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hood, independent genius, and intrinsic dignity, are denied born and continue free and equal as to their rights,' which to the negro character as incompatibilities. He who would declaration soon became known throughout the colonies, dare to make a chattel of a human brother would not hesi- producing hopes which it was more than dangerous to distate to arm himself with the falsest of pretexts for so doing; appoint. It was subsequently declared by this partial asthe only answer, therefore, that can be given to the exsembly, that the broad principle involved in the above proparte assertions of those who value gold more than human position was never intended to extend to the colonies. But integrity, is to sketch the lives of such men as Toussaint. the fiat had gone abroad, the negroes had adopted the fact One such negro is a sufficient evidence of the ability of the as an universal truth, and the National Assembly might whole race. It matters not to say that there are few like modify and explain it away as they pleased, the St DoL'Ouverture, and that perhaps the whole future history of mingians refused to see it in any other than in its broad the Ethiopian race will not furnish a parallel to him. and legitimate sense. The free people of colour in France Such prophetic enunciations prove nothing: they require hailed it as a prelude to the destruction of that prejudice all time to prove that they are based upon truth, while the which had stigmatised them as with the searing brand of great fact that he existed can never be negated. There Cain, and they formed themselves, together with many has been no lack of negro ability, however, and instances philanthropic whites in Paris, into an association called of their gratitude for trivial kindnesses, and of their bene- L'Ami des Noirs,' whose ostensible purpose it was to volence and devotion to those they loved in the hour of abolish the slave trade. The ramifications of this associadanger, could be multiplied to a great extent. Alexandre tion soon spread to the colonies, and the mulattoes, both Damas, the celebrated French novelist and dramatist, is at Paris and in the provinces, claimed, in their united cathe grandson of a negro. They had Phyllas Whately and pacity, the privileges and rights of whites. These were reRose, their poetess and poet; and Frederick Douglass, who fused until about a year after the revolt, when coward contill very lately was in bondage, is one of the most power- cession, always tardy to perform an act of justice, enacted fal orators of our own day. 'that the people of colour, resident in the French colonies, and born of free parents, be entitled to, as of right, and be allowed the enjoyment of all the privileges of French citizens, and, among others, those of having votes in the choice of representatives, and of being eligible to seats both in the parochial and colonial assemblies.' This concession, which was framed for the purpose of dividing the Haytians, like the acts of the British parliament anent the united colonies between 1775 and 1783, completely failed in producing any of the anticipated effects, the only result being the explosion of the whole slave population, which had hitherto lain in a volcano-like slumber.

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The revolution of St Domingo, in 1791, if it did not develope the greatest and noblest qualities of humanity, showed that, in so far as it gave scope for action, the negro was in no respect inferior to his white oppressor. It led heroism, legislative wisdom, enlightened benevolence, and indomitable energy from the depths of soul-degrading, man-destroying slavery; and it showed to the world, that even in the worst and most unfavourable circumstances of perpetual servitude the highest attributes of manhood were still existent. Jean François, Christophe, Petion Beassou, Dessalines, and Rigaud, came forth from the lowest state of helotism to lead their oppressed brethren in war, and to govern them in peace. In the capacity of warriors they braved the fury of Bonaparte, and defied the attempts of Britain to subjugate a portion of the emancipated island; in the state of legislators, they exemplified a wisdom and enlightenment that might have put to shame the savants of Paris. There are few parallels in modern history to the voluptuousness and tyranny practised by the French in St Domingo previous to 1791. In Cape François, the capital of the island, the dissipation and intemperate cruelty of the whites were especially inordinate and disgusting. All the luxuries that their own wants could desire and that the labour of the negro and the climate could produce, or wealth procure, they revelled in to excess. Over-indulgence produced its perpetual accompaniment-intemperate tyranny; and the poor slave, who toiled for all, was doomed, in addition to his thankless labour, to suffer the effects of that eruelty which was engendered by the ease and indulgence which were purchased at the expense of his liberty and even manhood. Torn from home, country, friends, and relatives, and doomed to a servitude the most fruitful wages of which was stripes, is it to be wondered at that the warmtemperamented, impulsive, untutored African should pant for emancipation, and even vengeance? Is it to be wondered at if he who was forced to witness his wife and children torn and lacerated with thongs, should nurse the direst hatred towards the purse-proud, supercilious despot who Scourged them? Is it to be written down as the result of natural cruelty in the negro to pay back to the white a tithe f the ills which he had endured? And is the white man to stand before the bar of the world's opinion as a spotless, Nameless man? Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and he is a bold and presumptuous man who would dare to assume to himself the prerogative of Jehovah, even in retaliation for slavery; but when we view the Haytian insurrection as a natural reaction to the cruelty which preceded it, and not as the violation of Christian principle, we are constrained to invest the Haytian with all our human symI pathies.

The negroes of St Domingo were goaded to the very verge of revolution, and were watching their French masters with sullen looks, when the National Assembly of France published the famous declaration that all men are

On the 23d August, 1791, just before daybreak, the alarm sped like wildfire through Cape François, that the slaves in all the neighbouring plantations had revolted, and that they were massacring their masters. The outbreak had begun in a plantation only about nine miles from the city, and was spreading rapidly over the country. The long pent-up vengeance of the whipped and down-trodden slave had at last burst forth, and fear and consternation overspread the faces of many in Cape François, as they reflected upon the consequences of the insurrection, and asked themselves what they might expect as the fruits of their previous conduct to the now self-emancipated slaves. There was no time for speculation, however. The revolted negroes were close at hand, and as women and children ran screaming from door to door, and men hurried to strengthen the imperfect defences of the city, the consternation and confusion were appalling. The citizens armed themselves, and the General Assembly invested M. Blanchelande, the governor, with the entire command of the national guard. The women and children, together with the majority of the coloured people in Cape François, were sent on board the ships in the harbour under a strong guard. But the tide of revolution was not to be stemmed. The negroes received accessions to their ranks every day, and gave stability to their organisation by victory, while mutual cruelties continued to farther alienate and to exasperate the whites and blacks toward each other. The latter, remembering too vividly the blows and indignities they had borne, were not very scrupulous in their treatment of the vanquished, while the French, instead of relinquishing, improved upon their old methods of cruelty and torture. They practised the almost unheard-of atrocity of nailing the epaulettes of captive black officers to their shoulders; and when they had gloated over this inhuman species of vengeance, they finished the demoniacal tragedy by nailing the caps of the unfortunate men to their heads. Privates were not deemed worthy of this mode of death, but perverted ingenuity had devised sufficient means of destroying them, without interfering with this exclusive mode of murder. They were commonly broiled over slow fires, or consumed by degrees, commencing at the feet and ascending to the vital parts. Whole shiploads were taken out of the harbour and drowned, and four and five would

be sowed up in one sack and consigned to the deep. In consent to engage in it. His first actions during this ter this dreadful struggle human blood was poured forth in rible war of races were all of a conservative character. He torrents. It was estimated, that two months after the com- exerted himself to the utmost to facilitate the flight of all mencement of hostilities upwards of two thousand white per- the whites whom he considered worthy to escape the imsons had been massacred, and that about one hundred and molation to which the more heartless majority of their eighty sugar plantations, and about nine hundred coffee, brethren were doomed. His patron, M. Bayou, who was cotton, and indigo estates were destroyed, and twelve hun-resident upon the estate of Noe, became the chief object of dred families reduced from extreme opulence to such a his care, and when the negroes were about to sack his state of wretched penury as to wholly depend upon public mansion and ravage the plantation, Toussaint found means and private charity for their food and raiment. Of the in- to convey him to a ship, and to procure for him and his surgents, it was computed that about ten thousand had family a passage to America; at the same time he was perished by the sword and famine, and that several hun- able to embark a considerable quantity of sugar for their dreds had been destroyed by the hands of the executioner. immediate maintenance. M. Bayou had treated the slave A revolt commencing with such hostile and powerfully Toussaint L'Ouverture with kindness, and the gratitude of antagonistic feelings on both sides, had none of the ele- Toussaint L'Ouverture, the freeman and president of a ments of speedy extinction in it. The blacks were neither powerful republic, only ceased with his eventful life. The vanquished nor discouraged by the losses they sustained, former settled in Baltimore, and the generous negro availed while their victories, however unimportant otherwise, were himself of every opportunity to secure for M. Bayou a comalways the prelude to greater and more daring operations. petency for life. This his elevation to his more than regal They wrung from the French commissioners sent to treat position enabled him to do most effectually; and while with them an unconditional emancipation of all the negroes by such actions he gratified the impulses of his own noble in the colony, and, under the guidance of Jean François heart, he bound the hearts of others indissolubly to him. and Beassou, soon took possession of the capital of the It was only when the destruction of Noe left him at perfect island. For two days the negroes plied the work of liberty both in spirit and fact that he entered the vortex butchery; whatever fire and sword could do to destroy of the revolution. this once-flourishing city was done, and when the officers once more resumed authority over their infuriated men, all who had been known to exercise cruelty to their slaves, or who possessed any amount of transferable property, had perished, and their homes were masses of smoking

ruins.

It was from the confusion and horrors of this deadly commotion that Toussaint L'Ouverture came forth. It was not as a warrior only, however, that Toussaint became endeared to his countrymen, and worthy of a high place in the annals of fame. It is not as the mere fighter of their battles, but as the legislator and philanthropist, that he is to be viewed as the greatest of all the Haytians. The terrible scourge and hurricane of physical revolution had passed over his country before he came prominently for ward upon the stage of its affairs, but the highest of all glories attendant upon that struggle belonged to him: it was reserved for him to repair the evils which are ever attendant upon the feet of them who use the sword; it was reserved for him to reorganise the fragmentary elements which were left, as the constituents of a nation, and to manifest the highest of all genius, that of constructiveness. Toussaint L'Ouverture was born a slave in the year 1745, on the estate of Count Noe, about nine miles from Cape François, and situated in the western province of St Domingo. This estate was the nucleus of the revolution, the heart from which issued the life-blood of the revolt, and the site of a camp whence he who had been born on it a chattel issued mandates as powerful as those of any monarch. In his earliest years Toussaint was remarkable for that benevolence which regulated all his later actions, and which so materially affected his subsequent life. The natural patience and endurance of the negro seemed to have been exaggerated in him, for it was almost impossible either to provoke or disturb the placidity of his finelyregulated temper. When the revolution broke out in 1791, Toussaint L'Ouverture, although a slave, was in a situation of comparative ease and comfort. There had been few vicissitudes in his life, for he was bound to the place of his birth by the helot's chain. He had received an education which fitted him for the duties of steward upon the estate of Noc; and so marked were his abilities, and so gentle and benevolent his disposition and actions, that he became peculiarly endeared to his brother slaves for many miles around the residence of his master. When the first steps were taken, therefore, in the bloody trial of Haytian bondage, the co-operation of Toussaint was looked upon as an event of the first moment, and he was eagerly solicited to join in the war of emancipation. His nature was so averse to bloodshed, however, and his fears for the consequences of rebellion to the insurgents so great, that it was with the utmost difficulty that he could be brought to

It must not be supposed, however, that Toussaint L'Ouverture was averse to the assertion of his own and brethren's liberty. He had as strong a passion for freedom as ever beat in the bosom of man, but at the same time he had a weight of gratitude upon his heart, and an aversion to bloodshed, which effectually disabled him from mingling in the wild and sanguinary operations of the war. When he saw, however, the excessive cruelties which were prac tised by his people upon the whites, and reflected that by seeming to act with them, even in their fiercest works of destruction, he might be the means of mitigating their cruelties and preserving life, he at once threw himself into the active business of the war. Once fairly cast upon the waters of public life, his extraordinary talents soon placed him above all his compatriots. His friends as well as enemies were astonished at the extensive grasp of his con ception and the acuteness of his observation. In war he was the cool, acute, and undaunted commander; and in council the wise, generous, and disinterested senator and patriot. Whether viewed as the cautious and yet brilliant general, or as the wise and statesmanlike legislator, this slave will stand comparison with the most educated and accomplished of his cotemporaries either in Europe or America; while in all the qualities of benevolence and justice, and in strict decorum of manners and propriety of conduct, none of equal celebrity can claim to be ranked with him save Washington. His inventive genius in war, and his acute suggestions in matters of civil and domestic policy, soon brought him into the notice of the patriot leaders, who quickly placed him in the rank of aide-decamp, then in that of colonel; he was next created brigadiergeneral, and lastly commander-in-chief and governor-general of the island of St Domingo. These promotions were necessarily very rapid, and his continuance in each of the intermediate capacities named was very short; yet the same modesty, kindness, and integrity which had charac terised him when a slave were evidenced in all the stages and relations of his remarkable elevation, winning all hearts to him, and gently paving the way for his ascension to supreme authority.

When invested with the chief power, one of Toussaint's first acts was to command attention to the cultivation of the soil. He was aware that the very existence of a country depends upon agriculture, and that Hayti couli never hope to be prosperous so long as this fundamental requirement was neglected. The negroes, who had become accustomed to the novel and to them fascinating life of a camp, and who associated slavery in its worst forms with every species of field labour, were so averse to engaging again in agriculture, that even the wisest of them would listen to no proposals upon this hated subject. Toussaint was well acquainted, however, with the negro character,

and instead of allowing the new planters to hire labourers commanding that they became renowned for their dexterity at a certain sum per annum, he enacted that the culti-in using their arms and their promptitude in executing rators of the soil, that is the planters and their labourers, difficult manœuvres. The peace of Amiens was hardly should receive one-third pa of the produce of the land definitely concluded ere Bonaparte dispatched his brotherfor their remuneration, while the rest should be applied in-law, Le Clerc, with several of his most able officers to revenue purposes. This mode of appropriating the and a powerful army of 25,000 men and a strong fleet, in estates on the island was as equitable as it was politie; it order to re-subjugate the colony and restore the estates was an agrarian law, by which all the people in Hayti to their original owners. Jerome Bonaparte, as well as were benefited, because it rewarded the husbandman ac- Pauline, accompanied Le Clerc in this expedition, which cording to his industry and the chances of the season, the prompt and unscrupulous tyrant anticipated would while it secured the taxes from their legitimate source, the execute summary vengeance on the blacks, and restore to land, and left manufacturing industry free and unshackled France the island of St Domingo as easily as he had conby the compound burdens of a more complicated and per- quered on several occasions and as rapidly. It was during haps refined system of policy. This law produced almost this unhappy contest that Toussaint's military talents magical effects; the negroes at once returned to their la- most conspicuously displayed themselves. Aware of his bours under the provisions of this law, which had its consummate abilities and energy, Bonaparte had instructed penalties for idleness and crime as well as its encourage- Le Clerc to effect if possible a division among the Haytians; ments; and as their overseers were now of their own race, and no sooner was the French fleet anchored before Cape and of kindred sentiments, the island was soon restored to François than the general began to tamper with Christophe, its former beauty and fertility, and every day added per- the negro commander of that place, but the Haytian inceptibly to its advancement under the mild yet equitable dignantly rejected his overtures; upon which Le Clerc sway of Toussaint. After the land, he devoted himself to published a most plausibly concocted proclamation, dethe elevation of the people; he encouraged education and signed to delude the negroes with an idea that the mission industry by all the means in his power, and as the French of this powerful army was altogether friendly, and that had set their slaves at least the one beneficial example of while it declared Toussaint L'Ouverture and Henry Chrisrefinement of manners, he sedulously applied himself to tophe outlaws, it assured the people of Hayti that no the cultivation of good breeding among his people. No- violence would be employed unless their fraternal advances thing tended more to the promotion of his object than his were rejected. This manifesto was at once viewed as the own example. On all public occasions he was most signal for war, which soon raged with great violence. Le scrupulous in attending to his own behaviour, and so Clerc soon observed with great apprehension that the maried was the decorum of his levees that they might negro troops were very powerful and brave, and he emhave vied with the best regulated reunions in Paris. He ployed all the means in his power to cause a defection, in was very particular with regard to the appearance of the which he was but too successful. La Plume, Dumesmilo, officers of his staff, and had them arrayed in magnifi- and Maurepas, three negro generals, together with all their cent costumes; but in his own dress he was remarkably troops, went over to the French, which disgraceful treachery imple, and his food generally consisted of a few cakes, constrained Christophe to negotiate a peace with Le Clerc, bananas or batatas, and a glass of water. M. Thiers, in in which transaction he obtained an amnesty for Toussaint, his History of the Consulate and Empire,' speaks of Tous- Dessalines, himself, and all the troops, and a recognition by saint as a miserable imitator of Napoleon; he treats his the French of the rank of all the officers. This affair was military genius with the summary verdict of a true Bona- settled without even the knowledge of the governor-general, partist, and designates his simplicity as an affectation of and, as may be anticipated, the consequences were very serithe habits of the first consul. It would have been well for ous. He found himself deserted by all his generals except the the world while he lived, and for posterity when he died, brave but ferocious Dessalines, who scorned every overture if the ambitious emperor had possessed a tithe of the truth that was made to him by the French to desert his country's and goodness which so conspicuously adorned the negro cause. Previous to this negotiation of Christophe, however, chief. The licentiousness of manners which had charac- a circumstance had taken place strongly illustrative of the terised the former masters of the island, he was careful to integrity and virtue of Toussaint L'Ouverture. He had reform, and he ordered that no lady should appear at court sent his two sons to France in order that they might proI with uncovered neck. On one occasion, he threw his cure that education in Paris which was unattainable in St handkerchief over the bosom of a young girl, observing, in Domingo. On the breaking out of the second Haytian war, a serious tone, that modesty should be the portion of her Bonaparte, with that unfeeling, unscrupulous avidity which sex. His maxim was, 'that women should always appear ever marked his path to the accomplishment of an object, as if they were going to church.' ordered these youths to be seized, in order to make them Under such enlightened and kindly auspices the most the means of dissociating their father from the Haytian perfect order and regularity were restored to the island, cause. They were sent out to their native country along and in the organisation of different ranks no jarring took with Le Clerc, with instructions that he was to use them pace. The moral duties were enforced, and the decencies as best suited the purposes of his relative's ambition; and of civilised life carefully practised. The churches were re- in order that no pains might be spared to render their opened, and public worship was restored. Public enter-agency effective, a villain named Coisnon, who was their tainments, consisting principally of comedy and pantomime, were revived; and many of the black performers evidenced high histrionic talent. Some attention was paid to painting, and music was all but universally cultivated; and in the rebuilding of Cape François considerable architectural taste, if not elegance, was evinced. The members of the republic of all shades of colour mingled with each other on the best possible footing, and without seeming to recognise any of the causes which had produced so great a feeling of separation or opposition in former times. While the island of Hayti was thus internally developing the vast capacity of the country and people, ambition and tyranny were preparing another ordeal through which the poor Haytians were to pass. In the meantime Toussaint had devoted himself to the increase and discipline of the army, and so successful had he become that he doubled, in the short space of about two years, an army of 40,000, and evidenced such excellent tacticianship and powers of

tutor, was dispatched with them. No entreaties could induce Toussaint to forsake his countrymen, and now came the ordeal of his affections. From the again smoking ruins of Cape François, Le Clerc dispatched Coisnon with his pupils to their father, with instructions that he was to let them meet, but on no account to let them remain at home unless Toussaint would promise entire acquiescence to the wishes of the first consul. Coisnon arrived safely with the youths at Ennercy, but the negro chief was absent at a distant part of the island, and a courier was immediately dispatched to inform him that an envoy with important proposals had arrived from France, and he speedily returned. The two sons ran to meet their father, and he, full of sweet emotions, clasped them silently to his bosom. Few wretches in human form could have taken advantage of such a moment to have made dishonourable proposals; but Coisnon had been chosen for his fitness for this disgusting office, and he did not disappoint the mean estimate

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that had been made of his spirit. When the first burst of parental feeling was over, Toussaint stretched out his arms to him whom he regarded as the preceptor of his children, when the vile emissary drew back, and, instead of meeting the governor-general's advances, presented a letter from Bonaparte, advising him to desert his country's cause. His sons tried in their artlessness to induce their father's compliance with Napoleon's wish, and their mother's tears and entreaties were added to their prayers; but the high-souled patriot withstood it all. Take back my children,' he said, if it must be so. I will be faithful to my brethren and my God.' Finding the integrity of Toussaint invulnerable, Le Clerc meditated and executed one of the basest acts of treachery on record. The treaty of Christophe and the French general permitted the Haytian chief to retire to any of his estates he chose, and he accordingly removed to L'Ouverture, situated at Gonaires, on the western coast of the island. Here, in violation of treaty, he was taken prisoner on a night in May, 1802, when all the inmates of his house were asleep. Brunet, a brigadier-general, and Ferrari entered Toussaint's chamber with a file of grenadiers, and demanded his instant and quiet surrender. Resistance was vain; two negro chiefs who had heroically attempted a rescue were seized and shot; and about a hundred of the governor's friends were sent on board the fleet, where they were probably drowned; while he and his family were hurried on board a ship, and sent off to France before any time was given to apprise the Haytians of his capture. During the voyage Toussaint was closely guarded, and was refused all intercourse with his family. On the ship's arrival at Brest, one sorrowful meeting was allowed upon the deck, and then he was hurried away for ever from all he loved, guarded by cavalry in a close vehicle, and immured in the castle of Joux, in Normandy. His wife and children remained at Brest about two months; they were then removed to Bayonne, from which place they disappeared, and were never more seen or heard of. From the castle of Joux, Toussaint, as the winter drew near, was removed to the castle of Besançon, and the same treatment which he had received at Joux was even more rigorously dealt to him here. Not content with his close confinement, they placed him, a native of a sunny warm clime, in a cold damp dungeon, whose gloomy walls were always dripping, and whose floor was often flooded with water. He lingered through the winter in this living tomb, and then died another victim to swell the list of cold-blooded murders which disgrace the name of the most ambitious and unscrupulous conqueror and famous soldier of modern history.

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the dialect in which they are written will hereafter be found to be a misfortune, and a serious one. As yet we of Scotland have the power of fully understanding and estimating these our national bards, but that power is so far passing away, The members of the newly-born generation, who are to fill our places, can never appreciate Burns so thoroughly as we do. How should it be otherwise? Our object in sending the young to schools is to teach them the purest English, at once in talking, in reading, and in writing. We check them if they utter a broad Scottish word in our presence, as if they had committed a fault, and had at least been guilty of a vulgarism. It is impossible for them, therefore, to retain that fine appreciation of the pith aud point of the Scottish idiom which their predecessors possessed. As already observed, there is scarcely room here, on the whole, for serious regret. Strong as our liking may be for the language in which Burns composed his poems, he himself must have felt that he even then wrote in what was comparatively a dead tongue. Witness his letters. These were, without exception, framed by him in the purest English which he had at command; and this arose, beyond question, from the consciousness that the Scottish dialect had already ceased to be the language of people in civilised British life. We may have a lurking feeling of sorrow in making this acknowledgement; but it is needless to struggle with the current of changes and events. Those who write now and may write henceforth in our old tongue must be content to be looked on as persons writing exercises in a language passed away. If this is not already the case, it will soon be so. In the natural course of things, the whole of the British islands must ere long use one tongue, and the more so from the vast increase of facilities for internal communication which these latter days have witnessed.

We have heard people regret deeply that such a man as George Buchanan wrote all his great works-his poetry and his History of Scotland for example in the Latin tongue. In the opinion of such judges, his compositions have hence been lost in a measure to his country. Never was there a more erroneous idea adopted. In the days of Buchanan the Roman language was the only one in which works could be composed for posterity, in our northern section, at all events, of Great Britain. The Scottish tongue was at that time losing its pure Anglo-Saxon cha racter, and degenerating into a mere dialect, and one much more deformed and barbarous. Luckily this assertion can be easily put to the proof, since we have at least one pretty lengthened piece by Buchanan, written in his native and national form of speech. This piece is entitled Chamaeleon,' or a satire written by Mr George Buchanan against the Laird of Lidingtone." This laird was the famous statesman and minister, Secretary Maitland, an ancestor of the present Lauderdale family. Let the reader mark the opening sentences of this satire, and consider whether it would have been well for Buchanan to have composed all his works in the dialect here used, in place of leaving them to us in the Latin language, whence they could at least be rendered into pure English by the diligence of translators:

THE SCOTTISH LANGUAGE. It is impossible to be blind to the fact, that the Scottish language-the true Lowland Scottish language-is rapidly passing into desuetude and oblivion. There is little cause here, after all, for regret. At best the tongue of the people of Scotland was never much more than a dialect a provincial form of the Saxon or Anglo-Saxon, in partial combination with certain other modes of speech. This may be a hard pill for Caledonian pride to swallow, but the truth is still the truth, however it may chance to be relished. The vernacular of the north of Britain has been for the last two centuries in a state of transition, unstable and unformed, yet always progressing towards a fixed state. In the days of Dunbar and Lindsay, our northern poets wrote nearly as pure Anglo-Saxon as did Chaucer and his immediate successors in English literature. Circumstances, for which it might be difficult fully to account, gave a peculiar and local or national caste subsequently to the speech of the Scottish people, which, so long as the intercourse betwixt them and their southern neighbours continued to be limited and imperfect, had scope to flourish and assume a sort of definite and inde-devise of cullouris to signifie sempilness and loyaltie, and pendent shape. It was during this period that Ramsay and Burns lived and composed their imperishable works. These works were, and are, and ever must be largely appreciated by the world, but-shall we venture to say it?

Thair is a certane kynd of beist callit chamaeleon, engenderit in sic countreis as the sone hes mair strenth in than in this yle of Brettane, the quhilk, albeit it be small of corporance, noghttheless it is of ane strange nature, the quhilk makis it to be na less celebrat and spoken of than sum besitis of greittar quantitie. The proprieties is marvalous, for what thing ever it be applicat to, it seemis to be of the samyn cullour, and imitatis all hewis, except onelie the quhyte and reid; and for this caus anciene writtaris commonlie comparis it to ane flatterare, quhilk imitatis all the haill maneris of quhome he fenzeis him self to be friend to, except quhyte, quhilk is taken to be the symboll and tokin gevin commonlie in

reid signifying manliness and heroyicall courage.'

How would our passionate admirers of the proper vernacular tongue of Scotland-those who deem it a grave misfortune that Buchanan did not compose therein his

days

great and memorable works-how, we may ask, would they like to encounter a lengthened history, placed before them in such a dialect as the preceding? It is plain that the unsettled condition of our northern speech rendered Buchanan's adoption of the Latin a benefit for posterity, if not absolutely a matter of necessity. It will be observed by those who look closely at the few sentences above quoted, that even the most educated Scotsmen of that period pursued no fixed rules in respect to orthography. The sound alone seems to have determined the spelling, and even then it seems to have been determined only in accordance with the fancy of the moment. For example, we find beist' here in one of the sentences, and 'besitis, as the plural, in another part of the very same sentence. Many of the words used by Buchanan in this satire might really puzzle a fair Scottish scholar of modern Sir Walter Scott detected the impossibility of attempting to revive the proper, unmodified dialect of past days, in the noble series of pictures which he gave of these in his novels and romances. He derived the guiding lesson, as he himself tells us, from noting the failure of Joseph Strutt, the antiquary, in his tale of Queenhoo Hall,' while pursuing an opposite course. The dialect and costume of former times were so rigidly preserved in this work, as almost wholly to prevent its appreciation by modern readers. Indeed, it proved to most persons totally unintelligible; it could not be read without a glossary, or perpetual notes. With the most admirable tact and judgment, accordingly, Sir Walter, whether he fixed his narrative in the days of Cour de Lion, or merely in the century immediately preceding his own--whether he introduced Norman and Saxon interlocutors, or the modern peasantry of his own Scotland-aways took care to adopt just so much of the dialect of the time as left the whole readily intelligible by the existing generation. His works will be read and estimated, in consequence, through all ages. Very different must have been the case had the illustrious novelist adhered closely in every case to the language of the days of which he gave portraitures. Think of Queen Mary being made to speak, in the story of The Abbot,' the counterpart of that language which we have cited from Buchanan! and yet he was her cotemporary, and very probably used a purer form of speech than did that fair and unfortunate princess. Sir Walter, had he laid down to himself those strict rules which he fortunately repudiated in actual practice, must then have represented Queen Mary as talknga language utterly abhorrent to our modern ears. For amusement's sake, let us turn to the novel of 'The Abbot, and try how a dialogue given in that story would look, the real language of the time, written and spoken, being adopted by us for the nonce. We select the scene where Mary signs the deed of abdication in the castle of Lochleven, in the presence of Lords Lindsay and Ruthven, and Sir Robert Melville, as well as her women and her Page. We cannot imitate the probable coarseness of speech vinced at that interview, but we may give Sir Walter's sketch of it in the language unquestionably spoken at the time, and in the exact way, in short, in which a contemporary and an auditor would have recorded it :

Melvil agane resumit heis plea.

Madame," he sayd, 'tyme pressis, and you most noght ette theis boattis, quhilke, I see, thai are evin now prepairyng, putte furth on the lake.' Heir are enow of witnesis-your leddies and this bolde youthe-mysel', whan can serve your caus effectuilly, for I wald nott hastelie stonde committede in this maittere-bot, evin withouten heir is evidence enow to shawe that you have yielded to the demandes of the Councile thorough force and feir, bet from na sincere and unconstranit assente. Thair attis are alreadie mannit for thair return-Oh! perte your auld servitour to recalle thaym.' Melvil,' sayd the Quene, thou art ane aunciente courter-whan diddest thou evir knawe a soveraigne prince recalle to his presance sobjects quho hadde pairted fra ym on sic terms as those on quhilk these envois of the Councile lefte us, and quho yit were recallit withouten

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submission or apologie? Lat yt cost me baith lyfe and croune, I will not agane commande thaim to my presance.' 'Alace! madame, thatte emptie form suld mak a barrier! Gif I richtlie understonde, you are not unwillinge to liste to realle and advantageous counsaile;-bot your scrupil is saived-I heir thaim returnynge to aske your fynal resolution. Oh! tak the advyse of the nobill Seytoune, and you mai ance mair commande those quho now usurp ane triumphe over you. Bot, hush! I heir thaim in the vestibule.'

6

As all who recollect the story of The Abbot' must be aware, this scene closes with the signing by Mary of the deed of abdication in favour of her son James. However, we have nothing to do with that point at the present time. Our object now is, to ask how our readers would be pleased with a narrative so closely copying the true Scottish dialect of old days, as is done in the preceding specimen? Every word there put down is taken from the satire (already mentioned) by Buchanan; and, outré as the copy may seem, we are sensible of having rather softened than exaggerated his antique style of spelling and writing. It is indeed somewhat puzzling to copy him, seeing that he scruples not, as before hinted, to spell the same word differently, again and again, in a few sentences,-than which no clearer proof could be given of his having been, for the time, compelled to write in an utterly unformed language. Surely the public gratitude to Scott should be great-in as far as he adopted, in portraying past times, a style of expression suited to the present ones, as well as (so far as we can see) to those yet to come.

We come now, or rather we return, to what has been in reality the purpose of this whole article. It is painful to us to note the struggle which many Scotsmen, of no inconsiderable talents, have been making of late years to maintain the art of composing in the language of Ramsay and Burns. Yes, art is the word; for those who engage in the pursuit are as distinctly artificial in their taste as was George Buchanan in writing in the Latin tongue. The very best of our modern writers of the Scottish language speak good English throughout the whole of their daily intercourse in life, and it is only when they retire to their desks that they set about the manufacture of something à l'Ecossais. As if to make up for the forced nature of the product, they endeavour to give it the genuine air and cast, by reverting to the dialect of a long by-past generation, and using phrases and forms of speech which Burns, nay, even Ramsay, would have discarded as obsolete in their days. All this will not do, or at all events will do no good; and the parties who act as we say are but losing, or at least misusing, their time. Far be it from us to aver that the great works which have been already composed in the vernacular speech of Scotland-that the treasures of genius therein encased and embalmed-are to be lost to coming generations. No; there is little chance of such a misfortune occurring. The tongues of Greece and Rome are in the main dead, and yet the illustrious writers in both are admired and will be admired for ever. The classics of Scotland are even more favourably placed for retaining their hold on posterity, as having composed their works in one dialect of a language likely to live in a certain shape enduringly, and that both in the Old and New Worlds. Still it is but a dialect, and one which is disappearing rapidly from among men in the ordinary converse and business of life.

It is for these many reasons that we conceive it to be hopeless for men of talent at this day to expend toil and time on compositions in the Scottish tongue. The whole of Great Britain, if we foresee aright, must ere long use one form of speech, and that will of course be the English in its purest form, as moulded and modified by time. It is a noble language, and so rich in applicabilities as to have no superior on the face of the globe. Let us poor Scottish folks, accordingly, content ourselves with prizing and enjoying our departed classics, without striving, in the face of unsurmountable obstacles, to force new works on the world, in a dialect which the world (including our

selves) has discontinued habitually to use.

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