Having discharged this piece of duty to the burgh, and my road lying the same way with the honest magistrate’s, I profited by the light of his lantern, and he by my arm, to find our way through the streets, which, whatever they may now be, were then dark, uneven, and ill-paved. Age is easily propitiated by attentions from the young. The Bailie expressed himself interested in me, and added, “That since I was nane o’ that play-acting and play-ganging generation, whom his saul hated, he wad be glad if I wad eat a reisted haddock, or a fresh herring, at breakfast wi’ him the morn, and meet my friend, Mr. Owen, whom, by that time, he would place at liberty.”

“My dear sir,” said I, when I had accepted of the invitation with thanks, “how could you possibly connect me with the stage?”

“I watna,” replied Mr. Jarvie; “it was a bletherin’ phrasin’ chield they ca’ Fairservice, that cam at e’en to get an order to send the crier through the toun for ye at skreigh o’ day the morn. He tell’t me whae ye were, and how ye were sent frae your father’s house, because ye wadna be a dealer, and that ye mightna disgrace your family wi’ ganging on the stage. Ane Hammorgaw, our precentor, brought him here, and said he was an auld acquaintance; but I sent them baith awa’ wi’ a flae in their lug for bringing me sic an errand on sic a night. But I see he’s a fule-creature a’thegither, and clean mista’en about ye. I like ye, man,” he continued; “I like a lad that will stand by his friends in trouble—I aye did it mysell, and sae did the deacon my father, rest and bless him! But ye suldna keep ower muckle company wi’ Hielandmen and thae wild cattle. Can a man touch pitch and no be defiled?—aye mind that. Nae doubt, the best and wisest may err—Once, twice, and thrice have I backslidden, man, and dune three things this night—my father wadna hae believed his een if he could hae looked up and seen me do them.”

He was by this time arrived at the door of his own dwelling. He paused, however, on the threshold, and went on in a solemn tone of deep contrition,—“Firstly, I hae thought my ain thoughts on the Sabbath—Secondly, I hae gi’en security for an Englishman—and, in the third and last place, well-a-day! I hae let an ill-doer escape from the place of imprisonment—But there’s balm in Gilead, Mr. Osbaldistone—Mattie, I can let mysell in—see Mr. Osbaldistone to Luckie Flyter’s, at the corner o’ the wynd.—Mr. Osbaldistone”—in a whisper—“ye’ll offer nae incivility to Mattie—she’s an honest man’s daughter, and a near cousin o’ the Laird o’ Limmerfield’s.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.