Rough Scan


GEORGE OUTRAM was born on the 25th March 1805, at Clyde Iron-Works, in the vicinity of Glasgow, his father being then the manager of these important works.  In the course of a year or two, however, the family removed from Glasgow to Leith, Mr Outram, sen., having become partner in a mercantile house there.  George received his early education in the High School of Leith; and afterwards went through the regular curriculum of the University of Edinburgh.  In 1827 he became a member of the Faculty of Advocates, and for the next ten years continued to attend the Parliament House, where his genial disposition and fund of quaint humour made him a great favourite with both Bench and Ear.
Being, however, of a retiring, sensitive, and not over-active nature, Outram did not lay himself out with much earnestness for legal practice; and in 1837 he accepted the offer, somewhat unexpectedly made to him, of the editorship of the 'Glasgow Herald,' then, as it has since continued to be, the leading newspaper in the west of Scotland.  He became also one of the proprietors, and settled down to his new duties for life.  The 'Herald,' at that time, was published only twice a-week, and was conducted in a steady, quiet, and unpretentious manner, with a careful avoidance of anything like an aggressive or innovating spirit.  In politics it was mildly Conservative, but by no means slavishly so, as it rather piqued itself on maintaining a character of independence, and was on the whole conducted with such tact and discrimination that it secured the confidence of the public, and increased in circulation and repute.  Its editor loved what was old and pleasant and easy, and shrank, with a sort of humorous abhorrence, from what was novel and obtrusive, either in social or political life.  Nevertheless, when occasion required, he showed both firmness and discrimination, and his judgment was seldom at fault in the numerous questions which force themselves on the attention of a public writer.
Mr Outram had married before he left Edinburgh, and in due course became the father of four sons, in whose education and upbringing he took the greatest possible interest, but one of whom only now survives.  He had one daughter, who died in infancy.  He resided, with much domestic enjoyment, in Glasgow or its neighbourhood for nineteen years.  During that period he won and retained, by his amiable manners and delightful flow of good-natured humour, the esteem and respect of all classes.  He likewise experienced much pleasure in keeping up his acquaintance with his old friends and associates in Edinburgh, who had greatly regretted his separation from them, and were always glad to receive him with open arms.
Latterly his constitution, which had never been very robust, gave way somewhat prematurely, and he died at his country residence of Rosemore, on the Holy Loch, on 15th September 1856, in the fifty-second year of his age.  He was buried in Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh; and left behind him, in the hearts of many attached friends, the memory of a most kindly, amiable, and gifted man,
For George Outram possessed, in addition to his other qualifications, a spark of true and original Scottish genius, but for which the foregoing brief summary of his uneventful life would never have seen the light.  This genius manifested itself chiefly in the production of songs and other lyrical pieces, mostly in the Scottish dialect, and exhibiting, without a touch of bitterness, an amount of humour hardly surpassed by any other national writer.  Many of these compositions, which were the delight of his own circle, were culled forth only by some incident or event in the lives of some of the members of that circle; so that their allusions and mirth-exciting power could not be rightly understood by the outer world.  Well, however, do Outram's surviving friends remember what additional delight many a song of his, composed for the occasion, gave to their social symposiums.  The author himself was of too modest a nature to regard them as anything but trifles; but when a copy was obtained, the unrepressed laughter of many a coterie in the Parliament House, collected in some convenient nook, indicated their appreciation of the contents.
Fortunately, however, some of Ontram's best things are of a more general character, which appeal to, and are sure to command, the sympathies of all.  His legal lyrics introduce us to some of the peculiarities of Scotch law, and show us their comic side with a rare and genial power, scarcely ever attempted before, and certainly never at any time surpassed.  The author's idea in such ballads as "The Annuity," "The Multiplepoinding," "Soumin an' Roumin," "The Process of Augmentation," "The Process of Wakenin," "Cessio Bonorum," and others, seems to have been to present vivid and humorous pictures, not unaccompanied sometimes by a touch of pathos, of the peculiar and rather remarkable features of Scotch legal process, and its effect on the character and feelings of his countrymen.  The scenes suggested are as vividly portrayed as they could have been by the pencil of a Wilkie; and whilst perhaps they will be most intensely appreciated by professional lawyers, they possess that breadth of colouring and truth to human nature which cannot fail to interest all readers, and entertain them with an exquisite perception of the ludicrous.
Some of the miscellaneous pieces are not less stamped with originality and humour, and it is much to be regretted that, for the reasons above indicated, they cannot be all given to the public.  It is confidently believed, however, that among the poems in the present publication there will be found specimens of national _facetiae_ differing from anything to be found elsewhere, and full of a high merit of their own.  In some instances they are decriptive of bacchanalian characters; but in place of ebing written with any view to encourage bacchanalian habits, they tend to expose the folly of such habits, and to turn them into ridicule.  Here and there the author's keen freedom of expression, without which the thought would have lost its characteristic vigour.  But the consciousness of a healthy moral tone remains throughout.
This brief Introductory Notics ought pehaphs to stop here.  But it has been suggested that one or two personal reminiscences of Outram may be added, as tending to bring out more fully the genial character of the man and the poet.  His cast of mind and associations were essentially Scottish.. He was, it is believed, only twice out of Scotland during his life, and that but for short periods.  He was admirably versed in, and had a high appreciation of, the strength of his native Doric.  He was also familiar with the peculiarities of Scotch character, some of which afforded him great amusement, whilst others inspired him with respect.  These features of his mind and habits led him, not long after he went to reside in Glasgow, to conceive the idea of a "Scotch Denner," to be given in his own house, as a purely national meal, to which each guest was to come in the costume of some favourite Scottish worthy, and which was to be a gathering ironically renweing the once popular lamentations over the Union with England, as destructive of the independence and ancient position of Scotland.  The "denner," to which only a small and select party was invited, each of whom appeared in an historical character and dress, came of on 22nd July 1844, being the 138th anniversary of the Treaty of Union.  It had been a great amusement ot Outram, in his leisure moments, to make arrangements for this banquet.  He printed his lette rof invitation - of itself a curiosity - a list o toasts - and, by way of _menu_, a small _brochure_, a copy of which supplied to each of the guests, with the motto, "Syne there were proper stewards, cunning baxters, excellent cooks and potingars, with confections and drugs for their deserts." - Pitscottie, Edin. 1728, p. 174.  The Letter of Invitation, List of Toasts, and the _Brochure_, are here given for the perusal of those who may be interested by a specimen of the genial humour which habitually pervaded the author's social intercourse with his friends.



