« ПретходнаНастави »
a blind passion, the offspring of romance; nor has duties of the household devolved on her. Wita she any of that morbid colouring of the darker pas- these she was incessantly occupied for four years, sions in which other novelists excel. The clear day- and at the expiration of that time she was married light of nature, as reflected in domestic life, in scenes to the Rev. Mr Brunton, minister of Bolton, in of variety and sorrowful truth, as well as of vivacity Haddingtonshire. In 1803 Mr Brunton was called and humour, is her genial and inexhaustible element to one of the churches in Edinburgh, and his lady Instruction is always blended with amusement. A had thus an opportunity of meeting with persous finer moral lesson cannot anywhere be found than of literary talent, and of cultivating her own mind. the distress of the Bertram family in • Mansfield Till I began Self-Control,' she says in one of her Park,' arising from the vanity and callousness of the letters, “I had never in my life written anything but two daughters, who had been taught nothing but a letter or a recipe, excepting a few hundreds of vile accomplishments,' without any regard to their dis rhymes, from which I desisted by the time I had positions and temper. These instructive examples gained the wisdorn of fifteen years; therefore I was are brought before us in action, not by lecture or so ignorant of the art on which I was entering, that preachment, and they tell with double force, because I formed scarcely any plan for my tale. I merely they are not inculcated in a didactic style. The intended to show the power of the religious principle genuine but unobtrusive merits of Miss Austen have in bestowing self command, and to bear testimony been but poorly rewarded by the public as respects against a maxim as immoral as indelicate, that a fame and popularity, though her works are now reformed rake makes the best husband.' Selfrising in public esteem. “She has never been so Control' was published without the author's name popular,' says a critic in the Edinburgh Review, “as in 1811. The first edition was sold in a month, and she deserved to be. Intent on fidelity of delineation, a second and third were called for. In 1814 her and averse to the commonplace tricks of her art, she second work, ‘Discipline,' was given to the world, has not, in this age of literary quackery, received and was also well received. She began & third, her reward. Ordinary readers have been apt to Emmeline, but did not live to finish it. She died on judge of her as Partridge, in Fielding's novel, judged the 7th of December 1818. The unfinishel tak, of Garrick's acting. He could not see the merit of and a memoir of its lamented authoress, were puba man who nerely behaved on the stage as anybody lished in one volume by her husband, Dr Brunton might be expected to behave under similar circum- • Self-Control bids fair to retain a permanent stances in real life. He infinitely preferred the place among British novels, as a sort of Scottish “ robustious periwig-pated fellow," who flourished Cælebs, recommended by its moral and religius his arms like a windmill, and ranted with the voice tendency, no less than by the talent it displays of three. It was even so with many of the readers The acute observation of the authoress is seen in of Miss Austen. She was too natural for them. It the development of little traits of character and corseemed to them as if there could be very little merit duct, which give individuality to her portraits, and in making characters act and talk so exactly like a semblance of truth to the story. Thus the gradual the people whom they saw around them every day. decay, mental and bodily, of Montreville, the ac.
They did not consider that the highest triumph of count of the De Courcys, and the courtship of art consists in its concealment; and here the art | Montague, are true to nature, and completely rewas so little perceptible, that they believed there was moved out of the beaten track of novels. The plot none. Her works, like well-proportioned rooms, are is very unskilfully managed. The heroine, Laura
, i rendered less apparently grand and imposing by the is involved in a perpetual cloud of difficulties and very excellence of their adjustment.'' Sir Walter dangers, some of which (as the futile abduction by Scott, after reading Pride and Prejudice' for the Warren, and the arrest at Lady Pelham's) are u.2third time, thus mentions the merits of Miss Austen necessary and improbable. The character of Har in his private diary :-'That young lady had a grave seems to have been taken from that of Love talent for describing the involvements, and feelings, lace, and Laura is the Clarissa of the tale. Her and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the high principle and purity, her devotion to her father, most wonderful I ever met with. The big bow-wow and the force and energy of her mind (without over strain I can do myself, like any now going; but the stepping feminine softness), impart a strong interest exquisite touch which renders ordinary common- to the narrative of her trials and adventures. She place things and characters interesting from the surrounds the whole, as it were, with an atmosphere truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied of moral light and beauty, and melts into something to me.
