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A FAMILY JOURNAL OF INSTRUCTION AND RECREATION.
“BEHOLD IN THESE WOAT LEISURE HOURS DEMAND, -A MUSEMENT AND TRUE KNOWLEDGE LAND IN HAND."- Cowper.
endeavour to relate it here, and as much as possible in her own words.
We had been conversing on some of our ancient Seottish customs, but especially on the freits connected with Hallowe'en.
A TALE OF HALLOWE’EN.
“ MATTHEW MORRISON."
BY THE AUTHOR OF
Y housekeeper is rich in old country stories, You'll mind the Haughead farm, Mr. Matthew,
and has a wonderful memory for the events in old Mr. Maunder's parish (said Nelly); the and traditions of her youth. One of these she farm with the deep, black moss behind it, that narrated to me some evenings ago, and I shall Jenny, the tinkler bowlwoman, was lost in one No. 1197. DECEMBER 6, 1874
PRICE ONE PENNS
vinter? No? Well, I thought you would have But doubtless the story of Jenny had prejudiced us minded Jenny, for all the country side knew her; all against the moor, for there's a stillness and purc but, to be sure, you were just a bairn, at that time caller air on a moss that is wonderfully refreshing I dinna think there was a gentleman's house or farm- and reviving to the spirits. steading within a range of thirty miles that Jenny They had a bit bonnie garden too, the Johndidna call regularly at. She was a muckle dragoon | stones, and as it was to the back, it was like a dainty of a woman, with a griesly grey beard peeping out flower in a barren wilderness. And there was an oli from under her tattered straw bonnet, and she swore fir wood that covered one side of the brae, that I had a like the worst among them; it was just awful to hear great liking to. It was just a pleasure on a warm her when she had got the drop drink in her head. summer day to sit on the moss at the foot of the trees I suspect it was owing to it that she came by her and watch the sunshine glinting on the grass, and death, poor creature. It was supposed that she had | listen to the singing of the birds, and the soughing wandered off the road at nightfall, and been smoored of the wind through the boughs. Can you tell me in the moss; for her cart and cuddie (donkey) were now, Mr. Matthew-you that have had college learnfound there some days after she had been seen by ing and should ken everything—how it happens that anybody, the poor beast almost dead with cold and of all the trees in the wood, the fir-tree makes the hunger. But Jenny was never agair seen in the most melancholy sound? To my mind it's like the Hesh, though many folk threepit they had met with far-off murmuring of the great ocean, and I have her spirit; but as it was aye in the gloaming, when often felt the tears rise into my een as I listened to the grey stump of a skaithed tree will look like it, though I had a kind of pleasure in my heart at something no canny, they may have been mistaken. the time. Maybe soine folk would laugh at me for IIowsoever, the moss got a bad name after the an old haverel to speak of such fancies, but it is a accident; and so did the farm, for that matter, for it thing I have often noticed and never could account for. had been a great howff of Jenny's, who slept oh! but it was a bonnie wood that, for the grass oftener in the barn there than anywhere else.
was so full of moss, and the trees were so grand and The Haughead farm was à cantie (cheerful) flourishing! There's a great beauty in the colour place, though. It was a snug, two-storied, thatched of the fir-tree bark, Mr. Matthew; I mean of the house standing on the top of a brae—the old stead- real old Scottish fir, our own country's tree. I'm ing's down years since, and a fine new one is in its no speaking of these new-fangled pines and larches
, place—with many outhouses and stacks round about that they brought from foreign parts, they're ower it. And a blithe sight it was to see its windows trim and garden-like for my taste, and only fit for glancing with light, and the men and women gentlemen's policies; but there's a red gloir and a servants moving about the barnyard with their warmth of colour about the rough bark of an old lanterns-we called them bowits in my young days spreading fir-tree that you'll no match in a whole as they went to supper the horse or to milk the kye forest of others. on a winter's e'en. No wonder they put up so many Then the turf in the wood was little trodden on, beggars at night, for it wasna easy to pass the place and felt like velvet under the foot, and it was just by, especially as the road led on through the moss, shining in the spring time with primroses; and the where Jenny, it was understood, might be on the bank that sloped from the wood to the road all the walk. I have known as many as four ragged length of the brae was a perfect picture with wild gaberlunzies in the baru at one time, and all with roses and palo blue violets-you could gather a posy their parritch and milk both at night and in the there in less time than I take to tell it. I used to morning But they were open-handed folls, the envy the birds that built their nests in that wood, Johnstones, and never grudged a poor body a bite and often thought how sweet it would be to live in a
