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this place (Letter Findley) I passed by another of them. At a distance they resemble a number of piles of turf. In general they are built in glens and straths, or upon the side of a lake, or near a river or stream, adjoining to which there is a little arable land. This near Letter Findley is close to the shores of the lake, all the huts of which appear to be constructed after the same style of rude architecture. The walls are built of turf or stones, according to the nature of the adjoining soil, and raised about six feet high, on the top of which a roof of branches of trees is constructed; this is covered with squares of turf, of about six inches thick, closely pressed together, and put on fresh from its parent moor, with the grass or heath upon it, which afterwards continues to grow, and renders it difficult for a traveller, unless he be very sharpsighted, to distinguish at a little distance the hut from the moor. I have seen many of these buildings in high vegetation, and in that respect they reminded me of the same description of buildings in Sweden.

I was obliged to stoop on entering the door of these sylvan abodes, and within saw a cabin which brought to my recollection that of Robinson Crusoe: upon the ground, about the centre, was the fire, the smoke of which escaped through a hole in the top of the roof, but not without having first blackened every part of it within, till the rafters looked like charcoal; and, unless the covering should be water-proof, the rain must fall within as black as ink-drops. In others there was a little fire place of iron bars, with a hob on either side, and above a crank, for holding the meikle pot. The only furniture I saw were some boxes, stools, pails, an iron pot, some bowls and spoons of wood, and also a cupboard, or shelves, for holding provisions.

A tolerable hut is divided into three parts; a butt, which is the kitchen; a benn, an inner room; and a byar, where the cattle are housed. Frequently the partition of the chambers is effected by an old blanket, or a piece of sail-cloth. In the kitchen, and frequently in the inner room, there are cupboard-beds for the family; or, what is more frequent, when the fire on the ground is extinguished, they put their bed of heath and blankets on the spot where it has burned, on account of the ground being dry. A true farmer loves to sleep near the byar, that he may hear his cattle eat. These patriarchal dwellings frequently tremble, and sometimes fall, before the fury of the tempest. I was told that very far north, when a Highland peasant entertains his friends with a cheerful glass of whisky, it is usual, as a compliment to the host, to drink to his roof-tree, alluding to the principal beam, which by its weight enables the roof to resist the pressure of a mountain squall, and which forms the great protection of the family within from its fury.

"A house with an upper story is called, by way of pre-eminence, a lofted hut. I was informed by some gentlemen, who had long resided in the Highlands, that in some of these miserable habitations, upon their return from grouse shooting, they have been frequently offered a glass of excellent white or red wine, as well as whisky. Another Highland gentleman informed me, that these mountaineers are so attached to their mud or peat hovels, that, although he had erected for some of his tenants neat stone cottages, they continued to prefer their former dwellings, the workmanship of their own hands.

The Highland peasants, like the Irish, are very much attached to

their dunghills, which are constructed close to their doors. To such a pitch of fondness is this carried, that upon an order being issued that no one should raise their dunghill in the streets of Callendar, one old lady is said to have expressed her joy that she was not deprived of hers by this clean and cruel decree, for she had made it in a back room.' p. 403.

When the knight catches a good story, he does not mind its having a slight degree of improbability or exaggeration. We have a tolerably good opinion, however, of his general personal veracity. He dearly loves a little innocent mirth, though it be at the expense of the Highlanders; but he is very far from the slightest intention to degrade them, by any of the curious anecdotes he gives. He introduces a still greater number of pictures and stories tending to exhibit them in possession of all the noblest virtues.

His admiration every where does justice to the magnificence of nature in the Highlands; he celebrates many scenes as striking as the following, and often in language less overcharged with epithets.

