‘Bodkin’s Fortunes and Misfortunes’ (25 May, 1861)

The following epistle is an early appearance in ‘The People’s Journal’ of Tammas Bodkin, the character used by editor William D. Latto to speak frankly (and amusingly) on current affairs. Latto became editor of the people’s journal in December 1860 and used the platform to launch Tammas, bringing himself a fair amount of fame in Victorian Scotland.

‘The People’s Journal’ received some correspondence on 18 May which is relevant to this story:

To Correspondents.

Received, and will be delivered to the proper parties, two tremendous eggs, from Hatton Hill—one addressed to “Tammas Bodkin,” and the other to “Mrs Bodkin.” We shall hear Tammas’s sentiments on the subject next week, and Tibbie’s too, perhaps.

Maister Editor,—I was clean dumfoondered on last Saturday mornin’, when yer wee deevilie cam to my door an’ haundit in a box wi’ yer compliments. I was juist newly doon on the boord after takin’ my breakfast, an’ was blastin’ awa’ at a pipefu’ o’ tobacco, an’ Tibbie she was gaen aboot washin’ up the tea dishes after partakin’ o’ her sixth an’ last cup, when the reishle comes to the door. So I sprang frae the boord an’ answered the knock, thinkin’ it micht be some geyan parteeklar body ca’in to get the measure o’ a pair o’ slacks or sae, for Tibbie, besides ha’en her sleeves preened up to her shoother heads, hadna had time to wash her face an’ cheenge her nicht mutch, an’ of consequence was far frae bein’ a presentable object to ony pernickity individual. Weel, ye see, it turned oot, as I said afore, to be naebody but yer youngest apprentice loonie, styled in the profane phraseology o’ the printin’ office, the “deevil,” wi’ a parcel rowed up in broon paper i’ the bit oxter o’t. “An’ what’s this, my little mannie?” quoth I. “Ou,” quoth he, “it’s a bit boxie that cam wi’ the Alyth carrier to oor offish yesterday mornin’, an’ I was bidden gi’e’t to you.” “Yea, yea, my captain,” quoth I. “Tibbie, gie this chappie a piece butter an’ bread.” So the laddie got his bit piecie, an’ went on his way rejoicin’.* Tibbie an’ me set to wark, an’ the first thing we did was to look at the direction. “It’s a’ richt, Tibbie,” quoth I, “Tammas Bodkin, Esq., People’s Journal Office, Dundee;’ aye, an’ ‘With Care’ tae.’ ‘Od there maun be some valuables here, lass—maybe a set o’ Cheeny for you, Tibbie, in the room o’ the saucer ye broke the ither week. Some kind Samaritan has tane pity on ye, nae doot.” But this didna gang doon wi’ Tibbie ava’; an’ quoth she, “Haigh, I ‘sure ye, I dinna want ony o’ their pity, nor their sets o’ Cheeny either; we’re no that hard up yet, Tammas, but we’ll be able to affoord twa or three bits o’ pigs withoot comin’ on the parish for them!” An’ Tibbie was unco huffie like, puir bodie, an’ cuist up her head as heigh as a hen drinkin’ water. I juist had it on my tongue-neb to say that there was less danger o’ oor gettin’ the dishes than the wherewithal to till them wi’, but I forbore, for I didna wish to breed a rupture i’ th’ hoose; so I proceedit wi’ my preliminary