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bits and customs of the inhabitants of not certain whether he has or not, I Tiviotdale. - In the mean time, I am, shall tell you the story as he tauld it &c.
A. M. Hawick, March 24, 1820.
You recollect very well, when you and I were about Muirkirk, that the mischievous poetical genius of JM-used to keep the whole parish
in an uproar; it would allow nothing Greenock,
to lie at rest; it even shook the mounWR EDITOR,
tains, and raised the vera dead out o' If the following letter be of any
their graves :-for, besides conjuring service as a representation of Scottish up the ghost of How-d'ye-ca'm's auld character in a part of Scotland hither- and astonishment of the hail kintra
inare to proclaim aloud, to the terror to comparatively little known, you side, how ill she had been used durwill oblige me by giving it a place in ing the time of her sojourning here your Miscellany. The writer lays no claim to elegance in his composition, the two neighbouring hills of Cairn
below, he began a dispute between for, lii:e the beings he describes, he Table and Middlefield-law, that was has taken up the greater part of his like to alarm the neighbourhood, and education at his own hand, when fol
I am not certain if the difference be lowing his flocks among the moun
exactly settled at this day. tains of Nithsdale and Ayrshire. I believe he has experienced all the va- of the same kind did our poet distin
By these and a hundred tricks more rieties of feeling that agitate the bosom of a Scottish peasant; and, for and, as he possessed naturally, a guid
guish himself among his companions ; that reason, if he can contrive to make himself understood, I look upon him gift o' the gab, and had, besides, one
of the best educations Muirkirk could as tolerably well qualified to describe afford him, whether out of vanity or them. I must apprise you of one
amusement I shall not presume to thing, however, before introducing say, but so it was, he took a certain him to your acquaintance—he is a
pride in contradicting sundry articles rhymer, 'like myself; and if, out of of popular belief. He would not be vanity, he should sometimes exercise lieve that even his Clootieship was so your patience by giving you one of idle, or yet so fond of rural amusehis songs, you must just bear with him as I do. Upon the whole, his
ments, as to come and divert himself letter and he bear a remarkable re
at puttin the stane with some of the semblance to each other they are law, or that he excelled so much in
shepherds about Staniehill and Wardbaith gay an' thro' ither.
that diversion as to take up one about To Mr н. -, Greenock. the size of an ordinary steam-hoat,
and heave it frae the ane hill-side to MY DEAR H-,
the ither at ae swing, a distance of You wish me to procure you a par- perhaps a mile and three quarters. As ticular account of the most remark- little would he believe, when the good able superstitions that are still afloat people's cats on Glenmuir-water cam in the upper districts of Dumfries- in a' drouket on Halloween, that the shire. This I shall certainly do as fairies had gallopped on them from soon as I can find an opportunity of their summer habitation amang the conversing with some of our old grey- heather blooms on Ward-law, to their headed friends in the parishes of Kirk- winter quarters on the Domald-moat. connel and Sanquhar. In the mean He could not conceive that it was postiine, as I have been lately visiting sible for any person to see a spirit
. our old acquaintances on the banks of How could ever an immaterial existthe Glenmuir, and particularly in the ence be perceptible to bodily eyes? parish of Muirkirk, I wish to direct They were all beings of the imaginayour attention to the remarkable ap- tion, and never seen by any body in parition that was seen by our friend good health or in their sound senses.
M-at the grave of Came By these and many more arguron in Ayrsmoss. It is probable he ments of the same kind did our philomay have told you of it himself before sopher attack the foundations of the he went to America ; but, as I am popular faith, a faith that had de.
seended from father to child through for Cameron's grave. It was in the many successive generations, and in howe dead o' the nicht, a close mist, the truth of which they believed as and nothing to disturb the silence of firmly as in any of the miracles of the solitary moorland, save the lonely Moses, and which, for that very rea murmurs of the Ayr, and now and son, it was not advisable to meddle then the muirfowl springing on whirwith. JM did not consi- 'ring wings frae the dark moss hags der these things, however, and glo- and heather bushes at the approach rious was his career in pulling down of our devil-defying traveller. He the strong holds of error and super- would certainly have lost his way, had stition. One philosophical victory it not been for the red flashing glare followed another. Ghosts, brownies, of Muirkirk furnaces gleaming through and witches, trembled at his approach, the mist at intervals, and which sertill he had almost persuaded himself ved to shew him that he had now into the belief that the vera deil durst reached the little green swaird, where, hardly steer him.
