Page images

“Of a surety, of a surety,” said Sampson eagerly; "I understand book-keeping by double entry and the Italian method.”

Our postilion bad thrust himself into the room to announce his chaise and horses; he tarried, unobserved, during this extraordinary scene, and assured Mrs. Mac-Candlish it was the most moving thing he ever saw; “the death of the grey mare, puir bizzie, was naething till’t.” This trifling circumstance afterwards had consequences of greater moment to the Dominie.

The visitors were hospitably welcomed by Mrs. Mac-Morlan, to whom, as well as to others, her husband intimated that he had engaged Dominie Sampson's assistance to disentangle some perplexed accounts; during which occupation he would, for convenience sake, reside with the family. Mr. Mac-Morlan's knowledge of the world induced him to put this colour upon the matter, aware, that however honourable the fidelity of the Dominie's attachment might be, both to his own heart and to the family of Ellangowan, his exterior ill qualified him to be a “squire of dames," and rendered him, upon the whole, rather a ridiculous appendage to a beautiful young woman of seventeen.

Dominie Sampson achieved with great zeal such tasks as Mr. Mac-Morlan chose to intrust him with ; but it was speedily observed that at a certain hour after breakfast be regularly disappeared, and returned again about dinner time. The evening he occupied in the labour of the office. On Saturday, he appeared before Mac-Morlan with a look of great triumph, and laid on the table two pieces of gold. “What is this for, Dominie?” said Mac-Morlan.

“First to indemnify you of your charges in my behalf, worthy Sir and the balance for the use of Miss Lucy Bertram.”

“But, Mr. Sampson, your labour in the office much more than recompenses me — I am your debtor, my good friend."

“Then be it all,” said the Dominie, waving his hand, “for Miss Lucy Bertram's behoof."

“Well, but, Dominie, this money"

“It is honestly come by, Mr. Mac-Morlan; it is the bountiful reward of a young gentleman, to whom I am teaching the tongues; reading with him three hours daily.”

A few more questions extracted from the Dominie that this liberal pupil was young Hazlewood, and that he met his preceptor daily at the house of Mrs. Mac-Candlish, whose proclamation of Sampson's disinterested attachment to the young lady had procured him this indefatigable and bounteous scholar.

Mac-Morlan was much struck with what he heard. Dominie Sampson was doubtless a very good scholar, and an excellent man, and the classics were unquestionably very well worth reading; yet that a young man of twenty should ride seven miles and back again each day in the week, to hold this sort of tête-à-tête of three hours, was a zeal for literature to which he was not prepared to give entire credit. Little art was necessary to sift the Dominie, for the honest man's head never admitted any but the most direct and simple ideas. “Does Miss Bertram know how your time is engaged, my good friend?”

“Surely not as yet - Mr. Charles recommended it should be concealed from her, lest she should scruple to accept of the small assistance arising from it; but,” he added, “it would not be possible to conceal it long, since Mr. Charles proposed taking his lessons occasionally in this house.”

“O, he does!” said Mac-Morlan — “Yes, yes, I can understand that better. And pray, Mr. Sampson, are these three hours entirely spent in construing and translating?"

“Doubtless, no we have also colloquial intercourse to sweeten study - neque semper arcum tendit Apollo.

The querist proceeded to elicit from this Galloway Phæbus, what their discourse chiefly turned upon.

“Upon our past meetings at Ellangowan - and, truly, I think very often we discourse concerning Miss Lucy -- for Mr. Charles Hazlewood, in that particular, resembleth me, Mr. Mac-Morlan. When I begin to speak of her I never know when to stop -- and, as I say (jocularly) she cheats us out of half our lessons.”

O ho! thought Mac-Morlan, sits the wind in that quarter? I've heard something like this before.

He then began to consider what conduct was safest for his protegée, and even for himself; for the senior Mr. Hazlewood was powerful, wealthy, ambitious, and vindictive, and looked for both

[ocr errors]

fortune and title in any connection which his son might form. At length, having the highest opinion of his guest's good sense and penetration, he determined to take an opportunity, when they should happen to be alone, to communicate the matter to her as a simple piece of intelligence. He did so in as natural a manner as he could: “I wish you joy of your friend Mr. Sampson's good fortune, Miss Bertram; he has got a pupil who pays him two guineas for twelve lessons of Greek and Latin."

“Indeed! - I am equally happy and surprised - who can be so liberal? - is Colonel Mannering returned?

“No, no, not Colonel Mannering; but what do you think of your acquaintance, Mr. Charles Hazlewood? He talks of taking his lessons here - I wish we may have accommodation for him.”

