Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

TICKLER. Well, well-here's a poem that may as well go into the fire-heap at once, without farther inspection.

For God's sake, haud your hånd, Mr Tickler !--dinna burn that, as you houp to be saved! It's my ain haun-writin'— I ken’t at a' this distance-I'll swear tilt in a coort o' justice !. Burn that, and you're my Sub nae langer.

My dear Editor, I will sing it.
Na,

you shanna sing't-I'll sing't mysel-though I'm as hoarse as a craw. Breathin' that easterly harr is as bad as snooking down into your hawse sae many yards o' woollen. Howsomever, I'll try. And mind, nane o' your accompaniments wi' me, either o'fiddle or vice. A second's a thing that I just perfectly abhor,-it seems to me though I hae as. gude an ear as Miss Stephens hersel--and better, too,—to be twa different tunes sang at ae timea maist intolerable practice. Mercy me! It's the twa Epithaliums that I wrote for the young Duke o' Buccleugh's birth-day, held at Selkirk, the 25th of November, 1825.

SHEPHERD.

[blocks in formation]

5.
0, young Buccleuch, 0, kind Buccleuch!

What thousand hearts yearn o'er thee;
What thousand hopes await thy smile,

And prostrate lie before thee:
Be thou thy Border's pride and boast,

Like sires renown'd in story;
And thou shalt never want an host

For country, King, and glory!

TICKLER

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

Beautiful, James, quite beautiful!

Mr Tickler, I think, considering all things, the situation I now occupy, my rank in society-and the respect which I have at all times been proud to show you and Mrs Tickler, that you might call me Mr Hogg, or Mr Yeditor ? Why always James, simple James ?

A familiar phrase, full of affection. I insist on being called Timothy.

Weel, weel, be it so now and then. But as a general rule, let it be Mr Tickler, -Mr Hogg, or, which I would prefer, Mr Editor. Depend upon it, sir, that there is great advantage to social intercourse in the preservation of those mere conversational forms by which “ table-talk” is protected from degenerating into a coarse or careless familiarity. Suppose you occasionally call me “ Southside,” and that I call

you “ Mount Benger-"

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

A true Scottish fashion that of calling gentlemen by the names of their es_tates. Did you ever see the young Duke? You nod, Never !-He's a real scion of the old tree. What power that laddie has ower human happiness !He has a kingdom, and never had a king more loyal subjects. All his thousands o’farmers are proud o' him, and his executors; and that verra pride gi’es them a higher character. The clan must not disgrace the Chief. The * Duke” is a household word all over the Border ;-the bairns hear it every day ;--and it links us thegither in a sort o' brotherhood. Curse the Radicals, who would be for destroying the old aristocracy of the land !

WAT O'BUCCLEUCH.-Air, Thurot's Defeat.

Some sing with devotion

Of feats on the ocean,
And nature's broad beauties in earth and in skies;

Some rant of their glasses,

And some of the lasses,
And these are twa things we maun never despise.

But down with the praises

Of lilies and daisies,
Of posies and roses the like never grew:

That flimsy inditing

That poets delight in,
They've coined for a havering half-witted crew.

CHORUS
But join in my chorus,

Ye blades o' the Forest,
We'll lilt of our muirs and our mountains of blue;

And hollow for ever,

Till a' the town shiver,
The name of our master, young Wat o' Buccleuch.

Of Douglas and Stuart,
We'd mony a true hcart,

Wha stood for auld Scotland in dangers enew;

And Scotts wha kept order

So lang on the Border,
Then wha heardnae tell o' the Wats o' Buccleuch ?

Now all these old heroes,

Of helms and monteros,
o wha wad believe that the thing could be true;

In lineage unblighted,

And blood are united,
In our noble master, young Wat o' Buccleuch.

Then join in my chorus, &c.

In old days of wassail,

Of chief and of vassal,
O these were the ages of chivalry true,

Of reif and of rattle,

Of broil and of battle,
When first our auld forefathers follow'd Buccleuch.

They got for their merit,

What we still inherit,
Those green tow'ring hills and low valleys of dew,

Nor feared on their mailings

For hornings or failings,
The broad sword and shield paid the rents of Buccleuch.

Then join in my chorus, &c.
From that day to this one,

We've lived but to bless them,
To love and to trust them as guardians true;

May Heaven protect then,

And guide and direct then,
This stem of the gen'rous old house of Buccleuch !

The Wats were the callans,

That steadied the balance,
When strife between kinsmen and Borderers grew ;

Then here's to our scion,

The son of the lion,
The Lord of the Forest, the Chief of Buccleuch.

CHORUS.
Then join in my chorus,

Ye lads of the Forest,
With lilt of our muirs and our mountains of blue,

And hallow for ever,

Till a' the tow’rs shiver,
The name of our Master, young Wat of Buccleuch.

TICKLER.

There's a sang for you, Timothy. My blude's up. I bless Heaven I am a Borderer. Here's the Duke's health-here's the King's health—here's North’s health-here's your health-here's

my ain health-here's Ebony's health here's Ambrose's health-the healths o' a' the contributors and a' the subscribers. That was a wully waught! I haena' left a dribble in the jug. I wuss it mayna flee to my head—it's a half-mutchkin jug.

Your eyes, James, are shining with more than their usual brilliancy. But here it goes. (Drinks his jug:)

After all, what blessing is in this world like a rational, well-founded, steadfast friendship between twa people that hae seen some little o' human life-felt some little o' its troubles-kept fast hald o' a gude character, and are doing a' they can for the benefit o' their fellow-creatures ? The Magazine, Mr Tickler, is a mighty engine, and it beloves me to think well what I am about when I set it a-working. The Cautholic Question is the cause o' great perplexity to my

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

TICKLER.

mind, when I tak a comprehensive and philosophic view o' the history and constitution o human nature.

I never heard you, Mr Hogg, on the Catholic Question. I trust your opinions are the same with those of Mr North.

SHEPHERD. Whatever my opinions are, Mr Tickler, they are my own, and they are the fruit of long, laborious, deep, and conscientious meditation. I cannot believe, with Drs Southey and Phillpotts, and other distinguished men, that the spirit of Catholicism is unchangeable. Nothing human is unchangeable. I do not, therefore, despair of seeing-no I must not say that, but of my posterity seeing—the Catholic religion so purified and rationalized by an unconscious Protestantism, that our Catholic brethren may be admitted without danger to the full enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of British subjects. That time will come, sir; but not in our day-no, not in our day. A century at the very least, perhaps two, must elapse before we can grant the boon of Ca. tholic emancipation.

Just my sentiments.

No, sir, they are my own; and farther I say, that to emancipate the Ca. tholics in order to destroy their religion, as is proposed many hundred times in the rival Journal, (blue and yellow,) is pure idiotry. I shall, therefore, not suffer Catholic emancipation.

What think you of Constable's Miscellany? You wish me to speak. The idea is an excellent one, entirely his own, and the speculation cannot fail of suc

Thousands of families that cannot afford to buy books, as they are sold in their original shape, will purchase these pretty little cheap periodicals, and many a fire-side will be enlightened. The selection of published works is judicious, and so in general is that of subjects to be treated of by Mr Constable's own authors; one most laughable exception there indeed is-History of Scotland, in three volumes, by William Ritchie, Esq.

SHEPHERD. What the deeyil !-Ritchie o' the Scotsman ?

TICKLER. Why, it is rumoured, even Whigham the Quaker, when he heard of it, cried out, Risus teneatis AMICI ?” Our excellent friend Constable committed a sad blunder in this; but he was speedily ashamed of it, and has scored out the most insignificant of all names from his list.

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

cess.

SHEPHERD.

Scored out his name?-And will Ritchie write three volumes of the History of Scotland after that? I never heard of such an insult. Yet Mr Constable was in the right ;-for only think for a moment of printing 15,000 copies of three volumes of a History of Scotland by William Ritchie ! But Mr Constable may just drap the volumes a'thegether; for there will aye be a kind oʻa disagreeable suspicion that Ritchie wrote them,—and that would be eneugh to damn the History, were it frae the pen of Dionysius Harlicarnensis.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

Dionysius Harlicarnensis !,

The same. I ken a' about him frae Tennant o' Dollar, author of Anster Fair.

TICKLER.
Here's Tennant's health, and that of John Baliol, his new tragedy.

SHEPHERD.

With all my heart ; but I wish people would give over writing tragedies. If they won't, then let them chuse tragical subjects; let them, as Aristotle says in his Poetics, purge our souls by pity and terror, and not set us asleep. The Bridal of Lammermuir is the best, the only tragedy since Shakspeare

TICKLER.

Try the anchovies. I forget if you skate, Hogg ?

SHEPHERD.

Yes, like a founder. I was at Duddingston Loch on the great day. Twa bands of music kept chearing the shade of King Arthur on his seat, and gave a martial character to the festivities. It was then, for the first time, that I mounted my cloak and spurs. I had a young leddie, you may weel guess that, on ilka arm; and it was pleasant to feel the dear timorous creturs clinging and pressing on a body's sides, every time their taes caught a bit crunkle on the ice, or an embedded chucky-stane. I thocht that between the twa they wad never hae gei'n ower till they had pu'd me doun on the bread oo my back. The muffs were just amazing, and the furbelows past a' enumeration. It was quite Polar. Then a’ the ten thousand people (there could na' be fewer) were in perpetual motion. Faith, the thermometer made them do that, for it was some fifty below zero. I've been at mony a bonspeil, but I never saw such a congregation on the ice afore. Once or twice it cracked, and the sound was fearsome,-a lang, sullen growl, as of some monster starta ing out o' sleep, and raging for prey. But the bits o' bairns just leuch, and never gied ower sliding; and the leddies, at least my twa, just gied a kind o' sab, and drew in their breath, as if they had been gaun in naked to the dooken on a cauld day; and the mirth and merriment were rifer than ever. Faith, I did make a dinner at the Club-house.

TICKLER

SHEPHERD.

Was the skating tolerable ?

No; intolerable. Puir conceited whalps! Gin you except Mr Tory o’ Prince's Street, wha's a handsome fallow, and as good a skaiter as ever spreadeagled ; the lave a' deserved drowning. There was Henry Cowburn, like a dominie, or a sticket minister, puttin' himself into a number o'attitudes, every ane clumsier and mair ackward than the ither, and nae doubt flatterin himself that he was the object o' universal admiration. The hail loch was laughing at him. The cretur can skate nane. Jemmy Simpson is a feckless bodie op the ice, and canna keep his knees straught. I couldna look at him without wondering what induced the cretur to write about Waterloo. The Skatin' Club is indeed on its last legs.

[blocks in formation]

That I did, Timothy—but ken you hoo? You will have seen how a' the newspapers roosed the skatin' o' an offisher, that they said lived in the Castle. Fools !-it was me-naebody but me. Ane o' my two leddies had a wig in her muff, geyan sair curled on the frontlet, and I pat it on the hair o my head. I then drew in my mouth, puckered my cheeks, made my een look fierce, hung my head on my left shouther, put my hat to the one side, and so, arms a-kimbo, off I went in a figure of 8, garring the crowd part like clouds, and circumnavigating the frozen ocean in the space of about two minutes. “ The curlers quat their roaring play,” and every tent cast forth its inmates, with a bap in the ae haun' and a gill in the ither, to behold the Offisher frae the Castle. The only fear I had was o' my long spurs ;-but they never got fankled ; and I finished with doing the 47th Proposition of Euclid, with mathematical precision. Jemmy Simpson, half an hour before, had fallen over the Pons assinorum.

Mr Editor, I fear that if in your articles you follow the spirit that guides your conversation, you will be as personal as Mr North himself. No intrusion on private character.

Private character ! If Mr James Simpson, or Mr Henry Cockburn, or myself, exhibit our figures or attitudes before ten thousand people, and cause all the horses in the adjacent pastures to half-die of laughter, may I not mention the disaster? Were not their feats celebrated in all the newspapers ? There it was said that they were the most elegant and graceful of volant men. What if I say in the next Number of the Magazine, that they had the appearance of the most pitiful prigs that ever exposed themselves as public performers? Besides, they are by far too old for such nonsense. They are both upwards of

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

« ForrigeFortsæt »