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Solves doubts, as fast as others start 'em, It is no longer the vile biped man By arguments secundum artem ;
alone, whose crimes against society, and Now puzzles o'er in warm debate,
depredations on the property of others, Each weighty point of Church and State, Or tells o'er, in facetious strain,
furnish food (in the absence of sieges, The pranks of early Youth again ;
battles, and other more specious and Recalls to Mem'ry School Disasters,
magnificent exercises of violence) for Unfinished Tasks, and angry Masters.
the diurnal penman, and the peruser As erst to him, O heav'nly Maid ! of his lucubrations ; but our very dogs Learning to me impart thy aid ;
and horses infringe the eighth commandOh! teach my feet like his to stray ment, and commit felony beyond the Along Preferment's flow'ry way;
benefit of clergy. There are two meAnd if thy hallowed Shrine before, I e'er thy ready aid implore,
lancholy instances of depravity in the Make me, 0 Sphere-descended Queen !
newspapers of this month, which we A Bishop, or at least a Dean. S.
meant to have transferred to our Chronicle of Remarkable Events, but thought them far too important to be passed over without a commentary.
“ Shadwell Office.--A man named ALARMING INCREASE OF DEPRAVITY Sargent, constable of St George's in
the East, made a complaint before the
sitting Magistrates against a horse for Ætas parentum, pejor avis, tulit
stealing hay. The constable said, that Nos nequiores, mox daturos
the horse came regularly every night Progeniem vitiosiorem.
to the coach-stands in St George's, THE hackneyed lines of the satirist and ate his bellyfull, and would then which we have selected for our motto, gallop away. He defied the whole of contain a truth which, however melan- the parish officers to apprehend him ; choly, is so generally admitted, that, for, if they attempted to go near him aiming at some novelty in our com- while he was eating, he would up with munications to the public, we would his heels and kick at them, or run at have disdained even to quote or allude them, and if they did not go out of the to them, had the human species alone way he would bite them : he therebeen concerned; but, on the contrary, fore thought it best to state the case to would have left lamentations over the the Magistrates. gradual deterioration of mankind to “ One of the Magistrates. those slipper'd pantaloons” whom Mr Constable, if you should be annoytime has spared to bear unwearied tes- ed again by this body in the execution timony to the virtues of former times of your duty, you may apprehend him, and the degeneracy of the present. if you can, and bring him before us to Accordingly, our present
anecdotes will answer your complaints.” neither be found to refer to the Par- “ Hatton-Garden.- A Canine Robe liamentary Reports upon Mendicity,— ber.-Mrs Knight and another lady nor to appeal to the learned magistrate, gave information of being robbed by a Mr Colquhoun's Essay on the Police of dog in the following singular manner : the Metropolis, who classes his offend- She stated, that as she and her sister ers with as much regularity as a botanist were returning about six o'clock in the his specimens,-nor to invoke the ge- preceding evening from St Pancras nius of Mr Owen, to devise an imprac- Church towards Battle Bridge, a hairy ticable remedy for an incurable disease. dog, resembling a drover's or shepThese are all matters with which the herd's dog, unaccompanied by any public ear has been crammed even to person, jumped suddenly up from the satiety; and it was only upon discover- road side, and laying hold of the ridiing that the ulcer was extending itself cule she had in her hand with his more widely than even our worst fears teeth, forcibly snatched it from her, had anticipated, that we thought of and crossing off the road, made his calling the attention of the public to escape. Her ridicule contained a pound some very novel phenomena, from note, a sovereign, eighteen shillings in which it appears, that the moral dete- silver, a silver thimble, a pair of silver rioration so generally lamented has not spectacles, and several other articles. confined itself within the bounds of The constable stated, that a dog anhumanity, but is fast extending its in- swering the same description attacked fuence to the lower orders of creation. a poor woman on Saturday near the
Veterinary College, and robbed her of even become so well acquainted with a bundle, containing two shirts, some the more complicated mechanism of handkerchiefs, and some other things, the lock of the corn chest, that it was with which he ran away; and that the not found advisable to leave the key poor woman was so frightened, it had in it. But as late antiquaries of the nearly cost her her life. There were Gothic race seem disposed to question several other charges made against the the title of the Mountain Celt to the same dog, which is supposed to have name of Man, we may well deny the been trained up to the business, and title of his stump'd, shaggy, dwarfish that his master must be at some place Pony, to be called Horse. At any rate, not far distant. The officers under these acts of petty larceny, on the part took to be on the alert to apprehend of the dog or horse, can never be comthis depredator, or else to shoot him." pared with the acts of street robbery
