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till now. Then, out of the heart of this fanaticism, out of the heated and fiery atmosphere where Mr Macaulay's Cameronians appear like so many metaphysical Lucifers out of the world ruled by a frightful gang of preachers, who hunt old women and young fools to the stake, there rises, without either change of principle or alteration of sentiment, not, strange to record! a community debased, miserable, and priest-ridden, as it ought to have been, according to all logic; but a nation prosperous among the prosperous a country rich, powerful, moral, educated, renowned for enterprise, great in invention, and rich in all that abundance and plenitude of thought which is the noblest growth of national freedom. Out of the very heart of that dismal cloud of religious gloom which overspreads the land in the pages of Mr Macaulay, and in the misrepresentation of many a writer less gifted than he, rises a strain of national music, sweet, tender, and joyous as the very voice of nature; a wealth of poetry, noble, and melodious, which any country might rejoice to own, and a series of novels unparalleled in the world. Has Scotland then changed her principles and modified her faith? No! It is not possible that an Established Church could have remained so long without breaks and offshoots; but the secessions from the Church of Scotland, great and small, have every one of them pursued her back to the closest letter of her ancient creed, and aimed themselves, not at novelty, but at a stricter and firmer adherence to the unchanged standards of their faith. This country, even in its dissent, remains unanimous. One law of doctrine and order possesses, with a singular tena city, the mind of the nation-its other sects are all importations, limited in number, and foreign to the soil, and even external separation has not been able to disintegrate the natural and indestructible union of belief and thought. The fanaticism of our fathers, glorious madness! cleaves to the hearts even of our children. Full three hundred years of it have been in Scotland-it may be a very bad fanaticism, bloodthirsty, unlovely, morose, and doleful-so a great
many people say, and so, with a sad want of originality, says Mr Macaulay. Yet somehow, it is very clear, Scotland has thriven under the sha dow of this upas, thriven, expanded, stretched abroad her arms to the winds and her head to the skygiven the world full assurance many a day of a free heart and a healthful spirit; and, not least (as the story goes), rendered some sturdy assistance to the production of Mr Macaulay, an orator of distinction, a politician of fame, a brilliant essayist, and a historian unrivalled in popularity. Honour to our blithe old mother, though she carries her mirth in her heart more than on her brow!-and a swift yet not unredeemable downfall to all and sundry her traducers and enemies, be they friend or fremd!-Amen!
For it is still as true as ever it was, that "men do not gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles." If this historian's account were true, an Italy or an Ireland, without the beauty of the one or the wit of the other, is what our country must have been. We are content to leave the facts of history to speak for us and with these so plainly on our side, it is a great deal more easy to believe the truth than the fiction; for in this, as in all other cases, there is no such extent of unreasoning and inconsiderate credulity to be found anywhere as among the enemies of the faith.
We do Mr Macaulay meanwhile the credit to say, that his picture of Scotland is extremely creditable to his ingenuity, and by no means unpicturesque. It divides itself into distinct departments, which comprise, in the first place, the Highlands and Highlanders, in the second, the statesmen,--and in the third, the fanatics. Anything which is not embraced in these three classes our author is unconscious of. In the first of his sketches we find nothing but personal and physical degradation, ignorance, want, and barbarity; in the second, an unvarying and clever wickedness, to which oaths are playthings, and justice and mercy words of folly; and in the third, a visible Pandemonium, where the smoky glare of the fagots blazing around a stake, lights red upon the bloodshot Cameronian eyes, gleaming malign under those blue west-countr
bonnets, a crueler head-gear than the trooper's cap of steel; and on the wild infuriate ring, not of witches, but of preachers, encircling in a frenzy of triumph and malice the victim of their abominable zeal. Such is [the picture as it stands,- -a wild yet skilful mixture of the fullblossomed sins of savagery and civilisation, the vice of the courtier, the rage of the bigot, and the misery of the wild man of the woods; but even as a picture, Mr Macaulay has not here attained his usual success. The contrasts are a great deal too violent, the glare too fiery. There is no complementary colour to relieve the eye; no fountain in the wilderness to give a momentary refreshment to the imagination. Even in Ireland, though things are black enough, there is still a preux chevalier among the Rapparees, a crowd of heroic fighters among the Englishry. As for Scotland, one feels with disgust, that if Mr Macaulay be correct, the only thing to be done for her is that old remedy once proposed for Ireland, -to let her down under water for so many hours-to scuttle the musty old vessel, and clear off the living lumber which pollutes her decks; pity that William of Orange had not tried the experiment!
