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the battle of Ulundi became useless owing to
HOPE. the dulness of the weather. At the same time It will not be in this life, love; it was highly important that a certain communi Who knows that it will not be ? cation should be made, and in these circumstances There are regions below, there are realms above, Lieutenant Scott-Douglas started to ride through
For the souls that Death sets free: the enemy's country to deliver it. He was
Who can tell but our spirits, separate accompanied by an escort, but the horses of the
As long as these lips have breath, escort being tired out, he decided to send them
May rush together-iree to mate,
On the other side of Death ? back, and himself pushed on upon his pony, accompanied only by a corporal of lancers. The In 1881, he published a novel, now disowned, message was duly delivered, but on his return of which he has not told me so much as the journey Lieutenant Scott-Douglas and his com- name. In 1886 appeared “The Fireside panion were fallen upon by a band of Zulus, and, Tragedy,” a play with appended poems, a well after gallantly defending themselves, were slain written, smoothly going tale of love and intrigue, with assegais. The bodies were recovered and at the commencement of which, we have a very buried at Kwamagwasa, Zululand, which was seasonable and dainty picture of an interior of a visited, after peace had been made, by Sir George North Country kitchen of an old-fashioned farmDouglas, the
house at father, who
time, where morials to
we see Davy mark their
snatching a resting place
kiss under Lieutenant
toe from las was wide
Prudence ly mourned,
and receivbeing re
ing back spected by
a box on allwhoknew
the ear-him for his
“There's to high and
teach 'ee spotless
Davy, my and beloved
lad, and a for his kind
pro per ly, unselfish,
respect and affec
for your tionate dis
And we Ineyoung. Photo by Mackintosh and Co., SPRINGWOOD PARK WITH RUIN OF ROXBURGH CASTLE.
Kelso. hear Davy er son, on
as he rubs the death of his father, subsequent to that of his his cheek soliloquising—“It's a proper piece brother, became the proprietor of Springwood o' woman's flesh, and that's the truth; but Park. A young lad about 20-at the time there's a sharp tongue along with it, I doubt, and alluded to above, having been born on the 22nd a heavy hand ; that there is and no mistake.” of December, 1856—he is now the subject of “The New Border Tales” ran through The this short sketch. I little thought then that I Scots Magazine, as I have mentioned under my was preaching to a lad who was to write for me Editorship in 1893, and appeared as a volume when I was Editor of The Scots Magazine, immediately after. The book is dedicated in a with graphic intensity, fidelity, insight into nature, charming piece of writing to George Landels, Sir and delightful descriptive power “The New George's gamekeeper at Springwood Park, to Border Tales”: any more than I thought I whom he expresses his indebtedness, asking "are would twenty years afterwards write a sketch of not several of the tales yours as much as, if not him in a new Border Magazine. Sir George more than, mine?” They were companions in Douglas' first publication was "A Love's Gamut,” sport, and companions in story-telling and folka little volume mainly composed of love-poems, lore; and I give these pleasant words to show from which I quote this fine aspiration named Sir George as a country gentleman as well as a story-teller : “Wading, angle in hand, in the shallow streams of Teviot, wandering on Sundays on their well-beloved sylvan banks; watching beside a rabbit burrow, by some tree root in the grass-parks, when your ferret Nean, persistently lay in;' tramping over many a sea of turnips coloured like the ocean and not much less wet; seated in the cabin by the pheasant-rearing ground in summer, or as we worked together twisting wire for snares upon a winter's night, we gave these stories their shape.”
Besides these Sir George Douglas has edited, with charmingly written introductions and the cunning power of an expert Anthologist, “Scottish Minor Poets,” Contemporary Scottish Verse," “Burns' Love Songs,” “Scottish Folk and Fairy
Dame Nature's darling, grudged not anything,
Hath neither dream'd nor seen!
The world of lifeless things grows fair,
In still autumnal air :
Have known the clouded mind grow clear,
And said, The end is near! Sir George is also to do the volumes on Smollett, and on Christopher North and his circle, for Messrs. Anderson's Famous Scots series, and the history of the Border Counties in the County Histories' series, which the Messrs. Blackwood are preparing. He is the very man for this task-having a thorough knowledge of
Photo by Mackintosh and Co., Kelso.