"Forgie me that I steer your memorie e'en now, anent that wearifu' Treaty o' Union wi' the Englishers, whilk, as ye weel ken, was subscrivit by the unworthie representatives of our forebears, on the 22d day of July, A.D. 1706, in ane unhappie hour.  For I do sae allenarlie wi' the intent that ye suld devise means to red us for aye of that wanchancie covenant, the endurance whereof is regarded by ilka leal-hearted Caledonian with never-devallin' scunner.  Wherefor I earnestly entreat of you that, on Monday the 22d of the present month, bein' the 138th anniversary of the foresaid dulefu' event, ye wald attend a great gatherin' o' Scotsmen, to be halden after the gude auld Scottish fashion, at Scott Street of Glasgow, whan it will be taen into cannie consideration how we may now best free oursels o' that unnatural band, either by a backspang, if we can sae far begunk the Southron, or by an evendown cassin o' the bargain, an' haudin' of our ain by the strong hand, if need be.  An' to the intent that we may be the better preparit for what may come, it is designit, on the occasion of the said gatherin', that we sall subsist upon our ain national vivers allenarlie, an' sae pruive how far we can foregae the aids o' foreign countries in respect of our creature comforts, varyin' our fare wi' the flesh o' the red deer an' the trouts o' Lochleven, suppin' our ain Kail, Hotch Potch, or Cockieleekie, whiles pangin' oursels wi' haggis an' brose, an' whiles wi' sheep's head an' partan pies, rizzard haddies, crappit heads an' scate-rumples, nowt's feet, kebbucks, scadlips, an' skink, forbye custocks, carlings, rifarts an' syboes, farles, fadges an' bannocks, drammock, brochan an' powsowdie, and siklike-washin' the same doun our craigs wi' nae foreign pushion, but allenarlie wi' our ain reamin' yill an' bellin' usquebaugh.
"Trustin' that you, an' mony anither leal Scotsman, will forgather at the foresaid time an' place, to bend the bicker after the manner of our worthie forebears when guid auld Scotland was a kingdom,

