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readers any account of her father's desertion o admit the wheels, and also too steep for a laden of his helpless family—of their dismal ban- horse. Two or three of their new neighbours, ishment from the sweet retreat in which they persons in the very humblest condition, coarsely had been nurtured—their painful struggle | decent people, came out from their houses at the with poverty and discomfort, in the darksome stopping of the cart-wheels. The cart was soon lanes of the city—the successive deaths of all unladen, and the furniture put into the empty room, this affectionate and harmless household, and A cheerful fire was blazing, and the animated and her own ill-starred marriage to the husband interested faces of the honest folks who crowded of another wife. Yet we must enable them into it, on a slight acquaintance, unceremoniously to form some notion of a work, which has ful welcome to the new dwelling. In a quarter of
and curiously, but without rudeness, gave a cheer. drawn more tears from us than any we have an hour the beds were laid down,--the room dehad to peruse since the commencement of cently arranged, -one and all of the neighbours
This is the account of the migra- said Gude night,' --and the door was closed upon tion of the ruined and resigned family from the Lyndsays in their new dwelling,
" They blessed and eat their bread in peace. The the scene of their early enjoyments.
Bible was then opened, and Margaret read a chap. “ The twenty-fourth day of November came at ter. There was frequent and loud noise in the lane, last-a dim, dull, dreary, and obscure day, fit for of passing merriment or anger,-but this little con parting everlastingly from a place or person ten- gregation worshipped God in a hymn, Esther's derly beloved. There was no sun-no wind-no sweet voice leading the sacred melody, and they sound in the misty and unechoing air. A deadness knelt together in prayer."— Trials of Margaret lay over the wet earth, and there was no visible Lyndsay, pp. 66–70. Heaven. Their goods and chatiels were few; but
Her brother goes to sea, and returns, affecmany litile delays occurred, some accidental, and more in the unwillingness of their hearts to take a tionate and happy, with a young companion, final farewell. A neighbour had lent his cart for whom the opening beauty of Margaret Lyndthe flitting, and it was now standing loaded at the say charms into his first dream of love, and door, ready to move away. The fire, which had whose gallant bearing and open heart, cast been kindled in the morning with a few borrowed the first, and almost the last gleam of joy and peats, was now out-the shutters closed-the door enchantment over the gentle and chastened was locked—and the key put into the hand of the heart of the maiden. But this, like all her person sent to receive it. And now there was nothing more to be said or done, and the impatient other dawnings of joy, led only to more bitter horse started briskly away from Braehead. The affliction. She had engaged to go with him blind girl, and poor Marion, were sitting in the car and her brother to church, one fine summer Margaret and her mother were on foot. Esther Sunday, and—the author shall tell the rest had two or three small flower-pots in her lap, for in ber blindness she loved the sweet fragrance,
of the story himself. and the felt forms and imagined beauty of flowers ; “ Her heart was indeed glad within her, when and the innocent carried away her tame pigeon in she saw the young sailor ai lhe spot. His brown her bosom. Just as Margaret lingered on the sun-burnt face was all one smile of exulting joythreshold, the Robin red-breast that had been her and his bold clear eyes burned through the black boarder for several winters. hopped upon the stone- hair that clustered over his forehead. There was seat at the side of the door, and turned up its merry not a handsomer, finer.looking boy in the British eyes to her face. “There," said she, is your last navy. Although serving before the mast, as many crumb from us, sweet Roby, but there is a God a noble lad has done, he was the son of a poor genwho takes care o us a'. The widow had by this tleman; and as he came up to Margaret Lyndsay, time shut down the lid of her memory, and left all in his smartest suit, with his white straw hat, his the hoard of her thoughts and feelings, joyful or clean shiri-neck tied with a black riband, and a despairing, buried in darkness. The assembled small yellow cane in his band, a brighter boy and a group of neighbou mostly mothers with their fairer girl never met in affection in the calm sunchildren in their arms, had given the 'God bless shine of a Scottish Sabbath-day. you, Alice, God bless you, Margaret, and the • • Why have not you brought Laurence with lave,' and began to disperse ; each iurning to her you?' Harry made her put her arm within his, own cares and anxieties, in which, before night, the and then told her that it was not her brother's day Lyndsays would either be forgotten, or thought on on shore. Now all the calm air was filled with the with that unpainful sympathy which is all the poor sound of bells, and Leith Walk covered with wellcan afford or expeci, but which, as in this case, dressed families. The nursery-gardens on each often yields the fairest fruits of charity and love. side were almost in their greatest beauty—so soft
