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The next objects of interest on the Tweed are the old House of Drumelzier and the picturesque remains of the ancient fortalice belonging to it, called Tinnis, or Thanes Castle, which stands on the top of a hill above the house. It is said that travellers of every description were compelled to pay homage to Sir James Tweedie, the haughty Baron of Drumelzier. It so happened, that on one occasion he was told that a stranger, attended by a very small retinue, had passed by his mansion without paying the usual compliments of obeisance to its lordly owner. Fuming with rage, he instantly got to horse, and putting himself at the head of sixteen lances, all mounted like himself on white horses, as was his fancy, he pursued the stranger hot foot, until he overtook him at Glenwhappen, where, having found the man he sought, in the midst of his friends, he imperiously demanded to have him instantly given up to that corporal punishment which he was in the habit of inflicting in such cases. But what was the proud Tweedie's discomfiture when the stranger came forward, and was announced to him as James V., King of Scotland. Throwing himself upon his knees, he received the gracious pardon of his sovereign, coupled with a few befitting admonitions, and then he slunk away back to his barbarous hold, with humbled and mortified pride. A certain John Bertram, who had acted as the king's guide on this occasion, through the Drumelzier territory, received from his sovereign the lands of Duckpool for his reward. The grave of the celebrated Merlin, the wizard and soothsayer, was said to be under a thorn tree, a little below the churchyard of this parish. An ancient prophecy existed regarding it, in the following rude distich :—
"When Tweed and Pawsayle meet at Merlin's grave, Scotland and England shall one monarch have.” And this was said to have been fulfilled by an extraordinary flood which took place on the day that James VI. of Scotland was crowned king of England, when the river Tweed so far overflowed its banks, that it met and united itself to the burn of Pawsayle, at the spot which tradition had always marked out as the grave of Merlin. But this tradition would appear to be extremely apocryphal, seeing that we cannot understand how it happened that Merlin, who was a Welsh bard, and who was born at Caermarthen, about the year 460, should have wandered hither to find a grave. The only way in which it appears to be possible to reconcile this difficulty is by supposing, what is by no means unlikely, that this may have been the grave of some Scottish bard or soothsayer, whose fame having been as great in his own country as that of Merlin was all over Britain, and in the same way, may have had that distinguished name conferred on him by his countrymen as a mark of their admiration of him.
Hill are the remains of an ancient British camp; and it is worth remarking, that in the parish of Glenholm alone there are the ruins of no less than six old castles or towers. In a plain by the side of the Tweed are several mounds, in one of which was found a singular stone building, with a large stone cover, and within it was the skeleton of a man, with bracelets on his arms. An urn was found near to the skeleton. gather no information from any quarter as to what was the material of which the bracelets were composed, or what were the contents of the
Nearly opposite to Drumelzier, Biggar Water, augmented by that of Skirling, falls into the Tweed from the left. The banks of both these streams are thickly sown with Roman and other remains. They are, moreover, ornamented with several gentlemen's residences. On the Rachan
The general character of the river Tweed all along that part of its course which we have hitherto traced, is that of an exceedingly clear stream, trotting without any great degree of violence-that is to say, when not whipped into fury by the angry spirit of the storm and the flood-and finding its peaceful and harmless way over a beautiful pebbly bottom, and winding now to one side of the narrow valley, and now to the other, its banks being low, and rarely, though occasionally, fringed by a few dropping alders - the mountain side being generally green and unbroken, though here and there displaying accumulations of slaty stones, of a rich purple colour, indicating the nature of the rock under the surface. Angling for salmon in these waters is quite unavailing, as the fish that escape all the snares and interruptions that they have to encounter between Berwick and Peebles, do not arrive in these parts until they are quite out of season. But these are beautiful spawning grounds. It is not, however, always easy to defend the poor animals, whilst engaged in this interesting occupation, from the cruel leister or waster of the poacher. Like many other things, that are very nefarious in practice, there is much in the most destructive of practices that is productive of romantic and picturesque effect;-the darkness of the night-the blaze of the torches upon the water-the flash of the foam from the bare limbs of the men who are wading through the shallows, with their long poles, and many pointed and barbed iron headsor glancing from the prow of the boat, moving slowly over the deeper water, with its strange, unearthly