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least the mights are calmed, so that probably your father his mind between a future passed with that gifted can accompany you.

** As the sojourn you demand, I, if I had a choose lady, and with (the writer means, and one passed schould (scribe) write to some of my schoolcompanions with) the fast, very fast, young women with whom for accompanying you. Perhaps you find on and after he rides in the morning, plays croquet and drinks I would make å foot-voyage in (Valais) Wales, it is tea in the afternoon, sits by at dinner, and dances very agréable to journey with good friends. weather will remain as it is now, I hold it for the best with at night, but wisely abstains from marrying.” to go at Basle.

One of the commonest of newspaper errors is to * An other proposition is this. My friends are at

use a participial clause instead of a verbal one, leav. in the canton of That bath after their description is very fine and the country around also very nice. ing the said clause pendent, so that in the reader's There you find my friends who az I think will remain mind it necessarily falls into a wrong relation. Thus there still two weeks. You make the knowledge of we had in the Times the other day, in the descripMr. Doctor & other Persons you may take baths of cold water which would bee very good fore you for it is tion of the York congress, assembled under the said to have been made there since spring very good presidency of the Archbishop : “His Grace said, eurs. I know not if there are mountains for making &c., and after pronouncing the benediction, the will demand him if my counceil I give you is acceptable, assembly separated.” And

again, in the account

of than I write you without hesistation.

the Queen's visit to open the Aberdeen waterworks, Toda (society) company in at bath is to bee very “In 1862, the Police Commissioners, headed by the little and there fore familiar. I think that an sojourn as Provost, set themselves in earnest to the work of this would bee more agreable because you have kvota obtaining a new Police and Water act, and, succeedledges also. And during this bad time you have ever a refuge before rain.

ing in their labours, the splendid undertaking ** I am very curious if you agreed with my plan, how- opened to-day is the result." ever you must not delay if you will meet my friends. " Receive my cordial salutations.

The notable and often exposed vulgarism “and " Your true friend, which,' or “and who," when no “which" or "who"

has before occurred, seems as frequent as ever. This My reason for quoting this letter is, to show you is an answer to an address presented to the Princess that probably when the average Englishman at- of Wales, and is the composition of an English tempts a letter in French or German, this may be nobleman : not an unfair representation of his performance. “H. R. H, the Princess of Wales acknowledges,

Really ambiguous sentences are to be found even &c., and for which she is profoundly recognisant.” in our most careful writers. One would think that I quote the following from a novel which shall be Miss Austen, if any one, would not be caught nameless : “His having been with Lorenzo at the tripping in this matter. But I read in “Pride and time of his death, and who had wished to confess to Prejudice,” ch. xxviii., pt. i: “Mr. Collins and him, raised him prodigiously in the opinion of all Charlotte appeared at the door, and the carriage those who had been the admirers of that prince.” stopped at the small gate, which led by a short I have received a notice this very day from a gravel walk to the house, amidst the pods and London bookseller to this effect : smiles of the whole party.” And again, ch. xiii. “A. B. C. begs to announce the above important pt. ii : “Elizabeth hesitated, but her knees trembled contributions by Dr. T. to Biblical Criticism as under her, and she felt how little could be gained nearly ready, and which he will have for sale as by an attempt to pursue them.” I also find in the soon as published.” same novel, ch. xx. pt. ii. : “Each felt for the Mistakes in the arrangement of words and clauses other, and of course for themselves.” In this case are found in high quarters not less frequeutly than the correction is easy, as the two persons were Jane of old. In the Times of Saturday last, a paragraph and Elizabeth : "Each felt for the other and of is headed “The Late Queen's Huntsman,” when course for herself:” but had the genders been dif- “The Queen's Late Huntsman" is intended. A terent, it would have been impossible to write the correspondent sends the following from a letter Bentence in this form at all.

describing the great hurricane at Calcutta in 1864 : I find the following sentence in Thackeray's “The great storm wave which passed up the lower “Virginians,” Part IV. :

Hooghly is said to have been of the height of a man "He dropped his knife in his retreat against the at a distance of ten miles from the bed of the river.” wall, which his rapid antagonist kicked under the The ignorant use of one word for another continues table."

to give rise to curious mistakes. A letter to a newsA letter in the Pall Mall Gazette about a fort paper says, “There is in the parish of Helmingham, night ago (Oct. 23, 1866), begins, "Sir, I have been Suffolk, an ancient graveyard of human skeletons, spending this autumn in the vicarage of a pleasant bearing much resemblance to, if not identical with, village in Blankshire, famous for its cricket, that mentioned in your impression on Thursday last which I have rented during the parson's holiday.” as being recently discovered on the farm of Mr.

