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tween life and death is painfully prolonged by keeping the door of the apartment shut, was received as certain by the superstitious eld of Scotland. But neither was it to be thrown wide open. To leave the door ajar, was the plan adopted by the old crones who understood the mysteries of death-beds and lykewakes. In that case, there was room for ihe imprisoned spirit to escape; and yet an obstacle, we have been assured, was offered to the entrance of any frightful form which might otherwise intrude itself. The threshold of a habitation was in some sort a sacred limit, and the subject of much superstition. A brid even to this day, is always lifted over it, a rule derived apparently from the Romans.
Note G, p. 291. LIDDESDALE. The roads of Liddesdale, in Dandie Diomont's days, could not be said to exist, and the district was only accessible through a succession of tremendous morasses. About thirty years ago, the author himself was the first person who ever drove a little open carriage into these wilds; the excellent roads by which they are now traversed being then in some progress. The people stared with no small wonder at a sight which many of them had never witnessed in their lives before.
Note I, p. 298. Tappir Hen. The Tappit Hen contained three quarts of claret
Weel she lo'ed a Hawick gill,
And leugh to see a Tappit Hen. I have seen one of these formidable stoups at Provost Haswell's at Jedburgh, in the days of yore. It was a pewter measure, the claret being in ancient days served from the tap, and had the figure of a hen upon the lid. In later times, the name was given to a glass bottle of the same dimensions. These are rare apparitions among the degenerate topers of modern days.
Note I, p. 298. CONVIVIAL HABITS OF THE SCOTTISH Bar.
The account given by Mr. Pleydell, of his sitting down in the midst of a revel to draw an appeal case, was taken from a story, told me by an aged gentleman, of the elder President Dundas of Arniston, (father of the younger President, and of Lord Melville.) It had been thought very desirable, while that distinguished lawyer was King's counsel, ibat bis assistance should be obtained in drawing an appeal case, which, as occasion for such writings then rarely occurred, was held to be matter of great nicety. The Solicitor employed for the appellant, attended by my informant acting as his clerk, went to the Lord Advocate's chambers in the Fishmarket close, as I think. It was Saturday at noon, the Court was just dismissed, the Lord Advocate had changed his dress and booted himself, and his servant and horses were at the foot of the close to carry him to Arniston. It was scarcely possible to get him to listen to a word respecting business. The wily agent, however, on pretence of asking one or two questions, which would not detain him balf an hour, drew bis
Lordship, who was no less an eminent bon vivant than a lawyer of unequalled talent, to take a whet at a celebrated tavern, when the learned counsel became gradually involved in a spirited discussion of the law points of the case. Al length it occurred io him, that he might as well ride to Arniston in the cool of the evening. The horses were directed to be put in the stable, but not to be unsaddled. Dinner was ordered, the law was laid aside for a time, and the bottle circulated very freely. At nine o'clock at night, after he had been honouring Bacchus for so many hours, the Lord Advocate ordered his horses to be unsaddled - paper, pen, and ink were brought — he began to dictate the appeal case - and continued at his lask till four o'clock the next morning. By next day's post, the solicitor sent the case to London, a chef-d'æuvre of its kind; and in which, my informant assured me, it was not necessary on revisal to correct five words. I am not, therefore, conscious of baving overstepped accuracy in describing the manner in which Scottish lawyers of the old time occasionally united the worship of Bacchus with that of Themis. My informant was Alexander Keith, Esq., grandfather to my friend, the present Sir Alexander Keith of Ravelstone, and apprentice at the time to the writer who conducted the cause.
Note K, p. 356. GIPSY COOKERY. We must again have recourse to the contribution to Blackwood's Magazine, April 1817:
“To the admirers of good eating, gipsy cookery seems to have little to recommend it. I can assure you, however, that the cook of a nobleman of high distinction, a person who never reads even a novel without an eye to the enlargement of the culinary science, has added to the Almanach des Gourmands, a certain Potage à la Meg Merrilies de Derncleugh, consisting of game and poultry of all kinds, stewed with vegetables into a soup, which rivals in savour and richness the gallant messes of Camacho's wedding; and which the Baron of Bradwardine would certainly have reckoned among the Epulæ lautiores.”
The artist alluded to in this passage, is Mons. Florence, cook to Henry and Charles, late Dukes of Buccleuch, and of high distinction in his profession.
