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have led one to anticipate. I take it that few artists London, a Collection of Poems, on various subjects, of which we are any thing but Catholics in their heart--and after
hear very favourable opinions.
An exceedingly elegant little volume has just appeared, called feeling so profoundly the beauty of the Roman cere- “ The Golden Lyre," which contains selections from some of the monial, I doubt if Wilkie will return con amore to his best English, French, Gerinan, and Italian poets,mall printed in
gold; and thus verifying the common Jaudatory expression“ John Knox thumping the cushion in the Kirk of $t
worthy to be printed in letters of gold." The effect is pecuAndrews,”—which picture remains in the same state in liarly splendid. which I saw it four or five years ago. The Spanish pic
We understand that Messrs Smith and Co. of Hunter Square
have been appointed sole agents in Scotland for those beautifully tures are much larger than these,-much more richly enamelled and delicately-finished Cards, engraved in gold, silver, painted, and probably, for their subjects, also better ruby, copper, &c., which have been recently invented on the calculated for extensive popularity among us. They
Continent, and are now so universally used in England for visit
ing and invitation cards. Their enamelled Drawing-Boards, are designed to tell the story of the great struggle of Hand-Screens, Medallions for Miniatures, and elegantly engraved Spain against France, and its melancholy termination Borders and Wreaths, in gold, silver, and other metals, are also in the re-establishment of the old despotism of Ferdi
well entitled to general attention.
Printing for the Blind.–Our attention has been recently di. nand and the monks. Only one of the seven, however, re- rected to this very interesting and curious subject, and we propresents an actual incident of the war-it is the defence pose laying some statements concerning it before our readers next of Saragoza ; and I rather think it is the least success
Saturday. In the meantime, we are happy to have it in our
power to say, that Mr Alexander Hay, teacher of Ancient Lanful of the set. The finest, undoubtediy, are the first and guages, who is himself blind, appears to us to have invented a the last. The former sets before us a supper party at a
simple and ingenious method of printing, which will greatly faposada, three priests, strongly inter-distinguished ;-a
cilitate the important object he has in view—that of enabling
those who are deprived of sight to make themselves inasters of lordly Benedictine abbot, a sly Jesuit, and a half-crazy the knowledge contained in books. and also half-drunken mendicant friar of St Dominick,
Sir Walter Scott was, on Saturday last, elected Lord-Rector of are in consultation over their cups ; a group of athletic
the University of Glasgow, by the casting vote of the Vice-Rec
tor, two of the nations having voted for Thomas Campbell. Sir peasants expect the result, and are whetting their swords Walter has decl ned the duvious honour, and Mr Campbell will and bayonets. This tells the secret of the motive-spring the sentiments the students have already expresses, there is every
of course continue in the Rectorship. We understand that, from throughout the contest. The concluding picture is the reason to believe that Professor Wilson will cre long be chosen return homeward of a poor battered and worn-out Guer
Lord-Rector. illa soldier. His priest is holding him on his Rosinante,
A statue of the King, in bronze, by Chantrey, has just been pla
ced upon a pedestal of granite, on the Steyne, at Bright in. It is and his wife preparing to list him off. “ The French have the first work of this distinguished artist in bronze, and does him been driven out of Spain; but what have the Spaniards
infinite credit. The statue, with the pedestal, is about nineteen gained ?" is the moral. You will be much gratified to hear
feet high; the statue itself is nine. The hideous costuine of the
moderns is well concealed by the drapery and robes of the statethat the whole of this collection has been purchased by robe. The bust is full, and finely rounded, and the likeness is
considered excellent. his Majesty, and after being exhibited in SomersetHouse, will be placed in the Waterloo Gallery at Wind
Theatrical Gossip:-We are glad to understand, that Kean is
about to play Virginius at Covent-Garden. Our readers are per sor, which, however, is not as yet built. The Great haps not aware, that it is almost a rule among actors, (founded Gallery of Windsor Castle, by the by, is getting all its
upon the most contemptible feelings) to refuse to perform the
characters of any living author, if another actor has distin. ornaments in order. His Majesty's magnificent suite
guished himself in them. Macready was the first Virginius, and of Camallettis are already hung up, and between them the part has been, in consequence, carefully avoided by all his there are now hanging, Sir Thomas Lawrence's por
brother tragedians, till Kean has at length wisely determined to
break thr. ugh so absurd a practice. This jealousy extends even traits of the contemporaries of George IV., the Princes to opera singers; if a compo er's music is sung by one, it is uniof Europe, and the great men, military and civilians, of versally neglected by the rest !- The principal parts in Mr Great Britain. The portraits of Wellington, Eldon, and
Knowles' comedy of the “The Beggar's Daughter" are to be sus
tained by Listo!, Farren, Cowper, and bliss Ellen Tree.--LaSir Walter Scott, are en suitc; and Sir Thomas is now
porte, the present patentee of the Kin's Theatre, has, among putting the last hand to perhaps a more exquisite pic- others, engaged for the next season, which commences in Jature than any of these, his portrait of Southey—who may
nuary, Mile. Sontag, (concerning whom there have been some
little whisperings of late,) Signora Pesaroni, the ugliest, but onc console himself that " Tate's bust,” and “ Sooté" are of the most esteemed, of the Italian prima donnas, and Madame henceforth supplanted gallantly.
