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land in Dumfriesshire, somewhere in the ratio of 7». Cd. per acre, but averted consequences which have keen most severely felt in some other quarters. Since §> many steamers plied from the port of Annan, quite ■ new era has arisen in the district; and the opinion, whether well or ill founded, has at least become pretty general, that twenty per cent, has been added to the value of farm produce within a tolerably wide circuit of country. Very recently, we were shown a private letter from Edinburgh, the writer of which mentioned, that, a few days previous, lambs purchased In the Orassmarket, at from 15s. to 18s. per head, were shipped by steam from Leith to London, and ■old in Smithfield on the following Saturday at from 328. to 35s. per head. But we should weary ourselves, and our readers into the bargain, were we to attempt the enumeration, even in a local point of view, of a tithe of the advantages resulting from a power which has bridged every loch and arm of the sea, and rendered us altogether independent of those wizzards who promised at one time to arch the Atlantic as au appropriate sequel to the magic art of spinning ropes from eand.
Tile draining is the next great element in the list -of improvements which are making moss and moor lands blossom like the rose. Oil all large estates, clay is found, aud the landlords, aware of the value of tiles, are every where erecting kilns, and encouraging their tenants to consume freely a manufacture, which has done, and is doing, a world of good. Mr Haig of Seggie, near St Andrews, in the course of two years, earthed no fewer than 220,000 drain tiles. But even this is a triile compared to what is going forward in almost every part of Ayrshire. Within a few miles of Kilmarnock, at least 6,000,000 of tiles are manufactured annually, and yet the supply, in summer 1834, so far from exceeding, fell short of the demand. The Duke of Portland, season after season, prepares for his own use 3,000,000 of the same article; and, taking into view the whole district, the supply will soon be in the ratio of 10,000,000 yearly. AtKyedale, in ourownneighbourhood, thedemand for tiles is brisk and increasing; and considering what is being done in the stewartry and the shire by the Earl of Galloway, Colonel Cathcart of Genoch, and others, it would be difficult to assign limits to the progress of an improvement, which we were somewhat tardy in borrowing from our neighbours the English. The Cuke of Portland drains for his tenants, and re-imburses himself so far, by adding five shillings to the land per acre, during the currency of existing leases. But the farms, when re let, advance in value; and already the spirited nobleman alluded to can point to his rent-roll as the best of all proofs of the value of a material, which iu the natural state is little better than an inert mass, in the artificial, a mighty promoter of increased and gradually increasing fertility.
From kilns and tiles we pars, by what Paley calls an easy gradation, to saw.mills, and trees felled in the merry greenwood. The period is not very remote when sawing was performed, not by machinery, but by a most wearisome species of human labour; and when Wilson composed the graphic poem called " Watty and Meg," we question whether there was a saw-mill in any part of Britain—
"Keen December's winds were blawin',
Watty, wearied a' day sawin',
But the present has been called the mechanical age, and hence machinery has done for the common saw. pit, with one man above and another below, what Arkwright's invention did for the spinning-wheel, reducing to a discount what was formerly at a premium. It is now some dozen years since an ingenious friend of ours introduced the circular saw for the first time into the south of Scotland. The instrument, however, which is said to be a Swiss invention, had previously been in use in the county of Inverness, and it is stated by some that it is still found in greater perfection in the north than any other part of Scotland. In the march of improvement, example is every thing; and since our friend set circular saws in motion, their value has been so universally recognised, that they may be seen at Maxwelltown, Dalswinton, Closeburn, Newabbey, Dalbeattie, Gatehouse, Newton-Stewart, Garliestown, and several other places. And the period is not remote, when one or more of these machines will be deemed indispensable on every property where wood grows and water runs. The mountains that weep, and the springs that ooze, replenish our burns throughout the year; and wherever there is water, it is easy to make a dam and procure a fall. Wanting the circular saw, persons who buy live timber would be deprived, so to speak, of their right arm; and as the wheel that drives it is made portable, and, with the machinery, can be shifted from one part of the wood to another, we exaggerate very little in saying that the mill waits on and follows the footsteps of the axeman. Still we are not of those who aver that by means of the upright or circular saw, two men can do the work of twenty. A boast so sweeping is pure fiction, and it is nearer sober sense to state that the Instrument we speak of has reduced the price of cutting a thousand feet of half-inch board from 22s. to 12s. This of itself is no trifling boon conferred on the public, to say nothing of the convenience of going to the nearest mill, aud fitting yourself with any required quantity of timber, as readily as you can step into a currier's shop, and buy the materials of a pair
of boots or shoes. Nor are these the only advantages resulting from machines which turn to excellent account water power, which, in many cases, would otherwise be lost; the rotatory motion fashions into use, wood which, at one time, was considered altogether worthless, excepting as fuel, and enables country gentlemen to serve the public and themselves at the same time, not only as growers, but manufacturers of an article, which, as it was in the beginning, will be indispensable in the arts to the end of time. And thus ends our hurried essay on bone manure, steam navigation, saw-mills, and tile draining.
SILK MANUFACTURE IN FRANCE. The great developement of the silk manufacture in France (says Dr Ure, in his "Philosophy of Manufactures") is mainly owing to its being the least protected interest in that kingdom. Its spontaneous growth, being fostered by the native taste of the people, has given it stability at home and a steady demand over the whole world. As foreign silks are admitted at a moderate duty, they continually stimulate to fresh improvements and suggest endless variations of style. The opinion generally entertained of the superiority of such French silks as are figured, and which depend for their beauty on tasteful arrangements, is no more a prejudice of mankind, than the feeling in favour of the works of Raphael and Titian. In the manufacturing texture, the prepossession, however, is in favour of Great Britain, on account of our superior machinery. Taste descends to the lowest classes of the community iu Frauce, iu remarkable contrast with the neglect of it among the lon er orders of our countrymen. Taste is, in fact, an abundant and cheap commodity across the Channel; it is rare and costly on this side of it—a circumstance due very much to the pains taken by the French government for a century and a half to encourage the Fine Arts, and to exhibit specimens of them freely to the people, in public buildings, all over the kingdom. Gratuitous schools of design also are established at Paris, Lyons, and many of their principal towns. Taste is displayed both in the forms and grouping of the figures, and the disposition of the colours. The artist creates objects of taste with a brush and a few pigments, independently of the quality of the canvass or ground on which he lays them. The canvass may be equallygood in England and in France; but when enriched by figures, it derives its value from the tastefuluess of the decorations.
The amount of protection by duties in France may be estimated at from 15 to 17 per cent, on foreign manufactured silks. The protective duty in this country was calculated to be 30 per ceut.; but it is effectively 35 at least, according to Mr Dillon's evidence before the Silk Committee of 1832. One of the leading manufacturers of Lyons informed Dr Bowring, that the importation of foreign silks was a great source of the prosperity of their home manufacture; that, for instance, a number of foreign crapes being sold at a low rate, and carried into general consumption, had induced the Lyonese to take up the crape trade in earnest, and to make it now one of their most important branches. The silk manufacture in France is the only one which stands on its own legs, an exception to the vicious system of protection, so prevalent in that country; aud hence it is the only one at this time which is not in considerable distress—a hopeless distress, to which there is no parallel in any of our manufactures. The silk is, in fact, the only manufacture which grows under the salutary breeze of competition with the foreigner; and it is indebted for many of its improvements to the invention of other countries. The bar-loom, when it was introduced some years ago for weaving ribbons, would have remained neglected but for the pressure of Swiss competition.
