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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 704 - June 23, 1877
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 704 - June 23, 1877" ***

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Fourth Series


NO. 704.      SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]


The last representatives of our grandfather's generation having passed
away, there is no reason why the following true stories of an old
Scotch house should not be made public, for the entertainment of others
besides those members of the family to whom only they have hitherto
been known. I have slightly changed the names of persons and places,
but not a detail of the stories has otherwise been altered from the
first-hand accounts given us by those who were themselves their heroes
and heroines.

On a winter's afternoon in the year 1816 three young officers were
riding 'within a mile of Edinboro' toun;' they were pushing on in
advance of their regiment, which was that day marching into new
quarters, hoping to reach the city in time to choose lodgings for
themselves, to whom rooms in barracks had not been allotted. Suddenly
a gaunt gipsy woman of the Meg Merrilies type darted out upon them,
and laid her detaining hand upon the bridle of Lieutenant T---- (my
grandfather). He tried to shake his rein free, but without effect, and
the little cavalcade was brought to a halt by her persistence; then
addressing the gentlemen collectively, but keeping her eyes upon my
grandfather, she offered to tell their fortunes. The young men laughed
at the suggestion, and the gipsy wife waxed angry. 'Ye'll do little
good in Edinboro' or elsewhere,' she retorted roughly to the two
captains who had declined her services. 'But for ye' (speaking only to
Lieutenant T----), 'there's a bonnie bride waiting in the first house
ye enter!'

My grandfather threw her a shilling and galloped on with his
companions, enduring for some time their good-natured raillery about
the spae-wife's prediction; but when they reached the city they were
too much engaged in observing the outsides of the houses which might
afford them the desired lodgings, to think further of the prophecy. In
the dim light, one large house with closed shutters looked as if it
were untenanted and likely to suit their requirements; while a light
from a lower kitchen window shewed that some one was left in charge
who could attend to Lieutenant T----'s loud summons at the knocker.
But the young man, accounted a gallant soldier enough, who had seen
some service in the late wars, was entirely routed and discomfited
by the furious reception his modest inquiry after lodgings met with
from the stalwart maid-servant who answered the door. 'Lodgings! What
was the world coming to when a daft young fool asked if her mistress
let lodgings? The family was away in the north, and this would be a
pretty tale to tell them on their return,' stormed the cross maid; and
my grandfather, leaving a torrent of rough language behind him, made
his escape down the steps of the house over whose threshold he had
so mistakenly intruded. He remounted his horse amid the jeers of his
two friends, who reminded him of his fate predicted by the gipsy, and
begged him, if this were a sample of the 'bonnie bride's' usual temper,
to exchange into another regiment as soon as he married. Eventually the
young men found rooms to suit them, and in a few days became quite at
home in the pleasant capital of the north, which was just beginning its
gay winter season.

About a week after their arrival the officers were present at an
Assembly ball, and Lieutenant T---- lost his heart at first sight to
a lovely young _débutante_ of fifteen, with whom he danced the whole
evening. At the close of the ball he was introduced to a grand turbaned
lady, his partner's mother; and on seeing the ladies to their carriage
he asked leave to do himself the honour of calling for them next day.
This permission and their address were given him, and the latter noted
in his pocket-book. The next morning he eagerly sought out their house,
which he did not recognise as the scene of his first adventure till
Ailie, the same stalwart maid, opened the door, and this time admitted
him graciously.

This visit was followed by many others; and before a year had passed my
grandfather won the 'bonnie bride' of the spae-wife's prediction from
the very house across whose threshold he had first set foot on entering
Edinburgh. They were a very young pair; he only twenty-one and my
grandmother just sixteen at their marriage; and how their housekeeping
might have prospered or the reverse I do not know, had not Ailie
decided to take service with the young couple, and maintained their
interests during the wanderings of the next thirty years as faithfully
as she had previously guarded the honour of her mistress's house. She
was one of the now extinct race of family servants, a sort of factotum
in the house, where she did her own work and a good part of every
one else's in a wonderfully indefatigable fashion, only reserving to
herself the privilege of keeping every one in order, from the master
and mistress down to the kitchen wench.

To three out of the four generations of our family whom she served, she
was 'old Ailie;' and her flowered chintz bedgown and mob-cap survived
unaltered far into the era of crinoline and chignon. What stories she
had to tell of Madam our great-grandmother, a very grand dame indeed,
and well-known card-player; and of a certain Mistress Jean, her
favourite heroine, whom some of us recollect as Aunt Moir, a little
soft-faced, pink-and-white lady, not so imposing to look upon as the
miniature of her powdered mamma, but a beauty nevertheless in her day.
She lived at a time when it was the acknowledged fate of all Edinburgh
belles to fall a prey to dyspeptic old East Indians, who having been
drafted off as raw lads to India, were heard of no more till they
returned as nabobs half a century later, to take their pick of the
blooming lassies for whom the Scottish capital has ever been justly

Aunt Moir would describe how she and her mother went every Sabbath
morning to 'sit under' Dr M'----; and how, as they mounted the high
steps to the entrance of the place of worship, the beaus young
and old--some in blue swallow-tailed coats buttoned tight across
the chest, and frilled _jabots_ like protruding fins; others with
military pigtails and riding-boots--stood on each side of the door
and criticised their figures (a lady's face in those days being
pretty well hidden by her telescopic bonnet), and more particularly
their feet and ankles, incased in sandalled shoes and silk stockings.
Aunt Moir admitted that her feet passed their examination creditably
enough, though the criticism was sometimes more severe than gallant;
and one of her young-lady friends went by the name of 'Flat-foot Meg.'
But Aunt Jean's were evidently of a different order, and were swift
and light enough to do even more than please the fastidious taste of
the Edinburgh bucks. Some years after her marriage with an old and
invalid husband, who had carried her away from Edinburgh to a country
home, Mistress Moir, little more than a girl still, one day going over
her domains started a hare from a barley-stook, and throwing all her
matronly dignity to the winds, she pursued Puss through a couple of
meadows, and eventually captured and brought him struggling to the
house. Whether she kept maukin as a pet and proof of her agility, or
converted him into the excellent soup for which she has left us her
recipe, labelled in a pointed Italian hand-writing 'Mistress Moir's
Hare Broth,' history does not relate. Let us hope the former fate was
his, for the recipe says in conclusion, 'Without the meat of _two_
hares is the broth poor and meagre.'

Aunt Moir had no children of her own; but her heart and home were
always open to the numerous members of the T---- family, her nephews
and nieces. She found queer old ornaments, Indian beads and tartan
scarfs, in her store-boxes for the girls; and the town-bred boys
found rare opportunities for healthful delightful mischief when the
High School released them for their holidays at Moir. One species of
entertainment was specially sacred to Aunt Jean's kail-yard: to mount
astride upon tall, well-grown, firm-hearted cabbages, and rock gently
to and fro, with short leather-breeched, gray-stockinged legs sticking
out straight like a cavalry officer's, until a warning crack in the
stalk, or the sudden appearance of Aunt Jean's Tam rushing round some
unexpected corner, with his climax of threats: 'I'll tell Mistress
Alice,' drove the boys from their position.

A gray-headed, cross-grained old fellow was Tam, affecting to
disapprove highly of the annual summer incursion of boys and girls into
the Moir fruit-gardens, trampling among his strawberries that were
destined for Mistress Jean's preserves, and rifling his bushes for
'honeyblobs.' But he had a soft spot in his heart for my mother, Anna
T----, who reminded him, he fancied, of his little daughter Kirsty,
dead thirty years before; and many a Sunday afternoon did Tam give
mother a helping hand through her portion of the Shorter Catechism,
imposed as a becoming exercise for the mind by Aunt Moir on each of
the children. Tam was a rigid Sabbatarian of course, and even his
favourite Anna was not exempted from blame when one Sabbath evening the
whole young party were discovered in pursuit of a marauding rabbit who
had for days past ravaged their gardens. Ananias and Sapphira, Korah,
Dathan, and Abiram were somewhat irrelevantly cited as cases in point,
or at least as fellow-sinners; but he ended by muttering to himself, as
he left the abashed T---- children to meditate over his sermon: 'An'
the Lord spare me till the morn's morn, I'll shoot that deil mysel.'

Tam had been with Aunt Moir's parents at Portcorry before they migrated
southwards to Edinburgh, to settle the boys in life and the girls in
marriage. She had a queer story to tell us of her childhood connected
with Tam's wife Kirsty, who lived as nursery-maid in her father's
house, and had somewhat indifferently, and in the spirit of the lass
who sang,

    If it's ordained I maun tak him,
    Wha will I get but Tam Glen?

married Tam the 'gairdner lad,' and retired with him to the lodge.
When her little Kirsty was born, however, she gladly accepted the post
of wet-nurse to the contemporaneous baby just arrived at the house,
and returned to her old position in the nursery, bringing all her
newly awakened maternal love, as well as her boundless devotion and
respect for 'the family,' to lavish upon little weakly Uncle Donald.
Baby Kirsty at the lodge flourished upon oatmeal porridge administered
by Tam's clumsy hands, and was soon 'creeping' about everywhere with
the big collie dog as her sole attendant; while up at the house Master
Donald took all the devotion of two mothers to rear him, and was
all-sufficient to Mrs Kirsty, who forgot husband, child, and home in
her tendance of her foster-son.

At last, almost a year afterwards, the boy being weaned and fairly
strong, it was thought time to dismiss the foster-mother to her home
duties; and accordingly, after a violent and distressing parting, she
tore herself away from the child and returned to the lodge for good.
That same night Aunt Jean, a child of nine, who slept in the same room
occupied by the head-nurse and the baby brother, woke suddenly without
any particular reason, and saw by the dim light of the nursery lamp,
Kirsty's well-known figure walking to and fro through the room with the
little white bundle of a Donald in her arms. Presently she laid the
quieted child down in his cot again; and then catching the wide-open
eyes in the next bed, she made a sign to be silent, turning her head
in the direction of the sleeping head-nurse. Aunt Jean, well aware of
various little nursery jealousies between Mrs Macnab and Mrs Kirsty,
gave a nod of acquiescence, and lay quite still, watching Kirsty as she
softly bent over the little boy, settled him comfortably, and kissed
him again and again. She was still there hovering round the cot with
noiseless footsteps when the little girl fell asleep again.

