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ing so much diverted by any scene I ever witnessed, or laughing as immoderately as I have done at seeing Oscar involved in a moving cloud of wild bees, wheeling, snapping on all sides, and shaking his ears incessantly

The sagacity which this animal possessed is almost incredible, while his undaunted spirit and generosity would do honour to every servant of our own species to copy. Twice did he save his master's life: at one time when attacked by a furious bull, and at another time when he fell from behind my father, off a horse in a flooded river. Oscar had just swimmed across, but instantly plunged in a second time to his master's rescue. He first got hold of his bonnet, but that coming off, he quitted it, and again catching him by the coat, brought him to the side, where my father reached him. He waked Duncan at a certain hour every morning, and would frequently turn the cows of his own will, when he observed them wrong. If Duncan dropped his knife, or any other small article, he would fetch it along in his mouth; and if sent back for a lost thing, would infallibly find it. When sixteeen years of age, after being unwell for several days, he died one night below his master's bed. On the evening before, when Duncan came in from the plough, he came from his hiding-place, wagged his tail, licked Duncan's hand, and returned to his death-bed. Duncan and I lamented him with unfeigned sorrow, buried him below the old rowan tree at the back of

my father's garden, placing a square stone at his head, which was still standing the last time I was there. With great labour, we composed an epitaph between us, which was once carved on that stone; the metre was good, but the stone was so hard, and the engraving so faint, that the characters, like those of our early joys, are long ago defaced and extinct.

Often have I heard my mother relate with enthusiasm, the manner in which she and my father first discovered the dawnings of goodness and facility of conception in Duncan's mind, though, I confess, dearly as I loved him, these circumstances escaped my observation. It was my father's invariable custom to pray with the family every night before they retired to rest, to thank the Almighty for his kindness to them during the bygone day, and to beg his protection through the dark and silent watches of the night. I need not inform any

of

my readers, that that amiable (and now too much neglected and despised) duty, consisted in singing a few stanzas of a psalm, in which all the family joined their voices with my father's, so that the double octaves of the various

ages

and sexes swelled the simple concert. He then read a chapter from the Bible, going straight on from beginning to end of the Scriptures. The

prayer concluded the devotions of each evening, in which the downfall of Antichrist was always strenuously urged, the ministers of the Gospel remembered, nor was any

friend or neighbour in distress forgot.

The servants of a family have, in general, liberty either to wait the evening prayers, or retire to bed as they incline, but no consideration whatever could induce Duncan to go one night to rest without the prayers, even though both wet and weary, and entreated by my parents to retire, for fear of catching cold. It seems that I had been of a more complaisant disposition ; for I was never very hard to prevail with in this respect; nay, my mother used to say, that I was extremely apt to take a pain about my heart at that time of the night, and was, of course, frequently obliged to betake me to the bed before the worship commenced.

It might be owing to this that Duncan's emotions on these occasions escaped my notice. He sung a treble to 'the old church tunes most sweetly, for he had a melodious voice; and when my father read the chapter, if it was in any of the historical parts of Scripture, he would lean upon the table, and look him in the face, swallowing every sentence with the ut

most avidity. At one time, as my father read the 45th chapter of Genesis, he wept so bitterly, that at the end my father paused, and asked what ailed him ? Duncan told him that he did not know.

At another time, the year following, my father, in the course of his evening devotions, had reached the 19th chapter of the book of Judges ; when he began reading it, Duncan was seated on the other side of the house, but ere it was half done, he had stolen

up
close to my

father's elbow. «« Consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds," said my father, and closed the book. Go on, go on if you please, Sir," said Duncan" go on, and let us hear what they said about it." My father looked sternly in Duncan’s faee, but seeing him abashed on account of his hasty breach of decency, without uttering a word, he again opened the Bible, and read the 20th chapter throughout, notwithstanding of its great length Next day Duncan was walking about with the Bible below his arm, begging of every body to read it to him again and again. This incident produced a conversation between my parents, on the expenses and utility of education ; the consequence of which was, that the week following, Dancan and I were sent to the parish school, and began at the same instant to the study of that most important and fundamental branch of literature, the A, B, C; but my sister Mary, who was older than I, was already an accurate and elegant reader.

