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a shilling or two may be added to in vain her flowers in flush and fragthe week's wages,-parsimony, may rance over every obscure nook of earth. accumulate a small capital in the sa- Simple and pure is the delight they vings bank sufficient to purchase an inspire. Not to the poet's eye alone old eight-day clock, a chest of drawers is the language of flowers addressed. for the wife, a curtained bed for the Those beautiful symbols are underlumber-place, which a little labour will stood by lowliest minds; and while convert into a bed-room. It is not to the philosophical Wordsworth speaks be thought that the pasture-fields be of the meanest flower that blows gicome every year greener, and the corn- ving a joy too deep for tears, so do all fields every harvest more yellow, mankind feel the exquisite truth of that the hedgerows grow to thicker Burns's more simple address to the fragrance, and the birch tree waves its mountain-daisy, which his ploughtresses higher in the air, and expands share had upturned. The one touches its white-rinded stem almost to the sympathies too profound to be general bulk of a tree of the forest,--and yet the other speaks as a son of the soil that there shall be no visible progress affected by the fate of the very sensefrom good to better in the dwelling of less flowers that spring from the bothose whose hands and hearts thus som of our common dust. cultivate the soil into rejoicing beauty. Generally speaking, there has been As the whole land prospers, so does a spirit of improvement at work, du
each individual dwelling. Every ten ring these last twenty years, upon all 1 years, the observing eye sees a new the Cottages in Scotland. The vil
expression on the face of the silent lages are certainly much neater and earth; the law of labour is no me- cleaner than formerly, and in very few lancholy lot ; for to industry the yoke respects, if any, positively offensive. is easy, and content is its own ex- Perhaps none of them have,—nor ever ceeding great reward.
will have,—the exquisite trimness, the Therefore, it does our heart good to long habitual and hereditary rustic look on a Cottage. Here the objections elegance, of the best villages of Engto straw-roofs have no application. A land. There, even the idle and worthfew sparrows chirping and fluttering in less have an instinctive love of what the eaves can do no great harm, and is decent, and orderly, and pretty in they serve to amuse the children. The their habitations. The very drunkard very baby in the cradle, when all the must have a well-sanded floor, a cleanfamily are in the fields, mother and swept hearth, clear-polished furniall, hears the cheerful twitter, and is ture, and uncobwebbed walls to the reconciled to solitude. The quantity room in which he quaffs, guzzles, and of corn that a few sparrows can eat, smokes himself into stupidity. His greedy creatures as they are,-cannot wife may be a scold, but seldom a be very deadly; and it is chiefly in slattern, -his children ill taught, but the winter time that they attack the well apparelled. Much of this is obstacks, when there is much excuse to servable even among the worst of the be made on the plea of hunger. As to class; and, no doubt, such things must the destruction of a little thatch, why, also have their effect in tempering and there is not a boy about the house, restraining excesses. Whereas, on the above ten years, who is not a thatcher, other hand, the house of a well-beand there is no expense in such re- haved, well-doing English villager is pairs. Let the honey-suckle too steal a perfect model of comfort and proup the wall, and even blind unchecked priety. In Scotland, the houses of the a corner of the kitchen-window. Its dissolute are always dens of dirt, and fragrance will often cheer unconscious disorder, and distraction. All ordily the labourer's heart, as, in the mid- nary goings-on are inextricably conday-hour of rest, he sits dandling his fused,-meals eaten in different nooks, child on his knee, or converses with and at no regular hour,—nothing in the passing pedlar. Let the moss- its right place or time,-the whole rose-tree flourish, that its bright blush- abode as if on the eve of a flitting; balls may dazzle in the kirk the eyes while, with few exceptions, even in of the lover of fair Helen Irwin, as the dwellings of the best families in they rise and fall with every move- the village, one may detect occasional ment of a bosom yet happy in its virforgetfulness of trifling matters, that, gin innocence. Nature does not spread if remembered, would be found greatly
conducive to comfort,--occasional in- over its pools. Here and there a cotsensibilities to what would be grace- tage,-not above half-a-dozen in all,ful to their condition, and might be se- one low down in the holm, another on cured at little expense and less trouble, a cliff beside the waterfall,—that is -occasional blindness to minute de the mill, another breaking the horiformities that mar the aspect of the zon in its more ambitious station, household, and which an awakened and another far up at the hill-foot, eye would sweep away as absolute nui- where there is not a single tree, only sances. Perhaps the very depth of shrubs and brackens. On a bleak day, their affections, the solemnity of their there is but little beauty in such a religious thoughts,--and the reflective glen ; but when the sun is cloudless, spirit in which they carry on the war. and all the light serene, it is a place fare of life, hide from them the per- where poet or painter may see visions, ception of what, after all, is of such and dream dreams, of the very age of very inferior moment, and even create gold. At such seasons, there is a a sort of austerity of character which homefelt feeling of humble reality, makes them disregard, too much, trifles blending with the emotions of imagithat appear to have no influence or nation. In such places, the low-born, connexion with the essence of weal or high-souled poets of old breathed forth
But if there be any truth in their songs, and hymns, and elegies, this, it affords an explanation rather the undying lyrical poetry of the heart than a justification.
of Scotland. Our business at present, however, is Take the remotest Cottage first in rather with single Cottages than with order, Hill-F00T, and hear who are villages, which of course will be the its inmates—the Schoolmaster and his subject of a future leading article. spouse. The school-house stands on a We Scotch people have, for some years little unappropriated piece of groundpast, been doing all we could to make at least it seems to be so—quite at the ourselves ridiculous, by claiming for head of the glen--for there the hills our capital the name of Modern Athens, sink down, on each side, and afford an and talking all manner of nonsense easy access to the seat of learning from about a city which stands nobly on its two neighbouring vales, both in the own proper foundation, while we have same parish. Perhaps thirty scholars kept our mouths shut about the beauty are there taught—and with their small of our hills and vales, and the rational fees, and his small salary, Allan East happiness that everywhere overflows on is contented. Allan was originally our native land. Our character is to intended for the Church, but some be found in the country; and, there peccadilloes obstructed his progress fore, gentle reader, behold along with with the Presbytery, and he never us a small Scottish glen. It is not was a preacher. That disappointment above a mile, or a mile and a half of all his hopes was for many years long,—its breadth somewhere about a grievously felt, and somewhat soured fourth of its length; a fair oblong, his mind with the world. It is often imsheltered and secluded by a line of va- possible to recover one single false step ried eminences, on some of which lies in the slippery road of life-and Allan the power of cultivation, and over Easton, year after year, saw himself others the vivid verdure peculiar to a falling farther and farther into the pastoral region; while, telling of dis- rear of almost all his contemporaries. turbed times past for ever, stand yon- One became a minister, and got a der the ruins of an old fortalice, or '- manse, with a stipend of thirty chalkeep, picturesque in its deserted de- ders ; another grew into an East India cay. The plough has stopt at the Nabob; one married the laird's widow, edge of the profitable and beautiful and kept a pack of hounds—another coppice-woods, or encircled the tall expanded into a colonel--one cleared a elm-grove. The rocky pasturage, with plum by a cotton-mill-another beits clovery and daisied turf, is alive came the Cræsus of a bank-while with sheep and cattle,-its briary Allan, who had beat them all hollow knolls with birds,-its broom and at all the classes, wore second-hand whins with bees,-and its wimpling clothes, and lived on the same fare burn with trouts and minnows glan- with the poorest hind in the parish. cing through the shallows, or leaping He had married, rather too late, the among the cloud of insects that glitter partner of his frailties--and after many trials, and, as he thought, not a few quence. Old Susan keeps a sharp persecutions, he got settled at last, warning eye upon her husband on all when his head, not very old, was get such occasions ; but Allan braves its ting grey, and his face somewhat glances, and is forgiven. wrinkled. His wife, during his worst We see only the uncertain glimmer poverty, had gone again into service, of their dwelling through the low-lying the lot, indeed, to which she had been mist; and therefore we cannot de born; and Allan had struggled and scribe it, as if it were clearly before starved upon private teaching. His our eyes. But should you ever chance appointment to the parish-school had, to angle your way up to HILL-FOOT, therefore, been to them both a blessed admire Allan Easton's flower-garden, elevation. The office was respectable and the jargonel pear-tree on the --and loftier ambition had long been southern gable. The climate is somedead. Now they are old people--consi- what high, but it is not cold ; and derably upwards of sixty-and twenty except when the spring-frosts come years' professional life have converted late and sharp, there do all blossoms Allan Easton, once the wild and eccen- and fruits abound, on every shrub and tric genius, into a staid, solemn, formal, tree native to Scotland. You will and pedantic pedagogue. All his scho- hardly know how to distinguish-or lars love him, for even in the discharge rather, to speak in clerkly phrase, to of such very humble duties, talents analyse the sound prevalent over the make themselves felt and respected; fields and air, for it is made up of and the kindness of an affectionate and that of the burn, of bees, of old Sua once sorely wounded, but now healed san's wheel, and the hum of the busy heart, is never lost upon the susceptic school ! But now it is the play-hour, ble imaginations of the young. Allan and Allan Easton comes into his kits has sometimes sent out no contempti- chen for his frugal dinner. Brush up ble scholars, as scholars go in Scot- your Latin, and out with a few of the land, to the universities ; and his largest trouts in your pannier. Susan heart has warmed within him when fries them in fresh butter and oate he has read their names, in the news- meal—the grey-haired pedagogue asks paper from the manse, in the list of a blessing--and a merrier man, within successful competitors for prizes. Du- the limits of becoming mirth, you ring vacation-time, Allan and his never passed hour's talk withal. So spouse leave their cottage locked up, much for Allan Easton and Susan his and disappear, none know exactly spouse. whither, on visits to an old friend or You look as if you wished to ask, who twó, who have not altogether forgot- inhabits the Cottagem-on the left handten them in their poverty. During yonder—that stares upon us with four the rest of the year, his only out-of- front windows, and pricks up its ears doors amusement is an afternoon's like a new-started hare. Why, sir, angling, an art in which it is univer- that was once a Shooting-box. It sally allowed he excels all mortal men, was built about twenty years ago, by both in river and loch; and often, a sporting gentleman, of two excel. during the long winter nights, when lent double-barrelled guns, and three the shepherd is walking by his dwell. staunch pointers. He attempted to ing, to visit his “ain lassie," down live there, several times, from the 12th the burn, he hears Allan's fiddle play- of August till the end of September, ing, in the solitary silence, some one and went pluffing disconsolately among of those Scottish melodies, that we the hills, from sunrise to sunset. He know not whether it be cheerful or has been long married and dead; and plaintive, but soothing to every heart the Box, they say, is now haunted. It that has been at all acquainted with has been attempted to be let furnishgrief. Rumour says too, but rumoured, and there is now a board to that has not a scrupulous conscience, that effect hung out like an escutcheon. the Schoolmaster, when he meets with Picturesque people say, it ruins the pleasant company, either at home or whole beauty of the glen; but we must à friend's house, is not averse to a not think so, for it is not in the power hospitable cup, and that then the me- of the ugliest house that ever was mories of other days crowd upon his built to do that, although, to effect brain, and loosen his tongue into elo. such a purpose, it is unquestionably
a skilful contrivance. The window. most tyrannical mere housekeeper that shutters have been closed for many ever thumped a servant lass with the years, and the chimneys look as if beetle. These three are her daughthey had breathed their last. It stands ters. First, Girzie, the eldest-seemin a perpetual eddy, and the ground ingly older than her mother, for she is shelves so all around it, that there is somewhat hard-favoured, and strong barely room for a barrel to catch the red hair dangling over a squint eye, rain-drippings from the slate-eaves. It is apt to give an expression of adit be indeed haunted, pity the poor vanced years, even to a youthful virghost. You may have it on a lease of gin. Vaccination was not known in seven years, for merely paying the Girzie's babyhood, but she is, nevertaxes: Every year it costs severał theless, a clean-skinned creature, and pounds in advertisements. What a her full bosom is white as snow. She jointure-house it would be for a relict! is what is delicately called a strapper, By name, WINDY-KNOWE.
rosy-armeil as the inorning, and not a Let us descend, then, from that most little of an Aurora about the feet and inclement front, into the lown bound- ancles. She makes her way, in all aries of the Holm. The farm-steading household affairs, through every imcovers a goodly portion of the penin- pediment, and will obviously prove, sula shaped by the burn, that here whenever the experiment is made, a looks almost like a river. With its out- most excellent wife. Mysie, the sehouses it forms three sides of a square, cond daughter, is more composed, more and the fourth is composed of a set of genteel, and sits sewing, with her a jolly stacks, that will keep the thrash- favourite occupation, for she has very ing-machine at work during all the neat hands; and is, in fact, the milwinter. The interior of the square re- liner and mantua-maker for all the joices in a glorious dunghill, (O breathe house. She could no more lift that not the name,) that will cover every enormous pan of boiling water off the field with luxuriant harvests—fifteen fire, than she could fly, which in the bolls of wheat to the acre. There the grasp of Girzie is safely larxled on cattle-oxen yet "lean, and lank, and the hearth. Mysie has somewhat of brown as is the ribbed sea-sand,” will, a pensive look, as if in love and we in a few months, eat themselves up, have heard that she is betrothed to on straw and turnip, into obesity. young Mr Rentoul, the divinity stuThere rurkeys walk demure-there dent, who lately made a speech before geese waddle, and there the feathery- the Anti-patronage Society, and therelegged king of Bantam struts among fore may reasonably expect very soon his seraglio, keeping pertly aloof from to get a kirk. But look-there comes double-combed Chanticleer, that squire dancing in from the ewe-bughts, the of dames, crowing to his partlets. bright-eyed Bessy, the flower of the There a cloud of pigeons often descends flock, the most beautiful girl in Alamong the corny chaff, and then whirrs mondale, and fit to be bosom-burs! off to the uplands. No chained mas- of the Gentle Shepheral himself! ( tiff looking grimly from the kennel's that we were a poet, to sing the innomouth, but a set of cheerful and saga- cence of her budding breast! But cious colleys are seen sitting on their Heaven preserve us what is the anhurdies, or worrying ither in diver- gelic creature about? Making rumblesion.' A shaggy colt or two, and a de-thumps ! Now she bruises the pobrooil mare, with a spice of blood, and tatoes and cabbages as with pestle and a foal at her heels, know their shed, mortar! Ever and anon licking the and evidently are favourites with the butter off her fingers, and then dashfamily. Out comes the master, a rosya ing in the salt ! Methinks her laugh cheeked carl, upwards of six feet high, is out of all bounds loud-and unless broad-shouldered, with a blue bonnet my eyes deceived me, that stout lout and velveteen breeches, a man not to whispered in her delicate ear some be jostled on the crown o' the cause-, coarse jest, that made the eloquent way, and a match for any horse-couper blood mount up into her not undefrom Bewcastle; or gipsy from Yet- lighted countenance. Heavens and holm. But let us into the kitchen. earth ! -perhaps an assignation in the There's the wife-a bit tidy body- barn, or byre, or bush aboon Traquair. and pretty withal-more authoritative But the long dresser is set out with ia ber quiet demeanour, than the dinner-the guileman's, bonnet is re
verently laid aside-and if any stomach twenty different families, living. miles assembled there be now empty, it is apart. Every other day in the weeknot likely, judging from appearances, for there is but one Sabbath either to that it will be in that state again be herself or Sampson-she drives coals, fore next Sabbath-and it is now but or peat, or wood, or lime, or stones for the middle of the week. Was it not the roads. She is clothed in a man's my Lord Byron who liked not to see coat, an old rusty beaver, and a red women eat ? Poompoo-nonsense. petticoat. Aggy never was a beauty, We like to see them not only eat—but and now she is almost frightful, with devour. Not a set of teeth round that a formidable beard, and a rough voice kitchen-dresser, that is not white as —and violent gestures, encouraging the driven snow.
