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was the more than realisation of cherished dreams. Involuntarily he drew in his rein, and the whole party as involuntarily following the motion, they approached the gateway together at the slowest pace.
The gateway is almost in the heart of the village, for the hall of Grypherwast had been reared long before English gentlemen conceived it to be a point of dignity to have no humble roofs near their own. A beautiful stream runs hard by, and the hamlet is almost within the arms of the princely forest, whose ancient oaks, and beeches, and gigantic pine-trees darken and ennoble the aspect of the whole surrounding region. The peasantry, who watch the flocks and herds in those deep and grassy glades—the fishermen, who draw their subsistence from the clear waters of the river—and the woodmen, whose axes resound all day long among the inexhaustible thickets, are the sole inhabitants of the simple place. Over their cottages the hall of Grypherwast has predominated for many long centuries, a true old northern manor-house, not devoid of a certain magnificence in its general aspect, though making slender pretensions to anything like elegance in its details. The central tower, square, massy, rude, and almost destitute of windows, recalls the knightly and troubled period of the old Border wars; while the overshadowing roofs, carved balconies, and multifarious chimneys scattered over the rest of the building, attest the successive influence of many more or less tasteful generations. Excepting in the original baronial tower, the upper parts of the house are all formed of oak, but this with such an air of strength and solidity as might well shame many modern structures raised of better materials. Nothing could be more perfectly in harmony with the whole character of the place than the autumnal brownness of the stately trees around. The same descending rays were tinging with rich lustre the outlines of their bare trunks, and the projecting edges of the old-fashioned bay-windows which they sheltered; and some rooks of very old family were cawing overhead almost in the midst of the hospitable smoke-wreaths. Within a couple of yards from the door of the house an eminently respectable-looking old man, in a powdered wig and very rich livery of blue and scarlet, was sitting on a garden-chair with a pipe in his mouth, and a cool tankard within his reach upon the ground.
The tale of Matthew Wald is related in the first person, and the hero experiences a great variety of fortune. He is not of the amiable or romantic school, and seems to have been adopted—in the manner of Godwin—merely as a medium for portraying strong passions and situations in life. The story of Matthew's first love, and some of the episodical narratives of the work, are interesting and ably written. There is also much worldly shrewdness and observation evinced in the delineation of some of the scenes and characters; but on the whole, it is the poorest of Mr Lockhart's novels. The awkward improbable manner in which the events are brought about, and the carelessness and inelegance of the language in many places, are remarkable in a writer of critical habits and high attainments as a scholar. Mr Lockhart, we suspect, like Sheridan, required time and patient revision to bring out fully his conceptions, and nevertheless was often tempted or impelled to hurry to a close.
Mr Lockhart was born on the 14th of June 1794 in the manse or parsonage of Cambusnethan, county of Lanark. His father was minister of that parish, but being presented to the College Church, Glasgow, he removed thither, and his son was educated at Glasgow University. He was selected as one of the two students whom Glasgow College sends annually to Oxford, in virtue of an endowment named ‘Snell's Foundation. Having taken his degree, Mr Lockhart repaired to Edinburgh, and applied
himself to the study of the law. He entered at the bar, but was quickly induced to devote himself chiefly to literature. Besides the works we have mentioned, Mr Lockhart was a regular contributor to Blackwood's Magazine, and imparted to that work a large portion of the spirit, originality, and determined political character which it has long maintained. In 1820 he was married to Sophia, the eldest daughter of Sir Walter Scott, a lady who possessed much of the conversational talent, the unaffected good-humour, and liveliness of her father. Mrs Lockhart died on the 17th of May 1837, in London, whither Mr Lockhart had gone to reside as successor to Mr Gifford in the editorship of the Quarterly Review. In 1843 Mr Lockhart received from Sir Robert Peel the sinecure appointment of Auditor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to which was attached a salary of £400 per annum. In point of fortune and connections, therefore, Mr Lockhart was more successful than most authors who have elevated themselves by their talents; but ill health and private calamities darkened his latter days. He survived all the family of Sir Walter Scott, and his own two sons. He had another child, a daughter, married to Mr Hope Scott of Abbotsford, and at Abbotsford Mr Lockhart died, on the 25th of November 1854.
