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very young, and bore, I blush to say, the vulgar name ings towards me, 100,” (with a conscious glanca at of Scrogie. This hapless dissyllable my uncle car- the bills he still held in his hand,)." have, I admit, ried in person to the herald office in Scotland; but been such as to intimate some such deep cause of inneither Lyon, nor Marchmont, nor Islay, nor Sna- terest as you have been pleased to state. But it seems doun, neither herald nor pursuivant, would patronise strange that your lordship should have permitted Scrogie. --Scrogie!-there could nothing be made out years to glide away, without so much as inquiring afof it--so that my worthy relative had recourse to the ter the young lady, who, I believe, is the only person surer side of the house, and began to found his dig- qualified as your grand-uncle's will requires, with nity on his mother's name of Mowbray. In this he whom you can form an alliance. It appears io me, was much more successful, and I believe some sly that long before now, this matter ought to have been fellow stole for him a slip from your own family tree, investigated; and that, even now, it would have been Mr. Mowbray of St. Ronan's, which, I daresay, you more natural and more decorous to have at least seen have never missed. At any rate, for his argent and my sister before proposing for her hand.", or, he got a handsome piece of parchment, blazoned On the first point, my dear Mowbray,” said Lord with a white lion for Mowbray, to be borne quarterly, Etherington, “I am free to own to you, that, without with three stunted or scrog-bushes for Scrogie, and meaning your sister the least affront,'I would have became thenceforth Mr. Scrogie Mowbray, or rather, got rid of this clause if I could ; for every man would as he subscribed himself, Reginald (his former Chris- fain choose a wife for himself, and feel I no hurry to tian name was Ronald) S. Mowbray. He had a son marry at all. But the rogie-lawyers, after taking who most undutifully laughed at all this, refused the fees, and keeping me in hand for years, have at length honours of the high name of Mowbray, and insisted roundly told me the clause must be complied with, or on retaining his father's original appellative of Scrogie, Netilewood must have another master. So I thought to the great annoyance of his said father's ears, and it best to come down here in person, in order to addamage of his temper.”'
dress the fair lady; but as accident has hitherto preWhy, faith, betwist the two," said Mowbray, "I vented my seeing her, and as I found in her brother a own I should have preferred my own name, and I man who understands the world, I hope you will not think the old gentleman's taste rather better than the think the worse of me, that I have endeavoured in the young one's.
outset to make you my friend. Truth is, I shall be " True; but both were wilful, absurd originals, with twenty-five in the course of a month; and without a happy obstinacy of temper, whether derived from your favour, and the opportunities which only you can Mowbray or Scrogie I know not, but which led them afford me, that seems a short time to woo and win a so often into opposition, that the offended father, Re- lady of Miss Mowbray's merit." ginald S. Mowbray, turned his recusant son Scrogie And what is the alternative if you do not form fairly out of doors; and the fellow would have paid this proposed alliance, my lord ?" said Mowbray. for his plebeian spirit with a vengeance, had he no! "The bequest of my grand-uncle lapses," said the found refuge with a surviving partner of the original Earl, "and fair Nettlewood, with its old house, and Scrogie of all, who still carried on the lucrative older oaks, manorial rights, Hodge Trampclod, and branch of traffic by which the family had been first all, devolves on a certain cousin-german of mine, enriched. I mention these particulars to account, in whom Heaven of his mercy confound !" so far as I can, for the singular predicament in which “You have left yourself little time to prevent such I now find myself placed.
an event, my lord,” said Mowbray; "but things being "Proceed, my lord,” said Mr. Mowbray; "there is as I now see them, you shall have what interest I can no denying the singularity of your story, and I pre- give you in the affair. -- We must stand, however, on sume you are quite serious in giving me such an ex- more equal terms, my lord--I will condescend so far traordinary detail.”
