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abruptly terminated his harangue, leaving bis En- 1 perceiving that the existence of tyrannical or un glish acquaintance staring at him with open mouth, just laws in England were any justification for and wondering at his audacity in presuming to slavery and still more unjust and tyrannical laws insinuate that tyrannical laws had any existence in the United States, and left the crowd, sad and in “ the land of the brave and the free."

sorrowful, as a man might leave the Old Bailey I could not help feeling that there was much after witnessing one execution, without waiting truth in what the American had said, yet not' for more, if more were to come.

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the young are always grateful-until, of course, they have gathered up with the ways of the world ;

but the children of Kirkhowe were young for many I HAVE noticed that the parochial institutions more years of their lives than those of some large in Scottish parishes are often placed, not in the cities. For ours was then a secluded place, and centre, or near it, but as far off from that as a we knew little more than we read of strange site could be found. Accident had perhaps little people, for they came seldom among us.

Thus it to do with this allocation of schools and churches was that the people of the parish, as they stood out of the way. Either the wisdom of our ances. in little knots, above their graves,—for they had tors placed the ecclesiastical and educational autho- a way not unlike Abraham's, of calling the place rities in fat and pleasant places, although their where they had laid their dead their own graves ; sheltered nooks might be a little inconvenient for and new comers never opend the grave of a family the people, or the industry of their occupants had to place another inmate in the row--all spoke of improved the soil to some purpose. Both causes only one sore sorrow, and most of all the little may have helped to localise these institutions where, children, like myself, and some very old persons, and to make them what, they are. Kirkhowe was who had known the kindness of the lady who lay a manifest example of the geographical error ; being cold and silent in the manse hard by, were dejected so nearly out of itself, so to speak, since it was the like, and wept sore. It was an ominous beginning moral centre of a large district, that it looked of the week, for on no Sabbath in our recollection, very much like a small candle at the far end, burn. or records, as I afterwards learned, save that day, ing away to give light in a large room. A stone for centuries it might be, had there been no bell could have been thrown, and no doubt often was heard in Kirkhowe. The minister's man acted as thrown, out of the "kirkyard " into another parish, beadle ever after William Faulds became afflicted and yet our own land stretched for good ten miles by rheumatic pains, and he was to be excused for of howe and hills, and sometimes glens, away in forgetting the bell that day, because, although a three directions. The parishioners generally came hard man, as we thought, and wearing up among only to know our grief in the morning that, many years, yet, like his master, he was kindly though it was fair and sunny itself, was yet so dark below the rind; and he had been so proud conand gloomy in its presence and its remembrances cerning Blinkbonnie, and the friends of his young to us, as they gathered to the Kirk from all the mistress that were to stop there, and ten years had bounds of the parish. And although it was not given him a sort of claiın and dependence upon to be expected that they had all the same cause Miss Nancy ; and, altogether I never found out to be sorrowful that belonged to us, who, in a man- that one could dissect, like a doctor cutting a subner, were the near neighbours of the drowned ject, all the causes and means by which some lady, yet her sweet face was familiar to them people gain the affections of those whom they all; for she had kept the minister's seat during often meet-even of those who may not be to many years, and her good deeds and winning ways the rest of the world more than cold and dour like. had often carried light beneath the shadows of the As the forenoon grew near to noon, it was said great Cairndhu itself. Besides, all the children that there could be no services in the usual way, loved her very much, and childhood is so guileless for the minister was so depressed that he could often, and especially in our country parts, that it not get through them, and while David Petrie was tells all the good done to its “inferest.” And let a qualified man, according to the uses of the Kirk, me say that there is a great and greatly neglected yet he had long abandoned any thought of preach"childhood's" interest in all places, greater, by more ing and presentation, and moreover, was also in than we can count, than all the landed interests, the midst of a great trouble, while Mr. Green was and shipping interests, and the money interests, only a young man and learning, and we were not of which we hear so much. Gratitude is not near any ecclesiastical help. At the time it seemed easily won out of the neglected and the old. Sor- to me very strange, and helped perhaps to keep row hardens the heart sometimes, as men can the day fixed in my recollection, that the common harden steel by heat applied to it in one way; but | services were thus interrupted. After some con

