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himself. Such was my fortunate client; and I must allow, Darsie, that my profession had need to do a great deal of good, if, as is much to be feared, it brings many individuals to such a pass.

After we had been, with a good deal of form, presented to each other, at which time I easily saw by my father's manner that he was desirous of supporting Peter's character in my eyes, as much as circumstances would permit, "Alan," he said, "this is the gentleman who has agreed to accept of you as his counsel, in place of young Dumtoustie.”

"Entirely out of favour to my old acquaintance your father," said Peter, with a benign and patronizing countenance, દર out of respect to your father, and my old intimacy with Lord Bladderskate. Otherwise, by the Regiam Majestatem! I would have presented a petition and complaint against Daniel Dumtoustic, Advocate, by name and surname I would, by all the practiques!-I know the forms of process; and I am not to be trifled with."

My father here interrupted my client, and reminded him that there was a good deal of business to do, as he proposed to give the young counsel an outline of the state of the conjoined process, with a view to letting him into the merits of the cause, disencumbered from the points of form. "I have made a short abbreviate, Mr. Peebles," said he; "having sat up late last night, and employed much of this morning in wading through these papers, to save Alan some trouble, and I am now about to state the result"

"I will state it myself," said Peter, breaking in without reverence upon his solicitor.

"No, by no means," said my father; "I am your agent for the time.""

"Mine eleventh in number," said Peter: "I have a new one every year; I wish I could get a new coat as regularly."

"Your agent for the time," resumed my father;" and you, who are acquainted with the forms, know that the client states the case to the agent-the agent to the counsel

Heartily glad, I believe, to have so good a chance of stopping his client's mouth effectually, my father ordered some cold meat; to which James Wilkinson, for the honour of the house, was about to add the brandy bottle, which remained on the sideboard, but, at a wink from my father, supplied its place with small beer. Peter charged the provisions with the rapacity of a famished lion; and so well did the diversion engage him, that though, while my father stated the case, he looked at him repeatedly, as if he meant to interrupt his statement, yet he always found more agreeable employment for his mouth, and returned to the cold beef with an avidity which convinced me he had not had such an opportunity for many a day of satiating his appetite. Omitting much formal phraseology, and many legal details, I will endeavour to give you, in exchange for your fiddler's tale, the history of a litigant, or rather, the history of his law-suit.


My brain was like to turn at this account of lawsuit within lawsuit, like a nest of chip-boxes, with all of which I was expected to make myself acquainted.

"I understand," I said, "that Mr. Peebles claims a sum of money from Plainstanes-how then can he be his debtor? and if not his debtor, how can he bring a Multiplepoinding, the very summons of which sets forth, that the pursuer does owe certain monies, which he is desirous to pay by warrant of a judge?

"Ye know little of the matter, I doubt, friend," said Mr. Peebles; "a Multiplepoinding is the safest remedium juris in the whole form of process. I have known it conjoined with a declarator of marriage.Your beef is excellent," he said to my father, who in vain endeavoured to resume his legal disquisition; "but something highly powdered and the twopenny is undeniable; but it is small swipes-small swipes-more of hop than malt—with your leave I'll try your black bottle."

My father started to help him with his own hand, and in due measure; but, infinitely to my amusement, Peter Peebles got possession of the bottle by the neck, and my father's ideas of hospitality were far too scrupulous to permit his attempting, by any direct means, to redeem it; so that Peter returned to the table triumphant, with his prey in his clutch.

"The counsel to the Lord Ordinary, the Ordinary to the Inner House, the President to the Bench. It is just like the rope to the man, the man to the ox, the ox to the water, the water to the fire--" "Hush, for Heaven's sake, Mr. Peebles," said my father, cutting his recitation "Better have a wine-glass, Mr. Peeshort; "time wears on-we must get to bles," said my father, in an admonitory business-you must not interrupt the court, tone, " you will find it pretty strong." you know. Hem, hem! From this abbre- "If the kirk is ower muckle, we can viate it appears sing mass in the quire," said Peter, helping himself in the goblet out of which he had been drinking the small beer. "What is it, usquebaugh ?-BRANDY, as I am an honest man! I had almost forgotten the name and taste of brandy.-Mr. Fairford elder, your good health (a mouthful of

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"Before you begin," said Peter Peebles, "I'll thank you to order me a morsel of bread and cheese, or some cauld meat, or broth, or the like alimentary provision; I was so anxious to see your son, that I could not eat a mouthful of dinner."

