Page images

rich, and nobody on it but cripple Tammy Daidles, I thought it was but a foreign hawk, with a yellow that was at that time known through all the country head and green feathers.”Ibid. pp. 44, 45. side for begging on a horse, I thought it my duty to call upon Mrs. Malcolm in a sympathising way, and The good youth gets into the navy, and disoffer her some assistance—but she refused it. "No, tinguishes himself in various actions. This is sir,' said she. 'I canna take help from the poor's the catastrophe. box, although it's very true that I am in great need ; for it might hereafter be cast up to my bairns, whom “But, oh! the wicked wastry of life in war! In I may please God to restore to better circumstances less than a month after, the news came of a victory when I am no to see't; but I would fain borrow over the French fleet, and by the same post I goia five pounds, and if, sir, you will write to Mr. Mait, letter from Mr. Howard, that was the midshipman land, that is now the Lord Provost of Glasgow, and who came to see us with Charles, telling me that tell him that Marion Shaw would be obliged to poor Charles had been mortally wounded in the ac. hin for the lend of that soom, I think he will not tion, and had afterwards died of his wounds. He fail to send it.'

was a hero in the engagement,' said Mr. Howard, “I wrote the letter that night to Provost Mait- and he died as a good and a brave man should.' land, and, by the retour of the post, I got an answer, | These tidings gave me one of the sorest hearts I withiwenty pounds for Mrs. Malcolm, saying, that ever suffered ; and it was long before I could gather it was with sorrow he heard so small a irifle could fortitude to disclose the tidings to poor Charles' be serviceable.' When I took the letter and the mother. But ihe callants of the school had heard of money, which was in a bank-bill, she said, “This the victory, and were going shouting about, and had is just like himsel.' She then told me, that Mr. set the steeple bell a-ringing, by which Mrs. MalMaitland had been a gentleman's son of the east colm heard ihe news; and knowing that Charles' country, but driven out of his father's house, when ship was with the fleet, she came over to the Manse a laddie, by his step-mother; and that he had served in great anxiety, 10 hear the particulars, somebody as a servant lad with her father, who was the Laird telling her that there had been a foreign letter to me of Yillcogie, but ran through his estate, and left by the post-man. her, his only daughter, in little better than beggary “When I saw her I could not speak, but looked with her auntie, ihe mother of Captain Malcolm, at her in pity! and the tear fleeing up into my eyes, her husband that was. Provost Maitland in his she guessed what had happened. After giving a servitude, had ta'en a notion of her; and when he deep and sore sigh, she inquired, “How did he berecovered his patrimony, and had become a great have? I hope well, for he was aye a gallant ladGlasgow merchant, on hearing how she was left by die!'-and ihen she wept very bitterly. However, her father, he offered to marry her, but she had growing calmer, I read io her the letter, and when promised herself to her cousin ihe Captain, whose I had done, she begged me to give it her to keep, widow she was. He then married a rich lady, and saying, ' It's all that I have now left of my pretty in time grew, as he was, Lord Provost of the City; boy; but it's mair precious to me than the wealth but his letter with the twenty pounds to me, showed of the Indies ;' and she begged me to return thanks that he had not forgotten his first love. It was a to the Lord, for all the comforts and manifold mer. short, but a well-written letter, in a fair hand of cies with which her lot had been blessed, since the write, containing much of the true gentleman; and hour she put her trust in Him alone, and that was Mrs. Malcolm said, 'Who knows but out of the when she was left a pennyless widow, with her five regard he once had for their mother, he may do fatherless bairns. It was just an edification of the something for my five helpless orphans.!"-Annals spirit, to see the Christian resignation of this wor; of the Parish, pp. 16–21.

thy woman.

Mrs. Balwhidder was confounded,

and said, there was more sorrow seeing the deep Charles afterwards goes to sea, and comes grief of her fortitude, than tongue could tell. home unexpectedly.

