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“Some difficulty has been experienced in fix and Lucy, for we were a'there thegither.' James ing the locality of the scene. The residents on Shiell died thirty years ago, being eighty-four the banks of the Quair are of opinion that “The years of age. Other information I got was Glen,' now the magnificent mansion of Sir from a gentleman whose father was shepherd at Charles Tennant, Bart., is the place referred to. Newhall (near The Glen), at the time, and On the other hand the writer has interviewed a knew them all personally. He says, “Many a number of Laidlaw's relatives-(some of them time has my father told me about the song knew the poet intimatel ). -and also several old being made on The Glen.' He also described people in the district, and the only opinion he the road down the burnside. Another writes has ever elicited is that the glen' alluded to me to say that his father and mother were in the song is the one through which the Douglas personally acquainted with the author, hero Burn meanders to the Yarrow. This view finds and heroine, while his uncle was master confirmation in the poem itself. In the first mason at The Glen, and his father was one of edition of Hogg's “ Forest Minstrel ” the line his men at the time. His mother was the runs thus :- And Lucy served i' the glen n the Schoolmaster's housekeeper at Traquair Riggs, simmer.' The italics are ours, but the fact that and the Dominie's was a great howf of Laidlaw óglen'is not printed with a capital 'G’is strong and the Ettrick Shepherd, and occasionally of evidence that Laidlaw was not thinking of the Sir Walter Scott. His mother has heard them house of that name.'
often speaking about ‘Lucy's Flittin',' and also A short time ago there was a discussion on The Glen being the scene. I could give you this subject in the columns of the St. Ronan's information from other two gentlemen who Standard, a bright little weekly published in were personally acquainted with the author, Innerleithen. In this correspondence the present but I trust the above will suffice." writer, with a mind open to conviction, defended That the foregoing did not suffice is clearly The Glen, and found support in the following shown by the following from a third corresponletter from a well-known author who is well dent. versed in Scottish songs. He writes :
“They all seem agreed that Lucy served at " William Laidlaw was the author of 'Lucy's The Glen with Mr. Gray, fell in love with his Flittin':' He was the son of James Laidlaw, son, James Gray, and was married to him. ... tenant of Blackhouse in Yarrow, or rather the Of course I do not attempt to deny that the - Douglas Burn. William Laidlaw was born parties mentioned knew James Gray and the November, 1780; rented Traquair Knowe an! lady he married, but I have never thought that thereafter a farm at Liberton, Midlothian ; was he was the Jamie referred to in th: poem. I Sir Walter Scott's amanuensis till 1832 ; was am still inclined to think the story of Mr. factor to Mr. Stewart Mackenzie of Seaforth, Wm. Laidlaw of Thirlestanehope is the most Rosshire; also next factor to Sir Charles Lockart authentic. This story I heard repeated less Ross of Balngowan, Rosshire ; died 18th May, than a week ago by one of the men to whom 1815, and was buried in Contin churchyard. Mr. Laidlaw told it. This story I will repeat :The Glen, now the property of Sir Charles “Lucy was engaged to be married to a man, Tennant, was the scene of 'Lucy's Flittin',' and who was a tailor to trade, but while serving out not the Douglas Burn. The hero was James her tern at Blackhouse she became deeply Gray, afterwards Bailie Gray, Edinburgh. His attached to the young shepherd Jamie, and in mother, Catherine Nimmo, lies in Traquair fact became fonder of him than she had ever churchyard, south-west corner. See Tombstone." been of the other. Mr. Laidlaw of Thirlestane. Another correspondent writes :
hope happened to be at Blackhouse, and was “ Jame; Gray, the hero of the song, was young assisting William Laidlaw (author of the poem), shepherd to his father, who was farmer at The and Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, with the Glen, Lucy being a servant to the above; also, smearin'' of some sheep, when Lucy came to James Shiell was young ploughman there at the give them a glass of whisky before she left. same time. I will give you the words of Shiell They began chaffing her about her approaching to a lass then, who went under the name marriage, and Hogg, in fun, said to her, ‘Wad Jessie, now Mrs. - She, knowing the old ye no raither hae Jamie, nae?' whereupon, to man well, once said to him, “Jamie, the consternation of all, she burst into a flood they say that “Lucy's Flittin'” was made on of tears. After she had left them, Mr. Laidlaw you.' Na, na, Jessie lass, it wasna made on suggested to "Willie' that he should write a me, but it was made on Jamie Gray, the son o' poem on the subject, and he always believed my auld maister, when I was young ploughman that 'Lucy's Flittin'' was written at his instigaat The Glen. Weel did I ken baith Jamie tion.”