The history of the introduction of the Jacquardloom is a most instructive lesson on the advantage of free intercourse and rivalship between different countries. The inventor of that beautiful mechanism was originally an obscure straw-hat manufacturer, who had never turned his mind to automatic mechanics, till he had an opportunity, by the peace of Amiens, of seeing in an English newspaper the offer of a reward by our Society of Arts, to any man who should weave a net by machinery. He forthwith roused his dormant faculties, and produced a net by mechanism. [The story of Jacquard's invention was given in the 149th number of the Journal. It need be only stated here, that, notwithstanding the patronage of the state, his loom was destroyed by the members of the silk-trade at Lyons.] And it was not till the French people were beginning to feel the force of foreign competition that they had recourse to this admirable aid of their countryman; since which time they have found it to be the onlv real protection and Drop of their trade.
The bar.loom was a Swiss invention, brought into the neighbourhood of St Etienne by two brothers. They were persecuted for their pains by the ribbonweavers of the old school, and driven forth into the extremity of misery. The last of them died not long ago in an hospital, a victim of neglect and annoyance. Of late years, however, this loom has become a favourite mechanism, aud is in almost universal use among the weavers of the very district where it was long an object of execratiou.
The silk-trade of France labours, as we have said, under a disadvantage iu the construction of its ma
chinery, from the false protective system soprevalentia that country, whereby it pays a duty of from 15 to 33 per cent, on its importation, to protect the machine, maker, who in his turn has to pay for the protected French iron 150 per cent, more than he could fur th« English; and in like manner more for his timber, to protect the wood-grower. The towns of France srs subject to oppressive taxes which fall peculiarly on the labourers; such as town dues on food, drink, and fuel. Hence, the weavers of Lyons and St Etienna are now in process of migrating to the mountains, st no little inconvenience to trade. Many of the intelligent manufacturers of these towns are also under considerable alarm at the progress which the silk ma. nufacture, with all our advantages of machinery and commerce, is now making in England. The total number of looms at Lyons, was, in 1832, 25,000, of which one-half was within the walls, and one-half without. The importation of English silks into Francs increased six-fold between the years 1828 and 183V; amounting, in the first year, to the value of 119,5/0 francs, and in the last to 043,720francs. It consisted chiefly of bandana handkerchiefs, not of oriental make, but woven in this country.
It is in the production of the patterns of silk goods that the French have a decided advantage over the British; they probably have little or none after the design is put into the loom. The modes in which taste is cultivated at Lyons deserve particular study and imitation in this country. Among the weavers of the place, the children, and every body connected with devising patterns, much attention is devoted to every thing any way connected with the beautiful either in figure or colour. Weavers may be seen in their holiday leisure gathering flowers, and grouping them in the most engaging combinations. They are continually suggesting new designs to their employers; and are thus the fruitful source of elegant patterns.
There is hardly any considerable house in Lyons, in which there is not a partner who owes his place in il to his success as an artist The town of Lyons is so conscious of the value of such studies, that it contributes 20,000 francs per annum to the government establishmeut of the School of Arts, which takes charge of every youth who shows an aptitude for drawing, or imitative design of any kind, applicable to manufactures. Hence all the eminent painters, sculptors, even botanists and florists of Lyons, become eventually associated with the staple trade, and devote to it their happiest conceptions. In the principal school, that of St Peter's, there are about one hundred and eighty students, every one of whom receives from the town a gratuitous education in art for five years; comprehending delineations in anatomy, botany, architecture, and loom-pattern drawing. A botanical garden is attached to the school. The government allows 3100 francs a-year to the school of Lions. The school supplies the scholars with every thing bat the materials, and allows them to reap the benetit of their works. Their professor of painting is a man of distinguished talent, well known to connoisseurs.
The French manufacturer justly considers that hif pattern is the principal element of his success in trade; for the mere handiwork of weaving is a simple affair, with the improved Jacquard-loom. He therefore visits the school, and picks out the boy who promises, by taste and invention, to suit his purpose the best. Ha invites him to his home, boards him, and gives him a small salary, to be gradually advanced. One gentleman told Dr Bowring that he had three such youths in his employment, to the youngest of whom he gave 1000 francs, or L.40 per annum. After three or four years, if the young artist's success be remarkable, he may have his salary raised to double or treble that sum; aud when his reputation is once established, ha is sure of the offer of a partuership. Such is the general history of many of the schoolboys of Lyons. Even the French weaver, who earns oniy 15d. or 20d. a.day, prides himself upon his knowledge of design: he will turn over several hundred patterns iu his possession, and descant on their relative merits, seldom erring far in predicting the success of any new style. By this disposition, the minds of the silk-weavers in Frauce become elevated and refined, instead of being stultified in gin-shops, as those of the English too frequently are. In flower patterns, the French designs are remarkably free from incongruities, being copied from nature with scientific precision. They svpply taste to the whole world in proportion to the exteat of their exportations, which amount to one hundred and ten millions out of one hundred and forty. Ia the Lyons school, collections of silk fabrics may be studied, extending over a period of four thousand years, with explanations of the modes in which every pattern was produced, from the rude silks of the Egyp • tiall mummies to the figured webs of the last year.
There are also weaving-schools, containing from sixty to eighty scholars. In these a pattern being ex. hibited, they are required to exercise their invention immediately as to the best means of producing tha design on a piece of silk goods. The master removes such difficulties as are occasionally encountered, and leads them on to successful accomplishment of tha task.
Within a few years, a large legacy has been left by General Martin, for the purpose of establishing another institution similar to the school of St Peter.
Their superiority in art is turned to good account in many other French manufactures. Notwithaiand. ing the double price of tha raw material in •. tLeir fancy articles in iron and steel are exported in large quantities. Their bronze figures have made their way into all parts of the world, alongside of their lilk goods; both being equally productions of fine taste, and therefore yielding profitable returns.
The establishment at Lyons, which takes charge of the interests of its trade, called the " Conseil des Prud'. hommes" (Council of Honest Men), is of a very useful nature. When a manufacturer has invented a new pattern, he deposits a specimen of it, sealed, in the archives of that body, on which he pays from two to ten francs, according to the desired duration of his copyright. The Conseil can seize all pirated imitation goods, fine the offender, and even imprison him for ten days. There is found to be practically very little difficulty in a man's vindicating his patentright before this equitable tribunal, which is one of the most popular and best organised institutions of France. It is composed at Lyons of nine master manufacturers and eight weavers, one of the former being the president; each party being elected by the general votes of its own body respectively, every weaver who possesses four looms being entitled to vote. This court decides all questions connected with the manufacturing interests of its particular district. Their proceedings are distinguished for temperance and sagacity. The men who represent the operatives, display sound sense, and join in the discussions of the open court with equal propriety as their employers. All questions between masters and men, between men and apprentices, and, in fact, all which bear in any way on the silk trade, are referred to the Conseil des Prud'hommea. Their disposition seems always to he conciliatory. They examine parties, summon witnesses, with the power of compelling their attendance, and give awards, from which there is no appeal, in reference to any sum less than one hundred francs. The number of appeals from this tribunal is very few.
lit appears from the preceding and other details connected with the silk-trade of France and England, that the dependence of this country is solely on its factory machinery. If deprived of the full power of this mighty auxiliary, our silk manufacture would immediately languish, and allow the product of the French and Swiss looms to obtain a complete command of the market. ]
MY FIRST ACTION. Thk operations against the town of Flushing not keeping pace with our commander-in-chief's impatience, he determined to force the batteries with his squadron; and as our ship bore the flag of Lord
G , the second in command, we were to follow next
in the line to him, giving the town the advantage of our broad sides as we passed. Whether in our ardour we went too near the shore, or whether we drew more water than our leader, we grounded stern-on to the batteries, and were consequently exposed to the whole weight of the enemy's fire, without being able to return but a few shot from our stern-chasers. I shall never forget my sensations on this occasion. When told that we were preparing for action, I could scarcely believe that my precious person was to be endangered; that I, ao lately the pet of a whole household, on whom the breath of heaven was hardly allowed to blow, and who, hut a few short days before, would have been surrounded by a whole host of doctors if but my finger ached, was now to be exposed to the shot and shells of a real enemy. It appeared to me impossible; and I was much more afraid of being hurt than killed. When the drum beat to quarters, my heart was in my mouth; and although we sailed gaily into action, with the band playing " God save the King," not all the pomp of war, or even the ridicule of my more experienced companions, could overcome the agony of my sensations. I was stationed on the quarter-deck, I suppose in order to accustom me to stand fire, and was nominally one 0/ the captain's aides-de-camp; I say nominally, hecause, if he had not had others of more use to him than I was, he would have been hut indifferently served. I stood under the poop awning, almost paralysed with fear; I do not think any power on earth could have induced me to have moved one inch from the place where I happened to be when the first shot was tired. To add to my terror, as soon as the ship struck against the ground, I heard the admiral say distinctly to the captain, "Codrington, we shall be all blown up; it will be impossible to get her off before next tide." This was an awfulmomentfor older and braver hands than I: we could do nothing with our guns, and the men were ordered to lie down at their quarters. The shot passed over us and through us; and we could use only the carronades on the poop, which was dreadfully exposed to the enemy's fire. One single shot did horrid execution among file marines, by striking a stand of arms, and killing or wounding several men with the splinters. I fhull not easily forget a poor corporal of marines, who had both his arms and both his legs shot off, as he was elevating a carronade on the poop. It is now twenty years ago, yet the poor man's countenance is as plainly before ine at this moment as if it were only jresterdav, as he was carried past me to be lowered lown the hatchway to the surgeon below. He bore he amputation of three of his limbs, and died under he operation of the fourth. At length the gun-boats ind bomb-vessels got in shore of us, and took off part i the enemy's fire, by giving them other employDent; but they still sent us a red-hot shot now and
then, and once set our hammock-nettings on fire. They could not, however, stand our land batteries, which opened upon them in great force, and they soon hung out a white flag, and demanded a truce for four hours. Great was my delight, on this cessation of hostilities; and I would not even confess my fright when the action was over; but fancied myself quite a hero, and ready to face any enemy, because I had escaped unhurt, particularly when the captain, who partly well guessed the state of my feelings, laughed at me for my " immoveability," as he called it. I have been in many battles since, in many situations of equal or greater danger, yet none affected me like this—Recollections of a Valetudinarian.
A BEE HUNT. The following is taken from Washington Irving's recent publication, containing an account of a Tour in the Prairies of " The Far West:"—" The beautiful forests in which we were encamped abounded in bee trees; that is to say, trees in the decayed trunks of which wild bees had established their hives. It is surprising, in what countless swarms the bees have overspread the far West, within but a moderate number of years. The Indians consider them the harbinger of the white man, as the buffalo is of the red man; and say, that, in proportion as the bee advances, the Indian and the buffalo retire. We are always accustomed to associate the hum of the bee-hive with the farm-house and the flower-garden, and to consider those industrious little animals as connected with the busy haunts of men; and I am told that the wild bee is seldom to be met with at any great distance from the frontier. They have been the heralds of civilisation, steadfastly preceding it, as it advanced from the Atlantic borders; and some of the ancient settlers of the West protend to give the very year when the honey bee first crossed the Mississippi. The Indians, with surprise, found the mouldering trees of their forests suddenly teeming with ambrosial sweets; and nothing, I am told, can exceed the greedy relish with which they banquet, for the first time, upon this unbought luxury of the wilderness. At present, the honey bee swarms, in myriads, in the noble groves and forests that skirt and intersect the prairies, and extend along the alluvial bottoms of the rivers. It seems to me as if these beautiful regions answer literally to the description of the land of promise—' a land flowing with milk and honey;' for the rich pasturage of the prairies is calculated to sustain herds of cattle as countless as the sands upon the sea-shore, while the flowers with which they are enamelled render them a very paradise for the nectar-seeking bee. We had not been long in the camp, when a party set out in quest of a bee-tree; and, being curious to witness the sport, I gladly accepted an invitation to accompany them. The party was headed by a veteran bee-hunter, a tall lank fellow in homespun garb, that hung loosely about his limbs, and a straw hat, shaped not unlike a bee-hive; a comrade, equally uncouth in garb, and without a hat, straddled along at his heels, with a long rifle on his shoulder. To these succeeded half-a-dozeu others, some with axes, and some with rifles; for no one stirs from the camp without firearms, so that he may be ready either for wild deer or wild Indian. After proceeding some distance, we came to an open glade on the skirts of the forest. Here our leader halted, and then advanced quietly to a low bush, on the top of which I perceived a piece of honeycomb. This, I found, was the bait or lure for the wild bees. Several were humming about it, and diving into its cells. When they had laden themselves with honey, they would rise up in the air, and dart off in one straight line, almost with the velocity of a bullet. The hunters watched attentively the course they took, and then set off in the same direction, stumbling along over twisted roots and fallen trees, with their eyes turned up to the iky. In this way they traced the honey-laden bees to their hive, in the hollow trunk of a blasted oak, where, after buzzing about for a moment, they entered a hole about sixty feet from the ground. Two of the beehunters now plied their axes vigorously at the foot of the tree, to level it with the ground. The mere spectators and amateurs, in the meantime, drew off to a cautious distance, to be out of the way of the falling of the tree, and the vengeance of its inmates. The jarring blows of the axe seemed to have no effect in alarming or agitating this most industrious community. They continued to ply at their usual occupations—some arriving full-freighted into port, others sallying forth on new expeditions, like so many merchantmen in a money-making metropolis, little suspicious of impending bankruptcy and downfall : even a loud crack, which announced the disrupture of the trunk, failed to divert their attention from the intense pursuit of gain: at length down came the tree, with a tremendous crash, bursting open from end to end, and displaying all the hoarded treasures of the commonwealth. One of the hunters immediately ran up with a wisp of lighted hay, as a defence against the bees. The latter, however, made no attack, and sought no revenge : they seemed stupilied by the catastrophe, and, unsuspicious of its cause, remained crawling and buzzing about the ruins, without offering us any molestation. Every one of the party now fell to, with spoon and hunting-knife, to scoop out the flakes of honeycomb with which the hollow Uuuk was stored.
Some of them were of old date, and a deep brown colour ; others were beautifully white, and the honey in their cells was almost limpid. Such of the combs as were entire were placed in camp kettles, to be conveyed to the encampment; those which had been shivered in the fall were devoured upon the spot. Every stark bee-hunter was to be seen with a rich morsel in his hand, dripping about his fingers, and disappearing as rapidly as a cream tart before the holiday appetite of a schoolboy. Nor was it the bee-hunters alone that profited by the downfall of this industrious community. As if the bees would carry through the similitude of their habits with those of laborious and gainful man, I beheld numbers from rival hives, arriving on eager wing, to enrich themselves with the ruins of their neighbours. These busied themselves as eagerly and cheerily as so many wreckers on an Iudianan that has been driven on shore—plunging into the cells of the broken honeycombs, banqueting greedily on the spoil, and then winging their way full-freighted to their homes. As to the poor proprietors of the ruin, they seemed to have no heart to do any thing, not even to taste the nectar that flowed around them, but crawled backwards and forwards, in vacant desolation, as I have seen a poor fellow, with his hands ia his pockets, whistling vacantly and despondingly about the ruins of his house, that had been burned. It is difficult to describe the bewilderment and confusion of the bees of the bankrupt hive, who had been absent at the time of the catastrophe, and who arrived, from time to time, with full cargoes from abroad. At first they wheeled about in the air, in the place where the fallen tree had once reared its head, astonished at finding all a vacuum. At length, as if comprehending their disaster, they settled down in clusters on a dry branch of a neighbouring tree, from whence they seemed to contemplate the prostrate ruin, and to buzz forth doleful lamentations over the downfall of their republic. It was a scene on which the ' melancholy Jacques' might have moralised by the hour."
ON THE DEATH OF YOUTH. Although death, in all its forms, is appalling and terrific, there are circumstances which partly divest it of its horrors. The usual subjects of editorial notices are not always the most deeply mourned. They are, generally, individuals who have completed many of the promises of existence—who have not ended their pilgrimage without accomplishing the purposes of their youth, and the visions of their ambition: Their capacities have been filled — their energies awakened — their faculties developed—the secret springs of their mind and character touched, and all their nature unfolded and displayed. Affection, while* it mourns over their grave, is consoled and cheered by memory, who paints their past greatness and hap-' piness. Their name is sounded abroad. They have left their characters as examples, and their deeds as a monument. Their excellence is acknowledged. Those most closely allied to the departed, are soothed by the consciousness that his worth was known—that his absence is lamented; and this sympathy softens the harsh features of sorrow into melancholy and tenderness. When we behold, therefore, a great or an aged man consigned to the tomb, although the scene is impressive, solemn, awful, it is yet neither unnatural nor terrific. It resembles the setting of tbe sun when the duties of the day are over, or the passing away of autumn after the harvest has been gathered in. In these cases, we are hushed with awe, but not stricken with dismay, and death, though sublime, is not altogether horrible. The biographer, then, has the simple but the proud and grateful task of enumerating the labours of genius and virtue, and of painting the fruits which they have brought forth. Over them is shed the warm colouring of fancy and love; the respect of mankind hallows and consecrates his gravemakes it a sweet retreat, and a holy resting-place for the imagination of the survivors; and, if it does not fill, at least illumines the dark void left in their hearts.
With thoughts and feelings far different from these we follow youth to the tomb. Even when no rare promise has been given—when the bud was bursting with 110 more than the ordinary beauty of early life— when only innocence, and hope, and untried ambition, have been summoned, the mind recoils with horror. The passing away of age is only the fulfilment of destiny; but youth was not made to die. Here is a calamity which was not expected, and therefore is not easily borne. It is a double woe. It is alike woe to the young eagle stricken down by the thunder, when first spreading its wings for its heavenward flight, and to the trembling, shuddering creatures left behind. Where shall they look for consolation? How different is their sorrow from that of the mourner over the grave of matured manhood, ripened genius, and successful ambition! They possess no proud recollections to lean on in the dark hour of weakness and affliction. Tiieir loss is not only the bereavement of love—it is the disappointment of hope—of tenderness —of worldly interest—of deep passion—of a thousand gay dreams, and fond aspiring wishes. Every thing is crushed and broken. The grave of youth is indeed a ruin. That of age resembles the remains of some ancient temple, fallen, it is true, into decay, but mouldering in the lapse of ages, and the natural course of things. The broken arches and dilapidated columns have served their purposes to past beings, and now, covered with verdant ivy, and associated with no vio. lent and sudden convulsion, they spread a holy and not unpleasing charm over the scenes of their past grandeur. But the grave of youth shocks every heart like the fragments of some splendid palace, newly constructed for purposes of gaiety and pleasure—decorated with all the embellishments of taste and fancy, and furnished with every thing that can minister to joy and pride—hut suddenly, in the midst of a festival, shaken down by an earthquake, and burying a crowd of young and happy hearts beneath the ruins.—New York Mirror,
LITTLE MASTER VIZ. Some writers follow an absurd practice in interlarding their productions with scraps of Latin, and other languages ancient and modern. Even men who affect to hold classical learning in contempt, do so, greatly to the vexation of those who wish to see the English tongue purified from all such pretended ornament and overloading. It is argued that the use of a Latin word and phrase, now and then, gives strength to the expression, at least that it embellishes it considerably. This we deny. There are words in the English language sufficient for every variety of expression. Our vernacular tongue is not so poor as to make it a matter of necessity to borrow sentiments and phrases from the classics, with the view of dignifying our literature. The first, the most essential requisite in literary composition, is intelligibility—clearness of expression. The ideas of the author ought to be poured out in such a simple manner as to be at once stamped on the mind of the reader. Every kind of mysticism, ambiguity, or jargon capable of confusing the sense, should be avoided in authorcraft. And what is the introduction of Latin words into books for common reading, but a mystifying of the sense? Is there one out of a thousand readers who understands Lat'n? Perhaps there may be one, and yet even he, we are convinced, would have no objections to be spared the trouble of translation.
Now that the pursuit of classical learning is very properly declining—now that it is discovered that the acquisition of something more substantial and practical than Latin is required in order to fit men for the multifarious business of life, we hope to see not only classical phraseology, but every vile idea connected with the heathen mythology, abandoned. We are anxious to see the English language written with an elegance and strength of expression entirely its own. We wish to see it standing on its own merits, and its purity made every where a matter of first-rate importance in education. And all this can be accomplished with perfect ease, provided the people exert their understandings, and discountenance that vicious system of cultivating ancient languages, to the exclusion of nearly every other branch of study.
There is a matter of lesser moment connected with Our vernacular tongue, which it also may not be amiss to give a hint about. We mean the practice of substituting contractions of Latin words for terms which could be much better expressed in English. The retaining of these contractions is only helping to keep up the more extensive use of the classical tongues. There uie many of these contractions in vogue, but a notice of one or two will be sufficient. For instance, let us point out the contraction i. c. These letters signify id est, the plain English of which is, that is. Mow, we ask any one, w hether learned in Latin or otherwise, if there he the least value in substituting i. e. for that is? Is the sense rendered more clear? By no means. The practice is only an old vicious habit, which our English writers have not hitherto had the fortitude to dismiss. Let us turn to the simi. lar case of the contraction vis. This ugly little word, which is used very freely in ull kinds of literary composition, from the ponderous quarto on metaphysics, down to the daily newspaper, is a contraction of the term videlicet, which signifies something lil, e w here; its meaning, however, is far better expressed by the plain English word namely, which every body understands. Viz., wereniember, wasoneof those troublesome words which our grammar books explained to us at school, and probably most boys arc in the same manner informed of its meaning. But we cannot exactly see the propriety of foisting a difficulty into the language, in order to have the pleasure of conquering it. It would he ranch more comfortable, we think, for all parties, that Master Viz should forthwith bedlsmissed the service. He is an old mysterious little imp, that has well executed his duty of bothering mankind, and may now with all due courtesy be laid upon the shelf.
Speaking of this little fellow, Master Viz, we are put in mind of a story which we read some years ago in an old magazine, and which we beg to restore for the amusement of those readers who have not previously perused it.
"Being deputed to make choice of a house (says the relater of the anecdote), and to order an annual dinner for a party of gentlemen, I determined upon one pleasantly situated on the banks of the Thames. Having agreed with the landlord as to terms, and the precise dishes that were te ulaced on the table, 1
informed him, that in the event of the party being likewise satisfied, I would transmit him a letter, by post, naming the day, &c. Their consent being signified, I wrote, merely stating that on such a day he might expect us, to the number of twenty-two, at so much per head; and to guard against any misunderstanding, I thought it prudent to recapitulate the dishes we had previously agreed upon—beginning 'viz. fish, veal, ham,' and so forth.
By return of post, I received the following curious answer:—
'Sin—I received your commands, hut I don't know what you means by Videlecit, as I did'nt hear you mention it when you was here. Every thing else shall be obeyed. Yours to command, Eow. B .
This letter of course afforded considerable mirth to the party who perused it; but it appeared to me strange that my landlord should be incapable of understanding the contraction, and yet write the word at length, though improperly spelt. To reconcile this point, I was at considerable trouble; and I cannot convey the result of my inquiries in a better form than as the dialogue actually took place upon the receipt of my letter, at which time the landlord, his wife, and a waiter, were in the bar :—1 Why, wife, did you ever hear me mention such a dish as viz when the gentleman was down here ordering the dinner V 1 No, husband, no; what is viz?' A gentleman who had just paid the waiter for his morning beverage, hearing the last question, politely answered, ' It means trtidclicct, madam,' and passed on. Here mine host was again at a pause, when he suddenly exclaimed, 'And what is videlicet? 1 never heard of such a dish as that in all my life.' 'Nor I, husband, though I have lived in the first families—ay, and where every kind of made dish has been sent to table.' 'Thomas, do you know what is videlicet?'' 'No, sir; but I suppose it's one of those newfangled dishes that the French are so fond of. I'll ask in the kitchen.' The inquiries in the kitchen were equally unsuccessful; but Thomas, upon recollection, thought he had heard of a fish of that name. To the shore my landlord immediately proceeded; all the river fishermen were in turn applied to, but all were equally positive that videlicet did not grow in the river Thames, or else they must have caught him—perhaps it might be a salt-water fish; hut that opinion was not supported by the landlady, who declared that, if videlicet was any thing, it was a made dish; and, not to expose their ignorance, they agreed to apologise, and make no further inquiries.
On the day of the dinner, which, to do the landlord credit, was excellent, the idea of via was not forgotten: the inquiries for it were so frequent, that the landlord, who waited in person, thought proper, with many apologies, to express his regret that he had not been able to procure it in time—the letter came too late—the notice was so short—but, desirous to oblige, he had placed on the table, in its stead, a giblet pie.
This explanation produced such an involuntary, such a general burst of laughter, that we all sensibly felt for the landlord's embarrassment, from which, however, he was adroitly relieved by one of the party observing, 'Why, really, Mr B., I admire your substitution: your giblet pie is excellent, and so like videlicet, that I shall never eat of the one without thinking upon the other.'"
HOUSEHOLD RECIPES. We quote the following recipes from a useful and cheap periodical, entitled "The Magazine of Domestic Economy," just begun to be published :—
Water Souchy This is a mode of dressing fresh
water fish, of every description, such as gudgeons, perch, eels, flounders, ice. ; they must be quite fresh, cleaned and trimmed. Put them in a stew.pan, and cover them in water; add a few parsley leaves and roots cut in shreds, a few green onions cut very fine, a little horse-radish, and a bay-leaf, seasoned with pepper and salt; skim it carefully when it boils. When the fish is quite done, send it up in a deep dish or tureen; also a lew slices of bread and butter on a plate.
Imitation or FiNDiionN Haddocks Let the
fish be well cleaned, and laid in salt for two hours; let the water drain from them, and then wet them with pyroligneous acid; they may be split or not; then hang them in a dry situation for a day or two, or longer, if you please. When broiled, they have the flavour of the Fiudhorn haddock, and will keep sweet for a long time.
Derby, Or Short Cakes—Rub with the hand two lbs. of butter into four lbs. of sifted flour, two lbs. of currants, two lbs. of moist sugar, two eggs, mixed altogether with a pint of milk; roll it out thin, and cut it into round or square cakes with a cutter; lay them on a clean hiking sheet, and bake them about five minutes in a middling heated oven.
Puddings That Are Quickly Made Without
Much Expense Beat up fourspoonsful of flour with
a pint of milk and four eggs to a good batter, nutmegs and sugar to your taste; butter teacups, fill them three parts full, and send them to the oven. A quarter of an hour will bake them.
To Make Oyster Catsup One hundred of large
oysters, with all their liquor; one pound of anchovies; three pints of white wine; one lemon with half the peel; boil gently for half an hour, then strain, and
add cloves and mace, of each a quarter of an ounce one nutmeg sliced, boil a quarter of an hour; then add two ounces of shallots. When cold, bottle it with the spice and shallots. If the oysters be large, they should be cut.
Recent Cold—A tea-spoonful of sal-volatile, taken in a small quantity of water or white wine whey at bedtime, is a good remedy for a recent cold. Bath, ing the nose in warm water is also a great relief
LAMENTE FOR THE AVLDE HOSTELS.
Messrs Chambers respectfully intimate, that they have now published the second volume of the SPIRIT OF CHAMBERh'S JOURNAL, Piice 4s., handsomely done up in hoard*. The first volume may be obtained uniform with it, at the urae price. This work, which from lime to lime will be continued, consists of a collection of ihc original tales, essays, and sketches, which first appeared in the Journal, and is published lor the convenient* of those individuals who may desire to possess suth papers u a portable shape.
Also, now completed, CHAMBERS'S INFORMATION FOR THE PEOPLE. In one volume4to.f uniform with the volumes of the Journal. This work consists of a series of treatises on those branches of hunum knowledge in which the greater part of the community are nw*t interested, and designed to serve the chief uses of an encyclopsrctaat a price beyond example moderate.
London: Published, with Permission of the Proprietors, by (isa & Smith, Paternoster Row; and sold by G. Bicrohr. Harwell Street, Strand; Bancks Ax Co., Manchester; Wsienrsox cc Wkbb, Uinningham; Willmkh Smith, Liverpool; W. E. Somkrscami, Leeds; (,'. N. WmouT, Nottingham; M. Bingham, Bristol; S. Simms, Bath; C. Gain, Exeter: J. Pi Don, Hull: A. Wiiittakku, Sheffield; II. Hst-tiiRliv, \ oris: J. TAYLOR, Brighton; Gkukor Young, Dublin; and all otUer Booksellers and Newsmen in Great Britain and Ireland, Canad ». Nova Scotia, and United States of America. ICjr Complete sets of the woik from its commencement, or numbers to complete sets, may at all times be obtained from the Publishers or their Afients.
Stereotyped bv A. Kirkwood, Edinburgh. Printed by Bradbury and Evans (late T. Oavuon), YThiteiriars.
"Oh Edinbrueh, thou heich trtumphand town,
Within thy boundis ryclit blytliful haif I bene!" Sac said Schir David Lyndsay, that she loun,
Wha kenned what blythnes wes rycht well, I wene;
And sae say I, that inonie a house haif scne, In quyet houses round about the Croce
(Hapltc now herbourc for the vyle and mcanc). In the Hie Gait, orals in wynde or closse, Renowned for punchc and aill, and eke hie-relished sou. But now, alas for thee, decayit Duncdin, * Thy dayis of glory arc dcpaiitit quite; For all thi;se places that we ance were fed in.
And where we typplyt decently o' night,
Those havyns of douce comfortc ana delighte.
Whyle our old hostesses have ta'en their flight.
Whair now is Douglas's? whair Clerihugh's?
YVhair is John's coffee-house i and tell me whair Is Mistress P 's? to which, when these old shoes
Were new, at eight we used to make repaire;
By her own ladye hand showne up the stairc.
Whair lords had erst held feist wyth ladyes Cure,
Oh for the pen of Fergusson to painte
On the broad panel o'er the chimney-brace;
Then on the wall was hung that rare and rych
Memorial! of a tyine and mode gone by. The snmplar, showing every kind of stitch
E'er known 01 practised underneath the skyc—
Thread-circled holes denominated "pye"— Embattled lynes—of squayrtayled lambs a paire—
Strange cloven-footed letters, awkwardlye Contriving to make up the Lorde hys prayer— And names of John and Jean and William all were thair. Thair, also, hung around the wainscot wall,
Eehe in its panel, of old prynts a store; Adam in paradyce before the Fallc;
The sailuura mutinying at the Nore;
Flora—Pomona—and the Sesons four;
The dcth of Cooke on Orahciu'a shore;
Then thair were tablis, also, squayr and round,
Derkc as the face of old Antiquitve,
So that ilke feature you full well could spye:
The jugges and glasses on those planes did lye,
And cliayrs were thair, as vertical and high
But ah the mere externc of this oldc haunte—
Preciouse Rltbouglie in everyc lineauiente— Wes the leaste worthie subject of descantc;
The sorrow which mine anxious muse wolde vent,
Regairds alone the happy moments, spente
In nights of ether years—jocoseucss blente
To me who love the oldc with such rcgrettc.
Divans, saloons, and cafes may besette
Of numbers has a ehanne; but oh how far
Eche manne his single rummyr and cigaire,
Pullinr, all by himself—* sulky, smoky wane!
Bot vayne it is to sorrow for the paste—
Dunedtn stands not now quliair once it stoodc: like thin^ of old is haitcnyng from it faste.
And brydfej it must haif, althoch no floode;
The auld wes cozie, and the auld wes goode. And Mistress P of hostelerei wes the qucne;
Bot dinging down is now the reigning moodc. And auid-toun hostels are extynguyshed elene— I half, in troth, ane end of al pcrfeetioun scne.
1028. R. C
CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM CHAMBERS, AUTHOR OF " THE BOOK OF SCOTLAND," &c, AND BY ROBERT CHAMBERS, AUTHOR OF « TRADITIONS OF EDINBURGH," "PICTURE OF SCOTLAND," 4c
A STORY OF SCOTTISH RURAL LIFE.
There are places in Scotland for which oar language teems scarcely to afford a name. They cannot, with propriety, be called towns, villages, or farm-steadings. Perhaps hamlet might apply, though even for this they appear to be too inconsiderable. They usually consist of about a dozen cottages, rudely built of stone, snd thatched with straw. The light received by each tumble domicile is from a couple of small windows, and beside the door you will often perceive a stone deas or teat, on which the father of the family in fine summer evenings may be seen seated, quietly resting from his day's labour in the field, and enjoying the declining rays of the setting sun, which glint pleasantly through the trees and across the hedgerows. Such rustic little hamlets frequently lie on a beaten track through the country, but exhibit few of the peculiarities of roadtide villages. They are inhabited only by a few families engaged in rural occupations, including possibly a tailor, weaver, and shoemaker, and their only trait of commerce is most likely exhibited in the shape of a small grocery establishment, from which tobacco and bread—both equally importations from the nearest
burgh town are dispensed on a limited scale to the
It is in such small communities that the genuine Scottish character is most frequently to be met with. There flourish the unsophisticated peasant, sturdy in his principles of civil and religious liberty, and zealous for the education of his children — the industrious tradesman, half agricultural in his ideas and means of subsistence—and the patient widow, who, though downcast with her deprivations, yet sets her heart and hands to toil for herself and offspring, and would almost die of sheer want before she would appeal to the parochial administration for relief. It is in one of these rural hamlets, Hazelburn by name, that the scene of our story is laid.
In this comparatively secluded spot, a number of years ago, lived Robin Ferguson, a strong-built muscular man, with arms nerved to the most laborious employment, and with a countenance deeply tanned by constant exposure in the fields, yet possessing an appearance of sagacity and reflection, which, with his well-known excellent character, rendered him respected and looked up to by neighbours on a level with him in worldly circumstances. James Lindsay, another of the inhabitants of the hamlet, was an individual very different in several respects. Broken down in constitution, and weak in body, he was looked upon with an eye of sympathising pity by all around him. His habitation was one of the poorest in the place, yet, though lowly in its character, it was the seat of much happiness and contentment. James was kind and affectionate to bis wife to a degree almost bordering on weakness, and this kindness she returned with a delicacy and devotedness of attachment seldom to be met with in higher circles. James, when very young, had committed the egregious folly of enlisting as a soldier, and while the regiment to which he belonged was quartered in a village in the vest of Scotland, he had formed an intimacy with a young woman, a farmer's daughter, who, it seems, returned bis affection with so much enthusiasm, that the at last consented to his wishes, and they made a runaway marriage. This affair was managed in all respects as honourably as the circumstances admitted of; but the parents and relations of the new-made ■rife were to incensed at her taking such a step with, rat their approbation, and thus throwing herself away, si they termed it, that they fairly disowned her. The consequence of this imprudent marriage vvn.
that Agnes Russell, now Lindsay, was forced to share all the privations and uncertainty of a soldier's life, and to content herself with such provisions and protection as her husband could afford her while his regiment remained in Britain. But to make matters worse, in less than six months it was ordered to the Cape of Good Hope, and, by some particular arrangement of the troops, Agnes was prevented from accompanying her husband. Already disowned by her parents, and forbidden ever again to enter their door, her prospects now, in the midst of strangers, were far from being bright. After seeing him embark, with a letter of introduction which he had given her, and an almost empty pocket, she set out from one of the seaports of England on her pilgrimage to Hazelburn, in the hope that she might find an asylum among his relations—the only friends to whom she could look for protection. By dint of travelling nearly night and day, and sparing no exertion, she arrived at her hoped-for place of refuge, and was received with a hearty welcome, and treated with the greatest kindness. Here, however, she would have been a sad drawback upon the poor people who received her with open arms. But, fortunately for them, though she was a farmer's daughter, she had not been bred a fine lady. Under a sentiment of pride rather than of humility, she hired herself as a servant as soon as she could find a place; and so not only provided for her own wants, which were of course much abridged, but proved a benefactor instead of a burden to her adopted friends. She had no children, and in this way eight years passed over, at the end of which, intelligence arrived that the regiment in which her husband served was on its way home. We cannot stop here to speak of the tumultuous and joyful feelings to which this information gave rise in the bosom of Agnes.
At laet the newspapers announced the arrival of the vessel in which he was, at the same port from which he had sailed; and the devoted wife set out to meet him. But on reaching the place, how was she shocked to find him in an hospital!—and, instead of the young, vigorous, and healthy appearance which he wore when he left her, to see him pale and emaciated, panting for want of breath, and apparently tottering downward to the grave. He had caught a bad cold from imprudently sleeping upon deck to avoid the heat and suffocation of the hold while the vessel was under the line. This might have been easily removed had it been treated in time; but, from being neglected, it had sat down on Ms lungs, as he himself said, and now there was but little hope of his recovery. His wife, however, watched him night and day with unwearied attention and unremitting tenderness; and whether it were from her punctual attendance to his bodily comfort, or from the cheering influence which her presence and kindness exercised upon his spirit, it were difficult to say, but he began slowly to recover, though it was evident he would never again be fit for active service. In this state of affairs his discharge was easily procured; and as soon as his health would permit, Agnes conveyed him back to Hazelburn by easy stages, aud in such a way as to give him the least possible fatigue. Here she tended him with all that care and tenderness with which a mother watches over her child, while she at the same time toiled like a slave for his support aud her own, till he was so far recovered as to be able to engage in such work as the place afforded. Well might he love and esteem the woman who had done so much for him!
About three years after her husband had been discharged, Agnes Lindsay gave birth to a daughter, aud at last fortune seemed to smile upon them. For
the six following years they lived happy and comfortable, while their united earnings were more than sufficient for all their wants. But though James Lindsay, under the care of his wife, had in a great measure recovered from the effects of that almost fatal cold, he was never again a healthy man. The disease had been too deeply rooted ever to be thoroughly eradicated. It still continued to linger in his constitution; and when the meridian of life was past, symptoms of increasing indisposition began to break out anew, and to alarm the fears of his anxious wife. All her attentions were now redoubled, and every thing was tried which it was supposed might have a tendency to strengthen or to recover him, but in vain. He lingered on for two years more in a state of hopeless consumption, sometimes at work and sometimes confined to bed, but getting gradually weaker and weaker. Yet the dying man was patient and resigned—no one heard him utter a repining word.
His complaint was thus making rapid progress to its consummation, and the chill hand of poverty would have helped it on, but for the sympathy of the neighbours, which was now fully awakened. Among these, the good offices of Robin Ferguson were neither the last nor the least. He was not one of those obtrusive characters sometimes found about sick-beds, who are ever more ready to communicate advice than to administer relief from their worldly riches. He had sent his wifeoftener than once with a bottle of wine, which he had himself gone to purchase, and to this it is probable the dying man owed the last weeks of bis existence.
Towards the close of his illness, his wife's constitution was so much impaired by over-exertion, night watching, and constant anxiety of mind, that at times it appeared almost doubtful which of them would reach the end of their journey first. A small sum of money which they had saved during their years of prosperity, was now spent to the last farthing; and to add to their embarrassment and distress, several small debts had been contracted which they had no prospect of being able to pay. The cold hand of charity—cold when warmest—was all they had to lean to. Things were in this state when the wreck of the unfortunate soldier perished, leaving his much-loved Agnes a widow, and his little daughter fatherless. The indescribable anguish of the now desolate widow we pass over—hers was a bitter cup. The case was, moreover, peculiarly distressing, not only to the party more immediately concerned, but to the neighbours. The widow did not possess a farthiug in the world—her relations had declared that they had cut her off from all share lu their affections—the corpse of her deceased husband lay unburied, aud she was without the means of laying it decently in the ground. The compassionate wives of the neighbouring cottagers, in this dilemma, could only suggest the propriety of her applying to the parochial authorities; but this idea was to her too degrading to be contemplated. She could not brook, as she said, the notion that her daughter might have it "cast up to her in after-life that her father had been buried by the parish! But then, ob, what shall I do? Surely He that is the friend of the distressed, and sees even the fall of a sparrow, will raise up some one to help me in this sore trial."
Fortunately, honest Robin Ferguson had not suffered an exhaustion of practical benevolence in the case of thb distressed family: he did that which few would voluntarily engage to execute: he was at the trouble and expense of interring the mortal remains of his deceased neighbour, and therefore relieving agonies of mind which can be more easily imagined than described. On arriving at his own house, after the funeral, he found nearly a dozen of the most influential inhabitants of the place, male and female, assembled to take the widow's present state and future prospects into consideration. As Robin seated himself in his substantial arm-chair, and leaned his head on his hand for reflection, the following conversation was going on in the tolerably well-filled apartment.
"What d'ye think's to be done abont it noo?" said Eppie Livingstone, the wife of the tailor, to a gossip who sat beside her. "It's my opinion," said she who was thus addressed, "that Nanny should apply to the folk at the big house ower bye. If them that hae something, and that a gay gude something too, dinna help poor bodies when they're ill aff, what can be expecket frae them that hae little mair than meat for their ain and their bairns's mouths."
"That's very true ye're sayin', Peggy," observed Jenny Dickson, a middle-aged unmarried female, who lived by " out-wark," as field labour is called in the rural districts of Scotland; "that's very true ye're sayin'. Somebody should just gang ower bye the morn's mornin', and tell Mrs Gledstane a' about Nanny's case. She's no sic an ill body as some folk hand her out to be. Ye ken how she sent a chicken to puir Jamie a fortnight afore he dee'd. Forbye, she's an unco religious body, and never flytes less than aughtand-forty hours if ane o' the servants stays at hame frae the kirk."
"Aha, lass," rejoined Eppie, "I see ye dinna ken the history o' the chicken. There's naebody kens about it but mysel', and I had it frae the servin'-man, Tammas, when he cam to the gudeman the other day to get a steek put in his new-turned coat—ye ken the Gledstanes aye gar their livery last twa years at least, by turnin' them outside in, whilk is a puir thing i' the main—however, as I was sayin' about the chicken, it was neither mair nor less than a bit howe-towdy that was deem' on its ain feet." Here Sandy Paierson, a weaver of homespun goods for the neighbourhood, took up his testimony in the debate—" I daresay ye're no. far wrang, Eppie; I hae wrought for the Gledstanes afore noo, and I fand baith the mistress and daughters aye jimp i' the waft, but keen eneugh in seekiu' the lang measure. I doubt they'll do little for Nanny, although they may gie a capital preachin' on the needcessity o' practeesin' economy, and the beauty o' puir folk aye lippenin' to themselves. It sets them weel that never kenn'd what it was to want either a meltith o' meat, or siller to pit in their pouch, to set up their snash about economy and independence."
"It's my puir opinion," observed Janet Culbertton, the wife of the village shoemaker, " that Nanny's friends should be written to on the subject. Bluid is aye thicker than water, and it will be a shame and disgrace if the relations o' the widow and fatherless bairn dinna noo come forward to help them. However, i' the meantime it wadna be amiss to send to the minister, and Mr Monypenny the elder, to see if they'll no gie a trifle to keep soul and body thegither. —What say ye till't, Andrew?"
"Mo !" answered the party thus culled upon for his opinion, a sort of humorist in his way—11 me gie an opinion! ye ken that's impossible. We were tell'd by the papers, only last week, that naebody was lit to gie an opinion but them that were respectable; that was, them that ha'e siller; and of course, as I've nae siller, I canna be expecket to hae ony sense!"
During the whole of this profitless, yet on the whole well-meant colloquy, Robin had sat without speaking, his elbow resting on the arm of his chair, and h is head leaning upon the palm of his hand. Perhaps he was arranging in his uwn mind those thoughts to which he intended shortly to give utterance; and it might be that to this tact at arranging his ideas, so as to enable him to express them forcibly and flueutlv, he owed in a certain degree that superiority which he had acquired over the minds of others. Here, however, he could not keep his taciturnity much longer. The tailor's wife, taking upon herself the task of sum. ming up the evidence, and founding a motion upon the wisdom of the deliberative assembly, addressed him as follows :—" Robin, as ye can speak better than ony o' us, ye'll just step ower to the minister the morn afore ye gang to your wark, an tell him a' about it; an ye can ca' on Mr Monypenny as ye come hame; surely they'll never allow a decent industrious woman like Agnes Lindsay and her lassie to be starved aff the face o' the earth for want of assistance."
"Hang me in a hempen tether, and that's a licht word on sic an occasion as this," said Robin, raising himself up in his chair as he spoke; "hang me if ever I wear my shoe soles gaun sic errands. Na, La, let them that are better acquainted wi' the grit folk than me gang an' solicit their charity, and maybe tak their taunts. But, hark )e, I'll tell ye what: I've Jang been thinkin' o' gettin' a pair o' blue ciaith breeks for Sabbath-day's wear. I'll e'en content mysel' wi' corduroy, an' there will be at least ten shillings o' difference between the prices: that I gie freely. Meg, I've heard you fir the last three months crackin' about a black veil; an', if I'm no ruista'en, I heard ye say the tlther day that ye had gotten siller to get it wi"; I ken nae use veils are for, except to conceal folk's faces after their owners hae grown ashamed o' them. But to the point: it wad cost ye a guinea; lay by sixteen shillings for some other purpose, and put aside live. Janet, you're intendlu' to get a shawl for the preachings, I believe: ye may g»ng without a shawl as u eel as my wile, au' mony a better woman than ye
baith; and in that case ye may easily spare halfa-crown. Patie may gie the makin' o' a pair o' trousers, an' David the profit on a pair o' shoon." He addressed several others in nearly the same strain, then added, "There is thirty shillings. This will nearly pay all the debts. And for the support of the widow and her daughter, it will be an odd thing if two individuals should die of starvation in the midst of so many Christians. We a* pretend to be seekin' the way to the kingdom of heaven; but I'm far mista'en if mere speakin' ever brought ony body there, unless they were blind or cripple; for then, to be sure, they could do naething mair. We are a' hale and stout, and though our incomes may be but sma', this is an opportunity for showing our willingness to obey the commands of Him who hath said, 'I will have mercy, and not sacrifice;' and also by the mouth of his apostle, 'If a brother or a sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and be ye filled, notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful for the body, what doth it profit ?'" Here the speaker paused for a few seconds; the company looked upon each other as if no one was willing to speak first; and as none made answer, he resumed, while his keen grey eye, which seemed to dilate with strong feeling, waxed piercing in its expression, and his brow half gathered to a frown as he spoke—" If, after all your patters about ministers and sermons, ye are one and all so far gone and lost in the worship of Mammon, or so deeply embued with the spirit of selfishness, that ye can part with no useless ornament, and forego the thought of no idle finery, for the sake of a fellow-creature—if your road to heaven lies over veils, and shawls, and trinkets, and trash, while others at your very doors may be in want of food and raiment—then listen to what I say. Leave Agnes Lindsay and her orphan daughter to the care of Him who careth for the widow and the fatherless; and while, by the blessing of his providence, these feet can carry me to my work, and this hand can turn an extra shovelful of earth in a day, they shall not want a morsel." As he uttered these words, he thrust forward his left foot, raised his brawny right arm, and shook his iron-coloured fist in their faces. His words, the tone in which they were uttered, bit attitude and imposing look, might have well awed into subjection hearts more stubborn than those of his hearers. . But fur this last appeal there was no need, for the good people of Hazelburn were perfectly willing to give all that had been required of them; and it was the unwonted energy of the speaker, rather than any thing in his proposal, which had struck them dumb.
