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were informed; but, except this bedding asked to sup his kale, he is apt to imagine and the cooking apparatus, there did not thas he is arrived in a land of cabbages. seem to be an article of furniture in the Even with respect to the low country, hut. In England, were such a thing pos- there is more cabbage in one English cotsible, a spectator would have been much tage establishment, than in ten of their more affected with such a display of kale yards ; in the Highlands,
“ stat nowretchedness; but here, he becomes not minis umbra." It must be sopposed that only accustomed to it, but is also aware broth did once really contain cabbage ; that the condition of these poor people is whence the term kale continues to be apnot so very widely different as it seems to plied, by courtesy, to a mixture of barley be, from that which, however miserable and water, or, under circumstances of pe. to the eyes of a stranger, is, in this coun- culiar wealth, to the same solution with a try, the usual state of life. Accordingly, few scraps of something green, as large as they seemed to bear it with patience, as a thumb-nail, swimming about“ in gurgite part of the common order of things; mak- vasto.” I once supposed that the poor ing no complaints, and asking neither for little people in the Highlands had never pity nor relief. For myself, I must how heard of gardens and vegetables, and that ever own, that it gave me much greater they might therefore be taught to mend pain 'than ordinary complaining misery their diet and increase their comforts. But ever did in any situation'; and perhaps many more examples than this of Pol-Ewe for this very reason, that it was attended demolished my theory. by no complaints. Why the sight of that It seems odd that reformers like us are misery which is insensible to its own always angry because we cannot persuade wretchedness, should be more painful than people to be happy in our way instead of that of suffering united to the bitter con
their own. Yet odd as it may be, it is sciousness of it, is not very difficult to difficult to avoid a feeling of vexation at explain. In contemplating the individual, such neglect as that of this Pol Ewe genwe are struck with reflecting on what must tleman, or at seeing the number of poor have been endured before it could have creatures who are often not able to comproduced such insensibility; or, when we mand even potatoes or bread to their fish, sce that such things are borne as if they who, at the best, are tied down to an unwere the necessary condition of human varying round of miserable diet, who are life, we sicken at reflecting that its situa- often suffering from diseases in consetions should be so unequal. But, after quence of the want of green vegetables, all, we ought to console ourselves, as far and who, at the same time, by three days' as we can, by recollecting that this very labour in the year, might ensure thermiņsensibility is a palliation, at least, if not selves, without any other expense, an a blessing. We found, on inquiry, that, ample supply of articles, equally wholehaving been ejected from their farm, and some, profitable, and agreeable. . Where having no other resource, they had been kitchen gardens are cultivated in this suffered by a neighbouring farmer to build country, nothing can exceed the produce, their but from his woods and to graze their in goodness; so that the climate offers no only cow upon his waste; and thus, with objection.. the assistance of the shell fish which they
PEUDS. caught at low water, and some casual la. • It is not uncommon to find that one bour, they had contrived to live through division of the present race of Highlanders that portion of the summer which was has as little respect for its neighbours as past." How the winter was to be sur-, the most prejudiced enemy can have for. mounted, it was both too easy and too the whole tribe, though they are all conpainful to imagine.
founded under a common term. This is
not an uncommon feeling, in fact, through. . I can venture to say that there is not a out the country at large. In Sky, my garden from Barra Head to the Butt of friend Campbell, who was an Argyllshire the Lewis, nor from the Mull of Cantyre man, was considered by the common people to Cape Rath. I can most truly assure. as a foreigner; and, because he was a toyou that I never saw such a thing, nor reigner, they refused to work for him, even a culinary vegetable of any kind. plundered his turnips, and persecuted You might as well seek for a mangosteen him for his improvements. as for an onion, a leek, a turnip, or even a cabbage. Whether the Gaelic language
• No human heart can possibly reprehas names for soch objects, I know not, sent a Highland cottage so as to render it but the articles themselves are utterly un. a picturesque object. If alone, it is a known ; and I will produce you ten thou. shapeless pile of stones and turf: if con.. sand Highlanders who never saw either. gregated inw a town, that looks like a heap When an Englishman hears of Scotch kale of dunghills or peat-stacks. Were it not and reads songs about cauld kale, and is for the occasional wreath of blue smoke, ai
DOGS AND PIGS.