Mallebranche, formerly the celebrated signora Garcia.-At the
Argyle Rooms, Charles' Wright, the dealer in foreign wines, is Have you seen the Right Hon. John Wilson Croker's
about to open his winter champagne.--It has been found necesGeography for Children ?" It is even a better book sary, by the management of Covent-Garden, to close that Theatre than his “ Stories from the History of England.”
for a week, in order to have the gas removed, the odour of which P. P.
was pronounced disagreeable by the Public. No incouvenience of this kind was ever experienced here. Is it Seoteh gas OT
Scotch noses that are differently made ?--Young Kean has been LITERARY CHIT-CHAT AND VARIETIES.
performing in Nottingham, and other provincial towns, to very thin audiences; but these are what John Kembie used to cail
" the judicious sew," and they seem to approve of him. We are informed that Mr William Chambers is preparing for publication a work, to be entitled “ The Book of Scotland ;" comprehending “ Popular Delineations of the Government,
TO OUR CORRESPONDENTS. Courts, Political Officers and Institutions, the most prominent and peculiar Laws, Customs, Superstitions, Religious Establish- We are obliged by the good wishes of our Donegal Correspopmenis and Tenets, College and School Education, Banking, Modes
dent, whom we shall call “ Werdna,” according to his request. of Living, &c. ;-the whole in contrast with the English, and in- We shall be happy to hear from him on all or any of the subjects tended principally for the use of strangers, and young Scotch- he mentions.--"J. G” of Elgin, may receive the “ Literary men."
Journal" on the terms he proposes.-We are afraid none of the Mr M'Phun of Glasgow is about to publish a second volume of numerous papers sent to us fr m Elgin by “ H. G.” will exactly the “ Scots Worthies,” which will contain their last words and suit us.- From “ D. V." of Dundee we shall be glad to hear, and dying testimonies, and will embrace the whole of Naphtali and shall probably notice his volume soon.—The poetry of "R. W." the Cloud of Witnesses, together with numerous others, taken of Glasgow scarcely comes up to our standard.- From “ T. B. J." from Memoirs of their Lives, and other documents, both in old of Glagow we should like to receive something both in prose published Coilections and in original Manuscripts. The whole and verse, and will notice his little work speedily.-"c: H." is to be accompanied with Historical Notices and Observations, will hardly suit us.-For “ B.'s" expressions of friendship xe explanatory and corrective, by the editor of the new edition of return thanks.-We regret that we cannot possibly cumply with the Lives of the Scots Worthies. There is to be a Preface to the the reque t of “A Friend to Literature." volume, by Mr M.Gavin, the author of the Protestant; and it is On again perusing the Lines addressed to the “ Editor of the to be embellished with several portraits of the Reformers.-Mr Edinburgh Literary Journal,” we perceive they are of so comM‘Phun is also about to publish, in an octavo volume, uniform plimentary a description, that we must reluctantly decline giving with the Scots Worthies, Select Memoirs of the Lives, Labours, them a place, lest we should be accused both of egotism and and Sufferings of those Pious and Learned English Divines, who vanity. greatly distinguished themselves in promoting the Reformation, Were we to add, in addition to the Publisher's name, the price in translating the Bible, and in promulgating its Doctrines by of the book reviewed, as has been suggested, we should be subtheir Writings. Such has been the success of ihe first volume of jected to advertisement duty on each of our critical nolie S. the Scots Worthies, that a sixth edition is now at prese.
