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A STORY OF THE YEAR ONE,
date, and then a common mention of however in the use of these implements them? I have looked through all the to suggest to our minds the notion of a extant Greek plays, tragedies and come reading or literary class who had libraries dies, and their numerous extant frag- or collections of books at their command. ments, with a special view to this ques. I am myself of opinion that nothing detion, which I have had before me for serving the name of a library was known years. It is not till nearly B.C. 400, — that to the Greeks till the era of the great is, two centuries later than the date as- | Alexandrine School under the Ptolemies, signed by Mr. Grote, — that I find any and I have no belief in an oft-told story, mention of books, or writing-masters that Pisistratus collected a library for the (grammatistae), or booksellers.* And as Athenians.
F. A. PALEY. Thucydides never once quotes Herodotus, or Plato Thucydides — though he does once refer (Sympos. p. 178. C.) to Acusilaus — the paucity of written books
From Fraser's Magazine (if they existed at all except as the private
“THE CROOKIT MEG:" property of the authors) must be inferred, and the supposed MSS. of the Iliad and Odyssey before the age of Solon must be [The favorable reception accorded by the relegated to the category of the barest critics to the studies of Scotch life in a certain possibilities.
volume of Essays in Romance has tempted The close connection of the word Bibhiov me to try my hand on a somewhat larger canor Bußhíov with the name of the papyrus- vas.
I was unwilling moreover that my recolplant, byblus, may be thought to prove lections of some of the racy characters of a that its use as a writing-material must have been early known to the Greeks. friends when a boy should be allowed to pass
remote district of Scotland who were my Papyrus” (says Dr. Hayman, already quoted) “must have been cheap and plen
The generation to which tiful in Greece and Sicily." Pliny how they belonged retained many of the character ever says that papyrus was not used (he istics of their fathers, and, in particular, most
- used that must mean, by the Greeks) for paper be- of them— both men and women fore the time of Alexander the Great. Scots tongue which is now hardly to be me The use of it in Egypt for hieratic writing with in its purity out of a few Ayrshire vil may have been so far a secret, that the lages. The middle class, indeed, and many o method of preparing it remained for a the upper, were able to speak either dialect, long time unknown to the Greeks. At all the broad Scots of the laboring population events, we cannot show that they ever and the Scots-English, which was, and con employed it in early times for any docu- tinues to be, spoken in those polite circles o mentary purposes. It may have been too the northern metropolis which are so ob brittle, or suited only to a very dry cli- noxious to the stout and pugnacious patriotisn mate; we are on a subject on which we of Professor Blackie. I hope that I have bee hàve no evidence at all, and therefore able to retain, while eschewing merely loca conjectures in one direction are as per- patois, so much of the Scots tongue (as cur missible as in the other.t
rent till quite lately in the north of Scotland One point in this controversy is unde
as is distinctly characteristic; to attempt niable; that the deatos (which probably piece of verbal photography would serve n consisted of two or three thin plates of
good end, but would, on the contrary, rende wood) was used for ordinary written messages or communications long before the dialogue obscure, and possibly uninte books,” properly so called, came into ligible, to the vast majority of readers, even i
SHIRLEY.] use. Euripides $ calls a SENTOS "a fir
July 1879. tablet,” TEÚKn, and it probably differed only from the Tivaç, tabula, in being smaller and more suited for transmission' when tied up and sealed. There is nothing It was the year one — the first year
a century which has passed the Psalmist * A few faint indications of being taught to read threescore and ten. Seventy and occur a little earlier, as when the sausage-seller in the “ Knights” of Aristophanes (“Cavaliers” would be a years have played sad havoc with most better rendering of the title) says he knows his letters us; the new-born babes who were the very little, and ihat little very badly. + The word, xúprns, charta, occurs in one passage
sleeping quietly in their cradles are no of Plato Comicus, circ. B.C. 425.
mainly under the turf, sleeping a sound 1 Iph. Aul. 39.
sleep — if it be a sleep that rounds our ]
tle life. Oblivion scattereth her poppies. week after week over the land a year or These monotonously returning springs two later, when the lion (or the devil) was and summers and autumns are frozen into at length fairly roused, had not yet begun a winter from which there is no recovery. to arrive. It was, in short, the news that Their harvests are all gathered in, and the " Jan Mayen was in the offing that death has reaped the reapers. Was the had brought the whole seafaring populagame worth the candle ?
