Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character eBook

Edward Bannerman Ramsay
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character.
“O yes, the Doctor is at home, or the Doctor is in the study, or the Doctor is out, as the case might be.”  The man at once acquiesced in the propriety of this observance on account of his master’s newly-acquired dignity.  But he quietly added, “Ay, ay, minister; an’ if ony are speirs for me, the servants maun be sure to say, Oh, the Doctor’s in the stable, or the Doctor’s in the kitchen, or the Doctor’s in the garden or the field.”  “What do you mean, Dauvid?” exclaimed his astonished master; “what can you have to do with Doctor?” “Weel, ye see, sir,” said David, looking very knowing, “when ye got your degree, I thought that as I had saved a little money, I couldna lay it out better, as being betheral of the church, than tak out a degree to mysell.”  The story bears upon the practice, whether a real or a supposed one; and we may fairly say that under such principals as Shairp, Tulloch, Campbell, Barclay, who now adorn the Scottish universities, we have a guarantee that such reports must continue to be Reminiscence and traditional only.


[42] Bear.

[43] Rev. R. Scott of Cranwell.

[44] I have derived some information from a curious book, “Kay’s Portraits,” 2 vols.  The work is scarcely known in England, and is becoming rare in Scotland.  “Nothing can be more valuable in the way of engraved portraits than these representations of the distinguished men who adorned Edinburgh in the latter part of the eighteenth century.”—­Chambers.

[45] Origin and Progress of Language.

[46] Douglas’ Peerage, vol. i. p. 22.

[47] The version I have given of this amusing burlesque was revised by the late Mr. Pagan, Cupar-Fife, and corrected from his own manuscript copy, which he had procured from authentic sources about forty years ago.

[48] His Lordship usually pronounced I am—­Aum.



We come next to Reminiscences which are chiefly connected with peculiarities of our Scottish LANGUAGE, whether contained in words or in expressions.  I am quite aware that the difference between the anecdotes belonging to this division and to the last division termed “Wit and Humour” is very indistinct, and must, in fact, in many cases, be quite arbitrary.  Much of what we enjoy most in Scottish stories is not on account of wit properly so called, in the speaker, but I should say rather from the odd and unexpected view which is taken of some matter, or from the quaint and original turn of the expression made use of, or from the simple and matter-of-fact reference made to circumstances which are unusual.  I shall not, therefore, be careful to preserve any strict line of separation between this division and the next.  Each is conversant with what is amusing and with what is Scotch.  What we have now chiefly to illustrate by suitable anecdotes is peculiarities of Scottish language—­its various humorous turns and odd expressions.

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Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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