The Three Perils of Women, Vol. 1

Author(s): Hogg, James


Love, Leasing, and,Jealousy.
"QUEEN'S WAKE," &C. &c.
The fam'ly sit beside the blaze,
But O, a seat is empty now!
"I FEAR I am in love," said Gatty Bell,
as she first awakened in her solitary bed in
the garret room of her father's farm-house.
"And what a business I am like to have
of it! I have had such a night dream dreaming,
and all about one person; and now I
shall have such a day thinking and thinking,
and all about the same person. But I
will not mention his name even to myself,
for it is a shame and a disgrace for one of
my age to fall in love, and of her own accord
too. I will set my face against it. My
resolution is taken. I will not fall in love
in any such way."
Gatty sprung from her bed, as lightly as
a kid leaping from its lair on the shelf of
the rock. There was a little bright mirror,
fourteen inches by ten, that hung on
the wall at the side of her gable window,
but Gatty made a rule of never looking
into this glass on a morning till once she
had said a short prayer, washed her hands
and face, and put on her clothes; then she
turned to her mirror to put her exuberant
locks under some restraint for the day.
But that morning, being newly awakened
out of a love-dream, and angry with herself
for having indulged in such a dream, she
sprung from her couch, and without thinking
what she was about, went straight up,
leaned both her spread hands on the dressing-table,
and looked into the mirror. Her
pretty muslin night-cap had come all round
to one side, and having brought her redundancy
of fair hair aside with it, her left
cheek and eye were completely shaded with
these; while the right cheek, which was left
bare and exposed, was flushed, and nearly of
the colour of the damask rose. At the same
time, her eyes, or at least the one that was
visible, were heavy and swollen, and but
half awake. "A pretty figure to be in
love, truly!" said she, and turned away
from the glass with a smile so lovely, that
it was like a blink of the sun through the
brooding clouds of the morning.
Gatty drew on her worsted stockings, as
white as the lamb from whose back they
had been originally shorn, flung her snowy
veil over her youthful and sylph-like form,
and went away, as it were mechanically, to
an old settee that stood in a corner, where
she had been accustomed for a number of
years to kneel every morning and say her
prayers. But that morning Agatha stood
still with apparent hesitation for a considerable
space, and did not kneel as she was
wont. "I cannot pray any to-day," said
Gatty, and returned sobbing, while the tears
dropped from her eyes.
She sat down on the side of her bed, and
continued sobbing, — very slightly, and as
softly, it is true, — but still she could not refrain
from it, and always now and then she
thrust her hair up from her eye in beneath
her oblique cap, until her head appeared
quite deformed with a great protuberance
on the one side. "It is not yet my accustomed
time of rising," said Gatty again to
herself. "I will examine myself with regard
to these feelings, that are as strange
as they are new to my heart."
"What then is the matter with you.
naughty Agatha, that you cannot pray to
your Maker this morning, as you have long
been wont to do, and that with so much delight?"

"Because I am ashamed of the thoughts
and feelings of my heart this morning, and
I never was so before."
"And because you are ashamed of your
thoughts, do you therefore propose to set
up a state of independence of your Creator,
and to ask no more guidance or counsel of
Him? If you think it sinful and shameful to
be in love, cannot you pray that you may
never be so?"
"No. — Oh dear me! I cannot pray for
that neither."
"Then cannot you pray that you may
love with all your heart, and be beloved
"Oh! no, no, no, no! I would not pray
that for the whole world; it is so home a
thrust, and comes so near one's heart, it
must be very bad. My dear parents and
my pastor have always taught me the leading
duty of self-denial; to pray for such
things as these would be any thing but
self-denial. To love with all my heart,
and be beloved again! Oh! goodness, no.
I cannot, cannot ask such a thing as that!
I am sure, at least I fear, it is wrong, very
wrong, but — I would not care to try."
Gatty kneeled in her wonted place, and
said her prayers with a fervency and a devotion
to which she had seldom before attained;
but she neither prayed that she
might love or not love, but only that she
might be preserved from all sin and temptation,
and never left to follow the dictates
of her own corrupt heart. After that she
arose, strengthened and comforted, and firmly
resolved never to subject her heart to the
shackles of love, till she should arrive at the
years of discretion and experience; till she
could do so without being ashamed of it to her
own heart, or of disclosing it to her parents,
which was far from being the case at that
present time. She trembled at the very
thoughts of it; regarding it as something
in itself sinful, and tending to wean her
from the thoughts and services of her
With a heart lightened of its load, and
naturally full of gaiety and joy, she dressed
herself with neatness and elegance; and as
she looked in her mirror for the last time
before going down stairs, she could not help
remarking, that it was a pity these love
thoughts were sinful ones, for they had a
wonderful efficacy in improving the looks
and the complexion. She skipped down her
steep garret stair at three leaps; it had always
taken her four when she and her brother
Joseph were wont to do it at play. But
she was resolved to have a great deal of conversation
with her nurse about love that
day, for she had neither sister nor friend to
whom she could unbosom her thoughts, but
to Mrs Johnson she could do so with the
greatest freedom.
There was no one in the parlour beside
her nurse, when Gatty went in, save her
brother Joe, who was sitting at a bye-table,
busily engaged arranging some fishing--
tackle. "Good morning to you, dear nurse,
and to you, too, brother Josey. How is
my brave, sweet, active young sportsman
this morning?"
"Get you gone, sister Gatty. You teaze
me past all endurance. I won't be caressed
that way by a girl. It is enough to make
one ashamed."
"Nurse, did you ever hear such impertinence?
Give me a kiss, and I will tell
you what I think of you."
"There then, — what do you think of
"That you are an insufferable puppy
with these college airs of yours;— with your
stays and your bracers; your quips and
your quibbles; your starch and your stucco.
Oh, how I do despise a dandy collegian!

Not all the dandy collegians, Miss
Gatty, or there be some that see not aright,
or say not what is true."
"Oh! O dear me! what does the gossip
mean? I won't speak another word to him,
nor to one who dares make an insinuation
that I ever looked with a favourable eye
on any young gentleman, far less a puppy
from the college."
"Pshaw, sister Gat! You must not
think that everybody is hood-winked or
blind-folded, because you would have them
so. Shall I tell you what I have heard,
saying nothing about what I have seen?"
"I'll hear none of your college gossiping.
You sit over your dry butter-milk
cheese and stale porter at eleven at night,
and smirk and talk of the favours and affections
of the Misses of your native parishes.
Do you think I would listen to
such effervescences of fuming vanity? —
Dear nurse, I want to speak with you in
my attic chamber."
The good nurse laid aside her work, and
followed her young mistress up stairs. Master
Joseph looked after his sister, and broke
out with a loud provoking laugh. "Go
your ways," said he to himself, taking up
anew his minnow tackle, hung on three neat
brass swivels, and surveying it with delight
continued, — "Go your ways, Miss; I shall
have peace and leisure to sort my fishing
apparatus. This, I think, will make them
come bounding from the gullets of Garvald.
And these flies of the Tarroch wing I am
all impatience to prove. The large loch
trouts are said to have actually a passion
for them; a rage, a something far beyond
a voracious appetite. It is a pity one cannot
buckle two baskets on his back, with
such chances before him. Sister Gat seems
on her high horse to-day, but I would rather
offend any body seriously than her, for
I like her better than I want her to know."
When Miss Gatty and her nurse reached
the little attic chamber, the former eagerly
inquired what the nurse conceived to be
the stripling's meaning in the insinuations
he had advanced? The nurse could not
tell. Brothers often heard things among
their acquaintances, that were kept close
from the ears of parents and nurses. He
seemed to hint, as she thought, that Miss
Gatty had exhibited symptoms of love for
some young gentleman. She could not tell
at all what was his meaning, but feared he
had some foundation for what he said.
"What!" said Gatty, "do you suppose
I would be so thoughtless, and so foolish, as
to fall in love with any young man? Would
it not be a shame and a disgrace for one of
my age to fall in love?"
"Certainly it would, Miss," said the
nurse. "But then many have fallen in
love at the same age, and even earlier."
"Oh no!" exclaimed Gatty. "I hope,
for the honour and delicacy of our sex, the
thing is not true! Pray, nurse, can I be in
love, and not know it?''
"I don't know that," said she. "You
may be in love, and persuade yourself that
you are not so; but you cannot be in love
without suspecting it."
"Dear nurse, how does one know if she
is really in love?" said Gatty.
"Ah! dearest child, it is too easy to
know that! By this token shall you know
it, that you think of nothing but the beloved
object, whether by night or by day,
waking or sleeping, alone or in company.
You measure and estimate all others according
as they approximate to the proportions
of his person, or qualities of his mind.
You long incessantly to be near him, and
to feast your eyes on his looks and his perfections;
yet, when he approaches your person,
you feel a desire to repulse him so irresistible,
that it is almost ten to one you
behave saucily, if not rudely to him."
"Oh, dear me, what a strange ridiculous
passion that must be! Dearest nurse, were
you ever in love?"
"O fie, my loved Gatty; how can you
ask that question? Do you not know that
I nursed you at my breast?"
"I crave your pardon, dear nurse; that
expression of your's speaks volumes. I never
in all my life thought of it before; but I
cannot promise never to think of it again."
"Mine was a hard and a cruel fate. Let no
maid after me, without long and thorough
acquaintance, trust the protestations of a
"I wonder who made all the songs about
love, nurse?"
"What a ridiculous matter to wonder at."
"Because they are all true, it would appear,
in what they affirm regarding the cruelty
of man."
"Not one of them comes half way up to
the truth in their descriptions of man's cruelty."

"Oh dear, what shocking creatures they
must be! Is it not a crying sin to fall in
love with any of them?"
"Perhaps I am singular in my opinion,
and perhaps I may be wrong; but it is from
hard-earned experience that I have imbibed
it, and I truly think that no woman ought
to be in love with a man until once she is
married to him, and then let her love with
all her soul and mind. All youthful love is
not only sinful, but imprudent in the highest
degree; and besides, it is like Jonah's
gourd, it grows up in a night, and perishes
in a night, leaving the hapless being that
trusted in a shelter under its delicious foliage
to wretchedness and despair. O dearest
Gatty, as you love virtue, as you love yourself,
your parents, and your God, never yield
to the giddy passion of youthful love! — But
your mother calls for me through the whole
house, I must begone."
When Gatty was left alone, she hung
down her head, and sat for a space the very
portrait of contemplation; then, after a long--
drawn sigh, she said to herself in a whisper,
"Then it is a melancholy fact, that I positively
am in love! What says one who
knows the world well? — By this token
shall you know it, that you think of nothing
but the beloved object by night or by day,
waking or sleeping, alone or in company.'
That's terrible! Sure you are not in that
state, Gatty? What say you to it? Answer.
Guilty. Again, 'You measure all excellencies
by his person and qualities.' Sure
it is impossible you can do that? Answer
in conscience.
"I am afraid I cannot plead off.
You long and desire to look on him, yet
shrink from his approach, and repulse him.'
"Oh, dear me, guilty again! Guilty,
guilty! Nothing can be more according to
"So, here am I, only eighteen years of
age past in April, and have already been
overstepping the sacred bounds of virgin decorum,
and sinning against my parents, and
against Heaven, which is far worse, by giving
my heart before it was asked! Such indulgences
can lead to nothing good; and as I
am determined they shall lead me to nothing
ill, I hereby engage the whole force and vigour
of my mind to oppose them. Henceforth
my heart shall remain my own until I
am married, and then I will love. Oh how
I will love then! What a shame for me to
fall in love with a young man! And then for
my brother and all the young dandies that
were at Cuddie's wedding to note it! and
for that young Boroland, as he is called, to
note it himself! Oh me! how can I even
whisper his name, or his absurd Highland
title. It is very shocking; when perhaps he
has been bragging among his associates of
my partiality for him. Oh, dear me! I am
very badly off."
"Certainly you are, poor Gatty, who
would not pity you."
The family group assembled at their
breakfast as usual. Old Daniel Bell talked
about markets, and his pastoral vocations.
Mrs Bell knew but little of these matters,
yet, good woman, she pretended to know a
great deal, and to give her husband most
sapient advices, which sometimes were not
received with all deference on his part, or,
at least, not with half so much as the sincerity
with which they were offered. Mrs
Bell and the nurse were occasionally exchanging
little sentences about the household
affairs, and Agatha and Joseph were
frowning, and cutting at each other with
sharp and bitter words; so that that morning
old Daniel had for a while no one to
listen to his grievances with regard to the
great depression in the prices of sheep and
wool. It is true, he held them all bound to
listen, every one of them, and at all times;
but the attention he required was of a very
easy nature; a slight nod, or a hem of assent,
was all that was asked, and all that
was offered, excepting from his worthy spouse;
who always assisted with her advices.
"I have said it afore this, and I'll say it
again," said Daniel, "that it's nae matter
an the Society were at the deevil, and its
premiums baith. The way that my toop
Duff has been lightlified there shows that
the hale fraternity's no worth a damm. Nae
matter; I sold him for fifty punds sterling
afore I took him out o' the show-bught. Let
ony o' them that wan their niff-naffs o' medals
tell sic a tale."
"Mr Bell, that's astonishing; did you actually
sell a single sheep for fifty pounds?"
said the good dame.
"I did that, hinney; but then it was a
toop, ye maim recollect, and nae common
toop either."
"A toop! What do you mean by a toop?"
"What do I mean by a toop! Heard
ever ony body the like o' that? Have ye
been a farmer's wife these twa-an'-twenty
years, and dinna ken what a toop means?
A toop is just a male-sheep, hinney. A toop
and a ewe are exactly the same in a hirsel,
as a man and a woman are in society."
"Well, Mr Bell, I conceived it so. But
might you not as easily denominate the animal
a ram, as he is called in Scripture, and
then every body would understand you?"
"A ram! a snuff o' tobacco! Na, na, it's
an unco ramstamphish name that for sic a
bonny dooce-looking animal as Duff."
"At all events, Mr Bell, I conceive it
a more proper name than tupe."
"It's no tupe, hinney, nor tup, nor tip,
nor ram; nor ony o' thae dirty cuttit words;
it's just plain downright toop, the auld Scots
word, and the auld Scots way o' saying it."
"Well, my dear, it makes little difference
the name; but since it is a fact that
you can breed a tupe, as you call it —"
"I never ca'd it sic a name in my life."
"To the value, I say, of fifty pounds,
why not keep all your sheep tupes?"
"Ay, it's very like a woman's question.
What the deevil wad I do wi' them, think
"Why, sell them for fifty pounds a-piece;
you do not make as much of those you have,
nor perhaps more than a hundredth part of
that sum."
"Why, mistress, the objection's very easily
answered, to one that understands it; but
really it is sae absurd, it winna bide tauking
about. When I rear fifty toops, ae farmer
wants ane, and another farmer wants twa or
three, maybe, for the sake of my breed, and
I sell them gayly weel; but an' I were to
breed fifty scores, where do ye think I could
find merchants?"
"They would merely circulate wider, Mr
Bell; there are plenty of gentlemen and
farmers in Britain and Ireland who want
an improved breed of sheep; and supposing
they did not bring all fifty pounds each, say
that a part of them brought only forty pounds
a-head, I conceive your profits would be immense.
Gracious heaven, Mr Bell! fifty
scores of tupes, at fifty pounds each, would
be no less than fifty thousand pounds a--
"Odds curses, woman, dinna drive a body
mad wi' your ridiculous calculations! It
is as absurd for you presuming to gie me instructions
in sheep-farming, as if I were to
set up my birse, and tell the king how to
"I want only dispassionate reasoning, Mr
Bell; and I do not find that you have advanced
any reasonable objections to my theory.
From your own words, as well as from
the appointments of nature, I conceive yours
to be an absurd and unnatural system of
farming. I would not insist on your keeping
the whole of your stock males, or tupes,
as you call them, but you ought at all events
to keep the one-half of them such, as the
wise Creator of both men and sheep has decidedly
intended them to be kept. Therefore
I say, and maintain it, that your system
of keeping three thousand female sheep,
and only fifty males, is an unnatural way of
farming. It would be much more seemly
and profitable that every ewe should have
her own tupe, and every tupe his own ewe."
"I hope, mistress, ye're no gaun to brog
that on me for Scripture? It is somewhat
like it, I confess, but it is only a paraphrase,
ye'll find; yet, if it had, I wad hae gaen
contrair to it, for it is absurd nonsense.
Come, come, let us hear nae mair about a
toop-stock. I like weel enough to hear ye
speak, but only when ye ken what ye're
speaking about. — What are ye gaun to say
about putting this lassie into Edinburgh?"
"Indeed, Mr Bell, I am going to say
what I have said always, that she will learn
much more of what is useful and estimable
in life here with me than in Edinburgh;
and that I conceive all the money expended
on a boarding-school education as so much
thrown into the sea. I have laid the calculations
before you, what it would take to
put her to a first-rate boarding school, even
adhering to the most rigid economy, and
must say it appears to me a complete imposition.
We have won our money too hardly
to throw it away in the attainment of a
few superficial airs."
"I winna contradict ye there, mistress,
for what ye have said is not only common
sense, but good common sense, and becomes
you muckle better than insisting on a stock
of toops. God bless us! but I hae been
thinking and thinking again on the subject,
and a' my thoughts come to this conclusion;
she's our only daughter, and I fear
that what is hained off her education may
be ill hained. A hunder pounds or twa may
be as weel in the head as the pouch, and
turn to as good account too; and granting
that the bits o' nicky-nacky things that they
learn at boarding-schools are rather of a superficial
nature, I hae suffered a good deal
myself from the want of these outward
graces, and I wad rather ware a good deal of
money than my bairn should feel the want
o' them as often as I have done. There is
nae man likes waur to throw away siller
than I do; and, therefore, what would you
think of taking lodgings for her and Joe both
together? Nurse would go in and keep them
perfect and in order, and then Gatty could
attend all her branches of education by the
"What branches of education do you
propose for her?"
"I want her to go over her English,
French, writing, and arithmetic. I would
scorn to have her sitting thrumming and
bumming at a piano, at which every tailor's,
wabster's, and sutor's daughter must now be
a proficient; but I would delight to hear her
sing a good Scots sang to one of our native,
melodies, without rising from her place at
table, which I think a thousand times more
becoming than trailing fo'k away to another
room, and plunking and plunning on bits o'
loose black and white sticks, and turning
o'er the leaves o' great braid beuks. It looks
always to me as if the woman were a part
of the machine that she is sitting at; but I
am determined that my bairn's music shall
be all inherent, and depend on the tones of
her own voice, of which all artificial tones
are but mean imitations. And then I want
to have her mistress of both the new and old
dances. Naebody kens what company ane
may chance to be in, and a' kinds of awkwardness
are grievous and distressing, particularly
to those that are forced to witness
"Well, I won't go against you any more
in this, Mr Bell. I like this last plan of
yours much better than a boarding-school.
With honest Mrs Johnson, I can trust my
children as with myself. Gatty's education
will be much better, at one third of the expence.
And their presence will be a constant
and effectual check on that boy,
should he incline to any licentious company,
or gather any wild irregular associates
about him, to prey on him, and lead him
This conversation, or at least the latter
part of it, proved, in no ordinary degree,
interesting to all present; and what was
more singular, it proved agreeable to them
all. Joseph liked much better to live with
Mrs Johnson and his sister, than with a
mercenary and selfish landlady, who not
only overcharged him for every article of
diet, but piqued him with her impertinence
beside. Agatha rejoiced in the prospect of
spending a year in the gay city; and as for
the worthy nurse, her whole delight was in
attending on her young master and mistress,
and she was proud of the trust reposed
in her. If any of the two last had another
motive, it was not even acknowledged
to her own heart.
Every arrangement was made with all
expedition, for the 15th of May was at
hand, and that was the appointed day for
our party to leave the substantial mansion
of Bellsburnfoot, and proceed to Edinburgh.
Many a long and earnest lecture
on prudence and economy was our heroine
doomed to hear from her affectionate mother;
but, as old Daniel had resolved on
accompanying them, and seeing them fairly
fitted in town, his advices were generally
very short and good-humoured. But, in
one instance, he got fairly into the detail;
and it was so original, that I have set the
whole string of his injunctions down.
"Now, daughter Gatty," said he, "ye
hae just four things to learn in Edinburgh
— no to learn, but to perfect yoursel in: —
ye hae to learn to manage your head, your
hands, your feet, and your heart. Your
head will require a little redding up, baith
outside and inside. It's no the bobs and
the curls, the ribbons and the rose-knots,
the gildit kames, and the great toppings o'
well-sleekit-up hair, that are to stand the
test for life; and yet these are a' becoming
in their places. But there is something
else required. Ye maun learn to think for
yoursel, and act for yoursel, for you canna'
always have your mother and me to think
and act for you. Ye maun learn to calculate
and weigh, not only your own actions, but
your motives of action, as well as the actions
and apparent motives of those with whom you
have to deal; and stick aye by that, my woman,
of which you are sure you will never be
ashamed, either in this world, or the one
that's to come. But I am growing ower serious
now, and I never likit sermons muckle
mysel; therefore, in the management of your
feet, I wad advise you to learn a' the reel--
steps, hornpipe-steps, and transpey-flings,
that have ever been inventit; and be sure
to get a' the tirliwhirlies of country-dances,
and town-dances, cost what they like. I
canna name the sum I wad whiles hae gien
in my life to hae been master of twa or
three o' them, especially when I was made,
head-manager o' the Duke's balls. There
was my Lady Eskdale and I set up at the
top o' the dance. She got her choice o' the
figure, as they ca'd it, and she made choice
o' the ane that they ca' the Medley. Weel,
the music strak up wi' a great skreed, and
aff we went, round-about and round-about,
back and forret, setting to this ane, and
setting to the tither, — deil hae me an I
ken'd a foot where I was gaun; and there
was I, flying and rinning like a sturdied
toop, and the sweat drapping aff at the
stirls of my nose. But it was mair through
shame than fatigue; for, when I heard the
young gillies laughing at me, I lost a' sense
and recollection thegither, and just ran looking
over my shoulder, to see what my partner
was gaun to do neist. Ten shillings
worth o' dancing, when I was young, wad
hae set me aboon a' that; and I am resolved,
afore ye should ever be in sic a predicament,
to ware ten times ten on your dancing,
forbye a' that I hae gien already.
"If ever ye be spared to be a wife, there
will mair depend on your head than your
hands; but yet you are nae the waur o' being
able to cook your family a neat dinner,
and make yoursel a new gown at an orra
time, or a frock to a bit wee ane.
"But now for the heart, daughter; that
is what requires the maist care, and the
maist watching ower of all, and there's
nought else that I am sae unqualified to
gie an advice in. Keep it aye free o' malice,
rancour. and deceit; and as to the forming
of ony improper connections, or youthful
partialities with individuals of the other
sex, it is sae dangerous at your time o' life,
that no advice nor guardianship can countervail.
I maun therefore leave it entirely
to your own discretion and good sense.
"I might have mentioned the manage
ment of the tongue, as another, and a separate
point of attention; but it is a mere
machine, and acts only in subordination to
the head and the heart; if these are kept
in proper order, the other winna rin far.
wrang. But dinna be over the matter
punctual about catching the snappy English
pronounciation, in preference to our
own good, full, doric tongue, as the minister
ca's it. It looks rather affected in a
country girl to be always snap snapping
at the English, and at the same time popping
in an auld Scots phrase that she learned
in the nursery, for it is impossible to get
quit o' them. I ken, when I used to be at
the Duke's table, or at Lady Eskdale's
parties, I always made a bold push at the
English; but, in spite of a' I could do, the
Scots was aye ready at my tongue-roots,
and the consequence was, that mine turned
out a language that was neither the one
nor the other. But mind aye this, my
woman, — that good sense is weelfaurd and
becoming, in whatever dialect it be spoken;
and ane's mother-tongue suits always
the lips of either a bonny lass or an auld
carl the best. And mair than that, the
braid Scots was never in sic repute sin' the
days of Davie Lindsey, thanks to my good
friend Wattie Scott, — I may weel ca' him
sae, for his father was my father's law-ware,
and mony a sound advice he gae him."
"Dear father, will I ever see this Walter
Scott in Edinburgh?"
"How can I tell ye that, daughter? If
ever you come near where he is, you will see
him. He is as weel to be seen as other fo'k,
though, perhaps, no just sae often. You
can see him every day from the gallery of
the Parliament-House; and I'll tell you
how ye will ken him: — look into the round
pew close in before the lords, and you will
see three or four black-gowns sitting round
a table; and amang them, if ye see a carl
that sits always with his right shoulder to
you, with hair of a pale silver grey, a head
like a tower, braid shoulders, and long
shaggy e'e-brees — the very picture of an
auld, gruff Border Baron, — that's Wattie
Scott. God bless us! when I saw him first
at his grandfather's ha,' he was a bit hempy
callant, wi' bare legs, and the breeks a' torn
off him wi' climbing the linns and the trees
for the nests o' corbie-craws and hunting--
hawks. And then he was so sanguine, that
he was finding them every day; but there
was ane o' his hunting-hawks turned out a
howlet, and another o' them a cushat-dow.
And as for his ravens, his grandfather told
old Wauchope out of his own mouth, that
as for his Wat's grand ravens, there was
never ane o' them got aboon the rank of a
decent respectable hoody-craw.' But these
sanguine, keen-edged chaps are the lads for
making some figure in life, for they set out
determined either to make a spoon or spill
a horn. And ye see, though Wat, when he
was young, clamb mony a tree in vain, and
rave a' his breeks into the bargain, he continued
climbing on, till he found a nest wi'
gouden eggs at the last. Weel, God bless
him! he's turned out an honour to Scotland."

"I am afraid there will be something so
very gruff about him! But I would like so
well to see him, and hear him speak."
"I see no chance you have for that,
daughter, unless you just go and introduce
yourself. Ring the bell at the door, and
when a powdered lackie comes out, tell him
you are the lass o' Bellsburnfoot, and that
you have some business with his master,
who, I dare say, will now and then get an
introduction that he will think as little o'.
For my part, I will not introduce you; for
I dare say he is pestered to death wi' introductions
of sentimental misses, would--
be poets, and puppy nobility and gentry.
There is just one thing I have long been
thinking of applying to him for, and that
is, to get me a royal patent for the breed o'
A great deal of desultory conversation
about Edinburgh occurred every day until
the 15th of May. Mrs Bell, besides many
wholesome advices to her children, laid private
injunctions on the nurse to look strictly
after their morals, and to correspond with
her privately, giving her an account of every
thing that happened. The great, the important
day at length arrived, on which all
the seats of the Pringleton fly were engaged
for a fortnight previous, and, after the
usual routine of stage-coach delights, our
party arrived safely in Prince's Street, in
the afternoon. The next morning Daniel
set out in search of lodgings, and the very
first board that he saw out, he went up
stairs to make inquiries, and view the premises;
and, though he lost the reckoning of
a story, and went into a different one from
that he intended, he bargained with the
landlady, Mrs M'Grinder, for the whole
flat that he went first into, at twenty-five
shillings the week, both parties free at the
end of every fortnight. They took possession
that same day, for fear of the expenses
of the hotel; and then Daniel set busily
about procuring the best masters for his
daughter. In these excursions, the most
curious scenes imaginable occurred; for he
would not engage a singing-master till he
heard them all sing whose names were mentioned
to him as professors of that art, nor
yet a dancing-master, until he had seen
them all dance. In the latter art, he chose
a Mr Dunn, whose manners, he said, pleased
him best, as well as his execution; and as
a singer, he chose Mr Templeton, because
his songs came nearest to the simplicity of
those sung by the south-country ewe-milkers
of any he heard in Edinburgh. Mrs
M'Grinder having recommended him to a
super-excellent dress-maker, as one best fitted
of any in town to give his daughter lessons,
Daniel went straight to her house,
called, and, without acquainting her with
his motive or design, asked to see some
of her work. She handed him a sarsnet
gown with which she was engaged, on which
he put on his spectacles, and stretched the
threads of the seam by pulling separate
ways. — "D—d lang steeks!" said Daniel,
and walked out at the door.
The first friend that called on them in
their new lodgings was no other than the
accomplished Diarmid M'Ion of Boroland,
who welcomed them to Edinburgh with
great affection, lamented that he could not
have Joseph again as his fellow-lodger, but
at the same time manifested his resolution
of taking up his winter residence as near
them as possible, that he might have as
much of his young friend's society as his
studies would permit. Old Daniel and
Joseph were both alike delighted with this
proposal, for the latter had lived with
M'Ion, at least in the same lodgings, for
two seasons, and he had been more than a
brother to him. He had also accompanied
Joseph to his father's house at Bellsburnfoot,
and spent a month with the family,
and in country sports, each year, and was a
favourite with every one about the mansion.
As for Mrs Johnson, she was perfectly crazed
with joy at seeing such a kind, an elegant,
and agreeable acquaintance, so far
from home. From the very beginning,
she had shown a partiality for the youth,
that scarcely became a woman of her years
and discretion to manifest, a partiality that
she could scarcely herself account for. But
with Gatty matters seemed quite otherwise.
She, indeed, suffered him to take her
hand on his first entrance, but to all his
kind inquiries, she made answer with marked
indifference, if not rather with disdain.
She retired to a distant seat at the end of
the sofa, leaned her rosy cheek on the points
of her thumb and fingers, and assumed a
look of cold abstraction, frequently fixing
her dark blue eyes on a wretched landscape
that hung in a gilded frame above the
chimney-piece. He addressed her several
times, as with brotherly concern and affection;
but she pretended not even to hear
him, and, after he had concluded, she would
only answer with the chilling monosyllable,
"Sir?" and pretend to waken from her reverie.

The young gallant was terribly damped
by this reception; his manner altered even
while he remained in the room, and the
tones of his voice became so soft and low
that they were scarcely audible. Joseph
alone observed his sister's behaviour to his
friend, and was irritated at her beyond forbearance,
insomuch that he tried to pick a
quarrel with her off-hand. But neither did
she hear his bitter accusation. "Is it the
lilac that you would have me clime, Mrs
Johnson?" said she; "I don't like it. — Bless
me, what was that teazing boy saying?"
M'Ion at length took his leave, and went
away, accompanied by his young friend Joseph,
who, when they were by themselves,
spoke full freely of Miss Bell's behaviour.
She also retired to her chamber on the instant
of their departure; and the first thing
that she did was to sit down and give vent to
a flood of tears. "My brother has good right
to be angry with me," said she to herself;
"for I have behaved very ill, and made a
most ungrateful and uncivil return for the
most delicate and kind attentions. But little
does either he or Boroland wot what such a
behaviour has cost me. It is from principle
alone that I am acting; and from that I
must act, cost me what it will. O, that I
could but regard him with the same indifference
that I do other young gentlemen,
then could I enjoy his delightful society
without alloy, and without weariness! What
a shame it is for me to be in love! A boarding-school
girl's love! The scorn and derision
of society."
While she was going on with this painful
soliloquy, the nurse entered; and, perceiving
her repressed sobs, inquired anxiously
what was the matter with her; but, with
a woman's natural ingenuity, she at length
confessed, as if it had been wrung from her,
that it was the thoughts of parting with her
father to-morrow, accompanied with an impression
that they were never to meet again.
Mrs Johnson rebuked her, and observed,
with great truth, that if people would make
themselves unhappy by a contemplation on
the bare possibilities of nature, there was no
more happiness to be enjoyed in this life;
that there were too many painful realities,
for which grief was not only natural, but
commendable, for people to torment themselves
with the dread of fictitious ones; and
that it was both weak and sinful to conjure
up ideal miseries to embitter the cup of bliss
that Heaven had poured out for us. Gatty
acquiesced in the reproof; said, her feeling
was one of those painful impressions that
came unsought, and would not be expelled
for a time, and promised to think no more
of it.
The nurse commended her resolution
and, to draw her thoughts to a more pleasant
subject, began to talk of their handsome
and accomplished friend, M'Ion of
"Pray, don't talk of him, nurse," said
Gatty. "What a pity Joe has no more
intimate college acquaintances than he!
Don't you think he is a very presuming,
disagreeable young man that?"
"Astonishing!" said the nurse, an exclamation
that she always used when she
thought people unreasonable, and always
with the same tone. Gatty knew the import
of it well, for to her it spoke volumes
of positive contradiction; and she set about
maintaining her point.
"Nay, you must excuse me, dear nurse,
for differing from you. I cannot imagine
how that young gentleman comes to be regarded
by you as the pink of all that is
courteous and amiable, for to me he appears
very disagreeable — very!"
"I have not another word to say after
that," said the nurse. "I will not answer
it, because I know it is not spoken with your
wonted sincerity. It is easy to know affectation
from simple truth. Who is so purblind
as not to see how differently you feel
from what you express?"
Honest Mrs Johnson had no intention
of insinuating any thing by this, than that
her young mistress was capriciously inclined
at the instant, and had expressed herself
differently from the manner in which she
was sure she must have felt. But, like the
man with the carbuncled nose, who imagined
that every one whom he heard laugh was
laughing at him, and kept himself in anger,
and misery all the days of his life by such
apprehensions — Like him, I say, poor Gatty
imagined that every body saw and knew she
was in love, and that the nurse had in the
present instance accused her of it to her
face; so, without deigning any further reply,
she arose and left the chamber, her
lovely countenance slightly suffused over
with the blush of shame.
"Astonishing!" said Mrs Johnson; and.
putting her hands on her sides, she sat a
space with her eyes raised in the utmost
astonishment indeed. "The nature of my
dear child seems to have changed with the
change of air. Within these three minutes
have I seen exhibited two traits of
her character that I never before witnessed.
Never before did I catch her sitting
whining and sobbing by herself; and never
before did she ever sail off, and leave
me with every mark of displeasure on her
countenance. She was at the schools of
Hawick before, and at the boarding-school
of Carlisle before; and she never wept at
parting with her father, but seemed to consider
herself as well out of his way. And
what did I say to affront her? Only that
she thought not as she spake. I think so
still; and that it is impossible for any young
lady to think unfavourably of M'Ion. But
it seems I must take care how I speak to
her in future about young gentlemen. There
surely must be something very peculiar
about my dear Gatty's disposition. I was
brought up in a circle greatly superior to
that in which she moves, which she little
wots of; and in the first company I ever
saw, Boroland would have been an acquisition,
and his favour prized by our sex;
therefore, I cannot give her credit for her
opinion, knowing that it must be a pretence."

On Friday the 19th, old Daniel had secured
himself a seat in the Pringleton fly,
impatient to get back to his improved breed
of tups; for he had nine of Duff's sons, six
score of his daughters, and about three hundred
of his grandchildren to look after, besides
some thousands of the lineal descendants
of Matthew and Charlie, two former
favourites. On the Thursday, M'Ion dined
with the family group; and as Daniel got
cheery over his glass, he entertained his
young friend with the qualities of these extraordinary
sheep, and the unequalled beauties
of their offspring. M'Ion thought only
of the beauties and qualities of Daniel's own
offspring; nevertheless, he paid an attentive
ear to his friend's animated eulogies, and
pretended to admire his pastoral proficiency;
so that before they parted, they were
greater friends than ever they had been
"I am unco glad that I hae met wi'
friend that seems to hae some attachment
for my bairns," said he; "and that kens
sae weel about the Edinburgh fo'k's gates:
Ye maun come and see them very aften
the aftener the better; and, indeed, I maun
just leave you a sort of fatherly charge over
them. You will find their governess, Mrs
Johnson, a woman that there's few like;
and you two may consult on what you think
best for the bairns. You have been a kind
friend to Joe already; and whatever kind
offices or advices ye may bestow on him
again, I shall never forget, and I hope neither
will he. I was just gaun to give ye
the charge of his sister in the same way,
God bless us! But that's no the fashion
now-a-days; though I think a country girl
is nae the waur of a man-friend to look after
her now and then, to see that naebody
wrangs her; for they're but helpless, dependant
sort o' creatures, the women; and
Joe' sunco glaikit and unsettled; and though
he likes his sister better than ony body in
the world, he wad rather quarrel wi' her
than oblige her ony time."
In this familiar and friendly style did
old Daniel address the young Highlander,
much to the satisfaction of all present; and
the two parted the best friends in the world.
The next morning, the farmer was early
astir, and hurrying the nurse and Gatty to
get breakfast, although it was nearly two
hours to the time of the fly's starting.
When they sat down to breakfast, Gatty
appeared quite heartless, and, as it were,
combating some mental distress, which her
father soon observed, and likewise sank
dumb, for he disliked all complaints and
whining, and avoided the slightest breath
that had a tendency to kindle these. He
spoke some words in an affected flippant
manner to Joseph, sometimes about his lair,
as he called it, sometimes about the Edinburgh
lasses. But it was apparent that he
knew not what to say, for he knew not what
was the matter with his darling, on whose
account he had undertaken this expedition
He noted her suppressed grief, and the tear
occasionally pouring, as it were, from her
heart to her eye, at which Daniel was sore
puzzled, and more distressed than she; but,
as he dreaded an explanation, he was going
to take himself off in as careless and easy a
manner as he was able. He got it not
effected; for his daughter addressed him.
through a flood of tears, and said, — "Are
you just going away, my dear father, to
leave me here?"
Daniel was thunderstruck. "What
would you have me to do, daughter?" returned
he, answering, like a true Scotsman,
one question with another. "Would you
have me to stay here and be your gentleman
usher? What is to become of a' at
hame, or wha's to keep you here if I neglect
my ewes and my lambs, my Cheviot
woo, and my breed o' toops? What is to
become o' the Duke's rent, and Lady Eskdale's,
and auld Tam Beattie's, a' three, if
I stay here and turn an Edinburgh gossip?
An ye will speak to me afore I gang away'
speak in reason, daughter, for that question
wasna like yoursel'."
"Yes, it is like myself,'' said she, still crying
and sobbing bitterly; "it is like what
I am now, though not what I was once. I
I am not what I was not long ago, my dear
father, but an altered creature, all gone
wrong; and, as an instance of it, I beseech
you not to go and leave me here, but to take
me home again with you."
"Astonishing!" said the nurse.
"I think the wench is gone crazy in the
head," said Joe; "you are grown so capricious,
you cannot behave yourself like other
"My dearest child, what ails you?" said
the old man, deeply affected.
"Nothing ails me, sir, to speak of; only
I feel I cannot bear at this time to part
with you. I would submit to any thing
rather than be separated from you at present.
But I am a foolish, silly girl, and
must submit to my fate. You must go
home to your business, and I must remain
here; there is not a doubt of it. When
shall we meet again?"
"'That shall be as you please, child. You
may come home with Joseph during the
time of the vacation, if you so incline; but
for my part, I hope I shall not see your face
again for a twelvemonth."
"Say longer. It will be much longer if
I divine aright," said she.
"I do not comprehend you, my dear
Gatty," said the father.
"How many have parted thus, who never
met again! Is it not quite possible, sir,
that we may be parting this morning never
to meet again?"
"There's naething impossible in this
world, child; but as little will there any
of us die till our day come. You are a wee
nervish this morning. Come, cheer up
your heart, and be a woman, or else ye will
make me am too; and I canna be that and
a reasonable creature baith. Come, come,
give me your hand. God bless you; and
may His presence be about both my children,
as well as them that are farther from me!"
Gatty gave him her hand, but still kept
bold of his till she drew herself close to his
bosom, when she put her arm around his
neck and kissed him. "Remember me to
my mother," said she; "and remember me
very particularly; and, dearest father, if I
die in Edinburgh, I beg, I entreat, that you
will not bury me here."
"Gatty, I cannot stand this. Say but the
word, and I will take you home again,
though we should both be laughed at as
long as we live. You cannot surely suppose
that you feel any disease preying on you;
for you never looked so bright, or so healthy
in your life."
"Yes, father, I do feel a disease preying
on my vitals, which no one knows the nature
of but myself, nor ever shall know.
though it should carry me to my grave."
The old man stood gazing in doubtful,
concern on the face of his beloved Agatha,
and was, without doubt, summoning a reluctant
resolution to take her home with
him in the fly, when the nurse interposed
with that strength of solid reasoning for
which she was remarkable, and in a short
time made both the father and daughter
ashamed of the parts they were acting, so
that they had not another word to say on
subject. Daniel went off in the fly,
and left Joe to his Latin and Greek, and
Gatty to her female studies; but chiefly to
the first and greatest of all female concern
to those that are involved in it, — he left her
a prey to the most romantic and uncontrollable
The very next day, M'Ion left his elegant
lodgings in Duke Street, and took the
flat above Mrs M'Grinder's, the very one
which Daniel meant to have surveyed when
he landed in the other, and bargained for
it. This was a joyful circumstance for Joseph
and Mrs Johnson; and to Gatty's
heart it gave likewise a thrill of pleasure,
intermixed with shooting pains of the most
poignant nature. He was now their daily
visitor. Joseph and he were inseparable;
they read together, played at backgammon
and drafts together, walked together, and
went out on country excursions together.
But nowhere would Gatty accompany them,
not though her brother was of the party;
although M'Ion essayed his most persuasive
eloquence, and Mrs Johnson not only acquiesced,
but lectured her young mistress,
now her ward, on her proud and unsocial
nature. All these things only made Catty
persist the more stedfastly in her system of
self-denial. My heart is suffering too much
already, thought she, more than it is able
long to brook; and were I to indulge in a
free and delicious interchange of sentiments,
what would become of me then? I should
soon, by word, look, or action, betray the true
feelings of my heart towards one who has
manifested no regard for me, farther than
what common civility would dictate to any
well-bred young man. And should I not
thereby forfeit not only my own esteem,
but his, and all theirs with whom I am connected?

Thus did the pure and delicate-minded
Gatty struggle on against a growing passion,
that still continued to gain ground on
her heart, in proportion with her efforts to
overcome it. For whole nights together she
tried to reason herself out of her affection, by
endeavouring to represent it to her own mind
as the most unreasonable thing in the world
but the God of Love mocked at her subtilties
and showed her that he was determined to
carry his point, without listening either to
rhyme or reason. Then would she strive for
whole nights again, endeavouring to represent
the object of her romantic attachment
as unamiable, and undeserving of a maiden's
love; but alas, every one of these suggestions
turned out to the conqueror's advantage,
and he came off from them all, triumphant
in his manly beauty and accomplishments.

Now, the most distressing thing of all
was, that M'Ion was as much in love as she;
but, from every part of her late behaviour,
he judged that he had not only no share in
her affections, but that he was become her
utter aversion; and from delicacy alone he
had previously been prevented from mentioning
his love and honourable intentions
either to herself or her father. The first
summer that he went to Bellsburnfoot, Gatty
and he were inseparable. She walked with
him; she rode with him; she sat beside
him on the sofa, with his arm round her
waist; and even in her mother's presence
she sometimes sat on his knee. She sung
to him; she laughed at him; and walked
arm-in-arm with him to church. But all
that time he never mentioned love, nor did
she expect or desire that he should. She
never once thought of it. He once, indeed,
had said, that he had never known so charming
a girl in his life, and that was the farthest
he had gone; for many a time had
Gatty turned over the records of her memory
in search of every kind word that he
had uttered, and she could light on no document
more conclusive than this.
But when he went away, then she felt the
loss she had sustained, and that too surely
her heart was gone with him; yet while,
with all her ingenuity, she could not trace
aught he had ever said to her beyond the
precincts of common gallantry, she was secretly
persuaded that he loved her. M'Ion's
sentiments towards her were in no degree
short of her's towards him. From their first
meeting he had become every day more and
more attached to her, and had resolved, before
leaving the country, to lay open the
state of his affections; but, on second
thoughts, he deemed, that, owing to her
youth, as well as his own, such a declaration
would be premature; that it would be
better to endeavour the securing of an interest
in her youthful heart, and as that and
their experience ripened, gradually to disclose
the other, as it came to be mutually
understood. With these sentiments, he took
leave of her the first year, not knowing till
after he went away what ravages love had
actually wrought in his heart, or that his
happiness was so totally wound up in that
girl's countenance and fellowship. He attached
himself still more firmly to her brother,
resolving to act towards him as a guardian,
a friend, and a monitor; and went on,
longing for the next year's vacation.
The next year's vacation came; but Gatty
by that time had felt what drinkers dree, as
the old proverb runs, and determined no
more to risk the whole happiness of her life
on a die. She had consulted her own reason,
her mother's and her nurse's sentiments,
and those of every love-song and ballad of
the country, and she could discover nothing
relating to youthful love that was not fraught
with danger; and as to unrequited love, that
was racks, strangulation, and death! The
consequence of all this was, that when M'Ion
arrived at Bellsburnfoot the second year, he
was received with kindness, but with far
more coolness than he had expected, by the
darling of his heart, who had been to him the
year before as his shadow, or rather as a part
of himself. Gatty had her conduct particularly
marked out and bounded before he
came, and she kept strictly by the limits she
had set to herself, which few girls of her age
could have done in the same situation. She
flattered herself that he loved her, but was
altogether uncertain, and trembled at being
made the dupe of common gallantry. She
felt likewise that she would have given all
the world to have heard him declare his love,
that she might have some rational excuse to
her own heart for that feeling towards him,
which she could not subdue. In her line of
conduct marked out, she had therefore allowed
M'Ion two, and not above three fair
opportunities of declaring his true sentiments,
which, if he declined, or failed doing
to her satisfaction, then she had fairly determined,
and sworn to herself, to "lock her
heart in a case of goud, and pin it wi' a siller
pin;" in short, never more to expose herself
to the blandishments of idle and unmeaning
But alas, these three grand opportunities
which Gatty allowed her lover to declare his
passion, soon came, past over, and were gone,
and no declaration of love was made! In
their first solitary walk, she hardly gave him
time, for she had set out under a conviction
that it would be made, and though she longed
for it above all things in the world, yet
she fell a trembling from head to foot every
minute that she expected the first word of
the dear avowal to drop from his tongue.
The consequence was, that she hurried him
from one place to another, and from one subject
to another, till at length she popped
into old Elen Scott's cottage, and left him to
take out his walk by himself. Elen adored
her young mistress, and the visit being quite
unexpected, she knew not how much to
make of her, or what to say to please and
amuse her. "But, dear heart and hinney
blude, I think ye're mair nor ordinar braw
and dink the day," said Elen. "I never
saw sae mony curls hingin at your haffats
afore; and as for your waist, dear me, dear
me! it's nae thicker than a pint cogie. Dear
heart, is't true that the young Highland
laird's come back the year again? They say
the lad wi' the green short coat and the
mony buttons is comed a' the gate here
again, and it's thought he's looking after
you? Eh? Ah, dear heart and hinney blude
ye're laughing at me! ye're laughing at
poor auld body! but take care o' trusting
over muckle to thae Highlandmen. He has
an unco wily ee, yon chiel, and when young
fo'k begin to gang thegither, and gang the.
gither — Aih, dear me, dear me! that waist
of yours is very sma' indeed."
"Dear Elen, who says that the Highland
gentleman is looking after me? I assure you
there is not a word of truth in that. He
would not look to the side of the road I
walked on."
"Ah, dear heart and hinney blood! he
hasna the een and the senses o' ither
then. But that denial just gars me trow the
mair what the fo'k's saying. Ye'll maybe
pretend that you an' him never walkit thegither
by yoursels twa, and never courtit
thegither last year by every bush and brake
on Bell's burn-side?"
"That I will, Elen — I will deny that
most positively."
"Quite right, dear heart! quite right.
Deny and win free, confess and be hanged,'
is a good auld saying. Nae necessity
ata' for confession here. The accusation is
nae the less true o' that, trow-an-a'-be. It's
a great wonder he's no at your elbow this
good day. It's maybe a' true you say, or else
he wad surely hae been peeping about the
bushes, an' looking after you the day. — O
dear heart and Kinney blood! what are ye
gaun away already for? ye're aye in sic a
hurry when ye come to see poor auld Elen.
Oh, there's sic an impatience about young
blood! Thae men, thae men! The Highlandman
came down the hill,' ye ken. Is nae
that the way o't? He disna' wear a kilt,
does he?"
"Elen, you are set to teaze me about the
stranger to-day. What do I know about
him? I won't let you set me any farther on
my way, because you are so provoking. Return
back to your wheel. Good bye."
Na, na, dear heart, I maim e'en gang
a wee bit farther. I see your sweet young
face sae seldom, and I hae mony mony things
to crack about foreby the men."
In despite of all that Gatty could say,
old Elen still sauntered on with her, till at
length up started M'Ion out of a bush be
fore them, and stood waiting their approach.
Elen let the skirt of her stuff gown fall down
from about her shoulders, shook down her
apron with both hands, and, looking with inquiring
astonishment in Gatty's face, whose
cheek burnt to the bone, she said, in a hurried
whisper, "Peace o' conscience! who is
that? Ah wickedness, wickedness! the very
Highlandman that was here last year! Oh,
I thought the waist was unco sma, and the
curls unco neat, an' unco bright and shining.
Ay, ay, it's a' ower wi' somebody! It's a mercy
he hasna a kilt, though. 'Goodbye, Elen,
ye maunna gaung nae farther the day,' quo'
she! Oh, sirs, the bits o' wiles, and the bits
o' harmless lees, and the bits o' cunning links
that love has in its tail! Fare-ye-weel, dear
heart, and take care o' yoursel, for I'll warrant
him o' the blood o' the wild rebellioners,
that gae our fathers and our mothers
sic a gliff — wi' their kilts, ye ken."
Elen left them, and the lovers pursued
their route homeward, M'Ion still fishing
for an opportunity of declaring his love, and
Gatty still panting for dread of the subject,
and doing all that she could to waive that,
which, of aught in the world, she liked the
best to hear. He once got the following
length, but soon was damped. "Have you no
wish nor desire to have a view of the North
Highlands, Miss Bell?"
"O, gracious me, no, no! What would I
do seeing a country where all the people are
Papists, rebels, and thieves? where I could
not pronounce a word of the language, nor
a local name of the country? How could I
ask the road over Drumoachder, or Carreiyearach,
or Meealfourvounnich? God
keep me out of that savage country!"
What could a lover say in reply to such
a stigma thrown out on his country as this?
M'Ion said nothing, but smiled at the girl's
extravagant ideas of the Highlands, which
he well knew to be affected, but nevertheless
took the hint, as a protest against his
further proposals; and the two strolled on in
rather awkward circumstances, till they met
with Mrs Bell, which was a great relief to
Gatty's oppressed and perturbed mind.
That night, when she retired to her garret-room
by herself, her mind was ill at ease;
She repented her sore of having snubbed
her lover's protestations in the very first
opening of the desired bud, and in particular,
of the ungenerous reflection cast upon
his country, which looked like an intended
affront. She could not but wonder at her
own inconsistency, in checking the words
that she longed most to hear, and determined
with herself to make it all up in complacency
the next time.
Another opportunity soon arrived, for
they were to be had every day; and though
nothing save common-place observations
passed between them, with some toying and
tilting of words, yet it proved a happy and
delightful afternoon to both parties. But,
like the other, it passed over without any
protestations of love. Twice or thrice did
the tenor of their discourse seem approaching
to it; but then, when it came to a certain
point, each time it stood still, and silence
prevailed till some common remark
relieved them from the dilemma.
There was now but one other time remaining,
in which, if M'Ion did not declare
himself, he was never to have another chance
in the way that lovers like best. Long was
it ere Gatty durst risk that sole remaining
chance; for she hoped always to find matters
in a better train; in a state that the
declaration could not be eluded. Again she
condescended to give him her hand in the
dance at the gentlemen's evening parties,
(for every farmer is a gentleman in that
country.) Again she condescended to give
him her arm to church, in the face of the
assembling congregation, and even saluted
old Elen, as she passed, as if proud of the
situation she occupied. After these things,
she accepted of an invitation to go and visit
the Rowntree Lynn, where they had often
been the year before. They admired the
scenery, spoke in raptures of the wonderful
works of nature, and the beauties of the
creation. They even went so far as to mention
the happiness of the little birds, and
the delight they had in their young, and in
each other, and then M'Ion fixed his manly
eyes on the face of his youthful and blooming
companion. It seemed overspread with
a beam of pure and heavenly joy, a smile of
benevolence and love played upon it, and her
liquid eye met his without shrinking; there
was neither a blush on the cheek nor a shade
of shame on the brow. Their eyes met and
gazed into each other for a considerable
space. — O M'Ion, where was thy better angel,
that thou didst not avail thyself of this
favourable moment, and divulge the true
affections of thine heart? What delight it
would have given to a tender and too loving
breast, and how kindly it would have been
received! But his evil destiny overcame the
dear intent; and, instead of uttering the
words of affection, he snatched up her hand
and pressed it to his lips. Gatty turned
away her face, and the tear blinded her eye.
This was not what she expected, but the
mere fumes of common gallantry; "And is
my heart to be made a wreck for this?"
thought she; "No, it never shall. I must
know better on what stay I am leaning before
I trust my happiness and my reputation
in the hands of mortal man, far less in
those of a young and deluding stranger any
During the rest of their walk, she kept
silence, save by simply giving assent to some
of his observations. She was busied in making
up her mind to abide, without shrinking,
by her former resolution. But as it
was the last chance ever her lover was to
have, she determined to hear all that he had
to say. She stood still five or six times to
listen what he was saying, and after he was
done, she was standing and listening still.
When they came to her father's gate, she
turned her back on it, to breathe a little before
going in; and while in that position
she fixed on him a look so long, and so full
of pathos, that he was abashed and confounded.
It was a farewell look, of which
he was little aware, for his constant aim had
been to gain a hold in her youthful affections,
and he flattered himself that he was
succeeding to his heart's desire. But delays
are dangerous; at that moment was she
endeavouring to eraze his image from her
heart; and the speaking look that she fixed
on his face, was one of admiration, of reproach,
and of regret, each in its turn. She
laid her hand on the latch, and pressed it
slowly down, keeping it for a good while on
the spring. "Would he but speak yet,"
thought she, "I would hear and forgive
him." He spake not; so the gate opened
slowly, and closed again with a jerk behind
them; and with that closing knell, was the
door of her affections shut against the farther
encroachments of a dangerous passion.
So the maiden conceived, and made up her
mind to abide by the consequences.
From that day forth her deportment
towards her lover underwent a thorough
change. He lost her countenance, and no
blandishment of his could recover it; but
for all that, love, in either heart, continued
his silent ravages, and M'Ion retired from
Bellsburnfoot that second year under grievous
astonishment how he had offended his
beloved mistress, but resolved, nevertheless,
to continue his assiduities, until he could, in
the full assurance of her affections, ask and
obtain her as his own.
Gatty's mind continued in torment. In
the bosom of that maid there was a constant
struggle carried on for the superiority, by
duty and prudence on the one part, and love
on the other. The former, indeed, swayed
the outward demeanour; but the latter continued
to keep the soul in thrall. She spent
not a thought on the conqueror of which
she did not disapprove, yet she continued to
think and languish on. "I fear I am in
love still," said Gatty; "and what a business
I am like to have of it!" And thus,
by a retrograde motion round a small but
complete circle, am I come again to the
very beginning of my story.
I like that way of telling a story exceedingly.
Just to go always round and round
my hero, in the same way as the moon keeps
moving round the sun; thus darkening my
plot on the one side of him, and enlighten,
ing it on the other, thereby displaying both
the lights and shadows of Scottish life.
And verily I hold it as an incontrovertible,
truth, that the moon, descending the western
heaven on an evening in autumn, displays
these lights and shadows in a much
more brilliant and delightful manner, than
has ever been done by any of her brain-stricken
votaries. There we see nature itself;
with those it is nature abominably
"WHAT were you saying about love last
night, cousin Gatty, when I fell asleep in
your bosom? Either you spoke a long
time to me after I was more than half
asleep, and told me an extraordinary story,
else I dreamed a strange and unaccountable
Tell me your dream, cousin Cherry,
and then I will tell you all that I said to
you about love."
"Ah! you told me now, — did you not,
Gatty? — either you told me, or I thought
you were gone to a lovely place far above
me, and I could not reach you, and neither
would you return to me. And then I
thought I saw hangings of gold and velvet,
and a thousand chandeliers, all burning
brighter than the sun; and I saw you dressed
in gold, and diamonds, and bracelets of
rubies; and you had a garland of flowers on
your head. And then I wept and called
long, but you would not answer me, for I
was grieved at being left behind. And I
saw a winding-path through flowery shrubs,
and ran alongst it, asking every one whom
I saw, if that was the way; and they all
said, 'Yes.' I asked my mother, and she
said, 'Yes;' and I asked young Boroland,
and he said, 'Yes;' and so I ran on, till at
length I saw you far above me, farther than
ever. And then you called out, 'Dear
cousin Cherry, you shall never get here by
that path. Do you not see that tremendous
precipice before you?' — 'Yes I do,'
said I; but that is a delightful flowery
bank, and the path is so sweet to the senses!
O suffer me to go by that road!' — 'Nay,
but when you come to that steep, the path
is of glass,' said you; 'and you will slide,
and fall down into an immeasurable void,
and you will be lost, and never see this
abode of beauty. Remember I have told
you, for the name of that rock is LOVE.'
"You then went away from my sight,
and as soon as I saw you were gone, I took
my own way, and followed the flowery path;
and when I came to the rock, the walks
were all of glass, and I missed my footing
and hung by some slender shrubs, calling
out for help. At length young Boroland,
cousin Joseph's friend, came to my assistance;
but, instead of relieving me, he snapped
my feeble support, and down I fell
among rocks, and precipices, and utter darkness;
and I shrieked aloud, and behold I
was lying puling in your bosom, and you
were speaking to me, and I cannot tell
whether I was asleep or not. Did you not
tell me any such story as that, cousin Gatty?"

"Not a sentence of such matter did I
tell you. It is wholly the creation of your
own vain fancy. But it is, nevertheless, a
singular dream. That part of it about the
rock called Love, and the walks of glass,
astounds me not a little. Did you indeed
think it was Boroland, or M'Ion, or what
do they call him — the young gentleman
there that has taken Joseph in tow? Was
it he that came to your relief?"
"Yes, and who pulled my hold up by,
the roots, and let me fall; but he was exceedingly
grieved, and I pitied him. And
more than that, I had forgot that you told
me you fell from that rock yourself; and
if it had not been some one, whom you
named, that saved you, you had perished."
"I could almost incline to turn Sibyl,
and read your dream for you, Cherry, could.
I but understand this — How it came into
your head that the name of this dangerous
precipice was called LOVE; for, sure, at
your age, you cannot so much as know what
love is."
"O yes, but I do though. I am not so
young, cousin, though I am little. In two
years I will be as old as yourself. And do
you think that I have not yet learned to
love my Maker, my father, and mother,
and all good people? At my age, truly!
My age is not so much short of your own!"
"How ignorant you are of life, dear
Cherry, not to know that there exists a love
between individuals, superior to aught in
this lower world for rapturous delight, and
quite distinct from all these. If ever you
are really in love, you will find that you
think about nothing in the world, save
about the beloved object; that you would
never be out of its sight, and would even
long for an opportunity to suffer for its
sake, and even to die in testification of your
boundless esteem."
"O, but I do know very well though.
Do you think that I do not know that sort
of love too? I assure you I have felt it in
its fullest extremity."
"Pray, who was it for, dear Cherry?"
"It was for old Miss Richardson; the
best and the sweetest creature that ever
breathed. I just loved to look at her, and
hear her speak; and how willingly would I
have died to oblige her!"
"Forgive me, sweet cousin, for I must
laugh at your simplicity and ignorance.
This love that I speak of can only exist between
two of different sexes. If a man is
in love, it must be with a woman; and if a
woman is in love, it must be with a man.
But as you are neither the one nor the
other, but merely a little girl, if ever you
have been in love, it must have been with
a boy."
"Upon my word, Miss Bell, you value
yourself rather too much on your two years
of gawky experience. Women are not all
born to be steeples, like some vain friends
that I could name. But go your way into the
shop of the Thistle, and see whether a small
Flanders lace tippet, or a large trollop of
Paisley shawl, is most valuable. Whether
is a small Spanish jennet, or a large lubber
of a cart mare, with a long neck, and long
legs, the prize that a true judge would value?
Peugh! sterling stuff is always put
up in small parcels. Take you that, cousin
Agatha, for your superior length of shafts,
and your two nicks on the horn beyond me.
And, more than that, I have been in love
that way too, which I am sure you never
were; for you have too high a conceit of
yourself, to fancy any other body. I have
had all these feelings that you mentioned
towards a man, and he was no boy neither.
And who is most woman now?"
"Pray, may I ask who this fortunate
and happy gentleman is, that is blessed with
the love of a lady of so much experience
and knowledge of human life?"
"It is no other than that same young
M'Ion of Boroland, whom you turn up
your nose at with so much disdain. I never
saw any creature so beautiful, so gentle, and
so kind! You have driven him from you,
and he has been obliged to take up with me
in all our little parties, and all our walks.
O, I am grown I love him so dearly, that I
feel just as I could take him all to my
"Bless me, child, you must not speak
out your foolish thoughts in that ridiculous
manner. I hope you would not repeat such
a sentiment to any body else. If ever such a
shameful thought cross your inexperienced
mind again, for Heaven's sake suppress it,
and say the very reverse of what you feel!"
"Would I, indeed? Catch me there! A
fine lesson, truly! You would first persuade
me that I am a child, and then teach that
child to be a systematic liar. No, no, cousin,
I will always think as I feel, and express
what I think, for I shall never take
up a trade that I think shame of; and if I
should love Mr M'Ion ever so well, and die
for him too, what has any body to say? So
I will do both, if I think proper. It is but
two years since you were gallanting with
him in every retired bush and brake you
could find; and were you a child then, for.
"It was because I was a child that I acted
with so much imprudence; one is not
accountable for their actions before they
learn to judge of them, and act for themselves."

"Well, dear cousin, you shall judge and
act both for me these two years to come;
but only, you are to allow me to feel and
speak what I please. And, to be plain, I
feel that I could take young Boroland in
my arms with all my heart, and that, were
he to take me in his, it would still be so
much better."
"Well, I protest, child, that no young
lady of this country ever expressed herself
in such a style. I am utterly ashamed to
hear you."
"And yet you have had the same feeling
a hundred times — yes, you have, cousin,
you know it, and have longed and yearned
to be in the situation. — Ay, you may bridle
and blush as you please, but it is true. —
You have been in his arms often and often,
and have been all impatience to be there
again, missing no opportunity that came in
your way. How often has he had his arm
around that waist! — O ho! I know all, and
more than I will tell you. So you are
changing colour, are you? — Who is the
child now? — She that professes one thing,
and feels quite the reverse, say I. Goodbye,
cousin. I am going to meet Boroland
at Maclachlan's, in College-Street, and
walk home with him and cousin Joe; and
I shall tell one, what he knows well enough,
that he is not to take you as he finds you,
for, that you always profess the reverse of
what you feel." — And with that, little
Cherry Elliot, full of vivacity, and blithe
as a lamb, whipped on her long-snouted
Leghorn bonnet, and, taking her large
black reticule, with three silk knots at the
bottom, over her arm, she tripped away to
the shop of Maclachlan and Stewart, in
College-Street, purchased Larent's German
Grammar, and asked if her cousin Joseph
had called. The bibliopole answered, that
he had not, but he was sure he would not
be long, for his friend Boroland, with a
number of other Highland gentlemen, were
at present in the sale-room; and, handing
her a seat, without more ado, he went into
the back apartment, and told M'Ion that
a young lady wanted him. On the instant,
he had Cherry by both hands, saying,
"Where, in the name of the spirit of the
wind, has my sweet Border zephyr been
wandering today?"
"I came to look after you, sir, for fear
you had gone astray. — And there's poetry
for you."
"Very well indeed, Miss. Elliot!" said
Maclachlan; "upon my word, I believe
you Border people not only think and speak,
but actually breathe in poetry."
"This, sir, is the Deity of poetic fiction
herself!" said M'Ion — "this is the Muse
of the Lowland Border!"
"And she's come to hold the Highlanders
in order," said the elf; and putting her
arm into the double of M'Ion's, she wheeled
him about, and out at the door in a moment.

"What a delightful spirit that young
lady has!" said the knocker-down of books,
looking after them with infinite good nature;
"I'll warrant she shall make some of
the young gentlemen go supperless to bed
before many years fly over her head."
"I have had a nice quarrel with my
cousin Gat to-day," said Cherry to M'Ion,
as they went through St Andrew's Square.
"I told her that I was in love with you,
and she was very angry with me; and then
I told her that she was in love with you
herself; and she was much more angry; and
so I came running off; and left her changing
colour like an evening sky."
"I grievously suspect that some person
has done me an unkind office with your
cousin, Miss Elliot. If I could believe that
the sentiments of her heart were the same
as her demeanour is towards me, I should
be the most unhappy of men."
"Do you think they are? — Rest content;
for be assured, they are the very reverse.
She confessed so much to me, and
it was there that I got her on the heel."
"My sweet Cherry, what a mercy for
my peace that you are not yet quite ripe
for pulling from your native tree!" exclaimed
M'Ion, squeezing her hand in his; "find
me out your cousin's true sentiments of me,
and I will love you as long as I live."
"I will do any thing for you, sir, and
do it with pleasure. But sure you cannot
be in love with my cousin Gat?"
"O, no, no! by no means! But then my
intimacy with her brother, and the rest of
the family, is such, that I cannot be at ease
under the impression that she conceives
badly of me; and I wish sincerely that my
young and admired friend would sound her
capricious cousin, that I may know in future
how to conduct myself. If her marked dislike
to my company proceeds from misconception,
I will do all in my power to remove
it; if it is rooted in a natural aversion,
I will withdraw from her presence."
"Depend on it, that I shall try to sound
her with all my art, which, I am sorry to
say, is by others reckoned of small avail, for
I am an utter stranger to all sort of dissimulation;
and the plague of it is, that my
cousin values herself on that as a necessary
qualification, maintaining that, whatever
feelings we have toward your sex, it behoves
us to express ourselves exactly contrary.
Might not this, sir, be a key to the
whole of her late demeanour?"
"I wish I could trust to it, and say with
the shepherd, as I hope I may, 'Weel I
kend she meant nae as she spoke.'"
Cherry Elliot knew nothing about Patie
and Roger, and, catching this last sentence
as it fell from M'Ion's lips, she took it for
his real sentiments, and smiled, thinking
how far he might possibly be deceived. He
went in with her, and found Mrs Johnson,
and Gatty engaged in serious conversation.
He did not hear the subject, but was received
even with more kindness than usual
on the worthy nurse's part, whose very idol
he was at all times; and the cold and repulsive
calm of Gatty's face, now assumed
at all times in his presence, was lighted
with a transient and passing brightness,
like a sun-beam in a winter day. M'Ion,
though still scarcely sensible of it, lived only
in her smiles; that approving look of her's
made him more than usually animated, and
he left the ladies, old and young, in perfect
raptures with him. But there was one who
was forced, or deemed herself forced, to
counterfeit her real sentiments, and to treat
every thing he said with an indifference
little short of contempt, though, at the same
time, her heart thrilled with the most
tense admiration.
Cherry was all impatience to carry her
grand scheme into execution, of sounding
her cousin's feelings and affections to the
very bottom; so, no sooner was M'Ion gone,
than she got her away by herself, and began
in the following style, certainly not the
most cunning or roundabout in the world: —
'Well, my dear cousin; so you were
very angry with me to-day for telling you
that I was in love? But it was you that
put it in my head, for I did not know, till
you told me its effects; and I think it is a
grand thing to be in love. I wish you may
not be more angry with me now, for I have
told young Boroland himself."
"Good heavens, girl! You are utterly
ruined! You are a mere child of nature,
that knows not one thing from another!
Had you, in truth, the face to look in a
gentleman's eyes, and tell him you were in
love with him?"
"Do you indeed think I would be so
simple? — Catch me there! No, no; I only
told him that I told you I was in love with
"And where was the mighty difference
there, pray? Believe me, the latter way
was a great deal worse than the other, for
it manifested a sort of childish cunning,
that was no cunning at all."
"Well, well, never mind, cousin — I am
not so very strait-laced in these matters.
But what think you was his answer, when
I let him know that I was in love? I assure
you I did not expect such an answer,
and you only can tell me whether or not it
was founded on truth. — He said that you
were in love with him too. Now, my dear
cousin Gatty, you must tell me positively
if this be true, for I want very particularly
to know."
Gatty's colour changed, and her lip quivered
with vexation, at this piece of intelligence
from her downright cousin. It was
the insinuation which, of all others, she
dreaded; to eschew which she had suffered
so much, and done such violence to her true
feelings; and she could not answer Cherry's
extraordinary demand, for if she had, she
would have done it ill-naturedly; but she
rose from her seat, moved to the window to
hide her emotion, and continued to look
out to the street for some time in silence.
Cherry continued importuning her to say
whether or not she was in love, for she
longed to return to M'Ion with the information
he wanted; and, following her to
the window, she likewise put out her head,
and talked of love, till Gatty grew afraid of
their being heard in the streets, and retreated
to a seat, with her back to the
How ridiculous," said she, "for two
boarding-school girls to be talking of love,
till the passers-by stand still to listen!"
"Ay, and let them," said Cherry, following,
and taking a seat right opposite to
her cousin — "let them listen as long as
they please. I wonder why you should be
so much ashamed, and so much in the fidgets
about love — I think there is nothing
so fine in the world. I have read a great
deal about it in the sermons, and hymns,
and good books that my mother made me
peruse, and I thought it was a blessed
thing, and a good thing; but I never knew,
till you told me, that it could be extended,
with such effect, to a young man. — There
is the beauty of it, cousin — for you know
that is such a delightful object to turn it
on. But then there is one very bad thing
attending it too, for the most part of women,
you know, must always be in love
with one, in the same way as you and I
are, and it is a question how many more."
Gatty could have listened to her cousin's
innocent definition of love long enough,
with the same zest as a diseased appetite
clings to its bane, but the allusion to herself
again roused the maiden delicacy of her
too sensitive heart, and she answered, somewhat
tartly, — "Neither you, nor your gay
gallant, have any right to include me among
the victims of love to this all-conquering
hero; he durst not, on the honour of a
gentleman, say that I affected him in the
smallest degree. Tell me seriously for
once, — had he the impertinence to say that
he knew I was in love with him?"
Cherry, instead of answering directly, as
was her wont, sprung to her feet, and raising
her hands and eyes, paced the apartment
with great rapidity, apostrophising
to herself thus: — "Alack, it is all as I
thought! she disdains him, and it will
make him very unhappy. He will probably
leave her, and me too. Yet I think it
is hardly in nature that she can dislike
him. But no matter — truth is truth, and
always tells best. Bless me! I had forgot
my cousin's avowed art of dissimulation!
There's the thing that confounds me! — So
then you do love him, cousin Gatty, but,
in conformity to modern manners, are obliged
to protest that you do not? Oh, I see
it now! That is all very well, and, being
the fashion, it must pass current. But
how much better would it be to do as I do!
How much misconception, and grief, and
jealousy, it must occasionally cause among
the dearest of lovers, and the best of friends,
that way of concealing one's true sentiments,
and assuming those that are the reverse!
Dear cousin Gatty, if you love M'Ion even
a slight shade better than other young gentlemen,
or even admire him as a little more
elegant and accomplished than the greater
part of them, cannot you tell me at once?
for I want particularly to know, and can.
not converse with you in that awkward way,
as people do, playing at cross-purposes."
"If you will tell me exactly all that he
said on the subject, I may then let you know
the state of my affections without reserve?
"Oh, he said something, that you pretended
to treat him slightingly; and if he
wist that you did disrespect him, it would
make him very unhappy; but well he knew
that you did not mean as you spoke."
"Will you give my respects to him, and
tell him that I do think as I say, and feel
too; and that he would oblige me very highly
by absenting himself from this house as
much as it suits his convenience."
"O, gracious mother! No, dear cousin,
that will never do! — He is your brother's
tried friend, and you cannot forbid him the
house. Besides, he may have business with
Mrs Johnson, or with me, you know, who
both love and respect him, and will always
be glad to see him; and we cannot be deprived
of our chief pleasure for the caprice
of one. For my part, I would not stay in
the house a day, if he were banished it."
"If he wants my brother, he has a room
of his own; and I hope Mrs Johnson and
you will oblige me so far as to meet him
elsewhere, if you have business with him.
For my part, I cannot, and will not, be insulted
after this fashion by any gentleman
alive. Before I heard it said that a girl of
my age, and that girl myself, was casting a
sheep's eye toward young men, or pining
and puling of love to such and such a one,
I would rather be a sheep myself, and eat
herbs and lie among the snow."
"Cousin, you make me suspect that you
are indeed in love. Do not you know the
old proverb, 'The greatest thief cries out
first fie' — And, in truth, there is none so
much afraid of being suspected as the person
that is guilty, — that I know well. I'll
carry no such message to M'Ion. I would
not tell him such an insulting tale for all
the world. When once he asks you, tell
him you are insulted, or, at least, you conceive
so, and that he is not to do it again.
As for my words, they go for nothing —
they were words of joking with him at first,
and I cannot say that I took him up in
the right sense. Don't think, cousin, that
people are going to lose their friends and,
sweethearts for your whimsies."
"If he continues to hang about our lodgings
in this manner, I will write to my
father to take me home; and then you and
my nurse, or governess, as the people here
call her, may take your darling in for a
lodger, if you will."
"Fairly gone, cousin Gatty! — fairly gone
in love! This is not your natural way. —
You are distractedly in love, and impatient
and restless to be beloved again. I see it all
perfectly well; and it is the only excuse
for your behaviour. This irritation is anything
but natural to you. I'll tell M'Ion
that you are in love with him, that I will,
and that I am sure of it."
"Your petulance is perfectly insupportable,
girl. — But I will soon put an end to
this." With that she left poor Cherry
abruptly, ran to her room, and shut herself
in, where she continued writing until dinner-time,
and after that, returned and continued
her epistle. Cherry was in great
consternation at her cousin's behaviour, it
had of late become so variable, and apparently
so much swayed by caprice and
whim. She ran to Mrs Johnson, and told
her what a huff Miss Bell had got into
about love; that she was so bad of it,
she had run and shut herself up in her
room, and she was afraid might do herself
a mischief. Mrs Johnson smiled at the
face of hurry and importance that the imp
had assumed, but that smile was mingled
with a shade of melancholy, for the worthy
nurse had not been at her ease for several
weeks, on account of her beloved ward's demeanour,
which she saw had undergone a
material change, to her quite unaccountable.
Her countenance exhibited the very
highest blow of youth and beauty, therefore
she could entertain no fears relating to
her health; and, quietly, she was not far
from embracing Cherry's sentiments, that
some youthful passion preyed on her inexperienced
heart. At first she suspected that
M'Ion had made an impression on it. While
the two were at Bellsburnfoot, she had plenty
of ground for such suspicions; but, since
they had come to town, she had watched
her early and late, all her words, looks, and
actions, and she could read nothing from
them all, unless it was dislike.
"I am afraid she will put us all wrong
together," said Cherry; "she has ordered
me to forbid M'Ion of Boroland the house,
which I have refused; and now, I suppose,
she is writing to her father of some imaginary
grievance, at least she was threatening
as much. She is going to put all things to
confusion with us, who are so happy. I
wonder what can ail my cousin? I suppose
it will be necessary to humour her in every
matter whatsoever, till this same caprice
goes off — to do every thing that she bids us,
and say as she says."
"Nay, my dear child, that would be too
much; but it would be as good not to contradict
her a great deal, until we see whether
this fidgety humour continues or subsides.
I confess that I think my young friend a
little out of her ordinary way; but then I
know she has so good a heart, that a few
minutes' calm reflection will at any time
make her act and speak as becomes her."
After waiting an hour, Mrs Johnson
went and tapped at the door. — "Coming
just now," said Gatty, and sat still, without
opening. They waited until dinner was on
the table, and then sent for her twice before
she came. She put on a pleasant mood
at dinner, but it was easy to observe that
all was not right within; there was a shade
of unhappiness that brooded over the smile,
like the mist that hangs on the brow of an
April morn, betokening showers and clouds
to mar the beauty of the day. She tried to
chat in her usual way, but her voice was
feeble, and her sentences short and unconnected.
Mrs Johnson assumed a commanding,
and somewhat offended manner, but
poor Cherry clung closer and closer to her
cousin, while her large speaking eyes were
constantly rolling from the one face to the
other, with an effect that was almost ludicrous,
manifesting the quickness of the sensations
within; and when dinner was over,
she took Gatty's arm in her bosom, and
leaned her cheek on her shoulder.
The latter soon, however, withdrew, and
shut herself up in her room; and when
she came to tea, M'Ion was in the parlour.
As soon as she perceived this, she
again shut the door, put on her bonnet, and
walked away by herself as far as the Post--
Office. When she returned, M'Ion was
still sitting reading to the rest, on a new
work of great interest, and continued with
them till a late hour; but all that time,
Cherry observed that her cousin never once
spoke to him, although he addressed her
several times. She took always care to address
some other person present at these
times, as if her mind had been occupied by
something else.
We must now return for a little to the
Border, and see what is become of our old
friend Daniel, who, on the very day after
this but one, was found by the Pringleton
carrier standing without his coat, and with
a long hay-rake in both his hands, on pretence
of dressing the ricks which his servants
were putting up, but in fact, so busy
talking with his shepherds about tups, that
he could scarce get a moment's time to put
his hand to a turn.
"Master, I tauld thee aye what swort
o' chaps you toop-lambs o' Selby's wad turn
out to be — De'il hae them for a wheen
shaughlin, whaup-houghed gude-for-naethings!"