We must again beg the indulgence of our advertising friends, Mrs Catherine Godwin, daughter of the late Dr Garnett, who some of whose favours, for want of room, are necessarily excluwas for several years Professor of Physics and Natural Philosu- ded from our present Number, but will punctually appear in our phy at Anderson's Institution in Glasgow, has just published, in next.
part so much trash, as Sir Walter Scott has written of standard and classical composition. For it is not the paper alone
he covers, but the materials with which he Tales of a Grundfuther ; being Stories taken from Scot- covers it. The topic is stale, and we shall not pursue it.
fish History, Humbly inscribed to Hugh Little The very infant is taught to lisp his name with wonder ; john, Esq. 'In three vols. Second Series. Cadell & cause it is Scott's. He has been called "" the Modern
and the grey-haired sire is prouder of his country beCo. Edinburgh. 1829. (Published on Thursday.)
Ariosto,"_" the Modern Shakspeare,'-" the Great So much has been already written and spoken about Northern Magician ;” and without stopping to inquire Sir Walter Scotty_his name is so continually occurring into the precise justice and appropriateness of these dif. in all newspapers—in all magazines in all reviews at ferent appellations, we may be allowed to quote them all public dinners, and all private parties, that when as showing the dominion he possesses over men's hearts his hundredth new work issues from the press, all that and judgments ;it may seem possible for a critic to say, is, that it has made its appearance, and that he will give some extracts
“ Others are fond of fame, but fame of him." from its And, in truth, little else is ever attempted. Sir Nor is he situated as most authors are, of inferior Walter finds a new book in cover, and gives it a fair popularity, who may be aware that they possess a cér. start; the critics, like so many fox-hounds, open in full tain degree of reputation, but can form no accurate esticry, and before many minutes elapse, 'each may be seen mate of its extent and value. Sir Walter's rings in running away with a bit in his mouth, carrying it off his ears wherever he turns. It is not merely an occa. in triumph, and scattering it to the four winds of Hea- sional flattering review, considerable number of priven, which, in their turn, bear it across the Atlantic vate complimentary letters from friends and persons of and the Pacific, to the torrid and the frigid zones. eminence in the literary world, a few public honours Few men have so completely reaped in their own per- somewhat pompously bestowed by different public bo. sons the reward of their labours as Sir Walter Scott. dies,--things which gladden the heart of most men, Many of his illustrious predecessors were left all their and are marked as eras in their lives,) it is a far more lives in doubt as to the success of their exertions, and abiding and apparent glory-which has won the smiles the reputation which might attach to their memory. To of all ranks, softened down the asperities of all par. them fame was as the distant murmur of the far-off sea, ties, and given bim the voices of the multitude, as well that found an echo only in the low whispers of their own as the far worthier approbation of the select few. Nor lofty spirits. They spent their daily existence among is it possible that he can be ignorant of the homage those who knew them not; they passed on to the grave so universally paid to his genius; it is as palpable as little honoured and little regarded ; they had minds be that of the great actor whose ears are deafened with the yond the comprehension of the times in which they lived; plaudits of his audience. As one instance of this imand it was not till society in general, and by slow de- mense popularity, we would refer to the sensation cregrees, had made a progress somewhat similar to their ated, two years ago, at the first “ Theatrical Fund Ding own, that the laurel was strewed upon their graves, and ner" in Scotland, when Sir Walter ceased for ever to have an apotheosis was the tardy recompense of those who any claim to the title of the Great Unknown," by anbad breathed in neglect the breath of immortality. nouncing himself as the sole and unassisted author of Widely different has it been with the author of “ Wa Waverley," and all the novels that followed in its wake. verley.” He has been the favoured child of fortune. The sensation, we believe, has never been properly dehas been listed on her wings to the mountain's top, and scribed to those who were not present to witness it. The has stood there in a blaze of sunshine. Nor is it to for common and hackneyed phrases of the newspaper retune alone (a vague and most unmeaning word) that he porters," tremendous applause," "continued shouts,' is solely or chiefly indebted for his unparalleled success. " waving of hats and handkerchiefs,” renewed vocifeHisown talents are unquestionably of the highest order; rations," &c. convey but a feeble and inadequate notion and he has cultivated them with an assiduity and an induse of what seemed to be really felt, and what was endeatry that few of his predecessors, and none of his contem- voured to be expressed. It was a moment of delirium,poraries, have been found to possess. The very quantity of wild, heart-thrilling excitement. Soul shot