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added to his wife, "what are you standing glowering there for, and me like to choke. Gang and fetch us a jug of your best treacle ale."
"It surely cannot be," said I to myself when I had left the mill, "that Changeable Charlie will ever adopt a new profession now, but live and die a miller." I was, however, entirely mistaken in my calculation, as I found before I was two years older; and though I have not time, at this present sitting, to tell the whole of Charlie's story—and have a strong suspicion that my veracity might be put in jeopardy, were I to condescend thereto, I am quite ready to take my oath, that after this I found him in not less than five different characters, in all of which he was equally happy and equally certain of making a fortune. Where the mutations of Charlie might have run to, and whether, to speak with a little agreeable stultification, he might not, like another remarkable man, have exhausted worlds and then imagined new, it is impossible to predicate, if Fortune had not, in her usual injustice, put an end to his career of change, by leaving his wife Lizzy a considerable legacy.
The last character then that I found Charlie striving to enact, was that of a gentleman—that is, a man who has plenty of money to live upon, and nothing whatever to do. It did not appear, however, that Charlie's happiness was at all improved by this last change; for, besides that it had taken from him all his private joys, in the hope of one day making a fortune, it had raised up a most unexpected enemy, in the shape of old father Time, whom he found it more troublesome and less hopeful to contend with, than all the obstacles that had formerly seemed to stand in his way to the making of an independent fortune.
When the legacy was first showered upon him, however, he seemed as happy under the dispensation, as he had been before under any other of his changes. In the hey-day of his joy, he sent for me to witness his felicity, and to give him my advice as to the spending of his money. This invitation I was thoughtless enough to accept, but it was more that I might pick up a little philosophy out of what I should observe, than from any pleasure that I expected, or any good that I was likely to do. When I got to his house, I was worried to death by all the fine things I was forced to look at, that had been sent to him from Jamaica, and all that from him and his wife I was forced to hear. I tried to impress him concerning the good that he might do with his money, in reference to many who sorely wanted it: but I found that he had too little feeling himself to understand the feelings of others, and that affliction had never yet driven a nail into his own flesh, to open his heart to sympathy. Instead of entering into any rational plans, his wife and he laughed all day at nothing whatever, his children turned the house upside down in their ecstasy at being rich; and, in short, never before had I been so wearied at seeing people happy.
In all this, however, I heard not one single word of thankfulness for this unlooked-for deliverance from constant vicissitude, or one grateful expression to Providence, for being so unreasonably kind to this family ; while thousands around them struggled incessantly, in ill-rewarded industry and unavailing anxiety. So I wound up the story of Changeable Charlie in reflective melancholy; for I had seen so many who would, for any little good fortune, have been most thankful and happy, yet never were able to attain thereto; and I inclined to the sombre conclusion, that in this world the wise and virtuous man was often less fortunate, and generally less happy than the fool. MhetUBum.
THE BLIND HIGHLANDER.
The Authcr duritur a recent tour through Lochaber, saw the object who suggested the following stanias. He was a mountaineer of the old stock—upwards of 100 years old—and stone blind with age. He had been out with Prince Charles in 1745—and had made many narrow escapes lor his life in the year of blood which followed the battle of Culloden. A more venerable-looking being can scarcely be imagined—he would have been a splendid sub;ect for an artist—who, without erring much, could have very easily substituted his bust for that of St Peter or St Paul.
Old hunter of the de.'iert!—time has squander'd
Yes, thou hast scaled the cliff, and scour' d the furrow
Of the storm sheer'd and isolated crag's;
And sent, like death, thy swift destroying arrow,
And hit the hawk above their highest jage.
The wild stag knew thy horn—the falcon Haunted,
And, from his snow rocks shrieking, shunn'd thy ken—
The fleetest rover of the mountain panted,
When thou cam'st sweeping through the narrow gieu.
Child of the lonely valley! thou hast trodden,
And thou didst swell the cry of savage slaughter,
And thou didst meet the Saxon—ay, and trample
They met—they charged—they battled—and their glory
Vanish'd, unclouded—like a summer's star
O'er their own silent waters—but their story
The trump of fame has heralded afar.
Their grave is hallow'd ground—still in the aheilings
That deck the lonely valleys of the west,
Fair eyes are weeping—and a thousand feelings
Rise, like revenge, within each mourner'« breast.
Still, from their own wild solitude*, that slumber
Scion of perish'd fame! though th"U art shrouded
Still dost thou see those peaks of toil and danger Where echo pants and dies, and with the deer Thy spirit is a free and fearless ranger— A sunbeam passing o'er the uplands drear. Yes, 'mid those streams of foam, and mi ty deserts, The scath'd defiles, and precipices bare, After a century of wars and hazards, Thy memory, like a wild flower, nestles there.
Thoa still canst see the moon and all her daughters
And thou canst list the savage torrent singing
All break upon thy soul, as fresh and shining
Though they have vanish'd and the tale of sorrow
There is a charm, which years cannot destroy,
A TALE OF THE PLAGUE IN EDINBURGH.*
In several parts of Scotland such things are to be found as tales of the plague. Amidst so much human suffering as the events of a pestilence necessarily involved, it is of course to be supposed, that occasionally circumstances would occur of a peculiarly disastrous and affecting description—that many loving hearts would be torn asunder, or laid side by side in the grave—many orphans left desolate, and patriarchs bereft of all their descendants—and that cases of so painful a sort as called forth greater compassion at the time, would be remembered after much of the ordinary details was generally forgotten. The celebrated story of Bessy Bell and Mary Gray, is a case in point. So romantic, so mournful a tale, appealing, as it does, to every bosom, could not fail to be commemorated, even though it had been destitute of the great charm of locality. In the course of our researches, we have likewise picked up a few extraordinary circumstances connected with the last visit paid by the plague to Edinburgh, which, improbable as they may perhaps appear, we believe to be, to a certain extent, allied to truth, and shall now submit them to our readers.
When Edinburgh was afflicted, for the last time, with the pestilence, such was its effect upon the energies of the citizens, and so long was its continuance, that the grass grew on the principal street, and even at the Cross, though that Scottish Rialto was then perhaps the most crowded thoroughfare in Britain. Silence, more than that of the stillest midnight, pervaded the streets during the day. The sunlight fell upon the quiet houses as it falls on a line of sombre and neglected tombstones in some sequestered churchyard—gilding, but not altering their desolate features. The area of the High Street, on being entered by a stranger, might have been contemplated with feelings similar to those with which Christian, in the Pilgrim's Progress, viewed the awful court-yard of Giant Despair; for in that wellimagined scene, the very ground bore the marks of wildness and desolation; every window around, like the loop-holes of the dungeons in Doubting-Castle, seemed to tell its tale of misery within, and the whole seemed to lie prostrate and powerless under the dominion of an unseen demon, which fancy might have conceived as stalking around in a bodily form, leisurely dooming its subjects to successive execution.
When the pestilence was at its greatest height, a strange perplexity began, and not without reason, to take possession of the few physicians and nurses who attended the sick. It was customary for the * From Chambers' Edinburgh Journal.