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THE HARUM-SCARUM CLUB.
Let time and chance determine ;
At the request of my brethren of Scriblerus is a bachelor in the the Harum-Scarum Club, 1 for once noon of life, by profession a limb of take the post of our much-respected the law. He lately had a fair chance Secretary, Martinus Scriblerus, who of succeeding to the office of Townhas met with an accident, which, al. Clerk, which is now filled by a vethough not dangerous, will for some nerable gentleman, whom Time will time prevent him from wielding the soon oblige to resign ; but the H. S. quill.
Club is obnoxious in the eyes of It is one of Rochefoucault's max. our rulers, and our Secretary, in his ims, that, in the misfortunes of our account of it, has incurred their best friends, there is always some bigh displeasure ; hence there is no thing not unpleasing to us; and his chance of his succeeding to any ofobservation is so far confirmed in the fice or emolument under their pacircumstance I have just stated; tronage. In his early years, he was for while all of us esteem and re- rather a wildish boy, and being, in gard our worthy brother and Secre- our homely phrase, gleg of the uptary, we are pleased to have an op- take, his lessons at school cost him portunity, for once, of substituting little trouble, leaving him leisure another in his office; not that we for other pursuits; and many of his are dissatisfied with his services, but school-boý, pranks are still rememthat we may supply some circum- bered, both by his friends and enestances which he has omitted. From mies; for he had studied and prachis communications to you, it would tised many hocus-pocus tricks, and appear that the club consisted of might have passed for a Herman only six members ; whereas, in the Boaz in town, and a conjuror in the language of Wordsworth,“
country. He constructed a magic seven.” Whether this error proceed- lantern and camera obscura ; had aled from our Secretary's modesty, or ways a supply of phosphorus, detothat, like the wise men of Gotham, nating powders, and other chemical he omitted himself, when reckoning preparations, by which he amused over the members, we shall not de- some, while others trembled with termine ; suffice it to say, that he alarm at his exhibitions. During produced a sey-piece, and was enrol- the leisure hours of his apprenticeled a member, on that evening when ship, he studied natural and expethe Club was constituted ; and as his rimental philosophy with some sucpen has given some notoriety to our cess, particularly electricity and galInstitution, whether we are to obtain vanism, both of which still contribute the respect, or excite the risibility of to his amusement. With a heart the public, we hold it meet that he that feels, and a hand ever ready, take his proportionate share. And according to his abilities, to relieve as he has faithfully sketched the what he believes the real distresses characters of the different members, of his fellow.creatures, Martin still we have resolved that his shall not delights in his practical jokes on the be omitted in the group; and al- ignorant and timid; forgetting, that though now a little in the back the fears of a bewildered imaginaground, it shall be portrayed with tion are in theinselves real evils, offidelity ; for, in obedience to the ten producing acute and lasting pain. commands of the Club, and also my And although he every night devotes own feelings, I shall
a portion of his time endeavouring Nothing extenuate,
to banish his landlady's rheumaNor set down aught in malice. tism by electricity, yet he is never
better pleased than when he can ex- accordingly, when her lodger entreattract some fun from his philosophy. ed her to run for Dr Tell, and all But, exclusive of losing the Town should be explained afterwards. The Clerkship, by quizzing the Provost, man of medicine was luckily at home, he has lately had two practical les. and hastened to his friend. When sons, which, it is the hope of his the girl was restored to life, though friends, will, in some degree, wean scarcely to her senses, Martin prohim from this propensity.
ceeded to state what had produced A rich, but simple countryman, not this unexpected catastrophe, and exlong ago, called on him, intending to pressed great alarm about his wound, employ him as his agent in a law- which was very painful, and his arm suit. The electric machine stood on already much swelled. Dr Tell a table in the room, and Scriblerus saw his alarm, and believed it might saw, with delight, that his client be well to take advantage of his fears, viewed it with wondering curiosity; as the means of curing his propensity and in answer to a query what it to those wanton tricks. He therewas, replied, that it was a newly-fore dressed the wound with a grave invented musical instrument; and countenance, and being earnestly enproposed playing an air, requesting treated to say, candidly, whether any the man to hold the chain till he put bad consequences were likely to folit in tune. The consequence may be low, seemed reluctant to answer. easily guessed; the countryman re This only increased the alarm of his ceived a shock, which first frightened, patient ; and being adjured, in the and then offended him; no apology most solemn manner, to speak canpor explanation could appease him ; didly, he said, that the cat had been he went off in a rage, and our friend put in a rabid state by the shock, lost his client. The accident alluded and there was no foreseeing the possi, to, in the beginning of iny letter, ble consequences ; although he hoped was produced by a similar cause. to prevent them, by putting his paHis landlady had got a new servant tient under a troublesome and severe maid, who, Martin soon discovered, regimen. Having kept his friend had never seen an electric machine; under this terror as long as appeared he conceived this an opportunity too prudent, he read him a severe lecgood to be lost, and soon planned a ture on the imaginary fears he had double plot, in which his dupes were too often inflicted on others, and obto be the servant-maid Susan, and tained a solemn promise, that these his landlady’s cat. Having put his tricks should be renounced; he then machine in good tune, he called Su- assured Scriblerus he had no bad consan up stairs, and, by some plausible sequences to apprehend, and that story, persuaded her to sit down with he would undertake the cure with puss on her lap, holding her gently the utmost confidence. with both hands. Twisting the chain The story soon got air, to the around the cat's neck, he proceded amusement of his friends, and the without delay, and soon produced secret gratification of his enemies. effects far beyond his anticipations, Some advised him to apply to Prince for when the discharge took place, Hohenloe; while others agreed, that, Susan, uttering a wild scream, fell on being a heretic, the holy man would the floor, dragging both the cat and not pray for him, or even if he did, the electric machine along with her. it would not be answered. Martin Scriblerus, in his attempts to disen- himself now laughs at the joke, gage the chain, had his right hand which is known all over the town, severely bit by the infuriated animal, and has already cost him a new gown and the machine was dashed in pieces. to the servant-maid, and another The scream of the girl had alarmed electric machine, besides disqualifyher mistress, who, coming up, found ing him from writing for some time Susan on the floor ia a swoon, and to come. the lawyer standing over her, with I now annex a copy of his seyhis hand bleeding profusely. The piece, which he prefaced with the good woman soon formed an opinion following introduction : of the cause very wide of the truth, The scene of the following tradiand began to express her sentiments tionary tale lies on the coast, a few
miles north-east of Arbroath ; the ro. Where none who enter'd e'er returned, mantic caves are well known, some To find an earthly grave. of which run quite through rocks, and land him who explores them on When the waning moon hangs in the
west, a spot where all is new around him.
With mildew on her horn, One is dark, and runs to great extent under ground. In the ages of Strange shapes would rise from the deep
dark sea, ignorance and superstition, this was
On the bounding billows borne. named the “ Forbidden Cave," and firmly believed to be occupied by In wintry winds, a boat of fire, demons from the infernal regions.
