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Mr. Sharp's Dream.
a douce Cameronian, after three hems, which had the double effect of clearing his voice and attracting attention; "Teuk the leeberty to speer, gin it micht na be an impruvement to the beuk, besides conducin' mair to the edification o' the kintra side, than he was afeard it wad hae the effect o' doin', gif naething the Poeters' makin' was na taen in nae mair. I maun mak' bauld to tell you, sir," (and as he spoke, he raised himself from his cromach on which he had been leaning,) “ that 66 my lassocks are aftener readin' an' yelpin' silly sangs out o' your Mirror, than they spearin' the Carritch at ane anither, an' sayin' texts out o' the Bible, as ilka peeous man's dochters sud do; an' whilk afore time they aftener did, as Davie Gillespie out by yonder, can answer till."
"Indeed Mister Editur," said a smirking young Miss, as Davie aforesaid was coughing the third time preparatory to lifting up his his testimony on the subject, "If you keep out the poetry, you may keep the Mirror to yourself. It is not for your interest to pay any attention to what ignorant, misedicated old men says; and sartin am I, Mr. Ed.- "Atweel, (interrupted Jeanie Jamieson, as the last speaker was making a theatrical courtesy to add grace and dignity to what was forthcoming) gin my father means to say that naebody sudna read the Mirror 'cause there's sangs in't, I dinna think there's mony in the parish that'll heed muckle what he says: an' I'm sure I ne'er saw ony thing in a' the bible, (let be the Confession o' Faith, an' the single Carritch) to fin' faut wi' either singin' or learnin' sangs, provided we dinna negleck things o' mair importance, an' the sangs we tak a likin' till be guid anes; an' indeed (for Jeanie guessing that her speech would terminate with the first pause, determined to make none till her breath was exhausted) binna twa or three Hebrew anes, or some ither dead langige that the Bible was written in, an that fok hereawa' neither ken nor care about, there's no what ye can ca' an ill sang in a' the hale beuk, but "That's exactly my opinion," commenced Mr. Wyllie the precentor, while she was stopping for breath," but according to the Scottish proverb, the proof o' the puddin's the preein' o't, so if the ladies will endeavour to keep silence, and that tall gentleman in black, who appears prepared with an hour's speech, will exert a little patience, I shall as far as my abilities permit, let Mr. Jamieson and Mr. Gillespie, and the rest of the congregation hear one or two of the songs from the Mirror,
Mr. Sharp's Dream.
which I think will decide the dispute more effectually than any argumentation on the subject."
While concluding the sentence he had struck his key, and immediately commenced drawling to a slow psalm tune, equally unmusical and unappropriate, the beautiful song inserted in p.
'How sacred the hour when in beauty reclines
How dear are the moments when evening declines
"Will nane o' ye steek his mouth?" roared Andrew Tamson from the opposite side of the green, as he was commencing the second verse in a style of execution which, in his anxiety to drown the confused sound of coughs, hisses and groans arising from the multitude, made a sudden transition from a low growl to a perfect squeak; and, being accompanied at measured intervals with a solemn move of the head, and corresponding cast of the eye upwards, and associated with the circumstances of time, place and occasion, had altogether, for those who could relish it, an effect irresistibly ludicrous. Maun fok lea' their ploughing, an' wade thro' a' the dubs atween here an' Stewarton, to waste their time wi' hearin' women jabberin' about fule sangs, an' them wha sud hae mair sense, squeelin' like wil' cats? I've cum' ance erran' to gie you my advice about what I consider an unco misjudged thing in a kintra parish; that you wha hae sae mony opportunities o' instruckin' the lan'ward readers in what micht be usefu' to them, dinna prent ae word about how the craps are leukin,' an' how the kye's sellin'; an' at this time o' year, what's the price o' potatoes, an' seed-aits, an' dung, an'
"Feeh!" exclaimed several persons in the crowd.“ Dirty brute," vociferated old Madge Henderson, the Flesher's wife, "amang town-fouk, an gentles, an' leddies, to be bringin' athort our min's, him an' his filthy middins! Hech! but its aye amaist like to mak' me scunner to think o' thae things sin' the nicht that I"-" Mr. Editor," (said a well dressed young man at a little distance,) "it will be necessary I think to keep some kind of order in the meeting, and allow nobody to speak but those who are qualified to promote your laudable object in calling". "I didna cum' here to haud my tongue," rejoined Madge in an angry tone, "gin a' tales be true, there's some fouk as fond o' speakin' as I am, though maybe no sae guid o't.
you see, as I was gaun to tell you,"-" Qualified, atweel, (cried Leezy Jack, the Hen-wife, in a caller egg key, that omened an unrivalled superiority over all other speakers) I trow if its only them that are qualified, as that man says, wha sud get leave to gie their opinions."- "As I was gaun to-as I was gaun to tell you," repeated Madge, raising her voice at every new attempt, till she pitched at last upon a chord so high that even the shrill oratory of Leezy Jack was silenced, " as I was stacherin' ae nicht thro' the Clerk's Close, I misteuk my road, and missed a fit, an' fell clean heels owre head into the”- -A box on the ear from Leezy, who found herself completely overmatched in the elocutionary department, here effectually interrupted her; her blow was returned, the crowd cried" Fair play! A ring! a ring!"-and while the majority of the audience were receiving diversion from the decision of this oratorical misunderstanding, the sentimental Miss Rosalinda Montgom erie seized the opportunity, and made a tender and irresistible appeal to the heart of every one possessed of nice sensibilities, and who felt the movements of genuine sympathy in human woe, or a delicate taste for the charms of poetical imagery, which she thanked Heaven she was not quite destitute of;" and after a suitable exordium, begged to know if "such pieces could be objected to as that copied from the Franklin Gazette, commencing,
"There is an hour of peaceful rest
To mourning wanderers given;
'Tis found above-in Heaven!"
Aye! that's the only thing wrang in the Mirror," cried Willie Fleming the Baker, who had long waited for such an op portunity, just as the sentimental fair had concluded the stanza, and, turning up her eyes with inimitable affectation, made the first pause" to be axin' saxpence for a wheen leaves o' prent, an' aye rives o't stown out o' newspapers. I dinna by ony manner o' means, think that you're using us discreetly ava Sir. For my pairt I see naething in Newspapers that fouk are muckle interested in kenning, binna whan they notice how that corn's no cheap aneuch yet, to open the ports; an' about the rise in the price o' wheat, an' the failin' o' the craps, as honest Andrew Tamson was sayin'."
Mr. Sharp's Dream,
The battle by this time was settled to the satisfaction of all parties, and the multitude beginning to press closer, and manifest symptoms of marked disapprobation at Willie's hints of improvement: the Editor very properly reminded his readers that, "To copy pieces of merit from Newspapers, besides being a practice that all similar publications indulged in to a much greater extent than would be found in the Mirror, contributed in the most effectual manner to the entertainment of the subscribers, and if done judiciously, would serve the interests of literature by rescuing from oblivion what must otherwise be ephemeral and fugitive."
The gentleman, (a writer) before interrupted by the Precentor, now complimented the Editor on the merits of his publication; begged that he would continue as in time past to be guided by his own good sense and experience, and look for his reward in the growing interest which the public took in the Mirror; without listening too anxiously to the criticisms of those concerning whose capacities for improving a literary miscellany, if he ever doubted, he had heard and witnessed on the present occasion sufficient to enable him to form a very accurate judg
The Editor, in reply, said that he felt the necessity of resorting to a different expedient before he could succeed in learning the true sentiments of the meeting. He again referred to his wish to obtain the unqualified approbation of all parties, and said that as a standard of poetical merit seemed of so difficult formation, he would for the present defer farther consideration respecting that department; and, in the mean time, read over the titles of some communications from his prose correspondents, concerning the propriety of admitting which he requested the advice of those especially who were qualified by their education and habits, to recommend what would conduce to the general improvement of the publication. He begged that those who would favour him with their remarks, particularly the ladies, whom he was very unwilling to exclude from a share, provided they did not engross the whole of the discussion, would consult the delicacy of their own characters in what they had to say; as he was sorry to see from the turn the debate had taken, that some of his literary friends, to whose opinions he looked with much deference, had withdrawn altogether, and many of those who remained seemed to do so rather with the expectation of being diverted, than the hope of seeing the Mirror improved,
Mr. Sharp's Dream.
"That which I hold in my hand," continued the old man, is a Letter from Andrew Ettleweel, "anent Abuses at Burials, and anent Keeping on Bonnets in the kirk afore the minister comes in."
"Keep it out," "Keep it out," was heard from all quarters. "Andrew's aye meddlin' wi' what he has nae business wi'"I won'er what constitutes him a judge o' Kirk matters," said a ruling Elder, from a neighbouring parish." Its no that I fin faut wi', (interupted Saunders Jamieson) for the Kirk has muckle need o' reformin' in mair respects nor ane." "But its no richt ava, Mr Editor," (hinted Peter Henderson the door keeper) "to mak use o' names whan the Kirk's spoken about," "I'm glad ye said that, (added Guy Johnston the bellman) for""Atweel that's true, (said Tam Tutap the horse-cowper,) nor whan nae ither things are spoken about! There he's got my name rammed into prent, just because I was followin' after my lawfu' callin' as my forebears did afore me; an' as to pittin' adverteezments on the Kirk Yett,"-" or sellin' buns an' yill, (said George Tamson) whan fouk hae cum far to the preachin' in a wat day, an', maybe, nae ither erran' that coudna stan to the neist Sunday: But gin there's ae hazle rung at the Burnfit, I'll mak him mair circumspecker in his letters, an' let him ken for a' his cleverness. that I'm no to be cheatet out o' my livin'; an' my customers to be frightened awa" at that gate." "Hout no Geordie!' (whispered John Walker of the Townhead, in a soothing tone,)
Hae tak' a sneeshin', an' I'll gie you an' him a chappin some day sune, an' it'll be a' settled pacifically; an' I'll promise you that he'll tak' a sune opportunity o' recommen'ing the Burnfit for the best yill in a' the kintra.
Respecting Scotch letters," (said the young laird of Rosehall, who was three weeks in Yorkshire last summer,)" I a'nt of opinion that they conduce to the information of the peasantry; and I give you this warning from my mamma, that as long as you continue to insert them, none of our Tenants shall be suffered to read your Mirror; because the prevalence of the Scotch language tends very sensibly to retard the improvements on the Estate, and destroy the English appearance of the Cottages. Silly cuif!" roared Andrew Tamson, Gin I were a Tenant o' yours, Deil be in me, but I wad read it to spite you, and spit in your face to the bargain, ye fusionless wasp!" "Kick the wunlestrae out o' the gate, (rejoined Madge, whose belligerent.