Jocky and Maggy.
IN FIVE PARTS.
I. Jockey and Maggy's Courtship, as they were coming from the Market.
II. The wonderful Works of our John, shewing how he made Janet like an Elshinhaft, and got his ain Maggy wi' Bairn forby.
III. The wonderful Works of our John made manifest before the Minister.
IV. How Jockey and his Mither went away to see his Bastard Child.
V. How Jockey had another Child, and could not get it baptized until he mounted the Stool; with an Account of his Mither's Death and Burial; Also an elegant Elegy on the same Occasion.
Carefully Corrected and Revised by the Author.
PRINTED BY J. & M. ROBERTSON, SALTMARKET, 1801.
JOCKEY AND MAGGY'S COURTSHIP, as they were coming from the Market.
Jockey. HEY Maggy, wiltu stay and tak kent fouks hame wi' ye the night?
Maggy. Wiltu come awa' than, Johnny, I fain wad be hame or the kye come in; our meikle Riggy is sic a rumbling royte, she rins ay through the byre, and sticks a the bits a couties; my mither is na able to haud her to her ain stake.
Jock. Hute, we'll be hame in bra' time woman; And hows a' your fouks at hame.
Mag. Indeed I canna well tell you, man, our guidame is a' gane wi' the gut; my mither is very frail, my father he's aye wandering about and widling 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 Tammy Tailtrees was seeking me, my father wad a hane me tak him, but my mither wadna let; there was an odd debate about it, my guidame wad a sticket my mither wi' the grape, if my father hadna' chanc'd to founder her wi' the beetle.
Jock. Hegh woman! I think your father was a fool for fashing wi' him, auld slavery duse, he wants naething of a cow but the clutes: your guidame may tak him hersel, twa auld tottering stumps, the tane may fair the tither fu' well.
Mag. Ach man! I wad a tane thee or ony body to hane them greed again, my father bled my guidame's nose, and my guidame brake my mither's thumb, the neighbours came a'rinning in, but I had luck to haud my father's hands, till yence my guidame plotted him wi' the broc that was to 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.
(Shake hands for fear of an outcast.)
Jock. Indeed, Maggy, the fouk of your town an the fouk of our town, says we are gawn to be married, what say'st thou?
Mag.I wish we near do war. O Johnny! I dreamed of you lang syne, and I liket you aye 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 I 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 assure ye.
Jock. Nor at mine, but my mither bade me kiss ye.
Mag. Indeed fall ye Johnny, thou's no want twa kisses, ane on every side o' the mouth, man.
Jock. Ha, ha! Maggy, I'll hae a merry night o' kissing you shortly.
Mag. Ay, but Johnny, ye 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 mither say in her daffin, that fouk sud ay try gin their house wad their plenishen.
Mag. Ay but, Johnny, a wife is ae thing and a house anither, a man that's a mind to marry a woman, he'd no mak her a whore.
Jock. 'Tis a' true, Maggy, but fouks may do it yence, or they be married, and no hae nae ill in their minds.
Mag. Aha, Johnny, mony a ane has been beguil'd wi' yence, and do it yence we may do it aye, what an we get a bystart, and hae to suffer for the foul fact of fornication?
Jock. Ay, but my mither says, if I dinna get thee wi' bairn, I'll no get thee, so 'tis the surest way of wooing.
Mag. Indeed, Johnny, I like you better than ony lad I see, and I sall marry you an yence my father's muck were out: my mither downa wirk at the midden.
Jock. A Maggy, Maggy, I am fear'd ye beguile me, and then my mither will murder me for being so silly.
Mag. My joe Jockey, tell your mither to provide a' things for the bridal, and I sall marry you in three ouks after this, but ye maun gie in siller to the precentor, a groat and a drink to the bellman, and then the kirk wa's maun hear o't three Sundays or it come.
Jock. But Maggy, I'm no to mak a blin bargain wi' you nor nae body, I maun ken o' your things and 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 match, I darna meet you to be married.
Jock. I see na how he can be angry; I wat well I'm a gay sturdy fellow, when I laid a bow and five pecks o' bear on the laird's Bawsy, and he's as bilshy a beast as is in a' the Baronry.
Mag. Ay but my mither is ay angry at ony body that evens themselves to me, an it binna them she likes, indeed she bade 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 Maggy! tak me an I'll tell you what I hae; first my father left me when he died, fifty merks twa seeks, twa pair o' sunks, the hens, an the gaun gear was to be divided between me and my mither, and if she died first, a' her gear was to come in amang mine, an if I died before her, a' my gear was to come back to her again. 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' can'as, she is to big twa bey to her ain gavel to be a dwelling-house to me and 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 whan she dies am to pay for the yerding o' her honestly; 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 meikle to the contrair, but an 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 sae 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 naething but twa bair legs.
Mag. O Johnny ye're in the right o't, for mony ane is beguil'd and gets naething, but my father is to gie me forty pounds Scots that night am married, a lade o' meal, a furlet o' groats; auld Crummie is mine since she was a ca'f, and now she has a stirk will tak the bill e'er beltan yet, I hae twa stane o' good lint, and three pockfu's o' tow, a good ca'fbed, twa bousters and three cods, with three pair o' blankets, an a covering, forby twa pair to spin, but my mither wadna gie me creesh to them, an ye ken the butter is dear now.
Jock. Then farewel the night Maggy: the best of friends maun part, and so maun thy twa legs yet.
Mag. I wish you well Johnny, but say nae mair till we be married, and then, lad.
(Hame gaed Maggy and tell'd her Mither.)
Maggy. O mither! I hae something to tell ye but ye manna tell my father.
Mither.Dear Maggy, and what is that?
Mag. Deed mither, am gawn to be married an the muck were out.
Mith. Dear Maggy, and whafe thou gan to get, 'tis no auld bubly Tammy?
Mag. Na, na, he’s a braw young man, and has mair gear nor ilka body kens o', guess an I'll tell you, 'tis Johnny Bell, and his mither sent him to the market just to court me.
Mit. Deed Maggy, ye'll no be ill yoket wi' him, he's a gay well gaun fellow, right spruce, amaist like an ill-far'd gentleman. Hey guidman, do ye hear that our Maggy is gaun to be married an the muck were out.
Father. Na, na, I'll no allow that until the peats be cuffen and hurl'd.
Mag. O Father! 'tis dangerous to delay the like o' that, I like him, and he likes me; 'tis best to strike the iron when 'tis hot.
