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“ It was but t'other day that Clodpole' dined
“ With us, Papa,-he bullock’d, bull’d, and swin'd,
" And so belaboured us with 'fork and knife,'
“ I thought I should have died, upon my life.
“ And then they're so familiar-just conceive
“ How any mortal can at all behave,
“ When 'Calf head,' from his whisky, nods at me,
" And passes with a grinning Miss, how d’ye?'
«c And Jock Guidfallow's daughter curtseys low,
“ And how we all are living, begs to know !"
Thus aped Sir Frog, the bullock in the stank,
And from his brother Frog indignant shrank,
Till, ready to explode, by sheer inflation,
He learn'd, too late, to know his proper station !
The Village Wit.
ROB SHANKLAND was a light and limber bladem
Smart in his dress—a tailor to his trade ;
To him Dame Nature, in a merry hour,
Gave all the smart endowments in her
Nor grudg’d the number of her various gifts,
But graced him, like a cat, with many shifts :
Rob was a Wit, as every neighbour knew-
Yet Rob could argue long, and reason too.
On Fiddle he performed with wondrous skill,
And on the Flute he fingered better still ;
At Quoits, or Putting, he could brag the place,
And, if he ran, he always won the race.
Rob loved a wedding dearly loved a fair,
Where'er the fun was hatching, Rob was there.
His voice was queer-his very look was droll ;
Of every social club Rob was the soul-
Could ape a neighbour's manner, voice or gait;
Grind razors on the outside of a platet
With solemn, wrinkled, sacerdotal face,
Pour forth the fervour of a Highland grace ;"
Or rave you Daggerwood in “ cloud-capt towers ;"-
So vast the compass of his social powers.
Not deeply read in books or Roman lore,
Rob learned the Rudiments, but learned no more-
Had figured far through Hutton's various rules,
Read all Collections that are read in schools.
Letters of every kind he could indite,
And if the Lover could not, he could write,
Of slighted faith the anger due express-
For sweet-heart glow with sweet-heart tenderness ;
Old Aunty Kate he could assist to tell
How she her late-come groceries should sell,
To profit by the bargain. Could there be
A youth more useful, more alert than he?
* “ Fork and knife," " butter and bread," " cheese and bread," " milk and bread," et pleraque similia are Scotticisms; and, consequently, amongst what we term “well educated people,” they are sibboleths, or tests of vulgarity. The rationale upon which this peculiarity of idiom proceeds, is evidently to be traced up to the habits of that class of people who, having made use of knives and bread, and other common necessaries and conveniences of life, long ere they could make other less essential acquisitions, were disposed to place that object first in the order of colloquial arrangement, which was in fact the most rare, and therefore appeared to them the most valuable, verbum sat. · This observation might be greatly, and even grammatically, extended.
+ This feat is performed by placing a plate edge-ways under the blade of a razor-s0 as to represent a Cutler's wheel at work, accompanying this demonstration, all along, by a hissing noise, such as the action of grinding produces, through the teeth.
But customers were pressing—could not stay
They had been long put off from day to day;
They liked his wit-his talents they admired :
But these were not the qualities required.
Rob promised-broke his word-again transgressed-
Essayed to rest at home, but could not rest
Became impatient of restraint, and swore
He'd fairly kick the custom to the door
Absconded-listed-crossed the Stygian shore.
PERUVIAN MINER, slave, and beast at once,
In everlasting midnight takes his stance ;
The galley-convict, fastened to the oar,
Of ease and happiness can taste no more
The hapless victim of the fickle fair
Nor quiet hope, nor liberty must share ;
Even Tyranny will sleep upon a throne,
And Prisoners of state forget to groan ;
“ Dissenting Minister," in village placed,
By prejudice opposed, by whim caressed,
Enslaved alike by every friend or foe
This is the highest pitch of human woe.
A day was named-the choice behoved to fall
On “ Jedediah,” now a second Paul;
Of meek humility he plays the part
In all the mimicry of studied art;
Consults his hearers, smiles, and looks abroad,
Has revelations, wrestles with his God
The lingering spirit may not quit the clay,
It may not part, till Jedediah pray.
From house to house he travels full of grace,
Eats and converses, prays in every place.
But when on Sabbath hour he lifts his hands,
Comes softly down his chin and flowing bands-
His eyes up-fixed on Heaven's topmost tower,
In all the steady stretch of mystic glour-
His voice attuned to fervour's solemn whine,
The pitch inhuman, but the sugh divine,
A crowd so vast his ministrations draw,
They seek accommodation on the “ Law.”
Around his tent they squat—they groan--they sleep-
Awaked at intervals, they sigh, they weep ;
And as he coughs, * with soul alarming groan,
Again they start, again they sigh, they moan!
