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of a custom-house officer, the letter of that these two great men have always lodgings to single gentlemen, is merely been fully aware that a philosophic an impersonation of that rash and
essay is not the fitting place for jests, early speculation, “immersed in and that a
or pathetic matter," as Bacon has it, which bases fiction is not the fitting place for initself on the revenue returns of a former dulgence in an irresistible fondness for age and pays an exclusive attention to particular phrases and illustrations. individual cases. The Spirit of Inquiry It has been said also that since the with antiquated gaiters and a kindly death of Mr. Dickens Mr. Spencer has but frosty face cannot, however, break not thought fit to give us any more faith with this mode of speculation novels. Can it be necessary to repeat without heavy damages, which it will that by 1616 and 1870 respectively of course refuse to pay, and in con- both Francis Bacon and Herbert Spencer sequence be imprisoned temporarily had established their position as philoin the gloomy company of insolvent sophers and publicists, and had no debtors, or rather insoluble problems. further occasion to pour out the wild Here, however, it will be again visited and bitter humour of their hearts by the faithful Doctrine of Evolution, in such creations as Dogberry or its gloom lightened, and its horizon Micawber? cleared. But we shall never make an Is not the tendency of all the earlier end of these details. A correspondent novels, from Nicholas Nickleby' to of our own will arrive before many David Copperfield,' the exposure of years from Manitoba, and we shall official interference and tyranny, the then have the assistance of a complete passionate defence of individual cipher. It may, however, be worth rights? And is not this precisely the remarking that the footmen's teaching of Social Statics (1851)? Is “swarry” is nothing but a contest there not again, beginning from between Evolutionism and the gorgeous • Bleak House,' a distinct modificabut servile retinue of traditional tion in aim, an endeavour to rouse metaphysics. The young gentleman
young gentleman officialism to a greater activity? And in the blue livery of idealism, who is not this the precise modification to boasts of the partiality shown him by be found in Mr. Spencer's social essays his "young lady,” the bright goddess between 1850 and 1860 ? When of truth to whom he is a mere menial, · Little Dorrit' (1857) gave us the ends naturally like all the rest in the satire on the Circumlocution Office, it intoxication of mysticism. Evolu- gave us also the character of Merdle, tionism is the only method of inquiry the fraudulent speculator. And two that can go to bed sober.
years later, in 1859, Mr. Spencer Before touching farther on the many published an article on . The Morals of close parallelisms between the treatises Trade,' which protests in almost the and the tales, we wish to answer two same language against that adulation or three absurd objections, which will, of mere success, which had been pilwe trust, never again endeavour to ob- loried in the Bar, Bishop, &c., of struct the rational and illuminating
· Little Dorrit.' It might be said, hypothesis which would trace the indeed, that the same events may propoetic creations of the world to their duce on two different minds an almost true source in abstract philosophy. It identical impression. We consider has been said that Bacon and Spencer such cavils too frivolous for serious show little or no humour in their notice. And what would the cavillers treatises ; and in their fictions few say to the close similarity of thought traces of a fondness for particular in the following passages :phrases and illustrations, which in “Doubtless very often, as Mr. Bain their other writings they seem power- says, “it is the coerced form of less to resist. But we would submit seriousness and solemnity without the
reality that gives us that stiff position Jack Bunsby remarks, “ the bearings from which a contact with triviality of this obserwation lays in the applior vulgarity relieves us, to our up- cation on it.” roarious delight.'
We consider that we have estabOur uproarious delight ! Compare lished our
If any one thinks with this the following :
otherwise let him ask himself if he “ Here," that is to say, at the re- considers that the important truths in ference to himself in Mr. Tupple's psychology and sociology, which we speech, “Mr. Dobble, junior, who has have briefly indicated, were likely to been previously distending his mouth have been discovered by the man who to a considerable width by thrusting was told by a scene-shifter that it a particularly fine orange into that was a loss to the “profession " when feature, suspends operations, and as- he took to writing books? The man sumes a proper appearance of intense of jovial good-fellowship and pedestrian melancholy.'
powers ! None of the products of The former passage is from an Nature are, according to Aristotle, article the Physiology of like the Delphian knife, that serves Laughter' published by Mr. Spencer all purposes equally. And we may in this magazine for March, 1860. be sure that stage-management, pedesThe latter is from New Year,' one trianism, and good-fellowship are not of the ‘Boz' sketches. Thus truly is likely to be accompanied by the gift the child the father of the man. That of original creation. Why, these are the actual observation was Professor the very qualities and accomplishBain's is nothing. For several of the ments that have been more than observations common to the essays suspected in that illiterate impresario and plays of Bacon were originally Master William Shakespeare, of New Montaigne's, or some other's. But, as Place, Stratford-on-Avon !
Shivering and wretchedly three poplars tall
Sway in the twilight of a city high,
Mire at their feet, above them cloudy sky,
And yet beyond them, hid from mortal eye,
The East's mysterious magic gardens lie,
Unseen by men, an Ethiop doth stand,
Finger on lip, to lead me through the land
Watches unearthly Beauty. Ah! there be
THE LAIRD OF REDGAUNTLET.
