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ON THE GORMANDIZING SCHOOL OF ELOQUENCE.
MR D. ABERCROMBY.
An empty head and an empty sto- been the case long ago, that is to say, mach, when found united, as they of- mid-way between the Flood and the ten are, in one and the same indivi- Union of the two kingdoms, we cannot dual, incapacitate their owner for any tell, never having been addicted to argreat mental or corporeal exertion. chaiological researches. But this we But take your man, and cram him will say, that no Highlander ever ate with turtle soup, roast-beef, and cran a haggis in a kilt upon a hill of heaberry-tarts, and however Nature may ther, and that if such a thing were to abhor the vacuum in his unfurnished be found lying in a glen, no untravelupper story, she is so pleased with the led Highlander would be able to swear repletion of his victualling-office, that conscientiously upon the Bible, wheshe makes the belly perform the work ther it belonged to the vegetable kingof the brain, and shews what is in a dom, was a pair of bellows, or a newman after three finished and regularly-imported bag-pipe. In all likecourses of education. Look along a lihood he would, with that curiosity large public dinner, eaten either in natural to all savages, stick his dirk the cause of Freedom or the Fine Arts, into its hurdies; and being generally and you will observe how ideas seem in a state of hunger, he would begin to be rising up from the very pits of with tasting, and finish with devour. their stomachs, into the counteriances ing the contents thereof. But still he of the friends of the human race. In would not believe it to be indigenous ; all probability, every gentleman pre- nor, in after life, during his sojourn in sent has a ninny at either elbow; but Liverpool, or any other remote town, that is of no earthly consequence; the would he devoutly bow down to it, dinner does its duty; the cook makes and worship it as the idol of one of his every cub a Canning; and the speaker country's gods. Into the history of on spare diet, what is he when brought the haggis, we have not time this into rivalry with some glutton of the month to inquire, nor do we know at Gormandizing School, inspired by a present whether it originally was the peck of green peas, and ballasted with dish of a free people or a nation of beef 8s. per stone, sinking offals? slaves. But, however like its “ hur
We intend giving a monthly report dies" may be to " distant hills,” the of such dinners; and without farther Highlanders have had no opportunity preamble, begin with that of the Scots in their own country of making the tish Club, Liverpool, devoured upon comparison ; and once more we enter the 18th of June, A. D. 1823. 'The our protest against this attempt to atMembers of the Club, (so we are in- tribute a Celtic origin to the great formed by our friend 'Mr Merrit's chieftain of the pudding race," whose excellent paper, the Advertiser,) met name and lineage, smell and sound, in the Castle Inn, Lord-Street, many are exceedingly Gothic. of them in “splendid Highland dress However, be the history of the hag
“ The sonsy face of Scotland's gis what it may, there can be no favourite dish, the haggis, graced the doubt that Mr D. Abercromby must festive board,” &c. Of this most hi- have lubricated the coats of his stodeous and indecent dish, Burns, who mach with it most assiduously, before did not stick at trifles, said, “ Thy he could discharge the following orahurdies like twa distant hills ;" and tion. “ The Bulwark of Liberty, and when people sit down to dine with the Foe of Despotism, a Free Press," their own hurdies bare, nothing bet- having been drunk, the Gormandizer, ter can be expected from them, than No. I., arose, and thus vivavoced the to place a pair upon the table, and to Chair :aver that they grace the festive
“ MR CHAIRMAN, board.” But we solemnly protest “ Having been connected with the press against the doctrine that holds haggis from my' earliest years, and emboldened to be the national and characteristic by the toast which you have just now drunk, diet of Scotland. What may have I am induced to obtrude myself upon your
attention for a few moments ; not, indeed, self into a belief that he dethroned
were not killed at Quatre Bras, were to the occasion of our present meeting) but despatched like so many haggises, and to advert very briefly to the objects which left with their hurdies to fatten the the members of the Scottish Club had in soil of the ungrateful Netherlands. view at its establishment.--Before doing What better is all this vapouring about s0, however, permit me to mention, en a day of blood, than the imitative passant, that this day, on which we cele. cock-a-doodle-dooing of schoolboys, brate, for the first time, the establishment who have chanced to see two gameof the Scottish Club in this town, is the cocks slaying each other, and who keep anniversary of an event which will ever be flapping their arms as if they were memorable in the annals of this
themselves the combatants, and all so period on which history will long dwell with delight, and the anniversary of which many bloody-heeled Ginger-Piles ? will furnish to ages yet unborn the theme
But Mr D. Abercromby now leaves of many a noble story. Need I state, that the ensanguined field of Waterloo, I allude to the glorious battle of Waterloo ? and tells the Scottish Club why they That event is of so very recent date, and the are all met together, which, we preparticulars are so very familiar to all of you, sume, but for his well-timed informathat I should unnecessarily occupy your tion, would have remained a secret time by entering into any detail of the gal
even from themselves. lant feats performed by the heroes of Bri.
