Obrazy na stronie

admit, that there is no article of which it is more important to be economical. Encouragement to production, therefore, the chief advantage of free exporiation, is here scarcely desireable. We admit this reasoning, however, not without reluctance; and we rather incline to suspect, that the freight on so bulky an article will, even during peace, confine its export within narrow limits, and to cases in which it is of great and indispensable utility. So long as this is the case (which at present it avowedly is, in consequence of the war) we do not see sufficient ground to recommend the adoption of so churlish and illiberal a system.

In the course of this discussion Mr B. gives the following statement of the extent and direction of the coal field of Scotland.

The coal-field of Scotland is confined

to a certain district of country. It crosses the island in a diagonal line from west to east. Beyond this belt, either to the north or south, little or no coal is to be found; and the inhabitants who are removed at any distance from the coal-field feel the greatest hardships, by the high price and scarcity of fuel.

The north boundary of the coal field

extends from the banks of the river

Eden, near St Andrew's, to the south parts of Kinross-shire, from whence it sweeps towards the Ochil mountains at Dollar, and keeps close upon their base westward till it arrive at Craigleith, one of the hills of that beautiful range, when it suddenly turns southward, and crosses the river Forth below Stirling; from thence it is traced by Kilsyth, Campsie, Witch-hill and Kilpatrick, till it fall in to the river Clyde above Dumbarton.

The south boundary commences near Haddington, and stretches by Linton, Douglas Mill, Glenbuck, Muirkirk, New Cumnock, and from thence down

the water of Giryan, till it join the


These boundaries are not minutely correct, but they certainly contain the whole of the Main Coal-field of Scotland which

is of any importance. Detached insula

ted fields are no doubt to be found bevond these lines, as at Brora in Sutherland

shire, and at S.nquhar in Dumfries shire, but they are not of great extent. Coal strata are also to be found lying underneath the precipices of greenstone ruck at Abbey Craig, Stirling Castle, and Craig forth, in Stirlingshire; but these are beyond the line of the main field, and only very thin seams of coal destitute of bitumen, termed Blind coal, have

been found there.

Even within these boundaries are the intervention of hills, and the convaltracts of country without coal, owing to sion of the sarata by whinstone, and those troubles and dykes so common in coal fields. P. 98.

In the last chapter, our author complains grievously of the present unsettled state of mineralogical nomenclature. He proposes that a general society should be formed, for the purpose of agreeing upon a common language. We suspect, however, that the evil arises necessarily from the prethe science; few, at least, will ansent unsettled and polemical state of ticipate much union from a general meeting of Edinburgh mineralogists. The mind of the learned is, upon this subject, in a state of agitation, from which great improvements in the sciwhich necessarily produces, in the mean ence may, we hope, result in time, but time, a good deal of confusion.

Our author concludes with remonstrances on the hardships endured by the class of women called Bearers, who bring up the coal from the pits, and recommends the use of horses in their stead. The difficulty is, that they consist of the wives and daughters of the colliers, who are there at all events, and are willing to perform the work at a moderate rate.

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ordinary sensation in this metropolis. The charges which it advances are such as we have been long accustomed to hear from our English neigh bours, and have, through custom, become somewhat callous to. But this is the first time that the attack has been made by one of ourselves, and by one who appears to be intimately acquainted with all the penetralia of our household economy. When so strong a part of the garrison is thus found co-operating with the enemy, there seems reason to apprehend that the fortress of national prejudice will not be long able to hold out.

The features particularly noticed are want of cleanliness in the whole management of the household; an indolence which, if we may so speak, appears not in the gross, but in the detail, which performs with activity all great and necessary work, but cannot submit to minute attentions, especially to such as require thought or contrivance; in the treatment of children, a weak and blameable indulgence; and an inveterate attachment to old habits. These faults, it must be remarked, though by no means eradicated, have yet for some time, and in the more cultivated parts of the country, been gradually diminishing. We should be much deceived, were we, from the title page, to imagine that the picture applies to Scottish farmers in general. In the opulent farmers of Lothian and Berwickshire, no one certainly would be able to recognise it, but would rather suspect tendencies of an opposite kind. It still applies however to the little farmers in remote districts, and to most of the peasantry. It is drawn in a masterly stile, and no one who bas an opportunity of observing the originals, that is, no Scotsman, can fail to recognize the most striking resemblance. Even where, as in what relates to the treatment of children, the outline belongs to all countries, sill the colouring is completely Scotch.

The dialogue (a department in which Mrs Hamilton excells,) exhibits perhaps the purest colloquial Scots that ever appeared in print; the most free fromthat English mixture, with which compositions in that language are usually softened or corrupted. Retaining such an attachment as we do to the language and manners of our country, with all their imperfections, we are glad that they should thus be handed down to posterity in full purity.

We shall now proceed to lay before our readers a few specimens, which will probably excite a desire to peruse the whole. Mrs Mason, after having acted as an upper domestic in some English families, is led by circumstances to take up her residence for some time with her relation Mrs M'Clarty, who lives in the village of Glenburnie. The following descrip tion is given of the entrance to the house :

It must be confessed, that the aspect of the dwelling, where she was to fix her The walls were substantial; built, like residence, was by no means inviting, the houses in the village, of stone and lime; but they were blackened by the mud which the cart wheels had spattered from the ruts in winter; and on one side of the door completely covered from view by the contents of a great der the window, was a squashy pool, dunghill. On the other, and directly unformed by the dirty water thrown from the house, and in it about twenty young ducks were at this time dabbling.

At the threshold of the dour, room had been left for a paving-stone, but it had never been laid; and consequently the place became hollow, to the great advantage of the younger ducklings. who always found in it a plentiful supply of water, in which they could swim without danger. Happily Mr Stewart was provided with boots, so that he could take a firm step in it, while he lifted Mrs Mason, and set her down in

safety within the threshold. But there an unforeseen danger awaited her, for there the great whey pot had stood since morning, when the cheese had been made and was at the present moment.

filled with chickens, who were busily picking at the bits of curds, which had hardened on the sides, and cruelly mocked their wishes. Over this Mr Stewart and Mrs Mason unfortunately stumbled. The pot was overturned, and the chickens cackling with hideous din, flew about in all directions, some over their heads, and others making their way by the pallion (or inner door) into the house. P. 135. Mr Stewart having remonstrated on the absence of the flagstone, received the following answer:

"Indeed, I kenna, Sir," said Mrs MacClarty; "the gudeman just canna

be fash'd."

"And cannot you be fash'd to go to the end of the house to throw out your dirty water? Don't you see how smal a drain would from that carry it down to the river, instead of remaining here, to stagnate, and to suffocate you with

intolerable stench?"


“O, we're just used to it," said Mrs MacClarty, "and we never mind it. We cou'dna be fash'd to gang sae far wi' a' the slaistery."

P. 148.

The interior of the house, and particularly of the bed-room was entirely suitable to the entrance. Next morning, finding no washing implements in her room, she goes into the kitchen to enquire for them; upon which the following truly admirable scene takes place.

She there found Meg and Jean; the former standing at the table, from which the porridge-dishes seemed to have been just removed; the latter killing flies at the window. Mrs Mason addressed herself to Meg, and, after a courteous good morrow,asked her where she should find a hand-bason?" I dinna ken," said Meg, drawing her finger through the milk that had been spilled upon the table." Where is your mother?" asked Mrs Mason. "I dinna ken," returned Meg, continuing to dabble her hands through the remaining fragments of the


"If you are going to clean that table," said Mrs Mason," you will give yourself more work than you need, by daubing it all over with the porridge; bring your cloth, and I shall shew you

how I learned to clean our tables when I was a girl like you."

Meg continued to make lines with her fore finger.

"Come," said Mrs Mason," shall I teach you?"


"Na," said Meg, "I sal dight nane o't. I'm gain' to the schul." "But that need not hinder you to wipe up the table before you go," said Mrs Mason." You might have cleaned it up as bright as a looking glass in the time that you have spent in spattering it, and dirtying your fingers. Would it not be pleasanter for you to make it clean, than to leave it dirty?"

"I'll no be at the fash," returned Meg, making off to the door as she spoke. Before she got out, she was met by her mother, who, on seeing her, exclaimed, "Are ye no awa yet, bairns! I never saw the like. Sic a fight to get you to the schul! Nae wonner ye learn little, when you'r at it. Gae awa like

good bairns; for there's nae schulin the morn ye ken, its the fair day."

Meg set off after some farther parley; but Jean continued to catch the flies at the window, taking no notice of her peated in pretty nearly the same terms. mother's exhortations, though again re

"Dear me !" said the mother, “what's the matter wi' the bairn! whatfore winna ye gang, when Meg's gane? Rin, and ye'll be after her or she wins to the end of the loan."

"I'm no ga'an the day," says Jean, turning away her face. And whatfore are ye no ga'an, my dear?" says her mother. "Cause I hinna gotten my questions," replied Jean.

"O, but ye may gang for a' that," said her mother; "the maister will no be angry. Gang, like a gude bairn.”

“Na,” said Jean, "but he will be angry, for I did no get them the last time either."

"And whatfore did na ye get them, my dear," said Mrs MacClarty, in a soothing tone. "Cause 'twas unco kittle, and I cou'd no be fashed;" replied the hopeful girl, catching, as she spoke, another handful of flies. Her mother, finding that intreaties were of no avail, endeavoured to speak in a more peremp tory accent; and even laid her com mands upon her daughter to depart im mediately: but she had too often per mitted her commands to be disputed, to


be surprised at their being now treated with disrespect. Jean repeated her determined purpose of not going to school that day; and the firmer she became in opposition, the authoritative tone of the mother gradually weakened; till at length by saying, that "if she did na gang to the schul she sudna stand there," she acknowledged herself to be defeated, and the point to be given up.

P. 162. Mrs Mason could not forbear making some remonstrances, upon which Mrs MacClarty, as might be expected, undertook her daughter's defence, observing

"the poor thing had na' gotten her questions, and did na' like to gang, for fear o' the maister's anger."

"But ought she not to have got her questions, as her master enjoined, instead of idling here all the morning? said Mrs Mason. "O ay," returned Mrs MacClarty," she shu'd ha' gotten her questions, nae doubt; but it was unco fashous, and ye see she has na' a turn that gait, poor woman! but in time she'll do weel eneugh." P. 166.

Mrs Mason, by the bribe of half-acrown, prevails upon the servant Grizzy to clean out her room, and then to attempt performing the same friendly office for the kitchen.

But before the window could be approached, it was found necessary to remove the heap of dusty articles piled up in the window sill, which served the purpose of family library, and repository of what is known by the term odds and ends.

Mrs MacClarty, who had sat down to spin, did not at, first seem willing to take any notice of what was going for ward; but on perceiving her maid be. ginning to meddle with the things in the window, she could no longer remain a neutral spectator of the scene. Stopping her wheel, she, in a voice indicating the reverse of satisfaction, asked what she was about? Mrs Mason took it upon her to reply: "We are going to make your window bright and clean for you, cousin, said she. If you step into my room, and take a look of mine, you will see what a difference there is in it; and this, if these broken panes Sept. 1808.

were mended, would look every bit as well." "It does weel eneugh," returned Mrs MacCiarty. "It wants nae cleanin'. It does just weel eneugh. What's the gude o' takin' up the lass's time wi' nonsense? she'll break the window too, and the bairns hae broken eneugh o' it already."

"But if these panes were mended, and the window cleaned, without and within," said Mrs Mason, "you cannot think how much more cheerful the kitchen would appear."

"And how long would it bide clean if it were?" said Mrs MacClarty. "It would be as ill as ever or a month, and wha cou'd be at the fash o' ay cleanin' at it ?"

The following homely picture may perhaps amuse our readers.

"Mistress!" hollowed the voice of

Grizzel from the house, "I wish ye
wad come and speak to Meg. She win-
kirn, and licking the cream."
na be hinderit putting her fingers in the

"If I were at you," cried Mrs MacClarty, "I'd gar you"

She was as good as her word; and in order to shew Mrs Mason the good effect of her advice, she ran that moment into the kitchen, and gave her daughter a hearty slap upon the back. The girl went a few steps further off, and deliberately applied her tongue to the back of her hand, where part of the cream was still visible.

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"I'm ay set to kirn," says Jean, whimpering. "I never saw sic wark. I tell ye, I wonna kirn mair than Meg. Grizzy can milk the cows hersel.' She does na' want her help."

"But, girls," said Mrs Mason, "when I was a little girl like either of you, I never thought of chusing my work; I considered it my business to follow my mother's directions. Young people ought to obey, and not to dictate."

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"Hear ye that!" said Mrs MacClarty: But Jean will gang to the kirn I ken, like a good bairn; and she sal get a dad o' butter to her bread."


"But I wonna haet frae the hairing knife, said Jean, "for the last I got stack my throat!"

"Bless me!" cried Mrs Mason, in amazement, "How does your butter come to be so full of hairs? where do they come from?"

"O they are a' frae the cows," returned Mrs MacClarty. "There has been long a hole in the milk sythe, and I have never been at the fash to get it mended; but as I tak ay care to sythe the milk through my fingers, I wonder how sae mony hairs win in."

"Ye need na wonder at that," observed Grizzel," for the house canna be soopit but the dirt flees into the kiru."

"But do you not clean the churn before you put in the cream?" asked Mrs Mason, more and more astonished.

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Na, na," returned Mrs MacClarty, "That wad no' be canny, ye ken. Naebody hereabouts would clean their kirn, for ony consideration. I never heard o' sic a thing i' my life."

The extreme indulgence of the parents, however, gives birth to some tragical scenes. The eldest son having set out, contrary to his father's command, to a fair, gets drunk and enlists as a soldier. The old man having gone to attempt his redemption, is robbed, and returns in a state of agitation, which throws him into a violent fever. The physician being called too late, gave little hopes, but declared that they all rested on his being kept cool. Against this Mrs MacClarty loudy protested, declaring, "She would never see her gudeman turned out o' his ain gude warm bed

forming before the door of Mrs Ma son's new host, she remarked to an the warld will come to at last, since old neighbour: "Eh! I wonder what naething can serve the pride o' William Morrison, but to hae a flower

den, whar gude Mr Brown's middenstead stood sappy for mony a day he's a better man than will ever stand on William Morrisan's shanks." The other, however, who had hitherto been a most zealous stickler for the gade auld gaits, could not forbear replying "The flowers are a hantel bonnier than the midden tho', and smell a hantel sweeter too;" which marked the decided change that had takes place in the village. In short, Mrs Mason soon entirely prevailed, and her quondam landlady was left wholly by herself.

This volume contains also two un

derplots, if they may be so called, not

much connected either between themselves, or with the principal plot Mrs Mason, and the other of that of One consists of the previous history of a Miss Stewart, which is designed to ridicule the inordinate love of genti for sometime past been perhaps pecu agility and genteel company, which has liarly prevalent in this country. Both these sketches have merit, particularly the latter; neither, however possess the liveliness and originality of the scenes of which Mrs MacClarty is the heroine, so that upon the whole, they break the unity of the work, withou materially adding to its value.

into a cauld room." The old man died in a few days; and Mrs Mason, finding herself uncomfortable in continuing with his widow and son, determined to remove into another family, which promised greater docility. Through them, and the example which they set, she found means gradually to effect a general change in the village. Mrs MacClarty alone held out, and took every opportunity of throwing discountenance upon these innovations. On seeing a flower garden

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