« 前へ次へ »
any thing, it is much to say in favour of any belief, that the state of morality necessarily produces it.
Singular that we have not heard a shot the whole day. The duke must have given them a jubilee. But we have traversed the dominions of more dukes than one-since seven in the morning—it is now, we should say, seven in the evening—yet not a single sportsman have we seen. Birds enough-along our pole we occasionally took a vizy at an old cock-and our wallet would have been crammed had it all the pouts we covered—but we have had the day and the desert all to ourselves—and only once imagined--but did not mention itthat we saw a deer. Not a human being, indeed, of any sort, but poor Dugald, has crossed our way-so not a soul had we to talk to but our own shadow. On some occasions it was not easy to look at him without laughing-leaping side by side with us on his pole-in a style beyond the grotesque-sometimes suddenly shrinking into a droich of a broad-backed bandy_and then as suddenly dwindling himself out into a daddy-long-legs, striding as if he had discovered the longitude. You may not believe it, but we saw him on the top of a mountain, when we were walking in the glen. How he got there it is not for us to say—but there he was—and he took his stance with such an air of independence, that it was some time before we could believe our eyes that it was him-but our suspicions having been awakened by a Lord Burleigh shake of the headman unconscious practice of ours—as we believe on the authority of friends who have seen us in earnest conversation with ourselves-we detected him by waving our hat round our head—when, taken off his guard and relapsing into his servitude, the magnanimous hero performed the same evolution with a dexterity equal to any inhabitant of the Brocken.
There is a disturbance! Bang they go, barrel after barrel, to the tune of ten or twenty-and then what a burst of bagpipes ! A shooting-lodge so near the old kirk ! And pray why not? We hope it is a shootinglodge-or, at any rate, a tent.
A tent and of the most magnificent description-fit to hold a troop. We like to see things done in styleand this is bang up to the mark. Ay—there he is in his native dress—his name
“ Well do we know, but may not tell ;"
but 'tis that of a warlike clan-and he is their chieftain. Those noble-looking men around him are Southronsthey have too much fine sense to mount the tartan-and we think we see one on whom Victoria is thought to have looked sweet at her coronation.
“Our honoured Mr. North, have you dropt from heaven in among us?" * We have." " How did you travel, our dear Christopher ?" " In a balloon." 6. Where's your ballast-our beloved Kit ?" " On our back.” “God bless you-are you well ?" “ Toll-loll." 6. You must stay with us a week ?" “ Two.” 6 Give us your hand on that ?"
“ Both.” You have not dined ?" 6 No." “ Stir your stumps, ye villains and let the tables be spread for • OUR GUIDE, PHILOSOPHER, AND FRIEND.'
“Hic niger est-hunc tu Romane caveto."—HOR.
(Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 1838.)
“ Upon my honour, sir, my father does not get more than 40 per cent!" This conscientious and genteel speech haunted me not very long since, during a painful and dangerous illness. It came certainly very mal a-propos ; but having come, would not depart, like an imp of evil, as it was—for some one has observed, or, if not, some one might have observed, that words once embodied in sense or sentence have a living existence, the good or bad spirits taking conception in the mind, and birth from the mouth, never to return again, but invisible agents in the world, that do a world of mischief in it, and often standing in a court of justice against their parents in the flesh-such as imp of evil, I assert, was that sentence to me, for, having taken possession of the best room in the house of my brains, it kicked its heels there, and called about it lustily, and innumerable were the train of thought-imps that came at its call. “ Upon my honour, sir, my father does not get more than 40 per cent.” Who gave it existence? It was the son of an undertaker, my dear Eusebius. The occasion this :-—I was present when the said very genteel youth presented the bill for a funeral, a few weeks after my acquaintance had buried his father. I am sure the old gentleman never would have slept with his fathers, could he have read over the items of his last journey, and would have again died over the sum-total. The bill was indeed startling. It was upon a slight remonstrance that this nicely dressed mincing son of his father, in about the nineteenth year of his age, and full
promise of his trade of hatbands and scarfs, laid his hand upon the left side of his waistcoat, and unhesitatingly swore like any peer of Parliament—"Upon my honour, sir, my father does not get above 40 per cent!!” Years have passed away since I heard this sentence, nor have I thought of it in the interim ; but that it should just then, above all times, when I lay in a feverish state, and when it appears by no means improbable that an inquest of “ 40 per cents” might be called to sit upon my body, was a remarkable proof of a fiendish existence of words that, Jike vultures, come to the wreck. From that day I know an undertaker by instinct, and abhor him, as dogs in China fly from a butcher. Long days and nights did I lie upon my uneasy bed; and this son of an undertaker was at the foot or head of it continually. At one time he brought me a list of friends and relatives to attend my funeral, most of whom I thoroughly disliked ; at another time he laid out the scarfs, and hatbands, and gloves upon my bed, and changed my curtains into black cloaks. At another time he presented me with a book of patterns of nicely drawn coffins, and coffin-ornaments, tin-lacquered cherubims, with wings, cloud, and trumpet. Then stepped out of the room, and came in again with a stonecutter, and his book of monuments and tablets and then I racked my brain for inscriptions, and he suggested many, so abominable, that I was quite angry. Then the discussions upon the relative merits of stone and marble, the cost of cutting per letter; the clergyman's fee, the clerk's, the sexton's—if all were to have silk hatbands? the charges for pumping the grave dry. But the worst was when I felt that I was in my coffin, and yet knew all that was going on in the room about me, just the same as if I had been purposely gifted with the faculties of mesmerismmonly I was conscious of sense of suffocation. Under this new magnetism I saw them carry me out of the room, the ever polite son of an undertaker pointing the way. I felt the shock as they knocked against a bureau (of which, by the by, I told them to take care), in which I had many treasures-alas! thought 1-farewell! never to see them again. I very distinctly saw a near relative, to whom I had left, for me and for him, too, a handsome legacy, smile with more hilarity than was becoming the peculiar situation, and I believed he inwardly thought he should rummage my bureau. I would call to them to stop-I wished to alter my will but no utterence came to my wishes. • This then,” says I, “is being dead in law.”—“I am infant-oh! the rogues !--they will ransack all—I shall have nothing."“ You shall have the bill," looked the son of an underta. ker, and “upon my honour, my father does not get more than 40 per cent.” Extortion! miscreant !- Lift the poor gentleman cautiously over the banisters, and don't hurt the wall for the next comer," muttered an oily-faced fellow in damp black, the smell of which was awfully suffocating. I saw and smelt through the boards that covered me. Bang they went against the staircase wall, and they staggered under me. Well done, Old Scratch," cried another. I was horrified-was he one of my bearers? We passed the door of the room where my " mourning friends” were assembled. It was open. Who would believe it? they were in jocund conversation. My surgeon, whom I had considered the tenderest and most humane of beings, was facetious with the parson; how they, too, were “ true” sportsmen-always in at the death! There was some confusion in the hall. The great door was open. I saw the two mutes, the horses of a part of the body of the hearse, and heard the wheels of the mourning coaches behind. “Go on," says one. “We can't,” says another. “ Lawyer Codicil isn't come yet," said another. ." I sent him hatband and gloves," said the son of an undertaker, "and a coach at his door.” "Coach is returned,” said another; "he can't come, he says, but will be here after the funeral to read the will." "Oh, he will, will he," thought I; but I couldn't jump out of the coffin, though I tried. “ He will take the will for the deed,” said I; “I never will employ Lawyer Codicil again." - There are no lawyers where you are going, a something suggested to me: and do you forget you are dead? you are going to be buried.-Go on, said the son of an undertaker. Out came the procession in cloaks, and he was ranging them in order, two and two. I saw the paraphernalia, hatbands, &c. blown by