« VorigeDoorgaan »
Che Deart of Felid:Lofiiai.
Near, Land o' Cakes and brither Scots,
I rede ye tent it;
An' faith he'll prent it !-BURNS,
INTRODUCTION-(1829.) As my kitchen and parlour were not very far dis
tant, I one day went in to purchase some chickens Tile author has stated, in the preface to the from a person I heard offering them for sale. 10 Chronicles of the Canongate, 1827, that he received was a little, rather stout-looking woman, who from an anonymous correspondent an account of seemed to be between seventy and eighty years of the incident upon which the following story is age; she was almost covered with a tartan plaid, founded. He is now at liberty to say, that the in- and her cap had over it a black silk hood, tied formation was conveyed to him by a late amiable under the chin, a piece of dress still much in use and ingenious lady, whose wit and power of re- among elderly women of that rank of life in Scotmarking and judging of charac'er still survive in land; her eyes were dark, and remarkably lively the memory of her friends. Her maiden name and intelligent; I entered into conversation with was Miss Helen Lawson, of Girthhead, and she her, and began by asking how she maintained herwas wise of Thomas Goldie, Esq. of Craigmuie, self, &c. Commissary of Dumfries.
“ She said that in winter she footed stockings, Her communication was in these words :
that is, knit feet to country-people's stockings, which “ I had taken for summer lodgings a cottage near
bears about the same relation to stocking-knitting the old Abbey of Lincluden. It had formerly been that cobbling does to shoe-making, and is of course inhabited by a lady who had pleasure in embellish- both less profitable and less dignified; she likewise ing cottages, which she found perhaps homely and taught a few children to read, and in summer even poor enough; mine, therefore, possessed many
she whiles reared a few chickens. marks of taste and elegance unusual in this species “ I said I could venture to guess from her face of habitation in Scotland, where a cottage is literally she had never been married. She laughed heartily what its name declares.
at this, and said, 'I maun bae the queerest face “ From my cottage door I had a partial view of that ever was seen, that ye could guess that. Now, the old Abbey before mentioned; some of the do tell me, madam, how ye cam to think sae ?' I highest arches were seen over, and some through, told her it was from lier cheerful disengaged the trees scattered along a lane which led down countenance. She said, "Mem, have ye ua far to the ruin, and the strange fantastic shapes of mair reason to be happy than me, wi' a gude husalmost all those old ashes accorded wonderfully band and a fine family o bairns, and plenty o' well with the building they at once shaded and every thing? for me, I'm the puirest o' a' puir ornamented.
bodies, and can hardly contrive to keep mysell “ 'The Abbey itself from my door was almost on
alive in a' the wee bits o’ ways I hae tell’t ye. a level with the cottage ; but on coming to the end
more conversation, during which ] of the lane, it was discovered to be situated on a was more and more pleased with the old womar's high perpendicular bank, at the foot of which run sensible conversation, and the naïveté of her ro. the clear waters of the Cluden, where they hasten marks, she rose to go away, when I asked her to join the sweeping Nith,
Her countenance suddenly clouded, and • Whoso distant roaring swells and fa's.'
slie said gravely, rather colouring, 'My name is
Helen Walker; but your husband kens weel about “Sir, — The occurrence just related happened me.'
to me twenty-six years ago. Helen Walker lies “ In the evening I related how much I had been buried in the churchyard of Irongray, about six pleased, and inquired what was extraordinary in miles from Dumfries. I once proposed that a the history of the poor woman.
Mr - said, small monument should have been erected to there were perhaps few more remarkable people commemorate so remarkable a character, but I than Helen Walker. She had been left an orphan, now prefer leaving it to you to perpetuate lier with the charge of a sister considerably younger | memory in a more durable manner.” than herself, and who was educated and maintained by her exertions. Attached to her by so many The reader is now able to judge how far the ties, therefore, it will not be easy to conceive her author has improved upon, or fallen short of, the feelings, when she found that this only sister must pleasing and interesting sketch of high principle be tried by the laws of her country for child-mur- and steady affection displayed by Helen Walker, der, and upon being called as principal witness the prototype of the fictitious Jeanie Deans. against lier. The counsel for the prisoner told | Mrs Goldie was unfortunately dead before the Helen, that if she could declare that her sister author had given his name to these volumes, so had made any preparations, however slight, or he lost all opportunity of thanking that lady for her had given her any intimation on the subject, that highly valuable communication. But her daughter, such a statement would save her sister's life, ils Miss Goldie, obliged him with the following addishe was the principal witness against lier. Helen | tional information. said, “ It is impossible for me to swear to a falsehood; and, whatever may be the consequence, I “ Mrs Goldie endeavoured to collect furtlier will give my oath according to my conscience.' particulars of Helen Walker, particularly con
“The trial came on, and the sister was found | cerning her journey to London, but found this guilty and condemned; but, in Scotland, six weeks nearly impossible; as the natural dignity of her must elapse between the sentence and the execu- character, and a high sense of family respectability, tion, and Helen Walker availed herself of it. The made her so indissolubly connect her sister's disvery day of her sister's condemnation, she got a grace with her own exertions, that none of her petition drawn, stating the peculiar circumstances neighbours durst ever question her upon the sub. of the case, and that very night set out on foot ject. One old woman, a distant relation of Helen's, to London.
