Page images
PDF
EPUB

dance no more, and, rejoicing at my release, I led her this time, and went to bed in haste, full of various lo a seat, and took the privilege of a partner to attend cogitations. her.

I have since spent a couple of days betwixt Mount "Hegh, sirs," exclaimed Dame Martin, "I am sair Sharon and this place, and betwixt reading, writing forfoughen! Troth, callant, I think ye hae been to thee this momentous history, forming plans for amaist the death o' me.'

seeing the lovely Lilias, and-partly, I think, for the I could only atone for the alleged offence by fetching sake of contradiction--angling a little in spite of her some refreshment, of which she readily partook. Joshua's scruples--though I am rather liking the

“I have been lucky in my partners," I said, “first amusement better as I begin to have some success that pretty young lady, and then you, Mrs. Martin." in it.

" Hout wi' your fleeching," said 'Dame Martin. And now, my dearest Alan, you are in full posses "Gae wa--gae wa, lad; dinna blaw in folks's lugs sion of my secret-let me as frankly into the recesses that gate; me anu Miss Lilias even’d thegither! Na, of your bosom. How do you feel towards this fair na, lad--od, she is maybe four or five years younger ignis fatuus, this lily of the desert ? Tell me honestly; than the like o' me, -by and attour her genile hav- for bowever the recollection of her may haunt my ings."

own mind, my love for Alan Fairford surpasses the She is the Laird's daughter ?" said I, in as care- love of woman. I know, too, that when you do love, less a tone of inquiry as I could assume.

it will be to “His daughter, man? Na, na, only his niece--and

"Love once and love no more." sib aneugh to him, I think."

A deep-consuming passion, once kindled in a breast “Ay, indeed," I replied; I thought she had borne so steady as yours, would never be extinguished but his name?"

with life. I am of another and more volatile temper, "She bears her ain name, and that's Lilias." and though I shall open your next with a trembling And has she no other name ?" asked I.

hand, and uncertain heart, yet let it bring a frank “What needs she another till she gets a gudeman? confession that this fair unknown has made a deeper answered my Thetis, a little mified perhaps-to use impression on your gravity than you reckoned for, and the women's phrase-that I turned the conversation you will see I can tear the arrow from my own wound, upon my former partner, rather than addressed it to barb and all. In the mean time, though I have formed herself.

schemes once more to see her, I will, you may rely on There was a short pause, which was interrupted it, take no step for putting them into practice. I have by Dame Martin observing, “They are standing up refrained from this hitherto, and I give you my word again.”

of honour, I shall continue to do so; yei why should True,” said 1, having no mind to renew my late you need any further assurance from one who is so violent capriole, and I must go help old Willie.” entirely yours as

D. L. Ere I could extricate myself, I heard poor Thelis P. S. -I shall be on thorns till I receive your an. address herself to a sort of Mer-man in a jacket of swer. I read, and re-read your letter, and cannot seaman's blue, and a pair of trowsers, (whose hand, for my soul discover what your real sentiments are. by the way, she had rejected at an earlier part of the Sometimes I think you write of her as one in jest, evening,) and intimate that she was now disposed to and sometimes I think that cannot be. Put me at take a trip.

ease as soon as possible. "Trip away then, dearie,” said the vindictive man of the waters, without offering his hand ; "there,” pointing to the floor, “is a roomy berth for you."

LETTER XIII. Certain I had made one enemy, and perhaps two,

ALAN FAIRFORD TO DARSIE LATIMER. I hastened to my original seat beside Willie, and began to handle my bow. But I could see that my I write on the instant, as you direct; and in a tragiconduct had made an unfavourable inpression; the comic humour, for I have a tear in iny eye and a smile words, flory conceited chap,' -"hallins gentle," on my cheek. Dearest Darsie, sure never a being but and at length, the still more alarming epithet of yourself could be so generous--sure never a being but "spy," began to be buzzed about, and I was heartily yourself could be so absurd ! I remember when you glad when the apparition of Sam's visage at the door, were a boy you wished to make your fine new whip who was already possessed of and draining a can of a present to old aunt Peggy, merely because she punch, gave me assurance that my means of retreat admired it; and now, with like unreflecting and unwere at hand. I intimated as much to Willie, who appropriate liberality, you would resign your beloved probably bad heard more of the murmurs of the com- to a smoke-dried young sophister, who cares not one pany than I had, for he whispered, “Ay, ay--awa wil of the hairs which it is his occupation to split, for all ye-ower lang here-slide out canny-dinna let them the daughters of Eve. I in love with your LiliasBee ye are on the tramp."