"A cold sleety rain accompanied the cart and the and delicate the verdure of the young imbedded foot travellers all the way to ihe city. Short as the trees, and so bright ihe glow of intermingled early distance was, they met with several other flittings, flowers... Let us go to Leith by a way I have dissome seemingly cheerful, and from good to beller, covered,' said the joyful sailor-and he drew Mar. -others with wve-begone faces, going like them garet gently away from the public walk. into a re. selves down the path of poverty, on a journey from tired path winding with many little while gates which they were to rest at night in a bare and hun through these luxurianty culiivated enclosures. gry house. And now they drove ihrongh the sub- | The insects were dancing in the air-birds singing urbs, and into the city, passing unheeded among all about them—ihe sky was without a cloud-and crowds of people, all on their own business of a bright dazzling line of light was all that was now pleasure or profii, laughing, jibing, shouting, curs. seen for the sea. The youthful pair loitered in their ing, he stir, ard tumuli, and iorrent of congre. happiness—they never marked ihat the bells had gated life. Margaret could hardly help feeling ceased ringing; and when at last they hurried to elated with the glitter of all the shining windows, reach the chapel, the door was closed, and they and the hurry of the streets. Marion sat silent heard the service chanting. Margaret durst not with her pigeon warm in her breast below her brown knock at the door, or go in so long afier worship cloak, unknowing she of change, of time, or of was begun; and she secretly upbraided herself for place, and reconciled to sit patiently there, with her forgetfulness of a well-known and holy hour. i he soft plumage touching her heart, if the cart had She feli unlike herself walking on the street during gone on, through the cold and sleet, to midnight! the time of church, and beseeched Harry to go with “ The cart stopt at the foot of a lane too narrow l her out of the sight of the windows, that all seemed watching her in her neglect of Divine worship. So was heedless—the sheet fast and the boat instantly They bent their steps towards the shore.
filling, went down in a moment, head foremost, in " Harry Needham had not perhaps had any pre- twenty fathom water ! conceived intention to keep Margaret from church; “The accident was seen both from the shore and but he was very well pleased, that, instead of being ship; and a crowd of boats put off 10 their relief. with her in a pew there, in a crowd, he was now But death was beforehand with them all; and, walking alone with her on the brink of his own when the frigate's boat came to the place, nothing element. The tide was coming fast in, hurrying was seen upon the waves.
Two of the men, it on its beautiful little bright ridges of variegated was supposed, had gone to the bottom entangled foam, by short successive encroachments over the with ropes or beneath the sail, --in a few moments smooth hard level shore, and impatient, as it were, the grey head of the old steersman was apparent, to reach the highest line of intermingled sea-weed, and he was lifted up with an oar-drowned. A silvery sand, and deep-stained or glittering shells. woman's clothes were next descried ; and Margaret The friends, or lovers—and their short dream was was taken up with something heavy weighing down both friendship and love-retreated playfully from the body. It was Harry Needham, who had sunk every liyle watery wall that fell in pieces ai their in trying to save her; and in one of his hands was feet, and Margaret turned up her sweet face in the grasped a tress of her hair that had given way in sun-light to watch the slow dream-like motion of the desperate struggle. There seemed to be faint the sea-mews, who seemed sometimes to be yield symptoms of life in both; but they were utterly ing to the breath of the shifting air, and sometimes insensible. The crew, among which was Laurence obeying only some wavering impulse of joy within Lyndsay, pulled swiftly back to the ship; and the their own white-plumaged breasts. Or she walked bodies were first of all laid down together side by softly behind them, as they alighted on the sand, side in the captain's cabin.”—Trials of Margaret that she might come near enough to observe that Lyndsay, pp. 125-130. beautifully wild expression that is in the eyes of all We must conclude with something less winged creatures whose home is on the sea. - Alas! home