We repeat our lamentation. These imputed to the ill-advised quadrupeds are indeed melancholy instances of de- whose misconduct has given occasion pravity in the lower orders ! Here we to this article. find not only the dog, the natural pro- It frequently happens, however, that tector of our property, commencing de- a glance at the annals of past ages dipredations upon it, but even the horse minishes our estimate of the atrocity
-the Houyhnhnm himself-totally of the present, and consoles those too degenerating from his natural inno- nervous moralists who are shocked at cence of character, and conducting the increased depravity of our own himself like an absolute yahoo. times. Without, therefore, attempt
A stern moralist may indeed observe, ing any plea for the padding attempts that something of this kind might have of the dog, or the arts of stouthrief been anticipated from the dog : his and sorning committed by the horse in alliance with those nightly robbers, question, and that upon the pittance the fox and the wolf, prepared us for of hay belonging to a stand of hackney suspicion ; and his loyalty to his chief, coachmen, in which he might therefore like that of an ancient Highlander or have been compared to a robber of the Borderer, has been always deemed poors' box. Without, we repeat, havconsistent with a certain negligence of ing the least intention of advocating the strict rules of property: Gilbert- so frail a cause, we proceed to report field, that “Imp of fame," as he was a few facts which have come to our christened by Burns, has already ac- knowledge, and may serve to shew knowledged and apologised for a de- that, after all, such instances of felony gree of laxity of morals in this particu- are not without example in the anilar. See the Last Dying Words of mal kingdom. Indeed a proverb curBonny Heck, a famous Greyhound in rent in the border counties, which the shire of Fife.
says, some will hund their dog “ Now Honesty was ay my Drift,
whare they dar'na gang themsel, An innocent and harmless Shift,
seems to indicate, that although there A Kail-pot-lid gently to lift,
were varieties of the canine species or Amry-Sneck.
that might give themselves to discover Shame fa the Chafts, dare call that Thift,
and catch the encroaching thieves of quo' bonny Heck.”
a different tribe, yet there were others But whatever suspicions may have who assisted their masters in the same fallen on the dog, the conduct of the trade, and even excelled them in boldhorse, until this unfortunate and pub- ness and address ; this perhaps may lic disclosure, had left his character be elucidated in the sequel. untainted even by suspicion ; nor could The first instance we shall refer to, it possibly have been supposed that he occurred in the celebrated case of could have wanted a halter for any Murdieston and Millar, whose trial other service than that of tying him proved fatal to the bipeds accused, and to his stall. There might be, perhaps, (as has generally been averred) to their here and there, a Highland pony (by four-footed aider and abettor. Althe way, we had one of that kind our- though we are uncertain, at this disselves), who could too well understand tance of time, whether it was Lord the mode of opening a country stable Braxfield or Monboddo, who was said door, and pull the bobbin till the latch to have passed sentence upon them; came up, with the intelligence of Red yet thus far we know to be the fact, that Riding-hood herself; nay, who had the late Lord Melville, while at the
Scottish bar, was Advocate-Depute accomplices were so busied, Yarrow upon the occasion.
kept watch in the open air, and gave Murdieston occupied a farm on notice, without fail, by his barking, the north bank of the Tweed, and of the approach of those who were not nearly opposite the ancient baro- of the fancy. nial castle of Traquair; Millar, the That he might vary the scene of other Minion of
of the Moon," his depredations, Millar had one night lived with him as his shepherd; crossed the Tweed, and betaken himand they laboured in their voca- self to. a wild farm among the tion of sheep-stealing for years, with mountains of Selkirkshire; and as unsuspected diligence and persever- the shepherds have wonderfully
While returning home with minute knowledge of localities, he their stolen droves, they avoided, even found no difficulty in collecting in the night, the roads along the part of a flock, and bringing away banks of the river, or those that what number he judged convenient. descended to the valley through the Sheep are very loth to descend a hill adjoining glens. They chose rather in the night time, and more so to to come along the ridge of moun- cross a river. Millar, to keep as clear tains that separate the small river of as possible of the haunts of men, on Leithen from the Tweed. But even his return, brought his drove over the here there was sometimes danger, for shoulder of Wallace's hill, opposite, the shepherds occasionally visit their and intended to swim them across a flocks even before day; and often when pool in the river Tweed. But his prey Millar had driven his prey from a dis- being taken from the most remote part tance, and while he was yet miles of the farm, happened to be mostly old from home, and the weather-gleam of ewes (of all kinds of sheep the most the eastern hills began to be tinged stubborn in their propensities); and all with the brightening dawn, he has the exertions of a very active man, inleft them to the charge of his dog, timately acquainted with the habits of and descended himself to the banks the animals, and assisted by the most of the Leithen, off his way, that he sagacious dog probably ever known, might not be seen connected with were found inadequate to overcome the their company.
