« PreviousContinue »
0 0 9
0 0 0
papers (some of which I have likewise in my pos- have done so in vain, as his death is not registered session), in his pocket-book after his death : in the session-book of any of the neighbouring pa
rishes. I am sorry to think, that in all probability “Gatehouse of Fleet, 4th February 1796.
this singular person, who spent so many years of ROBERT PATERSON debtor 10 MARGARET CHRYSTALE.
his lengthened existence in striving with his chisel To drye Lodginge for seven weeks,
£0 4 1 and mallet to perpetuate the memory of many less To Four Auclilet of Ait Meal, . To 6 Lippies of Potatoes, .
0 i deserving than himself, must remain even without To Lent Money at the time of Mr. Reid's Sacrament, 0 6 0 a single stone to mark out the resting place of his To 3 Chappins of Yell with Sandy the Keelman,
£0 15 5 “ Old Mortality had three sons, Robert, Walter, Received in part,
and John; the former, as has been already nenUnpaid,
£0 5 5 tioned, lives in the village of Balmaclellan, in com“ This statement shows the religious wanderer fortable circumstances, and is much respected by to have been very poor in his old age; but he was his neighbours. Walter died several years ago, so more by choice than through necessity, as, at leaving behind him a family now respectably sithe period here alluded to, his children were all tuated in this point. John went to America in the comfortably situated, and were most anxious to year 1776, and after various turns of fortune, setkeep their father at home. But no entreaty could tled at Baltimore.” induce him to alter his erratic way of life; he tra Old Nol himself is said to have loved an innocent velled from one churchyard to another, mounted jest. (See Captain Hodgson's Memoirs.) Old Mor on his old white pony, till the last day of his exist- tality somewhat resembled the Protector in this ence, and died, as you have described, at Bankhill, turn to festivity. Like Master Silence, he had been near Lockerby, on the 14th February 1801, in the merry twice and once in his time; but even his 86th year of his age. As soon as his body was jests were of a melancholy and sepulchral nature, found, intimation was sent to his sons at Balma- and sometimes attended with inconvenience to himclellan ; but from the great depth of the snow at self, as will appear from the following anecdote :that time, the letter communicating the particulars The old man was at one time following his wonted of his death was so long detained by the way, that occupation of repairing the tombs of the martyrs, the remains of the pilgrim were interred before any in the churchyard of Girthon, and the sexton of the of his relations could arrive at Bankhill.
parish was plying his kindred task at no small dis“ The following is an exact copy of the account tance. Some roguish urchins were sporting near of his funeral expenses,—the original of which I them, and by their noisy gambols disturbing the have in my possession :
old men in their serious occupation. The most “ Memorandum of the Funral Charges of Robert boys, grandchildren of a person well known by the
petulant of the juvenile party were two or three Paterson, who dyed at Bankhill on the 14th day name of Cooper Climent. This artist enjoyed alof February 1801.
most a monopoly in Girthon and the neighbourToa Coffon,
ing parishes, for making and selling ladles, caups, To Munting for do.
bickers, bowls, spoons, cogues, and trenchers, To a pair of Cotten Stockings,
formed of wood, for the use of the country people. To Chise at ditto,
It must be noticed, that notwithstanding the excelTo 1 pint Rume, To 1 pint Whiskie,
lence of the Cooper's vessels, they were apt, when To a man going to Annan,
new, to impart a reddish tinge to whatever liquor To the grave-diger, To Linnen for a sheet to hin,
was put into them, a circumstance not uncommon
in like cases. Taken off him when dead,
The grandchildren of this dealer in wooden work £0 14 4
took it into their head to ask the sexton, what use
he could possibly make of the numerous fragments “ The above account is authenticated by the son of old coffins which were thrown up in opening new of the deceased.