forth from which Sir Walter Scott has written, judging, as ship-own- eyes that had never shot forth soul before, and those that et do, by the barrel-bulk, or as grocers, by the pound. had always shone with brightness now trebled their lusweight, and altogether independent of its quality, is enough tre, and rolled “in a fine frenzy," as if from earth to to strike the most common perception with astonishment, heaven. Again, and again, and again, the deafening and is a theme which has been harped on till the harpers thunder of human voices filled the hall. Patriotism, and, themselves became tired, or found that they required for the time, genius, bounded in every bosom; it was hapa dozen more strings; for the subject grew upon them piness to have lived in the same century with Sir Walter Every alternate month. We admire the prolific powers Scott, it was ecstacy to know that he was your fellow. of the scribblers for the Minerva press; but the most ar-countryman,-it was a thousand times more than all to Taft. scribbler among them all never scribbled one-fifth have heard from his own lips,--to have been made, as it
were, his confident, and to have been told personally which thought works. He who farther places these facts what had so often before been surmised, but had never in a light so interesting, and clothes them in colours so been perfectly ascertained,- that his were the works of beautiful, that they at once instruct the judgment, charm genius which enchant the world!” This to Sir Wal- the fancy, and engage the heart, performs no mean serter must surely have been an hour worth a life of misery, vice to the nobler part of our nature. But from the had such been his. It is recorded in the Memoirs of Schil- simplest or the most elaborate statement of facts, a thou. ler, that when his “Maid of Orleans" was performed at sand trains of thought must arise, and, such is the vaLeipzic, as soon as the curtain fell, the whole assembly, riety of mental constitution, that, unless guided to the having first given vent to their approbation in loud shouts, inferences most consonant with reason, few
indeed would rushed from the theatre, and crowding round the door spontaneously arrive at the same conclusions. It is here through which the poet was expected to pass, uncovered that me tal power chiefly exhibits itself. It is not what their heads as soon as he made his appearance, and open- people know, but what they think,(of course in consequence ing an avenue for him, held up their children in their of what they know,) that ought t, be chiefly attended to. arms, and exclaimed, “ that is hel" This was feeble in He who furnishes knowledge alone, supplies weapons comparison with the compliment paid Sir Walter Scott. which may be directed against himself, unless he also The digito monstrari, et dicier hic est, always implies that point out the physical and intellectual use to be derived there are some who do not know you. The very supposi- from that knowledge. Religion itself is little else but tion of such a thing with regard to Sir Walter, in Scot- a piece of history, unless we are able to perceive, by a land at least, is almost an insult:
process of induction, the consequences which its histo
rical truths infer. One proposition, as soon as proved, “ Not to know him argues yourself unknownThe meanest of the throng.'
ought to lead to another; and he is the great mental
pioneer who boldly goes first in the march of intellectual Thus, then, if ever the living felt what fame was, Sir discovery, and who, though he may sometimes lose his Walter Scott does. One question still remains behind; way, yet finally succeeds in finding a path where hu. it is a dangerous one, but it must be put. Is it entirely man foot never trode before, which is speedily beaten by the triumphant merits of his literary works that this down into a broad road, by those who had not the fame has been amassed ; and if so, is it impossible for courage or the ability to precede him. the most fastidious to point out any serious imperfection Now, let us apply these observations to Sir Walter in their execution? We have considered the question ma- Scott. No man ever poured forth from his single mind, turely, and whatever weight may be attached to our opi- or rather from bis pen, so inexhaustible a stock of innion, we answer, with deference, but with firmness, that formation ; but certainly few men, possessed of such in. it is not solely to his intellectual endowments that Sir formation, would have so carefully and systematically Walter's fame is to be attributed, and that there is an avoided entering not only upon any one of those great imperfection pervades his works, which must ever be felt questions of ethics or metaphysics which have so long by the reflective reader, not perhaps as a positive, but as divided the world, but also on any of those lesser disa negative weakness,-as a sin not of commission, but of cussions which from time to time agitate the framework omission. We must explain ourselves a little more dis- of society. We dispute not for a moment that the calm tinctly; and let it not be supposed that, while engaged dignity of letters is better maintained by avoiding all in pointing out a spot on the sun, we are capable of any the petty wranglings and contentions into which interior mean detraction from its general splendour.
