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Wilson's Border Tales
Saying and Doings of Peter Paterson

An every-day biographer would have said that Peter Paterson was the son of pious and respectable parents; and he would have been perfectly right, for the parents of Peter were both pious and respectable. I say they were pious; for, every week-night, as duly as the clock struck nine, and every Sabbath morning and evening, Robin Paterson and his wife Betty called in their man-servant and their maid-servant into what now-a-days would be styled their parlour, and there the voice of Psalms, of reading the Word, and of prayer, was heard; and, moreover, their actions corresponded with their profession. I say also they were respectable; for Robin Paterson rented a farm called Foxlaw, consisting of fifty acres, in which, as his neighbours said, he was "making money like hay"—for land was not three or four guineas an acre in those days. Foxlaw was in the south of Scotland, upon the east coast, and the farm-house stood on the brae-side, within a stone-throw of the sea. The brae on which Foxlaw stood, formed one side of a sort of deep valley or ravine; and at the foot of the valley was a small village, with a few respectable-looking houses scattered here and there in its neighbourhood. Robin and Betty had been married about six years, when, to the exceeding joy of both, Betty brought forth a son, and they called his name Peter—that having been the Christian name of his paternal grandfather. Before he was six weeks old, his mother protested he would be a prodigy; and was heard to say—"See, Robin, man, see--did ye ever ken the like o’ that ?—see how he laughs!— he kens his name already!" And Betty and Robin kissed their child alternately, and gloried in his smile. "O Betty," said Robin—for Robin was no common man—"that smile was the first spark o’ reason glimmerin’ in our infant’s soul! Thank God! the bairn has a’ its faculties." At five years old Peter was sent to the village school, where he continued till he was fifteen; and there he was more distinguished as a pugilist than as a book-worm. Nevertheless, Peter contrived almost invariably to remain dux of his class; but this was accounted for by the fact, that when he made a blunder, no one dared to trap him, well knowing that if they had done so, the moment they were out of school, Peter would have made his knuckles acquainted with their seat of superior knowledge. On occasions when he was fairly puzzled, and the teacher would put the questions to a boy lower in the class, the latter would tremble and stammer, and look now at his teacher, and now squint at Peter, stammer again, and again look from the one to the other, while Peter would draw his book before his face, and, giving a scowling glent at the stammerer, would give a sort of significant nod to his fist suddenly clenched upon the open page; and when the teacher stamped his foot, and cried, "Speak, Sir!" the trembler whimpered, "I daurna, sir." "Ye daurna!" the enraged dominic would cry—"Why?" "Because—because, sir," was slowly stammered out—"Peter Paterson wad lick me!" Then would the incensed disciplinarian spring upon Peter; and, grasping him by the collar, whirl his taws in the air, and bring them with the utmost strength round the back, sides, and limbs of Peter; but Peter was like a rock, and his eyes more stubborn than a rock; and, in the midst of all, he gazed in the face of his tormentor with a look of imperturbable defiance and contempt. Notwithstanding this course of education, when Peter had attained the age of fifteen, the village instructor found it necessary to call at Foxlaw, and inform Robin Paterson that he could do no more for his son, adding that—"He was fit for the college; and, though he said it, that should not say it, as fit for it as any student that ever entered it." These were glad tidings to a father’s heart, and Robin treated the dominie to an extra tumbler. He, however, thought his son was young enough for the college—"We’ll wait anither year," said he; "an’ Peter can be improvin’ himsel at hame; an’ ye can gie a look in, Maister, an’ advise us to ony kind o’ books ye think he should hae—we’ll aye be happy to see ye, for ye’ve done yer duty to him, I’ll say that for ye."

So another year passed on, and Peter remained about the farm. He was now sometimes seen with a book in his hand; but more frequently with a gun, and more frequently still with a fishing rod. At the end of the twelve months, Peter positively refused to go to the college. His mother entreated, and his father threatened; but it was labour in vain. At last—"It’s o’ nae use striving against the stream," said Robin—"ye canna gather berries off a whinbush. Let him e’en tak his ain way, an’ he may live to rue it." Thus, Peter went on reading, shooting, fishing, and working about the farm, till he was eighteen. He now began to receive a number of epithets from his neighbours. His old schoolmaster called him "Ne’er-do-weel Peter;" but the dominie was a mere proser: he knew the moods and tenses of a Greek or Latin sentence, but he was incapable of appreciating its soul. Some called him "Poetical Peter," and a few "Prosing Peter;" but the latter were downright bargain-making, pounds-shillings-and-pence men, whose souls were dead to

"The music of sweet sounds;"

and sensible only of the jink of the coin of the realm. Others called him "Daft Peter," for he was the leader of frolic, fun, and harmless mischief; but now the maidens of the village also began to call him "Handsome Peter." Yet, he of whom they thus spoke, would wander for hours alone by the beach of the solitary sea, gazing upon its army of waves warring with the winds, till his very spirit took part in the conflict; or he could look till his eyes got blind on its unruffled bosom, when the morning sun flung over it, from the horizon to the shore, a flash of glory; or, when the moonbeams, like a million torches shooting from the deep, danced on its undulating billows—then would he stand, like an entranced being, listening to its everlasting anthem, while his soul, awed and elevated by the magnificence of the scene, worshipped God the Creator of the great sea. With all his reputed wildness, and with all his thoughtlessness, even on the sea banks, by the wood, and by the brae-side, Peter found voiceless, yet to him eloquent companions. To him the tender primrose was sacred as the first blush of opening womanhood; and he would converse with the lowly daisy, till his gaze seemed to draw out the very soul of the

"Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower."

It, however, grieved his mother’s spirit to see him, as she said, "Just idlin’ awa his time, and leaving his learning at his heels." His father now said—"Let him just tak his fling an’ find his ain weight-an’ he’ll either mak a spoon or spoil a horn, or my name’s no Robin Paterson." But, from Peter’s infancy, it had been his mother’s ambition and desire to live to see him, as she expressed it, "wag his pow in a poopit," or, at any rate, to see him a gentleman. On one occasion, therefore, when Robin was at Dunse hiring-market, the schoolmaster having called on his old pupil, "Ne’er-do-weel, Peter," the two entered into a controversy in the presence of Peter’s mother, and, in the course of the discussion, the man of letters was dumfoundered by the fluency and force of the arguments of his young antagonist. Silent tears of exultation stole into Betty’s eyes, to hear, as she said, "her bairn expawtiate equal—ay, superior to ony minister;" and no sooner had the teacher withdrawn, than, fixing her admiring eyes on her son, she said—

"O Peter, man, what a delivery ye hae!—an’ sae fu’ o’ the dictioner’! Troth but ye wad cut a figure i’ the poopit! There wad nae dust gather on your cushion—there wad be nae sleeping, nodding, or snoring, while my Peter was preachin’. An’, oh, hinny, but ye will mak me a glad mother, if ye’ll consent to gang to the college! Ye wadna be lang o’ gettin’ a kirk, my man—I can tell ye that: an’ if ye’ll only consent to gang, ye shanna want pocket-money that your faither kens naething about—my bairn shall appear wi’ the best o’ them. For sine ever ye was an infant, it has aye been my hope an my prayer, Peter, to see ye a minister; an’ I ne’er sent a hunder eggs or a basket o’ butter to the market, but Peter’s pennies were aye laid aside, to keep his pockets at the college."

Peter was, in the main, a most dutiful and most affectionate son; but on this point he was strangely stubborn; and he replied—

"Wheesht, mother! wheesht! nae mair aboot it."

"Nae mair aboot it, bairn!" said she; "but I maun say mair aboot it;—man! wad ye fling awa your learnin’ at a dyke-side, an’ yer talents at a pleugh-tail? Wad ye just break yer mother an’ faither’s heart? O Peter! Peter, man, hae ye nae spirit ava?—What is yer objection?"

"Weel, keep your temper, mother," said he, "an I’ll tell ye candidly:—The kirk puts a strait-jacket on a body that I wadna hae elbow-room in!"

"What do ye mean, ye graceless?" added she, in a voice betokening a sort of horror.

"Oh, naething particular; only, for example, sic bits o’ scandal as—the Reverend Peter Paterson was called before the session for shooting on his ain glebe—or, the Reverend Peter Paterson was summoned before the presbytery for leistering a salmon at the foot o’ Tammy the Miller’s dam— or, the Reverend Peter Paterson was ordered to appear before the General Assembly for clappin’ Tammy the Miller’s servant lassie on the shouther, an’ ca’ing her a winsome queen—or"—

"Or!"—exclaimed his impatient and mortified mother— "Oh, ye forward an’ profane rascal ye! how daur ye speak in sic a strain—or wad ye be guilty o’ sic unministerial conduct?—wad ye disgrace the coat by sic ungodly behaviour?"

"There’s nae sayin’ mother," added he; "but dinna be angry—I’m sure, if I did either shoot, leister, or clap a bonny lassie on the shouther, ye wadna think it unlike your son Peter."

"Weel, weel," said the good-natured matron, softened down by his manner; "it’s true your faither says—its nae use striving against the stream; an’ a’ gifts arena graces. But if ye’ll no be a minister, what will ye be? Wad ye no like to be a writer or an advocate?"

"Worse an’ worse, mither! I wad rather beg than live on the misery of another."

"Then, callant," added Betty, shaking her head, and sighing as she spoke—"I dinna ken what we’ll do wi’ ye. Will ye no be a doctor?"

"What!" said Peter, laughing, and assuming a theatrical attitude—"an apothecary!—make an apothecary of me, and cramp my genius over a pestle and mortar? No mother—I will be a farmer, like my father before me."

"Oh, ye ne’er-do-weel, as your maister ca’s ye!" said his mother, as she rose and left the room in a passion; "ye’ll be a play-actor yet, an’ it will be baith seen an’ heard tell o’ an’ bring disgrace on us a’."

Peter was, however, spell-bound to the vicinity of Foxlaw by stronger ties than an aversion to the college or a love for farming. He was about seventeen, when a Mr. Graham, with his wife and family, came and took up his residence in one of the respectable-looking houses adjacent to the village. Mr. Graham had been a seafaring man—it was reported the master of a small privateer; and in that capacity had acquired, as the villagers expressed it, "a sort o’ money." He had a family of several children; but the eldest was a lovely girl called Ann, about the same age as Peter Paterson. Mr. Graham was fond of his gun, and so was Peter; they frequently met on the neighbouring moors, and an intimacy sprang up between them. The old sailor also began to love his young companion; for though a landsman, he had a bold reckless spirit: he could row, reef, and steer, and swim like an amphibious animal; and, though only a boy, he was acknowledged to be the only boxer, and the best leaper, runner, and wrestler in the country side—moreover, he could listen to a long yarn, and, over a glass of old grog, toss off his heeltaps like a man; and these qualifications drawing the heart of the skipper toward him, he invited him to his house. But here a change came over the spirit of reckless, roving Peter. He saw Ann; and an invisible hand seemed suddenly to strike him on the breast. His heart leaped to his throat. His eyes were riveted. He felt as if a flame passed over his face. Mr. Graham told his longest stories, and Peter sat like a simpleton—hearing every word, indeed, but not comprehending a single sentence. His entire soul was fixed on the fair being before him—every sense was swallowed up in sight. Ringlets of a shining brown were parted over her fair brow; but Peter could not have told their colour—her soft blue eyes occasionally met his, but noted not their hue. He beheld her lovely face, where the rose and the lily were blended—he saw the almost sculptured elegance of her form; yet it was neither on these—on the shining ringlets, nor the soft blue eyes—that his spirit dwelt; but on Ann Graham, their gentle possessor. He felt as he had never felt before; and he knew not wherefore.

Next day, and every day, found Peter at the house of Captain Graham; and often as love’s own hour threw its grey mantle over the hills, he was to be seen wandering with the gentle Ann by his side, on the sea banks, by the beach, and in the unfrequented paths. Again and again, when no eye saw them, and when no ear heard them, he had revealed the fulness of his heart before her; and, in the rapture of the moment, sealed his truth upon her lips; while she, with affection too deep for words, would fling her arm across his shoulder, and hide her face on his breast to conceal the tear of joy and of love.

His parents looked upon Ann as their future daughter; and, with Peter, the course of "true love ran smooth." A farm had been taken in an adjoining parish, on which he was to enter at the following Whitsunday; and on taking possession of his farm, Ann Graham was to become his bride. Never did exile long more ardently for his native land, than did Peter Paterson for the coming of Whitsunday; but, ere it came, the poetical truth was verified, that

"The course of true love never did run smooth."

Contiguous to the farm of Foxlaw, lay the estate of one Laird Horslie—a young gentleman but little known in the neighbourhood; for he had visited it but once, and that only for a few weeks, since it came into his possession. All that was known of him was, that he wrote J. P. after his name—that he was a hard landlord, and had the reputation of spending his rents faster than his factor could forward them to him. To him belonged the farm that had been taken for Peter; and it so happened, that, before the Whitsunday which was to make the latter happy arrived, the laird paid a second visit to his estate. At the kirk, on the Sunday, all eyes were fixed on the young laird. Captain Graham was one of his tenants, and occupied a pew immediately behind the square seat of the squire. But while all eyes were fixed upon Laird Horslie, he turned his back upon the minister, and gazed and gazed again upon the lovely countenance of Ann Graham. All the congregation observed it. Ann blushed and hung her head; but the young squire, with the privilege of a man of property, gazed on unabashed. What was observed by all the rest of the congregation, was not unobserved by Peter. Many, with a questionable expression in their eyes, turned them from the laird, and fixed them upon him. Peter observed this also, and his soul was wroth. His face glowed like a furnace; he stood up in his seats and his teeth were clenched together. His fist was once or twice observed to be clenched also; and he continued scowling on the laird, wishing in his heart for ability to annihilate him with a glance.

Next day, the squire called upon the old skipper, and he praised the beauty of Ann in her own presence, and in the presence of her parents. But there was nothing particular in this; for he called upon all his tenants, he chatted with them, tasted their bottle, paid compliments to their daughters, and declared that their sons did honour to

"Scotland’s glorious peasantry."

Many began to say, that the laird was "a nice young gentleman"—that he had been "wickedly misca’ed ;" and the factor "got the wyte o’ a’." His visits to Mr Graham’s cottage, however, were continued day after day; and his attentions to Ann became more and more marked. A keen sportsman himself, he was the implacable enemy of poachers, and had strictly prohibited shooting on his estate; but, to the old skipper, the privilege was granted of shooting when and where he pleased. Instead, therefore, of seeing Peter Paterson and the old seaman in the fields together, it was no uncommon thing to meet the skipper and the squire. The affection of the former, indeed, had wonderfully cooled towards his intended son-in-law. Peter saw and felt this; and the visits of the squire were wormwood to his spirit. If they did not make him jealous, they rendered him impatient, impetuous, miserable.

He was wandering alone upon the shore, at the hour which Hogg calls, "between the gloaming’ and the mirk," in one of these impatient, impetuous, and unhappy moods, when he resolved not to live in a state of torture and anxiety until Whitsunday, but to have the sacred knot tied at once.

Having so determined, Peter turned towards Graham’s cottage. He had not proceeded far, when he observed a figure gliding before him on the footpath, leading from the village to the cottage. Darkness was gathering fast, but he at once recognised the form before him to be that of his own Ann. She was not a hundred yards before him, and he hastened forward to overtake her; but, as the proverb has it, there is much between the cup and the lip. A part of the footpath ran through a young plantation, and this plantation Ann Graham was just entering, when observed by Peter. He also had entered the wood, when his progress was arrested for a moment by the sudden sound of voices. It was Ann’s voice, and it reached his ear in tones of anger and reproach; and these were tones so new to him, as proceeding from one whom he regarded as all gentleness and love, that he stood involuntarily still. The words he could not distinguish; but, after halting for an instant, he pushed softly but hastily forward, and heard the voice of the young laird reply—

"A rose-bud in a fury, by the goddesses!—Nay, frown not, fairest," continued he, throwing his arm around her and adding—

"What pity that so delicate a form
Should be devoted to the rude embrace
Of some indecent clown!"

Peter heard this, and muttered an oath or an ejaculation which we will not write.

"Sir," said Ann, indignantly, and struggling as she spoke, "if you have the fortune of a gentleman, have, at least, the decency of a man."

"Nay, sweetest; but you, having the beauty of an angel, have the heart of a woman." And he attempted to kiss her cheek.

"Laird Horslie!" shouted Peter, as if an earthquake had burst at the heels of the squire—"hands off! I say, hands off!"

Now, Peter did not exactly suit the action to the word; for while he yet exclaimed, "hands off!" he with both hands, clutched the laird by the collar, and hurling him across the path, caused him to roll like a ball against the foot of a tree.

"Fellow!" exclaimed Horslie, furiously, rising on his knee, and rubbing his sores—

"Fellow!" interrupted Peter—"confound ye, sir, dinna fellow me, or there’ll be fellin’ in the way. You can keep yer farm, and be hanged to ye; and let me tell ye, sir, if ye were ten thousand lairds, if ye dared to lay yer ill-faur’d lips on a sweetheart o’ mine, I wad twist yer neck about like a turnip-shaw!—Come awa, Annie, love," added he tenderly, "and be thankfu’ I cam in the way."

Before they entered the house, he had obtained her consent to their immediate union; but the acquiescence of the old skipper was still wanting; and when Peter made known his wishes to him—

"Belay!" cried the old boy; "not so fast, Master Peter; a craft such as my girl, is worth a longer run, lad. Time enough to take her in tow, when you’ve a harbour to moor her in, Master Peter. There may be other cutters upon the coast, too, that will give you a race for her, and that have got what I call shot in their lockers. So you can take in a reef, my lad; and, if you don’t like it, why—helm about—that’s all."

"Captain Graham," said Peter, proudly and earnestly, "I both understand and feel your remarks; and but for Ann’s sake, I would resent them also. But, sir, you are a faither—you are an affectionate one—dinna be a deluded one. By a side-wind, ye hae flung my poverty in my teeth; but, sir, if I hae poverty, and Laird Horslie riches, I hae loved yer dochter as a man—he seeks to destroy her like a villain."

"Vast Peter, vast !" cried the old man; "mind I am Ann’s father—tell me what you mean."

"I mean, sir, that ye hae been hoodwinked," added the other—that ye hae been flung aff yer guard, and led to the precipiece of the deep dark sea o’ destruction an disgrace; that a villain has hovered round yer house, like a hawk round a wood-pigeon’s nest, waiting an opportumty to destroy yer peace for ever! Sir to use a phrase o’ yer ain, wad ye behold yer dochter driven a ruined wreck upon the world’s bleak shore, the discarded property o’ the lord o’ the manor? If ye doubt me, as to the rascal’s intentions, ask Ann hersel."

"‘Sdeath, Peter, man!" cried the old tar, "do ye say that the fellow has tried to make a marine of me?—that a lubber has got the weatherguage of Bill Graham? Call in Ann."

Ann entered the room where her father and Peter sat.

