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The Life of Mansie Wauch - tailor in Dalkeith
by D. M. Moir
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I could not imagine, gleg as I generally am, what had happened; so came round about the far end of the counter, with my spectacles on, to see what it was, when, lo and behold! I perceived a dribbling of blood all along the clean sanded floor, up and down, as if somebody had been walking about with a cut finger; but, after looking around us for a little, we soon found out the thief—and that we did.

The bit doggie was sitting cowering and shivering, and pressing its back against the counter, giving every now and then a mournful whine, so we plainly saw that everything was not right. On the which, the wife, slipping a little back, snapped her finger and thumb before its nose, and cried out—"Hiskie, poor fellow!" but no—it would not do. She then tried it by its own name, and bade it rise, saying, "Puggie, Puggie!" when—would ever mortal man of woman born believe it?—its bit black, bushy, curly tail, was off by the rump—docked and away, as if it had been for a wager.

"Eh, megstie!" cried the woman, laying down the leather-cap and the tied-up parcel, and holding out both her hands in astonishment. "Eh, my goodness, what's come o' the brute's tail? Lovyding! just see, it's clean gane! Losh keep me! that's awfu'! Div ye keep rotten-fa's about your premises, Maister Wauch? See, a bonny business as ever happened in the days of ane's lifetime!"

As a furnishing tailor, as a Christian, and as an inhabitant of Dalkeith, my corruption was raised—was up like a flash of lightning, or a cat's back. Such doings in an enlightened age and a civilized country!—in a town where we have three kirks, a grammar school, a subscription library, a ladies' benevolent society, a mechanics' institution, and a debating club! My heart burned within me like dry tow; and I could mostly have jumped up to the ceiling with vexation and anger—seeing as plain as a pikestaff, though the simple woman did not, that it was the handiwork of none other than our neighbour Reuben Cursecowl, the butcher. Dog on it, it was too bad—it was a rascally transaction; so, come of it what would, I could not find it in my heart to screen him. "I'll wager, however," said I, in a kind of off-hand way, not wishing exactly, ye observe, to be seen in the business, "that it will have been running away with beef-steaks, mutton-chops, sheep feet, or something else out of the booth; and some of his prentice laddies may have come across its hind-quarters accidentally with the cleaver."

"Mistake here, or mistake there," said the woman, her face growing as red as the sleeve of a soldier's jacket, and her two eyes burning like live coals—"'Od the butcher, but I'll butcher him, the nasty, ugly, ill-faured vagabond; the thief-like, cruel, malicious, ill-hearted, down-looking blackguard! He would go for to offer for to presume for to dare to lay hands on an honest man's son's doug! It sets him weel, the bloodthirsty Gehazi, the halinshaker ne'er-do-weel! I'll gie him sic a redding up as he never had since the day his mother boor him!" Then looting down to the poor bit beast, that was bleeding like a sheep—"Ay, Puggie, man," she said in a doleful voice, "they've made ye an unco fright; but I'll gie them up their fit for't; I'll show them, in a couple of hurries, that they have catched a Tartar!"—and with that out went the woman, paper-parcel, leather-cap and all, randying like a tinkler from Yetholm; the wee wretchie cowering behind her, with the mouse-wabs sticking on the place I had put them to stop the bleeding; and looking, by all the world, like a sight I once saw, when I was a boy, on a visit to my father's half-cousin, Aunt Heatherwig, on the Castle-hill of Edinburgh—to wit, a thief going down Leith Walk, on his road to be shipped for transportation to Botany Bay, after having been pelted for a couple of hours with rotten eggs in the pillory.

Knowing the nature of the parties concerned, and that intimately on both sides, I jealoused directly that there would be a stramash; so not liking, for sundry reasons, to have my nebseen in the business, I shut to the door, and drew the long bolt; while I hastened ben to the room, and, softly pulling up a jink of the window clapped the side of my head to it; that, unobserved, I might have an opportunity of overhearing the conversation between Reuben Cursecowl and the coallier wife; which, weel-a-wat, was likely to become public property.

"Hollo! you man, de ye ken onything about that?" cried the randy woman;—but wait a moment, till I give a skiff of description of our neighbour Reuben.