capacities are so often apt to be betrayed ; and so far we In one word, the fault we have to find with Sir Wal. give Sir Walter Scott all praise, that from these he has ter Scott, by voluntarily falling into which, we think, he ever stood at a distance." But it will not do to affect has succeeded in making himself a more universal fa- the same tone of philosophical indifference in regard to vourite among those who only see the surface of things, those momentous questions which so deeply affect manis, an over-degree of cautiousness in broaching new opi- kind, and a solution of which must ever be so anxiously nions, or in stating his own on matters of literary, poli. sought. We do not ask or wish Sir Walter Scott to tical, moral, intellectual, or religious importance. At become a controversialist or a polemic; but seeing the first sight, thischarge may not appear one of so much mo- place he holds in the literary world, -seeing the inment as we think it really is. It may be answered for Auence he possesses over all the reading population of Sir Walter, apparently with much show of reason, that | Europe,—we frankly avow, that we consider ourselves if he pours forth the stores of his own mind,-if he opens entitled to know what his opinions are upon many subup his rich and varied stock of information,-if he paints jects which he has been obliged to refer to in his writhe manners of past times, and awakes from the sleep of tings, but regarding which he has carefully avoided to death,—a wakes and sets before us the buried but the un- give any exposition of his sentiments. And why? Not forgotten of almost all ages,-he does enough, and is right certainly because he had formed no opinions concernto stand aloof from the war of opinions, and refuse to ing them, for that is impossible; or because he did mingle in the doubts that perplex, the desires that de- not know that his opinions would be esteemed of much lude, the fears that distract, the animosities that divide, value, for no man had ever one half of Sir Walter's ex. the strange theories that confuse and lead astray others, tent of knowledge without feeling conscious of the weight throughout all the ramifications and departments of soci. that was due to his judgments, and of the importance that ety. To this may it not be replied, that weowe a duty to our would be attached to them. The only other answer, fellow-men as well as to ourselves, and that superior abili. therefore, which can be rationally given to the question, tics and profounder knowledge, unless directed to their edi. is, that a certain sacrifice has been made of advantages fication as well as our own glory, exhibit little else but a which would have accrued to the world at large, for the sake moreexalted species of selfishness? And is there no edifi. of greater personal aggrandizement and popularity. Sir cation, it will be demanded, to be derived from the wri. Walter is aware, that nothing so effectually shuts up at tings of Sir Walter Scott ? Much,-a great deal more least one avenue to these, as boldly and manfully stating than from any ordinary mind is to be expected,---but sentiments which, though they may be considered just from him not enough. There are two methods by which by some, have long been set down as erroneous by others. a reader may be edified or improved ;-the one is by But how are we ever to arrive at truth, unless they, best communicating facts, the other is by communicating capable of directing us to it, undertake the task ? It is thoughts. It is true that there is no such thing as ab- only a very small part of mankind who take the trouble stract thought unfounded on facts; and it is also true to think at all; and the few who, in the common phrase, that all facts must necessarily suggest thoughts. He, think for themselves, invariably think also for all the therefore, who supplies facts, supplies the tools with rest of their fellow-creatures. They fall into errors, no
doubt, but time corrects them ; whilst the sparks of in. I have endeavoured to illustrate, has been taken, it is hard. tellectual fire that are struck from their minds ofien kin- ly necessary to mention, that nothing else remains to be dle a flame that illumines a nation, and adds a value to done but to praise. The “ Tales of a Grandfather” are life. Newton formed erroneous theories; but had he delightfully composed, and embody with admirable simdetermined to avoid all erroneous theories, what would plicity, yet great accuracy and minuteness, all the leadhave become of his glorious discoveries ? Byron grasped ing facts of Scottish History. Neither are they intend. at shadows beyond his reach, and where he hoped for ed for mere children ; they could hardly be read with light only plunged into darkness; but shall not his advantage by either a boy or girl under fourteen or fifsplendid errors be forgiven, for the sake of the new r: - teen, while far more advanced students of history will gion of thought which they opened up, and the glimpses find in them much that is new, and much that they had, they afford of light ineffable, like that which shines in all probability, forgotten. The first series brought us through the fissures of the thunder-cloud ? Here, in. down to the accession of James VI. to the throne of deed, consists the great difference between him and Scott. England ; the second conducts us from that period to Byron was too daring–Scott is too timid. Byron cared the time when both kingdoms were finally united into not to stem the torrent, if it “ roared 'gainst him,”
