« PreviousContinue »
this consideration. If Lord Derby's have done in Asia to the tender merAdministration is driven from the cies of the Sikhs, in Africa to the helm by the results of the next elec- tender mercies of the Caffres. Un. tion, this country may see what awaits deterred by the calamitous result of them. A more vital interest than the principles of the Peace Congress that of Free Trade, a more terrible in these two quarters of the globe, fate than the re-establishment of Ro- and which the resolution of our chiefs manism, is involved in the issue of and heroism of our soldiers alone prethe contest. It will not be the vented from inrolving our Colonial Whigs and Lond John Rassell who Empire in rain, they are prepared will in that erent be called to the to pursue the same system in Europe helm. The family clique of the Ras- in presence of Louis Napoleon, the sells and the Nintos is wom ont. recollection of Waterloo, and five hunTheir journals tells us what must dred thousand men. Like all fanatics, be done. The new administration whether in religion of politics, they must be framed on an extended basis, are inaccessible to reason, and deaf and we know where the extension is to all arguments drawn from facts, to be sought. The Chesham Place how clear and convincing soever. Be meeting has prefigured it in the it so. We have done our daty in clearest colours. It is Mr Cobden, unfolding the stake at issue in the Mr Bright, and the Manchester next election, and the irreparable tuin school, who are to be taken into the which will threates, and probably Cabinet, and we know what their overtake the nation, if, from a passion principles are they have told us for Free Trade, it loses all the wealth themselves repeatedly. They are to which that system is said to have sell our ships of the line, disband created. Let it take its decision; bot our troops cut off twelre millions of it cannot say it has done so unwarned taxesand trust in Europe to the or uninstructed as to the dangers tender mercies of the French, as we which threaten it.
A TRUE STORY.
“ En Lady Anne! The like of you art at the mill door-ask him to let yammering morning and night about Katie up." wee Katie at the mill. What's Jobn “But what will Lady Betty say?" Stewart? Naething but a common asked the nurse. man, and you the Earl's dochter. I “ Betty said I might get her if I wonder ye dinna think shame." liked. She'll no be angry. See, Nelly,
" Whisht, Nelly," said the little John Stewart's standing at the door." Lady Anne.
With reluctance the nurse obeyed ; "I'll no whisht. Didna Bauby and, leaving Lady Anne on the burnRodger speak for me to Lady Betty side, advanced to John Stewart. hersel to make me bairn's-maid ; and The mill lay at the opening of a am I to give you your ain gate now little uncultivated primitive-looking that I've gotten the place? I'll do valley, through which the burn wound no such thing; and ye shanna demean in many a silvery link, between banks yoursel as lang as I can help it. I've of bare grass, browned here and there been in as grand houses as Kellie with the full sunshine, which fell over Castle. I've had wee ladies and it all the summer through, unshaded wee gentlemen to keep before now; by a single tree. There was little of and there's plenty o' them, no that the beautiful in this view of Kellie far off, to hand ye in company: Mill. A grey thatched house, placed what would ye do wi' Katie Stew- on a little eminence, down the side of art?”
which descended the garden-a very “ I dinda like them; and eh, Nelly, unpretending garden, in which a few she's bonnie!” answered little Anne bushes of southernwood, and one or Erskine.
two great old rose-trees, were the " She's bonnie! Lady Anne, ye're only ornamental features-was the enough to gar onybody think shame. miller's dwelling; and just beyond What's ony lady's business wi' folk was the mill itself, interposing its being bonnie ?- no to say that it's a droning musical wheel and little rush in your ain een, and she's just like of water between the two buildings : ither folk.”
while farther on, the bare grassy “Maybe, Nelly. She has rosy slopes, among which the burn lost cheeks, and bonnie blue een, like yon; itself, shut out the prospect-very but I like to look at her," said Lady rural, very still, giving you an idea Anne.