In a review in the same paper of Aug. 24, 1866, Attrim at Stratford-on-Avon.” we read as follows:

In this sentence let me notice that " as being dis"We defy any sensible bachelor anxious to covered ” is also wrong. The writer meant, change his condition, to read Lady Harriett Sin- having been discovered.” clair's book without drawing a painful contrast in The secretary of a railway publishes in the Times

1

as

of Oct. 17, this year, the following notice. I suppose defendant, “He, though a gentleman of property, he is an Irishman. “The present service of trains was unhappily paralysed in his lower limbs.” What between Three Bridges and East Grinstead, and the a delightful idea this writer had of the usual exempcoach now running between Uckfield and Tunbridge tion of the rich from the ills of humanity! Wells, is now discontinued.”

Nor does the level of physical intelligence rise iu In the leading article of the Times, the same day, our next example, -an advertisement of Keating's appeared this sentence: “To our mind it was im- Persian Insect-destroying powder. It states that possible to entertain any doubt on the subject, at “this powder is quite harmless to animal life, but is least not since the intimation conveyed by the unrivalled in destroying fleas, bugs, flies, cock. American minister.” You will observe that there roaches, beetles, gnats, mosquitos, moths in furs, is here a “not” too much. The writer meant, "at and every other species of insect.” We thought least since the intimation, &c."

we had more frequently found the converse mistake A correspondent sends me a very rich example of made, and the appellation “animals” applied somethis confusion of ideas. It occurs in a leading what exclusively to the unlovely genera here enumearticle of the Standard: The progress of science rated. The advertisement loses none of its richness can neither be arrested nor controlled. Still less, as it proceeds : “Being the original importer of perhaps, in this hurrying nineteenth century, can this article, which has found so great a sale that it we expect to persuade men that, after all, the most has tempted others to vend a so-called article, the haste may finally prove the worst speed, and that public are therefore cautioned to observe that the as a rule it must be of less importance to arrive at packets of the genuine powder bear the autograph your journey's end quickly than it is not to arrive of Thomas Keating.” at all." Of course the writer meant, “than it is to One more specimen, and I have done. make sure of arriving at all."

“Notice. An advertisement headed Evans and I have one or two more illustrations of the blunder Co., merchants, Shanghae, appears in the London of using one word when another is meant. In a Daily Telegraph of June 4th, intimating I was well-known novel by one of our most popular writers, about, or had left, China. I beg to state, I never we read : “He had not learned the heart (sic) of authorised H. Evans, baker and biscuit maker, to assuming himself to be of importance wherever he state I had, or intended leaving Shanghae. - John might find himself.”

Deverill." This can hardly be a misprint.

Well, my friends, our evening is over, and if it In another novel of the day, we read : “For these has amused you, and given you any hints leading pious purposes, a visible and attractive presentiment to the sensible use of your own language, our of the newly promoted Saint is indispensable.” purpose is answered. No farther results are con

The author meant "presentment; presentiment” templated. We shall never persuade the T'imes to being a foreboding within the mind, not a demon- mend its ways in spelling; on Saturday last it stration before the eyes.

made an English Bishop write of his “ diocess," In the Times of April 20, of this year, we read : | while I observe the adjective diocesan is commonly "The prisoners are allowed .. to receive food from left in its correct form ; and a few weeks since it their friends outside, an indulgence which has been spoke, in a leading article, of the book of Revelations. in many instances abused by the secretion of tobacco Nor shall we be able to persuade the public to call and written communications in the food sent in.” the kings of Egypt Pharaoh and not Pharoah.

Had the writer consulted his dictionary, he would There are doubtless wise reasons for the constant have found that secretion means “that agency in preference of the latter form. the animal economy that consists in separating the In this, as in some other matters, “Great is error, various fluids of the body.” He meant “ secreting.” and it will prevail.” For, as the most facetious of If our last example presented a physical curiosity, my former censors reminded me,

“ The progress of our next even surpasses it. The Times Law language is a thing far mightier than the breath of report of Feb. 13, last year, told us of a plaintiff or Deans.”

THE STARLING.

BY THE EDITOR.

CHAPTER I.-ADAM MERCER, POACHER AND

Sergeant Adam Mercer. What that case was, the SOLDIER.

reader will learn by and by. The only reply of The man was ance a poacher !” So said, or Robert Menzies was, “Is't possible !” accompaniel rather breathed, Peter Smellie, grocer and elder, with by a start and a steady gaze at his well-informed his hard wheezing breath, into the ears of Robert brother. “It's a fac' I tell ye,” continued Smellie, Menzies, a brother elder, who was possessed of a “but ye'll keep it to yersel – keep it to yersel', more humane disposition. They were conversing for it doesna do to injure a brither wi’oot cause ; in great confidence about the important “case” of yet it's richt ye should ken what a bad beginning

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our freen has had. Pit your thumb on't, however, his old cousin, quietly accosted him with, “Weel, in the mean time-keep it, as the minister says, in John, ye hae catched me at last.” retentis, which I suppose means, till needed.”

“Adam Mercer !” exclaimed the keeper, with a Smellie went on his way to attend to some paro- look of horror. “It canna be you! It's no' chial duty, nodding and smiling, and again ad possible!” monishing his brother to “keep it to himsel'.” He . It's just me, John, and no mistak’,” said Adam, seemed unwilling to part with the copyright of such quietly throwing himself down on the heather and a spicy bit of gossip. Menzies repeated to himself, twisting a bit about his finger. “For better or “Apacher! wha would have thocht it? Yet- waur, I'm in yer power ; but had I been a ne'er-doWe shall not record the harmonies, real or imaginary, weel, like Willy Steel, or Tam McGrath, I'd have which Mr. Menzies so intuitively discovered between blackened my face and whammel'd ye ower and pit the early and latter habits of the Sergeant. your head in a well-ee afore ye could cheep as loud

And yet the gossiping Smellie, whose nose had as a stane-chucker ; but when I saw wha ye war, tracked out the history of many people in the I gied in.” parish of Drumsylie, was in this, as in most cases, “I wad raither than a five-pun-note I had never accurately informed. The Sergeant of whom he seen yer face! Keep us! what's to be dune ! spoke bad been a poacher some thirty years before, What wull yer mither say ? and his Lordship? Na, in a district many miles away. The wonder is how what wull onybody say wi' a spark o' decency when Smellie had found the fact out, or how, if true, it they hearcould affect the present character or position of one “Dinna fash yer thoomb, John; tak’ me and send of the best men in the parish ; yet true it was, and me to the jail.” it is as well to confess it, not with the view of “The jail! What gude will that do to you excusing it, but only to account for Mercer's having or me, laddie? I'm clean donnered about the become a soldier, and to show how one, “meek as business. Let me sit down aside ye; keep laigh, a sheathed sword” in his later years, had in his in case the keepers see ye, and tell me by what earlier ones been possessed of a very keen and misshanter ye ever took to this wicked business, ardent temperament, whose ruling passion was the and under my nose, as if I couldna fin' ye oot!" love of excitement, in the shape of battle with “Sport, sport!” was Mercer's reply. “Ye ken, game and keepers. We accidentally heard the John, I'm a shoemaker, and it's a dull trade, whole story, truly told, and, on account of other and squeezing the clams against the wame is ill, circumstances in the Sergeant's later history, it in they tell me, for digestion ; and when that fails, terested us more than we fear it can do our readers. ane's speerits fail, and the warld gets black and

Mercer did not care for money, nor seek to make dull; and when things wad be thus gaun wrang wi' a trade of the unlawful pleasure of shooting without me, I couldna flee to drink: but I thocht o' the a licence. Nor in the district in which he lived moors that I kent sae weel when my faither was a was the offence then looked upon in a light so keeper to Murray o’Cultrain. Ye mind my faither? very disreputable as it is now; neither was it was he no a han' at a gun!” pursued by the same disreputable class.

