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ery, she ordered the nurse to take it and many other equally important away, for her nerves were torn with injunctions. After the cloth was its abominable squalling.
removed, the two parsons resumed Soon after, the Rev. Francis Hal. their old argument about the innate liday and his lady arrived, their ve- propensities of genius, over their hicle of conveyance being a common wine, each tenaciously adhering to cart; their cushions-sacks stuffed his early opinions. We then went with straw, and their carpet clean out to have a walk in the garden. dry hay: Mrs Halliday was a tall, Mrs Halliday requested Mrs Baxter masculine looking woman, very plain to shew her the cows, and inquired ly dressed, and, both in personal ape how many pigs she kept ? " Oh! do pearance and apparel, forming a not mention the detestable brutes, striking contrast to Mrs Baxter, who you make me sick with the thought, was dressed in the extreme of the - I should faint at the sight of fashion. In a few minutes we sat them.” I happened to mention an down to dinner, our attendant being acquaintance about whom Mr Hallia woman on the wrong side of forty, day was interested, and he requested blind of an eye, and her face not only that I would call on him when in pitted, but scared and seamed by the town, that we might talk over the small-pox. The table displayed dishes subject. After tea, the parson and and delicacies, as I thought, unsuite his wife departed, seated beside each able to the income of a country clere other in the cart. “My gracious ! gyman, while we were teased with how vulgar," exclaimed Mrs Baxter, apologies about the poorness of our to see the minister and his lady in entertainment, uttered with a lan- a dung cart! but I suppose she guor which seemed to come from the still thinks herself on her father's lips of some delicate fair in the last farm ; for she can talk of nothing stage of a consumption, rather than but cows, pigs, and poultry : faugh! those of the Dutch-built vrow at the I have been told that the parson head of the table. “ The dinner is married her for money; and if so, excellent, and I shall do it justice," he is rightly served ; for she is nei. said Mrs Halliday, “ for my ride ther qualified to be his companion, has given me a good appetite.' nor to give dignity to his vocation.” which I envy you,” replied the fine On our way home, my mother, lady; “ I am sure, had I rode a mile smiling, said, “Well, do you find Mrs in such a vehicle, my nerves would Baxter much improved since you bave been all shattered; I should last saw her ?” “ She is so changed never have recovered the shock.” that I could hardly believe her the “ All want of custom, and too little same woman." “Ay, she is indeed exercise," said the other. “ In this changed, and that the poor man, her rural paradise, with your cows, dairy, husband, feels every hour of his life: and poultry, and the fine scenery for she affects the fine airs and foibles walking, you might get as rich as of a lady of fashion ; is proud as a: Jews, and bealthy as a milk-maid, duchess, and, with all her pretensions Mrs Baxter.” “ Ah! I wish I could to delicacy and susceptible nerves, encounter all that; when I walk out is a gross sensualist ; indolent in the with Mr Baxter, I am deaved with extreme, and yet a slave to her pasthe lowing of cows,—the cackling of sions. Her fondness for her huspoultry tear my nerves at home,--the band, whether real or affected, makes dairy is too fatiguing for me, I am him miserable. He is a popular compelled to go to the kitchen, Nelly preacher, and often called out on is so awkward,--and my maternal sacramental occasions; but as she feelings oblige me to visit the nur: always insists on accompanying him, sery; so that you see I am fatigued and is too proud to ride in his own with exertion."