"Ann, love," said the old man, "I know you are a true girl! you know Squire Horslie, and you know he comes here for you; now, tell me at once, dear—I say, tell me what you think of him?"

"I think," replied she, bursting into tears—I know he is a villain!"

"You know it!" returned he, "blow me, have I harboured a shark! What! the salt water in my girl’s eyes, too! If I thought he had whispered a word in your ear but the thing that was honourable—hang me! I would warm the puppy’s back with a round dozen with my own hand."

"You have to thank Peter," said she, sobbing, "for rescuing me to-night from his unmanly rudeness."

"What! saved you from his rudeness!—you didn’t tell me that, Peter; well, well, my lad, you have saved an old sailor from being drifted on a rock. There’s my hand— forgive me—get Ann’s, and God bless you!"

Within three weeks all was in readiness for the wedding. At Foxlaw, old Betty was, as she said, up to the elbows in preparation, and Robin was almost as happy as his son: for Ann was loved by every one. It was Monday evening, and the wedding was to take place next day. Peter was too much of a sportsman, not to have game upon the table at his marriage feast. He took his guns and went among the fields. He had traversed over the fifty acres of Foxlaw in vain, when, in an adjoining field, the property of his rival, he perceived a full-grown hare holding his circuitous gambols. It was a noble-looking animal. The temptation was irresistable. He took aim; and the next momant bounded over the low hedge. He was a dead shot; and he had taken up the prize, and was holding it, surveying it before him, when Mr. Horslie and his gamekeeper sprang upon him, and, ere he was aware, their hands were on his breast. Angry words passed, and words rose to blows. Peter threw the hare over his shoulders, and left the squire and his gamekeeper to console each other on the ground. He returned home; but nothing said he of his second adventure with Laird Horslie.

The wedding-day dawned; and, though the village had no bells to ring, there were not wanting demonstrations of rejoicing; and, as the marriage party passed through its little street to the manse, children shouted, women waved ribbons, and smiled, and every fowling-piece and pistol in the place sent forth a joyful noise; yea, the village Vulcan himself, as they passed his smithy, stood with a rod of red-hot iron in his hand, and having his stithies ranged before him like a battery, and charged with powder, saluted them with a rustic but hearty feu d’foie. There was not a countenance but seemed to bless them. Peter was the very picture of manly joy—Ann of modesty and love. They were within five yards of the manse, where the minister waited to pronounce over them the charmed and holy words, when Squire Horslie’s gamekeeper and two constables intercepted the party.

"You are our prisoner," said one of the latter, producing his warrant, and laying his hand upon Peter.

Peter’s cheek grew pale; he stood silent and motionless, as if palsy had smitten his very soul. Ann uttered a short, sudden scream of despair, and fell senseless at the feet of the "best-man." Her cry of agony recalled the bridegroom to instant consciousness; he started round—he raised her in his arms, he held her to his bosom. "Ann!—my ain Ann!" he cried; "look up—oh, look up, dear! It is me, Ann!—they canna, they daurna harm me."

Confusion and dismay took possession of the whole party.

"What is the meaning o’ this, sirs?" said Robin Paterson, his voice half choked with agitation; "what has my son done, that ye choose sic an untimeous hour to bring a warrant against him?"

"He has done, old boy, what will give him employment for seven years," said the gamekeeper, insolently. "Constables, do your duty."

"Sirs," said Robin, as they again attempted to lay hands upon his son, "I am sure he has been guilty o’ nae crime—leave us noo, an’, whatever be his offence, I, his faither will be answerable for his forthcoming to the last penny in my possession."

"And I will be bail to the same amount, master constables," said the old skipper "for, blow me, d’ye see, if there an’t black work at the bottom o’ this, and somebody shall hear about it, that’s all."

Consciousness had returned to the fair bride. She threw her arms around Peter’s neck—"They shall not, no, they shall not take you from me!" she exclaimed.

"No, no, dear," returned he; "dinna put yersel’ about."

The minister had come out of the manse, and offered to join the old men as security for Peter’s appearance on the following day.

"To the devil with your bail!—you are no justices master constables," replied the inexorable gamekeeper— "seize him instantly."

"Slave!" cried Peter, raising his hand and grasping the other by the throat.

"Help! help, in the king’s name!" shouted the provincial executors of the law, each seizing him by the arm.

"Be quiet, Peter, my man," said his father, clapping his shoulder, and a tear stole down his cheek as he spoke, "dinna mak bad worse."

"A rescue, by Harry!—a rescue!" cried the old skipper.

"No, no," returned Peter—"no rescue! if it cam to that, I wad need nae assistance. Quit my arms, sirs, and I’ll accompany ye in peace. Ann, love—fareweel the noo, an’ Heaven bless you, dearest!—but dinna greet, hinny—dinna greet!" And he pressed his lips to hers. "Help her, faither— help her," added he; "see her hame, and try to comfort her."

The old man placed his arm tenderly round her waist— she clung closer to her bridegroom’s neck; and, as they gently lifted up her hands, she uttered a heart-piercing, and, it seemed, a heart-broken scream, that rang down the valley, like the wail of desolation. Her head dropped upon her bosom. Peter hastily raised her hand to his lips; then, turning to the myrmidons of the law, said sternly— "I am ready, sirs; lead me where you will."

I might describe to you the fears, the anguish, and the agony of Peter’s mother, as, from the door of Foxlaw, she beheld the bridal party return to the village. "Bless me, are they back already!—can onything hae happened the minister?" was her first exclamation; but she saw the villagers collecting around them in silent crowds; she beheld the women raising their hands, as if stricken with dismay; the joy that had greeted them a few minutes before was dead, and the very children seemed to follow in sorrow. "Oh, bairn!" said she to the serving maid, who stood beside her, "saw ye e’er the like o’ you? Rin doun an’ see what’s happened; for my knees are sinking under me." The next moment she beheld her husband and Captain Graham supporting the unwedded bride in their arms. They approached not to Foxlaw; but turned to the direction of the Captain’s cottage. A dimness came over the mother’s eyes—for a moment they sought her son, but found him not. "Gracious Heaven!" she cried, wringing her hands, "what’s this come owre us!" She rushed forward—the valley, the village, and the joyless bridal party, floated round before her—her heart was sick with agony, and she fell with her face upon the earth.