of something remote and isolatedThe despotic Nelly was mollified. “the world forgetting, by the world " It's a' wi' guid wholesome diet, and forgot”—but with scarcely any beauty rising in the morning. Ye ken your except what was in the clear skies sel how I have to fleech ye wi' cream over it, and the clear running water before ye'll take your parritch; and which mirrored the skies. cream's no guid for the like of you. And on the burnside sits the little If ye were brought up like common Lady Anne Erskine, the Earl of Kelfolk's bairns, ye would have as rosy lie's youngest daughter. She says cheeks as Katie Stewart."
well that she will never be pretty; The little Lady Anne bent down but you like the quiet little face, by the burnside, to look at her own though its features are small and inpale face in the clear narrow stream. significant, and its expression does “I'll never be like Katie," said Anne not at all strike you, further than to Erskine with a sigb; "and Janet's kindness for the gentle owner, as she no like Isabell Stewart: we're no so sits under the hot September sun, bonnie as them. Bring Katie up to with her feet almost touching the the castle, Nelly; there's John Stew. water, pulling handfuls of grass, and looking wistfully towards the mill. in the deep soft grass, which presses A dress of some fine woollen stuff, round her on every side, with its long, shapeless and ungraceful, distin. bending, elastic blades, sits a child of guishes her rank only very slightly; some eight years, with the soft cherub for the time is 1735, when fashions face which one sometimes sees in rural travel slowly, and the household of places, delicately tinted, beautifully Kellie practises economy. Like the formed. Round the little clear forescene is the little lady; without much head clusters bair paler than gold, of even the natural beauty of child. not in curls, but in soft circlets, like hood, but with a clear, soft, uncloud- rings. Just a little darker as yet are ed face, contented and gentle, think the long eyelashes and finely marked ing of everything but herself.
brows; and the eyes are sunny blue, Turn round the paling of the gar- running over with light, so that they den to the other side of this grey dazzle you. It is considerably brownhouse, and the scene is changed. For ed, the little face, with the sun of this the background you have a thick whole summer, and, with perhaps just clump of wood, already brilliant in a shade too much of rosy colour, has its autumn tints. Immediately strik- a slightly petulant, wilful expression ; ing your eye is a gorgeous horse- but when you look at Katie Stewart, chestnut, embosomed among greener you can understand the admiration of foliage-a bit of colour for an artist Lady Anne. to study. The trees grow on an ab. Only a little taller is that staid sisrupt green mound, one of the slopes ter Isabell, who sits knitting a great of the little glen—the only one so blue woollen stocking by Katie's side. becomingly sheltered ; and from its Isabell is twelve, and her hair has steep elevation a little silvery stream grown a little darker, and she herself of water falls down, with a continual looks womanly, as she sits and knits tinkling, to the small pebbly bed be- with painful industry, counting the low. Between this minstrel and the loops as she turns the heel, and paushouse spreads a “green” of soft thick ing now and then to calculate how grass, with poppies gleaming in the much she has to do before she may long fringes of its margin, and blue- escape from her task. The stocking eyed forget-me-nots looking up from is for her father : he has an immense the sod. One step up from the green, heel, Isabell thinks secretly, as she on the steep ascent, which has been almost wishes that some such process cut into primitive steps, brings you as that severe one adopted by the sison a level with the milldam, and its ters of Cinderella, could be put in bordering willows; and beyond shows operation with honest John Stewart. you a wider horizon, bounded by the But yonder he stands, good man, his green swelling summit of Kellie Law, ruddy face whitened over, and his the presiding hill of the district, from fourteen stone of comfortable subwhich a range of low hills extends stance fully needing all the foundation westward, until they conclude in the it has to stand upon : so Isabell resteep wooded front of Balcarras Craig, turns to her knitting with such energy striking a bold perpendicular line that the sound of her “wires" is across the sky. Rich fields and scat- audible at the mill-door, and John tered farm-houses lie between you Stewart, turning round, looks proudly and the hills, and some of the fields at his bairns. are populous with merry companies Janet stands on the threshold of of " shearers," whose voices, softened the house, peeping out; and Janet by by the distance, touch the ear plea no means looks so well as her sisters. santly now and then. These lands She has a heavier, darker face, a were well cultivated and productive thick, ungainly figure, and looks anyeven at that time, and on this side of thing but good-bumoured. They are Kellie Mill, you could believe you all dressed in a very primitive style, were within the fertile bounds of the in home-made linen, with broad blne kingdom of Fife.
