Lessons in Loving A Laird (Knaves of Scotland)
It just didn't work for me. Nov 10, Ada rated it liked it. This book had a decent story but I found only the beginning and end of the book held my attention. Everything else really felt like filler and I couldn't wait to skim throughout and make my way to the end. The story starts out with a flashback 12 years ago when the MacAslan family was slaughtered by members of their clan. The 3 youngest children - 8 year old twins Shona and Willow and their 5 year old brother Camran - were spared but branded with an "S", the mark of a slave and taken away from th This book had a decent story but I found only the beginning and end of the book held my attention.
The 3 youngest children - 8 year old twins Shona and Willow and their 5 year old brother Camran - were spared but branded with an "S", the mark of a slave and taken away from their home. Moving ahead to "present" time, Shona and Willow were working for the Hume family after having escaped their captures years ago and becoming parish orphans. They are soon taken to work for the new Laird of Ballencrieff when the Humes are unable to pay their back taxes to the estate.
Soon Shona and Connall the Laird start to fall in love as she sasses him and basically doesn't act like any real servant would and he's smitten. Throw in the crisis - Connall's younger wastrel of a brother, Stewart, gets a young titled lady pregnant and her wicked mother, the Duchess, demands that in restitution, Connall marry her.
After some rather tedious passages in where we find out Stewart is really in love with Victoria and vice versa, the real drama ensues. Turns out that what we read in the prologue isn't as it seems. Connall soons decides loving Shona is worth angering the Duchess and off he goes to help Shona rescue Willow when a dastardly highlander kidnaps her. Seems that the slaughter of her family was orchestrated by this highlander all in hopes of getting their hands on her family's land.
Laird of Scotland - video dailymotion
This was my first book by Michelle Marcos and while I started out the story thinking what a great storyline, I was soon bored by the filler. Not to mention, I found out this is actually book 2, the first book featuring one of the brothers we are told died in the opening passages. Yet in no way are they connected, do we hear mention of the brother that is alive.
Instead, we only hear that Shona and Willow can't wait to be free so they can search for their younger brother Camran who was separated from them after the slaughter. I hope to find another book soon to see if this was just a one off in regards to the story. Mar 07, Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing. Do all of our scars heal or are we destined to carry them with us forever? Life was never easy for Shona MacAslan but she is so close to gaining her freedom and living life on her own with her twin sister.
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Shona has watched everything she loved be taken away and left her with horrible memories and an even worse future destined to be fulfilled by her enemies. Conal is making decisions that will alter Do all of our scars heal or are we destined to carry them with us forever? Shona is never one to let opportunity pass her by she immediately starts a formulating a plan that will set her and her twin sister free.
Conal left a flourishing medical career to take over these lands and make them something his son will be proud to inherit. There is obligation but also the need to forget the past and the life his late wife left him to recover from. There has to be another way around this but right now all Shona sees is the life she wanted drifting away and the past coming back to haunt her in ways she never expected. Michelle Marcos has completely blown me away with the magnificence of this book.
Every reason I read historical romance is provided between the pages of this story. There are fascinating characters, plots that overlay the subplots, and a romance that will make you weep with joy it is so beautiful. May 08, Joelle rated it it was amazing. My Thoughts First time author read for me and I throughly enjoyed this book.
Of late I have read some real crappers and this was such a nice and funny refreshing read. It is really just a cute love story Lessons in Loving a Laird Michelle Marcos From award-winning romance author, Michelle Marcos, comes the second installment in the "Knaves of Scotland" series. It is really just a cute love story between a Highland Laird who is also a lord and a young indentured servant.
Shona and her twin sister go to the live with the Laird to work in lieu of back taxes owed by there current masters. Shona and her sister have lived a hard life being abandoned and having there whole family slaughter before the eyes has not been easy for this couple of young girls and also being branded with a traitor brand hasn't helped there chances in life Conall is now a Laird but grew up being a doctor so he is so different from the regular Lords. Shona and Conall have many heated embraces as he learns there is more to her she is very smart ,out spoken , caring both for her sister and her new lords tenants and she has a big heart when it comes to saving animals.
These two develop a slow budding romance while teaching each others what the each knows best, he medicine to her and she how to run and estate and take care of your tenants and crops and implementing ways to generate money. But, once there romance is to come out in the open a setback happens and it looks like the pair will part. But, these two are destined to be together they just have to find a way back to each other. Loved this book and glad I picked it up in the library.
Shona made this whole book come alive you could not help but love her. She is so many things funny ,humorous and yet loyal, protective and a survivor where many would have given up. The book was filled with a mystery, treachery and so much more. Hooked from page one! What a fun read. This is my first book by Michelle Marcos but, won't be the last.. Feb 22, Romancing the Book rated it really liked it Shelves: historical , romance. Through a series of events they find themselves living with a decent family as glorified servants.
They are marked for the world to see, in more ways than one. In fact, her outspokenness is what gets her and her sister jobs at the new estate, with Conall, an English Laird as their master. She has an instant dislike and attraction for Conall. Jealousy flairs until Shona soon proves her worth at estate management which forces Conall to spend endless hours with her. Conall is instantly attracted to Shona because of her spirit, but soon their attraction turns into something much more dangerous.
