Page images
PDF
EPUB

would be equally vain to expect, that respectable merchant in Edinburgh ladies should give up the luxurious have I been in partnership in a conwaltz, and the beauty-killing attrac- cern of rabbits and dows; drowned tions of late hours, to dance in day puppies and kittens with many a relight over the skipping-rope, or join verend divine ; worried cats and rats the merry ring at Through the needle with many a first-rate tradesman ; and e'e, A' the birds o' the air,-or Tig bickered, as the scars on my forehead me if you can; but, as the differ- still testify, with many of the victors ence between these amusements is of the French at Waterloo. I have only in degree, I see no reason to de- lived to see not a few of my early comspair of inducing those, to whom inno- panions blotted from the list of anicence, and health, and happiness, are mated beings; and I cannot think of objects of interest, to return to the their fate without feeling that every pastimes of childhood, with the same chapter of my Voyages and Travels guileless hearts as when they entered here, draws me nearer to into their spirit in the morning of their days.

“ That undiscover'd country, from whose

bourne It may be considered puerile, child. No traveller returns." " ish, or even infantine, O reader ! if you will, to have said so much of games Amongst the vast number of those and times so long gone by; but I know who have successively appeared on the at least one judge who was famous at stage of life, how few are remembered making, bumbee-binks ; several advo- beyond a few months or years ! and cates who were celebrated for catching even the very games which occupied minnows and banstickles; and not å their earliest and happiest days are in few writers to the signet who were danger of being lost, from a change of dexterous at finding and herrying yelo manners, and the want of an “honest low-yites and linties. With

many a

chronicler."

CHAPTER IX.

THE GRASSMARKET.

Here's a sight, fy haste ye,

mither,
Cows and stots, and a' thegither,
Stoitin ane against anither,

Tweedle-drone, drone-tweedle, O!
Sic a sight was never seen, O!
Some are fat and some are lean, O!
Dirty some are, others clean, O!
Tweedle-drone, drone-tweedle, O!

The Grant Fencibles' March, with variations. The Grassmarket, on a Wednesday, posed for sale, my attention was for a is a busy scene. Being the market for moment arrested by the appearance of black-cattle and horses, a number of six very handsome bullocks. I liked droves

are weekly assembled there for the physiognomy of the poor animals, sale. Though the amount of my agri- and could not help feeling some regret cultural knowledge might not qualify that the purpose for which they were me to undertake a farm, yet I have driven there was to put an end to their occasionally peeped into the publica- existence; that they had been brought tious of our patriotic countryınan Sir from luxuriating in sunny pastures John Sinclair, and flatter myself that and daisied fields, merely with the I am able at first sight to distinguish yiew of filling the maw of that most a bull from a cow, a horse from a mare, carnivorous and rapacious animal, and a wether from a ram. I can tell Man. My reverie was interrupted by a an egg from á flour-dumpling; know slap on the shoulder from a man in a that calves are not fed on field-mice,-, great-coat, with boot-hose, and a whip that geese are not quadrupeds,-and in his hand. “ Weel, what think ye that butter and cheese are made, not of othae stots?” said he; "there is nae small beer, but of milk. Sauntering better beasts in the market the day." along one Wednesday morning, and “They seem very handsome animals," stopping at every parcel of cattle ex- said I. “ Ye may say that," replied my new friend;" they war fed in my house, or failing of that, to disposing ain yard at Wirlyknows, and de’il å of the animals, though at -some loss, bit o' oilcake ever crossed their craigs: to my friend Deacon Sparerib," the only find them, man---tak haud obutcher, I resolved to make the best them-dinna be feared.”.