figures in it. But let those who would find this given with a perfection that realizes the life, read the description of such a scene by Sir Walter Scott, in “Guy Mannering”—where they will find a piece of exquisite painting from nature, drawn by one who could use a leister on an occasion with any man upon Tweed. Upon the whole, we should be disposed to think that the English gentleman of rank, who is mentioned in a note in the edition of Pennecuik of 1815, as having been interrogated, after his return to his own country, as to what he thought of Tweeddale, was pretty correct in the reply he gave-"That he believed he could describe its surface in three words, as it almost everywhere consisted of a hill, a road, and a water;" and the author of the note goes on very successfully to add "which, indeed, with the addition of another hill, rising immediately from the opposite brink of the accompanying stream,
below the road, generally constitute the sum total | little sparkling stream as a tributary from them
of the objects that present themselves to the traveller. A flat, through which its glittering current meanders and ripples over a pebbly channel—a shepherd's cot, at the side of a rill in a recess, sometimes sheltered by a few trees or bushes-a cairn pointing the summit of a pyramidal mountain-a ring, once necessary to secure the herds and flocks, surrounding the upper part of an eminence—a deserted tower on the brow of a projecting height, of which there are many in the country, erected for habitations, for defence, and for beacons—whilst at times a mansion, embosomed in wood, occasionally animates the prospect." We cannot say that our recent observation enables us to assert, that the thirty-two years that have passed away since this description was given, though they may have somewhat narrowed the confines to which it was once applicable, have to any great degree enabled the face of the country to outgrow its accuracy.
But, below this, we find that, for some miles at least, the industry of man has done so much by cultivation and planting, both in the wide bottom of the valley, and on the sides of the hills, as to give to the whole quite the effect of an English country-the fields being well cultivated, and bounded by hedge rows. These enrichments are to be attributed to the exertions of two proprietors in the middle of last century-we mean to those of Sir Alexander Murray, of Stanhope, who enclosed and planted most part of the property of Stobo, which rises abruptly upwards from the left bank of the river, and for which much was done in addition by the late Sir James Montgomery, father of the present Sir Graham Montgomery. Sir James built the present Stobo Castle in 1810. The church of Stobo is above 500 years old. It is Gothic, and extremely curious. The other proprietor, to whom we have alluded, was Sir James Nasmyth, of Posso, whose improvements and plantations on the estate of Dalwick (for some time very improperly called New Posso, but now restored to its old name), which is on the right bank of the stream, were always held so much in admiration by the whole country, that comparisons were made to them as affording a measure of excellence by which to estimate others. He was a gentleman of much scientific acquirement; and, in addition to his ordinary gardens, he created others for extensive botanical collections, with green houses for rare plants; and on these he put the strikingly appropriate motto:"Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of
The house was square and ancient. The grounds were executed by Sir James, in the formal linear style of gardening, with avenues, vistas, ponds, statues, &c.; but the effect that resulted from all this, after the timber had undergone many years' growth, was extremely pleasing. The place occupies the whole of a considerably wide plain, stretching between the Tweed and the hills rising steeply behind it; and these are cut into by a glen, which, running up into their bosoms for some three or four miles, brings down a very pretty
to the river. Sir James's grandson, the present Sir John Murray Nasmyth-who fortunately happens to be a gentleman of remarkably fine taste— has done everything in his power to improve the beauty of this charming spot. The whole glen running up into the hills has been planted. The grand old wood, which hangs on the mountain sloping into the park, has had its terraces restored and added to; a new and very appropriate Scottish manorial house has been built, with all the necessary adjuncts of terraces, flower gardens, statues, vases, dials, flights of steps, and fountains; and the whole now exhibits itself as one of the most perfect bijoux that can be found anywhere in Scotland, or perhaps elsewhere, as a gentleman's residence. Some of the trees here are of large proportions, especially when we consider the upland country in which they grow; and we shall take the liberty of quoting from our own edition of Gilpin's "Forest Scenery," published above ten years ago, in order again to record the dimensions of one or two of them as they then existed. The horse-chesnut, which is a tree that was introduced into Europe from the East about the year 1550, could not have been transplanted into Scotland sooner than about the year 1620. Two of these trees, growing