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matrons themselves were reclining on the still stout arm of their spouses, or dragging away their giggling daughters, who on every possible opportunity turned their heads to catch one last glance of, or blow a kiss to, their affianced lovers. These might be seen too, some with an air of merriment, others with an expression which strove to be genteelly melancholy, wandering back to their humble cots, with thoughts divided between the hardship of to-morrow's ploughing, and the enumeration of how many pigs, how many fowls, and how much stock, they must possess, ere they can hope to have their ardent passion rewarded, and their liberty subjected to the bonds of Hymen. The cudgels lay shattered on the grass; their owners had retired to meditate on the broken head which they had given or received. The birds were slumbering in the woods, the sheep-bells tinkled no more over the plain, and I was left alone and unregarded under the shade of the forest-trees, that waved with a hollow, tremulous murmur, as if admonishing me to be gone, lest by my loitering I should disturb the nocturnal gambols of Mab and her fairy train. I lost no time in obeying them, and being enabled to find my way through the wood by the light of the Moon, soon found myself far distant from the theatre of my evening's amusement, of which, as I looked back for a parting farewell, not a vestige remained save the smoke of the gipsey fire, flitting in fantastic forms over the verdant branches of the trees, and opposing itself to the rays of the bright orb above me.
THE BOGLE OF ANNESLIE ;
OR, THE THREE-CORNERED HAT.
.An' ye winna believe i' the Bogle ?" said a pretty young lassie to her sweetheart, as they sat in the door of her father's cottage one fine Autumn evening :-“ Do you hear that, mither, Andrew 'll no believe ithe Bogle ? "
« Gude be wi' us, Effie!” exclaimed Andrew,-a slender and delicate youth of about two-and-twenty, “ a bonny time I wad hae o't, gin I were to heed every àuld wife's clatter."
The words “ auld wife” had a manifest effect on Effie, and she bit her lips in silence. Her mother immediately opened a battery upon the young man's prejudices, narrating how that on Anneslie Heath, at ten o'clock at night, a certain apparition was wont to appear, in the form of a maiden above the usual size, with a wide three-cornered hat. Sundry other particulars were mentioned, but Andrew was still incredulous. that, dearly will he rue 't!" said Effie, as he departed.
Many days, however, passed away, and Effie was evidently much disappointed to find that the scepticism of her lover gathered strength. Nay, he had the audacity to insult, by gibes and jests, the true believers, and to call upon them for the reasons of their faith.
Effie was in a terrible passion.
At last, however, her prophecy was fulfilled. Andrew was passing over the moor, while the clock struck ten; for
66 He'll. rue
it was his usual practice to walk at that hour, in order to mock the fears of his future bride. He was just winding round the thicket which opened to him a view of the cottage where Effie dwelt, when he heard a light step behind him, and, in an instant, his feet were tripped up, and he was laid prostrate on the turf. Upon looking up he beheld a tall muscular man standing over him, who, in no courteous manner, desired to see the contents of his pocket. “De'il be on ye !” exclaimed the young forester, “I hae but ae coin i' the warld.” " That coin maun I hae,” said his assailant. 6 Faith! I'se show
ye play for 't then,” said Andrew, and sprung upon his feet.
Andrew was esteemed the best cudgel-player for twenty miles round, so that in brief space he cooled the ardour of his antagonist, and dealt such visitations upon his skull as might have made a much firmer head ache for a fortnight. The man stepped back, and, pausing in his assault, raised his hand to his forehead, and buried it among his dark locks. It returned covered with blood. “ Thou hast cracked my crown,” he said, “but yet ye sha' na gang scatheless ;” and, flinging down his cudgel, he flew on his young foe, and, grasping his body before he was aware of the attack, whirled him to the earth with an appalling impetus.
- The Lord hae mercy on me !" said Andrew, "I'm a dead man."
He was not far from it, for his rude foe was preparing to put the finishing stroke to his victory. Suddenly something stirred in the bushes, and the conqueror, turning away from his victim, cried out, “ The bogle! the bogle !" and fled precipitately. Andrew ventured to
He saw the figure which had been described to him approaching; it came nearer and nearer ; its face was very pale, and its step was not heard on the grass. At last it stood by his side, and looked down upon him. Andrew buried his face in his cloak: presently the apparition spoke-indistinctly indeed, for its teeth seemed to chatter with cold :
“ This is a cauld an' an eerie night to be sae late ou Anneslie Muir !” and immediately it glided away. Andrew lay a few minutes in a trance; and then arising from his cold bed, ran hastily towards the cottage of his mistress. His hair stood on end, and the vapours
of the night sunk chill upon his brow as he lifted up the latch, and flung himself upon an oaken seat.,
6 Preserve us !” cried the old woman. Why, ye are mair than aneugh to frighten a body out o'her wits! To come in wi' sic a flaunt and a fling, baresconced, and the red bluid spatter'd a'o'er your new leather jerkin! Shame on you, Andrew ! in what mishanter hast thou broken that fule's head o' thine ?"
“Peace, mither!" said the young man, taking breath, I hae seen the bogle !"
The old lady had a long line of reproaches, drawn up in order of march, between her lips ; but the mention of the bogle was the signal for disbanding them. A thousand questions poured in, in rapid succession."How old was she? How was she dressed ? Who was she like? What did she say?"
“ She was a tall thin woman, about seven feet high !” “ Oh Andrew !" cried Effie. “ As ugly as sin !" “ Other people tell a different story," said Effie. " True, on my Bible oath! and then her beard”.
" A beard! Andrew,” shrieked Effie, a woman with a beard ! For shame, Andrew'!”
Nay, I 'll swear it upon my soul's salvation! She had seen saxty winters and mair, afore e'er she died to trouble us !”
“ I'll wager my best new goun,” said the maiden, " that saxteen would be nearer the mark.”
“ But wha was she like, Andrew ? " said the old woman. “Was she like auld Janet that was drowned in the burn forenaint ? or that auld witch that your maister hanged for stealing his pet lamb? or was she like"
“ Are you sure she was na like me, Andrew ?” said Effie, looking archly in his face.
“You-Pshaw ! Faith, guid mither, she was like to naebody that I ken, unless it be auld Elspeth, the cobler's wife, that was blamed for a' the mischief or misfortunes o'the kintra roun', and was drowned at last for having sense aboon the lave.” “ And how was she dressed, Andrew ? "
“ In that horrible three-cornered hat, which may I be blinded if ever I seek to look upon again ! an' in a lang -blue apron.”—
“Green, Andrew !” cried Effie, twirling her own green apron round her thumb.
like to teaze ane!” said the lover. Poor Andrew did not at all enter into his mistress's pleasantry, for he laboured under a great depression of spirits, and neyer lifted his
from the ground. ye
hae tauld us what she said, lad!” said the old woman, assuming an air of deeper mystery as each question was put and answered in its turn.
“Lord ! what signifies it whether she said this or that! Haud
your tongue, and get me some comfort ; for, to speak truth, I'm vera cauld."
“ Weel mayest thou be sae," said Effie, “for indeed,” she continued, in a feigned voice, “it was a cauld an' an eerie night to be sae late on Anneslie Muir,”
Andrew started, and a doubt seemed to pass over his mind. He looked up at the damsel, and perceived, for the first time, that her large blue eyes were laughing at him from under the shade of a huge three-cornered hat. The next moment he hung over her in an ecstacy of gratitude, and smothered with his kisses the ridicule which she forced upon him as the penalty of his preservation. “Seven feet high, Andrew !”
My dear Effie!”