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BY THE AUTHOR OF
VALERIUS, REGINALD DALTON, &c. &c.
J. & J. Harper, Printers.
PUBLISHED BY E. DUYCKINCK, COLLINS & HANNAY, COLLINS & CO.
I NEED not begin this story, my dear, since it is addressed only to you, with a full account of my pedigree. You know the antiquity of the family, with which You are aware you are so closely connected. that we came into Scotland towards the middle of that interesting period, which learned people talk of under the name of "the Anglo-Saxon colonization." In fact, the tree was Norman originally, and had scarcely taken root in England ere it was transplanted hitherwhere, upon the whole, it may be said to have thriven. The estate which my ancestor received from King Robert's bounty was not indeed large, but one or two prudent marriages augmented it considerably in the course of the century; and as the father and eldest son always adhered to the ancient rule of taking different sides on every occasion of public tumult and political dissension, while the younger branches were invariably portioned off with a sword or a crucifix, there was little chance of the barony's suffering any remarkable curtailment during several subsequent ages. We were so lucky as to see through all the abominable errors of the Popish system earlier than most of our neighbours, and our timely conversion was not unrewarded even in this world. We were also good enough to stick by the Covenant, so that although the estate was given to an English officer in 1679, we recovered it in 1688, much improved by the
management he had bestowed on it. Besides hedges and ditches, before unimagined, he had built a good house, and furnished it in a handsome manner; and I have even heard it whispered, that there was some money in the cabinet, which he never had any opportunity of claiming, otherwise than by letters from Spain, for the gentleman was pleased to take service in that country immediately after the Revolution. At the commencement of the last century, then, our affairs may be said to have been rather in a prosperous
My grandfather in due time succeeded to the property;-gave his hand to a young lady of great merit, who happened to be heiress of a farm that had often and often been talked of as lying in to the estate, and was now (it was indeed high time) legally united to it for ever; and in process of time begat a great many more sons and daughters than would have been at all consistent with prudence, had vaccination or cleanliness been at that period naturalized in our part of the globe.
They all died young, except John, Matthew, and Dorothy. The cadet was my father; and I need not inform you that you have the honour to be the lady's grandson.
As little need I tell you that The Union was, at the time when it took place, and long after indeed, extremely unpopular in this part of the island. Some few approved of it from the beginning, because they were shrewd enough to foresee the benefits which it has eventually conferred upon commerce and younger brothers, and many more supported and applauded it for reasons of a more private nature. My grandfather despised the name of traffic, would have preferred to see five sons in their shrouds rather than one Wald in a furred gown and gold chain, and was too inconsiderable a person to be bribed, so that his voice was with the majority. And in this faith he religiously educated his children.
John, the first hope of the house, adhered to his