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The fading ingle urged into a blaze,
Rest to thy spirit “ Archy”—peaceful rest
NOTES TO ARCHY TAIT. As these stories of our forefathers, are now gradually dying away, and in a few years will in all probability entirely vanish from the creed of our peasantry, it may be as amusing, to those who consider the study of the human mind under any peculiarity of impression, as interesting, to be put in possession of a specimen of those superstitious legends, with which the memory, or rather the imagination of many an Archy, about forty years ago, was stored.
“ His lonesome travels through the trackless moss." “I was daundering,” said Archy, “ae misty morning, just atween day and the sun, thro' Gilchristland moss, and ay as I gaed on, the moss seemed to spin round, and stacks to grow out o' the heather knowes before me. At last, I threw mysel down, just in a fit o' desperation, belly-flaught, on a dry tuft of ling, when-Guid shall be my witness a pot o' fine yellow goud guineas lay peeping through the tod-tails, straught under my
The foul Thief, thinks I, has een a plot upon aul' Archy, but he'll cheat him, if he can ; so down goes my guid aik stick into the saft peat flow, and off I sets for ḥame as fast as my feet could carry me. But rest I could na, and rest I did na, till, with the aul clasped Bible in my hand, I wized away west, to see what was become of the stalf and the poze, I had left behind me,
and just as I set my nose o'er the Hird knowe, a wee aboon Deansyett, ye ken, and was beginning to clear my een frae the dew draps, for it was a dawky morning-what was to be seen d'ye think, no my single kent sticking in the mud whar I left it, but a hale regiment o' guid aik cudgels, every ane o' them as like my ane, as ae choup is like to anither. I trow I did na let ony grass grow to my heels till I was fairly housed and seated on the bink ayont the fire--and frae that day to this, my guid aik cleeky has never been mair heard tell o'.”
“ His hair-breadth accidents, adventures cross." When I was a halflins Laddie, hirding the Guidman o' Auchincairns stirks, (Archy lo. quitur et loquetur,) I mind it just as well as if it war nae farer gaen than yestreen-me and ane o'the Servan-lasses and a bonny bit fodgel red cheekit Gawky it was used to milk the Kye, like, every night regularly, about eight o'clock-weel, as I am telling ye, I was just puing away a calf, that was a wee thing countermacious, and I'll no deny it, for I was a wee hailikit mysel' in these days, gieing Jenny a bit pooss in the bye gaun, no thinking o' ony ill eitherin Guid shall be my protection ; as I thought I heard a queer unearthly greet coming down the shank, and wizing ay nearer, and nearer to the byre door. OdļI thought I should have swarfed wi' down right fear, and Jenny, silly thing, was neither to bin' nor to'haud, but out o' a' reason, rinning up and down the groupe, like a creature clean dementit. The very Kye shook at the stake, and the bits o' calfs, poor elfs, war like to rout their end: weel close to the door cheek to be certain, it comes and sic an' a fear. fue skerling as it set up, as gin it had been an aul body a' pued to pieces wi' pincers. There was no way o' escape, but by the byre door, whar the awsome creature was standing centry, an' the wee bit can'le doup was nearly burn't out, Jenny had lost a' reason, and had taken to the twenty-third psalm, an' I had said the Lord's prayer twice o'er without ony effect. There was nae time to be lost, for the very rafters aboon our heads war dirling wi' the skirl, sae down I pu's Jenny's Kirk Bible, that, as Providence had ordered it, was lying on the byre wa' head, the guid places war a' marked wi' rose leaves, which Jenny used whiles to smell atlet nae servan' lass ever be without a Bible and bethinking mysel' o' the power o' the word, in the guid aul times-n' saining mysel' some twa score o' times o'er wi' the open word turned towards the door, out I flew, like an' arrow out of a bow, an' out came “ avoid ye Satan,” in the very teeth o' the enemy. But I trow well, frae that day to this, we never heard mair o' the “ greeting Boggle.”
