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town-council, was persuaded, some of very handsome, little worse than eighteen months ago, to remove from new, plush breeches, the gala dress, Kippletringen, and to assume the as the Bailie well remembers, in management of the Tontine, or former, and now seemingly forgotten Crown Inn, at Lochmaben, assisted years, of the widow's ever-to-be-laby, or, rather, as one may say, un- mented husband. der the direction of, her favourite, Dandy Dinmont, who is, in fact, a and now, sleek and well-favoured native of this parish, and who had menial, Jock Jabos. She has suc- been duly apprised by the Lochmaceeded amazingly, for Widow Mac- beners of the curling contest, having Candlish's is the rendezvous on all dug out from the stole of a two year's public, and the Tryst, on numerous old peat stack, his “ true blue private meetings. 'Here our Bailies whins,” had graced them with new meet, to argue the impolicy, and to handles, and a fresh soleing, for the exemplify the necessity of burgh re- occasion. Having some business to form. Here the neighbouring lairds transact with his Kendal wool-merenjoy their tipple, their freedom, and chant, and being Scotchman enough their crack. Here the half-pay offi- to fell two dogs with one stone, Dancers, the surgeon, and the school-mas- dy had arrived on the night preter, talk politics, and read the Maga- vious to the spiel, and had lodged, as zines. Here the burgesses of the was his custoin, with the widow, for good town enjoy an evening's re- whom, and for her favourite Jock, spite from the clack of their wives, (for Dandy acknowledges him under and the din of their children. Here no other name,) he still continues to the wealthy sheep-farmers of the entertain the most steady attachment. Eastern district meet with their Many a stiff breeze has Dandy, of Yorkshire, Westmoreland, and Cum- late years, weathered in the Tontine; berland wool-merchants, to settle but Dumple is still sure-footed, and last year's, and to contract a new Charlie's Hope is only about twelve score,—to hear of fallen markets in Scotch miles up the country. The the south, to laugh loud, and to widow, too, has often been meditamangle the king's English most un- ting a visit to Ailie; but the roads are blushingly. It is pretty general- so bad, and her time really so much ly surmised, that Jock Jabos, who occupied, that, though the thing has bas for several months past been always been talked of, it has neraised to the title of “ John," is ver been, nor is likely now, before at present of the widow's privy- the honey-moon jaunt, to be accomcouncil, and may soon be advanced plished. to the more honourable and confi- Dandy had conducted the opposidential situation of prime minister, tion on the Rink furthest off from in the management of the widow's ours, and it was not till after the spiel concerns. Certain, at least, it is, that was lost and won, that he found himJock, alias John, from being, as at self in company with his old crony Kippletringen, groom of the stable and bosom-friend, the Ettrick Shepand master of the horse, has slipt herd. In we poured into the Tongradually into places of greater trust, tine, as the beasts did into the Ark, having become, in succession, first by twos and by sevens; laird, bailie, clerk of the treasury, and sole lord and cotter ; poet, priest, and tailor; of the bed-chamber. In short, the farmer, carter, and servant lad; widow has been whispering to the with the same conteinpt of all rankBailie's wife, some very sensible re- precedency which had accompanied marks respecting the infamy of evil our day's proceedings. I will say it, speaking, and the propriety of an Mr Editor, and I will say it nowhonest woman's being placed beyond in case I should forget after dinnerthe reach of “people's tongues.” John that if you are too much of a has been so active and attentive in dandy, I don't mean Dinmont,) the widow's interest, has been up so or too much of an aristocrat-or too early and down so late, that last much, or too little, of any thing, to New-year's-day, just fourteen years relish the company into which I am since the decease of worthy Mr Mac- about to introduce you—may ConCandlish, he was seen to sport a pair stable fail in the payment of your
quarter's allowance, and may all your
“ Never mind that, my dawairy speculations of fame and usefule ty," said a frank and a familiar ness come just to nothing! For my voice, accompanied by an equally own part, bred and educated as í frank deposition of a broad and ponhave been among the peasantry of derous hand betwixt the widow's my native country, and full well ac- shoulders ; “never mind that,-our quainted, as even ab incunabulis stomachs are no ony way nice, and I I have been with their frank, and question much if they will quarrel strongly-marked character, with that wi' ony thing that teeth can master. open unsuspiciousness of heart, and But preserve us a'!” added the gudethat shrewd quaintness of intellect, man of Charlie's Hope, “what have and with that astonishing powerful- you got here?" casting his eye toness of language, and expressiveness wards the kitchen fire, upon which of idiom, by which they are marked some eels were frying on a brander. out, and separated from the higher “ Eels !