« PreviousContinue »
his garden, which was not far from the house.
We went, and found it a fine, tranquil, and sheltered place, well stocked with cauliflowers, pease, and artichokes. And not far from these rose a pigeonhouse, from whence sweet cooings some times mingled with a dashing among some trees below, from the same brook that ran through Glenlonely-trout. At another place roses, ranunculuses, and other flowers grew, beside a small hot-house, which the minister kept for his own amusement. The air here was so pleasant to breathe, that I took a turn or two along the gravel walk, and thought of the "dum manet blanda voluptas" of Lucretius. But Mr Glebersmouth reminded me that it was time to go in, and, as he and I were standing with our faces turned
towards an old wall, we saw the servant-maid, already mentioned, come leaping over a three-bar gate, to announce that the tea was ready. We returned to the house. Mr Snapflint was already drinking his tea, and soon went to get on the accoutrements he had brought with him.
Afterwards, when we had taken leave of Mrs Gilmourton and the young clergyman, Mr Gilmourton came out with us, and offered to me an old greyhaired poney; for he said it would be best to ride home after the forenoon's fatigue; but I answered, that it was no exertion at all to walk back, as we meant to go in the nearest direction. Therefore, shaking hands with the old minister, we returned to the road, and got home under a beautiful harvest sky, filled with stars.
MRS OGLE OF BALBOGLE.
*****“I have met with her several times,” said Mr Jamphler, "and I cannot make myself acquainted with her. I am told she possesses much admirable humour, and is able to deceive, by her personations, even her most intimate friends. But somehow we never get more acquainted than at first; I should like, above all things, to see a specimen of her performances. I think, however, that her natural manner is so peculiar, that she could not disguise herself from me."
His friend regretted the dryness between him and the young lady, and the disappointment he had himself suffered; for he had expected much amusement from the keen encounter of two such wits.
One day, when the greater number of the same party were invited to dine with Mr Jamphler, and while, after coming from the Parliament-house, he was dressing for dinner, two ladies were announced, desiring to see him on some very urgent business. They were shewn into the library, and he presently joined them.
The eldest of the two was a large matronly “kintra-like wife," with tortoise-shell spectacles, dressed in a style considerably more ancient than the fashion. She rustled in stiff drabcoloured lutestring; wore a hard muslin apron, covered with large tam boured flowers. On her hands, she
had white linen gloves, and on her head, a huge black silk bonnet, gausy and full, and shaped something like the tuft of a tappit hen. Her companion had the air of a simple girl, bashful and blushing, but with a certain significant expression in her eyes, that said, as it were, "I could if I would."
Ye'll no ken me, Mr Jamphler, I'se warrant," said the matron; "but aiblins ye maun hae heard o' me. I'm Mrs Ogleo' Balbogle, and I hae come intil Edinburgh, and anes errant, to take the benefit o' your counsel; for ye maun ken, Mr Jamphler, that I hae heard ye're a wonderful clever bodie baith at book lair, and a' other parts and particularities o' knowledge. In trouth, if a' tales be true, Mr Jamphler, they say the like o' you hasna been seen in our day, nor in our fathers' afore us, and that ye can gie an advice in a manner past the compass o' man's power. In short, Mr Jamphler, it's just a curiosity to hear what's said o' your ability in the law; and I thought I would never be properly righted, unless I could get the help o' your hand. For mine's a kittle case, Mr Jamphler, and it's no a man o'a sma' capacity that can tak it up; howsomever, I would fain hope it's no past your comprehension, Mr Jamphler. Na, Mr Jamphler, ye mauna fash at me, for ye ken it's a business
o' great straits and difficulties. I am, as I was saying, Mrs Ogle o' Balbogle, the relic o auld Balbogle.-O he was an excellent character, and if he had been to the fore, I wouldna hae needed to trouble you, Mr Jamphler, wi' ony complaint. But he's win awa' out o' this sinful world, and I'm a poor lanely widow; howsomever, Mr Jamphler, they tell me there's no the like you for making the widow's heart glad."
