Puslapio vaizdai

even often with the state of mind experienced by be an effort of immense magnitude. The courts at the worker. The one admits of being bequeathed: present display all the peculiarities of some long the other dies with the dead, and is buried in and complicated law plea. There is certainly no their grave. On no pretence, therefore, can the reason on earth for employing the learned gentle two sources be classified together. One is as se- men on the opposite side to discover whether A.B. cure and perpetual as prudence and economy may or B.C., either or both of them, reside within a choose to make it; the other is uncertain like given district, have holdings, or occupy houses health and life; and sometimes fleeting and "flit-worth a given sum of money, and are in the few ting" like fashion. We admit the propriety of taxing both, but not of taxing them alike.

other matters that require to be considered qualified for a registration-roll. The poor-rate collector, the police collector, and the income-tax officials find out the truth on all these subjects with remarkable facility; and we could no more discover, at any time, a good reason for all the expensive tortuous labyrinth of doubts and objec

able to reach a good understanding respecting the perpetual motion.

Two classes, therefore, require to be established; and they should be placed under several divisions. The tax stops at present with one handred and fifty pounds per annum. That is the smallest rateable income under the present act. But the rate is uniform, The same ad valoremtions in registration courts, than we have been duty is leviable on the man who receives £150, and the nobleman who enjoys £150,000. We 'can escape from this inconsistency only by using a graduated rate. The sliding scale is, we know, in proverbially bad repute, when applied to corn, but it does not threaten to be mischievous on its application to incomes. We do not propose to particularise the various heads of taxation under each of the two classes, because that, we concede, must require much consideration; but the division is thoroughly practicable—a mere question of work, that when accomplished will be highly remunerative.

The new plan of registration that we propose, not as a substitute for, but only as an addition and rival to the present plan, is like its qualification, perspicuous and plain. Any sum of direct taxes paid under the property and income acts can be fixed as the minimum qualification. We hold, of course, for the smallest sum levied. But any sum might be fixed, although the smallest would be most accordant with justice; and when an election occurs, let any man be empowered to vote in a particular parish who The direct tax, to be popular, must not be oppres- has paid his income tax within the parish during sive, and the taxes to be abolished must be of a the preceding year for the specified amount. So character to produce real and apparent benefits. far as this class of voters are concerned, the only Without being oppressive, however, we believe | roll necessary is the tax-gatherer's book, and the that twenty millions of the national income might be procured from this source. This increase could only be obtained by increasing, probably from 7d. to 10d., the rates chargeable at present from incomes of £150 to £300 to 1s. from that upwards to £600 to 1s. 3d. from £600 to £1000— and a similar addition, perhaps in less proportions, on the larger class of permanent incomes. This change would necessarily be accompanied by a reduction on incomes of a temporary character, and by reduced rates on a lower class of in-tration business uncommonly light. comes, free at present; but which, without hardship, might contribute directly some portion of what they now pay indirectly, and from which they would be in no small amount relieved.

Upon the basis of direct taxation, another extension and simplification of the franchise might be placed. The Reform Bill might obtain through it another and an effectual stretch. We allow that the new element to be added is alien from the ownerships and occupancies-the leases and the infeftments-the copyholds and the freeholds of the present system; but it is simpler than any existing plan-would save the electors days of trouble at the registration courts, and produce the utmost benefit and peace of mind to all persons who are neither revising barristers, counsels, nor agents. As to registration courts, we have always thought that they should be conducted at the public cost, by public officials, without the obstruction of party men. The registration of the persons holding a few defined qualifications in property, in any parish or district of a parish whatever, cannot

only certificate of qualification is the receipt which, when employed to confer a vote, could be marked off, like a postage stamp, to prevent the possibility of its being twice used.

