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The Autobiography of Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk
Chapter V - 1746-1748 AGE, 24-26


VAUXHALL furnished early in May a fine entertainment, but I was now urged by my father to return home; and accordingly Charles Congalton and I left London about the middle of May on horseback, and, having Windsor and Oxford to see, we took the west road, and were delighted with the beauty of the country. At Windsor, which charmed us, we met with some old acquaintances—Dr. Francis Home and Dr. Adam Austin, who were then surgeons of dragoons, and who, when afterwards settled at Edinburgh as physicians, became eminent in their line. At Oxford we knew nobody but Dr. John Smith, M.D., who was a Glasgow exhibitioner, and then taught mathematics with success in Oxford. He was a good kind of man, and became an eminent practitioner. He went about with us, and showed us all the colleges, with which we were really astonished. We took the road by Warwick, and were much pleased with that town and Lord Brooks' castle. When we came to Lichfield, we met, as we expected, with John Dickson of Kilbucho, M.P., who accompanied us during the rest of our journey, till we arrived in Scotland.

As three make a better travelling party than two, society was improved by this junction ; for though Kilbucho was a singular man, he knew the country, which he had often travelled ; and his absurdities, which were innocent, amused us. As well as he knew the country, however, when we came to the river Esk, and to the usual place of passing it—for there was then no bridge opposite Gretna Green—although he had insisted on our dismissing the guide we had brought from some distance to show us the road, yet nothing could persuade him, nor even his servant, to venture into that ford which he professed he knew so well. The tide was not up, but the river was a little swollen. Congalton and I became impatient of his obstinate cowardice, and, thinking we observed the footstep of a horse on the opposite side (what we thought a horse's footstep turned out a piece of sea-ware which the tide had left), we ventured in together and got safe through, while the gallant knight of the shire for the county of Peebles, with his squire, stood on the bank till he saw us safe through. This disgusted us not a little, but as I was to part with him at Gretna, and go round by Annan and Dumfries to visit my friends, I had only half an hour more of his company, which I passed in deriding his cowardice. Congalton, anxious to get soon to Edinburgh, accompanied him by the Moffat road. But strange to tell of a Scotch laird, when they came to the Crook Inn, within a few miles of Kilbucho, which lies about half a mile off the road as it approaches Broughton, he wished Congalton a good-evening without having the hospitality to ask him to lodge a night with him, or even to breakfast as he passed next morning. I was happy to find afterwards that all the Tweeddale lairds were not like this savage.

I passed only two days at Dumfries and Tinwald, at which last place my old grandfather, who was then seventy-two, was rejoiced to see me, and not a little proud to find that his arguments had prevailed, and had sufficient force to prevent my deviating into any other profession than the clerical. When I returned to my father's house, I found all the family in good health except my brother William, who was then in his sixteenth year, and had all the appearance of going into a decline. My favourite sister Catherine had fallen a prey to the same disease in February. I had described to Gregory when at Leyden the state of her health, and the qualities of mind and temper that had attached me to her so strongly. He said that I would never see her again, for those exquisite qualities were generally attached to such a frail texture of body as promised but short duration. William was as remarkable in one sex as she was in the other; an excellent capacity for languages and sciences, a kind and generous temper, a magnanimous soul, and that superior leading mind that made him be always looked up to by his companions; with a beautiful countenance and a seemingly well-formed body, which were not proof against the slow but certain progress of that insidious disease. He lived to November 1747, and then, to my infinite regret, gave way to fate.

I had only one sermon to deliver before the Presbytery of Haddington to become a preacher, which was over in June. My first appearances were attended to with much expectation ; and I had the satisfaction to find that the first sermon I ever preached, not on trials, which was on the fast day before the sacrament at Tranent, had met with universal approbation. The genteel people of Prestonpans parish were all there; and one young lady, to whom I had been long attached, not having been able to conceal her admiration of my oratory, I inwardly applauded my own resolution of adhering to the promise I had made my family to persevere in the clerical profession.

I revisited Dumfries and Tinwald again to preach two Sundays for my grandfather, who gave me his warmest approbation. One Mr. William Stewart, an old clergyman, who heard me on a week-day at Dumfries, gave me more self-confidence, for he was a good judge, without partiality. I returned home, and continued composing a sermon now and then, which I first preached for my father, and then in the neighbourhood.

