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.
in it, but the name never left him,—­he was Boggy to his grave.  The territorial appellation used to be reckoned complimentary, and more respectful than Mr. or any higher title to which the individual might be entitled.  I recollect, in my brother’s time, at Fasque, his showing off some of his home stock to Mr. Williamson, the Aberdeen butcher.  They came to a fine stot, and Sir Alexander said, with some appearance of boast, “I was offered twenty guineas for that ox.”  “Indeed, Fasque,” said Williamson, “ye should hae steekit your neive upo’ that.”

Sir Walter Scott had marked in his diary a territorial greeting of two proprietors which had amused him much.  The laird of Kilspindie had met the laird of Tannachy-Tulloch, and the following compliments passed between them:—­“Yer maist obedient hummil servant, Tannachy-Tulloch.”  To which the reply was, “Yer nain man, Kilspindie.”

In proportion as we advance towards the Highland district this custom of distinguishing clans or races, and marking them out according to the district they occupied, became more apparent.  There was the Glengarry country, the Fraser country, the Gordon country, etc. etc.  These names carried also with them certain moral features as characteristic of each division.  Hence the following anecdote:—­The morning litany of an old laird of Cultoquhey, when he took his morning draught at the cauld well, was in these terms:—­“Frae the ire o’ the Drummonds, the pride o’ the Graemes, the greed o’ the Campbells, and the wind o’ the Murrays, guid Lord deliver us.”

The Duke of Athole, having learned that Cultoquhey was in the habit of mentioning his Grace’s family in such uncomplimentary terms, invited the humorist to Dunkeld, for the purpose of giving him a hint to desist from the reference.  After dinner, the Duke asked his guest what were the precise terms in which he was in the habit of alluding to his powerful neighbours.  Cultoquhey repeated his liturgy without a moment’s hesitation.  “I recommend you,” said his Grace, looking very angry, “in future to omit my name from your morning devotions.”  All he got from Cultoquhey was, “Thank ye, my Lord Duke,” taking off his glass with the utmost sangfroid.


[49] Stoor is, Scottice, dust in motion, and has no English synonym; oor is hour.  Sir Walter Scott is said to have advised an artist, in painting a battle, not to deal with details, but to get up a good stoor:  then put in an arm and a sword here and there, and leave all the rest to the imagination of the spectator.

[50] Reach me a leg of that turkey.

[51] Clearing ashes out of the bars of the grate.

[52] Mentally confused.  Muddy when applied to water.

[53] Preface to 4th edition of Mystifications, by Dr. John Brown.

[54] Worse.

[55] Where.

[56] Lord Cockburn’s Memorials, p. 58.

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