Imatges de pÓgina


security is attended by its usual shadow, "corrody” in some abbey, and thenceforth to whose name is Low Interest. Three per have beef, and beer, and white bread, a cell, cent, with the Funds at over ninety, is but and two yearly suits of clothes, for the resipoor consideration for the giving up of all due of one's life. But peers manage matters one's substance.

otherwise now than was the rule when Capital is, indeed, a magic wand, that Hogarth etched his grim portraitures of can do nearly everything, but which it manners. There are still some coroneted needs a skilled hand to manipulate. High spendthrifts, but their nets no longer eninterest, in dazzling raiment, like a spangled close the exceedingly small fish welcome harlequin, walks the money-market hand to their great-great-grandfathers, and in hand with bad security. Many are who paid their thousand or two of hard found, not unnaturally, to run after the guineas for an annual slice of my lord's glittering impostor, and to take his tinsel rents. And though a mortgage on minor and paste jewels for genuine gold and properties is often obtainable, small estates gems. There are several South American are often so wrapped up in sheepskin, republics, certain gold-mining and railway and prior claims, and ambiguous settlecompanies, land companies, water com- ments, so bemuddled as to their title deeds, panies, the Great Laputa Joint Stock, and so hazy as to their practical value, that and the Golconda Extension, which are a lender who has nothing to throw away in always flashing their ten or fifteen per the law courts does not invariably find it cent before the eyes of clergymen with some i facile to exercise the stringent powers which pounds and more olive branches, of the Themis presumably gives him. relicts of Indian colonels, and of the gene- Great gains are often made in a quiet ral public. The temptation is cruelly al- way. Indeed, the people who have the luring. Never did silvery bait twirl more knack of absorbing, not dishonestly, the bewitchingly before a basking pike than lion's share in every bargain, are precisely does the bribe of two or three extra hun- those who would blush to find their doings dreds a year sparkle before a lady of con- noised abroad by the blatant trumpet of tracted income, with three or four ambi- fame. There are steady, church-going men tious daughters, and a brace of sons whom in England, who turn all that they touch she would like to see transformed into a into gold for their private pockets. They bishop and a major-general. She must, wrong no one, but their clear brains, their she really must, as she declares (with the strong will, and their command of cash, full consent of the chorus of daughters, give them the whip-band of those with growing old at Dullington, and eager to whom they deal. In France this is still exhibit their charms on a wider stage), sell more the case. If there be one personage out of those stupid Consols, and give notice whom our lively neighbours regard as the into leave the melancholy red-brick house, carnation of respectability, that personage and “ brighten up” with increased means. is the notary. And, if there be a choice, the So she closes her account with Britannia, provincial notary is a shade more respectable and becomes the creditor of his highness than even his jauntier brother of Paris. He the Nawab of Needleput, or helps the re- is a government officer to begin with, and, public of Santa Impecuniosa to make war therefore, his sleek head is surrounded by on its enemies, domestic and foreign. For the nimbus that belonged, till lately, in a time she gets thumping dividends. But Gaul, to every bureaucratic functionary. 1: when the insolvent rajah takes his last Then his charge is worth money.

He dram of opium, or the rebels succeed in might forfeit it if he misbehaved. Were bringing to drumhead court-martial all the he in debt he must sell it. He keeps it, legitimate authorities of the South Ameri- and is therefore solvent and well-conducted. can commonwealth, then comes a crash, He is forbidden by law to speculate with with unpaid coupons, closed shutters, and his private funds. He sits on the mar. the ruin of simple investers.

guilliers' bench at the parish church; he It is not so easy now as it was a hundred wears spotless black, and a crumpled white years back to find a sure investment to cravat of unstarched cambric; he wears bring in, say, five per cent on small terms gold-rimmed spectacles, with perhaps a

Formerly it was a common green shade as well, and in the button-hole practice to buy, on easy terms, a rent-charge of his brown great-coat there is an inch on the estate of some nobleman of great of that precious red ribbon that a Frenchlanded possessions, just as five hundred man loves to look upon. Nothing is more years ago it was fashionable to purchase a fitting than that those who have savings to

of money.