By this time—it was ten years after James Batter's tragedy—Mr Cursecowl was an oldish man—he is gathered to his fathers now—and was considerably past his best, as his wife, douce, honest woman, used to observe. His dress was a little in the Pagan style, and rendered him kenspeckle to the eye of observation. Instead of a hat, he generally wore a long red Kilmarnock nightcap, with a cherry on the top of it, through foul weather and fair; and having a kind of trot in his walk, from a bink forward in his knees, it dang-dangled behind him, like the cap of Mr Merry-man with the painted face, the showfolk's fool. On the afternoon alluded to, he was in full killing-dress, having on an auld blue short coatie, once long, but now docked in the tails, so that the pocket-flaps and hainch buttons were not above three inches from the place where his wife had snibbed it across by; and, from long use in his blood-thirsty occupation, his sleeves flashed in the daylight as if they had been double japanned. Tied round his beer-barrel-like waist was a stripped apron, blue and white; and at his left side hung a bloody gaping leather pouch, as if he had been an Israelite returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, filled with steels and knives, straight and crooked, that had done ample execution in their day I'll warrant them. Up his thighs were rolled his coarse rig-and-fur stockings, as if it were to gird him for the battle, and his feet were slipped into a pair of bauchles—that is, the under part of auld boots cut from the legs. As to his face, lo, and behold! the moon shining in the Nor-west—yea, the sun blazing in his glory—had not a more crimson aspect than Reuben. Like the pig-eyed Chinese folk on tea-cups, his peepers were diminutive and twinkling; but his nose made up for them—and that it did—being portly in all its dimensions broad and long, as to colour, liker a radish than any other production in nature. In short, he was as bonny a figure as ever man of woman born clapped eye on; and was cleaving away most devoutly, at a side of black-faced mutton, when the woman, as I said before, cried out, "Hollo! you man, do ye ken onything about that?" pointing to the dumb animal that crawled and crouched behind her.

"Aweel, what o't?" cried Cursecowl, still hacking and cleaving away at the meat.

"What o't? i' faith, billy, that's a gude ane," answered the wife. "But ye'll no get aff that way; catch me, my man. My name's no Jenny Mathieson an I haena ye afore your betters. I'll learn ye what soommenses are."

Looking at her with a look of lightning for a couple of seconds—"Aff wi' ye, gin you're wise," quo' Cursecowl, still cleaving away—"or I'll maybe bring ye in for the sheep's-head it was trying to make off with its teeth. Do ye understand that?" And he gave a girn, that stretched his mouth from ear to ear.

This was too much for the subterranean daughter of Eve; it was like putting a red-hot poker among the coals of her own pit. "Oh, ye incarnate cannibal!" she bawled out, doubling her nieve, and shaking it in Reuben's face; "if ye have a conscience at a', think black-burning shame o' yoursell! Just look, ye bluidy salvage; just take a look there, my bonny man, o' your handiwark now. Isn't that very pretty?"—"Aff wi' ye," continued Cursecowl, still cleaving away with the chopping-axe, and muttering a volley of curses through the knife, which he held between his teeth—"Aff wi' ye; and keep a calm sough."

"The dog's no mine, or I wadna have cared sae muckle. Siccan a like beast! Siccan a fright to be seen!!! I'faith I think shame to tak' it hame again!! Ay, man, ye're a pretty fellow! Ye've run fast when the noses were dealing; ye're a bonny man to hack off the poor dumb animal's tail. If it had been a Christian like yoursell, it wad have mattered less—but a puir bit dumb harmless animal!"

"Aff wi' ye there, and nane o' your chatter," thundered Reuben, stopping in his cleaving, and turning the side of his red face round to the woman. "Flee—vanish—and be cursed to ye—baith you and your doug thegither, ye infernal limmer! It's well for't, luckie, it was not his head instead of its tail. Ye had better steik your gab—cut your stick—and pack off, gin ye be wise."

"Think shame—think shame—think black-burning shame o' yoursell, ye born and bred ruffian!" roared out the wife at the top story of her voice—shaking her doubled nieve before him—stamping her heels on the causey—then, drawing herself up, and holding her hands on her hainches—"Just look, I tell ye, you unhanged blackguard, at your precious handywark! Just look, what think ye of that now? Tak' another look now, ower that fief-like fiery nose o' yours, ye regardless Pagan!"

Flesh and blood could stand this no longer; and I saw Cursecowl's anger boiling up within him, as in a red-hot fiery furnace.

"Wait a wee, my woman," muttered Cursecowl to himself, as, swearing between his teeth, he hurried into the killing-booth.

