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_ Meadows I saw in Liverpool. He is one of the best provincial comic actors I have seen, and in the character of the “ Boots,” in the new farce, must be irresistible. It would be a great hit if Seymour could permanently secure him. Such meadows would yield good crops, and then he might make hay when the sun shone! “D'ye give it up?" You see I have read “ The £100 Note.” If it were not for its conundrums, it would be like an honoured bill of exchange.--" D'ye give it up?"-Un-noted, to be sure!
There is little news in this quarter, saving that the Gretna Green parson has, at a venerable age, drank himself to death, and will never forge another matrimonial fetter. In the South here, a very formidable rival to the claims of Henry Bell has appeared. Young Mr. Miller of Dalswinton, the son of an amiable, ingenious, and ill-requited gentleman of fortune, has published, in the latest number of Jamieson's Journal, a conclusion to a former paper, in which he triumphantly establishes his father's claim to being not only the first man who, in modern times, thought of applying steam to the propelling of vessels, but also the first who demonstrated its practicability-and that on a large scale. I am sorry for Bell, who is ingenious, but from his paper, not ingenuous, since he never “ let wit” in Glasgow of the existence of an extraordinary letter of his --extraordinary for its unique orthography and its admissions—written in 1824 to a Mr. M'Neil, which, together with this paper, where it appears, must for ever denude him of all merit, saving that of boldness in venturing to put in practice a scheme whose feasibility he well knew had been experimentally established.
I shall need a few more limes yet before leaving Dumfries. You may send them by the “ Independent” as usual, along with No. XVII. of “ The Ant,” which I am glad to learn from you has made such a sensation. It was certainly a rich specimen of the absurd, the picture you exhibit of the village club, with the dominie at their head, asseinbling in M'Glashan's to draw up a letter of fiery indignation at the mention of the George Inn of Gourock, which was made there, and then think of addressing it to a private individual, of whom they could know nothing, with all the pomp of an insulted Boniface.
of course could take no notice of the thing, but if he gives me the hint, I will administer a little to the galled sores of mine host.
Mary has her respects to your friend, and bids me tell you that she has just learned from a London correspondent, that yellow, in all its shades, is the prevailing colour in every part of costume, and that a pretty novelty called handkerchiefs a la vignette, i. e. with little engravings at the corners, is quite the rage in Paris. Adieu, in all good wishes.-C. H.
Printed by James Curll, 55, Bell-Street, and sold by all Bookseller.
No. XIX.-SATURDAY, 21st JULY, 1827.
ROB ROY'S GRAVE. " " The hills-the hills!-high as the summit's rise,
My spirit rises with them! They to me
Are but the stepping-stones of climbing thought,
The Chamois Hunter. “ Adventure greaseth the wheels of Travel.”
Gaffer Gash's Saws. I HAD been for ten days absent from home on a pedestrian excursion through the Highlands of Perthshire, and the counties which skirt that district to the east and south, when, on the afternoon of a cloudless day in September, I unbuckled the straps of my leathern knapsack as I entered the porch of the neat and pleasantly situated Inn of Lochernhead. But, though I loosened the fastenings of my burden, I did not cast it off my shoulders, where its presence had called forth many a remark, expressed in a language I knew little of; and had elicited a still greater number of those indications of wonder or curiosity, which a silent look can so well convey, as I passed the door of the lonely cottage on the hill, or by the gable ends of the cluster of hovels, which is termed a clachan in the low country, but a town among the mountains, where even the presence of two families domiciled in one solitary spot, presents the idea of that complicated state of society to theisolated mountaineer, which much larger assemblages of human beings barely serve to suggest to the Lowlander. I had previously consulted my map, and, although it was now far in the day, hardly permitted myself to doubt that I should be easily able, by proceeding down Glenfinlas, to take up my quarters in Ardkenochrochean—the barbarous name given to the pretty and fashionable inn at the Trosachs. I did no more therefore, having dined at Comrie, than order a measure of the only liquor which I care to drink, when in that country, where alone it can be had in perfection, and where no other of even tolerable quality can be procured; and, having quaffed my whisky, and received some directions as to my road, which was speedily to become but a bridle-path, I re-adjusted my necessary incumbrancegave a farewell glance to Lochearn-threw a look-it was a wistful one towards the great road which conducts still farther into the heart of the Highlands by Killin, that stretched out to my left; and, facing about to the right, saw the glories of an autumnal evening gathering themselves around the western march of the sun, which was soon to set, and a hilly yet delightful road straight before me. I pursued it with alacrity, though not without fatigue, for my walk had been far that day, during which I was even more annoyed than wearied, by twice losing my way among the heathery moors. But there was enough of beauty in the scenes through which I passed, and enough of enthusiasm yet unsatiated in myself, to have borne me buoyantly over a longer road than I expected to need to traverse, even had not the wild and pealing notes and rapidly flowing words of the song of 6 The Braes of Balquidder” not given a spring to my step, as at irregular intervals they escaped from my lips. I was within sight of these I was advancing to them! The first time I had heard their praises sung, was on the cold and sleety night of a winter's holiday, by a thin and haggard-looking blind man; yet, child as I was, and hastening on to the warmth of a blazing hearth, and the joy of a merry-meeting, I became arrested by the strain, and carried with me, at one hearing, both words and air; nor could the cakes and comfits of New-year's-day prevent me from that night often longing for the “ blae berries that grow 'mang the bonny blooming heather.” These, and their bramble brethren, were now inviting my participation in their rustic sweets on every side; but, now and then, a hasty snatch at them, while I hardly páused, was all that I durst gratify myself with; for, by the time I had got to the King's house, where I was to leave the high road, it was almost evening; and the yellow radiance of day's decline was beginning to tinge the peaks of those eminences which would be called mountains in some parts of England, and hills even in any other district of Scotland than the Highlands, where, though many hundred feet in height, they are fitly named, as contrasted with the hoary giants round them, “ The Braes of Balquidder,” a diminutive term of endearment, which speaks to the heart of every Caledonian, be he Celt or Sassenach.
