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I am depressed under the weight of an unwritten article. That everlasting Magazine of yours embitters my existence. O, that there were but one month in the year without a Blackwood !
Or rather a year in ane's life without it, that a body micht hae leisure to prepare for anither warld. Hoo the Numbers accumulate on the shelve o' ane's leebrary! I begin to think they breed. Then a dozen or twa are maistiy lyin' on the drawers-head-twice as mony mair in the neuks o' rooms, up and down stairs--the servants get haud o' them in the kitchen--and ye canna open the press to tak a dram, but there's the face o' Geordy Buchanan.
TICKLER. My dear Shepherd, you are a happy man in the Forest, beyond the clutches and the clack of an Editor. But here am I worried to death by devils, from the tenth to the twentieth of every month. I wish I was dead.
SHEPHERD. You dinna wush ony sic thing, Mr Tickler. That appeteet o' yours is worth five thousan'a-year. O man! it would be a sair pity to die wi' sic an appeteet! Tell me about the Haggis-Feast.
A dozen of us entered our Haggises for a sweepstakes—and the match was decided at worthy Mrs Fergusson's, High Street. My Haggis (they were all made, either by our wives or cooks, at our respective places of abode) ran second to Meg Dods’s. The Director General's (which was what sporting, men would have called a roarer) came in third-none of the others were placed.
Did ony accident happen amang the Haggises? I see by your face that ane at least amang the dizzen played the deevil. I recollec' ance the awfu'est scene wi' a Haggis, in auld Mr Laidlaw's house. It was a great muckle big ane, answering to Robert Burns's description, wi' its hurdies like twa distant hills, and occupied the centre o' the table, round whilk sat about a score o' lads and lasses. The auld man had shut his een to ask a blessing, when some evil speerit put it into my head to gie the bag a slit wi' my gulley. Like water on the breakin' o' a dam, out rushed, in an instantawneous overflow, the inside o' the great chieftain o' the Pudding race, and the women-folk brak out into sic a shriek, that the master thocht somebody had drapped down dead. Meanwhile, its contents didna stop at the edge o the table, but gaed ower wi' a sclutter upon the lads' breeks and the lassies' petticoats, burnin' the wearers to the bane ; for what's hetter than a haggis?
Nothing ox this side of the grave.
What a skirlin'! And then a' the colleys began yelpin' and youffin', for some o' them had their tauted hips scalded, and ithers o' them could na see for the stew that was rinnin' down their chafts. Glee'd Shooshy Dagleish fell a' her length in the thickest part o' the inundation, wi' lang Tommy Potts aboon her, and we thocht they would never hae foun' their feet again, for the floor was as sliddery as ice-and
Now, James, were you to write that down, and give it to the world in a book, it would be called coarse.
Nae doubt. Everything natral, and easy, and true, is ca'd coorse as I think I hae observed afore noo in this verra room--and what has been the consequence o' sic puling criticism ? Wishy washy water-colours, sae faint that you canna tell a tree frae a tether, or a doug frae a soo, or a fish frae a fule, or a man frae a woman. Why, Mr North, I'd lay my lugs, that gin our conversation here were a' taen doon in short hand, and prented in the Magazine, there wadna be wantin' puir cheepin' fuizenless cretures to ca't coorse.
The Allan Ramsay
o' Sicily, as I hae heard ; and the best pastorał poet oo the ancient warld. Thank God, Mr North, the fresh airs o' heaven blaw through your shepherd's hut, and purify it frae a' pollution. Things hae really come to a queer pass when towns' bodies, leevin' in shops and cellars, and garrets and common stairs, and lanes and streets that, wi' a' their fine gas lamp-posts, are pestilential wi' filth and foulzie ; and infested wi' lean, mangy dowgs, ruggin' out stinkin' banes frae the sewers; and wi' auld wives, like broken-backed witches, that are little mair than bundles o' movin' rags, clautin' among the bakiefu's o' ashes; and wi' squads o' routin' or spewin' bullies o'chiels, staggerin' hame frae tripe-soopers, to the disturbance-o' the flaes in their yellow-tinged-lookin' blankets; and wi' anes, and twas, and threes, o'what's far waur than a' these, great lang-legged, tawdry, and tawpy limmers, standin' at closes, wi' mouths red wi' paint, and stinkin' o' gin like the bungs o' speerit-casks, when the speerit has been years in the wudd; while far and wide ower the city (I'm speakin' o' the Auld Town) you hear a hellish howl o'thieves and prostitutes carousin' on red herrings and distillery-whusky, deep down in dungeons aneath the verra stanes, o' the street; and faint far-aff echoes o' fechts wi' watchmen, and cries o “ murder, murder-fire, fire” drowned in the fiercer hubbub o' curses, endin' in shouts o’deevilish lauchter -I say-What was I gaun to say, sir ? something about the peace and pleasantness o' Mount Benger, was't no ? and o' the harmless life and conversation o' us shepherds amang the braes, and within the murmurs o' the sheep-washing Yarrow.