“ Of ghostly visions on his mighty road.” Let naebody ever try to play tricks wi' the foul thief, for he's ay sure, ae way or įther, to get the better oʻthem at last. It was a tempting o' Providence, and a provoking o' Satan, but what wad ye hae o’a young foolish laddie, nae twa-an'-thretty at the time?
supper-time, just to visit his Joe like ; sae naething wad sair me, but I wad gie him a fright, and dressing mysel' in a bottomless sack, and rubbing my hands and face against the sides of the muckle broth pot, off I sets for the gray stane anist the town-cleugh. Weel, it was a clear moon-light night, but yet I canna say but I felt a wee eerie, I was but halflins satisfied wi' my errand-down, howsomever, I claps upon the apron o' the grey-stane, and keeps my e'e ay wast o'er, on the look-out for Willy—but whenever I thought I saw him coming, it turned out to be either a heather-cow or a rash-bush. I had glowered till my very e’e strings war' crampit and was just casting a look about me in a careless way, when plump upon the grimmed face and sheeted body of a brother ghost, closely seated by my elbow, my e'en cam' down. It sat a wee still, an' spak na~I thought the grey whin was gaun frae below me--it shook like a wabron-leaf I had nae power either to speak or to move; it was just like a night-mare. At length, as if to relieve me from the awfū’ horrors of silence, and to claim a kind o’ friendly connection (the Lord be wi' us!) wi' poor Archy, it whispered in my ear these words, which I canna forget :
“ Ye're come to fley, and a’m come to fley;
“ We'll sit the-giddy, we'll sit the-giddy: They may sit- here that likes their company, thinks I, (for by this time I had come a wee to mysel') but I'll sit nae langer than I can help-sae, flinging aff the aul' sack, and putting my soul and body into the keeping o' the Most Hee, I was o'er the muir ere ever ye could have said “ Jack Robison.” * Next day the sack was found on the spot, a' torn to pieces" the Lord be wi' us !"
Of voices bursting from the darksome glen.” It was rather late on a har’st night, as I was coming hame frae Croalchapel, up by the Nether Pothouse, and just snooving awa' alang the woods o' Loch-dunton, whar the aul Pyot bigs her nest--ye ken, a wee aboon the black charcoal pit and there was neither moon nor stars-naething but a flaught o'fire every now and than, to keep the road bywhen, just at the root o' the pyet-tree, and no a stane-cast frae whar I stood, I hears an awsome groaning, and sighing, and maening, as if some puir frail failt body had been gasping its last. Help, poor fallow, after snouking a wee about the roots o' the hazel bushes, comes back to me yowling, wi' his tail atween his feetman' out frae amang mine nae power on earth could stir him. Yea, yea, thinks I, the aul' boy has e'en taen up his quarters in a charcoal pit the night, an' its no for nought that the glaed whistles-but, thro' the strength o' Guid, I'll set him at defiance. Sae up I gaes, firm and fearless, till I sees the figure of an aul' man in a Kilmarnock night-cap, wi' a grey-looking doublet rocking an' rowing back and forit, to and fro, under the scoug o' a hazel bush. “ Ye're unco sair forfouchen, man,” says l_(for its safer ay to hae the first word o' ought ill) “ what's the matter wi' ye? that's no a guid bed for a sick body, in the how-dumb-dead o' a caul' har’st night." It took nae mair notice o' me than gin I had been the aul' Pyot jarking.” “ A weel,” says I, “ I sall neither mak' nor meddle wi' ye mair, but leave ye to the care o' him wha taks tent o' deil as weel as body.” I had na weel said the word, whan I thought I was dung blin' wi’ a splutter o' fire, an' up the Pothouse-linn gaed the most awfu' yelloch I ever heard afore or sinsyne. They're a' weel keepit that God keeps,
“ Of tumbling amries, and of headless men.” Whether the word Amrie, applied in the south of Scotland, the true Saxon district, to that large square press, which being placed immediately under the dresser, forms a ready and convenient receptacle for broken meat, meal basin, with a long et cetera of odds and ends--has any connection with the “amus,” or alms, we presume not (Jamiesone vivente) to determine. It is sufficient for our present purpose, to have made our readers conceive of this object, as large and shapeless.
