Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

THE STEAM-BOAT ;

No. VI.
Or, The Voyages and Travels of Thomas Duffle, Cloth-merchant in the

Saltmarket of Glasgow.

VOYAGE THIRD. Having nourished my faculties for set it down with a stot, and, pushing observation by reflecting on the va- back her chair, remained for a space of rious things I had seen, and the extra- time in a posture of astonishment, by ordinaries I had heard, I began again to which I discovered that it was a thing feel the spirit of curiosity germinating she never expected would have enterto new adventures, which it would at ed my head. I then expounded to her one time have been far from my hand to how it might be serviceable to me to have undertaken. But travelling en- inspect the ways of business in Lonlarges the mind, and experience is a don; but although nothing could be great encourager in the way of ventu- more reasonable than what I set forth ring afield. I was, however, for a sea- on that head, she shook her's, and son perplexed anent the airt in which said, “ This comes of your gallantI should steer my course, as the Jack ing in the Greenock steam-boats; but Tars say, till some accident brought ye're your own master, Mr Duffle, me to think, that of late years our and may do as ye think fit-howsomyoung haberdashers, and others in the ever, its my opinion that the coronafancy line, are in the practice of tak- tion has a temptation in it that ye’re ing a trip up to the town of London, to blate to own.” see the fashions:Thinking of this, After thus breaking the ice with as I was saying, it came into my head, Mrs M‘Lecket, I consulted with Mr that if such jauntings were profitable Sweeties as to money matters and lesser to them, the like might be of service considerations, and having made a suitto me in my business at the same able arrangement for being from home time, considering the steady hand I a whole month, and bought a new had always held in my calling, it would trunk for the occasion, with the ’nitial not do for me to be overly ready to letters of my name on the lid in brass change my methods; and therefor nails, I was taken in a stage-coach to before attempting any thing of the Edinburgh. Some advised me to presort, I thought it would be prudent to fer the track-boat on the canal to Lock see a little more of the world, and look No. 16; but as I had the long voyage about me; for although Glasgow is from Leith to London before me, I surely a large and populous place, it considered with myself, that I would must be allowed that it is but a nar- have enough of the water or a' was row sphere for observation, and that a done, and therefore resolved to travel man who spends his whole life there- by land, though it was a thought more in, between, as it were, the punch- expensive. bowl and the coffee-room, cannot be My companions in the coach conelse, as a man, than one of the nume-' sisted of Mrs Gorbals, who was taking rous family of the Smalls, a term in her youngest daughter, Miss Lizzy, which I heard an exhibitioner at Ba- to learn manners at a boarding-school liol's, from our college to Oxford, in Edinburgh-and a Greenock genemploy in speaking of persons with tleman, who was on his way to get the poor heads and proud purses—and no- opinion of counsel anent a rivisidendo body could dispute with him the just- on some interlocutor of the Lord Ordiness thereof.

nary concerning the great stoollaw-plea However, not to descant on particu- of that town; and we were a very tosh larities, let it suffice, that one night, and agreeable company. For of Mrs over a dish of tea, [the Englishers, as Gorbals it does not require me to tell, I afterwards found, say a cup of tea,] that she is a blithe woman; and Miss with Mrs MʻLecket, I said to her, Lizzy, although she has not quite so “What would ye think, Mistress, if much smeddum as her elder sister I were to set out on a journey to Lon- Miss Meg, that Mr MʻGruel, the Kildon?"

winning doctor, had a work with last Mrs MʻLecket had then the pourie year, is however a fine good-tempered in her hand to help my cup; but she lassie, and, when well schooled, may

pass for a lady in the Trongate, among ber mother to be present at the handthe best and the brawest, ony day. As ling. for the feuars and subfeuars of Gree- I said to him, considering what he nock, every body knows what a pith had suffered in his first voyage, that I of talent is in them, and how cleverly was surprised he would have ventured they can see through the crooks and on water again, especially as he had the crevices of all manner of difficul- his own carriage. But both he and ties. I need, therefore, only say, that Mrs Pringle declared that the tribulaour fellow-passenger had no small por- tion and extortioning of travelling by tion of the ability common among his land was as ill to abide as the sea-sicktownsfolk. I should remark by hands, ness, which I can well believe, for at that on the outside of the coach there every house, when we changed horses was a man from Port-Glasgow in the in coming from Glasgow in the stagevolunteering line, watching a bit box coach, there was the stage-driver begwith his cleeding, and hadding on by ging his optional; to say nothing of the rail like grim death--what he was what Mrs Pringle herself remarked going to do at Edinburgh, or whether concerning the visible comfort of such he was gawn o'er the seas or further, a steam-boat, where every thing was he kens best himself.

