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SHEPHERD.

Mixed amang these were many middle-aged men, wi naithin' verra ken. speckle about them, but a steady dour look no to be penetrated, and a callous cruelty in their e'en, sic as I ance observed among a knot o' Englishers at an execution in Embro', who aye kept whisperin' to ane anither, when the Forger was stannin' on the scaffold, and then lookin' at him, and then rather lauchin' though he had been ane o' their ain gang afore condemnation.

NORTH.

Greeks, James, Greeks.

SHEPHERD.

Then, oh sir! oh sir! only think on't; white silvery-haired heads belang.ing to men atween seventy and eighty years o' age, or perhaps ayont fourscore, were interposed amang the sitters round that terrible table. Some o' these auld men had as reverend countenances as ony elder o' the kirk-high and intellectual noses and foreheads--some wi' gold-mounted specs—and they held the cairds in their haun's just as if they had been Bibles, wi' grave

and solemn-ay, even pious expression. And ever and anon great shoals oʻsiller were becomin' theirs, which they scarcely pretended to look at-but still they continued and continued playin', like images.

NORTH

No dream that, James. You must have been in a Hell.

SHEPHERD.

Whisht. But a' the scenę began to break up into irregularity; for the soul in sleep is like a ship in an arm o' the sea among mountains. The wund comes a hundreil opposite airts, and gin she hasna' let drap her anchor, (equivalent to the soul lying dreamless,) she has sair wark to get back to the open

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SHEPHERD.

The police-officers, I presume, broke your dream.

No, Mr North, it was finally my ain distracted spirit that kicked and spurred itsel' awake-but you shall bear. The goblins a' began to rage without ony apparent cause, and the hail pairty to toss about like trees in a storm, frae the bairns to the auld men. And a'at ance, there was the flash and the crack o'a pistol, and a bonnie fair-hair'd boy fell aff his chair a' in a low, for the discharge had set him on fire-and bluidy, hluidy was his pale face, as his ain brither lifted his shattered head frae the floor.

NORTII.

My God, James, did you not awake then ?

SHEPHERD. A wake! I didna' ken I was sleepin'. I wush I had, for it was a dismal hour. Nane o' the auld grey-headed men inoved a muscle-but they buttoned up their pouches-and tuk their great-coats aff pegs on the wa', and without speakin' disappeared. Sae did the lave, only wi' fear and fright--and nane but me and the twa brithers was left—brithers, I saw, they were, for like were they as twa flowers, the ane o' which has had its stalk broken, and its head withered, while the ither, although unhurt, seems to droop and mourn, and to hae lost maist o' its beauty. [ There is truth-sad truth in dreams.

NORTU.

SHEPHERD.

I heard him ravin' about his father and his mother, and the name o' the place the auld folk lived in—and ane he ca'd Caroline! His dead brither's sweetheart! We were on our knees beside the corpse, and he tore open the waistcoat and shirt, and put his hand to his brither's breast, in mad desperation o' hope to feel the heart beatin'. But the last sob was sobbed-and then he looked up in my face, and glowered at me like ane dimented, and asked me wha I was, and if it was me that had killed William. A'the time our knees were dabbled in the bluid-and a thousan' ghaistly lichts, and shapes, and faces, wavered afore my een, and I was sick as death.

What the deuce are you two talking about there, and what's the matter with the Shepherd, his face is as white as a sheet?

TICKLER

NORTH.

NORTH

SHEPHERD. I cried out to the puir fellow that I was the Ettrick Shepherd, and wud tak him to Eltrive, awa' fra a'the horrors o' Hell and Satan. And then I thocht, “ Oh, dear!-oh, dear !-what wud I gie if this were but a bluidy dream !"-And thank God, a dream it was, for I brake through the trammels o'sleep wi' a groan, and a shriek, and a shiver, and a shudder, and a yell-and a happy man was I to see the sweet calm moon in the midnight lift, and to hear the murmur o'the Yarrow glidin' awa' through the silent beauty o' reposin' Nature.

James, you have affected me-But let us think no more about it.-Have you heard Master Aspull, James ?