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brandy)--Mr. Alan Fairford, wishing you well through your arduous undertaking (another go-down of the comfortable liquor), -And now, though you have given a tolerable breviate of this great lawsuit, of whilk everybody has heard something that has walked the boards in the Outer-House, (here's to ye again, by way of interim decreet,) yet ye have omitted to speak a word of the arrestments."

"I was just coming to that point, Mr. Peebles."

"Or of the action of suspension of the charge on the bill."

"I was just coming to that." "Or the advocation of the Sheriff-Court process.'

"I was just coming to it." "As Tweed comes to Melrose, I think," said the litigant; and then filling his goblet about a quarter full of brandy, as if in absence of mind, "Oh, Mr. Alan Fairford, ye are a lucky man to buckle to such a cause as mine at the very outset! it is like a specimen of all causes, man. By the Regiam, there is not a remedium juris in the practiques but ye'll find a spice o't. Here's to your getting weel through with it-Pshut -I am drinking naked spirits, I think. But if the heathen be ower strong we'll christen him with the brewer, (here he added a little small beer to his beverage, paused, rolled his eyes, winked, and proceeded,)-Mr. Fairford-the action of assault and battery, Mr. Fairford, when I compelled the villain Plainstanes to pull my nose within two steps of King Charles's statue, in the Parliament Close-there I had him in a hose-net. Never man could tell me how to shape that process-no counsel that ever selled wind could condescend and say whether it were best to proceed by way of petition and complaint, ad vindictam publicam, with consent of his Majesty's advocate, or by action on the statute for battery pendente lite, whilk would be the winning my plea at once, and so getting a back-door out of Court.-By the Regiam, that_beef and brandy is unco het at my heart-I maun try the ale again (sipped a little beer); and the ale's but cauld, I maun e'en put in the rest of the brandy."

He was as good as his word, and proceeded in so loud and animated a style of elocution, thumping the table, drinking and snuffing alternately, that my father abandoning all attempts to interrupt him, sat silent and ashamed, suffering and anxious for the conclusion of the scene.

"And then to come back to my pet process of all-my battery and assault process, when I had the good luck to provoke him to pull my nose at the very threshold of the Court, whilk was the very thing wanted-Mr. Pest, ye ken him, Daddie Fairford ? Old Pest was for making it out hamcsucken, for he said the Court


might be said-said-ugh!-to be my dwelling-place. I dwell mair there than ony gate else, and the essence of hamesucken is to strike a man in his dwellingplace-mind that, young advocate-and so there's hope Plainstanes may be hanged, as many has for a less matter; for, my Lords,-will Pest say to the Justiciary bodies,-my Lords, the Parliament House is Peebles's place of dwelling, says he being commune forum, and commune forum est commune domicilium-Lass, fetch another glass of whiskey, and score ittime to gae hame-by the practiqnes, I cannot find the jug-yet there's twa of them, I think. By the Regiam, FairfordDaddie Fairford-lend us twal pennies to buy sneeshing, mine is done-Macer, call another cause."

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The box fell from his hands, and his body would at the same time have fallen from the chair, had not I supported him.

"This is intolerable," said my father-"Call a chairman, James Wilkinson, to carry this degraded, worthless, drunken beast home."-(P. 313-318.)

Nevertheless, whatever be the merits of this story as an episode, its total irrelevancy to the principal subject, renders its insertion here preposterous to the highest degree of absurdity; and by pertinaciously interrupting the clear flow of narrative and of feeling, it becomes insufferably tedious, and almost hateful, to the reader.