seemed lovely in comparison. Fine weather, he complained, only made bad worse; for the clearer the day, the more disagreeably did these misshapen masses of gloomy brown and dirty purple affect the eye. What a contrast, he exclaimed, between these horrible prospects and the beauties of Richmond Hill!" Having thus established Captain Burt's credit with us by this remarkable example of his cultivated mind, and powers of observation, Mr Macaulay proceeds with his description of the people of those dreary regions. The picture is sufficiently well known; black enough in all its details, it is disgusting in others, and descends in a due and admirable gradation from the mean revenge which stabbed in the back, and the savage indolence which was maintained by the labours of women, to cutaneous eruptions, and Dunnhewassels smeared with tar. When the historian draws breath at last, after the haste and fervour of this unfragrant climax, leaving his reader a little heated, a little dismayed, and somewhat horrified by the picture, it is the oddest descent in the world to step down to the foot of the page, and read Mr Macaulay's modest and ingenuous note. "Almost all these circumstances," he says, with a delightful candour, taken from Burt's letters." Strange power of half-a-dozen simple words! The dismayed reader brightens up, and feels himself cheated of his former horror. The climax dwindles into an anti-climax ;-are we to believe Captain Burt about the men, because he has borne such unimpeachable testimony about the mountains; or take his word for the hills because he is so true respecting the men? or by what law of evidence are we to discriminate between that part of his testimony which is authoritative and conclusive, and that part which is simple nonsense? Perhaps Mr Macaulay knows; but he does not tell.
As for the Highlands, in the first
set of the plaid; and, for our own part, find it extremely difficult to
conceive how a man with his head smeared with tar, and the enlivening white and red stripes of his tartan undecipherable in the dirt of ages, could preserve in any degree "the better qualities of an aristocracy, grace and dignity of manner, selfrespect, and that noble sensibility which makes dishonour more terrible than death." This conjunction may be true to Captain Burt-might be, we confess, distrustful of our own judgment in face of such an authority-true to fact-but it certainly is not true to nature.
Captain Burt, however, is but a pleasant little example of one of Mr Macaulay's peculiarities. Our historian does not hesitate to cut contemptuously to pieces, on one page, one of his miserable scheming Jacobites, and on the very next, to receive the same poor plotter's word as the gravest authority for some weighty accusation. This is true economy-the genuine art of throwing nothing away.
This picture, then, of the Scottish Highlands, perhaps one of the blackest ever painted, rests upon the authority of Captain Burt-a gentleman of whom we know nothing, except that he concluded Ben Nevis and Ben Cruachan to be monstrous excrescences," and, amid "the horrible prospects" of these hills and valleys, sighed for the beauties of Richmond Hill. Can any one doubt that "he was a man of a quick, an observant, and a cultivated mind?" If there be such a sceptic, we leave him with silent contempt, as Mr Macaulay does, to ruminate his doubts at his own leisure. Such poor objections are little worthy our consideration.
In the remarks which follow this startling representation of Highland scenery and manners, we cannot but applaud the extreme ability and clearness of Mr Macaulay's description of the modern change of popular sentiment and feeling respecting the Gaelic portion of our countrymen. That the common people in England have a firm belief that every Scotchman wears the kilt and speaks the tongue of Ossian, is a thing we all know, and have all been amused to discover.
Not long since we ourselves were greatly edified by a little woodcut in a small American periodical, representing the two covenanting martyrs of the sands of Wigton, in which these heroines were represented with plaids gracefully arranged over one shoulder, and where the attendant troopers blazed in kilts; but the delusion becomes more comical still when we find it shared by the Saxon Scot himself, vainly endeavouring to make out a claim to tartan which the veriest pockpudding of the South has as much right to as he. There is very little analogy, however, between the position of the two races in Scotland and that which has always existed, and still does exist, in Ireland. Even before the '45, the Lowland Scot entertained a certain national affection for him of the Highlands. The brethren might not be upon very friendly terms, and might not be over complimentary in their report of each other; yet even Bailie Nicol Jarvie would not stand tamely another man's abuse of his cateran kinsman; and when the touch of genius came to flush the Highland skies with a poetic light, all Scotland was ready to be moved by a generous enthusiasman enthusiasm to which even Sir Walter could never have brought the haughty Englishry of the neighbour island. There is a great mistake, too, in our judgment, in Mr Macaulay's comments on Highland Jacobitism. He says, "the English have therefore very naturally ascribed to those tribes the feelings of English cavaliers, profound reverence for the royal office, and enthusiastic_attachment to the royal family." Begging Mr Macaulay's pardon, we think this an inconsiderate and almost foolish saying. Who were the English cavaliers? Not certainly the peasants of England-but gentlemen of blood and breeding, full of family romance and hereditary devotion. This fact, which Cromwell knew so well, is surely not unknown to our historian; and to compare a mass of peasant men with the daring scions of a highbred aristocracy, is manifestly impossible. That the Highland kernes come a great deal better out of the comparison than the Saxon ploughmen could have done, we
(after the Revolution) as consisting of a hereditary aristocracy the most needy, the most haughty, and the most quarrelsome in Europe;" yet, at a former and very much darker period, we find him explaining "that the representatives of towns were almost to a man against the Government;" and that "they now showed, for the first time, an independence, a resolution, and a spirit of combination which alarmed the Court." These statements cannot be both correct.
