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the service of the Indian monarch in the
humble station of barber. In the course of
time the barber-minister retired to his native
land with an oriental fortune, independent of
royal curls or royal smiles.

At this present moment promotions quite
as singular, though not quite so lofty, are
made in one of our Indian Presidencies; and,
seeing that the Honourable Court of Directors
have very recently published a list of
such qualifications as they consider necessary
for the future aspirants for civil service in
India, it may not be amiss to state what is
looked upon in the City of Palaces as the best
passport to high office.

The gentleman who is now the Governor
of the Presidency alluded to, is an ardent
lover of music; a taste for which when
properly shown is a credit to the possessor, and
a pleasure to his friends. His excellency is
anxious to collect about him others of a
like taste, a commendable desire if properly
carried out. But it so happens that this is
not the case. Civilians of the poorest capacity,
or greatest inactivity, but performers
on some instrument, are retained at the seat
of government in posts requiring superior
qualifications, for the simple gratification of
a musical taste. It is thought necessary that
the governor's concerts be well got up even
at the risk of jeopardising the smooth working
of the machinery of government.

Let the crowd of young candidates who in
August next present them selves for
examination before the East India Company's
examiners bear the above well in mind. To
enable a youth to pass the ordeal on this
side of the hemisphere, classics, mathematics,
or modern languages, may be necessary;
but that he should pass the ordeal on the
other side with equal success, proficiency
in some branch of the musical art, will be
absolutely essential; for there the scale of
promotion is regulated by the gamut.


IT was a dark winter's night, of which we
have no doubt there were many in the
year fifteen hundred and fifty-five. This was
the darkest, the windiest, the coldest night of
them all. There was no moon; if there had
been any in the almanac, it would have been
blown out like a candle in a broken lantern.
There was the sound of a roaring river that
mingled with the crashing of leafless branches.
A dog at a considerable distance occasionally
added fresh horror to the hideous sounds by
a melancholy howl. Sir Reinhold, or Rennold,
or Ranald; for orthography even in
proper names was not a settled science in
those days, was sittingBut we had better
tell some little about him first, and also where
he was.

Twenty years before this time he had become
the owner of the Black Scawr Tower by marriage
with the heiress. At first he had been
the companion some said the favourite man-
at-arms of her father, Sir Torquil of the
Scawr. Immense in size, unequalled in
strength, unapproachable in mastery of his
weapons, the young Reinhold created terror
and admiration almost in an equal degree.
Sir Torquil himself became afraid of him, and
for many years before he died he seemed to
have surrendered his vast estates into the
hands of his retainer, and followed his directions
as if he had been a slave. The estate
was vast but sterile. The Tower that gave
name to the property lay at some twenty or
thirty miles from the capital of Scotland; a
dreary wilderness extended for miles on every
side, with here and there a small patch of
arable or grass land on the side of some
brawling burn, which in summer perhaps
was dry, and in the winter flooded all the
country like a lake. In the very middle of
the estate, in a district of corn and barley,
and amid fields of grass, and miles of park-
like land, stocked with sheep and deer, rose
the stately towers of the great monastery
of Strathwodenoriginally, from the name,
a Danish establishment, but rescued from
heathendom by the early church, and placed
under the guardianship of Saint Bridget of
Dumfries. It was a perfect land of Goshen
compared to the rest of the country; a fat
island surrounded by a hungry sea; a money-
changer's window, with all its puzzling
varieties of coin and paper, within sight of all the
convicts from Botany Bay; in short, as a
poet might saybut never yet has saidit
was like an oasis in the desert. And the
church had got ithad put her wide arms
round it and embraced it on every side; had
fertilised its fields, and added beauty to its
scenery by splendid architecture, and scared
away lightning and fiends from it by perpetual
ringing of bells and singing of psalms;
and had fattened fifty monks to a point that
it was painful to witness, for they were all
afflicted with asthma, and many had the gout,
and sometimes the half of them were laid up
with jaundice, and a few of them occasionally
died of their religious exercises, and also
some of delirium tremens. Strathwoden
Abbey was the centre of an ecclesiastical
territory of four or five miles square, strong,
comfortable, thick-walled, low-placed upon
the banks of the pastoral Woden; and half
an hour's ride from ita good horse would
go at the rate of ten miles an hourgaunt,
grim, dark, scowling, and perched defyingly
on the precipitous banks of a tumbling,
splashing, sunless water, called the Naddersfang,
rose the walls of Black Scawr Tower.
Sir Torquil had looked for forty years at
that wonderful domain, sacred to Ceres and
St. Bridget, which would have lain like a
brooch of inestimable value on the breast of
his threadbare plaid, but which he was
forced to behold firmly fixed on the golden

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