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name, we'll hae him ta'en afore the Shirra ;” and I was dragged across the pavement, in dread of being pelted by all the cattle dealers in the market, and of being perhaps walked in procession amidst a crowd of boys, to the nearest watch-house. A few moments conversation, however, served to make the necessary explanation; and when it was known that my father had been in the town-council, and had a shop on the South Bridge, my character of swind ler was changed immediately into that of a "foolish laddie, for middling wi' things that I had naething to do with." Mr Cloverfield began now to think it was partly his own fault that I was dragged in to purchase bullocks, which I could not for their value have killed; and young Harrigals declared, that such a comical circumstance had never occurred in the High Market in his day.
"Foolish callant," said Andrew, "what for did you no speak out, man! I thought whan I saw ye feart to set your feet in the sharn, and handle the nout wi' your yellow gloves, preserve us a', that the Edinburgh fleshers were turn'd unco gentle indeed. But howsomever, I wadna cheat ye ye need nae hae been fear'd for that. Mr Harrigals kens that they are a gude bargain, and ye might maybe hae sell'd them wi' profit. But, come, we'll hae a half mutchkin upon it. Lassie, tell your mistress to bring in the teathings,-ye're no to gang awa', my
merchant, wi' an empty stamach, and maybe ye'll learn something about buying cattle afore we're done. It's a capital joke after a'.-I canna help laughing at my ain simplicity." Mr Harrigals added his request to the solicitations of Mr Cloverfield, and after a good breakfast, and a glass of brandy, which I was forced to swallow to keep the wind out of my stomach, as Andrew said, I received a kind invitation, when I felt inclined, "to come and tak a day's fishing in the Braidwater at Wirlyknows, where was the best trout in a the country."
I left my friends with a hearty shake of the hand, and with mutual congratulations at the circumstance which had brought us acquainted; and I returned home by the Bow and the Lawnmarket, both of which streets, and the houses therein, seemed, from their dancing so oddly before my eyes, not to have made up their minds about the centre of gravity. The people also appeared to walk less steadily than when I commenced my excursion. These circumstances have been since endeavoured to be accounted for by the administration of the glass of brandy to my stomach; but I leave it to the reader to decide, whether it is more likely that the houses should actually nod their heads, or that the celebrated traveller, Christopher Columbus, Esq. should be imposed on by his own very serviceable organs of sight.
Angling and Shooting.
A's fish that comes in the net.
Larus hybernus, LIN.-The winter gull;
The first quill-feather black; black streak'd the tail.
"We are all catching or caught," said I to myself, as I left Lucky Thomson's little tavern or inn near Musselburgh, where Entertainment for Men and Horses" met my eye, after a morning's exercise on the Esk ;-we are all anglers or fishers in the great
Pennant's British Zoology in Verse,
by DAVID DRINKWATER, F. L. S pond of life; and provided a prope bait be held out to us, we seldom fail to snatch at it. The shop-keeper baits hi windows with jewellery, ribbons, and silks, to catch the eye of female beauty while tallow-candles and tea, hams cheese, and sugar, are laid out to at
tract the notice of the thrifty housewife. The bookseller gilds his books, and the apothecary dusts his pills, to make them go down more pleasingly the lawyer, like the spider, sets his lines, and the clergy sweep their flyhooks, all for the purpose of catching something. Thousands are taken by the gilded butterflies of fame and glory, and thousands more are in the continual pursuit of the more substantial bait of riches. Even nets are set by beauty to entrap the hearts of the unwary; and the jointured widow, or miss with expectations, have only to display their purses, to congregate the persons, if not the hearts, of a whole county of unmarried gentlemen."But what has all this to do with your travels, Mr Christopher?" I think I hear the reader ask; Recollect we are at a complete stand still, while you are musing and moralizing in this odd manner." You are perfectly right, gentle Reader; and, in case of rain, I shall not keep you longer in the king's highway, but take you back again to Lucky Thomson's Inn, where you may share with me, in idea, the comforts of a hungry stomach, baps and butter, eggs, ham, and all the luxuries of the day's first meal.
I had fished up the water, and down the water, with but indifferent success, till, coming in contact with the sign-board above mentioned, I thought I could not do better than lay in a cargo of provisions to last till dinner time; so I ordered breakfast, and put my fishing-rod, to save the trouble of unscrewing, against the little window of the apartment where breakfast was set, that I might see it in case of accident. I had demolished at least one bap,(Anglicè, roll) eat two caller eggs of the honest gentlewoman's own laying, according to her phraseology, and was in the act of breaking up a third, when the shaking of my rod outside the window attracted my attention. After a tremulous motion, I thought I heard the pirn unrolling, and the next moment the rod fell and disappeared. Unwilling to part so easily with an old companion, which would moreover have spoiled my sport for the remainder of the day, I ran to the door to ascertain if the trout had really left the water, and followed me to eat their breakfast on dry land. My rod lay on the ground, with the line extended, VOL. X.
and pulled by something round the corner of the house. Taking it up, and beginning to wind up the line, I soon found an obstruction to my progress, which even in these wonderful times I should not have contemplated. I had not rolled up above two or three yards, when a respectable matron of a hen, surrounded by eight or ten chickens, made her appearance, shaking her head, unwilling to come forward and afraid to retreat.
The good woman of the house followed me to the door, suspecting per-' haps that I had forgot to pay my reckoning; but, upon seeing what had happened, she exclaimed, " Preserve us a'! is that my brood hen ye hae catched wi' your fishing wand? if it be, gentle or simple, ye had better been fishing something else, I'll assure ye." She then ran to the animal, which by this time was turning up its eyes, and making very extraordinary faces for a hen, and seizing it up, roared out, "As sure as I'm on this spot, the pair beast has eaten the flee-hook, and she's golloring up blude. What gart ye come to my house, wi' your whatye-ca-thems? I had rather ye never ditted my door, than been the death o' poor Tappie." She was now joined in her lamentations by two girls, who expatiated upon the cruelty of the monster that was the death "o' grannie's hen," who could make eight or ten orphans so unadvisedly, and who had the heart to torture puir dumb animals in this way."
Though I could scarcely refrain from laughing at the strange attachment to my line, I put on a grave face, and said in words becoming the melancholy occasion, "My good woman, I am sorry, very sorry indeed, for your hen; but you should consider, that if she had not attempted to steal my fly, nothing would have happened." "Steal! my hen steal! she's as honest a hen as you, and that I'll let you ken, sir. What signifies a bawbee's worth o' hooks, and a wee pickle horse hair? I wadna hae ta'en five shillings for my poor creature." "Come, come, there is no use in making words about the matter. There's half-a-crown,” said I, cutting off the line at the hen's mouth, and no more about it.”— "Half-a-crown!" exclaimed Lucky Thomson," I wonder how you can offer half-a-crown for a hen worth
double the siller. I wad cast the money in your face, rather than sell my poor beast's life for half-a-crown."
I had heard or read somewhere, that the loudest speaker in a vulgar quarrel always comes off victorious; and, finding that I could not bring my landlady to reason in any other way, I raised my voice to its utmost pitch, and said in my most determined manner, that if she did not choose to take what I offered, I would give nothing at all, and besides prosecute her for damage done to my rod and line, and the loss of my fly. The woman's choler fell as mine seemed to rise; she remarked, in a subdued tone, "that her husband aye said she was owre hasty in her temper; that she saw I was a gentleman, and wadna wrang a poor body; and that she wad just tak what I liked to gie, though it would be lang indeed before the bairns got a hen like poor Tappie."
With little more ado I finished my breakfast. My hostess had her hen killed for nothing, and the price of it to the bargain; and two trouts to the little girls put an end to the mourning for the unfortunate hen and her helpless babies.
Mr Matthews, when you choose to be At Home in our city, send me notice thereof, and I shall make the above into a very capital law-case for your use, and the decision of the public,for the lawyers of my acquaintance have not yet made up their minds, whether the woman was entitled to damages for the death of her furtive hen, or me, for injury done to my line, and the loss of an innocent fly.
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush says the English proverb, and English proverbs sometimes say true. I was shooting sea-fowl on Portobello sands, at a season when no other shooting is permitted, and for a long time I had wasted powder and patent shot to little purpose. The mews, ducks, and gulls, either flew provokingly high, or at a tormenting distance, and I could not bring one down. In fact, none of them had a mind to be wounded or die that morning, which I thought very strange indeed. At last, however, a large grey gull flew past. I immediately levelled at him, and had the good fortune to see him tumble on the sands before me. I ran
to complete my conquest, hoping he was not mortally wounded, for I wanted one of this species very much to pick up the worms and insects in my garden; but when within a yard of where he lay, and almost ready to stoop for the purpose of lifting him up, he eyed me with a significant glance, and then, half running half flying, seemed to say, "Off we go!-catch me if you can." I ran pretty fast, but he ran still faster; and after a coursing along the beach, which even arrested the half-naked bathers to witness its termination, my gull friend got over a garden dike at Joppa, and, having placed the highroad between him and me, disappeared in a corn field.
Was there ever any thing more provoking! But this world is full of disappointments; and, after all, it is not so humiliating to be gulled by a gull, as by one of one's own species. Being sufficiently tired by my chace, I left the bathers to dress themselves in peace, and determined to "wend my weary way" back again to town, and to repair the waste of the morning's expedition by a comfortable dinner.
I had walked nearly half way to Edinburgh, and had entered the range of houses called Jock's Lodge, when, to my astonishment and delight, I perceived my friend the gull stalking quietly by the side of the road, and picking his feathers, very much at his ease. Ah, my good fellow," thought I, "I shall have you at last;" and to leap across the road and catch up the animal, was but the work of a moment. I got him under my arm almost unresisting, and having slung my fowling-piece on my shoulder, I gaily ascended the rising ground to the city. I had got but a few yards, however, when one of a few children standing by a door cried out, "Eh, there's a man wi' a gull."-"A gull? odd its very like Jenny Cameron's," was the response of another. "It's just it," cried a third; and surmise being increased to conviction among the little whipper-snappers, the whole sung out in chorus, "Jenny! Jenny Cameron! here's a man stealing your gull." Jenny made her appearance forthwith from the door of a little alehouse:
wounded it at Portobello, and pursued it a good way in the fields. "Nane o' your lies to me," said Jenny; " ye may have shot at a gull in your day, for aught I ken; but ye havena shot at this ane this ae half year. Ye'll see the mark o' my sheers on the creature's wing," continued she, "and every bairn in the place kens it fu' weil." It came across my mind, that Janet might be in the right after all; and seeing none of the usual marks of powder and lead on the animal, and moreover finding that one of its wings was actually cut, I delivered up my prize, with many apologies for my stupid mistake. 'Ay,” said Jenny,
as she took the gull, "it was very stupid, nae doubt; but am no thinkin' ye would hae fund out the stupidity, had ye no been puttin in mind o't.'
Moral.-Remember, O reader! that neither wisdom nor worth are always proof against cunning and knavery; and if, in the course of your peregrinations through life, you are sometimes disappointed in your well-founded expectations, reflect that even the great Christopher Columbus was twice gulled in one day by a foolish animal from the sea-side at Portobello, and be content.
FAMILIAR EPISTLES TO CHRISTOPHER NORTH,
ON HOGG'S MEMOIRS.
MY DEAR CHRISTOPHER, I TAKE the liberty of sending back Hogg, which has disgusted me more severely than any thing I have attempted to swallow since Macvey's Bacon. He is liker a swineherd in the Canongate, than a shepherd in Ettrick Forest. I shall never again think of him without the image of an unclean thing; and, for his sake, I henceforth forswear the whole swinish generation. Roast pig shall never more please my palate-pickled pork may go to the devil-brawn, adieu !-avaunt all manner of hams-sow's cheek,
Fare thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, you can possibly see to admire in Jamie Hogg, is to me quite a puzzle. He is the greatest boar on earth, you must grant; and, for a decent wager, I undertake, in six weeks, to produce six as good poets as he is, from each county in Scotland, over and above the Falkirk Cobler, the Chaunting Tinsmith, Willison Glass, and the Reverend Mr I engage to draw up two deep, in front of No. 17, Prince's-street, on the next day of publication; and they shall march round by the Mount of proclamation, and across the Mound, back to their parade. Lieutenant Juillinan shall be at their head-Mr shall officiate chaplain—and if he pleases,
shall be trumpeter.
But joking apart, of all speculations in the way of printed paper, I should have thought the most hopeless to have been, "a Life of James Hogg, by himself." Pray, who wishes to know any thing about his life? Who, indeed, cares a single farthing whether he be at this blessed moment dead or alive?
It is no doubt undeniable, that the political state of Europe is not so interesting as it was some years ago. But still I maintain that there was no demand for the Life of James Hogg, and that the world at large could have gone on without it. At all events, it ought not to have appeared before the Life of Buonaparte.
