Puslapio vaizdai


Still he proposed to bombard a large, though a help-| book of Jonah as a proper subject of consideration less city. He schemed the burning of so many and comment with these gentlemen. warehouses-the demolition of so many houses—the utter postration of streets and squares-for the honour of the British name; and the slaughter of innumerable women and children, in order to help

our sales of cottons, linens, woollens, and hardware

goods. The sale of the goods was a laudable object; but why propose to scatter our metal for nothing and worse than nothing-throwing it away in killing customers. Designedly, the man is no better than Louis Philipe's officer, who, by the same mail, we learn, has slain a thousand Cochin Chinese; and burned a number of their ships, as their first lesson in the Christian faith.

These Cochin-Chinese are desperate heathens, who would on no account listen to the Jesuitical and other missionaries sent amongst them by the Lyons Propaganda. We even believe that they dealt harshly by these gentlemen. What of that? The missionary is, or should be, a living martyr. He should have a martyr's spirit in him. He goes uncalled-he preaches unsought. He assails the prejudices of his hearers-he seeks their good, but they condemn him for endeavouring to do them evil. His work is noble, fearless, but it should be pacific. He has no right to claim the arm of war to enforce the persuasions of the Gospel. He is unjustifiable in reading lectures on the sermon of the Mount, or preaching discourses from the text, “Blessed is the peace-maker," through a hundred pieces of artillery, loaded by grape, with an Admiral of the tricolour for clerk.

That system will never thrive. It will not convert stubborn men. It may kill bodies, but it will not save souls; it may scatter brains, but it will never soften hearts. And as the Bishop of Exeter has been taught not to make deacons of his schoolmasters; so we doubt not that Louis Philippe will yet learn it may be by a bitter lesson not to make missionaries of his Admirals of the Red and Blue.

This, however, is not so directly the business of the British people, as it is to be thankful that Canton was not bombarded from any delay of the Chinese messengers. It would have formed a standing blot on the nation, and a foul blot-a spot of blood on our annals that would have stuck long, and sunk so deeply, that a great many Dr. Morrisons would have toiled long and earnestly before it could have been washed away. The duty of the electors is to see that their representatives are men who will put such fiery notions out of the minds of the officers whom they employ in distant quarters of the world, to secure the safety of our traders, but not to burn the houses, and break the limbs, or destroy the lives of their customers. The Bible, we fear, is greatly neglected in our fleets on the Chinese waters, though we suppose there are chaplains there; and we would recommend the last verse of the

Organic reforms seem to be forgotten. ballot, the franchise, the equalization of representation, sleep-but they only sleep. They are not dead. Their vitality remains; and, probably enough, before the next Parliament has run its

course, one or more, or all, will again come forward with greater power than they have yet attained.

Upon these topies, the next House of Commons will stand nearly like the.present. There is no reason to suppose that the number of independent and popular members will be fewer, while there may be some ground to expect that the mere hangers-on of any party in power-the moveable force-will be greater. This class of persons are always most successful in a calm. Men slide in safely then who would be shivered in a storm.

The Peel party, for example, will be greatly reduced. That seems the present probability. Wherever they have to stand a contest, they will enter the lists with a bad character. They cannot overcome the indecision of their position-they are neither whig, radical, nor conservative. It would, of course, be a noble thing to say they were But then the ridicule that would follow the saying honest men-perfectly independent of all parties. must be overwhelming.

Ireland will furnish a large number of nondescripts. The representation of that section of. he empire will come out very confusedly. The Whigs have the advantage of being in place. They can issue the most agreeable acknowledgments. They have the appointment to vacant places at present. The fact will tell for them powerfully, The old Tories, on the other hand-the Bentinck party— have the power and prestige of the country gentlemen; and the tenantry are at present in the land owner's agent's books for arrears. This misfortune, we suspect, will tell at the hustings. Famine, it will be found, canvasses most successfully.

The Repealers, at another time, might have made head-way south and west; but being at present engaged in maligning and saying all kinds of evil of each other, we presume that, in biting the shadow they will lose the substance, and meet the fate of the foolish dog, by failing to deserve the bone.

We expect more Whigs for the English counties; and both for them and the Scottish counties a few earnest and sincere farmers' men, determinedly set against game preserves--and those waste preserves that are known by the title of entail laws on the statute book.