invest, and they are very many in thrifty occasional consternation, the fortunes of Gaul, should repose boundless confidence the money he had invested. It would be in the notary's advice.

found now and then to have assumed odd Notaries grow rich, as woodcocks were forms. Even loans to governments may do once supposed to grow fạt, by suction. much evil, as well as good. The cash of The labourer, whether he works in an some benevolent man, whose utmost wrath office or a field, is worthy of his hire, and against the flies would only lead him, like it is fair that the scrivener should live by the butcher's daughter described by CorMammon's 'altar. But what enriches the poral Trim, to drive them away, not to kill notary above ordinary men is the engross- them, assists somebody to set themselves ing passion of poor Frenchmen for land. up in mitrailleuses and sword-bayonets. A peasant, who hears of fields in the mar- Harmless Mrs. Grundy's savings go to ket, will give as much as a hundred pounds purchase grapeshot and Greek fire. But an acre for the freehold of sterile soil out fortunately for their own peace of mind of which it takes the toil of Hercules to investers rarely distract themselves by inmake a living. He will work persistently, quisitive speculations as to what becomes stubbornly, almost savagely, to wring every of their money when they have once put it sack of potatoes and barrel of coarse wine out at interest. out of his sandy fields and stony vineyard. To get more out of the land he sacrifices

IN THE EVENING. others besides himself. His willing wife

ALL day the wind had howled along the leas, slaves and drudges like a London cab- All day the wind had swept across the plain, horse, and changes with hideous rapidity All day on rustling grass, and waving trees, from a young to an old woman, over the All day beneath the low-hung dreary sky, daily task in all weathers. His children The dripping earth had cowered sullenly. toil more than is good for the straightening At last the wind had sobbed itself to rest, of young backs and the shapeliness of At last to weary calmness sank the storm, tender limbs, in the service of that Moloch A crimson line gleamed sudden in the west,

Where golden flecks rose wavering into form. of a farm. Up at earliest dawn, busy till A hushed revival heralded the night, dark night, scraping and haggling, pinch- And with the evening time awoke the light. ing and saving, the whole family struggle The rosy colour flushed the long grey waves ; on, spending as little as they can, making And where the old church watched the village graves, the most possible to them. But, “sic vos Wooed to a passing blush the yew-trees' frown. non vobis," might be the motto of the Bird, beast, and lower relenting nature knew, French peasantry. These poor folks prac

And one pale star rose shimmering in the blue. tise the severest self-denial, and display an

So, to a life long crushed in heavy grief,

So, to a path long darkened by despair, almost heroic courage as workers, for the The slow sad hours bring touches of relief, emolument; less of themselves, than of the Whispers of hope, and strength of trustful prayer. notary. Of the notary or of “his friend in And with the evening time there will be light!

“Tarry His leisure,” God of love and might, the city," who found the exorbitant purchase money for the meadows beside the

OLD STORIES RE-TOLD. brook, who lent wherewith to buy the cows, and the horse to replace old Quatre

THE ESCAPES OF A JACOBITE. blanes when he fell lame, and who advanced AMONG all those brave and unfortunate the portion of the married daughter estab- men who fled from Culloden, on the delished in the nearest town as a petty shop- feat of the Pretender's army, not one keeper. The interest is high, but then experienced stranger adventures than the Monsieur Deslunettes gently deplores that Chevalier de Johnstone. his invisible client exacts a large return This gentleman, the son of an Edinfor the cash lent, and money, as the pea- burgh merchant, and brother-in-law to sant very well knows, is

So Lord Rollo, had been one of the first Lowland Jacques goes home, and works furiously, gentlemen who joined the prince's stanand lives as hard as he works, under the dard, and his friend Macdonald, of Scotspur of his fierce land-hunger, and loves house, fell dead at his side at Culloden, the barren soil which he could sell, and at the very moment when the flight bewell, to-morrow, only that he prefers to came general. Motionless for a time John. toil on, and so much the better for canny, stone remained, then in hat rage discharging comfortable Monsieur Deslunettes. A very his blunderbuss and pistols at the enemy, scrupulous person, with a lively imagination, he turned to fly. He had left his servant might follow with much curiosity and with and horses on an eminence six hundred


yards behind the Highland left wing, but assured him that the whole road from Culwhen he turned to see where they were, loden to that town was covered with dead they were gone. The enemy was ad bodies, and that the streets were heaped vancing very slowly, yet still redoubling with dead, as the bridge had instantly betheir fire; he must now either run, throw come blocked. He at once resolved to acaway his life, or surrender. All at once he company the Highlander to Fort Augustus, perceived a horse without a rider, about eigbt leagues off, a place the Pretender's thirty paces distant.

