are about to seal, and feel yourself in the same moment unable and unwilling to select which of the darling family, a family of your own planting and rearing, are to perish for the benefit of the survivors. Neither is it very consolatory to look upon the altered scene after the havoc has taken place. It is but four years since, where no employment was so grateful as that of watching and protecting the growth of the trees that are now lying prostrate on the ground; your old secret path, encumbered by boughs and branches, seems rudely laid bare to the sun. Many of the trees which remain, in spite of the wood-man's utmost care, have suffered by the fall of their companions, and<p> ``the broken boughs Droop with their wither'd leaves, ungracious sign Of devastation.''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>and to the private gentleman, who has three or four thousand moorland acres, or even a smaller property. We suppose the proprietor, in either case, desirous to convert a suitable part of his estate into woodland, at the least possible expense, and with the greatest chance of profit.<p> ``Then up I rose, And dragg'd to earth both branch and bough with crush And merciless ravage; and the shady nook Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower, Deform'd and sullied, patiently gave up Their quiet being . . . . . . . . I felt a sense of pain, when I beheld The silent trees and the intruding sky.''</p> </p> <ul> <li>Wordsworth's Description of the Country of the Lakes.<p> Mr. Monteath's work is, in many important respects, of consequence to the planter. It is written in the simple, homely manner of one whose hand is better accustomed to the knife than to the pen, and, without any particular formal order, touches more or less upon most of the forester's operations. He has devised a useful machine for measuring the quantity of wood in standing trees---he has thrown out hints for the preservation and the cure of the dry rot in timber, and upon diseases in growing trees; he has treated of the mode of valuing and selling bark, and several other subjects; and as he speaks generally from practical knowledge, we may, using a phrase of Chaucer, in somewhat a different sense, fairly dismiss him with the compliment paid to the Squire's Yeoman, in the _Canterbury Tales:_---<p> ``Of wood-craft can he well all the usage.''</p> </p> <p> We may be blamed in these desultory remarks for not having said something upon the subject of planting woods from the acorn, instead of the nursery. We have heard this recommended by great authority, which, moreover, vindicated the practice of leaving nature to work her own work in her own manner, when, it was asserted, the strongest and best trees would work forwards, fight with the others, and save us the trouble of pruning and thinning, by weeding out the inferior plants. We have planted acorns on this system, and the first show of young oaklings which appeared, rose almost like ``a bonny <u>braird</u> of wheat.'' But notwithstanding this fine promise, the plantation came to nothing. If the young plants fought with each other, they must have fought what cockers call a Welsh main, for only tens were left out of hundreds and thousands. The mice had probably their share in bringing about this catastrophe; the hares a still greater one; but the indifferent success of the experiment, in which five or six hogsheads of acorns were lost, induced us to renounce the experiment as being at least precarious in its results. In the plantations of a friend, a vast number of Spanish chestnuts were sown chiefly with a view to under wood, and they made such progress at first a induced us to apply for some seed of the same kind from Portugal. Our correspondent fell into the small mistake of supposing the chestnuts were wanted for the table, and with that view had the all carefully peeled. This was a great disappointment at first, but we comforted ourselves in finding the promise of the chestnuts did not exceed in performance that of our own acorns. We therefore hold, that the sowing seeds in a wild country is a very doubtful measure, and that the only way to ensure a thriving plantation, is to stock it from a well-managed nursery, at no great distance from the spot where your trees are to arise.</p> <p> Mr. Monteath suggests a principle of planting, which might certainly be rendered very advantageous to tenants, by admitting them into a share of the benefit to be derived from planting upon the land occupied by him. Of the great advantages which arise from this to the farmer, he gives the following striking example, which may be equally quoted as an example of the profits of planting in general:</p> <p> ``The farm of Crosscaple, parish of Dunblane, and barony of Kinbuck, Perthshire, was taken by Mr. J. Dawson, for two nineteen, say thirty-eight years, and entered to in 1777, or 1778, at the annual rent of <L>26 sterling. There was a clause in the lease, that Mr. Dawson, the tenant, should, if he had a mind, plant all the wet ground that he did not think proper to plough, with trees of any kind; and the tenant should be at liberty to use what of that wood he required, during the currency of his lease, for all the husbandry purposes on the said farm, as well as for all the houses he required, or saw meet to erect on said farm. At the end, or expiration of said lease, all the standing timber was to be valued by two persons, mutually chosen by landlord and tenant. And it was expressly stipulated, that if the two valuators chosen did not agree, they were to choose a third person, and his opinion betwixt the arbiters was to be binding on both parties; and to their valuation the landlord was to pay the tenant in ready money. In February, 1817, the year after the lease expired, Mr. M`Arthur, forester in Drummond Castle, was chosen by and on the part of James Dawson, then the tenant (and now living in Dunblane,) as his valuator: and I was appointed by the trustees for behoof of the heir of Kippenross, then a minor. We met on the ground, and each for himself valued the wood. After comparing our valuations, there was a difference of about <L>25 sterling. We then named Mr. William Stirling, architect, Dunblane, who divided the difference; and all parties having agreed, fixed the value of the wood on said farm at <L>1029 sterling; which sum was promptly paid by the trustees of the estate to the tenants. The whole rent of the farm, paid annually for thirty-eight years, amounted to <L>988 sterling. The value paid by the proprietor for the wood was <L>1029, being <L>41 more than all the rents of the farm during the whole lease; besides, after the first ten years, the tenant had a sufficiency of timber for all house and husbandry purposes during the remainder of his lease. Let it be here observed, that, in valuing the said wood, we proceeded on the data of its being all cut down at the time, and brought to market, which was twenty per cent. lower than the like timber was selling for a few years before that time. The tenant being left to the freedom of his own will, as to the kind of trees to plant, had very injudiciously planted mostly Scotch firs; whereas had he planted oak and ash, the soil and situation being well adapted for these kind, he would have had nearly three times that sum to receive.''---<u>Introduction,</u> pp. xlii.-xliv.</p> <p> Notwithstanding the favourable results upon the farm of Crosscaple, we must confess our opinion, that in most cases the entire property and management of the wood had better be left with the proprietor. To the tenant it will always be a secondary object, and often one which is altogether neglected. We know an instance in a Highland farm, of which a lease of three lives was granted many years ago. The lease contained such a clause as our author recommends, not permitting merely, but binding the tenant to plant a certain number of acres during the currency of the lease, of which he was to have the use during the term, and an indemnification at the expiry of his lease for the value of the trees that should be left. One would have thought that during the successive possession of three tenants, some one of them would have endeavoured to derive advantage from this clause in their favour; but the event was, that at the end of the lease the out-going tenant was obliged to plant the requisite number of acres in order to fulfil his bargain, and thus left the proprietor a newly-planted and infant wood, for which the tenant had recently paid the expense of enclosing and planting, instead of a thriving and full-grown plantation, for which he would have had to receive several thousand pounds.</p> <p> In this case the wood was not planted at all but though the farmer is a little more industrious, it is still less likely to thrive under his management, and attended to by his ordinary farm-servants, than in the hands of an expert forester and his assistants. Indeed, it has always seemed to us not the least important branch of this great national subject, that the increase and the proper management of our forests cannot but be attended with the most beneficial effect on the population of the country. Where there lies stretched a wide tract of land, affording scanty food for unsheltered flocks, the country will soon, under a judicious system, show the scene most delightful to the eye---an intermixture of pastoral and sylvan scenery, where Ceres, without usurping the land, finds also spots fit for cultivation. For even the plough has its office in this species of improvement. In numerous places we are surprised to see the marks of the furrows upon plains, upon bleak hill sides, and in wild moor land. We are not to suppose that, in the infancy of agriculture, our ancestors were able to raise crops of corn where we see only heath and fern. But in former times, and while the hills retained their natural clothing of wood, such spots were sheltered by the adjacent trees, and were thus rendered capable of producing crops. There can be no doubt that, the protection being restored, the power of production would again return, and that in the neighbourhood of the little hamlets required for the occupation of the foresters, the means of his simple subsistence would be again produced. The effects of human industry would, as usual, overbalance every disadvantageous consideration, and man would raise food for himself and his domestic animals in the region where his daily labour gained his daily bread.</p> <p> There would thus arise in the wild desert a hardy and moral population, living by the axe and mattock, pursuing their useful occupation in a mode equally favourable to health and morality. The woods, requiring in succession planting, pruning, thinning, felling, and barking, would furnish to such labourers a constant course of employment. They would be naturally attached to the soil on which they dwelt, and the proprietor who afforded them the means of life would be very undeserving if he had not his share of that attachment. In a word, the melancholy maxim of the poet would be confuted, and the race of bold peasantry, whom want and devastation had driven from these vast wilds, would be restored to their native country. This circumstance alone deserves the most profound attention from every class of proprietors; whether the philosophical economist, who looks with anxiety for the mode of occupying and supporting an excess of population, or the juvenile sportsman, who seeks the mode of multiplying his game, and increasing the number of his <u>gardes de chasse.</u> The woods which he plants will serve the first purpose, and, kindly treated, his band of foresters will assist in protecting them.</p> <p> We may be thought to have laboured too long to prove propositions which no one can reasonably dispute; yet so incalculably important is the object ---so comparatively indifferent is the attention of proprietors, that it becomes a duty to the country to omit no opportunity of recurring to the subject.</p> <p> The only decent pretext which we hear alleged for resisting a call which is sounded from every quarter, is the selfish excuse, that the profits of plantations make a tardy and distant return. To a person who argues in this manner it is in vain to speak of the future welfare of the country, or of the immediate benefit to the poorer inhabitants, or of the honour justly attached to the memory of an extensive improver, since he must be insensible even to the benefit which his own family must derive from the improvement recommended; we can, notwithstanding, meet him on his own ground, and affirm that the advantage to the proprietor who has planted a hundred acres, begins at the very commencement of the undertaking, and may be realized whenever it is the pleasure of the proprietor that such realization shall take place. If, for example, he chooses to sell a plantation at five years old, or at an earlier period, there is little doubt that it will be accounted worth the sum which the plantation cost him, in addition to the value of the land, and also the interest upon the expense so laid out. After this period the value increases in a compound <u>ratio:</u> and at any period when the planter chooses to sell his property, he must and will derive an advantage from his plantations, corresponding to their state of advancement. It is true that the landed proprietor's own interest will teach him not to be too eager in realizing the profits of his plantations, because every year that he retains them adds rapidly to their value. But still the value exists as much as that of the plate in his strong-box, and can be converted as easily into money, should he be disposed to sell the plantations which he has formed.</p> <p> All this is demonstrable even to the prejudices of avarice itself, in its blindest mood; but the indifference to this great rural improvement arises, we have reason to believe, not so much out of the actual lucre of gain as the fatal vis inerti<ae>---that indolence which induces the lords of the soil to be satisfied with what they can obtain from it by immediate rent, rather than encounter the expense and trouble of attempting the modes of amelioration which require immediate expense---and, what is, perhaps, more grudged by the first-born of Egypt---a little future attention. To such we can only say, that improvement by plantation is at once the easiest, the cheapest, and the least precarious mode of increasing the immediate value, as well as the future income, of their estates; and that, therefore, it is we exhort them to take to heart the exhortation of the dying Scotch laird to his son:--- ``Be aye sticking in a tree, Jock---it will be growing whilst you are sleeping.''</p> </li> </ul> <p>which may be either left for pasture and cultivation, or filled with other varieties of forest trees than those which we have advised for the woodland in general. In discovering these hidden oases of the desert, the improver will be naturally induced to turn them to account, and vary the character of his silvan dominions, according to the facilities which these <u>accidents</u> of vale and glade not only admit of, but invite. This employment cannot fail to be one of the most interesting which a rural life holds out to its admirers. He may deepen the shade of the dim glen by tenanting it with yew, and he may increase the cheerfulness of the sunny glade by sprinkling it with the lighter and gayer children of the forest. But here we must avoid the temptation, which all writers on plantations, our friends Pontey and Mr. Monteath not excepted, are disposed to yield to, where there is such an opportunity for fine description. We remember Lord Byron's reproof to Moore:--- ``Come, hang it, Tom, don't be poetical.'' So we sheath our eloquence, and resume the humble unadorned tone of rural admonition.<p> Landscape Gardening.<*></p> </p> <p>The scene is not improved by the mangled appearance of larches and firs, which, destined to the axe on the next occasion, have, in the mean time, been deprived of side branches, like the more notorious criminals, who are mutilated of their limbs before they are executed. In a word, the whole scene seems one of violation, and in its consequences resembles the ravage of the nut-gatherer, as described by Wordsworth:---</p> <p>---But a visit to the plantation in the ensuing June will more than recompense the pain which is natural to the performance of this act of duty. All then is again grown fair and green and shady; the future groves affording appearance of improvement, which rarely fails to surprise the spectator, and your firmness in the preceding season is compensated by the certain indications that large progress has been made in the accomplishment of your patriotic as well as profitable object.<p> ``O blind of choice, and to yourselves untrue! The young grove shoots, their bloom the fields renew, The mansion asks its lord, the swains their friend, While he doth riot's orgies haply share, Or tempt the gamester's dark destroying snare, Or at some courtly shine, with slavish incense bend!''</p> <p> Amidst the various sources of amusement which a country residence offers to its proprietor, the improvement of the appearance of the house and adjacent demesne will ever hold a very high place. Field-sports, at an early season in life, have more of immediate excitation; nor are we amongst those who condemn the gallant chase, though we cannot, now-a-days, follow it: but a country life has leisure for both, if pursued, as Lady Grace says, moderately; and we can promise our young sportsman, also, that if he studies the pursuits which this article recommends, he will find them peculiarly combined with the establishment of covers, and the protection of game.</p> <p> Agriculture itself, the most serious occupation of country gentlemen, has points which may be combined with the art we are about to treat of---or, rather, those two pursuits cannot, on many occasions, be kept separate from each other; for we shall have repeated occasion to remark, how much beauty is, in the idea of a spectator, connected with utility, and how much good taste is always offended by obvious and unnecessary expense. These are principles which connect the farm with the pleasure-ground or demesne.---Lastly, we have Pope's celebrated apology for the profuse expense bestowed on the house and grounds of Canons---if Canons, indeed, was meant---<p> ``Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed; Health to himself, and to his children bread, The labourer bears.''</p> </p> </p> <p><title> On<! p50><p> Horace Walpole, in a short essay, distinguished by his usual accuracy of information, and ornamented by his wit and taste, has traced the history of gardening, in a pictural sense, from the mere art of horticulture to the creation of scenery of a more general character, extending beyond the narrow limits of the proper garden and orchard. We venture, however, to think that this history, though combined by a master-hand, is in some degree imperfect, and confounds two particulars which our ancestors kept separate, and treated on principles entirely different---the garden, namely, with its ornaments, and the park, chase, or riding, which, under various names, was the proudest appurtenance of the feudal castle, and marked the existence of those rights and privileges which the feudal lord most valued.</p> <p> The garden, at first intended merely for producing esculent vegetables, fruits, and flowers, began to assume another character, so soon as the increase of civilisation tempted the feudal baron to step a little way out of the limits of his fortifications, and permitted his high dame to come down from her seat upon the castle walls, so regularly assigned to her by ancient minstrels, and tread with stately pace the neighbouring precincts which art had garnished for her reception. These gardens were defended with walls, as well for safety as for shelter: they were often surrounded with fosses, had the command of water, and gave the disposer of the ground an opportunity to display his taste, by introducing canals, basins, and fountains, the margins of which admitted of the highest architectural ornament. As art enlarged its range, and the nobles were satisfied with a display of magnificence to atone for an abridgement of their power, new ornaments were successively introduced; banqueting houses were built; terraces were extended, and connected by staircases and balustrades of the richest forms. The result was, indeed, in the highest degree artificial, but it was a sight beautiful in itself--- a triumph of human art over the elements, and, connected as these ornamented gardens were with splendid mansions, in the same character, there was a symmetry and harmony betwixt the baronial palace itself, and these its natural appendages, which recommended them to the judgment as well as to the eye. The shrubs themselves were artificial, in so far as they were either exotic, or, if indigenous, were treated in a manner, and presented an appearance, which was altogether the work of cultivation. The examination of such objects furnished amusement to the merely curious, information to the scientific, and pleasure, at least, to those who only looked at them, and passed on. Where there was little extent of ground, especially, what could be fitter for the amusement of ``learned leisure,'' than those ``trim gardens,'' which Milton has represented as the chosen scene of the easy and unoccupied man of letters? He had then around him the most delightful subjects of observation, in the fruits and flowers, the shrubs and trees, many of them interesting from their novelty and peculiar appearance and habits, inviting him to such studies as lead from created things up to the Almighty Creator. This sublime author, indeed, has been quoted, as bearing a testimony against the artificial taste of gardening, in the times when he lived, in those well-known verses:---<p> ``Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice Art In beds and curious knots, but Nature boon Pour'd out profuse on hill, and dale, and plain, Both where the morning sun first warmly smote The open field, and where the unpierced shade Embrown'd the noontide bowers. Thus was this place A happy rural seat of various view.''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>Article---The Planter's Guide; or, a Practical Essay on <em> the best Method of giving immediate effect to Wood, by the </em> removal of large Trees and Underwood. By Sir Henry Steuart, * Bart. Edinburgh, 8vo, 1828.---Quarterly Review, March, 1828.<p> A garden of this sort was an extension of the splendour of the residence into a certain limited portion of the domain---was, in fact, often used as a sort of chapel of ease to the apartments within doors; and afforded opportunities for the society, after the early dinner of our ancestors, to enjoy the evening in the cool fragrance of walks and bowers. Hence, the dispersed groups which Watteau and others set forth as perambulating the highly ornamented scenes which these artists took pleasure in painting. Sometimes the hospitality of old England made a different use of these retreats, and tenanted the pleasure-ground with parties of jolly guests, who retired from the dining-parlour to finish the bottle, <u>al fresco,</u> on the bowling-green and in its vicinity. We have heard, for example, that, in a former generation, this used to be the rule at Trentham, where a large party of country-gentlemen used to assemble once a-week, on a public day appointed for the purpose. At a certain hour the company adjourned to the bowling-green, where, according to their different inclinations, they played at bowls, caroused, lounged, or smoked, and thus released their noble landlord from all further efforts to keep up the spirit of the entertainment. The honest Staffordshire squires were not, perhaps, the most picturesque objects in the world, while thus engaged, with countenances highly illuminated,<p> ``With a pipe and a flask, puffing sorrow away;''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p><text> The notable paradox, that the residence of a proprietor upon his estate is of as little consequence as the bodily presence of a stockholder upon Exchange, has, we believe, been renounced. At least, as in the case of the Duchess of Suffolk's relationship to her own child, the vulgar continue to be of opinion that there is some difference in favour of the next hamlet and village, and even of the vicinage in general, when the squire spends his rents at the manor-house, instead of cutting a figure in France or Italy. A celebrated politician used to say, he would willingly bring in one bill to make poaching felony, another to encourage the breed of foxes, and a third to revive the decayed amusements of cock-fighting and bull-baiting--- that he would make, in short, any sacrifice to the humours and prejudices of the country gentlemen, in their most extravagant form, providing only he could prevail upon them to ``dwell in their own houses, be the patrons of their own tenantry, and the fathers of their own children.'' However we might be disposed to stop short of these liberal concessions, we agree so far with the senator by whom they were enounced, as to think every thing of great consequence which furnishes an additional source of profit or of pleasure to the resident proprietor, and induces him to continue to support the useful and honourable character of a country gentleman, an epithet so pleasing in English ears,--- so dear to English feelings of independence and patriotism. The manly lines of Akenside cannot fail to rush on the memory of our readers, nor was there such occasion for the reproach when it flowed from the pen of the author, as there is at this present day.<p> Such were the uses of the old fashioned and highly ornamented style of gardening. Its beauty, we have been informed by a sure, nay, we will add, the surest guide on such a subject, consists in its connexion with the house---</p> <p> ``Where architectural ornaments are introduced into the garden about the house, however unnatural raised terraces, fountains, flights of steps, parapets, with statues, vases, balustrades, &c., may be called---however our ancestors may have been laughed at (and I was much diverted, though not at all convinced with the ridicule) for walking up and down stairs in the open air---the effect of all these objects is very striking; and they are not more unnatural, that is, not more artificial, than the hoses they are intended to accompany.''<*></p> </p> <p>The taste of alterations may be good or bad, but the labour employed upon them must necessarily furnish employment to the most valuable, though often the feast considered of the children of the soil,---those, namely, who are engaged in its cultivation.<p> Nothing is more completely the child of art than a garden. Its <u>artificial</u> productions are necessarily surrounded by walls, marking out the space which they occupy as something totally distinct from the rest of the domain, and they are not seldom distinguished by the species of buildings which their culture requires. The green-houses and conservatories necessary to complete a garden on a large scale are subjects susceptible of much ornament, all of which, like the plants themselves, must be the production of art, and art in its most obvious phasis. It seems right and congruous that these objects, being themselves the offspring of art, should have all the grace of outward form and interior splendour which their parent art can give them. Their formality is to be varied and disguised, their shapes to be ornamented. A brick wall is, in itself, a disagreeable object; but its colour, when covered with green boughs, and partially seen through them, produces such a rich effect as to gratify the painter in a very high degree. Upon the various shapes and forms of shrubs, creepers, and flowers, it is unnecessary to dilate; they are the most beautiful of nature's works, and to collect them and arrange them with taste is the proper and rational purpose of art. Water, even when disposed into the formal shapes of ponds, canals, and artificial fountains, although this may be considered as the greatest violence which can be perpetrated upon nature, affords effects beautiful in themselves, and congenial with the presence of ornamented architecture and artificial gardening. Our champion, Price himself, we presume to think, rather shrinks from his ground on this particular point, and may not be willing to follow his own banner so far as we are disposed to carry it. He justifies fountains only on the ground that natural <u>jets-d'eau,</u> though rare, do exist, and are among the most surprising exhibitions of nature: these, he thinks, must <u>therefore</u> be proper objects of imitation; and since art cannot emulate these natural fountains in greatness of style and execution, she is justified in compensating her weakness by symmetry, variety, and richness of effect. Now we are inclined, with all the devotion of reverence for Sir Uvedale Price, to dispute the ground of his doctrine on this subject, and to affirm, that whether the <u>geyser,</u> or any other natural <u>jet-d'eau</u> existed or no, the sight of a magnificent fountain, either flinging up its waters into the air and returning down in showers of mist, which make the ascending column resemble a giant in a shroud, or broken into other forms of importance and beauty, would still be a captivating spectacle; and the tasteful veteran argues, to our fancy, much more like himself when he manfully contends, that the element of water is as fitly at the disposal of the professor of hydraulics as the solid stone is at that of the architect. It has been a long time fashionable to declaim against architectural water-works, and to ask triumphantly, what are <u>les eaux</u> of Versailles to the cataracts of the Nile and of Niagara, to the falls of Schaffhausen, or even to those of the Clyde? The answer is ready to a question which is founded on the meanest of all tastes---that which arises from comparison. The water-works of Versailles are certainly inferior to the magnificent cascades which we have mentioned; but we suspect they have been talked of by many authors who have never witnessed what is not now an everyday sight. Those who <u>have</u> seen that exhibition will certainly say they have witnessed a most magnificent and interesting scene, far beyond what they might have previously supposed it was within the compass of human art to produce---We do not mean to say that the expense was altogether well laid out which was necessary to bring the waters of the Seine by the mediation of a complicated bundle of sticks, to throw <u>summersets</u> at Versailles. This is entirely a separate affair. The present question merely is, whether, the money being spent, and the water-works completed, a great example of human power over the elements has not been given, and a corresponding effect produced? We, at least, are prepared to answer in the affirmative.</p> <p> Wealth, in this, as in other respects, has proved a snare, and played ``many fantastic tricks before high heaven.'' If we approve of Palladian architecture, the vases and balustrades of Vitruvius, the enriched entablatures and superb stairs of the Italian school of gardening, we must not, on this account, be construed as vindicating the paltry imitations of the Dutch, who clipped yews into monsters of every species and description, and relieved them with the painted wooden figures which are seen much in the attitude of their owners, silent and snugly smoking at the end of the paltry walk of every <u>Lust-huys.</u> This <u>topiarian</u> art, as it was called, came into England with King William, and has left strong and very ungraceful traces behind it. The distinction betwixt the Italian and Dutch is obvious. A stone hewn into a gracefully ornamented vase or urn has a value which it did not before possess; a yew hedge clipped into a fortification is only defaced. The one is a production of art, the other a distortion of nature. Yet, now that these ridiculous anomalies have fallen into general disuse, it must be acknowledged that there exist gardens, the work of Loudon, Wise, and such persons as laid out ground in the Dutch taste, which would be much better subjects for modification than for absolute destruction. Their rarity <u>now</u> entitles them to some care as a species of antiques, and unquestionably they give character to some snug, quiet, and sequestered situations, which would otherwise have no marked feature of any kind. We ourselves retain an early and pleasing recollection of the seclusion of such a scene. A small cottage, adjacent to a beautiful village, the habitation of an ancient maiden lady, was for some time our abode. It was situated in a garden of seven or eight acres, planted about the beginning of the eighteenth century by one of the Millars, related to the author of the <u>Gardener's Dictionary,</u> or, for aught we know, by himself. It was full of long straight walks betwixt hedges of yew and horn-beam, which rose tall and close on every side. There were thickets of flowering shrubs, a bower, and an arbour, to which access was obtained through a little maze of contorted walks, calling itself a labyrinth. In the centre of the bower was a splendid platanus, or Oriental plane---a huge hill of leaves ---one of the noblest specimens of that regularly beautiful tree which we remember to have seen. In different parts of the garden were fine ornamental trees which had attained great size, and the orchard was filled with fruit-trees of the best description. There were seats and trellis-walks, and a banqueting-house. Even in our time, this little scene, intended to present a formal exhibition of vegetable beauty, was going fast to decay. The parterres of flowers were no longer watched by the quiet and simple <u>friends</u> under whose auspices they had been planted, and much of the ornament of the domain had been neglected or destroyed to increase its productive value. We visited it lately, after an absence of many years. Its air of retreat, the seclusion which its alleys afforded, was entirely gone; the huge platanus had died, like most of its kind, in the beginning of this century; the hedges were cut down, the trees stubbed up, and the whole character of the place so much destroyed, that we were glad when we could leave it. This was the progress of innovation, perhaps of improvement: yet, for the sake of that one garden, as a place of impressive and solemn retreat, we are inclined to enter a protest against the hasty and ill-considered destruction of things which, once destroyed, cannot be restored.</p> <p> We may here also notice a small place, called Barncluth, in Lanarkshire, standing on the verge of the ridgy bank which views the junction of the Evan with the Clyde. Nothing can be more romantic than the scene around: the river sweeps over a dark rugged bed of stone, overhung with trees and bushes; the ruins of the original castle of the noble family of Hamilton frown over the precipice; the oaks which crown the banks beyond those grey towers are relics of the ancient Caledonian forest, and at least a thousand years old. It might be thought that the house and garden of Barncluth, with its walks of velvet turf and its verdant alleys of yew and holly, would seem incongruous among natural scenes as magnificent as those we have described. But the effect generally produced is exactly the contrary. The place is so small, that its decorations, while they form, from their antique appearance, a singular foreground, cannot compete with, far less subdue the solemn grandeur of the view which you look down upon; and thus give the spectator the idea of a hermitage constructed in the midst of the wilderness.</p> <p> Those who choose to prosecute this subject farther, will find in Sir U. Price's book his regret for the destruction of a garden on the old system, described in a tone of exquisite feeling, which leads that distinguished author to declare in favour of many parts of the old school of gardening, and to argue for the preservation of the few remains of ancient magnificence that still exist, by awakening the owner to a sense of their beauties.</p> <p> It were indeed high time that some one should interfere. The garden, artificial in its structure, its shelter, its climate, and its soil, which every consideration of taste, beauty, and convenience recommended to be kept near to the mansion, and maintained, as its appendage, in the highest state of ornamental decoration which could be used with reference to the character of the house itself, has, by a strange and sweeping sentence of exile, been condemned to wear the coarsest and most humbling form. Reduced to a clumsy oblong, enclosed within four rough-built walls, and sequestered in some distant corner where it may be best concealed from the eye to which it has been rendered a nuisance, the modern garden resembles nothing so much as a convict in his gaol apparel, banished, by his very appearance, from all decent society. If the peculiarity of the proprietor's taste inclines him to the worship of Flora or Pomona, he must attend their rites in distance and secrecy, as if he were practising some abhorred mysteries, instead of rendering an homage which is so peculiarly united with that of the household gods.<*></p> </p> <p>This passage expresses exquisitely what park-scenery ought to be, and what it has, in some cases, actually become; but, we think, the quotation has been used to authorise conclusions which the author never intended. Eden was created by the Almighty fiat, which called heaven and earth into existence, and poets of genius much inferior, and falling far short of Milton in the power of expressing their meaning, would have avoided the solecism of representing Paradise as decorated with beds and curious knots of flowers, with which the idea of human labour and human care is inevitably connected---an impropriety, indeed, which could only be equalled by that of the French painter, who gave the skin dress of our first father the cut of a court suit. Milton nobly conceived that Eden, emanating directly from the Creator, must possess that majestic freedom which characterises even the less perfect works of nature, and, in doing so, he has anticipated the schemes of later improvers. But we think it extremely dubious, that he either meant to recommend landscape gardening on an extensive scale, or to censure those ``trim gardens,'' which he has elsewhere mentioned so affectionately.<p> Such being the great change in this department of rural economy, let us next look at that which has taken place in another no less essential part of it. The passionate fondness of our ancestors for the chase is often manifested in their choice of a residence. In an ancient inscription on the house of Wharncliffe, we are informed that the lodge was built in Henry VIII.'s time, by one gentle knight, Sir Thomas Wortley, that he might hear the buck <u>bell</u> in the summer season---a simple record, which speaks much to the imagination. The space of ground set apart for a park of deer must, to answer its purpose, possess the picturesque qualities which afford the greatest scope for the artist: there ought to be a variety of broken ground, of copse-wood, and of growing timber---of land, and of water. The soil and herbage must be left in its natural state; the long fern, amongst which the fawns delight to repose, must not be destroyed. In short, the stag, by nature one of the freest denizens of the forest, can only be kept under even comparative restraint, by taking care that all around him intimates a complete state of forest and wilderness. But the character of abode which is required by these noble animals of the chase is precisely the same which, from its beautiful effects of light and shadow, from its lonely and sequestered character, from the variety and intricacy of its glades, from the numerous and delightful details which it affords on every point, makes the strongest and most pleasing impression on all who are alive to natural beauty. The ancient English poets, Chaucer and Spenser in particular, never luxuriate more than when they get into a forest: by the accuracy with which they describe particular trees, and from their noticing the different characters of the different species, and the various effects of light and darkness upon the walks and glades of the forest, it is evident that they regarded woodland scenery not merely as associated with their favourite sports, but as having in itself beauties which they could appreciate, though their age was not possessed of the fascinating of committing them to canvass. Even the common people, as we noticed in a former Article, seldom mention ``the good forest,'' and ``the merry green-wood,'' without some expression of fondness, arising, doubtless, from the pleasure they took in the scenes themselves, as well as in the pastimes which they afforded.</p> <p> We are not, however, to suppose, that the old feudal barons made ornamental scenery any part of their study. When planting their parks, or when cutting paths and glades through them, their attention was probably entirely occupied with the protection of the deer and convenience of the huntsman. Long avenues were particularly necessary for those large parties, resembling our modern <u>battues,</u> where the honoured guests being stationed in fit <u>standings,</u> had an opportunity of displaying their skill in venery, by selecting the buck which was in season, and their dexterity at bringing him down with the cross-bow or long-bow; and hence all the great forests were pierced by these long rectilinear alleys which appear in old prints, and are mentioned in old books. The following description of Chantilly, by Lord Herbert of Cherbury, though the scene is in France, and on a scale of unusual grandeur and extent, is no bad picture of the domains by which the feudal nobility surrounded their castles and manor-houses, and of the dignified character of the mansions themselves.</p> <p> ``A little river, descending from some higher grounds, in a country which was almost all his (the Constable de Montmorency's) own, and falling at last upon a rock in the middle of a valley, which, to keep drawing forwards, it must on one or the other side thereof have declined---some of the ancestors of the Montmorencys, to ease the river of this labour, made clear channels through this rock, to give it a free passage, dividing the rock by this means into little islands, upon which he built a great strong castle, joined together with bridges, and sumptuously furnished with hangings of silk and gold, rare pictures, and statues; all which buildings, erected as I formerly told, were encompassed about with water . . . . . One might see the huge carps, pikes, and trouts, which were kept in several divisions, gliding along the waters very easily. Yet nothing, in my opinion, added so much to the glory of this castle as a forest adjoining to it, and upon a level with the house; for, being of a very large extent, and set thick both with tall trees and underwood, the whole forest, which was replenished with wild-boar, stag, and roe-deer, was cut into long walks every way, so that although the dogs might follow, their chase through the thickets, the huntsman might ride along the sand walks, and meet or overtake their game in some one of them, they being cut with that art that they led to all the parts in the said forest.''</p> <p> Charles V., when passing through France, was so delighted with Chantilly, as to declare he would have given a province in the Low Countries to have possessed such a residence; and the reader must be exclusively prejudiced indeed to the modern system, who cannot image to himself the impression made by the gorgeous splendour of the chateau, contrasted with the wilderness of the surrounding forest.</p> <p> If the reader will imagine a house in the irregular form of architecture which was introduced in Elizabeth's time, its varied front, graced with projecting oriels, and its angles ornamented with turrets; its columnar chimneys, so much adorned as to make that a beauty which is generally a deformity; its fair halls, banqueting-rooms, galleries, and lodgings for interior accommodation,---it will afford no uncomfortable notion of the days of good Queen Bess. In immediate and close connexion with the mansion lie its gardens, with their terraces, urns, statues, staircases, screens, alcoves, and summer-houses; its dry paved or turfed walks, leading through a succession of interesting objects, the whole line of architecture corresponding with that of the house, with its Gothic labels and entablature, but assuming gradually a plainer and more massive character, as the grounds extended and seemed to connect themselves with the open country. The inhabitants possessed the means, we must also suppose, of escaping from this display of ostentatious splendour to the sequestered paths of a lonely chase, dark enough and extensive enough to convey the idea of a natural forest, where, as in strong contrast with the scene we have quitted, the cooing of the wood-pigeon is alone heard, where the streams find their way unconfined, and the trees spread their arms untortured by art; where all is solemn, grand, and untutored, and seems the work of unassisted nature. We would ask the reader, when he has arranged in his ideas such a dwelling, with its accompaniments, of a natural and ornamental character, not whether the style might be corrected by improving the internal arrangement of the apartments; by diminishing the superfluous ornaments of the <u>plaisance;</u> by giving better, yet not formal, access to the natural beauties of the park, extending its glades in some places, and deepening its thickets in others---for all this we willingly admit; but whether our ancestors did not possess all that good taste could demand as the materials of most delightful habitations?</p> <p> The civil wars of Charles I.'s time, as they laid low many a defensible house of the preceding period, disparked and destroyed in general the chases, ridings, and forest walks which belonged to them; and when the Restoration followed, the Cavaliers who had the good luck to retain their estates, were too poor to re-establish their deer-parks, and, perforce, contented to let Ceres reassume the land. Thus the chase or park, one of the most magnificent features of the ancient mansion, was lost in so many instances, that it could be no longer regarded as the natural and marked appendage of the seat of an English gentleman of fortune. The ``trim garden,'' which could be added as easily to the suburban villa as to the sequestered country-seat, maintained its place and fashion no longer; while the French taste of Charles II.'s time, introducing <u>treillages</u> and <u>cabinets de verdure,</u> and still more, the Dutch fashion, brought in, as we have before hinted, by King William, introduced so many fantastic caprices into the ancient style, that it became necessary, as we have already stated, to resort to the book of nature, and turn over a new leaf.</p> <p> Kent, too much extolled in his life, and, perhaps, too much dispraised since his death, was the first to devise a system of laying out ground different from that which had hitherto prevailed in general, though with some variations in detail, for perhaps a century and a half. It occurred to this artist, that, instead of the marked distinction which was made by the old system between the garden and its accompaniments on the one hand, and the surrounding country on the other, it might be possible to give to the former some of the simplicity of the country, and invest that, on the other hand, with somewhat of the refinement of the garden. With this view, all, or nearly all, the ancient and domestic ornaments of the <u>plaisance</u> were placed under ban. The garden, as already noticed, was banished to as great a distance as possible; the <u>plaisance</u> was changed into a <u>pleasure-ground!</u> Down went many a trophy of old magnificence, court-yard, ornamented enclosure, foss, avenue, barbican, and every external muniment of battled wall and flanking tower, out of the midst of which the ancient dome, rising high above all its characteristic accompaniments, and seemingly girt round by its appropriate defences, which again circled each other in their different gradations, looked, as it should, the queen and mistress of the surrounding country. It was thus that the huge old tower of Glamis, ``whose birth tradition notes not,'' once showed its lordly head above seven circles (if we recollect aright) of defensive boundaries, through which the friendly guest was admitted, and at each of which a suspicious person was unquestionably put to his answer. A disciple of Kent had the cruelty to render this splendid old mansion, the more modern part of which was the work of Inigo Jones, more <u>parkish,</u> as he was pleased to call it; to raze all those exterior defences, and bring his mean and paltry gravel-walk up to the very door from which, deluded by the name, one might have imagined Lady Macbeth (with the form and features of Siddons) issuing forth to receive King Duncan. It is thirty years and upwards since we have seen Glamis; but we have not yet forgotten or forgiven the atrocity which, under pretence of improvement, deprived that lordly place of all its appropriate accompaniments,<p> ``Leaving an ancient dome and towers like these Beggar'd and outraged.''</p> </p> <p> The ruling principle that dictated Kent's innovations was in itself excellent. The improver was considered as a painter, the landscape as the canvass on which, with such materials as he possessed, he was to display his power. Thus far the conception was laudable; and, indeed, it had already occurred to Sir John Vanbrugh, when consulted about laying out the grounds at Blenheim, who recommended to the Duke of Marlborough to advise with a landscape-painter upon that subject, as the most competent judge. Had Kent but approached in execution the principle which he adopted in theory, he would have been in reality the great man that his admirers accounted him. But unhappily, though an artist by profession, this father of the English landscape was tame and cold of spirit; his experience had not made him acquainted with the grander scenes of nature, or the poverty of his soul had not enabled him to comprehend and relish them. Even the Nature whom he pretended to choose for his exclusive guide seemed to have most provokingly disappeared from him. By the time that spades, mattocks, and pickaxes had formed and sloped his declivities in the regular and undulating line which he required,---that the water's edge had been trimly bordered with that thin, lank grass, which grows on a new sown lawn, and has so little resemblance to the luxuriant vegetation of nature, ---his meagre and unvaried slopes were deprived of all pretension to a natural appearance, as much as the toes which were pinched, squeezed, and pared, that they might be screwed into the little glass slipper, were different from the graceful fairy foot which it fitted without effort. Thus, while Kent's system banished art from the province which might, in some degree, be considered as her own, he introduced her into that more especially devoted to Nature, and in which the character of her exertions always made her presence offensively conspicuous. For water-works and architectural ornaments, the professed productions of art, Kent produced <u>ha-has!</u> sheets of artificial water, formal clumps and belts of trees, and bare expanded flats or slopes of shaven grass, which, indicating the recent use of the levelling spade and roller, have no more resemblance to that nature which we desire to see imitated, than the rouge of an antiquated coquette, having all the marks of a sedulous toilet, bears to the artless blush of a cottage girl. His style is not simplicity, but affectation labouring to seem simple.</p> <p> It is worth notice, that, while exploding the nuisance of graven images in the ancient and elaborate gardens, Kent, like some of the kings of Israel, though partly a reformer, could not altogether wean himself from every species of idolatry. He swept, indeed, the gardens clear of every representation of mythology, and the visitor's admiration was no longer excited by beholding<p> ``Statues growing that noble place in, All heathen godesses most rare, Homer, Plutarch, and Nebuchadnezzar, All standing naked in the open air.''</p> </p> </p> <p>but the circumstance serves to show that such <u>plaisances</u> as we have described formed convenient, as well as agreeable accompaniments to the mansion of a nobleman, who, having a certain duty to perform towards his neighbourhood, was accommodated by that arrangement of his pleasure-ground which enabled him to do the thing with most satisfaction to his guests, and least personal inconvenience to himself.<p> The taste for this species of simplicity spread far and wide. Browne, the successor of Kent, followed in his footsteps; but his conceptions, to judge from the piece of artificial water at Blenheim (formed, we believe, chiefly to blunt the point of an ill-natured epigram,) were more magnificent than those of his predecessor. We cannot, however, suppose old Father Thames so irritable as this celebrated professor intimated, when he declared that the river would never forgive him for having given him so formidable a rival.</p> <p> The school of spade and mattock flourished the more, as it was a thriving occupation, when the projector was retained to superintend his improvements--- which seldom failed to include some forcible alteration on the face of nature. The vanity of some capability-men dictated those violent changes which were recommended chiefly by the cupidity of others. While the higher-feeling class were desirous, by the introduction of a lake, the filling up a hollow, or the elevation of a knoll, to show to all the world that Mr. ------ had laid out those grounds; the meaner brothers of the trade were covetous of sharing the very considerable sums which must be expended in making such alterations. Mannerists they were to the extremity of monotony, and what they extolled as new and striking, was frequently only some trick of affectation. For example, a pupil of Browne, Robertson by name, laid out the grounds of Duddingstone, near Edinburgh. The place was flat, though surrounded by many distinguished features. A brook flowed through the grounds, which, by dint of successive dam-heads, was arrested in its progress, twisted into the links of a string of pork-sausages, flung over a stone embankment, and taught to stagnate in a lake with islets, and swans <u>quantum sufficit.</u> The whole demesne was surrounded by a belt, which now, at the distance of forty or fifty years, is still a formal circuit of dwindled trees. It was to be expected that some advantage might have been gained by looking out from some point of the grounds on Craigmillar Castle, a ruin beautiful in its form and interesting in its combinations with Scottish history; and the professor of landscape-gardening was asked, why so obvious a resource had not been made something of? He replied, with the gravity becoming such a character, that Craigmillar, seen over all the country, was a common prostitute. A less ludicrous, though equally nonsensical reason, for excluding Duddingstone Loch, a small and picturesque lake, was, that it did not fall within his lordship's property, and the mountain of Arthur's Seat was not excluded, only because it was too bulky to be kept out of sight. We have heard the excellent old Lord Abercorn mention these circumstances with hearty ridicule; but he suffered Mr. Robertson to take his own way, because, he said, every man must be supposed to understand his own business,---and partly, we may add, because he did not choose to take the trouble of disputing the point. Yet this Mr. Robertson was a man of considerable taste and acquirement, and was only unsuccessful because he wrought upon a bad system.</p> <p> The founders of a better school were the late Mr. Payne Knight and Sir Uvedale Price, who still survives to enjoy the triumph he has achieved. These champions, and particularly Price, succeeded in demonstrating to a deceived public, that what had been palmed upon them as nature and simplicity were only formality and affectation. The contest on behalf of the new system was chiefly maintained by Mr. Repton, and in a manner which shows that the private feelings of that layer out of grounds---unquestionably a man of very considerable talents---were more than half converted to the opinions of Sir Uvedale, and that he was disputing rather to save his own honour and that of his brethren, than for any chance of actual victory. In fact, we do not much overstate the matter when we allege, that those who were least willing to own that Price was right, because it would have been a virtual acknowledgment that they themselves were wrong, were among the first to admit in practice the principles which he recommended, or at least to make use of them, whether they admitted them or no. There has been since this controversy--- that is, for these thirty years past---a considerable and marked improvement in laying out of pleasure-grounds---the spade and shovel have been less in use---the strait-waistcoating of brooks has been less rigorously enforced---and improvers, while talking of Nature, have not so remorselessly shut her out of doors. We believe most landscape-gardeners of the present day would take a pride in preserving scenery, which their masters of the last age would have made conscience to destroy. The mummery of temples and obelisks is abolished, while the propriety of retaining every shred connected with history or antiquity, is, in one system at least, religiously preserved, In such cases,<p> ``A corner-stone, by lighting cut, The threshold of a cottage hut,''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>Price's Essays on the Picturesque, vol. ii., p. 135.<p> The tendency of our national taste, indeed, has been changed, in almost every particular, from that which was meagre, formal, and poor, and has attained, comparatively speaking, a character of richness variety, and solidity. An ordinary chair, in the most ordinary parlour, has now something of an antique cast---something of Grecian massiveness, at once, and elegance in its forms. That of twenty or thirty years since was mounted on four tapering and tottering legs, resembling four tobacco pipes; the present supporters of our stools have a curule air, curve outwards behind, and give a comfortable idea of stability to the weighty aristocrat or ponderous burgess who is about to occupy one of them. The same change in taste may be remarked out of doors, where, from the total absence of ornament, we are, perhaps, once more verging to its excess, and exhibiting such a tendency to ornament, in architecture and decoration, that the age may, we suspect, be nothing the worse for being reminded that, as naked poverty is not simplicity, so fantastic profusion of ornament is not good taste.</p> <p> But in our landscape-gardening, as it has been rather unhappily called, although the best professors of the art have tacitly adopted the more enlarged and liberal views provided by the late Mr. Knight, and Sir U. Price, these are not, perhaps, so generally received and practised as could be desired. We say the art has been unfortunately named. The idea of its being, after all, a variety of the gardening art, with which it has little or nothing to do, has given a mechanical turn to the whole profession, and certainly encouraged many persons to practise it, with no greater qualifications than ought to be found in a tolerably skilful gardener. This certainly, however intelligent and respectable the individuals may be, is not the sort of person, in point of taste and information, to whom we would wish to see the arrangement of great places intrusted. The degree of mechanical skill which they possess may render them adequate to the execution of plans arranged by men of more comprehensive abilities, better education, and a possession, as demanded by Price, of the knowledge connected with the higher branch of landscape-painting, and with the works of the first masters. Far from threatening the disposers of actual scenery with an abrogation of their profession, as was unjustly stated to be his object, Price's system went to demand from them a degree of scientific knowledge not previously required, and to elevate in proportion their rank and profession in general estimation.</p> <p> The importance of this art, in its more elegant branches, ranks so high in our opinion, that we would willingly see its profession (and certainly it contains persons worthy of such honour) more closely united with the fine arts than it can now be esteemed. The improvers or layers out of ground would, in that case, be entitled to demand from their employers a greater degree of fair play than is, in many cases, allowed them at present. According to the common process, their time is estimated at a certain number of guineas per day, and the party consulting them is not unnaturally interested in getting as much out of the professor within as little time as can possibly be achieved. The landscape-gardener is, therefore, trotted over the grounds two, three, or four times, and called upon to decide upon points which a proprietor himself would hesitate to determine, unless he were to visit the ground in different lights, and at different seasons, and various times of the day during the course of a year. This leads to a degree of precipitation on the part of the artist, who knows his remuneration will be grudged, unless he makes some striking and notable alteration, yet has little or no time allowed him to judge what that alteration ought to be. Hence, men of taste and genius are reduced to act at random; hence an habitual disregard of the <u>genius loci,</u> and a proportional degree of confidence in a set of general rules, influencing their own practice, so that they do not receive from nature the impression of what the place ought to be, but impress on nature, at a venture, the stamp, manner, or character of their own practice, as a mechanic puts the same mark on all the goods which pass through his hands. Some practise the art, we are aware, upon a much more liberal footing;---it is on that more liberal footing that we would wish to see the profession of the improver generally practised. We would have the higher professors of this noble art to be that for which nature has qualified some of them whom we have known, and, doubtless, many to whose characters we are strangers---we mean, to be physicians--- liberally recompensed for their general advice---not apothecaries, to be paid in proportion to the drugs which they can contrive to make the patient swallow.</p> <p> It may, perhaps, be thought that, by the change we propose, we would raise too high a standard for such artists as might attain great proficiency in their calling, and so limit the benefit of their efforts to the great and the wealthy. This would be a consequence far from answering our purpose---but we have no apprehension that it would follow. The rules of good taste, when once exemplified, are pretty sure to be followed. Let any one recollect the atrocious forms of our ordinary crockery and potter's ware forty years since, when the shapes were as vilely deformed as that of the pipkin which cost Robinson Crusoe so much trouble; and observe the difference since the classical outlines of the Etruscan vases have been adopted as models for our Staffordshire ware. Every form before was detestable, whatever pains might have been bestowed in the ornamenting and finishing: whereas, since the models introduced by Messrs. Wedgwood, the most ordinary earthenware is rendered pleasing to the eye, however coarse its substance, and mean the purpose for which it is designed. It is thus with good taste in every department. It cannot be established by canons and <u>dicta,</u> but must be left to force its way gradually through example. A certain number of real landscapes, executed by men adequate to set the example of a new school, which shall reject the tame and pedantic rules of Kent and Browne, without affecting the grotesque or fantastic---who shall bring back more ornament into the garden, and introduce a bolder, wider, and more natural character into the park, will have the effect of awakening a general spirit of emulation. There are thousands of proprietors who have neither scenes capable of exhibiting the perfection of the art, nor revenues necessary to reimburse the most perfect of the artists, but who may catch the principle on which improvers ought to proceed, and render a place pretty though it cannot be grand, or comfortable though it cannot aspire to beauty.</p> <p> We are called at present from the general subject, to which, at some future period, we may, perhaps, return, by the duty of noticing a discovery, as it may be called, of one of the most powerful and speedy means of effecting a general and most interesting change in the face of nature, for the purpose of ornamenting the vicinity of a gentleman's residence.</p> <p> The three materials with which the rural designer must go to work---the colours, in other words, of which his landscape must be composed, are earth, water, and trees. Little change can be attempted, by means of digging away, or heaping together earth: the levelling of rising grounds, or the raising artificial hillocks, only serves to show that man has attempted what is beyond his powers. Water is more manageable, and there are places where artificial lakes and rivers have been formed with considerable effect. Of this our author, Sir Henry Steuart, has given a very pleasing instance in his own park. But, to speak generally, this alteration requires very considerable advantages in the previous situation of the ground, and has only been splendidly successful, where Nature herself had formerly designed a lake, though the water had escaped from its bed by the gradual lowering or sudden bursting of the banks at the lower end. These being replaced by a dam-head, the lake will be restored to its bed, and man will only have brought back the state of the landscape to that which nature originally presented. But, we doubt if even the ingenious process recommended by Sir U. Price would satisfy his own just and correct taste, when carried into execution; and we are, at any rate, confident that it is only in rare instances, and at considerable expense, that artificial water can be formed with the desired effect.</p> <p> Trees, therefore, remain the proper and most manageable material of picturesque improvement; and as trees and bushes can be raised almost any where---as by their presence they not only delight the eye, with their various forms and colours, but benefit the soil by their falling leaves, and improve the climate by their shelter, there is scarcely any property fitted for human habitation so utterly hopeless, as not to be rendered agreeable by extensive and judicious plantations. But, to obtain the immediate command of wood, mature enough to serve as shade, shelter, and ornament, has been hitherto denied to the improver. He has been compelled to form his plan while his plants are pigmies; to await their slow progress towards maturity; and to bequeath as a legacy to his successors and descendants the pleasure of witnessing the full accomplishment of his hopes and wishes. He also frequently bequeaths his land to the care of careless or ignorant successors, who, from want of taste or skill, leave his purposes unfulfilled.</p> <p> Repton, indeed, has justly urged, in favour of the plans of Kent and Browne, that the formal belts and clumps which they planted were intended only to encourage the rise of the young plantations, which were afterwards to be thinned out into varied and picturesque forms, but which have, in many instances, been left in the same crowded condition and formal disposition which they exhibited at their being first planted. If the school of Kent and Browne were liable to be thus baffled by the negligence of those to whom the joint execution of their plans was necessarily intrusted, a much greater failure may be expected during the subsequent generation, from the neglect of plans which affect to be laid out on the principles of Price. We have already stated, that it is to be apprehended that a taste for the fantastic will supersede that which the last age have entertained in favour of the formal. We have seen various efforts, by artists of different degrees of taste and eminence, to form plantations which are designed at some future day to represent the wild outline and picturesque glades of a natural wood. When the line of these is dictated by the character of the ground, such attempts are extremely pleasing and tasteful. But when a bizarre and extravagant irregularity of outline is introduced upon a plain or rising ground, when its whole involutions resemble the irregular flourishes of Corporal Trim's harangue, and when we are told that this is designed to be one day a picturesque plantation, we are tempted to recollect the common tale of the German baron, who endeavoured to imitate the liveliness of Parisian society, by jumping over stools, tables, and chairs, in his own apartment, and when the other inhabitants of the hotel came to inquire the cause of the disturbance, answered them with the explanation, <u>Sh'apprends d'estre fif.