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of George III. to that of Ed- children a picture of the life of ward VII., in the case of a their ancestor during the nineman who was sworn a Justice teenth century. The value of of the Peace in the reign of these records of a personal exWilliam the Fourth, many ad- perience, set down without any ministrative changes had to be ulterior motive, will be best apsuperintended by the Viceroy preciated long after the writer's of four large districts, with an great-grandchildren are dust. acreage of tens of thousands, The book, edited as it has been and a population of some by a scholar and student of 5000 souls. When Evander history, will be as valuable to Maciver, after a training as the students of the social hisbank - agent at Dingwall, as- tory of Scotland two hundred sumed the reins of the govern- years hence as is Evelyn to us. ment of something like a thous Evander Maciver was born at and square miles of the west Gress, in the parish of Stornoof Scotland, the Poor Law way, in 1811. Gress was a had not been invented; there farm, described as “vast, scant,
no School Boards, no drearie; it never produced Parish nor County Councils. what it did not swallow up." Poverty was not unknown, but the following extract gives a its relief was left to the charity picture of a North country of the community. The later farmer's troubles in the end mania for uniformity did no of the eighteenth century :particular good in multiplying
“My grandfather, after whom I organisations in sparsely-popu- was called” [Anglicé named), writes lated districts. Education, ac Mr Maciver," was ruined in a singular cording to Mr Maciver, has manner. There was a considerable become more widespread but extent of arable land, from the pro
duce of which a large fold of Highless beneficial. The school- land cattle were wintered in byres. masters provided by School A stackyard adjoined, and they conBoards are inferior to the men sumed the straw. A swarm of rats who gave Scotland its educa
landed at Gress from the sea, came ional reputation,-a complaint
to the stackyard and ate up the not confined to the West High- an extent that they fell to the
grain, riddling the stacks to such lands nor
to local adminis- ground, and what was left by the trators who were born in the rats rotted away and was rendered
useless for the cattle. reign of George the Third.
A very severe Parish and County Councils of the cattle died of starvation.
spring followed, and a large number have had but little practical Such was the loss that he was never effect in Sutherland. Rates able to recover. My father was have increased there as else
man of much ability and great
natural talent, and by good managewhere; but otherwise their ad
ment, industry, and economy he bevent has had no particular came prosperous : he speculated in result.
cattle, fish-curing, ship-owning, and Desultory but incisive as the rose to be the leading man of the
Island.” reminiscences of this Highland satrap are, their purpose is to Young Evander received the give his grandchildren and their rudiments of his education at
home, and then went to the and particles than in the “greyEdinburgh Academy. Here he haired gentleman," and frankly had as a schoolfellow Archibald tells his grandchildren exactly Campbell Tait: “He was a very what happened. amiable lad. I had often con- It is interesting to refer to versations with him; he never the Journal.' There Sir Walter joined in our sports, was deli- says, under date of July 9, cate in constitution and a little 1827 :lame, but looked on with pleasure. But of the Edinburgh with Colin Mackenzie to the New
“At eleven went by appointment Academy the young Evander Edinburgh Academy. In the fifth had a more precious memory class, Mr Mitchell's, we heard Greek, than even the friendship of a
of which I am no otherwise a judge future Archbishop.
than that it was fluently read and
explained. . . . Of my young friends account of the incident is so
I saw a son of John Swinton, a son naïve and frankly free from of Johnstone of Alva, and a son of the embellishment that any one
Craufurd Tait." tainted by a desire to write It is to be hoped that Mr for the public would inevitably Maciver's attention was drawn have bestowed upon it, that it to Sir Walter's appreciation should be given in full :
of his fluent reading of his "During my last year at the Xenophon. Academy two gentlemen came into After he left school, two the class-room, as visitors often did.
years at the university were One of them was a heavy, dull, redfaced, grey - haired gentleman, who pleasantly, if not profitably, kept his head and face down without
spent. the smallest appearance of animation. He was well known to many of my
“I had an extensive acquaintance schoolfellows, and the whisper went in Edinburgh. . . . Looking back on round that he was Sir Walter Scott, my college days, I am satisfied I was the great poet and novelist of the a better classical scholar after quitday. We were reading a chapter
ting the Academy than I was after of Xenophon's 'Anabasis' in Greek, being two sessions in the Greek and translating and parsing as we went Latin classes at the University." along, when they entered.
