페이지 이미지

how-ca’-ye-him, is to be skudler as they ca'tthe first of the gang, like.”

The devil take him!” said Mordaunt, in impatient surprise.

“ A' in gude time,” replied the jagger;

hurry no 'man's cattle--the devil will hae his due, I warrant ye, or it winna be for lack of seeking. But it's true I'm telling you, for a'

ye stare like a wild cat; and this same captain, I-wat-na-his-name, bought ane of the very waistcoats that I am ganging to shew ye -purple, wi' a gowd binding, and bonnily broidered; and I have a piece for you, the neighbour of it, wi' a green grund ; and if ye mean to streak yoursell up beside him, ye maun e'en buy it, for it's gowd that glances in the lasses’ een now-a-days. See - look till't,” he added, displaying the pattern in various points of view; “ look till it through the light, and till the light through it - wi’ the grain, and against the grain-it shews ony gate -- cam frae Antwerp a’ the gate -- four dollars is the price; and yon captain was sae weel pleased, that he flang down a twenty shilling Jacobus, and bade me keep the change and be damned !--poor silly profane creature, I pity him.”

Without inquiring whether the pedlar bestowed his compassion on the worldly imprudence, or the religious deficiencies of Captain Cleveland, Mordaunt turned from him, folded his arms, and paced the apartment, muttering to himself, “ Not asked - A stranger to be king of the feast !”_Words which he repeated so earnestly, that Bryce caught a part of their import.

“ As for asking, I am almaist bauld to say, that ye will be asked, Master Mordaunt.”

Did they mention my name then ?" said Mordaunt.

“ I canna preceesely say that,” said Bryce Snailsfoot; “ but ye needna turn away your head sae sourly, like a sealgh when he leaves the shore; for, do you see, I heard distinctly that a' the revellers about are to be there; and is't to be thought they would leave out you, an auld ken'd freend, and the lightest foot at sic frolics, (Heaven send you a better praise in His ain gude time,) that ever flang at a fiddlesqueak, between this and Unst? Sae I consider ye altogether the same as invited--and ye had best provide yourself wi' a waistcoat, for brave and brisk will every man be that's there--the Lord pity them !"

He thus continued to follow with his green glazen eyes, the motions of young Mordaunt Mertoun, who continued to pace the room in a very pensive manner, which the jagger probably misinterpreted, as he thought, like Claudio, that if a man is sad, it must needs be because he lacks money. Bryce therefore, after another pause, thus accosted him. “Ye needna be sad about the matter, Master Mordaunt; for although I got the just price of the article from the captain-man, yet I maun deal freendly wi' you, as a ken’d freend and customer, and bring the price, as they say, within your pursemouth-or it's the same to me to let it lie ower till Martinmas, or e'en to Candlemas. I am decent in the warld, Master Mordaunt-forbid that I should hurry onybody, far mair a freend that has paid me siller afore now. Or I wad be content to swap the garment for the value in feathers or sea-otters' skins, or any kind of peltrie-nane kens better than yoursell how to come by sic ware—and I am sure I hae furnished you wi' the primest o' powder. I dinna ken if I telld ye it was out o' the kist of Captain Plunket, that perished on the Scaw of Unst, wi' the armed brig Mary, sax years syne. He was a prime fowler himself, and luck it was that the kist came ashore dry. I sell that to nane but gude marksmen. And so, I was saying, if ye


ony wares ye for the waistcoat, I wad be ready to trock wi’ you, for assuredly ye will be wanted at BurghWestrå, on Saint John's even; and ye wadna like to look waur than the captain-that wadna be setting.”

“I will be there, at least, whether wanted or not,” said Mordaunt, stopping short in his walk, and taking the waistcoat piece hastily out of the pedlar's hand ; “ and, as you say, will not dis

liked to coup

grace them."

Haud a care-haud a care, Master Mordaunt,” exclaimed the pedlar; "ye handle it as it were a bale of coarse wadmaa!-ye'll fray't to

bits—ye might weel say my ware is tenderand ye'll mind the price is four dollars-Sall I put ye in my book for it?

No,” said Mordaunt hastily; and, taking out his purse, he flung down the money.

“Grace to ye to wear the garment,” said the joyous pedlar, “ and to me to guide the siller ; and protect us from earthly vanities, and earthly covetousness; and send you the white linen raiment, whilk is mair to be desired than the muslins, and cambrics, and lawns, and silks of this world; and send me the talents which avail more than much fine Spanish gold, or Dutch dollars either-and--but God guide the callant, what for are ye wrapping the silk up that gate, like a wisp of hay?”

At this moment, old Swertha, the housekeeper, entered, to whom, as if eager to get rid of the subject, Mordaunt threw his purchase, with something like careless disdain ; and, telling her to put it aside, snatched his gun, which stood in the corner, threw his shooting accoutrements about him, and without noticing Bryce's attempt to enter into conversation upon the“ braw seal

« 이전계속 »