Our society was still pretty good; for though Hew Horn [Hew Horn Dalrymple. See p. 60,] was no more, Mr. Keith had left us, and Cheap's eldest son, Alexander, had been killed at the battle of Fontenoy,—Mr. William Grant, then Lord Advocate, had bought Prestongrange, and resided much there : Lord Drummore, too, was still in the parish, and with both of them I was in good habits. Hew Bannatine had been ordained minister of Ormiston, who was a first-rate man for sound understanding and classical learning ; Robertson was at Gladsmuir; and in January 1747 John Home was settled at Athelstaneford ; so that I had neighbours and companions of the first rank in point of mind and erudition.

In harvest this year I was presented by John Hay, Esq. of Spot, to the church of Cockburnspath. As my father and grandfather were always against resisting Providence, I was obliged to accept of it. It was an obscure distant place, without amenity, comfort, or society, where if I had been settled, I would have more probably fallen into idleness and dissipation than a course of study; for preferment is so difficult to be obtained in our Church, and so trifling when you have obtained it, that it requires great energy of mind not to fall asleep when you are fixed in a country charge. From this I was relieved, by great good-luck. There was a Mr. Andrew Gray, afterwards minister of Abernethy, who was a very great friend of my father's. He had been preaching one Sunday in the beginning of 1747 for Fred. Carmichael, minister of Inveresk, and stayed with him all night: from him he had drawn the secret that President Forbes, who lived in his parish, [Lord President Forbes had the liferent of Stoneyhill from the famous Colonel Charteris, in recognition of the successful issue of a criminal charge brought against the Colonel in which Forbes, then Lord Advocate, defended him.] had secured for him a church that was recently vacant in Edinburgh. Gray, who was very friendly and ardent, and knew my father's connections, urged him without loss of time to apply for Inveresk. By this time I had preached thrice at Cockburnspath, and was very acceptable to the people. My father was unwilling to take any step about a church that would not even be vacant for a year to come; but Gray was very urgent, and backed all his other arguments with my father with the idea that his not doing his utmost would be peevishly rejecting the gift of Providence when within his reach. My father at last mounted his horse, for that he would have done had the distance been but half a mile, and away he went, and found Lord Drummore on the point of going to Edinburgh for the week. My father opened his budget, which he received most cordially, and told him there was great probability of success, for that he was well enough to write both to the Duke of Buccleuch [Francis, second Duke of Buccleuch, who died in 1751.] the patron, and to the Duke of Queensberry, his brother-in-law. Besides that, Provost Bell of Dumfries had everything to say with the Duke of Queensberry. In a few posts there were favourable answers from both the dukes, and a promise of Inveresk.

Lord Drummore was a true friend of my father, and had in summer 1746 recommended me to Lord Stair for one of his churches that was about to be vacant by the translation of the minister; and I preached a day at Kirkliston before his lady with that view. But the translation did not take place at that time. Mr. Hay had presented me to Cockburnspath, and on that I would have been settled. The Crown, soon after I gave it up, commenced a prosecution against Mr. Hay, and were found to have the right. Mr. John Hay of Spot was a very good man, though not of remarkable talents: he died unmarried, and the estate went to his brother William. My father had been their tutor in the year 1714-15, and they retained the greatest regard for him.

In the preceding winter I had preached three times at Cockburnspath, and was so acceptable to the people that I should have an unanimous call, which was on the point of being moderated when the promise of Inveresk was obtained. My father wished me to let my settlement go on, but I resisted that, as I thought it was tampering with people to enter into so close a relation with them that was so soon to be dissolved. The puzzle was how to get off from the Presbytery of Dunbar, who were desirous of having me among them; but I soon solved the difficulty by saying to Lord Drummore and my father that nothing could be so easy; for as I had accepted of the presentation by a letter of acceptance, I had nothing to do but to withdraw that acceptance; this I accordingly did in January or February 1747. At this period it was that John Home was settled in Athelstaneford, which he obtained by the interest of Alexander Home, Esq. of Eccles, afterwards Solicitor-General, with Sir Francis Kinloch, who was his uncle. He was still alive as well as his lady, but his son David, who was the year before married to Harriet Cockburn, the sister of Sir Alexander, was living in the house of Gilmerton, which, as it had been always hospitable, was rendered more agreeable by the young people; for the husband was shrewd and sensible, and his wife beautiful, lively, and agreeable, and was aspiring at some knowledge and taste in belles-lettres. This house, for that reason, became a great resort for John Home and his friends of the clergy.