your green-mantle--your unknown enchantress!I slipped half-a-guinea into the old man's hand, why I scarce saw her for five minutes, and even then who answered, "Truts! pruts! nonsense ! but I'se only the tip of her chin was distinctly visible. She no refuse, trusting ye can afford it.--Awa wi' ye-and was well made, and the tip of her chin was of a most if ony body stops ye, cry on me.

promising cast for the rest of the face; but, Heaven I glided, by his advice, along the room as if looking save you? she came upon business! and for a lawyer for a partner, joined Sam, whom I disengaged with to fall in love with a pretty client on a single consultasome difficulty from his can, and we left the cottage tion, would be as wise as if he became enamoured together in a manner to attract the least possible of a particularly bright sunbeam which chanced for a observation. The horses were tied in a neighbouring moment to gild his bar-wig. I give you my word I shed, and as the moon was up and I was now familiar am heart-whole; and, moreover, I assure you, that with the road, broken and complicated as it is, we before I suffer a woman to sit near my heart's core, I soon reached the Shepherd's Bush, where the old must see her full face, without mask or manile, ay, landlady was sitting up waiting for us, under some and know a good deal of her mind into the bargain, anxiety of mind, to account for which she did not So never fret yourself on my account, my kind and hesitate to tell me that some folks had gone to generous Darsle; but, for your own sake, have a care, Brokenburn from her house, or neighbouring towns, and let not an idle attachment, so lightly taken up, that did not come so safe back again. "Wandering lead you into serious danger. Willie,” she said, was doubtless a kind of protec- On this subject I feel so apprehensive, that now tion.'

when I am decorated with the honours of the gown, Here Willie's wife, who was smoking in the chim- I should have abandoned my career at the very startney corner, look up, the praises of her "hinnie," as she ing to come to you, but for my father having contrived called him, and endeavoured to awaken my generosity to clog my heels with fetters of a professional nature, afresh, by describing the dangers from which, as she I will tell you the matter at length, for it is comica! was pleased to allege, her husband's countenance enough; and why should not you list to my juridical had assuredly been the means of preserving me. I adventures, as well as I to those of your fiddling was not, however, to be fooled out of more money at knight-erTantry? Vol. IV

4B

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

court."

It was after dinner, and I was considering how I | I do not think even you, Alan, can do it much harm inight best introduce to my father the private resolu- | --ve may get credit by it, but ye can lose none.". tion I had formed to set off for Dumfries-shire, or And pray what is the name of my happy client, whether I had not better run away at once, and plead sir?" said I, ungraciously enough, I believe. my excuse by letter, when, assuming the peculiar look It is a well-known name in the Parliamentwith which he communicates any of his intentions House," replied my father. “To say the truth, I exrespecting me, that he suspects may not be altogether pect him every moment; it is Peter Peebles." acceptable, "Alan," he said, "

ye now wear a gown- "Peter Peebles !" exclaimed I, in astonishment; ye have opened shop, as we would say of a more "he is an insane beggar-as poor as Job, and as mad mechanical profession; and, doubtless, ye think the as a March hare!" floor of the courts is strewed with guineas, and that " He has been pleaing in the court for fifteen years." ye have only to stoop down to gather them ?'' said my father, in a tone of commiseration, which

"I hope I am sensible, sir," I replied, "that I have seemed to acknowledge that this fact was enough to some knowledge and practice to acquire, and must account for the poor man's condition both in mund stoop for that in the first place."

and circumstances. "It is well said," answered my father; and always Besides, sir," I added he is on the Poor's Roll; afraid to give too much encouragement, added, “Very and you know there are advocates regularly appointed well said, if it be well acted up to-$roop to get know- to manage those cases ; and for me to presume to ledge and practice is the very word. Ye know very interfere"well, Alan, that in the other faculty who study the "Whisht, Alan !-never interrupt the court-all Ars medendi, before the young doctor gets to the that is managed for ye like a tee'd ball ;" (my father bedsides of palaces, he must, as they call it, walk the sometimes draws his similes from his once favourite hospitals; and cure Lazarus of his sores, before he game of golf;)—"you must know, Alan, that Peter's be admitted to prescribe for Dives, when he has gout cause was to have been opened by young Dumtoustie or indigestion”?

