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What gars ye luck sae blae, bairn? I'm sure it's no cauld; but ye're just like the lave: ye gang aw skiltin about the streets half naked, an' than ye maun sit an' birsle yoursels afore the fire at hame."
The wine being drank, and the cookies discussed, Mr. Douglas made another attempt to withdraw, but in vain. “ Canna
sit still a wee, man, an' let me speer after my auld freens at Glenfern? Hoo's Grizzy, an' Jacky, an' Nicky?-aye workin awa at the pills an' the drogs -he, he! I ne'er swallowed a pill nor gied a doit for drogs aw my days, an' see an ony of them'll rin a race wi' me whan they're naur five score.”
Mr. Douglas here paid her some compliments upon her appearance, which were pretty well received ; and added, that he was the bearer of a letter from his aunt Grizzy, which he would send along with a roebuck and brace of noor-game.
your last, atweel it's no worth the sendin'; poor fisinless dirt, no worth the chowing; weel a wat, I begrudg'd my teeth on't.Your muirfuil was no that ill, but they're no worth the carryin; they're dong cheap i' the market enoo, so it's nae great compliment. Gin ye had brought me a leg o'good mutton, or a cauler sawmont, there would hae been some sense in't; but ye're ane o' the fowk that'll ne'er harry yourself wi' your presents; it's but the pickle poother they cost you, an' l’se warrant ye're thinking mair o'your ain diversion than o' my stamick when ye're at the shootin' o' them, puir beasts.”
Mr. Douglas had borne the various indignities levelled against himself and his family with a philosophy that had no parallel in his life before ; but to this attack upon his
game he was not proof. His colour rose, his eyes flashed fire, and something resembling an oath burst from his lips, as he strode indignantly towards the door.
His friend, however, was too nimble for him. She stepped before him, and breaking into a discordant
laugh, as she patted him on the back, “So I see ye're just the auld man, Archie,-aye ready to tak the strumps, an' ye dinna get a' thing yer ain way.
Mony a time I had to fleech ye oot o' the dorts whan ye was a callant. Div
ye mind hoo ye was affronted because I set ye doon to a cauld pigeon-pie, an'a tanker o'tippenny, ae night to yer fowerhoors, afore some leddies ?-he, he, he? Weel a wat, ye're wife maun hae her ain adoos to manage ye, for ye're a cumstairy chield, Archie."
Mr. Douglas still looked as if he was irresolute whether to laugh or be angry.
“ Come, come, sit ye doon there till I speak to this bairn,” said she, as she pulled Mary into an adjoining bedchamber, which wore the same aspect of chilly neatness as the one they had quitted. Then pulling a large bunch of keys from her pocket, she opened a drawer, out of which she took a pair of diamond car-rings. “ Hae, bairn,” said she, as she stuffed them into Mary's hand; "they belanged to your faither's grandmother. She was a good woman, an' had four-and-twenty sons an' dochters, an' I wuss ye nae war fortin than just to hae as mony. But mind ye,” with a shake of her bony finger, they maun a' be Scots.
Gin I thought ye wad marry ony pock-puddin', fient hait wad ye gotten frae me.-Noo, had yer tongue, and dinna deive me wi' thanks,” almost pushing her into the parlour again ; "and sin ye're gaen awa’ the morn, I'll see nae mair o' ye enoo-so fare ye weel. But, Archie, ye maun come an' tak your breakfast wi' me. I hae muckle to
say you ;
but manna be sae hard upon my baps as ye used to be," with a facetious grin to her mollified favourite, as they shook hands and parted.
From Marriage, a Novel.
BILLY MARSHAL's account of himself was. this :he was born in or about the year 1666 ; but he might have been mistaken as to the exact year of his birth ; however, the fact never was doubted of his having been a private soldier in the army of King William, at the battle of the Boyne. It was also well known, that the was a private in some of the British regiments, which served under the great Duke of Marlborough in Germany, about the year 1705. But at this period, Billy's military career in the service of his country ended. About this time he went to his commanding officer, one of the M'Guffogs of Ruscoe, a very old family in Galloway, and asked him if he had any commands for his native country: being asked if there was any opportunity, he replied, yes; he was going to Keltonhill fair, having for some years made it a rule never to be absent. His officer knowing his man, thought it needless to take any very strong measure to hinder him ; and Billy was at Keltonhill accordingly.
