gentleman. The bustling and benevolent magistrate had been as good as his word. I found my friend Owen at liberty, and, conscious of the refreshments and purification of brush and basin, was of course a very different person from Owen a prisoner, squalid, heart-broken, and hopeless. Yet the sense of pecuniary difficulties arising behind, before, and around him, had depressed his spirit, and the almost paternal embrace which the good man gave me, was embittered by a sigh of the deepest anxiety. And when he sate down, the heaviness in his eye and manner, so different from the quiet composed satisfaction which they usually exhibited, indicated that he was employing his arithmetic in mentally numbering up the days, the hours, the minutes, which yet remained as an interval between the dishonour of bills and the downfall of the great commercial establishment of Osbaldistone and Tresham. It was left to me, therefore, to do honour to our landlord’s hospitable cheer,—to his tea, right from China, which he got in a present from some eminent ship’s-husband at Wapping,—to his coffee, from a snug plantation of his own, as he informed us with a wink, called Salt-Market Grove, in the island of Jamaica,—to his English toast and ale, his Scotch dried salmon, his Lochfine herrings, and even to the double damask tablecloth, “wrought by no hand, as you may guess,” save that of his deceased father the worthy Deacon Jarvie.

Having conciliated our good-humoured host by those little attentions which are great to most men, I endeavoured in my turn to gain from him some information which might be useful for my guidance, as well as for the satisfaction of my curiosity. We had not hitherto made the least allusion to the transactions of the preceding night, a circumstance which made my question sound somewhat abrupt, when, without any previous introduction of the subject, I took advantage of a pause when the history of the tablecloth ended, and that of the napkins was about to commence, to inquire, “Pray, by-the-bye, Mr. Jarvie, who may this Mr. Robert Campbell be whom we met with last night?”

The interrogatory seemed to strike the honest magistrate, to use the vulgar phrase, “all of a heap,” and instead of answering, he returned the question,—“Whae’s Mr. Robert Campbell?—ahem—ahay!—Whae’s Mr. Robert Campbell, quo’ he?”

“Yes,” said I, “I mean who, and what is he?”

“Why, he’s—ahay!—he’s—ahem!—Where did ye meet with Mr. Robert Campbell, as ye ca’ him?”

“I met him by chance,” I replied, “some months ago, in the north of England.”

“Ou then, Mr. Osbaldistone,” said the Bailie doggedly, “ye’ll ken as muckle about him as I do.”

“I should suppose not, Mr. Jarvie,” I replied; “you are his relation it seems, and his friend.”

“There is some cousin-red between us, doubtless,” said the Bailie reluctantly, “but we hae seen little o’ ilk other since Rob gae up the cattle-line o’ dealing, poor fallow! he was hardly guided by them might hae used him better—and they haena made their plack a bawbee o’t neither. There’s mony ane this day wad rather they had never chased puir Robin frae the Cross o’ Glasgow—there’s mony ane wad rather see him again at the tail o’ three hundred kyloes, than at the head o’ thirty waur cattle.”

“All this explains nothing to me, Mr. Jarvie, of Mr. Campbell’s rank, habits of life, and means of subsistence,” I replied.

“Rank?” said Mr. Jarvie; “he’s a Hieland gentleman, nae doubt—better rank need nane to be;—and for habit, I judge he wears the Hieland habit amang the hills, though he has breeks on when he comes to Glasgow;—and as for his subsistence, what needs we care about his subsistence, sae lang as he asks naething frae us, ye ken. But I hae nae time for clavering about him e’en now, because we maun look into your father’s concerns wi’ a’ speed.”

So saying, he put on his spectacles, and sate down to examine Mr. Owen’s states, which the other thought it most prudent to communicate to him without reserve. I knew enough of business to be aware that nothing could be more acute and sagacious than the views which Mr. Jarvie entertained of the matters

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