Fat. An wha is she gaun to get, guidwife?
Mit. An wha think ye, guidman?
Fat. An what wat I, herie, an she please herself, am pleas'd already.
Mit. Indeed she's gawn to get Johnny Bell, as cliver a little fellow, as in a' the barony whar he bides.
Fat. A well, a well, herie, she's your's as well as mine, gie her to wha ye like.
Mith. A well Maggy, I'se hae a' things ready, an I'll hae thee married or this month be done.
Mag. Thanks to ye, Mither, mony a good turn ye done me, and this will be the best, I think.
(Home gaed Jockey to his mither, crying.)
Jockey. Mither! mither! I made it out, her mouth is sweeter na milk, my heart plays a' whiltie whaltie, whan I kist her.
Mit. Fair fa' thee my son Johnny, thou's gotten the gate o't at last, and whan is thou gaun to be married?
Jock. When I like mither, but get 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, but pusht forward as fast as you can.
The wooing being o'er and 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 prevent the ripples, five peck o' maut masket in the meikle kirn, a pint o' trykle to mak it thicker an 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 together and came hame in a croud, at every change-house they chanced to pass by, providence stopt their proceedings, with full stoups, bottles and glasses drinking their healths, wishing them much joy, ten 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 lang, which afterwards coupt him up, and proved detrimental to the same.
So hame came they to the dinner where his mither presented to them a piping het haggies, made of the creish of the black boul horn'd Ewe, boil'd in the meikle bag, 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 seiz'd with a bocking and rebounding, gave his dinner such a backward ca' that he lost a' but the girt bits he scythed through his teeth; his mither cried to spence him, and bed him with the bride, his breeks being fill'd, they washed both his hips, 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 a' on ae day: some cuist water in his face, and jag'd him wi' a needle, till he began to rouze himself up, and rap out broken words. Mither, mither, 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, an is my bridal done else, Ay, said she, here's the bride to lie down wi' you: Na, na, said he, I'll no lie wi' that unco woman indeed, if I binna heads an thraws the way I lay wi' my mither! O fy! dinna affront yourſel. The bride faus a crying, 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 cau'd thy hogs to a bonny market. A bonny market, says his mither, a shame fa' you an her baith, he's wordy o' her, though she were better nor what she is, or e'er will be. His friends and her friends being in a mixt multitude, some took his part, an 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, trunchers, were flying like bombs and granadoes. The crook, bouls and tangs were all employed as weapons of war, till down came the bed with a great mow of peats. So disturbet their bedding.
NOW though all the ceremonies of Jockey and Maggy's wedding were ended, when they were fairly bedded, before a wheen rattling unruly witnesses, who dang down the bed aboon them; the battle still encreased, and John's works turn'd out to be very wonderfu', for he made Janet that was his mither's lass the last year, grow like an elshin 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 stively wi' a stiff rumple, and by strength of his arms rave them sindry, flingin the tane east and the tither west, until they stood a' round about like as mony breathless forfoughten cocks, and no ane durst steer anither for him, Jockey's mither was driven o'er a kist, and brogit a' her hips on a round heckle, up she gat rinning to fell Maggy's mither wi' the ladle, swearing she was the mither of a' the mischief that happened, uncle Rabby ran in between them, he having a great long nose like a trumpet, she recklessly came o'er his lobster neb a drire wi' the ladle till the blood sprang out an ran down his auld grey beard, and hang like snuffy bubbles at it: O! then he gaed wood, and looked as waefu' like, as he had been a tod lowrie come frae worrying the lambs wi' his bloody mouth. Wi' 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 fiddler, 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 supple made their pows baith saft and fair that night; but daft Maggy Simpson sat by the fire and picked banes a' the time o' the battle; indeed, quoth she, I think you're a' fools but mysel; for I came here to get a good 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 cou'dna get his breeks; yet wi' a horse-nail he tacked 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 fiddler 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 go like a rain-bow 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 cuttet lugs, an' wash their fairs, a' but Jockey's mither, who cries out, a black end on you a' 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 uncle Rabby, an auld Sandy the sutor o' Seggyhole, to put every thing in order; they prapped up the bed wi' a rake and a rippling kame, the bearers being broken, they made a solid foundation o' peets, laid on the ca'f bed and bowsters, where Jockey and Maggy was bedded the second time.
Jockey no being used to lie wi' a naked woman, except heads and thraws wi' his mither, gets his twa hands about the bride's neck, and his hough out o'er her hurdies, saying, I ne'er kiss'd wife nor lass naked before, and for fainess I'll bite you, I'll bite you, &c. Naithing mair remarkable till about ha'f a year, and four oukes thereafter, in comes Marion Mushet runnin' bare foot and bare legit, wi' bleart cheeks, and a watery nose, cursing and banning, greeting and flyting.
Marion enters, crying, An whar's John.
His mither answers, Indeed his out in the yard powing kail runts.
Mar. A black end on a him an his runts baith, for he's ruin'd me an my bairn.
Mit. 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 like a pack o' woo; indeed she's wi' quick bairn, and your John is the father o't.
Mit. Our John the father o't! had, there enough said, lying lown, I trow our John was ne'er guilty o' sic a sinfu' action: Daft woman, I true it'll be but wind that hoves up in the lassie's wame, she'll hae drunken some sour drink like raw sowens, or rotten milk that mak's her sae.
Mar. A wae be to him and his actions baith, he's the father o't, fornicator dog, that he's: he's ruin'd me an my bairn; I bore her and 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 clease, or tak a louse aff ither.
Mit. I bid you haud your tongue, and no even your bystarts to my bairn, for he'll ne'er tak wi't:, poor silly lad, he wad 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 for saying 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?
Mit.. Ay brose, black brose indeed for thee, my bairn; here Marion Mushet saying ye hae gotten her dochter wi' bairn.
Jock. 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 Lamass fair, and let glam at her nonsense.
Mit. Ay, ay, my man Johnny, that's the way she has gotten her belly fu' o' bairns; 'tis no you nor the like o' you, poor innocent lad, that gets bystart weans: a wheen filthy lowns, every ane loups on anither, and gie's you the wyte o' a'.
Mar. You may say what you like about it, 'tis easy to ca' a court whar there's nae body to say again, but I'll tell you a' I ken about it, and that is what she tell't me, and you guidwife tell't me some o't yoursel; an gin ye hadna brought in Maggy wi' her muckle tocher atween the twa, your Jockie and my Jenny had a been man an wife the day.
Jock. I wat well that's true.
