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The Editors of the EDINBURGH MONTHLY MAGAZINE, a Work of which the discontinuance has just been announced, beg leave to intimate, that they have now undertaken to act as Editors of the EDINBURGH MAGAZINE and LITERARY MISCELLANY. They are happy in being enabled to state, that they have received the most satisfactory assurances of support, not only from the extensive circle of Literary Friends with whose assistance they planned and 50 successfully carried on their former publication, but also from a number of other distinguished individuals, who have engaged to contribute their effective aid to this New Series of the earliest and most esteemed Repository of Scottish Literature.
Edinburgh, Sept. 26, 1817.
Printed by George Ramsay & Co.
SOME ACCOUNT OF
than the misanthropic Dwarf, or the MELS, A SCOTTISH BEGGAR, sup- magnanimous Gypsey. POSED TO BE THE ORIGINAL OF Such inquiries are at all times inEDIE OCHILTREE.
teresting, and, if discreetly and pro
perly conducted, may be rendered, I MR EDITOR,
conceive, both amusing and instrucA PASSION seems at present to pre- tive. Even when pushed, as they are vail pretty generally, for bringing for- rather apt to be, somewhat beyond proward to view the ground-work, in ac- bability, they seldom fail to elicit curitual history, of those professedly fic- ous and valuable information ; and, in titious narratives with which an un- the present case, they certainly afford known and most self-denied author most convincing and gratifying evihas lately entertained the public. dence not only of the truth and geNot satisfied with the vraisemblable nius displayed in these National Tales, only, which this admirable writer has but also that their high excellence has so well communicated to his fancy de- been duly felt and appreciated by the tails, his readers have begun to look public. With these impressions, I have out curiously for the corresponding thrown together a few particulars facts and characters which he must which I happen to be possessed of, have set before him in their manu- respecting an individual who is supposfacture. Through the medium of the ed, by many persons who knew him, to Quarterly Review, and other periodi- have furnished the novellist with the cal works, the public have been already idea of one of his happiest creations. made familiar with some of the most Edie Ochiltree is, indeed, a much remarkable of these Originals. In Jean more elevated and amiable person than Gordon and Bowed Davie, particular- the eccentric wanderer I have to proly, the likeness in some characteristic duce as his counterpart; but the latfeatures to their alleged representatives, ter (whom I cannot profess, however, is so very obvious as scarcely to leave a to delineate at present with much doubt that the mysterious author “had nicety or distinctness) certainly posan eye to them" 'in sketching his ex- sessed some of Edie's most remarktraordinary pictures ;-and, in the able and agreeable qualities, and, if not south of Scotland at least, a strong the sole original, at least probably sug, persuasion prevails, that several others gested some of the most characteristic might still be brought forward, not features of that very prepossessing and less striking and worthy of notice, poetical badgeman.
Andrew Gemmels was well known monious, Andrew was never burdenover all the Border districts as a wan- some or indiscreet in his visits; redering beggar, or gaberlunzie, for the turning only once or twice a-year, and greater part of half a century. He generally after pretty regular intervals. had been a soldier in his youth ; and He evidently appeared to prosper in his entertaining stories of his cam- his calling; for, though hung round paigns and the adventures he had en- with rags of every shape and hue, he countered in foreign countries, united commonly possessed a good horse, with his shrewdness, drollery, and other and used to attend the country fairs agreeable qualities, rendered him a and race-courses, where he would general favourite, and secured him a bet and dispute with the country cordial welcome and free quarters at lairds and gentry, with the most indeevery shepherd's cot or farm-steading pendent and resolute pertinacity. He that lay in the range of his extensive allowed that begging had been a good wanderings. Among his other places trade in his time, but used to comof resort in Tiviotdale, Andrew regu- plain sadly, in his latter days, that larly visited at my grandfather's. It times were daily growing worse. My
one of his Saturday-night father remembers seeing Gemmels houses," as he called them, where he travelling about on
