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dingle, such as they call in some parts of Scotland a no delay would intervene between the platter and the den, and in others a cleuch, or narrow glen. It seemed, lip. by the broken glances which the moon continued 10 As this thought came across me, the man who had throw upon it, to be steep, precipitous, and full of trees, conducted the horse to the stable entered the apartwhich are, generally speaking, rather scarce upon ment, and discovered to me a countenance yet more these shores. The descent by which we plunged into uninviting than that of the old crone who was perthis dell was both steep and rugged, with two or three forming with such dexterity the office of cook to the abrupt turnings; but neither danger nor darkness party. He was perhaps sixty years old; yet his brow impeded the motion of the black horse, who seemed was not much furrowed, and his jet black hair was only rather to slide upon his haunches, than to gallop grizzled, not whitened, by the advance of age, All his down the pass, throwing me again on the shoulders motions spoke strength unabated ; and, though rather of the athletic rider, who, sustaining no inconve- undersized, he had very broad shoulders, was squarenience by the circumstance, continued to press the made, thin-flanked, and apparently combined in his horse forward with his heel, steadily supporting him frame muscular strength and activity; the last someat the same time by raising his bridle-hand, until we what impaired perhaps by years, but the first remainstood in safety at the bottom of the steep-not a little ing in full vigour. A hard and harsh countenance-eyes to my consolation, as, friend Alan, thou mayst easily far sunk under projecting eyebrows, which were griz
zled like his hair-a wide mouth, furnished from ear A very short advance up the glen, the bottom of 10 ear with a range of unimpaired teeth, of uncomwhich we had attained by this ugly descent, brought mon whiteness, and a size and breadth which might us in front of two or three cotiages, one of which have become the jaws of an ogre, completed this deanother blink of moonshine enabled me to rate as lightful portrait. He was clad like a fisherman, in rather better than those of the Scottish peasantry in jacket and trowsers of the blue cloth commonly used this part of the world; for the sashes seemed glazed, by seamen, and had a Dutch case-knife, like that of and there were what are called storm-windows in Hamburgh skipper, stuck into a broad buff belt, the roof, giving symptoms of the magnificence of a which seemed as if it might occasionally sustain weasecond story. The scene around was very interest: pons of a description still less equivocally calculated ing; for the cottages, and the yards or crofts annexed for violence. to them, occupied a haugh, or holm, of two acres, This man gave me an inquisitive, and, as I thought, which a brook of some consequence (to judge from its a sinister look, upon entering the apartment; but roar) had left upon one side of the litile glen while without any farther notice of me, took up the office finding its course close to the further bank, and which of arranging the table, which the old lady had abanappeared to be covered and darkened with trees, while doned for that of cooking the fish, and, with more the level space beneath enjoyed such stormy smiles address than I expected from a person of his coarse as the moon had that night to bestow.
appearance, placed two chairs at the head of the taI had little time for observation, for my compa- ble, and two stools below; accommodating each seat pion's loud whistle, seconded by an equally loud hal- to a cover, beside which he placed an allowance of loo, speedily brought to the door of the principal cot-barley-bread, and a small jug, which he replenished tage a man and a woman, together with two large with ale from a large black jack. Three of ihese jugs Newfoundland dogs, the deep baying of which I had were of ordinary earthenware, but the fourth, which for some time heard. A yelping terrier or two, which he placed by the right-hand cover at the upper end of had joined the concert, were silent at the presence of the table, was a flagon of silver, and displayed armomy conductor, and began to whine, jump up, and rial bearings. Beside this Alagon he placed a saltfawn upon him. The female drew back when she cellar of silver, handsomely wrought, containing salt beheld a stranger; the man, who had a lighted lan- of exquisite whiteness, with pepper and other spices. tern, advanced, and, without any observation, received A sliced lemon was also presented on a small silver the horse from my host, and led him, doubtless, to salver. The two large water-dogs, who seemed perstable, while I followed my conductor into the house. fectly to understand the nature of the preparations, When we had passed the hallan,* we entered a well- seated themselves one on each side of the iable, to be sized apartment, with a clean brick floor, where