There are two or three practical measures of reform to which the electors should pledge all candidates, or have nothing further to say to them than very emphatically, No. These game-laws need to be repealed. They are unfitted for a densely peopled country, and useless in the wilderness. Justice to sparrows requires that all other wild birds and fowls should be brought to their level in the eye of the law; and the equal rights of rats demand that no undue favour should be shown to other undomesticated four-footed

beasts. A departure from these simple principles | tional projects to justice, as to allow the children

has been productive of many crimes and much suffering to humanity. A return to them will give peace and solitude to many jailers. The trespass law can be kept stringent. That has nothing to do with the favouritism shown to game; and no rational man can expect-but by the way no rational man would expect, though we observe that some candidates for legislative honours say that they anticipate-a great accession of trespasssing from the repeal of the laws relating to game.


The entail laws are another of the most heinous nuisances from feudalism in existence. They are designed to preserve the integrity of large estates, and provide that they shall be very badly cultivated. They prevent a free trade in land, which is essential to healthy and profitable farming they prevent the multiplication of a middle class of owners-the squires, and the yeomen-most valuable classes, for whose decadence the most flourishing aristocracy cannot offer a return. They also secure the non-cultivation of those wastes of arable land that in every way disgrace and disfigure the three kingdoms, but especially Scotland. They create a pauperised class springing from the richest and the greatest families; and possessing at least two characteristics of the unjust steward. We scarcely need say more against the character of these laws they are their own scandal. They exist still-like a remnant of the past long out of its time-weak for good and powerful for evil. The electors should pledge their representatives to the repeal of those laws; and when they are at this work, they will do well by casting the law of primogeniture into the scale.

The Currency laws of Peel disorganise busi


They are a successful attempt to place the neck of industry under the heel of capital. They have worked out no benefit. They have created no new value. They have given no new security. They have not made employment steadier, nor trade more remunerative.

On the other hand they make all the other classes the periodical prey of the money class. Since the autumn of 1845, we have passed through a crisis which has made lenders and non-operative persons immensely richer, at the cost of spinning girls in Manchester, seamsters in London, knifegrinders in Sheffield-all who work, and all who buy and sell. We assume that the electors, after the recent near neighbourhood to national bankruptcy, will now, with the opportunity in their hands, provide for the extinction of these laws, by only returning members who are willing at least to repeal the obnoxious parts of those acts passed since 1845-the better plan is to repeal them altogether and to re-enact the few clauses that are accordant with free trade in money as men trade in any other commodity.

On the 25th ultimo, Lord John Russell stated his intention, so far to accommodate his educa

of Dissenters to attend the national schools, without being compelled to attend the national Church, or learn its catechism; to give grants to Dissenting schools, without intermeddling in their religious teaching; and to extend grants to Roman Catholic schools, in a way satisfactory to the Roman Catholic Institute.

These changes still leave the Minutes in many respects objectionable, though they are towards the course that we have been vigorously censured for advising. They are, however, only intentions expressed in the form of answers to a string of questions asked by arrangement, we have no doubt.

The endowment of the Roman Catholic priests in Ireland will be probably proposed in the next Parliament. O'Connell was a barrier, and is removed by death. That measure, from whatever quarter the funds were derived, would merely prop an evil injurious to Ireland in every respect. It would confirm the existence for a long period of a practice that works badly. It would consolidate the power of the Irish aristocracy, and we do not think that they have wielded their influence for the good of the Irish people. We rejoice to observe that nearly all new candidates are pledged against this course; and even a minority of electors, in many constituencies, can defeat it, if they will; and we trust they will remember that they have now to decide its merits, and that it is the grand question referred to the hustings and the polling-booths. One of two courses will be adopted respecting Ireland-to give more or less; and it will be most consonant with the interests of both religion and freedom, to adopt the latter plan.

In 1841 many candidates made statements which they explained at a convenient opportunity to mean something different from the general meaning attached to their language. In 1847 men will learn to ask the pledges in writing-to publish them with the signatures attached, and to place them out of the range of mis-reporting, a blunder of which we hear far oftener than it occurs.

There is another feature in these matters. Candidates often promise to support measures which they expect not to be proposed; and electors believe that they have done their duty when they have merely been trapped. It is not easy to trace every turning of a ready promiser; but generally by obtaining, not merely a reluctant assent to a given opinion, but an understanding that the candidate will join other members in urging the adoption of any course on the Government of the day

the danger to which we refer may be avoided. Six hundred and fifty-eight orators in the House of Commons would make a nice mess of business; but though we do not want them all to be speaking men, yet they can all sign roundrobins, and forward them to the captain, who will often rather grant the boon craved, than risk the mutiny supposed to lurk behind rejection.




AUGUST, 1847.


THE TWEED-Continued.