="I subscrieve myself,
=="Yours to command,

"Given at Scott Street of Glasgow, on the eleventh day o' July, Anno Domini, mdcccxliv."

On the back of the letter, under the address, were the words :-

"Be this letter delivered with haste-haste-post haste!
===Ride, villain, ride!
=For thy life-for thy life-for thy life!"

The late Lord Cockburn threatened to interdict the treasonable meeting!  But the guests, nevertheless, assembled, and found prepared for them the following bill of fare :-



(1)="_There's peas intil't, an' there's beans intil't,_
=_An' there's carrots, an' neeps, an' greens intil't._"

(2)="_Lang may she live, an' lang enjoy_
==_Ilk blessin' life can gie_,-
=_Health, wealth, content, an' pleasour_,
==_An' cockie-leekie_."


(3)="_Can ye tell me, fisher laddies,_
=_What's gotten into the heads o' the haddies?_"

(4)="_Stove him weel wi' wine an' spice,
==_And butter in the bree;_
=_I'se warrant he'll ken neist time_
==_A feather frae a flee_."


(5)="_Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face_,
=_Great chieftain o' the puddin' race_."

(6)="_John Anderson, my jo_,
==_Cum in as ze gae by_,
=_An' ze sall get a sheip's head_
==_Weel baken in a pie_."

(7)="_An'first they ate the white puddin's_,
==_An' syne they ate the black_."

(8)="_Gie me lock brose, brose,
==_Gie me lock brose and butter_."

(9)="_They a', in ane united body_,
==_Declared it a fine fat howtowdie_."

(10)="_He pang'd himsel' fu' o' collops an' kail_, (11)
(12)=_Syne whang'd at the bannocks o' barley-meal_."

(13)="_It was fed wi' fouth o' gerse an' oats_,
=An' was wirried an' sauted at Johnnie Groat's_."

(14)="_My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here_,
=_My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer_."


"_There's bread an' cheese at my door-cheek_
_An' pancakes the riggin' o't_."


"1. The Majestie o' this Realm, being the Land o' Cakes.
2. The Mernorie o' the Last Queen o' Scotland.
3. The Cassin o' the Wanchancie Covenant.
4. The Abolition o' a' Assessments an' Blackmails.
5. A speedie Parliament in the Parliament House.
6. The Abolishment o' Stake Nets, an' the Restoration o' the auld Manier o' Fishin'.
7. A Dour Douncome to the Gadgers, an' a Kittle Cast to the Customs.
8. The Buirdly Barons o' the Borders, an' the Auld Road to Carlisle.
9. The Laird o' Raasay and Commissioners o' Benachie.
10. True Thomas o' Ercildoune, Sir David Lyndsay o' the Mount, an' a' the Famous Scottish Menstrils."

"_Nota bene_.-The farder order o' the ceremonie at the pleasour o' the companie."

