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which adjoined his own. He had realized £1000 by his pen. lIe earned £750 in the next two years. His farm-management did not succeed, and when most industrious men are well off, he had to begin the world again, without a sixpence. He left Mount Benger with scarcely a sigh, and retired to his little farm of Altrive. He had contributed largely, in the mean time, to Blackwood, and when introduced as an interlocutor and actor in the Noctes Ambrosianæ, his name became a household word, wherever Maga was read. In one of his autobiographies, he complains, very bitterly, that words and sentiments have been put into his mouth of which he had been greatly ashamed, and which had much pained his friends and relations. On the other hand, however, he was somewhat proud of the position he was made to occupy; and, it may be noticed, though he figures as somewhat fond of plenteous eating and drinking, not one sentiment is attributed to him which a gentleman need hesitate to utter.
That Hogg was not so very indignant at being put into the Noctes may be judged from an anecdote relaied to me by one who knew him well, and loved him dearly as a brother. “One autumn,” he says, “ while Hogg lived at Mount Benger, I spent some days with him. One of said days was a rainy Saturday, during which we were put to our in-door resources. Having ex. hausted songs and stories, puns and punch, we went to the parlor-window, on the look-out for the Peebles carrier, who was expected to bring some bales of literary ware for the Shepherd. The man and his cart appeared in sight, slowly zig-zagging from side to side down the steep hill. After fifteen minutes' delay, which seemed fifty to us, the packages were landed and cut open, and we were deep in books, pamphlets, and newspapers ;—but the gleg eye of the Shepherd singled out Blackwood, just issued for the month. The Noctes were laid open in a moment, and presently Hogg's mirth exploded in a loud guffaw, as he exclaimed, slapping his thigh,‘Gad, he's a droll bitch, that Wulson! an' as wonderfu' as he's droll!' He had alighted upon one of Wilson's raciest personifications of himself, and could not restrain his appreciation of its skill and genius.”
In 1826,“ Queen Hynde,” a poem, on the plan of, but not quite equal in execution to, the Queen's Wake, followed The Jacobite Relics, of which it may be said that, when reviewed by Jeffrey, the one poem selected as original. while doubt was thrown upon others, was “ Donald McGillavry," written by Hogg himself, who immediately spread the fact, far and near, to the discomfiture and horror of the Lord of the Blue and Yellow.
Hogg also wrote, at Mount Benger, a succession of rustic prose tales, under the titles of Three Perils of Man, and Three Perils of Woman, and a dark story of tragic interest, called Confessions of a Justified Sinner. To these followed The Shepherd's Calendar, from Blackwood—a Selection of Songs The Queer Book, and Tales of the Wars of Montrose. He also wrote The
LIFE OF THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
Royal Jubilee, a Masque, suggested by the visit of George IV. to Scotland, in 1822. The year before, when the King was crowned, Scott, who thought that the cause of loyalty and the Shepherd's worldly interests might gain by his attending and writing something for the popular ear of England, offered to take him to London. Lord Sidmouth, then Home Secretary, was written to. He promised select places at Westminster Abbey, during the Coronation, and in Westminster Hall, at the Banquet, (which ended in a scramble !) provided that Hogg and Scott would dine with him, on the following day, with “ the Duke of York, [the King's next brother and heir-presumptive to the Throne,) and a few other Jacobites.” It was expected that Hogg would be delighted at this chance. But the Coronation was fixed for July 19, while the St. Boswell's annual fair was on the 18th, and Hogg preferred the Fair to the Coronation. This, as much as any thing, throws light on the Shep. herd's independent character. Scott was annoyed—as a man of the world might be—but did not abate his regard. At this time, and years later, he vainly endeavored to obtain for Hogg the £100 a year grant, from the Royal Society of Literature, to eminent but not wealthy men of mind.
At the close of 1829, Fraser's Magazine was commenced. To this, Hogg became a constant and well-paid contributor. For some years before and after this time, the Annuals were in full bloom. Hogg wrote for most of them. and must have received a large amount, yearly, from this source. I judge by myself,—I had eight to ten guineas ($40 to $50) for a single poem or prose tale, and suppose that Hogg would be paid higher. I know that, in one year, he wrote for a dozen of these beautiful but fleeting works.
