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[284] we all walked out together and heard any number of amusing stories, for Mr. Scott has a story for everything; and so we continued walking about and visiting till nearly dinner-time, at half past 4. As soon as we were seated the piper struck up a pibroch before the windows, dressed in his full Highland costume, and one of the best-looking and most vain, self-sufficient dogs I ever saw; and he continued walking about, and playing on his bagpipes until the dessert arrived, when he was called in, received his dram, and was dismissed. Mr. Scott likes to sit at table and talk, and therefore dinner, or rather the latter part of it, was long. Coffee followed, and then in a neighboring large room the piper was heard again, and we all went in and danced Scotch reels till we were tired. An hour's conversation afterwards brought us to ten o'clock and supper; and two very short and gay hours at the supper-table, or by the fire, brought us to bedtime.

I delighted to talk with these original creatures about themselves and one another, for they do it with simplicity, and often make curious remarks. Mr. Scott gave me an odd account of the education of his whole family. His great object has always been, not to over-educate, and to follow the natural indications of character, rather than to form other traits. The strongest instance is his son Walter, a young man with little talent; ‘and so,’ said Mr. Scott, ‘I gave him as much schooling as I thought would do him good, and taught him to ride well, and shoot well, and tell the truth; and I think now that he will make a good soldier, and serve his country well, instead of a poor scholar or advocate, doing no good to himself or anybody else.’ Sophia, however, did not seem to be quite well satisfied with her father's system of education in some respects. ‘He's always just telling us our faults,’ said she, with her little Scotch accent and idiom, ‘but never takes such very serious pains to have us mend. I think sometimes he would like to have us different from other girls and boys, even though it should be by having us worse.’. . . .

But the visit that began so happily, and continued for two days so brightly, had a sad close. During the second night Mr. Scott was seized with violent spasms in his stomach, which could be controlled neither by laudanum nor bleeding. A surgeon was sent for, who continued with him all night,. . . . and the next morning the family was filled with the most cruel apprehensions, for though he has been subject to such attacks, none had come on with such violence. We therefore abruptly ended our visit a day sooner than we intended, and crossed to the main road at Selkirk, where I had a very sad parting from Cogswell

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