desolating —and we can only find it in the church — every thing on earth was forgotten-for her soul was šlled exclusively account of the poor orphan’s reception from with its present joy. She had never before, in all an ancient miserly kinsman, to whom, after her life, been down at the sea-shore--and she never she had buried all her immediate family, she again was within hearing of its bright, sunny, hol- went like Ruth, in the simple strength of her low-sounding and melancholy waves! "See,' said Harry, with a laugh, the kirks
innocence. After walking all day, she comes have scaled, as you say here in Scotland--the pier at night within sight of his rustic abode. head is like a wood of bonnets.-Let us go there, “With a beating heart, she stopt for a little while and I think I can show them the bonniest face at the mouth of the avenue, or lane, that seemed among them a'.'. The fresh sea breeze had tinged to lead up 10 the house. It was much overgrown Margaret's pale face with crimson,-and her heart with grass, and there were but few marks of wheels; now sent up a sudden blush to deepen and brighten the hedges on each side were thick and green, but that beauty. They mingled with the cheerful, but unclipped, and with frequent gaps ; something calm and decent crowd, and stood together at the melancholy lay over all about; and the place had end of the pier, looking towards the ship. That the air of being uninhabited. But still it was beau. is our frigaie, Margaret, the Tribune;—she sits like tiful; for it was bathed in the dews of a rich mid. a bird on the water, and sails well, both in calm summer gloaming, and the clover filled the air with and storm.' The poor girl looked at the ship with fragrance that revived the heart of the solitary her flags flying, till her eyes filled with tears. If orphan, as she stood, for a few minutes, irresolute, we had a glass, like one my father once had, we and apprehensive of an unkind reception. might, perhaps, see Laurence.' And for ihe mo. “Ai last she found heart, and the door of the ment she used the word · father' without remem- house being open, Margaret walked in, and stood bering what and where he was in his misery:— on the floor of the wide low-roofed kitchen. An 'There is one of our jigger-rigged boats coming old man was sitting, as if half asleep, in a highright before the wind.-Why, Margaret, this is the backed arm-chair, by the side of the chimney:last opportunity you may have of seeing your Before she had time or courage to speak, her shabrother. We may sail to-morrow; nay to-night.! dow fell upon his eyes, and he looked towards her -A sudden wish' to go on board ihe ship seized with strong, visible surprise, and, as she thought, Margaret's heart. Harry saw the struggle--and with a slight displeasure. Ye hae got off your wiling her down a flight of steps, in a moment listed road, I'm thinking, young woman ; what seek you her into the boat, which, with the waves rushing in here?' Margaret asked respectfully if she might foam within an inch of the gunwale, went dancing sit down. 'Aye, aye, ye may sit down, but we out of harbour, and was soon half-way over to the keep nae refreshment here-ihis is no a publicanchored frigate.
house, There's ane a mile west in the Clachan.' “ The novelty of her situation, and of all the The old man kept looking upon her, and with a scene around, at first prevented the poor girl from countenance somewhat relaxed from its inhospitathinking deliberately of the great error she had ble austerity. Her appearance did not work as a committed, in thus employing her Sabbath hours charm or a spell, for she was no enchantress in a in a way so very different io what she had been ac- fairy tale ; but the tone of her voice, so sweet and customed; but she soon could not help thinking gentle, the serenity of her face, and meekness what she was to say to her mother when she went of her manner, as she took her seat upon a stool home, and was obliged to confess that she had not not far from the door, had an effect upon old Daniel been at church at all, and had paid a visit to her Craig, and he bade her come forward, and take a brother on board the ship. It was very sinful in chair farther ben the house.' her thus 10 disobey her own conscience and her "I am an Orphan, and have perhaps but little mother's will, and ihe tears came into her eyes.-claim upon you, but I have ventured to come here The young sailor thought she was afraid, and only-my name is Margaret Lyndsay, and my mother's pressed her closer to him, with a few soothing name was Alice Craig:' The old man moved upon words. At that moment a sea-mew