Note L, p. 380. LORD MONBODDO. The Burnet, whose taste for the evening meal of the ancients is quoted by Mr. Pleydell, was the celebrated metaphysician and excellent man, Lord Monboddo, whose cene will not be soon forgotten by those who bave shared his classic hospitality. As a Scottish Judge, he took the designation of his family estate. His philosophy, as is well known, was of a fanciful and somewhat fantastic character; but his learning was deep, and he was possessed of a singular power of eloquence, which reminded the bearer of the os rotundum of the Grove or Academe. Enthusiastically partial to classical habits, his entertainments were always given in the evening, when there was a circulation of excellent Bourdeaux, in flasks garlanded with roses, which were also strewed on the
table after the manner of Horace. The best society, whether in respect of rank or literary distinction, was always to be found in St. John's Street, Canongate. The conversation of the excellent old man, bis high, genlleman-like, chivalrous spirit, the learning and wit with which he defended his fanciful paradoxes, the kind and liberal spirit of his hospitality, must render these noctes conæque dear to all who, like the author, (though then young,) bad the honour of sitting at his board.
Note M, p. 382. LAWYERS' SLEEPLESS Nights. It is probably true, as observed by Counsellor Pleydell, that a lawyer's anxiety about his case, supposing him to bave been some time in practice, will seldom disturb his rest or digestion. Clients will., bowever, sometimes fondly entertain a different opinion. I was told by an excellent judge, now no more, of a country gentleman, who, addressing bis leading counsel, my informer, then an advocate in great practice, on the morning of the day on which the case was to be pleaded, said, with singular bonhommie, "Weel, my lord, (the counsel was Lord Advocate,) the awful day is come at last. I have nae been able to sleep a wink for thinking of it - nor, I daresay, your Lordship either.”
ADDITIONAL NOTE TO GUY MANNERING. GALWEGIAN LOCALITIES AND PERSONAGES WHICH HAVE BEEN
SUPPOSED TO BE ALLUDED TO IN THE NOVEL. An old English proverb says, that more know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows; and the influence of the adage seems to extend to works composed under the influence of an idle or foolish planet. Many corresponding circumstances are detected by readers, of which the author did not suspect the existence. He must, however, regard it as a great compliment, that in detailing incidents purely imaginary, he has been so fortunate in approximating reality, as to remind his readers of actual occurrences. It is therefore with pleasure be notices some pieces of local history and tradition, which have been supposed to coincide with the fictitious persons, incidents, and scenery of Guy Mannering.
The prototype of Dirk Halteraick is considered as having been a Dutcb skipper called Yawkins. This man was well known on the coast of Galloway and Dumfries-shire, as sole proprietor and master of a Buck. kar, or smuggling lugger, called the Black Prince. Being distinguished by his nautical skill and intrepidity, his vessel was frequently freighted, and his own services employed, by French, Dutch, Manx, and Scottish smuggling companies.
A person well known by the name of Buckkar-tea, from having been a noted smuggler of that article, and also by that of Bogle-Bush, the place of his residence, assured my kind informant, Mr. Train, that he had frequently seen upwards of two hundred Lingtow-men assemble at
one time, and go off into the interior of the country, fully laden with contraband goods.
In those balcyon days of the free trade, the fixed price for carrying a box of lea, or bale of tobacco, from the coast of Galloway to Edinburgh, was fifteen shillings, and a man with two borses carried four such packages. The trade was entirely destroyed by Mr. Pitt's celebrated commulation law, which, by reducing the duties upon excisable articles, enabled the lawful dealer to compete with the smuggler. The statute was called in Galloway and Dumfries-shire, by those who had thriven upon the contraband trade, “the burning and starving act."
