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The ayrshire legatees


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TheAyrshireLegatees


CHAPTERI—THEDEPARTURE
OnNewYear’sdayDr.PringlereceivedaletterfromIndia,informinghimthat
hiscousin,ColonelArmour,haddiedatHydrabad,andlefthimhisresiduary
legatee.Thesamepostbroughtotherlettersonthesamesubjectfromtheagent
ofthedeceasedinLondon,bywhichitwasevidenttothewholefamilythatno
timeshouldbelostinlookingaftertheirinterestsinthehandsofsuchbriefand
abruptcorrespondents.“Tosaytheleastofit,”astheDoctorhimselfsedately
remarked,“consideringthegreatnessoftheforthcomingproperty,Messieurs
RichardArgentandCompany,ofNewBroadStreet,mighthavegivenanotion
astotheparticularsoftheresidue.”Itwasthereforedeterminedthat,assoonas
therequisitearrangementscouldbemade,theDoctorandMrs.Pringleshould
setoutforthemetropolis,toobtainaspeedysettlementwiththeagents,and,as
Rachelhadnow,touseanexpressionofhermother’s,“aprospectbeforeher,”
thatshealsoshouldaccompanythem:Andrew,whohadjustbeencalledtothe
Bar,andwhohadcometothemansetospendafewdaysafterattainingthat
distinction,modestlysuggested,that,consideringthevariousprofessionalpoints
whichmightbeinvolvedintheobjectsofhisfather’sjourney,andconsidering
alsotheretiredlifewhichhisfatherhadledintheruralvillageofGarnock,it
mightbeofimportancetohavetheadvantageoflegaladvice.
Mrs.Pringleinterruptedthisharangue,bysaying,“Weseewhatyouwouldbeat,
Andrew;ye’rejustwantingtocomewithus,andonthisoccasionI’mnofor
makingstep-bairns,sowe’lla’gangthegither.”
TheDoctorhadbeenformanyyearstheincumbentofGarnock,whichis
pleasantlysituatedbetweenIrvineandKilwinning,and,onaccountofthe
benevolenceofhisdisposition,wasmuchbelovedbyhisparishioners.Someof
thepawkieamongthemusedindeedtosay,inanswertothegodlyof
Kilmarnock,andotheradmirersofthelategreatJohnRussel,ofthatformerly
orthodoxtown,bywhomDr.
Pringle’spowersasapreacherwereheldinnoparticularestimation,—“Hekens
ourpu’pit’sfrail,andspar’sttosaveoutlaytotheheritors.”AsforMrs.Pringle,
thereisnotsuchanotherminister’swife,bothforeconomyandmanagement,
withinthejurisdictionoftheSynodofGlasgowandAyr,andtothisfactthe
followinglettertoMissMallyGlencairn,amaidenladyresidingintheKirkgate
ofIrvine,astreetthathasbeenlikeneduntotheKingdomofHeaven,where


thereisneithermarriagenorgivinginmarriage,willabundantlytestify.
LETTERI
Mrs.PringletoMissMallyGlencairn—GARNOCKMANSE.
DearMissMally—TheDoctorhashadextraordinarnewsfromIndiaand
London,whereweareallgoing,assoonasmeandRachelcangetourselvesin
order,soIbegyouwillgotoBailieDelap’sshop,andgetswatchesofhisbest
blackbombaseen,andcrape,andmuslin,andbringthemovertothemansethe
morn’smorning.Ifyoucannotcomeyourself,andthedayshouldbewat,send
NannyEydent,themantua-maker,withthem;you’llbesuretosendNanny,
onyhow,andIrequeeshtthat,onthisokasion,ye’llgettheverybesttheBailie
has,andI’lltellyouallaboutitwhenyoucome.Youwillget,likewise,swatches
ofmourningprint,withthelowestprices.I’llnobesoparticularaboutthem,as
theyarefortheservanlasses,andthere’snoneed,forallthegreatnessofGod’s
gifts,thatweshouldbewasterful.LetMrs.Glibbansknow,thattheDoctor’s
secondcousin,thecolonel,thatwasintheEastIndies,isnomore;—Iamsure
shewillsympatheesewithourlossonthismelancholyokasion.Tellher,asI’ll
nobeouttillourmourningsaremade,Iwouldtakeitkindifshewouldcome
overandeateabitofdinneronSunday.TheDoctorwillnopreachhimself,but
there’stobeanexcellentyoungman,anacquaintanceofAndrew’s,thathasthe
reputeofbeingbothsoundandhellaquaint.Butnomoreatpresent,andlooking
foryouandNannyEydent,withtheswatches,—Iam,dearMissMally,your
sinsarefriend,JANETPRINGLE.
TheDoctorbeingofopinionthat,untiltheyhadsomethinginhandfromthe
legacy,theyshouldwalkinthepathsofmoderation,itwasresolvedtoproceed
bythecoachfromIrvinetoGreenock,thereembarkinasteam-boatfor
Glasgow,and,crossingthecountrytoEdinburgh,taketheirpassageatLeithin
oneofthesmacksforLondon.Butwemustletthepartiesspeakforthemselves.
LETTERII
MissRachelPringletoMissIsabellaTod—GREENOCK.
MyDearIsabella—IknownotwhythedejectionwithwhichIpartedfromyou
stillhangsuponmyheart,andgrowsheavierasIamdrawnfartherandfarther
away.Theuncertaintyofthefuture—thedangersofthesea—allcombineto
saddenmytoosensitivespirit.


Still,however,Iwillexertmyself,andtrytogiveyousomeaccountofour
momentousjourney.
Themorningonwhichwebadefarewellforatime—alas!itwastomeasiffor
ever,tomynativeshadesofGarnock—theweatherwascold,bleak,and
boisterous,andthewavescamerollinginmajesticfurytowardstheshore,when
wearrivedattheTontineInnofArdrossan.WhatamonumenthasthelateEarl
ofEglintonleftthereofhispublicspirit!Itshouldembalmhismemoryinthe
heartsoffutureages,asIdoubtnotbutintimeArdrossanwillbecomeagrand
emporium;butthepeopleofSaltcoats,asordidrace,complainthatitwillbe
theirruin;andthePaisleysubscriberstohislordship’scanalgrowpalewhen
theythinkofprofit.
Theroad,afterleavingArdrossan,liesalongtheshore.Theblastcamedarkfrom
thewaters,andthecloudslaypiledineveryformofgrandeurontheloftypeaks
ofArran.Theviewontherighthandislimitedtothefootofarangeofabrupt
meanhills,andontheleftitmeetsthesea—aswewereobligedtokeepthe
glassesup,ourdriveforseveralmileswasobjectlessanddreary.Whenwehad
ascendedahill,leavingKilbrideontheleft,wepassedunderthewallsofan
ancienttower.Whatdelightfulideasareassociatedwiththesightofsuch
venerableremainsofantiquity!
Leavingthatloftyrelicofourwarlikeancestors,wedescendedagaintowardsthe
shore.OntheonesidelaytheCumbraIslands,andBute,deartodeparted
royalty.Afarbeyondthem,inthehoarymagnificenceofnature,risethe
mountainsofArgyllshire;thecairns,asmybrothersays,ofaformerworld.On
theothersideoftheroad,wesawthecloisteredruinsofthereligioushouseof
Southenan,anunneryinthosedaysofromanticadventure,whentolivewasto
enjoyapoeticalelement.Insuchasweetsequesteredretreat,howmuchmore
pleasingtothesoulitwouldhavebeen,foryouandI,liketwocaptivebirdsin
onecage,tohavesungawayourhoursininnocence,thanformetobethustorn
fromyoubyfate,andallonaccountofthatmercenarylegacy,perchancethe
spoilsofsomeunfortunateHindooRajah!
AtLargswehaltedtochangehorses,andsawthebarrowsofthosewhofellin
thegreatbattle.Wethencontinuedourjourneyalongthefootofstupendous
precipices;andhigh,sublime,anddarkenedwiththeshadowofantiquity,we
saw,uponitsloftystation,theancientCastleofSkelmorlie,wherethe
Montgomeriesofotherdaysheldtheirgorgeousbanquets,andthatbraveknight


whofellatChevy-Chacecameprickingforthonhismilk-whitesteed,asSir
WalterScottwouldhavedescribedhim.Buttheageofchivalryispast,andthe
gloryofEuropedepartedforever!
WhenwecrossedthestreamthatdividesthecountiesofAyrandRenfrew,we
beheld,inalltheapartandconsequentialityofpride,thehouseofKelly
overlookingthesocialvillasofWemyssBay.Mybrothercomparedittoasugar
hogshead,andthemtocotton-bags;fortheloftythaneofKellyisbutaWest
Indiaplanter,andtheinhabitantsofthevillasontheshoreareGlasgow
manufacturers.
Tothissucceededadulldriveofabouttwomiles,andthenatonceweentered
theprettyvillageofInverkip.Aslightsnow-showerhadgiventothelandscapea
sortofcopperplateeffect,butstilltheformsofthings,thoughbutsketched,asit
were,withChinaink,werecalculatedtoproduceinterestingimpressions.After
ascending,byagentleacclivity,intoapicturesqueandromanticpass,weentered
aspaciousvalley,and,inthecourseoflittlemorethanhalfanhour,reachedthis
town;thelargest,themostpopulous,andthemostsuperbthatIhaveyetseen.
Butwhatareallitswarehouses,ships,andsmelloftar,andotherodoriferous
circumstancesoffisheryandthesea,comparedwiththegreenswellinghills,the
fragrantbean-fields,andthepeacefulgrovesofmynativeGarnock!
Thepeopleofthistownareaverybusyandcleverrace,butmuchgivento
litigation.Mybrothersays,thattheyarethegreatestbenefactorstotheOuter
House,andthattheirlawsuitsarethemostamusingandprofitablebeforethe
courts,beinglessforthepurposeofdeterminingwhatisrightthanwhatis
lawful.Thechambermaidoftheinnwherewelodgepointedouttome,onthe
oppositesideofthestreet,amagnificentedificeerectedforballs;butthe
subscribershaveresolvednottoallowanydancingtillitisdeterminedbythe
CourtofSessiontowhomtheseatsandchairsbelong,astheywerebroughtfrom
anotherhousewheretheassemblieswereformerlyheld.Ihaveheardalawsuit
comparedtoacountry-dance,inwhich,afteragreatbustleandregular
confusion,thepartiesstandstill,alltired,justonthespotwheretheybegan;but
thisisthefirsttimethatthejudgesofthelandhavebeencalledontodecide
whenadancemaybegin.
Wearrivedtoolateforthesteam-boat,andareobligedtowaittillMonday
morning;butto-morrowweshallgotochurch,whereIexpecttoseewhatsortof
creaturesthebeauxare.TheGreenockladieshaveagreatnameforbeauty,but