PROFEssoR WILSON carried the peculiar features and characteristics of his poetry into his prose compositions. The same amiable gentleness, tenderness, love of nature, pictures of solitary life, humble affections and pious hopes, expressed in an elaborate but rich structure of language, which fixed upon the author of the Isle of Palms the title of a Lake Poet, may be seen in all his tales. The first of these appeared in 1822, under the name of Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life; a Selection from the Papers of the late Arthur Austin. This volume consists of twenty-four short tales, three of which—The Elder's Funeral, The Snow-storm, and The Forgers—had previously been published in Blackwood's Magazine. Most of them are tender and pathetic, and relate to Scottish rural and pastoral life. The innocence, simplicity, and strict piety of ancient manners are described as still lingering in our vales; but, with a fine spirit of homely truth and antique Scriptural phraseology, the author's scenes and characters are too Arcadian to be real. His second work, The Trials of Margaret Lyndsay (one volume, 1823), is more regular in construction and varied in incident. The heroine is a maiden in humble life, whose father imbibes the opinions of Paine, and is imprisoned on a charge of sedition, but afterwards released. He becomes irreligious and profane as well as disaffected, and elopes with the mistress of a brotherreformer. The gradual ruin and deepening distress of this man's innocent family are related with much pathos. Margaret, the eldest daughter, endeavours to maintain the family by keeping a school; one of her brothers goes to sea, and Margaret forms an attachment to a sailor, the shipmate of her brother, who is afterwards drowned by the upsetting of a boat in the Firth of Forth. Sorrows and disasters continually accumulate on the amiable heroine. Her fortitude is put to a series of severe trials, and though it is impossible to resist the mournful interest of the story, we feel that the author has drawn too largely on the sympathies of his readers, and represented the path of virtuous duty in far too melancholy and oppressive a light.
The successive bereavements and afflictions of
Margaret Lyndsay are little relieved by episode or dialogue: they proceed in unvaried measure, with no bright allurements of imagination to reconcile us to the scenes of suffering that are so forcibly depicted. In many parts of the tale we are reminded of the affecting pictures of Crabbe—so true to human nature, so heart-rending in their reality and their grief. Of this kind is the description of the removal of the Lyndsays from their rural dwelling to one of the close lanes of the city, which is as natural and as truly pathetic as any scene in modern fiction:
[The ‘Flitting’ or Removal of the Lyndsays.]
The twenty-fourth day of November came at last— a dim, dull, dreary, and obscure day, fit for parting everlastingly from a place or person tenderly beloved. There was no sun, no wind, no sound, in the misty and unechoing air. A deadness lay over the wet earth, and there was no visible heaven. Their goods and chattels were few; but many little delays occurred, some accidental, and more in the unwillingness of their hearts to take a final farewell. A neighbour had lent his cart for the flitting, and it was now standing loaded at the door ready to move away. The fire, which had been kindled in the morning with a few borrowed peats, was now out, the shutters closed, the door was locked, and the key put into the hand of the person sent to receive it. And now there was nothing more to be said or done, and the impatient horse started briskly away from Braehead. The blind girl and poor Marion were sitting in the cart—Margaret and her mother were on foot. Esther had two or three small flower-pots in her lap, for in her blindness she loved the sweet fragrance and the felt forms and imagined beauty of flowers; and the innocent carried away her tame pigeon in her bosom. Just as Margaret lingered on the threshold, the Robin Redbreast, that had been their boarder for several winters, hopped upon the stone-seat at the side of the door, and turned up its merry eyes to her face. ‘There, said she, “is your last crumb from us, sweet Roby, but there is a God who takes care o' us a'. The widow had by this time shut down the lid of her memory, and left all the hoard of her thoughts and feelings, joyful or despairing, buried in darkness. The assembled group of neighbours, mostly mothers, with their children in their arms, had given the ‘God bless you, Alice, God bless you, Margaret, and the lave, and began to disperse; each turning to her own cares and anxieties, in which, before night, the Lyndsays would either be forgotten, or thought on with that unpainful sympathy which is all the poor can afford or expect, but which, as in this case, often yields the fairest fruits of charity and love.