In 1829, was commenced the publication of the first collective series of the Waverley Novels, illustrated by the first artists, and enriched with Scott's own autobiographical prefaces and notes. The sale was unexpectedly great,in the first year it reached 35,000 a month. This success, no doubt, (indeed, he told me so himself,) induced Hogg to try whether a re-issue of his own prose tales, suitably corrected and well illustrated, might not be lucrative to himself also.
Accordingly, bearing in mind that neither prophet nor poet is respected in his own country, Hogg proceeded to London, to do business with publishers there. His reception in society was far beyond his expectation. To crown all, a public dinner was given to hiw in January, 1832, Sir John Malcolm in the chair, at which the only trouble was that the provision of food made was only for half the number of guests. It is pleasant to record that, in the bibacious line, there was no scarcity; so that scores of gentlemen who had to dine on a roll, finished off with champagne-which is rather exciting, on an empty stomach. Soon after, Vol. I. of “ The Altrive Tales” was published by Mr. Cochrane, with illustrations by George Cruikshank. Immediately after, the publisher failed.
Hogg bore the disappointment nobly. It disturbed not his serenity. Lo 1832 and 1833, no new book of his appeared, but he was a large contributor to Magazines and Annuals. In 1834, Mr. Fraser, of London, brought out a volume of his Lay Sermons, which sold largely. He determined then to col. lect his unpublished prose stories and publish them, in three volumes, as “ The Montrose Tales.” Cochrane, who had resumed business, was again his publisher. The work appeared in April, 1835, but Cochrane failed a second time.
In the autumn of 1835, James Hogg had an attack of jaundice, which ended in an affection of the liver, and, after a month's illness, he breathed his last, at Altrive, on November 21, 1835.
His last pseudo appearance in Noctes was in February, 1835, and his conversation, as there reported, is brilliant with wit and eloquence. His dream of pre-existence, ás a Lion, is one of the finest pieces of modern composition.
Hogg has stated, in one of his many autobiographies, (in which he said, “ 1 like to write about myself : in fact, there are few things which I like better ; it is so delightful to call up old reminiscences,") that he had received five letters from Lord Byron, all of which had been lost, and were unpublished, of course. One of these is before me, announcing the birth of Byron's daughter, and is dated March 1st, 1816—only a few weeks before the writer's final retreat from England. As, however, I am writing the Life of Hogg, and not of Byron, it will be more germain to my present purpose to give an original letter from Hogg, written only seven 'weeks before his death.
It is addressed to myself, in reply to a letter requesting him to contribute to one of the American Magazines in which I then interested myself.. .
ALTRIVE LAKE, September 5th, 1833. My Dear Sir:
I find my literary correspondence with the United States so completely uncertain, that I have resolved to drop it altogether. I learned from many Rources, that my brethren beyond the Atlantic were sincere friends and admirers of mine, and I tried to prop several of their infant periodicals; but I never get could learn if any of my pieces reached their destination, and I am convinced the half of them never did. But, on the other hand, there are nine or ten vols. of mine, which have been out of print these twenty years. We have a new set of readers altogether, since that period. Why may not your friends copy a tale out of these, every month, and just say, “ By The Ettrick Shepherd,” without saying how acquired | Every one of them will pass for origi. nals. I can only at this instant mention a few of those exploded works :“Dramas," two vols., anon. “The Three Perils of Man," three vols. “The Three Perils of Woman," three vols. “The Confessions of a Justified Sinner," anon. I should think that these might be had from libraries, and many more, both of poetry and prose.. I am, dear sir, yours most respectfully,
JAMES HOGG. 'To DR. SHELTON MACKENZIE.