precognition o’ the box. “’Carriage Paid’ tae, Tibbie,” quoth I; “’od, whaever may hae sent it, he maun be a real gentleman—that’s ae thing clear, Tibbie.” “As likely to be a lady as a gentleman, in my opinion, Tammas,” quoth Tibbie, “an’ gin ye tak’ my advice, ye’ll juist send it back to where it cam’ frae; for dinna ye read whiles oot o’ the newspapers hoo they send bairns to folk by carriers’ carts an’ railways, pakit up in baskets an’ boxes o’ that kind?” “’Od, Tibbie, yer penetration maun be something truly marvellous,” quoth I; “for wi’ a’ my wisdom—an’ I’ve nae that little o’t, as ye may weel ken by this time—that thocht never entered into my harren-pan. Hoosomdever, we’se open the box,” quoth I, “an’ gin it sid turn oot to be a bairn, we’ll aye find a bite o’ meat an’ a dud o’ claes till’t, though I’m sure it can claim nae sibness to me, Tibbie, that I’ll be bound for, at ony rate.” So I clippit the strings wi’ my shears, an’ prized up the lid; when the name o’ the celebrated Harper Twelvetrees glowered us i’ the face. Inside the lid, too, there was a grand picture o’ an astonished cat, examinin’ its ain physiognomy refleckit ffrae a boot that had been polished wi’ Twelvetrees’ blacking; besides a bourigh o’ fat an rosy-lookin’ servant lasses, together wi’ a flunkey, a’ admirin the boot, an’ apparently as muckle astonished as the cat. Tibbie was unco muckle taen wi’ the picture, an’ had it no been for my opposition, she wad hae hung it up aside Burns an’ Heelan’ Mary, an’ Robert Bruce, wha, dune up in the most flamin’ colours, adorn the wa’ on ilka side o’ the lookin’ glass, for Tibbie is a great patron o’ the fine airts. Hoosomdever, I put her aff that noshion by (accidentally, as it were), drivin’ the points o’ my shears through the main features o’ the picture, greatly, ye may be sure, to Tibbie’s displeasure. But what was i’ the box? Ay, that’s the pleasure. But what was i’ the box? Ay, that’s the queerie. “Naething but sae-dust,” quoth Tibbie. “Mair than saw-dust,” quoth I, diggin’ my fingers doon, an’ fishin’ oot a couple o’ eggs nearly as big as a pair o’ twal-inch terrestrial globes. “Losh, Tammas, goose’s eggs,” quoth Tibbie, “the like o’ that I never saw,” an’ Tibbie smiled like a boiled herrin’, for she was relieved, i’ th’ first place, to find there was nae bairn in the box, an’, in the second place, that it contained something really practical, for Tibbie sets little value on onything that disna meenister either to the back or the belly. “But let’s see,” quoth I, “here’s wreatin’ on the eggs; rin ben to the boord for my spartickles, Tibbie.” So I read the inscription on the biggest egg, whilk ran thus:—“From Hatton Hill to Mr Bodkin;” an’ on the ither ane there was, “To Mrs Bodkin.” Tibbie was as heigh as the hills. “Aha, Tammas,” quoth she, “I’ve some gude freends yet, for a’ the ill ye put into folk’s head against me.” “But, Tibbie,” quoth I, “as mine is the biggest ane, they maun think mair o’ me than they do o’ you, an’ sae ye needna craw sae crouse. But what’ll we do wi’ them, Tibbie?” quoth