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Reminiscences of Scottish Life & Character
Chapter 7 - On Scottish Stories of Wit and Humour (Part 2)


Apropos to stories connected with ministers and pipers, there cannot be a better specimen than the famous one preserved by Sir Walter Scott, in his notes to Waverley, which I am tempted to reproduce, as possibly some of my readers may have forgotten it. The gudewife of the inn at Greenlaw had received four clerical guests into her house, a father and three sons. The father took an early opportunity of calling the attention of the landlady to the subject of his visit, and, introducing himself, commenced in rather a pompous manner: "Now, confess, Luckie Buchan, you never remember having such a party in your house before. Here am I, a placed minister, with my three sons, who are themselves all placed ministers." The landlady, accustomed to a good deal of deference and attention from the county families, not quite liking the high tone assumed by the minister on the occasion, and being well aware that all the four were reckoned very poor and uninteresting preachers, answered rather drily, "‘Deed, minister, I canna just say that I ever had sic a party before in the hoose, except it were in the ‘45, when I had a piper and his three sons—a’ pipers. But," she added quietly, as if aside, "deil a spring could they play amang them."

I have received from Rev. William Blair, A.M., U.P. minister at Dunblane, many kind communications. I have made a selection, which I now group together, and they have this character in common, that they are all anecdotes of ministers:—

Rev. Walter Dunlop of Dumfries was well known for pithy and facetious replies: he was kindly known under the appellation of our "Watty Dunlop." On one occasion two irreverent young fellows determined, as they said, to "taigle" [Confound] the minister. Coming up to him in the High Street of Dumfries, they accosted him with much solemnity—"Maister Dunlop, dae ye hear the news ? " "What news?" "Oh, the deil’s deed." "Is he? "said Mr Dunlop, "then I maun pray for twa faitherless bairns." On another occasion Mr Dunlop met, with characteristic humour, an attempt to play off a trick against him. It was known that he was to dine with a minister whose house was close to the church, so that his return back must be through the churchyard. Accordingly some idle and mischievous youths waited for him in the dark night, and one of them came up to him, dressed as a ghost, in hopes of putting him in a fright. Watty’s cool accost speedily upset the plan: "Weel, Maister Ghaist, is this a general rising, or are ye juist takin’ a thunder frae yer grave by yersell?" I have received from a correspondent another specimen of Watty’s acute rejoinders. Some years ago the celebrated Edward Irving had been lecturing at Dumfries, and a man who passed as a wag in that locality had been to hear him. He met Watty Dunlop the following day, who said, "Wed, Willie, man, an’ what do ye think of Mr Irving?" "Oh," said Willie, contemptuously, "the man’s crack’t." Dunlop patted him on the shoulder, with a quiet remark, "Willie, ye’ll aften see a light peeping through a crack!"

He was accompanying a funeral one day, when he met a man driving a flock of geese. The wayward disposition of the bipeds at the moment was too much for the driver’s temper, and he indignantly cried out, "Deevil choke them!" Mr Dunlop walked a little farther on, and passed a farmstead, where a servant was driving out a number of swine, and banning them with "Deevil tak’ them!" Upon which, Mr Dunlop stepped up to him, and said, "Ay, ay, my man: your gentleman ‘II be wi’ ye i’ the noo; he’s juist back the road there a bit, choking some geese till a man."

Shortly after the Disruption, Dr Cook of St Andrews was introduced to Mr Dunlop, upon which occasion Mr Dunlop said, "Weel, sir, ye’ve been lang Cook, Cooking them, but ye’ve dished them at last."

Mr Clark of Dalreoch, whose head was vastly disproportioned to his body, met Mr Dunlop one day. "Weel, Mr Clark, that’s a great head o’ yours." "Indeed it is, Mr Dunlop: I could contain yours inside of my own." "Juist sae," quietly replied Mr Dunlop: "I was e’en thinkin’ it was geyan toom." [Empty]

Mr Dunlop happened one day to be present in a church court of a neighbouring presbytery. A Rev. Doctor was asked to pray, and declined. On the meeting adjourning, Mr Dunlop stepped up to the Doctor, and asked how he did. The Doctor, never having been introduced, did not reply. Mr Dunlop withdrew, and said to his friend, "Eh! but isna he a queer man, that Doctor, he’ll neither speak to God nor man."

The Rev. John Brown of Whitburn was riding out one day on an old pony, when he was accosted by a rude youth: "I say, Mr Broon, what gars your horse’s tail. wag that way?" "Oo, juist what gars your tongue wag: it’s fashed wi’ a wakeness."

About sixty years ago there were two ministers in Sanquhar of the name of Thomson, one of whom was father of the late Dr Andrew Thomson of Edinburgh, the other was father of Dr Thomson of Balfron. The domestic in the family of the latter was rather obtrusive with her secret devotions, sometimes kneeling on the stairs at night, and talking loud enough to be heard. On a communion season she was praying devoutly and exclusively for her minister; "Remember Mr Tamson, no’ him at the Green, but oor ain Mr Tamson."

Rev. Mr Leslie of Morayshire combined the duties of justice of peace with those of parochial clergyman. One day he was taken into confidence by a culprit who had been caught in the act of smuggling, and was threatened with a heavy fine. The culprit was a staunch Seceder, and owned a small farm, Mr Leslie, with an -old-fashioned zeal for the Established Church, said to him, "The king will come in the cadger’s road some day. Ye wadna come to the parish kirk, though it were to save your life, wad ye? Come noo, an’ I’se mak’ ye a’ richt!" Next Sabbath the seceding smuggler appeared in the parish kirk, and as the paupers were receiving parochial allowance, Mr Leslie slipped a shilling into the smuggler’s hand. When the J.P. Court was held, Mr Leslie was present, when a fine was proposed to be exacted from the smuggler. "Fine!" said Mr Leslie; "he’s mair need o’ something to get duds to his back. He’s ane o’ my poor roll; I gie’d him a shilling just last Sabbath.

A worthy old Seceder used to ride from Gargunnock to Buchlyvie every Sabbath to attend the Burgher kirk. One day as he rode past the parish kirk of Kippen, the elder at the plate accosted him, "I’m sure, John, it’s no’ like the thing to see you ridin’ in sic a doonpour o’ rain sac far by to thae Seceders. Ye ken the mercifu’ man is mercifu’ to his beast. Could ye no’ step in by?" "Weel," said John, "I wadna care sae muckle about stablin’ my beast inside, but it’s anither thing mysel’ gain’ in."

The Rev. Dr George Lawson of Selkirk acted for many years as theological tutor to the Secession Church. One day, on entering Divinity Hall, he overheard a student remark that the professor’s wig was uncombed. That same student, on that very day, had occasion to preach a sermon before the Doctor, for which he received a bit of severe criticism, the sting of which was in its tail: "You said my wig wasna kaimed this mornin’, my lad, but I think I’ve redd your head to you."

The Rev. John Heugh of Stirling was one day admonishing one of his people of the sin of intemperance; "Man, John, you should never drink except when you’re dry." "Weel, sir," quoth John, "that’s what I’m aye doin’, for I am never slocken’d."

The Rev. Mr M— of Bathgate came up to a streetpaviour one day, and addressed him, "Eh, John, what’s this you’re at?" "Oh! I’m mending the ways o’ Bathgate !" "Ah, John, I’ve long been trying to mend the ways o’ Bathgate, an’ they’re no’ weel yet." "Weel, Mr M., if you had tried my plan, and come doon to your knees, ye wad maybe hae come mair speed!"

There once lived in Cupar a merchant whose store contained supplies of every character and description, so that he was commonly known by the sobriquet of Robbie A’Thing. One day a minister, who was well known for a servile use of MS. in the pulpit, called at the store, asking for a rope and pin to tether a young calf in the glebe. Robbie at once informed him that he could not furnish such articles to him. But the minister, being somewhat importunate, said, " Oh! I thought you were named Robbie A’Thing from the fact of your keeping all kinds of goods." "Weel a weel," said Robbie, "I keep a’thing in my shop but calf’s tether-pins and paper sermons for ministers to read."

It was a somewhat whimsical advice, supported by whimsical argument, which used to be given by an old Scottish minister to young preachers, when they visited from home, to "sup well at the kail, for if they were good they were worth the supping, and if not they might be sure there was not much worth coming after them."

A good many families in and around Dunblane rejoice in the patronymic of Dochart. This name, which sounds somewhat Irish, is derived from Loch Dochart, in Perthshire. The M’Gregors having been proscribed, were subjected to severe penalties, and a group of the clan having been hunted by their superiors, swam the stream which issues from Loch Dochart, and in gratitude to the river they afterwards assumed the family name of Dochart. A young lad of this name, on being sent to Glasgow College, presented a letter from his minister to Rev. Dr Heugh of Glasgow. He gave his name as Dochart, and the name in the letter was M’Gregor. "Oh," said the Doctor, "I fear there is some mistake about your identity, the names don’t agree." "Weel, sir, that’s the way they spell the name in our country."

