« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION. THE BORDER MAGAZINE will be sent post free to any part o, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, and all Countries included in the Postal Union, for one year, 4s.
The monthly instalment of “The Quarry Master" is held over. The author has generously given way to make room for several contributions that have been patiently waiting their turn. Many more of these, however, are yet to follow : but the Editor hopes to bring them all up ere long.
THE BORDER MAGAZINE.
LIST OF CONTENTS.
PAGE ANDREW LANG, M.A., LL.D. By WALTER O. HARDEN. (Portrait and Illustrations), - - 81 BORDER BATTLES AND BATTLEFIELDS. OTTERBURN (Continued). By JAMES ROBSON. (Illustration), 84 ROBERT MATHISON, A BORDER NATURALIST. By Rev. GEORGE Tait. (Portrait), . PUIR AULD HAWICK. By TEEKAY, - - - - - - EDITORIAL NOTICES AND LIST OF CONTENTS, - - - -
- - - 90 CAERLANRIG : A NOVEL. By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS, Bart., -
- - - 90 ANECDOTES OF MUNGO PARK (Illustrations),
- - - - - 94 BORDER FOOTPRINTS IN SALOPIA. By A LINTON LAD, BORDER NOTES AND QUERIES, - - - - - - - - - - - - 99
Caerlanrig, A Hovel.
By this time that fairly capacious apartment
was well filled, and as Lawson glanced round ARS. JEFFREY'S entrance diverted the him it presented a scene which was not
discourse to material things. In that lacking in elements of the picturesque. A red
good woman's view of life, no ills, short fire without flame glowed on the hearth, its of death itself, were recognized, which could not radiance conflicting with the gathering shades of be cured, or at least very much alleviated, by night, and with the smoke from pipes, and one of two remedies--nourishment and repose. steam from glasses, which burdened the air or If the patient were able to “take ” anything, floated upwards towards the darkness of the so much the better. If that was impossible, rafters overhead, whence the hams and sides of let him at least lie down.
bacon hung down. In this warm light, each The less complex the philosophy, the less man in the attitude which pleased him best, speculation impedes action, and consequently- sat the occupants of the high-backed settees short as the time had been—the excellent house - which flanked the fireplace,-presenting in wife had already “made down" a bed, and set themselves a sufficiently motley and partisomething on the fire to cook. She now took coloured group, whilst their countenances the unknown lady under her charge, conducting afforded a rich study in rustic physiognomy. her to a chamber which had been prepared for Conspicuous among them was Old Francis, the her reception upstairs. Meantime the landlord postilion, who sat with his feet drawn back under had returned ; and when he had given Lawson him, his body inclined forward, his hands a glass from the bottle which he brought with hoarding his mug, -silent except when spoken him, dwelling as he did so on its high quality, to, and looking the very ideal of a toper of the they also left the parlour and adjourned to the lean and melancholy class. Next to him came kitchen,
a group of shepherds in their plaids and bonnets of blue, their tongues now beginning to move best,—to the serious-minded shepherds as a man more freely, the earnestness of their faces to relax, of sense to men of sense, to the landlord genibefore the influence of warmth, wine, and fellow ally as to a man of substance, to Pouchie as to ship. Noticeable also was the lithe figure and an equal, to Ritchie rallyingly, gallantly to animal (but not brutal) feature of the lawless Mar'an, and to the butt of the assemblageTorchlight Tam ; next to whom, in unconven- whom his quick eye soon discovered—so as to tional garb, sat his congener, “Pouchie "--so raise a laugh at his expense, but such a laugh as called from his large coat-pockets, generally torn the butt himself could lead. In less than half. at the edges through having rabbits thrust in an-hour every man felt comfortable in body and them,-with other irregular characters, who made happy at heart. a living chiefly by poaching. Several shepherds By this time the gathering dusk had poured dogs lay curled at their masters' feet, looking as into the room, so that the forms and figures of wise as if they tolerated, yet forbore to take the carousers were almost obscured. The ostler part in, this human scene. In front of each had drawn close to Mar'an, but she suddenly man was a glass; and, to supply the feminine flounced away from him uttering a half element indispensable to the perfection of all suppressed exclamation, the cause of which was interiors, not far from the smiling face and red unexplained. Then the door opened, and the waistcoat of the ostler Ritchie, stood the bonnie landlady entering cried out that they were sitting maid, Mar'an,-a country lassie just imported in the dark, and marvelling over her maid's from some particularly outlandish hill-farm, who thoughtlessness, carried her off to bring light. performed her duties as waitress in happy-go. A lamp was introduced, and the buxom Mrs. lucky wise, as directed by the blessed light of Jeffrey lingered to communicate news of her nature, and when not going to and fro stood patient upstairs. She told them that the lady listening to the discourse and occasionally put had declined food, but had lain down to rest, ting in a word ; and whom—whatever the desiring not to be disturbed. Some time aftermistakes she might make, and they were neither wards, Mrs. Jeffrey had returned to listen at the few nor small-no man in that company was door, to learn if she were asleep. But instead churl enough to blame, for her kind artless of the gentle regular breathing of peaceful nature. I need scarcely add that this cosy scene slumber, she had heard from time to time heavy lost nothing from contrast with the wintry land- sighs. scape without.