a fire ready to receive their portion of the entertainment. blazed (much to my contentment) in the ordinary I never saw finer animals, or which seemed to be projecting, sort of chimney, common in Scottish more influenced by a sense of decorum, excepting houses. There were stone seats within the chimney; that they slobbered a little as the rich scent from the and ordinary utensils, mixed with fishing-spears, chimney was wafted past their noses. The small nets, and similar implements of sport, were hung dogs ensconced themselves beneath the table. around the walls of the place. The female who had I am aware that I am dwelling upon trivial and first appeared at the door, had now retreated into a ordinary circumstances, and that perhaps I may weaside apartment. She was presently followed by my ry out your patience in doing so. But conceive me guide, after he had silently motioned me to a seat; alone in this strange place, which seemed, from the and their place was supplied by an elderly woman, in universal silence, to be the very temple of Harpoa gray stuff gown, with a check apron and toy, obvi- crates-remember that this is my first excursion from ously a menial, though neater in her dress than is home-forget not that the manner in which I had usual in her apparent rank-an advantage which been brought hither had the dignity of danger and was counterbalanced by a very forbidding aspect. something the air of an adventure, and that there was But the most singular part of her attire, in this very a mysterious incongruity in all I had hitherto witProtestant country, was a rosary, in which the smaller nessed; and you will not, I think, be surprised that beads were black oak, and those indicating the pater- these circumstances, though trifling, should force noster of silver, with a crucifix of the same metal. themselves on my notice at the time, and dwell in my
This person made preparations for supper, by spread-memory afterwards. ing a clean though coarse cloth over a large oaken Thai a fisher, who pursued the sport perhaps for table, placing enchers and salt upon it, and arrang- his amusement as well as profit, should be well ing the fire to receive a gridiron. I observed her mo- mounted and better lodged than the lower class of tions in silence; for she took no sort of notice of me, peasantry, had in it nothing surprising; but there was and as her looks were singularly forbidding, I felt no something about all that I saw which seemed to indisposition to commence conversation.
timate, that I was rather in the abode of a decayed When this duenna had made all preliminary ar- gentleman, who clung to a few of the forms and obrangements, she took from the well-filled pouch of servances of former rank, than in that of a common my conductor, which he had hung up by the door, one peasant, raised above his fellows by comparative or two salmon, or grilses, as the smaller sort are opulence. termed, and selecting that which seemed best, and in Besides the articles of plate which I have already highest season, began to cut it into slices, and to pre-noticed, the old man now lighted and placed on the pare a grillade ; the savoury smell of which affected table a silver lamp, or cruisie
, as the Scottish
term it, me so powerfully, that I began sincerely to hope that filled with very pure oil, which in burning diffused an
• The partition which divides a Scottish cottage. aromatic fragrance, and gave me a more perfect
view of the cottage walls, which I had hitherto only "The foul fiend shall be clerk, and say amen, when seen dimly by the light of the fire. The bink,* with I turn chaplain,", growled out the party addressed, in its usual arrangement of pewter and earthen-ware, tones which might have become the condition of a which was most strictly and critically clean, glanced dying bear; “if the gentleman is a whig, he may back the flame of the lamp merrily from one side of please himself with his own mummery. My faith is the apartment. In a recess, formed by the small bow neither in word nor writ, but in barley bread and of a latticed window, was a large writing-desk of brown ale." walnut-tree wood, cúriously carved, above which "Mabel Moffat," said my guide, looking at the old arose shelves of the same, which supported a few woman, and raising his sonorous voice, probably bebooks and papers. The opposite side of the recess cause she was hard of hearing, "canst thou ask a contained (as far as I could discern, for it lay in sha- blessing upon our victuals ?' dow, and I could at any rate have seen it but imper- The old woman shook her head, kissed the cross fectly from the place where I was seated) one or iwo which hung from her rosary, and was silent. guns, together with swords, pistols, and other arms "Mabel will say grace for no heretic," said the --a collection which, in a poor cottage, and in a coun- master of the house, with the same latent sneer on try so peaceful, appeared singular at least, if not even his brow and in his accent. somewhat suspicious.