A cold sleety rain accompanied the cart and the foottravellers all the way to the city. Short as the distance was, they met with several other flittings, some seemingly cheerful, and from good to better—others with woebegone faces, going like themselves down the path of poverty on a journey from which they were to rest at night in a bare and hungry house. * *
The cart stopped at the foot of a lane too narrow to admit the wheels, and also too steep for a laden horse. Two or three of their new neighbours—persons in the very humblest condition, coarsely and negligently dressed, but seemingly kind and decent people—came out from their houses at the stopping of the cart-wheels, and one of them said: ‘Ay, ay, here's the flitting, I’se warrant, frae Braehead. Is that you, Mrs Lyndsay? Hech, sers, but you’ve gotten a nasty cauld wet day for coming into Auld Reekie, as you kintra folks ca Embro. Haeye had ony tidings, say ye, o' your gudeman since he gaed aff wi' that limmer? Dool be wi' her and a' *: Alice replied kindly to such questioning, for
she knew it was not meant unkindly. The cart was soon unladen, and the furniture put into the empty room. A cheerful fire was blazing, and the animated and interested faces of the honest folks who crowded into it, on a slight acquaintance, unceremoniously and curiously, but without rudeness, gave a cheerful welcome to the new dwelling. In a quarter of an hour the beds were laid down—the room decently arranged—one and all of the neighbours said: ‘Gude-night, and the door was closed upon the Lyndsays in their new dwelling. They blessed and ate their bread in peace. The Bible was then opened, and Margaret read a chapter. There was frequent and loud noise in the lane of passing merriment or anger, but this little congregation worshipped God in a hymn, Esther's sweet voice leading the sacred melody, and they knelt together in prayer. It has been beautifully said by one whose works are not unknown in the dwellings of the poor:
Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
Not so did sleep this night forsake the wretched. He came like moonlight into the house of the widow and the fatherless, and, under the shadow of his wings, their souls lay in oblivion of all trouble, or perhaps solaced even with delightful dreams.
In 1824, Mr Wilson published another but inferior story, The Foresters. It certainly is a singular and interesting feature in the genius of an author known as an active man of the world, who spent most of his time in the higher social circles of his native country and in England, and whose scholastic and political tastes would scenn to point to a different result, that, instead of portraying the manners with which he was familiar—instead of indulging in witty dialogue or humorous illustration, he should have selected homely Scottish subjects for his works of fiction, and appeared never so happy or so enthusiastic as when expatiating on the joys and sorrows of his humble countrymen in the sequestered and unambitious walks of life.
Various other novels issued about this time from the Edinburgh press. MRs JoHNSTONE published anonymously Clan Albyn (1815), a tale written before the appearance of Waverley, and approaching that work in the romantic glow which it casts over Highland character and scenery. Mrs Grant of Laggan—a highly competent authority—has borne testimony to the correctness of the Highland descriptions in Clan Albyn. A second novel, Elizabeth de Bruce, was published by Mrs Johnstone in 1827. This lady was also authoress of some interesting tales, for children, The Diversions of Hollycot, The Nights of the Round Table, &c., and was also an extensive contributor to the periodical literature of the day. She died in 1857. Her style is easy and elegant, and her writings marked by good sense and a richly cultivated mind.
SIR THOMAS DICK LAUDER, Bart, wrote two novels connected with Scottish life and history, Lochandhu, 1825, and The Wolf of Badenoch, 1827. In 1830, Sir Thomas wrote an interesting account of the Great Floods in Morayshire, which happened in the autumn of 1829. He was then a resident among the romantic scenes of this unexampled inundation, and has described its effects with great picturesqueness and beauty, and with many homely and pathetic episodes relative to the suffering people. Sir Thomas also published a series of Highland Rambles, much inferior to his early novels, though abounding, like them, in striking descriptions of natural scenery. He edited Gilpin's Forest Scenery, and Sir Uvedale Price's Essays on the Picturesque, adding much new matter to each; and he was commissioned to write a memorial of her Majesty Queen Victoria's visit to Scotland in 1842. A complete knowledge of his native country, its scenery, people, history, and antiquities—a talent for picturesque delineation —and a taste for architecture, landscape-gardening, and its attendant rural and elegant pursuits, distinguished this author. Sir Thomas was of an old Scottish family, representing lineally the houses of Lauder and Bass, and, through a female, Dick of Braid and Grange. He died in 1848, aged sixtyfour. The Youth and Manhood of Cyril Thornton, 1827, was hailed as one of the most vigorous and interesting fictions of the day. It contained sketches of college-life, military campaigns, and other bustling scenes and adventures strongly impressed with truth and reality. Some of the foreign scenes in this work are very vividly drawn. It was the production of the late TIIoMA's HAMILTON, captain in the 29th regiment, who died in 1842, aged fifty-three. He visited America, and wrote a lively ingenious work on the new world, entitled Men and Manners in America, 1833. Captain Hamilton was one of the many travellers who disliked the peculiar customs, the democratic government, and social habits of the Americans; and he spoke his mind freely, but apparently in a spirit of truth and candour. Among the other writers of fiction who at this time published anonymously in Edinburgh was an English divine, DR JAMEs Hook (1771–1828), the only brother of Theodore Hook, and who was dean of Worcester and archdeacon of Huntingdon. To indulge his native wit and humour, and perhaps to spread those loyal Tory principles which, like his brother, he carried to their utmost extent, Dr Hook wrote two novels, Pen Owen, 1822, and Percy Mallory, 1823. They are clever, irregular works, touching on modern events and living characters, and discussing various political questions which then engaged attention. Pen Owen is the superior novel, and contains some good-humour and satire on Welsh genealogy and antiquities. Dr Hook wrote several political pamphlets, sermons, and charges. ANDREw PICKEN was born at Paisley in the year 1788. He was the son of a manufacturer, and brought up to a mercantile life. He was engaged in business for some time in the West Indies, afterwards in a bank in Ireland, in Glasgow, and in Liverpool. At the latter place he established himself as a bookseller, but was unsuccessful, chiefly through some speculations entered into at that feverish period, which reached its ultimatum in the panic of 1826. Mr Picken then went to London to pursue literature as a profession. While resident in Glasgow, he published his first work, Tales and Sketches of the West of Scotland, which gave offence by some satirical portraits, but was generally esteemed for its local fidelity and natural painting. His novel of The Sectarian ; or the Church and the Meeting-house, three volumes, 1829, displayed more vigorous and concentrated powers; but the subject was unhappy, and the pictures which the author drew of the Dissenters, representing them as selfish, hypocritical, and sordid, irritated a great body of the public. Next year Mr Picken made a more successful appearance. The Dominie's Legacy, three volumes, was warmly welcomed by novel readers, and a second edition was called for by the end of the year. This work consists of a number of Scottish stories—like Mr Carleton's Irish Tales—
some humorous and some pathetic. Minister Tam and Mary Ogilvy approach near to the happiest efforts of Galt. The characters and incidents are alike natural and striking. The same year our author conciliated the evangelical dissenters by an interesting religious compilation—Travels and Researches of Eminent English Missionaries; including a Historical Sketch of the Progress and Present State of the Principal Protestant Missions of late Years. In 1831 Mr Picken issued The Club-Book, a collection of original tales by different authors. Mr James, Tyrone Power, Galt, Mr Moir, James Hogg, Mr Jerdan, and Allan Cunningham, contributed each a story, and the editor himself added two—The Deer Stalkers, and the Three Kearneys. His next work was Traditionary Stories of Old Families, the first part of a series which was to embrace the legendary history of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Such a work might be rendered highly interesting and popular, for almost every old family has some traditionary lore—some tale of love, or war, or superstition—that is handed down from generation to generation. Mr Picken now applied himself to another Scottish novel, The Black Watch (the original name of the gallant 42d regiment); and he had just completed this work when he was struck with an attack of apoplexy, which in a fortnight proved fatal. He died on the 23d of November 1833. Mr Picken, according to one of his friends, “was the dominie of his own tales—simple, affec. tionate, retiring; dwelling apart from the world, and blending in all his views of it the gentle and tender feelings reflected from his own mind.”
