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midst, full of all manner of cross lights. This was the New Place of Ellangowan, in which we left our hero, better amused, perhaps, than our readers, and to this Lewis Bertram retreated, full of projects for re-establishing the prosperity of his family. He took some land into his own hand, rented some from neighbouring proprietors, bought and sold Highland cattle and Cheviot sheep, rode to fairs and trysts, fought hard bargains, and held necessity at the staff's end as well as he might. But what he gained in purse he lost in honour, for such agricultural and commercial negociations were very ill looked upon by his brother lairds, who minded nothing but cock-fighting, hunting, coursing, and horse-racing. These occupations encroached, in their opinion, upon the article of Ellangowan's gentry, and he found it neces. sary gradually to estrange himself from their society, and sink into what was then a very ambiguous character, a gentleman farmer. In the midst of his schemes death
claimed his tribute, and the scanty remains of a large property descended upon Godfrey Bertram, the present possessor, his only son.
The danger of the father's speculations was soon seen. Deprived of his personal and active superintendance, all his undertakings miscarried, and became either abortive or perilous. Without a single spark of energy to meet or repel these misfortunes, Godfrey put his faith in the acti. vity of another. He kept neither hunters, nor hounds, nor any other southern preli. minaries to ruin ; but, as has been observed of his countrymen, he kept a man of business, who answered the purpose equally well. Under this gentleman's supervision small debts grew into large, interests were accumulated upon capitals, moveable bonds became heritable, and law charges were heaped upon all; though Ellangowan possessed so little the spirit of a litigant, that he was upon two occasions charged to make payment of the expences of a long litigation, although he had never before heard that he had such cases in court. Meanwhile his neighbours predicted his final ruin. Those of the higher rank, with some malignity, account. ed' him already a degraded brother. The lower classes, seeing nothing enviable in his situation, niarked his embarrassments with more compassion. He was even a kind of favourite with them, and upon the division of a common, or the holding of a black-fishing, or poaching court, or any similar occasion, when they conceived themselves oppressed by the gentry, they were in the habit of saying to each other, “Ah, if Ellangowan, honest man, had his ain that his forebears 'had afore him, he wad na see the puir folk trodden down this gait.” Meanwhile, this general good opinion never prevented their taking the advantage of him on all possible occasions, turning their cattle into his parks, stealing
bis wood, shooting his game, and so forth, “ for the laird, honest man, he'll never find it,-he never minds what a puir body does.”- Pedlars, gypsies, tinkers, vagrants of all descriptions, roosted about his outhouses, or harboured in his kitchen, and the laird, who was “ nae nice body,” but a thorough gossip, like most weak men, found recompence for his hospitality in the pleasure of questioning them on the news of the country side.
A circumstance arrested Ellangowan's progress upon the high road to ruin. This was his marriage with a lady who had a portion of about four thousand pounds. Nobody in the neighbourhood could conceive why she married him, and endowed him with her wealth, unless because he had a tall handsome figure, a good set of features, a genteel address, and the most perfect good humour. It might be some additional consideration, that she was herself at the reflecting age of twenty-eight,
and had no near relations to controul her actions or choice. :
It was in this lady's behalf (confined for the first time after her marriage) that the speedy and active express, mentioned by the old dame of the cottage, had been dispatched to Kippletringan on the night of Mannering's arrival.
Though we have said so much of the Laird himself, it still remains that we make the reader in some degree acquainted with his companion. This was Abel Sampson, cominonly called, from his occupation, as a pedagogue, Dominie Sampson. He was of low birth, but having evinced, even from his cradle, an uncommon seriousness of disposition, the poor parents were encouraged to hope, that their bairn, as they express: ed it, " might wag his pow in a pulpit yet.” With an ambitious view to such a consummation, they pinched and pared, rose early and lay down late, eat dry bread and drank cold water, to secure to Abel the means of learning. Meantime, his tall