Bonnie Tweed. By John Dickson.
O’a’ the braid rivers that rin to the sea,
les That glide through the woodland, or wind
through the mead, There's nane o' them a' like our ain bonnie
In the presence of such conflicting statements is it not possible to get the evidence of some one who was a contemporary of the poet? Say, for instance, Leyden, the athlete, who lives, still hale and hearty, at Denholm, and who frequently came in contact with Hogg and his friends. As far as the present writer can ascertain, William Laidlaw was a farmer near The Glen when he sent the song to Hogg for publication in the Forest Minstrel. Now, is it at all likely that a gentleman of his well known preciseness, residing in a district where The Glen had been known by that name for centuries, would so write that there might afterwards be any misunderstanding about the name? The small "g” referred to by the Rev. Mr. Borland has very little weight in our opinion, as Hogg was not always particular with the manuscripts he received, a proof of which is found in the fact that he, with his usual audacity, added a verse to Laidlaw's song, and used to assert that he alone was responsible for the death of poor Lucy.
“Chambers' History of Peeblesshire" and other authorities claim the old Glen House as the scene of the song, and until we can get soine better proof to the contrary, we retain our opinion that this popular idea is correct ; but we strongly appeal to our readers to give us whatever information they may possess on this interesting question, which we would like to see settled once for all.
In days o’lang syne, when to sport in her streams, Was my summer day's joy and my summer
nicht's dream. I play'd wi' her waves and o' time took nae heed, She ne'er wearied wi' me, nor me wi' the Tweed.
And when wi' the summer spate drumlie she
ran, And I watch'd for her clearin' till nicht-ta' began, Then dowie an' lonely I pillow'd my head An' dream'd I was chas'd wi' big waves o' the
O, sweet o'er the haugh rings the milk-maiden's
sang, And the reed o’the shepherd the green knowes
But to me sweeter music than sang or than reed Is the ripple that breaks on the bosom o' Tweed.
LIKE clarion's blast, clear ringing through our
land, His patriot voice appeals, that all may hear
Stern menaces of doubt and slavish fear, Which vanish at his words of high command, Penned with due care by no unskilful hand;
So true in form the minstrel's thoughts appear,
That none can fail the author to revere, Whose noble intellect with wisdom planned,
In many moods to manifest his mind; Sometimes akin to streams which quietly flow,
Anon he sweeps like torrents unconfined, The leveller of falsehood base and low,
And permeating all, as beacons bright we find Those brilliant thoughts that shall throughout all ages glow. Edinburgh.
Yet, tho' through this life's course I weel nigh
ha'e sped, And friends ba’e grown few and companions ha'e
fied, O’er her clear flowin' waters nae change seems
decreed, Eld downa lay hands on the wavelets o' Tweed.
And when o'er the stream o' this life I ha'e
pass'd And laid kindly down for my lang sleep at last, ; Neath the auld kirkyard tree may it then be my
meed, To sleep while she rins to the murmur o' Tweed. TO CORRESPONDENTS. All communications relating to Literary and Business matters should be addressed to the Editor, Mr. NICHOLAS Dickson, 19 Waverley Gardens, Crossmyloof, G asgow.
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. THE BORDER MAGAZINE will be sent post ¡ree to any part of the United Kingdom, Canaria, the United States, and all Countries included in the Postal Union, or one year, 45.
THE BORDER MAGAZINE.
LIST OF CONTENTS.
The Right Hon. LORD TWEEDMOUTH (Portraits and Illustrations). By Rev. W. S. CROCKETT,
Editorial Hotes. "HE lower half of this page in the premises
of The Border Magazine is all that can
be spared, in the meantime at least, for special editorial announcements. From this sanctum accordingly, will be issued the personal notes and observations that may be necessary to lay before our readers with reference to the conduct and well-being ol the work to which we have set our hand.
The letters we have received since the publication of our opening number have been not only numerous beyond all expectation, but they have also contained many kind and encouraging congratulations on the appearance and general contents of the Magazine. From the newspapers and periodicals, too, come the same strain of encouragement : for all of which we have to offer our sincerest thanks.
Delighted as we naturally are with these manifestations of interest we have only to suggest in addition, that if the members and friends of the various Border Associations throughout the country would each become an Annual Subscriber, the success of the magazine would be assured from its very outset.