as to allow it would have been inconvenient for me “Entirely so, upon my honour-and a most serious at this moment to have lost that game, but I cannot matter it is, you will presently find. When my wor- in the circumstances think of acting as if I had fairly thy uncle, Mr. S. Mowbray, (for I will not call him won it. We must draw stakes, my lord.” Scrogie even in the grave,) paid his debt to nature, "Not a word of that, if you really mean me kindly, every body concluded he would be found to have dis- my dear Mowbray. The blunder was a real one, for inherited his son, the unfilial Scrogie, and so far every I was indeed thinking, as you may suppose, on other body was right-But it was also generally believed things than the showing my poini-All was fairly lost that he would settle the estate on my father, Lord and won.--I hope I shall have opportunities of offerEtherington, the son of his sister, and therein every ing real services, which may perhaps give me some one was wrong. For my excellent grand-uncle had right to your partial regard-at present we are on pondered with himself, that the favoured name of equal footing on all sides--perfectly so.” Mowbray would take no advantage, and attain no "If your lordship think so," said Mowbray,--and additional elevation, if his estate of Nettlewood then passing rapidly to what he felt he could say with (otherwise called Mowbray-Park) should descend to more confidence, "Indeed, at any rate, no personal our family without any condition; and with the as- obligation to myself could prevent my doing my full sistance of a sharp attorney, he settled it on me, then duty as guardian to my sister.” a schoolboy, on condition that I should, before attain- Unquestionably, I desire nothing else," replied ing the age of twenty-five complete, take unto my- the Earl of Etherington. self in holy wedlock a young lady of good fame, of "I must therefore understand that your lordship is the name of Mowbray, and, by preference, of the quite serious in your proposal; and that it is not to be house of St. Ronan's should a damsel of that house withdrawn, even if upon acquaintance with Mies exist.-Now my riddle is read.”
Mowbray, you should not perhaps think her so de‘And a very extraordinary one it is," replied Mow- serving of your lordship's attentions, as report may bray, thoughtfully.
have spoken her." “Confess the truth," said Lord Etherington, laying "Mr. Mowbray,” replied the Earl, "the treaty behis hand on his shoulder; " you think the story will tween you and me shall be as definite as if I were a beas a grain of a scruple of doubt, if not a whole scru- sovereign prince, demanding in marriage the sister of ple itsell?".
a neighbouring monarch, whom, according to royal "At least, my lord,” answered Mowbray, “ your etiquette, he neither has seen nor could see. I have lordship will allow, that,
being Miss Mowbray's only been quite frank with you, and I have stated to you near relation, and sole guardian, I may, without of that my present motives for entering upon negotiation fence, pause upon a suit for her hand, 'made under are not personal
, but territorial; when I know Miss such odd circumstances.'
Mowbray, I have no doubt they will be otherwise. I "If you have the least doubt either respecting my have heard she is beautiful." rank or fortune, I can give, of course, the most satis- Something of the palest, my lord,” answered factory references," said the Earl of Etherington. Mowbray.
"That I can easily believe, my lord,” said Mow- "A fine complexion is the first attraction which is bray; "nor do I in the least fear deception, where de- lost in the world of fashion, and that which it is easitection would be so easy. Your lordship's proceed-Iest to replace."
“Dispositions, my lord, may differ," said Mow-ton's power; and the escape from absolute ruin which bray, "without faulis on either side. I presume your he had made, solely by the sufferance of his opponent, lordship has inquired into my sister's. She is amia- had nothing in it consolatory to his wounded feelings ble, accomplished, sensible, and high-spirited; but He was lowered in his own eyes, when he recol.
lected how completely the proposed victim of his in. “I understand you, Mr. Mowbray, and will spare genuity had seen through his schemes, and only abyou the pain of speaking out. I have heard Miss stained from baffling them entirely, because to do so Mowbray is in some respects-particular; to use a suited best with his own. There was a shade of susbroader word-a little whimsical. -No matter. She picion, too, which he could not entirely eradicate from will have the less to learn when
she becomes a count- his mind. - What occasion had this young nobleman ess, and a woman of fashion."
to preface, by the voluntary loss of a brace of thouAre you serious, my lord ?'' said Mowbray. sands, a proposal which must have been acceptable "I am-and I will speak my mind still more in itself, without any such sacrifice? And why should plainly. I have good temper, and excellent spirits, he, after all, have been so eager to secure his accesand can endure a good deal of singularity in those sion to the proposed alliance, before he had even seen live with. I have no doubt your sister and I will live the lady who was the object of it? However hurried nappily together-But in case it should prove other for time, he might have waited the event at least of wise, arrangements may be made previously, which the entertainment at Shaws-Castle, at which Clara will enable us in certain circumstances to live happily was necessarily obliged to make her appearance.apart. My own estate is large, and Nettlewood will Yet such conduct, howeverunusual, was equally incon. Jear dividing."
