single combat to settle the quarrel, . calmly awaited their decision.

Great was the consternation in the enemy's camp, and, a council of war having been held, it was wisely determined that the biggest boy in the group should be selected as their champion. Now, the biggest boy-Davie Gray-was a veritable big boy indeed, and, as far as size and strength were concerned, shewed a marked contrast to the slender stripling with whom he was to measure his martial prowess. Although Davie afterwards became an esteemed minister in a rural parish not far from his native Howe, his appearance at this time was far from being clerical or prepossessing. Stalwart and swarthy, big-boned, and long-legged ; with a great black, bushy, burly head, surmounted by a very small Glengarry bonnet; a pair of piercing black eyes, and a Roman beak, as bent and sharp as that of a hawk; with hodden-grey clothes by far too small for the growing body they encased, and great tackety, home

made brogues, as heavy as a ploughshare, the figure presented by the embryo minister was anything but savouring of the manse.

Tak'aff your coat, Davie-tak'aff your coat,” cried the excited urchins, eager for the fray ; “ye canna feicht wi' your coat on, man,” forming a wide living ring, at the same time, round the expected combatants, just in front of the gateway leading to the home farm of Brigton. Percy's jacket was off in an instant, which act Davie

perceiving with the tail of his eye, obliged him to follow suit, and to appear at least courageous, although, if the truth must be told, the little courage he had was now beginning, like that of another personage in similar circumstances, to ooze out rather quickly from his finger ends.

“ Tak’ your time, my lad,” Davie growled at length ; “I'II be at you in a jiffey.” But, somehow or other, Davie's homespun coat would not be persuaded to come off even, with the zealous assistance of several boys, who, after many fruitless attempts at co-operation, gave it up in despair, not,

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however, without quietly insinuating that “Davie
naething but a coo'rd."
“Davie's feart,” cried the other boys in the ring.

" Davie's feart, and winna feight."

“Fa says I'm feart ?” wildly shouted Davie, now fairly put upon his mettle; and, casting his hitherto unyielding coat from him with the utmost ease, he again defiantly exclaimed, “Fa says I'm fear't ?” at the same time somewhat retreating from, rather than advancing to meet the foe.

Something again had evidently gone wrong, and the more eager of the group of boys surrounded their champion in the utmost consternation. Still Davie showed no signs of immediate action, far less any intention of dying game.

“ Come awa' hame," said a little fellow, more observant than the others. “ Lat him pech, and pech awa’; he's feart I tell ye, and winna feight.”

“Fa says I'm feart and winna feicht ?” for the third time roared the valiant Davie, brandishing his brawny arms in the air, and rushing headlong into the ring, as if to annihilate at one fell swoop his brave, yet comparatively puny antagonist. Percy, to avoid the apparently coming blow, dexterously stepped aside to prevent the awful consequences thereof, when his ferocious antagonist, by the sheer force of the impetus he had given himself, went bounding like a Joveshot thunderbolt to the other side of the road, where, tripped by an unfriendly boulder, over and over again he rolled, until, amidst the jeers and laughter of all, he sprawled and floundered in the miry ditch!

While the preparations for the fight were going forward, and unknown to his schoolmates, a little spy in the camp had quietly slipped away to Kinnettles, and informed the worthy schoolmaster of the expected battle, exaggerating, doubtless, every little detail, and extending the affair into the largest dimensions he possibly could. Scarcely had the untoward event above referred to occurred, when

“ Daniel" descried in the distance half-walking, half-running, to the


scene of action. When he reached the battle-field, the boys had just managed to drag the almost inert body of Davie to the middle of the road, when, mistaking the red clay with which he was bespattered for veritable human blood, and interpreting his silence as the silence of death, the stricken schoolmaster piteously exclaimed

My laddies ! Oh! what's this you've dune ? Killed poor Davie Gray! Wha's brain planned the plot ? Wha's hand did the deed ? Wae's me! that I should hae lived to see this day! Ane o' my ain laddies murdered -killed by ane o'my ane bairns !"

To the surprise and delight of the grey-haired, weeping schoolmaster, Davie slowly rose to his feet, and after Daniel had fully satisfied and convinced himself of the reality of his existence, Davie explained in a few words the beginning and the ending of the laughable fracas, right generously exonerating Percy Guthrie from all blame in his ludicrous discomfiture.