In the course of the following week, Agnes Lindsay received written discharges for the payment of the coffin, and most of her other debts, from those to whom they were owing, and she and her daughter had still a morsel for subsistence. For a time the widow appeared almost inconsolable; but by degrees the claims which her orphan child had upon her for support began to arouse her from the stupor of her sorrow, and, contrary to expectation, her health begau slowly to return. For a twelvemonth she continued rather weakly, and during this period, how she was supported, was a mystery to many. "God," she said, "had been kind, and had stirred up fricuds to her, whom he would certainly reward for what they had done in his own way and lime;" then she would add a prayer, "that such measure as they had meted to his, he in his mercy would mete to them again in their day and hour of need." But she asked nothing of any one; who these friends were, she did not seem at liberty to say, and thus doubt rested on the matter; only it was remarked, that during that twelvemonth Robert Ferguson was, if possible, more laborious than was his wont, while his family were less neatly clothed and their table more scantily furnished than they were before.
Agnes was now able to engage in such labour as the place afforded, and her little Eliza, or Lizzy, was growing up a thing of fairy loveliness. Like other children, she ran about during the day, bnt the house of honest Robin was her constant haunt in the evenings, and people even whispered that he was fonder of her than of his own children. This, no doubt, was false. But he knew that she, poor thing, wanted a father, and he wished, as much as possible, to prevent her from feeling the want. "Lizzy," he would say, drawing her towards him, clapping her little shoulder, and stroking her shining hair with his hand, "Lizzy, you may yet have plenty of fine clothes to put on, and plenty of money to spend; but yon must never forget that you were once poor. You must remember, too, tii .t, though you and a few others may he rich, there are still many poor people in the world to instruct and assist." To these observations this unostentatious moralist was probably prompted by the knowledge which he had of her mother's relations being farmers, and a latent hope that they might yet recognise the relationship, and provide for her coming into the world with belter projects than those which she in* herited as a peasant's daughter.
The sagacious foresight of Robin proved correct. The father and brothers of Agnes Lindsay, who, as she stated, were farmers, and in good circumstances at the time of her elopement, had risen to still greater opulence. They had enjoyed the benefit of those high prices for grain which were the consequence of the war; and from being farmers, they had become
lairds or proprietors. But what was a thing of more consequence, their hearts had really mended with their fortunes, and they now began to think of acknowledging their disowned relation. She was traced out, and kindly invited to join them along with her daughter at the west-country residence. She had, however, so many recollections to connect her with Hazelburn, that it were difficult to say if she would have accepted of this invitation, had it not been for the better prospects which it promised for Lizzy, and more than all, the earnest solicitations of Robin Ferguson, who in this reconciliation foresaw a comfortable asylum for her declining years. Brevity forbids that we should dwell on the parting scene. It was deeply affecting to all concerned, but to none more so than Lizzy, who appeared to feel bitterly the pang of separation from her early home and her old friends. After many tears and repeated shaking of hands, "and casting many a lingering look behind," Agnes and her daughter left Hazelburn.
We must now leave these two individuals, who have occupied so considerable a portion of our story, to follow the history of Robin Ferguson. By this time the wants of an increasing family, the oldest of whom could scarcely as yet do any thing for their own support, had begun to press heavily upon him. And this, with the depressed state of wages, and the little prospect which existed of things growing better in this country, had made him turn his thoughts to America. To this he was farther induced by a small sum of money left him by an uncle lately dead, which he deemed might be laid out more profitably there than here. "There," he argued, "it would purchase an inheritance to his children—here it must go to tapply them with the necessaries of life-" Urged by these considerations, he resolved to make the experiment of crossing the Atlantic; and as soon at the necessary preparations could be made, he with hit wife and family sailed for the Western World. The voyage we pass over. Storms, and calms, and fresh breezes, have been too often described to admit of any thing new being said of them; it was as most voyages are, a mixture of these; and after being the usual time at sea, they arrived safely in Canada. At that period a sort of mist and indistinctness hung over every thing connected with emigration. There were no accessible publications, as at the present day, from which the emigrant might collect all that it was necessary for him to know concerning the country, and the course he should take. As a natural consequence of this state of things, Robin Ferguson fell into the same error by which it would seem thousands of emigrants have been nearly ruined, or at least made uncomfortable for a great part of their lives, namely, bargaining for too much land, to be paid for by instalments, one of which was to become due every three years, while a certain rate of interest was to be demanded for what remained, till the whole was cleared off.
Arrangements such as these, have, as we say,
ruined many a hopeless settler in the "far west," and they also promised to destroy the hopes of the heroic Scottish peasant. Honest, hard-toiling Robin, with all his industry and ingenuity, and all the assistance of his family to boot, couid not manage to liquidate the instalments as they became due. They consequently romained unpaid at a heavy rate oi interest, which, like the lean kine, devoured the fat of all the labour that was exerted. To add to the misfortunes of the family, sickness overtook them; and this visitation tended considerably to diminish the general resources. Year after year passed away, and the hopes of the family nearly merged in despair. The bodily frame of the once muscular settler was now greatly impaired in strength and bulk. His height had diminished several inches, and his hair become nearly silver white. At last it was resolved, if a modification of terms could not be ob. tained, to abandon the farm entirely; giving up as the penalty of non-payment, all that had been done in the way of improvement—a cruel but a necessary consequence of the terms of the original bargain.
With a bent-down frame, and a heavy heart, the worthy man set out on his journey of many miles through the woods to visit the agent of the company which claimed the possession of his property. The way was long and toilsome; but the agent's plare of residence was finally reached, and Robin was ushered into the office of the individual who was to determine whether he was to go forth as a servant of others in his declining years, or retain his possession on more enterals. He soon saw the gentleman who w as to be the arbiter of his fate. He was a Mr Ainsworth, who had recently arrived in the country to supersede sut agent who had been withdrawn a short time before. The new functionary was a young man of respectab le appearance and pleasing countenance; and as be kindly told his aged visitor to be seated, and tell him bis case, something like a gleam of hope shot arms old Robin's heart. The case was soon explained. Robin spoke with energy of all he had done for the ground, the clearings he had made In the dense forest, and of the cottage he had reared. "But," added he, "it is utterly impossible to make the two ends meet. We cannot procure money to pay the instalments, while the accumulating interest will soon entirely eat up the properly. Remit the interest, and I will endeavour, by a partial sale of the cleared land, to redettsxt the burdens I so unfortunately took upon me." "Your case," answered Mr Ainsworth, "is oerr.