This summer, 1747, passed as usual in visiting Dumfriesshire, where I had many friends and relations; where, in addition to the rest, I became well acquainted with Mr. William Cunningham, at that time minister of Durrisdeer, and one of the most accomplished and agreeable of our order. When the Duchess of Queensberry was at Drumlanrig, where she was at least one summer after he was minister, she soon discovered his superior merit, and made him her daily companion, insomuch that the servants and country people called him her Grace's walking-staff. My cousin, William Wight, afterwards professor at Glasgow, was a great favourite of this gentleman, and used to live much with him in summer during the vacation of the College of Edinburgh, and was very much improved by his instructive conversation.

My sister Margaret, who had been brought up at Dumfries by her aunt Bell, who had no children, was now past fifteen, and already disclosed all that beauty of person, sweetness of temper and disposition, and that superiority of talents which made her afterwards be so much admired, and gave her a sway in the politics of the town which was surprising in so young a female. Her uncle, George Bell, was the political leader, who was governed by his wife—who was swayed by her neice and Frank Paton, Surveyor of the Customs, who was a very able man, and who, with my sister, were the secret springs of all the provost's conduct.

Dr. Thomas Dickson, who was his nephew, by his solicitation, after trying London for nine years, was prevailed on by his uncle, the provost, to come down to Dumfries in 1755, to try his fortune as a practitioner of physic; but Dr. Even Gilchrist was too well established, and the field too narrow, for him to do anything ; so at the end of a year he returned to London again, where he did better. During that year, however, he did what was not very agreeable to me. He gained my sister's affections, and a promise of marriage, though in point of mind there was a very great inequality; but he had been the only young man in the town whose conversation was enlightened enough for her superior understanding, and she had been pestered by the courtship of several vulgar and illiterate blockheads, to be clear of whom she engaged herself, though that engagement could not be fulfilled for four years or more, when their uncle the provost was dead, and Dickson in better circumstances.

I had, for three weeks this summer, been at the goat-whey with Mrs. Cheap's family, at a place called Duchery, at the head of the Forth, where I met Captain David Cheap, above mentioned. There was also the magnet which drew me after her, with unseen though irresistible power,—the star that swayed and guided all my actions ; and there I hoped that, by acquiring the esteem of the uncle, I had the better chance of obtaining my object. In the first I succeeded, but in the last I finally failed, though I did not desist from the persistence for several years after. In the end of this year my brother William died, at the age of seventeen, who, in spite of his long bad health, was likely to have acquired as much learning and science as, with his good sense, would have made him a distinguished member of society. He was much regretted by all his companions, who loved him to excess. His own chief regret was, that he was not to live to see me minister of Inveresk, the prospect of which settlement so near my father had given him much satisfaction.

When Mr. Frederick Carmichael was translated to Edinburgh, and the time drew near when I was to be presented to Inveresk, there arose much murmuring in the parish against me, as too young, too full of levity, and too much addicted to the company of my superiors, to be fit for so important a charge, together with many doubts about my having the grace of God, an occult quality which the people cannot define, but surely is in full opposition to the defects they saw in me. [In his Recollections, he adds to this catalogue of objections —"I danced frequently in a manner prohibited by the laws of the Church; that I wore my hat agee; and had been seen galloping through the Links one day between one and two o'clock."] A part of my early history was on this occasion of more effect than can be conceived. There was one Ann Hall, a sempstress, who had lived close by the manse of Prestonpans when I was a boy. She was by this time married at Dalkeith, and a Seceder of the strictest sect, and a great leader among her own people. As many people from Inveresk parish frequented her shop at Dalkeith on market-days, the conversation naturally fell on the subject of who was to be their minister. By this time I had been presented, but they said it would be uphill work, for an opposition was rising against so young a man, to whom they had many faults, and that they expected to be able to prevent the settlement. " Your opposition will be altogether in vain," says Mrs. Ann, "for I know that it is foreordained that he shall be your minister. He foretold it himself when he was but six years of age; and you know that `out of the mouths of babes and sucklings,'" etc. The case was, that soon after I had read the Bible to the old wives in the churchyard, as I mentioned (p. 4), I was diverting myself on Mrs. Ann's stairhead, as was often the case. She came to the door, and, stroking my head and caressing me, she called me a fine boy, and hoped to live to see me my father's successor. " No, no," says I (I suppose, alarmed at the thoughts of my father dying so soon), "I'll never be minister of that church but yonder's my church," pointing to the steeple of Inveresk, which was distinctly seen from the stairhead. She held up her hands with wonder, and stored it up in her heart; and telling this simple story twenty times every market-day to Musselburgh people for several months, it made such an impression that the opposition died away. The reign of enthusiasm was so recent, that such anecdotes still made an impression on the populace.

