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Ill fares the poor

rough stony knowes in the middle of fields, where also in the warm still sunny days of harvest you startle the whirring partridge, and see her feathers where she has been Auttering in the stour, and where you hear the whins, with their opening capsules, crackling on the sun-dried braes. Blaeberries were abundant this year, and ripe in the beginning of July. The barberry bears a fair crop. In my boyish days this bush was called gule-tree; and we made yellow ink of it, to give a variety of flourish to our valentines to the little lasses_from whom we got pins in return to be played for at tee-totum. gean-tree by the road-side, torn down and dismantled in all its branches by the Village urchins, bent at once on provender and “papes.” Scarcely ever does its fruit see the first blush of red. A guinea for a ripe black gean within three miles of a country school! The juniper is a scarce bush ; but it has plenty of fruit this year-green, red, and black, on the different exposures of its closematted

evergreen branches. In my days of childhood, I had a sort of religious regard for the juniper, from the " coals of juniper” mentioned in Scripture along with "sharp arrows of the mighty;" and also from the cir. cumstance that I had never seen the berries till they were brought me by my grannie, who plucked them on a remote hill side, as she came from a Cameronian sacrament. So far as eating them was conc

ncerned, their resinous tang of fir helped my veneration, and I never got beyond chewing one or two. I am compelled to add, however, that my reverence for the holy berries was considerably abated, when I found out that the sly old wife had popped a dozen or two of them into her own whisky bottle, to give it the flavour of gin. Crabs are not so plentiful as might have been expected ; and (as Johnson said of Churchhill) their spontaneous abundance being their only virtue, they are below notice this season. But look at the seed of the ash how thick! The light green bunches of it, relieved against the somewhat darker verdure of the leaf, make it well seen, and the whole thing has a very rich effect. The pods of the pea-tree (laburnum) hang from every branch in clusters. When ripe, the peas are glossy black as jet, and are much sought after by bits of country lasses for making necklaces of beads--for the little monkeys have early notions of finery. They are unsafe to be meddled with, however, as they are very poisonous. It is worthy of remark that, come good year or bad year, the pea-tree never fails to have loads of depending flowers as thick as swarms of bees a-skepping ; and the fruit is always equally abundant. Of all plants, and shrubs, and trees, in garden and field, and on the mountain sides, none is to be compared in this respect with the prolific pea-tree. It is one of Nature's richest gifts to adorn our hedge-rows. The wood, I may add, is extremely beautiful, and that the turner knows right well. The rowan-tree, the Beauty of the hills, and the terror of witches, is red all over with berries this autumn. May she ever see her fair blushing face in the sleeping crystal of the mountain pool! Her berries are also for beads. The boor-tree, famous for bullet-guns, bored with a red-hot old spindle, and towcharged, in the days of boyhood, is also very rich this autumn with her small black-purple berries. · Miss Jeanie” would not take the “ Laird o' Cockpen," when she was making the elder-flower wine;' let him try her again in this the time of the elder-berry vintage-she is herself elder now, and has had time to think better of his offer ; not to say that a sip of the richer berry may have softened her heart. Never had the “bummie” such a

summer high in bliss” as this year among the honied flowers of the lime. The autumn of its fruit is not less exuberant: The ground where it grows is quite littered with the small round seed. The broom is all over black with its thin pods : Plantagenet, more swainlike than kinglike, has coined his glory of summer bullion into a bushel of peas. Mushrooms in their fairy rings in the rich old unploughed pastures, are a fair crop this season. By the way, when does the mushroom come first ? Tom Campbell in his “Rainbow” says :

• The earth to thee its incense yields,
The lark thy welcome sings,
When, glittering in the freshened fields,
The snowy mushroom springs."

Spy

you are

Now, the lark ceases to sing early in July; and I rather think, Thomas, the mushroom is rarely seen till August what say you ? But I refer the matter to William Wordsworth, that master martinet of poetical accuracy. Meanwhile, having thrown Thomas this metaphorical nut to crack, I go on to the literal nuts; and I beg to say that their white young clusters are almost th loveliest fruit that grows in glen or shaw. Now, however, they are glossy brown, and lots of them.

