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meals, because he would not regard the oppressive usages of his trade. There is a bailie in the shop in which he works, and when a court is to be held, the 'hold-fast is used as a bell, to summon the men to attend.

Hogmanay-night' (i. e. hoc manè), or the last night of the past, and the first morning of the succeeding year, is another season of excessive drinking. A pious woman informed me that a spirit-seller sent two bottles of whisky to the shop in which her husband works, a few days before the end of last year, accompanied with a request that the men would drink his health, and call on him as soon after as possible; that they went, as he had asked them, and found that his object was, to get an order from each for Hogmanay' spirits. Three only took less than a gallon, and my informant's husband was never sober so long as his six bottles lasted.

“Salmon-fishers, on the Tay, have a head-washing for each new member, equivalent to a brothering;' and a “rag feast' —that is, a drinking-feast-on the proceeds of their old ropes;' every fishing-station feasting by themselves; and they also charge one shilling from every apprentice, for the first time that he casts the net with success.

I am perfectly aware that the preceding is not a full list of the drinking usages, but I expect to be able to send you one soon.

“Praying that the Lord may bless you, and crown your labours with continued and still greater success,

“I remain, dear sir,

“ Your obedient servant.” “P.S. Almost every workshop has its beer-can, or tick-shop, in which any of the men or boys may procure spirits on credit at any time, by presenting a line from the foreman : such lines are easily obtained. The spirit account is paid every pay-night. I have known men obliged to borrow from their fellows to pay their score, or spirit account, their own wages being insufficient for this purpose.”

The whole of this system presents an aspect of pernicious tyranny and oppression, under the mask of jollity and good fellowship. It has been observed, that we justly deprecate the capricious despotism of the Grand Turk, and the inclemency of Asiatic government in general; but we forget, that in our own country there is exercised by man on man, every day of the year, a still more despotic sway, and which, entering into all the professional and domestic transactions of life, constitutes a tyranny and oppression of a more mischievous

and vigorous character than can be pointed out in any other land. There are a thousand ways in which fellow-workmen can tyrannize over and maltreat their companions in labour, which cannot easily be described; and there are a great variety of degrees of injury, between the sneer at the imputed meanness of attempting to avoid the journeyman's entry, and the knock-down blow and blood of a quarrel picked for the purpose of enforcing some other drinking usage. With these, many of my operative readers are well acquainted; but there is a total ignorance of such circumstances among the influential classes fatal in the mean time to “anti-usage.'

With regard to seamen, their usages shall be adverted to more particularly when we come to treat of those of England. It will only at present be observed, as we have done elsewhere, that in some respects the mass of provocatives to intemperance in a sea-port exceeds all that obtains in inland towns. In addition to these, there is the arrival of joyous sun-burnt friends from distant voyages, rushing impatiently ashore in their pinnaces, from ships whose iron-ored and battered hulls and bleached rigging tell how long their inmates have been absent from green fields and kindly homes; the expansion of heart after months of silent anxiety on the part of wives and mothers; the precious cordials brought in secret aslıore in foreign bottles, rare and valuable pledges of friendship; the courtesies and hospitalities (false and dangerous) ensuing among the whole circle of friends and relations. And then the reverse of the picture--the heart-breaking departures, the long dreary days of absence, the sleepless nights, the nervous anxiety of mothers and sweethearts at the smallest rise of the wind, the ennui of the late married wife, the remains of the noyau or brandy in the little keg, a drop of which may be had at any time to keep up the woe-begone heart ;--these are some of the sources of the intemperance of a sea-port. Not to mention the daily allowance on board of rum duty free-to men four glasses, and to boys two glasses a-day; this allowance being a mark of as great feebleness of conduct on the part of our government and shipping interest, as can be pointed out in the collective imbecility of any nation.

Some time ago the vessel of a worthy sea captain was long in making her appearance from an outward voyage. She had been regularly " due” for some weeks, and friends were beginning to have serious alarms, though they said little. But week after week lapsed, and all was thought to be lost, and the underwriters were preparing to settle the transaction, when suddenly the good ship made her appearance, and the captain's

face shone on his friends and family, a thousand times more joyfully refulgent to them than the sun breaking forth in his strength from the most terrific gloom. In the midst of rejoicings and welcomings from all quarters, a good friend of the family also came to congratulate : he was a gentleman, however, who, from conscientious motives, declined to drink wine or healths. Not long after he arrived, the lady of the house slipped away, and introduced the wine-decanter; but the inexorable anti-usage member declined receiving it. He informed me, that he should never forget the look of disappointment, vexation, and astonishment, with which the good lady put away the bottles, saying, “So you'll no drink the captain's health ?”-It took many months to re-establish him in the good graces of his friends.