of my unfortunate situation. With that he half dragged me be- We were crossing the street to the tween two of the bullocks; and, not fatal house, squeezing through a crowd to shew my ignorance, I felt the flanks of farmers, graziers, butchers, dogs, of the animals, in the manner I saw and cattle-drivers, when the attention him, raised their tails, and patted their of my friend was arrested by the callneeks, as if I had been born a grazier ing of his name, in a loud voice, by a or a butcher. “ What do ye think person at a little distance Andrew! may be the weight o'thae now? gie a -Andrew Cloverfield !-Mr Cloverguess."-" I have no idea, indeed,” field, I say?-Deil's in the man, is he replied I. "Toots, awa wi' your af- deaf?"-"Wha's that crying on me? fectation, inan,-ye ken fu' weel,--ye Stop a wee, Mr Harrigals, till we see, haena been sae lang a flesher without said he, and turned in the direckennan mair than ye wish to tell. But tion from whence the voice proceedif they dinna stand out aught-and- ed. A young man, about my own forty stane, ye's get them for naething. size, was bustling through the crowd, I'm sure ye'll no grudge saxteen punils dressed in a short white jacket, booted the piece for them-ye canna in your and spurred. “0, it's you ! Preserve conscience ca' that dear."-" I really us a'-how like you are to your brither! do not know their value correctly - I've been looking for you twa hours they may be worth that money, for in the market the day, as I had halfaught I know."-"Worth the money! promised to your father to put a gude Deacon Mitchell took twal siclike for article in your hands. Herd Sandy's 5s. mair a-head; but no to stand gib- awa' wi' the beasts to your park, and bling gabbling, they're your's at that now we'll a' gang in, and we'll hae price, and we'll say nae mair about it.” our breakfast thegither.”—“ That's is But really, sir, I know nothing about no my brither, Mr Cloverfield ; you the matter, and" “Say nae mair must be mista'en; and if ye hae sell’d about it, Mr Harrigals,-it's a done the beasts, there's nae mair about it bargain,” said he, taking me by the but mysiller's as gude as anither's, and hand; “I ken your father fu' weel, there's as gude fish in the sea as ever and he'll no be sorry ye've coft the cam out o't.”-“For God's sake, sir, beasts thrae me. If ye dinna double stop a moment,” said I; “ the baryour money on them, I'll eat them a' gain's yours, if you will take it. This mysell. We'll just stap into this house honest gentleman has been under some here, and tak half a mutchkin on the sad mistake, which he would not albargain, and ye can gie me your order low me to clear up-do but take the on Sir William for the siller.-San- animals at your own price.”-“What!" dy, drive these beasts to Mr Harri- said young Harrigals, “ has this chield gals' parks at the Grange Toll, and been imposing upon you by calling then gang to Mrs Twopenny's and get himself me? Grip him, Andrew your breakfast, and see the powney get he maun be a swindler--and I'll cao á feed, for I'll leave the market at twal. for the police.”—“Wha may ye be ? Come awa, Mr Harrigals, and we'll tell honestly this moment,” said Closettle the business,” said he, taking verfield, seizing me by the neck; “ if me by the coat.

ye offer to cheat me, by a' that's good Remonstrance was of no avail- I'll gie you a sarkfu' o' sair banes, I could not get in a single word. A even in the open market. He may have feeling of the ridicule I should incur accomplices -- there may be mair than among my friends in the town-coun, ane o'them.” cil, and the figure I should make at It was in vain for me to tell him home as the proprietor of twelve fat that he had forced the cattle on me, stots, kept me for the moment in a or to attempt to explain that I had kind of stupor, and I followed, or rå- only meant to satisfy my curiosity, by ther was dragged along by my con- unwittingly, looking at his bullocks, ductor, who was expatiating on the “ Tak him into the house, till we see bargain he had sold me. Trusting to wha he is that has ta'en up our name, be able to explain matters'when in the said Harrigals ; “ if he has forged our

name, we'll hae him ta'en afore the merchant, wi' an empty stamach, and
Shitra ;" and I was dragged across the maybe ye'll learn something about buy-
pavement, in dread of being pelted by ing cattle afore we're done. It's a ca-
all the cattle dealers in the market, pital joke after a'.-I canna help laugh-
and of being perhaps walked in pro- ing at my ain simplicity.” Mr Harri-
cession amidst a crowd of boys, to the gals added his request to the solicita-
nearest watch-house. A few moments tions of Mr Cloverfield, and after a
conversation, however, served to make good breakfast, and a glass of brandy,
the necessary explanation ; and when which I was forced to swallow to keep
it was known that my father had been in the wind out of my stomach, as An-
the town-council, and hadashop on the drew said, I received a kind invitation,
South Bridge, my character of swind- when I felt inclined, “ to come and
ler was changed immediately into that tak a day's fishing in the Braidwater
of a “foolish laddie, for middling wi' at Wirlyknows, where was the best
things that I had naething to do with.” trout in a the country:
Mr Cloverfield began now to think it I left my friends with a hearty shake
was partly his own fault that I was of the hand, and with mutual congra-
dragged in to purchase bullocks, which tulations at the circumstance which
I could not for their value have kill. had brought us acquainted ; and I
ed ; and young Harrigals declared, returned home by the Bow and the
that such a comical circumstance had Lawnmarket, both of which streets,
never occurred in the High Market in and the houses therein, seemed, from

their dancing so orldly before my eyes, “ Foolish callant,” said Andrew, not to have made up their minds about "what for did you no speak out, the centre of gravity. The people also man! I thought whan I saw ye feart appeared to walk less steadily than to set your feet in the sharn, and handle when I commenced my excursion. the nout wi' your yellow gloves, pre- These circumstances have been since serve us a', that the Edinburgh flesh- endeavoured to be accounted for by ers were turn’d unco gentle indeed. the administration of the glass of But howsomever, I wadna cheat ye- brandy to my stomach ; but I leave it ye need nae hae been fear'd for that. to the reader to decide, whether it is Mr Harrigals kens that they are a more likely that the houses should acgude bargain, and ye might maybe hae tually nod' their heads, or that the cesell’d them wi' profit. But, come, we'll lebrated traveller, Christopher Columhae a half mutchkin upon it. Lassie, bus, Esq. should be imposed on by tell your mistress to bring in the tea- his own very serviceable organs of things,-ye're no to gang awa', my sight.

his day.