sistent with any sinister intentions; since the sacriNay, then," said Mowbray, "I have little more to fice of a large sum of money, and the declaration of say-nothing indeed remains for inquiry, so far as his views upon a portionless young lady of family, your lordship is concerned. But my sister must have could scarcely be the preface to any unfair practice. free liberty of choice-so far as I am concerned, your So that, upon the whole, Mowbray settled, that what lordship's suit has my interest."
was uncommon in the Earl's conduct arose from the "And I trust we may consider it as a done thing ?”! hasty and eager disposition of a rich young English
"With Clara's approbation-certainly," answered man, to whom money is of little consequence, and who Mowbray.
is too headlong in pursuit of the favourite plan of the "I trust there is no chance of personal repugnance moment, to proceed in the most rational or most oron the young lady's part ?" said the young peer. dinary manner. If, however, ihere should prove any
"I anticipate nothing of the kind, my lord,” an- thing further in the matter than he could at present swered Mowbray, as I presume there is no reason discover, Mowbray promised himself that the utmost for any; but young ladies will be capricious, and if circumspection on his part could not fail to discover Clara, after I have done and said all that a brother it, and that in full time to prevent any ill consequences ought to do, should remain repugnant, there is a point to his sister or himself. in the exertion of my influence which it would be cru- Immersed in such cogitations, he avoided the inelty to pass.
quisitive presence of Mr. Meiklewham, who, as usual, The Earl of Etherington walked a turn through the had been watching for him to learn how matters apartment, then paused, and said, in a grave and were going on; and although it was now late, he doubtful tone, "In the mean while, I am bound, and mounted his horse, and rode hastily to Shaws-Castle. the young lady, is free, Mowbray. Is this quite fair?" On the way, he deliberated with himself whether to "It is what happens in every case, my lord, where mention to his sister the application
which had been a gentleman proposes for a lady," answered Mow- made to him, in order to prepare her to receive the bray; "he must remain, of course, bound by his offer, young Earl as a suitor, favoured with her brother's until, within a reasonable time, it is accepted or re approbation. “But no, no, no;" şuch was the result jected. It is not my fault that your lordship has de- of his contemplation. "She might take it into her clared your wishes to me, before ascertaining Clara's head that his thoughts were bent less upon having inclination. But while as yet the matter is between her for a countess, than on obtaining possession of ourselves-I make you welcome to draw back if you his grand-uncle's estate. - We must keep quiet," conthink proper., Clara Mowbray needs not push for a cluded he, “until her personal appearance and accomcatch-match.”
plishments may appear at least to have some influence "Nor do I desire,” said the young nobleman, "any upon his choice.- We must
say nothing till this blessed time to reconsider the resolution which I have con- entertainment has been given and received." fided to you. I am not in the least fearful that I shall change my mind on seeing your sister, and I am ready to stand by the proposal which I have made to you.
CHAPTER XIX. If, however, you feel so extremely delicately on my
A LETTER. account,” he continued, I can see and even converse with Miss Mowbray at this fête of yours, without the
"Has he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath ?-Well-Be it so." necessity of being at all presented to her-The charac
Richard IL ter which I have assumed in a manner obliges me to MOWBRAY had no sooner left the Earl's apartment wear a mask.” "Certainly,” said the Laird of St. Ronan's, and associate, which we lay before the reader, as best cal
than the latter commenced an epistle to a friend and I am glad, for both our sakes, your lordship thinks of culated to illustrate the views and motives of the taking a little law upon this occasion." "I shall profit nothing by it," said the Earl; "my regiment of Guards, at the Green Dragon, Harrow
writer. It was addressed to Captain Jekyl, of the doom is fixed before I start--but if this mode of man- gate, and was of the following tenor :aging the matter will save your conscience, I have no objection to it-it cannot consume much time, which "DEAR HARRY, is what I have to look to.