on a neat genteel fashion, and no sort of In the course of our journey to the commodity neglected. capital town of Scotland we met with I told her, however, that I was not no accident, but had a vast deal of very sure but from the boiler there might jocose conversation. Twice or thrice be a danger, when we were out on the Mrs Gorbals paukily tried to pick out ocean sea ; whereupon the Doctor, who, of me where I was going, and seemed in his first voyage to Glasgow, had got an to jealouse that I was bound on a ma- insight of the method of enginery, took trimonial exploit; but I was no so kit- and showed me all how it worked, and tly as she thought, and could thole her how the boiler, when the steam was progs and jokes with the greatest plea- overly strong, had a natural way of its sance and composure, by which she was own of breaking the wind off its stosorely put to in her conjectures. mach, as he said, in his pawkie and

As it was not my intent to stay any funny way, which was very diverting time in Edinburgh at the outgoing of to hear. I need not therefore say that I my jaunt, as soon as the coach stopped, was greatly delighted to find myself in I hired a porter from the Highlands, such good company as the Doctor and and he took my trunk on his shoulder, that clever woman his lady, who is and we walked both together on to surely a fine patron to wives throughLeith. Luckily for me it was that I had out the whole west country, especially been so expeditious, for we reached in the shire of Ayr. the pier in the very nick of time, just Nothing could be more facetious when the new steam-boat, the City of than our voyage ; every body was just Edinburgh, was on the wing of depar- in the element of delight; the sea ture. So on board I steppit, where I rippled, and the vessel paddled, as if found a very jovial crew of passengers. she had been a glad and living thing, Among others, Doctor and Mrs Prin- and sailed along so sweetly, that both gle from Garnock, who were going up Dr Pringle and me thought that sureto London, as the reverend Doctor told ly the owners had some contrivance of me himself, on account of their daugh- a patent nature for creeshing the soles ter, Mrs Sabre, Miss Rachael that was, of her feet. being at the down-lying, and wishing

TALE X.

A JEANIE DEANS IN LOVE. Among the passengers was a Mrs Mashlam, from the vicinity of Mineybole, whom I knew when formerly she was servan lass to Bailie Shuttle, before she gaed into Edinburgh. She was then a bonnie guileless lassie, just a prodigy of straight-forward simplicity, and of a sincerity of nature by common; indeed, it was all owing to her chaste and honest demeanour, that she got so well on in the world, as to be married to her most creditable gudeman, Mr Mashlam, who is not only of a bein circumstance, but come of a most respectable stock, having cousins and connections far advanced among the genteelity in Edina burgh. He fell in with her on her return from her great adventure with the Duke of York at London, which made such a great noise throughout the West at the time, and which, but for her open-hearted innocency, would have left both cloors and dunkles in her character.

At the first I did not know Bell again, but she knew me, and made up to me, introducing her gudeman, and telling me that they were going up on å jaunt to London, because she had been for some time no in very good health, but chiefly to see the King crowned, the which, I have a notion, was the errand's end of most of us, notwithstanding what Doctor and Mrs Pringle said about their daughter's lying in. After some change of conversation, we sat down on stools on the deck,-a great convenience, and most pleasant in such fine weather as we had ; and on my speering at Mrs Mashlam anent her former journey to London, of which I had heard but the far-off sough of rúmour, she blushed a thought in the face, and then said, “ Noo, that a's past, and my folly of teen love cured, I need na be ashamed to tell the particulars before the face of the whole world, and the fifteen Lords.

