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fancies; and going home again at a late hour to his mother's in winter, through miry roads and trackless show! 0, Colin! my dear! do not quarrel with Glass; do not, I entreat you.”
“ But we 'have quarrelled; and I never saw a more savage-looking ani. mal in my life."
“ Then you must have greatly offended him, for it's the wrath of the furies that pours itself forth from Glass's mind when insulted; you must have insulted him; he is tender of his ho. nour: you may smile; but, my dear brother, I once saw him reproved by our uncle Villejuive, for intruding his presence into a little circle that was formed before the manse door, when that gentleman paid Mr. Levingstone a visit here; and I shall never forget the contortions of Glass's face, and the writhings of his body. I believe there was no one present, but wished Sandy at I-colm-kill; and it was all from M. Villejuive bidding Sandy, in a very rough tone, go about his business, what did he want amongst gentlemen ?”
“ Why, the cases are very nearly parallel; I had only asked why he in. truded himself on me?"
Well, my dear Colin, that is just the way to put Glass in a passion; he fancies he is welcome every where: he will not go into any room of the house, but into every kitchen, into every barn and stable; he eats whatever is given him, he puts his hand to work at any little thing, he goes any message, and delivers it accurately too; indeed Glass is an universal favourite, and my dear brother has too much respect for himself to be at odds with a half-witted lad.”
“ Well, my dear Ellen, I'll make it up with the fellow in the course of tow morrow.”
Good morrow, fool, quoth I; no, sir, quoth he,
ST. CLYDE, that evening, led Mr. Thornhill into a discourse on the received opinion of seers, or secondsighted folks. The minister was a little hurt to hear so foolish a subject broached by a man of St. Clyde's information and travels.
But the matter was not to be dismissed so easily. Colin, though in no ways superstitious, could not cease to be very strongly impressed by the strange story of Carr. Whiggans he knew to be no credulous man, and Levingstone was of the same opinion.
The belief in seers owed its origin to the imposture of some fellow many centuries before Carr was born, and the prejudices of the people to believe what they wished to be true, or to fear what their superstitious imaginations dreaded. And though it were no difficult matter to wind up the mind to a general denial of the whole of the jargon about seers; the partial confirmation of
predictions and prophecies, and oracular responses through a series of successive facts, was not to be got rid of, till the truth should be established, or the fallacy detected.
Mr. Thornhill gave what he conceived to be the rational interpretation of this extraordinary faculty : “ It was an impression made either by the eye upon the mind, or by the mind on the eye; by which things distant or future are perceived as if they were present.
“A man on a journey," continued he, “as, for example, our friend Mr. Gillies, fell from his horse; and a She mus Macalester, who was then a ser, vant at Mill-hole, started suddenly, surprised to see his master and borse both falling to the ground. Shemus saw Mr. Gillies bleeding, and described the landscape or scenery of the place where this happened.”
“ But do you place no reliance on such reports ?” said St. Clyde. “It is not to be doubted,” replied Mr. Thorn
" that Mr. Gillies was very se: verely bruised by his fall; and no one ever doubted the fact that Macalester, at work in the dye-house, pretended to see his master fall, and to describe the place and fix the time the acci. dent happened."
But, Mr. Thornbill,” said Leving