A FAMOUS critic has reminded us that But he was on his own stage and in it is often useful to turn from the his own time a considerable figure, contemplation of the great figures of though the general memory of his the past to others of less power and performances has been almost eclipsed fame, but still capable, each after its by those of a more illustrious conlight, of teaching us something, if only temporary, to whom, indeed, many of we know how to get at it, and how the former are now attributed ; for histo use it. Leaving their educational tory-or, rather, an historian, which is value alone for the moment, there is not always the same thing-acting poscertainly some entertainment to be sibly on the principle that to him who got from these occasional rambles hath more shall be given, has assigned through the by-paths and bridle-roads to John Graham of Claverhouse many of history, and some refreshment, of the acts and much of the obloquy too. The eye, says the poet, grows that belong by right to Sir Robert weary with too much gazing on the Grierson of Lag. great. How often, strolling perhaps And Grierson has another interest somewhat listlessly through the spa- for us, of a more romantic and, hiscious portrait galleries of the past, torically, less disreputable kind. It how often one pauses with a fresh was in a tradition current about him sense of interest before some in the early years of this century, and familiar figure, blurred by time and still, or till very lately, lingering in unrecorded in the catalogue, peeping the western lowlands of Scotland, that with something, as one fancies, of an Sir Walter Scott found the materials apologetic air from out the gorgeous for that incomparable tale with which crowd around it, kings and statesmen, Wandering Willie beguiles the way priests and soldiers, men of letters and to Brokenburn-foot. And it was anmen of affairs,
other of the family who sat (uncon
sciously, let us hope, for the artist's - Stately dames, like queens attended, knights sake) for the portrait of the elder who wore the Fleece of Gold."
Redgauntlet, the rugged and danger“Bow thy head to a great man,” Herries of Birrenswork. Sir counsels the wise son of Sirach ; but Robert Grierson, fifth baronet, coma smaller man will sometimes prove monly known as old Ro. Grierson, the better company.
from his signature, so strangely like The figure we have in our eye can- that of the old Laird's, was an acnot certainly be called good company quaintance of Scott's. He had been in the sense commonly given to the à soldier, but retired early from the phrase by parents and guardians. He service, and lived, it is said, to draw was, indeed, found extremely bad com- his half-pay as a lieutenant for more pany by most who had dealings with than three-quarters of a century. A him. His educational value for us is well-mannered, not unkindly man at slight; though no doubt the familiar, ordinary times, he was subject to viobut always instructive, moral of the lent fits of temper, and in those fits inevitable punishment of the wicked the horse-shoe, the mark of all the might be re-pointed from his tale, and Redgauntlet race, is said to have come indirectly he might furnish a text for out with fatal clearness on his forehead. a discourse on the ways of historians. He survived Scott seven years, dying
in 1839 at the patriarchal age of one with the “gentle"
gentle” Johnstones of hundred and two.
Annandale on the sands of Dryffe.? The records of the grim old hero of Early in the seventeenth century the the blind fiddler's tale and of his line, name of Grierson appears in the list all of course staunch Jacobites to a of Commissioners of both nations apman, the facts of history and the pointed by James to keep the peace fancies of tradition, have been gathered on the Borders ; and this Sir Robert and preserved for us by the industry was the grandfather of the old Laird of Colonel Fergusson.' He has before of Lag whose story Colonel Fergusson now done good work this way, which has written for us. will be remembered, let us trust, to Lag first finds a place in history by his credit some day (if such be ever the side of Claverhouse. At the close destined to dawn) when our country of the year 1678 the latter had remen have leisure again and inclination turned to Scotland, and had at once to concern themselves with other affairs been appointed to one of the three than those of the passing hour. Mean regiments of dragoons then newly while we may be content to imagine raised in the western shires. The him, as he, no doubt, is content to be, wild Westland Whigs, as the Covea second Monkbarns, rejoicing in his nanters were then popularly styled "ancient peaceful quiet dust,” even in Edinburgh, had fairly turned to though, unlike that amiable but hasty bay at last. The gentler measures old gentleman, he find none to care with which Charles, shocked into a about disturbing it. In one way, at momentary sense of pity, had sought any rate, he is shrewder than Monk- to atone for the brutal punishment of barns. Antiquary though he be, he the Pentland rising, had come too late. cherishes no illusions about Aiken The savage burst of persecution, into Drum's lang ladle; and, warned which the years of vague bullying possibly by his forerunner's disap- following the Restoration had then pointment, is careful to publish no burst, had goaded the stubborn sons of tract till he has “examined the thing the old Remonstrants of the Mauchto the bottom."
