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mencing to make amendment in their “ And indeed, Mr. Farrel, ye never own lives and conversations—that poor- spoke a truer word,” said I. “We rates were likely to be worse before are here to-day-yonder to-morrow; they were better; and that, as to the this moment we are shining like the Catholic question,-"But, Mansie,” mid-day sun, and on the next, pugh! said he, “it would give me great we go out like the snuff of a candle.” pleasure to hear your candid and judi “But, Maister Wauch," quo' Peter, cious opinion of Popery and the Pa- who was a hearer of the Parish pists.”
Church, "you dissenting bodies aye I saw, with half an ee, that Peter take the black side of things; never was trying to put me to my mettle, considering that the doubtful shadows and I devoutly wished, that I had had of affairs sometimes brighten up into James Batter at my elbow, to have the cloudless daylight. For instance, given him play for his money-James now, there was an old fellow-apprenbeing the longest-headed man that tice of my father's, who, like myself, ever drove a shuttle between warp and a baker, his name was Charlie woof; but, most fortunately, just as I Cheeper; and, bóth bis father and was going to say, that “every honest mother dying, when he was yet hardman, who wished well to the good of ly in trowsers, he would have been his country, could only have one opi- left without a håme in the world, had nion on that subject,”—we came to not an old widow woman, who had the bye-road, that leads away off on long lived next door to them, and the right hand side down to Hawthorn- whose only breadwinner was her spinden; and we observed, from the curi- ning-wheel, taken the wee wretchie ous ringle, that one of the naig's fore- in to share her morsel. For several shoon was loose ; which consequently years, as might naturally have been put an end to the discussion of this expected, the callant was a perfect important national question, before dead-weighton
and Peter and I had time to get it com- perhaps, in her hours of greater disfortably settled to the world's satis- tress, the widow regretted the heedfaction.
lessness of her Christian charity ; bat The upshot was, that we were need- Charlie had a winning way with him, cessitated to dismount, and lead the and she could not find it in her animal by the head, forward to Kit- heart to turn him to the door. By derig, where Mackturk Sparrible the time he was seven,-and a ragged keeps his smith's shop ; in order that, coute he was as ever stepped without with his hammer, he might make fast shoes,-he could fend for himself, the loose nails :--and that him and his by running messages-holding horses foresman did in a couple of hurries ; at shop doors-winning bools and sellme and Peter looking over them, ing them-and so on; so that, when while they pelt-pelted away with the he had collected half-a-crown in a beast's foot between their knees, as if penny pig, the widow sent him to the we had been a couple of grand gentle- school, where he got on like a hatter, men incog. ; and so we were to him. and, in a little while, could both read
After getting ourselves again de- and write. When he was ten, he was cently mounted, and giving Sparrible bound apprentice to Saunders Snaps, a consideration for his trouble, Peter in the Back-row, whose grandson has took occasion, from the horse casting yet, as you know, the sign of the its shoe, to make a few apropos moral Wheat Sheaf; and for five years he observations, in the manner of the behaved himself like his betters. Rev. Mr. Wiggie, on the uncertainties “Well, sir, when his time was out, which it is every man's lot to encoun Charlie had an ambition to see the ter in the weariful pilgrimage of hu- world; and, by working for a month man lise. “There is many a slip or two as a journeyman in the Grass'tween the cup and the lip,” said Peter. market of Edinburgh, he raked as
much together, as took him up to the honesty of the prisoners, although London in the steerage of a Leith impeached, was unimpeachable; the smack. For several years nothing mob were furious; and before the was heard of him, except an occasion- Sunday sun arose, old Mrs. Pernickal present of a shawl, or so on, to the ity awakened with a sore throat, every widow, who had been so kind to him pane of her windows having been miin his helpless years; and at length a raculously broken during the dead farewell present of some little money hours. came to her, with his blessing for past “ The mother and the daughter favors, saying that he was off for good were kept in custody until the Monand all to America.
