Page images
PDF
EPUB

4.
Though darkness veild his eyes

And light o' the soul was nane ;
They shall shine bright in a purer light,

When the moon and the stars are gane. I only took notes of one more speech and two songs ; for, indeed, the glass went round so freely, that wine and loyalty got the upper-hand of my judgment, and I lost all recollection of what was afterwards done, said, or sung, as completely, as if I liad been at a whig dinner, with Kelly in the chair, at the Black Bull.-Yours, &c.

John MʻINDOE.

THE VOYAGES AND TRAVELS OF COLUMBUS SECUNDUS.

CHAPTER VII.*

Early Recollections.
We twa hae run about the braes,

And pu'd the gowans fine ;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit

Sin auld langsyne.
We twa hae paidelt in the burn

Frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae row'd
Sin auld langsyne.

Bunns. In travelling along the streets of Edin- blind Harry, as well as ever, and can burgh, I have often stopped to wit- jink as nimbly at tig touch timmer, ness the children of the present day doze a tap, or roll up a pirie, as if I enjoying themselves at the games had just escaped from reading my acwhich formed the delighted pastime customed dose of Barrie's Collection, of my boyhood ; and I have sometimes under the superintendance of that regretted that a classical book of juve worthy teacher. nal sports did not exist, to assist the In the multifarious projects of manrecollections of the past. Indeed I hood, what a change must not the had, I must confess, for a long time most careless observer have perceived ceased to notice the continuance of from the time when one set of objects, such games, till, in my own family, a and one set of amusements, formed set of youngsters arose, who from the the business and the pleasure of all; school brought the knowledge and the and no one can look back to the pepractice of the almost forgotten amuse- riod of boyish amusemnent, and early ments; but, from that period, I have study, without thinking of the varied again refreshed my memory, by taking situations which his school-fellows a share in these innocent relaxations ; now fill in the great theatre of life. and, though it may not add much He who was the hero of the little ring weight to my character as a philoso- at school, has perhaps sunk into the phical travelier, I find I can take a humble dependent of his former folgame with the bairns at kittlie-cout, or lower; and he who enacted the chief

• We have received a communication from Mr Lithgow, junior, referring 10 Chapter I. of the Travels of Columbus, in which, in a friendly way, he congratulates our worthy publisher for having risen above the Storm,-Mr Storm's shop being the ground floor of No. 17, Prince's Street. That we have occasionally, in our castigations of infidelity, glanced aside from infidel opinions to their embodied supporters, and exposed the arts of ultra-whiggery and radicalism in the persons of their champions, and have thus given offence, we do not deny. But the fifty thousand readers who monthly devour our pages, and the fifty thousand more who read them at second hand, are the surest test of the value of our labours, and the strongest evidence that THE MAGAZINE, in spite of misrepresentation, is now accounted the chief bulwark of those “ who fear God, and honour the King."--EDIT. Vol. X.

E

[ocr errors]

personage in mimic plays,—whose in- ly placed in these situations, for want genuity added to the interest, and of powers and energies to do somewhose spirits increased the mirth, of thing better. When I am forced, by the little drama,—has, it may be, in the customs of society, occasionally to the scenic illusions of after life, sunk roast my servants by extraneous cookto the office of candle-snuffer or scene- ery,---make the children run about shifter to his more fortunate compa- the house like frightened kittens, in nions.