We must pass over at present the usages at enlistment of soldiers; and there is a number of other professions, whose regulations we have not had an opportunity of investigating. We may assert, however, for the sake of our gentle readers, that rule and etiquette, where they do exist in the manners of the lower classes, are much more strictly exacted, and failure in them held as a much heavier offence, than in the upper ranks.

CHAPTER VII.

SCOTTISH USAGES—continued.

How far National Intemperance has affected the Literature of Scotland

Examination of the Writings of Burns-Demi-Usages- Treats to Workmen of various Trades-Mornings—Saving Clause as to Universality of Usages -Scheme for Change of Funeral Usages--Glasgow Punch-making.

It may be worth while here briefly to consider how far the national sin of intemperance among the Scots, and the venial light in which it is regarded, has affected the literature of North Britain.

Our national poet Burns describes the realities of life, as he saw and felt them, and wrote only to the dictation of nature. How much must whisky have been prized in his native country, when he did not dis to address this tenth muse as the inspirer of his lays.

“O thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch Drink:
Whether thro' wimpling worms thou jink,
Or, richly brown, ream o'er the brink,

In glorious feam,
Inspire me, till i liep and wink,

To sing thy name !"
“Food fills the wame, an' keeps us livin;
Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin,
When heavy dragg'd wi' pine and grievin :

But

oil'd by thee,
The wheels o' life gae down-hill, scrievin,

Wi' rattlin' glee.
“Thou clears the head o' doited lear;
Thou cheers the heart o' drooping care;
Thou strings the nerves o' labour sair,

At's weary toil;
Thou even brightens dark despair

Wi' gloomy smile.
“Thou art the life o' public haunts:
But thee, what were our fairs and rants?
Ev'n godly meetings o' the saints,

By thee inspir'd,
When gaping they besiege the tents,

Are doubly fir'd." This sally might have been considered merely in the light of a comic flash, were it not that through many of his effusions, we have unpremeditated hints of the general regard in which the stimulation of alcohol was held by himself, and generally by the people of the country in which he lived.

“O whisky, soul o' plays and pranks !" seems to be an affirmation to which the most part of Scotland responds; and the poet did not shock the prejudices of his countrymen at all, when he declared strong potations to be essential to his life and comfort :

"Fortune! if thou'll but gie me still
Hale breeks, a scone, and whisky gill,
And rowth o'rhyme to rave at will,

Take a' the rest,
And deal't about, as thy blind skill

Directs thee best."

It appears to make part of the excellence of Grose the antiquary with Burns, that his conversational powers required to be excited by Port wine. This might pass; but the epitaph on Captain Matthew Henderson, a character charmingly conceived, and the most perfect of mere moral men, is clearly vitiated by the indulgent reference it makes to the national propensity; and thus the grace and beauty of one of the most exalted performances in the language is deflowered :

G

“If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire,

And ne'er guid wine did fear, man,
This was thy billie, dam, and sire,

For Matthew was a queer man. When the legislature, previous to 1786, made some attempts to limit the consumption of spirits, the poet was not mistaken in conceiving, that general opinion would warrant him in a feigned address and expostulation to the lower house on the subject, which he executed in his celebrated “Earnest Cry and Prayer to the Scotch Representatives of the House of Commons:

“Tell them wha hae the chief direction,
Scotland and me's in great affliction,
E'er sin' they laid that curst restriction

On aquavitæ;
An' rouse them up to strong conviction,

An' move their pity.”
“Is there, that bears the name o' Scot,

But feels his heart's bluid rising hot,
To see his puir auld mither's pot

Thus dung in staves,
An' plunder'd o' her hindmost groat

By gallows knaves ?"
“Let half-starv'd slaves, in warmer skies
See future wines, rich clust'ring rise;
Their lot auld Scotland ne'er envies,

But blythe and frisky,
She eyes her free-born, martial boys,

Tak aff their whisky.”
But bring a Scotsman frae his hill,
Clap in his cheek a highland gill,
Say, such is Royal George's will,

An' there's the foe,
He has nae thought but how to kill

Twa at a blow."

It has been said of the Scotch, that the term " · Temperance,' in its continental acceptation, is yet unknown among even the most self-denied in North Britain.

Burns, I grant, has not painted the whole truth in his * Holy Fair;" but who will deny that what follows is a just account of the doings of large masses of those who attend communions of the Lord's Supper in North Britain ?

“Now butt an' benn, the Change-house fills,

Wi' yill-caup commentators:
Here's crying out for bakes and gills,

An' there the pint-stowp clatters;
While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang,

Wi' logic, and wi' scripture,
They raise a din, that in the end
Is like to breed a rupture

O'wrath that day.

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