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M AG A ZIN E,
TOWN AND COUNTRY.
JULY TO DECEMBER, 1834.
JAMES FRASER, 215 REGENT STREET;
AND SOLD BY ALL BOOKSELLERS AND NEWSMEN
IN TOWN AND COUNTRY.
We once went a long journey to see James Hogg on the repenting-stool, and richly were we repaid for the pains we took on that occasion. Twenty years have passed over our heads since then, but if we should see twenty more, which is improbable, never could we forget the aspect of the poetical shepherd, as, perched on that bad eminence in the kirk of Ettrick, he underwent (or, in his own beautiful Doric, tholed) the awful castigation of the reverend Boanerges who in those days ministered to the spiritual necessities of that primitive population. The bonny, blooming, little ewe-milker, whose charms had caused James to deflect from the path of moral rectitude, stood at his elbow, wrapped all over in her maud, but trembling manifestly beneath its folds; and what of her sweet countenance was visible, now-when the minister was “spairging brimstone"--deadly pale with terror-now, when the worthy saint was dwelling on the particular character of her offence, its undeniable blackness, indelicacy, indecorum, &c. &c. &c., suffused with scarlet blushes, such as dimmed even the splendour of ber accomplice's whiskers. He, meantime, maintained a stern, dogged, sullen obduracy of aspect, which spoke him a hardened and unrepentant sinner: he now and then eyed the lecturer with a glance of cool contempt, which seemed to penetrate like lava into the haughty bosom of the Calvinist; and when all the horrors of holy rhetoric were at length exhausted, and the diatribe must deeds come to a conclusion, nimbly
and gaily did Jamie hop from his pedestal, and was received almost with plaudits among a goodly company of brother-swains, who had congregated rather to do him bonour than to witness his humiliation. At the kirk door Hogg drew the ewe-milker under his arm, and away the two glided together, with apparently as much sang froid as if nothing particular had happened.
How changed are we all since 1814! none more so than James Hogg! True his frame is still erect, robust, vigorous, and his step even yet prompt and elastic; but Time has thinned that buge mane of reddish-brown hair that then dangled even to the skirts of bis grey jacket, and tinged more than half of what remains with the venerable silver. His countenance is still niore altered ; and if the bloom be gone and the teeth somewhat smitten, and if the eyes now require on certain occasions the assistance of spectacles, still the change here has, on the whole, been for the better. The bard's aspect has assumed an air of calmness, gentleness, and, let us add, of dignity--of which it had little in the days of his overboiling blood. James Hogg has evidently become a wiser and a better man. In place of mounting the cuttiestool, he now appears perfectly in his place, when, with hat in hand, he stands behind the plate, in the capacity of ruling elder, to welcome the congregation on the Lord's-day, and receive their alms for the poor; nor, when service is over, does a more respectablelooking pater-familias exchange salu
* A Series of Lay Sermons on Good Principles and Good Breeding. By the Ettrick Shepherd. One vol. 12mo. London, 1834. Fraser.
VOL. X. NO. LV.