This reminds me of another anecdote of Duncan, with rem gard to family worship, which I have often heard related, and which I myself may well remember. My father happening to be absent over night at a fair, when the usual time of worship arrived, my mother desired a lad, one of the servants, to act as chaplain for that night ; the lad declined it, and slunk away to his bed. My mother testified her regret that we should all be obliged to go prayerless to our beds for that night, observing, that she did not remember the time when

it had so happened before. Duncan said, he thought we might contrive to manage it amongst us, and instantly proposed to sing the psalm and pray, if Mary would read the chapter. To this my mother with some hesitation agreed, remarking, that if he prayed as he could, with a pure heart, his prayer had as good a chance of being accepted as some others that were better worded. Duncan could not then read, but having learned several psalms from Mary by rote, he caused her seek out the place, and sung the 23d Psalm from end to end, with great sweetness and decency: Mary read a chapter in the New Testament, and then (my mother having a child on her knee,) we three kneeled in a row, while Duncan prayed thus :- “ O Lord, be thou our God, our guide, and our guard unto death, and through death,” that was a sentence my

father often used in his prayer; Duncan had laid hold of it, and my mother began to think that he had often prayed previous to that time. “O Lord, thou”-continued Duncan, but his matter was exhausted ; a long pause ensued, which I at length broke, by bursting into a loud fit of laughter. Duncan rose hastily, and, without once lifting up his head, went crying to his bed; and as I continued to indulge in laughter, my mother, for my irreverend behaviour, struck me across the shoulders with the tongs; our evening devotions terminated exceedingly ill, I went crying to my bed after Duncan, even louder than he, and abusing him for his useless prayer, for which I had been nearly felled.

By the time that we were recalled from school to herd the cows next summer, we could both read the Bible with considerable facility, but Duncan far excelled me in perspicacity; and so fond was he of reading Bible history, that the reading of it was now our constant amusement. Often have Mary, and he, and I, lain under the same plaid by the side of the corn or meadow, and read chapter about on the Bible for hours together, weeping over the failings and fall of good men, and wondering at the inconceivable might of the heroes of antiquity. Never was man so delighted as Duncan was when he came to the history of Samson, and afterwards of David and Goliath ; he could not be satisfied until he had read it to every individual with whom he was acquainted, judging it to be as new and as interesting to every one as it was to himself. I have seen him standing by the girls as they were milking the cows, reading to them the feats of Samson ; and, in short, harassing every man and woman about the hamlet for audience. On Sundays, my parents accompanied us to the fields, and joined in our delightful exercise.

Time passed away, and so also did our youthful delights ! but other cares and other pleasures awaited us. As we ad-vanced in years and strength, we quitted the herding, and bore a hand in the labours of the farm. Mary, too, was often our assistant. She and Duncan were nearly of an age-he was tall, comely, and affable; and if Mary was not the prettiest girl in the parish, at least Duncan and I believed her to be so, which, with us, amounted to the same thing. We often compared the other girls in the parish with one another, as to their beauty and accomplishments, but to think of comparing any of them with Mary, was entirely out of the question. She was, indeed, the emblem of truth, simplicity, and innocence, and if there were few more beautiful, there were still fewer so good and amiable; but still as she advanced in years,

she

grew fonder and fonder of being near Duncan; and by the time she was nineteen, was so deeply in love, that it affected her manner, her spirits, and her health. At one time she was gay and frisky as a kitten; she would dance, sing, and laugh violently at the most trivial incidents. At other times she was silent and sad, while a languishing softness overspread her features, and added greatly to her charms. The passion • was undoubtedly mutual between them ; but Duncan, either from a sense of honour, or some other cause, never declared

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