Изображения страниц

characterised by largeness of conception or bold- defined. He was never afraid to give his opinion ness of execution, but rather by daintiness and in art matters, but it was never given in a biting delicacy. He liked to be particular. His work or sarcastic, far less in a mean, or venomous is full of detail carefully studied and represented. spirit. To his friends in particular, in all his His choice of subjects, too, was characteristic of criticisms, he “truthed it in love." He judged the man. He loved the poetry of common life, his own work in a very stern-fashion-he gave and had an infinite faculty of extracting pleasure himself no quarter—but he was ever ready and from, and finding goodness and beauty in the eager to discern the good points in the work of humblest persons and things. An old mill wheel, others. a village street, a country cottage with children. It is not as an artist, however, but as a man playing round the door, or an old man sitting by that Mr. Heatlie will be best remembered by it. These were subjects be delighted in, and those who knew him. He was truly one of the which the magic touch of his brush transformed gentlest and most genial of men; beneath his and glorified. An excellent example of poetical shy and reserved exterior, he hid a very winsome treatment of a pro

and winning persaic subject is the

sonality. He was picture of the cot

a deeply religious tage at the east-end

man, ever living of Earlston, the

“as in his great birthplace of Mr.

Taskmaster's eye.” Robert Mowat,

As his minister managing director

has very truly of W. & R. Cham

remarked, “the bers, now in his

things of God were possession.

very sacred in his It was not only

eyes.” But he in the pictorial re

spoke not much presentation of

about his religion, existing architecture

he lived it. A that Mr. Heatlie

gentleman he was excelled He could

in the true sense also design new

of the word, one work in a competent

of nature's own and practical

noblemen. Of a manner, such as

highly nervous schools, cottages,

temperament he and churches.

was never irritable Speaking as one

nor cross; generwho has had some

ous he was to a experience in such

degree ; self-denywork, I can honest

ing, self sacrificing, ly say that his

self-effacing. Not designs were extra

without pride of ordinary pro.

a noble sort, the ductions for a person who had received no pride which scorns all meanness and baseness architectural iraining. Some of his designs were of thought or action, he was yet the meekest of carried into execution, and in not a few cases men. Like the Master whom he loved and served he gave very valuable hints for the improving of so faithfully, he displayed his true greatness by buildings while in course of erection. He had becoming a servant to all with whom he came an intimate knowledge of all the styles of archi- into contact. No whiter soul than William tecture,-a knowledge at once comprehensive Heatlie's ever “looked into the light of God's and particular—and could determine accurately countenance and lived." As a walking comwhat many professional architects even seem panion Mr. Heatlie was simply delightful. Jest never able to do, the possibilities and limitations and story flowed from his lips like clear water of every style.

from a perennial spring. He was at home with Mr. Heatlie also possessed, in large measure, the flowers of the field, and could name them the critical faculty, and his knowledge of the all. He was an excellent mimic, had considertechnicalities of art was very exact and clearly able elocutionary power, and possessed in large



WM. HEATLIE, 1887.

measure the "saving virtue" of humour. In his cheery and profitable companion. One glowing frequent excursions about the country he had June day we spent together, while he sketched collected a vast amount of anecdote, legend and beneath the shadow of Dryburgh Abbey, and in lore of various kinds, and his recitation of these the evening how he unbent as we crossed from was irresistibly droll and mirth provoking.

Bowden between the Eildons towards Melrose. Mr. Heatlie was never of a very robust con- His sagacity, wisdom, kindly humour came out stitution, and too easily fell a victim to an attack then, and you could not wish for better company. of influenza in the beginning of the year r892. Alas that we shall no longer share his cheery His friends erected a memorial stone to his laughter, and his wise and tender remarks and memory in the New Cemetery, Melrose.

stories The best cycling trip I ever had I owed The news of his sudden death came to his to his suggestion ; that by way of Biggar, Leadfriends with a shock of painful surprise, and left hills, Sanquhar, Dumfries, Caerlaverock, Annan, with them a great and abiding sorrow, a sorrow, and Longtown, to Brampton in Cumberland. The not so much that a career of bright artistic route was not his, but the destination was, and promise had been thus early cut short, but that it formed an admirable centre from which to do they should not again see his face nor hear him the Roman Wall. Twice I spent a pleasant speaking in that voice of slow, deep wisdom Sunday with him and his sister at Newstead, which always seemed beyond his years.

and shall never forget our quiet walks and talks. W. A. From the foot of his garden the vale of Tweed

was spread out before him to Galashiels, while SOME MEMORIES.

