« PreviousContinue »
How beautiful, beneath the morning sky,
The level sea outstretches like a lake,
Serene, when not a zephyr is awake
Presents its time-worn ruins, hoar and grey,
Lonely, when all its brethren are away.
That aught of death is perishing! Come forth,
And fade away-Aurora of the north!
SCENE ON THE GRAMPIANS.
Nè greggi nè armenti
Guida bifolco mai, guida pastore.
Where nought is heard except the wild wind's sigh,
The Alpine masses stretch; the heavy cloud
Cleaves round their brows, concealing with its shroud
Are here ;-birds sing not, and the wandering bee
Searches for flowers in vain ; nor shrub, nor tree,
Silence and desolation, what is he!
THE AYRSHIRE LEGATEES ;
RESPONSIVE NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS.
We have been delighted to understand that the amiable community of Port Glasgow have been highly gratified with the notice taken of their beautiful steeple, in our number for July, by Miss Rachel Pringle. The epithet," insignificant,” which the young lady applied to their town, was certainly not so conciliating as it might have been; but when it is considered that it was in her power to have employed one much more contemptuous, the inhabitants of the Port, with that candour, liberality, and intelligence, for which they are so justly celebrated, are very thankful for her delicacy, in consideration of the
attention paid to their steeple. Few edifices, indeed, have so well merited the affectionate regard of their respective communities as this much-beloved structure—a structure of which it may be truly said, that both art and nature have combined to render it perfect, the genius of an earthquake having been expressly called into action to give it an agreeable and gracious inclination towards its daily admirers in the shops and streets below--at least, we have not heard that the earthquake was ordained for any other purpose. By this “ touch beyond the reach of art," this coup-de-grace, the steeple of Port Glasgow now vies with the famous Campanella or hanging tower of Pisa, the rocking steeple of Bristol, or the tumbledown tower of an ancient castle in Wales, of which we do not at this moment recollect the name, but when our friend Dr Peter Morris of Aberystwith returns to Edinburgh, we shall make particular inquiries on the subject.*
But it is neither on account of its beauty, nor its stature, nor its knowing and leaning condescension towards the people, that this edifice deserves the attention of the world in general, and the admiration of the classical scholar in particular. The inhabitants of Port Glasgow have, in fact, towards their steeple, with a taste peculiar to themselves, surpassed the ancient Athenian Greeks. Among that people, it was an occasional custom to erect monuments in commemoration of festivals and theatrical entertainments, as witness the chos ragic monument of Lysicrates, &c. But it was reserved for this more refined community to patronise theatrical entertainments expressly performed in honour of their steeple ;--and Mr Thornbackt has preserved in his vaa luable travels by the steam-boat, an account of the bill that was ise sued on that occasion, and which had the effect of drawing one of the most numerous assemblages of rank, beauty, and fashion, ever known at the theatre, to the great relief of the starving children of Thespis, who had previously, tried, in vain, all the ordinary artifices to attract an audience.
But it is not for mortals to enjoy unalloyed felicity. We have received a letter from Mr Thomas Barker, of Kilmarnock, better known among his friends by the jocose appellation of Drowthy Tammy, complaining, that in our annotations on the Pringle papers, we had made insinuations detrimental to the godly character of that orthodox town, and accusing us of winking and nodding, in a profane and profligate manner, at the well-sung “simper James” of Robin Burns the poet, than which no imputation can be more unjust or unfounded.
This, however, is nothing to the frantic anonymous charge that has been brought against us by a certain person in the townhead of Irvine, calling in question not only the authenticity of the Pringle letters, but even the existe ence of our correspondent, Mr MʻGruel, of Kilwinning.
To doubt the veracity of papers is no new species of scepticism, but to deny the being of a medical man, who has been at the expense of having a handsome gilded pestle and mortar placed over his door, and large beautiful bottles filled with water, of all the primary and primitive colours, displayed in his window, is, we do think, a flagrant example of the infidel tendencies of the present age. But we shall take no further notice at present of this person. By adverting to his place of residence, we have apprised him that he is known. Let him therefore take heed.
A far different correspondent we have found in the worthy Mr James Thegite of Greenock ;-that excellent character begs us to state, that the schism in the Tontine has been most happily adjusted, all the gentlemen of respectable political principles having abandoned the old rooms to the radicals, and left them in the avoided possession of the stools and chairs. It was proposed, as a just compliment to one eminent magistrate, to have his "statue erected in bronze, in the assembly rooms, but the committee, on considering the proposition, dissuaded the subscribers, with the same reason that induced her late Majesty to decline the present of an elephant, namely, “ He is too
Caërphilly. Dr MORRIS. + Our erudite friend, Mr Brydson, is not of opinion that this Mr Thornback is in any way related to the celebrated Mr Blethering Soait, who paid his addresses to Miss Maggy Lauder. VOL. VIII.
big, he will cosh too moosh money.” It gave us also great pleasure to understand, from the same intelligent source, that nothing in our Magazine occa- 1 sioned the late fracas among the doctors of the Infirmary, and that there is no truth in the story of a certain M.D. having, in that affair, received a dangerous contusion in a particular part that shall be namless. The details, however, will probably, being a Greenock business, come before the courts.
