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idiom? Certainly, if the people want
From Temple Bar. it so. But there is no need to call the
“ TOM —'E KNOW'D." rubbish Scottish dialect.
Tom LAWES was dead. " He had” For myself, I love to discern a flavor
the announcement which of antique gentlemanship about a accompanied the invitation to his man's Scots, something that takes me funeral — "exchanged this troubleback to knee-breeches and buckled some world for a better." And for shoes, to hodden grey and Kilmarnock nearly a week past this interesting fact bonnets. They might be a little coarse sustained the conversation in every in those days, but they were never ale-house parlor, and interfered with vulgar.
the business of the markets, besides There never was a nobler or more strangely affecting the conscience of expressive language than the tongue of certain good Christians. the dear old ladies who were our grand- There was a fascination in the submothers and great-grandmothers inject, because Tom had been such an these southern and western counties of evident living man for so long a timeScotland. Let us try to keep it equally and now, those who knew bim best felt free from Anglicisms which come by that he had gone to limbo, and was rail, Irishisms which arrive by the shrouded to them in an impenetrable short sea-route, from the innuendo of mystery which was positively awful. the music-hall comic song, and the And this sensation reasonable refinements of the boarding-school enough, seeing that he died at home, in fact, from all additions, substrac- in that village where so many members tions, multiplications, and divisions, by of his family had acted out their parts whomsoever introduced or advocated. for the space of two full centuries. There is an idea abroad that in order to He — the last of them to go hence – write Scottish dialect, it is enough to possessed to the uttermost those charleave out all final g's and to write dae acteristics for which his family was for do — which last, I beg leave to say, remarkable. Very frequently the reis the hall-mark of the bungler ! semblance in person and life extended
Now the honest Doric is a sonsy to the manner of their death, and all quean, clean, snod, and well put on. lay indicated so plainly upon the surHer acquaintance is not to be picked face, that it almost seemed as though up on the streets, or at any close- in them humanity abandoned those arts mouth. The day has been when Peg and hereditary devices which began was a lady, and so she shall be again, with the sewing of fig-leaves. They and her standard of manners and played no part in politics beyond helpspeech shall be at least as high as that ing in the distribution and consumpof her sister of the South.
tion of liquor consequent upon an The result will not show in the re-election. They never posed as philanports of the Board of Trade ; neither thropists, but they took the best of this will it make Glasgow flourish yet more world's wealth that came within their abundantly, or the ships crowd thicker reach to their own enjoyment; and the about the Tail of the Bank. But it things of literature, art, or science were will give broad Scotland a right to as far from them as the dim sayings of speak once more of a Scottish language, Holy Writ itself. and not merely of a Dundee, a Gal- With irregular features, coarsening lowa', or a “ Doon-the-watter" accent. as they aged, sturdy, well-knit tigures, And it will give her again a literature heavy jaws, and low foreheads, the frankly national, written in her ancient young ones followed the old ones into language, according to the finest and the seventies, and sometimes into the most uncorrupted models.
eighties, in spite of hard drinking and S. R. CROCKETT. exposure to all the severities of the
English climate. Now and again one in his generation met his death as Tom
had just done, who — till after he was To not a few Tom Lawes, if pot exseventy – drove the fastest horse in actly a benefactor, was at any rate the the county, and that very often at best master and the best friend they night and without lamps, till some had known; and though it was true accident befell, and the hard-going life that he had no wife or child to add, by was suddenly snuffed out.
their mourning, to the pathos of his It happened so with Tom. He was end, still his family was a large ope; coming home late at night, having and beyond it the circle of the business stayed his time at the Green Mau, connection which he inherited from his with other friends, and then, as usual, father stretched almost over the whole he made up for it on the road. He kingdom. At all horse fairs and sales, said he knew he could do it, although and wherever borses for the plough or the roads were bad and there was a van changed hands, there Tom Lawes? steaming fog. He had often doue it broad figure and close-shaven face before, when he had business appoint- were a familiar sight. ments at home, and feared he would He was not a loquacious man. Even be late.