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sultation of the elders, among whom was old, and the flower thereof fadeth away; but the word Samuel Coutts from the Upper Burn, a great farm, of the Lord endureth for ever." Although the but cold and full of moss, on the mountain side, farmer of the Racketts was the best read man among who seldom came so far down the country as Kirk- those who had to labour for their living in our howe, except on Sabbaths, and therefore was not parish, or anywhere thereabouts, yet he was withal at the consultation in Dr. More's, before mentioned, a modest quiet man, who had not much to say exbut who was a useful man in the Highland portion cept when forced to it in the way of what he of the parish, possessed of great experience, and deemed duty-neither did be say much at this an acquaintance with the Bible, that made his time, only what he did say, and the verses that words like those of the Patriarchs in other lands and he had read, made me long after look with a new old times; whom he also resembled, in being the interest at the springing flowers and the waving keeper of many sheep and great herds of cattle, grass, as memorials to man of his exceeding frailty, the people gathered into their places in the old and his sure removal ere long from the place that Kirk. John Dow, who was our precentor then, knows him now. Samuel Coutts was then a very had, according to my recollection, a clear full voice old man. Once he must have been endowed with in his ordinary services, but it seemed sadly broken amazing strength, but that would have been at its and wavering as he sung that ninetieth psalm prime near the "three serens” of which very old which has so often been sung, like the forty-sixth, people spoke. Still, though he had reached fourscore by our Scotch congregations in days of mourning. years, or nearly, he could walk nine miles in a And although I never before or after had any par- | morning, and back at night, and never took ticular predilection for Mr. Petrie's prayers, which the cart and pony to help him on the road, unless might usually have been read from a book, being when the gudewife of the Upper Burn was able to word for word so well repeated that those who accompany him. He had lived upon his hill farm heard him once could ever after keep rather for now nearly sixty years, and in the parish during before him ; yet he threw us all out at this time, all his lifetime; and he could speak to nearly and went clean away from the ordinary school form every person in it of their grandfather; and so he of daily bread and suitable weather for the hard was more respected than wealthier, or even more rock of formality had been smitten by the rod, learned men, for he was better read in bis Bible and the sorrows of a woeful heart gushed forth. than any other book; but it seems, somehow, to I always thought kinder of Mr. Petrie from that impart à certain dignity of mind to those who day on. Then Dr. More, who was not connected read it much. A number of poor cottages had oficially with the congregation, except as one of gathered about the Upper Burn, and when the its members, but being a gentleman and well liked, winter was hard the people all collected at the was not ready to be put out in speaking to people farmhouse on the Sabbaths, and the old elder read nearly all of whom he could have called by their the Bible to them, and bad worship with them ; names, went up to the centre of thechurch and began and, according to the views that I afterwards to tell what had happened ; but they all knew by that | learned in life, it might be that the prayers offered time, and he made very little progress, except in up from this house among the heather, were more saying that the minister was downcast, and it was effective than many others chaunted or read in easy to see that the doctor was nearly as downcast | great cathedrals by men clothed in official raiment, himself ; especially when he said that the young such as seemeth in its form and colour to have lady's father was on the wide, wide waters, sailing originated rather at Constantinople or Rome than home from a far country that he himself bad come in Jerusalem. At any rate, everybody believed from, and expecting his daughter, who had been that they availed much, because they were, as we bis only living child, to cheer the few years that all judged, the effective fervent prayers of a rightewere yet to come of a long life.

This was not ous man; so the whole people thought it seemly, clearly known to us before, and it made many old | indeed, that he said something before they sepafolks sad to think of the aged gentleman who rated. And the old man asked them to read with was rejoicing at that hour with every wave that him in a part of the Bible not so often read as the carried him on to home, and, as he hoped, to joy ; | New Testament and the historical books; howwhile they all knew that he was only coming to a ever, that third chapter of Malachi, as read by grave. For what was Blinkbonnie, or all his this very old man, has passages that go right into wealth, to him when compared to this only the heart-for he was a wonderfully solemn reader hope of his life who was so soon to be hidden from of the Word; and he said something too of speakus all and never more to be seen by him. So Dr. ing often together, and how little was spoken More could not go on with his statement, and it is amongst us that had any connexion with another trying to see an old man in deep grief. John Dow world ; and respecting jewels of this earth, vasung another psalm, as he would have done before luable, but yet not immortal, and jewels that the sermon on a common Sabbath day, and then would be set in a framework of stars, to shine for Mr. Smith read to us the first chapter in evermore; and although only a child, I marvelled the first epistle of Peter, wherein he saith | how old Samuel Coutts came to know all these “For all flesh is grass, and all the glory of things; and low easy he seemed to speak of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth death as one of those occurrences, like going to