Yarrow, although reluctance of the sheep to take the between three and four miles from his river. Millar continued to exert himmaster, would continue, with care and self until the dawn of the morning silence, to bring the sheep onward to warned him that any further effort was the ground belonging to Murdieston's inconsistent with his habitual caution. farm, where his master's appearance Still he was unwilling to relinquish could be neither a matter of question his booty, since, could he only get the nor surprise.
sheep across the river, he was within Adjoining to the thatched farm- little more than a quarter of a mile from house was one of those old square the old tower. He therefore left the towers, or peel houses, whose pic- future conduct of the enterprise, as he turesque ruins were then seen had often done before, to Yarrownamenting the course of the river, crossed the river himself, and went as they had been placed alternate- home, enoouraging the dog by his voice, ly along the north and south bank, while he was yet not too distant, so as generally from three to six hundred to risk being heard by some early riser. yards from it--sometimes on the shin, The trust-worthy dog paused not, nor and sometimes in the hollow, of a slackened his exertions the work was hill. In the vault of this tower, it now all his own ;-such had been his was the practice of these men to con- efforts, as he furiously and desperately ceal the sheep they had recently stolen; drove in first one flank of the drove and while the rest of their people and then another, that two of the ewes were absent on Sunday at the Church, were forced from the bank into the they used to employ themselves in river, and were drowned, as they cancelling with their knives the ear- could not regain their situations for mark, and impressing with a hot- the pressure of their companions but iron a large O upon the face, that he was finally unsuccessful-for he, covered both sides of the animal's nose, too, knew the danger of being seen in for the purpose of obliterating the the broad light of the morning drivbrand of the true owner. While his ing sheep so where sheep shou'd na
be.” The ewes were observed, in the mal for these practices. So soon as course of the ensuing day, wending the master entered a shop, the dog their weary way homeward, and half seemed to avoid all appearance of recovered with a new keel, with which cognizing or acknowledging any conMillar had himself marked them, in a nexion with him, but lounged about small sheep-fold, in a lonely place on with an indolent, disengaged, and inhis way. Millar himself was astonished dependent sort of manner, as if she at the stubbornness of the sheep, and had come into the shop of her own acthe persevering energy of his dog. cord. In the course of looking over And he told the story to a respectable some wares, his master indicated, by a sheep-farmer in prison, while under touch on the parcel and a look towards sentence of death.
the spaniel, that which he desired she Murdieston and Millar suffered should appropriate, and then left the death, and Yarrow was generally sup- shop. The dog, whose watchful eye posed to have suffered the same fate. caught the hint in an instant, instead Nay, his dying speech was cried of following his master out of the shop, through the streets of Edinburgh, continued to sit at the door, or lie by along with that of his master. But as the fire, or watch the counter, until we have heard of a person unexpected- she observed the attention of the ly reprieved, who had the pleasure of people of the shop withdrawn from purchasing his own last speech, it is cer- the prize which she wished to secure. tain that Yarrow had an opportunity Whenever she saw an opportunity of to have done the same, if he had pos- doing so unobserved, she never failed sessed such a taste, or means to in- to jump upon the counter with her dulge it. This celebrated dog was fore feet, possess herself of the gloves, purchased by a sheep-farmer in the or whatever else had been pointed out neighbourhood, but did not take kind- to her, and escape from the shop to ly to honest courses, and his master join her master. It is easy to conceive having apparently no work of a differ- for what purposes this animal's sagaent capacity in which to engage him, city had been thus perverted, but it he was remarked to show rather less would be difficult to form a probable sagacity than the ordinary shepherd's guess at the
particular method of traindog.
ing her to this mode of peculation. The case of Millar, although curi- We knew well a gentleman, in the ous, is not singular. A young gentle- profession of the law (to which his man of fortune and fashion, lately re- worth and honour rendered him an siding as a visitor in Edinburgh, was ornament), who used to give an acthe master of a beautiful and accom- count of an embarrassing accident plished spaniel bitch, which, in its which befell him on a journey to way, was as much an adept in irregu- London, and which may serve as a lar appropriation as Yarrow himself, corollary to our tale of the spaniel. In and had in all probability been, like this gentleman's youth (probably behim, educated to steal for the benefit tween the 1750 and 1760), the journey of his master. It was some time ere betwixt Edinburgh and London was his new master, who had bought the usually performed on horseback. The animal from a person who dealt in traveller might either ride post, or, if selling dogs, became aware of this ir- willing to travel more economically, regularity of morals, and he was aston- he bought a horse, and sold him at ished and teazed by the animal bring- the end of his journey. The gentleing home articles which he had picked man of whom we speak, who was a up in an irregular manner. But when good judge of horses as well as a good he perceived that the spaniel proceed- horseman, had chosen the latter mode ed upon system, he used to amuse his of travelling, and had sold the horse friends by causing her to give proofs on which he rode from Scotland, so of her sagacity in the Spartan art of soon as he arrived in London. With a privately stealing, putting, of course, view to his return, he went to Smiththe shop-keepers where he meant she field to purchase a horse the evening should exercise her faculty, on guard before he set out northwards. About as to the issue.