over the grave of the murdered, stands How far our friend might have pro- the Through-stane, whereon are enceeded in such laudable and profound graved an open Bible, and the hand discoveries, I know not, but it is cer- of the minister grasping his sword, tain, from his own confession, that he under which are the following lines: saw as much one night as put an end to his scepticism, and convinced him Halt, curious passenger, come here and that there
read, more in heaven and earth than he dreamed of in his philo
Our souls triumph with Christ our glorious
In self-defence we murdered here do lie, A little above the foot of the haunt- To witness 'gainst this nation's perjury. ed Garpal,' on the opposite side of the water of Ayr, stands the lonely little
What were his thoughts in such a cottage of Tarreoch, or perhaps with place, at such an hour, I cannot tell. more propriety, ( Tir Crioch,) for it He told me he feared neither ghost is exactly on the end of Ayrsmoss. nor devil; perhaps neither of them Farther up the water, about half a was there ; but, “ Look, my lord, it mile beyond the Through-stane, is comes !" "Twas something more awsituated the neat little mansion of ful than either. “ It stood still, but Nether Wellwood. Here, you recol- he could not discern the form therelect, the hero of our story officiated in of.” In the appearance of horses and the character of farmer's servant; here, a chariot of fire, it described a circuin the innocent days of his boyhood, lar course half round the grave; the he spent his time in driving carts, drivers seemed clothed in light. The making songs, forming theories, and heather appeared bending under its forming ditches
. He was young, and, burning wheels. As he gazed on it like all other young poets, he would for about the space of half a minute, have sacrificed every other considera- it vanished in a cloud of mist. He tion, to the pleasure of spending an trembled, and felt as if the Almighty hour in the
company a bonnie lase had passed by on his horses and chase. The lady of his love, for the riots of salvation. time being, was an inmate of the a He was so overcome with terror at bove mentioned Tarreoch. And, ac- what he had seen, that he lost his cording to the laws of gallantry esta- way among the mist, anil wandered blished in the parish of Muirkirk, as for sometime in the moss between the you know well, my dear H. it was in- Wellwood and Well-trees. At last dispensably necessary that he should he found the highway from Muirpay a visit to his Dulcinea, at least kirk to Old Cumnock ; but he was so every Tuesday or Friday night. He stupid, that he knew not whether to did so ; and fortified as he was with turn to the right hand or to the left. love and philosophy together, he was After considering the upper side of determined to set all the powers of the road and the lower, however, he darkness at defiance for once.
Arm- found his way home. When he went ed with this goodly resolution, as he to bed his fellow-servant was asleep, catne home from Tarreoch, instead of and he was determined to conceal his directing his course the nearest way conversion from him and every one for the Wellwood, he bent it straight else if possible. With this resolution
he lay down, but he trembled so with Almighty, he wad be a father to us the apprehension of seeing another vi- when he was dead an gane." sion, that all attempts at concealment Logan Bunks, March 1820. were in vain. He awakened his bedfellow, told him what he had seen, and inimediately his mind was at ease. This, my dear H. is the substance of There is no doubt but our readers the account J - Mgave me. I observed on the day our lastNumber was believe it just as firmly as that I have published, an extraordinary bustle in this pen in my hand. You know very
all the booksellers' shops in Edinburgh. well the effects of it were visible in For our parts, when we saw the porhis after life and conversation.
ters sallying forth heavily laden from In my way from Glasgow to San- our publishers, and heard these latter quhar, along with a friend, I visited promising a hundred praying custhe Through-stane last summer. The tomers that each should be the first appearance of the place is wofully served, our vanity led us for a mo. changed. The beautiful green leas ment to think that we ourselves were of Nether Wellwood, where we used the occasion of all this ado. We had to lie and read, while our lambs were forgotten that on the same day also feeding on the “ fragrant flowrie was published the Monastery. The swaird,” have all been tortured by the sight, however, of this intense public tearing plough. The gowanie brae interest recalled to us the time, at the side o' Pal-wharnie Burn, where When breathless in the mart the couriers we read Ossian's Poems, and wunnart met, how they cou'd be poems, because Early and late, at evening, and at prime, they didna metre, was not to be dis- When the loud cannon and the merry tinguished from the red earth around
chime it. Here and there I saw a solitary Hail'd news on news, as field on field was shepherd boy following the charge that when Hope, long doubtful, soared at once was ours, playfully sporting with his little dog, or lying among the hea- And our glad eyes, awake as day begun,
length sublime, ther puin' strawberries. One little Watched joy's broad banner rise, to meet boy I met with of a most interesting the rising sun. character. He was happet aneath his grey plaid, in the bield of a green ed that a new fiction should now
And we felt ourselves highly delightrash-buss. He had been reading, for when I came up he closed a wee
excite those warm feelings of impapocket Bible. I imagined he had tience of delight-of almost estrabeen weeping, for his eyes were wet, vagant joy, which were formerly only I inquired after his little history, and produced by a bloody and dear bought where his parents lived.
