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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 felected from the most deferving 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 herfelf by conftructing them after various models, it might happen that dame Brown would think gaffer Campbell's the more convenient, while the gaffer c 5
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, she could not live; for that the dame took her ftation 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 fhe 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 question of fuch nice morality;
A TALE OF THE TIMES.
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 the often found that the old Highlander preferred "the hill that lifted him to the storms," 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 prec 6 conceived
conceived ideas of fubmiffion, ceconomy, 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 refpect for his gude laird and lady checked complaint, the fmothered difcontent often made him meet the inquiries of the latter with the fombrous brow of forrow instead of the funfhine 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
untoward events which often croffed her benevolent fchemes. "I have been taught to confider the power of beftowing happiness as the most glo"rious prerogative which wealth could
enjoy. Have the means by which "I purfued this end been ill felected, "or am I particularly unfuccefsful in "choofing fit fubjects for my defign?" The philofophy of one-and-twenty is not remarkably profound; the views of life are then too highly coloured to admit of the yellow leaf," which " fober autumn" gradually introduces; and the error then prevalent even in the bestregulated minds is, that the fcenes in which themselves are actors furnish exemptions to received rules as to the maxims by which they are to be governed, or the forrows and difappointments which they are to encounter. Difpaffionate experience would have