tion of the district to the pier at Port Throughout that district of Scotland Henry on the ist of October, 1801. which (according to the Gaelic derivation The “ Jan Mayen,” a schooner of a of the name) lies in the bend of the ocean, hundred tons, was then the only whaler and more particularly in the seaport of hailing from a seaport which now sends Peelboro' the “ Broch” being then, as thirty great ships to the Arctic seas. now, the capital of a remote and secluded Some far-sighted Alexander, or Andercommunity there was manifested on the son, or Arbuthnot of the day (the local first day of October in the year one, a burghers still keep the well-worn names) certain measure of restrained excitement, had taken it into his head that a vast - an excitement as keen, indeed, as these mine of wealth lay away to the nor’ard, reticent people ever permit themselves to beyond the Man of Hoy and the Stones manifest. There were wars and rumors of Stennis. The Dutch had a fleet in
The deluge was rising over these seas among the seals and whales Europe. It had come to be felt on all and icebergs, which year after year came sides that the antagonism between the back to the Scheldt' loaded with ample rival forces was too vital to admit of any store
and whalebone and sealcompromise. That wild flood of hate and skins. The Dutch had grown rich in this fury and revenge needed to spend itself adventurous industry: were not the Peelbefore any thought of peace could be en- boro' seamen as plucky, and the Peelboro'. tertained. The triflers and critics were traders as . keen at a bargain, as any brushed out of the way. The clever Dutchman? So the “ Jan Mayen ” had Foung gentleman of the “ Anti-Jacobin ” been built and fitted out; the shares had laid their pens aside. Pitt alone - Pitt, been taken up eagerly by all sorts and who had divined from the first that the conditions of men in the burgh and the contest, the merciless contest between surrounding districts; there had been a the old ideas and the new, must be fought series of surprisingly successful years; out to the bitter end — Pitt among the and this morning, for the fifth time, the statesmen of Europe was left almost by Jan Mayen ” was again in the offing: himself, — and Pitt's heart was breaking. It was one of those lovely October days
But the excitement at the Broch was which they used to have in Scotland be. pot due to anyof the misadventures which fore the east wind was invented. A brisk at that moment were vexing the soul of breeze, indeed, was blowing from the the great minister. They were seafaring north, and the “ Jan Mayen," with all her people. The roads to the south were sails spread, came sweeping swiftly barely passable. The official who carried towards the harbor mouth. * Nearer and the post-bags came twice or thrice a week, nearer the good ship, with so many of the and the news he brought was about a “burgh's bairns on her deck, and so fortnight old. They were practically cut much of the burgh's wealth in her hold, off from the outer world. A French pri- approaches the shore; and the demure sateer, indeed, bad once entered the bay; elation of these undemonstrative Scots but the guns of the battery on the Ron- became actually audible when it was seen heads had been quickly manned, and a that “a garland” hung from the topmost few round shot bad induced her to seek a spar of the mainmast. " It's a' richt, safer anchorage. The people had waited lads,” said an old tar cheerily to the up all night, with clumsy old muskets crowd, as he shut up his glass, from the under their arms, on the chance of the top of the herring-barrel which he had return of her boats; but when the morn-mounted.