What a pity such a gifted creature died so like consistency and unity the discordant materials early!
of the tale. The style of the work is also calculated to impress the reader: it is always appropriate, and rises frequently into passages of striking sentiment
and eloquence. Mrs Mary BRUNTON, authoress of Self-Control and Discipline, two novels of superior merit and
[Final Escape of Laura.) moral tendency, was born on the Ist of November 1778. She was a native of Burrey, in Orkney, a put on board a vessel, and taken to the shores of Canada
[The heroine is carried off by the stratagems of Harstave, small island of about 500 inhabitants, no part of There, in a remote secluded cabin, prepared for her reception, which is more than 300 feet above the level of the she is confined till Hargrave can arrive. Even her wanted sea, and which is destitute of trec or shrub. In this firmness and religious faith seem to forsake her in this last and remote and sea-surrounded region the parents of greatest of her calamities, and her health sinks under the coz. Mary Brunton occupied a leading station. Her tinued influence of grief and fear.] father was Colonel Balfour of Elwick, and her The whole of the night preceding Hargrave's arriva
. mother, an accomplished woman, niece of fieldmarshal Lord Ligonier, in whose house she had blameless as it had appeared to others, she saw so
was passed by Laura in acts of devotion. In her life, resided previous to her marriage. Mary was care- much ground for condenination, that, had her hopes fully educated, and instructed by her mother in the rested upon her own merit, they would have
vanished French and Italian languages. She was also sent like the sunshine of a winter storm. Their support some time to Edinburgh; but while she was only was more mighty, and they remained unshaken. The sixteen, her mother died, and the whole cares and raptures of faith beamed on her soul. By degrees they
triumphed over every fear; and the first sound that man own their alliance with pain, by seeking the awoke the morning, was her voice raised in a trembling same expression. Joy and gratitude, too big for hymn of praise.
utterance, long poured themselves forth in tears. At Her countenance elevated as in hope, her eyes cast length, returning composure permitting the language upwards, her hands clasped, her lips half open in the of ecstacy, it was breathed in the accents of devounfinished adoration, her face brightened with a smile tion; and the lone wild echoed to a song of deliverthe dawn of eternal day, she was found by her attendant. Awe-struck, the woman paused, and at a reve- The saintly strain arose unmixed with other sound. rent distance gazed upon the seraph ; but her entrance No breeze moaned through the impervious woods ; no had called back the unwilling spirit from its flight; ripple broke the stream. The dark shadows trembled and Laura, once more a feeble child of earth, faintly for a moment in its bosom as the little bark stole by, inquired whether her enemy were at hand. Mary and then reposed again. No trace appeared of human answered, that her master was not expected to arrive presence. The fox peeping from the brushwood, the before the evening, and intreated that Laura would wild duck sailing stately in the stream, saw the untry to recruit her spirits, and accept of some refresh- wonted stranger without alarm, untaught as yet to ment. Laura made no opposition. She unconsciously fee from the destroyer. swallowed what was placed before her; unwittingly The day declined, and Laura, with the joy of her suffered her attendant to lead her abroad ; nor once escape, began to mingle a wish, that, ere the darkness heeded aught that was done to her, nor aught that closed around her, she might find shelter near her passed before her eyes, till her exhausted limbs fellow-beings. She was not ignorant of the dangers found rest upon the trunk of a tree, which lay moul- of her royage. She knew that the navigation of the dering near the spot where its root was sending forth a river was interrupted by rapids, which had been pur. luxuriant thickct.
posely described in her hearing. She examined her The breath of morning blew chill on the wasted frail vessel, and trembled; for life was again becom, form of Laura, while it somewhat revived her to precious, and feeble seemed her defence against t'e strength and recollection. Her attendant seeing her torrent. The canoe, which could not have contaired shirer in the breeze, compassionately wrapt her more more than two persons, was constructed of a slen der closely in her cloak, and ran to seek a warmer cover- frame of wood, covered with the bark of the birch. ing. She feels for my bodily wants,' said Laura. It yielded to the slightest motion, and caution was Will she have no pity for the sufferings of the soul ? necessary to poise in it even the light form of Laura. Yet what relief can she afford? What help is there Slowly it floated down the lingering tide; and when for me in man? Oh, be Thou my help, who art the a pine of larger size or form more fantastic than his guard of the defenceless ! thou who canst shield in fellows enabled her to measure her progress, she every danger! thou who canst guide in every diffi- thought that through wilds'less impassable her cwn culty !