The parts which strike us as most worthy of comScott is only anxious to float down the easy current of mendation, in the last three volumes, are the introducpopular applause. Byron uttered sentiments which he tory chapter on the progress of civilisation, the view of knew scarcely an individual would own but himself, the state of society at the court of James VI., the chapScutt never once contradicted the opinions of a body of ters on the disorderly state of the Borders, and the wild men, nor yet said that he disagreed with the opinions of state of the Highlands and Islands, the account of Cromanother body to whom the first were opposed. If the well and some of his exploits, and of all the incidents “ Letters of Malachi Malagrowther" be cited as bear. which occurred in Scotland during the reign of William ing against this assertion, it would not be difficult to and Mary, as well as that of Queen Anne ; including, show, that certain powerful reasons made it prudent for among other things, the massacre at Glencoe, the DaSir Walter, at the time of their appearance, to conciliate rien scheme, and the struggles which took place between the good-will of the Scotch bankers. Not that he on the parties that favoured or opposed the Union. that account wrote what he did not think, but that We shall present our readers with two extracts, which he expressed his thoughts more freely. We repeat, will not lessen their anxiety to get possession of the vo. therefore, that which we stated at the beginning, that lumes themselves. The tirst we shall entitle our leading objection to Sir Walter Scott's works is, their want of original thought, and of decided opi- A HIGHLAND FEUD OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. nions. What we mcan by " original thought,” is clear “ The principal possessors of the Hebrides were ori. and new inferences drawn from facts that were not ge- ginally of the name of MacDonald, the whole being nerally known; and what we mean by “ decided opi- under the government of a succession of chiefs, who bore nions," is an undaunted statement of the author's own the name of Donald of the Isles, as we have already convictions, formed upon extensive research, and conse- mentioned, and were possessed of authority almost inquently comprehensive reasoning.
dependent of the Kings of Scotland. But this great fa. The observations we have just made, and made, we mily becoming divided into two or three branches, other hope, in a spirit of candid criticism, not of paltry carp- chiefs settled in some of the islands, and di puted the ing, were partly suggested by the work before us, “ The property of the original proprietors. Thus, the MacTales of a Grandfather.” Both in the First and Second Leods, a powerful and numerous clan, who had esien. Series of this work, we have remarked the most scrupu- sive estates on the mainland, made themselves masters, lous anxiety, on the part of the author, to avoid stating at a very early period, of a great part of the large island his own sentiments, on most of those historical ques. of Skye, seized upon much of the Long Island, as the tions which are considered of so much interest, and on isles of Lewis and Harris are called, and fought fiercely which it would certainly be of importance to the old, as
with the MacDonalds and other tribes of the islands. well as the young, to have the benefit of his judgment. The following is an example of the mode in which these We may mention his extreme caution, in the first Series, feuds were conducted : not to commit himself regarding the character of the un- “ About the end of the sixteenth century, a boat, bappy Mary ; though one would think that a grandfather manned by one or two of the MacLeods, landed in Eigg, would naturally endeavour to point out to his grandson, a small island peopled by the MacDonalds. They were either the hideous and shameful guilt of that princess, at first hospitably received ; but having been guilty of or the unmerited and treacherous cruelty heaped upon an some incivility to the young women on the island, it was innocent and lovely head. We may advert especially to so much resented by the inhabitants, that they tied the his account, in the second Series, of the origin and pro- MacLeods hand and foot, and putting them on board gress of the civil war between Charles I. and the people of their own boat, towed it to sea and set it adrift, lea. of Scotland, by which it is impossible to discover who ving the wretched men, bound as they were, to perish ther the king or the people were to blame, -whether the by famine, or by the winds and waves, as chance should king was an encroaching despot, or the people idle mal- determine. But fate so ordered it, that a boat belongcontents and rebels ; though one would think that a ing to the Laird of MacLeod