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VOL. 4.]

• Woman: or Minor Maxims. A Sketch.'

to please her, and the birds, warbled with unwonted melody-one neighbour had been so courteous to her, another so attentive! she had been cheered with the view of a happy and united family, or informed by the conversation of some intelligent individual-she had learned resignation from the patient, or moderation from the prosperous; even if some mischance attended the expedition, she was so absorbed in delightful gratitude that the evil was no greater, or the succour so unexpected, that she had no time to waste in lamentations on the irrevocable disaster."

The visit of Egerton to a distant friend gives an opportunity to the author, of which she has most ably availed herself, to exhibit the unhappiness of an ill-regulated family. We subjoin a very small portion of this admirable description :

"The dinner was scarcely removed, scarcely was the luxurious dessert, served in superb cut-glass, placed on the table, when three fine children rushed into the Without looking at parent or friend they sprang towards the table, and their eager eyes wandered over every delicacy.

room.

If you touch any thing, I shall certainly turn you out of the room that moment,' said Mrs. Courtney, in a tone of gentle authority.

"The little ones shewed their sense of her firmness by each immediately seizing on its favourite cake or fruit. The syrup of sweetmeats ran through the fingers of a rosy girl, devouring a preserved peach; one boy was nearly choaked by cramming a rich macaroon into his mouth, and the other stood on tiptoe to grasp the centre pineapple.

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303

"Mrs. Courtney, with great sweetness, pacified the weeping boy, and with amiable "maternal tenderness" gave each darling all it asked for, prettily remarking that for her part she always preferred "gentle measures." She was still smiling in all the gentleness of "maternal tenderness," when her little girl, stooping at the command of her mother to pick up a fallen glove, struck mamma's nose with her head.

"Now, whether the blow acted, as the collision of some other bodies, by eliciting fire, we know not; but in a moment the mild beam of maternal fondness was displaced by the fiery glance of anger a smart box on the ear of the unintentional offender was given by the delicate hand so lately patting the cheek in playful caress; and as all hope of pacification was now at an end, the lady retired with her roaring trio-one screaming from the blow received, and the others from the blows expected; as they seemed to have a notion that when mamma once began boxing, she generally let the joke go round-in short, that they would be beaten because mamma was angry, not because they deserved to be beaten."

The absurdity which prompts people of all ranks to emulate their superiors, is warmly reprobated. It is very judiciously observed :

"We hear it perpetually remarked, that nothing can be pleasanter than sociable parties free from ceremony and undue expense. Then why not give sociable parties free from ceremony and undue expense? “Because nobody does." A notable reason, truly; and one that will continue to act for ever if somebody does not commence another system. Why not be that somebody, and begin a new era in the annals of friendly communication? Give dinners without superfluities, and suppers "But sweet Augustus has been so without profusion-attempt not eleganoften told, both by mother and nurse, cies beyond your rank, nor luxuries that he would be hurt, cut, burnt, and beyond your fortune--admire and parpoisoned, by things that upon trial ticipate in the splendour of your opulent neither hurt, cut, burnt, nor poisoned associates, but content yourself with the him, that without hesitation he bit the simplicity appropriate to your humbler pine, wounded his lip, and roared most fate; you will at least escape envy, manfully. unless of your modesty and good sense

"The lady again exerted her judicious authority. My sweet Augustus, do not bite that pine, it will hurt your mouth.'

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• Woman: or Minor Maxims. A Sketch.

[VOL. 4

(not that we often hear of this direction there is little, if any, bitterness mingled

of that passion.)

with our compassion; and what little "Do your fear by such measures to may exist is quickly supplanted by the lose your pretensions to taste and opu- consoling conviction that we are ameliolence? We fancy it would not be the rating the afflictions we deplore. Even first time that we shall incur the risk the consciousness of a superiority of of being censured for blunt honesty, fate may cause a sense of exultation in when we say, that in our opinion such some minds, and of thankfulness in pretensions are as effectually annulled others (each according to its peculiar by clumsy imitation of arrangements temperament) to assist in opposing the beyond our means, as by a total re- inroads of grief, and to sustain the signation of them. The only difference spirit amid scenes of foreign distress. that we can perceive between those who Here we see we are actually constituted give humble little entertainments, and to feel a degree of satisfaction in sympathose who give awkward grand galas, is, thizing with the sorrows of our neighthat the first are respected, and the last bour, and that the act increases our selfridiculed. Our readers can choose for love and self-consequence, whilst it themselves to which class they think gratifies our benevolence. proper to belong." any heroism, therefore-any eminence As a specimen of the reasoning of virtue, in fulfilling so pleasurable, so powers of the author, we cannot refrain repaying a duty?

