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TRIALS OF TEMPER.
BY THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
" I say she is neither handsome, hometans as you have done, nor been nor comely, nor agreeable, in any one paid for so doing, by a thousand lacs respect, Mr Burton; and I cannot
help of rupees, I can nevertheless keep the considering myself as rather humbug- crown of the causeway, and look all my ged in this business. Do you account creditors in the face. Ay, and moreit nothing to bring a man of my tem- over, I can kneel before my Maker, perament a chase of three hundred sir, and entreat his blessing on myself miles on a fool's errand ?"
and others, with a clear conscience, and “My dear sir, I beg a thousand that is more than some of your Nabob pardons. But really, if you esteem sort of people can do! Miss Campbell Miss Eliza Campbell, your own rela- is too good-much too good-for you, tion as well as mine, as neither hand- sir; and I must say, that I regret exsome, beautiful, nor accomplished, ceedingly having invited you so far to why, I must say you have lost, since come and insult her-in my presence, you went abroad, every sense of dis- too, her nearest relation! I must say, tinction ; every little spark that you sir, that you had better take care not once possessed of taste and discern- to say as much again as you have said, ment in female accomplishments. else you may chance to be surprised at Why, now, I suppose, a lady, to suit the consequence.”. your taste, Doctor, must be black- “ Why certainly the devil has en as black as a coal, and well tatooed tered personally into this retailer of over the whole body ?”
gray-cloth and carpets! There, he “None of your gibes and jeers with would persuade me, that I am irrime, Mr Burton. I did not, and do table and passionate, and he the rea not, mean to give any offence; but it verse; while, in the meantime, here is well known to all your friends, and has he got into a violent rage, and chahas been known to me these thirty fing like the vexed ocean, and I as cool years, what a devil of a temper you as a summer evening in Kashmere !" have. As to my taste and discern- “ Cool ?-you cool, sir ? Why you ment in female beauty, I have seen are at this moment in a furnace of a too much of life to be directed in these passion! Wherefore else should you by a petty dealer in Galashiels gray- knock on my counter in that way? cloth, corduroy breeches, and worsted You think to intimidate me, I suppose; stockings,-ay, even though he add but you shall neither fright me out of Kilmarnock bonnets, pirnie caps, and my reasonableness nor equanimity.” mittens, to the inventory. And if « Your equanimity! St Patrick you had any degree of temper, I would save the mark! How long is it since tell you, that your niece, Miss Camp-. you were sued at law, and heavibell, is one of the worst-looking, worst- ly fined, for knocking down your conditioned middle-aged women, that shopman with the ellwand ? And I ever looked on!”
how many honest customers have you Temper! I short of temper? Why, threatened across that counter with I must say, sir, that I would not be the same infernal weapon, before
you possessed of a temper as irritable as could bring your reason to control yours, to be made owner of all the your wrath ? And when we were at shops in this street, as well as the school together, how often did the rest goods that are in them. You are a of the boys combine to banish you very nettle, sir,-a piece of brown-paper from all their games, calling you the wet with turpentine,-a barrel of gun- crabbed tailor, and pelting
you withpowder that can be ignited by one of out mercy? And what was worst of its own grains, and fly in the face of all, how often did I get my head brothe man who is trying and exerting ken in your defence ?" himself to preserve it. I am a clothier. "It is too true,-perfectly true! I do not deny it; and think no shame I remember several of the circumstanof my business. But though I have ces quite well. Give me your hand, not poisoned so many Pagans and Man my old and trusty friend, and come
and dine with me to-morrow; for my your scrutiny. You shall not meet heart warms to you when I think of them at dinner to-morrow.” our early friendship, and the days of “ I insist on meeting them at dinour youthful enjoyments."
-What! shall I not be introduced “ And well may mine warm to you, to the daughters of my best friend ?” for you assisted me out, when no other “ Your taste has become so horfriend would venture, and, I had rea- ribly sophisticated, and then you speak son to fear, put your little credit right out your sentiments so plainly, that no hardly to stake on my account. And girl is safe from insult with you. Redo you know, Burton, that when I member, my girls are not blackamoors left Scotland, and took leave of all my any more than Miss Campbell is.” friends, with much probability that it There the bad temper flies out would be for the last time, not a man again! This Miss Campbell is a sore or woman amongst them shed tears at subject. Would that I had never seen parting with me but yourself. That her!—The truth is, I must speak my simple circumstance has never been sentiments, and, with regard to her, erased from my memory, nor ever will. they are anything but those of approAnd before I left India I made a will, bation.” which is safe in the Register-Chamber “Why, sir, you're not only blind, of Fort William, and whereby, in the but utterly perverse and obstinate. event of my dying without a family, Miss Campbell is the most approved you will find yourself entitled to the beauty in Edinburgh at the present half of my fortune."