The relative whom I have mentioned as supplying so many Scottish anecdotes had many stories of a parochial functionary whose eccentricities have, in a great measure, given way before the assimilating spirit of the times. I mean the old SCOTTISH BEADLE, or betheral, as he used to be called. Some classes of men are found to have that nameless but distinguishing characteristic of figure and aspect which marks out particular occupations and professions of mankind. This was so much the case in the betheral class, that an old lady, observing a well-known judge and advocate walking together in the street, remarked to a friend as they passed by, "Dear me, Lucy, wha are thae twa beddle-looking bodies?" They were often great originals, and, I suspect, must have been in past times somewhat given to convivial habits, from a remark I recollect of the late Baron Clerk Rattray, viz., that in his younger days he had hardly ever known a perfectly sober betheral. However, this may have been, they were, as a class, remarkable for quaint humour, and for being shrewd observers of what was going on. I have heard of an occasion where the betheral made his wit furnish an apology for his want of sobriety. He had been sent round the parish by the minister to deliver notices at all the houses, of the catechising which was to precede the preparation for receiving the communion. On his return it was quite evident that he had partaken too largely of refreshment since he had been on his expedition. The minister reproached him for this improper conduct. The betheral pleaded the pressing hospitality of the parishioners. The clergyman did not admit the plea, and added, "Now, John, I go through the parish, and you don’t see me return fou’, as you have done." "Ay, minister," rejoined the betheral, with much complacency, "but then aiblins ye’re no’ sae popular i’ the parish as me."

My relative used to tell of one of these officials receiving, with much ceremony, a brother betheral, from a neighbouring parish, who had come with the minister thereof for the purpose of preaching on some special occasion. After service, the betheral of the stranger clergyman felt proud of the performance of the appointed duty, and said in a triumphant tone to his friend, "I think oor minister did weel; ay, he gars the stour flee oot o’ the cushion." To which the other rejoined, with a calm feeling of superiority, "Stour oot o’ the cushion! hout, our minister, sin’ he cam’ wi’ us, has dung the guts oot o’ twa Bibles." Another description I have heard of an energetic preacher more forcible than delicate—"Eh, oor minister had a great power o’ watter, for he grat, and spat, and swat like mischeef." An obliging anonymous correspondent has sent me a story of a functionary of this class whose pride was centred not so much in the performance of the minister as of the precentor. He states that he remembers an old beadle of the church which was called "Haddo’s Hole," and sometimes the "Little Kirk," in Edinburgh, whose son occasionally officiated as precentor. He was not very well qualified for the duty, but the father had a high opinion of his son’s vocal powers. In those days there was always service in the church on the Tuesday evenings; and when the father was asked on such occasions, "Who’s to preach to-night?" his self-complacent reply used to be, "I divna ken wha’s till preach, but my son’s for till precent." The following is a more correct version of a betheral story than one which occupied this page in the last edition. The beadle had been asked to recommend a person for the same office and his answer was, "If ye had wanted twa or three bits o’ elder bodies, I cud hae gotten them for ye as easily as penny baps oot of Mr Rowan’s shop," pointing to a baker’s shop opposite to where the colloquy took place; "or even if ye had wanted a minister, I might hae helpit ye to get ane; but as for a gude beadle, that’s about the maist difficult thing I ken o’ just now."

Perhaps the following may seem to illustrate the self-importance of the betheral tribe. The Rev. Dr Hugh Blair was one Sunday absent from his pulpit and next morning meeting his beadle in the street he inquired how matters went in the High Church on Sabbath. "‘Deed, I dare say no’ very weel," was the answer; "I wasna there ony mair than yoursell."

Mr Turnbull of Dundee kindly sends me an excellent anecdote of the "Betheral" type, which illustrates the esprit de corps of the betheralian mind. The late Dr Robertson of Glasgow had, while in the parish of Mains, a quaint old church attendant of the name of Walter Nicoll, commonly called "Watty Nuckle," whom he invited to come and visit him after he had been removed to Glasgow. Watty accordingly ventured on the (to him) terrible journey, and was received by the Doctor with great kindness. The Doctor, amongst other sights, took, him to see the Cathedral church, and showed him all through it, and after they were coming away the Doctor asked Watty what he thought of it, and if it was not better than the Mains church. Watty shook his head, and said, "Aweel, sir, you see she’s bigger; but she has nae laft, and she’s sair fashed wi’ thae pillars."

On the same subject of beadle peculiarities, I have received from Mrs Mearns of Kineff Manse an exquisitely characteristic illustration of beadle professional habits being made to bear upon the tender passion:— A certain beadle had fancied the manse housemaid, but at a loss for an opportunity to declare himself, one day—a Sunday—when his duties were ended, he looked sheepish, and said, "Mary, wad ye tak a turn, Mary?" He led her to the churchyard, and pointing with his finger, got out, "My fowk lie there, Mary; wad ye like to lie there?" The grave hint was taken, and she became his wife, but does not yet lie there.

Here is another good example of betheral refinement or philosophy. He was carefully dressing up a grave, and adjusting the turf upon it. The clergyman, passing through the churchyard, observed, "That’s beautiful sod, Jeems." "Indeed is’t, minister, and I grudge it upon the grave o’ sic a scamp."

This class of functionaries were very free in their remarks upon the preaching of strangers, who used occasionally to occupy the pulpit of their church— the city betherals speaking sometimes in a most condescending manner of clergy from the provincial parishes. As, for example, a betheral of one of the large churches in Glasgow, criticising the sermon of a minister from the country who had been preaching in the city church, characterised it as "gude coorse country wark." A betheral of one of the churches of St Giles, Edinburgh, used to call on the family of Mr Robert Stevenson, engineer, who was one of the elders. On one occasion they asked him what had been the text on such a night, when none of the family had been present. The man of office, confused at the question, and unwilling to show anything like ignorance, poured forth, "Weel, ye see, the text last day was just entirely, sirs—yes—the text, sirs—what was it again ?—ou ay, just entirely, ye see it was, ‘What profiteth a man if he lose the world, and gain his own soul?’" Most of such stories are usually of an old standing. A more recent one has been told me of a betheral of a royal burgh much decayed from former importance, and governed by a feeble municipality of old men, who continued in office, and in fact constituted rather the shadow than the substance of a corporation. A clergyman from a distance having come to officiate in the parish church, the betheral, knowing the terms on which it was usual for the minister officiating to pray for the efficiency of the local magistracy, quietly cautioned the clergyman before service that, in regard to the town-council there, it would be quite out of place for him to pray that they should be a "terror to evil-doers," because, as he said,. "the puir auld bodies could be nae terror to onybody." A minister of Easter Anstruther, during the last century, used to say of the magistrates of Wester Anstruther, that "instead of being a terror to evil-doers, evil-doers were a terror to them."

The "minister’s man" was a functionary well known in many parishes, and who often evinced much Scottish humour and original character. These men were (like the betheral) great critics of sermons, and often severe upon strangers, sometimes with a sly hit at their own minister. One of these, David, a well-known character, complimenting a young minister who had preached, told him, "Your introduction, sir, is aye grand; its worth a’ the rest o’ the sermon—could ye no’ mak’ it a’ introduction?"

David’s criticisms of his master’s sermons were sometimes sharp enough and shrewd. On one occasion, driving the minister home from a neighbouring church where he had been preaching, and who, as he thought, had acquitted himself pretty well, inquired of David what he thought of it. The subject of discourse had been the escape of the Israelites from Egypt. So David opened his criticism: "Thocht o’t, sir? ‘deed I thocht nocht o’t ava. It was a vara imperfect discourse in ma opinion; ye did weel eneuch till ye took them through, but where did ye leave them? just daunerin’ o’ the sea-shore without a place to gang till. Had it no’ been for Pharaoh they had been better on the other side, where they were comfortably encampit, than daunerin’ where ye left them. It’s painful to hear a sermon stoppit afore it’s richt ended, just as it is to hear ane streekit out lang after it’s dune. That’s ma opinion o’ the sermon ye gied us to-day." "Very freely given, David, very freely given; drive on a little faster, for I think ye’re daunerin’ noo yersell." .

To another who had gone through a long course of parish official life a gentleman one day remarked: "John, ye hae been sae lang about the minister’s hand that I dare say ye could preach a sermon yersell now." To which John modestly replied, "O na, sir, I couldna preach a sermon, but maybe I could draw an inference." "Well, John," said the gentleman, humouring the quiet vanity of the beadle, "what inference could ye draw frae this text,’ A wild ass snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure?’" (Jer. ii., 24) " Weel, sir, I wad draw this inference, he would snuff a lang time afore he would fatten upon’t." I had an anecdote from a friend, of a reply from a betheral to the minister in church, which was quaint and amusing from the shrewd self-importance it indicated in his own acuteness. The clergyman had been annoyed during the course of his sermon by the restlessness and occasional whining of a dog, which at last began to bark outright. He looked out for the beadle, and directed him very peremptorily, "John, carry that dog out." John looked up to the pulpit and, with a very knowing expression, said, "Na, na, sir; I’se just mak’ him gae out on his ain four legs." I have another story of canine misbehaviour in church. A dog was present during the service, and .in the sermon the worthy minister was in the habit of speaking very loud, and, in fact, when he got warmed with his subject, of shouting almost at the top of his voice. The dog, who, in the early part, had been very quiet, became quite excited, as is not uncommon with some dogs when hearing a noise, and from whinging and whining, as the speaker’s voice rose loud and strong, at last began to bark and howl. The minister, naturally much annoyed at the interruption, called upon the betheral to put out the dog, who at once expressed his readiness to obey the order, but could not resist the temptation to look up to the pulpit, and to say very significantly, "Ay, ay, sir; but indeed it was yersell began it." There is a dog story connected with Reminiscences of Glasgow (see Chambers’s Journal, March 1855), which is full of meaning. The bowls of rum-punch which so remarkably characterised the Glasgow dinners of last century and the early part of the present, it is to be feared made some of the congregation given to somnolency on the Sundays following. The members of the town-council often adopted Saturday for such meetings; accordingly, the Rev. Mr Thom, an excellent clergyman, [It was of this minister, Mr Thom of Govan, that Sir Walter Scott remarked "that he had demolished all his awn chances of a Glasgow benefice, by preaching before the town-council from a text in Hosea, ‘Ephraim’s drink is sour.’"] took occasion to mark this propensity with some acerbity. A dog had been very troublesome, and disturbed the congregation for some time, when the minister at last gave orders to the beadle, "Take out that dog; he’d wauken a Glasgow magistrate."

The parochial grave-diggers had sometimes a very familiar professional style of dealing with the solemn subjects connected with their office. Thus I have heard of a grave-digger pointing out a large human bone to a lady who was looking at his work, of digging a grave, and asking her: ‘D’ye ken wha’s bane that is, mem?—that’s Jenny Fraser’s hench-bane"; adding with a serious aspect, "a weel-baned family thae Frasers."

It would be impossible in these Reminiscences to omit the well-known and often repeated anecdote connected with an eminent divine of our own country, whose works take a high place in our theological literature. The story to which I allude was rendered popular throughout the kingdom some years ago, by the inimitable mode in which it was told, or rather acted, by the. late Charles Matthews. But Matthews was wrong in the person of whom he related the humorous address. I have assurance of the parties from a friend, whose father, a distinguished clergyman in the Scottish Church at the time, had accurate knowledge of the whole circumstances. The late celebrated Dr Macknight, a learned and profound scholar and commentator, was nevertheless, as a preacher, to a great degree heavy, unrelieved by fancy or imagination; an able writer, but a dull speaker. His colleague, Dr Henry, well-known as the author of a History of England, was, on the other hand, a man of great humour, and could not resist a joke when the temptation came upon him. On one occasion when coming to church, Dr Macknight had been caught in a shower of rain, and entered the vestry soaked with wet. Every means were used to relieve him from his discomfort; but as the time drew on for divine service he became much distressed, and ejaculated over and over, "Oh, I wush that I was dry. Do you think I’m dry? Do you think I’m dry eneuch noo?" His jocose colleague could resist no longer, but, patting him on the shoulder, comforted him with the sly assurance, "Bide a wee, Doctor, and ye’se be dry eneuch when ye get into the pu’pit."

Another quaint remark of the facetious doctor to his more formal colleague has been preserved by friends of the family. Dr Henry, who with all his pleasantry and abilities, had himself as little popularity in the pulpit as his coadjutor, had been remarking to Dr Macknight what a blessing it was that they were two colleagues in one charge, and continued dwelling on the subject so long, that Dr Macknight, not quite pleased at the frequent reiteration of the remark, said that it certainly was a great pleasure to himself, but he did not see what great benefit it might be to the world. "Ah," said Dr Henry, "an it hadna been for that, there wad hae been twa toom [Empty] kirks this day." Lord Cockburn tells a characteristic anecdote of Dr Henry’s behaviour the last day of his life. I am indebted to a gentleman, himself also a distinguished member of the Scottish Church, for an authentic anecdote of this learned divine, and which occurred whilst Dr Macknight was the minister of Maybole. One of his parishioners, a well-known humorous blacksmith of the parish, who; no doubt, thought that the Doctor’s learned books were rather a waste of time and labour for a country pastor, was asked if his minister was at home. The Doctor was then busy bringing out his laborious and valuable work, his Harmony of the Four Gospels. "Na, he’s gane to Edinburgh on a verra useless job." On being asked what this useless work might be which engaged his pastor’s time and attention, he answered, "He’s gane to mak’ four men agree wha ne’er cast oot." The good humoured and candid answer of a learned and rather long-winded preacher of the old school always appeared to me quite charming. The good man was far from being a popular preacher, and yet he could not reduce his discourses below the hour and a half. On being asked, as a gentle hint of their possibly needless length, if he did not feel tired after preaching so long, he replied, "Na, na, I’m no’ tired"; adding, however, with much naïveté, "But, Lord, how tired the fowk whiles are."

The late good, kind-hearted Dr David Dickson was fond of telling a story of a Scottish termagant of the. days before kirk-session discipline had passed away. A couple were brought before the court, and Janet, the wife, was charged with violent and undutiful conduct, and with wounding her husband by throwing a three-legged stool. at his head. The minister rebuked her conduct, and pointed out its grievous character, by explaining that just as Christ was head of his Church, so the husband was head of the wife; and therefore in assaulting him, she had in fact injured her own body. "Weel," she replied, "it’s come to a fine pass gin a wjfe canna kame her ain head"; "Ay, but, Janet," rejoined the minister, "a three-legged stool is a thief-like bane-kame to scart yer ain head wi’ !"

The following is a dry Scottish case, of a minister’s wife quietly "kaming her husband’s head." Mr Mair, a Scotch minister, was rather short-tempered, and had a wife named Rebecca, whom for brevity’s sake he addressed as "Becky." He kept a diary, and among other entries, this one was very frequent—" Becky and I had a rippet, for which I desire to be humble." A gentleman who had been on a visit to the minister went to Edinburgh, and told the story to a minister and his wife there; when the lady replied "Weel, he must have been an excellent man, Mr Mair. My husband and I sometimes too have ‘rippets,’ but catch him if he’s ever humble."

Our object in bringing up and recording anecdotes of this kind is to elucidate the sort of humour we refer to, and to show it as a humour of past times. A modern clergyman could hardly adopt the tone and manner of the older class of ministers—men not less useful and beloved, on account of their odd Scottish humour, which indeed suited their time. Could a clergyman, for instance, now come off from the trying position in which we have heard of a northern minister being placed, and by the, same way through which he extricated himself with much good nature and quiet sarcasm? A young man, sitting opposite to him in the front of the gallery, had been up late on the previous night, and had stuffed the cards with which he had been occupied into his coat pocket. Forgetting the circumstance, he pulled out his handkerchief, and the cards all flew about. The minister simply looked at him, and remarked, "Eh, man, your psalm-buik has been ill bund."

An admirable story of a quiet pulpit rebuke is traditionary in Fife, and is told of Mr Shirra, a Seceding minister of Kirkcaldy, a man still well-remembered by some of the older generation for many excellent and some eccentric qualities. A young officer of a volunteer corps on duty in the place, very proud of his fresh uniform, had come to Mr Shirra’s church, and walked about as if looking for a seat, but in fact to show off his dress, which he saw was attracting attention from some of the less grave members of the congregation. He came to his place, however, rather quickly, on Mr Shirra quietly remonstrating, "O man, will ye sit doun, and we’ll see your new breeks when the kirk’s dune." This same Mr Shirra was well-known from his quaint, and, as it were, parenthetical comments which he introduced in his reading of Scripture; as, for example, on reading from the 116th Psalm, "I said in my haste all men are liars," he quietly observed, "Indeed, Dauvid, my man, an ye had been i’ this parish ye might hae said it at your leisure."

There was something even still more pungent in the incidental remark of a good man, in the. course of his sermon, who had in a country place taken to preaching out of doors in the summer afternoons. He used to collect the people as they were taking air by the side of a stream outside the village. On one occasion he had unfortunately taken his place on a bank, and fixed himself on an ants’ nest. The active habits of those little creatures soon made the position of the intruder upon their domain very uncomfortable; and, afraid that his audience might observe something of this discomfort in his manner, he apologised by the remark: "Brethren, though I hope I have the Word of God in my mouth, I think the deil himself has gotten into my breeks."

There was often no doubt a sharp conflict of wits when some of these humorist ministers came into collision with members of their flocks who were also humorists. Of this nature is the following anecdote, which I am assured is genuine:—A minister in the north was taking to task one of his hearers who was a frequent defaulter, and was reproaching him as a habitual absentee from public worship. The accused vindicated himself on the plea of a dislike to long sermons. "‘Deed, man," said the reverend monitor, a little nettled at the insinuation thrown out against himself, "if ye dinna mend, ye may land yersell where ye’ll no’ be troubled wi’ mony sermons either lang or short." "Weel, aiblins sae," retorted John, "but that mayna be for want o’ ministers."

An answer to another clergyman, Mr Shireff, parochial minister of St Ninian’s, is indicative of Scottish and really clever wit. One of the members of his church was John Henderson or Anderson—a very decent douce shoemaker—and who left the church and joined the Independents, who had a meeting in Stirling. Some time afterwards, when Mr Shireff met John on the road, he said, "And so, John, I understand you have become an Independent?" "‘Deed, sir," replied John, "that’s true." "Oh, John," said the minister, "I’m sure you ken that a rowin’ (rolling) stane gathers nae fog "(moss). "Ay," said John, "that’s true too; but can ye tell me what guid the fog does to the stane?" Mr Shireff himself afterwards became a Baptist. The wit, however, was all in favour of the minister in the following :— Dr Gilchrist, formerly of the East Parish of Greenock, and who died minister of the Canongate, Edinburgh, received an intimation of one of his hearers who had been exceedingly irregular in his attendance that he had taken seats in an Episcopal chapel. One day soon after, he met his former parishioner, who told him candidly that he had "changed his religion." "Indeed," said the Doctor quietly; "how’s that? I ne’er heard ye had ony." It was this same Dr Gilchrist who gave the well-known quiet but forcible rebuke to a young minister whom he considered rather conceited and fond of putting forward his own doings, and who was to officiate in the Doctor’s church. He explained to him the mode in which he usually conducted the service, and stated that he always finished the prayer before the sermon with the Lord’s Prayer. The young minister demurred at this, and asked if he "might not introduce any other short prayer?" "Ou ay," was the Doctor’s quiet reply, "gif ye can gie us onything better."

There is a story current of a sharp hit at the pretensions of a minister who required a little set-down. The scene was on a Monday by a burn near Inverness. A stranger is fishing by a burn side one Monday morning, when the parish minister accosts him from the other side of the stream thus :—" Good sport?" "Not very." "I am also an angler," but, pompously, "I am a fisher of men." "Are you always successful?" "Not very." "So I guessed, as I keeked into your creel Basket for fish] yesterday."

