Puslapio vaizdai

tafte of the boys was to be confulted in their future deftination, while the occupations of fishing, agriculture, and weaving, folicited their choice. The views of the girls were more circumfcribed; but by being early taught the occupations of fpinning and knitting, and by having a market open for the fale of their productions, they were relieved from the burden of indolence, and the cheerlefs profpect of being a useless weight upon their future hufbands, or dependent upon their caprice for every article of fupport. It was lady Monteith's favourite amufement to take a morning excursion to James-town, and to introduce her female vifitants to the young feminary which flourished under her care; and it frequently happened, that fome yellow-haired laffie difplayed fufficient abilities to induce one of the countess's guefts to trrnsfer her, from the tafk

task of finging at her wheel, to the enviable employment of clear-ftarching the lady's "kerchiefs," and helping "to bufkin her."

Yet even the exertions of liberal benevolence will not always afford a pure delight; the mind muft feek its fureft reward in the confcious discharge of an acknowledged duty, and not in the perfect gratitude nor the complete fatiffaction of the objects it labours to benefit. Though the inhabitants of Jamestown were selected from the most deserving part of lord Monteith's tenants, it does not follow that they were quite exempt from the failings of humanity. The houses were all neat and comfortable; but as the countefs had amused herself by constructing them after various models, it might happen that dame Brown would think gaffer Campbell's the more convenient, while the gaffer

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for a fimilar reafon preferred that inhabited by the dame. Lady Monteith, indeed, confented to their exchanging dwellings; but then another inconvenience arofe; Margery Bruce complained that a window in dame Brown's houfe overlooked her, and that if the faid window was not walled up, the could not live; for that the dame took her station at that window, and, instead of minding her work, did nothing but watch the conduct of the aggrieved deponent. Dame Brown's rejoinder was that Margery was fufpected to be no better than fhe fhould be; that she had lately got a new plaid and kirtle, nobody knew how; and fhe thought it her duty to mind her goings on, left her good lady fhould be impofed upon by an unworthy pretender to her favours. The fair judge found it difficult to decide in a queftion of fuch nice morality;

and the more fo, as the village was split into two nearly equal factions, part enlifting under the banners of the watchful Brown, and part efpoufing the cause of the aggrieved Margery.

Befide the perplexity which cafes fimilar to the above often excited, lady Monteith had to contend with other inconveniencies. The power of local attachment is very strong in people who have paffed their lives on one fpot, without having had much intercourse with the rest of the world; and fhe often found that the old Highlander preferred "the hill that lifted him to the ftorms," to all the advantages which, while untried, his imagination annexed to the fheltered cultivated valley. The manners of the fouthern ftrangers, whom the ornamental embellishments of Monteith had introduced among the new colony, did not affimilate with his pre

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conceived ideas of fubmiffion, oeconomy, and felf-command. Though invited to partake of the luxuries his new neighbours introduced, his affection for fourcrout and crowdy was infurmountable, and his retired folitary humour shrunk from the loquacious interruptions of fociety. He frequently found that he had renounced pleasures congenial to his habits, for comforts which he wanted the relish to enjoy; and though respect for his gude laird and lady checked complaint, the fmothered discontent often made him meet the inquiries of the latter with the fombrous brow of forrow instead of the sunshine of joy. "Ye meant it," he would fay, "aw' for "the beeft, but my ain auld cot was "mair cumfurtable."

"Is virtue then only a name?" the contemplative Geraldine would fometimes inquire, when ruminating on the untoward

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