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GENIUS OF SCOTLAND.
Beauty an Element of the Mind-Our Native Land-Auld Lang Syne-General Description of Scotland-Extent of Population -Spirit of the People-The Highlands-The LowlandsBurns's 'Genius of Scotland'-Natural and Moral Aspects of the Country-The Cotter's Saturday Night'-Sources of Prosperity.
THE theory has become prevalent among philosophers, and even among literary men, that beauty is more an element of the mind than of external objects. Things, say they, are not what they Their aspects are ever varying with the minds which gaze upon them. They change even under the eyes of the same individuals. A striking illustration of this may be found in the opening stanza of Wordsworth's Ode to Immortality.
There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
It is the mind then, which transfers its own ethereal colors to the forms of matter, and invests scenes and places with new and peculiar attractions. Like the light of the moon streaming through a leafy grove and transforming its darkness into its own radiant beauty, the spirit of man diffuses its own inspiration through the universe,
"Making all nature
Beauty to the eye and music to the ear."
Now if this theory be true, it follows that no country will appear to us so beautiful as the one which happens to be endeared to our hearts by early recollections and pleasant associations. No matter how rude and wild,-that spot of all others on earth, will appear to us the sweetest and most attractive! New England,' says a native of Massachusetts or of Vermont, is the glory of all lands. No hills and vales are more picturesque than hers, no rivers more clear and beautiful.' Visit Naples, and die !' exclaims the Neapolitan, proud of his classic home. Green Erin, my darling,' is the fond language of the Hibernian, first gem of the ocean, first flower of the sea.' 'Here's a health,' shouts the native of Caledonia, bonny Scotland to thee!' Others may speak disparagingly of the sour climate and barren soil of Scotland; but to a native of that country, the land of his fathers is invested with all the charms of poetry and romance. Every spot of its varied surface is hallowed ground. He sees its rugged rocks and desolate moors mantled with the hoary memories of by-gone days, the thrill
ing associations of childhood and youth. Therefore, with a meaning and emphasis, which all who love their native land will appreciate, he appropriates the words of the poet :
Land of the forest and the rock,
Of dark blue lake and mighty river,
Land of the beautiful and brave!
The freeman's home, the martyr's grave!
The nursery of giant men,
Whose deeds have linked with every glen,
The magic of a warrior's name!
Does not Scotland, however inferior, in some respects, it may be deemed to other lands, possess a peculiar charm to all cultivated minds?
* The following eloquent passage from an address by the Honorable Edward Everett, before the "Scots' Charitable Society," Boston, well illustrates the fact referred to.
"Not to speak of the worthies of ages long passed; of the Knoxes, the Buchanans, and the early minstrelsy of the border; the land of your fathers, sir, since it ceased to be a separate kingdom, has, through the intellect of her gifted sons, acquired a supremacy over the minds of men, more extensive and more enduring, than that of Alexander or Augustus. It would be impossible to enumerate them all,-the Blairs of the last generation, the Chalmerses of this; the Robertsons, and Humes; the Smiths, the Reids, the Stuarts, the Browns; the Homes, the Mackenzies; the Mackintoshes, the Broughams, the Jeffreys, with their distinguished compeers, both on physical and moral science. The Marys and the Elizabeths, the Jameses and the Charleses will be forgotten, before these names will perish from the memory of And when I add to them those other illustrious names—、 Burns, Campbell, Byron, and Scott, may I not truly say, sir, that the throne and the sceptre of England will crumble into dust like