and wlio is still living, says she worked an harvest “ Without introduction or recommendation, with with her, but that she never ventured to ask her her simple (perhaps ill-expressed) petition, drawn about her sister's trial, or her journey to London ; up by some inferior clerk of the court, she pre-Helen, slie added, "was a lofty body, and used sented herself, in lier tartan plaid and country a high style o' language.' The same old woman attire, to the late Duke of Argyle, who imme- says, that every year Helen received a cheese diately procured the pardon she petitioned for, and from lier sister, who lived at Whitehaven, and Helen returned with it on foot, just in time to save that she always sent a liberal portion of it to her. her sister.
self, or to her father's family. This fact, though “ I was so strongly interested by this narrativc, trivial in itself, strongly marks the affection sub). that I determined immediately to prosecute my sisting between the two sisters, and the complete acquaintance with Helen Walker; but as I was conviction on the mind of the criminal, that her to leave the country next day, I was obliged to sister had acted solely from high principle, not defer it till my return in spring, when the first from any want of feeling, which another small but walk I took was to Helen Walker's cottage. characteristic trait will further illustrate. A gen.
“She had died a short time before. My regret tleman, a relation of Mrs Goldie's, who happened was extreme, and I endeavoured to obtain some to be travelling in the North of England, on account of Helen from an old woman who inhabited coming to a small inn, was shewn into the par. the other end of her cottage. I inquired if Helen lour by a female servant, who, after cautiously cver spoke of her past history, her journey to shutting the door, said, 'Sir, I'm Nelly Walker's London, &c. 'Na,' the old woman said, 'Helen | sister.' Thus practically shewing that she consiwas a wily body, and whene'er ony o' the neebors dered her sister as better known by her high asked any thing about it, slie aye turned the con- conduct, than even lierself by a different kind of versation.'
celebrity. “In short, every answer I received only tended “ Mrs Goldie was extremely anxious to have a to increase my regret, and raise my opinion of tombstone and an inscription upon it, erected in Helen Walker, who could unite so much pru- Irongray churchyard; and if Sir Walter Scott dence with so much hercic virtue.”
will condescend to write the last, a little sub
scription could be easily raised in the immediate This narrative was enclosed in the following neighbourhood, and Mrs Goldie's wish be thus Ictier to tlie autlior, without date or signature :- fulfilled,"
INTRODUCTION TO THE HEART OF MID-LOTHIAN.
It is scarely necessary to add, that the request | talent. If the picture has suffered in the execution, cf Miss Goldie will be most willingly complied withı, it is from the failure of the author's powers to and without the necessity of any tax on the public. ! present in detail the same simple and striking Nor is there much occasion to repeat how much the portrait, exhibited in Mrs Goldie's letter. author conceives himself obliged to his unknown correspondent, who thus supplied him with a theme affording such a pleasing view of the moral dignity
April 1, 1830. of virtue, though unaided by birth, beauty, or
Although it would be impossible to add much misfortune of her sister, which he supposes to to Mrs Goldie's picturesque and most interesting | have taken place previous to 1736. Helen Walker, account of Helen Walker, the prototype of the declining every proposal of saving her relation's imaginary Jeanie Deans, the Editor may be par- life at the expense of truth, borrowed a sum of doned for introducing two or three anecdotes money sufficient for her journey, walked the whole respecting that excellent person, which he has distance to London barefoot, and made her way
to collected from a volume entitled, “ Sketches from John Duke of Argyle. She was heard to say, Nature, by John M‘Diarmid,” a gentleman who that, by the Almighty's strength, she had been conducts an able provincial paper in the town of enabled to meet the Duke at the most critical Dumfries.
moment, which, if lost, would have caused the Helen was the daughter of a small farmer in inevitable forfeiture of her sister's life. 2 place called Dalwhairn, in the parish of Iron- Isabella, or Tibby Walker, saved from the fate gay; where, after the death of her father, she which impended over her, was married by the continued, with the unassuming piety of a Scottish person who had wronged her, (named Waugh,) peasant, to support her mother by her own un- and lived happily for great part of a century, uniremitted labour and privations; a case so common, formly acknowledging the extraordinary affection that even yet, I am proud to say, few of my coun- to which she owed her preservation. trysvomeri would shrink from the duty.