graves. “ Do you not know," said Old Mortality, “My friend was prevented by indisposition from " that he sells them to your grandfather, who makes even going to Bankhill to attend the funeral of his them into spoons, trenchers, bickers, bowies, and so father, which I regret very much, as he is not forth ?” At this assertion, the youthful group broke aware in what churchyard he was interred. up in great confusion and disgust, on reflecting how
“ For the purpose of erecting a small monument many meals they had eaten out of dishes which, by to his memory, I have made every possible inquiry, | Old Mortality's account, were only fit to be used at wherever I thought there was the least chance of a banquet of witches or of ghoules. They carried finding out where Old Mortality was laid ; but I the tidings home, when many a dinner was spoiled
by the loathing which the intelligence imparted; 1" A well-known humourist, still alive, popularly called by for the account of the materials was supposed to the name of Old Keelybags, who deals in the keel or clialk with which farmers mark their flocks."
explain the reddish tinge, which, even in the days
Toa Shirt for liim,
To Bread at the Founrul,
of the Cooper's fame, had seemed somewhat sus that the wood he used in his trade was that of the picious. The ware of Cooper Climent was reject- staves of old wine-pipes bought from smugglers, ed in horror, much to the benefit of his rivals the with whom the country then abounded—a circummuggers, who dealt in earthenware. The man of stance which fully accounted for their imparting a cutty-spoon and ladle saw his trade interrupted, colour to their contents. Old Mortality himself and learned the reason, by his quondam customers made the fullest declaration that he had no other coming upon him in wrath to return the goods purpose in making the assertion, than to check the which were composed of such unhallowed materials, petulance of the children. But it is easier to take and demand repayment of their money. In this dis- away a good name than to restore it. Cooper Cliagreeable predicament, the forlorn artist cited Old ment's business continued to languish, and he died Mortality into a court of justice, where he proved in a state of poverty.
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST EDITION-(1816.)
As I may, without vanity, presume that the name forth upon the road, he were to require a contriand official description prefixed to this Proem will bution from each person whom he chanced to meet secure it, from the sedate and reflecting part of in his journey, when, according to the vulgar adage, mankind, to whom only I would be understood to he might possibly be greeted with more kicks than address myself, such attention as is due to the halfpence. sedulous instructor of youth, and the careful per. But, secondly, supposing it again urged, that former of my Sabbath duties, I will forbear to hold Ithacus, the most wise of the Greeks, acquired his up a candle to the daylight, or to point out to the renown, as the Roman poet hath assured us, by judicious those recommendations of my labours visiting states and men, I reply to the Zoilus who which they must necessarily anticipate from the shall adhere to this objection, that, de facto, I have perusal of the title-page. Nevertheless, I am not seen states and men also; for I have visited the unaware, that, as Envy always dogs Merit at the famous cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the forheels, there may be those who will whisper, that mer twice, and the latter three times, in the course albeit my learning and good principles cannot of my earthly pilgrimage. And, moreover, I had (lauded be the heavens !) be denied by any one, the honour to sit in the General Assembly (meanyet that my situation at Gandercleuch hath been ing, as an auditor, in the galleries thereof), and more favourable to my acquisitions in learning than have heard as much goodly speaking on the law of to the enlargement of my views of the ways and patronage, as, with the fructification thereof in works of the present generation. To the which ob- mine own understanding, hath made me be consijection, if, peradventure, any such shall be started, dered as an oracle upon that doctrine ever since my answer shall be threefold :