At the same moment, the side-door already menAll these observations, you may suppose, were made tioned opened, and the young woman (so she proved) much sooner than I have recorded, or you (if you whom I had first seen at the door of the cottage, adhave not skipped) have been able to read them. They vanced a little way into the room, then stopped bashwere already finished, and I was considering how 1 fully, as if she had observed that I was looking at should open some communication with the mute in- her, and asked the master of the house, “if he had habitants of the mansion, when my conductor re-en-called ?". tered from the side-door by which he had made his exit, “Not louder than to make old Mabel hear me," he
He had now thrown off his rough riding-cap, and replied ; and yet,” he added, as she turned to retire, his coarse jockey-coat, and stood before me in a gray it is a shame a stranger should see a house where jerkin
trimmed with black, which sat close to, and not one of the family can or will say a grace, -do thou set off, his large and sinewy frame, and a pair of be our chaplain.” trowsers, of a lighter colour, cut as close to the body The girl, who was really pretty, came forward with as they are used by Highlandmen. His whole dress timid modesty, and apparently unconscious that she was of finer cloth than that of the old man; and his was doing any thing uncommon, pronounced the linen, so minute was my observation, clean and un- benediction in a silver-toned voice, and with affecting sullied. His shirt was without ruffles, and tied at simplicity-her cheek colouring just so much as to the collar with a black riband, which showed his show, that, on a less solemn occasion, she would strong and muscular neck rising from it, like that of have felt more embarrassed. an ancient Hercules. His head was small, with a Now, if thou expectest a fine description of this large forehead, and well-formed ears. He wore nei- young woman, Alan Fairford, in order to entitle thee ther peruke nor hair-powder; and his chestnut locks to taunt me with having found a Dulcinea in the incurling close to his head, like those of an antique habitant of a fisherman's cottage on the Solway statue, showed not the least touch of time, though Firth, thou shalt be disappointed; for, having said she the owner must have been at least fifty. His features seemed very pretty, and that she was a sweet and were high and prominent in such a degree, that one gentle-speaking creature, I have said all concerning knew not whether to term them harsh or handsome. her that I can tell thee. She vanished when the In either case, the sparkling gray eye, aquiline nose, benediction was spoken. and well-formed mouth, combined to render his phy- My host, with a muttered remark on the cold of siognomy noble and expressive. An air of sadness, our ride, and the keen air of the Solway Sands, to or severity, or of both, seemed to indicate a melan, which he did not seem to wish an answer, loaded my choly, and, at the same time, a haughty temper. I plate from Mabel's grillade, which, with a large could not help running mentally over the ancient he wooden bowl of potatoes, formed our whole meal
. roes, to whom I might assimilate the noble form and A sprinkling from
the lemon gave a much higher zest countenance before me. He was too young, and than the usual condiment of vinegar; and I promise evinced too little resignation to his fate, to resemble you that whatever I might bitherto have felt, either Belisarius. Coriolanus, standing by the hearth of of curiosity or suspicion, did not prevent me from Tullus Aufidius, came nearer the mark ;, yet the making a most excellent supper, during which little gloomy and haughty look of the stranger had, per passed betwixt me and my entertainer, unless that haps, still more of Marius, seated among the ruins of he did the usual honours of the table with courtesy, Carthage.
indeed, but without even the affectation of hearty While I was lost in these imaginations, my host hospitality, which those in his (apparent) condition stood by the fire, gazing on me with the same atten- generally affect on such occasions, even when they do tion which I paid to him, until
, embarrassed by his not actually feel it. On the contrary, his manner look, I was about to break silence at all hazards. But seemed that of a polished landlord towards an unes: the supper, now placed upon the table, reminded me, pected and unwelcome guest, whom for the sake of by its appearance, of those wants which I had almost his own credit, he receives with civility, but without forgotten while I was gazing on the fine form of my either good-will or cheerfulness. conductor. He spoke at length, and I almost started If you ask how I learned all this, I cannot tell you; at the deep rich tone of his voice, though what he said nor, were I to write down at length the insignificant was but to invite me to sit down to the table. He intercourse which took place between us, would it himself assumed the seat of honour, beside which perhaps serve to justify these observations. It is suf. the silver tlagon was placed, and beckoned to me to ficient to say, that in helping his dogs, which he did sit beside him.