limbs would bave borne her more swiftly. In rein, Her eye rested as it fell upon a track as of recent behind each tangled point, did her fancy picture the footsteps. They had brushed away the dew, and the haunt of man. Vainly amid the mists of eve did she rank grass had not yet risen from their pressure. The trace the smoke of sheltered cottages. In vain at unwonted trace of man's presence arrested her atten- every winding of the stream she sent forward a longtion; and her mind, exhausted by suffering, and ing eye in search of human dwelling. The narrow sharing the weakness of its frail abode, admitted the view was bounded hy the dark wilderness, repeating superstitious thought that these marks afforded a ever the same picture of dreary repose. providential indication for her guidance. Transient The sun went down. The shadows of evening fell; animation kindling in her frame, she followed the not such as in her happy native land blend softly with track as it wound round a thicket of poplar; then, the last radiance of day, but black and heavy, harshly suddenly recollecting herself, she became conscious of contrasting with the light of a naked sky reflected the delusion, and shed a tear over her mental decay. from the waters, where they spread beyond the gloom
She was about to return, when she perceived that of impending woods. Dark and more dark the night she was near the bank of the river. Its dark flood
Solemn even amid the peopled land, in was stealing noiselessly by, and Laura, looking on it, this vast solitude it became more awful. breathed the oft-repeated wish that she could seek Ignorant how near the place of danger might be, rest beneath its waves. Again she moved feebly for fearing to pursue darkling her perilous way, Laura ward. She reached the brink of the stream, and stood tried to steer her light bark to the shore, intending to unconsciously following its course with her eye, when, moor it, to find in it a rude resting-place, and in the a light wind stirring the canes that grew down to the morning to pursue her way. Laboriously she toiled, water's edge, she beheld close by her an Indian canoe. and at length reached the bank in safety ; but in vain With suddenness that mocks the speed of light, hope she tried to draw her little vessel to land. Its weight flashed on the darkened soul; and stretching her resisted her strength. Dreading that it should slip arms in wild ecstacy, 'Help, help ! cried Laura, and from her grasp, and leave her without m 'ans of escape, sprang towards the boat. A feeble echo from the she re-entered it, and again glided on in her dismal farther shore alone returned the cry. Again she voyage. She had found in the canoe a little coarse called. No human voice replied. But delirious bread made of Indian corn ; and this, with the water transport lent vigour to her frame. She sprang into of the river, formed her whole sustenance. Her frame the bark; she pressed the slender oar against the worn out with previous suffering, awe and fear at last bank. The light vessel yielded to her touch. It yielded to fatigue, and the weary wanderer sank to floated. The stream bore it along. The woods sleep. closed around her prison. “Thou hast delivered me!' It was late on the morning of a cloudy day, when a she cried; and sank senseless.
low murmuring sound, stealing on the silence, awoke A meridian sun beat on her uncovered head ere Laura from the rest of innocence. She listened. The Laura began to revive. Recollection stole upon her murmur seemed to swell on her ear.
She looked up. like the remembrance of a feverish dream. “As one The dark woods still bent over her; but they no who, waking from a fearful vision, still trembles in longer touched the margin of the stream. They his joy, she scarcely dared to hope that the dread stretched their giant arins from the summit of a hour
was past, till raising her eyes, she saw the dark precipice. Their image was no more reflected unwoods bend over her, and steal slowly away as the broken. The gray rocks which supported them, but canoe glided on with the tide. The raptures of fallen half lent their colours to the rippling water. The wild
duck no longer tempting the stream, flew screaming Having remained for two days with this hospitable orer its bed. Each object hastened on with fearful family, Laura expressed a wish to depart. She ont rapidity, and the murmuring sound was now a deafen-municated to Mr Falkland her desire of returning iny roar.
immediately to Europe, and begged that he would Fear supplying superhuman strength, Laura strore introduce her to some asylum where she might wait to turn the course of her vessel. She strained every the departure of a vessel for Britain. She expressed nerve; she used the force of desperation. Half hoping her willingness to content herself with the poorest that the struggle might save her, half fearing to note accommodation, confessing that she had not the means her dreadful progress, she toiled on till the oar was of purchasing any of a higher class. All the wealth, torn from her powerless grasp, and hurried along with indeed, which she could command, consisted in a fer the tide.