" The objects for which the Scottish tain on that glorious day. Suffice it to say, Club was instituted, are such as to comthat never on any former field of glory, mend themselves to the judgment of every distinguished as they have been for deeds
man acquainted with them, and to do equal of arms, did the bravery of the sons of St
credit to the head and the heart of him who George shine forth with greater lustre ; ne proposed its establishment, and to you who ver did the lads of Erin display more of have matured and brought it to its present their native heroism, than they that day high state of respectability and usefulness. shewed in supporting the reputation of These objects, I believe, I will be correct their General, himself the child of their in saying, are three in number, viz.–First, own dear isle of the ocean ;' and never
and chiefly, the support of the infirm, the were more noble deeds of daring performed sick, and the aged amongst you. Secondby any than were that day displayed by our
ly, The promotion of that amor patriæ gallant countrymen, the bold and hardy which is inherent in every man, but which sons of the North
is peculiarly characteristic of Scotchmen. • Lads who cry onward, but never cry parley,
And, lastly, To preserve from extinction, Bold Scottish lads, with their bannocks of bar. amidst the ever-varying and fantastical faley.'
shions of every-day invention, the peculiar
and national dress of Scotland. Let me What a glorious exordium !_and ḥow
'trespass upon your patience for a few mo. redolent of haggis
and heather, duck ments, whilst I briefly make a few hastilyling and sage stuffing. Why did the concocted observations on each of these in godlike man decline shewing the as their order.” tonishing effects which have been pro Here the excellence of his remarks duced upon the moral, political, and proves the fulness of his stomach. Hareligious world, by that most power- ving, in his skilful exordium, declined ful engine, the Press? Why should he any historical exposition of the power have thought it foreign to the purpose of the Press over the destinies of man, of the meeting, not a whit more surely which he felt inwardly would have than the battle of Waterloo ? Not à been a needless condiment to that highsoul ate haggis that day, who had any, ly-savoured dish, a haggis-with
sithing to do with the great battle, and milar judgment, he remarks, “ It they might just as appropriately have would be a waste of time, an insult to swallowed haggis and strutted in kilts your good sense, to shew, by any upon the 1st of April, as on the 18th lengthened remarks, the necessity of of June. But we observe, that no making provision for infirmity, sicksooner does a Highlander put on a kilt, ness, and old age.” He then slides on, than he begins with scratching him- with an alacrity only possible in a
well-dined orator, into the proof of this when, weary with the toils and the journey very difficult proposition, and shews, of life, he shall yet return, and lay his as we think, to the satisfaction of fat
bones with those of his kindred. But we and lean, the man of strong digestion, love, and are proud of our country, because and the martyr to constipated bowels, it is the land of patriotism, learning, and “ that it is the incumbent duty of piety. Can a Caledonian hear the names of every man, while in the possession of Wallace and Bruce, and his breast not health and strength, to provide, as far glow
with the love of liberty, or thrill with
hatred of tyranny ? Can he cease to be as human capacity enables him, a.
proud that he is a descendant of those brave gainst the ills of life.” Having gained Caledonians who for ages hurled defiance vantage-ground, he then launches from their hills upon the legions of Rome, forth into one of the noblest strains to and the armies of mighty monarchs, and be found in the whole range of our preserved their liberty and independence gormandizing eloquence.
in the midst of an enslaved world ? The “ Highly conducive to the attainment learned men which our country has proof these heart-delighted purposes, are an.
duced, is also another source of the love nual dinners similar to the present. Their which we bear to the land of our nativity. effects are to enliven and invigorate the ge
A host of historians, poets, philosophers, nerous and patriotic sentiments with which legislators, &c., might here be mentioned, we are animated. Engaged in the right- but with the names of these, every gentle eous cause of benevolence, in fulfilling the man present is familiar. Above all, the new commandment given by the Divine piety and good conduct of our countrymen Author of Christianity, "That you love
is calculated, in an eminent degree, to renone another, the pleasures of the festive der us proud of the land of our birth, and board are refined and consecrated; it sheds to make us in love with the place where an almost sanctifying influence over the the establishment of parochial teachers, joy-inspiring bowl, and imparts to our con
and the zealous and faithful labours of vivial intercourse a charm more than hu. our ministers, have, under God, produced
such happy and pleasant effects." This is the ne plus ultra-the Land's Mr D. Abercromby has now been end—the John-oʻ-Groat's House-the hard at it, tooth and nail, snuff and Ultima Thule the Back-o'-Beyond snifter, bubble and squeak, for about of the oratory of the Haggis-Bag. a quarter of an hour, or twenty mic To Mr D. Abercromby, indeed, be- nutes, and yet he is fresh as a twolongs the “ Os magna sonaturum.” year-old, and without a symptom of If he eats as he spouts, (and it should closing his potato-trap. It is now, we be so,) his jawbones must be more shall suppose, about ten o'clock in the destructive than any recorded in his- evening, and each member has finishtory, sacred or profane; and, to use
ed his mutchkin of barley-broo. Symphis own words, with a slight and par- toms of yawning are exhibited, and an donable alteration, he must “ exhibit occasional snore calls from the chaire in convivial intercourse a power more
man the mandate of “ Silence! Sie than human.”
