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sister-only living relative indeed. Warm and the young children. The chapter selected was cordial was the welcome I received from the the eleventh of Hebrews, and the reading was minister, but it was otherwise from my aunt. led off by Mrs. Jardine, who sat on Dr. Brown's No sooner had I set foot in the manse than she right Down the group the reading continued, gave me “a regular blowing-up” for having been bringing out every conceivable variety of accent so long in coming south. Had the minister's , and pronunciation. There was considerable reception been of a similar nature, I simply stumbling over the long words, which caused would have returned home--but it was entirely not a little suppressed laughing now and again ; different. I took to him at once, and he took one of the ploughmen bogled at the expression, to me. Sympathy, you know.
"an innumerable company of angels,” but he My aunt was an indescribable kind of woman, bravely surmounted it by rendering it an like nobody I had ever met before. My mother, abominable company of angels, which was not an her sister, was one of the most delightful of improvement. On the whole, however, the womankind ; no two sisters could have been reading was very well done, and the Scriptural more unlike each other. Mrs. Brown seemed information elicited seemed to be quite satisfacto be always on the search for the unattainable; tory to the minister. seeking to put away out of sight what she had The men, women, and elder children composalready got, and yearning for something which ing the company grouped around the kitchen seemed to be as indefinite and as impossible to table may safely be described, in so far as get as the moon. In short, my aunt was an un- reading was concerned, the people of one book. happy and a thoroughly discontented woman. Newspapers and magazines had not found their
The minister, Dr. Brown, was a patient way as yet to Whistlefield ; books were scarce resigned, and lovable old man--one of the and dear, and consisted mainly of The Pilgrim's gentlest gentlemen I had ever known. He and Progress, Robinson Crusoe, and some religious I had long walks and drives together over the literature such as Boston's Crook in the Lot, Border country. Not a word of reproach or Illeine's Alarm to the Unconverted, or Baxter's impatience ever escaped from his lips that I ever Saint's Rest. But the Bible was the one book heard. On my expressing surprise that he bore that was mostly handled and mostly read in that everything at home so quietly, and advising him upland country stretching away to Lauderdale to flare up and assert his own position, the and the Lammermoors. minister quietly replied : “She's my cross, Jack; After the examination on the eleventh chapter the only cross I have to bear. I married her of Hebrews was closed, Dr. Brown asked the for better or for waur ; it's been for the waur, so company to shut their Bibles. He then asked we'll e'en say nae mair about it.”
for a repetition from memory of some verses In one of his pastoral visits, Dr. Brown asked here and there taken at random from the Psalms, me to accompany him to Whistlefield-a lonely the Gospels, and the Epistles, all of which verses moorland farm- where it was arranged that we were correctly and unhesitatingly given. should remain over night and return home next “Now for the open Bible once more," said day. I gladly agreed to accompany him, and it the minister. “Who first can find the twelfth was with great pleasure that I accepted the verse of the thirty-fourth chapter of the propheDoctor's invitation to take the reins and drive cies of Ezekiel will please read it aloud.” the old mare when “the minister's man ''brought Instantly the whole company of readers, her and the gig round to the manse door.
young and old, were on the search for Ezekiel. A warm and hospitable welcome we received The rustling of leaves, the finding of the from Mr. and Mrs. Jardine of Whistlefield. prophetical book, the turning over for the parThis being a pastoral and professional visit, every ticular chapter and verse, formed an animated soul about the "farm town” were assembled to scene. The first to find the passage was a fairmeet the minister--master, mistress, children, haired girl of twelve or thirteen, who was invited domestics, shepherds, ploughmen, hinds, to read it aloud. In a fine, clear voice she read labourers-all and sundry were assembled in the it without a single mistake. spacious kitchen and seated round the great “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the table. The minister took his seat at the head day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, of the table, and opened the proceedings with so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver praise and prayer. The Bible and the Shorter them out of all places where they have been Catechism were then submitted as the subjects scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” of study and examination. A chapter was read “In the cloudy and dark day,” repeated the from the Scriptures, not by the minister, but venerable minister in soliloquy, and in a tone of “ verse about” by every person present except what seemed to be a presentiment of coming
trial on the morrow. But he speedily regained perfectly affronted to see ye eatin' sae little ; a his usual cheerfulness, and praised the girl for bit wingie o' the chicken now ?” her smartness in being the first to find out the “Thank you, Mrs. Jardine, I'm making a passage. After a few more exercises of a similar most excellent supper ; no more, I thank you." nature, the Shorter Catechism was next taken in “Mr. Grey, it's perfect nonsense you sittin' hand. It also was shown to have been carefully there dabbin' away like a bird at the back o' studied, for the various doctrines selected for that rabbit. Here's a juck's leg to keep it examination were all “proved” from Scripture company." to the entire satisfaction of everybody present, “Not a bit more, thank you, Mrs. Jardine: minister included.
I'm eating the biggest supper I ever ate in all The catechising over, Dr. Brown invited a few my life before.” questions on any point of Scripture that might “ Whistlefield,” said Mrs. Jardine, next be troubling his hearers ; but whether from addressing her husband, "there's nae kennin' bashfulness in asking, or from the entire absence what you're about there ; you're at the lug o’the of trouble or doubt of any kind, there was law and maun help yoursel', as I make no doubt neither doubt nor trouble expressed. Where ye're doin'.” upon the minister rose from his seat, uplifted Whistlefield was all right, he said. There he his hands, and pronounced a solemn and, as it sat, enjoying his supper with splendid appetite proved to be, a prophetic farewell.
and saying but lit:le. The conversation at and The touch of sadness in Dr. Brown's voice after supper fell principally on farming topics, and manner soon wore away in the general when Whistlefield came out specially strong, but hospitality that followed the pastoral examina- he relapsed into silence when it drifted into other tion. All who had been engaged in it were channels. entertained to supper, the minister and myself Ere retiring to rest, Dr. Bron asked me if I as guests in the dining room, and the others in would have any objections to both of us occupythe kitchen.
ing the same bedroom for the night. “I feel There was great glee consequent upon what wearied and depressed beyond expression,” the was going on in the latter place, for on the Doctor continued, “and would greatly desire previous day, the Martinmas term, there had your company through the night. It's a singular been a fat ox slaughtered to provide entertain request to make, Jack, but something within ment for a grand supper in honour of the compels me to ask this favour of you." pastoral visitation. What was not reserved for Of course I replied that I would be delighted. that occasion was salted, stowed away in tubs Accordingly, we wished our host and hostess and kept for the winter's supply of beef. good-night, and retired to the spare bedroom in Everyone who had listened to the minister got a the farmhouse of the lonely Whistlefield. slice of roast along with a boiled potato, both of the minister and I occupied the same bed-which were held in the fingers and eaten with a vast construction of four upright posts, with immense enjoyment and appetite while sitting scarlet canopy and blue hangings. So soft was round the long kitchen table. Plenty of every- the bedding that the minister gradually sank thing, as the potatoes disappeared another potful into a trough, and I into another, with a high was toppled out by the servants into a great wall between. Good night was wished out of “ashet” and everybody invited to “pit out the the depths of bedclothes. hand an’ make yoursel's at hame."
Dr. Brown appeared to fall asleep very soon Meanwhile Mr. and Mrs. Jardine were enter after sinking to rest. It was different, however, taining the minister and myself in the dining with me, who turned uneasily from side to side room with stewed rabbit, roasted duck, corned in my trough. Sleep fled from my eyes, and beef, and boiled chicken. One of the servants slumber from my eyelids. Then I sat up, but from the kitchen waited the table, and was kept the room was as dark as pitch ; the only thing continually in motion by her mistress, who stirring was the night wind, which was coming seemed to take very little herself, as she was in fitful gusts and moaning round and round the constantly looking after the interests and tempt- house appropriately named Whistlefield. ing the appetites of her two guests. This was As the clock on the staircase struck twelve, I called “pressing to eat,” a custom in universal saw, mind you, did not fancy I saw, but really practice then, meant no doubt for kindness and saw, the figure of an elderly female carrying a hospitality, but sadly subversive of real enjoy lighted lantern enter the apartment, walk straight ment to those who ate but sparingiy, as did Dr. past the bed on which I still was sitting up, and Brown and myself.
disappear on the opposite side. The figure " Doctor," Mrs. Jardine would call out, “ I'm neither looked to the right nor the left, made no
attempt to speak, but came in at the one side of the bedroom and as silently left on the opposite side. In speechless horror and terror I sat up in bed, trembling and perspiring in every pore of my body. Unable to speak I yet retained the consciousness of gratitude in having the minister beside me. I shuddered to think, when I was able to think, of what might have happened had I been alone in that strange bedroom with the apparition of the woman and the lighted lantern.
The long, long November night seemed a month in length, but the wished-for morning came at last. Dr. Brown rose and dressed : and as he did so, he remarked to his companion for the night that the fears of the previous evening had been all dispelled, as he had slept well and soundly the whole night through. I, however, said little about my sleeplessness, and nothing whatever about the strange visitor with the lighted lantern. Within the next twelve hours, I was to see the same form, but in widely different circumstances.
After breakfast, Mr. Jardine, or Whistlefield as he was usually called after the name of his farm, was anxious to show us over the yard, the byres, the stables, etc. Seeing that it would disappoint him if we did not comply with his wishes, we accompanied him, and really we saw much to interest us; but so long did it occupy us to do the inspection that when we returned to the house, we found that Mrs. Jardine had prepared an early dinner, or luncheon as it would now be called. On protesting against sitting down to eat so soon after a hearty breakfast, the hospitable lady said that it would be a “perfect temp’in o’ Providence to gang owre the muir on em'ty stamacks. Na, na, Doctor," she continued, "ye gi’e us plenty gude meat in the pu’pit, I'll take care ye dinna starve when ye come to Whistlefield.”
Accordingly we sat down to luncheon, and while engaged in discussing it, a messenger was announced from the neighbouring farm of Janefield to say that the mistress there had taken suddenly ill during the night, and that the family would like very much if Dr. Brown would call on his way down.
At length the minister's mare and gig were brought round, and we bade good bye to the hospitable home of Mr. and Mrs. Jardine. Calling at Janefield on our way, we found that death had been there before us, and that the gentle lady was no more. In such circumstances, the minister remained a while to comfort the bereaved family, and it was not until the evening that we resumed our journey.
On starting for home, the darkness had set in.
Not only that, but the rain was falling in torrents -a blinding, drenching rain up-to-date November. Asking me to take the reins as before, Dr. Brown settled himself down in the gig, and was so completely encased in wraps and haps that conversation was out of the question.
Giving the mare her head, away she rattled homeward. The darkness and the rain were nought to her : present discomfort was all forgotten in the cheery prospect of reaching home in less than an hour. A smart run down the country at last brought us to the river on the opposite bank of which we could see the lights of the manse at the end of the village. Fearing that the ford might be too heavy in flood, I stooped down from my driving seat and asked the doctor if we might venture to cross. There was no reply. Feeling that the mare herself was anxious to go on, I let her have her own way. In she plunged, and after a stiff puil, managed to reach the opposite bank and commenced the ascent to the village.
Right ahead, in the pitchy darkness of the night, there stood a something waving a lighted lantern! It was being waved in exactly the same way that I had seen the figure do in the bedroom at Whistlefield ! In my terror, I cried aloud to the Doctor, but he still made no reply. At length a shrill voice called out, it was the voice of my aunt, “A fine time this to come back, keeping me waiting dinner since four o'clock. I'm ashamed of ye both!”
Turning round, my aunt went on before, waving her lantern, and did not halt until we arrived at the manse door. There the minister's man was waiting us While he caught the mare's head, I threw off the reins, climbed down from thegig, and congratulated the Doctor that we had arrived all safely. But there was no response.
“Lend me that lantern, aunt," I called out. Holding up the light to the face of the Doctor, I saw what I shall never forget--the eyes of my uncle staring into the darkness! The features were set and rigid, and cold as ice. The gentle minister was no longer amongst us, and I had been sitting beside a corpse all the way down from Janefield.
The Eildon bills.
This bonnie country through,
As I think I see them noo.