I liked the flow of their love story. It was almost like the author made it so that the two characters were able to court before the feelings were made known, which as a reader, I really appreciated. If I was to complain about one thing in this book, it would probably be that the female lead became somewhat tiresome. I get why Shona is the way she is but in the end I felt like her character was almost too overbearing. All in all it was a wonderful romantic story with very little swearing and mild sensuality. Jul 08, Virginia Campbell rated it really liked it. As young girls, Shona MacAslan and her twin sister Willow were forced to watch the murder of their parents and older brothers and the kidnapping of their younger brother Camran.
A bloody clan feud robs them of their home and happiness and propels them into a life of indentured servitude. To show their lowly class station, the backs of their hands are branded with a snake symbol, and they are given the Author Michelle Marcos offers a very strong and feisty heroine in "Lessons in Loving a Laird". To show their lowly class station, the backs of their hands are branded with a snake symbol, and they are given the new last name of "Slayter"--meaning that they are knaves.
Shona and her sister manage to escape a cruel master and find a measure of safety working as parish apprentices. Shona dreams of the day when she and Willow reach their twenty-first birthday and gain their freedom. When the newly entitled Laird of Ballencrieff returns to claim his lands, he demands that all past due rents be paid. The family with whom the sisters are apprenticed are far behind in their dues, and Shona speaks up in their defense, drawing the interest of the Laird. Connall MacEwan's life had taken many unexpected twists and turns to find him face to face with the fiery Shona, but he agrees to take on Shona as hand for the animals, and Willow as the caregiver for his young son.
A widower, Connall soon becomes irresistibly attracted to Shona's fierce beauty. Her spirit and intelligence captivate him, and she soon becomes his valued advisor about all matters regarding the estate and the ruling of the people and the lands. Shona's heart is stolen by the kind, handsome Laird, and she fears that theirs is a love that can never be. Connall wants more than stolen moments with Shona, but just as he is set to claim Shona as his own, his brother's indiscretion threatens to change all of their lives forever. Can the love and passion between the Laird and the lovely apprentice overcome the forces which challenge their future?
Where there is love, there is always a way. Aug 16, Philisha Stephens rated it it was ok Shelves: romance. I'm not quite sure what to say with this one. The Presbyterian covenant with God required them to defend that power against any interloper. Here was a vision of politics unlike any other at the time. George Buchanan turned it into a full-fledged doctrine of popular sovereignty, the first in Europe. Buchanan came from Stirlingshire in central Scotland, at a time when it was still much like the Highlands in its culture and character—in fact, Buchanan grew up speaking both Gaelic and Scots.
He studied at the University of St. Andrews and then at the University of Paris alongside other future giants of the Reformation such as John Calvin and Ignatius Loyola, the later founder of the Jesuits. As a Greek and Latin scholar, Buchanan had few peers. His greatest achievement, however, was his book on the nature of political authority, titled The Law of Government Among the Scots, published in In it Buchanan asserted that all political authority ultimately belonged to the people, who came together to elect someone, whether a king or a body of magistrates, to manage their affairs.
The people were always more powerful than the rulers they created; they were free to remove them at will. And Buchanan went further. Here was a powerful formula for democracy: government of the people and for the people. In the crude circumstances of the late sixteenth century, however, it was also an invitation to anarchy. The dream of the people as sovereign died. But it would leave its trace within the church itself, in the system of synods peculiar to every parish and province in Scotland.
It was the single most democratic system of church government in Europe. Not surprisingly, a self-governing Kirk coexisted uneasily with monarchs such as the Stuarts, who claimed to rule by divine right. To the Presbyterian, it was still God and His people, not kings, who ruled.
Preacher Andrew Melville once even told James VI that Scotland was two realms, not one, and that James as king of the first was also a subject of the second, which belonged to Jesus Christ. During his almost fifty-year reign, James VI who after the death of Elizabeth Tudor in also became King James I of England had the good sense not to force the issue.
His son Charles I did not. When Charles finally did try to break the Presbyterian Church to his will, including forcing it to accept the Anglican Book of Common Prayer in its church services, he set off this explosive democratic mixture. On Sunday, July 23, , the dean of St. Giles in Edinburgh opened his morning service with the new royal prayer book, as King Charles had ordered. As soon as he started, women in the congregation began to shout insults; others threw stools and with loud protests stormed out of the church.
The riots that followed over the next several months forced the Bishop of Edinburgh to flee for his life. Inspired by the resistance, ministers, nobles, and ordinary citizens gathered on the last week of February of to sign a National Convenant. The National Covenant was more than just a petition or a declaration of faith. It was the Presbyterian version of democracy in action. Bands of signatories carried copies from Edinburgh to neighboring towns and then the rest of the country. Thousands flocked to sign, both men and women, young and old, rich and poor.
Ministers led their congregations to sign en masse. The covenanting drive even spread to the Scottish settlements in Ulster, where hundreds signed despite the desperate efforts of royal officials to stop them. The Scots had forced on Charles a war he neither wanted nor could afford. A new political ideal, that of government with the consent of the governed, had arrived.
But it took its original impulse from the Scottish Covenanters. Yet we should remember that the Covenanters were inspired less by their love of democracy than by their hatred of Satan. As with the rules of the Kirk, choice never entered into the matter. Those who failed to sign were often thrown into the public pillory or forced to leave town. The men and women who drove the Covenant forward were religious zealots, prepared to destroy anyone—king, bishop, or halfhearted neighbor—who stood in their way. Yet that same fanaticism had two faces.
