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bird of Minerva ; and this bird having fallen a victim to the malice of a dunghill-cock, John “ mourned about it many a day," more than ever Minerva will mourn for the death of himself. Next he was sent to a Latin school; and as he “ could learn nothing about it,” he was

“ lashed up stairs and down stairs, and was saved, he believes, from dying an unnatural death, from his parents' flitting from Lennox Plunton, to the farm of Torrs, in the parish of Kirkcudbright.” Now, John and we differ toto cælo respecting what is a natural death. To have been lashed out of existence for stupidity would, in his case, have been the most natural death in the world; and as to the pedagogue who made the experiment, we “ laud him for it,' and much regret that it did not succeed, which we attribute to John's rulining “ up stairs and down stairs," instead of remaining stationary during the trying operation. This pedagogue we take to have been a most philanthropic individual. No one would submit to the laborious task of extinguishing vitality in such a mass of brute matter, but from some high and benevolent motive. Whether it was to make an atonement for the philoproge'nitive proceedings of the father, or to save his country from a future deluge of nonsense, we cannot determine, though no one will doubt that one or other of these must have been his object.

Our author was now removed to another academy, the master of which he thus eulogizes : “ In truth, Mr Caig is an excellent teacher ; he gives Nature fair play ; he lets the scholars pursue their own inclination, be what it will. If I have any learning, or any genius about me, to this man am I indebted for their improvement. Had he been a dominie who gave out tasks, who obliged the scholars to learn this, and then that, who made a slave of the mind when in its tender state, and who valued the feelings nothing, I, Mac, would never have been heard of.” The above passage is not only the best piece of writing in the whole book, but is eminently logical. Had the worthy Mr Caig pursued a course of education opposite to that which he did, it is possible he might have taught Mac to form a humble and becoming estimate of his own abilities ; in which case he never would have been led, by a rampant vanity, to exhibit himself as a laughing-stock to the British public. He thus proceeds: “ I should have crawled about, a mean artificial worm of man's formation, without one spark of Nature's fire about me;" which, after all the compliments paid to his father's astonishing good sense, really reduces the good old man to the rank of a wormbreeder. Our author was next despatched to the school of Kirkcudbright, where “ he laid all the school below him, with the mathematics ;" but could make nothing of French. “ In his thirteenth year he took a huff at schools and schoolmasters altogether, leaving them both with disgust;" so he would learn a trade, and wrote to two respectable bookselling firms in Edinburgh, also to a printer in Dumfries, expressing his wish to become an apprentice; but neither bibliopolists nor printer would return him an answer! He then felt “a melancholy working in on him, which he will never get rid of;" and which was caused by his mother one night communicating to him the alarming truth, " that there would come a day on which he should die, and be cover, ed up with cold mould in a grave He next became “ bookish-inclined," and started on foot for Edinburgh College. But “ before this time, I had taken a ramble through England,”—at the heels of a drove of nolt, we presume," had been often in love, had wrote poetry, and the devil knows what. I have rhymed since ever I remember, but I keeped dark. After passing a hard winter in Edinburgh, attending my favourite natural classes, reading from libraries, writing for Magazines, (credat Judæus!) and what not, I returned to the rural world in the spring; and the next winter I went back to Edinburgh, but not to attend the College, though that was the ap. parent motive. I never received any good from attending the University."

* This same melancholy, it would-scem, was so intense as to superinduce a severe bodily ailment, which he feelingly alludes to in the following articles: “Nocks-Little beautiful hills; Nockshinnie and Nocktannie used to be favourite nocks of mine ; to these places I would steal sometimes, when melancholy set sore upon me, and so get case.

When he arrived at the age of twenty-one, or what lawyers, by courtesy, would call the years of discretion, he composed a Pindaric Ode, having the title of “ Mac is Major," and from which we select the following stanzas: Now Mac, upon the Soloway shore, As also could the cockatoo, Whar seamaws skirl, and pellocks snore, Or green Brazilian parrot.

And whilks and muscles cheep; Whar puffins on the billows ride,

The muse whiles, refuse whiles, And dive adown the foaming tide,

To lend poor Mac a lift, For sillar-fry sae deep.

She'll sneer me, and jeer me,

And winna come in tist.
Through ilka turning o' the year,
I moil and brose awa,
E'en out in winter I appear,

For a' sae shortly's I ha'e been

Upon this warl' what I ha'e seen,
Amang the frost and snawa

Big bubbles never ending ;
Cauld ploddering, and foddering,

How mony millions ither nosing,
The nowt amang the biels,
Then curling and hurling,

How mony thousands peace proposing,

Yet the de'ils ne'er mending.
The channelstane at spiels.

