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dragging her to her own cottage, about half a mile away. On entering her hut they proceeded to bind her down to the damp floor. Hugh Miller and a comrade simultaneously and successfully interfered--the maniac was not bound. Her song ceased for a moment; and turning round, presenting full to the light the stronglymarked features of a woman about fifty-five, surveying the youths who had spoken good for her with a keen scrutinizing glance, she emphatically repeated the sacred text, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Next morning, neatly dressed, and save for her marked features scarcely recognizable, Bell introduced herself to her benefactor had come to consult him about the deep matters of the soul. The abstruse questions connected with the doctrines of the fall and original sin, at this hour exerting and exhausting the ingenuity and the erudition of the profoundest theologians, had come up before poor Isabel in all their force. The mason and the maniac had both read Flavel, and both appeared to have about equally understood his questionable metaphysics; the former, however, had the important advantage over the latter, of discovering that Flavel was nearly as much in the dark upon the subject as themselves. But though Isabel had not fathomed the doctrines of the fall, or of human depravity, what was capable of being known appears to have been

pretty well understood by her. Her knowledge of the highland character, her perception whence sprung the sins and the sorrows of the Celt, was incomparably superior to many much saner people. The ancient highlanders, said mad Bell, were bold faithful dogs, ready to die for their masters, and prepared.to do at their bidding, like other dogs, the most cruel and wicked actions, and as dogs often were they treated. The pious martyrs of the south had contended in God's behalf, whereas the poor highlanders of the north had contended in behalf of their chiefs; and so while God had been very kind to the descendants of his servants, the chiefs had been very unkind to the descendants of theirs. Bell's opinion may seem a harsh one; but we do not see that a much different estimate of the Gael is formed by many who affect to mourn the depopulation of the Highlands, but whose sorrow, when analyzed, simply resolves itself into a regret that certain fighting tools are gone from beneath the shadow of their native mountains to hide themselves in the heart of the Australian bush, or the backwoods of Canada. Theology, tradition, social science, political economy, formed the themes of many other conversations between Isabel Lauchlan and Hugh Miller. The mercy shown her in the hour of her distress was never forgotten, and when the mason had gone to the metropolis in the pursuit of his profession, the maniac walked some twenty miles to see his mother in Cromarty. Her end was a melancholy one; fording the Conon in such a mood as that was in which Hugh had first met her, she was swept away by the stream. Thus perished the sister of one of the ablest and most accomplished ministers of the north.

Hugh Miller's speculations upon the peculiarities of professional character, which barrack-life enabled him to study with advantage, are ingenious and interesting, and, so far as concerns the specific profession to which he belonged, just. It is only when he throws his plummet over other branches of labour, and seeks to gauge the differentia between them and his own peculiar craft, that the passion for analogical reasoning seduces him into rather imperfect, hasty, and we may add, juvenile generalization. We do not blame him for having cherished the opinion that his own profession is more favourable than any other to the development of genius. We believe that for minds such as his own, it really is so. Had Hugh Miller become a banker's clerk some dozen years before he entered the bank at Cromarty, he would probably not have been so great a

His was cne of those natures that seem rather dwarfed than developed under any specially-forced culture. For those meditative observant powers for which his writings are so pre-eminently distinguished, we should seek in vain a better training than they re ceived amidst those marvels of nature, in whose com

man.

panionship so much of his life as an operative was passed. But while this peculiar training gave his intellect and character a kind of granitic strength and tenacity on the one side, it left it only partially developed on the other.

A point on which he obviously piqued himself here became his weakness. Indiscriminate eulogists praise Hugh Miller for the resolute way in which he stood aloof from all trades' unions. It is our belief that had he mingled but a little with these associations, instead of standing aside scanning their weaknesses with the most lynx-eyed scrutiny, though he might probably not have reaped much profit as a handicraftsman from descending into the arena where labour and capital waged their all too-unequal strife, he would have taken lessons in a school, the want of whose lessons was a much greater disadvantage in after life than the neglect of that classical lore in which he cut but so sorry a figure in the Grammar School of Cromarty. His general estimate of the worth of trades' unions might not be far from just; but while he would have exhibited more of the temper of the philosopher, had he been a little more tolerant of their failings, and a little more kind to their faults, he would also have enjoyed the opportunity of studying men in masses, and of noting the influence a dominant idea exercises upon a host of minds, each differently constituted from the other, yet all ani

mated by the same potent impulse. The result of such experiences upon a mind so pre-eminently capable of being taught by experience, but so little capable of being taught by aught else, would doubtless have been, that while retaining in undiminished power the capacity for appreciating with admirable precision and comprehensiveness the historic epochs through which a people have passed, he should no longer have failed to comprehend the exigencies of acted history. We do not think he was ever very far astray, in the matter of principle, in any of the conflicts into which he sometimes entered with so much vehemency and maintained with so much ability; but without losing an atom of independence, had Hugh Miller ever been a director, instead of always an opponent of trades' unions, it would have taught him greater tenderness for the exigencies of a church-leader, by enabling him better to comprehend the difficulties of such a position.

Some haughty ecclesiastic may, perchance, be disposed to smile at the comparison of great things with small, implied in the presumption of any analogy between the direction of a trade's union, and the leadership of a clerical confederation. If so, let such remember the historian of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” was not ashamed to confess, that to his very modest military attainments as a captain of Hampshire militia, he owed a more definite conception of

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