THE Banks of the Tweed abound in simple rural charms, as you proceed downwards from Elibank Tower, and they partake of that peaceful pastoral character which its green sided hills bestow upon it. But if their natural beauties were tenfold what they really are, they would afford but a weak attraction, compared to that which is created by a powerful combination of associations, in the place of Ashiestiel. This beautiful residence, hanging, as it were, on the brink of a steep wooded bank on the southern side of the Tweed, is the property of our old and much valued friend, General Sir James Russell, whose services to his country, added to those of Colonel Russell, his gallant father, might have imparted celebrity to any spot of earth with which they were connected. But we sufficiently know the pride which our old friend takes in the well-earned and wide-spread fame of his near relative, Sir Walter Scott, to make us quite aware that we are perfectly safe from any risk of exciting jealousy on his part, in ascribing the interest which attaches to Ashiestiel, to the circumstance of its having been so long the residence of our Scottish Shakspeare. Mr. Lockhart tells us, that in 1804, Scott feeling it to be his duty, as Sheriff of Selkirkshire, to hold a permanent residence in the County, and the house of Ashiestiel being vacant by the death of his uncle, Colonel Russell, its proprietor, and the absence of his son, the present General Russell, who was then a young man in India, he took a lease of the place, and there spent all those portions of the year, during which he was free from attendance on the Courts of Law at Edinburgh, down to about the end of 1811, when he had made his first small purchase of land at Abbotsford. Thus it was that all his poetical productions, until the publication of Rokeby, may be said to have been produced at Ashiestiel. Previous to this period of his history, Scott had spent his times of vacation in a cottage on the romantic banks of the Esk near Edinburgh. Thus it is, that he, himself, notices his change of abode: "I left, therefore, the pleasant cottage I had upon the side of the Esk, for the 'pleasanter banks of the Tweed,' in order to comply with the law, which requires, that the Sheriff be resident,


at least, during a certain number of months, within his jurisdiction. We found a delightful retirement by my becoming the tenant of my intimate friend and cousin-german, Colonel Russell, in his mansion of Ashiestiel, which was unoccupied during his absence on military service in India. The house was adequate to our accommodation, and the exercise of a limited hospitality. The situation is uncommonly beautiful, by the side of a fine river, whose streams are there very favourable for angling, surrounded by the remains of natural woods, and by hills abounding in game. In point of society, according to the heartfelt phrase of Scripture, we dwelt amongst our own people ;' and as the distance from the metropolis was only thirty miles, we were not out of reach of our Edinburgh friends, in which City we spent the terms of the summer and winter sessions of the Court, that is, five or six months in the year." But who is there who may have bestowed the least degree of study on the constitution of his mind, as gathered from his autobiography and his writings, both in poetry and in prose, who cannot feel with us the boundless expansion of heart which Scott must have experienced, when he found himself fairly established as the inhabitant of this retired residence, in full and easy command of the endless regions of such a wild, mountainous, and pastoral country, as that of Ettrick Forest, on which all his earliest affections had been most firmly fixed, as being more particularly that which he might call the land of his ancestors, where every stone, and brook, and hollow, and hillock, and grove, had its story attached to it, most of which had been long familiar to him, and this, at a time of life, when, notwithstanding his lameness, he was a young, healthy man, and, as we remember him, alike active, both on foot and on horseback, and when his intellect may be said to have been in its fullest vigour? We cannot help feeling persuaded, that those seven years, the whole vacations of which were spent at Ashiestiel, were by far the happiest of Scott's life, doubly relished as they must have been, from the intermediate periods of professional confinement. He enjoyed that sort of possession of the place, that might be called nearly equal to that of

It is thus, that throwing his intelligent and poetical mind back into the days of the olden time, and contrasting them with those which were then present to him, he describes, in general terms, the scenery of Ettrick Forest, through which he daily wandered, conjuring up a thousand romantic circumstances, and clothing them, as he went, with the most enchanting accessories belonging to ancient days which are now no more.