Tibbie. “Pity we havena a clockin’ hen, Tibbie, we micht hae garr’d her eleck them.” “Ou, gin they be goose’s eggs, Tammas, ye micht do waur than set yer ain goose wi’ them.” “Hoots, dinna haver, Tibbie,” quoth I; “but are ye sure they are geese eggs? Ye’ll better rin doon the close for Mrs Davidson, an’ tak her opeenion on the subjeck.” Noo, Mrs Davidson is Tibbie’s oracle; what I say aboot onything is generally very dootfu’ doctrine, but what Mrs Davidson says is infallible—the very words o’ inspiration. Mrs Davidson cam’, an’ after a lang palayer atween Tibbie an’ her, it was settled that the eggs were deuks’ eggs—only they were marvellously big anes. “Aye, maybe drake’s eggs,” quoth I. “O Tammas, Tammas,” quoth Tibbie, “there’s nae fules like auld fules!” The next point settled atween Tibbie and Mrs Davidson was that the latter individual was to step up at five o’clock an’ help us to eat them, for after some consultation it was carried by a majority o’ twa against ane, that Tibbie an’ me wadna be able to devour them baith at a doon-sittin’. The eatin’ o’ them was reselved on sair against my grain , for I was anxious to preserve them as trophies, just as sportsmen hang up the antlered heads o’ the deer they slay in their lobbies, but there was nae use o’ me puttin’ in a reclaimin’ note against the decision o’ Tibbie an’ Mrs Davidson, an’ sae I said naething. Hoosomdever I got them wi’ a great fecht to consent to pancakes, and so I brings my bodkin an’ bores a hole in ilka end o’ them and blew oot the contents into a twa pint basin. The shells I threadit on a string, an hung them oonder the lookin’ glass, an’ gaed awa ben the hoose to my wark. Atween four an’ five o’clock i’ the afternoon, Tibbie kilts her sleeves and starts to the manufacture o’ the pancakes. The fryin’ pan was on, the butter flotterin’ awa in grand style, and Tibbie thrang mixin’ up the batter, when I stappit ben the hoose to survey the progress that was makin’. Tibbie was pourin in the batter when I made my appearance, an’ afore ye could have said say doon comes an awfu’ avalanche o’ soot that filled the fryin’ pan completely up to the bow o’t.” “D—l tak’ that,” quoth Tibbie, “for there’s my bonny pancakes a’ to the mischief!” She banged aff the pan, an’ rakit oot the soot, but na, na, the pancakes were useless. Tibbie grat wi’ anger and vexation. As for me I said naething, only I thocht weel. Mrs Davidson, she cam’ in, an’ looked sairly disappointed. Thinks I, my leddy, there’s mony a slip atween the cup an’ the lip. I was vexed at the loss o’ the eggs in ae sense, but I wasna vexed in anither, for had it no been soopit a month or twa syne; but, as we are gaun to flit at the term, Tibbie an’ her thocht it wad hae been doonricht wastery to pay a shillin’ to the sweep oonder the circumstances. Leavin’ Mrs Davidson an’ Tibbie to condole wi’ ane anither the best way they could, I stappit awa ben the hoose to the needle, an’ keepit mysel’ cheery singin’ ane o’ Mr Waugh’s favourite sangs— Continue reading “‘Bodkin’s Fortunes and Misfortunes’ (25 May, 1861)”