On one side, as the Aikenhead case would later show, it was the enemy of individual liberty and thought. For that reason, later Scots of the Enlightenment despised it, and singled it out as the single greatest threat to a free society— much as intellectuals despise and fear the so-called religious right today. But on the other side, it was also the enemy of public tyranny. It empowered individuals to defy authority when it crossed a certain line. David Hume, who himself suffered from persecution by the Kirk, saw this quality in the Covenanters of The effect of this egalitarian democratic spirit on Scottish culture would be profound and long-lasting.
When Englishman Gilbert Burnet visited western Scotland in the s, he had never seen anything like it. Even in Burns, the religious skeptic and radical, we can still hear the Covenanters speaking across the centuries. Burns also understood how important education can be in shaping the character of the inner self.
And here, too, Scottish Presbyterianism managed to achieve something that had profound consequences for the future. The reason behind all this was obvious to any Presbyterian: boys and girls must know how to read Holy Scripture. Eighty years later Parliament passed the first statute to this effect. The act renewed and enforced it. The result was that within a generation nearly every parish in Scotland had some sort of school and a regular teacher. The education must have been fairly rudimentary in some places: the fundamentals of reading and grammar and nothing more.
But it was available, and it was, at least in theory if not always in practice, free. Historians are still arguing about how many Scots really learned to read and write as a result of the School Act. In this, as in so many things, the Highlands lagged far behind. By one estimate male literacy stood at around 55 percent by ; by it may have stood as high as 75 percent, compared with only 53 percent in England. It would not be until the s that the English would finally catch up with their northern neighbors.
This meant that there was an audience not only for the Bible but for other books as well. As the barriers of religious censorship eventually came down in the eighteenth century, the result was a literary explosion. Intellectuals such as Adam Smith and David Hume wrote not just for other intellectuals but for a genuine reading public.
A good example is Innerpeffray, near Crieff in Perthshire. But he also saw to it that young Robert received an education worthy of any English gentleman, including studying Latin and French. For the future poet, it opened up an incredible new world.
Of course not. But his story does illustrate how early on reading and writing became embedded in Scottish society, even in rural areas. In Edinburgh the book trade was an important part of the local economy. There were six publishing houses in , for a city with a population of only sixty thousand. By there were sixteen. The one at Currie brought two hundred new inhabitants into the village when it opened. Bookselling, printing, the paper and ink industries—a whole range of businesses to service a large literate public.
An official national survey in showed that out of a total population of 1. All this meant that despite its relative poverty and small population, Scottish culture had a built-in bias toward reading, learning, and education in general. In no other European country did education count for so much, or enjoy so broad a base. As we shall see later, they would play a key role in creating modern Scotland. But their roots ran solid and deep. Glasgow and St. Andrews, in particular, enjoyed a long tradition that reached back to the Middle Ages. Andrews his students there included George Buchanan and John Knox.
Andrews, they never became remote ivory towers or intellectual backwaters, as eighteenth-century Oxford and Cambridge did. Despite their small size, Scottish universities were international centers of learning, and drew students from across Protestant Europe as well as England and Ulster since only Episcopalians could attend Oxford or Cambridge or Trinity College in Dublin.
Thanks to the swelling tide of literacy, these universities became in effect centers of popular education as well as more academic learning.
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Between and the college student population of Scotland trebled. Knowledge of Latin was usually enough to get you in, and many students learned this at their parish schools. A university education was also relatively cheap. At Glasgow the tuition fee of five pounds a year was one-tenth the cost of going to Cambridge or Oxford. A father in trade, commerce, or the professions was more typical than a working- or laboring-class one; but even this contrasted with the socially top-heavy landed gentry and aristocratic student bodies in the English universities.
She died at Hampstead, on the 23d of February , at the very advanced age of eighty-nine, and a few weeks after the publication of her whole Works in a collected form.
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The songs of Joanna Baillie immediately obtained an honourable place in the minstrelsy of her native kingdom. They are the simple and graceful effusions of a heart passionately influenced by the melodies of the "land of the heath and the thistle," and animated by those warm affections so peculiarly nurtured in the region of "the mountain and the flood. Several of the songs were written for Thomson's "Melodies," and "The Harp of Caledonia," a collection of songs published at Glasgow in , in three vols.
Though the author of a single popular song, William Dudgeon is entitled to a place among the modern contributors to the Caledonian minstrelsy. Of his personal history, only a very few facts have been recovered. He was the son of a farmer in East-Lothian, and himself rented an extensive farm at Preston, in Berwickshire. During his border tour in May , the poet Burns met him at Berrywell, the residence of the father of his friend Mr Robert Ainslie, who acted as land-steward on the estate of Lord Douglas in the Merse.
In his journal, Burns has thus recorded his impression of the meeting:—"A Mr Dudgeon, a poet at times, a worthy, remarkable character, natural penetration, a great deal of information, some genius, and extreme modesty. William Reid was born at Glasgow on the 10th of April His father, a baker by trade, was enabled to give him a good education at the school of his native city. At an early age he was apprenticed to Messrs Dunlop and Wilson, booksellers; and in the year , along with another enterprising individual, he commenced a bookselling establishment, under the firm of "Brash and Reid.
