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Thomas Dobson's Reminiscences of Innerleithen

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Thomas Dobson's Reminiscences of Innerleithen

Posted: 3 Jan 2009 4:06AM GMT
Classification: Biography
Surnames: Ruickbie
The following passages are from Thomas Dobson's Reminiscences of Innerleithen and Traquair.:published in lnnerleithen by R. SMAIL & SONS in 1896. The page numbers are in the brackets.





"An old worthy of the village, James Ruickbie, either uncle or father of the late John Ruickbie the local poet, was in the habit of going up into the Pirn plantation--then in its teens--to engage in devotional exercises. This good old man had it seems, a great gift of expression in prayer, which even in the open air, he engaged in, in loud and fervid tones. The old Laird came upon him one day while so engaged, and waiting until he had finished, he said to him, "Man, Jamie, when ye're offerin' up your prayers ye should mind that the Lord's no deef." Whether Jamie took the hint or not does not appear (31-2).

Speaking of the early tweed "the Galashiels Grey," Thomas writes: "Doubtless it was the sort good old John Ruickbie, the village poet of fifty years ago, referred to in his lines:-- "Langsyne, when guid grey claith/Jappit the laird and tenant baith" (9).

"I have already mentioned John Ruickbie, the village poet. I remember him as a gentle old man walking sturdily about the village. His poems were published about half a century ago, or perhaps more, and were much read and quoted for some years. Some of them were full of pith and sly humour, and showed a wonderful knowledge of human nature on the part of one who had never been far from his native parish. In his day newspapers were scarce as well as expensive, and when reports of murders and deeds of violence, done by fellow creatures reached the village, John would stand aghast and exclaim--"An' is there really sic folk in the warld." John lived a quiet, simple life in his humble home at Hillend, and died at a good old age" (134).

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