"Hey, Jamie lad! does Selby's fine
lambs no please thee? They will help thy
hirsell, man, in length o' leg, a wee bit. —
They will be nae the waur o' that, neither
thou nor them, for wading through the
snaw. I's sure I wish ony body wad put
an eke to thy twa bits o' short bowed
shanks. But an the lambs be nae gude,
Jamie, they should be gude, for he gait me
pay weel for them."
"Na, na, master! they're nae the thing,
yon — I wadna gie ane o' Duff's sons for
twa o' them."
"O' Duff! — But when shall we see the
like o' Duff, Jamie lad? Every point of,
true Cheviot was there. Gideon of Linglee,
wi' a' his art, and a' his carping, could
na pick out ane that was wrang set. But
what does a' our care signify now? — good
sheep and ill sheep are a' come to ae price,
or rather come to nae price ata'! Gude sauff
us! what is to come o' fo'ks!"
"Do ye think the landlords will be sae
stupid, and sae blindfauldit to their ain interest,
as to let their farmers a' gang to
ruin? I am sure ony man might see with
his een tied up, that, in sic times, the rents
that are first gi'en down will count farrest."

"Ay, by my sooth, man, ye never said a
truer word in the life o' thee. The truth
is, that we are a' spending mair money on
our families than ever we were wont to do.
And what's the reason, think ye? Because
we ken we'll soon hae nane to spend. The
rents that we are bound to pay are out o'
the question. We canna pay the hauff o'
them, and keep our ain. An they wad but
put the thing in our power, we wadi do
muckle; but nae man will strive with an
impossibility. — Here comes the carrier, we'll
maybe get some news frae him."
"Good day to you, Mr Bell."
"Good day to you, Aedie. How is the
world serving you in these ticklish times?"
"In a kind of average way, sir. I maunna
compleen muckle when I see my betters
put sae sair about on the wrang side o' the
"Ay, gude kens what's to come o' us a',
Aedie. An we could but save as muckle
out o' the hale pack as wad tak us to Botany-Bay,
is the best thing, and the only
thing we hae to look for now."
"Hout, hout! some fo'ks maunna speak
that gate: There will be mony hard years
foreby this, afore they set your back to the
wa', Mr Bell."
"Why, it is needless to lie, Aedie; I
have twa or three odd hunder punds laid aff
at a side; or say they were thousands, that
comes a' to the same thing."
"Na, I beg your pardon, Mr Bell, there's
e'en a wide difference."
"In the way o' argument I mean, ye
gouk. Weel, say that I hae twa or three
thousand punds laid by out ower my stock,
have nae my fathers afore me, my uncle;
and grand-uncles, a' toiled hard and sair for
that, to keep up the family name in that
kind o' rank and distinction that it has always
held on the Border? is it not hard
that I should thraw away a' that, whilk in
reality disna belang to me, but to my family,
on twa or three confoundit leases? I
could part, wi' a' my ain savings wi' small
regret, for it is but fair that the lairds hae
time about wi' us. But when I gang to
pit out my hand to diminish the boon that
my fathers left me, God forgie me, an I
dinna feel as gin I were rakin their dust,
out o' the graves to gie away for my unwordy
debts. Ye may believe me, Aedie,
we are very hard bestedd. I aince could hae
set up my face, and said, I was wordy nine
thousand punds o' live stock; and though I
can count cloot for cloot to this day, gin I
war to sell them a' the morn, they wadna
bring me aboon four thousand. There's a
downcome for ye! I hae twa thousand punds
o' yearly rent hingin o'er my head; so that
if I let mysel fa' a year behind, I hae nae a
penny's worth o' them a' in this world.
Gudesake, Aedie, hear ye nae word o' the
rents being abated?"
"Why, sir, we hear aye word after word,
but naething that can be depended on. But
here's something that will ables gie you mair
insight; there's ninepence worth o' news
for ye, an' the Edinbrough stamp on it."
"Aih, gudeness to the day! our factor's
hand, or else I'm a fish! Weel, do ye ken
I'm feared to open it, there's sae muckle
depends on that letter. I declare my hand's
shaking as I had a quartan ague. Hey,
Jenny Nettle, what hae we here? The
deuk's factor, quo' he! This is frae nae ither
than my ain bit lassie. Jennie, rin and
bring me my coat and my spectacles, I
maun hame to her mother. This will be a
grand prize for her."
Daniel would not read his daughter's
letter before his servants; but as soon as
he got out of their sight, he sat down, and
perused it over and over again, making remarks
to himself on every sentence, so that
by the time he reached Mrs Bell, he was
quite prepared to speak on the subject. So,
as soon as he got her into the parlour by
herself, he took out the letter, and read as
follows: —
"I HAVE not been so happy here as I
expected before leaving home, nor so happy
as I am sure you wish me to be. I do not
know what ails me, but I am somehow or
other gone all wrong. My cousin, whom
you sent to bear me company, teazes me to
death with an overflow of spirits, which I
cannot brook."
"Heard ever ony body the like o' that
mistress?" said Daniel, laying the letter on
his knee, and taking a pinch of snuff. "The
wench is surely weazel blawn! Her that
used to haud the hale house in a gilrevvige
with an overflow o' spirits."
"Folks are not always alike, Mr Bell
neither young nor old. If our daughter be
well enough in her health, she will get over
that squeamishness.
"Ay, she's very well in her health; but
ye haena heard the warst o' it yet."
"Joseph snibs and snaps at me the whole
day, until I cry for anger. Mrs Johnson
is a perfect bore, with her uprightness, and
saws about religion and morality; and then
harping on one's behaviour for ever, as if no
body knew how to behave to equals but she.
But the worst thing of all is the intimacy
between my brother and this M'Ion, which
constitutes the latter, as it were, an inmate
of our lodgings. Now, my dear father, this
is what I cannot endure, and I do not think
it becomes a girl of my age to be intruded
on at all times by a young gentleman, particularly
by one who is apt to make a boast
of favours obtained from our sex, else there
be some who do not speak truth of him.
There is nothing I detest or dread so much
as this, which compels me to be very chary
in my favours, as well as my words; and I
don't chuse to be always on my guard in
this manner. Therefore, if you cannot contrive
some method of making him quit the
house, I intend to come home immediately,
and expect that you will come and fetch me
accordingly. I feel that if any other gentleman,
whether old or young, were to boast
of being favoured by my countenance, I
would not care a pin; but I could not endure
such an insinuation from him. I would
far rather die, if I knew what would become
of me afterwards; but this is a matter that
puzzles me very much of late; and though
the thought is new to me, I think oftener
about it than I am willing to tell you of."
"This is a very queer letter of our daughter's,"
added Daniel again. "It appears to
me that she's grown a wee nervish. The
antipathy that she has taken at that excellent
young man, is the worst thing of a'
and a thing that she shall never be encouraged
in by me. Deil's i' the wench! I
wad rather she favoured him wi' her countenance,
as she ca's it, than ony lad I ever
saw, and that I'll tell her braid seats."
"Nay, nay, Mr Bell, our daughter is
quite right in keeping a due distance from
all young gentlemen whatsoever. There is
nothing like letting you men know your
proper distance; for whatever point you
reach once, you always judge yourselves at
liberty to go the same lengths again; and
if the most punctual care is not taken, you
are much inclined to be making encroachments
by little and little. A maid, you
know, is a sheet of white paper, and she
cannot be too careful whom she first suffers
to indorse his name on the pure scroll, for
then the erasure is hard to be effected."
This metaphor being too fine and too far
fetched for Daniel, he proceeded with his
daughter's letter, after a little grumbling to
himself. "I go every Sunday to church,
and hope I am a good deal the better of
it." — "I hope sae too, daughter, but I doubt
it a wee." — "There a great number of genteel,
well-dressed people attend." — "Ay,
there's for ye!" — "M'Ion, who has a seat
in our pew, attends every Sabbath-day along
with my brother; and Mrs Johnson always
contrives to place this assuming Highlander
next me, so there we sit together and stand
together like man and wife. I declare I
never can look up, for I feel my cheek burning
to the bone; actually scorched with
shame. This is a mode which cannot go
on, so I must leave Edinburgh, with your
permission. Upon the whole, it will be no
great loss, for my masters complain, and my
mistress too, that I make no progress whatever
in my education. I feel myself incapable
of it. There is a languor on my spirits.
I eat little; sleep less; and think
and think without any intermission; yet
nurse says I am well, and I confess I think
I look as well as ever I was wont to do, and
perhaps rather better. My dear mother
will perhaps know what is the matter with
me; for alack! I feel that I am not what
I was. I have some thoughts that I shall
die in Edinburgh, but no fears. It is an
event that I rather long for, but I could not
bear to think of being buried here. On the
whole, father, I think that the sooner you
come and take me away, the better.
"I have no news from this great city,
and it is no great loss, for I fear it is a sink
of sin and iniquity. There are a great number
of girls here, and some of them very fine
accomplished ladies, that are merely bad
girls by profession; that is, I suppose they
lie, and swear, and cheat, and steal for a
livelihood; at least, I can find out no other
occupation that they have. What a horrible
thing this is, and how it comes that the
law tolerates them, is beyond my comprehension.
I think there must be some mystery
about these ladies, for I have asked
Mrs Johnson and Mrs M'Grinder all about
them, but they shake their heads, and the
only answer that I receive is, that they
are bad girls, a set of human beings that are
lost to every good thing in this world, and
all hope in the next.' The very idea of this
is dreadful, my dear father; and at times I
tremble at being an inhabitant of such a
place; a door neighbour, and one of the
same community, as it were, with the avowed
children of perdition. Even the stage
plays here are not free, I fear, of ruffianism.
Diarmid M'Ion treated us with a box on
Saturday eight days, but I insisted on paying
my ticket myself, which I did, and rejoiced
to see him so much affronted. "Mr
Kean, whose name we often see in the
newspapers, acted the character of an usurping
king; but what a villain and a wretch
he made himself! I wish I may never see
the like of him again. There was an earl
and his countess on our right hand box, and
a baronet and his family behind us; Sir
Walter Scott and one of his daughters
were in a box right opposite. She was dressed
with simplicity and good taste. But I
looked most of all at him, and thought him
exceedingly good looking, although my companions
would not let me say it. He did
not look often at the players, but when he
did he made his lips thin, and looked out
at the tail of his eye, as if he deemed it all
a joke."
"How interesting and curious the girl's
letters are when she gives over writing about
herself," observed Daniel. " But hear what
she says next." — "There is nobody minds
religion here but the ministers and the ladies.
M'Ion has just about as much religion as
yourself, father, which is very near to none.
"Hear to the impudent skerling! the
bit mushroom thing of yesterday! to set up
her beak, and pretend to teach men! It's
just nae better than if a gimmer hogg war
gaun to gie an auld toop a lesson how to behave
in his vocation."
"And this is a very great fault in any
gentleman, especially a man that has a family.
Though I say it with all deference,
perhaps you have something to answer for
in that respect. But my paper is out, so
with my kind love to my mother and all
friends, I remain your affectionate daughter,

"P. S. I have opened the letter again,
to say that I think you need not come to
Edinburgh until you hear from me again.
But I leave that to yourself.
A. B."
"Now, mistress, what do you think of
that letter, upon the whole? Or what attention,
think you, ought to be paid to it?"
"I think she has written the letter in ill
humour," said Mrs Bell; "and though I
would pay every deference to her feelings in
theory, I would defer doing so practically
for the present. It is not reasonable that
you should be at all this trouble and expence
for nothing; and if she were to come
home just now, Lady Eskdale, and every
dame and miss over the country, would say
our Gatty's town education was not compleated,
and that she had come away, and
left the boarding-school, which is so exceeding
disrespectful, that I could not endure
it. It is like the tricks of a truant boy."
"Weel, mistress, you and I feel the very
same way in that respect. Indeed, it is very
seldom that we feel differently on a subject
that we baith understand alike. You have
spoken to some sense even now; but when
ye haud out that a man ought to keep a regular
stock o' toops, that's a wee different.
But nae matter, I'll answer her letter till
her, and that to the purpose."
"You had better allow me to do it, Mr
Bell. It is a question who may see your
letter in Edinburgh, and you know your orthography
is a little peculiar."
"I'm no gaun to write ony thing about
theography; I ken naething about maps and
foreign countries; but I'll write to her in an
honest haemilt style, that ony body can understand.
Your letters are just a' words,
and naething else; I never can make aught
out o' your letters but a string o' fine words.
But I'll be that condescending, I'll spew
you my letter afore I send it away."
Mrs Bell, finding she was not like to
make him give up his point, seeing Gatty's
letter was directed to him, resolved to let
him take his own way, and write privately
both to Mrs Johnson and her daughter.
That same evening, at seven o'clock, Daniel
came down stairs, wiping his forehead
and his eyes; and with the following letter
open in his hand, which he read over to
his spouse in a strong emphatic tone.
"YER a daft gomeril, and that's plane
to be sene from yer catwuded letre. Yer
no better nor Jok Jerdin's bitch, who wod
naither stey wi' him nor fri him; but then
shoo had thrie wholps sooken, that was an
eckscoose that ye hefna. I'll no come my
fitlength to fetch ye. An Josepth say a
mishadden wurd to ye, I'll cuff him. Yer
coosen sal chainge her loogins whaneer ye
like, for I tuke her in greawtis for your
cumpanie. As for Mistrees Jonsten, I
wanna hear a word againsten her; and as
for your sweetherte Mackyon, what ails ye
at him? I wad raither hae ye to galaun
wi' him nor ony lad I ken; an I order ye to
speik to him, and sing to him, and gang ony
gaite wi' him he bids ye, for weel I ken he's
no the man to bid a bairn o' mine gang ony
gaite that's wrang. Od, yer no gaun to
leive yer lane a' yer days, and stand like a
shot turnip runt, up amang the barley and
grein claver; a thing by itsel, sittin up its
yallow daft-like heide whan a' the rest
gane. Na, na, dauchter Gat, ye mun lerne
to slotter for yersell like the young dooks
an' pick up sic a paddow as ye can get.
Afore ye die'd the deith o' Jinkin's hen, I
wad rather clap twa thusand pund yer
"Mr Bell, I just tell you once for all,"
said his wife, interrupting him, "that that
letter never will do. That letter shall not
leave this house."
"D'ye tell me sae, mistress?" said Daniel,
highly displeased at this reflection
thrown on his composition. "D'ye tell me
that ony letter I like to write sanna leave
the house? Ye maun tell me neist wha's
master here, for it's proper that I should
ken the one afore I submit to the other."
"My dear husband, it is for your own
honour and future satisfaction that I speak.
But, in the first place, there's not a right
spelled word. in that letter."
"It's a fragrant wuntruth. I'll lay you
ony baitt there's no a wrang spelled word in
it a'. Now, if ye daur haud me, ye maun
mind that I write Scots, my ain naiteve
tongue; and there never was ony reule for
that. Every man writes it as he speaks it,
and that's the great advantage of our language
ower a' others. The letter's a very
good letter, and ane that will stand the
test. Mair nor that, ye have nae heard it
a', and fules and bairns only judge o' things
that are half done. Hem! I gang on this
"But whatten wark's this wi' M'Ion,
M'Ion? Ilka third sentence in your letter is
aye about M'Ion ower again. There is something
aneth this. And my fear is, that ye
like him better nor he likes you, and that
pits ye intil a humstrumpery. But it is
the stoopedest thing that a wench can be
guilty o', first to fa' desperately in love
wi' a chield, and then be mad at him for no
hadden sicken a whilliewhaw about her as
she wad hae him.
"Mair nor that, what is your bizziness
wi' me an' my religion? I am mabe as good,
and better too, nor them that make a greater
fraze, and a greater braging. I hae gien
ye an edication that should enable ye to
judge for yoursel, and I beg ye will do that,
and suffer other fock to do the same. If
the auld toops and the ewes, that is, the
mothers and the fathers, were to be guidit
by their lambs, what think ye wad become
o' the hirsel? And what for gars ye speak
till us about death in that affectit stile?
Yell maybe get eneugh o' that when it
comes. Ye needna make your auld father's
heart sair, Gatty, by speaking sae lightly
about leaving him. Ye're his only daughter,
and afore he lost you he wad rather
lose the best toop that ever was in his
possession, and that ye ken wad be a
thing he wadna easy yield to do. But, Lord
help me, what am I speaking about toops?
If I judge o' my ain feelings at this moment,
when ye hae set me on thinking about
the thing, I find I wad rather lose every
toop and every ewe in my possession. Indeed,
I fear that afore I saw the mools
shooled o'er your bonny young head, I wad
rather creep down among them mysel, and ye
wadna like to see that, Gatty, mair than I wad
do. Na, na, it would be a heart-breakin job.
Never speak lightly o' death. An ye were
to come here, and see my chayer standin
toom, what wad ye say then? tell ye
what ye will say. Ye'll say, Mother, where's
my father the night, that his plate's no set,
and his glass is a wanting, and his snuff
mill toom? Is he gane to the Pringleton
mercat, or the toop show at the Cassair,
the Thirlestane premiums? And she will
dight her e'en, and wag her head; and she
will say, Na, na, daughter, he's nearer hame
nor ony o' thae places, but yet he'll be lang
o' coming back. He's e'en lying in the
kirkyard the night, daughter, as cauld as
stane, and as stiff as a stick. Him that
used to keep a' our backs cledd, and our
feet shod, our teeth gaun and our whistles
wet, is e'en lying low, wi' the cauld gravel
aboon his breast bane the night."
This was so exceedingly impressive, that,
in reading it, Daniel's voice waxed still
louder until he came to the hindmost word
and then he shouted aloud, and then clapped
his hand on his brow, and went out of the
room sobbing bitterly. On the arrival of the
next post in Edinburgh, however, Gatty
got the above letter, with some addition
together with the following one from her
"There are so many eras in the life of
woman that are critical, and fraught with
momentous consequences, that she can
never be enough on her guard during almost
her whole life. Hers is a pilgrimage of
painful circumspection, and all her efforts
are often too few. These critical periods
occur in maidhood, bridehood, wifehood,
motherhood, and widowhood; and I shall
define them all to you, with that care and
punctuality that becomes an affectionate
parent to a kind and dutiful daughter.
"In the first place, the period of maidhood
is not the least dangerous of the whole,
and the danger occurs most frequently
about the time of life in which you now
move. The mind being then too sanguine
to be always under the control of prudence
or discretion, forms to itself great and high
projects of happiness and grandeur, which
it soon discovers to be out of its reach. The
disappointed novice soon grows discontented
and fretful, and is too apt to keep all
those with whom she is connected in a state
of mental unhappiness. Her youthful mind
is too apt to form early attachments, which,
are always violent in proportion as the mind
wants experience; then, when the individual
who thus rashly gives up her heart to
those vain and tumultuous passions, finds
herself baulked, and discovers that her affections
have been misplaced, or have not
met with a return suitable to her ardent
expectations, then it is that every thing in
this sublunary scene appears to her eyes to
be vanity and of no value. It was on such
occasions, and at such ages as yours, that
in former days the vows of sanctitude were
too often solemnly taken, and as miserably
repented of; but now, when such resources
are no more, it is at such an age, and such
occasions, that resolutions are often formed,
heaven knows how unwarrantably, that affect
the reckless and unthinking creature
through life, leading her a joyless pilgrimage
of unsocial and crabbed virginity. 'If
I cannot find favour in the eyes of such a
one,' says she mentally, 'If I cannot attain
such and such a dear youth for my lover
and husband, farewell to all happiness and
comfort in this world!'
"The object of this passion probably knows
nothing of all this, nor is he ever likely
to know ought of it; for, if he is a modest
and deserving man, he will approach her
with timidity and respect, proportionate to
that esteem in which he holds her, and then,
to a certainty, he will be repulsed. A quaking,
indefinite terror affects the delicate female
heart on such trials, inducing her to
shun, of all things, the very one that she
most desires and longs for. This sort of
innate modesty is so powerful, that, although
it induces the possessor to do and
say that which she sincerely repents, yet,
the very next opportunity that she has of
rectifying the mistake, and making some
amends for a precipitate incivility, and the
next again, will she manifest the same antipathy,
even though she weeps over it each
time, when left to herself. Is not this a
dangerous period of life, daughter? and
how cautious ought a maid of your years
to be in giving way to such youthful passions,
and hasty resolutions! This is enough
for the present; and that you may, in your
present conduct, steer clear of all such discrepancies,
is the sincere wish of
"Your ever affectionate mother,
When Gatty had perused the two letters,
she wept, judging it an extraordinary
circumstance that her parents seemed both
to know so precisely the state of her affecttions,
seemed to see clearly the very secret
which she flattered herself was concealed
from the eyes of all the human race, which
she had never acknowledged, save to her
own heart, and never then, but with shame
and perturbation of spirit. She read part
of both letters over and over again, and
wondered not a little how her affectionate
and blundering father should, in the midst
of his more important concerns about tups,
gimmers, and crack ewes, have soused
plump on the very spring and current of
her concealed distemper; and that her sententious
and discreet mother should likewise
appear to know it intuitively. These
things added to the grief and impatience
that already preyed on her mind, convincing
her that she betrayed the secret which she
dreaded by every look, word, and action,
all the while that she was endeavouring to
conceal it. To put an end to such surmises,
and to show her parents, the world,
and her lover, that she valued not his presence
or society, she wrote again to her father,
earnestly beseeching him to come and
settle her accounts in Edinburgh, and take
her home with him; otherwise she would
take a seat in the coach in a few days, and
return by herself. Daniel was confounded,
but her letter was all written in such a positive
strain, that he judged it would be
meet to comply, and humour her perverse
whim, rather than force matters to any extremity.

Gatty had not well sent away the letter,
before she began to rue having done so;
however, she sent no countermand, and
hoped her parents would not take her at
her word. How astonished was worthy Mrs
Johnson one day, when Gatty said carelessly,
that she had written to her father to
come and take her home, and that next
week she should leave her and Cherry
the free choice of their associates. Mrs
Johnson looked on her with pity and regret,
and, with the tear in her eye, said
"It but little becomes you, Miss Bell, I
speak in such a style to me. If I have ever
made choice of wrong associates for you, it
was unintentionally. I can take God and
my own heart to witness, and for other testimony
I care not, that, since the day you
were first committed to my care, an infant,
your good and your improvement have been
my sole concern. — Toward that were a
my poor abilities exerted, and I had hoped
that they were not exerted in vain; but
within these few weeks, I have had but
poor specimens of my success. The girl that
cannot keep her temper under controul, but
subjects herself to unreasonable and foolish
caprices, and then visits these on her best
friends and most ardent admirers, is no
honour to her instructor's art. I shall justify
myself in the eyes of your parents, who
have been my kind benefactors, but about
your whimsies, miss, I shall take no further
concern. You have tried to wound me in
the tenderest part, and perhaps you have
been but too successful, which, I suppose,
will add much to your satisfaction. — You
shall not do it again."
Gatty was fairly humbled, and exceedingly
sorry for what she had said. She had
no intentions of hurting her kind nurse's
feelings, but she had been acting and speaking
in the fever of disappointed love, and
felt that she was hardly accountable for her
actions. Though this was an excuse to
herself, it was none to any body else; therefore,
she perceived it was necessary for her
to make some apology. She sat silent for
some time, and her looks were pathos itself,
till at last she burst into tears, seized her
monitor's hand, and held it to her cheek;
and, after entreating her forgiveness, she
added, "You see yourself that I cannot live
here — at least you might see it, if you
would. Does it appear to you that I enjoy
the same happiness here that I was
wont to do? Or think you I enjoy any
happiness at all?"
"I have perceived you fidgetty and unreasonable
enough," said Mrs Johnson
"without any cause, that I was able to discern.
Had you treated me with the confidence
that you were wont to do, my advice
should not have been wanting. Since you
have chosen to do otherwise, I intermeddle
not with your secrets. You may go or stay
as you please; for my part, I shall remain
"Wont you return to Bellsburnfoot when
I return, or soon after?"
"Since I have lost the love and countenance
of her for whom only I lived there
what have I to do at Burnfoot? — With
those who have no confidence in me I shall
have nothing farther to do."
"Alas, alas!" exclaimed Gatty, "how
much you wrong me! You do not know
my heart. There are some things that cannot
be disclosed." — But then, fearing she
had said too much, she took her word
again, and added — "not that I have any
such matter of concealment — No, no! such a
secret I have not. But — but then, there
are some ailments that cannot be told— to
any one but the doctors."
"And have you any such ailments, my
dear Gatty, and will not tell it to me?"
"I perceive that you will not have me
long, nurse, either to plague or please you,
therefore you must bear with me for a little
while, — it will not be more, perhaps, than
a few weeks, or months at most. — I bear
something within me that tells me I shall
not live beyond that period."
Mrs Johnson's form appeared to rise and
expand with consternation. Every feature
of her face was dilated and fixed, as she
gazed on the young and blooming form that
addressed her in the foregoing words. But
her alarms gradually gave way, as she contemplated
her ripe ruddy lip, and liquid
eye; and at length, though apparently under
some restraint, she tried to turn the
whole into a jest, — "Die, forsooth
claimed she; "did ever any body behold
such a dying person? Take my word for it,
Miss, if you die before you are two-and--
twenty, it will be of love; if between that
and thirty, it will be of the pet; and if between
that and forty, it will be of spleen at
seeing your youngers married to the very
lovers whom you discarded in your caprice.
Believe me, you are none of the dying sort
— A Bell never dies, but either by reason,
of thirst or old age."
"Nevertheless, you will soon have my
dead-clothes to make for me, dear nurse, —
you may believe me, for I am not jesting.
I will tell you a secret — When does the
wild rose fall from the briar?"
"About the change of the Lammas--
"So soon as that? — Ah, that is a very
short space indeed! — Then, before the wild
rose fall twice from the briar, shall the bell
toll at your Gatty's burial. — But in what
place, is that which puzzles me. — Though
I have seen it, I do not know where it is.
See, nurse, — these will be but slender bones,
when dug out of the church-yard, and very
brittle — the sexton's spade will cut and sever
them all. I cannot endure the thoughts
of that. — I should like that my bones and
my dust remained in their places, as I deem
them all connected with the living and immortal
spark that gave them animation."
"Such thoughts are too deep for your
age; nevertheless, there is a sublimity in
them that fills me with amazement. I am
almost induced to believe them matter of
raving, they are so new to me from your
"I have thought much of such things
lately. Life has many cares, sorrows, and
trials, has it not, nurse?"
"Heaven knows how many! and they
are always multiplying until our latter
"But the woman that is married to the
man of her heart, is her share equal to that
of others?''
"Her's are ten times doubled, child;
therefore, let no one build her hopes on
earthly happiness on such an event. — The
every fault, failing, and misfortune of her
husband pierce her to the heart. The errors
of her children, their pains, and sufferings,
return all upon her seven-fold — Her
perplexities are without end or mitigation.
O look not for such a staff whereon to lean,
else it will go into your hand, and pierce
A woman's life is at best one of pains, sorrow
and sufferings, — the primeval curse is upon
it for her transgression; and, save in the
thoughtless and joyous days of youth,
hath no happiness under the sun."
Gatty drew up her feet on the sofa, laid
down her head, and shrunk close together
— "O how gladly could I lay me down and
die!" said she; "I flattered myself that
there was one chance of happiness for a
woman — and only one; and though I had
no hopes of attaining it, I esteemed life for
me chances of such a prize as I deemed was
enclosed within its inscrutable wheel. Assuredly
those that go hence in the prime
youth and virginity have a double chance
of happiness in an after-state — have they
not, dear nurse?"
"They have, they have. — Our sins multiply
with our years, shedding their baleful
fruits wider and wider, as a noisome weed
sheds its seeds all around, till it overrun and
poison a healthy field. But what means all
this? — You were wont to blame me for
being too strictly and teazingly religious, as
you called it."
"If it will offend you, dear nurse, I will
not go away, even though my father should
come for me."
"Nothing that you can do can offend
me, provided you ask my counsel, and deal
with me as a friend in whom you can trust."
Thus ended the conversation between
the two friends, — a conversation that quite
puzzled the worthy nurse on after-reflection.
There was a wild pathos in the things
uttered by her ward, that was quite new to
her, besides a disposition to wander from
one subject to another, indicating some instability
of mind, to which she had no natural
bias. She therefore began to dread
that some lurking disease preyed on her
darling's vitals, and set herself with all all her
heart to find it out.
In the meantime, little Cherry was a
concern, — all life, amazement, motion, and
what not; and, as every one of these matters
became known to her, she hasted
M'Ion with the news, and laid all open to
him. She told him of her cousin's deplorable
antipathy against him. How she had
desired her to forbid him the house, and, on
her refusal, had written to her father to
come and take her home, rather than that
she should be compelled any longer to endure
his company. — "I told her," said
Cherry, "that the thing would never do, —
that you were Joseph's friend, and Mrs
Johnson's, and mine, and that we could not
spare you for any of her whimsies. So, when
she heard that, what does she, but goes and
writes to her father to come and take her
"I am afraid, dear Cherry," said he,
"that these words should scarcely have
been told."
"They were no secrets, sir," returned
she, "else, God bless you, I would not have
told them for all Gattenside. She requested
me to tell you the one, which I absolutely
refused; and the other she told me
before Mrs Johnson, or rather Mrs Johnson
before me; and some bitter reflections
there past on the subject. I never tell a
secret. Any body may trust me with, a
"But, dearest Cherry, when you absolutely
refused to tell me the message, do
you think your cousin could expect that you
still would deliver it? Or, suppose she
might, do you consider what poignant pain
such a message gives to me? There is not
another sentence in our language that could
have conveyed such another pang to my
"Ah, if I had known that, I should have
been the last person in the world to have conveyed
such a pang. Why may you not then
suppose it untold, and then every thing
will remain as it was?"
"That is now impossible. But no matter.
My heart is too full to talk more to
you at present, sweet Cherry. Please meet
me at the Agency-office to-morrow at this
"That I will, with all my heart. Goodbye."

