Изображения страниц

A burgess (territorial) must own a “burgess Along Old Airhouse Wood acre" (there are 105 “burgess acres,'') and each

The length’ning shadows fall, one is the private property of an individual; and

And day's bright beams have sped while any person may own as many burgess

From saintly Cuthbert's hall, acres as he chooses to acquire, he does not

Yet hallowed is the scene, thereby get right to a greater extent of pasturage

And mystic thoughts crowd fast, than the burgess who owns only one acre. The

As, wandering through the wood, size of the “burgess acre” varies from 1 to

We muse, and mourn the past. about 3 acres imperial. “A burgess acre " is a marketable subject like any other piece of land,

Farewell ! Old Airhouse Wood; but it may not be disposed of in parts and

Thy mantle green inspires retain its virtue. An applicant for admission

To link the passing hour as a burgess must produce his title deeds to one

With mem'ries of our sires. of the 105 burgess acres in its entirety. The

Saint Cuthbert ! thou thy work creation of the original burgess acres cannot be

Did'st well and fearlessly : traced, and the number has remained unchanged

We follow in thy steps, as far as the records show. It is probably

And holy visions see. owing to the provision for keeping each burgess

A. T. 6. acre entire, and confining the privilege of pastur

Fobn Veitcb.* age to a burgess, in respect of one “acre” only, that the system has existed so long, and that the T HE subject of this memoir was born in evils of the crofter system, in so far as these

that part of Peebles known as Biggiesarise from sub-division, has been avoided.

knowe on the 24th October, 1829. His Lauder was a power in the State long before father, still remembered in the town as Sergeant most of the important towns in the country had Veitch, or "Veitch the Fisher," had been a a voice in sending a representative to Parliament. soldier, was full of stories, and proud to wear Before the union it sent a representative to his Peninsular medal on special occasions. It the Scottish Parliament, and between the Union was from his father that the future Professor and the Reform Act of 1832, the Town Council inherited that love of “the gentle art,” the appointed one of five delegates, who elected a prosecution of which made him familiar with the representative for the burghs of Haddington, scenery and the streams of a district which was Dunbar, North Berwick, Jedburgh and Lauder. afterwards to owe not a little of its popularity to

There are many other interesting matters his poetry and prose. Veitch's mother was a which might be dwelt on ; but these are for the woman of stronger character than her husband, most part, the common possession of all the physically and mentally robust, and possessed of old royal burghs, and the foregoing is only a a memory full of the romantic lore of the cursory sketch of the peculiarities of this Border Border Country. Burgh.

While a boy at the Grammar School of

Peebles, Veitch was frequently complimented Old Airbouse wood.

on his way home from the annual examination

bearing his prizes and medals. Ye're a clever AROUND Old Airhouse Wood

chiel," and "Ye'll be a Professor some day," was There breaks the morning sheen,

often said as the boy's rewards were carefully The golden light appears

handled and scrutinised. It was in accordance Above the Kirktown dean.

with his mother's wish that, after completing his Here Cuthbert roamed of yore

course at the Grammar School, he should proWith shepherd plaid and rod,

ceed to Edinburgh, there to study for the And here in heavenly dream

ministry of the Free Church. At the age of He tarried wi:h his God.

sixteen he entered the University, and soon

gave proof of the work that was in him by Above Old Airhouse Wood

carrying off the highest honours in Logic and Full noon its blaze doth shed ;

Metaphysics, as well as the gold medal in Moral The holy waters clear

Philosophy. During his student days, Veitch Seek Leader's pebbly bed.

made the acquaintance, among many others, of And Channelkirk stands fair

the late Sheriff Nicolson. The acquaintance To Cuthbert's mem'ry reared ;

then formed ripened into the close friendship of And grassy mounds are seen,

* Memoir of John Veitch, LL.D. By Mary R. L. Bryce. With grave-stones wondrous weird.

Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons,

after years; both were shaping their course City." The truth is, he does not seem to have towards the Free Church ministry, but circum- liked Glasgow, and yet he will long be rememstances subsequently turned their thoughts and bered there for the interest he took in at least life-work into other channels.

three objects with which his name will long be The distinguished career of Veitch at College associated. We refer to the Society for the Predid not escape the notice of Sir William vention of Cruelty to Animals, of which he was Hamilton. When the latter found it necessary president; the Glasgow Sir Walter Scott Club, to seek an assistant, he remembered the young of which he and his friend Sheriff Spens may be student of Philosophy and selected him for the said to have been the founders; and the Glasgow post, although he had by that time left the Border Counties Association, in whose welfare University and was acting as tutor to the son of he always took the deepest interest. Though Mr. Brodie of Lethen House, Nairn. In the answering to all within the city with which he May of 1856 Sir William Hamilton died, and could sympathise, Professor Veitch was always was succeeded by Pro

delighted to get away fessor Campbell

to “The Loaning," Fraser, who not only

his residence at retained Veitch as his

Peebles, where all his assistant, but sought

long vacations were his help in the work of

spent. There, too, editing the “North

was his starting point British Review."

on the long solitary In 1860, Veitch

rambles which he was appointed suc

made over the Border cessor to Professor

Country. Here are Spalding in the chair

his own words in of Logic, Rhetoric,

anticipation of one of and Metaphysics at

these joyous raids :St. Andrews. Of his

"Next day take knap

sack for the hills of Teviot. life and friendships

dale, disappear from there, his biographer

human ken for seven days. gives us some in

Oh! the joy! Oh! the teresting sketches.

glory! The herds' wives

will give me scones, and I Notwithstanding

shall get nooks to sleep in Veitch's general dis

here and there. If, as like to outdoor sports

may happen, I yield up and pastimes—always

the ghost at the back of a

dyke, then 'Twa Corbies excepting walking and

on a Stane' will point to fishing and a little

where the bones are to be skating and curling

found... I had a he nevertheless fell a

glorious walk to Loch

Skene. After some hours, victim to the golf

one a terrible fight with fever. On January 26,

the peat-hags, I sighted 1861, we find him

the loch-you should have From Photo by Annan, PROFESSOR VEITCH. writing:

seen—and wept for the “I have begun to learn golf, so that I may find

lonely joy." an antagonist of some powers on the links. My instruc- Sir Walter himself was not a more enthusiastic tor in the art, ' Caddie Geordie Brown,' is hopesul of my Borderer than Veitch, who constituted himself progress, and encourages me to try my hand pretty often.

the natural gnardian of all the old peels, keeps, (Aside, he gets half-a-crown each time, which, of course, doesn't affect his judgment in the matter.) Geordie backs and historical remains of the Border Country. me against Tulloch, who, by the way, is about the poorest player on the links, and even anticipates that I

"When a wayward rowan appeared, high on Dryhope shall one day surpasz him.... Noble encourage

Tower, and threatened the stonework, a letter pleading ment! However Sellar and I go out to-day to play

the cause of old story went off that evening to the owner, . . . till dark."

and soon the harmful seedling was cut down. With

jealous eye he guarded every standing-stone from plough After four years' professional work in St. or tourist ; and with generous assistance of his neighbour, Andrews, Professor Veitch was transferred to the Miss Kidd of Glenternie, he repaired and recovered the Chair of Logic and Rhetoric in the University

dungeons and remnant wall of Castle Hill, which,

beautiful for situation, commands the whole Valley of of Glasgow, which he held till his death. Not

Manor, and which belonged in olden times to the family much is recorded of his life in “the Second whose name was also his."

[ocr errors]

As Veitch was born in the Border Country, extreme and raise a passing smile as we read them. as he longed to be back to it whenever absent, We regret that we have no space for quotation here, so it seemed to be the dearest wish of his heart to

but our readers are referred to Mr. Robson's work be there when his work was done. “When my

itself-a work which every native of Berwickshire

will find worth the purchasing and preserving. time comes,” he observed to Professor Ramsay,

Messrs. Rutherfurd have done their part of the work who had gone to visit him at The Loaning: “I

very well, and produced a volume which is clearly should like just to lie down at the back of a printed and quietly but neatly bound. dyke, on the heather.” After a time of much suffering, varied at intervals by release from pain THE ROMANCE OF INDUSTRY AND INVENTION. and driving over the scenery he loved so much, Selected by ROBERT COCHRANE. Edinburgh. John Veitch was called to his rest in the autumn W. & R. Chambers, Limited. of 1894.

