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lisle is a pretty town, and has an old castle of some celebrity in English history, which interested me very much, it being the first one I had seen. I found the soldiers very civil and obliging in showing it to me. A great wall encloses the buildings, through which there is an entrance by a massive gate.
As I went up the narrow stairs and into the arched room formerly occupied by the Warder, I was in imagination carried back to the days of other years, when war was considered the most ennobling occupation. But as I looked from those rugged turrets on the beautiful fields, all carpeted with green, by which it was surrounded, I felt how much higher and holier were the pursuits of peace.
I left Carlisle on the top of a stage coach, having secured a seat beside the driver, that I might see the country. I found him an intelligent Scotchman, and very communicative. We drove on with tremendous speed, over a road nearly as smooth as a parlor floor. So beautiful a country I had never seen before. In every direction, all was under the highest cultivation. The scenery was enchanting—the beautiful meadows; the sprouting grain ; the luxuriant hedges; the fine road ; the massy stone bridges ; all were magnificent. I have seen much of the grand in nature, but I never before saw so much of the beautiful. The twenty-one miles seemed to be one universal garden—not a dull, monotonous flat—but intermingled with hill and dale—an ever varied, and yet ever beautiful panorama.
By the side of the road flows the sweet river Esk, a most romantic stream, which we passed over four times during the journey. When about half way, we crossed the border into Scotland, and after an absence of eighteen years, I stood once more on my native soil. My enthusiasm was unbounded. I felt in full force the poet's language :
“ Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
This is my own, my native land ?
From wandering on a foreign strand ?”
What poetry and romance—what deeds of daring and of skill—what hallowed memories of martyr suffering and religious zeal, are associated with the history of Scotland. The Scotch are pre-eminently a religious people—the religion of the Bible forms a part as it were of their national character. The same spirit of decision in behalf of right which in the seventeenth century caused the fathers to resist both popery and prelacy to the death, in the nineteenth, inspired their undegenerate children to give up houses and lands, all the luxuries and in many cases the necessaries of life, for the sake of the gospel. In 1666 their fathers worshiped the Supreme Jehovah amid the mountain fastnesses ; while in 1846, they, their children's children, having been refused sites for their churches by the landed proprietors, worship in the same purity and with the same fervent spirit by the wayside. A people of such undaunted courage can never be movedsuffering serves but to harden—persecution to render firm—and death to establish the living more firmly in the faith.
It may be that her rivers are romantic streams unfitted for the purposes of navigation and trade, but her sons have overleaped the limits of their ocean girt isle, and are to be found in every clime, and among every people. Her merchant princes may be found on the Thames and the Ganges-on the Missouri and the Hudson—in Canton and Cairo
-Buenos Ayres and Berlin-New Orleans and New York.
While heroic deeds are the theme of romance and song, Wallace and Bruce, Douglas and Graham, will not be forgotten. While the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church, Scotland will be a religious country. The beautiful creations of the genius of Scott, Wilson, and Pollok, Burns, Thomson, and Campbell, will continue to find enthusiastic admirers, as long as the noble inspirations of poetry and romance have power to touch the heart, and gratify the cultivated taste. While the highest strains of eloquence and the simplest teachings of religious truth are held in estimation, a Boston and an Erskine, a Willison and a Chalmers, will be reverenced and read.
To be a Scotchman is considered presumptive evidence in any man's favor—and their national character is frequently put to the test, for Scotchmen are everywhere. A very curious anecdote illustrative of this is told of Sir Alexander Keith, one of Scotland's noble sons. Sir Alexander, during a resi. dence of some length at the court of St. Petersburg, so engaged the confidence of the Emperor, that he sent him as envoy extraordinary, on a mission to Turkey, to settle some matter of dispute between Russia and that nation. When he arrived at Constantinople, he was ushered into the presence of the Turkish nobleman, with all the formality, pomp, and style so peculiar to that people. Interpreters acted between them, and in a short time the whole matter was amicably settled. The conference ended, Keith was about to withdraw, when the Turkish nobleman sprang forward and seized him by the hand, exclaiming in the genuine vernacular—"A mon, I'm raal glad to see ye, I ken’d ye fine when ye was a callant, we baith cum frae ae place, for my faither was bellman o' the lang toon o' Kirkaldy."
I was now on the scene of the border feuds. We passed Branxholm Hall, celebrated as the scene of the “ Lay of the Last Minstrel,” one tower of which remains as perfect as it was hundreds of years ago. Near this is another tower, now in ruins, once the stronghold of the renowned “ Johnny Armstrong," celebrated in border song and story.
We passed Netherby Hall, the residence of Sir James Graham—an estate celebrated in the writings of Sir Walter Scott. Farther on a little way, we saw the place where stood for a time a large tent