Having raken a glass of wine with her, I walk.

ed out to conduct her to her own house, but in the One evening. towards the gloaming, as I was

way we met with a severe trial. All the weans taking my walk of meditation, I saw a brisk sailor were our parading with napkins and kail-blades on laddie coming towards me. He had a pretty green sticks, rejoicing and triumphing in the glad tidings parrot, sitting on a bundle, tied in a Barcelona silk of victory. But when they saw me and Mrs. Mal. handkerchief, which he carried with a stick over his colm coming slowly along, they guessed what had shoulder, and in this bundle was a wonderful big happened, and threw away their banners of joy; nut, such as no one in our parish had ever seen. It and, standing all up in a row, with silence and sad. was called a cocker-nut. ''This blithe callant was ness, along the kirk-yard wall as we passed, show. Charlie Malcolm, who had come all the way that ed an instinct of compassion that penetrated to my day his leaful lane, on his own legs from Greenock, very soul. The poor mother burst into fresh afficwhere the Tobacco trader was then 'livering her tion, and some of the bairns into an audible weep. cargo. I told him how his mother, and his brothers, ing; and, taking one another by the hand, they fol. and his sisters were all in good health, and went to lowed us to her door, like mourners at a funeral. convoy bim home; and as we were going along, he Never was such a sight seen in any lown before. told me many curious things : and he gave me six The neighbours came to look at it, as we walked beautiful yellow limes, that he had brought in his along; and the men turned aside to hide their faces, pouch all the way across the seas, for me to make while the mothers pressed their babies fondlier to a bowl of punch with! and I thought more of them their bosoms, and watered their innocent faces with than if they had been golden guineas-it was so

their tears. mindful of ihe laddie.

"I prepared a suitable sermon, taking as the “ When we got to the door of his mother's house, words of my text, 'Howl, ye ships of Tarshish, for she was sitting at the fire-side, with her three other your strength is laid waste. But when I saw around bairns at their bread and milk, Kate being then with me so many of my people, clad in complimentary Lady Skimmilk, at the Breadland, sewing. It was mourning for the gallant Charles Malcolm, and that between the day and dark, when the shutile stands even poor daft Jenny Gaffaw, and her daughier, had still till the lamp is lighted. But such a shout of joy on an old black ribbon; and when I thought of him, and thankfulness as rose from that hearth, when the spirited laddie, coming home from Jamaica, with Charlie went in! The very parrot, ye would have his parrot on his shoulder, and his limes for me, my thought, was a participator, for the beast gied a heart filled full, and I was obliged to sit down in the skraik that made my whole head dirl; and the pulpit and drop a tear.''-Ibid. pp. 214–218. neighbours came flying and flocking to see what was the maller, for it was the first parrot ever

We like these tender passages the bestseen within the bounds of the parish, and some but the reader should have a specimen of the

Such a

humorous vein also. The following we think 'a carrel, took up a dancing-school at Ireville, the excellent.

which art he had learned in the genteelest fashion,

in the inode of Paris, at the French court. “In the course of the summer, just as the roof thing as a dancing school had never, in the memory was closing in of the school-house, my lord came to of man, been known in our country side ; and there the castle with a great company, and was not there was such a sound about the steps and couillions of a day till he sent for me to come over on the next Mr. Macskipnieh, that every lad and lass, that could Sunday, to dine with him; but I sent him word that spare time and siller, went to him, to the great neI could not do so, for it would be a transgression of glect of their work. The very bairns on the loan, che Sabbath; which made him send his own gentle. instead of their wonted play, gaed linking and loupman, to make his apology for having taken so great ing in the steps of Mr. Macskipnish, who was, to be a liberty with me, and to beg me to come on the sure, a great curiosily, with long spindle legs, his Monday, which I accordingly did, and nothing could breast shot out like a duck's, and his head powderbe better than the discretion with which I was used. ed and frizzled up like a tappii-hen. He was, inThere was a vast company of English ladies and deed, the proudest peacock ihat could be seen, and gentlemen, and his lordship, in a most jocose man- he had a ring on his finger, and when he came 10 ner, told them all how he had fallen on the midden, drink his tea at the Breadland, he brought no hat on and how I had clad him in my clothes, and there his head, but a droll cockit thing under his arm, was a wonder of laughing and diversion : But the which, he said, was after the manner of the courtiers most particular thing in the company, was a large, at the petty suppers of one Madame Pumpadour, who round-faced man, with a wig, that was a dignitary was at that time the concubine of the French king. in some great Episcopalian church in London, who "I do not recollect any other remarkable thing was extraordinary condescending towards me, that happened in this year. The harvest was very drinking wine with me at the table, and saying abundant, and the meal so cheap, that it caused 3 weighty sentences in a fine style of language, about great defect in my stipend, so that I was obligated to the becoming grace of simplicity and innocence of postpone the purchase of a mahogany scrutoire for heart, in the clergy of all denominations of Chris. my study, as I had intended. But I had not the rians, which I was pleased to hear; for really he heart to complain of this; on the contrary, I rejoiced had a proud red countenance, and I could not have thereat, for what made me want my scrutoire till thought he was so mortified to humility within, had another year, had carried blitheness into the hearth I not heard with what sincerity he delivered him of the cotter, and made the widow's heart sing with self, and seen how much reverence and attention joy; and I would have been an unnatural creature, was paid to him by all present, particularly by my had I not joined in the universal gladness, because lord's chaplain, who was a pious and pleasant young plenty did abound.”Ibid. pp. 30–32. divine, though educated at Oxford for the Episco. palian persuasion.