my safe and happy return to Gandercleugh. First, Gandercleuch is, as it were, the central Again - and thirdly, If it be nevertheless prepart-the navel (si fas sit dicere) of this our native tended that my information and knowledge of manrealm of Scotland ; so that men, from every corner kind, however extensive, and however painfully thereof, when travelling on their concernments of acquired, by constant domestic inquiry, and by business, either towards our metropolis of law, by foreign travel, is, natheless, incompetent to the task which I mean Edinburgh, or towards our metropolis of recording the pleasant narratives of my Landand mart of gain, whereby I insinuate Glasgow, are lord, I will let these critics know, to their own eterfrequently led to make Gandercleuch their abiding nal shame and confusion, as well as to the abashstage and place of rest for the night. And it must be ment and discomfiture of all who shall rashly take acknowledged by the most sceptical, that I, who have up a song against me, that I am not the writer, sat in the leathern arm-chair, on the left-hand side redacter, or compiler, of the Tales of my Landlord; of the fire, in the common room of the Wallace nor am I, in one single iota, answerable for their Inn, winter and summer, for every evening in my contents, more or less. And now, ye generation life, during forty years bypast (the Christian Sab- of critics, who raise yourselves up as if it were baths only excepted), must have seen more of the brazen serpents, to hiss with your tongues, and to manners and customs of various tribes and people, smite with your stings, bow yourselves down to than if I had sought them out by my own painful your native dust, and acknowledge that yours have travel and bodily labour. Even so doth the toll- been the thoughts of ignorance, and the words of man at the well-frequented turnpike on the Well- vain foolishness. Lo! ye are caught in your own brae-head, sitting at his ease in his own dwelling, snare, and your own pit hath yawned for you. father more receipt of custom, than if, moving urn, then, aside from the task that is too heavy
for you ; destroy not your teeth by gnawing a file; sively of their inferior habiliments, which he was waste not your strength by spurning against a uniformly inexorable in obliging them to retain, castle wall; nor spend your breath in contending for the credit of the house. As to mine own part, in swiftness with a fleet steed; and let those weigh I may well say that he never refused me that the Tales of my Landlord, who shall bring with modicum of refreslıment with which I am wont to them the scales of candour, cleansed from the rust recruit nature after the fatigues of my school. It of prejudice by the hands of intelligent modesty. is true, I taught his five sons English and Latin, For these alone they were compiled, as will appear writing, book-keeping, with a tincture of mathefrom a brief narrative which my zeal for truth matics, and that I instructed his daughter in psalcompelled me to make supplementary to the pre- mody. Nor do I remember me of any fee or hosent Proem.
norarium received from him on account of these It is well known that my Landlord was a pleasing my labours, except the compotations aforesaid ;and a facetious man, acceptable unto all the parish nevertheless, this compensation suited my humour of Gandercleugh, excepting only the Laird, the Ex- well, since it is a hard sentence to bid a dry throat ciseman, and those for whom he refused to draw wait till quarter-day. liquor upon trust. Their causes of dislike I will touch But, truly, were I to speak my simple conceit separately, adding my own refutation thereof. and belief, I think my Landlord was chiefly moved
His honour, the Laird, accused our Landlord, to waive in my behalf the usual requisition of a deceased, of having encouraged, in various times symbol, or reckoning, from the pleasure he was and places, the destruction of hares, rabbits, fowls wont to take in my conversation, which, though black and grey, partridges, moor-pouts, roe-deer, solid and edifying in the main, was, like a well-built and other birds and quadrupeds, at unlawful sea- palace, decorated with facetious narratives and de sons, and contrary to the laws of this realm, which vices, tending much to the enhancement and ornahave secured, in their wisdom, the slaughter of such ment thereof. And so pleased was my Landlord of animals for the great of the earth, whom I have the Wallace in his replies during such colloquies, remarked to take an uncommon (though to me, an that there was no district in Scotland, yea, and no unintelligible) pleasure therein. Now, in humble peculiar, and, as it were, distinctive custom therein deference to his honour, and in justifiable defence practised, but was discussed betwixt us; insomuch, of my friend deceased, I reply to this charge, that that those who stood by were wont to say, it was howsoever the form of such animals might appear worth a bottle of ale to hear us communicate with to be similar to those so protected by the law, yet each other. And not a few travellers, from distant it was a mere deceptio risus; for what resembled parts, as well as from the remote districts of our hares were, in fact, hill-kids, and those partaking kingdom, were wont to mingle in the conversation, of the appearance of moor-fowl, were truly wood and to tell news that had been gathered in foreign pigeons, and consumed and eaten co nomine, and lands, or preserved from oblivion in this our own. not otherwise.
