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No. 1171. Fourth Series, No. 32. 10 November, 1866.
CONTENTS. 1. James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd
Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall, in Art
Journal, 2. On Living in Perspective
Author of John Halifar, 3. George Peabody
London Society, 4. Madonna Mary. Part 10.
Mrs. Oliphant, 5. England and her Ally
Saturday Review, 6. Italy and Rome 7. The Coming Meteor Shower
Intellectual Observer, 8. Old Sir Douglas. Part 7.
Hon. Mrs. Norton, 9. On Dead Styles
London Peview, 10. Auguste Laugel on Abraham Lincoln
Athenaeum, 11. Naval Experiments in England
Times, and Standard, 12. America as a European Power
Saturday Review, 13. The Last Condé
London Review, 14. Volcanic Scenery
Prof. Ansted, in Art Journal, 15. Fresh Meat from South America
Globe, 16. " Bonfire" - Derivation and Meaning
Athenceum, 17. Ice – Nang it Expand or Contract by Cold 18. Pluraoh and Moses
Philadelphia, 19. The Earl of Chatham
The Month, 20. Asphalt of the Dead Sea
321 329 334 335 352 354 356 357 366 368 369
373 374 376 377 378 378 380 381
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From the Art Journal, The dinner had been ordered for two
hundred; but long before it appeared on JAMES HOGG.
the table, four hundred persons bad assem
bled to partake of it; it will be easy to BY 8. C. HALL, F.8.A., AND MRS. S C.
conceive the terrible confusion that ensued, as steward after steward rushed about the
room, seizing food wherever he could find WHEN James Hogg, the Ettrick Shep- it, and bearing it off in triumph to the herd, visited London, in January, 1832, he empty dishes laid before his friends, over produced in "literary circles" a sensation which it became necessary for him to stand almost as great as might have been created guard, while the wrathful clamour of those by the removal of Ben Nevis to Black- who had nothing was effectually drowned heath. The world of London was idle by the bagpipes — two pipers pacing leisurethen, and the incident became an event. ly round the hall ; it was no wonder, there
It was a rare and curious sight to see fore, if the guests were indignant, for each the Shepherd fêted in aristocratic salons ; had paid twenty-five shillings for his ticket mingling among the learned and polite of of admission, and certainly many were sent all grades — clumsily, but not rudely; he hungry away. was rustic, without being coarse ; not at- Sir John Malcolm, a gallant Scottish tempting to ape the refinement to which soldier who had gained “the bubble reputahe was unused ; but seeming perfectly tion” in the east, and who, as an author, aware that all eyes were upon him, and added bays to his laurels, was in the chair. accepting admiration as a right.*
When the usual toasts had been given, He was my guest several times during THE toast of the evening was announced; that period of unnatural excitement which but the toast-master had no idea that a there can be no question shortened his life; guest thus honoured, was nothing more and at my house he met many of his literary than a simple shepherd, and consequently contemporaries, whom he might not other conceived he was doing his duty best, when wise have known.
to the assembled crowd he announced "a In society, where, as I have intimated, bumper toast to the health of Mister Shephe was easy and self-possessed, because herd;” there was a roar throughout the natural, his glowing and kindly counte- building, and the hero of the day joined in nance, his rousing and hearty laugh, the the laugh as heartily as the guests. quaintness of his remarks, his gentle or Up rose a man, hale and hearty as a biting satire, the continual Aow of homely mountain breeze, fresh as a branch of hillwit, the rough, but perfectly becoming side beather, with a visage unequivocally manner in which he sung his own Jacobite Scotch, high cheek bones, a sharp and clear songs, all gained for him, personally, the grey eye, an expansive forehead, sandy golden opinions previously accorded to his hair, and with ruddy cheeks, which the late writings; and the visit of James Hogg to nights and late mornings of a month in the Metropolis was not a failure, but a suc- London had not yet sallowed. His form
was manly and muscular, and his voice On the 25th January, 1832, a public strong and gladsome, with a rich Scottish dinner was given to him in the great hall accent, which he, probably, on that occasion, of the Freemasons' Tavern; nominally it rather heightened than depressed. His was to commemorate the birthday of Robert appearance that evening may be described Burns, but really to receive the Shepherd. by one word — and that word purely EngThere were many men of note present; lish. It was HEARTY! among others, two of the sons of Burns, He expressed his “great satisfaction at Lockhart, Basil Hall, Allan Cunningham, meeting so numerous and respectable an and others of equal or lesser note; the assembly - met in so magnificent an edifice most conspicuous of the guests being Mr. for such an object.” He was proud that he Aiken, then consul at Archangel, to whom had been born a poet, proud that his humBurns had, half a century before, addressed ble name should have been associated with his famous lines — “ Epistle to a young that of his mighty predecessor Burns. That Friend."
