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“BEDOLD IN THESE WHAT LEISURE HOURS DEMAND, -AMUSEMENT AND TRUE KXUWLEDGE AND IN HAND."- Couper.
THE HERD LAD.
LANG TAM TAMSON.
" What has become of Tibby Taylor? I haveu't
seen her in the kirk since her return to the parish,” BY THE AUTHOR OF "MATTHEW MORRISON,"
said my mother's predecessor in the mango to a
decent old pauper woman whom she met on the L ANG TAM TAMSON'S birth gave occasion to road.
much gossip and many ill-natured surmises in “ 'Deed, nem, I thought you would have heard ; the quiet country parish in which it took place. His she's come home a widow, she says, and noo sho's mother had always been a peculiar woman, and her gotten a lad bairn,” said the old woman, comreserved though passionate temper was principally posedly. to blame for the people's talk.
“Indeed," said the minister's wife, looking surNo. 1175.— JULY 4, 1874
PIV OXE PENNY.
prisod. "I have heard nothing of it, I suppose on usual contentment. “He was a gude bairn,” she account of Dr. Bertie's late illuess, which has con- said, “and never grat, to her recollection, except fined me to the house. She has married somewhat twice, when a prin had somehow ran into him.” late in life, I think."
In truth, the old woman had more affection for "That has slo, mem," said old Ailie, emphati- hin than his inother. The latter went out early and cally; "she's live-and-thretty if she's a day. But returned late, weary and “taiglet,” as she called it, the queer thing is, men, though she wears a
agh she wears a and not liking to be “fashed " about anything. If marriage-ring on her finger, she canna bo got to tell the child had received its nourishment from her, ony particulars aboot the bairn's father except that porhaps the baby lips might have drawn her heart liis name was Tamson; the neebors think it looks towards it; but from the beginning she had decided
that she could not nurse him in addition to her work. " She was always a close woman about her own She kept him only barely decent in lis garments affairs, and that may be tho reason," said her ques-during his infancy and childhood, but she never tioner, treasuring up the news for the minister, who asked for assistance. Reserved though she was, she was an invalid at this time.
was yet an habitual grumbler, and she grumbled Tibby had been a "bondager" on one of the incessantly at the trouble Tam gave her. She thought Hirsel farms before she left the parish for a manu- it a hard thing after the day's fatigue to be awakened facturing town at some distance, tempted by the in the night to feed him, though Ailie, provoked high wages to be obtained there. A hind, to pro- with her unmotherliness, told her roundly that she cure a situation, was often obliged to bind himself to ought to “ think shame o' hersell to find faut with a feed and lodge a female labourer for his master's wean that took his drup milk as fast as he could field work, who was thus designated. There was no swallow it, and then gao'd to sleep again without a notion of slavery connected with the name. It was greet in his head. She had had twa in her time, and an ordinary engagemont between the parties, lasting she kent the difference.” But Tibby was not a pleafrom term to term, and tho hind received higher sant woman, and considered all bairns a fash,'' wages as compensation; though, when he had to whether contented or not. lodyo a stranger in a cottago whose accommodations As year's passed on, the “sharp tongue" with scarcely sufliced for his own family, it was justly con- which Sundy Jardine's wife had upbraided her had sidered a hardship; and that hind was thought to become still more sharp and viperish. Tibby's be fortunate who had a daughter of a fitting age to fellow-labourers dreaded a contention with her. be his bondager. On Tibby's roturn, after an absence The jibes and jeers which she knew had been freely of eighteen months, she offered herself as a lodger in uttered by all of them at lier expense at the time of the-hind's house, intending, as soou as she was able, to her return to the parishi, were now returned with resume her former work. But Sandy Jardine's wife interest, and with a bitterness and power of sarcası refused to receive her. She had never liked the that made every one stund in awo of her. Her bondagor, and would not undertake to take charge scolding tongue would reduce some women to silence of her child when she was out at work for any com- and tears; others it would excite into hysteric rage ; pensation she could offer. And the words in which while some non that came under its lash would she expressed her resolution were so strong and un- forget for a time the Scripture injunction, "Sirear complimentary that Tibby never forgave them. not at all." There was no uso complaining to their
Tibby went to live with old Ailie. Ailie had been employer; Tibby was too good a field hand-and she a hard-working woman in her time. She had for knew it-to be lightly dismissed. many yoars been a childless widow, and now that If Tibby spared any one, it was old Ailie. Slie her strength was spent and she had neither son nor was well aware that if she provoked the old woman daughter to help her, nobody thought the worse of to refuse to lodge her, no one else in the parish was her that she depended on parish aid. “She worked likely to take her in; and it would be a serious thing weel for her bread as long as she could,” all agreed, to be cast out with that "fashious vean" without a “and what could the puir body do now but come on roof to cover them. And yet she could not always the puir's box?"
commaud her temper even towards her. Fortunately, Ailie nursod Tibby through her illness, and when Ailio was growing deaf as she got older; but thero the latter was able to resume her work, took charge was no escape for Tam, whose organs of learing of the infant during the day for a certain weekly were remarkably acute. No wonder that Tibby at consideration. She did her duty by it conscientiously. last acquired through the parish the unenviablo Not that the child was very cleanly kept and fed, or nomenclature of “flyting Tibby Taylor” – the
" tenderly cared for such things are not to be looked people (as is not unusual in Scotland) continuing to for in nurses of Ailie's age and class--but it was call her by lier maiden name. neither starved nor ill-used, and it throve in spite of The time came when Tam's schooling had to be the dirt and ill-prepared food. There was fine puro thought of; but Tibby maintained her inability to air outside of Allie's cottage, though the inside was pay for it. ' As there was no law compelling parents smoky, aud somewhat uncleanly; and Tam, who, to educate their children, Tam might have gone from his earliest infancy, seened bent on giving ignorant to his grave, though the parish school was as little trouble to every one as he possibly could, but a short half-mile from liis home, if the minister was quito content to sleep or sprawl on the old and elders, for the sake of the boy, had not decided tattered plaid that Ailie spread on the grass for him, that he must be sent there in formų pauperis; and while sho sut smoking her cutty pipe and basking in Tam, accordingly, was added to the short list of the warm sunshine at the door--for it us towards pauper children whom Mr. Bairnsfather was bound the end of spring that Tain was born into the world. to teach without fee. The "caller air," no doubt, did Tam much good, Tam might now be said to live in a perpetual and helped him over the less favourable circum- atmosphere of “flyting." He was scolded by his stances (f liis lot. Ailio was pleased with his wi- mother at home, and he was lectured almost ail
school-time by Mr. Bairnsfatlier, who occasionally | dung stupid wi' his mither's and the dominio's dirersitied reproof with “palmies.". Not a day flyting and banging." passed in which Tam did not receive his palmies, till Wonderfully patient and contented the boy was the wonder was that his hands did not become com- under treatment that would have soured and morally pletely indurated under the application. Mr. Bairns- ruined three-fourths of his school companions. These father had a natural repulsion to pauper scholars, schoolfellows, though they saw and probably conanl to 'Tam in particular among them. Tam was demned the brutal treatment he experienced from palmied for being too late for school, though others the “maister," could not always resist flinging a were sometimes Inter than he, and would slink into stone after the poor boy themselves. While he was their places without attracting any unpleasant notice proceeding on his solitary walk home, many a time from the dominis; but then these were the sons of was the cry raised after him, “ Faitherless Tam! substantial farmers or artisans, whose fees were faitherless Tam!” which mysterious reproach, regularly paid, and of whose hospitality Mr. Bairns- scarcely understood by the boys themselves, and fainer occasionally partook. On one occasion, and suggested by remarks of their elders, began in ono only, Tam was palmied for arriving too early, course of time to work slowly and persistently in and presumptuously resting himself on the doorstep his mind. of the schoolhouse till it was opened.
