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excellent. Still Mannering hinted, though with due delicacy, at the risk of encouraging such desperate characters: “ Were it but in justice to the revenue, I should have supposed -"
“Ah, the revenue-lads” for Mr. Bertram never embraced a general or abstract idea, and his notion of the revenue was personified in the commissioners, surveyors, comptrollers, and riding officers, whom he happened to know — “the revenue-lads can look sharp eneugh out for themselves — no ane needs to help them and they have a' the soldiers to assist them besides;- and as to justiceyou'll be surprised to hear it, Mr. Mannering, - but I am not a justice of peace.
Mannering assumed the expected look of surprise, but thought within himself that the worshipful bench suffered no great deprivation from wanting the assistance of his good-humoured landlord.
Mr. Bertram had now hit upon one of the few subjects on which he felt sore, and went on with some energy.
"No, sir, — the name of Godfrey Bertram of Ellangowan is not in the last commission, though there's scarce a carle in the country that has a ploughgate of land, but what he must ride to quarter-sessions and write J. P. after his name. I ken fu' weel whom I am obliged to - Sir Thomas Kittlecourt as good as telld me he would sit on my skirts if he had not my interest at the last election; and because I chose to go with my own blood and third cousin, the Laird of Balruddery, they keepit me off the roll of freeholders ; and now there comes a new nomination of justices, and I am left out! And whereas they pretend it was because I let David Mac-Guffog, the constable, draw the warrants, and manage the business his ain gate, as if I had been a nose o' wax, it's a main untruth; for I granted but seven wa ants in my life, and the Dominie wrote every one of
Commissioners, officers having charge of some department of public service. Surveyors (customs), the officers who ascertain contents of casks, and quantity of liquor subject to tax. Comptroller, a public officer who examines accounts. Carle, rustic. Ploughgate, about thirty acres. Quarter-sessions, general court of criminal jurisdiction held quarterly by the justices of the peace of each county in England and Scotland. J. P., Justice of the Peace. Freeholders, those owning estates for life.
them — and if it had not been that unlucky businäss of Sandy Mac-Gruthar's, that the constables should have keepit twa or three days up yonder at the auld castle, just till they could get conveniency to send him to the county jail - and that cost me eneugh o'siller - But I ken what Sir Thomas wants very weel it was just sic and siclike about the seat in the kirk o' Kilmagirdle — was I not entitled to have the front gallery facing the minister, rather than Mac-Crosskie of Creochstone, the son of Deacon Mac-Crosskie, the Dumfries weaver?”
Mannering expressed his acquiescence in the justice of these various complaints.
“And then, Mr. Mannering, there was the story about the road, and the fauld-dyke — I ken Sir Thomas was behind there, and I said plainly to the clerk to the trustees that I saw the cloven foot, let them take that as they like. - Would any gentleman, or set of gentlemen, go and drive a road right through the corner of a fauld-dyke, and take away, as my agent observed to them, like twa roods of gude moorland pasture?- And there was the story about choosing the collector of the cess
“Certainly, sir, it is hard you should meet with any neg . lect in a country, where, to judge from the extent of their residence, your ancestors must have made a very important figure.”
" Very true, Mr. Mannering. I am a plain man, and do not dwell on these things; and I must needs say, I have little memory for them; but I wish ye could have heard my father's stories about the auld fights of the Mac-Dingawaies that's the Bertrams that now is wi' the Irish, and wi' the Highlanders, that came here in their berlings from Islay and Cantire; and how they went to the Holy Land, that is, to Jerusalem and Jericho, wi' a' their clan at their heels — they had better have gaen to Jamaica, like Sir Thomas Kittlecourt's uncle — and how they brought hame relics, like those that Catholics have, and a flag that's up yonder in the garret; if they had been casks of Musca
Siller, silver. Fauld-dyke, a sheep-fold enclosed by an embankment. Cess, tax. Berling (berlin), a small sailing-vessel (see p. 332). Muscavado, unrefined sugar.
vado, and puncheons of rum, it would have been better for the estate at this day; but there's little comparison between the auld keep at Kittlecourt and the castle o' Ellangowan - I doubt if the keep's forty feet of front. But ye make no breakfast, Mr. Mannering; ye're no eating your meat; allow me to recommend some of the kipper. It was John Hay that catcht it, Saturday was three weeks, down at the stream below Hempseed ford," etc., etc., etc.