on a part of the lawn at Dalwick, which was formerly the garden, are certainly the oldest and finest in Scotland; or, perhaps, we should say that there are none equal to them, so far as we know, in Britain. They stand twelve feet apart from each other, but they support a mass of foliage that appears to belong but to one head, which takes a beautiful form, and covers an area of ground the diameter of which is ninetysix feet. The largest of the two is in girth, immediately above the root, sixteen and a half feet-at three feet high, it is twelve and a half feet-and it is of the same girth at six feet from the ground. The smaller tree is twelve and a half feet in circumference at the base, and ten feet at three feet high.' "Sir John Nasmyth has nine very picturesque larches at Dalwick. They take singularly irregular and fantastic forms, and throw out gigantic limbs. They were planted in 1725, a date which he says in his communication to us is doubtful, but which his father, the late Baronet, always positively declared was correct, being what his father, who planted them, had always told him, was the exact period of the establishment of the larches at Dalwick." The three largest of these are of the following girths: the crooked larch at Dalwick measures in circumference, at seven feet from the ground, that is, immediately under the spread of the limbs, fifteen feet; at four feet from the ground it measures nineteen feet, and its circumference immediately above the roots is nineteen feet. This singularly picturesque tree had one of its most important limbs torn away by lightning in the summer of 1820. The second larch tree is twelve feet in girth at three feet from the ground, and fifteen feet in girth immediately above the roots; and the third is eleven feet nine inches at three
feet from the ground, and fifteen feet in circum
ference immediately above the roots. There is an avenue of silver firs at Dalwick, most of the trees of which are nearly of equal magnitude, and all beautifully feathered down to within six feet of their roots. These were planted by the grandfather of the present Baronet, in 1735. One of these, which has by no means any great apparent pre-eminence over the others, measures seventeen feet in circumference immediately above the roots, eleven feet and a half at five feet from the ground, and ten feet and a half at thirty feet from the ground. The stem tapers up like a fishingrod to the very top; and the whole tree contains four hundred and ninety-five feet eleven inches, two parts of cubic measure, of timber; or, as we may safely say now, above five hundred cubic feet of measurable timber. These measurements speak well for the growth of wood in these the higher districts of the Tweed; indeed, extensive plantation appears now to be the only thing that is wanting to improve, not only the appearance of the country, but its climate.
At about half way between Stobo and Peebles, the river Lyne joins the Tweed from the left. It is supported by several tributaries, of which, perhaps, the Tairth is one of the most important. Their valleys afford some very pretty snatches of country here and there, and much has been done for their cultivation and ornament. There are some important country residences also on their banks; but the most beautiful and interesting of these is Castle Craig, the seat of Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, Bart. The plantations about it are of immense extent, very well grown, and exceedingly thriving. The house has little architectural character; but its site, on a swelling knoll, whence it commands views of the different valleys throughout the greater part of their extent, with long vistas of thick forest running up some of them, and surrounded by the lofty green hills which rise everywhere around, is altogether very charming. For our part, we regret here, as we do everywhere else in similar cases, that the name, which is modern, should have been fastened on it, instead of its ancient name of Kirkurd. The ruins of the old kirk of this name, with its ancient burial-ground, and many curious and picturesque monumental remains, now form the most interesting features in a beautiful flowergarden in the grounds, carefully preserved as they have been by, and enriched and hung with, shrubs and creepers of all kinds, so as to produce a spot of ground adapted for the most luxurious retirement and contemplation, calculated to awake meditations of the most devout and sublime description, and to bring frail man into direct communication with his Creator. There are several remains of British and Roman camps and stations in this neighbourhood. Below Kirkurd, the Tairth runs through a series of valuable water meadows, in a deep and uniform stream, resembling in character an English river, and we are much mistaken if it be not full of fine fat trouts. Fain would we have been enabled to have asserted this on our own angling experience, but so it happens that, often as we have enjoyed the hospitalities of Castle Craig,
and albeit that we were always filled with the deadly intent of making terrific work among the finny fry of the Tairth, the weather, which is not wont to be on every occasion friendly to the angler, always proved so unpropitious as to render it quite useless for us to put up our rod.
