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above described, and putting her very at their backs, she tumbled fairly in-
Lord Byron. I had now got oysters, a maiden Columbus, followed by Cripple Donald skate (gentle readers, never buy other the cadie, with a basket pretty well than a maiden skate), six dog-fish, a loaded. « Bless me, Mr Columbus, I turbot, and a lobster, and was going did not think you were to have been along the market on my return home, at the market so early. I hope you taking a peep at the stalls as I passed, have not bought any thing, for I have when whom should I meet but Mrs got all we shall want for dinner to
& way as this.”
day.”—“That's very unfortunate, my man-my house is on the north side," dear Mary," said I," very unlucky, said I. “0, sure your honour's right, and very stupid indeed. You know I and I means norse fan I says sout.” told you that I was to go to the mar- On further inquiry, I found that I ket myself ?”—“ True, you did, my had paid for my turbot seven shillings, dear Christopher," replied Mrs Co- while my wife had bought one as good lumbus,“ but then you said you for four shillings and sixpence. This should not be able to go before twelve; was a triumph to Mrs Columbus, and I wished to surprise you by cail. which I had no means of lessening, ing, as I went home, and telling you but by saying that my turbot was by how active I have been. It is not ele- much the better fish; and that, though ven yet, my dear;"—and she looked no larger, it was certainly much thickprovokingly in the right. "I had no er. Mrs Columbus, rather unadvisednotion you would be here to-day,"con- ly, I think, sustained her opinion, by tinued I, not knowing what further to saying, if there was any material dif. say in my own defence, and looking ference, her turbot appeared to be lardown to my shoes as if they could have gest, all things considered. It is exfurnished me with reasons in justifica- cessively unpleasant, as I have often tion. “You have not got a turbot, experienced, for man to yield to his my dear?” resumed Mrs Columbus. yoke-fellow, even though apparently “ Look at Isbel's basket,” said I, bi- in the wrong; and I concluded the ting my lip, and pointing to the un- conversation by raising my eye-brows, lucky animal, which I wished had and replying in a manner, which sigó been at this time roaming through the nified that it was unpleasant to hear illimitable fields of ocean.“What a pi- any more on the subject.—“My dear ty!" continued Mrs Columbus, in a me- Mary, talk no more about it-every lancholy tone; “but it can't be helped body don't see things with the same now, and it is not worth while putting eyes—your turbot is a very good turone's self out of humour for a turbot. bot for the money, and—and - I beBy the bye, I have bought a dozen of lieve I have an engagement at halfthose ugly fish you like-sea-cats, as past eleven.” they call them; and have got some I have often observed in my jourvery fine oysters, and an excellent lob- neyings through the world, that when ster."
one blunder is committed, it is usuThis was monstrously tantalizing, ally followed by another; and this indeed ; and, on a comparison of bas- occurs so regularly, that blunder folkets, I found, that for every article in lows blunder as effect follows cause. that of Blind Isbel, there was a cor- This day's mishap was continued to responding one in that of Cripple Do- the next; and although we had our nald. After a number of other little dinner-our turbot and lobster sauce remarks on the merits of the cause, the sea-cats dressed in capital style, the tendency of which went to esta- and surrounded by very alluring flounblish that both of us acted quite right, ders; and although our party was so and that neither of us could possibly agreeable, that we had resolved to have be wrong, a definitive treaty was en- another next day to eat our duplicate tered into on the spot between Mrs turbot, and devour our supernumerary Columbus and myself, that we should cats and lobster; and for that purnever while we lived-no, never-go pose, had sent cards of invitation on to the Fish-market on the same day, short notice to a few friends, all of unless together. Blind Isbel was dis- whom luckily were disengaged and patched home with her basket, and promised to come :-Notwithstanding, Donald was retained, to follow to the I say, of all this, the second disappointGreen-market for a supply of some ne- ment was worse than the first, as I cessary vegetables. “Do you know shall endeavour to convince the reader, the house, Isbel ?” said I to the poor premising, however, that my “ Plain half-blind body, who seemed to re- Statement of Facts” does not imply quire rather than to give assistance. the reverse of what is held out, when
