Mr Croftangry introduces another tale.

    Together both on the high lawns appeared.
    Under the opening eyelids of the morn
    They drove afield.
                          _Elegy on Lycidas_.

  I have sometimes wondered why all the favourite
occupations and pastimes of mankind go to the
disturbance of that happy state of tranquillity, that
_Otium_, as Horace terms it, which he says is the
object of all men's prayers, whether preferred from
sea or land; and that the undisturbed repose, of
which we are so tenacious, when duty or necessity
compels us to abandon it, is precisely what we long
to exchange for a state of excitation, as soon as we
may prolong it at our own pleasure.  Briefly, you
have only to say to a man, ``remain at rest,'' and you
instantly inspire the love of labour.  The sportsman
toils like his gamekeeper, the master of the
pack takes as severe exercise as his whipper-in,
the statesman or politician drudges more than the
professional lawyer; and, to come to my own case,
the volunteer author subjects himself to the risk
of painful criticism, and the assured certainty of
mental and manual labour, just as completely as his
needy brother, whose necessities compel him to
assume the pen.

  These reflections have been suggested by an annunciation
on the part of Janet, ``that the little
Gillie-whitefoot was come from the printing-office.''

  ``Gillie-blackfoot you should call him, Janet,''
was my response, ``for he is neither more nor less
than an imp of the devil, come to torment me for
_copy_, for so the printers call a supply of manuscript
for the press.''

  ``Now, Cot forgie your honour,'' said Janet;
``for it is no like your ainsell to give such names
to a faitherless bairn.''

  ``I have got nothing else to give him, Janet---
he must wait a little.''

  ``Then I have got some breakfast to give the
bit gillie,'' said Janet; ``and he can wait by the fireside
in the kitchen, till your honour's ready; and
cood enough for the like of him, if he was to wait
your honour's pleasure all day.''

  ``But, Janet,'' said I to my little active superintendent,
on her return to the parlour, after having
made her hospitable arrangements, ``I begin to
find this writing our Chronicles is rather more tiresome
than I expected, for here comes this little
fellow to ask for manuscript---that is, for something
to print---and I have got none to give him.''

  ``Your honour can be at nae loss; I have seen
you write fast and fast enough; and for subjects,
you have the whole Highlands to write about, and
I am sure you know a hundred tales better than
that about Hamish MacTavish, for it was but about
a young cateran and an auld carline, when all's
done; and if they had burned the rudas queen for
a witch, I am thinking, may be, they would not
have tyned their coals---and her to gar her neer-do-weel
son shoot a gentleman Cameron! I am
third cousin to the Camerons mysell---my blood
warms to them---And if you want to write about
deserters, I am sure there were deserters enough
on the top of Arthur's Seat, when the MacRaas
broke out, and on that woful day beside Leith

  Here Janet began to weep, and to wipe her
eyes with her apron.  For my part, the idea I
wanted was supplied, but I hesitated to make use
of it.  Topics, like times, are apt to become common
by frequent use.  It is only an ass like Justice
Shallow, who would pitch upon the overscutched
tunes, which the carmen whistled, and
try to pass them off as his _fancies_ and his _good-nights_.
Now, the Highlands, though formerly a
rich mine for original matter, are, as my friend Mrs
Bethune Baliol warned me, in some degree worn
out by the incessant labour of modern romancers
and novelists, who, finding in those remote regions
primitive habits and manners, have vainly imagined
that the public can never tire of them; and so kilted
Highlanders are to be found as frequently, and
nearly of as genuine descent, on the shelves of a
circulating library, as at a Caledonian ball.  Much
might have been made at an earlier time out of the
history of a Highland regiment, and the singular
revolution of ideas which must have taken place in
the minds of those who composed it, when exchanging
their native bills for the battle-fields of
the Continent, and their simple, and sometimes
indolent domestic habits for the regular exertions
demanded by modern discipline.  But the market
is forestalled.  There is Mrs Grant of Laggan, has
drawn the manners, customs, and superstitions of
the mountains in their natural unsophisticated
state;* and my friend, General Stewart of Garth,*

*    Letters from the Mountains, 3 vols.---Essays on the Superstitions
     of the Highlanders---The Highlanders, and other
     Poems, &c.

*    The gallant and amiable author of the History of the
     Highland Regiments, in whose glorious services his own
     share had been great, went out Governor of St Lucie in 1828,
     and died in that island on the I8th of December 1829,---no
     man more regretted, or perhaps by a wider circle of friends
     and acquaintance.

in giving the real history of the Highland regiments,
has rendered any attempt to fill up the
sketch with fancy-colouring extremely rash and
precarious.  Yet I, too, have still a lingering fancy
to add a stone to the cairn; and without calling
in imagination to aid the impressions of juvenile
recollection, I may just attempt to embody one or
two scenes illustrative of the Highland character,
and which belong peculiarly to the Chronicles of
the Canongate, to the greyheaded eld of whom
they are as familiar as to Chrystal Croftangry.  
Yet I will not go back to the days of clanship and
claymores.  Have at you, gentle reader, with a
tale of Two Drovers.  An oyster may be crossed
in love, says the gentle Tilburina---and a drover
may be touched on a point of honour, says the
Chronicler of the Canongate.