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youngster's special service retoured into Chancery. We had him served heir before the macers.”
“Macers ? who are they?".
“Why, it is a kind of judicial Saturnalia. You must know, that one of the requisites to be a macer, or officer in attendance upon our supreme court, is, that they shall be men of no knowledge."
“ Very well !”
“Now, our Scottish legislature, for the joke's sake I suppose, have constituted those men of no knowledge into a peculiar court for trying questions of relationship and descent, such as this business of Bertram, which often involve the most nice and complicated questions of evidence."
“The devil they have? I should think that rather inconvenient,” said Mannering.
“Oh, we have a practical remedy for the theoretical absurdity. One or two of the judges act upon such occasions as prompters and assessors to their own door-keepers. But you know what Cujacius says, “Multa sunt in moribus dissentanea, multa sine ratione.'l However, this Saturnalian court has done our business; and a glorious batch of claret we had afterwards at Walker's. Mac-Morlan will stare when he sees the bill."
“Never fear," said the Colonel, “ we'll face the shock, and entertain the county at my friend Mrs. Mac-Candlish's to boot."
"And choose Jock Jabos for your master of horse ?” replied the lawyer.
“ Perhaps I may.”
“And where is Dandie, the redoubted Lord of Liddesdale ?” demanded the advocate.
“Returned to his mountains; but he has promised Julia to make a descent in summer, with the goodwife, as he calls her, and I don't know how many children.”
“Oh, the curly-headed varlets ! I must come to play at Blind Harry and Hy Spy with them.--But what is all this ?” added Pleydell, taking up the plans ;="tower in the centre to be an imitation of the Eagle Tower at Caernarvon
-corps de logis—the devil !-wings-wings? why, the house will take the estate of Ellangowan on its back, and fly away with it !”
“Why then, we must ballast it with a few bags of Sicca rupees,” replied the Colonel.
1 The singular inconsistency hinted at is now, in a great degree, removed.
“Aha! sits the wind there? Then I suppose the young dog carries off my mistress Julia ?”
“ Even so, counsellor.”
“ These rascals, the post-nati, get the better of us of the old school at every turn," said Mr. Pleydell. “But she must convey and make over her interest in me to Lucy."
“To tell you the truth, I am afraid your flank will be turned there too,” replied the Colonel.
“Here has been Sir Robert Hazlewood,” said Mannering, “upon a visit to Bertram, thinking, and deeming, and opining— " . “ O Lord ! pray spare me the worthy Baroner's triads !”
“Well, sir," continued Mannering; "to make short, he conceived that as the property of Singleside lay like a wedge between two farms of his, and was four or five miles separated from Ellangowan, something like a sale, or exchange, or arrangement might take place, to the mutual convenience of both parties."
"Well, and Bertram "
“Why, Bertram replied, that he considered the original settlement of Mrs. Margaret Bertram as the arrangement most proper in the circumstances of the family, and that therefore the estate of Singleside was the property of his sister."
“The rascal !” said Pleydell, wiping his spectacles, "he'll steal my heart as well as my mistress-Et puis ?"
“And then, Sir Robert retired after many gracious speeches; but last week he again took the field in force, with his coach and six horses, his laced scarlet waistcoat, and best bob-wigall very grand, as the good-boy books say."
“Ay! and what was his overture?".
“Why, he talked with great form of an attachment on the part of Charles Hazlewood to Miss Bertram.”
“Ay, ay; he respected the little god Cupid when he saw him perched on the Dun of Singleside. And is poor Lucy to keep house with that old fool and his wife, who is just the knight himself in petticoats ?”
"No—we parried that. Singleside House is to be repaired for the young pesple, and to be called hereafter Mount Hazlewood."
“And do you yourself, Colonel, propose to continue at Woodbourne ?"
"Only till we carry these plans into effect. See, here's the.
plan of my Bungalow, with all convenience for being separate
“And, being situated, as I see, next door to the old castle,
“No, no, my dear counsellor! Here ends THE As-
Note I. p. 149.-MUMPS's HA'
It is fitting to explain to the reader the locality described in this chapter, There is, or rather I should say there was, a little inn, called Mumps's Hall, that is, being interpreted, Beggar's Hotel, near to Gilsland, which had not then attained its present fame as a Spa. It was a hedge alebouse, where tho Border farmers of either country often stopped to refresh themselves and their nags, in their way to and from the fairs and trysts in Cumberland, and especially those who came from or went to Scotland, through a barren and lonely district, without either road or pathway, emphatically called the Waste of Bewcastle. At the period when the adventures described in the novel are supposed to have taken place, there were many instances of attacks by the freebooters on those who travelled through this wild district, and Mumps's Ha' had a bad reputation for harbouring the banditti who committed such depredations.