victory: The mind is precisely like ther and mither are baith dead," said
the body. T'he dram-drinker or the he, “an I hae nae body to leuk to opium-taker must have recourse to me but my master and mistress; but
stronger life-shortening they're unco kin' to me. Yonder the poisons, before he can feel the glow place where my father stay't-It
of excitement, while he who merely
gars me aye greet when I look at it. That sips Bell's ale, is animated by a sinwas my father's Bible ;-there the gle glass of wholesome wine. The psalm they sang that night he dee't. din and the clank of arms which made I'm aye vext when I read the Psalms us insensible to every sound but -I used to say thein to my
the shrill trumpet, or
the loud the Sabbath nichts
, when he tell’t me mouthed cannon, has passed away, and an my wee brithers it he was soon
we can now dwell with delight on gaun to die, and gart us aye fa' to the
the harp of poetry, or on the sweet greetin; but he bade us dight our
sounding shell of fiction. This, we een and no greet, for it' we saught the think, is as it should be, we at least
could have no hope of being heard
when the Courier had to tell the “ Help, Lord, because the godly man
world of a victory, or the Chronicle Doch daily fade away ;
warned its readers to expect a defeat. And from among the sons of men
We were neither defenders nor avenThe faithful do decay."
gers of our country, and we could
only expect to amuse it when it had sheets. The Professors think a numno claims on its more serious atten- ber of little blows are more agreeable tion. Even now we are afraid the than one large blow, and they assault noise of the radicals will drown our the citadel of ignorance with their pastill voice ; at least we shall find an per bullets twice a week. They are excuse for “ the world's neglect,” in in league with the garrison, and rathe uproar which civil broil engen- ther desire to tickle them out of their ders, and we shall still flatter our- strong hold, than to force them to selves, that but for deep public dis- evacuate. They are not likely to contress, our writings would have been quer the world by storm. We hastily nailed on the mast of fame, a signal ran over the whole, and saw little for ages to come. Full of the scene that we in our then frame of mind we bad witnessed, we hastened home could employ. Short literary notices to inscribe it in our cominon-place of new books, with the sum and subbook, and found on our arrival a vast stance of their information, they give collection of German reviews and lite- rarely extracted—a sort of catalogue rary journals heaped on our table, raisonné is a very useful but not a which interested us almost as much very amusing book. But here, mixas the Monastery, and made us for a ed with the rest, is the Account of the moment forget it. They were the Proceedings of the Society of Sciences first we had received this year, the itself, which celebrated, on the 13th ice having interrupted the communi- of November 1819, the eighty-sixth cation. Our own journals come to us anniversary of its foundation. The day after day, and so gradually and Society changed its president for the constantly, that we are scarcely sensi- year, heard some papers read, and ble of the quantity of mental food we mourned over the members they had devour; but wben we receive at one lost in the year. Among these we moment a six months allowance, we noticed Count Festetics, so well known are astonished at our own gluttony. for his endeavours to promote knowWe ran over number after number, ledge in Hungary, and the celebratand pumphlet after pamphlet, as if ed French volcanist, Faujas St Fond, we thought we could catch the infor- who was in the habit of calling a mation they contained merely by destroying volcano, Un tres beau looking on the covers. We wished Phenomene. The society also apfor a dozen pair of eyes and half a pointed certain prizes for the endozen minds, to see and comprehenä suing year. Few of our readers, we the whole at once. We were afraid believe, are likely to be candidates for that our ingenious, speculative, and these, and we therefore pass industrious brethren on the opposite Should any of our literary friends, side of the water, might, in the six however, be anxious to obtain the homonths we have lost sight of them, nours and the ducats which the Sohave found a north polar passage in ciety have it in their power to give, that region (the air) in which they they will find all the conditions which are said to reign paramount, and have it is necessary to comply with menarrived at the el dorulo of science and tioned in the 194th Number, publishknowledge. Our fears were, how- ed the 4th of December 1819, of the ever, without foundation, and our above mentioned journal. It may be wishes also were vain. To ascertain of some interest to mention, that Prothe value of our treasure it was ne- fessor and Hofrath Hauseman read a cessary to examine it more minutely description to the Society of a me
We first devoteil ourselves to the teoric stone, which does not scem to wisdom and learning of the whole be one of the best authenticated inUniversity of Göttingen, compressed stances ever met with of the fact into the small space of a duodecimo. of such stones falling from the Gool things, says the proverb, are clouds. It was, however, attended marle up in little parcels, and all this with some curious circumstances. On wisdoin is not only crowded into a the night of the 12th of October, an little form, but is sparingly issued to inhabitant of Hartmannsdorf, a village the world in half sheets and quarter a league south-west from Politz, in
the territories of the Prince of Reuss, Göttingsche gelehrte Anzeigen. Pub- saw a brilliant light in the heavens, lished under the superintendence of the which he compared to an aurora-boRoyal Society of Sciences at Gottingen.