We shall only try the patience of our readOne day soon after, as I was siring in my ers farther with the death of Nanse Banką, the closet conning a sermon for the next Sunday, I was old parish school-mistress. surprised by a visit from the dean. as the dignitary was called. He had come, he said, to wait on me but, being a methodical creature, still kept on the

" She had been long in a weak and frail state, as rector of the parish, for so it seems they call a pastor in England, and to say, that, if it was agree. school, laying the foundation for many a worthy wife able, he would take a family dinner with us before and mo:her. However, about the decline of the he left the castle. I could make no objection to his year her complaints increased, and she sent for me kindness, but said I hoped my lord would come

to consult about her giving up the school; and I with him, and that we would do our best 10 enter

went to see her on a Saturday afternoon, when the tain them with all suitable hospitality. About an

bit lassies, her scholars, had put the house in order, hour or so after he had returned to the castle, one of and gone home till the Monday. the flunkies brought a letter from his lordship to

She was sitting in the window-nook, reading say, that not only he would coine with the dean, THE WORD to herself, when I entered; but she closbut that they would bring the other guests with ed the book, and put her spectacles in for a mark them, and that, as they could only drink London when she saw me: and, as it was expected I would wine, the butler would send me a hamper in the come, her easy chair, with a clean cover, had been morning, assured, as he was pleased to say, that Mrs. set out for me by the scholars, by which I discerned Balwhidder would otherwise provide good cheer.

that there was som hing more than common 10 “ This notification, however, was a great trouble happen, and so it appeared when I had taken my to my wife, who was only used to manufacture the seat. Sir,' said she, I hae sent for you on a thing produce of our glebe and yard to a profitable pur- 'roubles me sairly. I have warsled with poortith in pose, and not used to the treatment of deans and this shed, which it has pleased the Lord to allow me lords, and other persons of quality. However, she lo possess; but my strength is worn out, and I fear was determined to stretch a point on this occasion, I maun yield in the strife;' and she wiped her eye and we had, as all present declared, a charming Cheer; and then she said, ' that she could no longer

with her apron. I told her, however, to be of good dinner; for fortunately one of the sows had a litter I thole the din of the school ; and that she was weary, of pigs a few days before, and, in addition to a goose, that is but a boss bird, we had a roasted pig, with and ready to lay herself down to die whenever the an apple in its mouth, which was just a curiosity to Lord was pleased to permit. But,' continued she, see; and my lord called it a tyihe pig, but I iold

what can I do without the school ? and, alas! I him it was one of Mrs. Balwhidder's own clecking, can neither work nor want; and I am wae to go on which saying of mine made no little sport when the Session, for I am come of a decent faniily. ! expounded to the dean.”-Annals of the Parish, done so much good in the parish, that ihe Session

comforted her, and told her, that I thought she had pp. 136-141.

was deep in her debt, and that what they might We add the description of the first dancing- give her was but a just payment for her service. 1 master that had been seen in these parts in would rather, however, sir,' said she, try first the year 1762.

what some of my auld scholars will do, and it was

for that I wanted to speak with you. If some of “ Also a thing happened in this year, which de them would but just, from time to time, look in serves to be recorded, as manifesting what effect the upon me, that I may not die alane; and the little smuggling was beginning to take on the morals of pick and drapihat I require would not be hard upon the country side. "One Mr. Macskipnish, of High. ihem-I am more sure that in this way their gratiland parentage, who had been a valet-de-chambre tude would be no discredit, than I am of having any with a Major in the campaigns, and taken a prisoner claim on the Session.' with him by the French, he having come home in ** As I had always a great respect for an honest

pride, I assured her that I would do what she and on a level nearly with the Annals of the wanied; and accordingly, the very morning after, Parish. There is no inconsiderable resembeing Sabba:h, I preached a sermon on the help blance, indeed, it appears to us, in the charlessness of them that have no help of man ; meaning aged single women, living in garret-roonis,

