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the ancient historians, he maintained a long and despe. The Jurist; or Quarterly Journal of Jurisprudence rate struggle with the confederates, for his supremacy ; so that his luxurious degradation certainly was not in.
and Legislation. No. V. 1829. London. Bald. consistent with that degree of moral elevation, however
win, Cradock, and Joy. short of a higher standard it may be, called the heroic. Indeed, the way and manner of his self-destruction had
This Journal, the publication of which has hitherto in it a high degree of barbarous grandeur. Both the been rather irregular, has, we are informed, lately passdramatist
and the epic poet, accordingly, have enlisted ed under new management, and promises to be more our interest for the warrior, while they have carefully punctual in future. The title is rather an ambitious avoided any thing in him like manifestations of weak one for a quarterly brochure, containing, on an average, ness and bad taste even as the sensualist
. His style in from a hundred and fifty to two hundred pages. The both poems is regal whenever he opens his lips, and all talent displayed in the work is, with occasional excephis conceptions are magnificent. Nay, Byron even re.
tions, scarcely of the highest order. It is a fierce and presents him as unsuspecting, forgiving, and generous ; uncompromising advocate of the legal principles of Mr dismissing rebels when they are in his power, and dis! Bentham, and not always over-nice in the means it liking the discomposing trouble as much as the vulgar ber contains—Ist. An article, purporting to be a review
adopts to bolster up its own cause. The present num. crueliy of putting them to death. Mr Atherstone says of a work of the celebrated Savigny,
but which is, in in his preface : “ The character of Sardanapalus, as given by most historians, is utterly worthless : not unfit reality, an attack on another author ;-23. An article on for the hero of an epic poem only, but even for the the administration of Justice in the East Indies, cha. monster of the most prosing fable. His recorded actions, racterised by that reckless spirit of the sect which seeks however, are inconsistent with the disposition and the
to remodel all institutions on the most scanty know. qualities attributed to him. We see no creature half ledge of their real nature ;—3d. A review of Cooper's mid, slothful, but could not also have been bold, de-able article on “ Fees in courts of inferior jurisdiction in lion and half goat. He may have been effeminate, ti-Letters on the Court of Chancery, which looks very like
a retractation of opinions formerly advanced ;- 4th. An cisive, active, and warlike. He may have indulged to excess in sensuality, but could not have been the dri- Scotland,” well worthy the attention of aŭ professional velling, disgusting, idiotic sensualist: he may have
men ;–5th. A clever, though somewhat speculative ar. painted his cheeks, and attired himself as a woman,
ticle, on the Police of the Metropolis ;-7th. “Dr Red. but must have had within him the energies of a man.
die's observations on Mr Humphreys's Reply," which The Samson slept in the arms of Dalilah,--but his are calm and dignified ;-And lastly, A brief abstract locks were not shorn. From the pleasures of wine and of statutes passed in the last session of Parliament, love, music and feasting, he arose to lead armies to which we recommend to all our fair friends as an ele. battle ;-with desperate valour fought at their head, gant and amusing companion for the tea-table. three times triumphed, returned to the banquet, to love and wine : he was surprised_hideously, routed, still to the uttermost resisted, and, when at last totally Life of John Wicklife. By
the Rev. Thomas Mur. vanquished, boldly and deliberately put himself to death. In the deep obscurity of his history, these al
ray, F. A.S. E. 18mo. Edinburgh. John Boyd.