guineas which she had accidentally had about her The fear of death alone had not the power to over- when she was taken from her home, and a ring which whelm the soul of Laura. Somewhat might yet be Mrs De Courcy had given her at parting. Her host done perhaps to avert her fate, at least to prepare for kindly urged her to remain with them till they should it. Feeble as was the chance of life, it was not to be ascertain that a vessel was immediately to sail, in rejected. Fixing her cloak more firmly round her, which she might secure her passage ; assuring her a Laura bound to the slender frame of the canoe. week scarcely ever elapsed without some departure Then commending herself to Heaven with the fervour for her native country. Finding, however, that she of a last prayer, she in dread stillness awaited her doom. was anxious to be gone, Mr Falkland himself accomo
With terrible speed the vessel hurried on. It was panied her to Quebec. whirled round by the torrent, tossed fearfully, and They travelled by land. The country at first bore hurried on again. It shot over a smoothness more the characters of a half-redeemed wilderness. The dreadful than the eddying whirl. It rose upon its road wound at times through dreary woods, at others prow. Laura clung to it in the convulsion of terror. through fields where noxious variety of hue bespoke A moment she trembled on the giddy verge. The imperfect cultivation. At last it approached the great next, all was darkness !
river; and Laura gazed with delight on the eter When Laura was restored to recollection, she found changing, rich, and beautiful scenes which were preherself in a plain decent apartment. Several persons sented to her view ; scenes which she had passed of her own sex were humanely busied in attending unheeded when grief and fear veiled every prospect her. Her mind retaining a confused impression of in gloom. the past, she inquired where she was, and how she One of the nuns in the Hotel Dieu was the sister of had been brought thither. An elderly woman, of a Mrs Falkland, and to her care Mr Falkland intended prepossessing appearance, answered, with almost ma- to commit his charge. But before he had been an hour ternal kindness, that she was among friends all in the town, he received information that a ship was anxious for her safety ; begged that she would try to weighing anchor for the Clyde, and Laura eagerly era: sleep, and promised to satisfy her curiosity when she braced the opportunity. The captain being informed should be more able to converse.' This benevolent by Mr Falkland that she could not advance the price person, whose name was Falkland, then administered of her passage, at first hesitated to receive her ; but à restorative to her patient, and Laura, uttering when, with the irresistible candour and majesty that almost incoherent expressions of gratitude, composed shone in all her looks and words, she assured him of herself to rest.
his reward, when she spoke to him in the accents of Awaking refreshed and collected, she found Mrs his native land, the Scotsman's heart melted ; and Falkland and one of her daughters still watching by having satisfied himself that she was a Highlander, her bedside. Laura again repeated her questions, he closed the bargain by swearing that he was sure he and Mrs Falkland fulfilled her promise, by relating might trust her. that her husband, who was a farmer, having been With tears in her eyes Laura took leave of ber employed with his two sons in a field which over- benevolent host; yet her heart bounded with jor as looked the river, had observed the canoe enter the she saw the vessel cleaving the tide, and each object rapid: that seeing it too late to prevent the accident, in the dreaded land of exile swiftly retiring from her they had hurried down to the bed of the stream below view. In a few days that dreaded land disappeared. the fall, in hopes of intercepting the boat at its reap- In a few more the mountains of Cape Breton sank pearance: that being accustomed to float wood down behind the wave. The brisk gales of autumn wafted the torrent, they knew precisely the spot where their the vessel cheerfully on her way; and often did Laura assistance was most likely to prove effectual : that the compute her progress. canoe, though covered with foam for a moment, had In a clear frosty morning towards the end of Sep instantly risen again; and that Mr Falkland and his tember she heard once more the cry of 'Land !' no sons had, not without danger, succeeded in drawing music to ber ear. Now with a beating breast she rs. it to land.
to gaze upon a ridge of mountains indenting the disk She then, in her turn, inquired by what accident of the rising sun ; but the tears of rapture dimined Laura had been exposed to such a perilous adventure ; her eyes when erery voice at once shouted - Scotland! expressing wonder at the direction of her voyage, All day Laura remained on deck, oft measuring since Falkland farm was the last inhabited spot in with the light splinter the vessel's course through the that district. Laura, mingling her natural reserve deep. The winds favoured not her impatience. Towith a desire to satisfy her kind hostess, answered wards evening they died away, and scarcely did the that she had been torn from her friends by an in- vessel steal along the liquid mirror. Another and human enemy, and that her perilous voyage was the another morning came, and Laura's ear was blessed least effect of his barbarity. Do you know,' said with the first sounds of her native land. The tolling Mrs Falkland, somewhat 'mistaking her meaning, of a bell was borne along the water, now swelling that to his cruelty you partly owe your life ; for loud, and now falling softly away. The humble rila had he not bound you to the canoe, you must have lage church was seen on the shore ; and Laura could sunk while the boat floated on! Laura heard with distinguish the gay colouring of her countrywomen's a faint smile the effect of her self-possession ; but Sunday attire; the scarlet plaid, transmitted from considering it as a call to pious gratitude rather generation to generation, pinned decently over the than a thenie of self-applause, she forbore to offer any plain clean coif; the bright blue gown, the trophy of claim to praise, and the subject was suffered to drop more recent housewifery. To her every form in the without further explanation.
