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ried many off the stage,) of such a nature and manner, that our old physicians had never seen the like, and could make no help; for all things that used to be proper remedies proved destructive: And this was not to be imputed to bad unwholesome victual; for severals, who had plenty of old victuals, did send to Glasgow for Irish meal, and yet were smitten with fluxes and fevers in a more violent and infectious nature and manner than the poorest in the land, whose names and places where they dwelt I could instance.
will be obliged to bury bim in my own yard. We went, and there were eight of us had two miles to carry the corpse of that young man, many neighbours looking on us, but none to help us. I was credibly informed, that in the north, two sisters on a Monday's morning were found carrying the corpse of their brother on a barrow with bearing ropes, resting themselves many times, and none offering to help them.
These unheard of manifold judgments continued seven years not always alike, but the seasons, summer and winter, so cold and barren, and the wonted heat of the sun so much withholden, that it was discernible upon the cattle, flying fowls and insects decaying, that seldom a fly or gleg was to be seen: Our harvest not in the ordinary months; many shearing in November and December, yea some in January and February; the names of the places I can instruct: Many contracting their deaths, and losing use of their feet and hands, shearing and working amongst it in frost and snow: And after all some of it standing still, and rotting on the ground, and much of it for little use neither to man or beast, and which had no taste or colour of meal.
Meal became so scarce, that it was at two shillings a peck, and many could not get it. It was not then with many, where will we get silver? But, where will we get meal for silver? I have seen when meal was all sold in markets, women clapping their hands, and tearing the clothes off their heads, crying, How shall we go home and see our children die in hunger? they have got no meat these two days, and we have nothing to give them.
I have seen some walking about the sun setting, and to-morrow, about six o'clock in the summer morning, found dead in their houses, without making any stir at their death, their head lying upon their hand, with as great a smell as if they had been four days dead, the mice or rats having eaten a great part of their hands and arms.
Many had cleanness of teeth in our cities, and want of bread in our borders; and to some the staff of bread was so utterly broken, (which makes complete famine,) that they did eat, and were neither satisfied nor nourished; and some of them said to me, that they could mind nothing but meat, and were nothing bettered by it; and that they were utterly unconcerned about their souls, whether they went to heaven or hell.
Through the long continuance of these manifold judgments, deaths and burials were so many and common, that the living were wearied in the burying of the dead. I have seen corpses drawn in sleds, many neither got coffin nor winding-sheet. I was one of four who carried the corpse of a young woman a mile of way; and when we came to the grave, an honest poor man came and said, You must go and help me to bury my son, he is lain dead these two days, otherwise I
The nearer and sorer these plagues seized, the sadder were their effects, that took away all natural and relative affections, so that husbands had no sympathy with their wives, nor wives with their husbands, parents with their children, nor children with their parents. These and other things have made me to doubt if ever any of Adam's race were in a more deplorable condition, their bodies and spirits more low, than many were in these years.
The crowning plague of all these great and manifold plagues was, many were cast down, but few humbled; great mourning, many groaning, under the effects of wrath, but few had sight or sense of the causes of wrath, in turning to the Lord. And, as soon as these judgments were removed, many were lift up, but few thankful; even those who were as low as any that outlived these scarce times, did as lightly esteem bread as if they had never known the worth of it but the want of it. The great part turned more and more gospel proof, and judg
ment proof, and the success of the gospel took a stand at that time in many places of the land.
Laird said, Poor conscionable things! go your way, I have nothing to say to you. One of them got service, and the other died in want; it was her burial I mentioned before, who was carried by us four. But lo, in a very few years, he and his were begging from door to door, whom I have served at my door, and to whom I said, Who should have pity and sympathy with you, who kept your victual spoiling, waiting for a greater price, and would spare nothing of your fulness to the poor, and was so cruel to the two starving lasses, that you took prisoners for four stocks of kail to save their lives, ye may read your sin in your judgment, if ye be not blind in the eyes of your soul, as ye are of one in your body, and may be a warning to all that come after you. Many yet alive in that country side can witness the truth of all these strange things.
King William his kindness is not to be forgotten, who not only relieved us from tyranny, but had such a synpathy with Scotland, that they might do it custom free, and have twenty pence of each boll.