With the toasts, on the occasion of the "denner," were intermingled many of the Chairman's most delightful songs-some of them being composed for the occasion-together with other songs, hardly less delightful, by a favourite Scottish landscape-painter, now, alas! no more; and with the irresistible stories of another Scottish artist, who, happily, still survives to charm his countrymen alike with his word- and colour- painting.  It is needless to say that the night was one of unequalled mirth and enjoyment, and that the "pleasour o' the companie" protracted the "order o' the ceremonie" till a late, or rather an early, hour.
Outram was often urged to publish, but he always evaded the request.  In the year 1851, however, he was induced to print, for private circulation, his Legal Lyrics, under the title, 'Legal Lyrics and Metrical Illustrations of the Scotch Forms of Process; one hundred copies printed for Private Circulation.'  The edition was limited, accordingly; and the excellence and originality of the contents were so greatly appreciated by the more immediate friends to whom copies were presented, that they were besieged on all hands by requests for perusal; and at many social meetings it was considered one of the chief attractions of the evening to hear some of the Lyrics read or sung.  None enjoyed them more than the then acknowledged heads of the literary and intellectual society of Edinburgh.  One literary friend so much delighted in "The Process of Augmentation," that he used to have parties at his own house, where it was sung by the guests, in the characters and costumes of the Minister, the various Heritors, and the Lords of Session.  The Minister's tune, composed by the author, is printed in this volume.  Lord Rutherfurd was particularly enchanted with "The Process of Wakenin," as possessing a wonderful combination of pathos and drollery.  Professor Wilson, Lord Cockburn, and many other admirers, likewise had their special favourites in the lyrical volume.
These Legal Lyrics, as yet so imperfectly circulated, have been much talked of, and the whole of them are included in the present volume.  It is to be regretted that Outram never carried out his intention of writing some others, as indicated by certain fragments found among his manuscripts.  One of these, intended to illustrate the Law of Lien, has the following graphic commencement:-

If ye've been up ayont Dundee,
Ye maun hae heard about the plea
That's raised by Sandy Grant's trustee
=For the mill that belang'd to Sandy.
For Sandy lent the man his mill,
An' the mill that was lent was Sandy's mill,
An' the man got the len' o' Sandy's mill,
=An' the mill it belang'd to Sandy.

A' sense o' sin an' shame is gone,
They're claiming two a lien on
=The mill that belang'd to Sandy.
But Sandy lent the man his mill,
An' the mill that was lent was Sandy's mill,
An' the man got the len' o' Sandy's mill,
=An' the mill it belang'd to Sandy.

The gossip of the Parliament House as to a flirtation (said to have commenced on the wrong side) between parties not usually brought together, gave rise to some verses entitled "The Macer's Daughter," of which the two following only have been preserved:-

"'Twas not his form, 'twas not his face,
='Twas not his eloquence, that caught her;
It was his name in every case
=That gained the heart of the macer's daughter.

'Twas not her eye, or ruby lip,
=Or teeth, like pearls in purest water;
He'd ne'er have touched her finger's tip
=Had she not been the macer's daughter."

When his friend, the late Thomas Mackenzie, advocate, afterwards Lord Mackenzie, was rapidly rising as a junior at the bar, he received the honorary appointment of Counsel for the Woods and Forests, which gave rise to a song being commenced, called


Are they accents of love, or the words of command?
'Tis the voice of a lady-the first in the land-
Saying, "Trusty Mackenzie, I'll give you a fee,
If you'll roam through the woods and the forests with me.

"And, Tom, may it not be hereafter your pride,
As snugly you sit by your happy fireside,
To tell little Tommy, who sits on your knee,
How you roamed through the woods and the forests with me?

And when you shall part with your bombasine gown,
And in ermine and silk on the Bench shall sit down,
Won't the great Lord Mackenzie remember with glee
How he roamed through the woods and the forests with me?"

Other _disjecta membra_ of a similar description might be quoted, and some additional poems might perhaps, with care, be selected from the MSS.; but the task is delicate where the author himself did not contemplate publication; and, in the mean-time at least, what is here given must suffice.

=======H. G. B.



