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The seria mixta jocis was not understood Well, at all events, you are not a Whig; but in our friend's philosophy.
leave your papers, please, and I shall look them Joseph entered obsequiously. Scotch pleaders over carefully, and let you know to-morrow if I are jealous of Scotch agents, but it has not come think anything further can be done." to the pass in Scotland that it has in England, “ Thank you, sir ; ye'll no' let on about the where barristers may not dance with attorneys' connexion between Mr. Jasper and the prisoner." daughters at assize-balls; on the contrary, the in- "Certainly not. But does Mr. Jasper himself termarriages amongst the speakers and writers in know anything of the business ?" the legal circles across the Tweed are such that “ No' a word, sir! We daurna tell him ; it wad no similar partitions divide Caledonian assembly- drive him clear mad. If things gang to the rooms. Yet there was and is a reserve, and Jo- worst, maybe you, sir, wad speak to him in order seph Taylor was just the very man to show it. to the obtaining o' the royal mercy. It's a thing He bowed, and bowed again.
that I daurna do.” “Ah, Taylor,” cried the dean facetionsly, “ are “I speak to him! No! I recollect how he you come to get me to revise your marriage-con- used me at a party, at the Duchess of Gordon's, tract ?"
some years ago. I said at the time that he and “No, Mr. Erskine," replied Joseph solemnly, I should never exchange words again; and I “I do not intend to marry ; I am come about a shall keep my pledge. But no—where life is very distressing business."
concerned one should not be too hasty : we shall "Ah! I beg pardon, I might have seen so from see as to this afterwards. Good morning." your long face. Well, what is it? Sit down, Erskine was a benevolent, kind-hearted man, please."
but he was also a lawyer, and he had to observe " It is to engage you to plead for that unfortu- the systematic procedure of the profession. He nate young man who is to be tried for uttering accordingly placed the documents, left by Taylor, forged notes."
on the right hand side of an orderly range of "I did not know that you took up criminal other papers, so that they might fall to be disposed cases."
of in their routine. This done, he turned to a “ Neither I do for common, but this lad is con- plea regarding the breaking of a deed of entail, nected with one of my clients.”
and was speedily immersed in the consideration of “What! is he a young man of birth ?" numerous mysteries connected with irritant and
“Mr. Erskine," "answered Joseph, rising from resolutive clauses, record, sasine, institute, excamhis seat and approaching closer to the advocate. bion, &c. &c. It is the same all the world over " patients should keep naething frae their doctors, -you shall not call on an upholsterer to order a and agents should tell a' to their counsel. I grieve coffin, without finding that the grave air which he to say it, but, as you are of gentle bluid yoursel', assumed when taking down your instructions was ye'll maybe tak’ mair interest in this case whaun quickly exchanged for a smile when he came to I tell yon that the pannel is the Hon. Jasper receive commissions for wedding-tapestries or Hamilton's nephew."
baby's cribs. It is emphatically true, and most "And also the nephew of the Earl of Orchard- literal in its applications, that in the midst of life field! Good heavens! how came this about ?" we are in death. The dean of faculty was not,
"I should not ha'e ta’en up the case, Mr. however, permitted to forget the matter of his Erskine; it's my neighbour, Mr. Middleton, that latest client, as another visitor recalled his attenshould ha'e spoken to you, but he's out o' the tion to the pressing character of its claims. toon; and hearing that ye were likely to gang to Florence Hamilton was the new intruder on the London to look after some appeal cases in the studies of the advocate. The unfortunate young House o' Lords, I came here mysel' to keep you lady, although borne as it were to the very ground, frae leaving home. There's the indictment, and at the first intimation of the horrid catastrophe, as there's the precognition o’the witnesses. I'm it rose in dread significance before her terrified doubtfu' it's a bad business."
magination, yet in due season became conscious Erskine rapidly glanced over the profferred docu- that to abandon herself to wild despair would not ments; and with the help of Joseph's explanation tend to avert in the slightest degree the impendsoon made himself master of the outlines of the ing doom so ardently deprecated; whilst a calm case.