ye may ken the lad, a son of Dumtoustie of that ilk, "I am aware, sir, that'

member of Parliament for the county of

and a "Whisht-do not interrupt the court-Well-also nephew of the Laird's younger brother, worthy Lord the chirurgeons have a useful practice, by which they Bladderskate, whilk ye are aware sounds as like being put their apprentices and tyrones to work upon sense- akin to a peatshipt and a sheriffdom, as a sieve is sib less dead bodies, to which, as they can do no good, to a riddle. Now, Saunders Drudgeit, my lord's so they certainly can do as little harm; while at the clerk, came to me this morning in the House, like ane same time the tyro, or apprentice, gains experience, bereft of his wits; for it seems that young Dumtousand becomes fit to whip off a leg or arm from a living tie is ane of the Poor's Lawyers, and Peter Peebles's subject, as cleanly as ye would slice an onion.' process had been remitted to him of course.

But so "I believe I guess your meaning, sir," answered soon as the harebrained goose saw the pokes: (as I; "and were it not for a very particular engage- indeed, Alan, they are none of the least,) he took ment"

fright, called for his nag, lap on, and away to the "Do not speak to me of engagements; but whisht country is he gone; and so, said Saunders, my lord --there is a good lad—and do not interrupt the is at his wit's end wi' vexation and shame, to see his

nevoy break off the course at the very starting. Ti My father, you know, is apt-be it said with all filial tell you, Saunders,' said I, 'were I my lord, and a duty-to be a little prolix in his harangues. I had friend or kinsman of mine should leave the town nothing for it but to lean back and listen.

while the court was sitting, that kinsman, or be he Maybe you think, Alan, because I have, doubtless, what he liked, should never darken my door again.' the management of some actions in dependence And then, Alan, I thought to turn the ball our own whilk my worthy clients have intrusted me with, that way; and I said that you were a gey sharp birkie I may think of airting them your way instanter; and just off the irons, and if it would oblige my lord, and so setting you up in practice, so far as my small busi- so forth, you would open Peter's cause on Tuesday, ness or influence may go; and, doubtless, Alan, that and make some handsome apology for the necessary is a day whilk I hope may come round. But then, absence of your learned friend, and the loss which before I give, as the proverb hath it, 'My own fish- your client and the court had sustained, and so forth. guts to my own sea-maws,' I must, for the sake of Saunders lap at the proposition, like a cock at a grosmy own character, be very sure that my sea-maw can sart; for, he said, the only chance was to get a new pick them to some purpose. What say ye?" hand, that did not ken the charge he was taking upon

"I am so far," answered I, "from wishing to get him; for there was not a lad of two Sessions' standearly into practice, sir, that I'would willingly bestow ing that was not dead-sick of Peter Peebles and his a few days''

cause; and he advised me to break the matter gently "In farther study, ye would say, Alan. But that is to you at the first; but I told him you were a good not the way either-ye must walk the hospitals-ye bairn, Alan, and had no will and pleasure in these must cure Lazarus-ye must cut and carve on a de- matters but mine." parted subject, to show your skill."

What could I say, Darsie, in answer to this ar"I am sure," I replied, “I will undertake the cause rangement, so very well meant-so very vexatious of any poor man with pleasure, and bestow as much at the same time?--To imitate the defection and pains upon it as if it were a duke's; but for the next Aight of young Dumtoustie, was at once to destroy two or three days"

my father's hopes of me for ever; nay, such is the “They must be devoted to close study, Alan-very keenness with which he regards all connected with close study indeed; for ye must stand primed for a his profession, it might have been a step to breaking hearing, in presentia Dominorum, upon Tuesday his heart. I was obliged, therefore, to bow in sad rext.

acquiescence, when my father called to James Wi"I, şir!" I replied in astonishment-"I have not kinson to bring the two bits of pokes he would find opened my mouth in the Outer-House yet!"

on his table. "Never mind the Court of the Gentiles, man,” Exit James, and presently re-enters, bending under said my father; we will have you into the Sanctuary the load of two huge leathern bags, full of papers to at once-over shoes, over boots."

the brim, and labelled on the greasy backs with the “But, sir, I should really spoil any cause thrust on me so hastily."