time; but she is an orphan, and has “ My dear sir, that little pecuniary no fortune—there your antipathy matter has been doubly repaid long lies! Money is your object! money, ago; and as for that part of the will money !-that is manifest. Pray, could which is deposited at Fort William, you not have got a blackarnoor, with and that devises to me, I shall do all à camel's load or two of rupees, for a in my power to render it of none effect.
spouse, and so saved the expense of Come and dine with me to-morrow.” a journey to Britain ?" “ I will, with all my heart.”
“ I will tell you what, friend-I “ That's well. And we will have have a great mind to break your head, some conversation about the exploits and so save the expense of a rope to and joys of our youthful years; for, hang you in. A piece of presumption, though much has past over our heads, indeed, to think to dictate to my tastes, as well as through our hands and our or analyze the springs of my affection hearts, since that period, still one sine and dislike!" gle reminiscence of it is like a warm
Here the clothier seized his massy blink of sunshine in a winter day. I mahogany ellwand, and his friend the have often wondered, Doctor, what it Doctor, having heard of the feats of is that makes the recollections of youth arms performed by that unlucky weaso delightful; for, as far as I remem- pon, thought proper to decamp, which ber my sensations at that time, they he did with a kind of forced laugh, were anything but desirable, my joys half in wrath at the ridiculous exhibeing transient, and wofully mingled bition the two had made. Nevertheup with vexations and sappointe less, he returned, after walking about
thirty paces, and, setting his head “ There is something in the buoy- over the half-door, said, emphatically, ancy of youthful spirits so akin to “ Now, after all, you must be sensible happiness, that the existence of the that she is very homely, vulgar, and one almost implies the presence of the disagreeable; and confoundedly affectother. The ardency of hope, the ed ?" Then, perceiving the ellwand first breathings of youthful affection, once more emerging from its dark corall render that a season to be thought ner, he made a hasty retreat, deseon with delight.—Have you not some crating, all the way, the misfortune daughters of your own, Mr Burton ?” of a bad temper.
“ I have two very amiable girls, That evening Mr Burton got a note and one of them marriageable, too; from Miss Campbell, which puzzled but, after hearing your opinion of the him a great deal; it ran thus : most accomplished young lady of the “ MY DEAR UNCLE, realm, I dare not submit them to “I am quite delighted with your friend VOL. XXIII.
Dr Brown. I expected to have met “Who dines with my uncle to-day?" an elderly gentleman, but was agreem said Miss Campbell to her cousin, Ellen ably surprised at meeting with so Burton ;-" I see you have an extra much elegance, conjoined with youth. cover set, and he seems rather in He is certainly the most engaging and the fidgets because his guest is not courteous gentleman I have
ever seen, and has already made me an offer, which “ I do not know who it is,” returnI think it would be imprudent in me ed Miss Burton ;“ he merely said that to reject. As I have inuch to say to he expected a stranger to dine with you on this subject, I will come down him to-day-some English bagman, I and see you in the coach to-morrow. suppose. We have these people fre“ Your ever affectionate niece, quently with us; but I never regard
“ Eliza CAMPBELL." them, always leaving them with my “ So, the Nabob has been hoaxing father, to consult about markets and me all this while," said the clothier bargains, as soon as dinner is over; and to himself, chuckling. He then laugh- we will leave them the same way to ed at Miss Campbell's mistake about night, and go to Mrs Innes's grand his friend's age, and slily remarked, tea party, you know.". that money was all powerful in modis “0, by all means." fying ages to suit each other. After With that the Doctor entered, and considering the matter a little more was welcomed by a hearty and kindseriously, he became suspicious that ly shake of the hand; and, leading some mistake had occurred, for he him forward, Burton said, “ This is knew it to be his friend the Doctor's my daughter Ellen, sir, and her sister disposition always to speak his senti- Jane." Of Miss Campbeh he made ments rather too freely, and, in the no mention, conceiving that she and present instance, he seemed to be quite the Doctor were well acquainted bechagrined and out of humour when fore. But either the Doctor and she ever Miss Campbell was named. The had not been acquainted before-orelse good clothier had a sincere affection the room was so dark that the Doctor for his niece, and, having a large fa. could not see distinctly, (for he was mily of his own to provide for, he was very much out of breath, which mazes anxious to see her settled in life by a the eye-sight a great deal,) - or the respectable marriage, particularly as beauty of the young ladies had dazzled