Poverty of invention with respect to character is, in our opinion, the most striking defect of mind visible in the Author of Waverley. Besides this, however, we cannot, in our attempt to estimate truly his intellectual value, help noticing a second, to us very obvious, yet, considering the general power of his faculties, very unexpected mark of mortality, about the works of this illustrious writer. We mean-a certain childishness of fancy, most palpably displayed whereever he approaches the supernatural. Compare the Witches in Macbeth with Meg Merrilies, Madge Wildfire, Norna, and their congeners in these novels: is there, or is there not, something about the latter which reminds us of our nursery-tales? is not the sublimity of the former less associated with our merely infantile terrors, and rather such as (at least in the age in which they were imagined), is founded upon adult ignorance and superstition, than upon the weakness of mind incident to childhood? We have no time now for

more than a hint upon this matter. Indeed, the distinction, though perfectly intelligible, is not easily definable in words. Unless our reader's delicacy of perception bear immediate testimony to the truth of our remark, we doubt our ability to convince him secundum artem. An instance is, perhaps, the best argument we could use the descent of Halbert Glendinning into the bowels of the earth with his patroness, the White Lady of Avenel, might, we think with great propriety, have formed Scheherezade's thousand-and-second night's tale; it is calculated for no more mature admiration than that which a schoolboy bestows on the Arabian Entertainments, and could only be relished at that age when we swallow Giants and Enchanted Castles as eagerly as we do our bread and butter. There is also something of the puerile taste to which we allude in the following description of Redgauntlet's first appearance; mingled we grant, not a little incongruously, with considerable power, and force of descriptive genius:

I mentioned in my last, that having abandoned my fishing-rod as an unprofit able implement, I crossed over the open downs which divided me from the margin of the Solway. When I reached the banks of the great estuary, which are here very bare and exposed, the waters had receded from the large and level space of sand, through which a stream, now feeble and fordable, found its way to the ocean. The whole was illuminated by the beams of the low and setting sun, who shewed his ruddy front, like a warrior prepared for defence, over a huge battlemented and turretted wall of crimson and black clouds, which appeared like an immense Gothic fortress, into which the Lord of day was descending. His setting rays glimmered bright upon the wet surface of the sands, and the numberless pools of water by which it was covered, where the inequality of the ground had occasioned their being left by the tide.

The scene was animated by the exertions of a number of horsemen, who were actually employed in hunting salmon. Ay, Alan, lift up your hands and eyes as you will, I can give their mode of fishing no name so appropriate; for they chased the fish at full gallop, and struck them with their barbed spears, as you see hunters spearing boars in the old tapestry. The salmon, to be sure, take the thing more quietly than the boars; but they are so swift in their own element, that to pursue and strike them is the task of a good horseman, with a quick eye, a determined hand,

and full command both of his horse and weapon. The shouts of the fellows as they gallopped up and down in the animating exercise-their loud bursts of laughter when any of their number caught a falland still louder acclamations when any of the party made a capital stroke with his lance gave so much animation to the whole scene, that I caught the enthusiasm of the sport, and ventured forward a considerable space on the sands. The feats of one horseman, in particular, called forth so repeatedly the clamorous applause of his companions, that the very banks rang again with their shouts. He was a tall man, well mounted on a strong black horse, which he caused to turn and wind like a the others, and wore a sort of fur cap or bird in the air, carried a longer spear than bonnet, with a short feather in it, which gave him on the whole rather a superior appearance to the other fishermen. He seemed to hold some sort of authority among them, and occasionally directed their motions both by voice and hand; at which times I thought his gestures were striking, and his voice uncommonly sonorous and commanding.

The riders began to make for the shore, and the interest of the scene was almost

over, while I lingered on the sands, with my looks turned to the shores of England, still gilded by the sun's last rays, and, as it seemed, scarce distant a mile from me. The anxious thoughts which haunt me began to muster in my bosom, and my feet slowly and insensibly approached the river which divided me from the forbidden precincts, though without any formed intention, when my steps were arrested by the sound of a horse gallopping; and as I turned, the rider (the same fisherman whom I had formerly distinguished) called out to me, in an abrupt manner, Soho, brother! you are too late for Bowness to-night


the tide will make presently."