Mar. Ye filthy dog that ye are, are ye gawn to confess wi' a bystart, an it no yours: dinna I ken as well as ye do wha's aught it?
Jock. Ay but mither, we may deny as we will about it, but I doubt it come to my ain door at last.
Mith. Ye silly sumph and senseless fallow, had ye been knuckle deep wi' the dirty drab, ye might a said sae, but ye tell't me lang syne that ye coudna lo'e her, she was so lazy an lown like; besides her crooked fit and 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 breeks, and wad gar me do't: and bade me do't, and cou'd flesh and blood refuse to do't: I'm sure, mither, I cou'd ne'er get her wi' bairn an my breeks on.
Mit. Na, na, poor simple silly lad, the wean's no yours, ilk ane loups on o' anither as you'll get the wite o' a' the bystarts round about.
Up get's Maggy wi' a roar, and rives her hair, cries her back, belly and 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 tinkler, or a followed the fogers, as mony a honest man's dochter has done, and 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, a well, sirs, since my first born is e'en dead without seeing the light o' the warld, ye's a' get bread an cheese to the blyth-meat, the thing we shou'd a war'd on the banket will fair the burial, an that will ay be some advantage; and Maggy should 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 tattling thro' the town, every auld wife tell'd anither o't, and a' the light hippit hissies that rins between towns at een, tugging at their tow rocks, spread it round the kintry; and every body's mouth was fill'd wi' Jockey and Jenny, and how Maggy had parted wi' bairn.
At last Mess John Hill hears of the horrid action, and sends the elder of that quarter and Clinkem 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 mither fell a fliting, and he himſelf a rubbing his lugs, and riving his hair, saying, O gin I were but a half ell higher, I sud be a soger or it be lang: and gie me a good flail or a corn fork, I sud kill Frenchmen enew, before I gade to face yon flyting ministers, an be set up like a warld's wonder, on their cock-stool or black-stool, and wha can bide the shame, when every body looks to them, wi' their sacken sarks or gowns on them, like a piece of an auld canvas prickt about a body, for naething but what every body does amaist, or they be married as well as me.
Mit. My man Johnny, ye're no the firſt that has done it, an ye'll no be the last; een mony o' the ministers has done it themselves, hout ay, your father and I did it mony a time.
Mag.Mag. Ay, ay, and that gars your son be so good o't as he is, the thing that's bred in the flesh is ill to pit out o' the bane.
Mit. Daft woman, what way wad the warld stand if fouks wadna mak use o' ither? 'tis the thing that's natural, bairns getting; therefore its no to be scunner'd at.
Mag. Ay, ay, but an they be for the like o' that, they, should marry.
Mit. But I think there's little ill though they try it ance or twice or they be married? 'tis, an unco thing till a body to be bound to a business, if they dinna ken whether they be able for it or no.
Mag. Ay, ay, that's your way o' doing and, his, but it's no the way o' ither honest fouk: see what the will say to it.
Mit. The minister is but a mortal man, an there's defections in his members as well as mine.
Mag. Ay, but fouk shou'd ay strive to mortify their members.
Mith. An is that your Whigry? 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, but I'se gae him scripture for a' he's done yet; tell na me about the mortifying o' members, gin he hae gotten a bystart, let her an him feed it between them, an they su'd gie't soup about: but she maun keep it the first quarter, au be that time muckle black lady 'ill 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 Papish rites an rotten ceremonies, fashing fouks wi' sack-gowns an buttock-mails, an I dinnawhat, but bide you yet till I see the minister.
NOW Jockey an 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.
Mit. Ye silly dog, an be drown'd to you, how cou'd ye confess sae meikle to maislie shanket Marion, altho' she be her mither.
Jock. O mither! mither! sae nae mair about it, my ain wand has dung me dourly: sadly have I suffer'd for that, and ye ken a' the misery's com'd o'er our Maggy, my mouth's the mither o't, sae had your tongue I tell ye now.
Mit. An tell ye me to ha'd my tongue, an ye had a handen your tongue and your tail, an a done as I bade you, ye hadna hane sae muckle ado the day, daft silly dog is thou is.
Jock. Mither, mither, gie's nane o' your moak; and malice, for tho' I got the wean, ye hae as muckle the wyte o't as I. Gae seek me out my three new sarks, and Sunday's shune, and I'se gae whar ne'er man saw my face before; neither wood, water nor wilderness, saul haud me again.
Mit. My braw man Johnny, ye manna do that, staying at hame wi' me, an set a stent heart to a stay brae I'se gae to the session wi' you, gang whau' ye like.
Jock. A well, mithur, I sall do your bidding for ance yet, but when the minister flytes on me, answer ye him, for I canna speak well again.
Mit. Say nae mair, I hae a pockfu' o' perfect petitions to louse an put to him an his elders, and if thou maun gae to their black-stool, it's no be thy lane sall sit upon't.
Jock. But, mither, whether sall I deny the doing o't; or confess the game was at the getting o't.
Mit. Ay, ay, confess ye did it, but say but ance, an that was on the terms o' marriage, the way that a' our kintry bystarts is gotten.
Now Jockey being three times summon'd to the session and 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 being given to John King, the constable, who went away with Clinkem Bell, on Saturday's morning, and catched John just at his brose, hauls him awa, ane at ilka oxter like twa butcher dogs hinging at a bill's beard, his mither followed, driving him up with good counsel, my bra' 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.
Then Maggy ran for uncle Rabby, an uncle Rabby sent for Sandy the Souter of Seggyhole, the Souter saddled his mare, an uncle Rabby got aff at the gallop on his gray powney, west the hags, an o'er by Whitehill shugh, the nearest, and was at Sir James the justice lang or Jahn was brought into judgement.
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' please your honour, ye mauna put me in prison, for I'm no a malefactor, but a poor honest kintryman, that was born in an ill planet, my mither says't, I had the ill luck of 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 again.
The justice smiling, answered, 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, sir, I have laboured very fair 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, the child you got last year, ye must be anſwerable for this.
Jock. A deed, sir, 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 wain 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, am no refusing to gie meat an meal to maintain't; but my mither winna let me to the black-stool.
Just.. Why not go to the black-stool, when guilty of such a sinful action as deserves it, if you have any reason why you should not go, argument it in the session, and clear yourself if you can.
John's mither enters, and addresses herself to the servant lass, thinking she was the justice's lady.