"I have expected you here these ten days past, They then shook hands and parted, without any anxiously as ever man was looked sor; and have now farther discourse which could interest the reader. to charge your absence as high treason to your sworn
Mowbray was glad to find himself alone, in order allegiance. Surely you do not presume, like one of to think over what had happened, and to ascertain Napoleon's new-made monarchs, to grumble for inthe state of his own mind, which at present was puz- dependence, as if your gȚeatness were of your own zling even to himself. He could not but feel that making, or as if I had picked you out of the whole of much greater advantages of every kind miglit accrue St. James's coffee-house to hold my back-band, for to himself and his family from the alliance of the your sake, forsooth, not for my own? Wherefore, lay wealthy young Earl, than could have been derived aside all your own proper business, be it the pursuit from any share of his spoils which he had proposed of dowagers, or the plucking of pigeons, and instantly to gain by superior address in play, or greater skill on repair to this place, where I may speedily want your the turf. But his pride was hurt when he recollected assistance.- Nay want it, said I? Why, most neglithat he had placed himself entirely in Lord Ethering- gent of friends and allies, I have wanted it already, and that when it might have done me yeoman's | fell, I know him well enough to swear, that, h.ad he service. Know that I have had an affair sincel came not been severely wounded, he would have first hither--have got hurt myself, and have nearly sho pestered me with his accursed presence and assistmy friend; and if I had, I might have been hanged ance, and then walked forward with his usual for it, for want of Harry Jekyl to bear witness in my composure to settle matters with Sir Bingo Binks. favour. I was so far on my road to this place, when, No-no-Saint Francis is none of those who leave not choosing, for certain reasons, to pass through the such jubş half finished—it is but doing him justice to old village, I struck by a footpath into the woods say, he has the devil's courage to back his own which separate it from the new Spa, leaving my car- deliberate impertinence. But then, if wounded seriage and people to go the carriage-way. I had not verely, he must be still in this neighbourhood, and walked half a mile when I heard the footsteps of some probably in concealment-this is what I must disone behind, and, looking round, what should I behold cover, and I want your assistance in my inquiries but the face in the world which I most cordially hate among the natives.-Haste hither, Harry, as ever and abhor-I mean that which stands on the shoul- you look for good at my hand. ders of my right trusty and well beloved cousin and A good player, Harry, always studies to make counsellor, Saint Francis. He seemed as much con- the best of bad cards—and so I have endeavoured to founded as I was at our unexpected mecting; and it turn my wound to some account; and it has given was a minute ere he found breath to demand what I me the opportunity to secure Monsieur le Frere in my did in Scotland, contrary to my promise, as he was interests. You say very truly, that it is of consepleased to express it. I retaliated, and charged him quence to me to know the character of this new with being here, in contradiction to his.-He justified, actor on the disordered scene of my adventures.and said he had only come down upon the express Know, then, he is that most incongruous of all information that I was upon my road to St. Ronan's. monsters-a Scotch Buck--how far from being buck Now, Harry, how the devil should he have known of the season you may easily judge. Every point o! this hadst thou been quite faithful? for I am sure, to national character is opposed to the pretensions of no ear but thine own did I breathe a whisper of my this luckless race, when they attempt to take on purpose. - Next, with the insolent assumption of supe-them a personage which is assumed with so much riority, which he founds on what he calls the rectitude facility by their brethren of the Isle of Saints. They of his purpose, he proposed we should both withdraw are a shrewd people, indeed, but so destitute of ease, from a neighbourhood into which we could bring no- grace, pliability of manners, and insinuation of adthing but wretchedness.--I have told you how difficult dress, that they eternally seem to suffer actual misery it is to cope with the calm and resolute manner that in their attempts to look gay and careless. Then the devil gifts him with on such occasions; but I was their pride heads them back at one turn, their determined he should not carry the day this time. I poverty at another, their pedantry at a third, their saw no chance for it, however, but to put myself into a mauvaise honte at a fourth; and with so many towering passion, which, thank Heaven, I can always obstacles to make them bolt off the course, it is posido on short notice. I charged him with having im- tively impossible they should win the plate. No, posed formerly on my youth, and made himself judge Harry, it is the grave folk in Old England who have of my rights; and I accompanied my defiance with to fear a Caledonian invasion--they will make no the strongest terms of irony and contempt, as well as conquests in the world of fashion. Excellent bankers with demand of instant satisfaction. I had my tra- the Scots may be, for they are eternally calculating velling pistols with me, (et pour cause,) and, to my how to add interest to principal ;-good soldiers, for surprise, my gentleman was equally provided.- For they are, if not such heroes as they would be thought, fair play's sake, I made him take one of my pistols-as brave, I suppose, as their neighbours, and much righi Kuchenritters-a brace of balls in each, but that more amenable to discipline;- lawyers they are circumstance I forgot.--I would fajn have argued the bom; indeed every country gentleman is bred one, matter a little longer; but I thought at the time, and and their patient and crafty disposition enables them think still, that the best arguments which he and I in other lines, to submit to hardships which other can exchange, must come from the point of the sword, natives could not bear, and avail themselves of ador the muzzle of the pistol.--We fired nearly together, vantages which others would let pass under their and I think both dropped-I am sure I did, but reco- noses unavailingly. But assuredly Heaven did not vered in a minute, with a damaged arm and a scratch form the Caledonian for the gay world; and his on the temple-it was the last which stunned me--so efforts at ease, grace, and gayety, resemble only the much for double-loaded pistols. - My friend was in- clumsy gambols of the ass in the fable. Yet the visible, and I had nothing for it but to walk to the Scot has his sphere too, (in his own country only,) Spa, bleeding all the way like a calf, and tell a raw where the character which he assumes is allowed to head-and-bloody-bone story about a footpad, which, pass current. This Mowbray, now--this brother-inbut for my earldom, and my gory locks, no living soul law of mine--might do pretty well at a Northern would have believed.