day; when, as they were standing, “ In the course of time, Widow making a declaration of their innocence Amos became frail and sandblind. before the justices, who should come She was unable to work for herself, in but Francie Deep, the Sheriff offiand the charity she had shown to oth- cer, with an Irish vagrant and his ers, no one seemed disposed to extend wife,-two tinklers, who were lodging to her. Her only child, Jeanie Amos, in the Back-row, and in whose poswas obliged to leave her service, and session the bundle was found bodily, come home to the bouse of poverty, basket and all. Such a cheering as to guard her mother's grey hairs from the folk set up; it did all honest accident, and to divide with her the folk's hearts good to hear it. Mrs. little she could make at the trade of Pernickity and her lass, to save their mangling; for, with the money that bacon, were obliged to be let out by Charlie Cheeper had sent, before a back door; and, as the Justices leaving the country, the old woman were about to discharge the two prihad bought a calendar, and let it out soners, who had been so unjustly and to the neighbors at so much an hour; injuriously suspected, a stranger forchonest poverty having many shifts. ed his way to the middle of the floor,
“ Matters had gone on in this way and took the old woman in his arms !” for two or three fitful years; and “ Charlie Cheeper returned, for a Jeanie, who, when she had come gold guinea,” said I. home from service, was a buxom and “ And no other it was,” said Peter, blooming lass, although yet but a wee resuming his comical story.
" The advanced in her thirties, began to show, world had flowed upon him to his like all earthly things, that she was heart's desire. Over in Virginia he wearing past her best. Some said had given up the baking business, and that she had lost hopes of Charlie's commenced planter ; and, after years return; and others, that, come hame of industrious exertion, having inade when he liked, he would never look enough and to spare, he had returned over his left shoulder after her. to spend the rest of his days, in peace
“ Well, sir, as fact as death, I mind and plenty in his native town.” mysell, when a laddie, of the rumpus “ Not to interrupt you,” added I, the thing made in the town. One “ Mr. Farrel, I think I could wager Saturday night, a whole washing of something mair.” old Mrs. Pernickity's, that had been “ You are a witch of a guesser I sent to be calendared, vanished like see, Mansie,” said Peter; “ and I see lightning, no one knew where : the old what you are at. Well, sir, you are lady was neither to hold nor bind; right again. For, on the very day and nothing would serve her, but hav- week that Patrick Makillaguddy and ing both the old woman and her his spouse got their heads shaved, and daughter committed to the Tolbooth. were sent to beat hemp in the New So to the Tolbooth they went, weep- Bridewell on the Caltonhill, Jeanie ing and wailing ; followed by a crowd, Amos became Mrs. Cheeper ; the calwho cried loudly out at the sin and endar and the spinning-wheel were both iniquity of the proceeding; because burned by a crowd of wicked weans,
before old Mrs. Pernickity's door, that no throat was wide enough to raising such a smoke as almost smeak- swallow them for gospel, although ed her to a rizzar'd haddock; and the geyan entertaining I allow. Hosold widow, under the snug room of ever, it was a real farce; that is cerher ever grateful son-in-law, spent the tain. remainder of her Christian life in Oh, but the building was a grand peace and prosperity.”
and overpowering sight, making man “ That story ends as it ought,” said to dree the sense of his own insigniI, “ Mr. Farrel; neither Jew nor ficance, even in the midst of his own Gentile dare dispute that; and as to handiwork. First, we looked over the telling of it, I do not think man of our shoulders to the grand carved woman born, except maybe James roofs, where the swallows swee-sweed, Batter, who is a nonsuch, could have as they darted through the open winhandled it more prettily. I like to dows, and the yattering sparrows fed hear virtue aye getting its ain reward." their gorbals in the far boles; and
As these 'dividual words were fall syne we looked shuddering down into ing from my lips, we approached the the dark vaults, where nobody in their end of our journey, the Roslin-Inn- senses could have ventured, though house heaving in sight, at the door of Peter Farrel, being a rash, courawhich me and Peter louped out, an geous body, was keen on it, having hostler, with a yellow-striped waist- heard less than I could tell him of coat, and white calico sleeves, mean- such places being haunted by the spitime holding the naig's head, in case rits of those who have died or been it should spend aff, and capsize the murdered within them in the bloody concern. After seeing the horse and days of the old times ; or of their gig put into the stable, Peter and I being so full of foul air, as to extinpulled up our shirt-necks, and after guish man's breath in his nostrils like looking at our watches, as if time the snuff of a candle. Though no was precious, oxtered away, arm-in man should throw his life into jeopararm, to see the Chapel, which surpass- dy, yet I commend all for taking es all, and beats cockfighting.