cart, she has compelled him to purTom, her first born, was seated at chase a fine phaeton and splendid table, and she was constantly checking harness. When appointed to rehim for some impropriety. “Tom- present the Presbytery in the Genemy, my dear, hold your knife right- ral Assembly, she went with him, don't bawl so for what you want- and with difficulty he obtained her see what a cloth you are making !" consent to dine for one day at the
Commissioner's table, and she was the earth was wet, and he was in in hysterics before he came in; he mud over the knuckles; however, was obliged every day after to come after rubbing his hands on the grass, home the moment the Assembly and then wiping them with a handleft St. Giles's, and either take her kerchief, which seemed to have been out, or sit, tied to her apron-string, long in use, he extended a horny during the evening. He is fond of fist, like that of a ploughman, to bid walking, to admire and contemplate me welcome, making an awkward the beauties of Nature, for which apology that the maid was washing, the scenery around the manse is well and as he was fond of potatoes, he adapted; but he dares not stir bee came out to dig a few for dinner. yond the garden, without her by his I had now an opportunity of observe side. She is too indolent to rise in the ing his dress, every part of which morning ; but at breakfast she will appeared to have seen much service; examine his shoes, to find whether the crown of his hat had fallen in, the mud which adheres to them and the brim in some places pointmay betray that he has been beyond ed to the zenith, and in others to the his limits; she keeps no female ser- nadir; his rusty black coat was out vant of more attractive features than at elbows, and also fringed at the the woman who attended us at dine wrists ; his vest, from a paucity of
In a word, with his small sti- buttons, betrayed the secret that bis pend, her nameless caprices, vanity, linen was ready for the girl who had fantastic follies and extravagance, acted as porter to me; from some the good man is utterly deprived of parts of his small-clothes, I perceivdomestic happiness, for he is plun- ed they had once been cotton velvet, ged in debt over head and cars. I but the knees and upper parts of have heard that their marriage was the thighs exhibited a lustre which the result of first love, contracted might almost have rivalled Day and when he was at College, before he Martin's blacking, had it then been knew the world ; if so, he has paid invented ; his stockings were a mixfor his romantic folly."
ture of black and white worsted, the Agreeably to my promise, when heels having been repeatedly darned in town I called on Mr Halliday, with divers colours, of which white when the door was opened by a was predominant, still, from more maid-servant, half naked, and up than one hiatus, the skin was visito the elbows in soap-suds. She con- ble ; of his shoes I shall only say, ducted me to the garden, informing they were in keeping with his geneme the minister was there. As I ral costume. passed through the back court, I was On entering the parlour, we found ficrcely attacked by a brood-hen, it filled with screens covered with surrounded by her chickens; as I wet linen, and he led me to his study: staggered to one side to avoid her there we found three or four child. attack, and afraid of trampling on ren clambering on chairs around a her chirping brood, which were flut- large atlas on the table. One was tering about my legs, I landed my daubing it with gamboge, another foot over the shoe in a dunghill, pricking it with pins, and a third which I soon perceived lay close to shading the indentations of land and the cowhouse, while the maternal water with black lead, or defacing screains of this feathered mother them with chalk. I observed the faalarmed a sow with a numerous pro- ther's face colour; however, he said geny, whose stye flanked the other nothing, but turned out the urchins, side of the court, as a counterpart and laid the atlas aside. Our interto the cow-house ; proceeding, I next view was long, for the minister had frightened a covey of ducks and much to inquire ; he invited me to ducklings, swimming in a wooden stay dinner, which I declined; but trough in front of a pump well, and he insisted till I complied, lest my in their fluttering retreat they be- obstinacy should give offence. Mrs sprinkled my clothes and face with a Halliday now appeared in a very liberal effusion of the foul and filthy plain dress, and not overclean, and eleinent. On entering the garden, í her husband took the opportunity of found the parson digging potatoes ; equipping himself a little more in
character. As this was a “ chance able to rise. Although her countedimer," it would be invidious to nance plainly said, make observations, more especially Get up, gudeman_save crummie's life, -as Mrs H. lamented that my coming An' tak’ your auld cloak about you, to take pot-luck should have happened on washing-day; I shall there. he replied, “ Well, what can I do? fore only observe, that the dinner send for David Purdie-l'll not go was like what I afterwards found out.” The lady's face expressed rethe minister's sermons to be, formed sentment at this declaration, and she of good material, but spoiled in the Aung out, slamming the door behind cooking. I now discovered that this her. I expressed my surprise that worthy couple both earned the bread he should trouble himself with cows, they ate ; for as I had seen the huse having no glebe. He replied, that band digging his dinner from the Mrs H. being from the country, had bowels of the earth, so his helpmate's teased him into taking a few acres of hands now exhibited proof that they land ; but that he found it more had been actively employed in the plague than profit, although she washing-tub. Instantly on the cloth found much pleasure in these rural being removed, the thrifty housewife cares. In a word, I discovered from made some apology for leaving us, his conversation, and what I had and withdrew to resume her labours. observed, that both were worldlyAs we sat over a jug of whisky toddy, minded; but that she rather outdíd it came to rain heavily, and conti. him, and, according to the proverb, nued through the afternoon sans in the grey mare was the better horse in termission. Before tea, in addition his family. We adjourned to the to the rain,