O yes, I kens it fu' weel. It's just common authors give to the world the three door on the sout side o' the books or pamphlets under this imposquare.—1 kens it fu' weel.”—“ The sing title. south side, Isbel! you stupid old wo- Blind Isbel, it seems, had actually
mistaken south for north, in the deli- ment interrupted by a servant opening very of her eatable wares ; and, as my the parlour door, and announcing the worthy friend, Mr Robert M‘Scribe, arrival of a fish-carlie, -no less a perthe writer, on the opposite side of the sonage than Blind Isbel, who“ wantsquare, keeps house with an unmarri- ed a word of Miss M‘Scribe.”_ Send ed sister, and was to have company on her up here,” said Mr Robert. “ 'This the same day as we, the fish were re- is a material witness, and we shall take ceived by the sister, as having been her deposition in presence, vira voce. sent by the brother; and the brother, Isbel now made her appearance. who had not given himself the trouble mushtruss, tere was sad mistake comto inquire further than in general mitted, for I brought Mr Columpush terms if the fish were good, received raun fluke and labster to you yestreen an answer from the maiden lady, that in the forenoon. Mr Columpush is “she never saw a better turbot come rampaging like a mad gentleman, pless to the house." It was not till next him, as good is his reason, and swearday at breakfast, that the mistake was ing he'll get my badge taken aff ine for discovered by Miss M‘Scribe saying, selling his fish; and so if your leddy“ That was an excellent turbot you ship will gie them back, I'll tak them sent home yesterday, Bob--what did over even now, for the gentleman is you pay for it?”—“You want me to gaun to have a large dinner.” guess the price, do you?” said Mr Ro- “0, the secret is out now," said Mr bert, “ and are fishing for a compli- Robert. My good woman, the fish ment upon your marketing ?”—“No, "are all eaten up, except the cats or ’pon my word; but I really felt much dogs, or some such thing. I don't obliged by your attention. I was just know if you can have even the bones. going out to market when it arrived, But go and tell Mir Columbus, with but Betty, knowing so little about my compliments, that you brought pastry, I was glad to stay at home. the fish here by mistake; that we have By the bye, what sort of fishes were dressed and eaten them by mistake; those you sent along with the turbot ? and paid the carriage from the market Betty says they are sea-cats, and that to you by mistake ; all of which said they are never eaten. They are down mistakes I shall immediately clear up, stairs yet, as I do not know what to do and free you of every suspicion of mala with them, and can't even bear to look fides in the transaction. Or, Kate, will at the ugly creatures.”
you take your bonnet, go over with Mr Robert looked all this while as the poor woman, and explain ihe thing eagerly in his sister's face, as if he to Mrs Columbus, for if the man is in were reading a deed for the purpose of a passion, he may be unreasonable ; finding a flaw in it. After putting his and either pay the money, or send hand over his forehead to assist his re- thein a better turbot, &c. &c. &c. for collection,--to discover the joke, if it their party. Assure them it was enwere one, or the truth, if there was tirely accidental our eating their fish. faith in the statement,-he cleared his There can be no great harm in getting inouth of the piece of roll, the masti- a fresh turbot in place of one a day cation of which had been interrupted, older, though I had rather the thing and proceeded thus:-“What! do had not occurred." you mean to say that you were not at “ Well, good woman,” said Miss the Fish-market, Kate ? and that you Katharine, “ go you away and tell Mrs clid not buy the fish we had yester. Columbus, that I shall call over imday?”