‘Bodkin Achieves a Great Victory’ (11 May, 1861)

The following epistle is an early appearance in ‘The People’s Journal’ of Tammas Bodkin, the character used by editor William D. Latto to speak frankly (and amusingly) on current affairs. Latto became editor of the people’s journal in December 1860 and used the platform to launch Tammas, bringing himself a fair amount of fame in Victorian Scotland.

Maister Editor,—Last nicht, when Tibbie was makin’ ready to gang out for some bits o’ errands, I says till her, “Tibbie, dinna forget my tobacco.” Noo there wasna muckle ill in that, as maun be plain to ony body wi’ half an ee i’ their head; but it sae happened that Tibbie hadna been in a very complowsible frame o’ mind a’ day, because she had oonfortunately broken a Cheeny saucer i’ the forenoon, when she was washin’ up the breakfast dishes, an’ when Tibbie plays ony pliskie o’ that kind she’s sure to seek consolation in settin’ forth lood an’ angry complaints against ither folk’s debosherie. Never ae word wi’ Tibbie aboot her ain shortcomins. When she taks ane o’ thae toits, the very cat, puir beastie, can hardly get her kyte filled for the neist fortnicht, an’ maun mak mony a hasty retreat below the bed to escape the wecht o’ the bissim. It’s just a way Tibbie has, but she’s far frae bein’ an ill body for a’ that, for although it’s a failin’ o’ hers, far frae pleasant at times either to me or to baudrons, yet I maun needs say it “leans to virtue’s side.” Weel ye see Tibbie was in ane o’ thae tantrums o’ her’s last nicht, when my tobacco-box happened to be toom; an’ so says she, “Evil speed that nasty pipe o’ yours, Tammas, for it’s nae that little siller it costs ae way an’ anither, forbye stinkin’ the haill hoose wi’ the reek o’t, an’ then when ye come to yer bed I’m sure I canna lie wi’ my face to ye withoot bein’ nearly scomficed wi’ the smell o’ yer breath; an’ for spittin’! I’m sure that grate, I needna try to keep clean; an’ the hearthstane, too, is aye keepit in a perfect fricht,—a’ sclauried ower wi’ slaiver. ‘Od, it’s no every wife that wad thole what I’ve to suffer.” “Hoity-toity, Tibbie lass,” quoth I, after she had gane on for aboot ten minits at this rate, “Ye’ve surely been studyin’ social science an’ hoosehold economy this fornoon, but there was nae word o’ this last week when ye were garrin’ the shillins flee like sclatestanes doon bye in Reform Street, an’ some o’t tae withoot speerin’ my leave!” “Speerin’ your leave! Haigh I ‘sure ye! Is that a way to speak to yer wife, Tammas?” an’ Tibbie’s heart grew grit, an’ she becam’ unco affeckitlike. But Tibbie has a strong stalk o’ carl-hemp in her natur’, an’ sae her tears soon yieldit to the dominion o’ her tongue, an’ quoth she, “Atween that newspaper wark o’ yours, an’ smokin’ tobacco, there’s as meikle time an’ siller wastit as wad haud the like o’ me in baith meat an’ claes, an’ you wad gang to cast up the twa or three shillin’s I spent last week for the bits o’ duds to my back! Fie, for shame, min! But there was nane o’ a’ that afore we were marrit, for I’m sure ye cam’ slinkin’ alang to Lasswade as if butter wadna’ melt i’ yer mooth.” “Hoolie! Hoolie! Tibbie,” quoth I, “there was nane o’ a’ this wi’ you either afore we were marrit, for I was as sair on the tobacco at that time as ever I’ve been sinsyne, an’ mony was the time ye tel’t me, when we wad indulge in a smourich ahent the door, that my lips were as sweet as hinny, an’ my ‘breath like caller air;’ but noo it seems ye’ve grown sae mim-moo’d i’ yer way that ye maun turn yer back on me as gin I were nae better than a brock.” “Ay, but ye had nae business castin’ up my bits o’ duds to me, Tammas.” “Ay, but ye had nae business castin’ up my tobacco to me, Tibbie.” “An’ that Journal, Tammas—I’m sure ye sit late an’ ear’ either readin’ or wreatin’ blethers for’t, an’ I