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lenden home? Parties of the wild whigs have been abroad, and are said to insult and disarm the well affected who travel in small numbers."
"We thank you, cousin Gilbertscleugh," said Lady Margaret; "but as we shall have the escort of my own people, I trust we have less need than others to be troublesome to our friends. Will you have the goodness to order Harrison to bring up our people somewhat more briskly? He rides them towards us as if he were leading a funeral procession."
The gentleman in attendance communicated his lady's orders to the trusty steward.
Honest Harrison had his own reasons for doubting the prudence of this command; but, once issued and received, there was a necessity for obeying it. He set off, therefore, at a hard gallop, followed by the butler, in such a military attitude as became one who had served under Montrose, and with a look of defiance, rendered sterner and fiercer by the inspiring fumes of a gill of brandy, which he had snatched a moment to bolt to the king's health, and confusion to the Covenant, during the intervals of military duty. Unhappily this potent refreshment wiped away from the tablets of his memory the necessity of paying some attention to the distresses and difficulties of his rear file, Goose Gibbie. No sooner had the horses struck a canter, than Gibbie's jackboots, which the poor boy's legs were incapable of steadying, began to play alternately against the horse's flanks, and, being armed with long rowelled spurs, overcame the patience of the animal, which bounced and plunged, while poor. Gibbie's entreaties for aid never reached the ears of the too heedless butler, being drowned partly in the concave of the steel cap in which his head was immersed, and partly in the martial tune of the gallant Graemes, which Mr. Gudyill whistled with all his power of lungs.
The upshot was, that the steed speedily took the matter into his own hands, and, having gambolled hither and thither to the great amusement of all spectators, set off at full speed towards the huge family coach already described. Gibbie's pike, escaping from its sling, had fallen to a level direction across his hands, which, I grieve to say, were seeking dishonourable safety in as strong a grasp of the mane as their muscles could manage. His casque, too, had slipped completely over his face, so that he saw as little in front as he did in rear. Indeed, if he could, it would have availed him little in the circumstances; for his horse, as if in league with the disaffected, ran full tilt towards the solemn equipage of the duke, which the projecting lance threatened to perforate from window to window, at the risk of transfixing as many in its passage as the celebrated thrust of Orlando, which, according to the Italian epic poet, broached as many Moors as a Frenchman spits frogs.
On beholding the bent of this misdirected career, a panic shout of mingled terror and wrath was set up by the whole equipage, insides and outsides at once, which had the blessed effect of averting the threatened misfortune. The capricious horse of Goose Gibbie was terrified by the noise, and, stumbling as he turned short round, kicked and plunged violently so soon as he recovered. The jack boots, the original cause of the disaster, maintaining the reputation they had acquired when worn by bettercavaliers, answered every plunge by a fresh prick of the spurs, and, by their ponderous weight, kept their place in the stirrups. Not so Goose Gibbie, who was fairly spurned out of those wide and ponderous greaves, and precipitated over the horse's head, to the infinite amusement of all the spectators. His lance and helmet had forsaken him in his fall, and, for the completion of his disgrace, Lady Margaret Bellenden, not perfectly aware that it was one of her warriors who was furnishing so much entertainment, came up in time to see her diminutive man-at-arms stripped of his lion's hide, of the buff coat, that is, in which he was muffled, Sir w. Scott.
THE YOUNG AUTHOR.
The young gentleman to whose performances this paper will be devoted, had the misfortune, in very early life, to discover that he was a genius (a piece of knowledge which most of us acquire before, and lose after, we arrive at years of discretion); and, in consequence of this discovery, he very soon began to train as a literary character. "Link by link the mail is made," appears to have been his governing motto; for he wisely determined to be great amongst little things and little people, before he made his ditmt among great ones. He accordingly commenced
his career by reading every new novel—sporting every new opinion—circulating the cant of the most common-place critics—and adopting the pet phrases of the worst periodicals. He wrote in all the albums, far and near, original verses on those original subjects, " Forget me not," and "Remember me;"—recommended books to very young ladies (kindly aiding their judgments in the discovery of fine passages) ;—quoted whole lines of Moore and half lines of Byron during the interval of a ball supper;—spoke Italian, knew a little of Spanish, and played on the German flute;—was a regular lounger at circulating libraries ;—could recognise authors by their style ;—
Had seen Sir Walter's head, Lord Byron's hat,
was the oracle of the tea-table on all tea-table subjects; and the arbitrator of all feminine disputes, respecting flowers and ribbons. The ladies (peculiarly happy in their efforts when any thing is to be spoiled) flattered him without mercy; some for his pretty face, and others for his pretty verses; whilst he, not to be outdone in folly and affectation, wrote acrostics for them, collected seals, invented mottos, drew patterns, cut out likenesses, made interest with his bookseller for the loan of the last new novel for them; and proved himself, in all points, " a most interesting young man."
These, it is true, were follies, but follies, nevertheless, which a youth of even real talent might give into for two years, and be none the worse, if at the end of those two years he discarded them for ever. But it was not so with our hero. Tired of the confined sphere in which he had hitherto moved, and the little greatnesses by which he had hitherto distinguished himself —from the bud of his former insignificance he suddenly burst forth into the glories of fullblown authorship. In an evil hour (for his publisher) he favoured the world with a small volume of amatory poems, which by no means raised his fame with that large portion of society who think that human life was intended for more important purposes than kissing and crying; and that rational beings have something else to do besides frisking like lambs, or cooing like doves. As a " young author," he would have considered it very wrong to have been reasonable, or, to use his mother's phrase, "like other people;" and he adopted, therefore, all those eccentricities and affectations by which little geniuses endeavour to make themselves appear great. He became possessed (as if by magic) of nerves and sensibilities, and " thoughts too deep for tears," and "feelings all too delicate for use," and unable, of course, to endure any society but that of persons as refined and intellectual as himself. Then came " my study;"—a repository of litter and literature, studiously disarranged for effect! Books, plays, pictures, newspapers, magazines, etc. etc. covering the table and chairs, in most elaborate confusion! Then the large massy business-like looking desk, not merely loaded, but stuffed beyond the power of shutting, with MSS.; and "my proofs" so accidentally scattered about the floor;—and letters from " my literary friends,"