—“ Seriously, it is true. I was mediately, and put every thing to not out the whole day,"answered Miss rights.” Blind Isbel returned with M.Scribe. “That is very like an alibi this message : Miss M‘Scribe called very odd, indeed. Some good friend and gave a full, true, and particular inust have sent them in a present, account of the accident; and as it was thongh that is not probable either. evidently an unintentional mistake, For myself, I assure you, that I was there was nothing more to be said but engaged till half-past four in taking a to dispatch Isbel to the market for anoproot, and purging, in the legal way, ther turbot and lobster, as I did not half-a-dozen Highland drovers of ma- feel inclined to go myself on such an lice and partial counsel, in the long- errand. Isbel returned in about an contested case of Quey versus M‘Stott.” hour, (having, I conjecture, carried The conversation was at this mo- home some person's fish in the meantime,) with the appalling news of there should I conceal the truth-a potfull being no turbot in the market“Nae- of potatoes had to be got ready,) nothing at a' but stinking cod, and a few tice was given in common form, that auld-keepit haddies.” This was ex- “ dinner was on the table.” No incessively unlucky, for I had asked my formation could be more agreeable ; friends particularly to eat turbot, and for when I offered a remark, or proI depended on it as the sheet-anchor pounded a theme for conversation, the of the purposed dinner. Mrs Colum- answer was,.“ Ay, we shall discuss bus was excessively mortified on the that after discussing the dinner."occasion; for, in addition to this, a “ We never talk of politics on an domestic calamity had occurred in the empty stomach.” falling of the stock for the soup from Down stairs we went at last. But its perch on the kitchen-grate, and ex- no smoking viands graced the board ; tinguishing the fire, besides saturating a cold round of beef, and a cold cut of our only roast of beef with coal-ashes salinon from a neighbouring cook's and soot. It was now evident, that do shop; two cold fowls, ditto from ditto; as we could, there was to be no dinner six small goose-berry tarts, ditto, ditto; for that day. I therefore, at two o'. and the said potatoes and cauliflower, clock, sat down and wrote notes to the formed the tout ensemble of a dinner few friends whom we had invited, sta- got up in half an hour after the family ting that an unforeseen circumstance had already dined. My excuse for the had occurred, which would deprive want of turbot, which I saw was anxime of the pleasure of seeing them at ously looked for, was, that the cook my house.
had spoiled it in dressing ; that the Having, as I thought, now got rid of carrier who should have brought my all my troubles, connected with this af- mutton from Dunferinline (tliey kill fair, I gave myself no farther disquiet; capital mutton at Dunfermline) had but at half-past four sat down to a not arrived ;-and for the want of hot beef-steak, and a cold fowl, the re- dishes, that I never could bear warn mains of yesterday's dinner. I had meat in any thing like hot weather. scarcely finished my meal, however, My guests very goodl-naturedly symwhen the clock struck five, and almost pathized with my misfortunes. We at the same moment the door bell rung cursedall bad and careless cooks-gave with violence. Starting from the table, stupid carriers to the devil in chorus ; and wiping my mouth, the possibility and in the intervals of mastication and of my friends not having received my speaking, washed down the cold vicnotes of anti-invitation first struck me. tuals with my good Madeira. Though This was not the time for long delibe- little George, my youngest boy, when ration ; and I had dispatched the child- he made his appearance after dinner, ren to the nursery, exchanged half-a- exclaimed, in the fulness of his little dozen sentences with Mrs Columbus, heart, “ Papa's getting two dinners toand given the servant some necessary day, Betty says, is not that funny” instructions, all in the short space of and several other allusions were made three minutes. Up stairs I then flew to what had actually happened; yet I to the drawing-room, and throwing did not perceive that my friends notimyself on a couch, took a newspa- ced the circumstance, at least I Hatter. per, and assumed the appearance of ed myself they did not, and we spent one endeavouring to while away the altogether a very pleasant evening. I time till dinner was ready. My friends had not the courage at the time to tell were ushered in, devilish hungry, as my misfortunes at marketing, or the they said, from having a long ride or adventure of the turbot, as the true walk, I forget which, and expressing reason of the cold dinner; and should a wish that the dinner would not be not now have revealed the secret, but long in coming After waiting fully that being in the country, I shall not half an hour, during which I had start. have the honour of being laughed at ed fifty different subjects, such as the for a month to come. weather-the King-the Queen-the As I, Christopher Columbus, amalplayers--the clergy-poor-rates-and most the only molern writer (exthe national debt-any one of which cept, perhaps, my cousin North), who was sufficient inordinary circumstances knows how to blend mirth oud moto have filled up an afternoon; (why rality sweetly together, and as there are assuredly few living authors be if this is not to be expected, (for the aides myself, who take the trouble crowd, alas! are more apt to jest at « To point a moral, and adorn a tale,"