from time to time with great liberality, he seemed to Thou knowest thy father's strict and excellent do- discharge a duty much more pleasing to himself, ihan mestic discipline has trained me to hear the invoca- when he paid the same attention to his guest Upon tion of a blessing before we break the daily bread, for the whole, the result on my mind was as I tell it you which we are taught to pray-I paused a moment, When supper was over, a small case-bottle of and, without designing to do so, I suppose my man- brandy, in a curious frame of silver filigree, circulated ner made him sensible of what I expected. The two to the guests. I had already taken a small glass of domestics, or inferiors, as I should have before ob- the liquor, and, when it had passed to Mabel and to served, were already seated at the bottom of the Cristal, and was again returned to the upper end of table, when my host shot a glance of a very peculiar the table, I could not help taking the bottle in my expression towards the old man, observing, with hand, to look more at the armorial bearings, which something approaching to a sneer, " Cristal Nixon, were chased with considerable taste on the silver say grace--the gentleman expects one.'
framework. Encountering the eye of my entertainer, : The frame of wooden shelves placed in a Scottish kitchen I instantly saw that my curiosity was highly distastefor holding plates.
he frowned, bit his lip, and showed such uncon
trollable signs of impatience, that, setting the bottle substantial for a building of the kind, seemed to me immediately down, I attempted some apology. To to totter in the tempest. this he did not deign either to reply, or even to listen But still the heavy steps perambulating the apartand Cristal, at a signal from his master, removed the ment over my head, were distinctly heard amid the object of my curiosity, as well as the cup, upon which roar and fury of the elements. I thought more than the same arms were engraved.
once I even heard a groan; but I frankly own, that, There ensued an awkward pause, which I endea- placed in this unusual situation, my fancy may have voured to break by observing, that "I feared my in- misled me. I was tempted several times to call trusion upon his hospitality had put his family to aloud, and ask whether the turmoil around us did not some inconvenience.
threaten danger to the building which we inhabited; "I hope you see no appearance of it, sir,” he re- but when I thought of the secluded and unsocial plied, with cold civility. ""What inconvenience a master of the dwelling, who seemed to avoid human family so retired as ours may suffer from receiving an society, and to remain unperturbed amid the eleunexpected guest, is like to be trifling, in comparison mental war, it seemed that to speak to him at that of what the visiter himself sustains from want of moment, would have been to address the spirit of the his accustomed comforts. So far, therefore, as our tempest himself, since no other being, I thought, connexion stands, our accounts stand clear."
could have remained calm and tranquil while winds Notwithstanding, this discouraging, reply, I blun- and waters were thus raging around. dered on, as is usual in such cases, wishing to appear In process of time, fatigue prevailed over anxiety civil, and being, , perhaps, in reality the very reverse, and curiosity. The storm abated, or my senses be"I was afraid," I said," that my presence had came deadened to its terrors, and I fell asleep ere yet banished one of the family' (looking at the side-door) the mysterious paces of my host had ceased to shake from his table."
the flooring over my head.' "If,” he coldly replied, “I meant the young woman It might have been expected that the novelty of my whom I had seen in the apartment, he bid me observe situation, although it did not prevent my slumbers, that there was room enough at the table for her to would have at least diminished their profoundness, have seated herself, and meat enough, such as it was, and shortened their duration. It proved otherwise, for her supper. I might, therefore, be assured, if she however; for I never slept more soundly in my life, had chosen it, she would have supped with us." and only awoke when, at morning dawn, my land
There was no dwelling on this or any other topic lord shook me by the shoulder, and dispelled some longer; for my entertainer, taking up the lamp, ob- dream, of which, fortunately for you, I have no recolserved, that, "my wet clothes might reconcile me for lecțion, otherwise you
would have been favoured with the night to their custom of keeping, early hours; it, in hopes you might have proved a second Daniel that he was under the necessity of going abroad by upon the occasion. peep of day to-morrow morning, and would call me You sleep sound”-said his full deep voice; "ere up at the same time, to point out the way by which I five years have rolled over your head, your slumbers was to return to the Shepherd's Bush."
will be lighter-unless ere then you are wrapped in This left no opening for farther explanation; nor the sleep which is never broken.” was there room for it on the usual terms of civility; "How !" said I, starting up in the bed; "do you for, as he neither asked my name, nor expressed the know any thing of me-of my prospects of my least interest concerning my condition, I-the obliged views in life?". person-had no pretence to trouble him with such “Nothing,” he answered, with a grim smile; "but inquiries on my part.
