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Noctes Ambrosianae.

No. XXVII.

ΧΡΗ ΔΕΝ ΣΥΜΠΟΣΙΩ ΚΥΛΙΚΩΝ ΠΕΡΙΝΙΣΣΟΜΕΝΑΩΝ
ΗΔΕΑ ΚΩΤΙΛΛΟΝΤΑ ΚΑΘΗΜΕΝΟΝ ΟΙΝΟΠΟΤΑΖΕΙΝ.

Σ.

PHOC. ap. Ath.

[This is a distich by wise old Phocylides,

An ancient who wrote crabbed Greek in no silly days;

Meaning, ""TIS RIGHT FOR GOOD WINEBIBBING PEOPLE,

"NOT TO LET THE JUG PACE ROUND THE BOARD LIKE A CRIPPLE; "BUT GAILY TO CHAT WHILE DISCUSSING THEIR TIPPLE.".

An excellent rule of the hearty old cock 'tis→

And a very fit motto to put to our Noctes.]

C. N.

ap. Ambr.

Scene, BUCHANAN LODGE-PORCH-Time, AFTERNOON.
NORTH, TICKLER, SHEPHERD.

SHEPHERD.

What a changed warld, sirs, since that April forenoon we druve doun to the Lodge in a cotch! I cu'dna but pity the puir Spring.

TICKLER.

Not a primrose to salute his feet that shivered in the snow-wreath.

NORTH.

Not a lark to hymn his advent in the uncertain sunshine.

SHEPHERD.

No a bit butterflee on its silent waver, meeting the murmur of the straightforward bee.

TICKLER.

In vain Spring sought his Flora, in haunts beloved of old, on the bank of the shaded rivulet

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Or forest glade, where move the antlers of the unhunted red-deer.-In siccan bonny spats hae I often seen the Spring, like a doubtfu' glimmer o❜ sunshine, appearing and disappearing frae amang the birk-trees, twenty times in the course o an April day-But, oh! sirs, yon was just a maist detestable forenoon-and as for the hackney-cotch

The meanest of miseries!

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

It's waur than sleepin' in damp sheets. You haena sat twa hunder yards till your breeks are glued to the clammy seat, that fin's saft and hard aneath you, at ane and the same time, in a maist unaccountable manner. The auld, cracked, stained, faded, tarnished, red leather lining stinks like a tan-yard. Gin' you want to let down the window, or pu't up, it's a' alike; you keep ruggin' at the lang slobbery worsted till it cums aff wi' a tear in your haun and leaves you at the mercy o' wind and weather-then what a sharp and continual rattle o' wheels! far waur than a cart; intolerable aneuch ower the macadam, but, Lord hae mercy on us, when you're on the causeway! you cou'd swear the wheels are o' different sizes; up wi' the tae side, down wi' the

tither, sae that nae man can be sufficiently sober to keep his balance. Puch! puch! what dung-like straw aneath your soles; and as for the roof, sae laigh, that you canna keep on your hat, or it'll be dunshed down atower your eebrees; then, if there's sax or eight o' you in ae fare

TICKLER.

Why don't you keep your own carriage, James?

SHEPHERD.

So I do a gig-but when I happen to foregather wi' sic scrubs as you, that grudge the expense o' a yeckipage o' their ain, I maun submit to a glasscotch and a' its abominations.

NORTH.

How do you like that punch, James ?

SHEPHERD.

It's rather ower sair iced, I jalouse, and will be apt to gie ane the toothache; but it has a gran' taste, and a maist seducin' smell-Oh! man, that's a bonny ladle! and you hae a nice way o' steerin'! Only half-fu', if you please, sir, for thae wine-glasses are perfec tummlers, and though the drink seems to be, when you are preein't, as innocent as the dew o' lauchin' lassy's lip, yet it's just as dangerous, and leads insensibly on, by littles and wees, to a state o' unconscious intoxication.

TICKLER.

I never saw you the worse of liquor in my life, James.

Nor me you.

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

None but your sober men ever get drunk.

SHEPHERD.

I've observed that many a thousan' times; just as nane but your excessively healthy men ever die. Whene'er I hear in the kintra o' ony man's being killed aff his horse, I ken at ance that he's a sober coof, that's been gettin' himsel drunk at Selkirk or Hawick, and sweein' aff at a sharp turn ower the bank, he has played wallop into the water, or is aiblins been fun' lyin' in the middle o' the road, wi' his neck dislocate, the doctors canna tell hoo; or ayont the wa' wi' his harns stickin' on the coupin-stane.

NORTH.

