« AnteriorContinuar »
KNOWLEDGE AND PLEASURE.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2.
Character of Lord Dundee, and the Dundee had orders from his matter not
Highlanders; from Sir Johri Dals to fight M-Kay, until a large force which tymple's Memoirs of Great Britain was promised from Ireland, should join and Ireland.
him: hence he was kept during two
months, cooped up in the mountains, fumark the fingular features of rious from restraint.He was obliged con
fingular characters, is one of the tinually to shift his quarters by prodigichief provinces of history. Dundee ous marches, in order to avoid or har. had inflamed bis mind from his earliest rafs his enemy's army, to obtain proviyouth, by the perufal of ancient poets, fions, and sometimes to take advantages: historians, and orators, with the love the first messenger of his approach, was of the great actions they praise and generally his own army in light: the first describe. He is reported to have in- intelligence of his retreat, brought acHamed it still more, by listening to the counts, that he was already out of his ancient fongs of the highland bards. enemy's reach. In some of those marHe entered into the profession of arms ches, his men wanted bread, salt, and with an opinion, that he ought to know all liquors, except water, during fevethe services of different nations, and ral weeks; yet were ashamed to comthe duties of different ranks: with this plain, when they observed, that their view, he went into several foreign ser- commander lived not more delicately vices; and when he could not obtain than themselves. If any thing good command, served as a volunteer. At was brought him to eat, he sent it to the battle of Seneffe, he saved the a faint or fick soldier: if a soldier was Prince of Orange's life. Soon after, weary, he offered to carry his arms. he asked one of the Scotch regiments He kept those who were with him from in the Dutch service. The Prince be- linking under their fatigues, not fo ing pre-engaged, refused his request. much by exhortation, as by preventing Upop this, he quitted the Dutch fer- them from attending to their fufferings vice, “ saying, The soldier who has For this reason he walked on foot with not gratitude cannot be brave." His the men; now by the lide of one clan, reputation, and his services against the and anon by that of another: he amuscovenanters, obtained him a regiment ed them with jokes: he flattered them from Charles II. and a peerage, and with his knowledge of their genealohigh command in the army.from his gies: he animated them by a recital of successor. In his exploits against these the deeds of their ancestors, and of the men, his behaviour had been sullied by verses of their bards. It was one of the imputation of cruelty: he excused his maxins, that no general should himself by saying, “That, if terror fight with an irregular army, unless he ended or prevented war, it was true was acquainted with every man he commercy.”
manded, Yet, with these babits of fa- . VOL. II.
miliarity, the severity of his discipline castle of the chieftain was a kind of
pawas dreadful: the only punishment he lace, to which every man of his tribe inflicted was death: “ All other pu was made welcome, and where he was “ nishments," he said, “ disgraced a entertained according to his station, in “ a gentleman, and all who were with time of peace, and to which all flocked “ him were of that rank; but that at the sound of war. Thus the meanest “ death was a relief from the consci- of the clan, knowing himself to be as “ ousness of crime." It is reported of well-born as the head of it,revered in his him, that, having seen a youth fly in chieftain his own honour; loved in his his first action, he pretended. he had clan his own blood; complained not of sent him to the rear on a message: the the difference of station into which foryouth fled a second time: he brought tune had thrown him, and respected him to the front of the army, and fay- himself: the chieftain in return bestowing, “ That a gentleman's son ought not ed a protection, founded equally on to fall by the hands of a common ex gratitude, and the consciousness of his ecutioner,” shot him with his own pis own interest. Hence the highlanders, tol.
