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land Line* at Aberfeldy, he marked particularly the true causes of so much opposition to the law. Subsequently he wrote a "Statement of the evils wrought in Scotland by the Excise Statutes," in which he advocated-1st, the abolition of the artificial division of the country into Highlands and Lowlands in which different rates of duty were exacted; 2nd, permission to distillers to use stills of greater content than 500 gallons ; and 3rd, permission to make malt duty free for distillation. Walter Scott gave this essay to Mr Edward Earle, Chairman of the Scotch Board of Excise, who highly approved of it and forwarded it to the Lords of the Treasury. These suggestions were all ultimately adopted, but when the Scotch Board was abolished a batch of English officials were sent North who rode rough-shod over their Scottish subordinates. Many good men were discharged or reduced. Train's services were over-looked, and it required the combined exertions of several influential friends to keep him even in the Supervisorship, although he was always a painstaking and duty-doing officer. It is not proposed to follow him through his official career, interesting details of which are furnished in Paterson's Memoir. He once fell into an ambush of smugglers near Balingar, and two armed men mounted guard over their prisoner until the others had worked off the stills and all was safe. Wherever he was located he maintained an unceasing interest in ancient history and relics, and with advancing years his zeal grew greater, until it culminated at Dalry, when he attempted to remove the ancient stone chair of St. John. On this occasion, says Dr Trotter, the gauger was worsted and his gig smashed by an angry crowd.
In 1813, at Newton-Stewart, he made friends with a brother antiquary, Capt. Denniston, and the enthusiastic pair projected a scheme for writing a History of Galloway. They issued printed circulars to all the schoolmasters and parish clerks in the South of Scotland requesting them to furnish information as to old camps, monuments, stories, ballads, etc., in their respective districts. The scheme was not carried out; but Train received great
* See Chronicle1 98 p.,, 895.
quantities of material of the most interesting character, and he was placed in communication with many kindred spirits to whom he could apply at any time. In this manner, before he knew Scott at all, he had unconsciously prepared himself for the important work of his life.
SIR WALTER SCOTT.-In 1814 he published "Strains of the Mountain Muse." The proof sheets came accidentally under the notice of Sir Walter Scott, who sent an appreciative letter to the author and thus began a correspondence which continued till Scott's death. Scott's second novel, "Guy Mannering," published in 1815, was founded upon the tale of the astrologer sent him by Train, and all the others fell hot from the press in quick succession, sometimes at the rate of two or three in a year. It has always been the wonder of mankind that the Wizard of the North produced his brilliant series of romances with such startling rapidity, and while it in no way detracts from Scott's merits, it is no assumption when we say that his spade work was done by others— especially Joseph Train. Until he was pensioned in 1837, the general public knew nothing of Train except for his two little volumes of poems, as his occasional contributions to Chambers' Journal and other periodicals appeared anonymously or over initials only. The titles of some of his verses in the Dumfries Magazine from 1825 onwards are "What dirdrums a body maun dree," "Cake an' puddin'," "The man of straw," etc. He feared his official superiors, he was diffident of his own powers, and his antiquarian work was a labour of love. During all these years Train's discoveries and writings are embedded in those of others-in Scott's novels, in Chalmers' Caledonia, in Nicholson's History of Galloway, &c. Even modern writers have to confess their indebtedness to Train's stores for their raw material. It is therefore impossible to establish the value of Train's labours in any better way than to say that for eighteen years the author of Waverley looked upon him as his most useful assistThese labours can only be estimated in schedule form, and consist of old relics, ballads, facts, and fables, which at intervals. he poured out of his literary wallet at the feet of his master.
Train's connection with George Chalmers is equally honourable to both. When Sir Walter was in London in 1815, Chalmers explained to him the great difficulty he was experiencing in getting material for the third volume of his Caledonia, which deals with the West of Scotland, and Sir Walter recommended him to apply to Train. The result was that Chalmers for years had the assistance of Train, who sent him lengthy and frequent budgetsone being 17 ounces in weight. Train did all this gratis, but Chalmers, like Sir Walter. makes him generous acknowledgments, both in letters and in the work itself. He thus writes:
"You will enjoy the glory of being the first who has traced the Roman footsteps so far westward into Wigtownshire, and the Roman Road from Dumfriesshire to Ayr,"
DUMFRIES AND BURNS.-Train was supervisor of Dumfries district from 1824 to 1827. He succeeded John Lewars, and took a house in Maxwelltown near that of Burns's old friend. These years are described as particularly happy ones, and with such kindred spirits as Dr William Maxwell, John M'Diarmid, of the Courier, and William Bennett (afterwards of the Glasgow Frer Press) dropping in, many a pleasant and profitable evening was spent. Paterson says of Train that he did not monopolise conversation, but rather chose to stand in the background, occasionally by a well-timed remark showing his knowledge of the subject under discussion. His home was a scene of domestic In the words of one of his friends :
happiness and comfort.
