Books and Pamphlets Received

1913 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
bodies for the same purpose. No questions were asked by the authorities as to the source of these subjects, and the horrible business went on for some time, until the disappearance of "Daft Jamie," a halfwitted local character, aroused popular suspicion. Investigation followed ; Hare, to save his own neck, turned king's evidence; and the whole nefarious traffic was made public in the courts. Burke was hanged, and his skeleton is now in the museum of the medical school. He would now be
more » ... ld now be forgotten, save for this and for having given his name to body-snatching and to seduction and murder for anatomic purposes. After this infamous affair, "burking" was made a capital crime, and strict laws were passed about the obtainment of material for dissection, happily since imitated in all civilized countries. It is not with episodes such as this, however, that we should wish to associate Edinburgh, but with the brighter pages that illuminate its history. The past of every old city like that of nations, is part written in blood; but the portion so written fades, while the better lives for our delight and enduring profit. Farther south of Edinburgh, the sunlit borderland which stretches away to Cheviot Hills and the English frontier is watered by the river Tweed and its tributaries Yarrow, Ettrick, and Teviot, names all famous and familiar in border song and story. It seems not unfitting that Bruce's heart should have got no further, on its intended journey to Palestine, than to Melrose, where by the banks of Tweed it was buried before the high altar in Melrose Abbey. There were fresh flowers laid on the spot when we visited . it; for it is a place of pilgrimage for loyal Scotsmen, by whom the memory of Bruce is treasured almost more than that of the patriot Wallace. Few men are thus remembered for centuries after they are dust. Melrose was chief of the four great abbeys of Tweeddale. Of Kelso only a few gloomy fragments remain. Jedburgh is well-preserved, but austere and not so attractive in its suroundings as Dryburgh, almost the paragon of abbeys in its sweet solitude of decay. At Dryburgh is buried Sir Walter Scott, in the tomb of his father's, and in the heart of the borderland he loved so well. But the dead associations of Dryburgh are not half so potent as the immortal magic with which the Last Minstrel has invested Melrose, and the Eildon Hills cleft in three by the sorcery of Michael Scott. Whether you view it by moonlight or sunshine, the fascination of Melrose is always the same. Not far from Bruce's remains are the monument and grave of Michael Scott, with the identical stone which William of Deloraine and the monk pried up on that portentous night. Even the eye of imagination can see no unholy light shining about it now; but whatever the story may tell, surely Sir Walter inherited the book of magic taken from his wizard namesake. The history and romance of Edinburgh and its borderland are one, whether you read them in the pages of time or of leters; and Scott is the arch-magician who has conjured them into perennial life. With the spell of his verse you may recreate the past at your pleasure; and as you take farewell of Tweeddale and see the Pentland hills sink to the horizon, you can reanimate the gathering clans of Domiel Dhu, and hear his pibroch from the wooded glens echoing : "March, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale, All the blue bonnets are over the border." Peregrinus Novus.
doi:10.1056/nejm191308211690819 fatcat:7gzwaxm6xjdehbk6age3ggdany