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Of yore, in old England, it was not thought good
To carry two visages under one hood;

What should folk say to you? who have faces such plenty,

That from under one hood, you last night show'd us twenty!

Stand forth, arch deceiver, and tell us in truth,
Are you handsome or ugly, in age or in youth?
Man, woman, or child-a dog or a mouse?

Or are you, at once, cach live thing in the house?
Each live thing, did I ask ?-each dead implement, too,
A work-shop in your person,-saw, chisel, and screw!
Above all, are you one individual? I know
You must be at least Alexandre and Co.

But I think you're a troop-an assemblage-a mob,
And that I, as the Sheriff, should take up the job;
And instead of rehearsing your wonders in verse,
Must read you the Riot-Act, and bid you disperse.
ABBOTSFORD, 23d April.2




"After the play, the following humorous address (ascribed to an eminent literary character,) was spoken with infinite effect by Mr. Mackay in the character of Meg Dodds."-Edinburgh Weekly Journal, 9th June, 1824.

1" When Monsieur Alexandre. the celebrated ventriloquist, was in Scotland, in 1824, he paid a visit to Abbotsford, where he entertained his distinguished host, and the other visiters, with his unrivalled imitations. Next morning, when he was about to depart, Sir Walter felt a good deal embarrassed as to the scrt of acknowledgment he should offer; but at length, resolving that it would probably be most agreeable to the young foreigner to be paid in professional coin, if in any, he stepped aside for a few minutes, and, on returning, presented him with this epigram. The reader need hardly be reminded that Sir Walter Scott held the office of Sheriff of the county of Selkirk." -Scotch newspaper, 1830.

2 The lines, with this date, appeared in the Edinburgh Annual Register of 1824.

3 James Laing was one of the Depute-Clerks of the city of Edinburgh, and in his official connexion with the Police and the Council-Chamber, his name was a constant terror to evildoers. He died in February, 1806.

4 The Watch-hole.

Enter MEG DODDS, encircled by a crowd of unruly boys, whom a town's-officer is driving off.

THAT'S right, friend-drive the gaitlings back,

And lend yon muckle ane a whack;
Your Embro' bairns are grown a pack,
Sae proud and saucy,

They scarce will let an auld wife walk
Upon your causey.

I've seen the day they would been scaur'd,
Wi' the Tolbooth, or wi' the Guard,
Or maybe wud hae some regard

For Jamie Laing—3
The Water-hole was right weel wared
On sic a gang.

But whar's the gude Tolbooth' gane now? Whar's the auld Claught, wi' red and blue ? Whar's Jamie Laing? and whar's John Doo?? And whar's the Weigh-house ?"

Deil hae't I see but what is new,

Except the Playhouse!

Yoursells are changed frae head to heel, There's some that gar the causeway reel With clashing hufe and rattling wheel,

And horses canterin', Wha's fathers daunder'd hame as weel Wi' lass and lantern.

Mysell being in the public line,
I look for howfs I kenn'd lang syne,
Whar gentles used to drink gude wine,
And eat cheap dinners;
But deil a soul gangs there to dine,
Of saints or sinners!

Fortune's and Hunter's 10 gane, alas!
And Bayle's is lost in empty space;

7 John Doo, or Dhu-a terrific-looking and high-spirited member of the Town Guard, and of whom there is a print by Kay, etched in 1784.

8 The Weigh-House, situated at the head of the West Bow, Lawnmarket, and which had long been looked upon as an en cumbrance to the street, was demolished in order to make way for the royal procession to the Castle, which took place on the 22d of August, 1822.

9 Fortune's Tavern-a house on the west side of the Old Stamp Office Close, High Street, and which was, in the carly part of the last century, the mansion of the Earl of Eglintoun.-The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the day held his levees and dinners in this tavern.

10 Hunter's-another once much-frequented tavern, in Writer's Court, Royal Exchange.

11 Bayle's Tavern and Coffeehouse, originally on the North Bridge, east side, atterwards in Shakspeare Square, but removed to admit of the opening of Waterloo Place. Such was

The Tolbooth of Edinburgh, The Heart of Mid-Lothian, the dignified character of this house, that the waiter always was pulled down in 1817.