Indeed, mistress madam, If ye were a kintry goodwife, like mysel, I cou'd tell ye a' about it, but you that's gentles, I canna use freedom wi' ye, cause I hae na Latin. But waes me, we that's poor fouk is born to mony faelins an backwart faus, this lad is my son, an am his mither, he has had the foul fortune to get a bystart bairn, nae doubt but we hae a' been guilty o' as muckle, an ne'er a word about it, a what say ye madam?
Off goes the lass, saying, foul fa' the wife, for I was ne'er guilty o't.
Just. Well, goodwife, what is the reason but ye let your son give satisfaction to the kirk?
Mith. Deed, stir, he's no denying the bairn, but he'll no hae the black-stool.
Just. Ay, but I'll tell you, them that gets a bastart, gets the black-stool to the bargain, and as he is in my hands now, he must find caution that he will answer the session, an be subject to the law.
Mith. Ony thing ye like, stir, but that shamefu' stance, the black-stool; here's uncle Rabby, an auld Sandy the Soutor, will be caution that we's face the session on Sunday, the rad's wae enough he did it, but he canna help it now, the wean's born and by hand: Sae guidnight wi' your honour's ladyship 'tis the first time e'er I saw you.
On Sabbath after sermon the session met, John and his mother is called upon, he enters courageously, saying, Goodeen to you Master Minister, bellman, an elders a', my mither an me is baith here.
Mess John. Then let her in, come awa', goodwife, What's the reason you kept your son so long back from answering the session? you see it is the thing you are obliged to do at last.
Mit. Deed, stir, I think there needs na be nae mair wark about it, I think when he's gien the lazy hulk the mither o't, baith meal an groats to maintain't, ye needna fash him, he's a dutifu' father indeed, weel I wat, when he feeds his bystart sae weel.
Mess John. Woman, are you a hearer of the gospel? that ye reject the dictates of it, how come you to despise the discipline of the church; Is not offenders to be rebuked and chastised?
Mit. Yes, stir, a' that is very true, but I hae been three or four times through the Bible, and the New Testament, an I never saw a repenting-stool in't a'; then whar cou'd the first o' them come frae, the Apostles had nane o' them. But a daft history book tells me, that the first o' them was used about Rome amang the Papists, an ay when ony o' them turn'd Whigs, they were put' on a four neuked thing, like a yarn-winnle blades, an rave a' their gouls sindry till they turn'd Papists again; an then for anger they put them on a black stane or stool, in the middle o' the kirk, an the seck gown about them, wi' the picture o' the de'il an Satan on't, a sweet be wi' us, we sudna speak o' the ill thief in the kirk, but it is a mercy the minister's here an he come, but that was the original o' your repenting tools, an whan the Whigs chas'd awa' the Papist fouk out o' this kintry, they left a wheen o' their religious pictures, an the stool o' repentance was amangst the spoil, but ye's no get my bairn to set upon a thing as high as a hen-bawk, an ilka body to be glowring at him.
Mess John. Woman, I told you formerly that any who refuses submission to the government of the church, is liable to excommunication: an that we are to put the law in execution against adultery and fornication, or the sin thereof lies partly on our head.
Mith. As for your sin of adultery, I have naething ado wi't: I ken my son is a fornicator, an ye can neither mak him better nor war nor he is, there's nae man can keep a standing in their ain hand, fortune I mean, if it be a sin let him confes't, an forsake it and we's pay the buttock-mail and mak nae mair about it.
Mess John. Goodwife, you need not think your son will pass so, more than others that have been before him, he must actually come before the congregation three Sabbaths before he be absolved from the scandal, and get the benefit of any church privileges like any other honest man.
Mit. Indeed, Mess John, my son shall never set his hips upon't; if he maun come before you, I'se gar him stand a bit back frae't an hear what ye hae to say about fornication, twa harmless free bodies, passing their trial to see what they can do, ye that's Whigs may mak enough ⟨⟩, but I think na muckle about it.
Meſs John. Woman ye may go home and see what ye have to do; ye have a very bad tongue; 'tis no you we have to tak an account of,
Mit. Ay, ay, ye that's ministers and model fouk, may say sae, but if my son had tane as good tent o' his tail, as I can do o' my tongue, there had na been sae muckle about it, a wheen silly lowns kens na what they were made for, or how to guide a thing when they get it.
Mess John. Put her out, she's going to speak bady.
Mit. O ay, stir, I'se gang out, but I'll hae my bairn wi' me.
Mess John. We must first ask some questions at him, there is no harm can come on him here.
Mit. For as good company as you think yourselves, I wad rather hae him in anither place.
(John's kept in and his mother put out.)
Mess John. Well, John, yon must tell us whether this child was gotten before you was married, or since, for I suppose by the time of the birth it is much about the same time?
Jock. Hout ay, stir, it was gotten lang or I was married, I needna forget the getting, it was na sae easy to me.
Mess John. How long is it sincewas first acquaint?
Jock. Just when she came to be my mither's lass, I never saw her but ance before, an gin I had never seen her, I had never kend her after sic a fashious fashion.
Mess John. How long was the serving with your mother?
Jock. Just twa hailyerts: an I got her wi' bairn about a year after she came, and its no a year yet since I was married.
Mess John. Dear John, there is a contradiction indeed, a woman cannot go two years with child.
Jock. Deed stir, it was then the child was first gotten.
Mess John. A John, John, I find you out to be a sinful liver, you and that woman has had carnal dealings for some time; it is ill keeping the cow out of the corn, if she once get a way of going to it, ye should actually have married the poor woman, when ye cohabited so long together.
Jock. No, stir, we didna cow-habit together, tho' she kist me, an I kist her, sometimes in the barn, an sometimes in the byre: nane ken't o't but my mither, an she wadna let me tak her, but sent me awa to court our Maggy.
His mither cries thro' the hole o' the door: A ye senseless sumph, is that a' the thanks I get for counselling you to do weel, war nae me ye wad a been married on a lown like, leepet, lazzy lump; who had neither wit nor wyles, no sae muckle judgement as wyse the wind frae her tail but lute it gang afore fouks.
Up gets the elders crying, Fy, fy, Duncan, the bellman drive that wicked wife frae the door, she disturbs us all.
Duncan runs to the door whispering, shame fa' you for a wife, haud out o' that: but I wad rather hear you, as hear them yet.
Mess John. Now, John, will ye be so plain as tell me whether ye promised to marry the woman or no, when ye lay with her.
Jock. Na, stir, I didna lie wi' her, for the herd an me lay in the byre bed, an she lay in the little langsadle at the hallen-end.
Mess John. 'Tis all one whether ye lay with her or not, when ye have got her with child, that's what ye confess.
Jock. I kenna whether I got her wi' bairn or no: but I did wi' her as I did wi' our Maggy, when she fell wi' bairn.
Mess John. But the question is, whether or no, did you promise to marry her when that child was gotten.
Jock. Hut, tut, stir, ye wad fash fouk splering a' thing, it was her that promist to marry me for the getting o't.
Mess John. And did not you do the like to her?
Jock. A what needed I do the like when she an my mither did it a' but the wean getting, she cou'dna do that.
Mess John. Indeed John you seem to have been a parcel of loose livers altogether.
Jock. A looſe, stir, I wish I were loose yet, better be loose than bun to an ill stake.
Mess John. I see it is needless for me to enquire any further into the matter, I find you out guilty, therefore, you must appear publicly on the stool of repentance on Sabbath next, and the two following thereafter, or ye be absolved from the scandal.
Jock. Indeed master minister, am very easy about repentance, an for your stool, 'tis a seat am very indifferent about, for am but bashful, an as I was never guilty o' getting bystarts, either before or sinsyne, except in thoughts, words, deeds, an actions, I think ye may e'n let me pass, I suffered enough wi' the clash of the kintry, an loss of my ain wain, it was nae bystart, ye canna gar me stand for that.
Mess John. You appear to be such a stupid fellow, the like of you should neither have lawful child nor bastard, and I admire that such an ideot as you was allowed to be married to any woman: and you James who is elder of that proportion, should have given information of this man's capacity, before he was joined to a wife.
Elder. Indeed, sir, ye ken very well, he answered the questions at the examine, better nor any other fouks, and I think he is best married, for he might a gotten mae bystarts and a fasht us.
Jock. Indeed, stir, 'tis very true, for when ance I got the gate o' woman, I cou'd na bide aff them, but our Maggy was unco cunnen, she wadna let me do naething but kiss her an kittle her, till ance we was married.
Mess John. I'll ask no more questions at him: call on his mother, (in she comes) Goodwife, we have ordered your son to appear three Sabbaths on the stool, and there to be reproved before the congregation publicly and be absolved from the scandal.
Mith. Then the ill thief be in his arse Mess John gin e'er he set his hip upon't, my bairn on your black-stool! an wadna't be a great blunder on the auld black face o't, to my son to gang on't before the young laird, who has had twa bystarts an ne'er set a hip on't yet, an he's continually riding on the hissies to this day, an them that wadna let him, he rives their duds, an kicks their doups. A dear Mess John, an ye gie gentle fouk a toleration to whore, to fornicate, kiss an cuddle a wee wi' ilka body they like, I'll gie you ten marks an gie't to me an my son too.
Mess John. And what shall we do with these odious persons?
Elders. Indeed, Sir, we see not what we can make of them,
Mess John. Make of them, we'll exclude them from all church benefit, and lay them under the lesser excommunication.
Mith. Indeed, stir, tak your mind o't as our cat did o' the haggies when she sippet it a', and crap in o' the bag.
If ye winna christen the wean, ye canna hinder us to cast a cogfu' o' water on the face o't, and ca't ony thing we like.
So out she goes shooting Jockey before her, so John went an pisht on the auld minister's widow's gavel, an there was nae mair about it that day.
NOW Jockey an his mither came hame the gether, cheek for chow, cracking like twa handguns.
Mith. I trow I have fought a battle this day, an won the field condingly, when I hae conquer'd a' the canker'd carles about the kirk.
Jock. Indeed, mither, I think ye are a better man nor the minister, an gin ye had Arithmattock an Latin, to ken the kittle figures, you might preach as well as he.
Mith. I trow, Jock lad, their black stool o' sham repentance ne'er got sic a rattle as I hae gient the day.
Jock. Na, na, mither, a' the whoremongers that ever set a hip on't kens na sae meikle about the auld foundation o't as ye do.
Mith. But, Johnny man, an thou wad start on Munday, ye an I wad go an see the daft jade, Jenny the mither o't.
Jock. Wi' a' my heart, mither, but we maun giet something, an it were an auld servet, or an auld sark, to keep the hips o't warm, young weans is ay wet a bout the a--se ye ken.
Mith. A well then, Johnny, I'se cry to thee whan the hens begin to keckle, an that's about the break o' day, and we's be ready to tak the road again Torryburn day light, when we'll ken a t--d by a stane.
Up gets auld Maggy, Jock's mither, in the morning, puts on the kettle, an maks her Yool brose; the meikle pot hung on the fire a' night wi' the cheek of an auld cow's head, skims aff the fat an maks a great cog o' brose, then pours on a chappen o' clean creish like oil, which made a brave sappy breakfast for Jockey an his mither, an Maggy got the cog to scart.
The brose being done, an a' things ready, be halters the black mare, lays on the sunks an a covering, fine furniture for a country wife.
Jockey mounts an his mither behind him, trots awa' till coming down the brae aboon John Davie's well; the auld beast being unferry o' the feet, she foundered before, the girth an curple brake, Jockey tumbled o'er her lugs, an his mither, out o'er him, in the well wi' a-slunge.
Jock. Ay, ay, mither, though I fell ye needna faun abune me, an gin ye had lyne whar ye lighted first, ye wadna tumbled into the well: 'tis an unco thing that a body canna get a fa' but ye maun fa' abune them: auld ruddoch it thou is, thou might a hauden better by the rumple, an ye wadna a bruised a' my back, wi' your auld hard banes, nor a wat a yoursel sae, an see how ye have drummel'd a' John Davie's well.
Mith. Hech, quo' she, I wonder gin I be kill'd, thou always was wont to get the word o' a good rider, baith upon hissies an horses, an this be thy management thou's little worth; fell'd the auld banes that bore thee? sic a bath as I hae gotten to my Yool, thou coudna gien me a war bed nor a water hole, in a cauld frosty morning: wae be to thee an that ill gotten get o' thine, O! let never better bounty be gotten w' bystarts getting, an this is so much for the fruits of fornication, a war stance nor the black-stool yet.
Jock. Let's a be now wi' your auld taunts about bystarts getting, or I'se gie you the wind o' the mare's tail, an gar you wammel hame an your wat coats about you.
Mith.. Na, na, my man Johnny, haud the auld jade till I loup on, we came together, an we's gang together, we sall see thy bastart an it's mither or we gae hame.
Jock. Wi' a' my heart, mither, but yonder the house an the hen's on't, the lum's reeking rairly, but little ken they wha's coming.
At length they came to Jenny's mither's door;
In goes his mither, and in goes his mare?
Himself follows after, cries, How's a' here?
Mith. Hech, is that poor body in her bed yet?
Her mither answers. Well I wat she's in her bed, an cauld an comfortless is her lying; bystarts getting is just like lent gear, seldom or never weel paid back again; but my poor lassie coudna done war nor she's done, O! gin she had yielded her body to some bit herd laddie, he wad a seen her lang or now.
Mith. A dear Marrion, what wad ye be at! Do ye think that our John wha has a wife o' his ain, could come an wait on her as she were a dame o' honour, or yet an honest man's wife, poor silly lown it she is, an he had thought on what he was com'd o' he wad ne'er a offer'd benevolence to the like o' her.
Mar. An ye had been as great an instrogator against making her double ribbet, as ye're now against doing her justice, for the filthy jimcrack he's gi'en her, ye wadna need to ca' her silly lown the day, an him an honest man; but the ne'er an honest man wad a hoddl'd sae lang en ae poor hissie aud then gane awa' and married anither for the love o' a pickle auld clouts, an twa three pockfu's o' tow: an she is a silly lown indeed that lute him or ony rattle-scull else shake their tail sae lang upon her, without his faith, an his troth an his fist before the minister.
Mith. A cauld be your cast kimmer, do ye think it your dadling dochter's a match fit for my son John: I think less may fair, her father was but a poor cotter carle, an our John's father was a farmer, an altho' they hae faun foul o'ither, I think nae fairly o't; 'tis but a trick o'youth, an the course o' yondeth maun be out; but she may thank good fortune an tell her friends ay, an count it a credit that ever she bore a bystart to the like o' him; a good fu-fat farmer's ſon, but ae step laigher nor a laird.
Mar. A wae be to sic a credit, 'tis no worth the cracking o', an whar was a' his noble equals whan he bute to lay a leg on my poor lassie, poor clarty clunny it thou is? an if they warna baith ae man's mak i wad think naething o't; for they warna a needle o' differ between their dadies, an what war they baith but twa sticket taylors at the best? ye had as good a gane hame an counted your bow kail stocks, as come here to count kindred wi' me.
Jock. Hout awa daft witless wives, I kenna what ye're flyting about, I wad rather see the wean gin it be ony thing wally an like the warld.
Mar. Indeed sal ye John, you'll see your ain picture for little siller, a muckle mouth't haverel it is just like yoursel.
(The Child is presented.)
Jock. Mither, mither, it has a muckle mouth just like mine an sees we baith ot's een, an but five days auld yet.
Mith. Dear Johnny, thou's no wise man, wad tu hae the wain to be blin, the poor thing saw whan it was new born.
Jock. A what ken I, mither, am no sae weel skill'd as the howdies; an them that's ay hobbling weans: but I thought they had been like the wee bits a Whalpies, nine nights auld before they had seen ony.
Mith. Awa, awa ye witless widdyfu', comparing a beast till a woman's ain bairnie: a dog is a brute beast, an a wean is a chrisen'd creature.
Jock. Na, mither, 'tis no a chrisen'd creature yet, for hit has neither gotten the words nor the water, nor as little ken I how to ca't yet.
Mar. I wat well 'tis a very uncanny thing to keep about a house, or yet to meet in the morning, a body wanting a name.
Mith. Hout tout ay, ye that's auld wives is ay fa' o' freets and religious fashions, them that look to freets, freets follows them, but it is six and thirty years since I was a married wife, and never kend a Sabbath day by anither ane, money a time till the bell rang.
Mar. Dear guidwife, what need ye cry sae loud? ye fright the wean wi' crying sae, see as it starts.
Mith. Ay, ay. the bystarts is a' that way, but ken ye the reason o' that.
Mar. Ye, that kens the reason of every thing, may soon find out that too.
Mith. A deed thau, woman, I ll tell you, the merry begotten weans, 'tis bystarts I mean, is red wood, half wittet hillocket sort o' creatures; for an it be na ane amang twenty o' them, they're a' scar'd o' the getting, for there's few o' them gotten in beds like honest fouk's bairns: but in out houses, auld barns, backs o' dykes, an kill-logies: whare there's ay some body wandering about to fear poor needfu' persons at their job o' journey-wark: for weel ken I the gates o't, experience gars me speak.
Jock. A deed mither that's very true, for whan I was getting that wean at the black hole o' the peat ſtack, John Gammel's muckle colley came in behind us wi' a bow wow, o' a great goul just aboon my buttocks; an as I'm a sinner, he gart me loup laverock height, an yet we got the wean for a' that.
Mith. A weel than, Johnny, that maks my words good yet.
Jenny answers out o' the bed. A shame fa' your fashions ye hae na muckle to keep when ye tell how it was gotten, or what was at the getting o't.
Jock. A. shame fa' yoursel, Jenny, for I hae gotten my part o' the shame else, an gin ye hadna tell'd first, there wad nane kend, for nae body saw us butGammel's auld colley an he's no a sufficient witness.
Mar. Now, guidwife, amang a' the tales ye hae tell'd me, how is this wean to be maintain'd?
Mith. Ill chance on your auld black mouth Marrion, did not I send you my guid sprittled hen, a pund o' butter an a sixpence, forby a lippy o' groats an a furlet o' meal; mak her a guid cogfu' brose, an put a knuist o' butter in them, to fill up the hole whar the lown came out, an I'll send mair or that be done.
Mar. An it be na better nor the last ye may een keep it to yoursel: your groat meal, and gray meal, sand, dust and seeds, course enough to feed cocks an hens, besides a woman in her condition.
Mith. A foul be your gabs, ye're a sae gash o' your gabbies; a wheen fools that stives up your gutses wi' guid meat, to gar the worms turn wanton an wallop in your wames; feed yourselves as I do, wi' hacket kail, brose made o' groat meal, an gray meal, sand, seeds, dust an weak shilling, ony thing is good enough to fill the guts an mak at———d o'.
Jock. Na, na mither, an the wean wad suck our Maggy, I sud tak it hame in my oxter.
Mith. O ye fool, Maggy's milk is a' mould, salt, an sapless lang syne; but I trow she wad keb at it as the black ewe did at the white ew's lamb the last year, sae speak nae mair o' Maggy's milk, no to compare a cat to a creature, the yeal cats is never kind to the kitlens, an the maidens' bairns is a' unco well bred.
