Jockey & Maggy's courtship, and unlucky marriage

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Jockey & Maggy's

COURTSHIP,

And Unlucky Marriage:

WITH

Description of the Merry Wedding, and his Bystart Bairn, for which he gave Satisfaction for Two days, on the Black Stool.

 
 

Entered according to Order.



The

WHOLE PROCEEDINGS

of

Jockey and Maggy's Courtship.

 

 

PART I.


Jockey.HEY Maggy, wiltu stay and tak kent fouks hame wi' ye th night? Maggy. Wiltu come awa than, Johnny I sain wad be hame or the kye come in our meikle Riggy is sic a rummling route she rins ay thro' the byre, and sticks a' the bits a couties ; my mither is na able to ha{illegible} her up to her ain stake.

Jock. Hute, we'll be hame in braw time woman. And how's a' your fouks at hame

Mag. Indeed I cannae well tell you, ma(illegible text) our guidman is a' gane wi' the gout ; m(illegible text) mither is very frail ; my father he's (illegible text) wandering about, and widdling amang the beasts.

Jock. But dear, Maggy, they tell me we’re gawn to get a wedding of thee and Andrew Merrymouth, the laird’s gardener.

Mag. Na, na, he maun hae a brawer lass to be his wife than the like o’ me, but auld Tamrny Tailtree was seeking me; my father had a hane me to tak him, but my mither hadna let; there was an odd debate about it, my guidame wad a sticket my mither wi' the grape, if my father had na chanc’d to {illegible}}under her wi’ the beetle.

Jock. Hegh, woman, I think your father as a fool for fashing wi’ him, auld slavery (illegible text)fe, he wants naething of a cow but the (illegible text)utes; your guidame may tak him hersel, twa auld tottering stumps, the tane may (illegible text)ir the tither fu’ well.

Mag. Hech, man! I wad a tane thee or ony b dy to hane them greed again; my mither bled my guidame’s nose, and my guidame brak my mither’s thumb, the neighour’s came rinning in, but I had the luck haud my father’s hands, till yence my guidame plotted him wi’ the broe that was mak our brose.

Jock. Dear, Maggy, I hae something to tell you, an ye wadna be angry at it?

Mag. O Johnny, there’s my hand I'se no be angry at it, be what it will.

Jock. Indeed, Maggy, the louk of your own an the fouk of our town says we are gown to be married? What sayest thou?

Mag. I wish we ne'er do war.—O Johnny, I dream’d o’ you langsyne, and i liket you ay after that.

Jock. O Maggy! Maggy! dost thou not mind since I came to your father’s bull wi my mither’s cow, ye ken she wadna stand, and ye helped me to haud her; ay after that they scorned me that 1 wad be married on a you.

Mag. It’s very true man, it’ll be an odd thing an it be; but it’s no fa’ back at my door, I ashure you.

Jock. Nor at mine. — But my mither bade me kiss ye.

Mag. Indeed sall ye, Johnny, thou's n(illegible text) want twa kisses, ane on every zde o’ th mouth, man.

Jock. Ha! ha! Maggy, I’ll hae a merry night o' kissing you shortly.

Mag. Ay, but Johnny, you maun stay till that night come; it’s best to keep the feast till the feast day

Jock. Dinna be angry, Maggy, my wife to be; but I have heard my mitber say (illegible text) her daffin, that fouk sud ay try gin the(illegible text) house will haud their plenishen?

Mag. Ay, but johnny, a wife is ae thing and a house anither ; a man that’s a mi(illegible text) to marry a woman he’ll no mak her a whore.

Jock. ’Tis a' true, Maggy, but fouks m(illegible text) do it yence or they be married, and no (illegible text) nae ill in their minds.

Mag. Aha, Johnny, mony a ane has been beguil’d wi’ yence; an’ do it yence, ye may do it ay; what an we get a bystart, an hae to suffer for the foul act of fornication.

Jock. Ay, but my mither says, if I dinna get thee wi’ bairn, I’ll no get thee, for ’tis tiie sureft way of wooing.

Mag. Indeed, Johnny, I like you better nor ony lad I see; an’ I sall marry you an yence my father’s muck were out; my mither downa wirk at the midden.