Is there

from extracting the following passage, "When we go to the house of feastwhich evinces great originality of think- ing, and rejoice with the fortunate, the ing, and considerable command of favoured, a very different train of emolanguage:tion is awakened: we are ushered into

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"It has long been a question with us, scenes of prosperity--we have to conwhether the superiority of virtue is more gratulate those as above us who were conspicuous in sharing the sorrows of perhaps once below us, or once upon a the house of mourning,' or in joining level with us, or who, by a felicitous the gaiety of the house of feasting.' coincidence of circumstances, have "We are very ready to concede that always been above us, rising from exthere is a sadness that amendeth the altation to exaltation. If self-love is heart,' and that in a moral and religious the strongest principle of the human point of view sorrow,' so far as it re- soul (as, we believe, is universally adlates to the amelioration of character mitted) is that most powerful sentiment and temper, is better than laughter;' wounded or soothed by the view of for sorrow humbles and softens, whilst another's extraordinary success? Are laughter induces presumption and in- we humbled or elevated by the unsensibility. But we doubt whether the avoidable contrast of our less splendid buman heart displays greater virtue in fortunes? Is it pleasant, by gratulations, selecting scenes of misery, than in to add triumphs to the triumphant? Is sharing seasons of felicity-in other it agreeable even tacitly to acknowledge words, which is the nobler effort of inferiority of desert or good fortune? sympathy, to participate in the adversity Is not the self-love implanted in us, or in the prosperity of our neighbour. directly opposing to every superiority of "The superintending mercy that fate or merit in another? and is not formed the soul of man, fitted it to relish vanity pained by the story of another's most keenly those emotions that should goodness or greatness? Hence, we seem most powerfully conduce to the general formed not to have pleasure in rejoicing welfare. Hence, the sentiment of pity, with those that rejoice; the most potent that leads one human being to smpathize emotions of our souls (self-love and in the sorrows of another, is a feeling so vanity) are pained by it, and, of all our soothing and agreeable as to attract him duties, perhaps it is the one that is the to the performance of this pleasurable least repaid in exertion. Is there not duty, and amply to repay him for all great heroisin, therefore-is there not the exertion it demands. When the preeminent virtue, in fulfilling so humbreast commiserates another's woe, ble, so unrequiting a duty ?

VOL. 4.]

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Original Anecdotes of Rob Roy M'Gregor.

305

"There is little fear that the heaven- out with expressing. Were we disposed inplanted emotion of compassion will to be hypercritical, we would say that be checked by this disquisition. Highly the style of the work, although genedo we venerate the gentle sympathy rally playful and ironical, is sometimes, "that weeps with those that weep,' but we fear, satirical. We are quite aware yet more warmly do we estimate the that this satire is directed against creagenerosity that rejoices with those tures of the imagination; but is there that rejoice."" not some danger that there may be found readers who will apply to their We could with pleasure transcribe friends in real life, the tone that is here much more of this interesting produc- assumed towards Miss Patty Muddleton, tion, but we must check our inclination; or Lady Wronghead? Were it not that having already overstepped the bounds example is always more powerful than which we usually prescribe to ourselves precept, there could be no ground for on such subjects. We are persuaded, any apprehension of this nature, for the however, that the extracts we have given mild treatment of error is invariably and will induce our readers to concur with ably inculcated in every page of the ús in the favourable opinion that we set work.

ORIGINAL ANECDOTES OF ROB ROY M GREGOR.

From the New Monthly Magazine, November 1818.

INTERESTING NOTICES AND ANECDOTES OF
ROB ROY M‘GREGOR, NEVER BEFORE PUB-

LISHED.

