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peared in 1822, and contained about 170 original airs. To their seed and die, and from their own remains this work there were 600 subscribers, many of whom put numerous crop springs into life. After a few of these down their names for ten, fifteen, and twenty copies; and changes, a sufficient depth of soil is formed, upon which among these the Gordons were thickly interspersed. The mosses begin to develop themselves, and give to the stone composer was now in his seventy-fourth year. From Keith- the first faint tint of green, which, although a mere film, more he then retired to a cottage called Newfield, which indicates the presence of a beautiful class of plants, which, he had built for himself, near Craigelachie Bridge. Having under the microscope, exhibit in their leaves and flowers made an arrangement with the late Mr Alexander Robert- many points of singular beauty. These mosses, like the son, music publisher, Edinburgh (now carried into effect), lichens, decaying, increase the film of soil, and others of a for the publication of a supplement, or second volume, at larger growth supply their places, and run themselves the some future period, Marshall continued the pleasing task same round of growth and decay. By and by fungi of vaof composition, scattering his melodies in profusion. Often rious kinds mingle their little globes or umbrella-like forms. the old man thought of hanging his harp on the willows; Thus, season after season, plants perish and add to the soil, but with the impoftunities of his fair admirers, or when which is at the same time increased in depth by the disinhis soul would fain have expression as before, the desire tegration of the rock over which it is laid, which is quickwas as often overcome, and the old strings struck anew. ened by the operations of vegetable life. The minute seeds Shortly after removing to Newfield, he wrote to Mr Robert of the ferns floating on the breeze now find a sufficient son as follows:-“I enclose twelve or thirteen reels to depth of earth to germinate in, and their beautiful fronds help up your supplement; but as I have no copies of the eventually wave in loveliness to the passing winds. Plants spare ones that I left with you, I cannot tell if I have en- of a higher and a higher order gradually succeed each croached on any of them.” So little of self-sufficiency was other, each series perishing in due season, and giving to the in the heart of the veteran, that he adds, “ You will there- soil additional elements for the growth of their own species fore examine them, and leave out what you think im- or those of others. Flowering plants find a genial home proper, or alter any passages that you may think by doing on the once bare rock; and the primrose pale, the purple so can be improved.' In the occasional excursions which foxglove, or the gaudy poppy, open their flowers to the joy he made at this period to Edinburgh, he seldom failed to of light. Eventually the tree is seen to spring from the attend the theatre, to revel in the fine strains of the band soil; and where once the tempest beat on the bare cold led by the late Mr Dewar, who was himself a composer, rock, is now the lordly and branching tree, with its thouand had arranged many of Marshall's airs. Placed beside sand leaves, affording shelter from the storm for the bird the leader, Marshall enjoyed the sweet performances of and the beast.-R. Hunt in Pharmaceutical Times. the finely-trained band, and Mr Dewar seldom failed to give one or two of the aged composer's own and favourite
GOOD AND BAD LUCK. compositions. On one occasion he felt so delighted with I may here, as well as anywhere, impart the secret of the accompaniments to his air “ Of a'the airts the wind what is called good and bad luck. There are men who, supcan blaw,” that it was repeated at his own request. No posing Providence to have an implacable spite against them, one who heard Mr Dewar and his band perform such melo- bemoan, in the poverty of a wretched old age, the misfordies as “ The wind blew the bonnie lassie's plaidie awa," or tunes of their lives. Luck for ever ran against them, and “ This is no my ain house," can doubt the effect which his for others. One, with a good profession, lost his luck in own beautiful melody, executed with such care, taste, and the river, where he idled away his time a-fishing, when he power, would have on Marshall's delicate ear. The last should have been in the office. Another, with a good trade, letter he wrote respecting his new volume was 1830, perpetually burnt up his luck by his hot temper, which when he was in his eighty-second year; and three years provoked all his employers to leave him. Another, with a afterwards, in liis eighty-fifth year, in the month of May, lucrative business, lost his luck by amazing diligence at when all was harmonious around him, he ended the jour- everything but his business. Another, who steadily folney of life. He was buried beside his forefathers and his lowed his trade, as steadily followed his bottle. Another, wife—who predeceased him in 1825, at the same age—in who was honest and constant to his work, erred by perthe churchyard of Bellie.
petual misjudgments—he lacked discretion. Hundreds « Marshall left five sons and one daughter. Only one son lose their luck by indorsing, by sanguine speculations, by -the third-survives, who is now Colonel William Mar- trusting fraudulent men, and by dishonest gains. A man shall. The eldest son, Alexander, became a major in the never has good luck who has a bad wife. I never knew an East India Company's service, and died at the age of early-rising, hard-working, prudent man, careful of his thirty-nine, in 1807, at Keithmore, having returned home earnings, and strictly honest, who complained of bad luck. in bad health after the siege of Seringa patam. The second A good character, good habits, and iron industry, are imwas a jeweller in London, but he, too, retired from bad pregnable to the assaults of all the ill luck that fools ever health. The fourth, John, captain in the 26th foot, died in dreamt of. But when I see a tatterdemalion creeping 1829 at Madras; the fifth, Lieutenant George, in Spain, in out of a tavern late in the forenoon, with his hands stuck 1812. The only daughter married Mr Macinnes, Danda- | into his pockets, the rim of his hat turned up, and the lieth, and in her family is a magnificent portrait of her crown knocked in, I know he has had bad luck--for the father, painted by Moir at the command of the Duke of worst of all luck is to be a sluggard, a knave, or a tippler. Gordon, and since presented to Mrs Macinnes by the Duke -Lectures to Young Men, by H. W. Beecher. of Richmond. Marshall, as a musician, had no claim to the same rank as the Mozarts and Handels. He knew
OCCUPATION FOR CHILDREN. little of the grander effects of harmony. He was The habits of children prove that occupation is of necesthoroughly native genius. His taste, his inspiration, the sity with most of them. They love to be busy, even about current of his thought, were all imbued with the spirit of nothing, still more to be usefully employed." With some the old Scottish minstrels—that spirit, which, borrowing children it is a strongly-developed physical necessity, and no more than it lent, gave a character distinct and beauti- if not turned to good account, will be productive of positive ful to the music of our country. His melodies were at evil, thus verifying the old adage, that 'Idleness is the moonce natural, original, and effective: for strathspeys, Burns ther of mischief.' Children should be encouraged, or if called him “the finest composer of this age.” With him indolently disinclined to it, should be disciplined into persleeps the cunning of the craft-he was the last of the forming for themselves every little office relative to the band of the pure, enthusiastic, prolific Scottish com- toilet which they are capable of performing. They should posers.'
also keep their own clothes and other possessions in neat order, and fetch for themselves whatever they want; in
short, they should learn to be as independent of the serDEVELOPMENT OF VEGETABLE LIFE.
vices of others as possible, fitting them alike to make a The progress by which the surface of the earth becomes good use of prosperity, and to meet with fortitude any recovered with vegetable life is sufficiently curious to merit verse of fortune that may befall them. I know of no rank, some of our attention. Let us suppose the bare surface of however exalted, in which such a system would not prove a rock under the action of those changes which all bodies beneficial.- Hints on the Formation of Character. exposed to atmospheric influences undergo. In a little tinie we shall discover upon its face little coloured cups or
Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, High Street, Edinburgh. Also lines, with small hard disks. These at first sight would
sold by D. CHAMBERS, 98 Miller Street, Glasgow; W. S. ORR, never be taken for plants, but on close examination they
147 Strand, London; and J. M'GLASHAN, 21 D'Olier Street, will be found to be lichens. These minute plants shed Dublin.-Printed by W. and R. CHAMBERS, Edinburgh.
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS, EDITORS OF CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR
THE PEOPLE,' 'CHAMBERS'S EDUCATIONAL COURSE,' &c.
No. 210. NEW SERIES.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 1848.
not choose to inflict any tangible vengeance—we may DEBT AND BANKRUPTCY.
give him the benefit of that meekness of judgment The insolvent debtor among the Romans was cut to which would speak tenderly of all human infirmity; pieces and distributed among his creditors. Even in but undoubtedly this person has been guilty of a great England, the bankrupt was treated as a criminal, and fault. He has committed a practical aggression on the subjected to the personal punishment of imprison- rights of his neighbours. He has either done this from ment. In Scotland, till a hundred years ago, they set undue love of his own gratifications, or from a recklessthe 'dyvour' upon a pillory, with stockings of various ness about his affairs which every reasonable person colours, to subject him to the scorn of the multitude. knows cannot be indulged in without the greatest danAll these are traits of the natural sense of mankind ger. Society ought not to forgive it too easily. Such a regarding the immorality of insolvable debt. Recog- person is not entitled to stand exactly on the same platnising it as a positive encroachment upon each other's form of moral repute with those who keep clear of debt. rights and property, they are disposed to punish it So society will say in its cool moments; but, unluckily, accordingly. We are indebted to two things for the one of its perverse sympathies interferes with the mainchange of public sentiment about insolvency-increased tenance of the principle. Men in the mass feel for the humanity, and the new aspect which debt assumes when poor and enubarrassed, and against the rich or those who it is contracted in the course of commercial transac- have enough. Very often those who fall short are easytions. We are now no more inclined to be severe with natured, kind-hearted men, and therefore popular. Perdebtors than with others who injure us. The bank- sons in the opposite circumstances often are of hard ruptcy laws have partaken of the amelioration of the character—not general favourites. Then our selfhood criminal code generally. We now trust for our protec- is more soothed in looking on a downcast or outcast tion here, as against more violent offences, more to person, than on one who stands in all the pride of indethe moral influences working in society, than to the pendence. Thus it comes about that society never visits vengeance of the law. And when we become fami- debtors of this class with the full punishment which, as liarised, as we are, with mercantile engagements, in guilty of an infraction of rights, they deserve. It might which all are debtors and creditors by turns—not that be different if we were to get quit of the fallacies which one may live upon another's means, but because of a beset the case. Creditors are not necessarily either rich, mere conveniency in the transacting of business--we or hard, or self-sufficient, but often very much the recease to regard such obligations in that personal light verse. Neither are debtors always necessarily generous : in which they were once contemplated. Failures to having used their neighbours' property for their own fulfil engagements appear as only the effects of miscal benefit and indulgence, it may fairly be inferred of them culation or mischance. And then that sense, that what that they are fully as likely to be selfish. But we can. may be your turn to-day may be mine to-morrow, not, it will be said, shake off fallacies resting on symmakes us · wondrous kind.' It is like the Irish small pathies so deeply founded in our nature. Then our farmer being so gracious to the poor wayfaring beggar, sufferings from foolish and unprincipled debtors are the because he does not know but what it may be his own penalty which we must pay for our absurdity. Let not fate next winter. It is a case proved by exceptions; debtors, however, exult too much in the privilege, or for where is it that bankruptcy is still beheld with the take too much advantage of it. It is, after all, but pity greatest share of the ancient horror?- Always in pri- which is extended to them-a sentiment whose associamitive communities, such as little country towns, where tions are in no good savour in human experiences. no complicated business engagements exist.
Nothing can save debt from the stamp which destiny But indiscriminating humanity and commerce may has put upon it-degradation. The reckless may there. carry us too far in our changed views regarding debt fore feel assured that, in the long-run, it is somewhat and bankruptcy. At least it appears as if very culpable better to be over an equality with the world than becases were sometimes looked on somewhat too leniently, low it. and as if some of the salutary checks which formerly In commercial insolvency there is a less direct appearexisted would now be well resorted to. Some discrimi- ance of selfishness in the debtor, in as far as the articles dation regarding various kinds of insolvents is needed; for which the debt was contracted are not for objects of and there might even be some improvement counselled domestic consumption or personal gratification. The as to our ordinary ideas regarding the purest of com- culprit seems only a loser in a game of chance. Things mercial bankruptcies.
have gone against him. He has met with losses. The When a person in private life, with an ascertainable very machinery, so to call it, of business blinds us someincome, and liable to no risks which can damage his what to the position he is in. We only see so many resources, is found short of means to liquidate his obli- ruled books of accounts, and little slips of inscribed gations, what should we say of or do to him? We may I paper. We only hear of 'state of the money market,' acceptances, returned paper, assets, dividends, and other capital; but in as far as it is not expressly referable to terms more inetaphysical than real. It is difficult, par- actual means—that is, the means of making good, and ticularly when the transactions are of large amount, to that readily, any difference between the value of goods connect the case with human passions, error, and tres- purchased or engaged for, and that to which they may pass. Yet even here the moralist may come in with his fall, and all other unfavourable contingencies which rebukes and warnings. The aim of the commercial man may be expected to take place in the course of busiin the contracting of his obligations is, after all, a sel- ness-it is a delusion and a spare. Men proclaim that fish one; he intends, by the results of such transactions, the business of the world would be at a stand-still to obtain exactly those tangible indulgences which have if there were not this faith, not in things unseen, but brought his non-commercial neighbour into debt. It in things which do not exist. We deny the assertion. is, in the world's morality, legitimate to follow this ob- The business of the world would be executed by men ject with one's own means and industry ; but it never possessing real means, if it were not anticipated by men can be so to follow it by means of the property of an- without means. The traders on fiction, who are a species other man. Such is the case of him who trades chiefly of impostors, only so far prevent those who would trade upon means not his own ; who, in other words, trades on fact from having their legitimate share of the said largely upon credit. If A B, for example, possessing business; and how far it would be better for the public property to the value of only five thousand pounds, at large that the latter class were not thus interfered orders foreign corn to the amount of fifty thousand, with, it is superfluous to say. in the hope of making fifteen thousand by it, while There are no doubt wonderful doings amongst those there is a chance on the other hand that, by a fall of who work upon fiction : happy strokes, dashing sucmarkets, it may only sell for thirty, he undoubt- cessful adventures, where there was no substance to edly is risking a loss of fifteen thousand pounds to stand good in the case of an opposite result, are well his creditors for the chance of making as much for known. But these are only dangerous exceptions himself. Rightly judged, this is an unprincipled action from the rule. The chances are, in reality, much ---as much so as to commit positive larceny. Yet, sad against the success of a business conducted too much to say, this is the system pursued by a vast proportion on credit. It is a system which always involves a of commercial men. All trading beyond a proper sub- higher scale of prices, and which is costly in its own stratum of means is only a kind of masked profligacyprocedure; thus reducing or extinguishing profits. unless, indeed, credit is pushed upon a man by others, There is even a more fatal evil attending it, in the dewho have their own selfish objects in view; in which mand which it makes on the time and energies of the case the insolvent may be as much the sinned against trader, merely to supply ways and means. The few, as the sinning. We were lately told of mercantile as comparatively they may be called, who take the houses which had not been in a position to pay all their opposite plan, thrive as much by the freedom in which debts within the memory of any person; yet the part their minds are left to attend to the real affairs of businers had been living in handsome style, upon these ness, as by any advantage they have in getting all ventures of the means of others, during a series of things at the greatest advantage. It is merely the misgenerations! What a false and hollow life! It could take of excessive acquisitiveness, or of rashness in comnever find one voice to justify it, if there were not so bination with ignorance, that business cannot be limited many involved in some degree in the turpitude. One to actual means. There is nothing to prevent it, if men painful consideration is, that many, if they would keep will only be contented to do that in ten years which to their own means, might be prosperous and happy ; requires ten years, and not to attempt doing it in five, but unable to rest satisfied with moderate doings, they or three, or any shorter time. Let them use the gains rush into the difficulties consequent upon credit, and of one year for the business of the next, and never try thus make for themselves great reverses. It appears to make any sum of money do more than its proper as if some men had such a liking for embarrassment as amount of work. If they are to make a risk, let it others have for opium or brandy, and never could be strictly be one which, in its worst issue, will not emat rest except when tossed about in a forest of dilem- barrass them. On such principles, they will conduct mas. Talk of the frivolous lives of the ultra-gay, of their affairs with peace of mind, and with the best likethe unhealthy lives of the poor, but what can be more lihood of success. Are such persons above creditor forced, unhealthy, or unnatural, than the life of one of is credit slighted by their course of procedure? Not these infatuates of the business world, who rush from at all. These persons enjoy true credit, in there being speculation to speculation, as if to gratify a morbid love such an assurance of their substantiality, that whatever of excitement, and, in the absorbment of their daily they wish to purchase, will be sent on their order--the avocations, forget nearly every domestic tie ?
whole play of the blood and muscle of their business It surely might be possible to make the proper allow- will be healthy by reason of the dependence placed on ance for the bankruptcies occurring through inevitable them. Such is, in truth, the only right kind of credit. misfortunes, and yet be sufficiently alive to the nature That which enables one man to do without money | of those cases in which there had been no right sub- what another man does with it, is, as has been already stantial basis of means from the beginning, or where said, a delusion. business had been persevered in long after the right The philosophy of these remarks entirely applies to means had ceased to exist.
Were the latter course the question regarding a circulating medium. Barter marked by the public as immoral, which is its real cha- | is, after all, the fundamental idea of commerce. When
1 racter, we might hope to see it less frequently followed. we pay for articles in gold, we are only exchanging one
Perhaps there need for some reform of our whole article for another. It is more convenient and econoideas regarding credit. When it is said that without mical to have notes representing the gold; but this credit business could not be carried on, that credit is does not necessarily imply that we may have notes the soul of business, and so forth, a truth is stated; but which there is no gold to represent. That were to proit does not properly imply anything more than this, ceed upon fiction instead of fact. The gold lying in that a man must be believed to have the means, as well the coffers of the pote-issuing company is not idle. It as the honest intention, of discharging his obligations, is serving all the time as a basis for the ideal character in order that his transactions may go on smoothly, of the notes out of doors. But may there not be notes seeing that it is practically impossible, in any but a small representing land, or houses, or goods, as well as gold? class of cases, to hand the money in exchange for goods. It has been tried and found wanting.* The basis article It is to be feared that with the mercantile class generally, the maxim has come to sanction the incurring of obligations without any very rigid regard to the means
* In America particularly. The Scottish banks are remarkable
for the large business they long carried on upon the basis of geneof discharging them. Some appear to worship it as a
ral property; but for this there are special reasons in the smallprinciple which comes in place of, and dispenses with, ness of the country, which makes every man's circumstances
REPORTED BY FRANCES BROWN.
must be readily available and receivable, otherwise the of the fourteenth. His home was in St John's Street, ideal money loses character, and its function ceases. that ancient improvement of the Canongate, where his Whatever tends to prevent a currency of this kind, or mother and two sisters, still called young ladies in right of any kind but that which is immediately backed by of their single state, occupied a self-contained house in substances which mankind set a distinct value upon, a style of old gentility. Thence the bookseller came and are always willing to receive at a certain rate, must every morning at eight, as certainly as the hour sounded be serviceable to the true interests of the community. from the old clock of St Giles. Thither he returned to There may be some evils attending it, not springing lunch at twelve, and to dinner at five, with the same from itself, but from the imprudence which it checks; unvarying precision. Each evening at eight he stole but the general force of this principle is clearly advan-up the adjacent stair, after special precautions to avoid tageous.
observation, returning regularly at ten to see the shop The erils of debt and bankruptcy may be said, like shut. The nature of his erening resort was for some many others, to arise from the blind efforts of human time a mystery. It was conducted with such perignorance and passion to fly in the face of natural ordi- fect secrecy, that I verily believe neither of the young nations which we cannot resist with impunity. If men shopmen ever suspected it. Being themselves, indeed, would observe and go along with these ordinations, they rivals for the smiles of the green-grocer's red-haired would so far secure their happiness. But it so happens daughter, they were the less likely to trouble themthat a man may receive what is called a perfect or first- selves about the matter. I, however, having as yet no rate education, and yet be unacquainted with some of folly of my own on hands, felt differently; and growing the very primary rules affecting his wellbeing as an desperate on the twenty-first night of my unrewarded inhabitant of the earth. The period of comparative surveillance, I determined to follow him, though at a security from this class of evils must, therefore, be ex- most respectful distance, up the dark stair. pected only when the knowledge of mankind has been On he went from flight to flight, passing with partiincreased.
cular celerity the door of Miss M Millan, with whom
he was on speaking terms on account of family respecA LEGEND OF THE PARLIAMENT SQUARE. tability; but at length, on the ninth flat, he paused at
a side door on the landing, listened for a few minutes,
and then, as if convinced that all was safe, gave a low I was the youngest of five sons, all of whom were tinkle at the old brass pin which served as a knocker. anprenticed in different mercantile establishments in The door opened, and the light streamed out. I heard Edinburgh before I had left school ; and my parents a woman's voice, that seemed to speak in tones of weldeliberated so long regarding the description of busi- come; but all I could catch of my master's response, ness suitable to my peculiar genius, that at length, in for it was low and hurried, was, ‘Miss Barbara.' The my eighteenth year, the advice of our schoolmaster, door was closed, and I crept to the keyhole. Oh ye and my own selection, determined the matter, and I was that have secret courtships, beware of idle apprenbound'apprentice to a respectable bookseller, who car- tices! ried on his business in the lower flat of one of the old Within, there was a large apartment lighted by a houses in the Parliament Square.
clear coal fire, and a couple of small candles placed on a My master was a man of about thirty-five. In per- table covered with all manner of millinery apparatus ; son he was thin, wiry, and rather low of stature; with morsels of all colours were scattered about; there were an ascetical cunning countenance, oatmeal-coloured hair, two chairs, each supporting a silk dress, apparently and a remarkably even temper, allied to a large stock | fresh from the needle; two more, occupied by as many of accumulated caution, and a quiet store of dull pride, ladies; and one had been just placed for my master; on the double account of what he called the old re- besides which, a small shelf of books, and an article spectability of his family,' and a well-established busi- which might have been either a folding bed or cup
board of the olden time, were the only pieces of furniHis premises consisted of a large shop and a small | ture visible to me. back parlour : the former had more than an average The inhabitants were evidently poor ; but the dress supply of customers, and the latter was filled every of one of them, nearest whom my master sat, though forenoon by the local literati and politicians, who cheap and well worn in more senses than one, attracted dropped in one after another to discuss the news. even my boyish eye from the superior taste and neatness When I became his apprentice, the duties of the shop of its arrangements. She was young, but not a girl; were divided between two young men and myself. her face was mild, and remarkably intelligent. She was Being some years older than I, and brothers, they con- | pale and slender; life seemed to have gone hardly with surted so much together, that I found myself utterly her; but her eye looked bright, as if for the present all alone, so that I was forced to relieve the tedium of a things went well, as it glanced from the bookseller's new and not over-active business by most diligently face to the white lace and bright pink ribbons of which observing my master's movements, as the best amuse she was framing a cap. The other was a large grayment within my reach.
haired, hard-looking woman, robust in her age as a tree The house of which he occupied part was one of those that had only time to strive with, and knew no inhuge fabrics, rising to the height of fourteen storeys, ward waster. The black in which she was clothed from which might have been seen in the Parliament Square head to foot seemed old and strong as herself, and there before the great fire of 1824. The shop and back was a usurer-like hope in the glance with which she parlour were situated on whiat was the ground flat surveyed my master, like one who anticipated a good towards the square, close beside the establishments of bargain. But what an altered man was he from the
a tailor and a green-grocer. Adjacent to my master's quiet cautious bookseller of the shop and the back par| door opened the common stair, which wound, flight lour! Never did the climbing of nine storeys, even in
after flight, up to the very attics; dingy, not over the Porcelain Tower, effect such a transformation! His clean, and presenting the only medium of communica- words flowed fast and free, as a winter millstream; his
tion with the nether earth to some threescore persons air had attained the very sublimity of self-conceit; and i of various ranks and fortunes, from Miss M Millan, the no sultan could have taken possession of his divan
maiden lady, who occupied her family's town-house on with an air of more undoubted authority. the seventh storey, up to the two expatriated French His conversation was entirely addressed to the nuns, who made artificial flowers, at the gable windows younger lady, whom I soon discovered to be Miss Bar
bara Johnstone. But oh what a world of petty false+ readily known, and in the extreme prudence with which the hoods regarding his own exploits in and out of the basiness of banking was always conducted in this part of the em
These things, with time, produced confidence, and enabled shop! What professions of candour, liberality, and disbankers to do with less gold than is usually necessary.
interested affection, combined with every human virtue,
did my worthy master declare to that delighted listener! glory of his native glen-in order to publish a volume And how often did her fair beaming face rise from that of poems, which, as they were admired by the Macraes tedious piece of millinery with applause, and laughter, and Mackays, he believed must secure the applause of and admiration, for all his wit and wisdom!
all Britain, and command certain pecuniary supplies Seriously, I have always been a lover of justice; and necessary for the accomplishment of the cherished hope it might be that that love was stronger in my boyhood, of his life — the pursuance of his father's profession. which may account for certain longings for water and Nor was this design unmingled with memories of Mrs a syringe which cane across me at the moment, espe- M'Clatchie and her niece, who, being cousins in only cially considering the conveniency of the keyhole. But the fourth degree, had been intimate with the poet's those useful articles were far below; besides, the silk family while they managed the house and dairy of Loch dresses, and that mild face, were in the way, and a Drumlie till the decease of the old laird; and certain rising movement on the part of the bookseller was rumours of his successor's intention to bring home a enough to send me with all possible expedition back to lady, had made the gentle aunt remember that Barbara the shop.
possessed elegant hands, and might repay with tolerNo one had missed me; but scarcely had I taken my able interest all she was discovered to have cost that accustomed place, when in stepped a young man, tall
, calculating dame since the death of her parents—which dark, and rather handsome, but evidently fresh from event took place in Barbara's infancy-by a small addithe country, and wearing the weary look of one ex- tional expenditure on her apprenticeship to a dresshausted by a fruitless search, yet determined to make a maker: it was for this reason that they had removed to last effort as he leant his arms on the counter, looked Edinburgh. There Barbara acquired, in one year's atbashfully round the shop, and at length, fixing on mine tendance on the establishment of the Misses Menzies as the least appalling face, inquired if I kent the (for her aunt would allow no more time), sufficient present abode o' Mistress M'Clatchie, sometime house- dexterity to carry on a small private business of her keeper to the Laird o' Loch Drumlie, and her niesh, own in the domicile where I had seen her; the profits Miss Barbara Johnstone?' which, he understood, was of which were barely sufficient to support herself and situated somewhere in the Parliament Square.
the amiable lady, who insisted, in her own peculiar parThe bookseller's company rose to my remembrance, lance, 'on being kept as lang as she had keepit her; and here was an opportunity, such as no prying appren- and that,' she was wont to add, was a gey while! tice could neglect, of learning something of their history; whilst the earnings of her own housekeeping-days acso I answered the stranger's question by demanding, cumulated interest in the savings' bank. • What sort of a woman was Mrs M.Clatchie?'
Thus they lived till Barbara reached her twenty-fifth "Good-looking, but a wee camstarie, an'aye dressed year, her aunt always insisting that she was only ninein black like a gentlewoman,' responded he.
teen; the girl expending her energy and ingenuity on • What business did she follow?' I continued.
every form of figure and temper, on all manner of maOh, naething ava,' said the applicant. 'She had terials, from serge to satin; and Mrs M-Clatchie supersiller o' her ain; but her niesh was a manty maker. Do intending the expenditure of the supplies, and daily you ken onything o' her?' he added with increasing exhorting her niece to thank Providence, wha had earnestness.
graciously gien her a guide and a director.' Had I been farther advanced in years, it is probable Poor Barbara could have dispensed with her directhat our proverbial northern prudence would have sug- tion at times; but she had grown used to the old flint, gested some further delay and investigation ; but as it and without her the workroom would have been soliwas, the stranger's anxiety overcame my youth, and I tary, unless, indeed, for the visits of my worthy master, at once directed him to the ninth tiat, first door on the who had dropped in for the last seven months as duly right-hand side. He stammered out his thanks, and as the evening fell, and wherefore, none could say with bolted up the common stair, leaving the shopmen titter- certainty, for he had never committed himself by either ing at his uncouth appearance; but in less than half an vow or declaration ; but having seen Barbara frequently hour iny master returned as quietly, though much pass up the common stair, an acquaintance slowly grew earlier, than usual, and we all observed that something up between them, which at length ripened into intidisturbed the equanimity of his temper that evening. macy; but the bookseller kept his visits a solemn
Next day the stranger called again, when the back secret, for he knew how to contrast the respectability parlour was free. The bookseller saluted him as an of his family with the rank of a dressmaker. acquaintance; and great was my amusement when, All this I learned in progress of time by those two entering with a message devised for the occasion, I gates of knowledge-as an Eastern philosopher hath it, witnessed his awkward bows and bashful acknowledg. inquiry and observation; and partly from the poet himments while my master introduced him to the lumi- self, who regarded me with some degree of confidence naries there as Master Dugald M.Dougal, son of the Re- on account of my first service. verend Duncan M.Dougal, now minister of Stra'clathick, He had taken lodgings in the square; and as I found in the North Highlands, whose sermons on Predestina- time to keep watch over his movements, as well as those tion had created such general interest in Edinburgh of my master, it was soon manifest that the winding about twenty years before.
stair was trodden with equal frequency by both. But As his embarrassment wore away, it was wonderful while M.Dougal went with the frankness of a friend at what intelligence the mighty men of the back parlour all hours, the respectable bookseller continued to prefer found in him; and on his departure, all broke forth in twilight for his visits, and always returned sooner if he the stranger's praise, my master leading the way in his found the young Highlander before him—a fact of some usual quiet and lengthy fashion.
importance to me in those apprentice times, as I learned M.Dougal had been brought up in the primitive piety by the poet's motions to estimate the probable duration and simplicity of a Highland clergyman's household of my master's absence. among hills, and glens, and shepherds; but a love of Let me also confess, though it is now with some conpoetry-so often found in what one of its votaries has fusion of face, that often, as the winter evenings lengthcalled the earth's wild places'-took possession of his ened, was I the unobserved rearguard of both aspirants. mind. The numbers came, whether regularly or not, I Through the same quiet keyhole I saw and heard the cannot tell; but he sung, and became great among his bookseller exhibit his wit, his wisdom, and, as far as people. His verses were translated into Gaelic by the words could do, his wealth; and young M‘Dougal grow patriarchs of the heath; the pipers of Stra'clathick eloquent over the story of Burns and Highland Mary, found airs for them; the lasses sang them at their and the beauties of the kirk and manse of Stra'clathick; spinning wheels; and he had sought the northern but I also perceived that credible medium, the warm capital—with letters of recommendation from scores of flush which brightened the fair face of Barbara when Highland lairds and ministers, who considered him the / she welcomed my master, compared with the calm and