SPRINGWOOD PARK. Tales,” and “The selected Essays of De Quincey." the Border land gained in walking, riding, and He has in preparation “Caerlanrig" a novel, driving-tours and in cruises between the Farne “Romances of a Country Side,” and “Poems of Islands and St. Abbs in a tiny yacht. Besides a Country Gentleman," from which I am being a most accomplished scholar, a born story. privileged to make the following beautiful and teller, a fine poet, an able critic, Sir George is suggestive extract :
a very popular country gentleman. Classical
literature is his delight, and he is passionately THE “LIGHTNING BEFORE DEATH.” fond of nature and country life in general. He
cultivates, this goes without saying, the most 'Tis Autumn-how the world is hush'd !
pleasant relations with his tenants, servants, and Does it forbode the end ? Never ! for see, each tree and plant
the peasantry. Altogether he is a charming man Wears motley, gay--extravagant
leading a charming life, full of learned leisure yet Such as the hopeful, young, all-conquering
crowded with the incessant studies of his special Spring,
pursuits. Long may he, and such as he, adorn Array'd in tenderest green,
the dear and beautiful Border land.
The Edinburgb Borderers' Union.
natives of, or relatively connected with the Counties
of Roxburgh, Berwick or Selkirk, or the Town of INSTITUTED 1874.
Berwick-on-Tweed are eligible for Membership BY STUART DOUGLAS ELLIOT, S.S.C.,
The success of the Union has far exceeded the expectations of the promoters. The membership
at present considerably exceeds 800 and is being DINBURGH being conveniently situated constantly added to. The increase last year was
and having a variety of outlets for pushing over 200. Besides giving pecuniary and other aid and ambitious young men, naturally attracts to those in difficulty, the Union in 1875 published
the more enterprising youth of the Borders, a centenary edition of Leyden's Poems which met and here we find settled a very large number of with a large and speedy sale. In 1881, it was the Borderers. As might be expected from the old means of prompting the publication of a cheap Border spirit and traditions which they inherit, they edition of Mrs. Gordon's " Home Life of Sir David have made their mark as citizens and are to be found Brewster” which was well received by the members well to the front in all ranks and in all professions. and the general public. At various times prizes for Four, if not five, of the Judges of the Supreme Court essays and school prizes have been distributed. For have Border ancestors, two of them,-Lord 22 years in succession an Annual Soiree has been Stormonth-Darling, and Lord Low,-being true held in the beginning of December, and the attendBorderers. A late Lord Provost, Sir John Boyd, ance at the last nearly reached 700. General was of Hawick ancestry. No fewer than six of the Meetings have also been held in March, July and present Town Councillors and the Town Clerk are October during these years, and lectures have been Members of this Union, while several other delivered on many interesting subjects by, amongst Councillors, including a Bailie, are eligible for others, the late Professor Blackie, Professor Geikie, membership, and on its roll are three Ex-Bailies and Professor Hislop, Dr. David Pryde, &c. The several Ex-Councillors. Many of the leading July meeting takes the form of a picnic at some ministers, doctors, and lawyers, as well as University interesting place in the vicinity of Edinburgh, at professors, teachers, merchants, contractors and which Border games are played and prizes comtradesmen are connected with the Borders. Besides peted for. The attendance has steadily risen until these, there is a large number of Border men in 1895, it reached 400. In 1889, Monthly Social and women pushing their fortunes and earning a Evenings during the winter months were instituted, livelihood in the city.
and these have gradually increased in importance With such a large field to work in, it was only until the average attendance is not much short of natural that the proverbial clannishness of the 200. Special and interesting programmes of songs, Scottish Borderer should assert itself, and no doubt recitations, lectures, etc., are now arranged for many canty gatherings of old friends took place in the these evenings, and one, and sometimes two of city long prior to 1865, in which year the Edinburgh these meetings yearly are specially devoted to Border Counties Association was established. children. In the same year, and in connection That association did, and is still doing much good with these meetings, a reference Library of Border work, but it was felt that it did not occupy the Literature was established. A number of volumes whole field. Prior to 1874 a desire was frequently has been presented, but others would be welcome. expressed to have an Annual Social Meeting at In 1890, Annual Border Excursions, on the Qucen's which Borderers of both sexes and of every age Birthday holiday, were introduced and have been and class might gather round the festive board. extremely popular. All the most interesting Border Accordingly Mr. John Telfer, the present highly districts are being visited in turn. In 1893, a respected president of the Union, after ventilating scheme was inaugurated for giving prizes to the subject in a series of letters to the Border encourage the younger members, and Border newspapers in the autumn of 1874, called a children generally, to read and study Border meeting at which an enthusiastic committee was literature. In 1894, a choir was formed in connection fornied with the result that a most successful soiree with the Union, and on ist November, 1895, Reading was held in the Waverley Hall, on 9th December, Rooms were opened in St. Cuthbert's Hotel, 1874. The late Thomas Knox, Esq., J.P., a well 73 Lothian Road, at which all the Border newsknown public man, an enthusiastic Borderer, and, papers and a number of the leading weekly and at the time, Chairman of the Council of the Border monthly publications are to be found, and to which Counties Association, presided, and it was then members have free admission every night from 7 tolo resolved to form this Union.
