28 SEPTEMBER 1844, Page 14


its observances in Scotland have occasioned some surprise to Queen VICTORIA, some admiration, some amusement, and some disgust. On the first Sunday, the rain fell in torrents, while the decent Highlanders of Blair Atholl repaired quietly to the meek little parish-church, with the sole object and expectation of worship. There too arrived VICTORIA, with the same purpose—bent on joining her Scotch subjects in worshiping the "Father of all" after the manner of their country. The Queen's presence was re- cognized, but most emphatically so in the decorous firmness to re- strain the wandering eye, and to maintain, with a simple dignified self-respect, respect for the sacred occupation of the Queen, re- spect for the sacred edifice. One spirit reigned over all, conse- crated to the day and the place.

Not the pit at the Operahouse is more densely crowded, more hot, more staring, more vulgarly irreverent, than the audience that burst into the little church last Sunday; gathering from the nearer towns, usurping the seats of the village congregation,—climbing, pushing, leaning over, and dodging heads to see the sight—the Queen at her devotions! The "house of prayer," if not made a " den of thieves" for the nonce, was polluted by the sacrilege of idle curiosity. The exhibition over, the sight-seers rushed from the holy fane and from the retired glens back to their streets and evening compotations. Queen Vicroam was first struck by the simple decorum of the Highland villagers and clansmen ; now by the brutal coarseness of the Scotch townsfolk, that made a show- room of a place of worship—a show of their Queen. Even the Brighton hustlers were less indecent.

Was it for this that she was prepared by Sir ANDREW AGNEW'S impudent letter, telling her how " Sabbath-observing" a people are the Scotch, and warning her not to set a bad example ? Let the Pharisee look at home. Did the strangers from England breed this unseemly riot, in a place less consecrated to them than to the Scotch ? Sir ANDREW'S countrymen make the day of rest gloomy ; deny themselves most of the everyday enjoyments—except good eating and drinking: but put a show in their way, and, it seems, no usage, no courtesy, no reverence for holy things, can pre- serve decency among them. Perhaps there may be even " breaches " of the Sabbath which might teach the good taste here utterly wanting, and a deeper veneration of spirit. In spite of Sir ANDREW'S lecture, the Queen is likely to dissent from the good taste of this " Sabbath-observing," and to doubt whether Puritani- cal Scotland exhibits such a great reverence for sacred things as it professes. Piety is not shown only by dimming railways on Sundays and omitting instrumental accompaniments to psalms.