1829. leged facts decide the opinion that I form of him. The Sardanapalus that I have chosen to exhibit, is a character not unsupported by parts of the incongruous ele the attention of our readers, as containing a very ample
It is with pleasure we recommend this little work to ments left by the historians, and may therefore be not and concise account of the famous English Reformer. violently olejected to by even severe sticklers for historic accuracy: he is of a class with which we may unblamed Its author, Mr. Murray, has laid before us, in a popular be allowed to sympathisema man of good and evil manner, the history of a man, whom all parties are mingled : one that, in other circumstances, and under for the freedom of the human mind ; and his book may be
called upon to reverence, as one of great champions wiser tuition, might have been great and virtuous, - read with advantage, even after the perusal of the more whose ungovernable fury might have been a generous elaborate and elegant Life of the same Reformer, by Mr enthusiasm,—whose all-devouring sensuality might have Fraser Tytler, published at Edinburgh, 1826. Mr been ardent, devoted love - whose unrelenting tyranny Murray gives his reader a very graphic account of over others 'might have been ster self-control, whose Wickliffe's birth, parentage, the nature of his educaimplacable resentment against rebellion might have been tion, his first appearance at the University of Oxford, heroic resistance against oppression. He has within &c.; with a detail of the religious state of England at him a fire that, wisely tended, might have given warmth, that period, and Wickliffe's proceedings, after he brought and splendour, and enjoyment; but which, uncontroll. himself under the cognizance of the Church of Rome. ed, becomes a conflagration that consumes him. Such We trust that this little volume will be extensively cir. is the character that i have attempted to delineate." Passion is highly wrought in all the characters, but larger and more expensive works, connected with the
culated, among those who are precluded from procuring never overstrained ; and eloquence, its godlike offspring, history of the English Proto-Reformer. flows naturally from its source ;while softer feelings of softer bosoms mingle with the cry of war and the blast of the trumpet, and deepen our interest to think that there were human hearts in the devoted Nineveh, and The Laws of Harmonious Colouring adapted to House the meltings of sympathy in the steel-clad breast of
Painting and other Interior Decorations. By D. R. many a warrior on the blood-stained plain.
Hay, House Painter, Edinburgh. Second Edition. But we must have done ; not forgetting that we have
Edinburgh. Daniel Lizars. 1829. been criticising an unfinished poem, which, like an un. finished building, is not a fair test of the constructor's This is an ingenious and highly useful little work. genius. We can, at least, safely encourage Mr Ather. House-painting is certainly a very inferior department stone to proceed, and we shall be happy soon to meet of the art; but it is one in which offences against good with him again. Mr Atherstone had previously made taste of the most glaring and disagreeable kind are every himself known to the public by two poems of much day committed. Mr Hay, in laying down for him. original force and beauty,"A Midsummer Day's self and his fellow-artists a few simple scientific princi. Dream,” and “ The Last Days of Herculaneum." ples, by which they may in future be guided in their
arrangement of colours, achieves an object for which he language also well adapted it for conveying, in a lively deserves the thanks of all those who live in the costly manner, to the mind, the sentiments of the poetry which and luxurious mansions of the land. “ The great ad. it clothed. It was compounded chiefly of the Latin and ditional beauty," he observes in his introduction, " which Greek tongues; but it had also an admixture of the diathe harmonious combination of tints has given to the lects which were used in the other parts of France,min most splendid works of art, and the certainty that these Italy, (where the pervous Roman tongue had melted into combinations were pointed out by the laws of optics, in- music,) and in Spain,-from which latter place it had duced me to attempt their application to the humble yet also received a sprinkling of the Arabic tongue. The useful art which I profess; and I have adapted them Latin greatly predominated, however, and hence the to house-painting, and other decorations, in the same Provençale language was termed, la langue Romains manner in which they seem to have been applied in the or Romance, or simply Roman,—from which term, it works of the most eminent artists in all ages." We are may be remarked, their most favourite species of com. glad that Mr Hay's book has gone to a second edition, position obtained the name of Romance, expressive of and we doubt not that the ability and excellent know its being written in the Romance tongue. But this ledge of his profession which it displays will meet with beautiful language came afterwards to be but the dialect the reward to which they are well entitled.
a province, and it has now almost entirely disap. peared ; to this day, however, the dialect of the south of
France (a corruption of the old Roman) is materially Life and Opinions of the celebrated George Buchanan. different from the French spoken in all other parts of By the author of the “ Lives of Robert Wishart, the the kingdom. Regent Moray,” &c. Edinburgh. John Lothian.