timeous recreation—the King himself It is an unaccountable thing to me, on the throne not being able to live how the auld folk could afford to build without the comforts of life; and such grand kirks and castles.
even the fifteen Lords of Session, gold was like slate-stones, there is a with as much powder on their wigs as weariful change now-a-days, I must would keep a small family in loaves confess; for, so to speak, gold guin- for a week, requiring air and exercise eas seem to have taken flight from the after sentencing vagabonds to be first land along with the witches and war- hanged, and then their clothes given locks, and posterity are left as toom to Jock Heich, and their bodies to in the pockets as rookit gamblers. Doctor Monroe.
But if the mammon of precious Before going out to inspect the metals be now totally altogether out wonderfuls, we had taken the natural of the world, weel-a-wat we had a precaution to tell the goodman of the curiosity still, and that was a cleipy inn, that we would be back to take a woman with a long stick, that rhaem- chack of something from him, at such ed away, and better rhaemed away, and such an hour; and, having bad about the Prentice's Pillar, who got our bellyful of the Chapel,—and the a knock on the pow from his jealous Prentice's Pillar,—and the vaults,blackguard of a master—and about and the cleipy auld wife with the lang the dogs and the deer,—and Sir Tho- stick,-we found that we had still half mas this-thing and my Lord tother an hour to spare; so took a stroll into thing, who lay buried beneath the the Kirkyard, to see if we could find broad flagstones in their rusty coats of out if any of the martyrs had been buarmor---and such a heap of havers, ried there-away-abouts.
We saw a good few head-stones, lights, and walking down stairs; and you may make no doubt, both ancient the Misses Skinflints had more than and modern ; but nothing out of the once nearly got their door carried off coorse of nature ; so, the day being the hinges ; so they had not the life of pleasant, Mr. Farrel and me sat down dogs, for constant startings and suron a through-stane, below an old haw- prises. At first they had no faith in thorn, and commenced chatting on the ghosts ; but, in the course of time, Pentland Hills—the river Esk-Pen- they came to be alike doubtful on that nicuick-Glencorse—and all the rest point; but you shall hear. of the beautiful country within sight.
" The foundation of the mystery A mooly auld skull was lying arnong was this. The three mischievous ladthe grass, and Peter, as he spoke, dies—the apprentices—after getting was aye stirring it about with his stick. their daily work over, of making pills
“I never touched a dead man's and potions for his Majesty's unforbones in my life,” said I to Peter, tunate subjects, took to the trick of
nor would I for a sixpence. Who mounting a human skull, like that, might that have belonged to, now, I upon springs, so that it could open its wonder? Maybe to a baker or a tai- mouth, and setting it on a stand at the lor, in his day and generation, like end of the counter, could make it you and I, Peter : or maybe to ane gape, and turn from side to side by of the great Sinclairs with their coats- pulling the string. of-mail, that the auld wife was crack " The door being left purposely ing so crousely about ?”
agee,--whenever the rascals saw a fit “Deil may care,” said Peter ; “but subject—they set the skull a-moving are you really frighted to touch a and a-gaping; the consequence of skull, Mansie? You would make a which was, that many a poor custombad doctor I'm doubting, then; to er descended without counting the say nothing of a resurrection man. number of steps, and after bouncing
“ Doctor! I would not be a doctor against Dr. Chickenweed's panels, for all the gold and silver on the walls played flee down to try the strength of of Solomon's temple
those of the Misses Skinflints. One of “Yet you would think the young the two instantly darted down after doctors suck in their trade with their the evanished patient; and, aster asmother's milk, and could cut off one sisting her or him,—whichever it another's heads as fast as look at you. might chance to be,—to gain their -Speaking of skulls,” added Peter, feet, begged of them not to mention "I mind when my father lived in the what they had seen, as the house was under flat of the three-story house at haunted by the ghost of an old maiden the top of Dalkeith street, that the aunt of their master's, who had died Misses Skinflints occupied the middle abroad, and that the thing would hurt story, and Doctor Chickenweed had his feelings, if ever it came to his ears." the one above, with the garrets, in “ Doy on me,” said I, “ if ever I which was the laboratory.
heard of such a trick, since ever I “Weel, ye observe, in getting to was born!