</u> If the visitor applies to know the meaning of the angles and contortions introduced into the lines of the proposed plantations, in Petruchio's language---<p> ``What! up and down, carved like an apple tart; Here's snip, and nip, and cut, and slish, and slash, Like to a censer in a barber's shop''------</p> </p> </li> <li>The present Duke of Marlborough has <u>all but</u> violated this <em> law, much to the honour of his taste, at White-Knights; and </em> more recently, we hear, at Blenheim.---S.<p> This has been hitherto the main obstruction to the art of laying out ground, that no artist could hope to see the perfection of his own labours; nay, the pleasure of superintending their progress till the effect begins to appear, is granted but to those who live long, or who commence their improvements early in life. The ambition of man has not remained passively quiescent under this restriction of his powers, and since the days of Sultan Adhim in the Tales of the Genii, down to the present time, various efforts have been made by different means, and under various circumstances, to transfer trees in a considerable state of maturity to the park or pleasure-ground, and apply them to the composition or improvement of real landscapes. The modes essayed may probably have been successful, in some instances, where the operation has been peculiarly favoured by circumstances; but, in general, the result has been fruitless expense and disappointment. The practice has been, therefore, latterly considered as, in a great measure, empirical, so slight were the chances of success. Miller dissuades his readers from the attempt; and Mr. Pontey judiciously considers the mutilated and decaying trees on which the experiment had been made, rather as a deformity than a beauty to the landscape. It was even denied that any real advance was gained by transplanting a tree of ten years old, and it was averred (and truly, according to the ordinary practice) that a plant from the nursery, placed beside it, would, in the course of a few years form by far the finer tree of the two.</p> <p> Nevertheless, the obstacles which have been so long considered as insuperable, have given way, in our own time, before the courage, patience, and skill of an individual who has been enabled, with a success which appears almost marvellous, to cover a whole park at once with groups and single trees, combined with copse and underwood of various sizes, all disposed with exquisite taste. This accomplished person, Sir Henry Steuart of Allanton, is known to the literary world by an elaborate translation of Sallust, accompanied with a body of notes intimating an uncommon degree of general knowledge and classical learning. Independent in circumstances, and attached by taste and habits to rural pursuits, and especially those of which we have been treating, Sir Henry has resided chiefly at the seat of his ancestors, to which, little distinguished by nature, his wonderful exertions have given, within a comparatively short period of time, all that could, according to the usual mode of improvement, have been conferred in the course of forty tedious years.</p> <p> Allanton, an ancient possession of this branch of the house of Steuart, had not originally much to recommend it to the owner, except its recollections. Situated in the county of Lanark, it is removed from the vale of the Clyde, which presents such beautiful scenery to the eye of the traveller. The soil is moorish, and the view from the front of the house must, before it was clothed with wood, have consisted in irregular swells and slopes, presenting certainly no striking features either of grandeur or beauty,---probably ``just not ugly.'' But fortune, that consigned a man of taste and observation to a spot which was not peculiarly favourable to his pursuits, gave him the power of indemnifying himself, by compelling nature to impart to his domain no inconsiderable portion of those silvan beauties with which she has spontaneously invested more favourite scenes; and we certainly cannot hesitate to avow our opinion, that the park of Allanton, as it now appears, its history being duly considered, is as well worthy of a pilgrimage as any of the established lions of ``the North Countrie.''</p> <p> We cannot be surprised, nor ought Sir Henry Steuart to be offended, if the wonder excited by so great a triumph of art over nature, in a process which has been thought and found so extremely difficult, should be, on the first view, mingled with some incredulity. It is natural for the reader to suspect, that the zeal of the theorist may, in some degree, have imposed on the improver, and that he communicates to the public observations which he himself has made under a species of self-deception, and which are, perhaps, a little exaggerated in his account of their results. But Allanton has been visited by many intelligent judges, disposed to inquire with sufficient minuteness into the reality of the changes which have been effected there; and so far as we have had an opportunity of knowing, the uniform testimony of those visitors corresponds with the account given by Sir Henry Steuart himself.</p> <p> A committee of gentlemen,<*> deputed by the</p> </li> </ul> <p>But to make amends for their ejection, Kent and his followers had temples, obelisks, and gazabos of every description in the park, all stuck about on their respective high places, with as little meaning, and at least as little pretension to propriety, as the horticultural Pantheon which had been turned out of doors.</p> <p>may have their value. The same rule is, we trust, generally observed in the scenes which Nature has herself ornamented; and the artist holds himself discharged if he consults and observes her movements without affecting to dictate to or control them. Those glens, groves, or mountains, which she has marked with a peculiar character, are no longer defaced by the impotent endeavours of man to erase it.<p> The second branch of the committee's inquiry related to enclosed groups, or masses of wood planted close together. There are several of these in the park, which correspond and occasionally contrast pleasingly with the open groups and single trees already observed. The committee particularly describe one of these close masses, intended as a screen to the approach. It had been clothed with wood in the course of one season by means of the transplanting system, trees from twenty to thirty feet high being first planted as standard or grove-wood, about twenty feet apart, and the intervals filled up with bushes or stools of copse or underwood. The standard trees being in this mass sheltered by each other, made larger shoots than those which stood singly, and the underwood of oak, birch, holly, mountain-ash, horse-chestnut, common and Canadian birdcherry, and other species usually found in a natural wood, were making luxuriant progress in their new situation. And though it was but five years since this copse, interspersed with standard trees, had been formed by Sir Henry, his visitors assigned no less a space than from thirty to forty years as the probable time in which such a screen could have been formed by ordinary means. From the facts which they witnessed, the committee reported it as their unanimous opinion, that the <u>art of transplantation, as practised by Sir Henry Steuart, is calculated to accelerate, in an extraordinary degree, the power of raising wood, whether for beauty or shelter.</u> They added, that of all the trees they had examined, one alone seemed to have failed; and that, being particularly intent on this point of inquiry, they had looked closely for symptoms of any dead tree having been removed, without being able to discover any such, although the traces of such a process could not have escaped their notice had they existed.</p> <p> The existence of the wonders---so we may call them---which Sir Henry Steuart has effected, being thus supported by the unexceptionable evidence of competent judges, what lover of natural beauty can fail to be interested in his own detailed account of the mode by which he has been able to make wings for time, and anticipate the operation of years, so as altogether to overthrow the authority of the old saying:---<p> ``Heu! male transfertur senio com induruit arbor?''</p> </p> <p> It is the object of the present publication to give in full detail the measures employed by the author to anticipate in such a wonderful manner the march of time, and to force, as it were, his woodlands in somewhat the same manner as the domestic gardener forces his fruits; and the information which the work affords, is as full and explicit concerning the theory upon which our author has proceeded as upon the practical points necessary to carry that theory into effect. Sir Henry Steuart's method of transplantation is (as might have been expected from a scholar and philosopher) founded upon the strictest attention to vegetable physiology, as ascertained by consulting the best authors; and the rationale which he assigns as the cause of his success is not less deserving of strict attention, than the practical results which he has exhibited.</p> <p> Sir Henry Steuart's first general proposition on the subject of transplantation will be conceded to him at once, although, in practice, we have known it most grossly neglected. It amounts simply to the averment, that success cannot be expected unless upon principles of selection, determining the subject to be transplanted with relation to the soil that it is to be transferred to. All will grant in theory that every plant has its soil and subsoil, to which it is particularly adapted, and where it will luxuriate; whereas in others it can scarce make shift to exist; yet the planter or the transplanter, nine times in ten, neglects this necessity of suiting his trees to the soil, and is at the expense of placing the trees which chance to be his favourites indiscriminately upon every soil. Sir H. Steuart has largely and conclusively illustrated this matter; and henceforth it may be held as a positive rule, that there can be little hope of a transplanted tree thriving unless it be removed to a soil congenial to its nature, and that it will become every planter to bestow the same care in selecting the species of his trees that a farmer fails not to use in adapting his crops to the soil of his farm. But there is a second principle of selection, no less necessary to be attended to, and which respects <u>the condition and properties of the individual trees</u> suited for transplantation. This requires to be considered more in detail.</p> <p> It is familiar to all acquainted with plantations (although the honour belongs exclusively to Sir Henry Steuart of having deduced the natural consequences,) that the constant and uninterrupted action of the external air on a tree which stands completely exposed to it, gives that tree a habit, character, and properties entirely different, and in many respects directly opposite, to those acquired by one of the same species which has grown in absolute shelter, whose energies have exerted themselves in a different manner and for a different purpose, and have, therefore, made a most material difference in the attributes and constitution of the plant.</p> <p> We must suppose that our reader has some general acquaintance with the circulation of the sap in trees, being the substance by which they are nourished, and resembling, in that respect, the chyle in the human system. This nutritive substance is collected by the roots with those fibres which form their terminations, and which, with a degree of address which seems almost sentient, travel in every direction, and with unerring skill, to seek those substances in the soil best qualified to supply the nourishment which it is their business to convey. The juice, or sap, thus extracted from the soil, is drawn up the tree by the efforts of vegetation, each branch and each leaf serving, by its demand for nourishment, as a kind of forcing-pump to suck the juice up to the topmost shoot, to extend it to all the branches, and, in a healthy tree, to the extremity of each shoot. The roots, in other words, are the providers of the aliment; the branches, shoots, and leaves, are the appetite of the tree, which induce it to consume the food thus supplied to it. The analogy holds good betwixt the vegetable and animal world. If the roots of a tree are injured, or do not receive the necessary supplies of nourishment, the tree must perish, like an animal unsupplied with food, whatever be the power of the appetite in one case, and of the vegetation in the other, to consume the nutritive substance, if it could be procured. This is dying by hunger. If, on the other hand, the powers of vegetation are in any respect injured, and the tree, either from natural decline, from severe amputation, or from any other cause, ceases to supply those shoots and leaves which suck the sap up into the system, then the tree dies of a decay in the powers of digestion.</p> <p> But the tree, like the animal, is not nourished by food alone; air is also necessary to it. If this be supplied in such extreme quantities as is usual in exposed situations, the trees will suffer from the action of the cold, like a man in an inclement climate, where he is, indeed, furnished with enough of pure air, but where the cold that attends it deranges his organic system. In like manner, when placed in a situation where air is excluded, both the vegetable and the animal are reduced to a state of suffocation equally fatal to their health, and, at a certain period, to their existence. Both productions of nature have, however, their resources;--- the animal, exposed to a painful and injurious degree of cold, seeks shelter; man, however often condemned to face the extremity of cold, supplies his want of warmth by artificial clothing; and the inferior animals in the polar latitudes, on the Himalaya mountains, and so forth, are furnished by nature with an additional thickness of furs, which would be useless in warmer regions.<*> Trees placed</p> </p> <p>he receives the plausible reply, that what he now sees is not the final result of the designer's art, but that all this fantastic zig-zaggery, which resembles the traces left by a dog scampering through snow, is but a set of preparations for introducing at a future period, as the trees shall come to maturity, those groups and glades, that advancing and retiring of the woodland scene, which will realize the effects demanded by lovers of the picturesque. At present we are told, that the scene resembles a lady's tresses in <u>papillotes,</u> as they are called, and in training for the conquests which they are to make when combed into becoming ringlets. But, alas! art is in this department peculiarly tedious, and life, as in all cases, precarious and short. How many of these <u>papillotes</u> will never be removed at all, and remain unthinned-out, like the clumps and belts of Browne's school, disfiguring the scenes they were designed to adorn!</p> <ul> <li>The Lord Belhaven, Sir Archibald Campbell of Succoth, <em> Bart., Sir Walter Scott of Abbotsford, Bart., George Cranstoun, </em> Esq., now Lord Corehouse, Alexander Young, Esq., of * Harburn.---S.<p> Another equally curious difference betwixt trees which have stood in exposed situations and those which have grown in such as are sheltered, is also so reasonable in appearance as to seem the act of volition, so curiously do the endeavours of nature in the vegetable world correspond with the instinct of animals and the reason of mankind. Man and beast make use of the position of their limbs to steady themselves against the storm, although, as their exposure to it is only temporary, the exertion bears the same character: but trees, incapable of locomotion, assume, when placed in an exposed situation, a permanent set of self-protecting qualities, and become extremely different in the disposition of the trunk, roots, and branches from those of the same species which remain in the shelter of crowded plantations. The stem of trees in an exposed situation is always short and thick, because, being surrounded by air and light all around, the tree has not the motive to <u>rush</u> up towards the free air which is so strongly perceptible in close woods. For the same reason, its branches are thrown widely out in every direction, as if to balance itself against the storm, and to obtain, from the disposition of its parts, a power of resistance which may supply the place of the shelter enjoyed by plants more favourably situated. The roots of such trees, which are always correlative to the branches, are augmented in proportion as necessity obliges the former to extend themselves.</p> <p> There is a singular and beautiful process of action and reaction which takes place betwixt the progress of the roots and of the branches. The former must, by their vigour and numbers, stretch out under ground before the branches can develope themselves in the air; and, on the other hand, it is necessary that the branches so develope themselves, to give employment to the roots, in collecting food. There is a system of close commerce between them; if either fail in discharging their part the other must suffer in proportion. The increase of the branches, therefore, in exposed trees, is and must be in proportion with that of the roots, and <u>vice versa;</u> and as the exposed tree spreads its branches on every side to balance itself against the wind, as it shortens its stem or trunk, to afford the mechanical force of the tempest a shorter lever to act upon, so numerous and strong roots spread themselves under ground, by way of anchorage, to an extent and in a manner unknown to sheltered trees.</p> <p> These facts afford the principles on which our author selects the subjects of his operations. It may seem a simple proposition, that to succeed in the removal of a large tree to an open situation, the operator ought to choose one which, having grown up in a similar degree of exposure, has provided itself with those qualities which are peculiarly fitted for it. Every one will be ready to acknowledge its truth at the first statement; but Sir Henry has been the first to act upon it; and, having, ascertained its accuracy, to communicate it to the world. It is Columbus making the egg stand upright.</p> <p> Our author has enumerated four properties which Nature has taught trees that stand unsheltered to acquire by their own efforts, in order to suit themselves for their situation. <u>First,</u> thickness and induration of bark; <u>secondly,</u> shortness and girth of stem; <u>thirdly,</u> numerousness of roots and fibres; and <u>fourthly,</u> extent, balance, and closeness of branches. These, Sir Henry has denominated the four protecting qualities; and he has proved, by a very plain and practical system of reasoning, founded upon an intimate acquaintance with the most distinguished writers on vegetable physiology, that in proportion as the subject for transplantation is possessed of these four qualities, in the same degree it is fitted to encounter exposure as a single tree in its new position.</p> <p> The characteristics of the trees which have grown in sheltered and warm situations are precisely the opposite of these; their bark is thin, glossy, and fresh-looking, without any of the rough, indurated substance necessary to protect the sap-vessels when exposed to the extremity of cold; the stem is tall, and slender, as drawn upwards in quest of light; the tops are small and thinly provided with branches, because they have not had the necessary room to expand themselves; and, lastly, the roots are spare and scanty. Sir Henry Steuart says, that a tree, in the situation, and bearing the character last described, is possessed of the ``non-protecting properties.'' A great-coat and a pair of overalls or mud-boots, may be called, with propriety, the protecting properties of a man who mounts his steed in rough weather; but he who sits at home, in a nightgown and slippers, can hardly be said to possess any non-protective qualities, or any thing, except a negation of the habiliments which invest his out-of-doors friend. We will not, however, disturb the subject by cavilling about expressions; it is enough that the reader understands that the presence of the ``non-protecting qualities'' implies the total absence of those which render trees fit to endure the process of transplantation.</p> <p> Yet, though this principle of selection be, when once stated, so very satisfactory, it is no less certain, that no preceding author had so much as glanced at it; and that convenience, the usual, though by no means the safe guide of planting operations, has pointed out an entirely different course. Young woods, being usually planted far too thickly with hard-wood,---or, in other words, the principals being in too great a proportion to the firs intended as nurses,---are found, after the lapse of twelve or fourteen years, to be crowded with tall, shapely plants, which have not room to grow, and are obviously damaging each other. The consequence of this is, that the proprietor, unwilling to lose so many thriving plants, is very often tempted, by the healthiness of their appearance, to select them as subjects for transplantation. Their graceful and lengthened stems, and smooth and beautiful bark, seem to be marks of health (as, indeed, they are, while they remain in the shelter for which they are qualified,) and the thinness of their heads will, it is supposed, prevent their suffering much by the wind. But almost all such attempts prove abortive. The tree comes, indeed, into leaf, for one year, as some trees (the ash particularly) will do, if cut down and carried to the woodyard. But the next year the transplanted tree displays symptoms of decay. The leaves do not appear in strength and numbers enough to carry the sap to the ends of the branches; the stem becomes covered with a number of small sprays, which at once indicate that the sap has been arrested in its progress, and that the tree is making a desperate, we had almost said an unnatural, effort to avail itself of the nutriment in the stem, which it cannot transfer to the branches; the bark becomes dry, hide-bound, and mossed; the projecting branches wither down to the stem and must be cut off; and, after all, the young tree either dies utterly, or dwindles into a bush, which, perhaps, may recover elevation, and the power of vegetation, after a pause of ten or twelve years, but more likely is stubbed up as a melancholy and disagreeable object. This grand and leading error is avoided in the Allanton system, by the selection, from the beginning, of such trees as, having grown in an exposed situation, are provided with the protecting properties, and can, therefore, experience no rude change of atmosphere or habits by the change of place to which they are subjected.</p> <p> But, it may be asked, where is the planter to find such trees as are proper for being transplanted? Our author replies, that there are few properties, however small in extent, or unimproved by plantations, which do not possess some subjects endowed, perfectly or nearly so, with the protecting qualities. The open groves, and scattered trees around old cottages, or in old hedge-rows---where not raised upon an embankment, which gives the roots a determination downwards---are invaluable to the transplanter. They are already inured to the climate, and furnished with a quantity of branches and roots,---they possess the limited length and solidity of stem and the quality of bark necessary to enable them to endure exposure,---in other words, they are fit for being immediately transplanted. In most cases, however, the trees may have but partially gained the protecting qualities; and where such subjects occur, they must, by training, be made to complete the acquisition of them. The process to which they are subjected is various, according to the special protecting quality in which the tree is deficient. In general, and especially where the <u>bark</u> appears of too fine and thin a texture to protect the sap-vessels, a gradual, and, in the end, a free exposure to the elements, induces the trees selected fully to assume the properties which enable them to dispense with shelter. If, on the other hand, the bark is of a hardy quality, and the branches in sufficient number, but the <u>roots</u> scanty and deficient---the tree ought to be cut round with a trench, of thirty inches deep, leaving only two or three strong roots uncut, to act as stays against the wind. The earth is then returned into the trench, and when taken up at the end of two or three years, with the purpose of final removal, it will be found that the roots have formed, at the points where they were severed, numbers of tassels (so to speak) composed of slender fibres, which must be taken the greatest care of at the time of removal, and will be found completely to supply the original deficiency of roots. Again, if the <u>branches</u> of the subject pitched upon be in an unfavourable state, this evil may be counteracted by a top-dressing of marl and compost, mixed with four times the quantity of tolerable soil, spread around the stem of the tree, at four feet distance. This mode Sir Henry Steuart recommends as superior to that of disturbing the roots, as practised in gardens for the same purpose of encouraging the growth of fruit-trees; and assures us, that the increase, both of the branches and roots, will be much forwarded, and that the tree will be fit for removal in the third year.</p> <p> These modes of preparing individual trees are attended with some expense and difficulty; but here again the experience of Sir Henry Steuart suggests a plan, by which any proprietor, desirous to carry on the process upon a considerable scale, may, by preparing a number of subjects at once, greatly accelerate the time of commencing his operations, at an expense considerably less than would attach to the preparation of each tree separately. The grounds of Allanton had been, about forty years ago, ornamented with a belt and clumps, by a pupil of Browne. Sir Henry found in both, but especially in the clumps, the means of obtaining subjects in sufficient number and quantity for his own purposes. The ground where these were set had been prepared by trenching and taking a potato-crop.</p> <p> ``About the twelfth or fifteenth year, I began to cut away the larch and spruce-firs. These had been introduced merely as nurses to the deciduous trees; and, from the warmth and shelter they had afforded, and the previous double-digging, the whole had rushed up with singular rapidity. The next thing I did was, to thin out the trees to single distance, so as that the tops could not touch one another, and to cut away the side-branches, within about three, or three and a half feet of the surface. By this treatment, it will be perceived, that a considerable deal of air was admitted into the plantations. The light, which before had had access only at the top was now equally diffused on all sides; and the trees, although for a few years they advanced but little in height, made surprising efforts towards a full developement of their most important properties. They acquired greater strength of stem, thickness of bark, and extension of roots, and consequently of lateral branches. But, at this time, it was apparent, that the clumps had a remarkable advantage over the belt, or continuous plantation. While in no part so deep as to impede the salutary action of the atmosphere, the circular or oval figure of the clumps, and their free exposure to the elements, furnished them with a far greater proportion of good outside trees; and these, having acquired, from the beginning, a considerable share of the protecting properties, were in a situation to shelter the rest, and also to prevent the violence of the wind from acting injuriously on the interior of the mass. It therefore became necessary to thin the belt for the second time, which was now done to double distance; that is to say, to a distance such as would have admitted of a similar number of trees in every part, to stand between the existing plants. Thus, within four years from the first thinning, I began to have tolerable subjects for removal, to situations of moderate exposure; while every succeeding season added fresh beauty and vigour to these thriving nurseries, and made a visible accession to all the desirable pre-requisites.''---Pp. 203-205.</p> <p> The author proceeds, with his usual precision, to give directions how each country-gentleman, that is so minded, may, by a peculiar treatment adapted to accelerate the acquisition of the protecting properties applied to a portion of any existing plantation, secure a grand repository of materials high and low, light and massive, from which his future plans of transplantation may be fully supplied. Indeed, he adds, that all grove woods, which have been regularly and properly thinned, and so treated that the tops have not been suffered to interfere, may be esteemed good transplanting nurseries, provided the soil be loose and friable.</p> <p> Thus much being said about the principle of selection, the reader will naturally desire to know, what size of trees can be subjected to the process of transplantation. According to Sir Henry's general statement, this is a mere question of expense. A large tree may be removed with the same certainty of success as a lesser one; but it requires engines of greater power, a more numerous band of labourers, and the expense is found to increase in a rapidly progressive ratio. We presume to add, although our author has not explicitly stated it, that to sustain this violent alteration, trees ought to be selected that have not arrived at maturity, far less at the point from which they decline; and this, in order that the subject of transplantation may be possessed of all the energy and force of vegetation belonging to the period of youth. In the practice at Allanton, a tree of six or eight inches in diameter, or two feet in girth, is the least size which is considered as fit to encounter the elements; if planted out singly, eighteen inches and two feet in diameter are among the largest specimens, and plants of about a foot in diameter may be considered as a medium size, being both manageable and of size enough to produce immediate effect upon the landscape, and to oppose resistance to the storm.</p> <p> We are next to trace the Allantonian process of removing and replanting the tree.</p> <p> The tree is loosened in the ground by a set of labourers, named pickmen, who, with instruments made for the purpose, first ascertain with accuracy how far the roots of the subject extend. This is easily known when the subject has been cut round, as the trench marks the line where the roots have been amputated. If the tree has not sustained this previous operation, the extent of the roots will be found to correspond with that of the branches. The <u>pickers</u> then proceed to bare the roots from the earth with the utmost attention not to injure them in the operation. It is to the preservation of these fibres that the transplanter is to owe the best token of his success, namely, the feeding the branches of the tree with sap even to their very extremities. The roots are then extricated from the soil. A mass of earth is left to form a ball close to the stem itself, and it is recommended to suffer two or three feet of the original sward to adhere to it. The machine is next brought up to the stem of the tree with great caution. This is the engine devised by Browne, and considerably improved by Sir Henry Steuart. It is of three sizes, that being used which is best adapted to the size of the tree, and is drawn by one, or, at most, two horses. It consists of a strong pole, mounted upon two high wheels. It is run up to the tree, and the pole, strongly secured to the tree while both are in a perpendicular posture, is brought down to a horizontal position, and in descending in obedience to the purchase operates as a lever, which, aided by the exertions of the pickmen, rends the tree out of the soil. The tree is so laid on the machine, as to balance the roots against the branches, and it is wonderful how slight an effort is necessary to pull the engine when this equilibrium is preserved. To keep the balance just, one man, or two, are placed aloft among the branches of the tree, where they shift their places, like a sort of moveable ballast, until the just distribution of weight is ascertained. The roots, as well as the branches, are tied up during the transportation of the tree, it being of the last consequence that neither should be torn or defaced by dragging on the ground or interfering with the wheels. The mass, when put in motion, is man<oe>uvred something like a piece of artillery, by a steersman at the further end. It requires a certain nicety of steerage, and the whole process has its risks, as may appear from a very good story told by Sir Henry, at page 232.</p> <p> The pit for receiving the transplanted tree, which ought to have been prepared at least a twelvemonth before, is now opened for its reception, the earth being thrown out for such a depth as will suit its size; with this caution, that the tree be set in the earth as shallow as possible, but always so as to allow room for the dipping of the vertical roots on the one hand, and sufficient cover at top on the other. This is preferred, even though it should be found necessary to add a cart-load or two of earth to the mound afterwards.</p> <p> It is well known that in all stormy and uncertain climates every species of tree shows what is called a weather side, that is, its branches shoot more freely to that side which is leeward during the prevailing wind, than in the opposite direction. Hence the trees, in a windy climate, excepting, perhaps, the sycamore, are but indifferently balanced, and seem, from their growth, to be in the act of suffering a constraint which they cannot resist. Now an ancient rule which is echoed and repeated by almost all who touch on the subject, affirms that a transplanted tree must be so placed in its new site, that the same side shall be weather and lee which formerly were so. Sir Henry Steuart, in direct opposition to this rule, recommends strongly that the position of the tree be reversed, so that the lee side, where the branches are elongated, shall be pointed towards the prevailing wind, and what was formerly the weather-side, being now turned to leeward, shall be encouraged, by its new position, to shoot out in such a manner as to restore the balance and symmetry of the top. This change is, indeed, in theory a departure from Sir Henry Steuart's general principle, because it exposes to the greatest severity of the element that side of the tree whose bark has been least accustomed to face it. But, nevertheless, as the practice is found successful, it must rank among those powers of control by which human art can modify and regulate the dispensations of nature, and the beauty given to the tree, which is thus brought to form an upright and uniform, instead of an irregular and sidelong head, is not less important than the shelter and power of resistance which is acquires on mechanical principles, by turning its heaviest and strongest branches against the most frequent and severe blast. Sir Henry claims the merit of being the first planter who ever dared to rectify the propensity of trees to shoot their branches to leeward by moving the position; and as, in his extensive experience, he has never found his doing so injure the tree, or impede its growth, we must thank him for breaking through the prejudice in question.</p> <p> A second and most important deviation from the common course of transportation is the total disuse of the barbarous practice of pollarding or otherwise mutilating and dismembering the trees which are to be transplanted. This almost universal custom, which subjected the tree, at the very moment when it was to sustain its change of place, to the amputation of one-third, one-half, or even the whole of its top, seems to be founded on a process of false reasoning. ``We cut off the roots,'' say these reasoners, ``and thereby diminish the power of procuring supply for the branches; let us also cut off a similar proportion of the branches which are to be supplied, and the remaining roots will be adequate to support the remainder of the top.'' In this argument, it is assumed that the branches are themselves of no use to the process of vegetation, and can be abridged with as much ease as the commandant of a besieged town, when provisions grow scarce, can rid himself of the superfluous part of his garrison. But it is not so; we cannot deprive the tree of a healthy branch, without, to a certain extent, deranging the economy of vegetation: each leaf, in its degree, forms a forcing-pump, which draws up a certain quantity of sap, the natural food of the tree; and, moreover, it forms a portion of the lungs of the tree, as the leaves inhale a certain quantity of air, an operation which may be compared to respiration. To destroy the branches, therefore, further than for the moderate purpose of pruning, is to attempt to fit the tree to rest satisfied with an inferior supply of nourishment, by depriving it of a part of its appetite and a part of its power of inhaling the air, which is no less necessary to its healthful existence. The case comes to be the same with that of a worthy chaplain, who, with the crew of a vessel he belonged to, was thrown by shipwreck on a desolate rock, where there were no means of food. His shipmates suffered grievously, ``But for my part,'' says the chaplain, ``I bless heaven that I was in a burning fever the whole time, and desired nothing but cold water, of which there was plenty on the island.'' Now, though the good man seems to have been grateful even for his burning fever (having, it must be observed, safely recovered from it,) it will generally be thought rather too hazardous a remedy to be desired by others in similar situations, and those who treat their trees on the same principle ought to remember, that to cure one injury they are exposing their subjects to two.</p> <p> The sagacious Miller long ago noticed these facts, and ascribed this fashion of thinning and pollarding to the ignorance of planters, who, not being aware of the principles of vegetation, did not know that trees were nourished as well by their leaves, sprays, and branches, as by their roots:---</p> <p> ``For (says that judicious writer) were the same severities practised on a tree of the same age <u>unremoved,</u> it would so much stint the growth, as not to be recovered in several years; nor would it ever arrive at the size of such as had all their branches left upon them.''<*></p> </li> </ul> <p>Scottish Highland Society, supposed to be well acquainted with country matters, and particularly with the management of plantations, visited the place in September, 1823. Their report embraces three principal objects of inquiry: 1st, The single trees and open groups on the lawn, which have suffered the operation of transplanting. Of this description, birch, ash, wyche, or Scotch elm, sycamore, lime, horse-chestnut, all of which having been, at one time or other, subjects of transplantation, were growing with vigour and luxuriance, and in the most exposed situations, making shoots of eighteen inches. The trees were of various sizes. Several, which had been transplanted some years since, were from thirty to forty feet high, or more. The girth of the largest was from five feet three to five feet eight inches, at a foot and a half from the ground. Other trees, which had been only six months transplanted, were from twenty to thirty feet high; and the gentlemen of the committee ascertained their girth to be about two feet and a half, or three feet, at eighteen inches from the ground. These trees were in every respect flourishing, but their leaves were perceptibly smaller than those of the trees around them, a difference which ceases to exist in the second, or at furthest the third, year after transplantation. Upon the whole, the committee were satisfied, first, with the singularly beautiful shape and symmetry of the trees; secondly, with their health and vigour, as they showed no decayed boughs or twigs, the usual consequence of transplantation under other systems; thirdly, with their upright and even position, though set out singly and in exposed situations without any adventitious support. Thus the single trees possessed all the advantages which the proprietor could desire in the qualities of beauty, health, and stability.<p> But were this species of mutilation less directly injurious to vegetation than it certainly is, we ought to remember that the purpose of transplanting trees is chiefly or entirely ornamental; and if we render them, by decapitation and dismemberment of every kind, disgusting and miserable spectres, we destroy the whole purpose and intention for which they were transplanted, and present the eye with a set of naked and mutilated posts and poles, resembling the unhealthy and maimed tenants of a military hospital after a great battle, instead of the beautiful objects which it was the purpose of the improver to procure by anticipating the course of nature. It is true, good soil, and a tract of years, may restore such ill-used subjects to form and beauty, but, considering the length of time that they must remain disgusting and unsightly, we would far rather trust to such plants as nature might rear on the spot---plants which would come to maturity as soon, and prove incomparably more thriving in their growth, and more beautiful in their form. But the Allanton system, by planting the subjects without mutilation, boasts to obtain the immediate effect of trees complete and perfect in all their parts, without loss of the time required to replace the havoc of axe and saw.</p> <p> There is a third material point in which Sir Henry Steuart's system differs from general practice, not indeed, absolutely, but in degree. The only absolute requisite which the old school of transplantation enjoined, was that the tree should be taken up with as large a ball of earth as could possibly be managed. In obeying this direction, there was considerable expense incurred by the additional weight, not to mention that the transplanter was often disappointed by the ball falling to pieces by the way. In short, the difficulty was so great, that the operation was often performed in severe weather, to secure the adhesion of the earth to the roots, at the risk of exposing the extremities of the fibres and rootlets to the highly unfavourable agency of frost. The Allanton system limits the earth, which is, if possible, to be retained, to that lying immediately under the stem of the tree, where a ball of moderate extent is to be preserved: the roots extending from it are, as already explained, entirely denuded of earth by the pickmen, in their process of loosening the tree from the soil. When the tree is borne by the machine up to the spot where it is to be finally placed, it is carefully brought to a perpendicular posture by means of elevating the pole of the machine, and the centre of the stem is received, with the ball of earth adhering to it, into a cavity in the middle of the pit, so shallow, however, that the trunk of the tree stands rather high, and the roots have a tendency downwards. The roots are then freed from the tyings which have bound them up for temporary preservation, and are divided into the tiers or ranks in which they diverge from the trunk. The lowest of these tiers is next arranged, as nearly as possible in the manner in which it lay originally, each root, with its rootlets and fibres, being laid down and imbedded in the earth with the utmost precaution. They must be handled as a lover would dally with the curls of Ne<ae>ra's hair, for tearing, crushing, or turning back these important fibres, is in the highest degree prejudicial to the growth of the tree. The earth is then laid over this the lowest tier of roots with much precaution; it is carefully worked in by the hand, and the aid of a sort of small rammer, with such attention to the safety of the fibres, as to encourage them immediately to resume their functions, as if they had never been disquieted. Additional earth is then gradually sifted in, and kneaded down, till it forms a layer on which the second tier of roots is extended; and these are put in order, and disposed of in the same way as the lower tier. The same process of handling and arranging the roots then takes place with the third tier, and the fourth, if there is one. This attention to incorporating with the soil each root, nay, each fibre, as far as possible, answers a double purpose. It not only induces the roots to commence their usual and needful office of collecting the sap, but also secures them against the effect of storms of wind, which, blowing on trees transplanted in the ordinary way with a ball, makes them rock like a bowl in a socket, the ball, with the roots, having no communication with the pit except by adhesion. The sense of this great evil suggested to former transplanters the necessity of stakes, ropes, and other means of adventitious support, which were always ugly, and expensive, and generally inefficient. Whereas, according to the Allanton system, the tree, reversed so as to present its weightier branches against the wind, and picketed to the firm earth by a thousand roots and rootlets, carefully incorporated with the soil, is not found to require any support, is seldom swayed to a side, and almost never blown down by the heaviest gales. Here, therefore, is a third and important difference between the Allanton system and all that have preceded it, occasioned by the stability which the mode of laying the roots imparts to the tree, and the power of dispensing with every other species of support, except what arises from well-balanced boughs and roots received in the ground. We have to add, that Sir Henry's own territory lies considerably exposed to those storms from the North, which are the heaviest and most prevailing gales of the Scottish climate.</p> <p> When the soil has been placed about the roots, tier after tier, the rest of the earth is filled into the pit regularly, so that the depth around the stem shall be twelve or fourteen inches, and subjected to a gentle and uniform pressure, but by no means to severe ramming or treading in, leaving it to nature to produce that consolidation, which, if attempted by violence, is apt to injure the fine fibres of the roots. If there is turf, it is replaced around the stem in regular order. We ought not to have omitted, that the tree is subjected to a plentiful watering when the roots are fixed, and to another when the operations are completed.</p> <p> From our own experience, we should consider this last requisite as of the highest consequence. Count Rumford, in his various experiments upon the food of the poor, arrived at the economical discovery, that water alone contained a great deal of nutritive aliment. Without extending our averment as far as that practical philosopher, we are much of his opinion, in so far as transplanted trees are considered; for we have seen hollies of ten and twelve feet high removed from the centre of a forest, and planted in a light and sandy soil, without any other precaution than placing them in a pit half-filled with earth, mingled with such a quantity of water that it had the consistence of thin porridge. Every forester knows the shyness of the holly, yet, set in soil thus prepared, and refreshed by copious watering during the season, they throve admirably well. Accordingly, we observe that Sir Henry recommends watering as one of the principal points respecting the subsequent treatment of the transplanted tree. When the trees stand singly, or in loose and open disposition, he recommends that the earth around them shall be finally beat down by a machine resembling that of a pavior, but heavier, about the month of April or May, when the natural consolidation shall have, in a great measure, taken place. To exclude the drought, he then recommends that the ground immediately under the stem of the oak, birch, and other trees which demand most attention, shall be covered with a substance called <u>shews,</u> being the refuse of a flax-mill, which, of course, serves to exclude the drought, like the process which gardeners call mulching. Lastly, in the case of such transplanted trees as do not seem disposed to thrive equal to the others, we are instructed to lay around the stem four cart-loads of earth, with a cart-load of coal-ashes, carefully sifted: this composition is spread round the tree, in a proportion of nine inches in depth, around the stem or centre, and five inches at the extremity of the roots.</p> <p> It is most important to observe, that the success of the whole operation seems to depend as much upon this species of treatment, which takes place after the transplantation, as on observation of the rules laid down as to preparing the tree for its removal, and as to the method of the transplantation itself. We have already mentioned the efficacy of frequent watering: the excluding drought from the roots of the transplanted tree by the intervention of <u>shews,</u> or some equivalent subject (leaves, perhaps, or a layer of wet straw,) is of the last consequence; and not less so is the application of manure to the roots of such trees as seem, in the language of planters, to fail or go back. When these things are attended to, the tree seldom or never fails. It is surrounded with a very neat species of defence against the deer, sheep, or other animals with which the park may be stocked, and which is more handsome as well as less expensive than the ugly tubs in which transplanted trees seem usually to be set out in the ground which they are designed to occupy. Taking the medium degree of thriving, a tree thus transplanted may be expected to suffer in its growth of leaves for the first year or two. In the second particularly, it has less the air of general health than at any future time. In the third, if regularly attended to in its after-treatment, it shows little sign of suffering any thing. In two or three seasons more, it begins to show growth, and resume the progress of active vegetation.</p> <p> We have thus gone hastily through the general requisites of the Allanton system of transplantation, for the details of which we must refer to the work itself. The merit to be assigned to the ingenious baronet is exalted by the character of his discovery, relating to such a fascinating branch of the fine arts as that of improving the actual landscape. He has taught a short road to an end which almost all landed proprietors, possessed of the slightest degree of taste, must be desirous of attaining. In a word, the immediate effect of wood is obtained---an entire park---may, as in the case of Allanton, be covered with wood of every kind: trees, arranged singly, in scattered groups, or in close masses, intermixed with copse of every description, and boasting, in the course of four or five years, all the beauty which the improver, in the ordinary case, can expect, after the lapse of thirty or forty. Even in the first year, indeed, a great general effect is produced; but as, upon close inspection, the trees will for some time show a thinness of leaves and check of vegetation, we have taken that period at which the transplanted wood may, with ordinary management, be expected to have lost all appearance of the operation which it has sustained.</p> <p> It is now time to attend to a formidable consideration, the expense, namely, at which a victory over nature, so complete as that which we have described, is to be attained. Sir Henry Steuart complains, with justice, of reports, which, assigning the price of ten or twelve pounds to the removal of each tree, and circulated by envy or ignorance, have represented his system as beyond the reach of any, excepting the most opulent individuals; whereas he himself contends, that the art which he has disclosed has the opposite merit of being within the easy compass of any person of moderate fortune. As the practical utility of this ingenious system depends entirely on this point, we feel it our duty to notice the evidence on the subject.</p> <p> The days of Orpheus are no more, and no man can now pretend to make the rooted denizens of the forest shift their places at the simple expense of an old song. It must be held sufficient if the expenditure does not so far exceed the object to be obtained, as to cause the alterations produced to rank with the extravagant freaks of Nero, who was the first of landscape-gardeners, and his successors in the school of gigantic embellishment. But the country-gentleman, of easy fortune, who does not hesitate to lay out two or three hundred pounds for a tolerable picture or two to adorn the inside of his house, should not surely be induced to grudge a similar expenditure to form the park, by which it is surrounded, into a natural landscape, which will more than rival the best efforts of the pencil. The power of adorning nature is a luxury of the highest kind, and must, to a certain extent, be paid for, but the following pieces of evidence serve to show, that the price is uncommonly moderate, if contrasted with the effects produced.</p> <p> The committee of the Highland Society remark, that the transplantation of grown trees belongs to the fine arts rather than those which have had direct and simple utility for their object, and that the return is to be expected rather in pleasure than in actual profit:</p> <p> ``Value, no doubt, every proprietor acquires, when he converts a bare and unsightly common into a clothed, sheltered, and richly ornamented park. But, excepting in the article of shelter, he has no more immediate value than the purchaser of a picture.''</p> <p> But this apologetical introduction is so far short of the truth, since it omits to notice that the improver <u>has</u> created a value---unproductive, indeed, while he continues to retain possession of his estate, but which can be converted into actual productive capital so soon as he chooses to part with it. The difference between Allanton, with its ornamented park, and Allanton as it was twenty years since, would soon be ascertained were the proprietor disposed to bring his ancient heritage into the market. The committee proceed to state, that the formation of the two acres of copse, intermingled with standard trees, already mentioned, appears to have amounted to <L>30 per acre; and they express their belief that no visible change, to the same purpose, could have been effected by the landscape-gardener, which could have had effect before it had cost the proprietor <u>three times</u> the sum.</p> <p> Mr. Laing Meason, who had personally attended some operations on Allanton park, mentions the transplantation of two trees, from twenty to thirty years old. The workmen began their operations at six o'clock in the morning. The first tree was, by measurement, twenty feet; the second, thirty-two feet high, the girth from twenty-four to thirty-six inches. The one was moved a mile, the other about a hundred yards, and the whole operation was concluded before six in the evening. The wages of the men amounted to fifteen shillings, so that each tree cost seven shillings and sixpence. Adding the expense of a pair of horses, the sum could not exceed twelve shillings, and we must needs profess, that the mere pleasure of witnessing such a wonderful transmigration successfully accomplished, was, in our opinion, worth half the money. Mr. Laing Meason proceeds to say, ``that if a comparison was to be drawn between the above expense and that of planting groups of plants from the nursery, keeping enclosures up for twenty years, and losing the rent on the ground occupied, the Allanton system is much preferable on the point of economy.''</p> <p> The evidence of various gentlemen who have already adopted Sir Henry Steuart's system on their own estates, is given at length in the book before us:---Mr. Smith, of Jordanhill, in Lanarkshire, appears to have made the largest experiments next to the inventor himself; and he states the results as uniformly successful. Before his workmen attained proficiency in the art, the individual trees cost from fifteen to eighteen shillings each, when transported about a mile; but in his later operations the charge was reduced to eight shillings for very handsome subjects, and six shillings for those of an inferior description.</p> <p> Mr. MacCall, of Ibroxhill, another gentleman in the same neighbourhood, estimates the cost of his operations on trees, from eighteen to twenty-eight feet high, at eight shillings and tenpence per tree. Mr. Watson of Linthouse, in Renfrewshire, reckons that his trees, being on an average thirty feet high, cost him fourteen shillings the tree. Sir Charles Macdonald Lockhart, of Lee, and Sir Walter Scott, of Abbotsford, mention their expenses as <u>trifling;</u> and Mr. Elliot Lockhart, (M.P. for Selkirkshire) states ten shillings as the average cost of transplanting trees from twenty-four to thirty-five feet in height. All these gentlemen attest the success of their operations, and their thorough belief in the soundness of their ingenious master's doctrine.</p> <p> It ought to be observed, that no special account seems, in any of these cases, to have been kept of the after treatment of the transplanted tree, by watering and manuring, which must differ very much, according to circumstances. Something, however, must be added on this account to almost all the prices quoted by the experimentalists above mentioned.</p> <p> We now come to Sir Henry's account of his own expenses, which, with the laudable and honourable desire to be as communicative and candid as possible, he has presented under various forms. The largest trees which Sir Henry Steuart himself has been in the habit of removing</p> <p> ``being from twenty-five to thirty-five feet high, may be managed,'' he informs us, ``by expert and experienced workmen, for from 10s. to 13s. each, at half a mile's distance: and the smallest, being from eighteen to five-and-twenty feet, for from 6s. to 8s. With workmen awkward or inexperienced, it will not seem surprising, that it should require a third part, or even a half more, fully to follow out the practice which has been recommended. As to wood for close plantations, or for bush-planting in the park, the trees may be transferred for about 3s. 6d., and the stools of underwood for from 1s. to 2s. per stool.''---P. 341.</p> <p> In another view of his expenditure, Sir Henry Steuart fixes on a very considerable space of ground, which he had fully occupied with wood during a period of eight years, and shows <u>data</u> for rating his annual expenditure at fifty-eight pounds ten shillings yearly---a sum certainly not too extravagant to be bestowed on any favourite object of pursuit, and far inferior in amount to that which is, in most instances, thrown away on a pet-farm. We have dwelt thus long on the subject of expense, because it forms the most formidable objection to every new system, is most generally adopted, and most completely startling to the student. But where so many persons, acting with the very purpose of experiment, after allowance has been made for difference of circumstances, are found to come so near each other in their estimates, and that <u>twelve shillings</u> for the <u>expense of transplanting a tree of thirty feet high</u> forms <u>the average of the calculation,</u> it will not surely be deemed an extraordinary tax on so important an operation.</p> <p> But, although we have found the system to be at once original, effectual, and attended with moderate expense, we are not sanguine enough to hope that it will at once find general introduction. The application of steam and of gas to the important functions which they at present perform, was slowly and reluctantly adopted, after they had been opposed for many years by the prejudices of the public. Yet these were supported by such effective arguments <u>ad crumenam,</u> as might, one would have thought, have ensured their advocates a favourable hearing. The present discoverer is a gentleman of liberal fortune, who, after having ornamented his own domain, has little interest whether his neighbours imitate his example or no. The system, too, must be subjected to the usual style of sneering misrepresentation which is applied to all innovators, until they gain the public to their side, and rise above the reach of detraction. We have also to anticipate the indifference of country gentlemen, too indolent to conquer the difficulty of getting the fitting and indispensable machinery, or to procure the assistance of experienced workmen. Even in the cases in which the new system may be brought to a trial, it may fall under discredit from the haste of the proprietor, or the no less formidable conceit and prejudices of the workman. The one may be disposed to leave out or hurry over some of the details, which are peculiarly slow and gradual, though producing such an immediate effect when completed; the other, unless closely watched, will assuredly revert to his own ancient practice, in despite of every charge to the contrary. In either case, the failure which may ensue will be imputed to the Allanton system, though it should be rather attributed to departure from its rules.</p> <p> Notwithstanding all these obstacles, the principle is so good, and the application so successful, that we shall be much surprised if, ere long, some professional person does not make himself master of the process, and proceed to strive for that eminence which he cannot fail to achieve when it is found he possesses the art of changing the face of nature, like the scenes in a theatre, and can convert, almost instantly, a desert to an Eden. Nurserymen and designers will then find it for their interest to have the necessary machinery, and gangs of experienced workmen, to enable them to contract for raising, transferring, and upholding any particular number of trees, which a country gentleman of moderate fortune may desire to place in groups, or singly, in his park. The alteration will be thus effected without the proprietor, who wishes but to transplant some score or two of trees, being obliged to incur the full expenses of providing and instructing superintendents, as if he meant to countermarch the whole advance of Birnam wood to Dunsinane. Earlier or later, this beautiful and rational system will be brought into general action, when <u>it will do more to advance the picturesque beauty of the country in five years than the slow methods hitherto adopted can attain in fifty.</u></p> <p> Our readers are now enabled to answer with confidence the question of Macbeth:---<p> ``Who can impress the forest? Bid the tree unfix his earth-bound root?''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>The reader is referred to Bishop Heber's travels in India * for some most interesting details on this subject.---S.</li> </ul> <p>in an exposed situation have also their resources; ---the object being to protect the sap-vessels, which transmit nutriment, and which lie betwixt the wood and the bark, the tree never fails to throw out, and especially on the side most exposed to the blast, a thick coating of bark, designed to protect, and which effectually does protect, the sap-vessels and the process of circulation to which they are adapted, from the injury which necessarily must otherwise ensue. Again, if the animal is in danger of suffocation from want of vital air, instead of starving by being exposed to its unqualified rigour, instinct or reason directs the sufferer to approach those apertures through which any supply of that necessary of human life can be attained, and induces man, at the same time, to free himself from any coverings which may be rendered oppressive by the state in which he finds himself. Now it may be easily proved, that a similar instinct to that which induced the unfortunate sufferers in the black-hole of Calcutta to struggle with the last efforts to approach the solitary aperture which admitted air to their dungeon, and to throw from them their garments, in order to encourage the exertions which nature made to relieve herself by perspiration, is proper, also, to the noblest of the vegetable tribe. Look at a wood or plantation which has not been duly thinned:---the trees which exist will be seen drawn up to poles, with narrow and scanty tops, endeavouring to make their way towards such openings to the sky as might permit the access of light and air. If entirely precluded by the boughs which have closed over them, the weaker plants will be found strangely distorted by attempts to get out at a side of the plantation; and, finally, if overpowered in these attempts by the obstacles opposed to them, they inevitably perish. As men throw aside their garments, influenced by a close situation, trees, placed in similar circumstances, exhibit a bark thin and beautifully green and succulent, entirely divested of that thick, coarse, protecting substance which covers the sap-vessels in an exposed position.</p> <ul> <li>Miller's Gardener's and Botanist's Dictionary, voc. ``Planting.''</li> </ul> <p>But the subject, though to ourselves of special interest, has already, perhaps, detained some readers too long. <u>Non omnes arbusta juvant.</u><p> We are informed, in the preface, that many months of severe and dangerous illness have been partially occupied and amused by the present treatise, when the author was incapable of attending to more useful studies or more serious pursuits. While we regret that the current of scientific investigation, which has led to such brilliant results, should be, for a moment interrupted, we have here an example, and a pleasing one, that the lightest pursuits of such a man as our angler---nay, the productions of those languid hours, in which lassitude succeeds to pain, are more interesting and instructive than the exertion of the talents of others whose mind and body are in the fullest vigour--- illustrating the scriptural expression, that the gleanings of the grapes of Ephraim are better than the vintage of Abiezer.</p> <p> For ourselves, though we have wetted a line in our time, we are far from boasting of more than a very superficial knowledge of the art, and possess no part whatever of the scientific information which is necessary to constitute the philosophical angler. Yet we have read our Walton as well as others; and, like the honest keeper in the New Forest, when we endeavour to form an idea of Paradise, we always suppose a trout-stream going through it. The art itself is peculiarly seductive, requires much ingenuity, and yet is easily reconciled to a course of quiet reflections, as, step by step, we ascend a devious brook, opening new prospects as we advance, which remind us of a good and unambitious man's journey through this world, wherein changing scenes glide past him with each its own interest, until evening falls, and life is ended. We have, indeed, often thought, that angling alone offers to man the degree of half-business, half-idleness, which the fair sex find in their needle-work or knitting, which, employing the hands, leaves the mind at liberty, and occupying the attention so far as is necessary to remove the painful sense of a vacuity, yet yields room for contemplation, whether upon things heavenly or earthly, cheerful or melancholy.</p> <p> Of the humanity of the pastime we have but little to say. Our author has entered into its defence against Lord Byron, who called it a ``solitary vice,'' and condemned its advocate and apologist, Izaak Walton, as ``a quaint old cruel coxcomb,'' who<p> ``in his gullet Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it.''</p> </p> </p> <p><title> Salmonia.<! p68><*><p> ``Compound for sins they are inclined to, By damning those they have no mind to.''</p> </p> <ul> <li>This article on ``Salmonia, or days of Fly-Fishing,'' a <em> small volume by Sir Humphry Davy, Bart., P.R.S., appeared </em> In the Quarterly Review, for October 1828.<p> ``Nature first made man When wild in woods the noble savage ran,''</p> </li> </ul> <p><text> When great men condescend to trifle, they desire that those who witness their frolics should have some kindred sympathy with the subject which these regard. The speech of Henry IV. to the Spanish ambassador, when he discovered the King riding round the room on a stick, with his son, is well known. ``You are a father, Seignor Ambassador, and so we will finish our ride.'' No doubt, there was to be remarked something graceful in the manner with which the hero of Navarre bestrode even a cane---something so kind in his expression, while employed in the most childish of pastimes, as failed not to remind the spectator that the indulgent father of his playmate was the no less indulgent father of his people. In taking up this elegant little volume, for which we are indebted to the most illustrious and successful investigator of inductive philosophy which this age has produced, we are led to expect to discover the sage even in his lightest amusements.