The

He was that—the verra best,” said John. sport itself was what Mercer loved for its own “Aweel," continued Adam, “I used, when doon sake, and it had become to bim quite a passion. in the mouth and dowie, to ponder ower the braw

For two or three years he had frequently trans- days o' health and life I bad when carrying his | gressed, but he was at last caught on the early bag, and getting a shot noos and thans as a reward;

dawn of a summer's morning by the well-known and it's a truth I tell ye, that the whirr kickJoho Spence, who for many years protected the ic-ic o' a covey o' muirfowl aye pits my bluid in a game on the lands of Lord - John had many as tingle. It's a sort o' madness that I canna sistant keepers, from whom he received reports every accoont for ; but I think I'm no responsible for't. Dow and again of some unknown and mysterious Paitricks are maist as bad, though turnips and poacher who had hitherto eluded every attempt stubble are no to be compared wi' the heather, nor to seize him. Though rather old for active service, walkin' amang them like the far-aff braes, the win'y Spence resolved to concentrate all his experience taps o' the hills, or the lown glens. Mony a time fioz, like many a thoroughbred keeper, he had him. I hae promised to drap the gun and stick to the Bi been a poacher in his youth-on the securing last, but when I'm no' weel and wauken and see the of Adam Mercer ; but how he did so it would gun glintin', and think o' the wide bleak muirs, take pages to tell. Adam never suspected John of and the fresh caller air o' the hill, wi' the scent o' trabling himself about such details as watching the braes, and hear thae whirrin' cratures—man, I poschers, and John never suspected that Adam was canna help it! I spring up and grasp the gun, the poacher; for the keeper was cousin-german to and I'm aff!" Mercer's mother, and he therefore felt his own The reformed poacher and keeper listened with credit and honour involved in the capture. The a poorly-concealed smile, and said, “Nae doot, nao capture itself was not difficult; for Sohn having lain doot, Adam; it's a' natural - I'm no' denying that; in wait suddenly confronted Adam, who, scorning it's a glorious business ; in fac?, it's jist pairt o' the idea of flying, much more of struggling with every man that has a steady han’and a guid e'e and 1

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were

a dis

a feelin' heart. Ay, ay. But, Adam, were ye no through the whole Peninsular campaign, with what frichtened?"

credit I cannot tell. But on the evening in question, "For what?”

my friend Findlay, the magistrate, happened to say “For the keepers !”

in a bluff kindly way, “Don't spend your pension “ The keepers ! Eh, John, that's half the sport! in drink.” The thocht o dodgin' keepers, jinkin' them roon Dick replied, saluting him, “It's very hard, sir, hills, and doon glens, and lyin' amang the that after fighting the battles of our country, we muir-hags, and nickin' a brace or twa, and then should be looked upon as worthless,' by gentleteein' like mad doon ae brae and up anither; men like you." and keekin' bere and creepin' there, and cowerin’ No, no, Dick, I never said you were worthless,” alang a fail dyke, and scuddin' thro' the wood— was the reply. that's mair than half the life o't, John! I'm no Please, yer honour," said Dick, “ye did not sure if I could shoot the birds if they were a' in my say it, but I consider any man who spends liis ain kail-yaird, and my ain property, and if I paid money in drink is worthless, and, what is mair, a for them !"

fool--that's to say, he has no recovery in him, no “I' faith,” said John, taking a snuff and handing supports to fall back on, but is in full retreat, as we the box to Adam, “it's human natur'! But, ye would say, from decency. ken, human natur's wicked, desperately wicked ! “But you know,” said my friend, looking kindly and afore I was a keeper my natur' was fully as on Dick, the bravest soldiers, and none wicked as yours,—fully, Adam, if no waur. But I braver than those who served in the Peninsula, often hae repented ever since I was made keeper; and exceeded fearfully-shamefully, and were I wadna like to hinder your repentauce. Na, na

grace to humanity.” We mauna be ower prood! Sae I'll

Wait a Well,” replied Dick, “it's no easy to make bit, man, be canny till I see if ony o' the lads are evil good; but yet ye forget our difficulties and in sicht;" and Johu peeped over & knoll, and temptations. Consider only, sir, that there we were, cautiously looked around in every direction until ! not in bed for months and months ; marching at all gatisfied that he was alone. “_I'll no mention this hours; ill-fed, ill-clothed, and uncertain of life job,” he continued, “if ye'll promise me, Adam, which I assure your honour makes men indifferent never to try this wark again ; for it's no respect to it; and we had often to get our mess as we best able; and, warst o' a', it's no safe, and ye wad could, sometimes a tough steak out of a dead get me into a babble as weel as yersel ; sae promise horse or dead mule, for when the beast was skinned me, like a guid cousin, as I may say, and then just and dead it was difficult to make out its kind; and creep doon the buru, and along the plantin', and after toiling and moiling, up and down, here and ower the wa', till ye get intil the peat road, and there and everywhere, summer and winter, when be aff; but I canna wi' conscience let ye tak the at last we took a town with blood and wounds, and birds wi' ye.”

when a cask of wine or spirits fell in our way, I don't Adam thought a little, and said, “Ye're a gude believe that you, sir, or the justices of the peace, sowl, John, and I'll no' betray ye." After a while or, with reverence be it spoken, the ministers themhe added, gravely, “But I maun kill something. selves, would have said . No,'to a drop, and perhaps It's no in my heart, as wickedness; but my fingers to more than was good for them. You'll excuse me, maun draw a trigger.” After a pause, he continued, sir; I'm free with you." “Gie's yer hand, John; ye hae been a friento “I didn't mean to lecture you, or to blame you, me, and I'll be a man o' honour to you. I'll never Dick, for I know the army is not the place for poach mair, but I'll ’list and be a sodger!”

Christians." “A sodger !” exclaimed John.

“Begging your honour's pardon, sir,” said Dick, But Adam, after seizing John by the hand and “the best Christians I ever knowed were in the saying, “Good-bye!” suddenly started off down the army, men who would do their dooty to their king, glen, leaving two brace of grouse, with his gun, at their country, and their God.” John's feet; as much as to say, Tell my lord how “You have known such ?" I asked, breaking you caught the wicked poacher, and how he fled into the conversation to turn it aside from what the country.

threatened to be a dispute. John told how be had caught a poacher, but never “I have, sir! There's one Adam Mercer, in your gave his name, nor ever hinted that Adam was own town, an elder of your Church-excuse me, sir, the man.

I'm a dissenter on principle-for I considerIt was thus Adam Mercer poached and enlisted. “Go on, Dick, about Mercer ; never mind your

church principles." 'One evening I was at the house of a magistrate "Well, sir, as I was saying—though, mind you, with whom I was acquainted, when a man nained I'm not ashamed of being a dissenter-Adam was Andrew Dick called to get my friend's signature to our sergeant; and a worthier man never shouldered his pension paper. I am fond of old soldiers, and a bayonet. He was no great speaker, and was never fail when an opportunity offers to have a quiet as his gun when piled ; but when he shot-he talk with them about “the wars.” Dick had been shot! short and pithy, a crack, and right into the

argument. He was well respeckit, for he was just on Sunday mornings. At the same minute on each and mercifu'-never bothered the men, and never succeeding day of holy rest and worship, the tall,

picked oot fauts, but covered them; never preached, erect figure, with well-braced shoulders, might be 1

bat could gie an advice in two or three words that seen stepping out of the cottage door—where he gripped firm aboot the heart and took the breath stood erect for a moment to survey the weatherfrae se. He was extraordinar brave ! If there dressed in the same suit of black trousers, brown was any work to do by ordinar', up to leading a surtout, buff waistcoat, black stock, white cotton forlor hope, Adam was sure to be on't; and them gloves, with a yellow cane under his armthat kent him, even better than me, said that he everything so neat and clean, from the polished

nerer got courage frae brandy-altho' that has its boots to the polished hat, from the well-brushed | un gude in my opinion—but, as they assured me, grey whiskers to the well-arranged locks that met

though ye'll maybe no believe it, his preparation in a peak over his high forehead and soldierlike was a prayer! I canna tell how they found this oot, face. Never was there a more sedate or attentive for Adam was unco quiet; but they say a drummer listener. catched him on his knees afore he mounted the ladder There were few week days, and no Sunday evenwi' Cansh at the siege of Badajoz, and that Adam ings, on which the Sergeant did not pay a visit to telt him no to say a word aboot it, but yet to tak some neighbour confined to bed from sickness, or his advice and seek God's help mair than man’s.” suffering from distress of some kind. He manifested

This narrative interested me much, so that I rare tact-made up of common sense and genuine I remembered its facts, and connected them with benevolence—on such occasions. His strong sym. ! what I afterwards heard about Adam Mercer many pathies put him instantly en rapport with those years ago, when on a visit to Drumsylie.

whom he visited, enabling him at once to meet

them on some common ground. Yet in whatever CHAPTER 11. -THE ELDER AND HIS STARLING. way the Sergeant began his intercourse, whether

WHEY Adam Mercer returned from the wars, by listening patiently-and what a comfort such Dearly half a century ago, he settled in the village listening silence is !—to the history of the sickof Drumsylie, situated in a remote district in the ness or the sorrow which had induced him to enter Dorthern parts of Scotland, and about twenty the house, or by telling some of his own adventures, miles from the scene of his poaching habits, of or by reading aloud the newspaper-he in the which he had long ago repented. His hot young end managed with perfect naturalness to convey blood had been cooled down by hard service, and truths of weightiest import, and fraught with enhis vehement temperament subdued by military during good and comfort—all backed up by a discipline; but there remained an admirable mix. humanity, an unselfishness, and a gentlemanlike tare in him of deepest feeling, regulated by habitual respect for others, which made him a most welcome

self-restraint, and expressed in a manner outwardly guest. The humble were made glad, and the proud | calm but not cold, undemonstrative but not unkind. were subdued—they knew not how, nor probably

His whole bearing was that of a man accustomed did the Sergeant himself, for he but felt aright and at once to command and to obey. Corporal Dick acted as he felt, rather than endeavoured to devise had not formed a wrong estimate of his Christi- a plan as to how he should speak or act in order anity. The lessons taught by his mother, whom he to produce some definite result. He numbered fondly loved, and whom he had in her widowhood many true friends; but it was not possible for him supported to the utmost of his means from pay and to avoid being secretly disliked by those with whom, prize-money, and her example of a simple, cheerful, from their character, he would not associate, or and true life, had sunk deeper than he knew into his whom he tacitly rebuked by his orderly life and heart, and, taking root, had sprung up amidst the good manners. stormy scenes of war, bringing forth the fruits of Two events, in no way connected, but both stern self-denial and moral courage tempered by of some consequence to the Sergeant, turned the strong social affections.

current of his life after he had resided a few Adam had resumed his old trade of shoemaker, years in Drumsylie. One was, that by the unaniocupying a small cottage, which, with the aid of a mous choice of the congregation, to whom the poor old woman in the neighbourhood, who for an power was committed by the minister and his Kirk

bour morning and evening did the work of a Session, Mercer was elected to the office of elder in I servant, he kept with singular neatness. His the parish. This was a most unexpected compliEttle parlour was ornamented with several me

* Every congregation in the Church of Scotland is morials of the war-a sword or two picked up on governed by a court, recognised by civil law, composed memorable battle-fields; a French cuirass from of the minister, who acts as “ Moderator," and has only Waterloo, with a gaudy print of Wellington, and

a casting vote, and elders ordained to the office, which

is for life. This court determines, subject to appeal to que also of the meeting with Blucher at La Belle higher courts, who are to receive the Sacrament, and Alliance.

all cases of church discipline. No lawyer is allowed to The Sergeant attended the parish church as regu- plead in it. Its freedom from civil consequences is see

cured by law. In many cases it also takes charge of larly as be used to do parade. Any one could have

the poor. The eldership has been an unspeakable set his watch by the regularity of his movements blessing to Scotland.

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