and determined prosecution of such plans as "I was certainly intending to go to London, tended to mitigate the terrors of the law might Mr. Taylor ; but in a matter like this, where life by possibility save the loved one from his ignoor death is concerned, I shall undoubtedly feel it minious destiny. She steeled herself to effort, my duty to remain. The probability, as you say, and all the more so that she felt that on her must deis that this youth has been entrapped, and even volve to a considerable extent the working of the apart from his innocence, I should be sorry to see various remedial measures, present as well as proa member of one of our oldest Scottish noble houses spective, which imperatively required to be called sacrificed on the scaffold for violating the most into operation in a case so serious. Her cousin blood-thirsty law in our statute book. If it were Henry had already made himself obnoxious to the not for you Tories we should have a revision of courts by his interference in politics; and although those old laws."
his brother passed by a feigned name, whispers " I'm not a Tory, Mr. Erskine," replied Joseph, had begun to get abroad that the prisoner was reddening
above the common rank, and that the risk of dis
" You are,
covery, and consequent irritation of the authori- boldened the anxious girl, and she could no longer ties, if they should ascertain that two members of restrain her pent-up emotions. the same family had within such short periods com- “O sir, he is my cousin, and I would wilmitted popular offences, led to the resolution that lingly give my own life to save him! Oh, try, Henry should take no public part in the projected sir, and get him off, and Heaven's best blessing defence of his brother. Arnold, although gene- will surely be your reward !" rous and enthusiastic in the cause, was a stranger
presume, a niece of Mr. Hamilin the city and ignorant of its legal customs; ton's, of Thornton Castle, and Spencer is an aswhile his military character threatened to disclose sumed name of your cousin's ?” the identity between the criminal Spencer and “Yes, yes," replied Florence eagerly; "and do the fugitive militia officer. Smallbairn and the you think that if he gave his real name the judges rest were all friendly; but Florence felt that and the jury would let him off ?" she would not be discharging her duty aright Alas, my dear Miss Hamilton, quite the reunless she personally exerted herself in behalf of verse. The jury and the bench are always harder the captive, and exercised a species of control on gentlemen when they commit a crime than over the whole proceedings. The girl became they are on common people." transmuted into the young woman; and the young “ But he never has committed a crime; he was woman, frenzied into calmness, firmly and pru- merely trapped into the appearance of committing dently betook herself to the discharge of her novel one by wicked, unprincipled wretches, who took but self-assumed duties. How often have the advantage of his misfortunes and poverty at the softest and gentlest of natures been similarly har- time. Here were we all at hand, and ready and dened into the endurance of adamant at the trum- willing to assist him; but, by a fatality that šeems pet-call of calamity! The tendrils of the lowly cruel even in Providence, were we kept separate flower often resist the storm that rends the oak, from him till this horrid thing took place that is and so it frequently becomes Woman's mission to now so frightfully beyond recall. Say, sir, if the nerve herself to dangers that Man would shrink wretches who were really guilty in this terrible from.
affair were brought to justice, would that not tend “Ha," thought Harry Erskine, as he observed to clear him? They could not deny that he was, the beautiful pale face of the new entrant, “surely as he himself declares, more sinned against than the lassie has lost her jo—an action for breach of sinning.'” promise. Sad want of taste to give up such a
“ Neither would that answer any good purpose. sweet damsel !"
The mere fact that others issued spurious notes “ I am come to speak to you, sir,” said Florence does not invalidate the fact that this unfortunate timidly, “about a young man, Spencer—Myles young man did the same. If he could turn king's Spencer—who is falsely charged with uttering evidence, and lead proof against the real offenders, forged notes."
and bring home guilt against them, something “I have just received the papers in his case, might be made of it, and I shall inquire into the young lady, but I have not yet had time to ex- feasibility of that; but the presumption is that amine them. Have you anything to state that is the villains are adepts in crime, and, if taken into not contained in the papers ?”