<p> Our author takes a more special defence than the above---alleging that he is not guilty, like his predecessor, Walton, of using living baits, but always employs the artificial fly or minnow. This is, undoubtedly, more agreeable, more cleanly, and much more scientific. He also urges that, in all probability, fishes are less sensitive than man. Under the favour of such high authority, this is a point which none can know but the fish himself. The variety of modes in which the trout endeavours to escape from the hook certainly seem to show that his apprehensions are extreme, and the hurry and vivacity of his motions indicate irritation and pain. Being, however, a denizen of another element, our sympathies are not so strongly excited by the sufferings of fish as of the creatures that share the same element with us. We remember an amiable enthusiast, a worshipper of Nature after the manner of Rousseau, who, being melted into feelings of universal philanthropy by the softness and serenity of a spring morning, resolved, that for that day, at least, no injured animal should pollute his board; and, having recorded his vow, walked six miles to gain a hamlet, famous for fish dinners, where, without an idea of breaking his sentimental engagement, he regaled himself on a small matter of crimped cod and oyster sauce. After all, the progress of extermination and reproduction seems to be the plan on which Nature proceeds in maintaining the balance amongst the animal tribes, and carrying on the system of the universe. Man, in his sphere, is one of the most constant exterminators; and if, in satisfying the instinct which impels him to be such, he can acquire the power of realizing the following beautiful picture, there is little to be said concerning the inhumanity of angling.</p> <p> ``The fisher for salmon and trout with the fly employs not only machinery to assist his physical powers, but applies sagacity to conquer difficulties; and the pleasures derived from ingenious resources and devices, as well as from active pursuit, belongs to this amusement. Then, as to its philosophical tendency, it is a pursuit of moral discipline, requiring patience, forbearance, and command of temper. As connected with natural science, it may be vaunted as demanding a knowledge of the habits of a considerable tribe of created beings---fishes, and the animals they prey upon, and an acquaintance with the signs and tokens of the weather and its changes, the nature of waters, and of the atmosphere. As to its poetical relations, it carries us into the most wild and beautiful scenery of nature; amongst the mountain lakes, and the clear and lovely streams that gush from the higher ranges of elevated hills, or that make their way through the cavities of calcareous strata. How delightful in the early spring, after the dull and tedious time of winter, when the frosts disappear, and the sunshine warms the earth and waters, to wander forth by some clear stream, to see the leaf bursting from the purple bud, to scent the odours of the bank perfumed by the violet, and enamelled, as it were, with the primrose and the daisy; to wander upon the fresh turf below the shade of trees, whose bright blossom, are filled with the music of the bee; and on the surface of the waters to view the gaudy flies sparkling like animated gems in the sunbeams, whilst the bright and beautiful trout is watching them from below; to hear the twittering of the water-birds, who, alarmed at your approach, rapidly hide themselves beneath the flowers and leaves of the water-lily; and, as the season advances, to find all these objects changed for others of the same kind, but better and brighter, till the swallow and the trout contend, as it were, for the gaudy May-fly, and till, in pursuing your amusement in the calm and balmy evening, you are serenaded by the songs of the cheerful thrush and melodious nightingale; performing the offices of paternal love, in thickets ornamented with the rose and woodbine.''---Pp. 8--10.</p> <p> Before leaving this beautiful passage, in which the angler seems to contemplate nature with the eye at once of a poet and a philosopher, we may inform our reader, supposing him more ignorant than ourselves, that not all the love of rural scenery which is inspired by Walton---not all the instructions in practice which may be collected from this work, the composition of that far more illustrious successor, who has condescended to be his imitator, will ever make an angler out of one who is not gifted with certain natural qualifications for that amusement. No degree of zealous study will supply the want of natural parts. To ``fish by the book'' would be as vain an attempt as Master Stephen's proposal to keep his hawk on that principle.</p> <p> There must be a certain quickness of eye to judge where the fish lies--a precision and neatness of hand to cast the line lightly, and with such truth and address that the fly shall fall on the very square inch of the stream which you aimed at, and that with as little splash as if it were the descent of the natural insect; there is a certain delicacy of manipulation with which you must use the rod and reel when (happy man!) you actually have hooked a heavy fish; all of which requisites must combine to ensure success. There are the same personal qualities requisite in shooting, billiards, and other exercises of skill, in the use of the turning-lathe, and, as no one knows better than the author of the present work, in the management of philosophical experiments. If thou hast any of this species of alertness of band and truth of eye in thee, go forth, gentle reader, with ``Salmonia'' in thy pocket, and return with thy basket more or less heavy in proportion to thy perseverance. But if thou wantest this peculiar knack, we doubt if even the patience that is exercised in a punt above Chelsea bridge would greatly mend thy day's work: though thy dinner depended upon it, thou mayest go on flogging the water from morning till midnight, entangling the hook now in a hush, now in a stem, now driving it through the nose of some brother of the angle, and now through thine own, hut not a fin wilt thou basket, whether of bull-trout or minnow; and thou must content thee with half the definition of the angler, and be the fool at the one end of the stick and string, without the gudgeon at the other.</p> <p> Indeed, there always seemed to us something magical in this peculiar dexterity, which no chance or advantages of circumstances ever came to balance. The inequality between individual anglers exists to a degree which simple men will not be able to comprehend from a perusal of Salmonia. Halieus exhorts his less skilful companion---</p> <p> ``Try in that deep pool, below the Tumbling Bay; I see two or three good fish rising there, and there is a lively breeze. The largest fish refuses your fly again and again; try the others. There, you have hooked him; now carry him down stream, and keep his head high, out of the weeds. He plunges and fights with great force;---he is the best-fed fish I have yet seen at the end of the line, and will weigh more in proportion to his length. I will land him for you.''---P. 39.</p> <p> Instant success follows on the adopting of the precept, but, general reader, do not hastily trust that it will be so in real life. We used sometimes to pursue the amusement with an excellent friend now no more, and we still recollect the mortifying distinction between his success and our want of it. With all the kindness and much of the skill of Halieus, he trained us to high adventure:---``Throw where yonder stone breaks the stream; there is a trout behind it''---we obeyed, and hooked the stone itself: ``Let your fly fall light on the ripple''---we threw, and it fell with the emphasis of a quoit. Our Mentor gave us the choice of his flies, and relinquished in our favour even that which we had seen do instant execution. It seemed as if what in his bands had been a real, animated insect, the live child of heat and moisture, was disenchanted in ours, and returned to a clumsy composition of iron, wool, fur, and feathers. The changing from one to the other bank of the stream in no respect mended the matter, and while trouts came wriggling to the shore as if our companion bad charmed them out of the river, we had nothing to struggle with except eel-weeds and alder-roots. In short, there was a spell in it, and we have our suspicions at this moment, that set a bucket of water before our comrade, he would have drawn out a fish, while we, angling in a duke's preserve, might have failed of catching a bane-stickle.</p> <p> There are, however, those to whom this fatality attaches in a much greater degree than to us, who, after all, were not without having occasionally our lucky days; whereas all men have heard of the fisherman of the Eastern tale, whose persevering ill-fortune first fished up a pannier full of slime, next the carcase of an ass, and taking no warning by these omens, at last dragged out a genie who had like to have wrung his head off. We ourselves know a respected friend whose only attempts at angling were equally ominous with those of this Oriental. In his first experiment, he fished up the carcase of a drowned man; in the second his hook, indeed, was only entangled in the body of a horse, but, which perhaps equalized the two accidents, that horse proved to be his own. We have not heard of his making a third experiment, but we have no doubt that should he be unwise enough to attempt it, the result must be something portentous. Non cuivis,---therefore it is not every one who can pursue with success this delightful sylvan amusement; there must be, as Tony Lumpkin says, ``a concatenation accordingly.''</p> <p> The work before us alarms us on another topic, or rather would have alarmed us, had we acquired the information contained in the following passage, during a more active period of our life. The party of anglers are seated at dinner, a scene which our author understands as well as he does the art of fly-fishing, or the more recondite mysteries of philosophy, and it is after a hearty meal upon fresh salmon, eaten with the salt and water it is boiled in, and some delicate snipes from a Highland morass, that one of the pleasant interlocutors, Ornither, makes a genial proposal for another bottle of claret, observing (most reasonably, as we should have thought, a priori,) that a pint per man (Scottish measure, we hope, for the scene lies on Loch Maree) was not too much after such a day's fatigue. To this motion, which we are afraid we might, in our rashness, have seconded, Halieus makes the following unexpected opposition:---</p> <p> ``Hal.---You have made me president for these four days, and I forbid it. A half-pint of wine for young men in perfect health is enough, and you will able to take your exercise better, and feel better for this abstinence How few people calculate upon the effects of constantly renewed fever in our luxurious system of living in England! The heart is made to act too powerfully, the blood is thrown upon the nobler parts, and with the system of wading adopted by some sportsmen, whether in shooting or fishing is delivered either to the hemorrhoidal veins, or, what is worse to the head. I have known several free livers who have terminated their lives by apoplexy, or have been rendered miserable by palsy, in consequence of the joint effects of cold feet and too stimulating a diet; that is to say, as much animal food as they could eat, with a pint, or perhaps a bottle of wine per day. Be guided by me, my friends, and neither drink nor wade. I know there are old men who have done both and have enjoyed perfect health; but these are devil's decoys to the unwary, and ten suffer for one that escapes. I could quote to you an instance from this very county, one of the strongest men I have ever known. He was not intemperate, but he lived luxuriously, and waded as a salmon fisher for many years in this very river; bet before he was fifty, palsy deprived him of the use of his limbs, and he is still a living example of the danger of the system which you are ambitious of adopting.</p> <p> ``Oro.---Well. I give up the wine, but I intend to wade in Hancock's boots to-morrow.</p> <p> ``Hal.---Wear them, but do not wade in them. The feet must become cold in a stream of water constantly passing over the caoutchouc and leather, notwithstanding the thick stockings. They are good for keeping the feet warm, and I think where there is exercise, as in snipe-shooting, may he used without any bad effects. But I advise no one to stand still (which an angler must do sometimes) in the water, even with these ingenious water-proof inventions. All anglers should remember old Boerhaave's maxims of health, and act upon them; `Keep the feet warm, and the head cool, and the body open.' ''---Pp. 102--104.</p> <p> We before hinted that we have had our lucky days, and the most propitious time, both as to the size and number of trouts, were the hours before and after sunset upon the very warmest days of July and August. The large trouts which have lain hid during the whole day are then abroad, for the purpose of food, and take the fly eagerly. These moments,<p> ``When the sun, retiring slowly, Gives to dews the freshen'd air,''</p> </p> </p> <p>We will not inquire whether the noble poet has, in the present case, been one of those who<p> We will not, however, suppress evidence, though somewhat contradictory of our own, as we happen to recollect an anecdote corroborative of the view taken by Halieus concerning the risk of wading, and at the same time indicative of the passionate hold which the sport of angling maintains over the minds of some individuals, with whatever risk it may be accompanied. It is now a great many years (considerably above thirty) since we met in fishing quarters the very pleasing and accomplished gentleman, them engaged in his medical studies, from whom we heard the story.</p> <p> In a former fishing excursion, such as that in which he was engaged at the time, our friend had observed a follower of the same sport holding his course down the very midst of the small river; and the angler in question was a ``noticeable man.'' He was of uncommon stature---a large and portly figure, brandishing with both hands a rod which commanded the stream on either side---while, being immersed to the waist, his fair round belly seemed to project like a dark rock when in the shallow water, and in the deep current to rest and float on the surface of the waters like the hull of some rich argosy.</p> <p> Our friend could not help looking back more than once at this singular figure, until he suddenly observed the angler quit the stream, get out upon the bank, and hasten towards him with shouts which seemed a signal of distress. On his closer approach, our medical friend observed that the countenance of the fisherman, naturally bluff and jolly, and not unfitted to correspond with the height of his stature and importance of his paunch, seemed disordered and convulsed with pain. He begged earnestly to know if our acquaintance had in his basket a flask with spirits of any kind, complaining, at the same time, of an attack of cramp in the stomachs which gave him intolerable agony. This was supplied, with all the benevolence which should subsist between brothers of the angle, according to the instructions of their patriarchs, Izaak Walton. When the tall fisherman had experienced the relief which the cordial drop afforded, our informer told him his profession, and inquired whether these attacks were frequent, and whether they seemed constitutional. ``Very frequent,'' answered the lusty edition of Piscator, ``and I am afraid rooted in my system.''---``In that case, sir,'' replied our friend, ``allow me to tell you that fishing, or at least wading while you fish, is the most dangerous amusement you could select for yourself.''---``I know it,'' said the poor patient, dejectedly. ``Assure yourself,'' pursued the physician, ``that your very life depends upon your forbearing to pursue your sport in the manner you do.'' The intelligence seemed nothing new to our forlorn angler. ``I know it, sir,'' he said, ``I have been told so by the best doctors---but,'' he added, with am air of stoical yet rueful resignation, that might have graced a man who sacrificed life to some weighty duty, ``Heaven's will be done! I cannot live without fishing, and without wading I can never catch a fin.'' So saying, the Giant thanked his adviser, went back to the spot where he had left his rod, and was seen a few minutes afterwards bowel-deep in the stream.</p> <p> Our friend had the curiosity to inquire after the name and condition of this devoted angler, to whom life was nothing without wading waist-deep after trouts. In the course of the year he saw his death announced by the newspapers. He was found dead on the banks of his favourite stream---nota-bene, no brandy-flask. Halieus and we ourselves have each a portion in this sad story, and may part stakes upon it; for while he fortifies his doctrine concerning wet feet by this doleful example, we are entitled to hang a label, with sic evitabile, round the neck of a certain vade mecum, which John Bunyan allows even to pilgrims, and without which, in our humble opinion, no wanderer ought to walk the world.</p> <p> Indeed, after all, we have difficulty in separating our pleasant recollections of the exercise of fishing from the green bank where we rendezvoused at noon---our slice of cold beef and a gentle flirtation which we held with that same flask, after the manner of the cavaliers of Cervantes and the picaros of Gil Blas. So, perhaps, we do not after all possess the genuine admiration of the sport itself, abstractedly considered; and the want of this undivided ardour may he at once the cause and the consequence of the imperfect progress we have made in the art. This at least all the world, and the subjects of our criticism in particular, will be ready to verify, that our indifferent success cannot arise from any want of equanimity and good nature.--- We must recollect, however, that we are taking the privilege of a sportsman, to which we are by no means entitled, and prating about our exploits and recollections of field sports, while our readers have no game to eat by way of indemnification. The fact is, that whenever we ``babble of green fields'' we feel a tendency to lose our way. We will, however, endeavour to proceed more methodically his future, and to give something like a general account of ``Salmonia,'' before proceeding further with our miscellaneous remarks.</p> <p> The book is confessedly written in the conversational form and discursive style of old Izaak Walton, whose Complete Angler, augmented with a second part, has long been a standard work of our language; and has passed through so many editions, as to ascertain its undiminished attractions, in spite of the fashion of all things that passes away. The form of both works is the same in the outline. In each, a zealous fisher is the Coryph<ae>us of the dialogue, who replies to the objections made to his art by a friend who has prejudices against the pursuits of the angler---confutes him by reasons, introduces him to the practice of the art which he had vindicated in theory--- teaches him the secrets upon which success depends, and familiarizes him with those innocent accessory pleasures which render the simplest and most accessible of country sports the most agreeable also to a person of calm and contemplative habits.</p> <p> In comparing the two treatises, the authors occur to our imagination as pilgrims bound for the same shrine, resembling each other in their general habit---the scalloped hat, the dalmatique, and the knobbed and spiked staff---which equalize all who assume the character: corresponding no less in the humble mien, and unpretending step, with which they approach the object of their common reverence, and sympathizing also in the feeling of devotion which, for the time, lessens all temporal distinctions, whether resting upon distinction of rank or difference of intellect. Yet though alike in purpose, dress, and demeanour, the observant eye cam doubtless discern an essential difference betwixt those devotees. The burgess does not make his approach to the shrine with the stately pace of a knight or noble; the simple and misinformed rustic has not the contemplative step of the philosopher, or the quick glance of the poet. There is, in short, something of individuality in each personage, which distinguishes advantageously or otherwise, in spite of the circumstances of general resemblance.</p> <p> The palm of originality, and of an exquisite simplicity, which cannot, perhaps, be imitated with entire success, must remain with our worthy patriarch, Izaak. But, on the other hand, his incalculably more limited range of experience of every kind, has, after his first voyage of discovery, left a huge continent of terra incognita for our modern to make the scene of further discoveries, and, though holding the same course, to introduce us to regions of which his predecessor did not even know the existence. This concordia discors, which gives us the power of comparing the habits of remote times, the ideas and sentiments of persons so strongly contrasted, and treating the same subject in such different style---forms one of the charms of this book, and, at the same time, makes us look back to old Izaak's with additional interest.</p> <p> Izaak Walton, a London citizen of the middle of the seventeenth century, does not aspire above his sphere in any particular. His walks are to Finsbury, and up Tottenham Hill; his farthest excursions, even in pursuit of his favourite amusement, only reach Ware and Waltham; his diversion, when there, is the drowsy watching of the immersion of a cork and a quill; and almost all his ideas confined to baits of lob-worms and live maggots. This picture is of a most cockney-like character, and we no more expect Piscator to soar beyond it, and to kill, for example, a salmon of twenty pounds weight with a single hair, than we would look to see his brother linen-draper, John Gilpin, leading a charge of hussars. What is there, we ask, that relieves the low character, we had almost said the vulgarity, of a picture so little elevated and so homely? It is the exquisite simplicity of the good old man, enjoying tranquillity in his own mind, and breathing benevolence to all around him, and expressing himself with such a graceful ease, that the London shopkeeper dapping for chubs, acquires the veneration due to a Grecian philosopher, within whose cheerful heart, to use an expression of his own, wisdom, peace, patience, and a quiet mind did cohabit.<*></p> </p> <p>And we can easily conceive that scarce any thing could have been less suited to Byron's eager and active temper, and restless and rapid imagination, than a pastime in which proficiency is only to be acquired by long and solitary practice. But in this species of argument, whether used in jest or earnest, there is always something of cant. Man is much like other carnivorous creatures---to catch other animals and to devour them is his natural occupation; and it is only upon reflection, and in the course of a refined age, that the higher classes become desirous to transfer to others the toil and the disgust attending the slaughter-house and the kitchen. Homer's heroes prostrate the victim and broil its flesh, and were, we must suppose, no more shocked with the moans of the dying bullock than the greyhound with the screams of the hare. The difference produced by a degree of refinement is only that, still arranging our bloody banquet as before, the task of destroying life is, in the case of tame animals, committed to butchers and poulterers--- while, in respect of game, where considerable exertion and dexterity is necessary to accomplish our purpose, and where the sense of excitement, and pride in difficulties surmounted by our own address, overbalance our sympathy with the pain inflicted, we interdict, by strict laws, the vulgar from interference, and reserve the exclusive power of slaughter for our own hands. The sportsman of the present day is, therefore, so far modified by the refinements of society, as to use the intervention of plebeian hands in the case of cattle, sheep, and domestic fowls; but he kills his deer, his hares, his grouse, and his partridges for himself: in respect to them, he is in a state of nature. But if his retaining this touch of the qualities with which<p> Our modern Piscator is of a different mould, one familiar equally with the world of books and those high circles in society, which, in our ago, aristocratically closed against the pretensions of mere wealth, open so readily to distinguished talents and acquirements. His range, therefore, both of enjoyment and of instruction, is far wider than that of Walton.</p> <p> The latter carries us no farther than the brooks within a short walk of London, though his rich vein of poetical fancy renders their banks so delightfully rural, by seating himself and his scholar under a honey-suckle hedge during a soft shower, there to sit and sing while gentle rain refreshed the burning earth, and gave a yet sweeter smell to the lovely flowers that embroidered the verdant meadows. Halieus, on the contrary, transports us to the ornate scenes of Denham upon the Colne, where the river is strictly preserved within the park of a wealthy and hospitable proprietor, and gives us the following picturesque description, as a contrast to the unadorned meadows of the Lea.</p> <p> ``Poiet.---This is really a very charming villa scene, I may almost say, a pastoral scene. The meadows have the verdure which even the Londoners enjoy as a peculiar feature of the English landscape. The river is clear, and has all the beauties of a trout stream of the larger size,---there rapid, and here still, and there tumbling in foam and fury over abrupt dams upon clean gravel, as if pursuing a natural course. And that island, with its poplars and willows, and the flies making it their summer paradise, and its little fishing-house, are all in character; and, if not extremely picturesque, it is at least a very pleasant scene, from its verdure and pure waters, or the lovers of our innocent amusement'---Pp. 21, 22.</p> <p> This Italian and ornamental species of landscape may he compared advantageously with a voyage down a Highland lake, a scene which never disturbed Walton's quiet thoughts even in a dream.</p> <p> ``Poiet.---That cloud-breasted mountain on the left is of the best character of Scotch mountains: these woods, likewise, are respectable for this northern country. I think I see islands, also, in the distance: and the quantity of cloud always gives effect to this kind of view; and, perhaps, without such assistance to the imagination, there would be nothing even approaching to the sublime in these countries; but cloud and mist, by creating obscurity, and offering a substitute for greatness and distance, give something of an Alpine and majestic character to this region.''---P. 82.</p> <p> In the continuation of this description, our modern, by what painters call an accident, enlivens his still scenery with a touch of science and painting at once, far beyond the limited sphere of father Walton. The latter has done all that his extent of travel and experience could suggest, when he has taught us to listen to a ``friendly contention between the singing birds in an adjacent grove, and the echo whose dead voice lived in a hollow tree near to the top of a primrose-hill'' or shown us how to beguile time ``by viewing the harmless lambs seen leaping securely in the cool shade, while others sported themselves in the cheerful sun, or craved comfort from the swollen udders of their bleating dams.'' The modern author, in a wild land, calls our attention to a far less usual phenomenon, and describes the flight of an eagle, and the education of its callow brood, with the pencil of a Salvator Rosa, and the accuracy of a Gilbert White.</p> <p> ``Poiet.---The scenery improves as we advance nearer the lower parts of the lake. The mountains come higher, and that small island or peninsula presents a bold craggy outline; and the birch wood below it, and the pines above, make a scene somewhat Alpine in character. But what is that large bird soaring above the pointed rock, towards the end of the lake? Surely it is an eagle?</p> <p> ``Hal.---You are right, it is an eagle, and of a rare and peculiar species---the grey or silver eagle, a noble bird! From the size of the animal it must be the female; and her aery is in that high rock. I dare say the male is not far off.</p> <p> ``Phys.---I think I see another bird, of a smaller size, perched on the rock below, which is similar in form.</p> <p> ``Hal.---You do: it us the consort of that beautiful and powerful bird and I have no doubt their young ones are not far off.</p> <p> ``Poiet.---Look at the bird! She dashes into the water, falling like a rock and raising a column of spray; she has fallen from a great height. And now she rises again into the air. What an extraordinary sight!</p> <p> ``Hal.---She us pursuing her prey, and is one of our fraternity, ---a catcher of fish. She has missed her quarry this time, and has moved further down towards the river, and falls again from a great height. There! You see her rise with a fish in her talons.</p> <p> ``Poiet.---She gives an interest which I hardly expected to have found, to this scene. Pray are there many of these animals in this country?</p> <p> ``Hal.---Of this species I have seen but these two; and I believe the young ones migrate as soon as they can provide for themselves; for this solitary bird requires a large space to move and feed in, and does not allow its offspring to partake its reign, or to live near it. Of other species of the eagle, there are some in different parts of the mountains, particularly of the Osprey, and of the great fishing or brown eagle; and I once saw a very fine and interesting sight in one of the crags of Ben Weevis, near Strathgarve, as I was going, on the 20th of August, in pursuit of black game. Two parent eagles were teaching their offspring---two young birds---the man<oe>vres of flight. They began by rising from the top of a mountain in the eye of the sun (it was about mid-day, and bright for this climate.) They at first made small circles, and the young birds imitated them; they paused on their wings, waiting till they had made their first flight, and then took a second and larger gyration,---always rising towards the sun, and enlarging their circle of flight so as to make a gradually extending spiral. The young ones still slowly followed, apparently flying better as they mounted. And they continued this sublime kind of exercise, always rising, till they became mere points in the air, and the young ones were lost, and afterwards their parents, to our aching sight. But we have touched the shore, and the lake has terminated: you are now on the river Ewe.''---Pp. 84--56.</p> <p> In like manner our ancient Piscator's habits make us acquainted with the snug honest English ale-house, where they find a cleanly room, sweet briers and honeysuckles peeping into the windows, and Chevy Chace, the Children in the Wood, the Spanish Lady's Lore, and twenty ballads more, stuck about the walls; where the landlady is tidy, and handsome, and civil; where they dress a chub so admirably as to equal a trout, and wash him down with a modest cup of the best home-brewed; where they tell tales, sing songs, or join in a catch, or find some other harmless sport to content them without offence to God or man, until it is time to occupy a bed where the linen looks white, and smells of lavender. Halieus and his company repose themselves, on the contrary, in the elegant villas of Denham or Downton, or the lordly castles of Inverara or Dunrobin, partake of ch<e`>re exquise, and give philosophic rules for the practice of Apicius. Or else the sportsmen are the romantic inhabitants of some Irish cabin or Scotch bothy, where they dress their own salmon with sauce <a`> la Tartare, and dilute it with mountain dew and claret cooled in the next spring.</p> <p> And here, lest we be accused of passing over the most interesting and edifying passage of the volume, we will communicate to the curious gastronome, a circumstance of which, if his travels have been as limited as those of Izaak Walton, we suspect he is not aware. The salmon exposed to sale in London, in however excellent condition, very, very rarely is, or can be had in what those who inhabit the banks of a salmon-stream account the first perfection. Halieus gives us the following tempting account of the proper preparation of the fish, where extraordinary attention is employed. It succeeds an account of hooking and playing a salmon in Loch Maree.</p> <p> ``Hal.---He seems fairly tired: I shall bring him in to shore. Now gaff him; strike as near the tail as you can. He is safe; we must prepare him for the pot. Give him a stunning blow on the head to deprive him of sensation, and then give him a transverse cut just below the gills, and crimp him by cutting to the bone on each side, so as almost to divide him into slices; and now hold him by the tail that he may bleed. There is a small spring, I see, close under that bank, which I dare say has the mean temperature of the atmosphere in this climate, and is much under 50<deg>---place him there, and let him remain for ten minutes, and then carry him to the pot, and let the water and salt boil furiously before you put in a slice, and give time to the water to recover its heat before you throw in another, and so with the whole fish, and leave the head out and throw in the thickest pieces first.''---Pp. 94, 95.</p> <p> This receipt reminds us of the various kettles of fish, technically so termed, and dressed after the recipe of Halieus, which we have partaken of, fronde super riridi, near the ruins of Tilmouth Chapel, finding, when we had fair companions, some subject for wit from the Wishing Well where Saint Cuthbert is supposed to indulge with a grant of their desires the votaries who drink of his spring with due devotion to his sanctity. There we enjoyed ourselves<p> Where none was unwilling, and few were unable, To sing a wild song, or to tell a wild tale.</p> </p> </p> <p>shall be considered as a crime, it is surely equally inhuman to cause to be killed, as it is to kill; the guilt, surely, of the criminal who causes a murder to be committed, must be the same as that of the actual bloodspiller. My lady, therefore, who gives the ma<i^>tre d'h<o^>tel orders, which render necessary sundry executions in the piggery, poultry-yard, and elsewhere, is an accomplice before the fact, and as guilty of occasioning a certain quantity of pain to certain unoffending animals, as her good lord, who is knocking down pheasants in the preserve, or catching fish in the brook. In short they that say much about the inhumanity of killing animals for sport, must be prepared to renounce the equally blameable practice of causing them to be killed, lest their delicacy be compared to that of the half-converted Indian squaw, whose humanized feelings could not look upon the tortures of a captive at the death-stake, but, nevertheless, whose appetite was unable to resist a tempting morsel of the broiled flesh, conveyed to her by the kindness of a comrade, as a consolation for her wanting her share of the sport. Our diet, in that case, would become rather lean and Pythagorean, much after the custom of our Brahminical friend, the late Joseph Ritson. Of the hundreds who condemn the cruelty of field sports, how many would relish being wholly deprived, in their own sensitive persons, of animal food?<p> ``Poiet.---I am endeavouring to find a reason for the effect of crimping and cold in preserving the curd of fish. Have you ever thought on this subject?</p> <p> ``Hal.---Yes: I conclude that the fat of salmon between the flakes, is mixed with much albumen and gelatine, and is extremely liable to decompose, and by keeping it cool the decomposition is retarded, and by the boiling salt and water, which is of a higher temperature than that of common boiling water, the albumen is coagulated, and the curdiness preserved. The crimping, by preventing the irritability of the fibre from bring gradually exhausted, seems to preserve it so hard and crisp, that it breaks under the teeth; and a fresh fish not crimped is generally tough.''---Pp. 97, 98.</p> <p> Before quitting a subject which many may think one of the most interesting in our article, there may be some comfort for those who cannot put on the pot so soon as the fish is hooked, in reflecting, that the taste for crimped fish, dressed as above, is not universal. We have known strangers who had not been accustomed to eat salmon thus prepared, object to the curdy fish as poor and hard, and greatly approve of the same salmon when he had been kept for a day or two, until the curd dissolved into oil, and gave a richer taste to the flakes betwixt which it lay. The same mess will not please every palate. But the crimped fresh salmon is the natural taste, nor should it be eaten with any other sauce than a spoonful of the salt and water, or brine in which it has been boiled, with the addition of a little lemon-juice or (if that cannot be had) vinegar and pepper.</p> <p> Of the risks and dangers which attend angling, (to continue the contrast between the two works,) Walton, too peaceful and grave a person to seek quarrels, and whose travels led him to no haunts where they were to be found without seeking, has but little to show. Some distant hint is thrown out, we believe, on the risk of encountering that Giant Despair of a sportsman's pilgrimage, an ungracious and untractable gamekeeper, and Father Izaak talks rather feelingly, though we trust not from personal experience, of the harmless angler having his shoulders basted, his fish seized, and his rod broken by some such merciless faitour. Halieus and his brethren were protected from every risk of that kind. The name of their leader must have been an open sesamum to the most jealous preserves, and a quietus to the Cerberus who guarded them. Yet that the sport of his characters might not altogether want the dignity of danger, we are treated with an encounter between a Highland dunnie-wassail and the fishing party, which the civility of the Southrons brings to a happy termination. The anecdote is well told, and we have little doubt, from the truth of the keeping, that the scene has been sketched from life.</p> <p> ``Hal.---Now I will wager ten to one that this pool has been fished before to day.</p> <p> ``Orn.---By whom?</p> <p> ``Hal.---I know not; but take my wager, and we will ascertain.</p> <p> ``Orn.---I shall ascertain without the wager if possible. See, a man connected with the fishing advances, let us ask him. There you see; it has been fished once or twice by one who claims without charter the right of angling.''</p> </p> <p>are still alive in our recollection as green spots in the waste of existence. We recollect with what delight we entered knee-deep into the stream after the heat of a sultry day; the green boughs on the margin scarce waving a leaf to the balmy gale of the evening---the stream which glided past us almost alive with the object of our pursuit---the whole a mixture of animal enjoyment, gratified love of sport, with a species of mental repose which enhanced both. This delightful amusement was not to be obtained if, ``like the poor cat in the adage,'' we spared wetting our feet; for the shallowness of the streams, as well as the branches of the trees, impeded our sport, if we could not reach the middle-current with our cast. Neither see we much cause to feel regret or remorse when we add that any little chillness which might arise from pursuing this fascinating sport too late in the evening, was effectually removed by a glass of right Nantz, Schiedam, or Glenlivet; which remedy, if the glass be not too large or filled a second time, we can with a good conscience recommend as a sovereign specific upon occasions of wet feet.<p> ``Hal.---But our intrusive brother angler (as I must call him,) is coming down the river to take his evening cast. A stout Highlander, with a powerful tail, or, as we should call it in England, suite. He is resolved not to be driven off, and I am not sure that the laird himself could divert him from his purpose, except by a stronger tail and force of arms; but I will try my eloquence upon him. `Sir, we hope you will excuse us for fishing in this pool, where it seems you were going to take your cast; but the Laird has desired us to stand in his shoes for a few days, and has given up angling while we are here; and as we come nearly a thousand miles for this amusement, we are sure you are too much of a gentleman to spoil our sport; and we will take care to supply your fish-kettle while we are here morning and evening and we shall send you, as we hope, a salmon before night.'</p> <p> ``Poiet.---He grumbles good sport to us, and is off with his tail: you have hit him in the right place He is, I am sure, a pot fisher, and somewhat hungry and provided he gets the salmon does not care who catches him!</p> <p> ``Hal.---You are severe on the Highland gentleman, and I think extremely unjust. Nothing could be more ready than his assent, and a keen fisherman must not be expected to be in the best possible humour when he believes he has a right, and which perhaps he generally enjoys without interruption, taken away from him by entire strangers.''---Pp. 90-93.</p> <p> Our readers will, by this time, probably be of opinion that, upon the general comparison of the works, the elder worthy author has not greatly anticipated or forestalled the work of our contemporary. Far less will this appear to be the case, when we consider the two manuals, whether with reference to the practical art of which they treat, or the philosophical, scientific, and general observations which accompany both. On the first of these we have already given an opinion. It is probable that honest Izaak knew nothing even of fly-fishing of any kind save what he learned, by report, from Cotton or others; and as for salmon, we question if he ever saw one entire, unless it were upon a fish-monger's stall. Now, salmon-fishing is to all other kinds of angling as buck-shooting to shooting of any meaner description. The salmon is, in this particular, the king of the fish. It requires a dexterous hand and an acute eye to raise and strike him, and when this is achieved the sport is only begun, at the point where, even in trout angling, unless in case of an unusually lively and strong fish, it is at once commenced and ended. Indeed, the most sprightly trout that ever was hooked shows mere child's play in comparison to a fresh-run salmon. There is all the difference which exists between coursing the hare and hunting the fox. The pleasure and the suspense are of twenty times the duration---the address and strength required infinitely greater---the prize, when attained, not only more honourable, but more valuable. The hazards of failure are also an hundred-fold multiplied: the instinct of the salmon lends to the most singular efforts to escape, which must be met and foiled by equal promptitude on the part of the angler. However that faculty is acquired, the salmon seems, when hooked, at once to conceive the nature of its misfortune, and to follow the mode of disentangling itself most likely to be successful. For this it makes the most extraordinary efforts, sometimes shooting off with fury that is apparently irresistible among such boiling currents and sharp rocks as seem most like to cut the line---sometimes lying at the bottom of the pool with the appearance of sullen indifference, as if nothing could rouse him. In the first case, it is the business of the angler to hold the fish in play, amid his wildest frolics using him as a prudent father does an extravagant son, neither allowing him so much line as may enable the youth to shake himself clear of the paternal restraint which hangs so loose on him, or curbing so tight as to induce him to break through it by a sudden effort of sturdy opposition. In the salmon's wildest vagaries he must be made to feel that there is a secret restraint on his motions, which yet must never amount to such a dead pull upon him as may be encountered and overcome by an attempt to break the line by main force. His sullen fits are no less to be dreaded. When the fish lies at the bottom of a pool, motionless and sulky as if he were a stone, the angler must summon together his utmost vigilance, for he is certainly collecting his strength for some decisive exertion. If the sportsman, growing impatient, tightens the line upon the fish while he is in this condition, his victim will probably spring into the air with his whole force, with the obvious purpose of throwing his body on the line in his descent, and so either breaking it or dislodging the hook. Should he succeed in falling with his whole weight on a tightened line, all is over; the best of hooks and most trusty gut must, one or other, or both, give way. But if the angler be sufficiently on his guard, he will throw downward the point of his rod with the quickness of thought, and drop his line on the water, the instant the fish makes his summerset, so that his weight may descend on the water and on a slackened line, which the promptitude of the angler must instantly, by raising his rod and using his reel, again contract to the necessary tightness, leaving the fish not an instant to profit by the momentary relaxation. This man<oe>uvre we have seen the same fish renew three times running, foiled in every attempt by the acuteness of an excellent fisherman, who gave way to his fury, and instantly recovered the command of his motions when he had eluded the emphasis of his flurry.</p> <p> But we should overpower the patience of all, save brethren of the angle, were we to prosecute our description of this noble sport. We cannot help adding that although, as ordinarily practised, it is the exercise of a strong and robust man, yet, by help of a boat, it may in many situations be followed even by the aged and infirm, if possessed of the requisite skill; and so much does dexterity supply the want of bodily strength, that we have known a gentleman, in a very weak state of health at the time, kill a fish of twenty pounds' weight after playing him for an hour.</p> <p> The delight afforded by success in this animating sport is of most engrossing character, and has had many illustrious devotees. It was Trajan's favourite pastime---it was, in our own time, Paley's and Nelson's;<*> and we have ourselves seen the first</p> </p> <ul> <li>We cannot resist the temptation to transcribe some sweet <em> verses introduced in the first dialogue of Salmonia, the contribution </em> of a lady, whose elegant genius adorns her high <em> rank:---``A noble lady (says Halieus,) long distinguished at </em> court for pre-eminent beauty and grace, and whose mind <em> possesses undying charms, has written some lines in my copy </em> of Walton, which, if you will allow me, I will repeat to you. <em> </em> `` `Albeit, gentle Angler, I <em> Delight not in thy trade, </em> Yet in thy pages there doth lie <em> So much of quaint simplicity, </em> So much of mind, <em> Of such good kind, </em> That none need be afraid, <em> Caught by thy cunning bait, this book, </em> To be ensnared on thy hook. <em> </em> `` `Gladly from thee, I'm lured to hear <em> With things that seem'd most vile before, </em> For thou didst on poor subjects rear <em> Matter the wisest sage might hear. </em> And with a grace, <em> That doth efface </em> More labour'd works, thy simple lore <em> Can teach us that thy skilful lines, </em> More than the scaly brood confines. <em> </em> <em> `` `Our hearts and senses too, we see, </em> Rise quickly at thy master hand, <em> And ready to be caught by thee </em> Are lured to virtue willingly. <em> Content and peace, </em> With health and ease, <em> Walk by thy side. At thy command </em> We bid adieu to worldly care, <em> And join in gifts that all may share. </em> <em> `` `Gladly, with thee, I pace along, </em> And of sweet fancies dream; <em> Waiting till some inspired song, </em> Within my memory cherish'd long, <em> Comes fairer forth, </em> With more of worth; <em> Because that time upon its stream </em> Feathers and chaff will bear away, * But give to gems a brighter ray.' ''---S.</li> </ul> <p>But as our patriarch Walton says, ``these companions are gone, and with them many of our pleasant hours, even as a shadow that passes away and returns not.'' The rationale of this mode of cookery is thus explained by Halieus.</p> <p>Their rival soon after appears:---</p> <ul> <li>The author of Salmonia mentions Nelson's fondness for fly-fishing, <em> and expresses a wish to see it noticed in the next edition </em> of ``that most exquisite and touching life of our hero by <em> the Laureate, an immortal monument raised by genius to valour.'' </em> We believe neither Halieus nor the Laureate will be <em> displeased with the following little anecdote, from a letter of </em> a gentleman now at the head of the medical profession, with <em> which he favoured us shortly after perusing Salmonia. ``I </em> was (says our friend) at the Naval Hospital at Yarmouth, on <em> the morning when Nelson, after the battle of Copenhagen </em> (having sent the wounded before him,) arrived at the roads, <em> and landed on the jetty. The populace soon surrounded him, </em> and the military were drawn up in the market-place ready to <em> receive him; but, making his way through the crowd, and the </em> dust, and the clamour, he went straight to the hospital. I <em> went round the wards with him, and was much interested in </em> observing his demeanour to the sailors: he stopped at every <em> bed, and to every man he had something kind and cheering to </em> say. At length he stopped opposite a bed on which a sailor <em> was lying, who had lost his right arm close to the shoulder-joint, </em> and the following short dialogue passed between them: * ---Nelson. `Well, Jack, what's the matter with you?<code> Sailor. * `Lost my right arm, your honour.</code> Nelson paused, looked <em> down at his own empty sleeve, then at the sailor, and said </em> playfully, `Well, Jack, then you and I are spoiled for fisher-men--- <em> cheer up, my brave fellow.' And he passed briskly on </em> to the next bed; but these few words had a magical effect <em> upon the poor fellow, for I saw his eyes sparkle with delight </em> as Nelson turned away and pursued his course through the <em> wards. As this was the only occasion on which I saw Nelson, </em> I may, possibly, overrate the value of the incident.''---S.<p> The instructions and information imparted to anglers are, as we may believe, equally clear, authentic, and entertaining. The account of the fabrication of fish-hooks is highly interesting: the best, our author says, are made by O'Shaughnessy of Limerick. He mentions, also, those made at Keswick---to which, if they have not lost credit, we would add the hooks of the Llandales of Carlisle, who in our younger days had good reputation. We do not intend to enter more particularly into these technicalities; for, as one of Franck's eulogists says,---<p> ``We are no fishers, Only wellwishers Unto the game.''</p> </p> <p> The general tone of a moral teacher is so happily assumed by Walton that it appears a part of his nature. Halieus introduces such ethic lessons more sparingly, feeling, as we have before hinted, that that which is simplicity in an original author, becomes affectation in one who follows his footsteps. But though Walton had already said all that could be naturally and gracefully said on the subjects of temperance, humility, and unambitious peace of conscience, which are themes too monotonous to be repeated without satiety, as the sweetest melodies weary the ear upon frequent reiteration; yet Halieus and his companions do not shun such themes when they fall in their way. A debate takes place in their party, whether or not they should continue to pursue their amusement upon Sunday. The proposal is relinquished, on the anglers being assured that the people (the scene being in Scotland) would highly resent their doing so. But the dispute continues on the difference, in this particular, betwixt the Church of Scotland and that of Geneva, and other Protestant churches abroad, where the forenoon having been occupied in divine service, the evening is spent in dancing, singing, games, and sports of every description. The contest not being decided, leaves us room to express our own opinion on the subject, which we will do in as few words as possible:</p> <p> If we believe in the divine origin of the commandment, the Sabbath is instituted for the express purposes of religion. The time set apart is the ``Sabbath of the Lord;'' a day on which we are not to work our own works, or think our own thoughts. The precept is positive, and the purpose clear. For our eternal benefit, a certain space of every week is appointed, which, sacred from all other avocations, save those imposed by necessity and mercy, is to be employed in religions duties. The Roman Catholic Church, which lays so much force on observances merely ritual, may consistently suppose that the time claimed is more than sufficient for the occasion, and dismiss the peasants, when mass is over, to any game or gambol which fancy may dictate, leaving it with the priests to do, on behalf of the congregation, what further is necessary for the working out of their salvation. But this is not Protestant doctrine, though it may be imitated by Protestant churches. He who has to accomplish his own salvation, must not carry to tennis-courts and skittle-grounds the train of reflections which ought necessarily to be excited by a serious discourse of religion. The religious part of the Sunday's exercise is not to be considered as a bitter medicine, the taste of which is as soon as possible to he removed by a bit of sugar. On the contrary, our demeanour through the rest of the day ought to be, not sullen certainly, or morose, but serious, and tending to instruction. Give to the world one half of the Sunday, and you will find that religion has no strong hold of the other. Pass the morning at church, and the evening, according to your taste or rank, in the cricket-field or at the Opera, and you will soon find thoughts of the evening hazards and bets intrude themselves on the sermon, and that recollections of the popular melodies interfere with the psalms. Religion is thus treated like Lear, to whom his ungrateful daughters first denied one-half of his stipulated attendance, and then made it a question whether they should grant him any share of what remained. We should do our readers and author the greatest injustice in concluding our reflections on this passage in any other than the words of the publication itself.</p> <p> ``Phys.---I envy no quality of the mind or intellect in others; not genius, power, wit, or fancy; but, if I could choose what would be most delightful, and, I believe, most useful to me, I should prefer a firm religious belief to every other blessing; for it makes life a discipline of goodness---creates new hopes, when all earthly hopes vanish; and throws over the decay, the destruction of existence, the most gorgeous of all lights; awakens life even in death, and from corruption and decay calls up beauty and divinity: makes an instrument of torture and of shame the ladder of ascent to paradise; and, far above all combinations of earthly hopes, calls up the most delightful visions of palms and amaranths, the gardens of the blest, the security of everlasting joys, where the sensualist and the sceptic view only gloom, decay, annihilation, and despair!''---- P. 136.</p> <p> We might quote other passages, not unworthy of this strain. The work, as we had occasion to observe already, was written during a slow recovery from a severe illness; and the tone of the dialogue reflects throughout what a good and great man's mind might be expected to exhibit under such circumstances. Serious thoughts may be expressed otherwise than in maxims. But we pass from this. If the modern author does not so frequently as Walton assume professedly the character of the moralist, it would, on the other hand, be absurd to compare poor Izaak with such assistants as Dubravius, Aldrovandus, Gesner, and other naturalists of the seventeenth century, with the remarks of a distinguished philosopher, who has, by his own efforts, so widely enlarged the horizon of science, during the nineteenth century. A very great number of curious facts, concerning the natural history of fishes, are here recorded, and the high scientific character of the author of Salmonia is an ample pledge for their accuracy. Yet it is not to be expected that even this accomplished observer of nature should be able to clear up, in so brief a publication, the dark doubts which hang over many parts of the history of the salmo genus, through its various species. We observe that he displays the true spirit of philosophy in two most important particulars. He is never hasty in drawing general conclusions from individual facts, showing, by his modesty, that his object is the attainment of truth, not the desire to augment his own reputation by the display of ingenious theories. Indeed, standing so high in public estimation, as he deservedly does, no man can more easily afford to despise every species of favour which does not rest upon a genuine basis.</p> <p> In like manner, we may observe that it is not sufficient to induce this acute investigator of science to discredit the report of a fact, that it has been rested by vulgar credulity upon erroneous grounds, since what is in itself true is often ascribed to false or absurd causes. The following passage, which concludes a train of remarks upon the superstitious belief in omens, coming, as it does, from the author of Salmonia, ought to impose a check on that vulgar incredulity which is disposed to disbelieve all which it cannot understand. The passage is highly philosophical.</p> <p> ``Phys.---In my opinion, profound minds are the most likely to think lightly of the resources of human reason; and it is the pert, superficial thinker who is generally strongest in every kind of unbelief. The deep philosopher sees chains of causes and effects so wonderfully and strangely linked together, that he is usually the last person to decide upon the impossibility of any two series of events being independent of each other; and, in science, so many natural miracles, as it were, have been brought to light---such as the fall of stones from meteors in the atmosphere, the disarming a thunder cloud by a metallic point, the production of fire from ice by a metal white as silver, and referring certain laws of motion of the sea to the moon,---that the physical inquirer is seldom disposed to assert, confidently, on any abstruse subjects belonging to the order of natural things, and still less so on those relating to the more mysterious relations of moral events and intellectual natures.'' ---Pp.159, 160.</p> <p> Among other curious phenomena, our author touches upon the strongly disputed character of the par, a small fish, whose appearance is as well known as his parentage and ultimate fate are unknown. From the boldness with which these Liliputian fish rise to a large salmon-fly, many have been disposed to see in the par the young salmon, when they have just quitted the form of spawn. One of the most experienced and scientific anglers of our acquaintance entertains this opinion of the identity between the par and the smoult of the salmon, from having observed that when the silvery scales are rubbed off the sides of the smoult they exhibit the blue, or olive-blush marks (see Salmonia, page 68,) which are considered as distinguishing the par. The same curious observer of Nature, has also remarked that the lens of the par's eye is arranged in the same manner with that of the salmon, and totally different from the lens of the Lochleven trout, herring, sperling, and so forth. Others are disposed to think the par a distinct species of trout; and the author of Salmonia, again, is inclined to agree with a third set of naturalists, who consider this little fish as a mule, the offspring of a trout and a salmon according to some, or rather of the sea trout and common trout. It is difficult for us to reconcile the fact of their being found in such great numbers with the theory of their being of a neutral race.</p> <p> There are other curious points of investigation. Experiments on the trouts of every species, show, as the author observes (in p. 69,) that they change their character with their place of residence. We had ourselves occasion to put a number of small trout, of a very inferior description, into a pool which bad once been a marle-bog, but was flooded for the purpose of forming a piece of artificial water. They are now of large size, as red as those caught in Loch Leven, and of a rich taste, as we would be happy to show, from experiment, to Halieus, or any of his party, providing they will take the trouble to catch the fish, which, from being well-fed we suppose, defy all common skill.</p> <p> The remarks on the various kinds of flies (p. 203,) on the migration of eels (p. 191,) on the grayling (p.165,) are all curious subjects, which must not, however, delay us.</p> <p> We looked with some anxiety for a solution of the great doubt, what is the proper food of the salmon itself. No fisherman or cook that ever we saw or heard of, pretends to have found any thing in their stomach excepting a yellowish liquid. Yet they rise to artificial flies, and are also caught with bait. Our author conjectures that this phenomenon occurs because salmon are usually caught travelling up the rivers from the sea, in which progress they do not load themselves with food. Their digestion, he observes, is very quick, and they seldom seek more food until what they have previously taken is decomposed. Salmon, when taken in the salt water, hare been found, says Halieus, with undigested food in their stomachs. This does not quite satisfy us. By far the greater part of salmon are taken by the net, which must, one would think, occasionally sweep out fish having their stomachs full, since their being taken in that manner has no reference to the state of their appetite. One would think, therefore, that let them be as abstemious as anchorites, they must eat sometimes, and be taken with food in their stomach; yet, we are assured, it never happens. It has also been remarked that the large gaudy fly to which the salmon usually rises, has no resemblance to any known insect in earth, air, or water (unless a wasp, perhaps,) and it has been suggested that the fish seems to take it rather from sport than from appetite; and, in that case, the very curious problem concerning the actual nature of their food, is not yet decidedly cleared up. At least, there is something very interesting and curious concerning the mode of their feeding, which seems so sparing, even when they are in the highest condition, and their process of digestion, which appears so unusually rapid.</p> <p> Walton, as might be expected, is full of childish and absurd fables concerning those prodigies and miracles, in which superstitious eld was wont to believe. Our modern author places a microscope before us, instead of a magic lanthorn, and teaches us to look upon truth instead of amusing us with fiction. He has reviewed and disbanded the whole regiment of monsters which guarded the pages of Pontopiddan. Touched as with the spear of Ithuriel, the remains of a sea-snake appear those of a squalus maximus; the kraken, or island fish, is reduced into a compost of urtic<ae> marin<ae>, or sea-blubbers; and, what we should least of all have suspected, the celebrated Caithness mermaid arises before us in the form of a stout young traveller, who has proved himself, by his journal, to have been bathing at the spot and time when the sea-nymph was seen, and who, while confessing some of the characters ascribed to the figure, denied the green hair and fishy tail as obstinately as Lady Teazle does the butler and the coach-horse.---Pp. 243--245.</p> <p> But we are called from this, and other curious subjects of inquiry suggested in Salmonia, to consider a point of much more interest---the question now being not what the salmon puts into its stomach, but whether we are likely, at no distant period, to have salmon for the benefit of ours. The very giants in Guildhall are moved at the surmise; Gog boweth down, Magog stoopeth, and the spirits of the fathers of the city wax faint at the suggestion. Yet the evil is not the less certain; and its approach is distinctly announced by Halieus, who, after recording former feats on the Tweed, Tyne, and other Scottish rivers, pronounces on each of them the melancholy conclusion fuit, and with good reason, as the reader will presently learn, declares they now afford much less sport to the angler, and even what remains is daily decreasing; so that there is very serious ground to fear that the salmon will erelong altogether desert the more southern, at least, of the Scottish rivers.</p> <p> We need not tell our readers that the possession of immense quantities of this rich and valuable fish in her firths and estuaries was an advantage which nature allotted to Scotland, as some compensation, seemingly, for the great inferiority in soil and climate to the sister kingdom, since where the earth is most sterile the sea is often remarked to be most fruitful. Our northern neighbours seem to have been early aware of this national gain, and soon began to legislate for the preservation of the breed of this noble fish, as well as for the best mode of disposing of them for the general advantage of the country. Some of these statutes are so curious, that they are worthy of notice. The legislators of Scotland had observed the tendency of the fish, in the spawning season, to run up to the tops of the smallest brooks, and there deposit the spawn, destined for the continuation of the race, upon shallow beds of gravel. To assure them of a free passage and protection, the salmon species were declared into regalia or royal fish, nor did possession of either or both banks of the stream confer the right of taking them, even though the term fishings stood in the charter, unless the word salmon-fishings was expressly employed.</p> <p> In order to obtain free passage for the fish at the spawning season, all dikes, dams, and weirs drawn across the river were directed to be constructed, with a breach in the centre for the run of the salmon, which breach was to be so large that a year-old hog might be turned round in it without touching the weir or dam-head either with nose or tail. The whimsical nature of the measure adopted ascertains the antiquity of the regulation.</p> <p> Another statute adopted in Scotland contains the very essence of that system of political economy, by which an anxious care for the prosperity of trade assumes into the hands of the legislators the power of directing commerce, and encumbers her with aid, where, left to her own exertions, she would make much more progress. In the year 1531, the Scottish legislature seemed to have become apprehensive that the persons who dealt in these exquisite fish might export them to their neighbours at too cheap a price; and they announce that in all time coming it shall be unlawful to export salmon, unless by such shippers as shall find security to bring home one-half of the value in coined money, the other moiety in Bordeaux wine, or other good pennyworth. This last clause seems to relax greatly the dictatorial character of the statute, which, so mitigated, only imports that the Scottish trader should get for his cargo of salmon as good an equivalent as the foreign market would afford.</p> <p> Notwithstanding the apprehension of the ruling powers, on the subject of the imprudent exportations of this staple commodity of poor Caledonia, the salmon continued to frequent their rivers, and though much was sent abroad to supply the Catholic countries during the period of Lent, plenty still remained at home, for the use of the inhabitants. Franck, the travelled angler already mentioned, tells us, that in his time a large well-fed salmon (suppose about twelve pounds) cost only sixpence; and he mentions what is still remembered by tradition, a rule that domestics were not to be fed on salmon more than three times a-week. It was, indeed, scarcely possible to procure so much excellent food at so cheap a rate; and we may easily understand the error of the Highland gentleman who, visiting London for the first time, indulged himself in the luxury of a beef-steak, but ordered Donald a cut of fresh salmon. The account of the reckoning must have afforded the honest dunnie-wassail no pleasing surprise.</p> <p> But a capital like London is a Maelstrom---an immense whirlpool---whose gyrations sweep in whatever is peculiarly desirable from the most distant regions of the empire---so active becomes the love of gain when set in motion by the love of luxury. We recollect once being on shipboard to the north of Duncan's Bay Head, and out of sight of land, the nearest being the Feroe Islands:---we were walking the deck, watching a whale which was gamboling at some distance, throwing up his huge side to the sun, and sending ever and anon a sheet of water and foam from his nostrils. Our thoughts were on Hecla and on the icebergs of the Pole, on the Scalds of Iceland and the Sea-kings of Norway, when a sail hove in sight: we asked what craft it was---and were answered, ``a Gravesend brig dredging for lobsters.'' Never was enchantment so effectually broken---never stage-trick in pantomime more successfully played off. Scene changes from Feroe and Iceland to the Albion in Aldersgate Street---Exeunt Scald, champion, and whale---Enter common councilman, turbot, and lobster-sauce.