Now Billy's destinies placed him in a high sphere ; it was about this period, that, either electively, or by usurpation, he was placed at the head of that mighty people in the south west, whom he governed with equal prudence and talent for the long space of eighty or ninety years. Some of his admirers assert, that he was of royal ancestry, and that he succeeded by the laws of hereditary succession; but no regular annals of Billy's house were kept, and oral tradition and testimony weigh heavy against this assertion. From
research I have been able to make, I am strongly disposed to think, that, in this crisis of his life, Billy Marshal had been no better than Julius Cæsar, Richard III., Oliver Cromwell, Hyder Ally, or Napoleon Bonaparte: I do not mean to say that he waded throngh as much blood
as some of those, to seat himself on a throne, or to grasp at the diadem and sceptre; but it was shrewdly suspected that Billy Marshal had stained his character and his hands with human blood. His predecessor died very suddenly, it never was supposed by his own hand, and he was buried as privately about the foot of Cairnsmuir, Craig Nelder, or the Cross of Slakes, without the ceremony, or, perhaps more properly speaking, the benefit of a precognition being taken, or au inquest held by a coroner's jury. During this long reign, he and his followers were not outdone in their exploits by any of the colonies of Kirk-Yetholm, Horncliff, Spital, or Lochmaben. The following anecdote will convey a pretty correct notion of what kind of personage Billy was, in the evening of his life; as for his early days, I really know nothing more of thein than what I have already told.
The writer of this, in the month of May, 1789, had returned to Galloway after a long absence : he soon learned that Billy Marshal, of whom he had heard so many tales in his childhood, was still in existence. Upon one occasion he went to Newton-Stewart, with the late Mr. M‘Culloch of Barholm, and the late Mr. Hannay of Bargaly, to dine with Mr. Samuel M'Caul. Billy Marshal then lived at the hamlet or clachan of Polnure, a spot beautifully situated on the burn or stream of that name: we called on our old hero, he was at home,-he never denied himself,--and soon appeared ;-he walked slowly, but firmly, towards the carriage, and asked Mr. Hannay, who was a warm friend of his, how he was ?Mr. Hannay asked if he knew who was in the carriage ? he answered, “ that his eyes had failed him a gude dale;" but added, that he saw his friend Barholm, and that he could see a youth sitting betwixt them, whom he did not know. I was introduced, and had a gracious shake of his hand. He told me I was setting out in life, and admonished me to “tak care o' my han', and do naething to dishonor the gude stock o folk that I was come o';" he added, that I was the fourth generation of us he had been acquaint wi'. Each of us paid a
small pecuniary tribute of respect, -- I attempted to add to mine, but Barholm told me he had fully as much as would be put to a good use. We were returning the same way, betwixt ten and eleven at night, after spending a pleasant day, and taking a cheerful glass with our friend Mr. M Canl; we were descending the beautifully wooded hills, above the picturesque glen of Polnure-my two companions were napping,—the moon shone clear,-and all nature was quiet, excepting Polnure burn, and the dwelling of Billy Marshal, the postillion stopt (in these parts the well-known and well-liked Johnny Whurk), and turning round with a voice which indicated terror, he said, “ Gude guide us, there's folk singing psalms in the wud !" My companions awoke and listened, Barholm said, psalms, sure enough ;” but Bargaly said, " the deil a-bit o'them are psalıns.” We went on, and stopt again at the door of the old king: we then heard Billy go through a great many stanzas of a song, in such a way that convinced us that his memory and voice had, at any rate, not failed him ; he was joined by a numerous and powerful chorus. It is quite needless to be so minute as to give any account of the song which Billy sung; it will be enough to say that my friend Barholm was completely wrong, in supposing it to be a psalm ; it resembled in no particular psalm, paraphrase, or hymn. We called him out again,—he appeared much brisker than he was in the morning : we advised him to go to bed; but he replied, that he didna think he wad be muckle in his bed that night,- they had to tak the country in the morning (meaning that they were to begin à ramble over the country), and that they were just takin a wee drap drink to the health of our honours, wi' the loc siller we had gi’en them.” I shook hands with him for the last time, he then called himself above one hundred and twenty years of age : he died about 1790. His great age never was disputed to the extent of more than three or four years. The oldest people in the country allowed the account to be correct. The great