custody, they might so pervert facts as to make “Nothing particular, sir; I have seen and read the chain of evidence against your cousin stronger them, and I believe they contain everything that it than it is at the present moment." is essential for you to know. As I am very much “O merciful Heaven! can nothing whatever interested in Mr. Spencer, I took the liberty of be done to save him? Juries, I am told, often calling to say that if you require anything to be give verdicts capriciously; and if any prejudice done I shall personally see that your every wish should exist against my poor cousin, how dreadful be attended to."
will it be!" “Until I read the papers more fully I cannot Erskine felt deeply for the wretched girl, and condescend on what particular course ought to be his acute perception detected that something more pursued, but they shall have my best and imme- than consanguinity prompted her impassioned diate attention. Is the party aware that I am to words. He therefore besought her patience while act as counsel, and does he agree to it? John he again went over the papers left by Taylor. Clerk and I offered to defend Muir, the martyr as Florence sat down at a little distance, and scanned he is called; but he declined our assistance, and he with keen scrutiny the features of the advocate as is now in Botany Bay, when he might have been he pursued his task; but her labour was in vain; at his own fireside.”
the brows and mouth contracted, and the eye “ Nor-I mean Mr. Spencer is quite aware, sir, flashed over the long pages, but the countenance and gladly accepts of your aid.”
betrayed no indication of what was passing within. A pause ensued.
When the last leaf was turned, Florence rose up “Do you think, sir, that there is any chance of in breathless suspense. his escaping ?” asked Florence.
“I can see nothing that can be done here, ex“I must repeat, madam, that until I read the cept the pursuing of a course that in the cir. papers more closely it will be impossible for me cumstances might prove dangerous to the parties to venture an answer to a question so im- attempting it, and hazardous to the prisoner should portant as that.”
the scheme fail." The benevolent generous face of Erskine em- "I am prepared," said Florence, "to run any propose, sir?"
risk whatever that affords him the slightest chance jury from returning a verdict of guilty. I am of escape ; and as to his increased danger, it is by constrained to say it, although I do so with some every account so great already that any hazard hesitation, that your only possible chance is to likely to result in his favour should, in my poor break down the evidence of the Crown.” opinion, be at once encountered. But what do you “ But how can that be done?”
“Miss Hamilton, you perplex me. I have been "Why, thus it is—the evidence against your a Crown officer myself, and may become one again. cousin is circumstantial, but so complete in its kind Is it not enough that I give you a hint to evade that, with the exception of a few links in the the law, without compromising myself by telling chain, a direct proof of guilt can almost be esta- you the precise way in which the course of justice blished. In the present state of public feeling must be arrested ?" with respect to the uttering of forged notes, the “ But there is no justice in the matter; it is judges will be stern, and juries credulous. There oppression, nay, downright murder, to implicate is no proof here that your cousin uttered forged the innocent simply because appearances may be notes, but there is that he must have had them in against them. I know you, sir, to be kind and his possession. The proof as to this last point generous; do, pray, explain to me what I should rests on the testimony of the Leith innkeeper and do." his servant. As a lawyer, I prefer fighting legal “I may yet have to take steps to counteract in questions on legal grounds ; but here I have so other cases the very advice I am about to give you. little ground to stand upon that I fear greatly the Get this innkeeper fellow and his servant to leave Crown will obtain a conviction in spite of my the country before the trial comes on.” utmost efforts. You must curtail the Crown of its “By giving him money, do you mean, sir ?" 'vantage ground. Do you follow me?"
“ By anything-money, advice, persuasion, any. “Imperfectly, sir."
thing. If I were the rascal, I am sure I could not "Young lady, you are nobly born, like myself
, resist you." and I am about to stretch legal etiquette in order Florence hastily seized the band of Erskine, to assist you in your distressing case. All is said to and, ere he could withdraw it, she pressed it gratebe fair in war, and why should it not be so in love? fully to her lips; and after passionately imploring As this business now stands, your friend's chance the blessing of Heaven upon him, she hurriedly of escape, as I have already stated, is extremely took her leave, in order that she might carry his slender. Let it be taken up with the materials advice into immediate execution. contained in those papers, and all the dexterity of my brother Tam himself could not prevent the
(To be continued.)