The poet Burns cultivated the society of Mr Reid, who proved a warm friend, as he was an ardent admirer, of the Ayrshire bard. He was an enthusiastic patron of literature, was fond of social humour, and a zealous promoter of the interests of Scottish song. Between and , the firm published in numbers, at one penny each, "Poetry, Original and Selected," which extended to four volumes. To this publication, both Mr Reid, and his partner, Mr Brash, made some original contributions.
The work is now very scarce, and is accounted valuable by collectors. Mr Reid died at Glasgow, on the 29th of November , leaving a widow and a family. A miscellaneous writer, a poet, and a musical composer, Alexander Campbell first saw the light at Tombea, on the banks of Loch Lubnaig, in Perthshire. He was born in , and received such education as his parents could afford him, which was not very ample, at the parish school of Callander. An early taste for music induced him to proceed to Edinburgh, there to cultivate a systematic acquaintance with the art.
Acquiring a knowledge of the science under the celebrated Tenducci and others, he became himself a teacher of the harpsichord and of vocal music, in the metropolis. As an upholder of Jacobitism, when it was scarcely to be dreaded as a political offence, he officiated as organist in a non-juring chapel in the vicinity of Nicolson Street; and while so employed had the good fortune to form the acquaintance of Burns, who was pleased to discover in an individual entertaining similar state sentiments with himself, an enthusiastic devotion to national melody and song.
Mr Campbell was twice married; his second wife was the widow of a Highland gentleman, and he was induced to hope that his condition might thus be permanently improved. He therefore relinquished his original [Pg ] vocation, and commenced the study of physic, with the view of obtaining an appointment as surgeon in the public service; but his sanguine hopes proved abortive, and, to complete his mortification, his wife left him in Edinburgh, and sought a retreat in the Highlands.
He again procured some employment as a teacher of music; and about the year , one of his expedients was to give lessons in drawing. He was a man of a fervent spirit, and possessed of talents, which, if they had been adequately cultivated, and more concentrated, might have enabled him to attain considerable distinction; but, apparently aiming at the reputation of universal genius, he alternately cultivated the study of music, poetry, painting, and physic.
At a more recent period, Sir Walter Scott found him occasional employment in transcribing manuscripts; and during the unhappy remainder of his life he had to struggle with many difficulties. One of his publications bears the title of "Odes and Miscellaneous Poems, by a Student of Medicine in the University of Edinburgh," Edinburgh, , 4to.
These lucubrations, which attracted no share of public attention, were followed by "The Guinea Note, a Poem, by Timothy Twig, Esquire," Edinburgh, , 4to. This work, though written in a rambling style, contains a small proportion of useful materials very unskilfully digested. The work likewise contains "Songs of the [Pg ] Lowlands," a selection of some of the more interesting specimens of the older minstrelsy.
In he published "A Tour from Edinburgh through various parts of North Britain," in two volumes quarto, illustrated with engravings from sketches executed by himself. This work met with a favourable reception, and has been regarded as the most successful of his literary efforts. In he sought distinction as a poet by giving to the world "The Grampians Desolate," a long poem, in one volume octavo.
In this production he essays "to call the attention of good men, wherever dispersed throughout our island, to the manifold and great evils arising from the introduction of that system which has within these last forty years spread among the Grampians and Western Isles, and is the leading cause of a depopulation that threatens to extirpate the ancient race of the inhabitants of those districts. Yet his industry was unremitted, and his researches have proved serviceable to other writers who have followed him on the same themes.
Only a few [Pg ] lyrical pieces proceeded from his pen; these were first published in "Albyn's Anthology. Mr Campbell died of apoplexy on the 15th of May , after a life much chequered by misfortune. He left various MSS. The poems in this collection, though bearing marks of sufficient elaboration, could not be recommended for publication.
Mr Campbell was understood to be a contributor to The Ghost , a forgotten periodical, which ran a short career in the year It was published in Edinburgh twice a week, and reached the forty-sixth number; the first having appeared on the 25th of April, the last on the 16th of November. The preface contains a characteristic account of the compiler, who described himself as "a priest of the old Scots Episcopal Church, and last of the non-jurant clergy in Scotland. Helen D'Arcy Cranstoun, the second wife of the celebrated Professor Stewart, is entitled to a more ample notice in a work on Modern Scottish Song than the limited materials at our command enable us to supply.
She was the third daughter of the Hon. George Cranstoun, youngest son of William, fifth Lord Cranstoun. She was born in the year , and became the wife of Professor Dugald Stewart on the 26th July Having survived her husband ten years, she died at Warriston House, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, on the 28th of July The following pieces from the pen of the accomplished author are replete with simple beauty and exquisite tenderness. The author of the celebrated "American Ornithology" is entitled to an honourable commemoration as one of the minstrels of his native land.
Alexander Wilson was born at Paisley on the 6th of July His father had for some time carried on a small trade as a distiller; but the son was destined by his parents for the clerical profession, in the National Church—a scheme which was frustrated by the death of his mother in his tenth year, leaving a large family of children to the sole care of his father.
He had, however, considerably profited by the instruction already received at school; and having derived from his mother a taste for music and a relish for books, he invoked the muse in solitude, and improved his mind by miscellaneous reading. His father contracted a second marriage when Alexander had reached his thirteenth year; and it became necessary that he should prepare himself for entering upon some handicraft employment.
