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Scottish Review

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Arthur Monteith
By Mrs. Blackford (now Lady Stoddart) (1857) - Introduction


The Author of the “Scottish Orphans,” grateful for the very flattering reception which the first part of that tale has received from an indulgent public, hastens to redeem her pledge of publishing a Second Part of the History.

The present narrative is entitled Arthur Monteith, from the name of the principal actor in the. former piece, which traced him from the period of his birth to that of his attaining the object of his honourable ambition, a commission in the King’s service. It may here be proper, briefly to recapitulate, that Arthur, with his sister Jessie and his brother Allen were the children of a Scottish gentleman of ancient family, who forfeited his life and estate by taking part in the rebellion of 1745;—that the Orphans were preserved and brought up as their own, by two faithful domestics, William and Jane Mathieson;—that William was subsequently distinguished by the favour of Colonel Beaumont, the husband of a lady whose father was believed to have perished in the rebellion;—that Arthur, by the secret assistance of a person, known only to him as old Robert, the hermit, acquired the knowledge and accomplishments fit to enable him to move in a higher sphere of society;—that he well repaid the confidence reposed in him by the old recluse, and as steadily rejected all offers of placing him in an occupation equally unsuitable to his real origin (of which he retained an -obscure recollection) and to his acquired, talents; and finally, that being patronized by Colonel (afterwards Sir Charles) Beaumont, he accompanied the latter to India as his aid-de-camp.

It would be a needless repetition to advert to the particulars mentioned of Lady Beaumont, and her little protege, Jessie—of Annie and Jamie, the real children of the Mathiesons—of Colonel Monteith, the unnatural uncle of Arthur's father—or of Colin, the Colonel’s son. These characters will be sufficiently developed in the progress of the ensuing narrative, to which without further preface we now proceed.


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