it is evident you are entering upon the world young, He took up the lamp, and led me through the side- inexperienced, and full of hopes, and I do but prodoor into a very small room, where a bed had been phesy to you what I would to any one in your conhastily arranged for my accommodation, and, putting dition.-But come; there lie your clothes-a brown down the lamp, directed me to leave my wet clothes crust and a draught of milk wait you, if you choose to on the outside of the door, that they might be ex- break your fast; but you must make haste." posed to the fire during the night. He then left me, "I must first," I said, " take the freedom to spend having muttered something which was meant to pass a few minutes alone, before beginning the ordinary for good-night.
works of the day.” I obeyed his directions with respect to my clothes, "Oh !-humph !-I cry your devotions pardon," he the rather that, in despite of the spirits which I had replied, and left the apartment. drank, I felt my teeth begin to chatter, and received Alan, there is something terrible about this man. various hints from an anguish eeling, that a town- I joined him, as I had promised, in the kitchen bred youth, like myself, could not at once rush into where we had supped over night, where I found the all the hardihood of country sports with impunity; articles which he had offered me for breakfast, withBut my bed, though coarse and hard, was dry and out butter or any other addition. clean; and 'I soon was so little occupied with my He walked up and down while I partook of the heats and tremors, as to listen with interest to a bread and milk; and the slow measured weighty step heavy foot which seemed to be that of my landlord, seemed identified with those which I had heard last traversing the boards (there was no ceiling, as you night. His pace, from its funereal slowness, seemed may believe) which roofed my apartinent. Light to keep time with some current of internal passion, glancing through these rude planks became visible as dark, slow, and unchanged." We run and leap by soon as my lamp was extinguished ; and as the noise the side of a lively and bubbling brook," thought 1, of the slow, solemn, and regular step continued, and internally, “as if we would run a race with it; but I could distinguish that the person turned and re- beside waters deep, slow, and lonely, our pace is sulturned as he reached the end of the apartment, it len and silent as their course. What thoughts may seemed clear to me that the walker was engaged in be now corresponding with that furrowed brow, and no domestic occupation, but merely pacing to and fro bearing time with that heavy step! for his own pleasure. An odd amusement this," I " If you have finished,” said he, looking up to me thought, "for one who had been engaged at least a with a glance of impatience, as he observed that I part of the preceding day in violent exercise, and who ate no longer, but remained with my eyes fixed upon talked of rising by the peep of dawn on the ensuing him, "I wait to show you the way. morning."
We went out together, no individual of the family Mean time I heard the storm, which had been having been visible excepting my landlord. I was brewing during the evening, begin to descend with a disappointed of the opportunity which I watched for vengeance; sounds, as of distant thunder, (the noise of giving some gratuity to the domestics, as they of the more distant waves, doubtless, on the shore) seemed to be. As for offering any recompense to the mingled with the roaring of the neighbouring torrent, Master of the Household, it seemed to me impossible and with the crashing, groaning, and even screaming to have attempted it. of the trees in the glen, whose boughs were tormented What would I have given for a share in thy.comby the gale. Within the house, windows clattered, posure, who wouldst have thrust half-a-crown into a and doors clapped, and the walls, though sufficiently man's hand whose necessities seemed to crave it,
ALAN FAIRFORD TO DARSIE LATIMER.
conscious that you did right in making the proffer, I ask yourself whether you would not exert your legs and not caring sixpence whether you hurt the feel- as fast as you did in flying from the Solway tide. ings of him whom you meant to serve! I saw thee And yet you impeach my father's courage! I tell you once give a penny to a man with a long beard, who, he has courage enough to do what is right, and to from the dignity of his exterior, might have repre- spurn what is wrong-courage enough io defend a sented Solon. I had not thy courage, and therefore righteous cause with hand and purse, and to take the I made no tender to my mysterious host, although, part of the poor man against his oppressor, without notwithstanding his display of silver utensils, all fear of the consequences to himself. This is civil around the house bespoke narrow circumstances, if courage, Darsie ; and it is of little consequence to most not actual poverty.