Or foot in stirrup, and face trailing the pebbly mire, swept homewards by a spanking half-bred, and disentangled at the door by shriek and candle light.

SHEPHERD.

Had he been in the habit o' takin' his glass like a Christian, he wad hae ridden like a Centaur; and instead o' havin' been brought hame a corp, he wuld hae been staggerin' gaen steady into the parlour, wi' a' the weans ruggin' at his pouches for fairin's, and his wife half angry, half pleased, helping him tidily and tenderly aff wi' his big boots; and then by and by mixin him the bowster cup-and then

TICKLER.

Your sober man, on every public occasion of festivity, is uniformly seen, soon after "the Duke of York and the Army," led off between two waiters, with his face as white as the table-cloth, eyes upwards, and a ghastly smile about his gaping mouth, that seems to threaten unutterable things before he reach the lobby.

NORTH.

He turns round his head at the three times three, with a loyal hiccup, and is borne off a speechless martyr to the cause of the Hanoverian Succession.

SHEPHERD.

I wad rather get fou five hunder times in an ordinar way like, than ance to expose myself sae afore my fellow-citizens. Yet, meet my gentleman next forenoon in the Parliament House, or in a bookseller's shop, or in Prince's street, arm in arm wi' a minister, and he hauds up his face as if naething had happened, speaks o' the pleasant party, expresses his regret at having been obliged to leave it so soon, at the call of a client, and ten to ane, denounces you to his cronies for a drunkard, who exposes himself in company, and is getting constantly into scrapes that promise a fatal termination.

Hush! The minstrels!

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

Maist delightfu' music! O, sir, hoo it sweetens, and strengthens, and merrifies as it comes up the avenue! Are they Foreigners?

An itinerant family of Savoyards.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

Look at them-Look at them! What an outlandish, toosey-headed, wee surbrunt deevil o' a lassie that, playin' her antics, heel and head, wi' the tambourine. Yon's a darlin' wi' her thoom coquet coquettin' on the guitaur, and makin' music without kennan't-a' the while she is curtshyin', and singin' wi’ lauchin' rosy mouth, and then blushin' because we re glowering on her, and lettin' fa' her big black een on the grun', as if a body were askin' for a kiss! That maun be her younger sister, as dark as a gipsey, that hafflins lassie wi' the buddin' breast, her that's tinklin' on the triangle that surely maun be o' silver, sae dewy sweet the soun'! Safe us, only look at the auld man and his wife! There's mony a comical auld woman in Scotland, especially in the Heelans, but I never saw the match o' that ane. She maun be mony hunder year auld, and yet her petticoats as short as a play-actress dancin' on the stage. Gude legs too-thin ancles, and a thick calve-girl, wife, and witch a' in ane, and only think o't,-playin' on a base drum! Savyaurds! It'll be a mountainous kintra theirs-for sic a lang-backed, short-thee'd, sinewy and muscular, hap-and-stap-jump o' a bouncin' body as that man o' hers, wi' the swarthy face and head harlequinaddin' on the Pan's-pipes, could never hae been bred and born on a flat-But whish-whish-they're beginning to play something pathetic!

Music is the universal language.

TICKLER.

SHEPHERD.

It's a lament that the puir wandering creturs are singin' and playin' about their native land. I wush I may hae ony change in my pocket

TICKLER.

They are as happy in their own way as we are in ours, my dear James. May they find their mountain cottage unharmed by wind or weather on their return, and let us join our little subscription

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I'll gee't to them.-(Shepherd leaps out.)-There, my bonny bloomin' brunette with the raven hair, that are just perfectly beautifu', wanderin' wi' your melody hameless but happy, and may nae hand untie its snood till your bridal night in the hut on the hill, when the evening marriage dance and song are hushed and silent, and love and innocence in their lawfu' delight lie in each other's arms-If your sweetheart's a shepherd, so am I

TICKLER.

Hallo, Hogg-no whispering. Here, give each of them a tumbler of punch, and God be with the joyous Savoyards.

SHEPHERD.

Did you see, sirs, hoo desperate thirsty they a' were-nae wonner, singin' frae morn to night a' up and doon the dusty streets and squares. Yet they askt for nathing, contented creturs !-Hear till them singin' awa down the avenue "God save the King," in compliment to us and our country. A weeltimed interlude this, Mr North, and it has putten me in a gran' mood for a NORTH & TICKLER.

sang.

A song a song—a song!

SONG-Shepherd sings.

MY BONNY MARY.

WHERE Yarrow rowes amang the rocks,
An' wheels an' boils in mony a linn,
A blithe young Shepherd fed his flocks,
Unused to branglement or din.