Furious as the woman, however, was, she had yet enough of common sense remaining within her to dread skaith; so, apprehending the bursting storm, she had just taken to her heels, when out he came, rampauging after her like a Greenland bear, with a large liver in each hand;—the one of which, after describing a circle round his head, flashed after her like lightning, and hearted her between the shoulders like a clap of thunder; while the other, as he was repeating the volley, slipping sideways from his fingers while he was driving it with all his force, played drive directly through the window where I was standing, and gave me such a yerk on the side of the head, that it could be compared to nothing else but the lines written on the stucco image of Shakspeare, the great playactor, on our parlour chimneypiece,

"The great globe itself, Yea, all that it inherits, shall dissolve;"

and I lay speechless on the floor for goodness knows the length of time. Even when I came to my recollection, it was partly to a sense of torment; for Nanse, coming into the room, and not knowing the cause of my disastrous overthrow, attributed it all to a fit of the apoplexy; and, in her frenzy of affliction, had blistered all my nose with her Sunday scent-bottle of aromatic vinegar.

For some weeks after there was a bumming in my ears, as if all the bee-skeps on the banks of the Esk had been pent up within my head; and though Reuben Cursecowl paid, like a gentleman, for the four panes he had broken, he drove into me, I can assure him, in a most forcible and striking manner, the truth of the old proverb—which is the moral of this chapter that "listeners seldom hear anything to their own advantage."



CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT—MANSIE WAUCH ON SOME SERIOUS MUSINGS

After consultation with friends, and much serious consideration on such a momentous subject, it having been finally settled on between the wife and myself to educate Benjie to the barber and haircutting line, we looked round about us in the world for a suitable master to whom we might entrust our dear laddie, he having now finished his education, and reached his fourteenth year.

It was visible in a twinkling to us both, that his apprenticeship could not be gone through with at home in that first-rate style which would enable him to reach the top of the tree in his profession; yet it gave us a sore heart to think of sending away, at so tender an age, one who was so dear to his mother and me, and whom we had, as it were, in a manner made a pet of; so we reckoned it best to article him for a twelvemonth with Ebenezer Packwood at the corner, before finally sending him off to Edinburgh, to get his finishing in the wig, false-curl, and hair-baking department, under Urquhart, Maclachlan, or Connal. Accordingly, I sent for Eben to come and eat an egg with me—matters were entered upon and arranged—Benjie was sent on trial; and though at first he funked and fought refractory, he came, to the astonishment of his master and the old apprentice, in less than no time to cut hair without many visible shear-marks; and, within the first quarter, succeeded, without so much as drawing blood, to unbristle for a wager of his master's, the Saturday night's countenance of Daniel Shoebrush himself, who was as rough as a badger.

Having thus done for Benjie, it now behoved me to have an eye towards myself; for, having turned the corner of manhood, I found that I was beginning to be wearing away down the hillside of life. Customers, who had as much faith in me as almost in their Bible with regard to everything connected with my own department, and who could depend on their cloth being cut according to the newest and most approved fashions, began now and then to return a coat upon my hand for alteration, as being quite out of date; while my daily work, to which in the days of other years I had got up blythe as the lark, instead of being a pleasure, came to be looked forward to with trouble and anxiety, weighing on my heart as a care, and on my shoulders as a burden.

Finding but too severely that such was the case, and that there is no contending with the course of nature, I took sweet counsel together with James Batter over a cup of tea and a cookie, concerning what it was best for a man placed in my circumstances to betake myself to.

As industry ever has its own reward, let me without brag or boasting be allowed to state, that in my own case, it did not disappoint my exertions. I had sat down a tenant, and I was now not only the landlord of my own house and shop, but of all the back tenements to the head of the garden, as also of the row of one-story houses behind, facing to the loan, in the centre of which Lucky Thamson keeps up the sign of the Tankard and Tappit Hen. It was also a relief to my mind, as the head of my family, that we had cut Benjie loose from his mother's apron string, poor fellow, and set him adrift in an honest way of doing to buffet the stormy ocean of life; so, everything considered, it was found that enough and to spare had been laid past by Nanse and me to spend the evening of our days by the lound dykeside of domestic comfort.

