« PreviousContinue »
voters, their condition was instantly practised politician, that the proseculowered. The eagerness of the landiord tion of the Sheriff might serve, at least to have numerous voters, split their as well as his own censure by the farms into the smallest portions that House and the country, to attract pocould support life. It was enough for pular attention. In the debate on Mr the landlord that he could go to the Brownlow's motion of censure, the hustings with a mob of beggars at his Minister interfered, and recommended heels. From this increase of beggary, that the House should not come to a riot followed ; until Ireland is at this vote, “simply that neither party might hour the seat of poverty, contagion, have a triumph.” The suggestion was ignorance, and bloodshed.
acted upon, and Plunket's conduct was This franchise was fatal to the Irish left as it was found. Parliament; for it rendered the Union Parliament grew sick of inquiries a matter of stern necessity. Where the into the squabbles of aldermen and atelection was by the head, the Protest- torneys–Irish though they were ;ant property, intelligence, and allegi- the inquiry languished, becaine profitance, must have been overwhelmed by less, ridiculous, and dropped-leaving the Catholic multitude. The Parlia- the Sheriff to return in triumph to his ment must have, long before this, be- corporation dinners, the Dublin Aldercome altogether Romanist; and the man, King, to boast of having baffled result must have been a division of the the House, and the Irish Attorneyempire, or a furious and doubtful civil General to dream over the equal abwar. Nothing can be more fantastic surdity of Orangeman and Catholic, than to suppose that the power of vo- the harshness of ex officio informations, ting for members of Parliament is a and the easy loss of a lawyer's popunatural right. It is totally convention- larity. al-a British man has as natural right Some episodes and interludes lightto vote in a corporation or in the Ca- ened the heavier business of the clobinet, as to vote at the hustings. It is sing Session. The King's most mua privilege, and, like all privileges, nificent gift of his late Majesty's libmust be obtained by some equivalent. rary to the nation, brought up Lord Property, apprenticeship, public ho- Ellenborough from his retreat, since nours, &c., are its sources, and for it the failure of his furious measure of they must be visited. This privilege legislatorial foolery, the Marriage Act. conceded to the English Romanists may His Lordship curiously maintained be less formidable from their inferio- that the King had no right to give rity of number ; but a new stimulant away his own, and that he must keep is now given to proselytism--the eyes his gifts to himself, on pain of offendof ambitious men will be turned on ing Lord Ellenborough's opinion of this new material of power-demands the Constitution. The House laughed inconsistent with the Constitution will at the discovery, had the courage to be made by regular clients of Catholic accept of this obnoxious and unconstipopularity; and freedom and religion tutional present of books and MSS. ; may have yet to tremble at the conse- and even went the daring length of quence of this hazardous donative. transferring it to the keeping of the T'he English Catholics, scarcely more British Museum. To close this sketch than three thousand thirty years ago, with the most trivial and the most are now upwards of forty thousand; amusing incident of the year, Mr Canan enormous increase, which betraysning, in one of the debates on the Cathe vigour of proselytism in an unex- tholic question, gave Brougham the ampled degree.
Lie! with a directness, promptitude, The Session died away in an inquiry and effect, unequalled among the casinto the conduct of the Sheriff of Dub- tigations of the House. It gagged the lin, who had been charged with re- unfortunate orator for the night, and turning a packed jury, on the trial of for the season. Mr M‘Kerril had before the Orangemen for a riot at the theatre. silenced him out of doors; he is now A key to this singular and ineffective shut up from the habitual indulgence proceeding may be discoverable in the of his tongue within, and must hencedisapprobation fixed on the conduct of forth be as miserable as insolence and Mr Plunket. It probablyoccurred to this impotence can make him.
A SCOTS MUMMY.
To Sir Christopher North.
However, we'll say no more about You will remember, that, when you that, as matters stand, to-night; only and I parted last at Ambrose's, the hand me something of the phenomena following dialogue passed between us. of nature.” Perhaps you may have forgot; but it I came home here, and looked about was just at the head of the narrow en- me soon and late with a watchful eye, try, immediately under the door of and certainly saw many bright and that celebrated tavern, that it took beautiful appearances on the face of place; and, at the time when it be- the sky, and in the ever-varying hues gan, we were standing with our backs of the mountains ; still I had wittoward each other, in what I would nessed all these before ; so had every have called, had I been writing poe- old shepherd in these glens; and í try, a moveless attitude.
could not persuade myself that any of “ Mr Hogs, what is the reason that these was the particular thing, a deyou write to me so seldom?”