Broils wi' pens, and broils wi' swords, A lanely melancholy lad,

And graves wi' bouks a cramming, Ane quarter wise, three quarters mad,

| Gloomy plots, and lofty words, Wi' gloomy brow a' burning.

Silly man a shamming

But brattle, and rattle, I'll never ha'e a poet's name,

My slavering gomfs, awa,

I'm fearless, and careless,
Nor in the gaudy house of fame
Enjoy a wee bit garret ;

O' you baith ane and a'.
The clinking I may hit, hooh, hoo,

Thus sings the undaunted Mac, and, after intimating his arrival in London, finishes his own biography.

As for his work, we have already characterised it. That it is utterly defective in grammar, and even in punctuation and orthography, is saying the least of it. There are many individuals, illiterate, but of strong good sense, who are capable of writing a book both instructive and entertaining ; and there are pedants, having the most sacred regard for the head of Priscian, who have not a fact nor a thought to communicate which the world would thank them for. The author's case, however, is more hapless than either ; for he neither can write, nor has he materials for writing upon. There is not a ploughman or mechanic, we venture to say, so profoundly ignorant of the commonest subjects as this same John Mactaggart; there is not one so eminently deficient in good taste; and there is not a trull upon the streets so vicious and depraved as to indulge, as he has done, in the most loathsome obscenities. Until reading his work, it never struck us that mental nastiness had its degree ; but we now find that there are things

so rank and gross in Nature," as to have been hitherto shunned by those reputed the most lewd and shameless ; which things our author has not only ventured to handle, but handles con spirito, and with the most extatic delight. His mind has its natural repose upon filth, and is invigorated by its exhalations. He reminds one of the gambols of a boar, exalting, to its own infinite satisfaction, the stench of the mire which it wantons in, by the clumsy but forcible action of its cloven feet; and that not a doubt may exist of the foulness of his mind, he assures us that he “ admires the manners of the foumart (pole-cat) before those of bawdrons, (the cat,) and a brock (badger) more than a lap-dog.” In his Introduction, he expresses his belief that his book " is mostly the work of instinct ; that the conception of it was created in his skull, when that thick skull itself was created, and afterwards expanded as it expanded;" all which, we verily believe: still we believe that this wondrous conception owes partly its maturity to a rather general and very lamentable misconception prevalent among simpletons imported from the country into a town; namely, that the surest mark of genius and spirit is to soar above the decencies of life ; and to “ astonish the natives," upon returning home, by displaying an intimate acquaintance with the most hidden mysteries of blackguardism.

The plan of the work, so far as we can understand it, is to give an explanation of words and phrases peculiar to Galloway, and of notable individuals who have flourished in that district. Throughout the whole, there is distributed a vast deal of original poetry by the author, of which the reader has already had a sufficient specimen. As for the words and phrases, nineteen out of iwenty of them, at least, are not Gallovidian, but truly Scotch, and perfectly intelligible over the whole kingdom; they are to be found in every glossary; and the whole of our author's merit consists in obscuring their meaning by absurd explanations and false spellings. To prove the first part of this proposition, we have only to copy the following words which occur under the letter A. A, abee, abeigh, ablins, aboon, abreed, adist, aglee, ahin, ain, airns, allicreesh, amaist, anklet, asks, asklent, ass, for ashes, ait-strae, auld, auld-farrent, aumrie, auntie, awmous, ayont, 8c. A number of words occur which are purely English, but which John Mactaggart, in his ignorance of that fact, has presumed to convert into Gallovidian, by taking a few liberties with the proper orthography, e.g., acquavitæ, spelled by John, ackavity, ackwavity, or ackwa! ashlerwork, spelled aislerwark; elm-tree, spelled alom-tree ; an', the old English synonyme of if, and used for if over all Scotland, but which our author assures us is “ used frequently for than-then;" ashet, spelled aschet, and so on. By the same process does he make the Scotch word haverin Gallovidian, by spelling it averin, and so with many others. The words which are not English or Scotch are, with a few exceptions, such as belong to no dialect whatever. It is well known, that, in Scotland, when an old woman is at a loss for a word by which to express an idea, she invents one for the occasion, which, if it happens to be very significant, from any analogy between the sense and the sound, comes into limited and temporary circulation in the family, and probably the neighbourhood. All such bastard words, at least so many of them as John could pick up, he wishes to make classical, and accordingly favours us with their explanations. We have, for example, blinnie, which the poor creature thus renders, a person mimicating the blind ;” blumf, “a stupid loggerhead of a fellow, who will not brighten up with any weather, who grumfs at all genuine sports, and sits as sour as the devil, when all around him are joyous ;" blutter, “ a foolish man, rather of the ideot stamp;” and boaf, “a name for a foolish dog;" and these words, which all occur in the course of one page, this blumf, blutter, and boaf, would persuade us are Gallovidian. Of the meaning of some words he is totally ignorant. Birsle, he has, to bristle, though, to Scotsmen, it notoriously is a culinary term, signifying, to make crisp by heating. His etymologies are most amusing, from their marvellous stupidity. BEDALL, which is just the English beadle, he thus explains : "a grave-digger ; for why, he beds us mostly all." BEBB~We are said to bebb ourselves with any thing, when we fill ourselves too full—the tide, when full, is said to be bebbin fu';--the word comes from bibe, the Latin and English word !" ANTRUM.-The name, in some parts of the country, for that repast taken in the evening, called four-hours, anciently termed e’enshanks. This Antrum came from the old French, a den or cave; now Antrum time is den time, then soine animals go to their dens; the sun also is said to sink to his den or cave !!!"