Jock. A Maggy, Maggy, I’m fear’d ye beguile me, an than my mither will murder me for being fo silly.

Mag. My jo, Johnny, tell your mither to provide a’ things for the bridal, an’ I fall marry you in three ouks after this; but we maun gie in siller to the precentor, a groat an a drink to the bellman, an than the kirk-wa' maun hear o’t three Sundays or it come.

Jock. But, Maggy, am no to mak a blin bargain wi’ you nor naebody, I maun ken o' your things an ye sall ken o’ mine.

Mag. I ken well what I was to get, an gin my mither like the bargain well, she'll mak it better; but an my father be angry at the bargain, I darna speak o’ marrying.

Jock. I aee na how he can be angry, I wat well I’m a gay sturdy fellow, when I laid a bow and five pecks o’ beer on the laird’s Bawsy, and he’s as bilshy a beast as is in a’ the Barronry.

Mag. Ay, but my mither is ay angry at ony body that evens themselves to me, an it binna them she likes, indeed she bad me tak ony body, if it was na auld tottering Tammy ; for his beard is ay brown wi' sucking tobacco, and slavers a’ the breast o his fecket.

Jock. O Magy tak me, an' I'll tell you what I hae. First, my father left me, when he died, fifty merks, twa secks, twa pair o' sunks; the hens, an the gaun gear was to be divided between me an my mither; an if she died first, a' her gear was to come in amang mine; and if I died before her, a' my gear was to come back to her again, an her to marry another man, if she cou'd get him : but since 'tis happened sae, she is to gie me brucky an the black mare, the ha'f o' the cogs, three spoons, four pair o' blankets an a canas ; she's to big a twabey to her ain gavel, to be a dwelling-house to me an my wife; an am to get the wee byre at the end of the raw, to haud my cow an twa couties: the ha'f o' the barn, an a bed o' the kail-yard, as lang as she lives; an when she dies, am to pay for the yerding o' her honesty, an a' the o'ercome is to be my ain; and by that time I'll be as rich as e'er my father was before me.

Mag. Truly, Johnny, I'se no say miekle to the contrair, but ye hae a mind to tak me wi’ what I hae, tell me either now or never, for I'se be married or lang gae?

Jock. I wat well I'm courting in earnest, tell me what you hae, an we'll say nae mair but marry ither.

Mag. I'se tell you a' I ken o', whate'er my guidame gies ye's get it?

Jock. That's right, I want nae mair, 'tis an unco thing to marry a naket woman and get nae hing but twa bare legs.

Mag. O Johnny ye're in the right o't, for mony ane is beguil'd and get naething, but my father is to gie me forty pounds Scots that night I am married, a lade o' meal, a surlet o' groats, auld Crummie is mine since she was a calf, and now she has a stirk will take the bill e'er Beltan yet, I hae twa stane o' good lint, and three pockfu's o' tow, a good ca'f-bed, twa bouster and three cods, with three pair o' blankets an a covering, forby twa pair to spin, but ony mither wadna gie me creesh to them, an ye ken the better is dear now.

Jock. Then fareweel the night Maggy the best o' friends maun part.

Mag. I wish you well, Johnny, but say nae mair till we be married, an than, lad.

Hame gaed Maggy an tell'd her Mither.

Mag. O mither! I had something to tell ye, but ye manna tell my father?

Mith. Dear, Maggy, and what is that?

Mag. Deed, Mither, am gaun to be married and the muck were out.

Mith. Dear, Maggy, and wha's thou gaun to get, 'tis no auld bubly Tammie?

Mag. Na, na, he's a braw young man; an I'll tell you, 'tis Johnny Bell ; and his mither sent him to the market just to court me anse errand.

Mith. Deed, Maggy, ye'll no be ill yoked wi' him, he's a gay well gaun fellow, right spruce, maist like an ill-far'd gentleman— Hey, guidman, do ye hear that our Maggy is gawn to be married an the much were a' ance out.

Fath. Na, na, I'll no allow that until the peats be custen and hurl'd.