Breath too (bating the overladen enemy of the Philisonions) sweet as dawn's-dew-the tines. But the poor creature, as soon whole female frame full of health, as she enters her hut, is silent, pafreshness, spirit, and animation! Awaytient, and affectionate, at her daugha all delicate wooers, thrice high-fantas- ter's bed-side. They sleep on the same tical! The diet is wholesome-and chaff-mattress, and she hears, during the sleep will be sound-therefore eat the dead of night, her daughter's away, Bessy-nor fear to laugh, al- slightest moan. Her voice is not rough though your pretty mouth be full- at all, when the poor old creature says for we are no poet, to madden into her solitary prayers; nor, we may
be misanthropy at your mastication ; and, well assured, is one singl whisper in spite of the heartiest ineal ever vir- unheard in heaven. gin ate, to us these lips are roses still, Your eyes are wandering away to “ thy eyes are lode-stars, and thy the eastern side of the vale, and they breath sweet air.” Would for thy have fixed themselves on the Cottage sake we had been born a shepherd- of the Seven OAKS. The grove is a groom ! No-no-no! For some few noble one; and, indeed, these are the joyous years mayest thou wear thy only timber-trees in the valley. There silken snood unharmed, and silence is a tradition belonging to the grove, with thy songs the linnet among the but we shall tell it some other time; broom, at the sweet hour of prime. now, we have to do with that meanAnd then mayest thou plight thy troth looking Cottage, all unworthy of such in all the warmth of innocence-to magnificent shelter. It is slated, and some ardent, yet thoughtful youth, has a cold cheerless look,_almost a who will carry his
bride exultingly to look of indigence. The walls are sorhis own low-roofed home-toil for her did in the streaked white-wash,-a and the children at her knees, through wisp of straw supplies the place of a summer's heat and winter's cold—and broken pane,-the door seems as if it sit with her, in the kirk, when long were inhospitable,-and every object years have gone by, a.comely matron, about is in untended disorder. The attended by daughters acknowledged green pool in front, with its floating to be fair-but neither so fair, nor so straws and feathers, and miry edge, is good, nor so pious, as their mother. at once unhealthy and needless; the
What a contrast to the jocund Holm hedgerows are full of gaps, and open is the Rowan-Tree HUT- so still, at the roots; the few garments spread and seemingly so desolate! It is close upon them seem to have stiffened in upon the public road, and yet so low, the weather, forgotten by the person that you might pass it without obser- who placed them there; and halfving its turf-roof. There live old Aggy starved young cattle are straying about Robinson, the carrier, and her con- in what once was a garden. Wretched sumptive daughter. Old Aggy has sight it is; for that dwelling, although borne that epithet for twenty years, never beautiful, was once the tidiest and her daughter is not under sixty. and best kept in all the district. But That poor creature is bed-ridden and what has misery to do with the comhelpless, and has to be fed almost like fort of its habitation ? a child. Old Aggy has for many years
The owner of that house was once had the same white pony-well na- a man well to do in the world ; but med Sampson--that she drives three he minded this world's goods more times a-week, all the year round, to than was fitting to do, and made mamand from the nearest market-town, mon his god. Abilities he possessed carrying all sorts of articles to nearly far beyond that of the common run of