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ists “roaring, drinking, toast- was in fact extremely bitter ing, and quarrelling,” and the and unscrupulous; and the King's health was drunk to ever-present fear of a French the accompaniment of volleys invasion accentuated the Tory of musketry and the crash of distrust of_their political opsplintered wine-glasses. “For ponents. From 1803 to 1814 a week afterwards," says Lord Edinburgh was practically an Cockburn, who did not approve armed camp. Volunteers were of what he calls this abomin- enrolled by thousands,-includable festival, “the Court reeked ing professors, judges, doctors, with the wreck and fumes of and all the elite of society,that scandalous night.” City drilling by torchlight in the affairs were managed by the winter evenings, and parading Town Council, of whom Lord on Heriot's green or BruntsCookburn speaks as a respect-field Links. The general enable American politician might thusiasm was immense, and speak of Tammany Hall,- the stirring episode of the omnipotent, corrupt, impene- false alarm of a French fleet, trable sink of political told in the last chapter of and municipal iniquity, but Scott's 'Antiquary,' was staunchly Conservative and tirely founded on fact. On devoted to Henry Dundas the night of February 2, (Lord Melville), who in those 1804, the beacon on Home days was “the absolute Dictator Castle was fired by mistake, of Scotland.” For many years and the signal repeated from the Whigs were in a small point to point on the hills minority in Edinburgh, and along the Border. All through were viewed with the same the night militia and volundislike and suspicion as the teers from Berwick, Roxburgh, Papists in the days of Eliza- and Stirling, kept pouring in beth. Even the faithful few, to the alarm-posts along the such as Henry Erskine, Dugald coast. The Selkirkshire YeoStewart, John Clerk, and Lord manry made a forced march of Cockburn himself, who as between twenty and thirty sembled annually on Charles miles to reach their appointed Fox's birthday, had their place of assembly at Dalkeith; names taken down by the and the men of Liddesdale sheriff's officers. The French requisitioned their neighbours' Revolution was the all-pervad- horses and ponies, that they ing subject of the day, and might arrive the sooner, and every Whig was suspected of marched into Kelso early the being a Jacobin at heart. following morning, with their The spirit of Toryism asserted band playing their favourite air itself even in matters of dress : of “Little Jock Elliot." A trousers were considered Jacob- widowed mother, who had inical, and so late as 1820 there sent her son's
and were old loyalists who thanked accoutrements that he might God that they had always not
complistuck to the Constitution and mented by Sir Walter on her shoe - buckles. Party feeling readiness and forethought.
Sir,” she replied in the “But bring a Scotchman frae his hill, spirit of a Roman matron, Clap in his cheek a Highland gill, “none can know better than Say, such is royal George's will,
An' there's the foe, yourself that he is the only He has nae thought but how to kill prop of my old age; but I
Twa at a blow. would rather see him dead on
that hearth than hear Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings tease that he had been a horse's Death comes, wi' fearless eye he sees length behind his companions in defence of his King and Wi' bluidy han' a welcome gi’es him ; country."i These stirring in
An' when he fa's,
His latest draught o'breathin' lea'es him cidents sufficiently illustrate
In faint huzzas.” the strong patriotism and public spirit which now ani- The last
of the mated the Border clans—the eighteenth century marked an same men whose ancestors a epoch in the national life, just few generations back would as the Union and the abolition probably have been harrying of the Scottish Parliament had the Saxon on their own done a hundred
years previcount, and would have received ously.
the end of the French invaders with open another old song, – the dis
And it may be remarked appearance of all the distincthat this patriotism was no tive features of old Scottish ephemeral fit of enthusiasm or society and those strangely transitory flash of loyalty. original types of characterThe Highland regiments have homely, frank, convivial—with consistently shown the same courtly manners and a singular
devotion to their bluntness of speech, and with sovereign as they displayed to a friendly camaraderie among the chieftains of their clans in the various tenants of the the good (or bad) old times. crowded "lands” in the Old From Fontenoy to Waterloo, Town. It is easy to underfrom Balaclava to Omdurman, stand how Lord Cockburn and their “thin red line” has faced others mourned over the disdeath on the battlefield—often appearance of all the familiar against appalling odds— with landmarks of their boy hood, an unflinching courage which and moralised over the sweephas endeared their kilts and ing changes that had transtartans to English and Scottish formed their native city. alike. With them it is the natural courage of the race,
“The eighteenth was the last “the dormant ferocity of a
Scottish century. We, whose youth
tasted the close of that century and warlike nation,” – that needs lived far into the southern influence, but an adequate motive to feel proud of a purely Edinburgh call it into action. Burns has society, which raised the reputaexpressed this in two famous graced the deathbed of our national
tion of our discrowned capital and stanzas :
1 Antiquary, note H.
2 Cockburn's Journals, vol. ii. p. 199.
URGA AND THE TASHI LAMA.
SINCE the flight of the Tashi this branch will inevitably Lama from Lhassa,
accom- follow. panied, as was reported, by There was, and possibly still the Russian Buriat Agent, is, in contemplation a third Urga or its immediate neigh- branch, which it was intended bourhood has been the tem- should connect Pekin with the porary home of the deposed Trans-Siberian line across the deity. Latest advices from Gobi desert of Mongolia. The China state that he has at last actual tracing suggested led been induced by the authorities from some point in the vicinity at Pekin to quit Urga, in order of Lake Baikal vid Kiachkta to return at any rate to Thibet; and Urga to Kalgan, on the but whether the idea of at- southern or Chinese edge of tempting to make his way back Mongolia. It has been stated to Lhassa itself holds out any that the natural difficulties pleasing prospect to him may arising from want of water well be doubted.
