Puslapio vaizdai

he was fit for it? He saw good sarvice in great houses afore now, and wasn't trusting to what Mr. Macarthy might say of his abilities; for to tell nothing but the truth, they had but a slobbering way of doing business in

and perform all the services preparatory to, at, and after
a good dinner, with satisfaction to his master and credit
to himself, "Why, sure, 'twould be aisy to see all that,
before he was a week in the place. What business would
he have to look for the situation at all, if he didn't know | Slobberly Hall."



THE Tweed! The silver Tweed! Gentlest of the original pastoral simplicity of the country of readers, you may perhaps wonder that, in appa- the Tweed had been but little innovated on by the rent opposition to the sage advices of our much operations of the plough. The era of iron skull venerated friend Major Ramsbottom, we should caps, jingling shirts of mail, back and breast now be disposed to bring before you this most im- pieces, spurs-with rowels that might have been portant Scottish river, at so early a period of our fitted into the sky on an occasion, to supply the campaign. But, to tell you the truth, whilst we place of any of the fixed stars that had fallen out by no means intend to hold ourselves responsible of their places-buff jerkins, lances, and sure for acting at all times under the guidance of par- footed moss-trooping horses, that knew how, inticular reasons, we yet confess that we are influ- stinctively, to pick their way by moonlight, or even enced at present by some which we hold to be very perchance, when moon there was none, from hag important. In the first place, you have been kindly to hag, had for some ages passed away. The pleased to give so courteous a reception to our little thick forests had been gladed by the hands of Jack-snipe of a Jordan-which, as we must con- Time and of Nature, in such a way as might have fess to you, as a friend, under the rose, we, partly thrown any such celebrated landscape gardener, from mere waggery, thought it advisable to place as Mr. Craigie Halkett of Hallhill into absolute before you, as our first dish-that we think it but ecstacies of delight, and furnished him with a fair, thus speedily to reward you with something thousand useful professional hints. Peace had really substantial, with what the French would call long floated over the whole of these pastoral a" piece de resistance," and which John Bull would scenes, as if the Halcyon bird had built its nest denominate " a cut and come again." And, se- among them. The deer, "both doe and roe, and condly, although the Tweed may indeed be con- red deer good," had not yet been quite extermisidered as one of the chiefs among our Scottishnated from "the gay greenwood." The reign of fluvial divinities, yet he is not the first, but only one of the first; and although, when he shall be disposed of, we cannot exactly say of him as King Henry did of the loss of Earl Percy,

"We trust we have within our realm Five hundred as good as he"Yet we shall not be left without a goodly array of his brother river gods at our back. Then let our courteous reader, a la bonne heure, fall briskly on the feast which we shall speedily spread before him, assuring himself whilst he does so, that he may be in no dread of future starvation, seeing that our garrison is stored in so ample a manner, as to enable us to withstand the siege of a lifetime.

The great valley which affords a course for the Tweed, when taken in conjunction with those minor branch valleys which give passage to its various tributaries, may be called the great ScotoArcadian district of pastoral poetry and song. Who could enumerate the many offerings which have been made to the rural muses in this happy country? for where there are poetry and song, happiness must be presupposed, otherwise neither the one nor the other could have birth. Doubtless, those ancient verses and melodies, which have for so many ages charmed, not only the inhabitants of Scotland, but those of countries which have always been held as much more refined in musical science, were produced at a time, when

Nature was undisturbed. The minutest flowerets were safe, except from the fingers of the swainwho might pluck them for the adornment of the shepherdess, whose love-chain he wore-or from the careless feet of the sheep or the kine, which they tended together. But so rapid and extensive have been the strides of cultivation in its progress. from the sea upwards, even in our own time, that it is only towards the very upper part of its course that the words of the ancient ballad may now be with much literal truth applied :

"What beauties does Flora disclose!
How sweet are her smiles upon Tweed!
Yet Mary's, still sweeter than those,
Both nature and fancy exceed.
No daisy nor sweet-blushing rose,
Nor all the gay flowers of the field,
Nor Tweed gliding gently through those,
Such beauty and pleasure do yield.
"The warblers are heard in the grove;
The linnet, the lark, and the thrush,
The blackbird and sweet cooing dove,
With music enchant every bush.
Come let us go forth to the mead,
Let's see how the primroses spring,
We'll lodge in some village on Tweed,

And love while the feathered folks sing."

But one of the most wonderful facts, in regard to this change on the face of the country, is the circumstance, that the plough seems to have banished song altogether from this tuneful district, for the population have become the most

unmusical anywhere to be found. Old Pennecuick tells us that "musick is so great a stranger to their temper, that you shall hardly light upon one among six that can distinguish one tune from another; yet those of them that hit upon the vein may match with the skilfullest." And a more modern commentator on this passage tells us, that both instrumental and vocal music have been completely banished from among the peasantry of Tweeddale, and that a ploughman is never even heard to "whistle o'er the lea," as they so invariably do in all other countries.


ing them, could have no doubt matters of vital importance to the colley population of the parish were discussed. No body of bishops or Presbyterian elders of kirks, either Established or Free, could have behaved with more decorum, or could have shaken their heads more wisely; and when the conference broke up, we had not a single lingering doubt in our mind that the important business which had been under discussion, had been temperately settled in the wisest and most satisfactory manner; and we could not help thinking that some useful lessons might have been taken, from what we saw, as to the proper mode of conducting such meetings. For our own part, we confess we should rather be put in possession of a picture of such a canine conference, painted by the wonderful pencil of Landseer, than that of any other similar convocation of human beings that we know of.

The only portion of the course of the Tweed that may now be called truly pastoral is that which is included within those lofty mountains that encircle its head, and there, indeed, the climate may not be always so genial as to induce the growth of a very abundant Flora. This part of the country might with propriety be called the During those barbarous times, when border Region of Colleys; for here they abound, and raids were in continual activity, and when no one, maintain a strict, though gentle and very sensible, on either side of the marches, or debateable land, judicious, and temperate control over the woolly could lay down his head to sleep at night, without inhabitants of the green mountain-sides. We the chance of having to stand to his defence, or have travelled by accident through this country perhaps to mount and ride ere morning, the valleys very lately, but we have the greatest pleasure of the Tweed and its tributaries must have witin recollecting our passage through it in 1807, nessed many strange and stirring events and when on our way homewards from what we might cruel slaughters. To defend themselves from very well call our travels in England, from their these predatory incursions, the Scottish monarchs unusually extensive and comprehensive nature. erected strong castles along the lower part of the We quite well remember sitting on a dyke by the course of the Tweed, and the chain of these places road-side for nearly an hour with a shepherd of of strength was carried upwards, quite to the those parts, whilst, at our request, he despatched source of the streams by the various landowners. his dog over to the opposite hill, the face of which These last were either Towers or Peels-these rose steeply backwards for nearly two miles, and different names being given, rather to distinguish stretched about double that space to right and the structures as to their magnitude and imporleft. The intelligence displayed by the creature tance, than from any great difference of planwas infinitely beyond anything we could have the tower possessing greater accommodations, and previously conceived. The moment he had com- being much the larger and more impregnable in pelled the brigade of bleaters to perform the strength of the two. The Peels rarely contained evolution which his master's first signal had dic- more than three stories, which were generally all tated, he sat down in his distant position, with vaulted. To that in the basement-which was his eyes fixed upon him; and, though certainly often used to thrust cattle into, at a moment of not nearer to us than from half-a-mile to a mile, sudden alarm, and which sometimes had vaults as the crow would fly, he at once caught up every under it-there was a direct entrance from withsuccessive signal, however slight, from his com- out, which was well defended. This apartment manding officer, and put the troops into active had frequently no communication with those motion, to carry the wished-for manœuvre into above, whilst, in some instances, access to it was effect. In this manner, they were made to visit obtained downwards through a trap-door in the every part of the hill-face in succession-at one floor and vaulted roof. Sometimes the upper time keeping in compact phalanx, as if prepared apartments were approached by a small spiral to resist cavalry, and at another scouring away stair, from a little well defended door, in an angle and scattering themselves over the mountain, as of the basement, but generally they were entered if skirmishing, like Tirailleurs, against some un- from an outer door in the wall, on the same level seen enemy advancing from over the hill-top be- as the apartments of the second storey, and the acyond; and it appeared to us, that, great as we had cess to this door was by a ladder, which was drawn always considered the talents of Lieut. Lightbody, up, after use, into the little fortalice. These strongthe able adjutant of the distinguished corps we had holds, being intended for the general advantage and then recently left, we must feel ourselves compelled preservation of all the inhabitants of the valley, to declare that he was a mere tyro compared to were built alternately on both sides of the river, this wonderful canine tactician. And then, as to and in a continued series, so as to have a view council, as well as war, we have seen some half- one of another; so that a fire, kindled on the top dozen of these highly gifted animals meet together of any one of them, was immediately responded from different parts of the mountains and glens, to, in the same way, by all the others in succession; as if by appointment, at the sunny nook of some the smoke giving the signal by day and the flame fauld dyke, and there, seated on their haunches, by night-thus spreading the alarm through a hold a conference in which we, who were watch-whole country of seventy miles in extent, in

the provincial phrase, from "Berwick to the Bield," and to a breadth of not less than fifty miles, carrying alarm into the uppermost parts of every tributary glen. Would that we could be inspired with the fancy of our own immortal Sir Walter, that we might, for only one moment, imagine the sudden upstirring, in this way, of the wild and warlike population of so great an extent of country, during the days of Border contest! what a shouting of men and neighing of horses !— what a hurried donning of back and breast-pieces and morions!-what a jingling of bridles and saddling of steeds!-what a buckling on of swords and grasping of lances !--and how the woods, and the steep faces of the hills, must have re-echoed to the gallop of the various little parties, hastening to unite themselves together! Then came the assault of the invading foe-the crash of combat, | -the shouts of triumph, and the shrieks of dying men—all full of the most romantic and picturesque suggestions. Nay, if we could only fancy the laird of any one of those little fortalices, after having been warned by his provident dame, by the usual hint of a covered dish full of steel spurs set before him, that there was no more meat in the larder-if we could only imagine him and his followers, getting hurriedly to boot and saddle, to ride across the Border, on a foray into England, to harry some district of its beeves, we should conjure up a picture full of the most romantic circumstances and stirring interest. Beginning with Oliver Castle, which was as high up the Tweed valley as any such human habitation could have been well built, we find that its communication was with that of Drummelzier and the Peel of Tinnis, or Thane's Castle. These communicated with one at Dreva, that with Wester Dawick, Hillhouse, Easter Dawick, Easter Happrew, Lyne, Barns, Coverhill, Neidpath, Peebles Castle, Haystone, Horsburgh Castle, Nether Horsburgh, Cardrona, Ormistone, Grierstone, Traquair, Innerleithen, Purves Hill, Bold, Caberstone, Scrogbank, Hollowlee, Elibank Tower, and so on in the same manner, down the whole vale of the Tweed to the sea, or, reversing the order, and as we have already used the common country phrase "from Berwick | to the Bield.”

Availing ourselves of the quaint language of Dr Pennecuick, we now beg to inform our readers that "The famous Tweed hath its first spring or fountain nearly a mile to the east of the place where the shire of Peebles marches and borders with the stewartry of Annandale-that is Tweed's Cross, so called from a cross which stood, and was erected there in time of Popery, as was ordinary, in all the eminent places of public roads in the kingdom before our Reformation. Both Annan and Clyde have their first rise from the same height, about half a mile from one another, where Clyde runneth west, Annan to the south, and Tweed to the east." There is some little exaggeration, however, in the old Doctor here-for there is, in reality, no branch of Clyde within two miles of Tweed's Cross, or Errickstane Brae. Tweed's Well is not very far from the great road; and the

site of Tweed's Cross is 1632 feet above the level of the sea. "Tweed runneth for the most part with a soft, yet trotting stream, towards the northeast, the whole length of the country, in several meanders, passing first through the Paroch of Tweeds-moor, the place of its birth, then running eastward, it watereth the parishes of Glenholm, Drumelzear, Broughton, Dawick, Stobo, Lyne, Mannor, Peebles, Traquair, Innerleithen, and from thence in its course to the March at Galehope-burn, where, leaving Tweeddale, it beginneth to water the Forest on both sides, a little above Elibank."

