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Perdinand; and they never expressed the least lissatisfaction with such proceedings! On the ontrary, they were always held up as acts of substantial justice, and as a warning to their • deluded” countrymen, against having any thing to do with the Independents. 1 When I first arrived in this Land o' Cakes, I had much difficulty in understanding the Scotch dialect. The language of the lower classes was perfect jargon to me, and even that of respectable persons appeared to be such an outlandish lingo, that I could not for some time understand what they would be at. I swinna for “ I will not;" I dinna ken for “ I do not know;” bairns for children;" gude neight (guttural) for “good night,” are instances of the beauty of their language. The perusal of Burns with a glossary,* and of the far-famed - Scotch novels, has made me more familiar with this singular dialect, which, from the mouth of a handsome lassie, is not without its
* It may not be uninteresting to subjoin the opinion of Cowper concerning Burns, when his poems first appeared. In a letter to Mr. Rose, be expresses himself in the following terms on the Scotch bard: “ I have read Burns's Poems, and have read them twice; and though they be written in a language that is new to me, and many of them on subjects much inferior to the author's ability, I think tbem on the whole a very extraordinary production. It will be a pity if he should not hereafter devest bimself of barbarison, and content himself with writing pure English, in which he appears perfectly qualified to excel, --Again" Poor Burns loses much of his deserved praise in this country, through our ignorance of his language. I despair of meeting with an Englishman who will take the pains to understand him. His candle is bright, but shut up in a dark lantern. I tension to a very sensible neighbour of mine, but his uncouth dialect spoiled all,” &c.
charms—You know that the original Scotish language was the Gaelic, which is now that of the Highlanders. Separated by their moun tains and rocks, and divided by a peculiar language from the rest of Scotland, the Highlanders have ever continued a distinct and unmixt race, and have preserved the unalulterated remains of the ancient Celts, to whose dress and manners, Europe has presented nothing simi. lar. At the close of the lectures, I will make a pedestrious tour through the Highlands, and hope to be able to give you an insight into the singularities of that country.
The death of Sir Samuel Romilly will occa. sion a political contest for a new member of Parliament. Sir Murray Maxwell, Mr. Lamb, and Hobhouse, (the author of those Letters from Paris, which the Quarterly Review took for a quiz,) are the candidates for the ensuing election. As it is probable that I will never again have an opportunity of witnessing a political struggle of this nature, I will leave Edinburgh in a few days for the “ Devil's drawing-room,” as Strap calls the capital of Albion. My next letter will be directed from London, where I shall only remain long enough to make myself acquainted with the proceedings of the ensuing elections. In the interim, as' Gray wrote to Dr. Wharton, pray for me till I see you, for I dread Edinburgh and the itch, and expect to find very little in my way worth the perils I am to endure."
Mighty London seem'd
Wilson's City of the Plague.
London, March 1st, 1819. As I left Edinburgh a mist hung over the town, so that I could only catch here and there a glimpse of the castle as I passed. The spires of the churches and the towers seemed to float in the air, and they disappeared before my gaze “like the baseless fabric of a vision." The weather continued misty and hazy till we entered the mouth of the Thames, when the sun burst forth in gorgeous magnificence. As we sailed along, how bright, how clear appeared the deep blue of heaven through the broken clouds! The last shower left a beautiful rainbow, which spanned the water in all its variegated colours; whilst the "joyful king of day" smiled through the tears of the storm. In the evening, I stretched myself on deck, and gazed on the glorious luminary, as he sunk below the horizon, and smiled as he departed through the circling clouds that, like a golden veil, hung over the ocean's brim. All nature, hushed in hallowed silence, reflected the crimson tints that glowed in the streaked west. At night I again took my station on deck, and contemplated the little waves that, like drops of light,
danced on the surface of the dark stream. The moon sailed brightly over “ heaven's delicious blue," and the fleecy clouds revolved over the star-besprinkled sky, in wreathes edged with glistening silver.
We passed several gibbets on the shores of the river. The bodies hanging on them have been exposed there for a number of years; their bones are kept together by irons and chains. The sight of these skeletons cannot fail inspiring the utmost horror in the beholder, however true the following sentiment may be in Addison's Cato:
" When by just vengeance impious mortals perish,
Early in the evening we approached Loodon. What a torrent of undescribable feelings floated over my mind, when I first perceived the mighty city stretched out before me; when, beyond the forest of masts, and above the clouds of dark smoke which always hover over the metropolis, I beheld for the first time the lofty spires of the churches piercing the limitless ocean of condensed vapour, and seeming to avert the very wrath of Heaven from this earthly Pandemonium!
At length I entered London, that city (to use the language of the younger Pliny,) "in quâ non minora præmia, immo majora, nequi. tia et improbitas, quam pudor et virtus habent.” I got into a hackney coach at Aldgate,
od drove towards the western or fashionable uarters. I was soon lost in a maze of smoky, irty streets; a sort of dinginess seemed to ervade every thing. I stopped at the Tavisock Hotel, Covent Garden, in order to witless the Westminster elections to the best adFantage.*
Stand by, clear the way, and make room for he sublime exhibition of this wonderful mecropolis!-But no: I will not anticipate your feelings by a pompous general description, but wait till, by a longer sojourn, I may be entiled to give an exact picture. Shut up in my apartment, I feel as secluded as if I were in a desert; I have full leisure to observe the outward aspect and general movements of London, and I listen, as it were, to the awful roar of its billows breaking round me like the tides of a troubled sea. The immense extent and population of this capital, are alone capable of filling the mind with a grand mixture of feelings; I seem like an insect lost in the immensity! and never did I feel so sensible at once of the sublimity of human genius, and of the comparative littleness of individual man. How insignificant the being, (says the elegant author of “ Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk," how insignificant the being, that forms scarcely a dis
* Of the elective bodies in Great Britain, none is of importance equal to Westminster; the seat of government, the royal family, and for half the year the principal nobility and gentry: hence there had been usually a great competition in this city.
Bisset's Geo. III.