" Where was his faither? and what for had palmied for slowness, and this he certainly was everybody a faither but him? and why did the guilty of, though the palmies-did not seem to im- laddios cry that after him? Wee Jean Tasker's prore it. In winter he was palmied for a chronic faither was dead, he knew, for he had seen the burial; coll he had in his head, which made him snivel but they never cried after her for it. Maybe his when reading his lesson--Ailie's cot was woefully faither was dead, and buried too." And acting upon damp in winter, and his straw bed was in the this new idea, Tam might have been seen for some dan post corner of it. And he was palmied also for days thereafter, during the school play-hour, examinnot contributing a peat to the stove, which peat his ing every headstone in the churchyard; but without mother refused to give him, and which, having a avail, for the name of Tamson or Thomson, common tender conscience, he dared not steal. IIe had to as it is, was not to be deciphered on any of them. bear the additional puni-lıment of being never per. But another idea now occurred to Tam, suggested by mitted to approach the stove, though his poor naked his observing how many graves wanting leadstones fort, blue with cold, might have moved even Mr. were to be found in the burial-ground. No memorial Bairnsfather to compassion. In short, any excuso had been erected to his father's memory-he had serrel for punishing Tam.
never heard of his mother's absence from the parislı Tam's only quiet bit of the day, indeed, was - and Tam felt certain this must be the disgrace; 110 letireen his return from school and his mother's “Sacred to the memory of,” etc., to show that his Itturn from her work. In summer he had generally father hal onra existed. two lours of peace, during which the much-enduring " Mither,'' he was forced under the bewilderment boy manifested a willingness to help old Ailie, and and pressure of these unusual conjectures to say to all ability to "crack" with her that the old woman her one eveuing, as he was sitting in the comfortless fully appreciated, and which she rewarded by pro- corner to which he was always condemned, that he tecting hinn from his mother's viperous tongue and might be “out o' folks’ way”; “mither, what for is ruthless fists as much as, in her feebleness, she there no a headstane in tlo kirkyard to my faither's l'ossilily could.
memory?" “There's no a better callant, mem, to be found in The question was so unexpected and extraordinary tho parishi," sho said to the minister's wife; “ he'll that Tibby for some moments could only gasp and rin ony errand for me. I've seen him gang out wi' stare at him; Ailie herself, to whom Tibby had not his bare feet in the snaw, puir fellow, just to fill my been more communicativo about her private affairs water stoupis because I was stiff and sair wi' the than to others, was dumbfounded by it, and thought rheumatiz; and he'll rise in the morning, that will the boy was fey. Hie, asd do ony turn to spare me before he gangs to "Because, ye seo,” continued Tam, gravely, and the schule. They say the puir laudie is unco' put as if arguing the point with himself, “ Jean Tasker's upon thero; but he says littlo aboot it, for oh! he's fuither's dead and buried, but he has a headstane ; a patient crature, as truly he needs to be, baith at and it maun be because mine has nane that tho hame and elsewhere."
laddies are aye cryin' • Faitherless Tam! faitherless Mrs. Bertie, who was a kind-hearted though formal Tam!' after me: I dinna like it, mither, and I wish woman, was moved by Ailio's commendations to take ye would put up a headstane." more notice of Tam ihan formerly. Now when she "I'll faither ye and hearlstane ye baith, ye langinet him on the road she would stop and have a leggit, senseless gomeril that ye are,” shrieked friendly talk with him. Once or twice sho gave him Tibby, making a furious dart at the boy.