Enjoying, thus, the advantages of repose, climate, and 1829.
language, poetry was early cultivated in Provence. The
professors of this art were known by a name now fami. Though an unostentatious, this is a very excellent liar to all, and the very sound of which awakens roman. little work, and is evidently the production of one well tic associations. From their faculty of inventing_le versed in the history and literature of his country. We talent de trover (trouver)-they were styled “Trovaare pleased with the discrimination and sound sense dis. dours," or (as v and b were sounded alike) Trobadours. played in the manner in which the author treats various | The term Trobadour (or, as it is now generally spelled, parts of Buchanan's character ; and did other matters Troubadour) was used from the middle of the eleventh not press upon our attention, we should willingly have till towards the end of the fourteenth century, when the made some illustrative extracts. A just tribute is paid Troubadours of France, in imitation of their Italian brethto the excellence of the more elaborate Memoirs of ren, assumed the more classical appellation of poets, Buchanan by Dr Irving ; but our authór differs from which, as every one is aware, signifies, like Troubadour, that gentleman in his opinion of Buchanan's honesty, one who makes or invents. This term, poet, has been and, on what we have always been disposed to consider, generally adopted in modern classical languages ;-the the very soundest grounds, is by no means disposed to Germans, however, have disdained to borrow a foreign acquit him of moral and literary delinquency in his con- term, and from their verb dichten, to invent, they call a duct towards Queen Mary, whom he flattered and wor- poet, Dichter. shipped so long as his patron Murray retained her fa- There is a romantic interest attached to the name of vour, and whom he revised and calumniated as soon as a Troubadour; and he is generally associated with the the Regent saw proper to raise himself on her downfall. idea of a minstrel, wandering, with his guitar, from Buchanan was a profound scholar and a very able man ; castle to castle, and singing rude lays, whose theme was but he was utterly destitute of steady principles either love or Palestine. It may lower their interest in the in church or state. This distinction is conscientiously eyes of some, therefore, to learn that Troubadour signi. pointed out in the work before us, which is another rea fies nothing more than poet ; and that, although some son why we willingly recommend it to the attention of of the Troubadours may have indulged erratic propensiour readers.
ties, and met with romantic adventures, yet they were neither dependent on eleemosynary aid, nor peripatetic
minstrels, but exactly the same everyday sort of people MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE. as the poets of our own times. “Souverains, grands
seigneurs, chevaliers, hommes de tout etal, c'est que
forine la chaine des Trobadours." MORAL & MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS.
The compositions of the Troubadours are commonly No. 4.
classified into five divisions; and out of this limited
range these early poets never ventured.-1. Chançons, THE TROUBADOURS.
(or songs,) the subject of which was almost universally " Sic honor et nomen divinis vatibus atque
love. 2. Sirventes, a species of didactic poetry, chiefly Carminibus venit.”
satirical. 3. Contes, Fabliaux, or Romances, of which THE southern parts of France were, in ancient days, some extend to several thousand verses.* 4. Pastou. comprehended under the general name of PROVENCE. relles, or ballads. And, 5. Tensons, or Jeut.parties, Its inhabitants, who were almost entirely descendants which were perhaps more in vogue than any of the of the old Greek and Roman colonists, never forgot the others. These last are dialogues, where the speakers glorious fame of the country of their ancestors, and en attack and support a certain proposed theme. Each of deavoured, by their attention to literature, to show that, these divisions would form an excellent subject for amuwhile the other nations were sunk in ignorance, they sing illustration. were still worthy the name of Romans. In truth, con- As already remarked, we are apt to imagine that the trasted with the rest of the world in those dark times, Troubadour always accompanied with his music the Provence appears like a green sunny island in the midst verses he had previously composed. This is far from of a stormy ocean.
being the case; the Troubadour no more thought of In a country like Provence, where, in summer, scarce singing his own poems, than does Sir Walter Scott or ly even a feathery cloud flits across the sky, and where every cooling zephyr breathes of violets, the fcelings are
." Le Roman de la Rose" was left unfinished by its author, keenly susceptible of the pleasures which spring from William de Lorris, who died in 1960; it then contained 4500 natural beauties ; and these are the fountains from which lines. It was, in the beginning of the following age, continued by poetry takes its rise. The melody of the Provençale length.
John de Meun, who extended the poem to four times its original
Mr Wordsworth. Some poets, in every age, have doubt. THE SUTOR OF SELKIRK.A REMARKABLY less been musical as well as poetical; and, accordingly, a few of the Troubadours occasionally sung their own chançons. But this practice was the reverse of general ; By one of the Authors of the “Odd Volume,” “ Tales and it is cried down in some of the sircentes, as tend.
and Legends,” &c. ing to degrade the noble calling of a Troubadour. There Once upon a time, there lived in Selkirk a shoe. was an inferior class of men who strolled about the coun, maker, by name Rabbie Heckspeckle, who was cele. try singing verses, but these were strictly denominated brated' both for dexterity in his trade, and for some other Jongleurs : they did not compose poetry; they merely qualifications of a less profitable nature. Rabbie was a adapted to music the verses of the Troubadours. The thin, meagre-looking personage, with lank black hair, a Jongleurs were generally to be found at the banquets of cadaverous countenance, and a long, flexible, secret. the great, where, for hire, they sung the poems which smelling nose. In short, he was the Paul Pry of the probably had been furnished by some Troubadour town. Not an old wife in the parish could buy a new guest.
scarlet rokelay without Rabbie knowing within a groat The epithet gentle, which we see so often applied to of the cost; the doctor could not dine with the minis. a Troubadour, signified, not that he was tender and ter but Rabbie could tell whether sheep's-head or haggis kind, but that in right of his profession, he was a gen- formed the staple commodity of the repast; and it was even tleman, and as such, entitled, whatever might be his said that he was acquainted with thegruntof every sow, and birth, to associate with the noblest seigneur of the land. the cackle of every individual hen, in his neighbourhood : The Troubadours, (like all popular poets,) were every, but this wants confirmation. His wife, Bridget, endea. where welcomed as the most delightful of visitors. At voured to contine his excursive fancy, and to chain him the courts of the petty princes of the 12th and 13th cen- down to his awl, reminding him it was all they had to turies, they were held in the highest consideration. “ Ils depend on ; but her interference met with exactly that y trouvèrent la fortune, les plaisirs, la consideration en- degree of attention which husbands usually bestow on core plus flatteuse." Their arrival was greeted by a the advice tendered by their better halves that is to say, smile-cheir departure followed by a sigh.
Rabbie informed her that she knew nothing of the matLiving in a romantic age, and in a country where ter, that her understanding required stretching, and gentle feelings are nursed by a luxurious climate, the finally, that if she presumed again to meddle in bis poet's favourite theme was naturally love. The first affairs, he would be under the disagreeable necessity of care of a Troubadour was to attach himself to a mis- giving her a top-dressing. tress, whose charms he might celebrate, of whose love he To secure the necessary leisure for his researches, might boast, or whose cruelty he might deplore. It is Rabbie was in the habit of rising to his work long besingular, however, that the object of a Troubadour's fore the dawn; and he was one morning busily engaged passion was almost always a married woman, and very putting the finishing stitches to a pair
of shoes for the generally the wife of his host. Historians lament the exciseman, when the door of his dwelling, which he licentiousness of those times. The male part of the crea- thought was carefully fastened, was suddenly opened, tion were certainly by no means over-scrupulous ;--- and a tall figure, enveloped in a large black cloak, and man's morality is at all times a thing of snow ;-but with a broad-brimmed bat drawn over his brows, stalked woman, even in the age we speak of, possessed that into the shop. Rabbie stared at his visitor, wondering thrilling purity which seems to be her peculiar birth. what could have occasioned this early call, and wonders right, that purity, which, enshrined in the female ing still more that a stranger should have arrived in the breast, entitles her, next to God, to receive the worship town without his knowledge. “ You're early afoot, of sinful man.. In reading the Troubadour poetry, we sir,” quoth Rabbie. “Lucky Wakerife's cock will no almost invariably find the author complain of the cruelty craw for a good half hour yet." The stranger vouchof his mistress, who, if she refrained from indignant safed no reply ; but taking up one of the shoes Rabbie contempt, or mortifying indifference, gave hin, at the had just finished, deliberately put it on, and took a turn most, but hopeless pity for his love. The Troubadour, through the room to ascertain that it did not pinch his bowever, endured his lady's cruelty, with unpoetical extremities. During these