SHEPHERD. Weel, as sure's ony thing, Mr North, yon’s a maist extraordinar prodigy. He's music personified. His entire soul is in his ear, and yon wee bit inspired han's o' his mysteriously execute the bidding o' the genius within, and at aince delight and astonish.

Why don't young ladies perform on the piano better than they usually do, think ye, James? Do you generally admire their singing?

SHEPHERD. Me admire the singing o' the Edinburgh leddies? They hae neither taste nor feeling--all taucht singers, after some parteclar moddle for ilk parteclar tune, which they stick to like grim death, without e'er askin' questions, like a parcel o' mockin' birds. Nae bursts o'native feeling, inspired at the moment by some turn in the strain-nae sudden pawthos to bring the tear into your eenae lively liltin' awa like a rising laverock, when the hymn should brighten in the sunshine o' the soul's expanding joy-nae plaintive pause, maist like a faint, and then a dying away o' the life o' soun' into a happy and a holy death -but everlastingly the same see-saw—the same stap at the foot o' the hill, and the same scamper up—the same helter-skelter across the flat, and the same cautious ridin' down the stony declivities. In short, their singing's perfectly tiresome, and gin it wer na that I ken them itherwise, I should believe that they had nane o' them ony souls !

Of all the staring troopers on the street I ever beheld in any metropolis, the Edinburgh ladies (old, young, and middle-aged) are the most bare-faced and shaineless. Is there anything remarkable in my appearance ?

Naething ava, except your hicht and handsomeness, your fine ruddy cheeks and silvery locks-a star seen through a snow-cloud.

All their eyes, black, blue, grey, and green, from the small blear to the great gorgle, are thrust into my face. Some ladies look as they threatened to bite me-others are only hindered, by the power of a good early education, from falling on my neck and kissing me—some, with open mouths, are lost in astonishment, and, forgetting all the world but me, capsize the dandies--others go mincing by with suppressed titter or leering laugh-but not one of them all (and I mention the fact not in spite, but the deepest humility) passes by without making me the sole object of her ken. I wish to have the cause of all this explained—what have I said ? --what have I done?-or am I, in good truth, the most extraordinary-looking man that has yet appeared in the world, and doomed to universal wouder all the ilays of my life?

Baith pairties are to blame. You see, Mr Tickler, you haud your head, as I observed, ower Leigh-pane better entitled to do sae--and I've seen you inysel, wi' a lang hat-crape hanging ilown your back, when you .wasna in murnins-that surtout is very yelegant, but no common on a man o' sixtyyou never walk slower than sax miles an hour, and that stick or cane o' yours is kenspecle in a crowd, and would gie a clour on a inan's head aneuch to produce a phrenological faculty. A'thae things pitten thegether, and ithers besides, justifies the leddies, to a certain extent, o' their glowerin'; but still

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

they're muckle to blame, for naething can justify impudence and immodesty, and a man canna help haeing curious thochts about a woman whom he never saw atween the een afore, when she comes glowerin' up to his very nose, wil her handkerchief in her hand, just like a hizzie gaun to hang up a clout on a peg; and you hae to jump backwards to save yourselves frae rinniu’ foul o' ane anither, like twa cutters o' Leith smacks in the Roads.

NORTH.

I am so seldom on the streets, that I am no judge of the charges you bring against my fair towns-wornen I love them with such a fatherly affection, that they may stare at me without offence ; for I shall put it all down to the credit of my crutches.

MULLION.

TICKLER

NORTH.

I should like to have been t'other day at the shooting of the elephant.

Well, I should not. The murder read hideously. His death was necessary-but it was bunglingly inflicted.

I could not but be, amused with my friend Brookes' letter in the newspapers, assuring the public that he had not eat soup made of part of the putrid elephant. A surgeon may do anything of that sort with impunity--and Brookes is a first-rate surgeon.

I had no idea he was so sensitive. Elephant-feet are excellent.-Experto crede Roberto.

TICKLER

SHEPHERD.

Tidbits ! How are they dressed, Mr Tickler ? Like sheep's-head and trotters, I presume. A capital dish for a Sabbath dinner, elephant-head and trotters. How mony could dine aff't?