to the south the Eildons, like huge mastiffs A smallish figure, with curling dark hair, good seemed guarding the vale, and his beloved head, and ruddy features, rises up before me, as Melrose Abbey rose up in the foreground, with school-bag on back, with his sister Isabella, he Gattonside on the other side of the Tweed. came down from Eildon Hall daily to Newtown Sterling, unassuming, industrious; with a genuine School. We came very close to one another. inborn gift as an artist, the world is poorer to He was so accomplished; he could sit with pins me now that he is gone, and one can never hope thrust through the lobes of his ears, without to meet again the same combination of gifts, wincing ; these long flexible fingers of his could held in such modesty. sketch “the Maister” on the shortest notice, or

R. C. lions, tigers, bears or elephants. Also his own rustic home at Eildon Hall, where his gifted and personal tRecollections of the border kind hearted father was gardener. He lent me

Country. a story by Mayne Reid (to be read after school

BY THE EDITOR. hours on the Bow-Butts) and introduced me to Punch. Our paths diverged, he went in for art,

(THIRD AND CONCLUDNIG PAPER.) and I for literature, first in selling and then in AST month I related the incident which led to making books. But I knew he was doing good

my becoming acquainted with Sir Walter's work in the south country and that the walls of

Lay of the Last Minstrel, and indicated how many a mansion and cottage were being adorned

passionately fond of reading it I was when

a boy. with those faithful, painstaking, pleasant water

Before that incident occurred, however,

I knew the scenery of the poem in so far as that colours, which reflect so accurately the best of

was associated with the town of Melrose and with our Border scenery.

the Abbey : for the most intimate of all my school In 1891 I had asked him to give a paper in con companions was one of the sons of John Bower, nection with the Edinburgh Borderers' Union, his custodier and keeper of the famous ruins. subject being “Border Dialects.” His examples A blythe and cheery old man was John Bower. were taken from “Watty Wathershanks," “ Jack

Much he loved to point out to us schoolboys the

quaint and curious inscriptions that are to be found Robson's Courtship," with some good specimens

carved on the walls of the Abbey, and on old graveof the dialects of Cumberland and South

stones in the adjacent kirkyard. In fact, it was Durham, at both of which he was inimitable. John Bower who first taught us the practical outThere was no doubt he was nervous in delivery, come of the Latin language. If we got it in theory but the reading of the pieces in dialect was at school, we put it in practice in a small way) accomplished in an enjoyable and masterly way.

within the Abbey of Melrose. We had a drive together once from Selkirk to

“Come now," the old man used to say, "let me his native Ettrick Bridge. End; he was the best

hear ye gae ower this inscription, and gie me the

English o' some o' of guides, and would never allow but that the “The scrolls that teach thee to live and die,' vale of Ettrick was far superior to Yarrow. I as the Shirra says in the grandest o'a' his poemsagree with Mr. Anderson as to his being a The Lay of the Last Minstrel

The scrolls referred to are the fillets carved across or beneath the figures so plentifully cut on the walls and corbels of the Abbey ruins. Thus, over the beautiful south doorway you can see the half-length figure of John the Baptist, with his eyes directed upwards and bearing on his bosom a scroll with this inscription : “Ecce filius Dei."

“Come now," said John Bower, “let me hear you laddies taigle that passage."

The boldest of the group stepped to the front and began, with a strong flavour of the schoolroom and Ruddiman's Latin grammar, “Ecce, behold : an exclamation of surprise, and therefore an interjection. Filius Dei, the Son of God: the latter of two nouns is put in the genitive case when ”—

“Excellently weel dune," interrupted the old man,

Melrose Abbey, and pointing out to visitors the scenes commemorated in The Lay of the Last Minstrel and The Monastery, John Bower had, in a manner, become personally and inseparably associated with these scenes. Washington Irving, in describing his visit to Melrose Abbey, observes that Bower could not bear to hear any of Sir Walter's writings preferred to The Lay. “Faith," said he to Irving, “it's just as guid a thing as Mr. Scott has ever written. An' if he were stannin' there, I'd tell him sae-an' then he'd lauch.”

One of the ingenious devices on which Bower prided himself was to take a party of visitors to a particular part of the churchyard from which the finest view of the abbey ruins could be seen as a whole—the view reproduced from photograph

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

“but I dinna want your grammar rules down herethe simple translation will do for me, without the fal-de-rals o' syntax."

Turning next to some of the inscriptions on the tombstones in the kirkyard we managed to spell out Hic jacet, here lies; corpus, the body of so and so."

“Aye," said Bower, “in the Abbey there it's Ecce, behold look upward ; but in the kirkyard down here it's aye Hic jacet, here lies ; looking downward."

To this day I remember John Bower's little sermon ; short, but to the point, as indicating the two antithetical points of all human life and experience.

