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tions - not only that which she would | hasty judgment, with the promise of herself have correctly and distinctly dis- something beautiful to come. The ashtinguished as “butcher's meat."
trees were backward no doubt, but they The house was very empty and deso- are always backward. In the wood the late after all the din and bustle. The primroses were appearing in great clus. furniture had faded in the quarter of a ters, and the parterres under the terrace century and more which had elapsed since were gay with the same. Rolls took Harry Erskine furnished his drawing comfort as he gazed. The avenue was room for his bride. That had not been a all green, the leaves in some sunny corgood period for furniture, according to ners quite shaken out of their husks, in our present lights, and everything looked all bursting hopefully. “It's a bonnie dingy and faded. The few cosy articles place," Rolls said to himself, with a sigh with which the late tenants had changed of excitement and anxiety. Bauby, who its character had been removed; the or shared his feelings in a softened, fat, naments and prettinesses were all gone. comfortable way of her own, was standing The gay, limp old chintzes, the faded car in the doorway, with her little shawl pet, the walls in sad want of renewal, pinned over her broad chest, and a great obtruded themselves even upon the accus- white apron blazing in the light of the tomed eye of Rolls. The nest might be morning sun. She had a round face, like cleared, but it looked a somewhat forlorn a full moon, and a quantity of yellow hair and empty nest. He stood upon the smoothed under the white cap, which was threshold of the drawing-room, contem- decorously tied under her chin. She did plating it mournfully. A little of that not take any of the dignity of a house
cheeney and nonsense” which he had keeper-cook upon her, but she was been highly indignant with Mrs. Barring comfortable creature to behold, folding ton for bringing, would have been of the her round arms, with the sleeves rolled greatest consequence now to brighten the up a little, and looking out with a slight walls; and a shawl or a hat thrown on a curve, like a shadow of the pucker on her chair, which had called forth from old brother's brows, in her freckled forehead. Rolls many a grumble in the past, would She was ready to cry for joy when Mr. have appeared to him now something like John appeared, just as she had cried for a sign of humanity in the desert. But all sorrow when the Barringtons went away. that was over, and the old servant, pain. Neither of these effusions of sentiment fully sensible of the difference in the as. would disturb her greatly, but they were pect of the place, began to grow afraid of quite genuine all the same. Rolls felt its effect upon the young master. If, after that the whiteness of her apron and the all, John should not be a struck with” his good-humor of her face lit up the serioushome! if, terrible to think of, he might ness of the house. He began to give her prefer some house “in the south to her instructions as he advanced across Dalrulzian ! “ But it's no possible," said the open space at the top of the avenue. Rolls to himself.
He made a survey of “ Bauby," he said, “when ye hear the all the rooms in the new anxiety that wheels ye'll come, and the lasses with dawned upon him. The library was bet- you; and Andrew, he can stand behind; ter; there were a good many books on the and me, naturally I'll be in the front: and shelves, and it had not to Rolls the air of we'll have no whingeing, if you please, desertion the other rooins had. He but the best curtsey you can make, and lighted a fire in it, though it was the first · We're glad to see you home, sir,' or week in May, and took great pains to re- something cheery like that. He's been store by it an air of comfort and habita- long away, and he was but a boy when he tion. Then be took a walk down the went. We'll have to take care that he avenue in order to make a critical exami- gets a good impression of his ain house." nation of the house from a little distance, “ That's true," said Bauby. “Tammas, to see how it would look to the new- I've heard of them that after a long abcomer. And Rolls could not but think itsence have just taken a kind o scun. a most creditable-looking house. The fir- ner trees on the top of the hill threw up their “Hold your tongue with your nonsense. sombre fan of foliage against the sky; the A scunner at Dalrulzian !" cried Rolls ; birches were breathing forth a spring but the word sank into the depths of his sweetness - the thin young foliage softly heart. A scunner for we scorn a footwashed in with that tenderest of greens note - is a sudden sickening and disgust against the darker background, seemed to with an object not necessarily disagreable appeal to the spectator, forbidding any a sort of fantastic prejudice, which