FIDDLING JACK. A CHRISTMAS TALE FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES. (FROM THE GERMAN.) CHAP. 1. -- WHAT LITTLE JACK SUFFERED. Little Jack wept too, but only so long as his father It is now a very long long, time ago—so long maltreated him. When the father stopped his that the memory of the man who first recorded the beating Jack stopped his bawling, and would wear events of the following wonderful history has a contented and cheerful face, in spite of the passed away from the world—since there sat one hunger and starvation he was obliged to endure; day, all alone by the wayside, a little ragged tat- for his father could never find any money for terdemallion of a boy, thinking of his empty sto- bread, only for beer and brandy. "What made mach, which had had nothing in it since yesterday little Jack so cheerful amidst all his sufferings and morning, and wondering if by any means it would ill-fortune was the possession of a good heart, a be possible to get something eatable, wherewith to generous mind, and a clear conscience; else it satisfy the cravings of his appetite.
would have been a very different thing with him, The poor little urchin's mother had been dead as the reader will see. a long while, and his father was worse than dead, Little Jack's father was the village musician, so far as little Jack was concerned ; for the and played the fiddle in the public-house, and on wretched man was drunk well nigh from morning Sundays upon the dancing-green, under the lindento evening; and when he was drunk he blas- trees. Formerly he had been a very good player, phemed and swore so dreadfully, there was no and the venerable pastor of the village, whose living near him, and he kicked, and cuffed, and taste was unimpeachable, used to listen to him cudgelled poor little Jack just as he had been with pleasure; but since he had taken up with the used to kick, cuff, and cudgel his mother, until the detestable practice of incessant guzzling, he miserable woman had deprived him of the privi- scraped and scratched so villanously, that the rats lege of ill-using her by dying out of the way. and mice scuttled away out of hearing, and even
The poor mother had given herself up so much the dogs barked, and the cats stuck up their backs to weeping and moaning, that Death had very and puffed out their tails when he began shaking little trouble in persuading her to elope with him. his elbow. The people in the public house, and
CHAP. II.-THE COMPASSIONATE FIDDLE.
on the dancing-green, cared nothing at all whether “ You know he will sit, now, in the public-house he played well or ill; his scratching and scraping till long after sunset, and then he will be drunk. served as well as the best for their shuffling, jump-Come, take me and the bow, and carry us out into ing, and waltz-whirling; but it afflicted the very the forest. By the side of the brook, where the heart of poor little Jack, who loved the violin alders rustle and the nightingale sings, there I dearly, because he knew what exquisite music it will teach you what you must do in order that I would send forth if his father had but the will to may sing to you." produce it.
“In God's name, then," cried little Jack, reWhen his father came home in the evening solved, “I will do all that
desire.” drunk, and hanged up the violin on the wall, it And I whatever you wish,” said the fiddle. grieved little Jack to see the poor thing so dirty “Good,” cried Jack, and, reaching down the and ill-used, and to hear it sigh so mournfully, bow, ran off with his compassionate counsellor to while its senseless owner lay upon the straw and the bank of the brook in the forest. snored. At last the little fellow could stand it no longer,
CHAP. III. -LITTLE JACK AND THE BIRDS. and took the liberty to say to his father, “Ah, father, you are now treating the dear, good fiddle Welcome, welcome !" murmured the brook. still worse than you ever treated poor
mother and Welcome, welcome !" rustled the alders and me; take care, or you will kill the poor thing." whispered the blossomg. “Cuckoo,” cried the
The father stood aghast at little Jack's pre- cuckoo, “a new musician! welcome! cuckoo, sumption, and did not know at first how to answer cuckoo, cuckoo !" And the goldfinch and the him; at length, however, his passion burst forth linnet, the canary and the thrush, the tits and the -not in words, for he said nothing; but, seizing finches, twittered and sang, “Welcome, wela knotty staff, he cudgelled poor little Jack more come !" cruelly than ever he had done before, and then “Ah, how beautiful it is here !" cried little Jack, left him.