the hurry of festive preparation,-put It is certainly not very comfortable the whole economy of my family for for many to reflect, that while their days out of order, and myself to sit former companions at the bowl or the up till long past the midnight hour, ball have risen to distinction and opu- to entertain a few friends, I often lence, they may be toiling, with hope- think how preferable my situation is less activity, for “ the day that is to those who are almost always in passing over them;" and it is not very company,-whose entertainments are palatable to human pride, to see the as everlasting as any thing human can associate of school tasks pass his early be,-and who have neither strength playmate unheeded on the street, be- of mind to look at, nor time to think cause he has had no friends to assist of, the present, the future, or the past. his progress, or wealth to secure a In the scale of happiness, it would be continuance of school friendship. But, hard to say which class of beings has while no degradation can be implied, the greatest share ; and the few or should be felt, when all do not be- snatches of pleasure in the power of gin life with the same advantages, so the humblest, are perhaps enjoyed no superiority of intellectual powers with a relish unknown to the sated can be adjudged to those who merely appetite of daily luxury.-" Give me occupy an exalted station on account neither poverty nor riches."- -But I of hereditary wealth or title; and while am moralizing, when I should be deone holds fast his integrity and moral scribing. worth, I see no distinction in creatures To those who have been formerly of the same species, which should en- young, (and I do not insist upon those title either to overlook the other, or who never were so to read this chapany occasion for envy even on the part ter,) and especially those who, for the of the most humble, who fills to the encouragernent of teachers, have taken best of his ability the part which Pro- the trouble to procure them pupils, vidence has assigned him. In the race and have thus become fathers, I make of life, there are many starting places, no apology for dedicating a few senand many goals ; and he is no more tó tences to early recollections; and howbe despised for want of activity or ever odd it might appear, were a dozen diligence, who sets out with the dis- of the High School callants, of twentyadvantages of poverty and want of five years back, (now perhaps reverend friends, ten miles from the winning- clergymen, respectable merchants, offipost of human distinctions, than the cers in the army, judges, or advocates,) person is to be praised, who, with to be seen at the cleckenbrod, or dosing every temporal advantage, has only a their piries, yet I believe, that even few yards to run. At least this is my the remembrance that “such things system; and, if it has no other effect, were,” forms not the least interesting it has that most convenient one, of topic of conversation, when old schoolmaking me contented with my hum- fellows meet afterwards in the voyage ble station. I can look down with of life. pity upon the man, who, merely on The games among the children of account of the possession of a few more Edinburgh have their periodical repounds, or a few more acres of land, turns. At one time nothing is to be thinks himself entitled to treat with seen in the hands of the boys but disdain a fellow being, whose situation cleckenbrods ; at another, dosing of taps, in life may be of as much real conse- and piries and pirie cords, form the quence in the economy of Providence, prevailing recreation; and at a third, and whose ultimate hopes of “untried every retired pavement, or unoccupied being" may be as well grounded as area, swarms with the rosy-faced little his; and I am sometimes tempted to imps playing at bowls, their eyes sparkconsider the unprofitably rich, and the ling with delight at the acquisition, or luxuriously idle, as beings beneficent- moulded into melancholy at the loss

of a favourite marble. The demand quill, forms the charge. Bountry-guns for bowls has occasioned, according to are formed of the alder tree, the soft the prevailing systems of mercantile pith being taken out, and are charged economy, a corresponding increase in with wet paper ; and pipe-staples form the manufacture. * In my time there a very amusing play thing, by putting were only two species, marble and stone two pins crosswise through a green bowls ; but now there are five or six pea, placing the pea at the upper end different kinds, formed of stucco, clay, of the pipe-staple, and, holding it ver&c. which, though more of them can tically, blowing gently through it. be got for a penny, yet I doubt much Making soap-bells with a tobacco-pipe, if they would stand the force of a and witnessing the fragile globe sailbreaker of former days.

ing in the air, is still a frequent and Rowing girrs, (rolling hoops,) forms innocent amusement. another healthy exercise to the boys of Flying dragons is a very common Edinburgh. Hoops seem less in use thing in Edinburgh in harvest; and now, however, than formerly; and I very beautiful objects these dragons . have observed that few are now deco- are, as they flutter in the air in an rated (thanks to the police bill) with autumnal evening. To prevent misginglers. The operation of guiding the apprehension, however, on the part of path of a girr, which is done with a readers of romances, I beg to remark, short stick, I should think an excellent that our Scottish dragons are perfectly preparation for those young gentlemen harmless animals, and have no connecwho may afterwards be called, in the tion whatever with giants' castles, or course of events, to drive their own maidens in jeopardy. They are genefour-in-hand, or display their ability rally guided by very young boys, with in more humbly guiding the equipage a chain no stronger than a piece of of another. Bummers, or a thin piece slight packing twine, and are found to of wood swung round by a small cord, be perfectly at the command of their I have not seen for many a day. little masters. In short, a dragon in