Helen Walker died about the end of the year Helen Walker was held among her equals pensy, 1791, and her remains are interred in the churchdiat is, proud or conceited; but the facts brought yard of her native parish of Irongray, in a to prove this accusation seem only to evince a romantic cemetery on the banks of the Cairn. strength of character superior to those around her. That a character so distinguished for her unThus it was remarked, that when it thundered, daunted love of virtue, lived and died in poverty, she went with her work and her Bible to the front if not want, serves only to shew us how insignifiof the cottage, alleging that the Almighty could cant, in the sight of Heaven, are our principal smite in the ciiy as well as in the field.
objects of ambition upon earth. M M ́Diarmid mentions more particularly the
TO THE BEST OF PATRONS,
A PLEASED AND INDULGENT READER,
WISHES HEALTH, AND INCREASE, AND CONTENTMENT.
tion, thy nose with a snuff from my mull, and thy IF ingratitude comprehendeth every vice, surely palate with a dram from my bottle of strong waters, 60 foul a stain worst of all beseemeth himn whose called, by the learned of Gandercleugh, the Dominie's life has been devoted to instructing youth in virtue Dribble o' Drink. and in humane letters. Therefore liave I chosen, It is there, 0 highly esteemed and beloved reader, in this prolegomenon, to unload my burden of thanks thou wilt be able to bear testimony, through the at thy feet, for the favour with which thou hast medium of thine own senses, against the children kindly entertained the Tales of my Landlord. of vanity, who liave sought to identify tly friend Certes, if thou hast chuckled over their facetious and servant with I know not what inditer of vain and festivous descriptions, or liadst thy mind filled fables; who latlı cumbered the world with luis with pleasure at the strange and pleasant turns of devices, but shrunken from the responsibility therefortune which they record, verily, I have also sim- of. Truly, this hath been well termed a generation pered when I beheld a second story withi attics, hard of faith ; since what can a man do to assert that has arisen on the basis of my small domicile at his property in a printed tome, saving to put liis Gandercleugh, the walls having been aforehand name in the title-page thereof, with his description, pronounced by Deacon Barrow to be capable of or designation, as the lawyers term it, and place of enduring such an elevation. Nor has it been with- abode ? Of a surety I would have such sceptics out delectation, that I have endued a new coat, consider how they themselves would brook to lave (snuff-brown, and with metal buttons,) having all their works ascribed to others, their names and nether garments corresponding thereto. We do professions imputed as forgeries, and their very therefore lie, in respect of each other, under a existence brought into question ; even although, reciprocation of benefits, whereof those received by peradventure, it may be it is of little consequence me being the most solid, (in respect that a new to any but theniselves, not only whether they are house and a new coat are better than a new tale living or dead, but even whether they ever lived or and an old song,) it is meet that my gratitude should Yet have my maligner's carried their uncharibe expressed with the louder voice and more pre- table censures still farther. ponderating vehemence. And how should it be so These cavillers lave not only doubted mine expressed ? — Certainly not in words only, but in identity, although thus plainly proved, but they act and deed. It is with this sole purpose, and lave impeached my veracity and the authenticity disclaiming all intention of purchasing that pendicle of my historical narratives! Verily, I can only or poffe of land called the Carlinescroft, lying ad- say in answer, that I have been cautelous in quoting jacent to my garden, and measuring seven acres, mine authorities. It is true, indeed, that if I had three roods, and four perches, that I have com- liearkened with only one ear, I might have rehearsed mitted to the eyes of those who thought well of my tale with more acceptation from those who love the former tomes, these four additional volumes of to hear but half the truth. It is, it may hap, not the Tales of my Landlord. Not the less, if Peter altogether to the discredit of our kindly nation of Prayfort be minded to sell the said poftle, it is at Scotland, that we are apt to take an interest, warm, his own choice to say so; and, peradventure, he yca partial, in the deeds and sentiments of our foremay meet with a purchaser: unless (gentle reader) | fathers. He whom his adversaries describe as a the pleasing pourtraictures of Peter Pattieson, now perjured Prelatist, is desirous that his predecessors given unto thee in particular, and unto the public should be held moderate in their power, and just in in general, shall have lost their favour in thine their execution of its privileges, when, truly, the eyes, whereof I am no way distrustful. And so unimpassioned peruser of the annals of those times much confidence do I repose in thy continued shall deem them sanguinary, violent, and tyrannical. favour, that, should thy lawful occasions call thee to Again, the representatives of the suffering Nonconthe town of Gandercleugh, a place frequented by fornists desire that their ancestors, the Cameromost at one time or other in their lives, I will enrichi nians, shall be represented not simply as honest thine eyes with a sight of those precious manu- enthusiasts, oppressed for conscience-sake, but perscripts whence thou hast derived so much delecta- sons of fine breeding, and valiant lieroes. Truly
INTRODUCTION TO THE HEART OF MID-LOTHIAN.