Bitter were M'Ion's reflections on hearing
his mistress's unaccountable message
and subsequent resolution. He loved her
above all the world. He had set his heart
on her, and had never wittingly offended
her by word or deed. For all her shyness
and the maidenly distance that she had affected
of late, he had never doubted that
she regarded him with partiality. He could
not help calling to remembrance the happy
days they spent together in the country.
How they had walked and reclined by the
lovely burn — gone hand in hand to church
and returned in the same way home again
and how, in presence of her parents, she
had sat on his knee, with his arms around
her slender waist; "and now," said he to
himself, "are all our endearments to come
to this?"
He had been the daily or hourly visitor
of our lodgers, just as it happened. Joseph
and he went to college together two or three
times a-day, and returned in the same manner,
spending all their spare hours from
study with one another. But now, all at
once, M'Ion absented himself, and was no
more seen within their door. With true
Highland spirit, he took her at her first
word, never thinking of the way in which
he had offended, namely, by never making
his love known. Day came after day, but
no lover or gallant appeared now to either
of our young ladies. When a foot was
heard on the stair, every eye was turned to
the door, but the foot always went by, or
into the kitchen; the handsome form of
M'Ion appeared to salute them no more.
Joseph went constantly to his friend's room,
without taking any notice of the change.
He liked the latter way best. Cherry was
terribly in the fidgets; her bright blue eyes
had turned from one face to another, until
they were actually grown larger than usual
She looked like a child that had committed
a grievous fault, and was afraid of being
found out. Gatty had repented of her impatience,
had been reconciled to her nurse
and had some hopes of also being reconciled
to her lover. A calm came over her spirits
it was that of cool reflection. "Perhaps he
may never have boasted of my affections,'
thought she, "and why should I ween so
hardly of him? By manifesting such
high sense of wrong for nothing, I can only
expose myself. Why may not I wait
while with patience, and, by relaxing a little
in my haughty demeanour toward him,
may yet hear the only words for which
would wish to live?"
But by the time she had assumed this
mild condescending mood, her lover had begun
to absent himself, and it was assumed
in vain. Many a time the blood rushed to
her cheek, for well she knew his foot on the
stair; and when it seemed to pause on the
landing-place, her breath would cut short
but still the foot went by. Mrs Johnson
soon took notice of it, and asked Joseph
about him. Joseph knew nothing. Was
he well enough? Quite well. What ailed
him, then, that he did not come and see
them as he used to do? Joseph did not
know. He knew of nothing that ailed him.
At length, when several days had passed
over, and the ladies were by themselves,
Mrs Johnson asked if any of them had
given offence to young Boroland? "Not
I," said Gatty; "I never gave the young
man any offence in my life, except perhaps
in teaching him to keep a due distance,
which he took all in good part. Perhaps
cousin Cherry may have been telling him
some romances out of the house, or frighting
him by making more love to him."
Cherry never lifted up her eyes, but kept
looking stedfastly at her seam, and both of
them instantly knew where the blame lay.
"What have you been saying, Miss Cherry?"
said Mrs Johnson. Gatty repeated
the question. Still there was no answer,
but they saw a tear drop on the cambric
that she was so busy in sewing.
"You have been carrying tales of our private
conversations, I fear, cousin, and perhaps
have not related them fairly," said
"I have said nothing but the truth, and
of that I will never be ashamed," said she.
"But you are ashamed, cousin; and that
shame on your brow, and blush on your
cheek, are tell-tales. If one may credit
them, you have not been telling the truth."
"After you have found me out telling a
lie, I give you leave to discredit me all the
rest of my life. I told M'Ion no lies, but
the plain honest truth, which I will likewise
tell now; for I think nobody should
say that of their friends behind their backs,
which they cannot say before their faces. I
would not do such a thing for the whole
town of Gattenside. So I told him that
you had desired me to forbid him this
house; or, at least, that you sent your compliments,
and requested that he would shew
his face here as seldom as it suited his conveniency;
for I gave it precisely in your
own words. But this went all for nothing;
for I told him that I absolutely refused to
deliver your message; that we could not
want him, and was not to be deprived of his
company for your whimsies. So then I told
him, that when you heard this, you instantly
wrote to your father to come and take
you away home, that you might be freed
from his intrusions."
Before this short speech was concluded,
Gatty had changed colour three times;
but only in a slight degree. Mrs Johnson
entered into a strain of sharp reasoning
with Cherry on the impropriety of her conduct,
and how untenable her principles were,
with regard to the retailing of private conversations.
In the meantime, Gatty had
a little time to reflect on the injudicious
exposure her witless cousin had made of
her failings, and her caprice; and how ridiculous
a figure she now was doomed to
make in the eyes of the youth whose esteem
alone she valued. These reflections were
not to be borne; they deranged the regular
current of the fountain of life, sending it to
the extremities, and back to the heart several
times, with such power and velocity,
that at length it chilled and stagnated
the spring, and poor Miss Bell sunk quietly
into a swoon.
How dreadful was Mrs Johnson's alarm
when she saw her beloved ward fallen back
pale and lifeless on the sofa! She took her
in her arms, rubbed her temples, and called
for Cherry to run for help. Blinded with
tears, and half distracted, Cherry ran for
assistance; and, by a kind of natural instinct,
ran straight into M'Ion's room, entreating
him in the most frantic style to
come down stairs, for that her cousin, Miss
Bell, was dead.
"Dead!" exclaimed M'Ion, dropping
his book on the hearth; "God in Heaven
forbid!" and, in his night-gown and slippers
as he was, in a moment he stood at
Gatty's side, and had her by the hand
"Was this change momentary?" said he
Mrs Johnson answered that it was. "Then
I hope it is only a swoon, and that she will
soon re-animate." He held her arm in both
his hands, and looked at her face. Her head
was fallen back over Mrs Johnson's arm
her glossy and luxuriant ringlets hung
straight down. "Her pale lip does not so
much as quiver," said he, "and her pulse
is motionless. Good God! what is this!"
He then began to fumble about his dressing-gown
for his lancet-case, for he had been
studying surgery for an accomplishment,
but not finding it there, he again ran to his
room, and as instantly returning, he proceeded
to let blood. But by this time Mrs
M‘Grinder was come into the room, who,
perceiving the young gentleman's hand shaking
as if he had been struck with a palsy,
she took him by the shoulder and turned him
away, declaring that he should not break
either a living or dead woman's skin in her
house, with a hand shaking in that manner.
"It's ten chances to ane that he hits
the vein by half an inch," said she. "Od,
the man's no fit to let blood of a Highland
quey in sic a quandary as that." M'Ion,
who noted his own agitation, acquiesced in
the officious dame's mandate, and gave place
to the regular surgeon whom she had brought
from the next door.
By the time that he arrived, they had
carried her into her own room, and laid her
on the bed; but still she discovered no
signs of returning life, and, of course, their
alarm gained ground every moment. Cherry
had several times begun to cry, and scream
out in extremity, but was as often checked
by Mrs Johnson, lest she should fall into
hysterics. The surgeon bound her and
and rubbed it — tightened the ligature, and
rubbed again, using every common method
of restoring animation, and all with
same effect; the vein would not rise, and
the lancet made only a white wound. "Sir;
said M'Ion, "if this is only a fainting fit
surely it is one of more than ordinary duration?"
The doctor held his peace, keeping
his finger close on the pulse, and his
eye fixed on her face. At length, after a
long and anxious pause, he said, "I fear it
is all over, and that life is indeed extinct.
I must run home for some apparatus; and
I beseech that you will instantly send for
some farther assistance," (naming some medical
Mrs Johnson heard only the first sentence.
She sunk down at the back of the
bed in a state of utter stupefaction. Cherry
ran from one room to another, giving full
scope to her grief; and Mrs M‘Grinder,
instead of running for more medical assistance,
fell to looking out some of her whitest
and most beautiful sheets, whereon to lay
out such a comely corpse, thinking to herself
all the while that this burial would turn out
the best cast that had fallen to her house since
the day that she first opened it for lodgers.
M'Ion, being thus left the only efficient being
beside his still adored mistress, he put
his arm below her head, and raised her up
to a half sitting position. Having done
this, he put his right arm around her breast,
and, squeezing her hard to his bosom, shed
a flood of tears on her neck, crying out, in
stifled accents, "O God of life! restore
her! restore her! restore her!' And, having
prayed thus, he pressed her pale and
placid lips to his. While in this affecting
position, sobbing with the anguish of despair,
and unseen by mortal eye, he felt her
bosom give a slight convulsive throb, and
shortly after heard, with inexpressible joy,
intermitting and broken sounds of respiration
issuing from her breast. He still continued
to hold her up in his arms, calling
on Mrs Johnson for assistance, who only
answered him like one speaking through her
sleep. At length he perceived that both
his mistress and himself were involved in
a torrent of blood. Her arm, which still
continued bound, had burst out a-bleeding
and bled most copiously. In this state was
he sitting when the doctor returned, supporting
the lady in his arms, and literally
covered over with her blood, while she struggled
hard with him, manifesting great agony
in her return to sensibility. The surgeon
then loosened her arm, stemmed the bleeding,
and roused up the nurse, telling her
all was well, and forcing her over the bed.
By this time Mrs M'Grinder had come in
bringing with her an armful of the most
beautiful sheets, pillowslips, cushions, and
counterpanes imaginable. With what ghastly
and forlorn looks she fixed. her eyes
the bed, when she saw the lady again living,
and looking wildly from the one side to the
other! The lucrative funeral expenses had
all vanished from her grasp at once, and she
was not able to repress her chagrin, which
was manifested both in her looks and words.
Her first exclamation was, (alluding to the
blood on the bed,) "Oh wow, sirs, my good
feather-bed! I declare it is utterly wasted;
and cost me good ten pounds. My fine
counterpane, hangings, sheets, and altogether
— Who ever saw the like of that?"
"Hist, hist," said the surgeon, " no word
of those things just now, if you please."
Her tongue was fairly hushed. That
surgeon's word was to her a law, for a reason
she well knew, and so did he. He then
turned to M'Ion, and asked him with great
civility if he was the young lady's brother?
He answered in the negative, with looks
that betrayed abashment; but the other
added, "Because it is necessary that she be
undressed, and the bed-clothes shifted, besides,
look at yourself, such a sight would
be enough to make a young lady swoon who
was well enough before. That is all, sir;
you have only done what it behoved every
acquaintance to have done in such an emergency."

M'Ion went to his own room, and dressed
himself, but waited in vain for word to
return. Growing impatient, he went down
and tapped at the door, and was admitted
by Cherry at once, who opened it, and only
to all his inquiries continued repeating,
"Come in, come in." He entered accordingly,
and found the two matrons in attendance,
the doctor having retired. Gatty was
still extremely uneasy and unsettled, repeating
the name of M'Ion frequently with
great vehemence, and in apparent agitation.
Mrs Johnson felt the utmost anxiety on
this account, fearing she would both commit
herself, and insult the young gentleman
whom they all valued so highly, and
whose late dismissal they so deeply regretted.
The sight of him, even in that half
insensate state, had turned Gatty's wandering
thoughts to the theme, for she began
talking of him with more vehemence than
before; and, perhaps, alluding to the things
told him by her cousin that affected her so
deeply at first, she said vehemently, "Who
was it that told M'Ion? Was it you? or
you? It is your pride to expose me to those
who come only to see the nakedness of the
land —"
"Sir," said Mrs Johnson, "it appears
that your presence agitates her too much;
let me beg of you to withdraw." he did
so, muttering to himself as he went, "This
marked antipathy, amounting, it would
seem, almost to hatred, is certainly very
extraordinary. Nay, it is more; it is both
unnatural and ungenerous. Wayward and
ungrateful Agatha! It shall be a while ere
my presence torment you again."
Alas! little knew he the hidden sentiments
or the value of the heart he was
breaking. But he deemed that she was inquiring,
in high displeasure, who told him
to come into her presence.
Gatty soon recovered, but continued in a
low and languid state all that afternoon and
the following night. No one present with
her knew that M'Ion's embraces had restored
her to life; but they told her that he
had attended during her alarming fit, manifesting
great sorrow and agitation. When
she heard that, all his former neglect vanished,
and all the supposed and dreaded
injuries that he had committed in boasting
of her affections sunk away, and were disbelieved
as some unmeaning slander. She
had forgiven all in her heart, and longed
more to see his face, hear him speak, and
say some words of kindness and reconciliation
to him, than for all things she had ever
desired in her life; and, expecting him to call
and ask for her, she arose and dressed herself
next day, and came into the parlour, that
he might have no excuse for not seeing her.
She even took more pains in dressing herself
that morning than she had ever done
before; and though habited like a sick person,
it became her most charmingly. Mrs
M'Grinder was the first to observe it. After
asking her how she did about noon, she
added, "There's nae doubt, Miss Bell, but
death will make angels o' some o' us, if no
of us a'; at least the ministers gar us trow
sae, and it's no our right to refute it. But
bee ma trouth, death has made an angel o'
you already. I never saw you look half so
beautiful. You are just like a new creature.
Like something newly cast off the
fashioning irons for a pattern. Na, but
look at her, ladies, gin I be speaking beside
the truth or no."
Mrs Johnson and Cherry both acquiesced
in the dame's certification, that Miss Bell
looked charming; and the consciousness of
beauty lent that never failing charm, that
improves it more than all the borrowed
roses and ornaments that the world produces.
What a pity that M'Ion would not
come in while that lovely bloom continued!
It is little that most men know either what
is said or what is thought of them, and it
is sometimes a mercy that it is so. But O,
what a grievous circumstance it was, that
one should be sitting fretting and pining in
one room, from an idea that he is forbid admission
into the one next him; and that
another dear object should be sitting in this
latter, like a transplanted flower blighted in
the bud, fretting, and pining even worse, because
he will not enter. One would have
thought that an ecclaircissement might
easily have been brought about in such, a
case; but it seems that etiquette had withstood
that, for it was never effected.
THAT very evening, who should arrive
with the Pringleton coach, but our good
friend Daniel Bell, and with him his nephew-in-law,
that is, his wife's brother's
son, Richard Rickleton, Esq. of Burlhope,
and farmer of seventeen thousand acres of
land, on the two sides of the Border. He
was a real clod-pole — a moss-jumper — a man
of bones, thews, and sinews, with no more
mind or ingenuity than an owl; men nicknamed
him the heather-blooter, from his
odd way of laughing, for that laugh could
have been heard for five miles all around,
on a calm evening, by the Border fells, —
and, for brevity's sake, it was often contracted
into the blooter. But, with all these
oddities, Richard Rickleton was as rich as
Croesus; at least he was richer, by his own
account, than Simon Dodd of Ramshope,
and that seemed to be the ultimatum of
his ambition.
The cause of Richard's coming to Edinburgh
was no other than to commence an
acquaintance and courtship with his cousin,
Miss Bell, and that at the suggestion of
both her parents. From the tenor of their
daughter's letters, they both agreed that
something more than ordinary was the matter
with her; and, though none of them
ventured to pronounce what that something
was, they also agreed that the sooner they
could get a husband for her the better, for
they both suspected, what they dreaded to
say, that there was some love disappointment
in the case. They were also aware,
that a disappointed maiden is seldom hard
to please in her next choice; so they concluded
that they might easily bring about
a marriage with her cousin Dick, which
would prove what is termed a good bein
down-silting. At all events, Mrs Bell had
often hinted at such a project long before,
but Daniel always put it off the best way
he could. Finding now, however, that there
was like to be no hope of his darling M'Ion,
he yielded to his wife's project. Dickie was
delighted beyond all bounds with the proposal,
and many a bog-shaking laugh it
afforded him, both before he set out, and by
the way. — "Sutor me, uncle," said he, "if I
has nae forgotten what the wonch is like!
But I hopes that she stands gay and tight
on her shank-beams, and has a right weel--
plenished face — Hoo-hoo-hoo! Hoo-hoo-hoo!
I's gang wi' thee, and see what she's like;
and, wod, if I likes her, I's gie her a fair
bode. O how I wod like to suter Simey
Dodd! — Rabbit him for a massy chit! —
He wad gar fo'ks trow that naebody has
siller but the sel o' him — Hoo-hoo-hoo! —
can do ony thing but he — Hoo-hoo-hoo!"
Well, to Edinburgh comes our new wooer,
escorted by no less a man than the father
of his intended sweetheart. She was
sitting on the sofa, casting many a wistful
look towards the door, when, all of a sudden,
she heard a noise, as if horses had been
coming up the stair, and the next moment,
her father and Richard Rickleton, Esquire,
stood before her. He was of a Herculean
make, with red hair, immense whiskers of
the same colour, his face all over freckled,
and mostly overgrown with thin hairs, of
the colour of new mahogany. He neither
bowed, nor beckoned, nor opened his lips,
but came striding in, rubbing his hands,
and making for the fire-place.
Gatty, my dear bairn, what has been
the matter with you?" said Daniel, on entering,
—" have you been ill?"
Gatty was so overcome at the sight of
her father, and so perplexed about the cause
of his coming, that she could not answer
him, farther than by giving him her hand,
which was moist and warm. Mrs Johnson
answered for her, and told him that she had
been a little indisposed the foregoing evening,
but was quite recovered.
"Wod, I likes the wench middling weel,
uncle!" said Dickie; "sutor me if I dis not!"
"Gatty dear, this is your cousin, Mr
Rickleton, come to see you," said Daniel;
"you have met with Mrs Johnson, sir, before
this, as well as your other little lovely
cousin here."
"Snuffs o' tobacco!" said Dickie; and
coming close up to Gatty, he looked in her
face, keeping his hands still below his coat
and behind his back. "Why, cousin Aggy,
is tou married?" said he.
"That a question, sir!" returned she.
"Why, because, d'ye see, cousin, that
baith thee dress and thee cheek looks something
wife-like — And a devilish bonny wifie
thou wad be, too! Sutor me an I wadna
gie a hunner punn that Simey Dodd saw
thee sitting in the nook at Burlhope-ha', in
that same style — Hoo-hoo-hoo!"
The ladies looked all at one another, and
every one joined in the laugh, although it
was so obstreperous, that they were ashamed
to hear such a sound in their dwelling. But
a joining in his laugh being a compliment
seldom paid to Dickie, he went on, in a
voice louder than that of a drill-serjeant —
"And, over and aboon that, cousin Aggy,
an thou be's not a wife already, rabbit you!
is it not a very easy thing to make thee
one? — Hoo-hoo-hoo! Eh — Hoo-hoo-hoo!
Eh — What says thee to that? — Oh, thou
says naething at all — thou's blate and mimmou'd,
wi' thy tale! Weel, weel, thou'lt
soon get aboon that — Hoo-hoo-hoo!"
Daniel asked for his son Joe, and for his
young friend M'Ion, and was told that
they were together in the latter's room, and,
as usual, seldom asunder. He instantly
desired to see them, and sent Cherry up
stairs with his compliments. M'Ion, however,
excused himself, but requested that
his worthy friend Mr Bell, and his nephew,
would join him at half past five to dinner,
as he had a friend or two to be with him,
whom he could not leave, to enjoy the company
of his Border friends in any other
way. When the message came down stairs,
Daniel looked his watch — "Half past five!
exclaimed he; "I fancy the chiel means to
make it dinner and supper baith, and save
a meal! But there's aye unco little scran
gaun amang women — I daresay we maun
take the hint. Laird, what say you to it?"
"Snuffs o' tobacco, uncle!" said Dickie;
"what care I where I get my dinner! I
likes to get something worth the while o'
eating and drinking, but I disna trouble my
head in what place I gets it, or wha I gets
it frae. M'Ion? — Is that the blade that
slightit my cousin Aggy there, and maist
gart her coup the creels for sake o' him?"
All the party stared at each other, with
looks of consternation. This irreclaimable
rudeness was too much for them, especially
for the nerves of Miss Bell, not yet in a
state of perfect repair; and Mrs Johnson,
seeing her begin to change colour, was
alarmed, and tried to check the volubility
of this Ajax, but to no purpose. — "Snuffs
o' tobacco, auld roodess!" exclaimed he,
"what hae ye to say? Oh ay, cousin Aggy,
I kens where I is now! — and I can tell thee
I has nae warm side to the buck neither —
very little thing will gar me cross horns wi'
him! An thou had been a common-looking
quean, I wad never hae mindit, but to gie
the glaiks to a wench like thee! — Damn
him if I disna sutor him for't!"
Joseph, who had come into the room in
the interim, hearing this address, laughed
at it with such violence, that he sunk on
the floor, and, with a boyish knavery, anticipated
some grand fun from the arrival of
his cousin Dick, for he knew him well, and
always staid a week or two with him each
summer. Joseph staid no longer than to
salute his father, but hasted up stairs again
to his friend, and with a countenance beaming
delight, announced the arrival of the
redoubted laird of Burlhope, clapping his
hands meantime, and exclaiming, "Oh,
what glorious fun we shall have with him!
You never met with such a fellow in your
life, sir! If you will but fill him half drunk,
he will go out to any of the streets in Edinburgh
without his hat, and dare every man
there to single battle!"
"I should be very sorry to see any friend
of mine make such an exhibition, or of your
own either, my dear Joseph. Pray, has he
nothing else to recommend him save such
extravagancies as these?"
"O yes, sir; he is a great natural philosopher,
equal, in some respects, to our Professor,
and far exceeding him in others.—
For instance, if you should ask him about
the bird called by the Borderers the heather--
blooter, what a striking and feeling description
he will give you of it; or of the little
wolf-dog; he is equally entertaining and
intelligent about both these in particular,
and many other heavier matters. I am sure
that, before you and he part, you shall
acknowledge him the most original fellow
you have ever met with."
M'Ion then went away, and engaged two
of his friends to dine with him, beside the
two Borderers; for he had engaged none before,
that having been merely a pretence to
excuse himself from meeting with Gatty,
at whose behaviour he had been much displeased
of late, and highly affronted. But
he knew there were always plenty of his
countrymen ready to accept of an invitation
to dinner, even on short notice; accordingly
he procured two to join him, whom he
supposed would be as great originals in the
eyes of the Borderer as the latter would be
in theirs. These were Callum Gun, and
Peter M'Turk, both late officers of certain
regiments no longer existing, two genuine
Highland mountaineers; and to their dinner
all the four came at the appointed hour, as
well as Joseph, who had joined his father
and cousin.
The remarks of the laird of Burlhope
during dinner were such as to make the
Highlanders stare; for the former, valuing
himself only on his riches and bodily strength,
not only neglected, but despised, all the little
elegant rules of courtesy. He would at one
time have broken any man's head who would
have disputed his being richer than Simey
Dodd, but he now insisted on being twice
as rich, at the peril of life and death. At
this time, however, he ran no risk of such a
dispute, for these north-country gentlemen
knew nothing of either him or the object of
his jealousy. But by the time the cloth was
removed, the bluntness and homeliness of
his remarks caused them several times to
break out into a roar of laughter. Old Daniel
rather felt uneasy at this, for he heard
that these were laughs of derision; but Dick,
observing no such symptoms, joined them
with his Hoo-hoo-hoo, in its most tremendous
semiquaver. These vociferous notes still
raised the laugh against him, though every
one present felt for him, except Callum Gun
and Joseph, who both enjoyed his boorish
arrogance mightily, deeming that the more
ridiculous he made himself, the sport was
still the better; therefore, at some of his
rude and indelicate jokes, Callum clapped
his hands, and laughed even louder than
the laird himself. The latter was so much
pleased with this, that he turned to M'Ion,
who sat next him, and asked him what was
the chap's name?
"Callum Gun," said M'Ion.
"Eh? do they really call him Gun?"
said Dick. — "By my faith, I wad break
ony man's head that wad call me sic a daft--
like name!"
"It is his own name, sir," said M'Ion,
"his father's name, and the name of his
"Hoo-hoo-hoo!" vociferated Dick —
"heard ever ony body sic a made lee as
that? — Hoo-hoo-hoo!— A gun his father?
I wad hae thought less an his mother had
been a gun, and then he might hae comed
into the world wi' a thudd! Then, according
to thy tale, he's the son of a gun, and
that used to be thought a name o' great insultation
at our skule. — Na, na, Maister
Mackane, ye maunna try to tak in simple
fo'k that gate. — Ye may tak in a bit green
swaup of a wonch, but ye maunna try to
tak in men frae the same country."
M'Ion looked at Mr Bell with astonishment,
as if expecting some explanation, but
the old man only blushed to the top of his
nose, and then, to hide this confession of
guilt, lie applied his handkerchief, and uttered
a nasal sound louder than a post-horn.
Joseph was like to fall from his chair with
laughing; and Callum, rolling his eyes from
one face to another, felt great inclination to
join Joseph, but the looks of his entertainer
and the other stranger deterred him. He
could not, for all that, help joining the
youth now and then with a loud "Eheh!"
which he as quickly cut short and restrained.
Dick was no judge of countenances, and
knew not one sort of expression from another,
but, hearing a laugh in the party, he
imagined he had said something exceedingly
witty, and went on
"After a,' I disna see what right ony
chap has to blaw in a young thing's lug,
till he has made her that saft and soupple
to his will, that he may twine her round
his finger, and then to turn his back and
leave her lying in the slough o' despond. —
I thinks that a blade wha wad do that
should hae his haffats cloutit."
"Certainly," said M'Ion, not in the least
understanding what Dick meant, or to what
he alluded; but, assured that he meant insolently
to some one, and anxious to turn
his ideas into some other channel, he answered
— "Certainly; I think so too, sir.
Pray, Mr Rickleton, before I forget, could
you procure me a pup from some of your
Border breeds of dogs? — I am told that
you have many curious and genuine breeds
in that country. For instance, is there any
remains of the little wolf-dog in your neighbourhood?"

Dick gave over eating, raised himself
slowly up in his chair, turned his face toward
M'Ion, clenched his knife firmly in
his hand, bit his lip, and, with a countenance
altogether inexplicable, looked stedfastly
in M'Ion's face, without uttering a
word. M'Ion had wished to improve on one
of the hints given him by his young friend
Joseph, desiring to make the boor at least
tolerable, by drawing him into some subject
that he liked, and that he understood
something about; and quite unconscious of
having given any offence, he met Richard's
eye several times with the most mild and
gentlemanly demeanour possible. The latter
continued his threatening attitude without
moving, fixed in the position of a dog
that has taken up a dead point. All the
party sat in silent alarm; and even Joseph
gave over laughing, for he perceived his savage
attitude, which M'Ion did not, he being
sitting close beside him, and engaged
in helping some of the party with his good
cheer. Dick at length, seeing nobody like
to take any notice of him, or to appear the
least frightened, broke silence, and, in a
stentorian voice, said — "I'll tell thee what
it is, honest man; bee the Lord, speer thou
that question at me again, if thou dares,
for the life o' thee!"
"Dares, sir!" said M'Ion, without any
anger in his voice — "I hope you did not
mean to apply that term to me by way of
defiance? I made the request to you in
good fellowship, and I shall certainly do it
again, until you either comply, or refuse it.
— Can you, I say, procure me from your
country a breed of the little wolf dog?"
"Ay, ay! — gayan bauld chap, too!" exclaimed
Dick, and again fell to the viands
before him; but at every bite and sup he
took, he uttered some term of bitter threatening.
— "Little wolf-dog, i'faith! — No
very blate neither! Weel, weel, I'll mind
"Thank you, sir," said M'Ion.
"Thank me, sir!" exclaimed Dick;
"sutor me an I disna thank somebody
though, or them and me part!"
Callum perceiving his savage humour,
and likewise desirous of drawing his attention
to something else, and knowing of nothing
save that which he had been talking
of before, it struck him that it would be
better to lead his thoughts again to that,
or any thing, rather than the little wolf-dog
so he interrupted his smothered declamations
with a speech.
"I beg your pardon, Mr M'Ion," said he:
"but I think you interrupted this gentleman,
Mr Rickleton, as he was proceeding
with some very interesting remarks about
a gentleman that had abused the confidence
of a fair inamorata; and as I am always
interested in every thing that relates to the
other sex, may I beg of him to let us hear
that business thoroughly explained. Pray
sir, were you not hinting at some story
about a fellow, that had whispered in a girl's
ear, and who had fallen into a slough, or
pond, just as the little wolf dog popped in?'
"Little wolf dog again!" exclaimed Dick;
"whispering a girl! a slough and a pond!
and all crammed together? Why, thou
son of a gun, I suppose thou wants a neck--
shaking, dis thou?"
"Nephew, I beg you will tak a wee
thought where you are," said Daniel, "and no
speak to gentlemen as they were your toop
herds. You hear the story of the little wolf--
dog and the ostler's wife has been tauld a'
the way to Edinburgh; and ye ken gentlemen
maun be letting gang thae hits at ane
anither. Let me hear anither ill word out
o' your mouth, and I'll soon put thee down."
Richard wanted to show off before his
uncle in courage and strength, and felt no
disposition, at that present time, to go to
loggerheads with him, so he judged it proper
to succumb, and he again sunk into the
sullens, muttering occasionally to himself
such words as these: "Dammit, but I'll
wolf dog them yet! them! the heeland pipers!"
In short, he continued so surly
through a part of the afternoon, and contrived
to render himself so disagreeable in
spite of all that could be done to please him,
that at length, when the wine began to
operate a little, none of the three north-country
gentlemen cared any further how much
they offended him, for they all felt offended
with him already, but judged him below
their notice, farther than to make game of.
Accordingly, at a convenient time, M'-
Ion thought he would make an experiment
of the other hint given him by his young
friend Joseph, who, at his father's command,
had by that time gone down stairs to the
ladies. To be sure the last had succeeded
remarkably ill, but it was likely this would
succeed better, and if not he did not care.
"Is there a creature on the Border fells that
they call a heather-blooter?" said M'Ion
carelessly, looking Dick in the face.
"Wha the devil bade thee ax siccen a
question as that, mun?" returned Dickie.
"I'll tell thee what it is, sur — Here I sit.
My name is Richard Rickleton, Esquire.
I am laird of Burlhope, a freehauder i' the
coonty o' Northoomberland, a trustee on the
turnpike roads, and farmer o' seventeen thousand
acres o' land. I hae as muckle lying
siller ower and aboon as wad hire ony three
Heilandmen to be flunkies to the deil, and
I winna sit nae langer to be mockit. I
scart your buttons, sir."
"Shentlemens! Shentlemens!" cried Peter
M'Turk, "what for peing all this prhoud
offence? There is such a fellow as the hadder-blooter.
I have seen her myself, with
her long nose; and she pe always calling
out Hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo."
"I scart your buttons too, sir," said Dick,
scratching the ensign's button with his nail.
"I suppose thou understands that, dis thou?"
"Nho — Tamn me if I dhoo!" said Peter,
with great emphasis.
"Then I suppose thou understands that,
dis thou?" rejoined Dick; and at the same
time he lent Ensign M'Turk such a tremendous
blow a little above the ear, that it
knocked him fairly down, and he fell with
a groan on the floor, like a bull from the
stroke of a butcher's ax.
"Good God! what does the brute mean?"
cried Callum, in a key of boundless rage.
"Sir, this must be answered elsewhere,
and in another manner," said M'Ion, opening
the door; "you are not fit to sit in the
company of civilized beings — I desire you to
walk out."
"Sutor me if I stir from the spot till I
have satisfaction," roared Dick in his native
bellow. "I am a gentleman. My name is
Richard Rickleton, Esquire. I am laird of
Burlhope, a freehauder, a trustee on the turnpike
roads, and farmer of seventeen thousand
acres of land. I have been insulted
here where I stand, and I'll have amends."
"This is my house for the present, sir.
There shall be no brutal uproar here. I
say walk out before matters get worse, and
do not compel me to force you."
"Thou force me! Nay, coome; thou's
joking now. I should like to see ane double
thy pith force me either out or in!"
M'Ion in one moment had him by the
shoulder, and ere Dick had time to get
his brawny legs set firm, or so much as look
about him, he was at the door, and that
bolted behind him. But then there arose
such a bellow of threatening, swearing, and
heavy blows on the door, and the other door
on the landing place, that the people within
were terribly alarmed, and were calling for
the police out at three windows at the same
time; among the rest, Joseph was calling as
loud as any; such a fracas was marrow to
his bones. The policemen soon arrived, but
before that time Dick had by main force
split one of the doors in pieces, though not
the one that he was turned so quickly out of;
but they were so close to one another that
he knew not which was which, and broke
up the wrong one. The women of the
house were crying out "murder" and "robbers;"
for he was cursing and threatening
death and vengeance on some one they knew
not who, and running headlong into every
room in search of the company he had left.
The men instantly seized him, and desired
him to come along; but such a compliance
was the farthest of any thing from Dick's
mind. He asked no questions, made no
excuses, but commencing the attack, laid on
the policemen with all his might and main,
crying out at the same time, "a wheen mae
heeland devils! I believe them thieves thinks
to carry a' the hale warld afore them. Coome,
coome now, that's not fair: ane at a time,
scoundrels, an it pleases thee; and I'll let
thee see what men are made of."
Dick was however fast secured, hauled
down stairs, and away to the police-office,
in the middle of an immense crowd of raggamuffians,
among whom was his cousin, Joseph
Bell, enjoying the whole scene in the
most superb degree. Dick knew nothing
about policemen, or a police-office, or
what they were going to do with him, but
still deemed that it behoved him to fight
his way out of the scrape he had got into,
otherwise it would fare the worse with him
He conceived himself to be in the same situation
as he wont to be when engaged in a
row at the Border fairs, and actually excited
himself in no ordinary way to overpower his
adversaries the policemen, who again and
again pronounced him to be possessed of the
devil. Joseph had taken care by the way to
spread the report among the mob that it was
for housebreaking he was taken up, and this
piece of information spread like fire, and was
actually at the police-office before Dick. He
was there thrust in among a few culprits as
outrageous and unmanageable as himself,
though not endowed with half the bodily
strength; and there he first learned the extent
of his crime, with the addition that it
was thought he would strap for it. Dick
at first denied, asserting that he had only
broken a head, not a house; but by degrees
the truth dawned on his mind, that he had
broken open a door, and made a bit of a dust
in a house; but he asserted, at the same time,
that he had been most unwarrantably turned
out of the house by the neck, a thing he
would never submit to. Joseph turned home
at the door of the police-office, quite overjoyed
at the scene that had taken place; and
so light and buoyant were his spirits, that
he ran home as if treading the paths of the
wind. He hasted up stairs with the news,
but the party were otherwise engaged, and
none of them thought proper to go and procure
the enlargement of the outrageous Borderer,
leaving him in the meantime to reap
the fruits of his imprudence.
We should now return to the party whom
we left so abruptly with the policemen; but
as every one will wish to learn how Dick
came on in his new birth, we shall follow
him into it, and recount how matters went
on there. At first he strode through an
through the apartment, fuming and raving
at the treatment he had received on his
first coming to Edinburgh; but at length he
fixed upon a tall raw-boned fellow in a black
coat, and in the course of a few minutes conversation,
they two were engaged in a quarrel.
Dick was as jealous of a strong man as
a rich one, and unless he could be acknowledged
the superior in either case, he wa
never at ease. He asked the man what he
was put there for? He answered, that it
was not for housebreaking, and in a sullen
mood withdrew. But Dick followed and
harrassed him with questions and explanations
about himself, till the man in the black
coat lost patience; and, turning to him, he
asked sternly, if he wanted a quarrel?
"Why, master, I's ane that leykes joost
as weel to have a quorrel as to miss yean
ony teyme," answered Richard. "I have
tould thee whae I is, and what I have, and
a' the mischief that I has deune, that gart
me be brought to this place; and I think
it's right unneighbourly of thee no to tell
me ae word in return. I fancy thou's some
broken minister, wi' thy lang black threadbare
coat? Or maybe thou's ane o' the
tinkler gang, that has borrowed a minister's
coat out o' the lobby on some cauld dark
night? — Ay, thou may stert to thy feet. I
kend I wad pit thee asteer an there were spirit
in thee. But afore thou opens thy mouth,
hear me out. If thou'lt tell me whae thou
is, and what has been thy crime, I'll gie
thee a bottle o' wine; and if thou winna,
I's resolved I'll fight thee. So here's outher
an open fist or a closed ane for thee, ony o'
them thou likes."
The tall man with the black coat stared
at him in surprise, measuring him from
head to foot; but of all the sentences in
Dick's speech, there was but one made a
deep impression on his heart. It went even
deeper than his heart, for it penetrated even
to his stomach, and radiating from thence
thrilled to the soles of his feet. It was the promise
of a bottle of wine. Inclination made
two vain efforts to lift up his right hand,
which offended pride as often pressed down
again, but at the third effort the victory was
won. The bottle of wine, or rather the
feeling of thirst prevailed — his hand sprung
upward with a jerk — seized on the hand of
his persecutor — and each of them lending
their whole force to a brotherly squeeze, they
shook each others hands most heartily; and
the man in the long black coat leading Richard
apart to a form, the two sat down together.
The former then laying the one
knee over the other, turned his face to Richard,
and began a formal, and, as his friend
thought, a most eloquent harangue.
"Sir, that you did hint your suspicion
that I belonged to the exploded and despised
race of the wandering Egyptian tribe
is true. But that, sir, I regard, or rather
disregard, as a passing jest. You then testified
your belief, sir, that I was a decay
minister of the gospel; one of these in
that would rave, and fume, and act the hypocrite
for a piece of bread, which yet is denied
him. No, sir, a greater than any psalm-singing,
benefice-seeking, creamy-lipped sycophant
is here. I am a gentleman, sir — A
gentleman in the highest acceptation of the
term —"
"Whoy, mun, that's a character ane dis not
meet with every day. — Here, jailors! Bring
us in a bottle o' the best wine in Edinburgh.
— ken nae how thou feels, friend, but rabbit
me gin I dinna find that it teaks a thousand
a-year to uphaud that title. — The wine here!
ye dogs o' rogue catchers and prison keepers."
The wine was peremptorily refused, to the
high chagrin of Dick, and the utter discomfiture
of the gentleman in the black coat,
whose voice waxed fainter, declining to a
dry whistling sound as he thus proceeded.
"Certes, a gentleman born and bred. Not,
it is true, of great and ample possessions, but
of prospects unbounded. I have done more
to extend the glory and honour of my country
than any man that perhaps ever was born.
But how has she rewarded me? With a
stepdame's portion indeed! Were I to relate
to you but one-twentieth part, sir, of the
injustice I have suffered, it would take in
the length of this disgraceful night. But
I will not add to its regrets, by recapitulating
them. — I wish we could have had the
wine, else I shall not have heart to go on. —
I am one, sir, of the small gifted class that
has always soared above the rest of the human
race, one of those to whom mankind
have looked up with wonder while living
and with regret and admiration when dead.
You have heard of Homer, sir, of Virgil
and of Shakespeare? Have not you hear
of Shakespeare, sir?"
"Whoy, yees, I thinks I have. Wos he
not a fencing-master?" returned Dick.
"Shakespeare a fencing master!" exclaimed
the man in black, holding up both hands
"O let not genius seek remuneration for the
thing it was; for beauty, wit, high birth, desert
in service, love, friendship, charity, and
subjects all to envious and calumniating time.
One touch of nature makes the whole world
kin! For thee, most noble, most enlightened
lord, knight, gentleman, or be what will
thy title — Praised be the parents thee existence
gave! Famed be thy tutor, and thy
parts of nature! thrice famed, beyond, beyond
all erudition! But he that disciplined
thy arms to fight, let Mars divide eternity
into twain and give him half. I'll not praise
thy wisdom, which like a bourne, a pale, a
shore, confines thy spacious and dilated parts!
Shakespeare a fencing master! Well let it
pass. But that, ha, ha! But that, I say, outbeggars
all in nature. O all ye host of heaven! O
earth! What else? And shall I couple hell?
Oh fie! hold, hold my heart! And you, my
sinews, grow not instant old, but bear me
stiffly up. Shakespeare a fencing master!
— Would that we had the wine!"
"I kens that I has somehow often heard
the neame, though I never saw the man. But
although thy language is rather aboon my
binn, I can gather that thou's the blade thysel."