men in this age and country, whether they ever posWe left the place together. But I hear thee mur- sess military courage or no. mur thy very new and appropriate ejaculation, Ohe, Do not think I am angry with you, though I thus jam satis !-The rest for another time. Perhaps I attempt to rectify your opinions on my father's aemay delay farther communication till I learn how my count. I am well aware that, upon the whole, he is favours are valued.
scarce regarded with more respect by me than by thee. And while I am in a serious humour, which it is
difficult to preserve with one who is perpetually LETTER V.
tempting me to laugh at him, pray dearest Darsie, let not thy ardour for adventure carry thee into more
such scrapes as that of the Solway Sands. The rest I HAVE thy two last epistles, my dear Darsie, and, of the story is a mere imagination; but that stormy expecting the third, have been in no hurry to answer evening might have proved, as the clown says to Lear, them. Do not think my silence ought to be ascribed a "naughty night to swim in." to my failing to take interest in them, for, truly, they As for the rest, if you can work mysterious and roexcel (though the task was difficult) thy usual excel. mantic heroes out of old crossgrained fishermen, why, lings. Since the moon-calf who earliest discovered I for one will reap some amusement by the metamor. the Pandemonium of Milton in an expiring wood-fire phosis. Yet hold! even there, there is some need of -since the first ingenious urchin who blew bubbles caution. This same fernale chaplain-hou sayest so out of soap and water, tho11, my best of friends, hast little of her, and so much of every one else, that iterthe highest knack at making histories out of nothing. cites some doubt in my mind. Very pretty she is i Wert thou to plant the bean in the nursery-tale, thou seems—and that is all thy discretion informs me of. wouldst make out, so soon as it began to germinate, There are cases in which silence implies other things that the castle of the giant was about to elevate its than consent. Wert thou ashamed or afraid, Darse, battlements on the top of it. All that happens to to trust thyself with the praises of the very pretty thee gets a touch of the wonderful and the sublime grace-sayer ?-As I live, thou blushest! Why, do I from thy own rich imagination. Didst ever see what not know thee an inveterate Squire of Dames? and artists call a Claude Lorraine glass, which spreads have I not been in thy confidence ? An elegant elbow, its own particular hue over the whole landscape which displayed when the rest of the figure was mufted in a you see through it ?-thou beholdest ordinary events cardinal, or a neat well-turned ankle and instep, seen just through such a medium.
by chance as its owner tripped up the Old Assembly I have looked carefully at the facts of thy last long Close, * turned thy brain for eight days. Thou wert letter, and they are just such as might have befallen once caught, if I remember rightly, with a single any little truant of the High School, who had got glance of a single matchless eye, which, when the down to Leith Sands, gone beyond the prawn-dub, lair owner withdrew her veil, proved to be single in wet his hose and shoon, and, finally, had been carried the literal sense of the word. And, besides
, were you home, in compassion, by some highkilted fish wife, not another time enamoured of a voice-a mere voice cursing all the while the trouble which the brat occa that mingled in the psalmody at the Old Greyfnars' sioned her.
Church-until you discovered the proprietor of that I admire the figure which thou must have made, dulcet organ to be Miss Dolly Maclzzard, who is both clinging for dear life behind the old fellow's back- 1 " back and breast,” as our saying goes ? thy jaws chattering with fear, thy muscles cramped All these things considered, and contrasted with with anxiety. Thy execrable supper of broiled sal thy artful' silence on the subject of this grace-saving mon, which was enough to insure the nightmare's Nereid of thine, I must beg thee to be more explicit regular visits for a twelvemonth, may be termed a upon that subject in thy next, unless thou wouldst real affliction; but as for the storm of Thursday last, have me form the conclusion that thou thinkest more (such, I observe, was the date,) it roared, whistled, of her than thou carest to talk of. howled, and bellowed, as fearfully amongst the old You will not expect much news from this quarter, chimney-heads in the Candlemaker-row, as it could as you know the monotony of my life, and are aware on the Solway shore, for the very wind of it-teste it must at present be devoted to uninterrupted study. me per totam noctem vigilante. And then in the morn. You have said a thousand times, that I am only qualiing again, when-Lord help you—in your sentimen- fied to make my way by dint of plodding, and theretal delicacy you bid the poor man adieu, without even fore plod I must. tendering him a half-a-crown for supper and lodging! My father seems to be more impatient of your ab