Sure of such active assistance on shore, Yawkins demeaned himself so boldly, that his mere name was a terror to the officers of the revenue. He availed himself of the fears wbich his presence inspired on one particular night, when, happening to be ashore with a considerable quantity of goods in his sole custody, a strong party of excisemen came down on him. Far from shunning the altack, Yawkins sprung forward, shouting, "Come on, my lads; Yawkins is before you." The revenue officers were intimidated, and relinquished their prize, though defended only by the courage and address of a single man. On his proper element, Yawkins was equally successful. On one occasion, he was landing his cargo at the Manxman's lake, near Kirkcudbright, when two revenue cutters (the Pigmy and the Dwarf) hove in sight at once on different tacks, the one coming round by the Isles of Fleet, the other between the point of Rueberry and the Muckle Ron. The dauntless free-trader instantly weighed anchor, and bore down right between the luggers, so close that he tossed his hat on the deck of the one, and his wig on that of the other, hoisted a cask to his maintop, to show bis occupation, and bore away under an extraordinary pressure of canvass, without receiving injury. To account for these and other hair-breadth escapes, popular superstition alleged that Yawkins insured his celebrated Buckkar by compounding with the devil for one-tenth of his crew every voyage. How they arranged the separation of the stock and titbes, is left to our conjecture. The Buckkar was perbaps called the Black Prince in honour of the formidable insurer.
The Black Prince used to discharge her cargo at Luce, Balcarry, and elsewhere on the coast; but her owner's favourite landing-places were at the entrance of the Dee and tbe Cree, near the old Castle of Rueberry, about six miles below Kirkcudbright. There is a cave of large dimensions in the vicinity of Rueberry, which from its being frequently used by Yawkins, and his supposed connection with the smugglers on the shore, is now called Dirk Hatteraick's cave. Strangers who visit this place, the scenery of which is highly romantic, are also shown, under the name of the Gauger's Loup, a tremendous precipice, being the same, it is asserled, from which Kennedy was precipitated.
Meg Merrilies is in Galloway considered as having had her origin in the traditions concerning the celebrated Flora Marsbal, one of the royal consorts of Willie Marshal, more commonly called the Caird of Barullion, King of the Gipsies of the Western Lowlands. That potentate Guy Mannering.
was himself deserving of notice, from the following peculiarities. He was born in the parish of Kirkmichael, about the year 1671; and as he died at Kirkcudbright, 230 November, 1792, he must then bave been in the one hundred and twentieth year of his age. It cannot be said that this unusually long lease of existence was noted by any peculiar excellence of conduct or habits of life. Willic had been pressed or enlisted in the army seven times; and had deserted as often; besides three times running away from tbe naval service. He had been seventeen times lawfully married; and besides such a reasonably large share of matrimonial comforts, was, after his hundredth year, the avowed father of four children, by less legitimate affections. He subsisted in his extreme old age by a pension from the present Earl of Selkirk's grandfather. Will Marshal is buried in Kirkcudbright Church, where bis monument is still shown, decorated with a scutcheon suitably blazoned with two tups' horns and two cutty spoons.
In his youth be occasionally took an evening walk on the highway, with the purpose of assisting travellers by relieving them of the weight of their purses. On one occasion, the Caird of Barullion robbed the Laird of Bargally, at a place between Carsphairn and Dalmellington. His purpose was not achieved without a severe struggle, in wbich the Gipsy lost his bonnet, and was obliged to escape leaving it on the road. A respectable farmer happened to be the next passenger, and seeing the bonnet, alighted, took it up, and rather imprudently put it on his own head. At this instant, Bargally came up with some assistants, and recognizing the bonnet, charged the farmer of Bantoberick with baving robbed him, and took him into custody. There being some likeness between the parties, Bargally persisted in his charge, and though the respectability of the farmer's character was proved or admitted, his trial before the Circuit Court came on accordingly. The fatal bonnet lay on the table of the court; Bargally swore that it was the identical article worn by the man who robbed him; and he and others likewise deponed that they had found the accused on the spot where the crime was committed, with the bonnet on his head. The case looked gloomily for the prisoner, and the opinion of the judge seemed unfavourable. But there was a person in court who knew well both who did, and who did not, commit the crime. This was the Caird of Barullion, who, thrusting himself up to the bar, near the place where Bargally was standing, suddenly seized on the bonnet, put it on his head, and looking the Laird full in the face, asked him, with a voice which attracted the attention of the Court and crowded audience “Look at me, Sir, and tell me, by the oath you have sworn
- Am not I the man who robbed you between Carsphairn and Dalmellington ?" Bargally replied, in great astonishment, “By Heaven! you are the very man." "You see what sort of memory this gentleman bas," said the volunteer pleader: the swears to the bonnet, whatever features are under it. If you yourself, my Lord, will put it on your head, he will be willing to swear that your Lordship was the party who robbed him between Carspbairn and Dalmellington.” The tenant of Bantoberick was