This lady was authoress of Marriage, published in 1818, The Inheritance, 1824, and Destiny, or the Chief's Daughter, 1831—all novels in three volumes each. We learn from Mr Lockhart's Life of Scott, that Miss Ferrier was daughter of James Ferrier, Esq., “one of Sir Walter's brethren of the clerk's table;’ and the great novelist, at the conclusion of the Tales of My Landlord, alluded to his ‘sister shadow, the author of ‘the very lively work entitled Marriage, as one of the labourers capable of gathering in the large harvest of Scottish character and fiction." In his private diary he has also mentioned
* In describing the melancholy situation of Sir Walter the year before his death, Mr Lockhart introduces Miss Ferrier in a very amiable light. To assist them (the family of Scott) in amusing him in the hours which he spent out of his study, and especially that he might be tempted to make those hours more frequent, his daughters had invited his friend the authoress of Marriage to come out to Abbotsford; and her coming was serviceable: for she knew and loved him well, and she had seen enough of affliction akin to his to be well skilled in dealing with it. She could not be an hour in his company without observing what filled his children with more sorrow than all the rest of the case. He would begin a story as gaily as ever, and go on, in spite of the hesitation in his speech, to tell it with highly picturesque effect, but before he reached the point, it would seem as if some internal spring had given way; he paused, and gazed round him with the blank anxiety of look that a blind man has when he has dropped his staff. Unthinking friends sometimes pained him sadly by giving him the catch-word abruptly. I noticed the delicacy of Miss Ferrier on such occasions. Her sight was bad, and she took care not to use her glasses when he was speaking; and she affected to be also troubled with deafness, and would say: “Well, I am getting as dull as a post; I have not heard a word since you said so and so,” being sure to mention a circumstance behind that at which he had really halted. He then took up the thread with his habitual smile of courtesy, as if forgetting his case entirely in the consideration of the lady's ":
Miss Ferrier as “a gifted personage, having, besides her great talents, conversation the least exigeante of any author, female at least, whom he had ever seen among the long list he had encountered with ; simple, full of humour, and exceedingly ready at repartee; and all this without the least affectation of the blue stocking. This is high praise; but the readers of Miss Ferrier's novels will at once recogmise it as characteristic, and exactly what they would have anticipated. This lady was a Scottish Miss Edgeworth—of a lively, practical, penetrating cast of mind; skilful in depicting character and seizing upon national peculiarities; caustic in her wit and humour, with a quick sense of the ludicrous; and desirous of inculcating sound morality and attention to the courtesies and charities of life. In some passages, indeed, she evinces a deep religious feeling, approaching to the evangelical views of Hannah More; but the general strain of her writing relates to the foibles and oddities of mankind, and no one has drawn them with greater breadth of comic humour or effect. Her scenes often resemble the style of our best old comedies, and she may boast, like Foote, of adding many new and original characters to the stock of our comic literature. Her first work is a complete gallery of this kind. The plot is very inartificial; but after the first twenty pages, when Douglas conducts his pampered and selfish Lady Juliana to Glenfern Castle, the interest never flags. The three maidenaunts at Glenfern—Miss Jacky, who was all over sense, the universal manager and detected, Miss Grizzy, the letter-writer, and Miss Nicky, who was not wanting for sense either, are an inimitable family group. Mrs Violet MacShake, the last remaining branch of the noble race of Girnachgowl, is a representative of the old hard-featured, closehanded, proud, yet kind-hearted, Scottish matron, vigorous and sarcastic at the age of ninety, and despising all modern manners and innovations. Then there is the sentimental Mrs Gaffaw, who had weak nerves and headaches; was above managing her house, read novels, dyed ribbons, and altered her gowns according to every pattern she could see or hear of There is a shade of caricature in some of these female portraits, notwithstanding the explanation of the authoress that they lived at a time when Scotland was very different from what it is now—when female education was