So mask yourself, gentle swain, in the most tattered gear you can muster (buckskin breeches, if you have them), as recommended in the said William Wordsworth's poem of “Nutting," and, bag and crook in hand, sally forth with your Ladylove, bedizzened like Otway's witch in the Orphan;" and Pan speed you! And if any lurker, on the System” among the bushes, hear you drawing a simile from the hazels among which

in
praise

of

your sweetheart's eyes, why, he can only take you at worst for King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid : So, still speed you! Sloes, being harsh and salivating in their sourness, are almost always plentiful; for Dame Nature is a queer old economist, giving us fine things sparingly, but lots of the coarse. But ah! Flibbertigibbet aforesaid delights in the sloe. No matter how deceptively that blue-purple down, or rather film, of seeming ripeness veils the sullen green of harsh immaturity--it's all one to “Ill Tam.” Away he goes with his pocketful, whooping through the dry stubble fields to the village cow-herd boy on the common, who, smitten with the eager hope of company in his cheerless waiting-on, perks up his head out of his dirtybrown maud from beyond the bielding heap of divots ; starts up with an answering holla ; and comes running over the bent to meet his welcome crony, the rush-cap on his head nodding like a mandarin's, and his doggie with its ears laid back in the wind gambolling on before. Straightway the fire of whins and dry barren thistles is set agoing, and sends up what Æschylus calls “its beard of flame, better seen by its wavering smoke-topped flicker than by its gleams of colour, deadened in the daylight; and the roast

her son

of sputtering sloes-with an eke of beans and potatoes, which provident little Patie has in store-is more to our genial worthies, sitting on their hunkers, and nuzzling and fingering among the ashes, than Ossian's Feast of Shells." And thus they feast till the day begins to decline: And then they run to the distant road to ask the passing traveller what o'clock it is; and, in the fearless necessities of rude nature, the question is popped, whether the passer-by be a charioted buck of seven seals, or a trudging hind who hangs out a crooked sixpence, a simple spotted shell, or a bit of polished parrot-coal by an affectionate twine of his grandmother's hair. Then come the hoar mornings of November frost, and the sloes begin to crack, and are really not so bad; and “Ill Tam” has another day at Eildon hills. He finishes the ploy by tearing and wearing his corduroys, up trees and down" slidders,” to very reasonable tatters ; and thus the light of knowledge is let in by many and wide holes upon his mother at night that

" has been out;" and her patience being worn out as well as his breeks, a good sound thrashing winds up the day to Thomas. Anything like a full crop of acorns is a very rare harvest indeed. This

year, however, they are “plenty as blackberries ;” and now that the air is beginning to smell of winter, they are popping down upon your head wherever you go, clean, glossy, and slightly ribbed in their brown and white. They must have been better to eat in the Golden Age than now, or the stomachs of our simple sires must have been more easily pleased than those of their degenerate and luxurious sons; for hang me from an oak branch ! if I could eat an acorn, so harsh and stringently tasteful of the tannin, even to see the Lion lie down with the Lamb. So my Age of Gold is not likely to get beyond pinchbeck. But swine can eat acorns, though Old Bachelors are not so innocent. And therefore I advise all my country friends, after the wants of the nurseryman are served, to turn the snouts of their pigs among the mast, or have it gathered by the bairnies and flung into the trough. The porkers grunt almost graciously over it, and it helps to give that fine flavour to the flesh which touches the tongue so racily in the wild boar ham.

CHAPTER XVII.

DIANA CLEMENT.

SECTION I.

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AFTER travelling a couple of years abroad, Hinton Douglas came to London with Captain Bucke, who, from the protracted consequences of severe wounds, had been obliged to quit the army. By the most generous exertions Bucke had saved the life of Douglas in the Bay of Naples, when on the point of perishing in the waters; and from this circumstance a strong mutual attachment had grown up. It was now the Captain's intention to stay for some time in London, under medical care ; and then come and spend his days, on half-pay, at his native village, which had this farther recommendation to him as a final place of sojourn, that it was very near the residence of his friend Hinton Douglas, who eagerly pressed him to this mode of life. The village in question

was our own

Old Scottish Village.” In the meantime, Bucke was advised by a friend in London to take up his quiet abode as a boarder with Mrs Clement, the widow of a physician, who had left her in rather straitened circumstances with an only daughter, Miss Diana Clement. This young lady had been abroad, in quality of governess, it was believed, to a French Marchioness, and was, therefore, highly accomplished.

After seeing his friend Bucke thus comfortably settled for the time, Hinton Douglas set out for Scotland, where, after arranging his affairs and gaining the sweet consent of Miss Marjory Russell to become his wife next spring, he returned to London to superintend the winding up of the mercantile affairs of an uncle, who had left him a large accession to his fortune. To avoid the temptations of fashionable life, and apply himself to business, and, moreover, to be near his friend the Captain, he determined to live privately at Mrs Clement's during the months he had to

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