Besides, how many lives of himself does the swine-herd intend to put forth? I have a sort of life of the man, written by himself about twenty years ago. There are a good many lives of him in the Scots Magazine—a considerable number even in your own work, my good sir-the Clydesdale Miscellany was a perfect stye with him
hisgrunt is in Waugh-he has a bristle in Baldwin-and he has smuggled himself in a sack of chaff into the Percy Anecdotes. No man from the country has a right thus to become a public nuisance. This self-exposure is not altogether decent; and if neither Captain Brown nor Mr Jeffrey will interfere, why I will-so please to print this letter.
The Mountain Bard; consisting of Legendary Ballads and Tales. By James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd. The third edition, greatly enlarged. To which is prefixed, a Me moir of the Author's Life, written by Himself. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh.
Take Hogg, and scrape him well for half an hour, and pray what does he prove to be? Why, a very ordinary common-place animal, in my humble opinion, as one may see on the longest day of summer, namely, the 22d of June. In all these lives of his, he keeps drawling and drivelling over his want of education. He could not write, he says, till he was upwards of twenty years of age. This I deny. He cannot write now. I engage to teach any forthcoming ploughman to write better in three weeks. Let Hogg publish a fac-simile of his hand-writing, and the world will be thunderstruck at the utter helplessness of his hand. With respect to grammar, is Hogg aware of this one simple fact, that he never wrote a page approaching to grammar in his life? Give hin a sentence, and force him, at the point of the sword, to point out an accusative, and he is a dead man.
Now, I ask you, Christopher, and other good people, if such a man as this has any title to be compared with Robert Burns. The Ayrshire Ploughman could write long before he was twenty. He held the plough before he was in his teens-he threshed corn at thirteen-all the girls in Coil were in love with him before he was twenty-some of them to their cost, and, at twentyfour, he published a volume of poems, containing, the Twa Dogs, The Cottar's Saturday Night, &c.-works that have made him immortal. After all, he was not a great poet; but he knew what he was about.
To hear Hogg and Burns spoken of in the same year, and written of in the same volume, is sickening indeed.— Some silly gentleman has done this, Christopher, in your own Magazine. Why, the idea of such a comparison is enough to make a horse laugh-it is enough to set the whole British cavalry into a guffaw.
Come now, Christopher, and be honest with me. Do you believe that there is a man living who can repeat a single line of Hogg's? If there be, send for a metaphysician to him instantly. Cut off his head, and transmit it to Spurzheim. What the devil is his poetry, as you call it, about? Tell me that, and I will write a sheet in your Magazine every month gratis. Jamie has no ideas. For, if he bad, are you so credulous as to believe that one or two would not have spunked out before
now? Draw upon him at sight, or at six months' date-no effects.
But I had no intention, when I took up my pen, to write one syllable about Hogg's genius, as it is called. And pray, what is in his life?—absolutely nothing. He has been in this world, it appears, fifty years, and his existence has been one continued bungle. But the selfconceit of the man is incredible. Lord Erskine is a joke to James Hogg,— and often must he have a sore heart to think what the worthy world will do without him some twenty years hence, when he hops the twig. His death will be remembered like a total eclipse of the sun, no doubt; and the people about Selkirk will date any event according to its distance in time from the death of Hogg." I remember it well-it was the year of the national bankruptcy."-"Ay, ay-the year Hogg died of the cholic.”
Pray, was your friend asleep during the twenty years he herded sheep in Ettrick, and Yarrow, and Polmoody? How do shepherds employ themselves?-Of this he tells us nothing Day after day-year after year, seem to have passed over his head in a stat of mystification, and the honest ma is no more able to give an account o them than an old ram, or his do Hector. Now, all shepherds are no such dolts. Many of them are ex tremely clever, long-headed, sagacious well-informed people; and in the pre sent case, the wonderful thing is, tha Hogg could have lived so long amon such an intelligent class of men, an appeared in the world so utterly ig norant as he is. This is the view the subject, which I maintain mu be taken by all sensible people wh read his Memoirs, and I feel conf dent that Hogg himself will be startle to find that it is the true one, if chuses to clap his large, grey, u meaning eyes on this part of the M gazine.
Well, then-this prodigy tires the shepherd's life, and comes joggi into Edinburgh; he offers his balla and balderdash, at sundry times, 'a in divers manners, to all the books lers in Edinburgh, high and low, ri and poor, but they are all shy trouts during thunder-not one bite. No wonder. Only picture yourself a stout country lout, with bushel of hair on his shoulders t had not been raked for months,