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kirk or market, with which he was familiar, and I who was a lawyer in the town, came and went as also how he did not so much, he said, regret the if he had been giving directions, but Mrs. More removal that had taken place-seeing the Master's managed, notwithstanding. Then, when Thursday work had all been done and the servant was ready came, the children who were particularly in her to be released--and how he spoke of going away classes were told to come up to the manse, just soon himself, he could not doubt; and having at after all the young and married women had been his age more interest in the upper than the lower there—for it was a common custom in deaths life. Even so, perhaps, the uncommon style of bis through all that quarter, that the female friends of prayer struck me, for its words were very reverend ; a bereaved family went to see the corpse a day or but those of a person who had no doubt whatever two before the burial, and this was called the of all that he was saying—or all that he was chesting. A very great number of female visitors, seeking; or perhaps it was because he spoke more more or less in mourning, had been at the manse than any of the others, for the young children who that day, and they were all sad enough, for any had lost a gentle guide, that even He would guide heart would have been sore to think of such an them who never changed, and so they also might early broken flower. The children, who, except a be ready; and then when John Dow had sung a few friends, knew her best, were very willing to hymn that closes very hopefully

go there, though they were not, more than other A few short years of evil past,

children, ready to go into the presence of death, We reach that happy shore,

which has a solemn power over the old, but partiWhere death-divided friends at last

cularly the young. The room was very gloomy, Shall meet to part no more.

but very grand ; and yet I heard old people say they all went to their homes, some far away, and that the outer coffin was plain, because she would in an hour's time we were left to ourselves, and not have liked it to be other than plain. It did there were no classes that afternoon-neither was

not seem to us that there was much change on the day school gathered together all that week; that face, so still like-only some of us thought and yet there was no noise as of children at their it smiled; but when you look long at anything play, but everybody seemed out of their usual through tears, the eyes are half blinded, and in a way-for although we were accustomed to death, sort of maze, so that the sight is not to be trusted. since all the funerals of a large parish came to us, There were buds of roses round the coffin that yet accidents were not common there ; so even the

would never have blossoms, for the spring was young went sorrowfully from place to place, and I late, and we had only buds on the rose bushes remember going often up to Widow Robb, a nd

tben. And there were bunches of rosemary out bringing Johnnie down by the burn to look up at of the manse garden, that keep green, they say, the dull windows, thinking it possible that she for many years, in the grave, and are long of falling might not be far away, and remembering my

into dust. The little watch and the little picture charge to be kind to Johnnie Robb. Since then were placed upon the grave clothes I noticed it has often struck me that our formal worship, that the watch did not tick any then, as if it too with everything so starched and settled like, may had been dead. Beside them lay the Bible, which not be the best way after all. At least I recollect

we all knew well, for none of us had ever seen so more of what was said that Sunday in the kirk, pretty a book. We staid a long while there, till than I do of any other service, before or since the daylight was nearly away; and Mrs. More

spoke much to us, but she was so sad that she made us all sadder, until before we left the room,

she told us that the dead perhaps looked down CHAPTER VIII.

upon the living, and even perhaps, it might be, cared for them in ways all hidden from us; only

if we loved not Him whom they loved, if they A GREAT grief is softened by many engagements, were with the good angels, then they could not and thus it comes to be good for afflicted people care for us ; but somehow we forgot nearly all that that they have often to be busy. Work is a pow- was said, owing to the dead face bringing up the erful agent in mellowing and touching down sor- past days to us, only it was something that alto

This may bave been one reason why poor gether made me think of the dead, not as still and Mrs. More did everything connected with the at rest, but being here and there, and seeing many funeral that a woman could do, and directed every- things; and though I was never able to comprehend, thing else ; and was allowed to take her own way, like some people whom I bave met, great mysin some respects, at least in our quarter. A grave teries, yet, as we tottered down the staircase, and was dug by William Fauld's sons, near to the cen- out through the long passage, and down the dark tre of the south side of the kirk close to the wall, walk to the burn, none of us were afraid, as we next to the spot where the manse family were would have been in any other case. And Saturburied, so far as they had been carried to their day came at last-with it the burial—and there long home, and when that was done masons came came many carriages, although there were only a from the town, and built it round with bricks, which few hundred yards to pass. Among others, Mr. was a strange plan in our place. Mr. Cairns, Cochrane had come, they said, all the long way