“ As I was coming down by the chaise craig, ('125 QRTO PAYTIS BLUYW) and wearing awa' by staffy-biggam, alang Maxwell's cruik, ye understand, just as I had crossed the ford, and was drawing my plaid up o'er my shoulders. The night was fearfu' dark, and rainy, what does I meet, wot ye, but a coach and six driving furiously down the very face o' the scaur. The coach was a' set round about wi' black lamps, an' something looked out of it like a muckle black cat, just ready to jump out o' an“ amrie” door. But ere I had breath “ His presence be about us,”—
,” The vision had vanished, an' I could hear, for see I couldna, the muckle amrie-stenning an' o'erenning down the brae, a' the way to the Mar-burn, whar' it fizzed in the water like a red hot gad o' airn, preserve us a !”
“ Of sheeted ghosts, and death-foreboding specks."'. Aye, Sirs, my sister Jeanie's death was a sair blow to me-in spite o'a'the medicines I could apply-and I spared neither Tartar nor Black Apple, she boud to die, her wierboud to be dried, an' it fell to my care to see her straughted, an' decently laid in her cof. fin. It was a sad sight an'a sair ane--but that was na' the warst o't after a', for the coffin at a sharp turn in the planting wiest off the spakes, an' the lid was fairly broken up, I saw my ain sister's face wi' the dead claes o'er't, My poor Jeanie was buried at last, an hame I comes in the afternoon, an' down I sits in my lanely bield, by the ingle-cheek, it was a cauld hearth, an'a dowy seat atweel. There was the chair she used to sit on, There
Dit was the Cutty still lying on the Hud, wi' the embers o' the last blast she drew stick. è ing in the throat o't-every thing seemed to speak o' Jeanie. The shoon standing wi' the
heels down by her bed-side, and the very cat, that rubbit itsel' contentedly on her apron tail, whan she was drawing out a thread o' sale yarn. An' tho' her an' I war often no that great friends whan she was living, for she had an awful tongue whiles, an' was nae ways sparing o't, I was unco wae atweel, now that Jeanie was housed in the caul yerd, an' me sitting by a bien pantry, and a warm Greishoch.-So out I stavers, for rest I could na' within.-It was like no using Jeanie weel, to enjoy ony o’ this warl's comforts, and her sae lanely an'sae comfortless, beneath the drap o' an' auld ash tree. The sun was gaen down, an' I could hear the sugh o' the brumbling pool -ske down I claps close by the side o't, just to doze a wee, for I was a kind o'stupid...But oh my bairns, may nane o' you ever ken my ken, that fearfu' hour, for as sure as my name's Archy, did my sister Jeanie rise out o' the black belling water, an' try to clasp me in her arms. I gat but ae glisk o’ the apparition, till it raise high up in the air, an' gaed aff wi' the flap an' the scream of “a Lang Neckit Heron.”-The Lord be wi' the just, an' keep them a' in their graves till the resurrection !!!
“Of nightly rap, eluding sick man's ear.” I remember weel, my mother, honest woman, wha' was never in her life blamed for a leeing and she had been sitting up ae winter night wi' the auld Guidman o' Gilchristit land, auld Crairie-ye kon-wha wore ay the red nightcap, an' prayed sae loud an'
sae lang on the Quarrie Knowe; an' if he binna weel now, mony a ane may be feart, that's a sure thing
;--a weel, as I was telling ye, the Guidman was a wee easiera the family had gane to rest the doors war a' shut, and the dogs a' sleeping. My mother had laid down “ th' Afflicted Man's Companion,” with which she had read the Guidman into a sort o' dover, and had thrown hersel? back just for a gliffy, to tak’ a nap, in the easy chair when skelp goes the mid-door, as if it had been fairly riven in twa, before her een. She visited the kitchen ; she peeped into the pantry-door; there was not even a mouse stirring. The Guidman died nine wecks after, nae doubt it was a warning: }
Of coffins hammered at the noon of night." * 1.: There is a Wright or Carpenter, .still living, with whom the author of these sketches has conversed, and who has assured him in perfect sincerity, that in his earlier days, site and when he was first apprenticed to the trade, his master was wont to waken him in
the night-time, that he might mark the hammering in the work-shop-adjoining---nor did the augured event, ever of course, fail to foilow!