Mr Jamphler was by this time become rather impatient-the dinnerhour was drawing near-and momentarily expecting his guests, he said, 'Madam, I am at this time particularly engaged, and it would be as well you to see your agent." "My augent !" exclaimed Mrs Ogle of Balbogle. "Ye're my augentI'll hae nae ither but you-I hae come here for nae ither purpose than to confer wi' you anent my affair"Well, but what is it-what is it?" interrupted the counsellor, a little quickly.
"Mr Jamphler, sit down-sit your ways down beside me," cried Mrs Ogle of Balbogle, "and hear my case. Ye needna be feart, Mr Jamphler, o' ony scaith frae me. I wadna meddle wi' the like o' you-and that's my own dochter, she's come wi' me for insight. Look up, Meg-am sure ye hae nae need to haud down your head like a tawpy. Mr Jamphler, she's no an illfar't lassie ye see, and she'll hae something mair than rosy cheeks for her tocher-and, Mr Jamphler, she's come o' gentle blood-we're nane o' your muslin manufacturers; na, na, Mr Jamphler. I'm the Laird of Barwullupton's only dochter mysel, and my father left me a bit land-I'm sure I needna ca't a bit, for it's a braw blaud -But to make a lang tale short, I had on the burn side-ye'll aiblins, Mr Jamphler, ken the Crokit burn?"
“I think, madam," said Mr Jamphler, "it would be as well to have your case stated in a memorial." "Memorial, Mr Jamphler! Na, na, Mr Jamphler-nae memorials for me. Ye're to be my memorial and testimony, and a' that I require."
I beg, then, madam, that you will call some other time, for at present I am very particularly engaged," interrupted the counsellor, levying the utmost forbearance on his natural urbanity.
"Mr Jamphler, ye maun thole wi' me, for what I want your ability in is a matter o' desperation."
"Upon my word, madam, it is impossible for me to attend to you any longer at this time," exclaimed Mr Jamphler.
Noo, Mr Jamphler, really that's no like you; for Thomas Ellwand, the tailor in the Canongate, whar I stay -he taks in a' the books ye put out, and brags ye're o' a capacity to rule a kingdom-what will he say, when he hears ye wouldna spare half an hour frae your tea to pleasure a helpless widow; for I see by my watch it's near five o'clock, and so I suppose ye're hyte for your drap o' het water. O, Mr Jamphler, I hope ye hae more concern for the like o' me, and that ye'll no falsify your repute for discernment in the judgment of Thomas Ellwand-he says, that nobody can draw a strae afore your nose unkent. Aiblins, Mr Jamphler, ye're acquaint wi' Thomas-he's a desperate auld farrant creature—he wasna pleased with the government here, so he took an o'ersea jaunt to America, and married a wife
a very worthy woman. It would do you gude, Mr Jamphler, to see how content they live."
"Madam," said Mr Jamphler, pray what is the business on which you want to consult me?"
"Business! Mr Jamphler, it's a calamity-it's a calamity, Mr Jamphler !" exclaimed Mrs Ogle of Balbogle, spreading the hands of astonishment. "But I forget mysel, now I see what for ye had been so impatient-I forgot to gie you a fee; there it is, Mr Jamphler, a gowden guinea full weight."
"But what are the circumstances?" "Circumstances! Mr Jamphler.I'm no in straightend circumstances; for, as I was telling you, Mr Jamphler, I'm the relic of auld Balbogle
Lang will it be, Mr Jamphler, before I get sic anither gudeman-but it was the Lord's will to tak him to himsel, wi' a fit o' the gout, three year past on the night o' Mononday come eight days. Eh! Mr Jamphler, but his was a pleasant end-weel it will be for you and me, Mr Jamphler, if we can slip awa' into the arms of our Maker like him. He was sarely croint, Mr Jamphler, before he died, and his death was a gentle dispensation, for he had lang been a heavy
handfu’—but at last he gaed out o' this life like the snuff o' a candle. Howsomever, Mr Jamphler, being, as I was saying, left a widow-it's a sair thing, Mr Jamphler, to be a widowI had a' to do, and my father having left me, among other things, o' my bairns' part of gear-for the Barwullupton gaed, as ye ken, to my auld brother the laird, that married Miss Jenny Ochiltree o' the Mains; a very creditable connection, Mr Jamphler, and a genteel woman-she can play on the spinnet, Mr Jamphler. But no to fash you wi' our family divisions amang other things, there was on my bit grund a kill and a mill, situate on the Crokit burn, and I lent the kill to a neighbour to dry some aitsAnd, Mr Jamphler, O what a sight it was to me the kill took low, and the mill likewise took wi't, and baith gied just as ye would say a crakle, and nothing was left but the bare wa's and the steading. Noo, Mr Jamphler, wha's to answer for the damage? How sumever, Mr Jamphler, as I can see that it's no an aff-hand case, I'll bid you gude day, and ye'll consider o't again the morn, when I'll come to you afore the Lords in the ParliamentHouse."