“A full ship!” ing broke only a white cloud of canvas The crowd was essentially a repreras visible on the horizon. The stout, sentative one. Fishermen, farm laborers, ruddy, weather-beaten farmers and fisher- shopkeepers, lawyers, merchants, doctors, med returned to their usual work, and ministers - no class in the community had not again been disturbed. So that was unrepresented. There was Dr. Caldthe echoes of the fierce conflict outside cail, who prosed in the Muckle Kirk, and szre barely heard by them. The stories the Reverend Neil Brock, who ministered of great victories, which were carried | in a back yard to the Original Reformed
CROOKIT MEG:” Particular Anti-Burghers; there was Cap- at length a young, strongly-built sailor, tain Knock, of the coastguard, and Corbie, who had been taken possession of by a the burgh lawyer (or “liar," as they call pretty girl the moment he put his foot on that functionary in these parts); and shore, freed himself from her embrace, most interested of all — there were the and approached the horseman. He had wives and sisters and sweethearts of the one of the typical faces of a district where crew who manned the gallant little craft. the Scandinavian blood is mixed with the
Just as the men of the “ Jan Mayen » Celt's — the fair skin, the soft blue eyes, had lowered the mainsheet, just as the the curly yellow hair, the frank tone and last “tack” to enable her to clear the reef fearless carriage of the North Sea rover. outside the harbor mouth had been com- He nodded coolly to Hacket (who repleted, a young man with a dare-devil turned his careless greeting), and then look in his face, and riding, with an air of coming close up to the horse, and laying reckless abandon, a half-broken colt of the his hand upon the straggling mane, said native breed, then commonly used in the in a low, significant whisper, so that the remoter districts of the north, galloped horseman alone could hear, down to the beach. He threw a balf. “We hailed the • Crookit Meg,' sir, scornful, half-defiant greeting to the last night, aff Rattray Head.” crowd, which fell back as he pushed his way through it to the pier-head. “It's that wild lad, Harry Hacket,” said Corbie TAM or Tammas Corbie, the lawyer, to the provost of the burgh, who stood was perhaps the sharpest man in Peel beside him. “What deil's errand brings boro'. At the burgh school, and at the him here?"
Marischal College, he had as a lad carried Then ropes were caught, the jib was everything before him.
He was poss loosed, the ship brought up and made fast sessed by the passionate liking for out-of. to the pier; the crew swarmed on shore, the-way learning which seems to come and the landsmen swarmed on board; naturally to some men. With a little pat there were tears and laughter and cordial rimony of his own to start with, be elected greetings, the eager embrace for the hus- to try the bar, and for some years he ap band, the shyer welcome for the lover. peared to be on the fair way to the bench
The gallant old ship looked finely weather. But suddenly and unaccountably he brok beaten; the treasures of the hail and the down - utterly and irretrievably: Ther snow had been poured out upon her, and had always, along with the real love o her stout sides had been torn by iceberg letters, been a scampish element in th and foe; the decks were covered with man, which had led him to prefer th skins of seals and jawbones of whales, shady side of literature and law. As h and in a huge cask amidship a young grew older the taint infected his whol polar bear showed its ugly teeth, and nature; and by-and-by the intellectua growled savagely at the boys, who had thirst was succeeded by a thirst of a mor already begun to torment him. To me dangerous kind. So when he had lost hi there has always been the attraction of a last client he left the Parliament House romance in the return of one of these and returning to his native town becam Arctic adventurers — it is the sort of fasci- its legal adviser. Even at home, hov nation I used to feel when stalking a ever, his reputation was dubious. H hooper or a loon. They come to us from was, as I have indicated, a clever, shrewd the bleak and sombre north, and bleakly learned lawyer, who might have made hi behind them rises the northern winter. mark anywhere; but as he seldom went t And then the wild strangeness and re- bed sober (being invariably, indeed, as h moteness of the wilderness into which cronies said, “blin' fou” early in the eve they have penetrated — mountains of ice ing), and as he was, even at his soberes that reel together in perilous madness more remarkable for keenness of scer iron-bound seas which the tempest cannot and sharpness of tongue (and his nose wa ripple — the angry flush of the aurora keen and his tooth sharp as a weasel upon the night!
