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the first week, I was permitted to be her lessons soon made a deeper iman idler, Charles and Ellen Gray pression than those of her father. also relaxing in their usual studies, Still there was a monotony in my that they might contribute to my present life which was irksome, and amusement. But there was a manly many privations to which I felt it gravity about the one, a modest painful to submit. It was true, I bashfulness about the other, and the liked the company of Ellen ; but I style of speech in both was so differ- would have liked it much better had ent from all that I had heard or seen, she been less worthy of esteem, and that, even in idleness, my hours borne a greater resemblance to those seemed of interminable length. How- of her sex with whom I had formerever, there was such uniform kind. ly associated. Although I had selness displayed by every member of dom participated in the delicacies of the family, that although I might be the table, with which my brothers unhappy, it was impossible to be dis. were pampered, and although I could pleased.
endure hunger and thirst in no orWhen I began my studies, the dinary degree, yet I had learned to good minister seemed astonished at riot in the luxuries supplied by the my ignorance, but contented him- dairy-maid, and even felt a delight self with calling forth the most bril in drinking strong liquors. But liant qualifications of his own chile here, although our table was abundren in my presence. Charles, al. dantly supplied, our food was plain, though only about two years my and it required air and exercise to senior, read Latin and Greek with give it a proper relish ; our pleasures ease and fluency; he was now study- and amusements were equally simple; ing hard, preparing for College, no cards, no fowling-pieces, no dogs, and I should have looked upon him no horses, except the minister's grey as a phenomenon, bad not Ellen so poney, as staid and formal as himfar outshone me: she read English self. I had attempted to romp with with that graceful propriety which Ellen, but she burst from me, and indicated that she understood and when I repeated the freedom, she felt what she read, whether prose or left me, and came not in my sight verse ; compared with mine, her for the day. We were seldom perhand-writing was copperplate, and mitted to enter the kitchen, and on executed with a facility to which I no account to pass our time there, had no pretensions ; in arithmetic, which I considered as not one of the she was equally my superior, being lightest of my privations; for I still not only much farther advanced, but recollected the companions with in what I had learned, she put me whom I had associated, and longed to shame, for she understood prin- to enjoy a little of that ease and freeciples, while I only recollected rules: dom, both in speaking and acting, to in fact, she was a sentient, reflecting which I had long been accustoined ; being, while I was merely an auto- and although I could have wished maton. Her father rightly conjec- that Matty, the servant-maid, had tured that this would arouse my had a companion, to give a greater pride, although he did not anticipate zest to our frolics, I imagined that the consequences correctly; for I even her company would be a relief considered them so far in advance, from the restraint and dull formality that I despaired of ever overtaking which pervaded the mansion, and them, and therefore looked on the had at different times contrived to attempt as hopeless. Mr Gray was introduce myself into the kitchen. not ignorant of the human heart; he Matty was cheerful, seemed goodsaw my mortification, and took the natured, and rather pleased with my most effectual means to remove it, company, as she was generally alone. by praising my efforts, predicting my I talked freely, and she would somefuture success, and more especially times laugh at my drolleries, till one in permitting the gentle Ellen to be evening, that the minister, his wife come my teacher, while she pretend. and daughter, were out walking, and ed to be only my play-fellow; and Charles retired to study, I was left she possessed the art of making her to con over a lesson, but soon stole self agreeable in such a degree, that down to the kitchen, for the sake of hind me..
