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is the use of a' his metals ? No ane of them wad make a fleeheuk with a preen, or even a preen itsel' to busk a bonny las sie wi'.
North. Well, there is something after all in the association of ideas. Who would have thought that Sir H. Davy and potassium would have led the Shepherd to think of a bonny lassie.
The Shepherd. Oo, man, it disna need ony thing at a' te make me think of a bonny lassie. It just comes as natural to me as the bool of a pint-stoup.
North. Talking of bonny lassies; what is that idiot Leslie doing with his ice? I have not seen “ Leslie's patent icecreams” advertised yet.
Tickler. Leslie is too great a philosopher to turn his dis coveries to any use. He leaves that to the practical men,Baxter, Montgomery, and Weddell, and the rest of the epi. cureans. By his method, any one can make half-a-quarter of an ounce of ice for little more than five shillings, or about L.4000 the hundred weight; and if, after this, people will not take advantage of so brilliant a discovery, but will be such fools as to build ice-houses, and get it in ship-loads from Norway, that is not his fault.
North. We need not say any thing about the kaleidoscope, that is dead and buried.
The Shepherd. Ay, it was a bonny die for the muckle bairns; but they tired o't right soon-just as folk tires o' sawmon and lamb i the summer time, and wearies for beef and mutton again.
T'ickler. There's nothing like fly-fishing after all, Shepherd.
The Shepherd. Ye ha’e just said it, Maister Tickler. There's naething else that a man can stick to for days and days without tiring. Nae matter whether he catches aught or no. What need he care ? He has the bonny blue lift aboon his head—and the bonny green hills around him and the bonny clear streamsmor, they are rather the better of being a little drumly, purling away before his nose, and making
a singin' din as they fa' o'er the bits a clints; and maybe there'll be the mooing of an ora nolt over ayont the hill, and the bumming of a bee fleeing past him, as it flits frae gowan to heath-bell, just a conspiring to lull the soul into a sweet repose a delightful respite frae a’ care and thinking. Oh; it is a pleasant recreation !
Tickler. Isaac Walton for ever !---Set the Shepherd upon fly-fishing, and there is no end of him.
Odoherty. Pleasure in the way we like it. Now, with all reverence for fly-fishing, I rather opine, that a bowl of punch:
Mullun. If the ingredients are well mixed, the fire clear, and the wit sparkling.
The Shepherd. Punch! I will not yield to one of you in devotion for punch; and above all, in a bowl. Oh, a bowl's the thing! Awa wi' your tumblers; there's nothing in the world I like better than a bowl.
Tickler. Saving always and excepting the bonny lasses, Shepherd.
The Shepherd. Whisht, man, whisht ! dinna prophane the lasses wi' talking o' them sae lightly. I do like the dears to be sure, and wha disna ?
Tickler. None but the philosophers, Shepherd. They, you know, are all woman-haters.
The Shepherd. Weel, I am thankfu' I'm no a philosopher. I wadna gi`e the dimple on a rosy cheek, or the blink of a bonny blue e'e, for a' the philosophy in the world.
Odoherty. Well, but philosophy has done us good even here. What say you to the steam-engine, and all the products of that wonderful invention ? The richest and the most delicate fabrics thus adorn the female form.
The Shepherd. Pride; naething but pride. The lasses were far better afore, when they had to spin a' their ain braws. They're a' spoiled with perfect conceit now, with their muslin gowns and their shawls amaist like India. Now there is naething for them to do but crimping and pletting oʻmutches, and fal-de-rals for their necks; and they look at an
honest lad, in hodden-gray, like the far end of a fiddle. Set them up !—There's nane of the scaff and daffing now i' the for-a-supper-times, when the spinning and the clashing o' tongues was trying wha to be loudest. Oh,commend me to the rock and the muckle wheel!
Tickler. But the steam-boats, Shepherd. Surely ye'll not deny that they are useful.
The Shepherd. Fient a bit. They're good for naething but to encourage stravaiging and vagabondizing. It was far better lang syne when folk staid at hame and minded their wark, and gaed to the kirk i’ the Sunday, than now when they pretend to travel and see the world as they ca't. There's a' the Glasgow weaver bodies maun gang down to Inverary i' the Saturdays to see the Highland hills, and drink Glenlivet, just as if they couldna get fou at hame wi' honest rumpunch, as they would be obliged to do if we hadna 'steamboats. And that's a' your steam-boats are gude for.
