There was a regular order in which the purchases were deposited in the creel. First, there came the fish, which were carefully deposited in the lowest part, with a clean deal board over them. The fishwives were a most sturdy and independent class, both in manners and language. When at home, at Newhaven or Fisherrow, they made and mended their husbands' nets, put their fishing tackle to rights, and when the fishing boats came in they took the fish to market at Edinburgh. To see the groups of these hard- working women trudging along with their heavy creels on their backs, clothed in their remarkable costume, with their striped petticoats kilted up and showing their sturdy legs, was indeed a remarkable sight. They were cheerful and good-natured, but very outspoken. Their skins were clear and ruddy, and many of the young fishwives were handsome and pretty. They were, in fact, the incarnation of robust health. In dealing with them at the Fish Market there was a good deal of higgling. They often asked two or three times more than the fish were worth -- at least, according to the then market price. After a stormy night, during which the husbands and sons had toiled to catch the fish, on the usual question being asked, "Weel, Janet, hoo's haddies the day !" "Haddies, mem ? Ou, haddies is men's lives the day!" which was often true, as haddocks were often caught at the risk of their husbands' lives. After the usual amount of higgling, the haddies were brought down to their proper market price, -- sometimes a penny for a good haddock, or, when herrings were rife, a dozen herrings for twopence, crabs for a penny, and lobsters for threepence. For there were no railways then to convey the fish to England, and thus equalise the price for all classes of the community.

    Let me mention here a controversy between a fishwife and a buyer called Thomson. the buyer offered a price so ridiculously small for a parcel of fish that the seller became quite indignant, and she terminated at once all further higgling. Looking up to him, she said, "Lord help yer e'e-sight, Maister Tamson!" "Lord help my e'e-sight, woman ! What has that to do with it ?" "Ou," said she, "because ye ha'e nae nose to put spectacles on!" As it happened, poor Mr. Thomson had, by some accident or disease, so little of a nose left, if any at all, that the bridge of the nose for holding up the spectacles was almost entirely wanting. And thus did the fishwife retaliate on her niggardly customer.

    When my mother had got her fish laid at the bottom of the creel, she next went to the "flesher" for her butcher-meat. There was no higgling here, for the meat was sold at the ordinary market price. Then came the poultry stratum; then the vegetables, or fruits in their season; and, finally, there was "the floore"- a bunch of flowers; not a costly bouquet, but a, large assortment of wallflowers, daffodils (with their early spring fragrance), polyanthuses, lilacs, gilly-flowers, and the glorious old-fashioned cabbage rose, as well as the even more gloriously fragrant moss rose. The caddy's creel was then topped up, and the marketing was completed. The lady was followed home; the contents were placed in the larder; and the flowers distributed all over the house.

    I have many curious traditional evidences of the great fondness for cats which distinguished the Nasmyth family for several generations. My father had always one or two of such domestic favourites, who were, in the best sense, his "familiars." Their quiet, companionable habits rendered them very acceptable company when engaged in his artistic work. I know of no sound so pleasantly tranquillising as the purring of a cat, or of anything more worthy of admiration in animal habit as the neat, compact, and elegant manner in which the cat adjusts itself at the fireside, or in a snug, cosy place, when it settles down for a long quiet sleep. Every spare moment that a cat has before lying down to rest is occupied in carefully cleaning itself, even under adverse circumstances. The cat is the true original inventor of a sanitary process, which has lately been patented and paraded before the public as a sanitary novelty; and yet it has been in practice ever since cats were created. Would that men and women were more alive to habitual cleanliness -- even the cleanliness of cats. The kindly and gentle animal gives us all a lesson in these respects.

    Then, nothing can be more beautiful in animal action than the exquisitely precise and graceful manner in which the cat exerts the exact amount of effort requisite to land it at the height and spot it wishes to reach at one bound. The neat and delicately precise manner in which cats use their paws when playing with those who habitually treat them with gentle kindness is truly admirable. In these respects cats are entitled to the most kindly regard. There are, unfortunately, many who entertain a strong prejudice against this most perfect and beautiful member of the animal creation, and who abuse them because they resist

  By PanEris using Melati.

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