acter of the two Biographies : for if we subwhose forlorn state, in the gloaming of life, I made stitute the love of jobbing and little managemanifest to the hearts and understandings of the ment, which is inseparable from the situation congregation, in such a manner that many shed of a magistrate in one of our petty Burghs, tears, and went away sorrowful. “ Having thus roused the feelings of my people, used to attach to our orthodox clergy, and

for the zeal for Presbyterian discipline which I went round the houses on the Monday morning, and mentioned what I had to say more particularly make a proper allowance for the opposite about poor old Nanse Banks ihe schoolmistress, effects of their respective occupations, we and truly I was rejoiced at the condition of the shall find a good deal of their remaining pehearts of my people. There was a universal sym- culiarities common to both those personages, pathy among ihem; and it was soon ordered that, the same kindness of nature with the same what with one and another, her decay should be provided for. But it was not ordained that she tranquillity of temper-and the same practishould be long heavy on their good will. On the cal sagacity, with a similar deficiency of large Monday the school was given up, and there was views or ingenious speculations. The Provost, nothing but wailing among the bit lassies, the to be sure, is a more worldly person than the scholars, for getting the vacance, as the poor things Pastor, and makes no scruple about using insaid, because the mistress was going to lie down direct methods to obtain his ends, from which took to her bed the same afternoon, and, in the the simplicity of the other would have recourse of the week, dwindled away, and slippet coiled ;- but his ends are not, on the whole, out of this howling wilderness into the kingdom of unjust or dishonest; and his good nature, and heaven, on the Sabbath following, as quietly os a acute simplicity, with the Burghal authority blessed saint could do. And here I should men: of his tone, would almost incline us to contion, that the Lady Macadam, when I told her of Nanse Banks' case. inquired if she was a snuffer, clude, that he was somehow related to the and, being answered by me that she was, her lady celebrated Bailie Nicol Jarvie of the Saltship sent her a pretty French enamel box full of market! The style of his narrative is exMacabaw, a fine snuff that she had in a bottle ; and, ceedingly meritorious; for while it is pitched among the Macabaw, was found a guinea, at the on the self-same key of picturesque homelibottom of the box, after Nanse Banks had departed ness and deliberate method with that of the this life, which was a kind thing of Lady Macadam to do."'-Annals of the Parish, pp. 87-91.

parish Annalist, it is curiously distinguished

from it, by a sensible inferiority in literature, The next of this author's publications, we and an agreeable intermixture of malaprops, believe, was “The Ayrshire Legatees,' also and other figures of rhetoric befitting the in one volume, and a work of great, and composition of a loyal chief magistrate. By similar, though inferior merit, to the former. far the most remarkable and edifying thing, It is the story of the proceedings of a worthy however, in this volume, is the discovery, Scottish clergyman and his family, to whom which the worthy Provost is represented as a large property had been unexpectedly be- having gradually made, of the necessity of queathed by a relation in India, in the course consulting public opinion in his later transacof their visit to London to recover this prop- tions, and the impossibility of managing puberty. The patriarch himself and his wife, lic affairs, in the present times, with the same and his son and daughter, who form the party, barefaced assertion, and brave abuse, of auall write copious accounts of what they see, thority, which had been submitted to by a to their friends in Ayrshire--and being all less instructed generation. As we cannot but lowly and simply bred, and quite new to the suspect, that this great truth is not yet suffiscenes in which they are now introduced, ciently familiar with all in authority among make up among them a very entertaining us, and as there is something extremely enmiscellany, of original, naïve and preposterous gaging in the Provost's confession of his slow observations. The idea of thus making a and reluctant conversion, and in the honest family club, as it were, for a varied and often simplicity with which he avows his adherence contradictory account of the same objects, to the principles of the old school of corrupeach tinging the picture with his own peculi- tion, though convinced that the manner of arities, and unconsciously drawing his own advancing them must now be changed, we character in the course of the description, are tempted to extract a part of his lucubrawas first exemplified, we believe, in the Hum- tions on this interesting subject. After noticphrey Clinker of Smollett, and has been since ing the death of old Bailie M-Lucre, he takes copied with success in the Bath Guide, Paul's occasion to observe:Letters to his Kinsfolk, the Fudge Family, and other ingenious pieces, both in prose

and “And now that he is dead and gone, and also all verse. Though the conception of the Ayr- first came into power and office, I may venture 10

those whom I found conjunct with him, when I shire Legatees, however, is not new, the exe- say, ibat things in yon former times were not guided cution and details must be allowed to be so thoroughly by the hand of a disinterested integ: original; and, along with a good deal of rity as in these latter years. On the contrary, it twaddle, and too much vulgarity, certainly seemed to be the use and wont of men in public display very considerable powers both of trusts, to think they were free to indemnify i hem.