The observations we have made only extend over the articles classed under the heads A and B; and yet they do not comprehend a tenth part of Mac's deplorable blunders. It has been seen that he has a passion for natural history; and so profound is his acquaintance with it, that he believes those singular substances, called adder-beads, to be actually made by adders, the services of " seven old adders, with manes on their backs," being required to the making of each; though we had thought it a settled point, that those beads, like what John Mactaggart himself would have been but for Dominie Caig, were of “ man's formation, without one spark of Nature's fire about them ;” and, in all probability, were the subject of barter by the Phænicians with our savage ancestors.

John's knowledge of the history of his country is equally profound. “ Black Douglas, (spelled with a double s) perhaps the greatest villain

ever known in Galloway ; his den was the Castle of Thrave,” (Thrieve is the name;) “a befitting keep for the tiger ; he keeped the country round him in awe for many a-day; even the Scotch kings could make nothing of him. He caused Lord Kircubrie, M‘Lellan, to be hanged by a rope from a projecting stone in his castle wall, yet to be seen, and took his dinner calmly while his hangmen were doing so. Some say he was durked. (pro dirked) in Annandale ; but how he came by his death is uncertain ; however, he did not die a natural death.” Truly, John M‘Taggart, thou art the most consummately impudent of all living blockheads. The Douglas in question (who is here evidently supposed to be some Galloway laird,) was William, eighth Earl of Douglas; the person whom he put to death at Thrieve Castle was not a Lord Kirkcudbright, for that title was not created until about two centuries afterwards, but M'Lellan, tutor of Bombie, an ancestor of the Kirkcudbright family; M‘Lellan was not hanged at all, but was beheaded in the court-yard, while his uncle, Sir Patrick Gray, who had brought the king's letter, requiring the Earl to deliver up his prisoner, was entertained in the castle ; and so far from the manner of Douglas' death being uncertain, his murder, by the hands of his own Sovereign, James II., in Edinburgh Castle*, is one of the most flagrant events in Scotch history.

John's taste for the sublime and beautiful in Nature is no less conspicuous than his knowledge of natural and national history. Carlinwork Loch, (a sheet of water about the size of Duddingstone Loch, and absolutely without rocks, headlands, and trees,) he tells us, is not to be matched, except. ing by “ Loch Lomond, Loeh Kettrin, and some others of the lovely Highland lakes,” though we do not know one Highland lake which is not infinitely superior to it; that it is not behind Winander; and that, at certain seasons, * the thing," i. e. the lake, “ becomes Killarney at once !” And he concludes his animated description, by inviting a bard of the name of Kelvie to publish a poem upon it.

But all John's sins of omission and commission are venial when compared with the outrageous liberties which he has taken with the names and private histories of various individuals ; obscure, perhaps, but, on that very account, more sensitive of scandal, and, we shall presume, most respectable in their stations. The very praises and compliments of such a man must be vastly distressing to a rational person, for of his book it may justly be said,

-nought enters there
Be it of what quality and pitch soever,
But falls into abatement and low price,

Even in a moment." But when we see the reputations of females trodden under the hoofs of this capricious, savage animal, to whose ears the groans of wounded modesty, and the profane laughter of the rabble, are music, and who exults in his headlong course, in proportion to the havoc and terror which he occasions, our indignation far exceeds our almost infinite contempt. It strikes us as a humiliating instance of the insecurity of human happiness, that the most drivelling ninny who can wield a pen, has it in his power to excruciate the feelings, and destroy the peace of mind, of the most intellectual and most virtuous.

