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Chapter VI - The Women and the Homes of Scotland


All hail, ye tender feelings dear!
The smile of love, the friendly tear,
The sympathetic glow!
Long since this world’s thorny ways
Had numbered out my weary days,
Had it not been for you.
Fate still has blest me with a friend,
In every care and ill;
And oft a more endearing band,
A tie more tender still.
-- BURNS:
Epistle to Davie.

O, I hae seen grat anes, and sat in great ha’s,
‘Mang lords and ‘mang ladies a’covered wi’ brawn;
But a sight sae delightful I trow I ne’er spied,
As the bonnie blithe blink o’ my ain fireside.
My ain friends, my ain fireside,
O sweet is the blink o’ my ain fireside.

Nae falsehood to dread, nae malice to fear,
But truth to delight me, and kindness to cheer;
O’ a’ roade to pleasure that ever were tried,
There’s nane half sae sure as one’s ain fireside.
My ain fireside, &c.
-- ELIZABETH HAMILTON

Glens may be gilt wi’ gowans rare,
The birds may fill the tree,
And haughs hae a’ the scented ware
That simmer growth may gie;
But the cantie hearth where cronies meet,
An’ the darling o’ our e’e
That makes to us a warl’ complete,
O, the ingle side’s for me.
-- HUGH AINSLIE

The wholesome form of the domestic affections is co-extensive with humanity, and their influence is happily the property of no single race or nation. Still, as in other cases, the peculiar form they take, as well as the purity and fervour of their manifestations, varies considerably, according to the genius, the temperament, the history, and the general social habits of different peoples. Napoleon declared that the need of France was mothers, and a distinguished French writer states that nothing in England struck him so forcibly as its homes. Now any attempt at comparing the capacities for the highest forms of domestic life exhibited in different countries would be futile, even if it were successful. Still it may be well to note that the value of any people as colonists and civilizers will always depend upon the character and social position of its women. Female influence is so intertwined with man’s every-day life, and is so much an ordinary blessing, that it is too much the habit to take it as a matter of course, its value, like the value of light, air, or any other mercy which comes down from the Father of Lights, is never gauged and prized as it should be, until its loss is felt in absence or bereavement. At other times woman and her works and ways are too often treated with the flippant or contemptuous quip, or, what is still more offensive to the refined and sensitive, with the high strained and fulsome compliment, not yet out of fashion.

In Scotland, many circumstances have combined to give the female element large opportunities for home development, and not a few for conspicuous public action. All those historic influences which have moulded the national character—the invasions, the prolonged wars, foreign and intestine, persecutions and raids from the mountains or the Border—whilst they tended to keep everything else in a state of solution, strengthened wonderfully the bonds of domestic affection. The love which welled up in the strong and passionate heart of the Scot could only find solace and satisfaction at the trysting place or the home fire-side. Hence the fervour of the poetry of Scotland, especially that branch of it which deals with the affections. Deprived of peace elsewhere, with stunted apprehension, the people naturally sought and found their happiness within the household. Burns expresses the general feeling when he says: -

"To make a happy fireside chime,
To weans and wife –
That’s the true pathos, and sublime
Of human life."

The picture of the Scottish household caught from the poets and romance writers - from Burns, Scott, Hogg, Ramsay, Tannahill, Galt and innumerable others, is eminently vivid and realistic. In the absence of any wider sphere of action, home assumed a prominent place in the thoughts of Scotsmen, not often traceable in countries where the heart has so many claimants upon its notice and regard. In the poems of Burns, the whole gamut of love is master and employed in weaving the most exquisite melody. Is it simple admiration for women, what can be finer than the well-worn song "Green grow the rashes, O"?

"Auld nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O;
Her ‘prentice hand she tried on man
And then she made the lasses, O."

From that light vein of generous appreciation, all the notes in the weird symphony of human affection are tried in turn, with marvelous power until we reach to the height of the poem "To Mary in Heaven," or the concentrated volume of pathos of the verse in the lyric "Ae fond kiss before we part:" –

"Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met and never parted,
We had ne’er been broken-hearted."

Of conjugal affection, the song, "Of a’ the airts the wind can blaw," short as it is, it gives full expression. He is speaking of Jean Armour, his wife: -

"I see her in the dewy flowers,
Sae lovely, sweet and fair;
I hear her in the tunefu’ birds,
I hear her charm the air;
There’s not a bonnie flower that springs
By fountain, shaw, or green;
There’s not a bonnie bird that springs
But minds me o’ my Jean."