-vile adder-looking, origiclasses,- I will say it boldly, that nal-sin reptiles—and for hungry folk I never feel myself more at home, too!” “There shall nae eels,” intermore truly alive to the humanity posed, in unison, the voice of the of my nature, than when I come Ettrick Shepherd, “there shall nae into close contact with their joys, eels bed in my stomach, till there be their sorrows, their wishes, their mair cover to hide them,” dashing, wants, their all of little ambition at the same time, the snow from his or regret, of attainment or failure, nail-studded shoes, and casting a of which their simple annals are significant glance towards the kitchen composed. Of how many advan- table, upon which the curlers' immetages are these men, in the higher morial dinner, “ beef and greens," paths of life, deprived, who are was smoking most invitingly. “It's nursed, like the chrysalis, in the no for you,” replied the widow, in a shell,who step directly out of the kind of under-tone, approaching to leading-strings of their nurses into a whisper, “ Jamie, my inan; nor those of fashion and prejudice-whose for my friend Dandy, there, either, mental and moral food is as high- that the eels are now curling up their seasoned and artificial as the pastry tails on the brander ; it's just for and sweetmeats with which their ap- Brandy-Burn,' poor man. The lady petites are pampered, -and who are is unco fond o' them-an’ the laird, carefully instructed by “our mam- wha maun just comply wi' a' her ma” to consider nothing so contami- freaks, is obliged to be fond o' them nating and dangerous as the slightest too *. An' I whiles think, atweel, intercourse with vulgar brats! Thank that since he was married to the God! I was born in a cottage-ay, and heiress, he's turned no that unco uncame into early contact with poor, it is like ane himsel'. He was ance—” true, and humble, but kindand Chris- but at this moment the laird's besom tian beings, whose virtues are so deep- took up its stance in the passage, ly impressed upon my heart, that the and the widow facing about, and adglare and the futter of a bishop's justing her front gear, addressed him gown could never efface the impres- thus :-" Come away, laird ; am unsion. Thank God! I was not born to co glad to hear ye ba'e wun the spiel a fortune-though, by the bye, I - I'm sure ye'll be tired and hungry should have no objection to one now, baith. The lady has sent down some provided my aunt Kate” would eels for your dinner, and I ha'e them take the hint, and leave me her heir ! birsling away yonder on the bran
The smiling, and seemingly-de- der." * The lady,” replied the laird, lighted widow, received us, at the in a manner which indicated any door-way, in a close-plaited toy, with thing but gratitude, “ is very good, two full rows of lace edging, sur- and kind, and attentive, ar a' tbat, mounted by a knot, or tuft, of black ribbon ; and, in a tone somewhere
• The Lochs around the gude town of betwixt a remonstrance and an apo- Lochmaben are famed for eels, and all logy, told us that our dinner, owing good housewifes know to dress them, so to our late hours at the ice, would that they become meat for the “ laird be greatly, she feared, out of sea- himsel'."
but I had rather be excused on this downwards, like icicles from the occasion; and with, or without," add. easing of a thatched roof. This is ed he, looking around, " her leave, not to be tolerated; a pair of large I will dine on beef to-day,--sae ye shears, the inseparable companions may make John, there, a present of of a suitable pocket, are applied the whole concern.". John, who was to the unreasonable excrescence. bustling by, in waiter-like attitude, Amputation is effected, and plump with a towel in his hand, and an ex- after plump, the detached 'delinpression of dispatch in his counte- quents descend into the parent nance, grumbled out something, ra- flood. A while they swim around, ther indistinctly, in which, however, seemingly untouched by the heat. the words " serpents,” and “ better But at last they begin to yield. meat," were distinguishable.
Now one, then another disappears, It is not in the power of pen to in- till at last there is not a vestige of dividualize every arrival in all the individuality left. peculiarities of each. Suppose, then, And thus, for you remember I after a sufficiency of Jennying and am not narrating a fact, but adduTibbying below, and of knife-and- cing a comparison, and thus it fared fork-work above; suppose the punch- with our company, under the sofbowl introduced, under the imme- tening, melting influence of the diate auspices of the laird, suitably punch-bowl. At first, every indiHanked and supported; and that vidual preserved a certain degree healths have been drunk, and that of individuality. He swam, indeed, curling toasts have gone round; and but he swam perceptibly distinct; that every face, from that of “ Bran- but anon, the whole party assumed dy" the preses, to that of the crou- a unity of heart, of soul, of object, pier Bailie, has begun to assume an of meaning. Then were the floodexpression of glee and merriment. gates of mirth let loose, and the But without a simile, I can do no- waters abounded; from the coarse thing :-Dow, then, forone in my very but pithy jest of the Sutor, over best style.
whom even clerical presence had Reader, hast thou ever seen an old ceased to operate, down to the still Foman making candles? I speak of coarser but less-amusing anecdote of times when every one was permitted the Bailie, all was freedom and sheer to make, as well as to burn their own fun. Again and again were the candles. A chair turned over upon achievements of the day revised, and its front, and a convenient assortment many and most interesting were the of candle spits laid across the seat experiences of all on the subject. bars a large broth pot, nearly filled Parish spiels underwent a most parwith warm water, over which the melt- ticular review, and the ancient prowed tallow has been poured, placed be- ess of Closeburn and Lochmaben fore her,-a spit, with a dozen radi- were warmly contested. But alas cal-looking, ragged, half-made and for the absent ! for Tynron, for Mordangling spunkies, strung through ton, for Sanquhar, for Dumfriesthe eyes, in her hand. Now she im- for the mere drivellers of Kirkmahoe, merses them, with a side-long sweep, and the thrice-sutored lairds of up to the neck in the reservoir ; and Dunscore. The plain narrative beagain, after a suitable pause, shakes gan to assume, at length, not a little off the last slowly-descending drop of poetical embellishment, and the into the abyss beneath. The same marvellous succeeded to the wonderprocess is gone through with the ful, and the downright incredible to next, and the next; and this being the marvellous. The spirit of Enfrequently repeated, the whole con- thusiasm was awakened, and that of cern begins, at length, to assume a Credulity hung upon her lips. We moore civilized aspect. The knobs, were just upon the very verge of aband other rather unseemly inequali- surdity, when Hogg, being called ties, are smoothed over. The wick, upon by the president for a rong, like the inward, in the outer man of very opportunely gave us one which the Bailie, is totally concealed in the he had evidently composed for the coating. The lower extremities de- occasion, and in the chorus of which scend apace. They continue to shoot we all most vigorously joined.
moon than ye will ever be able to “ The Channel-stane."
tak' in, if ye wer' to live to the age Of a' the games that e're I saw,
of Methuselah-ye remember, laird, Man, callant, laddie, birkie, wean,
what the aul' sang says, The dearest, far aboon them a',
• Had I sic wife, upon my life, Was aye the witching Channel-stane. I'd duck her in a bogie ;' Chorus.
and a bogie ye need na want, nor & Oh for the Channel.stane !
loch neither, about Brandy-Burn, The fell guid game, the Channel-stane ! but ye want the spirit to use't, man. There's no a game that e'er I saw, Hereupon, Hogg, who had sung Can match auld Scotland's Channel
last, declared this poetical quotation of stane.
Dandy's “ a forfeit," and after fining I've been at bridals, unco glad,
him in a bumper, insisted upon the Wi' courting lasses wondrous fain ; Borderer's song. Dandy scratched his But what is a' the fun I've had
head, and said, “ though he was nae Compare it wi' the Channel-stane. great hand in the tune way, yet he Oh for, &c.
wa'd gi'e them a sort of a loyal I've play'd at quoiting in my day
thing, the school-master had comAnd maybe I may do't again
posed for him, to sing at a farmerBut still unto mysel' I'd say,
tryst in Lockerby, last market-day. This is no the Channel-stane.
Dandy Dinmont's Song.
“ Geordie the Fourt." Were I a sprite in yonder sky,
My wool it is sold, and my sheep they Never to come back again,
are told, I'd sweep the moon and starlets by
And my stedding is theicket wi' straw ;
Auld Dumple is strong, and can breast it
Though the road it war ell deep in snak.
Then fill up the bowl, it enlivens the
soul, Oh for, &c.
And here's to the king of our heart;
As long's we can stand, we will join Scarcely had our bard finished hand in hand, his glee, when the honest, though And bumper to Geordie the Fourt'. manifestly hen-pecked laird-a de
I have hounds that are true, the fou to scription of character not at all con
pursue, fined to Annandale-having now be
And Peppers and Mustards to spare ; gun to feel a little inspired himself, My Alie is kind, and the drink's to my burst out into the following oratori
mind, cal flourish—“Od, man, yere a queer And what wad a man ha'e mair ? fallow ; deel ha'e me if I care twa Then fill up the bowl, &c. skips of a greyhound whether ye be
I still ha'e a blow, for a friend or a foe; Whig or Tory; I wad be glad to
My word is as guid as a law ; see ye at Brandy-Burn, an' it war na for the mistress; but she's a
The Captain is hail, and the devil fra.
hell, queer body, and no that ill a body
Has claught Gibby Glossin awa'. either, if ane wad eat naething but
Then fill up the bowl, &c. eels, and gi’e her a' her ain will.” “ The mistress !” echoed Dandy,
“The Father," God bless him! aul' Scot
land will miss him, who, though sitting at some distance, had thrust forward his bullet-head,
Her favour wha early could win ;
But there is not a heart took the old Faand well-spread ears, into the con
ther's part, versation ; « indeed, laird, ye ha'e But will bleed in defence of the Son. yoursel' to blame, wha didná had a
Then fill up the bowl, &c. hank in yere hand at the outset, but gied her mair bridle in the honey
The Sutor's song was next de
manded, and the whole table reA stone taken out of the channel of bounded under many a heavy nieve a river, and used in curling. A curling- to the demand. But the Sutor would
not sing; it was against his con
science, for he was a Cameronian of a pond ; this instant she walks, elder; and the Sutor durst not sing, and chucks, and rejoices in her brood; for he was a married man; and the the next, they are in the midst of the Sutor could not sing, for he had food. neither ear, voice, nor song. But
“ A stupid moment-motionless she the Sutor was known,
stands," * To tell the queerest stories ;" 30 the Sutor's story was resolved round the pool, in utter inefficiency;
then flutters and screams, round and upon by acclamation. Seeing there So looked our preses, the laird o was no visible nor devisable method of eluding this alternative, after feet, upon the first discovery of the
Brandy-Burn, as he started to his the necessary and customary preamble of throat-clearing and voice- pected the earth had opened and
vacant seats, gazing as if he susadjusting, the man of anecdote pro- swallowed up his companions. The ceeded thus:
noise which accompanied this disThe Sutor's Story.
aster brought up John, who, after “Watty Tweedy—I'm sure there's having viewed the field, and read in mony a ane here kent Watty, for he many disconcerted countenances the was weel acquaint, a' down Nith, nature of the accident, clapped one and up Annandale, forbye among hand upon his mouth, and with the the herds o' Etterick. Indeed, I other pulling the door after him, he was told he came originally frae still lingered, as if willing to protract somewhere thereabouts. There's a his merriment. To fall is nothing ; hantil o' Tweedies, and Hoggs, and the most pusillanimous do it every Laidlaws amang the hills, I wat na, day, and with a good grace too; but if they just flock together, and breed none but a fool, a downright merrylike muirfowl.” Here the master of man, whose office it is, can rise again the strap was admonished by the unembarrassed, and grin with the poet to proceed with his story ; but grinning spectators.
“Ye may gang Dandy rubbed his elbow, and seem- your ways at least,” said the enraged ed quite delighted. “Na, ye mauna Borderer, advancing towards the reinterrupt me at ony rate," resumed treating menial, ** for if ye stan’ the hero of the last; “ there's na guid muckle langer, chuckling and snivelcomes o' that; ye wad na like to be ling there, like a heather bleat, there's rised that way yoursel', Hogg, wer' a foot at the end oʻthat leg (thrustye stringing out ony o' your lang- ing, at the same time, his right leg winded blethers; about witches and forward) which will converse in pretwarlocks, and greyhounds, and queer ty braid Scotch wi' thae plush breeks muir-hens; Guid guide us ! yon's o' yours.” John withdrew like the awfu' trash, man.” The poet raised gouk of a cuckoo clock, closing right his hand in the attitude of scratching nimbly the door after him ;' and the his occiput, threw himself suddenly company once more resumed their back, and was upon the point of set- seats; but to resume the Sutor's ting off in one of his highest bravura story, after this interruption, was guffaas, when, missing stays, or, in altogether impossible. The fact plain language, missing a chair back, was, that, owing to a large wooden having been seated upon a bench, serpent-handled punch-ladle, with over he drifted full swing, and like which the Bailie officiated most sethe seven-crowned, ten-horned dragon dulously at the bowl, we were all a of apostolie vision, he fell, but "fell little, or, perhaps, not a little benot alone !” The whole bench, in yond the story-telling point; and, fact, from the clinging of one indi- as I have often observed, when vidual to another, was suddenly de- once songs are introduced into a connuded, ard the potentates of Pandy vivial meeting, nothing else will go never lay more supine, nor, for a few down; so nothing would please us seconds, more helpless than they. now but the laird's song. He had
Reader, hast thou ever seen that but one, it seemed, and it was consemost amusing of all sights, a hen quently well known everywhere, exwith a clecking of ducklings? She cept in his own dining-room at approaches inadvertently to the brink “Brandy-House."