lence !” when our Gormandizer exMr D. Abercromby proceeds to the claims second head of his address, and holds " Pardon me, gentlemen, for occupying forth on the amor patriæ of Scotch so much of your time, and allow me for a men. The promotion of this principle moment to glance at the third object which is the second great object of the Liver the Scottish Club may be said to have had pool Scottish Club, although it seems
in view at its establishment, namely, To to us that is somewhat like carrying preserve from extinction, amidst the evercoals to Newcastle. “ It is,” says our
varying and fantastical fashions of every, Gormandizer,“ inherent in every man,
day invention, the peculiar and national
dress of Scotland,—the bonnet blue, the but peculiarly characteristic of Scotch
belted plaid, and kilt and trews o' tartan men.” If so, why club to promote it? bonnie. A considerable period has elapHear the Haggis !
sed since the government of the time thought “ Never can a Scotchman cease to love it necessary to treat the Highland characthe land of his fathers. Wandering on the ter with peculiar harshness. A law was desert sands of Africa, immersed in the passed, and rigidly enforced, to deprive the wilds of Canada, or trudging beneath the Highlanders of their arms; and not conburning sun of India, his imagination lin tent with extracting the lion's fangs, they gers on the hills of his native land, where must also take his skin. It was declared blooms the red heather and thistle sae penal for the Highlander to appear in his green ;' and, musing on the scenery and native dress. Gentlemen, what would an friendships of youth, he thinks of the time Englishman think if a law were promulgaVol. XIV.
ted, and pat in force at the point of the petticoats ? The Highlanders were forbayonet, that he should not presume to ap bid wearing kilts, and forced to put on pear, except in the stays and petticoats of breeches. Why the devil should that a woman? Would he not feel degraded be likened to forcing Englishmen, at and insulted ? And so did our fathers. Is
the point of the bayonet, to wear stays it not then astonishing, that, thus debased and despised, their fine spirit should flag ?
and petticoats ? Mr Abercromby must It was reserved for the illustrious Chathám have been getting into a state of civito convert, as it were by magic, these very
lation. But hear the finale. men, who scarce dared to own themselves “ If it had not been for the distinction the subjects of their sovereign, into the of the Highland dress, the name of Scotloyal and intrepid defenders of their king land would not have been leard of as the and country. And how did he accomplish nurse of warriors who fought and triumphthis? How did he rouse the slumbering
ed at Maida, and Egypt, and Waterloo ; spirit of the Gael ? By associating them
and it is the wish of the Scottish Club to in kindred bands ; by arming then with
fan those sacred fires which shall hereafter their national weapons ; by clothing them
glow in the hearts of the brave, and the in their native garb, and by giving them
free, and the loyal sons of the North, at a name to be proud of and to fight for.
the recollection of Scotland's heroic deeds, And well was he rewarded for this libera.
and Scotland's domestic virtues. Such, lity in the loyalty and patriotism of a body
gentlemen, is an imperfect sketch of the of men who valued life only as conducive
objects which the Scottish Club have in to their country's fame. Cold is the heart
view.” that does not warm at the sight of the
If it had not been for the distinction Highland tartan. It is your desire to pre of the Highland dress ! - O Paddy serve this dress indeed; but it is to pre from Cork, with your coat buttoned serve also along with it the sentiments and behind, what do you think of that? recollections of a generous patriotism—to When Mr D. Abercromby comes to cherish the love of country, and to perpe Edinburgh, he must favour us with tuate to future ages a remembrance of the
his company at Ambrose's. We, too, glories of the Scottish name." Never was the case of Kilt versus
belong to the Gormandizing School of Breeches so powerfully pleaded before. Eloquence, and will speak or eat him
for a trifle, giving him five minutes But, pray, sir, do you call breeches the dress of a woman, as well as stays and start, and seven to four.