she had of late begun to be noted as a him-or some unaccountable circumgreat beauty, and was toasted by the stance had occurred, for the Doctor beaux. So the clothier remained in- did not recognise Miss Campbell, nor volved in a puzzle until the next day, did the young lady take any notice of when his niece arrived ; and still from him. On the contrary, Jane Burton her he could learn nothing, but that being only a little girl, and below the all was as it should be. He asked who Doctor's notice at that time of night, introduced Dr Brown to her. It was he took the other two for the clothier's the very friend to whom the clothier daughters, and addressed them as such had written to perform that friendly all the time of dinner. The two young office. He made her describe Dr giglets being amused by the simple Brown's person and address, and, as mistake, encouraged the stranger in it, far as the clothier could see, they cor- answering to their names, and quizzing responded to a very tittle.- Very well, one another about the bagman and his thinks the clothier to himself, as I am patterns, of all which the Doctor ununcertain whether the crabbed loon derstood not one word; but the clowill come to dinner to-day or not, I thier thought it altogether a very odd will say nothing about it, and then business ; yet he carved his beef and I will see how the two are affected his chuckies, and held his peace, sufwhen they meet.
fering the girls to have out their joke, Four o'clock came, so the clothier deeming it all affectation on Miss went home to his house, and put on Campbell's part, and some strange mishis black coat and silk stockings; and conception of the Doctor's, which he then he paced up and down his little resolved to humour. snug parlour, which served as a draw- The Doctor was so polite and attening-room, with much impatience, go, tive to the young ladies, and appeared ing every five minutes up stairs to so highly delighted with them, that
60 look out at the window.
they were insensibly induced to stay
longer at table than they intended, and of temper from her that I may reckon their going away, he conducted on upon as a family endowment.” them to the door, kissed both their “ And will there be no equivalent hands, and said a number of highly on the other side ? No outbreakings flattering things to them. On again of violence, outrage, and abuse? The taking his seat, being in high spirits, Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor he said, “ Why, in the name of won- the leopard his spots; no more can der, my dear friend, should you en- he of an unruly temper sit beneath the deavour to put grist by your own mill, sway of reason. At all events, the reas the saying is? These daughters of flection on me and my family comes yours are by far the most accomplish, with a bad grace from such a firebrand ed and agreeable young ladies whom I as yourself.” have seen since my return from India. is Stop, for heaven's sake, my good The eldest is really a masterpiece, not friend, stop; let us not mar so excellent only of Nature's workmanship, but of a prospect, by sounding the jarring all that grace and good-breeding can strings of our nature together. Why, bestow."
sir, whenever a man comes within the “ I thank you kindly, sir; I was bounds of your atmosphere, he treads afraid they would be a little too fair of on phosphorus-he breathes it, and is complexion for your taste. Pray have not for a moment certain that he may you never met with that eldest one not be blown up in an electric flash. before? for it struck me that you look- Why get into such a rage at a gooded as you had been previously ac- natured joke?" quainted.”
“ It was a very ill-natured joke ; “How was it possible I could ever and I have yet to learn that you ever have seen her ? But you know a did a genuinely good-natured thing in bachelor of my years assumes a privi- your life. Even now you are all this lege with young ladies which would while playing at hide-and-seek with be widely out of place with our juniors, me-playing at some back game, that while it not unfrequently has the effect I cannot comprehend, in order to make of rendering us the greater favourites
a fool of me.
Do you wish me to tell of the two. Itis quite well known, Mr you what I think of you, sir?” Burton, what my errand to Britain is “ And pray what do I care what at this time. I have never concealed you think of me? Does it any way it from you. It is to obtain a wife; affect me what may be the opinion of and now to receive one out of your such a being as you ?-You think of family, and from your own hand, would be my highest desire; settle- “ There goes! There goes the old ments are nothing between us. These man, with all his infirmities on his shall be of your own making. Your head.” eldest daughter, the tallest I mean, is “ Who is an old man, Mr Burton ? positively the most charming woman Who is an old man full of infirmities? I ever saw. Bestow her upon me, and Old !-to your teeth, sir, you are years I am the happiest man in his Majesty's older than myself.” dominions.