Perhaps the most interesting object connected with these tributary glens, now under our immediate consideration, is Drochil Castle, which stands between the Tairth and the Lyne, on the swelling ground a little above their junction. Of this Dr. Pennecucik says, "The nether Drochil hath been designed more for a palace than a castle of defence, and is of mighty bulk, founded, and more than half built, but never finished, by the then great and powerful Regent, James Douglas, Earl of Mortoun. Upon the front of the south entry of this Castle was J., E. O. M., James, Earl of Mortoun,' in raised letters, with the fetterlock, as Warden of the Borders. This mighty earl, for the pleasure of the place and the salubrity of the air, designed here a noble recess and retirement from worldly business, but was prevented by his unfortunate and miserable death, three years after, anno 1581; being accused, condemned, and executed by the maiden at the Cross of Edinburgh, as art and part of the murder of our King Henry, Earl of Darnley, father to King James the Sixth. This fatal instrument, at least the pattern thereof, the cruel Regent had brought from abroad, to behead the Laird of Pennecuick of that Ilk, who, notwithstanding, died in his bed, while the unfortunate earl was the first himself that hanselled that merciless maiden, which proved so soon after his own executioner." The maiden, which is a rude species of guillotine, is still preserved in the museum of the Scottish Society of Antiquaries. The site of this noble and interesting ruin is extremely beautiful between the two streams; and at about four miles above the junction of the Lyne with the Tweed, there are the vestiges of two very entire camps on the hill above it, which are called the Chesters, and there are several others in the neighbourhood.
Immediately in the angle between the Lyne and the Tweed, and above their junction, the summits of their rather elevated banks are connected by a heathy flat of considerable height. This is called the Sheriff's Muir. It commands extensive views up and down the valley of the Tweed, and up the tributary valleys of the Lyne, Tairth, and Mannor. It presents several appearances of monumental antiquities, which would lead to the conclusion that it had been the scene of some very ancient hostile struggle; whilst some stones would seem to indicate the site of a Druidical temple, and this with great probability, seeing that the site is just such as the Druids would have especially chosen. The name of the Sheriff's Muir, or Shire Muir, was given to this place because, when war occurred between England and Scotland, this was the spot on which the Sheriff was wont to summon the militia of the county to meet previous to their going on active service.
We must now go over to the right bank of the Tweed, in order to give a very general sketch of
the Mannor Water, a very beautiful, and more- | and misanthropical disposition, which he is said over, a very fine angling stream, which is made to have had from his birth, had been still more up of many branches, all discharging themselves soured by harsh treatment, and goaded to madinto its quiet and retired glen from some very ness by the cruel gibes of those who, forgetting steep and lofty surrounding mountains. There that they called themselves Christians, and being are many curious remains, both of British and possessed of the malevolent feelings of devils, Roman origin, to be found here, and it is filled made sport of the affliction with which Almighty with spots associated with the romantic times of God had been pleased to visit their poor neighBorder warfare. Among these are several Peel-bour, he retired into this lonely glen and built towers, each of which has, doubtless, its particular himself a small cottage, very much in the manner legends attached to it. Castle Hill, situated on the described by Sir Walter. This hovel we have top of a steep knoll, is a lofty ruin, the history of which seen, and the only difference between it and the is little known. One of the best preserved morceaux imaginary one on the Mucklestone Moor is, that of this description, is the old shattered tower of David had the good taste to select a spot sheltered Posso, from which the proprietor, Sir John Na- by one or two good trees, which altogether took smyth, Bart., takes his title. It stands prettily upon away that "ghastly" air and effect with which a knoll, the stream of the Mannor dancing past it, Sir Walter wished to envelop his Black Dwarf's and glittering in the sunshine-and its weather- dwelling. David's cot was built on Sir James beaten, war-worn, and shivered form, appears to be Nasmyth's property, without any leave being quite in keeping with the whole scene-and espe- asked or given; but the Baronet was too goodcially with the misty shapes of Scrape and the natured to give him the smallest disturbance on other high mountains that rise towards the upper that score. end of the glen. There were a great many timber trees about this part of the valley, but they were cut down a good many years ago, by Sir John Nasmyth's predecessor, and one or two only remain about the ruin to tell what their companions One of the most interesting remnants of "His skull, which was of an oblong and rather an the real good old Border times, is that of the unusual shape, was said to be of such strength that he Thieves' Road," so called vituperatively by those could strike it with ease through the panel of a door, or tasteless individuals who could not see the rothe end of a barrel. His laugh is said to have been quite mantic effect produced by their cattle being har-dissonant, corresponded well with his other peculiarities. horrible; and his screech-owl voice, shrill, uncouth, and ried and driven off by it, by a parcel of English There was nothing very uncommon about his dress. moss-troopers-its proper name being "the Moss- usually wore an old slouched hat, when he went abroad; Troopers' Road"-and it served equally well for and when at home a sort of cowl or night-cap. He never the nonce, for the removal and drift of cattle, finlike feet, but always had both feet and legs quite conwore shoes, being unable to adapt them to his misshapen, whether they were bound southwards from Scot- cealed, and wrapt up with pieces of cloth. He always land, or northwards from England. Although went with a sort of pole, or pike-staff, considerably taller its vestiges are very imperfect, it may be traced than himself. His habits were, in many respects, sinin a strictly linear direction from the Border, gular, and indicated a mind congenial to its uncouth taover Dollar Law and Scrape, and so crossing the bernacle. A jealous, misanthropical, and irritable temper Tweed below Stobo, and running directly north-formity haunted him like a phantom, and the insults and was his prominent characteristic. The sense of his deward; and doubtless Rob Roy himself knew every inch of it well.