I cannot pass this occasion of giving remarks upon some observable providences that followed these strange judgments, upon persons who dwelt in low-lying fertile places, who laid themselves out to raise markets when at such a height, and had little sympathy with the poor; or those who lived in cold muirish places, who thought those who lived in these fertile places had a little heaven. But soon thereafter their little heavens were turned into little hells by unexpected providences. Some wrote sixteen remarks upon that terrible fire which fell out on the 2d or 3d February 1700, in the Parliament Close in Edinburgh; one was, that it was most of those people who dwelt there were rich, and lived sumptuously, and had little sympathy with the distressed case of the land; that their fine houses, which were eleven years in building, were, in a few hours, turned to a burnt ruinous heap. But, more especially, there was a farmer in the parish of West Calder, (in which parish 300 of 900 examinable persons died,) who at that time was reckoned worth 6000 merks of money and goods, that had very little to spare to the poor; the victual lay spoiling in his house and yard, waiting for a greater price; and two honest servant lasses, whose names were Nisbets, being cast out of service, (for every one could not have it; many said, they got too much wages that got meat for work,) these two lasses would not steal, and they were ashamed to beg. They crept into an empty house, and sat there, wanting meat until their sight was almost gone; and then they went about a mile of way to that farmer's yard, and cut four stocks of kail to save their lives. He found them, and drove them before him to the Laird of Bawd, who was a justice of peace, that he might get them punished. The Laird inquired what moved them to go by so many yards, and go to his? They said, These in their way were in straits themselves, and he might best spare them. The
CANZONE OF TASSO.
I HAVE seen several very beautiful translations from different Italian poets in your Magazine, and I now take the liberty of sending you a Canzone of Tasso, which is in a very different tone from any other which I have read in Italian. It is translated from one of the "Rime Amorose," beginning "Questa ch' al cieco volgo tanto s'apprezza." The poet seems to have been labouring under the pangs of jealousy when he wrote this amorous Canzone, and he indulges in a strain of the bitterest abuse against beauty. I have done all I could to preserve the spirit of the original, and at the same time to give the author's meaning as literally as possible. I am, Sir, your most obedient servant, S.
Edinburgh, 30th June 1820.
As in a meadow amid flowerets gay,
As in a vase that jewels rich inlay,
FATHER! with reverence and with love I greet
Is hid the direful draught whose taste is Your letters,-in the which I feel how well
As oft the apple fair is gnawed away,
Of my return to Florence. You have bound
To feed the meannesses of little minds—
From the quick lips of bitter friends, as
That by a law touching men's banishment,
of the actual interest which they have in it. This is not so with their demand for food or raiment, or any article which ministers to the necessities of our physical nature. The more destitute we are of these articles, the greater is our desire after them. In every case, where the want of any thing serves to whet our appetite, instead of weakening it, the supply of that thing may be left, with all safety, to the native and powerful demand for it, among the people themselves. The sensation of hunger is a sufficient guarantee for there being as many bakers in a country, as it is good and necessary for the country to have, without any national establishment of bakers. This order of men will come forth, in number enough, at the mere bidding of the People; and it never can be for want under the want of aliment for the of them, that society will languish human body. It is wise in government to leave the care of the public good, wherever it can be left safely, to the workings of individual nature; and, saving for the administration of justice between man and man, it were better that she never put out her hand either with a view to regulate or to foster any of the operations of common merchandise.
The sun in glory rais'd his head,
But the case is widely different, when the appetite for any good is short of the degree in which that good is useful or necessary; and, above all, when just in proportion to our want of it, is the decay of our appetite towards it. Now this is, generally speaking, the case with religious instruction. The less we have of it, the less we desire to have of it. It is not with the aliment of the soul, as it is with the aliment of the body. The latter will be sought after; the former must be offered to a people, whose spiritual appetite is in a state of dormancy, and with whom it is just as necessary to create a hunger, as it is to minister a positive supply. In these circumstances, it were vain to wait for any original movement on the part of the receivers. It must be made on the part of the dispensers. Nor does it follow, that because government may wisely abandon to the operation of the principle of demand and supply, all those interests, where the desires of our nature, and the necessities of our nature, are adequate
And Clutha's banks again were green.
For these I need not prostitute my fame,
In my own heart I'll look at Italy.