“ To punish her who tasted. Brownie's broze.?” Brownie, in more recent times, (and for his earlier history and character, consult King James's VI. Dæmonologie, page 126, the splendid edition 1616, by the Bishop of Winton,) was pretty generally supposed to take up his residence, during the day, in what the farmer termed his peat garret, immediately over, and in full view of the kitchen, from which commanding station, the immemorial resider.ce of undisturbed vermin, he sent down his black messengers of admonition in the shape and substance of peat clods, upon the heads of such “servan-lassies," as seemed disposed to negligence or indiscretion. His presence, even, when not thus attested, was, at times, indicated, by the selfrocking of a cradle, or by the continued, and pendulum measured motion, from “ wig to wa”-of the slack rope which generally crossed the farmer's ha', and over which were
flung, in wide spreading suspense, all the loose suspendibles of the family, such as sheepin skins, worsted aprons, stockings, hoshings, &c. One day, according to the record of
veritable tradition, a maid-servant, who had been in the habit of preparing, and serving up brownie's morning repast, (he being at this time very intent upon a threshing job, in
the barn), whether, from mere curiosity, or from a desire (like Sancho's jesters) to please * his guest, is not fully ascertained, inadvertently put the spoon, which had been used in
stirring the broze, to her lips, whereupon Brownie, who did not seem altogether to relish is this mark of attention, proceeded in the coolest and most civil manner imaginable, to
toss her backwards and forwards, like a flying shuttlecock, over one of the barn-bawks, repeating, at every toss he made, this short monitory speech.
" I'll learn you to sup brou nie's broze." VOL. VIII.
REMARKS ON CAPTAIN BROWN'S LETTER TO THE LORD PROVOST OF
tivity of those splenetic agitators, in I AM sensible, that you may at first whose hands the business now seems sight be apt to consider the subject on likely to outlive weeks and months which I am about to address you, as enough of idle declaration and stupiil one quite unfitted for occupying any clamour, might perhaps have been space in the pages of your journal; less offensively engaged on matters and yet, I hope, that when you have more distant, and, in appearance at looked over what I now send, you least, more dignified. will not be hasty in refusing it ad The public, it appears to me, are mission. The truth is, that at the very much obliged to the gentleworst you yourself can scarcely feel men, who, in the beginning of this more averse to the discussion of the year, directed their attention to the subject, than I myself should have affairs of the Edinburgh Police-and done some few days ago; but, acci- nothing can possibly be in worse taste, dent having led me to read Captain than to question the purity of the Brown's letter to the Provost, the motives which first engaged them in statements therein made induced me to that necessary inquiry. The result of look further into the matter-and the their research, has unquestionably result of the whole of the attention I been beneficial to the public; and have been able to bestow on it, has this being the case, they are not albeen such, that. I feel very anxious to together without excuse, even though submit it to your judgment, and that it should be thought, that they of your Edinburgh Readers. There have in the end allowed themis no question that there exists at this selves to carry the matter by much moment, in our city, a very considera- too far, and to persist in looking with ble degree of popular ferment, in re- uncharitable eyes on persons not less gard to the affairs of the Police Esta- free than themselves from any serious blishment; that this ferment arose and intentional offences against the altogether without cause, no one who public interest. There cannot be the has any knowledge of the matter can smallest reason to doubt, that the inventure to assert; but that it is now tentions of almost all who have interkept up absurdly, and that the popu. fered in this business, have been, and lar feeling is egregiously misdirected, are, perfectly fair and honest. On the I think it is quite as impossible for other hand, there would seem ex facie any impartial person to entertain the -I say no more to be good reason smallest doubt. It appears to me, for suspecting, that all these persons however, that the reluctance exhibited cannot stand quite so pure as might by some of Captain Brown's defenders, be wished in foro conscientiæ; that in to admit the extent of abuse and particular, the hostility of a few to indiscretion, actually discovered to Captain Brown, has not altogether have existed, within very few rested, and does not rest on public months, in the management of the grounds alone, but rather in feelings establishment with which that gentle. of a nature entirely personal to themman is connected, may not unfairly be selves; that these few have been, and numbered among the chief causes, are, the most active in keeping alive both of this absurd prolongation and the popular ferment—that chiefly misdirection of the popular jealousy. through them, the passions of many They would have acted more wisely men have come to be excessively and for themselves, and in truth, more ridiculously heated, in regard to a kindly towards Captain Brown, had subject which has never engaged any they shewn more willingness to per- quiet attention of their understandings; ceive and punish the evils that did and finally, that they can have no exist in this establishment. Had they reason to complain, if their own bedone so, they might have exerted haviour be in turn scrutinized with themselves without exciting so much some portion of the same severity, general suspicion, in separating his which they have so cruelly lavished personal cause from that of his esta on that of Captain Brown. And yet, blishment-while the mischievous ac I cannot think, but that in the letter
* Printed for Archibald Constable & Company, Edinburgh.