</p> <p> Thanks to that same omnipotent power of attraction possessed by wealth and luxury, the art of packing salmon in ice, for the London market, was perfected, thirty or forty years ago; since which time, as was to be expected, the fisheries have risen incalculably in value, the fish have become dear in proportion, and the natives of the countries through which salmon-rivers flow, become accustomed to see them taken and cased up for the great city, by scores and hundreds, without having it in their power to purchase a pound for their table. It followed as an unavoidable consequence, that more industry was exerted in the fishery, which now afforded so much more profit, and newer and more effective modes of entrapping the salmon were from day to day employed. The law, indeed, placed a certain check upon those proceedings, without which restraint the fish would scarcely ever be suffered to enter a tide river. The veneration due to the Sabbath, and the interest of the inhabitants on the higher part of the river, alike recommend that, from twelve o'clock at night on Saturday to the same hour on Sunday, the water should be free for the run of fish,---not only from the actual drawing of nets or other fishing operations, but from all bar-nets or similar obstacles thrown across the stream. Six-sevenths of the fish are therefore delivered up at the very outset to the proprietors of fisheries at the mouth of the river, whose nets are planted and managed with such dexterity, that they can, if they please, catch every single salmon that attempts to enter. While the fish are thus sought for, and destroyed at the mouths of the rivers, with ever-increasing avidity, inspired by decrease of the commodity, and increase of the demand, other causes are at work in the upper parts of the river where the salmon breed, which diminish the production of the fish, in a degree more than corresponding with the destruction of the full-grown fish beneath. Two of these causes are in full and active operation, threatening, in process of no distant time, the total destruction of the fish in all the southern salmon-rivers in Scotland.</p> <p> One of these causes of destruction is the general system of drainage practised upon all the high pasture lands of the mountain farms, in a degree unheard of in any former period, and which has produced, and is daily producing, the most complete change on the brooks and rivers which, twenty years since, were fed from morasses that are now dry pasture. Halieus alludes to this, in accounting for the diminution of the number of insects on which grayling, trouts, and other fish of estimation subsisted. We quote the passage at length:---</p> <p> ``I attribute the change of the quantity of flies in the rivers to the cultivation of the country. Most of the bogs or marshes which fed many considerable streams are drained; and the consequence is that they are more likely to be affected by severe droughts and great floods---the first killing, and the second washing away the larv<ae> and aurelias. May-flies, thirty years ago, were abundant in the upper part of the Teme river in Herefordshire, where it receives the Clun: the are new seldom or rarely seen. And most of the rivers e! that part of England, as well as of the west, with the exception of those that rise in the still uncultivated parts of Dartmoor and Exmoor, are, after rain, rapid and unfordable torrent, and in dry summers little more than scanty rills. And Exmoor and Dartmoor, almost the only great remains of those moist, spongy, or peaty soils which once covered the greatest part of the highlands of England, are becoming cultivated, and their sources will gradually gain the same character as those of our midland and highly improved counties. I cannot give you an idea of the effects of peat mosses and grassy marshes on the water thrown down from the atmosphere, better than by comparing their effects to those of roofs of houses of thatched straw, as contrasted with roofs of slate, on a shower of rain. The slate begins to drop immediately, and sends down what it receives in a rapid torrent, and is dry soon after the shower is over. The roof of thatch, on the contrary, sponge like, is long before the water drops from it; but it continues dropping and wet for hours after the shower is over, and the slate is dry.''---P. 63.</p> <p> The author speaks of England, but we are equally sure of his testimony when we add, that in the more southern parts of Scotland the same causes and effects take place on a scale much more extensive, and affect the salmon more than the inferior kinds of fish. Small drains, formed with a peculiar spade, at a rate as low as a-penny a rood, have seamed, as it were, with numerous veins, the sides of the hundred hills, amongst which the Clyde, Tweed, Annan, and Nith have their sources. The morasses by which these hills were formerly covered, used to receive and retain, like sponges, the quantities of rain which fall in that region of mists, and soaking from thence, by slow degrees, into rivulets and streamlets, they transmitted the moisture gradually to the main body of the river. The consequence was, that the rivers, slower in rising to flood, and slower in subsiding from that state, maintained, in general, a full and equable stream, permitting the salmon, at almost all times, to pursue their instinctive progress towards the upland sources. Halieus, so well acquainted with these localities, must remember well the manner in which fish used to come up to the upper streams in a course of showery, or, as it is there termed, soft weather, which, without producing an overwhelming torrent, rendered the river full enough to carry the salmon through every impediment. In these degenerate times, such showers are not felt on the river; hut when it is at all swollen, the water rushes down in an immense inundation, which forces the fish into pools and dams. The flood subsides as suddenly as it arose, and deserts the fish, who would otherwise have made a long and rapid journey, and supplied in their passage, the upper fisheries; whereas, at present, they remain in the places where they have been arrested by the flood, and never mount higher, being there killed with spears.</p> <p> This cause of the destruction of the upper fisheries may, perhaps, find a remedy from some check being put to the system of indiscriminate drainage, which, in some respects eminently useful and even necessary, has been carried to an excess hurtful to the pasturage, to benefit which was the object of the practice. The original purpose of draining was most just and proper. The farmers of olden times were in use to lay numerous flocks upon their farms, trusting that the sheep (an animal of extraordinary endurance) would shift through the winter months, in an ordinary season, partly by scraping up the snow, and obtaining such coarse food as lies beneath, ---partly by enduring want of food, with the patient and hardy habits which the animal is endowed with. But the consequence was, that spring found the flock in a weak and emaciated condition, and disposed to throw themselves eagerly upon the fresh and lushy grass, which first appears on the spring-heads and marshes which surround them. This rich and tender food, eaten in quantity by an animal in a state of exhaustion, was naturally calculated to produce a disease that swept off whole flocks, which, having survived the winter's famine, were unfitted to gorge themselves, at once, on the spring-grass. Draining was in such circumstances highly advantageous. It prevents the existence of the grass which the flock could not feed upon with safety.</p> <p> But in the present improved system of store-farming there is much more economy of animal life. Most tenants lay on the farm a less numerous stock, attend to giving them food during the severe storms of snow, and expect to bring them through winter in a healthy and hardy condition. To such the entire loss of the early spring-grass, afforded by the undrained bogs, is a heavy sacrifice. The species of grass which grows upon the drained lands, and especially near the drains themselves, is peculiarly destitute of sustenance, tough and unfit to be eaten by the sheep; and thus hundreds, nay thousands, of acres have been rendered sterile, whose former fertility only caused disease, because sheep were admitted to them when in a weak and unhealthy state. We have some reason to believe that this truth begins to be felt, and that judicious farmers (always maintaining the system of draining to a certain extent) may be now disposed to qualify its excess, and restore a part of their spring-heads to their natural character, observing, of course, a careful system of herding, which shall exclude from the dangerous food the weaker and more exhausted part of their stock. This would, of course, be attended with benefit to the fisheries by restoring a more equable state of the river.</p> <p> The other main cause of the scarcity of salmon, and which threatens the total annihilation of the fisheries, rests on moral circumstances, for which it is far more difficult to find a remedy; for while erroneous practices may be corrected when the cure is to be applied to passive nature, it is almost impossible to remedy those evils which spring from the clashing interests, passions, and prejudices of mankind.</p> <p> We have stated that the activity and success of the means adopted in the lower fisheries, and particularly at their outlets to the sea, by help of modern invention and industry, exerting itself to meet the increasing demand, have had a great effect in altogether intercepting the passage of salmon, during the lawful fishing season, to the upper parts of the river. Taking the Tweed for an example, there are now no fisheries above Kelso which afford any considerable rent to the proprietors. Those of Makerston, Mertoun, &c., are let for inconsiderable sums. The streams about and above Melrose, in which Halieus was so successful under the guidance of the late amiable and lamented Lord Somerville, are now of no value; and those at Yair Bridge, where within the memory of man ninety-nine salmon (we mark the exact number) were taken in one day, are now totally unproductive.</p> <p> Were it not for the peculiar habits of the salmon, it might be justly argued, that the upper proprietors must submit to this loss as one incidental to their local situation, which gives them only a reversionary right in such fish as escape the nets of those placed lower down the river---which are now so very few, that scarce one occurs without bearing the mark of having encountered a mesh in his passage. But then it is to he considered that the upper streams are those in which the fish deposit their spawn, and that during the whole close-time or breeding season, when the salmon, by law, ought to be undisturbed, their safety, and that of the shoals which are to supply the demand of the next season, must rely upon the protection afforded them at that period. Accordingly, all nets and other obstructions are removed from the river, and the fish ought to be permitted to ascend to the very heads of the streams uninjured, for the purpose of depositing the spawn. The plain handwriting of Nature, as well as the regulation of municipal law, seems to prohibit the killing of the fish at this season, when they are said to be foul, are most uncomely to look upon, and even when smoked (the only mode of using them) are accounted a very unhealthy and deleterious food. The penalties are also very high, sufficiently so to prove totally ruinous to the class of persons by whom the laws of close-time are infringed. Yet neither the fears of punishment nor of poison have any effect in preserving the spawning fish, which are destroyed in the upper parts of the river, and the brooks and streams by which these are fed, with a degree of eagerness which resembles a desire to retaliate upon those who engrossed all the fish during the open season, by destroying all such as the close-time throws within the mercy of the high country. The proprietors or better class of farmers do not indeed partake in these devastations, but they witness them with perfect indifference, perhaps not without a sense of gratified revenge. As they neither have the amusement of angling, nor the convenience of a fish for their tables, when the salmon are in season, it is not of the least personal consequence to them whether the breed is preserved or destroyed, and they are as indifferent to it as a man who has no game of his own, is to the extent of poaching on a sporting squire's manor.</p> <p> The proprietors of the lower fisheries, the only persons whose purses are interested, may, indeed, prosecute offenders in the proper courts; but the country in which the spear and torch are so actively employed during the black-fishing, as this species of poaching is called, is wild, mountainous, and thinly inhabited, so that it is difficult to obtain such proof of delinquency as is requisite for conviction. If water-bailiffs are sent from a lower part of the river, they must encounter, as strangers employed in an obnoxious office, much difficulty, and even danger. If they desire to engage officers within the district for this species of preventive service, the office will not be accepted by any with the purpose of discharging its duties with the necessary activity, in a case where the whole peasants of the country make common cause, and where the gentry are totally indifferent. It is only by enlisting these last in the cause, that a predominant authority, constantly exerted, might probably lessen this great evil. For two or three years after the last Tweed Act was passed, we believe the laws were better kept both at the mouth of the river and in the upper country. But, at present, the destruction of the spawning fish is universal, and, joined to the engrossing activity with which the fish are prevented from ascending in the lawful season, must necessarily compel the salmon to leave the river; for even the strong instinct which induces the salmon to return to the stream in which it was bred, will give way under such unremitting persecution as the river at present undergoes-while, to use a vulgar but expressive phrase, the two classes of persons inhabiting the upper and lower banks are ``burning the candle at both ends.''</p> <p> Neither do the upper and lower heritors, as they are called in Scotland, play for equal stakes. It is true the occupation of Halieus and his philosophical companions is nigh lost in the upper districts. But the loss is that of sport merely; whereas that which may be suffered at the mouth of the river shall affect patrimonial interest, to the extent of several thousands a-year.</p> <p> The most probable mode of redeeming these fisheries from almost sure ruin would, perhaps, be a compromise, by which the upper heritors should be admitted to share such a portion of the fish for their sport and their table as they formerly enjoyed ---they, on the other hand, exerting themselves, as they have the means of doing, to prevent or punish those who transgress during close-time. But we have no expectation of such an agreement. If, for example, it were proposed to afford a free use of twenty-four hours per week, in addition to those already conceded between Saturday and Sunday night, it would probably be difficult to induce the inferior proprietors to sacrifice one-sixth part of their immediate weekly gains even for the probability of securing from destruction the fishery out of which these gains a rise. Or, indeed, if the proprietors of the lower fisheries took a more expanded view of their own interests, and judged it worth while to make a partial sacrifice to preserve the whole, it might still be found difficult or impossible to reconcile their tenants, whose interest is of a temporary character, to submission to a loss which should affect their profit immediately, in order to secure the prosperity of the fisheries at a period when they might be let to other persons.</p> <p> We are happy, therefore, that a sport which we have admired is recorded in Salmonia---where the descendants of those who have witnessed or shared it will read of it with the same feelings wherewith the present generation peruse accounts of the chase of red or fallow deer, wild boars or wild cattle,<p> ``All once our own.''</p> </p> <p> We must now conclude with the parting address of the Coryph<ae>us of Salmonia to his party, p. 270.</p> <p> ``I have made you idlers at home and abroad, but I hope to some purpose; and I trust you will confess the time bestowed upon angling has not been thrown away. The most important principle perhaps in life is to have a pursuit---a useful one if possible, and at all events an innocent one. And the scenes yon have enjoyed---the contemplations to which they have led, and the exercise in which we have indulged, have, I am sure, been very salutary in the body, and, I hope, to the mind. I have always found a peculiar effect from this kind of life; it has appeared to bring me back to early times and feelings, and to create again the hopes and happiness of youthful days.''<*></p> </li> </ul> <p>sculptor in Europe when he had taken two salmon on the same morning, and can well believe that his sense of self-importance exceeded twentyfold that which he felt on the production of any of the masterpieces which have immortalized him. But, perhaps, no one has followed this fascinating amusement so far and in so many climates and countries as the distinguished author of Salmonia himself. Without saying a word more on the subject of Walton---even Richard Franck falls far behind our modern worthy, although an angler and author who excelled old Izaak in experience and the advantage of distant travel, as far as he fell short of him in all the accomplishments of sense and style. This Franck, the self-entitled philanthropist,<*> who,</p> <ul> <li>The title of the curious work alluded to, is ``Northern <em> Memoirs, calculated for the Meridian of Scotland, wherein </em> most or all of the Cities, Citadels, Seaports, Castles, Rivers, <em> and Rivulets, &c. are compendiously described, &c. To </em> which is added: The Contemplative and Practical Angler, by <em> way of Diversion, &c. Writ in the year 1658, but not till now </em> made publick, by Richard Franck, Philanthropus. Lond. <em> 8vo, 1614.'' Reprinted, with Preface and Notes, by Sir Walter </em> Scott, Edinb. 8ve, 1821. A notice of the work will be found <em> in the Retrospective Review, vol. viii., pp. 170--194, and also in </em> the Censura Literaria.---=Ed.=<p> Life of Kemble---Kelly's Reminiscences.<*><! p81></p> </li> </ul> <p>to use his own phrase, ``stepped into Scotland to rummage and rifle her rivers and rivulets---her northern torrents, which shone so splendidly in every fir wood---her diminutive hills, that overtopped he submissive dales, and overlooked rapid torrents and pretty purling, gliding brooks, where they polished rocks and embellished fortifications,'' did not at least venture out of Britain; whereas Halieus is not only familiar with the most remote streams and lakes of North Britain, but with those of Ireland, where the salmon fisheries flourish to a great extent,---nay, has followed his sport through most countries in Europe, and killed fish, the description of which makes an Englishman's mouth water, in rivers, the names of which set his teeth on edge.<p> There are several moralists who have judged the amusements of the stage inimical to virtue--- there are many who conceive its exhibitions to be inconsistent with religious principle: to those this article can give no interest unless perhaps a painful one, and we must even say with old Dan Chaucer,<p> ``Turn o'er the leaf and chuse another tale; For you shall find enough both great and small, Of storial thing that toucheth gentillesse, And eke morality and holiness.''</p> </p> <p> Where the scruples of such dissidents from public opinion are real, we owe them all possible respect; when they are assumed for a disguise in the sight of man, they will not deceive the eye which judgeth both Publican and Pharisee.</p> <p> For ourselves we will readily allow, that the theatre may be too much frequented, and attention to more serious concerns drowned amidst its fascinations. We also frankly confess that we may be better employed than in witnessing the best and most moral play that ever was acted; but the same may be justly said of every action in our lives, except those of devotion towards God and benevolence towards man. And yet, as six days have been permitted us to think our own thoughts and work our own works, much that is strictly and exclusively secular is rendered indispensable by our wants, and much made venial and sometimes praiseworthy by our tastes and the conformation of our intellect.</p> <p> If there be one pleasure, exclusive of the objects of actual sensual indulgence, which is more general than another among the human race, it is the relish for personification, which at last is methodized into the dramatic art. The love of the chase may perhaps be as natural to the masculine sex, but when the taste of the females is taken into consideration, the weight of numbers leans to the love of mimic representation in an overwhelming ratio. The very first amusement of children is to get up a scene, to represent to the best of their skill papa and mamma, the coachman and his horses; and even He, formidable with the birchen sceptre, is mimicked in the exercise-ground by the urchins of whom he is the terror in the school-room. We do not know if the witty gentleman, to whom we are indebted for a history of monkeys, ever thought of tracing the connexion betwixt us and our cousin the orang-outang in our mutual love of imitation.</p> <p> At a more advanced period of life we have mimicry of tone and dialect, and masques, and disguises: then little scenes are preconcerted, which at first prescribe only the business of a plot, leaving the actors to fill up the language extempore from their mother-wit: then some one of more fancy is employed to write the dialogue---a stage with scenery is added, and the drama has reached its complete form.</p> <p> The same taste which induced us, when children, to become kings and heroes ourselves on an infantine scale, renders us, when somewhat matured in intellect, passionate admirers of the art in its more refined state. There are few things which those gifted with any degree of imagination recollect with a sense of more anxious and mysterious delight than the first dramatic representation which they have witnessed. Iffland has somewhere described it, and it is painted in stronger colours by the immortal Go<e:>the in <u>Wilhelm Meister;</u> yet we cannot refrain from touching on the subject. The unusual form of the house, filled with such groups of crowded spectators, themselves forming an extraordinary spectacle to the eye which has never witnessed it before, yet all intent upon that wide and mystic curtain whose dusky undulations permit us now and then to discern the momentary glitter of some gaudy form, or the spangles of some sandaled foot which trips lightly within; then the light, brilliant as that of day!---then the music, which, in itself a treat sufficient in every other situation, our inexperience mistakes for the very play we came to witness---then the slow rise of the shadowy curtain, disclosing, as if by actual magic, a new land, with woods, and mountains, and lakes, lighted, it seems to us, by another sun, and inhabited by a race of beings different from ourselves, whose language is poetry, whose dress, demeanour, and sentiments seem something supernatural, and whose whole actions and discourse are calculated, not for the ordinary tone of everyday life, but to excite the stronger and more powerful faculties--- to melt with sorrow---overpower with terror--- astonish with the marvellous---or convulse with irresistible laughter,---all these wonders stamp indelible impressions on the memory. Those mixed feelings, also, which perplex us between a sense that the scene is but a plaything, and an interest which ever and anon surprises us into a transient belief that that which so strongly affects us cannot be fictitious---those mixed and puzzling feelings, also, are exciting in the highest degree. Then there are the bursts of applause, like distant thunder, and the permission afforded to clap our little hands, and add our own scream of delight to a sound so commanding. All this---and much---much more is fresh in our memory, although, when we felt these sensations, we looked on the stage which Garrick had not yet left. It is now a long while since, yet we have not passed many hours of such unmixed delight---and we still remember the sinking lights, the dispersing crowd, with the vain longings which we felt, that the music would again sound, the magic curtain once more arise, and the enchanting dream recommence; and the astonishment with which we looked upon the apathy of the elder part of our company, who, having the means, did not spend every evening in the theatre.</p> <p> When habit has blunted these earliest sensations of pleasure, the theatre continues to be the favourite resort of the youth, and though he recognises no longer the enchanted palace of his childhood, he enjoys the more sober pleasure of becoming acquainted with the higher energies of human passion, the recondite intricacies and complications of human temper and disposition, by seeing them illustrated in the most vivid manner by those whose profession it is to give actual life, form, and substance to the creations of genius. Much may be learned in a well-conducted theatre essential to the profession of the bar, and, with reverence be it spoken, even of the pulpit; and it is well known that Napoleon himself did not disdain to study at that school the external gesture and manner becoming the height to which he had ascended.</p> <p> Yet such partial advantages are mere trifles considered in comparison with the general effect produced by the stage on national literature and national character. Had there been no drama, Shakspeare would, in all likelihood, have been but the author of Venus and Adonis, and of a few sonnets forgotten among the numerous works of the Elizabethan age, and Otway had been only the compiler of fantastic Pindaric odes.</p> <p> Stepping beyond her own department, the dramatic muse has lent her aid to her sister of history. What points of our national annals are ever most fresh and glowing in our recollection? Those which unite history with the stage. The story of Macbeth, an ancient king, whose annals of half a dozen lines must otherwise have lurked in the seldom opened black letter of Wintoun or Boece, is as much fixed upon our memory as if it detailed events which we had ourselves witnessed. Who crosses the blighted heath of Forres without beholding in imagination the stately step of Kemble as he descended on the stage at the head of his victorious army? On Bosworth field, the dramatist had engrossed the recollections due to the historian, even so early as Bishop Corbet's time; for when his host, ``full of ale and history,'' pointed out the local position of the two armies, Shakspeare was more in the village chronicler's thoughts than Stowe or Hollinshed.<p> ``Besides what of his knowledge he could say, He had authentic notice from the play, Shown chiefly by that one perspicuous thing, That he mistook a player for a king; For when he should have said, here Richard died And call'd `a horse, a horse'---he Burbadge cried.''</p> </p> <p> A greater man acknowledged his debt to the dramatist on a similar occasion: ``In what history did your grace find that incident?'' said Burnet to the Duke of Marlborough, on hearing him quote some anecdote concerning the wars of York and Lancaster which was new to the Bishop. ``In Shakspeare's plays,'' answered the Victor of Blenheim, ---``the only history of those times I ever read.''</p> <p> It may be said by the rigid worshipper of unadorned truth, that history is rather defaced than embellished by becoming the subject of fictitious composition. These scruples are founded on prejudice---that mischievous prejudice which will not admit that knowledge can be valuable unless transmitted through the dullest and most disagreeable medium. Many are led to study history from having first read it as mingled with poetic fiction; and the indolent, or those much occupied, who have not patience or leisure for studying the chronicle itself, gather from the play a general idea of historical incidents which, but through some such amusing vehicle, they would never have taken the trouble to become acquainted with. And it will scarcely be denied, that a man had better know generally the points of history as told him by Shakspeare, than be ignorant of history entirely. The honey which is put on the edge of the cup induces many to drink up the whole medicinal potion; while those who take only a sip of it have, at least, a better chance of benefit than if they had taken none at all.</p> <p> In another point of view the theatre is calculated to influence, and, well conducted, to influence favourably, the general state of morals and manners in this country. A full audience, attending a first-rate piece, may be compared to a national convention, to which every order of the community, from the peers to the porters, send their representatives. The entertainment, which is the subject of general enjoyment, is of a nature which tends to soften, if not to level, the distinction of ranks; it unites men of all conditions in those feelings of mirth or melancholy which belong to their common humanity, and are enhanced most by being shared by a multitude. The honest, hearty laugh, which circulates from box to gallery; the lofty sentiment, which is felt alike by the lord and the labourer; the sympathetic sorrow, which affects at once the marchioness and the milliner's apprentice---all these have a conciliating and harmonizing effect, tending to make the various ranks pleased with themselves and with each other. The good-natured gaiety with which the higher orders see the fashionable follies which they practise treated with light satire for the amusement of the middling and poorer classes, has no little effect in checking the rancorous feelings of envy which superior birth, wealth, and station, are apt enough to engender. The possessors of those obnoxious advantages are pardoned on account of the good-humour and frankness with which they are worn; and a courtier, by laughing at the <u>Beggar's Opera,</u> like a bonny Scot applauding Sir Pertinax MacSycophant, disarms what he confronts. When the presence of the sovereign himself graces the audience, takes a part in the general pleasure of the evening, and renders generous or patriotic sentiments more energetically effective, by sharing in the enthusiasm which they call forth from his subjects of all ranks---this gives the royal sanction, as it were, to the approbation of lords and commons. The late King expressed that sentiment strongly when advised to abstain from attending the theatre after the madman Hatfield's attempt upon his life. Mr. Boaden has given us the words:---</p> <p> ``If, with my family, I cannot enjoy my amusements in the midst of my people, let them take my <u>life,</u> for existence is not worth holding upon such conditions.''---Vol. ii., p. 263.</p> </p> <ul> <li>Sir Humphry Davy died at Geneva, on the 30th May, 1829, <em> in his 51st year. Shortly after his death appeared his Consolations </em> of Travel, or Last Days of a Philosopher--=Ed.=<p> In short, the drama is in ours, and in most civilized countries, an engine possessing the most powerful effect on the manners of society. The frequency of reference, quotation, and allusion to plays of all kinds, from the masterpieces of Shakspeare's genius down to the farce which has the run of a season, gives a dramatic colouring to conversation and habits of expression; and those who look into the matter strictly will be surprised to find, how much our ordinary language and ordinary ideas are modified by what we have seen and heard on the stage.</p> <p> We admit, as broadly as can be demanded, that the stage has been made, and is capable of being rendered again, as powerful an instrument for evil as for good. In this respect it is like the printing press, or rather like literature itself which finds employment both for the actor and the printer, a tremendous power, which, as its energies are directed, may contribute to the welfare or to the ruin of a country. So the most efficacious medicines, ignorantly or maliciously administered, become the strongest poisons. But our purpose in having detained the reader with these preliminary observations is to persuade him of the consequence of the subject, and to serve as introduction to some remarks which we have to offer on the present state of our theatres, and the improvements which might bring these institutions nearer to the state of perfection of which we have theoretically considered the drama as susceptible.</p> <p> In the meantime, we must not altogether forget the works of which the titles are prefixed to this Article. This, to be sure, is a fashion with our <u>caste,</u> from which we do not pretend altogether to exculpate ourselves. If we admit not a fair and impartial division betwixt the reviewers and the reviewed, the neglected authors have a right to share the impatience of the witty Charles Townsend. When he came to Scotland, after having married a lady of that nation of the very highest rank, large fortune, and extensive connexions, the tide of relations, friends, and vassals, who thronged to welcome the bride, were so negligent of her husband as to leave him in the hall while they hurried his lady forwards into the state apartments, until he checked their haste by exclaiming, ``for Heaven's sake, gentlemen, consider I am, at least, Prince George of Denmark.'' Messrs. Kelly and Boaden would have the same reason to complain of us, should we altogether forgot them in an Article which we have decorated with their names. But they must wait at the bottom of the stairs, with gentle patience for five minutes longer: we will show them up presently.</p> <p> The same circumstances, which gave the drama itself interest, induce us to be curious investigators into the history of the art, and the lives of its chief professors in former times. The grave may think what they will of the levity of such pursuits: but as many folios and small quartos of the antique cast have been bestowed in behalf of Thalia and Melpomene as in that of the most serious of their sisters. But this is not all; we are not to be contented with the scraps which can be collected about Burbadge and Alleyn Kempe and Taylor:---we must also learn what can be told of the distinguished performers of our own time. We want to see these when divested of the pomp and circumstance with which the scene invests them. We desire to know whether we may venture to speak above our breath, or be guilty of a smile, in the presence of Mrs Siddons; whether it be possible to look grave in that of Liston; whether Matthews has as many dramatic portraits in his gallery, as he can present in his own person; if he who plays the fool on the stage can be a man of sense in the parlour; and if the heroine looks still the angel after she has laid aside her chopine, and come down a step nearer to the earth.</p> <p> And let it not be said that this inquiry into the private history of the scenic artists is capricious, or resembles that of a child who cries to have the toy which has been shown him placed in his own hand, that he may see what it is made of. On the contrary, there is a natural touch of philosophy in our curiosity. It is a rational enough wish to discover what sort of persons those are who can assume, and lay aside at pleasure, the semblance of human passion, and who, by dint of sympathy, compel the smiles and tears of others, when they have doffed their magic mantle and retired into the circle of social life. Besides, to judge from the common case the <u>duram pauperiem pati</u> as often prepares the future exertions of the player as of the soldier. In the earlier events of a theatrical life, however successful, there most commonly occur adventures which form a diverting contrast with the ultimate and more splendid parts of the career. And we may add to these honest ingredients of the general interest in dramatic biography, the malicious pleasure which human nature always takes in learning the mishaps, mistakes, and misgovernance of those who have been objects of public attention and general admiration.</p> <p> These things premised, we beg to announce Messrs. Boaden and Michael Kelly, or rather, to adopt the stage direction in <u>Chrononhotonthologos,</u> ``Enter Aldiborontiphoscophornio and Rigdum Funnidos.'' The character and style of the two biographers are, indeed, as strongly contrasted as sock and buskin; Mr. Boaden being grave, critical, full, and laudably accurate, serious in the most lively information which he communicates, and treating comedy itself as if it were a very solemn affair; while, on the other hand, there is nothing so serious as to render Michael Kelly so. He has spent all his life among the levers of laugh and fun, choice spirits, whom Time cannot exhaust, and who make good the boast of Anacreon, and are merry in spite of misfortune and grey hairs. Betwixt merits so various, how shall the critic decide? Were we to spend a morning in looking over Garrick's dramatic collection at the Museum, we should certainly wish to have Mr. Boaden with us to spare us repeated references to the <u>Biographia Dramatica.</u> But, in the evening, we fear we should be graceless enough to prefer Kelly's comic gossip, rich in song and jest, qualified by a touch of the traveller, and (what we never object to) a dash of the brogue. We do not, however, undervalue the solid English pudding of Mr. Boaden, though we have a special relish for the soufl<e'> of Seignor Kelly. Or, rather, we would address them with the impartiality of Sir John, the jolly deer-stealing priest of Waltham, towards the rival publicans, his comrades. ``Neighbours Banks, of Waltham, and Goodman Smug, the honest smith of Edmonton, as I dwell betwixt you both, at Enfield, I knew the taste of both your alehouses---they are good both, smart both.'' To continue Sir John's metaphor, the beverage supplied by Mr. Kelly is a fine brisk species of vivacious bottled beer, like that unquestionably with which Beau Tibbs regaled the Duke, as we are informed by the sage Lien Chi Altangi, in the Citizen of the World. Boaden, on the other hand, draws us a double flagon of old English liquor, not the sophisticated potion which the vulgar denominate <u>heavy wet,</u> but Anno Domini, regularly dated and regularly tapped, like that which honest Boniface ate and drank, and upon which he always slept.</p> <p> Allowing precedence to be due to the more dignified person, we advert first to the <u>Memoirs of John Kemble,</u> combined as they are with a history of the stage from the time of Garrick to the present period. A great deal of curious information is accumulated in these two volumes, by a man who has had the best opportunities of collecting the dramatic history of the last half century.</p> <p> We cannot, however, altogether approve of his blending the Memoirs of Kemble with an account of the theatre, so general, diffuse, and disproportioned in length to the pages which the life of his proper hero occupies. The fore-ground and back-ground are too extensive for the principal figure. We might have been very glad to have possessed the work arranged in two separate departments, one containing the memoirs, the other the history of the stage. The present plan has rendered unavoidable the mingling the account of this distinguished man of talent with that of many ordinary performers, of whom we either never heard before, or never wish to hear again. Mr. Boaden, we have no doubt, has been just in his estimate of these subordinate persons;---but there are many whom he might have dismissed like Virgil with a single ``_fortemque,_'' and whom he ought not to have suffered to crowd the scene which they never adorned, and on which they are not now, perhaps, remembered at all. A man should have some title beyond mere respectability before he is handed up to fame. ``What shall an honest man do in my closet?'' says Caius, and what business has a merely respectable man in our library? say we. We think it is John Dunton in his Life and Errors, who, in a history of the literature of Boston, the capital of New England, which he visited in the course of his wanderings, gives not only an account of authors, publishers, retail booksellers, and printers, but descends to stationers and bookbinders, has a few flying hints on printer's devils, and makes us unnecessarily acquainted with every one of these respectable persons as necessary appendages to literary history. We are far from quarrelling with the minute information conveyed by Mr. Beaden in a miscellaneous manner, somewhat similar to that of Dunton, but we wish it had been a little better arranged, and more connected in its topics than by the mere category of time. The history of Kemble is divided into so many detached pieces, that it seems like the body of an old man cut and ready for Medea's kettle. We will endeavour to collect some of the scattered fragments, so as to form from Mr. Boaden's work, assisted by our own recollections, a full length portrait, though on a reduced scale, of one of the best actors, most accomplished artists, and most kind and worthy men, that ever commanded the admiration of the public, and the esteem of his friends.</p> <p> John Philip Kemble was born 1st February, 1757, at Prescot, in Lancashire. The family from which he derived his origin was ancient and respectable; but ruined, we have heard him say, in the great Civil War of the seventeenth century, for their adherence to King Charles during that contest. His father was manager of a provincial company of actors; so that the members of this highly gifted race, who have attained such distinguished eminence, seem to have been dedicated to the stage from their birth upwards. Unquestionably, the natural bent of their minds must have leaned towards the family profession, of which they felt the full fascination, while its disadvantages, as being in ordinary cases considered a step lower than the more grave and established courses of life, could not occur as an objection to those who saw the art daily practised by the parents whom they were accustomed to love and honour.</p> <p> But Mr. Roger Kemble, the father of John, sensible of the disadvantages attending his own profession, resolved to give his son a classical education, designing him, it is believed, to take orders in the Roman Catholic Church. Accordingly, John Philip Kemble received his first instructions at a Catholic seminary at Sedgely Park in Staffordshire, and was a student for two or three years at the College of Donay, where he attracted attention by the gracefulness of his person, the strength of his memory, and the beauty of his recitation.</p> <p> During all the time which he spent at these early studies his own secret determination was always to become a performer. He felt the strong vocation for the pleasing art in which he was destined to attain excellence, and never, we have heard him say, was tempted to swerve from his purpose even when his prospects appeared least promising. At the outset they were sufficiently gloomy.</p> <p> He returned to England, and found his father disappointed and angry on learning that his thoughts were fixed upon the stage. ``He might be allowed,'' says Mr. Boaden, ``to feel some mortification at his son's choice; for what was then to predict the great and lasting eminence to which he attained?'' But the impulse was not to be withstood. John Kemble acted as his first part Theodosius, in the tragedy so called, at Woolverhampton, 8th January, 1776. Dramatic excellence is of slow growth, and requires long and severe study; it is enough if first appearances be received as promising. The characteristic peculiarity of Kemble's performance was not of a kind to advance him to popularity with a mere rapid pace than usual. With all the requisites for a fine player, and especially with a profound study of his art, and reverence for its difficulties, it must have required habit to familiarize him with the exertion of his own powers. The requisite mellowness and flexibility which make the actor seem at home in his part, were in his case slowly acquired, and until he was possessed of these, his manner, afterwards so graceful, must have seemed stiff; above all, his voice, the strength of which was never equal to his other powers, must have sounded harsh and unharmonious ere he knew hew to reserve and husband its efforts. We can conceive him, like the giant in <u>Frankenstein,</u> working awkwardly enough until he had acquired a complete acquaintance with his own powers and the mode of using them to advantage.</p> <p> The apprenticeship to the stage is in most instances, as we have already noticed, a severe one. Mr. Boaden is too grave to relate any of the minor misfortunes and hardships which his hero was subjected to in his noviciate, and repels, with some asperity, an account of Kemble and his companion breaking a gentleman's orchard near Gloucester. Certainly in Shakspeare's life by Aldiborontiphoscophornio the deer-stealing anecdote would have been sunk from mere love of decorum. Rigdum Funnidos is more communicative, and hints at our friend's having banqueted on turnips and peas in the open fields for want of better commons. There are gripes and indigestion in the very thoughts of the uncooked pulse; and we can conceive that Kemble, who was reasonably, though moderately attached to better cheer, did net relish the circumstances which reduced him to sauce his banquet by a speech from Timon.<p> ``Oh! a root---dear thanks! Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plough-torn lees; Whereof ungrateful man, with liquorish draughts, And morsels unctuous, greases his pure mind, That from it all consideration slips!''</p> </p> <p> The honest Kelly has, moreover, told us that in extremity of distress, Kemble once personated a Methodist preacher; the thing may have happened ---but from what we know of John Kemble's opinions on religious subjects, we are sure that those who listened to the exhortation must have departed improved in heart and understanding. He was incapable of mocking, under any circumstances, the mysteries of religion.</p> <p> In 1778, like Robinson Crusoe in his escape from the raging ocean, Kemble began to touch ground. He was that year engaged in a respectable company maintained at York, under the management of Tate Wilkinson, famous as an imitator himself, and as the subject of imitation in others--- possessed of considerable judgment and taste---and whose well-selected company was often draughted to recruit the metropolitan theatres.</p> <p> Here Kemble's importance begats to be felt, yet he still continued to act such parts as Captain Plume, and others ill suited to his powers. We are not sure that this necessity is, at an early period of the profession, to be accounted a disadvantage. It prevents the ideas and exertions of a young performer being too much narrowed by a single cast of characters, and may operate in that respect, like the care taken by professors of gymnastics, to cause their pupils to bring into play successively the different sets of muscles by exertions of a kind appropriate to each. Young actors may be benefited too by attempts which are unsuccessful, as teaching them the bounds and character of their own powers, which they may otherwise suppose as unlimited as their ambition. There is even a wholesome lesson to be learned in experiencing the severity of an audience; for while it represses presumption, it also shows the timid that thunder often admonishes without killing.</p> <p> At York, John Kemble became for the first time acquainted with his princely friend and patron, the late Duke of Northumberland, whose munificence makes such a distinguished figure in his history. The officer on duty, belonging to a squadron of dragoons lying in York at the time, had somewhat bluntly refused to permit a few of the soldiers to attend the theatre on occasion of some procession in which their appearance was desired. Kemble wrote to Lord Percy, who commanded the squadron, and his request was instantly complied with. The duke afterwards nominally lent Kemble the sum of ten thousand pounds, and converted the loan into a gift by burning the obligation for repayment after the fire in Covent Garden.</p> <p> He had at York an adventure of another kind, tending to show him how peculiarly the most meritorious of the profession he had chosen were exposed to the taunts of the unworthy. On 8th February, 1778, while he was playing in Murphy's tragedy of <u>Zenobia,</u> Kemble became the object of the gross and marked ridicule of a lady who sat in the stage-box. She was of some condition, and apparently enjoyed that sort of provincial consequence, which, when combined with a rude disposition, makes country ladies now and then guilty of ill-breeding, such as would never be permitted to those of the first rank in the capital.</p> <p> ``As to the insults designed for himself during the evening, he had retorted them by looks of infinite disdain. His sensibility was noticed in the box by loud and repeated peals of laughter from the lady and her echoes. At this, Kemble suddenly stopped, and being called upon hy the audience to proceed, with great gravity and a pointed bow to the stage-box, he said, `he was ready to proceed with the play as soon as =that= lady had finished her conversation, which he perceived the going on with the tragedy only interrupted.'</p> <p> ``The audience received this rudeness of the stage-box as an insolent attempt to control their amusements, and with shouts, which could not he laughed down, ordered the lady and her party out of the theatre.''---=Boaden,= vol. i., p. 26.</p> <p> The lady thus most deservedly punished had interest sufficient to excite a party in her behalf, who insisted that Kemble should come forward and ask pardons immediately.</p> <p> ``Mr. Kemble on this, with the greatest firmness, and with some of that mingled astonishment and disdain, which he threw afterwards into Coriolanus, exclaimed, `Pardon! ask pardon! no, sirs,---=never;=' and immediately quitted the stage.''---=Boaden,= vol. i., p. 27.</p> <p> All subsequent efforts of an active faction among the audience vainly attempted to break that lofty spirit, which was as much Kemble's by nature as it belonged to any of the heroes whom he represented. He could but be brought to say,</p> <p> `` `Let me be heard before I am condemned: if, when I have explained my conduct, any gentleman, or set of gentlemen, will say, in that character, that I have acted unworthily, I shall cheerfully make any reparation that they may judge proper.' To this there could be no <u>reasonable</u> objection, and he was heard. His fine address, his clear statement, his modesty and manliness, carried the cause, and contributed essentially to his progress in the public favour.''---=Boaden,= vol. i., p. 28.</p> <p> The same lady, uncorrected by what had happened, made an attack on Mr. Michael Kelly, by the same obstreperous procedure, especially when he consulted his watch as his part required in the course of the drama, by exclaiming loud enough to be heard in the gallery,</p> <p> `` `Why, look there; la! the fellow has got a watch.' I could not bear this (says Kelly)---I admit I lost my temper: but I walked up to the box, and said, ``yes, madam, it is a gold watch, and reckoned one of the best in England,'' putting it close to her;---the lady was violently hissed, and ever after, when she came to the theatre, conducted herself with becoming decency.''---=Kelly,= vol, i., p. 306.</p> <p> The indulgence of such impertinent humour on the part of the audience, towards those who are tasking their best abilities to please, is akin to the display of ignorance, folly, and wanton cruelty which children exhibit in torturing the inferior animals. Fifty years ago the pelting the performers from the galleries was so legitimate a species of amusement, that we think even Garrick was exposed to it, and when hit by an orange only ventured to say, after pretending to taste it, ``it was an orange, but not a Seville (Civil) one.'' Digges, on another occasion, when subjected to some such insult, made a touching appeal to his former situation as an officer and a man of fashion---``My feelings,'' he said, ``are wounded as a man---I had almost said as a gentleman.''</p> <p> Kemble argued with the perpetrators of such brutality in a different and a bolder mood, and as his unspotted character supported the justice of his complaint, there can be no doubt that the respect due to him both as a public and private character, and the spirit with which he maintained it, was a principal means of raising the estimation of the profession at large. An apple was upon one occasion thrown on the stage, which fell between him and Mrs. Siddons, then acting in the unrivalled scene between Coriolanus and his mother. Kemble instantly advanced to the front of the stage with the apple in his hand, and appealed to the audience for protection against this brutal insult. A person in the gallery called out in reply, ``We can't hear.''</p> <p> ``Mr. Kemble (<u>with increased spirit,</u>) `I will <u>raise</u> my voice, and the =galleries= shall <u>hear</u> me.' (Great tumult)</p> <p> `` `This protection is what the =audience= owe it to themselves to _grant_---what the =performers,= for the credit of their profession, have a right to _demand_---and =what= I will venture so far to <u>assert</u>, that, on the part of the =proprietors,= I here offer a hundred guineas to any man, who will disclose the <u>ruffian</u> who has been guilty of this act.' (A murmur only in the gallery.)</p> <p> `` `I throw myself, ladies and gentlemen, upon the high sense of breeding, that distinguishes a London audience; and I hope I shall never be wanting in my duty to the public; but nothing shall induce me to suffer insult.' ''---=Boaden,= vol i., p. 429.</p> <p> The galleries, awed into silence, endeavoured to shift the charge from themselves. But though Kemble thus asserted the dignity of his profession, and the claim which a performer has to be treated like a gentleman, there cannot be a question that he made enemies among the low and malicious party in the common audience of a theatre, who had hitherto considered the right of insulting the players as a valuable part of the privilege purchased by the half-price which they had paid at the door. These petty tyrants felt controlled under the superiority of a man like Kemble, but theirs were the right minds for bearing malice, and we believe that the dislike entertained against one who was willing to contribute to their pleasure, but not to endure their insolence, was a great ingredient in the celebrated O. P. riot.</p> <p> We return to Mr. Kemble's professional progress. He visited Dublin in 1783, where he was received with approbation. His sister, Mrs. Siddons, had now displayed for several months before the public that blaze of varied excellence which was never before equalled, and certainly will never be surpassed. Beautiful as an angel, she seemed gifted also with superhuman powers. The horrors and the sorrows of the scene, were alike her own; the boldest trembled, the wisest wondered, the most hard-hearted and the most selfish wept ere they were aware.</p> <p> Her unrivalled excellence naturally led the managers to inquire respecting that brother who began already to be called the Great Kemble. There is a ludicrous story, however, of the meaning of the epithet being mistaken by the person intrusted with the negotiation, whe instead of our friend is said to have sent to the metropolis his jolly brother Stephen as the <u>greatest</u> of the name who was going.</p> <p> The mistake, if it ever took place, was soon rectified, and on the 30th of September, 1783, John Philip Kemble made his first appearance at Drury Lane in the character of Hamlet.</p> <p> It cannot be denied that this extraordinary conception of Shakspeare is one of the boldest, most striking, and most effective parts in the drama, and yet it is invested with so much obscurity, that it may be played in twenty different ways without the critic being able to say with certainty which best expresses the sense of the author. Hamlet unites in his single person a variety of attributes, by bringing any of which more forward, or throwing others farther into the background, the shading of the character is effectually changed. Hamlet is the predestined avenger called on to this task by a supernatural voice---he is a prince resenting the intrusion of his uncle into his mother's bed and his father's throne. He is a son devoted to the memory of one parent and to the person of the other, and yet, to do justice to his murdered father's memory, he is compelled to outrage, with the most cutting reproaches, the ears of his guilty mother. Wittenberg has given him philosophy and the habits of criticism---nature has formed him social and affectionate ---disappointment and ill-concealed resentment of family injuries have tinged him with misanthropy---the active world has given him all its accomplishments.<p> ``The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, sword, The expectancy and rose of the fair state, The glass of fashion, and the mould of form.''</p> </p> <p> To all these peculiar attributes must be added his love for Ophelia, and something which resembles an incipient touch of insanity; for this, after all, is necessary to apologize and account for some parts of his conduct. All these exist in Prince Hamlet, but the art of the performer is to distinguish the proper or most striking mode of exhibiting them. The author has done little to help him in the management of the piece, which as a story indicates nothing decisive respecting the real character of Hamlet. He does not resemble Richard or Macbeth, or most of Shakspeare's other distinguished characters, who show themselves and purposes not by their words and sentiments only, but by their actions, and whose actions therefore are the best commentaries on their characters and motives. On the contrary, Hamlet being passive almost through the whole piece, and only hurried into action in its conclusion, does nothing by which we can infer the precise meaning of much that he says. There exists, therefore, a latitude about the representation of Hamlet, which scarcely belongs to that of any other character in the drama. It consists of many notes, and the dwelling upon or the slurring of any of them totally changes the <u>effect</u> of the air.</p> <p> It is natural to expatiate on these peculiarities in the character, because Kemble, in representing it, was to encounter at once the shade of the murdered King of Denmark, and, in the mind's eye of the audience, that of the lost Garrick. The young performer had never seen and could not imitate Garrick. He was relieved from that great stumbling-block in the path of a novice---the temptation to copy some honoured predecessor. Those who are subjected to this temptation and give way to it, seldom rise above respectability in their performances. They are admitted to play the line of characters possessed by the ``well-graced actor'' who has left the stage, but it is merely in the character of substitutes: those who aim at great eminence must show originality of conception.</p> <p> Originality, however, in a novice has its perils; and it was often objected to Kemble, that in playing Shakspeare's best-known characters he frequently sought to give them effect by a mode of delivery and action daringly opposed to what the audience had been used to. This, in the beginning of his career, was often hardly received by pedantic critics, who had become so much bigoted to one style of acting that they were unable to tolerate any departure from it. Such venturing on new ground is no doubt a hazardous task, and demands both the powers and perseverance of decided genius; and Garrick was, in his time, equally censured as an innovator on the solemn and pompous manner of Booth and Betterton. But were it possible to promulgate and enforce a scale of the tones in which each speech of Hamlet or any other character should be delivered, or to issue a tariff of the emphasis to which each striking passage should be subjected, it is evident we should destroy one great source of the pleasure we receive from the stage--- namely, that of comparing and deciding between the different species of efforts which rivals in the scenic art bring to illustrate the same character.</p> <p> For this Hamlet offers a fair field, and Kemble entered on it with characteristic courage and skill. Beginning already to act upon the principles of dramatic criticism, he discarded the alterations which Garrick had ventured to introduce into the works of Shakspeare; and which Mr. Boaden justly calls feeble and trashy. The following is an accurate and pleasing description of Kemble as he then was stepping forwards to offer himself as a rival to Garrick, and disdaining all that had interposed between them.</p> <p> ``His person seemed to be finely formed, and his manners princely; but on his brow hung the weight of `some intolerable woe.<code> Apart from the expression called up by the situation of Hamlet, there struck me to be in him a peculiar and personal fitness for tragedy. What others assumed, seemed to be inherent in Kemble. `Native, and to the manner born,</code> he looked an abstraction, if I may so say, of the characteristics of tragedy.</p> <p> ``The first great point of remark was, that his Hamlet was decidedly original. He had seen no great actor whom he could have copied. His style was formed by his own taste or judgment, or rather grew out of the peculiar properties of his person and his intellectual habits. He was of a solemn and deliberate temperament---his walk was always slow, and his expression of countenance contemplative---his utterance rather tardy for the most part, but always finely articulate, and in common parlance seemed to proceed rather from organization than voice.''---=Boaden='s <u>Memoirs of Kemble,</u> vol. i., p. 92.</p> <p> It must strike the dramatic reader at once that a more complete contrast to the former Roscius could not appear, in almost every point, than in this new candidate for the honours of the buskin. Garrick was short though well formed, airy and light in all his movements, possessed of a countenance capable of the most acute or the most stolid, the most tragic or the most ridiculous expression. Kemble, on the contrary, was tall and stately, his person on a scale suited for the stage, and almost too large for a private apartment, with a countenance like the finest models of the antique, and motions and manners corresponding to the splendid cast of his form and features. Mirth, when he exhibited it, never exceeded a species of gaiety chastened with gravity; his smile seemed always as if it were the rare inhabitant of that noble countenance. There was unquestionably great sweetness of expression in that smile, but it indicated more of benevolence than of gaiety---the momentary stooping of a mind usually strung to a serious mood to the joy which enlivened the meaner natures around him.</p> <p> Even the habits of life and manners peculiar to these two great performers intimated such a strong difference in their characters as must necessarily have greatly influenced their taste in the art. Garrick was what is called a man of fashion, desirous to maintain his place as such among the great, among whom his talents made him a welcome associate. But in mixing with them he paid them a sort of homage. He was desirous to procure their notice more than a man of his commanding genius ought perhaps to have been. The situation was a difficult one, and he is represented to have been something too eager to show off and entertain the company, as one who had some tax to pay for being where he was when in the society of men of rank and eminence. It is, to be sure, an ungracious behaviour on the part of what is technically called a lion, to refuse gruffly to show his jaws and extend his talons when he chooses to enter into mixed company.<p> ``For if he should <u>as lion</u> come in strife Into such place 'twere pity on his life.''</p> </p> <p> But this is a failing of a very different order from that over-eager love of gaining interest, which will court the attention of the foot-boy, if it cannot fix that of the master.</p> <p> Of all men, John Kemble, though not destitute of his share of vanity, was most averse from this peculiar mode of drawing attention: his nature revolted from courting display and obsequiously condescending to be what has been vulgarly called the fiddle of the company. He took a ready and agreeable part in the general conversation. And when it turned naturally upon his own art, he always showed himself willing to entertain and instruct the company from the funds of experience and study, as well as the original conceptions of his own genius. But he never, in the language of the old dramatists, ``came aloft or showed tricks from Tripoli.'' He never stooped to be the amusing and exhibiting man of the company. He never even read or recited for the amusement of the circle; and those who desired the pleasure of his society could only obtain it on the condition of his being an equal contributor, and no more, to the social enjoyment of the day. Perhaps he even carried this point of etiquette a little too far. But on these terms he enjoyed the familiar friendship of many of the first families in England.</p> <p> He was a frequent and favourite guest at Bentley Priory, which was then the resort of the most distinguished part of the fashionable world. Its noble owner, the late Marquis of Abercorn, has been so long with the dead, that to do justice to his character, much misrepresented in some points during his life, can be ascribed to no motive which interest or adulation could suggest. He was a man highly gifted by nature, and whose talents had been improved by sedulous attention to an excellent education. If he had remained a Commoner, it was the opinion of Mr. Pitt, that he must have been one of the most distinguished speakers in the Lower House. The House of Lords does not admit of the same display either of oratory or of capacity for public business; but when the Marquis of Abercorn did speak there, the talents which he showed warranted the prophecy of so skilled an augur as Pitt. Those who saw him at a distance accused him of pride and haughtiness. That he had a sufficient feeling of the dignity of his situation, and maintained it with perhaps an unusual degree of state and expense, may readily be granted. But that expense, however large, was fully supported by an ample fortune wisely administered, and in the management of which the interests of the tenant were always considered as well as those of the landlord. He racked no rents to maintain the expenses of his establishment, nor did he diminish his charities, which were in many cases princely, for the sake of the outward state, the maintenance of which he thought, not unjustly, a duty incumbent on his situation. Above all, the stateliness of which the late Marquis of Abercorn was accused, drew no barrier between the Marquis of Abercorn and those who shared his hospitality. Kemble was a very frequent visitor there, and with the noble landlord, the late Payne Knight, and<p> ``The travell'd Thane, Athenian Aberdeen,''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <h2><title></h2> <p> We return to our comparison between Garrick and Kemble. It follows from what we have before said, that the style of Garrick was impetuous, sudden, striking, and versatile---that with his complete power over the regions of comedy, and tragedy, and farce, he should maintain a sort of ubiquity in the eyes of the public. In the play he could be Hamlet, and perform Fribble in the farce, yet delight the audience equally in both characters. In fact, as we have been assured by a venerable father of literature, most able to judge, and happily, at an advanced period of life, most able both to recollect and discriminate concerning the amusements of his youth, Garrick's versatility, nay, almost universality of talent, was the quality on which his extraordinary popularity chiefly rested. He was like Ariel on board the king's ship.<p> ``Now on the beak, Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin, He flamed amazement.''</p> </p> <p> The peculiar talents of Kemble confined him within a much more limited range, although it was soon ascertained that this was capable of being extended far more than the critics had at first been able to anticipate. Kemble's noble person and graceful demeanour was totally inconsistent with the ludicrous, and almost with the comic. His cast of features was decidedly heroic, and when the best disguise was put on them, he must have looked like Alfred playing the Clown, or the elder Brutus in his assumed state of idiotcy. The very voices of these great actors were totally different; that of Garrick was full, melodious, commanding, and he might exert it with unsparing profusion. Kemble's, though perfectly distinct and impressive, was early affected by an asthmatic tendency, which rendered it necessary for him to husband his efforts, and reserve them for those bursts of passion to which he gave such sublime effect.