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clasps, and the sacred contents of the apartment seemed neat and comfortvolume, seemed seriously disposed to able. Flanking the fire stood an anbrand its owner as a dabbler in sedi- cient seat, something partaking of tion, an abettor of those turbulent de- the excellent qualities of an English magogues who disturb the peace of the easy chair, and a Scottish langsettle. country and the devotion of its people. It was plentifully ornamented with I walked into the shop, and stood be. thistles, sand glasses, and scraps of side the collector, who, turning to me, Scripture-bearing date 1640. In the said, " there! my good sir, there !" centre pannel of massive oak, was cut and pushed the book towards me, in square raised lett GIL. MACafraid at the same time to hazard ano- RABIN, s.l. ;" this was wound about ther word on a volume which, for ought with a wreath of blossomed thistles, he had discovered, might turn out more ably designed, and not unskilfully holy than seditious. «« Truly," said I, carved ; amid the thistles, lurked a “Mr Grunstane, this is a very ancient crown—representing the crown aboveand beautiful Bible, such as the wor- for on earthly crowns-except perhaps shippers of scarce works would perform the crown of martyrdom--the wise a pilgrimage to obtain, bound too in a house of Macrabin never turned its patriarchal style, and clasped with no ambition. Into this ancestorial restingmean metal. And this, sir, is the place, Mark partly thrust, and partly eighth psalm, a poem of divine beau- motioned me-a cushion composed ty; and which even now I heard this of something rivalling in softness the gentleman singing, performing, as I famous down of Canna (of which poets, presume, domestic worship according in holiday verse, promise beds to their to the daily manner, I am proud to say, loves, but in the week-day prose of of the devout people of Scotland." All matrimony make them contented with the while I uttered this, Mark eyed unboulted chaff) was ready to receive me with a look of indescribable emo- me, and there I sat giving the cave of tion; and ere the last words were Adullam and its proprietor alternately from my lips, he was fairly over the the scrutiny of my looks.
" Son of table, wringing my hands with a ful- my best friend, said Mark, son or ness of joy he sought not to express. daughter have I none nor wife, nor “ Peace be here ! --as I hope to be matron, nor maid-nor bondman, nor saved !--thou art the son of mine only bond woman-nor carlin, nor gyrefriend ; thyself too a proven one carlin-nor bogle, nor brownie Miles Cameron, thou art welcome as brownie would do me rarely-none of the flower of May; but aye, man, its them all have I to do a hand's turn, or long since I saw thee !"returned a blessed turn for me. But my hands the gratulation of worthy Mark long are clean—my viands are pure-yea, and warmly; and so deeply were we the smell of this seems not unsaboth touched at this singular and un- voury"-placing before me, while he expected meeting, which returned the spoke, a reeking mess of Scottish collops, days of my youth to my contempla- a noggin of notable ale" and girdle tion, and presented me with the “cold, cakes, weel brandered brown”-prothe faithless, and the dead," the loved nouncing on the whole a blessing, and the lamented ; that we missed not which a hungry bishop might envy Marmaduke Grunstane, who had si- for its brevity. To this national suplently and gladly withdrawn both body per, ample and instant justice was and charge from shop and person of done. The Cameronian then brought the joyous Cameronian.
forth in both hands an ancient and Mark Macrabin gazed on me for capacious bowl, girded round the mouth one minute's space with great and with a rim of silver, evidently less for growing joy; he twice ejaculated "his ornament than for preserving entire an fathers own son"-snatched up his hereditary vessel which had graced so black letter folio in one hand, and many bridals, baptisms, and even buseizing me with the other, stalked rials of the house of Macrabin. Its stately and silent into the chamber, shattered and repaired sides betokened which in remembrance of ancient the potency of its former contents times he called his cave of Adullam. the dizzy head, and the unsteady or A clear large fire, the fairest flower in erring hand had wronged this founa winter garden, quoth the proverb, tain of evening delight. Placing it glowed in the grate, and the whole on the table, he instantly produced a
large bottle of brown-stone, called by the flame, as daft Davie Davidson did the Irish a garderine, the precious when he pushed auld king Corrie into contents of which he introduced to the bonfire, and cried, “ O king, live immediate acquaintanceship with warm for ever;" So saying, he lifted up a water and sugar, and the bowl emitted spoonful of the punch, and touching an odour far outrivalling the famed it, as he replaced it in the bowl, with cedar-wood-scented fire of the goddess burning paper, set the whole beverage in Homer. “ This,” said Mark, as he on fire, and moving it gently with the poured it unsparingly forth,“ is just a spoon, the agitated Aame wavered drop of the rarest blood of barley— glimmering and blue, like the charmbetter never bore a bell, or the kindly ed cauldron in the presence of Macname of peat-reek—the reek of sea beth. " Good punch and a good coal's but a sang till’t-I got it from man, said the Cameronian, are just Duncan Macgillaray, of the Perth alike ; if punch cannot lowe, its no mountains.—Duncan's father does as suppable ; if a man cannot burn, no good as keep a small still—I wish, if at the stake I mean—but with anger the wish is not sinful, that it was as at a knave's deed, and that spills my big as a kirk“I mean an English ca- simile-The back of my hand be to thedral—for his sake.” The weak him, I should not like to trust my liquid, and the strong, mixed pleasant- weazon near his knife.” ly together-as things weak and strong Though I have little faith in the should always do--and approached the saying, that sound friendship, like brim of the bowlsinging and simmering good corn, must have frequent wet--forming a goodly pool of potent drink. tings to make it prosper, still I think Into this beverage, Mark introduced a an occasional sprinkling, merely to large spoon of green horn, of dimen- cool the blade, is both refreshing and sions equal to the rapacity of that of delightful—so thought my entertainer, an ogress. It is called by the Low- as with two curiously carved and landers a “ divider;" nor was this un- mounted drinking cups, known in the worthy of the name, for its mouth annals of Lowland delight by the name was rimmed with silver, the shaft or- of quechs, we made incessant inroads namented with the same, terminating on the social element. Our converse, in a whistle, equalling in power of for much converse we had, was a cusound those framed by school boys, rious piece of patch-work--so old and from the boughs of the plane, when so new-so joyous and so devout-so the buds first come out on the tim- digressive and so straight forward-so ber. [Inspired shepherd of Ettricke, full of the odd, the common, the is this plane-tree whistle the old strange, and the dramatic, that it deScottish shepherd's pipe-accursed, fied resemblance in any thing written and fallen off like Milton's spirit from or traditional. Ancient times shook its original beauty-to which queens hands with latter, and the pathetic have listened, and of which poets have and the ludicrous walked side by side sung
like “ sisters twin.” Add to all this, “A dainty whistle, with a pleasant sound?”] the frequent intrusion of explanatory
The spirit of digression seemed here notes, upon obscure passages, as we to seize on Mark also, for in a voice passed, and the supplemental illustrahalf audible he said, while he pro- tions which the narrative required. duced the divider, “ If thou could'st Mark, evidently driven from the even speak, thou could'st tell a curious tenor of his way by these marginal intale !; and for a moment he seemed terruptions, made a full pause ; and pondering on some passing pleasant lifting up his replenished quech, turnthing. He changed to a graver mood, ed it thrice round between his eye and and said, “ you would like-your the candle, said, with an introductory douce father liked-a doucer man-a cough, Truly, Miles Cameron, I man with a kinder heart, or a cleverer had better at once take a calivine pen head, never put leg in gray hose ; and two sclate stanes-no in imitabut why should I speak of the blest tion of the prophet, gude forgive me with a graceless bowl of punch be- for the resemblance-and thereon infore me-howsoever, ye would like dite ye a full and famous history of to have the rank untaken-down spi- the house of Macrabin ; or if ye would rit of this Highlandman's aquavitæ like it better," said the Cameronjan, softened and subdued-passed through evidently alarmed at the extent and
importance of his offer~" for I am auld Roosty Fiddle, the antiquariat, dooms dull when I come to plain black anent their origin. I bribed his opiand white-I shall even give you a nion with one of the longest, and he memoir, as they call it, of myself, declared they were sharp weapons, clean off loof, as Rab Rabson shot the framed for the mischief of brute or barn-door ; and conscience, lad, if ye body, by whose hands it would be stop or mar me in my march, I shall difficult to say ;-and truly, the man just begin the tale again, as Laird in the course of seven years vindicate Lawrie did with Robin Hood, when ed his opinion in two folio volumes, he stumbled at the hundred and se- with seventeen plates, displaying my venty and seventh verse.' I readily elf-arrow in all the views man's inassured Mark of a joyous listener- vention could devise, and averring, one that would lend to his history a that he dug this curious missile out of quiet and curious ear. For I expect- Locher-moss, sixteen feet under the ed a singular tale. I knew he was ace surface, searching for a seam of coal ; quainted with a vast range of strange and truly, it was a wise place to seek and curious things; and I knew, from fuel in. If he got not coals he got the peculiar and original way he con- peats. But, worst of all, one summer templated all passing events, that the half the cows of the Vale grew sick, commonest matter would acquire a and milk grew like a medicine. Some new stamp and form, and become said it was the burning drought--some amusing or instructive in his mouth. said it was the will of God; and Mac
On this assurance, Mark Macrabin rion Murdieson said it was the witch placed his empty quech on the table, of Galloway's milking-peg that drainand said, “Young man, look at me ed them all yell. This was a charmye never saw my father-how could ed utensil— I wish I had such a one ye? but if ye had, truly, then, ye be- -ye had only to say a certain word held a man as steeve to his purpose as -pull the peg, and out gushed milk, the tempered steel—desperate, dour, rich reeking milk; and that, too, as and self-willed—who sought no man's long as a cow within fifty miles had a counsel, though many men sought his; drop to spare. I wonder where the and there were few or none in the fa- wood grew it was made of ; and then, mous Vale of Nith, that matched his as the tale rang, the peg ran red blood. knack in ministering Scripture salves My father heard the story, and was to moral sores, or were so gifted missing three days and three nights. and skilful anent elf-arrows and un- Some said he was at a preaching at the canny een. Well, would ye credit it, foot of Tintoc, and some said he was my father had a firm belief in witches in quest of the Galloway witch and and familiar spirits, for which, doubt- her sympathetic milking-peg. Home less, he had Scripture warrant, and I'll he came, gloomy and silent-I fear not say that I am free of the belief some wicked people had laughed at myself. He gave many kindly pre- him; and I, who never could be sisents to Marion Murdieson of Auch- lent, said, “Father, saw ye any gowks incairn, just because word gade she in Galloway; for which I had to fly to was nae cannie.' She was a cunning the mountain tops a night and a day, carlin that could gar him birl his baw- When I came back, and complained bee-ye see I'm not unread in the of the cold top of the Moloch-hill
, my classic works of Caledonia : Moreover, father said, . Didst thou fly to the my father was the sworn cronie of mountains, thou graceless knavethe Samuel Colin of Colliestown, who ancient place of refuge for the sage mended whole flocks that were ren- and the godly--the valley was good dered as lean by withcraft as the two enough for thee. Such was the kind cows in the dream of Pharoah ; and of temper that threw me desolate on extracted more elf-arrows out of one the wide world when I was a stripling cow's side than were stuck by the of seventeen. barbarians in the shield of the Roman “But my father was not always waycenturion-ye see my learning's of no ward and stern; he had fits of gentlelimited kind. Samuel confided to my ness and tenderness for his family and father's hands his whole collection of for mankind-his devotion, at all times elf-arrow-heads. I have seen them sincere and fervent, approached somémyself, and they were made of as rare times to the romantic. The Wardlaw flint as ever yielded fire. I consulted hill, the summit of which is evergreen,
was a favourite place of his devotion, the lonely vale of Dumfries and On its top, it is in current and credite never a soul had I beside me, unless ed tradition that the Covenanters as- ye count Jane Tamson of Heerleg. sembled during the stormy time of dodie, a queer quean and a bonny. the persecution to preach and to pray, I think myself, my father wanted and three of their graves are still seen new scenery and associations for his swelling above the brown heather at devotion; certain it is, he sought out the bottom where Claverhouse over- new scenery, for there is not a martook and slew them. He's supping tyr's grave in the whole south counbrimstone brose for that--else there is try which he did not visit with prayer no faith in old songs. Howsoever, and thanksgiving. And nought deye'll hardly believe, that on the sum- terred him from giving the grave of mer Sunday afternoons, nowhere else, the Laird of Lagg, in the old kirk. save on this hill, did my father think yard of Dunscore, the noted persecu. family worship could, with sincerity tor, a visit of thanksgiving and conand full and deep effect, be performed. gratulation ; but the dread lest the And I shall confess frankly, that what old bloody dour deevil should shake with the green hill itself standing so the mools off him and attend to the beautifulamong barren heaths,onwhich singing himself-he was aye ready, in the very sun seemed unwilling to sink his way, to march to the sound of a the three green graves at the bottom psalm. and the earnest and melting manner
" But all this was to have an endin which my father associated the and, as far as I was concerned, a cucause of the righteous, and the deeds rious end it had. The Laird of Airof violence and blood, with the lonely naumery died, he was a close handed fairy mountain-I was fairly over- carle, and had it not been for dread come, even to tears, and never felt of country scandal, the heir would devotional fervour more deep and ex- have marched his fathers corpse to the alted in my life. This confirmed my grave to the sound of sackbut and father's belief in the saving grace of psaltery. He was better advised, and out-of-doors devotion, and though I half the parish came to the funeralnever positively cursed the green my father one of the foremost. Now Wardlawone could not look on the my father had a strong gift, as you hill so lone, so green, and so bonny, may guess, of prayer, and nobody and do that well-yet I wished it was thought they could die safely without waving with yellow grain-and I have him-and over bridal or burial drink had my foolish wish. The fairest who could pronounce a blessing but hill in sixty miles riding has passed he? The spence of Airnaumery was under the plow I wish the man that crowded with old and young, with did it was passed under the harrow- matron and maid-there was more and instead of reverend