The chevalier ad- army had partly destroyed some time bevanced and took hold of the bridle, when fore. They reached the fort at midnight, he found it was held by a cowardly rascal obtained, at a public-bouse, some oaten who was lying on the ground feigning bread and whisky, and hay for the horse, death. While the two were wrangling for and slept two or three hours on a bench the horse, young Finlay Cameron, one by the fire, for there were no beds in the of Lochiel's officers, came up, and John- place. Before daybreak Johnstone hurried stone begged him to reason with the obsti- on twelve miles south of the Ness, and nate fellow. Finlay, a stalwart young from thence to Ruthven, in Badenoch, Highlander, six feet high, at once pre- only two leagues from Rothiemurchus. sented his pistol, and threatening to blow To his delight the little town had become out the man's brains, made him leave the a rendezvous for the Highlanders, who horse and take to his heels. There was were eagerly waiting for the return of an no time to lose, the English were not aide-de-camp whom Lord George Murray many minutes off,

The chevalier, ex- had sent to the prince, wishing to be led hausted with wading through a marsh in to battle. But the terrible message soon his high boots, could not mount his horse. came from the Pretender, " that every one Again Finlay returned, and lifting him like must seek means of escape as well as he a child, threw him on the animal, which at could.” Johnstone then proceeded on to the same moment he struck. Then wish- Killihuntly, the nansion of Mr. Gordon, ing his friend good fortune he bounded with whom Lord and Lady Ogilvie were off, and in a moment was out of sight. then staying. There he took a good meal, Once safe in his stirrups, and out of reach after all but fasting for forty hours, and of the dreadful infantry fire, the chevalier slept eighteen hours without waking. The began naturally enough to think where he lady of the house offered him a refuge in should seek repose. He quickly resolved the mountains, surrounded by beautiful on making for the castle of Mr. Grant of glens, waterfalls, lakes, and woods; he was Rothiemurchus, which is situated in a to have a lonely hut, with plenty of food valley on the banks of the Spey. John- and books, and a little flock of seven or stone had been a frequent guest there. eight sheep to look after. The spot was Grant had taken no part in the re- only a mile from the castle, near a tront bellion, and his eldest son, a schoolfellow stream, and she promised to often take a of the chevalier, was in the service of King walk in that direction to see her shepherd. George. Moreover, when he left Rothie- The chevalier was tempted by the kind murchus, Mr. Grant had embraced the and romantic offer, but resolved to first young rebel soldier, and said :

visit Rothiemurchus, and see if he could “My dear boy, should your affairs take find means to embark to France. On an unfortunate turn, come straight to my arriving there he found the elder Grant house as a hiding-place, and I will answer had_gone to Inverness to pay court to for your safety with

the Duke of Cumberland, but

young Grant A hundred paces on the road to Rothie- advised surrender, saying Lord Balmerino murchus, Johnstone, however, saw a body had, by his advice, just given himself up. of English cavalry barring the way, so Johnstone also heard, to his indignation, he took the road to Inverness. Presently, that the cruel duke, after leaving the from an eminence, he observed that the wounded Highlanders forty hours on the bulk of the Highlanders were throwing field, had sent detachments to put to themselves in the same direction, so he re- death all who had survived the continual linquished his project, struck across the rains. fields, and got as far as possible from the Gordon of Park, and Gordon of Abachie, enemy. Making along a footpath by the two of the guests at Rothiemurchus, being banks of the river Ness, just after he had bound for Banff, where Rollo, Johnstone's heard some brisk firing northward, John- brother-in-law, was inspector of merchant stone met a Highlander from Inverness, who ships, Johnstone resolved to accompany them, and on the way slept near the moun- lands, bowed himself out, and returned tain of Cairngorm. Fond of the precious no more. Yet this very man had been stones found here (for one ruby, which cost saved from joining in the unsuccessful rehim only a crown, he had refused fifty bellion of 1715 by this same fugitive. guineas), the fugitive, much to the indig. Leaving the kind people in tears, Johnnation of his friends, spent some hours stone returned that night to the castle of with the mountain herdsmen looking for Gordon of Park. He now decided to topazes. One topaz which he found on leave the Highlands, where he knew nothis occasion he afterwards presented to body, and try, at all risks, to reach Edinthe Cardinal de York, in Paris.