realis. On the following day, at seven
o'clock in the morning, weather terly Journal of Science. Here folcloudy and calm, a noise in the air lows something more to our purpose. was heard in this neighbourhood, It is a notice, “ that some of the which some people compared to the works of our Professor and Hofrath noise of a cannon. This was follow. Heeren are translated into both French ed by something like the sounds of and Dutch, and that some of these organs or ringing of vells, or distant translations, having gone through two singing, or like a storm raging in a editions, is a proof how highly these pine forest-for it was compared to works of our Professor and Hofrath them all—and then a stroke was felt are honoured, even out of Germany." as if a body had fallen on the earth This is, of course, a call on all true from a great height. After the ex Germans to regard this learned man plosion, the atmosphere remained as the great honour of his country. quiet, and, though some people thought We are sure our readers must laugh they had ascertained the direction of with us at the vanity which dictated the stroke, no one went immediately this notice, when we tell them the to the spot. Some days afterwards, initials at the bottom leave no doubt however, an honest peasant found in it was written by our Professor and this direction a meteoric stone, weigh- Hofrath himself.' Such is the undising 7 pounds and 1 ounce. It was guised manner in which the Germans about 54 inches long, and somewhat * fish for fame.” It is, however, a less thick, and was taken possession of specimen of an honest homeliness, an by the government for the Prince of open sincerity of heart, which we beReuss. It was sleposited, after some lieve to be peculiar to them, and specimens hal been taken away for which is rather to be praised than examination, in the Gymnasium at censured. The remainder of the Gera, under a glass case, as a sa- Journal, including five months, concred, irremovable treasure,” which tained nothing which we can present was not to be touched. Wc, how to our readers. ever, mention the circumstance in From the philosophic duodecimo order that the next of our curious we turned to an octavo scarcely less travellers who visits Germany may be philosophic, which is sent into the sure not to forget Gera and the stone. world at Heidelberg, at the rate of We have a great anxiety to know the 100 pages monthly. Like the lesser exact measure and size of the glass work, the greater part of its contents case which covers it-the sort of ta are medicine, jurisprudence, and the ble on which it lies—the age and look natural sciences. Notices of German of the keeper---the present “forin and literary works were few, and those body” of the stone-in short, we de- few not of much importance. Messrs sire earnestly to be intormeil of all Fouque and Laun, with the wife of those minute, interesting circumstances the former gentleman, have given relative to it, which modern travel- birth to another volume of those tales lers are so careful to give us of far less of ghosts, spirits, and horrors, of celebrateıl things. For a more per- which they are such rapid manufacfect description of the celestial object, turers. If we did not happen to know which we do not doubt will be intes that the makers of such tales, like resting to chemists and mineralogists, boys who make figures with phosphowe must refer to Professor Hause- rus on a wall, are the only persons man's paper, which is contained in on whom their own tales have no the 905th Number, published Decem- eftect, except contributing to their ber 25, 1819, of the above Journal. more comfortable subsistence, there Professor and Hofrath Tychsen's pa- is nu class of persons per on the medals and monies of the pity so much as the writers of ghostly Mahommedan era will be interesting romances. We really do think, in to oriental scholars ; and Professor spite of the Heidelberg Review, that Stromeyer's analysis of some new it is high time all such tales were giGreenland minerals will not pass un ven up for ever. When a belief in noticed by chemists. But, as we hap- spirits was general, there was soine pen to he neither one nor the other, reason for authors writing books in they are not“ grist for our mill;" which they were the principal agents. and we can only recommend them to the notice of the editors of the Quar
* An untranslatable title.