there is no struggling against. But Rolls | times he stopped to ask the way to Dal. repeated his directions, and would not al- rulzian out of pure pleasure in the ques. low himself to entertain such a fear. tion; for he never lost sight of that line
It was not, however, with any sound of of fir-trees against the horizon, which in. wheels, triumphal or otherwise, that young dicated his native hill; but after he had Erskine approached his father's house. put this question once or twice, it must It was all new and strange to him; the be added that young Erskine's satisfachills — the broad and wealthy carses tion in it failed a little. He ceased to through which he had passed – the noble feel the excitement of his incognito, the Firth, balf sea half river, which he had pleasure of entering his dominions like a crossed over in his way, — all appeared young prince in disguise. The imaginato him like landscapes in a dream, places tion of the women at the village doors, the he had seen before, though he could not chance passengers on the way, were not tell how or when. It was afternoon when occupied with the return of John Erskine; he reached Dunearn, which was the near they were much more disposed to think est place of any importance. He had and talk of the others who had no right, it chosen to stop there instead of at the seemed to him, to occupy their thoughts. little country station a few miles further "Dalrulzian! you'll find nobody there on, which was proper for Dalrulzian. the day,” said a countryman whom he This caprice had moved him, much in the overtook and accosted on the road. same way as a prince has sometimes been "The family's away this morning, and a moved to wander about incognito, and great loss they will be to the countryglean the opinions of his public as to his side.” own character and proceedings. Princes The family!” said John, and he felt in fiction are fond of this diversion; why that his tone was querulous in spite of not a young Scotch laird just coming into himself. “I did not understand that his kingdom, whose person was quite un. there was a family." known to his future vassals? It amused “ Ay was there, and one that will be and gently excited him to think of thus missed sore; both gentle and simple will arriving unknown, and finding out with miss them. Not the real family, but as what eyes he was looked upon ; for he good, or maybe better," the man said, had very little doubt that he was impor. with a little emphasis, as if he meant tant enough to be discussed and talked of, offence, and knew who his questioner and that the opinions of the people would was. throw a great deal of light to him upon The young man reddened in spite of the circumstances and peculiarities of the himself. This was not the kind of popu. place. He was curious about everything, lar report which in his incognito he had
the little grey Scotch town, clinging to hoped to hear. its hillside – the freshness of the spring “The laird is what they call in Ireland an color – the width of the wistful blue sky, absentee,” said his companion. “We're banked and fecked with white clouds, and no minding muckle in Scotland if they're never free, with all its brightness, from a absentees or no; they can please themsels. suspicion of possible rain. He thought But there's nae family of the Erskines he recollected them all like things he had nothing but a young lad; and the cornel seen in a dream; and that sense of trav. that's had the house was a fine, hearty, elling incognito and arriving without any weel-spoken man, with a good word for warning in the midst of a liitle world, all everybody; and the ladies very kind, and eagerly looking for his arrival, but which pleasant, and neighbor-like. Young Ersshould be innocently deceived by his un-kine must be a young laird past the ordipretending appearance, tickled his fancy nar if he can fill their place.” greatly. He was five-and-twenty, and But, so far as I understand, the estate ought to have known better; but there belongs to him, does it not?” Erskine was something in the circumstances asked, with an involuntary sharpness in
, which justified his excitement. He his voice. skimmed lightly along the quiet country “Oh ay, it belongs to him; that makes road, saying to himself that he thought be but sma' difference. Ye're no bound to remembered the few clusters of houses be a fine fellow,” said the roadside phi. that were visible here and there, one of losopher, with great calmness, 6 because them only big enough to be called a vil. ye're the laird of a bit sma' country lage, where there was “a merchant's " place shop, repository of every kind of ware, “Is it such a small place?" cried the and a blacksmith's smithý. Two or three poor young prince incognito, appalled by
! Have you
this revelation. He felt almost childishly | clared with so much certainty to be. It annoyed and mortified. His companion pleased him at least to find that they had eyed him with a cool, half-satirical gaze. character enough to have traditionary pol.
“You're maybe a friend of the young tics at all. man? Na, I'm saying nae ill of the place “ You must excuse me as a stranger," nor of him. Dalrulzian's a fine little he said, “if I don't quite know what side property, and a' in good order, thanks to you regard as the
right side.” auld Monypenny in Dunearn. Maybe His friend looked at him with a sarcasyou're from Dunearn ? It's a place that tic gaze - a look John felt which set him thinks muckle of itself; but nae doubt it down not only as devoid of ordinary intelwould seem but a poor bit town to you ligence, but of common feeling. coming from the south?”
clear to see you are not of that way of “How do you know I come from the thinking,” he said. south?” said John.
As he uttered this contemptuous ver“Oh, I ken the cut of ye fine,” said the dict they came opposite to a gate, guarded
“I'm no easy deceived. And I by a pretty thatched cottage which did daur to say you could tell us something duty for a lodge. John felt his heart give about this new laird. There's different a jump, notwithstanding the abashed yet opinions about him. Some thinks him a aiused sensation with which he felt him. lad with brains, that could be put up for self put down. It was the gate of Dalthe county and spite the earl. I've no rulzian: be remembered it as if he had great objection mysel to the earl or his left it yesterday; A woman came to the opinions, but to tak’ another man's nomi- gate and looked out, shielding her eyes nee, if he was an angel out of heaven, is with her hand from the level afternoon little credit to an enlightened constituen. sun that shone into them. cy. So there's been twa-three words. seen anything of our young master, John You'll no know if he has ony turn for Tainson?” she said. “ I'm aye thinking politics, or if he's a clever lad, or
it's him every sound I hear." “You don't seem to mind what his pol- “There's the road," said the rural poliitics are,” said the unwary young man. tician, briefly addressing John; then he
His new friend gave him another keen turned to the woman at the gate. If it's glance. “ The Erskines,” he answered no him, I reckon it's a friend. Ye had quietly, "are a' on the right side.” better pit your questions here,” he said.
Now John Erskine was aware that he “John Thomson,” said John, with some did not himself possess political opinions vague gleam of recollection. sufficiently strenuous to be acknowledged one of the farmers?” The man looked by either side. He agreed sometimes at him with angry, the woman with astonwith one party, sometimes with another, ished, eyes. which, politically speaking, is the most My freend,” said John Thomson inuntenable of all positions. And so igno- dignantly, “I wouldna wonder but you rant was he of the immediate traditions of have plenty of book-learning; but you're his family, that he could not divine which an ignorant young fop for a' that, if you
"the right side" on which the Ers- were twenty times the laird's freend." kines were sure to be. It was not a ques- John for his part was too much startled tion upon which his mother could have and amused to be angry. • Am I an informed him. As Mr. Kingsford's wife, ignorant young fop?” he said. • Well, an orthodox Church of England clergy, it is possible but why in this particular woman, she was, of course, soundly Con- case servative, and thought she hated every- “ Noo, noo,” said the woman, who left thing that called itself Liberal - which the lodge, coming forward with her hands word she devoutly believed to include all spread out, and a tone of anxious conciliakinds of radical, revolutionary, and atheis- tion. "Dear bless me! what are you tical sentiments. John himself had been bickering about? He's no a fariner, but a good Tory too when he was at Eton, he's just as decent a man – nobody better but at Oxford had veered considerably, thought of for miles about. And John running at one time into extreme opinions Tamson, I'm astonished at you! Can on the other side, then veering back, and you no let the young gentleman have his finally settling into a hopeless eclectic, joke without taking offence like this, that who by turns sympathized with every- was never meent?" body, but agreed wholly with nobody. “I like nae such jokes,” said John Still it was whimsical not even to know Tamson angrily; and he went off swing. the side on which the Erskines were deling down the road at a great pace. John
“ Are you