little attended to even in families of the highest rank; and consequently the ladies of those days possessed a raciness in their manners and ideas that we should vainly seek for in this age of cultivation and refinement. It is not only, however, in satirising the foibles of her own sex that Miss Ferrier displays such original talent and humour. Dr Redgill, a medical hanger-on and diner-out, is a gourmand of the first class, who looks upon bad dinners to be the source of much of the misery we hear of in the married life, and who compares a woman's reputation to a beef-steak—“if once breathed upon, 'tis good for nothing. Many sly satirical touches occur throughout the work. In one of Miss Grizzy's letters we hear of a Major MacTavish of the militia, who, independent of his rank, which Grizzy thought was very high, distinguished himself, and shewed the greatest bravery once when there was a very serious riot about the raising the potatoes a penny a peck, when there was no occasion for it, in the town of Dunoon. We are told also that country visits should seldom exceed three days—the rest day, the dressed day, and the pressed day. There is a great shrewdness and knowledge of human natu'a the manner in which the three aunts got
over their sorrow for the death of their father, the old laird. “They sighed and mourned for a time, but soon found occupation congenial to their nature in the little department of life: dressing crape; reviving black silk; converting narrow hems into broad hems; and, in short, who so busy, so important, as the ladies of Glenfern?’ The most striking picture in the book is that of Mrs Violet MacShake, who is introduced as living in a lofty lodging in the Old Town of Edinburgh, where she is visited by her grand-nephew Mr Douglas, and his niece Mary. In person she is tall and hard-favoured, and dressed in an antiquated style:
[A Scotch Lady of the Old School.]
As soon as she recognised Mr Douglas, she welcomed him with much cordiality, shook him long and heartily by the hand, patted him on the back, looked into his face with much seeming satisfaction; and, in short, gave all the demonstrations of gladness usual with gentlewomen of a certain age. Her pleasure, however, appeared to be rather an impromptu than a habitual feeling; for, as the surprise wore off, her visage resumed its harsh and sarcastic expression, and she seemed eager to efface any agreeable impression her reception might have excited. ‘And wha thought o' seein ye enoo?” said she, in a quick gabbling voice; ‘what’s brought you to the toon? Are you come to spend your honest faither's siller ere he’s weel cauld in his grave, puir man?” Mr Douglas explained that it was upon account of his niece's health. “Health !’ repeated she with a sardonic smile, ‘it wad mak an ool laugh to hear the wark that's made aboot young fowk's health noo-a-days. I wonder what ye’re a made o', grasping Mary's arm in her great bony hand—‘a wheen puir feckless windlestraes-ye maun awa’ to Ingland for your healths. Set ye up ! I wonder what cam o' the lasses i' my time that bute [behoved] to bide at hame? And whilk o' ye, I sude like to ken, 'll e'er leive to see ninety-sax, like me. Health ! he, he l’ Mary, glad of a pretence to indulge the mirth the old lady's manner and appearance had excited, joined most heartily in the laugh. ‘Tak aff yer bannet, bairn, an' let me see your face; wha can tell what like ye are wi' that snule o' a thing on your head?’ Then after taking an accurate survey of her face, she pushed aside her pelisse: ‘Weel, its ae mercy I see ye hae neither the red head nor the muckle cuits o' the Douglases. I kenna whuther your faither has them or no. I ne'er set een on him: neither him nor his braw leddy thought it worth their while to speer after me; but I was at nae loss, by a accounts.’ ‘You have not asked after any of your Glenfern friends, said Mr Douglas, hoping to touch a more sympathetic cord. ‘Time eneugh—wull ye let me draw my breath, man—fowk canna say awthing at ance. An ye bute to hae an Inglish wife tu, a Scotch lass wadna ser' ye. An yer wean, I’se warran' it's ane o' the warld's wonders—it’s been unca lang o' comin'—he, he !’ “He has begun life under very melancholy auspices, poor fellow !” said Mr Douglas, in allusion to his father's death. ‘An' wha’s faut was that? I ne'er heard tell o' the like ot, to hae the bairn kirsened an its grandfaither deein’ But fowk are naither born, nor kirsened, nor do they wad or dee as they used to du—awthing's changed.’ ‘You must, indeed, have witnessed many changes?" observed Mr Douglas, rather at a loss how to utter anything of a conciliatory nature.
‘Changes!—weel a wat I sometimes wunder if it’s the same warld, an’ if it’s my ain heed that's upon my shoothers.’ “But with these changes you must also have seen many improvements?” said Mary in a tone of diffidence. ‘Impruvements l’ turning sharply round upon her; ‘what ken ye about, impruvements, bairn ? A bonny impruvement, or ens no, to see tyleyors and sclaters leavin’ whar I mind jewks and yerls. An' that great glowerin' New Toon there, pointing out of her windows, ‘whar I used to sit an luck oot at bonny green parks, an' see the coos milket, and the bits o' bairnies rowin' an' tumlin', an' the lasses trampin' i' their tubs—what see I noo but stane an lime, an' stoor an' dirt, an idle cheels an dinkit oot madams prancin'. Impruvements, indeed!” Mary found she was not likely to advance her uncle's fortune by the judiciousness of her remarks, therefore prudently resolved to hazard no more. Mr Douglas, who was more au fait to the prejudices of old age, and who was always amused with her bitter remarks, when they did not touch himself, encouraged her to continue the conversation by some observation on the prevailing mannerS. “Mainers 1’ repeated she, with a contemptuous laugh; ‘what ca' ye mainers noo, for I dinna ken? ilk ane gangs bang intill their neebor's hoos, an’ bang oot o't, as it war a chynge-hoos; an' as for the maister o’t, he’s no o' sae muckle vaalu as the flunky ahint his chyre. I my grandfaither's time, as I hae heard him tell, ilka maister o' a family had his ain sate in his ain hoos; ay! an’ sat wi' his hat on his heed afore the best o' the land, an had his ain dish, an' was ay helpit first, an’ keepit up his owthority as a man sude du. Paurents war paurents than—bairns dardna set up their gabs afore them than as they du noo. They ne'er presumed to say their heeds war their ain i' thae days—wife an' servants, reteeners an childer, a’ trummelt i' the presence o' their heed.’ Here a long pinch of snuff caused a pause in the old lady's harangue. * * Mr Douglas availed himself of the opportunity to rise and take leave. ‘00, what’s takin' ye awa', Archie, in sic a hurry? Sit doon there, laying her hand upon his arm, ‘an' rest ye, an’ tak a glass o' wine an a bit breed; or maybe, turning to Mary, ‘ye wad rather hae a drap broth to warm ye? What gars ye look sae blae, bairn ? I’m sure it's no cauld; but ye’re just like the lave: ye gang a skiltin' about the streets half naked, an' than ye maun sit an' birsle yoursels afore the fire at hame.’ She had now shuffled along to the further end of the room, and opening a press, took out wine and a plateful of various-shaped articles of bread, which she handed to Mary. ‘Hae, bairn—tak a cookie-tak it up—what are you feared for it’ll no bite ye. Here’s t'ye, Glenfern, an' your wife an' your wean; puir tead, it’s no had a very chancy ootset, weel a wat.' The wine being drank, and the cookies discussed, Mr Douglas made another attempt to withdraw, but in vain. ‘Canna ye sit still a wee, man, an' let me speer after my auld freens at Glenfern ? Hoo’s Grizzy, an' Jacky, an Nicky?—aye workin' awa’ at the peels an' the drogs —he, he I ne'er swallowed a peel nor gied a doit for drogs a my days, an’ see an ony o' them ’ll rin a race wi' me whan they’re naur fivescore.' Mr Douglas here paid some compliments upon her appearance, which were pretty graciously received; and added that he was the bearer of a letter from his aunt Grizzy, which he would send along with a roebuck and brace of moor-game. “Gin your roebuck’s nae better than your last, atweel it’s no worth the sendin': poor dry fissinless dirt, no