He became an apprentice to his brother-in-law, William Duncan, a weaver in his native town; and on completing his indenture, he wrought as a journeyman, during the three following years, in the towns of Paisley, Lochwinnoch, and Queensferry. But the occupation of weaving, which had from the first been [Pg ] unsuitable to his tastes, growing altogether irksome, he determined to relinquish it for a vocation which, if in some respects scarcely more desirable, afforded him ample means of gratifying his natural desire of becoming familiar with the topography of his native country.
He provided himself with a pack, as a pedlar, and in this capacity, in company with his brother-in-law, continued for three years to lead a wandering life. His devotedness to verse-making had continued unabated from boyhood; he had written verses at the loom, and had become an enthusiastic votary of the muse during his peregrinations with his pack. He was now in his twenty-third year; and with the buoyancy of ardent youth, he thought of offering to the public a volume of his poems by subscription.
In this attempt he was not successful; nor would any bookseller listen to proposals of publishing the lucubrations of an obscure pedlar. In , he at length contrived to print his poems at Paisley, on his own account, in the hope of being able to dispose of them along with his other wares. But this attempt was not more successful than his original scheme, so that he was compelled to return to his father's house at Lochwinnoch, and resume the obnoxious shuttle.
His aspirations for poetical distinction were not, however, subdued; he heard of the institution of the Forum , a debating society established in Edinburgh by some literary aspirants, and learning, in , that an early subject of discussion was the comparative merits of Ramsay and Fergusson as Scottish poets, he prepared to take a share in the competition.
By doubling his hours of labour at the loom, he procured the means of defraying his travelling expenses; and, arriving in time for the debate in the Forum , he repeated a poem which he had prepared, entitled the "Laurel Disputed," in [Pg ] which he gave the preference to Fergusson. He remained several weeks in Edinburgh, and printed his poem. He now formed the acquaintance of Robert Burns, who testified his esteem for him both as a man and a poet. In , he published anonymously his popular ballad of "Watty and Meg," which he had the satisfaction to find regarded as worthy of the Ayrshire Bard.
The star of the poet was now promising to be in the ascendant, but an untoward event ensued. In the ardent enthusiasm of his temperament, he was induced to espouse in verse the cause of the Paisley hand-loom operatives in a dispute with their employers, and to satirise in strong invective a person of irreproachable reputation. For this offence he was prosecuted before the sheriff, who sentenced him to be imprisoned for a few days, and publicly to burn his own poem in the front of the jail.
This satire is entitled "The Shark; or, Long Mills detected. He resolved to emigrate to America; and, contriving by four months' extra labour, and living on a shilling weekly, to earn his passage-money, he sailed from Portpatrick to Belfast, and from thence to Newcastle, in the State of Delaware, where he arrived on the 14th July During the voyage he had slept on deck, and when he landed, his finances consisted only of [Pg ] a few shillings; yet, with a cheerful heart, he walked to Philadelphia, a distance of thirty-three miles, with only his fowling-piece on his shoulder.
He shot a red-headed woodpecker by the way,—an omen of his future pursuits, for hitherto he had devoted no attention to the study of ornithology. He was first employed by a copperplate-printer in Philadelphia, but quitted this occupation for the loom, at which he worked about a year in Philadelphia, and at Shepherdstown, in Virginia. In , he traversed a large portion of the State of New Jersey as a pedlar, keeping a journal,—a practice which he had followed during his wandering life in Scotland.
He now adopted the profession of a schoolmaster, and was successively employed in this vocation at Frankford, in Pennsylvania, at Milestown, and at Bloomfield, in New Jersey. In preparing himself for the instruction of others, he essentially extended his own acquaintance with classical learning, and mathematical science; and by occasional employment as a land-surveyor, he somewhat improved his finances.
In , he accepted the appointment of teacher in a seminary in Kingsessing, on the river Schuylkill, about four miles from Philadelphia,—a situation which, though attended with limited emolument, proved the first step in his path to eminence. He was within a short distance of the residence of William Bartram, the great American naturalist, with whom he became intimately acquainted; he also formed the friendship of Alexander Lawson, an emigrant engraver, who initiated him in the art of etching, colouring, and engraving. Discovering an aptitude in the accurate delineation of birds, he was led to the study of ornithology; with which he became so much interested, that he projected a work descriptive, with drawings, of all the birds [Pg ] of the Middle States, and even of the Union.
Along with a nephew and another friend, Wilson made a pedestrian tour to the Falls of Niagara, in October , and on his return published in the "Portfolio" a poetical narrative of his journey, entitled "The Foresters,"—a production surpassing his previous efforts, and containing some sublime apostrophes. But his energies were now chiefly devoted to the accomplishment of the grand design he had contemplated.
Disappointed in obtaining the co-operation of his friend Mr Lawson, who was alarmed at the extent of his projected adventure, and likewise frustrated in obtaining pecuniary assistance from the President Jefferson, on which he had some reason to calculate, he persevered in his attempts himself, drawing, etching, and colouring the requisite illustrations.