Meeting, or the Leith races, where he could give five "Shortly after, when I had been installed in a sick minutes to the sport of the day, and the next half room, I had the mortification to learn, that my own hour to country politics, or to farming; but it is impatience had brought all thiş mischief upon me, at scarce necessary to tell you, Harry, that this half a moment when I had every chance of getting rid of fellowship will not pass on the better side of the my friend without trouble, had I but let him go on Tweed. his own errand; for it seems he had an appointment “Yet, for all I have told you, this trout was not that morning with a booby Baronet, who is said to easily tickled; nor should I have made much of him, be a bullet-slitter, and would perhaps have rid me of had he non, in the plenitude of his northern conceit, Saint Francis without any trouble or risk on my entertained that notion of my being a good subject part. Mean time, his non-appearance at this rendez- of plunder, which you had contrived (blessings on vous has placed Master Francis Tyrrel, as he chooses vour contriving brain !) to insinuate into him by to call himself, in the worst odour possible with the means of Wolverine. He commenced this hopeful gentry at the Spring, who have denounced him as a experiment, and, as you must have anticipated, coward and no gentleman.-What to think of the caught a Tartar with a vengeance. Of course, business myself, I know not; and I much want your used my victory only so far as to secure his interest assistance to see what can have become of this in accomplishing my principal object; and yet, I fellow, who, like a spectre of ill omen, has so often could see my gentleman's pride was so much injured thwarted and baffled my best plans. My own con- in the course of the negotiation, that not all the finement renders me inactive, though my wound is advantages which the match offered to his damned fast healing. Dead he cannot be; for had he been family, were able entirely to subdue the chagrin mortally wounded, we should have heard of him arising from his defeat. He did gulp it down, though, somewhere or other--he could not have vanished and we are friends and allies, for the present at least from the earth like a bubble of the elements. Well not so cordially so, however, as to induce me to and sound he cannot be; for, besides that I am sure trust him with the whole of the strangely complicated I saw him stagger and drop, firing his pistol as he tale. The circumstance of the will it was necessary
to communicate, as affording, a sufficiently strong consent to assume the lower characters of the drama. reason for urging my suit; and this partial disclosure For the first parts there were candidates more than enabled me for the present to dispense with farther enough; but most of these were greatly 100 highconfidence.
spirited to play the fool, except they were permitted "You will observe, that I stand by no means to top the part. Then amongst the few unambitious secure; and besides the chance of my cousin's re underlings, who could be coaxed or cajoled to underappearance-a certain event, unless he is worse than take subordinate characters, there were so many bad I dare hope for-I have perhaps to expect the fan- memories, and short memories, and treacherous ineiastic repugnance of Clara herself, or some sulky mories, that at length the plan was resigned in de freak on her brother's part.-In a word-and let it be spair. such a one as conjurers raise the devil with-Harry A substitute, proposed by Lady Penelope, was next Jekyl, I want you.