canna get a word oot o’ ye. ‘Deed, ever sin ye had oucht to do wi’ thae newspapers, ye’ve been neither comfort nor company to me, Tammas; an’ there’s no a word can be spoken i’ th’ hoose but ye maun gang an’ proclaim it upo’ the hoose-taps.” “An’ dinna ye think it’s a great honour, Tibbie, to ha’e yer worth and wisdom recordit i’ th’ newspapers? There’s no anither wife in a’ Dundee—there’s no a leddy in a’ the land—na no even the Queen hersel’, is sae highly honoured as ye are, Tibbie. The Queen maks a speech but ance, or maybe twice, i’ th’ twalmonth, but there’s seldom a week passes that your oratory disna gang furth to the ends o’ the earth.” “An’ I wad think naething o’t, Tammas, gin ye didna gar me aye speak nonsense.” “Gin it didna come on yer ain side to speak nonsense, Tibbie, I doot a’ my garrin’ wad hae little effeck. I’m but a reporter, Tibbie, an’ I’ll uphaud the accuracy o’ my reports; sae gin it be nonsense when its prentit, Tibbie, it maun hae been nonsense when it cam’ oot o’ yer mooth.” “But ye put aff yer time at that wreatin’ wark o’ yours, min, an’ then ye min tell lees to this ane an’ the ither ane, when they come seekin’ their claes an’ them no ready, an’ it’s the same wi’ yer tobacco pipe.” “I spend less time wi’ my pipe than ye do wi’ yer tea, Tibbie, for I’m sure I can tak my tea, smoke a pipe half toom, an’ cut oot a pair o’ drawers, an’ a’ i’ th’ time o’ you drinkin’ yer first twa cups.” “My first twa cups, Tammas! wha ever heard o’ me takin’ mair than twa cups at a doonsittin’?” “Maybe nae body ever heard o’t afore, Tibbie, but they’re sure to hear o’t noo, for I’ll tell a’ the warld that ye think naething o’ drinkin’ half a dizzen—no exactly at ae doonsittin’, Tibbie, for ye’ve maybe to rise ilka twa cups or sae to fill up the pat, but yer’ nae sooner up than yer’ doon again.” “Are ye no fear’d to sit on that boord an’ tell sae mony doonricht lees, Tammas?” “That’s awa frae the question, Tibbie,” quoth I. “An’ what is the question, Tammas?” quoth Tibbie. “Juist this, Tibbie,” quoth I, “whether does my tobacco or your tea cost the maist siller?” “But tea’s meat, Tammas, whereas tobacco’s naething but evendoon wastery.” “Tea’s no meat, Tibbie, for accordin’ to my judgment ye dinna eat yer tea, but drink it; an’ I dinna grudge ye yer drap tea gin ye wad only haud within reasonable boonds wi’ ‘t, but naething ‘ill sair ye, Tibbie, but tea o’ the consistency o’ treacle.” Tibbie gaed aff into hysterics again, but I keepit skelpin’ awa’ at the needle, an’ never fashed my thoom. So when Tibbie was that, she soon waukened oot o’ her trance, an’ commenced flytin’ at the rate o’ sixty miles an oor; but I stuck to my point like a burr, an’ at last an’ lang she had to gie in. “Weel, weel, Tammas,” quoth she, “the wilfu’ maun aye hae their way, an’ it’s hard to sit in Room an’ fecht wi’ the Pope, sae ye man juist gae on smokin’, an’ wreatin’ lees for the papers, but gin ony ill come o’t, dinna blame me for no gi’en ye due warnicement; but ye micht show mair respect for yer lawfu’ wedded wife, wha has made sae mony sacrifices for yer comfort, an’ wha’s heart has been grieved or the space o’ thirty years wi’ yer wilfu’ conduct, than to gang on the way ye’re doin’, Tammas, an’ especially to cast up to me aboot my duds o’ claes, an’ my drappie o’ tea.” “The same line o’ argument applies to me an’ my tobacco, an’ newspaper, Tibbie; an’ sae, as giff-gaff maks guid freends, we’ll juist shake hands, an’ let byeganes be byeganes.” I saw Tibbie was begun to melt by this time, an’ sae when I hung out the white flag she wasna lang o’ capeetulatin’. I tane her in my arms, an’ gae her a kiss for auld lang syne, an’ quoth she, “Tammas, hoo muckle tobacco will I bring?” So I gae her her orders, an’ awa she trottit, wi’ her radicle ower her arm, an she’s been a better bairn sinsyne.—Yours,