operations, Rabbie kept a fortitude; after he had duly lamented his hard fate, he watchful eye on his customer. “ He smells awfully o' generally transferred his affection with his verses to some yird,” muttered Rabbie to himself; “ ane would be other quarter. Probably his love was about as ardent ready to swear he had just come frae the plough-tail." as thai of more modern Troubadours for their Chloes The stranger, who appeared to be satisfied with the ef. and Amandas. May it not be suspected that a poet's fect of the experiment, motioned to Rabbie for the other writings rarely indeed reflect his real feelings; that in shoe, and pulled out a purse for the purpose of paying truth, a poet is a profound dissimulator, and takes cre- for his purchase; but Rabbie's surprise may be con. dit for possessing deep feeling, merely because he is ceived, when, on looking at the purse, he perceived it to able to describe it ?
be spotted with a kind of earthy mould. * Gudesake," Yet there were some whose actions were in delightful thought Rabbie," this queer man maun hae howkit unison with our most romantic idea of a Troubadour. that purse out o' the ground. I wonder where he got Such, for example, was Geoffrey Rudel, prince of Bläia, it. Some folk say there are dags o'siller buried near who, moved by the glowing descriptions which the pile this town." By this time the stranger had opened the grims gave of the beauty of the Countess of Tripoli (in purse, and as he did so, a toad and a beetle fell on the Palestine,) abandoned his principality, took up the cross, ground, and a large worm crawling out wound itself and sailed over the seas on his pilgrimage of love :- round his finger. Rabbie's eyes widened; but the stran. Let the shepherd tune his reed,
ger, with an air of nonchalance, tendered him a piece Happy all the summer day,
of gold, and made signs for the other shoe. While his flocks around him feed,
thing morally impossible," responded Rabbie to this And his little children play;
mute proposal. "Mair by token that I hae as good as I can never sinile again,
sworn to the exciseman to hae them ready by daylight, A ship! a ship!-1'll seek thee o'er the main ! which will no be long o' coming," (the stranger here
looked anxiously towards the window,) " and better, I So sang poor Rudel. The issue of his adventure may tell you, to affront the king himsell, than the exciseman.” hereafter form the subject of a Troubadour story.-C. The stranger gave a loud stamp with his shod foot, but
Rabbie stuck to his point, offering, however, to have a • Common Prayer-book.
pair ready for his new customer in twenty-four hours
" It's a
and, as the stranger, justly enough perhaps, reasoned, table and taking up the shoes, walked out of the house. that half a pair of shoes was of as little use as half a “Now's my time," thought Rabbie to himself, as he pair of scissors, he found himself obliged to come to slipt after him. terms, and seating himself on Rabbie's three-legged The stranger paced slowly on, and Rabbie carefully stool, held out his leg to the Sutor, who, kneeling down, followed him; the stranger turned up the street, and the took the foot of his taciturn customer on his knee, and Sutor kept close to his heels. “Odsake, where can be i proceeded to measure it. “ Something o' the splay, I be gaun ” thought Rabbie, as he saw the stranger turti think, sir,” said Rabbie, with a knowing air. No answer. into the churchyard ; "he's making to that grave in the “Where will I bring the shoon to when they're done ?” corner ; now he's standing still ; now he's sitting down; asked Rabbie, anxious to find out the domicile of his Gudesake! what's come o' him ?” Rabbie rubbed his visitor. “I will call for them myself before cock-crow. eyes, looked round in all directions, but lo! and be. ing,” responded the stranger in a very uncommon hold! the stranger had vanislied. There's some. and indescribable tone of voice.“ Hout, sir,” quoth thing no canny about this,” thought the Sutor ; " bat Rabbie, “ I canna let you hae the trouble o coming I'll mark the place at ony rate ;” and Rabbie," after for them yoursell ; it will just be a pleasure for me to thrusting his awl into the grave, hastily returned home call with them at your house."_“I have my doubts of The news goon spread from house to house, and by thet,” replied the stranger, in the same peculiar man- the time the red-faced sun stared down on the town, the ner; “ and at all events, my house would not hold us whole inhabitants were in commotion ; and, after ha. both."-" It maun be a dooms sma' biggin," answered ving held sundry consultations, it was resolved, nen. Rabbie ; “ but noo that I hae taen your honour's mea con., to proceed in a body to the churchyard, and open sure" “ Take your own," retorted the stranger, the grave which was suspected of being suspicious. The and giving Rabbie a touch with his foot that laid him whole population of the Kirk Wynd turned out on this prostrate, walked coolly out of the house.