</p> <p> But, besides this limitation, arising from taste, temper, figure, and organic conformation, the schools, if they may he called so, of Garrick and Kemble, were founded upon different principles. We had almost said they were the schools of nature and of art---but, luckily, we suppressed a phrase which, like the whistle of a captain of marksmen, might have raised from thicket and ravine a swarm of controversial sharpshooters like wasps about our ears. Let us then vary the phrase, and say, that Garrick made his impression from his skill in seizing and expressing with force and precision the first and most obvious view of his part; and that Kemble, more learned and more laborious, studied earnestly and long ere he could fix his own ideas of the true meaning of doubtful passages, often illustrated them by what is called a new reading, and was careful to express that he did so by the punctilious accuracy of the corresponding action and enunciation. Indeed, Kemble, a profound scholar in his art, was metaphysically curious in expressing each line of his part with the exactly appropriate accent and manner. Sometimes this high degree of study threw a degree of over-precision into the part, and in the effort to analyze the sentiment, by giving a peculiar emphasis to every word of the sentence, the actor lost the effect which to be vehement should be instant and undivided. Sometimes, also, it happened that, in order to complete the details upon which he had determined, Kemble permitted the action to hang too long suspended, so that one well accustomed to his manner anticipated the effort which be was about to make, by observing something of preparation, which was like the warning, as it is called, given by some time-pieces that they are about to strike the hour. There was also visible in Kemble's manner, at times, a sacrifice of energy of action to grace. We remember this observation being made by Mrs. Siddons herself, who admired her brother in general as much as she loved him. Nor shall we easily forget the mode in which she illustrated her meaning. She arose and placed herself in the attitude of one of the old Egyptian statues; the knees joined together, and the feet turned a little inwards. She placed her elbows close to her sides, folded her hands, and held them upright, with the palms pressed to each other. Having made us observe that she had assumed one of the most constrained, and, therefore, most ungraceful positions possible, she proceeded to recite the curse of King Lear on his undutiful offspring in a manner which made hair rise and flesh creep, and then called on us to remark the additional effect which was gained by the concentrated energy which the unusual and ungraceful posture in itself implied.</p> <p> Such imperfections as arise from over-study--- and these showed themselves but occasionally, and never offensively---were the only faults we could discern in this great actor, and they were amply compensated by the justice of his conception, the precision of his taste, the patience of his investigation, which left no point unconsidered, the firmness of his disposition, which would never be drawn from any point in which he considered himself as perfectly right.</p> <p> Garrick, never timid but on the stage, would readily concede any point of taste to the audience, and illustrated, in its fullest extent, the maxim of the poet:---<p> ``The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give, For those who live to please, most please to live.''</p> </p> <ul> <li>Article---From the Quarterly Review, for April, 1826:--- <em> 1. Memoirs of the Life of John Philip Kemble, Esq, including </em> a History of the Stage from the Time of Garrick to the present <em> Period. By James Boaden, Esq. Two vols. London. 1825. </em> 2. Reminiscences of Michael Kelly, of the King's Theatre, <em> and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, including a Period of nearly </em> half a Century; with Original Anecdotes of many distinguished <em> Personages, Political, Literary, and Musical. London. </em> 1826. 2 vols.<p> ``For this be sure to night thou shall have ach<e'>s.''</p> <p> Unquestionably the word was so pronounced in Queen Elizabeth's time. But then it was scarce worth quarrelling about so small a matter with the audience, and it would have been more prudent. perhaps, to have suffered the <u>aitches</u> to have quietly undergone the same transmutation into modern sound, as has befallen doubtless a hundred word in the language. We cannot, if we would, bring back the pronunciation of the Elizabethan age, and why should not this modern abridgement of a single syllable pass current with other alterations? But Kemble was too proud of his art to sacrifice even a grain of incense to unjust criticism. He was ready to hazard every thing in defence of the right reading of a word in Shakspeare. Night after night he menaced Caliban with <u>aitches,</u> and night after night was for so doing assailed by a party in the pit with a ferocity worthy of Caliban himself. One evening he felt himself, from indisposition, unwilling to sustain the usual conflict, and on that occasion evaded a drawn battle by omitting the line entirely. It was curious enough to see how the critics, as he approached the place where they expected to hear the obnoxious line, resembled<p> ``greyhounds in the slips, Straining upon the start;''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>His present Majesty also occasionally gives his subjects this gratification, and receives an affectionate welcome---such as could neither be dictated by power nor checked by faction. A theatre speaks truth.<p> We remember observing a similar instance of Kemble's attention to restore true readings astonishing a provincial audience. It occurred in the lines in Macbeth---<p> ``Augurs, and understood relations, have By <u>magot-pies,</u> and choughs, and rooks, brought forth The secret'st man of blood.''</p> </p> </p> <p>and an eminent person, whom graver and more important duties have now withdrawn from the muses, made evenings of modern fashion resemble a Greek symposium for learning and literature. But this has carried us far from the point, and we have but the poor apology that we could not withstand certain feelings which tempted us to the digression. They are few---scattered and distant ---who will be affected by the recollections of Bentley Priory. But such still exist, and why may we not steal a paragraph from our immediate subject to gratify their feelings and our own? Kemble lived in the same close intimacy with the successive Earls of Guildford and the whole of that distinguished family, in which brilliant wit, mingled with the most genuine good-humour and kindness of disposition, and a rational love of literature seem to be hereditary possessions. He was also familiar at Holland House, where the classical translator of Lope de Vega could not fail to appreciate his merit, and he shared the same distinction in many families equally eminent for their rank in society and love of elegant letters.<p> To return to the dramatic career of Mr. Kemble, we can only briefly say, that he speedily attained acknowledged pre-eminence in the tragic scene. There was none, indeed, worthy of being named as a competitor excepting Henderson, and the excellence of his Falstaff, which we remember as a most wonderful exhibition, made all his other parts relish of sack and sugar. In many pasts of which Kemble obtained possession, and which he played admirably, he has, nevertheless, been equalled or excelled. The ancients preferred the Richard of Garrick to that of the new actor, and many of the moderns give a like preference to Kean, particularly in the last two acts. Some obstacles, however, occurred from his own personal qualifications. We have said he could not appear ludicrous, and we must add that, from the noble effect of his countenance and figure, neither could he seem constitutionally villanous: he could never <u>look</u> the part of Richard, and it seemed a jest to hear him, whose countenance and person were so eminently fine, descant on his own deformity. He was, perhaps, sensible of this, for he used to argue that Richard III., being of high descent and breeding, ought not to be vulgar in his appearance or coarse in his cruelty. There certainly should prevail a tinge of aristocracy about the dramatic Richard, but it ought not to be of a generous or chivalrous character, or, whatever the figure of the historical Richard may have been, that of a handsome prince.</p> <p> For the same reason Kemble was inferior both to Cooke and to Kean in Massinger's Sir Giles Overreach. That singular character is Richard in ordinary life, an extortioner and oppressor, confident in his art and in his audacity; but Kemble, when dressed for this part, reminded us of a dignified country gentleman of the ancient school---``an old courtier of the Queen's,'' rather than a low-born, upstart, purse-proud tyrant, with impudence enough to glory in his base arts of extortion. He might say what ill he would of himself, the audience could not believe him.</p> <p> In Lear, Kemble must, we think, have been decidedly inferior to Garrick. In Hamlet he was not more than the equal of Garrick, and a most formidable rival arose in his own time in Charles Young. But in Macbeth, Kemble has been as yet unapproachable; nor can we conceive that the bold and effective manner of Garrick, touching on the broad points of the character with a hand however vigorous, could at all compare with Kemble's exquisitely and minutely elaborate delineation of guilty ambition, drawn on from crime to crime, while the avenging furies at once scourge him for former guilt, and urge him to further enormities. We can never forget the rueful horror of his look, which by strong exertion he endeavours to conceal, when on the morning succeeding the murder he receives Lennox and Macduff in the antechamber of Duncan. His efforts to appear composed, his endeavours to assume the attitude and appearance of one listening to Lennox's account of the external terrors of the night, while, in fact, he is expecting the alarm to arise within the royal apartment, formed a most astonishing piece of playing. Kemble's countenance seemed altered by the sense of internal horror, and had a cast of that of Count Ugolino in the dungeon, as painted by Reynolds. When Macbeth felt himself obliged to turn towards Lennox and reply to what he had been saying, you saw him, like a man awaking from a fit of absence, endeavour to recollect at least the general tenor of what had been said, and it was some time ere he could bring out the general reply, ``'Twas a rough night.'' Those who have had the good fortune to see Kemble and Mrs. Siddons in Macbeth and his lady, may be satisfied they have witnessed the highest perfection of the dramatic art. There cannot have been, and we fear never will be, any thing to compare to it. Their King John and Lady Constance are equally beyond imitation, and must be forgotten ere others can obtain any high degree of applause in these characters.</p> <p> But it was not only in such parts as fell precisely within his line, and which he seemed to hold by birthright, that Kemble delighted the public. There were others, appearing to be beyond his proper territory, which he invaded, nevertheless, and conquered; amongst which was the character of the headlong and hasty Percy,<p> ``A hare-brain'd Hotspur, guided by a spleen.''</p> </p> </p> <p>Kemble, on the contrary, felt much more for the honour of his profession and the truth of the dramatic art, than for his own profit or quiet, and would have died on the breach rather than yield to the authority of the public in a point where be justly conceived himself a much better judge than they. Perhaps he carried this to extremity when he insisted on pronouncing <u>aches</u> as a two-syllable word in the speech of Prospero.<p> ``Speaking thick, which nature made his blemish.''</p> </p> <p>the puzzled countenances which they displayed as speech after speech was made without the expected game being roused;---and the blank look of disappointment when the close of the scene announced to them how Kemble had, for the evening, eluded their resentment without bending to their authority. This perseverance gained the day, but it was resented as obstinacy by not a few, and served to increase the discontent of the low-minded part of the audience against an actor who presumed to follow his own judgment rather than theirs.<p> ``In Richard's time---what do you call the place? ---A plague upon it---'tis in Gloucestershire--- 'Twas where the mad-cap Duke his uncle kept His uncle York.''</p> </p> <p>Performers had been in the habit of pronouncing the word <u>mag-pies,</u> though the blank verse halted for it. But Kemble resumed the proper pronunciation of <u>magot-pies,</u> with an emphasis which made the audience of ------ look around them in astonishment, scarcely trusting their ears, and marvelling how any species of augury could be derived from what they apprehended to be a stale pasty. Luckily they were diffident of their own judgment, and only afforded the new reading their amazement, without presuming to dissent from it.<p> ``=Northumberland.=At Berkely Castle.---=Hotspur.= _You say true._''</p> </p> <p>One would have thought, _<a`> priori,_ that the grave, studious, contemplative actor, who personated Hamlet to the life, could scarcely have assumed the rapidity and energy, and hurry, and reckless indulgence of his humour, which are among the chief ingredients of Henry Percy's character. But Kemble's profound study of the author enabled him to seize on the distinguishing features of that great historical portrait. It cannot now he known whether Shakspeare gathered from tradition, or himself conferred on Hotspur the quality of<p> Henry V. was a favourite character of Kemble; Mr. Boaden says,</p> <p> ``As a _coup de th<e`>atre,_ his starting up from prayer at the sound of the trumpet, in the passage where he states his attempted atonement to Richard the Second formed one of the most spirited excitements that the stage has ever displayed. His occasional reversions to the `mad wag,<code> the `sweet young prince,</code> had a singular charm, as the condescension of one who could be so terrible.''---=Boaden,= vol ii., p. 8.</p> <p> We agree entirely with what Mr. Boaden has here stated. It always struck us that the expression of self-satisfied humour which Kemble threw into his countenance, in anticipation of the expected scuffle which was to take place between Fluellen and Williams, came as far within the confines of a comic part, as nature had designed John Kemble to advance.</p> <p> On the whole, however, tragedy, and that of the most stately and majestic character, was the line in which our departed friend was formed to excel. He himself entertained a less limited idea of his powers, and conceived that great study and knowledge of dramatic writing and of the human character could qualify a man as well for the sock as for the buskin. Towards a late period of his life, he displayed this self-confidence in a singular degree. He nourished nothing less ambitious, than an idea of revolutionizing Falstaff by acting the fat knight on a new principle, and he used to enlarge, with all the skilful sophistry his profound acquaintance with the drama could supply, on the points which he would assume differing from those presented by Henderson, to whom, however, he uniformly gave the praise of having presented one of the richest and most glowing portraits which the stage in his time had afforded. At one time, when we were ourselves listening to him on this subject, an incident took place which those who were present can scarcely fail to recollect, and which served to show the strength of Kemble's nerves, and, at the same time, the deep and overwhelming interest which he took in professional discussion.</p> <p> It was at the entertainment annually given by the Royal Academy, on the day before the opening of the exhibition of paintings in Somerset House, on which occasion we need not tell most of our readers invitations are sent by the academicians to all the persons of rank and quality who are supposed to love and encourage the arts, to those who may be considered as the pillars of literature, and as some readers may think, to the caterpillars also, since we, the critics, were honoured with a summons.</p> <p> The scene, splendid as usual from the beauty and brilliancy of the works of art which hung around us, was rendered venerable by the presence of old West, in his capacity of president, and he was supported by one of the princes of the blood, and a brilliant array of nobility and quality, intermingled with artists and literary men of eminence. The apartment was illuminated by an immeasurably large and ponderous bronze chandelier, a gift from his present Majesty to the Royal Academy. It exhibited many hundred lamps, and might weigh two or three tons. It had been recently suspended, and this was the first time of its being used. Beneath this huge and splendid chandelier was placed a sort of gigantic dumb-waiter, on which were arranged the quantity of wine-glasses, decanters, water-glasses, and other things of the sort, necessary for the accommodation of so large a company.</p> <p> We had the good fortune to sit beside our late lamented friend, and were listening to the ingenious distinctions which he was pointing out with great earnestness and precision, between Falstaff as ``Sir John to all Europe,''---as one who jested familiarly with John of Gaunt on his breaking Justice Shallow's head for crowding among the marshalmen ---as the companion of the Prince of Wales---and the same Falstaff as the gallant of Doll Tearsheet, in all the coarse indulgence of the Boar's Head, where he himself was, as it is usually termed, the Cock of the Company---``the old boar, in short, feeding in the old frank.''</p> <p> While we were listening to this with much edification, a roar was heard behind us like distant thunder---the units of the strong chain which suspended the chandelier were giving way, and became slackened so much, that it gradually sunk and came into collision with the dumb-waiter aforesaid--- which was crushed to shivers beneath its weight, while all the garnishing of the beaufet, like Alnaschar's stock in trade, was annihilated with a crashing scream, which might equal that of the dying elephant. If the absolute fall of the chandelier had taken place, it would have tried Chambers's architecture with a vengeance, and beyond a doubt must have penetrated through the floor to the very cellars of the building, carrying with it princes, dukes, painters, poets, musicians, amateurs---and critics. Fortunately the links of the bronze chain, though they slacked, did not snap, but the momentary alarm was considerable. We ourselves, though, as may be supposed from our profession, not peculiarly timid, began to think a retreat by the staircase, though less honourable, might have its advantage over the posthumous fame of being recorded among the distinguished victims, as the papers would doubtless have termed them, ``on the late awful occurrence.'' But after one calm glance over his shoulder, our friend, John Kemble, returned back to Falstaff, and had talked for five minutes about the Boar's Head and the Tilt Yard, before we could recover our composure sufficiently to collect what he was saying, and when he chid us for inattention, Charles XII.'s rebuke to his secretary for interrupting a letter at the explosion of a bomb in the next apartment, could not have been more coolly uttered. His acting Falstaff would have given a great treat to those who desired to see one of the first of critics exemplifying his conception of one of the most singular parts in the drama. But that John Kemble could have been Sir John in the genuine jolly, and jocund sense of the part, is what we can never conceive.</p> <p> We must cut short our history of Kemble as an actor, by brief mention of those Roman characters, Cato, Brutus, and Coriolanus, by means of which he transported us to the Capitol, so completely had he made the habits, manners, and mode of thinking of the ancients identically his own. They were, indeed, peculiarly suited to his noble and classical form, his dignified and stately gesture, his regulated yet commanding eloquence.<p> ``Pride in each port, defiance in each eye, You saw the Lords of human kind pass by.''</p> </p> <p> To his peculiar art of acting, also, the Roman character in its various shades afforded great facilities. There was almost always connected with it an assumed character, which qualified, if it did not master, that which nature had assigned to the individual. The aristocratic pride of Coriolanus, the patriotic ardour and stoical philosophy of Brutus and Cato, form each a shade of adventitious and adopted character, which seems to control the natural feelings of the heart, and hide, or at least colour, what cannot be altogether suppressed. The temperament of Brutus, for example, is naturally warm, as appears in his quarrel with Cassius; naturally affectionate, as is displayed in his scene with Portia. But his stoic mien, arising out of rules of thought and conduct long since adopted, draws a veil over both feelings; and his affections are subdued, though not hidden, by sufferance enjoined by his philosophy. Other performers might excel Kemble in the full burst of instant and agitating passion to which the person represented is supposed to give the reins upon any direct natural impulse; but we cannot conceive of any one delineating, with any thing approaching to the same felicity, those lofty Romans, feeling and partly exhibiting, yet on the whole conquering the passions of nature by the mental discipline to which they had trained themselves. Those who have seen Kemble as Cato bend over the body of his slain son, and subdue the father to assume the patriot, or have heard him pronounce the few words in Brutus,<p> ``No man bears sorrow better---Portia's dead,''</p> </p> </p> <p>But Kemble contrived to show how well that hurried and impeded articulation suited the irritability of the character. It was in the speech in which Hotspur loses the key-note of what he desires to say, by forgetting the name of a place---<p> Neither was that slight degree of tardiness, though ridiculed by Sheridan---when, urging Kemble for some novelty, he advised him to play <u>Hamlet</u> with music between the pauses---visible, when, in the opinion of the actor, the scene required instant and precipitate exertion. The mode in which he rushed on the stage in <u>Coriolanus,</u> with the half breathless cry, ``Am I too late?'' is an illustration of what we mean, as well as many similar exertions in Colman's striking piece of the <u>Mountaineers,</u> and in the grand pantomime of <u>Rolla.</u> He was, indeed, not only a noble figure when moving with the stately grace which he usually maintained, but equally striking when engaged in violent action. When he condescended ---we must give it that term---to play the part of Percy in the <u>Castle Spectre,</u> he used, in the scene where Percy drops back on the couch, just as when rising to make his spring from the window, to discover all the address and activity of the most able pantomimist. The same command of muscle and limb was far more strikingly exemplified when the Volscian assassins approaching him from behind in the very midst of the triumphant vaunt of his repeated victories over their countrymen, seemed to pass their swords through the body of Coriolanus. There was no precaution, no support; in the midst of the exclamation against Tullus Aufidius, he dropped as dead and as flat on the stage as if the swords had really met within his body. We have repeatedly heard screams from the female part of the audience when he presented this scene, which had the most striking resemblance to actual and instant death we ever witnessed, and saved all that rolling, gasping, and groaning, which generally takes place in our theatres, to the scandal of all foreigners, until at length a stout fellow, exhausted by his apparent efforts and agonies, lies on his back, puffing like a grampus, and is to he received as a heroic corpse.</p> <p> We must leave John Kemble as a player, to consider him in the light of a manager,---for the improved taste which he introduced into the drama in that capacity will benefit the admirers of the theatrical art in future times as much as his personal exertions delighted his contemporaries. In 1788--89, King resigned what was called the management of Drury Lane Theatre. Honest Tom---who can remember his Benedick and Lord Ogleby without pleasure---though the last has had an excellent substitute? Tom loved gambling, and fell of course among thieves, who were rather proud of their trade, as witness the following anecdote:---</p> <p> ``After playing all night with a sharper, at a fashionable club, and losing every thing, King discovered that he had been bubbled, and hinted his suspicions to his antagonist; who coolly said to him, `I <u>always</u> play with marked cards, why don't you?' ''---=Boaden,= vol ii., p. 28.</p> <p> King seems to have been scarcely used better by his employers, the proprietors, than by his friends the Greeks. He had the name and responsibility of stage-manager, but without power to receive or reject a piece, engage or discharge a performer, command a coat to be cleaned, or add a yard of copper-lace to it, though often needed. Kemble refused to undertake the responsible office without the necessary authority for the management of the whole dramatic business. This was promised, and in some degree granted; but it was Sheridan who was the promiser; and though, being then chiefly involved in politics, he was obliged to leave Kemble much greater latitude than he did King, he contrived to give him, from time to time, as much annoyance as a man rigidly true to his engagements could receive from one whose extraordinary talents wore blended with so much negligence and inconsistency. Sheridan's command over Kemble, founded on the respect due to his talents, and the art with which he flattered and conciliated, after offending, disappointing, and breaking faith with him, was exercised in no creditable manner. Perfectly guileless, devoid---not of spirit, far from it---but of every thing like implacability--- Kemble long struggled under the difficulties which attended every management in which Sheridan was concerned. But he pleased himself with the sense, that his authority, however interfered with, gave him still the power of doing much for the improvement of dramatic taste.</p> <p> Before Kemble's time, there was no such thing as regular costume observed in our theatres. The actors represented Macbeth and his wife, Belvidera and Jaffior, and most other parts, whatever the age or country in which the scene was laid, in the cast-off court dresses of the nobility. Kemble used to say, that the modern dresses of the characters in the well-known print of a certain dramatic dagger-scene, made them resemble the butler and housekeeper struggling for the carving-knife. Some few characters, by a sort of prescriptive theatrical right, always retained the costume of their times ---Falstaff, for example, and Richard III. But such exceptions only rendered the general appearance of the actors more anomalous. We have seen <u>Jane Shore</u> acted, with Richard in the old English cloak, Lord Hastings in a full court dress, with his white rod like a lord chamberlain of the last reign, and Jane Shore and Alicia in stays and hoops. We have seen Miss Young act Zara incased in whale-bone, to an Osman dressed properly enough as a Turk, while Nerestan, a Christian knight in the time of the Crusades, strutted in the white uniform of the old French guards. These incongruities were perhaps owing to the court of Charles II. adopting, after the Restoration, the French regulation, that players being considered as in the presence of their sovereign, should wear the dress of the court drawingroom, while in certain parts the old English custom was still retained, which preserved some attempt at dressing in character. Kemble reformed all those anachronisms, and prosecuted with great earnestness a plan of reforming the wardrobe of the stage, collecting with indefatigable diligence from illuminated manuscripts, ancient pictures, and other satisfactory authorities, whatever could be gleaned of ancient costume worthy of being adopted on the theatre. Rigid and pedantic adherence to the dresses of every age was not possible or to be wished for. In the time when Lear is supposed to have lived, the British were probably painted and tattooed, and, to be perfectly accurate, Edgar ought to have stripped his shoulders bare before he assumed the character of poor Tom. Hamlet, too, if the Amlethus of Saxo Grammaticus, should have worn a bear skin instead of his inky suit and whatever Macbeth's garb should have been, of course a philabeg could have formed no part thereof. But as the poet, carrying back his scene into remote days, retains still, to a certain extent, the manners and sentiments of his own period, so it is sufficient for the purpose of costume if every thing he avoided which can recall modern associations, and as much of the antique he assumed as will at once harmonize with the purpose of the exhibition, and in so far awaken recollections of the days of yore as to give an air of truth to the scene. Every theatrical reader must recollect the additional force which Macklin gave to the Jew at his first appearance in that character, when he came on the stage dressed with his red hat, peaked beard and loose black gown, a dress which excited Pope's curiosity, who desired to know in particular why he wore a red hat. Macklin replied modestly, because he had read that the Jews in Venice were obliged to wear hats of that colour. ``And pray, Mr. Macklin,'' said Pope, ``do players in general take such pains?'' ---``I do not know, sir,'' replied Macklin, ``that they do, but as I had staked my reputation on the character, I was determined to spare no trouble in getting at the best information.'' Pope expressed himself much pleased.</p> <p> During his whole life, Kemble was intent on improving, by all means which occurred, the accuracy of the dresses which he wore while in character. Macbeth was one of the first plays in which the better system of costume was adopted, and he wore the Highland dress, as old Macklin had done before him. Many years afterwards, he was delighted when, with our own critical hands, which have plucked many a plume besides, we divested his bonnet of sundry huge bunches of black feathers, which made it look like an undertaker's cushion, and replaced them with the single broad quill feather of an eagle sloping across his noble brow; he told us afterwards that the change was worth to him three distinct rounds of applause as he came forward in this improved and more genuine head-gear.</p> <p> With the subject of dress, modes of disposing and managing the scenes are naturally connected: and here, also, Kemble, jealous of the dignity of his art called in the assistance of able artists, and improved in a most wonderful degree the appearance of the stage and the general effect of the piece in representation. Yet, in our opinion, the Muse of Painting should be on the stage the handmaid not the rival of her sisters of the drama. Each art should retain its due predominance within its own proper region. Let the scenery be as well painted, and made as impressive as a moderate sized stage will afford: but when the roof is raised to give the the scene painter room to pile Pelion upon Ossa; when the stage is widened that his forests may be extended, or deepened that his oceans may flow in space apparently interminable, the manager who commands these decorations is leaving his proper duty, and altering entirely the purpose of the stage. Meantime, as the dresses ought to be suited to the time and country, the landscape and architecture should be equally coherent. Means may, besides, be discovered from time to time tending to render the scenic deception more effective, and the introduction of such must he advantageous, provided always that this part of theatrical business be kept in due subordination to that which is strictly dramatic.</p> <p> Processions and decorations belong to the same province as scenes and dresses, and should be heedfully attended to, but at the same time kept under, that they may relieve the action of the scene, instead of shouldering aside the dramatic interest. Kemble carried his love of splendour rather to the extreme, though what he introduced was generally tasteful and splendid. He sacrificed perhaps his own opinion to the humour of the audience, and to the tempting facilities which the size of the modern theatres afford for what is called spectacle.</p> <p> <u>Macbeth</u> was, as has been hinted, one of the first of the old stock plays which he brought forward in this splendid manner, and in many respects it was admirably suited for such a purpose. The distant approach of Macbeth's army, as well as the apparitions of the cavern, were very well managed. By causing the descendants of the murdered thane to pass behind a screen of black crape, he diminished their corporeal appearance, and emulated the noble lines of Collins:---<p> ``From thence he sung how, 'mid his bold design, Before the Scot, afflicted and aghast, The shadowy kings of Banquo's fated line Through the dark cave in gleamy pageant pass'd.''</p> </p> <p> Things occurred, however, even in this fine spectacle, which show that matters of show and pageantry have their own peculiar risks. At first Kemble had introduced four bands of children, who rushed on the stage at the invocation of the witches, to represent the<p> ``Black spirits and white, Blue spirits and grey.''</p> </p> <p> There was perhaps little taste in rendering these a<e:>rial beings visible to the bodily eye, especially when the same manager had made an attempt to banish even the spectre of Banquo. But he was obliged to discard his imps for an especial reason. Mr. Kelly informs us, that, egged on, and encouraged by one of their number, a black-eyed urchin, ycleped Edmund Kean, they made such confusion on the stage that Kemble was fain to dismiss them to the elements. Another failure we ourselves witnessed---a whimsical failure---in this piece, which we may mention as a warning to those managers who put too much faith in such mechanical aids. It occurred when the armed head ought to have arisen, but when, though the trap-door gaped, no apparition arose. The galleries began to hiss; whereupon the scene-shifters in the cellarage, redoubling their exertions, and overcoming, perforce, the obstinacy of the screw which was to raise the trap, fairly, out of too great and urgent zeal, overdid their business, and produced before the audience, at full length, the apparition of a stout man, his head and shoulders arrayed in antique helmet and plate, while the rest of his person was humbly attired after the manner of a fifth-rate performer of these degenerate days,---that is to say, in a dimity waistcoat, nankeen breeches, and a very dirty pair of cotton stockings. To complete the absurdity, the poor man had been so hastily promoted that he could not keep his feet, but prostrated himself on his nose before the audience, to whom he was so unexpectedly introduced.</p> <p> The effect of this accident was not recovered during the whole evening, though the play was performed with transcendant ability.</p> <p> Kemble, though, from a natural turn for magnificence, he was somewhat too apt to indulge this love of show, often contrived to cater at the same time for those who admired in preference the legitimate scenes of the drama. <u>Henry VIII.</u> was produced chiefly on account of the processions: but who would not forgive any motive which could contribute to bring forward such complete personifications as Mrs. Siddons and her brother presented in Cardinal Wolsey and Queen Catherine? The trial scene and dying scene of the immortal actress were among the most splendid displays of her unrivalled excellence, and for Kemble's Wolsey, it was reality itself; you saw the full-blown dignity of the ambitious statesman sink at once before the regal frown, and you felt at the same moment that he had received the death wound. He seemed to totter and grow less before the eyes of the spectator; you saw that the spear he had leaned upon had pierced his side. Unhappily, although they were thus frequently combined, the taste for show prevailed over that for the legitimate drama. A display of splendour in the one theatre provoked rival magnificence in the other, and the example entailed ruinous expense on both. While Drury and Covent Garden merely contended for the superiority in theatrical talent, their expenses were within limit; but when the outlay was extended to splendour of procession and complication of artillery, there could be no end to the conflict but ruin; and all that is gained by such extravagance is to pervert the taste of the public. The burning of towers, and charging with cavalry, and the introduction of elephants, lions, and other inhabitants of the menagerie ought to be confined to pantomime. We have heard that, in Schiller's <u>Robbers,</u> as acted on a certain German stage, the hero rushed in at the head of thirty horse; but we would only ask how an actor so situated is to be seen or heard? Let any one observe how difficult it is to distinguish the captain when at the head of a real troop of dragoons, and he will see at once how completely the presence of numbers destroys the idea of that personal importance which is so necessary to the effect of an actor. What then is to be done when an army or any other large assembly must be addressed? The common resource is to draw up half a dozen men along the flat scene, who stand there with pale countenances, as stiff as upon the parade, till the speech is finished, and then---right about ---forward---and off they stalk as if to relieve guard. We have been tempted to think something better than this might be contrived. Suppose two or three armed figures were exhibited as seen partially betwixt the side scenes, with lances and banners projecting over their heads, so as to suggest to the imagination of the audience the leaders of columns stationed in readiness to advance, and give some idea of numbers attendant on their chieftain. But it is our business---a mischievous one, if you will--- to criticize existing imperfections rather than submit expedients to the critical powers of others. In the business of the green-room, Kemble, as manager, was gentlemanlike, accurate, and regular, but somewhat strict; for, as he had in his private capacity as actor taken contentedly whichever parts were assigned him, he conceived himself entitled to expect the same compliance with his own arrangements; and, with these, amidst the little contentions and jealousies which must creep into what may be called a hand of intellectual gladiators, who contend with each other to win the popular suffrage of crowded audiences, human passions not seldom interfered. We once had a long conversation with him on this subject, in which he complained, that there was not the same classification of performers in England that had been formed on the continent. Our theatres were, said John, like eastern regions, where all must be half-deified sultans, viziers, and bashaws, or depressed and sullen slaves. In England, the actor who represents Laertes or Horatio is considering himself all the while as a degraded man, because he is not the Hamlet of the evening. In France, on the other hand, there is a race of actors who either never aspire to more than secondary parts, or, if they have any hope of so aspiring, endeavour to recommend themselves by the superior manner in which they discharge the subordinate characters meanwhile intrusted to them: whereas the English performer too often acts carelessly, and sometimes malignantly neglects to support by due exertion the interest of the scene, with a rival whom he thinks unjustly preferred to himself. Kemble mentioned on this occasion, that, being behind the scenes at the Com<e'>die Fran<c,>aise along with Talma, he observed an individual conning his part with great attention, rehearsing it with different tones and actions, and, in short, so sedulous in his rehearsal, that it seemed he had some most important part to perform. Being greatly struck with the actor's assiduity, he inquired what weighty character this hard student was to represent? Talma informed him that he had only to say five words, ``Madam, the coach is ready;'' and that, notwithstanding the brevity and seeming unimportance of his part, whatever it might be, this man uniformly spent much time in studying and adjusting the action, tone, and manner of delivering himself. In short, the English actor thinks himself positively sunk and injured when obliged to perform a part of little consequence; the Frenchman, with happier vanity, considers that he may exalt any part by his mode of playing it, and obtain at least such share of applause as may show that he too is a painter, though exercising his powers for the nonce on a limited scale. It is needless to say which system gives most effect to the scene: for, if it may be questioned whether the French or English stage has afforded the greatest actors taken individually, there can be no doubt that your Parisian theatre presents a company so completely drilled to work together, each doing his best to support the rest, that the whole entertainment is more illusive, and more captivating, than if one or two stars, as they are called, had shown themselves amidst a general darkness of ignorance, carelessness, and ill-humour. There is also this convenience in the French mode ---_concordi<a^> res parv<ae> crescunt_---by uniform and habitual co-operation, a company of even ordinary powers may at any time make a better amusement out of a well-cast comedy suited to their different talents, than when a single part is performed with excellence, and the rest <u>walked trough</u> or hurried over.</p> <p> But Kemble's anxiety as a manager made him sometimes too busy; he was apt to be drilling the performers even during the time of the performance; a mode of mixing the duties of actor and manager which ought never to be suffered, as it checks the spirit of the superior performer's own part, while it sadly deranges the inexperienced actor, terrifies the modest, and doubly confuses the dull or negligent. Who can forget how Mrs. Siddons in her noviciate was appalled, almost annihilated, by the <u>aside</u> frown of Garrick? We ourselves remember to have seen a very pleasing looking young person much disturbed by Kemble's directions about lifting and lowering the sword in the scene betwixt the princess Anne and Richard.</p> <p> Mr. Kemble, in the winter season of 1784--5, was superseded in his temporary character of manager by King's return to that situation. But in 1788--9, the veteran finally retreated from the office, and from that time Kemble remained manager of Drury Lane until 1796, when the irregularity with which the proprietors managed their pecuniary matters, and their frequent interference with his authority, induced him to resign the situation. He again returned to the thankless office in 1800--1, with some intention of obtaining a secure hold by purchasing one fourth part of the whole concern. This plan failed; and, in 1802, Kemble finally retired from Drury Lane, and made a purchase of a fourth share of the Covent Garden patent. He was now not only a manager, but a large proprietor, a speculation which, producing some difficulties, afterwards interfered with the quiet of his declining years. As stated by Mr. Boaden, it may be wondered why, with no expensive habits, with professional emoluments to the amount of about <L>3000 a-year, and with a considerable sum of money saved, without which he could not have made the purchase, this amiable and good-tempered man should have involved his whole fortune in a property which he knew to be so very precarious that he himself always talked of it as a lottery, and confined himself for life to the duty of management which he had often felt to be accompanied by intolerable grievances. But John Kemble was a sworn votary to the drama; and though he certainly did bow the knee to Baal in becoming an encourager of the inordinate rage for spectacle, which at once impoverished the concern and debauched the public taste, he laboured hard, on the other hand, to bring forward ancient pieces which he thought might be revived with renewed interest. He had undoubtedly the laudable wish to raise as high as possible the art to which, as much from the excellence of his personal, as of his professional character, he was an honour. Kemble may be, therefore, considered as having, with his eyes open, made a sacrifice of fortune, of peace of mind and of the bodily ease which frequent fits of the gout rendered desirable, in order to sustain the honour of his art.</p> <p> The discomfort to which he was exposed never fretted his temper and not even the gout itself, mistress of men's purposes and their actions too in most cases, could conquer his strong resolution to do his duty towards the public. He used to take the somewhat hazardous medicine _l'eau m<e'>dicinale d'Husson_ without hesitation so as to enable him to perform the very day after his malady had made its most severe attacks. It could not but happen that he was sometimes less equal to his part than at others, and such an occasional failure led to a painful dispute, which for some time created a breach between him and his friend George Colman the Younger. We mention the subject, not with the purpose of raking up the recollections which both parties had buried, but because Mr. Boaden is a little mistaken in some of the particulars. When Mr. Colman brought forward his play of the <u>Iron Chest,</u> founded on the masterpiece of Godwin's genius, <u>Caleb Williams,</u> he put into the mouth of one of the characters a description of the antiquarian humours of Mortimer, the Falkland of the play, which part was to be performed by Kemble:<p> ``Philip is all deep reading, and black letter; He shows it in his very chin. He speaks Mere dictionary; and he pores on pages That give plain men the head-ache. `Scarce and curious' Are baits his learning nibbles at. His brain Is crammed with mouldy volumes, cramp and useless, Like a librarian's lumber-room.''</p> </p> <p> Kemble conceived that these lines were unnecessarily introduced, as throwing ridicule on his antiquarian lore; and Colman, upon his remonstrance, changed the name of Sir Philip to Sir <u>Edward</u> Mortimer, as it now stands. But the smartest wag that ever broke a pun should beware of exercising his wit upon his physician, his lawyer, or the actor who is to perform in his play. Kemble, unwell and out of humour, acted negligently a part which requires violent exertion. The irritated dramatist published the play with an angry preface, and the actor responded. But a quarrel betwixt the author of <u>Octavian</u> and John Kemble was too unnatural; they became sensible they had both been wrong, and were reconciled, and the preface was so effectually cancelled, that the price of a copy in which it remains, astounds the novice when it occurs in the sale room.</p> <p> Of Mr. Kemble as a manager, we have only further to say, that equally unsparing of his labour, and regardless of the ill-will which he excited among those who suffered by his economy, he carried retrenchment and good order into every department of the theatre.</p> <p> The good public in the meantime, though returning ever and anon to Shakspeare and common sense, were guilty of two or three grand absurdities, such as became the worthy descendants of those whose fathers crowded the Haymarket Theatre, to see a man get into a quart-bottle,<*> and</p> </p> <p>Through all this confusion of mangled recollections, Kemble chafed and tumbled about his words with the furious impatience of an angry man who has to seek for a pen at the very moment he is about to write a challenge, and is angry at himself and every one else because so petty a want impedes for a moment his thirst of vengeance. Then the delight with which he grasped at the word when suggested---</p> <p>The manner in which Kemble spoke those three words, and rushed forward into his abuse of Bolingbroke, like a hunter surmounting the obstacle which had stopped his career, was electrical. It was like a greyhound slipped---like a rocket lighted ---like a bolt from a cross-bow. The effect on the audience was singular. There was a general disposition to <u>encore</u> so fine a piece of art, as if such an effort could have been repeated like a song. The cause of this extraordinary mode of applause seems to have been, that there being no feelings excited by the speech, save admiration of the actor's exquisite skill, it seemed as if that had approached to an exhibition of ventriloquism, or some similar turn of address, which could be repeated on demand: whatever might be the cause, the impulse was general.<p> <u>Vortigern,</u> a play ascribed to Shakspeare, gave rise to one of these hallucinations of popular absurdity. An impudent youth of eighteen, desirous of imitating Chatterton, it may be supposed, but without possessing any of his powers, told his father a story of having recovered certain extremely curious documents belonging to Shakspeare, presented to him, as he said, by a benevolent old gentleman, who had them by inheritance, but would not permit himself to he referred to or quoted in the affair. The elder Mr. Ireland, believing, or pretending to believe, this improbable fiction, put the tale into circulation, and, like a commercial note, it received indorsations as it passed from hand to hand, which strengthened its credit. The pleasure of being cheated was never more completely indulged. Without any minute inquiry after the old gentleman who had been the possessor of these documents; without reflecting with distrust upon the extravagance of the liberality which could confer such literary treasures on a mere boy, and enjoin at the same time that the donor's person should be concealed; without examination of the paper of the manuscript, which, torn as it was out of the blank leaves of old account hooks, bore different and recent water-marks---of itself, the very miscellaneous nature of the Shakspeare relics ought to have made thinking men pause.</p> <p> For this was no affair of a few scraps;---a perfect storehouse of the most curious and interesting articles was announced---letters---locks of hair--- rings---portraits---books---billets-doux, and, above all, plays. To render the deception more gross, Ireland introduced a namesake of his own as contemporary and friend of Shakspeare, and, we think, assigned to him the merit of saving the bard from the risk of drowning in the Avon. People visited the manuscript, which was shown with the same guarded precaution that priests use where they exhibit an idol; and, as they came to be deceived, the visitors took care not to return without their errand.</p> <p> Kemble, warned perhaps by Mr. Malone, escaped the contagious credulity of the time; and though he brought <u>Vortigern</u> on the stage, and acted at the principal character, he was never duped by the figment of the young forger. The dialogue was not calculated to impose upon the ear as the manuscript had bewildered the eye. The piece was most effectually damned, and its fate excited a strong prejudice against Kemble among the numerous body of literati, who had become ridiculous by their faith in the fiction, as if he had not done the part of Vortigern that justice which was his duty. Every one who had the most distant connexion with this ridiculous business seemed destined to come to shame: Malone himself, though he penned a detection of the imposture, was, in the midst of his triumph, exposed, in his turn, by George Chalmers, who, even after Ireland confessed his fraud, wrote an apology for the believers in the manuscript, showing to demonstration, that the reasoning of Malone was false in itself, though brought to establish what was now become undeniable truth. Even John Kemble, passive as he was in the affair, continued long to suffer from that ill-will which ascribed to him the ridicule by which the believers in those forgeries had been overwhelmed. Nor must we forget the numerous class of projectors, who had schemed to connect their own private emolument with the furtherance of the deception. These were, years afterwards, to be found among the personal enemies of Kemble.</p> <p> Another notable instance of popular humour was evinced soon after, viz. the violent fever-fit of admiration which the public exhibited for the young Roscius, Master Betty, a child certainly of precocious parts, remarkable for his speech and action, together with his happy mimicry, for it could at his age be nothing else, of the language of passions which he had never felt. It was certainly very fair playing, and in the circumstances wonderful; the graceful demeanour and nonchalance of the almost infantine performer were particularly so. But it was a deception; and Siddons and Kemble were neglected, whilst the youthful prodigy trode the stage in triumph, and afforded the most rapturous gratification to such audiences as had it in their power to enjoy the united efforts of the finest actor and actress in the world. Some ill-humour was manifested, if we rightly recollect, by a part of the public, because Mrs. Siddons felt her own dignity, and did not choose to act with this tender juvenile for her lover or husband. This temporary fit of dotage of John Bull was attended with feelings of dislike as well as neglect to his ancient servant Kemble: for, when under the influence of an absurd planet, John is too apt to look with an evil eye upon all who do not bow down to worship the god of his immediate idolatry.</p> <p> This determined dream of folly included a sort of prospective hope on the part of the admiring audience, that their treasure would increase in value as his powers, already so astonishing in boyhood, should ripen to maturity. But early blossoms seldom do so; and it was seen in the second season, that, as the wonderful circumstance of his youth diminished, Master Betty's attractions became less. He was prudent, or rather his friends were; and as he had amassed, in an incredibly short space, a handsome fortune, they withdrew him from the scene. He appeared again many years afterwards, and showed respectable, but far from striking, powers.</p> <p> The next great incident in Kemble's history was occasioned by a deplorable event, or rather one out of a course of events of the same nature which succeeded each other rapidly; we mean the sequence of fires, by which the Pantheon, Opera House, Covent Garden, and Drury Lane theatres were burnt down. The wonderful coincidence of time and circumstance in these fatal accidents made persons imagine that some incendiary had, in a fit of zeal of a truly flaming character, undertaken the destruction of what he might consider as the resorts of profanity. But any one who has been behind the scenes of a theatre, and has seen how many lights are burning in the neighbourhood of scenery, and other articles of a character peculiarly combustible, ---has been witness, at the same time, to the explosion of guns and fire-works, scattering risk in every direction,---and has observed how the shifting of scenes and alteration of lights are perpetually threatening to bring them into contact,---will wonder that so few rather than that so many accidents of the kind in reality take place. There is, also, to be considered, the total want of party walls, and that ample room and scope afforded to the action of the flames renders fire a more dangerous, as well as a more probable, event in a theatre than any where else---unless it be aboard ship. The same resource against this imminent peril exists in both cases:---namely, the great number of men who are perpetually moving about, both behind the scenes and in a vessel. Numerous accidents occur weekly, nay daily, in both, which, where there were fewer eyes to observe, and fewer ready hands to assist, would produce the most fatal accidents. It is, we think, Captain Brazen, in the <u>Recruiting Officer,</u> who hesitates whether he shall lay out the fortune of his wife in the speculation of a theatre or a privateer. In some respects there is the same disadvantage attending either plan--- at an insurance office they must both he ranked double dangerous.</p> <p> But the destruction of Covent Garden theatre was attended with one consequence which we must always regard as detrimental, in the highest degree, to the theatrical art. The house was rebuilt on a plan too ample for its legitimate purpose, and far too magnificent for the profits which might naturally be expected from it.</p> <p> The proprietors of Drury had led the way in this great and leading error when they reconstructed that theatre and stage on which Garrick and his contemporaries had exhibited their astonishing talents. We remember the old playhouse, and cannot but regret that the plan had not been, in point of extent at least, exactly followed. All the nicer touches of fine acting---the smile, however suppressed--- the glance of passion which escaped from the actor's eye and indicated the internal emotion which he appeared desirous to suppress---the whisper which was heard distinctly through the whole circle of the attentive audience----are all lost or wasted in the huge halls which have since arisen. The finest art of the performer---that of modulating features, tones, and action to the natural expression of human passion---is now lost. Extravagant gestures must he used; excess of rant must be committed by the best actors in their finest parts; and even their violence of voice and gesticulation can hardly make them intelligible to the immense circle in front.</p> <p> Nor do we conceive this enlargement of the theatres to be more favourable to the interest of the proprietors than to the advantage of the art. A crowded house ought to be a frequent occurrence for the purpose of keeping up the appetite of the public, who are stimulated on such occasions by the desire of sharing a delight not to he purchased without some difficulty. But in these immense Dom-daniels difficulty of access can but rarely exist:---cold and cheerless vacuity is much more frequently the effect, even when the number which can be calculated upon as regular play-going people are dispersed through their immense spaces. Men are never stimulated to go thither from the fear that a neglected opportunity may not return. What can be done at any time is seldom or never done, and the appearance of huge half-empty amphi-theatres must suggest to every one who visits them the chilling idea of an amusement which has little attraction. Besides, the dead and unproductive expense laid out upon ornamental architecture and accommodation which is seldom wanted, loads the property and diminishes the productive capital which ought to be employed in the salaries of the actors, and other legitimate expenses of the house.</p> <p> It is also too true that the size of the theatres has greatly tended to increase the charge justly brought against them in some respects as injurious to public morals. Upon the stage the entertainment presented to the public is of a character far more pure and correct in point of morality than was formerly the case. Those by whom it is represented are generally decorous and often exemplary in their private conduct: many mingle with and are well received in the best society; and the personal characters of respectable performers of this day, may be most advantageously opposed to those of the Cibbers and Oldfields of former times, who only made their way into that species of company where profligacy is welcome, when accompanied by wit and the power of giving entertainment.</p> <p> But what has been gained in point of decorum on the stage, has, we grieve to say, been lost among the audience. In an immense house where the business of the play can only occupy that part of the company who are near the stage, its proprietors are tempted to admit, nay, encourage, the attendance of those who come thither for amusement of a less harmless nature. Saloons have been introduced, which are used for little other purpose than that of assignation: and the most abandoned class of females are so dispersed throughout the theatre, and practise their profession with so little appearance of control, that much arrangement is necessary on the part of those who wish to make the female part of their family partakers of a rational and moral amusement, to place them out of the reach of hearing and seeing what must be unfit for their eyes and ears. It may be answered, and with some truth, that in a corrupted metropolis the presence of such company as we allude to is in some degree unavoidable. But, in small theatres, the decent and well-mannered bear a much larger proportion to the less accurate part of the audience, and the delinquents, out-numbered and abashed, are compelled to behave at least with decency, and assume an appearance of the virtue which they have not. By limiting the profuse expense in useless external magnificence, the proprietors would also lose the temptation to encourage this part of their audience, and would not need to plead the pitiable excuse,<p> ``Our poverty and not our will consents.''</p> </p> <p> Whoever has seen the interior of a Parisian theatre will, and must admit, that they manage these things better in France.</p> <p> But the Drury Lane proprietors having set the example of increasing the extent of their theatre, those of Covent Garden would not be left behind. and theirs also rose in a still more expanded and expensive scale. They were stimulated by emulation, and like two rival country squires who stand against each other for an election, went on without regard to their own interest, straining every nerve to out-show each other in prodigality of space and magnificence of architecture. Mr. Boaden has some sensible remarks on this subject, and compares them, in the extent of their preparations, to fishermen, who thought they could not fail to ensure the miraculous draught of fishes, if they made but their net large enough to hold them.</p> <p> It is not impossible that Mr. Kemble's classical taste, and the high sense which he entertained of the dignity of his art, induced him to give his assent too readily to those schemes of magnificence, which were favoured by his colleagues as the surest road to profit. The former was soon convinced of his mistake, beholding that he had only afforded an opportunity for the further predominance of sound and show over the real drama. But the others, who supposed that, in consideration of the additional expenditure, the public would submit to a small increase of entrance-money, were doomed to experience more direct disappointment and mortification. Of these, however, the chief burden fell in the first instance upon Kemble himself though not more accessary than the other proprietors to the original proposal, and not at all guilty of some imprudent steps that had been taken in its support.</p> <p> A blackguard transaction ought to have its name from the dictionary of the vulgar tongue, and the continued riot raised about the increase of entrance-money, which had remained the same for one hundred years, while all the expenses attending a theatre were increased in a tenfold proportion, became the ground of the <u>O. P. row,</u> as was called a continued riot which lasted sixty-six nights. A large proportion of the most idle and unthinking of the audience, lads who escaped from their counters and desks at the hour of half-price, were joined with and instigated by others whose purposes were deliberately hostile to the theatre, and personally malignant to poor Kemble---for so we may term him, when his professional duty called him day after day and night after night, to expose himself to the determined brutality of a set of rioters, equally illiberal and implacable, who made him the object of their marked abuse and violence. This disorderly crew had for their nominal leader a gentleman rich in pedigree, but poor enough in understanding to suffer himself to be made the tool of such a mob.</p> <p> At the same time, it must be admitted, the measures used to quell the rioters in the beginning were of a most improper complexion. Water-engines were brought on the stage as if in readiness to play on the audience, and the highly improper measure of introducing common bruisers and prize-fighters into the pit, as another mode of bullying the company, gave just offence, and drew many well-meaning auxiliaries to the worser side. Neither of these injudicious devices had Mr. Kemble's sanction; he had too much sense and too much taste. But he reaped almost exclusively the harvest of odium which they excited. Not contented with the most violent expressions of hatred and contempt poured on him from the front of the house, and displayed on placards, lest their import should be lost in a din which overpowered the sound of a full band of musicians (who could only be known to play by the motion of their arms and fingers,) another vent for this low-bred malignity was found in a subscription list for defending the rioters who might be apprehended and prosecuted. Here every blackguard might, for subscribing six-pence or a shilling, indulge himself by announcing it to be a contribution from an enemy of Black Jack or King John, or whatever impertinent nickname he chose to bestow on an accomplished, simple-hearted, and most honourable man, eminent for his own acquirements as well as for the delight which he had afforded the public. At length the rioters carried their animosity so far as to visit <u>King John's</u> house every evening after the close of the play, and alarm the female part of his family with their war-whoop. Kemble, hearing himself vociferously called for, resolved, with the mixture of intrepidity and simplicity which distinguished his character, ``to go out,'' as he said, ``and speak to them.'' The prudence and affection of his brother Charles prevented his doing so, or it is likely that the tempting opportunity afforded by darkness and confusion, with the exasperated feelings of the assailants, might have brought about some desperate catastrophe.</p> <p> The termination of this extraordinary riot is well known, The real right of their case, the laws by which they were protected, the nightly exertions of the police, though strengthened in an unusual manner,---all could not protect the proprietors of the theatre against a mob disciplined with the most extraordinary pains, taking wonderful precaution to stop within certain limits, and so well organized, as to exhibit during the space of almost three months no appearance of diminishing in their numbers, or relaxing in their determination. They had leaders of their own, were managed by a secret committee, had their regular O. P. dinners, and O. P. music, which was actually published, their placards, their rattles, their whistles, their bells, their cat-calls, and, above all, their bludgeons. The proprietors were at length compelled to submit to foes so inveterate;---to modify the proposed advance to that of a shilling in the boxes, and six-pence in the pit ticket;---and to renounce, in a great measure, that plan of private boxes which gave some chance of making the theatre once again the resort of the world of fashion. To complete the picture, and show the malignant and revengeful temper in which these wild proceedings were conducted, the rioters insisted that the proprietors of Covent Garden should dismiss Mr. Brandon, an old and faithful servant of the house, because, in his capacity of box-keeper, he had made strenuous exertions to protect the property and assist the rights of his employers. Such a conclusion was worthy of the spirit in which the whole <u>row</u> was conducted.</p> <p> We are of opinion that, though Kemble stood this storm like a man, he also felt it very deeply, and that his favourite art lost some of its attractions when he experienced to what unjust humiliation it subjected him, and that without the possibility of defence or retaliation. He remained, indeed, for two years, making every effort to assist the theatre in its state of depression:---and mighty were those efforts, for it was during that space that he brought back _Julius C<ae>sar_ to the stage, and raised from his ashes the living Brutus. But in 1812, deeming he had done his part, desirous of some repose---and not unwilling, perhaps, to make the public sensible what the theatre might suffer by his absence---he withdrew himself from London for nearly two years. In the same year, and just before his departure, the stage lost its brightest ornament by the retirement of Mrs. Siddons.