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and alderman. His neighbour with the
waving hair and lip compressedbecause
the alderman has just trodden on his corn
and who edges back his chair with a slight
cough of aristocratic distaste, is an established
poet. This poet's presence, you see, is another
instance of Wetherby's skill in maintaining
the Golden Mean.

May I confess, without forfeiting my moral
status, that I am sometimes bored and
irritated by this excellent man? Will any lenient
reader do me the favour to receive this
avowal, without thinking that it implies
gross depravity? Does not even the monotony
of beauty pall upon us? Would not a
cloud, or even a drizzling mist, be an acceptable
relief in the long splendour of an
Andalusian summer? Has the limpid flow of
Italian melody never made you long for
gutturals and consonants? Can you not imagine
a man becoming tired of ortolans? Let it
not then be imputed to unusual obduracy on
my part, but rather to that thirst for change
inherent in our nature, that I have
frequently felt a certain disrelish for Wetherby
satiety of a person so uniformly right, and
a keen appetite for some one who could be
unmistakeably wrong.  Sir Mark Obsolete,
of whom I have before spoken, satisfies
this hunger of mine to the fullest extent. I
have never heard a sane opinion from his lips
during an acquaintance of twenty years. He
still labours under the conviction, that a bold
peasantry, its country's pride, is destroyed
the moment you educate it. Biography,
history, science, poetry, and politics, when
accessible to the million, are, in his esteem, so many
vaults mined under the constitution, in which
unscrupulous Papists are still depositing
gunpowder. He is sure the constitution will
some day be blown up by these agencies
that is, unless it fall to pieces beforehand in
consequence of a certain chancery judgment
that enforced a public right of way through his
estates. The late venerable Lord Eldon,
he tells you, would have foreseen the results
which such a decree involved to the throne
and the altar; but all subsequent occupants
of the woolsack have been blind or unprincipled.
He is pretty sure that in his own
case the chancellor was bribed by the
Jesuits, who, Sir Mark persists, are in league
with all revolutionary agitators. If you point
out that the disciples of Loyola have hitherto
been inimical to liberal ideas, Sir Mark views
that as a master instance of their craft, and
contends that their views must be republican
now, because they were despotic before. Such
is this very ancient gentleman, in whom
motion, speech, and all other functions of
life seem startling incongruities, and whose
appropriate place would evidently be the
Nineveh department of the Museum. Yet,
let this be said for Sir Markhe has a creed,
and he cleaves to it. He knows that he
excites ridicule, and he braves it. He is
right valiant, although he prefers to tilt with
windmills; and right loyal to his ideal
Dulcineas, although they are not generally
captivating. He is kind to his tenants and staunch
to his dogmas; he has little brain, but he
has a heart and a faith. I have grown bolder
since I first touched upon this subject; and
I don't care if you tell all the world, that I
respect Sir Mark Obsolete more than Mr.
Golden Mean Wetherby.


IN the Gallowgate of Glasgow many years
ago, a crowd one evening was collected round
the entrance to a narrow wynd, at which stood
a shabby sort of hired carriage, to which was
harnessed a lean, bow-kneed, spavined jade of
a horse. The crowd was composed of the very
poorest and dirtiest portion of the very
poorest and dirtiest of "the auld town"
population. The occasion which had drawn this
respectable assembly to that spot, at that
hour of six o’clock, was no other than
a wedding, the amiable actors in which
public spectacle had to issue from that
little smutty passage. What circumstances
beyond the perpetual and universal interest
which attaches to such an event, drew this
crowd, and riveted its eyes in evident intensity
on that murky outlet, it never was our
felicity to learn, for there were certain
influential characters on the outskirts of the
throng who maintained a most effectual
guard against any curious intrusion by people
in clean linen. These were a squad of lively
urchins, who with bandy sticks were amusing
themselves in a sham game by striking up
the styx-black fluid of the open kennel
against the members of the expectant mass,
which was too deeply absorbed in watching
for the advent of the happy couple, to notice
the sable and odoriferous sprinkling, or too
indifferent to regard it.

But not so indifferent was a rosy, full-
bodied, and apparently choleric old gentleman,
who while carefully endeavouring to
escape any share in this Stygian baptism, by
taking a considerable circuit round the mob,
received a flying and liberal salute on his
cheek, his snow-white cravat, and his sleek and
velvety broad-cloth.  With a sudden clutch
and flaming visage he had seized in the next
moment a remarkably shabby lad by the
collar, and while giving him sundry vigorous
shakes and cuffs, exclaimed, "Ye daft, feckless,
mislear't callant, ha'e ye naething better
to mind than to spulzie a' decent bodies claes
that gae by ?"

The lad looked up in his face astonished,
and said, "Naething ava, sir."

"Naething!—naething!" said the old
gentleman; "come to me the morn's morn,
to me, Baillie Glas o' the Trongate, and I'll
gie ye some wark, ye gilpie, ye."

The next day the lad was busy with a clean

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