I turned my head and looked at him without answering; for, to my thinking, his sudden appearance (or rather I should say his unexpected approach) had, amidst the gathering shadows and lingering light, something which was wild and ominous.

"Are you deaf?" he added-" or are you mad or have you a mind for the next world ?"

"I am a stranger," I answered, “and had no other purpose than looking on at the fishing-I am about to return to the side I came from."

"Best make haste then," said he. "He that dreams on the bed of the Solway, may wake in the next world. The sky threatens a blast that will bring in the waves three foot a-breast."

So saying, he turned his horse and rode off, while I began to walk back towards the Scottish shore, a little alarmed at what I had heard; for the tide advances with such

rapidity upon these fatal sands, that well mounted horsemen lay aside hopes of safety, if they see its white surge advancing while they are yet at a distance from the


These recollections grew more agitating, and, instead of walking deliberately, I be gan a race as fast as I could, feeling, or thinking I felt, each pool of salt water through which I splashed, grow deeper and deeper. At length the surface of the sand did seem considerably more intersected with pools and channels full of water-either that the tide was really beginning to influence the bed of the estuary, or, as I must own is equally probable, that I had, in the hurry and confusion of my retreat, involved myself in difficulties which I had avoided in my deliberate advance. Either way, it was rather an unpromising state of affairs, for the sands at the same time turned softer, and my footsteps, so soon as I had passed, were instantly filled with water. I began to have odd thoughts concerning the snugness of your father's parlour, and the secure footing afforded by the pavement of Brown's Square and Scot's Close, when my better genius, the tall fisherman, ap: peared once more close to my side, he and his sable horse looming gigantic in the now darkening twilight.

"Are you mad?" he said, in the same deep tone which had before thrilled on my ear," or are you weary of your life? You will be presently amongst the quicksands."-I professed my ignorance of the way, to which he only replied, "There is no time for prating-get up behind me."

He probably expected me to spring from the ground with the activity which these Borderers have, by constant practice, acquired in all relating to horsemanship; but as I stood irresolute, he extended his hand, and grasping mine, bid me place my foot on the toe of his boot, and thus raised me in a trice to the croupe of his horse. I was scarce securely seated, ere he shook the reins of his horse, who instantly sprung forward; but annoyed, doubtless, by the unusual burthen, treated us to two or three bounds, accompanied by as many flourishes of his hind heels. The rider sat like a

tower, notwithstanding that the unexpected plunging of the animal threw me forward upon him. The horse was soon compelled to submit to the discipline of the spur and bridle, and went off at a steady hand gallop; thus shortening the devious, for it was by no means a direct path, by which the rider, avoiding the loose quicksands, made for the northern bank.

(Vol. i. p. 52—58.) The idea of a fisherman hunting salmon on a black horse, is orthodox enough; but to invest this inglorious personage with such a deal of mystery, and afterwards to convert him

into a downright hero, the head of a faction, and the friend of a Prince, appears to us a most childish attempt at what Bayes would call "an odd surprize" upon the reader. Indeed, it forcibly reminded us of the fisher

man who turns out to be Prince Pret

tyman's father, in the tragedy written by that celebrated critic and author. A reader's passion for the marvellous must surely be very irritable in its nature, if it could be excited by a piece of mechanism so nearly resembling that which makes Mr. Newbery's gilt story-books so dear have just laid by their rattles. In to the romantic little people who conclusion, we think this weakness runs through the whole class of novels designated par excellence the Scotch; the Author of Waverley, throughout his works, constantly betrays a design rather to frighten us as children, than to excite us as men open in some degree to superstitious impressions.

that we are to attribute that magIs it to this spirit of childishness nificent piece of mummery performed in a hovel at Brokenburn-foot (the fisherman's retreat), where the hero, Sir Arthur, having assumed the very probable disguise of an iti nerant fiddler, is made to dance a mysterious cotillon with the heroine, Lilias?