study, where the fire, in the inflated The wind blew as 'twould blawn its last; es, rather than warmed our limbs ;
language of Hervey, mocked our wish. the big drops rattled furiously on the and a very small dipped candle windows, their sashes clattering in diffused a óc dim, religious light." the frames. The sun was now set, This I saw was the usual economy of and the parson facetiously observed, the house ; but the parson ordered that " it was an ill wind that blew an addition to the one, and an exnaebody good,” for he should have change of the other. Tidings now the pleasure of my company for the arrived that the cow was dead. It evening, as it was impossible I could was not perhaps possible for a woman go home. As my proposal of going to of Mrs H.'s disposition to bear such sleep at the inn would have implied a loss with equanimity; and a scene dissatisfaction with my present quar
now took place between her and her ters, I made some apology for the husband which did honour to neither. trouble, and agreed to stay; but I The evening passed heavily, and we soon regretted my consent, for the retired at an early hour, which I good lady's countenance changed at found was the practice in the family: my ready acquiescence. The tea was The howling tempest soon lulled finished, and she went down stairs, me asleep, and a noise in the kit. where her voice soon rose in no gené chen below awoke me by day-light. tle tones ; the rain rattled, and the The morning was serene, and the sun tempest bellowed, but the ebullition just emerging from the sea ; I openfrom her lungs rose above both ; and ed my window, to inhale a little fresh this din was still farther increased air, but was saluted with an odour by the screaming of the children, al more powerful than pleasant, which together forming a loud, but most I soon discovered proceeded from the unharmonious concert. The minie cow-house and pig-stye, in the court ster looked awkward and uneasy, and under my window, which I hastily at last rung the bell, ordering a fire closed. I had sat only a few minutes, to be lighted in the study, as the when a horrible uproar of grunting night was cold. Mrs H. now burst and squeaking assailed my ears. into the room, in great alarm, crying, Peeping from behind the windowthat one of the cows was swollen with curtain, I beheld the thrifty lady of wet clover, and lying in the field un- the mansion in a dishabille which I
cannot describe ; her cap did not ri- but Tom was now turned seventeen, val the lily, and her matted locks and had shewn no partiality for any hung in disorder about her ears ; her profession, except that of a gentlearms were bare to above the elbows; man. The father, although still cona petticoat, which seemed a stran- fident in his system, conceived there ger to the washing-tub, by its scanty might be no harm in giving Madam longitude displayed a considerable Nature a jog on the elbow; and acportion of a brawny limb; she was cordingly wrote to Tom, that he slip-shod, and in the act of adminis- must now consult his genius, and detering a pail of slops to the bristly cide on his future course of life. fraternity in the stye; and plunging Tom had a strong attachment to the her arms into the pail, she stirred lighter species of the belles lettres, the mixture, before tumbling it into had been a memberof a debating club, their trough, and then looked at the attended the theatre, spouting and squeaking tribe with much compla- supping with the players. He had cency. Retiring, she in a minute or a manly, handsome figure,-good two returned with a large basin of ear,-clear, but fine mellow voice,offals, and calling out, “ chuck, and sung with taste. His father chuck !" soon collected a cackling made no secret of his doctrine, and and quacking throng around her, to Tom now believed that Nature had all of which she distributed their destined him for the sock and buskin, morning dole, with her hand, from and that he had only to appear on the basin. Never had I seen a fe- the boards, to eclipse Garrick, then male in respectable life in a dress, in the meridian blaze of his glory. attitude, and employment, less ato Confirmed in this opinion by some of tractive; and as soon as the minister his dramatic cronies, he determined appeared, I took my departure, re- for the stage ; but prudently resolysisting every entreaty to stay break. ed not to make his first appearance fast. At home, I could not help con where he was known; and as the trasting the lady I had just left with company were soon to depart for Mrs Baxter; for never had I seen Greenock, he arranged with the matwo women about equal age, and in nager to accompany them, and make similar situations in life, more un his debut in that quarter. The tralike each other in their habits and gedy of Douglas was announced, the
“ Ay,” said my father, character of young Norval by a genthe parsons have both some pecu- tleman, being his first appearance on liar notions, and are very different the stage. He ranted, looked, and characters ; both marriages, I be talked like a hero, and was greeted lieve, were the result of theories with applause. Had they hooted formed in carly life, and both are him from the stage, he might then unhappy."