scription of which you wanted ; be• Faith, man, it's because I hae cause they were, in fact, no phenomenaething to write about.”
nons, if I understand that French “ Nothing to write about? For word properly, nor ever were viewed shame! how can you say so ? Have as such by any of our country people. you not the boundless phenomena of But at length the curiosity of two nature constantly before your eyes?". young shepherds, neighbours of my
“ O, to be sure, I hae ; but then—" own, furnished me with a subject that
In the meantime I was thinking to hit my fancy to a hair ; and the momyself, what the devil can this phe- ment that I first heard the relation, I nomena of nature be, when you inter- said to myself,
*** This is the very rupted me with, “None of your but thing for old Christy.” But thereby then’s, shepherd. A man who has such hangs a tale, which is simply and lian eye as you have, for discerning the terally as follows: goings on of the mighty elements, can On the top of a wild height, called never want the choice of a thousand Cowanscroft, where the lands of three subjects whereon to exercise his pen. proprietors meet all at one point, there You have the night, with her unnum- has been, for long and many years, bered stars, that seem to rowl through the grave of a suicide, marked out by spaces incomprehensible ; the day a stone standing at the head, and an dawn, and the sunshine ; the dazzling other at the feet. Often have I stood splendours of noon, and the sombre musing over it myself, when a sherhues that pervade the mountains, un- herd on one of the farms of which it der the congregated masses of im- formed the extreme boundary, and pending vapours."
thinking what could induce a young “ Gude sauf us, Christy's mair nor man, who had scarcely reached the half seas ower !" thinks I ; " but I prime of life, to brave his Maker, and maunna pretend no to understand him, rush into his presence by an act of his for fear he get intil a rage.-Ay, ye're own erring hand, and one so unnatuno far wrang, man," I says ; “ there ral and preposterous; but it never are some gayen good things to be seen once occurred to me as an object of atween the heaven an' yirth some- curiosity, to dig up the mouldering times. Weel, gude night, or rather bones of the culprit, which I considergude morning, honest Sir Christy. ed as the most revolting of all objects. I'll try to pick you up something o' The thing was, however, done last
month, and a discovery made of one By all means, Hogg. I insist on of the greatest natural phenomenons it. Something of the phenomena of that I ever heard of in this country. nature, I bescech you. You should The little traditionary history that took less at lambs and rams, and he remains of this unfortunate youth, is goats, Hogy, and more at the grand altogether a singular one. He was not phenomena of nature. You should a native of the place, nor would he drink less out of the toddy-jug, shep- ever tell from what place he came, but herd, and more at the perennial spring. he was remarkable for a deep, thoughtful, and sullen lisposition. There was about the hay-rick, going round it anul nothing against his character that any- round it, and he thought they were body knew of, and he had been a con- dressing it. If this asseveration apsiderable time in the place. The last proximated at all to truth, it makes service he was in was with a Mr An- this evident at least, that the unfortuderson of Eltrieve, who died about 100 nate young man had hanged himself years ago, and who had hired him du- after the man with the lambs came in ring the summer to herd a stock of view. He was, however, quite dead young cattle in Eltrieve Hope. It hap- when he cut him down. He had faspened one day in the month of Sep- tened two of the old hay ropes at the tember, that James Anderson, his mus. bottom of the rick on one side, (indeed ter's son, a boy then about ten years of they are all fastened so when first laid age, went with this young man to the on,) so that he had nothing to do but Hope one day, to divert himself. The to loosen two of the ends on the other herd had his dinner along with him; side; and these he tied in a knot round and, about one o'clock, when the boy his neck, and then, slackening his proposed going home, the former knees, and letting himself lean down pressed him very hard to stay and take gradually till the hay rope bore all his à share of his dinner ; but the boy re- weight, he contrived to put an end to fused, for fear his parents might be his existence in that way. Now the alarmed about him, and said he would fact is, that if you try all the ropes
that go home ; on which the herd said to are thrown over all the outfield hay him, “ Then if ye winna stay wi' me, ricks in Scotland, there is not one James, ye may depend on't l’ll cut my among a thousand of them will hang throat afore ye come back again." a colley dog—so that the manner of
I have heard it likewise reported, this wretch's death was rather a sinbut only by one person, that there had gular circumstance. been some things stolen out of his Early next morning Mr Anderson's master's house a good while before, servants went reluctantly away, and, and that the boy had discovered a sil- taking an old blanket with them for a ver knife and fork, that was a part of winding-sheet, they rolled up the body the stolen property, in the herd's pos- of the deceased, first in his own plaid, session that day, and that it was this letting the hay-rope still remain about discovery that drove him to despair. his neck, and then rolling the old blankThe boy did not return to the Hope et over all, they bore the loathed rethat afternoon; and, before evening, mains away the distance of three miles a man coming in at the pass called the or so on spokes, to the top of Cowan's Hart Loup, with a drove of lambs, on Croft, at the very point where the the way for Edinburgh, perceived Duke of Buccleuch's land, the laird of something like a man standing in a Drumelzier’s, and Lord Napier's