LIKE OF THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD. This letter bears a large seal which shows a harp encompassed with a laurel wreath, and surmounted with the words, “ Naturæ Donum,""*
It was expected that Professor Wilson would have written the life of Hogy, whom he knew very intimately, and for whom he had the warmest regard. This expectation was never realized. Lockhart could have written a suitable viography of the Ettrick Shepherd, but has shown so much pique at certain Recollections of Sir Walter Scott, contributed by Hogg to Fraser's Magazine, that it was well for the poet's reputation, perhaps, that the task did not fall into the hands of him of the “ Quarterly.” There are a couple of notices written in 1819, (in Peter's Letters to his Kinsfolk,) brief, indeed, but very characteristic, seemingly written con amore by Lockhart, which I shall introduce here.. Describing a dinner at Mr. Gillies' cottage at Hawthornden, (near Edinburgh,) he says : “ The effect of the champagne on the Ettrick Shepherd, in particular, was quite delightful : accustomed, for the most part, to the ruder, stimulus of whisky-toddy, this ethereal inspiration seemed to shoot life with subtler energy through a thousand less explored meanderings of his body and his brain.“ Among other good things he contributed to our amusement, music was one. Before the ladies left the diningroom, he insisted upon having a violin put into his hands, and really pro Juced a measure of sweet sounds, quite beyond what I should have expected from the workmanship of such horny fingers. It seems, however, he had long been accustomed to minister in this way at the fairs and penny-weddings in Ettrick, and we on the present occasion were well content to be no more fastidious than the Shepherd's old rustic admirers. He appears to be in very great favor among the ladies—and I thought some of the younger and more courtly poets in the company exhibited some symptoms of envying him a little of his copious compliment of smiles- and well they might.”
Afterwards, speaking of the post-prandial amusements, Lockhart says: * In the conversation of this large party, and over the prime ChateauMargout of Mr. Gillies, the time passed most agreeably till ten o'clock, at which hour we transferred ourselves to the drawing-room, and began dancing reels in a most clamorous and joyous manner, to the music sometimes of the Shepherd's fiddle-sometimes of the harpsichord. On these latter occasions the Shepherd himself mingled in the maze with the best of us, and indeed displayed no insignificant remains of that light-heeled vigor, which enabled him in his youth (ere yet he had found nobler means of distinction) to bear the bell on all occasions from the runners and leapers of Ettrick-dale. The great beauty of this man's deportment, to my mind, lies in the unaffected simplicity with which he retains, in many respects, the external manners and appearance of his original station-blending all, however, with a softness and manly courtesy, derived, perhaps, in the main, rather from the natural delicacy of
Burns's aeal bore the impress of a lark, and the legend, “Wood notes wild.”—M.
his mind and temperament, than from the influen e of :.y thing e las learned by mixing more larg ly in the world. He is truly a most inte i estiug person—his conversation is quite picturesque and characteristic, both in ito subjects and its expression_his good-humor is unalterable, and his discernment most acute and he bears himself with a happy mixture of modesty and confidence, such as well becomes a man of genius, who has been born and bred in poverty, and who is still far from being rich, but who has forfeited, at no moment of his career, his claim to the noble consciousness of perfect inde pendence."
There is another little bit too good to be omitted. Lockhart says: “As for the Ettrick Shepherd, I am told that when Spurzheim was here, he never had his paws off him—and some cranioscopical young ladies of Edinburgh are said still to practise in the same way upon the good-humored owner of so many fine bumps. I hear Mathews has borrowed for his · At Home,' a saying which originally belongs to the Ettrick Shepherd. When Dr. Spurzheim (or, as the Northern Reviewers very improperly christened him in the routs of Edinburgh, Dousterswivel)—when the Doctor first began to feel out the marks of genius in the cranium of the pastoral poet, it was with some little difficulty that Mr. Hogg could be made to understand the drift of his curiosity. After hearing the Doctor's own story—“My dear fellow,' quoth the Shepherd, “if a few knots and swells make a skull of genius, I've seen mony a saft chield get a swapping organization in five minutes at Selkirk tryst.'"
In person Hogg was robust rather than stout. His stature was lofty, his carriage erect, his manners by no means polished, and
“Upon his speech there hung
The accents of the mountain tongue."
His nature was kindly, and he was not deficient in natural courtesy. When first he met L. E. L., whose poetry he had somewhat ridiculed in a magazine article, he took her hand and apologetically said, “ I did na think you had been sae bonny.” Never again breathed he word against her. When intro driced to Wilkie, the painter, whose works he greatly admired he said, vers earnestly, “I thauk (1.d that ye are sae young a man."