A
LITTLE upwards of a year ago,
and this once formidable freeboot-
er was no more talked of on this side
the Tweed, than if he had never ex-
isted. People had ceased to raise any
enquiry respecting what he did, or what
he was.
His name was dying away in
the remembrance of his own country-
men, and even in the land of his nativi
ty, and in those very districts which had
been the scenes of his depredations, the
mention of his exploits and his darings
was seldom introduced, except on oc-
casions when the village group assem-
bled over a cheerful fire, to beguile with
tales and legends, the tediousness of a
winter's night.

was M'Gregor of Glengyle, in Argyleshire, and his mother was of the ancient and respectable family of Glenlyon in the county of Perth. He had a small property which had been in the possession of his family for several generations, and he lived on it for a course of years, sustaining the character of a lenient proprietor, and a peaceable man. But in consequence of a failure in a cattledealing speculation which he entered into at the request, and with the partnership of the Duke of Montrose, a misunderstanding took place, which proved to the latter a source of much trouble and annoyance; and to the former, the origin of all his misfortunes, as well as of all his fame.

The cause of the quarrel was simply this. As the Duke had entered as The author of Waverley, however, partner in the concern alluded to, and has imparted, such a degree of interest as he should have been entitled to his to this man's history and character share of the profits had the scheme has thrown over him all the liveliness proved successful, M'Gregor thought it and witchery of his colouring, and has but fair that he should also bear his placed him to our view in attitudes so proportion of the damage. Accordingstriking, and so original, as both to ly after having made an accurate de create and to justify all that avidity with which we peruse every circumstance that is commmnicated respecting him.

Rob Roy was born towards the close of the seventeenth century. His father 2P ATHENEUM. Vol. 4.

duction from the Duke's capital, (10,000 merks) he returned him the remainder, giving him, at the same time, a statement of his reasons for not refunding the whole. Montrose, so far from ac

306

·Original Anecdotes of Rob Roy McGregor.

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[VOL. 4 knowledging the fairness of this measure, ships and inflictions which common insisted on having back the entire sum minds would have sunk under with he had advanced, interest and principal. dismay. He was deprived of his patriRob Roy had neither the ability nor mony. He was driven from the land the inclination to comply with this un- of his ancestors-sad fate for any Highjust request. In offering the money to lander. His impoverished family was Montrose, he thought that he had done compelled to seek shelter and subsistevery thing that honesty and fair dealing ence in another country, and himself required; and as it had been refused, was proclaimed an outlaw and a rebel. he believed himself to be perfectly justifiable in applying it to his own purposes, and accordingly the money was expended on a vain, but adventurous truly surprising while his cleverness project, in the year 1715. The Duke, on being apprized of this laid an adjudication on M'Gregor's lands, and in a short time, left the unfortunate man and his family without the shelter of a house or of a home.

The narrow risks he ran in this miserable state, together with his "hairbreadth 'scapes by flood and field," are

of contrivance, and that ready presence of mind which he displayed under the pressure of unexpected emergencies, almost exceed belief. He has often been known, with a slight disguise, and with a price on his head, to mingle with his This proceeding, cruel and arbitrary enemies, and converse with them, and as it was, never drew a murmur from the strong mind of M'Gregor. knew that entreaty was fruitless, and he was superior to the unmanliness of complaint. Indignant at his wrongs, and stung with the thought of impending misery, he calmly buckled on his armour, and swore the fellest enmity to Montrose.

to act as a guide to those very parties He who had been sent out in search of him. On these occasions he invariably led them to an ambush, or facilitated his own escape.

To the author and origin of his misfortunes, all the fire of M'Gregor's hatred and wrath had been directed as to a focus. His incursons were directed exclusively against the lands of his enemy.* Whole granaries were emptied,

* Graham, of Killearn, factor to the Duke of Montrose, had been collecting his rents in a small public house or inn, on the borders of Monteith. This gentleman had imbibed all his master's hostility to the Highland free-booter: and after the business of the day was over, and money collected to a great amount, he loudly declared that the ponderous money-bag should be the property of him who would bring Rob Roy into his presence. M'Gregor, who on occasions of moment and interest to himself, might almost be said to be omnipresent, was near enough to overhear this friendly declaration, and

The fierceness with which he kept up this spirit in all its hostility and deadliness, the wrathful firmness with which he adhered to his purposes of revenge, and the success with which he but too often accomplished them, are known to all who are conversant with the modern history of the Highlands. His opponent was a man of great power and influence in the state, and he availed himself of this advantage in retaliating on Rob Roy; for an armed force had often been employed on the side of Montrose, and often to little Gillies to take their station, two by two, around the purpose. The followers of the free- house, as a precaution against any unexpected arribooter, on the other hand, were few, val, and to prevent an escape, but they were select, and unalterably attached to their leader, and to his interests. Few as they were, so great was the terror they had struck into the lowland districts in their vicinity, that the Duke of Montrose could seldom or never muster a sufficient number who had courage and confidence to meet them.