So many of the public as were inclined might, of course, be allowed to follow the existing plan of registering on houses and lands, with the provision that any man might take his choice, but no man could follow both schemes; and the Sheriffs, we predict, would soon find their regis

The manufacturers of fictitious votes could not pursue their avocation in this line to any considerable extent; because it is obvious that, while they might qualify a few individuals of inferior income by paying their income tax, yet as each vote would render the elector liable for at least two years' payments, the past paid in anticipation, and the current to be paid in consequence of his act, while other public burdens would necessarily follow, we do not see that an evil, which could be never more than of contracted importance, would ever reach even the boundaries of its narrow possible limits.

We repeat that this scheme has nothing to do or say with the objects of the National Alliance. It originates rather with a desire to simplify than to extend the suffrage further than the designed limits of the Reform Bill. There is nothing, indeed, in its nature to prevent it from supplanting, in some measure, the necessity for other suffrage movements; but we have no hope whatever that the Legislature will be wise enough to

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twenty-five pounds of direct tax by the commis sioners under the income-tax act. We have also the reasons of objection to the votes of other two parties, whose tax, during the same year, was increased by the sum of eighty pounds. Is it possible to conceive any law, or state of law, more absurd than that which permits these extraordinary anomalies? or any change that would produce worse law makers than those of the last twenty years, if judgment can be formed upon their productions from such specimens ?

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THE TWEED—Continued.


We must now proceed to trace the course of a very important tributary of the Tweed; we mean the Leader (or the Lauder) Water, which has its rise in the Lammermoor hills, and which thence runs down through Lauderdale, throwing itself into the Tweed from its left bank. We might find some difficulty in entering on this part of our task, owing to the connexion of this district with our own family history; but as we must have done the same had we had to deal with any other family, and as there is no good reason for keeping back information, because we chance to be mixed up with the matter of it, we must e'en proceed to discuss it as shortly as we can. When Robert Lauder came into Scotland with Malcolm Canmore, besides certain lands in the Lothians, he had large possessions assigned to him here. His successors were afterwards created hereditary bailies of Lauderdale, and the family became a very powerful one in Scotland, as is proved by the frequent notices of its members, at various periods, in Rymer's "Fœdera," and other historical works; from which it appears, that for some centuries there was scarcely ever a treaty of peace, or of marriage, or a negociation of any kind, either with England or with France, in which they did not officiate as prominent commissioners; and after the battle of Hallidon hill, we find tempore David II., Robertus de Lawedre Miles, the father, holding the high office of Justiciarius over the country between the Firth of Forth and the Border, whilst, at the same time, Robertus de Lawedre Miles, the son, held the same office over all the country to the north of the Firth. Their chief seat of Lauder Tower was in the burgh of Lauder, where there is now a large enclosure, or garden, called the Tower yard, and where, within little more than half a century ago, some parts of the ruin were still standing. And now comes the great and useful moral lesson, which is often to be extracted from family history, of the evanescence of all human affairs. Were we to go back to a period of about some two hundred and fifty years ago, we should be able to draw up a list of not less than twenty-five families of the name possessing landed property; whereas, now, with the exception of ourselves, no part of whose present property ever formed any portion of the old estates, and one of our sons who recently acquired the estate of Huntleywood, in Berwickshire, and Mr. Lauder, the elder brother of the two celebrated artists, who possesses some land immediately below the new town of Edinburgh, there does not exist, so far as we are aware, a single landed proprietor of the name. The causes of the gradual decadence of a family are not easily or certainly traced, but we know that the powerful Border clans, the

Homes and the Cranstouns, were for ages the determined enemies of that of Lauder, and it is thus highly probable that the family was ruined by their frequent predatory inroads, the boldness of which may be conceived from the fact, that on one occasion, towards the end of the 16th century, they entered the town of Lauder in great force, with the Earl of Home at their head, burnt the tolbooth, and dirked the Laird of Lauder's brother, William, who was sitting administering justice in the Town-hall, in his capacity of hereditary bailie. Soon after this, the elder branch of the family died out, and the younger branch, which had migrated to Laswade and Edinburgh, succeeded as its head, but without any of the land, which had gradually melted away, till it ended in a quantity only sufficient to furnish a restingplace for the bones of its proprietor. It is somewhat strange that most of the accounts of Lauderdale are altogether silent with regard to the name, notwithstanding the ancient charters which still exist. By one of these, Sir Robert de Lawedre, tempore David II., gives off some lands, "in and near his borough of Lauder," to Thomas de Borthwick, and it is witnessed by John Mautelant, the sixth of the Lauderdale family, and by his brother William.