"Thank you, sir; most courteously do I
thank you; for your discernment's quick.
Though last not least, sir. You are right.
Quite correct. Pray, have you skill in craniology
that you discovered a latent truth so
soon? a fact that men have doubted even in
the teeth of obvious demonstration? Pray,
sir, feel my head. Feel such a protuberance
is there. And then for adoration, feel such
a bump, sir. It is like the edge of a hatchet
heel — Is it not?"
"Whoy, 'tis like thou hast met with a better
hand at the cudgel than thine own some
time," said Dick, feeling his head carelessly,
without knowing one jot about the meaning
of it. "But from the little that I does
know of thee, I always took thee for some
great man. And de'il a doubt's o't; for all
thy long black coat. But pray, sir, I am still
in the dark — what brought so great a man
"It was love, sir, precious and immortal
love! No wonder that my coat be bare. You
know it to be a costly thing even to keep but
one mistress, whereas, sir, I have nine. Yes
sir, I have nine, all of them virgins. You
have heard of the Muses, sir? The nine
adorable sisters?"
"Yees, I thinks how I has," said Dick;
"their feyther kept a chandler's shop in
Kelso, did he not?"
"Sir, thou art a most knavish wag. A
gentleman of a shrewd wit as I have met
"So the mowther of me always said. But,
Master Shakespeare, are you not an unconscionable
dog to take nine sisters into keeping?
I am amazed how their consciences
Would let them. How did you manage to
woo them all?"
"I woo'd them as the lion woos his mate.
When they proved shy, I seized on them by
force, and held most sweet communion till
the jades grew all benevolence. I thought
to add a tenth; a lovely mortal thing, and
force her to espousal. But O, perdition quell
the strains of woman's voice, and these curst
terrier dogs — Here do I lie! Would that
we had the wine!"
"Whoy, mun, and we shall have it too before
thou and I part. But for love's sake, let
us have some of thy funny stories wi' the
chandler's daughters.''
"Now by two-headed Janus,
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time;
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes;
And laugh like parrots at a bagpiper.
I'll tell thee more of this another time."
Richard still continued as ignorant of the
rank and profession of his fellow-prisoner as
ever, but he had some obscure impressions
that he was a notable fencing-master, and
had a mind for some trial of strength or
skill with him, before they parted. At this
precise time, however, a lieutenant (or master
of police, as Richard called him,) came to
examine such aggressors as had been committed;
and there being some witnesses in attendance
who were impatient to be set at liberty,
Richard was first brought up to the
bar between two constables. The judge was
a pursy old man, with an exceeding large
red nose, and considerably drunk.
"Well, sir, who are you?"
"Whoy, sur, I's Richard Rickleton,
Esquire, the Laird of Burlhope, a freehauder
in the county of Northumberland, a trustee
on the turnpike roads, and farmer of
seventeen thousand acres of land."
"Ayh! and how came you, sir, from all
these honours, to be kicking up a riot in our
streets here?"
"I wos kicking up no riot on the streets,
mun. Thou's telling a lee."
"Policemen, what is this fellow here
charged with?"
"With housebreaking, and putting the
inhabitants in fear of their lives," was the
answer. "We were sent for before we went
to our stations. There were cries of murder
issuing from the upper flat of No. —;
and when we went up stairs, we found he
had split the main door to pieces, and was
breaking up every apartment in the house,
swearing and threatening destruction to all
"The man must be a fool, or mad," said
the Judge. "Some drunken scoundrel from
the country, I suppose."
"Ney, ney, not so fast, Master Judge;
I's neither a scoundrel, nor the blood of
ane," said Richard; "and I'll mare be
called soochan neames by any poony reidnosed
capon in your dirty town."
"I say you are a scoundrel, sir; and
none but a scoundrel would break into people's
houses, and threaten their lives."
"I take all here wotnesses. Dom the
reid-nosed piper, if I'll sit oonder soochan
a name," cried Dick; and, in one moment,
he sprung from between his guards, seized
the Judge by the throat, back over with
him, and began a mauling him most furiously.
The Judge roared out in the utmost
horror, "Seize the dog! seize the dog, for
God's sake! choke him! choke him! take
the breath from him!"
The policemen tried to do so with all
their might, but their efforts, united with
those of the Judge, could not master Dick,
until they had to procure more assistance
from without. He was then forced indignantly
into the black-hole, or strong-room,
without farther hearing, and locked up securely,
with orders that he should not be
liberated on bail, till the morrow at the judgment
The trial of his mysterious companion
came on next, to which Richard listened
through the key-hole with deep interest.
He had persecuted a beautiful lady, who
was reputed to be of great fortune, with
his addresses, which she always slighting,
he had that evening intruded on her privacy,
and behaved so rudely and so extravagantly,
that she was forced to deliver
him over to the police. Richard now heard
that his new acquaintance was a poet; one
of a rhyming dissipated set, calling themselves
the Burns' Club, who met periodically
at a low tippling-house, to flatter or
mock one another. Richard had, however,
conceived something very high of a poet,
and resolved, if ever he got out of that dungeon,
to find out that same Mr Shakespeare,
whose real name, it appeared, was Will
Wagstaff, to give him a bottle of wine, and
if possible procure an introduction to the
nine MOYSES, the chandler's daughters of
Kelso; and perhaps to this tenth mistress
of his too, in whom he had taken a deep
interest, from the account he had given of
her in the police-office.
But it is time we were now returning to
our party at M'Ion's lodgings, the harmony
of whose intercourse had been so
much marred. The moment that M'Ion
had turned Dick out of the door, his attention
was turned to his friend M‘Turk,
who, in spite of all they could do, remained
for a long time insensible; and at length,
when he came to himself, he imagined he
had been knocked down that moment, and
set himself forthwith to answer Dick's last
query to him. His mind found him again
precisely where Dick left him, and at that
same period we must take him up. "I
scart your buttons, sir," said Dick; "I
suppose thou understands that, dis thou?"
"Nho; dhamm me if I dhoo," said Peter.

"Then I suppose thou understands that,
dis thou?" said Dick, knocking him down.
The Ensign lay as long as one will naturally
take in reading these intermediate
pages, and then setting up his head, as if it
had never reached the ground, "Yhes;
tham me but I dhoo understand that!" said
Peter; and rising up staggering, he pulled
out his dirk, crying, "Fhaire is the dog, of
a bhaist, of a saivige? Oh, he is peing te
plessed scoundrhell! Is he not? By to Sassenach's
cot, put I will make te miller's
sieve of his side! Fhaire is he, I say?"
"You must challenge the mongrel, and
shoot him," said Callum, "else your name
is disgraced. You have been insulted, and
knocked down at your friend's table."
"Challenge him!" exclaimed Peter;
"huh! and will she not? She'll put as
many pullets through him as there pe hairs
on his whole pody. Fhaire is te dhog?
Challenge him! Hu shay, shay! Let her
alone for that."
"No, no," said M'Ion; "the thing
cannot be. The fellow that would lift his
hand against his associate at table, is a ragamuffian,
and can never be challenged as a
"Fhat then is the trhue shentleman to
do? To stand still when he is knocked
down, and not to say a word?" said Peter
"That, sir, was my blame," said M'Ion,
"in placing you at my table beside such a
boor; and yet I am guiltless, never having
in my life seen the fellow, nor heard of his
name before."
M'Ion would have gone on with his explanation,
but was interrupted by old Daniel,
who said, in a haughty tone, "I have
from the beginning seen how this matter
would end, that the whole blame would be
cast on my shoulders; and I must say at
once, that though I do not approve of my
nephew's mode of retaliation, I approve still
less of the manner in which he has been
treated by you. There are some sair subjects
in every man's life, gentlemen — some
wounds in every character, that it is rather
unpleasant to have exposed too rudely. On
these you fixed, in this instance, without
mercy, driving him intentionally beyond
forbearance. He has given broken heads
for these jests before now, nor do I think he
has acted so very far amiss at present, as to
be called a fellow, a boor, a mongrel, and a
ragamuffian. What the devil! Is a country
gentleman, sir, a freeholder of the county of
Northumberland, a young man possessed of
as much property as all the half-pay officers
of a Highland regiment put together, sir,
to be mocked and insulted by a beggarly
ensign of local militia, forsooth? By the
blood of the Border, sir, I say my nephew
did what he ought to have done. And he
that says he did not, let him ask satisfaction
of me."
M'Ion was now hardly bested. The
blood of the Border, and that of the Highlands,
were both in a flame, but he beckoned
the young Highlanders to peace, and
took the responsibility on himself of replying
to Mr Bell's perilous insinuation. He
was going to state to him, that he did not
know the topics were disagreeable to Mr
Rickleton, deeming the contrary to have
been the case. However, the effects of wine
and wrath prevented this explanation, for
he never got farther than this: — "I say,
he did not what he ought to have done, Mr
"Well, I say he did, sir; and if you
have any thing further to say, you know
where to find me," said Daniel, and strode
out at the door, carrying his head particularly
high. The three young gentlemen
were left in a quandary, gazing at one another;
M'Ion testifying the deepest grief,
and most poignant vexation, at the offence
taken by his worthy and respected friend,
Mr Bell, whom he said he had for a number
of years regarded more as a father than
a common friend. This shut the mouths
of the other two from uttering any reflections
on the old man's behaviour, but not
from the most potent abuse of Richard,
whom they loaded with every opprobrious
During this grand climax of the conversation,
Joseph entered, out of breath, and
hardly able to articulate with delight, as he
gave them the history of his cousin Dick's
adventures, how sturdily he fought, and
with what difficulty he was got immured in
limbo. He likewise informed them what
grand sport he had formerly seen with Dick
at Otterburn races, when the heather--
blooter, and the little wolf-dog were mentioned
to him — that the former was a nickname,
which he deprecated, and bragged
that no man alive durst call him by it to
his face; the other, relating to an unfortunate
amour with a married girl, who had
once been a servant of his; in which affair
he had nearly been both worried and drowned.
M'Ion was quite angry with Joseph for
leading him into such an error, but Joe
thought the sport still the better, and declared
his determination to have more fun
with his cousin before he left Edinburgh.
The young gentlemen then went instantly
out, and spoke to two householders of
their acquaintance, to bail Richard out of
confinement, for they were sorry at having
been the aggressors, however rude he had
been to them; and most of all, for the offence
taken by old Daniel on the part of
his kinsman. They could not help acknowledging
to their own hearts, that they had
used both a little cavalierly; so they accompanied
the two citizens to the guardhouse,
where they heard all bail refused, the
headlong Borderer having rendered himself
liable to a criminal trial, on account of his
having attacked the person of his Judge.
Accordingly, they returned home to consult
what was next best to be done; and Joseph
being of the party, heard all their consultations;
and concluding that, in the end,
all was like to end amicably, he took
measures accordingly, and went down stairs
to his father and the ladies.
Daniel had testified the utmost impatience
from the time he had joined them,
as well as high displeasure at M'Ion and
his friends. Gatty's blood ran cold within
her, when she heard some of his expressions,
dreading that the last door of intercourse
between her and her lover was now
shut; and if so, she felt the sole hope and
support of her life had perished. In the
mean time, Joseph came with the news, and
with feigned concern, related his cousin's
mishap. Daniel lost no time in setting
about his liberation, and by engaging a relation
of his, of high repute in the law, soon
accomplished that which had been refused
to the two grocers. But then, on Richard's
return at a late (or rather an early) hour
such a discussion ensued, so long, so loud,
and so vehement, that Gatty soon left them,
greatly indisposed; and at length they all
went to sleep, Richard and Joseph in the
same bed, as bad luck would have it. There
the evil-disposed imp set himself, with all
his art, to rouse up his cousin's violent humour,
by representing to him how he had
been insulted and abused as a low ruffian,
below the character of a gentleman. That
M'Turk would have challenged him, had
the others not persuaded him, that no man
who valued his character could have any
thing farther to do with his antagonist,
than kicking him out of doors; — that his
father had taken his part, and justified him
in what he had done, leaving a challenge
in effect on his nephew's behalf, with any
of the party that liked to take it up.
This hint of all others roused Dick's valour
the most, and he declared, that his old
uncle Dan should have nothing to do in
the matter, neither as principal nor second.
"You are much more a man to my mind,
cousin Joe," added he; "and if you will
stand by me, rabbit me, but I will astonish
the dogs."
Joseph promised faithfully, and it was
resolved between the two, ere ever they fell
asleep, that next morning Richard was to
challenge all the three, and then let them
make the most of it they could. Accordingly,
they were early astir, and at it; and
as Joseph refused all assistance in penning
or inditing the challenges, these were left
entirely to the genius of Richard. There
was only one thing he was solicitous about,
namely, whether the challenger, or the
challenged, had the right of choosing the
weapons. Joseph assured him, that the
challenger had the right, a custom that had
emanated from rules in use in the most
chivalrous age of France; at which our
champion was not a little delighted, swearing
he should then have some play with
the fellows. Accordingly, after an hour's
exercise at hard study and writing, he produced
the following three cards: —
"I SCART your buttons again. You insulted
me, and I repaid you, perhaps, a little
too hard. I therefore give you another
chance, and dare you to single combat,
either with cudgels, or broad-swords, at
such time or place as our seconds shall appoint.

"To Mr Peter M'Turk."
"I SCART your buttons. You mocked
and disgraced me in your own house; and I
dare you to single combat, with muskets, at
regular battle distance, such as our seconds
shall appoint.
"Yours, &c.
"To Richard M‘Ion, Esquire."
"I SCART your buttons; and dare you
to fair battle, with any weapons you chuse,
from a doubled fist to a munce-meg.
"If one of these challenges are refused,
I will brand the whole fraternity of you for
dogs, mongrels, ragamuffins, and cowards!
"Yours, &c.
"To Lieutenant Callum Gun."
When these were finished, he called up
Joseph, and read them over to him, one by
one, chuckling with delight. Joseph commended
them highly, as masterpieces of
spirit and good humour, and testified no
small wonder at his cousin's powers of composition,
so much superior to his address.
"Snuffs o' tobacco, cousin Joe; what
signifies address?" said he; "or how can
a man hae address, that never spoke to ony
body a' the life o' him, foreby herds and
drovers? But I was five years at Jethart
schools, and twae years at Durham; five
and twae make seven, a' the warld over.
And gin a man whae had been seven years
at the schools, couldna indite a challenge,
it would be a disgrace. Sutar me, if I
dinna think my learning was weel bestowed,
were it only for what I hae done this
Joseph went to each of the gentlemen
apart, and delivered him his cousin's message,
begging, at the same time, that he
would take no notice of the singularity of
its manner, for he would find the challenger
one that would not flinch a foot from
his purpose. He likewise requested of each
gentleman to return the card into his hand,
that whatever might be the consequence, it
might not appear against his cousin or himself
in evidence; for that he only produced
it in testimony of his kinsman's resolution;
and with this request every one of the gentlemen
instantly complied, informing Joseph,
that he should hear from him by the
mouth of a friend
When the three met, and the whole absurdity
of the thing became manifest, the
two young Celts burst out into a roar of
laughter, and essayed to treat the matter
as nothing else than a piece of absurd buffoonery.
In this they were not joined by
M'Ion, who gnawed his lip in utter vexation,
assuring his friends that they would
find it turn out a very disagreeable business,
and one not to be got quit of with
good grace. "It would be an easy matter
to prove him guilty of ungentlemanly behaviour,"
said he, "and refuse to meet him
on these grounds. But I hate that last
most miserable of all shifts, and would rather
meet the fellow at once, would he subscribe
to the rules common among gentlemen."

"I believe," said Gun, "the only way to
get rid of such an animal, will be to meet
him on his own terms."
"Hu! Thamm me if I shall pe dhoing
any such tings," said Peter M'Turk. "For
Cot pe taking me tiss mhoment, if I ever
lifted proad-ssvord or cudgel either, in to
mhatters of offhences or defhences, in all
my phorn lhife."
"It is our countrymen's most celebrated
weapon," said Callum Gun; "and a noble
weapon it is! It further appears to me, that
this Border Hector brute, as he appears to
us, has made choice of that weapon to give
you the advantage, from a sense that he has
behaved towards you with rudeness. I must
acknowledge, that I like the humour and
spirit of the fellow better than I conceived
it possible for me to do."
"Dhamm his plood, and his pones, and
his great piggermost head of confusion and
apsurds, if I dhoo pe liking one little piece
of his whoule pody and schowil," said Peter.
"Cot pe outfacing him, if she'll not
shoot him through and through the pody,
and come to his nose with dirk and pistol,
but I'll not be prhained with a trhee, nor
hacked with a clheever like a bhoutcher's
cauff. Nho; tamn me if I shall!"
"At all events," said M'Ion, "we must
each of us depute a friend to commune with
this madcap boy; and, moreover, none of
us can chuse one another, but must apply
to some new friends to act for us; so that
the whole ridiculous business will be divulged
to the world at our expense. Were
the challenger like any other reasonable
being, matters might easily be accommodated;
but that he is not, is quite apparent;
and besides, the frolicsome youth, his
second, will urge him on to every extremity,
the more extravagant the better, out
of mere fun. For my part, I wish I were
rid of it; most of all, for the sake of those
connected with him."
M‘Ion's friend was the first to wait on
Joseph, and tried to persuade him that the
thing was all a joke — a good frolic — that it
would be worse than madness to persist in.
But he found Joseph quite of a different
opinion, and resolved, at all events, to insist
on the most ample and public apology
being made to his cousin, or to abide by the
result. The other adverted to the ridiculous
choice made of the weapons, asserting
that such a thing was entirely unknown in
the laws of duelling. Joseph denied this
and gave him two instances, on high authority,
of the same mode having been
chosen and acceded to. But he said he had
no objections in the world what arms were
used, only that he must persist in the challenger
having the right of choice, and proposed
to speak to his friend, and request
his consent that muskets might be exchanged
for pistols in the decision of their
quarrel. The other requested him to do
so, assuring him he would find his friend
reasonable in every thing.
Joseph went to his cousin Dick, and
found him sitting brooding over his courageous
enterprise with the utmost satisfaction,
and quite impatient for the glorious
consummation. Joe mentioned the proposed
exchange to him, but he refused it indignantly,
saying, "That he was determined
to fight them all with different weapons,
to shew them that he was their master
in every thing; and as he knew he
would be obliged to fight Callum Gun with
pistols, which was a great pity, he insisted
on fighting M'Ion with muskets, or small
fowling-pieces. But," added he, "gie my
compliments to him, and tell him, if he be
the least frighted, I'll allow him a tree."
"A tree!" said Joseph; "What do you
mean by that?"
"Whoy, I joust means this," said Dick,
with the most perfect seriousness, "that
allow him to stand behind a tree. I'll never
object to that, and I'm sure, that's very
"Why, my dear cousin," said Joseph,
laughing like to fall, "that gives you no
chance whatever."
"Never you fear that, man," returned
Dick; "when he sets by his head to take
his aim at me, I'll hold you that I have him
first for a guinea."
Such a proposal was the elixir of the soul
to Joseph; he went away and delivered it
straight. The message, as may well be
supposed, put both the second and principal
into a notorious rage, and they resolved,
that they would no more be mocked
by a fool, but meet him on his own terms,
and be done with it. Business accumulated
on Dick's hand, as well as on that of
his second. The latter was left to the sole
management of the duelling part, while his
heroic cousin was obliged to go and appear
in the Council Chamber, to save his bail,
and answer to the charges lodged against
him. His friend, the lawyer, undertook
the management of every thing, else it
would have been the worse for the aggressor.
He spoke to the people into whose
house Dick had forced his way — told them
the gentleman was in liquor, and mistook
the door, but was willing to make any reasonable
reparation; consequently, that part
of the business was soon got over, with a
few slight fines. But the attack of the old
lieutenant, who sat as judge in the police-court,
was like to prove a more serious matter,
and it required the young lawyer's utmost
cunning to get his client off. A
judge, in every sentence he pronounces,
keeps an eye to his own dignity, which was
apparent in this instance; for even the
proof that the lieutenant had called him a
scoundrel, proved no excuse for Richard's
ebullition of rage. Of this, the young limb
of the law was aware, and had been at pains
to ferret out every word and action of this
old nocturnal judge, from twelve at noon
till midnight; and then, fully satisfied of
these, and finding that nothing else would
do, he charged the police judge with having
been drunk, beastly drunk, at the time he
mounted the bench to pronounce judgment
on his client. The Sheriff-substitute, who
sat as judge, asked the lieutenant of the
truth of this. He denied it with indignation.
The Sheriff next examined the policemen,
who were present; they denied it
positively: on which the judge gave the
young lawyer, (or writer, I do not recollect
which,) a severe reprimand, for thus attempting
to calumniate a respectable and
venerable public officer. He was just about
to follow up this stricture with the pronouncing
of a heavy judgment on our friend
Dick, when the young lawyer got up and
made a speech in arrest of judgment. I
was present at this trial, as well as five or
six friends, whom I could name, and to
whom all the circumstances of the case must
occur on the perusal of this; in particular,
that young man's speech, which drew forth
peals of laughter and applause. The judge
deprecated the interruption, but the former
insisted on giving an explanation so peremptorily,
that he was permitted to do it,
though not without reluctance on the part
of the court. His speech was fraught with
irony, but any recapitulation that I can
give of it, from memory, at this distance of
time, is nothing but as the shadow to the
substance. It was something to the following
effect: —
"My Lord,
"Having been impeached here publicly,
from the bench of justice, with a disgraceful
and foul attempt to degrade a faithful
and judicious public officer, and being sensible,
that, as matters now stand, I must
appear in your eyes, and the eyes of all present,
highly culpable, I beg leave to state
the evidence on which my charge of drunkenness
was founded, by which I hope not
only to justify myself in part, but also to
lessen the atrocity of my friend's offence.
"In the first place then, my Lord, I
will prove by the testimony of sufficient
witnesses, whom I have here in court, that
this same worthy officer went, at one o'clock
yesterday, with other two friends, (naming
the individuals and tavern keeper,) into a
house at the foot of the Horse Wynd, on
public duty no doubt, and drank each of
them a gill of whisky as a forenoon cauker
or as one of the party expressed it, a hair
of the dog that had bitten them. I will
prove farther, that this same venerable public
officer went with another person into a
house in the Lawnmarket, at about ten
minutes past three, and called for a sharping
stone, which was brought, and which
appears they made good use of, for they
swallowed it up totally, and were obliged
to pay the landlady 1s. 4d. by way of damages;
this sharping stone being neither
more nor less than a half-mutchkin of strong
ardent spirits.
"I will likewise prove, to your Lordship's
satisfaction, that the same faithful
and judicious public officer dined with other
four, at a place denominated by them, the
Cheap Shop, in Candlemaker Row; and
have been at the pains to procure the individual
bills produced to the party at a
said cheap shop. At eight o'clock, the following
one was brought in, but not settled.
Dinner for 5, . . . . . L.0 3 9
Porter and ale, . . . . . 0 1 2
Whisky — Highland, . . . 0 0 8
Whisky tody, 24, gills, at 9d 0 18 0
L.1 3 7
"The worthy officer was thus obliged to be
absent for a short time, still on public duty,
which, it is to be supposed, he never once lost
sight of all this while; and on his return,
four of the party, he being one, sat down to
a strenuous rubber at whist. Now, my Lord,
you know this is a public duty that requires
a good deal of mental operation, and one
that no venerable man, grown grey in the
service, can support without a proper stimulus.
Accordingly, I find that each of
the party played his hand, with a smoking
tumbler at his right elbow, which never got
time either to cool or stand empty. I will
prove, my Lord, that the party sat at that
severe and debilitating public duty, till the
very moment this venerable officer was called
away to mount the tribunal of justice.
It will appear farther, my Lord, from this
other bill which was then produced at the
cheap shop, that the party had not been
idle. Cast your eye over it, my Lord. It
is shortly this. To 44 tumblers of tody,
15s. 6d. But it so happened, that this
public officer and judge chanced to have a
bad run of luck. He actually got hands
which (as he expressed it again and again)
the devil could not play; so that, though
they only played at three-penny points, the
honest gentleman was pigeon'd, and reduced
so low that he could not pay his shot,
which stands over undischarged at this hour.
One can hardly help regretting such a hard
dispensation, nor wondering that the result
turned out no worse. For you will see,
my Lord, by comparing rates, that the venerable
officer, provided he drank his fair,
proportion, had swallowed no less than the
contents of two bottles of whisky that afternoon,
before he sat in judgment on my
friend here at the bar, exclusive of the porter
and strong ale. Now, I appeal to yourself,
my Lord, if you could have mounted
the bench of justice at all after such a refreshment?
Or provided that, from bodily
prowess, you could have effected the ascent,
whether or not you could have been a proper
judge of right or wrong in such a state?
I contend that the thing is not in human
nature. It is impossible. And to authenticate
this, and show how our judge behaved,
I shall prove, that when my friend
here, a gentleman of property from the sister
kingdom, was brought before him for
having been guilty of a small mistake — a
mistaking of one door for another — why,
the first thing that this sober and upright
judge told him, was, that he was a drunken
scoundrel. The gentleman denied the
charge, as well he might; whereon this sublime
and indignant judge flew into a high
passion, and asserted, with great vociferation,
that he was a scoundrel, and this without
either trial or proof. My Lord, this is treatment
to which no free-born Englishman is
called on to submit. And had the gentleman
dragged him from a seat that he prostituted
and disgraced, and trampled him in
the kennel, he would have deserved the approbation
of our magistrates, instead of their
The judge made reply, that no breach
of decorum in one person was warrant for
any outrage committed by another; but at
the same time he dismissed the charge, on
account of the provocation given, and subjected
Dick only to two or three small fines
to the wounded policemen.
The witnesses against Wagstaff were next
examined. The first of whom was the young
lady of his most ardent and sublime affection.
Her appearance had a wonderful effect
on Richard, who, as he had anticipated,
was quite overcome by her beauty and
accomplishments. She was tall, blooming,
and animated, and gave her evidence in a
manner so humorous, and withal so good-naturedly,
that every one present was moved
to laughter against the poet, and to be
on good terms with her. Richard was perfectly
delighted, and resolved on finding
some means of introducing himself, perceiving
from the evidence produced, that no
dependence was to be placed on the interest
of his friend the poet.
The history of this lady was shortly as
follows: — She was the daughter of a sober
citizen, and was rather inclined to dress
and dissipation; insomuch, that her character
was becoming every day more and more
equivocal, when an uncle of hers dying at
Hull, left her a considerable fortune, independent
of her parents, or any other trustee.
From that time forth, there was no
lady who had so many followers and admirers,
although her manner of life was nothing
amended, but rather, at least with
regard to one married gentleman, either
worse, or less guarded. No matter; wooers
flocked from all quarters, and, among the
rest, our notable poet tried all the powers
of his blank verse to gain her affections;
and when that would not do, he made a
bold effort to carry her by a coup de main.
He was only adjudged to find securities for
his good behaviour, and got plenty of the
Burns' Club to sign their securities — men
who had as little to lose as himself. Richard
whispered him to meet him in half an
hour at his hotel, and resolving to see this
fair heiress home from the Sheriff-court, he
made straight up to her as she left the Council
Chamber. Beaus and gallants of most
curious description were crowding around
her, contending for the honour of her arm,
and elbowing one another in no very ceremonious
way to obtain this. There was
the collegiate dandy, a thing of stays, laces,
and perfumes; the greasy citizen, and the
forward impertinent bagman; the fraudulent
bankrupt, and the vender of blue litt,
alias indigo, all yearning to touch the lady's
beautiful hand, and her far more beautiful
and pure golden ore. What chance was
there for the blunt and homely professions
of love, esteem, or admiration, from the
lips of a herculean and obtuse-witted countryman,
any one may guess. But flick
was a man of resolution, and never dreamed
of being baulked in any thing he had
set his heart on, without giving it a fair
trial. So, casting himself in before the club
of needy wooers, he bustled through them,
making up to the lady's right hand, and
pushing such as ventured to oppose him,
aside with such violence, that some of them
tumbled on the ground with their heels
up, and some overthrew others. One great
lubberly bagman to a bibliopole lifted his
cane, and tried to knock our champion down,
never doubting that he would be joined by
all his opponents, thus held at bay as well
as himself; but the Borderer lent him such
a blow, that he staggered backward for the
space of ten or twelve yards, and then fell
fiat on the street. The boys huzzaed, and
Richard was quite uplifted. All this was
done in a few seconds, before he ever got
time to accost the lady; and the mob being
gathering around, he did not wait on
offering her his arm; but taking hers, he
hurried her off. She gazed up in his face,
articulating some words of surprise, but apparently
not at all displeased at the abruptness
and singularity of the introduction;
and the rest of her lovers having been all
driven back and mixed with the crowd, she
was glad to accept of such powerful protection;
so, to put a stop to farther opposition
or outrage, she disengaged her arm,
and putting it into his, walked lightly along
with her new admirer.
They got plenty of attendants all the
way to her father's house, and, among the
rest, some of the baffled lovers; but the
dangerous appearance and demeanour of
Richard kept all at a due distance. When
they reached the door, he kept hold of her
hand, as with a determination to enter into
some explanation; but she casting her eye
on the number of their attendants, and afraid
of a farther exposure, said, with a good natured
smile, "Pray, walk in, sir." Richard
complied in a moment; and ere ever he
had time to appreciate his luck, he found
himself in a small elegantly-furnished drawing-room,
alone with the object of his admiration.
The most part of men would
have felt a little awkward after such an introduction,
and reception; but Richard,
who was awkwardness itself, felt none. He
turned round full on his strapping beauty,
whose looks were as little daunted as his
own, took both her hands in his, and with
a certain nodding motion of his head. accompanying
every word, he began his courtship
as follows:—
"Naw — rabbit me! lady, if ever I beheld
soochan a woman all the days of my
"In what respect, sir?"
"D—n it, in every respect! So handsome
and weel coosten in lith and limb!
So clever! So good-natured! And so sensible!
And then, sooch a pair of eyes — sooch
a brow — and soochan bonny dimpled cheeks.
Rabbit me! an ever I knowed what it was
to be in love with a woman before! Nay,
now, that smile is not to be bworne; it gangs
through ane like an elshin and a lingel."
And with that he catched her in his arms,
and gave her a hearty smack.
"Please, sir," said she, "consider where
you are, and who it is that you treat with
such freedom. I know nothing about you,
neither do you about me, I suppose."
"And what should I ken about thee,
pray now? All that I knows about thee is,
that thy name's Keatie M'Nab; that thou
was in the Council Chamber the day as
weel as myself; and that thou's the ae bonniest
and blithest lassie that ever I set mine
eyne on. Now, thou's angry, like a fool,
because I gied thee a single kiss; but dis
thou ken, an' gie me my will, I could find in
my heart to kiss thee twenty years without
intermission, and without weariness? Thou
shalt soon ken all about me that either
thou or any broody else can ken. I's Richard
Rickleton, Esquire — the laird of Burlhope
— a trustee on the turnpikes — freeholder
of the comity of Northoomberland — and tenant
of 17,000 acres of land in England and
Scotland. Now — What does thou think
now? Does thou ken Simey Dodd of
"Thy loss is no great — He's a baughle.
He pretends to be richer than I, but I wish
I heard him,say sae. The chiel is gayan
rich; but, an I doosna count acre for acre,
sheep for sheep, and poond for poond with
him, my name shan't be Richard Rickleton,
Esquire, and I shall not be laird of Burlhope
neither, nor a troostee on the toornpikes
— heh! Him!"
I perceive there is a degree of rivalry
between you and Mr Dodd," said she. —
"But perhaps you do not know that I am
but a poor girl, and unmeet to be the companion
of so great a man."
"Whoy, woman, what's thou on about?
I's sure I has plenty for thee and I baith!
I disna care, an I had thee, whether thou
had a sack to the back o' thee or no."
"Is it true that you know no more of me
than you have said?" said she, with apparent
"Whoy, how should I?" said he. — "I
came but to town last night, and got into
an unlucky fray. And now it minds me I
have three combats on my hands, and may
be a dead man afore the morn. But, if I
live, wilt thou let me come and see thee
again before I go?"
"Certainly," was the answer. But the
lady's mother coming in, the conversation
became too miscellaneous for insertion, and
the redoubted Richard, after ingratiating
himself with the old dame prodigiously, on
account of his estate, his flocks of sheep, and
a twae thoosan poonds in Sir William's
Bank, lying at a per centage, went off so
much elated, that he ran along the street;
and basting to the hotel where the Pringleton
fly stopped, he there found his friend
the poet standing on the steps. The great
Shakespeare had been inquiring for Richard,
but, on proffering to wait in the coffee-room
till his arrival, was refused admittance, and
had been compelled to take up his rest on
the stone stair. Richard, in his full flow of
spirits, shook him by the hand, and then
led him by the shoulder, first into one room
and then another, and afterwards a third,
in all of which there was company. The
son of Apollo was quite confounded at the
original manner of his new acquaintance; he
knew nothing about ringing a door-bell, or
calling a waiter, but went, with unblushing
front, into every room that came in his way,
always addressing the company in each as
the people of the house, and never either
uncovering, or quitting hold of the collar of
his companion's coat. The poet objected
going into the third room, and drew back;
but Richard pulled him in, vociferating at
the same time, "Cwome along, mun, cwome
along! — What is thou hanging back for,
like a teyke in a tether? — I say, sir, is thou
the landlord of this house?" The nobleman
whom he accosted pointed to the door.
"I beg thee pardon, sir," rejoined Dick —
"I was only gaun to gie this chap here a.
bottle of port wine; and, in a public house,
I fancy ae man's money's as good's another's."
Without more ado, he helped
himself to a seat at the farther end of the
room, after compelling the poet to sit down
on the one next it; and, without quitting
his hold, he thumped with his heel on the
floor, as they do in country inns, to make
the waiter attend. The nobleman rang the
bell furiously, and a powdered waiter coming
in, pointed to the intruders. The little
spruce fellow came close up to Richard,
and with an inclination of his body, and a
subsequent caper in a reverse direction, articulated
the comprehensive question, "Sur?"
as Richard thought, in a very haughty
"Surr!" returned he — "Dis thou ken
whae thou's calling surr, with soochan a
snooster as that?"
"What are your commands, sur, if you
please?" rejoined the man of the towel, in
the same authoritative style — a style that
Dick could not brook.
"Why, sur," said he, "my commands
are, that thou take theeself off, clout and
all, and bring us a bottle of thee best port
wine, and some cauld water — Thou understands
that, dis thou?"
"Please to walk this way, sur," said the
waiter, bowing, and leading the way with
an unconscionable strut.
Richard held down the poet, and would
not move. — "Whoy, where is thou gaun,
with all them capers?" cried he; "this
here place will do well enough."
"I insist on my room being instantly
cleared of such cattle!" cried his lordship,
addressing the waiter.
"Whoy, what's thou saying about cattle,
mun?" said Dick, rising up, and coming a
few steps nearer his lordship; "whae is it
that thou's calling cattle, I would like to
ken? — I say, landlord, bring the wine here
that I have ordered; and if thou disna
clear this room for me, whoy, I kens of one
that shall soon do it for thee, that's all!"
The waiter was astounded. The poet
tried to make his escape; but Richard seized
him with a grasp that interrupted his flight.
The wily servant then, to save the credit of
his master's house, brushed up, and whispered
something in Richard's ear, that at
once overcame his pride and obstinacy, and
he actually followed Princox out of the
room, nodding to the nobleman, by way of
begging his pardon; and being conducted
to a retired place down stairs, the poet and
he had their wine, and their extravagant
conversation together. It was all, for a time,
about the lovely and adorable Miss Catherine
M'Nab, whom the poet declared he would
follow till death; and afterwards about the
nine Muses, the mistresses of the latter,
whom Richard supposed to be the chandler
of Kelso's beautiful daughters, the Moyses;
and being desirous of taking one or two of
them off his friend Shakespeare's hand while
he remained in town, Richard plied him
with wine, and the most fulsome flattery
about his personal appearance; for of all
mental qualifications our Borderer was totally
ignorant, not being at all apprized of
their nature, or what to say concerning them.
But the outrageous adventures of this
bullyquasher have led us too long away from
the thread of our tale, and, owing to the
way in which he came to be connected in it,
must, it is to be feared, lead us farther still.
In the mean time, we must return to the
point where we broke off, in pursuit of his
There was nothing but bad humour, and
a sort of half mystery, prevailed at the lodgings
of the Bells. The ladies found out
that there had been some serious misundestanding
among the party, and that it had
been on account of their kinsman Richard.
They perceived that old Daniel, who was
for the most part left with them, was in the
fidgets, and irritated at M'Ion; and this
discovery fell on poor lovelorn Gatty's heart
like an untimely frost on a flower that had
come to its blossom too early, exposing its
delicate bosom to the fervid ray, before the
guardian leaves of experience had closed
around it. Love was the fervid ray that
made this bud blossom too rathely, and disappointment
the chilling blast that made it
blench before its time.
"Let simple maid the lesson read —
The weird may be her ain."
She saw as if the hand of fate was raised
against her love, and felt as if some overruling
power had compelled her to take offence
where none was meant, and where no
cause could be rationally assigned why the
offence was taken. Now the parting with
him who was all the world to her, whom
she felt she had injured, and dreaded also
that he had been insulted by her father and
kinsman, melted her heart. What would
she have given for oblivion of the past! —
of the time when she had repelled all the
advances of her lover, from maidenly pride
and jealousy, and again to prove the attentions
and attachment of their early acquaintance!
As matters stood, however,
she could form no line of conduct for herself
but one, and that was, not to go and
leave him, — even this she had not the exclusive
power of fulfilling; she had brought
her father all the way from home, for the
express purpose of taking her with him, and
how was she now to evade compliance? A
maiden in love moves always in extremes,
she is either all coyness, pride, and jealousy,
or all tenderness and complacency. Gatty
was quite overcome with conflicting feelings,
and betook her to her bed a little past the
hour of noon, expecting to find repose of
spirit in the place where she daily found repose
of body, and no sooner was she laid
down, than she desired Mrs Johnson and
Cherry to leave her, that she might sleep.
But slumber was far distant from that
couch, and would not be wooed to return.
She was exceedingly unhappy, and soon
sought relief of heart in a flood of scalding
tears. Futurity presented nothing to her
distempered fancy but disappointment, sorrow,
and a broken heart, if she retired
again to the country, now that the last hold
she had of her lover's society there was
broken short by this misunderstanding betwixt
him and her father. And even if she
remained, she could hardly see how matters
could be again made up between M'Ion and
her, without too much humiliation on her
part, which, if yielded, might breed contempt.