Throughout the songs of Burns, the same intense wealth of affection shines with sterling lustre. There is another side to the picture, alas! but there the living man, and not the poet, was at fault. For the most part his songs are full of healthy, strong human affection, embracing all mankind, but garnering itself up peculiarly in the closer attachments of the heart. "The Cotter’s Saturday Night," and "The Epistle to a Young Friend" reveal the inner self of the wayward bard. As it was from life, and lovingly, he depicted the pious home and simple Presbyterian family worship in the one, so from a sad experience, which had taught, but not enforced, wisdom, he wrote: -

"The sacred lowe o’ weel-plac’d love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt the
illicit rove,
Tho’ neathing may divulge it;
I wave the quantum of the sin,
The hazard o’ concealing,
But, och! it hardens a’ within,
And petrifies the feeling !"

Others may better "reck the reed, than ever did th’ adviser," yet one feels a yearning sympathy for that true-hearted man, whose spirit was so willing, and his flesh so very weak. Penitent, cautious self-control, which, in "The Bard’s Epitaph," he calls "wisdom’s root," was not given to him. The words of that self-indited coronach are keen and worth the reading more than once.

"Is there a man whose judgment clear,
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs himself, life’s mad career
Wild as the wave;
Here pause and through the starting tear,
Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn, and wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain’d his name

Dean Stanley has said that the struggle in Scotland during this century has been a conflict of the spirit of Knox with the spirit of Burns. Is it quite certain that such an antagonism really exists? If it were possible—-and perhaps for an outsider it is not—-to analyze dispassionately the phenomena of the two centuries, during the latter part of which these "representative" Scots left the scene, it would be found that both of them were diverse developments of the same type of character—bold, self-reliant, proud, disdainful where there was anything despicable, fiery, impetuous, independent. Knox was recalcitrant, so was Burns; but the energetic enthusiasm of the latter, his fine poetic temper, and the strong predominance of social feeling and passion in his nature made him a rebel against the restraints of Church or public opinion, even when at heart he approved of them. The war in his members never ceased, and if any one really supposes him to have determinedly posed as an enemy to the Presbyterian spirit of Knox or Melville, he has only to study his letters, and then compare his poems, as a whole, gross or refined, with the conscienceless sensuality of Byron.

Burns has naturally claimed a foremost place in the poetry of the affections; but there are others who have struck the celestial lyre in strains not less exalted, in their inspired moments. In the Border Minstrelsy there are so many touching ballads of hapless love, that it would be hard to select any without extending this chapter unduly. Professor Murray cites specially "The Lass of Lochroyan," "Willie and May Margaret," "The Dowie Dens of Yarrow"; but one cannot but agree with him that "Fair Helen of Kirconnell" is unrivalled in impassioned anguish of expression. It is Adam Fleming the favoured lover—at whom his rival aimed the shot which poor Helen, in shielding her lover, received in her breast—who sings "I wish I were where Helen lies," in the plaintive strains of the ballad. The rage, the revenge, the love stronger than death, and even longing for it, succeed one another to an admirable and touching climax. The broken-hearted wail of the concluding stanzas is deeply pathetic:

"I wish my grave were growing green;
A winding-sheet draws o’er my een,
And I in Helen’s arms lying
On fair Kirconnel lee.
I wish I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries,
And I am weary of the skies,
For her sake who died for me!"

On the brighter side of youthful love, there is, says Professor Murray, a remarkable susceptibility to the emotional influences in nature. The loves celebrated in these songs are commonly associated with beautiful scenes; and thus Maxwelton Braes and Kelvin Grove, Gala Water and the Yarrow, The Bonnie Woods of Craigilea, and the Birks of Aberfeldy, as well as a hundred other spots, have attained something like a classical fame.* Still it will generally be found that the human interest, as might be expected, overshadows delight in the beauty of external nature; and, in all the poetry worthy of note, that of Burns and Scott included, there is hardly a trace of lonely communion with the world around. One of the best specimens of amatory poetry in this vein, is Hogg’s "When the Kye comes hame." He had, undoubtedly, a keen eye for nature, and here each verse hints some aspect of the rural scene with the delight of wooing a bonnie lassie.

"Tween the gloamin and the wick,
When the kye comes hame."