For the interesting contributions sent in : for the promise of many more: we have to thank our numerous correspondents. The wealth of literary, historical, and romantic material throughout the Border Country seems inexhaust
able: not only these, but artistic material as well. Few districts in Scotland lend themselves so naturally to the photographic art as the Borders. As the outcome of this, we are greatly gratified by the offers of contributions from Amateur Photographers As time goes on we hope to be able to accept of these, not only in illustration of the litera of the literary department of the magazine, but probably also to form a Monthly Supplement of Photographic work by Border Amateurs.
Numerous suggestions from various friends and well-wishers are to hand. One of these suggestions is already introduced in the present number, namely “Border Notes and Queries,” with a beginning made by three anxious inquirers on points requiring information.
But who can think of the Border Land without its Farming and its Manufactures : without its Military newsand Volunteering: withoutits Sports and Pastimes? Contributions from correspondents who can inform us from month to month, on all or any of these subjects, will be gratefully accepted.
We have also to remind the secretaries of the various Border Associations throughout the country, that we shall be glad to have an account from them of all that is going on from time to time. In a word, we are anxious to make this Magazine the means through which our readers will be kept abreast of all that is worthy of being recorded in the modern social life of the Borders.
Tbe Quarry Master.
away in the direction he had indicated, and A BORDER STORY.
ere long reached that portion of the Eildonlea
plantations known as the Wae man's Wood. BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK.
Who the original wae man was, or who had CHAP. III.
given the plantation such a name, can only be
conjectured : but both its name, and its condiAMONG THE FALLEN FIRS.
tion, were in entire sympathy with the forester -HORT and sharp and sudden as had when he arrived on the scene A few weeks
been the hail-storm which obliged Tom before that visit, a storm of unexampled force Watson and Tony Wilky to take refuge and fury had burst over the Border Country,
in the old quarry at Eildonlea, the tempest and left its mark on many a Border plantation. of wrath and fury which broke over the Standing high, and stretching upward from the head of the former, on his return home, was Quarry Hill, the Waeman's Wood had suffered infinitely more violent.
severely from the storm. Hundreds of tall Talk of Colonel Downward's infirmity of Scotch firs were lying as they had fallen before temper! It was serenity itself when placed the blast : a scene of wreck and ruin and alongside that of John Watson the forester. desolation. Let us respect the poor Colonel's wish to be
“A picture o' my ain desolate heart !” said forgotten and forgiven: the last act recorded the forester, sitting down on the trunk of a of him was a kind and manly one, as we saw fallen fir. “Oh, the senselessness of yieldin' from the letter which he wrote to the game to this terrible temper o' mine! Last nicht to keeper. But the forester has to come before list my hand, and speak to my motherless laddie us so often in this story that we cannot dismiss in the way I did! The very thocht o't him so easily into the region of absence and drives me dementi. Maybe he did forget some forgetfulness. We cannot get on without him duty yesterday, but the tox-hunt was eneuch to indeed : the sooner, therefore, that we get to account for it, and I should hae minded my ain know the forester's failings, the sooner will we short-comings when I was his age.” get to know his better qualities too, for of the Subdued, repentant, and wholly John Watson latter he had no small share.
the forester in his right mind, the sorrowing John Watson's failing was nothing more nor man remained among the fallen firs, communing less than an unfortunate infirmity of temper.
with the thoughts that came rushing throu: h Mentally he seemed to be made up of such com- his mind. The things that were unseen mingled bustible essence that on the slightest provocation with those that were seen, and set him pondering it blazed up into flame and fury. The explosion over the meaning of this life with all its sins however, did more harm to himself than the and sorrows and bereavements. For John person on whom it exploded: it left him Watson had known adversity and sorrow in no scarred and burned and repentant-lill the next small degree. Death had invaded his home so time.
often that he was now a lonely and elderly There was a dreadful scene in the forester's man, with only one left out of a large family : home when Tom returned from the fox-hunting namely, Tom the youngest- the lad who saw expedition-So dreadful, indeed, that I fear to something below the huge boulder lying at the record or report it at this early stage of the mouth of the Eildonlea Quarry. story, lest the reader should take it into his or Leaving the forester among the firs, let us her head to throw The Border Magazine away, relate what we know about the home surand resolve never again to list it until the irascible roundings of the other actor in the great drama forester has disappeared from its pages for ever. of this wonderful business about the quarry.
