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Peter Mathieson the coachman exalted thoughts on female Scott heard the noise, and fear- education. A saying of his, ing for the person of the feeble “ Women must be flattered old man, sent James Ballan- grossly or not spoken to at tyne to follow him home and all,” is recorded by Burns, and inquire his purpose. He found was the subject of an indignant the Earl strutting about his epigram ; but here his lordship library in a towering passion. is an enthusiast for sterling “I wished,” he said, “to em- qualities, and sets commonbrace Walter Scott before he sense and housewifely virtues died, and inform him that I far above prettiness. His had long considered it as a manner is sensibility run mad, satisfactory circumstance that as witness this sketch of the he and I were destined to rest young Alathea : together in the same place of sepulture. The principal thing, what is the reason that my pretty

“Mamma' said Alathea one day, however, was to relieve his crested hen has forgotten her chickens mind as to the arrangements that she was so foud of long ago, of his funeral—to show him a and is going along, like a fool, with

, plan which I had prepared for the ducklings?". Why, dear, I will

you how this happens : the henthe procession—and, in a word, wife cheated her, and put the ducks to assure him that I took upon eggs into her nest, and she thought myself the whole conduct of the eggs were her own and hatched the ceremony at Dryburgh.” them; by and by the ducks will take

the water, and the hen will forsake The good man's hopes were dis

them. A hen would not do this if appo ed,—he died before his she were at home, and had learnt to victim, and that great eulogium shift for herself in the fields by gathin the style of the French aca- ering seeds and corn; but we have demicians remained unspoken.

brought hens about the house, and The Earl's own works—such by the servants, they have become

by having everything done for them at least as he wished to preserve silly and helpless. Oh, mamma, for posterity-are contained in what a terrible thing is this ! Will a little volume called · Anony- you teach me to do everything for mous and Fugitive Essays, all my heart.... Thus I initiated my

myself ?' 'Yes, my dear, I will, with published at Edinburgh in Alathea in the history of nations, 1816. The preface is magnifi- and in general politics, beginning

I cently impersonal. “The Earl with her at five years old. of Buchan, considering his ad- the loss of one of her garters ; I con

found one day Alathea in tears for vanced

age, has thought proper doled with her, but told her that one to publish this volume, and to of my own garters was worn through, meditate the publication of

wanted one as well as herothers, containing his anony- another in its stead. I took out of

self, but that I was busy making mous writings; that no person my pocket a worsted garter half may hereafter ascribe to him wrought upon quills, and began to any other than are by him, in knit, saying it should not be long this manner, avowed, described, before I cured my misfortune.' Oh, enumerated.” The book

mamma, will you teach me to make

garters?' begins with a series on the Art of Idleness, which contains some And so on in the style of the


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• Young Ladies' Companion.' it be for a band of such men to So much for the Earl as an associate in Britain for chastisinstructor of youth.

ing the meretricious innovators His classical imitations, which who are encouraged by the take up a great part of the tasteless people of the age to book, have a very doubtful

enervate our language and our value. As became a liberal manners.

But when we come nobleman, he must profess an to the Bacon imitations we find admiration for the republican a really tolerable level of excel

a bores of the early Empire, lence. They are introduced by especially Helvidius Priscus, a circumstantial account of whose statue, he says, stands their finding which is in itself in his hall. We may conjec

a pretty piece of ture that his lordship's scholar- “Goodly senectude" is quite in ship was not exact. He imitates the Baconian manner, and he Petronius Arbiter very clumsily, has the trick of an apt display and he has many long letters, of learning. Sometimes purporting to be from Roman catch the note of a very modern republicans criticising the new sensibility which is out of place : régime, which are chiefly re- “Wherefore, my father, with a markable for their ineptness. smile of amiable complacency Quintus Cicero writes an amus- and strict intelligence of my ing letter to his brother Marcus thoughts, did thus with great in Britain, and Seneca has a condescension apply himself to fragment on the conduct of life. the train of my reflections. " But such exercises are not with- Among the “Literary Olla ” he out their humours, and now has a curious discussion of the and then, by a quaint phrase, character of a gentleman, in the author is betrayed. Petro- which he limits the application

. nius talks of “poor but ele- of the title to landed propriegant provincials,” and

the tors.