service. Sutors, wives, children, all harried pell-mell This sudden overturn of himself and his plans for a after Rabbie, who led his myrmidons straight to the few moments discomfited the Sutor, but quickly gather- grave at which his mysterious customer had disappeared, ing up his legs, he rushed to the door, which he reached and where he found his awl still sticking in the place just as Lucky Wakerife's cock proclaimed the dawn. / where he bad left it. Immediately all hands went to Rabbie flew down the street, but all was still ; then ran work; the grave was opened; the lid was forced off the up the street, which was terminated by the churchyard, coffin; and a corpse was discovered dressed in the vestbut saw only the moveless tombs looking cold and chillments of the tomb, but with a pair of perfectly new under the grey light of a winter morn. Rabbie hitched shoes upon its long bony feat. At this dreadful sight his red night-cap off his brow, and scratched his head the multitude fled in every direction, Lucky Wakerife with an air of perplexity. “ Weel,” he muttered, as he leading the van, leaving Rabbie and a few bold brothers retraced his steps homeward," he has warred me this of the craft to arrange matters as they pleased with the time, but sorrow take me if I'm no up wi' him the peripatetic skeleton. A council was held, and it was morn !"
agreed that the coffin should be firmly nailed up and All day Rabbie, to the inexpressible surprise of his committed to the earth. Before doing so. however, wife, remained as constantly on his three-legged stool as Rabbie proposed denuding his customer of his shoes, re. if he had been yirked there by some brother of the craft. marking that he had no more need for them than a cart For the space of twenty-four hours, his long nose was had for three wheels. No objections were made to this never seen to throw its shadow across the threshold of proposal, and Rabbie, therefore, quickly coming to ex. the door; and so extraordinary did this event appear, tremities. whipped them off in a trice. They then drove that the neighbours, one and all, agreed that it predicted half a hundred tenpenny nails into the lid of the coffin, some prodigy; but whether it was to take the shape of and having taken care to cover the grave with pretty a comet, which would deluge them all with its fiery tail, thick divots, the party returned to their separate places or whether they were to be swallowed up by an earth of abode. quake, could by no means be gettled to the satisfaction Certain qualms of conscience, however, now arose of the parties concerned.
