1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Grant

Robert Pearse Gillies, 1813; Memoirs of a Literary Veteran (1851) 2:132-33.



At dinner that day, he [John Pinkerton] must needs introduce, en passant, some sneers against religion, thereby exciting instantaneous wrath on the part of good old Mrs. Grant, of Laggan, who gave battle immediately. By ill luck, she made it a point of duty to assume an angry tone, and very soon lost temper utterly, whilst her tormentor, sipping his "oeil de perdrix," was jocose and sardonic. Evidently the Shepherd [James Hogg] was amazed and vexed at this. It argued a want of tact on both sides, not reconcilable to his notions of good breeding. The dispute would have grown tiresome, had it not been for the excellent management of my late sister-in-law, Mrs. Arthur Clifford, who strenuously claimed Pinkie's attention on account of a promise he had made of going with her to see the Duke of Hamilton's pictures at Holyrood (though she had no intention of accepting his services). The wicked antiquary saw through the ruse, and thankfully acquiesced in changing the subject. With great vivacity, Mrs. Clifford then implored Mrs. Grant to settle some doubts she had long entertained as to the meaning of a certain passage in Temora. So the discord was quashed, and when Pinkie has "cottoned" to a bottle of curious old Hermitage, and the Shepherd received materials for brewing his first jug of toddy (after which he volunteered a song), of course all was well, and we spend a jovial evening.