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pursue it, as my future profession; nay, that I had, indeed, so determined. After this observation, the conversation became reserved on both sides, and I embraced the first opportunity of taking my leave of the castle and its inhabitants; to which, and to whom, I never returned more. I had the pleasure of conversing once only afterwards with lady Gibson, with whom was her amiable daughter, whom I saw then for the first and the last time. Her dancing master's insinuating hops prevailed over the dull tragic step, and I trust, or at least hope, that they are happy.
It was here my good fortune to become acquainted with Mr. Home, the author of Douglas; being about to play the character of Young Norval, he invited me to breakfast, and pass the fore part of the day with him; I did so: after breakfast we retired to his study, where he favoured me with lessons, which I have since had the opportunity of communicating to others.
As I shall hereafter have an occasion to mention this amiable and persecuted character, whose only fault was the production of one of the best tragedies the stage can boast, I will trust to the reader's placid acquiescence in a few remarks:
The tragedy of Douglas was first represented at the theatre in the Canongate, Edinburgh, on the fourteenth of December, 1756—and the finances of the house being then in a distressed situation, afforded it atemporary, yet considerable relief. “ It will, forever,” says Mr. Jackson, “ be a monument much to the honour of the poetic genius, as well as a lasting credit to the theatre at large.”
The characters were thus originally filled:
Lady Randolph, Mrs. Ward
Soon after this I had the honour of dining in company with the celebrated James Bruce, Esq. of Kinnaird, the persevering traveller to the source of the Nile. The result of an afternoon passed in very grati. fying moments to me, was a most friendly invitation to spend a few days with him at Kinnaird, his family mansion. I accepted it with avidity and rapture for the time I had to spare between my performances at Edinburgh, and those which Mr. Jackson persuaded me to repeat in Glasgow; for I had by this time conceived a sincere friendship for Mr. Jackson, and was inclined to yield to his suggestion that I, having made some stir in Edinburgh, should be guilty of an indelicacy if I did not perform in Glasgow. Mr. Jackson had behaved to me in the most honourable manner: he had offered me remuneration for my trouble and expenses incurred in Edinburgh, which I had declined; he had offered me a considerable pecuniary emolument for my playing at Glasgow, but I was determined, that so long as my private purse was inexhausted, I would continue with him as an amateur. I accordingly agreed to perform as such at Glasgow. In the mean time I spent so many fascinating hours at Kinnaird, that, but for a promise made, I should have wished to decline any further performances. I went to Glasgow and performed. There I met with many old acquaintances, particularly in the army. Among other officers who were pleased to notice me, in spite of my being on the stage, was lord George
Lenox (nephew of the duke of Richmond) who afterwards was engaged in a duel with the duke of York. He invited me to dine with him at the mess, and be. came, and afterwards on all occasions proved himself, a sincere friend. The influence of Mr. Bruce, who lavished kindness on me, was here felt by me with the warmest sensations of gratitude—having introduced me to the principal professors of that excellent establishment, the college, he invited me to spend the remainder of the summer at Ardwhillary, a place in the Highlands, bordering on Loch Ludnoe; to which he usually retired, if retirement it could be called, where persons of the most refined literature and accomplishments at tended him. I arrived there soon after himself. On my arrival, I saw him dressed completely in the Highland habit, standing at the door of his house, and I think I never witnessed a more commanding figure: He was at least six feet two inches in height, with a proportionate contour; his figure evidently evinced a life spent in salubrious exercise and temperance; while the dignity, with the politeness of the most accomplished gentle. man, had been preserved, through all the wilds and deserts he had passed, to ornament his person. Of his learning and his talents I shall speak hereafter. Having received me with the most cordial welcome, while I was admiring the dress he wore, he asked me if I would do him a singular favour. Of course, I replied, that I should be happy in so doing. “ Then,” said he, “ will you condescend to wear the Highland dress while you remain here? if so, and you will permit me to present you with the Kinnaird plaid,* my taylor
• The lairds of Scotland have their plaids of distinct colours and workmanship, and they are named agreeably to the title of
shall make it up for you immediately.” I consented, and in a day or two found myself completely equipped; but not being accustomed to this mode of dress, I felt a little awkward at first, and it was not till Mr. Bruce consented to a small adoption of the English costume that I could feel reconciled to it. Here I was introduced to a family, whose head was then petitioning for the dukedom of, alleging that he was the heir; and that although his ancestor, during the former reigns had been attached, he never had been attainted, and that consequently the natural heir had a just claim to the dukedom and the property annexed to it. The pa. rents had a daughter about eighteen years of age, of an eccentric, interesting, but sometimes severe character. She was occasionally every thing inviting, occasionally every thing repulsive; but always more inclined to serious, instructive conversation, than to volatile amusements. She was one of those girls who having been praised, and deservedly so, for intrinsic sense, think all inferior amusements beneath their dignity, and seemed reluctantly to join in every pleasurable party proposed. One evening, according to our usual custom after supper, a new species of literary amusement was to be proposed, and the person whose turn it was to designate the nature of it, was at a loss, and remained so for some time; the company all the while attending in silent expectation, one of them observed that we were all “ amort;" then, said Mr. Bruce, let us amuse ourselves in wri. ting epitaphs, each on the other by his side. The project was agreed to, and pens, ink and paper having been provided, we began. I shall mention one production only, that of Mr. Bruce, who wrote the following on the young lady above alluded to, then sitting by his side.--Her name was Elizabeth--the lady I believe is still living:
the estate on which the wearers live-there is a peculiarity in each, distinguishing it from another'sm-during my whole stay in Scotland, I never saw two plaids belonging to different families alike.
Queen Bessy the less;
She cared not a fig,
For cotillion or jig,
She was wise, she was gude, *
Sometimes sulky and rude;
If the devil might take her,
In turns with her Maker,
One of our many amusements at Ardwhillary was, fishing in the beautiful lake before the house; in this amusement Mr. Bruce seemed warmly to partake. I have frequently seen him up to the neck in water hauling the seine with as much strenuousness as a common fisherman. In this lake the most valuable fish were salmon, and char, commonly called red-whims. The largest salmon I ever saw from this lake at Mr. Bruce's, weighed thirty-seven pounds. But so great was the influence of superstition among, not only Mr. Bruce's fishermen, but all of them on the borders of the lake, that they took a rooted dislike to my presence, because
* Gude, Scotch orthography,