But Love its silken net had thrown
Around his breast so brisk an' airy,
And his blue eyes wi' moisture shone,
As thus he sung of bonny Mary.

"O Mary, thou'rt sae mild an' sweet,
My very being clings about thee,
This heart wad rather cease to beat,
Than beat a lonely thing without thee.
I see thee in the evening beam,
A radiant glorious apparition;

I see thee in the midnight dream,

By the dim light of heavenly vision.

"When over Benger's haughty head
The morning breaks in streaks sae bonny,
I climb the mountain's velvet side,
For quiet rest I get nae ony.

How sweet the brow on Brownhill cheek,
Where many a weary hour I tarry!
For there I see the twisted reek

Rise frae the cot where dwells my Mary.

"When Phoebus mounts outower the muir,
His gowden locks a' streaming gaily,
When morn has breathed its fragrance pure,
An' life, an' joy, ring through the valley,
I drive my flocks to yonder brook,

The feeble in my arms I carry,
Then every lammie's harmless look
Brings to my mind my bonny Mary.

"Oft has the lark sung o'er my head,
And shook the dew-draps frae her wing,
Oft hae my flocks forgot to feed,

And round their shepherd form'd a ring. Their looks condole the lee-lang day, While mine are fix'd an' canna vary,

Aye turning down the westlan brae,

Where dwells my loved, my bonny Mary.

"When gloaming o'er the welkin steals,
And haps the hills in solemn grey,
And bitterns, in their airy wheels,
Amuse the wanderer on his way;
Regardless of the wind or rain,

With cautious step and prospect wary,

I often trace the lonely glen,

To steal a sight o' bonny Mary.

"When midnight draws her curtain deep. And lays the breeze amang the bushes,

And Yarrow, in her sounding sweep,

By rocks and ruins raves and rushes ;
Then, sunk in short and restless sleep,

My fancy wings her flight so airy,
To where sweet guardian spirits keep
Their watch around the couch of Mary.

"The exile may forget his home,
Where blooming youth to manhood grew,
The bee forget the honey-comb,

Nor with the spring his toil renew;
The sun may lose his light and heat,
The planets in their rounds miscarry,
But my fond heart shall cease to beat
When I forget my bonny Mary."

Equal to anything of Burns'.

TICKLER.

NORTH.

Not a better in all George Thomson's collection. Thank ye, James-God bless you, James-give me your hand-you're a most admirable fellow-and there's no end to your genius.

SHEPHERD.

A man may be sair mistaen about mony things-such as yepics, and tragedies, and tales, and even lang-set elegies about the death o' great public characters, and hymns, and odds, and the like-but he canna be mistaen about a sang. As soon's it's doon on the sclate, I ken whether it's gude, bad, or meddlin' -if ony o' the twa last, I dight it out wi' my elbow-if the first, I copy't ower into write, and then get it aff by heart, when it's as sure o' no being lost as if it were engraven on a brass-plate; for though I hae a treacherous memory about things in ordinar, a' my happy sangs will cleave to my heart till my dying day, and I shouldna' wonder gin I was to croon a verse or twa frae some o' them on my death-bed.

NORTH.

Once more we thank you, my dear James. There, the chill is quite goneand I think I have been almost as happy in this bowl as you have been in your inimitable lyric.

TICKLER.

What think you, Kit, of the Rev. Cæsar Malan?

NORTH,

What think you, Timothy, of his audience?

SHEPHERD.

A French sermon in a chapel in Rose-street o' Embro' for purchasing the freedom o' a black wench in the West Indies! He maun hae been a man o' genius that first started the idea, for it's a'thegither out o' the ordinary course o' nature. Was you there, Mr Tickler?

TICKLER.

I was-but you will pardon me, James, when I tell you how it happened. I was going to order a cheese at Mrs M'Alpine's shop, when I found myself unexpectedly walking in a hurried procession. Being in a somewhat passive mood, for the cheese had been a mere passing thought, I sailed along with the stream, and ere long found myself sitting in a pew between two very goodlooking middle-aged women, in Dunstable bonnets, streaming with ribbons; and tastily enveloped in half-withdrawn green veils, that on either side descended to my shoulder.

SHEPHERD.

Mr North, did you ever ken ony chiel fa' on his feet at a' times like Mr Tickler? He never gangs out to walk in the Meadows, or down to Leith, or roun the Calton, or up Arthur's Seat, or out-bye yonder to Duddistone, but he is sure to foregather, as if by appointment, wi' some bonny leddy, wha cleeks his arm wi' little pressin', and then walks off wi' him, looking up and laugh

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