Afterwards we followed the line of the river Awe, which is very long, deep, black, narrow, and rapid, flowing into Loch Etive. Our course lay through copses of weeping birch and hazel, along the foot of the stupendous and rugged Cruachan Ben, a mountain measuring three thousand two hundred and ninety feet above the level of the sea, and twenty miles in circumference at its base. This Alpine scenery, particularly as the evening advanced, was at once awful and tremendous; frequently the road extended along a frightful precipice, overhanging Loch Awe, which lay in many places a prodigious depth below us, and which we occasionally saw, through the openings of trees impending over it, reflecting star for star of the cloudless sky, in its clear, but sable mirror of waters; whilst huge shattered fragments of rock, arrested in their descent by projecting crags, impended awfully and frightfully, far above us, on the sides of this mighty mountain, deriving increased magnitude and horror from the shadows of the night, the solemn silence of which was only interrupted by the melancholy murmur of remote waterfalls. The superstition of the neighbouring peasants still gives currency to the tradition of the terrific Bera, to whom was committed "the charge of the awful spring," conceived to be the source of the lake, and who, from the summits of Cruachan Ben, could at will pour down floods on the fields below.' p. 505.

On the whole, we close the volume in good temper with Sir John, whose manner of making books we certainly think needs very material reformation, but who gives us in every one of them a good portion of valuable information and amusing anecdote. We had nearly forgotten his explanatory address, relative to a recent trial. We are the less provoked at him for the prosecution, in consequence of its having failed, and of its failure having tended to confirm the liberty of the press. But he protests in this address, that he

holds the liberty of the press most sacred, and that the caricatures in the satire, on account of which he brought his action, were the chief or sole offence which he wished to reach with the law. We think such burlesque scratchings a very shabby expedient for satiric criticism to have recourse to; but we think too that they could do Sir John no great mischief: if the purchasers of his former works were pleased with them, how many of them would be likely to renounce their opinion of his qualifications, and consequently refuse to purchase his next book, simply because the author had been caricatured? But even if his expensive books had in consequence been subjected to a somewhat more limited sale, it cannot be impertinent in us to hint to his mo- . desty, that the price of his publications previous to the one before us is no less than seven pounds sterling, and that men of almost equal distinction with himself, that Bacon, and Newton, never published books to any such amount.

Art. II The Life of Saint Neot, the oldest of all the Brothers to King Alfred. By the Rev. John Whitaker, B. D. Rector of Ruan Lanyhorne, Cornwall. 8vo. pp. 388. Price 10s, 6d. Stockdale. 1809. THE point of view, in which this work is presented to us,

cannot, we apprehend, but produce some serious impression on the mind of any person accustomed to literary employment. The hand of the writer was arrested by that of death, amidst the occupation of conducting his volume through the press; and his cessation from a long life of philological toil and contention was announced to the publisher, by the return of a sheet uncorrected from a distant extremity of our island. Neither was this polemic veteran merely engaged to the last period of life in actual composition. In a letter, dated but two months before his death, we meet with these prospective annunciations: "My present work will be followed by another, next year,-The History of Oxford: yet, that will be merely a small work, an octavo, like this, at present. Both will be followed by a third, much larger in size, and significancy,-A History of London, quite new, and original, and fit to make a quarto." Go to now, ye

that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, &c. For what is your life? Is it not a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and that vanisheth away? For that ye ought to say, IF THE LORD WILL, we shall live, and do this, or that*.

If the characteristic ardour of the author's antiquarian pursuits involved him in a literal neglect of this salutary precept,

* James, iv. 13, 14, 15.

and if his decease exhibits the vanity of human expectations in a striking light, we do not take upon us to infer, as a consequence, that he was either thoughtless of eternity, or unprepared to enter on that awful period of human existence. We have known him only by his publications. Piety seems often to have pervaded, and influenced, his historical researches: and if unhappily alloyed by a measure of superstition, or inadequate to the suppression of dogmatic and acrimonious propensities, we are more inclined to intimate approbation, though it can no longer afford encouragement, than to expatiate in censure, which no more can serve the purpose of admonition. The work, which he has bequeathed to the public, alone demands our scrutiny its author has already appeared before an infinitely higher tribunal; where we, ere long, shall meet þim.