thosethatIhaveseenareperfectfrights.SuchofthegentlemenasIhave
observedpassingthewindowsoftheinnmaydo,butIdeclaretheladieshave
nothingofwhichanywomanoughttobeproud.Hadweknownthatwerana
riskofnotgettingasteam-boat,mymotherwouldhaveprovidedanintroductory
letterortwofromsomeofherIrvinefriends;butherewearealmostentire
strangers:myfather,however,isacquaintedwithoneofthemagistrates,andhas
gonetoseehim.Ihopehewillbecivilenoughtoaskustohishouse,foraninn
isashockingplacetolivein,andmymotheristerrifiedattheexpense.My
brother,however,hasgreatconfidenceinourprospects,andordersanddirects
withahighhand.Butmypaperisfull,andIamcompelledtoconcludewith
scarcelyroomtosayhowaffectionatelyIamyours,
RACHELPRINGLE.
LETTERIII
TheRev.DrPringletoMr.Micklewham,SchoolmasterandSession-Clerk,
Garnock—EDINBURGH.
DearSir—Wehavegotthislengththroughmanydifficulties,bothinthetravel
bylandto,andbyseaandlandfromGreenock,wherewewereobligated,by
reasonofnoconveyance,tostoptheSabbath,butnotwithoutedification;forwe
wenttohearDr.Drystourintheforenoon,whohadamostweightysermonon
thetenthchapterofNehemiah.Heissurelyagreatorthodoxdivine,butrather
costiveinhisdelivery.Intheafternoonweheardacorrectmorallectureongood
works,inanotherchurch,fromDr.Eastlight—aplainman,withagenteel
congregation.Thesamenightwetooksupperwithawealthyfamily,wherewe
hadmuchpleasantcommuniontogether,althoughthebringinginofthetoddybowlaftersupperisafashionthathasatendencytolengthenthesederuntto
unseasonablehours.
Onthefollowingmorning,bythebreakofday,wetookshippinginthesteamboatforGlasgow.Ihadmisgivingsabouttheengine,whichisreallyathingof
greatdocility;butsavingmyconcernfortheboiler,weallfoundtheplace
surprisingcomfortable.Thedaywasbleakandcold;butwehadagoodfireina
carrongrateinthemiddleofthefloor,andbookstoread,sothatbothbodyand
mindarethereinprovidedfor.
Amongthebooks,IfellinwithaHistoryoftheRebellion,anentthehandthatan


EnglishgentlemanofthenameofWaverleyhadinit.IwasgrievedthatIhad
nottimetoreaditthrough,foritwaswonderfulinteresting,andfarmore
particular,inmanypoints,thananyotheraccountofthataffairIhaveyetmet
with;butit’snosofriendlytoProtestantprinciplesasIcouldhavewished.
However,ifIgetmylegacywellsettled,Iwillbuythebook,andlendittoyou
onmyreturn,pleaseGod,tothemanse.
WewereputonshoreatGlasgowbybreakfast-time,andtherewetarriedallday,
asIhadapowerofattorneytogetfromMissJennyMacbride,mycousin,to
whomthecolonelleftthethousandpoundlegacy.MissJennythoughtthelegacy
shouldhavebeenmore,andmadesomeobstacletosigningthepower;butboth
herlawyerandAndrewPringle,myson,convincedher,that,asitwasspecified
inthetestament,shecouldnothelpitbystandingout;soatlongandlastMiss
Jennywaspersuadedtoputhernametothepaper.
Nextdayweallfourgotintoaflycoach,and,withoutdamageordetriment,
reachedthiscityingoodtimefordinnerinMacgregor’shotel,aremarkable
decentinn,nextdoortooneMr.Blackwood,acivilanddiscreetmaninthe
booksellingline.
ReallythechangesinEdinburghsinceIwashere,thirtyyearsago,arenottobe
told.Iamconfounded;foralthoughIhavebothheardandreadoftheNewTown
intheEdinburghAdvertiser,andtheScotsMagazine,Ihadnonotionofwhat
hascometopass.It’ssurprisingtothinkwhereinthedecayofthenationis;for
atGreenockIsawnothingbutshippingandbuilding;atGlasgow,streets
spreadingasiftheywereoneofthebranchesofcotton-spinning;andhere,the
housesgrownupasiftheyweresownintheseed-timewiththecorn,byadrillmachine,ordibbledinrigsandfurrowslikebeansandpotatoes.
To-morrow,Godwilling,weembarkinasmackatLeith,sothatyouwillnot
hearfrommeagaintillitpleaseHimtotakeusinthehollowofHishandto
London.Inthemeantime,Ihaveonlytoadd,that,whentheSessionmeets,I
wishyouwouldspeaktotheelders,particularlytoMr.Craig,notobeoverly
hardonthatpoordonsiething,MegMilliken,aboutherbairn;andtellTam
Glen,thefathero’t,fromme,thatitwouldhavebeenasorehearttothatpious
woman,hismother,hadshebeenliving,tohavewitnessedsuchathing;and
thereforeIhopeandtrust,hewillyetconfessafault,andownMegforhiswife,
thoughsheisbutsomethingofatawpie.


However,youneednotdiminishhertoTam.IhopeMr.Snodgrasswillgiveas
muchsatisfactiontotheparishascanreasonablybeexpectedinmyabsence;and
Iremain,dearsir,yourfriendandpastor,
ZACHARIAHPRINGLE.
Mr.MicklewhamreceivedtheDoctor’sletteraboutanhourbeforetheSession
metonthecaseofTamGlenandMegMilliken,andtookitwithhimtothe
session-house,toreadittotheeldersbeforegoingintotheinvestigation.Sucha
longandparticularletterfromtheDoctorwas,astheyalljustlyremarked,kind
anddutifultohispeople,andagreatpleasuretothem.
Mr.Daffobserved,“TrulytheDoctor’saverafunnyman,andwonderfu’jocose
aboutthetoddy-bowl.”ButMr.Craigsaid,that“sicathingontheLord’snight
gi’esmenopleasure;andIamforsettingmyfaceagainstWaverley’sHistoryof
theRebellion,whilkIhaeheardspokenofamongtheungodly,bothat
KilwinningandDalry;andifithasnorespecttoProtestantprinciples,Idoubt
it’sbutanotherdoseo’theradicalpoisoninanewguise.”Mr.Icenor,however,
thoughtthat“theobserveonthegreatDoctorDrystourwasveryedifying;and
thattheyshouldseeaboutgettinghimtohelpatthesummerOccasion.”{1}
Whiletheywerethusreviewing,intheirway,thefirstepistleoftheDoctor,the
betherelcameintosaythatMegandTamwereatthedoor.“Oh,man,”saidMr.
Daff,slyly,“yeshouldnahaeleftthematthedoorbythemselves.”Mr.Craig
lookedathimausterely,andmutteredsomethingaboutthegrowingimmorality
ofthisbackslidingage;butbeforethesmokeofhisindignationhadkindledinto
eloquence,thedelinquentswereadmitted.However,aswehavenothingtodo
withthebusiness,weshallleavethemtotheirowndeliberations.


CHAPTERII—THEVOYAGE
Onthefourteenthdayafterthedepartureofthefamilyfromthemanse,theRev.
Mr.CharlesSnodgrass,whowasappointedtoofficiateduringtheabsenceofthe
Doctor,receivedthefollowingletterfromhisoldchum,Mr.AndrewPringle.It
wouldappearthattheyoungadvocateisnotsosolidintheheadassomeofhis
elderbrethrenattheBar;andthereforemanyofhisflightsandobservations
mustbetakenwithanallowanceonthescoreofhisyouth.
LETTERIV
AndrewPringle,Esq.,Advocate,totheRev.CharlesSnodgrass—
LONDON.
MyDearFriend—WehaveatlastreachedLondon,afterastormypassageof
sevendays.Theaccommodationinthesmackslooksextremelyinvitinginport,
andinfineweather,Idoubtnot,iscomfortable,evenatsea;butinFebruary,and
insuchvisitationsofthepowersoftheairaswehaveendured,aballoonmustbe
afarbettervehiclethanallthevesselsthathavebeenconstructedforpassengers
sincethetimeofNoah.Inthefirstplace,thewavesoftheatmospherecannotbe
sodangerousasthoseoftheocean,beingbut“thinair”;andIamsuretheyare
notsodisagreeable;thenthespeedoftheballoonissomuchgreater,—andit
wouldpuzzleProfessorLeslietodemonstratethatitsmotionsaremore
unsteady;besides,whoeverheardofsea-sicknessinaballoon?theconsideration
ofwhichalonewould,toanyreasonablepersonactuallysufferingunderthe
painsofthatcalamity,bedeemedmorethananequivalentforallthelittle
fractionaldifferenceofdangerbetweenthetwomodesoftravelling.Ishall
henceforthregarditasafinecharacteristictraitofournationalprudence,that,in
theirjourniestoFranceandFlanders,theScottishwitchesalwayswentbyairon
broom-sticksandbenweeds,insteadofventuringbywaterinsieves,likethoseof
England.ButtheEnglishareundertheinfluenceofamaritimegenius.
WhenwehadgotasfaruptheThamesasGravesend,thewindandtidecame
againstus,sothatthevesselwasobligedtoanchor,andIavailedmyselfofthe
circumstance,toinducethefamilytodisembarkandgotoLondonbyLAND;
andIesteemitafortunatecircumstancethatwedidso,theday,fortheseason,
beinguncommonlyfine.Afterwehadtakensomerefreshment,Iprocuredplaces


