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the name seems to have influenced the local authorities-it was a Scots institution, and surely Scotsmen were the persons entitled to enjoy it. The Irish seem to have kept a hold on it, or rather, perhaps, to have attempted to regain it, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Nachricht, the German historian of the Schottische Benedictiner Stift und Klöster, seems not to have liked them; and he charges them with fraudulently inserting in the muniments a definition of Ireland as "Great Scotland." They have such names as Cormacus, Thadeus (Thady), Benedictus, and Mauritius. Walter Kraut, chosen in the year 1499, is called "The last of the Irish abbots;" and it is stated how he "proved the most reckless and extravagant of all these intruders, so that, at his departure in 1515, the whole possessions of the abbey had been pillaged. He survived this for three years, and died in the Castle of Wohrt. In consequence of urgent representations of the spoliation which the abbey had undergone during the two centuries of usurpation by the Irish, Leo X., in 1515, issued a bull restoring it to the Scottish nation; and the first of their abbots was James Thomson, a priest from St Andrews in Scotland, who happened at that time to have attracted the favourable notice of the Pope when at Rome. The first function of the Scottish abbot was of a kind which falls to the lot only of reformers of abuses in a very humble grade in this country-he redeemed the plate, reliquaries, and other valuables which his predecessor had pawned.

Sixty years afterwards, Ninian Winzet, John Knox's celebrated opponent, became abbot. He was parish schoolmaster at Linlithgow, a position which he forfeited for his audacity in "speaking back" to the head of the Reformed Church. One would have thought it a considerable lift in the world when the parish dominie of Linlithgow became my lord abbot of St James's

at Ratisbon, but Winzet always lamented his exile from his old home. The German historian says "He distinguished himself by his zeal and learning in public disputation so much that he found it expedient to retire to Paris. There he had the degree of D.D. conferred upon him, and his fame having reached Rome, he was invited thither by Gregory XIII., and after entering the order of Benedictines, was named by him abbot of Ratisbon. He assembled in his monastery a number of Scottish ecclesiastics who had taken refuge in the Low Countries."

These extracts are taken from a collection of MSS. left by the late James Dennistoun of Dennistoun, and now in the Advocates' Library. They appear to have been collected with a view of writing a history of the Scottish religious houses abroad; and all who knew the scholarship and good taste of Dennistoun, will believe that the work would have been well done.


So lately as the year 1847, the revenues of the foundation were diverted by the Bavarian Government to other ecclesiastical purposes, a sum of money being given in the form of compensation to those who were personal losers by the transaction. The premises had thus been for sixteen years unoccupied when I saw them. church is kept in all the nicety and freshness in which a consecrated building would be religiously preserved among Romanists. The monuments along the wall at once tell the native country of those who presided and worshipped there. “In pace Christi sepultus hic quiescat illustris ac Reverendissimus Dominus Benedictus Arbuthnot." Then there is a siste viator to Maurus Stuart, and a sta viator-an unusual expression-to Abbot Gallus Leith and Abbot Bernard Baillie. It is a siste gradum viator to Abbot Placidus Fleming, and there are many other familiar Scots names. Looking round among them in the midst of a land of strangers, reminds

one of that pleasant story of Verstigan, how a Scotsman, descending one of the sandy hollows of the steppes of Tartary, heard from below a clear sweet voice singing "Bothwell bank, thou bloomest fair," and found it to come from a country woman naturalised there.

These monks justified the character of the Benedictines as good scholars and good fellows. Their share in the burdens, woes, and pains, laid on the monastic life, they chose to take out in the studious labours that lead to high scholarship, rather than in silence, laceration, and starvation. The last of them that remained always insisted on laying hold of and hospitably entertaining any fellow-countryman found lurking in tourist fashion about the premises. When I wandered through their domus vacuas, they had not the odours redolent of domestic life which pervade an ordinary German dwelling, but rather the mustiness of a deserted house. Some pictures were in the chambers, one professing to represent Queen Mary just before her execution. Some of the trifles not worth removing which people leave to be disposed of by their successors when they flit to new premises, seemed to be preserved with zealous care. One of them, an ear-trumpet, hinted that one of the later occupants had been deaf; and a fat, flabby umbrella of faded purple, was a meet symbol of the city of rain.

I must have one word of farewell on leaving those noble hills, whose companionship has imparted the greater part of their brightness to a few well-enjoyed days. There is something exhilarating in the very atmosphere of such a district that reminds one of Milton's drinking empyrial" (not imperial) air. When you turn your back on the mountains, you are leaving behind you an existence of glory and grandeur to tread the dusty highway that traverses the vulgar flat plain of common life. Even if the road be homewards, you cannot but feel



a melancholy regret, as on a parting from loved and honoured friends who may never be beheld again. Hence the mood in which such a scene beholds our farewell is ever remembered as an event in life. The eve before I went was warm and mellow, and the peaks were all steeped in sunshine, which, gradually deserting mountain after mountain according to its height, left the snows to grow grey and deepen into the blackness of night.