Mag. O father! 'tis dangerous to delay the like o' that, I like him an he likes me 'tis best to strike the iron whan 'tis hot.

Fath. An wha's she gaun to get guidwife?

Mith. An what think ye guidman?

Fath. A what was I herie, an the please hersel, am pleas'd already.

Mith. Indeed she's gawn to get Johnny Bell, as clever a little fellow as in a' the Barronry where he bides.

Fath. A-well, a-well herie, she's your' as well as mine, gie her to wha ye please.

Mith. A-well Maggy, I'se hae a' thing ready, an I'll hae thee married or this month be done.

Mag. Thanks to ye mither, mony guid turn ye done me, an this will be the best.

Hame gaed Jockey to his Mither crying.

Jock. Mither! Mither! I made it out ; her mouth is sweeter nor milk ; my heart plays a' whilkie whaltie when I kiss her.

Mith. Fair fa' thee, my son Johnny, thou's gotten the geat o't at last ; an whan is thou gaun to be married?

Jock. Whan I like mither ; but get the masons the morn to big me my house, for I'll hae a' my things in right good order.

Mith. Thou's want for naething, my bairn, to get thee ready for marriage.

The wooing being o'er, an the day being set, Jockey's mither kill'd the black boul horn'd yeal Ewe, that lost her lamb the last year, three hens an a gule fitted cock, to precent the ripples, fives pecks o' maut masket in the muckle kirn, a pint o' treacle to make it thicker, and sweeter, an maumier for the mouth ; five pints o' whisky, wherein was garlic and spice, for raising o' the wind an the clearing o' their water. The friends an good neighbours went a' wi' John to the Kirk, where Maggy chanced to meet him, and was married by the Minister. The twa companies joined thegither, an came hame in a crowd ; and at every changehouse they chanced to pass by, Providence stopt their proceedings with full stoups, bottles and glasses, drinking their healths, wishing them joy, then girls and a boy.— Jockey seeing so many wishing well to his health, coupt up what he gat for to augment his health and gar him live long, which afterwards coupt him up, and proved detrimental to the same.

So home they came to the dinner, where his mither presented to them a piping hot haggies, made of the criesh of the black b ul horn'd Ewe, boil'd in the meikle pot, mixt with bear-meal, onions, spice, and mint. This haggies being supt warm, the foaming swats and spice in the liquor set John's belly a-bizzing like a working fat ; and he playing het'fit to the fidler was suddenly seized with a bocking and rebounding, which gave his dinner such a backward ca', that he lost a' but the girt bits, which he scythed thro' his teeth. His mither cried to spence him, and bed him with the brice, his breeks being fil'd, they washed both his hops, and laid him in his bed: Pale and ghostly was his face, and clos'd were baith his een. Ah! cries his mither, a dismal day indeed, his bridal and his burial may be on ae day. Some (illegible text) water in his face, and jag'd him wi' a needle, till he began to rouse himself up, and lisp out some broken words: Mither, mither, cries Jockey, whar am I now? Whar are you now, my bairn, says his mither, ye're bedet, an I'll bring the bride to you. Bedet, says Jockey, an is my bridal done else! Ay is’t, said his mither, an here's the bride come to ly down beside you my man. Na, na, mither, says Jockey, I’ll no ly wi’ an unco woman indeed, an it binna heads an thras, the way that I lie wi’ you mither. O fy, John, says his mither, dinna affront yoursel’ and me baith, tak her in-o’er the bed beyont ye an kiss her, an clap her, an daut her till ye fa' asleep. The bride fa’s a-crying out, O mither! mither! was this the way my father guided you the first night? Na, na, thy father was a man o’ manners, and better mettle; poor thing, Meg, thou’s ca’d thy hogs to a bonny market. A bonny market, says Jockey’s mither, a-shame sa’ you in her baith, he’s wordy o’ her tho’ she were better nor what she is, or else will be.— His friends and her friends being in a mixt multitude, some took his part, and some took her’s, there did a battle begin in the clap of a hand, being a very fierce tumult, which ended in blood, they struck so hard with stones, sticks, beetles, and barrow trams, pigs, pots, stoups, trenchers, were flying likes bombs and granadoes. The crook, bouls and tangs were were all employed as weapons of war, till down came the bed, with a great mou of peats. So this dis(illegible text) the diversion at Jockey's bedding, and the the sky was beginning to break in the call before the huryl-burly was over.

