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a voice considerably louder than propriety admitted ; “God! an it hadna been for the rigs o' land, I would hae gotten her a' to carry mysell, for as mony gentles as are here."
A score of frowning and reproving brows were bent upon the unappalled yeoman, who, having given vent to his displeasure, stalked sturdily down stairs with the rest of the company, totally disregarding the censures of those whom his remarks had scandalized.
And then the funeral pomp set forth ; saulies with their batons, and gumphions of tarnished white crape, in honour of the well-preserved maiden fame of Mrs. Margaret Bertram. Six starved horses, themselves the very emblems of mortality, well cloaked and plumed, lugging along the hearse with its dismal emblazonry, crept in slow state towards the place of interment, preceded by Jamie Duff, an idiot, who, with weepers and cravat made of white paper, attended on every funeral, and followed by six mourning coaches, filled with the company.—Many of these now gave more free loose to their tongues, and discussed with unrestrained earnestness the amount of the succession, and the probability of its destination. The principal expectants, however, kept a prudent silence, indeed ashamed to express hopes which might prove fallacious; and the agent, or man of business, who alone knew exactly how matters stood, maintained a countenance of mysterious importance, as if determined to preserve the full interest of anxiety and suspense.
At length they arrived at the churchyard gates, and
from thence, amid the gaping of two or three dozen of idle women with infants in their arms, and accompanied by some twenty children, who ran gambolling and screaming alongside of the sable procession, they finally arrived at the burial place of the Singleside family. This was a square enclosure in the Greyfriars' churchyard, guarded on one side by a veteran angel, without a nose, and having only one wing, who had the merit of having maintained his post for a century, while his comrade cherub, who had stood sentinel on the corresponding pedestal, lay a broken trunk among the hemlock, burdock, and nettles, which grew in gigantic luxuriance around the walls of the mausoleum. A moss-grown and broken inscription informed the reader, that in the year 1650 Captain Andrew Bertram, first of Singleside, descended of the very ancient and honourable house of Ellangowan, had caused this monument to be erected for himself and his descendants. A reasonable number of scythes and hour-glasses, and death's heads, and cross bones, garnished the following sprig of sepulchral poetry, to the memory of the founder of the mausoleum :
Nathaniel's heart, Bezaleel's hand,
If ever any had,
Here then, amid the deep black fat loam into which her ancestors were now resolved, they deposited the body of Mrs. Margaret Bertram ; and, like soldiers returning from a military funeral, the nearest relations
who might be interested in the settlements of the lady, urged the dog-cattle of the hackney coaches to all the speed of which they were capable, in order to put an end to farther suspense on that interesting topic.
THERE is a fable told by Lucian, that while a troop of monkeys, well drilled by an intelligent manager, were performing a tragedy with great' applause, the decorum of the whole scene was at once destroyed, and the natural passions of the actors called forth into very indecent and active emulation, by a wag who threw a handful of nuts upon the stage. In like manner, the approaching crisis stirred up among the expectants
feelings of a nature very different from those, of which, under the superintendence of Mr. Mortcloke, they had but now been endeavouring to imitate the expression. Those eyes which were lately devoutly cast up to heaven, or with greater humility bent solemnly upon earth, were now sharply and alertly darting their glances through shuttles, and trunks, and drawers, and cabinets, and all the odd corners of an old maiden lady's repositories. Nor was their search without interest, though they did not find the will of which they were
Here was a promissory-note for £20 by the minister of the nonjuring chapel, interest marked as paid to Martinmas last, carefully folded up in a new set of words to the old tune of “Over the Water to Charlie ;" —there, was a curious love correspondence between the deceased and a certain Lieutenant O’Kean of a marching regiment of foot; and tied up with the letters was a document, which at once explained to the relatives why a connection that boded them little good had been suddenly broken off, being the Lieutenant's bond for two hundred pounds, upon which no interest whatever appeared to have been paid. Other bills and bonds to a larger amount, and signed by better names (I mean commercially) than those of the worthy divine and gallant soldier, also occurred in the course of their researches, besides a hoard of coins of every size and denomination, and scraps of broken gold and silver, old ear-rings, hinges of cracked snuff-boxes, mountings of spectacles, etc, etc. etc. Still no will made its appear