After all the forms were gone through, and about a year had elapsed after the translation of Mr. Frederick Carmichael to Edinburgh, I was ordained minister of Inveresk, on the 2nd of August, O.S., 1748, by Mr. Robert Paton, minister of Lasswade (as honest and gentlemanly a person as any of his cloth), with the almost universal goodwill of the parish. The only person of consideration who was not present at the ordination was Sir James Dalrymple [Second baronet of Hailes, Haddingtonshire, and Newhailes, Midlothian. M.P. for the former county 1722-1734.] of Newhailes, who had taken umbrage at his being refused the presentation, when he had applied for it to Gersham Carmichael, the brother of Frederick. He and his family, however, attended the church on the first Sunday after the ordination, when he came round and welcomed me to the parish, and invited me to dine with him the next day, which I did, and continued ever after in perfect friendship with him till his death in 1751.

Sir James Dalrymple was the son of Sir David, who had been King's Advocate from 1709 to 1720, and was the youngest, and, as was said, the ablest, of all the sons of the first Lord Stair. He had loaded himself with debt in the South Sea, but his son Sir James was Auditor of the Exchequer, which enabled him to keep up the rank of his family. He was hospitable and gentlemanly, and very charitable. He died in 1751 of a lingering disorder (an anasarca), and wished me to be often with him when he was ill; and though he never wished me to pray with him when we were left alone, always gave the conversation a serious turn, and talked like a man who knew lie was dying. His lady (Lady Christian Hamilton, a sister of the celebrated Lord Binning, who died before him) had warned me against speaking to him about death, "for Jamie," she said, "was timid;" so I allowed him always to lead the conversation. One day we were talking of the deistical controversy, and of the progress of deism, when he told me that he knew Collins, the author of one of the shrewdest books against revealed religion. He said he was one of the best men lie ever had known, and practised every Christian virtue without believing in the Gospel; and added, that though he had swam ashore on a plank—for he was sure he must be in heaven—yet it was not for other people to throw themselves into the sea at a venture. This proved him to be a sincere though liberal-minded Christian. I was sorry for his death, for he was respected in the parish, and had treated me with much kindness.

There was a Mr. James Graham, advocate, living here at this time, a man of distinguished parts and great business. He was raised to the bench in 1749, and died in 1751. He had one daughter, Mrs. Baron Mure. He was an open friendly man, and gave me every sort of countenance both as his minister and friend, and was a man of great public spirit. He was liable in a great degree to a nervous disorder, which oppressed him with low spirits: he knew when he was going to fall ill, and as it sometimes confined him for three months, he sent back his fees to the agents, who all of them waited till he recovered, and applied to him again. He was Dougalstone's brother, and a very powerful barrister. [Dougalston was the name of the family estate, inherited by the elder brother. The Judge took the title of Lord Easdale.—J. H. B.]

Lord Elchies, a senior Judge, lived at Carberry, in the parish, and was in all respects a most regular and exemplary parishioner. [Patrick Grant, Lord Elchies, well known to lawyers by his Collection of Reports of the Decisions of the Court of Session from 1733 to 1754, arranged in alphabetical order, according to the matter of the legal principle involved in each case. See TYTLER's Life of Kames, i. 39.—J. H. B.] His lady, who was a sister of Sir Robert Dickson's, was dead, and his family consisted of three sons and three or four daughters, unmarried, for some of the elder daughters were married. He came every Sunday with all his family to church, and remained to the afternoon service. As he lived in the House of Carberry, he had the aisle in the church which belonged to that estate, where there was a very good room, where he retired to a cold collation, [A "cold collation" in the laird's room at church was a common practice in the eighteenth century. It was the only apartment in which there was a fireplace.—Graham's Social Life in the Eighteenth Century.] and took Sir Robert Dickson and me always with him when I did not preach in the afternoon. He was an eminent Judge, and had great knowledge of the law; but though he was held to be a severe character, I found him a man agreeable and good-tempered in society. He attended as an elder at the time that the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered, and followed one practice, in which he was singular. It is the custom for elders to serve tables in sets and by turns, that all may serve and none be fatigued. When it was his turn to retire to his seat, he entered it, as it was close by the communion-table, but never sat down till the elements were removed, which could not be less than an hour and a half. I mentioned this singularity to him one day, wishing to have it explained, when he said that he thought it irreverent for any one who ministered at the table to sit down while the sacred symbols were present. He removed to the House of Inch, nearer Edinburgh (when an owner came to live at Carberry, about the year 1752), and died of a fever in 1754, being one of nine Judges who died in the course of two years, or a little more. His eldest son was Mr. Baron Grant; his second, Robert, captain of a fifty-gun ship, died young; Andrew, the third, survived his brothers, and died, as the Baron did, in Granada.