Grateful for the happy turn events had so unexpectedly taken, and overjoyed at the safety of his "laddies," Daniel made Percy and Davie join their willing hands in forgiving brotherhood together; gave them all his parting benediction, and returned to his home in Kinnettles with a firmer step and a lighter heart than he had left it on his errand of justice and mercy.

The practical result of the evening's encounter was, that Percy Guthrie had never afterwards reason to complain of taunt or jeer while he continued the acknowledged and admitted guardian of Jeanie Cargill.

The time had now arrived when Jeanie had either to be sent to a boarding school to finish her education, or learn the higher branches from a governess at home. Unwilling to deprive themselves of the society of their beloved daughter, Jeanie's father and mother wisely decided on the latter course, and the eldest daughter of a city clergyman was, after due inquiry, selected as the future instructress of the young maiden. By natural ability, and dint of patient industry, Percy Guthrie had also exhausted the intellectual resources of the parish school, so that it became absolutely necessary to send him to some seminary of eminence, to complete the education so well and profitably begun by Daniel Robertson. The farfamed Academy of Montrose was deemed the most eligible for this purpose, and the day was fixed for Percy's departure for that ancient and still renowned seat of learning.

It was a chill, gusty afternoon in the latter end of October, when, at the “skailing" of the school, Percy and Jeanie, instead of going home as usual by the hedgerows of Brigton, walked unconsciously along by the banks of the Kerbet, in the direction of the pretty bridge which spans the river at Douglastown. The autumn winds were sighing in mournful cadence among the overshadowing groves, and the dry withered leaves of the forest trees were falling in plentiful showers upon the still verdant meadows, or circling in rustling eddies in the partially sheltered holms and hollows of the glen. No sound of joy or gladness intermingled with the sad, funereal obsequies of expiring Nature, save the measured and mournful ripplings of the swift-flowing river, as it rushed unceasingly on its winding, circuitous route to the far distant sea.

Wandering silently on, they reached at last the extremity of the wood, when Jeanie, in faint and tremulous tones, strange and altogether new to her, bade, almost inarticulately, her attached companion “Good-bye," and moved reluctantly away

from his presence. Not yet,” kindly said Percy. “Not yet, Jeanie,” taking hold of her willing hand as he spoke, and gazing tenderly in her soft blue, speaking eyes, which instinctively returned his rapturous gaze, though scarcely comprehending its full, yet partially hidden import.

“This is our last night at school together," rejoined Percy, “and I feel so sad, so very sad. Do you also feel sad, Jeanie ?"


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“I feel,” said Jeanie—“ but I cannot tell you what I feel, Percy,” raising her eyes again in youthful innocence, as if fondly seeking for a solution of the strange enigma.

“We will meet again, Jeanie ?” Percy hesitatingly and inquiringly replied ; and while her hand, trembling in his, sent by its gentle touch a new, luxurious glow throughout his sympathetic frame, kindling at the same time a strange, indefinable joy in her own, he took and she returned—the first kiss of Love ?

The first kiss of love! Dearly as Percy loved, he little knew how tenderly, how deeply he was loved in return. That night his affianced bride on laying her lovely head on the snowy pillow of her couch of innocence, thus gave expression to her feelings of

O, joyful sounds ! methinks I hear

An angel softly singing,
Heave not that sigh, dry up that tear,

Faith, hope to me are clinging.
And far above yon golden cloud,

In melifluous harmony,
Celestial notes break swelling loud,
How glorious the symphony !

Rest, love, joy ! sweet sounds divine !
Dwell within this heart of mine.

Now calm, serene in tranquil rest,

While my heart-strings fondly quiver,
I lean upon my lover's breast,

By the moon-lit flowing river.
And 0! his words to me, how sweet!

The silvery beams soft streaming,
With dew-drops bright on my fairy feet,
I lie and muse half-dreaming.

Rest, love, joy ! sweet notes divine !
Dwell within this beart of mine.

Deep in my rapt entrancèd soul,

And nought from me concealing,
My loved one's strains in music roll,
Extatic joy revealing.


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