Ho, spy! is chiefly a summer game. Scotland is what is called in England, Some of the party of boys conceal with no greater propriety, a kite ; and, themselves, and when in their hic in both countries, I believe, they are ding-places call out these words to generally formed of the same material their companions; and the first who -paper. finds has next the pleasure of exerci. Pitch-and-Toss, is played with halfsing his ingenuity at concealment. pence or buttons. The parties stand at Hide and seek is, I believe, played a little distance, and pitch the halfmuch in the same manner ; but the penny to a mark, or gog, and he who watchword of this last is hidee. The is nearest the mark, has the envied English and Scots used to be played privilege of tossing up for heads or by parties of boys, who, divided by a tails, and the first shot at the next trial fixed line, endeavoured to pull one of skill. Penny-stanes are played much another across this line, or to seize, in the same manner as the quoit or by bodily strength or nimbleness, a discus of the ancient Romans, to which wad (the coats or hats of the play, warlike people the idle tradesmen of ers) from the little heap deposited Edinburgh probably owe this favourite in the different territories at a conve- game. The duck is a small stone placed nient distance. The person pulled on a larger, and attempted to be hit off across, or seized in his attempt to rob by the players at the distance of a few the camp, was made a prisoner, and paces. conducted to theenemy's station, where If the reader be tired with these rehe remained under the denomination collections of former days, I can have of slinkard till relieved by one of the no objection, by concluding the chapsame side, or by a general exchange of ter here, to give him a barley, (parprisoners.

ley ;) and if he feels he has enough of Pen-guns are made and fired at the the subject, he has nothing to do but season when the turnip first comes to shut the book, and (to use a very ex market, which turnip, cut in thin pressive juvenile term,) spit und gie slices, and bored through with the owre.

CHAP. VIII.

Zickety, dickety, dock,
The mouse ran up the nock;
The nock struck one,
Down the mouse ran ;

Zickety, dickety, dock, HALLOW E'En, and HALLOWFAIR, successful adventurer is the person in Edinburgh, usher in nuts, ginger- who puts the pin between two leaves bread, and other articles for fuirings; including a picture, which is the prize, and has been the appointed time, ever and the pin itself is the forfeit. A' the since I remember, for all the boys to Birds in the Air, and a' the Days of the possess themselves of shintys. "The Week, are also common games, as well shinty, or hummy, is played by a set of as the Skipping-rope, and Honey-pots. boys in two divisions, who attempt, as The rhymes used by children to dethey best can, to drive with curved cide who is to begin a game, are much sticks, a ball, or what is more common, the same in the period to which my part of the vertebral bone of a sheep, recollection extends. The one at the in opposite directions. When the oba head of this chapter is most frequentject driven along reaches the appoint- ly used for this purpose. To it may ed place in either termination, the cry be added the following ; and I would of hail! stops the play, till it is knocka recommend the whole to the notice of ed off anew by the boy who was so for- the antiquarian. tunate as to drive it past the gog.

Anery, twaery, tickery, seven, Playing at the ba' is also a favourite

Aliby, crackiby, ten or eleven ; game with the boys of Edinburgh, and

Pin-pan, muskidan, penny Herioters were at one time very Tweedlum, twodlum, twenty-one. celebrated. These balls were manufactured by the boys of George He- As I went up the Brandy hill riot's Hospital, and, from this circum- I met my father wi' gude will; stance, got the name of Herioters. I He had jewels, he had rings, can vouch to their being an excellent

He had mony braw things; article of the kind, and famous stotters.

He'd a cat and nine tails,

He'd a hammer wantin' nails ; Golf is played also by young as well as

Up Jock, down Tam, old gentlemen; and running the gaun

Blaw the bellows, auld man. trice, or gauntlet, is a punishment free quently inflicted on the least dexte- In another play, where all the little rous, as dumps are on the knuckles of actors are seated in a circle, the followthose who are unsuccessful at bowls. ing stanza is used as question and an

The games for girls are not so varied as those of the boys. Though Who goes round my house this night ? they may occasionally assist at those

None but bloody Tom ; of the boys, yet it would be accounted Who stole all my chickens away? unboyish, or effeminate, did the little

None but this poor one. men venture to take a part in the amusements more peculiarly appropri

Another game played by a number ated to the girls. Of these, the chucks,

of children with a hold of one another, played with a bowl and chucks, a species ed in Scotland, is, Through the Needle

or tickle-tails, as it is technically callof shell (Buccinum lapillus) found on the sea-shore ; and the Beds, where a

e'e. The immemorial rhyme for this pitcher is kicked into chalked divisions alluring exercise is this:

of the pavement, the performer being Brother Jack, if ye were mine, on one leg, and hopping, are exclusive- I would give you claret wine; ly games for girls