The ancient Town Guard. The reduced remnant of this body of police was finally disbanded in 1817

appeared in full dress, and nobody was admitted who had not a white neckcloth-then considered an indispensable insig nium of a gentleman. 2 Y

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The sages to disparage woman s power,
Say, beauty is a fair, but fading flower;-
I cannot tell-I've small philosophy-
Yet, if it fades, it does not surely die,
But, like the violet, when decay'd in bloom,
Survives through many a year in rich perfume.
Witness our theme to-night, two ages gone,
A third wanes fast, since Mary fill'd the throne.
Brief was her bloom, with scarce one sunny day,
'Twixt Pinkie's field and fatal Fotheringay:
But when, while Scottish hearts and blood you

Shall sympathy with Mary's woes be lost?
O'er Mary's mem'ry the learn'd quarrel,
By Mary's grave the poet plants his laurel,
Time's echo, old tradition, makes her name
The constant burden of his fault'ring theme;
In each old hall his grey-hair'd heralds tell
Of Mary's picture, and of Mary's cell,

And show-my fingers tingle at the thought-
The loads of tapestry which that poor Queen


In vain did fate bestow a double dower

Of ev'ry ill that waits on rank and pow'r,
Of ev'ry ill on beauty that attends-
False ministers, false lovers, and false friends.
Spite of three wedlocks so completely curst,
They rose in ill from bad to worse, and worst,
In spite of errors-I dare not say more,
For Duncan Targe lays band on his claymore.
In spite of all, however, humours vary,
There is a talisman in that word Mary,
That unto Scottish bosoms all and some
Is found the genuine open sesamum!
In history, ballad, poetry, or novel,

It charms alike the castle and the hovel,
Even you-forgive me-who, demure and shy,
Gorge not each bait, nor stir at every fly,
Must rise to this, else in her ancient reign
The Rose of Scotland has survived in vain.

From Redgauntlet.

She'll tell the Bailie.



THE sages for authority, pray look Seneca's morals, or the copy-book

"IT was but three nights ago, that, worn out by the uniformity of my confinement, I had manifested more symptoms of despondence than I had before exhibited, which I conceive may have attracted the attention of the domestics, through whom the circumstance might transpire. On the next morning, the following lines lay on my table; but how conveyed

1 Mr. William Murray became manager of the Edinburgh was never spoken, but written for some play, afterwards withTheatre in 1815.

"I recovered the above with some difficulty. I believe it

drawn, in which Mrs. H. Siddons was to have spoken it in the character of Queen Mary."-Extract from a Letter of Sir Waller Scott to Mr. Constable, 22d October, 1824.

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And it show'd me that a small worm had gnaw'd its Whate'er your liberty hath known of pleasure.
Roderick. No, fairest, we have trifled here too long;
The boy who remembered the scourge, undid the And, lingering to see your roses blossom,
I've let my laurels wither.

wicket of the castle at midnight.

Kindness fadeth away, but vengeance endureth.

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From The Talisman.


(1.)-CHAP. II.

Chap. xxxi.

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"So saying, the Saracen proceeded to chant verses, very ancient in the language and structure, which some have thought derive their source from the worshippers of Arimanes, the Evil Principle."

DARK Ahriman, whom Irak still
Holds origin of woe and ill!

When, bending at thy shrine,
We view the world with troubled eye,"
Where see we 'neath the extended sky,
An empire matching thine!


If the Benigner Power can yield
A fountain in the desert field,

Where weary pilgrims drink;
Thine are the waves that lash the rock,
Thine the tornado's deadly shock,
Where countless navies sink!

Or if He bid the soil dispense
Balsams to cheer the sinking sense,

How few can they deliver
From lingering pains, or pang intense,
Red Fever, spotted Pestilence,

The arrows of thy quiver!

Chief in Man's bosom sits thy sway,
And frequent, while in words we pray
Before another throne,

Whate'er of specious form be there,
The secret meaning of the prayer
Is, Ahriman, thine own.