in Rabbie's mind as to the propriety of depriving the Meanwhile, Rabbie diligently pursued his employ- corpse of what had been honestly bought and paid ment, unheeding the concerns of his neighbours. What for. He could not help allowing, that if the ghost wete mattered it to him, that Jenny Thrifty's cow had calved, troubled with cold feet, a circumstance by no means im. that the minister's servant, with something in her apron, probable, he might naturally wish to remedy the evil
. had been seen to go in twice to Lucky Wakerife's, that But, at the same time, considering that the fact of his the laird's dairy-maid had been observed stealing up the having made a pair of shoes for a defunct man would be red loan in the gloaming, that the drum had gone through an everlasting blot on the Heckspeckle escutcheon, and the town announcing that a sheep was to be killed on reflecting also that his customer, being dead in law, could Friday ?-The stranger alone swam before his eyes ; and not apply to any court for redress, our Sutor manfully cow, dairy-maid, and drum, kicked the beam. It was resolved to abide by the consequences of his deed. late in the night when Rabbie had accomplished his Next morning, according to custom, he rose long be. task, and then placing the shoes at his bedside, he lay fore day, and fell to his work, shouting the old song of down in his clothes, and fell asleep; but the fear of not the “ Sutors of Selkirk” at the very top of his voice. A being sufficiently alert for his new customer, induced short time, however, before the dawn, his wife, who was in him to rise a considerable time before daybreak. He bed in the back room, remarked, that in the very middle opened the door and looked into the street, but it was of his favourite verse, his voice fell into a quaver; then still so dark he could scarcely see a yard before his nose; broke out into a yell of terror ; and then she heard a he therefore returned into the house, muttering to him- noise, as of persons struggling ; and then all was quiet self, “ What the sorrow can keep him ?” when a voice as the grave. The good dame immediately huddled on at his elbow suddenly said, “Where are my shoes ?” her clothes, and ran into the shop, where she found the “Here, sir,” said Rabbie, quite transported with joy ; three-legged stool broken in pieces, the floor strewed “ here they are, right and tight, and mickle joy may ye with bristles, the door wide open, and Rabbie away! hae in wearing them, for it's better to wear shoon than Bridget rushed to the door, and there she immediately sheets, as the auld saying gangs."-"Perhaps I may wear discovered the marks of footsteps deeply printed in the both," answered the stranger. “ Gude safe us," quoth ground. Anxiously tracing them, on and on and onRabbie, “ do ye sleep in your shoon ?” The stranger what was her horror to find that they terminated in the made no answer ; but, laying a piece of gold on the churchyard, at the grave of Rabbie's customer. The
earth round the grave bore traces of having been the the Castle-hill, continued ever after scathed and inca. scene of some fearful struggle, and several locks of lank pable of vegetation. But we must beg to suggest the black hair were scattered on the grass. Half distracted, possibility of this want of verdure being occasioned by she rushed through the town to communicate the dread the circumstance of the esplanade being a hard gravel. ful intelligence. A crowd collected, and a cry speedily walk. We are very unwilling to find scientific reasons arose, to open the grave. Spades, pickaxes, and mat- for last-century miracles to withdraw the veil from tocks were quickly put in requisition; the divots were beautiful deceptions--or to dispel the halo which fancy removed ; the lid of the coffin was once more torn off, may have thrown around the incidents of a former day. and there lay its ghastly tenant, with his shoes replaced But a regard for truth obliges us to acknowledge, that on his feet, and Rabbie's red night-cap clutched in his the same miracle, attributed to the burning-place of right hand !
Wishart, at St Andrews, may be accounted for in a si. The people, in consternation, fled from the church- milar way the spot being now occupied by what the yard ; and nothing further has ever transpired to throw people thereabouts denominate in somewhat homely any additional light on the melancholy fate of the Sutor phrase, "a mussel midden.” of Selkirk.
For upwards of a century after Major Weir's death, he continued to be the bug-bear of the Bow, and his
house remained uninhabited. His apparition was freTRADITIONS OF THE CELEBRATED
quently seen at night, flitting, like a black and silent MAJOR WEIR.
shadow, about the purlieus of that singular street. His By the Author of the “ Histories of the Scottish Rew house, though known to be deserted by every thing hubellions,” fe.
