Capitally done, said Jock at the end of the Provost’s narrative, and here’s yer healthance mair, for really ye’r the grand han’ at tellin’ a story. Gin it wasna for that twopence I think we might hae anither half-mutchkin, bit I dee grudge it sair. I am sure there winna be half sae muckle fuskie drunken noo as there had used to be, and that clever cliield Gladstane for a’ his countin’ will tyne his recknin. But wae’s me fat’s gaun to come o’ the number o’ puir creatures that will be driven back upon the caul water, after ha’in’ sae lang enjoyed the elysium kreawted by the mountain dew. It jist mak’s my heart sair to think ot, an’ for a’ the rain we hae had this season, I’m some doubtin’ but w’ll be short o’ water to quench their thirst. For ye see the fuskie’s nae like ony ither drink, it penetrates sae smoothly and minutely through the system, an’ simulates an’ refreshes sae ilka particl o’ soul an’ body, that naething that I ken o’ can tak’ its place. Ye may fill the stamach in ye like wi’ cauld water, an’ insure ye’rsel’ o’ a sair wime for an hour to come, but ye can never satisfee the cravings o’ a hail nature wi’t, drink hoo ye like.

You are a most anti-teetotlar Jock, I see, said Mr Cameron, but really I think a great deal of their creed, and have half a mind to join them myself.

The deil afears o’ you—jist tell the truth noo, Cameron ; its only the day after ye’ve been fu’, when ye rise i’ the mornin’ wi’ a tongue as thick again as it sud be—ye’r head beatin’ au’ burrin’ fae lug to lug, and fae croon to temples, as gin the drummajor o’ a regiment were belabourin it wi’ his drumsticks, an’ ye’r een, fan ye look into the glass, like new lichted candles, that ony sic thocht comes into ye’r head; an’ nae sainer did ye reach the cupboard an’ swallow a drop “o’ the dog that bit ye,” than a’ sick ideas vanish in a moment, an’ ye’r mair than ever devoted to the spirituous beverage, an’ wull throw yersel’ backwards, half dressed as ye are, in ye’r muckle chair, to ruminate on the extraordinar qualities o’ oor Highlan fuskie, whilk o’ a’ the substances o’ this warld is alane its ain bane and antitode. Tak’ ower muckle meat, an abstinence or feesick is the cure : tak ower muckle exertion, and rest will be prescribed to ye; Tak arsenic, an’ ye maun forthwith get kank; but tak’ ower muckle fuskie, and the best an’ maist delichtfu’ cure is jist a drop o’ itsel’. Oh, it’s a maist extraordinar’ thing, Scotch fuskie, an’ nae muckle wunner tho’ it engaged the attention, an’ roused the poetic spirit o’ oor national bard.

The Provost—Speaking of Burns reminds me that I caught our friend Mr M. here inditing a poem the other day, and which I think we should insist upon having read to us. He was down in Elgin at the concert given there last week, and I am afraid was more taken up with a young lady who was upon the stage than was altogether commendable for a man of his years and standing.

With reluctance Mr M. read as follows : –

Oh! lady, spare me ; wake not thus
The thoughts of years long past,
Nor let those lustrous eyes of thine
One ray upon me cast.

And oh! that smile, that honey’d smile,
Let me ne’er see again,
Or memory’s re-illumined page
Will break this heart in twain.

Although those notes to other ears
Seem as by angels given,
And with that angel form of thine
Convert this place to heaven

Yet, oh ! to me like funeral dirge
O’er some departed friend,
Whose very sweetness whets the grief
That does the bosom rend,

They take me back to other years,—
They harrow from the tomb
The ghosts—the shadows of the thoughts
That then in verdure bloomed.

Like some lone wanderer of the night,
When thro’ the clouds there steals
Some short-lived gilding from the moon,
That danger more reveals;-

So these dispel my settling calm,
And fill my mind with dread
How I can bear the endless night
That waits me when they’re tied.

Then, lady, spare me, &c.