Hector Macneill’s "Mary of Castlecary" is a gem in its way, far superior to the "Edwin and Emma" of the ballad and of Goldsmith. Then there are Tannahill’s "Jessie, the Flower of Dumblane," Motherwell’s "Jeanie Morrison," Lyle’s "Kelvin Grove," and innumerable others that will readily occur to the reader. In the pathetic view of social and domestic life, Smibert’s "Scottish Widow’s Lament," Thom’s "Mitherless Bairn," Ballantine’s "Naebody’s Bairn," with that simple little childhood lyric "Castles in the Air," also Ballantine’s, are noteworthy.

Scotland’s poetic roll, however, has been made illustrious above measure by the names of an unprecedented number of female lyricists. ** At the head of these stands unquestionably Caroline, Baroness Nairne, whether the versatility of her genius or the marked individuality of her style, be taken into account. But to enumerate the female poets chronologically we must begin with Lady Grisell Baillie, "the bravest of all Scottish heroines," whose romantic life extended from 1665 to 1746. Her poetic fame rests on one song, a pathetic wail over a wasted "might have been." The refrain gives its name to the poem and is repeated in the 1st line of this, the concluding verse: -

"Oh! were we young as we ance hae been,
We should hae been gallopin’ down yon green,
And linkin’ it ower the lily-white lea;
And werena my heart licht I wad dee."

Allan Cunningham remarked that this song is "very original, very characteristic and very irregular; but Lady Grisell’s life was rather out of the common. She had the cares of a household laid upon her, when a child. The mother was a confirmed invalid and Grisell was the eldest of the eighteen children of Sir Patrick Home, afterwards Earl of Marchmont, who was always in a stew of political trouble in those early days. The heroine of the house was sent upon errands, not usually considered domestic. Her father and her future husband’s father were in trouble with the Stuart rulers. The former escaped to be enobled; the latter suffered for treason when George Baillie was nineteen and Grisell only eighteen. It would be curious to know something of the love-passages between these companions in adversity, when she went to the Tolbooth to see his father, or he stole forth to carry food to Sir Patrick, in the family tomb of Polwarth, lying on a mattress, "among the mouldering bones of his fathers, with his good Kilmarnock cowl drawn well over his brow, defying the cold, as he whiled away the time in repeating George Buchanan’s Latin Psalms," *** the grand text-book by the use of which the Dominies of those days combined classical Latinity, with a due regard for religious training. Sir Patrick went over to Holland, and, as luck would have it, was on the side that turned up right at the Revolution. But there was a terrible time, meanwhile. Poor Grisell had "the heavy end of the string to bear," and bore it, as only such a brave little woman could. The story of her trials and triumphs has been written by her daughter, and no one can read without rejoicing that the noble heroine, who sacrificed so much for kith and kin, lived, through many troubles, a life of peaceful equanimity and died only eight years after the lad who was destined to be her husband and the father of her children. At her death she said that "she could die in peace, that all she desired was to be with George Baillie" —and so she died. +

When Lady Baille had about reached middle age, the writer of the most powerful expression of conjugal love in any language, was born at Greenock. Jean Adam’s long life was a sore struggle with poverty. She early ate the bread of dependence, tried to keep a school for little girls, made a pilgrimage on foot to London, like Jeanie Deans, though upon a different errand, and at last died in the workhouse, the day after her name had been entered on the books as "a poor woman in distress, a stranger who had been wandering about." Jean Adam was the author of "There’s nae luck about the house", yet she died without even knowing the rapturous affection she described, or tasting aught of a mother’s joys. "The last verse," say the authors of the "Songstresses" (Vol. i. p. 48) is the climax of the whole—the ineffable melting of the tremulous laughter into a sudden storm of tears, all glistening as they temper the sunshine of the heart,—

"And will I see his face again?
And will I hear him speak?
I’m downright dizzy with the thocht,
In troth I’m like to greet,"

followed up quickly by the recovered bell-like ring,

"For there’s nae luck about the house,
There’s nae luck at a’,
There’s little pleasure in the house,
When our good man’s awa’."