Though this is not a Border Book in the usual On rising from the perusal of this work we acceptation of that term, yet it is written by a wellfeel greatly impressed by its excellence as a known Borderer, and therefore finds a place in this memoir. It was undertaken at the request of column. If the first Napoleon taunted us with Mrs. Veitch, and written by one of her nieces.

being a nation of shopkeepers, he might have gone

a little further in prophetic vision, and added that As a piece of literary work it is very well done;

that we are also a nation of manufacturers. In his as a memoir it brings before us almost all that prefatory note, Mr. Cochrane truly observes that

know in the comparatively uneventful much romantic interest lies alongside the rise and career of Professor Veitch. The whole is con- progress of most of our national industries. It is this fined within the boards of a single-octavo volume

element of romance which he has selected as the of less than two hundred pages and can be per subject of the work now before us, and the result is

a volume of absorbing interest from the first page to used and enjoyed at a single sitting. The work

the last. Iron and steel, pottery and porcelain, wool will be a most interesting one to a large circle of

and cotton, gunsand ammunition, gold and diamonds, readers, but more especially to Border readers. the sewing machine, the cycle, the telegraph, the

telephone, and the phonograph are all discussed and Border Books.

described--not so much as regards these industries

themselves, but more as the outcome and developTHE CHURCHES AND CHURCHYARDS OF BER ment of the genius in the men whose names are

WICKSHIRE. By JAMES ROBSON. Kelso : inseparably associated with each of them. To the J. & J. H. Rutherfurd.

general reader, perhaps the most interesting chapter 'HIS volume, of a little over two hundred

in the book is the one which treats of the “Evolution

of the Cycle :" for evolution it has been, as “the pages, is a marvel of patient industry and

wheel," as now known, did not burst upon civilisation unwearied research. The author is one of our esteemed contributors, and the historian

in all its practical completeness, but in gradual

development from practical experience. Mr. of our Border Battles and Battlefields. Many a long summer day Mr. Robson must have spent in

Cochrane's work is copiously illustrated. May we his pilgrimages over the Merse while personally

suggest, in closing, that he might turn his thoughts

to the Railway Romance, and make that the subject visiting every parish for the purpose of describing

of his next volume? the churches, and transcribing the records on the grave-stones in the churchyards lying round the sacred buildings. Mr. Robson is probably within

YOUNG LOCHINVAR: A TALE OF THE BORDER the mark when he states that in five and twenty

COUNTRY. By J. E. MUDDOCK. London : years hence, these inscriptions and epitaphs will

Chatto & Windus. all have disappeared--not so much from neglect Who is there among our readers who has not as from the laws of disintegration that are silently heard of Young Lochinvar? At the mere mention but surely at work in this uncertain climate of ours. of his name out he starts from Sir Walter's ballad, His work is, therefore, one for which all the and stands before us as a typical Border hero—“ So Borderers of Berwickshire will specially and grate faithful in love, and so dauntless in war." As Mr. fully thank him. There are few of us who do not Muddock draws him, we find that however “dauntfind our thoughts now and again wandering back less" his Lochinvar may be, he is not the "faithful ” to the church and the churchyard of our native young Chief of the ballad. After the love affair place, with all the tender associations and memories with Cecilia Johnstone is disposed of and Helen which these hallowed spots awaken. In reading Græme takes her place in the fickle affections of over the epitaphs, here preserved from time's eftac the hero, the story runs very much along the same ing fingers, one can scarcely help being struck by lines as the ballad. The chief interest of the Novel, the large amount of lettering which used to be cut in our opinion, lies in its graphic pictures and vivid on the grave-stones in the days of our forefathers. descriptions of Border life in “the auld fechtin' Biographies in brief, character sketches in abund- days." We cannot help feeling, however, that Mr. ance, admonitions from the dead to the living, and Muddock throws in not a little exaggeration when even points of doctrine-all are recorded on the he states that the times of which he writes were “on stones. Some of these inscriptions are sublime in a par with the savage tribes of Central Africa at the their simplicity, while others approach the opposite present day.”

Glasgow : Carter & Prate, Printers.

[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »