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enough at the endor across his mes rarely-used
resting in the Country circle. For this is the Emporium of Village Fashion; the Hyde-Park of the Rustics; where the Farmer doffs his leather buskins and nail-studded boots for decent worsted hose, set off by shoes ornamented with the same gleaming buckles that bespangled the legs of his forefathers. The huge shaggy coat, the faithful companion of his labours through all weathers, is ejected this one day for verdant green, or russet brown. In addition to this, the rarely-used red waistcoat rises in roseate splendor across his muscular chest, leaving just room enough at the neck to permit the snow-wbite cravat to be seen; which his good Dame herself has adjusted with the utmost care. He is not less metamorphosed than his neighbours, who all start forth from their cottages on this anxiously-expected day, arrayed in their best habiliments ; 'as on some beautiful May morning a troop of butterflies gaily start from their flowery couches, and display to the rising Sun their little pinions variously adorned with a thousand splendid hues. The scene of these rural Saturnalia was a fine verdant lawn, extending like an amphitheatre towards a wood skirting the village. I was not long in finding an eminence from whence I might reconnoitre this motley scene, as well as the tumultuous hubbub of showmen and visitors would allow. I found, to my sorrow, that I had come too late for Donkey-racing, and various other sports; and, at present, found the most conspicuous objects to consist of some youths breaking each other's heads with true English courage, and certain parties in swings hanging between heaven and earth, at what appeared to me no · very pleasant height. But, doubtless, they were as ambitious to soar as some of their superiors; and, I am afraid, as liable to fall to the dust. To those who were tired of their sports delicacies were not wanting, from the new-made gingerbread to the inviting plumb; amongst the booths also were seen some few decorated most splendidly with toys, where the rustic Gallant might purchase a thimble or pair of garters for his fair adorable. One or two showmen might be observed amongst the crowd, offering their cap for contributions to the by-standers; some of whom shrunk from it as if it contained a pestilence within its shattered carcase. At another time they made the skies re-echo as they shouted out the murdered names of the Grandees, displayed through a glass hole to their visitors. The latter always appeared to retire with great satisfaction from having seen the mighty Potentates of the world in embryo, and reduced from their thrones' to a ricketty caravan Alas! poor crowned heads, what scurvy tricks Fortune plays with you; what a pity it is you cannot 'exterminate rascally showmen at the edge of the bayonet, who hawk your High Mightinesses about like so many baboons in kingly robes! Turning a moment from the sports of the Fair, I beheld, beneath the shade of some gigantic oaks, a band of venerable fathers that might remind us of the Patriarchs of old. Too old to engage in more robust exercises, these contented Elders reclined there to view the activity of their sons; and, as they applauded the skill of the present generation, waxed strong in tales of former times; previously elearing their throats with a jug of the best village ale. At some distance from these a circle of aged Dames were seated round a polished deal table to indulge in a dish of the best green tea. Like their Lords and Masters, they were arrayed in their best gowns and boddices, that had lain in the neatly-composed drawer at home for many a day, and were now drawn forth in all their rustling splendor and profusion of puckers. There were some healthy fat-looking souls laughing at some good joke till the tears came in their eyes ; while a few steadier Matrons turned one eye to the tea-table, and, with the other, watched the motions of their daughters, who seized this opportunity to flirt with their lovers. Cupid, indeed, must have emptied his quiver; for the various lovepresents I saw borne off in triumph, must have had a powerful effect on hearts hitherto impregnable. At this moment my eye was caught by some smoke that rose curling over the tops of the trees in another part of the wood, and throwing a dusky hue over the surrounding foliage; and, on a more curious inspection, I discovered a group of gipseys stationed there, like the tutelar deities of the forest, to utter their oracles froin the native oak. These wanderers, equally with many others, had come to take advantage of the Fair, and were dealing out pottery-ware and fortunes by wholesale. They were bargaining pots and pans, killing some damsels and marrying others, in quick succession ; and, urged by my innate spirit of curiosity, I approached to take a nearer view of them. In the midst sat two Sibyls hanging over the fumes of a pot, containing their evening's repast, and feeding the slender fire from time to time with sticks they had gathered in the wood. Near them were playing two or three bare-headed and bare-footed urchins, that had perhaps known a better fate and better living. But the most conspicuous figures were two blackeyed lasses, with red cloaks fung with an air of negligence over their shoulders, while, their sun-burnt, though impressive and handsome features, were partly shrouded by a capacious hood and bovnet. They were apparently the Prophetesses of the party, and doubtless no unpleasing ones to their rustic customers. At this moment one of them, stretching out her long uncovered arm, was accurately inspecting the hand of an antiquated maiden, and promising her connubial felicity and a numerous offspring. It was amusing enough to see the one, who might be nearly called a dame, chuckling at this promise, and secretly admiring
her own obsolete charms, and already captivating the hearts of youth in her imagination; while the other assumed a pretended appearance of mystic gravity, as her laughing eye betrayed her inward ridicule of the object standing before her. Her sister prophetess was unrolling the page of his destiny to a half-witted countryman, who seemed fearful of trusting his hand within that of the gipsey, thinking perhaps she might carry him to the Devil in a high wind. His doubting idiotic look was powerfully contrasted by the half-scornful fiery, glance of the maiden, who seemed to regard him much in the same manner as a hawk eyes a trenabling pigeon ere he pounces on it. Doubtless he considered her oracles infallible; but whether he returned to his farm-yard with a giggle of gladness, or a presentiment of approaching death, I staid not to unravel, but I suspect the blackbrowed damsel was inclined to play some severe joke upon him. The other members of the Gipsey settlement bore nothing very remarkable in their appearance ; there were two or three men engaged in selling knives, &c., whose countenances seemed to have manfully endured and opposed every extremity of weather, and might perhaps, to a better physiognomist than myself, have borne a sinister cast of expression, indicative of a mind capable of foraging in the neighbouring hen-roosts. But leaving these, the prophetesses, and a tattered old man, apparently the ruler of the tribe, to their profitable avocations, I once more returned to the Fair itself. Here there were decisive marks of the approach of Even, and of the finishing of this grand gala. The swings, relaxing in their rapid motion, moved heavily and slowly to and fro, like the pendulum of a huge family clock, that may be seen in the corner of some fragrant kitchen, gleaming in all its rich japannery, and, with one mighty well-known tick, informing the ruddy-faced perspiring scullion, that the potatoes have boiled enough. The lately stentorian voices of the Showmen died away in their throats, with a gurgling murmur resembling the sound of distant waters. The venerable patriarchs were rising one by one, with slow gravity, from their verdant seats, and, with one last look at the empty jug, each buttoned up his capacious flowing doublet, raised with a shrug the waistband of his breeches, shouldered his club stick, the trusty supporter of his steps, and wended on his way homeward. The tea-pot of the merry dames, drained to its lees, stood idly on the table, the cups and saucers ceased to rattle, and silence was reigning over that festive board, that had lately resounded with the laugh of pleasure and delight, as some well-fraught tale was ended, or some acute observation burst forth with a wink and a nod from the lips of the company. The bustling matrons themselves were reclining on the still stout arm of their spouses, or dragging away their giggling daughters, who on every possible opportunity turned their heads to catch one last glance of, or blow a kiss to, their affianced lovers. These might be seen too, some with an air of merriment, others with an expression which strove to be genteelly melancholy, wandering back to their humble cots, with thoughts divided between the hardship of to-morrow's ploughing, and the enumeration of how many pigs, how many fowls, and how much stock, they must possess, ere they can hope to have their ardent passion rewarded, and their liberty subjected to the bonds of Hymen. The cudgels lay shattered on the grass; their owners had retired to meditate on the broken head which they had given or received. The birds were slumbering in the woods, the sheep-bells tinkled no more over the plain, and I was left alone and unregarded under the shade of the forest-trees, that waved with a hollow, tremulous murmur, as if admonishing me to be gone, lest by my loitering I should disturb the nocturnal gambols of Mab, and her fairy train. I lost no time in obeying them, and being enabled to find my way through the wood by the light of the Moon, soon 'found' myself far distant from the theatre of my evening's amusement, of which, as I looked back for a parting farewell, not a vestige remained save the smoke of the gipsey fire, fitting in fantastic forms o'er the verdant branches of the trees, and opposing itself to the rays of the bright orb above me.
