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TICKLER Don't you think I would have been an admirable Moderator?

SHEPHERD. You're just best as you are a gentleman at large. You're scarcely weel adapted for ony profession-except maybe a fizician. You wad hae fann a pulse wi' a true Esculawpian solemnity; and that face o' yours, when you look'd glum or grusome, wad hae frichtened families into fees, and held patients down to sick-beds, season after season. O man ! but you wad hae had gran' practice.

I could not have endured the quackery of the thing, Hogg.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

Haud your tongue. There's equal quackery in a' things alike. Look at a sodger—that is an offisher-a' wavin' wi' white plumes, glitterin' wi' gowd, and ringin wi' iron--gallopin' on a grey horse, that caves the foam frae its fiery nostrils, wi' a mane o'clouds, and a tail that flows like a cataract; mus. tachies about the mouth like a devourin' cannibal, and proud fierce een, that seem glowerin' for an enemy into the distant horrison—his long swurd swinging in the scabbard wi' a fearsume clatter aneath Bellerophon's belly—and his doup dunshin' down among the spats o' a teegger's skin, or that o'a leopard -till the sound o' the trumpet gangs up to the sky, answered by the rampaugin' Arabs," ha, ha"--and a' the stopped street stares on the aid-de-camp o the stawf, writers'-clerks, bakers, butchers, and printers' deevils, a' wushin' they were sodgers—and leddies frae balconies, where they sit shooin' silkpurses in the sunshine, start up, and wi' palpitatin' hearts, send looks o' love and languishment after the Flyin' Dragon.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

Mercy on us, James, you are a perfect Tyrtæus.

0! wad you believ't-but it's true that at school that symbol o'extermination was ca'd Fozie Tam?

NORTH

SHEPHERD.

Spare us, James-spare us. The pain in our side returns.

Every callant in the class could gie him his licks; and I recollec' ance a lassie gi'en him a bloody nose. He durstna gang into the dookin aboon his doup, for fear o' drownin', and even then wi' seggs; and as for speelin' trees, he never ventured aboon the rotten branches o' a Scotch fir. He was feared for ghosts, and wadna sleep in a room by himsell ; and ance on a Halloween, he swarfed at the apparition o' a lowin' turnip. But noo he's a warrior, and fought at Waterloo. Yes--Fozie Tam wears a medal, for he overthrew Napoleon. Ca' ye na that quackery, wi' a vengeance?

Why, James, you do not mean surely thus to characterise the British soldier?

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

No. The British army, drawn up in order o' battle, seems to me an earthly image of the power of the right hand of God. But still what I said was true, and nae ither name had he at school but Fozie Tam. Oh, sirs! when I see what creturs like him can do, I could greet that I'm no a sodger.

What the deuce can they do, that you or I, James, cannot do as well, or beta ter?

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

I wonder to hear you askin'. Let you or me gang into a public room at ae door, amang a hunder bonnie lassies, and Fozie Tam in full uniform at anither, and every star in the firmament will shine on him alone-no a glint for ane o us twa--no a smile or a syllable--we can only see the back o' their necks.

And bare enough they probably are, James.
Nae great harm in that, Mr Tickler, for a bonny bare neck can do naebody

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

ill, and to me has aye rather the look o' innocence-bụt maun a poet, or ora

tor

TICKLER

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER

Be neglected an account of Fozie Tam ?

And by mony o' the verra same creturs that at a great leeterary sooper the nicht afore were sae affable and sae flatterin', askin' me to receet my ain verses, and sing my ain sangs,-drinkin' the health o' the Author of the Queen's Wake in toddy out o' his ain tumbler-shakin' hauns at partin', and in the confusion at the foot o'the stairs, puttin' their faces sae near mine, that their sweet warm breath was maist like a faint, doubtfu' kiss, dirlin' to ane’s verra heart-and after a' this, and mair than this, only think o' being clean forgotten, overlooked, or despised, for the sake oʻFozie Tam!

We may have our revenge. Wait till you find him in plain clothes-on half-pay, James, or sold out-and then, like Romeo, when the play is over, and the satin breeches off, he walks behind the scenes, no better than a tavernwaiter, or a man-milliner's apprentice.

There's some comfort in that, undoubtedly. Still I wish I had been a “soldier in my youth.” I wadna care sae muckle about shoemakers; but let even a tailor enlist, and nae sooner has he got a feather on his head, than he can whussle out the proudest lass in the village.

Somewhat too much of this. None of us, perhaps, have had any great reason to complain and really, at our time of life

Agreed. You were at the Professional Concert, James, t'other night, I think?

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

Faith no.

Catch me at a Professional Concert again, and I'll gie a sooper to the hail orchestra.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

These fiddlers carry things with a very high hand indeed, and the ama. teurs, as they call themselves, are even more insufferable. There they go off at score, every wrist wrigglin in some wretched concerto, and the face of every scraper on catgut, as intent on the miscreated noise, as if not only his own and his family's subsistence depended on it, but also their eternal salvation !

And they ca' that music! It may be sae to them, for there's nae sayin' what a man's lugs may be brought to by evil education-but look at the puir audience, and the hardest heart maun pity them, for they're in great pain, and wad fain be out—but that maunna be they maun sit still there on the verra same bit o' the hard bench—without speakin’or even whisperin'-for twathree-four hours the room het and close-not a drap o' onything to drink

-nae air but the flirt o' a fan-the cursed concertos gettin' louder and louder the fiddlers' faces mair intolerably impudent the stronger they strum

Concerts are curses, certainly. The noise made at them by persons on fiddles, and other instruments, ought to be put down by the public. Let Yaniewicz, and Finlay Dun, and Murray, play solos of various kinds—divine airs of the great old masters, illustrious or obscure-airs that may lap the soul in Elysium. Let them also, at times, join their eloquent violins, and harmoniously discourse in a celestial colloquy; they are men of taste, feeling, and genius. Let the fine-eared spirits of Italy, and Germany, and Scotland, enthral our

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

Haud your tongue, Mr North, you're gettin' ower flowery. What I say's this-that, wi' the exception o' some dizzen, ae half o'whom are mere priggish pretenders, every ither leevin' soul at a concert sits in a state o' sulky stupefaction. And to pay five shillings, or seven, or aiblins half a guinea, for

tickets to be admitted, for a long winter's nicht; into purgatory—or without offence, say at ance, into hell!

The fiddling junto should be kicked to the devil. Let the public absent herself from such concerts, and then we may have music—but not till then. The performers must be starved out of their insolent self-sufficiency. Nothing else will do.

TICKLER.

NORTH.

We deserve it. We must needs be Athenians in all things; and, in fear of being reckoned unscientific, hundreds of people, not generally esteemed idiots, will crowd to a concert, at which they know, that before they ha sat half an hour, they will most devoutly desire that fiddles had never been found out, and the arm of every fiddler palsied beyond the power of future torments. .

Why dinna ye gie them a dressin' in the Magazine ?
Perhaps, James, they are beneath print-

Na, na; gie them a skelp or twa-for they're as sensitive as skinned paddocks.

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

I must have some talk with my friend Sandy Ballantyne, with whom, by the by, I have not smoked a cigar for some moons bygone, for he knows I love music, and that I could sit from sunset to sunrise beneath the power of his matchless violin. But says I, my dear Sandy-My dear Sandy, says

You may just as weel at ance haud your tongue, as to speak to him, or the like o' him, on the subject. He's far ower gran' a sceeantific player to mind ae word that you say ; and him, and George Thamson, and George Hogarth, and the lave o' the yamatoors, will just lauch at ye as an ignoramus, that kens naething o' acowstics, or the dooble-dooble-baiss, or Batehoven, or Mowsart, or that Carle Weber.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

I have better hopes, James. The feeling, taste, knowledge of the majority must be consulted. Science must not be sacrificed, for without sciencewhat would be a concert? But whenever five hundred human beings are collected in one room, not for punishment but enjoyment, they are entitled, on the score of their humanity, to some small portion of pleasure, and none but directors, with black hearts, will consign them all up to unmitigated torments. I am confident, therefore, that Mr Alexander BallantyneHe'll

cry whish,” if you sae much as whisper, and wull rouse to the skies thae cursed concert-chiels in the orchestra coming out wi' a crash that crushes in the drums o' your lugs, pierces the verra cieling, and dumfounders the understanding by a confused noise o' naithingness, frae which a' sense is banished ; and that has nae mair claim to be ca'd music than the routin' o'ten thousand kye at Fakirk Tryst.

It is many years, James, since I have been so much pleased with any one's singing as with Miss Noel's. She is a sweet, gentle, modest creature, and her pipe has both power and pathos.

She's just ane o' the verra best singers I ever heard in a' my life-and the proof o't is, that although an English lassie, she can sing sweetly a Scottish sang. That tries the heart at ance, you see, Mr North ; and unless the singer be innocent and amiable, and fu' o' natural sensibility, such as a father wad like in his ain dochter, she needna try ane o' our lyrics. Here's Miss Noel's health, and a' that's gude to her!

Vocal music, James, when good, how divine ! Your own fair young daughter sitting with her arm on your knee, and looking up in her old father's face,

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

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SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

while her innocent lips distil sounds that melt into his yearning heart, and her blue eyes fill with happy tears under the pensive charm of her own melody!

I canna conceive a purer happiness. O man, Mr North, my dear, dear sir, why dinna, why wunna ye marry? You that are sae familiar in imagination wi'the haill range o' a' pawrents'thochts, and feelings.-Oh! why, why sudna ye marry ?

James-look on this crutch-that slit shoe these chalk-stoned fingers-hear that short cat-cough

Deil the fears. Mony a young woman wad loup at the offer. Ye hae that in your ee, sir, that takes a woman's heart. And then, Fame, Fame, Famè, that's the idol they worship upon their knees-witness the Duke o' Wellington and mony ithers.

It would kill me quite to be refused.

Refused! There's no a woman, either maid or widow, in a' Scotland, that's reached the years o' understandin', that wad refuse you. The world wad think ber mad. I ken mair than a dizzen, no out o' their teens yet, that's dyin' for you.-Isna that true, Mr Tickler ?

True !-Ay, true as Watertonon the Cayman. But North is vain enough already of his empiry over the fair sex—too much so, indeed, I fear, ever to confine himself within the narrow limits of the conjugal state. He is like the air, “a chartered libertine.”

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

Think shame o' yoursel', Mr Tickler. That never was Mr North's character, even in lusty youth-head. Ma faith, he was ower muckle o' a man. Open bosoms werena the treasures he coveted-in his estimation no worth the riflin'. He has had, beyond a' doubt, his ain dear, secret, sighin', and sabbin". hours, when there were nae starnies in heaven, but when twa lampin' een, far mair beautifu' than them, were close upon him, wi' their large líquid lustre, till his gazing soul overflowed with unendurable bliss. When

Good heavens, James, remember those secrets were confided to you at the Confessional !

NORTH.

SHEPHERD).

They are safe as gin they were my ain, Mr North. How's the Ludge lookin' this spring ?

NORTH.

In great beauty. The garden-wall you abused so three years ago is now one blush of blossoms. What you called the " wee pookit shrubs,” now form a balmy wilderness, populous with bees and birds-all the gravel-walks are now overshadowed with the cool dimness of perpetual twilight. Ten yards off you cannot see the house-only its rounded chimneys--and, indeed, on a chosen day of cloudless sunshine, yet unsultry air, you might imagine yourself beneath the skies of Italy, and in the neighbourhood of Rome.

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NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

Just o' Auld Reekie, gin you like. Are the Fife hens layin'?
Yes, James--and Tapitoury is sitting.
That's richt. , Weel, o' a' the hou-touddie's I ever ate, yon species is the

ist truly gigantic. I could hae 'en my Bible-oath that they were turkies. Then I thocht,“ surely they maun be capons ;” but when I howked into the inside o' ane o' them, and brought out a spoonfu' o* yellow eggs, frae the size o'a pepper-corp to that o'a boy's bools, and up to tlie bulk o' a ba' o' thread,

thinks I to mysel, sure aneuch they are hens," and close upon the layin'. Maist a pity to kill them!

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

James, you shall have a dozen eggs to set, and future ages will wonder at the poultry of the Forest. Did you ever see a capercailzie?

Never. They have been extinct in Scotland for fifty years. But the truth is, Mr North, that all domesticated fowl would live brawly if turned out into the wilds and woods. They might lose in size, but they would gain in sweetness-a wild sweetness--caught frae leaves and heather-berries, and the products o' desert places, that are blooming like the rose. A tame turkey wad be a wild ane in sax months; and oh, sir! it wad be gran' sport to see and hear a great big bubbly-jock gettin' on the wing in a wood, wi' a loud gobble, gobble, gobble, redder than ordinar in the face, and the ugly feet o' him danglin' aneath his heavy hinder-end, till the hail brought him down with a thud and a squelch amang the astonished pointers !

NORTH.
I have not taken a game certificate this year, James. Indeed

You're just becomin' perfectly useless a'thegether, Mr North ; and then look at the Magazine--you would seem no to hae ta’en out a game certificate there either—and there are poachers on the manor.

I never cut up anybody now-a-days—for old age, James, like an intimate knowledge of the Fine Arts" Emollit mores nec sinit esse feros."

You're far ower good-natured, Mr North ; and the corbies, thinkin' there's nae gun about the house, or, at least, nae powther and lead, are beginnin' to come croakin' close in upon the premises wi' their ugly thrapples, the foul carrion ! You should lay brown Bess ower the garderi-dyke, and send the hail into their brains for them, and then hing the brutes up by the heels frae a stab, wi' their bloody beaks downmost, till a' the tribe keep aloof in their dark neuks frae the smell o' kindred corruption; or gin you wad only gie me the gun

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

Poo-poo-James-the vermin murder one another; and nothing you know is more common than to come upon a poor emaciated dying devil in a ditch, surrounded by birds of the same nest, who keep hopping about at some little distance, narrowing and narrowing the circle, as the croak of the carrion gets more hoarse and husky, till they close in upon the famished fowl in his last blindness, making prey of a carcase that is hardly worth tearing in pieces, a fleshless bundle of fetid feathers, here and there bedabbled with thin blood, changed almost into water by that alchemist--Hunger.

TICKLER
Were the hares numerous in the Forest last season, James ?

SHEPHERD. Just atween the twa. I gripped about a bunder and forty wi' the grews. I never recollec them rin stronger-perfec' witches and warlocks. What for cam ye never out?

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

I have given up the sports of the field, too, James-even angling itself. Weel, I get fonder and fonder o grewin' every season. My heart loups when Poossie starts frae the rashes wi' her lang hornlike lugs and crooked fud, the slut, and before she sees the dowgs, keeps ganging rather leisurely up the knowe-till catching a glimpse o' Claverse, doon drap her lugs a' at ance, and laying her belly to the brae, awa' she flees, Claverse turning her a thousand times, till, wi' a desperate spang, he flings himsel on her open-mouthedcaterwaulin as o' weans greetin' for sook at midnight, and then a's husht, and puir Poossie dead as a herring.

NORTH.
You seem melancholy, Tickler a penny for your thoughts.

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