Sir Robert Dickson of Carberry, Bart., was great-grandson of Dr. David Dickson, a celebrated professor of divinity in Edinburgh, who was one of the committee who attended the Scotch army in England, in Charles I.'s time, and got his share of the sum that was paid for delivering the King to the English army. His having acquired an estate in those days does not imply that he had acquired much money, for land was very cheap in those days. There was annexed to the estate the lordship of Inveresk, now in the Duke of Buccleuch, with the patronage of the parish.

This Sir Robert, being a weak vain man, had got through his whole fortune. The estate was sold, and he now lived in a house in Inveresk, opposite to Mr. Colt's, called Rosebank, built near a hundred years before by Sir Thomas Young, Knight. Sir Robert Dickson's lady was a daughter of Douglas of Dornoch, a worthy and patient woman, who thought it her duty not only to bear, but palliate the weaknesses and faults of her husband. They had one son, Robert, who was in the same classes at the College with me, and was very promising. He went young to the East Indies to try to mend their broken fortunes, and died in a few years. There were three or four daughters. Sir Robert had obtained an office in the Customs or Excise of about ~Z3o, on which, by the good management of his wife and daughters, he in those days lived very decently, and was respected by the common people, as he had been once at the head of the parish. He loved twopenny and low company, which contributed to his popularity, together with his being mild and silent even in his cups. Colin Campbell, Esq., who had been Collector at Prestonpans, and was promoted to the Board of Customs in 1738, lived now at Pinkie House, and had several sons and daughters, my early companions.

There lived at that time, in the corner of Pinkie House, by himself, Archibald Robertson, commonly called the Gospel, uncle to the celebrated Dr. Robertson—a very singular character, who made great part of our amusement at Pinkie House, as he came through a passage from his own apartment every night to supper, and dined there likewise, as often as he pleased, for which he paid them a cart of coals in the week, as he took charge of Pinkie coal, which his brother-in-law, William Adam, architect, and he, had a lease of. He was a rigid Presbyterian, and a severe old bachelor, whose humours diverted us much. He was at first very fond of me, because he said I had common sense, but he doubted I had but little of the grace of God in me; and when Dr. George Kay, one of his great friends, posed him on that notion, he could not explain what he meant, but answered that I was too good company to have any deep tincture of religion. Kay then asked if he thought he had any grace, as he had seen him much amused and pleased when he sang, which was more than I could do. He replied, that his singing, though so excellent, did not much raise him in his opinion.

There was likewise living at Inveresk, John Murray, Esq., Clerk of Session, of the Ochtertyre family, who, having been a rake and spendthrift, had married Lucky Thom, a celebrated tavern-keeper, to clear £4000 of debt that he had contracted to her. [Lest the reader should doubt the printer's accuracy, it is deemed prudent to state that £4000 is the actual amount stated in the author's MS.] She was dead, but there was a fine girl of a daughter, who kept house for her father. There was very good company, especially of the Jacobite party, came about the house, where I was very often.

There was likewise Mr. Oliver Colt, who resided in the family house in Inveresk, who, in two or three years afterwards, by the death of an uncle and brother, had come to a large fortune. He was descended of those clergymen of the parish, [The first clergyman in Inveresk of that name was Adam Coult or Colt. He took his degree at St. Andrews in 1585 and became a regent of Edinburgh University the following year. He was minister of Inveresk for forty-two years and was succeeded by his son Oliver who held the charge for twenty-eight years. Oliver's eldest son, Robert, became Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and Solicitor-General for Scotland, and was knighted by Charles II. He was succeeded by his son Adam, also an advocate and Dean of Faculty, whose son Oliver is referred to by Dr. Carlyle.] the first of whom was ordained in 1609, whose father, I have heard, was a professor at St. Andrews.

Oliver was a man of mean appearance and habits, and had passed much of his time with the magistrates and burghers of Musselburgh, and, having humour, was a great master of their vulgar wit. When he grew rich, he was deserted by his old friends, and had not manners to draw better company about him, insomuch that, having been confined for a good while to his house by illness, though not keeping his room, when an old lady, a Mrs. Carse, went in to ask for him, he complained bitterly that it was the forty-third day that he had been confined, and no neighbour had ever come near him. He married afterwards a lady of quality, and had enough of company. His son Robert, who died in 1798, was one of the best and worthiest men that ever the parish bred in my time, and I was much afflicted with his early death.

