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without contradiction, which must necessarily import his consent. Lord Coupar answered, that they being then sitting in Parliament his silence could not import a consent. The Lords repelled Lord Pitsligo's defence, and found him liable in the value of the watch.”1

XVII.

MALLET'S MARGARET'S GHOST.

MALLET tells us that this beautiful ballad was suggested to him by a fragment quoted in one of Beaumont and Fletcher's plays :

“ When it was grown to dark midnight,

And all were fast asleep,
In came Margaret's grimly ghost,

And stood at William's feet.” 66 These lines,” he says,

66 naked of ornament and simple as they are, struck my fancy, and, bringing fresh into my mind an unhappy adventure much talked of formerly, gave birth to the poem.” It first appeared in a newspaper about the year 1724, and has been a thousand times reprinted; but none of its editors has elucidated the tragic tale to which it owes its origin. In Hutton's Mathematical Dic

1

Wood's Peerage of Scotland, vol. i. p. 363. 8 The ballad will be found at length in Percy's Reliques, vol. iv. pr21-24.

D

was the

tionary, in a memoir the materials for which were supplied by Dr Reid the famous philosopher, who was a kinsman of the family, is given an account of James Gregory, the brother of the celebrated Savilian professor of astronomy in Oxford. In the year 1691 he succeeded his brother in the chair of mathematics in the University of Edinburgh, and held the office for thirty-three years, till in 1725 he was succeeded by the more famous Maclaurin. “A daughter of this Professor Gregory,” says Dr Reid, victim of an unfortunate attachment, which became the subject of Mallet's ballad of William and Mar

From a MS. collection of verses of the beginning of the last century I learn that her seducer was a kinsman, probably the nephew, of Archbishop Sharp. To some lines entitled “Miranda's Ghost to Strephon” is prefixed this note : “ Miranda's ghost to Mr Sharp, son to Stonyhill: She was daughter to Mr Gregorie, professor of mathematics in Edinburgh College ; Sharp dishonoured her, and she died." The verses themselves have little merit; they begin thus :

garet.” 1

“ You need not wonder, Strephon, at this hour What brings me to your solitary bower, Wrapt up in air my shade can move along, And pass unheeded through the busy throng." | Hutton's Mathematical Dictionary, vol. i. p=601-605.

The following passage is prophetic :

“O had my shame been buried with my name,
Death had been welcome, Strephon less to blame!
But while my ashes in the urn now lie,
Miranda's shame is echoed to the sky.
With falcon's speed detraction ever flies,
Though virtue may, yet scandal never dies,
Some barbarous muse will bear it on her wing,
And
my

sad tale shall future poets sing."

The same collection contains a copy of verses on the marriage of James Justice, son of Sir John Justice of Justicehall, with Margaret, daughter of Alexander Murray of Cringletie. They are inscribed “ upon Mr Sharp's penitence and Mrs Justice's obduredness, both equally guilty of perjury and breach of most solemn vows." They run thus :

While Sharp lies groaning under deep despair
For breach of vows to Gregory the fair,
The moorland heiress, with a brow of brass,
Joys in her perjured self with John Just-ass.

A note informs us that Miss Murray had been betrothed to the son of Sir William Hope, but broke her troth.

XVIII.

WATERING-PLACES. EVERY visiter of a watering-place must have heard of the almost incredible quantities of water which the more zealous worshippers of the spring contrive to swallow, as they affirm, without any inconvenience. The practice has at least antiquity and catholicity to commend it.

The eulogist of a spring at Aberdeen in the year 1580, says

“ it givis gud appetyte to them quha ar destitut thairof, and gif ony man drink twentie pound wecht of this Fontaine he finds no charge nor burden of the stomak nor bellie by the watter."

Dr Patrick Anderson, who undertook to publish the virtues of a well at Kinghorn in the year

1618, vouches that its waters have the same quality : « Out of the broad face of this foresaid rock springs most pleasandly a verie cleir and delicate cauld water, which being drunk in great measure is never for all that felt in the belly.”2

"1

1 Ane Breif descriptioun of the qualiteis and effectis of the well of the woman hill besyde Abirdine. Anno Do. 1580.

2 The Colde Spring of Kinghorne Craig. His admirable and New Tryed Properties, so far foorth as yet are found true by Experience. Written by Patrik Anderson, D. of Physick. Edinburgh, 1618. The author was the inventor

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Sir George Head tells us that at the Dinsdale Spa, in the north of England, some of the patients drink four and others six large tumblers before breakfast: one slim gentleman in particular informed me he took twelve tumblers in the course of one morning. They all say, that, drink as much as ever they will, they never feel full.”ı

They are equally insatiable in America. day's journey," says Captain Hamilton, “terminated at Flintstown, a solitary inn on the eastern slope of the Alleghanies, near which is a mineral spring, whereof the passengers drank each about a gallon, without experiencing, as they unanimously declared, effect of any sort.” 2

Some physiologists at once corroborate and explain

66 Our

of certain pills which yet continue in some reputation. He seems to have been a good Protestant, for he is anxious to assure the world that the waters of his Cauld Spring “are not lyk the superstitious or mud-earth Wells of Menteith, or Lady Well of Strath-erne, and our Ladie Well of Ruthven, with a number of others in this cuntrie, all tapestried about with old rags, as certaine signes and sacraments, wherewith they arle the divell with ane arlspennie of their health ; so subtile is that false knave, making them believe that it is only the vertue of the water, and no thing els. Such people can not say with David, The Lord is my helper, but the Devill.”

1 Sir George Head's Home Tour, p. 307. Lond. 1836.

2 Men and Manners in America, vol. ii. p. 160. Edinb. 1833.

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