came winnow his chair, as if a blow had struck him, and looked ing its way towards the boat, and one of the sailors long and earnestly into ber face. Her features cor. rising up with a musquet, took aim as it few over firmed her words. Her coun'enance possessed that their heads. Margaret suddenly started up, crying, strong power over him that goes down my s'eriou-ly *Do not kill the pretty bird,' and stumbling, fell through the generations of perishable man. ropo forward upon the man, who also lost his balance.- necring love with likeness, so ihnt ihe child! 10!' A flaw of wind struck the mainsail-the helmsman I cradle may be smiling almost with the self-sal1.e expression that belonged in some one of iis fore. “In the quiet of the succeeding evening, the old fathers mouldered into ashes many hundred years man took her with him along the burn-side, and ago. Nae doubi, nae doubi, ye are the daughier into a green ewe-bught, where they sat down for a o' Walter Lyndsay and Alice Craig. Never were while in silence. Ai last he said, I have nae wife twa faces mair unlike than theirs, yet yours is like-nae children-nae friends, I may say, Margaret them baith. Margaret—hat is your name I give -nane that cares for me, but the servant in the you my blessing. Hae you walked far? Mysie's house, an auld friendless body like mysel' ; but if doun ai the Rashy-riggs, wi' milk to the calf, but you choose to bide wi' us, you are mair ihan wel. will be in belyve. Come, my bonny bairn, take a come ; for I know not whai is in that face o' thine; shake o' your uncle's hand.'
but this is the pleasantest day that has come to me “ Margaret told, in a few words, the principal these last thirty years.' events of the last three years, as far as she could ; "Margaret was now requested to tell her uncle and the old man, to whom ihey had been almost more about her parents and herself, and she comall unknown, heard her story with attention, but plied with a full heari. She went back with all the said little or nothing. Meanwhile, Mysie came in power of nature's eloquence, to the history of her -an elderly, hard-featured woman, but with an young years at Braehead-recounted all her father's expression of homely kindness, that made her dark miseries--her mother's sorrows—and her own trials. face not unpleasani.
All the while she spoke, the tears were streaming • Margaret felt herself an inmate of her uncle's from her eyes, and her sweet bosom heaved with a house, and her heart began already to warm towards crowd of heavy sighs. The old man sat silent; the old grey-headed solitary man. His manner ex. but more than once he sobbed, and passed his hibited, as she thought, a mixture of curiosity and withered toil-worn hands across his forehead. kindness; but she did not disturb his taciturnity, They rose up together, as by mutual consent, and and only returned immediate and satisfactory an- returned to the house. Before the lighi had too far swers to his few short and abrupt questions. He died away, Daniel Craig asked Margaret to read a evidently was thinking over the particulars which chapter in the Bible, as she had done the night be. she had given him of her life at Braehead, and in fore; and when she had concluded. he said, 'I the lane; and she did not allow herself to fear, but never heard the Scriptures so well read in all that, in a day or two, if he permitted her to stay, my days - did you, Mysie ?' The quiet creature she would be able to awaken in his heart a natural looked on Margaret with a smile of kindness and interest in her behalf. Hope was a guest that never admiration, and said, that she had never un. leti her bosom.-and she rejoiced when on the return derstood that chapter sae weel before, although, of the old domestic from ine bed-room, her uncle aiblins, she had read it a hundred times.'--'Yecan requested her to read aloud a chapter of the Bible. gang to your bed without Mysie to show you the She did so,—and the old man took the book out of way to-night, my good niece-ye are one of the her hand with evident satisfaction, and, fastening family now-and Nether-Place will after this be the clasp, laid it by in the liule cupboard in the wall as cheerfu' a house as in a' the parish.'"-Trials near his chair, and wished her good night. of Margaret Lyudsay, pp. 251, 252.
* Mysie conducted her into the bed-room, where every thing was neat, and superior, indeed, to the
We should now finish our task by saying ordinary accommodation of a farm-house. Ye something of “Reginald Dalton;"—but such need na fear, for feather-bed and sheets are a' as of our readers as have accompanied us through dry as last year's hay in the stack. I keep a' things this long retrospect, will readily excuse us, in ihe house weel aired, for damp's a great disaster. But, for a' that, sleepin' breath has na been drawn
we presume, for postponing our notice of that in that bed these saxteen years!' Margaret thanked work till another opportunity. There are two her for the trouble she had taken, and soon laid decisive reasons, indeed, against our proceeddown her limbs in grateful rest. A thin calico curing with it at present, -one, that we really tain was before the low window; but the still serene have not yet read it fairly through-the other, radiance of a midsummer nighi glimmered on the that we have no longer room to say all of it floor. All was silent--and in a few minutes Mar. that we foresee it will require. garet Lyndsay was asleep.
