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sible, however, entirely to evade requests of this sort, particularly from strangers in Scotland.
At one time a young lady from abroad, who had been recommended to my attentions, was very importunate on this head. She was herself a remarkable character, very accomplished—a bluestocking, as the phrase goes, and was not to be denied. She had come to Scotland almost on purpose to see John Home, she said.
At this time he was declining, and saw little or no company. It was amongst his last years; all of which the young stranger was informed of, but to no purpose. Every word seemed to heighten her desire. She would look through a hole in the door, she would suspend her breathing, but see him she must. The young enthusiast of course prevailed, and was taken to see him--but who can describe such a scene?
With a searching look she surveyed the poet from head to foot. gardless of every thing else, she drew near to hear him speak his few words ; she gazed steadfastly on his countenance, whilst a strong feeling of regret and sympathy was openly displayed in her own. It was altogether an interview too striking and deeply touching to be ever forgotten.
In returning home she held up her finger, and in her foreign and peculiar accent, said, “ That little finger I would rather have lost than missed this sight!"
A principle prevalent with men of the world is, to discourage in youth all propensity to poetic study.
That this is a prudent economy I doubt not, but that such propensity is the source of much gratification to the individual, we have a striking evidence in John Home. At the early age of twenty we have seen high-reaching spirit bestride his winged steed, and scour the wide and fertile domain of poetry; and now, at eighty, we find him still dipping for solace and refreshment into those springs, from which in early life he drew inspiration.
A few verses written after a visit he made to Lord Melville, at Duneira, in the Highlands, when he was more than eighty years of age, are chiefly remarkable as being probably the last of his compositions. After some prefatory lines he proceeds to say,
“ Ever since homeward I returned,
Duneira is the theme,
Duneira is my dream.
The hills, the rocks, the streams-
Of them my spirit dreams.” It is my opinion that this was the last time John Home took up his pen to imbody his thoughts in rhyme.
And now having traced the poet in his long and varying course, it becomes my task to close the bright circle of his existence. For now the thick mists are ascending to the hill-tops, twilight is setting in announcing the long night that is to come, and soon the author of
Douglas” must live only in his fame.
Shortly after the period of which I have spoken, John Home began gradually to droop, and a great change in his appearance became perceptible: bis mind began to give way; his recollection of names and of persons became faint and obscured ; and in the course of three or four years thereafter, every grace and faculty, both of body and mind, was obliterated and gone.
When I called, and he was told who I was, he did not know me, he seemed conscious of nobody. He wore a small gold watch, of which he was fond—a present, I believe, from Lord Bute, which, by turning it round once or twice wound itself up: he now sat stooping in his chair, twirling his watch-chain and seals, and revolving often his watch in his hand. Second childhood had ensued. The noble vessel which but lately
" Lived in the breeze saluting earth and heaven," now lay a wreck, waiting
“On the verge of dark eternity.
The tide returning hoarse,
To sweep it from our sight.” The strength of his constitution kept him up in this condition for a long time.
During the summer of 1808 he went for change of air to Merchiston, about two miles southward from Edinburgh, and on the 8th of September of that year, he died there.
Had he lived only two weeks longer, he would have been eighty-six
He was buried in South Leith churchyard, and opposite to his grave a plain stone tablet, bearing the following inscription, has been attached to the outer wall of the church, -a singularly striking place truly, -as if the church, repentant of her former severities, had reclaimed for herself, and set up as her ornament, a name which the violence of past time had attempted, but in vain, to pull down:
&c. &c. &c.
Account of those attainted for rebellion in 1745; and of the annual
rent of their estates, which were surveyed by order of the government.
d. The estate of Perth, belonging to James Drummond, Esq. 2742 16 0 His personal estate......
9 12 0 Life rented by his mother..........
519 0 0 Estate of William Viscount Strathallan.......... 310 14 0 His personal estate .......
3 14 0 Alexander Lord Pitsligo...... .......
311 5 0 His personal estate....
22 6 0 David Wemyss, Esq., called Lord Elcho... 500 0 0 William Earl of Kilmarnock ......... 1712 18 0 His personal estate ....
38 16 0 Arthur Lord Balmerino....
770 7 4 Henry Kerr, of Graden....
143 16 3 George Hamilton, of Redhouse.........
1 4 John Hay, portioner of Restalrig......... 196 10 5 His personal estate
16 18 6 Francis Buchanan, of Arn (prior.........
320 7 8 Sir James Kinloch, of Kinlooh.......... 478 4 7 Sir William Gordon, of Park................ 404 10
1 Francis Farquharson, of Monaltry......... 37 2 5 Charles Gordon, of Tarpersee.......
43 18 7 Jo. Ilamilton, late tailor to the Duke of Gordon. Personal estate..................
5667 7 4 Lord Lewis Gordon. Personal estate... 1000 0 0 John Henderson, of Castlemains... ... 29 6 9
7 0 0 John Gordon, of Glenbuckel................ Adam Hay, of Astud......
17 9 George Abernethie......
10 0 0 Personal estate......
88 17 0 Andrew Porteous, of Burnfoot............ 26 12 0 James Nicholson, coffeehouse-keeper, Leith 31 16 8
113 19 2 Evan Macpherson, of Clunee........
191 19 9 Lord George Murray...... Do. lands life-rented........
100 13 4 Donald Macdonald, of Lockgary
51 6 1 Lachlan Maclachlan, of Maclachlan
174 2 1 Laurence Mercer, of Lethardy.......... 266 26
729 15 10 Robert Mercer, of Aldee
Sir Alexander Macdonald's Bill for subsisting the Militia, in 1745. Account due to Sir Alexander Macdonald, for subsistence to the Militia Companies, raised by him during the Rebellion of 1745.
£ To price of 473 cows, at 30s, each
709 10 0 117 wedders, at 2s. 6d.
14 12 6 86 bolls 1 firtol, meal, at 18s. 4d.
57 10 0 Cash at different times for whiskey
46 17 63 For butter and cheese
18 14 71 Boat's freight from north coast
14 5 0 Cash to Lieutenant Donald Martin, who went to Inverness, with an ensign and 65 privates, to Isle of Skye
24 14 53 To Captain Hugh Macdonald, who likewise went with a party to Inverness, and returned
23 10 0 For plaids, coals, shirts, shoes, &c., for them
135 12 0 Cash at different times to the officers............
73 10 0 For a boat from Dunaegan to Berneray in Glenely, with the militia arms
2 15 63
£1121 11 81
Marry, come up! I can see as far into a wall as another!"
If you'll tell me the reason why Lucy de Vere,
Thinks no more of her silks, or her satins;
She goes both to vespers and matins :
Who once cared for nought but his wine, has
In a niche, at St. Thomas Aquinas'!
If you'll tell me the reason, Sir Rowland will ride
As though he'd a witch on his crupper,
Or is going to meet her at supper :
With a horse that is better and faster,
Can never keep up with his master!
If you'll tell me the reason why Isabel's
Turn sensible men into boobies :
To waltz, and my eye turn’d to thank hers,
Though I hadn't a sous at my banker's !
If you'll tell me the reason a maiden must sigh,
When she looks at a star, or a planet;
When you know she has scarcely began it:
And her breathing both fevered and faint is,
Can tell what that maiden's complaint is !