Say, hast thou feeling, sense, and form,
Thunder thy voice, thy garments storm,

As Eastern Magi say;

With sentient soul of hate and wrath,
And wings to sweep thy deadly path,
And fangs to tear thy prey?

Or art thou mix'd in Nature's source,
An ever-operating force,

Converting good to ill;

An evil principle innate, Contending with our better fate,

And oh! victorious still?

Howe'er it be, dispute is vain.

On all without thou hold'st thy reign,
Nor less on all within;

Each mortal passion's fierce career,
Love, hate, ambition, joy, and fear,
Thou goadest into sin.

Whene'er a sunny gleam appears,
To brighten up our vale of tears,
Thou art not distant far;
'Mid such brief solace of our lives,
Thou whett'st our very banquet-knives
To tools of death and war.

Thus, from the moment of our birth,
Long as we linger on the earth,

Thou rul'st the fate of men;
Thine are the pangs of life's last hour,
And-who dare answer?-is thy power,
Dark Spirit! ended THEN?

"Therefore thus speaks my lady," the fair page he said,
And the knight lowly louted with hand and with head,
"Fling aside the good armour in which thou art clad,
And don thou this weed of her night-gear instead,
For a hauberk of steel, a kirtle of thread:
And charge, thus attired, in the tournament dread,
And fight as thy wont is where most blood is shed,
And bring honour away, or remain with the dead."

Untroubled in his look, and untroubled in his breast, The knight the weed hath taken, and reverently hath kiss'd:

"Now bless'd be the moment, the messenger be blest! Much honour'd do I hold me in my lady's high behest; And say unto my lady, in this dear night-weed dress'd, To the best arm'd champion I will not veil my crest; But if I live and bear me well 'tis her turn to take the test."

Here, gentles, ends the foremost fytte of the Lay of the Bloody Vest.

Chap. iii.


"THE song of Blondel was, of course, in the Norman language; but the verses which follow express its meaning and its manner."

"Twas near the fair city of Benevent,

When the sun was setting on bough and bent,
And knights were preparing in bower and tent,
On the eve of the Baptist's tournament;
When in Lincoln green a stripling gent,
Well seeming a page by a princess sent,
Wander'd the camp, and, still as he went,
Enquired for the Englishman, Thomas a Kent.

Far hath he fared, and farther must fare,
Till he finds his pavilion nor stately nor rare,—
Little save iron and steel was there;
And, as lacking the coin to pay armourer's care,
With his sinewy arms to the shoulders bare,
The good knight with hammer and file did repair
The mail that to-morrow must see him wear,
For the honour of Saint John and his lady fair.

"Thus speaks my lady," the page said he, And the knight bent lowly both head and knee, "She is Benevent's Princess so high in degree, And thou art as lowly as knight may well beHe that would climb so lofty a tree,

Or spring such a gulf as divides her from thee,



THE Baptist's fair morrow beheld gallant feats-
There was winning of honour, and losing of seats-
There was hewing with falchions, and splintering of

The victors won glory, the vanquish'd won graves.
O, many a knight there fought bravely and well,
Yet one was accounted his peers to excel,

And 'twas he whose sole armour on body and breast,
Seem'd the weed of a damsel when boune for her rest.

There were some dealt him wounds that were bloody and sore,

But others respected his plight, and forebore.
"It is some oath of honour," they said, "and I trow
'Twere unknightly to slay him achieving his vow."
Then the Prince, for his sake, bade the tournament

He flung down his warder, the trumpets sung peace;
And the judges declare, and competitors yield,
That the Knight of the Night-gear was first in the

The feast it was nigh, and the mass it was nigher,
When before the fair Princess low louted a squire,
And deliver'd a garment unseemly to view,
With sword-cut and spear-thrust, all hack'd and

pierced through;

All rent and all tatter'd, all clotted with blood, With foam of the horses, with dust, and with mud, Not the point of that lady's small finger, I ween, Could have rested on spot was unsullied and clean.

Must dare some high deed, by which all men may see "This token my master, Sir Thomas a Kent, His ambition is back'd by his high chivalric.

Restores to the Princess of fair Benevent;

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