inastage-coachformymotherandsister,and,withtheDoctor,mountedmyself
ontheoutside.Myfather’sold-fashionednotionsboggledalittleatfirsttothis
arrangement,whichhethoughtsomewhatderogatorytohisministerialdignity;
buthisscrupleswereintheendoverruled.
Thecountryinthisseasonis,ofcourse,seentodisadvantage,butstillitexhibits
beautyenoughtoconvinceuswhatEnglandmustbewheninleaf.Theold
gentleman’sadmirationoftheincreasingsignsofwhathecalledcivilisation,as
weapproachedLondon,becamequiteeloquent;butthefirstviewofthecity
fromBlackheath(which,bythebye,isafinecommon,surroundedwithvillas
andhandsomehouses)overpoweredhisfaculties,andIshallneverforgetthe
impressionitmadeonmyself.Thesunwasdeclinedtowardsthehorizon;vast
massesofdarklow-hungcloudsweremingledwiththesmokycanopy,andthe
domeofSt.Paul’s,liketheenormousidolofsometerribledeity,thronedamidst
thesmokeofsacrificesandmagnificence,darkness,andmystery,presented
altogetheranobjectofvastsublimity.Ifelttouchedwithreverence,asifIwas
indeedapproachingthecityofTHEHUMAN
POWERS.
ThedistantviewofEdinburghispicturesqueandromantic,butitaffectsalower
classofourassociations.Itis,comparedtothatofLondon,whatthepoemofthe
SeasonsiswithrespecttoParadiseLost—thecastellateddescriptionsofWalter
ScotttotheDarknessofByron—theSabbathofGrahametotheRobbersof
Schiller.IntheapproachtoEdinburgh,leisureandcheerfulnessareontheroad;
largespacesofruralandpastoralnaturearespreadopenlyaround,and
mountains,andseas,andheadlands,andvesselspassingbeyondthem,goinglike
thosethatdie,weknownotwhither,whilethesunisbrightontheirsails,and
hopewiththem;but,incomingtothisBabylon,thereisaneagerhasteanda
hurryingonfromallquarters,towardsthatstupendouspileofgloom,through
whichnoeyecanpenetrate;anunceasingsound,liketheengineryofan
earthquakeatwork,rollsfromtheheartofthatprofoundandindefinable
obscurity—sometimesafaintandyellowbeamofthesunstrikeshereandthere
onthevastexpanseofedifices;andchurches,andholyasylums,aredimlyseen
liftinguptheircountlesssteeplesandspires,likesomanylightningrodstoavert
thewrathofHeaven.
TheentrancetoEdinburghalsoawakensfeelingsofamorepleasingcharacter.
TheruggedveteranaspectoftheOldTownisagreeablycontrastedwiththe


brightsmoothforeheadoftheNew,andthereisnotsuchanoverwhelming
torrentofanimallife,astomakeyoupausebeforeventuringtostemit;the
noisesarenotsodeafening,andtheoccasionalsoundofaballad-singer,ora
Highlandpiper,variesandenrichesthediscords;buthere,amultitudinous
assemblageofharshalarms,ofselfishcontentions,andoffuriouscarriages,
drivenbyafierceandinsolentrace,shattertheveryhearing,tillyoupartakeof
theactivitywithwhichallseemasmuchpossessedasifageneralapprehension
prevailed,thatthegreatclockofTimewouldstrikethedoom-hourbeforetheir
tasksweredone.ButImuststop,forthepostmanwithhisbell,likethebetherel
ofsomeancient“borough’stown”summoningtoaburial,isinthestreet,and
warnsmetoconclude.
-Yours,ANDREWPRINGLE.
LETTERV
TheRev.Dr.PringletoMr.Micklewham,SchoolmasterandSession-Clerk,
Garnock
LONDON,49NORFOLKSTREET,STRAND.
DearSir—OnthefirstSundayforthcomingafterthereceivinghereof,youwill
notfailtorecollectintherememberingprayer,thatwereturnthanksforoursafe
arrivalinLondon,afteradangerousvoyage.Well,indeed,isitordainedthatwe
shouldprayforthosewhogodowntotheseainships,anddobusinessonthe
greatdeep;forwhatmeandminehavecomethroughisunspeakable,andthe
handofProvidencewasvisiblymanifested.
OnthedayofourembarkationatLeith,afairwindtookusonwardatablithe
rateforsometime;butinthecourseofthatnightthebridleofthetempestwas
slackened,andthecurbofthebillowsloosened,andtheshipreeledtoandfro
likeadrunkenman,andnoonecouldstandtherein.Mywifeanddaughterlayat
thepointofdeath;AndrewPringle,myson,alsowasprostratedwiththe
grievousaffliction;andtheverysoulwithinmewasasifitwouldhavebeencast
outofthebody.
Onthefollowingdaythestormabated,andthewindblewfavourable;but
towardstheheeloftheeveningitagaincamevehement,andtherewasnohelp
untoourdistress.Aboutmidnight,however,itpleasedHIM,whosebreathisthe
tempest,tobemoresparingwiththewhipofHisdispleasureonourpoorbark,


asshehirpledoninhertoilsomejourneythroughthewaters;andIwasenabled,
throughHisstrength,toliftmyheadfromthepillowofsickness,andascendthe
deck,whereIthoughtofNoahlookingoutofthewindowintheark,uponthe
faceofthedesolateflood,andofPeterwalkingonthesea;andIsaidtomyself,
itmattersnotwhereweare,forwecanbeinnoplacewhereJehovahisnotthere
likewise,whetheritbeonthewavesoftheocean,orthemountaintops,orinthe
valleyandshadowofdeath.
Thethirddaythewindcamecontrary,andinthefourth,andthefifth,andthe
sixth,wewerealsosorelybuffeted;butonthenightofthesixthweenteredthe
mouthoftheriverThames,andonthemorningoftheseventhdayofour
departure,wecastanchornearatowncalledGravesend,where,toourexceeding
greatjoy,itpleasedHim,inwhomalonethereissalvation,toallowusonce
moretoputourfootonthedryland.
Whenwehadpartakenofarepast,thefirstblessedwiththeblessingofan
appetite,fromthedayofourleavingournativeland,wegottwovacanciesina
stage-coachformywifeanddaughter;butwithAndrewPringle,myson,Iwas
obligatedtomountaloftontheoutside.Ihadsomescrupleofconscienceabout
this,forIwasafraidofmydecorum.Imet,however,withnothingbuttheheight
ofdiscretionfromtheotheroutsidepassengers,althoughIjealousedthatoneof
themwasalightwoman.ReallyIhadnonotionthattheEnglishwereso
civilised;theyweresowellbred,andtheveryduddiestofthemspokesucha
finestyleoflanguage,thatwhenIlookedaroundonthecountry,Ithought
myselfinthelandofCanaan.Butit’sextraordinarywhatapowerofdrinkthe
coachmendrink,stoppingandgoingintoeverychange-house,andyetbehaving
themselveswiththegreatestsobriety.Andthentheyareallsowelldressed,
whichisnodoubtowingtothepoorrates.Iamthinking,however,thatforall
theycryagainstthem,thepoorratesarebutasmallevil,sincetheykeepthe
poorfolkinsuchfoodandraiment,andoutofthetemptationstothievery;
indeed,suchathingasacommonbeggarisnottobeseeninthisland,excepting
hereandthereasornerorane’er-do-weel.
WhenwehadgottotheoutskirtsofLondon,Ibegantobeashamedofthesinof
highplaces,andwouldgladlyhavegotintotheinsideofthecoach,forfearof
anybodyknowingme;butalthoughthemultitudeofby-goerswaslikethekirk
scailingattheSacrament,Isawnotakentface,noronethattooktheleastnotice
ofmysituation.Atlastwegottoaninn,calledTheWhiteHorse,Fetter-Lane,
wherewehiredahackneytotakeustothelodgingsprovidedforusherein


NorfolkStreet,byMr.Pawkie,theScotchsolicitor,afriendofAndrewPringle,
myson.NowitwasthatwebegantoexperiencethesharpersofLondon;forit
seemsthattherearediversNorfolkStreets.OurswasintheStrand(mindthat
whenyoudirect),notveryfarfromFetter-Lane;butthehackneydrivertookus
awaytooneafaroff,andwhenweknockedatthenumberwethoughtwasours,
wefoundourselvesatahousethatshouldnotbetold.Iwassomortified,thatI
didnotknowwhattosay;andwhenAndrewPringle,myson,rebukedtheman
forthemistake,heonlygaveacunninglaugh,andsaidweshouldhavetoldhim
whatnaNorfolkStreetwewanted.Andrewstormedatthis—butIdiscernedit
wasallowingtoourowninexperience,andputanendtothecontention,by
tellingthemantotakeustoNorfolkStreetintheStrand,whichwasthedirection
wehadgot.Butwhenwegottothedoor,thecoachmanwassoextortionate,that
anotherhobbleshawarose.Mrs.Pringlehadbeentoldthat,insuchdisputes,the
bestwayofgettingredresswastotakethenumberofthecoach;but,intryingto
doso,wefounditfastenedon,andIthoughtthehackneymanwouldhavegone
byhimselfwithlaughter.Andrew,whohadnotobservedwhatweweredoing,
whenhesawustryingtotakeoffthenumber,wentlikeonedemented,andpaid
theman,Icannottellwhat,togetusout,andintothehouse,forfearweshould
havebeenmobbit.
Ihavenotyetseenthecolonel’sagents,socansaynothingastothebusinessof
ourcoming;for,landingatGravesend,wedidnotbringourtrunkswithus,and
Andrewhasgonetothewharfthismorningtogetthem,and,untilwegetthem,
wecangonowhere,whichistheoccasionofmywritingsosoon,knowingalso
howyouandthewholeparishwouldbeanxioustohearwhathadbecomeofus;
andIremain,dearsir,yourfriendandpastor,ZACHARIAHPRINGLE.
OnSaturdayevening,SaundersDickie,theIrvinepostman,suspectingthatthis
letterwasfromtheDoctor,wentwithithimself,onhisownfeet,toMr.
Micklewham,althoughthedistanceismorethantwomiles,butSaunders,in
additiontothecustomaryTWALPENNIESonthepostage,hadadramforhis
pains.Thenextmorningbeingwet,Mr.Micklewhamhadnotanopportunityof
tellinganyoftheparishionersinthechurchyardoftheDoctor’ssafearrival,so
thatwhenhereadouttherequesttoreturnthanks(forhewasnotonly
schoolmasterandsession-clerk,butalsoprecentor),therewasamurmurof
pleasurediffusedthroughoutthecongregation,andthegreatestcuriositywas
excitedtoknowwhatthedangerswere,fromwhichtheirworthypastorandhis
wholefamilyhadsothankfullyescapedintheirvoyagetoLondon;sothat,when
theservicewasover,theeldersadjournedtothesession-housetoheartheletter


read;andmanyoftheheadsoffamilies,andotherrespectableparishioners,were
admittedtothehonoursofthesitting,whoallsympathised,withthegreatest
sincerity,inthesufferingswhichtheirministerandhisfamilyhadendured.Mr.
Daff,however,wasjustlychidedbyMr.Craig,forrubbinghishands,andgiving
asortofsniggeringlaugh,attheDoctor’ssittingonhighwithalightwoman.
ButevenMr.Snodgrasswasseentosmileattheincidentoftakingthenumber
offthecoach,themeaningofwhichnonebuthimselfseemedtounderstand.
Whentheepistlehadbeenthusdulyread,Mr.Micklewhampromised,forthe
satisfactionofsomeofthecongregation,thathewouldgettwoorthreecopies
madebythebestwritersinhisschool,tobehandedabouttheparish,andMr.
Icenorremarked,thattrulyitwasathingtobeheldinremembrance,forhehad
notheardofgreatertribulationbythewaterssincetheshipwreckoftheApostle
Paul.


CHAPTERIII—THELEGACY
Soonafterthereceiptoftheletterswhichwehadthepleasureofcommunicating
intheforegoingchapter,thefollowingwasreceivedfromMrs.Pringle,andthe
intelligenceitcontainsissointerestingandimportant,thatwehastentolayit
beforeourreaders:LETTERVI
Mrs.PringletoMissMallyGlencairn—LONDON.
MyDearMissMally—Youmustnotexpectnoparticularsfrommeofour
journey;butasRacheliswritingallthecalamitiesthatbefellustoBellTod,you
will,nodoubt,hearofthem.Butallisnothingtomylosses.Iboughtfromthe
firsthand,Mr.Treddlesthemanufacturer,twopiecesofmuslin,atGlasgow,
suchathingnotbeingtobehadonanyreasonabletermshere,wheretheygetall
theirfinemuslinsfromGlasgowandPaisley;andinthesamebockswiththemI
packitasmallcrockofourainexcellentpouderedbutter,withadelapcheese,for
IwastoldthatsuchcommoditiesarenottobehadgenuineinLondon.Ilikewise
hadinitapotofmarmlet,whichMissJennyMacbridegavemeatGlasgow,
assuringmethatitwasnotonlydentice,butacuriosityamongtheEnglish,and
mybestnewbumbeseengouninpeper.Howsomever,inthenailingofthebocks,
whichIdidcarefullywithmyounhands,oneofthenailsgaedinajee,andbroke
thepotofmarmlet,which,bythejoltingoftheship,ruinedthemuslin,rottened
thepeperroundthegoun,whichtheshiverscutintomorethantwentygreat
holes.Overandaboveall,thecrockwiththebutterwas,noonecantellhow,
crackit,andthepickleleckingout,andmixingwiththeseeripofthemarmlet,
spoiltthecheese.Inshort,attheobjectIbeheld,whenthebockswasopened,I
couldhaveta’entothegreeting;butIbehavedwithmorecomposityonthe
occasion,thantheDoctorthoughtitwasinthepowerofnaturetodo.
Howsomever,tillIgetanewgounandotherthings,Iamobligedtobea
prisoner;andastheDoctordoesnotliketogotothecounting-houseofthe
agentswithoutme,Iknownotwhatisyettobetheconsequenceofourjourney.
Butitwouldneedtobesomething;forwepayfourguineasandahalfaweekfor
ourdrylodgings,whichisatadegreemorethantheDoctor’swholestipend.As
yet,forthecauseofthesemisfortunes,IcangiveyounoaccountofLondon;but
thereis,aseverybodykens,littlethriftintheirhousekeeping.Wejustbuyourtea
bythequarterapound,andourloafsugar,brokeninapeperbag,bythepound,


whichwouldbeadisgracetoadecentfamilyinScotland;andwhenweorder
dinner,wegetnomorethanjustserves,sothatwehavenocoldmeatifa
strangerwerecomingbychance,whichmakesanuncobarehouse.Theservan
lassesIcannotabide;theydressbetterattheirwarkthaneverIdidonan
ordinaireweek-dayatthemanse;andthisverymorningIsawmadam,the
kitchenlass,mountedonapairofpattens,washingtheplainstenesbeforethe
door;na,forthatmatter,abarefootisnottobeseenwithinthefourwallsof
London,attheleastIhavenaseennosuchthing.
Inthewayofmarketing,thingsareverygoodhere,andconsidering,notdear;
butallissoldbythelichtweight,onlythefishareawful;halfaguineafora
cod’shead,andnobiggerthanthedroudsthecadgersbringfromAyr,ata
shillingandeighteenpenceapiece.
TellMissNannyEydentthatIhaveseennoneofthefashionsasyet;butweare
goingtotheburialoftheauldkingnextweek,andI’llwriteheraparticular
accounthowtheleddiesaredressed;buteverybodyisindeepmourning.
HowsomeverIhaveseenbutlittle,andthatonlyinamannerfromthewindow;
butIcouldnotmisstheopportunityofafrankthatAndrewhasgot,andashe’s
waitingforthepen,youmustexcusehaste.Fromyoursincerefriend,JANET
PRINGLE.
LETTERVII
AndrewPringle,Esq.,totheRev.CharlesSnodgrass—LONDON.
MyDearFriend—Itwillgiveyoupleasuretohearthatmyfatherislikelytoget
hisbusinessspeedilysettledwithoutanyequivocation;andthatallthose
prudentialconsiderationswhichbroughtustoLondonwerebutthephantasmsof
ourowninexperience.
Iusetheplural,forIreallyshareintheshameofhavingcalledinquestionthe
highcharacteroftheagents:itoughttohavebeenwarrantryenoughthat
everythingwouldbefairlyadjusted.ButImustgiveyousomeaccountofwhat
hastakenplace,toillustrateourprovincialism,andtogiveyousomeideaofthe
wayofdoingbusinessinLondon.
Afterhavingrecoveredfromtheeffects,andrepairedsomeoftheaccidentsof
ourvoyage,weyesterdaymorningsalliedforth,theDoctor,mymother,andyour
humbleservant,inahackneycoach,toBroadStreet,wheretheagentshavetheir


