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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 among 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-inail, 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, after 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 “Dog 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 stand open.
door, and dislocated her ankle,—wbich " 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, druck. her ankle grew better in the course of en body, shug-shugging away bome, nature."
keeping the trot with his tale, and hi It being near the hour at which we bit arm shake-sbaking 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 him, we bragged him to a race ful 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 knocs
Peter Farrel was a warm-hearted, ed over two drunk Irishmen, that thorough-going fellow, and did not were singing“ Erin-go-Bragh," are. like 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 or 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 isa began trying to fright me with stories with a red waistcoat, Robbie's poor, of folk taking the elic passion,-the being like all Highlanders, a wild colic,--the mulligrubs,—and other creature, stopped all at once; and deadly maladies, on account of neg- though he won the half mutchkin ty lecting to swallow a drop of some- getting through first, after driving over thing warm to qualify the coldness of the tollman, it was at the expense of the fruit; so, after 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 bly-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 soter man of the inn-house's mahogany ta- senses, though I shall not say bow 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 uncbristened 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 such plors 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 op a phine Hills, and flashing in upon us server, to give Peter Farrel a dran by way of “ doch-an-dorris," as the inches. The matter was, however, Gaelic folk say, we wished him a good. now past all earthly reniede, and there night, and left him to drive home the was nothing to be done but trusting to bit gig, with a broken shaft spliced good fortune, and allowing the killingwith ropes, to his own bounds, little coat to take its chance in the world. jealousing, as we heard next morning, How the thing happened, I have that he would be thrown over the back bothered and beat my brains to no of it, without being hurt, by taking too purpose to make out, and it remains a sharp a turn at the corner.
wonderful mystery to me to this blessAfter a tremendous sound sleep, I ed day; but by long thought on the was up betimes in the morning, though subject, both when awake and in my a wee drumly about the head, anxious bed, and by multifarious cross-questo inquire at Tommy Bodkin, the head tionings at Tommy's self, concerning of the business department, me being the paper measurings, I am devoutly absent, if any extraordinars had oc- inclined to think, that he mistook the curred on the yesterday; and found nicking of the side-seams and the that the only particular customer mak- shoulder-strap, for the girth of the ing inquiries anent me, was our old belly-band. friend, Cursecowl, savage for the mea- For more than a week, there was sure of a killing-coat, which he want- nothing but open war and rebellion ed made as fast as directly. Though throughout the parish, Cursecowl dreadfully angry at finding me from making the whole town of Dalkeith home, and unco swithering at first, he stand on end. I saw that he was not at length, after a volley of oaths likely soon to bold out a flag of truce, enough to have opened a stone wall, so I judged it best for both parties to allowed Tommy Bodkin to take his sound a parley; and offer either to inches ; but as he swore and went on take back the coat, or refund part of speaking nonsense all the time, Tom- the purchase-money. James Batter my's hand shook, partly through fear, was sent as ambassador, and the latand partly through anxiety; and if he ter was agreed on; Cursecowl acwent wrong in making a nick in the cepting ten shillings by way of bloodpaper here and there in the wrong money, and making a legacy of the place, it was no more than might have coat to his nephew, young Killim. been looked for, froin his fright and The laddie was a perfect world'sinexperience.
wonder every Sunday, until he at In the twinkle of an eye-lid, I saw last rebelled, and fairly threw it aff; that there was some mortal mistake in and I was always in bodily terror, the measurement; as, unless Curse- that, had he gone to Edinburgh, he cowl had lost beef at no allowance, I would have been taken up by the poknew, judging from the past, that it lice, on suspicion of being a highwaywould not peep on his corpus by four robber.
THE LAND OF DREAMS.
BY MRS. HEMANS.
“ And dreams, in their developement, have breath,
O Spirit-Land! thou land of dreams!
Like a wizard's magic glass thou art,
Thou art like a City of the Past,
Thou art like the depths where the seas have birth,
Yes! thou art like those dim sea-caves,
But for me, O thou picture-land of sleep!
And thy bowers are fair-even as Eden fair!
They are there and each blessed voice I hear,
I walk with sweet friends in the sunset's glow,
I sit by the hearth of my early days,
And away, like a flower's passing breath, 'tis gone,
Shadow not forth, O thou land of dreams!
Call out from the future thy visions bright,
As it yet may be in some purer sphere,
When those eyes have forgotten the smile they wear now,
By the past, if thou judge it, how little is there
The charmed light darkens, the rose-leaves are gone,
Oh ! long ere one shadow shall darken that brow,
When thy feelings lie fettered like waters in frost,
SKETCHES OF CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS, STATESMEN, &c.
No. VII.—Mr. Thomas MOORE.
(With a Portrait.) Poetry is almost coeval with the ori- occasional elevation of thought, a fit gin of society. Nations in general of animation, or a strong excitement, had poets, even before they were ac- will lead the speaker into a course of quainted with the elements of litera- diction superior to the tameness of ture. This assertion may seem pro- ordinary conversation. Figurative blematical to many ; but, if we reflect and metaphorical language, forcible on the nature of the case, it is not so allusions and apt comparisons, drawn surprising as to be incredible. An both from nature and from art, will