than commiserate,) do take it in good
humour, and laugh yourself at your I cannot conclude this chapter with- absurd situation, if it be an innocent out“ a few words," as my friend the one. The worst is, a bespattered coat, Rev. Dr Dolittle weekly says, “ by and dirty shoes, which, when properly way of application.” Gentle reader, brushed and cleaned, sets all to rights, it hath been remarked that a blunder and the thing is forgotten, or only is like a bog-the more you struggle remembered to be the subject of mer. you stick the faster,—and the observa- riment. But the stains of moral error tion is founded in truth. If it should are not so easily washed away; and, happen you, in the jostlings and bust- to avoid the bogs which lie on every lings of life, to make a wrong step, side of the road of life, bedecked on pray do not flounce and founder too their unsteady surface with wild Aow. violently, like a bemired cow, for in ers to attract your unwary steps, be that case you will infallibly sink deep- careful to keep straight in the well-deer into the mud. No; patiently look fined road to your final home, without around you and survey the ground. turning to the right hand or to the Perhaps a stray passenger may lend a lett,--strong in your integrity, an: hand to set you on firm footing. Or, trusting in the final reward of virtue.
DR scotT'S RETURN FROM PARIS!!! From the memorable night of the fat-fadgel wight" himself soon made nineteenth of July, much anxiety pre- his appearance, his beaming countevailed among the reading and eating nance ascending the steps, like rosy part of the public. His Majesty's Phæbus from the lap of Aurora. Odontist had disappeared. The jovial “Huzza,” cried the traveller, flourishworld pined at this occultation of the ing his switch as he came forward, “I brightest luminary of the Magazine, have been to Paris.”—“To Paris, Docas nature is saddened by the absence tor," was echoed by all present not in of the sun. Some thought a certain the secret; and immediately every one, Duchess-dowager, fat, fair, and forty, like the priests and worshippers instalhad whisked him into her chariot, and ling the Grand Lama of Thibet in his borne him away to her boudoir. But altar-throne, was more emulous than how idle are all vulgar conjectures with another to place the Odontist in the respect to the movements of great men! chair, which, with as much alacrity as Doctor Scott was travelling to Paris. our rheumatism would permit, we had He knows how wide his fame has evacuated the moment he made his spread, and like kings and other illus- appearance. trious characters, to save trouble to « Now for't, Doctor," was the uni. the corporations of the different towns versal cry; “what have ye seen? come and cities through which his route tell us all
. Begin at the beginning, lay, he preserved the strictest incog. when ye left London.” nito. We alone were in the secret- “ It was fine weather," replied the and to us he has confided the impor- doctor; "there was na a mot in the tant results of his visit. What a sen- lift till we got ayont Canterbury. sation shortly in the literary world !!- There I saw twa droll black clouds “ Travels in France and England, by fleeing aboon a hill-corbie-like things his Majesty's Odontist.” But let us not - I didna like the looks o' themanticipate. At present we have only the devil's yonder in the air, quo' lto describe the gladdenings of his re- and we soon fan' the truth o't. He turn.
flappit his wings, and brought on a On the sixth of the month, as we perfect hurricane, when we were in the were sitting in the midst of our con- packet. The vessel heeld o'er, till I tributors in the Back-shop, assem- thought she would hae coupit, and bled to determine the contents of the made a clean whamle o't. Lordsake, present Number, the joyful cry was it was dreadful; and a poor bit Ger. heard, “ Doctor Scott's come the man princey that we had on board, I Doctor's cast up!" and the “ fine thought would hae decanted his in.