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THE CHIMNEY CORNER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 141, 19 August 1880
THE CHIMNEY CORNER.
THE DISRUPTION.-^ A TALE OP TRYING TIMES. CFI AFTER X— continued. Wk “ Don’t be too sure of that. I myself I possess, in my own way, pretty fair powers of I like the lad’s appearance well: you will be so good as contrive to duce him to me, in some easy, way, I don’t doubt but I shall favorable impression on his “ I beg your pardon. Doctor, must decline such a task. I lend myself to a proceeding young man would resent as an and I have too much respect to deliberately do anything that I would hurt his feelings.” “So you won’t bring me acquaintance with this young yours—Stephenson or whatever you call him ?” “ Not for the purpose of with principles which I know he scientiously entertains.” “ Oh, inded! Well, you changed man, Reginald. knew you at Cambridge you had principles and the interest of Church at heart; but I fear the air of this country has made you than half a Scotsman. You seem more careful of this young schismßß feelings than you are of mine, so I give you no further trouble. once friends, but. that dosen’t I wish you a very good morning. saying, the Doctor took his abruptly and in high displeasure. Shortly after this, chance . Duncanson in the way of Dr. Both of them had happened quent an old book shop, but different purposes. The one there to sell the other to buy. had Mr. Duncanson’s finances he was compelled to dispose most valuable books to enable defray the small expense at lived without drawing on the offered though trifling resources homely fellow-lodger. One day July he happened to step into ferred to, and offered for sale a work, which he had purchased year before at a high price. bibliopole seemed unwilling to book at any price, but after demurring a bargain was a mere Taction of its real James Rok the money with luctance, and was about to when his attention was attracted acciden which happened at ment in the back shop, an containing the chief part of the seller’s stock of rare and works. A gentleman had been hauling the books, and to reach which were on high shelves mounted on a shop ladder or steps, but lost his balance heavily to the floor just as Mr son -was going away. This was no other than Dr. Crimp, from his high position among webbed books had observed dent, and recognised him as the man he had in vain asked the Prot^B of to introduce to him. Doctor, on seeing him, made a movement to dismount, with formed intention of entering versation with Mr. Duncanson the formality of an thus he came down rather cipitately than he intended. bookseller and James both his assistance and, on getting his feet, found that he had tained any severe injury. The hat had fared worse; and when dent picked up this article he recognised its owner as the he had met at the Professor’s The Doctor, after taking some breath, rose to depart, and winning smile requested Mr son to accompany him to his that he might have the his arm by the way. The course, was politely complied and the old gentleman moved Princes Street, leaning on his companion so confidingly, as had been acquainted for years, had not proceeded far when met by several of Mr. acquaintances, who stared prise to see him in such Amongst others they met Mr. Aspen and his lady—the couple whom the reader will in connection with the “ dinner.” They acknowledged with which James saluted markedly, and their countenances esr pressed as much surprise as could possibly be called up on the instant, when they saw him in arm arm with one they knew to be a dignitary of the English Church. At length the Royal Hotel'was reached, where the Doctor had taken up his quarters; and he in sisted so strongly on having Mr. Duncanson’s company at dinner that he could not with any grace refuse. James accordingly entered with his new acquaintance, and was introduced to his son, a comely youth of from twelve to fourteen years of age. The Doctor explained that they had been accompanied by the boy’s private tutor, who had been taken ill after they came to home to England. He expressed regret Edinburgh, and was now on his return at this, and a wish that he could find any one qualified to superintend the boy’s studies during their residence in the city, to prevent him from losing the knowledge he had acquired. Mr. Duncanson modestly hinted that he would be glad of such employment should his attainments be thought sufficient, and his creed be no objection.
“ Of course,” said the Doctor, “ I am naturally biassed in favor of those who belong to my own communion, but not so decidedly as to refuse the services of one otherwise to my mind. I daresay you are very well qualified to give lessons to Theophilus (Theophilus Loftus Jerningham Crimp is my son’s name), but if you please we shall not discuss that subject just now, for dinner is waiting us, and I dislike all business discussions at table.”