Two years after Jean Adam "was born in the sea-captain’s house at Crawfordsdyke," Alison Rutherford, better known as Mrs. Cockburn, first saw the light in the mansion-house of Fairnalee near Gala water and the Tweed. She lived during the greater part of the eighteenth century—from 1712 to 1794—and was long the centre of the cultured society of Edinburgh. The biography given by the authors of the "Songstresses" extends over more than one hundred and forty pages; it should be read by all who desire a more intimate acquaintance with one of the most lively, versatile, humorous and thoroughly happy women that ever adorned the capital of any country. Her letters are full of shrewd and pungent remarks upon society, literature, politics, religion and almost every other topic of interest in her eventful time from the ‘45 to the French Revolution. Written in a pleasant, chatty style, they disclose considerable critical power, keen discernment of character, and an accurate insight into the men and doings of the period.++ Our authors observe that "in Alison Cockburn’s long career—which was long enough to make her a connecting link between the Edinburgh of Allan Ramsay and Burns and the Edinburgh of Scott—her house was the rallying-ground, while she herself was a queen of the literati of Edinburgh." (Vol. i. p. 179.) As a poet, she is chiefly known as the writer of another "Flowers of the Forest," the most popular rendering of the theme. The refrain in the alternate verses, the "Flowers of the Forest" are "a’ wede away" reminds us of one already quoted. The first verse runs thus:-

"I’ve seen the smiling
Of fortune beguiling;
I’ve felt all its favours, and found its decay:
Sweet was its blessing,
Kind its caressing;
But now ‘tis fled—fled far away."

The author of "The Flowers of the Forest" was unquestionably Miss Jean Elliott in the first place, and nothing certainly can exceed its tenderness and simplicity. In every respect it surpasses the treatment of the same theme by Mrs. Cockburn:—

"I’ve heard them lilting at our yowe milking,
Lasses a’ lilting before the dawn o’ day;
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaming-
The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away."

Jean Elliott lived from 1727 to 1805, and died an old maid. Miss Susan Blamire is chiefly known as the writer of the popular song, "And Ye Shall Walk in Silk Attire." Jean Glover, who wrote the pretty song "O’er the Muir Amang the Heather," which opens thus:—

"Comin’ through the craigs o’ Kyle,
Amang the bonnie bloomin’ heather,
There I met a bonnie lassie
Keepin’ a’ her flocks the gither."

was an Ayrshire peasant girl, "with a desperate strain of Gipsy wildness and recklessness in her temperament." Like the Ayrshire ploughman, she had a quarrel with the strict discipline of the time; married a strolling player, and died in Ireland at the early age of forty-two. Mrs. Elizabeth Hamilton, the author of that grand domestic lyric—" The Home, Sweet Home of Scotland "—" My Ain Fireside," was Scottish by blood, nature and education, though born in Ireland. It gives the best exposition of domestic life among the Scottish people, and the warmth and power of their home affections. Lady Anne Barnard (1750—1825) came of the ancient race of the Lindsays of Balcarres; but she owes no celebrity to her ancestors, since she immortalized herself in "Auld Robin Gray."

Carolina Oliphant, Baroness Nairne, lived from 1766 till 1845, and, on the whole, must be placed at the top of any list of Scotland’s female poets. She was born in the mansion-house at Gask, in Perthshire, between the Grampians and Octils, with Ben Voirlich for its landmark. Singularly beautiful in youth, she was known as "The Flower of Snathearn." The work she performed for Scottish poetry was partly original and partly in the way of refining the coarse songs in vogue amongst the people. As many of her songs serve to show, Lady Nairne was strongly Jacobite in her feelings, and the "Charlie" poetry owes much to her pen. Her most pathetic piece—one which can never die while human bereavements point the way to an "eternal hope"—is "The Land o’ the Leal,"

I’m wearin’ awa’, John,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John,
I’m wearin’ awa’
To the land o’ the leal.
There’s nae sorrow there, John,
There’s neither cauld nor care, John,
The day is aye fair in the land o’ the leal.’

and so to the last hopeful glance towards the "warld ayont "—

"Oh! hand ye leal and true, John
Your day it’s wearin’ thro’, John,
And I’ll welcome you
To the land o’ the leal.
Now fare ye weel, my ain John,
This warld’s cares are vain, John,
We’ll meet and we’ll be fain,
In the land o’ the leal."

Lady Nairne’s versatile talents embraced a wide range, for we may pass from the paths of this glimpse "behind the veil" to the serio-humorous "Caller Herrin’," and thence to the broad fun of "The Laird of Cockpen." The number of songs she either wholly compiled, or materially altered and embellished, is considerable, including the "Lass of Gowrie," "The Bonnie Brier Bush," "My Ain Kind Dearie, O," "Kind Robin Lo’es Me," "O Wae’s Me on My Ain Man," "Saw Ye Nae My Peggie," "The Auld House" (Gask), "Here’s to Them That are Gone," "The Mitherless Lammie," and a version of "Gude Nicht and Joy be Wi’ Ye A’." Besides a number of comic songs, there is the Jacobite series, including "Wha’ll be King but Charlie?" "Charlie is My Darling," "He’s Ower the Hills that I Lo’e Weel," and "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" The attachment to "the lost cause" runs more or less through most of Lady Nairne’s lyrics; but her strong wealth of wifely and domistic affection is the salient feature in her noblest efforts.