o'clock. The Annual Report, with list of members, The objects of the Union, are :-1, To promote last year extended to 48 closely printed pages. friendly intercourse among Borderers residing in The yearly subscription is 2/6 for adult male or near Edinburgh. 2,To cultivate a kindly interest members, and 1 6 for ladies and young men under in young Borderers who come to reside in Edin 21. When more than one of a family are members, burgh ; to assist those who may be in search of the subscription for each after the first is 1/. Life employment, and to make such friendships as shall Members are charged £,2 25. for gentlemen, and be conducive to both their temporal and spiritual ki is. for ladies. The ordinary subscriptions last interests. 3, To afford assistance to Borderers year amounted to £50 vis, and the Life Members whether members or not, who may stand in need of subscriptions to £4 45. assistance and advice ; and 4, To further the The management is in the hands of a PreEducational interests of the Borders by the distribu- sident, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Assistant tion of school prizes or otherwise. All who are Secretary, Treasurer, and a Committee of 15.
Each Member or committee takes charge of a city district and is assisted in the collection of subscriptions by a lady collectoror collectors. Thereare also a number of Patrons, and Honorary President, and Vice-Presidents, and a Council has recently been established as a sort of Second Chamber to which Members of Committee and others who have done good service may retire. The President, Mr. Telfer, has been an office-bearer from the commencement, and is recognised as the Father and Founder of the Union. To his wise counsels and constant watchfulness much of its success is due.
A Tweedside Village. D HE Borderland! What a host of old-world
tales and romances the word brings to our mind, of the time when it was the true
debateable land-not of some vague thought or theory, but of stern, and more often, bloody fact. The land of battles, sieges, raids, and robberies, when every man learned of necessity to know not only the best means of making war against, and driving back the common enemy, the Southron, but how to keep his byre and hearthstane intact from the very pressing attentions of his own countrymen.
The ordinary stranger's first visit to a Border district is to a certain extent a surprise. Instead of the barren and desolate landscape he had expected to see, dotted here and there with grim and ruined keeps, he feasts his eyes on stretches of rich pasture-land, well wooded and watered, and for the most part cultivated by the dwellers in the many thriving farm-houses he beholds in every direction.
One of the most typical of Border villages is the little fishing centre of St. Boswells, situated some mile and a half from Newtown Station on the main line between Edinburgh and Carlisle.
Newtown itself is purely a business place, being not only an important junction, but the scene of some of the largest lamb sales held in the country, mainly owing to the facility with which dealers from the various farming districts are able to meet and transact business. But in the village of St. Boswells proper, such disturbing elements are practically unknown, save when occasionally a flock of sheep being driven from the sale across the village green to some outlying farm, serves to remind the villagers that, after all, they are not altogether removed from the busy haunts of men.
The village itself is one which, for picturesque beauty, has few rivals. It has one characteristic which even the inhabitants themselves do not realise, namely, the Tweed. For a native to talk intelligibly for half-an-hour without mentioning the historic stream, is as great an impossibility as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of the proverbial needle.
Thus when we leave the village green and begin to enter the village itself, do not imagine because you are ascending a rather steep incline, that you are going up the village. By no means : you are proceeding down the village. Feeling considerably mystified myself as to the origin of this, I consulted a local oracle, only to have my curiosity rudely shaken, and my ignorance exposed at one and the
same time by his most contemptuous remark, “Man, do ye no see, it's doon Tweed”? The bare idea of imagining anything in direct opposition to the rule of Tweed, was in the eyes of this rustic philosopher a species of sacrilege.
Further, should you feel disposed to take an interest in the commercial welfare of the village, and ask one of the local tradesmen how things in general are progressing, you will probably be told that “There's no much doin'. She's ower heavy, an' ye canna get wadini.”
