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tage derived to the public from the drawn up by a committee, with the improvements made by their father resolutions of a meeting of gentlemen, upon that important implement of from the several counties, &c. and of husbandry, the plough; and to ena- . the society's committee on that busible his sons to carry on their business ness, held on the 24th ult. was laid 'on a more extensive scale.
before the meeting.
The society The treasurer stated to the meeting, highly approved of the great attenthe funds of the society, its income tion given, and labour bestowed by and expenditure. last year, under dif- Mr Tait, convener, and the other ferent heads, from a state thereof pre- gentlemen of the committee, in acpared by Mr Wilson, accountant in quiring information upon this imporEdinburgh, the society's auditor of tant subject, and of the able manner accounts, examined by a committee in which the report was drawn up.of the society in the usual manner, The society at same time expressed when the meeting voted a larger sum its acknowledgments to Professor than on any former occasion to be at Playfair, of Edinburgh, for his very the disposal of the directors in pro- valuable paper on the subject. The moting the objects of the society for meeting resolved that copies of the the year 1813: and the thanks of the report be transmitted to his Royal society were voted to Mr Wilson, Highness the Duke of Sussex, a mem. for the correct view of the society's ber of the society, who has been pleapecuniary transactions brought for. sed to express his wishes to forward ward by him upon the table, and who its objects, to his grace the Duke of takes this trouble without fee or re- Montrose, the president, bis grace ward.
the Duke of Buccleugh, Lord VisSir John Sinclair called the atten- count Melville, and Lord James Murtion of the society to the utility of ray, the absent vice-presidents of the promoting the planting of early po- society, right honourable Nicolas fatoes over the country, particularly Vansittart, right honourable George by those having small possessions, por- Rose, and William Smith, Esq. memtioners in villages, and cottagers, as bers of parliament, and honorary a means of affording an early supply members of this society, accompanied of food, which was especially neces- by letters from the Earl of Wemyss, sary at present, from the partial failure the vice-president in the chair, soliof the crop of last year in some parts citing, in name of the society, their of Scotland. A paper upon this sub- countenance and support, in forwardject, drawn up at the request of the ing this very desirable object, which directors, by Dr Duncan, jun. of E. the society considers of so much imdinburgh, and Mr Neill, secretary to portance to the country in general, the Caledonian Horticultural Society, as well as, in a more especial manner, was laid before the meeting. The to its commercial and agricultural society highly approved of the sug- interests. gestion of Sir John Sinclair as to the A letter from Colonel Grant of propriety of recommending the cul- Grant, requesting the society's patro. tivation of early potatoes, and remit- nage and support to a subscription for ted to the directors to publish and erecting a bridge over the River Spey circulate such recommendation, with at Lower Craigelachie, was laid bean abstract from the paper by Dr Dun- fore the meeting. The society, alcan and Mr Neill, as to the proper though they did not feel themselves mode of carrying it into effect. justified by any precedent, or from
A report upon the subject of an the appropriation of their funds, to equalization of weights and measures, vote money to this object, yet were
fully sensible of the great utility and vice-president, and other office-bearers advaatage of the proposed bridge, as for the current year, the following facilitating a short and direct com- noblemen and gentlemen were cho, munication from the Moray Firth, by sen, viz. the roads now made or projected,
PRESIDENT. through the inland districts of the His Grace the Duke of Montrose, counties of Moray, Banff, and Aber
re-elected. deenshire, to the south of Scotland. A letter from Mr Andrew Gray,
VICE-PRESIDENTS. millwright, was read to the meeting, His Grace the Duke of Buccleuch coinmunicating his having instituted and Queensberry a school, or academy, in Anchor close, The Right Hon. the Earl of Weymss Edinburgh, for instructing young men
and March. in drawing plans and forming models Right Hon. Lord Viscount Melville. of the most approved machinery, par. Right Hon. Lord James Murray. ticularly implements of husbandry, William Macdonald, Esq. of St Marand requesting the countenance of the tins, treasurer. society to such institution. The Ranald Macdonald, Esq. of Staffa, meeting were of opinion that such an sheriff.depute of Stirlingshire, se
would cretary. be of great utility, and hoped Mr Robert Wilson, Esq. accountant in Gray, as he proposed, would endea Edinburgh, auditor of aceounts. your to procure models of the best Reverend Dr George Baird, Princi. implements of husbandry now in use, pal of the University of Edinburgh, and of such improvements as might
chaplain. be made from time to time, so as to Mr Lewis Gordon, depute secretary render his academy and depot worthy
and collector. of the attention and countenance of Mr David Watson, recorder and clerk. the public.
Mr John Campbell, translator of the A letter from Captain G. W. Man
Gælic language. by, inspector of British coasts, ac Mr James Mackay, jeweller and me. companied with drawings, and de dalist. scription of his plan for saving the
Besides thirty ordinary directors, lives of shipwrecked persons, was resident in Edinburgh, for managing laid before the meeting. Captain the affairs of the society, (seven of Manby farther proposes to communicate to the society a method of afford- the society also made choice of the
whom go out annually by rotation) ing assistance to persons liable to following noblemen and gentlemen perish from the breaking of ice. The
to be extraordinary directors, some society, after hearing Admiral Fra
of whom are only occasionally in ser, Sir A. Muir Mackenzie, Mr Walker, younger of Coats, and Mr
town, and cannot regularly attend. Graham Dalyell, instructed the di. the stated meetings, viz. rectors to receive any farther com- Right Hon. the Earl of Aboyne. munication upon this subject; and Right Hon. Lord John Campbell. expressed their acknowledgments to Right Hon. Lord Scaforth. Captain Manby for his attention, and Honourable Lord Hermand. their approbation of his endeavours in Sir George Clerk of Pennycuick, promote an object so interesting to
Bart. M. P. humanity.
Sir George Stuart of Grandtully, Bart. The society having, on motion, pro- Sir John
Macgregor Murray of Lanseeded to the election of president,
Alexander Boswell, Esq. of Auchin. which the public had not before been leck
familiarized. Mr Scoit is undoubtDonald M‘Lachlan of Maclachlan, ealy a poet quite original. It is in Esq.
vain that this claim is sought to be Henry Mackenzie, Esq.
disputed, by collecting from other
writers a few passages containing siAll other matters having been re- milar ideas to those which he has ex. ferred to the directors, the meeting, pressed. It matters little, whether
with much approbation, voted the this has happened by accident, or • thanks of the society to the Earl of
whether these Weymss, the vice-president, not only the poet's eye whin he wrote. Still
passages were really in for his conduct in the chair, but for
every one who reads a page of his his uniform attention to the business
composition must be convinced, that and interest of the institution.
his mind, before bringing them forth,
had appropriated them to itself, and Scottish REVIEW.
moulded them into its own fashion.
His style every where resembles itROKEBY ; a Poem. By Walter Scott. self, and is dissimilar to every other. Esq. 410. 21. 2s. Ballantyne. Originality in itself is an attractive
circumstance ; yet it is usually renTHE productions of Mr Scott are dered less popular, by being combin
too well known to render it ne- ed with passions and ideas difficult to cessary that we should now enter in- be comprehended, and into which the to any elaborate estimate of their me. bulk of men are unable to enter. It rits. The mind of the public, upon is otherwise, however, with the fathis subject, seems to be fully made vourite theines of our poet. These up.
The universal sentiment is in consist of those mystic terrors which his favour, and he seems established thrill the ignorant still more than the in a measure of popularity, which has cultivated mind : that pomp of feudal not been enjoyed by any poet of any war, which dazzles all alike; and
If to please be the that tenderness of passion, without first aim of the poet, Mr Scott has any strained refinement, in which all certainly attained it in a superemi- are able to sympathise. He is orinent degree. We are far from wish- ginal therefore, without any thing abing to appeal from this universal sen- struse or incomprehensible. His ideas tence. On the appearance of the Lay have at once the charm of novelty of the Last Minstrel, we were the first and familiarity. There is another cirto proclaim its merits, without fore- cumstance, which, in our opinion, has seeing that they would be recognized contributed greatly to the success of by the public in so remarkable a de- our author. The ancient history and gree. We certainly view these pieces as traditions of the nation have not hipossessing poetical excellencies of the therto formed the reigning subjects of very first order. Yet the fact is un- British poetry. Veneration for the doubted, that productions intrinsical- poets of Greece and Rome, who were ly not less admirable, have attracted our masters in the art, had made us a far inferior share of public attention, adopt implicitly their mythology, and have even for a time been con- and all the subjects of their muse. signed to neglect, Whence has it Yet there must, for every people, be happened, that the poems in question a charm in their own native tradihave been so much more fortunate ?, tions, compared to which the most This may appear the more surprising, brilliant themes, belonging to another as they exhibit, in fact, a new style, to country and age, will appear cold and
unmteresting. Mr Scott, a poet en- voluntary crime, has become the prey tirely national, has naturally enough of ceaseless remorse, awakened national enthusiasm in his A character strongly contrasted favour. The mere local interest of with all these, and very ill-suited to the scenery has been added to his the rude period in which he lived is other attractions ; and his poenis have Wilfred. Although he be the minsbeen the companion and the guide of trel of the poem, he is not drawn with those, who sought to explore the, that fond partiality, which the author beauties of his native country.
has shewn in his other productions for In reviewing a poem of this de- that gifted character.
He seems scription, it is usual to begin with an rather to exhibit him as a beacon, to analysis of the story. After due con
deter others from rashly devoting sideration, we do not see any advan- themselves to similar pursuits. This tages attendant on this practice. To votary of the Muse is represented as those who have read the poem, it unfit for all active life, a visionary, must be superfluous; to those who and finally the victim of hopeless have not, it is impairing the plea- love. sure they are to derive from it. Even Matilda and Redmond are the proto those who are destined never to per heroine and hero of the tale; they peruse it, such a meagre outline can are, as usual, adorned with every accommunicate no portion of the plea- complishment; are formed for each sure which it is calculated to yield. other, and finally united. They do A better idea may perhaps be con- not, however, appear till far on in veyed by giving a brief sketch of the the poem, and never occupy any very persons who figure as its leading cha- prominent share in the reader's atten. racters,
tion. The most prominent, by far, and Among the subordinate characters, the one who excites the greatest in- we may mention Denzil, the leader terest, is Bertram. This personage of a party of robbers, and the associate had originally been a buccaneer, and, of Bertram. But we viewed with in that savage and adventurous cha- more pleasure one of his band, Edracter, had roved over all the Ameri- mund, a youth and a poet, who, not can coasts. Such a course of life had yet hardened, rucs, at every interval, obliterated every trace of gentleness his guilty trade, and laments his days or mercy, which might have been of innocence, and the maid whom he implanted in his rugged nature. He has forsaken. His songs, and simple appears now as an accomplished ruf- lamentations, form one of the most fian, insensible to every claim of pity interesting parts of the poem. or remorse, and only to be shaken by It is now time to present our rea. the terrors of superstition. The ter- ders with some specimens of the exerible energy of his character, his cution of Rokeby. We shall begin matchless force and courage, and the with the description of Wilfrid, the dreadful scenes into which he preci- love sick minstrel. pitates himself, inspire, however, a species of admiration and fearful'in. Wifrid, docile, soft, and mild, terest. This cannot be said of the
Was Fancy's spoiled and wayward child ;
In her bright car she bade him ride, high-born sharer of his guilt, Oswald With one fair form to graee his side ; Wycliffe, whose villany, mingled with Or, in some wild and lone retrcat, cowardice, inspires only disgust. A Flung her high spells around his seat, more interesting object is found in Bathed in her dews his languid head, Mariham, once a bold and warlike for him her opiates gave to flow, leader, but who, betrayed into an in- Which he who tastes can ne’er forego,
And placed him in her circle, free
TO THE MOON.
Hail to thy cold and clouded beam,
Pale pilgrim of the troubled sky!
Hail, though the mists that o'er thee stream Woe to the youth whom Fancy gains,
Lend to thy brow their sullen dye! Winning from Reason's hand the reins,
How should thy pure and peaceful eye Pity and woe : for such a mind
Untroubled view our scenes below, Is soft, contemplative, and kind ;
Or how a tearless beam supply And woe to those who traiu such youth,
To light a world of war and woe! And spare to press the rights of truth,
Fair Queen! I will not blame thee now, The mind to strengthen and anneal,
As once by Greta's fairy side ; While on the stithy glows the steel ! Each 'little cloud that dimmed thy brow O teach him, while your lessons last,
Did then an angel's beauty hide. To judge the present by the past ;
And of the shades I then could chide, Remind him of each wish pursued,
Still are the thoughts to memory dear, How rich it glowed with promised good : For, while a softer strain I tried, Remind him of each wish enjoyed,
They hid my blush, and calmed my fear, How soon his hopes possession cloyed ! Tell him, we play unequal game,
Then did I swear thy ray serene Whene'er we shoot by Fancy's aiin;
Was formed to light some lonely dell, And, ere he strip him for her race,
By two fond lovers only seen, Shew the conditions of the chace.
Reflected from the crystal well ; Two Sisters by the goal are set,
Or sleeping on their mossy cello Cold Disappointment and Regret ;
Or quivering on the lattice bright, One disenchants the winner's eyes,
Or glancing on their couch, to tell And strips of all its worth the prize,
How swiftly wanes the summer night! While one augments its gaudy show,
We shall now present a specimen More to enhance the loser's woe.
of a very opposite description. It The victor sees his fairy gold Transformed, when won, to drossy mold,
relates to Bertram, before whose eyes But still the vanquished mourns his loss,
the combined influence of remorse And rues, as gold, that glittering dross. and superstition call up a visionary
form. Instead of Aying from it, his More wouldst thou know-yon tower sur
fierce hardihood prompts him to pur. -vey, Yon couch unpressed since parting day,
sue and seek to
With this on Bertram's soul at times
Rushed a dark feeling of his crimes ; The head reclined, the loosened hair,
Such to his troubled soul their form, The limbs relaxed, the mournful air.
As the pale death-ship to the storm, See, he looks up ;- a woeful smile
And such their omen dim and dread, Lightens his woe-worn cheek a while, As shrieks and voices of the dead. Tis Fancy wakes some idle thought,
That pang, whose transitory force To gild the ruin she has wrought ;
Hovered 'twixt horror and remorse; For, like the bat of Indian brakes,
That pang, perchance, his bosom pressed, Her pinions fan the wound she makes, As Wilfrid sudden he addressed. And, soothing thus the dreamer's pain, “ Wilfrid, this glen is never trod She drinks his life-blood from the vein. Until the fun rides high abroad, Now to the lattice turn his eyes,
Yet twice have I beheld to-day Vain hope ! to see the sun arise.
A form that seem'd to dog our way; The moon with clouds is still o'ercast,
Twice from my glance it seemed to flee, Still howls by fits, the stormy blast ;
And shroud itself by cliff or tree. Another hour must wear away.
How think'st thou ?_is our path way-laid, Ere the East kindle into day,
Or hath thy sire my trust betrayed ? And, hark! to waste that weary hour, If so"-Ere, starting from his dream, He tries the minstrel's magic power. That turned upon a gentler theme,
Wilfrid had roused him to reply, We add his song, which is extreme
Bertram sprung forward, shouting high,
" Whate'er thou art, thou now shalt stand !" ly beautiful.
And forth he darted, sword in hand.