fell in with that which grandfather would naturally endeavour to show to his had the captives on board, and brought them in safety to grandson, either that tyranny had been exercised towards the Laird's castle of Dunvegan, in Skye, where they coma sincere and devout people, who fought for the faith in plained of the injury which they had sustained from the which they trusted, or that a good, but unfortunate mo- MacDonalds of Eigg. MacLeod, in great rage, put to Darch, had been driven to destruction by the wilfulness sea with his galleys, manned by a large body of his people, and bigotry of a mob. “In medio tutissimus ibis,” which the men of Eigg could not entertain any rational says the Latin poet ; and no man ever wrote more strict. hope of resisting. Learning that their incensed enemy
ly in accordance with this advice, than Sir Walter Scott, was approaching with superior forces, and deep vows of when he says, (vol. 2d, p. 28.) “'the war must be justly revenge, the inhabitants, who knew they had no mercy imputed to a train of long-protracted quarrels, in which to expect at MacLeod's hands, resolved, as the best
peither party could be termed wholly right, and still chanc: of safety in their power, to conceal themselves less entirely wrong; but which created so much jealousy in a large cavern on the sea shore. on both sides, as could scarcely terminate otherwise than “ This place was particularly well calculated for that in civil war.
purpose. The entrance resembles that of a fox-earth, As soon, however, as this general exception, which we being an opening so small that a man cannot enter save
by creeping on hands and knees. A rill of water falls the miserable creature had, by the oddity of her manfrom the top of the rock, and serves, or rather served at ners, the crossness of her temper, the habit of speaking the period we speak of, wholly to conceal the aperture. to herself, or any other signs of the dotage whichi attends A stranger, even when apprised of the existence of such comfortless old age and poverty, attracted the suspicions a cave, would find the greatest difficulty in discovering of her credulous neighbours, she was then said to have the entrance. Within, the cavern rises to a great height, been held and reputed a witch, and was rarely permitted and the floor is covered with white dry sand. It is ex- to escape the stake. tensive enough to contain a great number of people. “ It was equally fatal for an aged person of the lower The whole inhabitants of Eigg, who, with their wives ranks, if, as was frequently the case, she conceived her. and families, amounted to nearly two hundred souls, self to possess any peculiar receipt or charm for curing took refuge within its precincts.
diseases, either by the application of medicines, of which “ MacLeod arrived with his armament, and landed she had acquired the secret, or by repeating words, or on the island, but could discover no one on whom to using spells and charms, which the superstition of the wreak his vengeance-all was desert. The MacLeods tine supposed to have the power of relieving maladies destroyed the huts of the islanders, and plundered what that were beyond the skill of medical practitioners. property they could discover ; but the vengeance of the “Such a person was held a white witch ; one, that is, chieftain could not be satisfied with such petty injuries. who employed her skill for the benefit, not the harm, of He knew that the inhabitants must either have fled in her fellow-creatures. But still she was a sorceress, and, their boats to one of the islands possessed by the Mac- as such, was liable to be brought to the stake. Such a Donalds, or that they must be concealed somewhere in doctress was equally exposed to such a charge, whether Eigg. After making a strict but unsuccessful search her patient died or recovered ; and she was, according for two days, MacLeod had appointed the third to leave to circumstances, condemned for using sorcery to cure or his anchorage, when, in the grey of the morning, one to kill. Her allegation that she had received the secret of the seamen beheld, from the deck of his galley, the from family tradition, or from any other source, was not figure of a man on the island. This was a spy whom admitted as a defence; and she was doomed to death with the MacDonalds, impatient of their confinement in the as little hesitation for having attempted to cure by myscavern, had imprudently sent out to see whether Mac- terious and unlawful means, as if she had been charged Leod had retired or no. The poor fellow, when he saw with having assisted to commit murder. himself discovered, endeavoured, by doubling after the “ The following example of such a case is worthy of manner of a hare or fox, to obliterate the track of his notice. It rests on tradition, but is very likely to be true. footsteps, and prevent its being discovered where he had | An eminent English judge was travelling the circuit, re-entered the cavern. But all his art was in vain ; the when an old woman was brought before him for using a invaders again landed, and tracked him to the entrance spell to cure dimness of sight by hanging a clew of of the cavern.
