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The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart
Chapter 3: 1813-15
John Gibson Lockhart to Jonathan Christie, 3 August 1815

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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Inverkip, by Greenock, Aug. 3rd, 1815.

My dear Christie,—The summer is flying away, and not having heard lately from you, or anybody in the southern parts, I am beginning to be
completely Scotchified. I don’t know how you go on in the important concerns of medical lore. But the Deity of La Paresse has resumed over me with redoubled vigour her antique sway. The place from which I write is a hamlet on the coast of Renfrewshire, just where that county meets Ayrshire. The Clyde is here a noble firth of seven miles breadth, running between the fertile hills of Ayr on the one side, and the bleak-black mountains of Morven on the other. The whole country is intersected with long arms of the sea—lochs, &c.—which render this part of Scotland the most picturesque I have seen.

Not contented with these beauties, the itch of rambling has just been leading me away into the depths of Lochaber. My brother and I foregathered with Hamilton on the banks of Lochlomond, which flows into the Clyde about ten miles above this by means of the water of Leven, and we have just returned from ten days of thorough tramping. We had a horse with us for the convenience of carrying baggage—but contemning the paths of civilised man, we dared the deepest glens in search of trout. There is something abundantly delightful in the naked-heartedness of the Highland people. Bating the article of inquisitiveness, they are as polite as courtiers. The moment we entered a cottage the wife began to bake her cakes—and, having portable soup with us, our fare was really excellent. What think you of parritch and cream
for breakfast? Trout, pike, and herrings for dinner, ewe-milk cheese and right peat-reek whisky? and then at night a rushlight illuminating the smoke-dried pages of
Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Song of Solomon—‘The Crook in the Lot,’ ‘The Cloud of Witnesses, or The Martyrs’ Monument—wherein are the speeches and last words of all the Presbyterian saints, burnt, hanged, and drowned for the glory of God. And lastly, but almost universally—‘The Light and Supple Whang for the Breeks of Declining Faith.’ My brother being a little bit of the wag, gained the affections of all these good folks by his graces, each a quarter of an hour long, wherein he rang the commonplaces of young ravens crying for their food, and of men not living by bread alone. . . . I have heard not a word of any of our Oxonian friends. Don’t forget in your next to give me any intelligence you possess about our friend Nicoll. Gordon MacCaul was up in Oxford, and took his A.M. just after we left it. He says Miss Ireland has at last loosed her virgin zone under the strength of Evans. Happy, happy, happy pair. What a subject for an Epithalamium. Try your hand. I see you say you are reading a great deal of French. If you can lay your hands upon the works of Gresset, I promise you exquisite pleasure. You will find a beautiful Eloge upon him in the first volume of the ‘Discours et Memoires,’ by Bailly.

“There is a famous foreign library at Greenock,
in which I find everything I can want for summer purposes. Compts. to
Knight.—Yours most affectionately,

J. G. Lockhart.”