The name of Tory was once ob- duct of ministers, its sincere revenoxious, from its connexion with the rence for the Constitution in Church dangerous and exploded doctrines of and State, Toryism now stands on the Stuarts. But time changes the the same lofty ground with the spirit spirit of titles as well as of men. of our glorious Revolution. Toryism, in 1823, is the representa It will be the purpose of this, and tive of Whiggism in 1688. The tre- succeeding letters, to place those truths mendous lesson of the French Revo- in a clear point of view. The evidence lution, has perhaps impressed it with shall be taken, not from surmiseś, nor a deeper fear of popular licentious- from the suspicious statements of parness, and a more solemn deference for ty, but from the lips of the individuals the wisdom of our ancient institu- themselves, on those most important tions; it may feel an inferior jealousy questions which compel a declaration of the throne, from a fuller experience of opinion. The Peninsular war of of the checks on its power ; and a 1808 has been the principal test of keener alarm at innovation in politics our day. and religion, from the knowledge that In some previous observations unit is only preparative to the betrayal der another head, I have detailed the of both. But in all that made the language of the Leader of Opposition, great national service of Whiggism in Lord Grey, and proved him, out of 1688, its manly adherence to the na his own mouth, to have been altogetional privileges, its honest love of li- ther incompetent to guide the public berty, its homage to the supremacy, mind on that momentous question. I of the laws, its vigilance over the con- ' have shewn this chief of Whiggism to
have adopted views, not merely tinged perhaps, were not to be expected unwith the ordinary weakness of human der the pressure of such formidable judgment, but degraded by utter igno- difficulties. Such a scene every man rance of the subject, by a weak preju- in the House, every man in the coundice against all that belonged to a try, must hail with the liveliest satismanly policy, by an absurd homage faction; and what every generous heart for the enemy, and by a miserable must wish should be done in support powerlessness of feeling with the feel- of so glorious a cause, his Majesty's ings of England. With Whiggism at Ministers would feel it their duty to do. the head of affairs, the great Spanish With regard to what information they Insurrection would have been extin- had received of the designs or the hopes guished in its own blood, the Contie of those brave and resolute men, who, nent in chains to this hour, and France, in defence of their country's independunder the Napoleon dynasty, the terror ence, were exposing themselves to and the tyrant of Europe. If we had everything which a powerful and sanpeace, it would have been purchased guinary tyrant could devise or inflict, by some wretched humiliation, and it it could not be expected that he should would have been only a hollow truce
now unfold it.
His Majesty's Minipreparatory to a war of extermina. sters were fully sensible of the extion. If we had war, it would have treme importance of this event, and been a lingering and hopeless struggle he trusted they would be found to act against power accumulating day by accordingly.”—Debate of January 30, day; war without energy and with- 1808. out end ; reluctant, fearful, success I give this fragment as an evidence less, and desperate. Or, if we are to of the early decisiveness of Adminibelieve that no man born on the soil stration. While those who had insoof England could thus abuse her lently and exclusively assumed the cause, what is the alternative? We name of friends of freedom, were feemust decide that the Whigs, in their bly retracting, or culpably resisting, bitter reprobation of our Peninsular the English Cabinet, with a boldness and policy, were totally insincere ; that sagacity that do them matchless honour, they inwardly honoured what they took up the cause of liberty, bound publicly abjured; and that their lan- themselves at once to the Spanish cause, guage was only one of the miser- and, on the strength of their fidelity able artifices of party, eager to attract to that cause, demanded to be tried partizans, and, for the sake of a few before the nation. The trials of this contemptible votes, to vilify the name, fidelity must not be forgotten. The and hazard the fates of their country. Spanish cause was, after the first burst
In memorable contrast to those disa of triumph, uniformly disastrous. In astrous expositions, I shall give some two years from the French Invasion, extracts from the sentiments of the the whole military force of Spain was present head of the administration; a annihilated; her armies and generals man whose integrity, public spirit, had been trampled like dust under the and knowledge of government, are heels of France, her civil government honoured beyond panegyric, in the re was in the hands of Napoleon, her spect and confidence of the nation. revenue was gone, her colonies were In the year 1808, on the first break in revolt; a French army, greater than ing out of the Spanish Insurrection, the greatest that had broken down when the prospects and power of martial Germany, had flooded indoSpain were yet all uncertainty, and lent, unwarlike Spain. The roots of France was sitting on the height of a regular resistance had been burnt up. dominion which seemed to defy all re The powers of popular resistance were sistance and all casualty, Lord Liver- unknown. But the honourable deci. pool thus threw down the pledge which sion of England had been taken ; and he and his fellow-ministers have since while Opposition hung their ominous so splendidly redeemed.
heads over the ruin, and almost tri“With respect .to Spain, the people umphed in it as a proof of their proof that country had manifested a spírit phecy, Ministers renewed their pledge and determination to resist the at to Spain, and manfully foresaw her tempts of their inyaders, which would victory. have done honour to the most glorious In Lord Liverpool's speech, in the period of their history, and which, commencement of 1809, this sentis