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happy returns of the season,” shiveringly exclaimed a voice, issuing from what at first sight appeared to be a round living snow-ball, which, like a ghostly apparition, noiselessly appeared in their midst.

“It's Maister Robertson, upon my word !” excitedly cried the miller, and in a twinkling he had eased him of his hat and greatcoat, unfolding in propria persona the veritable dominie of Kinnettles, who, pleased to see the attention and deference paid to him, smiled one of his pawkiest smiles, and condescendingly shook them all very heartily by the hand, expressing at the same time his high appreciation of, and grateful thanks for, their kindly greeting.

Supper's ready, gentlemen,” said the worthy hostess, and immediately led the way to the principal room upstairs, where, on the hospitable board, already smoked the favourite national haggis, flanked by some dainty barnyard fowls and reaming bickers of Edinburgh ale.

The dominie; as President of the Club, took the chair amidst loud applause, and, after he had said grace the demolishment of the tempting viands was begun in good earnest, each helping the other with the utmost cordiality and good feeling

“What a fine haggis, though,” at last breaking the silence of speech, half-chokingly, said the miller. “I think our national bard was never more richt than when he christened the haggis, 'chieftain o' the puddin' race


"6His knife see rustic labour dight,

And cut you up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright

Like ony ditch;
And then, oh, what a glorious sight,

Warm, reekin', rich !!”

A leg o' that chuckie, laird, if you please”—adding, after a good long swill at the bicker—"and you may send me a wee bit o' that nice ham beside you, Maister Robertson. Thank ye, that will do,” immediately resuming his masticating

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powers, which, to do them justice, seemed to be of a rare order indeed.

“I trust you are all enjoying your Auld Yule supper ?” quietly enquired the worthy President. “For my part, taking example from the English, I say as little as possible during my meals, reserving the feast of reason and the flow of soul for the wine and desert. Any more haggis, laird ?”

“Nae mair, thank you ; but I think I've a wee bit corner for a slice o' that fine tongue—a commodity I'm no overburthened wi'. Will you tak’ a slice, too, Maister Student ? -I thocht I saw ye lookin' wi' a sheep's e'e in that direction -eh?

“ You have kindly anticipated my wishes,” politely rejoined the student ; “ and I will trouble you, Mr Smith, for a wing of that fowl before you, also, when you are disengaged.

“ Wi' great pleasure,” said the smith. “As for mysel', I'll stick to the haggis the nicht, it bein' mair in keepin wi' the national holiday o' Auld Christmas. Our puir ancestors, the Covenanters, would hae been glad to hae tasted a bit o' it when wandering o'er the mountains and hidin' in dens an' caves o' the earth.”

“ Aff on the wrang tack again,” said the miller; “but the best way is to lat ye rin the length o' yer tether; and I'm thinkin' afore it's run oot in a nicht like this, ye'll be see chokit i' the snaw, ye'll be unco glad to get safe back again amon' kent folk at the keepin' o' Auld Yule, wi' a' the happy comforts o' a cozy fireside—ha, ha, ha!"

Thanks having been returned by the student, the cloth and et ceteras were removed from the table, leaving its wellpolished mahogany exposed to view, as a fitting testimony to the care and tidiness of our excellent hostess.

While the punch-bowl and necessary adjuncts are being brought in I may as well explain that the table at which our worthies sat was of a shape perfectly.round, and as Knights of the Round table, except the arm-chair on which the presid

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ent sat, there was no other mark visible to distinguish one member from another.

“Are your glasses all charged, gentlemen ?” enquired the Chairman. “ You are aware we only drink to two toasts at our meetings, viz.—“The King and Constitution,' and Our noble Selves.' Let them be given at once, that we may proceed to the more important business of the evening. To the King and Constitution,' gentlemen."

The toast having been duly honoured, the Miller was called upon to give “Our Noble Selves,” which he did in almost as brief terms as the President had given the previous toast, with this difference, however, that the former insisted that his toast should be drunk to with all the honours, together with a tremendous “hip, hip, hurrah,” as a necessary and suitable conclusion to his speech.

All having resumed their seats, the Student proposed that, as the night was fast wearing away, the real business of the evening should now be proceeded with.

“Ye'll be sittin' on heckle-pins,” satirically said the Laird,“till ye get quit o' the burthen o' your sang, Maister Student, eh?”

“It will come to your ain turn by-and-by, Laird,” quietly said the Smith. “ Ye'll nae doot astonish us a' the nicht wi' your learnin'.”

"Well then, gentlemen," said the President, glad to change at once the current of conversation, “to encourage you in your poetical efforts, I will, without the least hesitation, give you the trifle I have composed for this evening's entertainment.” The Dominie then, in a fine clear, musical voice, sang


Air_“Bonnie Wood o' Craigie Lee.”
Soft flow thy streams, bright bloom thy flowers,

Thy birdies liltin' as of yore,
The music of thy fragrant bowers
The voice of love awakes once more.

Thou bonnie Howe o'sweet Strathmore,
Thou bonnie Howe o' sweet Strathmore,
Life's early spring-time spent in thee,
My blessings on thee evermore.

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And must I leave thee, bonnie Howe,

To brave the broad Atlantic's roar,
By gowand lea and broomy knowe,
Are all my youthful ramblings o'er ?

Thou bonnie Howe o' sweet Strathmore,
Thou bonnie Howe o'sweet Strathmore,
Life's joyous summer spent in thee,
And must I leave thee evermore !

Far from thy vocal woods and streams

My fate I weeping sad deplore,
Yet oft my sunny golden dreams,
Do all thy charms to me restore.

Thou bonnie Howe o'sweet Strathmore,
Tbon bonnie Howe o' sweet Strathmore,
Life's autumn spend I far from thee,
Oh! shall I never see thee more?

Years fled-enraptured now I see

My own loved native Strath again,
Hail ! bonnie Howe ! shout I with glee,
Hark! love re-echoes back the strain.

Thou bonnie Howe o' sweet Strathmore,
Thou bonnie Howe o'sweet Strathmore,
Life's closing eve I'll spend in thee,
And never, never leave thee more !


“Excellent !” said all the members, as with one voice they cordially pronounced their verdict.

“I wish I could sing like you, Maister Robertson," quietly said the Smith ; “ but my feeble voice, never very gude,

is a little cracket, an' I dinna hae the same heart to lilt awa' as I used to do in my young days.”

“Come awa'wi' your sang,” impatiently rejoined the Miller, “We a’ ken vera weell you're juist like a win'bag at the burstin'—ha, ha, ha!”

Order, gentlemen,” indignantly said the President. insinuations, Mr Miller. Your song, Mr Smith.”

Belangin' as I do, to Douglastown,” said the Smith, “I've made up a wee bit sangie aboot my native Kerbet, which I'll sing the best way I can.” Sings



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Air—“Saw ye my Father.”
Sweet were the days by the swift flowing Kerbet,

When I trudged to Kinnettles' wee school ;
Or fond wi' young Jessie oft willingly linger'd

To gaze in the deep minnow pool.
Fair were the lawns and the fields of sweet Brigton,

Surrounded by woodlands so green;
The sheep feeding rich in the haughs and the meadows,

The river meand'ring between.

Wild were our pranks with the kind-hearted miller,

As o'er the lade waters we swam ;
Or sly stopp'd the voice of the noisy loud happer,

By shutting the sluice of the dam.

Loud, long our glad shoutings on holiday mornings,

As we play'd on the sunny bright knowes;
Or piled the ripe fruit in our burnish'd white flagons,

As we lay 'mong the blackberry boughs.
I've drank of the waters of many strange rivers,

Apd gaz'd on fair maidens divine,
But my heart turns to thee, my own native Kerbet,

The sights and the sounds o' langsyne.

"A very sweet song, indeed," approvingly said the Chair



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“An' weel sung, too,” chimed in the Laird, betraying at the same time considerable uneasiness as the time approached for him to give tangible evidence of his poetical powers.

“Nae shirkin', noo,” authoritatively said the Miller. ye canna sing, Laird, ye maun juist get up upon your feet an' mak' a speech as lang's my airm ; an' if so, it'll no be short, I'm thinkin’.”

“We are all impatiently waiting for your song, Laird,” said the President, respectfully, “and I feel our expectations in regard to your mental and vocal powers will be more than realised.”

In obedience to the fiat of his chief, the Laird with great emotion sang

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