The cloud-cap’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
“It was the kind rowed with oars, and the sea spurts through the oar-holes and the men row sitting up to their knees in water. Then there’s a bench running down between the two lines of oars and an overseer with a whip walks up and down the bench to make the men work.”
Robinette rose from her seat on the bench and stood back to scrutinize the cottage. It was exquisitely picturesque, but this very picturesqueness constituted its danger; for the place was a perfect death trap. The crumbling cob-walls that had taken on those wonderful patches of green colour, soaked in the damp like a sponge: the irregularity of the thatched roof that looked so well, admitted trickles of rain on wet nights; and the uneven mud floor of the kitchen revealed the fact that the cottage had been built without any proper foundation. The door did not fit, and in cold weather a knife-like draught must run in under it. All this Robinette's quick, practical glance took in; she gave a little nod or two, murmuring to herself, "A new thatch roof, a new door, a new cement floor." Then she came and sat down again.
On my return they were coming back in certain stages of demolition. One with a bullet in his foot, another with a shell-splinter in his cheek, and a third without a thumb.
The Scot abroad, or at any rate the Scot that one knows and loves in London, is a creature so winning and delectable in character that one proceeds to the study of the Scot at home with anticipations of the most pleasurable kind. The best way to study the Scot at home is, of course, to consult the works of those eminent Scottish writers, Dr. J. M. Barrie and Dr. Ian Maclaren, with occasional reference to Dr. S. R. Crockett. Dr. Barrie and Dr. Maclaren (otherwise Watson) have been at pains to portray for us, with what Dr. Nicoll would no doubt call loving and exquisite fidelity, the peoples and manners and customs of two Scotch parishes, named respectively Thrums and Drumtochty. Both, one gathers, are the prettiest, most charitable, and most God-fearing communities to be found upon this globe of sinful continents. Butter will not melt, and ginger is not hot in the mouth either at Thrums or Drumtochty. The various books of the chronicles of that earthly paradise, Thrums, are of formidable number, and I do not profess to have read more than five of them. But I have read enough to know all that I want to know about Thrums. Here, it seems, “twenty years ago, hundreds of weavers lived and died Thoreaus ’ben the hoose without knowing it.” Here also lived “the dear old soul who originally induced me to enter the Auld Licht Kirk” and was “as sweet and pure a woman as I ever knew”; also Tammy Mealmaker, who died a bachelor and “had been soured in his youth by disappointment in love of which he spoke but seldom,” also Tibbie McQuhattay, “at whom you may smile, but, ah! I know what she was at the sick-bedside”; also Whinny Webster, who ate peppermints in church, and when detected in the act “gave one wild scream”; and “straightway became a God-fearing man”; also Hendry Munn, “who was the only man in Thrums who did not quake when the minister looked at him”; also Jess McQumpha, who “sat at the window for twenty years or more, looking at the world as through a telescope,” and who “was possessed of a sweet, untarnished soul”; also Leeby, who “died in the back end of the year I have been speaking of”; and Jamie, who did the home-coming, and gaed somebody “sic a look”; and last, but not least, in childishness, the Little Minister and Babbie. For blithering sentiment of the cheapest and most obvious sort, these personages have certainly never been equalled. The whole tone of the Thrums chronicles is as bathotic as it could be made even by a Scotchman, and wherever one turns one finds Mr. Barrie trotting out creatures of a sentiment so slobbery that it would be eschewed even by the scribbling, simpering misses at a seminary. And at Drumtochty, need one say, Dr. Ian Maclaren introduces you to the same set of silly figures. Dr. Maclaren, it is true, put in the front of his show a cunning Scotch farmer whose attempts to cheat his landlord, the worthy doctor,—parson as he is,—would evidently have you smile, but all the rest of his people are rare and radiant pieces of virtue, clothed round in Scotch flesh and sandy hair, and speaking the most uncompromising dialect. For example, there is Mrs. Elspeth Macfadyen. This lady’s claim to greatness is not exactly of a moral kind, being based on the circumstance that she obtained a penny above the market price for her butter. All the farmers’ wives of the Scotch romances invariably do this. Even Dr. Crockett’s lady of the lilac sunbonnet made the best butter in three parishes. The butter woman, however, is not intended to count, so that we will let her go by, and proceed duly to note the heavenly dispositions of the rest of the Drumtochtyans. In the first place, there is Baxter of Burnbrae. Burnbrae, it seems, “had to make the choice that has been offered to every man since the world began”; in other words, he had to choose between losing his farm and changing his kirk.
"I wonder what the surprise is," said Deedee. She had the best view. She was pushed right up alongside Ron's chair.
The intellectual development of Crowley, of which I have given only an inadequate idea, came from kind treatment and constant contact with his keeper and the director of the menagerie, both of whom were his devoted friends and teachers.
"I hope that one day you will think of me as your friend."
Isch. Do you suppose if I began to question you concerning money and its quality,404 I could possibly persuade you that you know the method to distinguish good from false coin? Or could I, by a string of questions about flute-players, painters, and the like, induce you to believe that you yourself know how to play the flute, or paint, and so forth?
‘The pallor of my complexion is nothing,’ she answered a little impatiently. ‘In my early life I had a narrow escape from death by poisoning. I have never had a complexion since — and my skin is so delicate, I cannot paint without producing a hideous rash. But that is of no importance. I wanted your opinion given positively. I believed in you, and you have disappointed me.’ Her head dropped on her breast. ‘And so it ends!’ she said to herself bitterly.
But the voice asked again —
"Don't misunderstand me, Miss Clonmell, I beg; I only tried to lay before you a possible point of view--it may be a wholly erroneous one. But you know people of great charm have also great responsibilities, and it seems to me that sometimes--sometimes you are apt to forget how your graciousness may raise false hopes."
But though this must be admitted to be the case with this party, the following instance of city temperance proves that there are some exceptions. When the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, Chamberlain, &c. of the city of London were once seated round the table at a public and splendid dinner at Guildhall, Mr. Chamberlain Wilkes lisped out, “Mr. Alderman B— — shall I help you to a plate of turtle, or a slice of the haunch — I am within reach of both, sir?” “Neither one nor t’other, I thank you, Sir,” replied the Alderman, “I think I shall dine on the beans and bacon which are at this end of the table.” “Mr. Alderman A— — ” continued the Chamberlain, “which would you choose, sir?” “Sir, I will not trouble you for either, for I believe I shall follow the example of my brother B— — and dine on beans and bacon,” was the reply. On this second refusal the old Chamberlain rose from his seat, and, with every mark of astonishment in his countenance, curled up the corners of his mouth, cast his eyes round the table, and in a voice as loud and articulate as he was able, called “Silence!” which being obtained, he thus addressed the pretorian magistrate, who sat in the Chair: “My Lord Mayor, the wicked have accused us of intemperance, and branded us with the imputation of gluttony; that they may be put to open shame, and their profane tongues be from this day utterly silenced, I humbly move, that your Lordship command the proper officer to record in our annals, that two Aldermen of the city of London prefer beans and bacon to either turtle soup or venison.”详情 ➢
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