Hartfell, in the upper part of this country, rises to the height of 1928 feet above the level of the sea; and several individual heights of the same group approach very near to that elevation. The pass of Errickstane Brae from Dumfriesshire into Tweeddale is very steep and tedious, even with the present improved line and construction of road; but in the olden times, and when wild forests prevailed everywhere over the sides of the hills, and darkened the depths of the valleys-and when these were most likely to be peopled by robbers-one cannot doubt that the good Catholic would gladly avail himself of the cross at the summit, to throw himself upon his knees, and offer up fervent prayers for his safety. In these times, the traveller's attention is arrested by a most remarkable conchoidal hollow, in the bosom of the mountain, of immense depth, with sides of a declivity approaching nearly to the perpendicular, covered with a beautiful short green sward. This very curious place is called "the Marquis of Annandale's Beef Stand,"-probably because its quiet shelter, and rich pasture, may have produced very superior beeves. It is likewise often called "MacCleran's Loup," which comparatively modern name it acquired from a very curious and romantic incident. In the year 1745, a party of troops were escorting some unfortunate Highlanders, as prisoners, in their way for execution at Carlisle. As they were passing this place, one of them, of the name of MacCleran, asked permission of the guards to retire aside a little, and, squatting at the edge of the green precipice, and letting down his plaid all over him, in pent-house fashion, he gradually drew it tight together over his person, and borrowing a hint from the sagacious hedgehog, and putting his head between his knees, so as to convert himself into a ball, he boldly rolled himself over the hill. There was an immediate shout-the men, who had sat down to rest, seized their arms, rushed to the edge of the precipice, and fired as fast as they could at the rolling mass of tartan that went bounding downwards, and then spun out into the midst of the hollow bottom below. Shot after shot was fired as rapidly as thought. The animated sphere at last came to rest by its very vis inertiae; but before they could well load again, it rapidly unfolded itself, and up jumped the man, safe and unhurt, and, bounding off like a roebuck, he was soon lost in a ravine that cleft a part of the opposite mountain.

We shall now proceed to follow the stream of the Tweed from Tweed's Well, its elevated birth

place, down into the valley through which it pursues its course onwards to the sea; and, in so doing, we cannot pass over the small Inn of Tweedhope-foot, "where," says old Pennecuick, "there lived, in my time, an honest fellow called Jamie Welsch, ironically nicknamed The Bairn of Tweedhope-foot, well known for his huge bulk and strength, being a perfect Milo, with a heart and courage conform." What a fellow for a fictionmonger to manufacture a character out of! It seems to us quite wonderful that Scott should have never thought of appropriating him.

As the river goes on, it is rapidly augmented by the accession of so many streams, coming in from either side, as to render it impossible to notice | them all within any reasonable space. Numerous cairns, supposed to have been thrown up by the Romans to guide the way, are seen along the road between Tweedhope-foot and the Bield. At the upper part of the Hawkshaw stream is Falla Moss, where Porteous of Hawkshaw, at the head of some of the country people, surprised a party of sixteen of Cromwell's horsemen, who had come | from the camp at Biggar. After securing them, they butchered these innocent men, one by one, in cold blood; and one individual, having given his blow with too much tenderness, his victim so far recovered strength as to escape for a few miles, when he was pursued and murdered by numberless cruel wounds. These unhappy men were buried in the Falla Moss; and, a little to the east, there is the Resting Stone, where an unfortunate woman perished in the snow. "Opposite to the foot of Hawkshawbank," says Pennecuick, "in a kairn beside the high road, is the Giant's Grave; so called from a huge, mighty fellow that robbed all on the way, but was at length, from a mount on the other side of the river, surprised and shot to death, as tradition goes." Near Monzion, on the banks of the Fruid river, there is the grave of a certain Marion Chisholm, who is said to have brought out the plague hither from Edinburgh, and infected all the people of the neighbourhood, by means of a bundle of clothes she carried with her, so that many died, and were buried by their terrified survivors in the ruins of their own houses, which were pulled down over their dead bodies so as to form their graves.