Next morning, the first news that came to the house was that poor
Mistress Kirsty had died suddenly in the night in her own bed of a
sudden attack of heart complaint; brought on, the doctor said, by the
excessive grief to which she gave way on parting from her adopted
son. Tam and little Kirsty did not miss her much, I believe; nor,
sad to say, did the little lad for whom she had spent her strength
so willingly; but Aunt Jean held persistently to her story of the
'vision;' and the tale of 'faithful Kirsty' is still a beloved
tradition in our nursery. Thanks to her care, Uncle Donald grew up a
strapping lad, and when only fifteen served at the battle of Waterloo,
and was present at the entry of the allied powers into Paris. There is
still extant a funny etching, executed by some wit of the regiment, in
which Ensign Donald is represented 'looting' a confectioner's shop,
with drawn sword in one hand and immense half-demolished _brioche_ in
the other; the young ladies of the counter, attired in the classical
costumes of the First Empire, flying every way from the onslaught of
this hero from the Land o' Cakes.

They were a kindly race these Scotch relations of ours; less
extravagant in their habits, customs, and ways of thought than their
descendants of the present generation; handsomer and healthier too,
perhaps, if we judge from the bright eyes and rosy smiling faces of
the portraits they have left us; though even in these degenerate days,
a return to the early hours, simple habits, and oatmeal porridge of
the last century might yet make our lads and lassies, who inherit the
friendly Scottish nature, as handsome, healthy, and happy as their
grandfathers and grandmothers were seventy years since.



We found Robert Wentworth with Mrs Tipper, and he too, I saw, very
curiously examined Philip as they were introduced to each other.
Each eyed the other curiously and critically for a moment or two, as
they uttered the first few words; and I think each was as favourably
impressed towards the other as I could desire them to be. They
were kindred spirits, and soon recognised that they were, making
acquaintance in easy, undemonstrative, manly fashion.

Robert Wentworth was like an elder brother of Philip's, and there was
just sufficient difference between their minds to give a zest to their
companionship. Philip's was a more mercurial temperament; whilst there
was a vein of satire in the other, lacking in him. Lilian thought that
Robert Wentworth had not the same poetical perception which Philip
possessed; but that did _not_ I, for whom the former had unfolded
the hidden meaning, the subtle essence of some of _the_ poet's most
delicate imagery. Of course I could not suppose Robert Wentworth to be
Philip's superior; but neither would I do him the injustice of calling
him inferior. They were different.

One thing puzzled me not a little as time went on. Whether it was that
my love for Philip made me shyer and more reticent with him, or whether
he did not look for certain things in me, I know not; but one part
of my mind, which was as an open book to Robert Wentworth, remained
undiscovered and even unsuspected by my lover. Once when Philip made
a little jest about Lilian's romance and enthusiasm, Robert Wentworth
smilingly opined that there were graver offenders in that way than
Lilian; but I knew that I was the only one to perceive his meaning.
If Philip had any suspicion that the allusion was intended for me, he
did not perceive its application. Would it have made any difference
if I had been able to let my thoughts flow into words when alone with
him? When I was his wife--when this foolish shyness, reticence, or
whatever it might be, was once overcome--I knew that he would find me
a much more attractive companion than now. But while I longed to give
more expression to my feelings, I nervously shrank from doing so. I
almost wished that he would _force_ me to shew my thoughts, as Robert
Wentworth used to take so much delight in doing.

What girl could love as I did? What love could be deeper and more
intense than mine? Yet the consciousness that I was _not_ a girl kept
me silent whilst my soul vibrated to every look and word of his. Ah
me--ah Philip! would it have been wiser to let you see? That night when
we stood together in the moonlight--when you good-naturedly jested me
about my matter-of-fact way of regarding things--would it have been
better to let you see the volcano hidden beneath the snow? Ah Philip,
when you feared I had caught a chill, and wrapped my shawl closer about
me, would it have been wiser to let you know _why_ I was trembling
beneath your touch?

I have learned to say: 'No; better as it was.'

But I have been anticipating. This first evening of the meeting between
Robert Wentworth and Philip, all was _couleur de rose_, and my mind
was at rest. I sat more silent than usual, congratulating myself
upon the prospect of the great desire of my heart being gratified.
They two would be friends, even according to my somewhat _exigeante_
notion of what friendship should be. Then it was pleasant to listen to
Robert Wentworth's few words respecting his appreciation of Philip, so
honestly and heartily spoken.

'You must not forget that it is a brother's right to give you away,
when the time for giving away comes, Mary,' he said gently, as he
and I stood together by the open window a few minutes, whilst Philip
was turning over the music for Lilian, who was singing some of his
favourite airs for him.

'Will you? It is kind to wish it,' I murmured, feeling that it was a
great deal more than kind.

'Mr Dallas is, I believe, worthy of any man's sister, Mary.'

'I am glad you think so'--I paused a moment, then, as a sister should,

He smiled, and talked pleasantly on, contriving to set me quite at ease
respecting the state of his own mind. I was now able to persuade myself
that he had been deceived, and that his friendship for me had never
really developed into a stronger feeling. Presently he said in his
abrupt friendly fashion: 'Why do _you_ not sing, Mary?'

'Oh, Lilian sings that so much better than I; and it is a favourite of

'Well, come now and enchant our ears;' going towards the piano as
Lilian ceased, and looking out a song which he always said I sang well.
'Now, do your best.'

But although Philip and Lilian were more than satisfied, Robert was
not. He and I knew that it was not my best, their kind speeches
notwithstanding. He seemed to have quite changed his tactics with
regard to me--doing everything in his power to make me appear to
advantage in Philip's eyes. But he unconsciously deprived me of the
pleasant termination of the day, which I had been looking forward to.
Philip and he set forth together to walk to the railway station, and of
course there was no moonlight walk for me that night.

But there was the morrow--many a happy morrow to come, now, I told
myself, looking after them as they went down the lane together. The
more they saw of each other, the sooner they would become friends.
Lilian, who stood beside me at the gate, slipped her arm round my
waist, and laid her head against my shoulder in eloquent silence.

It was fortunate that the day had come round for paying my promised
visit to Nancy Dean. I felt that I needed some kind of reminder that
I did not live in a world all flowers and sunshine. I set forth the
next morning alone, thinking that Nancy might possibly feel less under
constraint than if Lilian were present during our interview. Philip had
some banking business to transact which would prevent his getting down
to us until late in the afternoon; and I had therefore ample time for
my errand before his arrival.

This time I found no difficulty in obtaining admittance; and was
informed that the rules allowed me to remain an hour, if I chose so to
do, with my friend Nancy Dean. That hour we were at liberty to spend
in either the dining-hall or exercise-ground, as we chose. We gazed
earnestly and curiously at each other as we shook hands; and I hope she
was as pleased with me by daylight as I was with her.

Without being handsome or even pretty, Nancy Dean's was a face which
pleased me much. If expressing a shade too much self-will and the
firmness which, untrained, is so apt to degenerate into obstinacy,
there was no trace of meanness, deceit, or dishonesty.

'You expected me to-day of course, Nancy?'

'I shouldn't be here if I hadn't, Miss,' she returned with a grave
smile. We had elected to spend the hour in the open air; and with
my arm linked in hers, we paced slowly up and down part of the old
court-yard, or exercise-ground as it was called.

'In that case, I ought to be thankful that no accident occurred to
prevent my coming. It might have, you know, and then poor I should have
had to bear the blame for anything which followed.'

'How could you have been to blame if an accident had happened, Miss?'

'My dear Nancy, if you had fallen back, _some one_ would have been in
fault, since we could hardly throw the blame upon an accident.'

'You mean _I_ should have been to blame, if I had gone wrong again
because you did not come?'

I smiled. 'I am not altogether sure which of us would have been _most_
in fault, Nancy.'

'But how could you'----

'One thing is clear. I did not succeed in giving you faith in me,
although I had faith in you.'

She looked dubiously at me a moment, then her eyes slowly filled with
tears. 'Perhaps I haven't been ready enough to believe in people. Till
now, nobody ever seemed to believe in _me_.'

'It is not for me to judge, Nancy. I can only say I am pleased that
you had the strength and courage to return here and remain, under the

'You seem to know exactly the best thing to say to encourage me, Miss!'
ejaculated Nancy. 'And even when you hit hard, as you sometimes do, I
don't seem to mind it so much from you as I do from other people--it's
different, somehow! You don't seem to enjoy thinking about my

'If I thought you wicked, I certainly should not enjoy thinking so; and
if you were, you would not have come back here. Poor Nancy, I am afraid
it has been rather hard for you!'

'If you could only know _how_ hard it has been!' she murmured. 'Think
of never being spoken to by any of the others for a week; kept in
silence and solitude, and looked upon as the worst creature that ever

'All the more credit to you for bearing it. But we will not talk about
that. Let us rather think about the future. I told you I am going to
be married shortly--in a month or two probably--and then we are going
abroad for a time.'

'Shall I have to stay here till you come back, Miss?' she asked
anxiously, her face falling at the thought.

'No; I do not wish it; that would be too much to expect. I am sure I
shall be able to make some arrangement for you; possibly I may arrange
for you to stay with a dear old friend of mine, who has only one young
servant, until my return; but I promise you shall not remain here much

This was better; she brightened up wonderfully again, and we spent
the rest of the allotted time very cheerfully. What was perhaps most
cheering of all to poor Nancy was my little speech about hoping
by-and-by to set things right with her relations.

'It's too late for that, Miss,' she replied sadly; 'they know I've been
in prison, and poor mother's gone.'

'Too late, indeed! Why, there is almost a lifetime before you in which
to prove your innocence! Besides, after you have lived with me long
enough to enable me to speak from experience, I will take the matter
in hand, and write to your father and sister. In the meantime, we must
seek for the poor creature for whom you suffered, and if we can, get
her to give evidence that she put the ring into your box.'

She threw up her head and faced the sky. 'Thank God!'

'You see now where thanks are due, Nancy,' I said softly.

'Yes;' drawing a deep breath.