LINES DESCRIPTIVE OF A
THE moonbeam play'd on Strona's rill,
And Clutha, like a silver lake,
Reflected back its blaze of light; The echoing whispers from the brake, Stole sweetly on the hum of night. The lovely flowers which wildly grow,
Were glancing with the dews of night; The little lambs, like wreathes of snow,
Were sleeping on the mountain's height.
And dimness wrapt the distant view,
The Highland shores were dark and dun,
Roll'd their dark waves from clime to
Mine eye, 'twas fix'd—my mind, 'twas free,
And gaz'd on worlds revolving round.
On earth-on ocean-on the sky : And midst its revels of delight,
I heard it whisper-" they must die." But while I lingering mus'd-night filed, The moon grew dim-no stars
EXTRACTS FROM DR CHALMERS's
IT is perhaps the best among all our more general arguments for a religious establishment in a country, that the spontaneous demand of human beings for religion is far short
the one to the other, she ought, therefore, to abandon all care of our interest, when the desire, on the part of our species, is but rare, and feeble, and inoperative, while the necessity is of such a deep and awful character, that there is not one of the concerns of earthliness which ought, for a moment, to be compared with it.
This we hold to be the chief ground upon which to plead for the advantage of a religious establishment. With it, a church is built, and a teacher is provided, in every little district of the land. Without it, we should have no other security for the rearing of such an apparatus, than the native desire and demand of the people for Christianity, from one generation to another. In this state of things, we fear, that Christian cultivation would only be found in rare and occasional spots over the face of extended territories; and instead of that uniform distribution of the word and ordinances, which it is the tendency of an establishment to secure, do we conceive that in every empire of Christendom, would there be dreary, unprovided blanks, where no regular supply of instruction was to be had, and where there was no desire after it, on the part of an untaught and neglected population.
We are quite aware, that a pulpit may be corruptly filled, and that there may be made to emanate from it, the evil influence of a false or mitigated Christianity on its surrounding neighbourhood. This is an argument, not against the good of an establishment, but for the good of toleration. There is no frame-work reared by human wisdom, which is proof against the frequent incursions of human depravity. But if there do exist a great moral incapacity on the part of our species, in virtue of which, if the lessons of Christianity be not constantly obtruded upon them, they are sure to decline in taste and in desire for the lessons of Christianity; and if an establishment be a good device for overcoming this evil tendency of our nature, it were hard to visit, with the mischief of its overthrow, the future race either of a parish or of a country, for the guilt of one incumbency, or for the unprincipled patronage of one generation. We trust, therefore, in the face of every corruption which has been alleged against them, that our
parochial establishments will stand, so as that churches shall be kept in repair, and ministers, in constant succession, shall be provided for them. At the same time, we hope that no restriction whatever will be laid on the zeal and exertion of dissenters; and that any legal disability, under which they still labour, will, at length, be done away. The truth is, that we know not a better remedy against the temporary and incidental evils of an establishment, than a free, entire, and unexcepted toleration; nor how an endowed church can be more effectually preserved, either from stagnation or decay, than by being ever stimulated and kept on the alert, through the talent, and energy, and even occasional malignity and injustice of private adventurers. Still, however, such is our impression of the overwhelming superiority of good done by an establishment, that, in addition to the direct Christian influence which it causes to descend upon the country, from its own ministers, we regard it as the instrument of having turned the country into a fitter and more prepared field, for the reception of a Christian influence from any other quarter. Insomuch, that had the period of the reformation from Popery, in Britain, been also the period for the overthrow and cessation of all religious establishments whatever, we apprehend that there would not only have been no attendance of people upon churches, but a smaller attendance of people upon meeting-houses, than there is at this moment. They are our establishments, in fact, which have nourished and upheld the taste of the population for Christianity; and when that taste is accidentally offended, they are our establishments which recruit the dissenting places of worship with such numbers as they never would have gotten out of that native mass which had been previously unwrought, and previously unentered on.
In order that men may become Christians, there must either be an obtruding of Christianity on the notice of the people, or the people must be waited for, till they move themselves in quest of Christianity. We apprehend that the former, or what may be called the aggressive way of it, is the most effectual. Nature does not go forth in search of Christianity,