It was his association, however, with Sir Walter that made John Bower a remarkable man in the eyes and estimation of us schoolboys. With the old custodier, the fictions and imaginations of the poet and novelist had crystalised themselves into acts. From constantly living beside the ruins of

opposite. Arrived on the spot, he directed his visitors to turn their back upon the ruins, stoop down, and look at them from between their legs. This, Bower said, gave an entirely different aspect to the ruins, and was worth coming far to see! No doubt it did, and those tourists who had any sense of humour in them used to enjoy the whole affair immensely. As for the ladies, however, they were directed to look at the Abbey through the loop formed by holding their hand up to their head-an arrangement which was regarded as perfectly satisfactory.

As John Bower piqued himself on showing everything laid down, or described, in the poem, there was yet one passage which perplexed him for a while. This was the well-known advice to visitors :

If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight.
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild, but to fout, the ruins grey.

In consequence of this admonition, many of the most devout pilgrims to Melrose would not be contented with a daylight inspection, but insisted on seeing the ruins by moonlight as well. If moonlight could be had with every evening, there would have been no difficulty in the matter ; but the moon has other things to mind than lighting up Melrose Abbey every night. To meet this ever increasing demand, John Bower called in extraneous aid, and succeeded admirably. Fixing a lighted candle at the end of a long pole, he paraded the ruins, followed by an admiring crowd quoting Sir Walter all the

Here, for the present at least, end these early recollections of the Border country. With the close of my schooldays came the inevitable home-leaving. But she has ever been to me more than a mere memory. I long to visit her on every holiday, and every time that I do so, she seems to me to be more beautiful than ever. What a rich inheritance is she to all her absent sons and daughters who still see her beauty and hear her music whenever the Borderland is mentioned ! As I write these concluding lines, the words of Israel in exile come into my thoughts and seek expression, in no irreverent

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Edinburgh Border Counties Association. Through the kindness of Mr. Usher, secretary of the Association, forwarding to us a proof of the thirty-first annual report, 1896, we are enabled to lay before our readers the following extract which has a special interest for all Borderers :C HE annual summer visit of the members and

friends of the Association took place to Earlston on the 2nd August last. The

immediate purpose of the visit was to inaugurate the purchase by the Council of the

Tower of Thomas the Rhymer and the two adjoining cottages. It was evident from the number who arrived in Earlston from the neighbouring towns, and the preparations made in Earlston itself, that the occasion was regarded as one of unusual interest. The town was decorated with flags lent for the occasion by Councillor Cranston of Edinburgh, a member of the Association, under the direction of a local committee. A triumphal arch was erected across the street beside the railway station. Facing the station and against the roof of the centre arch were the words, “Welcome to Earlston," and on the reverse side, “Thomas Rhymer, 1295, 1895." The arches were

of evergreens topped by Aags, and from many houses colours were displayed.

Prior to the ceremony at the Tower, a visit was paid to the Unionist Club Rooms, where Mr. R. H. Dunn and Mr. Tom Scott, R.S.A., has very kindly and at considerable trouble, arranged an interesting collection of Border antiquities which continued open for inspection, and were examined by large numbers of the visitors during the day. The thanks of the Association are due to these gentlemen for their kindness in so helping to make the day an interesting one.

purchase of the Tower. Mr. Wallace Bruce, at a meeting of the Association, had called attention to the fact of the Tower and surrounding lands being for sale, and to the advisability of the Tower, with the cottages, being acquired for preservation.

After detailing the various difficulties which the Council had to encounter in the matter of purchasing the Tower, and the ultimate triumph over these difficulties, Mr. Wallace Bruce followed with a powerful oration, which was listened to with the greatest attention, and was loudly applauded.

On the motion of the Chairman, a hearty vote of

[graphic][merged small]

Assembled at the Tower, a large platform was thanks was awarded to Mr. Wallace Bruce for his occupied by Mr. James S. Mack of Coveyheugh, magnificent address. Colonel Hope next chairman of Council ; Mr. Thomas Usher, secre- delivered an interesting speech, and concluded by tary ; Mr. John Knox Crawford, treasurer ; Colonel proposing the thanks of the company to Mr. Hope of Cowdenknowes ; Colonel David Milne. Sinclair and the local committee. Home ; Mr. Campbell Swinton of Kimmarghame; A choir under the leadership of Mr. R. Smith, Mr. Harold J. Tennant, M.P. ; Mr. Wallace Bruce, sang “The Broom o' the Cowden Knowes," the late Consul for the United States of America, and accompaniment being played by the Galashiels others. The general company were congregated Brass Band in attendance. in front, or witnessed the ceremonial from the Votes of thanks were then given to the choir, adjoining road.

and to Colonel Hope amidst great cheering. Mrs. Mr. Mack introduced the proceedings in a Hope then proceeded to unveil the tablet, which vigorous address, which was followed by the was designed by Mr. D. W. Stevenson, R.S.A., and Secretary. Allusion was made to the circumstances has been inserted in the west wall of the Tower. which led the Council to take measures for the The Tablet was covered by a curtain of Stuart and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »