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formed the intellectual part of the repast, and were far dearer to the national old Grizzy, though their prophecies had been by that time either fulfilled or proved false, and the events they recorded were then“ with the years beyond the flood,” than any English paper wet from the press, and full of the “ latest intelli. gence” from all parts of the globe. As for Babie, she was no politician, no blue, and the corner devoted to the “ fashions ” and “fashionable arrangements,” and an occasional love sonnet, was all that had a charm for her roving eye and sentimental taste.
Perhaps there is no constant youthfulness of feeling, but certainly with some there is a perpetual childhood of heart and mind, and this was the case with Babie.
“ Have ye na sent awa' the carriage ?” she said, at the conclusion of the repast.
“ No," replied Ellen ; “ I cannot extend my visit beyond half an hour longer, or at most three quarters of an hour; my uncle always likes me to make breakfast for him.”
“ Would you object to my just taking a
drive in the chariot while you talk to Grizzy? I want so to get a few bargains in Oxford Street, and to get another peep at Regent Street; and I am quite ready."
Grizzy gave Ellen a significant look, intimating a wish to get Babie out of the way; and Ellen kindly consenting, Babie, wild with joy, in a black velvet cap and feather, and a plaid scarf, rushed down stairs, scrambled into the carriage, and ordered the coachman to drive to Regent Street.
“ Puir Babie!” said Grizzy ; “ I'm glad she's left us to converse a little, and it was very kind o' you, my dear, to lend her the carriage ; it's a great treat to her, and I only hope she wunna forget hersel, and drive half over the town before she comes bock agin."
“Oh, I hope not !” said Ellen, anxiously; “ my uncle will be quite uneasy about me.”
“ I'm glad, my dear, that you should see how wild the lassie is after pleasure of ony kind; perhaps it'll mak you mair carefu' o' her, when she has na me to see till her. She's a very gude, but a sadly giddy, girl. Aweel,
aweel! I only hope the mon that wins her affections will na trifle wi' them. Babie, thoughtless as she seems, would mak a gude wife and a fond mother; and now come and sit by me, my dear. I have a good deal to say to you, Ellen Lindsay. It's mony a lang year since I've seen a face I like as weel, and could trust as weel, as your's. Ye ca' back to my mind the friend o' my youth, your aunt; she, too, was an Ellen Lindsay; and as I look at you, I forget a’ the long, dreary years that divide me fra' her, and fra' my former sel, and I am again a lassie, sitting wi' her amang the heather and the harebells, she talking o' the heaven where she sune went, and I o' ain that, I grieve to say, was mair than heaven to me.”
She paused; Ellen knew not what to answer to this strange confidence. She remained silent; but there was something in the old woman's manner which affected her, and tears filled her eyes.
“ Ah! now ye are her vary sel,” said Grizzy ; “just so, wi’ the vary same een,
would she look up at me, and mind me na to love the cratur better than the Creator. Wall ye ha' patience, my dear, while I tell ye for why I sent for ye?"
Ellen kindly assented.
“ Weel, then, I would ha' ye ask yer cousin (I canna name her)-I can never see her, never name her agen, never breathe the same air wi' her—when and how she got that fatal pictur, wha proofs she has that Do......that he loved her A' I wish is to ken the waur; I ha' worn him in my heart o'hearts for mair than thirty lang years I will uproot his image, since the reality was fause and unworthy, but I feel as if my heart would na' survive the wrench."
There was certainly, abstractedly speaking, something very absurd in this love confidence from old Grizzy Douglas to young Ellen Lindsay. But yet there was a real depth of feeling and suffering in the face and manner of the old woman, which for once exalted the ridiculous into the sublime, and Ellen could have found it in her heart to weep over the
disappointment of the poor old maid — a dis. appointment, be it remembered, not in an actual lover, which, at her age, none could have sympathised in, but a disappointment which poisoned the Past, which attacked the hallowed memory of her only love, and dethroned the venerated idol of the worship of her life.
“ Bring me the truth, the whole truth, and naething but the truth. Tibby was a wild flirting lassie, perhaps......but na...she has his pictar; that he must ha'given her; she could na ha' got it from his sister ... let me ken when and how he gave it to her. She had mony lovers—I never had but ain — na, na, I suld say I never had ain, for a fause ain is waur than nane at a'...”
6. Perhaps,” said Ellen, “ he only looked on cousin Tibby as a friend.”
“Na, na; Donald o' the Brae was na the mon Tibby, flauntering young thing as she was, could ha’ for a friend; it could no be. Weel, I was proud and reserved, na mickle coorted by the men, and na generally reck