and white stripes; and their frocks And the little figures on the green are made in much the same form as contrast strikingly with the young the modern pinafore. But simple as watcher without. Foremost, seated its material is, Janet has the skirt of her dress folded up, and secured round round her still neat waist by a clean her waist-"kilted," as she calls it, linen apron, and her animated face, exhibiting a considerable stretch of looked yet exceedingly well, and vinblue woollen petticoat below; for dicated completely her claim to be Janet has been employed in the house, the fountain-head and original of the by reason of her superior strength, beauty of her children. assisting her mother and the stout Isabell lifted her stocking, as her maid-servant within.
mother, followed by Nelly, came Over Katie's red lip come little briskly towards the green, and began gushes of song, as she bends over the to knit with nervous fingers, making daisies in her lap, and threads them. clumsy noises with her wires. Janet The child does not know that she is stared at the approaching figures singing; but the happy little voice stupidly with fixed eyes; while little raps on unconsciously, with quick Katie, pausing at last, suspended her breaks and interruptions like breath. chain of gowans over her round sun
"Katie, I dinna ken what ye think burnt arm, and lifted her sunny eyes ye're gaun to be," said the womanly with a little wonderment, but no very elder sister. “ Ye never do a turn; great concern. and it's do as if ye got onything hard. "I'm sure it's no because she's of Woman, if I had the like of thae bon- ony use at hame, that I should scruple nie thread stockings to work instead to let her away," said Mrs Stewart, of thir, I would never stop till they "for she's an idle monkey, never were done !"
doing a hand's turn from morning till “But I'm no you, Bell," said Ka. night; but ye see she never hauds tie, running on without a pause into hersel in right order, and she would her song.
just be a fash at the Castle." * Threading gowans !-they're of At the Castle! Intense grows the nae use in this world,” continued the gaze of Janet, and there is a glow on mentor. "What is't for?"
the face of the staid Isabell; but “Just they're bonnie," said little little Katie again unconsciously sings, Katie.
and looks up with her sunny, won" They're bonnie!” Isabell re- dering, unconcerned cyes into hier ceived the excuse with as much con- mother's face. tempt as Lady Anne's attendant had “Nae fear; if she's no content, just done.
Lady Betty will send her hame," said “Eh Bell, woman -eh Katie !" the nurse;" but ye see Lady Anne, exclaimed Janet, descending from she's never done crying for little the garden paling with a great leap, Katie Stewart." " there's wee Lady Anne sitting on There is a slight momentary conthe burnside, and there's Nelly speak traction of Isabell's forehead, and ing to my faither. She's wanting then the flush passes from her face, something; for, look at him, how he's and the wires cease to strike each pointing here. Eh Bell, what will’t other spasmodically, and she, too, be?"
looks up at her mother, interested, "Weel, Nelly, gang in-by, and ask but no longer anxious. She is not the wife," said the miller; " it's no jealous of the little bright sisterin my hands. I never meddle wi' the only Isabell yearns and longs for the bairns."
universal love which Katie does by " The bairns ! she's wanting some no means appreciate yet, and cannot of us," cried Janet.
well understand how it is that Katie Isabell's stocking dropped on her is always the dearest-always the knee, and they watched Nelly into dearest! It is the grandest distincthe house; but little Katie threaded tion in the world, the other little her gowans, and sang her song, and mind muses unconsciously, and Isa was happily unconscious of it all. bell submits to be second with a
By and by, Mrs Stewart herself sigh. appeared at the door. She was a "Such a like sicht she is, trailing little fair-haired woman, rather stout about the burnside a'the hours of the now-a-days, but a beauty once; and day," exclaimed the mother, surveywith the pretty short-gown, held in ing Katie's soiled frock with dismay.