And this whole record, so far as Mr Macaulay's own remarks and comment are concerned, bears an invidious and peevish humour on the face of it, which puzzles and annoys the reader. The Estates of Scotland "used plain language, simply because it was impossible for them, situated as they were, to use evasive language" -as who should say a man speaks sensibly, because, in his particular circumstances, it would not be practicable to speak nonsense. Lord Melville, again, "with characteristic wariness, lived quietly on the Continent, and discountenanced the unhappy projects of his kinsman Monmouth, but cordially approved of the enterprise of the Prince of Orange." Were all the statesmen who discountenanced Monmouth and approved of William, influenced by "characteristic wariness,"" that homely prudence" which takes care of itself? And if not, why distinguish this one man by a praise which insinuates reproach? This is a very poor kind of skill, and quite unworthy of Mr Macaulay. We quote these instances, merely as the first we light upon in opening the book; but any observing reader will remark at once how they abound.
thoroughly convinced; and every-
One man among the crowd, and only one, we ourselves are moved to lift up our testimony for. And we believe no one who has ever read or heard the little family history and delightful domestic anecdotes of that kindly Scottish household, exiled and impoverished, yet unembittered and undismayed, which made bright the banishment of Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth, will be able to receive, without a feeling of almost personal indignation and resentment, aulay's querulous account right gentleman. Argyll
nate expedition is too long a story for our limited space, nor do we care to enter upon it; but it is impossible to recollect his granddaughter's simple account of the cheerful and manful exile, and to look with patience upon the perverse Pistol who figures in Mr Macaulay's volumes under the same name; who is first introduced to us as one of the "many fugitives from Scotland, the intemperance of whose political and religious zeal was proportioned to the oppression which they had undergone;" and whose subsequent appearances are always prefaced by a reiterated introduction, which looks as nearly spiteful as anything treating of the past can do. "Such a man was Sir Patrick Hume. He had returned from exile as litigious, as impracticable, as morbidly jealous of all superior authority, and as fond of haranguing as he had been four years before." But we turn to the private record. Gay and friendly as emigré of France, contented and cheerful as a philosopher-in his dreary hiding-place, the family vault of Polwarth, solacing his long and darksome leisure with the elegant Latin of Buchanan-in his humble exile at Utrecht, with all his Scottish pride and punctilio, giving with his own hand to the public charity the doit, the smallest coin in circulation, and the only piece of money in the household, which every one else was ashamed to give; and in his old age, in spite of all the bigot gloom of his faith, and the intemperate religious zeal of Mr Macaulay's narrative, desiring to be carried down to the room, where, says his granddaughter, so many of us having met, being no fewer than fourteen of his children and grandchildren, we had a dance "--which this brave old man contemplated "with great cheerfulness, saying, Though he could not dance with us, he could yet beat time with his foot,' which he did, and bid us dance as long as we could that it was the best medisins he knew, for at the same time that it gave exercise to the body, it cheered the mind. At his usual time of going to bed he was carried up-stairs, and we ceased dancing for fear of disurbing him; but he soon sent to bid
go on, for the noise and music, so
far from disturbing, would lull him to sleep." Such a man was Sir Patrick Hume-of whom survives the happiest and brightest story of family exile, poverty, content, and cheerfulness, of troubles made light of, and misfortunes of which the edge was turned by a blithe word and smile, which we remember in our national annals. The only thing which Mr Macaulay quotes against him of contemporary testimony is that he was a lover of set speeches;" no such extraordinary characteristic, would suppose, in an age which still boasted, in John Evelyn, its example of the ancient English gentleman. Sir Patrick, however, seems to have anticipated, after a formal fashion, that grand intuition of a ministry which Mr Macaulay holds as springing from the natural evolution of events in the English parliament. "When the place of Treasurer, of Chancellor, or of Secretary, was vacant, the Parliament ought to submit two or three names to his Majesty, and one of these names his Majesty ought to be bound to select." This is one of the truculent opinions which "Sir Patrick indeed avowed." But our historian either does not perceive, or does not choose to point out, that in this, though expressed in the severer form of Scottish logic, lies the germ and suggestion of that important instrument of government which the characteristic practical wisdom of England very speedily adopted, though without offending any royal delicacy by putting it in words.
We come now, however, to a part of Mr Macaulay's representations more important than his opinion of the Highlands, or his strictures on the politics of the Revolution. We are neither divines nor controversialists. It is not our business to defend the especial tenets of that faith under whose shadow our country has grown and flourished; and we are perfectly aware that no amount of religious intolerance exceeds the eager intolerwho make no particular profession ance manifested in general by those of religion, against all who do. But we cannot help remarking Mr Macaulay's exhibition of one of the most evident features of the time. Within these dozen years or so-we do not think the mania is much older-lite