indeed was fame, and nobody, hencefor
ward, would venture to insinuate that he * Hogs, in one of his Lay Sermons, says, “ For had not acquired some share of true greatupwards of twenty years I have mixed with all ness after the honour which had been conclasses of society, and as I never knew to which ferred upon him by the literary public of belonged, I have been perfectly free and at my ease with them all."
such a metropolis. He loved literature for
its own sake, and he gloried in his connec- , read, if agreeable. With a horrid Scotch accent tion with his country. The muse, it was
and charity boy twang, he got through some
• Mr. true, had found him a poor shepherd, and a staves, nobody understanding a line. poor shepherd he still remained after all, Hogg,' said Mrs. Opie, ‘I think if you will exbut in his cultivation of poetry, he was in- than yourself;' so takes them from him, and
cuse me, I could do more justice to your verses fluenced by far prouder motives, and more
with her charming delivery, causes them to be elevated considerations, and he was not voted very pretty. On inquiry it is found that without his reward. After expatiating on the shepherd is on a visit to Lady Cork, the his literary labours, the shepherd concluded great patroness of lions.” by repeating his thanks for the favours he had experienced, and hoped that the For this
very circumstantial statement, I overflowings of a grateful heart would believe there is no foundation whatever ; not be the less acceptable because they certainly in that year, 1817, Hogg was not might be conveyed in “ an uncouth idiom, in London, and one is at a loss to compreand barbarous phraseology.” *
hend whether some pretender imposed on The applause that followed his “racy” good Mrs. Opie and her friends, or whether remarks — a brief history of his life — and the story is pure invention. his expressions of wonder at finding himself Hogg has given us an autobiography, where he was, and how he was, might have from his birth up to a late — but not a very turned a stronger brain than that of James late period of his life. His vanity was so Hogg.t
inartificial as to be absolutely amusing; he I have always understood that this was avowed and seemed proud of it, as one of his first and only visit to London, and so I his natural rights. “I like to write about believe it is described by all his biographers. myself” – that sentence begins his autoBut in his autobiography he states — “I biography; and the sensation is kept up to went to England during the summer," the end. Accordingly, he speaks," fearthe date is not given; it seems to have lessly and unreservedly out;
» but bating been in the year 1801, and he does not his belief that he beat Byron, Scott, and intimate that he went so far as London. Wordsworth, on their own ground, and Yet in Lucy Aiken's “ Memoirs and Re- that he originated Blackwood's Magazine mains,” I find this story told by her in a enough remains to exhibit a man of great letter to Mr. E. Aiken. It is dated 1817. natural powers, who merits the high place
he obtained in the literary history of his “Mrs. Opie, who is still in London, was age and country. It is, indeed, a record of holding one of her usual Sunday morning wonderful triumphs over difficulties almost levees, when up comes the footman, much without parallel. ruffled, to tell her that a man in a smock frock
He stated himself to have been born on was below who wanted to speak to her would take no denial - could not be got away.
the 25th January, 1772: but the parish Down she goes to investigate the matter. The register gives the date of his birth — 9th rustic advances — nothing abashed. I am December, 1770. There is, consequently, a James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.' The confusion as to the actual time,* as there poet is had up to the drawing-room, smock is about the actual place, some according frock and all, and introduced to everybody. the honour to “ Ettrick Hall,” others to Presently he pulls out a paper- - some verses “Ettrick House," each of which, notwithwhich he had written that morning, and would standing its high-sounding title, was a hum
ble cottage not far removed from a hut. * I copy this passage from the Times, of January The unpoetic name, Hogg, which he was 26, 1833.
He does not appear to have written much in always better pleased to exchange for that reference to his stay in London. A passage on the of the “ Ettrick Shepherd,” is said to have subject, however, occurs in one of hie Lay Sermons (to which I shall refer presently) that may be worth
been derived from a far away ancestor quoting, " I must always regard the society of Lon. a pirate, or a sea king, one Haug of Nordon as the pink of what I have seen in the world.
He was born a shepherd, of a race i liked them better than the blue stockings of of shepherds, the youngest of four sons. Edinburgh. Their general information is not supe- His father was in no way remarkable,t but, rior to that of their northern sisters ; perhaps it may be said that it is less determined; but then they never assume so much
way. I met most of the literary ladies, and confess that
Among the * The birthday of Robert Burns was the 25th nobility and gentry, I felt myself most at home, January. Hogg dearly loved to be likened to his And most at my ease. There was no str ining for great countryman, and it is believed in this case, superiority there.