What was the upshot ?" the shop, it was not necessary to “ The upshot was, that the thing knock at the Doctor's door, but just might have continued long enough, proceed up the narrow wooden stair, and the laboratory been left as defacing the top of which was the shop- serted as Tadmor in the Wilderness, door, which, for light to the custom- had not a fat old woman fallen, one ers' feet, was generally allowed to day, perfectly through the Doctor's
door, and dislocated her ankle,—which “For a long time, the Doctor had unfortunately incapacitated her from heard the most unearthly noises in his making a similar attack on that of the house,-as if a thunder-bolt was in the Misses Skinflints. The consequence habit of coming in at one of the sky- was, that the conspiracy was detected
55 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
-the Doctor's aunt's ghost laid-and through the branches at every opening. the fat old woman carried down on a About half way on our road back, we shutter to her bed, where she lay till forgathered with Robbie Maut, druckher ankle grew better in the course of en body, shug-shugging away home, nature.”
keeping the trot with his tale, and his It being near the hour at which we bit arm shake-shaking at his tae side, had ordered our dinner to be ready, on his grey sheltie; so, after carbailwe rose up from the tombstone ; and, ing bim, we bragged him to a race full after taking a snuff out of Peter's gallop, for better than a mile to the box, we returned, arm in arm, to the toll. The damage we did, I dare not tavern, to lay in a stock of provisions. pretend to recollect. First, we knock
Peter Farrel was a warm-hearted, ed over two drunk Irishmen, that thorough-going fellow, and did not were singing “ Erin-go-Bragh,” armlike half-measures, such as swallowing in-arm,-syne we rode over the top of the sheep, and worrying on the tail; an old woman with a wheelbarrow of so, after having ate as many strawber- cabbages,—and when we came to the ries as we could well stow away, he toll, which was kept by a fat man began trying to fright me with stories with a red waistcoat, Robbie's pony, of folk taking the elic passion, the being like all Highlanders, a wilful colic,—the mulligrubs,--and other creature, stopped all at once ; and deadly maladies, on account of neg- though he won the half mutchkin by lecting to swallow a drop of some- getting through first, after driving orer thing warm to qualify the coldness of the tollman, it was at the expense of the fruit; so, aster we had discussed poor Robbie's being ejected from his good part of a fore-quarter of lamb stirrups like a battering ram, and disand chopped cabbage, the latter a prime appearing head-foremost through the dish, we took first one jug, and syne tollhouse window, which was open. another, till Peter was growing tongue At the time, all was war and retied, and as red in the face as a bub- bellion with the tollman, assault and hly-jock; and, to speak the truth, my battery, damages, broken panes, and own een began to reel with the merli- what not; but, with skilful managegoes. In a jiffy, both of us found our ment, and a few words in the private hearts waxing so brave, as to kick and ear of Mr. Rory Sneckdrawer, the spur at all niggardly hesitation; and penny-writer, we got matters southerwe leuch and thumped on the good- ed up when we were in our sober man of the inn-house's mahogany ta- senses, though I shall not say how ble, as if it had been warranted never much it cost us both in preaching and to break. In fact, we were as furious pocket, to make the man keep a calm and obstrapulous as two unchristened sough, as to bringing us in for the Turks ; and it was a mercy that we penalty, which would have been deadever thought of rising to come away ly. I think black burning shame of at all. At the long and the last, how- myself to make mention of sucb ploys ever, we found ourselves mounted and and pliskies; but, after all, it is bettrotting home at no allowance, me ter to make a clean breast. telling Peter, as far as I mind, to give Hame at last we got, making fire the beast a good creish, and not to be flee out of the Dalkeith causeway frighted.
stones like mad, and we arrived at our The evening was fine, and warmer own door between nine and ten at than we could have wished, our cheeks night, still in a half-seas-overish state. glowing like dragoons' jackets; and I had, nevertheless, sense enough about as we passed like lightning through me remaining, to make me aware that among the trees, the sun was setting the best place for me would be my with a golden glory in the west, be- bed; so, after making Nanse bring tween the Pentland and the Corstor- the bottle and glass to the door on a phine Hills, and flashing in upon us server, to give Peter Farrel a dram