Jock. Na, na, ye're a' mistane, mither, Maggy has milk yet for every pap she has is like a burn pig, I'se warrand ye they'll had pints the piece.
Mith. My man Johnny, let them keep the wean, that has the wean, we'll never miss a pockfu' o' meal now an tan, I wadna hae my bed pisht an blankets rotten for a bow o' the best o't.
Jock. O mither I canna lea't I like it sae weel, it has twa bonny glancing een, just like mine in a keeking glass, I wonner how I was able to get the like o't, indeed mither I think mair o't, nor I do o' my gray horse, Maggy an the four kye,
Mit. My man Johnny, ye're at nae strait about bairns getting, nane needs to gang to London to learn that auld trade; I ken very weel when ane gets warklooms right to their hands, nature will teach them how to fa' to.
Jock. Now fare you well, Janet, that wean is weel worth the warkmanship, I'll warrand ye weel a wat is't.
Jenny. Guidnight wi' you, John, but O man thou's broken my fortune, I'll never get mair o'a man nor what I hae gotten, an dear, dear, hae, I suffer'd for what I hae done, an if thou had bestowed thyself on a me, ye see what a bonny bairn time we wad a hane.
Mit. Thou says it thou's suffer'd sadly for what thou's done, but though they wad tak the hydt o'er thy een holes it wadna take the inclination out o' thee for thou'll do't again, but it's no be wi' my bairn I'se warrand thee, an now Johnny come awa hame to thy hauf marrow an use thy freedom as formerly, thou'll hae weans thick an three fauki; I'se mak thee a decoction o' cock stanes, lamb stanes, an chicken broe, will gar thee cock thy tail like a mavies, an canter like a Galloway toop.
AS Jockey an his mither came hobling hame together on the outside o' the auld doil'd beast, his mither's black mare; a waefu' misfortune befel them; Her hinderlets being wickedly wet, in John Davie's well that morning, and it being a frosty night her coats was a' frozen round about her, an the hard horn sark plaid clash between her legs like a wet dishclout, her teeth gaed like a rattle-bag till about ha'f gate hame, then she was suddenly seized wi' a rumbling in her muckle bag, what we kintry fouks ca' a rush i' the guts; Jockey was fash'd helping her aft, an helping her on, foul, fat, an dirty was the road, leaving like half a t--d at every tedder length.
Jock. Deed, mither, I doubt death has something to do wi' you, for there's a rumbling in your wame like an auld wife kirning.
Mith. Hout, tout, I canna hear o't, but they'll be nae fear o'me now, I'm safe at my ain door, thanks to thee an the auld beast it brought me; heat my feet wi' the bannock stane, an lay me in my bed, fling four pair o' blankets an a cann'os on me, I'll be weel enough an ance I were better, swieth Maggy gae mak me a cogfu' o' milk brose, an a plack's worth of spice in them, nae fear of an auld wife as lang as she's loose behin, an can tak meat.
Jock. I sae be't, mither, a e'en fill up the boss o' your belly, you'll stand the storm the better, I'se warran ye never die as lang as ye can tak meat.
Ben comes Maggy wi' the brose; but four soups an a slag fill'd her to the teeth, till she began to bock them back again, an ding awa' the dish.
Jock. A mither, mither, I doubt there's mair ado wi' you nor a dish to lick; when ye refuse guid milk meat, I'm doubtfu' your mouth be gaun to the mules.
Mither. A dear Johnny, I'm no willen to die if I cou'd do better; but this will be a fair winter on auld frail fouks, yet an I wou'd grow better I might live these twenty years yet, an be nae auld wife for a' that: but alake a day there is e'en mony auld fouk dying this year.
Jock. A deed, mither, there is fouk dying the year that never died before.
Mit. Dear Johnny, wilt thou bring me the doctor, he may do me some guid, for an my heart warna sick an my head sair, I think I may grow better yet.
Jock. Weel, mither, I'se bring the doctor, the minister, an my uncle.
Mit. Na, na, bring nae ministers to me, his dry crucks, ill do me but little guid, I dinna want to see his powder'd pow, an I in sic an ill condition: get me a pint o' drams in the muckle bottle, an set it in the bole in the backside o' my bed.
Jock. A deed, mither, ye're in the right o't, for ye want to be weel warm'd within; to chase the caul wind an frosty water out at your backside.
Then awa' he rins to draff Meg's at the Kirktown, an brings a bottle in every hand, out wi' the cork, an gies her ane in o'er, she sets it to her gab an swattles up a mutchkin at a waught, which was like to wirry her till she fell a rifting an roaring like an auld blunderbush.
Mith. Hech hay, co' she, but that maks an alteration an wears awa' the wind
Wi' that her head fell to the cod an she fought awa, like a very saint or drunken sinner.
Jock. O! Maggy, Maggy, my mither's lost her breath, (she'll no live lang without it) I dout she be dead already, an hae body saw her but you an I oursels twa; an she had been sair o'er-seen it maksna, I'll no ha'd this a fair strae death indeed, fy Maggy cry in a' the neighbours to see her die, although she be dead. O an she wad but shake her fit, or wag her muckle tae, it wad ay be some satisfaction; but in came the neighbours in a hush, driving down ither in the door.
Jock. Come awa', sirs, for my mither's as dead as a mauk, good be thanket for't; but I'd rather it had a been the black mare, or the muckle rigget cow, for weel a wat I'll e'en miss her, for she was a bra' spinner o' tow; an cou'd a cardet to twa muckle wheels she had nae faut but ane and that was her tongue, but she'll speak nae mair, fy gets a deal or barn door to straught her on, for ay when she was cauld she was unco kankert an ill to cutch, but I'se hae her yerded or Wednesday teen.
Mag. Come, come, says Maggy, we maun hae her drest.
Jock. What does the fool mean? wad ye dress a dead woman! she'll never gang to kirk nor market a' her days again.
Mag. A dear John, be easie, ye ken she mauna be buried as she is, a sark an winding sheet is the least she can get.
Jock. Ah ha, Maggy, is that what you mean, she has a guid new winding sheet, it was never about her shoulders yet, sae Maggy do't a' yoursel, an I'se gar Clinkem Bell misure the grave an mak' it.
