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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 3: 1813-15
John Gibson Lockhart to Jonathan Christie, 8 September 1813

Vol. I. Preface
Vol. I Contents.
Chapter 1: 1794-1808
Chapter 2: 1808-13
Chapter 3: 1813-15
Chapter 4: 1815-17
Chapter 5: 1817-18
Chapter 6: 1817-19
Chapter 7: 1818-20
Chapter 8: 1819-20
Chapter 9: 1820-21
Chapter 10: 1821-24
Chapter 11: 1817-24
Chapter 12: 1821-25
Chapter 13: 1826
Vol. II Contents
Chapter 14: 1826-32
Chapter 15: 1828-32
Chapter 16: 1832-36
Chapter 17: 1837-39
Chapter 18: 1837-43
Chapter 19: 1828-48
Chapter 20: 1826-52
Chapter 21: 1842-50
Chapter 22: 1850-53
Chapter 23: 1853-54
Chapter 24: Conclusion
Vol. II Index
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Produced by CATH
Innerkip, 8th September 1813.

My dear Christie,—In this place of retirement you will easily perceive what a delightful variety the Caledonian Sabbath, observed con amore, must create. The minister of this place owed his promotion to a cause no doubt very common, although seldom so barefacedly exposed to the view of mankind. It seems the last minister left a solitary daughter of eighteen. The patron had great compassion on her light purse, and wrote to her in plain terms, that he referred the appointment of her father’s successor entirely to her own judgment. The lady, having caused this munificent offer of the
laird’s to circulate on the face of the earth, was speedily attended by a true Penelopean swarm of suitors—each eager, by a display of his various talents, to make his calling and his election sure. Miss S. very wisely gave the preference to him who had the broadest back—a very Welshman as to externals—toto cœlo discrepant from our friend as to the weightier matters. This sage apostle possesses, however, the rare power of amusing by his sermons. He is so totally ignorant that he professes never to have bought or borrowed a book since he cam’ to years o’ discretion! He found an old system of logic in the manse when he was married, and has thought fit to divide his discourses, logice, in consequence. He always sets out with a definition. For instance, he has been lecturing and preaching on the supper at Cana for these nine weeks, and the first thing he did was to define wine and water for the elucidation of the metamorphosis performed in his text. ‘Wine,’ quoth he, ‘is a pleasant, exhilarating liquor, taken after dinner and at other times—by genteel people—in moderation most excellent, but in excess odious. Water is a pure, perspicuous substance, useful in cleansing or purifying of things defiled.’

“At another time, having occasion to make his masonic audience comprehend what is meant by calling Christ the foundation of our faith—‘A foundation,’ said he, ‘may thus be defined, “that part
of a superstructure which the canny artist first endeavoureth to make steadfast.”’ So much for Presbyterian eloquence. We have the repenting stool here in all its glory. The poor man almost went out of his wits last Sunday in rebuking a damsel who appeared for the fifth time, in silk stockings. I suppose
Traill is no longer with you. Connell was here lately, for a day or two, and, according to him, Traill’s motions have been totally different from his original intentions. Remember me to him and Knight if they are in your neighbourhood. I am sensible that you can find (little) amusement in such letters as these. I hope I shall be able to atone in winter when I get among the luminaries of Auld Reekie. Jeffray (sic)—the cool-headed Jeffray—was lately, I hear, taken and released by Commodore Rogers on his way to America—from the North of Scotland—and on what errand? to marry a niece of John Wilkes, who lives at Charlestown. The Commodore knew Jeffray’s kindred soul, and treated him, it seems, with singular kindness. He got a letter from Rogers to the Mayor of Charlestown, and various friends of Republicanism with whom our ‘wee reekit deil’ of a reviewer will, no doubt, participate in many dinners and many toasts from which—Metu aut Montibus—we are unhappily debarred.—Yours ever affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”