liquor would never melt a secret out of These simple things are the hazards him which Tom desired to keep. But of life, for a man may do a great deal he was punctual in business matters. if the road is clear ; but on this par- His word was as good as his bond, and ticular evening it chanced that another he was always ready to pay his price. man had been delayed, possibly by the He was a good judge of animals in his
cause as Tom. He, too, was own line of business, and knew the making up on the road ; and these men pedigrees and secret histories of most met in the fog, each driving his hard- horses that were worth considering at est, and Tom was thrown out on his all. This gave him great prestige head. The other was a younger man, among younger members of the profesand escaped with a good shaking ; but sion, just as his regular and attentive Tom was drawn out from where he lay business habits commanded the respect among the smashed spokes of the other of men of his own standing. He was man's wheel, and carried home to his no scholar, but he could write a cheque, own house on a gate. He was a heavy and put a higher figure to it than most man to fall, and his head, though hard people, if he chose. Report credited enough, was too old to bear such a bat- him with twice as much of the needful tering. A few days passed, during as any of his forefathers possessed; which the strong frame heaved and but perhaps he could afford to be more struggled for life, and the poor, bewil- free with his money only because he dered mind strove to piece together had neither wife nor children. He recent events and to clear up the hard was not a charitable man ; neither hosproblem — what strange thing had hap- pitals nor schools ever saw his money; pened to itself and the world at large. but if an old stable-helper or drover Then, like a child tired out with too out of employment came to Tom long a day, the breath came and went Lawes, he generally found him someeasily, till at last he slept - Tom Lawes thing to do, and kept him out of was dead.
the workhouse. Therefore his praises Then a wail rose up from the hearts were sung in many a public house, and of
many who had taken his strong life it is an open question whether a man's as a matter of course - as one of those good name is not more likely to be things like the “ strength of the hills," challenged in a public house than a
“the depths of the sea,” which church. were ordered as we find them long be- As he had no land to speak of, Tom fore we were born, and which form so took no offence at poaching - and yet far a necessary part of this world's he had his morality, and he was not scheme that we could not fancy the the less respected because it was world without them.
known that there was a limit to his for.
bearance. No servant of his might all three men felt disturbed in their thieve. As to drinking — they might mind with a sense of disaster. be " drunk as lords " when he did not “ Poor Tom !” said one. « Gone at want them, which was sometimes the last." case on Sunday ; but when Monday “ Terr'ble sudden." morning came, either they were fit for “There's a-many will miss him." work or they received no pay. With " Allus tuk things quiet.” the parson and church-going Tom held “Say as his nephies take it mortal as little as he did with schools and hos- hard." pitals. There were times when a par- “ They take on so." son was necessary, and it was handy “Quiet livin' fellows, too." for people to be able to sign their “They ain't at all fast.” pames. When the parish doctor could "They be church-goers — reglar." not belp a poor man, the hospital was “ That's along of their mother.” the best place for hins ; besides, doc- "She don't use no force, neither." tors must learn their business some- “ Pretty nigh time for poor Tom by where; doctoring and the mysteries of that clock." physic were not to be picked up in the “Hope as they own't be late along hedgerows. Tom was proud of being a 'ith him to-day." Churchman, and though he never went “Him wot were allus so punctual." to church except to attend weddings or Say! A sight o' people to see the fuperals, he would have scorned to go last o' him.” to chapel upon any pretext whatever. “ Bless ye! That man had a sight
But now they were going to take o’ friends." Tom Lawes to church for the last time. “'T warn't for much as he said, He was to be taken to the family vault, neither.” where his father and mother lay, and “If you axed him, Tom 'ud liefer where his brothers would to join say as he 'din't know.' And all the bím not long hence.