When a loud clanging bell warned us that the time for my leaving her
had come, I was more demonstrative in my manner than is customary with
me. Several of the other inmates and their visitors were congregated in
the yard, and I chose them to see that Nancy Dean had at anyrate one
friend who believed in her. The sudden flush which covered her face,
the expression of the eyes turned towards the other women, as though
to say 'You see!' sufficiently thanked me. It was a very pleasant walk

I was not a little surprised as well as disappointed to find that
Philip did not take kindly to the idea of my last protégée. He came
down with Robert Wentworth towards the evening, and Lilian mentioned my
afternoon's errand to the Home to the latter, who had been extremely
interested in Nancy's case.

Philip asked several questions about it; but I could not get him to
shew any interest in Nancy, if he felt any. Indeed I could not help
seeing that the idea of my visiting the Home was distasteful to him.
It was all the more noticeable because Robert Wentworth had entered so
warmly into the subject, taking my proceedings quite for granted.

'What led you to go there, Mary?'

What led me to go there?--what but the happiness his own letter had
brought me. But that was not a question to be replied to just then,
if ever; so I murmured something about having met Nancy in a state of
desperation, and persuaded her to return to the Home, &c.

He said very little; his disapproval was more expressed in his manner
than anything else. Seeing that he objected, and did not care to give
his reasons for so doing, I did not attempt to discuss the point with
him. I must trust to Nancy. If by-and-by she proved to be a success,
it would be a better argument in my favour than any I could advance.
Besides, I was too happy to allow a slight divergence of opinion
between us to disturb me. Of course he knew that he would find me
ready enough to yield whenever he shewed me a reason for so doing; he
would find too, that in my heart of hearts I preferred his gaining the
victory when it came to reasoning, though it must be a fair field and
no favour between us.

But if Philip did not very favourably regard my visits to Nancy, he
entered warmly enough into our scheme for improving the cottage homes.
He not only approved but helped us in workmanlike fashion with a
little carpentering and what not, which we had been unable to compass,
beginning with a bracket and shelves, and launching out into more
ambitious attempts. We began to contemplate improving the architectural
effect with porches to the doors, over which climbing plants were to
be trained, placing a seat at the side, and so forth; and if it was
not all of the very highest art as to shape and make, it would be, we
flattered ourselves, picturesque and comfortable-looking. If the porch
proved as attractive as the village ale-house to sit and smoke in, in
the summer evenings, it would be something gained.

With regard to the interior arrangements, we were altogether satisfied.
Our protégés were beginning to take some little pride in their homes,
and to brighten up such parts of them as did not match well with our
efforts. We still always took care to leave some part of the room as
we found it, to serve as a contrast; and the challenge was now more
generally accepted than at first. It must, however, be acknowledged
that we still met with occasional opposition. When Jemmy Rodgers, for
instance, found that his tobacco jar was not refilled after being
suggestively placed in our way, he began to shew his independence
again; taking to his old ways and using the table for a kettle-stand.
But we looked upon ourselves as successful enough to be as independent
as he was now, and we took no further trouble about him or his table.
At which Sally Dent informed us he gave it as his opinion that we had
more 'grit' in us than he had given us credit for having; and that he
wasn't sure he should not give in and clean the table himself. To his
astonishment a clean table did not open our hearts; the tobacco jar
remained unfilled.

In all our other schemes Philip joined heartily with purse and hand,
and yet he so markedly stopped short when Nancy and the Home were in
question. How was it? Was his remark about 'the impossibility of a
woman retaining the delicate grace and refinement of thought--the, so
to speak, bloom of her nature--which is her greatest charm, if she
became too familiar with scenes of misery and sin,' intended as a
gentle warning to me?

For whomsoever it was intended, she found a ready and able advocate in
Robert Wentworth. He very decidedly gave it as his opinion that the
delicate grace and bloom and all the rest of it could not be got rid of
too quickly, if they were to prevent a woman holding out her hand to
any of her own sex who needed help. 'But fortunately, or unfortunately,
since there are not too many possessed of it, it is just the delicate
grace of a refined woman which is required in such cases.'

'All very well in theory, Wentworth; but if it came to practice? I am
sure you would be as desirous as I should be to guard a wife or sister
from contact with the degraded?'

'My dear fellow, not I; unless I feared the possibility of some of her
virtues being rubbed off by the contact; in that case she would of
course require very careful guarding. But I should be very proud of a
sister who could go _safely_ amongst those who needed her, be they whom
they might.'

Philip waived further discussion with a 'By-and-by, Wentworth.' I
believe he thought that it was not complimentary to Lilian and me to
carry on the conversation in our presence.

I could not but be grateful for the chivalrous respect which both
shewed towards women, though I could not help contrasting their very
opposite ways of shewing it. One seemed to represent the chivalry
of the past, and the other that of the present. I could appreciate
both: the poetry and romance of the old chivalry, and the reason and
respect in the new; and I did not ask myself which was most really
complimentary to women, or whether each was not a little the worse for
being so dissevered from the other. It might be that in my heart I
should have preferred Philip representing the present rather than the
past; but I did not acknowledge so much to myself.

But all this was only a faint ripple on our stream, not sufficient to
prevent the current from running smooth.


Are nothing less than little morals. They are the shadows of virtues,
if not virtues themselves. 'A beautiful behaviour is better than a
beautiful form; it gives a higher pleasure than statues and pictures;
it is the finest of the fine arts.' How well it is then that no
one class has a monopoly in this 'finest of fine arts;' that while
favourable circumstances undoubtedly do render good manners more common
among persons moving in higher rather than in lower spheres, there
should nevertheless be no positive hindrance to the poorest classes
practising good manners towards each other. For what is a good manner?
It is the art of putting our associates at their ease. Whoever makes
the fewest persons uncomfortable, is the best-mannered man in a room.

Vanity, ill-nature, want of sympathy, want of sense--these are the
chief sources from which bad manners spring. Nor can we imagine an
incident in which a man could be at a loss as to what to say or do in
company, if he were always considerate for the feelings of others,
forgot himself, and did not lose his head or leave his common-sense
at home. Such a one may not have studied etiquette, he may be chaotic
rather than be in 'good form,' as the slang expression is; and yet
because his head and heart are sound, he will speak and act as becomes
a gentleman. On the other hand, a very pedant in form and bigot in
ceremonies may be nothing better than the 'mildest-mannered man that
ever cut a throat.' As we can be wise without learning, so it is quite
possible to be well-mannered with little or no knowledge of those rules
and forms which are at best only a substitute for common-sense, and
which cannot be considered essential to good manners, inasmuch as they
vary in every country, and even in the same country change about with
the weather-cock of fashion. Vanity renders people too self-conscious
to have good manners, for if we are always thinking of the impression
we are making, we cannot give enough attention to the feelings and
conversation of others. Without _trying_ to be natural--an effort that
would make us most artificial--we must be natural by forgetting self in
the desire to please others. Elderly unmarried ladies, students, and
those who lead lonely lives generally, not unfrequently acquire awkward
manners, the result of self-conscious sensitiveness.

Shyness was a source of misery to the late Archbishop Whately. When
at Oxford, his white rough coat and white hat obtained for him the
sobriquet of 'The White Bear;' and his manners, according to his own
account of himself, corresponded with the appellation. He was directed,
by way of remedy, to copy the example of the best-mannered men he met
in society; but the attempt to do this only increased his shyness. He
found that he was all the while thinking of himself rather than of
others; whereas thinking of others rather than of one's self is the
essence of politeness. Finding that he was making no progress, he said
to himself: 'I have tried my very utmost, and find that I must be as
awkward as a bear all my life, in spite of it. I will endeavour to
think about it as little as a bear, and make up my mind to endure what
can't be cured.' In thus endeavouring to shake off all consciousness
as to manner, he says: 'I succeeded beyond my expectations; for I not
only got rid of the personal suffering of shyness, but also of most of
those faults of manner which consciousness produces; and acquired at
once an easy and natural manner--careless indeed in the extreme, from
its originating in a stern defiance of opinion, which I had convinced
myself must be ever against me; rough and awkward, for smoothness and
grace are quite out of my way, and of course tutorially pedantic; but
unconscious, and therefore giving expression to that good-will towards
men which I really feel; and these I believe are the main points.'

Vanity again is the source of that boasting self-assertion which is
the bane of manners. He is an ill-mannered man who is always loud in
the praises of himself and of his children; who boasting of his rank,
of his business, of achievements in his calling, looks down upon lower
orders of people; who cannot refrain from having his joke at the
expense of another's character, whose smart thing must come out because
he has not the gentlemanly feeling that suggests to us

    Never to blend our pleasure or our pride
    With sorrow to the meanest thing that lives.

The habit of saying rude things, of running people down, springs not
so much from ill-nature as from that vanity that would rather lose a
friend than a joke. On this point Dr Johnson once remarked: 'Sir, a
man has no more right to _say_ an uncivil thing than to _act_ one--no
more right to say a rude thing to another than to knock him down.' The
vain egotism that disregards others is shewn in various unpolite ways;
as, for instance, by neglect of propriety in dress, by the absence of
cleanliness, or by indulging in repulsive habits. Some think themselves
so well-born, so clever, or so rich, as to be above caring what others
say and think of them. It is said that the ancient kings of Egypt used
to commence speeches to their subjects with the formula, 'By the
head of Pharaoh, ye are all swine!' We need not wonder that those who
take this swine-theory view of their neighbours should be careless of
setting their tastes and feelings at defiance. Contrast such puppyism
with the conduct of David Ancillon, a famous Huguenot preacher, one of
whose motives for studying his sermons with the greatest care was 'that
it was shewing too little esteem for the public to take no pains in
preparation, and that a man who should appear on a ceremonial day in
his night-cap and dressing-gown could not commit a greater breach of

'Spite and ill-nature,' it has been said, 'are among the most expensive
luxuries of life;' and this is true, for none of us can afford to
surround himself with the host of enemies we are sure to make if, when
young, we allow ill-nature to produce in us unmannerly habits. Good
manners, like good words, cost nothing, and are worth everything. What
advantage, for instance, did the book-seller on whom Dr Johnson once
called to solicit employment get from his brutal reply: 'Go buy a
porter's knot and carry trunks?' The surly natures of such men prevent
them from ever entertaining angels unawares.