Now, I chanced to have contracted for teaching Again, the Exciseman pretended, that my de- the lower classes with a young person called Peter, ceased Landlord did encourage that species of or Patrick, Pattieson, who had been educated for manufacture called distillation, without having an our Holy Kirk,-yea, had, by the licence of presespecial permission from the Great, technically bytery, his voice opened therein as a preacher,called a license, for doing so. Now, I stand up to who delighted in the collection of olden tales and confront this falsehood; and in defiance of him, his legends, and in garnishing them with the flowers gauging-stick, and pen and inkhorn, I tell him, that of poesy, whereof he was a vain and frivolous proI never saw, or tasted, a glass of unlawful aqua fessor ; for he followed not the example of those vitæ in the house of my Landlord ; nay, that, on strong poets whom I proposed to him as a pattern, the contrary, we needed not such devices, in re but formed versification of a flimsy and modern spect of a pleasing and somewhat seductive liquor, texture, to the compounding whereof was necessary which was vended and consumed at the Wallace small pains and less thought. And hence I have Inn, under the name of mountain dew. If there is chid him as being one of those who bring forward a penalty against manufacturing such a liquor, let the fatal revolution prophesied by Mr Robert Carey, him show me the statute; and when he does, I'll in his Vaticination on the Death of the celebrated tell him if I will obey it or no.
Dr John Donne:
Too hard for libertines in poetry;
Turn ballad rhyme. grieved my bowels as if the case had been mine I had also disputations with him touching his in own. Nevertheless, my Landlord considered the dulging rather a flowing and redundant than a connecessities of a thirsty soul, and would permit them, cise and stately diction in his prose exercitations in extreme need, and when their soul was impo- But notwithstanding these symptoms of inferior verished for lack of moisture, to drink to the full taste, and a humour of contradicting his betters value of their watches and wearing apparel, exclu- upon passages of dubious construction in Latin au
thors, I did grievously lament when Peter Pattie I have only further to intimate, that Mr Peter son was removed from me by death, even as if he Pattieson, in arranging these Tales for the press, had been the offspring of my own loins. And in hath more consulted his own fancy than the accu respect his papers had been left in my care (to an racy of the narrative; nay, that he hath sometimes swer funeral and deathbed expenses), I conceived blended two or three stories together for the mere myself entitled to dispose of one parcel thereof, en- grace of his plots ;-of which infidelity, although I titled, “ Tales of my Landlord,” to one cunning in disapprove and enter my testimony against it, yet the trade (as it is called) of bookselling. He was a I have not taken upon me to correct the same, in mirthful man, of small stature, cunning in counter- respect it was the will of the deceased that his mafeiting of voices, and in making facetious tales and nuscript should be submitted to the press without responses, and whom I have to laud for the truth diminution or alteration. A fanciful nicety it was of his dealings towards me.
on the part of my deceased friend, who, if thinking Now, therefore, the world may see the injustice wisely, ought rather to have conjured me, by all that charges me with incapacity to write these nar the tender ties of our friendship and common purratives, seeing, that though I have proved that I suits, to have carefully revised, altered, and augcould have written them if I would, yet, not having mented, at my judgment and discretion. But the done so, the censure will deservedly fall, if at all will of the dead must be scrupulously obeyed, even due, upon the memory of Mr Peter Pattieson ; when we weep over their pertinacity and self-deluwhereas I must be justly entitled to the praise, sion. So, gentle reader, I bid you farewell, recomwhen any is due, seeing that, as the Dean of St mending you to such fare as the mountains of your Patrick's wittily and logically expresseth it, - own country produce; and I will only farther preThat without which a thing is not,
mise, that each tale is preceded by a short introIs Causa sine qua non.
duction, mentioning the persons by whom, and the The work, therefore, is unto me as a child is to a circumstances under which, the materials thereof parent; in the which child, if it proveth worthy, were collected. the parent hath honour and praise; but, if otherwise,
JEDEDIAH CLEISHBOTHAM. the disgrace will deservedly attach to itself alone.
HIS LOVING COUNTRYMEN,
WHETHER THEY ARE DENOMINATED
MEN OF THE SOUTH, GENTLEMEN OF THE NORTH,
PEOPLE OF THE WEST, OR FOLK OF FIFE ;
AND OF THE
TRADITIONS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE DISTRICTS
ARE RESPECTFULLY IXSCRIBED,
HY THEIR FRIEND AND LIEGE FELLOW-SUBJECZ,
ing through a lone vale of green bracken,' passes
in front of the village school-house of Gandercleugh. Preliminary.