considered. It was proposed to act what the Italians As well knowing the nature of my friend, I can call a Comedy of Character; that is, not an exact assure you that his own interest, as well as mine, drama, in which the actors deliver what is set down may be advanced by his coming hither on duty for them by the author; but one, in which the plot Here is a blockhead, whom I already mentioned, Sir having been previously fixed upon, and a few striking Bingo Binks, with whom something may be done scenes adjusted, the actors are expected to supply the worth your while, though scarce worth mine. The dialogue extempore, or, as Petruchio says, from their Baronet is a perfect buzzard, and when I came here mother wit. This is an amusement which affords he was under Mowbray's training. But the awk- much entertainment in Italy, particularly in the state ward Scot had plucked half-a-dozen penfeathers of Venice, where the characters of their drama have from his wig with so little precaution, that the been long since all previously fixed, and are handed Baronet has become frightened and shy, and is now down by tradition; and this species of drama, though in the act of rebelling against Mowbray, whom he rather belonging to the mask than the theatre, is disboth hates and fears-the least backing from a tinguished by ihe name of Commedia dell'Arte.* knowing hand like you, and the bird becomes your But the shame-faced character of Britons is still own, feathers and all.-- Moreover,
more alien from a species of display, where there is a *by my life,
constant and extemporaneous demand for wii, or the This Bingo hath a mighty pretty wise.'
sort of ready small-talk which supplies its place, than A lovely woman, Harry-rather plump, and above from the regular exhibitions of the drama, where the the middle size-quite your taste-A Juno in beauty, author, standing responsible for language and sentilooking with such scorn on her husband, whom she ment, leaves to ihe personators of the scenes only the despises and hates, and seeming, as if she could look trouble of finding enunciation and action. so differently on any whom she might like better, But the ardent and active spirit of Lady Penelope, that, on my faith, 'were sin not to give her oc- still athirst after novelty, though baffled in her iwo casion. If you please to venture your luck, either first projects, brought forward a third, in which she with the knight or the lady, you shall have fair play, was more successful. This was the proposal to comand no interference-that is, provided you appear bine a certain number, at least, of the guesis, properly upon this summons; for, otherwise, I may be so dressed for the occasion, as representing some wellplaced, that the affairs of the knight and the lady known historical or dramatic characters, in a group, may fall under my own immediate cognizance. And having reference to history, or to a scene of the drama. so, Harry, if you wish to profit by these hints, you In this representation, which may be called playing had best make haste, as well for your own concerns, a picture, action, even pantomimical action, was not as to assist me in mine.-Yours, Harry, as you expected'; and all that was required of the performers, behave yourself,
was to throw themselves into such a group as mighi “ETHERINGTON." express a marked and striking point of an easily
remembered scene, but where the actors are at a Having finished this eloquent and instructive epis- pause, and without either speech or motion. In this tle, the young Earl demanded the attendance of his species of representation there was no tax, either on own valet Solmes, whom he charged to put it into the the invention or memory of those who might underpost-office without delay, and with his own hand. take parts; and, what recommended it still farther to
the good company, there was no marked difference
betwixt the hero and heroine of the group, and the CHAPTER XX.
less distinguished characters by whom they were attended on the stage; and every one who had con
fidence in a handsome 'shape and a becoming dress, The play's the thing.-Homiet.
might hope, though standing in not quite so broad The important day had now arrived, the arrange- and favourable a light as the principal personages, to ment for which had for some time occupied all the draw, nevertheless, a considerable portion of attention conversation and thoughts of the good company at and applause. This motion, therefore, that the comthe Well of St. Ronan's. To give it, at the same pany, or such of them as might choose to appear time,, a degree of novelty and consequence, Lady properly dressed for the occasion, should form themPenelope Penfeather had long since suggested to Mr. selves into one or more groups, which might be Mowbray, that the more gifted and accomplished part renewed and varied as often as they pleased, was of the guests might contribute to furnish out enter- hailed and accepted as a bright idea, which assigned tainment for the rest, by acting a few scenes of some to every one a share of the importance attached to its popular drama; an accomplishment in which her probable success. self-conceit assured her that she was peculiarly quali- Mowbray, on his side, promised to contrive some fied to excel. Mr. Mowbray, who seemed on this oc- arrangement which should separate the actors in this casion to have thrown the reins entirely into her lady- mute drama from the spectators, and enable the former ship's hands, made no objection to the plan which to vary the amusement, by withdrawing themselves she proposed, excepting that the old-fashioned hedges from the scene, and again appearing upon it under a and walks of the garden at Shaws-Castle must ne different and new combination. This plan of exhibi; cessarily serve for stage and scenery, as there was no tion, where fine clothes and affected attitudes, supplied time to fit up the old hall for the exhibition of the pro- all draughts upon fancy or talent, was highly agreeposed theatricals.* But upon inquiry among the com- able to most of the ladies present; and even Lady pany, this plan was wrecked upon the ordinary shelve, Binks, whose discontent seemed proof against every to wit, the difficulty of finding performers who would effort that could be proposed to soothe it, acquiesced
* At Kilruddery, the noble seat of Lord Meath, in the connty in the project, with perfect indifference indeed, but of Wicklow, there is a situation for private theatrical exhibi with something less of sullenness than usual. tions in the open air, planted out with the evergreens which arise there in the most luxuriant magnificence. It has a wild • See Mr. William Stewart Rose's very interesting Letters and romantic effect, reminding one of the scene in which Bot. from the North of Italy, Vol. I Letter XXX, where this tom rehearsed his pageant, with a green plot for a stage, and a curious subject is treated with the information and precision hawthorn brake for a tiringroom.