I hope it was so -for that dark picture needs relief.
And it shall hae relief. Wad it no be relief to rise, at Mount Benger, just a wee bit dim, dewy half-hour afore the sun ; and when a'the household were yet asleep in the heaven o' mornin' dreams, to dauner awa' down to the soun' o the waterfa', that ye skently see glimmerin' in the uncertain twilight?
And so leap in upon the Naiad before she has braided her tresses, or arranged the cerulean folds of her flowing cymar.
Wad it no be relief to see green glittering Nature becoming distincter and distincter, far and wide ower the vale and braes, and hills and mountains, till ere you can finish the unpremeditated prayer that God's beautiful creation has breathed into your heart-Earth and Heaven are in broad daylight, and, solemn thocht! anither morning is added to the span of man's mortal years ?
O rus !
A' the larks are awa' up wi' their sangs to heavene the linties are low down in the broom wi' theirs—sic is the variety o' instinct amang the bonny creturs that live in nests! And the trouts are loupin' in the water, and the lambs are rinnin' races on the braes, and gin I were there to see, perhaps the wild swan is amang the water-lilies of St Mary's Loch, or say rather the Loch o the Lowes, for that is a lonelier water, and farther up amang the shadows oʻthe hills.
A morning landscape, by Claude Lorraine !
Returnin' back hame, the wife and weans are a' at the door and isna my wee Jamie a fine fallow, wi' his licht-blue cunnin' een, and that bashfu' lovin' lauch, when he sees his father, and that saft and low forest voice, that gars me, every time I see the blessed face o' him, thank God for his goodness, and
my heart overflow wi' what is surely happiness, if there be sic a thing as happiness on this inexplicable earth ?
your fireside, James--your porch-the roof-tree.-North, fill a bumper. (Three times three.)
You once were so good as to flatter me by saying, that I ought to go into Parliament. Now, James, if you wish it, I will bring you in.
I haena the least ambition. Sae far frae envyin' the glory o' the orators in that House, I wudna swap ane o' my ain bit wee sangs wi' the langest-wunded speech that has been “hear'd, hear'd,” this Session.
James, let us have Meg of Marley.
A simple matter--but well worth Joseph Hume's four hours' speech, and forty-seven resolutions.
[Clock strikes ten-folding doors fly open, and the Tria Lumina Sco
torum sit down to supper.
Pease & Beans.
Os. 8d. to 03. 9d.
0s. 6d. to Os. 9d. Fresh Butter, per lb. 1s. Od. to 1s. 2d.
8s. Od. to 08. Od.
Os. 8d. to
Eggs, per dozen
0s." 7d. to
14s. Od. 3d, 14s. Od.
ended May 6.
Beans, 39s. 70.--Pease, 38s. llà.
Liverpool, May 9.
37 to 40 Wheat, per 70 lb. Amer. p. 196 lb.
9 9 Do. in bond
Scotch 8 0 to 9 Sour bond -0 to O
41 to 48 Tick ditto, new 32 to 36 Irish .7 6 to 8 6Oatmeal, per 240 lb.
Bonded 5 6 to 6 9 English 26 0 to 31 0
25 0 to 31 0
to 22: Scotch 3 9 to 4 3 Bran, p.2llb. - to
Butter, Beef, fc.
O to 3 3 Belfast, 63 0 to 65 0
38 to 40 Ditto, seconds 42 to 46 Scotch 3 0 to 3 3 Waterford 56 0 to 60 O
to For. in bond to Cork, pic. 20,76 0 to 78 0
Do. dut. fr. to
3d dry 60 0 to 62 0
so d. Malt per b. 6 6 to 7 3-Mess 100 0 to 107
Pork, p, bl.
White to -- 0 Pease,grey
- 0 to O Short mids. 43 0 to 14 o
0 to -
O Sides 41 0 to 42 0
Hams, dry, 50 0 to 56
5 6 6 8
9 10 11
Course of Exchange, May 12.-Amsterdam, 12 . &. C. F. Ditto at sight, 12 : 5.
-Foreign gold, in bars, £3:17: 6d. per oz.
PRICES CURRENT, May 13.-London 9.
LEITH. GLASGOW. LIVERPOOL
26 22 0 22 6
29 id 2s 8d 28 8d 3s Od
3 6 3 9
2 0 2. 2
1 6 0 0
0 6 6
66 6 5
6 10 7 0 7 0 7.7
6 0 7 10
3 6 4 0
4 1 10
2 1 6
2 0 5 0
4 2 9 1 9 2 3
19 12 0 14 0
Petersburgh Firsts, cwt.
0 8 0 10