Next morning all was changed. The angry winds were throwing about great handfuls of cold rain, and roaring in the recesses of the mountains no longer visible. It was a scene adapted forcibly to remind one of those noble lines uttered by Campbell when bidding adieu to the same land :

"Adieu! the woods and waters' side,

Imperial Danube's rich domain;
Adieu! the grotto wild and wide,

The rocks abrupt, the grassy plain;
For pallid autumn once again
Hath swollen each torrent of the hill,
Her clouds collect, her shadows sail.
And watery winds that swell the gale
Come loud and louder still."


Selfishness suggested how lucky it was that the storm just waited till I was making off, and left all my days in the mountain region bright and available. Sentiment, on the other hand, would have preferred a genial smile at parting, instead of those stormy tears; and sentiment was to be gratified after all. the train swept through the great plain whence the Alps rise right up without intervening undulations, the storm abated, and the black curtain of clouds began to rise slowly up, exhibiting the lower ranges of the mountains, at first coldly and darkly, but then with patches of brilliancy, where the sun had bored a hole in the canopy of cloud; and ere I lost sight of them, I had the enjoyment of beholding the whole range relieved from their dark wet pall, and drying themselves with smiles in the warm sunshine.

3 D


ON the 1st of December, fifteen years ago, I made my first appearance in a county ball-room. That I should choose the 1st of December, fifteen years later, to make my first appearance in print, is probably due to the fact that I have spent the interval in Russia. Considering how extremely fond I have always been of putting my impressions upon paper, and the voluminous correspondence with which the friends of my youth have been favoured during my long absence from England, I can only suppose that it never occurred to me to publish, because I never met a lady in my adopted home who had ventured upon so bold a measure. Moreover I feel certain that, had I hinted at the possibility of so unfeminine a proceeding to my husband-who was then an officer in the Imperial Guard-I should have increased instead of dissipated certain prejudices against the English nation, which, however, had not prevented his asking me to go with him to his own country. That I did so at the age of seventeen, is the best proof I can give that I am not constitutionally timid-a fact which I will ask my readers to bear in mind in the course of the narrative I am about to relate. I am encouraged to believe it to be worth telling from the circumstance, that no sooner did I reach my old home in England, than a cluster of children who had not existed when I left it, invaded the sanctity of my bedroom when I was lying down to rest before dinner on the day of my arrival, and insisted upon my telling them myself the ghost story, by virtue of which the name of their near relation was kept ever fresh in their memories. Those thrilling details which I had communicated in my letters at full length at the time had, been repeated by my sister to each succeeding nephew and niece as he or she


had arrived at years of sufficient discretion to enable his or her hair to stand on end when terrified; but the luxury of horror which Aunt Ann's story invariably inspired was religiously kept as a great Christmas treat, and was looked upon as quite unrivalled in its line-partly because it was true, and partly because no other aunt in any neighbouring family had ever had any such thing happen to her; a circumstance which was always dwelt upon with great triumph and satisfaction when any other children ventured either to praise their aunts or to discuss ghosts in the abstract. in the darkening hours of a gloomy autumn afternoon I told my own story, for I saw it would be impossible to put it off until Christmas; and when my little audience, whose thorough knowledge of every incident did not in the least prevent them listening with the same rapt interest each time the story was told them, had trotted off, I thought that if they could bear to hear it so many times, some older children might bear to read it once. So now, as the clocks are striking midnight, I stir the fire with a chuckle, for I have not seen a fireplace for fifteen years, and I pull near it my comfortable arm-chair-I have not seen what I call an arm-chair for the same time; with a fervent blessing on "the stately homes of England," I shall proceed to give my first experience of my dreary home in Russia.

I had been little more than a year in St Petersburg when my husband was ordered on special service to a distant part of the empire. As the duty he was sent to perform would, in all probability, involve a prolonged absence, it was decided that I should be sent to a chateau which belonged to him in the Ukraine, and there wait his return; as, however, I was utterly inexperienced in the manners and customs of Russian country

life, I was furnished with a guide, philosopher, and friend, in the person of his sister Olga, then a very charming debutante, now a very distinguished member of the Russian corps diplomatique. It was no wonder, after having turned so many heads during the winter, that her own began to swim, and that she should look forward with pleasure to the repose of a country life, and the novel task of initiating a stranger into its mysteries. Nor was it without a flutter of excitement that I found myself packed into a roomy travelling carriage, containing my friend, my baby, and the nurse, and followed by two other curiously constructed vehicles, covered with as many goods and chattels as if we were going finally to settle in some newly inhabited colony. When I looked at the servants, bedding, and provisions that were stowed away in and over our three cumbrous equipages, I felt as if I was leading an exploring party, and responsible to the Geographical Society for the results of my observations; indeed, so vivid were the impressions which the incidents of this my first journey through the heart of the country made upon my mind, that I feel sure I should have produced a very good paper for an evening meeting. But now, how monotonous does that wellknown way-with its sign-posts over dreary wastes of snow in winter, its bottomless sloughs in spring and autumn, its clouds of dust in summer, its tracts of deep sand, its gloomy pine forests, and its rolling grass steppes-seem to me! How distinctly do I recall the deserted post-stations where the horses are never forthcoming, and how well I seem to know even the individual horses when they do come, and can distinguish between the yamchiks who are my friends, and those for whom I have an antipathy. As for night quarters, there is not an inn on the whole line of road the rooms of which I have not, at some time or other, furnished with all that portable material which I carry with

me on such occasions, and which, if it goes on increasing, will ultimately include a pier-glass and a piano.