In the course of this predatory warfare,M'Gregor encountered many hard

with his wonted caution and celerity, he ordered his

if any should be at

tempted. He then boldly entered the apartment

where the factor was seated in the midst of a group of tenants, who had just emptied their purses into his. Well, Killearn," said the fearless freebooter, "here I am; the Rob Roy M'Gregor, the greatest enemy your master has on this side of hell. Now I claim the proffered blood-money; produce the bag." The factor, who at first stared at M'Gregor with as much amazement as if he had seen a spectre from the grave, was quite astounded at this demand, and the more so as it came from a person whom he knew it was fruitless to refuse or to resist.

Accordingly he began, as well as a faltering voice would allow, to work on the feelings of his unwel

VOL. 4.]

On the Use of the Preternatural in Works of Fiction.

307

and whole fields were cleared of their M'Gregor. He never refused to procattle" at one fell swoop ;" and for cure redress for the poor man's wrongs, these depredations M'Gregor never and his purse and claymore were ready sought the covert of night. His was at any time to rescue an ill-used peasant never the dark insidious purpose, nor from the power of a hard and overthe cowardly onset. He advanced like bearing proprietor. one who came not to seize his prey, but to claim his right; for he made his appearance in the face of day, and in defiance of numbers: and he appeared to proceed on the conviction that all the property of his adversary was but a sorry equivalent to the wreck of his own family and fortunes, and to the loss of his character as a peaceable and respected citizen.

Such was the noted Chieftain Rob Roy M'Gregor. His bravery has been a theme to the historian, the novelist, and the poet. That he caused for a time much disorder in his country, cannot be denied ; but till the commencement of the feud with Montrose, no man could have led a life more orderly or more honourable. He was unchangeable in his friendships. In his resentments he was fierce to an extreme; yet it was not the fierceness of a savage, but of an injured persecuted hero. We

A stickler to the original meaning of words might be apt to question how far the name of rebel and outlaw was applicable to M'Gregor; for he respect- justly condemn him for the greatness of ed and observed all civil regulations so long as he felt and enjoyed their benefit, and he never supposed himself at liberty to avenge his own wrongs, till the laws of his country procured him neither justice nor protection.

But with all these characters of revenge, fury, and fearlessness, this man possessed the very milk of humanity and kindness. The helpless and the oppressed ever found a friend in

his revenge, but we forget the variety and the extent of his wrongs. Now-adays we are apt to dwell on the gloomy and repulsory feature of his character: and yet even at this more refined stage of society, there are not wanting those who admire that giant spirit of his which so many disasters could not crush, and which so many enemies could never conquer.

USE OF THE PRETERNATURAL IN FICTION.

From Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Sept. 1818.

SOME REMARKS ON THE USE OF THE PRE- to be tolerated when they form a part TERNATURAL IN WORKS OF FICTION. of some picture of past ages, during, SOME OME have thought that, in modern works of fiction, there should be no gratuitous introduction of the preternatural, and that superstitious tales are only

which such things were universally believed. But even in the most enlightened ages, so desirous is the human mind of an outlet by which to escape from the narrow circle of visible things into the

come visitor." No whimpering for me," interrupt- unknown and unlimited world, that

with, and the unfortunate factor was compelled on

the rents.

ed he, striking the table with his fist," down with surely poets should be permitted to the bag." The demand was immediately complied feign all wonders which cannot be provthe spot to acknowledge to the tenants the receipt of ed to be impossible and which are not "One word more," said M'Gregor, contradictory to the spirit of our religand our business is settled for this time." Swear by ion. your eternal soul that you will neither raise an alarm, nor divulge one circumstance that has passed at this interview before the expiration of two hours," -“Now,” added he, after the ceremony was over, "I have done with you, valiant factor. If you at tempt to break your oath, remember you have a soul to save, and remember, too, that M'Gregor has a

dirk, which has seen the light of day through

stouter man than Killearn "

a

Hereupon Rob Roy and his Gillies withdrew, and

were in a much shorter time than had been prescribed, in perfect safety among their fastnesses,

To this class belong the re-appearance of the dead, and the struggle of evil beings for an ascendancy over human nature. The eastern talismanic theory of sorcery supposed that superhuman powers were acquired by discovering and taking the advantage of the occult laws of nature to compel the service of spirits; but the notion of a voluntary

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