stood looking after him for a moment had known. It led instead up the slope greatly, perplexed. The man did not of the hill, through shrubberies which touch his hat nor the woman curtsey as were not more than copsewood in some they certainly would have done at Milton places, and under lightly arching trees Magna. He passed her mechanically not grand enough or thick enough to afwithout thinking of her, and went in at ford continuous shade. And yet it was his own gate - not thinking of that either, sweet in the brightness of the spring though it was an event in his life. This tints, the half-clothed branches relieved little occurrence had given an impulse in against that variable yet smiling sky, the another direction to his thoughts. birds in full-throated chorus, singing wel
But the woman of the lodge called after come with a hundred voices, - no nighthim. She had made a slightly surprised lingales there, but whole tribes of the objection to his entrance, which be did mavis and the merle,” north-country not notice in his preoccupation. “Sir, birds and kindly. His heart and mind sir !” she cried — "you're welcome to were touched alike with that half-pathetic walk up the avenue, which is a bonny pleasure, that mixture of vague recollecwalk; but you'll find nobody in the house. iions and forgetfulness, with which we The young laird, if it was him you was meet the half-remembered faces, and put wanting to see, is expected every minute; out our hands to meet the grasp of old but there's no signs of him as yet — and friends still faithful though scarcely he canna come now till the four o'clock known. A shadow of the childish delight train."
with which he had once explored these “Thank you. I'll walk up the avenue,” scanty yet fresh and friendly woods came said John, and then he turned back. breathing about him: “The winds came “Why did you think I was making a to me from the fields of sleep." He felt joke? and why was your friend offended himself like two people : one, a happy when I asked if he was one of the farm- boy at home, familiar with every corner; ers? - it was no insult, I hope.”
the other a man, a spectator, sympatheti"He's a very decent man, sir," said the cally excited, faltering upon the forgotten woman; " but I wouldna just take it upon way, wondering what lay round the next me to say that he was my freend.” curve of the road. It was the strangest
“That's not the question !" cried John, blending of the known and the unknown. exasperated — and he felt some gibe about But when John Erskine came suddenly, Scotch caution trembling on the tip of his as he turned the corner of that great tongue; but he remembered in time that group of ash-trees, in sight of his house, he was himself a Scot and among his own these vague sensations, which were full people, and he held that unruly member of sweetness, came to an end with a still.
sharp jar and shock of the real. Dalrul. Weel, sir," said the woman, “if ye zian was a fact of the most solid dimenwill ken but, bless me! it's easy to see sions, and dispersed in a moment all bis for yourself. The farmers about here are dreams. He felt himself come down just as well put on and mounted and a' suddenly through the magical air, with a that as you are. John Tamson ! he's a sensation of falling, with his feet upon very decent man, as good as any of them the common soil. So that was his home!
but he's just the joiner after a', and a He felt in a moment that he remembered cotter's son. He thought you were mak- it perfectly, - that there had never been ing a fool of him, and he's not a man to any illusions about it in his mind, -tbat be made a fool o'. We're no so civil-like he had known all along every line of it,
-nor maybe so humble-minded, for any every step of the gables, the number of thing I can tell - as the English, sir. the little windows, the slopes of the gray Baith the cornel and his lady used to tell roof. But it is impossible to describe the me that."
keen sense of disenchantment which went It was with a mixture of irritation and through his mind as he said this to him. amusement that Jobo pursued his way self. It was not only that the solid reality after this little encounter. And an un. dispersed his vision, but that it afforded comfortable sensation, a chill, seemed to a measure by which to judge himself and creep over his mind, and arrest his pleas. his fortunes, till now vaguely and pleas. urable expectations as he went on. The antly exaggerated in his eyes. It is selavenue was not so fine a thing as its name dom indeed that the dim image of what implied. It was not lined with noble was great and splendid to us in our childtrees, nor did it sweep across a green hood does not seem ludicrously exaggeruniverse of parks and lawns like many lie ated when we compare it with the reality.