meet; strange frightful position at the side of and there they buried him, with all one of Eldinhope hay-ricks. The dri- that he had on him and about him, ver's attention was riveted on this silver knife and fork and all together. strange, uncouth figure; and as the Thus far went tradition, and no one drove-road passed at no great distance ever disputed one jot of the disgusting from the spot, he first called, but re- oral tale. ceiving no answer, he went up to the A nephew of that Mr Anderson's, spot, and behold it was the above-men- who was with the hapless youth that tioned young man, who had hung day he died, says, that, as far as he can himself in the hay rope that was tying gather from the relations of friends down the rick. This was accounted a that he remembers, and of that same great wonder, and every one said, if uncle in particular, it is one hundred the devil had not assisted him, it was and five years next month, (that is, impossible the thing could have been September 1823,) since that event hapdone, for in general these ropes are so pened ; and I think it likely that this brittie, being made of green hay, that gentleman's information is correct. they will scarcely bear to be bound But sundry other people, much older over the rick. And the more to horrify than he whom I have consulted, prethe good people of the neighbourhood, tend that it is six or seven years more. the driver said, that when he first came They say they have heard that Mr in view, he could almost give his oath James Anderson was then a boy ten that he saw two people engaged busily years of age ; that he lived to an old age, upwards of four score, and it is off some portions of his clothes, which two-and-forty years since he died. were all quite fresh, and distributed Whichever way it may be, it was them among their acquaintances, sendabout that period some way, of that ing a portion to me among the rest, to there is no doubt. Well, you will be keep as natural curiosities. Several saying, that, excepting the small orna- gentlemen have in a manner forced me mental part of the devil and the hay- to give them fragments of these enrope, there is nothing at all of what chanted garments ; I have, however, you wanted in this ugly traditional retained a small portion for you, which tale. Stop a wee bit, my dear Sir I send along with this, being a piece Christy. Dinna just cut afore the of his plaid, and another of his waistpoint.' Ye ken auld fools an' young coat breast, which you will see are still bairns shouldna see things that are as fresh as that day they were laid in half done. Stop just a wee bit, ye the grave. His broad blue bonnet was auld crusty, crippled, crabbit, editor sent to Edinburgh several weeks ago, body, an' I'll let ye see that the grand to the great regret of some gentlemen phenomena of Nature's a' to come to connected with the land, who wished yet.
to have it for a keepsake. For my It so happened, sir, that two young part, fond as I am of blue bonnets, men, William Sheil and W. Sword, and broad ones in particular, I declare were out on an adjoining height, this I durst not have worn that one. There summer, casting peats, and it came was nothing of the silver knife and into their heads to open that grave in fork discovered, that I heard of, nor the wilderness, and see if there were was it very likely it should ; but it any of the bones of the suicide of would appear he had been very near former ages and centuries remaining. run of cash, which, I dare say, had They did so, but opened only about been the cause of his utter despair, for, one half of the grave, beginning at the on searching his pockets, nothing was head and about the middle at the same found but three old Scots halfpennies. time. It was not long till they came These young men meeting with anupon the old blanket, -I think they other shepherd afterwards, his curisaid, not much more than a foot from osity was so much excited, that they the surface. They tore that open, and went and digged up the curious rethere was the hay-rope lying stretched mains a second time, which was a pity, down alongst his breast so fresh, that as it is likely that by these exposures they saw at first sight it was made of to the air, and from the impossibility risp, a sort of long sword-grass that of burying it up again so closely as it grows about marshes and the sides of was before, the flesh will now fall to lakes. One of the young men seized dust. the rope, and pulled by it, but the old These are all the particulars that enchantment of the devil remained. I remember relating to this curiIt would not break, and so he pulled ous discovery; and I am sure you will and pulled at it till behold the body confess that a very valuable receipt came up into a sitting posture, with a may be drawn from it for the preserbroad blue bonnet on its head, and its vation of dead bodies. If you should plaid around it, as fresh as that day it think of trying the experiment on was laid in. I never heard of a pre- yourself, you have nothing more to servation so wonderful, if it be true as do than hang yourself in a hay rope, was related to me, for still I have not which, by the by, is to be made of had the curiosity to go and view the risp, and leave orders that you are to body myself. The features were all so be buried in a wild height, and I will plain, that an acquaintance might easi- venture to predict, that though you ly have known him. One of the lads repose there for ages an inmate of gripped the face of the corpse with his your mossy cell, of the cloud, and the finger and thumb, and the cheeks felt storm, you shall set up your head at quite soft and fleshy, but the dimples the last day as fresh as a moor-cock. remained, and did not spring out I remain, my worthy friend, yours again. He had fine yellow hair about very truly, nine inches long, but not a bair of it
JAMES Hogg. could they pull out, till they cut part Allriere Lake, Aug. 1, 1823. of it off with a knife. They also cut
LONDON ODDITIES AND OUTLINES.