PART II.

Now, tho’ all the ceremonies of Jockey and Maggy’s wedding were ended, when they were fairly bedded before a wheen railling unruly witnesses, who dang down the bed aboon them; the battle still increased, and John’s work turn’d out to be very wonderful, for he made Janet, that was his mither’s servant lass the last year, grow like an elsnin haft, and got his ain Maggy wi' bairn forby. The hamsheughs were very great, until auld uncle Rabby came in to redd them; and a sturdy auld fellow he was, stood lively wi’ a stiff rumple, and by strength of his arms rave them ay sundry, flingen the tane east, and the tither west, until they stood a’ round about, like as mony forsoughen cocks, and no any durst steer thither for him; Jokey’s mither was driven o’er a kist, and brogit a’her hips on a round heckle! up she gat and running to fell Maggy’s mither with the laddle, swearing she was the mither of a’ the mischief that happened; Uncle Rabby ran in between them; he having a great lang nose, like a trumpet, she recklesly came o’er his lobster neb a drive with the laddle, until the blood came out, an ran down his auld grey baird, an hang like snuffy bubbles at it: O then he gaed wood, an looked as waefu’ like as he had been a tod-lowrie come frae worrying the lambs wi’ his bloody mouth. With that he gets an auld flail, and rives awa’ the supple, then drives them a’ to the back o’ the door, but yet nane wan out; then wi’ chirten and chappen, down comes the clay hallen and the hen bawk wi’ Rab Reid the fidler, who had crept up aside the hens for the preservation of his fiddle.

Ben comes the bride, when she got on her coat, clappet Rabby’s shoulder, and bade him spare their lives, for there is blood enough shed in ae night, quoth she; and that my beard can witness, quoth he. So they all came in obedience to uncle Rabby, for his souple made their pows baith saft and sair that night; but daft Maggy Simpson sat by the fire and picket banes a’ thǝ time o’ the battle: indeed, quoth she, I think you’re a’ fools but mysel; for I came here to get a guid supper, and ither fouk has gotten their skin well pait.

By this time up got John, the bridegroom, that was Jockey before he was married, but coudna get his breeks; yet wi’ at horsenail he tacket his sark tail between his legs, that nane might see what every body should hide; and rampingly he cries, Settle ye, or I’ll gar my uncle settle ye, and fasten your heads wi’ my auld supple.

Poor Rab Reid, the fidler, took a sudden blast; some said he was maw-turn’d wi’ the fa’, for he bocked up a’ the barley, and then gar’d the ale gae like a rainbow frae him, as brown as wort brose.

The hurly burly being ended, and naething but fair words an shaking o’ hands, which was a sure sign o' an agreement, they began to cow their cut ed lugs, an wash their sairs, a’ but Jockey’s mither, who cried out, A black end on you and your wedding baith ; for I hae gotten a hunder holes dung in my arse wi’ the round heckle teeth.

Jockey answers, A e’en had you wi’ them than mither, ye will e’en be the better fair’d.

Up gets auld Rabby, an auld Sandy the suter o' Seggyhole, to put every thing in order; they prapet up the bed wi’ a rake and rippling-came the bearers being broken, they made a solidfoundation o’ peets, laid on the caff-bed and bowsters, and Jockey and Maggy were beddet the second time.

Jockey not being used to ly wi’ a naked woman, except heads and thraws wi’ his mither, gets his twa hands about the bride’s neck, and his houghs out-(illegible text)er her hurdies, saying, I ne’er kiss wife nor lass naked before, and for fainness I'll bite you, &c.

Naething mair remarkarkable happened, till about ha’f a-year an four oukes thereafter, when in comes Marion Mushet, rinning barefitit an bare-leggit, wi’ bleart cheeks an a watery nose, cursing an banning, greeting and flyting.

Marion enters, crying,

An whar's John?

Mith. Indeed he’s out in the yard powing kail runts.