dusk a handsome horse was offered to The process was curious, and excites him at so cheap a rate, that he was some surprise at the pains which must led to suspect the animal to be unhave been bestowed to qualify the ani- sound: as he could, however, discover no blemish, and as the seller, creation. We are now on our guard, eager (for reasons well known to him- and may suspect malice prepense in self) to conclude a hasty bargain, other instances. All remember the readily abated even his first moderate dog of Islington and his master. demand, our traveller became the pur. The dog and man at first were friends ; chaser of a horse, in which his skill But when a pique began, could discern no blemish, at a very The dog, to gain some private ends, cheap rate.
Went mad and bit the man. On the next morning he set out on The case of a fall from a horse has his journey. His horse had excellent been generally imputed to chance-medpaces; and the first few miles, while ley; but if the modern Houyhnhnms the road was well frequented, our tra- so far degenerate from those of Capveller spent in congratulating himself tain Gulliver, may we not justly find on his good fortune. On Finchley a bill for murder on the same species Common, and at a place where the road facti? If these things are to proceed run down one slight ascent and up ano- unchecked, we may hear of a cow ther, the traveller met a clergyman picking a milkmaid's pockets, or of a driving a one-horse chaise. There was horse stopping the mail-coach instead nobody within sight: and the horse, of stopping with it. We still hope, by his manœuvre, plainly intimated however, better things of the quadruwhat had been the profession of his peds of this realm ; and trust, that first master. Instead of passing the one animals, which have hitherto in the horse chaise, he laid his counter close article of theft been more sinned aup to it, and stopt it, having no doubt gainst than sinners, will not take genthat his rider would take so fair an
erally to these practices, of which they opportunity of exercising his vocation. have as yet only been the passive subThe clergyman, under the same mis
jects. take, produced his purse unasked, and Tweedside, 30th Sept. assured the inoffensive and surprised horseman, that it was unnecessary to draw his pistol. The traveller rallied his horse, with apologies to the venerable member of the Church whom he had unwillingly affrighted, and pur feeling, and characteristic Sketch of the
(THE following eloquent, elegant, most sued his journey. The horse next
Honourable Henry Erskine is from the pen made the same suspicious approach to
of Mr Jeffrey. It has appeared in the Edina coach, from the windows of which a
burgh Newspapers : but so beautiful a comblunderbuss was levelled, with denun- position well deserves to be embodied in a ciations of death and destruction to Iess perishable publication. Editor.) our countryman, though sackless, as he expressed it, of all offence in deed THE HONOURABLE Henry ERSKINE or word. In a word-after his life died, at his seat of Ammondell, Lin. had been once or twice endangered by lithgowshire, on the 8th October, in the suspicions to which his horse's the 71st year of his age; he was seconduct gave rise, and his liberty cond son of the late Henry David as often threatened by peace-officers, Earl of Buchan. who were disposed to apprehend him Mr Erskine was called to the Scotas the notorious highwayman who tish bar, of which he was long the had formerly ridden the horse in brightest ornament, in the year 1768, question, he found himself obliged to and was for several years Dean of the part with the inauspicious animal for Faculty of Advocates : he was twice a mere trifle; and to purchase, at a appointed Lord Advocate, in 1782 and pretty dear rate, a horse of less exter- in 1006, under the Rockingham and nal figure and action, but of better the Grenville administrations. Durmoral habits.
ing the years 1806 and 1807, he sat in Thus have we in some measure Parliament for the Dunbar and Dumparalleled the remarkable circumstan- fries district of boroughs. ces which seemed at first so startling In his long and splendid career at to credibility. We sincerely hope, the bar, Mr Erskine was distinguishhowever, that these symptoms of da- ed not only by the peculiar brilliancy grant immorality will not extend of his wit, and the gracefulness, ease, themselves among the lower tribes of and vivacity of his eloquence, but by
THE HONOURABLE HENRY ERSKINE.