selves, in a left-handed way, for the time and humour, invention, and acute observation.

trouble they bestowed in the same. But ihe thing The author's next work is “ The Provost," was not so far wrong in principle, as in the hug. which is decidedly better than the Legatees, germuggering way in which it was done, and which


gave to it a guilty colour, that, by the judicious man to prosperity, in the sequestered traffic of pristratagem of a right system, it would never have vale life.”-Ibid. pp. 315, 316. had. And, sooth 10 say, through the whole course of my public life, I met with no greater difficulties Trusting that these lessons from a person and trials, than in cleansing myself from the old of such prudence, experience, and loyalty, habitudes of office. For I must, in verity, confess, will not be lost on his successors, we shall that I myself partook, in a degree, at my beginning, now indulge ourselves by quoting a few speciof the caterpillar nature, &c.—While, therefore, I think it has been of a great advantage to the public his more interesting style ; and, with our usual

mens of what will generally be regarded as to have survived that method of administration in which the like of Bailie M.Lucre was engendered, predilection for the tragic vein, shall begin I would not have it understood that I ihink the with the following very touching account of men who held the public trust in those days a whit the execution of a fair young woman for the less honest than the men of my own time. The murder of her new-born infant. spirit of their own age was upon them, as that of ours is upon us; and their ways of working the "The heinousness of the crime can by no possiwherry entered more or less into all their traffick bility be lessened; but the beauty of the mother, ing, whether for the commonality, or for their own her tender years, and her light-headedness, had particular behoof and advantage.

won many favourers, and there was a great leaning "I have been thus large and frank in my re in the hearts of all the town 10 compassionate her, flections anent the death of the Bailie, because, especially when they thought of the ill example that poor man, he had outlived the times for which he had been set to her in the walk and conversation of was qualified; and instead of the merriment and her mother. It was not, however, within the power jocularity that his wily by hand ways used 10 cause of the magistrates to overlook the accusation ; 50 among his neighbours, the rising generation began we were obligated to cause a precognition to be to pick and dab at im, in such a manner, that, had taken, and ihe search left no doubt of the wilfulness he been much longer spared, it is to be feared he of the murder. Jeanie was in consequence removed would not have been allowed to enjoy his earnings to the Tolbooth, where she lay till the Lords were both with ease and honour."

coming to Ayr, when she was sent thither to stand The Provost, pp. 171-174. her trial before them; but, from the hour she did Accordingly, afterwards, when a corps of the deed, she never spoke.

“Her trial was a short procedure, and she was volunteers was raised in his Burgh, he ob- cast to be hanged—and not only to be hanged, but

ordered to be executed in our town, and her body

given to the doctors to make an Atomy. The exe“I kept myself aloof from all handling in the cution of Jeanie was what all expected would happecuniaries of the business; but I lent a friendly pen; but when the news reached the town of the countenance to every feasible project that was likely other parts of the sentence, the wail was as the to strengthen the confidence of the King in the sough of a pestilence, and fain would the council loyally and bravery of his people. For by this have got it dispensed with. But the Lord Advocate time I had learni, that there was a wakerife Com

was just wud at the crime, both because there had mon Sense abroad among the opinions of men; been no previous concealment, so as to have been and that the secret of the new way of ruling the an extenuation for the shame of the birth, and he world was to follow, not to control, the evident

cause Jeanie would neither divulge the name of the dictates of the popular voice ; and I soon had rea. father, nor make answer to all the interrogatories son to felicitate myself on this prudent and season that were put to her, standing at the bar like a able discovery; for it won me great reverence dumbie, and looking round her, and at the judges, among the forward young men, who started up at like a demented creature-and beautiful as a Flan. the call of their country. - The which, as I tell ders baby! It was thought by many that her adfrankly, was an admonition to me, that the peremp. vocate might have made great use of her visible tory will of authority was no longer sufficient for consternation, and plead that she was by lierself; the rule of mankind; and, therefore, I squared my for in truth she had every appearance of being so. after conduct more by a deference to public opinion, He was, however, a dure man, no doubt well than by any laid down maxims and principles of my enough versed in the particulars and punctualines

The consequence of which was, that my of the law for an ordinary plea, but no of the right influence still continued to grow and gather strength sort of knowledge and talent io take up the case in the community, and I was enabled to accomplish of a forlorn lassie, misled by ill example and a winmany things that my predecessors would have some nature, and clothed in the allurement of love. thought it was almost beyond the compass of man liness, as the judge himself said to the jury. to undertake."'-Ibid. pp. 208–217.