southern 'traveller would never suspect that a practice which seems tò want nothing their presence at a small distance. Hence but an introduction, should be introduced. the unfortunate artist in Highland landscape is deprived of the aid which is else. • The construction of the ploughs and where afforded him by the infinite varieties the larrows is as defective as every thing of rural architecture; of the life and in- else, and scarifying and rolling are totally - terest which human habitations bestow on unknown; has the hne and drill system a picture; and of that source of contrast yet been introduced, even for potatoes, and scale of measurement which are afford- except in the hands of a few upulent ed by a mixture of the petty works of man tenants, who have adopted the Lowland with the bold and wild features of Nature. system of farming. In reaping, the sickle
• In Sutherland, and some other parts is exclusively used; but, considering the of the country, the same roof sometimes necessity of expedition, in a climate so covers the catile and the owners both : as varying, and where labour cannot be purit did in ancient Egypt, in the bright days of chased, the scythe might often be introRome, says Juvenal. The entrance is then duced with advantage. But so little generally through the cow-house, which is activity is shown in the business of harvestonly separated from the dwelling by the ing, urgent as it almost always is, that we well-known partition, the hallan.
need not be surprised at any other kind of
neglect. Taking the country altogether, Among the branches of Highland pas- more than half the loss experienced from turage, the least profitable is the breeding the autumnal rains, is the consequence of of those aboniinable black and white collies procrastination and indolence. It is often which seem to have little other occupation painful to see those crops which form half than to bark at the heels of horses. If the support of the people, dead-ripe and the people would eat them, there might be blown away by the winds, or drenched in
Their diet might almost the rain till they are rotten; when, by timely keep as many children ; and, excepting reaping, by getting up at four instead of the very few wanted on the sheep farms, ten, and by really working instead of there is literally no business for them. lounging about, talking and gazing, the Among the small tenants, they lead the whole might have been saved with the lives of gentlemen. Mr. Dent would have greatest ease. performed a humane act if he had taxed them at five guineas a poll. I once saw . But I must not forget that I did see executed an edict which savoured deeply something, of which the modification was of oppression, but which I believe was new, although the principle is common. necessary, certainly advantageons. The Whether it proves that the Stornowegians poor people were positively in want; and think whiat Mahomet was falsely accused the alternative offered, was to quit their of teaching, namely, that women have no farms or execute their dogs. From forty souls, I shall not, on so short an acquaintfamilies, I think, there were one hundred ance, decide. Droves of these animals and twenty useless animals destroyed. were collected in the neighbourhood,
* Now these good people, who thus trudging into the town from the moors, liberally entertain guests from which they with loads of peat on their backs. The can derive no benefit, are silly enough to men dig the peat, and the women supply hate or fear pigs as much as if they were the place of horses ; being regularly trainJews or Turks. Here the people of Shet- ed to it. I was also informed that they land and Orkney have shown much more did actually draw the harrows; but this I good sense. If they choose to persist in did not witness. disliking pork, or, what is the fact, in not Perhaps the division of labour is not choosing to try whether they like it or not, indeed very fair here ; yet I know not that they might recollect that the animal is it is much otherwise. There are no horses ; saleable under many forms, and that they a man cannot dig, and fish, and carry are under no compulsion to eat their own peats all at once, and a family cannot go bacon. Not but what they would soon without fire. The Stornowegian may fairly learn ; if we may judge by their emigrants say with the Italian Orpheus, “ Che faro in Canada, to whom salt pork is a daily senza Euridice.” To be sure, I have seen diet, and who are not long in understand. a great lazy fellow ride his wife across a ing how to devour it voraciously. A pig ford ; which, I admit, does not look like is a: least as ornamental as a collie; what civil and polished usage. he devours he will at some day refund, and he has the merit of neither barking nor * The proportion of animal food used in biting. It is plain that the Highland cot. this country, taking the whole together, - tagers could keep them on at least as good has been generally inconsiderable ; but, tering as the Irish ; and it is very desirable taking the sea.coasts alone, it has been im
Vol. 1.-No. 8,
; portant, and, from the extension of the pens; and formerly, when that was the system of maritime crofting, has for some sole dependence, the effects were serious, time been gradually increasing. Of course, and often dreadful, even with a far inferior I allude to fish; since, of any other, the population. Ancient tales of famine are Highlanders have little experience. In frequent ; and it was under such visitations the great pastoral districts, the mutton of as these that the people had recourse to sheep that have died of braxy is gene. the singular and apparently savage experally dried or salted for use; but it is rare dient, long since abandoned, of bleeding that the smaller or general order of tenants their cattle ; the expedient of a starving can afford to eat their sheep or lambs on
Arab. Of absolute fainine now, there are any other terms. Sea-birds need scarcely no examples : but cases very nearly apbe named; as their use is almost limited proaching to it have occurred, from the to St. Kilda; although there are many
failure of the grain crops. Taking that other situations where the example of those part of the supply only at a third of all active people might be followed with ad. the food, it is plain that a half crop
leave a serious deficiency; and, according 'POTATOES.