It is want of sympathy, however, much more than a bad nature that
produces the ill-mannered hardness of character so well described by
Sydney Smith: 'Hardness is a want of minute attention to the feelings
of others. It does not proceed from malignity or carelessness of
inflicting pain, but from a want of delicate perception of those
little things by which pleasure is conferred or pain excited. A hard
person thinks he has done enough if he does not speak ill of your
relations, your children, or your country; and then, with the greatest
good-humour and volubility, and with a total inattention to your
individual state and position, gallops over a thousand fine feelings,
and leaves in every step the mark of his hoofs upon your heart. Analyse
the conversation of a well-bred man who is clear of the besetting sin
of hardness; it is a perpetual homage of polite good-nature. In the
meantime the gentleman on the other side of you (a highly moral and
respectable man) has been crushing little sensibilities, and violating
little proprieties, and overlooking little discriminations; and without
violating anything which can be called a _rule_, or committing what
can be denominated a _fault_, has displeased and dispirited you, from
wanting that fine vision which sees little things, and that delicate
touch which handles them, and that fine sympathy which this superior
moral organisation always bestows.'

Of course we must not judge people too much by external manner, for
many a man has nothing of the bear about him but his skin. Nevertheless
as we cannot expect people in general to take time to see whether we
are what we seem to be, it is foolish to roll ourselves into a prickly
ball on the approach of strangers. If we do so, we cannot wonder at
their exclaiming: 'A rough Christian!' as the dog said of the hedgehog.

It is difficult to see how the 'natural-born fool'--to use an American
expression--can ever hope to become well mannered, for without good
sense, or rather tact, a man must continually make a fool of himself
in society. Why are women as a rule better mannered than men? Because
their greater sympathy and power of quicker intuition give to them
finer tact. Nor is talent which knows what to do of much use, if the
tact he wanting which should enable us to see how to do it. He who has
talent without tact is like the millionaire who never has a penny of
ready-money about him. Mr Smiles illustrates the difference between a
man of quick tact and of no tact whatever by an interview which he says
once took place between Lord Palmerston and Mr Behnes the sculptor.
At the last sitting which Lord Palmerston gave him, Behnes opened the
conversation with: 'Any news, my lord, from France? How do we stand
with Louis Napoleon?' The Foreign Secretary raised his eyebrows for an
instant, and quietly replied: 'Really, Mr Behnes, I don't know; I have
not seen the newspapers!' Behnes, with much talent, was one of the many
men who entirely missed their way in life through want of tact.

Nowhere is there room for the display of good manners so much as in
conversation. Well-mannered people do not talk too much. Remembering
that the first syllable of the word conversation is _con_ (with), that
it means talking with another, they abstain from lecturing, and are as
ready to listen as to be heard. They are neither impatient to interrupt
others nor uneasy when interrupted themselves. Knowing that their
anecdote or sharp reply will keep, or need not find utterance at all,
they give full attention to their companion, and do not by their looks
vote him a bore, or at least an interruption to their own much better
remarks. But beside the rule, that we should not be impatient to get in
our word, that a few brilliant flashes of _silence_ should occur in our
conversation, another rule is, not to take for our theme--ourselves.
We must remember that, as a rule, we and our concerns can be of no
more importance to other men than they and their concerns are to us.
Why then should we go over the annals of our lives generally and of
our diseases in particular to comparative strangers; why review the
hardships we have suffered in money matters, in love, at law, in our
profession, or loudly boast of successes in each of these departments?
Why, lastly, should the pride that apes humility induce us to fish for
compliments by talking _ad nauseam_ of our faults? We need not say that
low gossip or scandal-bearing is quite incompatible with good manners.
'The occasions of silence,' says Bishop Butler, 'are obvious--namely
when a man has nothing to say, or nothing but what is better unsaid;
better either in regard to some particular persons he is present with,
or from its being an interruption to conversation of a more agreeable
kind; or better, lastly, with regard to himself.'

A well-mannered man is courteous to all sorts and conditions of men. He
is respectful to his inferiors as well as to his equals and superiors.
Honouring the image of God in every man, his good manners are not
reserved for the few who can pay for them, or who make themselves
feared. Like the gentle summer air, his civility plays round all alike.
'The love and admiration,' says Canon Kingsley, 'which that truly brave
and loving man Sir Sidney Smith won from every one, rich and poor,
with whom he came in contact, seems to have arisen from the one fact,
that without, perhaps, having any such conscious intention, he treated
rich and poor, his own servants, and the noblemen his guests, alike,
and alike courteously, considerately, cheerfully, affectionately--so
leaving a blessing and reaping a blessing wherever he went.' Certainly
the working-classes of England, however respectful they may be to
those whom--often for interested reasons--they call 'their betters,'
are far from being sufficiently polite to each other. Why should not
British labourers when they meet take off their hats to each other, and
courteously ask after Mrs Hardwork and family? There is not a moment of
their lives the enjoyment of which might not be enhanced by kindliness
of this sort--in the workshop, in the street, or at home.

We know that extremes meet, and there is an over-civility that becomes
less than civil, because it forces people to act contrary to their
inclinations. Well-mannered people consult the wishes of others rather
than their own. They do not proceed in a tyrannical manner to prescribe
what their friends shall eat and drink, nor do they put them in the
awkward position of having to answer a thousand apologies for their
entertainment. When guests refuse an offered civility, we ought not
to press it. When they desire to leave our house, it is really bad
manners to lock the stable-door, hide their hats, and have recourse to
similar artifices to prevent their doing so. As, however, this zeal of
hospitality without knowledge is a good fault, and one not too common,
there is perhaps no need to say more about it. It leans to virtue's

We must not confound etiquette with good manners, for the arbitrary
rules of the former are very often absurd, and differ in various
ages and countries; whereas good manners, founded as they are on
common-sense, are always and everywhere the same. It would be invidious
to illustrate this assertion from the society of our own country, so
we shall import a _reductio ad absurdum_ of etiquette from Japan. In
_The Gentle Life_, the following account is given by a resident at the
Japanese court. 'When one courtier was insulted by another, he who bore
the insult turned round to the insulter, and quietly uncovering the
stomach, ripped himself open. The aggressor, by an inexorable law of
etiquette, was bound to follow the lead, and so the two die. The most
heart-rending look ever witnessed was one given by a Japanese, who,
having been insulted by an American, carried out the rule, expecting
his opponent to follow suit. But the Yankee would do nothing of the
sort; and the Japanese expired in agonies--not from the torture of
his wound, but from being a sacrifice to so foolish and underbred a
fellow--whilst the American looked at him in a maze of wonder.' If
it were not so sad, we might laugh at such accounts of self-torture,
as well as at people of our own acquaintance who, worshipping
conventionality, are ever on the rack about 'the right thing to do,'
about 'good form.'

But this sort of folly should not blind us to the value of good manners
as distinguished from etiquette.

    Manners are not idle, but the fruit
    Of noble nature and of loyal mind.

Were it not for the oil of civility, how could the wheels of society
continue to work? Money, talent, rank, these are keys that turn some
locks; but kindness or a sympathetic manner is a master-key that can
open all. If 'virtue itself offends when coupled with a forbidding
manner,' how great must be the power of winning manners, such as steer
between bluntness and plain-dealing, between giving merited praise and

Men succeed in their professions quite as much by complaisance
and kindliness of manner as by talent. Demosthenes, in giving his
well-known advice to an orator--that eloquence consisted in three
things, the first 'action,' the second 'action,' and the third
'action'--is supposed to have intended manner only. A telling preacher
in his opening remarks gains the good-will of his hearers, and makes
them feel both that he has something to say and that he can say
it--by his manner. The successful medical man on entering a sick-room
inspires into his patients belief in himself, and that hope which is
so favourable to longevity--by his manner. Considering that jurymen
are scarcely personifications of pure reason unmixed with passion or
prejudice, a barrister cannot afford to neglect manner if he would
bring twelve men one after another to his way of thinking. Again, has
the business man any stock-in-trade that pays him better than a good
address? And as regards the 'survival of the fittest' in tournaments
for a lady's hand, is it not a 'natural selection' when the old
motto 'Manners makyth man' decides the contest? At least Wilkes, the
best-mannered but ugliest man of his day, thought so. 'I am,' he said,
'the ugliest man in the three kingdoms; but if you give me a quarter
of an hour's start, I will gain the love of any woman before the

If kindliness of disposition be the essence of good manners, our
subject is seen at once to shade off into the great one of Christianity
itself. It is the heart that makes both the true gentleman and
the great theologian. The apostle Paul (see speech delivered on
Mars' Hill) always endeavoured to conciliate his audience when he
commenced addressing them. And his letters, as well as those of his
fellow-apostles, are full of sympathy and consideration for every one's
feelings, because he had learned from Him whose sympathy extended to
even the greatest of sinners.




'Oh, Angus!' Maggie held out her hand to him on the pier, and he held
it as in a vice. 'It iss your own poat, then, Angus?'

'No; she iss not,' said Angus.


'No! She iss yours, Maggie! I built her for ye--every inch of her grew
under my own hand--and she's no a pad poat at all, though it iss me
that says it----'

'Well, Angus----'

'Don't say another word, but go aboard,' said Angus, proceeding down
the steep slippery steps to the loch, leading Maggie gallantly by the
hand. Speedily the rope was unloosed, the white sail spread to the
breeze, and the boat moved gracefully and rapidly, under a glorious
sunset sky, out into the loch. Maggie sat holding the tiller silently
while Angus adjusted the ropes. The loch was radiant from shore to
shore in the rich evening light; quickly the white houses of the town
were left in the distance; and hardly a movement but the delicious
ripple of water cleft by the boat's bow, or the cry of a sea-gull
sailing lazily overhead, disturbed the stillness. Here and there in the
pools among the boulders in lonely parts of the shore, a heron stood
silent as its own shadow and solitary as a hermit; from the grassy
hollows by the beach a thin white mist rose, softening the green wooded
slopes, and adding a sense of distance to the heathery ridges in the
background, glorified by the red autumn sunset. Maggie was supremely
happy. When the sail was fairly set, Angus came and stretched himself
by her side.

'And ye think she iss a nice poat, and ye like her?' he said, looking
into Maggie's face.

'It wass fery kind of ye to think of giving me such a present as this,
Angus; but I cannot possibly take it.'

'Maggie,' said Angus, taking her disengaged hand in his, 'I hef long
wanted to tell you something--indeed I hef, Maggie--not that I'm a goot
hand at telling anything I want, but--all the time I wass building her,
and that wass longer than ye might think, Maggie--I hef looked to this
moment as a reward--when I would see you sitting there, looking that
happy and that peautiful--yes, Maggie, peautiful, and pleased with my
work--and proud am I to see ye so pleased wi' a trifle'----

'But it iss _not_ a trifle,' said the maiden interrupting him; 'it wass
a great undertaking! I nefer saw anything I liked half so much.'