Tickler. Well, but gas-lights. There is an invention worth something!
The Shepherd. I deny't. Nasty, blue, wan, earthly light it gie's; and gars folk look like ghaists, with a smell fit to scomfish the deevil. I wish Ambrose would pit away that glaring gas, and gi'e us twa gude four-i'-the-pounds instead o't.
Tickler. But for the street.
Odoherty. I protest against the street-light. I declare, I think all honest fellows should petition parliament against it; and to let us have back our fine old glimmering, halflighted, darkness visible oil illumin-: No, I can't call them illuminators. They lighted nothing, that was the beauty of them,
and then you could speak to an old acquaintance in the full blaze of one of these no-lights, and nobody a bit the wiser ; but now you may as well take one of them by the hand at the cross on a Wednesday between two and four p. m.
The Shepherd. Weel, that is a disadvantage to be sure, I didna think of. But I'm nae just sae weel acquaint wi that
kind o' thing as you, Maister Odoherty. We hae nae gaslights about Yarrow.
Odoherty. Except will-o'-the-wisp. You forget that, Shepherd. You have that in perfection.
The Shepherd. No personal reflections, if you please, Maister Odoherty. Will-o'-the-wisp in your teeth. We a' ken you.
North. Come, come, gentlemen ; quiet words are best ; no sparring among friends. I thank you all for your excellent hints. I see I shall have no lack of matter for my poem.
T'ickler. Do you mean to give us a canto on Phrenology ?
North. No: hang it. It would be honouring the trash and its supporters too much to rank them among philosophy and philosophers.
The Shepherd. Now I differ frae ye there clean. You admit that philosophers are a' idiots, and a their discoveries trash and trumpery; and what waur can ye say o' Phrenology than that?
North. But there are degrees of idiocy as well as of glory,--and the Phrenologists!
The Shepherd. I deny your major. An idiot is never nothing but just an idiot; and you canno' make him waur. Now there was that prince o' philosophers, Bacon, as ye ca' him ; what was he but an idiot ?-Wha but an idiot wad hae got himsel turned out frae being chancellor just for a bit twopenny-halfpenny bribe ? It was going to the de'il wi' a dishclout ony how. And there are bis writings about Idols, and his prosing about Experience and Observation ; what was the use o't? Did he ever find out thing that was worth a button ? If he had even, with a' his experience and observation, shewn us the way to dress a flie hook, I wad hae thought something. Johnnie Leslie, ye ken, has settled bis merits wi' a vengeance. Diamond cut diamond - There's naething like it.
Tickler. Then there was the Honourable Mr Robert Boyle ;- What was he?
North. An ass. It is pretended that he discovered a substance more powerful and destructive than gunpowder; and that he concealed the invention, and allowed it to die with him, rather than present so pernicious a gift to the human race. Did you ever hear of such a ninny ?
The Shepherd. His organ o' destructiveness had been sma'er than your's, Christopher.
North. I say, if we had such a powder now to blow up the Phrenological Society, and all that belongs to them, it would be a benefit to the human race past calculation.
The Shepherd. O man, but ye’re bitter against thae Phrenological bodies! I dinna see ony ill they hae done just to be sent to the moon in that kind o gate,
North. The moon is the fittest place for them.
The Shepherd. Now I am rather i' the mind that we are the better of them. Is it not a great comfort now to the like of
you and Mr Tickler, wha hae sic an a grand talent for abuse, whenever you are like to run out of matter, to have Phrenology just ready at your hand to exercise your talents on? You dinna ken how muckle ye're obliged to Mr Combe and the rest of them. You'll no see sic a subject for you a' the world, and your subjects are getting rather scarce; for there's Buonaparte, honest man, he's dead and gane, ye hae na him to abuse now; and there's the bits o' radical bodies are wearing away to amaist naething; and even the whigs, why they canna get ony faults to find with the ministry, and what fault syne can ye get to find wi' them?
North. Sink Phrenology! Call another cause.
Tickler. With all my heart. If you want to prove philosophy to be nonsense, and all philosophers fools, you may have scope to tire even your soaring wing without stooping to notice Phrenology. There was Berkley, that proved there was no such thing as matter.
North. There was Hume, who proved there was no such thing as mind.
Tickler. There was Hartly, who showed that the mind was a mere bundle of vibrations and vibratiuncles.