than for honesty, veracity, or gener Meanwhile the horse and his rider trustworthiness, his business gradual stood immovable upon the pier-head. diminished, and he had latterly become t Hacket had scanned attentively the faces adviser mainly of that section of the con of the crew as the ship was moored, munity which is more or less beyond t though he had shown no sign of recogni- pale of the law. Yet, socially, he st tion even when stout Captain Manson kept his head above water; for he w waved his hand to him on landing. But la magnificent whist-player, and among
small community such a gift is invaluable. Whilk, Lucky, were to this effec'," he He played by a sort of instinct; the tip- continued, putting on his horn spectacles, sier he got the more masterly was his and partly reading from the print, “ that, management of his cards ; even when though the infeudation of teinds to laymen "blin' fou” be seldom lost a trick. was forbidden by Innocent III. under
On the evening of the day on which the the heavy penalty of the want of Chris" Jan Mayen " arrived, Corbie was seated tian burial, and the yet heavier one of in his “office,” as it was called by courtesy eternal damnation, yet that by the Act - a wooden shed which overlooked the 1567, cap. 10, commonly known as the harbor, and which smelt suggestively of Assumption of Thirds, it was enacket that stale fish, tar, and whisky. He had had the Commissioners of Plat- and sae on interviews during the afternoon with a for saxteen pages. Indeed, Lucky, he smuggler, who had left a small keg of could speak like a buik, and he drove brandy behind him ; a poacher, who had Skilmawhilly clean dementit, though that neglected to remove a hare and a brace of daft body Polkemmet ca'd him 'a Hielan' wild-fowl; a farm wench, who had in- stot' — for, you see, he cam' from the structed him to raise an action of aliment coonty o’ Argyll.” against a gay Lothario of the farmyard; At this juncture
Corbie turning a farmer, out of elbows, who wanted the round to replenish his glass — the old lawyer to back a little bill on the bank; woman made a nervous attempt to interand now he was closeted with the last pose. “Jist for ae minute, Mr. Corbie, client of the day - an elderly woman, for ae minute.” neatly dressed in the style then common Presently, presently, Mrs. Cruickamong the class to which she belonged, shank — what's to hinder you and me hava short gown over a thick woollen petti- ing our cracks? Ye'll mind Polkemmet, coat, a coarse wincey apron, and a close a daft auld body, as I was sayin', but he white mutch, with a black hood over it, loved his joke, and he had a pleasant wut. now thrown back upon her neck, and ex- He sattled Skilmawhilly fairly when the posing her fresh, comely face.
laird took Yonderton to coort for stealin' A huge spirit-bottle - belonging to the his bees. Ye see Yonderton's orra man " tappit-hen” variety - half full of whisky, was fast asleep in the field, wi' his head a jug of water, and a tumbler, were on aneath his oxter, when the bees swarmed the table beside bim.
upon the back pairt o’his person. They “Tak' a seat, Lucky,” he was saying, fand an auld skep, and were gettin' the "tak’ a seat, and I'll be wi' you quam swarm fairly skepped when Skilmawhilly primum !” He had been rummaging cam' the ground. They're my ibrough his drawers for some old papers; bees,' quoth Skilmawhilly; but Yonderand musty letters and mildewed proc- ton wudna alloo it; and sae they gaed to esses were scattered in wild disorder on the shirra. Skilmawhilly manteent that the floor. " The
Cairn-catta Mortifica- he followed the bees from his ain door, tion — faith it was a mortification to the and saw them swarm where they did. laird - sax hundred poonds or thereby Bụt it was pleaded for Yonderton that, 00t o' that sour moss to ony hizzy in the possession being nine-tenths o' the law, parish, forbye the taxed expenses before they were noo his lawful property; and that the Lords. 'I needna keep the papers though, if they hed swarmed on a tree, it there's nae mair to be made o’that, I'm might behove the owner to cut the branch, thinkin'," he added pensively, throwing it cudna be expeckit that sic a liberty the bundle into the fire, “though it was a wud be taken wi' his man's legs. So the guid-gangin' plea for niony a year. The pleading stood, when Polkemmet, pittin' Laird's far doun the hill, and young Har- his wig back, and movin' his chair a bit, ry's a dour whalp.
It needs a lang spoon - whilk, Lucky, was his manner when he to sup kail wi' Cloutie; but I ken a thing was ready wi' his joke, — said that he or twa may bring the lad to reason. was prepared to advise the cause. "I'm The Skilmáwhilly Augmentation a for Yonderton,' says Polkemmet, "inasweel-kent case, Lucky, reported at length, mickle as the bees libelled, from the place mi' mony obiter dicta o the bigwigs, in they settled, must hae been bumbees.' the first volume of the Decisions of the He! he! he! Ye may believe, Lucky, Faculty: Auld Skilmawhilly never could that they were braw times when Pol. thole the minister, and they gaed at it like kemmet was shirra; but it's fifteen year Cat and dog. Sir Islay was coonsel for noo, since they made him a lordDr. Drumly, and it was gran’ to hear him paper lord” – he continued thoughtfully, proponin' his pleas-in-law for the Kirk. I turning again to the tappit-hen — “ a sena
tor of the College of Justice, whereof I and Captain Knock of the coastguard am an unworthy member.”