“ When I was servan with Captain MacConochy, Serjeant Lorie of his company

had a wark with me. He came often about the house, and as he was of a serious turn like mysel, I thought the mair o' him that he never spoke of love, for he wasna in a way to marry. But ae night as I lay on my bed, it was, as it were, whispered in my ear, that if I could do a thing for him that would mak him hae a pride in me, he would master the doubts of his fortune, and make me his wife. Wi' this notion I fancied that I might hae the power to persuade the Duke of York, if I could get a word of his Royal Grace, to gie the serjeant a commission. The road, however, is lang between Edinburgh and the Horse Guards, but a woman's love will travel farther than horses ; so I speered at the serjeant, without letting on to him o'what was in my head, about the way of going to London, and how to see the Duke, and when I got my half year's fee, I got leave frae my mistress for a fortnight to see a frien', and set out for the Horse Guards.

“ When I reached London, I dressed mysel in my best, and speered my way to the Duke's office. The first day I lingered blately about the place. On the second, the folk and soldiers there thought I was nae in my right mind, and compassionated me. A weel-bred gentleman, seeing me hankering at the gate, inquired my business, and when I told him that it was with his Royal Grace, he bade me bide, and he would try what could be done ; and shortly after go ing into the house, he came out, and said the Duke would see me.

“ Up to that moment I felt no want of an encouraging spirit; but I kenna what then came o'er me, for my knees faltered, and my heart beat, as I went up the stairs; and when I was shewn into the presence, in a fine room, with spacious looking-glasses, I could scarcely speak for awe and dread. The shawl fell from my shoulders, and his Royal Grace, seeing my terrification, rose from his sittee, and put it on in the most ceeveleezed and kindly manner. He was in reality a most well-bred gentleman, and, for discretion, would be a patron to mony a Glasgow manufacturer, and Edinburgh writer. He then encou. raged me to proceed with my business, asking me in a hamely manner, what it

was.

Please your Royal Grace," said I, “ there's a young lad, a friend o' mine, that I would fain get promoted'; and, if your Royal Grace would like to do a kind turn, he would soon be an officer, as he's a serjeant already. He has no

body to speak a word for him, so I hae come from Scotland on purpose to do it mysel.

“ The Duke looked at me with a sort of kindly curiosity, and replied,? Well, I have heard and read of such things, but never met with the like before.'

“He then inquired very particularly all about what was between the serjeant and me, and if I was trysted to marry him; and I told him the plain simple truth, and I could see it did not displease him that I had undertaken the journey on the hope of affection. He said there were, however, so many claims, that it would not be easy to grant my request. I told him I knew that very well, but that others had friens to speak for them, and the serjeant had nane but mysel. Upon which he looked at me very earnestly, with a sort of mercyfulness in his countenance, and putting his hand in his pocket, gave me three guineas, and bade me go away back on the Sunday following by the smack to Leith. He gart me promise I would do so; and then as I was going out of the room he bade mę, after I had taen my passage place, to come again on the morn, which I did, but on that morning he had broken his arm, and couldna be seen. I saw, however, one of his Lords. They told me since syne, it was no doubt my Lord Palmerston, and his Lordship informed me what had happened to the Duke, and gave me two guineas, obliging me, in like manner as his Royal Grace had done, to promise I would leave London without delay, assuring me in a most considerate manner, that my business would be as well attended to in my absence as if I were to stay. So I thankit him as well as I could, and told him he might say to the Duke, that as sure as death I would leave London on the Sabbath morning, not to trouble him any more, being content with the friendship of his royal spirit.

" Accordingly, on the Sabbath, I gaed back in the smack, and the serjeant would hardly believe me, when I said whar I had been, and what I had done for him. But when he was made an ensign, he turned his back on me, and set up for a gentleman. I thought my heart would have gurged within me at this slight; and a very little would have made me set out a second time to the Duke, and tell him how I had been served ; but, after greeting out my passion and mortification on my secret pillow, I thought to mysel, that I would let the serjeant fall out in some other's hand; and that I was none the worse for the good I had wised to him as a soldier, though, by altering his vain heart, it had done himself none as a man ; and when I cam into this contentment, I got the better of my pining and sorrow.”—And in saying these words, she took Mr Mashlam in a loving manner by the hand, and said, “ I ha'e no reason to rue the disappointment of my first love; and I only hope that Mr Lorie, for the kind-natured Duke's sake, will prove true to his colours, lightly though he valued my weak and poor affection.”

