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EDINBURGH LITERARY MISCELLANY,
For SEPTEMBER 1812.
Description of Elcho CASTLE. honour of the peerage. He was crea
ted first Lord Wemyss of Elcho,which THE remains of this ancient edifice seems to indicate that place to have
are situated on the south side of been then the principal seat of the fathe river Tay, about four miles below mily. He was afterwards dignified, the town of Perth. It was once a however, with the title of Earl of fortress of great strength and extent, Wemyss; and Lord Elcho then be but has for many years been uninha, came the title of the eldest son. David bited, and enly its ruins now remain. Lord Elcho, son of James, fourth Earl
About the middle of the fourteenth of Wemyss, having engaged in the recentury, Elcho, along with other ex- bellion of 1745, was attainted, and rentensive lands in Perthshire, was ac. dered incapable of succeeding: the title, quired by the family of Wemyss, in consequence, became dormant; and whose property had before been en- the Earl made a disposition of his protirely situated within the county of perty in Fifeshire, in favour of his third Fife. On the 28th of August 1511, son James, who transmitted it to his Sir David Wemyss obtained from son William, now General Wemyss King James IV.charters, by which all of Wemyss Castle. On the 29th April his lands in both counties were erect- 1787, Lord Elcho died at Paris, and ed into one free barony. He accom- the title then descended to his next panied that monarch to the battle of brother Francis, who was enabled to Flodden, where be fell, and was suc support the dignity of the peerage by ceeded by his son of the same name, being left heir to the immense properwho also, under the following reignty of his maternal grandfather, Colowas honoured with many marks of roy: nel Francis Charteris. He purchased al favour. His son, Sir John Wemyss, extensive estates in East Lothian, was much esteemed by Queen Ma- where he built the house of Amisfield, ry, and remained steadily attached and another on a scale of extraordinato the cause of that unfortunate prin- ry magnificence at Gosford, now calcess : be received from her a confirm- led Wemyss House. He was succeedation of his titles to the lands of El. ed in 1808, by his grandson Francis, cho. A successor, of the same name, sixth Earl of Wemyss, to whom Elcho was in equal favour with Charles I., Castle still belongs, though be has not and was raised by that monarch to the any residence in its neighbourhood.
Monthly Monthly Memoranda in Natural His- ficial cold. Allowing the animal contory
stant access to a cistern of water, or
throwing plenty of water upon it daiPOLAR BEAR.-A live speci- ly, seem very obvious means, and will
men of the White Bear, (Ursus probably be found indispensable. maritimus,) has, within these few A polar bear was kept for several weeks, been received at Leith. It is years in the collection at the Tower quite a young animal. It is destined, of London, where a cistern and den we understand, for the Professor of were allotted for it. It died about Natural History in the University; four years ago. Two or three white and we are glad to learn that a den bears are described as kept in the is preparing in the College grounds, National Menagerie at Paris *. One by order of the Magistrates as patrons is mentioned as having been seven of the University, where the animal years an inmate, and feeding only may be kept alive, and attain' its full on bread, of which it was satisfied with size. It was taken, according to our 6 lb. a - day. The young bear at information, on an ice-float, in the Leith devours bullocks liver or garWest Greenland seas, in the end of bage of fish greedily. We are not May or beginning of Jure last, by aware of the white bear having ever Mr Scoresby, jun.
of Whitby. That before been kept alive in Scotland. gentleman, (the same who has favour- In Iceland, a few white bears make ed the world with the first accurate their appearance every season, being drawing of the common whale*,) be. wafted on ice-floats, 'as is believed, ing a keen naturalist, resolved to ob- from the opposite coast of East Greenserve its manners and the progress of land, which is only a short distance its growth, and had a large hogshead from the north of Iceland: Sir George fitted up as a cage for its reception. Mackenzie, it may here be noticed, It was daily washed with pailfùls of brought from that island, in 1810, an sea water, and was fed with all kind entire skin of a full grown bear, which of offals. It grew rapidly; and from he presented to the University Mubeing a mere cub, having probably seum, and which has been stuffed, been brought forth in March, it is and placed in that excellent and imnow equal in size to a very large mas- proving collection. tiff. It has even increased in size When full grown, the Greenland since its arrival here, three weeks bear is from 10 to 12 feet long. All ago; its teeth, in particular, have the accounts of voyages to high northbecome larger, and more prominent. ern latitudes contain descriptions of the At present, fresh water is every day great numbers,vast strength,anddreadpumped into the hogshead, till it be ful fierceness of this animal. They ofabout half full : the young bear shews ten pass along ice-bergs some leagues its happiness, by incessantly rolling from land, attracted by the powerful and tumbling among the water, and carrion smell of the rejected krangs or by uttering growling notes of satis- carcases of the whales when stript of faction. It seems very impatient of the blubber. During winter they lie heat; and therefore, in constructing buried under the snow, perhaps at even a temporary den, the coolest si- the depth of 20 or 30 feet; long spie tuation should be chosen, and means racles, or chimneys for breathing, should be taken for producing an arti- marking their places. In Hudson's
Bay, Memoirs of the Wernerian Society, vol. i. Compare Mr Scoresby's figure with the unnatural representation given by M. + La Ménagerie du Museum Nationale La Cepede in his Histoire des Cétacées. . d'Hist. Nat.