'But it iss nothing, I tell you, Maggie, to what I would gif you if you
would be willing to take it--nothing! I would like you, Maggie, to take
all I hef--and myself too. It iss true I am only a common sailor, but
Maggie, my heart iss fery warm to you. Many's the time, when I wass a
hundred and maybe thousants of miles away from here, I wad pe thinking
of you--many a time in the middle of the night, when I wass on the deck
alone, watching and looking at the stars under a foreign sky, I would
single out a particular star and call it Maggie's eye, and watch it
lovingly, cass I thocht you might pe looking at it too, even if you
wass not thinking of me thousants of miles off; and it makes me fery
unhappy when I'm a long way off, to think that maybe I am forgotten,
and some other man iss trying to get your love, and maybe I losing my
chance of happiness for life, cass, like a fool, I held my peace, when
by speaking a word my happiness and yours might pe secure.'

Angus's arm had stolen round the girl's waist as he proceeded in the
speech that was a direct outflow from his heart. She did not try to
speak for a little. Angus saw that her eyes were filled with tears.

'It wass wrong of ye, Angus, efer to think I would forget ye,' she said.

'Then ye do think sometimes apoot me when I am not near you?'

'Angus, how can you pe speaking nonsense like that!'

'But it iss not nonsense to me, Maggie,' said her lover seriously; 'I
love you, Maggie, as I love no woman in the world; and Maggie, if you
were to--to--it wad break my'----

It was the old story. Two human souls meeting under the light of
heaven, each recognising in the other that which each yearned for, to
give completeness to life; the spoken word being the outward force
impelling them towards each other, as two dewdrops merge into one by
a movement external to both. The Highland girl had no desire to break
her lover's heart; nay, she was ready to give her own in exchange
for his love with all the impulsiveness of a simple and true nature.
As the boat sped on they noted not that twilight was deepening into
evening, that the stars were myriad-eyed above them, and the crescent
moon glimmered over the hills and shone in quivering tracks along the
loch. So it came about that at the same moment of time when the piper
in the clachan was apostrophising Angus's father in the words already
recorded--'Nae doot your son Angus will pe wanting me to learn him to
play the pipes too; and nae doot, when he comes for that purpose, he
will look to have his crack wi' Maggie,' &c.--his daughter's arms were
being thrown impulsively about Angus's neck, and Angus himself was the
happiest man in the Western Highlands.

Maggie reached Glen Heath with a joyous heart. She was there before
the piper. She speedily girt on her apron, and with tucked-up sleeves
proceeded to the more prosaic duty of baking 'scones' that might be
warm and palatable for the piper's supper; and as she rolled out the
dough, and patted and rolled and kneaded it, and turned it before the
fire until an appetising browniness covered each surface, she sang
merrily one of the merriest of the sad Gaelic melodies.

But the piper was late. The white cloth was spread, and the scones had
time to cool, before Diana leaping to her feet, stretched herself,
yawned, and went to the door sniffing. Maggie opened the door
immediately; the piper swung along the path unsteadily. The dog went to
meet him without enthusiasm, half-doubtful of her reception, and only
narrowly escaped the kick which the piper aimed at her.

'Get out, ye prute!' he said, as he came in; and when the animal still
came fawning towards him, he hurled his bagpipes with great force
at her head, only with the result, however, of breaking the pipe's
mouthpiece. 'O the prute!' he cried when he saw what had happened; 'she
has proken my favourite shanter--the shanter that I've played wi' for
fifteen years. O the prute! I'll cut her throat, to teach her to keep
oot o' my way. My best shanter too!'

'Come, dad, you are late,' said Maggie cheerily, going to meet him;
'you hef had a long walk. I hef boiled some eggs for ye, and baked some
scones; come, hef some supper before ye go to bed.'

'Ay, ay, ye are a praw lass, Maggie, one o' the right sort,' the piper
said. 'But to think my poor shanter's broken. I will nefer see her like
again whatefer!'

The piper sat down to supper with an enormous appetite, and Maggie
waited upon him devotedly, uncertain whether she should reveal her
secret or not in the present dubious state of her father's temper.

'Anypody peen here for me the day?' he asked between mouthfuls.

'Yes, Angus MacTavish wass here in the afternoon; and he'----

The piper laid down his knife, looked straight in his daughter's face
with a fierceness that startled her, saying: 'Hang Angus MacTavish and
efery man i' their black clan! A MacTavish nefer darkens my threshold
again! If Angus MacTavish efer comes to my house he will live to rue
it. I _hate_ efery living MacTavish!'

Maggie looked in her father's face amazed. To violent language she was
well accustomed; but sober or otherwise, she had never heard him utter
a word against the MacTavishes until now.

'Come, dad,' she said after a short silence, during which time she
decided it would be better to say nothing of what was uppermost in her
mind until morning--'come, dad; something has vexed you to-night. You
will be petter in the morning. Angus iss the best friend either you or
I hef in the wide world.'

'I tell you,' burst out the piper, 'I will not hef his name mentioned
in my hoose, not by you or any other! And if you go apoot with him,
Meg, as I hef seen ye do lately, I'll--I'll maybe pack you out of doors

The tears were in poor Maggie's eyes, but she comforted herself as she
put up the bolt in the door for the night, by assuring herself, as she
heard the piper stumbling up-stairs to his room: 'Poor dad, he iss
worse than usual to-night.' And when she slept, she dreamed of Angus.


The piper's anger seemed to be modified on the following morning; but
he still growled when his daughter introduced the name MacTavish as he
sat before a steaming bowl of porridge and a basin of milk, which he
attacked with a large horn spoon and an appetite comparable only to
the giant's who fell a victim to the adroitness of Jack the celebrated
Giant-killer. Maggie's enthusiastic account of Angus's gift of the boat
was received with a critical coldness that made her heart sink within

'O ay, Maggie; it iss no doot a peautiful poat--she wass sure to
pe that if Angus built her; but it iss fery easy to see what Angus
MacTavish iss driving at. Maybe he'll find he has peen counting without
his host mirofer, if he thinks he iss going to get you for his wife
by gifing you a fishing-poat; what wass a fishing-poat to a lass like
you?--as if ye wass a poor lass! Ye're no to pe fashing your head apoot
Angus MacTavish, lass--no; he iss no doot a cood lad, but no for the
like o' you! There iss Sandy Buchanan noo, the lawyer's clerk mirofer,
a far more likely lad to make ye a cood man, and willing?'

'O dad, and how can ye pe saying such things to me on the happiest day
o' my life, for Angus asked me yesterday to be his wife; and I--I'----

'Ye what?' said the piper, laying down his spoon and eyeing his
daughter sternly.

'Weel, dad, I--I--didna say No.'

'Then I'm thinking ye'll hef to go this fery day whatefer and say "No,"
my lass, for I'm telling ye I won't hef it!'

Maggie was not generally one of the tearful sort, but the sudden
emphasis of her father's words filled her eyes with tears and drove
her to silence. She did not trust herself to speak, but lifted her
pail hurriedly with a flushed face, and went sorrowfully to milk the
'kye,' whose deep impatient lowing from the byre was urgently demanding
attention. When she was half across the court-yard she heard her father
calling her back. She turned and went to him.

'Maggie,' he said, drawing her to his knee and holding her brown face
between his rough hands tenderly, 'it iss not crying ye are, my bonny
lass? No; I wad not hef my lass crying for any MacTavish that efer
drank a dram! Not that Angus iss a pad lad--no, I will not say he
iss that--he plays the pipes petter than any lad of his years I efer
saw--but the MacTavishes---- Ah weel, they're no jist the clan that the
Camerons should marry into. Noo, dry your eyes, lass, and pe off to
your milking mirofer--Crumple iss moaning as if her udder wass going to

The maiden said, nothing; she kissed him, but the smile was all
vanished from her face as she stooped to relieve Crumple of her milky

The piper went to the stable, and the sound of his whistling rang over
the place as he brushed down his horses and gave them their morning

Maggie was in strong hopes, as the morning advanced, that before
nightfall, when she expected Angus to come, the tempest would be
over, and Angus hailed by her father in his old manner. This hope
was dispelled, and poor Maggie made miserable beyond bearing when
her father returned to his mid-day meal. The piper had early in the
forenoon taken his fishing-rod and gone to a favourite spot of his
known as 'the Black Hole,' on the stream, where he had wiled away many
an hour and tempted to the bank many a fat spotted trout. When he
returned to dinner, his daughter saw with surprise that he brought no
fish with him, and that his fishing-rod was broken into half-a-dozen
pieces; and moreover, that he was white with anger. Fingal his collie
was following with dejected tail and a torn ear, apparently in as bad a
temper as his master, judging from the snarling greeting he gave Diana
who went to meet them.

'Py the powers, but I'll put the law on him; I'll hef him put in the
jail,' cried the piper, as he went into his kitchen and tossed the
fragments of his fishing-rod into a corner. 'The plaguard, to preak my
fishing-rod and steal my fish mirofer; but I'll hef the law on him! He
shall go pefore the shirra as sure as my name iss John Cameron!'

Maggie did not know that Mr MacTavish was at the same moment on his way
home with a swollen black eye, carrying with him a goodly fish that
ought to have been in the piper's basket, 'Jet' limping behind his
master very much bruised indeed.

'And it iss the Teuk that wull pe told all apoot it; the prood teffle,
poaching the salmon like a common thief, and knocking a man apoot as
if he wass a lower animal,' said the game-keeper, recording _his_
grievance indignantly to his buxom wife, in answer to sympathetic
ejaculations as to the state of his eye, when he returned to his dinner.

       *       *       *       *       *

True to his word, the piper sent the herd-boy to the lawyer's office to
tell Sandy Buchanan, with the piper's compliments, &c., that Mr Cameron
desired to see him at Glen Heath on important business.

'Well, dad,' Maggie had said impetuously when she heard this message
given to 'Geordy,' as they sat at dinner, hardly understanding from
what motive her father sought the presence of the detested Sandy
Buchanan, 'I can only say that I shall not bide in the hoose if that
red-headed, ill-looking man comes to the hoose; I won't inteed!'

'Ye are red-headed yourself!' said the piper abruptly.

'No; I'm not.'

'Yes, ye are. The man canna help himself if the Almichty gef him a red
head. The best o' folks iss red-headed. I'm red-headed; and ye are red
as a fox or a squirrel yourself, I tell ye'----

'Well, well, dad, we'll no quarrel apoot that; maybe I am; but'----

'I tell ye what it iss, Maggie, ye will bide at home when Mr Buchanan
comes, and ye'll pehave yourself civilly, or maybe it may pe worse for
ye. Angus MacTavish hass turned your head; but he'll get a bit o' my
mind maybe yet, as his father hass pefore him mirofer, and that pefore
the set o' sun too!'

'O dad, dad! ye'll break my heart, so ye will, inteed and inteed ye
will, dad, if it iss in that way ye speak o' Angus.'

'I'll not hef him come apoot my hoose longer! He iss a wanderin' rake;
efery sailor iss that, and no fit to make a cood huspand to the like o'

'He iss not a rake! Ye are no speaking the words of truth, father!'
exclaimed the girl passionately.

'Efery sailor iss a rake, Maggie; eferypody knows that; and I daresay
he iss none better than his neibors.'

Stung by the cruel words, Maggie ran to the dairy, where she shut
herself in and burst into a flood of tears. The Highland maid had few
hatreds; she had the impulsive almost passionate temperament of every
true Celt, but her impulsiveness ran in loving channels. But if she
did hate, she hated warmly--also after the Celtic manner. And the one
living object for whom she felt undying scorn was this Sandy Buchanan,
who knew more of her father's affairs than any man in Inversnow; and
whose studied civility to her on all occasions, and attentions more or
less marked, were resented by her as she would have resented another
man's insults. Perhaps he was all the more despised because he kept
at a respectful distance when Angus was at home; a peculiarity that
Maggie attributed to a certain dread of physical consequences, that was
not to be wondered at in a weak-legged milksop fellow like him. But
whenever the Duke's yacht was away, Mr Sandy danced attendance upon her
assiduously, insisting upon seeing her safely home from the kirk on
Sunday evenings, and otherwise thrusting his obnoxious presence upon
her in ways which she considered offensive.

And sure enough, just as the sun was veering round to the west, the
piper was seated at the table of his best parlour with a bottle of
whisky and glasses, and a plate of Maggie's crisp oatmeal bannocks
between him and the detested Sandy Buchanan, whose breath blew forth
gales of peppermint--an odour that Maggie always associated with him,
and put the worst construction upon--as he listened patiently to
the rather confused statement of the piper's grievance. Sandy tried
honestly to look at the case from the piper's stand-point; but put
in any form, it appeared that if any legal action was to be taken
the decision could hardly take the only form which would satisfy the
irate piper--namely the immediate arrest, trial, conviction, and
imprisonment of Mr MacTavish for an undefined number of months in the
county jail. Sandy gathered that the piper had succeeded in hooking
a 'cood seven-pound grilse;' that while he was landing the same, Mr
MacTavish appeared on the scene threatening to report him to the
Duke for poaching; words passed between them, not of a complimentary
nature, ending ultimately in one of two catastrophes--the piper could
not clearly remember which--either the game-keeper had seized the
piper's rod with result of breaking it to pieces, or the piper had
broken his fishing-rod over the game-keeper's back; and then a struggle
had ensued, the upshot of which was that the latter walked off with
the 'grilse' and a black eye, while the former did the like with his
shattered fishing-rod and empty basket, each vowing to lay the matter
before 'the shirra.'

The Sheriff, as represented by Sandy Buchanan the fiscal's clerk,
thought, much to the delight of the piper, that he had good ground for
an action for assault against Mr MacTavish; and presently father and
daughter (poor Maggie was compelled to remain in the room to hear the
brutal manner in which he, a Cameron, had been treated by a MacTavish)
were thrown into a state of mental confusion by the adroit manner in
which Sandy now addressing the piper as 'our client,' now as 'the
plaintiff;' both of which phrases the piper received and acknowledged
in the light of a personal compliment, and also by liberal but not very
coherent allusion to Act of Queen Victoria this, and chapter of Act
Queen Victoria that; all tending to prove the piper the most abused and
injured of men.

In the midst of the conference Angus MacTavish appeared at the door. He
indiscreetly opened it and looked in without knocking. The piper, who
was feeling at the moment keenly alive to his own importance, with the
delightful sense that he had matter to bring before the 'shirra' (as
he called the Sheriff), looked up and frowned, fingering his glass of
whisky the while.

'What idiot iss it that walks into a shentleman's hoose withoot
knocking at the door, and withoot waiting to be asked to come in?'

'Come, piper,' said Angus, walking boldly into the room, somewhat
surprised to see Buchanan there, but holding an outstretched hand
to the piper; 'it iss not the first, nor the second, nor maybe the
twentieth time I hef bed your hospitality, and I am thinking it will
not pe the last time--and that without claiming it.'

'My name is Maister Cameron--Maister Cameron of Glen Heath, Maister
Angus MacTavish! And apoot its peing the last time or not depends
upon more consiterations than one!' The piper spoke with a sternness
and pomposity of manner that made his visitor allow his hand to drop
quickly to his side, and brought an indignant flush to the young face.

'What does it all mean?' said Angus in a bewildered way, turning to

Maggie stood behind her father's chair the personification of misery.
The man of law sat looking stolidly before him with the most wooden of
expressions on his pale face.

'It means,' said the piper in the same harsh sharp key, 'that _that_ is
the door, that yonder is the road, that the quicker ye are there the
petter it will pe for you, and the petter pleased too will all in this
room pe.'

'Iss that it?' said Angus slowly, looking still at Maggie, and turning
again towards the door.

'No, Angus, no! It iss not true that all in this room will pe petter
pleased that ye should go. It iss not true!' burst out the girl in the
fullness of her heart.

'But it _shall_ pe true!' shouted the piper, bringing his hand firmly
down upon the table. Angus did not stay to argue the matter, but
sorrowfully went his way.

'Stop that whining, Maggie--stop that foolish whining; I will not hef
it!' said the piper, turning upon his daughter fiercely, who tried in
vain to repress a sob as Angus disappeared.

'O Sandy Buchanan, it iss muckle that ye'll hef to answer for, if ye'll
make me that I'll hate my own father too,' said the poor girl, storming
out into open mutiny.

'Leave the room, Maggie!' cried the piper, waving his hand. The maiden
gladly availed herself of her dismissal, and fled to the solitude of
her own room. 'Cott has not gifen to women the brains to understand
pusiness,' he continued, generalising apologetically to his guest.

A week passed, and the piper's wrath against the clan MacTavish
endured. The feud was not one-sided. Mr MacTavish replied to a letter
full of nothing, expressed in the bitterest legal phraseology, written
by Sandy Buchanan on the piper's behalf, by a document of elaborate
counter-charges, written by the banker-lawyer of the town, breathing
threatenings and lawsuits. And the case promised to be profitable to
both of these astute gentlemen, as such cases generally manage to be.


Trying as are many, indeed we may truly say most of the duties of the
sick-room, nothing renders them so much so as the fact that the disease
under which the patient is suffering is of an infectious, or of a
contagious nature.

There is a great deal to be said on the head of avoidance of infection
or contagion, while nursing a sufferer through disease of either one
nature or the other. In this as in all other matters connected with
sick-nursing, heroic, would-be-martyr-like conduct is absurd and
blamable, for prudence goes for a great deal, and indiscretion brings
trouble and suffering on others as well as yourself. 'I don't mind
_what_ risk I run; I am too anxious to think about myself!' always
seems to us a feeble and (to use a strong northern word) a very
feckless sort of remark, only made, in nine cases out of ten, to exact
the tribute of a surprised or admiring look. On the contrary, the aim
and end of every sick-nurse should be to do as much good and be as much
comfort as possible _with the least possible risk_. To achieve this,
the smallest and most apparently trivial precautions are worth taking,
in order to prevent the friends and relatives about you having the
additional trouble and anxiety of nursing you as a second invalid, just
when 'number one' is recovering.

'I am so anxious I can't eat! I haven't touched a morsel to-day!' are
by no means uncommon remarks to hear from the lips of some one who is
nursing, or assisting to nurse a case of infectious disease. Yet this
abstinence is just the very worst thing you can possibly do under such
circumstances, and the most calculated to render yourself an easy prey
to that unseen influence pervading the air, and like the seeds of some
poisonous plant, ready to take root if soil be found favourable to its
growth. Feebleness, over-weariness, exhaustion, want of sufficient
nourishment--all these things aid in preparing this suitable soil,
and woo the disease germs that are floating about in the air to take
root and bring forth bitter fruit. A vigorous cheerful person, capable
of strong self-control, often seems able to defy the closest contact
with disease; and even if some _malaise_ (often closely allied to the
disease of the patient) knocks over the willing nurse for a time, the
elastic constitution of body and mind seems to throw off the poison,
and no serious illness results. Nothing is more common than the
occurrence of these spurious attacks of illness, allied to that from
which the person nursed is suffering, and the following case is an

A lady nursing a friend in small-pox, after lengthened attendance in
the sick-room, was attacked by faintness, shivering, a sensation of
nausea, and violent headache. Both the nurse and her friends concluded
that a seizure of the loathsome disease from which the patient was
suffering was inevitable. However, the following day several large
blotches appeared on various parts of the body; all unpleasant symptoms
gradually disappeared; and in a day or two--without the original
sufferer having had any idea that her nurse was kept away by anything
more serious than need of rest--she was able to return to her duties,
and never suffered any further deterioration of health. In the same
way we have known those who were nursing cases of fever to be suddenly
attacked by sore throat, headache, and vertigo, these symptoms passing
off after twenty-four or forty-eight hours, and no further evil
resulting. A vigorous constitution, care while nurse-tending as to diet
and exercise, joined to a mind calm and equable, and ready to face all
possibilities without flurry, feverish excitement, or fear, will in
many cases enable the sick-nurse to throw off the seeds of disease. But
a malignant influence which floats in the atmosphere of the sick-room,
pervading the breath of the sick person, and hanging like a bad odour
about the bed-clothes, carpets, and even the wall-paper of the room,
is necessarily a difficult enemy to evade--and such is infection. And
any one who has a timorous dread of it is far better away from the

This is, we think, a matter that cannot be too strongly insisted upon.
To watch for symptoms is often to develop them; and constant dwelling
upon the condition of any one organ of the body, and apprehension as
to disease in that organ, will often produce at all events functional
derangement if no greater evil. By this we do not mean that neglect
of one's self is ever justifiable, but only that fearful and timorous
apprehension is deleterious.

So strongly has this fact impressed itself upon us with regard to
infection, that we even think it would be well to strain a point,
and encourage a person to absent herself from the sick-room, rather
than run the risk of having a nurse of this temperament near a
patient suffering from disease of a catching nature. In sickness the
perceptions are often rendered painfully acute, and the mind naturally
much concentrated on itself, is therefore ready to take offence
or be troubled by trifles. We have seen a patient shrink from the
ministrations of a person whom he _felt_ to be in a state of fear.

Just in the same way, if the duties of the sick-room are (as they
often must be) unpleasant, a _look_ of aversion or disgust is enough
to wound the sufferer beyond the power of caress or words to heal! A
woman who turns sick, or is obliged to put a handkerchief to her nose
at a foul smell--who shudders at the sight of blood, ought never to
be in a sick-room. The same may be said of one who is always feeling
her own pulse, or (as we once saw) looking at her own tongue in the
glass (by no means a graceful proceeding), to see if symptoms are
'declaring themselves.' All or much of this sort of nervousness may be
affectation; but at the same time we must not judge unkindly of those
who from natural temperament dread infection, and are therefore likely
to fall a prey to it.

And now, taking it for granted that we have a tolerably sensible woman
to deal with, and that she is called upon to nurse a case of fever,
small-pox, diphtheria, or any such-like unpleasant ailment, what
precautions are best calculated to reduce the risk of infection to a
minimum?--a risk which we cannot do away with, but are certainly called
upon to guard against to the utmost in our power. Attention to diet, so
as to ward off great exhaustion _at any time_, and taking at least half
an hour's exercise in the open air, are excellent rules to observe.
Never go into the sick-room _fasting_. And here we must strongly urge
upon every sick-nurse the value of coffee as a restorative. In times
of cholera epidemics among our soldiers, the first precaution the
authorities invariably take is to order a cup of strong coffee to be
served out to each man the first thing in the morning. The effects of
this plan are known to be admirable.

Take a brisk walk shortly after your breakfast; order a cup of hot
strong coffee to be ready when you come in, and take it _before going
into the patient's room_. Nothing helps to throw off the weariness of
a night's watching like this turn in the fresh air (even if taken of
necessity under an umbrella), and the coffee braces the nerves and
invigorates the system.

To speak of the avoidance of alcoholic stimulants is to enter upon
delicate ground; though we are of opinion that in _serious_ cases the
nurse should seldom touch anything stronger than coffee throughout the
whole time. This abstaining gives a power of recovering with great
promptitude from the effects of long-continued watching and heavy
duties in the sick-room. Depend upon it that the recurring glass of
sherry, the oft-repeated 'nip' of brandy-and-water, do a world of harm
both in the sick-room and out of it.

That wine and brandy are valuable restoratives in weakness, cannot
be denied; and it is certain that there are many constitutions which
_need_ a moderate amount of stimulant; but that stimulants are taken
to a perfectly needless and most pernicious extent, even by those who
by no means come under the term 'drunkard,' and that among these are
numbered women as well as men, is a stubborn and unhappy fact. One of
the many evils resulting from this over-use of stimulants is this: when
severe illness and prostration call for wine or brandy, the system is
so used to their action that but little benefit accrues; at all events,
little when compared to that prompt answer the constitution gives to
even small doses, when that constitution has either made very sparing
use, or no use at all, of such whips and spurs to the energies of life.

The proper ventilation of a sick-room is a most important means of
lessening the danger of infection; and this more particularly in such
diseases as fever, small-pox, or diphtheria--that is, diseases coming
distinctly under the head infectious. In those which are contagious,
ventilation is of course also important, but not equally so. And this
leads us on to speak of the difference between infection and contagion.
Infection is subtly diffused through the atmosphere, the patient's
breath, the clothes, hangings, walls, &c. Contagion consists in the
disease being propagated by the emanations of the sick person. It is
therefore obvious that the latter (contagion) is more easily guarded
against by a prudent person than the former (infection). The plentiful
use of disinfectants seems to be one of the best preventives against
contagion; but of course all such details are generally regulated by
the medical man in attendance, and no better advice can be given to the
amateur sick-nurse than to follow his directions _implicitly_.

We will, before leaving this subject, quote one passage from Dr
Aitken's excellent work, _The Science and Practice of Medicine_. In
volume one, page 222, he says: 'Ill-health of any kind therefore
favours the action of epidemic influences.' Thus then, we see how one
of our highest medical authorities bears out the truth of what we have
said--namely that for the sick-nurse to neglect her own health--to go
without sufficient and regular food--in a word, to lower by any means
whatever the standard of her own physical condition, is to intensify
the risk of infection or contagion for herself, and trouble and anxiety
for those belonging to her.

We have no belief in the disinfecting of clothes that have been worn
during attendance on cases of an infectious nature. It is far better to
wear an old dress, wrapper, shawl, &c., and when the illness is over
_have them burned_. The same thing applies to clothing worn by the

We remember one most lamentable case where (as was supposed) everything
was disinfected, washed, and exposed to the air; yet the gift of a
night-dress to a poor woman resulted in virulent small-pox, and the
sufferer, a young married woman, was cruelly disfigured in spite of the
best care and nursing an hospital could give.

It comes then to this: infection cannot be evaded; but risk may be
reduced to a minimum by an observance of the precautions we have noted,
by the exercise of plain common-sense, and by the _reality_--not
romance--of devotion to the work undertaken by the sick-nurse.


For the following amusing account of some of the more popular of
Eastern regimental sports we are indebted to an officer in India. He
proceeds as follows:

The sports of the native Indian cavalry, commonly called _Nesi Basi_,
are much encouraged by the authorities, as to excel in them requires
steady nerve and good riding. I believe it is the custom in most
regiments to devote one morning a week to these essentially military
games. They are most popular with the men, it is easy to see, for
besides the hundred or so who generally turn out to compete, the
greater part of the regiment is present on foot as spectators.

The proceedings generally commence with tent-pegging pure and simple.
A short peg is driven into the ground, while some two hundred yards
distant the competitors are drawn up in line, each on his own horse;
for the native _sowar_, like the vassal of our own past times, comes
mounted and armed to his regiment. While off duty the native soldier
can dress as he pleases, so on occasions like the present, individual
taste breaks forth in showy waistcoat or gorgeous coloured turban.
Each man carries a bamboo spear in his hand. At a signal given by the
_wordi major_ or native adjutant, the first man, his spear held across
his body, starts at a canter; his wiry little country-bred knows as
well as he does what is in hand, and as the speed quickens to a gallop,
the pace is regular and measured, enabling his rider to sit as steady
as a rock. When about fifty yards from the object the sowar turns his
spear-point downward, bends well over the saddle till his hand is
below the girth, and then, when you almost think he has gone past, an
imperceptible turn of the wrist and--swish--the spear is brandished
round his head, with the peg transfixed on its point. Another is
quickly driven into the ground, and the next man comes up; he too hits
the peg, but perhaps fails to carry it away to the required distance,
for it drops from his spear-point as he is in the act of whirling it
round his head. This does not count, and he retires discomfited. The
third misses entirely; the fourth strikes but does not remove the peg
from the ground; while after them in quick succession come two or three
who carry it off triumphantly. With varying fortune the whole squad
goes by; and it is interesting to note the style of each horseman as
he passes, some sitting rigid till within a few yards of the mark;
others bending over and taking aim while still at a distance; some
silent, others shouting and gesticulating; while one no sooner has his
steed in motion than he gives vent to a certain _tremolo_ sound, kept
up like the rattle of a steam-engine, till close upon the peg, which
having skilfully transfixed, he at the same time throws his voice
up an octave or two, in triumph I suppose, as he gallops round and
joins his comrades. Two or three men now bring up their horses with
neither saddle nor bridle, and with consummate skill, guiding them by
leg-pressure alone, carry off the peg triumphantly, amid well-deserved
cries of '_Shabash!_' from the spectators.

The next part of the programme is 'lime-cutting.' Three lemons are put
up on sticks about twenty yards apart; and as the sowar gallops past,
tulwar in hand, he has successively to cut them in two without touching
the sticks--a by no means easy feat. Then three handkerchiefs are
placed on the ground; and a horseman, riding barebacked a good-looking
bay, flies past in a very cloud of dust, and on his way stoops, picks
up, and throws over his shoulder each handkerchief as he comes to it.

And now we come to the most difficult feat of all. A piece of wood a
little larger than a tent-peg is driven into the ground, and a notch
having been made in the top, a rupee is therein placed so as to be
half hidden from view. The feat is to ride at this, lance in hand,
and to knock out the rupee without touching the wood--a performance
requiring rare skill and dexterity; yet it is generally accomplished
successfully, once or twice, by the best hands of the regiment.

Perhaps the proceedings may close with something of a comic nature,
one man coming past hanging by his heels from the saddle, shouting and
gesticulating; others facing their horses' tails, firing pistols at a
supposed enemy, with more antics of a like nature, often ending in an
ignominious cropper, though the nimble _fareem_ generally succeeds in
landing on his feet.

The sports of the infantry are of a totally different nature. The last
time I had an opportunity of being present at a _tamasha_ of this kind
was a pleasant breezy day on the banks of the Ganges. A space about
twelve yards by fifteen was prepared by picking up and softening the
ground till it presented the appearance of a minute portion of Rotten
Row. One side of this space was reserved for the European officers
and their friends; while round the other three stood or squatted the
sepoys and any of their acquaintances from the neighbouring villages
whom they chose to invite. In the rear were booths, whose owners were
doing a brisk trade in native sweetmeats, while some twenty tom-toms
kept up a discordant and never-ending din. Every native present, from
havildar to sepoy, was clothed only in the _langoti_ or loin-cloth, to
give free play to the muscles of the limbs and chest. At each corner of
the arena stood a man in authority, like a Master of the Ceremonies,
to see that the sports were carried on in a proper manner and that
nobody allowed his temper to get the better of him. One of these was a
remarkably fine-looking man, who, had he been of somewhat lighter hue
and clothed in the garments of civilisation, might have passed as an
English aristocrat of the first-water; while another, of powerful build
and with mutton-chop whiskers, was the very image of an eminent City
man of my acquaintance.

