« ForrigeFortsæt »
just parted. Promise me, Jessie, that you will love me!” Jessie made no promise -- she spoke no word-she only blushed, and trembled, and wept with me, and looked as though she asked if such a promise was necessary. “Oh teach me," I again exclaimed, “teach me to be worthy of you, and I will obey you like a child !"
“ Then promise me,” she whispered, in a tone of timidity, as if doubtful of offending
“To give up my evil habits," I added, " and the companions who have disgraced me ?"
“Oh yes ! - yes!”
Sweet Jessie - my own — my dearly loved, have I not kept my promise ?
Now, fye upon my false French !
2 By mine honor, in true English, I love thee.
Henry the Fifth.
Of all the queer animals in the vast menas gerie of society, there is none more queer than a middle-aged Scotchnaan, who has been brought up in a counting-house. Notwithstanding that his character is replete with a strong, manly judgment, a sly, modest wit, and a grave dig. nity, which ensures respect, because we know it to be built upon honesty ; still, the more he approaches the stars, the more we are compelled to think of Ursa Major. Unremitting attention to his duty has enlongated his countenance, and picked his bones, till he is nothing but profile and right angles. Seclusion from the world has divided him from its tastes, manners, and costume, as far as the bear of Lapland from the monkey of Cochin China. His thin light hair is still cut quickset-wise over his forehead, an eternal monument to his patrimonial porridge-pot; his dingy neckcloth seems well nigh to have strangled him ; and his trowsers are crowding about his heels, precisely as if the hangman had been pulling at them. When he gazes (and be gazes at everything, because nothing is familiar to him), his mouth is drawn open by the weight of his chin ; when he talks, it is always in the same key, which neither love nor murder could elevate nor depress; when he laughs, he laughs with his arms and legs, If he stands, it is with his great nobs of knees bent in, and his huge double-soled feet squared out; his walk is a hop, step, and a jump, in which he goes all-fours like a windmill; if it be wet, he splashes himself up to the eyes, and if it be slippery, he tumbles down. Run he cannot, for fear of knocking his heels together; his only knowledge of a horse is that it has no horns; and as for dancing-oh, Terpsichore ! he would kick down a set of quadrillers like nine-pins !
Just such a good kind of a hippopotamus as this was my friend Mac (the proper name at the end of this would make him too frightful), born far north, and bred in Lombard Street, where he had lived on a few broth, and a singed sheep's head, till he had bought breeches for all his clan. The simplicity of his habits, resulting from a sensible conviction that he was unfit for those of other men, rendered money an incumbrance to him; and Mac turned restive upon two thousand a year, and vowed to heaven that he would make no more. As soon as he had given up business, it was necessary for him to consider what he should do with himself. Alas! for the amusements of London he was too much of a clown; for those of the country he was too much of a cockney; and a visit to the dear bleak hills of his native land was out of the question ; he had cousins enough to eat up his fortune at a bawbee a piece.
After a world of rumination, and a perfect conviction that he was good for nothing, he resolved that the next best thing to seeing his native country was to visit some other that
happened to be like it. Norway or Sweden seemed very much the sort of thing, but then he knew nobody in those countries, and could not talk the language : the same objection applied to Russia and the Hartz mountains. In this dilemma, his friends suggested the more fashionable tour of Switzerland, which, with the temptation of letters to a French family. residing far north, seemed the best plan of all, He had quitted the grammar school perfectly master of the rudiments of French (excepting just the accent), and, as this was not above five-and-twenty years ago, a phrase-book was all that he wanted. The book was bought, and, in a short time, Mac commenced his journey and his studies together.
It was fine July weather, and France, with her green vineyards and ripening corn-fields, never looked more luxuriant. But then France had no mountains, and Mac kept on and on till he gained the German side of the Rhine, and plunged into that den of wolves and wild boars, the Black Forest. Here, indeed, was something even better than Scotland. The hills closed gradually around him, with their thou