For the first quarter of a mile, perhaps, I may be
disturbed from my meditations, in order to return
among my pupils as fish for trouts or minnows in
the little brook, or seek rushes and wild-flowers by Most readers,” says the Manuscript of Mr its margin. But, beyond the space I have menPattieson, “ must have witnessed with delight the tioned, the juvenile anglers do not, after sunset, joyous burst which attends the dismissing of a vil voluntarily extend their excursions. The cause is, lage-school on a fine summer evening. The buoyant that farther up the narrow valley, and in a recess spirit of childhood, repressed with so much difficulty which seems scooped out of the side of the steep during the tedious hours of discipline, may then be heathy bank, there is a deserted burial-ground, seen to explode, as it were, in shout, and song, and which the little cowards are fearful of approaching frolic, as the little urchins join in groups on their in the twilight. To me, however, the place has an play-ground, and arrange their matches of sport for inexpressible charm. It has been long the favourite the evening. But there is one individual who par- termination of my walks, and, if my kind patron takes of the relief afforded by the moment of dis- forgets not his promise, will (and probably at no mission, whose feelings are not so obvious to the very distant day) be my final resting-place after my eye of the spectator, or so apt to receive his sym- mortal pilgrimage. pathy. I mean the teacher himself, who, stunned “ It is a spot which possesses all the solemnity with the hum, and suffocated with the closeness of of feețing attached to a burial-ground, without his school-room, has spent the whole day (himself exciting those of a more unpleasing description. against a host) in controlling petulance, exciting in. Having been very little used for many years, the difference to action, striving to enlighten stupidity, few hillocks which rise above the level plain are and labouring to soften obstinacy; and whose very covered with the same short velvet turf. The monupowers of intellect have been confounded by hear- ments, of which there are not above seven or eight, ing the same dull lesson repeated a hundred times are half sunk in the ground, and overgrown with by rote, and only varied by the various blunders of moss. No newly erected tomb disturbs the sober the reciters. Even the flowers of classic genius, serenity of our reflections by reminding us of rewith which his solitary fancy is most gratified, have cent calamity, and no rank-springing grass forces been rendered degraded, in his imagination, by their upon our imagination the recollection, that it owes connexion with tears, with errors, and with punish- its dark luxuriance to the foul and festering remment; so that the Eclogues of Virgil and Odes of nants of mortality which ferment beneath. The Horace are each inseparably allied in association daisy which sprinkles the sod, and the harebell with the sullen figure and monotonous recitation of which hangs over it, derive their pure nourishment bome blubbering school-boy. If to these mental from the dew of heaven, and their growth impresses distresses are added a delicate frame of body, and us with no degrading or disgusting recollections. a mind ambitious of some higher distinction than Death has indeed been here, and its traces are bethat of being the tyrant of childhood, the reader fore us; but they are softened and deprived of their may have some slight conception of the relief which horror by our distance from the period when they a solitary walk, in the cool of a fine summer even have been first impressed. Those who sleep being, affords to the head which has ached, and the neath are only connected with us by the reflection, nerves which have been shattered, for so many that they have once been what we now are, and hours, in plying the irksome task of public instruc-that, as their relics are now identified with their tion.
mother earth, ours shall, at some future period, un“ To me these evening strolls have been the dergo the same transformation. happiest hours of an unhappy life; and if any gen “ Yet, although the moss has been collected on tle reader shall hereafter find pleasure in perusing the most modern of these humble tombs during these lucubrations, I am not unwilling he should four generations of mankind, the memory of some know that the plan of them has been usually traced in those moments when relief from toil and clamour, in this melancholy matter with my deceased and lamented
i Note, by Mr Jedediah Cleishbotham.—That I kept my plight combined with the quiet scenery around me, has friend, appeareth from a handsome headstone, erected at my disposed my mind to the task of composition. proper charges in this spot, bearing the name and calling of My chief haunt, in these hours of golden lei- Peter Pattieson, with the date of his nativity and sepultura;
together also with a testimony of his merits, attested by mjet, sure, is the banks of the small stream, which, wind as liis superior and patron.-J. C.