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD

What a prime MART, James ?

What black puddins ! and oh ! man, what tripe ! Only think o' the leddy's hood and monyplies !—Then the marrow-banes! Ai fu', it seems, o' a sort o' fluid, doubtless strang, and sappy, and esculent, and to be eaten wi' bread and a spoon. I'm gettin hungry-I've a great likin for wild beasts. Oh man! gin we had but wolves in Scotland !

TICKLER

Why, the would make you shepherds attend a little better to your own business. How could you visit Edinburgh and Ambrose, if there were wolves in the Forest ?

SHEPHERD.

I wadna grudge a score o' lambs in the year—for the wolves wou'd only raise the price oʻbutcher's meat—they wou'd do nae harm to the kintra. What grand sport, houndin' the wolves in singles, or pairs, or flocks, up yonder about Loch Skene!

TICKLER.

What think you of a few tigers, James ?

SHEPHERD. The royal Bengal Teegger is no indigenous in Scotland, as the wolves was in ancient times ; and that's ae reason against wushin' to hae him amang us. Let the Alien Act be held in operation against him, and may he never be natu-, raleezed !

TICKLER.

What, would
you be afraid of a tiger, James ?

SHEPHERD. Would I be afraid o' a teegger, Timothy? No half as afeard as you wad be yoursel. Faith, I wadna grudge gien a jug o' toddy to see ane play spang upon you frae a distance o' twenty yards, and wi' a single pat o' his paw on that pow o'

ye haud so heigh, fracture your skull, dislocate your neck, crack your spine, and gar ye play tapsalteery ower a precipice into a jungle where the teegger had his bloody den. Would you give no assistance-lend no helping hand, James ?

yours, that

TICKLER.

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NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

Oo aye, me and some mair wad come to the place, in a week or twa, when we were sure the teegger had changed his feedin' grun', and wad collec the banes for Christian burial. But wad you be afraid o' teeggers, Timothy ?

I once did a very fonlish thing in the East Indies to a tiger. I was out shooting snipeş, when the biggest and brightest royal tiger I have ever faced before or since, rose up with a roar like thunder, eyeing me with fiery eyes, and tusks half a foot long, and a tail terrific to dwell upon, either in memory or imagination. I didna ken there had been snipes in the East Indies ?

NORTH Yes, and sepoys likewise. The tiger seemed, after the first blush of the business, to be somewhat disconcerted at the unexpected presence of the future Editor of Blackwood's Magazine ; and, in a much more temperate growl, requested a parley. I hit him right in the left eye, with number 7, and the distance being little more than five paces, it acted like ball, and must have touched the brain-for never surely did Royal Tiger demean himself with less dignity or discretion. He threw about twenty somersets, one after the other, without intermission, just as you have seen a tumtier upon a spring-board. I thought I should have died with laughing. Meanwhile, I reloaded my barrel-and a wild peacock starting from cover, I could not resi the temptation, but gave away a chance against the tiger, by firing both barrels successfully against the Bird of Juno.

SHEPHERD.

I've heard you tell that story a thousan' times, Mr North ; but ye'll pardon - me for sayin' noo, what I only look'd before, that it's a downright lee, without ae word o' truth in't, na' even o' exaggeration. You never killed a teegger wi' snipe-shot.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

Never, James--but I rendered him an idiot or a madman for the rest of his life. But what do you think, James, about legislating for brute animals?

That's but o' the range o' my abeelities. I ken naething about legislation. But I do ken something about humanity-and cruelty to the dumb creation is practical blasphemy, and will not go unpunished. Perhaps, now that you ax me, it's better to teach it down, and fleech it down, and preach it down, than fine it down, or imprison it down-and ae Chalmers is worth a thousan? Martins.

Habits of cruelty terminate almost of necessity in atrocious crimes. The carter who brutally flogs his horse will beat his wife.