Little more is known, by most of our countrymen, concerning St. Neot, than that a town in Huntingdonshire, and another in Cornwall, bear his name. Neither will the more learned of our readers probably be less surprised than others, to see him designated, in the title of this article, as the oldest brother to king Alfred. His right to that distinction is, notwithstanding, so plausibly supported by Mr. W. that the chief objection to its admission seems to arise from its having so long lain dormant. This, indeed, we think utterly incompatible with the full extent of those honours, to which our author has laid claim on behalf of the saint. That a king of the east and south Saxons, and of Kent, should resign his actual dominions, and even his title to the sovereignty of all England, for the sole purpose of retiring to a monastery; and that such sacrifices should not have been generally and loudly celebrated by churchmen, who, in his, and the following ages, were almost exclusively the dispensers of historical fame,-exceeds our capacity of belief, unless on stronger grounds than we can yet discover for its support. It appears, nevertheless, by an extract which Leland (Collectanea, tom. iv. p. 13.) made from a very ancient manuscript life of St. Neot, that he was a son of Ethelwulph, and therefore a brother of Alfred. It is also certain, that a son of Ethelwulph (born apparently while he held the kingdom of Kent, &c. subordinately to his father Egbert) was endowed by him with that monarchy, when Ethelwulph himself succeeded his father in the West Saxon kingdom. This son makes no farther appearance on the stage of history, after the year 851, at which time he obtained a victory over the Danes in defence of his own territories. It also appears, subsequently, that a man of the same name with this son of Ethelwulph, and intitled an earl, resigned both his property and his person to the very monastery, in which St. Neot,

about the same time, is known to have officiated as a priest. That a tradition had been preserved, though obscurely, almost to the time of the Reformation, that St. Neot had been king, appears moreover from a painted window which still remains in the church named after him in Cornwall; and finally, that St. Neot was nearly related to Alfred, has been admitted by all the historians who have spoken of him, and whose writings have been handed down to us.

The most rational solution of these difficulties, seems to be this: Athelstan, whom, Mr. W. has aimed to identify with St. Neot, was born many years before any other of Ethelwulph's sons, when Ethelwulph was very young, and probably (as Matthew of Westminster intimates) before he was married. Ethelwulph, notwithstanding, when he acceded to the West Saxon throne, having yet either no other children, or none but infants, appointed Athelstan, (perhaps merely pro tempore) to reign in Kent, of which he had himself been king, during his father Egbert's life. Ethelbald, the eldest legitimate son of Ethelwulph, (possibly instigated by jealousy of Athelstan) in 855 took advantage of his father's absence to seize the West Saxon kingdom; the government of which, Ethelwulph, on his return, resigned to him, resuming the dominion of Kent, and retaining the royal title; while Ethelbald, though possessed of the chief power, contented himself with that of duke. If on this occasion, Athelstan, as might be expected, relinquished his kingdom in favour of his dethroned father, it is probable that no higher title than that of earl would be allowed to him. These events suggest a reasonable motive for his retirement, shortly afterwards, to the monastery of Glastonbury, which Ethelwulph, in that very year, enriched with a large endowment, at the same moment in which he declared his assent to earl Athelstan's donation.

Supposing this train of circumstances, (which are perfectly consonant to the most authentic records of the times,) to have been connected with Athelstan's descent from a throne to a monastic cell, not only would the eclat of such a change in his condition be essentially diminished, but the state of public affairs would render it palpably inexpedient to take much notice of the event. On entering the ecclesiastical state, a change of names was, and is still, customary; and it was desirable that Athelstan should merge in that which he assumed on the occasion. Mr. W. with much probability derives it from NOTTOS, a little one; an appellation which might be chosen either from humility, or policy; if it did - not refer to his stature, which tradition represents as be low the common size. Under the name of Neotus, and in

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