An old and sturdy yeoman belonging to the Scottish side, by surname an Armstrong or Elliot, but well known by his soubriquet of Fighting Charlie of Liddesdale, and still remembered for the courage he displayed in the frequent frays which took place on the Border fifty or sixty years since, had the following adventure in the Waste, wbich suggested the idea of the scene in the text :
Charlie had been at Stagshaw-bank fair, had sold his sheep or cattle, or whatever he had brought to market, and was on his return to Liddesdale. There were then no country banks where cash could be deposited, and bills received instead, which greatly encouraged robbery in that wild country, as the objects of plunder were usually fraught with gold. The robbers had spies in the fair, by means of whom they generally knew whose purse was best stocked, and who took a lonely and desolate road homeward,--those, in sbort, who were best worth robbing, and likely to be most easily robbed.
All this Charlie knew full well; but he had a pair of excellent pistols, and a dauntless heart. He stopped at Mumps's Ha', notwithstanding the evil character of the place. His horse was accommodated where it might have the necessary rest and feed of corn ; and Charlie himself, a dashing fellow, grew gracious with the landlady, a buxom quean, who used all the influence in her power to induce him to stop all night. The landlord was from bome, she said, and it was ill passing the Waste, as twilight must needs descend on him before he gained the Scottish side, which was reckoned the safest. But Fighting Charlie, though he suffered himself to be detained later than was prudent, did not account Mumps's Ha' a safe place to quarter in during the night. He tore himself away, therefore, from Meg's good fare and kind words, and mounted his nag, having first examined his pistols, and tried by the ramrod whether the charge remained in them.
He proceeded a mile or two, at a round trot, when, as the Waste stretched black before him, apprehensions began to awaken in his mind, partly arising out of Meg's unusual kindness, which he could not help thinking had rather a suspicious appearance. He, therefore, resolved to reload his pistols, lest the powder had become damp; but what was his surprise, when he drew the charge, to find neither powder nor ball, while each barrel had been carefully filled with tow. up to the space wbich the loading had oco priming of the weapons being left untouched, nothing but actually drawing and examining the charge could have discovered the inefficiency of his arms till the fatal minute arrived when their services were required. Charlic be. stowed a hearty Liddesdale curse on his landlady, and reloaded bis pistols with care and accuracy, having now no doubt that he was to be waylaid and assaulted. He was not far engaged in the Waste, which was then, and is now, traversed only by such routes as are described in the text, when two or three fellows, disguised and variously armed, started from a moss-hag, while, by a glance behind him (for, marching, as the Spaniard says, with his beard on his shoulder, be reconnoitred in every direction), Charlie instantly saw retreat was impossible, as other two stout men appeared behind him at some distance. The Borderer lost not a moment in taking his resolution, and boldly trotted against his enemies in front, who called loudly on him to stand and deliver ; Charlie spurred on, and presented his pistol. “D-n your pistol," cried the foremost robber; wbom Charlie to his dying day protested he believed to have been the landlord of Mumps's Ha'. “D-n your pistol ! I care not a curse for it."-"Ay, lad," said the deep voice of Fighting Charlie, “ but the tow's out now." He had no occasion to utter another word; the rogues, surprised at finding a man of redoubted courage well armed, instead of being defenceless, took to the moss in every direction, and he passed on bis way without further molestation.
The author bas beard ibis story told by persons who received it from Figbting Charlie himself; he has also heard that Mumps's Ha' was afterwards the scene of some other atrocious villainy, for which the people of the house suffered. But these are all tales of at least half a century old, and the Waste has been for many years as safe as any place in the kingdom.
Note II. p. 172.-LUM CLEEKS The cleek bere intimated, is the iron hook, or hooks, depending from the chimney of a Scottish cottage, on which the pot is suspended when boiling. The same appendage is often called the crook. The salmon is usually dried by hanging it up, after being split and rubbed with salt, in the smoke of the turf fire above the cleeks, where it is said to reist, that preparation being so termed. The salmon thus preserved is eaten as a delicacy, under the name of kipper, a luxury to which Dr. Redgill has given bis sanction as an ingredient of the Scottisb breakfast.-See the excellent novel entitled “ Marriage."
Note III. p. 173.-CLAN SURNAMES The distinction of individuals by nicknames when they possess no property, is still common on the Border, and indeed necessary, from the number of persons having the same name. In the small village of Lustruther, in Roxburghshire, there dwelt, in the memory of man, four inbabitants, called Andrew, or Dandie Oliver. They were distinguished as Dandie Eassil-gate, Dandie Wassil-gate, Dandie Thumbie, and Dandie Dumbie. The two first had their names from living eastward and westward in the street of the village ; the third for something peculiar in the conformation of his thumb; the fourth from his taciturn habits.
It is told as a well-known jest, that a beggar woman, repulsed from door to door as she solicited quarters through a village of Annandale, asked, in her despair, if there were no Christians in the place. To which the hearers, concluding that she inquired for some persons so surnamed, answered, “Na, na, there are nae Christians bere; we are a' Johnstones and Jardines."
Note IV. p. 180.—GIPSY SUPERSTITIONS The mysterious rites in which Meg Merrilies is described as engaging, belong to her character as a queen of her race. All know that gipsies in every