We have, however, been surprised that no notice has yet been taken of the Pringle papers by any of our Glasgow correspondents, but the recent arrival of so many vessels from the West Indies, with turtle and limes, partly accounts for this. It is, however, pleasing to find, from so many different quarters, that a zealous public spirit is abroad, and it cannot be doubted, that the disposition which makes so many individuals observant of our attention to their respective communities, may be ascribed to the influence of the same spirit which, in other places, dictates to the friends of religious and political reformation. The love and affection, for example, which the respectable community of Port Glasgow bear to their steeple, are, in other towns, emulated by an ecclesiastical attachment to some new dissenting sect. The contest for the stools and chairs between the old and the new Whigs of the Greenock coffeeroom, is finely illustrative of the Parliamentary contention for places; the remonstrance of Drowthy Tammy, of Kilmarnock, may be classed with those addresses and petitions in which it is deemed expedient to assume the existe .. ence of grievances, in order to give point and effect to the argument employed, while our anonymous friend in the townhead of Irvine, is an individual of that numerous class of authors, who, in reviews and newspapers--the Edinburgh a Review, for example-fearlessly, from behind their cloak of darkness, deny ! and controvert facts and truths. And may we not liken the loyal and indifferent punch-drinkers of Glasgow to those warm and wealthy citizens who selfishly eat, drink, and make merry, without respect or regard to the interests of their country? But it is full time that we should attend to our own immediate task. Our worthy and facetious friend, Pacificus of Port Glasgow, may rest assured, that it is not our intention to permit any thing derogatory to “ the Bell” to sully our pages. We had heard of its painting and roasting, but doubted the fact till he confirmed it.
THE PRINGLE CORRESPONDENCE.
One evening as Mr Snodgrass was taking a solitary walk towards Irvine, for å the purpose of calling on Miss Mally Glencairn, to inquire what had been her latest accounts from their mutual friends in London, and to read to her a letter, which he had received two days before, from Mr Andrew Pringle, he met, near Eglintoun Gates, that pious woman Mrs Glibbans, coming to Garnock, brimful of some most extraordinary intelligence. The air was raw and humid, and the ways were deep and foul ; she was, however, protected without, and tempered within, against the dangers of both. Over her venerable satin mantle, lined with cat-skin, she wore a scarlet duffle bath-cloak, with which she was wont to attend the tent-sermons of the Kilwinning and Drege horn preachings, in cold and inclement weather. Her black silk petticoat was pinned up, that it might not receive injury from the nimble paddling of her short steps in the mire; and she carried her best shoes and stockings in a handkerchief, to be changed at the manse, and had fortified her feet for the road, in coarse worsted hose, and thick plain-soled leather shoes.
Mr Snodgrass proposed to turn back with her, but she would not permit him" No, Sir," said she, “ what I am about you cannot meddle in. You are here but a stranger-come to-day and gane to-morrow--and it does not pertain to you to sift into the doings that have been done before your time.o dear ; but this is a sad thing--nothing like it since he silencing of M'Auly of Greenock-What will the worthy Doctor say when he hears tell o't.
C Had it fa'n out with that neighering body, James Daff, I would na hae caret a snuff of tobacco, but wi' Mr Craig, a man so gifted wi' the power of the Spirit,
as I hae often had a delightful experience.-Ay, Ay. Mr Snodgrass, take beed lest ye fall, we maun all lay it to heart, but I hope the trooper is still within the jurisdiction of church censures. She should na be spairt. Na doubt, the fault lies with her, and it is that I am going to search, yea, as with a lighted candle.”
Mr Snodgrass expressed his inability to understand to what Mrs Glibbans alluded, and a very long and interesting disclosure took place, the substance of which may be gathered from the following letter; the immediate and instigating cause of the lady's journey to Garnock being the alarming intelligence which she had that day received of Mr Craig's servant-damsel Betty, having, by the style and title of Mrs Craig, sent for Nanse Swaddle, the midwife, to come to her in her own case-which seemed to Mrs Glibbans nothing short of a miracle, Betty having, the very Sunday before, helped the kettle when she drank tea with Mr Craig, and sat at the room-door, on a buffet-stool brought from the kitchen, while he performed family worship, to the great solace and edification of his visitor.
The Rev. Dr Pringle, D. D. to Mr Micklewham, Schoolmaster, Garnock.