He seems to have hated phrase in the Earl's mouth is the young man

about town self-descriptive. “The Greeks, with all the bitterness of a poor he says, “when they trans- Scots magnate. gressed, sinned (as I may say) in a superior style,"—which is They then go abroad, to take exactly his lordship’s code of what is called the tour of Europe, ethics. He has some curious with a selfish, slavish, pedantic comremarks


English prose leader of bears; and after having

voyage, commonly called a style. Gibbon, Burke, and played monkey tricks at all the fashJunius have a “ quaint, flip-ionable courts in Europe, and been pant, pointed manner”; Swift, plucked and fleeced by sharpers and Atterbury, and Hume, on the opera girls, they come home when of other hand, “remain in our age their worthy fathers; and, as a re

age to join in recognisances with possessed of the chaste pro- ward, are introduced into all the priety and dignity of those who fashionable clubs as promising young have set up the Greek histori- men, tout à fait aimables et polis.

Then you see them almost every ans for their models.”

night drunk in the boxes of the glorious," he exclaims, “would play house and opera house, flirting

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with the beauties of the day, who greatness be happiness. In declare them to be charming young the curious bundle of extravamen ; but, good la! Charlotte, how naughty and roguish! i declare they gancies which made up his flurry me exceedingly.'”

character, not the least is this

overweening pride. A subtle Finally, there are certain

quality it was, compounded of essays on Taste, the inevitable subject of his age, where he glory of race and a consciousshows a sanity and an acute- He felt himself

ness of private pre-eminence. ness little to be expected from bearer in the van of European

a standardthe sentimentalist of the earlier

progress, the intellectual "heir letters.

His other excursions in lit. of the ages, and the equal of erature are to be found mainly He had no family, so he con

of the past.

any great man in his indefatigable correspond- soled himself with a reflection. ence. He established what he called his “Commercium Epis- to say, “igreat men have no

“According to Bacon," he used tolicum Literarium," a portion continuance,' and in the present of which is now in the University Library of Edinburgh. He amples of it - Frederick of

generation there are three exworried Horace Walpole past Prussia, George Washington, endurance with his letters, till

and myself.” He had he “tried everything but being jealousy of his distinguished rude to break off the inter

brothers. They

but course.

Of his poetry we broken lights of himself, faint know only four lines, which he reflections to show the full wrote with his own hand on the

glory of the head of the house. wall of St Bernard's Well :

Now and then he had a taste “O drink of me only ; O drink of this of plain speaking, but his arwell,

of self-love was proof And fly from vile whiskey, that lighter

against it. Once he told the of hell. If you drink of me only--or drink of Duchess of Gordon, “We ingood ale

herit all our cleverness from Long life will attend you- good spirits our mother”; to which the prevail.

witty lady retorted, “Then I Quoth the Earl of Buchan.

fear that, as is usually the It is a small output for so case with the mother's fortune, busy a man, but literature was it has all been settled on the his hobby for a long lifetime. younger children.”

It was a While Harry Erskine was win- concession for him to admit ning the reputation of the that merit did not descend in greatest advocate at the Scots unbroken line from the Erskine Bar, and Thomas was drawing stock, but it only illustrates nearer to the Woolsack, my more fully his curious pride. lord remained peacefully in He was greater than his race. his shadowed garden, culti. He was mere scion of a vating the insipid Muse. great house, but something

His life was happy, if to feel beyond it, combining the confidence in one's worth and virtues of a long ancestry


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with an alien virtue from the maxim which he could never mother's side. His brothers acknowledge. He spoke of his had won distinction by fol- ancestors' doings as his own, lowing trade bitter and used to amaze strangers at thought even to this Whig dinner by some such remark as, lord; but he comforted him. “I remember I remonstrated self and took a modest pleasure strongly before it took place in their success. Was he not the against the execution of Charles fons et origo of their prosperity? I.” He patronised the King as Once he told a guest : “My he had never been patronised brothers Harry and Tom are before on the ground of “ concertainly extraordinary men, sanguinity to Your Majesty," but they owe everything to but always with a hint that

His friend looked his the Royal house little surprise. Yes, it is true; better that a cadet branch of they owe everything to me.

his own.