* God forbid that the sincerely pious, or the truly Evangelical Preacher, should misunderstand me here. The Ministers which belong to the Scottish Secession, are in general men of great moral integrity, considerable learning, and very extensive efficiency, as Bible, and consequently, as useful Preachers. Indeed, I do not know what might now become of the Mother Church without them; for though she assuredly retains a supremacy in all the great essentials of a national establishment, it must be confessed that she requires to be looked after, for she has a kind of natural infirmity about her, which strongly induces sleep; and having sunk for water, amidst the depths of worldly wisdom, her pitcher is not always stored with the most wholesome beverage, nor are her children always so ready as she would wish, to use it. But, the force of this observation, as well as the allusion to which it is attached, may be better understood by a Tale.
Mr Aiken, of illustrious record, in the county of Dumfries, and more immediately in the parish of Morton, where he officiated as clergyman some forty years ago, being, from peculiar circumstances, rather unpopular as a preacher, was led to regard the 66 Jedediahs” of his neighbourhood rather with a jealous eye. One Sabbath morning, his man-servant, John--for, in these comfortable times, wherever there was a parish
Such fervent transports may not, cannot last,
As snow in summer melts--they melt as fast.
Now Jedediah-waked to misery, finds
The galling littleness of little minds
The Elder's sage advice, “ 'tis duty calls,
“ And he must speak on whom the duty falls,
“ He is full sorry-sore alarmed of late,
“ To count the scanty offering from the plate,
“ Should this continue those who preach may feel,
“ The empty seats—in many a scanty meal!"
Amidst the vulgar, doomed his life to lead,
From starving villagers to reave his bread ;
Their eyes to brave, through every morning walk,
And live from eve to eve-the village talk-
His doctrines moulded to the varying taste ;
In vain attempts to please, his health to waste ;
To float—the barge--by every wind beset
Such is unhappy Jedediah's fate !
The Tailor's Wife.
The Tailor's wife ! avaunt, ye peaceful few;
Her voice will pierce your very temples through;
The Tailor's wife! these words, of direful sound,
Spread consternation through the village round-
Awake the drum, arouse the trumpet's blare,
And shake with dissonance the startled air.
Let asses bray-attack the swelling gong,
And pour a tempest through my maddened song!
The Tailor's wife, in wild tornado, comes !
Mute are the trumpets, silent are the drums;
On zephyr wings the eastern music floats,
And asses bray through more melodious throats.
Minister, there was likewise to be found a male-servant to saddle and unsaddle the minister's horse, to help his mistress off and on, to ride behind his master to the neigh. bouring Sacraments, to clean his boots, and officiate as gardener Well—one Sabbath morning, Mr Aiken's Man, John, for Man was the honourable and appropriate desig. nation by which this clerical appendage was known all over the parish, John, then, presented himself in his Master's presence, charged with a kind of half-suppressed, half ar. ticulated request, that he might go, that day, as every body else, except the Beddal, was going, to a " Whig” Sacrament at no great distance. Mr Aiken, who, though“ quo ad
an inefficient member, was by no means either an ignorant, or an ill-tempered Man, seemed to consider his request for a little, and then assuming a more cheerful look, replied, That, upon one condition, and upon that alone, could he bring himself to consent to John's request, and this condition was, that John should bring him home, what he termed a “note" of the sermon. When John, rather late in the Sabbath evening, had resumed his chair by the kitchen fire, the Minister, as was quite customary in these homely days came “ But” the house to receive John's report of the action sermon. This John readily agreed to give, by the aid however, as he was a “ wee dry," of a bottle of beer. This request being complied with, John proceeded immediately to groan and to cough, and to clear his throat, as if about to commence some lengthened speech. “ Go on,” said the Minister, impatient to hear what was a coming. “Go on," answered John, “why have not I been going on these five minutes past, for I am sure Jedediah in five hours gave us little thing else.” “ Bring John another bottle of beer, Peggy,” said Mr Aiken, retiring at the same time with a satisfied aspect, in which something betwixt a smile and a laugh was with difficulty suppressed. Another anecdote is recorded of this same Man John. He had been sitting for some time by “ Jedediah's tent,' Sacramental occasion above alluded to ; and the text had been some time read out, and the Minister had spoken for a considerable time at his subject, when an old Woman, who, either from a deficiency of hearing, or from absence, had not heard the text read, applied to John for information in these terms ;--whispered into his ear--" whar's his grun-whar's his grun”-“ Grun,” says John, “ he has nae grun-he's summing!" If the reader cannot apply all this, I cannot help it.
She comes ! she treads ! in all her furious sway;
The dogs run backwards to accede her way;
The solid earth, beneath her sounding feet,
With inward palpitation seems to beat.
Now, woe to thee, O less than mortal wight!
Scarce ninth-part “ Man,” in such a woeful plight,
What can avail thee now, thy wonted jeers,
That cut with all the keenness of thy shears-
Thy mirth-provoking, rage-allaying wit?-
These qualities, alas! avail thee not.