" Hont! Mrs Stewart," said the lightly of the love which waited on patronising nurse, “what needs ye her at every turn. fash about it. Naebody expects to Mrs Stewart had a temper—a rather see your little ane put on like the decided and unequivocal one, as the bairns that come about the Castle.” miller well knew. “ Ye'll do what
Mrs Stewart drew herself up. you're bidden, and that this moment," " Thank ye for your guid opinion, she said, with a slight stamp of her Nelly; but I'll hae naebody make · foot. “Gang in, and Merran will allowances for my bairn. Gang in to sort ye; and see ye disobey me if ye the house this moment, Katie, and daur!” get on a clean frock. It's Lady Anne Isabell rose and led the little poutthat's wanting ye, and no a common ing Katie away, with a secret sigh. body; and ye've forbears and kin of No one sought or cared for her, as your ain as guid as most folk. Gang they did for this little petulant spoiled in this minute, and get yoursel sorted. child; and Isabell, too, was pretty, Ye're to gang to the Castle with and kind, and gentle, and had a sort Lady Anne."
of sad involuntary consciousness of Reluctantly Katie rose. “I'm no those advantages which still failed to wanting to gang to the Castle! I'm place her on the same platform with no heeding about Lady Anne!” the favourite. Dull Janet, who was not
" Eh Katie !” exclaimed Isabell pretty, envied little Katie; but Isabell under her breath, looking up to her did not envy her. She only sighed, wistfully; but the little capricious with a blank feeling, that no one loved favourite could already afford to think her, as every one loved her sister.
“But Lady Betty never wears “Weel, I'll no say for this new them, and what's the use o' a' thae queen," said the candid Bauby. bonnie things," asked little Katie, «She's only come of a wee German after the first burst of admiration family, wi' lands no sae muckle, and was over, and she stood at leisure naebody would daur to say half as contemplating the jewels of the Ladies rich and fruitful, as thir Kellie lands Erskine-not a very brilliant display, in Fife; but for our ain auld queensfor the house of Kellie was anything didna they gang covered owre frae but rich.
head to fit with pearls and rubies, and “If we had had a king and queen embroideries of gold, and diamonds in o our ain, and no thae paughty Ger- their croon as big as my twa nieves." mans-or even if it werena for that A nd Bauby placed these same weary Union, taking away our name clenched “nieves," articles of the from us-us that never were con most formidable size, close together, quered yet, and wadna be if the haill and held them up to the admiring world joined to do it-Lady Betty gaze of little Katie ; for Bauby was wad wear the braw family diamonds an enthusiast, and would utterly have in the queen's presence-cha'mer," said scorned the Koh-i-noor. Bauby Rodger, Lady Betty's maid; “Bauby," inquired the little visi" but wha's gaun to travel a lang tor, “ am I to stay at the Castle ?" sea-voyage for the sake of a fremd “ Ye're up the brae, my woman," queen and a fremd court? And ye was the indirect response. “Nae wadna hae ladies gaun glittering doubt your faither's a very decent about the house wi' a' thae shining man, and ye're no an ill bairn yourthings on ilkadays, and naebody to sel, and come of creditable folk; but see them. Na, na. Ye're but a wee there's mony a wee Miss atween this bairn, Katie Stewart; ye dinna ken." and the sea would be blythe to come
“But I think they're awfu' grand, to Kellie, to be bred up with Lady Bauby, and I like that muckle ane Anne : and it's to be naebody but the best. Do ye think the queen has you, Katie Stewart. My certy, ye're as grand things as thae ?”.
a favoured bairn."