the historian cannot gratify these predilections. He sanguinis, to maintain them in preference to ad must needs describe the cavaliers as proud and others. nigh-spirited, cruel, remorseless, and vindictive ; But, nothing denying the rationality of the rule. the suffering party as honourably tenacious of their which calls on all now living to rule their political opinions under persecution ; their own tempers and religious opinions by those of their great-grandbeing, however, sullen, fierce, and rude ; their fathers, and inevitable as seems the one or the other opinions absurd and extravagant; and their whole horn of the dilemma betwixt which my adversaries course of conduct that of persons whom hellebore conceive they have pinned me to the wall, I yer would better have suited than prosecutions unto spy some means of refuge, and claim a privilege to death for high-treason. Natheless, while such and write and speak of both parties with impartiality. 80 preposterous were the opinions on either side, For, O ye powers of logic! when the Prelatists and Here were, it cannot be doubted, men of virtue Presbyterians of old times went together by the and worth on both, to entitle either party to claim ears in this unlucky country, my ancestor (venemerit from its martyrs. It has been demanded of rated be his memory !) was one of the people called me, Jedediah Cleishbotham, by wbat right I am Quakers, and suffered severe handling from either entitled to constitute myself an impartial judge of side, even to the extenuation of his purse and the their discrepancies of opinions, seeing (as it is stated) incarceration of his person. that I must necessarily have descended from one Craving thy pardon, gentle Reader, for these few or other of the contending parties, and be, of course, words concerning me and mine, I rest, as above wedded for better or for worse, according to the expressed, thy sure and obligated friend.' reasonable practice of Scotland, to its dogmata, or
J. C. opinions, and bound, as it were, by the tie matri
GANDERCLEIGH, monial, or, to speak without metaphor, ex jure this Ist of April, 1818.
! It is an old proverb, that “ many a true word is spoken in “ Edinburgh, 5th July, 1666. jest." The existence of Walter Scott, third son of Sir William “Anent a petition presented be Sir Wm. Scott of Harden, Scott of Harden, is instructed, as it is called, by a charter under for himself and in name and behalf of the three children of the great seal, Domino Willielmo Scott de Harden Militi, et Walter Scott of Raeburn, his brother, showing that the Lords Waltero Scott suo filio legitimo tertio genito, terrarum de Ro- of Councill, by ane act of the 22d day of Junii, 1665, did grant berton. The munificent old gentleman left all his four sons power and warrand to the petitioner, to separat and take away considerable estates, and settled those of Eilrig and Raeburn, Raeburn's children, from his fainily and education, and together with valuable possessions around Lessudden, upon breed them in some convenient place, where they might be Walter, his third son, who is ancestor of the Scotts of Raeburn, free from all infection in their younger years, from the princi and of the Author of Waverley. He appears to have become palls of Quakerism, and, for maintenance of the saids children, a convert to the doctrine of the Quakers, or Friends, and a did ordain letters to be direct against Raeburn; and, seeing the great assertor of their peculiar tenets. This was probably at Petitioner, in obedience to the said order, did take away the the time when George Fox, the celebrated apostle of the sect, saids children, being two sonnes and a daughter, and after some made an expedition into the south of Scotland about 1657, on paines taken upon them in his owne family, hes sent them to which occasion he boasts, that " as he first set his horse's feet the city of Glasgow, to be bread at schooles, and there to be upor Scottish ground, he felt the secd of grace to sparkle about principled with the knowledge of the true religion, and that it bim like innupierable sparks of fire." Upon the same occa- is necessary the Councill determine what shall be the mainteSion, probably, Sir Gideon Scott of Highchester, second son of nance for which Raeburn's three children may be charged, as Sir William, immediate elder brother of Walter, and ancestor likewise that Raeburn bimself, being now in the Tolbooth oi of the author's friend and kinsman, the present representative Edinburghi, where he dayley converses with all the Quakers of the