“On the night before the day of execution, she

was brought over in a chaise from Ayr between Upon occasion of his third and last promo- iwo town officers, and placed again in our hands, motion to the Provostry, he thus records his and still she never spoke. Nothing could exceed own final conversion.

the compassion that every one had for poor Jeanie;

so she was na committed to a common cell, but “When I returned home to my own house, I laid in the council room, where the ladies of the retired into my private chamber for a time, to con- town made up a comfortable bed for her, and some sult with myself in what manner my deportment of them sat up all night and prayed for her; But should be regulated; for I was conscious that here- her thoughts were gone, and she sat silent. In the tofore I had been overly governed with a disposition morning, by break of day, her wanton mother that to do things my own way; and although not in an had been trolloping in Glasgow came to the Tol: avaricious temper, yet something, I must confess, booth door, and made a dreadful wally waeing; and with a sort of sinister respect for my own interests. the ladies were obligated, for the sake of peace. 10 It may be, that standing now clear and free of the bid her be let in. But Jeanie noticed her not, still world. I had less incitement to be so grippy, and so sitting with her eyes cast down, waiting the coming was thought of me, I very well know ; but in so. on of the hour of her doom.. briety and truth I conscientiously affirm, and herein “There had not been an execution in the town record, that I had lived to partake of the purer spirit in the memory of the oldest person then living: the which the great mutations of the age had conjured last that suffered was one of the martyrs in the into public affairs; and I saw that there was a ne time of the persecution, so that we were not skilled cessity to carry into all dealings with the concerns in the business, and had besides no hangman, but of the community, the same probity which helps a were necessitated to borrow the Ayr one. Indeed,


I being the youngest bailie, was in terror that the could extend the arm of protection. Seeing no obligation might have fallen on me. A scaffold abatement of the wrath of heaven, that howled was erected at the Tron just under the Tolbooth and roared around us, I put on my big coat, and windows, by Thomas Gimblet, the Master-of-work, taking my staff in my hand, having ied down my who had a good penny of profit by the job; for he hai with a silk handkerchief, towards gloaming I contracted with the town council, and had the boards walked likewise to the kirkyard, where I beheld after the business was done to the bargain ; but such an assemblage of sorrow, as few men in situ. Thomas was then deacon of the wrights, and him. ation have ever been put 10 the trial to witness. self a member of our body.

“ In the lea of the kirk many hundreds of the ** At the hour appointed, Jeanie, dressed in white, town were gathered together; but there was no was led out by the rown-officers, and in the midst discourse among them. The major part were sai. of the magistrales from among the ladies, with her lors' wives and weans, and at every new thud of hands tied behind her with a black ribbon. At the the blast, a sob rose, and the mothers drew their first sight of her at the Tolbooth stairhead, a uni. bairns closer in about them, as if they saw the versal sob rose from all the muliitude, and the stern- visible hand of a foe raised to smite them. Apart est ee could na refrain from shedding a tear. We from the multitude, I observed three or four young marched slowly down the stair, and on to the foot lasses, standing behind the Whinnyhill families' of the scaffold, where her younger brother, Willy, tomb, and I jealoused that they had joes in the that was stable-boy at my lord's, was s'anding by ships, for they often looked to the bay, with long himself, in an open ring made round him in the necks and sad faces, from behind the monument. crowd ; every one compassionating the dejected But of all the piteous objects there, on that doleful laddie, for he was a fine youth, and of an orderly evening, none troubled my thoughts more than spirit. As his sister came towards the foot of the three motherless children, that belonged to the ladder, he ran towards her, and embraced her with mate of one of the vessels in the jeopardy. He a wail of sorrow that melied every heart, and made was an Englishman that had been seuled some us all stop in the middle of our solemnity. Jeanie years in the town, where his family had neither looked at him (for her hands were tied), and a silent | kith nor kin; and his wife having died about a tear was seen io drop from her cheek. But in the month before, the bairns, of whom the eldest was course of little more ihan a minute, all was quiet, but nine or so, were friendless enough, though and we proceeded to ascend the scaffold. Willy, both my gudewise, and other well-disposed ladies, who had by this time dried his eyes, went up wiih paid them all manner of attention till their father 11s, and when Mr. Pirtle had said the prayer, and would come home. The three poor little things, sung ihe psalm, in which ihe whole mullivude join. knowing that he was in one of the ships, had been ed, as it were with the contrition of sorrow, the ofien out and anxious, and they were then sitting hangman siepped forward to put on the fatal cap, under the lea of a headstone, near their mother's but Willy took it out of his hand, and placed it on grave, chittering and creeping closer and closer at his sister himself, and then kneeling down, with his every squall! Never was such an orphan-like back towards her, closing his eyes and shuning his sighi seen. ears wiih his hands, he saw not nor heard when When it began to be so dark, that the vessels she was launched into eternity!