At Banchory, on Deeside, some of the criticisms and remarks on sermons were very quaint and characteristic. My cousin had asked the Leys grieve what he thought of a young man’s preaching, who had been more successful in appropriating the words than the ideas of Dr Chalmers. He drily answered, "Ou, Sir Thomas, just a floorish o’ the surface." But the same hearer bore this unequivocal testimony to another preacher whom he really admired. He was asked if he did not think the sermon long: "Na, I should nae hae thocht it lang an I’d been sitting on thorns."

I think the following is about as good a sample of what we call Scotch "pawky" as any I know :—A countryman had lost his wife and a favourite cow on the same day. His friends consoled him for the loss of the wife; and being highly respectable, several hints and offers were made towards getting another for him. "Ou ay," he at length replied; "you’re a’ keen eneuch to get me anither wife, but no’ yin o’ ye offers to gie me anither coo."

The following anecdotes, collected from different contributors, are fair samples of the quaint and original character of Scottish ways and expressions, now becoming more and more matters of reminiscence:— A poor man came to his minister for the purpose of intimating his intention of being married. As he expressed, however, some doubts on the subject, and seemed to hesitate, the minister asked him if there were any doubts about his being accepted. No, that was not the difficulty; but he expressed a fear that it might not be altogether suitable, and he asked whether, if he were once married, he could not (in case of unsuitability and unhappiness) get unmarried. The clergyman assured him that it was impossible; if he married, it must be for better and worse; that he could not go back upon the step. So thus instructed he went away. After a time he returned, and said he had made up his mind to try the experiment, and he came and was married. Ere long he came back very disconsolate, and declared it would not do at all; that he was quite miserable, and begged to be unmarried. The minister assured him that was out of the question, and urged him to put away the notion of anything so absurd. The man insisted that the marriage could not hold good, for the wife was "waur than the deevil." The minister demurred, saying that it was quite impossible. "‘Deed, sir," said the poor man, "the Bible tells ye that if ye resist the deil he flees frae ye, but if ye resist her she flees at ye."

A faithful minister of the gospel, being one day engaged in visiting some members of his flock, came to the door of a house where his gentle tapping could not be heard for the noise of contention within. After waiting a little he opened the door and walked in, saying, with an authoritative voice, "I should, like to know who is the head of this house." "Weel, sir," said the husband and father, "if ye sit doun a wee, we'll maybe be able to tell ye, for we’re just trying to settle that point."

I have received from my kind correspondent, Rev. Mr Hogg of Kirkmahoe, the following most amusing account of a passage-at-arms between a minister and "minister’s man," both of them of the old school. The minister of a parish in Dumfriesshire had a man who had long and faithfully served at the manse. During the minister’s absence, a ploughing match came off in the district, and the man, feeling the old spirit return with the force of former days, wished to enter the lists, and go in for a prize, which he did, and gained the fifth prize. The minister, on his return home, and glancing at the local newspaper, saw the report of the match, and the name of his own man in the prize-list. Being of a crusty temper, he rang the bell in fury, and summoned John, when the following colloquy took place :—"John, how is this? Who gave you leave to go to the ploughing-match?" "You were not at hame, sir." "Well, you should have written to me." "I didn’t think it was worth while, sir, as we had our ain ploughing forrit." [Well advanced] "That may be; but why were you not higher in the prize-list? I’m ashamed of you, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for being so far behind." John’s patience had given way, and, in his haste he burst forth, "Indeed, I’m thinking, sir, that if ye were at a preaching match, and five-and-thirty in the field, ye wadna come in for onything, let a-be for a fift’."

Stories of humorous encounters between ministers and their hearers are numerous, and though often seasoned with dry and caustic humour, they never indicate appearance of bitterness or ill-feeling between the parties. As an example, a clergyman thought his people were making rather an unconscionable objection to his using a MS. in delivering his sermon. They urged, "What gars ye tak up your bit papers to the pu’pit?" He replied that it was best, for really he could not remember his sermon, and must have his papers. "Weel, weel, minister, then dinna expect that we can remember them."

Some of these encounters arise out of the old question of sleeping in church. For example: "I see, James, that you tak’ a bit nap in the kirk," said a minister to one of his people; "can ye no tak a mull with you? and when you become heavy an extra pinch would keep you up." "Maybe it wad," said James, "but pit you the sneeshin intil your sermon, minister, and maybe that’ll serve the same purpose." As a specimen of the matter-of-fact view of religious questions frequently recorded of older ministers, let me adduce a well-authenticated account of a minister in a far up-hill parish in Deeside. Returning thanks one Sabbath for the excellent harvest, he began as usual, "O Lord, we thank Thee," etc., and went on to mention its abundance, and its safe ingathering; but, feeling anxious to be quite candid and scrupulously truthful, added, "all except a few sma’ bitties at Birse no’ worth o’ mentioning."

A Scotch preacher, a man of large stature, being sent to officiate one Sunday at a country parish, was accommodated at night, in the manse, in a very diminutive closet—the usual best bedroom, appropriated to strangers, being otherwise occupied. "Is this the bedroom?" he said, starting back in amazement. "‘Deed ay, sir, this is the prophets’ chalmer." "It maun be for the minor prophets, then," was the quiet reply.

Elders of the kirk, no doubt, frequently partook of the original and humorous character of ministers and others, their contemporaries; and amusing scenes must have passed, and good Scotch sayings been said, where they were concerned. Dr Chalmers used to repeat one of these sayings of an elder with great delight. The Doctor associated with the anecdote the name of Lady Glenorchy and the church which she endowed; but I am assured that the person was Lady Elizabeth Cunninghame, sister of Archibald, eleventh Earl of Eglinton, and wife of Sir John Cunninghame, Bart., of Caprington, near Kilmarnock. It seems her ladyship had, for some reason, taken offence at the proceedings of the Caprington parochial authorities, and a result of which was that she ceased putting her usual liberal offering into the plate at the door. This had gone on for some time, till one of the elders, of less forbearing character than the others, took his turn at the plate. Lady Elizabeth as usual passed by without a contribution, but made a formal curtsy to the elder at the plate, and sailed up the aisle. The good man was determined not to let her pass so easily, so he quickly followed her, and urged the remonstrance: "Gie us mair o’ your siller and less o’ your mainners, my Lady Betty." My kind correspondent, Rev. Mr Agnew, supplies me with an amusing pendant to this anecdote :—At a great church meeting, Dr Chalmers had told this story with much effect when Lord Galloway was in the chair. After the meeting, Dr Chalmers, and many who had been present, dined at his lordship’s hospitable table. After dinner, when the morning meeting was discussed, Lord Galloway addressed Dr Chalmers on the subject of this story and, as if not quite pleased at its being introduced, said, "Do you know, Doctor, the lady of whom you told the story of the elder is a near relation of mine?" Dr Chalmers, with real or seeming simplicity, answered, "No, my lord, I did not; but next time I tell the story I can mention the fact." As a pendant to the elder’s disclaimer of "mainners" on the part of a lady of rank, I may add an authentic anecdote of a very blunt and unpolished Kincardineshire laird, expressing the same disclaimer of mainners on the part of a servant, but in a far rougher form of speech. He had been talking with a man who, came to offer for his service as a butler. But the laird soon found he was far too grand a gentleman for his service, and became chafed with his requiring so many things as conditions of coming; till, on his dismissal, when the man was bowing and scraping to show how genteel he could be, he lost all patience, and roared out, "Get out, ye fule; gie us nane o’ your mainners here."

Of an eccentric and eloquent professor and divine of a northern Scottish university, there are numerous and extraordinary traditionary anecdotes. I have received an account of some of these anecdotes from the kind communication of an eminent Scottish clergyman, who was himself in early days his frequent hearer. The stories told of the strange observations and allusions which he introduced into his pulpit discourses almost surpass belief. For many reasons, they are not suitable to the nature of this publication, still less could they be tolerated in any pulpit administration now, although familiar with his contemporaries. The remarkable circumstance, however, connected with these eccentricities was, that he introduced them with the utmost gravity, and oftentimes, after he had delivered them, pursued his subject with great earnestness and eloquence, as if he had said nothing uncommon. One saying of the professor, however, out of the pulpit, is too good to be omitted, and may be recorded without violation of propriety. He happened to meet at the house of a lawyer, whom he considered rather a man of sharp practice, and for whom he had no great favour, two of his own parishioners. The lawyer jocularly and ungraciously put the question; "Doctor, these are members of your flock; may I ask, do you look upon them as white sheep or as black sheep?" "I don’t know," answered the professor drily, "whether they are black or white sheep, but I know that if they are long here they are pretty sure to be fleeced."

It was a pungent answer given by a Free Kirk member who had deserted his colours and returned to the old faith. A short time after the Disruption, the Free Church minister chanced to meet him who had then left him and returned to the Established Church. The minister bluntly accosted him: "Ay, man, John, an’ ye’ve left us; what micht be your reason for that? Did ye think it wasna a guid road we was gaun?" "Ou, I daursay it was a guid eneuch road and a braw road; but, O minister, the tolls were unco high."