The magistrates and town-council were at this time less respectable than they had been ; for the Whigs, in 1745, had turned out the Jacobites, who were more gentlemanlike than their successors, and were overlooked by Government, as Musselburgh was only a burgh of regality, dependent on the Duke of Buccleuch. The new magistrates were of very low manners and habits, but good Whigs and Presbyterians. All of the burghers, except two of the old magistrates, Smart and Vernon, still preserved the old custom at their family feasts of making the company pay for their drink. There were few or no shops in the town, and but one in each of the streets of Musselburgh and Fisherrow, where even a pound of sugar could be bought, and that always one penny per pound dearer than at Edinburgh; so that they had very little sale at a time when a woman would have run to Edinburgh with her basket, and brought half a hundredweight for a groat, which did not rise to above sixpence till after the year 1760.

There were no lodging-houses at this time in the town, and as it was a dragoon quarter, where generally two troops lay, the officers were obliged to accept their billets in burghers' houses. The only lodging I remember was in a by-street, between Musselburgh and Newbigging, where the late General George Ward and his chum lodged for a year, and where a corporal and his wife would not think themselves well accommodated now. As in those days the dragoons generally stayed two years in Scotland, and did not always change quarters at the end of a year, I became intimate with Ward, then a lieutenant, a sensible man and a good scholar, and pleasant company, though he stuttered.

I have not yet mentioned the two most able inhabitants here at this time, who were Alexander Wood, surgeon, and Commissioner Cardonnel. Sandie Wood was very young, not above twenty-one or twenty-two ; but there being an opening here by means of the illness of the senior practitioner, Wood was invited out by a few of the principal people, and got immediately into some business. His father, an opulent farmer in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, [His father was the youngest son of Mr. Wood of Warriston, Midlothian. "Wood's Farm" extended over the northern slope of the new town from Queen Street to Canonmills and the farmhouse stood at the western extremity near what is now Wemyss Place. Chambers says:—"Game used to be plentiful upon these grounds—in particular partridges and hares."] had bound him an apprentice to his brother, a surgeon, well employed by people of inferior rank, and surgeon to the poorhouse, then recently erected. Sandie Wood was a handsome stout fellow, with fine black eyes, and altogether of an agreeable and engaging appearance. He was perfectly illiterate in everything that did not belong to his own profession, in which even he was by no means a great student. Some scrapes he got into with women drove him from this place in two or three years for his good. One gentlewoman he got with child, and did not marry. When lie got over this difficulty, another fell with child to him, whom he married. She died of her child; and Sanders was soon after called to a berth in Edinburgh, on the death of his uncle.

Sanders supplied his want of learning with good sense, and a mind as decisive as his eye was quick. He knew the symptoms of diseases with a glance, and having no superfluous talk about politics or news—for books very few of the profession knew anything about—he wasted no time in idle talk, like many of his brethren, but passed on through steep and narrow lanes, and upright stairs of six or seven stories high, by which means he got soon into good business, and at last, his hands being as good as his eyes, on the death of George Lauder he became the greatest and most successful operator for the stone, and for all other difficult cases. His manners were careless and unpolished, and his roughness often offended; but it was soon discovered that, in spite of his usual demeanour, he was remarkably tender-hearted, and never slighted any case where there was the least danger. I found him always a very honest, friendly, and kind physician. He is doing business yet in his seventy-fourth year, and although his faculties are impaired, and his operations long over, he gives satisfaction to his patients. He has always been convivial, belongs to many clubs, and sings a good song.