Now when they brought out the corps, John told the people they were welcome, to haud in a cheek o' his auld mither wast the gate; an being laid right on the spakes, ha, ha, quo' he, this is a bra' honesty indeed, 'tis mair boukie nor my bridal was, but when they came to the grave, 'twas o'er short, an strait about the mouth, which set John in a great passion, saying, a foul fa' your naughty fashions master Bellman, did not I packshion wi' you for the bried o' my mither's back an the length o' her carkage? an this hole winna hand her, thou's get nae mair o' my change if I sude die the morn.
Uncle Rabby. Whisht, whisht, stir, this sude be a day o' mourning for your mither, dinna flyte here.
Jock. What the vengeance, Uncle, sudna fouks die when they're auld? an am I to pay for a hole an get but ha'f a hole; that's the thing that vexes me, but I'se keep twopence out o' his trencher for't, an sae will I een; but gang ye hame Uncle to get cog an cap for the dradgey, an I'll see her get fair play or I gae.
Hame they came in a croud an fell to the cheese an cheeks o' leaves tuth an nail, the ale was handed about in cogs an caps, lashing it down o'er like bleetchers watering their webs; John bluttered i' the cog like a cow in warm water, till the barm an bubbles came belling out at his nose, saying a guid health to you a' round about, an shoon an shortly may we gang the gate my mither's gane, an I wish them a' burying amang dogs that speaks against it.
About eight an twenty weeks thereafter Maggy had a wally wamefa' o bairns to bear, an ay whan she cried, John cried, which made a' the kimmers and auld Katty the howdy laugh heartily to hear them.
Katty. Here now, John, your wife's brought to bed wi' a bra' lad bairn, gie him your blessing.
Jock. Well a wat he's no want that, but an there had a been as muckle din at the getting o' him, as at the bearing o' him, it sude ne'er a been gotten for me: Come, come, gets in Uncle Rabby, the corn riddle fu' o' the three neuket scons, whang down the cheese like peats, eat and drink as at my mither's dradgey, till we forget our sorrow, an then we'll see Mess John about a name till him; since we see 'tis the way o't, that the yonng comes into the warld, an chases out the auld, we maun christen them, an they maun bury us.
Now John an his Uncle goes to the minister, he enters, saying, guideen to you Mr. Minister, ye dinna ken my mither's dead?
Minis. Yes, John, I heard so, but how is your wife?
Jock. My wife, sir, awae worth her, for the wives o' our town an I hae gotten a waking night wi' her; but we hae gotten her turn'd and still'd again, she's born a bra' wally thumping stirra, he'll herd the kye belyve to me an he had hoggers on him, an am come to you to get a bit name to him.
Min. A bit name to him, John, if ye want no more but a name, ye may gie him that yourself.
Jock. Na but, stir, I want baith the words an the water, what ye say to ither fouks, say to me.
Min. A' but, John, you must give security or satisfaction, you're a man under scandal.
Jockey. What the muckle mischief stir, though under scandal, or aboon scandal, will ye refuse to chrisen my wean that's honestly gotten in my ain wife's bed, beneath the blankets; cause I had a bystart, canna ye chrisen the weel coin'd ane, let the bystart stand for its ain skaith without a name.
Min. No John, you have been too slackly dealt with, I'll bring you to obedience by law, since you reject counsel.
Jock. A deed stir, I wad think naething to stan a time or twa on't to please you, if there were nae body 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, suppen the kirn, or something that's no bonny like pissing the bed.
Min. A well John never mind you these things, come ye to the stool, 'tis nothing when 'tis over, we cannot say o'er much 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 fornicator; mounts the creepy with a stiff stiff back as he had been a man of sixty, every one looked at him, thinking he was some old stranger that knew not the stool of repentance by another seat, so that he passed the first day unknown but to very few, yet or the second it came to be known, that the whole parish and many more came to see him; which caused such confusion that he was absolved, and got his children baptized the next day.
But there happened a tullie between the twa mothers who would have both their names to be John, a weel, a weel, says old John their father to the minister, deed stir, ye maun ca' the taen John an the tither Jock, an' that will please baith these enemies o' mankind.
Min. A well, John, suppose ye do, it is still twa Johns nevertheless.
Jock. A deed stir, ye maun gie the wicked a' their will, we's ca' the bystart Jockey, an my son Johnny Bell: On wit some way an let her ca't as she likes.
Min. A. dear John but ye speak indifferently about this matter, ye know not the nature of it.
Jock. A mony thanks to you Mess John, now cause you hae chrisened baith my bairn an my bystart, I hope you'll forgive me the buttock mail.
Min. John I desire you to be silent and to speak none here: You must keep a straight walk in time coming, free of scandal or offence.
Jock. Ay stir, an how think you the like o' me can wa'k straight wi' sic auld shevelin heel'd shune as mine, amang sic rugh rigs, highs an hows as I hae to harl through.
Min. I need not speak to you, you are but a poor mean ignorant person.
Jock. Na stir, weel awat am neither poor nor yet mean, my mither's fairly yerdet now, guid be thanket, an left a' she had to Maggy an me.
Min. But hear ye this John, ye must not kiss any other woman but your own wife, live justly like another honest christian, and you'll come to die well.
Jock. A black end on 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 the aulder fouk in the parish be not dead before me, so I hae done wi' ye now.
HERE lies the dust of John Bell's Mither,
Against her will, death brought her hither;
Clapt in this hole, hard by his dady
Death snatch'd her up, ere she was ready;
Lang might she liv'd were't not her wame,
But wha can live beyond their time?
There none laments her but the Suter,
So here she lies looking about her;
Looking about her! how can that be?
Yea, she sees her state better than we.
ON THE DEATH OF
NOW a' body kens my mither's dead,
For weel I wat I bore her head,
And in the grave I saw her laid,
'Twas e'en right drole,
For her to change a warm fire side,
For a cauld kirk hole.
But ilk ane tell'st just like a sang,
That yon's the gate we've a' to gang,
For me to do't, I think nae lang,
If I can do better,
For I true my Mither think'st nae sang,
What need we clatter.
But thanks to death ay for the futer,
That didna let her get the Suter,
For 'bout her gear wad been a sputter,
And sae had been,
For he came ay snoking about her,
Late at een.
For our Maggy watch't and saw,
My Mither's back was at the wa',
And what was mair hach ha' hach ha',
I winna tell,
She to do yon stood little aw',
Just like mysell.
But to get gear was a' her drift,
And used many a pinging shift:
About her spinning and her thrift,
Was a' her care,
She's gotten but little abune the lift,
Wi' her to wear.
Printed by J. & M. Robertson, Saltmarket, 1801.