* This unfortunato litigant (for a person named Peter Peebles

actually flourished) frequented the courts or justice in Scotand “Ye cannot spoilit, Alan," said my father, rubbing about the year 1792, and the sketch of his appearance is given his hands with much complacency; "that is the very from recollection. The author is of opinion that he himself cream of the business, man-it is just, as I said be had at one time the honour to be counsel for Peter Peebles. fore, a subject upon whilk all the tyroncs have been pieces to most young men who were called to the bar. The trying their whittles for fifteen years; and as there scene of the consultation is entirely imaginary: have been about ten or a dozen agents concerned,

Formerly, a lawyer, supposed to be under the peculiar pat. and each took his own way, the case is come to that ronage of any particular julge, was invidiously termed his pass, that Stair or Arniston could not mend it ; and 1 Process-bags.

peat or pel.

magic impress of the clerks of court, and the title, sented to each other, at which time i easily saw by Peebles against Plainstanes. This huge mass was my father's manner that he was desirous of supportdeposited on the table, and my father, with no ordi- ing Peter's character in my eyes, as much as circumnary glee in his countenance, began to draw out the stances would permit, "Alan," he said, "this is the various bundles of papers, secured by none of your gentleman who has agreed to accept of you as his red tape or whipcord, but stout, substantial casts of counsel, in place of young Dumtoustie." tarred rope, such as might have held small craft at "Enurely out of favour to my old acquaintance their moorings.

your father," said Peter, with a benign and patronising I made a last and desperate effort to get rid of the countenance, out of respect to your father, and my impending job. “I am really afraid, sir, that this old intimacy with Lord Bladderskate. Otherwise, case seems so much complicated, and there is so by the Regiam Majestatem ! I would have presented little time to prepare, that we had better move the a petition and complaint against Daniel Dum toustie, Court to supersede it till next Session."

Advocate, by name and surname- I would, by all "How, sir ?-how, Alan ?" said my father—"Would the practiques !-I know the forms of process; and I you approbate and reprobate sir ?-You have accepted am not to be trifled with." ihe poor man's cause, and if you have not his fee in My father here interrupted my client, and reminded your pocket, it is because he has none to give you ; him that there was a good deal of business to do, as and now would you approbate and reprobate in the he proposed to give the young counsel an outline of same breath of your mouth ?-Think of your oath the state of the conjoined process, with a view to letof office, Alan, and your duty to your father, my dear ting him into the merits of the cause, disencumbered boy."

from the points of form. I have made a short abOnce more, what could I say?-I saw, from my breviate, Mr. Peebles," said he; “having sat up late father's hurried and alarmed manner, that nothing last night, and employed much of this morning in could vex him so much as failing in the point he had wading through these papers, to save Alan some determined to carry, and once more intimated my trouble, and I am now about to state the result." readiness to do my best, under every disadvantage. "I will state it myself,” said Peter, breaking in with"Well

, well, my boy,'' said my father, the Lord out reverence upon his solicitor. will make your days long in the land, for the honour "No, by no means," said my father; "I am your you have given to your father's gray hairs. You may agent for the time." find wiser advisers, Alan, but none that can wish you "Mine eleventh in number," said Peter; “I have a better."

new one every year; I wish I could get a new coat as My father, you know, does not usually give way to regularly." expressions of affection, and they are interesting in Your agent for the time,” resumed my father; proportion to their rarity. My eyes began to fill at "and you, who are acquainted with the forms, know seeing his glisten; and my delight at having given that the client states the cause to the agent-the agent him such sensible gratification would have been to the counsel"unmixed, but for the thoughts of you. These out of “The counsel to the Lord Ordinary,” continued the question, I could have grappled with the bags, Peter, once set a-going, like the peal of an alarm ciock, had ihey been as large as corn-sacks. But, to turn "the Ordinary to the Inner-House, the President to what was grave into farce, the door opened, and the Bench. It is just like the rope to the man, the Wilkinson ushered in Peter Peebles.