Then some French must be amazement, Mr Mitchell (the master), on a short pause, called upon me to
business read a sentence or two of an older les- training in an office.
After son in the 'Anabasis. By this time that he went to Lanarkshire as I had become a good Greek scholar.
a "mud student," then to DumI knew the passage asked for, and read and translated it correctly with friesshire to get a practical out a stop or hitch, and was compli- knowledge of sheep - farming, mented by the master, when I con- then home for a bit, and then cluded, on the correctness with which
a brief period in the Duke I had read and answered ; and ever
of Buccleuch's estate office afterwards I felt no small pride in having been asked to show my
at Dalkeith. After a visit scholarship before so great and to Ireland came the event eminent an author as Sir Walter of a first visit to London, was."
were filled up the The boy was more interested years of training. The Lonin his own rendering of aorists don visit in 1834 was the
at the close of the revolution, perience in locomotion.
nineteenth century Scots sol“At this time the only railway
diers of fortune, “with some open in the kingdom for passengers pay in their pockets, a foolish, was that from Liverpool to Man- reckless lot, says the future chester, and being most anxious for a elder of the Church of Scotland, drive on a railway, I went to Glas- -and settled his appointment gow, and thence by steamer to Liver
as factor to Davidson of Tulloch. pool. I got my first railway drive to Manchester : it was so rapid that I Then we have pictures of the reached Manchester much sooner than social and economic life of ScotI expected, and was rather disap- land from 1834 to the beginning pointed at the brevity of the journey of the twentieth century, of Next day I left Manchester at 6 A.M. in a splendidly horsed stage-coach great interest to all Scotsmen, with four horses, and had a most in- of value to all who wish to teresting drive all the way to London. know something of the land The distance was 180 miles, and was
which they visit for sport or accomplished in 18 hours to the Post Office at St Martin's-le-Grand. As pleasure, and of supreme imwe approached London we met a portance to the future historgreat number of mail-coaches with ian. Mr Maciver conjoined shining lights, carrying the mails banking at Dingwall with his north from London,"
duties as estate manager, and The young Evander found
was prosperous and happy as romance in the four one of the chief men in a county horses than in the hurrying town. Promotion came, and little railway, which gave him in the freer life of the Duke no time to see the country or of Sutherland's representative the strange English people. at Scourie his administrative “Romance is dead, the cave- faculties had greater scope. man said,” and so forth, as the There was another advantage, poetic apostle of hurry tells us. from the point of view at any The romance of haste to get rate of the reader of his remin. somewhere to do nothing, or iscences,—he had opportunities nothing worth doing, may of meeting people whose names appeal to a a generation yet are writ large in history, and unborn : to surely the of most of them he records very picture of the young Islesman frank opinions. going to the capital, where his His dealings with John future career was to be decided, Bright show the Man of Peace behind relays of four spanking in the human light of a dishorses, through 180 miles of the appointed sportsman. heart of England, must be more romantic than a night journey
“John Bright came to Scourie in in a third-class carriage from
my absence, with a letter of intro
duction from the Duke of Sutherland Glasgow to Euston can pos asking me to give him fishing on the sibly be.
river Laxford. He was sent there In London Maciver saw the by my son. It turned out that he sights, met a cousin and his went there with a small trout rod,
and he broke it soon after beginning friend' just home from service to fish and came back without any under Don Pedro,—discharged sport. I returned home that evening
and went to the hotel to call for him. I found him reading and smoking, The former gave him a copy
were among his artist friends.
of and the room so full of smoke that I could scarcely breathe. I found him his rare etching, the “Again shocking bad humour. He said he memnon"; the latter painted had remained a whole day, spent ten the rocks and waves of Handa. shillings in driving to the Laxford, Nobody ever visited Sutherbroke his rod, and had no sport. I did all I could to restore him to good
land without seeing Maciver humour in vain, offered him the use
of Scourie, and in his long of a salmon-rod, which he declined- life he had talks with nearly said he would leave next morning. I
contemporary worth parted with him concluding that he knowing, from King Edward was the most uncouth, ill-tempered and his brothers and sisters man I had ever met in his rank.”
