« 前へ次へ »
Day, the philosopher, had a freak of educating a wife for himself. He got two orphan girls intrusted to his care, on entering into recognizances to educate and provide for them. One proved too mylish to make anything of. The other grew up every thing he could have wished. And yet he gave up the idea of marrying her, because she one day purchased an handkerchief more gaudy than accorded with his philosophical notions. Of course, it never came to a declaration. I wish it had, that one might have seen with what degree of grace a man could divest himself of the grave and commanding characters of papa and pedagogue, to assume the supple, insinuating deportment of the lover,
There are a set of men, whose success in wooing-and it is unfailing—I cannot comprehend. Grave, emaciated, sallow divines, who never look the person in the face whom they addresswho never speak above their breath-who sit on the uttermost edge of their chairs, a full yard distant from the dinner-table. I have never known one of those scarecrows fail in getting a good and a rich wife. How it is, Heaven knows? Can it be that the ladies ask them.
One thing is certain, that I myself have never been able to 'pop the question.' Like the inspired writer, among the things beyond the reach of my intellect, is the way of a man with a maid. By what witchery he should ever be able to induce her, "her free unhoused condition,' to bring into circumscripton and confine,' it is to me a mystery. Had it been otherwise, I should not have been at this time the lonely inmate of a dull houseone who can scarcely claim any kindred with any human being in short,
AN OLD BACHELOR.
When chapman billies leave the street,
This truth fand honest TAM O' SHANTER, As he frae Ayr ae night did canter, (Auld Ayr, whom ne'er a town surpasses For honest men and bonny lasses.)
Oh, TAM! hadst thou but been sae wise, As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice! She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum, A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum ; That frae November till October, Ae market-day thou was na sober ; That ilka melder wi' the miller, Thou sat as lang as thou had siller; That every naig was ca'd a shoe on, The smith and thee gat roarin fou on; That at the L-d's house, ev'n on Sunday, Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday. She prophesied, that, late or soon, Thou wad be found deep drown'd in Doon; Or catch'd wi warlocks in the mirk, By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.
Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet, To think how mony counsels sweet, How mony lengthen'd sage advises, The husband frae the wife despises !
But to our tale: Ae market-night, TAM had got planted unco right Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, Wi reaming swats that drank divinely, And at his elbow, Souter Johnny, His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony; Tam lo'ed him like a very brither ; They had been fou for weeks thegither. The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter; And aye the ale was growin better; The landlady and Tam grew gracious, Wi' favours secret, sweet, and precious; The souter tauld his queerest stories; The landlord's laugh was ready chorus; The storm without might rair and rustle, TAM didna mind the storm a whistle.
Care, mad to see a man so happy, E'en drown'd himsel' amang the nappy; As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure, The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure: Kings may be blest, but TAM was glorious, O'er a' the ills o' life victorious !
But pleasures are like poppies spread. You seize the flower, its bloom is shed: Or like the snow-falls in the river, A moment white-then melts for ever ; Or like the borealis race, That flit ere you can point their place; Or like the rainbow's lovely form Evanishing amid the storm.Nae man can tether time or tide! The hour approaches Tam maun ride! That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane. That dreary hour he mounts his beast in; And sic a night he taks the road in, As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last; . The rattling show'rs rose on the blast; The speedy gleams that darkness swallow'd ; Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd : That night a child might understand. The deil had business on his hand.
Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg, A better never lifted leg, TAM skel pit on thro' dub and mire, Despising wind, and rain, and fire : Whiles haulding fast his gude blue bonnet; Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet; Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares, Lest bogles catch him unawares; Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
By this time he was cross the ford, Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd ; And past the birks and meikle stane, Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane : And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, Whare hunter's fand the murder'd bairn : And near the thorn, aboon the well, Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel, Before him Doon pours all his floods; The doubling storm roars through the woods ; The lightnings flash from pole to pole; Near and more near the thunders roll; When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees, Kirk-Alloway seemed in a bleeze; Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing ; And loud resounded mirth and dancing.