The other person was Mansfelt Cardonnel, Esq., Commissioner of the Customs. His father, Adam de Cardonnel (for they were French Protestants by descent), had been secretary to the Duke of Schomberg, [There appears to be some confusion in Dr. Carlyle's narrative of the Cardonnel family. Adam de Cardonnel was secretary to the Duke of Marlborough, and on the Duke's recommendation became Secretary at War. He acquired considerable wealth, not entirely, it was alleged, by legitimate means. He had an only daughter Mary, who was his heir, and at the age of fifteen became the wife of William, first Earl of Talbot and first Baron Dynevor. Their daughter Cecil succeeded to the barony as Baroness Dynevor on the death of her father, and her son became the second Lord Dynevor.] who was killed at the battle of the Boyne, at the age of eighty. He had been affronted the day before by King William not having intrusted him as usual with his plan of the battle, as Adam de Cardonnel told his son. Another brother, James, was secretary to the Duke of Marlborough, and had made a large fortune. His daughter and heiress was Lady Talbot, mother of Lord Dynevor. My friend's mother was a natural daughter of the Duke of Monmouth; and as he was by some other line related to Waller the poet, he used to boast of his being descended from the Usurper as well as the royal line. He was not a man of much depth of genius, but he had a right sound understanding, and was a man of great honour and integrity, and the most agreeable companion that ever was. He excelled in story-telling, like his great-grandfather, Charles ii., but he seldom or ever repeated them, and indeed had such a collection as served to season every conversation. He was very fond of my companions, particularly of John Home, who was very often with me. On a very limited income he lived very hospitably; he had many children, but only one son, a doctor, remained. The son is now Adam de Cardonnel Lawson of Chirton, close by Shields, a fine estate that was left him by a Mr. Hilton Lawson, a cousin of his mother's, whose name was Hilton, of the Hilton Castle family, near Sunderland. [There is an "Adam de Cardonnel" known as the author of a work on the Scottish Coinage, and of Picturesque Antiquities of Scotland, containing etchings of many of the ruined ecclesiastical and baronial buildings of Scotland. The editor has often endeavoured, without success, to find out who it was that took so much interest in these architectural relics, and made so meritorious an effort to represent them in his sketches. From his peculiar name there can be little doubt that he was a member of the family referred to by the author.—J. H. B. The "Adam de Cardonnel" referred to in the footnote is the same person mentioned by Dr. Carlyle as assuming the name of Lawson on succeeding to the Chirton Estate. He was the first Curator of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1782-1784). He was of great assistance to Grose and accompanied him on several expeditions. He Ieft Scotland about 1798.]

There was another gentleman, whom I must mention, who then lived at Loretto, a Mr. Hew Forbes, a Principal Clerk of Session. He was a nephew of the celebrated President Duncan Forbes, and had, at the request of his uncle, purchased Loretto from John Steel, a minion of the President's, who had been a singer in the concert, but had lost his voice, and was patronised by his lordship, and had for some years kept a celebrated tavern in that house. [In the novel "St. Johnstoun," dealing with the time of James iv., Loretto is referred to as a well-known hostelry.] Hew Forbes was the second of three brothers, whom I have seen together, and, to my taste, had more wit and was more agreeable than either of them. Arthur, the eldest, laird of Pittencrieff and a colonel in the Dutch service, was a man of infinite humour, which consisted much in his instantaneous and lively invention of fictions and tales to illustrate or ridicule the conversation that was going on; and as his tales were inoffensive, though totally void of truth, they afforded great amusement to every company. The third brother, John, was the gentleman who retrieved our affairs in North America, after Braddock's defeat. He was an accomplished, agreeable gentleman, but there appeared to me to be more effort and less naivete in his conversation than in that of Hew, whose humour was genuine and natural.

With so many resident families of distinction, my situation was envied as superior to most clergymen for good company and agreeable society ; and so it was at that period preferable to what it has often been since, when the number of genteel families was doubled or tripled, as they have long been. But though I lived very well with the upper families, and could occasionally consort with the burgesses, some of whom, though unpolished, were sensible people; yet my chief society was with John Home, and Robertson, and Bannatine, and George Logan, who were clergymen about my own age, and very accomplished.

In the month of October this year I had a very agreeable jaunt to Dumfriesshire to attend the marriage of my cousin, Jean Wight, with John Hamilton, the minister of Bolton. She was very handsome, sprightly, and agreeable—about twenty; he a sensible, knowing man. . . . [The rest of his character is scored out, so as to be totally illegible; and in the handwriting in which the original MS. is altered throughout, the sentence stands, "He was not less than thirty-five; and though a sensible, knowing man, was in other respects seerningly unsuitable for so young and so lively a woman."] John Home was his "best man;" I was the lady's attendant of the same occupation, according to the fashion of the times. We set out together on horseback, but so contrived it that we had very little of the bridegroom; for being in a greater haste to get to his journey's end than we were, he was always at the baiting-place an hour before us, where, after our meal, we lingered as long after he had departed. Our grandfather Robison wished to solemnise this first marriage of any of his grandchildren at his own house at Tinwald, which, though an ordinary manse, had thirty people to sleep in it for two or three nights. John Home and I had been one day in Dumfries with the bridegroom, where we met with George Bannatine, our friend Hew's brother, at that time minister of Craigie. As he was an old schoolfellow of Hamilton's, we easily induced him to ask him to the marriage; and George, having a great deal of Falstaffian humour, helped much to enliven the company. Home and he and I, with Willie Wight, the bride's brother, then a fine lad of eighteen, had to ride four miles into Dumfries to our lodgings at Provost Bell's, another uncle of mine, after supper, where Bannatine's vein of humour kept us in perpetual laughter.