time, he knowed !" It was a still autumn day, serene and “That were the w'y o' he.” calm, and warm as summer. The pun- “An'yit a straighter man gent scent of dead leaves filled the air ; walked.” a soft sun shone tenderly over the pale “ Different to Michael Symmonds." baze of the distant plain, and touched * Aye, you're right !” with loving light the quaint outline of “ Yit they was friends !” the russel-tinted oaks. From the great · But did you never notice as how grey lower of Kentish rag, the deep they niver drank out o' the same bell swung out its loud-toned wail. glass ? " The three roads which ran up the steep “For all they was friends these bill to the church were dotted by knots many years, yo niver see that done.” of people, who were all converging
blame Tom peither! towards one spot. Now and again a Couldn't abide that ere Michael Sym
dealer from a distance monds." whisked past in his little gig, flicking “He ain't no friend o' mine — niver bis pony to urge him into the long wore - an' piver will be
that's one hill. That much accomplished, some thing.” threw down their reins and jumped Married the widdy o' the Bird in out without pulling up. These were Hand.” the younger men, and three of them
“ Aye! And niver no fear o' their reaching the last pitch about the same lettin' the stuff git bad atween 'em.” time, greeted one another with a nod, “ Tom never had that weakness. He and leaving the animals to mount the drank his glass, but no wimmen never hill alone, drew towards each other got the better o’ be.” and talked in low voices. From their “No less than 'twere for the busishort, jerky sentences it was clear that I ness." LIVING AGE.
VOL. VI. 278
“He were a deal too straight for 'cm. | self on his intimacy, and above all his They warn't agoin' for to kitch he to knowledge of the race. The unfamarry they."
miliar scent of stephanotis came up to “ Haply he took up with married him where he sat and reminded him wimmen ?"
not disagreeably of greenhouses in " Wot! Them as had husbands winter time. He could see white a-ready ? That he din't !"
flowers laid in masses ou the grass and “ But that's the best w’y to be sure. on an old tomb. Square it along 'ith the husbands fust." Human beings and their labors in
" Lord bless ye, wot luck that man terested the robin. All that morning had !"
men had been at work bending over “Aye, that wouldn't never do for picks and spades — and he had perched sich as you and me to try it on the on clods they had turned out. Some same as he did.”.
scraps they laid aside. They said the " Ah - but Tom – 'e know'd !" parson would “call out” if he saw
The rapid clanging of the great bell them. How they toiled! And what announced to the assembled crowd that for? He shook himself and winked the funeral drew near. Conversation his eye. He would stir them up with ceased, and punctual to the stroke of another tune, and forth with le flung three, four black horses drew the out his cheeriest song, till suddenly he hearse which contained the last of Tom was silenced, startled by the deep Lawes to the lych-gate.
human voice reading with measured All hats were doffed as the bearers resonance, and the earnestness of con.. drew out the massive coffin. One by viction : one the mourning coaches containing “I know that my Redeemer livrelatives and friends followed in suc-eth cession, while a body of friends walked “'E knowe, do 'e ?” soliloquized before the coffin — and far off, still far Jonas Lopes ; “'e s'y as 'e knowe." off, was the white flutter of a surplice, The crowd passed from the mellow and the glint of sunlight on the gilt sunshine through the dark portals. edges of a book.
The last glimpse of the white flowers A solemn hush held the crowd almost which lay on the heavy burden passed breathless ; but one old mau a stable- out of sight. The robin knew the helper — pressed on up the hill in spite church inside and out. Just to-day of evident fatigue.
the sun was pleasant. It was the per“ Jonnas,” he murmured, addressing versity of that human nature which it himself, “ yo mun be to toime. They was his business to study that made was lisn words."
them crowd inside. Up above in the lych-gate, a robin Outside in the road the ponies was busy looking for spiders. They grazed, and were minded by boys on are fat and prosperous in the autumn, whom the police kept their eyes. and their eggs, which are so plentiful People came to church that day who then, clear the voice. The many flies never came at other times. Amongst which have nourished them all through these was Jonas Lopes. the summer are also fat and sleepy in Jonas was arrayed in very thin old the autumn, and walk easily into the black clothes. They were his very large webs so daringly displayed. The best, and for the most part, were prerobiu flung out a gay song in the inter- sented to him at odd times by the vals when his sharp beak was not em- deceased. He only douned these preployed picking the plump assassins cious garments on very particular occafrom
their thievish lurking-places, sions, and when he was sure of being where they sat in darkness planning sober, or, as he expressed it, “dry.” murder. The crowd excited rather As he edged his way into church, a than disturbed the robin. He liked to thousand thoughts whirled through his watch human beings, and prided him. I mind, and fairly bewildered his brain.