well-known garb seemed the form of a friend. The
blue mountains in the distance, the scattered woods, brother, and the composition of two short papers the fields yellow with the harvest, the river sparkling which she sent to the Lounger. Mr Hamilton rein the sun, seemed, to the wanderer returning from turned from India in 1786, in order that he might the land of strangers, fairer than the gardens of Para- better fulfil an important duty intrusted to him, the dise.
translation of the Mussulman Code of Laws. It would Land of my affections !-when 'I forget thee, may not be easy to paint the joy and affection with which my right hand forget her cunning!' Blessed be thou he was received by his sister. They spent the among nations! Long may thy wanderers return to winter together in Stirlingshire, and in 1789, when thee rejoicing, and their hearts throb with honest her kind friend and protector, Mr Marshall, died, pride when they own themselves thy children ! she quitted Scotland, and rejoined her brother in
London. Mr Hamilton was cut off by a premature
death in 1792. Shortly after this period commenced MRS HAMILTON
the literary life of Elizabeth Hamilton, and her first ELIZABETH HAMILTON, an amiable and accom- work was that to which we have alluded, connected plished miscellaneous writer, was authoress of one with the memory of her lamented brother, The excellent little novel, or moral tale, The Cottagers of Letters of a Hindoo Rajah, in two volumes, published Glenburnie, which has probably been as effective in in 1796. The success of the work stimulated her promoting domestic improvement among the rural | exertions. In 1800 she published The Modern population of Scotland as Johnson's Journey to the Philosophers, in three volumes; and between that Hebrides was in encouraging the planting of trees period and 1806 she gave to the world Letters on by the landed proprietors. In both cases there Education, Memoirs of Agrippina, and Letters to the *as some exaggeration of colouring, but the pictures Daughters of a Nobleman. In 1808 appeared her were too provokingly true and sarcastic to be laughed most popular, original, and useful work, The Cotaway or denied. They constituted a national re- tagers of Glenburnie;' and she subsequently, pubproach, and the only way to wipe it off was by timely lished Popular. Essays on the Human Mind, and reformation. There is still much to accomplish, but Hints to the Directors of Public Schools. For many a marked improvement in the dwellings and internal years Mrs Hamilton had fixed her residence in econoniy of Scottish farm-houses and villages may Edinburgh. She was enfeebled by ill health, but be dated from the publication of the “Cottagers of her cheerfulness and activity of mind continued unGlenburnie.' Elizabeth Hamilton was born in Bel- abated, and her society was courted by the most fast in the year 1758. Her father was a merchant, intellectual and influential of her fellow-citizens. of a Scottish family, and died early, leaving a widow The benevolence and correct judgment which aniand three children. The latter were educated and mated her writings pervaded her conduct. Having brought up by relatives in better circumstances, gone to Harrowgate for the benefit of her health, Elizabeth, the youngest, being sent to Mr Marshall, Mrs Hamilton died at that place on the 230 of July a farmer in Stirlingshire, married to her father's 1816, aged sixty-eight. sister. Her brother obtained a cadetship in the The Cottagers of Glenburnie' is in reality a tale East India Company's service, and an elder sister of cottage life, and derives none of its interest from was retained in Ireland. A feeling of strong affec- those strange and splendid vicissitudes, contrasts, tion seems to have existed among these scattered and sentimental dangers which embellish the ideal members of the unfortunate family. Elizabeth world of so many fictitious narratives. The scene found in Mr and Mrs Marshall all that could have is laid in a poor scattered Scottish hamlet, and the been desired. She was adopted and educated with heroine is a retired English governess, middle-aged a care and tenderness that has seldom been equalled. and lame, with £30 a-year! This person, Mrs No child,' she says, 'ever spent so happy a life, nor Mason, after being long in a noble family, is reduced have I ever met with anything at all resembling our from a state of ease and luxury into one of compaway of living, except the description given by Rous- rative indigence, and having learned that her cousin, seau of Wolmar's farm and vintage.' A taste for her only surviving relative, was married to one of the literature soon appeared in Elizabeth Hamilton. small farmers in Glenburnie, she agreed to fix her Wallace was the first hero of her studies; but meet- residence in her house as a lodger. On her way she ing with Ogilvie’s translation of the Iliad, she called at Gowan-brae, the house of the factor or idolized Achilles, and dreamed of Hector. She had land-steward on the estate, to whom she had preopportunities of visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow, viously been known, and we have a graphic account after which she carried on a learned correspondence of the family of this gentleman, one of whose daughwith Dr Moyse. a philosophical lecturer. She | ters figures conspicuously in the after-part of the wrote also many copies of verses-that ordinary tale. Mr Stewart, the factor, his youngest daughter, ontlet for the warm feelings and romantic sensi- and boys, accompany Mrs Mason to Glenburnie. bilities of youth.