men, with black crape than black sorrow and gray locks, singing a godly psalm to up in the midst of them all my father the sweet tune of Stroud Water, we rose to pronounce the blessing on the have rows of filthy reapers singing burial bread and wine. That man profane and graceless songs. My fa- who wrung his riches from the widow ther became weary of this hill--he and the orphan, “ whose hand was never liked long what other people iron, and whose heart was more,” lay liked-he was so inconsistent, or rath- wrapped in his shroud before him. er, had os much of the old warm The temptation could not be resisted, Scotch blood trying for mastery with and he drew a picture of his griping the coldness of his Cameronian creed, greed that might have made his fesh that he had armed himself in his creep 'neath the winding sheet. At youth with the good cutting sword of the head of the coffin sat the heir, Gideon Macrabin, and would have in- whose delight the presence of death fallibly joined Prince Charles, had he could not allay-he wrung his hands not been alarmed with the terror of to be sure, but it was with joy-and beads, and crosses, and pastoral crooks. by the motion of his lips, he seemed --I cannot say exactly what made him to follow the prayer, but he was only weary of the Wardlaw-I have sat on repeating the single word Po-ssess-iits top a whole summer Sunday my- on, measuring it out syllable by sylself, with little devotion in my head, lable with continued and protracted looking westward and southward on delight. Round on him turned my
father with a word and a look that that covered the coffin now covered kindled all present. Son and beir him, and ere he arose, a decanter of of Aimaumery,' said he, with a deep wine, blood red as it happened, was and slow voice, mark my words. spilt about him. He was helped to That shrouded clay has made ye lord his feet, and as he disencumbered of gold, yellow beaten gold-houses himself of the untimely garment, warm and many-and lands broad down gushed from the stem of his and wide that gold, those houses, bonnet a spoonful of wine o'er cheek and those lands, were gathered and and chin-he thought it life's blood at gotten in a way of which God will least-yelled, with pure dismay, till require an account be kind to the roof and rafter rung-and home he widow, the orphan, the hungry heart, ran howling for help, and all the dogs and the houseless head-and who of the gate-end barking in full chorus knows but the curse that clings to after him. your name may be suspended it can “ It was in the evening of this eventnever be removed.'
On my father ful day that I returned from a singingglowered-ye have no English word school, knowing nothing of my fato match that-the hopeful heir with ther's adventures and I found him eyes gray and covetous, opened wide preparing to take the book ;-I joined and large, and a mouth much opener, as usual in the psalm--my father tamotionless as a statue-choked with king the lead, and reciting the verse. anger-and unable to speak. Not so Unfortunately the parish precentor the Gudeman of the Drum- hot had framed the compass of my voice, Episcopalian-a neighbour southern and I scrupled not to give my fatherto boot -a near neighbour to Air- ill-prepared as he was for a renewal of naumery's; andone, beside, who prided any kind of competition—a sample of himself in having by heart the very my might in psalmody. Though the prayer that Archbishop Sharpe prayed tune was Stroudwater, and the psalm when he turned his coat on the cove- was the eighth-prime favourites of my nant; a dangerous gift to bring into father, and ever since, chief favourites the lists against a Cameronian. Up he of mine-he got small share of them ; starts to my father, and said, sit I overcame and drowned his voice enyou down, ye doited covenanter, your tirely. My mother saw my danger, words have no weight at all; and, and with many a warning look and with something between a stroke and wink, sought to repress my ill-timed a push, he put his predecessor aside, rivalry. I mistook her signs, and my and commenced the prayer, distin- voice waxed stronger and stronger. guished by the name of ihe Bishop's My mother saw the look of my father prayer, with strong and peculiar em- change, and she said, 'Oh Mark, my phasis. My father's glance grew dark bonny bairn, dinna take the word out as death-his ordinary wrath was of of your auld father's mouth.' My faa red colour--the cause of his anger ther, with his very darkest look, said, was doubtless great. To be bearded 'never mind him, Marion ; just never in prayer, where he had never found mind him ;-by the seven seals of the his match-that, too, by an Episco- covenant, I'll break his voice for him ! palian-to be smitten on the cheek- so saying, he commenced the hundred and over the banner of the covenant and nineteenth psalm, to the roaring to have the twice turned coat of the tune of the Bangor, and we sung it great apostate hung waving and from end to end: my voice was still triumphant-tell it not in Gath. So unbroken and triumphant, so I had to up rose my father's round neeve, and fly from the face of my father, and down went the Gudeman of the Drum with a sixpence in my pocket, a shirt, with the coffined defunct on the top and years sweet seventeen' on my of him. There lay be on the floor back, I forsook the roof of my home, the mortcloth of fringed black velvet and began my wanderings."
(To be continued.) Vol. VI.