He had walked about fourteen miles to I to hear in his time, and had forgotten be preseut at this funeral, and to en- long ago. He was anxious - oh, how sure being sober had tasted nothing terribly anxious he was ! – to show all since breakfast, fearing that food dutiful respect to the man whom he would produce thirst, and that thirst had called “Master,” but whom he would get the better of him. Jonas reckoned to be his only friend in life. never drank anything but beer. He The great west door was wide open was older than he used to be, he told to allow the people to throng into the himself, for he felt a curious faintness church ; rich and poor were there minovercome him, but this, on reflection, gled together, but all trod softly, and he decided was proper and natural to were too bent upon a common object to being dry, and was not to be wondered notice a humble four-footed intruder. at. All church-goers were dry, and he Suddenly a sharp howl made Jonas knew just how they looked when they start. He turned his head quickly and were on the road for church.
recognized to his horror a lean liver. He had come so far to see the last of and-white mongrel bitch as his own Tom Lawes, and see it he must. After not too honorably maintained - posit was over he would take measures to session. It was as though that side of correct his dryness, and he drew his his life most remote from church-going hand across his mouth when he thought was rising up against him, and the of the Bird in Hand. So he pressed on moment was one of exceeding bitterwith the crowd, keeping his eyes fixed vess. on the great oak coffin borne aloft, and The muddy and disreputable-looking the masses of snow-white flowers, and dog was looking and snuffing in all trying to 'associate these unfamiliar directions to find him, and Jonas trensights with old Tom Lawes. He bled lest in spite of his best clothes he strained his ears to listen to what the should not escape her unquestionable parson was saying, with a vague kind pose. It was a terrible visitation. The of hope that some of it might relate to authorities would blame him for a disTom, and tell of his present condition. turbance, and perhaps they would both But the words sounded strange and be turned out together, and what a difficult
. They ran in a lauguage that scandal that would be — and at Tom's Tom never used, and referred to things funeral too. that he never remarked upon.
He turned his eyes away, and kept Some one in the congregation saw them fixed upon the parson. He would Jonas, and recognized the old stable- not see the dog. helper. Divining the devotion which With all his might he strove to unhad brought him so far, and perhaps derstand the words. Haply he might touched with sympathy, this man beck- get some good out of them. oned Jonas, and made room for him in “As one star differeth from another his seat. This unexpected condescen- star.”' sion was very gratefully accepted, and "Poor Tom !” he thought wearily as he sank wearily on the bench Jonas as he remembered the coming winter. felt himself almost a church-goer. He " Aye ! 'e's a long way off Oy reckon, sat on the edge of the seat, bolding his and Oy shall miss him afore Christmas. hat very nervously before him, and Oy kean't but think o' the time Oy straining his ears to hear the mingled were a-thievin' o' they tarnups. Oy sound of the bearers' measured tread niver did it agin, Tom! Non, nut and the deep cadence of Holy Writ. after yo kitched o' me that unce.” The solemnity of the moment in- Another sharp howl from the puppy pressell him inexpressibly. He felt in made him start and interrupted liis a dim sense that he was catching some reflections. “ Cuss ye ! ve darnistable perception of the breath of sanctitr. cuss ! Can't ye be quiet ? I ain't And he racked his brains to remember a-voin' to see ye, and tlie Lord send ye any good words which he had chanced I don't see me ! Wotiver are ye at, a