a blood mare, always staid over the Sunday, and with a foal after her, and a gold watch sometimes longer. He usually put in his pocket. On one occasion, at up his horse, on his arrival, without Rutherford in Tiviotdale, he had dropt the formality of asking quarters, and a clue of yarn, and Mr Mather, his had a straw bed made up for him in host, finding him rummaging for it, the byre, claiming it rather as his ac- assisted in the search, and, having got knowledged due and privilege, than hold of it, persisted, notwithstanding as a boon of charity. He preferred Andrew's opposition, in unrolling the sleeping in an out-house, and, if pos- yarn till he came to the kernel, which, sible, in one where cattle or horses much to his surprise and amusement, were kept. My grandfather, who was he found to consist of about twenty an old-fashioned farmer in a remote guineas in gold. situation, was exceedingly fond of his Many curious anecdotes of Ancompany, and, though a very devout drew's sarcastic wit and eccentric manand strict Cameronian, and occasion- ners are current in the Borders; and ally somewhat scandalized at An- both his character and personal apdrew's rough and irreverent style of pearance must have been familiar to language, was nevertheless so much many individuals still alive, some of attracted by his conversation, that he whoin may probably be induced to never failed to spend the evenings of communicate further information rehis sojourn in listening to his enter- specting him, upon their personal autaining narrations and“ auld warld thority. As I am myself but a reportstories," — with the old shepherds, er,—though upon authorities which hinds, and children, seated around to me, at least, appear indisputable, them beside the blazing turf ingle in I shall, for the present, content myself " the farmer's ha'.” These conver- with one or two specimens, illustrasations sometimes took a polemical tive of Andrew's resemblance to his turn, and in that case, not unfre- celebrated representative. The followquently ended in a violent dispute, my ing is given as commonly related with ancestor's hot and impatient temper much good humour by the late Mr blazing forth on collision with the Dodds of the War-Office, the person dry and sarcastic humour of his to whom it chiefly refers. Andrew ragged guest. Andrew was never happened to be present at a fair or known to yield his point on these oc- market somewhere in Tiviotdale, (St casions ; but he usually had the ad- Boswell's, if I mistake not,) where dress, when matters grew too serious, Dodds, at that time a non-comto give the conversation a more plea- missioned officer in his Majesty's sant turn, by some droll remark or service, happened also to be with a unexpected stroke of humour, which military party recruiting. It was convulsed the rustic group, and the some time during the American war grave goodman himself, with unfail- when they were beating up eagerly ing and irresistible merriment. for fresh men-to teach passive obeThough free, however, and uncere- dience to the obdurate and ill-man
nered Columbians; and it was then so. A lady who was residing there the practice for recruiting serjeants, at that time, and who witnessed his after parading for a due space, with all latter days, has furnished me with the warlike pageantry of drums, trum- the following particulars, which I pets, glancing blades, and gay cock- transfer to you in her own simple and ades," to declaim in heroic strains expressive words :of the delights of a soldier’s life-of * He came to Newton at that time glory, patriotism, plunder—the pro- in a very weakly condition ; being, acspect of promotion for the bold and cording to his own account, 105 years young, and his Majesty's munificent of age. The conduct of some of the pension for the old and the wounded, country folks towards poor Andrew in de. &c. Dodds, who was a man of his declining state, was not what it much natural talent, and whose abili- should have been: probably inost of ties afterwards raised him to an ho- his old patrons had died out, and their nourable rank and independent for- more genteel descendants disliked to tune, had made one of his most bril- be fashed and burdened with a dying liant speeches on this occasion; a beggar; so every one handed him over crowd of ardent and active rustics to his next neighbour; and he was were standing round, gaping with ad- hurried from Selkirk to Newton in miration at the imposing mien, and three days, a distance of sixteen miles. kindling at the heroic eloquence of He was brought in a cart and laid the manly soldier, whom many of down at Mr R-'s byre-door, but them had known a few years before we never knew by whom. He was as a rude tailor boy ;—the serjeant taken in, and laid as usual on his truss himself, already leading in idea a of straw. When we spoke of making score of new recruits, had just con- up a bed for him, he got into a rage, cluded in a strain of more than and swore, (as well as he was able to usual elevation, his oration in praise speak,) “That many clever fellow of the military profession, when Gem- had died in the field with his hair mels, who, in tattered guise, was frozen to the ground-and would he standing close behind him, reared a- submit to die in any of our beds?"loft his meal-pocks on the end of his He did not refuse a little whisky, kent or pike-staff, and exclaimed with however, now and then: for it was a tone and aspect of profound deri- but cold, in the spring, lying in an sion, “ Behold the end o't !” The out-house among straw. A friend who contrast was irresistible-the beau was along with me, urged him to tell ideal of Serjeant Dodds, and the rag- what cash he had about him, ged reality of Andrew Gemmels, were you know,” said she," it has always sufficiently striking, and the former, been reported that you have money?" with his red-coat followers, beat a re- Andrew replied with a look of deritreat in some confusion, amidst the sion, “Bow, wow, wow, woman! woloud and universal laughter of the men folk are aye fashing theirsels asurrounding multitude.
