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natural, and the explanation is not difficult. Scot is not a Celtic word, and was not used by the Scots as a designation of themselves. It is an appellation given them by the Saxons, and was adopted as a home name when it became necessary for the Saxons of the Scottish kingdom to be distinguished from those of England. The name was applied to the language at a later period, when English and it diverged so far from each other as to necessitate a different designation.

Although we have come to the conclusion that Scotch and Gaelic do not linguistically amalgamate, yet the former is enriched by many expressive words derived from the latter ; but if we consider the undercurrent of feeling that has been largely diffused by the more sensitive Celtic elements through so large a portion of the present Saxon-speaking population of Scotland, as manifested in the tenderness and delicacy of those songs and melodies, that have flowed as by instinct from the heart of the amalgamated race, and compare this with the unimpressible stolidity that characterises the same class of unmixed Saxons, we shall have some idea of what we owe to the Celtic elements in our composition.

A question that has been hotly contested in this connection is, whether the Picts were a Celtic or a Teutonic race. The idea of their extirpation by the Scots under Kenneth Macalpin is now nowhere maintained, but the idea of their being a Germanic race has only been dispelled by the discovery of the Book of Deer, and the fuller and more critical treatment by Mr Skene of the authentic records that constitute the authorities for the early history of Scotland. Hume argued, from the similarity of the languages of England and Scotland at an early period, that Scotland must have had a similiar series of Saxon invasions to that of England, although they are not recorded by the historians of Scotland ; and Pinkerton identifies these Saxons or Goths as the Picts. Dr Jamieson, by a different. kind of reasoning, came to a somewhat similar conclusion, namely, that they were Teutons from a northern latitude than the Angles, because the Scotch of the east coast of Scotland contains a great many words not found in the early English. Chalmers, the author of Caledonia, the chief supporter of the Celtic theory, on the ground of the topographical nomenclature being Celtic, makes them a Welsh race. But all our Scottish antiquaries, before Mr Skene, were misled by etymological theories, and being unable critically to compare the most reliable sources of information in reference to the Celtic portion of the country's history, naturally arrived at conclusions

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confirming those theories, the maintenance of which was the chief stimulus to their researches. But, notwithstanding their faults, the country owes them a debt of gratitude for having kept alive the spirit of research with indomitable perseverance; and for having done good and useful work whose irksomeness could be little relieved by the prospect of gain or applause.

Mr Skene adopts the conclusions of Professor Huxley, based on his studies of British craneology, namely, that Britain was first peopled by an Iberian or Basque race, who were followed by Gauls or Celts. From the Roman invasion till the death of Malcolm II. (1034), Scotland, north of the Firths of Forth and Ciyde, he considers to have been peopled by two Celtic races, the Picts and Scots ; of which the latter was the most aggressive, and, under Kenneth Macalpin, became the dominant race, occupying the central part of the country, extending from the Spey to the Firths of Forth and Clyde. After the Saxons had increased in the north of England, they gradually spread north the length of Edinburgh, and, with the Cumbrians north of Carlisle, are found since the reign of Malcolm II. forming part of the Scottish monarchy. The influence of St Margaret, queen of Malcolm III., or Ceanmore, accelerated the growing influence of the Saxon portion of the kingdom to such an extent, as, under David I., to give it a decided predominance. David's English training and territorial influence in England, with his intense ecclesiasticism and partiality to Normans both in Church and State, combined with the concentration of all native rights in his person, enabled him to introduce changes in the ecclesiastical and political institutions of the country, which almost amounted to an entire substitution of the ancient order of things by those feudal arrangements to which England was subjected by the Conqueror and his successors; and, consequently, we find the number of Norman names that witness the numerous ecclesiastical charters granted by him out of all proportion to those of Saxons or Celts. But in all this we see nothing of an outside or foreign interference with the internal development of Scotland, and the changes made had the effect of welding the different races that since David's reign have formed a united Scotland within its present boundaries into one patriotic community, so comingled that now the distinctions of race are almost obliterated. But, besides the infusion of Norman blood, which was almost exclusively introduced into the higher ranks of the people, considerable accessions of foreigners-Scandinavians by the north and west coasts, and Belgians

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and Flemings by the east—were frequently induced, through trade intercourse, to settle in coast towns in sufficient numbers to introduce verbal changes in the local dialect of the places where they took up their residences.

Having, in the foregoing summary of our early history, what may be considered a fair account of the ethnological elements that at the dawn of Scottish literature composed the nation, in relative proportions that have not since been disturbed by external pressure, we are in a better position to consider the rise and progress of our poetic literature, and its relation to that of England.