Mar. A black end on him an his runts baith, for he’s ruin’d me an my bairn.

Mith. Ruin’d you! it canna be; he never did you ill, nor said you ill, be night nor be day, what gars you say that?

Mar. O woman! our Jenny is a’ rowing lick a pack o’ woo; indeed she’s wi’ quick bairn, and your John is the father o’t.

Mith. Our John the father o’t! had, there's enough said, lieing lown, I trow our John was ne’er guilty o’ sic a sinfu’ action. Daft woman, I trow it’ll be but wind, that hoves up the lassie’s wame; she’ll hae dunken some sour drink, raw sowens, or rotten milk, that mak’s her sae ill.

Mar. A war be to him an his actions baith, he’s the father o’t, fornicator dog it he is, he’s ruin’d me an my bairn; I bore her an brought her up honestly, till she came to you: Her father died and left me wi’ four o’ them, there wasna ane o’ them cou’d pit on anither’s claes, or take clouse off ither.

Mith. I bid you had your tongue an no even your bystarts to my bairns, for he’ll ne’er tak wit: He, poor silly lad, he was ne’er look to a lass, be’s to lay her down. Fy, Maggy, cry in o’ John, and let's ratify’t wi’ the auld ruddoch; ay, ye’re no blate, to say sae.

Mar. Be angry, or be well pleased, I’ll say’t in a’ your faces, an I’ll ca’ you before your betters about it or lang gae.

John enters. A what want ye now? Is our brose ready yet?

Mith. Ay, brose! black brose indeed for thee, my bairn; here’s Marion Mushet saying ye hae gotten her dochter wi’ bairn.

Jck. Me, mither! I ne’er lay in a bed wi’ her dochter a’ my days; it’ll be the young laird’s, for I saw him kiss her at the Lammas-fair, an lat glam at her nonsense.

Mith. Ay, ay, my man Johnny, that’s the way she has gotten her belly full o’ bairns, ’tis no you, nor the like o’ you, poor innocent lad, that gets bystart weans; ’tis a wheen rambling o’erfull lowns, ilkane o’ them loups on anither, an gies the like i’ you the wyte o’t.

Mar. Ye may say what ye like about it, ’tis easy to ca' a court whar there's nae body to say again; but I’ll ye a' ken about it, an that is what she tell’t me, and you guidwife tell’t me some o’t yourself; an gin ye hadna brought in Maggy wi’ her muckle tocher atween the taw, your Jockie an my Jenny had a been man an wife the day.

Jock. I wat well that’s true?

Mith. Ye filthy dog that ye are, are ye gaun to confess wi’ a bystart, an it no yours; dinna I ken as well as ye do wha’s aught an wha gat the wean.

Jock. Ay, but mither, we may deny as we like about it, but I doubt it'ill come to my dorr at the last.

Mith. Ye silly sumph’an senseless fallow, had ye been knuckle deep wi’ the nasty drab, ye might a said sae, but ye tell’t me langsyne that ye cou’dna lo’e her, she was sae lazy and lown-like, besides her crookey fit an bow’d legs.

Jock. Ay, but mither, do ye mind since ye sent me out to gie her the parting kiss at the black hole o’ the peet-stack, she rave the button frae my kreeks, and wad gar me do’t, an bade me do’t; an cou’d flesh an blood refuse to do’t? I’m sure, mither, I cou’d ne’er get her wi’ bairn wi’ my breeks on.

Mith. Na, na, poor simple silly lad, the weans no yours, ilka ane loups on o’ anither, an ye'll get the wyte o’ a’ the bystarts that are round about the country.

Up gets Maggy wi’ a roar, an rives her hair, and cries, O her back, her belly, an baith her sides; the weed an gut gaes thro’ my flesh, like lang needles, nails, or elshin-irons! Wae be to the day that e’er I saw his face, I had better married a tinker, or a followed the sodgers, as mony a honest man's dochter has done, an liv’d a better life than I do.

Up gets Jockey, an rins o’er the rigs for John Roger’s wife, auld Kitty the howdy; but or he wan back, she parted wi’ Patrick thro’ perfect spite, an then lay twa-fauld o’er a stool in a swoon.