No. II. The dramatic Deliciæ of this metro- placements, new gilding, new salaries, polis of the civilized world now consist new actors, new fooleries. Druryin two diminutive theatres, and with- Lane, by diminishing the area of its in their walls in two diminutive pieces. awkward and comfortless house, and The Hay-Market Theatre is busied by substituting cleanliness for squalidwith a translation from the French by ness, good actors for bad, and ShakKenny, under the touching appellative speare for exhausted comedies and of “ Sweethearts and Wives ," and the ribald farces, gathered the great theaEnglish Opera-House rests its popu- trical crop of the year. Covent-Garden larity upon Frankenstein, a dull adapt- is now condescending to follow, where ation from a mad romance. But both she once led, and is said to have comhave been too minutely described in mepced the work of building and the papers of the day to be worth much bronzing with a desperate courage ; to further dissertation. “ Sweethearts be varnishing at this hour with a reand Wives” is easy foollery, chiefly laid solution not to be overcome, and a soupon Liston, who is fooled “ to the lemn pledge to wear out her last brush, top of his bent.” An old Admiral rather than be again out-painted by that favourite monster of the stage, full mortal manager. Miss Stephens and of good humour and gout, courtship Liston remain to Drury-Lane out of and cudgelling, exploding perpetual the spoils of its rival; but Young has professional jokes, and other * damna- been recovered a great prize. Reyble iteration"-figures, in the shape of nolds holds the truncheon to which Terry, through the principal scenes. poets and scene-shifters bow with haLove is the business of all, and the bitual reverence at Drury-Lane. Sincomedy winds up with the awful spec- clair comes to counterbalance this detacle of four Marriages !-matter of fection, and comes loaded with laurels melancholy enough to have furnished and scudi, from potentates and pleniout the deepest sorrows of Melpomene. potentiaries innumerable. No slight But the stage has long ceased to be the expectations are formed of his success mirror of real life ; and the wedded here. He has been now four years in quartette actually go off in smiles and Italy. He left England with a fine song. There is some lively dialogue, natural voice, but with little science. and some pretty music, in this piece. He has since sung upon every princiMiss Chester, the heroine, displays her pal stage of the land of music, and no captivations with more than the cus- indolence or inaptitude could totally tomary peril of the stage. A female of repel improvement under such advanthe auspicious name of Love bears the tages. He ought to be by this time, second honours of beauty, flirtation master of his art, and if he be, he will and matrimony. The men are all as- have no rival to compete the honours siduous, amiable, tempting, and being of English popularity. tempted. The women are all resolute Frankenstein, a melo-drama adapton settling themselves for life. The ed from a mad romance, occupies the Admiral alone survives unfettered, and English Opera-house. The romance he scarcely consoles himself with the bears the name of Shelly’s wife, but strange felicity of nursing all the chil- was probably in a great degree written dren. But the play is, on the whole, by Shelly's pen. A singular and unamusing, and should be Kenny's en- happy turn of mind urged him to excouragement to trust to the Hay-Mar- travagance in his life, and in his auket for the next season, and during all thorship, and the novel of Frankenseasons to come. His MS. is said to stein is no unfaithful picture of a mind have lain two years at Drury-Lane, which seems to have been perpetually and to have been finally returned, as vibrating on the edge of a melancholy unsuitable to the purposes of the insanity. theatre. In spite of prediction it has The melo-drama is a lange of the triumphed, and will be played till the common miracles of the carpenter and fatal night that closes the portals of the scene-painter; the newly-created the Hay-Market. The coming season man is a monster, and the heroes and at Covent-Garden and Drury-Lane heroines not unfit companions for his approaches with haughty anticipations wildness, in probability and outrage. on both sides.-Displacements, re