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Mr. Sharp's Dream.

propensities had met with a triumphant gratification in the late conflict)" my word! English appearance! Tak' that ye wissent ghaist; An Irishman's coat o' arms sits ye unco weel! Rin hame to your mammy, my bonnie bairn, an' spear at her how muckle English your granfather spak', whan he was the ploughman owre at Kennox ?"" Scotch! Scotch for ever!" cried the multitude, "Mak' it a' Scotch!" "Na, na! we're no for that neither," replied several voices; "We like variety; but carena how often ye gie us something frae Mungo Morris or Saunders Simple, or Gavin Kinloch, puir man." "Waes me for Gavin !" was kindly reechoed in many a heart-felt exclamation,-" We'll no hear frae Gavin nae mair!"

The effect was instantaneous; the tumult subsided and what no authority could do, was accomplished by the honest feeling of Scottish sympathy:

Thro' all the crowd the soft infection ran;

His honest friends their mingled sorrows shed,
And mourned the living Gavin like the dead.

The next" said the Editor, (first interrupting the silence) "is a paper on the existence of Fairies by Vetus"- "Guidsake!" exclaimed David Gillespie, "that chield 'll pit a' the waens' heads in the kintra wrang. There's no a daft whigmaleery thocht in the warl' but he'll mak' it gang doon for truth, an' flyte an craw whan ony body pits him richt. Ye sudna let ony thing o' that natur into the Beuk, exceptin' that ye can prevail on Mr. Forceps or some other sensible gentleman to haud till him an' aye gie us a page noo an' than, to keep a' square, whan he or the author o' Systemmania, or ony ither chield that likes to mak' us believe what they ken's no true an' syne laugh at us for't." "Whist man, Davie !" whispered Robin Whyte, "do ye ken what Mr. Wilson the Dominie said that Forceps 'll no daur to write nae mair after the doonsettin' that Vetus gied him"-" Atweel there's mair opinions nor ane respeckin' Vetus," cried a brotherin-law of Mungo Morris who overheard the secret and had no wish to conceal it. "Its my firm belief there's mair soun' sense in ae line o' Forceps' (no to speak o' my ain freen's) than in a' that Vetus has written in baith his discoorses"-" prove that Ringan Ferguson," said Rab Menzies," an' than I'll maybe believe yea' the fouk in the warl' 'll ne'er mak' me dout that Marion Morrison's a witch (as some o' her forbears hae been) though she's a near freen o' your ain, Ringan Ferguson; an' neist time she cums athort me in a Nuirday morning, I'll nick her forehead wi' a jockteleg gin there's ane in Kilmarnock;

Mr. Sharp's Dream.

or shuit her wi' a cruiket saxpence gif there's ane o' the auld anesle ft. There's no a turn cam richt to me sin' syne, Ringan Ferguson, an' ca' ye na that a pruf o' witchcraft ?"

Bide a wee till I speak," roared Donald Cameron, a Shepherd from Lochaber, now on a visit to a seventh cousin, "I ken naething about nane o' ye, an' I never saw a witch binna seven or aught times sin' I was boy; but bein' on a veesit to Dugald Macintosh, wha's a near freen o myself, I thocht I micht as weel stap here, as ye adverteezed for ony body to gie you a advices about your beuk. There can be nae doubt that Vetus (decent shentleman) is richt, an' a' the lave wrang; but I won'er he didna gang farther; for he has na said ae word about the second sichte in a' that he's written yet.". "Its a' nonsense,"

"Put out the Hielandman!" cried Tam Tutap and Geordie Tamson. "There's no a sensible man beyont the Border," added Ringan,—"My frien's," responded Donald very coolly, "Tak my advice, an' haud your tongues: the first Lawlan' scoundrel that speaks till I'm done, 'I get something to learn him better breedin:-the last ghaist I saw was whan I was 'drivin' hame some sheep frae the Luss Fair; an' there was nobody with me but myself, except John M'Donald who was drunk, an' Neil M'Alister, who was twa miles behint us with a drove. Weel! we passet Rest an' be thankfu',* an' were just got into Hell's Glen,* by the Deevil's Yett,* whan I saw on the tap o' the Hangman's Knowe, the plainest sichte o a Gai" "I dinna believe a word o't," interrupted Tam Tutap; Gin a tales be true that's nae lie," cried Ringan Ferguson, with a loud horse laugh, which was heartily joined in by the whole meeting. Donald lifted his oak stick, and without preface or apology, laid about him with all his might an' main. Tam Tutap, and Geordie Tamson, and Ringan Ferguson advanced to oppose him, and his cousin, and his three collies, (which were by no means idle spectators,) and such a hideous medley of mingled laughing, and shrieking, and barking, and yelling arose, that all order was at an end. The battle raged furiously; every person took some side, in self-defence: for my own part, I was pinned up to the rock by the redoubtable Madge Henderson, who refused to give or receive quarter; and was on the point of sinking down overcome with fatigue, when to my great relief, I awoke, and discovered that it was a kitten that had been amusing itself with my nose and ears.”

* In Glencroe,

On the University of Glasgow.




I received the following letter last night, which you may print as it stands, prefixing to it the mottoes.

At vere rem reputanti, Philosophia Naturalis post verbum dei, certissima superstitionis medicina est, eademque probatissimum fidei alimentum. Itaque merito reigioni donatur tanquam fidissima ancilla, cum altera voluntatem dei, altera potestatem manifestet." Nov. Org. lib. 1st, Aph. 89.