We arrived on the scene a little late, but were immediately shewn to
a seat, one of the native officers coming up to hand us a plateful of
cut-up almonds and cocoa-nut, with raisins and spices intermixed. Of
course we took some, as this was the native welcome. We were hardly
seated when two wiry-looking young men stepped into the arena. First,
they each bent down and raised to the forehead a little earth in
the right hand. This was _poojah_, or a request for help from their
deity in the approaching struggle; though I suspect in most cases it
was a meaningless performance; for I saw a little Christian boy who
played first-cornet in the band, go through the same manœuvre. The
two wrestlers then went to opposite corners, and began some of the
queerest antics I ever saw, slapping their chests, thighs, and arms;
first hopping on the left, then on the right foot; bending over and
jumping back, and recalling in some degree the movements of the ballet;
and then, after a few feints, they clutched each other by the arms
close to the shoulder, while their two bullet-heads met together and
acted as battering-rams. This went on till one man presented a chance
by incautiously lifting his foot, when down he went in a trice, his
adversary falling on him. This, however, was not a 'fall.' While on
the ground, they turned and twisted and writhed like snakes, their
lean legs curling round each other in a manner marvellous to behold,
their efforts being greeted every now and then by applause, led by the
Masters of the Ceremonies aforesaid, given in a sing-song way, and
always ending in a long-drawn 'Tee' (Victory). It was almost wearisome
to watch them, until at length the bout was brought to an end by one
man being fairly thrown on his back, his adversary keeping clear. This
was a true 'fall.'

Couple after couple set to in the same way, sometimes a raw youth
requiring the friendly admonition of the watchful M. C. to make him
keep his temper, though I must say the friendly way in which these
exceedingly rough sports were carried on was deserving of the highest

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the aristocrat and the
mutton-chop whiskers man, throwing aside their dignity, enter the arena
and go through the same antics, the latter's pirouettes and _pas de
Zéphir_ resembling the gambols of a young elephant; but nevertheless
they went through the affair as their predecessors had done.

Between times the little boys from the neighbouring villages would
rush in as they saw their opportunity, and seizing a long sword with
a handle that covered the arm to the elbow make cuts and points
innumerable at a supposed enemy, dancing the while, and never leaving
the spot where they commenced. The meaning of this I could not divine,
but it pleased the spectators, for they did not withhold their
applause, the aristocrat himself on one occasion prolonging the usual
'Tee' in a sonorous voice after every one else had finished.

I was told that this sort of thing went on from early morning till
sunset; but though interesting for an hour, it soon begins to pall on
the ordinary European; so, after seeing a little single-stick and club
practice, excellent of their kind, we took our departure.

I think nothing can speak better for the class of men we have in our
native army than the genuine interest they take in these thoroughly
manly sports. While engaged in them, the habitual mark of deference
worn by the native soldier in the presence of his officer drops from
his face, and we can see him as he is, with all his keen appreciation
of fun and skill, in which he is not one whit behind his white comrade
in the regular army.


Among the colonial papers just laid before parliament will be found
an account, by the governor of Tasmania, of a tour recently made by
him, in company with the Minister of Lands and Works, through the
north-eastern and eastern districts of that very fine island, worthy to
be called the England of the southern hemisphere, which seem to us to
meet the requirements of the class of emigrants alluded to; and it is
to these localities that the following brief notes refer.

The north-eastern districts of Tasmania are only now attracting
general attention, owing to the recent discoveries of tin; and Mr Weld
undertook his long journey on horseback because he was desirous of
seeing for himself enough to enable him to judge of their capabilities
both as mining and agricultural districts. The result, as will be seen,
sufficed to convince him that the future of Tasmania will be materially
affected by the development of these regions. The north-eastern corner
of the island is chiefly hilly, and even mountainous; but it contains
large tracts estimated at fully seventy thousand acres of undulating
and almost level land of very superior quality, and the soil of a great
part of the hills themselves is exceedingly rich. Mr Weld describes
the country as being almost entirely clothed with the most luxuriant
vegetation. The Eucalypti on the flats and rich hill-sides attain a
great size; and the valuable blackwood, the native beech or myrtle, the
silver wattle (_Acacia dealbata_), the sassafras, and the tree-ferns
and climbers, add beauty to the forest. The tree-ferns are most
remarkable for the great profusion and luxuriance with which they grow,
reaching occasionally a height of thirty feet, and being thickly spread
over the whole district.

The region, Governor Weld says, may be described from a settler's
point of view as a 'poor man's country;' that is, it is best adapted
for settlement by men who will labour with their own hands, and who
have sons and daughters to work with them. The following anecdote is
suggestive, and is worthy of reproduction in its entirety: 'In the
heart of the district I remained a day at the comfortable homestead
of a most respectable settler, a native of Somersetshire, named Fry,
who, with the assistance of his wife, four sons, and five daughters,
had in eight years cleared and laid down in grass about two hundred
and fifty acres of the three hundred acres he owns, milks fifty cows,
and lately obtained a prize for cheese at the Melbourne Exhibition. I
could not but be struck at the indomitable energy of this family, which
had penetrated alone into a then pathless forest, and attacked its
huge trees with such determination, doing everything for themselves,
working hard all day, and at night taught lessons, prayers, and even
music by the father.' Capitalists, Mr Weld adds, would find such a
country too expensive to clear; but the man who can always be cutting
down or ringing a tree himself, by degrees sees the light of day break
largely into the forest, and though he will not make a fortune, he
will make a home and an independence, and all his simple wants will be

The district alluded to is capable of keeping thousands of such
families in health and plenty. Surely then we are right in looking
upon this as a promising field for the class of emigrants of which we
have spoken. In addition too to its capabilities from an agricultural
point of view, the country is not without mineral wealth; and a region
roughly estimated at some fifteen hundred square miles, and but
partially prospected, has been found to contain tin in such quantities
as to warrant its being called 'a rich tin-bearing country.' Fair
profits are being made in working this mineral; some of the claims
are worked by men on their own account, others in part by working
proprietors and in part by men employed by them on wages; and again
there are two or three companies of capitalists employing managers and
labourers. Labour is scarce and dear, and labourers are being imported
from Melbourne; wages range from fifty shillings a week for the best
labourers downwards; and on farms men get twenty shillings a week and
rations. The great difficulty the north-eastern districts labour under
is want of roads; the tin has consequently to be carried--at a cost of
ten to thirteen pounds a ton--to Bridport on the north and George's
Bay on the eastern coast, on the backs of horses, by bush-tracks over
steep hills and across ravines and water-courses. The population is at
present comparatively sparse, but there cannot be much doubt that it
will rapidly increase as means of communication improve; and steps are
already being taken to that end as far as the limited resources of the
colony will allow.

On the east coast, Governor Weld saw some fine land, good farms, and
neat villages, especially in the Fingal and Avoca districts; but as a
rule he considers that this region is more remarkable for climate and
scenery than for any continued extent of good land; coal exists in this
part of the colony, and there are some fine stone quarries at Prosser's
Bay, from which the Melbourne post-office was built.

In conclusion, and to render our brief remarks regarding this colony as
a field for emigration more complete, we add the opinion expressed with
respect to the stretch of country lying between the Ramsay River and
the west coast of the island, by Mr Charles P. Sprent, who was sent to
examine it in the spring of last year. He thinks that it is of little
use for agricultural purposes, and that it does not contain any large
amount of valuable timber; but he adds in his Report to the colonial
government, there are sure indications that this part of Tasmania
abounds in mineral wealth, although it may be that the search will be
arduous and slow. As in the case of the Hellyer River, so it is with
the Pieman; wherever the softer schists occur, gold is found in small
quantities; and Mr Sprent has not the slightest doubt that in both
rivers gold will be found in paying quantities, both alluvial and reef
gold. Tin and gold occurring together in some spots near the Pieman in
what is called 'made' ground, would indicate that the country higher up
the river is worthy of examination, and he would recommend prospectors
to try the neighbourhood of Mount Murchison and the Murchison River. As
an inducement to prospecting the western country, it may be mentioned
that over three hundred ounces of gold have been obtained in one
season from the Hellyer River, and that a party of Chinamen have done
exceedingly well there since that time. Copper has been discovered on
the Arthur River in several places; and copper, lead, tin, gold, and
platinum have been found in the vicinity of the Parson's Hood and River
Pieman, not to mention the discoveries at Mount Bischoff and Mount

The Report upon which this brief account is mainly based will be
found in 'Papers relating to Her Majesty's Colonial Possessions, Part
I. of 1876;' which may be obtained from the offices for the sale of
Parliamentary Papers. The agents of the Board in London are 'The
Emigrants' and Colonists' Aid Corporation (Limited),' 25 Queen Anne's
Gate, Westminster, to whom all applications for 'Land Order Warrants,'
as well as general information about the colony, should be made.


    Ever believe you true? Dear friend,
      Your words so precious are that I
    Can but repeat them o'er and o'er,
      And kiss the paper where they lie.
    How shall I thank you for this pledge,
      This sweet assurance, which destroys
    The doubt that you my love repaid,
      And changes all my fears to joys?

    Ever believe you true? I _will_!
      I hold you to this written gage!
    This shall console me, now you're gone;
      Still next my heart I'll bear the page;
    By day and night, where'er I go,
      It shall my prized companion be;
    And if a thought would 'gainst you rise,
      This from all blame shall set you free.

    Ah, need I say, believe _me_ true?
      You know how tender, yet how strong,
    This heart's emotions are, how half
      Of all its throbs to you belong;
    How fain 'twould burst its prison-walls
      To nestling beat against your own;
    How joyous 'twas when you were near,
      How sadly yearning, now, alone.

    Ay, till the weary life is done,
      Though we again may never meet,
    Let's not forget the by-gone days
      That like a dream passed, swift and sweet;
    Still let thy knowledge of my love
      Thy faith in humankind renew,
    Let that great love still for me plead,
      And, to the last, believe _me_ true!

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paternoster Row, LONDON,
and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH.

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._

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