"JAMES HOGG" is the author of an article published in Blackwood's which announces the discovery of the mummy, pricking the curiosity of Edinburgh gentlemen, and the Ettrick Shepherd, "the very man we wanted to make our party complete" (246), is the agrarian figure to whom those figures are directed during their search for the article's author.
Significantly, the formerly dialect-speaking Ettrick Shepherd shifts into English when he narrates his account of the Scots mummy in the letter--but equally as significantly also reverts back to dialect in his concluding remarks, reiterating the equality of the two linguistic modes.
It would seem to be the work of a copy-editor, bent on correcting the rather dodgy grammar of that incompetent, badly educated, unpolished rough diamond of a writer, the Ettrick Shepherd
. As a result of this intervention, the Viking warrior's speech no doubt becomes more 'correct', but some of Eric's impressively uncomplicated energy is lost in the process.
"There's a Scottish poet James Hogg, The Ettrick Shepherd
, who said: 'I spent my youth trying to lose my innocence and succeeded in finding a higher form of innocence.' I like people who come to that conclusion.
Any other country would be satisfied with ALLAN RAMSAY, JAMES HOGG, THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD
, WALTER SCOTT of the Ballads, and RLS of "Under the wide and starry sky".
And if that were not enough, William Wallace, the guerilla hero of the Scots, is said to have hidden out here from the English, and there is a story of Merlin--Merlin--being hunted down and murdered, in the old forest, by Ettrick shepherds
." How many of the Laidlaws were on their way to hell as unjustified sinners?