Mr Craik, in his History of English Literature, referring to the few specimens of Anglo-Saxon literature that have come down to us, says, “In an artistic or poetical point of view, it is the poorest literature known.” This consideration may lessen our regret that Scotland has no specimens to offer ; indeed, Anglo-Saxon proper has no connection with Scotland. The earliest poets of both countries appear to have made their first attempts in Norman-French, or Romance language. The first Scot whom we find cultivating the poetic faculty, “in what was then the most cultivated language, excepting the Italian, in civilized Europe,” was Everard, who, after having been a monk of Kirkham in Yorkshire, was by David I. made abbot of Holme-Cultraine, in Cumberland. He wrote a French translation of The Destichs of Cato, and a romance history of the passion of Christ. But the earliest undisputed specimen of the native vernacular is the two stanzas, preserved in Wyntoun's Chronicle, of an elegy on the death of Alexander III., and supposed to be contemporary with the event :

Quhen Alysandyr oure kyng wes dede,

That Scotland led in luive and le,
Away wes sons ? of ale and brede,

Of wyne and wax, of gamyn and gle:
Oure gold wes changyd into lede

Cryst, borne into virgynte
Succour Scotland, and remede,

That stad 3 is in perplexyte." Although it is generally agreed that the fertile source of those romantic fables that have gravitated around the name of King Arthur was originally Welsh or Celtic, yet the earliest existing literature in

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* Joy.

2 Abundance.

3 Placed.

which they are preserved is the Romance, although most of their writers have been Englishmen. But when English sprung into existence full of youthful vigour, and began to supersede the Norman-French in the affections of the people, such was the popularity of the romance tales that they constituted the chief intellectual enjoyment of the nation; and translations, metrical paraphrases, and recasts of them, in the popular language, were largely recited by the wandering minstrels who were the mediums between the authors and the public, and whose practised memories supplied the place of books, before the invention of printing. Robert Mannyng, or, as he is commonly called, Robert de Brunne, in the prologue to his Chronicle, supposed by Ritson to be finished about 1338, makes a reference to the Romance of Sir Tristrem, made by Thomas of Erceldoune, to the effect that

“ Ouer gestes it has the 'steem,
Quer all that is or was,

If men said it, as made Thomas." With this Romance, Scottish poetry may be said to make a fair start, although it must not be affirmed that Scotland's claim to it is yet admitted without question. We have also some other fragments of romances of the Arthurian series, which, on the authority of Wyntoun's Chronicle, were composed by Huchowne of the “awle ryale.” If the difficulty of the language were a sufficient test of priority, these would be our earliest specimens of poetry, as they are, no doubt, earlier specimens of the language than Sir Tristrem.

But, as Scott contends in his reply to the assertion that the Inglis of Sir Tristrem is not more quaint than that of De Brunne himself, who complains of its obscurity, our present version of that poem must have been greatly modernised from what Thomas made it, and is likely to have been taken down from the recitation of one of those minstrels to whom De Brunne attributes ignorance of its meaning, and the omission of “copples” (couplets). If to the foregoing we add the anonymous tale of Ralph the Collier, we include nearly all that has come down to us of what may be described as the first stage of Scottish poetry. That it shows no leaning on English precedents may be inferred from the admission of most English writers on the subject, that, as to language and versification, it is superior to the contemporary poetry of England.

The second stage, which may be made to include the names of Barbour, Wyntoun, and James the First, is a great advance not only in regard to the improvement in the art of poetry, and the great refinement and harmony in the language, but especially in the subjects to which it is devoted. The country, in the interim, had undergone a political experience that made its existence as an independent nation an intensely practical question ; and that the earnestness and courage with which it repelled the determined attack upon its liberty are reflected with moderation and dignity, and a wonderful absence of vindictiveness, for the age, in the pages of Barbour, is admitted on all hands. The King's Quair, if less national, is more highly poetical, and is styled by Mr Ellis the most elegant poem produced during the early part of the fifteenth century. Neither Barbour nor Wyntoun makes any reference to Chaucer or any other English writer; and although James I. acknowledges both Chaucer and Gower as his masters, yet he nowhere shows any dependence on them. Perhaps Henry the Minstrel should also be included in this stage, of which patriotic ardour may be said to be the chief characteristic.

If in the fourth stage we include Henryson, Dunbar, Lindsay, and Douglas as the chief singers, it will rank in the estimation of many as the Augustan age of Scottish literature. One of the chief characteristics of its poetry is the exposition which it makes of the vices of the clergy, and the withering sarcasms with which it attacks them. It may be doubted if any other weapons could be brought to bear on the mass of corruption that harboured in the church, with the same impunity, or with the same effect. Its reformation work was chiefly destructive, but that was the first necessity ; yet it must be admitted that poetry is, at all times, a better destructive than a constructive weapon. It has conservative elements, too, but they are not its most powerful ones. The corresponding age of English literature—that between Chaucer and Spenser-is barren of any great poets.

The next stage of our poetical literature—the Elizabethan age of that of England—is perhaps the most barren in our annals, and for more than a hundred years the most prominent names are Montgomery, Drummond, and the Earl of Stirling. It may be said that the nation's intense religious earnestness either suppressed or absorbed its poetic fervour, yet this, the most intensely Puritanic era of English history, is also that of Milton.

Hitherto, with the exception of Blind Harry and his minstrel brethren, whose names have faded into oblivion along with those effusions whose titles alone shared tl:e lucky chance that saved The Complaint of Scotlund and Cockellie's Sozu from the fate of their unknown authors, the

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