dirty hostelry, named after Royalty, (like many other inns in the Highlands,) from its having been originally a station for the lodgment of his Majesty's forces during those periods of turbulence, when, though their presence was necessary amid such fastnesses, their safety was by no means secure, if quartered upon the inhabitants, and depending for shelter on finding it in the house of a subject, I proceeded briskly on, and gradually fell into a train of reflections, which prepared me, in some measure, for receiving a pleasurable surprise upon unexpectedly seeing before me a small but regularly built Gothic Chapel, placed upon an isolated eminence, little more extensive than the circuit of its own walls, beneath which, a stream, as silent as an Eremite monk could wish for near his cell, glided in serpentine folds. It was apparently too small for a parish church, even in the Highlands, besides being infinitely more regular and respectable in its exterior appearance than such commonly are, and having no “ town" with its whisky shop near it--nay, not even a human habitation visible from its site. It was grey and weather-stained enough to be venerable, yet showed neither ruin nor decay in its little lancet-shaped windows, tiny belfry, and diminutiye porch; nor had it, that I could then perceive, the usual broken and moss-covered stones, or rank grassdraperied mounds, which tell that not only the house of piety, but even the hiding-place of death's doings, has been forsaken. In the twilight which was closing round me as I paused to gaze upon it, it required but a little stretch of my fancy to suppose that it was a small chapel built, perhaps, by some wealthy professor of the expatriated creed of Rome, for the occasional resort of the widely scattered remnant which yet exists, though not in this part of the Highlands, but at far remote intervals of country-of the simple children of the mist who cling to a church, whose rites they can participate in but at times, that are as “ few and far between” in the year's round, as are the connecting links which bind them, and their humble altars, with the sovereign Pontiff and the marble glories of St. Peter's, in the great edifice of Catholicism. I was picturing to myself their pilgrimage to this lonely fane, which, like the monastic institutions of their Church, se med to exist, as if the rites of religion could be best performed apart from the habitations of those whom they were to enlighten; and almost began to fancy that I heard the solemn chant of vesper service swell along the glen, when as I turned the base of a projecting rock, which
had hitherto hid it from my view, the narrow and wildly calm and silent expanse of Loch Voil, met my gaze, and, at the end of it nearest to where I was, and on the banks of the before-mentioned stream that issued from it, to bear a tribute to its chief, Loch Earn—the kirk and clachan of Balquidder.
As it was now perfectly obvious that it would be impossible for me to accomplish my design of reaching the brig of Turk and Stewart's Inn, before nightfall, I decided, in one moment, that I should remain at Balquidder, at least until the moon rose, which would not be till far in the evening; and that if the clachan inn be tolerably comfortable, said I to myself, as sure it must now be so, seeing that even a hundred years ago it was a place of rendezvous for Rob Roy and other Highland lairds—that chief having indeed appointed it as the place for deciding a quarrel by duel, as moderns select Chalk Farm-I will prefer the romance of a Highland supper amid the “braes” to a half Highland, half Lowland one-i.e. the former in qualitythe latter in price at the Loch side, where a writer's clerk from Stirling, or a manufacturer's from Glasgow, insist on my telling them whether I don't think the Trosachs would be a devilish fine place if a stage coach came regularly to it?
From this point, then, I walked so very leisurely as to give myself ample opportunity to observe the general outline and aspect of the little isolated district which I tra: versed. What of it lay before my eyes, consisted of a long level stripe of ground, that, in any other than a very dry summer, would have been soft and watery, but was too bright in its green, and equal in its surface, to be called a morass, although it seemed to produce nothing else than a luxuriant crop of bog hay, whose perfume now “ scented the evening gale,”-the scanty patches of dwarfish and still verdant oat and barley stacks hardly forming an exception. Through this strath, a silent and melancholy “ water," for streamlet is too brisk a name to give it, twined itself round the slight inequalities of ground, and slowly but surely made its way onward to the basin that waited it at the foot of the lofty Ben Vorlich. My path lay on the right side of this burn, going westwards, and almost at the very edge of the level ground, for the hills began to swell upwards with considerable abruptness, within a stone's throw of where I walked, and drew closer and closer to the rivulet as I advanced, till the skirts of some of them had to be crossed before I reached the few