Claret winc's gude and fine Dab a prin in my lottery-bcok ;

Through the needle-e'e, boys ! dab ane dab twa, dub a' your prins Pirley Pease-weep is a game played awa,” is putting a pin at random in by boys, and the name demonstrates a school-book, between the leaves of that it is a native one; for it would which little pictures are placed. The require a page of close writing to make

swer:

it intelligible to an Englishman. The discretion, it may be thought, that following is the rhyme of this play, sufficient space bas already been ab Sootsman, Scotsman, lo!

lotted to the amusements of periods Where shall this poor Scotsman go ? long since and for ever past. Send him east, or send him west, Thus havel, Christopher Columbus, Send him to the craw's nest.

Esquire, shortly noticed the chief of The terms of hot and cold, used in those games which were, and still are, the game of Kittlie-cout ; the couplet, Edinburgh ; and 1 seldom walk the

the amusement of the children of Gie's a pin to stick in my thumb, streets, or pass the High School in the

To carry my lady to London town; intervals of the daily tasks, without and another couplet, addressed to the wishing, that it were decorous still to secreted personage at Hidee,

partake of amusements so healthy, and

so innocent. The billiard-table, dice, Keep in, keep in, wherever you be, cards, fives-court, and pugilism, are The greedy glel's seeking ye ;

only improved modifications of the as they are often heard in the play- same games, transferred from the open grounds, must awaken the most plea- air to the tavern or enclosed court, sing recollections in the minds of those

and the passions of the grown-up who have formerly enjoyed these pas- players excited by the stimulus of wine, times, or who still enjoy them by sub

or the still stronger one of stakes in stitution, in the persons of the little money. In place of the exercise being masters and misses, who are to take conducive to health, it is often only charge of the affairs of the world for the precursor to a dinner of repletion ; the next generation. The following and the ingenuity exercised, during rhyme (for I am afraid grey-bearded the midnight hours, at cards, or the bachelors of the present day will not inad hazards of the dice, is often the think it contains much reason) is still prelude to permanent ruin. I do not in very common use,

envy the man who cannot take amuse

ment or exercise for health, or for Little wee laddie,

their own sakes; and I would rather Wha's your daddie?

that my stomach had lost all the taste I cam out o' a buskit lady. A buskit lady's owre fine;

for healthy viands which hunger inI cam out o’ a bottle o' wine.

duces, than that my mind should be the A bottle o' wine's owre dear;

slave of the most degrading passions I cam out o' a bottle o' beer.

which can agitate the bosom of a huA bottle of beer's owre thick ; man being. · I cam out o' a guager's stick.

It would, perhaps, be in vain now A guager's stick's but and ben ; to expect, that judges should leave I cam out o' a peacock hen.

the bench to hold the bannets beTo the favourite tune of Nancy

tween two pugilistic competitors, Dawson several rhymes are sung iủ though they may formerly bave done concert, as

so in the High School Yard—that a

gambler at cards or dice should stop London bridge is broken down- the ruin of his own or of another's We're a' maidens here but ane

fortune, by playing at nivy-nick-nack

or pitch and toss ; that colonels and geThis is the way the ladies bake

nerals should amuse themselves at Ho, Here we go by gingo-ring, &c. spy! the wads, or join the jocund

bands at the English and Scots ;-or But I must here stop; for in a work that lawyers and attornies should unintended for the use of grown gentle- profitably exercise themselves at bowls men, and ladies arrived at the years of or the cleckenbrod: And it perhaps

[ocr errors]

• May I venture to suggest to our erudite commentators, and those skilled in antiquarian lore, that it would be better, in place of amending poor Shakespeare, (whose writings require no emendation,) to turn their talents for conjectural criticisin and historical research to such subjects as I have now set forth. It would be curious to know, that many of our present youthful games were played by Mark Antony or Julius Cæsar ;that Homer or Virgil had dozed taps and piries ; that Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret had played at tig ;-or that Sir William Wallace and Robert Bruce ever amused themselves, in fun, at the game of English and Scots.

« PreviousContinue »