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posed to have got into the Highlands. He never was heard of more,” &c. After this sad event, it seems that Sir Robert the father gave himself up to sorrow, and his fortune became involved with Scott of Harden and others. Patrick Scott (the great-grandfather of Francis fifth Lord Napier) who redeemed Thirlestane to the junior branch, was the eldest son of that gallant Walter of Gamescleuch already-mentioned, who escaped the desperate adventure of Carlisle, to fall by the hand of Tushielaw.
Late at e'en, drinking the wine,
“Now, haud your tongue, my daughter dear!
“O ! haud your tongue, my father, dear,
Than now lies cropp'd on Yarrow.”
* This tragic story is the prototype of Hamilton of Bangour's “Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride.”
But for no untimely death has the Forest such cause to mourn as for that of the late Lord, the lineal male representative of this Walter of Gamescleuch. It was under his immediate patronage, and owing to his enterprising exertions, that the pastoral society was there instituted in the year 1818, the benefit of which is now acknowledged and shared by the neighbouring counties of Peebles, Roxburgh, and Dumfries. With the same views his Lordship composed and published an octavo volume of 280 pages, entitled, “a Treatise on Practical Storefarming, as applicable to the mountainous region of Ettrick Forest, and the pastoral district of Scotland in general;” a work which eminently illustrates his capacities, no less than his dispositions. The New Statistical Account of Scotland thus speaks of him: “In this parish (of Yarrow in the Forest,) the truly patriotic and benevolent Lord Napier has his usual residence. This nobleman, to use the words of a popular writer, has for some years past employed his time and talents, together with much money, in improving the stock on the hills, and introducing, into a district hitherto bound up in its own natural wildness, all the attributes and amenities proper to the most civilized regions. His enthusiasm has been one of benevolence, and from the full half of the beautiful cottages he has planted in this wilderness, the prayers of the widow and the orphan nightly ascend to Heaven.” But not the least interesting testimony in his favour is that of the Ettrick Shepherd, in his Statistics of Selkirkshire, published in the Quarterly Journal of Agriculture. “The roads and bridges,” says Mr Hogg, “were never put into a complete state of repair till the present Lord Napier settled in the country; and to his perseverance, Ettrick Forest is indebted for the excellence of her roads, now laid out and finished in every practicable direction. With an indomitable spirit of perseverance, he has persisted against much obloquy and vituperation, and from none more than the writer of this article. But honour to whom honour is due; Lord Napier has effected wonders, and the late impervious Ettrick Forest may compare in the beauty and efficiency of her roads with any mountainous district in the united kingdom.” This nobleman, with all these practical powers and habits, possessed in no small degree the literary taste and accomplishments by which Sir William Scott, and others of his modern ancestors were distinguished. A manuscript in my possession, dated H. M. S. Kent, off Toulon, 24th September 1811, and entitled,—“The Sailor's midnight Burial, written by Captain the Honourable William John Napier, on reading the funeral service over the body of a sailor at midnight during a thunder storm,”—affords one of many interesting illustrations of the depth of his feelings, and his powers of expressing them — “ Dark and dismal is the hour, Midnight waves prepare the tomb, Fearful is the shooting star Glist'ning through the dreary gloom; Vivid flashes in the sphere Light for him the angry wave, Thunders rolling o'er the deep Seal him in the wat'ry grave; Whistling winds among the shrouds Chilling blasts of terror blow, Yawning wide the foaming surge Wraps his corse descending low; Glorious shall he rise again When the sea gives up her dead—”
He inherited, too, all the daring of the warlike races united in his person, and his professional claims upon the remembrance of his country are not slight.* For he served on board the Defence at Trafalgar, when she captured the St Ildephonso, and carried the prize into Gibraltar. He served on board the Foudroyant, and the Imperieuse, Lord Cochrane, who, in his Dispatches of 7th January 1807, published in the London Gazette, noticed the Honourable Mr Napier as having distinguished himself among those detached in boats who landed on the French coast and attacked and demolished Fort Roquette the preceding day. He commanded a boat of the Imperieuse which, with another, took at mid-day a privateer mounting eight guns, and having on board fifty-four men, 14th November 1807; in his boat ten,including himself, were wounded, and two killed. He assisted in cutting out of the bay of Almeria, within half gun-shot of upwards of fifty cannon, a French letter of marque of ten guns and fifty men, besides two Spanish brigs of four guns, and a large settee 20th February 1808. He was sent to conduct an unarmed vessel, detained by the Imperieuse, to Gibraltar, but was taken on the passage by a privateer from Mahon, 3d April 1808, and carried into Ivica, where he remained a prisoner for three months. He was released when the Spaniards began to throw off the French yoke, and afterwards assisted in the defence of Fort Trinity, and at the siege of Roses. He was on board the Imperieuse, 12th April 1809, when the Calcutta was taken, —and was again wounded in the attack at Palamos, un
* It ought not to be omitted, that his Lordship was President of the Astronomical Institution of Edinburgh,—an Institution whose present prosperity is mainly owing to his enthusiastic exertions.
der the command of Captain Fane of the Cambrian, 14th December 1810. Through this gallant career of his youth he escaped to effect, in his own peaceful and pastoral district, those improvements and amenities by which his name is endeared to Ettrick Forest, and will long be remembered there. After all, it was his fate suddenly to quit his home for that distant land, where, in the service of his country, but under circumstances which it belongs to that page in the history of British policy to record, he died on the 11th of October 1834.