The next day found Peter in Greenlaw jail. He had not only been detected in the act of poaching; but a violent assault, as it was termed, against one of his Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, was proved against him; and, before his father or his friends could visit him, he was hurried to Leith, and placed on board a frigate about to sail from the Roads. He was made of sterner stuff than to sink beneath oppression; and, though his heart yearned for the mourning bride from whose arms he had been torn, and he found it hard to brook the imperious commands and even insolence of men "dressed in a little brief authority;" yet, as the awkwardness of a landsman began to wear away, and the tumult of his feelings to subside, his situation became less disagreeable and, before twelve months had passed, Peter Paterson was a favourite with every one on board.

At the time we speak of, some French privateers had annoyed the fishing smacks employed in carrying salmon from Scotland to London; and the frigate on board of which Peter had been sent, was cruising to and fro in quest of them One beautiful summer evening, when the blue sea was smooth as a mirror, the winds seemed dead, and the very clouds slept motionless beneath the blue sky, the frigate lay becalmed in a sort of bay within two miles of the shore. Well was that shore known to Peter; he was familiar with the appearance of every rock—with the form of every hill—with the situation of every tree—with the name of every house and its inhabitants. It was the place of his birth; and, before him, the setting sun shed its evening rays upon his father’s house, and upon the habitation of her whom he regarded as his wife. He leaned anxiously over the proud bulwarks of the vessel, gazing till his imprisoned soul seemed ready to burst from his body, and mingle with the objects it loved. The sun sank behind the hills—the big tears swelled in his eyes—indistinctness gathered over the shore—he wrung his hands in silence and in bitterness. He muttered in agony, the name of his parents, and the name of her he loved. He felt himself a slave. He dashed his hand against his forehead—"O Heaven!" he exclaimed aloud, "thy curse upon mine enemy!"

"Paterson!" cried an officer, who had observed him, and overheard his exclamation; "are you mad? See him below," continued he, addressing another seaman; "the fellow appears deranged."

"I am not mad, your honour," returned Peter, though his look and his late manner almost belied his words; and, briefly telling his story, he begged permission to go on shore. The frigate, however, was considered as his prison, and his place of punishment; when sent on board, he had been described as "a dangerous character"—his recent bitter prayer or imprecation went far in confirmation of that description; and his earnest request was refused.

Darkness silently stretched its dull curtain over earth and sea—still the wind slept as a cradled child, and the evening star, like a gem on the bosom of night, threw its pale light upon the land. Peter had again crept upon the deck; and while the tears yet glistened in his eyes, he gazed eagerly towards the shore, and on the star of hope and of love. It seemed like a lamp from Heaven suspended over his father’s house--the home of his heart, and of his childhood. He felt as though it at once invited him to the scene of his young affections, and lighted the way. For the first time, the gathering tears rolled down his cheeks. He bent his knees--he clasped his hands in silent prayer— one desperate resolution had taken possession of his soul; and the next moment he descended gently into the silent sea. He dived by the side of the vessel; and, ascending at the distance of about twenty yards, strained every nerve for the shore.

It was about day-dawn, when Robin Paterson and his wife were aroused by the loud barking of their farm-dog; but the sound suddenly ceased, as if the watch-dog were familiar with the intruder; and a gentle tapping was heard at the window of the room where they slept.

"Wha’s there?" inquired Betty.

"A friend—an old friend," was replied in a low and seemingly disguised voice.

But there was no disguising the voice of a lost son to a mother’s ear.

"Robin! Robin!" she exclaimed—"it is him !—Oh, it is him/—Peter !—my bairn!"

In an instant, the door flew open, and Peter Paterson stood on his parent’s hearth, with their arms around his neck, while their tears were mingled together.

After a brief space wasted in hurried exclamations, inquiries, and tears of joy and surprise—"Come hinny," said the anxious mother, "let me get you changed, for ye’re wet through and through. Oh, come, my man, and we’ll hear a’ thing by and by—or ye’ll get yer death o’ cauld, for ye’re droukit into the very skin. But, preserve us, bairn ye hae neither a hat to yer head, nor a coat to yer back! O Peter, hinny, what is’t—what’s the matter?—tell me what’s the meaning o’t."

"O mother, do not ask me!—I have but a few minutes to stop. Faither, ye can understand me—I maun go back to the ship again; if I stay, they will be after me."

"O Peter!—Peter, man!" exclaimed Robin, weeping as he spoke, and pressing his son’s hand between his—"what’s this o’t!—yes, yes, yer faither understands ye! But is it no possible to hide?"

"No, no, faither!" replied he; "dinna think o’t."

"O bairn!" cried Betty, "what is’t ye mean? Wad ye leave yer mother again? Oh! if ye kenned what I’ve suffered for yer sake, ye wanna speak o’t."

"O mother!" exclaimed Peter, dashing his hand before his face, "this is worse than death! But I must!—I must go back, or they would tear me from you. Yet, before I do go, I would see my poor Ann."

"Ye shall see her: see her presently," cried Betty; "and baith her and yer mother will gang doun on oor knees to ye, Peter, if ye’ll promise not to leave us."

"Haste ye, then, Betty," said Robin, anxiously; "rin awa owre to Mr. Graham’s as quick as ye can; for, though ye no understand it, I see there’s nae chance for poor Peter but to tak horse for it before the sun’s up."

Hastily the weeping mother flew towards Mr. Graham’s. Robin, in spite of the remonstrances of his son, went out to saddle a horse on which he might fly. The sun had not yet risen when Peter beheld his mother, his betrothed bride, and her father, hurrying towards Foxlaw. He rushed out to meet them: to press the object of his love to his heart. They met: their arms were flung around each other.

A loud huzza burst from a rising ground between them and the beach. The old skipper started round. He beheld a boat’s crew of the frigate, with their pistols levelled towards himself, his unhappy daughter, and her hapless bridegroom!

"O Ann, woman!" exclaimed Peter, wildly, "this is terrible! it is mair than flesh and blood can stand."

"Peter! O Peter!" cried the wretched girl, clinging around him.

The party from the frigate approached them. Even their hearts were touched.

"From my soul, I feel for you, Paterson," said the lieutenant commanding them; "and I am sorry to see these old people and that lovely girl in distress; but you know I must do my duty, lad."

"O Sir! Sir!" cried his mother, wringing her hands, and addressing the lieutenant, "if ye hae a drap o’ compassion in yer heart, spare my puir bairn! O Sir! I implore ye, as ye wad expect mercy here or hereafter, dinna tear him frae the door o’ the mither that bore him."

"Good woman," replied the officer, "your son must go with us; but I shall do all that I can to render his punishment as light as possible."

Ann uttered a shriek of horror.