whom more savage pations called SaThe army
he commanded was moft vage, carried, in the outward expression ly composed of highlanders from the of their manners, the politeness of interior parts of the highlands: a peo courts without their vices, and, in their ple untouched by the Roman or Saxon bofoms, the high point of honour withinvasions on the South, and by those of out its follies. the Danes on the East and Weft skirts In countries where the surface is of their country: the unmixed remains rugged, and the climate uncertain, there of that Celtic empire, which once is little room for the use of the plough; stretched from the pillars of Hercules and, where no coal is to be found, and to Archangel. As the manners of this few provisions can be raised, there is race of men were, in the days of our still less for that of the anviland shuttle. fathers, the most fingular in Europe, As the highlanders were, upon these and, in those of our sons, may be found accounts, excluded from extensive ano where but in the records of history, griculture and manufacture a-like, eveit is proper here to describe them. ry family raised just as much grain, and
The highlanders were composed of made as much raiment as sufficed for a number of tribes called Clans, each itself; and nature, whom art cannot of which bore a different name, and force, destined them to the life of theplived upon the lands of a different chief- herds. Hence, they had not that extain. The members of every tribe were cess of industry which reduces man to tied one to another, not only by the a machine, nor that total want of it feudal, but by the patriarchal bond: which finks him into a rank of animals for, while the individuals which com
below his own. posed it were vassals or tenants of their They lived in villages built in vallies own hereditary chieftain, they were al. and by the sides of rivers. At two so all descended from his family, and seasons of the year, they were bufy; could cuunt exactly the degree of their the one in the end of spring and bedescent: and the right of primogeni- ginning of summer, when they put the ture, together with the weakness of the plough into the little land they had calaws to reach inaccessible countries, pable of receiving it, sowed their grain and more inaccessible men, had, in the and laid in their provision of turf for revolution of centuries, converted these the winter's fewel; the other, just be. natural principles of connection between fore winter, when they reaped their the chieftain and his people, into the harvest: the rest of the year was all most sacred ties of human life. The their own for amusement or for war.
If not engaged in war, they indulged had nothing else to do at that age, and themselves in Summer in the most de- partly because literature was thought licious of all pleasures, to men in a the distinction, not the want of it the cold climate and a romantic country, mark of good birth. the enjoyment of the sun, and of the The feverity of their clima e, the Summer-views of nature; never in the height of their mountains, the distance house during the day, even sleeping of their villages from each other, their often at night in the open air, among love of the chase and of war, with the mountains and woods. They spent their desire to visit and be visited, forthe winter in the chase, while the sun ced them to great bodily exertions. was up; and, in the evening, assembling The vaftness of the objects which furround a common fire, they entertained rounded them, lakes, mountains, rocks, themselves with the song, the tale, and cataracts, extended and elevated their the dance: but they were ignorant of minds: for they were not in the state fitting days and nights at games of of men, who only know the way from kill, or of hazard, amusements which one market town to another. Their keep the body in inaction, and the mind want of regular occupation led them, in a state of vicious activity!
like the ancient Spartans, to contemThe want of a good, and even of a plation, and the powers of conversatifine ear for music, was almost unknown on: powers which they exerted in strikamongst them; because it was kept in ing out the original thoughts which nacontinual pra&tice, among the multitude ture had suggested, not in languidly. from pasion, but by the wiser few, be- repeating thole which they had learncause they knew that the love of music, ed from othes people. both heightened the courage, and fof They valued themselves, without tened the tempers of their people. Their undervaluing other nations. They lov. vocal music was plaintive, even to the ed to quit their own country to see depth of melancholy; their inftrumen- and to hcar, adopted easily the mantal either lively for briske dances, or ners of others, and were attentive and martial for the battle. Some of their insinuating where-ever they went: but tunes even contained the great, but they loved more to return home, to renatural idea of a history described in peat what they had observed; and, amusic: the joys of a marriage, the noise mong other things, to relate with a stoof a quarrel, the founding to arms, the nishment, that they had been in the rage of a battle, the broken disorder midst of great societics, where every of a flight, the whole concluding with individual made his sense of indepenthe folemn dirge and lamentation for dence to consist in keeping at a distance the lain. By the loudness and artifi- from another. Yet they did not think cial jarring of their war instrument, themselves entitled to hate or despise the bag-pipe, which played continually the manners of strangers, because they during the action, their spirits were ex differed from their own. For they realted to a phrenzy of courage in battle. vered the great qualities of other na
They joined the pleasures of history tions; and only made their failings the and poetry to those of music, and the subject of an inoffenfive merriment. love of clasical learning to both. For, When strangers came amongst them, in order to cherish high sentiments in they received them not with a ceremothe minds of all, every considerable fa- ny which forbids a second visit, not mily had an historian who recounted, with a coldnefs which causes repenand a bard who sung, the deeds of the tance of the first, not with an embaraffclan, and of its chieftain: and all, even ment which leaves both the landlord the lowest in station, were sent to school and his guest in equal misery, but with in their youth; partly because they the most pleasing of all politeness, the