What can ye say to a very puir blackguard, not worth ten shillings, who has coft the leevin' skeleton o' a horse for half-a-crown, that he may get a week's wear and tear out o't? He maun thump it, or it winna gang. The chiel may be sellin' sawt or bread, or some ither lawful eatables, and tryin' to manteen a family. It's a sair sight to behold the raw and bloody skeleton, but what can ye do? Is your conscience perfectly secure, when you tak’ the ragged deevil afore a magistrate, and fine him out o' his starvin' wife's and weans' support? Mind that I'm no arguin'~I'm only askin' a question-nor do I want ony answer. But when you see a weel-fed hulkin' fallow, savage for nae reason at a', against the beasts entrusted to him, knock him doon wi' a stick or a stane aff the causeway—and if you fractur' his skull, and he binna married, you've performed a good action, and by takin' the law into your ain hand, done the state some service.

NORTH.

Much evil is done the cause of humanity by indiscriminate and illogical abuse of pursuits or recreations totally dissimilar. I doubt if any person can be Vol. XIX

3S

really humane in heart, unless really sound in head. You hear people talk of angling as cruel.

SHEPHERD. Fools--fools--waur than fools. It's a maist innocent, poetical, moral, and religious amusement. Gin I saw a fisher gruppin' creelfu' after creelfu'o' trouts, and then flingin' them a'awa amang the heather and the brackens on his way hame, I micht begin to suspec' that the idiot was by nature rather savage. But, as for me, I send presents to my freen's, and devour dizzens on dizzens every week in the family-majstly dune in the pan, wi' plenty o' fresh-butter and roun' meal-sae that prevents the possibility o' cruelty in my fishin', and in the fishin' o' a' reasonable creatures.

It seems fox-hunting, too, is cruel. To wham ? Is't cruel to dowgs, to feed fifty or sixty o'them on crackers and ither sorts o' food, in a kennel like a Christian house, wi' a clear burn flowin' through't, and to gie them twice a-week, or aftner, during the season, a brat. tlin' rin o' thretty miles after a fox ? Is that cruelty to dowgs ?

But the fox, James ?

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

NORTH

SHEPHERD.

We'll come to the fox by and by. Is't cruel to horses, to buy a hundred o' them for ae Hunt, rarely for less than hundred pounds each, and aften for five hundred, to feed them on five or sax feeds o' corn per diem--and to gie them skins as sleek as satin—and to gar them nicher wi' fu’ness o' bluid, sae that every vein in their bodies starts like sinnies—and to gallop them like deevils in a hurricane, up hill and down brae, and loup or soom canals and rivers, and flee ower hedges, and dykes, and palings, like birds, and drive crashin' through woods like elephants or rhinoceroses-a' the while every coorser flingin' fire-flaughts frae his een, and whitenin' the sweat o' speed wi' the foam o fury- I say, ca' you that cruelty tae horses, whan the Hunt charge with all their chivalry, and plain, mountain, or forest, are shook by the quadrupedal thunder?

NORTH.

But the fox, James ?

SHEPHERD. We'll come to the fox by and by. Is't cruel to men to inspirit wi' a rampagin' happiness five score o' the flower o' England or Scotland's youth, a' wi' caps and red coats, and whups in their haun'sma troop of lauchin', tearin', tallyhoin', “ wild and wayward humourists,” as the Doctor ca'd them the tither Sunday?

I like the expression, James. - So do I-or I would not have quoted it. But it's just as applicable to a set o' outrageous ministers, eatin' and drinkin', and guffawin', at a Presbytery denner.

NORTH

SHEPHERD.

NORTH,

SHEPHERD.

But the fox, James ?

We'll come to the fox by and by. Is't cruel to the lambs, and leverets, and geese, and turkeys, and dyucks, and patricks, and wee birds, and ither animal eatables, to kill the fox that devoors them, and keeps them in perpetual het water?

NORTH

SHEPHERD.

But the fox, James?

Deevil take baith you and the fox-I said that we would come to the by and by Weel, then, wha kens that the fox is na away snorin' happy afore the houn's? I hae nae doubt he is, for a fox's no sae complete a coward as to think huntin'cruel, and his hail nature is then on the alert, which in itsel is happiness. Huntin' him prevents him fa'en into languor and ennui, and growin' ower fat on how-towdics. lle's no killed every time he's hunted

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