as well as from the terrible So little known to Europeans severity of the winter in the is Urga, that it may be of Gobi would prevent the coninterest to attempt to throw struction of any such line, but some light upon such a sacred with this view the writer, who spot, as well upon the has himself crossed the Gobi surrounding country. Previous desert in the month of July, to the Russo - Japanese war, cannot agree. and at time when the As to the difficulty in actual former nation had but barely construction, it may be stated completed her epoch-making that for many scores of the Siberian Railway, there were seven odd hundred miles separunder consideration other, and ating Urga from Kalgan no less important branch, lines. nothing could be easier. A Of these vertebræ, which it was gigantic repetition of the intended should some day sup- formation of the country surplement the backbone, as the rounding Newmarket best deTrans - Siberian line may be scribes the character of a large considered, one of the most portion of the track along important has already been which the trace of the railway completed and opened, the line would run. As to the Orenburg - Tashkendt line. natural difficulties already reAnother, starting from Tash- ferred to, few travellers who kendt and proceeding vid have experience of the GodVernoe and Semipalatinsk to forsaken waste of shifting sand join the Siberian railway in through
through which the Transthe neighbourhood of Tomsk, Caspian railway forces its way still awaits construction. But to the river Oxus in Russian
Central Asia, will be in any another has disseminated haste to say that the Urga- Russian influence, and possibly Kalgan line is a physical im- something more tangible, possibility.
among the Mongolian princes In the light of the future and of the eastern tribes. At the of past events in Manchuria it time of the writer's visit is a problem of the deepest in- Russia was represented by M. terest, at any rate to soldiers, Schismaroff, who, like not a to consider what might have few of the versatile and capable been the result in the present public servants of the Czar, war had a few years more is not of pure Russian extracbeen allowed to Russia to tion. To his intimate acquaintdevelop and mature her strat- ance with their character and egical railways in and around customs was no doubt due a that unfortunate country. considerable portion of his sucThat any such line will now cess in moulding the native be built is unlikely. That is element he was called upon to to say, if China is wise. At handle. the present time she is engaged The approach to Urga from in pushing on what would have the south, as seen in the early been the last 150 miles of the rains, is decidedly picturesque. Russian line, the portion from Riding in, the country was Pekin to Kalgan — this in everywhere covered with order to connect the Mongolian beautiful carpet of fresh green plateau and borderland with turf, which, following suddenly the capital. From time im- upon the bare expanse of stony memorial the ancient caravan desert, was most comforting route has passed this way, to the eyes. After the eternal traversing the Nankou pass. flatness of the last month it And if only the Chinese could was indeed a
treat to pass be sufficiently far-seeing, and over rolling green hills heavily possessed the necessary strength wooded in darker shade, of purpose to keep the entire which contrasted in colour as capital in their own hands, nature alone knows how to this new line, through its paint. Anything more bearing upon modern trading like what imagination pictures enterprise at Tientsin and the deserts of Mongolia to Pekin, should, by the profits be it is hard to imagine. it earns, go far to reconcile the The town itself, though town Chinese to railway enterprise in the European sense it is not, in the interior.
lies on the north side of a Urga is situated
on the small river, by name the Tola. northern edge of the so-called The valley through which the Gobi desert, in Eastern Mon- river flows is shut in by hills golia. To Russia it has for towards the east, and varies a long time past been a valu- from a mile to one and a half able base from whence one mile in breadth. Strictly able political agent after speaking neither a town, a
city, nor a village, Urga is a world, worldly. Possessing not collection of yurts 1 and wooden a few traits which it might be houses, sprinkled with Lama thought must discredit his godtemples, the former surrounded like attributes in the eyes of as a rule by heavy log palings the Buddhist faithful, this exeight to ten feet high. The traordinary being yet remains Russian settlement, in which the spiritual god of millions. was the European-built Russian To mention one only of such Consulate as well as the Cos- characteristics— he is unable sack fort, lies in the eastern to provide himself with the part of the town.
The fort various objects upon which consisted of a modest earth- his ever-changing fancy settles work, whose ditch was pro- without having
to tected by a barbed - wire en the vulgar method of paying tanglement and trous-de-loups. for the same in brick tea, the
From the native standpoint “hard cash " of the surrounding the distinction enjoyed by Urga country. Yet considerations -or, to give its native name, Ta such as these do not enter into Kuren or Bogdo Kuren, mean the minds of the simple Moning the sacred encampment- gols, who revere
his name. lies in the fact that it is the Should any such disturbing earthly abode of their Ever- thought flash through some living God or Kutukhtu. To more than usually inquisitive Mongols, Urga ranks next to brain, who is there to offer an Lhassa in sacred character, as answer ? Of a certainty not containing the third figure in the common Lama. His busithe Thibetan patriarchate. In ness, so far as he can make it, the doctrine of the Lamas, as is with his own concerns : how is well known, these earthly he shall live, not how he shall impersonations of God can die; what the
morrow may never die, but are reincarnated bring forth; what he shall by the passing of their souls eat and what he shall drink. after death into new-born in- Though it is true that as yet fants. At the time of the he confines himself to a scrip writer's visit the Ever-living and perhaps a staff, it is God was
represented by a only because the possession of young man whose age was not these satisfies all his present yet thirty. He lived in a re- needs. plica of the Russian Consulate, It was a day of good luck from whose representative, pos- which afforded the writer the sibly, his abode was a votive chance of studying in the flesh offering. Any personification such a remarkable entity as of the deity was said to be con one of the spiritual heads of fined to public life. In private the Buddhist religion. Nor it was whispered he was of the was the setting of the picture
1 Yurt=a circular tent used by Mongols, Khirghiz, and such nomad tribes. The framework is of crossed sticks, the covering felt. VOL. CLXXVIII.-NO. MLXXVII.