In Tammy Bodkin, to whom I trust I had been a dutiful, as I know I was an honoured master, I found a faithful journeyman, he having served me in that capacity for nine years; so, it is not miraculous, being constantly, during that period, under my attentive eye, that he was now quite a deacon in all the departments of the business. As an eident scholar he had his reward; for customers, especially during the latter years, when my sight was scarcely so good, came at length to be not very scrupulous as to whether their cloth was cut by the man or his master. Never let filial piety be overlooked:—when I first patronized Tammie, and promoted him to the dignity of sitting crosslegged along with me on the working-board, he was a hatless and shoeless ragamuffin, the orphan lad of a widowed mother, whose husband had been killed by a chain-shot, which carried off his head, at the bloody battle of the Nile, under Lord Nelson. Tammie was the oldest of four, and the other three were lasses, that knew not in the morning where the day's providing was to come from, except by trust in Him who sent the ravens to Elijah. By allowing Tammie a trifle for board-wages, I was enabled to add my mite to the comforts of the family; for he was kind, frugal, and dutiful, and would willingly share with them to the last morsel. In the course of a few years he became his mother's bread-winner, the lasses being sent to service, I myself having recommended one of them to Deacon Burlings, and another to Springheel the dancing-master; retaining Katie, the youngest, for ourselves, to manage the kitchen, and go messages when required.

[Picture: The lazy corner, Dalkeith]

Providence having thus blessed Tammie's efforts in the paths of industrious sobriety, what could I do better—James Batter being exactly of the same opinion—than make him my successor; giving him the shop at a cheap rent, the stock in trade at a moderate valuation, and the good-will of the business as a gratis gift.

Having recommended Tammie to public patronage and support, he is now, as all the world knows, a thriving man; nor, from Berwick Bridge to Johnny Groat's, is it in the power of any gentleman to have his coat cut in a more fashionable way, or on more moderate terms, than at the sign of the Goose and the Pair of Shears rampant.

Leaving Tammie to take care of his own matters, as he is well able to do, allow me to observe, that it is curious how habit becomes a second nature, and how the breaking in upon the ways we have been long and long accustomed to, through the days of the years that are past, is as the cutting asunder of the joints and marrow. This I found bitterly, even though I had the prospect before me of spending my old age in peace and plenty. I could not think of leaving my auld house—every room, every nook in it was familiar to my heart. The garden trees seemed to wave their branches sorrowfully over my head, as bidding me a farewell; and when I saw all the scraighing hens catched out of the hen-house I had twenty years before built and tiled with my own hands, and tumbled into a sack, to be carried on limping Jock Dalgleish's back up to our new abode at Lugton, my heart swelled to my mouth, and the mist of gushing tears bedimmed my eyesight. Four of Thomas Burlings' flour carts stood laden before the door with our furniture, on the top of which were three of Nanse's grand geraniums in flower-pots, with five of my walking-sticks tied together with a string; and as I paced through the empty rooms, where I had passed so many pleasant and happy hours, the sound of my feet on the bare floor seemed in my ears like an echo from the grave. On our road to Lugton I could scarcely muster common sense to answer a person who wished us a good-day; and Nanse, as we daundered on arm-in-arm, never once took her napkin from her een. Oh, but it was a weary business!

Being in this sober frame of mind, allow me to wind up this chapter—the last catastrophe of my eventful life that I mean at present to make public—with a few serious reflections; as it fears me, that, in much of what I have set down, ill-natured people may see a good deal scarcely consistent with my character for douceness and circumspection; but if many wonderfuls have befallen to my share, it would be well to remember that a man's lot is not of his own making. Musing within myself on the chances and changes of time, the uncertainties of life, the frail thread by which we are tacked to this world, and how the place that now knows us shall soon know us no more, I could not help, for two or three days previous to my quitting my dear old house and shop, taking my stick into my hand, and wandering about all my old haunts and houffs—and need I mention that among these were the road down to the Duke's south gate with the deers on it, the waterside by Woodburn, the Cow-brigg, up the back street, through the flesh-market, and over to the auld kirk in among the headstones? For three walks, on three different days, I set out in different directions; yet, strange to say! I aye landed in the kirkyard:—and where is the man of woman born proud enough to brag, that it shall not be his fate to land there at last?

Headstones and headstones around me! some newly put up, and others mossy and grey; it was a humbling yet an edifying sight, preaching, as forcibly as ever Maister Wiggie did in his best days, of the vanity and the passingness of all human enjoyments. Mouldered to dust beneath the tufts lay the blithe laddies with whom I have a hundred times played merry games on moonlight nights; some were soon cut off; others grew up to their full estate; and there stood I, a greyhaired man, among the weeds and nettles, mourning over times never to return!