You laugh at me for giving a penny (to be accurate, sence than he was after your firsi departure. He is though, thou shouldst have said sixpence) to an old sensible, I believe, that our solitary meals want the fellow, whom thou, in thy high flight, wouldst have light which your gay humour was wont to throw over sent home supperless, because he was like Solon or them, and feels melancholy, as men do when the light Belisarius. But you forget that the affront descended of the sun is no longer upon the landscape. If it is like a benediction into the pouch of the old gaberlunzie, thus with him, thou mayst imagine it is much more who overflowed in blessings upon the generous donor so with me, and canst conceive how heartily I wish ---Long ere he would have thanked thee, Darsie, for that thy frolic were ended, and thou once more our thy barren veneration of his beard and his bearing. inmate. Then you laugh at my good father's retreat from Falkirk, just as if it were not time for a man to trudge I resume my pen, after a few hours' interval, to say when three or four mountain knaves, with naked that an incident has occurred, on which you will your claymores, and heels as light as their fingers, were self be building a hundred castles in the air, and which scampering after him, crying furinish. You remem- even I, jealous as I am of such baseless fabrics, canwhat he said himself when the Laird of Bucklivat told not but own, affords ground for singular conjecture. him that furinish signified "stay a while." "What My father has of late taken me frequently along the devil,'' he said, surprised out of his Presbyterian with him when he attends the Courts,
in his anxiety correctness by the unreasonableness of such a request to see me properly initiated into the practical forms under the circumstances, " would the scoundrels have of business. I own I feel something on his account had me stop to have my head cut off?". Imagine such a train at your own heels, Darsie, and access betwixt the High Street and the southern Suburbs.
• Of old this almost deserted alley formed the most common
and my own from this over anxiety, which, I dare was with a look of scorn that he replied, “I will say, renders us both ridiculous. But what signifies relieve you then till that hour, Mr. Fairford;" and his my repugnance! my father drags me up to his counsel whole manner seemed to say, “It is my pleasure to learned in the law, "Are you quite ready to come on dine with you, and I care not whether I am welcome to-day, Mr. Crossbite ?--This is my son, designed for or no." the bar-I take the liberty to bring him with me to- When he turned away, I asked my father who he was. day to the consultation, merely that he may see how An unfortunate gentleman," was the reply. these things are managed."'.
"He looks pretty well on his misfortunes," replied I. Mr. Crossbite smiles and bows, as a lawyer smiles | "I should not have suspected that so gay an outside on the solicitor who employs him, and I dare say, was lacking a dinner." thrusts his tongue into his cheek, and whispers into “Who told you that he does ?” replied my father ; the first great wig thal passes him, "What the d-1 "he is omni suspicione major, so far as worldly cirdoes old Fairford mean by letting loose his whelp cumstances are concerned-It is to be hoped he makes on me?"
a good use of them; though, if he does, it will be for As I stood beside them, too much vexed at the child- the first time in his life." ish part I was made to play to derive
much informa- He has then been an irregular liver ?" insinuated I. tion from the valuable arguments of Mr. Crossbite, I My father replied by that famous brocard with observed a rather elderly man, who stood with his which he silences all unacceptable queries, turning eyes firmly bent on my father, as if he only waited an in the slightest degree upon the failings of our neighend of the business in which he was engaged, to ad- bours,– "If we mend our own faults, Alan, we shall dress him. There was something, I thought, in the all of us have enough to do, without sitting in judggentleman's appearance which commanded attention. ment upon other folks." Yet his dress was not in the present taste, and though Here I was again at fault; but rallying once more, it had once been magnificent, was now antiquated I observed, he had the air of a man of high rank and and unfashionable. His coat was of branched velvet, family. with a satin lining, a waistcoat of violet-coloured silk, "He is well entitled,” said my father, "representmuch embroidered; his breeches the same stuff as ing Herries of Birrenswork; a branch of that great the coat. He wore square-toed shoes, with foretops, and once powerful family of Herries, the elder branch as they are called; and his silk stockings were rolled whereof merged in the house of Nithesdale at the up over his knee, as you may have seen in pictures, death of Lord Robin the Philosopher, Anno Domini and here and there on some of those originals who sixteen hundred and sixty-seven. seem to pique themselves on dressing after the mode “Has he still,” said I, "his patrimonial estate of of Methușelah., A chapeau bras and sword necessa- Birrenswork?". rily completed his equipment, which, though out of "No," replied my father; "so far back as his father's date, showed that it belonged to a man of distinction time, it was a mere designation--the property being
The instant Mr. Crossbite had ended what he had forfeited by Herbert Herries following his kinsman to say, this gentleman walked up to my father, with, the Earl of Derwentwater, to the Preston affair in “Your servant, Mr. Fairford—it is long since you and 1715. But they keep up the designation, thinking, I met."