burgh. “I resolved," he says, “ to consider Near Banff, a staunch Calvinist place, myself as a lost man, against whom there precantions were necessary.

The che were a thousand chances to one that he valier changed his Highland dress for would end his days on the scaffold, but in that of a stable-man, and in this disguise favour of whom there was still one chance entered the town and passed through a remaining, and I determined, therefore, to crowd of some four hundred English sol- abandon myself wholly to Providence, and diers, hardly able to restrain his rage and trust rather to accident than to any certain indignation against them for their cruelties resource, and to preserve, on all occasions, at Culloden. He sought an asylum at the the coolness and presence of mind which house of Mr. Duff, the provost of Banff, an were absolutely necessary to extricate me amiable man with two pretty daughters. The from the troublesome encounters to which morning after he arrived, as he was putting I should be exposed.” His friends did all on his rags, and sitting in an arm-chair they could to shake his resolution. They with melancholy eyes fixed on the fire, a told him the counties he had to traverse servant-girl rushed in to say that he was were full of fanatic Calvinists, who, led by undone, as the court-yard was filled with their ministers, sallied out eager to cap-. soldiers come to seize him. Now, as an ture unfortunate gentlemen escaping from ex-aide-de-camp of Lord George Murray, the Highlands. They also warned him general of the rebel army, captain in the that he had to cross two arms of the sea, Duke of Perth’s regiment, and assistant and that, without a passport, the English aide-de-camp to Prince Charles himself, cavalry patrolling the shore would be sure bis hopes of escaping the scaffold, the axe, to apprehend him. But the chevalier and the quartering knife seemed small in- was resolute, and set out, disguised in deed. Flying to the window, the chevalier rags, to visit, as his first stage, Gortherefore took a glimpse at the soldiers, and don of Kildrummy, twelve miles distant. reseated himself in atter despair, a pistol Snubbed by the servants, he there lin. in either hand ready, to use his own words, gered in the kitchen till Gordon could "to spring on the soldiers like a lion the see him privately and procure him a guide. moment they should appear.” A quarter In reaching Cortachie, a village of Lord of an hour of agony, and the door flew open. Ogilvie's, Johnstone was in much danger of Johnstone sprang forward to fire; it was meeting the minister of Glenila, who had only a beautiful girl, the daughter of the become notorious for his great zeal in arhost, out of breath, but eager to tell him resting stray rebels. “I had been cantioned that the soldiers had merely come in to settle about this man,” says Johnstone, “ but I was a quarrel by a boxing-match without their not afraid of him, for I always had with officers' knowledge, and that they had now me my English pistols loaded and trimmed, gone. The delighted wanderer may per- one in each breeches-pocket. I desired haps be forgiven on this occasion for salut- nothing so much as to fall in with him, ing the fair herald, his guardian angel, as being confident that I should have given he called her, with "a thousand tender a good account of him in an engagement kisses.”