“Do you know, sir, who you are “ You shall have her, Doctor--you speaking to, sir? or whose house you shall have her with all my heart; and
are in, sir?" I think I have a small document on “ Yes, I do, sir. I know very well hand to show that you can likewise whose house I am in, and whose house have her consent for the asking, if I shall soon be out of, too; and whose indeed you
have not obtained it ale house I shall never enter again as long ready.”
as I live. Do I not know all these, I will double your stock in trade, sir? What you think of me, forsooth! sir, before I leave this country, if you I have thought more of you than ever realize this promise to me. My jaunt it behoved me to have done ; and this from India beyond the Ganges is likely is the reception I have met with in reto be amply compensated. Why, the possession of such a jewel is worth ten “Now pardon me this once, Doctor, voyages round the world, and meeting and I shall never get angry with you all the lines at Musselburgh. But I'll again. I'll bear all your infirmities warrant I may expect some twitches with the patience of Job ; but you
must not leave my house in this hu- " That I think does not show much mour.”
discernment either in them or in her.” My infirmities, sir? What do you “ I beg pardon, sir ; I only meant mean by my, infirmities? And who to say that the girl saw with the same the devil is to bear with yours, sir ? I eyes as the generality of mankind, assure you it shall not be me! That which at least manifests some degree I was once obliged to you, I confess, of common sense. But it is all very and that I have long thought on you well; I see through the letter--a with the affection of a brother, I like trap to catch a badger, I suppose. As wise confess, but
to the insinuation that I made her an “ Hold there. Go no farther at pre- offer, she has made it, or dreamed it, sent until the furnace-heat of your or conceived it, of herself, one way or temper be somewhat allayed. We are other, for the deuce an offer I made to friends, and must be friends as long her of any sort whatever." as we live, notwithstanding of our Why, now, Doctor, the whole of failings. We have all much to forgive your behaviour on this occasion is to one another in this life. But you me a complete mystery ; for the young took me so short, when it was Miss lady who sat on your right hand toCampbell only that I wanted to talk day at table, is no other than the same about.”
Miss Campbell, my niece, whom you “Miss Campbell whom you wanted have been all along so undeservedly to talk about! A singular subject abusing.' truly, so immediately after the cessa- “ Are you telling the truth, Mr tion of hostilities. I tell you once for Burton ? Are you not dreaming
?-I all, Mr Burton, that I will have no- see you are telling me the truth. Why thing to do with Miss Campbell--no- then did you introduce them to me as thing to say to her; for she is abso- your daughters ?" lutely my aversion."
“ I introduced my two daughters “ It is false, sir--every word of it only, believing that you two were peris false ; for you shall have to say to fectly acquainted before." her and do with her both, and she is “ She has then been introduced to not your aversion. Nay, do not go to me in a mask. There is not a doubt get into one of your boundless fits of of it. She has spoke to me under a rage again, for out of your own mouth disguise of false form and false feawill I condemn you ; and if you deny tures, yet I thought all the while that your own words and mine, I will show I recognised the voice. And was yon you the lady's writ and signature to lovely, adorable creature, with the authe fact.”
burn hair and dark eyes, the sea“ I was not even able to say a civil maw's neck, and the swan's bosom, thing to the lady."
the same who wrote that pretty card “ You were.
You said the most about me?” civil things to her that you could in- “ The same, I assure you.” vent. You made an offer of your “ Give it me again that I may kiss hand to her, and you made the same it, and look at every elegant letter it offer to me.
contains. I have had flatterers of the “I'll fight the man either with sex, black and white, brown and yelsword or pistols who would palm such low, but never before received flattery an imposition on me.”
from such a superlative being as she The clothier made no answer to this is. Where are the ladies ? Let us go save by handing over Miss Campbell's to them and have tea, for I have an note to the astonished physician, who intense longing to look on the angel read as follows:-"• am quite de- again. How right you were in your lighted with your friend Dr Brown.' estimation of the young lady, and how Hem! Thank you, Miss Eliza Camp- grievously I was in the wrong! I bell. So is not his friend Dr Brown would now shoot any man who dared with you, I assure you. • I expected to use such language of her as I did. to have met with an elderly gentle. I would rather she had been your man, but was agreeably surprised daughter though, for sake of the days Oho! hem, hem! What is all this? of langsyne, even though she is my The girl has some sense and discern- own half-cousin by the mother's side." ment though ; for, do you know, I Never was there a more impassionam never taken for a man above thirty.” ed lover than the Doctor was with this