Tweedsmuir Kirk stands upon the right bank of the river, upon what is called the Quarter Knowe, which is supposed to have been a site of the Druids, from certain Druidical stones existing near it. The Tweed is here joined by the small river Talla, which is remarkable as having been the scene of the great Covenanting Convocation called the Meeting of Talla-Linns, which took place on the 15th of June, 1682, and at which, Sir Walter Scott informs us, that Douce David Deans was present as a youth. The strange metaphysical and polemical spirit, that had grown up among those unhappy sufferers was so overwhelming, that, instead of devoting their whole mind and attention, to the consideration of the real grievances and miseries they sustained, and of the best mode of procedure by which they could hope to get them removed, the whole scene was one

of universal disagreement and disunion, concerning the character and extent of such as were entirely frivolous and imaginary. "The place where this conference took place," says Scott, "was remarkably well adapted for such an assembly. It was a wild and very sequestered dell in Tweeddale, surrounded by high hills, and far remote from human habitation. A small river or mountain torrent called the Talla, breaks down the glen with great fury, dashing successively over a number of small cascades, which have procured the spot the name of Talla Linns. Here the leaders among the scattered adherents of the Covenantmen who, in their banishment from human society, and in the recollection of the severities to which they had been exposed, had become at once sullen in their tempers, and fantastic in their religious opinions-met, with arms in their hands, and by the side of the torrent, discussed with turbulence, which the noise of the stream could not drown, points of controversy as empty and unsubstantial as its foam." This sad narration of human frailty forces upon our minds the recollection of the much more rational canine convocation, which we have already had occasion to describe! But in regard to painting, what a subject has Scott here sketched for some of our celebrated modern artists to fill up!

Before coming to the Bield and the Crook Inns, we pass the site of Oliver Castle, on the left bank of the stream, the very foundations of which are now so much gone as to render it difficult to discover the precise site where it stood. This was the ancient seat of the Frasers of Lovat, who, coming originally from France at a very early period of history, were thanes of the Isle of Man, and afterwards became possessed of large territories in the south of Scotland, especially in Tweeddale. They were high Sheriffs of the county of Peebles, and in the reigns of Alexander the II. and III., and during the minority of the Queen, Sir Simon Fraser, Lord of Oliver Castle, with the assistance of the Cummin, and with an army of 10,000 Scots, in one day, gave three successive and complete defeats to different bodies of Edward the First's army, amounting in all to not less than 30,000 men, near Roslin, on the 27th February, 1303. This hero was the Wallace of his time; and as his heroism and patriotism were not inferior to those of that celebrated Scottish champion, so his services to his country met with the same reward; for he was given into the hands of Edward, and died a martyr to his country's wrongs. By marriage with the family, this property came down, in modern times, into the possession of the Tweedies.

How great have been the changes which have taken place in this part of the valley since we first visited it, in 1807! The road, as you go along, now wears altogether an inhabited look, and little portions of plantations here and there give an air of shelter and civilization to it. The Crook Inn does not now stand alone, and there is, comparatively speaking, an inviting air of comfort about it; but forty years ago it presented one of the coldest looking, cheerless places of reception

along the hard turnpike road, upon the hind axletree; and many and furious were the bounds we made, as we for some time vainly tried to get down the front glasses. At length, after having gone some two hundred yards or more in this way, we succeeded in stopping the furious flight of our postilion; and having got out, we walked back in sad dismay to the Crook Inn, full of the conviction that stern fate had infallibly doomed us