rheumaticks, will ye hae the kindness just to rin out for a coach to me? I'll be very muckle obliged to you, Mr Jamphler; it's but a step yonder to whar the coaches are biding on outlook."
Mr Jamphler rung the bell, and ordered his servant to fetch instantly a coach.
"But, Mr Jamphler," resumed Mrs Ogle of Balbogle; "I hae another favour to ask, ye maun ken I'm sometimes tormented wi' that devilry they call the tooth-ache; are ye acquaint wi' ony doctor that can do me good?"
Mr Jamphler immediately mentioned our friend and correspondent, the Odontist.-"Eh!" said Mrs Ogle of Balbogle, " the famous Doctor Scott! But whar does he bide, Mr Jamphler?" The urbane counsellor mentioned his address. "Ah! but, Mr Jamphler, ye maun write it down-for I hae but a slack memory." Mr Jamphler did so immediately; but the lady, on looking at the paper, said, "Na, na, Mr Jamphler, that winna do-I canna read Greek-ye maun pit it in broad Scotch-I'm nane of your novel leddies, but Mrs Ogle o' Balbogle." Mr Jamphler was in consequence obliged to write the address more legibly, and the coach coming to the door, the lady and her daughter withdrew. Mr Jamphler then joined the company in the drawing-room, and soon after the young lady, in propria persona, with the Odontist's address in her hand, was announced as Mrs Ogle of Balbogle.
AN EXPOSTULATORY LETTER TO C. NORTH, ESQ.
Concerning certain Parts of his past Conduct.
MR NORTH,—I wonder how it is that you can allow any of your contributors to defend you from the silly outcries against Maga; and I wonder more, how any person should be so absurd as to suppose such a defence necessary. Defend what? The work, the opus magnum, which, after having put down all the rascally Whig population," has proceeded, in its strength, to introduce a new mode of thinking, and of writing, on philosophy, politics, and polite letters. Perish the thought, that one pen should be drawn to defend that which is impregnable-which, rejoicing in its own
might, laughs at the applause of friends, and the threats of enemies. The person who could suppose such a thing, must have had his mind blinded by the brightness of its pages; and he who would attempt to wipe off any its fancied faults, reminds me of one who holds up a farthing candle to aid the blaze of the noon-day sun, because some misty spots may have appeared upon it. Really some of your contributors must have been greatly dazzled-they must have been seeing objects double-before they could think that any of the dirty aspersions of your enemies required a serious an
swer. No! I cannot but conceive of you as a conqueror going forth in your might, and whatever enemy you meet, you straightway array yourself, and do him battle with his own weapons :-The pert infidel Reviewer you overthrow with his boasted satire; the Anti-English Reformer you overwhelm with honest argument; and the immoral Cockneys you silence with the frown of your virtuous scorn. Is not this the fairest of all warfare? Most certainly it is, and " there is an end of the matter.'