A GREAT deal that should naturally come under this title has been unavoidably given already, under that of History; and more, I fear, may be detected under still less appropriate denominations. If any unwary readers have been thus unwittingly decoyed into Politics, while intent on more innocent studies, I can only hope that they will now take comfort, from finding how little of this obnoxious commodity has been left to appear in its proper colours; and also from seeing, from the decorous title now assumed, that all intention of engaging them in Party discussions is disclaimed.
I do not think that I was ever a violent or (consciously) uncandid partisan ; and at all events, ten years of honest abstinence and entire segregation from party contentions (to say nothing of the sobering effects of threescore antecedent years!), should have pretty much effaced the vestiges of such predilections, and awakened the least considerate to a sense of the exaggerations, and occasional unfairness, which such influences must almost unavoidably impart to political disquisitions. In what I now reprint I have naturally been anxious to se. lect what seemed least liable to this objection : and though I cannot flatter myself that a tone of absolute, Judicial impartiality is maintained in all these early productions, I trust that nothing will be found in them that can suggest the idea either of personal animosity, or of an ungenerous feeling towards a public opponent.
To the two first, and most considerable, of the following papers, indeed, I should wish particularly to refer, as fair exponents both of the principles I think I have always maintained, and of the temper in which I was generally disposed to maintain them. In some of the others a more vehement and contentious tone may no doubt be detected. But as they touch upon matters of permanent interest and importance, and advocate opinions which I still think substantially right, I have felt that it would be pusillanimous now to suppress them, from a poor fear of censure, which, if just, I cannot but know that I deserve—or a still poorer distrust of those allowances which I have no reason to think will be withheld from me by the better part of my readers.
(November, 1812.) Essay on the Practice of the British Government, distinguished from the abstract Theory on
which it is supposed to be founded. By Gould FRANCIS LECKIE. 8vo. London : 1812. This is the most direct attack which we The pamphlet which contains these conhave ever seen in English, upon the free con- solatory doctrines, has the further merit of stitution of England ; or rather upon political being, without any exception, the worst writ. liberty in general, and upon our government ten, and the worst reasoned, that has ever only in so far as it is free:-and it consists fallen into our hands; and there is nothing inpartly in an eager exposition of the inconveni- deed but the extreme importance of the subences resulting from parliaments or represen-ject, and of the singular complexion of the tative legislatures, and partly in a warm de- times in which it appears, that could induce fence and undisguised panegyric of Absolute, us to take any notice of it.' The rubbish that or, as the author more elegantly phrases it, of is scattered in our common walks, we merely Simple monarchy.
push aside and disregard; but, when it defiles
the approaches to the temple, or is heaped on * I used to think that this paper contained a very other rites of expiation, and visited with se
the sanctuary itself, it must be cast out with good defence of our free constitution; and especially ihe most complete, temperate, and searching vindi. verer penalties. When the season is healthy, carion of our Hereditary Monarchy that was any we may walk securely among the elements where to be met with: And, though it now appears of corruption, and warrantably decline the into me rather more elementary and elaborate than glorious labour of sweeping them away :was necessary, I am still of opinion that it may be but, when the air is tainted and the blood and grounds of distrust, to rash discontent and impure, we should look with jealousy upon thoughiless presumption.