"Punishment!" exclaimed Betty, grasping the arm of the lieutenant—"O Sir, what do ye mean by punishment? Surely, though your heart was harder than a nether millstane, ye couldna be sae cruel as to hurt my bairn for comin’ to see his ain mother."

"Sir," said Robin, "my son never intended to rin awa frae your ship. He told me he was gaun to return immediately: I assure ye o’ that. But, sir, if ye could only leave him, and if siller can do onything in the case, ye shall hae the savings o’ thirty years, an’ a faither’s blessing into the bargain."

"Oh, ay, sir!" cried his mother; "ye shall hae the last penny we hae i’ the world: ye shall line the very stock of the farm, if ye’ll leave my bairn."

The officer shook his head. The sailors attempted to pinion Peter’s arms.

"’Vast there, shipmates! ‘vast!" said Peter, sorrowfully, "there is no need for that; had I intended to run for it, you would not have found me here. Ann, love"—he added—his heart was too full for words—he groaned—he pressed his teeth upon his lip—he wrung her hand. He grasped the hands of his parents and of Mr Graham—he burst into tears, and in bitterness exclaimed, "Farewell!" I will not describe the painful scene, nor paint the silent agony of the father, the heart-rending lamentations of the bereaved mother, nor the tears and anguish of the miserable maiden who refused to be comforted.

Peter was taken to the boat, and conveyed again to the frigate. His officers sat in judgment upon his offence, and Peter stood as a culprit before them. He begged to be heard in his defence, and his prayer was granted.

"I know, your honours," said Peter, "that I have been guilty of a breach of discipline; but I deny that I had any intention of running from the service. Who amongst you that has a heart to feel, would not, under the same circumstances, have acted as I did? Who that has been torn from a faither’s hearth, would not brave danger, or death itself, again to take a faither by the hand, or to fling his arms around a mother’s neck? Or who that has plighted his heart and his troth to one that is dearer than life, would not risk life for her sake? Gentlemen, it becomes not man to punish an act which Heaven has not registered as a crime. You may flog, torture, and degrade me, I do not supplicate for mercy, but will degradation prompt me to serve my king more faithfully? I know you must do your duty, but I know also you will do it as British officers, as men who have hearts to feel."

During this address, Peter had laid aside his wonted provincial accent. There was an evident leaning amongst the officers in his favour, and the punishment they awarded him was a few days’ confinement.

It was during the second war between Britain and the United States. The frigate was ordered to the coast of Newfoundland. She had cruised upon the station about three months; and, during that time, as the seamen said—"not a lubber of the enemy had dared to shew his face—there was no life going at all;" and they were becoming impatient for a friendly set-to with their brother Jonathan. It was Peter’s watch at the mast-head. "A sail?—a Yankee! shouted Peter. A sort of wild hurra burst from his comrades on the deck. An officer hastily ascended the rigging to ascertain the fact. "All’s right," he cried—"a sixty-gun ship, at least."

"Clear the deck, my boys," cried the commander; "get the guns in order—active—be steady, and down upon her."

Within ten minutes, all was in readiness for action. "Then down on the deck, my lads," cried the captain; "not a word amongst you—give them a British welcome."

The brave fellows silently knelt by the guns, glowing with impatience for the command to be given to open their fire upon the enemy. The American seemed nothing loath to meet them half way. Like winged engines of death rushing to shower destruction on each other, the proud vessels came within gunshot. The American opened the first fire upon the frigate. Several shot had passed over her, and some of the crew were already wounded. Still no word escaped from the lips of the British commander. At length he spoke a word in the ear of the man at the helm, and the next moment the frigate was brought across the bow of the enemy. "Now, my lads," cried the captain, "now give them it." An earthquake seemed to burst at his words--the American was raked fore and aft, and the dead and dying, and limbs of the wounded strewed her deck. The enemy quickly brought their vessel round—then followed the random gun, and anon the heavy broadsides were poured into each other. For an hour the action had continued, but victory or death seemed the determination of both parties. Both ships were crippled and had become almost unmanageable, and in each, equal courage and seamanship were displayed. It was drawing towards nightfall, they became entangled, and the word "to board!" was given by the commander of the frigate. Pete Paterson was the first man who, cutlass in hand, sprang upon the deck of the American. He seemed to possess a lion’s strength, and more than a lion’s ferocity. In a few minutes four of the enemy had sunk beneath his weapon. "On, my hearties!—follow Paterson!" cried an officer; "Peter’s a hero!" Fifty Englishmen were engaged hand to hand with the crew of the American; and for a time they gained ground; but they were opposed with a determination equal to their own, and, overpowered by a superiority of numbers, they were driven back and compelled to leap again into the frigate. At the moment his comrades were repulsed, Peter was engaged with the first lieutenant of the American— "Stop a minute!" shouted Peter, as he beheld them driven back; "keep your ground till I finish this fellow!" Hi request was made in vain, and he was left alone on the enemy’s deck; but Peter could turn his back upon no man. "It lies between you and me now, friend," said he to his antagonist. He had shivered the sword of the lieutenant by the hilt, when a Yankee seaman, armed with a crowbar felled Peter to the deck.

Darkness came on and the vessels separated. The Americans were flinging their dead into the sea—they lifted the body of Peter. His hands moved—the supposed dead man groaned. They again placed him on the deck. He at length looked round in bewilderment. He raised himself on his side, "I say, neighbours," said he to the group around him, "is this our ship or yours?" The Americans made merry at Peter’s question. "Well," continued he, "if it be yours, I can only tell you it was foul play that did it. It was a low, cowardly action, to fell a man behind his back; but come face to face, and twa at a time if ye like, and I’ll clear the decks o’ the whole ship’s crew o’ you."

"You are a noble fellow," said the lieutenant whom he had encountered, "and if you will join our service, I guess your merit shan’t be long without promotion."

"What!" cried Peter, "raise my hand against, my ain country! Gude gracious, sir! I wad sooner eat it as my next meal!"

In a few weeks the vessel put into Boston for repairs and on her arrival, it was ascertained that peace had been concluded between the two countries.. Peter found himself once more at liberty; but with liberty he found himself in a strange land without a sixpence in his pocket. This was no enviable situation to be placed in, even in America, renowned as it is as the paradise of the unfortunate; and he was standing, on the second morning after his being put on shore, counting the picturesque islands which stud Boston harbour, for his breakfast, poor fellow, when a person accosted him—"Well, my lad, how is the new world usin you?" Peter started round—it was his old adversary the lieutenant.