sixpence to help to buy him a pair of shoes; but that, and that, and that, to learn ye to hand your illthe sixpences were appropriated by Tilby, and no scrapit tongue after this,” raining down a shower of aloes rere forthcoming. Tam was so little acens- blows upon him as she spoke. toined to kindness that lirs. Bertie's was evidently And this was the only result of Tam's investigaa pleasant but perploxing problem to him, and he tions, while old Ailie warned him privately nerer to [indered over it in his slow way; for Tam was un- speak again to his mother on that subject. doubtedly slow, though he had a powerful memory The portion of the Bible read the following day at to retain all that the scolding and palmying allowed school was in the book of Esther, and contained tho t> enter his mind. He was not doficient in intellect, description of the hanging of Haman on the gallows but thero was a certain simplicity about his character he had prepared for Mordecai, which made a convih superficial observers mistook for weakness. siderable impression upon Tam's imagination. Ilo Silic's opinion was “tlint the puir laddie was just I learnt at tho same tiug that to be languard on a
" Tak yo
gallows was a great disgrace to the culprit's family. I not merely with the farmer's children for whom his Another and a striking idea in consequence occurred adroit fingers were always fashioning something to him.
curious, but with his master and mistress. His trust“Was my faither ever hangit, Ailie?” he took the worthiness had soon become apparent; and as the first opportunity after his return home of asking at farmer had been previously worried by a succession the old woman in a frightened whisper, though his of bird-nesting and trap-setting herds, Tam's merit mother at that time was at least half a mile off. stood out in comparison. Treated with kindness by
“Eh, sirs! haud your tougue, bairn, or ye'll bring his employers, Tam would occasionally have the yoursell in for another licking, and ye get enough courage to beg a new-laid egg from his mistress for o that at ony time!” exclaimed the old woman. his old nurse, which he conveyed to her without his “Hangit! na, na, naething o' that kind. Though mother's knowledge. mony as honest a man has been, I wouldna wonder, Tam had a more comfortable bed now than ever and he may hae been hanged for aught I can tell," he had had before, though it was only a rug in the murmured Ailie to herself in conclusion.
straw loft over the byre, to which access was obtained “I dinna ken what to make o' that bairn,” said by a ladder; but the straw in which he nestled was Ailie, when relating the boy's remarks to a neighbour; clean and dry, and Tam ceased to snivel after his "he'll sometimes say the wisest auld-farrant things chango of residence. They fed him coarsely – Tam that ye ever heard, and at another time he'll be as did not know experimentally the meaning of coarse simple as a babby.”
and fine-but plentifully at the farmhouse; and If Tam's wit did not grow rapidly, as was generally Tam's appetite developed with his opportunities. thought, his legs did, and he had acquired his life- And thereupon he took to growing with such perselong designation of Lang Tam Tamson" while yet verance and determination as showed how grateful at school. This exuberant growth of his was one of a soil was being at last properly cultivated. Tibby's great grievances, for though the village When my father and mother took the place of Dr. tailor was strictly charged to make his corduroys of and Mrs. Bertie in the manse and parish, Tam was unusual longitude in the legs and arms, and to tuck no longer a herd plaiting rushes, with one eye on them up so that they could be let down when neces- his performance and another on his cattle, but a tall, sity called for it, Tam was constantly outgrowing strong young shepherd, on a sheep farm two miles these precautions; and bitterly did his mother com- from the manse, with hundreds of sheep to shear, plain when forced to patch and eke. He was a mark, and watch over during the year. He had healthy boy, however, but very spare and thin, for earned such a character for intelligence and tidelity he never had much to nourish him. Porridge and in his vocation, that Tam would have been offered “ kirued ” mills morning and night, and a piece of similar situations in plenty, if his master could have oatmeal cake for his dinner at the school playhour, been so blind to his own interests as to have parted wero Tam's unvarying diet. He could have eaten with him. Though Tam in some respects was conmore, doubtless, but no more being over forth- sidered simple by others-simple in regard to evil he coming, Tam's stomach contentedly adapted itself to certainly was-all agreed that he was both shrewd its allotted quantity.