The following story I received from a member of the Penicuik family:—Dr Ritchie, who died minister of St Andrew’s, Edinburgh, was, when a young man, tutor to Sir G. Clerk and his brothers. Whilst with them, the clergyman of the parish became unable, from infirmity and illness, to do his duty, and Mr Ritchie was appointed interim assistant. He was an active young man, and during his residence in the country had become fond of fishing, and was a good shot. When the grouse-shooting came round, his pupils happened to be laid up with a fever, so Mr Ritchie had all the shooting to himself. One day he walked over the moor so far that he became quite weary and footsore. On returning home he went into a cottage, where the good woman received him kindly, gave him water for his feet, and refreshment. In the course of conversation, he told her he was acting as assistant minister of the parish, and he explained how far he had travelled in pursuit of game, how weary he was, and how completely knocked up he was. "Weel, sir, I dinna doubt ye maun be sair travelled and tired wi’ your walk." And then she added, with sly reference to his profession, "‘Deed, sir, I’m thinkin’ ye micht hae travelled frae Genesis to Revelation and no’ been sae forfauchten." [Wearied]

Scotch people in general are, like this old woman, very jealous, as might be expected, of ministers joining the sportsman to their pastoral character. A proposal for the appointment of a minister to a particular parish, who was known in the country as a capital shot, called forth a rather neat Scottish pun, from an old woman of the parish, who significantly observed, "Deed, Kilpatrick would hae been a mair appropriate place for him." Paatrick is Scotch for partridge.

I cannot do better in regard to the three following anecdotes of the late Professor Gillespie of St Andrews, than give them to my readers in the words with which Dr Lindsay Alexander kindly communicated them to me.

"In the Cornhill Magazine for March 1860, in an article on Student Life in Scotland, there is an anecdote of the late Professor Gillespie of St Andrews, which is told in such a way as to miss the point and humour of the story. The correct version, as I have heard it from the professor himself, is this: Having employed the village carpenter to put a frame round a dial at the manse of Cults, where he was a minister, he received from the man a bill to the following effect:— ‘To fencing the deil, 5s. 6d.’ ‘When I paid him,’ said the professor, ‘I could not help saying, John, this is rather more than I counted on; but I haven’t a word to say. I get somewhere about two hundred a year for fencing the deil, and I’m afraid I don’t do it half so effectually as you’ve done.’

"Whilst I am writing, another of the many stories of the learned and facetious professor rises in my mind. There was a worthy old woman at Cults whose place in church was what is commonly called the Lateran— a kind of small gallery at the top of the pulpit steps. She was a most regular attender, but as regularly fell asleep during sermon, of which fault the preacher had sometimes audible intimation. It was observed, however, that though Janet always slept during her own pastor’s discourse, she could be attentive enough when she pleased, and especially was she alert when some young preacher occupied the pulpit. A little piqued, perhaps, at this, Mr Gillespie said to her one day, ‘Janet, I think you hardly behave very respectfully to your own minister in one respect.’ ‘Me, sir!’ exclaimed Janet, ‘I wad like to see ony man, no’ tae say woman, by yoursell, say that o’ me! What can you mean, sir?’ ‘Weel, Janet, ye ken when I preach you’re almost always fast asleep before I’ve well given out my text; but when any of these young men from St Andrews preach for me, I see you never sleep a wink. Now, that’s what I call no’ using me as you should do.’ ‘Hoot, sir,’ was the reply, ‘is that a’? I’ll sune tell you the reason o’ that. When you preach, we a’ ken the Word o’ God’s safe in your hands; but when thae young birkies tak’ it in haun’, my certie, but it taks us a’ to look after them." [I have abundant evidence to prove that a similar answer to that which Dr Alexander records to have been made to Mr Gillespie has been given on similar occasions by others.]

"I am tempted to subjoin another. In the Humanity Class, one day, a youth who was rather fond of showing off his powers of language, translated Hor. Od. iii., 3, 61, 62, somewhat thus:—°The fortunes of Troy renascent under sorrowful omen shall be repeated with sad catastrophe.’ ‘Catastrophe!’ cried the professor. ‘Catastrophe, Mr —, that’s Greek. Give us it in plain English, if you please.’ Thus suddenly pulled down from his high horse, the student effected his retreat with a rather lame and impotent version. ‘Now,’ said the professor, his little sharp eyes twinkling with fun, ‘that brings to my recollection what once happened to a friend of mine, a minister in the country. Being a scholarly man he was sometimes betrayed into the use of words in the pulpit which the people were not likely to understand; but being very conscientious, he never detected himself in this, without pausing to give the meaning of the word he had used, and sometimes his extempore explanations of very fine words were a little like what we have just had from Mr ——-, rather too flat and commonplace. On one occasion he allowed this very word ‘catastrophe’ to drop from him, on which he immediately added, ‘that, you know, my friends, means the end of a thing.’ Next day, as he was riding through his parish, some mischievous youth succeeded in fastening a bunch of furze to his horse’s tail—a trick which, had the animal been skittish, might have exposed the worthy pastor’s horsemanship to too severe a trial, but which happily had no effect whatever on the sober-minded and respectable quadruped which he bestrode. On, therefore, he quietly jogged, utterly unconscious of the addition that had been made to his horse’s caudal region, until, as he was passing some cottages, he was arrested by the shrill voice of an old woman exclaiming, ‘Heh, sir! Heh, sir! there’s a whun-buss at your horse’s catawstrophe!'"

I have several times adverted to the subject of epigrams. A clever impromptu of this class has been recorded as given by a judge’s lady in reply to one made by the witty Henry Esskine at a dinner-party at Lord Armadale’s. When a bottle of claret was called for, port was brought in by mistake. A second time claret was sent for, and a second time the same mistake occurred. Henry Erskine addressed the host in an impromptu, which was meant as a parody on the well-known Scottish song, "My Jo, Janet "—

"Kind sir, it’s for your courtesie
When I come here to dine, sir,
For the love ye bear to me,
Gie me the claret wine, sir."

To which Mrs Honeyman retorted—

"Drink the port, the claret’s dear,
Erskine, Erskine;
Ye’ll get fou’ on’t, never fear,
My jo, Erskine."

Some of my younger readers may not be familiar with the epigram of John Home, author of the tragedy of "Douglas." The lines were great favourites with Sir Walter Scott, who delighted in repeating them. Home was very partial to claret, and could not bear port. He was exceedingly indignant when the Government laid a tax upon claret, having previously long connived at its introduction into Scotland under very mitigated duties. He embodied his anger in the following epigram :—

"Firm and erect the Caledonian stood,
Old was his mutton, and his claret good;
‘Let him drink port,’ an English statesman cried—
He drank the poison, and his spirit died."

There is a curious story traditionary in some families connected with the nobleman who is the subject of it, which, I am assured, is true, and further, that it has never yet appeared in print. The story is, therefore, a "Scottish reminiscence," and, as such, deserves a place here. The Earl of Lauderdale was so ill as to cause great alarm to his friends, and perplexity to his physicians. One distressing symptom was a total absence of sleep, and the medical men declared their opinion, that without sleep being induced he could not recover. His son, a queer eccentric-looking boy, who was considered not entirely right in his mind but somewhat "daft," and who accordingly had had little attention paid to his education, was sitting under the table, and cried out, "Sen’ for that preachin’ man frae Livingstone, for faither aye sleeps in the kirk;" One of the doctors thought this hint worth attending to. The experiment of "getting a minister till him" succeeded, and, sleep coming on, he recovered. The Earl, out of gratitude for this benefit, took more notice of his son, paid attention to his education, and that boy became the Duke of Lauderdale, afterwards so famous or infamous in his country’s history.

The following very amusing anecdote, although it belongs more properly to the division on peculiarities of Scottish phraseology, I give in the words of a correspondent who received it from the parties with whom it originated. About twenty years ago, he was paying a visit to a cousin, married to a Liverpool merchant of some standing. The husband had lately had a visit from his aged father, who formerly followed the occupation of farming in Stirlingshire, and who had probably never been out of Scotland before in his life. The son, finding his father rather de trop in his office, one day persuaded him to cross the ferry over the Mersey, and inspect the harvesting, then in full operation, on the Cheshire side. On landing, he approached a young woman reaping with the sickle in a field of oats, when the following dialogue ensued :—

Farmer.—Lassie, are yer aits muckle bookit [Oats heavy in bulk] th’ year?

Reaper.—What say’n yo?

Farmer.—I was speiring gif yer aits are muckle bookit th’ year!

Reaper (in amazement).—I dunnot know what yo’ say’n.

Farmer (in equal astonishment).—Gude—safe—us,—do ye no understaan gude plain English ?—are—yer—aits---muckle---bookit?

Reaper decamps to her nearest companion, saying that was a madman, while he shouted in great wrath, "They were naething else than a set o’ ignorant pock-puddings."

An English tourist visited Arran, and being a keen disciple of Izaak Walton, was arranging to have a day’s good sport. Being told that the cleg, or horse-fly, would suit his purpose admirably for lure, he addressed himself to Christy, the Highland servant-girl:—"I say, my girl, can you get me some horse-flies?" Christy looked stupid, and he repeated his question. Finding that she did not yet comprehend him, he exclaimed, "Why, girl, did you never see a horse-fly?" "Naa, sir," said the girl, "but A wance saw a coo jump ower a preshipice."

The following anecdote is highly illustrative of the thoroughly attached old family serving-man. A correspondent sends it as told to him by an old school-fellow of Sir Walter Scott’s at Fraser and Adam’s class, High School :—

One of the lairds of Abercairnie proposed to go out, on the occasion of one of the risings for the Stuarts, in the ‘15 or ‘45—but this was not with the will of his old serving-man, who, when Abercairnie was pulling on his boots, preparing to go, overturned a kettle of boiling water upon his legs, so as to disable him from joining his friends—saying, "Tak’ that— let them fecht wha like; stay ye at hame and be laird o’ Abercairnie."