"A weel-filled pocket, sir," returned Peter, "will mak either the new warld or the auld use you weel; and without that, I reckon your usage in either the ane or the ither wad be naething to mak a song about."

The lieutenant pulled out his purse. "I am not rich Paterson," said he; "but, perhaps, I can assist a brave man in need." Peter was prevailed upon to accept a few dollars. He knew that to return to Berwickshire was again to throw himself into the power of his persecutor, and he communed with himself what to do. He could plough—he could manage a farm—he was master of all field-work; and, within a week, he engaged himself as a farm-servant to a proprietor in the neighbourhood of Charleston. He had small reason, however, to be in love with his new employment. Peter was proud and high-minded (in the English, not the American acceptation of the word), and he found his master an imperious, avaricious, republican tyrant. The man’s conduct ill-accorded with his professions of universal liberty. His wish seemed to be, to level all down to his own standard, that he might the more easily trample on all beneath him. His incessant cry, from the rising of the sun until its setting, was, "Work! work!" and with an oath he again called upon his servants to "work!" He treated them as beasts of burden. "Work! hang ye work!" and a few oaths, seemed to be the principal words in the man’s vocabulary. Peter had not been over-wrought in the frigate—he had been his own master at Foxlaw—and, when doing his utmost, he hated to hear those words everlastingly rung in his ear. But he had another cause for abhorring his employment; his master had a number of slaves, on whom he wreaked the full measure of his cruelty. There was one, an old man, in particular, on whom he almost everyday gratified his savageness. Peter had beheld the brutal treatment of the old negro till he could stand it no longer; and one day, when he was vainly imploring the man who called himself the owner of his flesh for mercy, Peter rushed forward, he seized the savage by the breast, and exclaimed—"Confound ye sir, if I see ye strike that poor auld black creature again, I’ll cleave ye to the chin."

The slave-owner trembled with rage. "What!" said he, "it’s a fine thing, indeed, if we’ve walloped the English for liberty, and, after all, a man an’t to have the liberty of walloping his own nigger!"

He drew out his purse, and flung Peter’s wages contemptuously on the ground. Peter, stooping, placed the money in his pocket, and, turning towards Charleston, proceeded along the bridge to Boston. He had seen enough of tilling another man’s fields in America, and resolved to try his fortune in some other way, but was at a loss how to begin. I have already told you how Peter’s mother praised his delivery in his debate with the schoolmaster; and Peter himself thought that he could deliver a passage from Shakespeare in a manner that would make the fortune of any hero of the sock and buskin; and he was passing along the Mall, counting the number of trees in every row, much in the same manner, and for the same reason, as he had formerly counted the islands in the harbour, when the thought struck him that the Americans were fond of theatricals; and he resolved to try the stage. He called at the lodgings of the manager in Franklin Place. He gave a specimen of his abilities; and, at a salary of eighteen dollars a-week, Peter Paterson was engaged as leader of the "heavy business" of the Boston corps dramatique. The tidings would have killed his mother. Lear was chosen as the part in which he was to make his first appearance. The curtain was drawn up. "Peter, what would your mother say?" whispered his conscience, as he looked in the glass, just as the bell rang and the prompter called him; and what, indeed, would Betty Paterson have said to have seen her own son Peter, with a red cloak, a painted face, a grey wig, and a white beard falling on his breast! Lear—Peter—entered. He looked above, below, and around him. The audience clapped their hands, shouted, and clapped their hands again. It was to cheer the new performer. Peter thought they would bring down the theatre. The lights dazzled his eyes. The gallery began to swim—the pit moved—the boxes appeared to wave backward and forward. Peter became pale through the very rouge that bedaubed his face, and sweat, cold as icicles, rained down his temples. The shouting and the clapping of hands was resumed—he felt a trembling about his limbs—he endeavoured to look upon the audience—he could discern only a confused mass. The noise again ceased.

"Attend—France—Burgundy—hem!—Gloster!" flattered out poor Peter. The laughter became louder than the clapping of hands had been before. The manager led Peter off the stage, paid him the half of his week’s salary, and wished him good-by. It is unnecessary to tell you how Peter, after this disappointment, laid out eight dollars in the purchase of a pack, and how, as pedlar, he travelled for two years among the Indians and back-settlers of Canada, and how he made money in his new calling. He had written to his parents and to Ann Graham; but, in his unsettled way of life, it is no wonder that he had not received an answer. He had written again to say, that, in the course of four months, he would have to be in New York, in the way of business—for Peter’s pride would not permit him to acknowledge that he carried a pack—and if they addressed their letters to him at the Post-office there, he would receive them. He had been some weeks in New York, and called every day, with an anxious heart, at the Post-office. But his time was not lost; he had obtained many rare and valuable skins from the Indians, and, with his shop upon his back, he was doing more business than the most fashionable store-keeper in the Broadway. At length, a letter arrived. Peter hastily opened the seal, which bore the impress of his mother’s thimble, and read:—"My dear bairn,—This comes to inform ye that baith yer faither and me are weel—thanks to the Giver o’ a’ good—and hoping to find ye the same. O Peter, hinny, could ye only come hame; did you only ken what sleepless nights I spend on your account, ye wad leave America as soon as ye get my letter. I wonder that ye no ken that Ann, poor woman, an’ her father, an’ her mother, an’ the family, a’ gaed to about America mair than a year and a half syne, and I’m surprised ye haena seen them."

"Ann in America!" cried Peter. He was unable to read the remainder of his mother’s letter. He again flung his pack upon his shoulder, but not so much to barter and to sell, as to seek his betrothed bride. He visited almost every city in the States, and in the provinces of British America. He advertised for her in more than fifty newspapers; but his search was fruitless—it was "Love’s labour lost." Yet, during his search, the world prospered with Peter. His pack had made him rich. He opened a store in New York. He became also a shareholder in canals, and a proprietor in steam-boats; in short, he was looked upon as one of the most prosperous men in the city. But his heart yearned for his native land; and Peter Paterson, Esq., turned his property into cash, and embarked for Liverpool.

Ten long years had passed since the eyes of Betty Paterson had looked upon her son; and she was busied, on a winter day, feeding her poultry in the barn-yard, when she observed a post-chaise drive through the village and begin to ascend the hill towards Foxlaw.

"Preserve us, Robin!" she cried, as she bustled into the house, "there’s a coach comin’ here—what can folk in a coach want wi’ the like o’ us? Haud awa out an’ see what they want, till I fling on a clean mutch an’ an apron, an’ make mysel wiselike."