just addressed by that officer to the these persons had been acting thus,
Lord Provost, there is a great deal too it might, nevertheless, be thought Et much of all this This letter is, in very possible, that Captain Brown had ni my opinion, a clear and convincing been in the wrong; but undoubtedly, er performance, and cannot fail to do accusations resting principally on the de him great service in the eyes of the authority of persons so acting, would * public; but I must say, there is be examined by the Public with a as throughout a considerable lack of mo very peculiar degree of jealousy. I
desty in the attitude he assumes; and am sorry to say, that from the state
that, defence being his sole legitimate inent of facts given in the Captain's en object, he has dealt more blows and letter, there seems to be particular
severer, than I conceive to have been reason for suspecting that Mr Thomas mai justifiable, to say nothing of becoming. Allan, (the only person mentioned as
I have no fault to find with the taking a lead in the proceedings against di statements which have been made Brown, whose name is likely to carry
on the contrary, I think it was abso- the smallest authority along with it),
lutely necessary that they should be has really suffered himself to be inde made; but I do think, they might Auenced by motives of this descrip .
have appeared in many shapes of less tion; and most unquestionably, if questionable propriety than that of a the statements, so well calculated to letter from Captain Brown to the Lord convey this impression, be in any way Provost--a person accused (however incorrect, it is most imperative on Mr
unjustly), and acquitted (however Allan to contradict them, not by the properly), to one of the judges before anonymous paragraphs in a
whom he had been accused, and by paper, but boldly and distinctly in his whose sentence his acquittal had been own person and name. pronounced.
1. Captain Brown, in the first place, I have no intention of entering at mentions, that the newspaper, of all into the particulars of Captain
which Mr Allan is editor, (the CaleBrown's case; for I think no one can donian Mercury), began to animadin conscience think himself entitled vert with extraordinary severity on to avow any opinion concerning its the management of the police of Édinmerits, without having at least done burgh," after a complaint had been Captain Brown the justice to read the preferred against Mr Allan himself, full and elaborate statement of this by Captain Brown in the discharge of letter--a statement to which I suspect
his official duty." no one, any more than myself, can 2. He asserts that fictitious anecoffer
any considerable addition. But dotes, tending to bring the establishI trust you will pardon me for direct ment into disrepute, were, after this ing your attention very briefly to period, inserted in great numbers in one or two circumstances which ought this newspaper-and that a formal to be particularly had in mind by censure was passed on these newsthose who have allowed themselves to paper-reports by the Sheriff of the take up any portion of the popular county, and some other Magistrates. prejudice against this officer-and In proof of this, he recites various have ventured in any shape to express anecdotes, which your readers will extheir dissent from the judgment al- amine; and in other Edinburgh ready pronounced concerning him by newspapers we must all have seen the only legal and competent Tribu- many more tending strongly the same nal. These are,
way. I. The great number of facts 3. He accuses Mr Allan of taking brought forward in the letter to the many unfair advantages of his situaLord Provost, which tend to shew tion, as editor of this paper, to inflame that the persons most active in all the public mind against him, (Captain the steps of procedure, anti-judicial Brown,) pending the investigation and post-judicial, against Captain instituted concerning the police estaBrown, have been acting under the blishment, before the court of commisinfluence of private feelings that sioners-of which court Mr Allan was they have in short been acting in this an active member. He complains very matter as his enemies, not as the disa much of Mr Allan's conduct in fur. interested friends of the Public. If it nishing his newspaper with any accould be completely established, that counts at all of the proceedings of a