The reader will no doubt be anxious to hear a few words regarding my son Benjie, who has turned out just as his friends and the world expected. After his time with Ebenezer Packwood in Dalkeith, he served for four years in Edinburgh, where he cut a distinguished figure, having shaved and shorn lots of the nobility and gentry; among whom was a French Duchess, and many other foreigners of distinction. In short, nothing went down at the principal hotels but the expertness of Mr Benjamin Wauch; and, had he been so disposed, he could have commenced on his own footing with every chance of success; but knowing himself fully young, and being anxious to see more of the world before settling, he took out a passage in one of the Leith smacks, and set sail for London, where he arrived, after a safe and prosperous voyage, without a hair of his head injured. The only thing I am ashamed to let out about him is, that he is now, and has been for some time past, principal shopman in a Wallflower Hair-powder and Genuine Macassar Oil Warehouse, kept by three Frenchmen, called Moosies Peroukey.

But, though our natural enemies, he writes me that he has found them agreeable and chatty masters, full of good manners and pleasant discourse, first-rate in their articles, and, except in their language, almost Christians.

I aye thought Benjie was a genius; and he is beginning to show himself his father's son, being in thoughts of taking out a patent for making hair-oil from rancid butter. If he succeeds it will make the callant's fortune. But he must not marry Madamoselle Peroukey without my especial consent, as Nanse says, that her having a French woman for her daughter-in-law would be the death of her.



CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE—CONCLUSION

On first commencing this memoir of my life, I put pen to paper with the laudable view of handing down to posterity—to our children, and to their children's children—the accidents, adventures, and mischances that may fall to the lot of a man placed by Providence even in the loundest situation of life, where he seemed to lie sheltered in the bield of peace and privacy;—and, at that time, it was my intention to have carried down my various transactions to this dividual day and date. My materials, however, have swelled on my hand like summer corn under sunny showers; one thing has brought another to remembrance; sowds of bypast marvels have come before my mind's eye in the silent watches of the night, concerning the days when I sat working crosslegged on the board; and if I do not stop at this critical juncture—to wit, my retiring from trade, and the settlement of my dear and only son Benjie in an honourable way of doing; as who dares to deny that the barber and hair-cutting line is a safe and honourable employment?—I do not know when I might get to the end of my tether; and the interest which every reasonable man must take in the extraordinary adventures of my early years, might be grievously marred and broken in upon through the garrulity of old age.

Perhaps I am going a little too far when I say, that the whole world cannot fail to be interested in the occurrences of my life; for since its creation, which was not yesterday, I do not believe—and James Batter is exactly of the same mind—that there ever was a subject concerning which the bulk of mankind have not had two opinions. Knowing this to be the case, I would be a great gomeril to expect that I should be the only white swan that ever appeared; and that all parties in church and state, who are for cutting each other's throats on every other great question, should be unanimous only in what regards me. Englishmen, for instance, will say that I am a bad speller, and that my language is kittle; and such of the Irishers as can read, will be threaping that I have abused their precious country; but, my certie, instead of blaming me for letting out what I could not deny, they must just learn to behave themselves better when they come to see us, or bide at home.

Being by nature a Scotsman—being, I say, of the blood of Robert Bruce and Sir William Wallace—and having in my day and generation buckled on my sword to keep the battle from our gates in the hour of danger, ill would it become me to speak but the plain truth, the whole truth, and anything but the truth. No; although bred to a peaceable occupation, I am the subject of a free king and constitution; and, if I have written as I speak, I have just spoken as I thought. The man of learning, that kens no language saving Greek, and Gaelic, and Hebrew, will doubtless laugh at the curiosity of my dialect; but I would just recommend him, as he is a philosopher, to consider for a wee, that there are other things, in mortal life and in human nature, worth a moment's consideration besides old Pagan heathens-pot-hooks and hangers—the asses' bridge and the weary walls of Troy; which last city, for all that has been said and sung about it, would be found, I would stake my life upon it, could it be seen at this moment, not worth half a thought when compared with the New Town of Edinburgh. Of all towns in the world, however, Dalkeith for my money. If the ignorant are dumfoundered at one of their own kidney—a tailor laddie, that got the feck of his small education leathered into him at Dominie Threshem's school—thinking himself an author, I would just remind them that seeing is believing; and that they should keep up a good heart, as it is impossible to say what may yet be their own fortune before they die. The rich man's apology I would beg; if in this humble narrative, this detail of manners almost hidden from the sphere of his observation, I have in any instance tramped on the tender toes of good breeding, or given just offence in breadth of expression, or vulgarity of language. Let this, however, be my apology, that the only value of my wonderful history consists in its being as true as death—a circumstance which it could have slender pretensions to, had I coined stories, or coloured them so as to please my own fancy and that of the world. In that case it would have been very easy for me to have made a Sinbad the Sailor tale out of it—to have shown myself up a man such as the world has never seen except on paper—to have made Cursecowl behave like a gentleman, and the Frenchman from Penicuik crack like a Christian. And to the poor man, him whom the wise Disposer of all events has seen fit to place in a situation similar to that in which I have been placed, ordaining him to earn daily bread by the labour of his hands and the sweat of his brow, if my adventures shall afford an hour or two's pleasant amusement, when, after working hours, he sits by his bleezing ingle with a bairn on each knee, whilst his oldest daughter is sewing her seam, and his goodwife with her right foot birls round the spinning-wheel, then my purpose is gained, and more than gained; for it is my firm belief that no man, who has by head or hand, in any way lightened an ounce weight of the load of human misery, can be truly said to have been unprofitable in his day, or disappointed the purpose of his creation. For what more can we do here below? The God who formed us, breathing into our nostrils the breath of life, is, in his Almighty power and wisdom, far removed beyond the sphere of our poor and paltry offices. We are of the clay; and return to the elements from which we are formed. He is a Spirit, without beginning of days or end of years. The extent of our limited exertions reaches no further than our belief in, and our duty towards Him; which, in my humble opinion, can be best shown by us in our love and charity towards our fellow-creatures—the master-work of his hands.

I would not willingly close this record of my life, without expressing a few words of heartfelt gratitude towards the multitude from whom, in the intercourse of the world, I have experienced good offices; and towards the few who, in the hour of my trials and adversities, remained with faces towards me steadfast and unalterable, scorning the fickle who scoffed, and the Levite who passed by on the other side. Of old hath it been said, that a true friend is the medicine of life; and in the day of darkness, when my heart was breaking, and the world with all its concerns seemed shaded in a gloom never to pass away, how deeply have I acknowledged the truth of the maxim! How shall I repay such kindness? Alas! it is out of my power. But all I can do, I do. I think of it on my pillow at the silent hour of midnight; my heart burns with the gratitude it hath not—may never have an opportunity of showing to the world; and I put up my prayer in faith to Him who seeth in secret, that he may bless and reward them openly.

Sorrows and pleasures are inseparably mixed up in the cup set for man's drinking; and the sunniest day hath its cloud. But I have made this observation, that if true happiness, or any thing like true happiness, is to be found in this world, it is only to be purchased by the practice of virtue. Things will fall out—so it hath been ordained in this scene of trial—even to the best and purest of heart, which must carry sorrow to the bosom, and bring tears to the eyelids; and then to the wayward and the wicked, bitter is their misery as the waters of Marah. But never can the good man be wholly unhappy; he has that within which passeth show; the anchor of his faith is fixed on the Rock of Ages; and when the dark cloud hath glided over—and it will glide—it leaves behind it the blue and unclouded heaven.

If, concerning religious matters, a tone of levity at any time seems to infect these pages, I cry ye mercy; for nothing was further from my intention; yet, though acknowledging this, I maintain that it is a vain thing to look on religion as on a winter night, full of terror, and darkness, and storms. No one, it strikes me, errs more widely than he who supposes that man was made to mourn—that the sanctity of the heart is shown by the length of the face—and that mirth, the pleasant mirth of innocent hearts, is sinful in the sight of Heaven. I will never believe that. The very sun may appear dim to such folks as choose only to look at him through green spectacles; as by the poor wretch who is dwining in the jaundice, the driven snow could be sworn to as a bright yellow. Such opinions, however, lie between man and his Maker, and are not for the like of us to judge of. For myself, I have enjoyed a pleasant run of good health through life, reading my Bible more in hope than fear; our salvation, and not our destruction, being I should suppose its purpose. So, when I behold bright suns and blue skies, the trees in blossom, and birds on the wing, the waters singing to the woods, and earth looking like the abode of them who were at first formed but a little lower than the angels, I trust that the overflowing of a grateful heart will not be reckoned against me for unrighteousness.



Footnotes:

{175} See Dr Jamieson.—P. D.

THE END

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