Dear SIR, I have received your not without letting them have an letter of the 24th, which has given inkling of what I think about their me a great surprise to hear, that Mr being married in December, which Craig was married as far back as was a great shame, even if there was Christmas to his own servant lass no sin in it; but I will say no more; Betty, and me to know nothing of it, for truly, Mr Micklewham, the longer nor you neither, until it was time to we live in this world, and the farther be speaking to the midwife. To be we go, and the better we know oursure, Mr Craig, who is an elder and selves, the less reason have we to a very rigid man, in his animadver- think slightingly of our neighbours; sions on the immoralities that came but the more to convince our hearts before the session, must have had his and understandings, that we are all own good reasons for keeping his mar. prone to evil and desperately wicked. riage so long a secret. Tell him, For where does hypocrisy not de however, from me, that I wish both bound, and I have had my own exhim and Mrs Craig much joy and fe- perience here, that what a man is to licity ; but he should be milder for the world and to his own heart is a the future on the thoughtlessness of very different thing. youth and headstrong passions. Not În my last letter, I gave you a that I insinuate, that there has been pleasing notification of the growth, as any occasion in the conduct of such a I thought, of spirituality in this Bagodly man to cause a suspicion, but bylon of deceitfulness, thinking that its wonderful how he was married in you and my people would be gladdenDecember, and I cannot say that I ed with the tidings of the repute and am altogether so proud to hear it as I estimation in which your minister am at all times of the well doing of was held, and I have dealt largely in my people. Really the way that Mr the way of public charity. But I Daff has comported himself in this doubt that I have been governed by matter, is greatly to his credit, and I a spirit of ostentation, and not with doubt if the thing had happened with that lowly-mindedness without which him, that Mr Craig would have sifted all almsgiving is but a serving of the with a sharp eye how he came to be altars of Belzebub, for the chastening married in December, and without hand has been laid upon me, but bridal and banquet. For my part, I with the kindness and pity, which a could not have thought it of Mr tender father hath for his dear chilCraig, but its done now, and the less dren. we say about it the better, so I think I was requested by those who come with Mr Daff, that it must be looked so cordially to me with their subscripover, but when I return, I will speak tion papers for schools and suffering both to the husband and wife, and worth, to preach a sermon to get
collection. I have no occasion to tell in the year I was licensed, that the you, that when I exert myself what town-council, the Lord Eglinton that effect I can produce and I never was shot being then provost, took in made so great an exertion before, the late Thomas Bowet to be a counwhich in itself was a proof, that it was sellor, and Thomas, not being versed with the two bladders, pomp and va
in election matters, yet minding to nity, that I had committed myself to please his lordship, for like the rest of swim on the uncertain waters of Lon- the council he had always a proper don, for surely my best exertions veneration for those in power, hē, as I 12 were due to my people. But when was saying, consulted Joseph Boyd the Sabbath came upon which I was the weaver, who was then Dean of the to hold forth, how were my hopes Guild, as to the way of voting, where. If withered and my expectations frus- upon Joseph, who was a discreet man, trated-0, Mr Micklewham, what an
said to him,
Ye'll just say as I say, inattentive congregation was yonder and I'll say what Baillie Shaw says, many slumbered and slept, and I sown for he will do what my Lord bids mix ed the words of truth and holiness in him,” which was as peaceful a way of le vain upon their barren and stoney sending up a member to Parliament as hearts. There is no true grace among could well be devised. some that I shall not name, for I saw But you know that politicks are far a them whispering and smiling like the from my hand, they belong to the c! scorners, and altogether heedless unto temporalities of the community; and 24 the precious things of my discourse, the ministers of peace and good will love which could not have been the case to man should neither make nor had they been sincere in their pro- meddle with them. I wish, however, vry fessions, for I never preached more to that these tumultuous elections were thates
, my own satisfaction on any occasion well over, for they have had an effect at whatsoever-and when I return to my on the per cents, where our bit legacy own parish you shall hear what I said, is funded, and it would terrify you to as I will preach the same sermon over hear what we have thereby already again, for I am not going now to print lost. We have not, however, lost so it
, as I did once think of doing, and much but that I can spare a little to ? to have dedicated it to Mr W
the poor among my people, so you beter We are going about in an easy way, will, in the dry weather, after the seeing what is to be seen in the shape seed-time, hire two-three thackers to the de of curiosities, but the whole town is mend the thack on the roofs of such in a state of ferment with the election of the cotters' houses as stand in need of members to Parliament. I have of mending, and banker My been to see't both in the Guildhall and will pay the expense; and I beg you to the at Covent-garden, and its a frightful to go to him on receipt hereof, for he thing to see how the radicals roar like has a line for yourself, which you
will bulls of Bashan, and put down the be sure to accept as a testimony from the man speakers in behalfof the government. I me for the great trouble that my
abhope no harm will come of you, but sence from the parish has given to I must say, that I prefer our own you among my people, and I am, dear quiet canny Scotch way at Irvine. Sir, your friend and pastor, Well do I remember, for it happened
Z. PRINGLE. As Mrs Glibbans would not permit Mr Snodgrass to return with her to the manse, he pursued his journey alone to the Kirkgate of Irvine, where he found Miss Mally Glencairn on the eve of sitting down to her solitary tea. On seeing her visitor enter, after the first compliments on the state of health and weather were over, she expressed her hopes, that he had not drank tea, and on receiving a negative, which she did not quite expect, as she thought he had been perhaps invited by some of her neighbours, she put in an additional spoonful on his account; and brought from her corner cupboard with the glass cloor, an ancient French pickle-bottle, in which she had preserved, since the great tea-drinking formerly mentioned, the remainder of the two ounces of carvey (the best Mrs Nanse) bought for that memorable occasion. A short conversation then took place relative to the Pringles, and while the tea was masking, for Miss Mally said that it took a long time to draw, she read to him the following letter :