to the too common improvidence of the * To proceed now to another question people, perhaps a month of famine. If, connected with the food of the Highlands, in many places, the small tenants are really it is very evident that the large increase of unable to raise a surplus for contingencies, the population which has been experienced
on account of the want of land, it is also of late, and which is still in progress, bas but too true that they are not sufficiently been chiefly the consequence of the intro- provident against possible failures. duction of the potatoe; although the better
• That something far too nearly apmethod of occupying lands, the increase of proaching to famine does, occasionally sheep, the diminution of horses, the aug. uccur, even at the present day, is too well mentation of fishing, and some other
known. causes, must be allowed a share in the effect. Whether it has really been doubled
"I visited many cottages here, and in the Western Islands alone, within sixty found the people living on milk and years, as has been said, the documents are
cockles, without a particle of vegetable perhaps insufficient to allow us to judge.
matter. In other parts of the country, Yet, not only has this great and leading where this resource was not to be obtaineffect followed, but the supply of food, ed, their sufferings were severe; and which has enabled the people to rear more although cases of death from mere famine children, producing this consequence, has
were not said to have occurred, it is too also improved their strength and health; well known that it often produces this since, in a general sense, they are not
effect, by the intervention of the diseases stinted in the quantity. It is also to be which it generates. At Luch Inver, I was believed that the people have gained in inforned that many, even of the young beauty from the same cause ; that being and strong, were confined to their beds very much determined by the sufficieot or from mere debility; and that a shoal of insufficient supply of food which children
fish having come into the Bay, the men get in early life. Better fed children than were, literally, unable to row their boats those of the Highland peasantry there
out to take them. Similar distress was ex. cannot be; and, to the disgrace of Eng. perienced in many of the Highland disland, they are, on the average, in far
tricts, and among the islands, during the better and higher condition than the chil- same season ; but, in general, the maritime dren in large English_towns, and where
inhabitants suffered litile, compared to wages are high. The English labourer or
those who had no access to fish, or who manufacturer either starves his family to happened to be placed in situations where indulge himself in gin and porter, or else,
the fisheries were not productive. instead of being fed with a sufficiency of
• These accidents, scarcities approaching cheap and substantial diet, they are, from
to famine, which are now so rare in comfalse pride, starved on an insufficient pro
parison with former times, offer a sufficient portion of wheaten bread, flesh meat, and proof of the improvement which the tea. Another great advantage has arisen
Highlands have undergone ; not merely from from the potatoe ; and this is, that the
the introduction of the potatoe, but from the food of the people is less subject to
change, so often reprobuted by thoughtless casualties and failures than when it con- and angry persons, which has taken place sisted of grain. Except from early frosts,
in the whole system of Highland tenantry.' it seldom suffers; and any very considerable or extensive failures of the Highland
Having now seen how they manage potatoe crops have, I believe, never yet things in the Highlands, we shall byoccurred. The failure of grain crops, from and-by see if they are much better bad seasons and various causes, still hap- off in the Lowlands.
TALES OF LOW LIFE.
By Thomas Furlong, Author of Plagues of Ireland,' &c. The following sketch is the first of a series intended to illustrate, in some degree, the wrongs, the habits, and the hardships of the Irish poor : to the aftuent, as well as to the indigent, they are directly addressed; to both they may probably prove not entirely useless. The general simplicity of the diction may lead some of my readers to think that, in these sketches, I have selected Wordsworth as a model : this, indeed, is not the case. I happen to class myself among his admirers; but I have no wish to be marked out as one of his imitators. If the 'Lyrical Ballads' had never appeared, I should still have followed my present course; giving to the different characters introduced a turn of thinking, and a mode of expression, suited to their situations in life. I felt at first inclined to draw upon that interesting publication, The Tales of Irish Life,' for a few characters or incidents :
: on looking through the work, however, I abandoned the idea. I could not add to the effect already produced: what has been ad.mirably done in prose, I might, in all probability, spoil by a metrical transposition. This thought restrained me.
The widow's STORY.
I left them their last glass to take;
Still drinking for their sake :
Play softly o'er my wearied brow;
And gaze at ease on bud and bough:
When close before me I descried
It was upon the bare road-side.
Mixed thick with rotten straw)
Up high against the ditch they stood;
Before, or since, the like.
Upon the damp and chilly floor;
Stood a large flag—it was the door :
There crawled a woman, weak and old;
A moving tale she told.
She sat for hours in the cold air,
But still I was not close or hard;
whatever I could spare,
I had but little notion then
Or left to rot within this den:
that green hill's side; It was not large, but snug and warm;
Indeed it was my pride.
We picked and planted here and there;
Praised and admired us for our care.
Till Boney far away was sent;
I found it hard to make the rent:
And thought their labour sweet;
A stitch upon their feet;
Of murdering, burning, and of riot;
To keep the people quiet.