the proprietor himself. He had more than ordi- | planted and pruned for him during his absence. nary interest in it, from its being the patrimonial 'But," adds Mr. Lockhart, "he retained to the property of his cousin-german. He was left at end of his life a certain tenderness of feeling' full liberty to plant and prune, and make such towards Ashiestiel, which could not, perhaps, be alterations and improvements, as cost but little, better shadowed than in Joanna Baillie's similiand which yet furnished an agreeable occupation, tude." And this was the letter which this most and created an additional interest to the inhabi- distinguished lady wrote to him upon this occatant of the place, and above all, he was free from sion ;-" Yourself, and Mrs. Scott, and the chilall those carking cares of lairdship, or land-owner- dren, will feel sorry at leaving Ashiestiel, which ship, of the extent of which no one, who does not will long have a consequence, and be the object of possess land, can possibly have any just notion. kind feelings with many, from having once been Brimful, as he doubtless was, of the consciousness the place of your residence. If I should ever be of the wonderful talent that was in him-burning happy enough to be at Abbotsford, you must take to give it way-and every fresh effort that he made me to see Ashiestiel too. I have a kind of tenderto do so being hailed by the loudest plaudits, not ness for it, as one has for a man's first wife, when only of his friends or of his countrymen alone, you hear he has married a second." The expres but of the whole reading world—and all this be- sions of Scott's honest, but plainer friend, James ing to him, all the while, as little more than the Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, are equally striking ; mere wanton sport of his youth-we cannot look "Are you not sorry at leaving auld Ashiestiel for for one moment on Ashiestiel, without believing, gude and a', after having been at so much trouble that for seven years of his life, it was the para- and expense in making it a complete thing? dise of Sir Walter Scott. Upon my word, I was, on seeing it in the papers." Were we to indulge in our own speculations on a subject which might be considered as perhaps too delicate to admit of any such interference with it, especially if pushed to any great extent, we should begin by stating our belief that Sir Walter Scott, if he could have subdued the ambitious desire which seems to have possessed him of making himself the head of a family of landed estate, and could have contented himself with being the comfortable tenant of other people's places of residence, might have been even yet walking about, as hale and hearty among us as we now happily see a number of his dearest and most intimate friends and contemporaries. And, although we should have been grieved to the heart, if he could have been supposed to have gone on writing till he had written himself out, we cannot help feeling persuaded that he might have made very large additions to his voluminous works, and with the fullest chance that they might have been quite as vigorous in composition and in writing, if not perhaps more so than some of his latest existing productions. And then, alas! how sad and melancholy it is for us to have lived to behold the utter annihilation of that aerial vision, which he followed throughout his whole life as a reality, and which has so quickly and so entirely melted away -that already, in the course of but a very small number of years, his whole male representatives should be extinct ! May Almighty God bring this great and striking lesson on the futility of all human hopes, and the perishable nature of all human plans, fully home to the breast of every one who may be called upon to reflect on it!

"The scenes are desert now, and bare,
Where flourished once a forest fair,
When these waste glens with copse were lined,
And peopled with the hart and hind.
Yon thorn, perchance, whose prickly spears
Ilave fenced him for three hundred years,
While fell around his green compeers—
Yon lonely thorn, would he could tell
The changes of his parent dell,
Since he, so grey and stubborn now,
Waved in each breeze a sapling bough;
Would he could tell how deep the shade
A thousand mingled branches made;
How broad the shadows of the oak,
How clung the rowan to the rock,
And through the foliage showed his head,
With narrow leaves and berries red;
What pines on every mountain sprung,
O'er every dell what birches hung,
In every breeze what aspens shook,
What alders shaded every brook!
Here in the shade,' methinks he'd say,
The mighty stag at noontide lay;
The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game
The neighbouring dingle bears his name),
With lurching step around me prowl,
And stop, against the moon to howl;
The mountain boar, on battle set,
His tusks upon my stem would whet;
While doc, and roe, and red deer good,
Have bounded by, through gay greenwood.'
Mr. Lockhart says, and we believe with the
greatest truth: "that Scott had many a pang in
quitting a spot which had been the scene of so
many innocent and noble pleasures, no one can
doubt; but the desire of having a permanent
abiding place of his own, in his ancestorial district,
had long been growing upon his mind." And
indeed, he was amply repaid for all that he did at
Ashiestiel, by seeing his gallant and much-loved
cousin, General Russell, sit down at length among
the trees which he, as an affectionate kinsman, had

Mr. Stoddart, in his excellent recent publica tion, "The Angler's Companion," says—“It is not until it reaches Ashiestiel that Tweed is looked upon by salmon-fishers with much regard. Higher up the fish killed by the rod are compa ratively few, and these, most of them, in execrable condition."

The Cadon water comes rapidly down from the high hills to the north, and running through the parish of Stow, it throws itself into the Tweed

a little below Clovenfords. This point of junction used to be a favourite rendezvous with the angler ; and we have ourselves thrown at least as many lines into the streams of the Tweed here, as, if arranged in pages, might have made a good thick volume. But the water must be in prime condition, and the fish in a particularly taking humour, when we come to this part of the river, to enable us sufficiently to abstract ourselves from the enjoyment of the exquisite scenery which here suddenly bursts upon us, so as to be able to pay the requisite attention to rod, line, and flies, to secure that success which every angler must necessarily desire. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the Tweed; and well do we remember the day when, wandering in our boyhood up hither from Melrose, we found ourselves for the first time in the midst of scenery so grand and beautiful. The rod was speedily put up, and the fly-book was We wandered exchanged for the sketch-book. about from point to point, now and then reclining on the grass, and sometimes, from very wantonness, wading into the shallows of the clear stream; and so we passed away some hours of luxurious idleness, the pleasures of which we shall never

cease to remember.