Lucy blushed deeply. “For Heaven's sake, no, Mr. MacMorlando not let that be- Charles Hazlewood has had enough of mischief about that already.”

“About the classics, my dear young lady?” wilfully seeming to misunderstand her; “most young gentlemen have so at one period or another, sure enough; but his present studies are voluntary."

Miss Bertram let the conversation drop, and her host made no effort to renew it, as she seemed to pause upon the intelligence in order to form some internal resolution.

The next day Miss Bertram took an opportunity of conversing with Mr. Sampson. Expressing in the kindest manner her grateful thanks for his disinterested attachment, and her joy that he had got such a provision, she hinted to him that his present mode of superintending Charles Hazlewood's studies must be so inconvenient to his pupil, that, while that engagement lasted, he had better consent to a temporary separation, and reside either with his scholar, or as near him as might be. Sampson refused, as indeed she had expected, to listen a moment to this proposition

- he would not quit her to be made preceptor to the Prince of Wales. “But I see,” he added, “you are too proud to share my pittance; and, peradventure, I grow wearisome unto you."

“No, indeed - you were my father's ancient, almost his only friend - I am not proud - God knows, I have no reason to be

[ocr errors]

-you shall do what you judge best in other matters; but oblige me by telling Mr. Charles Hazlewood, that


had some conversation with me concerning his studies, and that I was of opinion, that his carrying them on in this house was altogether impracticable, and not to be thought of.”

Dominie Sampson left her presence altogether crest-fallen, and, as he shut the door, could not help muttering the “varium et mutabile" of Virgil. Next day he appeared with a very rueful visage, and tendered Miss Bertram a letter.—“Mr. Hazlewood,” he said, “was to discontinue his lessons, though he has generously made up the pecuniary loss – But how will he make up the loss to himself of the knowledge he might bave acquired under my instruction? Even in that one article of writing, he was an hour before he could write that brief note, and destroyed many scrolls, four quills, and some good white paper -- I would have taught him in three weeks a firm, current, clear, and legible handhe should have been a calligrapher - but God's will be done.”

The letter contained but a few lines, deeply regretting and murmuring against Miss Bertram's cruelty, who not only refused to see him, but to permit him in the most indirect manner to hear of her health and contribute to her service. But it concluded with assurances that her severity was vain, and that nothing could shake the attachment of Charles Hazlewood.

Under the active patronage of Mrs. Mac-Candlish, Sampson picked up some other scholars very different indeed from Charles Hazlewood in rank and whose lessons were proportionally unproductive. Still, however, he gained something, and it was the glory of his heart to carry it to Mr. Mac-Morlan weekly, a slight peculium only subtracted, to supply his souff-box and tobacco-pouch.

And here we must leave Kippletringan to look after our hero, lest our readers should fear they are to lose sight of him for another quarter of a century.

CHAPTER XVI. Our Polly is a sad slut, nor beeds what we have taught her; I wonder any man alive will ever rear a daughter; For when she's drest with care and cost, all tempting, fine, and gay, As men should serve a cucumber, she flings herself away.

Beggar's Operu. AFTER the death of Mr. Bertram, Mannering had set out upon a short tour, proposing to return to the neighbourhood of Ellangowan before the sale of that property should take place. He went, accordingly, to Edinburgh and elsewhere, and it was in his return towards the south-western district of Scotland, in which our scene lies, that, at a post-town about a hundred miles from Kippletringan, to which he had requested his friend, Mr. Mervyn, to address his letters, he received one from that gentleman, which contained rather unpleasing intelligence. We have assumed already the privilege of acting à secretis to this gentleman, and therefore shall present the reader with an extract from this epistle.

“I beg your pardon, my dearest friend, for the pain I have given you, in forcing you to open wounds so festering as those your letter referred to. I have always heard, though erroneously perhaps, that the attentions of Mr. Brown were intended for Miss Mannering. But, however that were, it could not be supposed that in your situation his boldness should escape notice and chastisement. Wise men say, that we resigo to civil society our natural rights of self-defence, only on condition that the ordinances of law should protect us. Where the price cannot be paid, the resignation becomes void. For instance, no one supposes that I am not entitled to defend my purse and person against a highwayman, as much as if I were a wild Indian, who owns neither law nor magistracy. The question of resistance, or submission, must be determined by my means and situation. But, if, armed and equal in force, I submit to injustice and violence from any man, high or low, I presume it will hardly be attributed to religious or moral feeling in me, or in any one but a quaker. An aggression on my honour seems to me much the same. The insult, however trilling in itself, is one of much deeper conse,

« PreviousContinue »