man, was sometimes observed at midnight to be full of
lights, and heard to emit strange sounds, as of dancing, In one of the most ancient streets of Edinburgh, call. howling, and, what is strangest of all, spinning. It was ed the West Bow, stands the house formerly inhabited believed, too, that every night, when the clock of St by Major Weir, whose name is scarcely more conspicu- Giles's tolled twelve, one of the windows sprung open, ous in the Criminal Records of Scotland, than it is no. and the ghost of a tall woman in white, supposed to be torious in the mouth of popular tradition. The awful the Major's equally terrible sister, came forward, and tenement is situated in a small court at the back of the bent her long figure thrice over the window, her face main street, accessible by a narrow entry leading off to every time touching the wall about three feet down, and the east, about fifty yards from the top of the Bow.* It then retired, closing the window after her with an auis a sepulchral-looking fabric, with a peculiarly dejected dible clang. Some people had occasionally seen the and dismal aspect, as if it were conscious of the bad Major issue from the low close, at the same hout, mountcharacter which it bears among the neighbouring houses. ed on a black horse without a head, and gallop off in a
It is now about one hundred and fifty years since whirlwind of fame. Nay, soinetimes the whole of the Major Weir, an old soldier of the civil war, and the inhabitants of the Bow together were roused from their bearer of some command in the City Guard of Edin. sleep at an early hour in the morning, by the sound as burgh, closed a most puritanical life, by confessing of a coach and six, first rattling up the Lawnmarket, himself a sorcerer, and being burnt accordingly at the and then thundering down the Bow, stopping at the stake. The scandal in-which this involved the Calvin. head of the terrible close for a few minutes, and then istic party, seems to have been met, on their part, by an rattling and thundering back again-being neither more endeavour to throw the whole blame upon the shoulders nor less than Satan come in one of his best equipages, of Satan; and this conclusion, which was almost justi. to take home again to hell the ghosts of the Major and fied by the mysteriousness and singularity of the case, his sister, after they had spent a night's leave of absence has had the effect of connecting the criminal's name in their terrestrial dwelling. In support of these beunalienably with the demonology of Scotland.
liefs, circumstances, of course, were not awanting. One Sundry strange reminiscences of Major Weir and his or two venerable men of the Bow, who had, perhaps, on house are preserved among the old people of Edinburgh, the night of the 7th of September, seventeen hundred and especially by the venerable gossips of the West and thirty-six, popped their night-capped heads out of Bow. It is said he derived that singular gift of prayer their windows, and seen Captain Porteous hurried down by which he surprised all his acquaintance, and pro- their street to execution, were pointed out by children cured so sanctimonious a reputation from his walking- as having actually witnessed sonre of the dreadful doings cane. This implement, it appears, the Evil One, from alluded to. One worthy, in particular, declared that whom he procured it, had endowed with the most won. he had often seen coaches parading up and down the derful properties and powers. It not only inspired him Bow at midnight, drawn by six black horses without with prayer, so long as he held it in his hand, but it heads, and driven by a coachman of the most hideous acted in the capacity of a Mercury, in so far as it could appearance, whose flaming eyes, placed at an immense go an errand or run a message. Many was the time it distance from each other, in his forehead, as they gleam. went out to the neighbouring shops for supplies of snuff ed through the darkness, resembled nothing so much as to its master ! and as the fact was well known, the shop- the night-lamps of a modern vehicle. keepers of the Bow were not startled at the appearance About forty years ago, when the shades of superstition of so strange a customer. Moreover, it often answered began universally to give way in Scotland, Major Weir's the door when people came to call upon the Major, and house came to be regarded with less terror by the neighit had not unfrequently been seen running along before bours, and an attempt was made by the proprietor to find a him, in the capacity of a link-boy, as he walked down person who would be bold enough to inhabit it. Such the Lawnmarket. Of course, when the Major was a person was procured in William Patullo, a poor man burnt, his wooder lieutenant and valet was carefully of dissipated habits, who, having been at one time a sol. burnt with him, though it does not appear in the Justi- dier and a traveller, had come to disregard in a great ciary Records that it was included in the indictment, or measure the superstitions of his native country, and was that Lord Dirleton subjected it, in common with its now glad to possess a house upon the low terms offered master, to the ceremony of a sentence.
by the landlord, at whatever risk. Upon it being known It is also said that the spot on which the Major was in the town, that Major Weir's house was about to be burnt, namely, the south-east corner of the esplanade on re-inhabited, a great deal of curiosity was felt by people of
all ranks as to the result of the experiment; for there The top of a street an expression sanctified by its use in was scarcely a native of the city, who had not felt since Scripture.
his boyhood, an intense interest in all that concerned