In , he was employed as assistant-editor of a new edition of Rees' Cyclopedia, by Mr Samuel Bradford, bookseller in Philadelphia, who rewarded his services with a liberal salary, and undertook, at his own risk, the publication of his "Ornithology. These journeys were attended with a success scarcely adequate to the privations which were experienced in their prosecution; but the "Ornithology" otherwise obtained a wide circulation, and, excelling in point of illustration every production that had yet appeared in America, gained for the author universal commendation.
In January , his second volume appeared, and in a [Pg ] month after he proceeded to Pittsburg, and from thence, in a small skiff, made a solitary voyage down the Ohio, a distance of nearly six hundred miles. During this lonely and venturous journey he experienced relaxation in the composition of a poem, which afterwards appeared under the title of "The Pilgrim. But the sedulous attention requisite in the preparation of the plates of the eighth volume, and the effect of a severe cold, caught in rashly throwing himself into a river to swim in pursuit of a rare bird, brought on him a fatal dysentery, which carried him off, on the 23d of August , in his forty-eighth year.
He was interred in the cemetery of the Swedish church, Southwark, Philadelphia, where a plain marble monument has been erected to his memory. A ninth volume was added to the "Ornithology" by Mr George Ord, an intimate friend of the deceased naturalist; and three supplementary volumes have been published, in folio, by Charles Lucien Bonaparte, uncle of the present Emperor of the French. Amidst his extraordinary deserts as a naturalist, the merits of Alexander Wilson as a poet have been somewhat overlooked.
His poetry, it may be remarked, though unambitious of ornament, is bold and vigorous in style, and, when devoted to satire, is keen and vehement. The ballad of "Watty and Meg," though exception may be taken to the moral, is an admirable picture of human nature, and one of the most graphic narratives of the "taming of a shrew" in the language.
Allan Cunningham writes: "It has been excelled by none in lively, graphic fidelity of touch: whatever was present to his eye and manifest to his ear, he could [Pg ] paint with a life and a humour which Burns seems alone to excel. Before his departure for America, he waited on every one whom he conceived he had offended by his juvenile escapades, and begged their forgiveness; and he did not hesitate to reprove Burns for the levity too apparent in some of his poems.
To his aged father, who survived till the year , he sent remittances of money as often as he could afford; and at much inconvenience and pecuniary sacrifice, he established the family of his brother-in-law on a farm in the States. He was sober even to abstinence; and was guided in all his transactions by correct Christian principles.
In person, he was remarkably handsome; his countenance was intelligent, and his eye sparkling. He never attained riches, but few Scotsmen have left more splendid memorials of their indomitable perseverance. Carolina Oliphant was born in the old mansion of Gask, in the county of Perth, on the 16th of July She was the third daughter and fifth child of Laurence Oliphant of Gask, who had espoused his cousin Margaret Robertson, a daughter of Duncan Robertson of Struan, and his wife a daughter of the fourth Lord Nairn.
The Oliphants of Gask were cadets of the formerly noble house of Oliphant; whose ancestor, Sir William Oliphant of Aberdalgie, a puissant knight, acquired distinction in the beginning of the fourteenth century by defending the Castle of Stirling against a formidable siege by the first Edward. The family of Gask were devoted Jacobites; the paternal grandfather of Carolina Oliphant had attended Prince Charles Edward as aid-de-camp during his disastrous campaign of , and his spouse had indicated her sympathy in his cause by cutting out a lock of his hair on the occasion of his accepting the hospitality of the family mansion.
The portion of hair is preserved at Gask; and Carolina Oliphant, in her song, "The Auld House," has thus celebrated the gentle deed of her progenitor:—. The estate of Gask escaped forfeiture, but the father of Carolina did not renounce the Jacobite sentiments of his ancestors. He named the subject of this memoir Carolina, in honour of Prince Charles Edward; and his prevailing topic of conversation was the reiterated expression of his hope that "the king would get his ain.
In her youth, Carolina Oliphant was singularly beautiful, and was known in her native district by the poetical designation of "The Flower of Strathearn. Descended by her mother from a family which, in one instance,  at least, had afforded some evidence of poetical talents, and possessed of a correct musical ear, she very early composed verses for her favourite melodies.
To the development of her native genius, her juvenile condition abundantly contributed: the locality of her [Pg ] birthplace, rich in landscape scenery, and associated with family traditions and legends of curious and chivalric adventure, might have been sufficient to promote, in a mind less fertile than her own, sentiments of poesy. In the application of her talents she was influenced by another incentive. A loose ribaldry tainted the songs and ballads which circulated among the peasantry, and she was convinced that the diffusion of a more wholesome minstrelsy would essentially elevate the moral tone of the community.
Thus, while still young, she commenced to purify the older melodies, and to compose new songs, which were ultimately destined to occupy an ample share of the national heart. The occasion of an agricultural dinner in the neighbourhood afforded her a fitting opportunity of making trial of her success in the good work which she had begun. To the president of the meeting she sent, anonymously, her verses entitled "The Ploughman;" and the production being publicly read, was received with warm approbation, and was speedily put to music.
She was thus encouraged to proceed in her self-imposed task; and to this early period of her life may be ascribed some of her best lyrics. Carolina Oliphant had many suitors for her hand: she gave a preference to William Murray Nairn, her maternal cousin, who had been Baron Nairn, barring the attainder of the title on account of the Jacobitism of the last Baron.