family of Harden, also embraced the tenets of Quakerism. who are prisoners there, and others who daily resort to them, This last convert, Gideon, entered into a controversy with the whereby he is hardened in his pernitious opinions and prinRev. James Kirkton, author of the Secret and True History ciples, without all hope of recovery, unlesse he be separat from of the Church of Scotland, which is noticed by my ingenious such pernitious company, humbly therefore, dosyring that the friend Mr Charles Kirkpatricke Sharpe, in his valuablo and Councell might determine upon the soume of money to be payed curious edition of that work, 4to. 1817. Sir William Scott, be Raeburn, for the education of his children, to tlie petitioner, eldest of the brothers, remained, amid the defection of his two who will be countable therefor; and that, in order to his conyounger brethren, an orthodox member of the Presbyterian version, the place of bis imprisonnent may be changed. The Church, and used such means for reclaiming Walter of Rac- Lords of his Maj. Privy Councell having at length beard and burn from his heresy, us savoured far more of persecution an considered the foresaid petition, do
modifie the soume of two persuasion. In this he was assisted by MacDougal of Maker- thousand pounds Scots, to be payed yearly at the terme of ston, brother to Isabella MacDougal, the wite of the said Whitsunday be the said Walter Scott of Raeburn, furth of bis Walter, and who, like her liusband,' had conformed to the estate to the petitioner, for the entertainment and education of
the said children, beginning the first termes payment therofito The interest possessed by Sir Willianz Scott and Makerston Whitsunday last for the hall year preceding, and so furth yearly, was powerful enough to procure the two following acts of the at the said termo of Whitsunday in tym comeing till furder Privy Council of Scotland, directed against Walter of Racburn orders; and ordaines the said Walter Scott of Raeburn to be as an heretic and convert to Quakerism, appointing him to bo transported from the tolbooth of Edinburgh to the prison of imprisoned first in Edinburgh jail, and then in that of Jed- Jedburgh, where his friends and others may have occasion 10 burgh; and his children to be taken by force from the society convert hiin. And to the effect he may be secured from this and direction of their parents, and educated at n distance from practice of other Quakers, the said Lords doe hereby discharze them, besides the assignment of a sum for their maintenance, the magistrates of Jedburgh to suffer any persons suspect ! sutticient in those times to be burdensome to a moderate scota these principles to have access to liim; and in case any con
traveen, that they secure ther persons till they be tierford
puneist; and ordaines letters to be direct heirupon in furin, “Apud Edin. vigesimo Junii 1665.
us etfeirs." * The Lords of his Magesty's Privy Council having receaved information that Scott of Raeburn, and Isobel Mackdougall, Both the sons, thus barshly separated from their father, his wife, being infected with the error of Quakerism, doe en. proved good scholars. The eldest, William, who carried on the deavour to breid and traine up William, Walter, and Isobel line of Raeburn, was, like his father, a deep Orientalist; the Spits, their children, in the same profession, doe therefore give
younger, Walter, became a good classical scholar, a great friend gner and command to Sir William Scott of Harden, the said and correspondent of the celebrated Dr Pitcairn, and a Jacobite Raebum's brother, to seperat and take away the saids children 80 distinguished for zeal, that he made a vow never to shave from the custody and society of the saids parents, and to cause his beard till the restoration of the exiled family. This last educat and bring them up in his owne bouse, or any other cor- Walter Scott was the author's great-grandfather. Venient place, and ordaines letters to be direct at the said Sir There is yet another link betwixt the author and the simpleWilliam's instance against Raeburn, for a maintenance to the
minded and excellent Society of Friends, though a proselyte of Saids children, and that the said Sir Wm. give ane account of much more importance than Walter Scott of Raebum. The bis diligence with all conveniency."
celebrated John Swinton of Swinton, xixth baron in descent
of that incient and once powerful family, was, with Sir Willianu 9 See Douglas's Baronage, Tage 215.
Lockhart of Lee, the person whom Croinwell chiefly trusted i