The Laird, whose indignation had for some time kept him pretty steady to one topic, now launched forth into his usual roving style of conversation, which gave Mannering ample time to reflect upon the disadvantages attending the situation, which,
an hour before, he had thought worthy of so much envy. Here was a country gentleman, whose most estimable quality seemed his perfect good nature, secretly fretting himself and murmuring against others, for causes which, compared with any real evil in life, must weigh like dust in the balance. But such is the equal distribution of Providence. To those who lie out of the road of great afflictions are assigned petty vexations, which answer all the purpose of disturbing their serenity; and every reader must have observed, that neither natural apathy nor acquired philosophy can render country gentlemen insensible to the grievances which occur at elections, quarter-sessions, and meetings of trustees.
Curious to investigate the manners of the country, Mannering took the advantage of a pause in good Mr. Bertram's string of stories, to enquire what Captain Hatteraick so earnestly wanted with the gipsy woman.
“Oh, to bless his ship, I suppose. You must know, Mr. Mannering, that these free-traders, whom the law calls smugglers, having no religion, make it all up in superstition; and they have as many spells, and charms, and non
Vanity and waur!” said the Dominie: “it is a trafficking with the Evil One. Spells, periapts, and charms, are of his device — choice arrows out of Apollyon's quiver.”
Keep, fortress or castle. Kipper, salmon split open, salted, and dried or smoked.' Periapts, charms worn to defend against disease. Apollyon, king of the bottomless pit.
“Hold your peace, Dominie; ye're speaking for ever (by the way, they were the first words the poor man had uttered that morning, excepting that he said grace, and returned thanks); "Mr. Mannering cannot get in a word for ye! And so, Mr. Mannering, talking of astronomy, and spells, and these matters, have ye been so kind as to consider what we were speaking about last night?”
“I begin to think, Mr. Bertram, with your worthy friend here, that I have been rather jesting with edge-tools; and although neither you nor I, nor any sensible man, can put faith in the predictions of astrology, yet as it has sometimes happened that inquiries into futurity, undertaken in jest, have in their results produced serious and unpleasant effects both upon actions and characters, I really wish you would dispense with my replying to your question.”
It was easy to see that this evasive answer only rendered the Laird's curiosity more uncontrollable. Mannering, however, was determined in his own mind not to expose the infant to the inconveniences which might have arisen from his being supposed the object of evil prediction. He therefore delivered the paper into Mr. Bertram's hand, and requested him to keep it for five years with the seal unbroken, until the month of November was expired. After that date had intervened, he left him at liberty to examine the writing, trusting that the first fatal period being then safely overpassed, no credit would be paid to its farther contents. This Mr. Bertram was content to promise, and Mannering, to insure his fidelity, hinted at misfortunes which would certainly take place if his injunctions were neglected. The rest of the day, which Mannering, by Mr. Bertram's invitation, spent at Ellangowan, passed over without anything remarkable; and on the morning of that which followed, the traveller mounted his palfrey, bade a courteous adieu to his hospitable landlord and to his clerical attendant, repeated his good wishes for the prosperity of the family, and then, turning his horse's head towards England, disappeared from the sight of the inmates of Ellangowan. He must also disappear from that of our readers, for it is to another and later period of his life that the present narrative relates.
Next, the Justice,
SHAKESPEARE's As You LIKE IT.
WHEN Mrs. Bertram of Ellangowan was able to hear the news of what had passed during her confinement, her apartment rung with all manner of gossiping respecting the handsome young student from Oxford, who had told such a fortune by the stars to the young Laird, “ blessings on his dainty face.” The form, accent, and manners of the stranger were expatiated upon; his horse, bridle, saddle, and stirrups did not remain unnoticed. All this made a great impression upon the mind of Mrs. Bertram, for the good lady had no small store of superstition.
Her first employment, when she became capable of a little work, was to make a small velvet bag for the scheme of nativity which she had obtained from her husband. Her fingers itched to break the seal, but credulity proved stronger than curiosity; and she had the firmness to enclose it, in all its integrity, within two slips of parchment, which she sewed round it, to prevent its being chafed. The whole was then put into the velvet bag aforesaid, and hung as a charm round the neck of the infant, where his mother resolved it should remain until the period for the legitimate satisfaction of her curiosity should arrive.
The father also resolved to do his part by the child, in securing him a good education; and with the view that it should commence with the first dawnings of reason, Dominie Sampson was easily induced to renounce his public profession of parish schoolmaster, make his constant resi
Capon, chicken, Saws, proverbs.