</p> <p> Mr. Kemble's return to the British capital and stage was triumphant. The pit rose to receive him, and the boxes poured laurels upon the stage. He ascended to the very height of popularity, and was acknowledged as, without dispute, the first actor in Britain, probably in the world, until Kean arose to dispute the crown. The youth, activity, and energy of this new performer, the originality of his manner, which was in reality a revival of the school of Garrick, above all, the effects of novelty, had a great influence on the public mind, although the opinion of the more sound critics remained decidedly partial to that performer who relied for his success on deep and accurate study of the dramatic art, of the poet's words, and of the human mind, rather than vehement and forcible action; which, though it surprises the first or second time it is witnessed, is apt, when repeated, to have the resemblance of stage-trick. Perhaps Mr. Kemble's resolution to retire, even while his powers seemed to others in their full vigour, was hastened by the toil which he foresaw it must cost him to maintain at his age---and with health that was fast breaking---a contest with a rival in all the vigour of youth. However this was, Mr. Kemble took leave of the audience, 23d June, 1817, after acting, with unabated powers, the character of Coriolanus, which he probably chose, because in that he could neither have rival nor successor.</p> <p> We add, with regret, that neither his health, nor perhaps his finances, although easy, permitted him with convenience to close his days in his native country. Lamented by numerous friends of the first distinction for character, literature, and rank, John Kemble retreated to Lausanne, and there finally fixed his residence.</p> <p> He made over his share in the theatre to his brother Charles, and disposed of his dramatic collection (which some public library should have purchased) for <L>2000 to the Duke of Devonshire. He died, 26th February, 1823, in the arms of the excellent person to whom he had been united for many years, spent in domestic happiness. Few men of milder, calmer, gentler disposition, steeled at the same time with a high sense of honour, and the nice-timed feelings of a gentleman, are probably left behind him. Two instances may be selected from the works before us. A wrong-headed actor, having challenged him on account of some supposed injustice, Kemble walked to the field as if to rehearsal, took his post, and received the fire as unmoved as if he had been acting the same on the stage; but refused to return the shot, saying, the gentleman who wished satisfaction had, he supposed, got it---he himself desired none. On another occasion, when defending Miss Phillips against a body of military gentlemen, whose drunkenness rendered their gallant attentions doubly disagreeable, one of them struck at him with his drawn sabre; a maid-servant parried the blow, and Kemble, only saying, ``well done, Euphrasia,'' drew his sword, and taking the young lady under his arm, conducted her home in safety.<*> As a moral character,</p> </p> <p>will at once understand our meaning---to others we almost despair of explaining it. We would further remark, that whatever might in some characters appear tardy, and even stiff in Kemble's mode of acting, was here natural and proper. The pause showed the time which philosophy claimed to obtain her victory over nature; the delay, else where censured, was in these parts not merely appropriate---the suspense itself agonized the audience.</p> <ul> <li>It may be new spoken out, that the contriver of this notable <em> <u>hoax</u> was the Duke of Montagu, eccentric in his humour </em> as well as in his benevolence. The person who appeared was <em> a poor Scotchman, who had some office about the India </em> House.---S.<p> We have already given our general opinion of Mr. Boaden's performance, but have not perhaps done sufficient justice to the accuracy of his narrative, and the liberality and truth of his critical remarks. The style is a little too ambitious---and sometimes so Gibbonian as rather to indicate, than distinctly to relate what happened. But with these imperfections it is a valuable present to the public, and deserves a place in every dramatic library; not only as a respectable and liberal history of the eminent actor whose name the book bears, but as containing much curious information, a little too miscellaneously heaped together, concerning the drama in general.</p> <p> On one of his incidental topics we must pause for a moment with delighted recollection. We mean the readings of the celebrated Le Texier, who, seated at a desk, and dressed in plain clothes, read French plays with such modulation of voice, and such exquisite point of dialogue, as to form a pleasure different from that of the theatre, but almost as great as we experience in listening to a first-rate actor. We have only to add to a very good account given by Mr. Boaden of this extraordinary entertainment, that when it commenced, M. Le Texier read over the _dramatis person<ae>,_ with the little analysis of character usually attached to each name, using the voice and manner with which he afterwards read the part. And so accurately was the key-note given, that he had no need to name afterwards the person who spoke; the stupidest of the audience could not miss to recognise him.</p> <p> We now approach Michael Kelly, but the play has taken up so much time that we must curtail the afterpiece; and we are sorry for it, because it would he sure to send our readers home in good-humour. All the world knows that Michael Kelly, eminently gifted as a musician, who long, with the assistance of the Storaces and Mrs. Crouch, maintained the Italian Opera in London, and contributed his powers to many other musical departments in the drama, had been educated for five years in Italy, and had appeared as a singer at most of the courts on the Continent with good approbation. So that he can tell the reader many a tale of foreign parts, of princes, and archdukes, and emperors, which are well worth listening to. He has his hair-breadth escapes to tell you, and his perils by flood and field. Being born an Irishman, he has some of the reckless humour of his country, with a large share of its good-nature; gets into scrapes, scrambles out of them again, and laughs heartily both at the danger and the escape. The Memoirs, written undoubtedly by a man of far inferior talent, recalled to us, nevertheless, those of Goldoni; nay, often put us in mind of Gil Blas---not that Mr. Kelly has the least of the <u>picaro,</u> which in some degree attached to him of Santillane, but that hanging, as it were, between the higher and sometimes highest orders, in whose behalf he exercised his talents, and a class eminently exposed to variations of society and alternations of fortune, he has seen the world on both sides, and has told the result of his observation with a good deal of light humour. An adventurous little schooner of this kind, skirring the coast in search of its own peculiar objects, cannot be expected to bring back a ponderous or bulky cargo of wares, consisting of solid efficient value in the mart of literature. No matter---the smart little cruiser is the more likely to collect these light notices of persons and manners in society, which, if they are not grave in themselves, are eminently well calculated to relieve works of a graver description. Not but that Mr. Kelly has added things worthy the notice of the historian. There are, in particular, some curious facts concerning the manners of that well-intentioned but misguided speculator in politics, Joseph II., which, had we time, we would willingly pause to introduce.</p> <p> There is, besides, much concerning music, the science in which Mr. Kelly has distinguished himself, which we conceive must be highly interesting to connoisseurs, and which has afforded ourselves entertainment---for which we give the author our hearty thanks---although, like young Pottinger, we can only wave our hats, and join our applause to that of others, ``obviously without comprehending much of what has been going on.'<code> One thing we do comprehend, which is the advice of the distinguished Mozart to our hero himself. It seems that Mr. Kelly, whose natural talents and taste had been greatly improved by five years</code> residence in Italy, having originally determined on the stage as a profession, became ambitious in his prosecution of musical distinction, and thought of devoting himself to the mysteries of counterpoint. Mozart pointed out to him the disadvantage of engaging in a dry and abstract study, instead of cultivating the powers of melody with which nature had endowed him.</p> <p> `` `Melody is the essence of music,<code> continued he; `I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpointists to hack post-horses: therefore be advised, let _well alone,_ and remember the old Italian proverb---Chi sa pi<u`>, meno sa--Who knows most, knows least.</code> The opinion of this great man made on me a lasting impression.''---=Kelly,= vol. i., p. 225.</p> <p> Now we, being no musicians, have always been of the same opinion.<p> ``Mallem convivis qu<a`>m placuisse coquis.''</p> </p> <p> It is the proper business of the fine arts to delight the world at large by their popular effect, rather than to puzzle and confound them by depth of learning. For our own part, when we are, in spite of our snuff-box, detected with closed eyes during some piece of erudite and complicated harmony, we are determined not to answer, as heretofore, that we shut our eyes to open our ears with less interruption, but boldly to avow, with Jeremy, in <u>Love for Love,</u> that though ``we have a reasonable ear for a jig, your solos and sonatas give us the spleen.'' We will quote Mozart's authority to silence all reprehension, and</p> <p> ``We thank thee, Mike, for teaching us that word.''</p> <p> When Michael Kelly came to England, his musical talent speedily gained him distinction and employment; Mr. Boaden gives the following account of his proficiency:</p> <p> ``It often happens in music, that the sweetest organ loads to nothing brilliant, and that truth of tone, and flexibility, and compass, achieve perfection in the art. Something like this was true of Kelly. His voice had amazing power and steadiness; his compass was extraordinary. In vigorous passages he never cheated the ear with the feeble wailings of falsetto, but sprung upon the ascending fifth with a sustaining energy, that often electrified an audience. Some of my readers will remember an instance of this in the air, sung <u>only</u> by himself `Spirit of my sainted sire,' where the fifth was upon the syllable <u>saint.</u> The Conservatore at Naples, in which he passed five years of his youth, gave him all that science could add to an original love for the art; and Apprili, the best master of any age, completed the studies of the young musician. He was soon versed in all the intricacies of the Italian conversation pieces and finales, and acquired the reputation upon the continent of being an excellent tenor.''---=Boaden,= vol. i., pp. 350, 351.</p> <p> Thus accomplished, he easily came to take a distinguished lead in the musical world, and his line connected him in a like degree with the various theatres. True it is that fortune was humorous, and did not always smile upon Michael, though he courted her in every possible shape. He gives a very diverting account of his pursuits, and the emoluments which attended them, in a dialogue betwixt him and the Commissioners of the income-tax, a set of gentlemen eminent some years since for the interest they took in prying into the concerns of other folks.</p> <p> Mr. Kelly, in the pride of his heart, had reported his income as amounting to <L>500 yearly; but the unreasonable commissioners were not contented, and urged that his various employments must bring hime twice or thrice that annual sum. The push and parry are as well maintained as between Tilburina and her father in the <u>Critic.</u></p> <p> `` `Sir,<code> said I, `I am free to confess I have erred in my return, but vanity was the cause, and vanity is the badge of all my tribe. I have returned myself as having <L>500 per annum, when, in fact, I have not five hundred pence of certain income.</code></p> <p> `` `Pray, sir,<code> said the commissioner, `are you not stage-manager of the Opera-house?</code></p> <p> `` `Yes, sir,<code> said I; `but there is not even a nominal salary attached to that office; I perform its duties to gratify my love of music.</code></p> <p> ``Well, but, Mr. Kelly,<code> continued my examiner, `you teach?</code></p> <p> `` `I do, sir,<code> answered I; `but I have no pupils.</code></p> <p> `` `I think,<code> observed another gentleman, who had not spoken before, `that you are an oratorio and concert singer?</code></p> <p> `` `You are quite right,<code> said I to my new antagonist, `but I have no engagement.</code></p> <p> `` `Well, but at all events,<code> observed my first inquisitor, `you have a very good salary at Drury Lane.</code></p> <p> `` `A very good one, indeed, sir,<code> answered I; `but then it is never paid.</code></p> <p> `` `But you have always a fine benefit, sir,<code> said the othor, who seemed to know something of theatricals.</code></p> <p> `` `Always, sir,' was my reply; `but the expenses attending it are very great, and whatever profit remains after defraying them, is mortgaged to liquidate debts incurred by building my saloon. The fact is, sir, I am at present very like St. George's Hospital, supported by voluntary contributions; and have even less certain income, than I telt sufficiently vain to return.' '' ---=Kelly,= vol. ii., pp. 189--191.</p> <p> Well done, Michael---<u>a brave, brave et demi.</u> We see the dismayed commissioners gazing on each other with dejected and embarrassed aspects, while Mike walks out of the room humming the <u>motivo</u> of some meditated composition---=cantavit vacuus.=</p> <p> To be sure, this was being in the case of the conjurer who could devour any quantity of fire, but was unable to procure bread to eat. But it is explained by the connexion of Kelly as a composer with the celebrated Sheridan.</p> <p> That comet of eccentric genius was Kelly's patron friend, sometimes partner, and often companion; and how could he thrive, in a worldly sense, with such a principal? The senator and statesman was continually bringing the poor composer into scrapes by his utter neglect of economy, and hitching him out again by ingenuity such as none but he possessed. Some of his tricks on Kelly were, however, sufficiently harmless. On one occasion, to adorn some burletta, Kelly had to sing a song, which Sheridan was to introduce by a speech; and the actor requested, as a particular favour, his part might be as short as possible. This jumped with Sheridan's humour, and the speech was accompanied by a stage direction, enjoining Kelly to gaze for a moment at a cottage in the distance, and to proceed thus: ``Here stands my Louisa's cottage---and she must be either in it or out of it.'' The audience were much amused at this sublime and solitary speech.---(Vol. ii., p. 63.)</p> <p> Some other good jokes passed betwixt the wit and the melodist. When Kelly had a dangerous fall on the stage, Sheridan alleged that he exclaimed: ``And if I had been killed now, who was to maintain me for the rest of my life?'' Though he allowed his friend the confusion of ideas commonly imputed to the Green Isle, he would not permit him to possess its dialect; for one night, when Kelly performed an Irish character, Sheridan called to compliment him upon his excellent English. On another occasion, Sheridan was to have an audience of the late King, on theatrical business, for which purpose his present Majesty condescended to propose carrying him down at an appointed hour to Windsor. In order that Sheridan might be near Canton House, and sure of keeping his appointment at twelve next day, Kelly, retiring to sleep in the country, gave up his own bed in Pall Mall to his patron. But, unluckily, Sheridan detected in Michael's pantry a cold neck of mutton, together with a comfortable reserve of five bottles of port, two of Madeira, and one of brandy, all which he consumed with a brace of jolly companions, and, busied with poor Kelly's good cheer, quite neglected, and indeed incapacitated himself for the purpose for which he had borrowed his lodgings.--- Vol ii., p. 223. A still more severe joke was his subjecting Kelly to be arrested for an upholsterer's bill with which he had no personal concern. But Sheridan, on this occasion, did his friend ample justice. He not only persuaded the upholsterer to release Kelly, but, to punish the citizen for his unjust and ungenerous arrest, he borrowed two hundred pounds of him.</p> <p> One more extraordinary anecdote of this singular compound of genius and carelessness, and we have done.</p> <p> <u>Pizarro</u> was brought forward as the stay and prop of Drury; all the boxes were bespoke and the scenery prepared; and still Kelly had not been supplied with one word of the songs for which he was to compose music, and the half-distracted composer dunned the bard in vain. Some hope was afforded by a summons at ten o'clock one evening, when Sheridan carried him off from a choice party just at the sweetest hour of the night, but it was only to show him the Temple of the Sun, through the vapours of a large bowl of negus which the bard had planted in the critics' row of the empty pit. At length they got to work, and a curious process it was. ``Here,'' said Sheridan, ``I design a procession of the virgins of the sun, with a solemn hymn.'' Kelly sung a bar or two suitable for the occasion.</p> <p> ``He (Sheridan) then made a sort of rumbling noise with his voice (for he had not the slightest idea of turning a tone,) resembling a deep, gruff bow, wow, wow; but though there was not the slightest resemblance of an air in the noise he made, yet so clear were his ideas of effect, that I perfectly understood his meaning, though conveyed through the medium of a bow, wow, wow.''---=Kelly,= vol ii., pp. 145, 146.</p> <p> Cora's song Sheridan <u>did</u> supply; and Kelly got some song-wright to <u>do</u> the rest after the ideas which he had collected from these ``bow, wow, wows.'' By the way, the choral hymn of these same virgins, vol. ii., p. 193, the same which in <u>Peeping Tom</u> is set to the words of Pretty Maud, is erroneously termed by Mr. Kelly a Scotch air. It is an English ballad of the reign of George I., on the catastrophe of the celebrated pirate, beginning<p> ``My name is Captain Kidd, When I sail'd, when I sail'd,'' &c.</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>these were among the most powerful causes that tended to obstruct the effect of Mr. Kemble's exertions to restore the reign of good taste in dramatic matters.</p> <ul> <li>Kelly's Reminiscences, vol. ii., p. 148.<p> Talk after this of being hunted with printers' devils, with ``more copy, sir---the press stands;'' pshaw.</p> <p> There are good anecdotes of many literary characters in this amusing miscellany. Some mistakes there must be: such, for example, is the statement that Mr. Lewis, author of the <u>Monk,</u> was poisoned by two favourite negroes, to whom he had bequeathed their liberty, and who became impatient for their legacy. That amiable, though odd man, died of sea-sickness as he returned from visiting his estate in the West Indies, where it is most certain he had exerted himself to improve the condition of his slaves. The disease was aggravated by his persisting in a fatal opinion of his own, that taking emetics would remove the nausea.</p> <p> There is a very diverting account of a party at Mr. Cumberland's, near Tunbridge, with Jack Bannister; how the veteran read the <u>Men of Mirth,</u> a new play, instead of opening a fresh bottle; how Kelly fell asleep during the reading; and what effect his snoring produced on the sensitive nerves of the poet; with much more to the same purpose.</p> <p> Mr. Kelly's style of story-telling is smart and lively, a little protracted now and then, as will happen to a professed narrator. In point of propriety we have only one stricture to make: the author ought to have spared us his sentimental lamentation over poor Mrs Crouch; it is too much in the line of Kotzebue morality. We never wish to press ourselves into the private intrigues and arrangements of public performers but the joys or sorrows which attend such connexions must not be blazoned as matters of public sympathy. There is bad taste in doing so. Mr. Kelly has told us many good stories, we beg to requite him with one of Northern growth. A young man in the midland counties of Scotland, boorishly educated and home-bred, succeeded in due time to his father's estate, and, as the <u>lairdship</u> was considerable began to be looked on as desirable company in the houses of those prudent matrons who have under their charge one, or more than one,<p> ``Penniless lass, wi' a lang pedigree.''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>his integrity was unsullied; and the whole tenor of his life was equally honourable to himself and useful to his art. At proper times and in gentlemen's society, he could show himself one of the old social school, who loved a cup of wine without a drop of allaying Tiber; but this was only, as Ben Jonson says, to give spirit to literary conversation; and, indeed, when we have heard Kemble pour forth the treasures of his critical knowledge over a bottle, we were irresistibly reminded of the author of <u>Epicene</u> giving law at the Mermaid or the Apollo.<p> A variety of persons are mentioned in Kelly's <u>Memoirs,</u> whose public exhibitions have given an hour of pleasure to conclude the human day of care, and who, in their private capacity, have enlightened the social circle, and afforded gravity itself a good excuse for being out of bed at midnight. Of these some are still labouring in their old walk; Liston, for example, whose face is a comedy, and whose mere utterance makes a jest out of dulness itself; and Charles Matthews, driven from the public stage to make way for puppets and pageants, and compelled to exert his talents, so extraordinary for versatility and inexhaustible resource, in making his own fortune instead of enriching the patentees.<*> Others enjoy a well-won</p> </p> <p>At last, while <u>Pizarro</u> was in the act of being performed,</p> <p>``all that was written of the play was actually rehearsing, and incredible as it may appear, until the end of the fourth act, neither Mrs. Siddons, nor Charles Kemble, nor Barrymore, had all their speeches for the fifth! Mr. Sheridan was upstairs in the prompter's room, where he was writing the last part of the play, while the earlier parts were acting; and every ten minutes he brought down as much of the dialogue as he had done, piece-meal, into the green-room, `abusing himself and his negligence, and making a thousand winning and soothing apologies, for having kept the performers so long in such painful suspense.''---=Kelly,= vol. ii., p.148, 147.</p> <p>One of this class, a lady of considerable rank, was, in the intervals of a formal entertainment, endeavouring to make the wealthy young cub a little more at ease by the ordinary jokes on his celibacy, and exhortations to take a wife with all speed. The interest which her ladyship seemed to take in the matter induced the sapient youth to explain his ideas of domestic convenience in these emphatic words, drawled out in the broad Angus dialect, without the least sense of impropriety, ``Na, my leddy; wives is <u>fashious</u> bargains---but I keep a missie.'' We leave the application to the Signor Kelly.</p> <ul> <li>Mr. Matthews died in July, 1835.</li> </ul> <p>independence in the quiet shade of retirement. There is Jack Bannister, honest Jack, who in private character, as upon the stage, formed so excellent a representation of the national character of Old England---Jack Bannister, whom even foot-pads could not find it in their heart to injure.<*></p> <ul> <li>This distinguished performer and best of good fellows was <em> actually stopped one evening by two foot pads, who recognizing </em> in his person the general favourite of the English audience, <em> begged his pardon and wished him good-night. Horace's wolf </em> was a joke to this.</li> </ul> <p>There he is, with his noble locks, now as remarkable when covered with snow as when their dark honours curled around his manly face, singing to his grand-children the ditties which used to call down the rapture of crowded theatres in thunders of applause. There is the other Jack, too, who discriminated every class and character of his countrymen, with all the shades which distinguish them, from the high-bred Major O'Flaherty,<*> down</p> <ul> <li>See <u>Note, ante,</u> part iii., p. 281.</li> </ul> <p>to Loony MacTwolter---he, too, enjoys <u>otium cum dignitate.</u> The recollection of past mirth has in it something sorrowful; the friends with whom we have shared it are gone; and those who promoted the social glee must feel their powers of enlivening decrease as we feel ours become less susceptible of excitement. Others there are mentioned in these pages whom ``our dim eyes seek in vain;'' their part has been played; the awful curtain has dropped on them for ever.<p> It must be interesting, therefore, to the public, to know the history and character of that rarest of all writers in the present age---a successful tragic author; by which, we understand, one whose piece has not only received ephemeral success, but has established itself on the stage as one of the best acting plays in the language. There is also much of interest about Home himself, as his character is drawn, and his habits described, in the essay prefixed to these volumes, by the venerable author of the <u>Man of Feeling,</u> who, himself very far advanced in life,<*> still cherishes the love of letters, and condescends</p> </p> <p><title> Life and Works of John Home.<! p103><*></p> <ul> <li>Article---The Life and Works of the Author of Douglas, <em> edited by the venerable Henry Mackenzie, appeared in 3 vols. </em> 8vo, in 1824; and this article in the Quarterly Review for * June, 1827.<p> Neither is it only to Scotland that these annals are interesting. There were men of literature in Edinburgh before she was renowned for romances, reviews, and magazines---<p> ``Vixerunt fortes ante Agamemnona;''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p><text> The memory of Mr. Home, as an author, depends, in England, almost entirely upon his celebrated tragedy of Douglas, which not only retains the most indisputable possession of the stage, but produces a stronger effect on the feelings of the audience, when the parts of Douglas and Lady Randolph are well filled, than almost any tragedy since the days of Otway. There maybe something of chance in having hit upon a plot of such general interest, and no author has been more fortunate in seeing the creatures of his imagination personified by the first performers which England could produce. But it is certain, that to be a favourite with those whose business it is to please the public, a tragedy must possess, in a peculiar degree, the means of displaying their powers to advantage; and it is equally clear, that the subject of Douglas, however felicitous in itself, was well suited to the talents of the writer, who treated it so as to enable them to accomplish a powerful effect on the feelings of successive generations of men.<p> It is to this distinguished circle, or, at least, to the greater part of its members, that Mr. Mackenzie introduces his readers; and they must indeed be void of curiosity who do not desire to know something more of such men than can be found in their works, and especially when the communication is made by a contemporary so well entitled to ask, and so well qualified to command, attention. We will endeavour, in the first place, to give some account of Mr. Home's life and times, as we find them detailed by this excellent biographer, and afterwards more briefly advert to his character as an author.</p> <p> Mr. John Home was the son of Mr. Alexander Home, town-clerk of Leith. His grandfather was a son of Mr. Home, of Floss, a lineal descendant of Sir James Home, of Coldingknowes, ancestor of the present Earl of Home. The poet, as is natural to a man of imagination, was tenacious of being descended from a family of rank, whose representatives were formerly possessed of power scarcely inferior to that of the great Douglasses, and wellnigh as fatal both to the crown and to themselves. We have seen a copy of verses addressed by Home to Lady Kinloch, of Gilmerton, in which he contrasts his actual situation with his ancient descent. They begin nearly thus,---for it must be noticed we quote from memory:<p> ``Sprung from the ancient nobles of the land, Upon the ladder's lowest round I stand:''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>Mr. Mackenzie died at Edinburgh, 14th January, 1831, in <em> his 86th year. See <u>ante,</u> pp. 343--347. A monument, bearing </em> an appropriate inscription, has since been erected to his memory * in the Greyfriars' churchyard of Edinburgh.---=Ed.=<p> ``At Dunbar the Earl of Home joined Sir John Cope. He was then an officer in the Guards, and thought it a duty to offer his service, when the king's troops were in the field. He came to Dunbar, attended by one or two servants. There were not wanting persons upon this occasion to make their remarks, and observe the mighty change which little more than a century had produced in Scotland.</p> <p> ``It was known to every body, who knew any thing of the history of their country, that the ancestors of this noble lord (once the most powerful peers in the south of Scotland) could at a short warning, have raised in their own territories a body of men, whose approach that Highland army, which had got possession of the capital of Scotland (and was preparing to fight the whole military force in that kingdom) would not have dared to wait.''---Vol. iii., pp. 76, 77.</p> <p> This love or pride of family was the source of another peculiarity in Mr. Home. Aristotle mentions the mispronouncing of a man's name as one of the most disagreeable of insults; and nobody, we believe, is very fond of having his name misspelled; but Home was peculiarly sensible on this point. The word is uniformly, in Scotland, pronounced <u>Hume,</u> and in ancient documents we have seen it written <u>Heume, Hewme,</u> and <u>Hoome;</u> but the principal branch of the family have long used the present orthography of <u>Home.</u> To <u>Home</u> the poet rigidly stuck fast and firm; and <u>Home</u> he on all occasions defended as the only legitimate shape, to the great entertainment of his friend David (the historian) whose branch of the family (that of Ninewells) had for some, or for no reason, preferred the orthography of <u>Hume,</u> to which the philosopher, though caring, as may be supposed, very little about the matter, naturally adhered. On one occasion, when the poet was high in assertion on this important subject, the historian proposed to settle the question by casting dice which should adopt the other's mode of spelling their name:---</p> <p> `` `Nay,' says John, `this is a most extraordinary proposal indeed, Mr. Philosopher---for if you lose, you take your own name, and if I lose, I take another man's name.' ''---Vol. i., p. 164.</p> <p> Before we leave this subject, we may mention to our readers, that the family pride which is often among the Scotch found descending to those who are in such humble situations as to render it ridiculous, has, perhaps, more of worldly prudence in it than might at first be suspected. A Clifford or a Percy, reduced in circumstances, feels a claim of long descent unsuitable to his condition, unavailing in assisting his views in life, and ridiculous as contrasted with them. He therefore sinks, and endeavours to forget, pretensions which his son or grandson altogether loses sight of. On the contrary, the system of entails in Scotland, their extent, and their perpetual endurance, naturally recommend to a Home, or a Douglas, to preserve an account of his genealogy, in case of some event occurring which may make him <u>heir of tailzie</u> to a good estate. And while this attention to pedigree may conduce to some contingent advantage, it influences naturally the feelings of the young <u>Hidalgos</u> upon whom it is inculcated, and who soon learn to prize the <u>genus et proavos,</u> as being flattering to their vanity, as well as what may, by possibility, tend to advance their fortune. A certain number of calculable chances would have made the author of Douglas the Earl of Home; and, indeed, an epidemic among the Scottish peerage (which Heaven forefend!) would make wild changes when the great roll is next called in Holyrood. Like every thing, in short, in this motley world, the family pride of the north country has its effects of good and of evil. It often leads to a degree of care being bestowed on the education of these juvenile <u>gentillatres,</u> which might otherwise have been neglected; and forms, at the same time an excitement to honourable struggles for independence, and to manly resolutions of adopting the behaviour and sentiments of men of honour, though fortune has denied the means of supporting the figure of gentlemen otherwise. On the other hand, and with less happy dispositions, it sometimes occasions an incongruous alliance of pride and poverty, and exhibits the national character in a point of view equally arrogant and ridiculous.</p> <p> To return to our subject:---John Home, educated for the Scots Presbyterian Church, soon distinguished himself among his contemporaries at college, and ranked with Robertson, Hugh Blair, Adam Ferguson, who attended the same seminary, and others mentioned by Mr. Mackenzie, distinguished by their sense, learning, and talents, although they did not attain, or contend for, literary celebrity. Our author obtained his license to preach the gospel, as a probationer for the ministry (which is equivalent to taking deacon's orders in England,) in the eventful year, still emphatically distinguished in Scotland as the =forty-five.= The character of the times, however, furnished our young poet with employment more congenial to his temper than the peaceful and retired duties of the profession he had chosen. ``The land was burning;'' the young Chevalier had landed in the Highlands, with only seven followers, and came to try a desperate cast for the crown which his ancestors had lost. The character of Home at this period is thus described by his elegant biographer:</p> <p> ``His temper was of that warm susceptible kind which is caught with the heroic and the tender, and which is more fitted to delight in the world of sentiment than to succeed in the hustle of ordinary life, This is a disposition of mind well suited to the poetical character; and, accordingly, all his earliest companions agree that Mr. Home was from his childhood delighted with the lofty and heroic ideas which embody themselves in the description or narrative of poetry. One of them, nearly a coeval of Mr. Home's, Dr. A. Ferguson, says in a letter to me, that Mr. Home's favourite model of a character, on which, indeed, his own was formed, was that of Young Norval, in his tragedy of Douglas, one endowed with chivalrous valour and romantic generosity, eager for glory beyond every other object, and, in the contemplation of future fame, entirely regardless of the present objects of interest or ambition.'' ---Vol. i., pp. 6, 7.</p> <p> For such a character as this to sit inactive when arms were clashing around him, was impossible. John Home's profession as a Presbyterian clergyman, his political opinions, and those of his family, decided the cause which he was to espouse, and he became one of the most active and eager members of a corps of volunteers, formed for the purpose of defending Edinburgh against the expected assault of the Highlanders. Under less strong influence of education and profession, which was indeed irresistible, it is possible he might have made a less happy option; for the feeling, the adventure, the romance, the poetry, all that was likely to interest the imagination of a youthful poet---all, in short, save the common sense, prudence, and sound reason of the national dispute---must be allowed to have lain on the side of the Jacobites. Indeed, although mortally engaged against them, Mr. Home could not, in the latter part of his life, refrain from tears when mentioning the gallantry and misfortunes of some of the unfortunate leaders in the Highland army; and we have ourselves seen his feelings and principles divide him strangely when he came to speak upon such topics.</p> <p> The body of the corps of volunteers, with which Mr. Home was associated, consisted of about from four to five hundred; many, doubtless, were gallant young men, students from the university and so forth---but by far the greater part were citizens, at an age unfit to take up arms, without previous habit and experience. They had religious zeal and political enthusiasm to animate them; but these, though they make a prodigious addition to the effect of discipline cannot supply its place. Cromwell's enthusiasts beat all the nobility and gentry of England; but the same class of men, not having the advantage of similar training, fled at Bothwell Bridge, without even waiting to see their enemy. Many of the Edinburgh corps were, moreover, <u>Oneyers</u> and <u>Moneyers,</u> as Falstaff says, men whose words upon 'Change would go much farther than their blows in battle. Most had shops to be plundered, houses to be burned, children to be brained with Lochaber axes, and wives, daughters, and favourite handmaidens to be treated according to the rules of war. When, therefore, it was proposed to the volunteers to march out of the city together with what was called the _Edinburgh Regiment,_--- a very indifferent body of men, who had been levied and embodied for the nonce,---and supported by two regular regiments of dragoons, called Gardiner's and Hamilton's, which were expected to hear the brunt of the battle,---we are informed by a contemporary author,<*> that---</p> </li> </ul> <p>to please at once and instruct those of the present day, who are attached to such pursuits, by placing before them a lively picture of those predecessors at whose feet he was brought up.<p> ``The provost had no power to order the volunteers out of town: he only <u>consented</u> that as many as pleased should be allowed to march out. But it seems they had as little inclination to go as he had power to order them. A few of them made a faint effort, but 'tis said, met with opposition from some of the <u>zealously affected,</u> who represented to them the infinite value of their lives in comparison of those ruffians, the Highlanders:---this opposition they were never able to overcome.''</p> <p> The arrangement, however, was made; the dragoons were paraded on the <u>High Street,</u> and the fire-bell rang for the volunteers to assemble, a signal for which the provost was afterwards highly censured, perhaps because, instead of rousing the hearts of the volunteers like the sound of a trumpet, it rather reminded them of a passing-knell. They did assemble, however; but their relations (according to our poet's account) assembled also, mixed in their ranks, and while the men reasoned and endeavoured to dissuade their friends from so rash an adventure, the women expostulated, complained, and wept, embracing their husbands, sons, and brothers, and by the force of their tears and entreaties, melting down the fervour of their resolutions. At last the battalion was ordered to move towards <u>the Westport,</u> when, behold the officers complained that their men would not follow, while the men declared that their officers would not lead the way. The bravest hearts were cast down by the general consternation. We remember an instance of a stout Whig and a very worthy man, a writing-master by occupation, who had ensconced his bosom beneath a professional cuirass, consisting of two quires of long foolscap writing-paper; and, doubtful that even this defence might be unable to protect his valiant heart from the claymores, amongst which its impulses might carry him, had written on the outside, in his best flourish, ``This is the body of J------ M------; pray give it Christian burial.'' Even this hero, prepared as one practised how to die, could not find it in his heart to accompany the devoted battalion farther than the door of his own house, which stood conveniently open about the head of <u>the Lawn Market.</u> The descent of <u>the Bow</u> presented localities and facilities equally convenient for desertion; and the pamphleteer, whom we have already quoted, assures us that a friend of his, who had made a poetical description of the march of the volunteers from the Lawn Market to the Westport, when they went out, or, more properly, seemed to be about to go out, to meet the ruthless rebels, had invented a very magnificent simile to illustrate his subject. ``He compared it to the course of the Rhine, which, rolling pompously its waves through fertile fields, instead of augmenting in its course, is continually drawn off by a thousand canals, and at last becomes a small rivulet, which loses itself in the sands before it reaches the ocean.''</p> <p> The behaviour of the doughty dragoons themselves, ``whose business it was to die,'' was even less edifying than that of the citizen volunteers, whose business it was, as Fluellen says to Pistol, ``to live and eat their victuals;'' and though it leads us something off our course, yet, as Mr. Home's history of the <u>forty-five</u> forms a part of the work now before us, the following lively description (from the pen, it is believed, of his distinguished friend David) will not be altogether impertinent to the subject, and may probably amuse the reader. After remarking that cavalry ought to have the same advantage over irregular infantry, which veteran infantry possess over cavalry, and that particularly in the case of Highlanders, whom they encounter with their own weapon, the broadsword, and who neither formed platoons, nor had bayonets, or any other long weapon, to withstand a charge ---after noticing, moreover, that if it were too sanguine to expect a victory, Brigadier Fowke, who commanded two regiments of cavalry, might, at least, have made a leisurely and regular retreat, though he had advanced within a musket-shot of his enemy, before a column that could not turn out five mounted horsemen, he proceeds thus :---</p> <p> ``Before the rebels came within sight of the King's forces, before they came within three miles' distance of them, orders were issued to the dragoons to wheel, which they immediately did with the greatest order and regularity imaginable. As it is known that nothing is more beautiful than the evolutions and movements of cavalry, the spectators stood in expectation what fine warlike man<oe>uvre they might terminate in; when new orders were immediately issued to retreat, they immediately obeyed and began to march in the usual pace of cavalry. Orders were repeated every furlong to quicken their pace, and both precept and example concurring, they quickened it so well that, before they reached Edinburgh, they had quickened it to a pretty smart gallop. They passed in inexpressible hurry and confusion through the narrow lanes at Barefoot's parks, in the sight of all the north part of the town, to the infinite joy of the disaffected, and equal grief and consternation of all the other inhabitants, They rushed like a torrent down to Leith, where they endeavoured to draw breath; but some unlucky boy (I suppose a Jacobite in his heart) calling to them that the Highlanders were approaching, they immediately took to their heels again, and galloped to Prestonpans, about six miles farther. There, in a literal sense, <u>timor eddidit alas,</u> their fear added wings, I mean to the rebels. For otherwise, they could not possibly have imagined that these formidable enemies could be within several miles of them. But at Prestonpans the same alarm was repeated. The Philistines be upon thee, Sampson! They galloped to North Berwick, and being now about twenty miles on the other side of Edinburgh, they thought they might safely dismount from their horses and look out for victuals. Accordingly, like the ancient Grecian heroes, each began to kill and dress his provisions: _egit amor dabis atque pugn<ae>;_ they were actuated by the desire of supper and of battle. The sheep and turkies of North Berwick paid for this warlike disposition. But behold the uncertainty of human happiness! When the mutton was just ready to be put upon the table, they heard, or thought they heard, the same cry of the Highlanders. Their fear proved stronger than their hunger, they again got on horseback, but were informed time enough of the falseness of the alarm to prevent the spoiling of their meal. By such rudiments as these the dragoons were instructed, till at last they became so perfect at their lesson, that at the battle of Preston they could practise it of themselves, though even there the same good example was not wanting. I have seen an Italian opera, called <u>Cesare in Egitto,</u> or C<ae>sar in Egypt, where, in the first scene, C<ae>sar is introduced in a great hurry, giving orders to his soldiers, _fugge, fugge, allo scampo_---fly, fly, to your heels. This is a proof that the commander at the Coltbridge is not the first hero that gave such orders to his troops.''<*></p> </p> <p>and a single glance at the authors and men of science who dignified the last generation, will serve to show that, in those days, there were giants in the North. The names of Hume, Robertson, Fergusson, stand high in the list of British historians. Adam Smith was the father of the economical system in Britain, and his standard work will long continue the text-book of that science. Dr. Black, as a chemist, opened that path of discovery which has since been prosecuted with such splendid success. Of metaphysicians, Scotland boasted, perhaps, but too many: to Hume and Fergusson we must add Reid, and, though younger, yet of the same school, Mr. Dugald Stewart. In natural philosophy, Scotland could present Professor Robison, James Watt, whose inventions have led the way to the triumphs of human skill over the elements, and Clerk, of Eldin, who taught the British seaman the road to assured conquest. Others we could mention; but these form a phalanx, whose reputation was neither confined to their narrow, poor, and rugged native country, nor to England and the British dominions, but known and respected wherever learning, philosophy, and science were honoured.<p> While the regular troops were thus in hasty retreat, John Home and some few others of his more zealous brethren among the volunteers, were trying to overcome apprehensions in the corps at large, similar to those which drove the dragoons eastward, but which had the contrary effect of detaining the citizens within the circuit of their walls. Poets being ``of imagination all compact,'' are supposed to be more accessible than other men to the passion of fear; but there are numerous exceptions, and one scarcely wonders that the author of <u>Douglas</u> should have resembled, in that part of his character, the father of Grecian tragedy, thus described by Home's friend, Collins, in the _Ode to Fear:_---<p> ``Yet he the bard, who first invoked thy name, Disdain'd at Marathon thy power to feel, For not alone be nursed the poet's flame, But raised from virtue's hand the patriot's steel.''</p> </p> <p> In spite, however, of exhortation and example, the volunteers gave up their arms, and it only remained for Home, and the few who retained spirit enough for such an enterprise, to sally out and unite themselves with Sir John Cope, who had, as the song says, just---<p> ``landed at Dunbar Right early in the morning.''</p> </p> <p> John Home determined, however, to carry some intelligence, at least, which might be useful, and, for this purpose, he ventured to visit the bivouac of Prince Charles's army, which was in what is called the King's park, in a hollow, lying betwixt the two hills---Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags. Food had been just served out, and, as they were sitting in ranks on the ground, he had an opportunity of counting this handful of half-armed mountaineers, who came to overturn an established government, and to change the destinies of a mighty empire. They did not exceed two thousand men; and Home's description of their appearance, as he gave it to Sir John Cope, is no unfavourable example of his prose style of composition.</p> <p> ``The general asked what sort of appearance they made, and how they were armed. The volunteer (<u>i.e.</u> Home himself) answered, that most of them seemed to be strong, active, and hardy men: that many of them were of a very ordinary size, and, if clothed like Lowcountry men, would (in his opinion) appear inferior to the King's troops; but the Highland garb favoured them much, as it showed their naked limbs, which were strong and muscular: that their stern countenances, and bushy uncombed hair, gave them a fierce, barbarous, and imposing aspect. As to their arms, he said that they had no cannon or artillery of any sort, but one small iron gun which he had seen without a carriage, lying upon a cart, drawn by a little Highland horse; that about 1400 or 1200 of them were armed with firelocks and broadswords; that their firelocks were not similar or uniform, but of all sorts and sizes, muskets, fusees, and fowling pieces; that some of the rest had firelocks without swords, and some of them swords without firelocks that many of their swords were not Highland broadswords, but French; that a company or two (about 100 men,) had each of them in his hand the shaft of a pitchfork, with the blade of a scythe fastened to it, somewhat like the weapon called the Lochaber axe, which the town-guard soldiers carry; but all of them, he added, would be soon provided with firelocks, as the arms belonging to the Trained Bands of Edinburgh had fallen into their hands. Sir John Cope dismissed the volunteer, with many compliments for bringing him such certain and accurate intelligence.''---Vol. iii., pp. 75, 76.</p> <p> Of the zealous services of the few but faithful volunteers who did leave Edinburgh, Mr. Home gives us a slight account; but we cannot help rendering it a little more particular, having heard it more than once from the lips of a man of equal worth and humour, and a particular intimate of the author of <u>Douglas.</u> We firmly believe, though we cannot say it with absolute certainty, that Mr. Home was of the party, now reduced to five or six, whose proceedings we are about to describe.</p> <p> We will not be quite so particular as our venerable informer, in describing the marchings and countermarchings which the determined squad made through East Lothian, calling at every ale-house of reputation, to drink success to the Protestant cause, and endeavouring to collect news of Sir John Cope and his army. Indeed it would be rather tedious, as our authority, though very entertaining, was something minute in the narrative, and spared us not a single <u>rizard</u> haddock, which went to recruit their bodily strength, or a single chopin of twopenny, or mutchkin of brandy, which served to support their manly spirit for the approaching conflict. At length, they joined Sir John Cope and offered their service. Poor Johnnie, the object of so much satire and ridicule, was, in fact, by no means either a coward or a bad soldier, or even a contemptible general upon ordinary occasions. He was a pudding-headed, thick-brained sort of person, who could act well enough in circumstances with which he was conversant, especially as he was perfectly acquainted with the routine of his profession, and had been often engaged in action, without ever, until the fatal field of Preston, having shown sense enough to run away. On the present occasion, he was, as sportsmen say, at fault. He well knew that the high-road from Edinburgh to the south lies along the coast, and it seems never to have occurred to him that it was possible the Highlanders might choose, even by preference, to cross the country and occupy the heights, at the bottom of which the public road takes its course, and thus have him and his army in so far at their mercy, that they might avoid, or bring on battle, at their sole pleasure. On the contrary, Sir John trusted that their Highland courtesy would induce them, if they moved from Edinburgh, to come by the very road on which he was advancing towards that city, and thus meet him on equal terms. Under this impression, the general sent two of the volunteers, who chanced to be mounted, and knew the country, to observe the coast road, especially towards Musselburgh. They rode on their exploratory expedition, and, coming to that village, which is about six miles from Edinburgh, avoided the bridge, to escape detection, and crossed the Esk, it being then low water, at a place nigh its junction with the sea. Unluckily there was, at the opposite side, a snug, thatched tavern, kept by a cleanly old woman, called Lucky F------, who was eminent for the excellence of her oysters and sherry. The patrol were both _bon vivants_---one of them, whom we remember in the situation of a senator, as it is called, of the college of justice, was unusually so, and a gay, witty, agreeable companion besides. Luckie's sign, and the heap of oyster-shells deposited near her door, proved as great a temptation to this vigilant forlorn-hope as the wine-house to the Abbess of Andouillet's muleteer. They had scarcely got settled at some right <u>pandores,</u> with a bottle of sherry as an accompaniment, when, as some Jacobite devil would have it, an unlucky North Country lad, a writer's (<u>i.e.</u> attorney's) apprentice, who had given his indentures the slip, and taken the white cockade, chanced to pass by on his errand to join Prince Charlie. He saw the two volunteers through the window, knew them, and guessed their business; he saw the tide would make it impossible for them to return along the sands as they had come. He, therefore, placed himself in ambush upon the steep, narrow, impracticable bridge, which was then, and for many years afterwards, the only place of crossing the Esk: ``and how he contrived it,'' our narrator used to proceed, ``I never could learn; but the courage and assurance of the province from which he came, are proverbial. In short, the Norland whipper-snapper surrounded and made prisoners of my two poor friends, before they could draw a trigger.'' Here our excellent friend was apt to make a pause, and hurry to the scene of slaughter which the field exhibited in the afternoon. A little cross-examination, however, easily brought out the termination of the campaign, so far as concerned our faithful remnant of volunteers now reduced to five or six.</p> <p> When the party which marched with Cope's army had arrived at the spot where the battle took place on the next morning, it was natural that they should quarter themselves in the house of the father of our narrator (a clergyman,) which was in the immediate vicinity of the destined field. Our friend, as was no less natural, recollected a small scantling of madeira, and it was judged prudent to anticipate the order of the next day by drinking it up themselves. They then went to bed, desiring the maid-servant to call them at sunrise, or how much sooner the battle should begin. But, alas! the first edge of the sun's disk that rose above the ocean saw both the beginning and the end of the fray, and the volunteers had just dreamed that they heard a cannon shot or two, when the mother of our friend burst into his room, imploring him to hide his arms, for the King's army was totally routed. ``We bustled up in a hurry,'' said our friend, ``scarcely thinking the tidings possible; when, from the window, I could see the dragoons, whose nerves had never recovered the Canter of Coltbrigg, as that retreat was called, in full rout, pursued by the whole cavalry of the Highland army, consisting of Lord Elcho, Sir Peter Threipland, and two or three gentlemen, with their grooms.'' ``In short,'' as our friend expressed himself, ``the dragoons and Highlanders divided the honours of the day, and on that occasion, at least, the race was to the swift, and the battle to the strong.'' The sleepers, thus unpleasantly alarmed, were now obliged to conceal or surrender their arms, and employ what remained of their zeal in attending to the wounded, who were brought into the clergyman's house in great numbers, dreadfully mangled by the broadswords. One of the volunteers (for two of the corps actually were in the battle, after all the impediments which oysters, sherry, and old madeira had thrown in their way) received thirty wounds, yet recovered. His name was Myrie, a Creolian by birth, and a student of medicine at the college of Edinburgh. His comrade, Campbell, escaped by speed of horse. Hence, the verses on the volunteers, in the satiric ballad which old Skirwing (father of Skirving the artist) wrote upon this memorable conflict:---<p> ``Of a' the gang nane stood the bane But twa, and ane was ta'en man, For Campbail rade, but Myrie staid, And sure he paid the kain<*> man.</p> </p> </p> <p>and the general tone and spirit are those of one who feels himself by birth and spirit placed above a situation of dependence to which for the time he was condemned. The same family pride glances out in our author's History of the Rebellion of 1745, in the following passage:<p> Fell skelps he got, was worse than shot, From the sharp-edged claymore man.''</p> <p> If the author of <u>Douglas</u> was, as we believe, one of the party of sleepers thus unpleasantly awakened, the unexpected issue of the combat, and the ghastly spectacle of the wounded, did not prevent him from again engaging---and that scarcely under more fortunate auspices--in the same service.</p> <p> The town of Glasgow raised a body of volunteers, in which Home obtained the situation of lieutenant. This regiment joined General Hawley on the 13th of January, 1746, and our author was present in the action near Falkirk, which seems to have been as confused an affair as can well be imagined. Hawley had not a better head, and certainly a much worse heart than Sir John Cope, who was a humane, good-tempered man. The new general ridiculed severely the conduct of his predecessor, and remembering that he had seen, in 1715, the left wing of the Highlanders broken by a charge of the Duke of Argyle's horse, which came upon them across a morass, he resolved to man<oe>uvre in the same manner. He forgot, however, a material circumstance---that the morass at Sheriffmuir was hard frozen, which made some difference in favour of the cavalry. Hawley's man<oe>uvre, as commanded and executed, plunged a great part of his dragoons up to the saddle-laps in a bog, where the Highlanders cut them to pieces with so little trouble, that, as one of the performers assured us, the feat was as easy as slicing <u>bacon.</u> The gallantry of some of the English regiments beat off the Highland charge on another point, and, amid a tempest of wind and rain which has been seldom equalled, the field presented the singular prospect of two armies flying different ways at the same moment. The King's troops, however, ran fastest and farthest, and were the last to recover their courage; indeed, they retreated that night to Falkirk, leaving their guns, burning their tents, and striking a new panic into the British nation, which was but just recovering from the flutter excited by what, in olden times, would have been called the Raid of Derby. In the drawingroom which took place at Saint James's on the day the news arrived, all countenances were marked with doubt and apprehension, excepting those of George the Second, the Earl of Stair, and Sir John Cope, who was radiant with joy at Hawley's discomfiture. Indeed, the idea of the two generals was so closely connected, that a noble peer of Scotland, upon the same day, addressed Sir John Cope by the title of General Hawley, to the no small amusement of those who heard the <u>qui pro quo.</u></p> <p> Mr. Home had some share in this action. The Glasgow regiment, being newly levied, was not honoured with a place in the line, though it certainly could not have behaved worse than some who held that station; they were drawn up beside some cottages on the left of the dragoons, and seem to have stood fast when the others went off. Presently afterwards General Hawley rode past them, in the midst of a disorderly crowd of horse and foot, and he himself apparently considerably discomposed; for he could give no answer to Mr. Home, who asked him for orders, and was solicitous to know whether any regiments were standing, and where they were; but, pointing to a fold for cattle, he desired the volunteers to get in there, and so rode down the hill, the confusion becoming general. After remaining where they had been imprisoned, rather than posted, and behaving with considerable spirit,<*> Lieutenant Home, his captain,</p> </p> <ul> <li>We quote from a pamphlet entitled _A True Account of <em> the Behaviour and Conduct of Archibald Stewart, Esq., late </em> Lord Provost of Edinburgh, in a Letter to a Friend;_ London, <em> 1748; a production which there is strong evidence, both external </em> and internal, for attributing to the pen of David * Hume.---S.</li> <li>Account of the Behaviour, &c., of Archibald Stewart, * Esq.---S.<p> Their doom, however, was milder: they were imprisoned in the old castle of Doune, on the north side of the Forth, built by one of the Dukes of Albany, and their place of confinement was near the top of that very lofty building. Nevertheless, five or six of the prisoners, Home being of the number, proposed the hazardous experiment of an attempt to escape by descending from the battlements, a height of seventy feet, by means of a rope constructed out of slips of their blankets, which they tore up for that purpose. The issue of the attempt vindicates what we have said of Home's courage and spirit: we will, therefore, give it in his own words :---</p> <p> ``When every thing was adjusted, they went up to the battlements, fastened the rope, and about one o'clock in the morning began to descend. The two officers, with Robert Douglas, and one of the men taken up as spies, got down very well; but the fifth man, one of the spies, who was very tall and big, coming down in a hurry, the rope broke with him just as his feet touched the ground. The lieutenant (Home himself,) standing by the wall of the castle, called to the volunteer, whose turn it was to come down next, not to attempt it; for that twenty or thirty feet were broken off from the rope. Notwithstanding this warning, which he heard distinctly, he put himself upon the rope, and coming down as far as it lasted, let go his hold: his friend Douglas and the lieutenant (who were both above the middle size,) as soon as they saw him upon the rope (for it was moonlight) put themselves under him, to break his fall, which in part they did; but falling from so great a height, he brought them both to the ground, dislocated one of his ancles, and broke several of his ribs. In this extremity the lieutenant raised him from the ground and taking him upon his back, for he was slender and not very tall, carried him towards the road which led to Alloa. When the lieutenant was not able to go any farther with his burden, other two of the company, holding each of them one of Mr. Barrow's arms, helped him to hop along upon one leg. In this manner they went on very slowly, a mile or so; but thinking that, at the rate they proceeded, they would certainly be overtaken, they resolved to call at the first house they should come to. When they came to a house, they found a friend; for the landlord, who rented a small farm, was a Whig, and as soon as he knew who they were, ordered one of his sons to bring a horse from the stable, take the lame gentleman behind him, and go as far as his assistance was necessary. Thus equipped, they went on by Alloa to Tullyallan, a village near the sea, where they hired a boat to carry them off to the Vulture sloop-of-war, which was lying at anchor in the Frith of Forth. Captain Falconer of the Vulture received them very kindly, and gave them his barge to carry them to Queensferry.''---Vol. iii,, pp. 172--174.</p> <p> The volunteer who suffered on this occasion was Thomas Barrow. This is the mutual friend of Home and Collins, ``the cordial youth'' referred to in the ode on the Highland superstitions, addressed by the latter to the former poet. When Mr. Home's connexion with the great enabled him to serve his friends, Barrow was not forgotten; and Barrow repaid the obligation by making Home acquainted with Collins, who, in consequence, delighted with the legends of mystery which Home repeated to him, composed that beautiful ode, which is certainly one of the most pleasing and poetical of his compositions.</p> <p> We are now done with Mr Home's military exploits and hazards, on which we have, perhaps, dwelt too long, though it must be remembered that our author was the historiographer of that period. His studies were resumed ``and chiefly,'' says his biographer, were ``such as to lead his mind to that lofty and martial sentiment the swell of which is one of the nurses of poetry.''</p> <p> ``Amidst his classical and poetical reading, however, Mr. Home occupied himself not only in the studies of ethics and divinity, but also in the composition of sermons. But even at these moments, it would seem as if his mind was constrained, not changed, from its favourite bent; for, on the backs, or blank interstices of the papers containing some of his earliest composed sermons, there are passages of poetry, written in a more or less perfect state, as the inspiration or leisure of the moment prompted or allowed.''---Vol. i., p. 23.</p> <p> Mr. Home was appointed in the year 1746 minister of Athelstoneford, in East Lothian, a locality which he has not forgotten in his celebrated tragedy, having fixed the apprehended descent of the Danes<p> ``near to that place where the sea-rock immense, Amazing Bass, looks o'er a fertile land.''</p> </p> <p> Mr. Home's leisure, although his clerical duties were not only regularly, but strictly attended to, naturally induced him to indulge his poetical taste, and without, perhaps, suspecting the scandal the choice might occasion, to direct it towards dramatic composition. Admiring Plutarch, as that biographer must be admired by all who have the least pretension to poetical imagination, and being, as Mr. Mackenzie informs us, attached, like most other young men of ardent minds, to the republican form of government, he selected from the storehouse of the old Grecian the story of Agis, without, perhaps, minutely inquiring whether the subject had enough of general interest in itself to support the dialogue through five acts, or was likely to be much improved by the ordinary receipt of a love-intrigue, awkwardly dovetailed into the general plot.</p> <p> About the end of 1749 he went to London, and tendered his play to Garrick; but the author, at that time, was an unknown Scottish clergyman, and the manager, whose interest was always best secured by distinction, patronage, or literary reputation at least, declined bringing the piece forward. Under the feelings of mortification to find neglect<p> ``his only meed, (And heavy falls it on so proud a head,)''</p> </p> </li> <li>Literally, ``paid the rent;'' equivalent to the English * phrase of ``paid the reckoning.''---S.<p> On Home's return to Scotland, he continued his dramatic labours under better auspices. The old ballad of Gil Morrice supplied him with a plot of simple, yet engrossing and general interest, upon which the tragedy of <u>Douglas</u> was composed, amidst the universal applause of the literary associates of the author, which circle already comprehended the first order of Edinburgh literati---Lord Elibank, David Hume, Mr. Wedderburn, Dr. Adam Ferguson, &c. A second journey to London---a second application to Garrick, met with a similar rebuff as in the case of <u>Agis:</u> the manager pronounced the play totally unfit for the stage. There might, indeed, be another reason for this rejection: Garrick was naturally partial to those pieces in which he himself could appear to advantage, and, though not more than forty years of age, he was scarcely, in 1755, the natural representative of the stripling Douglas.</p> <p> The friends of the author were of a different opinion from the English manager, and determined to try the experiment of a play written by a Scotsman, and produced for the first time, on a provincial stage---so that of Edinburgh was now to be termed. Its reception of <u>Douglas,</u> as appears from the following account by Mr. Mackenzie, was as brilliant as the author's friends, nay, the author himself, could have desired :---</p> <p> ``Dr. Carlyle, who sometimes witnessed the rehearsals, expresses, in his Memoirs,<*> his surprise and admiration at the</p> </li> <li>Home, in his own History, is silent on the behaviour of the <em> Glasgow regiment, but not so a metrical chronicler, who wrote </em> a history of the insurrection in doggrel verse indeed, but sufficiently <em> accurate. This author, who is, indeed, no other than </em> Dugald Grahame, bellman of Glasgow, says that the Highlanders, <em> having beaten the horse--- </em> <em> ``The south side being fairly won, </em> They faced north, as had been done; <em> Where next stood, to bide the crush, </em> The volunteers, who zealous, <em> Kept firing close, till near surrounded, </em> And by the flying horse confounded: <em> They suffer'd sair into this place, </em> No Highlander pitied their case: * `You cursed militia,<code> they did swear, * `What a devil did bring you here?