A story illustrative of a union of polite courtesy with rough and violent ebullition of temper common in the old Scottish character, is well-known in the Lothian family. William Henry, fourth Marquis of Lothian, had for his guest at dinner an old countess to whom he wished to show particular respect and attention. [This Marquis of Lothian was aid de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland at the battle of Culloden, who sullied his character as a soldier and a nobleman by the cruelties which he exercised on the vanquished.] After a very complimentary reception, he put on his white gloves to hand her downstairs, led her up to the upper end of the table, bowed, and retired to his own place. This I am assured was the usual custom with the chief lady guest by persons who themselves remember it. After all were seated, the Marquis addressed the lady, "Madam, may I have the honour and happiness of helping your ladyship to some fish?" But he got no answer, for the poor woman was deaf as a post, and did not hear him. After a pause, but still in the most courteous accents, "Madam, have I your ladyship’s permission to send you some fish?" Then a little quicker, "Is your ladyship inclined to take fish?" Very quick, and rather peremptory, "Madam, do ye choice fish?" At last the thunder burst, to everybody’s consternation, with a loud thump on the table and stamp on the floor: "Con—found ye, will ye have any fish?" I am afraid the exclamation might have been even of a more pungent character.

A correspondent has kindly enabled me to add a reminiscence and anecdote of a type of Scottish character now nearly extinct—I mean the old Scottish military officer of the wars of Holland and the Low Countries. I give them in his own words:—"My father, the late Rev. Dr Bethune, minister of Dornoch, was on friendly terms with a fine old soldier, the late Colonel Alexander Sutherland of Calmaly and Braegrudy in Sutherlandshire, who was lieutenant-colonel of the ‘Local Militia,’ and who used occasionally, in his word of command, to break out with a Gaelic phrase to the men, much to the amusement of bystanders. He called his charger, a high-boned not overfed animal, Cadaver—a play upon accents, for he was a good classical scholar, and fond of quoting the Latin poets. But he had no relish nor respect for the ‘Modern languages,’ particularly for that of our French neighbours, whom he looked upon as ’hereditary’ enemies! My father and the colonel were both politicians, as well as scholars. Reading a newspaper article in his presence one day, my father stopped short, handing the paper to him, and said, ‘Colonel, here is a French quotation, which you can translate better than I can.’ ‘No, sir! ‘ said the colonel, ‘I never learnt the language of the scoundrels!!!’ The colonel was known as ‘Col. Sandy Sutherland,’ and the men always called him Colonel Sandy. He was a splendid specimen of the hale veteran, with a stentorian voice, and the last queue I remember to have seen."

A correspondent kindly sends me from Aberdeen-shire a humorous story, very much of the same sort as that of Colonel Erskine’s servant, who considerately suggested to his master that "maybe an aith might relieve him." My correspondent heard the story from the late Bishop Skinner.

It was among the experiences of his father, Bishop John Skinner. While making some pastoral visits in the neighbourhood of the town (Aberdeen), the Bishop took occasion to step into the cottage of two humble parishioners, a man and his wife, who cultivated a little croft. No one was within; but as the door was only on the latch, the Bishop knew that the worthy couple could not be far distant. He therefore stepped in the direction of the outhouses, and found them both in the barn winnowing corn, in the primitive way, with "riddles," betwixt two open doors. On the Bishop making his appearance, the honest man ceased his winnowing operations, and in the gladness of his heart stepped briskly forward to welcome his pastor; but in his haste he trod upon the rim of the riddle, which rebounded with great force against one of his shins. The accident made him suddenly pull up; and, instead of completing the reception, he stood vigorously rubbing the injured limb; and, not daring in such a venerable presence to give vent to the customary strong ejaculations, kept twisting his face into all sorts of grimaces. As was natural, the Bishop went forward, uttering the usual formulas of condolence and sympathy, the patient, meanwhile, continuing his rubbings and his silent but expressive contortions. At last Janet came to the rescue; and, clapping the Bishop coaxingly on the back, said, "Noo, Bishop, jist gang ye yir waas into the hoose, an’ we’ll follow fan he’s had time to curse a fyllie, an’ I’se warran’ he’ll seen be weel eneuch!"

The following might have been added as examples of the dry humorous manner in which our countrymen and countrywomen sometimes treat matters with which they have to deal, even when serious ones:— An itinerant vendor of wood in Aberdeen having been asked how his wife was, replied, "Oh, she’s fine; I hae ta’en her tae Banchory"; and on it being innocently remarked that the change of air would do her good, he looked up, and, with a half smile, said, "Hoot, she’s i’ the kirkyard."

The well-known aversion of the Scotch to hearing read sermons has often led to amusing occurrences. One pastor, in a country district, who was much respected by his people, but who, nevertheless, were never quite reconciled to his paper in the pulpit, found himself on one occasion in an awkward predicament, from this same paper question. One Sabbath afternoon, having exhausted both firstly and secondly, he came to the termination of his discourse; but, unfortunately, the manuscript was wanting. In vain efforts to seek the missing paper, he repeated " thirdly and lastly" ad nauseam to his hearers. At last one, cooler than the others, rose, and nodding to the minister, observed, "‘Deed, sir, If I’m no’ mista’en, I saw ‘thirdly and lastly’ fa’ ower the poopit stairs"; evidently enjoying the disappearance of so important a part of the obnoxious document.

This prejudice was indeed some years since in Scotland quite inveterate. The following anecdote has been kindly sent to me from Memoirs of Charles Young, lately published by his son:— "I have a distinct recollection, one Sunday when I was living at Cults, and when a stranger was officiating for Dr Gillespie, observing that he had not proceeded five minutes with his ‘discourse,’ before there was a general commotion and stampede. The exodus at last became so serious, that, conceiving something to be wrong, probably a fire in the manse, I caught the infection, and eagerly inquired of the first person I encountered in the churchyard what was the matter, and was told, with an expression of sovereign scorn and disgust: ‘Losh keep ye, young man! Hae ye eyes, and see not? Hae ye ears, and hear not? The man reads !"

On one occasion, however, even this prejudice gave way before the power of the most eloquent preacher that Scotland ever heard, or perhaps that the world ever heard. A shrewd old Fife hearer of sermons had been objecting, in the usual exaggerated language, against reading sermons in the pulpit. A gentleman urged the case of Dr Chalmers, in defence of the practice. He used his paper in preaching rigidly, and yet with what an effect he read! All the objector could reply to this was, "Ah, but it’s fell [Extraordinary] reading yon."

The two following are from a correspondent who heard them told by the late Dr Barclay the anatomist, well-known for his own dry Scottish humour.

A country laird, at his death, left his property in equal shares to his two sons, who continued to live very amicably together for many years. At length one said to the other, "Tam, we’re gettin’ auld now, you’ll tak’ a wife, and when I dee you’ll get my share o’ the grund." "Na, John, you’re the youngest and maist active, you’ll tak’ a wife, and when I dee you’ll get my share." "Od," says John, "Tam, that’s jist the way wi’ you when there’s ony fash or trouble. The deevil a thing you’ll do at a’."

A country clergyman, who was not on the most friendly terms with one of his heritors who resided in Stirling, and who had annoyed the minister by delay in paying him his teinds (or tithe), found it necessary to make the laird understand that his proportion of stipend must be paid so soon as it became due. The payment came next term punctual to the time. When the messenger was introduced to the minister, he asked who he was, remarking that he thought he had seen him before. "I am the hangman of Stirling, sir." "Oh, just so; take a seat till I write you a receipt." It was evident that the laud had chosen this medium pf communication with the minister as an affront, and to show his spite. The minister, however, turned the tables upon him, sending back an acknowledgment for the payment in these terms:—"Received from Mr ——, by the hands of the hangman of Stirling, his doer, [In Scotland it is usual to term the law-agent or man of business of any person his "doer"] the sum of," etc., etc.

The following story of pulpit criticism by a beadle used to be told, I am assured, by the late Rev. Dr Andrew Thomson:—

A clergyman in the country had a stranger preaching for him one day, and meeting his beadle, he said to him, "Well, Saunders, how did you like the sermon to-day?" "I watna, sir; it was rather ower plain and simple for me. I like thae sermons best that jumbles the joodgment and confoonds the sense. Od, sir, I never saw ane that could come up to yourself at that."

The epithet "canny" has frequently been applied to our countrymen, not in a severe or invidious spirit, but as indicating a due regard to personal interest and safety. In the larger edition of Jamieson (see edition of 1840) I find there are no fewer than eighteen meanings given of this word. The following extract from a provincial paper, which has been sent me, will furnish a good illustration. It is headed, the "PROPERTY QUALIFICATION," and goes on—"Give a Chartist a large estate, and a copious supply of ready money, and you make a Conservative of him. He can then see the other side of the moon, which he could never see before. Once, a determined Radical in Scotland, named Davy Armstrong, left his native village; and many years afterwards, an old fellow grumbler met him, and commenced the old song. Davy shook his head. His friend was astonished, and soon perceived that Davy was no longer a grumbler, but a rank Tory. Wondering at the change, he was desirous of knowing the reason. Davy quietly and laconically replied: ‘I’ve a coo (cow) noo.’"

But even still more "canny" was the eye to the main chance in an Aberdonian fellow-countryman, communicated in the following pleasant terms from a Nairn correspondent :—"I have just been reading your delightful ‘Reminiscences,’ which has brought to my recollection a story I used to hear my father tell. It was this:—A countryman in a remote part of Aberdeenshire having got a newly coined sovereign in the days when such a thing was seldom seen in his part of the country, went about showing it to his friends and neighbours for the charge of one penny each sight. Evil days, however, unfortunately overtook him, and he was obliged to part with his loved coin. Soon after, a neighbour called on him, and asked a sight of his sovereign, at the same time tendering a penny. ‘Ah, man,’ says he, ‘it’s gane; but I’ll lat ye see the cloutie it was rowt in for a bawbee.’

