“Gude safe us!” continued Andrew, “in what can I hae offended your honour?—Certainly a’ flesh is but as flowers of the field; but if a bed of camomile hath value in medicine, of a surety the use of Andrew Fairservice to your honour is nothing less evident—it’s as muckle as your life’s worth to part wi’ me.”

“Upon my honour,” replied I, “it is difficult to say whether you are more knave or fool.—So you intend then to remain with me whether I like it or no?”

“Troth, I was e’en thinking sae,” replied Andrew dogmatically; “for if your honour disna ken when ye hae a gude servant, I ken when I hae a gude master, and the deil be in my feet gin I leave ye—and there’s the brief and the lang o’t—besides, I hae received nae regular warning to quit my place.”

“Your place, sir!” said I; “why, you are no hired servant of mine, you are merely a guide, whose knowledge of the country I availed myself of on my road.”

“I am no just a common servant, I admit, sir,” remonstrated Mr. Fairservice; “but your honour kens I quitted a gude place at an hour’s notice, to comply wi’ your honour’s solicitations. A man might make honestly and wi’ a clear conscience, twenty sterling pounds per annum, weel counted siller, o’ the garden at Osbaldistone Hall, and I wasna likely to gi’e up a’ that for a guinea, I trow—I reckoned on staying wi’ your honour to the term’s end at the least o’t; and I account upon my wage, board-wage, fee, and bountith, ay, to that length o’t at the least.”

“Come, come, sir,” replied I, “these impudent pretensions won’t serve your turn; and if I hear any more of them, I shall convince you that Squire Thorncliff is not the only one of my name that can use his fingers.”

While I spoke thus, the whole matter struck me as so ridiculous, that, though really angry, I had some difficulty to forbear laughing at the gravity with which Andrew supported a plea so utterly extravagant. The rascal, aware of the impression he had made on my muscles, was encouraged to perseverance. He judged it safer, however, to take his pretensions a peg lower, in case of overstraining at the same time both his plea and my patience.

“Admitting that my honour could part with a faithful servant, that had served me and mine by day and night for twenty years, in a strange place, and at a moment’s warning, he was weel assured,” he said, “it wasna in my heart, nor in no true gentleman’s, to pit a puir lad like himsell, that had come forty or fifty, or say a hundred miles out o’ his road purely to bear my honour company, and that had nae hauding but his penny-fee, to sic a hardship as this comes to.”

I think it was you, Will, who once told me, that, to be an obstinate man, I am in certain things the most gullable and malleable of mortals. The fact is, that it is only contradiction which makes me peremptory, and when I do not feel myself called on to give battle to any proposition, I am always willing to grant it, rather than give myself much trouble. I knew this fellow to be a greedy, tiresome, meddling coxcomb; still, however, I must have some one about me in the quality of guide and domestic, and I was so much used to Andrew’s humour, that on some occasions it was rather amusing. In the state of indecision to which these reflections led me, I asked Fairservice if he knew the roads, towns, &c., in the north of Scotland, to which my father’s concerns with the proprietors of Highland forests were likely to lead me. I believe if I had asked him the road to the terrestrial paradise, he would have at that moment undertaken to guide me to it; so that I had reason afterwards to think myself fortunate in finding that his actual knowledge did not fall very much short of that which he asserted himself to possess. I fixed the amount of his wages, and reserved to myself the privilege of dismissing him when I chose, on paying him a week in advance. I gave him finally a severe lecture on his conduct of the preceding day, and then dismissed him, rejoicing at heart, though somewhat crestfallen in countenance, to rehearse to his friend, the precentor, who was taking his morning draught in the kitchen, the mode in which he had “cuitled up the daft young English squire.”

Agreeable to appointment, I went next to Bailie Nicol Jarvie’s, where a comfortable morning’s repast was arranged in the parlour, which served as an apartment of all hours, and almost all work, to that honest

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