</code> '' * <u>History of the Rebellion</u> in 1745--1746.---S.</li> </ul> <p>and a few of his men, were taken upon their retreat; they were used with little courtesy by the Highlanders, who made allowances for the opposition which they experienced from the red-coats, but could not see what interest the militia or volunteers had in the matter. Accordingly, when the prisoners, being lodged in gaol at Falkirk, and neglected in the general hurry, became clamorous for provisions---the sergeant of their guard very soberly asked them ``what occasion they could possibly have for supper, since they were to be hanged in the morning.''<p> But, with the voice of praise arose, in startling disunion, a loud note of censure. Betwixt the two parties which divide the Church of Scotland, one (to which it maybe easily believed John Home did <u>not</u> belong) was, and in some degree still is, distinguished by a certain shade of Puritanism, which, when arising from a sincerely scrupulous conscience, and combined with a Christian charity towards those who may differ in opinion, merits, not merely pardon, but profound respect---but is not entitled to the same indulgence when it assumes to itself an intolerant character. These zealous professors, above all other men, abhorring the doctrines of Rome nominally, did not, perhaps, very far depart from them in principle, when they affirmed it was the duty of a sincere Christian to abstain from certain harmless pleasures, indifferent, nay, moral in themselves. They allowed their followers to gorge upon beef and pudding on fast-days, as well as holidays; but dancing, music, dramatic representation, and other lighter amusements, though as harmless, when practised with moderation, as food to the palate, were sternly interdicted.</p> <p> It must be, indeed, admitted that the practice of the stage had been, during the preceding century, such as gave the censors much room to argue, from the abuse, against even the use of the theatre. It is not, however, our purpose here to enter into a controversy, which has, in a manner, died away of itself, but which existed, at the time we treat of, in all the gall of bitterness. In such a temper of the public mind, it was not wonderful that the appearance of a tragedy, written by a Presbyterian clergyman, and attended and applauded by many of his brethren, and those of great reputation for learning and talents, should appear to many like a ``waxing dim of the fine gold,''---an innovation on the strictness of principle and purity of manners esteemed essential to the Church of Scotland.</p> <p> ``The Presbytery of Edinburgh published a solemn admonition on the subject, beginning with expressions of deep regret at the growing irreligion of the times, particularly the neglect of the <u>Sabbath;</u><*> but calculated chiefly to warn all</p> </p> <p>the unsuccessful tragedian made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Shakspeare, and there wrote a copy of verses, imploring the deceased bard to transmute him into a marble image, and fix him beside his monument, since he had not obtained the opportunity of fascinating the public by tragic powers resembling his own.</p> <ul> <li>Unfortunately, we believe, for the public, these Memoirs <em> are still in MS. From what we have heard, they abound in </em> very curious matter.---S.<p> ``This step of the Presbytery, like all other overstrained proceedings of that nature, provoked resistance and ridicule on the part of the public. The wags poured forth parodies, epigrams, and songs. These were, in general, not remarkable for their wit or pleasantry, though some of them were the productions of young men, afterwards eminent in letters or in station.''---Vol. i., p. 42.</p> <p> We have a collection of these productions on our table at this moment; and it must be owned that it contains more trash and nonsense than could have been expected to have been produced by a general controversy in the eighteenth century. Here follows a specimen, taken where the book chanced to open :---</p> <p> ``It is agreed upon, by sober pagans themselves, that play-actors are the most profligate wretches, and vilest vermin, that hell ever vomited out; that they are the filth and garbage of the earth, the scum and stain of human nature, the excrement's and refuse of all mankind, the pests and plagues of human society; the debauchers of men's minds and morals; unclean beasts, idolatrous papists or atheists, and the most horrid and abandoned villains that ever the sun shone upon.''</p> <p> Truly these are very bitter words; the zeal of such a controversialist is like that imputed by Dryden to Jeremy Collier, which, if it had not eaten the disputants up, must be allowed to have devoured all sense of decency and good manners. Of course there were other censures, expressed in a decent and moderate tone; yet it is astonishing how many circumstances were unfairly brought in. The general accusation of a clergyman's having written the death of Lady Randolph,---a catastrophe which may be fairly imputed to insanity, produced by extreme grief,---was said to imply a vindication of suicide; and some other passages were wiredrawn in the same way to produce inferences, which no man of candour can suppose were within the thoughts of the writer. Among these instances of want of candour and misconstruction, we do not include the objections made to a solemn prayer addressed to the Deity by one of the personages in the piece. The act of adoration is highly unfitted for mimic representation, and Mr Home's error--- however remote any notion of irreverence may have been from his mind,---was visited with, we think, deserved reprehension.</p> <p> Upon the whole, the high Calvinistical party prevailed so far, that the author had no chance of escaping the highest censures of his Church, if not the sentence of deprivation, save by voluntarily resigning his charge. His parishioners at Athelstoneford parted with their pastor with such regret, that, when he preached his farewell sermon, there was not a dry eye in the church. And,</p> <p> ``at a subsequent period,'' says Mr. Mackenzie, `` when he retired from active life, and built a house in East Lothian, near the parish where he had once been minister, his former parishioners, as Lord Haddington informed me, insisted on leading the stones for the building, and would not yield to his earnest importunity to pay them any compensation for their labour.''---Vol. i., p. 34.</p> <p> Home's professional friends and companions did not escape the censures of the Church, for the encouragement they had given his dramatic labours. The chief among these was Dr. Carlyle, for a long period clergyman at Musselburgh, whose character was as excellent as his conversation was amusing and instructive, and whose person and countenance, even at a very advanced age, were so lofty and commanding as to strike every artist with his resemblance to the Jupiter Tonans of the Pantheon. It was stated in aggravation of this reverend gentleman's crime in attending the theatre, that two rude or intoxicated young men having entered the box, and behaved uncivilly to some ladies, the doctor took the trouble of turning them out, which his great personal strength enabled him to do with little resistance or disturbance. He underwent a rebuke which did not sit very heavy on him. Similar measures of punishment were dealt out to other <u>play-haunters,</u> as those clergymen were termed who had ventured, however unfrequently, into the precincts of a theatre. But the effect on the public mind was, like all proceedings in which the punishment is disproportioned to the offence, more unfavourable to the judges than to the accused. The public, considering the whole dialogue and tendency of Mr. Home's play of <u>Douglas</u> as favourable to virtuous and honourable feeling, did not sympathize with the extreme horror expressed at what the Presbytery of Glasgow called ``the <u>melancholy fact</u> that there should have been a tragedy written by a minister of the Church of Scotland;'' and the ultimate consequence of the whole debate was a considerable increase of liberality on the part of the churchmen, many of whom now attend the theatre, though rarely, and when the entertainment is suited to their character; and it is to be hoped that the discussion may have produced on the other side an increased sense of decency respecting the representations on the stage. When Mrs. Siddons first acted in Edinburgh, in 1784, the General Assembly, or Convocation of the Church of Scotland, which was then sitting, had some difficulty in procuring a full attendance of its members on the nights when she performed. And wherefore should this be matter either of scandal or of censure, if the sentiments of Dr. Adam Fergusson are just, as expressed in a letter to Mr. Mackenzie, on the subject of Home's dramatic composition---</p> <p> ``Theatrical compositions, like every other human production, are, in the abstract, not more laudable or censurable than any other species of composition, but are either good or bad, moral or immoral, according to the management or the effect of the individual tragedy or comedy we are to see represented, or to peruse.''---Vol. i., pp.75, 76.</p> <p> Driven from his own profession by the fanaticism of his brethren, Home had no difficulty, such was his extended reputation, in obtaining one in the world's eye more distinguished, which placed him contiguous to greatness, rendered him intimate with state-affairs, and might, had that been the object of his ambition, have been the means of accumulating wealth. He was warmly patronized by Lord Bute, then prime minister, and, notwithstanding his unpopularity, possessed of considerable learning and taste. The access to the London stage was now open to the favourite of the favourite. Garrick, indeed, persisted in not bringing out <u>Douglas,</u> but that play appeared with great success upon the rival stage of Covent Garden, where the silver-tongued Barry represented the hero of the piece; and soon after, the manager of Drury Lane, with many protestations of his admiration of the merits of the piece and genius of the author, brought out the play of <u>Agis,</u> which he had formerly neglected. The manager, however, had made the worse choice. Inferior to <u>Douglas,</u> especially in having no point of predominant interest, no grappling-iron to secure the attention of the audience--- even the talents of Garrick could not give to <u>Agis</u> much vitality. Its stately declamation was heard with cold inattention, and, contrary to the hopes of the author, and prognostication of the experienced manager, after a flash of success, it was withdrawn from the stage. Several other tragedies of Mr. Home's were afterwards exhibited, but none, save <u>Douglas,</u> with remarkable applause, and one or two with marked disapprobation. The cause of such repeated failures, after such splendid success, we may afterwards advert to.</p> <p> Mr. Home was now formally installed in Lord Bute's family as private secretary, and his biographer hints that his lordship's choice was determined more by the desire of enjoying the poet's agreeable conversation, than by any expectation of deriving assistance from him in transacting public business. Home was indeed, like many other bards, in every respect the reverse of a man of method, indifferent to loss of time, and averse from all regularity and form, which are necessary to the management of affairs. When, on some occasion, he had lent his friend Adam Fergusson <L>200, upon a note of hand, and could not redeliver the <u>voucher</u> on receiving payment of the money, he gave an acknowledgment in terms too poetical to be very good in law; ``If ever the note appears,'' said the letter of acknowledgment, ``it will be of no use but to show what a foolish, thoughtless, inattentive fellow I am.'' On the other hand, his conversation while in the prime of life, must have been highly entertaining. When those of the present generation knew him, age had brought its usual infirmities of repetition and prolixity, but still his discourse was charming. ``He came into a company,'' says one of his contemporaries, ``like a sunbeam into a darkened room: his excellent temper and unaffected cheerfulness, his absence from every thing like reserve or formality, giving light to every eye and colour to every cheek. Yet Home's conversation could neither be termed sprightly nor witty. In his comic humour it was characterised by a flow of easy pleasantry, of that species which indicates the speaker willing to please or be pleased at the lightest rate; and in his higher mood his thoughts, naturally turned to such subjects, were without affectation, formed on the sublime and beautiful in poetry, the dignified and the virtuous in history, the romantic and interesting in tradition, upon whatever is elevating and inspiring in humanity.'' Such conversation, flowing naturally and unaffectedly from a high imagination and extensive reading, is found to carry along with its tide and influence even the men of phlegmatic minds, who might, _<a`> priori,_ be regarded as incapable to appreciate and enjoy it. The late excellent King George III. was then under the charge of the Earl of Bute who was his chief preceptor. The turn of his understanding was towards strong sense and useful information--- the gods had not made him poetical---nevertheless, he loved the person and conversation of Home, of whom he naturally saw much. On his accession to the throne, that sovereign, of his own free motion, settled upon the poet a pension of <L>300; an office connected with Scotland, called Conservator of Scots Privileges at Campvere, added as much more to his income, and that was all the fortune with which he returned to Scotland when Lord Bute retired from office. He had also a lease of a farm on very advantageous terms from his former patron and friend Sir David Kinloch of Gilmerton, where he built a house, as has been already mentioned. In 1770, he married the daughter of Mr. Home, a friend and relative of his own, whose delicate health gave his affectionate disposition frequent cause of apprehension, but who nevertheless survived him. They had no family.</p> <p> In 1778, Mr. Home again indulged his passion for military affairs by entering into the South Fencibles, a regiment raised by Henry Duke of Buccleuch, in which he had for comrades the present Earl of Haddington, William Adam, M.P. (now lord high commissioner of the Jury Court of Scotland,) and others who were well qualified to approve his merit and delight in his society. A fall from horseback, the second severe accident of the kind, interrupted his military career, and the contusion which he received in his head had a material influence on his future life. This accident was accompanied by something resembling a concussion of the brain. ``He recovered the accident as far as his bodily health was concerned,'' says Mr. Mackenzie, ``but his mind was never restored to its former vigour, nor regained its former vivacity.'' We may add that his subsequent compositions, though displaying flashes of his genius, never showed it in a continued and sustained flight.</p> <p> It was, however, only the pressing remonstrances of his friends which could induce Mr. Home, after this accident, to resign the <u>military</u> mode of life to which he had been so much attached, and to retire into a quiet and settled privacy of life. After the year 1779 he settled in Edinburgh, where he was the object of general respect and veneration. He mingled in society to the last, and though his memory was impaired respecting late events, it seemed strong and vigorous when his conversation turned on those which had occupied his attention at an early period. The following account of an entertainment at his house in Edinburgh, we received from a literary gentleman of Scotland, who was then beginning to attract the attention of the public. He was honoured with the notice of Mr. Home from some family circumstances, but chiefly from the kindly feeling which the veteran still preserved towards all who seemed disposed to turn their attention to Scottish literature. There were seven male guests at table, of whom five were coeval with the landlord---then upwards of eighty-four. A bachelor gentleman of fifty was treated as what is called the <u>Boots,</u> and went through the duty of ringing the bell, carving the joint, and discharging the other functions usually imposed on the youngest member of the company. Our friend, who was not much above thirty, was considered too much of a boy to be trusted with any such charge of the ceremonial, and, in fact, his very presence in this venerable assembly seemed to be altogether forgotten, while, it may be supposed, he was much more anxious to listen to their conversation than to interrupt it by talking himself. The very entertainment seemed antediluvian, though excellent. There were dishes of ancient renown, and liquors unknown almost to the present day. A capper-caelzie, or cock of the wood, which has been extinct in Scotland for more than a century, was presented on the board as a homage to the genius of Mr. Home, sent from the pine-forests of Norway. The <u>cup,</u> or cold tankard, which he recommended particularly, was after an ancient Scottish receipt. The claret, still the favourite beverage of the poet, was excellent, and, like himself, of venerable antiquity, but preserving its spirit and flavour. The subjects of their conversation might be compared to that held by ghosts, who, sitting on their midnight tombs, talk over the deeds they have done and witnessed while in the body. The <u>forty-five</u> was a remarkable epoch, and called forth remarks and anecdotes without number. The former civil turmoils of the years 1715 and 1718 were familiar to some of those present. The conversation of these hale ancients had nothing of the weakness of age, though a little of its garrulity. They seemed the Nestors of their age; men whose gray hairs only served<p> ``To mark the heroes born in better days.''</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>acting of Mrs. Ward who performed Lady Randolph. Digges was the Douglas of the piece, his supposed father was played by Hayman, and Glenalvon, by Love; actors of very considerable merit, and afterwards of established reputation on the London stage. But Mrs. Ward's beauty (for she was very beautiful) and feeling, tutored with the most zealous anxiety by the author and his friends, charmed and affected the audience as much, perhaps as has ever been accomplished by the very superior actresses of after-times. I was then a boy, but of an age to be sometimes admitted as a sort of page to the tea drinking parties of Edinburgh. I have a perfect recollection of the strong sensation which <u>Douglas</u> excited among its inhabitants. The men talked of the rehearsals; the ladies repeated what they had heard of the story; some had procured as a great favour, copies of the most striking passages, which they recited at the earnest request of the company. I was present at the representation; the applause was enthusiastic; but a better criterion of its merits was the tears of the audience, which the tender part of the drama drew forth unsparingly. `The town,<code> says Dr. Carlyle (and I can vouch how truly,) `was in an uproar of exultation, that a Scotchman should write a tragedy of the first rate, and that its merits were first submitted to them.</code> ''---Vol. i., pp. 37--40.<p> ``A person of high Scottish descent, the son of one of Caledonia's most eminent nobility, exiled on account of his taking part with the house of Stuart, had entered into foreign service, and risen to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was stationed in the advanced post destined to protect the trenches which the army to which he was attached had opened before a large and well-garrisoned town. Some appearances in the besieged place induced the Scottish officer to conjecture that a strong sortie would he made in the course of the night. He went to the tent of Prince ------, commander-in-chief of the army, to communicate the intelligence, and to request that a support to the advance might he held in readiness. The prince, engaged in writing despatches, did not even raise his head from the paper, but answered, in a haughty tone, `Je suis f<a^>ch<e'>.' The Scotchman, whose sense of his own consequence did not permit him to believe that this answer could be addressed to him, advanced nearer to the prince, and began to repeat what he had said. The prince then raised his head, looked scornfully at the officer, and reiterated `Je suis f<a^>ch<e'> de vous et de vous petite affaires.'---`De moi et de mes petites affaires!<code>---said the colonel, completely roused by the insult---`petit prince que vous <e^>tes!</code> The prince, as brave as insolent, readily agreed to waive his privilege as commander-in-chief, and give the officer so gratuitously insulted the satisfaction his honour required. `But' (continued Mr. Home, his large light eyes suffused with tears, which flowed involuntarily as he told the conclusion,) `the brave gentleman lived not to receive the promised atonement. He returned to his post---the expected sortie took place, the advanced guard were cut to pieces, and among them, in the morning, was found the body of our unfortunate and gallant countryman, who had spent his last breath in the unequal combat to which the arrogance of his general had exposed him.' ''</p> <p> Mr. Mackenzie has, we think, omitted to give some description of Mr. Home's person and countenance, about which, nevertheless, our readers may entertain a rational curiosity. We ourselves only remember what a Scottish poet of eminence has called<p> ``Home's pale ghost just gliding from the stage.''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>``Yet at that time in Edinburgh there was much more regard <em> to the sacredness of Sunday than now. I was then a boy, </em> and I well remember the reverential silence of the streets, and <em> the tip-toe kind of fear with which, when any accident prevented </em> my attendance on church, I used to pass through them. <em> What would the Presbytery have said now, when, in the time </em> of public worship on a Sunday, not only are the public walks <em> crowded, but idle and blackguard boys bawl through the </em> streets, and splash us with their games there?---an indecency <em> of which, though no friend to puritanical preciseness, and still </em> less to religious persecution, I rather think the police ought * to take cognizance.''---<u>Note by Mr. Mackenzie.</u></li> </ul> <p>persons within their bounds, especially the young, and those who had the charge of youth, against the danger of frequenting stage-plays and theatrical entertainments, of which the Presbytery set forth the immoral and pernicious tendency, at considerable length.</p> <p>Mr. Home, from the consequences of his accident, was, perhaps, the most broken of the party. But, on his own ground, his memory was entire, his conversation full both of spirit and feeling. One story of the evening our correspondent recollects. Mr. Home, beginning it in a voice somewhat feeble, rose into strength of articulation with the interest of the story. The names of the parties concerned, and the place where the incident took place, our informer has unhappily forgotten. What he does remember we shall give in his own words:<p> Respecting his personal habits, we can add little to what has been told by his elegant and affectionate biographer. We remember only, that, with the natural vanity of an author, he was regular, while his strength permitted, in attendance upon the theatre when any actor of eminence represented Douglas. He had his own favourite seat beside the scenes, and, willing to be pleased by those who were desirous to give pleasure, his approbation was consequently rather measured out according to the kindness of his feelings than the accuracy of his critical judgment.</p> <p> Undisturbed by pain, and after a long and lingering decay, he late and slowly approached the conclusion of life's drama. His esteemed friend Lord Haddington was one of the last friends whom he was able to receive. After looking at his lordship wistfully for some time, the kindness of his heart seemed to awaken his slumbering powers of recollection; he smiled, and pressed the friendly hand that was extended towards him, with a silent assurance of his tender remembrance. He died the 5th September 1808, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. It was impossible to lament the extinction of the wasted taper; yet there was a general feeling that Home's death closed an era in the literary history of Scotland, and dissolved a link which, though worn and frail, seemed to connect the present generation with that of their fathers.</p> <p> We have promised to take, in the second place, some notice of the literary society of Scotland at the time when Home was so important a member of it, and which has been so interestingly treated by Mr. Mackenzie, who, in his own connexion with the preceding age, must be perhaps addressed as <u>Ultime Scotorum.</u></p> <p> Hospitality was at that time a distinguished feature in Scottish society; Mr. Home's income was chiefly employed in it. ``His house,'' according to his friend Adam Fergusson, ``was always as full of his friends as it could hold, fuller than, in modern manners, it could be made to hold.'' The form and show of the entertainment were little attended to; that would have thrown a dulness upon the freedom of intercourse, for the guest took with good-will that which the landlord found most easy to present. The science of the gastronome was unknown. The Scottish manners were, indeed, emerging from the Egyptian darkness of the preceding age, when a dame of no small quality, the worshipful Lady Pumphraston, buttered a pound of green tea sent her as an exquisite delicacy, dressed it as condiment to a rump of salted beef, and complained that no degree of boiling would render these foreign greens tender. Yet the farm, with the poultry-yard and the dove-cot, added to the supplies furnished by the gun and fishing-rod, furnished a plentiful, if not an elegant table. French wine and brandy were had at a cheap rate, chiefly by infractions of the revenue laws, at which the government were contented to wink, rather than irritate a country in which there was little money and much disaffection. It only remained to find as many guests as the table would hold, and the social habits of the country rendered that seldom difficult. For beds many shifts were made, and the prospect of a dance in particular reconciled damsels to sleep in the proportion of half a dozen to each apartment, while their gallant partners would be sometimes contented with an out-house, a barn, or a hay-loft. It is not, however, of the general state of society which we have to speak, but of that of a more distinguished character.</p> <p> Mr. Mackenzie, with a partiality natural to his age and his country, speaks highly of the literary society of Scotland at this time, and even ventures, in some respects, to give it a preference over that of the sister country. He enlarges, in his own elegant language, upon the---</p> <p> ``Free and cordial communication of sentiments, the natural play of fancy and good-humour, which prevailed among the circle of men whom I have described. It was very different from that display of learning---that prize-fighting of wit, which distinguished a literary circle of our sister country, of which we have some authentic and curious records. There all ease of intercourse was changed for the pride of victory; and the victors, like some savage combatants, gave no quarter to the vanquished. This may, perhaps, be accounted for, more from the situation than the dispositions of the principal members of that society. The literary circle of London was a sort of sect, a <u>caste</u> separate from the ordinary professions and habits of common life. They were traders in talent and learning, and brought, like other traders, samples of their goods into company with a jealousy of competition which prevented their enjoying as much as otherwise they might, any excellence in their competitors.''---Vol. i., pp. 22, 23.</p> <p> Without examining how far the Scottish literati might gain or lose by being knitted almost exclusively together in their own peculiar sect, we may take the liberty of running over the names of three or four persons, the most distinguished of the circle, with such trifling anecdotes as may throw additional light on Mr. Mackenzie's pleasing picture. We may add, that our biographer, reading his sketch of Mr. Home's Life before a learned body,<*></p> </p> <p>But his picture by Raeburn<*> enables us to say</p> <ul> <li>In Miss Fergusson's collection at Huntley-burn.---S.<p> The celebrated David Hume, the philosopher and historian, was certainly the most distinguished person in the cycle. That he was most unhappy in permitting the acuteness of his talents, and the pride arising from the consciousness of possessing them, to involve him in a maze of sceptical illusions, is most undeniable; as well as that he was highly culpable in giving to the world the miserable results of his leisure. Mr. Mackenzie states, in mitigation, not in exculpation, that the great Pyrrhonist---</p> </li> </ul> <p>that his exterior, in his younger years, must have been impressive, if not handsome. His features are happily animated with the expression of a poet, whose eye, overlooking the uninteresting and everyday objects around, is bent to pursue the flight of his imagination through the dim region of past events, or the yet more mysterious anticipations of futurity.<p> Mr. David Hume's intimacy with his namesake and friend, John, was of the closest kind, and suffered no interruption. It was, indeed, an instance among many, that friendships are formed more from a general similarity in temper and disposition, than from a turn to the same studies and pursuits. David Hume was no good judge of poetry; had little feeling for it; and examined it by the hackneyed rules of criticism; which, having crushed a hundred poets, will never, it may be prophesied, create, or assist in creating, a single one. John Home's disposition was excursive and romantic--- that of David, both from nature and habit, was subtle, sceptical; and he, far from being inclined to concede a temporary degree of faith to _la douce chim<e`>re,_ was disposed to reason away even the realities which were subjected to his examination. The poet's imagination tends to throw a halo on the distant objects---the sophistry of the metaphysician shrouded them with a mist which, unlike other northern mists, not only obscured but dwarfed their real dimensions. The one saw more, the other saw less, than was actually visible. Yet this very difference tended to bind the two friends, for such they were <u>usque ad aras,</u> in a more intimate union. John Home by no means spared his friend's metaphysical studies. The discourse turning one evening upon a young man, previously of irreproachable conduct, having robbed his master, and eloped with a considerable sum, John Home accounted for his unexpected turpitude, by the nature of the culprit's studies, which had chiefly lain in <u>Boston's Fourfold State</u> (a treatise of deep Calvinistical divinity) and <u>Hume's Essays.</u> The philosopher was somewhat nettled at the jest, probably on account of the singular conjunction of the two works.</p> <p> On the other hand, John was often the butt of his friend's jests, on account of his romantic disposition for warlike enterprise, his attachment to the orthography of his name, and similar peculiarities, indicative of a warm and susceptible imagination.</p> <p> Upon some occasion, when General Fletcher mentioned the inconvenience which he had experienced from the rudeness and restiveness of a postilion, John Home exclaimed, in a Drawcansir tone, ``Where were your pistols?'' This created a general laugh; and next day, as Mr. Home was about to set off for a visit to Dr. Carlyle, at Musselburgh, he received a letter, with a large parcel: the import bore that his friends and well-wishers could not think of his taking so dangerous a journey without being suitably armed, and the packet being opened, was found to contain a huge pair of pistols, such as are sold at stalls to be <u>fairings</u> for children, made of gingerbread, and adorned with gilding.</p> <p> When David Hume was suffering under the long and lingering illness which led him inch by inch to his grave, his friend John, with the most tender and solicitous attention, attended him on a journey to Bath, which it was supposed might be of temporary service, though a cure was impossible. When his companion's travelling pistols (not those of the savoury materials above mentioned) were handed into the carriage, the historian made an observation at once humorous and affecting. ``You shall have your humour, John, and fight with as many highwaymen as you please; for I have too little of life left to be an object worth saving.'' With more profound raillery he supposed that he himself, John Home, and Adam Fergusson, who studied Roman history with Roman feeling and Roman spirit, had been Sovereigns of three adjacent states and John Home thus states in one of his letters the result of his friend's reflections:---</p> <p> ``He knew very well, he said (having often disputed the point with us,) the great opinion we had of military virtues as essential to every state; that from these sentiments rooted in us, he was certain he would be attacked and interrupted in his projects of cultivating, improving, and civilizing mankind by the arts of peace; that he comforted himself with reflecting, that from our want of economy and order in our affairs, we should be continually in want of money; whilst he would have his finances in excellent condition, his magazines well filled, and naval stores in abundance; but that his final stroke of policy, upon which he depended, was to give one of us a large subsidy to fall upon the other, which would infallibly secure to him peace and quiet and, after a long war, would probably terminate in his being master of all the three kingdoms.'' ---Vol. i., pp. 181, 182.</p> <p> We are disposed more to question the taste of the joke which, in David Hume's last will, alludes to two of his friend's foibles. The grave, and its appurtenances of epitaphs and testaments, are subjects, according to Samuel Johnson, on which wise men think with awe and gravity; yet there is something affecting in the concluding allusion to the undisturbed friendship of those whom death was about to part. The bequest we allude to is contained in the following codicil:---</p> </p> <ul> <li>The Royal Society of Edinburgh; of which Mr. Mackenzie * is secretary.---S.</li> </ul> <p>many of them the relations or surviving friends of the deceased worthies of whom he spoke, was bound, by a certain natural delicacy, not to represent, except in a very mitigated view, the foibles of the distinguished persons of whom he spoke. We, on the contrary, claim a right to portray with a broader pencil; our information is of a popular nature; and, being so, it is rather wonderful it has furnished us with so few of the darker colours. We can only pretend to paint the northern sages in Tristram Shandy's point of view---that is, according to their hobbyhorses.</p> <p>``had, in the language which the Grecian historian applies to an illustrious Roman, two minds, one which indulged in the metaphysical scepticism which his genius could invent, but which it could not always disentangle; another, simple, natural, and playful, which made his conversation delightful to his friends, and even frequently conciliated men whose principles of belief, his philosophical doubts if they had not power to shake, had grieved and offended. During the latter period of his life, I was frequently in his company amidst persons of genuine piety, and I never heard him venture a remark at which such men, or ladies---still more susceptible than men--- could take offence. His good-nature and benevolence prevented such an injury to his hearers: it was unfortunate that he often forgot what injury some of his writings might do to his readers.''---Vol. i., pp. 20, 21.</p> <p>``I leave to my friend, Mr. John Home, of Kilduff, ten dozen of my old claret, at his choice; and one single bottle of that other liquor called port. I also leave to him six dozen of port, provided that he attests under his hand, signed John <u>Hume,</u> that he has himself alone finished that bottle at two sittings. By this concession, he will at once terminate the only two differences that ever arose between us concerning temporal matters.''---Vol. i., p. 163.<p> Dr. Adam Fergusson, the author of the <u>History of the Roman Republic,</u> and distinguished besides as a moral philosopher, was a distinguished member of the literary society in which the poet Home, and the philosopher Hume, made such a figure. The son of a clergyman at Logierait, in Athol, he was himself destined to the Church, took orders, and went as chaplain to the Black Watch, or 42d Highland regiment, when that corps was first sent to the continent. As the regiment advanced to the battle of Fontenoy, the commanding officer, Sir Robert Monro, was astonished to see the chaplain at the head of the column, with a broadsword drawn in his hand. He desired him to go to the rear with the surgeons, a proposal which Adam Fergusson spurned. Sir Robert at length told him that his commission did not entitle him to be present in the post which he had assumed. ``D---n my commission,'' said the warlike chaplain, throwing it towards his colonel. It may easily be supposed that the matter was only remembered as a good jest; but the future historian of Rome shared the honours and dangers of that dreadful day, where, according to the account of the French themselves, ``the Highland furies rushed in upon them with more violence than ever did a sea driven by a tempest.''</p> <p> Professor Adam Fergusson's subsequent history is well known. He recovered from a decided shock of paralysis in the sixtieth year of his life; from which period he became a strict Pythagorean in his diet, eating nothing but vegetables, and drinking only water or milk. He survived till the year 1816, when he died in full possession of his mental faculties, at the advanced age of ninety-three. The deep interest which he took in the eventful war had long seemed to be the main tie that connected him with passing existence; and the news of Waterloo acted on the aged patriot as a <u>nunc dimittis.</u> From that hour the feeling that had almost alone given him energy decayed, and he avowedly relinquished all desire for prolonged life. It is the belief of his family that he might have remained with them much longer, had he desired to do so, and continued the exercise which had hitherto promoted his health. Long after his eightieth year he was one of the most striking old men whom it was possible to look at. His firm step and ruddy cheek contrasted agreeably and unexpectedly with his silver locks; and the dress which he usually wore, much resembling that of the Flemish peasant, gave an air of peculiarity to his whole figure. In his conversation, the mixture of original thinking with high moral feeling and extensive learning; his love of country; contempt of luxury; and, especially, the strong subjection of his passions and feelings to the dominion of his reason, made him, perhaps, the most striking example of the Stoic philosopher which could be seen in modern days. His house, while he continued to reside in Edinburgh, was a general point of re-union among his friends particularly of a Sunday, where there generally met, at a hospitable dinner-party, the most distinguished literati of the old time who still remained, with such young persons as were thought worthy to approach their circle, and listen to their conversation. The place of his residence was an insulated house, at some distance from the town, which its visitors (notwithstanding its internal comforts) chose to call, for that reason, Kamtschatka.</p> <p> Two constant attendants on this weekly symposium were the chemical philosophers Dr. Black and Dr. Hutton. They were particular friends, though there was something extremely opposite in their external appearance and manner. They were both indeed, tall and thin; but there all personal similarity ended. Dr. Black spoke with the English pronunciation, with punctilious accuracy of expression, both in point of manner and matter. His dress was of the same description, regulated, in some small degree, according to the rules which formerly imposed a formal and full-dress habit on the members of the medical faculty. The geologist was the very reverse of this. His dress approached to a quaker's in simplicity; and his conversation was conducted in broad phrases, expressed with a broad Scotch accent, which often heightened the humour of what he said. The difference of manner sometimes placed the two philosophers in whimsical contrast with each other. We recollect an anecdote, entertaining enough, both on that account, and as showing how difficult it is for philosophy to wage a war with prejudice.</p> <p> It chanced that the two doctors had held some discourse together upon the folly of abstaining from feeding on the testaceous creatures of the land, while those of the sea were considered as delicacies. Wherefore not eat snails?---they are well known to be nutritious and wholesome---even sanative in some cases. The epicures of olden times enumerated among the richest and raciest delicacies, the snails which were fed in the marble quarries of Lucca; the Italians still hold them in esteem. In short, it was determined that a gastronomic experiment should be made at the expense of the snails. The snails were procured, dieted for a time, then stewed for the benefit of the two philosophers; who had either invited no guest to their banquet, or found none who relished in prospect the _pi<e`>ce de r<e'>sistance._ A huge dish of snails was placed before them; but philosophers are but men after all; and the stomachs of both doctors began to revolt against the proposed experiment. Nevertheless, if they looked with disgust on the snails, they retained their awe for each other; so that each, conceiving the symptoms of internal revolt peculiar to himself, began with infinite exertion to swallow, in very small quantities, the mess which he internally loathed. Dr. Black, at length, ``showed the white feather,'' but in a very delicate manner, as if to sound the opinion of his messmate :---``Doctor,'' he said, in his precise and quiet manner, ``Doctor---do you not think that they taste a little ---a very little, green?'<code>---``D---d green, d---d green, indeed---tak them awa</code>, tak them awa','' vociferated Dr. Hutton, starting up from table, and giving full vent to his feelings of abhorrence. And so ended all hopes of introducing snails into the modern <u>cuisine;</u> and thus philosophy can no more cure a nausea, than honour can set a broken limb.</p> <p> Lord Elibank (Patrick, remembered in Scotland by the name of the Clever Lord) was one of the most remarkable amongst this remarkable society. He was distinguished by the liveliness of his conversation and the acuteness of his understanding, and many of his <u>bon-mots</u> are still preserved. When, for example, he was first told of Johnson's celebrated definition of the word <u>oats,</u> as being the food of men in Scotland, and horses in England, he answered with happy readiness, ``Very true; and where will you find such horses and such men?'' Lord Elibank indulged greatly in paradoxes, which he was wont to defend with much ingenuity. He piqued himself, at the same time, on his worldly prudence; so much so, as to reply to some one who told him of Mr. Home's having got a pension, at the suggestion of the King himself,---``it is nobly done; but it is as impossible for the King to make John Home or Adam Fergusson rich, as it would be for his Majesty to make me poor.'' Lord Elibank, with John Home, David Hume, Fergusson, and others, were members of a convivial association called the <u>Poker Club,</u> because its purpose was to stir up and encourage the public spirit of Scotland, the people of which were then much exasperated at not being permitted to raise a militia in the same manner as England. Dr. Fergusson, upon the occasion, composed a continuation of Arbuthnot's satirical <u>History of John Bull,</u> which he entitled the <u>History of Margaret, otherwise called Sister Peg.</u> The work was distinguished for humour and satire; and led to a curious jest on the part of David Hume. He had been left out of the secret, as not being supposed a good counsel-keeper, and he took his revenge by gravely writing a letter to Dr. Carlyle, claiming the work as his own, with an air of sober reality, which, had the letter been found after any lapse of time, would have appeared an indubitable proof of his being really the author. We have not room to insert this piece of literary persiflage, but refer the reader to vol. i., p. 155.</p> <p> The Poker Club served its purpose; and, many years afterwards, symptoms of discontent on the subject of the militia were to be found in Scotland. Burns says of his native country---<p> ``Lang time she's been in fractious mood, Her lost militia fired her blood, De'il ner they never mair do good, Play'd her that pliskie.''</p> </p> </p> <p>The subject of the name has been already mentioned. The bequest of wine alludes to John Home's partiality to claret, on which he wrote a well-known epigram, when the high duties were enforced against Scotland.<*> There is much more<p> We have heard of a meeting of the Poker Club, which was convoked long after it had ceased to have regular existence, when its remaining members were far advanced in years. The experiment was not successful. Those who had last met in the full vigour of health and glow of intellect, taking an eager interest in the passing events of the world, seemed now, in each other's eyes, cold, torpid, inactive, loaded with infirmities, and occupied with the selfish care of husbanding the remainder of their health and strength, rather than in the gaiety and frolic of a convivial evening. Most had renounced even the moderate worship of Bacchus, which, on former occasions, had seldom been neglected. The friends saw their own condition reflected in the persons of each other, and became sensible that the time of convivial meetings was passed. The abrupt contrast betwixt what they had been, and what they were, was too unpleasant to be endured, and the Poker Club never met again. This, it may be alleged, is a contradiction of what we have said concerning the Nestorian banquet at John Home's, formerly noticed. But the circumstances were different. The gentlemen then alluded to had kept near to each other in the decline as well as the ascent of life, met frequently, and were become accustomed to the growing infirmities of each other, as each had to his own. But the Poker Club, most of whom had been in full strength when the regular meetings were discontinued, found themselves abruptly re-assembled as old and broken men, and naturally agreed with the Gaelic bard that age ``is dark and unlovely.''<*></p> </p> <ul> <li>The government had long connived at a practice of importing <em> claret into Scotland, under the mitigated duties applicable </em> to the liquor called Southampton port. The epigram <em> of John Home was as follows:--- </em> <em> ``Firm and erect the Caledonian stood, </em> Old was his mutton, and his claret good; <em> `Let him drink port,' an English statesman cried </em> He drank the poison, and his spirit died.''---S.<p> One or two gossiping paragraphs on the subject of Adam Smith, whose distinguished name may render the most trifling notices concerning him matter of some interest, and we will then release our courteous reader from our recollections on the subject of these old Northern Lights. Dr. Smith is well known to have been one of the most absent men living. It was, indeed, an attribute which, if any where, might have been matched in the society we speak of, of whom several, particularly John Home and General Fletcher Campbell, were extremely addicted to fits of absence. But those of the great Economist were abstraction itself. Mr. Mackenzie placed in his hand the beautiful tale of <u>La Roche,</u> in which he introduces Mr. David Hume, for the express purpose of knowing whether there was any thing in it which Mr. Hume's surviving friends could think hurtful to his memory. Dr. Smith read and highly approved of the MS.; but, on returning it to Mr. Mackenzie, only expressed his surprise that Mr. Hume should never have mentioned <u>the anecdote</u> to him. When walking in the street, Adam had a manner of talking and laughing to himself, which often attracted the notice and excited the surprise of the passengers. He used himself to mention the ejaculation of an old market-woman, ``Hegh, sirs!'' shaking her head as she uttered it; to which her companion answered, having echoed the compassionate sigh, ``and he is well put on too!'' expressing their surprise that a decided lunatic, who, from his dress, appeared to be a gentleman, should be permitted to walk abroad.---In a private room his demeanour was equally remarkable; and we shall never forget one particular evening, when he put an elderly maiden lady, who presided at the tea-table, to sore confusion, by neglecting utterly her invitations to be seated, and walking round and round the circle, stopping ever and anon to steal a lump from the sugar basin, which the venerable spinster was at length constrained to place on her own knee, as the only method of securing it from his most uneconomical depredations. His appearance mumping the eternal sugar, was something indescribable.</p> <p> We had the following anecdotes from a colleague of Dr. Smith, who, as is well known, was a commissioner of the Board of Customs. That board had in their service, as porter, a stately person, who, dressed in a huge scarlet gown or cloak, covered with frogs of worsted lace, and holding in his hand a staff about seven feet high, as an emblem of his office, used to mount guard before the Custom-house when a board was to be held. It was the etiquette that, as each commissioner entered, the porter should go through a sort of salute with his staff of office, resembling that which officers used formerly to perform with their spontoon, and then marshal the dignitary to the hall of meeting. This ceremony had been performed before the great Economist perhaps five hundred times. Nevertheless one day, as he was about to enter the Custom-house, the motions of this janitor seem to have attracted his eye without their character or purpose reaching his apprehension, and on a sudden he began to imitate his gestures, as a recruit does those of his drill-sergeant. The porter, having drawn up in front of the door, presented his staff as a soldier does his musket; the commissioner, raising his cane, and holding it with both hands by the middle, returned the salute with the utmost gravity. The inferior officer, much amazed, recovered his weapon, wheeled to the right, stepping a pace back to give the commissioner room to pass, lowering his staff at the same time, in token of obeisance. Dr. Smith, instead of passing on, drew up on the opposite side, and lowered his cane at the same angle. The functionary, much out of consequence, next moved up stairs, with his staff advanced, while the author of the <u>Wealth of Nations</u> followed with his bamboo in precisely the same posture, and his whole soul apparently wrapped up in the purpose of placing his foot exactly on the same spot of each step which had been occupied by the officer who preceded him. At the door of the hall, the porter again drew off, saluted with his staff, and bowed reverentially. The philosopher again imitated his motions, and returned his bow with the most profound gravity. When the Doctor entered the apartment, the spell under which he seemed to act was entirely broken, and our informant, who, very much amused, had followed him the whole way, had some difficulty to convince him that he had been doing any thing extraordinary. Upon another occasion, having to sign an official minute or mandate, Adam Smith was observed to be unusually tedious, when the same person, peeping over his shoulder, discovered that he was engaged, not in writing his own name, but in imitating, as nearly as possible, the signature of his brother in office, who had held the pen before him. These instances of absence equal the abstractions of the celebrated Dr. Harvey; but whoever has read the deep theories and abstruse calculations contained in the <u>Wealth of Nations</u> must readily allow that a mind habitually employed in such themes, must necessarily be often rapt far above the sublunary occurrences of everyday life.</p> <p> We are now approaching the third subject proposed in our Review, the consideration of John Home's character as an author, founded on the present edition of his collected works. Our criticism on his poetical character need not be very minute, for his chef-d'<oe>uvre, <u>Douglas,</u> is known to every one, and his other dramatic labours are scarcely known at all. Upon the merits of the first, every reader has already made up his mind, and on those of the others we might, perhaps, find it difficult to procure an attentive hearing. Still, however, some mark of homage is due to, perhaps, the most popular tragic author of modern times; and we must pay suit and service, were it only with a pepper-corn.</p> <p> We have said already that <u>Douglas</u> owes a great part of its attractions to the interest of the plot, which, however, is by no means a probable one. There is something overstrained in the twenty years spent by Lady Randolph in deep and suppressed sorrow; nor is it natural, though useful certainly to the poet, that her regrets should turn less on the husband of her youth, than upon the new-born child whom she had scarcely seen. There is something awkward in her sudden confidence to Anna, as is pointed out by David Hume. ``The spectator,'' says the critic, ``is apt to suspect it was done in order to instruct him; a very good end, but which might have been obtained by a careful and artificial conduct of the dialogue.'' This is all unquestionably true; but the spectator should, and, indeed, must, make considerable allowances, if he expects to receive pleasure from the drama. He must get his mind, according to Tony Lumpkin's phrase, into ``a concatenation accordingly;'' since he cannot reasonably expect that scenes of deep and complicated interest shall be placed before him, in close succession, without some force being put upon ordinary probability; and the question is not, how far you have sacrificed your judgment in order to accommodate the fiction, but rather what is the degree of delight you have received in return. Perhaps, in this point of view, it is scarcely possible for a spectator to make such sacrifices for greater pleasure than we have enjoyed, in seeing Lady Randolph personified by the inimitable Siddons. Great as that pleasure was on all occasions, it was increased in a manner which can hardly be conceived when her son (the late Mr. H. Siddons) supported his mother in the character of Douglas, and when the full overflowing of maternal tenderness was authorised, nay, authenticated and realized, by the actual existence of the relationship. There will, and must be, on other occasions, some check of the feeling, however virtuous and tender, when a woman of feeling and delicacy pours her maternal caresses on a performer who, although to be accounted her son for the night is, in reality, a stranger. But in the scenes we allude to, that chilling obstacle was removed; and while Lady Randolph exhausted her tenderness on the supposed Douglas, the mother was, in truth, indulging the same feelings towards her actual son. It may be erroneous to judge this way of a drama which can hardly be again illustrated by such powers, exercised under circumstances so exciting to the principal performer, and so nearly approaching to reality. Yet, even in an abstract view, we agree with Mr. Mackenzie that the chief scene between Lady Randolph and Old Norval, in which the preservation and existence of Douglas is discovered, has no equal in modern, and scarcely a superior in the ancient drama. It is certainly one of the most effective which the English stage has to boast; and we learn with pleasure, but without surprise, that, though many other parts of the play were altered before its representation, we have this masterpiece exactly as it was thrown off in the original sketch.</p> <p> ``Thus it is,'' says the accomplished editor, ``that the fervid creation of genius and fancy strikes out what is so excellent as well as vivid, as not to admit of amendment, and which, indeed, correction would spoil instead of improving. This is the true inspiration of the poet, which gives to criticism, instead of borrowing from it, its model and its rule and which, it is possible, in some diffident authors, the terrors of criticism may have weakened or extinguished.''---Vol. i., p. 93.</p> <p> It is justly remarked by Mr Mackenzie, that the intense interest excited by the scene of the discovery occasions some falling off in the two last acts; yet this is not so great as to injure the effect of the play when the parts are suitably supported. Mrs. Siddons indeed, (we cannot help identifying her with Lady Randolph,) gave such terrible interest to the concluding scene, that we can truly say the decay of interest, which is certainly felt both in perusing the drama and in seeing it only moderately well performed, was quite imperceptible.</p> <p> In a general point of view, the interest of <u>Douglas</u> is of a kind which addresses itself to the bosom of every spectator. The strength of maternal affection is a feeling which all the audience have had the advantage of experiencing, which such mothers as are present have themselves exercised, and which moves the general mind more deeply than even distresses arising from the passion of love--- one too frequently produced on the stage not to become, in some degree, hackneyed and uninteresting.</p> <p> The language of the piece is beautiful. ``Mrs. Siddons told me,'' says the editor, ``that she never found any _study_'' (which, in the technical language of the stage, means the getting verses by heart) ``so easy as that of <u>Douglas,</u> which is one of the best criterions of excellence in the dramatic style.''</p> <p> The character of <u>Douglas,</u> enthusiastic, romantic, desirous of honour, careless of life and every other advantage where glory lay in the balance, flowed freely from the author's heart, to which such sentiments were the most familiar.</p> <p> The structure of the story somewhat resembles that of Voltaire's _M<e'>rope,_ but is as simple and natural as that of the French author is complicated and artificial. _M<e'>rope_ came out about 1743, and Mr. Home may, therefore, easily have seen it. But he has certainly derived his more simple and natural tale from the old ballad. In memory of this, the tune of <u>Gil Morrice,</u> a simple and beautiful air, is, in Scotland at least, always played while the curtain rises.</p> <p> The poetical moral of the piece is justly observed by Mr. Mackenzie to have captivated all who, before its representation in Scotland, happened to hear any part of it recited. He gives us his own authority, as bearing witness that some of the most striking passages, and particularly the opening soliloquy, were got by heart and repeated by fair lips for the admiration of the tea-tables of Edinburgh.<p> ``And you, fair dames of merry England, As fast your tears did pour;''---</p> </p> </li> </ul> <p>that is interesting and curious respecting David Hume in this piece of biography, which contains also several of his original letters.<p> It may, perhaps, seem strange that the author, in his preceding tragedy of <u>Agis,</u> and in his subsequent dramatic efforts, so far from attaining similar excellence, never even approached to the success of <u>Douglas;</u> yet good reasons can be assigned for his failure, without imputing it, during his best years at least, to a decay of genius.</p> <p> <u>Agis</u> was a tragedy the interest of which turned, at first, exclusively upon politics, a subject which men are fiercely interested in, if connected with the party-questions agitating their own country at the time; but which, when the same refers to the forgotten revolutions of a distant country and a remote period, are always caviare to the million. Addison, indeed, succeeded in his splendid poem of <u>Cato;</u> but both the name and history were so generally known as to facilitate greatly its interest with the public. Besides, the author was at the head of the literature of his day, and not unskilled in the art of indoctrinating the readers of the <u>Spectator</u> in the knowledge necessary to understand <u>Cato.</u> But the history of <u>Agis</u> and the fortunes of Sparta were familiar only to scholars; and it was difficult to interest the audience at large in the revolutions of a country which they knew only by name. The Ephori and the double kings of Laced<ae>mon must have been puzzling to a common audience, even at the outset. Both <u>Cato</u> and <u>Agis,</u> but particularly the latter, suffered by the ingrafting of a love-intrigue, commonplace and cumbersome, as well as unnecessary, upon the principal plot; which, on the contrary, it ought in either case to have been the business of the author to keep constantly under the view of the audience, and to illustrate and enhance by every subordinate aid in his power; yet <u>Agis,</u> from the ease of the dialogue and beauty of the declamation, and being also, according to the technical phrase, _strongly cast_---for Garrick played Lysander, and Mrs. Cibber, Evanthe---was, for some representations, favourably received; and, had it been written in French, it would probably have been permanently successful on the Parisian stage. In this and other pieces the author seems to have suffered in the eyes of his countrymen by attending too much to the advice of David Hume, in such cases surely an incompetent judge, who entreats him, for heaven's sake, ``to read Shakspeare, but get Racine and Sophocles by heart.''--- (Vol. i., p. 100.) The critic had not sufficiently considered how much the British stage differs both from the French and the Grecian in the structure and character of the entertainments there exhibited.</p> <p> The <u>Siege of Aquileia</u> was acted for the first time in 1760. Garrick expected the most unbounded success, and he himself played the principal character. It failed, however, from an objection thus stated by Mr. Mackenzie :---</p> <p> ``Most, or indeed almost all, the incidents are told to, not witnessed by, the spectators, who, in England beyond any ether country, are swayed by the Horatian maxim, and feel very imperfectly these incidents which are not `_oculis subiecta fidelibus._' It rather languished, therefore, in the representation, though supported by such admirable acting, and did not run so many nights as the manager confidently expected.'' ---Vol. i., p. 58.</p> <p> As we have made few quotations from Mr. Home's poetry, we may observe that the description of an ominous dream in this play almost rivals in effect the celebrated vision in _Sardanapalus:_---</p> <p> ``_<AE>mil._ What evil omens has Cornelia seen? <u>Corn.</u> 'Tis strange to tell; but, as I slumbering lay, About that hour when glad Aurora springs To chase the lagging shades, methought I was In Rome, and full of peace the city seem'd; My mind oblivious, too, had lost its care. Serene I stepp'd along the lofty hall Embellish'd with the statues of our fathers, When suddenly an universal groan Issued at once from every marble breast. Aghast I gazed around! when slowly down From their high pedestals I saw descend The murder'd Gracchi. Hand in hand the brothers Stalk'd towards me. As they approach'd more near, They were no more the Gracchi, but my sons, Paulus and Titus. At that dreadful change I shriek'd and waked. But never from my mind The spectacle shall part. Their rueful eyes! Their cheeks of stone! the look of death and woe! So strange a vision ne'er from fancy rose. The rest, my lord, this holy priest can tell.'' Vol. ii., pp. 17, 18.</p> <p> The <u>Fatal Discovery</u> was brought out in 1769; but, as the prejudice against the Scotch was then general, and John Home was obnoxious, not only as a North Briton, but as a friend and _prot<e'>g<e'>_ of the obnoxious Earl of Bute, Garrick prudently procured an Oxford student to officiate as god-father to the play. The temporary success of the piece brought out the real author from behind his screen. When Home avowed the piece, Garrick's fears were realized, and its popularity terminated; and we believe the most zealous Scotchman would hardly demand, in this instance, a reversal of the public judgment. Mr. Mackenzie has a more favourable opinion, upon more accurate consideration, perhaps, than it has been in our power to give to the subject. The play is written in the false gallop of Ossianic composition, to which we must avow ourselves by no means partial.</p> <p> <u>Alonzo</u> was produced in 1773, and was received with a degree of favour which, in some respects, it certainly scarce deserved. Home had, in this instance, forgotten a story belonging to his former profession, which we have heard himself narrate. It respected a country clergyman in Scotland, who, having received much applause for a sermon preached before the Synod, could never afterwards get through the service of the day without introducing some part of the discourse on which be reposed his fame, with the quotation, ``as I said in my Synod sermon.'' In plain words, <u>Alonzo</u> was almost a transcript of the situation, incidents, and plot of <u>Douglas,</u> and every author should especially beware of repeating the theme which has formerly been successful, or presenting a <u>da capo rotta</u> of the banquet which he has previously been fortunate enough to render acceptable.</p> <p> In 1778, Mr. Home's last dramatic attempt, the tragedy of <u>Alfred,</u> was represented and completely failed.</p> <p> Home now turned his thoughts to another walk of literature. His connexion with the civil war of 1745 had long been revolved in his mind, as a subject fit for history: he had even intended to write something on the subject soon after the broil was ended. After 1778, he seems to have resumed the purpose, and endeavoured to collect materials by correspondence and personal communication with such personages as could afford them</p> <p> ``In one or two of these journeys,'' says Mr. Mackenzie, ``I happened to travel for two or three days along with him and had occasion to hear his ideas on the subject. These were such as a man of his character and tone of mind would entertain, full of the mistaken seal and ill-fated gallantry of the Highlanders, the self-devoted heroism of some of their chiefs, and the ill-judged severity, carried (by some subordinate officers) the length of great inhumanity, of the conquering party. A specimen of this original style of his composition still remains in his account of the gallant Lochiel. But the complexion of his history was materially changed before its publication, which, at one time, he had very frequently and positively determined should not be made till after his death, but which he was tempted by that fondness for our literary offspring which the weakness of age produces, while it leaves less power of appreciating their merits, to hasten; and accordingly, published the work at London, in 1802. It was dedicated to the King, as a mark of his gratitude for his Majesty's former gracious attention to him, a circumstance which perhaps contributed to weaken and soften down the original composition, in compliment to the monarch whose uncle's memory was somewhat implicated in the impolitic, as well as ungenerous use, which Mr. Home conceived had been made of the victory of Culloden.''---Vol. i., pp.68, 69.</p> <p> It is well for us, perhaps, that we have the advantage of telling the above tale in Mr. Mackenzie's language. We have great veneration for the memory of his author, and much greater for that of his late Majesty, whose uniform generosity and kindness to the unfortunate race of Jacobites was one of the most amiable traits of his honest, benevolent, and truly English character. But since Mr. Home did assume the pen on the subject of the Forty-five, no consideration whatever ought to have made him depart from the truth, or shrink from exposing the cruelties practised, as Mr. Mackenzie delicately expresses it, by some subordinate officers, or from execrating the impolitic and ungenerous use of the victory of Culloden, in which the Duke of Cumberland was <u>somewhat</u> implicated. Mr. Home ought either never to have written his history, or to have written it without clogging himself with the dedication to the sovereign. There was no obligation on John Home to inscribe that particular book to his Majesty, and, had that ceremony been omitted, his Majesty was too just and candid a man to have resented the truth; though there might have been some affront in addressing a work, in which his uncle's memory suffered rough usage, directly to his own royal person. On the whole, we greatly prefer the conduct of Smollett, a Whig as well as Home, when he poured out his affecting lyric:---<p> ``Mourn, hapless Caledonia, mourn Thy banish'd peace, thy laurels torn.''