Jock. A-well, sirs, tho’ my firstborn is e’en dead without seeing the light of the warld, ye’s a’ get bread an cheese to the blythemeat, the thing we shou’d a war’d on the banket will fair the burial, an that will ay be fome advantage; an Maggy shou’d die, I maun een tak Jenny, the tane is as far a length as the tither; I’se be furnish’t wi’ a wife between the twa.

But Maggy grew better the next day, and was able to muck the byre; yet there gaed sic a tittle-tatlin thro’ the town, every auld wife tell'd anither o’t, an a’ the light-hippet hissies that rins between towns at ee , tugging at their tow-rocks, spread it round the kintry, and every body’s mouth was fill’d wi’ Jockey and Jenny, an how Maggy had parted wi’ bairn.

At last Mess John Hill hears of the foul fact, and sends the Elder of that quarter and Clinkum Bell the grave-maker, to summon Jockey and Jenny to the Session, and to see how the stool of repentance wad set them. No sooner had they entered the door, but Maggy fa’s a greeting and wringing her hands! Jockey’s fell a flyting, and he himself a-rubbing his lugs, and riving his hair, crying out, O gin I were but a half ell higher, I sud be a sodger or it be lang; an gie me a good flail or a corn-fork, I sud kill Frenchmen anew, before I gade to face yon flyting Ministers, an be set up like a warld’s wonder on their cock-stool or black-stool; an wha can hide the shame, whan every body looks to them, wi’ their sacken sarks or gowns on them, like the piece of an auld can’as prickt about a body, for naething but what every body does amaist or they be married as well as me.

Mith. My man, Johnny, ye’re no the first that has done it; an ye’ll no be the last; e’en mony o’ the ministers has done if themselves, bout ay, e’en yaur father an I did it mony a time.

Mag. Ay, ay, an that gars your son be so good o’ as he is; the thing that’s bred in the flesh, is ill to pit out o’ the bane.

Mith. Datt woman, what way wad the warld stand if fouks wadna mak use o’ ither? 'Tis the thing that’s natural, bairns-getting; therefore it’s no to be scunner’d at.

Mag. Ay, ay, but an they be for the like o’ that they shou’d marry.

Mith. But I think there’s little ill tho’ they try it ance or twice or they be married, ’tis an unco thing for a body to be bouud till a business or they ken whether they be able for it or no.

Mag. Ay, ay, that’s your way of doing and his, but it’s no the way of ither honest fouk ; see what the Minister will say to it.

Mith. The Minister is but a mortal man, an there’s defections in his members as well as in mine.

Mag. Ay, but fouk shou’d ay strive to mortify their members.

Mith. Ay, ay, mortify their members! that’s yer Whiggery indeed : But will you or ony body else, wi’ your mortifying o' your members, prevent what’s to come to pass? I wish I saw the Minister an his Elders, I’se gie them Scripture for a’ he’s pone yet: Tell na me about the mortifying o’ members, gin he has gotten a bystart, let her an him feed it between them, an they sud gie’t soup about; but she maun keep it the first quarter, an be that time muckle black Lady will be caust; we sall sell the cauf, an foster the wean on the cow’s milk; that’s a better mense for a faut, than a’ your mortifying o' members, an a’ your repenting stools ; a wheen Papist rites, an rotteu ceremonies fashing fouks wi’ sack gowus, an buttock-mails, an I dinna ken what.— But bide ye, till I see the Minister.


Now, Jockey and his mither went into the little byre and held a private meeting, nane present but auld Bruckie an the twa brutes the bits a couties, that she might give him counsel how to behave when he appeared before Mess John, to answer for his bystart: Which concludes the third and last part.

 

PART III.

Now, Jockey having been three times summon’d to the Session, but did not appear, the Session insisted for a Warrant from the Justice of the Peace, which was readily granted, more for diversion than justice-sake. The Warrant was given to John King, the Conhable, who went away with Clinkem Bell on Saturday’s morning, and catch’d John just at his brose : They haul’d him awa, ane at ilka oxter, like twa butcher-dogs hinging at a bill’s beard; his mitber follow’d, driving him up with good counsel, an kindly words of encouragement, saying, My braw man, Johnny, haud up your head, an dinna think shame, for a’ your fauts is but perfect honesty, you’re neither a thief, whore, nor horse-stealer, a’ your crime is common.

