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Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland Volume 11   By:

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Wilson's

Tales of the Borders

AND OF SCOTLAND.

HISTORICAL, TRADITIONARY, & IMAGINATIVE.

WITH A GLOSSARY.

REVISED BY ALEXANDER LEIGHTON, ONE OF THE ORIGINAL EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS.

VOL. XI.

LONDON: WALTER SCOTT, 14 PATERNOSTER SQUARE, AND NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE. 1884.

CONTENTS.

Page

THE DOMINIE'S CLASS ( John Mackay Wilson ) 1

THE CONTRAST OF WIVES ( Alexander Leighton ) 33

THE PROFESSOR'S TALES ( Professor Thomas Gillespie ) THE SOCIAL MAN 65

THE TWO COMRADES ( Alexander Campbell ) 90

THE SURTOUT ( Alexander Campbell ) 106

THE SURGEON'S TALES THE SUICIDE ( Alexander Leighton ) 121

THE GHOST OF HOWDYCRAIGS ( Alexander Bethune ) 153

THE GHOST OF GAIRYBURN ( Alexander Bethune ) 185

THE SMUGGLER ( John Mackay Wilson ) 217

THE SCHOOLFELLOWS ( Oliver Richardson ) 250

THE RED HALL; OR, BERWICK IN 1296 ( John Mackay Wilson ) 281

WILSON'S

TALES OF THE BORDERS,

AND OF SCOTLAND.

THE DOMINIE'S CLASS.[A]

"Their ends as various as the roads they take In journeying through life."

There is no class of men to whom the memory turns with more complacency, or more frequently, than to those who "taught the young idea how to shoot." There may be a few tyrants of the birch, who never inspired a feeling save fear or hatred; yet their number is but few, and I would say that the schoolmaster is abroad in more senses than that in which it is popularly applied. He is abroad in the memory and in the affections of his pupils; and his remembrance is cherished wheresoever they may be. For my own part, I never met with a teacher whom I did not love when a boy, and reverence when a man; from him before whom I used to stand and endeavour to read my task in his eyes, as he held the book before his face, and the page was reflected in his spectacles and from his spectacles I spelled my qu to him who, as an elder friend, bestowed on me my last lesson. When a man has been absent from the place of his nativity for years, and when he returns and grasps the hands of his surviving kindred, one of his first questions to them (after family questions are settled) is "Is Mr , my old schoolmaster, yet alive?" And if the answer be in the affirmative, one of the first on whom he calls is the dominie of his boyhood; and he enters the well remembered school and his first glance is to the seat he last occupied as an urchin opens the door and admits him, as he gently taps at it, and cries to the master (who is engaged with a class), when the stranger enters

"Sir, here's one wants you."

Then steps forward the man of letters, looking anxiously gazing as though he had a right to gaze in the stranger's face; and, throwing out his head, and particularly his chin, while he utters the hesitating interrogative "Sir?" And the stranger replies "You don't know me, I suppose? I am such an one, who was at your school at such a time." The instiller of knowledge starts

"What!" cries he, shifting his spectacles, "you Johnnie (Thomas, or Peter, as the case may be) So and so? it's not possible! O man, I'm glad to see ye! Ye'll mak me an auld man, whether I will or no. And how hae ye been, and where hae ye been?" And, as he speaks, he flings his tawse over to the corner where his desk stands. The young stranger still cordially shakes his hand, a few kindly words pass between them, and the teacher, turning to his scholars, says "You may put by your books and slates, and go for the day;" when an instantaneous movement takes place through the school; there is a closing of books, a clanking of slates, a pocketing of pencils, a clutching for hats, caps, and bonnets, a springing over seats, and a falling off seats, a rushing to the door, and a shouting when at the door a " hurra for play! " and the stranger seems to have made a hundred happy, while the teacher and he retire, to

"Drink a cup o' kindness, For auld langsyne... Continue reading book >>


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