Such were the thoughts that preyed on
her mind, as she lay sobbing, and drowned
in tears; and just when her cogitations were
at the bitterest, her father entered to inquire
how she was, and when she would be
ready for taking her departure; — for he
was just going to take out tickets for the
fly, he said, and would take them out for
to-morrow, or next day, as she inclined.—
She was not very well, she said, and doubted
much if she would be able to take the
Journey at this time, if indeed she was ever
able. She supposed her dear father would
be under the necessity of leaving her where
she was for a while, and returning without
Ye will be waur than you look like,
and waur than I think ye are, lassie," said
he, "if ye canna hurl out in the fly wi' your
cousin and me — An ye were at your last
gasp, ye wad rather be the better than the
waur o' sic a canny and a pleasant jaunt.
If ye turn sick or squamish, your cousin and
I will take ye on our knees time about, and
ye shall lie on our bosoms as easy as ye war
on a feather-bed."
"Me lie on Dick Rickleton's breast!"
exclaimed she; "I would sooner lie on a
bed of cut flint! Oh, father, how could you
bring that bear along with you? We will
be all affronted with him, every one of us,
before you get him out of town again."
"It is needless to make a short tale a
lang ane, daughter," said he; "I brought
in that same bear to be a husband to you.
Your mother is set on the match, and I am
naething against it. We suspect there is
some whaup i' the raip wi' ye — some bit
love dilemma that is hingin heavy on your
spirits, and we ken but o' ae cure for sic a
melody; — that cure is come to our hand,
in a rich, strong, hard-headed chiel, that
kens how to stand for his ain against a' the
warld; and if ye dinna approve o' marrying
him off hand, why, ye ken, ye can be nae
the waur o' being weel courtit, — it will maybe
spur on some other that ye like better."
During this speech, Gatty was lying
burning and shivering in restless indignation,
but the latter clause restrained for a
moment what she was about to say, and set
her a-thinking, instead of making any reply.
Daniel went on — "But as for leaving
you here, daughter, never speak o' that, for
it's the thing I winna do. — I hae neither
money nor time to spend to be coming
touning a' the way to Edinburgh for a
wench's whimsies. Ye shall gang hame to
your mother at present — that baith she and
I are determined on; and I'm gaun to
leave your cousin Cherry and Joseph under
the care of the nurse."
Gatty was still silent, for she found it
vain to reply; and she had no one to blame
but herself for this resolution of her father's
nor indeed, as she now felt, for all the
griefs that belaid her. O love! what inconsistent
things canst thou not make a
maiden to do? And what gnawing pains
canst thou not make her feel, by way of
"I shall take out the tickets for to-morrow,"
said Daniel, as he left the room.
"I wish I were dead!" said Gatty, and
turned herself over in the bed.
She had not lain long, before she heard
the stentorian voice of her cousin in the
dining-room, which added to her mental
agony; for her heart was so thoroughly
softened down, that it was too much alive
to every impression. He was elevated with
love, wine, and warfare, — these had the effect
of exalting his voice, at the same time
that they threw every idea in his addle pate
into a chaos of utter confusion. With all
this multiplicity of business on his hands,
he was buoyed up with the hope, that, in
and through his friend the poet's interest,
he was to have an assignment with one at
least of the chandler's beautiful daughters
that same evening. He asked carelessly
for his cousin Aggy, and, though told that
she was in bed, and much indisposed, he
heard not the reply, but asked other twice
in the same words, and always the next
minute. He was now quite in the fidgets
to meet Joseph, and, for all his undaunted
courage, he was occasionally seized with a
sort of anxiety, gripes that fastened on his
loins and shoulder-blades, and held him
yawning and racking himself on every short
interval. Joseph at last came in, and the
two retired to their sleeping-room; and
there our bully was informed that all the
three challenges were accepted on his own
terms, and all the meetings to take place
early next morning, at different places on
the shore of the Frith, a mile west from
Newhaven, and each of them within twenty
minutes of another. "So that you see,
cousin," added Joseph, "you will have hot
work of it; and the worst of it is, that if
you fall in the first encounter, both the remaining
rascals will escape with impunity."
"Punity or no punity," said Richard,
"I wish the combats had been the night;
for I's no perfectly at my ease, and I would
have liked to have been sae, for certain
reasons. Rabbit me, if I dare venture on
them Kelso lasses the night! they may
drive a body stupid."
"Ay, without driving him very far," said
Joseph. "But if you have an appointment
with any Border ladies, it is certainly proper
that I escort you; for, as your second
in affairs of death and life, I must watch
over all your actions to-night, that you may
be in perfect and complete trim to-morrow
morning, and that our country be not disgraced."

"Nay, nay, be thou nae feared, man,"
said Dick, "I's no very ill for taking fright;
and as for either fencing or firing, I'll stand
a match with any in the three kingdoms.
What, mun! does thou no ken that I fenced
twelve weeks under Stewart the Highlandman?
I'll tak in hand to hit ony man
in the king's dominions, with sword or cudgel;
and for a vizzy, I winna yield to man
living! How far a distance does thou mean
to allow us with muskets?"
"You said fair battle distance," said
Joseph, "and I was thinking of giving you
a space between of sixty yards."
"You may as well give us sixty feet,
cousin," said Richard." — Whoy, man, I'll
take a bet of forty guineas, that, at a hundred
and forty yards, I shall hit within an
inch of any button on his coat. But I'll
tell thee, Joseph; change pistols or change
swords with the seconds as thou likes, but
keep thou a grip of the musket I gies thee,
for the de'il a ane I'll fire but that. Ax
thou me nae questions, but do as I bid thee
there, and do all the rest as thou likes the
sel o' thee."
Joseph promised that he would, observing,
that a gentleman had a right to use
his own pistols, and why not his own gun.
The rest of the day was spent in languor
and restlessness, although they visited several
of the sights, as Daniel termed them,
which were then exhibiting in Edinburgh.
At half past four they dined at an ordinary,
where they met with gentlemen from every
quarter of the United Kingdom; and as
their dialect was the same as Greek to
Richard, and his only a degree better understood
by them, their conversation was
perfectly good-humoured, and as amusing
and edifying as the greater part of conversations
that one generally hears. At seven
they went to the theatre, where, by appointment,
they met the poet, he having a
free ticket, for writing scraps of theatrical
criticisms in the newspapers. At eleven
they went to see the nine Moyses, the tallow-chandler's
beautiful daughters; and, although
they were not all at home, Richard
was delighted beyond all bounds with those
that were. But, he being obliged to treat
the party, remarked that they kept an expensive
house, them Kelso ladies, and seemed
to ken very little either about their native
place or their native tongue.
Gatty continued in bed all that day and
night; and, as Richard absolutely refused
to leave town for another day at least, the
tickets were not taken out.
The next morning Joseph and he were
on the ground a little after the break of
day. It had been always that mischievous
boy's plan to turn the whole of the business
of the challenge into a farce, to the detriment
of his cousin Dick, to make him take
fright, to have him filled drunk, or otherwise
to make him miss his appointment;
and if all these failed, as they now had done,
he had hopes of making it up with the
friends to fire blunt shot, or to call a parley
at some unfair motion with the swords, or
otherwise, so as to put a stop to all violent
proceedings. He had hinted this to his
friend M'Ion the evening before, but was
confounded at the sharp indignant answer
he received. — "You may make a fool of
yourself, or any of your relations, as far as
you please for me, Joseph," said he; "but,
in doing so, you ought not to have involved
others, who do not choose to be mocked by
either you or them. You and he must now
abide by the consequences of your foolish
and absurd measures; and I have only farther
to inform you, that if any other person
but yourself had proposed such a motion to
me, I would have kicked him down stairs."
Joseph was, therefore, exceedingly disconcerted
and downhearted as they proceeded
to the field next morning. He had
meant only a practical joke, never thinking,
from the ludicrous manner in which
the challenges were given and expressed,
that they could possibly be viewed in a serious
light. Besides, the loss of his friend
M'Ion, by his own folly, was what he could
not endure to think of. The meeting between
that gentleman and Richard having
been appointed the first to take place, Joseph
endeavoured all that was in his power
to persuade his cousin to make some apology,
assuring him, that though M'Ion had
insulted him, it was altogether unintentionally
— that he knew nothing whatever of the
story of the little wolf dog, but merely mentioned
it at his instigation. Richard would
make no apology; nor did he even seem
much inclined to accept of one. He had
been insulted, he said, and turned out of a
door, and he would fight twenty combats on
the same ground. He had done nothing
that required an apology, and he would
compel his antagonist to make one, or do
worse. Joseph tried to intimidate him by urging
the necessity of his making a will, and
of saying his prayers; but Richard's comprehension
could not take in these — he remained
I chanced to meet with Mr Joseph Bell
at Captain Rodger's lodgings, in Drummond
Street, the day after this extraordinary
encounter but one; and, though the
conversation was wholly about the duels,
there was so much said about them that I
am uncertain if I remember the story so as
to relate all the circumstances according as
they happened; and I entreat that the
parties will excuse me if, in some small
particulars, I may be incorrect. It was
agreed between the seconds, on what
grounds I have forgot, that the parties
should fire alternately. But I think it likely
that it was because they conceived there
was no danger to either party at the distance
agreed on. M'Ion's second at first
proposed forty yards, but Joseph would not
listen to such an arrangement; and that
he might have room for a fair mediocrity,
proposed 160 yards. The gentleman laughed
at him, and said he would stand for a
mark to any man at that distance for a shilling
a time; and, thinking Joseph's caution
proceeded from fear, he became the
more obstinate, seeming to value himself on
the nearness to which he could bring the
combatants to each other; so that in spite
of all Joseph could say, 85 paces was the
distance to which he was obliged to consent.
They cast lots for the first fire, and M'Ion
got it; and as the seconds, on presenting
them with their muskets loaded, foolishly
persisted in keeping their ground, quite
nigh to their several friends, Richard gallantly
held up his hat, to direct the fire of
his opponent to the right person. Joseph
then fired a pistol as the signal, and instantly
M'Ion's ball whistled by, apparently
at a good distance. Richard mocked the
piping sound that it made with a loud
whew! there he goes! I wish all the
fishwives about Newhaven be safe. D—n
his blind eyne, if he's within a tether-length
of his mark." M'Ion held up his hat as it
behoved him, for both his second and Dr
L— were within a few yards of him.
Richard made himself ready. "I'll let him
see how a man shoots," said he. The second
fired his pistol, and ere the sound
reached the Borderer's ear, his musket was
discharged. He instantly set off, and was
going to run to see the effect produced;
but Joseph made him return and keep his
ground. He cursed the etiquette that
would not suffer a man to go and see his
shot; and said to Joseph as he left him,
"I ettled at the crown of his hat, but I
could as easily have taken his right eye."
Joseph laughed at the absurdity of his
daft cousin, as he often styled him; but
what was his astonishment, on going up to
the other second, to learn that the ball had
actually gone neatly through the hat, in
the very middle of the crown. Joseph said
in my hearing, that he behaved very ill on
this occasion, by boasting that M'Ion's life
had been fairly in his cousin's power, and
insisting that no farther exchange of fires
should be allowed. The pride of the Highlanders
was moved by this. They would
not submit to lie under any obligation.
M'Ion was appealed to; but all the satisfaction
that Joseph could get, was, that he
was willing, as before, to accept of an apology,
but declined offering any. Joseph
was piqued at the obstinacy of his friend,
and at his utter unreasonableness, and begged
of him to offer any thing that could be
accepted, as he well knew his cousin was
not the aggressor; and as he himself, out of
mere frolic, had been the occasion of the
misunderstanding, he entreated that he
might likewise be instrumental in making
up the difference. He likewise stated to
him, with great simplicity, what he dreaded
would be the consequence; but there he
touched on ticklish ground that instantly
broke off the negociation. M'Ion spoke
kindly and respectfully to Joseph, but remained
obstinate. He felt that, as matters
stood, he could not yield an inch without
being liable to the imputation of cowardice;
and, after much vain remonstrance, no other
expedient could be found but a second fire;
on which the seconds retired and loaded
the muskets and the signal pistols once
more; but M'Ion's second was not mocking
about the length of the distance that
All this while no one consulted honest
Dick, who, conceiving himself in honour
tied to the spot, and not at liberty to move
an inch, stood in the most desperate state
of impatience all the time this needless colloquy
was going on. He several times
waved his hat as a signal for the conference
to be broken off; and at length he put forth
such a voice as made the travellers on the
Fifan shore pause and listen, and all the
boatmen on the Frith lean upon their oars
"Hilloa! come out the gate here! What
are ye waiting on?" This he shouted with
a tone that awaked an hundred echoes along
the wooded coast; but then, tramping
through impatience, he spoke to himself as
follows: — "Ye hae moockle to make work
about. I could have laid all the three oop
at ither's sides in the hoff o' th' time thou
taking consoolting of it. Sutor me, if I
could not."
"You must stand another fire, and return
it too, cousin," said Joseph, as he came
up and restored to him his piece. "And
now that you have shewn the gentlemen
what you can do, I entreat that you will
fire in the air, or perhaps it would be better
to decline firing altogether."
Richard laughed with a loud ha, ha,
when told that he had put the ball neatly
in the centre of the hat's crown; and added,
"Whoy, the chap has no chance at all,
that's undeniable. But we'll see how him
coomes on this time."
Joseph retired a small space and fired his
pistol, while Richard waved his hat around
his head, and immediately M'Ion's
grazed the beach, within a foot of the place
where Richard stood. The latter started,
uttered some words of approval, and made
himself ready for returning the fire. Joseph
held out both his hands, and implored him
to refrain, but he answered, "Be nae feared,
mun; be nae feared. He's not hauding
up his hat this time through pride, and it
may be hard both to hit and miss. But I
have a kind of ill will at yon high-crowned
hat. Be thou nae feared, mun." As he
pronounced the last word, the signal pistol
was fired. Richard merely raised the piece
to his eye; he did not take the aim of a
moment before the shot went off, and M'Ion
"Confound your charging," cried Richard.
"If you have put in three grains too
little of powder, the man's gone! Confound
your charging, callant! If it struck an inch
o'er laigh, the man's brains are out! Odd
rabbit it, what will be done?"
As he said this, he ran toward the spot
where the friend and surgeon were busily
engaged with the body, leaving Joseph
quite behind, whose knees were become
powerless from grief and terror. Ere ever
Richard got near the heart-rending scene,
he kept calling out, "Has't hutten him?
Has't hutten him? Lord help us, has't
gane through his head?"
No one deigned any reply, for they were
both too busily engaged about their friend
to pay any regard to such a question put
in such a way; but Richard, unmindful of
their disrespect, went on, "Who was't that
charged her? Was't you, Master Second?
Confound your stupidity! I ettled through
the crown o' his hat, but he disdained to
lift it off his head. Thou hast naebody
blame but thysel. — Ho, ho! is that all?
He's not a penny the worse. He has got
ten a confounded knap, though. Well done
yet, little Blucher." That was the name
of his gun. It had a patent-threaded barrel.
Richard had practised with it for many
years, and could almost infallibly hit to a
hair's-breadth. He had by chance brought
it along with him for some small repair.
M'Ion still showed no signs of life; but
neither of his two friends had been able to
discover the wound, until Richard arrived,
who put his finger on it at the first instant,
knowing well beforehand whereabouts it behoved
to be. He had levelled at the crown
of his hat, and hit it exactly, but the ball,
in passing through that, had grazed the top
of the wearer's crown; and, though the
wound was hardly discernible, had stunned
him so completely, that he was a long time
deprived of all motion. Richard, however,
averred still, that "he was not a penny the
worse;" and, taking Joseph by the shoulder,
he drew him forcibly away from his
motionless friend, that they might go and
fight the next one.
At a short distance, in one of the lawns
of Caroline Park, they found Ensign
M'Turk, who, with his second, entered at
the same time with them. These two noted
Hebrideans had witnessed the duel on the
shore from a concealment at a short distance,
and had seen M'Ion fall, without
knowing whether or not the wound was
mortal. This had the effect of impressing
them both with wonder, and a considerable
degree of trepidation; and though each of
the three gentlemen knew perfectly of the
engagements with the others, it appears
that it was judged necessary to conduct
every one of the meetings ostensibly as private,
and unconnected with the rest, as
none such other existed; consequently, not
a hint passed on the ground with respect to
the affair with M'Ion; but an experienced
second might have discerned that an accommodation
would have been easily effected
with M‘Turk. He had been obliged to
accept of a decision with cut and thrust
swords, and had never in his life had a lesson
of sword exercise; therefore, having
witnessed his antagonist's success in an encounter
so unfeasible, he began to suspect
what really was the case, that our Borderer
with all his roughness of manner and rudeness
of speech, was a thorough adept in
manly and warlike exercises. He perceived
Richard and Joseph entering the avenue
without any other arms than a single musket,
it having been settled before that
M‘Turk was to bring two swords to the
field, and give the Borderer his choice.
Therefore, before the parties came in contact,
the Ensign stepped aside into the
wood; and his second, whose name I think
was M'Coll, came up to Joseph, and, in the
most swaggering manner imaginable, demanded
that his friend should straight make
an apology to Captain M'Turk, (as he was
pleased to term him,) "for te pig tamnation
plow tat he had peen kiffing him on te side
of te clàr-an-endainn, tat is te fore-face,
which was te shaime, and te tisgrase horriple;
and which no shentlemans on te
whoule creation of te arthy wourld would
pe submitting."
Joseph said he had no commission from
his friend to treat, or to abate one jot of
demanding full satisfaction; but that he
had himself considerably altered his opinion
since he last had the honour of speaking
with him on the subject, and was ready
to use all his interest in bringing about an
amicable adjustment between the gentlemen.

"Py Cot, sir," exclaimed M'Coll, whose
energy was still exalted by this condescension
in Joseph, "your friend has pehaived
so fery creatly peyond te pounds of te stuamachd,
tat is te corum, tat I question if my
friend will even pe exceptin of te pologies.
But ten, sir, py Cot, te Captain will pe cutting
him all into te small pieces. Fat!
Do you know, sir? See here. I would not
pe giffing tat small sprout of grass for his
life. Nhow I would not pe having it on
my conscience; and I am shure you have
mhore sense tan to pe wishing it on your
sowl. Fat! Will not you pe causing him
to pe mhaking te pologies such as a shentleman
chould be taking home?"
"I suppose my friend will chuse only to
write his apology with the sword," said Joseph;
"and that on full fair parchment.
But if Mr M'Turk, as the first aggressor
chases to offer an apology, it shall not be
my blame if it is not accepted. Had we
not better communicate with the parties?'
They accordingly went and consulted
their several friends. Richard would listen
to no accommodation, without first trying
his antagonist's skill. The other two retired
farther into the wood, and consulted
for a good while in Gaelic; and at length
fell upon an ingenious plan to bully their
opponents off the field. M'Turk hid his
sword in a bush, and then the two returned
boldly to the field, M'Coll, of all the four,
being then only armed; and the latter gentleman,
going boldly and resolutely up to
Joseph, assured him that his friend the
Captain undervalued all sort of accommodation,
and insisted on the descision of
sworts. The parties at a signal came up,
met, and were desired by the seconds to
shake hands. Richard started, and hesitated,
supposing this to be a final adjustment
of all differences; and nodding his head,
observed, as he thought full shrewdly, that
he would keep his hand to himself for the
present. "Well ten, sir," said M'Coll,
"since you will pe rhefusing all shentleman
descensions, come on, sir. You shall find
te Ghael ready to meet you on all places,
and on all occhassions, whether as frient or
fhoe." So saying, he drew out his sword
with an ireful brandish, and put it into his
friend M'Turk's hand, at the same time
bowing profoundly, and adding, with a voice
and air quite theatrical, "Thake tat coot
blade, sir, and use it to te confound of all
te enemies of te praif and unconquered
Richard and Joseph stared at one another
There was but one sword on the
field. But M'Coll, conscious of the previous
agreement, gave them not time either
to ask or offer an explanation, but first pretending
to burst out into a great fit of
laughter, to keep down their speech entirely
by noise, he continued in the same key,
"Fat? ha, ha! Fat, shentlemans? Come
to the fhield of pattle without wheapon?
Fhery crand indheed! Fhery lhike pould
fighters, and kheen! Hu, stay, stay! All
of a piece! Fhery crand excuse! Fhery
crand indheed! phoo, phoo!"
"Sir," said Joseph, "if I understood you
aright, you engaged to produce two weapons
on the field, and give my friend the choice
of them."
"Hu, stay, stay! Fhery cood indheed!
Tat ever I should tink of promising such a
do? Fhery prhetty excuse as could be
"Sir," said Joseph, quite angrily, "you
did undertake to furnish the weapons. I'll
take my oath on it; and he that denies
such an arrangement, is a liar and a coward.
It is you that have flinched from an
agreement, which was your own proposal,
as an excuse for your friend, who dares not
meet mine hand to hand, I am convinced
of it. Gentlemen, no shuffling with me;
the affair shall not be laughed off in this
"Oh! it fhery chrand indheed," said
M'Coll, laughing and clapping his hand on
his thigh, "to come to te field witout te
swort, and ten cast all te plame on mhe!
Fat? Is it not a crhand expedition?"
"Shentlemans," said the Ensign, coming
up and interfering for the first time, "whoever
shoult pe in te plame, it is plhain tat
te ahrms are not nhot forthcoming. Nhow,
as no Highland shentleman will condhescend,
or bhow to fhight a mhan witout te
arhms, why, shentlemen, she can dho nothing
mhore tan pid you a coed mhornin
for to present."
"Stop short for a lial bit, an thou lyke
mun," said Richard, taking up his rifle in
both hands, and cocking her, "what was
thou saying about lack of arms?" The two
Hebrideans ran behind each other alternately,
calling out, "Ton't pe shooting
coot sir. For Cot's sake, tink fat she pe
after, and ton't pe shooting."
"Well, then, I won't shoot," said Richard,
"but if one of you presumes to roon,
or skoolk from the field till I have full satisfaction,
sutor me, if I doon't toorn you
up. What was thou saying about cooming
to the place without arms, mun? Hark,
and I'll tell thee a bit of a secret. I have
only hidden my arms in a hazel bush for a
little while. Wilt thou stop short joost
till I run and bring my good sword in my
"Hu, hu!" exclaimed M'Coll, shaking
his head, and looking at his friend with the
utmost expression of misery, — "Hu, hu!
Cot's creat pig efermore tamn pe on te
whoule expetition! Hersel pe coing to pe
coming fery padly off, py Deamhan more!
She pe gràineil! she pe gràineil!"
Matters, however, hardly turned out so
ill as her nainsel divined. They both deemed
that Dick had perceived them armed at
a distance, and had smelt a rat; that he
knew or suspected where the sword was hidden,
and was going straight to bring it to
the encounter; but instead of that, he went
away to a bush in a contrary direction, on
which they laughed and spoke Earse to one
another, convinced that both heroes had fallen
upon the same expedient. While Richard
was absent looking for his sword, Joseph
made up to and accosting him
sternly, asked if he did not proffer, and
fairly undertake to bring two good swords
to the field, and to give Mr Rickleton the
choice of them? He denied it positively,
with many curses and imprecations. "Then,
sir," said Joseph, "I give you the lie. Before
your friend the Captain, as you are
pleased to call him, I pronounce you a liar
and a poltroon. I supposed I had to do
with a gentleman, and have no other proof
of the agreement but my own word against
yours. I assert, then, on the word and honour
of a gentleman —"
"A shentleman!" exclaimed M'Coll,
interrupting him, "Hu, no; certainly not
a shentleman! Nho, nor a shentleman poy
neither. You are, sir, if I may pe allhowed
to pe shudgement, a fery pase-porn, fulgar,
and muffianrag lhaddie."
"Cousin Richard, come hither," cried
Joe, beckoning him to make haste. Richand
came running with his weapon in his
hand, which weapon was neither more nor
less than a large hazel sapling, that he had
cut from the bush; and as he came along
he kept snedding the branches from it with
his pocket gully. " What's the matter
now, mun?" cried he, addressing Joseph;
"is there any thing more wanting?"
"Yes there is, cousin Dick," said Joseph,
slapping him on the shoulder; "but
not on your part. You are a man, every
inch of you; and one too at whose side
I'll fight or fall any day in the year. But
there is a want on my part; a want of
proof against a mean-spirited, bullying poltroon,
who denies his word and his engagement;
and here, before you both, I give
him the lie direct, and I spit in his face. —
Now, sir, make the most of that that you
can, or that you dare."
"Whoy, callant, that's excessively impudent,"
said Richard, not wholly comprehending
the extent of the Hebridean's blame, or
rather not aware of its enormity; " thou
sees the want of the sword is no great matter
to quarrel about. A might man never
wants a weapon;" and with that he brandished
his tree. "But an thou likes to
kick him, I'll stand be thee." Joseph, who
was as angry at M'Coll as it was possible
to be, took his cousin's hint, sprung forward,
and gave M'Coll a hearty kick in
the rear. The latter made an effort to return
it, but Joseph was too agile for him,
and twice he spent his limb's strength in
air. The indignity made the blood rush to
his cheeks and forehead, and he made as
though he meditated a furious personal attack
on his assailant; but his eye chancing
to rise to Richard's staff, the sight cut his
sally short at once, and he contented himself
with turning round on his heel, and
saying, with high and affected disdain,
"Did not I pe thelling her tat she was te
fery fulgar poy, witout any of te preeding
of te shentleman in his whoule pody and
"Canny, mun; canny a wee bit, an thou
Lykes," said Dick, brandishing his weapon.
"No family reflections here, or here's a bit
of a rung will give thee thine answer."
That rung was as uncouth and dangerous
looking a weapon of the sort as could
be conceived. It was jagged and crooked;
some of the stubs on it an inch and a half
in length; and with this stake he insisted
on fighting the Ensign with his long sword.
To this, however, the acute and genteel
Highlander objected; he shook his head,
with a mild and forgiving accent, "Hu no,
sir! You must pe taking my excuse. A
Highland shentleman nefer takes the advantage;
nefer, nefer!"
"Whoy, mun, I'll give thee all the advantage
thou has," said Richard, "and
something into the boot foreby. When I's
willing to take such a weapon as the place
affords, it is impossible thou can have any
"Hu, not indheed, sir. You mhust be
content to pe hafing my excuse. It is peing
out of all te points of honour and shentleman's
dhuel. She will pe putting it over
to the secondaries."
"I am quite content, for my part, that
my friend take his chance with his sapling,"
said Joseph.
"Hu, put, shentlemans, not pe content,"
said M'Coll "nhor nefer shan't.
What de diabhal more! shall it pe said,
when my friend, te Captain tere, puts his
swort trou te hert, and te poly, and te
plood of tat prafe shentleman, tat she killet
a mhan wit a swort, who had nothing for
defhence put a pranch of a stick? Cot's
creat pig tamm! she would not consent for
te whoule wourld and mhore. Just pe te
considerhation tat she were to pe cutting
and slashing down through his head,
his prains, and his face. And nothing put
a stick? Phoo, phoo! Nhot at all, nhot
all. Let us go, let us go."
"You shall either fight me here, as you
engaged," said Richard, stepping before
them, "or I'll bast you both with this caber,
till you lie on the spot, and kick you
with my foot after you are down. Draw
out your sword without another word."
"Dhear, sir, to mhatter is peyond
law, and peyond all shenteel pehaviours,"
said the Ensign, bowing in manifest dismay.