"There could be no finer picture of calm flowing mutual affection than existed between them and their children, and nothing so pleasing as their unostentatious hospitality. Mrs Train hal been exceedingly good-looking, and when I first saw her, with her look of quiet, matronly sagacity and affection, she impressed me with an almost filial esteem."
Train conducted his antiquarian researches with great care, and his authority as a scientific investigator has always been quoted with respect; but lately his name has been brought forward—not in a friendly way-in connection with some of his MSS. now in the Advocates' Library, or Laing Collection of Edinburgh University..
Dr W. Wallace shows in the Glasgow Herald of 22nd Feby., 1896, that Sir Walter got Train to send him information for Lockhart's Life of Burns. The papers sent contained a story of John Richmond's reflecting on the good name of a Mary Campbell, supposed to be Highland Mary. Lockhart selected what was suitable, and rightly rejected Richmond's incredible story, neglecting, however, to destroy the MS. It is not easy to see how any one can blame Train for this. In his tine, and for long afterwards, false stories about Burns were disseminated in Dumfries. They were kept alive and added to not only by the frequenters of alehouses who asserted their devotion to his memory, but also by the "unco' guid," who passed them on with solemn faces. Currie's biography had more than hinted at peccadillos in Burns's conduct which he suppressed out of respect for his memory. This sort of thing only excited scandal-mongers to do their worst, and has raised questions which will perhaps never be settled. Now, Train's admiration for Burns was unbounded. They were both Ayrshire born, their lives overlapped by 16 years, and the early life of the former was passed in an atmosphere ringing with gossip about Burns and the Kirk and the lasses. When he could ill afford the money he ordered an expensive copy of his poems. He followed his great predecessor into the Excise, and for years he lived in the same town with Bonnie Jean. From boyhood he tried his own hand at versifying in the vernacular, and did not give up trying even in old age. Of all men he was the least likely to stir up a puddle round the memory of our National Bard or any one connected with him.
THE HISTORY OF THE ISLE OF MAN.-In 1827 Train was appointed supervisor at Castle-Douglas, a wider and more arduous district; but he settled down there contentedly for the rest of his service, and retired in 1837, after nearly thirty years' service. Sir Walter had strongly urged him to write a History of the Isle of Man, and he kept the advice steadily in view. However, it was not till 1842 that the publication of the work began. He consulted such previous authorities as existed,
had to sojourn for some time in the island, and succeeded in completing a work which had previously baffled Lord Hailes and others. It was agreed on all hands that a long-felt and oftenexpressed want had been amply supplied. This work is still delightful to the modern reader, who may well wonder at the learning displayed by the author. It met with a good reception from the press, especially the local journals. Take, as an example, the Manx Herald of 7th May, 1844:
"The work evinces extraordinary research, sound judgment, and im. partiality. Mr Train has nobly discharged his difficult task. It contains accurate summaries of facts, expositions of peculiar laws and customs, popular superstitions, antiquities, constitution, &c., in which singular accuracy of information is displayed and every known authority consulted, forming a standard reference of real utility, a work not only indispensable to the library of each intelligent Manxman, but which no library throughout the United Kingdom with any pretension to completeness ought to or can be without."
THE BUCHANITES.-In 1846 he published his "Buchanites from First to Last," a rare book which must be read to be appreciated. The story of Luckie Buchan and her crazy followers, and their wonderful pilgrimage from Irvine through Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire to their final settlement at Crocketford, is told with admirable and unvarnished simplicity. He got most of his information from Andrew Innes, the last of the Buchanites, who, in his old age, sat in his house guarding the sacred remains of the prophetess, which were deposited in the next room. Every night through a hole in the wall Andrew religiously spread a blanket over the coffin to keep the saintly bones warm. Thus was the hallucination sustained till the end.
In Burns's letter of August, 1784, to his cousin, Mr James Burnes, Montrose, there is a masterly account of this deluded sect. Although the Poet was burned out of Irvine at the NewYear, 1781, yet he did not lose touch with his Irvine acquaintances, and his friend Davie Sillars opened a shop there in 1783. Knowing personally so many members of the new sect, he doubtless turned out in May, 1784, like the rest of the countryside, to see them pass by Tarbolton on their famous journey, for he says in his "Remarks on Scottish Song":