This is the reasoning, Christopher, that I would use upon the occasion. And I would go farther than this; I would contend, that, before you appeared upon the field, there was nothing like honest fighting to be found; and that, with the other improvements for which the world is indebted to you, is also to be ranked this, of having settled the mode by which certain pests of society, who, from some offensive quality, reckoned themselves safe from punishment, were to be assailed without hurting the honour of the assailant. Did not the Edinburgh Review consider itself secure in the domination which it had obtained over the opinions of the people, and over the fate of aspirants for literary distinction, until you dared to break through the magic circle that surrounded it, and held up its principles in their true pollution to the world? Did not the Scotsman reckon himself protected by his vulgarity, and by the coarseness of his abuse, until you ventured to expose the darkness of the cave in which the reptile had hid himself, and to shew the total ignorance and malignity by which the creature was directed? Did not the whole host of prating demagogues, who harangue from hustings at seditious assemblies, who scribble in radical newspapers, and who deliver their opinions after the toasts at party dinners, consider themselves safe in their own insignificance, until you taught them, that no sentiment, hostile to our constitution in church or state, could be broached, unnoticed, or unrebuked, while you were the defender of both. These things, Mr Christopher, were not done in a corner; and even your own modesty cannot conceal them. A pretty story, indeed, to begin to defend that, which all the world (worth speaking of) has long
ago confessed was the means of introducing the most auspicious era in the history of our land. The only excuse I can find for such conduct is, that, all these people being now put to rest, you have nothing left you to do, but to allow your contributors to tell in what way it has been done.
With this impression, even I myself could, for a moment, dilate upon the subject. How stupendous the idea to look back to the time of your commencement, and to mark the havoc which you have caused in the world! Then, the Whig faction possessed their original strength and insolence, combined with the bitterness of a recent defeat. Then, the organ of their sentiments, and the cause of much of the dissatisfaction that was abroad in the land, was scattering the pestilence of its principles on every side. Then, the herd of disappointed patriots, who had hoped to prosper amidst the ruin of the country, were allowed, without restraint, to shed the venom of their malice upon every one that supported the constituted authorities of the kingdom. Then, sedition and infidelity were going arm in arm, shaking the allegiance of the peer, and destroying the faith of the peasant. Then, was there no defence in the hands of government, and of the well-disposed, but the slow operation of laws, which the quibble of a lawyer might evade, or the political bias of a jury render useless. Then-but why need I go farther-then, in one word, there were publications in the possession of the friends of disorder, which sent forth, every week and every day their calumnies against the most respectable individuals, and the most venerable institutions in the country; while there were few or none to say that these things were base in themselves, and full of danger to the community.
In these circumstances it was that you, Christopher, appeared like a warrior armed for the combat, prepared to stand or to fall in the defence of the constitution. Hitherto the enemy had been allowed to waste himself in the mere admiration of his own daring, and none had ventured to take up the glove which, in the confidence of his own might, he had thrown down. Nay, his tyranny, from being so long endured, had seemed to have been visited with a kind of prescriptive right upon the nation; for though many had
winced, none had dared to oppose it. And if at an hour like this, when the firmest trembled, and the strongest were afraid, you were found to stand up to punish the aggressors, is this the time of day when such things require to be defended?
And are benefits like these to be cast lightly aside, because some dapper gentleman has reckoned himself insulted in the fray, or some old lady in male attire has been shocked at the rough North blast of your satire? Were such persons to suppose that you, in embarking in a cause so great, were to consult their little sensibilities, and mould your conduct according to their puling taste? The nature of the duty which you undertook, apart from every other consideration, rendered such a course impossible; and I know, that in some of the severest chastise ments that you have given, you have pitied the sufferer while you applied the rod.
All this looks like defence; but as such I by no means intend it. I began with remonstrance; and though I have wandered somewhat, I shall speedily return.
Why should you, Mr North, allow your contributors to fret themselves with the outcries of your enemies, when you know well that the last means of defence that instinct offers to those in distress, is to call out in bitterness of spirit? This, believe me, Christopher, is all the noise that ever was or ever will be made; for it is all humbug to say that these are loyal people who are finding fault, or are offended. There may indeed be a few unhappy persons, that usurp to themselves such a name, who vacillate between two parties, and are afraid to connect themselves with either-who, from constitutional indecision, know not into which lap to cast their lot. There may be a few of such, who hesitate to join interests with your's. And more than this, there may be some who have hung their fame upon some lumbering periodical, that wishes to stand fair with government, and at the same time have a sneaking eye to the mob ;-some who have felt their popularity eclipsed by the brightness
of your pages; and it is quite proper
Believe me to be your's always,
Angus, 1st October, 1821.