for travellers that we had ever chanced to behold. It stood isolated and staring in the midst of the great glen of the Tweed, closed in by high green sloping hills on all sides, with a square space between it and the highway enclosed off, to right and left, by two dry stone dykes, running at right angles from the line of its front towards the road. No one could look at it without thinking of winter, snow storms, and associations filled with pity for those whose hard fate it might be to be storm-to all those miseries which had so recently filled us staid here, as unwilling prisoners, with a country with pity for the supposed sufferings of others. We so deeply covered with snow, that there could be looked miserably and silently at each other, every no hope of moving for many days. Such were face individually reflecting the inward horror that our thoughts when we drove up to its door, we be- severally possessed us. We instinctively turned lieve in the gloomy month of November, 1807, our eyes upwards to the portion of grim sky that having come that morning from Moffat, and hav- stretched across above us, from one mountain top ing no intention of staying longer here than to to another, like the dull, muggy old sail cloth that procure fresh post horses to our carriage, and then might form the roof of a booth at a fair. Wreaths to proceed. We felt quite fidgetty and uncom- of snow, twenty feet deep, seemed to be hanging fortable till we got away. The horses were no over our heads, as if about to descend directly en sooner put to the carriage, therefore, than we took masse into the glen, and so to swaddle up all our places. Rumbles had not yet come into ex- nature, as to forbid all locomotion, however conistence, but there was a barouche box on the front fined. We then looked at the cold, bare, inhospart of the vehicle, where one of our friends seated pitable face of the Crook Inn before which we himself, from choice, that he might have a better stood; and, like men desperately resolved to enview of the scenery. We, with another, occupied dure a fate, which, however cruel in itself, and the inside of the chariot, and the day being cold suddenly brought upon us, could not now by any and raw, and threatening to drizzle a little, we means be averted, we entered the house and made ourselves immediately snug by pulling up seated ourselves on the wooden chairs in the best, all the windows. The word "right!" was given, but damp, dingy parlour, with its newly sanded and the post-boy, wishing, as they generally do, floor, in the full conviction that this was to be our to make a spurt at starting, dug the spurs into prison for some weeks to come at least. Our wreck his horses, and whipped them at once into a gal- was so complete, that not a hope remained. At lop, and he went flying from the door, and round length, curiosity led us to go out to listen to the conthe corner into the road with such a birr, that he versation of a small group of persons that surdid not give time for the hind wheels to perform rounded the carriage, each of whom was delivering their necessary evolutions. By the same sort of his own sage remarks on this an event so worthy centrifugal force, that gives impetus to the flight of speculation, in a district where events were few. of a stone from a sling, therefore, they were thrown One man, with a broad blue bonnet, proved to be off sideways, at a tangent to the circle they should a carrier, and owner of a horse and cart which have described, with so great violence, that even stood hard by. After a little talk with him, he the best London manufacture could not withstand undertook, for a due consideration, to transport it, especially after having been rattled, as they had the carriage to Edinburgh, by binding the hinder been, for better than five months, over some of part of it, whence the wheels were gone, to the the roughest cross roads of England and Wales. tail of his cart, so that it should travel safely, In less than the twinkling of an eye, the whole spokes though ignominiously, on its own two fore wheels, and felloes which had been so long happily banded and with its back to the horse; and after this together, en societé, in the two wheels, disparted was arranged, we speedily discovered, with great company by general consent, and were torn and delight, that the landlord could give us two dislocated from each other, and scattered far and post-chaises. These were instantly ordered out, wide upon the road. The iron rims rolled off each and our persons and baggage being distributed singly to the opposite side of the way, and then fell between the two, we had the satisfaction of startover with a solemn, yet sullen sound of submis- ing again from the door, at a good rattling pace, sion to their fate. The post-boy, utterly uncon- just as the first broad flakes of snow were beginscious that anything was wrong, continued to ning to fall, as the advanced guard of that heavy whip and spur, to prove that his horses were good column that was about to descend and subdue and for that pace for at least a mile. Our philoso- imprison the whole of that upland country. Such phical friend on the box was too much engaged was our alarm that we never stopped, except to in tying his comforter, and in looking now at the change horses, till we found ourselves in the Inn post-boy, and now at the mountains on either side, at Melrose, where we thanked our stars that we to be made aware of anything that had happened. had so providentially escaped from the horrors of albeit that our shouts and the occasional uncouth the Crook Inn. But now things are so changed, bumping he received, might have excited in him that even a confinement there, however annoying some slight suspicion that there was something in itself in point of delay, would at least be atwrong. But we two insides were in a most peril-tended with no apprehension of want of creature ous plight; for we were sleighing it, as it were, comforts.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »