The Project Gutenberg eBook of Bonnie Scotland and what we owe her

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Title: Bonnie Scotland and what we owe her

Author: William Elliot Griffis

Release date: September 6, 2023 [eBook #71578]

Language: English

Original publication: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916

Credits: Sonya Schermann and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber’s Note

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Additional notes will be found near the end of this ebook.






With Illustrations

The Riverside Press Cambridge

Published October, 1916



In the period from student days until within the shadow of the great world-war of 1914, I made eight journeys to and in Scotland; five of them, more or less when alone, and three in company with wife or sister, thus gaining the manifold benefits of another pair of eyes. On foot, and in a variety of vehicles, in Highlands and Lowlands, over moor and water, salt and fresh, I went often and stayed long. Of all things remembered best and most delightfully in this land, so rich in the “voices of freedom,”—the mountains and the sea,—the first is the Scottish home so warm with generous hospitality.

In this book I have attempted to tell of the Scotsman at home and abroad, his part in the world’s work, and to picture “Old Scotia’s grandeur,” as illustrated in humanity, as well as in history, nature, and art, while showing in faint measure the debt which we Americans owe to Bonnie Scotland.

W. E. G.

Ithaca, New York.


I. The Spell of the Invisible 1
II. The Outpost Isles 7
III. Glasgow: the Industrial Metropolis 17
IV. Edinburgh the Picturesque 27
V. Melrose Abbey and Sir Walter Scott 38
VI. Rambles along the Border 50
VII. The Lay of the Land: Dunfermline 65
VIII. Dundee: the Gift of God 76
IX. The Glamour of Macbeth 88
X. Stirling: Castle, Town, and Towers 97
XI. Oban and Glencoe—Chapters in History 108
XII. Scotland’s Island World—Iona and Staffa 119
XIII. The Caledonian Canal—Scottish Sports 131
XIV. Inverness: the Capital of the Highlands 143
XV. Bonnie Prince Charlie 156
XVI. The Old Highlands and their Inhabitants 164
XVII. Heather and Highland Costume 177
XVIII. The Northeast Coast—Aberdeen and Elgin 191
XIX. The Orkneys and the Shetlands 202
XX. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs 213x
XXI. Robert Burns and his Teachers 223
XXII. Kirk, School, and Freedom 234
XXIII. John Knox: Scotland’s Mightiest Son 247
XXIV. Invergowrie: In Scottish Homes 259
XXV. America’s Debt to Scotland 270
Chronological Framework of Scotland’s History 279
Index 287



St. Martin’s Cross at Iona Frontispiece
Edinburgh City and Castle 28
Dryburgh Abbey 44
Abbotsford 62
The Monastery, Dunfermline Abbey 70
The Valley of the Tay 84
A Typical Scottish Street: High Street, Dumfries 94
Stirling Castle, from the King’s Knot 100
The Kings’ Graves, Iona 128
The Cairn at Culloden 148
The Scotch Brigade Memorial 174
Interior of Cottage, Northeast Coast 194
The Harbor of Kirkwall, Orkney Islands 202
The Trossachs and Loch Achray 216
The Tam o’ Shanter Inn, Ayr 226
The Edinburgh Conference of Missions 268



As with so many of my countrymen, the dream floated before the vision dawned. The American who for the first time opens his eyes in Europe is like the newborn babe, whose sight is not yet focused. He sees double. There is continually before him the Old World of his fancy and the Europe of reality. War begins, as in heaven, between the angels—of memory and of hope. The front and the rear of his brain are in conflict. While the glamour of that initial glimpse, that never-recurring moment of first surprise, is before him, he perforce compares and contrasts the ideal and the reality, even to his bewilderment and confusion. Only gradually do the two beholdings coalesce. Yet even during the dissolving pictures of imagination and optical demonstration, that which is present and tangible wins a glory from what is past and unseen.

From childhood there was always a Scotland which, like Wordsworth’s “light that never was, on sea or land,” lay in my mind as “the consecration and the poet’s dream,” of purple heather,2 crimson-tipped daisies, fair lasses, and brave lads. It rose out of such rainbow tints of imagination and out of such mists of fancy as were wont to gather, after reading the poets and romancers who have made Scotland a magnet to travellers the world over. This far-off region, of kilts and claymores, first sprang out of the stories of friends and companions. Our schoolmates, whether born on the moor or sprung from Scottish parents in America, inherited the love of their fond forebears and kinsmen, who sincerely believed that, of all lands on this globe, Bonnie Scotland was the fairest.

One playfellow, who afterwards gave up his life at Bull Run for the land that had given him welcome, was my first tutor in Scottish history. If native enthusiasm, naïve sincerity, and, what seemed to one mind at least, unlimited knowledge, were the true bases of reputation, one might call this lad a professor and scholar. As matter of fact, however, we were schoolboys together on the same bench and our combined ages would not amount to twenty-five. He it was who first pictured with vivid phrase and in genuine dialect the exploits of Robert the Bruce and of William Wallace. He told many a tale of the heather land, in storm and calm, not only with wit and jollity, but all the time with a clear conviction of the absolute truth of what had been handed down verbally for many generations.


He it was who, without knowing of the books written in English which I afterwards found in my father’s rich library of travel, stirred my curiosity and roused my enthusiasm to read the “Scottish Chiefs” and Sir Walter’s fascinating fiction, and, by and by, to wander over the flowery fields of imagination created by that “illegitimate child of Calvinism,” Robert Burns.

Though the boy who became a Union soldier was the first, he was by no means the last of Scottish folk whose memories of the old country were fresh, keen, and to me very stimulating. In church and Sunday school, in prayer-meeting and Bible class, I met with many a good soul who loved the heather. I heard often the words of petition and exhortation that had on them the burr and flange of a pronunciation that belonged to the Lowlands. As years of experience and discrimination came, I could distinguish, even on American soil, between the Highlander’s brogue and the more polished speech of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

When the time for college preparation came, I had, for private tutor in the classics, a theological student, who in physical frame and mental traits, as well as in actual occupation, was Hugh Miller all over again. He had been a stonecutter, believed in “the testimony of the rocks,” and could lift, move, or chisel a block of mortuary material with muscles furnished for the occasion. In character,4 he resembled in hard beauty the polished rose-red granite of his native hills. Strictly accurate himself, a master whose strength had grown through his own surmounting of difficulties, he was not too ready to help either a lazy boy or an earnest student, while ever willing to give aid in really hard places. He introduced me to Xenophon, and his criticisms and comments on the text were like flashlights, while his sympathy for Klearchus and his comrades illuminated for me my own memories of the camp life, the hard marching, and the soldier’s experiences during the Gettysburg campaign. From the immortal Greek text he made vivid to me the reality of human relations and their virtual identity, whether in B.C. 400 or A.D. 1863.

By this Scotsman I had a window opened into the Caledonian mind in maturity. Through him I realized something, not only of its rugged strength, its sanity, and its keen penetration, but I gained some notion also of the Scottish philosophy of common sense, which so long dominated colonial America and especially Princeton—the mother of statesmen and presidents, over which McCosh presided in my earlier days.

It was this Caledonia of mind, made by the deposits of human thought through many ages and experiences, which seemed and yet appears to me as an eternal Scotland, which, despite change of fashions, of wars and calamities, shall never5 pass away. So I must confess to the spell of invisible Scotland, as well as to the fascination of the storm-swept peninsula of heaths and rugged hills.

Besides boyhood’s companions of Scottish blood and descent, there were odd characters in the Pennsylvania regiment in which I served as flag corporal. My comrades under the Stars and Stripes came from various shires of Caledonia. Then, too, besides the bonnie maidens, like those Burns and Ramsay talked with, whose ancestry I knew, because I was often in their homes and met their parents and their kinsmen, there was the glamour of the dramatic poet’s creation. Immediately in front of my father’s home, in Philadelphia, was the famous Walnut Street Theatre, where that mighty figure in histrionic art, Edwin Forrest, was often seen. The tragedy of “Macbeth,” which I have seen rendered more times by famous actors than I have seen any other of Shakespeare’s creations, gave a background, which built in my imagination a picture of Scotland that had in it the depths of eternal time. The land and people had thus a perspective of history such as nothing else could suggest, even though I knew enough of the background of actual record to realize that Shakespeare’s chronology often passed the limits of Usher.

So with boyhood’s memories and the reading of poets and romancers, with the more or less undefined6 horizons of picture, painting, book, and the drama, reinforced by what a college student might be supposed to have absorbed, I was ready for wondrous revelations when, with Quandril, my eldest sister, I embarked in the Scottish Anchor Line steamer Europa, Captain Macdonald, master, on the 26th of June, 1869. It was after graduation and at the end of the month of roses. We were bound for the land of Macbeth, Bruce, Wallace, Scott, and Burns.


It was fitting that our first sight of the Old World should be also that of the homeland of those who settled the Scottish Peninsula. It is commonplace knowledge that, until well into the Middle Ages, Europe’s most western isle was called “The Land of the Scots.” Not until after the Norsemen had frequently visited this “Isle of the Saints” was Ireland called by its modern name. From the ocean outpost, the natives left their ancestral seats and crossed to a strange land—the larger island of Britain, of which the northern half became in time the country now, and for nearly a millennium past, known to the world as Scotland.

One wonders what his first sensations will be when he approaches the mother continent. Some, with keen olfactories, in a seaward breeze, smell the burning turf, which tells of homes and firesides and human companionship. We looked for the land birds. Blown out over the waves, these feathered messengers find shelter in the ship’s rigging and welcome from sea-weary passengers.

To us, they were our first visitors. A terrific storm had for a day and night lashed the ocean8 into fury, split one of our booms and stove in a lifeboat, only to be succeeded by a morning of sunny splendor. Then both ocean and sky seemed like twin sapphires. The tossing spray, which in the sunbeams showered dust of rainbows, gradually gave way to calm. Toward noon we welcomed two little feathered messengers. They were made happy by finding rest aloft in the shrouds. A third, too exhausted to guide its course, fell upon deck. We kept our eyes aloft, waiting for news from the crow’s nest. Yet while we, with the old sea dogs, captain and crew, were looking alternately forward and upward, as yet discerning nothing, a sailor, born in Michigan, who was the lookout for the day, called out “Land ho!”

For the next few minutes we were contestants in a game of rivalry, as to which eyes should see first and best. Not many minutes sped, however, before most of us had discerned a long, low, cloudlike line, which, instead of shifting its form, like its sister apparitions of the air, loomed on the horizon in fixed defiance of change.

As if to tantalize us, fresh breezes soon condensed new vapors and the land disappeared from view. Again, for hours, we were in mist and fog, but at high noon, the veil was lifted suddenly. There before us, rising sheer out of the ocean and apparently but a mile or two away, was the great green glory of Ireland. Like a mountain of emerald rising out of a sapphire sea, stood the land whose9 name and color, in sentiment and in reality, is Nature’s favorite, earth’s best counterpart to the sky.

After seeing the Giant’s Causeway, meeting the paddle-wheel steamer from Londonderry, and passing Rathlin Island,—refuge once of Robert the Bruce,—we sight the real land of our quest when we discern the larger isle of Arran, which rises like a minaret out of the sea. In law and geography, as well as the outpost of history, it is recognized as an integral part of Scotland. Still alertly peering eastward, we behold in the thickening dusk the mainland, whereupon our hats rise in salute to Bonnie Scotland. The sun here does not set till nine o’clock in the evening and sinks to-night amid clouds which break into spires and turrets. These, in the crimson glow, look like some sea-girt castle in flames.

We are on the lookout for anything and everything that may remind us of Robert the Bruce, for in the history of Arran the chief name is that of Scotland’s heroic king. On its western coast he found shelter in what are still called the “King’s Caves.” Of a trio of these he made a regular apartment house; for one bears the name of his kitchen, another of his cellar, a third of his stable. On the land higher up is the “King’s Hill,” and from a point called the “King’s Cross,” he crossed over to Carrick, when the long-awaited signal told him that the moment for the10 liberation of his country had come. In Glen Cloy, near by, his trusty followers lay concealed, and the picturesque ruins still bear the name of “Bruce’s Castle.” Other masses of ruins on Loch Ranza are pointed out as representing what was his hunting-seat. Are the Scots of Arran as greedy to boast of as many places made famous by Bruce as are Americans of Washington’s headquarters?

The name of Bruce is not the only one in the long and glorious annals of Scotland that clings to Arran. The earls of this insular domain were nearly all members of the famous Hamilton family which gave so many eminent men and women to Scotland and England. How many more of their shining names are as stars in the firmament of our national history! The champion of free speech, who owned the land which is now Independence Square in Philadelphia, and whose eloquence in New York city acquitted the German editor Zenger in the great trial which inaugurated and perpetuated free speech in America, was a Hamilton. As the greatest constructive political genius known to our country, the virtual father of the United States Government, the name of Alexander Hamilton is an inspiration to the Unionists of Great Britain to-day.

Back of the pear-shaped island of Pladda—which we passed and whose telegraph station notified Greenock and Glasgow of our arrival in the Clyde—are ancient standing stones, or cairns,11 and many a memorial of remote antiquity which witness to very early habitation by man on this outpost island.

In the eyes of those to whom the past furnishes a perspective more fascinating even than the promise of the future, the little isle adjacent, which is itself a finely marked basaltic cone, rising over a thousand feet high and well called “Holy Island,” is even more worthy of the visits of the reflecting scholar. It holds an attraction even greater, in human interest, at least, than the wonders of geology, or the numerous witnesses to antiquity in the form of upreared stones. Here St. Molios, a disciple of St. Columba, founded a church. In the Saint’s Cave, on the shore, may still be seen the rocky shelf on which he made his bed. Like the outraying sparkles of light from a gem, the lines of influence from this saint’s memory have flashed down the ages. To-day from sections of the Christian Church, “high” or “low,” and from Christian “bodies” with sectarian names, as many as the letters of the alphabet, come visiting pilgrims or happy tourists to pay their debt of admiration, or to refresh for a moment their traditional faith. In that wonderful sixth Christian century—as remarkable in Asian and Buddhist, as in European and Christian history—Ireland (not then known by that name, but the old “Land of the Scots”) was a shining centre of gospel light and truth. Moreover, it was a hive of missionary activities,12 sending off swarms of “apostles.” Happily, this word means missionaries and nothing else, connoting spiritual activities and not questions of authority, over which paid ecclesiastics will ever and in all lands wrangle lustily.

In modern days, the whole island is peaceful. So far has the old Gaelic speech passed into “innocuous desuetude,” that at the opening of this century only nine persons were left who could use but this one speech, though over a thousand natives could speak both English and Gaelic. Instead of the tranquil calm of to-day, however, few islands have been oftener stained with the blood of warriors and quarrelling clansmen. We who imagine that only the dark-skinned nations were savages must remember how recently both Englishmen and Scotsmen emerged from barbarism. It was but in the yesterday of historic time that Christians burned one another alive, in the same spirit that worshippers of Moloch cast their children into the red-hot stomach of their brazen idol, or Hindu mothers fed their babies to the crocodiles. How numerous were the Scottish assassins and victors who carried the heads of their enemies as trophies on the top of pikes, like the Indians and Pilgrims of colonial days! Yet no literature excels that of the Scots, in the perfect frankness with which the sons of the soil confess their recent emergence from barbarism into the admired civilization of to-day.


Thus the initial spell of the Scottish landscape lay first of all upon us who had known Scotland only through books or by word of mouth. Yet to such the human appeal is immense. Who can look upon this egg-shaped island of Arran, with its jagged peaks and its singularly grand scenery, without emotion? The conformation, as seen only in part from the ship’s deck, appears shaggy, because so mountainous and heathy, with many a romantic glen and promontory; and there are picturesque masses of columnar basalt forming a link between the Giant’s Causeway and Staffa’s wonder. In fact, we are told by the scientific men that the geology of Arran is almost unique, displaying as it does a greater succession of strata than any other single portion of land of equal extent, in the whole area of the British Isles.

In the gathering twilight, even though this was prolonged, so that a lady could see to thread a needle at 9.30 P.M., we catch glimpses of this appendix to the land of Burns; for Arran belongs in the poet’s native shire. In later years nearer views enabled us to see again the trap rock, the granite, and the slate, and to catch a glimpse of some of the streams, one of which falls over a precipice more than three hundred feet high. In truth, the first impression of Arran furnished even less delight than those in later years, when we were saturated with Scottish lore; then the island spoke with new tongues and even more eloquently14 than at first sight, of nature and human history.

We had left Ireland the day before, steaming out from the Giant’s Causeway. Our steamer ploughed her way, and perhaps may have cast anchor during the night. In any event, after breakfast, we were well into the Firth of Clyde. In sunlight and in joy we moved swiftly up the river of the same name. At Greenock, during a pause, we saw granite docks. These, in contrast to the wooden wharves of New York, mightily impressed us with the solidity and permanence of things in the Old World, though there were enough smoky foundries to make the air black. At Greenock, Burns’s “Highland Mary” is buried, but is elsewhere glorified in a statue. Rob Roy once raided the town, which has history as well as romance. To us, on that day of first sight, the chief interest of Greenock lay in the fact that our honored Captain Macdonald, of the Europa, had his home here. Brave man! He was afterwards lost at sea and at the post of duty, when a colossal wave, sweeping the ship, carried away the bridge and the officers on it!

We steam up the river as rapidly as is safe in a crowded, narrow channel. Our ship is now in fine trim. Her masts have been scraped, her decks scrubbed, and her sails enclosed in white canvas covers, while from every mast floats a flag—the Stars and Stripes over all. Swift river steamers15 shoot past us and ten thousand hammers ring in the chorus of labor on the splendid iron and steel vessels, which are the pride of Scotland and of world renown. We pass Cardross Castle in which Robert the Bruce died—the last two years of his life being written, as in the biography of Naaman—“a mighty man, but a leper.”

On a high rock, nearly three hundred feet high, looms Dumbarton Castle, which has played so notable a part in Caledonian history. Even when Scotland joined the Union and became one with Great Britain, this was one of the four fortresses secured to the Land of St. Andrew, whose cross was laid on that of St. George to form the British flag. Here Wallace was betrayed and kept a prisoner. Here they have his alleged two-handed sword, now known to be a spurious relic. Not many miles away is Elderslie, his birthplace.

Touching one’s imagination even more profoundly are the ruins of the old Roman wall built across the lower end of Scotland, which we pass as we sail by. The bright ivy covers it luxuriantly, and as the summer breeze kisses its surface, the lines of living green ripple, and dimple, and disappear in the distance along verdant miles. How it recalls the far past,—

“When Rome, the mistress of the world,
Of old, her eagle wings unfurled.”

Aloft is a monument, to which we take off our16 hats, in honor of Henry Bell, who introduced steam navigation into Europe.

Many times afterwards did we see the Clyde and its great monuments of industry and history. Yet one’s first impressions are almost always the most vivid, and from this initial experience, which holds longest the negatives of memory, are printed the brightest pictures. It was two o’clock when we moored off the dock. Passing the slight examination of the polite custom-house officers, we stepped once more upon solid earth,—the land of Burns and Scott.


“There is nothing so certain as the unexpected.” Our first impression, after stepping upon the dry land of Europe, was that it was “limited.” Not that we had been obsessed by the spirit that dwelt in that reinforced Western Yankee, who, while on the island of Britain, was afraid to go to sleep o’ nights lest he might fall off! Yet in Glasgow the word “Limited” stared at us from every shop sign. We had not yet in America adopted the statute of financial limitations for trading firms, but the laws of the United Kingdom even then required that any one doing business with a limited capital or accountability, must state the fact on his shop sign or other public announcement. It was this frequent expression of commercial conditions, then a real novelty, that attracted our initial attention.

It was the day before Scotland’s Sabbath, or, in local dialect, “Sunday First,” that we had our virgin view of Glasgow, and the excellent custom of a Saturday half-holiday was in vogue. This afforded us all the more ease in seeing the principal thoroughfares, which, with the crowd absent and the shops closed, made comfort, but gave to the18 lengthened areas a deserted look. We sauntered into St. George’s Square, where, in addition to the imposing buildings surrounding it, rises the lofty column on which stands the bronze effigy of Sir Walter Scott. How marvellously did this Wizard of the North delight millions, through many generations, with his poetical numbers and his weird romances! To-day, his name is a magnet that annually brings to Scotland thousands of tourists and millions of dollars. In the long run there are no more valuable assets to a country than its great men and its deathless literature.

There were other statues visible at this time, but the larger number of those which to-day run the risk of being destroyed by bombs from the empyrean, in the new fashions prevalent in aerial warfare, were not then in existence. So it was to the cathedral that we hied, partly for the reason that this was to be the first of the many great sacred and historic edifices to be seen by us in the Old World, but chiefly because the hoary pile was almost the only one which survived the tumult and destruction of the Reformation. Largely by the “rascal multitude,” as Knox called the mob, but also in the then prevalent conviction that these structures, as then used, had survived their original purpose, and should be reduced to ruins, cathedrals, abbeys, and monasteries were levelled. For her size, no country excels Scotland in ruins.

The Glasgow cathedral, in slow evolution during19 centuries, was never finished. For a time its inner area was divided off to make worship more comfortable and also to bring the structure into closer conformity with those new fashions in religion, according to which the people were given sermons, instead of masses, with more worship through the intellect, and less through the senses and emotions. Yet as we stood within its cold, damp walls, on that July afternoon, we wondered how long human beings, unless clothed in plenty of woollen habiliments, could sit or stand on its stone floor. Despite its age, the interior had an air of newness, indeed, almost of smartness, for its architectural restoration and interior cleansing had been recent. The modern stained glass, made largely in Munich, though very rich, had not yet softened down into the mellowness which only centuries can bestow. One noted that the subjects selected and grandly treated with the glory, yet also within the historic limitations, of the artist in stained glass, were wholly taken from the New Testament. These Biblical and eternally interesting subjects compel thought and provoke contrast with the more garish themes of the modern world.

Going out from the great cathedral, and its wonderful crypt, we visited the Necropolis, Glasgow’s beautiful city of the dead. Being set upon a hill, it cannot be hid. Laid out in the form of terraces, and with many imposing monuments, it challenges our attention. Here sleep the merchant20 princes of Glasgow and the mighty dead of Scotland. The tombs are of the most costly character, for the most durable materials in nature have been summoned to record facts and to defy oblivion. Everything which love of beauty, chaste refinement, and abundant wealth could command has been wrought with toil and taste to make this lovely home of those at rest a fit resting-place for the brave men and women who are still unforgotten. The long roll of their names forms the brightest page in Scotland’s history, and the native, even when far from home, dearly loves to remember them. On a lofty Doric column, high over all else, is a statue of John Knox, and on its base is the thrilling inscription:—

“Here lies one who never feared the face of mortal man.”

Among the names, read at random on the sculptured stone, were those of Sheridan Knowles, Dr. John Dick, Melville the reformer, and many others familiar and honored in Scottish history. Thus, as out of the past centuries does the old cathedral, so, in the modern day, do the shining monuments of the departed dead look down upon the bustling life that goes on noisily below. One here feels that the spell of Scotland is not only in nature’s glories, but in the matchless landscape of her thought; nor is the empire of Scottish intellect one whit less fascinating than that of her lochs, her moors, her heather, or her granite hills. What21 Scotland has contributed to religion, in both theoretical study and in fruitage of practical results, argues well for world-unity. Our debt as Americans to her thought is immeasurable.

The next day is the Sabbath. The chimneys are asleep, and after the showers of the night before, even the air seems washed clean. “Like a spell,” the “serene and golden sunlight” lies over land and sea. One can now readily accept another line of verbal genealogy. Remembering that coal smoke is, after all, very modern, and chemical fumes recent, it is easier to believe that “Glasgow” is not derived from words meaning “dark glen,” but is only a modified form of the old Celtic word Gleshui, or Glas-chu, which means “dear green spot,” from glas, green and chu, dear.

Indeed, there are antiquarians who tell us that when the first Christian missionary, St. Kentigern, came to convert the Britons of Strathclyde, this antique term, expressing affection for the place and its beauty, became the name of the settlement. In days when the efficiency of particular saints was believed in more than now, and before the great American god Prosperity was so worshipped, and before both we Yankees and the people whom Napoleon bundled together as “a nation of shopkeepers” did so bow before the golden calf, every city, town, and even village had its patron saint.

Such an association of ideas—of connecting22 public welfare with holy men and prosperity with obedience to their exhortations—was perhaps fully as reasonable as is the modern desire of our City Councils and Boards of Trade for railways, electric lights, and the location within their municipal bounds of factories and commercial establishments. Even villages then welcomed the monks with free hand, much as our towns boom their reputation by offering building-sites free to those who will locate. So also the reason why in Europe we find so slight a variety of names for boys and girls, and why in certain regions particular local names are so frequently repeated, is because of the zeal and industry of certain old-time saints. According to the popularity of the holy man or woman was the census of boys’ and girls’ names—as, for example, in Holland, Kilaen and Fridolin; in France, Henri or Denis; in Ireland, Patrick and Bridget; in England, George and Mary; and in Scotland, Mungo, Andrew, or some other Christian name once borne by a spiritual pioneer, whose story is one of inspiration.

In such a climate and era of opinion, Glasgow took for its patron saint, Mungo, and the municipal motto and arms are wholly identified with his career. “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the Word” was his verbal gift and bequest, though in ordinary use and conversation the municipal motto is shortened to “Let Glasgow flourish.” This is very much as in the Netherlands the23 national motto, once much longer, is now abbreviated to two words in Dutch (or rather French) which in English mean “I will maintain.” Our own native city has the advantage of having adopted that scriptural command, or desire, which begins a famous chapter in Hebrews, “Let Philadelphia continue.”

Kentigern, whose name meant “chief lord,” was one of the three pioneer apostles or missionaries of the Christian faith in Scotland. Ninian took as his task the converting of the tribes of the south; St. Columba was the apostle of the west and north; while Mungo restored or established the religion of the British folk in the region between the Clyde and Cumberland. Of high birth and of early British stock, he saw the light at Culross in the year 514. His mother Thenau was the daughter of a saint of the Edinburgh region. So dearly was he beloved by the monastic brethren that his baptismal name of Kentigern was exchanged in common speech for Mungo, meaning “lovable,” or “dear friend.” Leaving Culross, he made use of the chief forces of missionary propagation in that age, by planting a monastery at a place now known as Glasgow. He became bishop of the kingdom of Cumbria, as the region, partly in the later-named England and partly in Scotland, was then called.

When this holy missionary lived, there were no such specific regions, with boundaries fixed by24 surveyors and known as England and Scotland, nor were Highlanders or Lowlanders discriminated by any such later and useful terms of distinction. The region which Mungo first entered was called Cumbria and was then and long afterwards an independent kingdom. It has since been broken up into Cumberland in England, and that part of Scotland which is now divided into the shires of Dumbarton, Renfrew, Ayr, Lanark, Peebles, Selkirk, Roxborough, and Dumfries. The name of Cumbria, notably differentiated from what in recent centuries has been called England, was governed by its own kings, who had their seat at Dumbarton or Glasgow. The name still lingers in the Cumbria Mountains. In this great knot of peaks and hills lies the famous British “lake district,” which is very much in physical features like Wales, being unsurpassed in the British archipelago for picturesqueness and beauty.

When the varied Teutonic tribes—Saxons, Angles, Frisians, Jutes, and what not from the Continent—pressed into the Lowlands, the natives inhabiting the western and more mountainous districts, north of the Forth and the Clyde, had to be distinguished from the newcomers. Then it was that these people of the hill country received names not altogether complimentary. They were called the “Wild Scots” or the “Irishry of Scotland,” and only in comparatively recent times “Scotch Highlanders.” The last25 prince of Cumbria, named in the records, was the brother and heir of King Alexander I of Scotland.

Glasgow is really a very modern city. As the city on Manhattan is the evolution from a fortress, so the cathedral was the nucleus around which the ancient town of the “dark glen” grew. The university, when founded, became also a magnet to attract dwellers. In the twelfth century, King William the Lion erected the settlement into a burgh, with the privilege of an annual fair. Yet even down to the sixteenth century, Glasgow was only the eleventh in importance among Scottish towns. It was the American trade, after the union with England, which gave an immense stimulus to its commerce. If “Amsterdam is built on herring bones,” the Scottish city became rich through the tobacco leaf. For a long time the merchants of Glasgow, who traded with Virginia, formed a local aristocracy, very proud and very wealthy. For a century or more, this profitable commerce lasted. Then our Civil War paralyzed it, but other industries quickly followed.

The permanent wealth of Glasgow comes, however, from its situation in the midst of a district rich in coal and iron. Furthermore, the improvements made in the steam engine by James Watt, and the demonstration, by Henry Bell, that navigation with this motive power was possible, wrought the transformation of Glasgow into the richest of Scottish cities. Speaking broadly, however,26 as to time, Glasgow’s wealth is the creation of the nineteenth century, and its influence upon the world at large is not much older. As upon a ladder, whose rungs are sugar refining, the distillation of strong liquors, the making of soap, the preparation of tobacco, the introduction of the cotton manufacture, calico printing, Turkey-red dyeing, beer-brewing, and the iron trade, including machine-making and steamboat building, the prosperity of Glasgow has mounted ever upwards.

The tourist seeking rest, refreshment, and inspiration is but slightly interested in mere wealth or prosperity that is wholly material. So, despite the attractive solidity of its houses, built of free-stone, and of its streets running from east to west, in straight lines and parallel with the river, the city of Glasgow, with its dingy and ever smoky aspect, has little to attract the traveller whose minutes are precious and whose days on the soil are few. So on this first visit, a day and a night sufficed us, and then we left the burgh of the (once) dear green spot and took the train to “Edwin’s burgh,” or Edinburgh.

Many times did we revisit Glasgow, noting improvement on each occasion. We came to consider this the model city of Great Britain in its municipal spirit and constant improvement. We blessed the Lord for electricity which is steadily annihilating smoke and brightening the world. “The city is the hope of democracy.”


It was late in the afternoon when we first arrived in the most beautiful city in Scotland, and the sun’s rays lay nearly level. Between the old town on the hill—inhabited and garrisoned, perhaps, from prehistoric times and sloping down from the castle-crowned rock—and the new modern fashionable quarter, with sunny spaces and broad avenues, runs a deep ravine. In old times this depression contained a lake called the “Nor’ Loch,” which, having been drained long ago, is used by the railways. Thus entering Edinburgh, by the cellar, as it were, we must ascend several pairs of stairs from the Waverly Station, to reach the ordinary street level.

Seeing far above us the hotel to which we wished to go we walked up skyward toward it. At the top of the stairs, turning to look, we were at once “carried to Paradise on the stairways of surprise.” One of those moments in life, never to be forgotten, as when one beholds for the first time Niagara, or has his initial view of the ocean, or stands in presence of a monarch, was ours, as we gazed over toward the old city and the cloud-lands of history. We had known that Edinburgh28 was handsome, historic, and renowned, but had not dreamed that it was so imposing, so magnificent, so unique in all Europe.

Beneath us lay the long, deep ravine, now threaded with the glittering metal bands of the railway and planted with parks and gardens brilliant with flowers. High on the opposite bank, and sweeping up toward the summit, lay the old city. Its lofty irregular masses of stone buildings and towers, with the castle crowning all, seemed like a mirage, so weird and unearthly was this unexpected appearance of “the city set upon a hill.”

We gazed long at the enchanting sight and then turned to visit the chief avenue of the new city, Princes Street—a perfect glory of attractive homes, with broad spaces rich in gardens and statuary, the whole effect suggesting taste and refinement. This we believe, despite Ruskin’s fiery anathema of modern taste.


A splendid monument to Sir Walter Scott, three hundred feet high and costing $90,000, stands in the centre of the space opposite our hotel. Though in richest Gothic style and a gem of art, it was built by a self-taught architect. Not far away, Professor Wilson, Allan Ramsay, Robert Burns, and other sons of Scotland repose in bronze or marble dignity. Indeed, the new city is particularly rich in monuments of every description 29and quality. Edinburgh’s parks and open spaces are unusually numerous. Even the cemeteries are full of beauty and charm, for it is a pleasure to read the names of old friends, unseen, indeed, but whom we learned to love so long ago through their books.

To-day the American greets in bronze his country’s second father, whose ancestors once dwelt on the coin, or colony on the Lind; whence Father Abraham’s family name, Lincoln. How we boys, in the Union army in 1863, used to sing, “We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand strong”! How in 1916, the men of the four nations of the United Kingdom, who have formed Kitchener’s army, sang their merry response to duty’s call, in the same music and spirit, and in much the same words!

Edinburgh is really the heart of the old shire of Midlothian, for it is the central town of the metropolitan county, with a long and glorious history. After James I, the ablest man of the Stuart family, was murdered, on Christmas night, A.D. 1437, Edinburgh became the recognized capital of the kingdom, for neither Perth, nor Scone, nor Stirling, nor Dunfermline was able to offer proper security to royalty against the designs of the turbulent nobles. From this date Edinburgh, with its castle, was selected as the one sure place of safety for the royal household, the Parliament, the mint, and the government offices. Thereupon in “Edwin’s Burgh” began a growth of population30 that soon pressed most inconveniently upon the available space, which was very restricted, since the people must keep within the walls for the sake of protection. The building of very high houses became a necessity. The town then consisted only of the original main way, called “High Street,” reaching to the Canon Gate, and a parallel way on the south, long, narrow, and confined, called the “Cow Gate.” It was in the days when the sole fuel made use of was wood that Edinburgh received its name of “Auld Reekie,” or “Old Smoky.”

In other words, feudal and royal Edinburgh was a walled space, consisting of two long streets, sloping from hilltop to flats, with houses of stone that rose high in the air. Somehow, such an architectural formation, which might remind a Swiss of his native Mer de Glace and its aiguilles, recalls to the imaginative but irreverent American the two long parallel series of rocks, which he may see on the way to California, called “The Devil’s Slide.” These avenues of old Edinburgh, so long and not very wide, had communication each with the other by means of about one hundred dark, narrow cross-alleys or “closes,” between the dense clusters of houses. Sometimes they were called “wynds,” and in their shadowy recesses many a murder, assassination, or passage-at-arms took place, when swords and dirks, as in old Japan, formed part of a gentleman’s daily31 costume. In proportions, but not in character or quality of the wayfarers, these two Scottish streets are wonderfully like the road to heaven.

These houses were not homes, each occupied by but one family. They were rather like the modern apartment houses, consisting of a succession of floors or flats, each forming a separate suite of living-rooms, so that every structure harbored many households. Of such floors there were seldom fewer than six, and sometimes ten or twelve, the edifices towering to an immense height; and, because built upon an eminence, rendered still more imposing. It was toward the middle of the eighteenth century before the well-to-do citizens left these narrow quarters for more extensive and level areas beyond the ravine. There is now no suggestion of aristocracy here, for these are now real tenement houses. The hygienic situation, however, even though the tenants are humble folk, reveals a vast improvement upon the days when elegant lords and ladies inhabited these lofty rookeries, which remind one of the Cliff Dwellings of Arizona—or those modern “cliff dwellings,” the homes of the luxurious literary club men on the lake-front of Chicago.

In old days it was a common practice to throw the slops and garbage out of the upper windows into the street below. The ordinary word of warning, supposed to be good Scotch and still in use, is “Gardeloo,” which is only a corruption of the32 French “Gardez de l’eau” (Look out for the water). It is but one of a thousand linguistic or historic links with Scotland’s old friend and ally, France.

In fact, until near the nineteenth century, Edinburgh’s reputation for dirt, though it was shared with many other European cities in which our ancestors dwelt, was proverbial, especially when refuse of all sorts was flung from every story of the lofty houses. From the middle of the street to the houses on both sides lay a vast collection of garbage ripening for transportation to the farms when spring opened. In this the pigs wallowed when driven in, at the close of the day, from the beech or oak woods by the hog-reeve. The prominent features of the prehistoric kitchen middens, which modern professors so love to dig into, were, in this High Street, in full bloom and the likeness was close.

How different, in our time, when municipal hygiene has become, in some places at least, a fine art! There is a reason why “the plague” no longer visits the British Isles. Nor, as of old, is “Providence” so often charged with visiting “mysterious” punishment upon humanity. Science has helped man to see himself a fool and to learn that cleanliness is next to godliness. The modern Scot, for the most part, believes that laziness and dirt are the worst forms of original sin. Yet it took a long course in the discipline of cause33 and effect to make “Sandy” fond of soap, water, and fumigation. In this, however, he differed, in no whit, from our other ancestors in the same age.

After seeing Switzerland, and studying the behavior of glaciers, with their broad expanse at the mountain-top, their solidity in the wide valleys, and then, farther down, their constriction in a narrow space between immovable rocks, which, resisting the pressure of the ice-mass, force it upward into pinnacles and tower-like productions, I thought ever afterwards of the old city of Edinburgh as a river, yet not of ice but of stone. Flowing from the lofty summit whereon the castle lay, the area of human habitation was squeezed into the narrower ridge, between ancient but now valueless walls, which seemed to force the human dwellings skyward. Yet it was not through the pressure of nature, but because of the murderous instincts of man, with his passions of selfishness and love of destruction, that old Edinburgh took its shape.

On our first visit, to cross from our hotel in the new city and over into the ancient precincts, we walked above the ravine, over a high arched stone bridge, and turning to the right climbed up High Street to the castle, and rambled on the Esplanade. This is the picture—it is Saturday afternoon and a regiment of soldiers in Highland costume have been parading. Yet, besides the warriors, you can see plenty of other men in this34 pavonine costume, with their gay plaids, bare legs, and showy kilts. We hear a strange cry in the streets and then see, for the first time, the Edinburgh fishwoman in her curious striped dress of short skirts and sleeves, queer-looking fringed neck-cover, and striped apron. Her little daughter dresses like her, for the costume is hereditary. On her shoulders is a huge basket of fish bound by a strap over her head. These fish peddlers are said to be a strange race of people living, most of them, at Leith, and rarely intermarrying outside of their own community.

At the castle we see that the moat, portcullis, and sally port are still there. We pass through the outer defences, which have so often echoed with battle-cries and the clang of claymores, for this old castle has been taken and retaken many times. Reaching what are now the soldiers’ barracks, we see a little room in which Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James the Sixth of Scotland and First of England, in whom the two thrones of the island were united. It seems a rough room for a queen to live in.

The ascent of High Street is much like climbing a staircase, resting on landings at the second, third, or fourth floor. When, however, one reaches the top and scans the glorious panorama, he feels like asking, especially, as he sees that the highest and oldest building is Queen Margaret’s Chapel,—a house of worship,—“Does God live here?”


Of all the places of interest which we saw within or near the great citadel, there was one little corner of earth, with rocky environment but without deep soil, set apart as a cemetery for soldiers’ pets and mascots. The sight touched us most deeply. Here were buried, with appropriate memorials and inscriptions, probably twenty of the faithful dumb servants of man, mostly dogs, from which their masters had not loved to part.

It compels thought to recall the fact that, in large measure, man is what he is because of his dumb friends. What would he be without the horse, the dog, the cow, the domesticated beasts of burden, and our dumb friends generally? Without the white man, the Iroquois of America and the Maoris of New Zealand would undoubtedly have arisen into a higher civilization, had they been possessed of beasts of draught or burden, or which gave food, protection, or manifold service. Could they have made early use of the wonderful gifts of the finer breeds of the dog and the horse, what steps of advancement might they not have taken? How far would the Aztecs, Incas, and Algonquins have advanced without domestic fowls and cattle? What would the Japanese islanders have been, without the numerous domestic animals imported from China in historic times? What would Europe and America be, bereft of the gifts they have both received from Asia?

How striking are the narratives of the early36 colonists in America, that reveal to us the fact that the aboriginal Indian had only a wolf-dog of diminutive size and slight powers, while the canine breeds of Europe not only showed more varied and higher qualities, but were larger in size. Of these strange creatures, the red men were usually more afraid than of their white owners. How surprising was the experience of the Mexicans, who, on beholding the Spanish cavaliers, cased in steel, thought the horse and the rider were one animal! What would South America and her early savages have been, if left without the friends of man imported from the Asian continent?

As at The Hague and at Delft, one notes with the statue of William the Silent the little dog that saved his life; so at Edinburgh we see at the feet of the effigy of Sir Walter, the poet and romancer, his favorite dog Maida. Few episodes are more touching than that of the dog Lufra, in Canto V of the “Lady of the Lake.”

After such a picture of mutual devotion between man and brute, it seems little wonder that in Scotland has been bred what is perhaps the noblest type of canine life. In the physical characteristics of speed, alertness, fleetness, the Scotch collie is second to none in the kingdom of dogs, while in the almost human traits of loyalty to his master and devotion to his interests, this friend of man crowns an age-long evolution from the wild. Happily in art, which is the praise of life, Scotland’s37 collie and hound have found the immortality of man’s appreciation. This is shown, not only in the word paintings of her poets and romancers, but on the canvas of Landseer, the Shakespeare of dogs. In the Highlands this English painter found some of his noblest inspirations.

Edinburgh, besides being a brain-stimulant, because it is the focus of Scottish history, is also a heart-warmer. Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat, Grey Friar’s Churchyard, St. Giles’s Church, the University, Calton Hill—what memories do they conjure up, what thought compel? A Scottish Sabbath—how impressive! One can no more write the history of Scotland or pen a description of the country and people, and leave out religion, than tell of Greece or Japan and make no mention of art.


Always fond of fireside travels, I had, many a time, in imagination, ridden with William of Deloraine from Branksome Hall, through the night and into the ruins of Melrose Abbey. His errand was to visit the grave of Michael Scott, whose fame had penetrated all Europe and whom even Dante mentions in his deathless lines. Now, however, I had a purpose other than seeing ruins. If possible, I was determined to pick a flower, or a fern, from near the wizard’s grave to serve as ingredient for a philter.

Does not Sir Walter, in his “Rob Roy,” tell us that the cailliachs, or old Highland hags, administered drugs, which were designed to have the effect of love potions? Who knows but these concoctions were made from plants grown near the wonder-worker’s tomb? At any rate, I imagined that one such bloom, leaf, or root, sent across the sea, to a halting lover, might reinforce his courage to make the proposal, which I doubt not was expected on the other side of the house. At least we dare say this to the grandchildren of the long wedded pair.

So glorified were the gray ruins of Melrose, in39 Scott’s enchanting poetry, that I almost feared to look, in common sunlight, upon the broken arches and the shafted orioles; for does not Scott, who warns us to see Melrose “by the pale moonlight,” tell us that

“The gay beams of lightsome day
Gild but to flout the ruin gray.”

Yet the tourist’s time, especially when in company, is not usually his own, and for me, though often, later, at the abbey, the opportunity never came of visiting “fair Melrose aright,” by seeing its fascinations under lunar rays, or in

“the cold light’s uncertain shower.”

On the morning of July 11, we had our first view from the railway. The ruins loomed dark and grand. Approaching on foot the pile, closely surrounded as it was by houses and Mammonites and populated chiefly by rooks, the first view was not as overpowering as if I had come unexpectedly to it under the silver light of the moon. Yet, on lingering in the aisles within the ruined nave and walking up and down amid the broken marbles, imagination easily pictured again that spectacular worship, so enjoyed in the Middle Ages and beloved by many still, which makes so powerful and multitudinous an appeal to the senses and emotions.

The west front and a large portion of the north half of the nave and aisle of the abbey have perished, but the two transepts, the chancel and the40 choir, the two western piers of the tower, and the sculptured roof of the east end are here yet to enthral. I thought of the processions aloft, of the monks, up and down through the interior clerestory passage, which runs all around the church. Again, in the chambers of fancy, the choir sang, the stone rood screen reflected torch and candlelight, and the lamp of the churchman shed its rays, while the “toil drops” of the knight William, “fell from his brows like rain,” as “he moved the massy stone at length.”

A minute examination of the carving of windows, aisles, cloister, capitals, bosses, and door-heads well repays one’s sympathetic scrutiny, for no design is repeated. What loving care was that of mediæval craftsmen, who took pride in their work, loving it more than money! Proofs of this are still visible here. Such beauty and artistic triumphs open a window into the life of the Middle Ages. From the south of Europe, the travelling guilds of architects and masons, and of men expert with the chisel, must have come hither to put their magic touch upon the stone of this edifice, which was so often built, destroyed, and built again. “A penny a day and a little bag of meal” was the daily dole of wages to each craftsman. One may still trace here the monogram of the master workman.

Under the high altar in this Scottish abbey, the heart of Robert the Bruce was buried. Intensely41 dramatic is the double incident of its being carried toward Palestine by its valorous custodian, who, in battle with the Saracens, hurled the casket containing it at the foe, with the cry, “Forward, heart of Bruce, and Douglas shall follow thee.”

In the chancel are famous tombs of men whose glory the poet has celebrated. Here, traditionally, at least, is the sepulchre of Michael Scott, visited, according to Sir Walter’s lay, by the monk accompanying William of Deloraine. With torch in hand and feet unshod, the holy man led the knight.

It was “in havoc of feudal war,” when the widowed Lady, mistress of Branksome Hall, was called upon to decide whether her daughter Margaret should be her “foeman’s bride.” “Amid the armed train” she called to her side William of Deloraine and bade him visit the wizard’s tomb on St. Michael’s night and get from his dead hand, “the bead, scroll, or be it book,” to decide as to the marriage.

Now for Scott’s home! On the bank of Scotland’s most famous river, the Tweed, two miles above Melrose, was a small farm called Clarty Hole, which the great novelist bought in 1811. Changing the name to Abbotsford, he built a small villa, which is now the western wing of the present edifice. As he prospered, he made additions in the varied styles of his country’s architecture42 in different epochs. The result is a large and irregularly built mansion, which the “Wizard of the North” occupied twenty-one years. It has been called “a romance in stone and lime.” Knowing that the Tweed had been for centuries beaded like a rosary with monasteries and that monks had often crossed at the ford near by, Sir Walter coined the new name and gave it to the structure in which so much of his wonderful work was done for the delight of generations. Curiously enough, in America, while many places have been named after persons and events suggested by Scott’s fiction, only one town, and that in Wisconsin, bears this name of Abbotsford.

With a jolly party of Americans, we entered the house, thinking of Wolfert’s Roost at Tarrytown, New York, and its occupant Washington Irving, who had been a warm friend of Sir Walter. It was he who gave him, among other ideas, the original of Rebecca, a Jewish maiden of Philadelphia, whose idealization appears, in Scott’s beautiful story of “Ivanhoe,” as the daughter of Isaac of York. Memory also recalls that Scott wrote poetry that is yet sung in Christian worship, for in Rebecca’s mouth he puts the lyric,—

“When Israel of the Lord beloved.”

In the dim aisles of Melrose Abbey, before Michael Scott’s tomb, “the hymn of intercession rose.” The mediæval Latin of “Dies Iræ” has43 many stanzas, but Scott condensed their substance into twelve lines, beginning;—

“That day of wrath, that dreadful day,
When Heaven and earth shall pass away.”

We were shown the novelist’s study and his library, the drawing-room and the entrance hall. The roof of the library is designed chiefly from models taken from Roslyn Chapel, with its matchless pillar that suggests a casket of jewels. While many objects interested us both, it is clear, on the surface of things, that our lady companion, Quandril, was not so much concerned with what the cicerone told to the group of listeners as were certain male students present, who, also, were slaves of the pen: to wit, that when Sir Walter could not sleep, because of abnormal brain activity, he would come out of his bedroom, through the door, which was pointed out to us in the upper corner, and shave himself. This mechanical operation, with industry applied to brush, lather, steel, and stubble, diverted his attention and soothed his nerves. More than one brain-worker, imitating Sir Walter, has found that this remedy for insomnia is usually effectual.

Another fascinating monastic ruin is Dryburgh on the Tweed. It was once the scene of Druidical rites. The original name was Celtic, meaning the “bank of the oaks.” St. Modan, an Irish Culdee, established a sanctuary here in the sixth century,44 and King David I, in 1150, built the fine abbey. Here, in St. Mary’s aisle, sleeps the dust of the romancer who re-created, to the imagination, mediæval Scotland. Certainly her greatest interpreter in prose and verse is one of the land’s jewels and a material asset of permanent value.

The fame of Sir Walter yields a revenue, which, though not recorded in government documents, is worth to the Scottish people millions of guineas. From all over the world come annually tens of thousands of pilgrims to Scotland, and they journey hither because the “Wizard of the North” has magnetized them through his magic pen. Probably a majority are Americans. Not even Shakespeare can attract, to Stratford, at least, so many literary or otherwise interested pilgrims of the spirit, as does Burns or Scott.


We move next and still southward to Gretna Green—for centuries mentioned with jest and merriment. Of old, those rigid laws of State-Church-ridden England concerning marriage, which made the blood of Free Churchmen boil, while rousing the contempt and disgust of Americans, compelled many runaway couples from across the English border to seek legal union under the more easy statutes of Scotland. Gretna Green was the first convenient halting-place for those who would evade the oppressive requirements of the English Marriage Act. For generations, thousands of nuptial ceremonies were performed by various local persons45 or officials, though chiefly by the village blacksmith. Other places, like Lamberton, shared in the honors and revenue also. One sign, visible for many years, read, “Ginger Beer Sold Here, and marriages performed on the most reasonable terms.”

English law, framed by the House of Lords, compelled not only the consent of parents and guardians, but also the publication of banns, the presence of a priest of the Established Church, fixed and inconvenient hours, and other items of delay and expense. All that Scotland required, however, as in New York State, was a mutual declaration of marriage, to be exchanged in presence of witnesses.

The blacksmith of Gretna Green was no more important than other village characters, nor did his anvil and tongs have any ritual significance, because any witness was eligible to solemnize a ceremony which could be performed instantly. Gradually, however, as in so many other instances of original nonentities in Church and State, the blacksmith gradually assumed an authority which imposed upon the credulity of the English strangers, who usually came in a fluttering mood. In that way, the local disciple of St. Dunstan is said to have profited handsomely by the liberality usually dispensed on such felicitous occasions. The couple could then return at once to England, where their marriage was recognized as valid, because the nuptial union, if contracted according to the law of46 the place where the parties took the marital vow, was legal in the United Kingdom.

After the severity of the English law, under the hammering of the Free Church had been modified, Gretna Green was spoiled as a more or less romantic place of marriages, and held no charms for elopers. Scottish law, also, was so changed as to check this evasion of the English statutes. No irregular marriage of the kind, formerly and extensively in vogue, is now valid, unless one of the parties has lived in Scotland for twenty-one days before becoming either bride or groom. Gretna Green no longer points a joke or slur except in the preterite sense.

Sir Walter Scott, who sentinels for us the enchanted land we are entering, was in large measure the interpreter of Scotland, but he was more. In a sense, he was his native country’s epitome and incarnation. His literary career, however, illustrated, in miniature, almost all that Disraeli has written in his “Curiosities of Literature,” and especially in the chapter concerning “the calamities of authors.” Happily, however, Scott’s life was free from those quarrels to which men of letters are so prone, and of which American literary history is sufficiently full. Millions have been delighted with his poetry, which he continued to write until Byron, his rival, had occulted his fame. He is credited with having “invented the historical novel”—an award of honor with which, unless47 the claim is localized to Europe, those who are familiar with the literature of either China or Japan cannot possibly agree. Yet, in English, he was pioneer in making the facts of history seem more real through romance.

Scott was born in a happy time and in the right place—on the borderland, which for ages had been the domain of Mars. Here, in earlier days, the Roman and the Pict had striven for mastery. Later, Celtic Scot and invaders of Continental stock fought over and stained almost every acre with blood. Still later, the Lowlanders, of Teutonic origin, and the southern English battled with one another for centuries. On a soil strewn with mossy and ivied ruins, amid a landscape that had for him a thousand tongues, and in an air that was full of legend, song, and story, Scott grew up. Though not much of a routine student, he was a ravenous reader. Through his own neglect of mental discipline, in which under good teachers he might have perfected himself, he entered into active life, notably defective on the philosophic side of his mental equipment, and somewhat ill-balanced in his perspective of the past, while shallow in his views of contemporary life.

Despite Scott’s brilliant imagery, and the compelling charm of his pageants of history, there were never such Middle Ages as he pictured. For, while the lords and ladies, the heroes and the armed men, their exploits and adventures in castle,48 tourney, and field, are pictured in rapid movement and with fascinating color, yet of the real Middle Ages, which, for the mass of humanity, meant serfdom and slavery, with brutality and licentiousness above, weakness and ignorance below, with frequent visits of plague, pestilence, and famine, Scott has next to nothing to say. As for his anachronisms, their name is legion.

Nevertheless Scott had the supreme power of vitalizing character. He has enriched our experience, through imaginative contact with beings who are ever afterwards more intimately distinct and real for us than the people we daily meet. None could surpass and few equal Scott in clothing a historical fact or fossil with the pulsing blood and radiant bloom of life, compelling it to stand forth in resurrection of power. Scott thus surely possesses the final test of greatness, in his ability to impress our imagination, while haunting our minds with figures and events that seem to have life even more abundantly than mortal beings who are our neighbors.

Critics of to-day find fault with Scott, chiefly because he was deficient in certain of the higher and deeper qualities, for which they look in vain in his writings, while his poetry lacks those refinements of finish which we are accustomed to exact from our modern singers. However, those to whom the old problems of life and truth are yet unsettled, and who still discuss the questions over which men centuries ago fought and for which they were glad to49 spill their blood in defence and attack, accuse Scott of a partisanship which to them seems contemptible. Moreover, his many anachronisms and grave historical blunders, viewed in the light of a larger knowledge of men and nations, seem ridiculous.

Yet after all censure has been meted out and judgment given, it is probable that in frank abandon for boldness and breadth of effect, and in painting with words a succession of clear pictures, his poems are unexcelled in careless, rapid, easy narrative and in unfailing life, spirit, vigorous and fiery movement. Had Scott exercised over his prose writings a more jealous rigor of supervision, and had he eliminated the occasional infusions of obviously inferior matter, his entire body of writings would have been even more familiar and popular than they are to-day. It is safe to say that only a selection of the most notable of his works is really enjoyed in our age, though undoubtedly there will always be loyal lovers of the “Magician of the North,” who still loyally read through Scott’s entire repertoire. Indeed, we have known some who do this annually and delightedly. Taking his romances in chronological order, one may travel in the observation car of imagination through an enchanted land, having a background of history; while his poems surpass Baedeker, Black, or Murray as guide books to Melrose Abbey, through the Trossachs, to Ellen’s Isle, or along Teviot’s “silver tide.”


Where does the Scot’s Land begin and where end? To the latter half of the question, the answer is apparently easy, for the sea encloses the peninsula. Thus, on three sides, salt water forms the boundary, though many are the islands beyond. On the southern or land side, the region was for ages debatable and only in recent times fixed. Scotland’s scientific frontier is young.

Sixteen times did we cross this border-line, to see homes and native people as well as places. In some years we went swiftly over the steel rails by steam, in others tarried in town and country, and rambled over heath, hill, and moor, to see the face of the land. We lived again, in our saunterings, by the magic of imagination, in the past of history. Affluent is the lore to be enjoyed in exploring what was once the Debatable or No Man’s Land.

What area is richer in ruins than that of the shire counties bordering the two countries? Yet there is a difference, both in nature and art. On the English side, not a few relics in stone remain of the old days, both in picturesque ruins and in inhabited and modernized castles. On the other or Scotch side, few are the towers yet visible, while51 over the sites of what were once thick-walled places of defence and often the scene of blows and strife, the cattle now roam, the plough cuts its furrows, or only grassy mounds mark the spot where passions raged. Let us glance at this border region, its features, its names, and its chronology. How did “Scotland” “get on the map”?

This familiar name is comparatively modern, but Caledonia is ancient and poetical. The Roman poet Lucan, in A.D. 64, makes use of the term, and in Roman writers we find that there existed a district, a forest, and a tribe, each bearing the name “Caledonia,” and spoken of by Ptolemy. The first Latin invasion was under Agricola, about A.D. 83, and a decisive battle was fought, according to his son-in-law, Tacitus, on the slopes of Mons Graupius, a range of hills which in modern days is known as the “Grampian Hills.” To our childish imagination, “Norval” whose father fed his flock on these heathery heights, was more of a living hero than was the mighty Roman. Of Agricola’s wall, strengthened with a line of forts, there are remains still standing, and two of these strongholds, at Camelon and Barhill, have been identified and excavated.

Perhaps the most northerly of the ascertained Roman encampments in Scotland is at Inchtuthill. Where the Tay and Isla Rivers join their waters—

“Rome the Empress of the world,
Of yore her eagle wings unfurled.”


The Romans left the country and did not enter it again until A.D. 140, when the wall of Antoninus Pius was built, from sea to sea, and other forts erected. It was on pillared crags and prow-like headlands, between the North and South Tynes, along the verge of which the Romans carried their boundary of stone.

The Caledonians remained unconquered and regained full possession of their soil, about A.D. 180. Then the Emperor Septimus Severus invaded the land, but after his death the Roman writ never ran again north of the Cheviot Hills. Summing up the whole matter, the Latin occupation was military, without effect on Caledonian civilization, so that the people of this Celtic northland were left to work out their own evolution without Roman influence and under the ægis of Christianity.

If we may trust our old friend Lemprière (1765–1824), of Classical Dictionary fame,—the second edition of whose useful manual furnished, to a clerk in Albany, the Greek and Latin names which he shot, like grape and canister, over the “Military Tract,” in New York State, surveyed by Simeon DeWitt,—we may get light on the meaning of “Caledonia” and “Scot.” The former comes from “Kaled,” meaning “rough”; hence the “Caledonii,” “the rude nation,”—doubtless an opinion held mutually of one another by the Romans and their opponents. The term survives in the second53 syllable of Dunkeld. “Pict,” or “pecht,” is stated to mean “freebooters.” “Scot” means “allied,” or in “union,” and the Scots formed a united nation. Another author traces Caledonia to the term “Gael-doch,” meaning “the country of the Gael,” or the Highlander.

After the invasions of the Romans, there followed the Teutonic incursions and settlements, which were by the mediæval kingdoms, and the struggles between the Northerners and Southrons, but no regular boundary was recognized until 1532. For a millennium and a half, or from Roman times, this border land was a region given up to lawlessness, nor did anything approaching order seem possible until Christianity had been generally accepted. Faith transformed both society and the face of nature. By the twelfth century, churches, abbeys, and monasteries had made the rugged landscape smile in beauty, while softening somewhat the manners of the rude inhabitants. Yet even within times of written history, nine great battles and innumerable raids, of which several are notable in record, song, or ballad, took place in this region. These, for the most part, were either race struggles or contests for the supremacy of kings.

In modern days, when “the border,” though no longer a legal term, holds its place in history and literature, it has been common to speak of the country “north of the Tweed” as meaning Scotland.54 Yet this river forms fewer than twenty miles of the recognized boundary, which in a straight line would be but seventy miles, but which, following natural features of river, hill burn, moor, arm of the sea, and imaginary lines, measures one hundred and eight miles. The ridge of the Cheviot Hills is the main feature of demarcation for about twenty-five miles. A tributary of the Esk prolongs the line, and the Sark and the Solway Firth complete the frontier which divides the two lands. The English counties of Northumberland and Cumberland are thus separated from the Scottish shires of Berwick, Roxburghe, and Dumfries. In former times, “the frontier shifted according to the surging tides of war and diplomacy.”

Even to the eleventh century, the old Kingdom of Northumbria included part of what is now Scotland, up to the Firth of Forth and as far west as Stirling. In 1081, however, the Earl of Northumberland ceded the district which made the Tweed the southern boundary of the Kingdom of the Scots. Hence the honor of antiquity belonging to the Tweed as the eastern border-line! On the west, however, William the Conqueror wrenched Cumberland from the Scottish sceptre, and ever since it has remained in England.

For six hundred years, from the eleventh to near the end of the seventeenth century, war was the normal condition. Peace was only occasional. In this era55 were built hundreds of those three-storied square towers with turrets at the corners, of which so many ruins or overgrown sites remain. On each floor was one room, the lower one for cattle, the upper for the laird and his family, and a few ready-armed retainers. Around this bastel-house, or fortified dwelling, were ranged the thatched huts of the followers of the chief. These, on the signal of approaching enemies, or armed force, crowded into the stronghold. In feudal days, when these strong towers were like links in a chain, prompt and effective notice of approaching marauders could be sent many leagues by means of beacon fires kindled in the tower-tops and on the walls. Human existence in these abodes, during a prolonged siege, may be imagined.

Perhaps the best picture of castle and tower life in this era, though somewhat glorified, is that of Branksome Hall, in “The Lay of the Last Minstrel.” The nine and twenty knights, in full armor night and day, “drank the red wine through their helmets barred.” The glamour of Scott, the literary wizard, makes castle life seem almost enviable—but oh, the reality! Happily to-day lovely homes have taken the place of these ancient strongholds.

On the Scottish side, besides numerous small streams, are many stretches of fertile land with rich valleys and intervales, while much of the scenery is romantic and beautiful. In the southwestern corner, one does not forget that from the56 eighth to the twelfth century flourished the Kingdom of Strathclyde, which bordered on the Clyde River. In the Rhins of Galloway is the parish of Kirkmaiden, which is Scotland’s most southern point. The common, local expression, “from Maidenkirk to John o’ Groat’s House,” is like that of “from Dan to Beersheba.” Now, however, not a few sites famous in song and story and once part of the Scots’ land are in England, notably, Flodden Field, and in the sea, Lindisfarne, or Holy Isle, so famous in “Marmion.” To-day, on Holy Isle, the summer tourists make merry and few perhaps think of the story of Constance the nun, betrayed by Marmion the knight, condemned by her superior, incarcerated in the dungeons, and sent to her death.

Probably the ages to come will show us that the most enduring monuments of centuries of strife, in this borderland, must not be looked for in its memorials of stone, but in language. The “winged words” may outlast what, because of material solidity, was meant for permanence and strength. Minstrelsy and ballad, poem and song, keep alive the acts of courage and the gallantry of the men and the sacrifice and devotion of the women which light up these dark centuries. To Scott, Billings, and Percy we owe a debt of gratitude, for rescuing from oblivion the gems of poet and harpist.

When feudalism gave way to industry, the57 business of the moss trooper, the swashbuckler, and the cattle-thief ceased to be either romantic or useful. The same fate which, in the Japan of my experience, met the ruffians and professional gentlemen-assassins, was visited upon the Scottish borderers. These fellows could not understand just how and why they were now deemed common ruffians and vile murderers, who had before been powerful chiefs or loyal retainers. Instead of minstrels singing in praise of their exploits, the gallows, planted on a hundred hills, awaited them. The Japanese handled their problem by ordering to the common public execution grounds the cowardly assassins of foreigners, instead of allowing them, as gentlemen, to commit the ceremony of hara-kiri, within decorated areas curtained with white silk, to be followed by posthumous floral offerings laid on their tombs by admiring friends.

In both Scotland and Japan, the effectual method, in the new climate of public opinion, was to deprive the thief and murderer of all glory and honor. In both lands, the police took the place of the military. The club of justice fell unerringly on the right noddle, instead of having innocent bystanders killed by the bullets of soldiers. In place of harmless peasants suffering the loss of their houses, crops, and cattle, the border malefactors, who later furnished themes for the cheap stage and the dime novel, paid in person the penalty of their misdeeds.


Yet until a Scottish king sat on an English throne, the attempts to create a peaceful border region were more or less fitful and but partially successful. It is true that the area had long before been marked off into three districts, or marches,—east, middle, and west,—with officers called “wardens.” These, aided by commissioners, put down petty insurrections and punished cattle-thieves. Occasionally a warden would be slain at a border meeting, as was Sir Robert Kerr, whose murder was avenged by one of his loyal followers, who pursued the assassin as far as York, dragged him out of concealment, and brought his head to their new master. This exploit almost duplicated the approved episode of the Japanese Forty-seven Ronins in Yedo, though on a smaller scale. Further to carry out the fashion, which I used to see often illustrated in Japan, the head was exposed in Edinburgh, on the king’s cross.

One of the favorite games of the Scottish borderers was to meet, ostensibly to play football, but in reality to plan and execute a raid southward, with a view to incendiarism and the theft of butcher’s meat on the hoof. Was it from this Scotch precedent that in the sport of American college football—the first game being that between Rutgers and Princeton in 1870, for which we subscribed in student days—was borrowed the violence which makes the rough-and-tumble scuffle so fascinating to the “fans” of to-day?59 Be this as it may, the earlier Scottish football games, which made bullhide rather than pigskin their chief goal, were broken up in Queen Elizabeth’s time.

After a Scottish king had mounted the English throne, border lawlessness became henceforth intolerable. It had lasted long enough, and after 1605 was put down with ruthless energy. Those shires in both England and Scotland, which had formerly been the border counties and so often given up to the ravages of the moss troopers, were named by King James, in 1603, “the Middle Shires of Great Britain.” By means of a band of mounted police, twenty-five in number, led by Sir William Cranstoun, murderers and robbers were speedily brought to justice. In one year thirty-two persons were hanged, fifteen banished, and over one hundred and forty named as fugitive outlaws. This list was next year increased and their names were hung up at the market crosses and on the doors of parish churches. Over two hundred and sixty were nominated as persons to be pursued with hue and cry, wherever they were found. The nests of outlawry were thus broken up and the houses of thieving families were searched for stolen goods. Cranstoun, the Samson of the new age, carried off the gates of the Philistines from the Gaza of moss and heatherland. Their iron portals, which had so long barred the entrance of civilization, were removed and dragged away to60 be turned into plough irons. Thus the work went on.

Is it any wonder that, of all the States of the American Union, Pennsylvania, so largely settled by the Scots, has handled most wisely, efficiently, and with least loss of property, life, or limb, the turbulent foreign elements within her gates? Her superb body of mounted police, the envy of other States, is but a modern quotation from this page of Scottish history. The system is the creation of descendants of Scotsmen who settled the western third of the Keystone State. Set one expert to foil another!

It is inspiring to note what names of ancestors, of those who are to-day most godly and respected people, having brave sons and lovely daughters, are found in these courts of justice in the time of King James, of Bible translation time. So far is this true that one calls to mind the rhyme of our own poet, John G. Saxe, concerning those who are warned not to study genealogy too eagerly, lest

“your boasted line
May end in a loop of stronger twine,
That plagued some worthy relation.”

Yet, let us not be afraid of being descended from the Maxwells, Johnstons, Jardines, Elliots, Armstrongs, Scotts, Kerrs, Buccleughs, Nevilles, or whom not or what not of these days, now so transfigured in romance. History and science both agree that if we go back far enough, no race was61 once lower than that to which each of us belongs, whether Celtic, Teutonic, Slavic, or Aryan of any sort.

It was and is necessary, for poet, novelist, dramatist, and maker of moving-picture films, to show that these illustrious persons, who were villains in the eye of the law in one age and heroes of romance in another, should be like those in the condition that our Prescott the historian desired his heroes to be—under the ground at least two hundred years. By that time they are cooled off and their passions reduced to the ordinary temperature of graveyard dust. Their faults have been left in the haze of oblivion, while their merits take on a glamour that comes only from the past. In the “distance that robes the mountain in its azure hue” both persons and events can be transfigured in poem, song, and story.

Think of the last of the desert chivalries and enthusiasms—our cowboys—a century or two hence! Behold how, even in the Hub of the Universe, the street rioters active in the Boston “Massacre” have their artistic monument! What is a crime in one generation becomes something to be gloried in, when success is won! With the multitude, the end ever justifies the means. The accepted history of almost all wars is that written by the victors. The beaten foe is always in the wrong. “Whatever is, is right.” All, save the few starry spirits of mankind, say this.


Sir Walter evidently appreciated these phenomena. Knowing human nature well, he did not hesitate to be frank about his own forebears. He made of the old scenes of slaughter a new enchanted land, into which one can now travel unarmed and without guards. As Roderick Dhu justified to Fitz James the profession of cattle-lifting, which he, like his ancestors, followed, so Lockhart tells that when the last bullock, which Auld Watts had provided from the English pastures, was consumed, Mary Scott, the flower of Yarrow, placed on her table a dish containing a pair of clean spurs. This was a hint to the company that they must bestir themselves for their next dinner. In those days when the rule was to “love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy” (is it yet repealed?) cattle-stealing was a virtuous occupation just as war is, and will be, unless the United States of the World is formed.


By 1610 the mounted police had done their work so well that the borders were reported, by King James’s commissioners, to be as peaceable and quiet as any part of any civil kingdom in Christendom. In a word, the pioneers of civilization, on either side of the frontier, were like men who blast the rocks, fill up the swamps, and grade the prairies and canyons, so that we can sleep in the berths and eat in the dining-cars of the “Flying Scotchman” or the “Overland Limited.” Much of the waste land, long ago reclaimed, is63 now covered with the gardens, fertile fields, and fair homes of ladies, gentlemen, and Christians. After the enormous mineral wealth of this region had been exploited, moss troopers and cattle-thieves were as much out of place as are the cowboys—except on the stage, which is an indestructible museum of antiquities.

Certainly, for the literary enjoyment of succeeding centuries, it was a good thing that the memorials of this period of turbulence were ultimately transformed, by the relieved people, into material for legend and song; yes, even so that Scott could build Abbotsford without moat or drawbridge. The poetry of the situation is vastly more enjoyable to-day than was the prose of reality during several centuries. In like manner, we, who, in our upholstered chairs, with our feet against the fender of the winter fire-grate, delight in and admire the red Iroquois in Cooper’s novels, necessarily take a different view of the whole Indian “problem” than could our ancestors, so many of whose scalps adorned the walls of the Long House of the Forest Republic.

In our annals the name of General John Sullivan as one who avenged the destruction of the Scotch settlements on the Susquehanna, and opened for our fathers the westward paths of civilization, must go down to history with the same halo of fame as that which surrounds Sir William Cranstoun and his little company of64 moss troopers of the new sort. Moreover, when the white man is no longer busy in depositing lead inside the redskin’s cuticle, while the copper-colored savage ceases to raise the hair of his affectionate white brother, there is a better common understanding of one another’s psychology, besides more room for mutual appreciation. Verily, history fills with its oil the fragrant lamp of literature that illuminates while it charms.


How many people, in their inmost souls, wish to be considered prophets! Andrew Lang, in his “History of Scotland,” calls attention to that “wisdom after the event,” which is so often exhibited, not only by the commonplace person, who loves to be an incarnate “I told you so,” but even by those who pose as genuine prophets. To such, the map of Scotland seems in part a foreshadowing of her history. One thinks of the Highlands as an extension northeastwardly of the older Scotia, or Ireland, or as but the island itself moved diagonally or in the direction named. Draw a line reaching from Dumbarton, on the Clyde, to Stonehaven, on the German Ocean, and you have, on the north and west, Celtic Scotland. Here, for the most part, are ranges of mountains, lines of hills, and the great waterway from southwest to northeast. In the extreme north, however, in Sutherland and Caithness, both upraised land and flowing water seem, for the most part, to run from south to north.

In other words, one would suppose from the map that the people dwelling on the rather flat lowlands would be of one race and with one kind66 of civilization, while the inhabitants of the hills would greatly differ. In the Highlands, defence would be easy and offence would be hard, strongholds would be more numerous, general communication impracticable, social improvement slow, and common feeling with the Lowlanders be a long time coming. The Celtic clansmen of the hills, usually living and dying in the same glen, were not famed as travellers. “All travel has its advantages,” says Dr. Johnson. “If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own, and if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” So wrote Dr. Samuel Johnson, in his “Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland.” That famous book gave most Englishmen their first idea of the region which is now a summer annex to England—enormous tracts of the Highlands being in latter days the property of English landlords.

Yet, while it is true that the map might lead an observer to anticipate that the later comers, of Germanic race and speech, would dispossess the Celts and form a kingdom separate from and hostile to theirs,—with no union until six hundred years had passed by,—we may ask another question. What is there, in Scottish topography, that would be a prophecy of the northern half of the British Isles separating into a Scottish nation apart from England?

We may answer, without fear, that it was not67 natural features or climate, but historical events, that made two peoples, instead of one. These events could not be foreseen by a mere student of the topography. Even though the men of both realms spoke the same language and were of the same blood, originally, there issued an English and a Scottish nation, which again had two stories of development. The Highlands have a third, their own story,—usually of isolated combats and clan feuds,—with only the slow infiltration of ideas that in time made a united island, bringing the men of the glens in contact with the rest of Europe.

The chief scene of Scottish history, with its art, architecture, commercial prosperity, and general likeness to Christendom, is in the Lowlands. Here are almost all her great cities, industries, and monuments. In this region, and not in the Highlands, Scotland’s two greatest, or at least most famous, men were born and reared, and here are the cities, which are “the hope of democracy.” In fact, the Celtic Scots never produced a distinct civilization of their own. The Celts, with all their charming traits and bold achievements, have nowhere brought to perfection this composite flower of history.

For purposes of research in libraries, enjoyment in rambles from a convenient centre, and for the study of all classes of the people in town and country, on moors and by the sea, we chose Dundee as68 the seat of our summer sojourns, seven in number from 1891 to 1913. There in Scottish homes and with companions in plenty, both native and imported, for picnics, tramps, river excursions, and historical explorations, near and far, whether on foot, awheel, by horse, boat, or motor-car, our memories focus on “Scotia’s grandeur,” as well as on “homely joys and destiny obscure,” and, not least, on personal delights.

Before reaching Dundee, the American in Scotland must visit the ancient capital of her kings, Dunfermline, which is on the road thither. Birthplace of “the librarian of the universe,” Andrew Carnegie, and enriched by him with munificent gifts, from money made in the United States, we shall by visiting Dunfermline pay our respects to Scotland’s ancient glories while renewing home memories.

The city lies in the “ancient kingdom” and modern County of Fife, probably of all Scottish shires the richest in striking monastic, feudal, and palatial ruins. Within its borders are Roman, Celtic, and early Christian and mediæval remains. Its name has no relation to a musical instrument, although the screaming tube of military association, comrade of the drum, seems an appropriate symbol for a region so long identified with war. The Tay and the Leven Rivers, within its borders, are famous in song and story, and within the bounds of Fife lie Cupar, St. Andrew’s, Dunfermline,69 Falkland, Lindores, Kirkcaldy, Burntisland, Crail, and Dysart, all of historical interest.

One who is curious to get at the linguistic secrets locked up in Scottish names calls in the aid of the Celtic scholar and learns that the word, “Dunfermline,” when dissected, yields the meaning, “The Castle of the Winding Stream,” or, more precisely, “The Fort on the Crooked Linn,” the latter word meaning a waterfall between two rocks. When, however, we search into the origin of Fife, the county’s name, we find it to be of Frisian origin; that is, only another form of “Fibh,” which, in Jutland, means “forest.” In the fourth century, when the folk from the Continent were crossing the German Ocean and settling on the island, they gave the newfound woody land a descriptive name true to the facts.

Situated three miles from the water and rising above the level of the Firth, upon a long swelling ridge, Dunfermline is an imposing place. Here, in 1070, King Malcolm Canmore founded an abbey for the Benedictine monks, whom his English Queen Margaret had brought from Canterbury. Dunfermline brings up many memories of this noble queen, to whose influence, greater probably than that of any other one person, Bonnie Scotland owes so much of its civilization.

In a sense, the town, though showing little of royal grandeur, contains Scotland’s Westminster Abbey. Dunfermline Abbey, besides being one of70 the most important remains in Scotland, has, except Iona, received more of Scotland’s royal dead than any other place in the kingdom. Not only were the sovereigns David, James, and Charles born within the old castle walls, but here rest the bodies of Malcolm Canmore, Queen Margaret, Edgar, Alexander I, David I, Malcolm the Maiden, Alexander III, Robert the Bruce, his queen Elizabeth and his nephew Randolph, Anabella, queen of Robert III, and Robert, Duke of Albany.


Who has not read how Robert Burns knelt down and kissed, with a poet’s fervor, the broad flagstone over the grave of Robert the Bruce? What boy has not spoken the piece, “Scots whom Bruce has often led”? In 1821 when building the new modern edifice, they opened the tomb of Robert the Bruce and found his skeleton entire. The evidence of its being his consisted mainly in the fact that the breastbone was sawn asunder, in order to reach the heart, which had been extracted. The remains were re-interred with fitting pomp below the pulpit of the new church. In 1891, to bestow more honor on Scotland’s hero, the pulpit was moved back and a monumental brass inserted in the floor to indicate the royal vault. The tomb of St. Margaret and Malcolm, which was within the ruined walls of the Lady chapel, was restored and enclosed at the command of Queen Victoria. The nave of the abbey church was of noble proportions, but of the abbey itself,71 only portions of the refectory, tower, and arched gateway remain. The devastating reformers of March, 1560, spared the nave, which served as a parish house of worship until the nineteenth century. Now it forms the vestibule of the new edifice.

Another interesting ruin is part of the palace of the Stuart kings, overhanging the romantic glen of Pittencrief. It is a noble wreck, showing massive flying buttresses. The last royal tenant of the palace was Charles II, who occupied it just before marching south to the battle and rout of Worcester in 1651. Within its walls also he signed the National League and Covenant.

Dunfermline has a long ecclesiastical history. The first settlers in this place, who brought news of an unseen world, other than that inhabited by those who sought the Eternal through the Druids, were the Culdees. Then followed the Celtic, Anglican, and modern forms of religion. In Dunfermline arose also the modern Dissenters, Ralph Erskine and Thomas Gillespie, who added a new variety of Presbyterianism to the many forms already existing, though the religious bodies which they founded are now one, under the name of “United Presbyterians,” whose influence, in both Scotland and America, has been so notable.

In one sense, Andrew Carnegie, “the star-spangled Scotchman,” is the most celebrated of all Dunfermline’s sons, as he is certainly her72 greatest benefactor. He gave to his birthplace its Free Library, its public baths, and the estate of Pittencrief Park and Glen, together with bonds yielding $100,000 a year, in trust, for the maintenance of the park, a theatre, the promotion of horticulture among the working classes, periodical exhibitions of works of art and science, and the encouragement of technical education in the district.

The visiting American feels proud that this once poor Scottish boy, without favor, rank, patrons, or special opportunities, having amassed his wealth in the United States, has used it so generously all over the world—a type of America’s mission. I have seen and met Mr. Carnegie on many occasions, at public dinners, as guest of honor, or presiding at famous celebrations, notably when the double centenary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin was celebrated by the Pennsylvania University, in Witherspoon Hall, in Philadelphia. I remember that, in bestowing upon a lady recipient of a learned degree her diploma, he nearly demolished her chignon. Nevertheless, the canny Scot seemed greater in redeeming his fault than even in doing successfully mightier things—the mark of a master of men. One of the strongest points in the career of the bonnie ironmaster has ever been his power to neutralize the possible evil effects of an error, whether that were a downright blunder or a mistake in judgment. No one is73 more fertile in those resources, which negative what might, with an ordinary man, become a calamity.

I last met this optimist at Cornell University, to which he had come to see and hear the grand organ in Bailey Hall, which he, through Dr. Andrew D. White, had presented to the New York State College of Agriculture. The gates of hell had already been opened beyond sea, and international insanity—the chronic disease of Europe—was covering the plains of Belgium with blood and corpses. I asked Mr. Carnegie whether he was not discouraged, since, after all these years of his working diligently for peace, war had again broken out. “Discouraged?” said he, with vehemence. “Don’t know the meaning of the word.” Long live Andrew, with his incorrigible and invincible optimism!

In this historic city my thoughts were mostly of Queen Margaret, the gentle conqueror of the Scottish people, and one of the greatest of all women born in Britain. When, after the battle of Hastings in 1066, the Saxon King Edgar fled into Scotland, with his two sisters, King Malcolm Canmore took Margaret, styled “the Beautiful,” for his wife, and was wedded at Dunfermline. Her husband, in 1093, refusing to be a vassal of the South, and indignant at his reception by Rufus at Gloucester, returned home. He then invaded England, only to be met and slain, together with74 his son, at Alnwick. This double blow, coming in a moment of ill health, was too much for Margaret, and she died in Edinburgh Castle. In the violence of the times, when Celt and Saxon were ever at war, her body may have been in danger of outrage. So her corpse was quietly conveyed, by way of the West Port of the then walled city, under cover of a mist, and without ceremony was removed to Dunfermline.

One sometimes wonders why the history of Ireland and of Scotland, especially in their relations to the larger island, England, are so different, notwithstanding that the same race of men so largely peopled the two countries. Yet, if we look down the long perspective of the centuries, we see how the political winds, which were so harsh to Ireland, were so tempered to Scotland.

In “the Pope’s Green Isle,” nearly all the changes that have been wrought by the English or Normans came in the wake of conquest and the sword; whereas in Scotland, the new ideas and institutions introduced by the Anglo-Normans entered slowly by infiltration. The potency of initial changes, in the one case, was that of man; in the other, of woman. It was an English queen, with her English children, who wrought gently but surely the reforms which brought Scotland in harmony with the civilization of Europe. Queen Margaret’s life was one long ministry of reconciliation of Celt and Saxon mainly in direct75 service of her people, through religion, in both theory and practice. She was a saint in reality as well as by canon.

In Ireland, even in the Church, there were, beside a heritage of hate, a Celtic and an Anglo-Norman party always at one another’s throats or reputations. From such legacies of bitterness Scotland was happy enough to escape because it was through a wise woman’s wit and tact that the initial changes were gently and gradually made. It is no wonder that the Scots, as well as the office of canonization, call her “Saint” Margaret.


When we look into the name “Dundee,” we find that some derive it from the Latin “Donum Dei” (the “gift of God”). Evidently those who designed the town arms accepted this etymology, for above the two griffins holding a shield is the motto “Dei Donum.” Yet beneath their intertwined and forked tails is the more cautious motto, perhaps meant to be regulative,—for “sweet are the uses of adversity,” in learning as in life,—“prudentia et candore.” While prudence bids us look forward, candor requires honesty as to the past. So the diligent scholarship and editorial energy of modern days delete the claims of local pride, as belated, and declare them “extravagant,” while asserting that so favorable a situation for defence as has Dundee antedates even the Roman occupation.

Others, not willing to abandon the legend savoring of divinity, find the name in the Celtic “Dun Dha,” the “Hill of God.” The probabilities are, however, that Mars will carry off the honors, and that the modern form is from the Gaelic name “Dun Tow,” that is, the “fort on the Tay”; of which the Latin “Tao Dunum” is only a transliteration.77 All Britain was spotted with forts or duns, and the same word is in the second syllable of “London.”

The name “Dundee” first occurs in writing in a deed of gift, dated about A.D. 1200, by David, the younger brother of William the Lion, making the place a royal burg. Later it received charters from Robert the Bruce and the Scottish kings. Charles I finally granted the city its great charter.

In the war of independence, when the Scots took up arms against England, Dundee was prominent. William Wallace, educated here, slew the son of the English constable in 1291, for which deed he was outlawed. The castle, which stood until some time after the Commonwealth, but of which there is to-day hardly a trace, was repeatedly besieged and captured. In Dundee’s coat of arms are two “wyverns,” griffins, or “dragons,” with wings addorsed and with barbed tails, the latter “nowed” or knotted together—which things serve as an allegory. In the local conversation and allusions and in the modern newspaper cartoons and caricatures, the “wyverns” stand for municipal affairs and local politics.

Such a well-situated port, on Scotland’s largest river, Tay, must needs be the perennial prize of contending factions and leaders. But when, after having assimilated the culture of Rome, the new struggle, which was inevitable to human progress, the Reformation,78 began, and the Scots thought out their own philosophy of the universe, Dundee was called “the Scottish Geneva,” because so active in spreading the new doctrines. Here, especially, Scotland’s champion, George Wishart, student and schoolmaster (1513–46), one of the earliest reformers, introduced the study of Greek and preached the Reformation doctrines. Compelled to flee to England, he went also to Switzerland. In Cambridge, he was a student in 1538. It is not known that he ever “took orders,” any more than did the apostle Paul. He travelled from town to town, making everywhere a great impression by his stirring appeals.

Instead of bearing the fiery cross of the clans as of old, Wishart held up the cross of his Master.

Patriotism and economics, as well as religion, were factors in the clash of ideas. Cardinal Beaton stood for ecclesiastical dependence on France, Wishart for independence. Beaton headed soldiers to make Wishart prisoner. Young John Knox attached himself to the person of the bold reformer and carried a two-handed sword before Wishart for his defence. After preaching a powerful sermon at Haddington, the evangelist was made a prisoner by the Earl of Bothwell and carried to St. Andrew’s. There, at the age of thirty-three, by the cardinal’s order, Wishart was burned at the stake in front of the castle, then the residence of the bishop. While the fire was kindling, Wishart79 uttered the prophecy that, within a few days his judge and murderer would lose his life. After such proceedings in the name of God, it seems hardly wonderful that the mob, which had been stirred by Wishart’s preaching, should have destroyed both the cathedral and the episcopal mansion.

Was Wishart in the plot to assassinate the cardinal, as hostile critics suggest? Over his ashes a tremendous controversy has arisen, and this is one of the unsettled questions in Scottish history. There was another George Wishart, bailie of Dundee, who was in the plot. Certainly the preacher’s name is great in Scotland’s history.

One of the relics of bygone days, which the Dundeeans keep in repair, is a section of the old battlemented city wall crossing one of the important streets. This for a time was the pulpit of the great reformer. With mine host of the Temperance Hotel, Bailie Mather, who took me, as other antiquarians, poets, and scholars did also, through the old alleys and streets, where the vestiges of historic architecture still remain from the past, I mounted this old citadel of freedom.

On the whole, the Reformation in Dundee was peacefully carried out, but in 1645, during the Civil War, the city was sacked and most of its houses went down in war fires. In 1651, General Monk, sent by Cromwell, captured Dundee, and probably one sixth of the garrison were put to the sword. Sixty vessels were loaded with plunder to80 be sent away, but “the sailors being apparently as drunk as the soldiery” the vessels were lost within sight of the city. “Ill got, soon lost,” said Monk’s chaplain. Governor Lumsden, in heroic defence, made his last stand in the old tower, which still remains scarred and pitted with bullet marks.

Dundee rose to wealth during our Civil War, when jute took the place of cotton. Being a place of commerce rather than of art, literature, or romance, and touching the national history only at long intervals, few tourists see or stay long in “Jute-opolis.” Nevertheless, from many visits and long dwelling in the city and suburbs, Dundee is a place dearly loved by us three; for here, in health and in sickness, in the homes of the hospitable people and as leader of the worship of thousands, in the great Ward Chapel, where he often faced over a thousand interested hearers, the writer learned to know the mind of the Scottish people more intimately than in any other city. Nor could he, in any other better way, know the heart of Scotland, except possibly in some of those exalted moments, when surveying unique scenery, it seemed as if he were in the very penetralia of the land’s beauty; or, when delving in books, he saw unroll clearly the long panorama of her inspiring history.

Among the treasures, visible in the muniment room of the Town House, are original despatches from Edward I and Edward II; the original charter, dated 1327, and given the city by Robert the81 Bruce; a Papal order from Leo X, and a letter from Mary Queen of Scots, concerning extramural burials. Then the “yardis, glk sumtyme was occupyit by ye Gray Cordelier Freres” (Franciscan Friars, who wore the gray habit and girdle of St. Francis of Assisi) as an orchard, were granted to the town as a burying-place by Queen Mary in 1564. The Nine Crafts having wisely decided not to meet in taverns and alehouses, made this former place of fruit their meeting-place; hence the name “Howff,” or haunt. My rhyming friend Lee, in his verses on the “Waukrife Wyverns” (wakeful griffins), has written the feelings and experiences of his American friend, who often wandered and mused among the graven stones, as well as his own:—

“’T was Sabbath nicht, the clinkum-bell
Tauld o’ harangues on heaven and hell—
I read a sermon to mysel’
Frae off the stones.
* * * * *
Vast meeting-place whaur all are mute,
For dust hath ended the dispute;
These yards are fat wi’ ither fruit
Than when the friars
Grew apples red for their wine-presses—
And stole frae ruddier dames caresses,
Else men are liars.”

It is not historical to call or think of Claverhouse himself as the original of “Bonnie Dundee.” The city is greater than the man, for Sir Walter Scott borrowed the hint for his refrain from an82 old song which refers solely to the town. Like the phrases “William the Silent,” “Mad Anthony Wayne,” and other names which catch the popular ear, the whole literary line of suggestion is posthumous and anachronistic. Once having heard a good story, “the public” is like a child who wants the first fairy tale to be told over and over again, in exactly the same phrase. To do otherwise offends vanity and savors of that very dreadful “higher criticism” which is so terrible to tradition-mongers.

Wonderful improvements have taken place in the city of Dundee since I first saw it, in the early nineties, when the place was full of things unsavory and unsightly. But these have been cleared away, along with some old edifices that had historic associations, such as the castle, the mint, and the convents. All of these measures of abolition have greatly improved the public health and the appearance of the city.

Some old-time Dundee politics were amazingly similar to the style sufficiently fashionable in America—some time back. The local poet in his “Wakeful Griffins” (the “Waukrife Wyverns”) pictures the reality as the two of them, with their knotted tails, “hung ower the wa’” and discussed municipal affairs:—

“O lang and lang I’ve lookit doon
On bonnie, dirty Dundee toon,
And see i’ council knave and clown.
But sic a crew
O’ rowdy, ranting, roaring fellows—
Sae scant o’ sense, sae sound o’ bellows—
I never knew.”

When, further, in applying the city’s motto of prudence and candor, one of the tailed mentors proposed special chastisement of a notable public sinner, the poet cried “Hurrah”:—

“At once there came
A whir o’ wings, a clash o’ scales,
An awesome wallopin’ o’ tails,
A flash of flame.”

Then the tower bell boomed the hour of twelve.

Seeing Dundee often and in the year before the Great War, we noted its broad thoroughfares adorned with flowers, and so full of activity and happy bustle by day and brilliantly lighted by electricity at night, we made favorable comparison with the best streets of Scotland’s two larger cities. Since Queen Victoria’s charter, bestowed in 1889, Dundee’s chief magistrate has been designated as the “Lord Provost.”

One of the commonest expressions in Scotland for the meadow alongside of a river is “the carse.” There are plenty of these carses in the valley of the Tay, and at Dundee “the carse” is that one, of course, which is near the city.

“The Carse of Gowrie” is somewhat over twenty miles long. Four miles from the city post-office, over the carse, is the village of Invergowrie,84 where we enter Perthshire. Here, in a stately home, we spent many days. We cross a burn, which runs across the turnpike road, and enter a village called Milnefield Feus, the water making the dividing-line between the counties. At Invergowrie we see “the Gows of Gowrie,” the Paddock Stane, and the quarries of Kingoodie, with the old Dargie church, surrounded by an ancient graveyard near the shores of the Tay River. Between the kirkyard and the railway are the “Gows” or large boulders, famous in the prophecy of Thomas the Rhymer:—

“When the Gows of Gowrie come to land
The day of judgment is near at hand.”

Another famous rock is the Deil’s Stone, concerning which there is a legend illustrating the activity of His Satanic Majesty. The village of Invergowrie was originally named the Mylnefield Feus—a relic of Scottish feudalism.


I noticed many odd features, common to most old Scottish towns, especially those with markets, during my numerous rambles in the valley of the Tay. Each had of old for its equipment, suiting the needs of the times, the cross, with the “jougs” attached, and the “tron,” or weighing-machine used for securing honest weight of oatmeal and other produce brought to the market for sale. The canny Scot, like other human beings, has that 85proverbial “touch of nature,” which scale and measures serve partly to correct. There was also a penfold for impounding stray animals. A joug, as one might guess, from the Latin “jugum,” was an instrument for the punishment of those who were already stiff-necked offenders. It is probably the original of our slang word “jug,” meaning a prison. An iron collar enclosing the neck of the criminal, which was fastened to a wall, tree, or cross, by an iron chain, was the chief feature and implement. This piece of public jewelry went out of use, some time after the Reformation. Often the old town crosses, when broken, dilapidated, or removed, are rebuilt as public ornaments or memorials of the past.

Even dragons had their lairs in Scotland, where the behavior of these monsters seems to have been the same as that noticed in their kind all over the world. Their appetites, for example, showed a similar eagerness for plump maidens. The Japanese and Korean stories of these creatures, which are conceived of as cosmic forces—an encyclopædia of all the powers of offence and destruction with which nature has furnished animals—intimate that their digestion was much improved by a diet of lovely girls. Now at Kinnoul Hill, not far from Dundee, in the face of the precipice, is a small cave popularly called “The Dragon’s Hole.” Here in early times—dragons always lived in ancient times only—dwelt a scaly monster, who kept the country in continual terror, because neither86 fish nor cattle, nor old women, nor indigestible males, but only tender virgins suited his alimentary canal. It was when they were young and pretty that the damsels were particularly desirable and digestible. Dragging them off to his den, the monster enjoyed his meals with the leisure of a gentleman. Yet, however pure and spiritually minded, the young women themselves could not break the spell of the destroyer. Only holy monks had such desirable power. One shaveling monk made a specialty of prayer and charms, and after a terrible conflict slew the dragon—much to the relief of parents who had charming daughters.

In another place I saw an artificial ruin, constructed about a century ago, but now so completely overgrown with ivy that ages seemed to have passed over it, so that one might imagine that romance must linger in its stones. When first seeing this hoary pile, I was tempted to unfold the pinions of fancy and imagination for a long flight; when, suddenly, I remembered the poem by Eugene Field. He tells us, in his mellifluous verse, how when in Amsterdam of the Netherlands, he saw an imposing piece of furniture which fired his imagination. It was a bedstead, of remarkably feudalistic and baronial suggestion. Field pictured to himself the ancient castle in which that bedstead, “seat of rapture, seat of pain,” had stood. He saw in perspective of fancy the richly robed lords and ladies, that had sought87 repose upon it. The dreams that they dreamed, in the days of falconry and cavalcades, of tournaments and cloth of gold, must have been as brilliant as his own. Yet, before paying the purchase price, the western poet glanced at the back of the headboard and read the words, “Made in Grand Rapids, Michigan.” “One touch of nature,” etc.


What a delightful thing it is to be first enthralled with a drama, romance, or poem, and then to enjoy a topographical appendix, in the form of a ramble over the ground—where it never happened!

In Scotland there was once a Macbeth MacFinleigh, King of Scotland for seventeen years, stout fighter, patron of the Culdees, and pilgrim to Rome. He appears to have had all the accomplishments of royalty, piety, belligerency, and whatever seemed necessary for an eleventh-century man in power. In a word, he was in harmony with his age and environment and did what was expected of him.

Not much is known of this Macbeth, but details of reality are never necessary to literary immortality. Did not our own Irving, out of three lines and a half of record, which concerned only one passing incident, construct the colossal figure of Anthony van Corlear, the trumpeter? And are not Anthony’s Nose, and Spuyten Duyvil, on the Hudson, monumental evidences, in rock and water, of the personality of the handsome fellow who broke the hearts of both Dutch and Yankee maidens?


Our old Dundee friend, Hector Boece (1465–1536), of King’s College, Aberdeen, who wrote that lovely work of fiction, entitled the “History of Scotland,” incorporated in his twelfth book what the old chronicler, John of Fordun, of the century before, had written; but with liberal decorations and embroideries. Boece, in turn, was utilized by that charming rambler through the past, Raphael Holinshed, whose illustrated volumes, as they fell from the press, were devoured by Shakespeare. Boece’s twelfth book, rich in fables, inventions, and delightfully baseless anecdotes, contains the very much expanded story of Macbeth. Except the murder of Duncan and the probable character of Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare’s drama scarcely touches history at more than two or three points. Yet all that a genius, like the bard of Avon, needs, is a small base-line of fact, whence to describe meridians of the immensities and infinities from airy nothings. There are realities of truth independent of place or time, and this Shakespeare knew.

Yet as, a half-century before the battle of Gettysburg, a visiting British officer saw the possibilities of the site, and exclaimed, “What a place for a battlefield,” so, fifty years or more before Shakespeare put “Macbeth” upon the boards, Buchanan had already pointed out the fitness of the legend for the stage.

After studying, lecturing upon, seeing “Macbeth”90 played by great actors, and meeting all sorts of cranks who theorized upon it, it was delightful, with some lively young folks, to visit Glamis, only a few miles from Dundee and now one of the finest baronial castles in Scotland. Such an imposing mass of towers, turrets, domes, and battlements! Glamis of old was a thanedom and a thane was an hereditary tenant of the king; that is, a feudal ruler. Macbeth, the thane of Glamis, held rank as earl. Not satisfied with even so high an honor, this vassal, Macbeth, murdered King Duncan and usurped his throne.

Why? Well, the chronicler says, “but specialie his wife lay sore upon him to attempt the thing as she that was verie ambitious, burning in an unquenchable desire to beare the name of a queen.” Unwilling to trust to the strength of the feudal stronghold of Glamis, this picturesque murderer of kings and of sleep, after the ruin wrought, went westward and built a fortress at Dunsinane Hill. He knew that his enemies, old and new, would soon rise up against him.

These were the days when most of the early “kings” of Scotland met with violent deaths. Near the village is a cairn of stones, surrounding a boulder, which is called “Malcolm’s gravestone,” and is supposed to mark the place where the King Malcolm II, after being slain by assassins, was buried. His father, Malcolm I, who reigned from 943 to 954, had been killed at Stonehaven. Malcolm91 II, his son, held the sceptre from 1005 to 1034.

It is well to stop awhile at Glamis Castle, not that it was the scene of the murder of Duncan, but it has plenty of fascinating lore of its own, besides having Macbeth as a tenant.

It was at Glamis Castle, in 1745, that Bonnie Prince Charlie slept on one night, to be succeeded on the next by the Duke of Cumberland, who occupied the very same room. The housekeeper conducts the visitor over the historic and antique portion of the castle, and the place is well worth seeing, for it makes the past seem very real. Moreover, though such sight-seeing does not supply facts, in place of Shakespeare’s creation, it helps to the enjoyment of the truth personified. We may delight in facts, for they are necessary; but truth is more. Whatever the facts concerning the historical Macbeth, they were long ago “stranded on the shore of the oblivious years.” They were, but the truth was, and is, and is to come. Human nature is the one thing that changes not, and that eternal element Shakespeare pictured.

We were visiting Dunkeld, in company with a party of pretty maidens and rosy-cheeked Scottish youth from Dundee, seeing its cathedral, ruins, waterfalls, and modern products, when we first realized that we were in the land of Macbeth. Immediately, all the useful and statistical data, gathered92 up on that August day, and even the fact that Dunkeld, now having fewer than a thousand people, was once a bishopric, seemed to fade into insignificance compared with the value and importance of the imaginary—the world outside of history and of science. We looked southward to see Birnam wood, whose trees and branches were to move to Dunsinane in the Scotland hills and fulfil the sinister prophecy of the witches.

Later on, we found comrades for a walk to Dunsinane Hill, which is only twelve miles northwest of Dundee. All who have read Shakespeare know that this was the scene of the closing tragedy in the play of “Macbeth.” We pass red-roofed cottages, and the ruins of an old feudal stronghold. It is a square tower, having walls of immense thickness, with the deep, well-like dungeon, cut into the rock, down which the keeper lowers for you a lighted candle. In place of the old arched floors, which added strength and solidity to the tower walls, there are platforms reached by stairways. Ascending to the top of the tower and emerging by a doorway to the bartizan on the outside, we have a most magnificent view of the wide-spreading valley of the Tay, with its manifold tokens of a rich civilization, lying like a panorama at our feet. One of these is Kinaird Castle, which belonged to a family which, having taken the wrong side in the uprising of 1715, had their lands forfeited.


Leaving this mass of stone behind us, we pass on to the upland moors, and after three or four miles see the two bold hills, the King’s Seat and Dunsinane. As we proceed, we find several old stones which, not being rolling, have gathered on their faces a rich crop of the moss of legend. The southern face of Dunsinane Hill is sheer and steep, but the view from the top is magnificent. Here on the summit we can barely trace the foundations of the second castle of Macbeth, which he built after leaving Glamis and to which he retired. Here he lived in the hope of finding security, the witches having predicted that he would never be conquered until “Birnam wood came to Dunsinane.” Thinking to make assurance doubly sure, he compelled the nobles and their retainers to build new fortifications for him. Men and oxen were so roughly impressed in the work that he made enemies of old friends and rupture soon occurred between him and Macduff.

After his father’s murder, Malcolm fled to England, whence a powerful army was sent to invade Scotland. The Scots joined the standard of the young prince and the army marched northward unopposed and encamped twelve miles away, at Birnam, under the shelter of a forest, which then covered the hill, but is now no more. The soldiers, each one having cut down a branch of a tree,—probably not with any knowledge of the witch’s prophecy, but to conceal their numbers,—made94 a moving mass of green. Macbeth, looking out from the battlements of his castle, beheld what seemed to him a vast forest in motion across the plain to overwhelm him with destruction.

Whatever was really true in the matter, tradition has adopted the element of poetical justice so often illustrated by the great Shakespeare, though some reports are that Macbeth escaped from two battles with his life and kept up a guerilla warfare in the north, until killed in a conflict in Aberdeenshire. In another Scottish town, we were shown a school which stands on the site of the old castle of the Macduffs, the Thanes or Earls of Fife.


The touch of genius has made the name of Macbeth immortal. He is known wherever the English language is read or spoken. How different is the fate of those humbler folk, who lie in the ooze of the past, unrecalled by poet or dramatist! In not a few places in Scotland, one meets the pathetic sight of old tombs and graveyards that are, in some instances, hardly visible for the greenery that covers them. Here “the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep,” but even the hamlet is gone, the church is in ruins, and the descendants of those who once lived and loved and died are now on various continents. They have found other homes, and most of them, children of the new lands, only vaguely remember, or most probably are ignorant of, the place in which their forefathers95 dwelt and whence their parents or grandparents came.

Occasionally one meets an old man or woman in the great cities, like Glasgow or Dundee, who will tell of the joys remembered or glories passed away, naming the village, perhaps in the glens or on the carses, which one cannot find on the map, or may discover only by consulting some old gazetteer in the libraries.

To me, an American, these white-haired old folks I saluted on the moors and in the glens, recalled the words of our own Holmes, and especially that stanza which President Lincoln thought the most pathetic in the English language:—

“The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
In their bloom;
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.”

Yet who—unless a Mark Twain, who could drop a tear over Father Adam’s grave—will weep over the long departed Picts? More often, while reading the books, rather than when rambling among the country folk in Scotland, do we hear of these shadowy figures, who live in ethnology rather than in local tradition.

For example, what became of the “Picts,” who figure so largely in ancient writings, before Pictland became Scotland? Old legends represent96 King Kenneth II, who died in 995, as having “exterminated” the Picts, who had slain his father. Thus these aborigines sank, in popular tradition, to mere mythology. A Pict now seems but as a nixie, a brownie, or some sort of mythical, even fairy folk, hardly human, to whom great feats, including even the building of Glasgow Cathedral, are attributed. In 1814, Sir Walter Scott met a dwarfish traveller in the Orkneys, whom the natives regarded as a “Pecht” or Pict. So says Andrew Lang. The Picts have been so swallowed up in oblivion that they are like “the ten lost tribes of Israel”—who never were “lost” in any sense but that of absence of records, and from a genealogical point of view. I have met intelligent persons who thought “the dead cities of the Zuyder Zee”—so denominated by Henri Havard—were as Pompeii and only waiting to be excavated and come to resurrection in museums!

The Picts of Scotland are exactly where the ancient Ebisu or Ainu of Japan are—in the veins of the people now called the Japanese. The descendants of the Picts to-day talk Scotch, or English, either of the American or British variety. It is no more fashionable in Scotland to trace one’s lineage to Pictish forebears, than in Japan to the Ainu or Ebisu, from whom millions of Japanese are descended. Who wants to be descended from common savages, when gods, kings, nobles, and chiefs are as plentiful as herring or blackberries?


To ride in fast express trains from town to town, across the Strathmore, or Great Valley, containing the central plain of Scotland, on which lies almost every one of its large cities and industrial centres, makes one thrill when contrasting the present with the past. Our comrade, Quandril, so fresh on Scottish soil that she had hardly got the ship’s motion out of her head, was completely daft, when speeding from Edinburgh to Stirling. So much history, visualized and made real, acted like a fierce stimulant. The cannonade of fresh impressions, at every moment, added still further to her delightful brain disturbance.

Here are two entries from her journal:—

“I am delighted with Scotland. As I realize that I am on Scottish ground, I can scarcely understand the indifference of the people, who walk about as if it were nothing remarkable.... Such a sight as met our astonished vision! Never had our New World eyes seen anything like this ancient city.”

In riding about in the suburbs, Quandril gathered some wild poppies. She noticed that every place had its title—Lanark Villa, Rose Villa, Breezy Brae, etc. In several places, a sign was98 up announcing that “this land may be ‘fued.’” The person who rented the land, using it, without receiving a title in fee simple, was a “feuar.”

How different the Scottish landscape, with its myriad chimneys, from the feudal days, when this French invention was unknown! When Scotland had a Robin Hood, in the person of Rob Roy, this feature was rare. In picturing the long-armed and famous cowboy, cattle-dealer, friend of the poor, and enemy of the rich, Sir Walter Scott has told of the desolate character of the tract of country stretching from the Clyde to the Grampians. One may recall how the young English horsewoman, whose feelings are described during the tedious ride toward the adventurous mountain-land, found a willow wand before the door, as an emblem that the place was tabooed. At one town we were told of a relic—the coulter of a plough—kept in commemoration of the event, which may remind us of the story of the cicerone, who showed the sword with which Balaam smote his ass. Being told by the tourist that Balaam did not actually smite, but only desired a sword that he might smite with it, he received the answer, “Well, that’s the sword he wanted.” This outdid even our own P. T. Barnum’s story of the club that (might have) killed Captain Cook. Since at twenty smaller places had the authentic club been exhibited, Barnum’s show could not be without it, and keep up its reputation.


To the focus of Scottish history, Stirling, we hied during several of our journeyings in Scotland. As with Niagara, at the first vision one may not have grasped the full glory, but a second or third view deepened one’s impression. There are others, however, who in imagination, after having read Scott’s “Lady of the Lake” have pictured to their minds “Stirling’s towers” and were not in the least disappointed, when beholding for the first time the reality in stone. A great rock, like that in Edinburgh, rises sheer from the plain. The tourist sees one of those natural fortresses, around which, first a church, then a fair, then a village, then a town, and finally, a famous city have had their evolution. One needs but little power of the historic imagination to go back to the days before the streets, avenues, and imposing buildings of to-day existed, and think of steel-clad knights and long trains of men with claymore and target. The castle, built on a precipitous rock, overlooks one of those low, flat, alluvial plains, which the Scots call a carse.

Stirling, which had several names, in different forms, beside the Gaelic “Struithla,” was also known as “Snowdon,” as those may remember who have read Scott.

If there be one place north of the Tweed, where, at a single glance, one may view and comprehend the chief river system of Scotland, Stirling is that place. From this point one notes the main streams,100 the affluents, and the gathering of the waters, which make the Clyde, the Forth, and the Tay. He can then realize how great and how important in the political and economic history of Scotland has been that great central valley, which stretches from the North Sea to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Stirling touches Scottish history very early. It was so strong, in 1304, that at its most famous siege, by Edward I, pretty much all the besieging implements and heavy siege machinery had to be brought from the Tower of London. At last, one engine, called “the Wolf,” was so terribly destructive that, by filling up the ditch with stones and rubbish, the English rushed over and fought their way into the keep. The castle was taken and for ten years it remained in the possession of the Southrons. In fact, it was to maintain the English grip upon this stronghold that Edward II assembled that mighty army for invasion, which was so signally defeated by the Bruce at Bannockburn.


When one thinks of that decisive battle, which turned the face of Scotland for hundreds of years to France, for her art and culture, instead of to her nearer southern neighbor, England, he is apt to muse upon the different results had Edward succeeded. Possibly an early union of Scotland and England and fusion of the two peoples might have been the result and the ensuing story have been best for civilization and humanity; but certainly101 Scotland’s history would not have been either so interesting or so inspiring.

After the death of the Bruce, Stirling Castle was captured, in succession, by Edward Balliol and for King David. When the House of Stuart had evolved from a family of Norman barons, emigrants from Shropshire to improve their fortunes, and, acting as stewards in the new land, had reached royalty, Stirling Castle became the king’s dwelling-place. For centuries afterward, it was their favorite residence and the place of coronation of the Scottish kings. Here James II and James V were born and here James VI of Scotland and I of England was baptized.

It was James III who added so largely to its architecture and built the Parliament House. It is in an inventory of the effects of this slaughtered king that the first mention of the thistle as the national emblem of Scotland occurs. Later this device appears on the coins of the realm, but not until James VI is found the motto, “Nemo me impune lacessit.”

As we entered through the gateway and walked up through the battlemented Inner Way, we almost imagined we heard the din of clashing swords echoing the past. The palace, built by James V, in the form of a quadrangle, is in the southwestern part and is profusely decorated. Yet when ornamentation and structure are compared, two opposing systems appear to be at work. One seems102 to swear at the other. The critic had better not look too closely when near, if he wishes to enjoy harmony, for in this case, most decidedly, does distance lend enchantment to the view. Seen from afar, the ornaments appear rich and graceful, but when close at hand they become grotesque. Corbels and brackets are especially suggestive of agonizing exertion and the general effect is that of a nightmare. At a distance, these melt into harmonious proportions, but they lose their charm when we are close at hand. Here are hideous mixtures of human and brute life. Many of the leering faces are simply idiotic and the contortions of the bodies clustered together are horrible. As has been well said, “the wildest and least becoming of the classic legends are here embodied, without any attempts to realize beauty of form.”

What terrible paradox, or love of the ugly, must have dominated the taste of the sculptor, in the same age that reared some of the glorious abbeys of Scotland! The King’s Room, which had an oaken ceiling, with richly decorated beams, and in each partition a magnificently carved head,—the fame of which had gone all over Europe,—was abolished in 1777, when the roof, from its weight, threatened to fall in.

The Douglas Room recalls, to the student of Scottish history, some of the bloody episodes of feudalism, when, for example, a powerful baron like William, Earl of Douglas, set at defiance103 the authority of both king and law. James II, in 1452, invited the insurgent to meet him in Stirling Castle. The earl came only after receiving under the royal protection a safe-conduct,—which proved that there was a lack of loyalty and much bad blood. The king first used words of persuasion, but failing in this, he drew the dagger to break the bonds of the confederate nobles.

Thus a Stuart king showed himself a traitor by becoming assassin, setting a doubly bad example, which his descendants followed only too often. They seemed to have kept the taint of their ancestor in their blood, until the people of England had perforce to behead one and drive out the other. The original Chapel Royal, erected in 1594 by that Stuart who became the first English king with the name of James, is now a storeroom and armory. It completes the series of apartments which the tourist cares to enter and examine.

It is not the interior architecture of Stirling Castle that repays the cultivated visitor, but rather the view from the battlements, over the glorious and eloquent landscape of mid-Scotland. A small opening in the parapet wall of the garden, termed the “Lady’s Lookout,” furnishes for us our best point of view. Westward are the Highland Mountains and between us and them lies the Vale of Menteith. Farther toward the setting sun, robed in its azure hue, rises Ben Lomond which mirrors itself in the loch of the same name, while Ben104 Venue, Ben A’in, Ben Ledi, and the cone of Ben Voirlich, followed in succession, the chain ending with the humbler summit of Uam-var. All of these we saw in imagination, long ago, when, while reading Scott, they rose in mind before us to “sentinel enchanted land.” North and east are the Ochil Hills and the windings of the Forth, while southward are the Campsie Hills. From the town at our feet the turnpike road draws the eye along to the ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey, while reared aloft is the Wallace Monument and within view are the Abbey Craig and the Bridge of Alan.

As we look at the old cannon, now serving for ornaments and mementoes, we ask, Who, when this castle of Stirling was built, could have conceived the power of artillery in our century? Scott tells, in his picturesque way, of a cannon ball shot against a party of rebels on their way to Edinburgh; but to-day one need only mount a fifteen-inch rifled cannon or a sixteen-inch mortar on these ramparts, to tumble down the whole structure by mere concussion and recoil. Yet in the old days of catapults and smooth-bore cannon, it was quite possible for “gray Stirling, Bulwark of the North,” to command the point between the Highlands and the Lowlands. By stationing a party at the Ford of Frew, near Aberfoyle, the main passage from the mountain district was completely closed. Thus it was true that the Forth on which105 Stirling Castle was situated “bridled the wild Highlander.”

It is said that the merry King James V (1512–42) put on various disguises, in order to ramble incognito about his realm to see that justice was regularly administered—and also to indulge in gallantry. Sir Walter Scott, in “The Lady of the Lake,” pictures him as the Knight of Snowdon, who meets and kills Roderick Dhu and rewards Ellen Douglas and Malcolm Graham.

On such occasions, the king took his name from Ballingeich, a place near the castle. It is said that the two comic songs, “The Gaberlunzie Man” and “The Jolly Beggar” were founded on the success of this monarch’s amorous adventures when travelling in the disguise of a beggar.

Around the castle is an excellent path, called “the Back Walk,” furnished by a citizen long ago, and a stone seat has been erected to accommodate the aged and infirm who resort to this spot. The guide in the castle points out many another spot, around which romantic or historical associations cluster, though as a rule these are more interesting to a native than to a foreign tourist.

Looking at the Grey Friars’ Church, built in 1494 by James IV and added to by Archbishop Beaton, uncle of the cardinal, we find a type of architecture peculiar to Scotland; that is, of the later pointed Gothic. Though contemporary with106 the depressed, or perpendicular, style of architecture in England, this edifice might appear a century older than it is. The later forms of English Gothic architecture, however, were never adopted in Scotland, for the Scots preferred to follow the taste of their friends in France rather than that of their enemies in England. Here King James I of Great Britain was crowned, John Knox preaching the coronation sermon. It was this same James, “the wisest fool in Christendom,” under whose reign the Bible was again translated,—then a “revised,” but now, for centuries, the “accepted” version,—and to whom the translators dedicated that presentation address which to Americans is positively disgusting in its fulsome laudation.

From the fact that the nobles and gentry, on the estates adjoining provincial towns, had their winter residence in the city also, we find to-day, on either side of the Main Street of Stirling, what were once ancient mansions. These are now tenanted by humbler occupants. They show turrets and the crow-step gables, like those we meet with so frequently in Holland. The man who reared one of these dwellings foresaw the mutability of all things earthly and even in time the probable fall of his house. He seemed to read that law of Providence which raises the beggar from the dunghill and depresses the kings from their high seats to the level of common folks—as was sung long ago by the Virgin Mary and which under the107 old Manchu dynasty of China was enacted into a law. In the Central Empire every generation of the Imperial family stepped down one degree lower, until, in the ninth generation, they were able to claim the status and honors of the commoner.

In modern English, the quaint inscription on the Stirling mansion would read:—

“Here I forbear my names or arms to fix,
Lest I or mine should sell these stones or sticks.”

Discovering, as we do, many evidences of French taste and importation, not only at Stirling, but throughout Scotland, besides noting so many points of contact between Scottish and French history, we can hardly wonder why Scottish people feel so much at home in the United States and why Americans and Scotchmen get along so well together. American taste in dress and household matters is certainly not English, nor were our ideas on the subjects of art and decoration inherited from our British ancestors. Our historic record and vocabulary, with the tendency of Americans to-day to go to Paris rather than London for their garments, the cultivation of their tastes, and for many of their ideas, show that the United States, like Scotland, has been mightily influenced by French taste. We, Scots and Yankees, are alike debtors to the land in which feudalism, chivalry, and Gothic art, and not a few canons of taste and things of beauty, reached their highest development.


Oban is the heart’s delight for a tourist, provided he does not arrive when the hotels are overcrowded. If one can get a room upon the high ridge overlooking the shining waters, he will have a view that is inspiring.

One can reach Oban either by the Caledonian Railway, by way of Stirling and Callander, or on the water through the Crinan Canal. This is an artificial highway, nine miles long, which was cut to avoid the much longer passage of seventy miles round the Mull of Cantyre, when going from Glasgow to Inverness. This shorter canal was excavated toward the end of the eighteenth century, but its life has not been without those accidents which we, from digging the Panama Canal, have learned are inevitable. In 1859, after a heavy rain, one of the three reservoirs which supply the canal, the highest being eight hundred feet above the canal, burst. The torrent of water rushing down the mountain-slope washed away part of the bank and filled the canal with earth and stones for upwards of a mile. Nevertheless, both the Crinan and Caledonian Canals pay well, and from the surplus earnings are kept in good order.


At Oban, sheltered and with a delightful climate, we look out upon the pretty little island of Kerrera, an old fortress of the MacDougalls, which now serves for use as well as beauty. It not only screens the town from the Atlantic gales, but virtually converts the bay into a land-locked harbor.

Instead of the little village and fishing-station, which Dr. Johnson looked upon in 1773, Oban is now a bustling town, which is very lively and crowded in summer, withal the paradise of the tourist and shopper. Here any pater familias, with loose change in his pocket, when travelling with his wife and daughters, is apt to be, on entering one of those splendid shops, as wax in their loving hands. Silks, plaids, gay woollens, delightful things of all sorts in dry goods—which ladies especially can so well appreciate—are here in luxurious abundance, and at prices that do not seem to soar too high. As for tartans, one can study in color and pattern not only a whole encyclopædia of the heraldry of the clans, but may be shown combinations of checks and stripes, wrought into tartans never known in dream, use, or history, by any Highland clan. Nevertheless these unhistorical and expensive plaids are delightful to look at and will make “cunning” sashes and “lovely” dress goods.

Not the least of our pleasant memories of Oban are associated with those wonderful products of the110 loom. Whether coming from the splendid machinery of the great mills, built with the aid of capital and thus reaching the highest perfection of craftsmanship joined to the last refinement of invention and experiment, or simply the handwork of the crofters in the distant isles, these tartans show a wonderful evolution of national art. From many women and girls on the islands far out at sea, without much of human society and whose dumb friends are but dogs, cattle, and sheep, come reminders of their industry and taste that are touching to both one’s imagination and sympathies. Let us hope that not too much of the profits of this cottage industry goes into the hands of those who control the trade. Let the worker be the first partaker of the fruits of his toil.

In going up by water through Scotland’s great glen and canal, at our leisure, we shall stop at the places worth seeing. Moreover, the twenty-eight locks forming “Neptune’s Staircase” will enable us to alternate pedestrianism with life on deck. First, after a ride of an hour and a half, we come to the town called Ballaculish. It has an imposing situation at the entrance of Loch Leven, and is not far away from the wild glen, which has left, in its name and associations, such a black spot on the page of Scotland’s annals during the reign of William III.

With our Boston and Buffalo friends, we chatted over British politics in the past, reopening111 leaves of history, as we steamed to Ballaculish, or progressed on our way on wheels to Glencoe. Except shops and hotels, and the old slate quarries, by which the roofs of the world are covered,—since the quarries send many million roofing slates abroad every year,—there is little to see in this town on the loch.

Next day we mounted the top of the stage-coach, which was equipped with plenty of seats and was geared to fine horses, and started for our ride into the upper and lower valleys of Glencoe, which form a ravine about eight miles long. Accompanying us was the mountain stream called the Cona, that is, “the dark Cona” of Ossian’s poems, while the scarred sides of the hills show the beds of numerous mountain torrents. These, in springtime, must display an impressive activity. Halfway up the glen, the stream forms a little loch. Toward Invercoe, the landscape acquires a softer beauty. Lord Strathcona of Canada had not yet, in 1900, purchased the heritage of the Macdonalds of Glencoe, or built his stately mansion. Yet the wild glen is well worth seeing, either by starting from the northeastern base or by coming up from Ballaculish. We spent a half-hour in “Ossian’s Cave.”

All natural associations, however, whether weird or beautiful, and even the Cave of Ossian faded into insignificance compared with the thrilling story of the terrible massacre of February 13, 1690, when112 six score soldiers, most of them of Campbell’s clan, who had a personal spite against the Macdonalds, lived for twelve days in the glen, in order to become all the more successful murderers in the end. After receiving the hospitality of the villagers, they began early in the morning, before daylight, the massacre of men, women, and children. The work of butchery was finished by fire and the flocks and herds were driven off.

From childhood we had heard this story. Who that has lived in Schenectady, New York, which suffered a like fate with Glencoe, during “King William’s War,” or who has studied, without family prejudice, the episode of Jacob Leisler, the people’s champion on Manhattan, but has heard of the many horrors for which William was blamed and unjustly condemned?

What was the share of King William III in this Glencoe transaction? The subject has been discussed in pamphlets and books. Turning to Macaulay, the Whig historian,—since historiography, as with Grote, for example, is often political pamphletism,—who found his greatest hero in the Dutch Deliverer, we are told that His Majesty knew of the Macdonalds only as a rebellious clan who had rejected his conciliatory offers. The Government had, in good season, fixed the day for rebellion to cease, and in signing the order for their extirpation, His Majesty merely meant that the existence of the clan as a predatory gang should113 be broken up. Indeed, their stronghold had long been called “a den of thieves.” William did not know that the certificates of loyalty to the throne, made in correct form by MacIan, the chief of the Macdonalds at Glencoe, had been delayed for a week after the date of possible pardon, and that this certificate had been suppressed so that when he signed the order of attack, he was ignorant of the situation. It is not for us to give judgment in the case.

On the second visit our travel mate, Frances, on seeing the dark glen, felt like a child entering into a haunted chamber, almost expecting the ghosts of the Macdonalds to rise up and call for justice.

Nevertheless, while twice visiting Glencoe, and still again and more, when in Ireland, in 1913, I wondered why no complete life of William III, King of England and Stadholder of the Dutch Republic, and one of England’s best rulers, had ever been written. Pamphlets, sketches, materials to serve, biographical chapters there are, but no work at once scholarly and exhaustive. There is abundant material for such a biography, and if written with historical accuracy and literary charm, it would be not only a great contribution to literature, but would serve to allay prejudices that still rankle. Such a work, so greatly needed, would help to solve some of those terrible problems generated by age-long misrule and misunderstanding,114 that have made Ireland the weakest spot in the British Empire and a reproach to English government. It may even be true to assert that the political condition of Ireland in 1913 was one of the potent causes precipitating war in Europe. Personally, I believe, from having studied the life of King William, from documents in Holland and England, that he is not responsible for one half of the cruelties with which the Irish Nationalists, mostly of alien form of faith, charge him. Nor does he deserve the censure and reproach which so many Scottish writers and prejudiced Englishmen have heaped upon him. Nor could he possibly have been the “sour” Calvinist of popular tradition. From his reign the Free Churchmen date their freedom.

It is not at all creditable that such a hiatus exists in the library of English biography, for the fame of William is as surely and as constantly increasing as is that of William Pitt, Millard Fillmore, and Abraham Lincoln. In 1914 a new statue of this royal statesman was reared and dedicated in one of the towns of England. It was this champion of representative government who, with sword and pen, curbed in Louis XIV of France that same spirit of ambition which was manifested by Philip II and has been shown by William of Germany. The Stadtholder of Holland saved Europe to the principles of Magna Charta and of constitutional government.


Just before our first visit to Scotland, Quandril had been reading Scott’s story of “Aunt Margaret’s Mirror,” the scenes of which romance are laid in Lady Stair’s house and “close.” Since that time Marjorie Bowen has put in fiction some of the salient incidents of the king’s life, and thus brought him to the notice of many tens of thousands of readers to whom he had been previously but a name. The novel entitled “The Master of Stair” treats of the Glencoe incident, with great detail and with wonderful vividness and great literary power. The title of the book is identical with that of the title of Sir James Dalrymple, first Viscount of Stair, who must bear the blame of the odious transaction, for he was undoubtedly the principal adviser of the king, and was perhaps personally responsible for the treachery and cruelty which accompanied the deed. It was he who urged this method of extirpation as an effective way of repressing rebellion in the Highlands. In spite of his great services to the State, this stain upon his name cannot be effaced. He is buried in the church of St. Giles in Edinburgh.

As for Claverhouse, or “Claver’se,” as the common folks pronounce his name,—the “Bonnie Dundee” of Scott’s rollicking cavalry song,—he still bears with many the Gaelic name given him, which means “Dark John of the Battles.” How highly King William appreciated the military abilities of one whom he had known in the116 Belgic Netherlands as a soldier of fortune in the Dutch army, and who is said to have there, on one occasion, saved William’s life, is shown, when on hearing the news of the death, at Killiecrankie, of his friend, Claverhouse, the Viscount of Dundee, who had become his enemy, he remarked, “Dundee is slain. He would otherwise have been here to tell the news himself.”

At Drumclog, near Loudon Hill, where the Covenanters obtained a temporary victory over Claverhouse, a stone has been erected to commemorate the triumph. For many years an annual sermon, on the 1st of June, was preached on the field. Perhaps this may even yet be the case, but, under the shadow of the great world-war of the twentieth century, it is probable that these local anniversaries suffer, are ignored, or their celebrations are postponed to a happier time.

Happily for Scotland’s people, they have the gift of song, which lightens many labors. Even on the days we visited Glencoe’s dark ravine, we heard, toward the end of the afternoon, sounds of melody from the toilers in the grain-fields. It came like a burst of sunshine after a dark and cloudy day.

This inborn love of music among the Highlanders was shown when the women reaped the grain and the men bound up the sheaves. The strokes of the sickle were timed by the modulations of the harvest song, by which all their voices117 were united. The sight and sound recalled the line in Campbell’s poem, “The Soldier’s Dream,” committed to memory in boyhood:—

“I heard my own mountain goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strain that the corn reapers sung.”

“They accompany in the Highlands every action, which can be done in equal time, with an appropriate strain, which has, they say, not much meaning, but the effects are regularity and cheerfulness,” writes the historian of Scottish music. The ancient song, by which the rowers of galleys were animated, may be supposed to have been of this metrical kind and synchronous. There is an oar song still used by the Hebridians, and we all recall the boat song in “The Lady of the Lake,” which begins:—

“Hail to the chief who in triumph advances.”

Finely, in “Marmion,” is the story of rhythmic motion joined to song to lighten labor, told by Fitz-Eustace, the squire, concerning the lost battle, on which Scott comments, with an American reference:—

“Such have I heard, in Scottish land,
Rise from the busy harvest band,
When falls before the mountaineer,
On lowland plains, the ripened ear.
Now one shrill voice the notes prolong,
Now a wild chorus swells the song;
Oft have I listened, and stood still,
As it came softened up the hill,
And deemed it the lament of men
Who languished for their native glen;
And thought, how sad would be such sound,
On Susquehanna’s swampy ground,
Kentucky’s wood-encumbered brake,
Or wild Ontario’s boundless lake;
Where heart-sick exiles, in the strain,
Recalled fair Scotland’s hills again!”

Yet it is not in secular music only that the Scots excel. They have also a rich treasury of devotion and praise, though for centuries the superabundance of song which had only worldly associations and was linked with the lower pleasures made them put superfine value on the Hebrew Psalms as being most fit for the soul’s utterance before the Infinite.


While Scotland is, by its definition, a “pene-insula,” or “peninsula,” that is, “almost an island,” it has, out in the Atlantic Ocean, an archipelago of five hundred islands. Of these about one fifth are inhabited, and of these one third have each a population of only ten or even fewer souls. This great group lies wholly to the westward, for the east coast of Scotland is singularly free from islands, the number on this side being very much like that of angels’ visits, which are spoken of as few and far between.

These islands are all situated within three degrees of latitude. Another name for them is the “Hebrides,” which term was formerly held to embrace all the Scottish western islands, including also the peninsula of Kintyre and islets in the Firth of Clyde, as well as the Isle of Man and the Isle of Rathlin.

In discriminating between the Outer and the Inner Hebrides as many do, this differentiation has a geological basis, for the Outer Hebrides have a foundation of gneiss, while the more northerly at least of the Inner Hebrides are of trap rock. Broadly speaking, in popular usage120 the term is “Western Islands,” while in literature “Hebrides” is used. This seems all the more appropriate, because it was the accident of a misplaced or added letter that gave the islands their literary cognomen.

As in the case of our own country, which has profited so richly through Scottish emigration from those islands, some of the most delightfully sounding names, in their present form, have come to us through the mistake of a transcriber; as, for example, the romantic name, Horicon, with which tourists on Lake George as well as readers of Cooper’s novels are familiar. The real word intended for the map is “Iroquois,” but as a Frenchman wrote it “Horicou,” which was further altered by a misprint, which made it “Horicon,” it has so remained. So also the “Hebudes” of Pliny, spelled by a misprint “Hebrides,” has held its own. Sir Walter Scott adheres to the form “Hebudes.” “Grampian,” which sounds so pleasant to the ear, is another instance of a false reading or misprint, which improves the original form and sound.

The total area of these Western Islands is 2812 square miles, or a fourth larger than Delaware. Only one ninth of the soil is cultivated, for most of the surface consists of moors and mountains. This region being at the terminal of the Gulf Stream, the climate is mild, though so humid that mists are almost perpetual. The drizzling rains121 are so common that the mountains are hidden from view or shrouded in fog or cloud most of the time. The rainfall is heavy. In one place forty-two inches is the average. Potatoes and turnips, barley and oats form the staple crops, though with sheep-farming, cattle-raising, fishing, distilling, slate-quarrying, and the making of tweeds, tartans, and woollen cloth, with assistance from the patronage of summer tourists, the people are able to get a living. In religious “persuasion” most of the inhabitants belong to the United Free Church, though on some of the islands the people adhere to the forms of religion cherished in the Roman Catholic Church.

From the earliest centuries the Scandinavian pagans poured into the islands and among the Celts, to rob and burn, but also to settle down and be decent. When satiated with robbery and slaughter, they became peaceful, married the daughters of the land, and adopted the language and faith of the islanders. The vikings and the immigrants multiplied in the Hebrides, especially when tyrants in Norway became unusually active and severe. Battles and fighting between the islanders and the Norwegians kept the region in turmoil for centuries. Not a few attempts were made by the Scottish kings to displace the Norsemen. One of these, John Macdonald, adopted the title of “Lord of the Isles.” He married the daughter of the earl, who afterwards became Robert II.122 Battles, treaties, and alliances followed, but insular sovereignty was abolished in the reign of James V. Bloody feuds continued, through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, among the rival clans and their dependent tribes.

Even the subsidies granted by William III to the chiefs could not preserve order. Peace dawned only when the tribal system was broken up. Then, through the abolition of hereditary jurisdiction, through inheritance, and the appointments in the different districts of sheriffs who held the writ of the king, peace was secured. Nevertheless, in the new system of management the rents being made too high, there began an emigration to America that continued for many years, threatening at one time to depopulate the islands. Dr. Johnson, who, with Boswell, made what was virtually an exploration and published the classic, entitled “A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland,” in 1773, tells of the ships waiting in the harbors ready to take on their human cargo for the continent of promise. Thousands crossed the ocean to Canada or into those Atlantic colonies which became the United States.

Following the loss of so many able-bodied men and women, the standard of civilization in these islands began to sink, even though the population, which subsisted almost wholly on potatoes and herring, kept multiplying. When in 1846 the potato blight reduced the masses, both in Ireland123 and in western Scotland, to the verge of starvation, another large emigration of thousands to Australia and America took place. Had Carlyle’s advice been followed, Canada would have forty million and South Africa ten million loyal British subjects. This sage wanted the Government to turn men-of-war into emigrant ships, in order to give free transport of people to waste lands beyond sea. A royal commission, appointed by Parliament, later secured legislation which has made life for the crofters in the island more tolerable.

Steering south from Oban, we passed some rocky isles, one of which is called, from its shape, the Dutchman’s Cap. When in front of Fingal’s Cave, we are awed by its imposing entrance which is formed by a series of basaltic columns from twenty to forty feet high, which sustain an arch sixty feet above the sea. We land in a boat amid the fuming waves and climb into the cave, which for a distance of about two hundred feet has a sort of rather rough natural sidewalk made of fallen columns. The waves beneath us are continually surging and the thunderous echoes resound continually. The island, of volcanic origin, is nothing more or less than the fragment of an ancient stream of lava. In Fingal’s Cave there is first a basement of tufa, from which rise colonnades of basalt in pillars which form the walls and faces of the grotto, the roof of which consists of amorphous basalt.


Fingal’s Cave was first noted and described by Sir Joseph Banks in 1773. The grotto is two hundred and twenty-seven feet long, forty-two feet wide, and sixty-six feet high. But the height of the pillars is irregular, being thirty-six feet on one side and but eighteen on the other. Its waters are the haunts of seals and of sea-birds.

Happily for us, instead of seeing nothing but the sombre gray, in an atmosphere of fog or cloud, or storm-tossed waves, which on occasions do not allow passengers to disembark, the bursts of sunlight made unique beauty, both in atmospheric conditions and in an exquisite play of colors. The basalt appeared to combine every tint of warm red, brown, and rich maroon, while the seaweed and lichen of green and gold seemed like the upholstery of a palace. Through the percolation of the limestone water, the walls were in places of a snow-white tint. Looking upward we could see yellow, crimson, and white stalactites. When we examined the columns they appeared to possess a regularity so perfect as to suggest the work of a Greek sculptor rather than the play of Nature’s forces in her moods of agony. The Gaelic form of the name is taken from the murmuring of the sea, meaning the “Cave of Music.” In times of storm the compressed air rushes out producing a sound as of thunder.

“Fingal” is the name of the hero in the poems of Ossian, which are based on the ancient traditions125 of the Gaelic people of Scotland and Ireland, still known and told among the people, so many of whom in the outer islands use this ancient tongue. The Finn in these old stories was the Rig or King of the Fenians of Leinster, Ireland, who lived at a “du” or fort in the County of Kildare, and who was killed on the Boyne by a fisherman, A.D. 283. As for the name “Fingal,” it is thought to mean a “fair foreigner,” or Norwegian; the word “Dubgal,” meaning a “dark foreigner” or invader; the blond pirates or intruders being the Norwegians and the swarthy ones coming from Denmark. Both varieties of these unscientific marauders ravaged Ireland in the ninth century.

Only the chief caves have names. On the south-east coast is the Clam Shell, or Scallop Cave. It is thirty feet high, eighteen feet wide, and about one hundred and thirty feet long, one side of it consisting of ridges of basalt which stand out like the ribs of a ship. Near by is the Rock of the Herdsmen, from a supposed likeness to a shepherd’s cap. The Isle of Columns can be fully seen only at low water.

No human habitations were noted on the Island of Staffa by us, during our short stay. We got on board the steamer again and proceeded to Iona, that is, “the island”; for Columkill, or the Island of Columba, from time unrecorded has had a fertile soil. This fertility, supposed to be in the dark126 ages miraculous, led probably to its early occupation.

Iona’s history begins in the year 563 when St. Columba, from Ireland, landed on its shores with twelve apostles. By his life and work he rendered the place so rich in holy associations that to-day the hosts of divided Christendom, Roman Catholic, Protestant Episcopal, and Presbyterian, claim Iona as the cradle of their faith, and on different days—never together in holy union—visit the sacred isle. Sweethearts and wives must not meet. Which is which?

Iona’s scenery was ever attractive, with its precipitous cliffs, its dazzling stretches of white shells and sand, its fertile fields, and its grassy hollows. Its natural charms drew visitors from afar and made those dwelling upon its acres content. Even before the name of Christ was uttered, it had been, as the Highlanders called it in their Gaelic tongue, the “Island of the Druids.” It was therefore famous, before it became the centre of Celtic Christianity, and the mother community, whose children were the depositories of the human spirit. From its numerous monastic houses, hundreds of alumni went out as missionaries to convert all northern Britain. In a word, the story of humanity in all the earth is told here. The strata of religions, the deposits of the human soul, are almost as discernible on Iona as are the layers of geology, or the floors of successive cities revealed127 by the spade, in Egypt or Palestine, in the terpen of Holland or the mounds of Babylon.

Even the humorous side of religion is here discernible to sharp eyes. Some of the carvings in the choir stalls and chisellings of the marble aloft show the joker in stone. The demons are represented as having their fun—and this is equally true in the art of Buddhism in Japan and of mediævalism in Iona. The tower of the church of St. Mary, on this island, has one bit of sculpture representing an angel weighing souls in a pair of scales, one of which is kept down by a demon’s paw. It reminded us of Dr. Franklin’s Yankee characterization of the Dutchman’s trade with the Indians.

Iona was at times so sacred a place, with its scores of monasteries and nunneries, with its small forest of crosses, and with architecture that enthralled by its beauty, that it was for centuries a spot to which pilgrims came from all lands, and in its holy soil kings and nobles longed to be buried; yet it was not free from the robber pagan and the bloody spoiler. The North Sea rovers, from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, descended in the eighth century to plunder, to burn, and to kill. For two hundred years Iona lay desolate, until Queen Margaret restored the desecrated monastery, building the chapel over the site of St. Columba’s grave. Later came the Benedictine monks, who expelled or absorbed the Celtic community.128 Intermittently the island was the seat of the bishopric of the Western Isles, but at the Reformation the monastic buildings were dismantled by order of the legal authorities. When Dr. Johnson visited Iona in 1773, only two persons on the island could speak English. None could read or write.

Of Iona’s political fortunes the story is brief, the most interesting point to an American being that, when oppression and the severe conditions made life here undesirable or scarcely possible, the people emigrated. From the hardy race, inhabiting this and other of the Western Isles, the United States received a noble contingent, to enrich its grand composite of humanity.

We spent some time in the cemetery called “the Burial Place of Kings,” which is reputed to contain the dust of forty-eight Scottish, four Irish, and eight Danish and Norwegian monarchs, besides many monumental stones. The number of crosses set up on Iona was nearly equal to that of the days of the year. These were standing, up to Reformation times, when most of them were thrown into the sea by order of the Synod of Argyl. Yet a few still remain. The finest are the Maclean’s cross and St. Martin’s cross, both being almost perfect in form, despite centuries of weathering. Both are richly carved with runic inscriptions, emblematic devices, and fanciful scroll-work.


It was certainly a brain stimulant and a heart-warmer129 to ramble among these ruins. Imagination re-created the scenes in those ancient days when the light of the gospel was brought by a saintly man filled with the spirit of Jesus. We realized, in measure at least, how great was his work and how far-reaching was his influence in winning men to Christ, before Latin and Germanic disputes for mastery had divided the Christian Church. Columba’s coming quickly changed the landscape of pagan Scotland. First in the cities and then in almost every village, the cross, symbol of the sacrificial death of Him who came to give life more abundantly, arose, first in wood and then in enduring stone. The savage people, whose passions and appetites had so closely allied them to the brutes, were transformed and uplifted.

In time the children of the first hearers of the gospel message were converted, not only outwardly to the acceptance of creeds,—which in their scholastic form they could not at first understand,—not only to symbols, which are ever but the shadows of eternal truths, but were inwardly transformed in the renewing of their minds. Gradually they became so changed in heart and life that we, after having seen Christianity in very many of its varied ethnic forms, and met its exemplars in lands not a few, cannot but feel that in the home, the school, and the church, there is no land on earth in which Christianity is more genuine than in Scotland. Between Columba’s homilies and130 “The Cotter’s Saturday Night” long centuries were to pass slowly away. Nothing in literature, or art, or history, or statistics, furnishes so true a picture of the leavening of a whole nation, or illustrates more finely the truth that among believers, even the common people may be “kings and priests unto God,” than this poem of Burns. It is a revelation of “Old Scotia’s grandeur.”


The long inland waterway, of which the “Caledonian Canal” is the main portion, unites the waters of the German Ocean, at Moray Firth, with those of the Atlantic, which wash the shores of the Island of Mull. Considered as one highway, this trough, which forms also the eastern boundary of “the Highlands,” was made in part by nature and in part by art. In easy and safe passage, it saves the shipmasters about four hundred miles of coasting voyage around the north of Great Britain, through the stormy Pentland Firth which divides Caithness from the Orkney Islands. The total length of the canal proper is about sixty miles; the part made by man’s work covering twenty-two miles. A chain of fresh-water lakes, four in number, on various levels, stretching along the line of the great glen of Scotland, has been united by water ladders, up which ships are lifted and by which time is saved.

The route of the canal was surveyed in 1773 by James Watt, the famous engineer, better known in the annals of steam. Following an Act of Parliament in 1803, the canal, constructed under the supervision of Thomas Telford, was opened to132 navigation in 1822. There are twenty-eight locks, each having the standard dimension of one hundred and sixty feet length, so that steamers of comfortable length can go through. It was on one of these, the Fusileer, that we travelled from Oban to Inverness, on another we moved in reverse order, and great were these days. One was sunny and warm. The other was so cloudy and cold that a grate fire at the hotel at Fort William felt thoroughly delightful.

On the second of these inland voyages we were on the steamer Gondolier. From Oban we cross Loch Linnhe, which forms the southern end of the great canal, and call at Ardgour. At the head of the loch we stop at Fort William, formerly called “the Key of the Highlands.” It is now a town consisting chiefly of a long, narrow street, full of hotels. The fort was originally erected in 1655 by Cromwell’s General Monk and called “Kilmallie.” Under the reign of King William, in 1690, General Hugh McKay enlarged the work and named it after the Dutch king, the town being called “Maryburgh,” in honor of the queen. It was to this place that the perpetrators of the massacre at Glencoe came to divide their spoil.

In 1715 and again in 1746, the followers of “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” the Jacobites, besieged the place, but unsuccessfully. No remnants of the fort, which was dismantled in 1860, now remain, for in 1890 the ruins were wholly removed to provide133 room for the iron rails and railway station; for, since the hills come down close together, there is not much level real-estate room. It illustrates the sadness of things to find here great distilleries which are large enough to mar the landscape.

The town produced a poet, and near the railway station is an obelisk to the memory of Ewen MacLachlin, who wrote verses in Gaelic. Four miles away is Ben Nevis, 4406 feet high, the loftiest mountain in the British Islands. Later, at Inverness, I met a Scottish artist who had painted the mountain from many points of view, but he seemed more impressed with its ugliness and shaggy character than with its beauty. In fact, in comparing the artistic work of this painter with that of Mr. Robert Allan, who transfers to canvas the ideal loveliness of the ocean,—both Scottish and both masterly,—we recalled that inimitable passage of Ruskin, contrasting the form and functions of the mountains and the sea, which furnishes so illuminating a commentary on the passage written by an ancient admirer of nature and its Creator,—“Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep.”

We noted, in our summer travels, not a few men of the easel. A mile and a half from the town is the grand old ruin of Inverlochie, to which many landscape painters resort. Other places of interest are the site of the battlefield of 1645 and the castle of Lord Abinger, built in the Scottish baronial style.


Yet at all these attractions we did not much more than glance, despite the importunities of local guides, who sounded their praises unremittingly. The reason for which we stopped for a day or two in this mountain stronghold was not to study military fortification, or to see the town, which, apart from its summer life, has little allurement for the tourist who values time. We were there to see the Highland games, for this day in August was the date set for “the gathering of the clans” of the shire. They came not for battle as in the old times, but for the Lochaber Highland games, such as the hammer-throwing, putting the stone, pole-vaulting, leaping, and jumping; besides the various Scottish dances, such as prancing and stepping over swords and the Highland fling.

Heavy rain came down in the early part of the morning, and during the whole day there was a drizzle, making the air heavy with dampness and the ground meadows miry. We supposed of course that there would be no exhibition.

Vain thought! What does a Highlander care about moisture? To him rain is but an old friend, whom he would no more think of speaking against than of reviling his mother. Indeed, it is his native element. So in the afternoon, our lady, donning her mackintosh, which she had just purchased at Oban, and I with umbrella and overcoat splashed over the fields to the hillside and meadows, where thousands of people were gathered together. There135 may have been other umbrellas in use, but they were not conspicuous, and certainly not numerous. Some of the athletic performances were admirable and the achievements of manly strength were worthy of the applause which they so generously received.

Yet an alien, one not of the heather, cannot be rapturous in honest praise of the dances, at least those which were prolonged to the full and apparently appropriate time, and which the spectators seemed greatly to enjoy. It was something, no doubt, to behold an able-bodied man in a dress that quite equalled that of the peacock, jumping about among the crossed lines of naked steel without getting his toes cut off. There was undoubtedly some grace also in the way he curved his arms above his head. Doubtless the very swish of his kilts and the sight of his bare and hairy legs filled some bosoms with emotions of envy, accompanied, as they were, with what seemed blood-curdling cries, the relics of old savagery. Probably my education had been neglected, for I should not wish to attend these exhibitions too frequently, unless paid handsomely for the labor incurred.

Indeed, my feelings of appreciation were very much on the same par with those experiences when, in Japan, we were expected to sit on the mats with our lower limbs doubled up, or tied in a knot, during hours of personal agony. These classic performances were manifestly full of delight to the cultured admirers of pose and motion, in the “No”136 dances, though insufferably tedious to those whose legs had fallen asleep. Even in later times, when chairs were provided and the accessories were suggestive of comfort, there was not enough in the dancing of the “No” operatic performers or in the antics of the geisha, to serve as magnets.

It was easy to explain, however, why and wherefore Scottish cheeks are so suggestive of rose gardens, and also why consumption is so common. The rain did indeed redden the complexions, but as to the number of cases of pneumonia, or tuberculosis, which ensued after exposure on this chilly day, we cannot inform our readers, not having the statistics at hand. To this, however, we can testify, that when we got back to Room No. 6, of the Waverley Hotel, we were the subjects of a sort of telepathy that enabled us to feel profound sympathy with Peary when in search of the North Pole. Never did a grate full of live coals seem more welcome. We almost literally hung up ourselves, or at least what had been our outward semblance, to dry. When properly desiccated, we retired early, in order the more to enjoy the glorious island voyage among the Highlands which we knew awaited us next morning.

It was genuine Scotch weather when we woke up and looked out upon a landscape dominated by Ben Nevis, of whose towering form we could catch glimpses now and then through the cloud rifts, while on the hills around us lay patches and lines of137 snow. At times we were in that “Scotch mist,” in which, as hostile critics declare, the metaphysicians who live north of the Tweed do at times get lost. Just when it began or left off raining might have puzzled a weather bureau man to tell. As for ourselves, we could have taken oath as to our own inability if we had been called upon in court. If a jury had been empanelled, then and there, to determine whether it was or was not raining, the verdict in either case would undoubtedly have been, as became the country, “Not proven.”

Nevertheless, after we had crossed the gangway of the boat, a sister ship to the Gondolier of yesterday, and looked over the landscape, from both starboard and port side, we began to think it was true, as Professor Blaikie once said, that “Scotland is like a pebble, it requires rain to bring out its colors.” It is certain that many spots in this charming glen did look like the water lines, waves, and layers of varied tints which we have seen on the surfaces of chalcedony.

When at the lapidary’s I used to watch the process of cutting in half a stone, rolled for many ages mayhap and ground daily on the outside by glacial or stream action, it seemed for a few seconds as if the diamond saw, revolving with its irresistible edge, was to cut in vain and reveal nothing. From an outward view all beauty was hidden and the pebble seemed thoroughly ugly and uninteresting. Nor could I guess that treasures were138 hidden in the interior; but when the hemispheres were in our hands, emerging from their baptism in clean water, there was revealed, if the stone were hollow, a grotto of crystals, rich in Nature’s heraldry of color, telling the story of its fiery past. It seemed a more wonderful story, in fact, than that of Ali Baba and Open Sesame in fiction. Or, if solid, and, like Venus, born from water, and formed in slow deposit of liquid instead of from the cosmic flames, the curvilinear strata white, ruby red, black, yellow, and brown, seemed to excel in splendor.

Even so, to-day Scotland revealed herself as a new wonderland. The Caledonian pebble seemed a sapphire. For when, toward noon, something like dry weather arrived and sunbursts were occasional, Scotland looked as fresh as her maidens and almost as beautiful. We passed cataracts in full activity. One, which we did not see, ninety feet high and probably the finest on the great island, was near Fort Augustus. Beyond this, called “Foyers,” was another fall thirty feet high. To one, however, who has seen Niagara a hundred times, and who dwells near Taughannock Falls, which are thirty feet higher, and near Lake Cayuga, with two hundred waterfalls within a radius of twenty miles, a cataract must be out of the ordinary to be visited at the expenditure of time and money, when both these assets are limited and things more novel are to be seen. In our home139 town of Ithaca, as we two Americans mused, in that conceit and love of business peculiar to our nationals, we have a “local Niagara” over eighty feet high. Why visit Foyers?

At one of the lochs, we saw an Irishman, with the popular and traditional face, shape, and garb; that is, of the kind we read about in novels and see on the stage. He had on brogans, short breeches split in the end at the knees, woollen stockings, a small and short-tailed coat, a stumpy shillaly, a narrow-brimmed high hat, with pipe stuck in the front band and a shamrock set in another place. Besides bog-trotters’ capers and the dancing of an Irish jig, he sang songs which recalled boyhood’s memories in Philadelphia. After the potato famine in Ireland, the Emerald Isle was semi-depopulated, and the emigrant ships, despite the Know-Nothings, set their prows in fleets to the Land of Hope. I often saw seven ships a day bringing over the raw material of citizenship. Some of the girls, as we learned from our household experience in employing domestics, had never gone up—though on ship and with us, at first, they came backwards down—a pair of stairs. Such green but promising maids had never dwelt in a house built with more than one story, or touched a faucet, or lighted a gas jet. The Irishman’s song, in which his mention of Philadelphia was mnemonic, was delightful to hear. Another song, which as a child I heard my father’s140 coal-drivers and coal-heavers sing, told of travels nearer home, and of this I caught the words. They ran thus:—

“I cut my stick and greased my brogues—
’T was in the month of May, sir:
And off to England I did go
To mow the corn and hay, sir.”

With this son of Erin was a dirty and very skinny Highland lad, in kilts and other checkered woollen garments much the worse for wear. He also danced what was probably a Highland fling, though an almost vicious desire possessed some of us to fling him into the bathtub.

It is a good sign for the future of a noble race that the manufacture of soap occupies many people in Scotland. Though the glens are full of distilleries, which are sure to create poverty and dirt, perhaps we must consider soap-boiling as a very honorable occupation and the manufacture of this cleansing material as an antidote to some of the mischief done by John Barleycorn. How terrible is the scourge of alcohol in Great Britain was revealed, as never before, during the war crisis of 1915, when even an appeal to patriotism could not make the sodden workmen give up their cups. My kinsman, the United States Consul at Dundee, showed me the statistics of the liquor traffic in Scotland alone, which were appalling. Even Christians, supposed to be devout in worship and genuine in faith, invest their141 money, and some of them exclusively, in the distilleries, thus upsetting at one end what the gospel agencies are doing at the other. The British Empire is thus handicapped in the race for progress. Yet who from the glorious Yankee nation can throw a stone, especially when he sees the “American bar,” “American long drinks,” and “American mixed drinks” flauntingly advertised in Europe? We have heard, however, that the “long drinks” are soft and harmless.

While propelled along Loch Ness, an earth-cleft, narrow, deep, and twenty-four miles in length, we are again reminded of our home near Lake Cayuga, fairest in the Iroquois chain of “finger lakes” in the Empire State, and one of the deepest; for on either side of the Caledonian Canal are metamorphic rocks rising out of crystal clear water, and beneath, in the Byronic profundity of “a thousand feet in depth below,” the rocky bottom. Grander and more rugged, however, is the scenery, for the mountains are here higher, even as the water is deeper, than in Iroquois land. The Scottish Highlands are the fragments of the earliest land that emerged above the prehistoric oceans. For centuries they formed a boundary in ethnology, politics, and religion, even as in the æons of geology they form a frontier of chronology.

When our voyage ends, we find that it is some distance between the stopping-place of the steamer142 at Muirtown and Inverness. Since names and sounds are continually playing tricks, summoning from the privacy of memory forms long ago forgotten and ever retreating in the perspective of the past, I recall my old Scotch professor at the Central High School in Philadelphia. That good man MacMurtrie—with a name meaning, I suppose, of, or from, or son of the Muirtrie, or Moor-tree clan—first introduced thousands of youth, through his lexicon, his fascinating lectures, and his choice cabinets, to the great world of nature and science, and to the rapturous joy of discovery of order and beauty in the mathematics of the universe.

From Muirtown, we take the hotel omnibus and soon enter “Rose-red Inverness,” the bright and lively town, which in August bursts into the full bloom of its summer activities.


One of the first things we noticed in this summer capital of the Highlands was a male being, whom Thackeray would have liked to cage for his “Book of Snobs.” From the monocle, or window in his eye, and from certain physical peculiarities, and even pronunciation in his speech, which he was helpless to conceal, I should imagine that he was really a London cockney masquerading in a Highlander’s costume. According to the fad or fashion of vacation time, and appropriate for hot weather, he was encased in the complete pavonine dress of the old days of clans and claymores, but the motor within hardly suited the machine. With his buckled shoes, checkered leggings,—in the side of one of which was stuck a long dirk, having a silver handle holding a Cairngorm stone set in the top,—with considerable public exposure of the cuticle around and above his skinny knees, with gay kilts, decorated pouch, shoulder-brooch of silver, coat, plaid, bonnet, and feather, the pageant of costume seemed vastly more imposing than the man within.

This creature seemed a walking museum of Scottish antiquities. All his unwonted paraphernalia,144 however, did not cure his gawkiness or prevent impending disaster to his pride. In trying to pass by some baskets belonging to a huckster, and full, if I remember aright, of turnips, his dirk-handle caught in the end of a loose hoop. “Oh, what a fall was there, my countrymen!” In a moment one would have taken him for a measuring-rod. At least six feet of the gawk, more or less, lay on the soil of what may have been his beloved native land. Nevertheless, in all Christian charity, we tried our best to appear blind, and resisted the temptation to laugh.

I am bound to say, however, that I saw some solid-looking citizens of Inverness wear the kilt and Highland coat most gracefully. Moreover, in the evening, when some of the Gordon Highlanders,—I believe they were,—whose barracks were not far away, rambled through the streets, they certainly showed that the man and the clothes had grown together.

One could easily see how well adapted was such a dress to a rough campaign in a mountainous country. One scarcely wondered why, when fighting in hilly regions, the Highlander was usually the superior of the average infantryman. Nevertheless, some comical chapters in eighteenth-century American history come into mind. When we remembered that modern footgear was strange to men who had been used to the ancient brogues and to whom the proverb “as easy as an old145 shoe” was a novelty, the story is quite credible that, in the repulse by the French of the attack made by the British army under Abercrombie at Ticonderoga, in 1758, when the Highlanders were forced to retreat from Fort Carillon, there were thousands of shoes left stuck in the mud when the British ran to their boats.

We could see at a glance that Inverness was the centre of traffic and travel during the summer months, when tourists made the northeast and west of cool Scotland very lively for a few weeks. We looked in at the Town Hall, near which stands the old town cross. At the foot of this is the lozenge-shaped stone, called the “Stone of the Tubs,” reverenced as the palladium of Inverness. It was anciently useful from its having served as a resting-place for women carrying water from the river.

It is a sight for a stranger in the Highlands to see the washerwomen in their fullest muscular activity on summer days, when they renovate the linen of the tourists. Why men should want to pay money to see the Salome and other dances popular in Christian countries is a mystery to some of us, when among the laundry-women the limits of cuticular exposure are reached. They leap in frenzy upon the masses of linen in the suds which fill the deep tubs, but the results justify the use of these primitive washing-machines.

Curiously enough, this part of Scotland is not146 wholly free from earthquakes, for which the geologists give reasons. In the seismic disturbances of 1816, the spire of the old jail, one hundred and fifty feet high, was curiously twisted. Now this spire serves as a belfry for the town clock. Westward from the Ness is the higher ground, called the “Hill of the Fairies,” where lies the beautiful city of the dead—one of the most attractively situated cemeteries in the whole of Britain. On the athletic grounds near the town, at the end of September, are held the Scottish games and athletic contests, the most important in the country. Four bridges span the river. Altogether, our impressions of the town were very pleasing.

But Inverness has a history also. It is believed to have been one of those primitive strongholds—in this case, of the Picts—which were so often to be found at the junction of waters. To this place came St. Columba, in the year 565. Here, too, was the castle of Macbeth, in which he murdered Duncan, which stood until it was demolished by Malcolm Canmore, who built on its site a larger one. William the Lion, in 1214, granted the town a charter, by which it became a royal burgh. Of the Dominican abbey, founded in 1233, nothing remains. The town was burned in 1411, by Donald of the Isles, and when fifteen years later, James I held a parliament in the castle, Scottish statecraft was still in a primitive stage of evolution, for three of the northern chieftains summoned147 to the council were executed for daring to assert their independence. In 1652, Queen Mary was denied admittance into the castle, but she remembered the slight and caused the governor to be hanged afterwards. Cromwell came hither also and built a great fort. In Inverness gathered the Jacobites who followed both the Old and the Young Pretender. Inverness has had its ups and downs, and, as a Western orator once declared of his district, has, besides raising much ham, raised also much more of what General Sherman named as the synonym for war.

To come to Inverness without visiting Culloden would be like going to Rome without seeing St. Peters; for at Culloden, where was fought one of the decisive battles of the world, the death-blow was given to Scottish feudalism. There the clan system was knocked to pieces. Then, also, for the benefit and blessing of the whole world, the Highlanders were scattered over the earth, to do what they certainly have done well—a goodly share of the world’s work.

Now for Culloden! We—that is, four men of us—hired a horse, driver, and carriage, and rode out to the desolate moor, which is usually called “Culloden” by strangers and “Drummossie Moor” by the natives. It is a tableland lying six miles northeast of Inverness and not far from the Moray Firth. As we approached it, we could discern the sunken lines of the trenches, in which148 about eighteen hundred of the clansmen, killed in battle, were buried. In 1881, these trenches of the different clans were marked by rough memorial stones giving the clan names. At one part of the field was a stream of water, to which the poor wounded wretches crawled to slake that horrible thirst which comes so quickly to a soldier who has lost blood and whose veins are drying up.

On one side was a cairn of stones about twenty feet high, reared to mark the battle, in the front of which is set a tablet giving the historical facts and date. But what touched us most deeply, as Americans, was a colossal wreath of flowers and greenery hung near the top. This token, though faded and its purple ribbons stained by three months of summer rain and storm, told of “hands beyond sea” and hearts that were saddened at the name of Culloden. I asked who had hung that wreath upon the cairn and was told that it had been sent by Scotsmen in America, whose ancestors had fallen in that awful battle of April 16, 1746, in which the hopes of “Bonnie Prince Charlie” were shattered and those of the House of Stuart to reattain power came to an end. I understood that such a floral tribute was offered annually.


Some distance away was the place where the English cavalry were held in reserve, to charge upon the fugitives and slaughter them after they had broken and fled. Near the field also was a149 large flat rock, which the Pretender had mounted to see the action and scan its results. From this point of vantage, he fled, to suffer untold hardships, while wandering for weeks, disguised as a woman, under the care of the heroic Flora Macdonald. He was finally able to reach the French ships, then lying off the coast for him, by which he was able to get back to the Continent, there to end his days as a drunkard.

Cumberland, the British general, knew that a failure to win on this field, or a drawn battle, would mean a long-continued guerilla warfare in the Highlands. So he gave orders to put to the sword all the clansmen known to have been on the field. As we rode back to Inverness, over which the English cavalry had thundered after the battle, the intelligent driver pointed out more than one place, such as blacksmith’s shops, rocks, and hollows, where fugitives had hidden and whence they had been dragged out to be killed.

Culloden enables us to see what war was to the Highlanders, what they meant by a campaign, and how far these men of the claymore, broadsword, and target had advanced in military science. The idea of these stalwart warriors, trained in clan feuds and inheriting the prejudices and traditions handed down to them from ancestors, was to go out in summer time, without special equipment, commissary train, or dépôt of supplies. They would make a foray, fight a battle or two, burn the enemy’s150 houses, drive off some cattle, and then come home to divide the spoil—a system hardly higher in dignity than that of the North American Indian highlanders, the Iroquois.

The men of the glens cared little for firearms, whether musket or cannon. Their favorite weapons from of old were the dirk and the claymore. The latter was a long-handled, double-edged sword weighing from five to seven pounds, with a handle often a foot long and with one cross-bar for a hilt. This claymore, in which they gloried, was a weapon quite different from the later single-edged and basket-hilted sword, which did not come into use until well into the eighteenth century. Their one idea of fighting was to make an onset and come to close quarters. On their left arm they carried the target, or round shield, made of light, tough wood, covered with bull’s hide, stretched in one or more thicknesses and with boss or studs, and sometimes furnished with a rim of metal, or armed with a sharp point in the middle. With this defence, protecting more or less their faces and body, they rushed upon the foe, in order to be free at once to use, in older times, their claymores, or double-handed blades, or, in later days, the broadsword in close combat. When fighting with infantry armed with smooth-bore muskets and bayonets, they could, after the first volley, fired at more or less close range, dash into the files. Before the soldiers could reload, the151 Highlanders would be upon them, dashing aside the bayonet thrust. Then, with stabbing or cutting blow, the clansmen slaughtered their foes and thus made firearms of little account.

It is true that when large levies were made, as in the earlier centuries, the Scottish spearmen were massed together and made a formidable front, though as a rule, the English archers, with their long-range missiles, were able to work havoc among the Scots, and thus prevent them from getting into close hand-to-hand action. Thus, the Southrons more than once ruined the chances and hopes of their northern foes. In archery, the Scots never were able to compete with the English.

Even when, later, some of the Highlanders possessed cannon, they were apt to look with contempt upon anything which did not permit them to charge in a rush and come to close quarters. In fact, it was this unintelligent tenacity in holding on to a war equipment which, even to the claymore, to say nothing of the target and ordinary spear, had been discarded in other countries, that brought the clans to final destruction at Culloden. On the Continent improvements were made, first in favor of the pike and then of the musket, with the dropping of anything like a shield, or defence, which required the use of one hand and which could not resist a bullet. It was a thorough knowledge of the Highlander’s conceit and conservatism, which had become his weakness and was ultimately to be152 his ruin, as well as the perception of the change in battle tactics and the relative merits of bayonet and broadsword fighting, that enabled the Duke of Cumberland, then only twenty-four years of age, to win a decisive victory, such as older men of experience had repeatedly tried to gain, but to no purpose.

Chambers wrote, in 1830, “The field of Culloden yet bears witness to the carnage of which it was the scene. In the midst of its black and blasted heath, various little eminences are to be seen displaying a lively verdure, but too unequivocally expressive of the dreadful chaos. They are so distinct and well defined that the eye may almost, by their means, trace the position of the armies, or at least discover where the fight was most warmly contested.”

The way toward Inverness, otherwise an unimproved, secondary road, is fringed with many doleful memorials. There the daisy and bluebell of Scotland have selected their abode, he tells us, as if resolved to sentinel forever the last resting-place of their country’s heroes. Not infrequently modern curiosity hunters have violated the graves in order to secure some relic of the ill-fated warriors, to show as a wonder in the halls of the Sassenach. The Gaels, with nobler sentiments, have come more frequently to translate the bones of their friends to consecrated ground afar, in their own dear glens of the west. “But enough and more than153 enough yet remains to show where Scotland fought her last battle and the latest examples of her ancient chivalry fell to feed the eagles and to redeem the desert.”

Inverness in 1745, as Chambers describes it, was a royal burgh in the vicinity of a half-civilized territory not yet emancipated from feudal dominion. Though a seaport, it had only a slight local commerce. The town bore every external mark of wretchedness. Its people, even its shopkeepers, wore the Highland dress, in all its squalor and scantiness; for the Highland plaids which we see to-day, in silk and wool, and sold in shops of luxurious appointment, are vastly different from the home-made fabrics of a century or more ago. The Inverness people generally spoke Gaelic. A wheeled vehicle had never yet been seen within the town, nor was there a turnpike road within forty miles of its walls. Some contact by sea with France and the dwelling in winter time of the Highland gentry in the town shed some gleams of intelligence over the minds of the kilted burghers. Yet when the Young Chevalier took up his residence at the house of Lady Drummuir, hers was the only dwelling that had even one room without a bed in it.

It was from Inverness that “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” in 1745, marched out with his Highlanders to the gage of battle at Culloden, of which we tell in another chapter. At neither of our two visits154 to the Capital of the Highlands had we hosts or hostesses to invite us to drink with them the inevitable cup of afternoon tea, without which a Britisher does not feel that the island is safe, or that Britannia rules the waves. So we must needs be satisfied with hotel service for our Bohea and cups, though we are bound to say that the decoction was excellent and the white-capped and snowy-aproned maid’s voice was low and sweet.

As we chatted over our excursion to Drummossie Moor, we recalled that the victor of Culloden, on arriving at Inverness, found not only a considerable quantity of provisions, which had been prepared for the poor Highlanders, but many of the Jacobite ladies, who had attended their husbands during the campaign. They had just enjoyed their afternoon tea-drinking and were preparing for an evening ball, at which the Prince and his officers were to be entertained, after his expected victory. It was the entrance of the fugitives, who informed them of the fatal reverse their friends had met with, which caused an abrupt change of plans.

Yet the lovers of the lost cause cease not their celebrations. “Come o’er the stream, Charlie!” To this day, in the Highland glens, one can hear old women singing to the tune of “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” inviting him to “come over the border,” and feast himself on “the red deer and the black steer,” promising, also, that his loyal followers will “range on the heather, with bonnet and155 feather.” The remnant of English Jacobites still drink to the health of the Stuarts and hold an annual celebration in memoriam, in London and in Philadelphia.


Mary Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie! How they live with us yet, casting their spell over the centuries!

If there is one figure in the past that still acts powerfully upon the tradition, literature, and imagination of Scotland,—in a word, upon that which remains and is imperishable, after stone and brass are but mouldering relics,—it is the figure and fortunes of Charles, the Young Pretender to the throne of Great Britain. With him ended Celtic Scotland, Scottish feudalism, and the age of Highland romance.

About the “Young Chevalier”—the image on the Scottish mind is that of the fair youth in the full splendor of manhood; not the wretched dregs of the human form that many years afterwards was cast out of memory like an abominable branch. It is of the bonnie young fellow that such songs as “Wae’s me for Prince Charlie,” “Charlie is my darling,” “Come o’er the stream, Charlie,” and “The White Cockade,” were written and are still sung. His full name was Charles Edward Louis Philippe Casimir Stuart.

This young man, of extraordinary beauty and157 fascinating manners, against the advice of his friends and most loyal supporters, landed in Scotland, and summoning the Highland chiefs, who, by affinities of blood, politics, and religion, were most attached to the Stuart dynasty, asked for their support. One and all, they declared against the uprising, but they, nevertheless, agreed to follow their liege lord.

Born at Rome, on December 31, 1720, grandson of King James II of England, and eldest son of James, the Old Pretender, who called himself James III, Charles was nominated by his family the Prince of Wales. Educated under brilliant tutors, he travelled through Italy. He was able to speak English, French, and Italian, but could never write well in English. Despite the previous failure, in 1715, of his father, and the loss at sea by storm of a French fleet, with seven thousand men who were to assist his Highlanders, Charles landed in Scotland when most of the British army was in the Belgic Netherlands. On August 19, 1745, in Glen Finnan, he unfurled his standard as “James VIII of Scotland and III of England” against George II and the Hanoverian dynasty of Great Britain. He wore the Highland costume and won the hearts of the women by his charming manners and manly beauty.

After a meteoric career, including a brilliant series of marches, victories, occupation of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, invasion of England158 almost to London, and sudden retreat, he had to face with his loyal clansmen the King’s son William, Duke of Cumberland, with an army specially trained to the use of the bayonet. The two forces met on Drummossie Moor, near Culloden, April 16, 1746. Cumberland’s men were in high spirits and fine condition, while the ill-fed followers of Charles, hungry and weary after a night march, numbered five thousand. His attempt to surprise the Duke and settle the issue with cold steel had failed!

Against the advice of his officers, Charles ordered the battle. After various manœuvres the armies faced each other for the bloody decision, on which depended the fate of the House of Stuart, the fortunes of the Highlanders, and the continuance of Scottish feudalism.

One dreadful surprise awaited the clansmen. Cumberland, trusting in the bayonet, had carefully drilled each of his men to have the nerve to neglect the man striking at him with his broadsword, but to stab at the fellow who, in expectation of dashing aside the bayonet of the soldier in front of him, would expose his body to the oblique thrust of his comrade on the right, duly fore-warned.

The day was one of chilly weather, with fitful winds and flurries of snow. Early in the afternoon, the battle was opened by discharges of cannon from the side of the rebels. But with this159 kind of work, the men from the glens never were satisfied. Indeed, all firearms and long-range weapons were unpopular with these brave fellows, who, like Indians and semi-barbarians, enjoyed most that action which was, as far as possible, independent and personal.

In several of their victories over the royal troops, as at Prestonpans, for example, they had felt little or no annoyance from the royal cannon, and had almost lost their fear of artillery.

Cumberland had nine thousand men and eighteen well-served guns. Here, for the first time, the Highlanders were under heavy fire of grape and round shot, to which they could not proportionately reply. It is thought that if Charles at Culloden had let his swordsmen rush at once upon the enemy the issue might have been different.

For half an hour the Duke’s cannon played effectively upon the clansmen, who saw scores of their kinsmen stretched upon the heath. After a few moments’ cannonade from their own side, and still under the withering fire of the enemy’s heavy guns, the Highlanders ranged themselves in masses, and according to their clans, made ready for the terrific onset, which they supposed would decide the battle. This it did, but not in the way they had hoped. It was the Mackintoshes, who, unable any longer to brook the unavenged slaughter of their comrades, broke from the centre of the line and rushed forward through the smoke and snow160 to mingle with the enemy. Yet the order to advance, though never delivered, had already been given by Charles, the bearer being killed by a cannon shot.

Cumberland’s troops, seeing the dark masses moving up the slope, as in a great wave, stood in steady line. As the Highlanders came to shock, the oblique thrust of the bayonets was a dreadful surprise, for it prevented hundreds of clansmen from wielding their favorite weapon, as most of them were thrust through before they could swing their broadswords, or make the terrible double-handed sweep with their claymores, on which they had counted. Soon the moor of Drummossie had proved itself to be the valley of decision for the hopes of the House of Stuart.

Within two minutes the charge was general along the whole line. Yet it was as if advancing into semi-darkness of whirling snow and powder smoke. One survivor of the battle, a Highlander, said that after rushing forward the first glimpse he received of the Duke’s troops was, when the cloud of smoke and snow lifted, he saw the white gaiters of the soldiers. The Duke’s cannon, now loaded with grapeshot, and the musketry of his solid columns swept the field as with a hailstorm. The three ranks in the front line of English Hessians delivered simultaneous volleys, while the regiments of Wolfe—of whom we Americans have heard in his later career at Quebec—poured161 in a flank fire. Nevertheless, the right wing and centre of the Highlanders fought with even more than usual gallantry and resolution.

Notwithstanding the fact that they were outflanked, enfiladed, and met by a heavy musketry fire in front of them, the right wing of the Highlanders broke Barrel’s regimental front and passed the guns; but their attack was checked by the bayonets of the second line.

Of the Highlanders who first rushed forward the majority were hardly able to see their enemy for the smoke, until involved inextricably among their weapons. Tn their onset, nearly all in the front ranks fell before either bullets or the piercing weapons used obliquely, as directed by the Duke, almost every bayonet being bent or bloody with the strife. Nevertheless, the Highlanders, despite their impending annihilation, kept on, line after line pushing forward, even though only a few of those charging last reached the front files of the royal troops. In parts of the plain, the dead lay three and four deep.

During all this time the Macdonalds, who, because their ancestors at Bannockburn had fought on the right wing, had ever afterwards, except on this occasion, occupied this position, would not fight. They made no onset, and even received the fire of the English regiments without flinching. They were dissatisfied because they had been put on the162 left wing. At last, when the moment of decision and defeat had come, there being no hope, they also fled with the other clans.

Charles had yet in reserve his foreign troops, and these, after the mountaineers had been ruined, he hoped, as he looked on from the mound at some distance off, would redeem the day. But though there were instances of bravery among these men, yet, demoralized by the wreck of the clans coming as fugitives among them, and seeing the Duke’s army getting ready to charge with the cold steel, they fled in a body. Thus the rout was complete. Charles, who had made his last cast for a crown, seemed now unable to realize what had happened. Confounded, bewildered, and in tears, he seemed unable to act. His attendants were obliged to turn his horse’s head and compel him to retreat, Sullivan his friend seizing the horse’s bridle and dragging him away.

During the uprising of 1745–46, the local clans wore a red or yellow cross or ribbon, in order to distinguish themselves from the Stuart Highlanders, who were all dressed in about the same way, except as to their bonnets. The Jacobites all wore the white cockade, like that of the Bourbons of France, friends of the Stuarts. One of the liveliest tunes played by the Highland pipers was “The White Cockade.” It was the same air, with different words, which the fifers and drummers of the Continental army played163 when the flag of the Revolution was raised in the War of Independence. In fact, in looking over the American musicians’ repertoire, from 1775 to 1783, one might almost imagine that the chief music sounded under “the Congress flag” of thirteen stripes and, after 1777, under “Old Glory” of later Revolutionary days, was Scottish. Even the strains of mournful music, over the graves of the slain American patriots, was “Roslyn Castle.”

One fifth of the Highland army was lost at Culloden. Of the five regiments which charged the English, almost all the leaders and front rank men were slain. These numbered nearly a thousand in all. The actual battle lasted about forty minutes, much of it in distant firing; but the charge and the crossing of the cold steel were all over in a quarter of an hour. The number of killed, wounded, and missing of the royal army was three hundred and ten. The victory was mainly attributable to the effect of the artillery and musketry of the royalists; but in Munro’s and Barrel’s regiments, many of the soldiers put to death one, two, or more Highlanders each, with their bayonets, and several of the dragoons, sent in pursuit, were known to have cut down ten or twelve fugitives each in the pursuit.


The Highlands, geologically speaking, is an island of crystalline rock set in a great sea of younger formations. The great glen which forms the trough of the Caledonian Canal is a mighty earth rift. When once across this line of rock and water, we were in the Highlands. In one summer visit, we spent a part of our vacation at Crieff, which lies at the base of the Grampian Hills and at the entrance to the Highlands. Here the beauty, fashion, and intelligence of the United Kingdom in August gather together. What was once a “hydro,” but is now a fine hotel, was crowded to its utmost capacity. In the evenings, entertainments of music, with dancing and recitations by the young people, were enjoyed. In the mornings, we took horses and carriages and drove through many leagues of the lovely scenery. At another time, in a later year, the automobile served us while glancing at a hundred linear and many more square miles of Scotland’s glory.

Yet every time we were in the Highlands and in whatever shire, the old song, learned in childhood, came to mind—“O where, tell me where, has my Highland laddie gone?” Ross and Cromarty,165 now united in one and the largest of all the counties in Scotland, is the most thinly populated of all. In fact this great area has been “improved” by its landed proprietors promoting the emigration of its former inhabitants. There is only a fraction left of the Highlanders. The Celtic element is but a survival, a remnant, and the Gaelic tongue is like a flickering flame, almost ready to die out.

What is the reason? Is it, in part at least, because nature is so niggardly? Again, is it not true that “those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword”? Did the traditional Highlands and Highlanders exist, or gain their place in romance and history, chiefly through the human imagination?

Scottish history and poetry show that originally, even as a swordsman and fighter, the Highlander possessed no special superiority over the Lowlander, but in the seventeenth century, as in the modern days, which we of ’61, as well as of 1915, remember, and have seen demonstrated, the best prepared people, to whom arms are habitual, and to whom military training is a personal accomplishment, will, at the first beginning of war, at least, be pretty sure to get the advantage. In a prolonged struggle, it is resources that tell. Wars are not ended by battle, but by manifest reserves, with power to follow up victory.

It was western Scotland, of azoic rock, a far-off corner of Europe, that had the singular fortune of166 sheltering the last vestiges of the Celts—that early race of people who, once placed upon the centre of the ancient continent, were gradually driven to its western extremities.

A notion, held tenaciously by the Highlanders, was that the Lowlands had originally been their birthright. Many of them practised a regular system of reprisal upon the frontier of that civilized region, with as good a conscience as a Levant pirate crossed himself and vowed to burn candles of gratitude before the Virgin’s picture, if successful in robbery. To maintain this philosophy and practice, the use of arms was habitual and necessary among the Highlanders. While among the Lowlanders cattle-lifting and other methods of rapine were considered as the business of thieves and scoundrels, it was usually reckoned by the Highlanders to be an eminently honorable occupation, partaking of the prestige of a profession. How finely does Sir Walter Scott bring out this sentiment, when Roderick Dhu answers Fitz-James, who charges the Highland chieftain with leading a robber life.

Moreover, what still tended to induce military habits among the Gaelic mountain folk, and what still maintains most wars, in the same spirit, though on a larger scale,—national instead of private,—was the hereditary enmity against each other, systematically maintained, purposely cultivated and instilled in their children. In what respect were the clan feuds and fights of the Celtic Scots any167 nobler than those which so long distracted China, Japan, and Iroquois and Algonquin America? With such philosophy dominant as still in our day creates armies and navies, while being no more ethically worthy, it was required that every man capable of bearing arms should be in perpetual readiness to foment war, or to seize or repel opportunities of vengeance. In fact, the hideous brutality of Confucian, Japanese, Iroquois, Scottish, and Albanian codes of vengeance alike befitted the common savagery that runs counter to the teachings of the Universal Man of Nazareth.

The Celtic Highlanders were nominally subjugated by the iron hand of Cromwell. Of this mighty man, Dr. Johnson says, “No faction in Scotland loved the name of Cromwell or continued his fame. Cromwell introduced, by useful violence, the arts of peace. People learned to make shoes and plant kail.” Shoes were not common in this part of Scotland until as late as 1773.

At the Restoration of the Stuarts, in the person of Charles II, the Highlanders, with no illustrious and stimulating example before them, rebounded into all their former privileges and vigor. They were kept in arms during the reign of the last two monarchs, who fomented those unhappy struggles, on account of religion, which have made the Stuart name so detested. The patriarchal system of laws, upon which Highland society was constituted, disposed these mountaineers to look168 upon these unhappy princes, Charles I and James II, and upon the Pretenders, who came after them, as the general fathers or chiefs of the nation, whose natural and unquestionable power had been wickedly disputed by their rebellious children. Hence at Killiecrankie, Prestonpans, Falkirk, and Culloden, they fought with the same ardor that would induce a man of humanity to ward off the blow which an unnatural son had aimed at a parent. In a word, as to political education, they had only the ideas of feudalism in which they were steeped.

Having myself lived under feudal institutions, and seen the daily workings of a society, graded from lowest to highest, although with many variations, and fixed in customs which seemed to me to be tedious, absurd, and ridiculous, as well as interesting and fascinating, and living meanwhile under the shadow of castle walls and towers, crossing daily the drawbridge and often visiting the towers of the citadel, I could understand the mediæval processes of thought, so long surviving in western Scotland. I was able to appreciate also these Scottish castles, whether still maintained as of old, intact and modernized, or in ruins, and easily re-create in imagination the mental atmosphere and customs of the old feudal days, when swords were an article of daily dress and frequent use, and the steel blade the chief bond and instrument of social order. The border ruffianism of “bleeding Kansas” in the West and much of169 the old social situation down South, in cotton land,—the pride and contempt on the one side and the hatred, with occasional cattle-lifting propensities, on the other, especially in the Southern Highlands,—of which in my boyhood I heard so much, helped me to enjoy not only Scottish history, but Sir Walter Scott’s inimitable word pictures in prose and verse. One can describe most of the spectacular phenomena of Japanese as well as Scottish feudalism in Scott’s verse and prose. His writings make illuminating commentary.

It was hard for the Lowlanders, after their discipline under the feudal system had passed with the institution, to understand or get along peaceably with the Highlanders, who hated industrialism, shop-keeping, and money-making. Highland poverty and rawness are in the main the immediate inheritances, even as the old semi-civilized life was the direct result, of feudalism. The reason why the dwellings of the plain people in the rocky regions were, even in our day, so wretchedly poor and bare, is revealed in the book of Mair, entitled “De Gestis,” published in Latin in 1518, concerning land tenure. He says: “In Scotland the houses of the peasants are mere small thatched huts, and the cause is, that they do not hold their land in perpetuity, but only rent on a lease of four or five years at the will of the lord; therefore, though there are plenty of stones, they will not build neat houses, nor will they plant170 trees, or hedges to the woods, nor will they enrich the soil; and this is to the no small loss and disgrace of the whole realm. If the lords would give them their land in perpetuity, they would get double or triple the money they now have, because the peasants would cultivate the land incomparably better.”

This system of land tenure, which in theory and practice made the laird the landowner and the tenant, or worker of the soil, a virtual serf or semi-slave, sufficiently indicates the grounds and nature of the Highland chief’s power and the degradation of the average or common man. In almost every clan, there were subordinate chiefs, cadets of the principal family, that had acquired a territory and founded separate septs. In this community, the majority of commoners were distinct from the “gentlemen,” who were persons who could clearly trace their derivation from the chiefs of former times and assert their kinsmanship to the present one. Below this clan aristocracy were the mass of plain fellows (“kerns”) who could not tell how or why they came to belong to the clan and who were always distinctly inferiors.

There were several distinctions, based on ability, of status and condition. The commoners were little better than serfs, having no certain idea of a noble ancestry to nerve their exertions or to purify their conduct. It was not to these, but to the gentry, that the chief looked for active service171 and upon whom he depended in time of war. These upper grades of men did most of the fighting, while the larger body of common retainers (“kerns”) were left behind, during a raid, to perform the humbler duties of driving the cows or tilling the fields. Or, if they accompanied the foray, they were put in the rear ranks and given poor arms, sometimes being provided only with dirks. To illustrate these facts there were and are many stories told and traditions handed down. Note the incident in “The Lady of the Lake”:

“Because a wretched kern ye slew,
Homage to name to Roderick Dhu?”

In a word, in Scotland and in Japan, of which we can bear witness from personal experience, social evolution among clansmen and arms-bearing men had begun and continued, though separation had early taken place between the fighters and the field laborers. In both countries the process and result were much the same. Moreover, after the Reformation, the proud Highlanders, clinging to the old faith and traditions, looked down, with even greater contempt than before, upon the commercial Presbyterians of the Low Countries. They regarded with absolute horror the newer social and political order, which in their eyes was but a dark system of Parliamentary corruption. They were only too ready to believe the stories of luxury, extravagance, and predatory dishonesty, which were supposed to be rife and chronic172 in London. Here, too, human nature, Japanese and Scotch, was as much alike as in a pair of twins, born of the same mother, and throughout history running in parallel lines of action.

Moreover, in both Scotland and Japan, it was the bayonet against the sword. The men of mediæval mind in both countries wore and wielded blades and looked upon the use of firearms as something mean and cowardly. Believing, to the last, in the rush against uniformed men in ranks and in slashing with two-handed sword strokes (the Japanese swordsmen using a mat shield, where the Highlander employed a target), both Scot and Nipponese met failure against the triangular stabbing tools that ended feudalism. In Tokio, the bayonet monument on Kudan Hill tells a story. Here, history is told in steel.

What did more than anything else to open the Highlands and break up the very idea of a “hermit nation” was a system of roads which was carried out mainly during the sixteen years between 1726 and 1742, by the British field marshal, George Wade. Though born in Ireland (whence also came the great soldier and diplomatist, Wade, of China), he knew well the Gaels of both the island and the mainland. He spent two years studying the problems of the Highlands, economic and social. He had had long service with the army in the Belgic Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the Mediterranean Islands. During the Jacobite outbreak173 of 1715, he acted effectively as military governor. Having later again made a thorough study of the Highlands and their inhabitants, he was made commander-in-chief, in order to give effect to his own recommendations. He cut roads through the most important strategic places and lines of country. In the course of this engineering work he superintended the construction of no fewer than forty stone bridges. It is this road-making which constitutes his chief title to fame, as the old distich intimates:—

“Had you seen these roads before they were made,
You would lift up your hands and bless General Wade.”

In a word, he made possible the pacification of the Highlands, by a system of hard-faced or “metalled” roads. Dr. Johnson, who saw the results of Wade’s peaceful campaign, when the work was fresh and the results novel, is unstinted in praise of Wade. In fact, it is quite probable that, except for these new highways, the great man’s “Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland,” in 1773, would not, perhaps could not, have been taken.

The houses the Highlanders of a century ago lived in are described by Dr. Johnson. The construction of a hut, he tells us, is of loose stones, arranged for the most part with some tendency to circularity and placed where the wind cannot act upon it with violence, and where the water would run easily away, because it has no floor but the naked ground. The wall, which is commonly about174 six feet high, declines from the perpendicular a little inward. Some rafters are raised for a roof, which makes a strong and warm thatch, kept from flying off by ropes of twisted heather, of which the ends, reaching from the centre of the thatch to the top of the wall, are held firm by the weight of a large stone. No light is admitted, but at the entrance and through a hole in the thatch, which gives vent to the smoke. The hole is not directly over the fire, lest the rain should extinguish it, and the smoke therefore fills the place before it escapes.


Entering one of this better class of huts, Dr. Johnson found an old woman whose husband was eighty years old. She knew little English, but he had interpreters at hand. She had five children still at home and others who had gone away. One youth had gone to Inverness to buy meal—by which oatmeal is always meant. She was mistress of sixty goats and many kids were in the enclosure. She had also some poultry, a potato garden, and four shucks containing each twelve sheaves of barley. Huts in building and equipment are not more uniform than are palaces, and hers was divided into several apartments. She was boiling goat’s flesh in the kettle for the next meal. With true pastoral hospitality, she invited her guest to sit down and drink whiskey. Sweetening was obtained from honey. Probably the reason why marmalade is so much used by the modern Scots is175 because of old their ancestors used a great deal of honey, of which marmalade, usually made from oranges imported from Spain, takes the place.

Though the old lady’s kirk was four miles off—probably eight English miles—she went to worship every Sunday. She was glad to get some snuff, which is the luxury of a Highland cottage. In one village of three huts, Dr. Johnson found a chimney and a pane of glass.

Beside his road-making, with stone and concrete, General Wade had notable success in dealing with the peculiar variety of human nature that was so marked in the Celtic Highlanders. He so won his way into their hearts that, with the tact that came of thorough acquaintance with his subject, he slowly but surely disarmed the clans. Turbulence and habitual brawls ceased, for the most part, and there came an era of civilization and peaceful life, contrasting amazingly with the state of affairs in Scotland before 1745. To the Irish General Wade the world awards the title promised of God by the prophet Isaiah, “The restorer of paths to dwell in.”

It was in 1745 that the road-builder in the Highlands, Wade, then a field marshal, but in poor health and seventy years of age, when attempting to deal with the insurrection of the Jacobites, was utterly baffled by the perplexing rapidity of Prince Charles’s marches. He, therefore, most patriotically, resigned in favor of the Duke of176 Cumberland, the “Bluff Billie” of fame and story.

Though Wade won great victories in war, his greatest renown was gained not on the field of blood, but in this peaceful triumph over the Highlanders. In this, he gave an inspiring precedent to those of our own American officers of the army and navy, who have done such noble work in preventing riot and other outbreaks of violence among the races in our composite nation, or who, by persuasion, instead of bloodshed, have induced Indians to submit to law. In digging canals, in achieving hygienic mastery over disease, in surmounting natural obstacles, in ministering to the needy, sick, and hungry upon the frontiers, and in time of pestilence, calamity, and devastation, by storm and earthquake, they have shown their heroism. May the time soon come when society and the world at large will honor the heroes of peace and mark their bloodless triumphs, no less renowned in peace than in war. Admirable in the highest degree is now the Scottish camaraderie of Highlander and Lowlander, but none, to gain it, would in these more enlightened days, pay again the awful price at which it was won.


Let us look at the characteristics of Caledonia’s principal garment, the heather: or, shall we say, rather, the hue upon Scotia’s cheeks? Scotland is a land of colors. Her robes and cosmetics are of many dyes. On her flowers are the flushes of the temporary blooms, on her rocks the tints of eternity. Her tarns, her lochs, her bogs are as dye vats, so rich, yet so changeful, are their hues, over which artists thrill and glow.

Scotland’s richest hues are at their full between spring and winter. Then, in nature, pink and purple are the reigning fashions. Over the larger part of the land’s surface grows the plant called, in homely word, ling, or heather, which botanists name Calluna vulgaris. These evergreen shrubs flourish all over northern Europe, but other members of the great family are found also in Africa, where they reach the size of large bushes, while one favored child, in the south of Europe, grows to the proportions of a tree.

Some of these species brought from southern lands ornament British gardens, and produce their flowers in great profusion in April. In fact, some flower-fanciers rear in greenhouses the different178 varieties of heather, both exotic and native, with the enthusiasm which others devote to orchids. There are special buildings, called heath-houses, erected for the cultivation of the many varieties.

Blessed is the heather, for it enlivens the sterile lands of northern and western Europe, which otherwise would be almost appalling in their vistas of desolation! Great masses of heather give, even to the most forbidding landscapes, a beauty suggesting something like human sympathy. The common heather, like the man suddenly lifted to fame and fortune, is apt to show the lack of early advantages, but give this plant of the moors a sheltered place and kindly care, and it will grow erect and “heave out its blooms”—as said an old mariner—so as to touch the top of a yardstick. With purple stems, close-leaved green fruit, and feathery spikes of bell-shaped flowers, this Calluna vulgaris is one of the handsomest of the heath flowers. Some heather is white, but most of the plants are of a lilac rose color, varying through pink to purple. It is this varying depth of color in the blooms which adds to the glory of the August moors and hillsides.

Under ordinary environment, most of the plants have no human care to give them comfortable growth. Out on the desolate moor, or on the arid slopes, each bush has to wrestle with the tempest and withstand the bombardment of sand and gravel hurled by the wind. Though like the pine of Clan179 Alpine, “the firmer it roots him, the stronger it blows,” yet the life of the heather is a constant struggle. Even though it rise but a few inches above the surface, its roots must be anchored deep in the ground to prevent its being blown away. Its white stalk must become gray, hard, and tough, if the plant is to live.

The blossoming of the heather, even though it be “the meanest flower that blows,” is hailed with delight as the opening of Nature’s floral calendar. With its clusters of pink, in the time of flowering in midsummer, and its mass of purple later on, it has a strange power to awaken deep-lying thoughts. To the natives, more especially, this wee, modest flower has a mystic potency to please and charm. It rouses among them, at home and abroad, a feeling of patriotism. It becomes, in the Scotsman’s associations, a link between his soul and the ground out of which he came and into which he will go. Probably no toiling and homesick Scot, pining in a foreign land, longs for anything in the old homeland so much as for a sight of his native heather. To hold before his dying eyes a sprig of “the bonnie” has been known to light there a gleam such as nothing else can.

Virtually unknown, except to the scientific, in America, where it has never been native, the ordinary or Scottish variety of heather, wherever seen, has been largely imported by the sons and daughters of Scotland. Heather is now found sporadic on180 the Atlantic Coast from Newfoundland to New Jersey. More welcome than the thistle, in which many hillsides of Scotland “are very fertile,” as Dr. Johnson remarks, the heather has brought beauty to the eye and charm to the landscape, instead of calamity, as in Australia, where it “is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned.”

As for usefulness, the heather to the Scots is almost what the bamboo is to the Japanese, in its myriad applications to rural purposes. It is, first of all, to the women, a broom plant. The largest stalks are made into a broom; or, as the Scotch say, the “besom,” which readers of Isaiah associate chiefly with destruction. The shorter stems are tied into bundles that serve as brushes. It is Scotch humor that calls a low, worthless woman a “besom,” while the proverb declares that “there is little to the rake to get, after the besom.” The long trailing shoots of the heather are woven into baskets. Dug up with the peat about its roots, the “cling heath” not only makes good fuel, but it often supplies the only material for heating and cooking that can be obtained on the dry moors.

In primitive days, the “shealings,” or huts of the Highlanders, were constructed of heath stems connected together with peat mud, and worked into a kind of mortar, with dry grass or straw. Even to-day hunting-lodges, temporary sheds, and cattle houses are often built in the same way and roofed with the same plant. The luxurious bed of181 the ancient Gael was made by spreading the heather on the floor or bunk, with its flowers upward, making a soft and springy mattress. To-day, many a deer-stalker, hill shepherd, or tramping tourist is glad to make bedding of the same material. In former times, before Scotland had become almost a synonym for whiskey and her glens for distilleries, the young shoots were used in brewing, as a substitute for hops, while for tanning material they have always served.

After the heather ripens, the seeds remain a long time in the capsules, and furnish food to serve all kinds of birds, but especially to the red grouse, which finds here the major portion of its sustenance. The tender tops yield a large part of the winter fodder of the hill flocks; for, when the mountain grasses and rushes are no longer luscious or accessible, the sheep will perforce crop the heather. This fact is the basis of one of those cherished notions, which local pride, especially when “there’s money in it,”—and of like nature all over the world,—has so generously furnished. It is a notion, almost dangerous in some localities to dispute, that the fine flavor of Scotch mutton comes from the sheep’s diet of heather tops, which menu, however, exists much more largely in popular imagination than in actual reality.

Despite the pressure of the trade and the demand for the daily square miles of newspaper stock required for an insatiable reading public,182 manufacturers have not yet been able to make heather stalks compete with other materials in making paper. The stalks are not sufficiently fibrous for this special purpose.

Two of the four hundred and twenty known species of heather yield great store of honey, furnishing a plentiful supply to the bees in moorland districts. To secure a good crop, thousands of hives are annually transported to the moors during heather-blossom time. It is highly probable that from this honey the ancient Picts brewed the mead, said by Boethius to have been made from the flowers themselves.

In the long stretch of the æons and centuries, through the alchemy of sun and water, the heather has deposited the peat which to-day serves for fuel, and of which recent science has, with the aid of molasses, made food for horses and cattle.

Of the known species of the genus Erica, most are native to the south of Africa, but the British Isles produce seven species, of which some have been found only in Ireland. The heather “bells,” so often alluded to in British song, are the flowers of the cross-leaved and the five-leaved heather. Apart from song, these blooms flourish in the field of rhetoric and conversation sparkles with references to them. “To take to the heather” is a euphemism for absconding. To be “on one’s own native heather” is to be at home. “The heather has taken fire” when a man is in passion,183 an orator is eloquent, or the populace is in anger.

The heather, or “heath,” as many natives call it, has its own inhabitants. The little sandpiper is called the “heather peeper.” Then there is the heath fowl, or moor hen,—its young being called the “heath polt,” or pullets,—and the “black grouse” is her husband. According to Thompson, in his “Seasons,”—

“O’er the trackless waste
The heath hen flutters, pious fraud, to lead
The hot pursuing spaniel far away.”

In America we call this heath hen the pinnated, ruffled, or Canada grouse.

The game bird which is peculiarly associated with Scotland is the “grouse.” The word means literally “speckled,” “grizzly,” or “gray,” and when popularly applied includes almost all of the rough-footed scratchers that wear feathers and have wings. The red grouse, of old, was called “moor fowl,” or “moor game,” and in common speech is said even to influence legislation; for in popular tradition, Parliament adjourns on the day when the law allows this bird to be shot. On the 12th of August, throughout Scotland, one is likely to see in the tailor shops and in many stores sprigs of heather decorating the cloth or other merchandise. In the show windows will probably be seen pictures of grouse hunters at work with their guns, and the graceful birds rising “up from the184 valley of death” to fly, if possible, beyond the reach of man. An immense number of Scottish acres are set apart as grouse moors. When there are no rocks, bushes, gullies, or other natural features for a covert, short bits of wall or lunettes of stone are built, beyond which the hunters hide. These make a prominent feature in many a square mile of desolation.

Though the guns are not by law allowed to blaze at the birds until August 12 is fully come, yet at the railway stations one may see, loaded on the first train of the day before, hampers packed full of this material for enjoyable dinners, to appear in the London markets, with startling if not legal punctuality.

It is said that the red grouse is rarely or never found away from the heather, on which it chiefly subsists. On the contrary, the willow grouse, with which we are acquainted in the New World, where heather, in the strict sense, is unknown, prefers the shrubby growths of berry-bearing plants, and is found numerously among the willows and branches on the higher levels and mountain slopes. The snow-white ptarmigan is the cousin to the red grouse.

It seems strange, at first, that the heather does not bulk more largely in Scottish imagination, as shadowed forth in poetry and popular song. Yet there is one poem by Jean Glover, entitled “O’er the muir amang the heather,” which tells of coming185 through “the craigs of Kyle,” and how she charmed the poet’s heart, who then swears:—

“By sea and sky she shall be mine,
The bonnie lass amang the heather
O’er the muir,” etc.

Another song, “Heather Jock’s noo awa’,” by an unknown author, tells of a famous pickpocket who could creep through “a wee bit hole” and quietly pilfer eggs and cheese, for “Jock was nae religious youth,” who yet lived at a bountiful table spread with his spoil. Having often broken jail, the judge at last, without delay, sent him off to Botany Bay and bade him “never more play Heather Jock.”

Nevertheless, the allusions and references to the heath flower, in song, poetry, and conversation, are numerous. Scott speaks of the heath-bell “which supplied the bonnet and the plume,” and of the harebell,—of which our “shepherd’s purse” is not the contraction,—and again of other dew-begemmed blooms:—

“A foot more light, a step more true,
Ne’er from the heath flower dashed the dew.”

Between the world of heather and the Highlander’s costume, there is a close and subtle connection. Since in the evolution of Scottish dress the heath flowers—before the introduction of garden favorites, of exotic and modern flowering plants, or the more elaborate plaids of recent days—“supplied the bonnet and the plume,” it seems186 evident that art took her hints from nature. “A wide, billowing series of confluent hills, that for half a year mingled tints of brown, russet, and dun in a rich pattern,” is a description of the hilly landscape of the border region, out of which, for the most part, the development of the plaids, on a large scale of production, proceeded. These, blending with the best work and most cunning textiles of the Highlands and of the islands, have made the actual Highlander’s costume of which the modern reader thinks. It must always be remembered that the most striking difference in the daily dress of Lowlander and Highlander was in the cut, form, method of wearing, and general appearance, rather than in color or material. Roughly speaking, the abundant variety of tints and patterns is almost wholly modern.

For centuries, until banned by law, the most striking external mark of difference between the northland Scot, or the mountaineer, and the Lowlander, the man of the plains, was in the male costume. Scotland, though in Roman times inhabited by Celtic tribes, shared with the northern or Teutonic nations in the good providence that enabled her people to work out their natural life, not under Latin forms, nor according to the genius of classic paganism, but under the Christian religion and civilization, into whose school they came as young, docile pupils. Christianity is Scotland’s alma mater. Hence her people rejoice to-day in187 an art which has remained free from Mediterranean infusion. It is certainly wonderful that such an æsthetic dress as the Scottish costume should have grown up as something almost unaided; to say nothing of other interesting forms of artistic industry and decoration, which are wholly indigenous.

The tartan, though Scottish in its development, was hardly an original invention. The word comes from the Spanish and French “tire taine,” meaning in the former language something thin and flimsy, from “tire tar,” to tremble, or shiver, with the cold. In French, the term “tire taine” refers to the mingled fibres of linen and wool, or linsey-woolsey. Probably no word is known in either Gaelic or English, before the fifteenth century, describing the finer sort of tartans. After this date, the vocabulary is rich and the industry greatly developed. It is certain that the Highlanders by the eighteenth century possessed these peculiar textiles and their patterns which were varied to a wonderful degree, so that each clan had its own special tartan, by which it was distinguished. The Scots made the tartan the fit substitute for a heraldry that expresses itself in the “arms” and in a system of symbolical decoration copied from plants, animals, or the implements of war or industry. It is probable that European heraldry arose out of the crusades, which gave also to Scottish blazonry a tremendous impetus.


When, however, the modern world at large, attracted by the beauty and solid value of the Scotch tartans, used these as articles of dress for their own personal decoration, or for purely commercial advantage, then the heraldry of the tartan suffered confusion and decay. Manufacturers, for the sake of the money to be gained in the new enterprise, began to design new and purely imaginary tartans. This proceeding gave rise to the jests and ribaldry of the shallow skeptics, who throw doubt upon the reality of these distinctive patterns as ever having been, as at one time they undoubtedly were, distinctive as the particular badges of particular clans. The truth lies midway between the enthusiast and the doubter.

In political history, when conquest, subjection, or subordination of all to the supreme government must be secured, it seems necessary, at times, to suppress or abolish certain outward symbols or forms of dress which ally the thoughts and feelings of those subordinated to the insurgent past. It seems best to ban these, at least until the time when, order and uniformity having been secured, the resumption of the old liberty of dress, which has no longer any political significance, may be harmless. In the old Scot’s land we have heard about “the wearing of the green”—long proscribed, then allowed.

The Highlander’s costume has to-day no political significance, though it was once the badge of189 the insurgent, and later for a time under ban. After Culloden, in 1745, the British Parliament passed laws by which the Scottish hill people were deprived of their weapons. Then, also, the Highland dress was prohibited under severe penalties. Happily however, that ban was lifted in good season.

The turbulence of the clans was at once diminished when they were disarmed and the way was thus paved for peaceful compromise. The ways of peace became more attractive to both kerns and chiefs after roads had been made in the mountainous region. Then the economic situation steadily improved and industry was associated with allurements nearly equal to those of war.

One of the first things to be done, to command success in this new venture in statecraft, was to make a clever adaptation of the Highland dress, which should take away all idea of conquest or servitude, but rather suggest ancestral freedom. In this, the success was instant and marked. Attracted also by the high pay, the hardy men of the glens enlisted by thousands in the British army.

It was the wise and far-seeing statesman Pitt, who, acting upon the suggestion of Forbes of Culloden, saw that all that the unemployed Highlanders needed were new outlets to their energies. For over two-centuries the United Kingdom had no more loyal soldiers than the Scots, whose valor in every land has been tried and on a hundred fields190 of glory proved. The prohibitory acts, already a dead letter, were, in 1782, formally repealed.

Since that time the tartan plaids have come into fashion on an international scale. These are no longer thought of as a thing purely Scottish, yet the credit of such a notable contribution to the taste, the fashion, and the joy of the whole world belongs to Scotland. It is one of the many gifts which this land and people have made to the race at large. In the Empire’s struggle for life in 1914–16, among the first, most valorous, most numerous, and most efficient, were the Scots. Even for a “service” uniform, the modified Highland dress holds handsomely its own.


The northeast coast of Scotland is pacific in climate, as compared with the Atlantic storminess that rules the sea-girt land on the west.

Montrose, which has twenty places in America named after it, lying at the mouth of the river South Esk, is attractive because of its splendid golf and cricket grounds. It is historically interesting, on account of the checkered fortunes of its dukes and earls. On its face we discern a Netherlands influence, for the old architecture reminds us of Dutch towns. Indeed, this may be said of many east coast places, though in Holland the architecture is all brick. In Scotland it is almost wholly stone.

So much land at Montrose is left bare at low tide that it seems a waste to have it lie unused by any living thing but gulls and fishes. Once, expert dyke-makers were brought from Holland to embank and enclose the area thus left dry at ebb tide; but when nearly completed their work was destroyed in a few hours by a terrible storm setting in from the east.

It was from Montrose that Sir James Douglas embarked for the Holy Land in 1330, with the192 heart of King Robert the Bruce. Its people were Jacobites in 1745, when “Bonnie Prince Charlie” made the town his headquarters and Captain David Ferrier captured His Majesty’s sloop-of-war Hazard. Montrose boasts also of being the first place in Scotland where the Greek language was taught and where Andrew Melville, the Reformer, received his education.

Stone Haven we found a lively place in summer, because of its sea-bathing. This town has had a history. Not far away are the ruins of Dunottar Castle, which, perched on a rock overhanging the sea, was in ancient times probably impregnable. Even when the castle surrendered to the English army, it was because of famine, and not from weakness of the garrison. It covers three acres, which are now left in the gloom of desolation. The iron rings and bolts, that held the culprits for security or for torture, still witness to the barbarous methods of our ancestors.

Out at sea we caught a glimpse of the Bell Rock Light House, which rises one hundred and twelve feet above water level. It is often literally buried in foam and spray to the very top, even during ground swells, when there is no wind. Sometimes the pressure of the waves is equivalent to nearly three tons to the square foot. In one instance, at a height of eighty-six feet, an iron ladder was wrenched from its fastenings and washed round to the other side. At times, stones,193 more than two tons in weight, have been cast up from the deeper water upon the reef.

Aberdeen is popularly called the “Granite City,” because many of its dwellings and public buildings are built from the native rock. Yet for the vision and fulfilment, one must see the place, not only in the purple light of the setting sun and in the ordinary hours of the day, but also after a heavy rain, which not only has washed the air, but has cleansed the house-fronts. Then Aberdeen is, indeed, the “Silver City by the Sea.” One may see how well the name is bestowed, for then the stately public structures and private dwellings gleam pure and white under the brilliant sunshine.

Despite the heavy annual rainfall, the Granite City is not only the most prosperous, but one of the healthiest in Scotland. For three hundred years its delvers have been quarrying the durable gray granite, which, when cut and polished, is, to the extent of a quarter of a million tons, exported to all parts of the world. Nearly a hundred firms are engaged in the industry. The process of putting a lustre upon this very hard stone, though known to the Egyptians, seems to have been lost for thousands of years. When recovered in Aberdeen, about 1818, it became the chief source of the town’s prosperity. Then Scotland’s rocky base was transmuted into new values, as of gold mines, which the Aberdeenians have found194 in both sea and land, for Aberdeen’s greatest source of wealth is in her sea power.

Twenty-five millions of dollars worth of food are extracted annually through the fisheries in the deeper waters, which have been improved, first by the method of beam trawling, begun in 1882, and then by the steam line fishing in 1889. Trains loaded with nourishment from the great deep are despatched to London daily, and the fish market is a lively place.


How full the North Sea is of these trawlers those know who have seen them and kept pace with the efforts of philanthropists to minister to the needs of the men on board the ships. In recent years we have learned, moreover, how soon, in time of war, these toilers of the deep are called upon to show their courage as well as their industry, and have thus realized the danger ever surrounding these modest heroes. The Russian Baltic fleet, in 1904, which was full of officers nervous about the existence of Admiral Togo’s torpedo boats,—supposed to be alert and active, seven thousand miles away from home,—fired into the Scotch trawlers and shed blood. How happy we were to see our British brethren keep cool! Instead of rushing immediately into war, like barbarians and savages, John Bull and the Muscovite came to an amicable understanding. In the world-war of 1914–16, the trawlers have not only caught fish, but in their new capacity, as mine-sweepers,195 have kept the North Sea measurably free from “the hell hounds of the deep,” besides themselves suffering awful devastation of life and property from hostile aeroplanes and submarines.

An amusing glimpse into the life of the town in mediæval days, when its people lived in that other world of thought, which in northern Europe has utterly passed away, is given in the public records. For example, as showing the status of the crafts and guilds, to which the labor unions of Great Britain have succeeded, the Aberdeen Council register has the following:—

“It was found by the old lovable custom and rite of the burgh, that in the honor of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the craftsmen of the same, in their best array kept and adorned the Procession from Candlemas yearly.”

The ordinance declares also that “they shall in order to the offering in the Play [miracle or pageant] pass two and two, together, socially: first the fleshers, barbers, bakers, shoemakers, skinners, coopers, wrights, hatmakers and bonnet makers together; then the fullers, dyers, weavers, tailors, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, and hammer men; and the craftsmen shall furnish the pageants; the shoemakers, the messenger; the weavers and fillers, Simeon; the smiths and goldsmiths, the three kings of Cologne; the dyers, the Emperor; the masons, the three Knights; the tailors, Our Lady, St. Bride, and St. Helen; and the skinners, the196 two Bishops; the two of each craft to pass with the pageant that they furnish, to keep their gear.” Each craft, by long custom, became identified with certain characters in the procession. Eleven shillings was the fine against those who failed to do their part.

To the north and west of Aberdeen lies Elgin, which has in its name so many associations of classic and Oriental lands, in addition to those with the Timepiece City in Illinois.

The eighth Earl of Elgin (1811–63), James Bruce, was great both in America and Asia. He served not only as Governor of Jamaica, but also as Viceroy and Governor-General of Canada. His warm relations with the United States and his conciliatory treatment—in spite of the mob pelting his carriage with stones—of those who suffered in the troubles of 1837, were not at first appreciated. “He rewarded the rebels for their rebellion,” as the then fiery Mr. Gladstone declared in Parliament. Yet it was the efforts of this Lord Elgin, with those of our Millard Fillmore in Congress, that gave permanent effect to that provision in the Treaty of Ghent, which, for a hundred years, has secured, between two great friendly nations, a peaceful frontier, three thousand miles long.

It was Thomas Bruce (1766–1841), the father of this Lord Elgin, who secured the sculptures in marble from Athens, which are now in the British Museum.


In India, George Bruce, another Earl of Elgin, enabled a handful of white men, fighting for civilization against fearful odds, to break the back of the Sepoy Mutiny, in 1857, even before British reinforcements arrived. In China, James Bruce negotiated the Treaty of Tientsin. In Japan, he followed up the work initiated by the Americans, President Millard Fillmore, Commodore Perry, and Townsend Harris, using their interpreters and profiting by their precedents. He thus inaugurated British influence in the most progressive country of Asia.

While Elgin returned to England, his brother George and the allied forces attempted to proceed to Peking with the ratified treaty. In front of the Taku forts, built at the mouth of the Pei-ho, they were fired on and the flotilla of British gunboats was nearly destroyed, on the 25th of June, 1859. Then it was that our own Commodore Tatnall, technically violating neutrality, came to the aid of the British, not only to offer his surgeons for the scores of wounded that lay on the decks of the shattered ships, but to blink at his boat’s crew of American sailors, as they served the one British gun on the flagship that was left unhurt.

Later on, he lent the aid of his boats to land detachments, which turned the Chinese defences from the rear. Tatnall gained world-wide reputation by his declaring that “Blood is thicker than water.” This phrase, now international, in its198 original form, was an old Scottish proverb, and as used by Sir Walter Scott more than once, it reads, “Blood is warmer than water.”

“For course of blood, our proverbs deem,
Is warmer than the mountain-stream,”—

says Scott in his introduction to Canto VI of “Marmion.”

Lord Elgin was sent again to China to demand apology, the execution of the treaty, and an indemnity from the Chinese. Then took place that awful sacking of the Imperial Summer Palace, by which the accumulations of art and taste for centuries were given over to the British and French common soldiers for plunder and devastation. The purpose in view was that the punishment for perfidy should fall, not on the common people, but immediately and personally on the faithless rulers. When, later, Elgin was sent as Viceroy and Governor-General of India,—the first appointed directly by the Crown,—he showed wonderful energy, firmness, and dignity, but died in the midst of his labors.

The last, or ninth, Earl of Elgin was Viceroy of India from 1894 to 1899, and in 1905–8 was Secretary of State for the Colonies in the Cabinet of Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, where he was somewhat overshadowed by his brilliant under-secretary, Winston Churchill, of whom we heard in 1916, in a soldier’s uniform. Elgin retired from the Cabinet when Mr. Asquith became Prime Minister.


Elgin, like most other similarly vertebrated Scottish towns, consists of a backbone, the High Street, from which numerous ribs or alleys diverge. This principal highway contains the ancient buildings and extends about a mile from east to west, though its uniformity is broken by the parish church, which obtrudes into the causeway. The town has long been famous for its schools, while of all the Scottish cathedrals, except that in Glasgow, this at Elgin is the most magnificent and certainly the most ornate. One of the most imposing ruins in the kingdom, it has great interest for the architect. It was founded in 1224, during the reign of Alexander II, who also gave the town its charter. “Proud” Edward I stayed at the castle twice, and the building was destroyed immediately after national independence had been reasserted at Bannockburn, in order that the memory of his visits might be blotted out. The hill on which the castle stood was re-named the “Lady Hill.” On the scanty ruins of the castle now stands a fluted column surmounted by a statue of the fifth Duke of Gordon.

Elgin has had a surfeit of history, with the unhappiness therefrom accruing. Ravaged, burned, plundered, and rebuilt, the place survived all degrees of devastation, to settle down into a sleepy cathedral town for generations, until touched by the spirit of the nineteenth century which has swept away much of its picturesqueness. So often200 had it been fired and robbed that when, in 1402, Alexander, Lord of the Isles, burned the town, he, the canny Scot, for a consideration, spared the cathedral. The Elginers, acting on the principle of “small favors thankfully received,” erected the “Little Cross”—so named to distinguish it from the “Muckle,” or “Market Cross,” which was restored in 1888.

In the vestibule connecting the chapter house with the choir, a poor, half-crazy creature, a soldier’s widow, named Marjorie Anderson, took up her quarters in 1748. She made her infant’s cradle of the stone basin or niche, in which the priest formerly washed the chalice after administering communion; that is, in the “piscina,”—named after the ancient fishpond attached to a Roman villa,—and she lived on charity. In time, her baby boy, grown to manhood, joined the army, and went to India. He rose to be major-general and amassed a fortune, amounting to what would now be a half-million dollars, and with this he endowed the Elgin Institution, which is called after its benefactor. The Anderson Institution for the Education of Youth and the support of Old Age in Elgin has also a romantic story of origins.

Nothing could kill Elgin. It might well take for its motto, “iterum,”—again. The “Garden of Scotland,” with its fine climate, cheap living, and good schools, rose into prosperity, especially since many of her former sons have been generous to201 their mother. In 1903, Mr. G. A. Cooper presented his native town with a public park of forty-two acres containing lakes, which represent, on a miniature scale, the British Isles. The public library occupies what was once the mansion of the Grant family.

There is a church at Birnie, not far away to the southwest, built in 1150, which is believed to be the oldest house of public worship still in use in Scotland. Here is preserved an old Celtic altar bell of hammered iron. Such is the odor of sanctity of this ancient edifice that there is a local saying that “To be thrice prayed for in the kirk of Birnie will either mend or end you.”


In the days of the great world-war of 1914–16, the Orkneys rose into fresh notice, especially because here the British cruisers, that had intercepted the neutral steamers to Holland, Scandinavia, and Denmark, took their semi-prizes and detained mails and passengers, causing much exasperation. Here, too, was the western terminal of the line of blockade, with ships and steel netting, by which passage into Germany was made nearly impossible. During this period many Americans were involuntary and not over-happy visitors to these islands, which to them were, literally, the Bleak House of the British Empire.

“Orcades” was the name the Romans gave to this northern extremity of their world. Their existence had been unknown, nor was it suspected that Britain was an island, until the time of Agricola in A.D. 78. Then the fleet of triremes ploughed the waves, unveiling the contour of the country, centuries later called Scotland.


To-day the two archipelagoes, Orkney and Shetland, form one British county, with a representative in Parliament. Of the sixty-seven Orkney Islands, seven are inhabited by fewer than thirty203 thousand persons. Populated once by the Picts, whose rude memorials are seen almost everywhere, these islands became part of Norway and Denmark, and constituted no portion of the Scottish realm, until America was discovered. It was when James III—as in our time Edward VII—wed the “sea-king’s daughter from over the sea,” that the Danish sovereign, by bestowing these storm-swept isles as the marriage portion of his daughter, made them part of Scotland. James III was son of the Dutch Queen, Mary of Gelderland. He married Margaret of Denmark, in 1469. Pomona is the largest island and Kirkwall its chief town, with which not a few involuntary American tourists have made themselves acquainted in the war years.

The Pentland Firth, stormiest of any and all firths in Scotland, is eight miles wide. What are its peculiarities of behavior, during centuries, when hectored and goaded by the winds, may be realized from the great storm of 1862. Then the waves ran bodily up and over the vertical cliffs, two hundred feet in height, lodging portions of the wrecked boats, stones, seaweed, etc., on their tops. This attrition, continued during ages, effecting the destruction of the cliffs and heaping up torn rock masses by sea action, proves, say the geologists, that many of Nature’s ruins along the coast of Scotland are the work of the sea when agitated by storms, rather than that of icebergs. The spring tides of204 the Pentland Firth run at the rate of over ten nautical miles an hour, and are probably by far the most rapid marine currents around the British Islands. When aided by powerful winds, these undersea forces lend incredible force to the breakers in the northern sea.

Still farther north, beyond the Orkneys, are the Shetlands, on which are bred the little ponies, known by the name of “Shelties.” With Americans born in a city, among the first childish impressions of any other animals than the average city horse, cat, and dog, are those of Shetland ponies, with which they are enraptured when a visiting circus company makes a street parade.

In old days the ponies were regarded, on the island on which they were born, as common property for all. This primitive stage of communal society having long ago passed away, the hardy little creatures are reared in large numbers, chiefly for export into England. There most of them have to leave the sunlight and live down in the darkness, being made very useful in hauling coal in the narrow galleries of the mines underground.

The Shetlands, or Zetland group of islands, are the most northerly British possessions in Europe. The name “Shetland” is supposed to be simply a modernized rendering of the old Norse “Hjalt-land,” the meaning of which is given as “high-land”; or, “Hjalti’s land,”—after a man whose name occurs in ancient Norse literature; or,205 “Hilt-land,” in allusion to an imagined resemblance of the configuration of the archipelago to the hilt of a sword. Many remains, in the form of stone circles and “brochs,” are still to be seen. The people were converted to Christianity in the sixth century by Irish missionaries, but the Norse language and customs survived in Foula till the end of the eighteenth century. Besides the remains of old Scandinavian forts, there are ruins of twenty ancient chapels. Fitful Head is the Ultima Thule of the ancients. Unst is the most northerly island of the group. Near Lerwick is the largest and best-preserved of the old Pictish towers, so numerous along the coast and which long served for beacon fires and signals.

The scenery is bleak and dreary, consisting of treeless and barren tracts rich in peat and boulders. The summer is almost nightless, print being legible at midnight; but in winter the days are only six hours long, though the nights are frequently illuminated with brilliant displays of the aurora borealis. As for visitors, the whales, of various species, are perhaps more numerous than human outsiders, being from time to time captured in the bays and sounds. The natives are daring cragsmen, and hunt the waterfowl, which live in immense variety and numbers on the cliffs. In one place is Gallows Hill, where they used to hang witches and criminals.

It was probably in this region, so long subject206 to the incursions of the Danes and Norsemen, that the story of the thistle, now the national emblem, arose. A Danish army was moving at night to surprise the Scots, when one of the invaders in his bare feet stepped on a thistle and felt something not pleasant. His howl of pain awakened the sleeping host and the Scots, seizing their weapons, drove off the enemy. Later the emblem was stamped on coins and the Order of the Thistle, or Order of St. Andrew, was established.

The Shetlanders are famous for their skill with both needles and looms. It is interesting to note that knitting is quite a modern invention; yet what an addition to the resources of civilization and what an asset of the sedentary life it has become! How handsomely it supplemented the æon-old art of weaving! In the Shetlands knitting has helped notably to enrich life and supplement industry in a region where existence is hard. To these islands the gift came from Spain, the original country of Santa Claus, in which many of our air castles lie. It was through Holland that the red robe and ecclesiastical associations of St. Nicholas came first to us, but it was by way of Norway that his fur-trimmed cap and coat, somewhat shortened, and his reindeers, arrived later in America; but to the Shetlands the Spaniards came in a ship direct.

From the survivors of a vessel in the Armada of Philip II, which went ashore in 1588, the Shetlanders207 are said to have acquired the art of knitting the colored hosiery for which they are noted. The shipwrecked Spanish sailors taught the people how to prepare dyes from the plants and lichens, and many of the patterns still show signs of Moorish origin.

Shetland’s starting-point of chronology was this year, 1588, when the Spanish admiral, commanding the Duke of Medina, Sidonia’s flagship, was wrecked on this iron shore. About two hundred of the would-be invaders of Britain were rescued and lived, with the hardy islanders of Fair Island, on shell fish and wild fowl, until the monotony and sparseness of such unusual diet drove them to the “mainland.” There they were kindly received and were subsequently sent to Scotland. This name “Fair” comes from the Norse “faar,” a sheep, which is also the meaning in the name of Faroe Islands, which belong to Denmark.

At Oban we wondered at the fine knitted goods made in the Shetlands, each parish having its own specialty. This is true particularly of Fair Island on which the Spaniards were shipwrecked. Traces of the visit of these Southerners, both economic, moral, and physical, as we have noted, are still discernible. So delicate is the workmanship and so amazingly fine the fabric that stockings have been knitted which could be drawn through a finger ring. The women do most of the farm-work, laying aside the hoe and spade to spend208 their spare time with the needles in knitting caps, gloves, stockings, and waistcoats of the most varied patterns and in many combinations of color. In one of Murillo’s pictures, in the Dulwich Galleries, near London, is that famous one of the Flower Girl. She wears a shawl, which shows the pretty patterns reproduced in the knitted work of the Fair Island fair. “Parallel lines, diamonds, crosses, mathematical figures of every bright color are here, intermixed thread by thread, in the brightest contrast and beauty, each row being about one inch in size.”

Fishing is the chief occupation in the Shetlands and the mainstay of existence of the men, who with their families are very primitive and orthodox—for “orthodoxy,” of the traditional sort, besides being very easy, is a great saving of brain labor. Of old, the Dutch used to control the fisheries, and during their handling of them, it is said they derived a total sum of more than a billion dollars in profits from the business. One must read “The Pirate,” by Scott, to get the atmosphere of this little island world.

In the Town Hall at Lerwick, which is the capital of the Shetland Islands, are modern stained-glass windows which illustrate the history of the Shetlands. Visitors go by steamer to the Shetlands, chiefly to behold the wonderful cliff scenery, and men of science to study the work of glaciers. So well used have these wonderful graving-tools209 of the Almighty been, in ages past, that it is said that no place in the Shetland Isles is more distant than three miles from the sea. Scott’s last novel, which he named “Castle Dangerous,” refers not to this insular group, but what a good name for these remote regions of Britain, so feared by sailors, the title of his romance would make!

Yet in addition to Nature’s handiwork, done by glaciers, and to the weird scenery of the rocks, chiselled by ice and lashed by the ever-corroding sea waves, there are works of early man peculiar to the whole north of Scotland beyond the Great Glen or Caledonian Canal, which awaken curiosity, challenge attention, and hold the interest of the thoughtful.

These are the round towers, called “burghs,” “brochs,” or “Picts’ castles.” We noticed these in Sutherland and Caithness. They are cylinders of masonry tapering upward into a truncated cone, or are waisted, like a dice-box. The walls, composed of an outer and an inner concentric shell of untrimmed stone, have been evenly set, but without mortar. The rude masonry is bound together by four or five courses of slabs of slate, placed crosswise, so as to leave, in the thickness of the walls, a gallery of inclined plane winding up to the top, like a cork-screw. They are lighted by small openings or slits in the inside. The rest of the wall is filled in with loose stones, and it210 may measure in thickness from ten to fifteen feet. The towers vary in height, from twenty-five to forty feet, and in diameter, from thirty to fifty. The little doors, on the ground level, are low and narrow; sometimes not over three feet high. There are over four hundred examples of these towers in the north and northwest of Scotland, and in the isles, but are all more or less ruined. In the Shetlands are seventy-five; in the Orkneys, seventy; in Caithness, seventy-nine; in Sutherland, sixty; on Long Island, thirty-eight; in Skye, thirty, etc.

Not less remarkable are these stony memorials of the past than are the peculiarities of the religion, social life, dress, and literary aspects of the Highlanders and North Scottish people—composed as they are of Norse and Celtic strains. These have blended to produce a race of people that differs perceptibly from the southern Scotch Lowlanders.

Moreover, in the north and west there was not, as in the south, such a long-continued struggle of many and varied elements, local, continental, religious, artistic, moral, and economic, nor, until a century or two ago, such a blending of many ethnic stocks, but only of two or three.

This comparative isolation on the one hand, and exposure to, and penetration by, the manifold forces of culture on the other, have left their differing results visible in both history, human characteristics,211 and deposits of thought. Civilization is of the south and the Lowlands; but Scottish music and poetry, in their nascent, original, most forceful forms, are of the north and west. This is true, also, because among the most potent causes of difference are the aspects of nature, so strikingly in contrast as one nears England or Norway.

Scottish song and verse were born among the mountains nearer the North Star, and the first bards were hunters and cragsmen. In the early poetry and music of no land, more than in that of Scotland, are primitive art and pre-ancient nature more in accord. “Amid all the changes of human feeling and action, we seem to hear the solemn surge of the Atlantic breakers, or the moan of the wind across the desolate moors, or the sigh of the pine woods, or the dash of the waterfalls and the roar of the floods as the rain-clouds burst among the glens.”

The poems of Ossian mirror, not the Lowland life and scenery, but that of the north and west. This is proof of the age-long differences that once divided Scotland. Archibald Geikie, geologist and prose poet, who has been familiar with the scenery of the western Highlands from boyhood, believes that, laying Macpherson aside altogether, there is in the poems of Ossian “a true poetry of local form and color, which could only have been created in the Highlands, but which must be of old212 date, for it alludes to characteristics that have long since passed away.... If poetry was to take birth in these regions and to deal largely with outer nature, as well as with human feeling and action, it must have been essentially Ossianic—sad, weird, and solemn.”

Geikie says, again, that in “the well-known contrast in style and treatment between the northern and southern ballads, our national poetry seems to me to lead us back to the fundamental distinctions between the physical features of the border country and those of more southern and civilized parts of England.... The varied scenery of that wild borderland forms the background of the scenery in the poems, and according to their themes, we find ourselves among rough moss-hags, or in fertile dale, on bare moorland, or sheltered clowe, by forest side or river ford, amid the tender green of birken shaws, or the sad russet of dowie dens.... In the southern ballad, on the other hand, the local coloring is absent, or at least is so feeble that it could not have had the dominant influence which is exercised upon the imagination of the Northern minstrels.... To my mind this tame, featureless character is suggestive of the sluggish streams and pleasing but unimpressive landscape amid which the southern minstrels sang.”


The Scotch lakes form the one element of repose in a landscape which, in almost every other feature, suggests the most terrific activities of nature. Excelling all in size, beauty, and romantic interest is Loch Lomond, in Rob Roy’s country. It is the pride of the Scottish inland waters, as Cayuga is the gem in the chain of finger lakes in central New York.

On our first visit neither railway nor other tourist-bringing facilities, except steamboats, existed. Nor had the necessity of making the lochs of Scotland the drinking-glasses of towns near by yet arisen in so large a measure as to threaten to blot out some of the strands and beaches famous in song and story.

Exquisite are the islands—about thirty in number and lying chiefly in the southern part—that dot the surface, such as Inch Cailliach, the Isle of Women, or Place of the Nuns; Inch Tarranach, or Monk’s Isle; Inch Fad, or Long Island; Inch Cruin, or Round Island. One of the largest of these is a nobleman’s deer park. Inch Loanig, or Yew Isle, where Robert the Bruce planted yew trees for his bowmen, and where the wood of the214 fiery cross was grown, and others that have associated with their names ancient romance or modern utility, possess a double charm. Geologically, the loch is the remnant of an (amputated) arm of the sea, and usually but a few feet above the level of the great deep.

One of the dales near Loch Lomond, at whose entrance are the ruins of an old castle, is Glen Fruin, the Glen of Sorrow. Here a terrible battle was fought between the Macgregors and the partisans of the Laird of Luss, the head of the family of Colquhon, in which the Macgregors were victorious and the Colquhons almost annihilated. There is also a Holy Pool of St. Fillan known, where incantations used to be made to secure the influence of the saint for the recovery of insane persons.

It seems a literary outrage not to read, as a preparation, Scott’s “Lady of the Lake,” before going through the Trossachs, or riding over the ridge from Loch Lomond to Loch Katrine. This romantic defile, whose Gaelic name means the “Bristled Country,” in allusion to its shaggy physical features, is very narrow and beautifully wooded. Properly speaking, the Trossachs extend from Loch Achray to Loch Katrine. They are continued thence, by a strip on the northeastern shore to a point above the now submerged Silver Strand, opposite to Ellen’s Isle, a distance of less than three miles.


A stage-coach was waiting for us at Inversnaid, and we were so fortunate as to get a seat in front on the top near the driver, who was very intelligent, and showed us among other places the woods in which Roderick Dhu’s men are supposed to have retired for their coronach, or wailing over the loss of their great leader. On one side are the steep green slopes of Ben Venue to the southwest, while on the northeast are the precipitous crags of Ben A’an. Wood, water, rock, and hill make a harmonious blending of lovely scenery. It was Sir Walter, the “Wizard of the North,” who made this ravine the Mecca of tourists. In his day there was no easy entrance or exit. The only access to the lake was by means of a ladder, formed out of the branches of trees and roots.

Scott’s lines tell that

“No pathway meets the wanderer’s view,
Unless he climb with footing nice
A far projecting precipice.
The broom’s tough roots his ladder made,
The hazel saplings lent their aid.”

In a word, the Trossachs remind one of that wonderful geological fault in the Helderbergs, in New York State, named “Indian Ladder,” this term recalling the old method of entrance. One of the finest passes and glens in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, as well as the canyons of the West, now so well known and enjoyed, was shut up at one time by Nature in like manner.


Some of the romance of the Trossachs neighborhood has been spoiled, as has the scenery of the Catskill region, by the necessity of a neighboring great city’s practice of the virtue which is next to godliness. The vicinity of that ever-thirsty conglomeration of humanity, that needs refreshment, cleansing, and mill-power, has modified the scenery. The Glasgow Water Company had to raise the banks of the lake several feet, to form a reservoir for the supply of the mills on the Teith River. Among the sites thus desecrated were the silver shore, where stood Ellen, “guardian naiad of the strand,” before the royal Knight of Snowdon, and the spot where Roderick Dhu challenged Fitz-James to single combat. Coilantogle Ford long invited the fisherman to try his luck and the tourist to survey the ruins near by. Then there is the Loch Vennachar, with its lovely island of Inch Vroin, which breaks its mirror-like surface. On the hillside overlooking the loch is a hollow on the left of the road called “Lanrick Mead,” a flat meadow which was the gathering-ground of the Clan Alpine. A mile beyond Loch Menoca, as the road slopes toward the Brig of Turk, we have a varied and extensive prospect, including Ben Venue.


A sudden bend in the road winding around the margin of Loch Achrae discloses the spur of the mountain forming the entrance to the Trossachs. Slight wonder that this, one of the finest views to217 be met with on the way, was selected by the artist Turner for his illustration of “The Lady of the Lake.” He visited Scotland for his book on “Provincial Antiquities,” for which Scott furnished the letter-press.

Entering this wonderful defile of the Trossachs there is revealed a scene of

“Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly hurled,
The fragments of an earlier world.”

Somewhere near the entrance of the gorge, Fitz James lost his “gallant gray” horse. Perhaps, even without a silver suggestion, our guide might show the exact spot where the poor creature’s bleaching bones once lay! The rocks are verdure-clad and we catch a glimpse of Ben A’an rising above the wooded precipices on the north.

Suddenly emerging from the wild mountain rocks and woods, we behold, as Fitz James did,—

“One burnish’d sheet of living gold,
Loch-Katrine lay beneath him rolled;
In all her length far winding lay,
With promontory, creek, and bay,
And islands that, empurpled bright,
Floated amid the livelier light;
And mountains, that like giants stand,
To sentinel enchanted land.”

When on the steamer we passed by Ellen’s Isle, we might have easily thrown a stone to drop in the place where lovely Ellen first looked upon the Knight of Snowdon. What painter could make the scene more lifelike than do the words of Scott?


Another one of the scenes described in “The Lady of the Lake,” and pointed out by the cicerone, is the dread Goblin’s Cave. On the other side of the hill is “the pass of the cattle,” by which the kine taken in forays were conveyed within the protection of the Trossachs. In those days the defile was used by the Highlanders for other than strictly æsthetic purposes.

When we realize how true it was of the Highlanders, as of the sons of Jacob, that their chief trade was in cattle, it is hardly to be wondered at that many of the American highlanders of East Tennessee, with their Caledonian ancestry, concerning the property of the cotton planters long held the view of Roderick Dhu. Nor is it strange that so many sturdy Scotch youth have been allured to our own Wild West to become cowboys!

Yet, although it is the Highland black ox that figures so largely in both poetry and economics, it was the goat that furnished the consecrated blood in which the flames of the fiery cross were extinguished. This terrible war-gospel and signal with anathema for assembling the clans, with its ban of death upon all faint-hearted or recalcitrant, furnished the final test of loyalty to the chief. It bade the bridegroom leave his bride, the mourner his bier, the only son his widowed parent, the smith his forge, and the fisherman his nets—all to buckle on the sword. Scott, in a few lines of219 his “Lady of the Lake,” pictures its awful significance.

No law-book or learned treatise can portray the old Highland life of the clan—when the one tie of society was loyalty to the chief and its symbol the sword—as do the writings of Sir Walter Scott. In old Japan, in which I lived, I saw before me a mirror of Celtic Scotland.

Yet to-day, while one may “hear his own mountain-goats bleating aloft” and thousands of the capricious creatures are domesticated and available for milk and meat, there are thousands more that are as wild as if their species originated in heather land. Their keenness of vision and scent makes it nearly impossible for hunters to get within shot of them.

In addition to the Lowlander’s domestic cattle, systematically “lifted” during the centuries by the Gaels or clansmen, there was a distinct breed of Highland cattle called “Kyloe.” These creatures, in prehistoric and Roman times, ran wild over the Scottish peninsula and were especially numerous in the forest regions. Some few herds, that are considered descendants of the ancient wild oxen, are kept in Scottish noblemen’s parks as curiosities, much as are the bisons—survivors of the old herds which once, millions strong, roamed our Western prairies. These of the Chillingham breed are of a creamy white color. Graceful in form, with short horns but slightly220 curved, they are smaller than the domestic breeds. The West Highland cattle are like these, but almost always of a black color.

Many scientific men hold that the Chillinghams, or reputed wild cattle, are albinos. Apart from opinion, it is a fact that when the black calves are born, they are carefully sorted out and sold for their veal. The true Highland cattle, which we meet in herds on the moors and see painted lovingly by artists, are hardy, imposing, and well fitted to their climatic environment. With short, muscular limbs, wide and deep chests, long horns and short muzzle, and their coats of shaggy hair, they are noticeable in the landscape. They furnish much of the famed “roast beef of Old England.” The milk of the cows is very rich, though too scant in measure to make dairying profitable.

It seems now fairly well agreed that the original ancestor of these local and most of the domestic breeds of cattle in northern Europe was the auroch, or European bison, contemporary of the mammoth and cave man, which became extinct about the beginning of the seventeenth century.

Although Lochs Lomond and Katrine and the Trossachs are not in the Highlands, yet, since the majority of visiting Americans do not cross the boundary separating the Azoic and Crystalline rocks from the fertile lowlands, they accept this romantic portion of heather land as typical of221 the whole. It is not the oldest part of Scotia, yet, in a sense, this tourist’s route is typical of the entire peninsula, in suggesting the effect of Nature’s face and moods upon the human spirit.

One coming first to Scotland from a visit to Ireland asks questions.

Most striking in the history of mankind is the influence of the scenery of a country upon the national temperament. Compare, for example, the two peoples of the same race, the Celtic Irishmen and the Highlanders. The islander’s home has a mild climate, good soil, and a fairly level country, where men have been able to live without extreme toil. In spite of all the Irishman’s troubles, whether coming to him from within or without, he has maintained through the ages the traits of his ancestors. He is naturally buoyant in spirit, impulsive, excitable, rich in wit and good humor, but alleged to be without that profound conception of the claims of duty which mark some other races.

On the contrary, the Highlander is rather reserved, self-restrained, not merry or witty, but often sullen and morose. Yet he is courteous, dutiful, persevering, faithful as an ally and brave as a foe. Surely the differing environments explain, to a large extent, this differentiation between two peoples of the same original stock. The Highlander has lived in a glen, narrow, rocky, separated from his neighbors in the next glen by high222 and rugged hills. On a niggardly soil, stony and wet, and in a cold and uncertain climate, he has battled for ages with the elements, facing Nature in her wilder moods and has not played a winning game. Often he is near starvation, for on his little field much rain and little sunshine falls. His seed often rots in the soggy soil. The noise of storm and tempest, of whirlwind and swollen waters, is ever in his hearing. He cannot be mirthful and light-hearted like the Celt, but is often stolidly obstinate; or, it may be, undauntedly persevering. No one who has heard his music but has noted that melancholy which breathes like an undertone throughout his songs and bagpipe melodies, even when they cheer and inspire to duty. Nevertheless, the proud Scot will boast of his land so full of barren mountains. “Iron them all out flat, and Scotland will be found to be as large as England,” was the assertion, with triumphant air, of a native who loved the heather.


One must not come to Scotland without seeing Ayr, the native village of Burns, any more than go to Tokio and not get a glimpse of the Mikado. It is said that more tourists hailing from America visit annually the village in which Robert Burns first saw the light than are seen at Stratford. This may mean that there are probably more prosperous and cultured descendants of Scotsmen in America than there are of ancestral English folk. In addition to the throng from trans-Atlantic lands must be counted a goodly company of passionate pilgrims from all parts of the British Empire. Theodore Cuyler tells us, in his “Recollections,” how Carlyle, when a boy, visited the grave of the poet, his feelings allowing him to say only, but over and over again, “Rabbie Burns, Rabbie Burns.”

The cottage in which the poet was born is probably in a much more substantial condition to-day than in Burns’s infancy. When the poet’s father took hold of the structure, it was a “clay bigging,” which the parent rebuilt with his own hands. On the night of Robert’s birth, a storm came on and part of the cottage fell in, so that224 the mother with the baby had to fly for shelter to the house of a neighbor until the house was repaired.

We moved down to the road opposite the new florid Gothic church of Alloway, where was a flight of steps, worn by the feet of thousands of pilgrims, leading over the wall to “Alloway’s auld haunted kirk.” In Burns’s day the edifice was whole and in use. All that is now left of the famous building are four bare walls, two of them gabled and one of them surmounted by a bell-cote. Burns’s progenitor is buried “where the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.”

We were guided around by a most unprepossessing old native, a Dick Deadeye in appearance, who insisted that “preachers were of no use, except to scold the deil.” He made himself rather free in his conversation with and repartees made to the clerical gentlemen of the party, who were inclined to chaff this apparently self-appointed defender of His Satanic Majesty. The old Scotsman seemed, with his malevolent eye (not whole, if I remember aright), to be the very incarnation of the dogma of total depravity. By a sort of counter-irritant, his wit served but to stiffen up whatever “orthodoxy”—after studying the Bible, with and without the aid of the creeds—some of us had left. In any event, the cicerone “got as gude as he gie.”

We glanced at the big monument of nine Corinthian225 fluted columns emblematic of the nine muses. With all due respect to the Greeks, but much less to the Scots, who reared the token, some of us wondered why such a true son of the soil as Burns could not have had for his memorial in architecture something more original than a Greek temple, for Scotland lacks neither brains nor taste.

Here is said to be the Bible given by Burns to his Highland Mary, held in the hand of each at their last interview, while both promised eternal loyalty to each other. This “blessed damozel,” made immortal in the poem, was Mary Campbell, a dairy maid. Their last meeting was when, “standing one on each side of a small brook, they laved their hands in the stream, and holding a Bible between them, pronounced a vow of an eternal constancy.” The scene of the parting of the lovers is still pointed out. In returning from her visit of filial duty, Mary fell sick and died at Greenock. At Ellislan in 1789, on the third anniversary of the day on which Burns heard of her death, he wrote that loveliest of all his ballads, the address to “Mary in Heaven.” Since 1898, one may see her lofty statue reared in her native place, Dunoon, on Castle Hill, now famous for its seaside villas and as a summer resort, with Loch Eh, not far away. Thousands come, also, to see the proof that man worships woman.

Nevertheless, after his Highland Mary, Burns226 had many spasms of affection, for he seems to have worshipped womanhood. One of his loves was a young girl, in whose honor he wrote a poem when she was about to leave for America, whither she went and married, rearing a family of sons who became famous in science. One of her descendants settled at Ithaca, New York, to live by the side of our beautiful Lake Cayuga. It is after him that Port Renwick on its shores is named.

In a grotto, at the end of the garden, are the figures of Tam o’ Shanter and Souter Johnnie. Except for the natural beauty of the spot in the Doon Valley, the country seems very monotonous and uninteresting, though the two bridges are worth attention. One, “the auld bridge,” has a single slim arch, which Meg tried to gain when she fled from the witches. Here flows the river Doon, to which the writings of Burns have given such celebrity. It rises in a lake of the same name, about eight miles in length, and the river has a seaward course of eighteen miles, its banks, especially in summer time, being laden with floral richness and beauty. Besides looking so small to one used to the Hudson, Susquehanna, and Delaware, it seemed almost lost in trees and shrubbery. Yet in some parts its rocky banks are imposing.


There is also a statue of Robert Burns, between whom and Americans there will ever be an indissoluble bond of sympathy. For, apart from his wonderful work in liberating Scottish poetry from227 the bonds of classical moulds and traditions, he had that profound sympathy with man as man, which enabled him to see into the real meaning of the French Revolution and its effect on the whole world. Though not blind to its horrors and mistakes, he saw far more clearly its ultimate results and blessings to mankind than could the men then in power and office in England. These, in 1790, were too much like their successors of 1861, when the struggle between slavery and freedom set armies in shock. Then the British leaders of public opinion, the proprietors of the Lancashire cotton mills, “Punch,” the London “Times,” and even the great poets uttered no voice of appreciation of Lincoln or of the freedom-loving American masses, not only of the North, but in the highlands of the South.

Burns not only taught in verse the principles of the American Declaration of Independence, but in his famous lines made forecast of the United States of the world, which our descendants are to see.

As a creator of poetry, as one who took the genius of Scotland by the hand, as it were, and led her out of the old paths, Burns will ever awaken undying gratitude among Scotsmen. He drew his inspiration from living nature and not from dead antiquity, or from books, old or new. To him, indeed, there was an antiquity that was living, and that part of the past which was its true and deathless soul, he clothed in new beauty. There is no228 nobler vindication of John Knox of the Reformers, who, with all their shortcomings and human infirmities, demanded reality and the uplift of the common man. They gave Scotland public schools, and the result was a sturdy, independent, and educated peasantry. It was from that class that Burns sprang. John Knox and the Reformers made a Robert Burns possible.

Burns had the virtues and defects of his class. He had vices that were not peculiar to the common people, but were shared in by the lordly and those high in office. Apart from his wonder-working power in the witchery of language, Burns, though called “the illegitimate child of Calvinism,” has wrought a moral influence for good in Scotland such as can be attributed to very few men who possess the reputation of higher sanctity. For besides Burns’s strong common sense, lively imagination, keen sympathy with what was beautiful in nature and noblest in man,—withal, in love with his native land and ever susceptible to fair women,—Burns purified and uplifted popular song. Out of the black mire of the obscene and indelicate, he called forth to bloom and glory deathless flowers of song.

Burns seemed to be the very incarnation of all that was necessary to be a true poet of the people. He illustrated the saying, ascribed to more than one man, that others might make the laws, but he would make the songs of the people—and he did.229 Many an old snatch of song, bit of sentiment, or scrap of poetry, which in form was vulgar and even indecent, he made clean. Purifying what was dear to the people, he set the substance in new shape and gave it wings of song. Some of the ancient ditties, now in happy oblivion, are too obscene to be sung to-day in their old form by refined society, but after their new baptism by Burns, they have become teachers of piety that excel in lasting power preachers or sermons. Such, for example, is “John Anderson, my Jo, John,” now so sweet and pathetic. In fact, Burns’s transformation of certain specimens of Scottish song is like that which we have seen when a handful of jewelry, of fashions outworn, was cast into the crucible made white hot and salted with nitre. The dross went off into vapor and fumes and the old forms and defects were lost in oblivion. What was of value remained. The pure gold was not lost, rather set free and regained. Poured forth into an ingot, that would become coin or jewels, it entered upon new life and unto a resurrection of fresh beauty.

Above all, Burns disliked to be tutored in matters of taste. He could not endure that one should run shouting before him whenever any fine objects appeared. On one occasion, a lady at the poet’s side said, “Burns, have you anything to say to this?” He answered, “Nothing, madam,” as he glanced at the leader of the party, “for an ass is braying over it.”


Since the ploughman-poet of Ayr was so generous in confessing inspiration and indebtedness to his greatest teacher, it is not meet that we should ignore this man and name in any real view of the forces making intellectual Scotland.

Robert Fergusson, though less known in countries abroad than in Scotland, was the spiritual father of Robert Burns and none acknowledged this more than Burns himself. When the man from Ayr visited Edinburgh, in 1787, he sought out the poet’s grave and erected the memorial stone which is still preserved in the larger and finer monument. Fergusson, born in 1751, was a graduate of St. Andrews. In Edinburgh, he contributed poems to Ruddiman’s “Weekly Magazine,” which gained him considerable local reputation. His society was eagerly sought and he was made a member of the Cape Club. Unfortunately, Fergusson fell a victim to his convivial habits, and was led into excesses which permanently injured his health. Alcohol probably helped to develop that brain disease usually called insanity. It was while in this condition that he met with Dr. John Brown, of Haddington, whose name is a household word in Scotland. The good man, a sound Presbyterian and Calvinist, was much more. He made “the love of the Lord” the real and ultimate test of a man’s orthodoxy. Brown’s “Self-Interpreting Bible” has been amazingly popular throughout heather land. The John Brown, whom some of us knew, who231 wrote “Rab and His Friends,” and “Pet Marjorie,” was the grandson of Fergusson’s friend.

After meeting with Dr. Brown, Fergusson became so very serious that he would read nothing but his Bible. A fall, by which his head was seriously injured, aggravated the symptoms of insanity, which had already shown themselves. After two months’ confinement in the only public asylum then known in Edinburgh, he died in 1774. His poems had been collected the year before his death.

Perhaps Fergusson’s fame rests as much upon his unhappy life and early death, and upon the fact that he was a true forerunner of Scotland’s greatest son of genius, as upon the essential merits of his verse. Burns read carefully Fergusson’s poems, admired them greatly, and called the author his “elder brother in the muses.” The higher critics declare that his influence on the poems of Robert Burns, such as “The Holy Fair,” “The Brigs of Ayr,” “On Seeing a Butterfly in the Street,” and “To a Mouse,” is undoubted. Even “The Cotter’s Saturday Night,” when read alongside of “The Farmer’s Ingle,” of Fergusson, shows that Burns’s exquisite picture in verse of homely peasant life in Scotland is a firelight reflection of the older original, at which Burns warmed his genius.

With less of an immediate intellectual debt, Burns was certainly obligated to an older cultivator232 of Scottish poetry; who, in large measure, must be credited with the revival of public appreciation of the bards of Caledonia and who helped powerfully to create the climate in which Burns’s genius could blossom and bear fruit.

Among the effigies in Edinburgh, city of statues, is that of Allan Ramsay, the poet (1686–1758). When we first saw this work of art, it was comparatively new, having been erected in 1865, by which time national appreciation had ripened.

Ramsay must ever hold the gratitude of Scottish people, because he, more than any one else, made the wonderful world of Scottish music known in England and to the nations. He brought together, in “The Tea-Table Miscellany,” a collection of the choicest Scottish songs. He himself was a poetaster, rather than a great lyrist, and throughout his career proved himself a canny business man.

In literary history Allan Ramsay achieved two great triumphs. He contributed thus early to the naturalistic reaction of the eighteenth century against the slavery to classicism. As an editor, he furnished the connecting link between the “Makars,” as verse-writers were called in the Scotland of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and the poets Fergusson (1751–74) and Burns (1759–96). Ramsay did much to revive interest in vernacular literature. He certainly stimulated an ignorant public to fresh enjoyment.

This reaction in Scotland was followed by one233 in England, for which the publication of Bishop Percy’s “Reliques of Ancient English Poetry” furnished a sure foundation. Scotland honored herself when she honored her poet Ramsay. Happy is the nation that appreciates her sons who bid her people look within to find enduring treasure. To Ramsay, the prophet’s words apply: “And they that be of thee shall build the old waste places; thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations and thou shalt be called ... the restorer of paths to dwell in.”

The second Allan Ramsay (1713–84), an accomplished scholar and gentleman, was the son of the poet. Being carefully educated by his father and sent to Rome to study art, he became an able portrait-painter. Through introduction to the Prince of Wales, afterwards George III, he rose rapidly into favor. To him we are indebted for the portrait of that King George, with whose physiognomy, more than with that of almost any other sovereign of England, our fathers became very familiar during the time of their eight years’ disagreement with His Majesty and his ministers.


A visit to St. Andrews, the home of golf and of ancient and modern Scottish culture, compels thought. I have met Scotsmen who thought and devoutly believed that there was nothing among all the lands of earth equal to Scotland, and in Scotland nothing greater than the Kirk. Yet this stout insistence has come not alone from believers in “the old gospel,” so called, but with equal vehemence and cool conviction from men saturated with the philosophy of common sense, even from those fearing not to be called “freethinkers.” The real Scotland, like the true United States described in Whittier’s verse, seems to fear neither “the puny sceptic’s hands” nor “the bigot’s blinded rule.” At least, her history teaches this.

The first heralds of the new dawn, whose advent awakened Scotland from her mediæval slumber of intellect, were the Lollards of Kyle, who were among our own spiritual ancestors. They made a great excitement in western Scotland in the early part of the fifteenth century. Their coming was as refreshing as when a window is opened in a stuffy room, letting in God’s fresh air. The articles of which the Lollards were accused, as Knox found235 them stated in the Register of Glasgow, make us love these people, for their faith and belief were very much like what is held by the mass of the people who live and think in northern Europe and in the United States of America to-day. Some things to which they held are still retained by Christians who are as wide apart as are Quakers and Catholics.

Those who cut down the forest are often surprised at the new and different timber which springs up from the soil. After John Knox, David Hume! But if the Puritans and reformers had not been intolerant, they would not have been men of their own age. It is to the glory of these narrow-minded but high-souled men that they believed in education. They could not well conceive that any other belief was as good as their own. Yet theirs was not the spirit of Mahomet, who gave choice of acceptance of sword or creed; for these men, who had a conviction themselves of the truth, demanded from others the same knowledge, by experience and enlightenment, of these doctrines which they believed. Hence they were earnest for both elementary training and the higher erudition.

If living to-day, the spiritual pioneers and reformers would no doubt be surprised at the visible harvest. Yet it was their opening of dark places to the light, through the cultivation of the mental soil, that made the intellectual landscape which we see to-day. The Indians call the plantain the236 “white man’s footstep,” because they note that the cutting-down of the dark forests and opening the soil to the sunlight have given the weeds also their opportunity; so that, far more numerously than in the twilight of the woods, or even in the little clearings for the corn and pumpkins, the highways and fields are to-day populous with what we call “weeds.” Yet how vastly greater is the crop of what makes food for man! This is the story, also, of intellectual culture in every age and land. Perhaps it always will be thus. The best of all practical philosophy on this subject is that taught by the greatest of teachers—“let both grow together.” Persecutors, bigots, and tyrants have acted in a different spirit, with appalling results.

The Reformation was more of a success in Scotland than in England, even as men are of more value than edifices of brick and stone, and the people of more value than courts. It culminated, in the lower part of the island, in the divine right of kings and the celestial origin of the Established Church, for Elizabeth was advised by Spain and was strong enough to prevent any open change. But north of the Tweed the people were more generally educated and elevated to a higher place. Hence, in Scotland there was no such tempest raised as there was in the next century, in England, when one king was decapitated and another sent out of the kingdom. Scotland saved herself from stupid kings and a multitude of horrors237 by previously giving her people the rudiments of knowledge. We in America have never had, from English writers, either fair play or full truth about the Scots, nor is the Scotsman’s part in the making of the United States generally appreciated. The Scotch Puritans not only exercised a marked and lasting influence upon their brethren in England, but upon those beyond sea. Next to the Hollanders, who taught us Americans pretty much all we know of Federal Government, was the influence of Scotsmen in the development of the American nation.

The Normans gave to England her universities, her cathedrals, and her legal system, but Scotland never shared in the benefits of the Norman invasion as did England. One may almost say that in place of the nobler and creative side of the Norman genius was Presbyterianism; that is, representative and responsible government in the Church, the actual rule being by lay elders chosen by the congregation. Much of this republicanism in things religious was the work of one man, the greatest in a country prolific of great men as Scotland has been. John Knox’s power was resistless, because he trusted in God and in the common man.

It is astonishing how much alike William the Silent, John Knox, and Abraham Lincoln were in putting confidence in the plain people. William of Orange, the great moderate man of the sixteenth238 century, found that kings and princes were as reeds to lean upon, nobles were selfish and factious, but that the common people, when you put confidence in them, could be trusted. John Knox walked in the footsteps of William of Orange. Lincoln followed Knox.

Yet Knox was not the founder of the Scottish Reformation, which had begun before he had left the old Church; he was its nurse, not its parent. At first the Reformation in Scotland, as in some parts of Europe, was a political, not a religious movement. In the beginning the Scotch nobles hoped to be enriched from the Church lands, as their peers in England had been; but among the Scottish people there were gradually formed circles in which education of mind and heart went on. Apart from the court and nobles, the people wanted a change for the better. This general intelligence among “the commonalty” had already so undermined the structure of the old political Church in Scotland that when Knox blew his bugle blast, this semi-political edifice came tumbling down.

In two hundred years Scotland made more progress than any other country in the world. Her people, in proportion to their numbers, have probably done more for the general advancement of the race than those of any other modern nation. Yet the foundation of Scotland’s prosperity was laid by John Knox and his successors. Hamerton,239 who wrote that charming book, “A Painter’s Camp in the Highlands,” said in one of his works that, in proportion to their small numbers, the Scots are the most distinguished little people since the days of the ancient Athenians, and the most educated of the modern races. “All the industrial arts are at home in Glasgow, all the fine arts in Edinburgh, and as for literature it is everywhere.”

Twice the Scots signally nullified the ambition of kings. Edward I, whom the English count one of their greatest kings, conquered Wales and made it a permanent part of the British Empire. He thought he had done the same thing with Scotland, but there he met a different foe, and twenty years later, Scottish valor at Bannockburn gave Scotland her independence forever. How strange that this same reign saw the death of Roger Bacon, the culmination of Christian architecture, and the expulsion of Jews from England!

When King James came to London, in 1604, he found himself in such a totally different atmosphere that he tried to use the power of England behind him to force the rule of the bishops, in place of elders, upon his Scottish subjects. In England the Church lords told King James, when discussing religious matters, that he was inspired of God. Those who have read the disgustingly fulsome praise of King James, made in their preface by the translators of the English Bible in240 1611, can see that they believed in the divine right of kings. On the contrary, in 1596, Andrew Melville, the preacher, in a public audience, called James VI “God’s silly vassal.” Said he to him, “I tell you, sir, there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland. There is Christ Jesus the King, and his kingdom the Kirk, whose subject James VI is, and of whose kingdom, not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member. And they whom Christ hath called to watch over his Kirk and govern his spiritual kingdom have sufficient power and authority to do so both together and severally.”

The Scottish commons, as Froude says, are the sons of their religion, and they are so because that religion taught the equality of man.

The literature of the subject of the relation of the king to the people, which now holds its place triumphantly in England, shows that this theory, regnant in the twentieth century, originated and was elaborated in Scotland. The idea that the royal government arises from popular electoral choice, and that for a king to break his part of the contract makes him forfeit his right and justifies war against him,—which has always been the American idea,—was first wrought out in Scotland. The true theory of the relations between a king and his subjects first appeared in a book published in Edinburgh, in 1580. It was written by George Buchanan, and was the same241 that was burned by Englishmen at Oxford in 1683.

It was not until 1594 that Hooker, in his “Ecclesiastical Polity,” developed the idea of a social compact, which later was expanded by John Locke, who was so much read by our fathers. Yet even before Buchanan, French writers had discussed the rights and duties of kings on the same democratic lines, and William of Orange, in his “Apology” of 1570, had lengthily exploited the idea and demonstrated in his life the right to take up arms against princes who abused their trust. The “Apology” was but the preface to the Dutch Declaration of Independence in July, 1581—the political ancestor of ours of 1776.

One who would find out and appraise with exactness the influence of Scotland upon English thought, previous to the eighteenth century,—that is, during the period of the colonization of New England, before the Commonwealth, and later, when American institutions were taking definite form,—will not find much to the point in English books or documents. That Scottish writers and preachers were most influential with English Puritans—the same who settled America—cannot be gainsaid.

Neither can it be denied that Puritanism took on some dark and unlovely forms. Yet we must remember that the work of Claverhouse and the massacres of Scottish Christians by Englishmen242 were taking place within a few score miles of these very people who first left England, to find a permanent home beyond the Atlantic. These English Puritans got their idea of the equality of man and that sense of human dignity, which lies at the foundation of civil liberty, in large measure from the Scots, who had already shown their hatred of oppression and their contempt for differences of rank founded only on the accident of birth.

From such a soil of history and feeling sprang Burns’s inimitable poem, “A man’s a man for a’ that,”—the consummate white flower of the poetry of humanity. It is barely possible that such a poem might have been written in England in the eighteenth century, but, as a matter of fact, it rose out of the heart of a Scotsman. In England the lesson of the equality of man has not, even yet, been fully learned. In America, it is the very foundation on which our Government rests. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Speech is the answering and antiphonic call to the song of Burns. In fact, we cannot understand how any true history of the United States can be written which neglects the study of Scotland’s history.

The Scottish people called those prelates appointed by the London Government, who collected the revenues of their sees and turned them over to their patrons, “tulchan” bishops. These prelates got their nickname in Scotland from calfskins,243 stuffed with straw to make them look like cow’s babies, with which the dairymen deceived refractory cattle,—mothers that refused to give down their milk. In 1578, the General Assembly resolved that bishops should be called by their own names and not by their titles or sees, and that no vacant see should be filled until the next December. In 1580, the whole system was abolished when the General Assembly, meeting at Dundee, resolved that the office of bishop was a mere human invention unwarranted by the Word of God.

The custom of British peers signing only their surnames, or by peerage designations, though no older than the times of the Stuart kings, has been imitated by the prelates even on hotel registers. This fashion of using geographical affiliations with their surnames only had an amusing illustration while we were in Scotland. A certain American bishop from our neighborhood, travelling through Europe, subscribed himself, let us say, as “Theophilus of Peoria.” By accident, this worthy man of God was followed around by a clergyman of Scottish descent, who was not loath, for the sake of a good joke, to imitate the example of so noble a son of the Church. He made his sign manual, let us say, as “Bartholomew of Pony Hollow.”

Happily in these our days the Scots and English, though so different in old and fundamental ideas, have come to work hand in hand together244 in civil government. Even within the fold of salvation, they dwell in Christian charity, ever agreeing to differ—the Episcopalian in Scotland being a “Dissenter” and the Scotch Presbyterian in England the same, each being in his own country a “Churchman,” while the average American is amused at the whole proceeding. With what a hearty roar of merriment a party of us Bostonians, when we saw it, bought, for the fun of the thing, a photograph, of cabinet size, found in the London shop windows, of our neighbor, friend, and fellow Christian, the “Lord” Bishop Phillips Brooks, of Yankee land and Hub fame and beloved by all men. Think of an American shepherd of God’s heritage “lording” it over the flock! Yet we forgave the English printer, who probably never noticed his own joke, or knew how funny he had made himself to Yankees.

A survey of Scottish religious history, such as Melrose, Iona, and St. Andrews suggest, shows that in the first working-out of the human spirit, as it reacted upon form and symbol and developed in submission to discipline and the law of unity, the Scottish churches, of necessity, followed the rule of Rome. The flowering of the human spirit, in the hewn stone of church and abbey, took on forms of beauty akin to those in the south, yet with Gothic luxuriance. The marble blossomed in air as from the native rock, and the artist’s chisel made gardens of beauty. Wonderful and alluring245 was the reality of the mediæval landscape, gemmed with richest architecture and wealthy in sacred edifices made beautiful with color, carving, gems, and the gifts of the devout, the travelled, and the wealthy. The graceful edifices, the abbeys and monasteries, the parish churches, the tithe-barns, the castles and bishops’ seats, made even this far northland a region of charm and romance. Within these sacred walls, what impressive chants and processions, incense and lights, and all that resplendent paraphernalia of robed and costumed ministers of religion, which, whether in pagan or Christian lands, do so appeal to the senses in spectacular worship!

All this mediæval, dramatic variety, so strongly set in contrast to the simplicity of worship to-day, did, in a certain sense, correspond to the contemporaneous glory of civil and military splendor of feudal days. Then the pageant of the titled knight, in shining steel upon his proud steed, leading his clansmen in their brilliant tartans, with claymore and target,—with a rich background of the visible splendor of castles, lords and ladies, in that feudal life which Scott has idealized, glorified, yes, even transfigured in his poetry and romances,—was matched by outward ecclesiastical magnificence; both systems making irresistible appeal to the senses and both being equally far removed from the primitive simplicity of the Master and his disciples.


In a word, Christianity in Scotland wore the garments of the civilization of the age during which it took on its material forms, changing its outward habiliments as its growing spirit entered more deeply into the old, unchangeable truth. In the case of certain young nations, having characteristics that respond to what is first offered them, and in which native traits can make subtle harmony with the imported religion, history marks out but one course—the standards of religion and civilization usually run in parallel lines.


Scotland began the active and aggressive Protestantism of Europe. The people, taught by John Knox, led the nations in taking radical measures to apply the principles of democracy, developed by George Buchanan, to the government of the Christian Church. In a word, the Scottish people, and not their kings or nobles, reformed religion and were leaders in social reconstruction.

John Knox would not have been a Scotsman if he had not, when his mind had been changed through the study of the Bible and the writings of Augustine and Jerome, gone at once to the extreme of opposition. He preached first to the soldiers in the garrisons of St. Andrews. Taken prisoner by the French fleet, he spent nineteen months as a galley slave, often in irons and treated cruelly. Meanwhile Providence shaped events that were to influence America and her future.

It seems strange to us of to-day to think that any one in colonial America should ever have had a fear of sharing a fate like that of John Knox in the French galleys; yet from the time of the first colonies of French Huguenots in Florida,248 down to the assertion, by Jacob Leisler, of the people’s rights in New York, there were tens of thousands among the several nationalities that made up the American people who felt this danger, from the Bourbons of France or Spain, as a quite possible reality. History makes strange somersaults. In seeking our American freedom in the Revolution, we were militarily aided by the former country and were in alliance with the latter.

Knox, the one man able to stand up against Queen Mary, was no amateur statesman or ecclesiastic. Besides his education in the University of Glasgow and the regular training in the priesthood, he had spent five years as preacher, pastor, and pioneer of English Puritanism in England,—at Berwick, at Newcastle, and in London,—where he married Marjorie Bowes and by her had two sons. He was elected one of the six chaplains of Edward VI and was consulted about the Anglican Articles of Religion, and the Revision of the Liturgy. The king offered him the bishopric of Rochester, but he declined for reasons of conscience, not only because he was opposed to the secular business of such offices, but chiefly because in his heart he believed, like the Independents, in what our own Rufus Choate called “a church without a bishop and a state without a king.”

When the English Queen called “Bloody249 Mary” came to the throne and the Reformation seemed like a sinking ship, Knox was the last to leave the deck, yielding only to the urgency of his friends. Except more than half a year in Scotland, he spent five years on the Continent. In Geneva, while sitting at the feet of John Calvin,—that great champion of democracy and of republican government, and the real father of the public school system,—he became pastor of a church of English exiles there, and had a hand in making the Geneva version of the Bible.

He who, whether of the old faith or the new, or an adherent of any church or religion, whether Jewish, Mahometan, Buddhist, or Christian, looks only on that side which agrees or disagrees with his own opinions and cannot see beyond, misses most of the lessons of history. Whether we love or hate John Knox, we cannot shut our eyes to what he did, both for popular education and to give Great Britain linguistic unity. He made English the language of literary and scholarly Scotland. It was his thorough knowledge of the English language and his choice and use of it that regulated Scottish speech and paved the way for the oblivion of the Gaelic. In both the written and the spoken form of the English language, he followed the best standards.

When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, she refused Knox passage through her dominions. He had already published his “First Blast of the250 Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women,” which was aimed at the misgovernment of two females, Bloody Mary of England and Mary Queen of Scots. For this, Elizabeth never forgave him. Those who insist, according to notions that have been set forth in literary form, that Elizabeth was only a male creature, a mere man in disguise, may perhaps find their contention weakened by the treatment of Knox by Queen Bess.

Knox is even less likely to be forgiven in an era of suffragettes and agitation of votes for women. Yet it must be remembered that while Knox was too manly to retract, because he believed what he wrote and retained his opinions on this subject to the last, yet he never published his intended second or third “Blast,” nor ever wished, in any way, to obstruct the path of Elizabeth. Yet at this time he was in possible danger of the headsman’s axe.

In Scotland he married Margaret Stewart, of a noble family, and by her had three daughters. In his native land he spent twelve years devoted to the fierce struggle and triumph of the Reformation. On his deathbed he could say before God and his holy angels that he had never made merchandise of religion, never studied to please men, never indulged his private passions, but faithfully used his talents to build up the Church over which he was called to watch.

Dr. Philip Schaff, the greatest Church historian251 whom America has yet produced and possibly its most cosmopolitan scholar, declares that Knox “was the incarnation of all the noble and rugged energies of his nation and age, and devoted them to the single aim of a thorough reformation in doctrine, worship, and discipline, on the basis of the Word of God. In genius, learning, wealth of ideas, and extent of influence, he was inferior to Luther and Calvin, but in boldness, strength, and purity of character, fully their equal. He was the most heroic man of a heroic race. His fear of God made him fearless of man. Endowed with a fearless and original intellect, he was eminently a man of action, with the pulpit for a throne and the word for his sword.”

Carlyle wrote a monograph on the portraits of John Knox. He severely characterizes that patriarchal, long-bearded, but stolid picture of Knox, which has been reproduced in many books from the Geneva edition of Beza’s “Icones.” In truth, we have often wondered why most of the pictures of the old divines, handed down to us from the days of cheap and rude wood-cutting and black-letter books, were not used to frighten naughty children or placed as scarecrows in cornfields. Some readers will recall what Hawthorne has said about some of these worthy predecessors of ours, who lived during what another son of New England has called “the Glacial Age.”

Carlyle believed that the Somerville portrait,252 “with a sharp, stern face, high forehead, pointed beard, and large white collar was the only probable likeness of the great reformer,” who had “a beautiful and simple, but complete incompatibility with whatever is false, in word or conduct, inexorable contempt and detestation of what in modern speech is called humbug.”... He was “a most clear-cut, hardy, distinct, and effective man; fearing God and without any other fear.”

Knox was a statesman as well as a theologian, possessing rare political sagacity and intuitive knowledge of men. Like St. Paul and Calvin, he was small in person and feeble in body, but irresistible in moral force.

The two sons of Knox, of his first wife, were educated at Cambridge, but died young, without issue. Of his three daughters, one, Mrs. Welch, gained access to the king to ask the royal permission for the return to Scotland of her sick husband, who had been exiled because of his Presbyterian convictions. James at last yielded, on condition that she should persuade him to submit to the bishop; but the lady, lifting up her apron and holding it toward the king, replied, as her father would have done, “Please Your Majesty, I’d rather kep [receive] his head there.”

James VI paid the brave woman’s father a high tribute when he lifted up his hands and thanked God that the three surviving bairns of Knox were all lasses, “for if they had been three253 lads,” said he, “I could never have bruiked [enjoyed] my three kingdoms in peace.”

It is Knox himself who relates the four or five interviews which he had with the graceful and fascinating queen, whose charms and misfortunes will ever excite sympathy and set men, who argue from opposite premises, keeping up their endless controversies about her.

A greater contrast of characters can hardly be paralleled in history. The one intensely Scotch,—the right man in the right place; the other intensely French by education and taste,—the wrong woman in the wrong place. The one in the vigor of manhood, the other in the bloom of youth and beauty. The one terrible in his earnestness, the other gay and frivolous. The one intensely convinced of God’s sovereignty, and therefore of the people’s right and duty to disobey and depose treacherous princes; she thinking him a rude fanatic and an impertinent rebel. He confronting a queen, whom he considered a Jezebel, unmoved by her beauty, her smiles, or her tears; she compelled to listen to one whom she dared not try to destroy.

It seems a very shallow judgment upon Knox, to say that he was a “woman-hater.” On the contrary, he was a lover of good women, was twice married, and wrote letters of comfort to his mother-in-law. The truth is that in matters of sin and punishment, right or wrong, truth or falsehood,254 there was for him neither male nor female. Men must judge John Knox as they must judge any and all who tower above their fellows, remembering that for what he believed to be his supreme duty to God and his Church, he made as full a sacrifice of his own personal consideration as of others. Carlyle declares that no matter how we may explain these interviews with Queen Mary, “not one reader in a thousand could be made to sympathize with or do justice to or in behalf of Knox.” Here, more than elsewhere, Knox proves himself—and here more than anywhere bound to be so—the Hebrew prophet in complete perfection.

One feature in the history of the Scottish conscience profoundly affected American life in its colonial and formative stages—the emphasis laid in the Kirk of Scotland on the National Covenants. They were politico-religious agreements for the maintenance and defence of certain principles and privileges. The idea was copied from Jewish precedent. They originated in that critical period when the sacred rights and convictions of the people were in imminent danger and when the religious and national sentiments were inseparably blended. They were meant to defend the doctrine and polity of the Reformed Kirk against all hostile attempts from within and from without, and the sentiment of those who made them was to die rather than to surrender. One can trace in these historical movements of the Church three periods:255 (1) against the Papacy (1560–1590); (2) against English prelacy (1590–1690); and (3) against patronage, until 1875.

This custom of “covenanting” had a great influence upon those people in Britain who so largely helped to make American freedom, the English Puritans and the New Englanders. To-day the outstanding feature of the independent congregations of several of the largest and most influential bodies of Christians in America is the covenant, which is taken on uniting with the church. The covenant, as the expression of the individual to his Creator and Redeemer, takes the place of the confirmation vows which are customary in the Lutheran and Anglican churches. The “covenant” was the core of the Mayflower Compact and of the Pilgrim Republic.

Dr. Schaff thus draws the religious map of Scotland: “The Puritans overthrew both monarchy and prelacy, but only to be overthrown in turn by the nemesis of history.... Romanism in the Highlands is only an unsubdued remnant of the Middle Ages, largely reinforced by Irish emigrants to the large cities. Episcopacy is an English exotic, for Scotsmen educated in England and associated with the English aristocracy. The body of the people are Presbyterians to the backbone.”

The weak point in the establishment, by Parliament in 1690, of Presbyterianism in Scotland, was the degree of dependence upon the State, which256 kept up a constant irritation, and which, from time to time, led to the new secessions from the Established Kirk, down to the great exodus of the Free Church in 1843. But these were not new departures, but rather, like the sects in Russia, were simply returns to the old landmarks.

We are often amused, when in Scotland, at the large number, some twenty or so, of ways of being a Presbyterian. Yet, looking into these variations of belief, we find that, whereas in other countries these would simply be different schools or parties in the same denomination, they gave rise in Scotland to separate ecclesiastical organizations. Nearly all these differences turn on minor matters, such as psalmody, patronage, and relations to civil government.

The tremendous earnestness, scrupulous conscientiousness, and stubbornness, which clothe these minor questions with the dignity and grandeur of fundamental principles, are highly amusing to an outsider. Yet, in reality, they are but the shadows of a great virtue, for religion in Scotland is something taken quite seriously. Looking more profoundly under the surface of the wavelets of difference between the sects, one finds that the deep-sea currents meet and flow into a unity of resistless movement. Instead of antagonism, there is harmony; and one must acknowledge that, in the main, Scotland is marked for a type of manly, sturdy, God-fearing, solid, persevering type of Christianity.


While Scotsmen are musing on what is deepest in man, the fires of devotion burn brightly and the soul utters itself in song, so that Scotland is not least among the nations in its repertoire of either poetry or music.

“Why are the Scotch so different from the English?” is a question often asked. In my view the roots of the difference are best discerned in a critical study of the Reformation. In Scotland this great movement of the human mind was far more consistent and radical than in England, and it therefore affected all classes more thoroughly. Even more than a knowledge of racial elements does an examination of religion—the deepest thing in man’s soul—explain the peculiarities of Scottish as compared with English life, character, and temperament. England is politically free, but is socially aristocratic. Scotland is democratic in church and society.

These historical facts are worth remembering, especially when we reflect that the Lowlanders were of Teutonic stock, like the English. In England politics controlled religion. In Scotland religion controlled politics. Hence common schools were more general. The leading figure was neither a bishop nor a king, but a plain presbyter, John Knox. In England, Cranmer, who may be called the father of the English Book of Common Prayer, was timid, cautious, and conservative. Knox, the father of the public schools of Scotland, was bold,258 fearless, and uncompromising. It is true that in England royalty was an almost resistless force, while in Scotland it was but the shadow of feudalism. During these times that tried men’s souls, England had a wise queen, both forceful and successful, while Scotland’s sovereign was a woman as remarkable for her blunders as for her beauty and her misfortunes.

Though the Scottish renascence of learning was not so noticeable as in some other countries, yet Scotland, like the Netherlands, had its Erasmus. George Buchanan, educated in Paris, was the tutor in Greek and Latin to Mary Queen of Scots, and her son James. Yet, though learned, Buchanan sympathized with the people. In his famous book, “De Jure Regni apud Scotas,” he did but preach in advance the principles of the American Declaration of Independence, that “governments exist for the sake of the governed.” The paper on which this truth was printed was burned in Oxford during the Restoration period under Charles II, together with those works of John Milton on “Government” which fed the faith of our fathers in the right of the people to govern themselves. Yet no fire has ever yet been kindled which can destroy the truth on which the Constitution of the United States rests. For the intellectual bases of their freedom, Americans owe a debt to Scotland quite as great as to Holland or England.


We have many times and in many countries proved the measure of truth that is contained in the quatrain which William Shenstone wrote upon the window of a hostel:—

“Whoe’er has travell’d life’s dull round,
Where’er his stages may have been,
May sigh to think he still has found
The warmest welcome at an inn.”

The American traveller can also agree in part with Dr. Johnson that “there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn,” yet who, except Leighton, that sunny soul, the principal of Edinburgh University,—who was “not militant enough to please his fierce co-presbyters,”—could say “that if he were to choose a place to die in, it should be an inn”?

Our experiences of Scottish hotels, “temperance,” “hydro,” ordinary, fashionable, rural, rustic, and what not, were almost invariably pleasant, and our hosts were honest in their dealings; yet in the many British homes in which we were guests the welcome was so warm and the care taken of us so thorough, thoughtful, and minute, that Shenstone’s260 verse seems to have in it more verbal music than experimental reality. Leighton’s wish seems strange, indeed, especially in the light of memory, when sickness, apparently nigh unto the bourne of life, proved the depth of Scottish hospitality and friendship.

Yet of all the pictures of either the stately or the modest homes of Scotland, which now hang in the gallery of memory, none exceeds in beauty and charm those of the home at Invergowrie, where we were several times guests. Here was a typical Scottish family of character and culture. Father and mother were in the prime of life, health, and manifold activities. Around them had grown up a family of sons and daughters, from the youngest, a blooming maiden of eighteen, educated in Germany and at Brussels, to the eldest son, who, besides being active in business, was an officer in the local volunteer artillery corps. At night he loved to put on his Highland suit for comfort and enjoyment, as we chatted with his friends on British and American politics. One of these talks, in the billiard-room, was soon after President Cleveland had issued his strenuous proclamation concerning Venezuela, when British feelings were hurt and when a combination of tact, some knowledge of history, and of the political and personal motives of American Presidents was necessary to the guest and peacemaker.

The Invergowrie family honored the American261 in Scotland more than once by inviting, to the dinners given in his honor, the professional gentlemen of the neighborhood and from Dundee.

While in Scotland one must beware of what toes he is likely to tread upon, should he nurse opinions differing from those welcomed by people holding any of the various shades of Presbyterianism, whom he will probably meet anywhere and everywhere. It was in Scotland, above every other country, that we learned what it meant to “mind your p’s,” yet our hope is that we succeeded measurably. The garden parties, in which the young people had their fun and amusement, the five o’clock teas, at which the ladies of the neighborhood dropped in for chat and friendly calls, were as delightful to enjoy as they are now pleasant to recall. Yet, as in the United States the county fair excels all other inventions and facilities for seeing the real, average American, so I valued most, for intimate knowledge of the Scottish populace of all grades and ages, the local exhibitions, “bazaars,” and gatherings.

To be present, as we often were, to see the modern version of “The Cotter’s Saturday Night,”—though in this version we mean a luxurious home, with all the appointments of comfort, culture, and of service,—crowned all delights. This social situation in Scotland is necessarily different from that in America, where, in the cities at least, native-born maidens so rarely take domestic262 service in families. With our composite people, also, there is usually such a disagreement as to the theories of the universe, as taught by priest, parson, and rabbi, that worship of the same God by all, at one time, in the same way, and in one household, seems impossible. The head of the house or the mistress holds usually to one form of dogma or ritual, while the servants have been reared in an atmosphere so very different that family worship, with the “help” joining in or present, is, to say the least, not customary in “the land of the free.” Occasionally British visitors, who imagine that the very mixed people called Americans are descended chiefly from insular instead of continental stock, like the late James Anthony Froude when in New York city, for instance, make disagreeable discoveries. At times, in our democracy the kitchen rules the parlor.

At Invergowrie, as in a score or more of homes on the island in which I have been so often a guest, the two or three maids and perhaps a man-servant came in with their Bibles and read, with the children of the household, the Word which is above every other word—the Father’s message to his children. Where there was but one servant, the same rule usually held. At Invergowrie, besides a chapter of Scripture and a prayer by the father, the high priest of the family, the older son read one of the Psalms in Rous’s metrical version.

The breakfast in Scotland, as in the British263 Isles generally, is one that suits admirably the free-born Briton. It is certainly a festival of freedom for the servants, who are usually apt to be upstairs or attending to other domestic duties, though in a large family, the members of which sit down at the same time, there is usually one maid present to wait upon the table. At several places where I was entertained, even in well-to-do families, the grown sons and daughters or members of the household came and went at their convenience, helping themselves at will from dishes on a sideboard. After the table has been laid by one of the maids, who may or may not remain present, it may be that the elder daughter serves. At Invergowrie there was a large, normal family, consisting of parents and children, with sufficient uniformity of dispositions and habits to make both the breakfast and the dinner time a delightful gathering, with merriment and leisure. The news of the day, the happenings of the neighborhood, the things alike and different as between Scotland and America, the annals of the village fair, or the social chat, or those pleasant nothings that lubricate life, made the moments pass all too rapidly.

That father benign and mother of imposing presence have been long laid to sleep; but in London, and Edinburgh, and Dundee, in the world at large, live yet these sons and daughters of “Bonnie Scotland” who have made the Americans’264 memories of their lovely home in their home land a storehouse of delight.

Besides the private grounds of the home, with their trees and shrubbery, there were walks that afforded plenty of room for rambles. Still farther afield, yet not far away from either the house or the railway station, were ruins of Dargie Church. These touched the imagination and called history to resurrection. It appeared strange to come across the footprints of our old friend St. Winifred, or Boniface, whom we met with in our studies of the Pilgrim Fathers, and in the Netherlands, whose varied and strenuous life, as ecclesiastical politician as well as saint and soldier of the Papacy, quite as much as preacher of the gospel, was one of such amazing activity. At Scrooby in England, at Dokkum in Friesland, in France and in Germany, where I visited the places made historic by his activities, he left enduring marks of his influence and power.

At Invergowrie I meditated among the ruins of the old kirk, in which, or near by, it is said, St. Boniface, the apostle to Germany and a legate from the Church of Rome, in the eighth century preached and planned to neutralize the work of the Irish monks in favor of British uniformity, and by means of conformity with Rome. Here also are still to be seen some singular examples of ancient sculptured stone monuments.

In 1107, Alexander I, son of Margaret of England,265 had a residence at Invergowrie, which, however, he did not long possess, for assassination was so much of a pastime with many and a settled custom with a few in those days, that, after having escaped the dirk only by a narrow margin, he left Invergowrie, built a church at Scone, and then turned over the property he left behind him for its support.

I recall that it was at the last of our visits and entertainment at Invergowrie, which was in 1900, after the ladies had left the dinner table and the gentlemen adjourned to the billiard-room for a smoke, the conversation turned on the next European war, and the possible relations of Great Britain and the United States in the alignment of friends, foes, allies, and neutrals. One prominent Dundeean confessed himself not so much exasperated, as hurt, by President Cleveland’s sharp method of reasserting the Monroe Doctrine, in regard to the boundary of Venezuela. From our town of Ithaca, the two scholars, the ex-president of Cornell University and Professor George Burr, had been summoned to consult archives, rectify boundaries, and help keep the peace. After the American in Scotland had emptied his cruse of oil upon the waters, by explaining some of the ins and outs of American politics, the conversation drifted to regions across the North Sea—the growth of the Kaiser’s navy, the salient features of German politics, and the reports, then very266 direct from the Fatherland, that the “Kultur” of the twentieth century required that “England [Great Britain] needed to be taught a lesson.” The hope was warmly expressed that, in the coming clash,—then looked for to come before many years,—the sympathy, and even aid, if necessary, of “the States” would be forthcoming. With American friendliness and the possession of the coaling-stations of the world, it was believed that the United Kingdom could withstand the coming shock and recover triumphantly.

More than once, at these social conferences with Scotsmen, as well as in the press, I noted the indignation, even anger, expressed, that in all national affairs it was “England” and “the English” that took and received the credit for what belonged to the four nations making up the United Kingdom. The claim was for a more liberal use of “Britain” and “British” in place of “England” and “English.” Both Scotch and Irish, to say nothing of the Welsh, resent the assumption that “England” is the British Empire. In a word, the great need of the language used in the British archipelago is a common name for the federated four countries and for all the subjects of the Crown. Here is an instance of the priceless value of right words. The absence of an acceptable comprehensive term is a real impediment to patriotism and an obstacle to perfect union. The fault is in language, not in the human spirit. The situation267 reinforces the argument that “words are things.”

We Americans can throw no stones. Canadians, Mexicans, the southern republics below Panama, all challenge our right to the monopoly of “America” and “Americans.” Language lags behind events.

When at last, in 1914, the great war did come, and the storm broke, no part of the Empire responded more quickly, generously, fully than Scotland, nor did any courage or sacrifice exceed that of the Scots; yet, not only was the credit usually given to “England,” but even the prayer of hate, made in Germany, chose “England” as its butt. Yet while Scottish valor and sacrifice and Irish courage and free-will offerings of life on the field and waves are unstinted, who can blame the poet, nay, who does not say “amen,” to his lines, in the Glasgow “Herald,” written in the closing days of 1915?

“The ‘English’ navy in its might
Is out upon the main;
The ‘English’ army—some in kilts—
Is at the front again;
The dogs of war are loosened
And gathering to the fray,
But the British ships and British troops—
I wonder where are they?
“When blood has flowed like water,
And ’midst the heaps of slain
Lie stalwart Scot and brawny Celt
Who victory help to gain,
The glory will be ‘England’s,’
Like every other thing;
’Tis ‘England’ this and ‘England’ that—
Flag, navy, army, king.
“Still let Scots do their duty
In Britain’s day of war;
A greater cause than ‘England’s’
Nerves Scottish hearts by far.
For Britain and the empire
We Scotsmen draw the sword,
And not like hired mercenaries,
As if ‘England’ were our lord.”

During this trial of the soul of a nation, in the wager of battle, to decide whether truth is worth living and dying for and whether solemn compacts are as torn paper—we catch a glimpse of a great part of the nation at prayer.

It is in St. Giles’s Church, Edinburgh, that the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland holds its annual sessions and the function is made decidedly spectacular, as is supposed to become a State Church. For two hundred and twenty-five years, the meeting has been held without interruption. In the brilliant procession, the Lord High Chancellor, as representative of the king, takes part, and usually a regiment of the garrison troops adds color and a show of worldly might to the spectacle. Few elements appropriate to the day are omitted, for this is the august assembly of the “Church established by law.” In the spring of 1914, the full strength of the Cameron Highlanders was paraded.


(The Edinburgh Conference of Missions)


But in 1915, after the gates of hell had been fully opened on the Continent, swallowing up, it is said, from one regiment, by death and wounds, no fewer than nine hundred of the Cameron Highlanders, leaving but one hundred unwounded survivors, the meeting was more than usual like a gathering of the ministers of the Prince of Peace. The king’s representative on this occasion, the Earl of Aberdeen, was dressed in a soldier’s service uniform of khaki and the military escort as guard of honor was a corps of cadets. The interior phenomena were equally impressive. Men cared little for debate and turned constantly to prayer and intercession. The high-water mark of interest in the proceedings was on Foreign Mission Day. Then a strong note of optimism appeared regarding that work, in comparison with the depression felt as to other interests of the Church. It was in Edinburgh that the world-wide conference upon missions was held in 1913, whose influence is still felt throughout the whole earth.

Perhaps some thoughts turned to the words of the Almighty to Job, “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.”

Be this as it may, can we not all abide in hope that the ultimate history of “Bonnie Scotland” will follow that of Job—“Also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.”


It is a tradition, rather than a fact, that we Americans—not of Canada—of the United States of America are an English people. The burden of popular and uncritical historiography is responsible for this notion. Because of the overpowering influence of law and language, and because our most direct relations, in war and in peace, have been with Great Britain, it is assumed that we are both an English people and an English nation.

The result has been confusion at home, prolonged misunderstanding in Europe, and injustice to those who have contributed generously their blood and energies to the making and the saving of the nation.

Without the initial and formative elements, now absorbed into our national composite, from the Dutch, Huguenot, German, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and Iroquois, the existence and history of the United States are, to the unprejudiced mind, inconceivable. In this chapter we propose to glance at the debt we owe to Scotland.

In point of time, in the unshackling of the human spirit, and in the attainment of mental and271 spiritual freedom, we have shown how Scotland led Europe; first in revolt against kings and prelates, and then in the initiative of the constructive principles of democracy. The spirit of Scottish history, of which Robert Burns’s poem, “A man’s a man for a’ that,” is the epitome, and the general education of the common people do in themselves alone show how different were and are the Scottish from the English people.

This early Scottish influence, conveyed through both theory and example, was especially potent with the founders of New England, the Puritans in Old England, and the Pilgrims who, in the Dutch Republic, received tremendous reinforcement.

In philosophy—which is greater than armies or navies—to no other land or people were the beginners of the American nation more indebted than to the Scotch. This may be said, not only in the departments of political and ecclesiastical science, but equally so in the domain of pure thought. The Scottish philosophy of realism and common sense dominated largely our infant colleges. It swayed the thinking and shaped the conduct of our public men in bar and pulpit. It was translated into action by the leaders of the Revolution.

So long as the Scots were able to hold their own against the tyrannical Stuart kings of England, and even while they were pouring by the tens of thousands into Ulster, making a new272 nation in northern Ireland,—the old land of the Scots,—there were but few emigrants, from Scotland direct, to the Atlantic Coast colonies. Even these were sporadic and mostly by way of Holland; but when the oppressive economic measures of Parliament ruined the Scotch-Irish industries, there began an emigration of people of Scottish birth or descent which numerically excelled any previous colonial accession to America.

Whereas, the emigration from England to New England, mostly between 1630 and 1650, had added but twenty thousand souls to the northeastern seacoast region, the Scotch-Irish migration, lasting fifty years, added fifty thousand hardy, intelligent, thrifty people who settled in the interior and on the frontiers. They not only served as a barrier against the savages, but they developed the soil of the valleys and built their towns on the highlands and the watersheds.

After the accession of the Hanoverian dynasty and the breaking-up of the old economic and social conditions in Scotland, there poured into America a flood of Scottish islanders, Lowlanders, and Highlanders from Scotland direct, numbering tens of thousands. From this multitude of the Scots and Scotch-Irish, scattering widely and settling mostly on the frontiers and developing virgin land, came forth, at the call of the Continental Congress, one third of the American army of freedom in the Revolution.


Throughout our history none have excelled these lovers of ordered freedom in safeguarding human rights and in illustrating loyalty to moral convictions and public duty. The number of able men of Scottish descent who have filled the highest offices of honor and trust in the learned professions, in pulpit, bar, bench, in chairs of science, or as governors, presidents, officers of the army and navy, and in every line of human achievement, is not excelled, if equalled, by those of any other stock in the American blend of nationalities.

Yet the total value of such an addition to the resources of manhood, for the making of the future American commonwealth, cannot be estimated in mathematics only. In education almost every classical school and colonial college in the South was established by these people. In character and abilities—trained and nourished by education, morals, and religion—the Scotch-Irish were excelled by no other people.

In our land—new birth of the ages—the names of the clans and of individuals who bear Caledonian names do not only call up scenes in Scotland’s history, but do forcibly emphasize our blessings of peace after long strife. One of the earliest Scottish stories I remember was of a Grant and a Macpherson, who met one day upon a log spanning a chasm. As neither would give way to the other, their dirks settled the controversy274 by subtracting two from the population of the Highlands. In our soldier days, it was delightful to see, under the same flag and battling for the same Union, two generals—the ever-victorious James Macpherson and “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. Was it the Inverness-born Macpherson, or the Kentuckian MacClernand, who uttered the prophecy concerning the then closed Mississippi Valley, that “the men of the West would, with their swords, hew their way to the Gulf”? In any event, what would the North have done had all the men of Scottish descent been subtracted from the hosts under Grant? Indeed, what would American history and the reality of to-day be if all the Scotsmen who took part were eliminated from the story? Even in Civil War days it was largely the descendants of Scots who made the Union sentiment in East Tennessee and created West Virginia.

The long discipline of the Scotsmen, resulting in the gifts and graces of Highlander, Lowlander, and Ulsterman, helped grandly on American soil to make the great Republic possible. As we have seen, the tens of thousands of Scots, emigrating beyond the Atlantic, located themselves largely along the line and at the post of danger—among the mountains they loved, on the frontier and the great American highlands, the Appalachian chain, from Maine to Alabama. In the infant days of our nation, when the vital struggle was between275 savagery and civilization, the Scottish-American frontiersman, alert, brave, tenacious, was the man for the era. He would never say “die” nor give up, while life remained in him. His record, both with the Continentals, in the War of Independence, and in the Union army during the conflict between the States, is a shining one. In the Confederate forces, from 1861 to 1865, the one body of men, selected by that best judge of humanity, Professor N. S. Shaler, of Harvard, as embodying the finer human qualities that shine brightest in adversity, was a regiment composed almost wholly of descendants of men of Scottish stock.

Even to hear casually some of these Scottish names, so interesting to us in history, sets ringing the bells of memory, as when Joseph Henry, at Albany, first sent a thrill through miles of wire to make sound—which Morse, without electrical research or profound knowledge, turned into writing, and thus won the world’s glory. Even the commonplace names of neighbors, as our Scottish hosts in Dundee, Invergowrie, or Newport-on-Tay mentioned them offhand, set our imagination on the dance or to rambling to the ends of the earth.

At home, too, do we not meet at school, in business, at garden parties, or in church, girls and boys, friends and acquaintances, or do we not hear of or see eminent men and women who bear these their ancestral names most modestly? Immediately,276 a carillon of associations, usually sweet, with “auld lang syne” sounds, fills the secret chambers of memory. “Cochrane” may bring up a rosy face and the laughing eyes of a pretty Vassar girl; “Macfarland” limns in imagination a schoolmate or army comrade; “Cameron” pictures a fellow of infinite wit; “MacIntosh” suggests eloquence in the pulpit. Others recall the halls of Congress, or the seats of executives, or the council board, business experiences, or clerical scenes, or pageants. It has the sensation almost of a shower bath, or crash towel friction, to see in court or pulpit, at clinic, or amid scenes of gentleness, people who bear ancestral names of once slashing swordsmen, or fellows of old famous for lifting cattle, or for defying the king’s writ, of whom we have read often in poetry and romance. How the centuries soften sharp outlines in the enchantment of distance!

It is invidious, if not mildly dangerous, to single out names. Yet with one we close our sketch of “Bonnie Scotland,” choosing for praise the dead, with no living line of descendants. Hepburn, for example, instead of being associated in our minds with dirks and poison, caste squabbles, or pitched battles,—after which “the turf looked red,”—calls up the mild face of a saintly soul who illustrated the Scripture promise of long life because of lips that refrained from speaking guile and of hands that ever healed. Who that is at home in277 Scottish history but has not infrequently run across the name of Hepburn—which reproduces in its vocables, not only a Scottish streamlet, but a line of mighty men? Who, also, that knows the story of the making of modern Japan but has heard of the beloved physician of Yokohama, known among the native-born as Kun-shi—the sage, super-man, gentleman by eminence, who spent his life in unselfish devotion to his fellow men, as a Christian healer, scholar, lexicographer, and philanthropist. In the midst of fame and fortune won by medical practice in the metropolitan city of New York, James Curtis Hepburn turned his back on these, to uplift in body and spirit the people of Japan, when just opened from hermitage to modern life. In the days of sailing ships and at the seaport where the selvages of two civilizations met, I saw him, day by day for years, with his healing touch dispensing medicine and cheer. He lived to make the dictionary which bridged the linguistic gulf between Orient and Occident, to translate the Eternal Word, to raise up hundreds of effective physicians, and, at ninety, to be honored by His Imperial Majesty the Mikado with a decoration, and to live, in serene old age, a benediction to his neighbors, until within five years of a century. In him I saw America honored and the nobler Scotland incarnated.



Britain, “north of the Tweed.” Picts and various tribes.
55. Julius Cæsar lands in southern Britain.
50. Romans in Britain learn of the Caledonii in the north.
81. Agricola’s frontier between the Firths of Forth and Clyde.
82. The Ninth Legion at the Tay River.
84. Great battle between the Romans and northern natives.
84. Caledonia circumnavigated.
120. Hadrian erects the Roman Wall.
139. Wall of Antoninus Pius.
181. Revolt of the Tribes. Commodus.
208. Uprising of the Tribes. Severus.
210. Roman road made through the Forth Forests.
364. Highland host invades the South.
368. Roman slaughter of the “Scots” (Irish invaders).
406. Revolt of the northern tribes.
410. The Romans leave Britain.280
Migration of the “Scots” (Irish) to the peninsula.
Fergus, first “Scots” Prince.
Entrance of the Germanic, Continental tribes into Britain.
Four kingdoms: Pictish (Pictland); Irish (Dalriada); Brython (Strathclyde); and “English” (Benicia).
563. St. Columba (521–592), Christian missionary at Iona.
573. St. Kentigern at Glasgow.
651. St. Cuthbert at Melrose.
710. The Pict Christians conform to the Roman Church rules.
717. The Columba monks expelled.
730–761. The Pict, Angus MacFergus, paramount.
802. Iona burnt by the Norsemen. Desolate for two hundred years.
802–839. The Scandinavian sea-rovers settle on the northern coasts.
844–860. Kenneth MacAlpine, King of the Picts.
Blending of the Picts and Scots into one people.
904. St. Andrews: religious centre. Stone of Scone.
945. Malcolm acquires northern Strathclyde.
1018. Lothian part of the Celto-Pict realm.
1005–1034. King Malcolm II.
1039–1056. Macbeth flourishes.
Ireland, “the Land of the Scots,” is known by its modern name. “Scotland” refers to northern Britain.281
1057. Macbeth defeated and slain by Malcolm Canmore.
1066. Normans invade England.
1058–1093. Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret.
Great social and political changes in Scotland.
The Celtic Church gives way to Western uniformity.
Dunfermline, capital of the realm.
1124. Alexander, King of Scotland.
Planting of Norman, Flemish, and Anglican colonies on east coast.
Anglo-Norman feudalism in Scotland.
David I, “The Maker of Scotland,” builder of abbeys and bishoprics.
1153–1165. Malcolm the Maiden. Great Clan of Macdonalds formed.
Ascendancy of Anglican influence. Inverness granted a royal charter.
1165–1214. William the Lion. Dundee granted a royal charter.
Chimneys introduced into Scotland.
1249–1286. Alexander III. Treaty with Norway.
Islands incorporated in the Scottish realm.
1292. John Baliol crowned on the Stone of Scone.
1297–1305. Edward of England. Intervention in Scotland.
1298. William Wallace.
1274–1329. Robert the Bruce.
1334–1346. Battle of Bannockburn.
Scotland independent.
Scottish Parliament at Cambuskenneth.282
1333–1361. Struggle with Edward III of England.
King David in Captivity. Ransom. Scheme of Union.
Struggles between Scottish kings and nobles looking to centralization of royal power.
Partisan warfare. The House of Douglas.
1364. Proposal of Union with England rejected by the Scottish Parliament.
1371–1390. Robert II. The Stuart line of kings founded.
Policy of Scotland shaped by Earls Douglas, Mar, March, and Moray.
English invasions of Scotland.
1390–1406. Robert III. Beginning of nearly two centuries of royal minority, regencies, and nobles’ power. Decline of kingly authority. Great power of the nobles.
1395. The Lollards in Scotland: forerunners of the Reformation.
1406–1437. James I. His reign a struggle against anarchy.
Attempts to Anglicize Scotland.
Parliament of Highlanders at Inverness. Several chiefs seized and executed.
1437–1460. James II marries Mary of Gelderland: kills Douglas at Stirling. Earls still powerful.
1460–1488. James III marries Anne of Denmark.
The thistle, the national badge of Scotland.
Witchcraft. King imprisoned by the nobles and assassinated.
1465–1536. Hector Boece writes the “History of Scotland.”283
1488–1513. James IV. Modern History of Scotland begins.
1494. Grey Friars’ Church in Edinburgh built.
Ayala, Spanish envoy and writer on Scotland.
Music and poetry cultivated.
1495. University of Aberdeen founded.
1496. Parliament decrees compulsory education.
University of St. Andrews. Hepburn founds St. Leonard’s College.
1503. Marriage of James IV with Margaret of England, at Holyrood.
First Peace with England since 1332. An era of prosperity.
1505. Royal College of Surgeons founded at Edinburgh.
1507. Printing introduced into Scotland.
1513. Battle of Flodden Field.
Rise of the burgesses and middle classes.
1513–1542. James V: minority. Angus rules. James escapes to France.
1537. James marries Mary of Guise, and on her decease, Mary of Lorraine.
1540. Lordship of the Isles annexed to the Crown.
1542. Invasion of Scotland by Henry VIII.
King and clergy on the Roman, nobles on the Reformed, side.
1542–1587. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
Close relations with France.
1505–1572. John Knox.
Destruction of monasteries and abbeys.
1557. Last Protestant martyr burned.
1565. Queen Mary marries Lord Darnley.
1566. Murder of Rizzio in Holyrood.
1567. Murder of Lord Darnley.284
Marriage of Mary with Bothwell.
1567–1625. George Buchanan, scholar, reformer, author of De Jure Regni apud Scotos.
James VI educated by George Buchanan.
1560. Foundation of the National Church.
First General Assembly of Scotland.
1578. Andrew Melville the Reformer. Second Book of Discipline.
Divine Right of Presbytery taught. Nobles debarred from spoiling the Church.
1587. Execution of Mary Queen of Scots.
1592. James gives Presbyterianism his sanction.
1603. Union of the crowns of England and Scotland.
James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England.
1605. The Border region pacified and civilized.
1606. The Union Jack flag, uniting crosses of St. George and St. Andrew.
1584–1688. Scotland’s fight against prelacy.
1610. King James changes his mind. Attempts assimilation of Church of Scotland with the Anglican Establishment.
1618. The Perth Synod accepts episcopacy.
1600–1649. Charles I asserts the royal prerogative.
1625. Attempts to fasten the liturgy and bishops upon Scotland.
1637. Jenny Geddes. Uproar in St. Giles’s Cathedral.
Signing of the National Covenant.
1638. Episcopacy cast out.285
1645. Covenanters compel Charles I to sign the Covenant.
1649. Charles Stuart, King of England, executed.
1650. Cromwell in Scotland.
1649–1685. Restoration of the Stuarts. Charles II crowned, 1660.
Prelacy established in Scotland. The dragonnades.
Archbishop Sharp assassinated.
Drowning of the martyrs at Wigtown.
John Graham of Claverhouse. Battle of Bothwell Bridge.
1633–1701. James II of Great Britain.
1680. James, Duke of Albany, in Scotland.
1685. Coronation. The Roman ritual in Westminster Abbey.
1688. Landing of William III.
1690. Restoration of the Kirk in Scotland.
1689. Battle of Killiecrankie.
1692. Massacre at Glencoe.
1695–1701. The Darien Scheme.
1686–1758. Allan Ramsay, poet and musician.
1707. Union of Scotland and England.
1715. The Old Pretender.
1725. General Wade opens the Highlands: road-building.
The Black Watch Regiment formed from loyal Highland clans.
1730–1740. Large number of Scottish students in English schools and universities.
1745. “Bonnie Prince Charlie.”
1746. Culloden. Scottish feudalism ended.
Scottish history merged with that of Great Britain.286
1746–1770. The Highlanders assimilated, enrolled in the British army, or emigrate to America.
1751–1773. Robert Fergusson, poet.
1773. Dr. Samuel Johnson visits the Hebrides and Highlands. His book an epoch-maker.
1773. Fingal’s cave first described.
1759–1796. Robert Burns.
1802. The Edinburgh Review started.
1771–1832. Sir Walter Scott: poetry, 1805–1815; prose, 1814–1830.
1822. Caledonian Canal opened.
1795–1881. Thomas Carlyle.
1843. Disruption. Formation of the Free Church of Scotland.
1830. Railway system inaugurated.
1846. Large emigration to America.
1819–1901. Queen Victoria. In the Highlands often, from 1852.
The Highlands become game preserves.
1915. The 225th meeting of the General Assembly in Edinburgh.



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Transcriber’s Notes

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Simple typographical errors were corrected; unbalanced quotation marks were remedied when the change was obvious, and otherwise left unbalanced.

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