On heather and turf and stane,
Wi' a beauty o' its' ain.
leach shearer, an' a' thegither a coorse shearer, Carlyle's brother Jamie.
sae sklent the bogs wi' thy as'bucket feet, thou THE father of the Carlyles was altogether skull-backit goniol, an'ne'er show thy auld
an original man, being known far and wussen'd face aboot this ferm toon.” J wide as a man “wi' heaps o' knowledge,” When raising potatoes, a raw slip of a lad and as a sagacious and clever workman.
came on to the field to order a cart load. Jamie, An apprentice of his who lived to a good old pointing to a cart already loaded, said, “If thou age, used to say that the Carlyles were “a' pithy can pit the yad intae the shafts, thou can'st speakin' bodies," and that the father of the ha'e th' lot for thy trouble.” To the sur“ book maker” was one who would " sit on nae prise of all, the young fellow accomplished man's coat-tails, an' sic stories he could tell the task, and Jamie, as good as his word, refused He used savin's an' words that were never heard payment. o'before."
At another time when carting turnips from a It would seem that Carlyle's younger brother field, the horse “took the sturdy," and would not -“ Jamie o Scotsbrig” inherited his father's budge, Jamie lost his temper over it, and flinging gift to a marked degree, for he was a man “ wi' the reins in its face, he said “stan' there,” and left an unco pooer o' langwidge.”
the animal in the field where it was found next When a lad he was always regarded as much morning. smarter than his brother, and for clever sayings, When Jamie and a friend were driving from and scathing speeches, Tom was never in it Lockerbie Lamb Fair, where they had got a with Jamie.
“wee drap in their e'e,” they fell out by the way. To-day, throughout the parish of Middlebie, The gig happened to belong to the one, and the and even in Ecclefechan, Jamie is held in greater horse to the other. The former was laying on admiration than the famous sage. His savings the lash somewhat heavily, and when asked to are remembered where Carlyle's books are either desist ordered the other out of his gig. Jamie not known, or spoken of with contempt.
deliberately got down and unyoked the horse, " Jamie we kent ; he could ferm, but Tam," leaving his friend all alone in his glory in the said one, “ we can see naething in him, an' less middle of the highway, and a long way from in his books to mak'a sang aboot.” “There home. wasra his match in a' the country for breedin' On another occasion a party of Americans pigs," said another.
met Jamie near Ecclefechan, and asked him to His doings and speeches are to be met with point the way to Carlyle's grave. Which on almost every farm in Dumfriesshire. The Carlyle ? ” said he. “Thomas, of course—the following, which are taken at random, are dis- great Carlyle.” In his abrupt fashion he gave tinctly Carlylean, and show that Jamie possessed them the needed directions, and was moving that graphic and original speech which belonged away, when an ardent worshipper of the sage to the clan.
exclaimed—“We have come all the way from A servant man lost the barn door key, and America to lay this wreath on our great when all was ready for thrashing it was nowhere teacher's grave.” to be found. Jamie “open’d oot on ’im," and “Ha, ha, ha,” he laughed, and said sarcasticexclaimed_“Ye slowsterin' slink, e' slack-lippit ally-“ It's a gey an' harmless occupation 'e a' slabber gae 'wa an' look the weeks o’’er mooth hae," and with another laugh turned away. for the key."
G. M. R. On another occasion he spoke of a servant lass's Sweetheart as a “puir, insigneeficant,
LITERARY NOTE. gleemerin', trough-heeled, slack-backit sluggard." THE “Life and Letters of John Gibson Lock
He was very particular about the cutting of hart," by Mr. Andrew Lang, will be published his corn, and gave his sheare's strict injunctions shortly by Mr. John C. Nimmo. The work is to “tak' time an' cut it cloose an' clean.”
drawn from Abbotsford and Milton Lockhart During one harvest season the workers got MSS. and other original sources, and the son-ininto a “kemp," that is a competition, and made law and biographer of Scott will declare himself some rough work. Jamie came on the scene, in his own correspondence with friends such as and was neither “tae haud nor bin,” and per- Sir Walter, Dean Milman, Southey, Mr. Jonafectly shook with rage. He dismissed every than Christie, Professor Wilson, and Mr. Carlyle, one on the spot, using some very strong also with various members of his own family. language. One he described as "craw-fitted,” Much light should be thrown by the work upon another as “shool-backit," whilst a third was the society, literature, and, in a minor degree, addressed thus.“ Thou's a hich shearer, an'a the politics of 1814-54.