Next morning, Sunday, just as the bells of St. Johns were calling people to the various
CHAP. IV. churches in the town, John Watson softly
THE QUARRY RE-VISITED. opened the door of the little bedroom where his son was still lying—not asleep but afraid to Tony Wilky and his sister Mary were the only get up. In a voice broken with emotion the children of their mother, and she was now a forester said, “Tom, my boy, I canna gang to widow. This Mrs. Wilky was a querulous the kirk the day myseľ. I'm away to the unhappy kind of creature, liking nothing better Wae man's Wood, but I'll be back in an hour than to sit over the fire wondering, aye or so. Your breakfast's ready when ye like to wondering, what was to happen next, as if she get up"
had never seen or heard of anything that had Leaving his cottage, the forester walked rapidly really happened after all. She did not live by
the hour, or by the day, but piled up misery by charge up the steep approach and find, to their lugging into to-day the possibilities of to-morrow, inexpressible joy and relief, that the great or next week, or even next year. She was a boulder is there all right-firmly embedded in woman always with a future in front of her, the debris, with the inscription all right and discounting so little of it from day to day that untouched : she had no present.
“Blest be the man.......... turns me........ Tony Wilky, her only son, was rather inclined For underneath .........gold......... found.” to take things easy. He was much given to Here was a fine example of the missing word wondering, like his mother, what was to be the conundrum. Who was to solve it? Of a upshot of next week or next month. There sanguine and hopeful temperament, Tom Watcertainly would be something next year. Perhaps son declared that the original inscription by that time he would be rolling in wealth, young must have run : as he was, and standing high in the Councils of “Blest be the man who turns me round, the County, let alone the staff or, maybe, the
For underneath me gold is found.” editorial chair, of The Border Beacon.
Tony Wilky, however, took a less cheery How the work of the Post Office of St. Johns view of the interpretation that might be put could be conducted, how the stationery depart upon the inscription. His version ran : ment of the shop could be attended to, or the “Blest be the man who turns me round, newspapers delivered in the mornings and For underneath may gold be found.” evenings, with such a postmistress as Mrs. Wilky Argument arose over the difference. Tom at the head of the establishment, was a mystery. Watson held fast by the indicative mood of the But there need have been no mystery, for the verb To be, while Tony advanced several argumainspring of the household was Mary-a ments in favour of the subjunctive mood of the pretty girl : active and graceful in all her same verb. Words ran high : argument grew movements, sunny and cheery in disposition. warm and warmer, until the two high contending A regular Border beauty, too, with her warm parties observed several persons coming in the complexion, her dark hair with always a rose in direction of the Quarry Hill. These, however, it, and a pair of the most beautiful eyes that I, turned out to be only peaceable people returning Alexander Selkirk, the writer of this story, ever home from church-not disposed to visit the beheld in a young girl's head. For Mary was quarry on Sundays. only a girl, younger than her brother, but The mere sight, however, of living beings in possessed of more "go" and character than the vicinity of the Quarry Hill was enough to mother aud brother combined.
cool the two disputants. They dropped argument About this great quarry business, however, and commenced something practical-how to what of it? We have seen, or heard at least, get at the buried treasure lying below the how Tom Watson was left to get up to break- boulder. The more they examined the scenery fast when he felt inclined to rise. Tony Wilky, of their great discovery, the greater seemed to too, was left much in the same predicament, be the probability that the vastness of the subfor his mother and sister had gone to church, terranean caverns would prove to be beyond the leaving him to get up when sufficiently rested. wildest flights of the imagination. So vast Breakfast over, Tony proceeded to Eildonlea, seemed to be the treasures lying below the and called at the forester's cottage, where he boulder that the money deposited there might was admitted by his partner in the grand be employed to wipe off the National Debt, and discovery of the previous evening.
place the owners of the “ find” not only among After some preliminaries had been discussed the wealthiest of the Empire, but among the and settled, the two young would-be millionaires greatest of its benefactors. For, relieved of all set out to reconnoitre the entrance to the quarry. national debt, Britannia would tell her sons to They were almost afraid that the Quarry Hill take a holiday for a year or two, and visit their itself had disappeared, carrying with it not only Colonial brothers and sisters scattered over the Samson's Putting-stone, but all the wondrous globe, taking their cousins, the Americans, in wealth that lay beneath it. Anxious to see the the home-coming.
embryo, set forth on their adventurous quest. Watson and Tony Wilky resolved to commence In the most roundabout direction possible, they work on the following evening. And such was gradually closed in upon the Quarry Hill, ready to be the energetic nature of the attack, and the to arrest it in case it should think of running resolute character of the onslaught that it was away with its untold wealth below the boulder. calculated by Friday evening at latest, the imAt last they gain the mouth of the quarry, they mensity of treasure would be got at. On the