The Bogle of Anneslie; or, the Three-cornered Hat.
“An' ye winna believe ithe Bogle ?” said a pretty young lassie to her sweetheart, as they sat in the door of her father's cottage one fine Autumn evening :-“ Do you hear that, mither, Andrew 'll no believe i' the Bogle?”
" Gude be wi' us, Effie!” exclaimed Andrew,-a slender and delicate youth of about two-and-twenty,-"a bonny time I wad hae o't, gin I were to heed every auld wife's clatter.".
The words “auld wife" had a manifest effect on Effie, and she bit her lips in silence. Her mother immediately opened a battery upon the young man's prejudices, narrating how that on Anneslie Heath, at ten o'clock at night, a certain apparition was wont to appear, in the form of a maiden above the usual size, with a wide three-cornered hat.' Sundry other particulars were mentioned, but Andrew was still incredulous. * He'll rue that, dearly, will he rue't!” said Effie, as he departed.'
th a wide appear, in en o'clockrejudices, immediate
Many days, however, passed away, and Effie was evidently much disappointed to find that the scepticism of her lover gathered strength. Nay, he had the audacity to insult, by gibes and jests, the true believers, and to call upon them for the reasons of their faith. Effie was in a terrible passion.
At last, however, her prophecy was fulfilled. Andrew was passing over the moor, while the clock struck ten; for it was his usual practice to walk at that hour, in order to mock the fears of his future bride. He was just winding round the thicket which opened to him a view of the cottage where Effie dwelt, when he heard a light step behind him, and, in an instant, his feet were tripped up, and he was laid prostrate on the turf. Upon looking up he beheld a tall muscular man standing over him, who, in no courteous manner, desired to see the contents of his pocket. “Deil be on ye !” exclaimed the young forester, “ I hae but ae.coin i' the warld.” “ That coin maun I hae,” said his assailant. « Faith! I'se show ye play for’t, then,” said Andrew, and sprung upon his feet.
Andrew was esteemed the best cudgel-player for twenty miles round, so that in brief space he cooled the ardour of his antagonist, and dealt such visitations upon his skull as might have made a much firmer head ache for a fortnight. The man stepped back, and, pausing in his assault, raised his hand to his forehead, and buried it among his dark locks. It returned covered with blood. “ Thou hast cracked my crown,” he said, “ but yet ye sha' na gang scatheless ;” and, flinging down his cudgel, he flew on his young foe, and, grasping his body before he was aware of the attack, whirled him to the earth with an appalling impetus. “ The Lord hae mercy on me!” said Andrew, “ I'm a dead man."
He was not far from it, for his rude foe was preparing to put the finishing stroke to his victory. Suddenly something stirred in the bushes, and the conqueror, turning away from his victim, cried out, “ The bogle.! the bogle !” and fled precipitately. Andrew ventured to look up. He saw the figure which had been described to him approaching ; it came nearer and nearer ; its face was very pale, and its step was not heard on the grass. At last it stood by his side, and looked down upon him. Andrew buried his face in his cloak: presently the apparition spokeindistinctly indeed, for its teeth seemed to chatter with cold :“ This is a cauld an' an eerie night to be sae late on Anneslie Moor!” and immediately it glided away.--Andrew lay a few minutes in a trance; and then arising from his cold bed, ran hastily towards the cottage of his mistress. His hair stood on end, and the vapours of the night sunk chill upon his brow as he lifted up the latch, and flung himself on an oaken seat,