“She” here stands for the Tweed. The strangeness of this species of water-worship speedily passes off, however, and in an incredibly short time the stranger accepts the new creed, and from that time forward looks upon the river as a mysterious influence governing the actions and morals of the community. Above all he must never forget to allude respectfully to the liquid deity as “ She."
In the evenings when sitting in the back kitchen of the little public-house, the conversation runs eternally on the same lines : “the fees that are takin'," or when “the flees that are no takin' the noo wull be takin'." Whether Jock Robson really got “twal pun” the preceding night, whether “onybody saw the tak?” or in other words, “ whether or no Jock's a leear.” It is not so much that they can't get away from the subject, as that they don't wish to get away.
In order to appreciate this to the full, and understand in part what is indefinitely called the sadness of a summer evening, it is necessary to seek Tweed in the gloaming. Leaving the village by a footpath running through a field of corn, we presently find ourselves on the Braeheads from which one of the finest views in the country is obtained.
Abler pens than ours have described the panorama, but it is impossible to put into words the influence exerted on our minds by the surroundings. It may be, as our glance is arrested by the sight of Dryburgh, that the feeling is intensified when we remember that there lies the dust of one who loved better than most the beauty of the Borders, but even the most cynical of us lowers his voice involuntarily, as if in the presence of some unknown power.
The mysterious twilight, and the incessant murmur of the stream beneath our feet, seem also to have subdued the villagers themselves, as they lounge about slowly, just as they have done for years. Their conversation even is carried on in semiwhispers. Scrambling down through a little wood we find ourselves on the haugh, where probably three or four of the village anglers, assembled for the night fishing, are indulging in a smoke and a chat before commencing.
One by one, however, they stroll off either up or downstream. Leaving them to their solitary vigil we betake ourselves back to the village. in many cases these men will fish all night for three or four consecutive nights, and although we may scoff at them and what they call pleasure, in all probability they derive more wholesome amusement from the exercise, and solitary communion with their own thoughts than we do who dwell in cities, and take our exercise in the over-heated atmosphere of a crowded ballroom.
A poet of the Varrow. CIKE Cæsar's Gaul and the generality of Scots
sermons, the poetry and song of the Scottish Border may fitly be said to be divided into
three parts. There is first the great collection of old ballads, the origins of many of which are lost in antiquity, but which have been handed down by oral tradition through many generations-ballads which at one time only precariously existed in the memories of “the old wives of Liddesdale” and were crooned over by the light of smouldering peat fires to while away the winter evenings, and which Sir Walter Scott made it one of his early literary efforts to collect and permanently record.
The second consists in that great outburst of poetry which characterised the last three decades of last century and the first three of the present
Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height.
For forty years after the decease of Scott a literary dearth existed in Scotland, and the lean kine of literature were in the land, but the last few years have shown signs of a revival and now we have a school of writers so much concerned with “the little things of life" in so far as they relate to the Scottish peasantry, as to have received at the hands of a caustic Scotsman the appellation of the “Kail
Photo by Valentine and Co., Dundee. These sixty years were a period rich, not only in the literary annals of the Borders, but of Scotland itself. Sir Walter in his little room at Ashiestiel was writing “Marmion," James Hogg pursuing his avocation on the breezy uplands of Ettrick was imbibing the inspiration which produced “The Queen's Wake ;” William Laidlaw, Scott's amanuensis, was writing “ Lucy's Flittin';" that strange rugged genius John Leyden was writing his wonderful imitations of the old ballads and his “Scenes of Infancy ;” and William Wordsworth was making those excursions which gave us his fine poems on Yarrow, and the equally fine sonnet which he wrote on the eve of Sir Walter Scott's departure for Italy on what turned out to be a fruitless search for renewed health.
"A trouble, not of clouds or weeping rain,
Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light
yaird School.” Concurrent with this revival there has arisen a new group of Border poets. The writers who compose that group may not be Wordsworths and Tennysons, and they may not have seen
“That light which never was on land or sea.” but, nevertheless their work has many pleasant qualities which place it far above what Canon Ainger hastermed "literary confectionery;" qualities which, to pursue the simile further, make it almost a part of the solid loaf of good literature.
Among these writers may be mentioned John Campbell Shairp the author of the “Bush aboon Traquair”; Professor Veitch the poet of “The Tweed”; Andrew Lang who has written with the enthusiasm of affection, of“the elms of Yair" and "the streams that circle Fernilea”; Thomas Davidson the Scottish Probationer, and many other lesser lights.