Then Maggy ran for uncle Rabby, an uncle Rabby sent for Sandy the Souter of Seggyhole ; the Sourer saddled his mare, an uncle Rabby got aff at the gallop on his grey powney, west the hags, an o’er by Whitehill-sheugh, the nearest, and was at Sir James the Justice lang or John was brought into judgment.

John enters before the Justice with a red red face, like a well-paid arse, faus down on his knees, saying, Guide'en Mr. Justice, Sir James an’t please your honour, you mauna put me in prison, for I’m no a malefactor, but a poor honest kintryman, that was born under an ill planet, my mither says; I had the ill luck o’ a misfortune to fa’ foul wi’ fornication, an got my mither’s lass wi’ bairn the last year, an they’re gaun to father’t on me the year.

The Justice, smiling, answer’d, Indeed John, I think it is but very just and reasonable, that ye be accountable this year for your last year’s labours.

Jock. Ay, ay, Stir, I ha’e labour’d very sair since my father died, but our plough canna get gane for frost this four days.

Just. Ay, but John, that’s no what I mean, ’tis the child you got last year, ye must be answerable for this.

Jock. A deed, Stir, there was twa o' them, but there is ane o, them dead.

Just. A-well then, John, you’ll have the more to give the one that’s alive.

Jock. O but, Stir, it’s my ain wean that’s dead, the ane I got wi' my wife; I dinna ken whither the tither be mine or no.

Just. Your’s or no, sir, when ye told me ye got it! If ye should get it wi’ a beggar wife at the back o’ a dyke, what’s that to the purpose? When it is of your getting, you must maintain it.

Jock. O yes, Stir, I’m no refusing to gie meat an meal to maintain it; but my mither winna lat me gae to the black-stool.

Just. O John, you must go to the black-stool, when you have been guilty of such a sinful action as deserves it: If you have any reasons why you should not go, argument it in the Session, an clear yourself if you can.— To which Jockey was obedient.

Off he goes to the Minister, and owns a' his fau’t to him; and Mess John desir’d him to appear before the congregation the next Sabbath-day, to be rebuked for his fau’t.

Jock. A-deed, Stir, I wad think naething tp stan’ a time or twa on the black-stool, to please you, if there were naebody in the Kirk, on a uke-day, but you an the Elders to flyte a wee on me; but 'tis war on a Sunday, to hae a-body looking an laughing at me, as I had been coding the pease, sippin the kirn, or smething that’s no bonny, like pissing the bed.

Minst. A-weel John, never mind you these things, but come ye to the stool, it’s nothing when ’tis over, we cannot say o’er muckle to you about it.

Upon Sunday thereafter John comes with Uncle Rabby’s auld wide coat, a muckle grey lang-tail’d wig', an a big bonnet, which cover’d his face, so that he seem’d more like an old Pilgrim than a young forni ator; mounts the creepy wi’ a stiff, stiff back, as he had been a man of sixty! Every one looked at him, thinking he was some old stranger, who knew not the stool of repentance by another seat, so that he passed the first day unknown but to very few; yet, on the second, it came to be so well known, that the whole parish, and many more, came to see him ; which caused such a confusion that he was absolved, and got his children baptized the next day.

But there happened a tullie between the twa mothers, who wopld have both their names to be John. A-weel a-weel, says auld John, their father, to the Minister, a-deed, Stir, ye maun ca’ the tane John, an the tither Jock, an’ that viil please baith these enemies o’ mankind.

Minis. Now John, you must never kiss any other woman but your own wife; live justly, like another honest man., and you’ll come to die well.

Jock. A black end on a me, Stir, an ever I lay a unlawfu’ leg upon hissie again, an they sude lie down to me, while our Maggy lasts; an for dying, there’s nae fear o’that; but I’ll no get fair play, if ye an a’ the aulder fouk in the parish be not dead before me. So I hae done wi’ now. Fareweel Stir.

 

FINIS.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.