The marriage was celebrated in June By Act of Parliament, on the 17th June , the attainder of [Pg ] the family was removed, the title of Baron being conferred on Major Nairn. This measure is reported to have been passed on the strong recommendation of George IV. The song is certainly one of the best apologies for Jacobitism.
Lessons in Loving A Laird
On the 9th of July , Lady Nairn was bereaved of her husband, to whom she had proved an affectionate wife. Her care had for several years been assiduously bestowed on the proper rearing of her only child William, who, being born in , had reached his twenty-second year when he succeeded to the title on the death of his father. This young nobleman warmly reciprocated his mother's affectionate devotedness; and, making her the associate of his manhood, proved a source of much comfort to her in her bereavement.
In , he resolved, in her society, to visit the Continent, in the hope of being recruited by change of climate from an attack of influenza caught in the spring of that year. But the change did not avail; he was seized with a violent cold at Brussels, which, after an illness of six weeks, proved fatal. He died in that city on the 7th of December Deprived both of her husband and her only child, a young nobleman of so much promise, and of singular Christian worth, Lady Nairn, though submitting to the mysterious dispensations with becoming resignation, did not regain her wonted buoyancy of spirit.
Old age was rapidly approaching,—those years in which the words of the inspired sage, "I have no pleasure in them," are too frequently called forth by the pressure of human infirmities. But this amiable lady did not sink [Pg ] under the load of affliction and of years: she mourned in hope, and wept in faith.
While the afflictions which had mingled with her cup of blessings tended to prevent her lingering too intently on the past,  the remembrance of a life devoted to deeds of piety and virtue was a solace greater than any other earthly object could impart, leading her to hail the future with sentiments of joyful anticipation. During the last years of her life, unfettered by worldly ties, she devoted all her energies to the service of Heaven, and to the advancement of Christian truth.
Her beautiful ode, "Would you be young again? After the important era of her marriage, she seems to have relinquished her literary ardour. But in the year , Mr Robert Purdie, an enterprising music-seller in Edinburgh, having resolved to publish a series of the more approved national songs, made application to several ladies celebrated for their musical skill, with the view of obtaining their assistance in the arrangement of the melodies.
To these ladies was known the secret of Lady Nairn's devotedness to Scottish song, enjoying as they did her literary correspondence and private intimacy; and in consenting to aid the publisher in his undertaking, they calculated on contributions from their accomplished friend. They had formed a correct estimate: Lady Nairn, whose extreme diffidence had hitherto proved a barrier to the fulfilment of the best wishes of her heart, in effecting the reformation of [Pg ] the national minstrelsy, consented to transmit pieces for insertion, on the express condition that her name and rank, and every circumstance connected with her history, should be kept in profound secrecy.
The condition was carefully observed; so that, although the publication of "The Scottish Minstrel" extended over three years, and she had several personal interviews and much correspondence with the publisher and his editor, Mr R. Smith, both these individuals remained ignorant of her real name. She had assumed the signature, "B. The nom de guerre of the two B. The new collection of minstrelsy, unexceptionable as it was in the words attached to all the airs, commanded a wide circulation, and excited general attention.
The original contributions were especially commended, and some of them were forthwith sung by professed vocalists in the principal towns. Much speculation arose respecting the authorship, and various conjectures were supported, each with plausible arguments, by the public journalists. In these circumstances, Lady Nairn expe [Pg ] rienced painful alarm, lest, by any inadvertence on the part of her friends, the origin of her songs should be traced. While the publication of the "Minstrel" was proceeding, her correspondents received repeated injunctions to adopt every caution in preserving her incognita ; she was even desirous that her sex might not be made known.
I cannot help, in some degree, undervaluing beforehand what is said to be a feminine production. It was in the full belief that "Mrs Bogan" was her real name, that the following compliment was paid to Lady Nairn by Messrs Purdie and R. Smith, in the advertisement to the last volume of the work:—"In particular, the editors would have felt happy in being permitted to enumerate the many original and beautiful verses that adorn their pages, for which they are indebted to the author of the much-admired song, 'The Land o' the Leal;' but they fear to wound a delicacy which shrinks from all observation.
Subsequent to the appearance of "The Scottish Minstrel," Lady Nairn did not publish any lyrics; and she was eminently successful in preserving her incognita. No critic ventured to identify her as the celebrated "B. While she was resident in Paris, in , she writes to an intimate friend in Edinburgh on this subject:—"A [Pg ] Scottish lady here, Lady——, with whom I never met in Scotland, is so good as, among perfect strangers, to denounce me as the origin of 'The Land o' the Leal!
The songs published in her youth had been given to others; but, as in the case of Lady Anne Barnard, these assignments caused her no uneasiness. She experienced much gratification in finding her simple minstrelsy supplanting the coarse and demoralising rhymes of a former period; and this mental satisfaction she preferred to fame. The philanthropic efforts of Lady Nairn were not limited to the purification of the national minstrelsy; her benevolence extended towards the support of every institution likely to promote the temporal comforts, or advance the spiritual interests of her countrymen.
Her contributions to the public charities were ample, and she. In an address delivered at Edinburgh, on the 29th of December , Dr Chalmers, referring to the exertions which had been made for the supply of religious instruction in the district of the West Port of Edinburgh, made the following remarks regarding Lady Nairn, who was then recently deceased:—"Let me speak now as to the countenance we have received.