worth the chowin'; weel a wat I begrudged my teeth on’t Your muirfowl war nae that ill, but they’re no worth the carryin'; they’re doug cheap i' the market enoo, so it’s nae great compliment. Gin ye had brought me a leg o' gude mutton, or a cauler sawmont, there would hae been some sense in 't; but ye're ane o' the fowk that'll ne'er harry yoursel wi' your presents; it's but the pickle powther they cost ye, an I’se warran' ye’re thinkin' mair o' your ain diversion than o' my stamick whan ye’re at the shootin' o' them, puir beasts.” Mr Douglas had borne the various indignities levelled against himself and his family with a philosophy that had no parallel in his life before, but to this attack upon his game he was not proof. His colour rose, his eyes flashed fire, and something resembling an oath burst from his lips as he strode indignantly towards the door. His friend, however, was too nimble for him. She stepped before him, and, breaking into a discordant laugh as she patted him on the back: ‘So I see ye're just the auld man, Archie—aye ready to tak the strums an ye dinna get a thing your ain wye. Mony a time I had to fleech ye oot o' the dorts when ye was a callant. Do ye mind hoo ye was affronted because I set ye doon to a cauld pigeon-pye an a tanker o' tippenny ae night to your fowerhoors afore some leddies—he, he, he ! Weel a wat yere wife maun hae her ain adoos to manage ye, for ye're a cumstairy chield, Archie.' Mr Douglas still looked as if he was irresolute whether to laugh or be angry. ‘Come, come, sit ye doon there till I speak to this bairn, said she, as she pulled Mary into an adjoining bedchamber, which wore the same aspect of chilly neatness as the one they had quitted. Then pulling a huge bunch of keys from her pocket, she opened a drawer, out of which she took a pair of diamond earrings. ‘Hae, bairn, said she, as she stuffed them into Mary's hand; “they belanged to your faither's grandmother. She was a gude woman, an had fouran'-twenty sons an dochters, an I wuss ye nae waur fortin than just to hae as mony. But mind ye, with a shake of her bony finger, “they maun a be Scots. Gin I thought ye wad mairry ony pock-puddin', fient haed wad ye hae gotten frae me. Noo had your tongue, and dinna deive me wi' thanks, almost pushing her into the parlour again; “and sin ye're gawn awa’ the morn, I'll see nae mair o' ye enoo—so fare-ye-weel. But, Archie, ye maun come an' tak your breakfast wi’ me. I hae muckle to say to you; but ye mauna be sae hard upon my baps as ye used to be, with a facetious grin to her mollified favourite as they shook hands and parted.
Aware, perhaps, of the defective outline or story of her first novel, Miss Ferrier bestowed much more pains on the construction of The Inheritance. It is too complicated for an analysis in this place; but we may mention that it is connected with highlife and a wide range of characters, the heroine being a young lady born in France, and heiress to a splendid estate and peerage in Scotland, to which, after various adventures and reverses, she finally succeeds. The tale is well arranged and developed. Its chief attraction, however, consists in the delineation of characters. Uncle Adam and Miss Pratt —the former a touchy, sensitive, rich East Indian, and the latter another of Miss Ferrier's inimitable old maids—are among the best of the portraits; but the canvas is full of happy and striking sketches. Destiny is connected with Highland scenery and Highland manners, but is far from romantic. Miss" Ferrier is as human and as discerning in her tastes and researches as Miss Edgeworth. The chief, Glenroy, is proud and irascible, spoiled by the fawning