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from England to be there. It might have been the kirkyard; but they were reverently tended, and that he came so far because Mr. Cairns had watched, and watered by the young things, and bought Blinkbonnie with money sent to Miss Rose only any weed that appeared was pulled out, until by her fatber, rather than because she had been ever they grew very strong, and in the winter frosts they good and kind in the village. We heard old people were covered up. For a long time it was the only speaking that way, for years do not sometimes flower grave there. But at last some people make men

women free from being “evil- sought cuttings, and then others got more cut, thoughted.”

tings, only for use in the kirkyard, until many When the time came, many young women pre- more graves had been covered with them, and it ceded the coffin from the manse, and they were seems as if Miss Nancy's flowers have spread dressed in white, wbich looked strange to us;

but over many families; neither is it certain that her it was a notion of Mrs. More's, and they were all goodnesses while she lived did not also spread willing that she should take her way in her grief. into a number of hearts in some of the families But all these things passed by, and are of no that knew her well, although they might not have value whatever when the grave is closing up ; and flowered at once, being transplanted; for they after all that was over, and the coffin hidden, with who are learned say that the bad or good actions its " Aged, 21 Years," a feeling of utter loneliness of human beings are immortal, like themselves, crept over my mind, just as if is was useless to and go on evermore in swirls, influencing other look up any more to the windows. In our country persons' lives through all time. at that time the dead were covered with sods over the ground, and the dew descended, and the rain fell, and the sun shone, until the grasses grew, and the daisies amongst them blossoined—and

CHAPT ER I X. thus the dust was left with the dust and the elements, without any artificial gardening. A new way was introduced in this grave which seemed The house inhabited by the Miss Douglasses very comely. Sharp-edged stones were set around was a long building of one flat, that upon the its breadth and length, and a deep coating of soil ground, as if two or three cottages had been was placed over the clay—which was raked and turned into one; and behind it stretched a long smoothed like a garden plot. Towards night-for piece of ground, which once had been kept well, little stars were shining out, and as I passed the but grew in latter years very ragged, not unlike a kirkyard wall, I was wondering if they were as jungle of goosebury bushes, in some spots. The large as Mr. Green had said, and if they were house bad a dull, and the garden a disconsolate, heavens made to hold good people in, and if appearance. The windows had shutters on the Nancy Rose were there or here, I looked over outside, and they were never closed, either because to the grave, and two or three persons were there, a hinge was broken, or the boards would scarcely and one of them was a lady. I was in no man- keep together. The doors, for there were two of ner afraid, although it was the gloanin' hour; but them, could not have been painted for many long thinking that they might be strangers, not know- years.

The walls were brown with dust, or green ing wbo lay there, I climbed the wall and got up in some places with damp. The interior of the through the many stones to the place. But they house was comfortless, like the exterior, so far as were not strangers-only the minister himself and I had ever seen it, till that year ; but my knowhis man and Mrs. More, and being ashamed to ledge was confined to the kitchen. The two sisdisturb them, I was wearing away, when they ters did all their own work, and it did not seem heard my foot somehow, and asked me back to that they ever did anything else. Their father bold a bush. Thus it came that I helped to plant once held a large farm in the parish, and the lease the holly hash, which was said to have white spots expired with his life, according to a mode of tenure on its leaves ever since the flight into Egypt; and then common. The family was a numerous one, we planted it at the foot, and two more bushes at but had been scattered over the earth, with the the top, one was white, and the other a moss rose exception of two of the sisters, who took up their and red, at each corner at the top-so long ago abode in the long narrow cottages, which might is it that they have met over the marble stone have been, for lengtb, a house, flanked by a barn years since. It was then also that they planted sone and a byre, an arrangement very common even carnations that she had tended through the win. then; and they, as it were, maintained the meter, and it was quite dark before that was over, mory iu the parish of those who once had formed so that I might weep and not be ashamed, as one of its leading families. It was by no means body could see. Many little sprigs of thyme-forlikely that they would pass out of it, or make any we planted thyme too in the ground, have sprung change in their name, for they were both at mid. there since then-for the flowers prospered, dle life, and there they remained during all my and the bolly bush is very large now; but those acquaintance with them, while they were neither who planted them all sleep near that same spot, remarkably well favoured, nor reputed to be rich, except that one is left. The flowers might all but otherwise. Moreover, they were very close have been destroyed, for all the school got into persons, and not gifted with amiable tempers,