"Draw out your sword," bellowed Richard,
in his most tremendous voice, and
heaved his cudgel, as if about to fell an
ox. The ireful sound actually made Peter
M‘Turk spring a yard from the ground
with a sort of backward leap, and when he
alighted, it so chanced that his back was
toward Richard, and his eye at the ssme
moment catching a glance of one of the
pending quivers of the jagged hazel branch,
he was seized with an involuntary and natural
feeling of self-preservation; and as
the most obvious way of attaining this, he
fell a running with no ordinary degree of
Now all this, though notoriously unlucky,
as far as it regarded the manhood of the gallant
Ensign, was the consequence and summary
of feelings so spontaneous and irresistible,
that to have acted otherwise, was,
without all doubt, out of his power, be
blamed for it how he may. But the worst
thing attending all these sudden sensations
of danger and dread is, that after a man
has fairly turned his back, and fallen a running,
it is all over with his courage for that
time, and he thinks of nothing but speeding
his escape. Without some great intervention,
such as the Hays with their oxen
yokes, the warrior's character cannot be retrieved
at that bout. It is, however, far
from being a bad omen of a young hero,
that extraordinary degree of fright that
drives him at the first outset to desperate
resources; therefore no man will look down
on Ensign M'Turk for this, after he is informed,
that the invincible Arthur Wellesley,
in one of the first battles ever he stood
in India, fled in a night attack, and left
his regiment to be cut up; nor could he find
a man of it again before day-light, although
he disguised himself under a war cloak, and
went about inquiring for such and such a
regiment. That gentleman has never again
turned his back on his enemies from that
day to this.
But a still more pleasant instance of this
inverted sort of courage was exhibited on
board a British man-of-war, in an engagement
in the mouth of the Channel. A good--
looking young man, who was employed at
one of the guns, got so frightened, that he
actually went mad, and after uttering two
or three great roars, threw himself into the
sea. An officer on deck, seeing his place
left vacant, seized a boat-hook, and in one
minute had him again on board, gave him
a kick, and ordered him to stand to his
post, or he would blow his brains out. The
man continued for a while quite unsettled.
and insensible; but at length, in the utmost
desperation, he seized a paint-pot,
clapped it on his head for a helmet, and
under this ideal safeguard, all fears vanished
in one moment. There was no man on
board who behaved with more spirit during
the whole of the engagement; for he not
only exerted himself to the utmost, but encouraged
those about him to do the same.
The paint ran in streams off at his heels,
covering all his body with long stripes; yet
there was he flying about on the deck, like
a hero, with his paint-pot on his head.
That man afterwards rose to distinction
for his undeviating course of steadiness and
Let no man, therefore, flout at Peter
M'Turk; for as the old proverb runs, "He
may come to a pouchfu' peas before he dies,
for all that's come and gone." Whoever
had been obliged to encounter Richard
Rickleton with such a tree over his shoulder,
he could then have appreciated the
justice of Peter's apprehensions; but without
such an experiment, it is impossible
Richard's form is to be seen to this day
nothing deteriorated, and is well known to
be equal in dimensions to that of a notable
Scotch drover; while the staff that he bore
was of that appalling make, that it was evident
a long thin shabble of a sword was no
weapon to oppose it. It was like a weaver's
When Peter fell a-running, Richard
could hardly believe his eyes; he gave a
broad look at the second, as much as to hint
that it was his duty to stop him. But by
this time, Joseph, for want of something
better to do, had lifted one of the secondary
hazel branches, that his cousin Dick had cut
from his tree.
"Hilloa!" cried M'Coll; "hilloa! Captain!
Captain!" on pretence of stopping
him; but, at the same time, he had likewise
begun a-running as fast as he:—
"Then there such a chase was,
As ne'er in that place was."
The Borderers having nothing for it but
to start after the fugitives at full speed.
the pursuit continued through several inclosures;
but it was very nigh unavailing.
Joseph, by dint of great exertion, got so
near to M'Coll in leaping a fence, that he
won him one hearty thwack, which failed
in bringing him down; and after that, neither
of the two could ever lay a turn on the
fliers more. The gallant Ensign escaped
altogether with whole bones, and his second,
it is supposed, was not much the
worse. They did not, however, night in
Edinburgh, for they went both on board of
an Aberdeen smack that same day; and
from that city, M'Coll challenged Joseph,
by post, to meet him on the North Inch of
Perth, on the 24th of September next, and
then, and there give him the satisfaction of
a gentleman.
Unfeasible as this part of the story may
seem, it is neither a fiction, nor in any degree
sophisticated. I have seen the original
letter myself, and can produce it, although,
as I said before, I could not swear to the
proper name; but it was, doubtless, one of
those registered in the celebrated old Jacobite
"Then farewell M'Phersons, M'Flegs, M'Funs,
M'Donalds, M'Drummonds, M'Devils, M'Duns,
M'Dotards, M'Callops, M'Gabbles, M'Guns,
M'Geordies, M'Yeltocks, M'Rumps, and M'Puns."
When Richard found himself fairly out
of breath, he stood still and held his sides,
crying, in broken sentences, "What think'st
thou o' thy captain now, cousin Joe? Rabbit
him, if he has not got a fleg that will
stick to his brow-head as ling as there's
Highland hair on't. Dost thou think that
blade is really a captain?"
"As much a captain as I am, or as thou
art, laird," said Joseph; "some beggarly
ensign of local militia, or perhaps actually
in views of the noble pension of is. 1s. 10d.
per diem. The Highlanders are very liberal
of their titles, so much so, that these
would be rendered despicable in the eyes of
any other people but themselves. I have
learned a great deal concerning those people,
by my acquaintance with one of the
best of them, and one of the best young
men alive, (God grant that he be safe;)
and I have found, that so eager are they
after a sort of grandeur, state, or title, that
every one of the latter having a high sound,
becomes so very common, as to be given
without any discrimination. Every commissioned
officer, every master of a trading
vessel, or even of a coal sloop, is captain.
The title is not only gratuitously bestowed,
but most cordially accepted of as a
right; and every student at the University
of Aberdeen is styled doctor, when he returns
to the Highlands in time of the vacation.
Your friend Peter, and his sublime
second, are just as near to the rank of
captains, as they are to that of gentlemen;
for neither of them will either be the one
or the other."
"Od rabbit it now, cousin Joe, thou's
speaking through ill nature," said Richard.
"Now I never speaks ill of any one behind
his back, except Simey Dodd of Ramshope;
for thou sees he always sets himsel' aboon
me, and I canna thole that; therefore, in
faith and troth, I cannot keep my tongue
of Simey, either behind his back, or before
his face; but with all others, my worst word
is to their noses. Now rabbit it, Joseph,
thou kens that we met with the chap in
gentlemen's company, and it is not fair to
hold him so mean."
Richard could not bear to have it supposed
that he had only overcome the courage
of one with the sight of his staff, and
chaced him from the field, who was no gentleman.

"There are many such gentlemen in the
Highlands, as these you last saw, however,"
said Joseph. "I speak only from hearsay,
and not from actual observation; but am
given to understand of these Highlanders,
that such of them as are gentlemen of good
families, are the completest gentlemen in
the British dominions; polished, benevolent,
and high spirited. But then, there is
not one of these who has not a sort of satellites,
or better kind of gillies, that count
kin with their superiors, are sometimes out
of courtesy admitted to their tables, and on
that ground, though living in half beggary
and starvation, they set up for gentlemen.
These beings would lick the dust from the
feet of their superiors; would follow and
support them through danger, and to death;
but left to act for themselves, they are nothing,
and no real Highland gentleman
considers himself accountable for the behaviour
of such men. The cadets of a Highland
chief, or the immediate circle of his
friends, are generally all gentlemen; but
there is not one of these who has not likewise
his circle of dependent gentlemen,
which last have theirs again, in endless ramifications;
so that no one knows where
the genteel system ends. None of these
latter have any individual character to support;
they have only a family one, or the
character of a chief, who generally now cares
not a farthing about them. There lies the
great difference between these people and
our Borderers. With us, every man, from
the peer to the meanest peasant, has an individual
character of his own to support;
and with all their bluntness of manner and
address, for honesty, integrity, and loyal
principles, shew me the race that will go
before them."
"Ay, shew me the man that will stand
before us, cousin Joe," cried Richard; "for,
rabbit it! we have seen those that can go
before us already, and that by fair dint of
running. But what lost thou think of the
next chap that I have to fight?"
"If I divine aright," said Joseph, "you
will find his whole behaviour quite different.
It is true the Guns were only gillies
to another powerful name; but this is a
man of education, and that always stamps
the character with the sterling mark; without
it, whatever outward impression the
man may bear, if he would pass himself for
gold, ring him, and inspect him well, for it
is ten to one that he proves counterfeit.
— Begging your pardon, cousin Dick, for I
understand, when you went to study the
science of mathematics, that you stuck short
at vulgar fractions?"
"Whoy, now, hold the tongue of thee,
thou impertinent buck! Is it not time that
we should wait on Mr Gun?" said Richard,
willing to change the subject.
No, it is not yet time, by a quarter of
an hour," answered Joseph; "and therefore
I have been trying to amuse you, to keep
down your intolerant impatience. Come,
now, give us the history of your progress in
Whoy, thou kens, Joe, I was seven
years at the schools, and that's what not
many Highlanders can brag; and so, after
I had gone through the geography, and the
astronomy, the grammar, and the Latin rudiments,
my faither, he says to me, 'Whoy,
Dickie, my man, thou hast been a very
good lad, and a very good scholard, but
thou hast never made any progress in the
science of Matthew Mattocks, and our
rector tells me that there's no man of them
a' sae money-making; and, therefore, I'll
send thee to a master that teaches nothing
else.' So away I goes to the Academy, as
my father called it. But the science of figures
did not suit my genius; and my master,
a mere shadow of a man, took it on him
to correct me personally, by striking me
sometimes with his fist, and sometimes with
a mahogany ruler, that was no better than
a piece of whinstone. I could thump every
boy that was at his school, and I was not
sparing of my blows on some of the obstinate
ones. At length I became convinced
in my own mind that I could overcome my
master, and from that time I began to cock
my eye at him; but my chastisement grew
still the more severe, and, notwithstanding
all my resolutions, I could not for many
day rouse myself to a fair rebellion. At
length, after a severe drubbing one day, I
retired from him groombling, groombling
and ventured to utter a threat, The
was cast. After that single word of threatening,
I found that in my heart I not only
despised, but defied my master. — 'What's
thou groombling at, thou numscull?' cried
he; 'an I hear such a thing as a threat
within my seminary, I'll beat it from that
tongue, though in doing so I should beat
out thy lubberly soul along with it.' And,
as he said so, he flew after me with thy
speed of lightning, seized me by the hair,
and pulled me toward him, while every
inmate of the school trembled at his ungoverned
rage. I gave him a blow on the
nose that made him stagger. He laid at
me with a fury that weakened him, while
I gave it him in his sides and breast so
roundly, that in one minute he was gasping
for breath. He then flew to his old
friend the mahogany ruler, but, before he
reached it, I closed with him, and throwing
him over a form on his back, I held him in
spite of his teeth, and at every desperate
struggle that he made, I gave him a hearty
thump. When I mastered him by throwing
him over the bench, the whole school saluted
me with a loud huzza; and, of all other
things, that went most to the tyger heart of
him. I'll never forget his agony of countenance
when he yielded to me, and begged
of me to let him up. Wilt thou ever lift
a hand to strike me as long as thou livest,
then?' said I.
"Yes, and I will, if thou deservest it,'
said he.
"'Then,' said I, 'I'll kill thee on' the
"'Well, do so,' said he, 'just kill me
on the spot.'
"Oh God help me!' said I, what have
I done! I fear I have done very far wrong;
and I'll not lay another tip on you. — Pray
forgive me, sir; I fear I have done very
much wrong indeed.'
"'Wrong, sir!' said he, rising, and putting
on his usual countenance of proud superiority
— 'wrong, sir! — yes, you have indeed
done that which is so very far wrong,
that it is unpardonable. Leave my seminary,
sir, this instant, and let me never see
your face again!'
"'Is that all the thanks that I have for
my forbearance?' said I — 'I won't leave
the school; nor will I budge till my time
be out, unless I please; — I have paid for
my quarter.'
"I'll turn you out of it, sir, with shame
and disgrace,' said he.
"I'll defy thee,' quoth I, squaring in the
middle of it; 'turn me out if thou canst.'
He went out of the class-room in great
indignation, and wrote to my father; and
there did I remain in my master's house,
through perfect obstinacy, in no very desirable
situation. But he had high board--
wages for me, and I believe, after all, would
have made it up. Yet I could not but pity
him, for I saw he felt that he was no more
master there, for all his lofty deportment;
so I determined to be off the first fair opportunity,
rather than be the cause of throwing
his school into complete anarchy. One
day he says to me, 'Come, Mr Richard,
thou's now perfect at inverse proportion
and interest, I must have thee put into
vulgar fractions.'
"'No, no, measter,' says I; 'an they be
voolgar fractions, thou may keep them for
thy voolgar scholars; for my part, I's going
to have nothing to do with them.' And off
I set to Burlhope that night; and there
was an end of my education under honest
Matthew Mattocks. — Coome, coome, Joe,
is it not time that we were meeting with
Mr Gun?"
"No, it is not yet time," answered
Joseph, "but it is as good that we be then
the first; and therefore we shall go. But
cousin, you have no manner of quarrel
against Callum Gun — pray, won't you allow
the seconds to make up matters there?"
"Whoy, now, Joe, how is that possible?'
said Richard; "I have no quarrel with him
it is true, farther than that I have challenged
him to single combat; and woulds
thou have me beg his pardon for doing
that? — No, sutor me if I will! Then he
has nothing to beg my pardon for. The
combat moost go on, Joe — the combat moost
go on."
"You seem to have no sense of danger
nor to know what fear is," said Joseph.
"Doos I not?" answered he — "I know
both of them full well. It is absolute nonsense
to talk of any man being void of fear.
Joe, wast thou ever in a boggly place in
the dark thy lane? — if thou past, thou
knows what fear is. But lownly, lad; for,
see, yonder are our chaps coming.".
Joseph was about to expostulate with
his reckless cousin; but by this time they
had reached the ground, and perceived their
enemies at hand. They met; and no explanation
being asked or offered on either
side, the usual formalities were soon performed,
and, at the distance of twelve paces,
the parties fired on each other at the same
moment of time, without any effect. The
seconds interposed with as little, for the one
gentleman was too proud, and the other too
fond of a bones-breaking, to yield; so they
fired a second time, and both were wounded,
Richard rather seriously, his arm being
broken, and then they parted, perfectly satisfied,
although with far less ceremony than
is usual on such occasions.
Richard did nothing all the way home
but rail against the pistols; he said they
were nothing but durty voolgar things, and
that they had not the half of the sport with
them that they had in any of the two former
combats. He said, he did not "so
mooch mind the hoort, but he abhorred to
be mangled by them doctors of physic,
who would be groobing and boring with
their coorsed gemlicks into the very marrow
of his bones."
It was now necessary to take lodgings
for Richard by himself; and in these we
shall leave him laid up, for the present
under the hands of the doctors of physic
and return to our unfortunate lovers, plunged
still deeper in adversity by these unfortunate
The wound on M'Ion's head, slight as it
appeared to be, had a very extraordinary
effect; and, though he was attended on the
field by one of the ablest surgeons of his day
in spite of all that could be done for the restoration
of the patient, he continued quite
insensible, and almost motionless, till a
coach arrived, and conveyed him home to
his lodgings. All that day he remained in
a state of utter stupidity, to the amazement
of the surgeons, who could discover no frac,-
ture. Towards evening, he began to converse,
and said he was quite well; he appeared
likewise as if he had been quite
well; his eye had all the vigour and inteligence
that it was wont to have, and yet
there was a wild incoherence at times in
his speech, that shewed his intellects to be
only twinkling in a kind of will-o'-wisp state,
without any fixed hold on the base of reason.
He fell into immoderate fits of laughter,
without any apparent cause for such risibility,
mentioned ofttimes his encounter
with the heather-blooter, but always under
an impression that some miscarriage had
occurred; he seemed to conceive that his
piece had burnt in the pan, and that he
was still on the shores of the Frith. In
short, he appeared excited and happy to a
boundless degree — felt no painful sensations
— manifested no unpleasant regrets, but was
all life and animation. At other times, he
could neither be brought to recollect where
he was, nor what he was engaged in; and,
though he appeared delighted with all
around him, if any person had asked him
where he lived, or what was his name, he
could not have told him. The surgeons
deemed the symptoms bad, and several consultations
were called on the case, at which
many learned observations were offered on the
nature of fractures, by far too technical for
any body to understand but the faculty
Gatty came to the knowledge of all these
outrageous incidents only by degrees. Joseph
was exceedingly chary in his notices,
deeming himself somewhat unsafe in the eye
of the law. He informed his father privately
of all that had occurred, and asked his advice
respecting what ought to be his own and his
cousin's next course; but in these matters
old Daniel was but little versant. He had,
however, an impression that his son would
be safer in the country with him than in
Edinburgh, and advised accordingly; adding,
that they would now lose no time in
returning home. When this resolution
came to be known to Miss Bell, it wrung
her heart to the last degree. She understood
that M'Ion was lying in a dangerous
state from a wound in the head; that her
brother had been instrumental in the affair
and that it was from dread of the consequences,
that he was now about to retire
to the country for a space. All her proud
offences at her lover's supposed behaviour
towards her having now vanished, she felt
nothing towards him but the tenderest
affection, as well as the deepest regret at
the manner in which he had been used, both
by herself and her kindred; and that they
should all turn their backs on him, and
leave him in that state, was what she could
not brook; so she determined not to go. Had
the same good understanding still subsisted
between her lover, father, and brother, as
at the time when she wrote to her father,
to have parted with him whom she loved so
dearly, would have been nothing, as it would
only have been for a season. But as matters
now stood, she perceived not the slightest
probability that they two should ever meet
again; and how grievous was the reflection
to a mind so sensitive!
All who have ever felt the anxieties of
a first love, will compassionate the sufferings
Of Miss Bell, at the prospect of such a parting;
and to those who have not, it is needless
to describe them. To the latter, the
hopes, fears, jealousies, delights, and despairs
of such a passion, appear only as existing
in the brain of the storyteller; but,
alas! they have a deeper seat in thousands
of young and ardent minds than the world
is aware of, and sow the seeds of consumption
in thousands of rathly, blooming, and
delicate frames, where they were never suspected
to have taken root, and never acknowledged
to have sprung; or where the
sufferers only acknowledged them to their
own hearts. With how many amiable and
manly qualifications did M'Ion appear now
to Gatty's regretful and distempered imagination
to be invested! And to go and leave him
for ever, was a trial to which she felt herself
unable to give assent. She at first objected
to accompany her father, on pretence of ill
health, a pain in her side, and a dangerous
disposition of late to fall into fainting fits.
But all these excuses only rendered her father
the more resolute on removing her. He said,
that neither her mother nor himself could
have any rest or comfort, knowing that she
was indisposed, at such a distance from
them; and that they must have her in their
own nursing; and he added, at every sentence,
"That she wad be a great deal
the better of a hurl i' the coach, for it wad gar
her blood circulate through her veins, and
gie her stomach sic a twinge, that, or she
wan hame, she wad be as yaup as a yorlin."
Finding that this resource was going to
be of no avail, she was obliged, as a last
remedy, to apply to Mrs Johnson, and lay
open to her the state of her heart. This
she did over night, when all the rest were
sound asleep, for she requested her cousin
Cherry to sleep by herself that night, and
suffer her to remain with her worthy nurse,
saying, that she had something to impart
to her which she had long wished to tell,
and she wished to take that opportunity, lest
she might never have it again. Cherry complied,
and the nurse and her beloved foster--
daughter lay down together. They felt attached
as they had been in former days;
ceremony and subordination were laid aside
with the day clothes, and it was now no
more Miss Bell and Mrs Johnson, but the
kind nurse, and her dear little Gat. Mrs
Johnson took her in her bosom, and requested
her to tell her all her heart, which
the other did without reserve, and with all
the warmth and enthusiasm of the most
devoted lover. The darkness suited well
with the tender confession, for there were
no blushes to hide; and there being no
doubt on the mind of the maiden of her
nurse's affection, so there was no equivocation
on the part of the former. Every thing
was made manifest — her lover's early attachment
— his kind offices — professions of
love — and the tenderest esteem for her, expressed
on every suitable occasion, and in
the most delicate way. Mrs Johnson was
petrified, and scarcely felt herself able to
make one remark, while her darling ran on
in the beloved theme. All things were
the reverse of what the former had conceived,
and she felt herself totally unable to
account for any part of her ward's late behaviour.
Nor would the cause of that haply
have come so soon or so easily to light, had
it not been for a very simple and natural
question put by the astonished listener.
"Did he ever proffer you marriage?"
said Mrs Johnson.
"There you have struck upon the chord
from which all the discordance in our love
has flowed," said Gatty; — "he never did.
And after giving him opportunity after opportunity,
I took a resolution of standing
on my guard, lest all his professions might
have no farther meaning than common gallantry
warranted; and of all things, I dreaded
being made the butt of ridicule by his
boasting of favours. But I now believe in
my heart, that I have wronged him, and that
he meant honourably and kindly toward
me, but mistook my reserve for scorn;
whereas I meant only to bring him to the
test. I now regret every step I have taken;
every disdainful look and word I have
bestowed on him."
"Hold, hold, my beloved Gatty!" said
the affectionate nurse, interrupting her
rhapsody; "You have acted with the most
perfect propriety. When once a man has declared
himself, reserve may be partly laid
aside, but not till then; and it ought to be a
lover's care to set his mistress's heart at ease
on that score. Far be it from me to suspect
M'Ion's honour. On the contrary, I
think him all that is becoming and honourable
among his contemporaries. Still, I say
that you have acted properly in checking
his advances, till such time as his object be
avowed. Had you checked them at an
earlier period, the sequel might have been
fraught with less danger to your peace.
But better late than never; for oh, my dear
Gatty! you little know of the perils and
disappointments of youthful love, of which
I stand this day a blighted and forsaken
beacon, never more to enjoy hope or happiness,
except in what relates to your welfare.
Like you, I loved early, and but too well;
but then I was beloved again with an affection
that I deemed sincere. I was privately
married to my lover, a young soldier,
entirely dependant on his rich relatives,
and lived several months with him in this
city in the most perfect felicity. By what
means his relations wrought upon him I
never knew, but I was abandoned, and never
more acknowledged, either as a wife or
a mother, to this day, although I was both.
They bereaved me of my child ere ever I
knew him — ere ever I had kissed his tender
lips, or pressed him to my bosom, and all
manner of explanation or acknowledgment
has been denied me. Take warning by my
fate, and shun that flowery and bewitching
path; for in its labyrinths the good, the
gentle, the kind-hearted, and the benevolent,
are too often lost; while the sordid and the
selfish scarcely so much as run a hazard. Fly
from the danger with your father. If your
lover loves as he ought to do, and as you
deserve to be loved, he will follow you into
your retreats where he first found you. If
he do not, he is unworthy of being remembered,
and you will soon forget him.
Little did I ween from your behaviour that
your heart was so wholly engaged, else how
I should have trembled for you! and even
yet my heart is ill at ease; but, if I can, I
will manage all things right. In the meantime,
fly with your father, and leave the
matter to me, for there is one great concern;
— as yet, none of us knows who or
what he is. He is said to spend his money
freely, and to be named by a property that
he possesses in fee. But we never so much
as heard him name his father; and such a
house or clan is entirely unknown. You
may conceive such a supposition to be ungenerous,
but it is quite possible that he
may be an impostor, and spending the money
of others. After what you have told
me, I need not ask how you affect this new
match that your parents have provided for
you in your rich and hopeful cousin?"
"Oh, how my soul sickens at the great
boisterous ragamuffin!" exclaimed Miss
Bell "I would not bear his company for
one natural day, for all the wealth he possesses."

"Do not say so much, my dear Gatty.
I have noted, from experience, that no mortal
fancy can conceive what a woman will
do in cases of marriage. Believe me, I have
seen things that I deemed more unlikely,
come to pass."
"The very thought of such an event
being possible, is enough to kill me," replied
Gatty. "I would rather suffer the pangs
of dissolution every day, than continue to
live three days the wife of such a man.
Compare him with M'Ion, — the amiable,
the accomplished, the high-spirited M'Ion!"
"I say again hold there," said Mrs Johnson.
"Believe me, you have said enough.
And, at all events, it appears that your
cousin Richard does not want courage. Such
feats as he has performed this morning, are
not to be found in the annals of duelling."
"It is for these that I hate him still the
more," returned she. "What right had
such a savage as he to lift his hand against
a real gentleman? The boor! The ruffian!
Would that M'Ion had shot him through
the body!"
Mrs Johnson smiled at her extravagance,
desiring her again to hold her tongue, for
she knew not what would come to pass;
and as the two never closed their eyes that
night, all their future operations were arranged.
Mrs Johnson was to find out, if
possible, what family M'Ion was of, and, if
she found him worthy, endeavour by
means to engage him once more to visit at
Bellsburnfoot; but, in the meantime, she
was to keep her ward's love a strict and profound
secret, both from the object of it, and
her cousin Cherry, — and, indeed, from all the
world. Gatty made this important disclosure,
for the purpose of soliciting the interest
of the nurse with her father, that she
might be suffered to remain where she was,
for she could not bear the thought of being
separated from him she loved. But in place,
of that, the current of their discourse bore
their conclusions to a different issue, and
the young lady was persuaded to accompany
her father and brother home, and trust to
her faithful nurse for the elucidation of the
mystery that hung over her lover's parentage,
and scrutinizing the state of his affections.
To this Gatty yielded with reluctance,
and with many tears; for, though
she could not tell why, the prospect of the
future presented nothing to her view but
scenes of disappointment and woe.
The morning at length arrived, which
was spent in the bustle of preparing for
their departure. Joseph waited both on
M‘Ion and his cousin Dick; the former he
found looking very ill, but perceived little
difference in his manner or deportment.
The latter he found intent only on one
thing, which had puzzled him a good deal.
It was what could have become of the two
balls that Callum Gun and he had first fired
at each other. They had proved from the
second fire, he said, that they were not men
likely to miss such good marks, and he was
therefore full of a theory that he seemed to
have been impatient to get communicated.
"Whoy, it is my fixed opinion, cousin Joe,"
said he, "that the two bullets met each
other full birr by the way, and smashed
one another to pieces." Joseph laughed at
the extravagance of the idea, but the laird
persisted in it, and offered a bet, that if he
were at the spot, he would find some atoms
of the balls lying right below where they
struck each other. He made light of his
wound, and seemed much more concerned
how he was to come on with his sweetheart.
"For rabbit me, Joe," said he, "if I has not
promised to your father to marry my cousin
Aggy! But I have some doubts that she's
rather slender-waisted for me; and what
have I done, think'st thou? Whoy, it's
Gwod's truth, I hae promised to a lovely
lass, a Miss Keatie M'Nab, that I will
marry her; and I promised to two of you
Miss Moys, the chandler's daughters, you
know, that we drank the toasted wine with,
to marry them. Now, which of all these
promises is the one that is to stand good,
sutor me if I know!"
Joseph laughed abundantly at the extraordinary
progress his cousin had made
towards matrimony in a time so short, and
regretted exceedingly that he was obliged
to leave him, in conformity to his father's
mandate; for he added, that he did not
think there was any danger of the law taking
hold of them. Richard never troubled
himself with any fears about the future.
He had none. But he besought Joe to remain
with him, for he said he feared he
could not do without him, and he was sure
that they would have fine sport courting the
lasses. Joseph promised soon to return,
and took his leave with great reluctance,
for he perceived a boundless harvest of sport
before him; but the hour approached for the
fly to run, and he was obliged to take himself
Gatty's soul yearned for a meeting with
M'Ion before her departure, and she applied
to Mrs Johnson to bring it about.
She thought if she could but exchange
looks or words with him before leaving town,
it would give some ease to her heart. But
the nurse was cautious, afraid of exposing
the youthful enthusiast, and in her caution
she missed the effect desired. She found
M'Ion much indisposed, gloomy, and cast
down; for he still believed that Miss Bell
was leaving town on account of a settled
aversion that she entertained towards him,
and he received the intelligence of her immediate
departure with a hopeless apathy,
as a thing he regretted, but could not control.
When Gatty left her lodgings, she
turned round, and, lifting up her beautiful
face, fixed an earnest look on M'Ion's windows,
until the tears blinded both eyes. Mrs
Johnson seized her arm, led her to the coach,
and seating her beside her father, took
a kind adieu; and that night the family
supped together at Bellsburnfoot. The
mistress received her daughter rather coldly,
hinting to her that she deemed she had
played the truant; and likewise, that she
never saw her look so well. Her first inquiries
were about her nephew Richard;
for, since Mr Bell and he had set out together
to Edinburgh, she had dreamed of nothing
but the match between him and her
daughter, and greatly was she shocked at
the dangers he had run with his foolish
duelling. Her husband and son both spoke
of her favourite in terms of approbation,
but all that she could get her daughter
to say about him was, "Oh — Oh!"
which threw a sore damp on her visions of
In the meantime, the wounded duelists
continued to get better, but M'Ion most
slowly of either; he had days and nights of
utter oblivion; indeed, he seemed scarcely
to retain any distinct recollection of late
events on these occasions, although he was
then most elevated in his spirits. Mrs Johnson
and Cherry were his dailyvisitors. Since
the departure of Joseph and Gatty, they
stood on no ceremony with him, but spent
a part of every day and every evening in
his room; and he grew that he enjoyed no
happiness without them. Cherry was delighted
to do every little kind office for
him that lay in her power; and, perceiving
her obliging readiness, he employed her very
often. Mrs Johnson sat with him for a
while every day, when Cherry was out attending
her masters; and during these
friendly visits, she tried all her art to find
out who were his parents and connexions;
but with what effect, we must leave it to
herself to describe. In the meantime, I
have now the pleasure of presenting my
readers with the original correspondence of
the parties, which was put into my hands
by Mr Joseph Bell last year; and which
interested me so much, that, for the sake
of introducing it, I have been at the pains
to write this long and circumstantial prelude.

"I SHALL endeavour to begin the fulfilment
of my promise of writing to you
every week; but I fear that all my writing
will only consist of making inquiries; for,
alas! I confess, to my shame, that I have
left my heart and my happiness with you.
I never knew till now how deeply I was in
love. It is become quite a disease with me,
for I have no happiness in any thing in this
world, save thinking about one person, and
of all other things, the thoughts of him
give me the most unhappiness. You may
therefore conceive to what a miserable state
of existence my folly has reduced me. I
take my accustomed walks — I look at the
flowers — at the fountains — the snowy flocks,
and the shadows of the little clouds chasing
each other over the sunny hills — But
all to me has the same colour, and the same
effect. I fix my eyes on them, it is true;
but am no more interested in them, than if
I looked on vacancy. Then, of course, I
come to many spots where he and I have
sat together, when love was in the bud, and
hope blossomed without any alloy. In these
places I sit down and weep; and then I
feel that I have no hope remaining, save
what is placed in your kind heart and ingenious
nature. Oh! my dear friend, do
not forget me; for now that I have disclosed
my weakness to you, I will hide nothing;
the sole happiness of my life, and
my life itself, depend on the attainment of
one object, and of course they now depend
upon you. But if you can give me hope, it
is enough. I can live and luxuriate in that,
and desire no higher bliss for the present.
"That day that I left you, I cannot describe
what I felt. From the time that I
took my eyes away from a certain window
I saw the ground no more, until you put
me into the coach. Our journey home is
all like a dream to me. I remember of nothing
farther, than of once taking my father's
arm in my bosom, and leaning on his
shoulder, while my thoughts were on a different
object. I am sure, my dearest friend,
that you will pity me, when I tell you,
that I cannot find comfort even in reading
my Bible, or in thinking of a future state,
to which comfort I every day endeavour
to attain. When I think of the joys of
Heaven, then my mind turns on a certain
comely mortal being; and I feel as if, without
his society, my happiness in any state
would be all incomplete. This is a woful
state to be in; but it is past my remedying,
and I have no one to look to for comfort
but to yourself. Therefore, I entreat
of you not to forget me, but write, write,
write! not every week, but every post; and
if there be two posts in the day, take advantage
of them both.
"Things are all going on here much in
the usual jog-trot way. Joseph is fishing; my
father working among his flocks from morning
till night, and my mother teazing
everlastingly with the qualifications of my
abominable new lover, cousin Dick! Would
that he had remained among his mosses and
muirs, to have drunken smuggled whisky--
punch, and railed against Simey Dodd of
Ramshope, for being a richer man than he!
Compliments to cousin Cherry, and tell her
to write to me. I hope her love is not of a
very deadly sort. Pray, does she ever remind
her lover how well she likes him now?
I will send over little Jaggs to the post-office
every day; for mercy's sake do not let
me look in vain for letters, but send some
daily food for your affectionate
"I HAVE waited thus long, in order that
I might be able to inform you of something
you did not know before. But hitherto I
have waited in vain; for no inquiries that
I have been able to make, have had the
least effect in drawing from M‘Ion the circumstances
of his birth, parentage, and connexions;
and I have stronger reasons than
ever for believing that he is an impostor;
therefore, I have never once attempted to
sound the state of his affections, though I
have often thought I would take him for
one in love, from a sort of mellowness that
prevails in all his words and sentiments.
He is, indeed, a most admirable young man.
It is impossible to be near him, and not to
love him. For my part, I have always loved
him, and do so still, as he were my own child.
Cherry is indefatigable in her attentions
and endeavours to please him, and he does
seem pleased. Indeed, if the thing were
possible to be supposed, I could almost conceive
he was beginning to love her. The
downright artless simplicity of the little elf
has a charm with it that cannot miss making
an impression on one of his fine feelings
and precarious state of health. I think
I could persuade him to come to the country,
but I have not yet tried my art. I
find, however, that your father waited on
him, unknown to me, before he came away;
took a kind leave of him, and invited him
to come to the country as usual; but he
only thanked him, and made him no positive
answer. I am really concerned about
the state you are in, but hope it is not so
ill as you make it appear on paper. I see
no reason, however, that you have for despondence.
I never had a hand in the making
of a match, save in one that ought
never to have been made, which renders me
both ill qualified and cautious in such matters.
When I take into account your personal
charms, and other good qualities,
which, perhaps, I estimate too highly, I cannot
perceive a difficulty in your obtaining
the hand and heart of your lover. But then
your actions must not be ruled by caprice,
as they have hitherto been, in a woful degree.