I am now at liberty to mention a very noble benefaction which I received about a year ago. Inquiry was made at me by a lady, mentioning that she had a sum at her disposal, and that she wished to apply it to charitable purposes; and she [Pg ] wanted me to enumerate a list of charitable objects, in proportion to the estimate I had of their value. Accordingly, I furnished her with a scale of about five or six charitable objects. She is now dead; she is now in her grave, and her works do follow her. When she gave me this noble benefaction, she laid me under strict injunctions of secrecy, and, accordingly, I did not mention her name to any person; but after she was dead, I begged of her nearest heir that I might be allowed to proclaim it, because I thought that her example, so worthy to be followed, might influence others in imitating her; and I am happy to say that I am now at liberty to state that it was Lady Nairn of Perthshire.
After the death of her son, and till within two years of her own death, Lady Nairn resided chiefly on the Continent, and frequently in Paris. Her health had for several years been considerably impaired, and latterly she had recourse to a wheeled chair. In the mansion of Gask, on the 27th of October , she gently sunk into her rest, at the advanced age of seventy-nine years.
Some years subsequent to this event, it occurred to the relatives and literary friends of the deceased Baroness that [Pg ] as there could no longer be any reason for retaining her incognita , full justice should be done to her memory by the publication of a collected edition of her works. This scheme was partially executed in an elegant folio, entitled "Lays from Strathearn: by Carolina, Baroness Nairn.
In this work, of which a new edition will speedily be published by Messrs Paterson, music-sellers, Edinburgh, are contained seventy songs, but the larger proportion of the author's lyrics still remain in MS. From her representatives we have received permission to select her best lyrics for the present work, and to insert several pieces hitherto unpublished.
Of the lays which we have selected, several are new versions to old airs; the majority, though unknown as the compositions of Lady Nairn, are already familiar in the drawing-room and the cottage. For winning simplicity, graceful expression, and exquisite pathos, her compositions are especially remarkable; but when her muse prompts to humour, the laugh is sprightly and overpowering.
In society, Lady Nairn was reserved and unassuming. Her countenance, naturally beautiful, wore, in her mature years, a somewhat pensive cast; and the characteristic by which she was known consisted in her enthusiastic love of music. It may be added, that she was fond of the fine arts, and was skilled in the use of the pencil. Air — "Here 's a health to ane I lo'e weel. Having acquired the elements of classical knowledge under Mr Tate, the parochial schoolmaster, he was sent to the University of Edinburgh, where he pursued study with unflinching assiduity and success.
On completing his academical studies, he was licensed as a probationer by the Presbytery of Peebles. His first professional employment was as an assistant to the minister of Traquair, a parish bordering on that of Innerleithen; and on the death of the incumbent, Mr Nicol succeeded to the living. On the 4th of November , he was ordained to the ministerial office; and on the 25th of the same month and year, he espoused Agnes Walker, a native of Glasgow, and the sister of his immediate predecessor, who had for a considerable period possessed a warm place in his affections, and been the heroine of his poetical reveries.
He had for some time been in the habit of communicating verses to the Edinburgh Magazine ; and he afterwards published a collection of "Poems, chiefly in the Scottish Dialect," Edinburgh, , 2 vols. This publication, which was well received, contains some lyrical effusions that entitle the author to a respectable rank among the modern cultivators of national poetry; yet it is to be regretted that a deep admiration of Burns has led him into an imitation, somewhat servile, of that immortal bard. At Traquair Mr Nicol continued to devote himself to mental improvement. He read extensively; and writing upon the subject of his studies was his daily habit.
He was never robust, being affected with a chronic disorder of the stomach; and when sickness prevented him, as occasionally happened, from writing in a sitting posture, he would for hours together have devoted himself to composition in a standing position. Of his prose writings, which were numerous, the greater number still remain in MS. Mr Nicol was much respected for his sound discernment in matters of business, as well as for his benevolent disposition.
Every dispute in the vicinity was submitted to his adjudication, and his counsel checked all differences in the district. He was regularly consulted as a physician, for he had studied medicine at the University. From his own medicine chest he dispensed gratuitously to the indigent sick; and without fee he vaccinated all the children of the neighbourhood who were brought to him. After a short illness, he died on the 5th of November Of a family of three sons and three daughters, the eldest son predeceased him; two sons and two daughters still survive.
The elder son, who bears his father's Christian name, is Professor of Civil and Natural History in Marischal College, Aberdeen, and is well known as a geologist. Mrs Nicol survived her husband till the 19th of March James Montgomery, the spiritual character of whose writings has gained him the honourable designation of the Christian Poet, was born at Irvine, in the county of Ayr, on the 4th of November His father, John Montgomery, was a missionary of the Moravian Brethren, and in this capacity came to Irvine from Ireland, only a few days before the birth of James, his eldest son.
In his fourth year he returned to Ireland with his parents, and received the rudiments of his education from the village schoolmaster of Grace Hill, a settlement of the Moravian Brethren in the county of Antrim. In October , in his seventh year, he was placed by his father in the seminary of the Moravian settlement of Fulneck, near Leeds; and on the departure of his parents to the West Indies, in , he was committed to the care of the Brethren, with the view of his being trained for their Church.