« PreviousContinue »
It would be endless even to mention the numerous jokes to which it gave birth, from a ballad, called “Sampson's Riddle," written upon the subject by a smart young student of humanity, to the sly hope of the Principal, that the fugitive had not taken the college gates along with him in his retreat. .'
To all appearance the equanimity of Sampson was unshaken. He sought to assist his parents by teaching a school, and soon had plenty of scholars, but very few fees. In fact, he taught the sons of farmers for what they chose to give him, and the poor for nothing; and, to the shame of the former be it spoken, the pedagogue’s gains never equalled those of a skilful ploughman. He wrote, however, agood hand, and added something to his pittance by copying accounts and writing letters for Ellangowan. By degrees, the Laird, who was much estranged from general society, became partial to that of Do
minie Sampson. Conversation, it is true, was out of the question, but the Dominie was a good listener, and stirred the fire with some address. He attempted also to snuff the candles, but was unsuccessful, and relinquished that ambitious post of courtesy after having twice reduced the parlour to total darkness. So his civilities, thereafter, were confined to taking off his glass of ale in exactly the same time and measure with the Laird, and in uttering certain indistinct murmurs of acquiescence at the conclusion of the long and winding stories of Ellangowan.
Upon one of these occasions, he presented for the first time to Mannering his tall, gaunt, awkward, boney figure, attired in a threadbare suit of black, with a coloured handkerchief, not over clean, about his sinewy, scraggy neck, and his nether person arrayed in grey breeches, dark-blue stockings, clouted shoes, and small copper buckles.
Such is a brief outline of the lives and fortunes of those two persons, in whose society Mannering now found himself comfortably seated.
Do not the histries of all ages
The circumstances of the landlady were pleaded to Mannering, first, as an apology for her not appearing to welcome her guest, and for those deficiencies in his entertainment which her attention might have supplied, and then as an excuse for pressing an extra bottle of good wine.
"I cannot weel sleep,” said the Laird, with the anxious feelings of a father in such a predicament, “ till I hear she's gotten ower with it—and if you, sir, are not very sleepry, and would do me and the Dominie the honour to sit up wi' us, I am sure: we will not detain you very late.
Luckie Howatson is very expeditious; there was ance a lass that was in that way -she did not live far from hereabouts ye need na shake your head and groan, Dominie-I am sure the kirk dues were a' weel paid, and what can a man do mair?-it was laid till her'ere she had on a sark ower her head; and the man that she since wadded does not think her a pin the waur for the misfortune.—They live, Mr Mannering, by the shore-side, at Annan, and a mair decent orderly couple, with six as fine bairns as you would wish to see plash in a salt-water dub; and little curlie Godfrey—that's the eldest, the come o' will, as I may say he's on board an excise yacht
I hae a cousin at the board of excisethat's Commissioner Bertram ; he got his commissionership in the great contest for the county, that ye must have heard of, for it was appealed to the House of Commons-now I should have voted there for the Laird of Balruddery ; but ye see my father was a jacobite, and out with Kenmore, so he never took the oaths; and I