Bay, the people belonging to the The Committee appointed to examEnglish factories sometimes amuse ine the HOME-MADE WINES reportthemselves with destroying the bears ed, that no fewer than thirty-two in their winter retreats.
specimens had been produced, most CANONMILLS, 2
of them of excellent quality; but that,
N. 29th Sept. 1812. S
the whole, (it having been previously determined that only one me dal should this year be awarded they
had given the preference to a white Proceedings of the CALEDONIAN HOR- currant wine marked TICULTURAL SOCIETY.
Ce vin d'Ecosse
Merite quelque chose; AT the general meeting of this sor and that on opening the scaled letter ciety, held on Tuesday the 8th
with that motto, it was found to be. September in the Physician's Hall, it long to Mrs Thomson, 10, Picardy was reported from the Committee of
Place, Edinburgh. Prizes, that they had met on the 7th
mmunications were read, of July, and examined several speci- particularly a letter on the culture of mens of forced peaches and seedling sea-cale, by Dr John C. Lettsom, pinks, and that the medal for the for.
London; observations on the Egypmer was due to Mr Ingram at Torry, tian ground onion, by Dr Duncan, and for the latter to Mr Henderson at Delvine.
sen.; on protecting the blossom of At this meeting there was a very
green gage plums, by Mr Kirk at fine display of fruit, considering the and early apple, which grows freely
Smeaton; and an account of a large backwardness of the season, particu- from cuttings, 'by Mr Porterfield, larly peaches, nectarines, apricots, gardener at St Bernards, grapes, green gage plums, and jargo
The following gentlemen were dunelle pears.
report of the Committee of Prizes, medals were
ly admitted members, viz.
awarded as follows:
The Rev. Laurence Adamson, Cupar, Fife. PEACHES. First medal, to Mr Barton at
Francis Balfour, Esq. of Fernie. Bothwell Castle.
James Bryce, Esq. surgeon. Second medal, to Mr Archibald at Dal- George Gardner, Esq. of the Customs. housie Castle.
William Henderson, Esq. merchant. NECTARINES. First medal, to Mr Trotter
Mr Alexander Wright, seedsman. at Alva.
Mr Alexander Melville, at Oxenford Castle. Second, to Mr Barton. APRICOTS.First, to Mr Kirk at Smeaton. Mr William Air, seedsman, Coldstream. ·
Second, Mr Macdonald at Dalkeith. Mr Alexander Gibson, gardener at BlackGRAPES. First, to Mr William Wright,
shiels. Leith. Second, to Mr Porteous at Drummore.
The names of nearly thirty candiGREEN GAGES. First, to Mr Ford at Tyn- dates for admission were enrolled at ingham.
this meeting; a pleasing earnest of Second, to Mr Reid, at Lees.
and success of the instiJARGONELLES. First, to Mr Barton.
tution. Second, to Mr Kirk. GOOSEBERRIES. First, to Mr Affleck at
The third anniversary dinner was Hirsell.
afterwards held in Macewan's large Second, to Mr Archibald.
room, where about 50 members dined. SEEDLING CARNATIONS. First, to Mr Dr Duncan, sen. was in the chair,
Henderson at Delvine. Second, to Mr Mitchell at Moncrieffe and was supported by the Earl of LeHouse.
ven, Lord Torphichen, Colonel Cal.
and worse ;
derwood, Dr Rutherford, Dr Hare, Peukini, in their original seats on the &c. ; Mr T. Dickson and Mr P. Euxine sea, being the real names Pihts Neill, the secretaries, acting as crou- and Peughts mollified and rendered piers. Many very appropriate toasts more distinct," were given, and several excellent songs He then proceeds, (page 368) to promoted the entertainment of the inform us that the writers of a declinevening.
ing age unfortunately termed them Picti, which gave rise to great confusion, tho' only the real name of Pihts
softened to Roman pronunciation.Remarks on PINKERTON'S Etymology After a short digression, in wbich he of the Picts.
abuses Claudian for using the expres To the Editor of the Scots Magazine.