How I wondered then at the rapidity with which the servants made things comfortable, and still more at the singular ideas which both they and Olga entertained of what comfort was!

At length, after many days, and now and then a night or two, of travel, we came upon the steppe country, where the forests were more scattered and the population sparser, until at last the whole landscape was a boundless expanse of grass, except in one direction, where a dark mass, like the shadow of a cloud, marked a distant wood. No sooner was it visible than my companion clapped her hands with delight, the horses were urged into a gallop, the carriage bounded more wildly than usual over the deep ruts formed by the winter rains, now baked into troughs that would have smashed ordinary springs, and I needed no other evidence to prove to me that our destination was at hand. I confess my heart sank within me, for there was something inexpressibly dreary in the prospect. My baby, who had undergone the trials of the journey with a fortitude and a power of endurance truly Sclavonic, set up a loud wail, which it seemed to me could only arise from instinctive dread and dismay. I looked round in every direction, and though the range of vision was most extensive, not the vestige of a cottage was visible, not a human being enlivened the scene; so I sank gently back and in silence, and added my tears to baby's. Fortunately, Olga was too much excited to notice me, and after violently hugging my firstborn in a paroxysm of delight, she performed the same operation upon me.

Thanks to the moisture she had acquired from the cheeks of that little cherub, she did not discover the tears on mine; so we plunged into the gloomy recesses of the wood, and I was cheered by seeing a road branch off to the

right, which she informed me led to the village. While wondering whether it would be possible to do a little "parish" in it, and secretly making up my mind to open a Sunday school, I was startled by the hollow sound of the horses' hoofs upon a wooden bridge, and looking out, saw that we were crossing a dry moat, and entering an old mossgrown castle, through a somewhat dilapidated archway.

Immense trees overhung the building, which I had only time to observe was very ancient, but still apparently substantial, and very quaint and irregular in form.


was very wrong, I know, and I concealed my feelings as much as I could, but she felt me shudder as I leant upon her arm, and stopped suddenly. "Why," she said, "do you tremble so much? are you frightened? Who told you the castle was haunted?" I had never heard anything about the castle, except that my husband used to make there what he called his "economies," by which he meant that he had a bailiff who lived in it and farmed his property for him; and as for its being haunted, it was a positive relief to my mind to hear anything about it half so interestWe pulled up at a low door in a ing. So I laughed at the notion of grass-grown quadrangle, where stood an Englishwoman either believing an old white-headed servitor, into in or being afraid of ghosts, and whose arms Olga precipitated her- said I shivered because a cold self with the most ardent expres- draught came down the passage sions of joy behind him a row of along which : we were passing. domestics evidently gazed with no little awe and respect upon the retinue of town servants we had brought from St Petersburg. Notwithstanding the bustle and the high state of preparation of everybody for our arrival, I felt chilled by a sensation of solitude and desolation I had not experienced since leaving England: the whirl and gaiety of the capital, the constant attendance at court which fell to my lot the excitement and novelty of a life altogether which never allowed a moment for serious thought -had kept me, as I supposed, contented and happy. Too young to discover cares in life which did not exist, too giddy to seek out occupation I did not desire, I had lived like a butterfly in a beautiful garden, and now suddenly found myself without the flowers, and the sunshine, and the other butterflies that used to pay me court. It was a moment of terrible reaction-even my companion's high spirits failed to make me take a cheerful view of things. When I followed the old white-headed man under the low doorway, and Olga linked her arm in mine, I felt as if he was the jailer, and she was escorting me to a dungeon in which I was to be confined for life.


Yes," observed my companion, "since the bailiff refused to live in it, the castle has been quite uninhabited, so that the air feels chilly; but we will have the stoves lighted and make ourselves comfortable. There is not the least danger in the daytime, and at night we will sleep in the cottage, which papa built just before his death, when the ghosts made it impossible to sleep any longer in the castle." As she said this we were standing in a fine old hall, round which were ranged some figures in armour; the walls were decorated with tapestry, and where the wood panelling appeared, it was in many places painted so as to form a picture with the edge of the panel for the frame. Very uncouth men and women indeed the worthy progenitors of my husband appeared, as depicted upon these ancestral walls-capable of any deed of darkness, and just the sort of people who would continue to live in the castle when they ought to have been reposing like respectable members of the Greek Church in the number of square feet of soil allotted to them. Unfortunately, instead of being buried, some had been put into a family vault, and were perhaps more rest

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