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Remarks on the Nationality of the Scots.

calculated to give to his native dialect. The works of Mr. Scott proceed on a similar basis, to record the deeds of the border chiefs and the bloody battles fought in former times between the rival British nations. This shows that the records of such transactions are relished by the inhabitants above all others, because the works which celebrate them, independant of their intrinsic excellence, have from their subjects acquired a popularity, which other writings equally or even more valuable could never have attained.

The pride of the Scots originates from all these circumstances we have detailed, and although sometimes displeasing, can never be hurtful. It does not render them insolent like the zealots of democratical licentiousness. It consists in an overrated calculation of the merits of their own country, and not in that spirit which among many of the vulgar would degrade mankind to unbounded equalizement. The sentiment which actuates such a principle, is not dictated by an honest pride or independence, but by a spirit which is the best criterion of depravity or baseness of moral character. It is advanced only by a set of men who could lose nothing by such a revolution, whose condition might be ameliorated, but could not be degraded a single degree below their previous standard.

Lastly, in demonstrating that this national pride is not inimical to morality, I would observe, that in a military point of view, it is highly advantageous; joined to their natural courage, it is this which renders Britons formidable to their enemies. They scorn to yield to any equal number of foes, and are always victorious when opposed on equal terms. What necessity might dictate; what even courage might sanction is forbidden by pride.. It teaches them to despise the powers of other nations, whom regarding as inferior to themselves, they never oppose but with the full hope of vanquishing, Burns has finely pourtrayed the character of the Scottish soldier, in his humorous verses in praise of whisky.

Of late

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"Twa at a blow."

the Scotch soldiers have aquired a most distinguished rank for their military conduct. Not that a similar ap

Mr. Sharp's Dream.

plause has not been gained by the other British nations, but in the records of their success a reputation superior to all others is witnessed in every action wherein they were engaged. All this proceeds from natural courage joined to national pride, It seems to have existed in every age, but during the last twenty years has been more fully called into action than in any preceding period. It was the prevalence of this spirit which rendered ancient Rome formidable, and it is the want of it which degrades the modern Italians to a pitch so far below their illustrious prototypes. It is this in like manner that gives energy to the British character, and as it does not in any point injure their moral conduct, there seems to be every reason to wish it may long continue.

I am, Sir, your most obedient servant,


Glasgow, 9th April, 1819.




In the packet accompanying this, you will find a MS. antitled, "The valuable Art of securing pleasant and amusing Dreams, explained and illustrated by TIMOTHY SHARP, Gent." which I wish printed in one handsome octavo volume, with all convenient speed.

From the first dawn of reason I can recollect nothing that appeared to me so interesting as the phenomena of dreams. Whenever I escaped from the college, therefore, I began to investigate their history, and the opinions entertained respecting them by learned men, in all ages. Many curious facts, which you will find interspersed throughout the present work, thus came to my knowledge; but with the exception of a few general observations, the laws which regulate them, and the causes on which they ultimately depend, are all discoveries of my own, From the labours of my predecessors, indeed, I received many valuable hints; and you will observe that I have, on several occasions, acknowledged my obligations to them, for I think with Pliny," Ingenuum est fateri per quos proficerimus." But no one of the sages alluded to, will dispute with me the honour of

Mr. Sharp's Dream.

bringing this art to perfection. By adhering to a few simple rules now offered to the public, every person will have it in his power to make sleep contribute to the purest mental happiness; and when the hurry of business is hushed, and the cares of the world have ceased to annoy us, we may open at pleasure the gardens of the Imagination, and wander amid its fairest scenes, when and where we please.

Being constantly engaged with preparing this publication since the commencement of your excellent Miscellany, I have not been able to redeem my promise of contributing a few papers, and must be excused till the next volume. There is however a Dream, of which the Mirror is the subject, in Book III. that you may copy out, if you think it will amuse your readYou will find it in chap. vii. § 4th, under the head, "How to obtain Humorous Dreams."


You can forward the proof sheets for my inspection as they are cast off. Meantime, I am, Dear Ed.

Yours, sincerely,

Kilmarnock, 1st April, 1819.