counting-house,andwereusheredintoaroomamongotherlegateesorclients,
waitingforanaudienceofMr.Argent,theprincipalofthehouse.
Iknownothowitis,thatthelittlepersonalpeculiarities,soamusingto
strangers,shouldbepainfulwhenweseetheminthosewhomweloveand
esteem;butIowntoyou,thattherewasasomethinginthedemeanouroftheold
folksonthisoccasion,thatwouldhavebeenexceedinglydivertingtome,had
myfilialreverencebeenlesssincereforthem.
TheestablishmentofMessrs.ArgentandCompanyisofvastextent,andhasinit
somethingevenofapublicmagnitude;thenumberoftheclerks,theassiduityof
all,andtheorderthatobviouslyprevailsthroughout,giveatthefirstsight,an
impressionthatbespeaksrespectforthestabilityandintegrityoftheconcern.
Whenwehadbeenseatedabouttenminutes,andmyfather’snametakentoMr.
Argent,ananswerwasbrought,thathewouldseeusassoonaspossible;butwe
wereobligedtowaitatleasthalfanhourmore.Uponourbeingatlastadmitted,
Mr.Argentreceivedusstanding,andinaneasygentlemanlymannersaidtomy
father,“YouaretheresiduarylegateeofthelateColonelArmour.Iamsorrythat
youdidnotapprisemeofthisvisit,thatImighthavebeenpreparedtogivethe
informationyounaturallydesire;butifyouwillcallhereto-morrowat12
o’clock,Ishallthenbeabletosatisfyyouonthesubject.Yourlady,Ipresume?”
headded,turningtomymother;“Mrs.Argentwillhavethehonourofwaiting
onyou;mayIthereforebegthefavourofyouraddress?”
FortunatelyIwasprovidedwithcards,andhavinggivenhimone,wefound
ourselvesconstrained,asitwere,totakeourleave.Thewholeinterviewdidnot
lasttwominutes,andIneverwaslesssatisfiedwithmyself.TheDoctorandmy
motherwereinthegreatestanguish;andwhenwewereagainseatedinthe
coach,loudlyexpressedtheirapprehensions.Theywereconvincedthatsome
stratagemwasmeditated;theyfearedthattheirjourneytoLondonwouldprove
aslittlesatisfactoryasthatoftheWrongheads,andthattheyhadbeenthrowing
awaygoodmoneyinbuildingcastlesintheair.
Ithadbeenpreviouslyarranged,thatweweretoreturnformysister,and
afterwardsvisitsomeofthesights;butthecloudedvisagesofherfatherand
motherdarkenedtheveryspiritofRachel,andshelargelysharedintheirfears.
This,however,wasnotthegravestpartofthebusiness;for,insteadofgoingto
St.Paul’sandtheTower,aswehadintended,mymotherdeclared,thatnotone


farthingwouldtheyspendmoretilltheyweresatisfiedthattheexpensesalready
incurredwerelikelytobereimbursed;andaChancerysuit,withallthehorrors
ofwigandgown,floatedinspectralhazinessbeforetheirimagination.
Wesatdowntoafrugalmeal,andalthoughtheremainderofabottleofwine,
savedfromtheprecedingday,hardlyaffordedaglassapiece,theDoctor
absolutelyprohibitedmefromopeninganother.
Thismorning,faithfultothehour,wewereagaininBroadStreet,withhearts
knitupintothemostperemptorycourage;and,onbeingannounced,were
immediatelyadmittedtoMr.Argent.Hereceiveduswiththesameeaseasinthe
firstinterview,and,afterrequestingustobeseated(which,bytheway,hedid
notdoyesterday,acircumstancethatwasominouslyremarked),hebegantotalk
onindifferentmatters.Icouldseethataquestion,bigwithlawandfortune,was
gatheringinthebreastsbothoftheDoctorandmymother,andthattheywerein
astatefarfromthatoftheblessed.
Butoneoftheclerks,beforetheyhadtimetoexpresstheirindignantsuspicions,
enteredwithapaper,andMr.Argent,havingglanceditover,saidtotheDoctor
—“Icongratulateyou,sir,ontheamountofthecolonel’sfortune.Iwasnot
indeedawarebeforethathehaddiedsorich.Hehasleftabout120,000pounds;
seventy-fivethousandofwhichisinthefivepercents;theremainderinIndia
bondsandothersecurities.Thelegaciesappeartobeinconsiderable,sothatthe
residuetoyou,afterpayingthemandtheexpensesofDoctors’Commons,will
exceedahundredthousandpounds.”
Myfatherturnedhiseyesupwardsinthankfulness.“But,”continuedMr.Argent,
“beforethepropertycanbetransferred,itwillbenecessaryforyoutoprovide
aboutfourthousandpoundstopaythedutyandotherrequisiteexpenses.”This
wasathunderclap.“WherecanIgetsuchasum?”exclaimedmyfather,inatone
ofpatheticsimplicity.Mr.Argentsmiledandsaid,“Weshallmanagethatfor
you”;andhavinginthesamemomentpulledabell,afineyoungmanentered,
whomheintroducedtousashisson,anddesiredhimtoexplainwhatstepsit
wasnecessaryfortheDoctortotake.WeaccordinglyfollowedMr.Charles
Argenttohisownroom.
Thus,inlesstimethanIhavebeeninwritingit,wereweputinpossessionofall
theinformationwerequired,andfoundthosewhomwefearedmightbe
interestedtowithholdthesettlement,alertandprompttoassistus.


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