ller first appearance in print was accidental. Ilaving accompanied a pleasure party to the Highlands, she kept a journal for [Picture of Glenburnie, and View of a Scotch Cottage the gratification of her aunt, and the good woman
in the Last Century.] showing it to one of her neighbours, it was sent to
They had not proceeded many paces until they a provincial magazine. Her retirement in Stirling. were struck with admiration at the uncommon wildshire was, in 1773, gladdened by a visit from her ness of the scene which now opened to their view. The brother, then about to sail for India. Mr Hamil- rocks which seemed to guard the entrance of the glen ton seems to have been an excellent and able young were abrupt and savage, and approached so near each man, and his subsequent letters and conversations other, that one could suppose them to have been riven on Indian affairs stored the mind of his sister asunder to give a passage to the clear stream which with the materials for her Hindoo Rajah, a work fowed between them. As they advanced, the hills equally remarkable for good sense and sprightliness. receded on either side, making room for meadows and In 1778 Miss Hamilton lost her aunt, whose death corn-fields, through which the rapid burn pursued its was a heavy blow to the happy family. For the way in many a fantastic maze. ensuing six years she devoted herself to the cares if the reader is a traveller, he must know, and if and duties of the household, her only literary he is a speculator in canals, he must regret, that rivers employments being her correspondence with her have in general a trick of running out of the straight line. But however they may in this resemble the attached to it was of so frail a nature as to make moral conduct of man, it is but doing justice to these little resistance ; so that he and his rider escaped ua. favourite children of nature to observe, that, in all hurt from the fall
, notwithstanding its being one of their wauderings, each stream follows the strict in- considerable depth. junctions of its parent, and never for a moment loses At first, indeed, neither boy nor horse was seen; its original character. That our burn had a character but as Mr Stewart advanced to examine, whether by of its own, no one who saw its spirited career could removing the hay, which partly covered the bridge possibly have denied. It did not, like the lazy and and partly hung suspended on the bushes, the mosd luxuriant streams which glide through the fertile might still be passable, he heard a child's voice in the valleys of the south, turn and wind in listless apathy, hollow exclaiming, 'Come on, ye muckle brute! Fe as if it had no other object than the gratification of had as weel come on! I'll gar ye ! I'll gar ye! That's ennui or caprice. Alert, and impetuous, and perse, a gude beast now; come awa! That's it! Ay, ye're vering, it even from its infancy dashed onward, proud a gude beast now!' and resolute; and no sooner met with a rebuff from As the last words were uttered, a little fellow of the rocks on one side of the glen, than it flew indig- about ten years of age was seen issuing from the nant to the other, frequently awaking the sleeping hollow, and pulling after him, with all his might, a echoes by the noise of its wild career. Its complexion great long-backed clumsy animal of the horse species, was untinged by the fat of the soil ; for in truth the though apparently of a very mulish temper. soil had no fat to throw away. But little as it owed "You have met with a sad accident,' said Mr to nature, and still less as it was indebted to cultiva- Stewart ; how did all this happen? 'You may see tion, it had clothed itself in many shades of verdure. how it happened plain eneugh,' returned the bor; The hazel, the birch, and the mountain-ash, were not the brig brak, and the cart couppet.' ' And did you only scattered in profusion through the bottom, but in and the horse coup likewise ? said Mr Stewart. O many places clomb to the very tops of the hills. The ay, we a' couppet thegither, for I was ridin' on his ineadows and corn-fields, indeed, seemed very evidently back.' 'And where is your father, and all the rest of to have been encroachments made by stealth on the the folk? Whaur sud they be but in the bay-field! sylvan region ; for none had their outlines marked Dinna ye ken that we're takin' in our hay! Jobs with the mathematical precision in which the modern | Tamson's and Jamie Forster's was in a week syne, bat improver so much delights. Not a straight line was we're aye ahint the lave.' to be seen in Glenburnie. The very ploughs moved All the party were greatly amused by the cornin curves; and though much cannot be said of the posure which the young peasant evinced under his richness of the crops, the ridges certainly waved with misfortune, as well as by the shrewdness of his ar all the grace and pride of beauty.