with pistols." The chevalier, however, did A few minutes after the family had not meet the “suspecting, barbarous, and crowded in to congratulate him, the bro- cruel man,” on whom, soon after, Gordon ther-in-law arrived, cold, troubled, and of Abachie took a savage revenge. cautions. He protested friendship, seemed At Cortachie, Johnstone heard that two on thorns the whole time, and protested of his comrades were hiding in a ravine in against the possibility of procuring a Glen Prossen, and he found them at the passage, as all vessels at Banff were strictly house of a peasant named Samuel. They searched by the government. He strongly warned him strongly not to venture south, advised an immediate return to the High- | as the patrol was searching all towns and villages along the Firth of Tay. Several of have sold a dozen fugitives for the price of their friends had recently been made pri- a watch. soners. For seventeen days the three At the castle of Mr. Graham, of Dunstroon, gentlemen stayed at Samuel's house, living Johnstone obtained food and shelter till á on bread and oatmeal, and frequently boat could be hired at Broughty. Hidden in alarmed by the appearance of detachments an enclosure among some high broom, the of English cavalry. By day, Samuel's chevalier was to be feasted on beef and claret daughter, who lived at the entrance of the till a certain hour, when a gardener would glen, informed them of the movements of pass carrying a sack of corn. This man the troops; at night, when there was Johnstone was to follow till he met an old danger, the fugitives hid in the mountains, woman, who would guide him to Broughty. frequently passing hours in the open air, The old woman came and led him, in due exposed to dreadful tempests of wind and time, to a hill above Broughty, leaving him rain. One evening the faithful sentinel in- while she went to reconnoitre. As the cheformed them that the troops were unusually valier cowered down in a furrow, eight or active. They had taken Sir James Kin- ten horsemen passed, who proved to be loch, at his castle; and Mr. Ker, an aide- dragoons sent to search the village below, de-camp of Prince Charles, had just been and warn the boatmen. The old woman arrested at Forfar. Another party was returning in an agony of fear, refused, for searching for Lord Ogilvie, and had heard a long time, to enter the village again. of the retreat in Glen Prossen. It was Neither prayers nor money could move time to fly, so after holding a council, the the boatmen, but eventually the chevalier three men agreed to return the next morn- tried to coax the two pretty daughters of a ing to the Highlands. That night a strange Jacobite landlady to row him over. Unable dream altered the chevalier's resolution. to induce their lovers, the boatmen, to risk He dreamed he had escaped every danger, their lives, the brave girls at last consented, and was in Edinburgh quietly relating his and at ten o'clock at night the chevalier was escape from the scaffold to Lady Jane landed near St. Andrew's, a place he pecu. Douglas. He awoke early, tranquillised liarly dreaded. Walking all night till his by this dream, and on hearing that his com- feet were cut to the bone, the miserable panions had already set out, at once resolved, man sat down at last by a stream, praying to the horror and astonishment of Samuel, Heaven to take pity on his sufferings, and to make straight for Edinburgh.

put an end at once to his wretched existence. Full of apprehension, but still resolute He wished he had fallen at Culloden, ento push south, the chevalier set out on vied his dead comrades, and already in his horseback, with Samuel behind him, for fear saw the hangman, knife in hand, waitthe nearest ferry. On entering Forfar, a ing for him beside the gibbet. The thought peculiarly fanatical town, a panic seized of perishing before a cruel and brutal popuSamuel, who lost his senses for the time at a lace made him, indeed, almost resolve to dog beginning to bark, and tried to throw drown himself in the stream in which he himself from the horse; but the chevalier was bathing his feet. Faint and exhausted, held him tight, and, with alternate entrea- he reached St. Andrew's, however, early in ties and menace, forced him to proceed. the morning, and was stopped in the streets Once out of Forfar, Samuel regained his

cou- by people who wanted news of the rebels. rage, and promised better conduct. They The chevalier proceeded at once to the then turned the horse loose in a field, threw house of Mrs. Spence, a cousin of his, who the saddle and bridle into a draw-well, and shed a flood of tears at his rashness, for she walked on towards the ferry. Presently was a Roman Catholic; her house was a friend of Samuel's met him and began to peculiarly suspected, and the son of a neighply him with questions. Samuel told him bour had been arrested only the day before. he was going to fetch a calf, which his man She, however, at once wrote to a tenant of was going home with, while he himself hers, a farmer near the town, to lend the went on to Dundee to buy a cow. At the bearer a horse to ride to Wemyss, on businearest ale-house the two men stopping to ness connected with a law-suit, and sent a drink some beer, the chevalier had to little girl through byways to guide him wait and join in the conversation, with the out of the town. But the farmer, a staunch constant fear of being detected. This Calvinist, refused to profane the Lord's Day man, Samuel afterwards told the chevalier, by lending the horse, even if Mrs. Spence was one of the greatest knaves and cheats took the farm away; and new dangers in that part of the country, and would arose round the baffled man.


« AnteriorContinua »