"Naturalis Philosophia adhuc sincera non inveniter, sed infecta et corrupta. At ex philosophia naturali pura et impermista, meliora operanda sunt." Id. Aph. 95.


High-Street, 12th April, 1819.

"I have been employing two or three leisure hours during the Preachings, in thinking of the answer I should send to your inquiries respecting the Natural Philosophy Class; I am sorry to say that my aquaintance with the subjects treated in that class is so extremely limited, that I am really about the worst person to whom you could have applied; but as you seem to be in a hurry to have your paper ready for the Mirror against the 15th, and may not be able to apply to any body else before that time, I shall give you what information I can, providing always. that not a sentence of mine shall appear in your paper.

"The object of Natural Philosophy is to discover the laws and explain the properties of matter. Much of what is called Chemistry is comprehended in this definition; yet as that science has now become in a great measure distinct and independent, there is a separate endowment for a Chemistry Professor. The Professor of Natural Philosophy confines himself chiefly to the laws of matter, seldom encroaching on the province of Chemistry, save for the sake of illustration. His course is divided into two great parts, which, for want of better terms and clearer ideas on the subject, I shall call Theoretical and Experinental. In the former, the principal organ of analysis is Mathematics; in the latter, actual experiment. The two divisions of the course are thus perfectly distinct, and may even be studied separately.

"The subdivisions of the course embrace, 1st, the Theory of Mechanics, or Rational and Speculative Mechanics; 2d, Practical Mechanics; 3d, Physical Astronomy; 4th, the Mechanical Affections of Heat; 5th, Electricity; 6th, Magnetism;

On the University of Glasgow.

7th, The action of mechanical force on Fluids; 8th, Pneumatics; 9th, Optics. The Mathematical demonstrations are connected with the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 9th, only.

"There is a very ample set of apparatus for the experiments. I am not sure whether any part of it was collected by the cele brated Anderson, (Dr. Miekleham's predecessor :) if not, the the Doctor has the more merit, for I have little hesitation in saying, that it is the most appropriate, though not the most extensive in the country.

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Respecting Dr. Meikleham's merits as a teacher, there is some difference of opinion. It is certain that not more than ten or a dozen ever come out of his class at all conversant with his subject. But this is not the Doctor's fault. As far as I can judge, the whole blame is imputable to the defective system of education, immemorially pursued in this University. Before a young man can understand the demonstrations of Newton, it is surely necessary that he should know something more than the Elements of Geometry; yet here there is neither rule nor prac tice which makes it binding on him to know more. If he chooses to prepare himself elsewhere, it is well enough, and he will then be capable of comprehending the lectures-but it is certainly not very wise in the college to withhold the means of such preparation, or what is nearly the same thing, to leave a matter of so much moment to the choice of the student. It is true he may attend the Mathematics for two sessions previous to his commencing the study of Natural Philosophy, even in College; but then it is not obligatory on him to do so, and the fact is, that not more than three or four in a hundred ever do study Mathematics for that length of time. By far the greater number pass directly from the elementary class into the Natural Philosophy, to which it is no proper sequel, and only learn their mistake when they have finished their course, and find themselves entirely ignorant of three fourths of all that has been going on during the session.

"That this is no idle or unfair representation, you may learn from the testimony of all the Glasgow students in your quarter, as well from the fact, that the Irish and sometimes the English, with both of whom Mathematics is a favourite study, distinguish themselves in this class much more than our countryFor my part, I have no wish to see that science so much cultivated in Scotland as it is in the South, but it is certainly desirable that we should know enough, to enable us to under stand a course of lectures on Natural Philosophy,


On the University of Glasgow.

"In these circumstances, it is not to be expected that the scholars of Dr. Meikleham should ever be particularly distinguished for their proficiency. I say this without the least feeling of disrespect for the talents of that gentleman. On the contrary I am persuaded, that if he had a more manageable field to work upon, his success would be better proportioned to his exertions. He has not indeed acquired the fame of Playfair, and perhaps never will; neither has he been so useful to his class as that venerable and most modest individual; but this I will say, that he is a more intellegible and greatly more interesting lecturer. I have studied under both, and speak with authority. The situation of the two Professors, however, is extremely different, and accounts for the difference of their success. In Edinburgh, the Mathematics have always been a very popular study; besides, the fame and ability of Leslie, are so great, that many are induced to take the benefit of his instructions, who might not otherwise think of the matter-and there the term of attendance, before entering the Natural Philosophy, is two years. In Glasgow, from whatever cause I cannot pretend to say, Mathematics are by no means so much studied. The object of the students is rather to get through, than to get on in the class; and after they leave it, they leave their Mathematical pursuits also. The students of Divinity especially, are notorious for their ignorance of this science. It is well known, or ought to be well known, that when they come to be examined by their Presbyteries, it is sad work with both the one is afraid to examine, and the other to reply.

"The greatest objection I have got to the Doctor, is his incurable fondness for extempore lecturing. In the situation which he holds it is scarcely possible and by no means desirable, that he should read always; but when opportunity occurs it never ought to be neglected. There are few lecturers indeed who can communicate as much information from their memory as from their notes. And it is no disparagement to the Doctor to say, that he uni formly succeeds better when he reads than when he delivers from recollection or the suggestions of the moment. The reason is plain; when a man speaks extempore his attention is divided between the language and subject; but when he prepares his lecture in private, his attention is chiefly devoted to the subjectthe language he can alter and amend at pleasure. Of the truth of this remark, there are many instances the most remarkable I can remember at present are Professors Meikleham and Walker,


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