THE relatives of the author have to lament the unexpected death of the accomplished editor of this little volume just when it was on the eve of being given to the public.  It was to him a labour of love to select from the more ample manuscript volume, in which many of the author's compositions had luckily been preserved, those of which the humour and spirit were most likely to be apprehended and appreciated by readers who were not familiar with the characters and incidents which called them forth.  The devotedness of the editor to his all but overpowering judicial duties-discharged with herculean strength and herculean success- necessarily superseded, to a great extent (although it never altogether prevented), the indulgence of his literary tastes and habits, and retarded the selection which, for a long period, he had at heart, of the specimens now given of the genius of his early and attached friend, whom he enthusiastically admired, and whose uneventful life and genial character he has briefly recorded in the foregoing Introductory Notice.
As may be gathered from that notice, it was not unusual with the author to surprise his friends, at the social board, by effusions in which some of themselves (while ample justice was done to their solid qualities and acquiremenis) were, at same time, made the objects of an under-current of irresistible humour, which compelled them to join in a smile or a laugh at their own expense, and thereby covered the modest confusion which the admiring regard insinuated or expressed towards themselves, in their presence, might otherwise have occasioned.
In one of these effusions, of which the editor himself was the subject, his somewhat remarkable size and physical prowess were made the foil to carry off an expression of personal attachment, as well as appreciation of his powerful intellect, which was then - now some thirty years ago - well known to all who had adequate means of judging.  Among the pieces proposed to be published, the editor, from motives of delicacy, had not included this one; but the relatives of the author, in now recording their gratitude to the editor, trust that they may he pardoned by his surviving friends for the liberby they take in here presenting it to the indulgent reader.


(TUNE - "_The Misseltoe Bough_.")

In Russia there is, as all travellers tell,
Near the Kremlin, at Moscow, a ponderous Bell,
Called "King of the Bells" its fame to extol,
Or, in Muscovite language, the Tzar Kolokol.

'Tis made of all metals-gold, silver, and tin-
For each wealthy Russian some jewel cast in;
And the poor never rested till something they stole
To assist in compounding the Tzar Kolokol.

The furnace was fed by the young and the old;
The maid gave her ear-rings, the miser his gold;
For all knew 'twould be for the good of the soul
To give what they could to the Tzar Kolokol.

Full nine months passed over before it was cast,
But out came the mountain of metal at last,
And tribes from the tropics, and tribes from the pole,
Came as pilgrims to look at the Tzar Kolokol.

With ropes and with pulleys they hoisted the mass,
And they made it a tongue of some ten tons of brass,
And the world waited trembling to hear the first toll
From the King of the Bells,-from the Tzar Kolokol.

But that toll never came, for the rafters gave way,
And the ponderous giant was rolled in the clay;
And the fatal result was a wide gaping hole
That was broke in the side of the Tzar Kolokol.

We've a Bell in this country,-the King of Bells too;
Of metal as various, and temper more true,-
A sort of a giant-though, upon the whole,
He's not quite so big as the Tzar Kolokol.

It took nine months to cast him; and as for his tongue,
'Tis as brazen as theirs is, though much better hung;
And I'm sure we all feel 'tis good for the soul
To do what we can for our Tzar Kolokol.

Though he's never been hung yet, and never may be,
His voice has been heard o'er the earth and the sea,
And long may such music continue to roll
From the King of our Bells,-from the Tzar Kolokol.

May the King live for ever, a Persian request
Which we make in behalf of our much - honoured guest;
May we oft pledge a bumper, and oft drain a bowl,
To the health of our Bell,-to our Tzar Kolokol.


