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burning immortal poems. Nobody can tell
what losses tlie world has had in that way



THE aged lady whose recollections I
condense, and combine with my own observations,

Remote, but still distinct, the view appears,
Thro' the long vista of departed years;

although, towards the conclusion of the
American War, the fish town of Footdee was
not one of those "green spots on which
memory delights to dwell." The town
consisted of several rows of low-thatched
cottages running from east to west, between the
high-road and the harbour, or, as it is called,
the tide. During the high spring-tides, the
furthest waves came up to the bank of sand
on which the ends of the houses were built.
Exteriorly, these cottages appeared comfortless
enough, as each dwelling fronted the
back of its opposite neighbour, and, as in the
narrow space between there was a line of
dunghills crossed over with spars, upon
which were hung lines, bladders, and buoys,
intermixed with dried dog-fish and skate.
Their interior was not more alluring to a
stranger. The earthen-floor was uneven,
and sometimes dirty, although generally
sanded over of an evening, or at least every
Saturday, in preparation for the Sabbath.
Upon the wood or rafters which stretched
across horizontally from the tops of the walls,
was a ceiling of old oars and bits of driftwood.
The bare rough walls were not
whitewashed. Roof, walls, and rafters were all
blackened by smoke from a fire at one end of
the cottage, placed upon the floor, and made
of turf and sea-weed. Soot-dropscurious
black glossy accumulations, formed by a
similar process, doubtless, to that which
produces stalactites and stalagmiteshung here
and there upon the walls, rafters, and roof.
These collections of pendulous carbon might
have been deemed ornaments, if they had not
been signs of defective cleanliness. There
was a small window at each side of the door.
Under each window was a clumsy black
bedstead. There was but one small deal
table. There were only two or three chairs,
and as many sunkies, or low fixed seats resting
upon stakes driven into the floor, to sit
upon. Beside the wall opposite the door
were seen the requisites of the fishing
occupationlines, creels, murlains, &c. Such
were the principal property and furniture
visible. There was no press or cupboard;
and the only depository for keeping things in
was a chest or locker, in which lay the
precious stores and the Sunday clothes. The
salt-backet, or box, was suspended in the

Such were the cottages in the eighteenth
century. In the first quarter of the
nineteenth, the cottages were arranged upon the
four sides of squares, with a large open space
in the centre; and outside every cottage,
upon the walls, hung fish-hakes or wooden
triangles for drying haddock. Inside the
cottages the walls were occasionally
whitewashed ; and there was fixed against the wall
a series of wooden shelves for the preservation
and display of delft and earthenware crockery.
There were tea-cups in the cupboard in the
corner. The little round table was of pine-
deal, but scrubbed into a whiteness by a truly
Dutch cleanliness, which made it rival tables
covered with a fair white linen cloth. The
cruisie, an iron lamp of simple structure,
consisting of one cup or ladle, with a narrow lip
for the whale-oil and wick, and another cup
of broader and larger dimensions, to receive
the droppings, hangs in the nineteenth, as in
many centuries previously, near the chimney,
and produces, Rembrandt-like, lights and
shades well worthy of the study of an artist
who should wish to rival the Dutch painters
of the present day, in the pictures they paint
to show the effects of a lamp.

The costumes of the fishers were, and
continue to be, peculiar. The elderly men wore
broad blue woollen bonnets, coarse blue
jackets, and canvass kilts or short trousers.
The younger men were rather good-looking,
had good-humoured faces, and were smarter
in their dress. The women wore caps, the
original patterns of which still abound upon
the Continent, which did not prevent their
features being injured by the weather, and
their skins being tanned by the sun. The
middle-aged women wore stuff gowns, with
large flowered calico wrappers or short
gowns, over them. The young girls wore
stuff wrappers and petticoats, with their hair
either drawn back with a large comb, which
reached from ear to ear, or fastened up in a
very slovenly and unbecoming manner with
a head-dress of red worsted tape. The boys
under fifteen were the worst clad. They ran
about in tattered old garments of their
fathers', a world too wide, and remained in
this condition until they were able to earn a
more decent covering for themselves. The
little children of both sexes were comfortably
clad in a simple dress of white plaiding,
called a walliecoat, which, with their fair
curly heads and rosy cheeks, made them look
very pretty, as they paddled in the pools of
water, and played with their tiny boats.

In the last century, the fishermen were
mostly ignorant of everything unconnected
with their own business. Few of them could
read, and none of the grown-up people could
write. Some of the lads could read and write
a little; but as they went to sea in the night,
and took their repose in the day, they were
not placed in favourable circumstances for
the development of the social faculties. No
instance of intellectual talentno single
person displaying a tendency towards any
art or scienceoccurred among them. Music