Every body in the Steam-boat was that he had ever seen in his life; and greatly taken with Bell, and none in certainly, when I saw it myself, I had all the company was treated with more no reason to doubt the correctness of respect than her and her gudeman. So his judgment, although, in some edion we sailed in the most agreeable ficial points, it may not be able to

stand a comparative with Edinburgh Doctor Pringle and the Mistress or Glasgow. But notwithstanding the having visited ondon before, were experience which they had of the ways both able and most willing to give me of managing in London, we were soreall sort of instruction how to conduct ly put to it on our disembarking at myself there, which the Doctor as- Wapping. For the Doctor, to shew ured me was the biggest town by far me how well he could set about things, left me and Mrs Pringle standing on the Doctor's old lodging in Norfolk the wharf, and went himself to bring Street, Strand, where the landlady was a hackney for us and our luggage. most glad to see the Doctor and the They were, in their way to Captain Mistress looking so well, but her house Sabre's in Baker Street, to set me down was taken up with foreigners from difat the lodging-house in Norfolk Street, ferent parts of the country come to see Strand, where they had been civilly the King crowned, and she could not treated while living there when up accommodate me therein. However, about their great legacy,“but ance as I was a friend of the Doctor's, she awa aye awa. Long and wearily did invited me to step into her parlour, Mrs Pringle and me wait, and no word and she would send to a neighbour in of the Doctor coming back. The Mis-, Howard Street that had a very comtress at last grew uneasy, and I was fortable bed-room to let. So I bade terrified, suffering more than tongue my fellow-passengers good day, and, can tell, till the Doctor made his ap- stepping in, was in due season accompearance in a coach, as pale as ashes, modated, as was expected, in the house and the sweat hailing from his brow. of Mrs Damask, a decent widow woHe had lost his road; and, rambling man, that made her bread by letting about in quest of it, and likewise of a lodgings to sin gle gentlemen. coach, was mobbit by a pack of ne'er. Having thus narrated the occasion do-weels and little-worth women in a and voyage of my coming to London, place called Ratcliffe Highway, and in I will now pause, in order to digest the hobbleshow his watch was picket and methodize such things as it may out of his pocket by a pocket-picker, be entertaining to the courteous reader and his life might have been ta’en, but to hear, concerning my exploits and for the interference of a creditable observes in the metropolitan city; for looking man, who rescued him out of it is no my intent to enter upon the their hands.

manner.

particularities of buildings and curioThis was a sore sample to me of the sities, but only to confine my pen to Londoners; and I quaked inwardly matters appertaining to the objects of when, as we drove along the street in business that drew me thither, with the hackney, I saw the multitudes such an account of the coronation as flowing onward without end, like a may naturally be expected from one running river, thronger than the Trone who had so many advantages at the gate on a Wednesday, especially when same as I had ; not, however, would I thought of the crowd that was ex- I have it supposed, that I paid any pected to be at the Coronation. How- greater attention to thepageantry thereever, nothing happened, and I was set of, than was becoming a man of my down with my trunk at the door of years and sobriety of character.

PART. II.-THE PREPARATIONS.

London being, as is well known, a it was a most uncertain thing; and as place of more considerable repute than for the King's own proclamation anent Greenock, or even Port Glasgow, up- the same, is it not written in the Bion which I have so fully enlarged in ble, “Put not your trust in princes?" my foregoing voyages, it seems meet However, scarcely had Mrs Damask that I should be at some outlay of shewn me the bed-room that was to be pains and particularities in what I have mine, and I had removed our sederunt, to indite concerning it; and, therefore, after settling terms, to her parlour, it is necessary to premise, by way of where she was to get me a chop of mutpreface, to appease critical readers, that ton for my dinner, than she began to my observations were not so full and inquire if I wasna come to see the cosatisfactory as they might have been, ronation. But I said to her, which because of the hubbub of his Majesty's

. was the fact, “ I am come on business; royal coronation, which happened to no that I object to look at the crowning take place while I was there. It's true the King, if its possible, but it would that I had an inkling, by the newspa- be an unco like thing o' a man at my pers, before my departure from Glas- years of discretion to be running afgow, that the solemnity might be per- ter ony sic-like proformity.' formed about the time I counted on She was, however, very much like heing in London, but cvery body knows my own landlady, Mrs M‘Lecket, a

« VorigeDoorgaan »