T. S.


"In a company at D's last night, the conversation turned on the merits of the Kilmarnock Mirror. Some were warm admirers of it, some thought it well enough, some hinted that it was very silly. One asserted there was too little variety in it; and another, that considering its size, there was too much. Two or three were of opinion that it was too dear, and a great many, that it was far too cheap. In short, every person had something to say for or against it; and I was receiving great diversion from the ingenuity displayed on all sides, when a fat, good-humoured little gentleman from the South, either to display his learning, or to prevent unpleasant feelings on the part of the disputants, told a story of an ancient painter, who had finished a portrait with great care, but being anxious that it should be esteemed a masterpiece, wished before exposing it to sale, to learn the opinion of the public respecting it. With this view he hung it up in a conspicuous situation, and affixed a label requesting that all persons who considered themselves judges, would candidly point out its blemishes. At night he re

Mr. Sharp's Dream.

turned, and was mortified to find every feature the subject of severe criticism. On the point of destroying it, he was advised to refer a second time to the public opinion, and request every person to mention what he esteemed its beauties. He did so, and was no less gratified than surprised, to observe the commendation was as unqualified and as universal, as the cent sure had been on the preceding day.

This anecdote was acknowledged by all to be much a propos though like most other anecdotes, it destroyed the hilarity and spirit of the company, which it was designed to promote. But its most pernicious effect was, that my friend D, who is ridiculously fond of displaying his children's acquisitions, unfortunately recollected that Harry could repeat the story of the "Old man and his ass." When he had got through it, the adage at the conclusion, "There can be nothing more foolish than to endeavour to please all mankind," was repeated with different degrees of solemnity by most of the company; and the charm of conversation being now effectually dissolved, we broke up.

I determined, however, to prolong my entertainment; and therefore, (according to Rules 9th, 15th and 16th) I carefully preserved my mind from the intrusion of foreign subjects; I recalled as accurately as I could recollect them, all the witticisms and arguments of the company, and gave full scope to my imagination, inventing new arguments, and applying those I had heard to support different conclusions-above all, I took 30 drops of the Imperial Somniferous Elixir, and ordering my wild-fowl-feather pillow, slipped softly to bed, and soon fell asleep.

"I found myself walking arm in arm, at a great pace with a shrewd middle aged farmer, engaged in close conversation. We passed, successively, several groups of people all hurrying in the same direction; and I felt a wonderful anxiety to be early at some place of general resort. We stopped at last on a large green where a considerable multitude was already assembled, and which was gaining fresh accessions from every quarter.

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Having taken our station at the bottom of a projecting rock, I was scanning with astonishment, the mixed crowd before me, when my companion exclaimed: "I dinna think there's a reader o' the Mirror in a' Kilmarnock, and sax miles roun', no here! but how is he no here himsel'?—I won'er what can keep

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Mr. Sharp's Dream.

him whan he adverteezed us a' to be sae punctual." I was on the point of replying, when we perceived the faces of the multitude turned in one direction, and immediately several voices exclaimed, Here he's! Here he's! Mak' way for the Editor;' Stan' out o' the gate Janet,'' wha brings dogs here?' Come out o' that ye wee rascal.' Put awa a' the women and weans.' * Clear the muckle stane;'aye clear the muckle stane !'

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A rush instantly took place towards the spot where we stood; every one pressed to be nearest; and a tremendous uproar of women squalling, dogs fighting, and children screaming, was, with difficulty silenced, after the Editor of the Kilmarnock Mirror, (a venerable figure of about threescore years of age, with a brown coloured wig, blue eyes, and a turned-up nose) got him self safely seated on the top of a flat rock, elevated eight or nine feet above the surrounding multitude.

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He had a large green bag full of Manuscripts beside him; and, with the appearance of great indecision, stated that his object in calling this meeting was an anxiety to render the Mirror universally acceptable. He returned thanks, in a very modest manner, for the success which had hitherto attended him; and after some allusion to hints of improvement received from various quarters, proposed taking the opinions of the Subscribers respecting the nature of those subjects, and the names of those correspondents whose contributions, he should, in future, esteem most likely to excite interest.

Observing a number of female readers before him, he paid some very well received compliments to the fair sex; noticed the taste for literature which was spreading among them, and requested, that as his ambition was to please and instruct all descriptions of subscribers, no delicacy on their part would deprive him of the happiness of hearing their sentiments candidly expressed on the present occasion. He concluded a very neat speech, (dura ing the latter part of which I was engaged in receiving from friend, an account of the most striking personages in the multitude,) by calling the attention of the audience to the "Poet ical department," in which principally from the vast number of contributors, he said he felt himself labouring under the greatest difficulty.


While he was bringing out of the bag several large packets papers, tied with different coloured tapes, and classified, as I afterwards saw, according to their merit, Saunders Jamieson,

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