Tammas Bodkin.

‘Mrs Bodkin’s New Bannet’ (4 May, 1861)

The following epistle is an early appearance in ‘The People’s Journal’ of Tammas Bodkin, the character used by editor William D. Latto to speak frankly (and amusingly) on current affairs. Latto became editor of the people’s journal in December 1860 and used the platform to launch Tammas, bringing himself a fair amount of fame in Victorian Scotland.

Maister Editor,—On Monday nicht, Tibbie an’ me were sittin’ afore the fire crackin’ aboot things in general, and toastin’ oor taes preparatory to creepin’ into oor roost, when Tibbie she says, “Tammas, I maun hae a new bannet.” “Weel, Tibbie,” quoth I, “what maun be, maun juist be, an’ canna be helpit; but what has put that i’ yer noddle enow?” “Ou, ye see, this is the time o’ year o’ new bannets, an’ ither folk are gettin’ them, an’ gin ye dinna want yer wife to be an outlin, ye maun juist draw yer huggar.” “But ither folk had been needin’ new bannets maybe, an’ I’m sure your black silk ane is as gude as ever, an’ for the season o’ the year, I dinna see what that has to do wi’ a new bannet. For my pairt, Tibbie, my hat sairs me in a’ weathers, an’ at a’ seasons, an’ I think yours micht do the same.” “Yea; d’ye think sae, Tammas? But ye see doctors differ, lad; an’ sae a bannet I maun hae.” “No till ye can show me the propriety o’t, Tibbie; an’ as sune as ye can do that, I sauna stand i’ th’ way o’ a bannet.” “Weel, Tammas, there’s Mrs Davidson, at the fit o’ the close—an’ I’m certain sure John Davidson’s wage is nae a great deal—an’ yet she has gotten a new bannet, an’ nae that little expense it has been. There’s Mrs Macfarlane an’ four o’ her dochters—a’ dependin’ on Donald’s auchteen shillin’s i’ th’ week—an’ they’ve a’ gotten bran new bannets. An’ no to multiply examples, Tammas, there’s Mrs Walker was at the kirk yesterday wi’ ane o’ the dearest bannets in a’ Reform Street on the head o’ ‘r, an’ her guidman is naething better than a tailor like yersel’, Tammas, wi’ a sma’er than ye hae, Tammas. Noo, what for no sid I do get a new bannet amon’ sae mony new bannets? ‘Deed, there’s scarcely a respectable body comes into the kirk, but has got a new bannet, an’ gin ye want yer wife to be rankit amang the riff-raff, I can gang to the kirk next Sabbath wi’ my auld Leghorn that I was marrit in!” “Na, na, there’s nae use for that, Tibbie, as lang as ye’ve the black silk ane,” quoth I. “How could ony body gang either to kirk or market wi’ that?” quoth Tibbie, haudin’ up the pastebrod frame. “But whereawa is silk coverin’ o’t?” quoth I. “Aha, Tammas lad,” quoth Tibbie, “I pickit it don this forenoon when ye were oot, sae ye see I maun hae a new bannet.” “Dog on it!” quoth I, “there’s nae gettin’ roond you women-folk neither by force nor flattery, I see. Sure eneuch ye maun get a new bannet noo, but see ye haud wi’ moderate things. Mind my exchecker winna thole a dear bannet, an’ ye’re no gaen to tak on things like thae three leddies ye’ve mentioned, haudin’ the beagles rinnin’ aboot oor hoose on a cravin’ expedition the way they do aboot their’s, for its weel kenned they’re no sterlin’ for a’ their bravity.” Tibbie heard a’ this discoorse an’ said naething. Awa she gaed doon to Reform Street next mornin’, an’ it was past twal o’clock afore I saw the face o’r again. Thae women folk for bidin’ when they get into a haberdasher’s shop! They have sae mony things to glower at, an’ turn ower an’ ower an’ roond an’ roond, an’ pink at it wi’ the ae e’e steekit like a hen searching for barley pickles, an’ they’ve sae mony questions to speer aboot this thing an’ the ither thing, an’ they’ve to stand an’ consider, an’ they canna mak up their minds whether to tak ane wi’ a dark grund an’ a white spat in’t, or wi’ a white grund an’ a dark spat in’t, an’ they’re no sure whether the colours are ast or lowse, an’ this thing wad please them but it’s ower dear, an’ that thing is cheap eneuch but it disna please, an’ so on they gae. That’s no my way again, when I gang to buy a piece o’ claith—an’ I’ve brocht nae that little o’t i’ my time, noo—my mind’s made up at ance. Nae stanin’ yamerin’ an’ hagglin’ wi’ me! But herein Tibbie an’ I, as in some ither respects, differ in oor politicks, an’ sae as I was sayin’ it was past twal o’clock when her leddyship cam hame. She had a band-box in ae hand an’ a meikle bundle i’ the ither. Ben to the kitchen she gaed wi’ her merchandeese, an’ as for me I held gaen at the needle an’ made nae observation. Five minutes or sae passed ower, an’ at last an’ lang Tibbie cries “Tammas, come here.” So ben the hoose I goes, an’ there stands Tibbie afore the lookin’ glass wi’ her new bannet on, giein’ hersel’ a’ the pridefu’ airs she could think on, an’ a geyan costly lookin’ loom o’ a headpiece it was, wi’ as mony ribbons an’ gumflowrs an’ ither useless fall-alls on’t as micht hae saired the best leddy o’ the land. Hoosomdever, I said naething, either guid, bad, or indifferent. “An’ hoo d’ye like my bannet?” quoth Tibbie. “I’m thinkin’ I’ll like the bill waur than the bannet,” quoth I, “but I maun needs say its a handsome lookin’ bannet, Tibbie, an’ gars ye look a dizzen years younger than ye are; in fact had ye no testifeed to the contrary, I wad really believe ye had been born in the year o’ the great comet after a’.” Tibbie was delighted wi’ her bannet, an’ she was pleased to see me delighted also. “But Tibbie,” quoth I “what’s in this parcel that ye’ve stowed awa in the bed as if it were smuggled gear?” “Ou ye see, Tammas, the man wadna let me awa withoot takin’ a black cloth mantle, for, as he said, I wadna be a’ o’ a piece withoot it; an’ I’m sure I telled him weel hoo angry ye wad be, but he wadna mind my tellin’; so I was just forced to tak’ the mantle.” “It seems to me, Tibbie, that the man, whaever he is, has far mair command o’ ye than ever I had, for I’m sure if I had tried to force ye to tak’ a mantle against yer wull ye wadna hae been ruled by me.” “Ay, but Tammas your force is aye exertit in an opposite direckson, juist try to orce a new goon on me, an’ ye’ll see.” “Weel, weel, Tibbie,” quoth I, “the mantle winna break me a’ thegither, sae ye can lowse it doon an’ try’t on.” Tibbie didna sae twa biddens to do that ye may be sure, an’ sae oot tumbles a dandy mantle o’ the very newest cut an’ complexion. Tibbie put it on, an’ I maun say it addit still farther to her youthfu’ appearance. But Tibbie was ower narrow ower the curpin to set oot the mantle properly, an’ sae I suggestit the crinoline that I had presentit her wi’ some weeks sune. Tibbie agreed to this, an’ the crinoline was produced, but Tibbie’s gown was ower narrow i’ th’ skirt. The crinoline made her look juist like a meikle water-stoup, or a candle extinguisher. “That winna do,” quoth Tibbie. “Na, it winna do,” quoth I. “I see nae thing fo’t, but to get a new gown,” quoth Tibbie; “an’ I ken where to gang, for the man let me see a gown-piece that wad become my complexion to a very tee.” “My treasury winna stand it, Tibbie, positeevely; an’ gin ye want to see my name i’ th’ Gazette. amang ither weirdless folk, Tibbie, ye may buy the gown, but no itherwise.” “Feint a fear o’ that, Tammas; for as ye say yersel’ sometimes—

“We’ve aye been providit for,

An’ sae will we yet.”

Withoot a new gown, I canna wear the wantle; an’ withoot the mantle, I canna wear the bannet; an’ withoot the bannet, I maun bide at hame frae the kirk, an’ be a Pagan. Sae that’s the short an’ the lang o’t, Tammas.” “Sae in that way, Tibbie, yer soul’s salvation depends on the bannet?” “Ay, an’ on the ither things, Tammas.” “Weel, weel, Tibbie, ye sanna need that I stand atween ye an’ ye future happiness, either in this warld or in the warld to come, an’ sae ye may e’en get the gown, but dinna gang to extravagance wi’t; for mind my purse winna stand it.” Tibbie was clean lifted up wi’ her braw dress, an’ she’s been a gude bairn aye sinsyne. Doon to Reform Street she gaed that very afternoon, an’ she’s haen the dressmaker i’ th’ hoose for the last twa days, an’ noo Tibbie ‘ll be able to haud up her head i’ th’ kirk on Sabbath wi’ the best o’ them. It’s been an unco expenive rax this o’ hers, but after a’, I think she’ll be a’ the siller the better o’t, though she’s been in twa senses a dead, dear wife to

Tammas Bodkin.