CHAPTER X

Angling and Shooting.
A's fish that comes in the net.

Scots Proverb.
Larus hybernus, LIN.—The winter gull;
Our rocks and islets of this race are full.
Colour, pure white; cinereous on the back ;
The head and bill, as usual, on the neck;
The first quill-feather black; black streak’d the tail.
They feed on fishes, sometimes on the whale ;
In misty weather, and in wintry storms,
They scek the shore, and pick up frogs and worms.

Pennant's British Zoology in Verse,

by David DRINKWATER, F. L. S. “ We are all catching or caught," pond of life; and provided a proper said I to myself, as I left Lucky Thom- bait be held out to us, we seldom fail to son's little tavern or inn near Mussel- snatch at it. The shop-keeper baits his burgh, where “ Entertainment for windows with jewellery, ribbons, and Men and Horses” met my eye, after a silks, to catch the eye of female beauty; morning's exercise on the Esk ;-we while tallow-candles and tea, hams, are all anglers or fishers in the great cheese, and sugar, are laid out to ata

[ocr errors]

tract the notice of the thrifty house and pulled by something round the wife. The bookseller gilds his books, corner of the house. Taking it up, and the apothecary dusts his pills, to and beginning to wind up the line, I make them go down more pleasingly; soon found an obstruction to my prothe lawyer, like the spider, sets his gress, which even in these wonderful lines, and the clergy sweep their fly- times I should not have contemplated. hooks, all for the purpose of catching I had not rolled up above two or three something. Thousands are taken by yards, when a respectable matron of a the gilded butterflies of fame and glo- hen, surrounded by eight or ten chickry, and thousands more are in the con- ens, made her appearance, shaking her tinual pursuit of the more substantial head, unwilling to come forward and bait of riches. Even nets are set by afraid to retreat. beauty to entrap the hearts of the un- The good woman of the house folwary; and the jointured widow, or lowed me to the door, suspecting permiss with expectations, have only to haps that I had forgot to pay my reckdisplay their purses, to congregate the oning ; but, upon seeing what had persons, if not the hearts, of a whole happened, she exclaimed, “ Preserve county of unmarried gentlemen. us a'! is that my brood hen ye hae “But what has all this to do with catched wi' your fishing wand? if it your travels, Mr Christopher?” I think be, gentle or simple, ye had better Í hear the reader ask ; " Recollect we been fishing something else, I'll assure are at a coinplete stand still, while ye." She then ran to the animal, which you are musing and moralizing in this by this time was turning up its eyes, odd manner.” You are perfectly right, and making very extraordinary faces gentle Reader ; and, in case of rain, Í for a hen, and seizing it up, roared shall not keep you longer in the king's out, As sure as I'm on this spot, the highway, but take you back again to puir beast has eaten the flee-hook, and Lucky Thomson's Inn, where you may she's golloring up blude. What gart share with me, in idea, the comforts ye come to my house, wi' your whatof a hungry stomach, baps and butter, ye-ca’-thems? I had rather ye never eggs, ham, and all the luxuries of the ditted my door, than been the death day's first meal.

o poor Tappie.” She was now joined Í had fished up the water, and down in her lamentations by two girls, who the water, with but indifferent suc- expatiated upon the cruelty of the cess, till, coming in contact with the monster that was the death “ o' gransign-board above mentioned, I thought nie's hen," who could make eight or I could not do better than lay in a car- ten orphans so unadvisedly, and who go of provisions to last till dinner time; “had the heart to torture puir dumb so I ordered breakfast, and put my fish animals in this way.” ing-rod, to save the trouble of unscrew- Though I could scarcely refrain from ing, against the little window of the laughing at the strange attachment to apartment where breakfast was set, my line, I put on a grave face, and that I might see it in case of accident. said in words becoming the melanchoI had demolished at least one bap, (An- ly occasion, “My good woman, I am glicè, roll) eat two caller eggs of the sorry, very sorry indeed, for your hen; honest gentlewoman's own laying, ac- but you should consider, that if she cording