yarn round the neck of the patient. Marvellous things « MacLeod then summoned those who were within it, were told by the witnesses, of the cures which this spell and called upon them to deliver up the individuals who had performed on patients far beyond the reach of ordi. had maltreated his men, to be disposed of at his plea- nary medicine. The poor woman'made no other defence
The MacDonalds, still confident in the strength than by protesting, that if there was any witchcraft in of their fastness, which no assailant could enter but on the ball of yarn, she knew nothing of it. It had been hands and knees, refused to surrender their clansmen. given her, she said, thirty years before, by a young Ox.
"MacLeod then commenced a dreadful work of indis- ford student, for the cure of one of her own family, who criminate vengeance. He caused bis people, by means having used it with advantage, she had seen no harm of a ditch cut above the top of the rock, to turn away in lending it for the relief of others who laboured under the stream of water which fell over the entrance of the similar infirmity, or in accepting a small gratuity for precipice. This being done, the MacLeods collected all doing so. Her defence was little attended to by the the combustibles which could be found on the island, Jury; but the Judge was much agitated. He asked the particularly quantities of dry heather, piled them up woman where she resided when she obtained possession against the aperture, and maintained an immense fire of this valuable relic. She gave the name of a village, for many hours, until the smoke, penetrating into the in which she had, in former times, kept a petty alehouse. inmost recesses of the cavern, stifled to death every crea. He then looked at the clew very earnestly, and at length ture within.-- There is no doubt of the truth of this story, addressed the Jury :- Gentlemen,' he said, ' we are dreadful as it is. The cavern is often visited by stran- on the point of committing a great injustice to this poor gers ; and I have myself seen the place, where the bones old woman; and to prevent it, I must publicly confess of the murdered MacDonalds still remain, lying as thick a piece of early folly, which does me no honour. At the on the floor of the cave as in the charnel-house of a time this poor creature speaks of, I was at college, leadchurch."-Vol. I. p. 111-117.
ing an idle and careless life, which, had I not been given
grace to correct it, must have made it highly improOur next quotation is upon a subject almost as pecu. bable that ever I should have attained my present situaliarly national, and not less revolting to common sense, tion. I chanced to remain for a day and night in this than the above is to the feelings :
woman's alehouse, without having money to discharge WITCHES.--REMARKABLE TRIAL FOR WITCHCRAFT. her much occupied with a child who had weak eyes, 1
my reckoning. Not knowing what to do, and seeing “ Most of the poor creatures who suffered death for had the meanness to pretend that I could write out a witchcraft were aged persons, women in general, living spell that would mend her daughter's sight, if she would alone in a poor and miserable condition, and dispo- accept it instead of her bill. The ignorant woman sed, from the peevishness of age and infirmity, to rail readily agreed ; and I scrawled some figures on a piece against, or desire evil, in their froward humour, to of parchment, and added two lines of nonsensical dog. neighbours by whom they were abused or slighted. grel, in ridicule of her credulity, and caused her to make When such had unwittingly given vent to impotent it up in that clew which has so nearly cost her her life. anger in bad wishes or imprecations, if a child fell sick, To prove the truth of it, let the yarn be unwound, and a horse became lame, a bullock died, or any other mis- you may judge of the efficacy of the spell.' The clew fortune chanced in the family against which the ill-will was unwound accordingly, and this pithy couplet was had been expressed, it subjected the utterer instantly to found on the enclosed bit of parchment the charge of witchcraft, and was received by judges and « The devil scratch out both thine eyes, jury as a strong proof of guilt. If, in addition to this And spit into the holes likewise.'