The Doctor proved himself such an adept at discussing good cheer, that it was no wonder he preferred it to business whenever opportunity served, and he did the honors of the table with the ease and grace of a man in his proper element. He was all good humor, vivacity, condescension. He dilated on the pleasure he had experienced in
Inns ent yed irm :ing id’s ilus ght ons eatstly nth ang fort of the the union terof ted ore her igly ime The ent ars. icy, liar hat on md her of ion to plarch ite) ich, ure ons exmd be on assure to ich ;ive anon r a he led ten for vas imon md five nkthe gan h a dlihis ual was ing sed i he and to to after 1n no mair n, or my itten the pure seen alang »;rand : didbut I gaun past if he kenn’d wha was the auld gentleman wi’ the scuppit beaver ye were gaun wi’ sae pack-like. He’s the Pope, said he. He’s just as soon the Deevil, says I. I ken the young gentleman that’s wi’ him owre weel to believe he wad gang cleekit wi’ the Pope through Prince’s Street in braid daylight. If ye had just seen how the man guffaw’d whan I said this, and stude lookin’ after me as lang as I was in sicht, as if I had been some daft body. But though I couldna believe that yon gutty carle wi’ the droll hat was the Papist Pope, I was dead set on findin’ out wha he was, mair for your sake, Mr. Duncanson, that for onything I cared aboot him mysel’. So I got my e’e on ane o’ the coachman hereabout, that I happen to be acquaint wi’ and put the question to him, but he kent neither buff nor stye whether he was the Pope or wha he was. But my rien’ the coachman, for the sake o’ a gill, took in hand to find oot what I wanted, for he is weel acquaint wi’ the waiters in the inn. Weel, sir, he gaed to speer, and when he cam’ back, Stiffrigs, says he to me, yon’s a high man among the English Kirk folk; his name’s Dr. Crimp, and he’s what they ca’ an Arch-dean or Arch-deacon. Weel, says I, that’s just as bad as an Arch-deevil; and I made up my mind to wait for ye till ye wad come oot, to warn ye o’ your danger. But faik, sir, ye were like to tire oot my patience when coachee learnt through the waiters that ye were biding till yer denner wi’ Dr. Crimp, and that ye wad likely not come oot for some hours. So I set aff to the Grassmarket, and have come back just in time to get a baud o’ ye” ~ ,
“ Well ? ” said Mr. Duncanson in an inquiring tone, as if to draw forth from JRingan what further he had to say. “ Weel yoursel’,” answered Stiffriggs, in such a manner 7 as to convey that he * Homestead.
had said enough to be understood, and that an explanation was due, not from, but to him. Seeing this, Mr. Duncanson said rather impatiently quite puzzled, my friend, to understand the ground of your anxiety in this affair.”
“ Puzzled to understan’ the grund o’ my anxeeity ! Deed that need be nae puzzle, sir. The short and the lang o’t is, that when I see you sae thick with this servant o’ Satan wi’ the fire-shool hat, I’m dead fear’t that ye’ve forgotten a’ that I had heard you say aboot Cameron, Caygill, and Renwick, and the rest o’ Scotland’s holy martyrs, and that ye’re getting yoursel’ entangled wi’ the black Prelacy that shed sae muckle precious blude in Scotland. Oh, sir, this wad be a sad backslidin’ and wad grieve the hearts of every honest, trueblue Presbyterian in the land. Man, this wad be ten times maur than the sin o’ takin’ a kirk through pawtronage. If it's want o’ siller that’s drivin’ you till’t, just say the word, and every plack and bawhee in my possession will be at your service.” The student was amused with Ringan’s honest but mistaken zeal, and with great good nature replied, “ Really, Mr. Stiraperton—Stiffriggs I mean—you are under a most extraordinary delusion. You may depend on it lam not in the slightest danger of becoming an Episcopalian. My acquaintance with Dr. Crimp is of very recent date. It is not a day old yet, and commenced through an accident which happened to him this forenoon in a book shop where I was by chance at the time. He fell from a flight of steps on which he had mounted to get up to some books near the ceiling, and though he was not much hurt ”
“ It’s a thoosand pities he fell sae canny,” interjected Stiffriggs. “Though he was not much hurt,” continued Mr. Duncanson, “he required some assistance, and as I was present an the time, I helped hivn to his lodgings, and have been detained by him to dine. So there’s the bottom of the whole mystery.” “And are ye no hookit, girned, or trappit in ony shape or manner ? ” “ Not as far as I am aware.”
“ Are ye perfectly sure ye hav’na been led intil ony engagement whatsomever wi’ the Prelatic auld thief ? ” “ I don’t know how you can feel justified in applying such hard names to a gentleman of whom you know nothing. I must say I think you are far wrong and very uncharitable; but you may rest assured that I have entered into no terms or engagement with him, nor am I likely to do, unless it be to give his son a few lessons in Greek and Latin, which I am to see him about to-morrow.”
“Justified! hard names! charity! Trowth, I wadna feel justified in speaking o’ ony o’ his kind withoot gie’in’ them hard names. Can Prelacy ever be ca’d onything but black Prelacy in Pcotland, where it was ten times bludier and crueller and wickeder than ever Popery was wi’ a’ her abominations ? Can ony man wi’ Scotch blude in his veins ever forgi’e or forget the hangings and qaurterings; the hunting and harassing; the thoom-screwing, racking, and torturing o’ a’ kinds; the blasphemies and oppressions, and untenable iniquities that Prelacy has been guilty of? Or can he thole the sicht, even at this day, of the hirelings that stand now in the shoon of the auncient persecuting fraternity o’ Bishops, Vicars, Curates, and Arch-deacons, and a’ the rest of the Babalonish clamjamphrey ? No, no, Mr. Duncanson ; I’ll never speak ceevily of ane o’ the white-sark* preachers, but be glad o’ the opportunity o’ lettin’ the proudest o’ them find the weight o’ my neivef if it should ever come to fechting. And ye’re really gaun to inveigle yoursel’ sae far wi’ this priest o’ Baal as to teach his son Greek and Latin ?”
THE CHIMNEY CORNER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 141, 19 August 1880
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