could no longer be discerned from the churchyard, *. When the awful act was over, and the stir was many went down to the shore, and I took the three for the magistrales to return, and the body to be babies home with me, and Mrs. Pawkie made tea cui down, poor Willy rose, and, without looking for them, and I hey soon began to play with our own round. went down the steps of the scaffold; the younger children, in blyihe forgetfulness of the maljude made a lane for bin 10 pass, and he went storm; every now and then, however, the eldest on through them hiding his face, and gaed straight of them, when the shutters rattled, and the lum. out of the town.”The Provosl, pp. 67-73. head roared, would pause in his innocent daffing,

and cower in towards Mrs. Pawkie, as if he was This is longer than we had expected-and daunted and dismayed by something he knew not therefore, omitting all the stories of his wiles what. and jocosities, we shall take our leave of the Many a one that night walked the sounding Provost, with his very pathetic and picturesque great extent, but the darkness and the noise of the

shore in sorrow, and fires were lighted along it to a description of the catastrophe of the Windy raging deep, and the howling wind, never intermitYule, which we think would not discredit the red vil about midnight; at which time a message pen of the great novelist himself.

was brought to me, that it might be needful to send

a guard of soldiers to the beach, for that broken “In the inorning, the weather was blasty and masts and tackle had come in, and that surely some sleetv, waxing more and more tempestuous, vill of the barks had perished. I lost no time in obey. ahout mid-day, when the wind checked suddenly ing this suggestion, which was made to me by one round from the nor-east to the sou-west, and blew of the owners of the Louping Meg; and to show a gale, as if the prince of the powers of ihe air was that I sincerely sympathised with all those in afflic. doing his timnost to work mischief. The rain blat. rion, I rose and dressed myself, and went down to tered, the windows clartered, the shop shutters flap. the shore, where I directed several old boats to be ped, pigs from the lum-heads came rattling down drawn up by the fires, and blankets to be brought, like thunder-claps, and the skies were dismal both and cordials prepared, for them that might be spared with cloud and carry. Yet, for all that, there was wiih life to reach the land; and I walked the beach in the streets a stir and a busy visitation between with the mourners till the morning. neighbours, and every one went to their high win- " As the day dawned, the wind began to abate dows to look at the five poor barks, that were wars. in its violence, and to wear away from the sou-west ling against the strong arm of the elements of ihe into the norit; but it was soon discovered, that storm and ihe ocean.

some of the vessels with the corn had perished! “ Still the litt gloomed, and the wind roared ; and for the first thing seen, was a long fringe of tangle it was as dolerul a sight as ever was seen in any and grain, along the line of the highwater mark, town afflicted with calamity, to see the sailor's and every one strained with greedy and grieved wives, with their red cloaks about their heads, fol. eyes, as the daylight brightened, to discover which lowed by their hirpling and disconsolate bairns, had suffered. But I can proceed no farther with going one after another to the kirkyard, to look at the dismal recital of that doleful morning! Let it the vessels where their helpless breadwinners were suffice here to be known, thai, through the haze, battling with the tempest. My heart was really we ar last saw three of the vessels lying on their sorrowful, and full of a sore anxiety to think of beam-ends, with their masts broken, and the waves what might happen to the town, whereof so many riding like the furious horses of destruction over were in peril, and to whom no human inagistracy them. What had become of the other two, was

« PreviousContinue »