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according to the common report, although, from themselves in the garden, and by-and-by their various little circumstances, I was not a sufferer on mother appeared ; and thus the improvements of that account, having full permission to wander the long house were explained satisfactorily. The through the wilderness. Suddenly a change came two young Ferries were then ten and twelve years over the house and land. The former was old. They came to the school, and in due course pletely revolutionised by some painters and join- formed part of the young villagehood. Their ers from the town, in alliance with a thatcher from mother was well-remembered, for she had once the country, while Jolin Inglis, the gardener from been a Miss Douglass, but settled very


away Blinkbonnie, and two labourers, turned the ground in an English town. Their father was in some by a week's labour into a tolerable garden. way connected with mercantile business; but, of

The change was so rapid that the power of art course, we did not understand these things, except over nature was seldom more clearly exhibited on inasmuch as they were taught, like navigation or our contracted scene. But the reason was any- any other science, by Mr. Petrie, through a large thing but clear; to the discomfort of the neigh book on the subject, of which I only remember bours, who did not think themselves kindly treated that the book-keeping by double-entry seemed to if they were not acquainted with all that was done, involve immense transactions, and always attended and the reason for doing everything, in any home by great profit or loss, for the concoctor seemed of the community. The mysteries connected with never to be satisfied with such small results as I Miss Rose and Mrs. More were tolerated, because lave since found to be usual in the commonplace they were above the common run; but it was in world. tolerable of the Douglasses, who were little better Mr. Ferrie had been induced to leave his busi. than the commonalty, to have secrets. Persevering ness and home for some appointment round Cape busy bodies even asked Mrs. Grey to tea, or looked Horn. It was, I believe, in Valparaiso. But our into her as they were passing, just when the letters old people had only two foreign parts out of were expected; but although she was the best Europe—America, and the Indies—for they never natured of post-mistresses, yet she could only say consulted the globes and maps that had been prothat a few more letters had come of late than were vided for us at the school, I need hardly say by usual, and that was of little use to know, for the whom. Mr. Ferrie, no doubt, expected to earn a Miss Douglasses had an uncommon number of fortune for his two children in few years; and letters in those days of dear postage. Then, when for a time they were cast down at leaving him, the house had all been re-decorated outside and in, by wbich I have since thought that he may

have and the shutters would close, and were of uniform been a kindly man, who left not his own country green with the doors, and the chief door had re- without many twinges of the heart, going out, as ceived a knocker, jet black, japanned, and metal he did too, from a bien house to be alone in a on its front, with a scraper at its side, and the strange land. They often spoke of him for more walls sparkled in the sun, being all “ harled" with than a year after they took up their abode at fresh lime and sand--and the windows had cur

Kirkhowe; but

young people forget the absent in tains : new furniture came in two carts, and a ser- course ; and, I dare say, that the Valparaiso mervant came before them, remained after them, and chant was remembered by them before his death, took

up her abode there. It was unfortunate for chiefly on account of his letters. They lived us that we were rather more intimate than others there without much change for nearly seven years. with these provoking sisters, who would neither The fortune was gained, but he who sought it died tell whether they were to be married, or had in its winning. If he went to seek it for their fallen heirs to a fortune, nor what all these changes sakes, he never saw them in the enjoyment of his were done for; because we were suspected of labours. This weary way of anticipating is not, knowing more than we did know, and that was no however, consistent with the proper manufacture more than the plain facts, perceptible to any per- of tales. They were then good and nice-tempered

The strange servant was the subject of children, or rather more than children, for they interrogatory by everybody, but she was made for were both well over my age. They had more the place. She came from the south—from the money than any of their play-fellows in the village, far south. Did she come from Edinburgh ? Yes, even when the Brocks' came down; but ther aunts she bad been there, but that was not far. Was looked well to their expenditure ; only their books, she related to the Miss Douglasses ? She was and even their toys, became in a way common their servant. Who more were to stop in the property. house? How should she know that? And so The Ferries had nothing very particular in she baffled and turned the sharpest practitioners, their appearance.

They were sallow and weakly and they were at fault.

when they came there ; but in after years Miss A few weeks after all these things were com- Ferrie became a beauty in the parish ; and her pleted, and when the public curiosity had settled brother, who was the younger of the two, grew down to be disappointed, and without any notice famous in feats of agility and strength. Mrs. or warning, upon a forenoon, two young persons, Ferrie was really younger than either of her sisa brother and a sister as afterwards turned out to ters, as many persons knew well—although they be the case, were found very leisurely amusing affected to think her older ; but that was one of


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