Matty's company; and as she seemed which I had once regarded my moin a pleasant mood, I began to exer- ther, but was far more equal, and cise some practical jokes, similar to less interrupted by my resentments those which I had frequently prace and angry passions. The pastor contised, to the amusement and appa- tinued to avail himself of the profi. rent satisfaction of my former asso- ciency of his own children, to stimuciates, when Matty slapped me in late me in my education ; and his the face, till the blood sprung from duty, as my preceptor, was more than its most prominent part-told me faithfully, it was fondly discharged. never to enter the kitchen again--and Charles, in the prosecution of his pushing me out, bolted the door be- studies, had little leisure for being
my companion ; but this was more I had thus been foiled in finding a than compensated by the gentle El. companion to my liking, after having len, in whose company I rambled tried every one except the cow-boy, over the valleys, and climbed the and I found him equally formal and brown hills that rose around our intractable with the others. Hence, dwelling. Nothing but the presence although every one was civil, indeed of this amiable girl could in any dekind, yet all was so different from gree have fixed my attention on the what I had ever known, that although objects to which it was directed by there was nothing of which I could her; she was a philosopher in petticomplain, all was weariness and in coats, yet so modest and unassuming, sipidity. Mr Gray, I have no doubt, that she appeared utterly unconscious saw this, and his unremitted endea of the knowledge she possessed. I vours so far succeeded in removing then thought her acquirements wonmy ennui. No effort was spared to derful, but have since found that inspire me with a love of learning; they only appeared so to my ignorand my progress, if not equal to the ance, with which she never upbraided good man's wishes, was at least com me, but was every day endeavouring mensurate to his expectations. Had to remove, by informing me of someI known how to avail myself of the thing hitherto unknown, and which, instructions now daily set before me, from her manner of introducing it, both in precept andexample, I should, had peculiar attractions. A year had in all human probability, have been passed away, and I was now not only a very different man from what I reconciled to my situation, but often now am. This was, if not the only, imagined it pleasant ; yet there was at least the best opportunity I ever a calmness and want of sensual ex, had for intellectual improvement; citement in every thing which I but I was ignorant of its value, a saw, heard, and felt, which did not giddy, unthinking fool, which I have altogether accord with the ardour of often since vainly deplored; for ale my disposition ; my former habits though, in the first years of my life, were weakened, but not eradicated; circumstances over which I had no and although, in my present situacontrol influenced my fortune, yet, tion, I might have been compared to in my after years, I must acknow the Israelites with their manna, feedledge with Cowley, that
ing on food from Heaven, had I "Tis our own wisdom moulds our state,
known how to appreciate it, yet, Our faults and virtues make our fate.
like them, I did at times long for
the flesh pots of Egypt, that is to Mrs Gray displayed a far greater say, the company of my former assodegree of maternal kindness towards ciates of both sexes. me than I had ever before experi. This vitiated appetite was gradu. enced, and I began to regard her ally weakening, when fate interposed with an affection which I had never a powerful obstruction to my refore before felt; it had some resemblance mation. The small-pox appeared in to that which I entertained for the the village in which the manse was dairy-maid, who flattered, fon lled, situate, and as I had never had that and pampered me with delicacies, disorder, I was instantly sent home but was mingled with a 'respect till the contagion should pass away. which that girl had never inspired; Although doubtful about my recepit was more like the fondness with tion from my parents, yet I had
many friends, from whom I antici a child. I felt this as an insult, for
pated a hearty welcome, and reckoned getting that my brother was older, • upon passing many delightful hours although I had my doubts if he
in their company.. I was, however, was wiser ; but David seemed to feel received with a semblance of kind- this as keenly as I did, and gave him. ness beyond my expectations, and self not a few airs on the preference complimented by both father and thus shewn to him, behaving to me, mother, that my manners and beha- even in his very best moods, with viour were now such as could be to a formal civility, far from like fra. lerated. Although this was but ne ternal feeling. In consequence of gative praise, I felt its value, and all this, before I was two weeks at endeavoured to put the best foot home, I had quarrelled with my broforemost, by exhibiting my various ther, been scolded by my mother, improvements in the most advanta- and threatened by my father; and as geous light. I had seen and talked I was too proud to attempt a reconci. with my friends below stairs, but liation with my brother, or even to found my reception from my parents make concessions to my parents, we so novel and agreeable, that I passed continued to give just cause of of. most of my time in their company. fence to each other, till I became Unfortunately for me, my brother disgusted with my situation up stairs, David, who had been at the acade- and again sought, with avidity, my my, came home at the vacation, a friends below, into whose society I few days after my arrival. Although now entered with renewed delight. his absence had been much shorter, They were overjoyed when I joined his welcome was so much warmer them, but quizzed me on my alterthan mine, that the filial affection ed style of speech and modest beha. which had just sprung up in my viour, which I began to relax daily, heart was blighted in the bud. My stay at home was nearly two When I compared my reception with months, of which two-thirds were his, the one was cold civility, and spent in the company I have just the other extravagant, doting