"I watna wha it can be," said Robin, as he rose and went towards the door.

The chaise drew up—a tall genteel-looking man alighted from it—at the first glance he seemed nearly forty years of age, but he was much younger. As he approached, Robin started back—his heart sprang to his throat—his tongue faltered.

"Pe—Pe——Peter!" he exclaimed. The stranger leaped forward, and fell upon the old man’s neck.

Betty heard the word Peter!—the clean cap fell from her hand, she uttered a scream of joy, and rushed to the door, her grey hairs falling over her face; and the next moment her arms encircled her son.

I need not tell you of the thousand anxious questions of the fond mother, and how she wept as he hinted at the misfortunes he had encountered, and smiled, and wept, and grasped his hand again, as he dwelt upon his prosperity.

"Did I no aye say," exclaimed she, "that I would live to see my Peter a gentleman?"

"Yet, mother, " said Peter, "riches cannot bring happiness—at least not to me while I can hear nothing of poor Ann. Could no one tell to what part of America her father went? for I have sought them everywhere."

"Oh, forgie me hinny," cried Betty, bitterly; "it was a mistake o’ yer mother’s a’thegither. I understand, now, it wasna America, they gaed to; but it was Jamaica, or some ca, and we hear they’re back again."

"Not America!" said Peter: "and back again! then, where—where shall I find her?"

"When we wrote to you, that, after leaving here, they had gaen to America," said Robin, "it was understood they had gane there—at ony rate, they went abroad some-way—and we never heard, till the other week, that they were back to this country, and are now about Liverpool, where I’m very sorry to hear they are very ill off; for the warld, they say, has gaen a’ wrang wi’ the auld man."

This was the only information Peter could obtain. They were bitter tidings; but they brought hope with them.

"Ye were saying that ye was in Liverpool the other day," added his mother; "I wonder ye didna see some o’ them!"

Peter’s spirit was sad, yet he almost smiled at the simplicity of his parent; and he resolved to set out in quest of his betrothed on the following day.

Leaving Foxlaw, we shall introduce the reader to Sparling Street, in Liverpool. Amongst the miserable cellars where the poor are crowded together, and where they are almost without light and without air, one near the foot of the street was distinguished by its outward cleanliness; and in the window was a ticket with the words—"A Girl’s School kept here, by A. GRAHAM," Over this humble cellar was a boarding-house, from which, ever and anon, the loud laugh of jolly seamen rang boisterous as in their own element. By a feeble fire in the comfortless cellar, sat an emaciated, and apparently dying man; near him sat his wife, engaged in making such articles of apparel as the slop-ealers sent to the West Indies, and near the window was a pale but beautiful young woman, instructing a few children in needle-work, and the rudiments of education. The children being dismissed, she began to assist her mother; and, addressing her father, said—

"Come, cheer up, dear father—do not give way to despondency—we shall see better tes. Come, smile now, and will sing your favourite song."

"Heaven bless thee, my own sweet child!" said the old man, while the tears trickled down his cheeks. "Thou wilt sing to cheer me, wilt thou?—bless thee!—bless thee! It is enough that, in my old age, I eat thy bread, my child!—sing not!—sing not!—there is no music now for thy father’s heart."

"Oh, speak not—think not thus," she cried, tenderly; "you make me sad, too."

"I would not make thee sad, love," returned he, "but it is hard—it is very hard—that, after cruising till I had made a fortune, as I may say, and after being anchored in safety, to be tempted to make another voyage, where my all was wrecked—and not only all wrecked, but my little ones too--thy brothers and thy sisters, Ann—to see them struck down ane after another, and I hardly left wherewith to bury them—it is hard to bear, child!—and, worse than all, to be knocked up like a useless hulk, and see thee and thy mother toiling and killing yourselves for me--it is more than a father’s heart can stand, Ann."

"Nay, repine not, father," said she: HE who tempereth the wind to the shorn lamb, will not permit adversity to press on us more hardly than he gives us strength to endure it. Though we suffer poverty, our exertions keep us above want."

The old woman turned aside her head and wept.

"True, dear," added he, "thy exertions keep us from charity; but those exertions my child will not long be able to make--I see it—I feel it! And, oh, Ann, shall I see thee and thy mother inmates of a workhouse—shall I hear men call thy father, Bill Graham, the old pauper?"

The sweat broke upon the old man’s brow from his excitement; his daughter strove to soothe him, and, with an assumed playfulness, commenced singing Skinner’s beautiful old man’s song, beginning:

"Oh, why should old age so much wound us!"

Now, Peter Paterson had been several days in Liverpool, anxiously inquiring for Captain Graham, but without obtaining any information of him or of his daughter, or where they dwelt. Again and again he had wandered along the docks; and he was disconsolately passing up Sparling Street, when the loud revelry of the seamen in the boarding-house attracted his attention. It reminded him of old associations; he paused for a moment, and glanced upon the house, and, as the pealing laughter ceased, a low, sweet voice, pouring forth a simple Scottish air, reached his ear. Peter now stood still. He listened—"That voice!" he exclaimed audibly, and he shook as he spoke. He looked down towards the cellar; the ticket in the window caught his eye. He read the words, "A Girl’s School kept here, by A. GRAHAM." "I have found her!" he cried, clasping his hands together. He rushed down the few steps, he stood in the midst of them—"I have found her," he repeated, as he entered. His voice fell like a sunbeam on the cheerless heart of the fair vocalist. "Peter!—my own"—she exclaimed, starting to her feet. She could not utter more; she would have fallen to the ground, but Peter caught her in his arms.

I need not describe the scene that followed: that night they left the hovel which had served as a grave for their misfortunes. Within a week they had arrived at Foxlaw, and within a month old and young in the village danced at a joyful wedding. I may only add, that, a few weeks after his marriage, Peter read in the papers an advertisement, headed: "UPSET PRICE GREATLY REDUCED—Desirable Property in the neighbourhood of Foxlaw," &c. It was the very farm now offered for sale of which Peter was to have become a tenant some twelve years before, and was the remnant of the estates of the hopeful Laird Horslie; and Peter became the purchaser. The old shipper regained his wonted health and cheerfulness; and Betty Paterson lived to tell her grandchildren, "she aye said their faither wad be a gentleman, and her words cam true." Even the old schoolmaster, who had styled him, "Ne’er-do-weel Peter," said he "had aye predicted o’ Mr. Paterson, even when a callant, that he would turn out an extraordinary man."

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