every speck, and consider that the slightest
remission of our police may spread a pesti- dition, he candidly admits that none of those lence through all the borders of the land. would reach to the root of the evil; which
There are two periods, it appears to us, consists entirely, it seems, in our “too great when the promulgation of such doctrines as jealousy of the Crown:") and accordingly proare maintained by this author may be con- ceeds to draw a most seducing picture of his sidered as dangerous, or at least as of evil favourite Simple monarchy; and indirectly inomen, in a country like this. The one, when deed, but quite unequivocally, to intimate, the friends of arbitrary power are strong and that the only effectual cure for the evils under daring, and advantageously posted; and when, which we now suffer is to be found in the total meditating some serious attack on the liber- abolition of Parliaments, and the conversion ties of the people, they send out their emis- of our constitution into an absolute monarchy: saries and manifestoes, to feel and to prepare or, shortly to "advert,” as he expresses himtheir way :-the other, when they are sub- self, “to the advantages which a Monarchy, stantially weak, and unfit to maintain a con- such as has been described, has over our flict with their opponents, but where the great boasted British Constitution.”' These advanbody of the timid and the cautious are alarmed tages, after a good deal of puzzling, he next at the prospect of such a conflict, and half seitles to be–First, that the sovereign will be disposed to avert the crisis by supporting more likely to feel a pride, as well as a zeal, whatever is in actual possession of power. to act a great and good part;"-secondly, that Whether either of these descriptions may suit the ministers will have more time to attend to the aspect of the present times, we willingly their duties when they have no parliamentary leave it to our readers to determine : But be contentions to manage ;-thirdly, that the pubfore going farther, we think it proper to say, that lic councils will be guided by fixed and steady we impute no corrupt motives to the author principles;- fourthly, that if the Monarch before us; and that there is, on the contrary, should act in an oppressive manner, it will be every appearance of his being conscientious- easier for the people to get the better of him ly persuaded of the advantages of arbitrary than of a whole Parliament, who might act in power, and sincerely eager to reconcile the the same manner;- fifthly, that the heir apminds of his countrymen to the introduction parent might then be allowed to travel in of so great a blessing. The truth indeed foreign countries for the improvement of his seems to be, that having lived so long abroad manners and understanding ;-sixthly, and as evidently to have lost
, in a great degree, lastly, that there would be no longer any prethe use of his native language, it is not sur- text for a cry against " what is styled backprising that he should have lost along with stair influence !" it, a great number of those feelings, without Such is the sum of Mr. Leckie's publicawhich it really is not possible to reason, in tion; of which, as a curious specimen of the this country, on the English constitution; and infinite diversity of human opinions and enhas gradually come, not only to speak, but to dowments, and of the license of political specufeel, like a foreigner, as to many of those lation that is still occasionally indulged in in things which still constitute both the pride this country, we have thought it right that and the happiness of his countrymen. We some memorial should be preserved-a little have no doubt that he would be a very useful more durable than the pamphlet itself seemed and enlightened patriot in Sicily; but we likely to afford. But though what we have think it was rather harsh in him to venture already said is probably more than enough to before the public with his speculations on the settle the opinion of all reasonable persons English government, with his present stock with regard to the merits of the work, we of information and habits of thinking. Though think we can trace, even in some of the most we do not, however, impute to him any thing absurd and presumptuous of its positions, the worse than these disqualifications, there are operation of certain errors, which we have persons enough in the country to whom it found clouding the views, and infecting the will be a sufficient recommendation of any opinions of persons of far sounder understandwork, that it inculcates principles of servility; ing; and shall presume, therefore, to offer a and who will be abundantly ready to give it few very plain and simple remarks upon some every chance of making an impression, which of the points which we think we have most it may derive from their approbation ; and in- frequently found either misrepresented or deed we have already heard such testimonies misunderstood. in favour of this slender performance, as seem The most important and radical of those, is to impose it upon us as a duty to give some that which relates to the nature and uses of little account of its contents, and some short Monarchy, and the rights and powers of a opinion of its principles.
sovereign; upon which, therefore, we beg The first part of the task may be performed leave to begin with a few observations. And in a very moderate compass; for though the here we shall take leave to consider Royalty learned author has not always the gift of as being, on the whole, but a Human Instituwriting intelligibly, it is impossible for a dili- tion,-originating in a view to the general gent reader not to see what he would be at; good, and not to the gratification of the indiand his doctrine, when once fairly understood, vidual upon whom the office is conferred; or may readily be reduced to a few very simple at least only capable of being justified, or depropositions. After preluding on a variety serving to be retained, where it is found, or of minor topics, and suggesting some curious believed to be actually beneficial to the whole enough remedies for our present unhappy con- I society. Now we think that, generally speak.