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receive it, for he took in silence the advantage of the aid thus afforded him.
It was but for two or three minutes, however, that the father availed himself of his son's support. They had not ascended fifty yards farther ere he pushed Mordaunt suddenly, if not rudely, from him; and as if stung into exertion by some sudden recollection, began to mount the acclivity with such long and quick paces, that Mordaunt, in his turn, was obliged to exert himself to keep pace with him. He knew his father's peculiarity of disposition; he was aware, from many slight circumstances, that he loved him not even while he took much pains of his education, and while he seemed to be the sole object of his care upon earth. But the conviction had never been more strongly or more powerfully forced upon him than by the hasty churlishness with which Mertoun rejected from a son that assistance which most elderly men are willing to receive from youths with whom they are but slightly connected, as a tribute which it is. alike graceful to yield and to receive. Mertoun, however, did not seem to perceive the effect which his unkindness had produced upon his son's feelings. He paused upon a sort of level terrace which they had now attained, and addressed his son with an indifferent tone, which seemed in some degree affected.
“Since you have so few inducements, Mordaunt, to remain in these wild islands, I suppose you sometimes wish to look a little more abroad into the world ?"
“ By my word, sir," replied Mordaunt, “I cannot say I ever have thought on such a subject.”
“And why not, young man ?" demanded his father; "it were but natural, I think, at your age.
your age, the fair and varied breadth of Britain could not gratify me, much less the compass of a sea-girdled peat-moss.”
“ I have never thought of leaving Zetland; sir,” replied the son. “ I am happy here, and have friends, You yourself, sir, would miss me, unless indeed”
“Why, thou wouldst not persuade me,” said his father, somewhat hastily, “ that you stay here, or desire to stay here, for the love of
Why should I not, sir?” answered Mordaunt, mildly; “ it is my duty, and I hope I have hitherto performed it.”
* O ay," repeated Mertoun, in the same tone -"your duty-your duty. So it is the duty of the dog to follow the groom that feeds him.”
« And does he not do so, sir?" said Mordaunt. “Ay,” said his father, turning his head aside ; “but he fawns only on those who caress him.”
“I hope, sir,” replied Mordaunt," I have not been found deficient?"
Say no more on't-say no more on't,” said Mertoun abruptly, "we have both done enough by each other—we must soon part— Let that be our comfort-if our separation should require comfort.”
"I shall be ready to obey your wishes," said Mordaunt, not altogether displeased at what promised him an opportunity of looking further abroad into the world. " I presume it will be your pleasure that I commence my travels with a season at the whale-fishing."
• Whale-fishing !" replied Mertoun; “ that were:a mode indeed of seeing the world; but thou speakest but as thou hast learned. Enough of this for the present. Tell me where you had shelter from the storm yesterday?"
" At Stourburgh, the house of the new factor from Scotland.”
“ A pedantic, fantastic, visionary schemer," said Mertoun-" and whom saw you there?”,
“His sister, sir," replied Mordaunt, "and old Norna of the Fitful-head."
“What! the mistress of the potent spell," answered Mertoun, with a sneer~" she who can change the wind by pulling her curch on one side, as King Erick used to do by turning his cap? The dame journeys far from home-how fares she? Does she get rich by selling favoups able winds to those who are port-bound ???
“ I really do not know, sir,” said Mordaunt, whom certain recollections prevented from freely entering into his father's humour.
“ You think the matter too serious to be jest: ed with, or perhaps esteem her merchandise too light to be cared after,"continued Mertoun, in the same sarcastic tone, which was the nearest approach he ever made to cheerfulness; but
consider it more deeply. Every thing in the universe is bought and sold, and why not wind, if the merchant can find purchasers? The earth is, rented from its surface down to its most central mines ;-the fire, and the means of feeding it, are currently bought and sold ;-the wretches that sweep the boisterous ocean with their nets, pay ransom for the privilege of being drowned in it. What title bas the air to be exempted from the univeral course of traffic? All above the earth, under the earth, and around the earth, has its price, its sellers, and its purchasers. In many countries the priests will sell you a portion of heayen-in all countries men are willing to buy in exchange for health, wealth, and peace of conscience, a full portion of hell. Why should not Norna pursue her traffic ?”
Nay, I know no reason against it,” replied Mertoun;“only I wish. she would part with the commodity in smaller quantities. Yesterday she was a wholesale dealer--whoever treated with her had too good a pennyworth.”
“It is even so," said the father, pausing on the verge of the wild promontory which they