The Heart of Mid-Lothian
Elswhair he colde right weel lay down the law,
But in his house was meek as is a daw.
"There has been Jock Driver the carrier here, speering about his new graith,"
said Mrs. Saddletree to her husband, as he crossed his threshold, not with the
purpose, by any means, of consulting him upon his own affairs, but merely to
intimate, by a gentle recapitulation, how much duty she had gone through in his
"Weel," replied Bartoline, and deigned not a word more.
"And the laird of Girdingburst has had his running footman here, and ca'd himsell
(he's a civil pleasant young gentleman), to see when the broidered saddle-cloth
for his sorrel horse will be ready, for he wants it agane the Kelso races."
"Weel, aweel," replied Bartoline, as laconically as before.
"And his lordship, the Earl of Blazonbury, Lord Flash and Flame, is like to be
clean daft, that the harness for the six Flanders mears, wi' the crests, coronets,
housings, and mountings conform, are no sent hame according to promise gien."
"Weel, weel, weel--weel, weel, gudewife," said Saddletree, "if he gangs daft, we'll
hae him cognosced--it's a' very weel."
"It's weel that ye think sae, Mr. Saddletree," answered his helpmate, rather
nettled at the indifference with which her report was received; "there's mony ane
wad hae thought themselves affronted, if sae mony customers had ca'd and
naebody to answer them but women-folk; for a' the lads were aff, as soon as your
back was turned, to see Porteous hanged, that might be counted upon; and sae,
you no being at hame"
"Houts, Mrs. Saddletree," said Bartoline, with an air of consequence, "dinna
deave me wi' your nonsense; I was under the necessity of being elsewhere--non
omnia--as Mr. Crossmyloof said, when he was called by two macers at once--
non omnia possumus--pessimus--possimis--I ken our law-latin offends Mr.
Butler's ears, but it means, Naebody, an it were the Lord President himsell, can
do twa turns at ance."
"Very right, Mr. Saddletree," answered his careful helpmate, with a sarcastic
smile; "and nae doubt it's a decent thing to leave your wife to look after young