THE reference in the letter of invitation to "that wanchancie Covenant" (the Treaty of Union between England and Scotland), represents the intense feelings of objection and opposition to the Union which extensively prevailed in Scotland before the Treaty was made in 1707, and which continued to exist among many of the Scotch people till after the Rebellion of 1745.  Much curious information on the subject will be found in Defoe's History of the Union, and of the proceedings and negotiations which preceded it.  Sir Walter Scott alludes to these feelings in 'Rob Roy,' where, it may be remembered, Andrew Fairservice vehemenily denounces the Union, while the shrewd and pawky Bailie shows a full appreciation of the benefits to flow from it to both countries.
The dishes which form the bill of fare are humorously indicated in the snatches of songs and sayings of the _menu_.  They are generally old Scotch dishes, some of which are now scarcely known.
(1) This is "hotch-potch," which continues to be a favourite Scotch dish.  The Shepherd in the 'Noctes Ambrosianae' calls it "an emblem of the haill animal and vegetable creation."
"_Intil't_" is "_in it_."
The story goes that a Southron, who had greatly relished the soup, wished to learn from the cook how it was prepared, and she replied as in the text, "There's peas intil't," &c.  He could make nothing of "intil't," which he perhaps thought was one of the articles used, and repeatedly asked, "But _what's intil't?_"  All, however, he could extract from the somewhat angry cook was, "I have tell't ye already; there's peas intil't," &c.
(2) Leek-soup, commonly called "cock-a-leekie," is indicated.  This is another prime Scotch soup, and according to Sir Walter Scott in the 'Fortunes of Nigel,' it was deemed fit for the royal table in the days of "King Jamie," who, after the marriage of "Glenvarlochides and pretty Peg-a-Ramsay," says- "_Surge, carnifex_ - Rise up, Sir Richard Moniplies of Castle-Collop!  And, my lords and lieges, let us all to our dinner, _for the cock-a-leekie is cooling_."
(3) This is a dish designated (_Sotticè_) "crappit heads."  It is composed of minced beef, with a considerable proportion of suet and some oatmeal, flavoured with chopped onions or leeks, and any other sweet herbs, and salt and pepper.  The mess, when well mixed of the usual consistency of sausage, is stuffed into the heads or skulls of large haddocks, and is roasted in a Dutch-oven till sufficiently cooked.  When properly made and seasoned it is a savoury dish.
(4) The reference in the lines, to knowing "neist time a feather frae a flee" (fly), and, in the Letter of Invitation, to "the trouts o' Lochleven," indicate a stew of Lochlevon trout, caught by the fly in angling.
(5) A Scotch haggis is hero referred to.  It is prepared of similar materials to those used for "crappit heads," which are stuffed into the stomach of the sheep (called the "haggis-bag"), and the aperture being firmly sewed, it is boiled till sufficiently cooked.  As the haggis-bag, if well filled, swells from the boiling of its contents, and the steam produced, it is often much swollen when brought to table, and should be opened carefully by a small incision, otherwise its contents may squirt out, to the damage of the table-cloth, and perhaps of the carver.
A description is given in the 'Noctes Ambrosiane' - (Professor Wilson's Works, 1855, vol. ii. p. 134) - of the danger of opening the "haggis-bag" rashly.  Christopher North, Tickler, and the Shepherd have sat down to dinner, and the Shepherd says: -
"'I'll carve the haggis.'
"_North_.  'I beseech you, James, for the love of all that is dear to you, here and hereafter, to hold your hand.  Stop! stop! stop!'

="(_The_ SHEPHERD _sticks the haggis, and the table is speedily overflowed."  A ludicrously comic scene is then pictured of the sufferings of the party from the flooding of the room, and of their narrow escape from being drowned in haggis.)
(6) This is a sheep's-head pie.  It is usually prepared from the head of a fat tup, the wool of which has been singed or burnt off to give it a special flavour, which perhaps none but a Scotchman esteems.
(7) White puddings are prepared much in the same way as "crappit heads," the materials being equal parts of oatmeal and suet.  Black puddings have some blood added to the materials.
(8) Brose is made by pouring boiling water on toasted oatmeal, and stirred, as the water is poured in, by a blunt knife or the end of a spoon, till it is of the consistency of porridge or pudding.  If the water has previously been used for boiling a round or rump of salt beef and greens, the dish is called "kail-brose "-lauded in the old song-

="O the kail-brose of old Scotland!
=O for the Scottish kail-brose!"

(9) A "howtowdie" is a well-grown barn-door chicken.
(10) "Scotch collops" consist of slices of beef with the fat, stewed in a stewing or frying pan, with onions and pepper and salt.
(11) "Kail" is a soup of good stock, thickened with minced greens, and a little flour, till it is of suificient consistency.
(12) Barley-meal "bannocks" are rolls or cakes of barley-meal toasted on a girdle.
(13) A salted Orkney goose is the dish indicated.  It is usually cooked by boiling.
(14) A haunch or other dish of red-deer venison is referred to.