In vain thy throne of more than Turkish pride,
The sceptre Lap-board resting at thy side;
Thy primate Goose, by public zeal inspired,
Against thine enemies to fury fired;
Thy needle Ministers, of sharpest steel,
That stitch the garments of the commonweal;
Thy life-guard Prentices, that speak thy power
Avail thee nothing in this trying hour.
The storm drives onward with increasing force,
Nor may'st thou brook its brunt, nor stem its course ;
Down on thy knees, ask pardon, Snip, and tell
The sovereign sway of all-subduing "Bell ;'
And to each mated lord a lesson give,
How he in harmony and peace may live,
Avert the tear of injured pride, and prove
The unresisting tool of wedded love.
Oh, dared the poet half his mind explain,
What arts are used a husband to retain
In bondage. With what woe and wail,
What fume, fret, sulk, our fortress they assail,
How they will scold-and should we silence keep,
For very rage, how they will sob and weep
Misfortunes father on our heads, and see
With after-thought, unto futurity;
Instruct us of our danger when 'tis o'er,
Affirm they prophesied it all before ;
For God knows what, how they will threap and thraw,
Forget the subject, false conclusions draw;
Then lord it o'er us, with a mighty air,
And scarcely grant us, in our home, a chair.
Oh, dared he thus the wedded dames to brave,
What power could cover, what repentance save ;
And He who penned the treasonable lay,
Might ne'er forget it till his dying day!
The Smith's Wife.
By copious draughts, and jarring disputes fired,
From whisky-shop the reeling Smith retired ;
His wife, pre-doomed to feal a Tyrant's hand,
And dread the thunder of his harsh command,
With beating heart his tottering footsteps hears,
Whilst broken curses murmur in her ears,
Each quaking imp discerns th' approaching woe,
And feels, in every step, a coming blow.
Oh shame to manhood -blot on nature's plan,
And only in thine outward form a Man !
Shamed by the fiercest brute that roams the plain ;
The Tiger loves, and is beloved again ;
The fierce Hyæna-" fellest of the fell”.
In soft connubial amity will dwell.
She shrinks at thy approach, whose broken heart
In all thy varied fortunes bore a part ;
And even now, beneath this load of ill,
That broken-hearted woman loves thee still
Clings to the arm that strikes her-bathes thy bed
With tears for thee and for thy Infants shed.
Could I with magic art thy crime pursue,
And visit on thy head the vengeance due,
No vulture should be sent to tear thy heart,
Nor shouldst thou need to play Ixion's part,
No Christian torture rack thy writhing frame,
Nor hellish Imp pursue thee through the flame,
But, doomed to dree a long protracted life,
I'd match thee fairly with the “ Tailor's Wife !"
Oh woman! injured, basely scoffed, and scorned,
With all but immortality adorned,
Where'er thy destiny has fixed thy fate,
Or in the cottage, or the hall of state,
Thy proudest boast, than all thy charms more dear-
Is “ Patience,” in the state we picture here.
The Village Sabbath.
The Sabbath sun has mounted in the east,
But still the Villagers are sunk in rest.
This is the day of rest the slumberer knows-
A day of listless lounging and repose ;
So, to begin the duties of the day,
It best befits to sleep the morn away.
The second * bell has rung. His breakfast o'er,
“ Sam” takes his Sunday station at the door
With idle comrade idler talk sustains
Of king, or lord, or minister, complains.
Whilst many a puff-narcotic bears along
Some public grievance, or some private wrong,
Ungartered stockings--buttonless array-
In tattered uniform-proclaim the day.
Too late to dress, and far too late to shave,
Soap, time, and trouble, Sam resolves to save.
“ He care for Parson's preaching !-he can look
With more advantage on a Sunday book,
With Willison or Boston, he may see
The marrow-marked of true divinity,
E'en, standing where he stands, amidst his door-way,
Obtain from Wellwood's penó a glimpse of glory;
Of holy Ambrose, read the Gospel page,
Or, with his · Devils,' doubtful combat wage;
With Bunyan's ' Christian' journey on his road,
And reach at last the City of his God.'
Thus reasons he, whose Sabbath hours of prime
Are lost in negligence, or spent in crime.
Forth comes the Landlord of the village inn-
His breath still loaded with his breakfast gin-
On stoney settle thrown, the known retreat
Of all the Sunday stragglers of the street,
He sits, the centre of the gathering crowd,
And swears his tale, and tells his jest aloud:
“ God's curse! I cares not, or for Laird or Leddy,
I pays my rent, and always has the ready'.
When Gauger calls. It was but t'other day
I paid a good two hundred pounds away-
* In country parishes the church bell is rung thrice, at 8, 10, and 12, when the con. gregation meets.