bower there like " Bessy Bell and Mary Gray” in And in the daytime it was a cheerful bit. There the sang. But I was a foolish hempie in my teens was a grand view from the front of the house--you then; and I forgot that summer doesna last the could see down the strath for miles to the very foot whole year, and that Haughead wood would be cold of the hills, and could count the windings of the winter quarters. Hech, sirs ! but everything seems water as it glistened in the sun. And then the lights bright to the young; and 'deed we should be glad of and shadows on the woods and hills, with the snioko that same, Mr. Matthew, for trouble will come to rising here and there from some farm or cot-house them, sooner or later. among then so quiet and peaceful like; with, maybe, The Johnstones werena a large family. There some wee bird far up in the air above its nest, and the were just the old folk and two sons and a daughter cows feeding or lying in the grass all down by the besides the servants. But the heads of the house waterside, and the men and horses busy in tho fields. were so blithe and hearty that they made the place Oh, Mr. Matthew, but they made a heartsome sight! cheery. Gavin Johnstone, good old man, had aye It was the Borgie water that ran there, a bonnie an innocent joke and banter for all he met, and the mountain stream that sometimes overflowed its banks. mistress herself was the best at a crack in all the A heavy spate carried away more than half of the country side. Well-a-wat! a tea-drinking there was stooks in one of Gavin Johnstone's parks one wet a ploy indeed, and their kirns (harvest-homes) were harvest; but some suffered at the same time who aye the merriest in the parish. could less afford it than Gavin, who was a bien She would put up with no idleset, though, (thriving) comfortable man.
would the mistress; the lassies might play themBut behind the house, as I said before, was the selves when their work was done, but no before. It black moor, and, well-a-wat, it was a dreary, lone was “Tako tent to your turns!” through the day : ; some bit. It was little frequented, and it was a rarity but at night the mistress was aye ready to encourage to see any moving object there save the peesweeps any simple diversion among them.; and of all the (lapwings) and the grouse. The view to the back was cličerful firesides I have sat at, Haughead was the as gruesome as the view to the front was bright. I foremost, for tho family had not got into the new
and a sup.
A TALE OF HALLOWEEN. faslioned ways of sitting ben the house by them- | lassie, though very fond, like most young folk, of selves, but lived in the kitchen with their servants.ploys and merrymakings. She was a light-hearted Such singing and bantering and story-telling there thing, aye going about her work singing like a bird ; was round the ingle at night, when the lassies had fand ihe young men said that a sight of her face was got to their wheels, and the lads to the mending of as blithesome as summer. There never was a cheerier their horse gear, or any other job they had in hand. ereature at oue time; and 'deed she was as blithe in There wasna a clash (gossip) in the whole parish her short gown and homespun coat at her work as that didna find its way to Haughead-you see, they when she had got on all her pearlings at niglit. had so many visitors dropping in on thom; and I'm Ill-natured folk didna scruple to say she was sure if old Mr. Maunder, their minister. who was light-headed, but that wasna true. Bell knew she never thought much of as a divine in the country was bonnie. How could the lassio help it as long side-it was said he got his kirk from preaching as there was a looking-glass in lier father's house, another man's sermon could have hoard then and so many young follows doing their best to tell criticising his discourses on the Monday nights, it her o't? but she just joked and laughed with her might have done him muckle good.
joes as she did with everybody. She gave no more That was the minister, maybe you'll mind, that encouragement to one than another, unless it might rrent by the name of Auld Nick in the country. be to Allan Dempster, the young miller. Folk did He had a sermon on the character of Nicodemus that say that she had a liking to him, but nobody kent he used to preach on every special occasion; it was his truly, not even her mother, who was quick enough best, you see. Well, he was on his way ono morning at the uptake. Allan and Bell had first got acquainted to preach on the fast day in a neighbouring parisl, at some ploy, and the lad had been coming about with it in his pouch.
Ås he came near the manse, her for more than a year; but at any rate Bell he heard some folk talking on the other side of a seemed in no hurry to settle. Maybe she didna like ligh hedge, where was a short cut to the kirk; and to give up her liberty so soon, or to relinquish all being a curious (inquisitive) body, he trod very softly, her joes for the sake of one, even though she might that he might hear what they were saying to each like him the best. After all, I fear she was no better other.
than a flirting cuttie, or she would have preferred
of her own to such vanities.
was a rich old carle; his wife was dead, and the
Well, as I was saying, the niistress was very good good match even for Gavin Johnstone's daughter. to her servants, and particularly when any of them, But there's many a slip between the cup and the lip, as would sometimes happen, got taken up with as what I have to tell will prove. sweethearts, poor things, she wasna hard on them. As far as looks could win favour, Allan had She minded—what most mistresses forget--tha. she little cause to fear. He was as comely a lad as you had been once young hersell, and that a colt must could see at kirk or market, straight and tall, and have its fling before it settles down to draw the manly-looking, with a bit laughing twinkle in his blue plough, and a kittling its play before it grows ee that took with folk wonderfully. He was the into the sober old cat that lies beside your fire. So best curler in the parish, too; it was just beautiful many a night she put on the gathering peat with her to see liow nicely he balanced the stone, and with own hands, and other bits of work, without making what a birr he made it flee from his hand along the a stir about it. And I dare say she wasna the worse ice. The parish was aye sure to win the game when served for 't
she was a wise woman, was the Allan Dempster played, and I have heard that lie mistress! while many a cantie marriage was made up could even beat the Laird of Dripdeen himsell, who at the farm.
was counted the best player on that side of Borgie Gavin's only daughter, Bell, was the beauty of water. And Allan was a douce lad; he was never the parish. Oh, but she was a bonnie lassie, with absent from the kirk, and though he had a spænk of een like diamonds, black shining hair as soft and fun in him, he never allowed it to carry him ower glossy as silk, and a skin like the very cream. And far. He helped his father with the mill-they had a then she had a colour in her face like that of a wild inan forbye-and, well-a-wat, they had a braw, welllose, and such teeth when she oponed her mouth to plenished house at the mill town, for I was once in't laugh-and at one time she was aye laughing—so before the quarrel with Bell; she sinned against her small and white and regular. They were as white own mercies, poor lassie. as milk; and you ken, Mr. Matthew, there's a verse What they disagreed about I canna tell -- noof the Bible which says, “ His teeth shall be white body could- but have often jealoused that Allan with milk." I trow Bell had no other thing to had complained, and reasonably enough, if they whiten them with. Bell's shape was so easy and were trotīr-plighted, of the encouragement she gavo genty that folk that didna ken her would often take to others besides himsell, and that they had come tu Tier for a leddy ; but it wasna by lacing herself tight words about it, for all at onco Allan gave up coming or sitting with her hands in her lap that Bell came to tho Haughead. Bell
, of course, wasna to bo by it. No, no, Bell had her work to do, and she hindmost with her pride, so she held up her head did it well; it would have been strange if she didna and tossed it saucily whenever she met Allan with so clever a mother.
Dempster—ay, even on the very Sabbath day at the Bell, you may be sure, had wealth of sweet- kirk, as if “the better day the better deed”! And hearts. All the farmers' sons about were running no content with that, what does she do but take up after her; and maybe her head was a weè turned by with Jamie Gourlay, old Deanside's son, that folle it. She was naturally a kindly well-conditioned I had matched her with before sho knew Allan, and a
last the clash came to be in the parish that they were ing and wondering about it, they must have noticed to be married. I have no doubt now that the poor the effect it had on her; but, fortunately for Bell's misguided lassie thought she was taking the surest pride, which couldna stand pity, they did not notice way of humbling her former sweetheart, and bring- it. The first two or three weeks were the worst for ing him back to her; but if so she was sore, sore preserving her secret, for then everybody was talking mistaken; and the consequences might be a warning and conjecturing about Allan, and grieving for his to all young lassies no to let their pride carry them old father who was left alone in his old age. But ower far. They say lovers' quarrels are soon made after a while the matter was less spoken about, unless up again; this one wasna.
just when a letter had come. Allan, it was kent long afterwards, took the re- She would fain have persuaded herself at first port very sore to heart; and 'deed everybody else that it was all a dream, and that she would see him as well as him believed it. He was ower much hurt, again in the kirk on Sabbaths as she had done since it's like, with her fickleness to think of trying to make they quarrelled. Whiles she thought that he had her change her mind again, but he couldna endure maybe just pretended to enlist to try her, and that the place after hearing what was likely to happen, ero long he would come back and all would be as so you'll no hinder him one fine morning from setting before ; and when this notion came into her mind her off to the borough town where a recruiting sergeant former pride and anger would rise, and she would was busy, and listing himself for a sodger. No think of how she would humble him yet, and make doubt the poor lad felt that he couldna stay at home him glad to be friends with her again on her own and see the lass that had once been his married to terms. Poor Bell! the leaven hadna yet left her, but another man. He went about it very quietly, and it wasna long before it was well weeded out. his own letter to his father brought the first news of She had to give up this hope at last, though she what he had done, for Greenshiels parish was good clung to it till the first letter reached his father from ten miles from the town, and news was long of Spain; and then came the wild remorse and the travelling in these days. The letter was written fearful desolation of a forsaken heart that has itself from the seaport just before they were to embark. to blame. She thought on all the provocation that He gave his father no reason for his conduct, but she had given Allan Dempster by trifling and sportthat he was wearying for a change and behoved to ing with his leal affection ; how she had tried to have it, and told him that he was going with the seem cold and indifferent when she was far from regiment he had entered to Spain to fight the French. feeling it; how she had beon the cause of sepaHe hoped, he said, to return in a year or two, and rating him from his father, who, she heard, was just he asked his father to forgive him and pray for bowed down with his grief; and she felt that if Allan him.
fell in the war she would have his death to answer Poor old John Dempster! it was a great surprise for. It was an awful thought. Many a time did and grief to him to hear that his only son had be- the poor lassie hide herself among the trees in the come a sodger. Nobody could account for it, for fir wood, and there, unseen by anybody, greet as if Allan had been such a steady and kindly lad that a her very heart was breaking. None kent what she roving disposition was the last thing people would suffered till long after, not even her own family. Of have suspected in him; but now all were agreed that course they saw that a great change had come over her; "ye never ken folk.” John took on very ill about it, they couldna but do that, for her bonnie black een and for long looked so dowie and broken down that were grown dull and heavy-no wonder, with the everybody pitied him. But as Allan said nothing in greeting-and her cheeks had lost all their colour; his letter about Bell, he never suspected that she but the long coldness between her and Allan, and was to blame in the matter. All his desire now was the courting with Jamie Gourlay, kept them from to read the newspapers, and hear the news from putting it to the right cause. Spain. The sough (runour) of a battle there kept .
Many nonsense things were said about her, and him from sleeping for nights, and from being a many folk thought that Gavin Johnstone was to lose
a hearty stout old carle, he changed into a frail his only daughter in a dwining. It was no unlike feckless man.
it: she that used to be the merriest lassie on the Letters came from Allan, but they were at long Borgie water, with the lightest foot in a reel, and intervals, as they behoved to be, seeing that the the blithest laugh of any, was now become dowie, army was almost ayo on the march, and the country easily wearied, and fond of being alone. Some there in a most unsettled state. But oh, how these said that the cast of an evil eye had been on her, or letters were prized, and lent about from house to that she had gotten a glint of Jenny some night that house till the whole parish had them most by heart! she had been on the walk; nothing less, they Gavin Johnstone himself had them to read, but little thought, could have made such a change on the did he suppose what an interest his bonnie daughter bonnio cantie young lassie. took in them. Her name, she saw, was never men- It was a sore distress to her father and mother, tioned in them, and she couldna learn from them though they werena such fools as to believe that her whether Allan had forgotten her or no, or if he knew looks could have been altered by any such causes, or she was still unmarried. But she thought that his that it was their duty to sew a slip of rowan-tree father, who kent nothing of what had been between round her neck to preserve her from the influence of them, wasna likely to havo told him in his letters. evil spirits. They thought she needed a change, and Poor Bell! she was even more to be pitied than the so they proposed that she should go for a week or old man, for he could speak of his grief, but she had two to à cousin of her mother's—my cousin twice to shut up hers in her Losom.
removed, he was, Mr. Matthew-who lived at a Froin the moment the news of Allan's departure place about twelve miles off, where the air was very had reached Haughead the poor lassie had lost fresh and caller. To please them she went; but she heart. It came upon her with an awful suddenness, came back at the end of the time as pale and and if her folk hadna been so taken up with lament- thoughtful like as ever, The parish couldna under,
stand the meaning o't--so they just put the wyte o't pletely harmonised, may be produced by one person upon Jenny. Everybody agreed that the Haughead on one instrument; while, thirdly and chiefly, nearly had never been a chancy bit since Jenny's death ; every one, persons possessed of little, or even absoand as time went on there came to be far fewer lutely devoid of any musical taste, may by dint of visitors there at e'en than there used to be. Bell's practice play a tune passably, provided that it resweethearts dropped off one by one as they found quires no more expression than can be produced by she would give them no encouragement; even Jamie a judicious use of the right-hand pedal. Besides, Gourlay, who hung on longest, thinking things owing to the facility of the execution in certain commight take another turn, was at last compelled to binations—for instance, common chords arpeggioed in follow the others. And yet Bell didna scem to mind; rapid notes-an air may be arranged so as to be at once the lassie was strangely altered.