and thoughtful in character. They thought this inWhen Tam's schooling came to an end, his acquire- cousistent with his simplicity—the few who saw ments were about the average of village boys. He deeper and understood Tam best, could easily reconwas a good reader, but an indifferent writer and cile the two. counter. And considering the disadvantages to which Tam was a householder now. A cottage of one he had been subjected, it said much for the boy's apartment on the bank of the Tivie burn, some short perseverance that he had attained so much.
distance from the more elevated farmhouse, was his Happy as a king was Tam when, escaped from home. He had dutifully taken his mother there to the brutal rule of the “maister,” he reigned as herd keep house for him after old Ailie's death, who beover Farmer Telfer's cattle for the (to him) munifi- queathed to him instead of to Tibby her old sticks cent reward of sixpence a week and his victuals. of furniture. Among these was the three-legged Even the big “ Bill i ceased to be an object of dread stool which had been Tam's invariable seat in his to him after the first few days. The bull acknow- sorely-tried childhood, and which must have been ledged lawful authority in the person of Tam, and associated in his mind with many a harsh word and gave him as little trouble as he had ever himself blow, as Ailie's statement was that Tibby's custom given to those who bore rule over him. Tam had was to “knock the bairn off the bit creepie wi' a now abundance of leisure, and that part of it which cuff on ae side o' the head, and to knock him on was not speut in plaiting grenadiers' caps and child again wi' a cuff on the tither." dren's rattles with the rushes which grew profusely Tibby at fifty-seven could no more work as she in the neighbourhood, was occupied by him in read had done. Like Ailie, she suffered much from rheuing the pocket Bible which his kind friend, the matism; but she could spin in the chimney corner minister's wife, had presented to him, accompanied and do the work of the house. Some people alleged with much good advice, on his leaving school. No that she had made a "stocking” for herself, having
“ wonder that Tam, in after life, though often laughed been thrifty and hard-living all her days; but if so, at by his undiscerning neighbours for his simplicity, she kept it carefully concealed-none of it was ever acquired among them the reputation of being, like forthcoming to help the humble housekeeping. Her Apollos, "mighty in the Scriptures."
temper did not improve with rest and age, and as Tam visited his mother on Saturday nights. He she had fewer persons than formerly to discharge it got a clean “sark" from her then, and she took on, it may reasonably be supposed that all Tam’s possession of his sixpence She never struck him natural and acquired patience was kept in full exernow, but her tongue was as venomous and sharp as cise. Few people cared to visit the cottage, which ever; and the boy's affections were given to old was remote from the public road; and probably the Ailie instead of to her He was become a favourite, I consciousness that she was disliked made the soured,
discontented woman more ungracious to those who, "I want to get acquainted with him too,” said from charitable motives, did inquire for her at times. my mother.
Among these was my mother. Her first sight of " That's easy done," said Tibby, coolly. “Ye Tibby was in the kirk; for Tibby, notwithstanding need only speel the hill at the back o' the househer universal hatred to mankind, had been a constant | there, ye can see it through the window before ye; kirk-goer all her days; and her thin, sharp, brown and by the time ye get to the tap o't ye'll be sure to face, now "wrinkled with eld” and vindictive tem- get a sight o' him-he's easily seen, there's sae pers, attracted my mother’s notice, as it peered in- muckle o him-lying or sitting on the grass wi' quisitively at her from one of the pews under the his dowgs beside him, and mair likely than no readfront gallery. My mother had only to inquire who the ing his Bible, for if he's no gude it's no frae ignosingular-looking little old woman who sat beside the rance o' the Scriptures. Yo had better be ganging, remarkably tall young man was, to hear such stories I think, for the day's wearin' on, and I'm busy wi’ of "flyting Tibby," including the surmises about my housewifeship, and canna waste time in claverTam's parentage, as might have frightened the ing." boldest from seeking her acquaintance. But she My mother, of course, took her dismissal, rather heard much also of T'am's dutifulness and patience, relieved to get out of the grim old woman's comand she determined to venture.
