He does naething but rowt aboot in 's boaratory as he ca's 't bore-a-whig, or bore-a-tory, it's little to me makin' stinks there fit to scomfish a whaul, an' gar 'im stick his nose aneth the watter for a glamp o' fresh air. He's that hard-hertit 'at he never sae muckle as aits his denner alongside o' his ain sister,'cep' it be whan he has company, an' wad luik like ither fowk.
Faith! she sat as straught as a rash, wi' jist a hing i' the heid o' her, like the heid o' a halm o' wild aits. 'My father wasna that ill till her than? suggested Robert. 'Wha ever daured say sic a thing? returned Mr. Lammie, but in a tone so far from satisfactory to Robert, that he inquired no more in that direction.
"My frien's, I was jist thinkin, as I cam ower the hill," he began, "hoo we war a' made wi' differin pooers some o' 's able to dee ae thing best, and some anither; and that led me to remark, that it was the same wi' the warl we live in some pairts o' 't fit for growin aits, and some bere, and some wheat, or pitatas; and hoo ilk varyin rig had to be turnt til its ain best eese.
Having paid its religious dues, conversation was now allowed some freedom, and it was wonderful how many things could be touched on, always from a sacramental standpoint. "We've been awfu' favoured wi' weather the day, and ought to be thankfu'. Gin it hads on like this I wudna say but th'ill be a gude hairst. That's a fine pucklie aits ye hae in the laigh park, Burnbrae."
Rowe called "Aits," and the bridges where the mast had to be lowered, all the craft on the water the red-sailed barges with one man on board the steamers with crowded decks and gay awnings the schooners, yachts, and pleasure boats and all the people on shore, the fishers, and the people with water-dogs and sticks, the ladies with fine dresses and parasols, and the ragged boys who cheered us as we went by everything we saw and heard delighted us, and the only sore place in my heart was where I longed for Rupert and Henrietta to enjoy it too.
"Married, no; he tould me himself this momin' that it's not his intention ever to marry 'till he meets a purty girl to plaise him; he'll keep a loose foot, he says, and an aisy conscience till then, he says; but the saicret is this, he never aits flesh mate of a Friday when he emit get it.
You can see tobacco growin' like aits, and mair big trees in one plantin' than in all the shire o' Lothian. Besides " But I got no more of Muckle John's travels, for the door opened on that instant, and the gaoler appeared. He looked at our heads, then singled me out, and cried on me to follow. "Come on, you," he said. "Ye're wantit in the captain's room."
These usually concluded with "they may do otherwise in England, neighbour Butler, for aught I ken;" or, "it may be different in foreign parts;" or, "they wha think differently on the great foundation of our covenanted reformation, overturning and mishguggling the government and discipline of the kirk, and breaking down the carved work of our Zion, might be for sawing the craft wi' aits; but I say peace, peace."
'Aye, the aits will be got bravely in: but the farmers, deil burst them, and the corn-mongers will make the auld price gude against them as has horses till keep. 'You perhaps act as quarter-master, sir? 'Aye, quarter-master, riding-master, and lieutenant, answered this officer of all work.
And now, from the platform, I saw before me the beautiful country in which I should for a long time live and reside: the handsome city; the wide-spreading meadows around it, thickly set and interwoven with magnificent trees; that striking richness of vegetation which follows in the windings of the Rhine, marks its banks, islands, and aits.