The present is the only book we happen to know from which some information may not be gleaned ; and, in that respect alone, is a complete monstrosity. There happens, however, to be two, or at the utmost, three rustic bon-mots worth repeating; and there are also a few fragments of old popular rhymes which deserve to be put upon record. Such rhymes are vaJuable, as affording an insight into the poetical staple which existed among our

• This act of royal treachery is commemorated in the following maledictory which tradition has preserved :

Edinburgh Castle, town, and tower,
God grant ye sinke for sinne;
And that for the bloody dinner
Earl Douglas got therein.

simple-hearted peasantry in “ the olden time,” into the play of their fancy and spirits, and into the sentimental tone and colouring of every-day life, as they endured or enjoyed it, which is not to be obtained from a higher quarter. Professed poets fashion their tastes upon pre-existing models; and, rejecting all that belongs to their own times, whether of the real or the imagined, as undignified and vulgar, they too uniformly draw their thoughts and sen. timents from the common storehouse of the classics. They address themselves, not to the people, but to a refined class, who have found the standard of excellence in the literature of two ancient nations, whose history, religion, and customs, and, of course, imaginative associations, are wholly different from our own; and, when they do touch upon a subject existing and present, they, instead of conjuring up the associations properly connected with it, convey it out of its own atmosphere of sentiment and feeling, into one utterly foreign to its being. Burns is a most splendid exception to these remarks; but Burns originally composed with no design of publishing, and for the applause of those in his own condition of life, and we repeat, that it is in the unartificial rhymes of rustics writing as he did, that we must expect to discover the shreds of that aerial mantle, woven in the loom of their fancy, which invested all things, animate and inaminate, that our ancestors looked and reflected upon.

We are therefore very far from objecting to the preservation of all but forgotten rhymes, such as the following, however puerile and uncouth : O, my pow again is free frae pain, Dream, dream, that the ocean's queem ; I am like mysell again,

Dream, dream, that the moon did beam, For twall hours I ha'e lain

And the morning will hear the waves roar, Upon my Allicompain, O';

And the sun through the clouds will not Whan howstin made me unco sair,

find a bore. Whan my poor breast wud rack and rair, I drank the broemit haled me fair,

Stane Chack, devil tak' The broe o' Allicompain, O'.

They wha harry my nest,

Will never rest, will ineet the pest, Whan I cam o'er the tap o' Tyne,

De'il break their lang back, I met a drove o' Highland swine,

Wha my eggs wad tak', tak'. Some o'em black, some o'em brown, There was an auld man stood on a stane, Some o'em rigget o'er the crown ;

Awa i' the craft his leefu' lane, Sic a drove o' Highland swine

And cried on his bonny sleek kye to him I ne'er met on the tap o' Tyne.

hame:A Riddle. Kitty my Mailly, Kitty her mither,

Kitty my doe, and Kitty Billswither, Sit and see the swallow flee,

Rangletie, Spangletie, Crook and Cowd. Gang' and hear the gowk yell,

rye ; See the foal afore the minnie's e'e,

And these were the names o' the auld And luck that year will fall thysel'.

man's kye. The following verses, very imperfectly put together by our author, belong to a game which is played at the firesides of the peasantry : “ Hey, Wullie Wine, and How Wullie « I'll gie thee Rosie o' the Cleugh, Wine,

I'm sure she'll please thee weel eneugh." I hope for hame ye'll no incline, You'd better light, and stay all night, “ Up wi' her on the bane dyke, And I'll gie thee a lady fine."

She'll be rotten or I be ripe;

She's made for some other, and no for me, “ Wha will ye gie, if I wi' you bide,

Yet I thank you for your courtesy."
To be my bonny blooming bride,
And lie down lovely by my side ?"

" Then I'll gie thee Nell o'sweet Spring. “ I'll gie thee Kate o' Dinglebell,

kell, A bonny body like yoursel'.”

O'er Galloway she bears the bell." 66 I'll stick her up in the pear-tree, “ I'll set her up on my bed-head, Sweet and meek, and sae is she ;

And feed her weel wi' milk and bread; I lo'ed her ance, but she's no for me, She's for nae ither but just for me, Yet I thank you for your courtesy.". Sae I thank you for your courtesy."

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