fond. mentioned ; and before my departure, ness. When he first entered, my the groom had said, there was yet mother clasped him in her arms, and hope I would turn out a lad of spunk; kissed him; the embrace shot a and my friend, the dairy-maid, af. pang through my heart, for she had firmed I would be a dear delightful only taken my hand when I appear- devil in a few years. My brother ed before her. This partiality was and I again quarrelled, a pitched too evident not to have an effect, and battle took place, and we fought, not it certainly tended to make my eye as a trial of strength, but with irrasevil, because that of my parent's was cibility, unbecoming in men, and disgood ; making me to behold my graceful to brothers; both were brother with jealousy and dislike, bleeding when my mother saw us, and awakening the unkind feelings of and throwing herself between us, led former days, which a more prudent David away, leaving me to shift for conduct on the part of my parents myself. A court-martial was held, might have taken the present oppor but there was no evidence except tunity to annihilate. I soon felt, ourselves, and we most roundly conwith bitterness of heart, my own in- tradicted each other, so that my significance in his presence; all the father, although leaning to the side attentions of our parents were di of his first-born, did not venture to rected to him, and an infinite num- administer corporal punishment to ber of nameless trifles shewed that me. A letter arrived from Mr Gray, they had not a thought to bestow on announcing that I might return with me, except when my mother began out danger; and my mother raised to make invidious comparisons be- her hands, devoutly thanking Heaven tween us, in which I was always for the deliverance from my preexhibited as the foil, to make him sence. shine with superior lustre. My fa. When I took my departure for ther, when he walked out, often ask. Balwhinny, there was no display of ed David to accompany him, but left either filial or parental affection ; me always at home, as if I had been and I felt more regret at parting with the groom and dairy-maid than all for, to disclose the truth at once, I my relations put together. Mr Gray felt the restrictions imposed upon my had no small trouble, at my first en conduct by the worthy Mr Gray as tering under his charge, to clear the peculiarly irksome. I have already soil for the reception of the seed mentioned that I was an adept in which he wished to sow; he had, the art of dissimulation; and the however, succeeded so far, and had good man, although he perceived seen some springing up in fair pro- my errors, was not aware how deeply mise; but when I now returned, he they were rooted in the heart: I found that his work had almost to had the address to make him bebe begun de novo, for many of his lieve they were eradicated, when, in good principles had been withered, or fact, I was nursing them with secret torn up by the roots, and those that delight. My tutor had been at some remained were in a languishing state, pains to furnish my mind with geor nearly choked with luxuriant neral knowledge, and, if possible, to weeds, which shewed they had found excite in me a love for reading; and a congenial soil. The good man saw for this purpose, he supplied me with what had happened, reproved me books of voyages and travels, to be with the affection of a father rather perused as a relaxation from study. than the severity of a tutor, and set I had quick perceptions, which, when himself to the task of my reforma- I was inclined to exercise them, left tion with most unwearied assiduity. me many vacant hours. Mr Gray's The wish which I still felt to please higher studies prevented him from Ellen Gray produced wonderful ef- making the discovery of how my fects, and I was again improving, leisure time was employed ; and he when she was sent to Aberdeen for often relied on my own report of the sake of her education ; Charles having been walking, of which he went to College, and I was left approved, as necessary for my health. without a companion.
But I deceived him ; for much of - Whatever might be the minister's that leisure was spent in the comfeelings towards me, the more im- pany of Hugh Todd, who, to the portant duties of his office prevented Occupation of making graves, added him from associating with me except that of cutting monumental stones at regular and stated periods; and, for those previously made; and when unless when engaged in my lessons, not in the village ale-house, I was I was entirely without society, a most generally to be found at one state most unsuitable to the vivacity or other of these kindred employof my disposition. In this seques- ments. I have stood beside him tered situation, I formed an acquain- digging a grave, and not only heard tance with Hugh Todd, the sexton him whistling, but venting vile and and grave-digger. He was (if I may indecent jests, either upon those be permitted to employ the ana. whose bones he threw up, or those chronism) the prototype of the sex who were to occupy the silent chamton in Blair's Grave: so close was ber which he was preparing. When the resemblance, that, had the pastor cutting grave-stones, he would enof Athelstoneford really intended to tertain me with vile, profane, and pourtray Hugh Todd's character, it obscene parodies, on the epitaphs he could not bave been done in terms was inscribing ; yet, so well did he more strictly true, or more appro- disguise all this, that Mr Gray was priate language, for he was, in fact, ignorant of his real character, and an old hoary debauchee, but with merely imagined him a cheerful old no inconsiderable share of low hu- man. mour, or rather vulgar drollery, In the third year of my residence which, however, too often degenera- at Balwhinny, I got a companion, ted into buffoonery, profaneness, and a fellow-boarder, Hector Jarvis, a obscenity. In my present scarcity of West Indian. He was in his sixassociates, one with fewer attractions teenth year, twelve of which had would have been welcome ; but after been passed in Jamaica, but his faa short acquaintance, I found him an ther having purchased a small esacquisition which I would have hail. tate, about thirty miles from Baled with delight in my happier days; whinny, sent the son to Mr Gray, VOL. XV.