He who had felt himself a young prince | a stranger in so unworthy an occupation. in disguise, approaching his domains in. He put down his basket and glanced at cognito, in order to enjoy at his leisure the his shirt-sleeves with confusion. “I was incense of universal interest, curiosity, expecting nobody," he said in his own deand expectation ! John Erskine blushed fence. “And wha may ye be,” he added, crimson though nobody saw him, as he " that comes into the mansion-house of stood alone at the corner of his own Dalrulzian without speering permission, avenue and recognized the mistake he or ringing a bell, or chapping at a door? had made, and his own unimportance, and John smiled at the old man's perplexity, all the folly of his simple over-estimate. but said nothing. " You'll be a friend of Fortunately, indeed, he had brought no our young master's ?” he said tentatively; body with him to share in the glories of then after an interval, in a voice with a his entry upon his kingdom. He thanked quiver in it, “ You're no meaning, sir, that heaven for that, with a gasp of horror at you're the laird himself ??? the thought of the crowning ridicule he “For want of a better,” said John, had escaped. It was quite hard enough amused in spite of himself.
" And you're to get over the first startling sensation of old Rolls. I should have known you any. reality alone.
where. Shake hands, man, and say you're And yet it was the same house upon glad to see me. It's like a house of the which the Barringtons had looked back dead.” so affectionately a few hours before “Na, sir, no such things; there's no which the county regarded with approval, death here. Lord bless us ! wha was to and which was visited by the best fam. think you would come in stealing like a ilies. It would be hard to say what its thief in the night, as the Bible says ? young master had expected, - a dream. said Rolls, aggrieved. He felt that it castle, a habitation graceful and stately, a was he who was the injured person. " It something built out of clouds, not out of was all settled how you were to be reold Scotch rubble-work and gray stone. ceived as soon as the wheels were heard It was not looking its best, it must be in the avenue, - me on the steps, and the added. The corps du logis lay in gloom, women behind, and Andrew, — the haill thrown into shade by the projecting rustic household, to wit. If there's any, want gable, upon the other side of which the of respect, it's your ain fault. And if setting sun still played; the yellowish you'll just go back to the avenue now and walls, discolored here and there by damp, give us warning, I'll cry up the women in had no light upon them to throw a ficti- a moment,” the old servant said. tious glow over their imperfections. The door stood open, showing the hall with its faded fittings, gloomy and unattractive, and, what was more, deserted, as if the house had been abandoned to dreariness
From The Spectator.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON. and decay - not so much as a dog to give some sign of life. When the young man, The great American thinker, who has rousing himself with an effort, shook off been so often compared to Carlyle, and the stupor of his disappointment and vex- who in some respects resembles, whilst ation, and went on to the open door, his in many more he is profoundly different foot on the gravel seemed to wake a hun- from him, and who has so soon followed dred unaccustomed echoes; and nobody him to the grave, will be remembered appeared. He walked in unchallenged, much longer, we believe, for the singular unwelcomed, going from room to room, insight of his literary judgments, than for finding all equally desolate. Was there that transcendental philosophy for which ever a more dismal coming home? When he was once famous. It is remarkable he reached the library, where a little fire enough that Carlyle and Emerson both was burning, this token of human life had in them that imaginative gift which quite went to the young fellow's heart. made them aim at poetry, and both that He was standing on the hearth very incapacity for rhythm or music which rengloomy, gazing wistfully at the portrait of dered their regular verses too rugged, and a gentleman in a periwig over the mantel. too much possessed with the sense of piece, when the door was pushed open, effort, to sink as verse should sink into and old Rolls appeared with his coat off the hearts of men. Carlyle's verse is like carrying a basket of wood. Rolls was as the heavy rumble of a van without springs; much startled as his master was disap- Emerson's, which now and then reaches pointed, and he was vexed to be seen by something of the sweetness of poetry,