A very short description of the scenery must On the right bank stands the charming residence of Yair, belonging to the very old family of Pringle of Whytbank. The house is surrounded by a lofty amphitheatre of hill, covered with timber of the most ancient and luxuriant growth, and the green lawn stretches towards the clear pebbly-bottomed river, which there runs past it in an unbroken, wide, and gentle, it though lively stream, making music as goes. Lower down, where the pass narrows, it assumes the character which Scott gives it in the following verses, in which he so feelingly alludes to the late Alexander Pringle, Esq., of Whytbank, and his interesting family of boys, the eldest of whom is the present Alexander Pringle, Esq., recently one of the Lords of Her Majesty's Treasury; the rest of them have been since scattered over the world, and have undergone all the various vicissitudes of life. which form part of the introduction to the second canto of Marmion, are so extremely beautiful, that we shall make no apology for quoting them :

"From Yair-which hills so closely bind,

Scarce can the Tweed his passage find,
Though much he fret, and chafe, and toil,
Till all his eddying currents boil-
Her long-descended lord is gone,
And left us by the stream alone.
And much I miss those sportive boys,
Companions of my mountain joys,
Just at the age 'twixt boy and youth,

The lines,

When thought is speech, and speech is truth.
Close to my side, with what delight,
They pressed to hear of Wallace wight,
When, pointing to his airy mound,
I called his ramparts holy ground!
Kindled their brows to hear me speak;
And I have smiled to feel my cheek,
Despite the difference of our years,
Return again the glow of theirs.
Ab, happy boys! such feelings pure,
They will not, cannot long endure;
Condemned to stem the world's dark tide,
You may not linger by the side;

But Fate shall thrust you from the shore,
And Passion ply the sail and oar.
Yet cherish the remembrance still,
Of the lone mountain, and the rill;
For trust, dear boys, the time will come,
When fiercer transport shall be dumb,
And you will think right frequently,
But, well I hope, without a sigh,
On the free hours that we have spent,
Together, on the brown hill's brent."

In his first voyage to India, it was the lot of one of those young gentlemen to be involved in all the terrors and perils of the Kent East Indiaman that was burned at sea.

On the left bank of the Tweed, opposite to the Yair, is the fine old Scottish mansion of Fairnielee, belonging to the Pringles of Clifton. It af fords a very interesting specimen of the Scottish style of architecture, and its old hedges and terraces, and the grand ancient timber by which it is surrounded, complete the richness of the seenery of this part of the river. The Bridge of Yair furnishes another happy feature in the scene, soon after passing which, the hills open out above Sunderland Hall, into an extensive plain, immediately above the junction of the Ettrick with the Tweed. The vale of the latter river now expands, and the prospect downwards becomes of the richest description; but before proceeding to enter upon it, we must concisely discuss the course of that important tributary the Ettrick, as well as that of its sub-tributary the Yarrow, and these two embrace so large a tract of country, including almost the whole forest, that it would seem that volumes must be absorbed in the notice of it.

But our readers have been already pretty well informed as to the general nature of this country, both as it was in the olden time and as it is now, from the matter which we have already brought before them, and especially from Scott's own highly descriptive verses. How, indeed, should we delight to luxuriate in imagination over the whole of the forest as it was when in its wildest state, when human dwellings were few in it, and thinly scattered-and where the wanderer might now come unexpectedly upon the humble cottage in some retired dingle, or be startled by the sudden appearance of the frowning outworks of some tower or peel judiciously pitched on some position of natural strength! whilst the lonely church of St. Mary's or some other smaller chapels, to be found set down here and there, in the midst of these woodland wilds, might be supposed to produce some degree of peaceful influence on the rude and stormy bosoms of those who dwelt in cot or tower. Then think of the animal life with which the whole of these sylvan districts were filled, and the picturesque pursuit of the woodcraft which it naturally croated. The magnificent urus, bison, or wild bull itself, rushing through the coverts, and glaring fearfully at the passenger who disturbed him from his lair. One head in the hall at Abbotsford, found in a neighbouring moss, indicates an animal three times the size of the wild cattle kept at Chillingham. Let all these picturesque circumstances be mingled with those love-mak

« AnkstesnisTęsti »