swers ; and having learned from him that the har. The road, which winded along the foot of the hills, field was at no great distance, gave him some ksifon the north side of the glen, owed as little to art as pence to hasten his speed, and promised to take care any country road in the kingdom. It was very nar- of his horse till he should return with assistance, row, and much encumbered by loose stones, brought He soon appeared, followed by his father and two down from the hills above by the winter torrents. other men, who came on stepping at their usual pace.
Mrs Mason and Mary were so enchanted by the Why, farmer,' said Mr Stewart, 'you have trusted change of scenery which was incessantly unfolding to rather too long to this rotten plank, I think' (point. their view, that they made no complaints of the slow-ing to where it had given way); if you remember ness of their progress, nor did they much regret being the last time I passed this road, which was several obliged to stop a few minutes at a time, where they months since, I then told you that the bridge was in found so much to amuse and to delight them. But Mrdanger, and showed you how easily it might be reStewart had no patience at meeting with obstructions, paired ?' which, with a little pains, could have been so easily • It is a' true,' said the farmer, moring his bonnet; obviated ; and as he walked by the side of the car, ex-'but I thought it would do weel eneugh. I spoke to patiated upon the indolence of the people of the glen, Jamie Forster and John Tamson about it; but they who, though they had no other road to the market, said they wad na fash themselves to mend a brig that could contentedly go on from year to year without was to serve a'the folk in the glen.' making an effort to repair it. • How little trouble * But you must now mend it for your own sake,' would it cost,' said he, to throw the smaller of these said Mr Stewart, even though a' the folk in the glen loose stones into these holes and ruts, and to remore should be the better for it.' the larger ones to the side, where they would form a Ay, sir,' said one of the men, 'that's spoken like fence between the road and the hill! There are yoursel! would everybody follow your example, there enough of idle boys in the glen to effect all this, by would be nothing in the world but peace and good working at it for one hour a-week during the summer. neighbourhood. Only tell us what we are to do, and But then their fathers must unite in setting them to l'll work at your bidding till it be pit-mirki' work; and there is not one in the glen who would Well,' said Mr Stewart, “bring down the planks not sooner have his horses lamed, and his carts torn that I saw lying in the barn-yard, and which, though to pieces, than have his son employed in a work that you have been obliged to step over them every day would benefit his neighbours as much as himself.' since the stack they propped was taken in, bare nerer
As he was speaking, they passed the door of one of been lifted. You know what I mean!' these small farmers; and immediately turning a sharp O yes, sir,' said the farmer, grinning, we ked corner, began to descend a steep, which appeared so what ye mean weel eneugh: and indeed I may ken unsafe that Mr Stewart made his boys alight, which for I have fallen thrice owre them since they lay there, they could do without inconvenience, and going to the and often said they sud be set by, but we cou'dna be head of the horse, took his guidance upon himself. fashed.'
At the foot of this short precipice the road again While the farmer, with one of the men, went up, made a sudden turn, and discovered to them a mis- taking the horse with them, for the planks in question, fortune whicn threatened to put a stop to their pro- all that remained set to work, under Mr Stewart's ceeding any farther for the present evening. It was direction, to remove the hay, and clear away the ruba no other than the overturn of a cart of hay, occasioned bish ; Mrs Mason and Mary being the only idle specby the breaking down of the bridge, along which it tators of the scene. In little more than half an hour had been passing. Happily for the poor horse that the planks were laid, and covered with sod cut from drew this ill-fated load, the harness by which he was the bank, and the bridge now only wanted a little