“She has a weight on her mind poor body, The entrance of Lawson and the landlord I'm afraid.” gave a stimulus to conversation. The accident Then enquiries were put to Francis as to the to the coach was still uppermost in the minds of traveller's identity. But he either could or the company, most of whom had witnessed the would tell nothing. She was unknown at the stopping of the horses ; and although as a starting-place, he said, and the way-bill merely matter of fact nothing very particular had revealed her name as “Mrs. Allonby.” happened, they easily made up for that by “Allonby, Allonby,” repeated the landlord, dwelling on all the various things which might who knew all the county families thereabout. have resulted from it, and taking their cue from “She must belong to Cumberland, or beyond it. Ritchie, were inclined to raise the open-handed The name is English, and there's none othe sailor to the position of hero of the hour. This quality bears it this side the Border. But what honour he laughingly disclaimed, but at the same can be the errand which brings her travelling time with easy good-nature applied himself to this lone road, alone, and at this season of the the diversion of his chance-met acquaintances, year?” so that if they had already had evidence of his Various surmises were hazarded by way of presence of mind in an emergency, they now reply, but the remark which seemed to meet with saw a specimen of his convivial talents.
most general acceptance was the vague one, it's He had before this informed the landlord a mystery. Then the landlady went about her that he wished the company to drink at his business again, and time in the kitchen slipped by expense, and the bottle now circulated freely; as before. Only that as the minutes passed, they but his entertainment did not finish there. marked a progression in the feelings of the Circumstances no doubt were in his favour, yet company. Men whose daily lives were as wonderfully short was the time it took him to austere as irony, or as the moorlands of their establish relations with almost every one present native land, whose epidermis was scarce sensi-the postilion being perhaps the only one who tive, who knew pleasure only in its simplest remained obdurate to his cheery influence. And forms and had never dreamed of it as an object to each one in turn he talked as suited that one of deliberate pursuit, yielded themselves more
and more to the gracious influences of the hour. The frozen springs of cordiality within them thawed and flowed freely, and the gift of tongues descended. Then roused up the grotesque and grinning Momus of the soil, and began to shake his bells, to caper and to tumble, and to indulge quaint antics manifold. The sly allusion, the droll story-crusted with age, as if a jest were like fine wine and improved with keeping—the sample of indigenous humour, and the zany quip, all had their turns. So, as by magic, did John Barleycorn fuse together into one glowing whole these isolated fragments of humanity, each of whom on six days out of the seven had tastes, antecedents, prejudices, interests of his own, which at once repelled the others, and led him instinctively to keep them at arm's length. And so, for an hour at least, they became brothers, not by a mere fiction of the jurist only, but in very fact as well!
Reader, I am sure you are far too respectable a person to know that the ale-house has its successes, no less than the fashionable salon or the polished dinner-party. But you will not claim that a fact is less a fact because it has escaped your individual observation ; and a fact it is that these successes exist, and perhaps to him who wins them they are quite as delicate in flavour and as heady in quality as the others. During all this time, John Lawson had reigned supreme over the surging tumult of conviviality
-the life and soul of the party. A sorry ruling possibly ; but we know that some exist whose preference it is to rule in hell.
And now high spirits had reached their apogee. The stream of the conversation was divided, so that whilst the landlord discoursed profound sense to those immediately around him, enforcing it with gestures of his lifted hand, the ostler silently drew attention to a practical joke which he designed to play off on the now somnolent Francis. At the same time a shy shepherd spoke with delicacy and pathos of a matter which lay very near his heart, and the voice of old Pouchie-hoarse with years of exposure to river-damps — was raised in grotesque melody, that craved no audience. “Oh! the oak, and the ash, and the bonny ivy tree,
They flourish at home in the North Countree.” And now, like a host who sees that he has successfully set the ball rolling, Lawson sat silent and took no further part in the proceedings.
If such happy times might last ! So one wishes whilst under their influence, but perhaps it is a good thing they don't. The best was already over, and there were some in that assemblage whom the voice of duty now called elsewhere. Nor were they the sort of men on whom duty calls in vain.
Presently an old shepherd rose from his seat, pushed aside the window blind, and looked out. As he did so, an exclamation of astonishment burst from him. It was pitch dark outside, and snow must have fallen very heavily, for though it had now almost ceased, a deep covering already overspread the earth.
“I must be travelling."
Hearing this, the other shepherds caught the alarm, sprang to their feet, and hastily made their preparations for departure. It was certainly by no means too soon, if any of them had flocks out in the snow requiring their care. But, to judge by their remarks as they passed out into the cold and along the road before separating, for once in a way these prudent men had allowed themselves to be a little overtaken—the blame of which occurrence they agreed in attributing to that “droll fallow," the stranger.
The abrupt departure of the shepherds was the beginning of the break-up of the party, who now began to drop off one by one. The ostler withdrew to see what progress was being made with the repairs to the coach, and the poachers took advantage of a pause in the snowfall to get home. Old Francis was indeed more difficult to move. Having settled in his own mind that he would have to spend the night at the inn, he had lengthened the tether of his self - indulgence accordingly, and was now fast approaching the point where, as metaphysicians declare, extremes meet and pleasure becomes merged in pain. A little more, and Mar'an's arm was required to support him from the room.
At last, of all the company, Lawson was the only one left. Either yielding to the inertia of the moment, or more probably having changed his plans in consequence of the snowstorm, he seemed to have made up his mind to remain where he was for the night. Meantime the inn had lapsed into silence, broken only by an occasional noise of carpenter's tools which came from the coach-house, where by the light of a lantern the wheelwright worked upon the coach. Presently that ceased too. In such out-of-theway places bed-time in winter arrives early. So it was not very long before the landlord passed through the kitchen again, on his way to lock up for the night. After he had exchanged a few remarks with his guest, he proposed to conduct him to a bed. But this Lawson declared was unnecessary, alleging that as he intended to start on his journey at a very early hour next morning, he preferred to spend the night, wrapped in his dreadnought, on the settee by the kitchen fire. The arrangement was irregular, but by this time he had so thoroughly gained the landlord's confidence that the latter offered no objection to it.
Then Lawson paid what was owing, remarking that “Have patience, can't you ?” he muttered he would probably begonethe next morning before irritably; and then, taking down the bar, set the his host was stirring, and Jeffrey having shown him door open. how to unfasten the front door, took leave of him. In the snow-world without, stood a young
“You will be passing this way again some time man, wearing a tall hat, a benjamin or long overor other, I hope?”
coat, and top-boots. Snow lay on the shoulders “I fear it's scarce likely."
of his coat and on the brim of his hat, and in his “Well, then I must wish you goodnight, good hand he bore a carriage lamp. bye, and a safe and pleasant journey !”
“You know how to make yourself heard, anyAnd with that the jolly landlord took his candle way,” growled Lawson, as the door opened and withdrew.
“Forgive me !” returned the new comer, the Left by himself, Lawson resumed his seat at trained urbanity of whose manner made itself the table, and rested his head upon his hand. felt notwithstanding the agitation under which A reaction in his feelings had set in. His he manifestly laboured. “It is a case of emercountenance, but an hour or two before so bright gency—of life and death, I may almost say.” and mobile, became rigid ; his brows were con- “How is that?” tracted, as if in thought. A sense of solitariness “ The travelling-carriage of Lord Beltrees is after good company stole over him. And as he stuck in a snowdrift on the road. His lordship sat on motionless, as if regardless of the hour, suffers from a dangerous affection of the heart, insensibly the very surroundings seemed to and fatigue and exposure are the very worst participate in his mood. The silence of the things for him. I have come on here to procure house grew deeper, the lamp burned low, and assistance to extricate him, and the sooner it can the neglected fire languished. The depression be done the better.” of night made itself felt.
“Well, come inside for a moment, whilst I He had been seated thus, lost in meditation, rouse the house." for a long time, when all at once a loud noise “Be as quick as you can then-there's an broke the stillness of the night. Asit smote upon excellent fellow !" his ear, the young man started violently, almost With these words, the new arrival stept within as if in actual terror. Now the sound was nothing doors, stamping the snow from his boots as he more or less than that of a loud knocking at the did so. During the parley Lawson had trimmed inn door; but coming as it did, abruptly, out of the his lamp, and the two young men now confronted silence of the snow-muffled world, it had some- each other in the light it gave. The result was how startled him strangely. That was not all. It most striking Allowing for certain differences happened that the door of communication with of dress, which were less noticeable than might the outside world opened directly upon the have been suspected, it was exactly as if a man kitchen, so that the knocks vibrated through the confronted his reflection in a mirror. interior. And as they did so they jarred upon But the effect was lost for lack of a spectator. the occupant--already unnerved as he was—until I suppose that it remains an open question it almost seemed as if they were blows falling on whether any man would recognise his double if his own person from the hand of an enemy. he chanced to meet him in the street. On this
As the knocking continued, he rose to his feet, occasion the thoughts of the two young men were took the dim lamp in his land, and crossed the preoccupied, and neither of them took the least room to the threshold. There he hesitated notice of the resemblance. And, indeed, as all The peat fire was dying on the hearth, the room likenesses between individuals are inconstant, it was wrapped in shadow. We have shown that was only at certain times and in certain aspects in the face of danger plainly seen Lawson was that that resemblance asserted itself. Perhaps it not a coward; but now an ill-defined sensation, was at its strongest in moments of quiescence ; which was certainly akin to fear, held him back when the young men moved and spoke it became from opening the door. On the other side of it, uncertain, and at times seemed altogether lost. in some shape or other, stood the unknown Then again, after the first moment or two, it awaiting admission ; and an instinct, premonition, became evident that side by side with the strong or foreboding-call it what you will-made him likeness there existed great differences between reluctant to remove the single slight barrier and the two personalities. Lawson's frame was the face the reality.
more vigorous ; his countenance was bolder, Whilst he stood undecided, the knocking was more open in expression, and more determined repeated ; and this time it roused him from the than the other's. And again it was apparent confused feelings and fancies to which he had that the two men had lived in widely different fallen a prey.
spheres, and in short that if the natural or fundamental element in each was in some respects is in very delicate health. However, he was identical, the superstructures reared thereon by recently seized with a desire to visit Beltrees circumstance or accident were different.
again, and once his heart is set on a thing, 'tis By this time a sound of slip-shod progression vain to dissuade him from it. In spite of all over the flagstones of the passage was heard, and risk, he was pressing on his journey post-haste, as the next moment the landlord made his ap- is his way, when the snowstorm overtook us, and pearance, his portly form being clothed in white, this accident occurred. I am his son." and his head covered by a nightcap. He carried “The Master! You're a stranger to these a lighted candle in his hand ; and, in the con- parts, sir. I am proud to see you in my house." fusion of his sudden waking out of sleep, looked The youth held out his hand to the landlord, the ideal of a ghost-seer.
and then said, Being briefly put in possession of the facts, he “ Now let us hasten to my father's assistance.” became so excited as nearly to let fall his candle Thereupon the landlord hurried away to rouse stick.
up his subordinates, and to put on more clothes. “Lord Beltrees!” he exclaimed “Then at last Whilst he was doing this he communicated what his lordship has returned?” The name, it must had happened to his wife, who on hearing it be explained, was that of the owner of large became fully as much excited as he was himself at possessions in the surrounding country, and the prospect of having Lord Beltrees in the house. indeed of the inn itself. In days gone by he had The peer had resided so long abroad as to have often stayed there for sporting purposes, but he become a mere name in his own country. But had now been long an absentee from his property. it was a name that was never spoken without
To these words, not without curbing his im- respect, and which in the minds at least of the patience, the young gentleman replied-
elder generation evoked recollections of a lordly “ Yes-after an absence of more than twenty and imperious personality. years, as I daresay you know. Unfortunately he
. To be continued.