George, with a huOn my father's death they mour rare in that pedestrian pressed me for a small annual nature, took it in good part, allowance. I knew that this and apparently was sincerely would have been their ruin by flattered by the emphasis laid relaxing their industry. So, on his Stuart descent. Buchan making a sacrifice of my in- showered letters of advice upon clination to gratify them, I him, and when by any chance refused to give them a farthing the royal action met with his And they have both thriven approval, he was

was graciously ever since - owing everything pleased to signify his satisto me.

faction. If he was a fool, he was at In all this we are repeatedly least above any vulgar folly. reminded of Sir Thomas UrquThe connection which gave him hart. A little more genius, a pride was with the great of little less providence, would past times, and it was only in have made Buchan a second the second place that he claimed Knight of Cromartie. The kin with contemporary not- same insane pride of family ables. Apparently he was re- which produced the Panto

‘ motely related to Sir Thomas chronoxanon' finds its parallel Browne, and he never in the Erskine pedigrees. But tired of calling him his “Grand- Buchan was less mythologically father.” Washington, as we and scripturally inclined. His have seen, was his “illustrious ambitions did not reach to King and excellent cousin." He be- Arthur, Hercules, Hypermneslieved that he contained all his tra, and Noah; sufficient for ancestry in himself, and that him a decent Scots descent. the house of Buchan, as Lord Both had their imaginations Campbell has put it, “was a hag-ridden by historical figures corporation never visited by _Urquhart by the Admirable death.” “Nam genus et pro- Crichton, Buchan by half a avos et quæ non fecimus ipsi score of heroes. He always vix ea nostra voco” was thinks of himself in a historic



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setting, cutting a fine figure under December 26 : after some accepted pattern. turned to Abbotsford this Sometimes it is Helvidius Pris- morning. I heard it reported cus or Brutus or Pliny or Lord that Lord B. is very ill. If Bacon; in his younger days it that be true, it affords ground was Sir Philip Sidney. In an for hope that Sir John is not absurd preface to an edition immortal. Both great bores. of Callimachus he talks of

he talks of But the Earl has something “having endeavoured from my of a wild cleverness, far exearliest youth (though secluded ceeding the ponderous stupidity from the honours of the State, of the Cavaliero Jackasso. and the brilliant situations in- bore is frequently a wit out of cident to my rank) to imitate season, and when“ wild clever

, the example of that rare and ness" is joined with egotism famous English character, in beyond Sir Willoughby Patwhom every compatriot of ex- terne's, and the whole with traordinary merit found a friend utter tactlessness and the perwithout hire and a common sistence of the horse-leech, the rendezvous of worth.” This, result is tragic for a man's

a indeed, was the honest gentle- friends. man's ideal, and who shall Vanity will always provide scorn it ? He wished to be a for the perpetuation of its kind of dashing Mæcenas, & features. His busts and porscholarly man of the world, a traits are scattered broadcast polite enthusiast—and all on a throughout —

Scotland. Like scanty income and an inherit- Austin Dobson's gentleman of ance of debt.

the old schoolThe result-had he been a

"Reynolds has painted him,-a face man of sensitive nature—would

Filled with a fine, old-fashioned have disappointed him, for he became a Prince of Bores, the and the picture, in Vandyke walking terror of his genera- dress, still hangs in the hall of tion. Even Scott, who hated unkindness, is betrayed into Once he had himself done in

the · Society of Antiquaries. irritation. We find an entry in the Journal, under Sep- trait, with a eulogistic descrip


crayons, and presented the portember 13, 1826 : “Dined at

tion written by himself, to the Major Scott, my cousin’s, where Faculty of Advocates ; and in was old Lord Buchan. He,

Kay's Edinburgh Portraits' too, is a Prince of Bores, but

there is an excellent caricature age has tamed him a little, and like the Giant Pope in the hart has described his appear

in Highland costume. Lock* Pilgrim's Progress,' he can

ance in Peter's Letters to his only sit and grin at pilgrims

Kinsfolk':as they go past, and is not able to cast a fank over them as

"I do not remember to have seen formerly. A few quiet puns

a more exquisite old head, and think

it no wonder that so many portraits seem his most formidable in

have been painted of him. The fliction nowadays.” And again, features are all perfect, but the

grace ;”


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