to prepare bim for the University. and superstitious, one day, when Mr Hector was tall, and stout made ; in and Mrs Gray were from home, I arappearance a man, but, for lack of ranged with Hector, in her hearing, a better, made me his companion. to go a-fishing, and we departed acI soon discovered, that, compared cordingly. Matty was in the garden, with him, I sunk into insignifi. and saw us set out; but turning a cance My address, which some corner, I entered the house unobthought approached to impudence, served, secreting myself in a closet compared with Hector's was mere adjoining to the kitchen, through awkward bashfulness ; my courage which I had observed the bell-wire seemed cowardice; my liveliest sal. to pass ; and from a cranny in the lies of wit and freedoms of speech door, I could see all that passed in downright modesty. The blood in the kitchen. As the day was calm his veins seemed still to partake of and still, and the garden quite near, the fervours of a tropical sun, Trung the bell violently. Matty enwhich appeared also to influence tered, apparently in great alarm. every feeling and passion of his mind. Running over the house, and finding In scholastic education, he was near- no person within, her agitation was ly on a par with myself ; but in the increased. While she sat staring wildindulgence of the passions, and ly around her, I gave the wire a sudwhat he termed a knowledge of the den jerk, that made her spring from world, he left me at an immeasure the chair with a loud scream. Before able distance behind him, although she had in any degree recovered, I with a most eager desire to follow. attempted to imitate the tolling of the I had hitherto considered myself church-bell at a funeral, till her hor. as only a boy, but he taught me, ror became so excessive, that she ran what I was very willing to be out of the house; and I embraced the lieve, and now imagined myself a opportunity of slipping out by a man. I need not be more explicit. back-door, and soon made my escape
Through me he soon became inti- in such a way as to avoid the posmate with the sexton, and we made sibility of detection. Returning a. such a trio, that had Mr Gray known bout two hours after, accompanied our conduct, every one of us would by Hector, we found Matty in bed, have been expelled from his pre- and attended by a bevy of village masence for ever. I continued, how trons, whom she would not permit ever, to give application to my stu- to leave her till the return of her dies, and was assured by my teacher, master and mistress. that, by assiduity, I might be ready No effort of the minister could to enter the College with Hector. reason the affrighted girl out of the My wish had been for a military fixed belief of what she had so distinctlife ; but I was ignorant of my fa- ly heard ; and as there was no other ther's intentions respecting my fu- evidenceto corroborate her assertions, ture destination. However, I could the good man persuaded himself that not now think, without regret, of it must have been some illusion of parting from Hector, for he had the senses; but she positively refused taught me much which was agree to sleep alone, and they were under able to the early habits I had ace the necessity of procuring a girl from quired; he had found me an apt the village for her nightly compascholar, and having always a com, nion. This trick was attended with mand of money, by the aid of Hugh more serious consequences than I Todd we soon discovered haunts of had wished or anticipated, for the pleasure, scarcely to be expected; poor girl's mind had received such a and, I still hope, rarely to be found shock, that she became hysterical, to in a country village.
which hapless disease I understand I had indulged resentful feelings she continued subject for life. against Matty, ever since she had Another of my pranks at the expelled me from the kitchen vi et manse produced a more laughable armis, and my invention had been result. Joseph Dickson, a newly-liracked for a scheme of revenge. At censed probationer, came to reside last I hit upon a plan. Having dis- for some time at the manse of Balcovered that she was very credulous whinny; he was an affected puppy,