man to the axe, the axe to the ox, the ox to the water, You must have seen this original, Darsie, who, like the water to the fire"others in the same predicament, continues to haunt "Hush, for Heaven's sake, Mr. Peebles," said my the courts of justice, where he has made shipwreck of father, cutting his recitation short; "time wears ontime, means, and understanding. Such insane pau- we must get to business-you must not interrupt the pers have sometimes seemed to me to resemble court, you know.--Hem, hem! From this abbreviate wrecks lying upon the shoals on the Goodwin Sands, it appears" or in Yarmouth Roads, warning other vessels to Before you begin," said Peter Peebles, "I'll thank keep aloof from the banks on which they have been you to order me a morsel of bread and cheese, or some lost; or rather such ruined clients are like scarecrows cauld meat, or broth, or the like alimentary provision ; and potato-bogles, distributed through the courts to I was so anxious to see your son, that I could not eat scare away fools from the scene of litigation.

a mouthful of dinner. The identical Peter wears a huge great-coat, thread- Heartily glad, I believe, to have so good a chance bare and patched itself, yet carefully so disposed and of stopping his client's mouth effectually, my father secured by what buttons remain, and many supple- ordered some cold meat; to which James Wilkinson, mentary pins, as to conceal the still more infirm state for the honour of the house, was about to add the of his under garments. The shoes and stockings brandy bottle, which remained on the sideboard, but, of a ploughman were, however, seen to meet at his at a wink from my father, supplied its place with small knees, with a pair of brownish, blackish breeches : beer. Peter charged the provisions with the rapacity a rusty-coloured handkerchief, that has been black in of a famished lion; and so well did the diversion enits day, surrounded his throat, and was an apology gage him, that though, while my father stated the for linen. His hair, half gray half black, escaped case, he looked at him repeatedly, as if he meant to in elf-locks around a huge wig, made of tow, as it interrupt his statement, yet he always found more seemed to me, and so much shrunk, that it stood upon agreeable employment for his mouth, and returned to the very top of his head; above which he plants, the cold beef with an avidity which convinced me he when covered, an immense cocked hat, which, like had not had such an opportunity for many a day of the chieftain's banner in an ancient battle, may be satiating his appetite. Omitting much formal phraseseen any sederunt day betwixt nine and ten, high ology, and many legal details, I will endeavour 10 towering above all the fluctuating and changeful scene give you, in exchange for your fiddler's tale, the hisin the Outer House, where his eccentricities often tory of a litigant, or rather, the history of his lawsuit. inake him the centre of a group of petulant and teas- "Peter Peebles and Paul Plainstanes," said my faing boys, who exercise upon him every art of ingen- ther, "entered into partnership, in the year ious torture. His countenance, originally that of a mercers and linendrapers, in the Luckenbooths, and portly, comely burgess, is now emaciated with poverty carried on a great line of business to mutual adand anxiety, and rendered wild by an insane lightness vantage. But the learned counsel needeth not to be about the eyes; a withered and blighted skin and told, societas est mater discordiarum, partnership oft complexion; features begrimed with snuff, charged makes, pleaship. The company being dissolved by with the self-importance peculiar to insanity; and a mutual consent in the year — the affairs had to be habit of perpetually speaking to himself. Such was wound up, and after certain attempts to settle the my unfortunate client; and I must allow, Darsie, matter extrajudicially, it was at last brought into the that my profession had need to do a great deal of Court, and has branched out into several distinct progood, it as is much to be feared, it brings many cesses, most of whilk have been conjoined by the Orindividuals to such a pass.

dinary. It is to the state of these processes that After we had been, with a good deal of form, pre-counsel's attention is particularly directed. Tlere is

[ocr errors]

the original action of Peebles o. Plainstanes, con- ; wind could condescend and say whether it were best vening him for payment of 3000l., less or more as to proceed by way of petition and complaint, ad oinalleged balance due by Plainstanes. 2dly, There is a dictam publicam, with consent of his Majesty's counter action, in which Plainstanes is pursuer and advocate, or by action on the statute for battery, penPeebles defender, for 25001., less or more, being ba- dente lite, whilk would be the winning my plea at lance alleged per contra, to be due by Peebles. 3dly, once, and so getting a back-door out of Court.-By Mr. Peebles's seventh agent advised an action of the Regiam, that beef and brandy is unco het at my Compt and Reckoning at his instance, wherein what heart--1 maun try the ale again,” (sipped a little beeris balance should prove due on either side might be fairly "and the ale's but cauld, I maun e'en put in the rest struck and ascertained. thiy, To meet the hypothet- of the brandy." ical case, that Peebles might be found liable in a ba- He was as good as his word, and proceeded in so lance to Plainstanes, Mr. Wildgoose, Mr. Peebles's | loud and animated a style of elocution, thumping eighth agent, recommended a Multiplepoinding, to the table, drinking and snuffing alternately

, that my bring all parties concerned into the field."

father, abandoning all attempts to interrupt hun, sat My brain was like to turn at this account of law silent and ashamed, suffering and anxious for the suit within law suit, like a nest of chip-boxes, with all conclusion of the scene. of which I was expected to make myself acquainted. "And then to come back to my pet process of all

“I understand," I said, "that Mr. Peebles claims a my battery and assault process, when I had the good sum of money from Plainstanes--how then can he be luck to provoke him to pull my nose at the very threshis debtor ? and if not his debtor, how can he bring a hold of the Court, whilk was the very thing I wanted Multiplepoinding, the very suinmons of which sets --Mr. Pest, ye ken him, Daddie Fairford ? Old Pest forth, that the pursuer does owe certain moneys, which was for making it out hamesucken, for he said the he is desirous to pay by warrant of a judge?"* Court might be said-said-ugh!--lo be my dwelling

“Ye know little of the matter, I douby, friend,” said place. I dwell mair there than ony gate else, and the Mr. Peebles; "a Multiplepoinding is the safest reme- essence of hamesucken is to strike a man in his dwelldium juris in the whole form of process. I have ing place--mind that, young advocate-and so there's known it conjoined with a declarator of marriage.- hope Plainstanes may be hanged, as many has for a Your beef is excellent," he said to my father, who in less matter; for, my Lords-will Pest say to the Justivainendeavoured to resume his legal disquisition;" but ciary bodies, --my Lords, the Parliament House is Pee something highly powdered--and the twopenny is bles's place of dwelling, says he-being commune undeniable; but it is small swipes-small swipes- forum, and commune forum est commune domini more of hop than malt-with your leave I'll try your cilium-Lass, fetch another glass of whisky, and black bottle.”

score it-time to gae hame-by the practiques, I canMy father started to help him with his own hand, not find the jug--yet there's twa of them, I think. By and in due measure; but, infinitely to my amusement, the Regiam, Fairford-Daddie Fairford-lend us twal Peter got possession of the bottle by the neck, and my pennies to buy, sneeshing, mine is done-Macer, call father's ideas of hospitality were far too scrupulous to another cause. permit his attempting, by any direct means, to redeem The box fell from his hands, and his body would at it; so that Peter returned to the table triumphant, the same time have fallen from the chair, had I not with his prey in his clutch.

supported him. “Better have a wine-glass, Mr. Peebles,”, said my "This is intolerable," said my father-"Call : father, in an admonitory lone, "you will find it pretty chairman, James Wilkinson, to carry this degraded strong.'

worthless, drunken beast home." "If the kirk is ower muckle, we can sing mass in When Peter Peebles was removed from this methe quire,” said Peter, helping himself in the goblet morable consultation, under the care of an able-bodied out of which he had been drinking the small beer. Celt, my father hastily bundled up the papers, as a "What is it, usquebaugh ?--BRANDY, as I am an showman, whose exhibition has miscarried, hastes to honest man! I had almost forgotten the name and remove his booth. “Here are my memoranda, Alan," taste of brandy.-Mr. Fairford elder, your good he said, in a hurried way; "look them carefully over health,” (a mouthful of brandy)—"Mr. Alan Fairford, -compare them with the processes, and turn it in wishing you well through your arduous undertaking,'! your head before Tuesday. Many a good speech has (another go-down of the comfortable liquor.)." And been inade for a beast of a client; and hark ye lad, now, though you have given a tolerable breviate of hark ye-I never intended to cheat you of your fee this great lawsuit, of whilk every body has heard when all was done, though I would have liked to something that has walked the boards in the Outer- have heard the speech first; but there is nothing like House, (here's to ye again, by way of interim decreet) corning the horse before the journey. Here are five yet ye have omitted to speak a word of the arrest- goud guineas in a silk purse-of your poor mother's ments.

netting, Alan-she would have been a blithe woman "I was just coming to that point, Mr. Peebles.” to have seen her young son with a gown on his back

"Or of the action of suspension of the charge on--but no more of that-be a good boy, and to the the bill."

work like a tiger." "I was just coming to that."

I did set to work, Darsie; for who could resist such 'Or the advocation of the Sheriff-Court process." motives? With my father's assistance, I have mas"I was just coming to it."

tered the details, confused as they are; and on TuesAs Tweed comes to Melrose, I think,” said the day, I shall plead as well for Peter Peebles, as I could litigant; and then filling his goblet about a quarter for a duke. Indeed, I feel my head so clear on the full of brandy, as if in absence of mind, “Oh, Mr. subject, as to be able to write this long letter to you; Aian Fairford, ye are a lucky man to buckle to such into which, however, Peter and his lawsuit have a cause as mine at the very outset ! it is like a speci-insinuated themselves so far as to show you how much men of all causes, man. By the Regiam, there is not they at present occupy my. oughts. Once more, be a remedium juris in the practiques but ye'll find a careful of yourself, and mindful of me, who am ever spice o't. Here's to your getting weel through with thine, while

ALAN FAIRFORD. it-Pshut-I am drinking naked spirits, I think. But if the heathen be ower strong, we'll christent im with From circumstances, to be hereafter mentioned, it the brewer,” (here he added a little small beer to his was long ere this letter reached the person to whom beverage, paused, rolled his eyes, winked, and pro- it was addressed. ceeded, )—“Mr. Fairford-the action of assault and battery, Mr. Fairford, when I compelled the villain Plainstanes to pull my nose withir. two steps of

CHAPTER I. King Charles's statue, in the Parliament Close-there I had him in a hose-net. Never man could tell me how to shape that process-no counsel that ever selled Tạe advantage of laying before the reader, in the * Multiplepoinding is, I believe, equivalent to what is called words of the actors themselves, the adventures which in England a case of Double Distress.

we must otherwise bave narrated in our own, has

NARRATIVE.

given great popularity to the publication of epistolary | if he had given a dinner more frequently, as his little correspondence, as practised by various great authors, cellar contained some choice old wine, of which, c: and by ourselves in the preceding chapters. Never such rare occasions, he was no niggard. Seless, a genuine correspondence of this kind (and The whole pleasure of this good old-fashioned man Heaven forbid it should be in any respect sophisti- of method, besides that which he really felt in the cated by interpolations of our own!) can seldom be discharge of his daily business, was the hope to see found io contain all in which it is necessary to in- his son Alan, the only fruit of a union which death struct the reader for his full comprehension of the early dissolved, attain what in the father's eyes was story. Also it must often happen that various prolixi- the proudest of all distinctions—the rank and fame of ties and redundancies occur in the course of an inter- a well-employed lawyer. change of letters, which must hang as a dead weight Every profession has its peculiar honours, and Mr. on the progress of the narrative. To avoid this di- Fairford's mind was constructed upon so limited and lemma, some biographers have used the letters of the exclusive a plan, that he valued nothing, save the obpersonages concerned, or liberal extracts from them, jects of ambition which his own presented. He to describe particular incidents, or express the senti- would have shuddered at Alan's acquiring the renown ments which they entertained; while they connect of a hero, and laughed with scorn at the equally barthem occasionally with such portions of narrative, as ren laurels of literature; it was by the path of the may serve to carry on the thread of the story. law alone that he was desirous to see him rise to

It is thus that the adventurous travellers, who ex- eminence, and the probabilities of success or disapplore the summit of Mont Blanc, now move on pointment were the thoughts of his father by day, and through the crumbling snow-drift so slowly, that their his dream by night. progress is almost imperceptible, and anon abridge The disposition of Alan Fairford, as well as his their journey by springing over the intervening chasms talents, were such as to encourage his father's exwhich cross their path, with the assistance of their pectations. He had acuteness of intellect, joined to pilgrim-staves. Or, to make a briefer simile, the habits of long and patient study, improved no doubt course of story-telling which we have for the present by the discipline

of his father's house; to which, geadopted, resembles the original discipline of the dra- nerally speaking, he conformed with the utmost dogoons, who were trained to serve either on foot or cility, expressing no wish for greater or more frequent horseback, as the emergencies of the service required. relaxation than consisted with his father's anxious With this explanation, we shall proceed to narrate and severe restrictions. When he did indulge in any some circumstances which Alan Fairford did not, juvenile frolics, his father had the candour to lay the and could not write to his correspondent.

whole blame upon his more mercurial companion, Our reader, we trust, has formed somewhat ap- Darsie Latimer. proaching to a distinct idea of the principal characters This youth, as the reader must be aware, had been who have appeared before him during our narrative; received as an inmate into the family of Mr. Fairbut in case our good opinion of his sagacity has ford, senior, at a time when some of the delicacy of been exaggerated, and in order to satisfy such as are constitution which had abridged the life of his conaddicted to the laudable practice of skipping, (with sori, began to show itself in the son, and when the whom we have at times a strong fellow-feeling) the father was, of course, peculiarly disposed to indulge following particulars may not be superfluous. his slightest wish. That the young Englishman was

Mr. Saunders Fairford, as he was usually called, able to pay a considerable board, was a matter of no was a man of business of the old school, moderate importance to Mr. Fairford; it was enough that his in his charges, economical and even niggardly in his presence seemed to make his son cheerful and happy. expenditure, strictly honest in conducting his own af. He was compelled to allow that “Darsie was a fine fairs, and those of his clients, but taught by long ex- lad, though unsettled," and he would have had some perience to be wary and suspicious in observing the difficulty in getting rid of him, and the apprehensions motions of others. Punctual as the clock of Saint which his levities excited, had it not been for the Giles tolled nine, the neat dapper form of the little voluntary excursion which gave rise to the preceding hale old gentleman was seen at the threshold of the correspondence, and in which Mr. Fairford secretly Court hall, or at farthest, at tine head of the Back Stairs, rejoiced, as affording, the means of separating Alan trimly dressed in a complete suit of snuff-coloured from his gay companion, at least until he should have brown, with stockings of silk or woollen, as suited the assumed, and become accustomed to, the duties of weather; a bobwig, and a small cocked hat; shoes his dry and laborious profession. blacked as Warren would have blacked them; silver But the absence of Darsie was far from promoting shoe-buckles, and a gold stock-buckle. A nosegay in the end which the elder Mr. Fairford had expected summer, and a sprig of holly in winter, completed his and desired. The young men were united by the well-known dress and appearance. His manners cor-closest bonds of intimacy; and the more so, that responded with his attire, for they were scrupulously neither of them sought nor desired to admit any

others civil, and not a little formal. He was an elder of the into their society. Alan Fairford was a verse to genekirk, and, of course, zealous for King George and the ral company, from a disposition naturally reserved, government even to slaying, as he had showed by and Darsie Latimer from a painful sense of his own taking up arms in their cause. But then, as he had unknown origin, peculiarly afflicting in a country clients and connexions of business among families of where high and low are professed genealogists. The opposite political tenets, he was particularly cautious young men were all in all to each other; it is no won. to use all the conventional phrases which the civility der, therefore, that their separation was painful, and of the time had devised, as an admissible mode of lan- that its effects upon Alan Fairford, joined to the guage betwixt the two parties. Thus he spoke some- anxiety occasioned by the tenor of his friend's lettimes of the Chevalier, but never either of the Prince, ters, greatly exceeded what the senior had anticipated. which would have been sacrificing his own princi- The young man went through his usual duties, his ples, or of the Pretender, which would have been of- studies, and the examinations to which he was subfensive to those of others. Again, he usually desig-jected, but with nothing like the zeal and assiduity nated the Rebellion as the afair of 1745, and spoke which he had formerly displayed ; and his anxious and of any one engaged in it as a person who had been observant father saw but too plainly that his heart out at a certain period.* So that, on the whole, Mr. was with his absent comrade. Fairford was a man much liked and respected on all A philosopher would have given way to this tida of sides, though his friends would not have been sorry feeling, in hopes to have diminished its excess, and OLD-FASHIONED SCOTTISH CIVILITY. - Such were literally the ther, that their intimacy might have been broken off

permitted the youths to have been some time togesonr's youth, where it was by no means unusual in a company by degrees; but Mr. Fairford only saw the more direct asseroled by chance, to find individuals who had borne arms mode of continued restraint, which, however, he was on one side or other in the civil broils of 1745. Nothing, ac desirous of veiling under some plausible pretext. In cording to my recollection, could be more gentle and decorous the anxiety which he felt on this occasion, he had 4.ces. But in this I speak generally. I have witocesed one or held communication with an old acquaintance, Peter wo explosions.

Drudgeit, with whom the reader is partly acquainted.

« PreviousContinue »