I shall take this opportunity of correcting a mistake into which the English authors have fallen, in which they are supported by many of the Scotch writers, particularly by those of the Mirror,—which is, that the people of Scotland have no humour. That this is a gross mistake, could be proved by innumerable songs, ballads, and stories that are prevalent in the south of Scotland, and by every person old enough to remember the times when the Scottish dialect was spoken in purity in the low country, and who have been at all conversant with the common people. Since we began to affect speaking a foreign language, which the English dialect is to us, humour, it must be confessed, is less apparent in conversation. The ground of this pretension in the English to the monopoly of humour is their confounding two characters together that are quite different—the humorist and the man of humour. The humorist prevails more in England than in any country, because liberty has long been universal there, and wealth very general, which I hold to be the father and mother of the humorist. This mistake has been confirmed by the abject humour of the Scotch, who, till of late years, allowed John Bull, out of flattery, to possess every quality to which he pretended.

John Home was an admirable companion, and most acceptable to all strangers who were not offended with the levities of a young clergyman, for he was very handsome and had a fine person, about 5 feet io- inches, and an agreeable catching address; he had not much wit, and still less humour, but he had so much sprightliness and vivacity, and such an expression of benevolence in his manner, and such an unceasing flattery of those he liked (and he never kept company with anybody else)—the kind commendations of a lover, not the adulation of a sycophant—that he was truly irresistible, and his entry to a company was like opening a window and letting the sun into a dark room.

After passing eight days at Dumfries, with such a variety of amusement as would fill half a volume of a novel, we returned with our young couple home to East Lothian, and passed two or three days with them at their residence.

There was an assistant preacher at Inveresk when I was ordained, whose name was George Anderson, the son of a clergyman in Fife, and, by his mother, grandson of a Professor Campbell of Edinburgh, [Professor George Campbell, minister of Dumfries, appointed to the Chair of Divinity in Edinburgh University in 1690.] who made a figure in the divinity chair towards the end of the seventeenth century. His aunt was the mother of Dr. John Gregory of Edinburgh; but he had not partaken of the smallest spark of genius from either of the families. He was good-natured and laborious in the parish, however, and likely to fall into the snare of such kind of people, by partaking of their morning hospitality—viz, a dram, very usual in those days. He was reckoned an excellent preacher by the common people, because he got a sermon faithfully by heart (his father's, I suppose), and delivered it with a loudness and impetuosity surpassing any schoolboy, without making a halt or stop from beginning to end. This galloping sort of preaching pleased the lairds as well as the people, for Sir David Kinloch was much taken with him, and he would have been popular in all respects had not his conversation and conduct betrayed his folly. With a very small income, he ventured [to marry] a handsome sempstress, Peggy Derquier, the daughter of a Swiss ensign, who had got into the British army. They had children, and a very slender subsistence, not above £40 per annum, so that I was obliged to look about for some better berth for them. At last, in 1751, a place cast up in South Carolina, to which he and his family were with difficulty sent out, as a sum of money had to be borrowed to fit out him and his wife and two children for the voyage. I was one of his securities for the money, and lost nothing but the interest of £50 for two years. His wife was mettlesome, and paid up the money the year after he died, which was not above two years ; for poor George, being a guzzling fellow, could not remain long enough from Charlestown, near which his meeting-house was, till he recovered his strength after a severe fever: the rum-punch got the better of him, and he relapsed and died. His widow, being still handsome and broody, married well next time, and got her children well provided for.

In a ludicrous poem which John Home wrote on the march of his Volunteers to the battle of Falkirk, he gives Anderson his character under the nickname of Lungs—for the wags called him Carlyle's Lungs on account of his loud preaching—of which I remember one line,—

"And if you did not beat him, Lungs was pleased."

Like other gluttons, Lungs was a coward, and the first man at Leith after the battle—for he was a Volunteer in the company of which Home was a lieutenant—and showed his activity chiefly in providing the company with victuals and drink, in begging of which he had no shame.


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