which distinguish that accomplished author.
It now only remained to rummage the circulating | salutiferous fountain, who were easily persuaded to library, for some piece of sufficient celebrity to com- let their children figure in fine clothes at so juvenile mand attention, and which should be at the same an age, though they shook their head at Miss Digges time suited to the execution of their project. Bell's and her pantaloons, and no less at the liberal display British Theatre, Miller's Modern and Ancient Drama, of Lady Binks's right leg, with which the Amazonian and about iwenty odd volumes, in which stray trage- garb gratified the public of St. Ronan's. dies and comedies were associated, like the passen- Dr. Quackleben was applied to to play Wall, by gers in a mail-coach, withont the least attempt at the assistance of such a wooden horse, or screen, as selection or arrangement, were all examined in the clothes are usually dried upon; the old Attorney course of their researches. But Lady Penelope de- stood for Lion; and the other characters of Bottom's clared loftily and decidedly for Shakspeare, as the drama were easily found among the unnamed freauthor whose immortal works were fresh in every quenters of the Spring. Dressed rehearsals, and so one's recollection. Shakspeare was therefore chosen, forth, went merrily on-all voted there was a play. and from his works the Midsummer Night's Dream fitted. was selected, as the play which afforded the greatest But even the Doctor's eloquence could not press variety of characters, and most scope of course for Mrs. Blower into the scheme, although she was parthe intended representation. An active competition ticularly wanted to represent Thisbe. presently occurred among the greater part of the “Truth is," she replied, "I dinna greatly like stagecompany, for such copies of the Midsummer Night's plays. John Blower, honest inan, as sailors are aye Dream, or the volume of Shakspeare containing it
, for some spree or another, wad take me ance to see as could be got in the neighbourhood; for, notwith- ane Mrs. Şiddons-I thought we should hae been standing Lady Penelope's declaration, that every one crushed to death before we gat in-a' my things riven who could read had Shakşpeare's plays by heart, it aff my back, forby the four lily-white shillings that it appeared that such of his dramas as have not kept cost us-and then in came three frightsome carlines possession of the stage were very little known at St. wi' besoms, and they wad bewitch a lor's wife-I Ronan's, save among those people who are emphati- was lang eneugh there and out I wad be, and out cally called readers.