“the commodore as he was called in The old woman's impatience could be his faded naval uniform, entered the restrained no longer. “I canna bide, office. Liar Corbie,” she exclaimed;“ if ye wunna “ Come awa', Corbie, come awa' hear me, I maun e'en haud the gait.” they're waitin' for us at the provost's; the
This appeal was attended with success. doctor is mad for his rubber. What in Corbie lay back in his chair, and the old the name o' the saints has keepit you sae woman, drawing her seat close to him, be- lang?" gan her narrative in a low, confidential tone. For some time he found it hard to keep his mind from wandering (the whisky THE Peelboro' worthies of the year one had begun to tell), and more than once he played their nightly rubber at the provost's interrupted her when some familiar techni- lodgings — for the provost was a bachelor, cal phrase gave him an opportunity of air- and except his housekeeper Maillie —the ing his erudition, and of becoming discur- "provost's ae lass” — had no inconvensive and anecdotical.
ient impedimenta. To-night- it was not “Ye dinna mean to tell me that you've yet seven o'clock, but in those days they intromittit wi' the effec's,” he exclaimed, dined in the forenoon - Dr. Caldcail and when at length the old woman paused for the provost were seated before the chessa moment to recover her breath. " Then board, with which they were whiling away you're within the ratio decidendi o' the the time until the other players arrived. coort in the action at the instance o’ Um- | The provost was a poor hand at the game, quhile Dagers against Christian Penny, whereas the doctor was an adept at this sister to Bessie, wha lived in the Longate as at other games requiring skill, coolness, - ye'll mind Bessie?- in which sum- and address. But, as we are waiting, my mons o' poinding; Lucky, it was fand and dear old friends may, meanwhile, have a declared by the Lords, that though the paragraph to themselves. defender had only intromittit wi' a little Of Provost Roderick Black it is perhaps timber bed and a pint stoup which per- enough to say that he was a hero after tained to the defunct, yet was she liable Mr. Carlyle's heart. He possessed inas universal intromissatrix
deed a fine capacity for silence. He “O man, what's Christian Penny to me, had also a fine capacity for snuff. or Bessie, forby?” cried the old woman, insinuated by superficial and discontented driven fairly desperate. “I cam' to speak burgesses that these were his main charto you aboot auld Yokieshill – John acteristics. But that was a mistake, Hacket - and ye wunna listen to a word a most sagacious soul looked out at I say.”
you from under the shaggy eyebrows. “Joe Hacket?” the lawyer exclaimed The eye was cloudy, the brow heavy, with an oath, rising unsteadily, to his feet, the limbs loosely put together and ill“what for did you not speak oot your arranged: but any one with a knack for errand at ance? Keep your seat, my construing the hieroglyphics of character guid freen', keep your seat ; but we'll could see that behind this rather unpromsteek the door in the mean time, and syne ising exterior there was much to admire we'll no be interrupit.” He cautiously and love, – the bland temper, the homely drew the bolt; and then sitting down energy, the shrewd integrity of a very close to the old woman, he listened in genuine and typical Scotsman. perfect silence and with the keenest atten- Dr. Caldcail had been coined in an altotion to her narrative. The expression of gether different mint. He was a clergyhis face changed as she proceeded; be- man belonging to a school of which the fore her whispered communication was last survivor died out when I was a boy. over he was another man. The story had Farmers and theologians; the keen-eyed quite sobered him; and when she had controversialists of the Church court and departed he continued to sit and ponder the academy, but dull as ditch-water in gravely over the dying embers of the the pulpit ; gay with French esprit, but peats.
without a spark of spiritual life; who, in “A deil's bairn,” he muttered to him- a manner, sincerely accepted the statutory self. “A deil's bairn, did I say? Na- creed of the Church, and yet in their life
The verra deevil incarnate Hornie and conversation quietly set aside the himsel'."
Christianity of which they were the offiAt this moment steps were heard out- cial representatives, – it is a perished side, the door was violently flung open, I race. Dr. Caldcail was in person dried