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The tobacconist sturdily stood forward, and scouted the motion—"A little huzzie, like that, was weel eneugh provided for already; and Mr. Protocol at ony rate was the proper person to take direction of her, as he had charge of her legacy;" and after uttering such his opinion in a steady and decisive tone of voice, he also left the place. The buck made a stupid and brutal attempt at a jest upon Mrs. Bertram's recommendation that the poor girl should be taught some honest trade; but encountered a scowl from Colonel Mannering's darkening eye (to whom, in his ignorance of the tone of good society, he had looked for applause) that made him ache to the very backbone. He shuffled downstairs, therefore, as fast as possible.
Protocol, who was really a good sort of man, next expressed his intention to take a temporary charge of the young lady, under protest always, that his so doing should be considered as merely eleemosynary; when Dinmont at length got up, and, having shaken his huge dreadnought great-coat, as a Newfoundland dog does his shaggy hide when he comes out of the water, ejaculated, “Weel, deil hae me then, if ye hae ony fash wi' her, Mr. Protocol, if she likes to gang hame wi' me, that is. Ye see, Ailie and me we're weel to pass, and we would like the lassies to hae a wee bit mair lair than oursells, and to be neighbour-like-that wad we.—And ye see Jenny canna miss but to ken manners, and the like o' reading books, and sewing seams-having lived sae lang wi' a grand lady like Lady Singleside; or if she disna ken onything about it, I'm jealous that our bairns will like her a' the better. And I'll take care o' the bits o'claes, and what spending siller she maun hae, so the hundred pound may rin on in your hands, Mr. Protocol, and I'll be adding something till't, till she'll maybe get a Liddesdale joe that wants something to help to buy the hirsel. 1—What d'ye say to that, hinny? I'll take out a ticket for ye in the fly to Jethart—odd, but ye maun take a powny after that o'er the Limestane-rig-deil a wheeled carriage ever gaed into Liddesdale : 2—And I'll be very glad if Mrs. Rebecca comes wi' you, hinny, and stays a month or twa while ye're stranger like.”
1 The stock of sheep.
2 The roads of Liddesdale, in Dandie Dinmont's days, could not be said to exist, and the district was only accessible through a succession of tremendous morasses. About thirty years ago, the author himself was the first person who ever drove a little open carriage into these wilds: the excellent roads by which they are now traversed being then in some progress. The people stared with no small wonder at a sight which many of them had never witnessed in their lives before.
While Mrs. Rebecca was curtseying, and endeavouring to make the poor orphan girl curtsey instead of crying, and while Dandie, in his rough way, was encouraging them both, old Pleydell had recourse to his snuff-box. “It's meat and drink to me, now, Colonel,” he said, as he recovered himself, “ to see a clown like this-I must gratify him in his own way, must assist him to ruin himself-there's no help for it. Here, you Liddesdale-Dandie-Charlies-hope—what do they call
The farmer turned, infinitely gratified even by this sort of notice; for in his heart, next to his own landlord, he honoured a lawyer in high practice.
“So you will not be advised against trying that question about your marches ?”
“No-no, sir—naebody likes to lose their right, and to be laughed at down the haill water. But since your honour's no agreeable, and is maybe a friend to the other side like, we maun try some other advocate.”
“There-I told you so, Colonel Mannering -Well, sir, if you must needs be a fool, the business is to give you the luxury of a lawsuit at the least possible expense, and to bring you off conqueror if possible. Let Mr. Protocol send me your papers, and I will advise him how to conduct your cause. I don't see, after all, why you should not have your lawsuits too, and your feuds in the Court of Session, as well as your forefathers had their manslaughters and fire-raisings."
“Very natural, to be sure, sir. We wad just take the auld gate as readily, if it werena for the law. And as the law binds us, the law should loose us. Besides, a man's aye the better thought o' in our country for having been afore the Feifteen.”
“ Excellently argued, my friend! Away with you, and send your papers to me.-Come, Colonel, we have no more to do
“God, we'll ding Jock o' Dawston Cleugh now after a'!* said Dinmont, slapping his thigh in great exultation.
I am going to the parliament;
Little French Lawyer.
“SHALL you be able to carry this honest fellow's cause for him ?" said Mannering.
“Why, I don't know; the battle is not to the strong, but he shall come off triumphant over Jock of Dawston if we can make it out. I owe him something. It is the pest of our profession that we seldom see the best side of human nature. People come to us with every selfish feeling newly pointed and grinded; they turn down the very caulkers of their animosities and prejudices, as smiths do with horses' shoes in a white frost. Many a man has come to my garret yonder, that I have at first longed to pitch out at the window, and yet, at length, have discovered that he was only doing as I might have done in his case, being very angry, and, of course, very unreasonable. I have now satisfied myself, that if our profession sees more of human folly and human roguery than others, it is because we witness them acting in that channel in which they can most freely vent themselves. In civilised society, law is the chimney through which all that smoke discharges itself that used to circulate through the whole house, and put every one's eyes out-no wonder, therefore, that the vent itself should sometimes get a little sooty. But we will take care our Liddesdaleman's cause is well conducted and well argued, so all unnecessary expense will be saved-he shall have his pineapple at wholesale price.”
“Will you do me the pleasure," said Mannering, as they parted, “to dine with me at my lodgings? my landlord says he has a bit of red-deer venison, and some excellent wine."
"Venison-eh?” answered the counsellor alertly, but presently added—“But no! it's impossible—and I can't ask you home neither. Monday's a sacred day-so's Tuesdayand Wednesday, we are to be heard in the great teind case in presence-but stay—it's frosty weather, and if you don't leave town, and that venison would keep till Thursday- "
“ You will dine with me that day?" “Under certification."
"Well, then, I will indulge a thought I had of spending a week here; and if the venison will not keep, why, we will see what else our landlord can do for us."
"Oh, the venison will keep,” said Pleydell ; "and now goodbye-look at these two or three notes, and deliver them if you like the addresses. I wrote them for you this morning-farewell; my clerk has been waiting this hour to begin a d-d information."--And away walked Mr. Pleydell with great activity, diving through closes and ascending covered stairs, in order to attain the High Street by an access, which, compared to the common route, was what the Straits of Magellan are to the more open, but circuitous passage round Cape Horn.
On looking at the notes of introduction which Pleydell had thrust into his hand, Mannering was gratified with seeing that they were addressed to some of the first literary characters of Scotland. “To David Hume, Esq.” “To John Home, Esq." “To Dr. Ferguson.” “To Dr. Black." " To Lord Kaimes.” “To Mr. Hutton.” “To John Clerk, Esq., of Eldin.” « To Adam Smith, Esq." "To Dr. Robertson.”
“Upon my word, my legal friend has a good selection of acquaintances-these are names pretty widely blown indeed an East-Indian must rub up his faculties a little, and put his mind in order, before he enters this sort of society."
Mannering gladly availed himself of these introductions; and we regret deeply it is not in our power to give the reader an account of the pleasure and information which he received, in admission to a circle never closed against strangers of sense and information, and which has perhaps at no period been equalled, considering the depth and variety of talent which it embraced and concentrated.
Upon the Thursday appointed, Mr. Pleydell made his appearance at the inn where Colonel Mannering lodged. The venison proved in high order, the claret excellent, and the learned counsel, a professed amateur in the affairs of the table, did distinguished honour to both. I am uncertain, however, if even the good cheer gave him more satisfaction than the presence of Dominie Sampson, from whom, in his own juridical style of wit, he contrived to extract great amusement, both for himself and one or two friends whom the Colonel regaled on the same occasion. The grave and laconic simplicity of Sampson's answers to the insidious questions of the barrister, placed the bonhomie of his character in a more
luminous point of view than Mannering had yet seen it. Upon the same occasion he drew forth a strange quantity of miscellaneous and abstruse, though, generally speaking, useless learning. The lawyer afterwards compared his mind to the magazine of a pawnbroker, stowed with goods of every description, but so cumbrously piled together, and in such total disorganisation, that the owner can never lay his hands upon any one article at the moment he has occasion for it.
As for the advocate himself, he afforded at least as much exercise to Sampson as he extracted amusement from him. When the man of law began to get into his altitudes, and his wit, naturally shrewd and dry, became more lively and poignant, the Dominie looked upon him with that sort of surprise with which we can conceive a tame bear might regard his future associate, the monkey, on their being first introduced to each other. It was Mr. Pleydell's delight to state in grave and serious argument some position which he knew the Dominie would be inclined to dispute. He then beheld with exquisite pleasure the internal labour with which the honest man arranged his ideas for reply, and tasked his inert and sluggish powers to bring up all the heavy artillery of his learning for demolishing the schismatic or heretical opinion which had been stated—when, behold, before the ordnance could be discharged, the foe had quitted the post, and appeared in a new position of annoyance on the Dominie's flank or rear. Often did he exclaim “ Prodigious !” when, marching up to the enemy in full confidence of victory, he found the field evacuated, and it may be supposed that it cost him no little labour to attempt a new formation. “He was like a native Indian army," the Colonel said, “formidable by numerical strength and size of ordnance, but liable to be thrown into irreparable confusion by a movement to take them in ilank.” -On the whole, however, the Dominie, though somewhat fatigued with these mental exertions, made at unusual speed and upon the pressure of the moment, reckoned this one of the white days of his life, and always mentioned Mr. Pleydell as a very erudite and fa-ce-ti-ous person.
By degrees the rest of the party dropped off, and left these three gentlemen together. Their conversation turned to Mrs. Bertram's settlements. “Now what could drive it into the noddle of that old harridan,” said Pleydell, “to disinherit poor Lucy Bertram, under pretence of settling her property on a boy who has been so long dead and gone ?- I ask your pardon,