to her phraseology, and was in had not attempted to steal my fly, nothe act of breaking up a third, when thing would have happened.” “Steal! the shaking of my rod outside the win- my hen steal ! she's as honest a hen as dow attracted my attention. After a you, and that I'll let you ken, sir. tremulous motion, I thought I heard What signifies a bawbee's worth o' the pirn unrolling, and the next mo- hooks, and a wee pickle horse hair? I ment the rod fell and disappeared. wadna hae ta'en five shillings for my Unwilling to part so easily with an poor creature.” “Come, come, there old companion, which would moreover is no use in making words about the have spoiled my sport for the remain. matter. There's half-a-crown,” said der of the day, I ran to the door to I, cutting off the line at the hen's ascertain if the trout had really left mouth, " and no more about it."the water, and followed me to eat their “ Half-a-crown !” exclaimed Lucky breakfast on dry land. My rod lay on Thomson, “ I wonder how you can the ground, with the line extended, offer half-a-crown for a hen worth Vol. X.

F

double the siller. I wad cast the mo- to completemy conquest, hoping he was ney in your face, rather than sell my not mortally wounded, for I wanted poor beast's life for half-a-crown.” one of this species very much to pick

I had heard or read somewhere, that up the worms and insects in my garthe loudest speaker in a vulgar quarrel den; but when within a yard of where always comes off victorious; and, find- he lay, and almost ready to stoop for ing that I could not bring my landlady the purpose of lifting him up, he eyed to reason in any other way, I raised me with a significant glance, and then, my voice to its utmost pitch, and said half running half flying, seemed to say, in my most determined manner, that “ Off we go !--catch me if you can. if she did not choose to take what I I ran pretty fast, but he ran still fastoffered, I would give nothing at all, er; and after a coursing along the beach, and besides prosecute her for damage which even arrested the half-naked done to my rod and line, and the loss bathers to witness its termination, my of my fly. The woman's choler fell as gull friend got over a garden dike at mine seemed to rise; she remarked, Joppa, and, having placed the highin a subdued tone, “that her husband road between him and me, disappearaye said she was owre hasty in her ed in a corn field. temper; that she saw I was a gentle- Was there ever any thing more proman, and wadna wrang a poor body; voking! But this world is full of disand that she wad just tak what I liked appointments; and, after all, it is not to gie, though it would be lang indeed so humiliating to be gulled by a gull, before the bairns got a hen like poor as by one of one's own species. Being Tappie."

sufficiently tired by my chace, I left With little more ado I finished my the bathers to dress themselves in breakfast. My hostess had her hen peace, and determined to “ wend my killed for nothing, and the price of it weary way” back again to town, and to the bargain; and two trouts to the to repair the waste of the morning's little girls put an end to the mourning expedition by a comfortable dinner. for the unfortunate hen and her help- I had walked nearly half way to less babies.

Edinburgh, and had entered the range Mr Matthews, when you choose to of houses called Jock's Lodge, when, be At Home in our city, send me no- to my astonishment and delight, í tice thereof, and I shall make the above perceived my friend the gull stalking into a very capital law-case for your quietly by the side of the road, and use, and the decision of the public,- picking his feathers, very much at his for the lawyers of my acquaintance ease. “Ah, my good fellow,” thought have not yet made up their minds, I, “I shall have you at last;" and to whether the woman was entitled to leap across the road and catch up the damages for the death of her furtive animal, was but the work of a mohen, or me, for injury done to my line, ment. I got him under my arm aland the loss of an innocent fly. most unresisting, and having shung my

fowling-piece on my shoulder, I gaily

ascended the rising ground to the city. A bird in hand is worth two in the I had got but a few yards, however, bush says the English proverb, and when one of a few children standing English proverbs sometimes say true. by a door cried out, “ Eh, there's a I was shooting sea-fowl on Portobello man wi' a gull."--"A gull? odd its sands, at a season when no other very like Jenny Cameron's," was the shooting is permitted, and for a long response of another. “ It's just it,” time I had wasted powder and patent cried a third ; and surmise being inshot to little purpose. The mews, creased to conviction among the little ducks, and gulls, either flew provoking- whipper-snappers, the whole sung out ly high, or at a tormenting distance, in chorus, "Jenny! Jenny Cameron! and I could not bring one down. In here's a man stealing your gull.” fact, none of them had a mind to be Jenny made her appearance forthwith wounded or die that morning, which from the door of a little alehouse: I thought very strange indeed. At “Stop the man wi' my beast,” cried fast, however, a large grey gull flew Jenny; “ bairns, cry to the sogers to past. I immediately levelled at him, stop that man!" I turned to explain and had the good fortune to see him to Mrs Janet, that it could not by any tumble on the sands before me. I ran possibility be her gull, for that I had

« PreviousContinue »