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had, at a little distance, an effect as if they were the voluntary movements of the cloaked cavalier, without the assistance of any other legs than those with which nature had provided him; and, to any who had viewed Triptolemus under such a persuasion, the gravity, and even distress, announced in his countenance, must have made a ridiculous contrast to the vivacious caprioles with which he piaffed along the moor.
Mordaunt kept up with this worthy couple, mounted, according to the simplicity of the time and country, on the first and readiest
poney which they had been able to press into the service, with no other accoutrement of any kind than the halter which served to guide him; while Mr Yellowley, seeing with pleasure his guide thus readily provided with a steed, privately resolved, that this rude custom of helping travellers to horses, without leave of the proprietor, should not be abated in Zetland, until he came to possess a herd of ponies belonging in property to himself, and exposed to suffer in the way of retaliation.
But to other uses or abuses of the country, Triptolemus Yellowley shewed himself less to
lerant. Long and wearisome were the discourses he held with Mordaunt, or, (to speak much more correctly,) the harangues which he inflicted upon him, concerning the changes which his own advent in these isles was about to occasion. Unskilled as he was in the modern arts by which an estate may be improved to such a high degree that it shall altogether slip through the proprietor's fingers, Triptolemus had at least the zeal, if not the knowledge, of a whole agricultural society in his own person ; nor was he surpassed by any who has followed him, in that noble spirit which scorns to balance profit against outlay, but holds the glory of effecting a great change on the face of the land, to be, like virtue, in a great degree its own reward.
No part of the wild and mountainous region over which Mordaunt guided him but what suggested to his active imagination some scheme of improvement and alteration. He would make a road through yon scarce passable glen, where at present' nothing but the sure-footed creatures
reatures on which they were mounted could tread with any safety. He would substitute better houses for the skeoes, or sheds built of dry stones, in which the inhabitants cured or manufactured their fish they should brew good ale instead of blandthey should plant forests where tree never grew, and find mines of treasure where a Danish skilling was accounted a coin of a most respectable denomination. All these mutations, with many others, did the worthy factor resolve upon, speaking at the same time with the utmost confidence of the countenance and assistance which he was to receive from the higher classes, and especially from Magnus Troil.
“I will impart some of my ideas to the poor man,” he said, “ before we are both many hours older; and you will mark how grateful he will be to the man who brings him knowledge, which is better than wealth.”
I would not have you build too strongly on that," said Mordaunt, by way of caution;
Magnus Troil's boat is kittle to trim-he likes his own ways, and his country ways, and you will as soon teach your sheltie to dive like a sealgh, as bring Magnus to take a Scottish fashion in the place of a Norse one ;-and yet, if he is
steady to his old customs, he may perhaps be as changeable as another in his old friendships.”
“ Heus tu, inepte!” said the scholar of Saint Andrews, “ steady or unsteady, what can it matter?-am not I here in point of trust, and in point of power ? and shall a Fowde, by which barbarous appellative this Magnus Troil still calls himself, presume to measure judgment and weigh reasons with me, who represent the full dignity of the Chamberlain of the islands of Orkney and Zetland ?"
“Still,” said Mordaunt," I would advise yoy not to advance too rashly upon his prejudices. Magnus Troil, from the hour of his birth to this day, never saw a greater man than himself, and it is difficult to bridle an old horse for the first time. Besides, he has at no time in his life been a patient listener to long explanations, so it is possible that he may quarrel with your proposed reformation, before you can convince him of its advantages."
“ How mean you, young man ?" said the factor.-“Is there one who dwells in these islands, who is so wretchedly blind as not to be sensible of their deplorable defects? Can a man,” he
added, rising into enthusiasm as he spoke, " or even a beast, look at that thing there, which they have the impudence to call a' corn-mill, without trembling to think that corn should be entrusted to such a miserable molendinary? The wretches are obliged to have at least fifty in each parish, each trundling away upon its paltry mill-stone, under the thatch of a roof no bigger than a beeskep, instead of a noble and seemly baron's mill, that you would hear the clack of through the haill country; and that casts the meal through the mill-eye by forpits at a time.”
Ay, ay, brother," said his sister, “ that's spoken like your wise sell. The mair cost the mair honour that's your word ever mair. Can it no creep into your wise head, man, that ilka body grinds their ain nievefu' of meal, in this country, without plaguing themselves about baron's mills, and thirls, and sucken, and the like trade? How mony a time have I heard you bellthe-cat with auld Edie Happer, the miller at Grindleburn, and wi' his very knave too, about in-town and out-town multures-lock, gowpen, and knaveship, and a'the lave o't; and now naething less will serve you than to bring in the