"I remain yours, most affectionately,
"YOUR letter has given me far more
pain than pleasure; and yet I have felt a
sort of animation since reading it, that I have
not experienced these many days. What
business has the little ferret Cherry to be
coaxing and toying with a young gentleman
of fortune like M'Ion? It is a notorious
shame to her, and I wonder how you permit
it. I have no doubt but he caresses
and kisses her in your absence. I am sure
of it, for I once saw him kiss her cheek;
and the impertinent little hussy, instead of
resenting it, sat down on his knee, with her
arm about his neck. This is a thing that
I cannot endure. You are not to suffer him
to fall in love with her. I could bear any
thing but this. I could bear his anger;
nay, I could even like it much better than
indifference. But were he to fall in love
with another, I could not live. I would
not bear life for one week; therefore, dearest
Mrs.Johnson, discharge her from entering
his room, or seeing him. It is actually
a red-burning shame, for a girl in her teens,
and so little a girl too, without either fortune
or qualifications, to be provoking people
to fall in love with her.
"You must excuse my impatience, but
really you are managing every thing wrong,
and, of course, not one of them right. Why
don't you persuade M'Ion to come to the
country without further delay? What have
his connexions ado with a visit to the country
for his health? I care little or nothing
about his family connexions; and he can
never have a better excuse for retirement,
than just now, when in lingering illness.
Might not I tend him as well as Cherry?
Could not I bathe his aching temples as
well as she? and sing to him, and play to
him, which she cannot do? For my sake,
then, dear nurse, send him out hither with
the very next coach.
"Why have you both become so familiar
with him after my departure? Ought you
not to have kept up something of the same
ceremony as before, for my sake? What
must he think of poor Gatty, whose pride
and aversion kept him from the society of
his dearest friends, and whose absence now
gives them all full liberty to do as they
feel inclined? When I think of this, I am
quite overcome, and can write no farther,
as you will see I have almost spoiled the
letter with my tears. Father and mother
send their kindest love, along with that of
their hapless daughter, and your affectionate

"EDINBURGH, August 15.
"I HAVE news to tell you that will make
you wonder, and please you above all earthly
things; yes, indeed, they will. Oh, goodness
to the day! How I would like to see
you fidgetting and giggling when you read
this. It comes to let you know, that I am
going to be married the next week, or the
beginning of the next again; so you may
come to town as fast as you can fly, for none
other shall be my bride-maid, and draw my
glove, but my dear cousin Gatty. There
will be nobody to trouble you now with
their impertinent intrusions and languishing
looks. I'm sure it will be such a relief
to you, and you will be so glad! I would
fain tell you all our courtship to amuse you,
for I was not so easily courted as you may
think. There was not a day on which he
was not saying some things so kind and so
affectionate to me, that they made my heartstrings
all to thrill and quiver; and at
length he says to me one day, after I had
bathed his wound, 'My little sweet Cherry,'
says he, 'could you love a man who
confessed to you that you were his second
love; that he had loved another better, but
was slighted and disappointed?'
"I did not know what to say, for I found
the tears coming itch — itching to my eyes;
and lest they should drown my answer altogether,
I broke out with great violence,
like a child who was about to be chastised,
confessing her fault. 'Yes, indeed, I could,'
said I; 'I could love some people, if I were
their twentieth love; or indeed whether I
had any of their love or not.'
"You are a most ingenuous and sweet
little girl, Cherry,' said he; and faith I
am not ashamed to confess that I am in
love with you.'
"'I am very much obliged to you, sir,'
says I; 'very much, indeed.' And I made
him two low courtesies, and went backward
toward the sofa, for I found my knees bebeginning
to strike, and I was afraid I would
fall back on the floor, which might have
been taken for a piece of bad breeding.
However, I made to the sofa, and I says,
I'm very much obliged to you, sir; but
that's a thing will never do. I am but a
poor dependant girl, without fortune, and
without a piano, and have but a scanty education
beside, so that I can never be the
lady of such a gentleman; and if you were
to love me any other way, you know, you
might make me do things that I should not
"Lord love you, Cherry!' said he; 'if
I were to bid you do any thing that you
should not do, would you be so silly as to
"I am sure I would,' says I; 'for there
are some people to whom I could not for
my life refuse any thing.'
"Then, when I bid you do aught that
is inconsistent with virtue and prudence,
may I be d—d, Cherry!' said he.
"My heart quaked at this, and I could
make no answer; but I fell a picking at my
little garnet ring, and looked at the knot
on my shoe; and so I never saw, and never
wist, till he was on the sofa beside me, and
had me in his arms; and then he gave me
a kiss, and asked me if I would be his wife;
and I said I would with all my heart.
"'When?' said he.
"'Whenever you please, sir,' says I.
To-morrow, or next week, or next year, is
all the same to me.'
"'It is cruel in me to bestow a disappointed
and forlorn heart on so much innocence
and kindness of nature,' said he.
But I will love you as I can, Cherry; and
I am sure that will always be better and
better. I therefore offer you my hand, and
promise and engage, before our Maker, to
make you my own married wife, if you are
satisfied to take me as I am, and give me
your hand in return for mine.'
"'That I will, sir,' says I, 'I will give
you them both, and my heart with them;'
and so I held out both my hands, which he
took in his; and it is all over with your
poor Cherry! Now you must know, that he
thinks the sooner the marriage ceremony is
put by, the better; and so do I. But then
I could not set the wedding-day until I
heard from you, to know when you could
with certainty be in town to attend me, for
I can do nothing without you. And I know
you will be so happy to see me his bride,
and to wish me joy as Mrs M'Ion, lady of
Boroland. Do write directly, my dearest
cousin, and believe me still your own
When Gatty had finished reading this letter,
she stood up like a frigid statue. It had
all along half bewildered her senses; and
when she came to the name, Mrs M'Ion of
Boroland, at the end of it, she started up
like one waking out of a dream. That was
a title she had often tried, in her own breast,
as applicable to quite another person than
little Cherry, her half-despised cousin. At
first she grew pale, and burst into an hysterical
laugh; again the colour mounted to
her face, and she repeated the title again
and again, "Mrs M'Ion, lady of Boroland!
She Mrs M'Ion, lady of Boroland! And I
her maid! minx! hussy! — But why should
I blame her? She has but done what I
ought to have done, knowing that true love
is always diffident. I must forgive her.
Forgive her! No, never! The impertinent,
low, intriguing ape, she has been my undoing
— my murderer! O Lord! take my life!
take my life! for this world and this light
are now hateful to my sight. O let me die!
let me die! But, then, let me die in peace
with all this ungenerous world. Nobody has
wronged thee but thyself, poor Gatty; and
like a flower on the fringe of creation, thou
shalt be nipped up, and cast aside to wither
and die, before thou arrivest at thy full
blossom. O, kind Heaven, wilt thou not
pity me? Pity the most wretched creature
that looks up to thee from this abode of
misery! Let me be his, let me be his! His,
his! His only, and wholly. Though never
so wretched, let me be but his, to live and
die in his arms, and share his fate in this
world and the next! Alas! I fear I am
blaspheming. — Lord, keep me from blaspheming!
If I utter I know not what, thou
wilt not lay it to my charge."
All this time no tear came to give her
heart relief. She stood all alone by the
parlour fire; for she always read her letters
privately; and after these wild ejaculations,
she essayed once more to read the letter,
but her hand shook, and her eye was unstable.
Some of the sentences, however, I
know not which they were, struck on the
mazed senses with such force that they
roused them into phrenzy. They were probably
those that alluded to his love for her;
for she repeated, with. great vehemence, but
quite inarticulately, "First love! Second
love! First love! slighted and disappointed!
Oh! — Oh!"
As she cried thus, she tore the letter
into a thousand pieces, and threw it on the
fire, pushing it down among the coals till
wholly consumed. Her loud screams brought
her mother from the kitchen, who rushed
in, scarcely in time to catch her in her arms
as she fell down in a swoon. The old lady
laid her on a bed that was off the parlour.
It was her husband's and her own; and
with the most perfect composure of mind,
bolted the parlour door, that she might not
expose her child to the eyes of servants;
and with all assiduity set about reviving
her herself. She had in her own youth been
subject to such fits, and did not account
much of them. It was not very long till
she began to manifest signs of recovery,
but she spoke in a manner so extravagant,
about marriage, and death, and heaven, and
dead-clothes, and a thousand things jumbled
together, that her mother still thought
proper to keep all others at a distance from
In the meanwhile, Daniel had been busied
from the morning speaning his wedder
lambs, and buisting his crock ewes with a
D and a B on the near loin; and being
very much fatigued, he left the fold, and
went into the house to get a drink of whisky
and water. This beverage of every-day use
stood snugly in a wall-press in the parlour,
to which Daniel knew the road so well,
that he could actually have gone straight
to it at midnight, when the house was as
dark as a pit; and at all times, and all
seasons, he had free access to it. But to
Daniel's great consternation, he found that,
for once, the circumstances of the case were
altered. The parlour door was fast bolted,
and no access for the thirsty goodman! He
knocked at it repeatedly, and called his
wife and daughter's names; but behold,
there was no voice from within, and none
that answered or regarded! He next applied
to the housemaid, and that in a loud
and agitated voice. — "Grizzy! hilloa, Grizzy!
What's come o' your mistress, dame?"
"Aw fancy she's ben the house, sir."
"Ye fancy she's ben the house, ye leeing
tawpy! she's no ben the house, or else
she's faun wi' her heel in her neck."
Daniel went to the door once more, and
kneeling down on one knee, he tried to
peep through the key-hole; but the key
was inside, and turned in the lock, so that
he could scarcely see a glimmering of light;
he, however, sent his voice through it, therewith
trying his wife by every appellation,
for he was exceedingly thirsty; but all
would not do. — "Mistress! hilloa, mistress!
Mrs Bell, I say! Hilloa! Becka,
Becka Rickleton! This is extraordinary!
— Lass, ir ye sure your mistress is ben the
"Ay, for oughts aw ken, sir — aum gayen
sure she is."
"Why, where is my daughter, then?"
"She's ben the house too, sir."
"And what the devil are they doing
ben the house wi' the doors steekit?"
"O, aw coudna say, sir. Aw fancy it's
some preevat bizziness. Miss Gatty's ta'en
ill, or something."
"Ta'en ill! How? What? — How d'ye
ken she's ta'en ill?"
"'Cause I heard her crying."
Crying! — What was she crying?"
"She was skreighin like."
Whoever has seen Henry Fuzeli's picture
of Satan from the first book of Milton,
can conceive at once the manner in
which old Daniel Bell drew himself up.
His hands sprung upward at his whole arms'
length above his head, and his face lengthened
in proportion to the height of his
frame. He then clasped his hands together,
squeezing them down on his crown,
and puffing out his cheeks, like two great
blown crimson bladders; he sought relief
by blowing out his breath like a porpoise,
with a loud pough! One of the most unfeasible
ideas in the world had in a moment
taken possession of honest Daniel's obtuse
intellect. He conceived that his wife and
daughter were at that very time engaged
in making him a grandfather; and turning
round, he made for the door, clapping his
hands with great force on the outside of
each thigh; but as he passed the parlour
door, he was arrested by his wife's voice, that
said to him, in an angry whisper through
the door, "What noise is all that, Mr
Bell? — What is it you want?"
"What is it I want? — Why, I wanted
a drink, mistress, that was all. And when
you and your daughter hae ony unseen
wark to work, I beg you will gang out o'
my room wi't, and then bolt and bar as
long and as close as you like."
"I wish you would make less din, Mr
Bell, and do not expose yourself. Our child
has been seized with a sudden illness, and
I can't have her disturbed. But she will
soon be better; and then you can have your
room as much as you please."
Daniel would have taken to his bed too,
out of grief and vexation, could he have
got to it, but that indulgence was denied
him; so he walked away mechanically toward
the sheepfold again. When there, he
could transact no business, or went about
it in a manner so singular, that his shepherds
thought him gone out of his right
"Look at this ewe, master. Will this
ane be to gang for a crock? She's a good
lamb-bringer, and gangs in the Sheil-grainhead?"

Ay, we have enew o' lamb-bringers
foreby her. Let her gang."
"I'm sure ye'll never think o' pitting
the crock buist on this ane, master? She's
but a twinter ewe, and brought a lamb in
a gimmer."
"Ay, ay, she has been a mother rather
ower soon, like mony ane i' the warld. Let
her gang to Kettlewall for her good manners."

"Dear master, an ye mak that a crock,
ye may mak them a' crocks thegither. Ye
hae nae as good a breeder in the hirsel."
"Ay, we hae plenty o' breeders foreby
her; mae than we want. Let her gang
wi' the rest o' them."
"I winna grip another sheep to you,
master. Ye hae ta'en some ill will at them
sin' ye gaed into the house. An ye be
gaup to pit away the tap o' the hirsel, instead
o' the tail, ye may get ony body to
herd your ewes ye like for me."
"I'm tired o' thae breeding creatures,
Davie. They hae made the lambs ower
cheap already, breed — breeding. I shall
thin them for aince."
"I winna grip another sheep t'ye, master;
for ye are just working wark that will
be a' to work ower again, and pitting us
into utter confusion."
"Weel, weel, Davie, I daresay ye are
speaking true. Draw them as ye like the
night, and I'll gang ower them again afore
they gang away. I hae ta'en an ill will at
thae she things, and wad rather hae a stock
o' toops. Troth wad I — He, he, he! — I
wad rather hae a stock o' toops."
Daniel went and put on his coat, laughing
all the way in a strange treble key,
while at the same time the big tears were
coming hopping off at each side of his
nose. But he pretended to be laughing at
the stock of tugs, till he got out of hearing,
and then he went away to ruminate by
himself, in a different direction from the
Daniel went to a little lonely crook on
Bellsburn-side, where he sat down and conversed
with himself. He first cursed all
Highlandmen, then M'Ion in particular;
and then he consulted with himself what
was to be his behaviour to his daughter.
"But what can I do?" said he. "What
can a father do, but forgie his erring bairn?
Ay, ay, I maun forgie her, and I will forgie
her too. But He that kens the heart,
kens weel, that, had it been his will, I would
rather have laid her head in the grave a
pure and spotless virgin. Had it been sae
ordered, I wad never hae grumbled. But
to think that my Gatty maun just be a
lost woman! Oh, that is a hard thought!"
As Daniel said this, he continued boring a
hole in the moss with his staff, in a slow
and melancholy manner; but by degrees
he began to strike his stick into the mossy
bank with quick violent thrusts, as prospects
more cheering began to open on his
mind's dull eye. — "Hout na," he continued,
"she maunna be lost awthegither; —
my bairn, and my only ae daughter, maunna
just be lost. No, nor she saunna be
lost either!" cried Daniel aloud, striking
his stick into the earth half way to the
head, and springing to his feet. "I'll clap
another thoosand pund to her tocher, and
five years after this, she'll no be a preen
the waur! But I'll stick the Highlandman!
That I will! I'll stick — stick — stick the
confounded fair-fashioned dog of a Highlandman!"

And as he said this, he stabbed the air
with great violence, and ran forward, as if
pursuing a Highlandman, and sticking him
through the heart. He went straight home
in perfect peace with his daughter. What
more could Daniel have effected at the very
first trial?
By that time her mother had administered
some composing draughts to her, which
had the effect of calming her spirits, so
that she listened to reason, and ceased her
ravings. Daniel durst not knock at the
parlour door, so he went straight into the
kitchen; and when there, he durst not so
much as ask for his daughter, therefore he
began to scold the maid for having put too
many peats to the fire, and for burning an
elm clog that might have been of some use.
"Awm soor aw coodna hae putten't to
a better ooss nor boiling your tey-kettle.
Ye hae muckle to flyte about."
"A' alike! a' alike! The hale tott o'
the she creatures maun hae their ain way,
and a bonny hand they make o't. But I'll
tell ye what, Mistress Grizzy, if ye be gaun
to waste things that gate, I'll soon set ye
about your business."
"Well, aw think the shooner the better.
But that's joost the gate poor fock's guidit.
Ye winna gie me elding to burn, an' how
can aw mak fock's meat wi' naething?"
"No raise a fire out o' naething, ye
jaud? Be my troth can ye! Ye can raise
a fire o' ill nature — out o' less than naething.
But take the stick, and nae mair
about it. It is quite true, ye canna make
our meat without a fire. Hegh-how, sirs!
Fock are muckle to be pitied!"
"Mr Bell, what is all this quarrelling
and noise about?" said his dame, as she
walked into the kitchen with stately composure.
"You may come into the parlour,
if you please, and take a drink."
Daniel pursed up his mouth, and looked
her full in the face. He was not sure how
it would become him to accept of the invitation.
He felt a powerful delicacy in the
matter; and after exhibiting a ludicrous
countenance for a full minute, without stirring,
he put the following unfatherly and
home question: — "Is the woman better?"
"Come and see," said Mrs Bell, and led
the way with a proud and stately demeanour.
Daniel followed, grumbling some
words half into himself, and was going to
take up his birth at the parlour fire, when
the dame going into the little bed-room,
turned back and beckoned to him, saying,
"Are you not coming in to speak to her,
"Is the fray over?" said Daniel, hesitating,
and clinging rather closer to the
chimney frame.
"O yes, I am better now," said Gatty
in a weak and tremulous voice. "You may
come in and see me, father."
"H'mph!" said Daniel, grunting a loud
and most eloquent exclamation, without
opening his mouth — "H'mph! Lost nae
time either. Weel, weel, be thankfu' that
your sins are no visited on ye as they might
hae been;" and, uttering these emphatic-words,
Daniel strode into the chamber with
his jaws fallen down, and his mouth formed
into a round hole, as if it had been bored
with a wimble; he was breathing short,
and his eyes were rolling in his head. His
spouse accosted him with some commonplace
observation, but these were not the
sort of words that Daniel expected, and he
heard them not. There was a pillow lying
on the bed-stock, on which Gatty had been
leaning, and this honest Daniel took for a
poor little grandchild just come into the
world, and well rolled up in clean linens;
so, fixing an unstable eye on it, his heart
immediately began to warm towards the
blameless and unwelcome guest. His fingers
began to spread out toward it, although
his arms still clung to his sides, while his
big jolly frame was all moving with agitation.
Gatty chanced to utter a slight
tremulous sound in clearing her voice to
speak. Daniel started so sore, that he almost
jumped to the ceiling of the room,
thinking it was the bantling setting up a
"What's here?" said the dame. "I
think the family is all grown nervish at
"Oh, oh! it is a sad business this, my
bairn," said Daniel. "But what is done
cannot be undone; therefore, come to my
arms, poor bit little helpless thing, thou
saunna remain long unblessed of God and
man." So saying, he seized the pillow with
both hands in the gentlest manner, in order
to lift it to his bosom; behold it was
as light as vanity, and had neither head
nor foot, a mouth to kiss, nor an eye to
open. He flung it from him into the back
of the bed. "Poogh!" said Daniel, with
terrible force, and rubbed his hands against
his sides. "H'mph! I thought it was the
The women were petrified. Gatty screamed,
and Mrs Bell held up her hands; then
taking his shoulder, and turning him about
to the light, she said, "I say, what has possessed
you, Mr Bell? Have you been drinking
yourself drunk with your shepherds,
and now come here to play the fool? I want
to consult you about our daughter's case,
which I fear is a bad one."
"Bad enough, in all conscience!" said
Daniel. "Suffering under the effects of a
promise of marriage, I'se warrant."
"However that may be," said Mrs Bell,
"I want her to tell us the whole, plain,
and simple truth."
"O, certainly! The plain truth!" said
Daniel. "It signifies nought concealing
the truth now."
"Because, from what has taken place
to-night," rejoined the lady, "I can perceive,
that both her constitution and character
stand in the most imminent danger."
"H'mph! character?" exclaimed Daniel.
"I think you may set your heart at
rest about that."
"You are mistaken," said the dame;
"the purest virgin on earth, and I am sure
there is none more delicately pure than our
child, shall not escape censure if she —"
"What!" cried Daniel, interrupting
her, "is my Gatty really an unblemished
and pure maiden? As pure and innocent
as when she used to sit on my knee, and
hang about my neck?"
"Where exists the debased mind that
dares suppose ought to the contrary?" said
the lady, proudly, "or the profane tongue
that dares so much as mince at a meaning
so far out of character?"
Daniel capered out of the room, singing
the reel of Tullochgorum, and snapping his
fingers to the tune. When he had gone over
the first part of the tune in that style, he
danced the Highland fling to the second
part, leaping, wheeling, and singing, with
great vigour, —
Umti-tumti, umti-tumti," &c.
Surprised as the ladies were at the pillow
scene, they were ten times more appalled
at the extravagance of Mr Bell's behaviour
now, with the reel of Tullochgorum;
and they both with one voice pronounced
him to be bewitched. To their
eyes, he appeared precisely as if labouring
under the effects of enchantment; they had
never seen him affected in the same manner
before, and they were both petrified with
"What has come over you, Mr Bell?"
said the lady; "have you made yourself
drunk at the fold?"
"Drunk, mistress!" cried Daniel; "I
hae nae tasted aught stronger than raw
whey this day. But I'll gae back to the
fauld again — I think Davie Sheil and I
will 'gree better about drawing the ewes
now. — I hardly like the she-creatures sae
ill as I did, and I winna despise a breeding
gimmer, after a', mistress — a body may be
mista'en about them, ye ken. Grizzy!"
cried he, as he went by the kitchen —
"Grizzy, ye thrawn, ill-natured, fiery dragon!
— tak a' the sticks about the town, and
burn them; and gin they winna tire ye o'
muckle fires, d—n ye, set the peat-stack in
a lowe, and rin through the reek!"
"Hech, wow, sirs! aw wonder what's i'
the wund now?" quoth Grizzy. — "Aw wuss
focks wad keep some kind o' mids, an' no
blawtter away into 'stremities. — Little wutt
i' the pow hauds the caunnle to the lowe."
Davie Shiel was still busy sorting the
ewes as well as he was able, when he beheld
his master coming towards him with long
strides. "Od, yonder he's again!" said
Davie; "if he be nae better tuned than he
was afore, he'll spoil my hirsel."
But Daniel had no sooner opened his
mouth, than his shepherd's confidence in
his master returned, and the two went on
like clock-work, selecting the draughts of
the season, — save that, in place of being for
them all away, Daniel could scarcely be
induced to part with any of them.
"That's but a singit-looking jaud, master,"
said Davie; "I think ye should be
letting her gae her ways — she's really no
a gude sheep."
"Hout! she'll grow better; Davie," returned
he; "I like a good breeder. — She
brought me a good toop lamb."
But see, master, here's a toop-eild ewe.
Ye maun put this ane away."
Ah, na, na, Davie, lad! — I like a toop--
eild creature, an' canna bide to part wi' that
"Ye like them a' now thegither, and yet
it's no sae lang sin' ye coudna bide ane o'
them," said Davie, scratching his head. —
"I wish fock wadna just rin to extremities."

"'Stremities again!" said Daniel — "naething
but rebuffs gaun! — But, Davie, it is
weel kend ye are as good a judge o' the
lasses as the crock ewes, ony day; an' ye may
let a man hae his humours, that seeks them;
only at his ain expense."
The sheep-fold business then went on very
well, till its conclusion.
When Daniel returned home, a different
and more interesting scene was going on
in the parlour. Jaggs had brought two
letters from the post-office, beside the one
from Cherry, which had affected her intended
bride-maid so deeply. One of these
was to Joseph, requesting his immediate
attendance in Edinburgh, and was couched
in these words: —
"Things are coming to a point with me,
so you must come here, or else they will
come to thee. As I told you, I have rashly
made three promises of marriage, (foreby
that to your sister, which was four, and two
others at home, that are not claimed.) But
here the people look sharply about them,
and words will not pass for wind, although
they are little else; — therefore the beautiful
Kate M'Nab, and the two Miss Moys,
all claim me for their man, and threaten the
law. I have some strong proofs against the
latter of extraordinary freedom of behaviour,
going even the length of drinking and sleeping
with sundry gentlemen. I never pretend
to like a woman much the worse of
this last, for I think it a quality bespeaking
much kindness of heart, and I count
them the best judges of such things themselves;
but I do not like women that fill
themselves drunk with plotty wine, and take
one name to one man, and another name to
another; so I'll not have any of them, if I
can help it, and I do not see how the law
can oblige me to marry three. I am not
afraid of cousin Aggy claiming, but terrified
for my uncle and aunt; so, dear Joe, you
must bring me off there; for I am determined
to marry the lovely and loving Miss
M‘Nab. For all the money and all the
beauty that she has, she needs no courting,
and has never needed any, but jeers me with
a kind of melancholy good humour every
day for not marrying her. Now, this cast
of melancholy about her, that she is,constantly
trying to overcome, is occasioned by
love, — and how can I but adore her? She
has made me deed myself anew, and she
walks the Prince's Street every day with me,
and my wounded arm in a sling, which is
quite the fashion here, and has more effect
with the ladies than all things else in the
world. I think she makes rather too great
a show of her affection for me, but, as it is
all out of true love, I like her the better —
what can I do? In truth, I shall soon be
a married man; but, if you do not come to
me, I shall to a certainty be getting into
more scrapes; and, though you will be the
last man that will try to keep me out of
them, yet, when I have you with me, the
more the better, — which is all from
"Your most obedient servant,
The other letter was to Miss Bell; but
she had thrust it into her pocket on opening
Cherry's, and from the perplexity into
which that had thrown her, she had quite
forgot it. Her mother had been teasing
her for an explanation of some sentences
she had uttered when in extremity, and
ultimately for a perusal of the letter that
had occasioned them, until at length Gatty
yielded, and, putting her hand reluctantly
into her pocket to deliver to her mother
Cherry's letter, quite forgetting that
she had burnt it, she took out the following,
which she put into her hand. Her
mother read it aloud, and the interest with
which the daughter listened to it may well
be conceived.
"EDINBURGH, August 16.
"I have news to send you of no ordinary
interest, and news that I hope will make
you and me happy together as long as we
live — news, such as never were related by
one friend to another, so singular in their
operations have the events been, and so demonstrative
of an over-ruling Providence presiding
in the affairs of men. Your lover's genealogy
is now no longer doubtful — the history
of his birth and connexions has been
laid open to me in the fullest manner; but I
must give you it in his own words, else it cannot
interest you as it has interested me. I had
given him hint after hint about it, all on your
account, till at length he felt that he lay under
some restraint with me; and yesterday,
being confined to his bed by a giddiness,
proceeding from the effects of the wound he
received in the head, I thought proper to
attend him almost the whole day; and
Cherry being out in the evening, I made
tea for him. I can never since remember
what I was saying to him at the time — it
might be something about his kindred, but
I do not think it was; however, I know it
was something in which I felt interested;
it, however, vanished from my memory, never
to be recalled, as he took my hand in
his, and said —
"'My dear Mrs Johnson, you have taken
such an interest in me from the day
that we were first acquainted, and have been
so kind to me, that I feel I owe you more
than any common acknowledgment can repay.
You have so often made inquiries at
me about my parents, I am ashamed that I
have never let you know all about them
that I know myself, which is but very little.
My mother I never beheld, and all that
ever I heard of her was from my nurse, who
was devoted to my father's house, and of
course my mother's enemy. My father, it
seems, made some improper connexion in
his youth, while attending the university
and the courts of law in this city. Improper
it must have been, as it displeased his
parents, and was the cause of many heartburnings
and grievous misfortunes. According
to my nurse's edition of the story,
he seduced the daughter of a decayed gentleman
by a sham marriage, and of that
marriage I was the fruit. My grandfather,
being the head of an old family, and chief
of a once powerful clan, was highly indignant
at this connexion. He recalled his
son instantly from Edinburgh, and, in a
circle of his proud relations, stated the disgrace
that he had brought on his family and
clan, and commanded him peremptorily to
renounce his leman, on pain of being disinherited
of two properties, his father's own,
and his father's brother's, to both of whom
my father was the heir. Ere ever they gave
him time to answer for himself, my grandfather
farther stated to him, that he had
procured him a high commission in the
army, near the person of the British commander
himself, and that his services were
required without any delay. This was what
my father had all his life desired; and, on
his father promising to provide for his mistress
till his return, which he did with great
readiness, my father went on board, and
joined the army on a foreign station.
"'I suspect there was some foul play
going about this time; for, three years after
that, my father returned on a furlough, and
there was a fierce quarrel between the old
chief and him about his mistress. It was
reported to him that she had deserted her
colours, and gone off with another lover, but
he received the report with disdain; however,
all his art had been unable to discover
her retreat. I remember of seeing my father
at that time, and of being delighted
with the grand plumes on his bonnet, and
also something of his kissing me, and weeping
over me, when he took his leave. My
nurse said he left me his most fervent blessing,
and hoped I would live to atone for his
compelled unkindness to my mother. He
went away the second time, and perished in
that cursed expedition, in which so many
gallant British lives were sacrificed to no
purpose. Often have I shed tears over the
list of the dead in which his dear name occurs;
— and that is all that I know, or ever
knew, about my parents.
"'My grandfather's second son was then
declared the heir of the family inheritance;
but my father had seen and conversed with
his uncle during the time of his furlough in
the Highlands, and nothing could move
that worthy man to join his estate with that
of my grandfather. — He settled it on me,
and declared me the rightful heir of the whole
of both properties, and the chief of the clan.
My grandfather was dreadfully nettled at this
proceeding of his brother's, and so also was
his son, the present chief; and they so managed
matters as to get a decreet of bastardy
made out against me in the Court of
Session, and a prohibition from assuming
the family name.'
"At this piece of information, my dear
Gatty, my head fell a-swimming, my heart
beat as if it would have broken through its
frail tenement, and every part of my whole
body quivered and crept with a nameless sensation.
Oh, my dear child, I can never express
to you the feelings of that moment, neither
by word nor writing, were I to aim at
nothing further all my life; but resolving to
contain myself, and act like a rational creature,
I brought all my powers to the test,
and for that moment succeeded.
"'Was M'Ion not your father's name?'
said I, with a voice so faltering, that it
amazed him, and he looked in my face, as
if afraid I was taken ill.
"'No, indeed, it was not,' said he; 'my
name is a patronymic taken from the names
of both my father and mother.'
"This answer threw a chillness over my
whole frame; it was the chillness of death
— the disappointment of all my most ardent
and newly-kindled hopes, and I had just
strength to utter two or three profound
sighs, for my heart stood still. May you
never experience such a feeling all your life
as I did at that moment, my dearest Gatty!
for woman's frame is scarcely equal to the
"'What is the matter with you, Mrs
Johnson?' said he.
"'Nothing — nothing in the world, sir,'
answered I. 'But — but — What was I
about to ask? — Ay, it was, What is the
signification of your name, sir? — of your
present name, sir — of that name, Mac —
Mac — M'Ion? — I want to know what is
the meaning of that name, sir?' I asked
the question in this way, and much worse,
for I durst not let the question run to an
end, for fear of hearing the answer.
"He answered, with the greatest composure,
'It signifies the son of John, ma'am,
or John's son — it is the same name with
your own. — What, my dear friend — what
is the matter with you?'
"Well might he put this question, for I
had started to my feet, and uttered a scream
so piercing, that he thought me gone distracted;
and besides, I stood over him with
my arms stretched out at full length, so that
he held up his in order to prevent me from
falling on him.
"'And your father's name was John
M'—?' said I, naming his family name,
though I am compelled, on his account, to
write it a blank at present.
"It was indeed, ma'am,' was the reply;
and that moment I had him in my arms,
weeping over him with inexpressible joy, and
repeating two short words, which I did an
hundred times. These were, 'MY SON! MY
"Oh, dearest, dearest Gatty! rejoice and
exult with me, and think if ever there was
so happy a mother. I have indeed found
my son! — my kind, my grateful, my beautiful
son! — so accomplished, so amiable, so
much of all I could wish a man, and a highborn
gentleman, to be! But he is not without
ambition, my Gatty. How his eyes
glistened with joy when I told him I was
in possession of all the documents and proofs
of his father's marriage to me, which was
regular in every respect.
"'Then am I the chief of my family
and kinsfolk,' said he; 'and I would not
change birthrights with the first nobleman
of the realm; and how delightful to owe all
this to my mother — and to such a mother!"
"He then folded me in his arms, and
I cannot tell you all the kind and filial expressions
that he used toward me; but I
am the happiest woman in this state of
existence. I am actually overpowered and
drunken with joy. It is too transcendent
to last; but the will of Heaven be done.
The great controller of human actions, who
brought a deserted and disowned wife and
mother, and her only son together, in a
way so singular, and dependent on so many
casualties, will order all things aright in
our future destinies, and to his mighty
hand I leave the events that are wisely hid
from our eyes.
"From that time we have only been
asunder while we slept, and no one yet
knows of our relationship. I have kept that
a secret, that I might disclose it first to my
other dear child, who I know will enjoy
the happy discovery next to myself, if not
in a superior degree. Every thing shall
go now as we would have it, for my influence
with him is supreme, and you shall
now be both my children; and she that
was the delight and solace of my widowhood,
my days of desertion, shall be the
stay and support of my old age, and the
mother of mighty chiefs, to whom the homage
of clans and kindreds shall be gratefully
yielded. Rejoice with me, my dear
Gatty, and thank Heaven for all its bounties
to your poor old nurse. You shall hear
from me perhaps by next post, as soon as I
have consulted him about the state of his
affections; but of that I have no manner
of dread.
"Yours ever, &c.
"AGNES M'—."
"By my troth, my woman," quoth Daniel,
when his wife had finished, "that is
siccan a letter as I never heard. Our worthy
friend is now a great lady! My certy!
Weel, I dinna ken o' ane that better deserves
sic a turn o' fortune. And our daughter
is likely to be a great Highland lady
too; indeed I dinna see how she can miss;
and I think it will be a better speculation,
after a', than Mrs Rickleton of Burlhope;
for ye see, by way o' tocher good, I shall
double M'Ion's yearly income to him."
"Now, dear father, how is it possible
you can do that?" said Gatty, who was
quite delighted with the extraordinary news.
"His uncle's estate, the estate of Boroland
alone, I have heard say, is worth four
thousand a-year; and the great estate of
M‘— must be worth six times that
"And were it six times six I would
double it, daughter," said he. "Hae ye
nae doubts o' that."
"You are getting into your ravings
again, Mr Bell," said his dame. "Be so
good as explain your meaning, for it is a
paradox to me."
"It's nae docks ava, mistress," said Daniel.
"It isna the land that pays rent to
the laird; it is the farmer o' the land; and
I'll wager a' I'm worth, that I'll gar a breed
o' toops double, if no triple, the value of ony
Highland property that's farmed in the
auld way. Gude help me! If ye saw siccan
creatures as they send down to Yorkshire!
sheep that I wadna kick out o' my gate, wi'
pin tails, faces like foomarts, and a' kivered
wi' hair, like the breeks o' gaits. I hae
selled my ewes at three times the price,
again and again; and wasna that doubling
the laird's income? The breed o' my toop
Duff, in the country of the M'Ions, wad
be worth twice his weight in goud. And
though I say't mysel, I'm the only man
that could double sic a gentleman's income.
I'll no even except Mat Culley himsel."
This dissertation on the breeds of sheep
proving a great bore to the two ladies, as
it is indeed to every body beside, they took
an opportunity of slipping up stairs to consuit
on matters more congenial to their sanguine
minds. In the meantime, old Daniel
put both his hands in his waistcoat
pockets, set his hat up upon his crown behind,
with the fore part of the rim drawn over
his eyes, and went out to the large field
behind the house, to look at his tugs, and
select those he meant to send to the Highlands.
There is no life so easy as that of a
sheep farmer, but there is none so monotonous.
No stirring, no animation; but the
same routine from day to day, and from
year to year; looking at tugs; taking a
glass of toddy; talking of rents, dogs, and
shepherds; buttoning and unbuttoning;
lying down in bed, and rising up again,
from generation to generation. There is
more interest excited by farming seven acres
of arable land, sown with various crops of
grain, than seventeen hundred of pasture
land on both sides of the Border.


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The Three Perils of Women, Vol. 1

Document Information

Document ID 124
Title The Three Perils of Women, Vol. 1
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Imaginative prose
Year of publication 1823
Wordcount 62486

Author information: Hogg, James

Author ID 234
Forenames James
Surname Hogg
AKA The Ettrick Shepherd
Gender Male
Year of birth 1770
Place of birth Ettrick, Selkirkshire, Scotland
Occupation Author, farmer, journalist
Father's occupation Farmer
Education Little formal schooling
Locations where resident Ettrick, Edinburgh