brilliant, or what is so-called, and yet tolerably easy. Three years had gone by since Allan had left Accordingly a demand, and, we are sorry to add, an the country, and for the last six months of them no unfailing supply of these jingling, expressionless word had come from him. The letters might have pieces is created, and thus it is that washy opera miscarried—that was the only hope. The poor old airs, set in ornamental filigrees of demisemiquavers, - man his father was in deep tribulation; but nobody common waltz tunes in the form of Morceaux Brillants dreamt of pitying Bell, whose very heart was sick pour Salon, and tortured versions of the “Bluebells and faint, no kenning whether Allan was alive or of Scotland," disguised as Grandes fantaisies sur un dead. She was nearly distracted with the uncer- thème Ecossais, are poured forth on the unresisting tainty, and with the false courage of desperation world for the sake of girls who, possessed of the would have dared anything almost to have her digital dexterity requisite for their performance and doubts settled either one way or another.
nothing more, believe that in playing them they are making music, and entertaining their fellowcreatures.
When a girl has received her early training in a
school like this, she finds it almost impossible to HOME MUSIC: AS IT IS, AND AS IT
adopt a more rational style. Not only is the taste MIGHT BE.
vitiated, but the left hand, which has been comTHE *HE dictionary defines music as "the science of paratively untrained, will either be physically unable
combining sounds in an agreeable manner, to execute the bass part in the sonatas of Beethoven, vocal or instrumental harmony;" in private life, or will drop from the keyboard tired out before the
, however, the word has a far more limited application. middle of the first movement. The effect so easily When Jones's daughter tells us that she learns music, procured by merely mechanical means in the pieces of we are not to understand that she is taking lessons the day, cannot be obtained in the works of the on the harp, or in singing, or in harmony and great masters without a sympathetic mind and a a counterpoint, but that she is devoting her attention cultivated taste; in short, the soul must play as well to the study of the pianoforte, which has contrived as the fingers. How absolutely painful it is to hear of late years entirely to monopolise the term. In fact, a player nourished on the ordinary boarding-school to most Englishmen the word music simply calls up pieces, attempt an adagio of Beethoven, notably that a vision of a grand or a cottage, with a morning which commences his "Moonlight Sonata” (No. 14). governess, a tuner, a music-stool, and finishing She will carefully give each triplet its exact metrolessons at tiro guineas a quarter; while at the very nome time, play steadily, calmly, and cold bloodedly mention of the word their ears are filled with scales (if the term may be used) through to the end, with in C major, and arrangements of “ The Last Rose of no passion, with no expression; and then wonder, as Summer,” mingled in wild confusion with five-finger well she may, whatever people can find to admire in exercises, and the daily studies of Czerny and classical music. The consequence is that fathers, Bertini.
brothers, and other relations, except perhaps the Notwithstanding that every English girl undergoes admiring mamma, who has resolved that all her a more or less extensive, and expensive, training on daughters, whether musically inclined or not, shall the pianoforte, it can hardly be said that English be possessed of the accomplishment, wearied by the domestic music is improving, or even that it is so horrible sameness attending every performance, good as it was before the omnipresent instrument never ask for a tune, and stealthily retire from the was invented; on the contrary, it may be fairly room if they perceive the signs of an impending argued that the pianoforte has really been the in- encounter with the much-enduring instrument. direct cause of the decline and fall of music as a With the piano the accompanied ballad has welcome home recreation. We appeal to our readers : grown up, and here, too, a supply of the most inWhere the pianoforte exists, is there not much more ferior trash is produced, usurping the place of the practising (this word has also acquired a sense of its old glees, catches, canons, and rounds, which, not own) than playing? When a piece (also in the long ago, might be heard in every house in the technical sense) is ready for performance in the country. The part-song still finds its votaries among family circle, does it not always fall flat and stale on tho choral societies, but at home tho alto, tenor, and the ears of those whose fate it has been to hear the bass would feel that they were being eclipsed by the weeks of thumping that have preceded its final soprano, were they to take the trouble to get up a consummation ?
part in “ Crabbed Age and Youth,” or “Down in a The question will arise, What has brought the 'lowery Dale." Alto, tenor, and bass ballads may piano into such prominence in English domestic life? | be had, and the poorer the singer, the readier to The reason is this: in the first place it forms a most show off in a solo. Thus we find the tenor revelling convenient accompaniment for solo songs, one of the in the mawkish sentiment of “Kiss me, mother, ere I positions it fills to the best advantage; in the next leave thee, Never more to meet again,” or an almost place, a whole tune, by which we mean an air com- voiceless bass attempting the jubilant strains of “Oh,