bout what they hae nae business wi'." Another time, Andrew went to vi. He at length told us he had changed sit one of his patrons, a poor Scotch a note at Selkirk, and paid six shillaird, who had recently erected an lings for a pair of shoes which he had expensive and fantastic mansion, of on him; but not a silver coin was which he was very vain, and which found in all his duddy doublets,--and but ill corresponded with his rank or many kind of odd like pouch he had: his resources. The beggar was stand- -in one of them was sixpence worth ing leaning over his pike-staff, and of halfpence, and two combs for his looking very attentively at the e- silver locks, which were beautiful. difice, when the laird came forth His set of teeth, which he had got and accosted him :-“ Well, An- in his 101st year, were very white. drew, you're admiring our handiworks What was remarkable, notwithstandhere" _“Atweel am I, sir.”—“Anding all the rags he had flapping about what think ye o' them, Andrew ?"- him, he was particularly clean in his "I just think ye hae thrawn away old healsome looking person. He at twa bonny estates, and built a gowk's last allowed the servants to strip off nest."
his rags and lay him in a bed, which Gemmels died in the year 1793, was made up for him in a cart, in the at Roxburgh-Newton, near Kel- byre. After he was laid comfortably
he often prayed, and to good purpose ; and highly approved timber for the but if the servants did not feed him ship building carried on in his Maright, (for he could not lift a spoon to jesty's dock-yards. G. H. B. his mouth for several days before his Sept. 1817. death,) he would give them a passing ban. 'He lived nine days with us, and continued quite sensible till the QUEEN ELIZABETH AND QUEEN MARY. hour of his decease. Mr R- -got him decently buried. Old Tammy Number, we intimated that we were
In the notices prefixed to our last Jack, with the mickle nose, got his in possession of original letters of shoes for digging his grave in Rox: Queen Elizabeth and her ministers, burgh kirk-yard. Andrew was well
of which we shall now present a short known through all this country and
specimen. The first article is a letter great part of Northumberland. I
from Queen Elizabeth to Sir Ralph suppose he was originally from the west country, but cannot speak with Sadler, prefaced by an address written
by her own hand, of which we give & certainty as to that; it was, however, commonly reported that he had a ne
correct fac-simile, and which is referphew or some other relation in the red to by Sadler in a letter to her Majeswest, who possessed a farm which ty, dated at Wingfield, 7th December
1584. Andrew had stocked for him from the
Queen Mary was carried to profits of his begging."
Wingfield, a manor-house near ShefShould the above notice appear bury, in September of that year, and
field, belonging to the Earl of Shrewsworthy of preservation, Mr Editor; removed to Tutbury Castle in Stafin your useful publication, I shall fordshire in January 1585. The intake much pleasure in communicating any farther particulars that may fall ventory subjoined contains the articles in my way relative to this remarkable that were to be carried with her to beggar, or other interesting originals. from the indorsement of this paper,
and it would appear, I am, &c.
that the same articles were transportSept. 22, 1817.
ed with her to Tutbury. In the sequel of the work referred to, there are many grievous complaints by Sadler of the wildness and poverty of the country around Wingfield, and also
of the scantiness of this inventory, MR EDITOR,
particularly in the article of sheets, The great extent of his Grace the for the new establishment at Tutbury. Duke of Athol's larch plantations is At the time of this removal, Queen well known. Some of the trees planted Mary was in a bad state of health, by his predecessors have attained to a and the roads were almost impassable, most extraordinary size. One tree, for it being then the depth of winter; the use of the navy, was cut down a but every consideration seems to have few weeks ago, of the following age been sacrificed by Elizabeth, exceptand dimensions :
ing always her invincible economy, to Age. Contents.
the security of her unfortunate priF. In. F. In. F. In. soner, who had then pined seventeen 79 Root cut, 171 6 31 6
years in captivity, the victim of the Middle do. 60
25 4 i 74 confidence she had rashly reposed in 16
14 3 1 of the insidious professions of her rival. Total cubic feet 2474
State Papers and Letters of Sir Ralph The tree was 107 feet high. The Sadler, Vol. II. p. 460.—Sir Ralph here upper top cut, measuring nine inches says, “ Your letters, vouchsafed upon so square, contained thirty feet eleven poure a man as I am, being one of the inches. There is not another larch pourest subjects of that degree which I am
called unto, and specially those few wordes plantation in the empire which con
of your Highnes' owne hand, conteyning tains trees at all approaching the a- this precept, Vse olde trust and new dibove in size and dimensions. The ligence,' together with your most gracious plantation where it stood is furnish- promise shortly to relieve me of this charges ing a large supply of very valuable hare not a little comforted me."
UNCOMMON LARCH TREE