downwards. He records several Poor Mr Bright! He lost interviews with Mr Gladstone, two chances—the one of a day's whose later politics did not sport under proper conditions
appeal to him. After their on a fascinating river, the first meeting in the 'Fifties he other of rising to the level of Highland courtesy. But Sir
saysWilliam Harcourt comes off
“Mr Gladstone was a most pleaseven worse.
ing, agreeable man in society ; did
not in the very slightest appear a “In 1868 I visited Sir John Fowler big man or elated by his high reputaat Braemore, and met there, among tion, most affable, full of humour, other notabilities, Vernon Harcourt, simple in his manners. .. The im now Sir William, and my first im- pression I formed of Mr Gladstone pression of him formed in London at was that he was too impetuous in a dinner was confirmed. I heard him coming to conclusions, too easily imspeak that evening in London in a pressed by what he heard, and he did most supercilious, uppish manner not appear to me to be a man of that during dinner. He spoke in a style strong judgment and common-sense indicating he was superior to all necessary for those who are to be present, and that no one should guides of men or parties, but that contradict him. When I arrived at a more delightful man in society and Braemore from Ullapool I found the in conversation could not be met gentlemen all smoking after break- with." fast in front of the house, which is about eight or nine miles from Ulla- Is not this the judgment of pool. Vernon Harcourt at once made the professional on the gifted up to me, and asked me to send my amateur ? Maciver was ruler horse back to Ullapool with a tele- of men by birth as well as by gram. I calmly said that I had driven my horse the previous day natural selection, and in his from Scourie to Ullapool, a distance
own domain he had greater of over forty miles, that he was very power and met with less oppotired, and that I could not comply sition than fell to the Liberal with his request. About a month
Prime Minister in his larger after I met him at Dunrobin Castle. He was not quite so overbearing sphere. Of Mr Gladstone's there, but still he was far from family he speaks with the agreeable, and my former impres- frankness of a relative for sions of him were confirmed.”
Mrs Maciver's mother and Mr Of Millais none but kindly Gladstone's were cousins. “His recollections remained. Sey- mother was a woman of very mour Haden and Peter Graham high character, talents, and
piety, with a fine presence, and Take him for all in all, we it must have been from her shall ne'er look upon his like that he inherited”—all his again. Times have changed, good qualities in short,—for in and never again will a factor spite of his insight into Mr have such power for good or Gladstone's defects as a prac- evil. Thirty years ago
Mr tical statesman, he considers Maciver was practically an that if he had not become a Eastern governor, under the Home Ruler he would have restraint only of the common gone down to posterity “as a law of Scotland. His sultan good, pious, God-fearing man, a wise and benevolent -the most remarkable man Duke, who each year spent of this century." He adds to
on his Highland dothe appreciation of the mother mains than he got from them. of the statesman a criticism of In times of dearth and his father :
famine, road-making, emigra
tion schemes, the purveying “I had occasion to know a good of food, seed, and cattle and deal about him. He was a strongminded, clever man of business, self- horses for the improvement of reliant and imperious, wholly absorbed stock and for replenishing in making a fortune. I considered holdings-all such things were him a rough, outspoken man.'
devised and carried out by Mr W. B. Blaikie, who knows proprietor or factor without more about the 'Forty-Five than the aid of public money or of anybody else, was asked by Crofters Commissions or ConMr J. M. Barrie: "If I were gested Districts Boards. Mr to write a book or
a play Maciver was no friend to the about the 'Forty-Five, how Crofters Commission : he reshould I make the Highland garded it somewhat chiefs in hiding spend their personal insult, and when we time ?" “In reading Virgil learn that since its creation in and Horace, or in making 1889 it has consumed about Latin verses of their own if £100,000 in salaries and exthey had no books," was the penses, — enough to buy up instant reply, and he promptly nearly the whole of the Highproved it by documentary evi- land crofts and present them dence. Evander Maciver never to the people free of all rent,forgot his Latin. Catullus and sympathy must remain with Martial, we are told, remained the practical administrator his friends and companions, rather than with the Radical and the writer remembers that reformer. an apt quotation from time to The notorious “Sutherland time was used by the gracious Clearances” took place before host of Scourie – not pedan- Mr Maciver's day. He, how. tically, but haply to recall the ever, had some part in helping fact that life and letters were to build up a Scottish Canada not confined to killing salmon - but his emigrants on the Laxford and a perusal voluntary, their passages were of the daily paper.
paid, money was advanced to