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The Travels and Adventures of a Walkingstaff.

at the bars of the grate, in which were a few dying embers, to her great astonishment discovered they were all guineas! (given by mistake.)

The second night after I fell into the hands of this banditti, travelling between Lanark and Strathaven, we met with a band of smugglers on horseback, carrying French brandy from the west coast to Edinburgh;* some of each party knew one another, and while one of the smugglers gave my master a bottle of that liquor he had in his side-pocket, I was given him in exchange, as he was in want of a servant such as myself. But I was not two hours in his service, till they were attacked by a groupe of Excise Officers, who had got information of them coming that way. A battle ensued, and was fiercely fought on both sides, while I played my part with great dexterity; for I drove two teeth down the throat of one gauger, and broke the arm of another. The issue was, a prize was made of the horse and brandy, and I was taken by force from my lawless master by the first of these gentlemen, to prevent me from committing more mischief.

My appearance was now truly shabby-but I had a sound constitution; and I was considered by my new master so worthy of his special attention, that in a few days I was burnished, and my head covered with a silver cap-received again into decent company, and admired for beauty and proportion. With this good master I remained several years attending him in all his peregrinations in the discharge of his duty, in, and about Hamilton, Dumfries, Kilmarnock, and Ayr, where he was alternately stationed. At his demise I became servant to his brother, a Schoolmaster, who was proud to take me along with him on all occasions; and daily employed me to chastise the children; but so hard and heavy were the strokes I laid on their heads, that lumps were raised, even blood was spilt, which raised a hue and cry against us both-so that with a bad character, we had to leave the seminary.

My master had a relation, a merchant in Glasgow, and one of the magistrates of that city, who him a free passage in one of his ships bound for N. America; and as a tribute of


* About thirty-five or forty years ago this was a common practice; smugglers in bands, and on horseback, carried French brandy in this manner and supplied the Inland and eastern towns.

The Travels and Adventures of a Walkingstaff.

gratitude, I was given to the Baillie, who highly esteemed me. I attended him daily in the administration of public justice. In all cases when he sat as judge. I was placed between his knees, he either leaned on me, or I reclined on him. In this dignified situation I continued till one day he was dining in a gentleman's house having left me in the lobby among some of my crooked, and contemptible brethren, the door being half open I was kidnapped by a boy; and to prevent detection stripped of my embellishments, the silver sold and besmeared with mud, I was hid in a dark entry to a cellar, reserved also for sale:-but I was picked up the same evening by a servant maid; and for several weeks enployed by her to beat carpets. Her father, a travelling Bookseller, paying her a visit, formed an attachment to me, and becane my master. He and I trudged together through several parishes, taking almost every door; employing me sometimes to support him on the road, sometimes to carry his parcel, and often I had to defend him from the attacks of meddling and furious dogs. But one day as he was passing a bridge, he leaned on the parapet wall to view the river overflowing its banks, in consequence of heavy rains, when, by accident, I fell over, and was carried away with the flood. A few miles below I was thrown out on a meadow, and found by an old widow gathering firewood. Amongst the rest of the wreck I was taken to her little cottag', and there suspended from the ceiling by two cords, in the hu ble office of a pudding-pirk! In this situation I continued till she went to her long home: then I was carried away by her son, and lodged in a lumber-garret above his kitchen, in the Nethertonholm, where I now remain. He cares for none of my kind, nor does be know my value-his hobby-horse is reading books, and the Mirror is always a welcome visitor.

Now, Mr. Editor, I understand you have not a servant to attend you such as I, which was considered a great want at the meeting of your friends you convened lately in this neighbourhood, (vol. I. p. 302.) It is said there is wisdom in a wig, and as you wear one you must know: but whether this be true or not, I can attest from experience, that respectability is always attached to one of my species when handsomely mounted. I therefore request you will deliver me from my present state of ncglect, and admit me into your service. I am intrinsically as sound and fit as ever. I only need to be cleaned and decked in a manner suitable to your station; and as your neighbou♦

The Travels and Adventures of a Walkingstaff.

Mr. T the artisan, excels at jobs of this kind, he will be proud to be employed to exercise his taste, and supply your want of


Nethertonholm, Kilmarnock, June, 1819.

N. B. The Bearer may be employed to negociate the busi

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The sun had not long braved the eastern sky, and strug gled still amidst the dense curtains of the night, when I stole from the Cottage, under the humble roof of which I had spent the evening. I wandered forth to admire the scenery of the surrounding landscape, and give loose to those ideas, which spot of such hallowed interest was so well calculated to excite. The lark alone pendent in the air, saluted the early dawn, and its choral note, as it broke on the ear, mingled with the soft murmuring of the limpid flood stealing over its pebbled course. The fields extensive to the view, proudly shone in all the beau ty of summer's luxuriance, and the green foliage of the woods, embalmed in the morning dew reflected the straggling rays in variegated tint. The verdant lawns, through which meandered the majestic flood-were bespangled with flocks heard greeting with their hoarse voice the returning day. The stately bridge stretched across the stream, and through the additions of modern improvements, still shewed proof of venerable antiquity. I seated myself on an overhanging crag, laved by the undulating stream of the translucent Clyde, and enjoyed the aromatic sweets,

The Reflector-Bothwell Bridge.

of the morning breeze. I cast my eye around and felt bewildered, as well in the variety of objects which met my view, as in the succession of ideas which crowded on my mind. And is this the spot, I asked myself so memorable in the history of our Country, our Liberty and our Religion.-No monumental pile in Doric grandeur was seen to mark assent, but there was in the scene a something which seemed to claim attention; so giving loose to my imagination I fell into a train of reflection, the materials of which I found in the history of the surrounding scenery.

No class of men ever had stronger claims on the esteem and veneration of mankind, than the Scotch Covenanters-if to have lived in the cause of Christianity and Liberty, and to have died for the accomplishment of such laudable objects, be deserving of such esteem and veneration.-How lamentable, however, is the fact that no class of men have ever had their intentions more foully represented their characters more shamefully detracted—and their actions more falsely calumniated; and this too by those very men who acknowledge themselves their unworthy descendants, by that very people who now enjoy those privileges which they purchased with their blood. The mania is but of modern introduction, and let it be ephemeral. Our fathers would have frowned at the man who dared calumniate the proud ornaments of their country, and shall we their children become the bitter enemies of the objects of their greatest attachment. Are we alone to remain dead to a sense of their characters-are we to revile the fathers of our Religion-our Country and our literature? Let such a spirit be confined to the malignant pen of a novel writer.-Let it find votaries only among the giddy and the infidel; but never, oh never let it find a place in the breast of the good and upright.

With the history of our country in our hands, and after an attentive perusal of its varied pages, one opinion can only be formed on the conduct of the Covenanters. We cannot but feel amazed at the wonderful: vigour of mind, and unabating perseverence which could triumph over difficulties so great. We will with pleasure mark the Christian meekness and clemency which adorned their proceedings, and with horror contrast them with the remorseless and cruel actions of their persecutors. Listen to the testimony borne to their character by the historian.. The peaceable and regular demeanour of the protestants for

The Reflector-Bothwell Bridge.

so long a period was truly astonishing, though irritated by the most cruel excesses of ecclesiastical tyranny for more than 30 years; they committed no violation of public order, nor in one instance transgressed those bounds of duty which the law prescribed." In a word, while cool ferocity and wanton cruelty were characteristic of their enemies; benevolent clemency and deliberate firmness were the peculiar properties of the Covenanters-and the fact that they were successful in their measures, proves in the strongest manner the prudence and expediency of those measures.

The enemies of the Covenanters assert that they acted tumultuously, rashly, and in opposition to the established govern ment. History, however, it has been seen gives no counte nance to these assertions. These gentlemen must bear in mind the age in which the Covenanters appeared. It is by that age that their actions are to be judged of, and not by the refined and polished age in which we live. The age was not far advan ced in civilization, and the sun of Literature was still struggling amidst the mists of barbarism and superstition, and it is therefore most unfair to judge of matters of ancient date by the nice criterion of modern refinement. They must recollect likewise that the Covenanters were a numerous body, and as there cannot fail to be good, and bad in every class, we cannot expect that they should have formed an exception to a rule so universal. But not one of the objections applies to the body collectively. And although some rash act, some overstretch of decorum were sometimes observable, is it to be wondered at in the age in which they lived, and the circumstances in which they were situated? Was it possible for humanity to bear without a groan or a struggle the persecution which they endured? Could they see with callous inattention their pastors dragged from their arms, and butchered at the stake-a father or a mother-a brother or a sister, bleeding on the scaffold-their home in flames their fields in waste-and themselves hunted like the beasts of the forest? Such and more than such, were their sufferings, and how can they be blamed for self-defence? Was it consistent with justice that they should have tamely endured so much injustice? Was it inconsistent with their religion that they should have repelled it?" The coldest bodies warm with opposition; the hardest sparkle in collision."

The Covenanters are ornaments of our history and our couns

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