This accidental allusion to Sir Walter Scott's hero reminds us that the valley of the Mannor Water is rendered peculiarly interesting by the circumstance of its having been the residence, in the beginning of the present century, of David Ritchie, the original dwarf, whose form and history suggested to Sir Walter his imaginary character of the Black Dwarf, Canny Elshie. Sir Walter Scott tells us, in his introduction to one of the late editions of the work, "that the personal description of Elshender, of Mucklestane-moor, has been generally allowed to be a tolerably exact and unexaggerated portrait of David, of Mannor Water. He was not quite three feet and a half high, since he could stand upright in the door of his mansion, which was just that height." For our part, we cannot help thinking that the character of the real David will be found more interesting than that of the ideal Elshender. He was the son of a slate quarrier in Tweeddale-was bred as a brush-maker in Edinburgh-travelled into various parts-and, after that naturally morose
We quote the following account of this most extraordinary character, at some length, from Mr. Robert Chambers, of Edinburgh, who, a high authority at all times, is the highest possible in regard to anything connected with his native county of Peeblesshire :—
scorn to which this exposed him, had poisoned his heart with fierce and bitter feelings, which, from other points in his character, do not appear to have been more largely infused into his original temperament than that of his fellow-men. He detested children, on account of their propensity to insult and persecute him. To strangers he was generally reserved, crabbed, and surly; and though he by no means refused assistance or charity, he seldom either expressed or exhibited much gratitude; even toand who possessed the greatest share of his good-will, he persons who had been his greatest benefactors, frequently displayed much caprice and jealousy. A lady, who had known him from his infancy, says, that although father's family as it was in his nature to show to any, yet Davie showed as much respect and attachment to her they were always obliged to be very cautious in their deportment towards him. One day, having gone to visit him with another lady, he took them through his garden, and was showing them, with much pride and good humour, all his rich and tastefully assorted borders, when they somewhat injured by caterpillars. Davie, observing one of happened to stop near a plot of cabbages, which had been the ladies smile, instantly assumed his savage scowling aspect, rushed among the cabbages, and dashed them to pieces with his Ként, exclaiming, I hate the worms, for they mock me!' Another lady, likewise a friend and Davie mortal offence, on a similiar occasion. Throwing old acquaintance of his, very unintentionally gave back his jealous glance, as he was ushering her into his
garden, he fancied he observed her spit and exclaimed with great ferocity, Am I a toad, woman! that ye spit at me?-that ye spit at me?' and, without listening to any answer or excuse, drove her out of his garden, with imprecations and insult. When irritated by persons for whom he entertained little respect, his misanthropy displayed itself in words, and sometimes in actions, of still greater rudeness; and he used, on such occasions, the most unusual and singularly savage imprecations and threats."
This strange ferocity was balanced, as Sir Walter tells us, by a wonderful admiration for the beauties of nature, not only as manifested by his great love for flowers; but "the soft sweep of the green hill, the bubbling of a clear fountain, or the complexities of a wild thicket, were scenes on which he often gazed for hours, and, as he said, with inexpressible delight." It was, perhaps, for this reason, that he was fond of Shenstone's Pastorals, and some parts of "Paradise Lost." The author has heard his most unmusical voice repeat the celebrated description of paradise, which he seemed fully to appreciate. His other studies were of a different cast, chiefly polemical. He never went to the parish Church, and was therefore suspected of entertaining heterodox opinions, though his objection was probably to the concourse of spectators, to whom he must have exposed his unseemly deformity. He spoke of a future state with intense feeling, and even with tears. He expressed disgust at the idea of his remains being mixed with the common rubbish, as he called it, of the churchyard; and selected, with his usual taste, a beautiful and wild spot in the glen where he had his hermitage, in which to take his last repose. He changed his mind, however, and was finally interred in the common burial-ground of Mannor Parish. David Ritchie affected to frequent solitary scenes, especially such as were supposed to be haunted, and valued himself upon his courage in doing so. At heart he was superstitious, and planted many rowans (mountain ash-trees) around his hut, as a certain defence against necromancy. For the same reason, doubtless, he desired rowan-trees to be set about his grave. His only living favourites were a dog and a cat, to which he was particularly attached; and his bees, which he treated with great care. He took a sister latterly to live with him, in a hut built at one end of his own-but he never once permitted her to enter his door, the extreme minutenes, of which formed a strange contrast to that of his sister. "She was weak in intellect, but not deformed in person; simple, or rather silly, but not, like her brother, sullen or bizarre. David was never affectionate to her; it was not in his nature, but he endured her. He maintained himself and her by the produce of their garden and bee-hives; and latterly, they had a small allowance from the parish. Besides, a bag was suspended in the mill for David Ritchie's benefit; and those who were carrying home a meldar of meal seldom failed to add a gowpen, or handful, to the alms-bag of the deformed cripple. In short, David had no occasion for money, save to purchase snuff, his only luxury, in which he indulged himself liberally. When he died, in the beginning of the present century, he
was found to have hoarded about twenty pounds, a habit very consistent with his disposition; for wealth is power, and power was what David Ritchie desired to possess, as a compensation for his exclusion from human society."
It was in the autumn of 1797 that Sir Walter Scott first saw this most extraordinary character. He was then on a visit to his friend, Dr. Adam Ferguson, the justly-celebrated philosopher and historian, who then resided at the mansion-house of Halyards, in the beautiful and retired vale of Mannor. We may easily imagine the keenness with which such a man as Sir Walter Scott would proceed to scrutinize and analyze, and fully to possess himself of all the points of a character of physique and morale so very uncommon as were those of "Bowed Davie Ritchie." The poet tells us that "Dr. Ferguson considered him as a man of a powerful capacity, and original ideas, but whose mind was off its just bias, by a predominant degree of self-love and self-opinion, galled by the sense of ridicule and contempt, and avenging itself upon society, in idea at least, by a gloomy misanthropy."
Perhaps we ought to apologise for having dwelt so long on what we may perhaps best call the natural history of this most extraordinary specimen of the animal man. But, unformed and misshapen as he came from the hands of his Great Creator, so far as his earthly frame was concerned, we have no reason to believe, nor is there any evidence to show, that the deformities of his mind were produced in him at his birth. On the contrary, those few redeeming points in his character that continued to break out at times, like glints of the sun, on his own peaceful Mannor Water, may fairly lead us to the conclusion, that, but for those demons in human shape or perhaps we should in charity rather say, those darkly ignorant creatures-who, forgetting the great goodness of God towards themselves, in constructing them perfectly, poured out taunts and vituperation upon him whom their Creator had less blessed, for those very deformities which he might, in his own good pleasure, have assigned to them-Davie Ritchie's miserable tenement of clay might have been tenanted by a soul filled with the kindliest and most benevolent charities of human nature. How dreadfully have they incurred the displeasure of the Divine Being! What have they not to answer for! And may we not fairly believe that poor Davy will be judged with an especial mercy! How beautiful is the glimpse we have of his soul panting after another and a better world!
There are several sweet places of residence on this Mannor Water; and that of Barns, immediately above its junction with the Tweed, is of considerable extent, and surrounded by wellgrown plantations.
We now come to what we consider the most romantic and most interesting spot, in regard to the picturesque, that we have yet met with, in all these upland districts of the river Tweed-that|narrow pass between the under and the upper parts of Tweeddale, which is defended by Neidpath