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tartans for a crown. There are the tartans of the Frasers, and the M-Phersons, the Abercrombies, the M‘Farlans, the Camerons, and the duke of Montrose. The blue dark ground with broad bars of green I remember well, it is the tartan of the 42nd regiment; it prates about the broad-sword. The red ground with large squares, crossed with black, is that of Rob Roy; and the most lively of all, the small squares of red and green, barred with black, is the glowing tartan of the M.Duffs.
I know not if these things affect you as they affect me; but, as I look at the window, these tartans serve me as a text. Try if you cannot mend the sorry sermons that I make from it.
They breathe of other things to me,
And banner rent, and tartan torn. The draper himself is attending some ladies who are in a carriage at the door. With what a bow he takes leave of them! It seems to express the greatest humility and attention. Surely the business with which they have charged him will be faithfully performed, if human energy can accomplish it. Other ladies have now come in, and he dismisses his former customers from his thoughts, but not until he has spoken quickly to one of his shopmen, who notes down where certain parcels are to be sent. The man in the desk, at the end of the shop, is the cash-keeper. When money is received, it is taken to him: he is a check on all the shopmen and apprentices.
There is something to be seen in these places; but
when you visit them, take not your wife and daughters
for a mercer's shop rivals even that of the milliner in attracting the attention of the ladies. What pains we take to decorate the poor, perishable body! and how negligent are we of that imperishable guest within us which is to live for ever in weal or woe!
If the draper's shop possesses many attractions for the fair, the tailor's window is greeted with frequent glances of the manly eye. Let us first notice that large coloured engraving conspicuously placed to display the fashions of the day. There are sketches of gentlemen riding on horseback, or walking with ladies; or exchanging salutations with each other. How very well dressed, and yet how stiff and passionless! Their faces have no more natural expression than the busts in a hairdresser's shop. That velvet waiscoat, or, as they now call it, “ vest,” is fit for a monarch to wear, and yet the printer's apprentice over the way has his eye upon it; in a week or two we shall see if he wears the same waiscoat that he does now.
What heaps of figured silks! what gorgeous patterns ! what vivid colours ! See, they have attracted the eye of the dashing young fellow passing by. He gazes, hums a tune, and goes on; they are not exactly to his mind. The tailor himself is behind the counter; his face is pale, and he looks unhealthy. In spite of his fashionable dress, he cannot conceal certain deformities of figure, a stoop in the shoulder, and a leg bent outward. These distortions have been occasioned by close application at the shop-board during his apprenticeship; he has long since left off work, although, occasionally, he will display his skill in cutting out a
coat, to convince his foreman that he has a master who knows the business as well as himself.
How carefully he is examining his ledger! to some a hateful volume. What long arrears are there! He shuts it
his countenance seems to have acquired asperity by the perusal. How sharply he speaks to his shopman, who is carelessly folding up some pieces of broadcloth!
There is a confusion in the street; a wild bullock is running along, driving the people before him. How quickly the tailor fastens his door! he actually trembles; his shopman, too, appears alarmed, while the butcher on the other side of the street is running out of his shop with a firm countenance: let us notice him, for he, too, is worthy of observation.
Well may the butcher live opposite the tailor, for in character they are antipodes.
The countenance of the man is jolly and rubicund, with a display of coarse wit and humour in the eye ; nothing like unhappiness is to be read there. The blue dress has been worn by the trade from time immemorial. I do not know why: one would think that red would be the more appropriate colour.
Mark with what precision the strong armed man uses the cleaver. That stroke went through flesh and bone with a crash unpleasing to the ear. See how adroitly he shears off that collop with his knife, horridly keen, having just been hastily whetted on the steel at his side. His customer asked for a pound, and he has cut off exactly a pound and a quarter; his knife errs inwardly by system. I dare say he could cut a pound within an ounce, if it suited him.
His boy is scraping the bench with a knife, and
cleaning it with a cloth and warm water. A dog has crept in, and is making off with a piece of offal picked up under the bench; he has not escaped the quick eye of the butcher; the hungry brute has been kicked on the sides, and is running away, howling wi h affright and pain. Why is it that a butcher's shop is less ornamented than any other? Is it because the public would think it ridiculous to place plate glass and brass work before pieces of raw flesh ? or is the butcher so proud of his meat that he thinks any decoration would hide a beauty? Perhaps the chief reason is, the necessity of having the shop well ventilated.
With what pleasure that old gentleman seems to handle the sirloin there! if it were part of a dead horse, or of any animal' to which he was unaccustomed, he would start back with disgust.
The lady with her servant bearing a basket, appears quite at home and at ease amongst the joints: but not. so the poor woman in the old red cloak, bargaining for a piece of the coarsest meat; care renders her uneasy, she is no chooser; poverty and hunger are not nice; she thinks only of the price, and is not particular about the quality. I know her well, a deserving creature, with a weakly frame, and a drunken husband. To her “that is afflicted pity should be showed.” She has but ninepence; I saw her count it in her hand, though she well knew what it was before. The butcher is not hard with her. See how cheerfully he throws the piece down on the bench as he turns off to another customer, calling out, "Well, take it along with you, Missis.” The poor woman is going away with a brighter countenance. Success attend you, master butcher, and may you meet with
good orders from the rich to repay you
liberality to the poor!
Perhaps, for the present, I have said enough to convince you that shops and shop windows may be made a source of much amusement, and some instruction. You may look at the same windows again and again, with advantage; for the articles and commodities exposed for sale are almost endless. I have merely ventured a few remarks on such of them as have struck me in a rapid glance; you may turn them to a more profitable ac, count.
What a busy world is this ! and how selfishly we spend our time! Whether walking in town or country, where we meet with one rendering a kindness to another, ten are occupied in serving themselves: and on the average, notwithstanding the shortness of life, where two hundred are busily employed in the affairs of time, :scarcely will two be found attending to the things of eternity
Let us put the questions honestly to ourselves : Living in this world, are we looking beyond it? Do we know that this is not our rest ? that heaven is the only cure for earthly troubles ? and that, above all, Jesus Christ, who died to save sinners, is able to save unto the uttermost all them that come unto God by him.
“Time was, is past; thou canst not it recal :