as he sat himself down on the brink of the brook. Then he laid the fiddle on his arm, and said to it, “Now, darling, tell me what I must do to make
thy voice harmonise with the exquisite music This time little Jack cried and sobbed much around us.” longer than usual, for he was terribly bruised and Then the fiddle told him all that he had to do, mauled; but oh! marvellous to tell, while he was and called to the birds around, that they should weeping and sobbing, the fiddle on the wall gave come and help to teach little Jack; and the birds forth a gentle, very gentle moaning sound in sym- came and sat in a circle round among the boughs, pathy with him. As little Jack heard that, his and they piped each one the single notes in order, heart swelled the more with grief, and he and the “ 8, a, b, c, d, e, f,—f, e, d, c, b, a, g." Jack did fiddle lamented in concert for a good hour to- his best to imitate them upon the fiddle, and sucgether : so that the boy began to think that they ceeded so well that all the birds cried out at once, would never have ceased their lamentations. “ Bravo, little Jack ; bravo, bravo !"
Nevertheless, everything has an end—weeping Now the nightingale came forward and said, as well as laughing; and so the fiddle began first “I will sing a song. Jack shall lead the orchestra to wail in a fainter tone, little Jack did the same, and accompany me; the brook shall murmur the and after a little time both of them had ceased bass, and all you birds shall join in chorus.” their complainings. Jack's affection for the fiddle “ And, Master Nightingale,” said Jack, “the had now increased—such is the force of sympathy-blue-bells must sing too, only they must sing a beyond the power of words to express. He little londer than usual." reached a stool, and, climbing up, took down the " You are right," said the nightingale, “they fiddle from the wall, and began to clean it tenderly shall do as the conductor commands." from the dust, dirt, and filth; he repaired the Then little Jack gave the signal with a downfourth string, which gives the sweetest tones, and stroke of his bow, and the whole chorus of birds which the father had broken, and consigned to the began the concert with one voice. Then the foul fiend, in hanging up the instrument—and nightingale sang a solo-oh how deliciously he screwed it up to a perfect pitch, and twanged it sang ! Jack accompanied him upon the fiddle, affectionately till it gave forth the right sound. and the blue-bells trembled forth a faint sound. Then he kissed the fiddle, and was going to hang All the other voices were hushed, and the brook it up again in its place; but the fiddle whispered murmured a gentle bass. in a soft and gentle voice, “ Jack, you darling boy, Then came the goats and the deer leaping forth I will remain with you; I will belong to you, and from the gloom of the forest, and the nimble squirwill sing to you the most enchanting songs, and rel sprang from branch to branch, and from tree will laugh and weep with you in joy and in to tree, and the rabbits sat round quite mannerly sorrow."
upon their hind legs and cocked their ears to listen; “That will never do," replied little Jack. “If and the dark firs dropped resin, with which little the father hears us together, he'll beat me to Jack refreshed his bow. So Jack played till the death, and perhaps sr.ash you against the wall till sun went down, and then he was obliged to go you are broken all to pieces.”
home. “Adieu, my dear singers," cried he. “The father shall not hear us,” said the fiddle. / “ Adieu, Mr. Conductor,” sang they all together ;
VOL. XIX, -NO. COXXVIII,
"come back again soon.” And the nightingale | fell upon his neck and began again to weep, but whistled, as plain as a printed book
this time from joy, and cried,“ Jack, my dear son, “Soon, soon again,
where didst thou learn to play so gloriously? From the haunts of men,
Now will I never more beat thee again, and I'll
pray the stepmother to pay the school-money, In the green wood we'll give to thee
that you may be sent to school and have some The charm divine of minstrelsy.
learning." The stepmother had no intention of Then, soon, oh soon return again, And learn, as thou canst learn, the strain."
doing anything of the sort, but would have that
little Jack should be a barber in the next market. And little Jack came to the brook-side punctu- town; and when Jack said, “I do not want to be ally every day, and learned more and more the a barber,” she screamed out, “ But you must and voices of the woods-to understand them and shall," and gave him with her hard hand a couple respond to them upon his beloved fiddle.
of boxes on the ear that made his head swim again.
