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per-It was John Hay that catcht it, Saturday was three weeks, down at the stream below Hempseed ford,” &c. &c. &c. ;; · The Laird, whose indignation had for some time kept him pretty steady to one. topic, now launched forth into his usual poving 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 gen.
tlemen 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 gypsey woman. .“0, to bless his ship, I suppose.--You must know, Mr Mannering, that these freetraders, whom the law calls smugglers, having no religion, make it all up in superstition, and they have as many spells, and charms, and nonsense" ";^ 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.”
“ Haud your peace, Dominie-you're speaking for ever-(by the way it was the first words the poor man lad uttered that morning, excepting that he said grace, and returned thanks) Mr Mannering can
not get in a word for ye!-And so, Mr Maộnering, 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 enquiries 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 uncontroulable. Mannering, however, was determined in his own mind, not to expose the infant to the inconve. niences which might have arisen from his being supposed the object of evil predic
tion. 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 over-passed, no credit would be paid to its farther contents. This Mr Bertram was content to promise, and Mannering, to ensure 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, past over without any thing 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, 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.