There was something very simple-minded in the manner in which a parishioner announced his canny care for his supposed interests when he became an elder of the kirk. The story is told of a man who had got himself installed in the eldership, and, in consequence, had for some time carried round the. ladle for the collections. He had accepted the office of elder because some wag had made him believe that the remuneration was sixpence each Sunday, with a boll of meal at New Year’s Day. When the time arrived he claimed his meal, but was told he had been hoaxed. "It may be sae wi’ the meal," he said coolly, "but I took care o’ the saxpence mysell."

There was a good deal both of the pawky and the canny in the following anecdote, which I have from an honoured lady of the south of Scotland:—"There was an old man who always rode a donkey to his work, and tethered him while he worked on the roads, or, whatever else it might be. It was suggested to him by my grandfather that he was suspected of putting it in to feed in the fields at other people’s expense. ‘Eh, laird, I could never be tempted to do that, for my cuddy winna eat onything but nettles and thristles.’ One day my grandfather was riding along the road, when he saw Andrew Leslie at work, and his donkey up to the knees in one of his dover fields, feeding luxuriously. ‘Hollo, Andrew,’ said he; ‘I thought you told me your cuddy would eat nothing but nettles and thistles.’ ‘Ay,’ said he, ‘but he misbehaved the day; he nearly kicket me ower his head, sae I pat him in there just to punish him.’"

There is a good deal of the same sort of simple character brought out in the two following. They were sent to me from Golspie, and are original, as they occurred in my correspondent’s own experience. The one is a capital illustration of thrift, the other of kind feeling for the friendless, in the Highland character. I give the anecdotes in my correspondent’s own words:—A little boy, some twelve years of age, came to me one day with the following message: "My mother wants a vomit from you, sir, and she bade me say if it will not be strong enough, she will send it back." "Oh, Mr Begg," said a woman to me, for whom I was weighing two grains of calomel for a child, "dinna be so mean wi’ it; it is for a poor faitherless bairn."

The following, from a provincial paper, contains a very amusing recognition of a return which one of the itinerant race considered himself conscientiously bound to make to his clerical patron for an alms: "A beggar, while on his rounds one day this week, called on a clergyman (within two and a half miles of the Cross of Kilmarnock), who, obeying the biblical injunction of clothing the naked, offered the beggar an old top-coat. It was immediately rolled up, and the beggar, in going away with it under his arm, thoughtfully (!) remarked, ‘I’ll hae tae gie ye a day’s hearin’ for this na.’"

The natural and self-complacent manner in which the following anecdote brings out in the Highlander an innate sense of the superiority of Celtic blood is highly characteristic:—A few years ago, when an English family were visiting in the Highlands, their attention was directed to a child crying; on their observing to the mother it was cross, she exclaimed: "Na, na, it’s nae cross, for we’re baith true Hieland."

The late Mr Grahame of Garsock, in Strathearn, whose grandson now "is laird himsel’," used to tell, with great unction, some thirty years ago, a story of a neighbour of his own of a still earlier generation, Drummond of Keltie, who, as it seems, had employed an itinerant tailor instead of a metropolitan artist. On one occasion a new pair of inexpressibles had been made for the laird; they were so tight that, after waxing hot and red in the attempt to try them on, he let out rather savagely at the tailor, who calmly assured him, "It’s the fash’n; it’s jist the fash’n." "Eh, ye haveril, is it the fashion for them no to go on?"

An English gentleman writes to me—"We have all heard much of Scotch caution, and I met once with an instance of it which I think is worth recording, and which I tell as strictly original. About 1827, I fell into conversation, on board of a Stirling steamer, with a well-dressed middle-aged man, who told me he was a soldier of the 42nd, going on leave. He began to relate the campaigns he had gone through, and mentioned having been at the siege of St Sebastian. ‘Ah! under Sir Thomas Graham?’ ‘Yes, sir; he commanded there.’ ‘Well,’ I said, merely by way of carrying on the crack, ‘and what do you think of him?’ Instead of answering, he scanned me several times from head to foot, and from foot to head, and then said, in a tone of the most diplomatic caution, ‘Ye’ll perhaps be of the name of Grah’m yersel, sir?’

There could hardly be a better example, either of the circumspection of a real canny Scot, or of the lingering influence of the old patriarchal feeling, by which ‘A name, a word, makes clansmen vassals to their lord.'"

Now when we linger over these old stories, we seem to live at another period, and in such reminiscences we converse with a generation different from our own. Changes are still going on around us. They have been going on for some time past. The changes are less striking as society advances, and we find fewer alterations for us to notice. Probably each generation will have less change to record than the generation that preceded; still every one who is tolerably advanced in life must feel that, comparing its beginning and its close, he has witnessed two epochs, and that in advanced life he looks on a different world from one which he can remember. To elucidate this fact has been my present object, and in attempting this task I cannot but feel how trifling and unsatisfactory my remarks must seem to many who have a more enlarged and minute acquaintance with Scottish life and manners than I have. But I shall be encouraged to hope for a favourable, or at least an indulgent, sentence upon these Reminiscences, if to any of my readers I shall have opened a fresh insight into the subject of social changes amongst us. Many causes have their effect upon the habits and customs of mankind, and of late years such causes have been greatly multiplied in number and activity. In many persons, and in some who have not altogether lost their national partialities, there is a general tendency to merge Scottish usages and Scottish expressions into the English forms, as being more correct and genteel. The facilities for moving, not merely from place to place in our own country, but from one country to another; the spread of knowledge and information by means of periodical publications and newspapers; and the incredibly low prices at which literary works are produced, must have great effects. Then there is the improved taste in art, which, together with literature, has been taken up by young men who, fifty, sixty, seventy years ago, or more, would have known no such sources of interest, or indeed who would have looked upon them as unmanly and effeminate. When first these pursuits were taken up by our Scottish young men, they excited in the north much amazement, and, I fear, contempt, as was evinced by a laird of the old school, who, the first time he saw a young man at the pianoforte, asked, with evident disgust, "Can the creature sew ony?" evidently putting the accomplishment of playing the pianoforte and the accomplishment of the needle in the same category.

The greater facility of producing books, prints, and other articles which tend to the comfort and embellishment of domestic life, must have considerable influence upon the habits and tastes of a people. I have often thought how much effect might be traced to the single circumstances of the cheap production of pianofortes. An increased facility of procuring the means of acquaintance with good works of art and literature acts both as cause and effect. A growing and improved taste tends to stimulate the production of the best works of art. These, in return, foster and advance the power of forming a due estimate of art. In the higher department of music, for example, the cheap rate not only of hearing compositions of the first class, but of possessing the works of the most eminent composers, must have had influence upon thousands. The principal oratorios of Handel may be purchased for as many shillings each as they cost pounds years ago. Indeed, at that time the very names of these in mortal works were known only to a few who were skilled to appreciate their high beauties. Now associations are formed for practising and studying the choral works of the great masters.

We might indeed adduce many more causes which seem to produce changes of habits, tastes, and associations amongst our people. For example, families do not vegetate for years in one retired spot as they used to do; young men are encouraged to attain accomplishments, and to have other sources of interest than the field or the bottle. Every one knows, or may know, everything that is going on through the whole world. There is a tendency in mankind to lose all that is peculiar, and in nations to part with all that distinguishes them from each other. We hear of wonderful changes in habits and customs where change seemed impossible. In India and Turkey even, peculiarities and prejudices are fading away under the influence of time. Amongst ourselves, no doubt, one circumstance tended greatly to call forth, and, as we may say, to develop, the peculiar Scotch humour of which we speak—and that was the familiarity of intercourse which took place between persons in different positions of life. This extended even to an occasional interchange of words between the minister and the members of his flock during time of service. I have two anecdotes in illustration of this fact, which I have reason to believe are quite authentic. In the church of Banchory on Deeside, to which I have referred, a former minister always preached without book, and being of an absent disposition, he sometimes forgot the head of discourse on which he was engaged, and got involved in confusion. On one occasion, being desirous of recalling to his memory the division of his subject, he called out to one of his elders, a farmer on the estate of Ley, "Bush (the name of his farm), Bush, ye’re sleeping." "Na, sir, I’m no’ sleeping—I’m listening." "Weel, then, what had I begun to say?" "Oh, ye were saying so-and-so." This was enough, and supplied the minister with the thread of his discourse; and he went on. The other anecdote related to the parish of Cumbernauld, the minister of which was at the time referred to noted for a very disjointed and rambling style of preaching, without method or connection. His principal heritor was the Lord Eiphinstone of the time, and unfortunately the minister and the peer were not on good terms, and always ready to annoy each other by sharp sayings or otherwise. The minister on one occasion had somewhat in this spirit called upon the beadle to "wauken my Lord Elphinstone," upon which Lord Elphinstone said, "I’m no’ sleeping, minister." "Indeed you were, my lord." He again disclaimed the sleeping. So as a test the preacher asked him, "What had I been saying last then?" "Oh, juist ‘wauken Lord Eiphinstone." "Ay, but what did I say .before that?" "Indeed," retorted Lord Elphinstone, "I’ll gie ye a guinea if ye’ll tell that yersell, minister." We can hardly imagine the possibility of such scenes now taking place amongst us in church. It seems as if all men were gradually approximating to a common type or form in their manners and views of life; oddities are sunk, prominences are rounded off, sharp features are polished, and all things are becoming smooth and conventional. The remark, like the effect, is general, and extends to other countries as well as to our own. But as we have more recently parted with our peculiarities of dialect, oddity, and eccentricity, it becomes the more amusing to mark our participation in this change, because a period of fifty years shows here a greater contrast than the same period would show in many other localities.