Steer'd by a spectre form, Even in the last century, few would Would proudly rise on the mountain wave, have been found possessed of suffi
Light gliding in the storm ; cient fortitude to venture within its Like arrow from a well-bent bow, portal. I have often heard the out
Would shoot athwart the gloom, line of my tale told by my grand- And swifter than the speed of light mother, although I have taken the
Dart in its darksome womb. liberty of altering the catastrophe, which, as related by her, was truly Then the paddling oars were heard to horrible. Dickmount-Law is more plash, than a inile distant from the en
Amidst the salt-sea foam ; trance of the cave, where, according And a hollow voice, from its dark recess, to tradition, the piper and his wife
Would cry, “ You're welcome home !" entered, when returning drunk from Then shouts of wild unearthly glee a wedding. Next day, the piper was
Would strike the list’ning ear ; heard at Dickmount-Law, sound. And laughter loud, and revelry, ing his drone, also his wife singing Unmeet for man to hear. the following distich, in a doleful tone;
The sea-fowls, sleeping in their nests,
Would wake with wailing scream ; Lone, lost, and weary, plays Tammy Tyrie, And the fisher, laid on his homely couch, Beneath the barns of Dickmount.Law ! Would start in a frightful dream,
Soon after, the piper's dog was seen to issue from the cave, with such The sheep would bleat in the distant fold, accompaniments as I shall not shock As the grey-rocks echoed round, your feelings by naming; but they And stars would shoot in the midnight
sky, plainly indicated the death of his
So awful was the sound. mistress. The piper continued to play incessantly for some nights and days The frightend fish forgot to swim, after, but was never more seen on And jump'd with quivering fin; earth. Thus runs the current tra
The limpet clung to the tangled crag, dition, which at one period was firm
So dreadful was the din. ly believed by many.
Down div'd beneath the briny flood,
The monsters of the deep ;
Behind the rocks would creep.
And then would wake the winds of Though limpingly lags on my verse,
heav'n, And careless is my rhyme.
And the bellowing tempests roar ; If you've ever been where rude rocks rise,
And the mountain wave, with curling
head, By Brothock's winding shore, Where Becket's ruin'd Abbey stands
Would lash the sounding shore. In age sublimely hoar ;
And never a boat would take the sea You've seen the deep indented caves,
Till the Sabbath bell had rung ; The work of Nature's hand ;
Nor fisher dare to leave the land And their yawning fronts, where wild
Till holy mass was sung. waves dash,
Tom Tyrie was a man of might, As they rush o'er the strand.
Who liv'd at Dickmount-Law, And, haply, you have heard the tale And none like him, besouth the Dee, Of thedark Forbidden Cave,
Could Highland bagpipe blaw :
When the bridegroom went to meet his The fire-flaught spreads in sheets of flame, bride,
Or shoots in arrowy stream ; The piper aye cheer'd him on ; Dark frowns the cavern's hoary sides And the harvest-home was dull and sad Beneath the lurid gleam. Without his mirthful drone.
Still presses on the rolling waves ;
More deep the gloom profound ;
Kate's far in the Forbidden Cave,
And all is darkness round !
On Dickmount-Law the evening sun
Sheds soft and golden sheen ; Tom said, “ I go to a wedding-feast, The birds sing blithe in every bush, Kate, you'll gang to the sea ;
Sweet smells the meadow-green : The moon is round, and the crabs are rich,
Kingblythmont bank is fair to see, And you'll gather a dish for me."
For love and mirth are there ;
A blushing bride and blithe bridegroom The sun shines bright, and bonny Kate Have banish'd every care. Trips lightly o'er the lea;
Tam Tyrie winds his humming drone, And now she stems the rippling wave,
And looks both fond and fain Coats kilted to her knee.
On light-heel'd lasses in the dance,
With crotchets in his brain.
Oh ! little does the minstrel ween
How they must pass the cheerless night,
To them both long and drear.
So rare the minstrel's melody,
So rich their mirthful fun,
Before their sport was done.
With bagpipe dumb, below his arm,
Tam homeward bends his way ; But the matchless crab was gone.
His brow with nappy ale was warm,
His heart was light and gay. She sought him east, and she sought him
His little dog across the plain west,
The leveret would pursue, Where'er she thought he'd sprawl ;
Tear up the gowans in his teeth, And just in the jaws of the haunted cave
And frisk among the dew. She beheld him swiftly crawl.
At home, instead of the welcome smile, His elastic claws were large and long, He beheld his children weep ; And over the stones he hies ;
And cold and pale grew the piper's cheek, Kate follow'd fast, for loth was she
To think on the salt-sea deep. To lose so rich a prize.
The bonny lasses were now forgot, She stoops, but still he shuns her grasp, As he hurried down the hill ; Alas! for hapless Kate !
For though he had a light wand'ring eye, His side-long strides decoy her on,
Kate reign'd in his bosom still. And lure her to her fate.
He looked long among craigs and rocks, Within the foul Forbidden Cave
And wearily wander'd round; She caught him by the claw ;
At last he resolv'd to touch his pipe, And turn'd around, to bear him out,
Convinced she would know the sound. Then hie to Dickmount-Law ;
The dog ran east, and the dog ran west,
He smell'd at the salt-sea foam, But dark clouds now bedim the sky, He snuff'd along the shells and sand, And loud is Ocean's roar ;
Where the hapless wife did roam ; The foaming billows, mountain high, Are dashing round the shore :
He follow'd the scent till he came to the
cave, Loud thunders roll along the heav'ns, Where all was dark within, The rocks around her quake,
Stood still, and whin'd, and wagg'd his With hollow echoes long and deep
tail, She feels the cavern shake;
Afraid to venture in;
Came back and caught the piper's coat, As in some low'ring, dismal night,
Shines forth a trembling star, And said, as plain as a dog could speak, Before them, in the darksome Cave, “ Dear master, go with me!"
A spark was glimm’ring far. He led the piper o'er the stones,
Though long the road, they lightly pass'd, Till the Cave was right before,
And reach'd a palace fair ;
A thousand lamps, in fragrance sweet, And tried to drag the minstrel in, As he finger'd his chanter o'er.
Were brightly blazing there :
Above their heads resplendent moons His sharp shrill pipe, and sounding drone,
In purest azure rollid; Loud echo'd in the air ;
The finely tesselated floor He tried to peep within the Cave,
Was coral, mix'd with gold.
Tam gazed upon a fairy throng,
Light as the bees on heather-bells,
ale He quaff'd so free yestreen.
The piper sat beside the Queen,
With ravish'd eyes and ears ; He paus'd for breath-then jump'd in joy,
Melodious murmurs floating round And forward fearless ran;
The music of the spheres ! For Kate upon her piper smil'd,
The King led Catherine to the floor, And shew'd a flowing can :
Dark fash'd the piper's e'e ; * O blessings on you, my bonny Kate !
The Queen, who saw his rising wrath, Come here, my winsome dame !"
Cried, “ You shall dance with me.” It may not be- you must come to me, How sweet she smil'd-how long they For I cannot leave my hame;
It boots not here to tell; * But come, dear Tam-we've meat and The King and piper both were pleasid, drink,
So pow'rful was the spell.
But Kate thought on her bairns and home, brow,
And, anxious to be gone, But I'll dance a reel with you !"
She whisper'd in her husband's ear,
And bade him sound his drone.
He blew a Highland pibroch loud,
The dancers vanish'd from the floor,
And all was darkness there ! He rush'd within the fatal Cave,
The starry lamps no longer shine, To clasp her glowing charms,
The golden floor is gone ; And cried, “ O come, my darling Kate,
And Tam and Kate, in midnight gloom, And bless your husband's arms !"
Set on a cauld damp stone. She whisper'd softly in his ear,
His drone had never bumm'd so loud, “ There's one you cannot see,
So bauld he never blew,
His fingers never flew : " He's now between me and the door,
At home, the bairns around the fire I dare not mint to gang,
Blithe heard the chanter bum; Lest he, by strength of magic spell,
And bird and beast, round Dickmount. Should work us deadly wrang.”
All gazed in silence dumb : A smile was on her dewy lip,
No piper was on hill or dale ; But a tear was in her e'e ;
But aye they heard the sound; “ To well or woe to life or death,
And soon they felt the dinsome noise Dear Kate, I'll gang with thee !"
Come dirling through the ground. As Orpheus, for Eurydice,
But Tam and Kate sat both inclos'd Sought Pluto's dark abode ;
In night and darkness deep ; So Tam, in love to darling Kate,
And round the piper's manly heart
Chill fear began to creep.