The preceding remarks are for the entire series of this author's novels. most part generally applicable to the Our opinion, as regards the present work in particular, is decidedly an unfavourable one. Whatever may

be the faults or foibles of this writer's mind (conditions of humanity), the memory of them was always obliterated in his earlier works, by the transcendent powers of genius which we saw there displayed. In his latter flights, this regal bird evidently

soars with a crest less erect and a

less sounding pinion. Indeed, were his strength of wing unabated, the sameness of those scenes which he perpetually haunts, and to which he is in a manner self-condemned, renders the contemplation of his feats now much less interesting. He seems as if he were chained by the foot to some irremoveable rock in the midst of a deep valley, where though he could fly upwards, he could not fly outwards. We do not now allude to

the geographical scene of his exertions; he has occasionally migrated from his native hills to the plains of England, and the gardens of France. We speak of the general scene of thought from which he can never tear himself, the abstract collection of objects which always present themselves to his mental eye, whatever be his actual place of residence. But his powers are also either weakened, or weakly exerted. His very last flight is his very lowest; and that perhaps is a rash assertion to make, in the face of St. Ronan. In plain terms, Redgauntlet is as poor a work as, we dare say, this author could easily write; certainly so, unless he took much more pains to write ill, than he ever did to write well. This publication in truth furnishes us with one of the purest specimens of simple book-making that can be met with, in an age, and nation, and author, famous already for that species of handicraft. It is made up altogether of unconnected stories, one of which, chiefly from its superior length, we must conjecture to form the principal subject. The mass also seems only about half licked into form. There are none of those bright creations here, and but few of those powerful master-strokes, with which this Artist delighted and astonished us of yore: he sweeps the canvas now with a hasty and a half-full pencil. Except in one or two instances he seems to have laid on his colours with the wash brush; some of his figures are mere blotches, and it is frequently impossible, from the evident precipitateness with which they have been got up, to distinguish a woman from a man [unless the name be written above it), a servant from a lord. Thus we find the amiable and gentle Lilias coming out with several such expressions as the following: 1. "A suspicion arose in my uncle's mind that you [her brother] might be the youth he sought, and it was strengthened by papers and letters which the rascal Nixon did not hesitate to take from your pocket." 2. "The old brutal desperado [Nixon, to wit], whose face and mind are a libel upon human nature, has had the insolence to speak to his master's niece as one whom he was at liberty to admire." 3. "The wretch's unparalleled insolence [Nixon is again in

the pillory] has given me one great, advantage over him. For knowing that my uncle would shoot him with as little remorse as a woodcock, if he but guessed at his brazen-faced assurance towards me, &c." Eloquence like this we think might well recommend the book to the patronage of those loose-haired and limbertongued Nereids, who play about the shores of Billingsgate, and pelt each other with fish or hard epithets, whichever are most convenient. On the other hand, the much-aspersed Nixon, a kind of servant of all-work to Redgauntlet, so far forgets the vernacular idiom of his race, as upon one occasion to observe in the very loftiest vein of astrological metaphor," a female influence predominates!" slapping his thigh (we may suppose), like a magnanimous son of the sock in one of his eclatical exits. This same Cristal Nixon, indeed, seems to enjoy the apostolic faculty of speaking in a strange language whenever it suits his caprice; he not unfrequently talks with a doubletongue in the same paragraph. There are several other marks, in these volumes, of the most headlong hurry of composition, the most rapacious spirit of money-getting. In vol. iii,`p. 42, Sam Skelton is Sam Skelton, properly so called; in the very same page he is Jack Kelton; and in p. 44, he is Jack Skelton ;-varying his name quite as often, but not quite as ingeniously, as a member of the pursetaking brotherhood, to which honorable corporation we have however no reason to believe him attached. The identity of a certain waitingmaid is also not a little precarious; at the farm-house we knew her by the appellation-Dorcas, and when we are afterwards introduced to her as the woman-Cicely, we have some difficulty in recognizing our lost waiting-maid under the hood of her new title. These oversights are to be sure mimportant, except as betraying the general negligence with which the novel is written. They afford us tacit but certain information, at least when coupled with other evidence, that this author was much more intent on our pockets than his own pen, much more desirous of gains-making than of pains-taking, whilst he huddled up these mercenary pages. The uneasiness, be

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