The ancient family of the Maitlands of Thirlestane, now Earls of Lauderdale, have possessed lands in this valley for some five or six centuries, and these have been gradually added to and extended, until they now form a very fine estate, which the late and present Earls of Lauderdale have cultivated and planted with so much judgment as to have completely changed the whole appearance of the country. Thirlestane Castle has been greatly increased in extent, and converted into a noble, or rather a princely place of residence.

The Leader is a very lively stream, and the whole of its dale, the greater part of which is wide, is of a cheerful riante character, and it has of late years been brought up to a very high degree of cultivation. We must not forget to mention that it has been noticed in Border ballad.

"The morn was fair, saft was the air,

All Nature's sweets were springing,
The buds did bow with silver dew,

Ten thousand birds were singing; "When on the bent, with blythe content, Young Jamie sang his marrow; Nae bonnier lass e'er trod the grass, On Leader haughs and Yarrow." The Leader is a delightful river for angling, but its trouts are much more numerous than large. We believe that heavy fish are seldom taken in it, though a creel may very soon be filled with small fish, which are delicious eating.

We shall say nothing of the burgh of Lauder, except to remind our readers of the historical fact connected with it, of the celebrated conference of

Scottish nobles, which was held here in the time I have believed that he was not a real, but alto

of James III, when Cochrane and the king's other favourites, with the exception of Ramsay of Balmain alone, were hanged over a bridge, which now no longer exists, by Archibald Douglas, surnamed "Bell-the-Cat," and the other nobles, his supporters.

gether a legendary and imaginary character. But this is quite a mistake, as is proved, without going farther for testimony, by a charter now in the Advocates' Library, which was taken from the chartulary of the Trinity House of Soltra, in which his son designs himself, "Thomas of Ercildoune, son and heir of Thomas Rhymer of Ercildoune." Thomas the Rhymer seems to have lived towards the latter end of the thirteenth century. Mr. Pinkerton supposes that he was alive in 1300,

consistent with the charter just alluded to, by which his son, in 1299, for himself and his heirs, conveys to the convent of the Trinity of Soltra the tenement which he possessed by inheritance (hereditarie) in Ercildoune, with all claim which he or his predecessors could pretend thereto; from which it may be fairly inferred that the Rhymer was then dead.

Like all the other vales and dales which we have had occasion to notice as tributary to the Tweed, the original pastoral character of Lauderdale has, during our recollection, yielded much to the plough, and the whole of its course presents excel-but, as Sir Walter Scott says, this would be inlent specimens of farming. The two farms of Blainslee have been for generations so celebrated for the oats grown upon them, that their produce is entirely sold for seed. An immense extent of plantation has taken place in various parts of the valley, so that there is no lack of shade along the banks and slopes, and several important residences have arisen. Of these, perhaps, the house and grounds of Carolside may be pre-eminently mentioned, a great deal having been done to that place by the good taste of Mrs. Mitchell, since her son's succession, as a minor, to his large estates. The lady was, doubtless, aided by the sound judgment of her brother, Mr. Gardiner, and her worthy uncle, Mr. Milne, of the Woods and Forests, whose experience in such matters has necessarily been great. We remember Carolside a small unpretending place, when we used to look at it from the public road, which then had its course on the western side of the valley.

About fifty years ago, it belonged to Lauder of Carolside, who was the last laird of the name who held lands here. This gentleman was so remarkable for his style of dressing, that he went in Edinburgh by the name of Beau Lauder-a title which rather flattered than annoyed him. We can just recollect him as being followed by the boys whilst walking the streets as a very old man, with a cocked hat, gold-headed cane, scarlet coat, lace ruffles, embroidered waistcoat, satin shorts, white silk stockings, and gold buckles on his shoes, richly set with stones. Poor man his fate ultimately was a sad one, for, if our recollection serves us right, he was accidentally burned to death sitting in his chair, as he then was in a helpless state. Above Carolside, on this river, is Birkhillside and Chapple, and a little way below it comes the thriving village of Earlston, with its looms and shawl manufactory. But its fame does not rest on any such fabrics as these, seeing that it glories in having been the birthplace of the celebrated Thomas Learmont of Ercildoune or Earlston, commonly called the Rhymer, whose rude tower of residence still stands on a beautiful haugh on the east side of the Leader, half-way between the river and the town. Within the memory of man, it was much more entire than it now is; even the outer wall and barbican having been complete; but now there is nothing left but one corner of the building, of the height of two storeys, showing the remains of arched roofs. There has been so much of the mist of fable raised around Thomas the Rhymer, that we doubt not that many

"It cannot be doubted," says Sir Walter Scott, "that Thomas of Ercildoune was a remarkable and important person in his own time, since, very shortly after his death, we find him celebrated as a prophet and as a poet. Whether he himself made any pretensions to the first of these characters, or whether it was gratuitously conferred upon him by the credulity of posterity, it seems difficult to decide. If we may believe Mackenzie, Learmont only verified the prophecies delivered by Eliza, an inspired nun of a convent at Haddington. But of this there seems not to be the most distant proof. On the contrary, all ancient authors, who quote the Rhymer's prophecies, uniformly suppose them to have been emitted by himself.”

Popular belief ascribed the Rhymer's prophetic skill to the intercourse that took place between the Bard and the Queen of Faery. He was supposed to have been carried off at an early age to the Fairy Land, where he acquired all that knowledge which afterwards made him so famous. Having been kept there for seven years, he was allowed to return to the earth, to enlighten and astonish his countrymen by his prophetic powers, having at the same time become bound to return to the Fairy Queen whenever he should receive her commands so to do.

According to Sir Walter Scott, the legend is that, "while Thomas was making merry with his friends in the Tower of Ercildoune, a person came running in, and told, with marks of fear and astonishment, that a hart and hind had left the neighbouring forest, and were composedly and slowly parading the street of the village. The prophet instantly arose, left his habitation, and followed the wonderful animals to the forest, whence he was never seen to return. According to the popular belief, he still drees his weird in Fairy Land, and is one day expected to revisit earth. In the meanwhile, his memory is held in the most profound respect. The Eildon Tree, from beneath the shade of which he delivered his prophecies, now no longer exists; but the spot is marked by a large stone, called Eildon Tree Stone. A neighbouring rivulet takes the name

of the Bogle Burn (Goblin Brook), from the Rhymer's supernatural visitants."

The strange history of Thomas the Rhymer is told in two ancient ballads, and as these are not of a length to forbid their being quoted, we think that we shall be pardoned for introducing them here, seeing that they belong so decidedly to the district which we are now describing.

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"True Thomas lay on Huntlie bank;
A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e;
And there he saw a ladye bright
Come riding down by the Eildon Tree.
"Her shirt was o' the grass-green silk,
Her mantle o' the velvet fyne;
At ilka tett of her horse's mane
Hung fifty siller bells and nine.

"True Thomas, he pulled aff his cap,

And louted low down to his knee-
All hail, thou mighty Queen of Heaven!
For thy peer on earth I never did see."

"Oh no, oh no, Thomas,' she said,

That name does not belang to me;
I am but the Queen of fair Elfland,
That am hither come to visit thee.
"Harp and carp, Thomas,' she said;
Harp and carp along with me;
And if ye dare to kiss my lips,
Sure of your bodie I shall be.'
"Betide me weal, betide me woe,

That weird shall never daunton me."
Syne he has kissed her rosy lips,

All underneath the Eildon Tree.

"Now ye maun go wi' me,' she said; True Thomas, ye maun go wi' me;

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And ye maun serve me seven years,
Through weal or woe, as may chance to be."

"She mounted on her milk-white steed;

She's ta'en True Thomas up behind;

And aye, whene'er her bridle rung,
The steed flew swifter than the wind.

"O they rade on, and farther on,

The steed gaed swifter than the wind;
Until they reached a desert wide,

And living land was left behind.

"Light down, light down, now, true Thomas,

And lean your head upon my knee;
Abide and rest a little space,

And I will show you ferlies three.

"O see ye not yon narrow road,

So thick beset with thorns and briars?
That is the path of righteousness,
Though after it but few inquires.
"And see ye not that braid, braid road,
That lies across that lily leven?
That is the path of wickedness,
Though some call it the road to Heaven.

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And see ye not that bonny road,

That winds about the fernie brae? That is the road to fair Elfland,

Where thou and I this night maun gae.

But, Thomas, ye maun hold your tongue,
Whatever ye may hear or see;

For, if ye speak word in Elflyn land,

Ye'll ne'er get back to your ain countrie.'

"O they rade on, and farther on,

And they waded through rivers aboon the knee, Aud they saw neither sun nor moon,

But they heard the roaring of the sea.

"It was mirk, mirk night, and there was nae stern light, And they waded through red blood to the knee;

For a' the blude that's shed on earth

Rins through the springs o' that countrie

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Syne they came to a garden green,
And she pu'd an apple frae a tree-

'Take this for thy wages, True Thomas;

It will give thee the tongue that can never lie."

My tongue is mine ain,' True Thomas said;

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A gudely gift ye wad gie to me!

I neither dought to buy nor sell, At fair or tryst where I may be. "I dought neither speak to prince or peer, Nor ask of grace from fair ladye.' Now hold thy peace!' the lady said,

For as I say, so must it be.'

"He has gotten a coat of the even cloth,
And a pair of shoes of velvet green;
And till seven years were gane and past,
True Thomas on earth was never seen."

There is something extremely amusing in the earnestness with which True Thomas pleads in the two penultimate verses against being deprived of the use of falsehood, by means of which only he could venture to have dealings in fairs or markets, or to address peers or princes, or perhaps ladies. There is a pretty piece of satire in this


"When seven years were come and gane,
The sun blinked fair on pool and stream;
And Thomas lay on Huntlie bank,
Like one awakened from a dream.

"He heard the trampling of a steed,
He saw the flash of armour flee,
And he bebeld a gallant knight
Come riding down by Eildon Tree.
"He was a stalwart knight and strong,
Of giant make he 'peared to be;
He stirred his horse, as he were wode,
Wi' gilded spurs of faushion free.
"Says-Well met, well met, True Thomas!
Some uncouth ferlies show to me.'
Says-Christ thee save, Corspatrick brave!
Thrice welcome, good Dunbar, to me!

"Light down, light down, Corspatrick brave!
And I will show thee curses three,
Shall gar fair Scotland greet and grane,
And change the green to the black livery.
"A storm shall roar this very hour,

From Ross's hills to Solway sea.' 'Ye lied, ye lied, ye warlock hoar! For the sun shines sweet on fauld and lea."

"He put his hand on the Earlie's head, He show'd him a rock beside the sea, Where a king lay stiff beneath his steed, And steel-dight nobles wiped their e'e. "The neist curse lights on Branxton hills: By Flodden's high and heathery side Shall wave a banner red as blude, And chieftains throng wi' meikle pride. "A Scottish king shall come full keen, The ruddy lion beareth he; A feathered arrow, sharp, I ween,

Shall make him wink and warre to see.. "When he is bloody, and all to bledde,

Thus to his men he still shall say:"For God's sake, turn ye back again,

And give yon southern folk a fray!
Why should I lose, the right is mine?
My doom is not to die this day.'

"Yet turn ye to the eastern hand,

And woe and wonder ye sall see,
How forty thousand spearmen stand
Where yon rank river meets the sea.
"There shall the lion lose the gylte,

And the libbards bear it clean away;
At Pinkyn Cleuch there shall be spilt
Much gentil bluid that day.'

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