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“Wha should it be, Tibby, but jist Donald o the brae.”
“Donald o' the brae !” exclaimed Tibbyye canna mean that.”
“And wha for na. Ye ken weel the puir fellow's unfortunate attachment; it's na secret, I believe.”
“Na! his unfortunate attachment to me,” said Tibby, “was, as you say, na secret to naebody.”
“Twa negatives mak an affermative, Miss Tibby : dinna forget either your grammar or yoursel; ye really spake such braid Scotch I canna weel understand ye.”
“ It's na vary likely I should speak braid Scotch, ma'am-I who havena set my fute in Scotland these thirty years ; I believe few people would guess, from my hoccent, that I'd ever been there at a'."
“Your long absence, ma'am, excuses your short memory!”
“My memory 's a vary gude ain, ma'am.”
“I should na think sae, by your forgetting puir Donald's devotion to me,
“I have na forgot that the puir lad was well nigh demented for my sake, ma'am.”
“ Upon my word, Miss Tibby, you mak me laugh - I canna help it.” And Miss Grizzy forced a shrill and nervous titter, while her plume of cock and hen's feathers quivered in unison with the movements of her forced hilarity.
“Let those laugh who win, ma'am,” said Tibby, much incensed.
“ There's na much to be won, ma'am ; puir Donald o’the brae is far awa', but his memory is dear to me still. Puir lad-he had na the siller, but he had a true heart, and mony thought a gude taste.”
“I had na reason to quarrel with his taste, ma'am,” said Tibby—“it was too flattering to me, that's a'."
My dear Tibby, I could na offend you for the world; but, indeed, as a friend, I think it my duty to tell ye you ’re most strangely mistaken ; often and often I've quarrelled wi' Donald for his remarks on your red hair, and your ankle, and
“My hair !—my hair red, ma'am !-you're surely thinking o' your ain! Remarks on my ankle! Noo, I have heard Donald say you war na deficient in a good, strong understanding. My hair, indeed! - I have taken him to task for saying your shoes would be too large for him. My ankle !"
I really think, Miss Tibby, you must have a bee in your bonnet !”
“ And I really think, Miss Grizzy, you must have a wasp in yours." And Tibby raised her voice so high, that, as the entre acte was over, a “hush” from several parts of the house alone recalled her to herself.
“This is folly, Miss Tibby,” said Grizzy; “it's na becoming at our time o' life, to be disputing aboot a young callant like Donald o' the brae; but if ye’ve any doot o' his attachment, this will set it at rest” — and Grizzy, leaning back, adroitly and privately displayed to Tibby the portrait of Donald o' the brae. But Tibby was not behindhand; she fumbled for a moment in the folds of her skirt, and suddenly, in her turn, presenting a portrait to Grizzy, she said,
“ If you've ony doot o' his attachment for me, let this set it at rest.” For a second, the enraged spinsters sat, comparing portraits like two disputants about the hour, each presenting his watch.
Miss Grizzy gazed in mute dismay; at length, she slowly unfastened her own miniature of Donald, and said, “May I mak bauld to ask in wha' year it was he gave you that pictur?"
“In 1798, ma'am, as ye 'll see here on the pictur.”
Grizzy turned very pale, tears filled her eyes, but she drew herself up, and said, in an under-tone, “ Enoo, Miss Tibby, enoo! I did na think, after wearing the pictur o' Donald for mair than thirty-five year, ever to be ashamed o'it; but a fause face shoudna rest on a true breast; and the mon who gives his pictur to twa lassies, does na deserve to have it worn by ain. If I have been too warm, I ask your pardon. A Douglas is ever ready to atone for an error. Babie, be sae gude as to tak charge o' this pictur, and never let me set eyes on it again.”