sion, nee falso nomine Picti, he agajn proceeds thus ; " But to return to the
Picti, the Romans unhappily not catWHOEVER has read Pinkerton's ching from the pronunciation the
History of Scotland, will be apt old name Peukini, must have been to imagine that it was written with puzzled how to modify this Barbaric the sole intention of decrying the term ; for as Piki in Latin signified Celts, and panegyrising his own dar- Wood-Peckers, a victory over these ling Picts.' The epithets bestowed Piki would have sounded odd in their on the Scottish Celts are such as dis- annals. The Cumraig Britons called grace even decent abuse, and impress them Phichtiaid, and the Romans could an indelible stain on the Author.- only have latinized this name Ficti, When a man thus prejudiced, and
for verted, attempts any investigation, the tle with feigned people would have result. must be crroneous. Having been matter of laughter. From Scanchosen a favourite hypothesis, he dinavian pronunciation the name was, moulds every thing to answer it. Vici, towns,mor Victi, conqured, or Every author who differs from him, is Vecri, carried, so that the confusion a, mean ignorant fellow, a low quib- was endless. Picti coming first to bler, an unprincipled forger, &c. and hand, took the place of all." when the whole store of sinister epi- From this very consistent narration thets is exhausted, he threatens to we draw the following important facts, make Torfaus swallow them alive at lmo, That the Romans were acquainone mouthful without salt. Of all ted with the Welch and Scandinavian his eccentric attempts, that of endea- pronunciation. 2do, That they were vouring to derive his favourite Piks in a terrible dilemma to find a name from the Gothick language is not the for their newly conquered enemies; least laughable, and to that I shall at and, lastly, that they were in po dilempresent confine myself.
ma at all, but took the first name that “ Vol. I. page 367. He gives us occurred. the names of the Piks, according to Our author then calls to his aid the the Anglo Belgic writer, viz. Peohtas, following names, every one of which Peahtas, Pehtas, and then from the he identifies with the word Pik, viz, Saxon Chronicle, Pihtus, Pyhtas and Vecturiores, Vect-Veriar, Vika, Vikir, Pehtas. He next quotes Ěthelwerd Vicha, Vichir, Vets, Vels, and Pihir
. for Peochta and Pihti. Winton, he says, The only conclusion he draws, is a calls them Peychts, Pechts and Pihts. sort of indirect hint, that the Pika Wittichind names them Pehiti or are, like the Norwegians, the men Pehti. The Greek and Roman writ. of Vik. This is a result hardly to ers, (he adds) call them Piki and have been expected from so redoubted
a Champion as Pinkerton, especially The Chronicon Pictorum asserts that when the cause of his favourite Piks the Picts had a name in their own was at stake, for after all bis labour, language, from painting their Bodies. instead of giving us any satisfactory Claudian says the same, and both are analyses of the name, he tells us in ef- corroborated by Isidorus. Pinkerton feet, that they were Picis because has ransacked every dialect and ramithey were Picis.
fication of the Gothic language in vain, It is much to be regretted that in search of the name, and it must folPinkerton's predilection for Pikism low that the Gothic was not the lanbas led him so completely astray, for guage of the Picts. Indeed it would every man of candour must allow, not have been beneath the dignity of that the materials he has collected, Pinkerton, to have searched for this are of the very first importance, not name in the Gaelic, where so many withstanding his misapplication of concurring testimonies declared it was them; and even from these, without to be found, and I shall now endeavour further aid, I hope to give a satisfac- to supply the defect. tory solution of the Picts.
In the Gaelic, Pich (synonimous Claudian beforementioned has the with the Latin Pica) signifies a Magfollowing line,
nye, and its regular adjective Pichtach, Nec falso nomine Picti. signifies Pye-coloured, or variegated, That is, the Picts aptly so called, or and hence the Romans formed their the Picts so called from painting them. Picti. selves.
The other Gaelic name of the Picts, Isidorus, in his Origines, says Scoti, viz. Cruineacht, also signifies Painted, propria lingua nomen habent a picto and the verb Cruinicam signifies to Corpore, eo quod Aculeis Ferreis cum Paint. atramento variarum figurarum Stigmate Isidorus, Claudian, and the Chroniannotantur, i.e. The Scots have a name con Pictorum, do therefore rightly asin their own language from their sert, that the Picts had a name in their painted bodies, because they are mark- own language, viz. the Gaelic, and ed with the resemblance of various the strict coincidence in sound and figures, by ink, and iron needles. signification betwixt the Gaelic Pich
Unfortunately for Pinkerton, the tach and the Roman Picti, places the famous Chronicon Pictorum, on which matter beyond the possibility of a be lays so much stress, and which he doubt. I need only add, that Cruinso highly eulogizes, contains the very eacht, the other name of the Picts, awords now quoted from Isidorus, with grees in signification with the two the exception that Picti is written in- former. stead of Scoli, a matter of no import The Picts, therefore, were Scots; ance whatever; if the Picts were only they spoke the Gaelic language, and painted Scots, a circumstance highly their only discriminating characterisprobable, as the same Isidorus speak- tic was, that they painted their bodies. ing of the Scythians, adds, De quibus The same Druidic monuments, the originem duxerunt Scoti et Picti, i. e, same names of places, occur in the from whom the Scots and Picts drew Pictish as in the Gaelic district, and
considering the great mass of evidence, Tho' every authority, which Pink- both positive and circumstantial, by arton has quoted, is point blank a. which this position is supported, I do gainst his hypothesis, still he persists, not hesitate to adopt Mr Pinkerton's and hopes to make good his point, by favourite phrase, and denominate it binting that the picts are the men of Historic TRUTH. Vic.
Sept. 10th, 1812.