have made a timely retreat, and I wish, for their sakes and that of saved himself from future ills; but their children, that I could wind up he was now sailing on the summer my story, by saying that they had sea of popular applause, and the Tembeen more fortunate in their respec- ple of Fame appeared at a short distive theories concerning genius ; but, tance, the portals of which he imaalas ! both were doomed by expe- gined would open at his approach. rience to see the futility of their He now wrote a farce, which he prespeculations. Andrew Baxter ade vailed on the manager to bring for: hering to his opinion, that genius ward. The good folks of Greenock would develope itself, by a decided were not fastidious; the pit clapped, predilection for some profession, kept and the gallery shook with thunders Tom at school and college, till he be of applause. This was all very well ; lieved him skilled in languages, ma but although his fame was flourishthematics, natural philosophy, and ing almost equal to his wishes, he chemistry; still expecting the latent felt his finances in a galloping conspark to burst forth, and that he sumption ; still his benefit was near ; would only have to superadd the he prepared an original comic song, study of some particular branch, to and an address by way of epilogue, a mind of such general information; all of which were announced in the
bills: the house was crowded, and with a firm resolution not to return, Tom cleared a sum beyond his ex- he contrived to secrete himself till a pectations.
vessel was ready to sail for the wesTo find a greater fool, or one more tern world. He landed on the shores inflated with vanity than a poet and of Columbia without a guinea in his player, whose acting and writing have pocket, and soon found that it was both been crowned with popular ap not the market for either poetical or plause, the lad in the eighteenth year histrionic talent. of his age, all his debts paid, and a Jonathan had as little relish for dozen pounds in his pocket, I say, Greek and Mathematics ; a stoneto find a greater fool than him, it mason would have been more eswould be necessary to visit a lunatic teemed than Dr Parr, and a millasylum. Tom hesitated and pondered, wright would have taken precedence whether he should stick to his pen, of La Place. It was before the taror continue to tread the boards ; but ring and feathering scheme that Tom considering them as cousins-germain, landed at Boston, still considered as and having the precedent of Shakes the capital of a British colony. Tom's peare and Garrick before him, he re- necessities were urgent; he wrote a solved to unite both, and thus have good hand, and could manage pounds two strings to his bow. He continued shillings and pence upon paper betwith the company till their return to ter than in his pocket. He applied Edinburgh, by which time he had a to a store-keeper, was taken upon comedy ready for rehearsal : it was trial, and gave satisfaction ; for al brought out at the opening of the though awkward, he was active, and Theatre, Tom appearing as the prin- anxious to please. He had been cipal character ; but either the muse about a year in this situation, and had been less propitious, or the crie had just come under an engagement tics in Auld Reekie were influenced for a regular salary, when one mornby caprice; the play dragged heavily ing, being at the quay superintende through the first act, in the second ing the unloading of a cargo, he was much disapprobation was displayed, informed that a British regiment was and in the third the hapless author to be disembarked from some transwas hissed from the stage, in what ports alongside. Turning to look, he believed the best scene in the he saw, with no pleasant feelings, the piece, which was not suffered to come uniform he had lately worn; and in to a conclusion. . What a difference a few minutes his quondam Captain in his feelings in two short hours ! came upon deck, while his former When he entered the Theatre, the tyrannical drill-sergeant leaped on thermometer of hope was just rising shore, almost close by his side. to the boiling point it was now The regiment was to be stationed many degrees below zero. Bajazet in Boston, and as Tom had much in the plenitude of his power, and out-of-door business, he found deexhibited by Tamerlane in an iron- tection would soon follow. Having cage, had not more opposite feelings. once seen a culprit flogged for dem Longer stay in the metropolis was sertion, he had no wish for a practi, impossible, and a decent or manly cal knowledge of this discipline, and retreat was impracticable, from the without loss of time fled to the state of his finances. Almost fran- interior, opened a school in a village tic, he borrowed, or rather begged, a on the margin of a swamp, which guinea from the Manager, and in soon affected his health, and he was stead of returning home, made bad seized with an irresistible desire to worse, by proceeding to Glasgow, re-visit Scotland, and die at his fae and enlisting as a soldier in a marché ther's fire-side. By rigid economy ing regiment. But Tom had more and penurious living, he saved modexterity in wielding the mimic trun ney for his passage, contrived to get cheon on the stage than he had with on board a vessel for Britain, and, the musket at drill; he was awkward, after an absence of more than three and the drill-sergeant tyrannical, years, reached the manse, the home and the ci-devant dramatic hero took of his father, penniless, way-worn, French leave. Aware that his abe and weary. Here he continued to wansence would produce some regret, but der for some time in the sunny vale,