doubtless, that their claims may be revived in more My father, whose politeness, you know, is exact and favourable times for Jacobites and for Popery; and formal
, bowed, and hemmed, and was confused, and folks who in no way partake of their fantastic capricat length professed that the distance since they had cios, do yet allow it to pass unchallenged, ex comitate, met was so great, that though he remembered the if not ex misericordia.-But were he the Pope and the face perfectly, the name, he was sorry to say, had- Pretender both, we must get some dinner ready for really-somehow-escaped his memory.
him, since he has thought fit to offer himself. So "Have you forgot Herries of Birrenswork ?" said hasten home, my lad, and tell Hannah, Cook Epps, the gentleman, and my father bowed even more pro- and James Wilkinson to do their best; and do thou foundly than before ; though I think his reception of look out a pint or two of Maxwell's best-it is in the his old friend seemed to lose some of the respectful fifth bin-there are the keys of the wine cellar.-Do civility which he bestowed on him while his name not leave them in the lock-you know poor James's was yet unknown. It now seemed to be something failing, though he is an honest creature under all like the lip-courtesy
which the heart would have de- other temptations--and I have but two bottles of the nied had ceremony permitted.'
old brandy left-we must keep it for medicine, Alan." My father, however, again bowed low, and hoped Away went I-made my preparations-the hour of he saw him well.
dinner came, and so did Mr. Herries of Birrenswork. “So well, my good Mr. Fairford, that I come hither If I had thy power of imagination and description, determined to renew my acquaintance with one or Darsie, I could make out a fine, dark, mysterious, two old friends, and with you in the first place.-1 Rembrandt-looking portrait of this same stranger, halt at my old resting-place-you must
dine with me which should be as far superior to thy fisherman, as to-day at Paterson's, at the head of the Horse Wynd- a shirt of chain-mail is to a herring-net. I can assure it is near your new fashionable dwelling, and I have you there is some matter for description about him; business with you."
but knowing my own imperfections, I can only say, My father excused himself respectfully, and not I thought him eminently disagreeable and ill-bred. --without embarrassment-“ he was particularly en- No, ill-bred is not the proper word; on the contrary, gaged at home."
he appeared to know the rules of good-breeding perThen I will dine with you, man,” said Mr. Herries fectly, and only to think that the rank of the company of Birrenswork; "the few minutes you can spare me did not require that he should attend to them-a view after dinner, will suffice for my business; and I will of the matter infinitely more offensive than if his not prevent you a moment from minding your own-behaviour had been that of uneducated and proper I am no botile-man."
rudeness. While my father said grace, the Laird did You have often remarked that my father, though a all but whistle aloud; and when I, at my father's scrupulous observer of the rites of hospitality, seems desire, returned thanks, he used his toothpick, as if he to exercise them rather as a duty than as a pleasure; had waited that moment for its exercise. indeed, but for a conscientious wish to feed the hungry So much for Kirk-with King, matters went even and receive the stranger, his doors would open to worse. My father, thou knowest, is particularly full guests much seldomer than is the case. I never saw of deference to his guests; and in the present case, so strong, an example of this peculiarity, (which I he seemed more than usually desirous to escape every should otherwise have said is caricatured in your cause of dispute. He so far compromised his loyalty, description,) as in his mode of homologating the self- as to announce merely "The King," as his first toast given invitation of Mr. Herries. The embarrassed after dinner, instead of the emphatic "King George,” brow, and the attempt at a smile which accompanied which is his usual formula. Our guest made a mohis We will expect the honour of seeing you in tion with his glass, so as to pass it over the waterBrown Square at three o'clock," could not deceive decanter which stood beside him, and added, “Over any one, and did not impose upon the old Laird. It the water."