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The Shepherd's Calendar Volume I (of II)   By: (1770-1835)

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THE

SHEPHERD'S CALENDAR.

BY JAMES HOGG,

AUTHOR OF "THE QUEEN'S WAKE," &c. &c.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD, EDINBURGH; AND T. CADELL, LONDON. MDCCCXXIX.

ADVERTISEMENT.

The greater number of the Tales contained in these volumes appeared originally in BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE. They have been revised with care; and to complete the Collection, several Tales hitherto unpublished have been added.

CONTENTS OF VOL I.

PAGE.

CHAP. I. Rob Dodds, 1

II. Mr Adamson of Laverhope, 33

III. The Prodigal Son, 69

IV. The School of Misfortune, 112

V. George Dobson's Expedition to Hell, 131

VI. The Souters of Selkirk, 148

VII. The Laird of Cassway, 176

VIII. Tibby Hyslop's Dream, 212

IX. Mary Burnet, 247

X. The Brownie of the Black Haggs, 285

XI. The Laird of Wineholm, 311

THE

SHEPHERD'S CALENDAR.

CHAPTER I.

ROB DODDS.

It was on the 13th of February 1823, on a cold stormy day, the snow lying from one to ten feet deep on the hills, and nearly as hard as ice, when an extensive store farmer in the outer limits of the county of Peebles went up to one of his led farms, to see how his old shepherd was coming on with his flocks. A partial thaw had blackened some spots here and there on the brows of the mountains, and over these the half starving flocks were scattered, picking up a scanty sustenance, while all the hollow parts, and whole sides of mountains that lay sheltered from the winds on the preceding week, when the great drifts blew, were heaped and over heaped with immense loads of snow, so that every hill appeared to the farmer to have changed its form. There was a thick white haze on the sky, corresponding exactly with the wan frigid colour of the high mountains, so that in casting one's eye up to the heights, it was not apparent where the limits of the earth ended, and the heavens began. There was no horizon no blink of the sun looking through the pale and impervious mist of heaven; but there, in that elevated and sequestered hope , the old shepherd and his flock seemed to be left out of nature and all its sympathies, and embosomed in one interminable chamber of waste desolation. So his master thought; and any stranger beholding the scene, would have been still more deeply impressed that the case was so in reality.

But the old shepherd thought and felt otherwise. He saw God in the clouds, and watched his arm in the direction of the storm. He perceived, or thought he perceived, one man's flocks suffering on account of their owner's transgression; and though he bewailed the hardships to which the poor harmless creatures were reduced, he yet acknowledged in his heart the justness of the punishment. "These temporal scourges are laid upon sinners in mercy," said he, "and it will be well for them if they get so away. It will teach them in future how to drink and carouse, and speak profane things of the name of Him in whose hand are the issues of life, and to regard his servants as the dogs of their flock."

Again, he beheld from his heights, when the days were clear, the flocks of others more favourably situated, which he interpreted as a reward for their acts of charity and benevolence; for this old man believed that all temporal benefits are sent to men as a reward for good works; and all temporal deprivations as a scourge for evil ones.

"I hae been a herd in this hope, callant and man, for these fifty years now, Janet," said he to his old wife, "and I think I never saw the face o' the country look waur."

"Hout, gudeman, it is but a clud o' the despondency o' auld age come ower your een; for I hae seen waur storms than this, or else my sight deceives me... Continue reading book >>




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