Joanna Baillie’s name is well known in literature, on both sides of the Tweed, for she lived from 1784 to 1851, in London, when she died at the age of eighty-nine in England. A good deal of her Scottish poetry was like Lady Nairne’s, merely a re-cast and purified setting of olden verse. Among her best-known lyrics are "Fy, Let Us A’ to the Wedding," "Horly and Fairly," "The Weary Pund o’ Tow," "Saw Ye Johnnie Comin’," "It Fell on a Morning," "Woo’d and Married and A’," &c. Of the many other female minstrels of the North may be mentioned Mrs. John Hunter – wife of the celebrated surgeon and anatomist – the author of "My Mother Bids me Bind my Hair," and other short pieces; Mrs. Grant of Carron: "Roy’s Wife of Aldivalloch"; Mrs. Dugald Stewart, wife of the philosopher: "The Tears I Shed Must Ever Fall"; Mrs. Agnes Lyon: "Neil Gow’s Farewell to Whisky"; Miss Graham: "The Birkie of Bonnie Dundee"; Isobel Pagan: "Ca’ the Yowes to the Knowes" (written before Burns’ song of the same name); Miss Mary Campbell: "The March of the Cameron Men"; Miss Ogilvy: "The Glomin’ Horn"; and Mrs. Isa Craig Knox, who has written the "Burns’ Centennial" poem, "The Brides of Quair," "My Mary an’ Me," and a number of other lyrics. The contributions to Scottish poetry by its women, gentle and simple, are unprecedented in the literary annals of any country; and they are almost uniformly of sterling merit. Naturally enough the affections form the most prominent feature in these poems, as they do in those of their brother bards. The same glow, purified, under the gentle and mellowing influence of the female type of thought and feeling, is common to both. There is no mistaking the true womanly character of the poems alluded to, but they have all the fire, energy and pathos of the male singers, with more of the chaste and pensive tone of colouring, which sets off the intrinsic beauty of womanhood in manly eyes. The men of Scotland must have been heroic and love-worthy, or the women who displayed so deep and fervent a flow of love, wifely, maternal and patriotic, could never have expended it, in all its fulness, upon them. The great names that have come down to us in history and literature, represent but feebly the domestic life of the Scottish people. There are memoirs, letters, anecdotes, verses from which we can gather an inkling into the essentially pure, peaceful, happy, and nobly contented little world in the Scottish home. But since moderns render their verdict upon a people, as school-boards pay the master, according to results, the moral tone of the contemporary Scot, at home or in Canada, ought to be the crucial test of what the mothers and the homes of the land were through the struggling centuries, and not less in the years of peace, plenty, and advancement, which have succeeded.

If the men in the old time fought and suffered like heroes, then wives and daughters were strong, brave, Christian heroines. In public affairs, the women of Scotland always took an exceptional part. It was the wife, the mother or the sweetheart who decked the Highland clansman, and sent him forth with strong words of cheer to the conflict. And in the Lowlands, the wife of the noble, the landowner, or the statesman, was no cipher in his councils or his work. To read of the struggles during the Reformation troubles, the fierce conflict with the Stuarts after the Reformation, or the Jacobite risings under the first two Hanoverian monarchs, is to note the silver thread of womanly courage, perseverance, astuteness and inventive affection which lightens the dark warp and woof of the texture woven in these rough looms; once, only, does there appear to have been any discord in all the struggles of husband and wife, so strong was the bond of domestic attachment in Scotland. The story of the wife of Grainge, a Lord of Session, is a melancholy and, happily, an exceptional one. She had been suspected of abstracting state papers—an offence not considered heinous in the Foreign Office now-a-days—and her husband and son actually carried her off by night on a fishing vessel, and immured her alive on the lone island of St. Kilda, beyond the outer Hebrides, where she lingered for thirty years, till death released her.+++ But, invariably, with this exception, wherever the student may turn, he will find the wife and mother the cherished adviser, ally and effective help-meet of the husband and father, reviving the despondent, emulating the courage of the brave, and employing her subtle instincts where the lion’s skin, as Richelieu said, must needs be eked out by the foxes. When their lords left the castle, the women of Scotland did not sit at home, wringing their hands and mumbling dismal laments in monotones. They were northern Elizabeths on their little Thames, not content with progresses to Tilbury Fort in war or to Kenilworth in times of peace. They appeared, for the nonce, as lords of the heritage, could muster and harangue retainers, rebuke insubordination and vice, and defend their homes at the head of their people, with a calm vigour of determination which inspired the brave with new courage, and made a true man of the coward. Canadians may find at least one noble example of modest intrepedity, in the hour of danger, in the glowing account of Mademoiselle de Verchères, in Parkman’s" Count Frontenac, and New France under Louis XIV" *+ What the heroine of that defence against the Iroquois approved herself, the Scottish ladies often were at many a trying exigency. No steward or lieutenant in those perilous times could serve his lord, as the faithful wife, his second self, could serve him when danger knocked at the postern.