line Convention into a fury as wild Robert Grierson of Lag, the first and unreasoning as that of their baronet of the name, was the son of persecutors. Every fresh concession, William Grierson of Barquhar, the or offer of concession, was regarded as second son of Sir Robert Grierson, only designed to open a way for fresh Knight, of Lag. His cousin Robert possibilities of persecution, as a snare dying while yet a minor, he succeeded set to catch bodies as well as souls. to the estates in 1669. The family The gentle Leighton and his “curates had held land in Dumfriesshire and were regarded with almost as much Galloway since the fifteenth century. detestation as the apostate Sharp and One of them had been wounded at the ruffians of Dalziel. The refusal Sauchieburn, fighting probably against of the gentry of Renfrew and Ayrshire his king, and another had died by the to give bail that their servants and side of his king at Flodden. At the tenants should abstain from all dealings close of the sixteenth century a Lag with intercommuned persons, as well as had ridden with the Maxwells on that from personal attendance on conventifatal day when their chief, the great cles, gave Lauderdale the opportunity Lord of Nithsdale and Warden of the which many began then to suspect he Western Marches, tried conclusions
2 See the fine old ballad of Lord Maxwell's 1 The Laird of Lag, a Life Sketch,' by
Good-night.' Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Fergusson, “ Adieu ! Drumlanrig, false wert aye, Author of Henry Erskine and his Kinsfolk,' And Closeburn in a band ! * Mrs. Calderwood's Letters,' &c. Edinburgh, The Laird of Lag frae my father that fled 1886.
When the Johnstone struck off his hand!”
had been doing his best to make. The and Bothwell Bridge, and the murder west was declared in a state of insur- on Magus Muir, we get no certain rection. An Irish force was assembled glimpse of Lag. But from the Dumat Belfast, an English force fries Council minutes, and from Clavermarched to the Border ; but better tools house's letters, it is clear that he was were found nearer to hand. Eight proving himself an active magistrate. thousand savages-for as such, the He opened a military court of justice Highlanders were then commonly re- at Kirkcudbright, of which shire he garded, their employment, as was that was then steward in conjunction with also of the Irish kernes, being indeed Claverhouse, and another in the parish notoriously contrary to the rules of church of Carsphairn, for the purpose war-were let loose on the refractory of enforcing the Test Act of 1681, districts. The effect was, perhaps, not and the Act of 1683, which made all that had been anticipated, for only owning the Covenant and unsatisone life, it is said, was lost, and that factory answers concerning the matters the life of a Highlander. But during of Bothwell Bridge and Sharp's murtwo months these marauders lived at der capital offences, and ordered that free quarters on friend and foe alike, all sentences of death were to be executed and when at last even the Council saw within three hours of the verdict. Two that it was expedient to get rid of years later followed a fresh Declarathem, they returned to their own tion from the Cameronians, which country laden with spoil such as they was met in turn by the Abjuration had never dreamed of, and of the use Oath, which conferred a certificate of of which they were as ignorant as a loyalty on all who took it, and instant Red Indian or a negro.
death on all who refused it. The The skirmish at Drumclog was, next three years, the three years of however, the real beginning of the James's reign, were for long known in rebellion. Lag was not present on Scotland as “ the killing time." Among that day, but he had already met the foremost of those who perished at Claverhouse. A few days before the this time was Baillie of Jerviswood, end of the previous year that officer one of the victims of Fergusson “the had been summoned by the regular Plotter," a man, as Burnet has declergy (who were as bitter against the Whigs as Lag himself or Lauderdale) 1 This body, the Extreme Left of the to demolish a meeting-house which
Covenanters, received its name from Richard had been raised .by the charity of
Cameron. Its first public act was the proclacertain ladies at the western end of
mation known as the Sanquhar Declaration,
from having been nailed to the market cross the bridge of Dumfries. He had of that town on the twenty-second of June, declined, on the plea that his orders 1680. A month later they were defeated confined him to Dumfries and Annan
by Bruce of Earlshall, Claverhouse's lieu
tenant, at Aird's Moss in Ayrshire. Camedale, and had sent to Linlithgow,
ron was killed in the struggle, and Hackston then commander-in-chief of the royal of Rathillet, one of Sharp's murderers, forces in Scotland, for further instruc- taken prisoner, and executed in circumtions. Lag, who held authority as a
stances of great cruelty at Edinburgh. principal land-holder in those parts,
Donald Cargill became then the leader of the
party, and in the autumn of that year he besides being a deputy-sheriff in publicly pronounced sentence of excommuniWigtownshire, was accordingly sent cation against the king, the Duke of York, to the scene, and under his supervision
Monmouth, Lauderdale, and certain others in
authority. the offending conventicle, "a good
Not long afterwards he, too,
shared Hackston's fate, and Renwick was then large house, of about sixty foot of advanced to the perilous position of chief of length, and betwixt twenty and thirty the Hill-men or Society men, as the Camerobroad,” was quickly demolished. nians were indifferently called. He was one
of the last victims of "the killing time,” During the terrible summer of 1679,
being executed but a few months before which saw the battles of Drumclog James fled from England.