pany. She was curious to see the son of so strange Tam's cottage lay at the foot of the bills on the a person, and having the whole afternoon before her, slopes of which he fed his flocks. It was low, for my fathor was attending a meeting of Presbytery, strongly built, principally of unhewn stones without she did climb the hill, and soon descried Tam on its mortar, and thatched thickly with heather, The other side, with his sheep feeding all around and his Tivie ran in front, and behind was a small rude dogs stretched beside him, which soon warned him garden redeemed from the hillside, surrounded by a of his approaching visitor. Tam was seated on a rough stone fence, in which Tibby cultivated potatoes little turfy hillock. He received my mother's visit and lang kail. Two "skeps” of bees, placed close shyly, but with evident pleasure ; for the parish had to the house wall, gathered their fine-flavoured already sat in judgment on the minister's wife, and honey from the heather blooms of the adjacent hills, had approved of her. She had a long talk with him, and rere a source of considerable profit to her. and quite von his heart by her“ sensible conversa
Tibby was not savagely uncivil to my mother when tion, and by the offer of a remedy for his mother's she paid her visit; her ungraciousness was more rheumatism, for which he was to call at the manse. passive than active. She invited her, though with “She's the right kind of woman yon," he said to some reluctance in her manner, to come in and sit his master and mistress in the evening; " she doesna down, and leading the way through a narrow en- talk to a man like a printed book, or as if she knew trance passage into the house, pointed to a chair, everything better than himsell
, but just cracks and then seating herself in silence opposite to her doucely and fairly. I'm thinking she'll be a real visitor, grimly waited, it seemed to the latter, to be good wife to the minister.” interrogated; and when my mother, somewhat embarrassed by so chilling a reception, had recourse to that never-failing subject, the weather, she only drily responded, " Ay, ay, the day's veel enough,
THE EARLY GEOGRAPHY OF THE as if determined to give no assistance to her in carrying on a conversation.
BRITISH ISLES. "You have a quiet dwelling here," said my
BY HENRY WALKER, F.0.9. mother, struggling against the discouragement : THE
'HE fringe of submerged forests which lies
around certain parts of our coast, the relics of bours, I should think."
churches and villages and ancient monuments over "Neebors !” answered Tibby, with a sneer. “If which the sea now rolls as it encroaches farther upon ye had said I was lucky in the want o' them, yo the land, the raised beaches (found high above the would hae spoken something like sense.”
present sea-level), and the old coast-lines which the My mother was silenced. She was but newly mariner finds beneath the waves (far in advance of come to the parish, and was not familiar with the present shores), are now being understood in all country people; besides, she was more than half their wonderful significance, and finding a place in afraid of Tibby.
our popular text-books and atlases. Henceforth "Ye're the minister's wife-arena ye?" she these almost romantic phenomena of nature will form asked, after a short pause, during which her sharp an opening chapter in the history of the British Isles. black eyes had freely scrutinised her visitor's dress As we shall see, they lose nothing of their interest and face.
and charm by being brought down into the region of My mother answered in the affirmative.
systematic physical geography. "Weel, ye're pleasanter looking than the ane that These more novel aspects of physical geography Pas before ye,” said Tibby, bluntly ; "she likit to have recently attracted to one of our London lecturehao her spune in a' folks' brose, that did she. But rooms as many as eight or nine hundred boys and will ye tell me what's brought ye here the day?" girls week after week on successive Monday after
"I want to get acquainted with my husband's noons. During the past winter, in a county town people, Tibby,” said my mother, smiling. “I hear not fifty miles from London, the same subject has you have got a very good son,” she continued, giving drawn together, for a series of evenings, not less than a new, and she hoped more fortunato, direction to three hundred pupils from the various schools around. the conversation, which as yet had been carried At the South Kensington Science Schools, too, the through difficulties.
physical geography class for ladies is found to be the “He micht be better and he micht be waur, was best attended of the series. all that cantankerous Tibby would admit.
Let us now glance at some of the newer teachings