John Blower gat me, but wi' nae sma' fight and fend. The adjustment of the parts was the first subject -My Lady Penelope Penfitter, and the great folk, of consideration, so soon as those who intended to may just take it as they like; but in my mind, Dr. assume characters had refreshed their recollection on Cacklehen, it's a mere blasphemy for folk to gar the subject of the piece. Theseus was unanimously themselves look otherwise than their Maker made assigned to Mowbray, the giver of the entertainment, them; and then the changing the name which was and therefore justly entitled to represent the Duke of given them at baptism, is, I think, an awful falling Athens. The costume of an Amazonian crest and away from our vows; and though Thisby, which I plume, a tụcked-up vezt, and a tight buskin of sky- take to be Greek for Tibbie, may be a very good blue silk, buckled with diamonds, reconciled Lady name, yet Margaret was I christened, and Margaret Binks to the part of Hippolyta. The superior stature will I die.”. of Miss Mowbray to Lady Penelope, made it necessary "You mistake the matter entirely, my dear Mrs. that the former should perform the part of Helena, Blower," said the Doctor; "there is nothing serious and her ladyship rest contented with the shrewish intended-a mere placebo-just a divertisement to character of Hermia. It was resolved to compli- cheer the spirits, and assist the effect of the watersment the young Earl of Etherington with the part of cheerfulness is a great promoter of health.” Lysander, which, however, his lordship declined, and, "Dinna tell me o' health, Dr. Kittlepin !--Can it be preferring comedy to tragedy, refused to appear in for the puir body M'Durk's health to major about in any other character than that of the magnanimous the tartans like a tobacconist's sign in a frosty mornBottom; and he gave them such a humorous speci- ing, wi' his poor wizzened houghs as blue as a blamen of his quality in that part, that all were delighted wort?-weel I wot he is a humbling spectacle. Or at once with his condescension in assuming, and his can it gie ony body health or pleasure either to see skill in performing, the presenter of Pyramus. your ainsell, Doctor, ganging about wi' a claise
The part of Egeus was voted to Captain MacTurk, screen tied to your back, covered wi' paper, and whose obstinacy in refusing to appear in any other painted like a stane and lime wa'?—I'll gang to see than the full Highland garb, had nearly
disconcerted nane o' their vanities, Dr. Kitulehen; and if ihere is the whole affair. Al length this obstacle was got nae other decent body to take care o' me, as I dinna over, on the authority of Childe Harold, who remarks like to sit a haill afternoon by mysell, i'll e'en gae the similarity betwixt the Highland and Grecian down to Mr. Sowerbrowst the maltster's-he is a costume, * and the company, dispensing with the pleasant, sensible man, and a sponsible man in the difference of colour, voted the Captain's variegated world, and his sister's a very decent woman. kilt, of the MacTurk tartan, to be the kirtle of a Confound Sowerbrowsi," thought the Doctor; Grecian mountaineer,-Egeus to be an Arnout, and if I had guessed he was to come across me thus, he the Captain to be Egeus. Chatterly and the painter, should not have got the better of his dyspepsy so walking gentlemen by profession, agreed to walk early:-My dear Mrs. Blower," he continued, but through the parts of Demetrius and Lysander, the aloud, "it is a foolish affair enough, I must confess; two Athenian lovers; and Mr. Winterblossom, loath but every person of style and fashion at the Well has and lazy, after many excuses, was bribed by Lady settled to attend this exhibition; there has been noPenelope with an antique, or supposed antique camco, thing else talked of for this month through the whole to play the part of Philostratus, master of the revels, country, and it will be a year before it is forgotten. provided his gout would permit him to remain so long And I would have you consider how ill it will look, upon the turf, which was to be their stage.
my dear Mrs. Blower, to stay away--nobody will Muslin trowsers, adorned with spangles, a volu- believe you had a card-no, not though you were to ininous turban of silver gauze, and wings of the hang it round your neck like a label round a vial of same, together with an embroidered slipper, converted tincture, Mrs. Blower." at once Miss Digges into Oberon, the King of Sha- "If ye thought that, Doctor Kickherben," said the dows whose sovereign gravity, however, was some- widow, alarmed at the idea of losing cast, "I wad what inditferently represented by the silly gayety of een gang to the show, like other folk; sinful and Miss in her Teens, and the uncontrolled delight shameful if it he, let them that inake the sin bear the which she felt in her fine clothes. A younger sister shame. But then I will put on nane of their Popish represented Titania; and two or three subordinate disguises-me that has lived in North Leith, baith elves were selected, among families attending the wife and lass, for I shanna say how mony years, and
• "The Arnaouts or Albanese," (says Lord Byron,) "struck has a character to keep up baith with saint and sinme forcibly by their resemblance to the Highlanders of Scotland, ner.--And then, wha's to take care of me, since you in dress, figure, and manner of living. Their very mountains seem Caledonian, with a kinder climate. The kilt, though Dr. Kickinben?”
are gaun to make a lime-and-stane wa' of yoursell, white; the spare, active form; their dialect Celtic, in the sound, and their hardy habits, all carried me back to Morven."- Notes ‘My dear Mrs. Blower if such is your determina10 the Second Clapter of Crude Harold's Pilgrimage.
tion, I will not make a wall of myself. Her ladyship