</p> </p> </p> <p>Most of the members of the Poker were fast friends to the Hanoverian dynasty, though opposed to the actual Administration, on account of the neglect, and, as they accounted it, the affront put upon their native country. Lord Elibank, however, had, in all probability, ulterior views; for, notwithstanding his talents and his prudence, his love of paradox, perhaps, had induced him to place himself at the head of the scattered remnant of Jacobites, from which party every person else was taking the means of deserting. It is now ascertained by documents among the Stuart papers, that he carried on a correspondence with the Chevalier, which was not suspected by his most intimate friends.<p> The disappointed public of Scotland, to which the history should have been most interesting, was clamorous in its disapprobation. They complained of suppressed information and servile corrections; but reflection induced critics to pardon the good old man, who had been influenced in his latter years by doubts and apprehensions, which could not have assailed him in his term of active manhood. The work was, indeed, strangely mutilated, and breaks off abruptly at the battle of Culloden, without giving us any account of the manner in which that victory was used. Other faults might be pointed out, chiefly such as are indicative of advanced years. The part which the author himself played in the drama is perhaps a little too much detailed and too long dwelt upon.</p> <p> The history is, nevertheless, so far as it goes, a fair and candid one; for the writer, though by the manner in which he had fettered himself he was debarred from speaking the whole truth, yet was incapable of speaking any thing but the truth. The narrative is fair and honourable to both sides, nor does the author join with the sordid spirits, who cannot fight their enemies without abusing them at the same time, like the bailiff in Goldsmith's <u>Good-natured Man.</u> The idea which he gives us of the unfortunate Charles Edward is such as we have ourselves formed: the young Chevalier was one of those whom Fortune only distinguishes for a brief period of their life, the rest of which is passed in obscurity, so that they seem totally different characters when judged of by the few months which they spend in all the glare of publicity and sunshine, or when valued according to the many years which have passed away in the gloom of destroyed hopes and broken health. Other circumstances combine to render it difficult to obtain the real character of the unfortunate prince. By far the greater portion of his followers his memory was cherished as that of an idol, but the more dear to them on account of the sacrifices they had made to it. His illustrious birth, his daring enterprise, and the grace and beauty of his person, went no small length in confirming his partisans in those feelings towards their leader. There were exceptions amongst them however. Some of those who followed Charles to France, thought that he looked cold on them, and the <u>Memoirs of Dr. King,</u> lately published, tend to confirm the suspicion that (like others of his unhappy race) he was not warmly grateful. His courage, at least, ought to be beyond suspicion, considering the manner in which he landed on an expedition so desperate, and the opposition to his undertaking which he met with from the only friends upon whose assistance he could have counted for the chance of bringing together 1500 or 2000 men. A few sentences on this subject from Homes Narrative will probably vindicate what we have said, and at the same time give a specimen of the historian's peculiar style, which, if neither flowery nor eloquent, as might have been expected from his poetical vein, is clear, simple, expressive, and not unlike the conversation of an aged man of intelligence and feeling, recalling the recollections of his earlier years.</p> <p> To introduce these extracts, we must previously remark, that the chiefs of the Highland clans had come to a prudent resolution, that notwithstanding their attachment to the cause of the Stuarts, they should decline joining in any invasion which the exiled family might attempt, unless it was supported by a body of regular French troops. It was on the dominions (as they might then be called) of the Captain of Clanronald that Charles first landed. He did not find the chief himself, but he summoned on board the vessel which he brought with him to the Hebrides, MacDonald of Boisdale, the brother of Clanronald, a man of considerable intelligence, and who was supposed to have much interest with the chief. Boisdale declared he would advise his brother against the undertaking, remarking that the two most powerful chieftains in the vicinity, MacDonald of Sleate and MacLeod of MacLeod, were determined not to raise their men, unless the Chevalier should bring with him a sufficient foreign force.</p> <p> ``Charles replied in the best manner he could; and ordering the ship to be unmoored, carried Boisdale, whose boat hung at the stern, several miles onward to the main-land, pressing him to relent, and give a better answer. Boisdale was inexorable; and, getting into his boat, left Charles to pursue his course, which he did directly for the coast of Scotland; and, coming to an anchor in the Bay of Lochnanuagh, between Moidart and Arisaig, set a boat ashore with a letter to young Clanronald. In a very little time Clanronald, with his relation Kinloch Moidart, came aboard the Doutelle. Charles, almost reduced to despair in his interview with Boisdale, addressed the two Highlanders with great emotion, and summing up his arguments for taking arms, conjured them to assist their prince, their countryman, in his utmost need. Clanronald and his friend, though well inclined to the cause, positively refused; and told him, one after another, that, to take arms without concert or support was to pull down certain destruction on their own heads. Charles persisted, argued, and implored. During this conversation, the parties walked backwards and forwards upon the deck; a Highlander stood near them, armed at all points, as was then the fashion of the country: He was a younger brother of Kinloch Moidart, and had come off to the ship to enquire for news, not knowing who was aboard. When he gathered from their discourse that the stranger was the Prince of Wales, when he heard his chief and his brother refuse to take arms with their prince, his colour went and came, his eyes sparkled, he shifted his place, and grasped his sword. Charles observed his demeanour, and, turning briskly towards him, called out, `Will not you assist me?<code>---`I will, I will,</code> said Ranald; `though no other man in the Highlands should draw a sword, I am ready to die for you.' Charles, with a profusion of thanks and acknowledgments, extolled his champion to the skies, saying, he only wished that all the Highlanders were like him. Without further deliberation, the two Macdonalds declared that they also would join and use their utmost endeavours to engage their countrymen to take arms. Immediately Charles, with his company, went ashore, and was conducted to Boradale, a farm which belonged to the estate of Clanronald.''---Vol. ii., pp. 425--427.</p> <p> The conversion of the <u>good Lochiel,</u> for whom some friendly Presbyterian drew up an epitaph, declaring he<p> ---``is now a Whig in heaven,''</p> </p> </p> <ul> <li>See a list of the members of the Poker Club in the Appendix * to _Tytler's Life of Lord Kames._---=Ed.=<p> ``The conversation began on the part of Charles, with bitter complaints of the treatment he had received from the ministers of France, who had so long amused him with vain hopes, and deceived him with false premises: their coldness in his cause, he said, but ill agreed with the opinion he had of his own pretensions, and with the impatience to assert them, with which the promises of his father's brave and faithful subjects had inflamed his mind. Lochiel acknowledged the engagements of the chiefs, but observed that they were no ways binding, as he had come over without the stipulated aid; and, therefore, as there was not the least prospect of success, he advised his royal highness to return to France, and to reserve himself and his faithful friends for a more favourable opportunity. Charles refused to follow Lochiel's advice, affirming that a more favourable opportunity than the present would never come; that almost all the British troops were abroad, and kept at bay by Marshal Saxe, with a superior army: that in Scotland there were only a few new-raised regiments, that had never seen service, and could not stand before the Highlanders; that the very first advantage gained over the troops would encourage his father's friends at home to declare themselves; that his friends abroad would not fail to give their assistance; that he only wanted the Highlanders to begin the war.</p> <p> ``Lochiel still resisted, entreating Charles to be more temperate, and consent his remain concealed where he was, till he (Lochiel) and his other friends should meet together, and concert what was best to be done. Charles, whose mind was wound up to the utmost pitch of impatience, paid no regard to this proposal, but answered, that he was determined to put all to the hazard. `In a few days,' said he, `with the few friends that I have, I will erect the royal standard, and proclaim to the people of Britain, that Charles Stuart is come over to claim the crown of his ancestors, to win it, or to perish in the attempt; Lochiel, who, my father has often told me, was our firmest friend, may stay at home, and learn from the newspapers the fate of his prince.<code>---`No</code>, said Lochiel, `I'll share the fate of my prince; and so shall every man over whom nature or power hath given me any power.' Such was the singular conversation, on the result of which depended peace or war. For it is a point agreed among the Highlanders, that if Lochiel had persisted in his refusal to take arms, the other chiefs would not have joined the standard without him, and the spark of rebellion must instantly have expired.''--- Vol. iii., pp. 5, 6.</p> <p> It is singular that we should have to exculpate the unfortunate prince, who thus persisted, at the utmost risk, to instigate his followers, and to rush himself upon an undertaking so utterly desperate, from the imputation of personal cowardice; and yet such is the fact. The strongest evidence on this point is that of the Chevalier Johnstone's <u>Memoirs of the Rebellion in 1745 and 1746.</u> These have been published under the care of a sensible and intelligent editor, who has done a great deal to throw light upon the subject, but has been occasionally misled into giving a little too much credit to the representations of his author, who wrote under the influence of disappointment and ill-humour. A great part of the work is very interesting, because Johnstone, having been a military man, and having some turn for observation, has made better professional remarks on the Highland mode of fighting, and mere tactics, than we have observed in any other work. But then we happen to know that some of his stories are altogether fictitious, such as the brutal piece of vengeance said to have been practised by Gordon of Abbachie, upon a Whig minister, [Johnstone's <u>Memoirs,</u> 4to, 1820, p. 183.] It will also surprise such of the few readers as might have been disposed to interest themselves in the love affair between the Chevalier and his charming Peggy, which makes such a figure in the conclusion of his work to learn that Chevalier Johnstone was all this while a married man---an absolute Benedick---a circumstance which he no where hints at during his Memoirs, and that the amour, if such existed, was not of a character to be boasted of in the face of the public. There are legitimate grandchildren of the Chevalier Johnstone now alive.</p> <p> James Johnstone, the father of the Chevalier, by courtesy of Scotland called ``<u>merchant</u> in Edinburgh,'' was a grocer in that city. Not that we mean to impeach his gentility, because we believe his father to have been of the ancient and once-powerful family of Wamphray, though, like many sons of Jacobite families, he was excluded from what are called the learned professions, by his reluctance to take the oaths to the Hanoverian dynasty. Accordingly, the heir of the noble family of Rollo, who leave been before allied with the Johnstones of Wamphray, did not derogate in marrying Cecilia, daughter of James Johnstone, grocer, as before said. But when the Chevalier talks big about his fears of being disinherited, we cannot but remember that a petty shop, such as shops in the Cowgate of Edinburgh were in 1745, indifferently stocked with grocery goods,<p> ``Was all his great estate, and like to be.''</p> </p> <p> In short, we suspect our friend the Chevalier to be somewhat of a gasconader, and we are not willing to take away the character of Charles for courage upon such suspicious authority. When we therefore find that this unfortunate prince is accused---<u>1st,</u> of having entered into this expedition without foreseeing the personal dangers to which he must be exposed---<u>2d,</u> of taking care, in carrying it on, not to expose his person to the fire of the enemy---<u>3d,</u> of abandoning it when he had ten times more hope of success than when he left Paris, we are inclined to compare what the Chevalier has averred on these three points with what is elsewhere stated by himself and other authorities.</p> <p> And, _first_---After reading the foregoing arguments used by Boisdale, Clanronald, and Lochiel, in order to detain the Chevalier, by the strongest representations in their power, from venturing on the expedition, the Chevalier may be censured for foolhardiness, but he cannot surely be considered as a person ignorant of the dangers of the undertaking--- in other words, as one too timid to venture had he known the perils he was to encounter.</p> <p> _Secondly_---That Charles avoided placing himself in such situations of personal danger as became a prince and a general, is inconsistent with what has been registered by almost all authorities, and with what is narrated by Johnstone himself. Beginning with the battle of Prestonpans, Home states, and we have heard it corroborated by eye and ear witnesses, that ``Charles declared he would lead the clans on himself, and charge at their head;'' and only relinquished his purpose when the general remonstrance of the chieftains deterred him from leading the van. But notwithstanding this precaution, the prince conducted the second line of the Highland army; and the Chevalier Johnstone tells us, that the battle was gained with such rapidity, ``that, in the second line, when I was <u>still</u> by the side of the prince, we saw no other enemy on the field of battle than those who were lying on the ground killed and wounded, though we were not more than fifty paces behind our first line, running as fast as we could to overtake them.'' Now we submit, that a general who brought up a reserve within <u>fifty paces</u> of his advance, when, as Sir Lucius O'Trigger says, there was light enough for a long shot, and when the said advance was made upon a line of trained infantry and artillery, cannot be truly charged with keeping himself out of gun-shot. At Falkirk, we do not know exactly where the Prince was placed during the conflict, but it appears that he must have been in the advance, since at seven o'clock in the evening, he led in person the troops which pursued the English army, and took possession of Falkirk at half-past seven at night, while the Chevalier Johnstone did not even know that the victory was won until half an hour later. In the whole course of this strange _lev<e'>e des boucliers,_ the Chevalier Johnstone accuses the prince of what he calls a childish desire of fighting battles, a propensity rather inconsistent with personal cowardice, especially in the circumstances of Prince Charles, as, according to our Chevalier's authority, orders were issued to kill him on the spot if he should fall into the hands of the Government troops.</p> <p> At the battle of Culloden, the Prince remained upon an eminence, with a squadron of horse. But from what Johnstone states himself, he did give the orders necessary for the occasion; in particular, when he saw the English, and the Campbells, their auxiliaries, about to force an enclosure which protected the right flank of his army, he ``immediately repeated orders to place some troops in that enclosure, and prevent the man<oe>uvre of the English, which could not fail to prove fatal to us. Lord George paid no attention to this order,'' and the English introduced both horse, musketry, and artillery into that enclosure, to attack the Highland right wing on flank and rear, and did so with such deadly effect, that they swept away whole ranks. This man<oe>uvre completely decided the battle, and it was when the right wing was absolutely broken that Chevalier Johnstone proposes that Charles should have rushed down to renew the fight. This would, doubtless, have been the course to ensure a soldier's grave, but that, as is expressed in the last stanzas of poor Byron, is more ``often found than sought;'' nor are we entitled to praise the chief who rushes upon inevitable death because he has sustained a defeat. No effort of the squadron of horse, which was all that Charles had around his person, could dispossess the English cavalry, infantry, and artillery from the position they had gained; and as for rallying the Highlanders, why they were Highlanders, and for that very reason could not be rallied. In their advances, they fired their guns and threw them away, coming to the shock with the target and broadsword alone; if they succeeded, which they often did, no victory could be more complete; but they exhausted their strength in this effort, and it was not till they received, in the regiments drawn from amongst them, the usual discipline of the field, that Highlanders had any idea of rallying till some hill, pass, or natural fastness, gave them an advantage.<*></p> </li> </ul> <p>We have the evidence of the accomplished Earl of Haddington, that he remembers the celebrated Lady Hervey (the beautiful Molly Lapelle of Pope and Gay) weeping like an infant over the manuscript of <u>Douglas.</u></p> <p>On being warned from making such an effusion public, the only answer he condescended to give was, by adding the concluding stanza.<p> This much is certain, that except the two authorities quoted, all persons who attended Charles that day agree in stating his desire to go down and rally the Highlanders, and affirm that he was only forced from the field by the entreaties of his tutor, Sir Thomas Sheridan, and others, representing the desperation of the attempt, and the impossibility of success. The cornet of the second troop of Horse Guards left a paper, signed with his name, in which he declares that all verbal representations would have been vain, if General Sullivan had not laid hold of the rein of Charles's horse, and turned him about. ``To witness this,'' says the cornet, ``I summon my eyes.'' After all, the words _Qu'i mour<u^>t_ are pronounced with wondrous ease and effect; but the homely proverb, ``While there is life there is hope,'' is not less likely to influence an individual in the situation of Charles; and if we are to accuse of cowardice every officer who has left the field of battle when all was lost, we shall wondrously curtail the catalogue of the brave.</p> <p> As for the idea of rallying after the defeat, and making up a new army, it must be remembered that a Highland army differed essentially from one composed of regular troops, and as much in the mode of retreat, as in other particulars. A regular army can have no retreat but upon that point where the general pitches his standard. The camp to them is country and home. If they are defeated, they are aware that their chance of safety lies in union, and all stragglers have sense enough to regain their battalions as soon as they can. The Highlanders would have been in the same situation had they been routed in the middle of England, where those who might have escaped the sword would have remained together for mutual protection. But on the skirts of their own mountains, the moment the day was lost, the Highlanders, in a great measure, dispersed. The individuals had their own homes to retire to, and their own families to protect; the tribes had each its own country to defend, and, when the Highlanders were defeated at Culloden, their army in a great measure broke up into the separate clans of which it was composed, which went off in different directions to their own several glens. Many, no doubt, were thrown into such confusion, that they made to Ruthven in Badenoch as a common place of rendezvous, and the Lowland troops went thither also, because it had been named as such, and because, being strangers in the country, they knew not where else to go. But Chevalier Johnstone talks widely and wildly when he speaks of five thousand Highlanders being there able and ready to resume the struggle. If the prince had not had the spirit (as Johnstone pretends) to have put himself at the head of such a body, the Highland chiefs themselves would have endeavoured to maintain themselves in arms, in order to enter upon negotiation, which they had been twice able to effect in former cases. But the whole is a vision. There was never above a thousand or fifteen hundred men assembled at Ruthven, and these were many of them Lowlanders. The prince's army was entirely broken up; all the foreign troops surrendered forthwith, with every thing belonging to the <u>materiel</u> of their army; the clans had in a great measure dispersed themselves and gone home, as was their uniform custom after defeat. All the efforts of their chieftains could not bring them together again. This <u>was</u> attempted, and the principal actors entered into resolutions binding themselves to rendezvous for that purpose. But the spirit of the clans was entirely broken by the immense superiority of the King's forces, while the desire of defending each its own lonely glen from the fire and sword with which that was threatened, overcame the feelings of sounder policy which would have induced them to persevere in a system of co-operation. A full account of the attempt to re-assemble their forces, and of the causes of its being abandoned, will be found in Home's Works (vol. iii., p. 369); and we may conclude by observing that Lochiel, by whom the affair was managed, and who saw himself, by irresistible obstacles, constrained to abandon a course which might have at least extorted some terms from the Duke of Cumberland, was as brave a man, and, to say the least, as good a judge of what the Highlanders could or could not do in the circumstances, as the Chevalier Johnstone could possibly pretend to be.</p> <p> We do not, on the whole, mean to arrogate for the unhappy Chevalier the character of a great man, to which he displays few pretensions; but to deny energy to the prince who plunged into an enterprise so desperate, and where his own personal safety was so deeply implicated, on the word of one or two private and disappointed men, contradicted by a hundred others, seems to involve a denial of the whole history from beginning to end. He was not John of Gaunt, but yet no coward.</p> <p> It is time to conclude this old-fashioned Scottish gossip, which, after all, in a literary journal of the present day, sounds as a pibroch might do in the Hanover Square concert-rooms.</p> </p> <p>to this rash undertaking, shall he our last quotation from this history, so interesting in spite of its imperfections. This model of a Highland chief and Scottish gentleman met with the Chevalier at MacDonald of Boradale's, a very few days after he landed.</p> <ul> <li>See the <u>History of the Highland Regiments,</u> by Major-General <em> David Stewart (of Garth;) one of the most interesting </em> military memoirs in the world, and not the less so because <em> the feeling of ``_quorum pars magna fui_'' is perceptible in </em> every page.---S.</li> </ul> <p>It is very true, that Johnstone is supported on this point by a better evidence than himself ---Lord Elcho, namely, who has left manuscript memoirs, in which it is stated that the author requested the Chevalier to charge in person at the head of the left wing, after the right was routed, and that on his not so advancing, Lord Elcho called him an Italian scoundrel, or a worse epithet, and declared he would never see his face more. We cannot believe, even on Lord Elcho's evidence, that any efforts of Charles could have retrieved the day at Culloden. The left wing, which had become sulky and refused to fight, because (to complete the blunders of the day) they had chosen to deprive the MacDonalds of their post of honour upon the right, were not likely to have their fighting mood improved by the rout and destruction amongst the right; and it is nothing new for a warm and impetuous soldier like Lord Elcho, rendered desperate by circumstances, to give counsel on a field of battle which it would be madness in any general to adopt. Besides, the common ruin which succeeds to such a rash undertaking as that of 1745 breaks all the ties of friendship, and men become severed by their passions and interests, like a fleet driven from its moorings by a tempest. It is then that mutual upbraidings arise amongst them, and such quarrels take place as that betwixt Charles and Lord Elcho, which the latter carried to such a height, that though he lived an exile for the Stuarts' cause, he would never again see Prince Charles, and used to leave Paris so soon as the Chevalier entered it. Such strong passions are apt to sway, even in the most honourable minds, the recollection of past events.<p> ``Then ou're again, the jovial thrang The poet did request, To loose his pack an' wale a sang, A ballad o' the best:<p> He rising, rejoicing Between his twa Deborahs, Looks round him, an' found them Impatient for the chorus,<p> =Air.=</p> </p> <p> See! the smoking bowl before us, Mark our jovial ragged ring! Round and round take up the chorus. And in raptures let us sing.<p> =Chorus.=</p> </p> <p> <u>A fig for those by law protected! Liberty's a glorious feast! Courts for cowards were erected, Churches built to please the priest.</u></p> <p> What is title? what is treasure? What is reputation's care? If we lead a life of pleasure. 'Tis no matter <u>how or where!</u> <u>A fig, &c.</u></p> <p> With the ready trick and fable, Round we wander all the day; And at night, in barn or stable, Hug our doxies on the hay. <u>A fig, &c.</u></p> <p> Does the train-attended carriage Through the country lighter rove? Does the sober bed of marriage Witness brighter scenes of love? <u>A fig, &c.</u></p> <p> Life is all a variorum, We regard not how it goes, Let them cant about decorum Who have characters to lose. <u>A fig, &c.</u></p> <p> Here's to budgets, bags, and wallets! Here's to all the wandering train! Here's our ragged <u>brats</u> and <u>callets!</u> One and all cry out, Amen! _A fig, &c._''</p> <p> We are at a loss to conceive any good reason why Dr. Currie did not introduce this singular and humorous cantata into his collection. It is true, that in one or two passages the muse has trespassed slightly upon decorum, where, in the language of Scottish song,<p> ``High kilted was she As she gaud ower the lea.''</p> </p> </p> </p> <p><title> Reliques of Robert Burns.<! p123><*><p> Knowing that these, and hoping that other compositions of similar spirit and tenor might yet be recovered, we were induced to think that some of them, at least, had found a place in the collection now given to the public by Mr. Cromek; but he has neither risked the censure, nor laid claim to the applause, which might have belonged to such an undertaking. The contents of the volume before us are more properly gleanings than relics--- the refuse and sweepings of the shop, rather than the commodities which might be deemed contraband. Yet even these scraps and remnants contain articles of curiosity and value, tending to throw light on the character of one of the most singular men by whose appearance our age has been distinguished.</p> <p> The first portion of the volume contains nearly two hundred pages of letters, addressed by Burns to various individuals, written in various tones of feeling and modes of mind---in some instances exhibiting all the force of the writer's talents, in others only valuable because they bear his signature. The avidity with which the reader ever devours this species of publication, has been traced to the desire of seeing the mind and opinions of celebrated men in their open and undisguised moments, and of perusing and appreciating their thoughts while the gold is yet rude ore, ere it is refined and manufactured into polished sentences or sounding stanzas. But, notwithstanding these fair pretences, we doubt if this appetite can be referred to any more honourable source than the love of anecdote and private history. In fact, letters--- at least these of a general and miscellaneous kind ---very rarely contain the real opinions of the writer. If an author sits down to the task of formally composing a work for the use of the public, he has previously considered his subject, and made up his mind both on the opinions he is to express, and on the mode of supporting them. But the same man usually writes a letter only because the letter must be written---is probably never more at a loss than when looking for a subject---and treats it, when found, rather so as to gratify his correspondent, than communicate his own feelings. The letters of Burns, although containing passages of great eloquence, and expressive of the intense fire of his disposition, are not exceptions from this general rule. They bear occasionally strong marks of affectation, with a tinge of pedantry rather foreign from the bard's character and education. The following paragraphs illustrate both the excellences and faults of his epistolary composition. Nothing can be more humorously imagined and embodied than the sage group of Wisdom and Prudence in the first, while the affectation of the second amounts to absolute rant.</p> <p> ``Do tell that to Lady M`Kenzie, that she may give me credit for a little wisdom. `I, Wisdom, dwell with Prudence.' What a blessed fire-side!---How happy should I be to pass a winter evening under their venerable roof! and smoke a pipe of tobacco, or drink water-gruel with them! What solemn, lengthened laughter-quashing gravity of phiz! What sage remarks on the good-for-nothing sons and daughters of indiscretion and folly! and what frugal lessons, as we straitened the fire-side circle, on the uses of poker and tongs!''</p> <p> ``Miss N. is very well, and begs to be remembered in the old way to you. I used all my eloquence, all the persuasive flourishes of the hand, and heart-melting modulations of periods in my power, to urge her out to Hervieston, but all in vain. My rhetoric seems quite to have lost its effect on the lovely half of mankind. I have seen the day---but that is as a `tale of other years;'---in my conscience I believe that my heart has been so oft on fire, that it is absolutely vitrified. I look on the sex with something like the admiration with which I regard the starry sky in a frosty December night. I admire the beauty of the Creator's workmanship; I am charmed with the wild but graceful eccentricity of their motions, and---wish them good night. I mean this with respect to a certain passion _dont j'ai eu l'honneur d'<e^>tre un miserable esclave:_ as for friendship, you and Charlotte have given me pleasure, permanent pleasure, `which the world cannot give, nor take away' I hope; and which will outlast the heavens and the earth.''</p> <p> In the same false taste, Burns utters such tirades as this:---</p> <p> ``Whether, in the way of my trade, I can be of any service to the Rev. Doctor,<*> is, I fear, very doubtful. Ajax's shield</p> </p> <ul> <li>From the <u>Quarterly Review for 1809. Reliques of Robert * Burns.</u> Collected by R. H. Cromek. 1808.</li> </ul> <p><text> We opened a book bearing so interesting a title with no little anxiety. Literary reliques vary in species and value almost as much as those of the Catholic or of the antiquary. Some deserve a golden shrine for their intrinsic merit, some are valued from the pleasing recollections and associations with which they are combined, some, reflecting little honour upon their unfortunate author, are dragged by interested editors from merited obscurity. The character of Burns, on which we may perhaps hazard some remarks in the course of this article, was such as to increase our apprehensions. The extravagance of genius with which this wonderful man was gifted, being in his later and more evil days directed to no fixed or general purpose, was, in the morbid state of his health and feelings, apt to display itself in hasty sallies of virulent and unmerited severity: sallies often regretted by the bard himself; and of which justice to the living and to the dead, alike demanded the suppression. Neither was this anxiety lessened, when we recollected the pious care with which the late excellent Dr. Currie had performed the task of editing the works of Burns. His selection was limited as much by respect to the fame of the living as of the dead. He dragged from obscurity none of those satirical effusions, which ought to be as ephemeral as as the transient offences which called them forth. He excluded every thing approaching to license, whether in morals or in religion, and thus rendered his collection such, as doubtless Burns himself, in his moments of sober reflection, would have most highly approved. Yet applauding, as we do most highly applaud, the leading principles of Dr. Currie's selection, we are aware that they sometimes led him into fastidious and over-delicate rejection of the bard's most spirited and happy effusions. A thin octavo published at Glasgow in 1801, under the title of <u>Poems ascribed to Robert Burns the Ayrshire bard,</u> furnishes valuable proofs of this assertion. It contains, among a good deal of rubbish, some of his most brilliant poetry. A cantata in particular, called <u>The Jolly Beggars,</u> for humorous description and nice discrimination of character, is inferior to no poem of the same length in the whole range of English poetry. The scene, indeed, is laid in the very lowest department of low life, the actors being a set of strolling vagrants, met to carouse, and barter their rags and plunder for liquor in a hedge ale-house;---yet even in describing the movements of such a group, the native taste of the poet has never suffered his pen to slide into any thing coarse or disgusting. The extravagant glee and outrageous frolic of the beggars are ridiculously contrasted with their maimed limbs, rags, and crutches---the sordid and squalid circumstances of their appearance are judiciously thrown into the shade. Nor is the art of the poet less conspicuous in the individual figures, than in the general mass. The festive vagrants are distinguished from each other by personal appearance and character, as much as any fortuitous assembly in the higher orders of life. The group, it must be observed, is of Scottish character, and doubtless our northern brethren are mere familiar with its varieties than we are; yet the distinctions are to well marked to escape even the Southron. The most prominent persons are a maimed soldier and his female companion, a hackneyed follower of the camp, a stroller, late the consort of an Highland ketterer or sturdy beggar,---``but weary fa' the waefu' woodie!'' ---Being now at liberty, she becomes an object of rivalry between a ``pigmy scraper with his fiddle'' and a strolling tinker. The latter, a desperate bandit, like most of his profession, terrifies the musician out of the field, and is preferred by the damsel of course. A wandering ballad-singer, with a brace of doxies, is last introduced upon the stage. Each of these mendicants sings a song in character, and such a collection of humorous lyrics, connected by vivid poetical description, is not, perhaps, to be paralleled in the English language. As the collection and the poem are very little known in England, and as it is certainly apposite to the Reliques of Robert Burns, we venture to transcribe the concluding ditty, chanted by the ballad-singer at the request of the company, whose ``mirth and fun have now grown fast and furious,'' and set them above all sublunary terrors of jails, stocks, and whipping-posts. It is certainly far superior to any thing in the <u>Beggar's Opera,</u> where alone we could expect to find its parallel.<p> These passages, however, in which the author seems to have got the better of the man, in which the desire of shining, and blazing, and thundering, supersedes the natural expressions of feeling, and passion, are less frequent in the letters of Burns than perhaps of any other professed writer. Burns was, in truth, the child of passion and feeling. His character was not simply that of a peasant exalted into notice by uncommon literary attainments, but bore a stamp which must have distinguished him in the highest as in the lowest situation in life. To ascertain what was his natural temper and disposition, and how far it was altered or modified by the circumstances of birth, education, and fortune, might be a subject for a long essay; but to mark a few distinctions is all that can be here expected from us.</p> <p> We have said that Robert Burns was the child of impulse and feeling. Of the steady principle which cleaves to that which is good, he was unfortunately divested by the violence of those passions which finally wrecked him. It is most affecting to add, that while swimming, struggling, and finally yielding to the torrent, he never lost sight of the beacon which ought to have guided him to land, yet never profited by its light.</p> <p> We learn his opinion of his own temperament in the following emphatic burst of passion:---</p> <p> ``God have mercy on me! a poor d---d incautious, duped, unfortunate fool! The sport, the miserable victim, of rebellious pride, hypochondriac imagination, agonizing sensibility, and bedlam passions!''</p> <p> ``Come, stubborn pride and unshrinking resolution, accompany me through this to me miserable world!'' In such language did this powerful but untamed mind express the irritation of prolonged expectation and disappointed hope, which slight reflection might have pointed out as the common fate of mortality. Burns neither acknowledged adversity as the ``tamer of the human breast,'' nor knew the golden curb which discretion hangs upon passion. He even appears to have felt a gloomy pleasure in braving the encounter of evils which prudence might have avoided, and to have thought that there could be no pleasurable existence between the extremes of licentious frenzy and of torpid sensuality. ``There are two only creatures that I would envy---A horse in his wild state traversing the forests of Asia, and an oyster on some of the desert shores of Europe. The one has not a wish without enjoyment, the other has neither wish nor fear.'' When such a sentiment is breathed by such a being, the lesson is awful: and if pride and ambition were capable of being taught, they might hence learn that a well-regulated mind and controlled passions are to be prized above all the glow of imagination, and all the splendour of genius.</p> <p> We discover the same stubborn resolution rather to endure with patience the consequences of error, than to own and avoid it in future, in the poet's singular choice of a pattern of fortitude.</p> <p> ``I have bought a pocket Milton, which I carry perpetually about with me, in order to study the sentiments---the dauntless magnanimity, the intrepid, unyielding independence, the desperate daring, and noble defiance of hardship, in that great personage, =Satan.=''</p> <p> Nor was this a rash or precipitate choice, for in a more apologetic mood he expresses the same opinion of the same personage.</p> <p> ``My favourite feature in Milton's Satan is his manly fortitude in supporting what cannot be remedied---in short, the wild, broken fragments of a noble, exalted mind in ruins. I meant no more by saying he was a favourite hero of mine.''</p> <p> With this lofty and unbending spirit were connected a love of independence and a hatred of control amounting almost to the sublime rant of Almanzor.<p> ``He was as free as Nature first made man, Ere the base laws of servitude began, When wild in woods the noble savage ran.''</p> </p> <p> In general society Burns often permitted his determination of vindicating his personal dignity to hurry him into unjustifiable resentment of slight or imagined neglect. He was ever anxious to maintain his post in society, and to extort that deference which was readily paid to him by all from whom it was worth claiming. This ill-judged jealousy of precedence led him often to place his own pretensions to notice in competition with those of the company who, he conceived, might found theirs on birth or fortune. On such occasions it was no easy task to deal with Burns. The power of his language, the vigour of his satire, the severity of illustration with which his fancy instantly supplied him, bore down all retort. Neither was it possible to exercise over the poet that restraint which arises from the chance of further personal consequences. The dignity, the spirit, the indignation of Burns was that of a plebeian---of a high-souled plebeian indeed---of a citizen of Rome or Athens; but still of a plebeian, untinged with the slightest shade of that spirit of chivalry which since the feudal times, has pervaded the higher ranks of European society. This must not be imputed to cowardice, for Burns was no coward. But the lowness of his birth, and habits of society, prevented rules of punctilious delicacy from making any part of his education; nor did he, it would seem, see any thing so rational in the practice of duelling, as afterwards to adopt or to affect the sentiments of the higher ranks upon that subject. A letter to Mr. Clarke written after a quarrel upon political topics has these remarkable, and we will add manly expressions.</p> <p> ``From the expressions Capt. ------------ made use of to me, had I had nobody's welfare to care for but my own, we should certainly have come, according to the manners of the world, to the necessity of murdering one another about the business. The words were such as, generally, I believe, end in a brace of pistols; but I am still pleased to think that I did not ruin the peace and welfare of a wife and a family of children in a drunken squabble.''</p> </p> <p>Something, however, is to be allowed to the nature of the subject and something to the education of the poet; and if, from veneration to the names of Swift and Dryden we tolerate the grossness of the one, and the indelicacy of the other, the respect due to that of Burns may surely claim indulgence for a few light strokes of broad humour. The same collection contains <u>Holy Willie's Prayer,</u> a piece of satire more exquisitely severe than any which Burns afterwards wrote, but unfortunately cast in a form too daringly profane to be received into Dr. Currie's collection.<p> ``The mind which, starting, heaves the heartfelt groan, And hates the form she knows to be her own.''</p> </p> <ul> <li>Dr. M`Gill, of Ayr. The poet gives the best illustration <em> of this letter on one addressed to Mr. Graham.---=Dr. Currie'=s </em> <u>edition.</u> No. 86.---S.<p> Yet this ardent and irritable temperament had its periods, not merely of tranquillity, but of the most subduing tenderness. In the society of men of taste, who could relish and understand his conversation, or whose rank in life was not so much raised above his own as to require, in his opinion, the assertion of his dignity, he was eloquent, impressive, and instructing. But it was in female circles that his powers of expression displayed their utmost fascination. In such, where the respect demanded by rank was readily paid as due to beauty or accomplishment; where he could resent no insult, and vindicate no claim of superiority, his conversation lost all its harshness, and often became so energetic and impressive, as to dissolve the whole circle into tears. The traits of sensibility which, told of another, would sound like instances of gross affectation, were so native to the soul of this extraordinary man, and burst from him so involuntarily, that they not only obtained full credence as the genuine feelings of his own heart, but melted into unthought of sympathy all who witnessed them. In such a mood they were often called forth by the slightest and most trifling occurrences; an ordinary engraving, the wild turn of a simple Scottish air, a line in an old ballad, were, like ``the field mouse's nest'' and ``the uprooted daisy,'' sufficient to excite the sympathetic feelings of Burns. And it was wonderful to see those who, left to themselves, would have passed over such trivial circumstances without a moment's reflection, sob over the picture, when its outline had been filled up by the magic art of his eloquence.</p> <p> The political predilections, for they could hardly be termed principles, of Burns, were entirely determined by his feelings. At his first appearance, he felt, or affected, a propensity to jacobitism. Indeed, a youth of his warm imagination, and ardent patriotism, brought up in Scotland thirty years ago, could hardly escape this bias. The side of Charles Edward was the party, not surely of sound sense and sober reason, but of romantic gallantry and high achievement. The inadequacy of the means by which that prince attempted to regain the crown, forfeited by his fathers, the strange and almost poetical adventures which he underwent, the Scottish martial character honoured in his victories, and degraded and crushed in his defeat, the tales of the veterans who had followed his adventurous standard, were all calculated to impress upon the mind of a poet a warm interest in the cause of the house of Stuart. Yet the impression was not of a very serious cast; for Burns himself acknowledges in one of these letters, that, ``to tell the matter of fact, except when my passions were heated by some accidental cause, my jacobitism was merely by way of _vive la bagatelle,_'' p. 240. The same enthusiastic ardour of disposition swayed Burns in his choice of political tenets, when the country was agitated by revolutionary principles. That the poet should have chosen the side on which high talents were most likely to procure celebrity; that he to whom the factitious distinctions of society were always odious, should have listened with complacence to the voice of French philosophy, which denounced them as usurpations on the rights of man, was precisely the thing to be expected. Yet we cannot but think that if his superiors in the Excise department had tried the experiment of soothing rather than of irritating his feelings, they might have spared themselves the disgrace of rendering desperate the possessor of such uncommon talents. For it is but too certain, that from the moment his hopes of promotion were utterly blasted, his tendency to dissipation hurried him precipitately into those excesses which shortened his life. We doubt not, that in that awful period of national discord he had done and said enough to deter, in ordinary cases, the servants of government from countenancing an avowed partisan of faction. But this partisan was Burns!---Surely the experiment of lenity might have been tried, and perhaps successfully. The conduct of Mr. Graham of Fintray, our poet's only shield against actual dismission, and consequent ruin, reflects the highest credit upon that gentleman. We may dismiss these reflections on the character of Burns with his own beautiful lines---<p> ``I saw thy pulse's maddening play, Wild send thee pleasure's devious way, By passion driven: But yet the light that led astray, Was light from heaven.''</p> </p> <p> The second part of this volume contains a number of memoranda by Burns, concerning the Scottish songs and music published by Johnson, in six volumes 8vo.---Many of these appear to us exceedingly trifling. They might indeed have adorned, with great propriety, a second edition of the work in question, or any other collection of Scottish songs; but, separated from the verses to which they relate, how can any one be interested in learning that <u>Down the Burn Davie</u> was the composition of David Maigh, keeper of blood-hounds to the Laird of Riddell; that <u>Tarry woo</u> was, in the opinion of Burns, a ``very pretty song;'' or even that the author of <u>Polwarth on the Green</u> was ``Captain John Drummond MacGrigor, of the family of Bochaldie?'' Were it of consequence, we might correct the valuable information thus conveyed, in one or two instances, and enlarge it in many others. But it seems of more importance to mark the share which the poet himself took in compiling or embellishing this collection of traditional poetry, especially as it has not been distinctly explained either by Dr. Currie or Mr. Cromek. Tradition, generally speaking, is a sort of perverted alchymy which converts gold into lead. All that is abstractedly poetical, all that is above the comprehension of the merest peasant, is apt to escape in frequent recitation; and the _lacun<ae>,_ thus created, are filled up either by lines from other ditties, or from the mother wit of the reciter or singer. The injury, in either case, is obvious and irreparable. But with all these disadvantages, the Scottish songs and tunes preserved for Burns that inexpressible charm which they have ever afforded to his countrymen. He entered into the idea of collecting their fragments with all the zeal of an enthusiast; and few, whether serious or humorous, pass through his hands without receiving some of those magic touches, which, without greatly altering the song, restored its original spirit, or gave it more than it had ever possessed. So dexterously are these touches combined with the ancient structure, that the <u>rifaccimento,</u> in many instances, could scarcely have been detected, without the avowal of the bard himself. Neither would it be easy to mark his share in the individual ditties. Some he appears entirely to have re-written; to others he added supplementary stanzas; in some he retained only the leading lines and the chorus, and others he merely arranged and ornamented. For the benefit of future antiquaries, however, we may observe that many of the songs, claimed by the present editor as the exclusive composition of Burns, were, in reality, current long before he was born. Let us take one of the best examples of his skill in imitating the old ballad.---<u>M`Pherson's Lament</u> was a well-known song many years before the Ayrshire Bard wrote those additional verses which constitute its principal merit. This noted freebooter was executed at Inverness, about the beginning of the last century. When he came to the fatal tree, he played the tune to which he has bequeathed his name upon a favourite violin, and holding up the instrument, offered it to any one of his clan who would undertake to play the tune over his body at his lyke-wake: as none answered, he dashed it to pieces on the executioner's head, and flung himself from the ladder. The following are the wild stanzas, grounded, however, upon some traditional remains,<*></p> </li> </ul> <p>consisted, I think, of seven bull hides and a plate of brass, which altogether set Hector's utmost force at defiance. Alas! I am not a Hector, and the worthy Doctor's foes are as securely armed as Ajax was. Ignorance, superstition, bigotry, stupidity, malevolence, self-conceit, envy---all strongly bound in a massy frame of brazen impudence. Good God, sir! to such a shield, humour is the peck of a sparrow, and satire the pop-gun of a school-boy. Creation-disgracing <u>scelerats</u> such as they, God only can mend, and the devil only can punish. In the comprehending way of Caligula, I wish they had all but one neck. I feel impotent as a child to the ardour of my wishes! O for a withering curse to blast the germins of their wicked machinations. O for a poisonous tornado, winged from the torrid zones of Tartarus, to sweep the spreading crop of their villanous contrivances to the lowest hell!''</p> <p>In this point, therefore, the pride and high spirit of Burns differed from those of the world around him. But if he wanted that chivalrous sensibility of honour which places reason upon the sword's point, he had delicacy of another sort, which those who boast most of the former do not always possess in the same purity. Although so poor as to be ever on the very brink of absolute ruin, looking forwards now to the situation of a foot-soldier, now to that of a common beggar, as no unnatural consummation of his evil fortune; Burns was, in pecuniary transactions, as proud and independent as if possessed of a prince's revenue. Bred a peasant, and preferred to the degrading situation of a common exciseman, neither the influence of the low-minded crowd around him, nor the gratification of selfish indulgence, nor that contempt of futurity, which has characterised so many of his poetical brethren, ever led him to incur or endure the burden of pecuniary obligation. A very intimate friend of the poet, from whom he used occasionally to borrow a small sum for a week or two, once ventured to hint that the punctuality with which the loan was always replaced at the appointed time was unnecessary and unkind. The consequence of this hint was the interruption of their friendship for some weeks, the bard disdaining the very thought of being indebted to a human being one farthing beyond what he could discharge with the most rigid punctuality. It was a less pleasing consequence of this high spirit, that Burns was utterly inaccessible to all friendly advice. To lay before him his errors, or to point out their consequences, was to touch a string that jarred every feeling within him. On such occasions, his, like Churchill's, was<p> ``M`PHERSON'S FAREWELL</p> <p> ``Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong, The wretch's destiny! M`Pherson's time will not be long On yonder gallows tree. <u>Sae rantingly, sae wantonly, Sae dauntingly gaed he, He play'd a spring, and danced it round, Below the gallows tree.</u><p> O what is death put parting breath?--- On mony a bloody plain I've dared his face, and in this place I scorn him yet again! <u>Sae rantingly, &c.</u></p> <p> Untie these bands from off my hands, And bring to me my sword; And there's no man in all Scotland, But I'll brave him at a word. <u>Sae rantingly, &c.</u></p> <p> I've lived a life of sturt and strife; I die by treacherie: It burns my heart I must depart And not avenged be. <u>Sae rantingly, &c.</u></p> <p> Now farewall light, thou sunshine bright, And all beneath the sky! May coward shame distain his name, The wretch that dares not die! _Sae rantingly, &c._''</p> <p> How much Burns delighted in the task of eking out the ancient melodies of his country, appears from the following affecting passage in a letter written to Mr. Johnson shortly before his death.</p> <p> ``You are a good, worthy, honest fellow, and have a good right to live in this world---because you deserve it. Many a merry meeting this publication has given us, and possibly it may give us more, though, alas! I fear it. This protracting, slow, consuming illness which hangs over me, will, I doubt much, my ever dear friend, arrest my sun before he has well reached his middle career, and will turn over the Poet to far other and more important concerns than studying the brilliancy of wit, or the pathos of sentiment! However, hope is the cordial of the human heart, and I endeavour to cherish it as well as I can.''</p> <p> Notwithstanding the spirit of many of the lyrics of Burns, and the exquisite sweetness and simplicity of others, we cannot but deeply regret that so much of his time and talents was frittered away in compiling and composing for musical collections. There is sufficient evidence both in the edition of Dr. Currie, and in this supplemental volume, that even the genius of Burns could not support him in the monotonous task of writing love verses on heaving bosoms and sparkling eyes, and twisting them into such rhythmical forms, as might suit the capricious evolutions of Scotch reels, ports and strathspeys. Besides, this constant waste of his fancy and power of verse in small and insignificant compositions, must necessarily have had no little effect in deterring him from undertaking any grave or important task. Let no one suppose that we undervalue the songs of Burns. When his soul was intent on suiting a favourite air with words humorous or tender, as the subject demanded, no poet of our tongue ever displayed higher skill in marrying melody to immortal verse. But the writing of a series of songs for large musical collections degenerated into a slavish labour, which no talents could support, led to negligence, and above all, diverted the poet from his grand plan of dramatic composition.</p> <p> To produce a work of this kind, neither perhaps a regular tragedy or comedy, but something partaking of the nature of both, seems to have been long the cherished wish of Burns. He had even fixed on the subject, which was an adventure in low life, said to have happened to Robert Bruce, while wandering in danger and disguise after being defeated by the English. The Scottish dialect would have rendered such a piece totally unfit for the stage: but those who recollect the masculine and lofty tone of martial spirit which glows in the poem of Bannockburn, will sigh to think what the character of the gallant Bruce might have proved under the hand of Burns! It would undoubtedly have wanted that tinge of chivalrous feeling which the manners of the age, no less than the disposition of the monarch, imperiously demanded; but this deficiency would have been more than supplied by a bard who could have drawn from his own perceptions the unbending energy of a hero, sustaining the desertion of friends, the persecution of enemies, and the utmost malice of disastrous fortune. The scene, too, being partly laid in humble life, admitted that display of broad humour and exquisite pathos, with which he could interchangeably and at pleasure adorn his cottage views. Nor was the assemblage of familiar sentiments incompatible in Burns with those of the most exalted dignity. In the inimitable tale of Tam o' Shanter, he has left us sufficient evidence of his ability to combine the ludicrous with the awful and even the horrible. No poet, with the exception of Shakspeare, ever possessed the power of exciting the most varied and discordant emotions with such rapid transitions. His humorous description of the appearance of Death (in the poem on Dr. Hornbook) borders on the terrific, and the witches' dance, in the Kirk of Alloway, is at once ludicrous and horrible. Deeply must we then regret those avocatious which diverted a fancy so varied and so vigorous, joined with language and expressions suited to all its changes, from leaving a more substantial monument to his own fame and to the honour of his country.</p> <p> The next division is a collection of fugitive sentences and commonplaces, extracted partly from the memorandum book of the poet, and partly, we believe, from letters which could not be published in their entire state. Many of these appear to be drawn from a small volume, entitled ``Letters to Clarinda, by Robert Burns,'' which was printed at Glasgow, but afterwards suppressed. To these, the observations which we offered on the bard's letters in general, apply with additional force for in such a selection, the splendid patches, the showy, declamatory, figurative effusions of sentimental affectation, are usually the choice of the editor. Respect for the mighty dead, prevents our quoting instances in which Burns has degraded his natural eloquence by these meretricious ornaments. Indeed his style is sometimes so forced and unnatural, that we must believe he knew to whom he was writing, and that an affectation of enthusiasm in platonic love and devotion, was more likely to be acceptable to the fair Clarinda, than the true language of feeling. The following loose and laboured passage shows that the passion of <u>Sylvander</u> (a name sufficient of itself to damn a whole file of love-letters) had more of vanity than of real sentiment:---</p> <p> ``What trifling silliness is the childish fondness of the everyday children of the world! 'Tis the unmeaning toying of the younglings of the fields and forests; but where sentiment and fancy unite their sweets; where taste and delicacy refine; where wit adds the flavour, and good sense gives strength and spirit to all, what a delicious draught is the hour of tender endearment!---beauty and grace in the arms of truth and honour, in all the luxury of mutual love!''</p> <p> The last part of the work comprehends a few original poems---epistles, prologues, and songs,--- by which, if the author's reputation had not been previously established, we will venture to say it would never have risen above the common standard. At the same time there are few of them that do not, upon minute examination, exhibit marks of Burns's hand, though not of his best manner. The following exquisitely affecting stanza contains the essence of a thousand love tales:---<p> ``Had we never loved sae kindly, Had we never loved sae blindly, Never met or never parted, We had ne'er been broken-hearted.''</p> <p> There are one or two political songs, which, for any wit or humour they contain, might have been very well omitted. The satirical effusions of Burns, when they related to persons or subjects removed from his own sphere of observation, were too vague and too coarse to be poignant. There are a few attempts at <u>English</u> verse, in which, as usual, Burns falls beneath himself. This is the more remarkable, as the sublimer passages of his ``Saturday Night,'' ``Vision,'' and other poems of celebrity, always swell into the language of classic English poetry. But although in these flights he naturally and almost unavoidably assumed the dialect of Milton and Shakspeare, he never seems to have been completely at his ease when he had not the power of descending at pleasure into that which was familiar to his oar, and to his habits. In the one case, his use of the English was voluntary, and for a short time; but when assumed as a primary and indispensable rule of composition, the comparative penury of rhymes, and the want of a thousand emphatic words which his habitual acquaintance with the Scottish supplied, rendered his expression confined and embarrassed. No man ever had more command of this ancient Doric dialect than Burns. He has left a curious testimony of his skill, in a letter to Mr. Nicol, published in this volume; an attempt to read a sentence of which, would break the teeth of most modern Scotchmen.</p> <p> Three or four letters from William Burns, a brother of the poet, are introduced for no purpose that we can guess, unless to show that he wrote and thought like an ordinary journeyman saddler. We would readily have believed, without positive proof, that the splendid powers of the poet were not imparted to the rest of his family.</p> <p> We scarcely know, upon the whole, in what terms we ought to dismiss Mr. Cromek. If the reputation of Burns alone be considered, this volume cannot add to his fame; and it is too well fixed to admit of degradation. The Cantata already mentioned, is indeed the only one of his productions not published by Dr. Currie, which we consider as not merely justifying, but increasing his renown. It is enough to say of the very best of those now published, that they take nothing from it. What the public may gain by being furnished with additional means of estimating the character of this wonderful and self-taught genius, we have already endeavoured to state. We know not whether the family of the poet will derive any advantage from this publication of his remains. If so, it is the best apology for their being given to the world; if not, we have no doubt that the editor, as he is an admirer of Chaucer, has read of a certain pardoner, who<p> ``with his <u>relics</u> when that he fond A poor persone dwelling up on lond, Upon a day he gat him more moneie Than that the persone got in monethes tweie.''</p> </p> </p> </p> </p> <p>It is a dreadful truth, that, when racked and tortured by the well-meant and warm expostulations of an intimate friend, he at length started up in a paroxysm of frenzy, and, drawing a sword-cane, which he usually wore, made an attempt to plunge it into the body of his adviser---the next instant he was with difficulty withheld from suicide.<p> This electronic transcription of `Scott's Miscellaneous Prose Writings', vol. I, part 8 is based on the edition published by Robert Cadell, Edinburgh, 1841, and comprises pages 725--852 of that edition.</p> </p> <ul> <li>We have heard some of these recited, particularly one <em> which begins--- </em> <em> ``Now farewell, house, and farewell, friends, </em> And farewell, wife and bairns, <em> There's nae repentance in my heart, </em> The fiddle's in my arms''--- <em> </em> <em> </em>.---S.<p> Page divisions and column titles have been removed.</p> <p> Small caps in the first few words of a chapter or section have been replaced with lower-case letters. Small caps in other contexts have been retained.</p> <p> All end-of-line hyphenation have been removed, and the de- hyphenated words placed at the end of the first line. The guide for whether to keep or remove the hyphen has been the text itself.</p> </li> </ul> <p>which Burns has put into the mouth of this desperado:---</p> <p>-----------------------------------------------------------------------</p> <ul> <li>The following changes have been made to the text:<p> Glamis? Glammis?</p> </li> <li>The following misprints have been corrected:</li> </ul> <ol> <li> 737, c. 1, l. -9: I say, my country-men,||in this (was: country-||men. in) p. 752, c. 1, l. 33: remit thither. Independent (was: thither, ) p. 752, c. 2, l.-17: says he, ``is a commodity; (was: no quotes) p. 795, c. 1, l. 4: ``When the sun, retiring slowly, (was: no quotes) p. 806, c. 2, l. 2: ... two armies, Shakspeare ... (was: Shakespeare) p. 833, c. 1, l. 28: ... it on so proud a head,)'' (was: head,'<code>) p. 833, c. 2, l. 25: submitted to them.</code> '' (was: them.'')<p> The following markup has been added:</p> <p> Each paragraph begins with two spaces indentation.</p> </li> </ol> <ul> <li>Oddities:</li> </ul> <p>Both forms appear. No change.</p> <ul> <li>Markup:<p> Indicates major parts of the texts.</p> </li> </ul> <p><u> </u> indicates text in italics = = indicates texts in small caps (extra emphasis)</p> <p>--- indicates an em dash. Longer sequences represent correspondingly longer dashes.<p> As page divisions have not been retained in this edition, page references have been replaced with <?> and <!> markup.</p> <p> The <? ident> construction represents a page number reference to the page in which the corresponding anchor <! identifier> appears.</p> </p> <p><title page> <table of contents> <title> <epigraph> <text><p> Footnotes in the text were placed at the foot of the page; in this edition they have been placed immediately after the line in which they are referenced. The footnote callout is always an asterisk,<*> and the text of the footnote has been placed,</p> <ul> <li>Like this</li> </ul> <p> slightly indented, between two empty lines, with an asterisk in the left margin as illustrated above. If the footnote comes at the end of a paragraph, the first line of the following paragraph is indented two spaces, as usual.</p> </p> <p><a`> a grave <a^> a circumflex <ae> ae ligature <c,> c cedilla <deg> degrees <e`> e grave <e'> e acute <e:> e dieresis <e^> e circumflex <i^> i circumflex <L> pound sterling <o^> o circumflex <oe> oe ligature <u`> u grave <u^> u circumflex</p> <p><? identifier> page number reference <! identifier> page number anchor<p> The transcription and proof-reading was done by Anders Thulin, Skraddaregatan 1F, S-582 36 Linkoping, Sweden. (Email: Anders.X.Thulin@telia.se)</p> <p> As far as I am concerned, this electronical edition is free, and may be used in any way for any purpose whatever.</p> <p> I'd be glad to hear of any errors or omissions you might find.</p> </p> <p><*> footnote</p> <ul> <li>Revision history:</li> </ul> <p>Version: 1.0 1997-03-07</p> <p>END OF FILE</p> </div> <div class="discussion"> </div> </div> </div> </td> <!-- end of main content block --> <!-- start of right (by default at least) column --> <!-- end of the right (by default at least) column --> </tr> </tbody> </table> <!-- end column wrapper --> <hr class="netscape4" /> <h5 class="hiddenStructure">Personal tools</h5> <ul id="portal-personaltools"> <li class="portalNotLoggedIn"> You are not logged in </li> <li class="portalNotLoggedIn"> <a href="/join_form">Join our Editors</a> </li> <li> <a href="http://fiction.eserver.org/login_form" accesskey="u"> Log in </a> </li> </ul> <div id="portal-footer">              <a href="http://about.eserver.org/CopyrightStatementOfPrinciples">Copyright © 1994-<span>2014</span> by the EServer. 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