That was too much for the father, but he dared
not say anything. CHAP. IV.-LITTLE JACK'S STEPMOTHER. But now it came to pass that the inn-keeper of the village died, and that his disconsolate widow
CHAP. V.-LITTLE JACK'S FATHER. began to look around her for another husband, if But early. the next morning, while it was yet anyone could be found to marry her. Her selec- dark, the father slipped softly from the side of the tion was delayed for some time from the want of snoring she-dragon, stole into the larder, took a suitors to choose from, for be it known Mrs. couple of baked meat-pies, a piece of lard, a small Drawdregs was no chicken ; she was, moreover, a loaf and a dab of butter, packed them all up in a scold and a fighter, had dark red hair and a sharp- wallet, and went with them into little Jack's bedpointed nose, and squinted with both eyes like a room. witch.
Jack was fast asleep and dreaming of the conBut little Jack's father thought, “ If I marry the certs in the forest; the little casement was wide old faggot, then I can drink as much as I like, and open, and the fresh morning breeze blew upon the as often, without paying anything;" and thereupon, strings of the fiddle which hung on the wall above having drunk in courage from the brandy-bottle, he the boy's head, until it sounded gently in loving went in to the widow, tried his hand at ogling her, tones. and said, "My charming and most lovely hostess, The father gazed a few moments upon his lady of my heart, will you take me for your hus- sleeping child, and his heart was ready to break. band ? Say the word, and I will not budge from He approached silently, and bent over him as he the house, but marry you off here right.” lay in bed, and could not refrain from kissing his
Then the hostess squinted at him all over, from glowing cheek. Jack woke up, but still half head to foot, and said to herself, “ 'Tis true he is asleep, called out, "What do you want, Master a worthless, filthy, ne'er-do-well scoundrel ; but Nightingale ?" anything is better than nothing! He shall have “ Jack, Jack," said the old man, “what are you my hand; I will marry him.”
chattering about? I am 110 nightingale, but your So the pair were married, and the wedding-day father.” was kept with no small jollity. But before long, " What! my father!" said Jack, springing Jack's father found out how villanously he had quickly out of bed. “What makes you so kind to miscalculated, for he got not a drain of anything me to-day?" to drink but fresh, clear, sparkling spring-water ; “Put on your clothes, Jack," returned the and if he was caught indulging in a single draught father; "put on your clothes, and take the fiddle of anything else, his precious rib raised such a and follow me; but softly, lest somebody should storm about his ears, that he was glad to hide his awake.” head in any hole or corner.
Jack did as his father bade him. He put on Thereupon he fell into a miserable melancholy, his few garments, took the fiddle and bow from the and often sighed at the recollection of the quiet wall, and silently followed his father out of the and submissive nature of his first wife, “Oh that I house. had never served her so cruelly, she would have They went together, without speaking a word, then been living now, and a comfort to me; instead into the forest. When they came to the brookof her kindness, I have now the wrath of this old side, the old man said, “Here, Jack, let us sit she-dragon; ah, my poor, blessed wife, I am justly down, and do you be attentive to what I have to punished for abusing thee.” Thus he would com- say." Both sat down by the side of the stream, plain and weep piteously.
and the father continued : When little Jack heard that, he plucked up “Look you, my child, I have often and outcourage, and went to his father, fiddle in hand, rageously sinned against your blessed motherand began to play, and that so wonderfully that my dear blessed wife—and I know but too well the astonished wretch stood with his mouth wide that it was my wicked cruelty and abuse which open till the tears ran into it, without his ever brought on the grief that laid her before her time remarking that they were bitter and salt to the in the grave. Heaven has punished me for that taste.
crime in suffering me to marry the wicked stepWhen Jack at length ceased to play, his father mother. I acknowledge the justice and fitness of