The impression left on *the wish was father to the thought;" that he my mind by mingling with the first society of Lon- post dated his birth. The point, however, is by no don, is that of perfection, and what I would just means settled, and we have a right to give James wish society to be." - Lay Sermon on Good Breeding.
| In 1814, Wordsworth, during his visit to Scot
the benefit of the doubt.
as with all men of intellectual power, he in tending sheep, herding cows — doing inherited mental strength from his mother, anything that a very child could do- and Margaret Laidlaw, "a pious, though un ran about, ill-clad, bare-footed, learning educated woman, who loved her husband, from Nature, and Nature only, eating scanty her children, and her Bible; her memory meals by wayside brooks, and drinking from was stored with border-ballads ; she was a some crystal stream near at band; firm believer in kelpies, brownies, and oth- ing twelve masters before he had reached ers of the good people,” stories concerning his fifteenth year, enduring hunger often, which from his earliest infancy she poured suffering much from over-toil, sleeping in into the greedy ears of her son. They were stables and cow-houses, associating only the seed that bore the fruit.
with four-footed beasts over which he kept He had a few months' schooling – the watch and ward, picking up, how and school house being close to his cottage when he could, a little learning, hearing door. At seven years old, however, it was from many – from his mother especially needful that he should do work; and he - the old ballad-songs of Scotland, and was hired by a neighbouring farmer, his acquiring in early youth, the cognomen of half year's wages being “one ewe lamb, " Jamie the Poeter," writing poems as he and a pair of shoes.” *
tended his unruly flock; and at length From his childhood he had a perpetual rising out of the mire in which circumstruggle with untoward fate; "chill penury stances seemed to have plunged him to repressed his noble rage;" from his birth become notorious — nay, famous almost to his death, as his biographer of the men of whom Scotland, so fertile of writes, “be was always in deep waters, great and glorious women and men, is where nothing was above the surface but rightly and justly proud. the head;" yet the historian of his singular These are the eloquent words of his and wayward life has little to say to his eloquent countryman, Professor Wilson, in discredit, and nothing to his dishonour. reference to the earlier career of Hogg :He has to record more of temptations resisted than of culpabilities encouraged ; “He passed a youth of poverty and hardship and although by no means a man of regular but it was the youth of a lonely shepherd habits, Hogg never so far yielded to dis- among the most beautiful pastoral valleys in the sipation as to be ignored even by the very world ; and in that solitary life in which seasons scrupulous among his countrymen. Way- of spirit-stirring activity are followed by seasons ward indeed he was ; he quarrelled with of contemplative repose, how many years his true friend, Scott, but the magnanimous passed over him rich in impressions of sense
His haunts were man sought reconciliation with his irritable and in dreams of fancy. brother. To Wilson, another true friend,
among scenes he wrote a letter which, according to his • The most remote and inaccessible own admission, was “ full of abusive epi
By shepherds trode. thets ;” with all the publishers he was perpetually at war.
And living for years in solitude, he unconIn judging a character, regard must be sciously formed friends hips with the springs, had to the circumstances under which it is the brooks, the caves, the hills, and with all the formed; and Hogg might have been par- more fleeting and faithless pageantry of the doned by posterity if he had fallen far more sky, that to him came in the place of those short than he did of the high standard human affections from whose indulgence he was which it is perbaps necessary for our teach- debarred by the ne essities that kept him aloof ers to set up; while it is certain that his from the cottage fire, and åp among the mists
on the mountain-top.
To feel the full voluminous and varied writings were de
power of his genius, we must go with him signed and are calculated to uphold the Cause of Righteousness and Virtue.
* Beyond this visible diurnal sphere." He was employed, almost from infancy,
and walk through the shadowy world of the land, had" refreshment” at the cottage of Hogg's imagination. The still green beauty of father," a shepherd, a fine old man, more than the pastoral hills and vales where he passed his eighty years of age.” Scott, writing to Byron, says of Hogg, “Hors of fairy-land – till, as he lay musing in his
youth inspired him with ever-brooding visions period of his life, and when he first distinguished lonely shieling, the world of fantasy seemed,
in himself by his poetical talent, could neither spell the clear depths of his imagination, a lovelier nor write grammar;” and Lockhart states that he reflection of that of nature, like the hills and of a printed book, as he lay watching his tlock by heavens more softly shining in the waters of his. the bill-side."