I have already referred to a custom which prevailed in all the rural parish churches, and which I remember in my early days at Fettercairn; the custom I mean, now quite obsolete, of the minister, after pronouncing the blessing, turning to the heritors, who always occupied the front seats of the gallery, and making low bows to each family. Another custom I recollect:— When the text had been given out, it was usual for the elder branches of the congregation to hand about their Bibles amongst the younger members, marking the place, and calling their attention to the passage. During service another handing about was frequent among the seniors, and that was a circulation of the sneeshin-mull or snuff-box. Indeed, I have heard of the same practice in an Episcopal church, and particularly in one case of an ordination, where the bishop took his pinch of snuff, and handed the mull to go round amongst the clergy assembled for the solemn occasion within the altar-rails.

Amongst Scottish reminiscences which do not extend beyond our own recollections we may mention the disappearance of Trinity Church in Edinburgh, which has taken place within the last quarter of a century. It was founded by Mary of Gueldres, queen of James II. of Scotland, in 1446, and liberally endowed for a provost, prebendaries, choristers, etc. It was never completed, but the portions built, viz., choir, transept, and central tower, were amongst the finest specimens of later Gothic work in Scotland. The pious founder had placed it at the east end of what was then the North Loch. She chose her own church for the resting-place of her remains as a sanctuary of safety and repose. A railway parliamentary bill, however, overrides founder’s intentions and Episcopal consecrations. Where once stood the beautiful church of the Holy Trinity, where once the "pealing organ" and the "full-voiced choir" were daily heard "in service high and anthems clear"—where for 400 years slept the ashes of a Scottish Queen—now resound the noise and turmoil of a railway station.

But we have another example of the uncertainty of all earthly concerns, and one which supplies a Scottish reminiscence belonging to the last seventy years. Wilhelmina, Viscountess Glenorchy, during her lifetime, built and endowed a church for two ministers, who were provided with very handsome incomes. She died 17th July 1786, and was buried on the 14th July, aged forty-four. Her interment took place, by her own direction, in the church she had founded, immediately in front of the pulpit; and she fixed upon that spot as a place of security and safety, where her mortal remains might rest in peace till the morning of the resurrection. But alas for the uncertainty of all earthly plans and projects for the future !—the iron road came on its reckless course and swept the church away. The site was required for the North British Railway, which passed directly over the spot where Lady Glenorchy had been buried. Her remains were accordingly disinterred 14th December 1844; and the trustees of the church, not having yet erected a new one, deposited the body of their foundress in the vaults beneath St John’s Episcopal Church, and after resting there for fifteen years, they were, in 1859, removed to the building which is now Lady Glenorchy’s Church.

In our reminiscences of many changes which have taken place during fifty years in Scottish manners, it might form an interesting section to record some peculiarities which remain. I mean such peculiarities as yet linger amongst us, and still mark a difference in some of our social habits from those of England. Some Scottish usages die hard, and are found still to supply amusement for southern visitors. To give a few examples, persons still persist among us in calling the head of a family, or the host, the landlord, although he never charged his guests a halfpenny for the hospitality he exercises. In games, golf and curling still continue to mark the national character—cricket was long an exotic amongst us. In many of our educational institutions, however, it seems now fairly to have taken root. We continue to call our reception rooms "public rooms," although never used for any but domestic purposes. Military rank is attached to ladies, as we speak of Mrs Lieutenant Fraser, Mrs Captain Scott, Mrs Major Smith, Mrs Colonel Campbell. On the occasion of a death, we persist in sending circular notices to all the relatives, whether they know of it or not—a custom which, together with men wearing weepers at funeral solemnities, is unknown in England. [And yet, even as we write, weepers seem to be passing into reminiscence.] Announcing a married lady’s death under her maiden name must seem strange to English ears—as, for example, we read of the demise of Mrs Jane Dickson, spouse of Thomas Morison. Scottish cookery retains its ground, and hotch-potch, minced collops, sheep’s head singed, and occasionally haggis, are still marked peculiarities of the Scottish table. These social differences linger amongst us. But stronger points are worn away; eccentricities and oddities such as existed once will not do now. One does not see why eccentricity should be more developed in one age than in another, but we cannot avoid the conclusion that the day for real oddities is no more. Professors of colleges are those in whom one least expects oddity—grave and learned characters; and yet such have been in former times. We can scarcely now imagine such professors as we read of in a past generation. Take the case of no less distinguished a person than Adam Smith, author of the Wealth of Nations, who went about the streets talking and laughing to himself in such a manner as to make the market women think he was deranged; and he told of one himself who ejaculated, as he passed, "Hech, sirs, and he is weel pat on, too!" expressing surprise that a decided lunatic, who from his dress appeared to be a gentleman, should be permitted to walk abroad unattended. Professors still have their crotchets like other people; but we can scarcely conceive a professor of our day coming out like Adam Smith, and making fishwives to pass such observations on his demeanour.

Peculiarities in a people’s phraseology may prove more than we are aware of, and may tend to illustrate circumstances of national history. Thus many words which would be included by Englishmen under the general term of Scotticisms, bear directly upon the question of a past intercourse with France, and prove how close at one time must have been the influence exercised upon general habits in Scotland by that intercourse. Scoto-Gallic words were quite differently situated from French words and phrases adopted in England. With us they proceeded from a real admixture of the two peoples. With us they form the ordinary common language of the country, and that was from a distant period moulded by French. In England, the educated and upper classes of late years adopted French words and phrases. With us, some of our French derivatives are growing obsolete as vulgar, and nearly all are passing from fashionable society. In England, we find the French-adopted words rather receiving accessions than going out of use.

Examples of words such as we have referred to, as showing a French influence and admixture, are familiar to many of my readers. I recollect some of them in constant use amongst old-fashioned Scottish people, and those terms, let it be remembered, are unknown in England.

A leg of mutton was always, with old-fashioned Scotch people, a gigot (Fr. gigot).

The crystal jug or decanter in which water is placed upon the table, was a caraff (Fr. carafe).

Gooseberries were groserts, or grossarts (Fr. groseille).

Partridges were pertricks — a word much more formed upon the French perdrix than the English partridge.

The plate on which a joint or side-dish was placed upon the table was an ashet. (Fr. assiette).

In the old streets of Edinburgh, where the houses are very high, and where the inhabitants all live in flats, before the introduction of soil-pipes there was no method of disposing of the foul water of the household, except by throwing it out of the window into the street. This operation, dangerous to those outside, was limited to certain hours, and the well-known cry, which preceded the missile and warned the passenger, was gardeloo! or, as Smollett writes it, gardy loo (Fr. garge de l’eau).

Anything troublesome or irksome used to be called, Scottice, fashious (Fr. facheux, facheuse); to fash one’s-self (Fr. se facher).

The small cherry, both black and red, common in gardens, is in Scotland, never in England, termed gean (Fr. guigne), from Guigne, in Picardy.

The term dambrod, which has already supplied materials for a good story, arises from adopting French terms into Scottish language, as dams were the pieces with which the game of draughts was played (Fr. dammes). Brod is board.

A bedgown, or loose female upper garment, is still in many parts of Scotland termed a jupe (Fr. jupe).

In Kincardineshire the ashes of a blacksmith’s furnace had the peculiar name of smiddy-coom (Fr. écume, i.e., dross).

Oil, in common Scotch, used always to be ule— as the uley pot, or uley cruse (Fr. huile).

Many of my readers are no doubt familiar with the notice taken of these words by Lord Cockburn, and with the account which he gives of these Scottish words derived from the French, probably during the time of Queen Mary’s minority, when French troops were quartered in Scotland. I subjoin a more full list, for which I am indebted to a correspondent, because the words still lingering amongst us are in themselves the best REMINISCENCES of former days.

Scotch English French
Serviter Napkin From Serviette
Gigot (of mutton)  - From Gigot
Reeforts Radishes From Raiforts
Grosserts Gooseberries From Groseilles
Gardyveen Case for holding wine From Garde-vin
Jupe Part of a women's dress From Jupe
Bonnaille A parting glass with a friend going on a journey From Bon aller
Gysard Person in a fancy dress From Guise
Dambrod Draught-board From Dammes
Pantufles Slippers From Pantoufles
Haggis Hashed meat From Hachis
Gou Taste, smell From Gout
Hogue Tainted From Haut gout
Grange Granary From grange
Mouter Miller's perquisite From Mouture
Dour Obstinate From Dur
Douce Mild From Doux
Dorty Sulky From Dureté
Braw Fine From Brave
Kimmer Gossip From Commére
Jalouse Suspect From Jalouser
Vizzy To aim at, to examine From Viser
Ruckle Heap (of stones) From Recueil
Gardy-loo  - From Gardez-l'eau
Dementit Out of patience, deranged From Dementir
On my verity Assertion of truth From Verité
By my certy Assertion of truth From Certes
Aumrie Cupboard From Almoire
Walise Portmanteau From Valise
Sucker Sugar From Sucre
Petticoat-tails Cakes of triangular shape From Petits gatelles
Ashet Meat-dish From Assiette
Fashious Troublesome From Facheux
Prush, Madame * Call to a cow to come forward From Approches, Madame

* This expression was adopted apparently in ridicule of the French applying the word "Madame" to a cow.

I dwell the more minutely on this question of Scottish words, from the conviction of their being so characteristic of Scottish humour, and being so distinctive a feature of the older Scottish race. Take away our Scottish phraseology, and we lose what is our specific distinction from England. In these expressions, too, there is often a tenderness and beauty as remarkable as the wit and humour. I have already spoken of the phrase "Auld lang syne," and of other expressions of sentiment, which may be compared in their Anglican and Scotch form.


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