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shathmont, as I may say; the meaning of which word has puzzled many that think themselves antiquaries. I am clear we should read salmon. length for shathmont's-length. You are aware that the space allotted for the passage of a salmon through a dam, dike, or wier, by statute, is the length within which a full-grown pig can turn himself round-now I have a scheme to prove, that, as terrestrial objects were thus appealed to for ascertaining submarine measurement, so it must be supposed that the productions of the water were established as gages of the extent of land.-Shathmont-salmont-you see the close alliance of the sounds; dropping out two.h's and at, and assuming an l, makes the whole difference -I wish to Heaven no antiquarian derivation had demanded heavier concessions.»
« But, my dear sir, I really must go home-I am wet to the skin.»
« Shalt have my night-gown, man, and slippers, and catch the antiquarian fever, as men do the plague, by wearing infected garments—nay, I know what you would be at-you are afraid to put the old bachelor to charges. But is there not the remains of that glorious chicken-piewhich, meo arbitrio, is better cold than hot--and that bottle of my oldest port, out of which the silly brain-sick baronet (whom I cannot pardon,
I since he has escaped breaking his neck,) had just taken one glass, when bis infirm noddle went a wool-gathering after Gamelyn de Guardover ?» So saying, he dragged Lovel forwards, till the
Palmer's-port of Monkbarns received them. Never, perhaps, had it admitted two pedestrians more needing rest, for Monkbarns' fatigue had been in a degree very contrary to his usual habits, and his more young and robust companion had that evening undergone agitation of mind which had harassed and wearied him even more than his extraordinary exertions of body.
Be brave,» she cried, « you yệt may be our guest.
your courageous tongue have powers to talk,
you dare ask it why it leaves its tomb,
HEY reached the room+ in which they had dined, and were clamorously welcomed by Miss Oldbuck.
« Where's the younger womankind?» said the Antiquary
« Indeed, brother, amang a' the steery, Maria wadna be guided by me—she set away to the Halket-craig head-I wonder ye didna see her. »
«Eh!- what, what's that you say, sister?did the girl go out in a night like this to the Halket-head ?- Good God! the misery of the night is not ended yet!»
« But ye winna wait, Monkbarns--ye are so imperative and impatient»—
« Tittle-tattle, woman,» said the impatient and agitated Antiquary, «where is my dear Mary?»,
« Just where ye suld be yoursel, Monkbarns
, up-stairs, and in her warm bed.»
« I could have sworn it,» said Oldbuck laughing, but obviously much relieved, « I could have sworn it—the lazy monkey did not care if we were all drowned together-why did you say she went out?» But
ye wadna wait to hear out my tale Monkbarns-she gaed out, and she came in again with the gardener sae sune as she saw that nane o'
ye were clodded ower the craig, and that Miss Wardour was safe in the chariot-she was hame a quarter of an hour syne, for it's now ganging ten
, -sair droukit was she, poor thing, sae I e'en put a glass o'sherry in her water-gruel.»
« Right, Grizel, right-let womankind alone for coddling each other. But hear ye, my venerable sister-Start not at the word venerable; it implies many praiseworthy qualities besides age; though that too is honourable, albeit it is the last quality for which womankind would wish to be honoured - But perpend my words; let Lovel and I have forthwith the reliques of the chicken: pie and the reversion of the port. »
«The chicken-pie-the port ou dear! brother - there was but a whin banes, and scarce a drap o'the wine.»
The Antiquary's countenance became clouded, though he was too well-bred to give way, in the presence of a stranger, to his displeased surprise at the disappearance of the viands on which he had reckoned with absolute certainty. But his
sister understood these looks of ire. « Ou dear! Monkbarns, what's the use of making a wark?»
« I make no wark, as you call it, woman.»
« But what's the use o' looking sae glum and glunch about a pickle banes ?-an ye will hae the truth, ye maun ken the minister came in, worthy man-sair distressed he was, nae doubt, about your precaarious situation, as he ca'd it, (for ye ken how weel he's gifted wi' words) and here he wad bide till he could hear wi' certainty bow the matter was likely to gang wi' ye a'— He said fine things on the duty of resignation to Providence's will, worthy man! that did he. »
Oldbuck replied, catching the same tone, Worthy man !- he cared not how soon Monkbarns had devolved on an heir female, I've a notion-and while he was occupied in this Christian office of consolation against impending evil, I reckon that the chicken-pie and my good port disappeared ?»
« Dear brother, how can you speak o'sic frivolities, when
have had sic an escape from the craig?»
« Better than my supper has had frae the minister's craig, Grizzie---it's all discussed, I sup
« Hout, Monkbarns, ye speak as if there was nae mair meat in the house wad
not have had me offer the honest man some slight refreshment after his walk fraự the manse ?
Oldbuck half-whistled, half-hummed, the end of the old Scottish ditty,