All through the desperate period from the Restoration, the women of Scotland suffered with patience, or withstood violence by calm and constant bravery, or with those illimitable resources which were suggested by the inspiring energy of religious faith and female affection. In those dark times when violence, with hoof of steel and heart of stone, rode rough shod over the land, and trampled out its freedom and independence, the grandeur and the pathos of Scottish home life, whether in castle or cot, shone out with something of celestial brightness. Whether it were Margaret Wilson at the stake below high-water mark, or Lady Caldwell on the Bass Rock, or Mrs. Veitch, in suffering more than mere bereavement from the Dragoons, the same heroic spirit, the spirit of an earnest piety, which was a part of themselves and of their life, sustained them in tribulation and in death. The words of heavenly assurance and solace came into the inward ear, and found responses through the tremulous voice in the words of the Psalm (xliii, 5.)

"Why art thou then cast down, my soul?
What should discourage thee?
And why with vexing thoughts art thou
Disquieted in me?
Still trust in God; for him to praise
Good cause I yet shall have;
He of my countenance is the health,
My God that doth me save."

That man is to be pitied whom prejudice, or want of generous human enthusiasm, has rendered dead to the story of these times—-the abiding firmness of its men, and the unflinching faith, love and tenderness of its long-suffering and noble-hearted women.*++

The desperate efforts made by Lady Argyll to secure her husband’s pardon; the supplications of her daughter to Middleton—one of the gang of oppressors—for her father’s life, and the Earl’s temporary escape in disguise from Edinburgh Castle, by a wife’s stratagem, are something of a piece with much that was done in Jacobite times by Lady Nithsdale and others on behalf of the Stuart partizans near and dear to them. In every rank of society, during the troubled history of Scotland, from Marjory Bruce downwards, the intelligence, the faith, the ardent and unquenchable affection of its women have stamped their impress not only upon the history, but upon the character, of the Scottish people. There, if anywhere, the woman, whether acknowledged as man’s equal or not, has established her claim to be so bound up in his life as to render any question of superiority or precedence an idle quibble. In war and peace, in the stronghold, in the cottage, in the cave or the prison, in the hall or at the modest ingle, she has been his better self, heroic and undaunted in danger, patient during sorrow or suffering, "a ministering angel" in the long-drawn hours of darkness and distress. That the eminently noble type of women which history, romance and poetry concur in finding north of the Tweed should have failed to exercise its normal influence upon the national character can hardly be conceived. Like produces like; and even variations in development, though they may tend to deterioration, never alter spiritually the main features of the plan wrought out in broad outline during centuries of gestation. The domestic life of Scotland is the fountain from whence all that is good and great in its sons – their religious temper, and those virtues of industry, frugality, integrity and high-mindedness which distinguish the Scot – took their origin. To the home may be traced the uprightness, and much of the strong persistence in honourable effort which have made Scotsmen prosperous and successful in lands "near the setting sun" or upon the dearly prized soil of that auld home across the sea.

*Prof. Murray: The Ballads and Songs of Scotland, p. 79

**Authorities: The Songstresses of Scotland ,by Sarah Tytler and J.L. Watson; and the biographical notices in The Scottish Minstrel, by the Rev. Chas. Rogers, LL.D.

***Songstresses of Scotland, Vol. i. p. 2.

+Ibid. p. 14.

++Her letters to David Hume are especially noteworthy and it may be added that she had no tinge of Jacobitism, unlike most of the literary ladies of the time.

+++ Percy Anecdotes, Vol. iii, page 544. (Warne’s Edition).

*+ Parkman: Frontenac, page 302.

*++ Anderson’s Ladies of the Covenant, has already been often cited; and it must be again referred to here, as an admirable collection of facts in proof of the noble courage and strong religious and domestic affections of Scotswomen.


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