Page:The imperial peace; an ideal in European history.djvu/23

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The Imperial Peace

eighteenth century they went further afield into Eastern Europe. East Prussia knew many Scottish pedlars, Russia and even Turkey gave a career to many Scottish soldiers. The English service attracted only a smaller number; until in the latter part of the century the experiment was successfully tried of forming the Highland regiments, and using the predatory habits of the Gaelic clans in the service of the Empire.

I venture to think that the unity of England and Scotland is the work of Walter Scott primarily, and of the whole common literature of the two countries. It was Scott who touched the heart of both countries, and made each appreciate the excellences of the other. The real union is a matter of idea, of thought, of common mental inheritance and occupation, of mutual appreciation and respect. That Scott was only the climax of a literary development I would be the last to deny. Johnson, dearly as he loved to make fun of the hungry Scotsmen, to whose eye the one beautiful view in his own barren land was the road that led to England even Johnson was induced to travel in the roughest parts of Scotland and to appreciate in some degree the admiration which after all the Scots could feel for literary excellence.

And as Scott united England and Scotland, so even more completely did he unify Scotland. The 'Highland Line' became only an interesting archaeological memory. The exploits and the dare-devilry of the Highland cateran are as interesting a memory to the Lowland Scot as those of the Border reiver who preyed on the English and drove the cattle of Northumberland and Cumberland. The Macpherson who played a tune and danced a reel under the gallows-tree will never fade from the admiring memory of Scotsmen who would gladly have hanged him when he was living.