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the night, their appearance cannot be otherwise than
melancholy : those at Dunfermline are besides frequent¬
ed by numerous owls, which continue during the whole
night hooting dismally, and flitting from place to place
on the shattered walls. The two watchers were speaking
together of the solitariness of the place: “ It is eerie
enough,” said Henderson, “ but the loneliness of a pri¬
son is far worse: there one has no company, but we are
two together here” “ Yes,” said his companion, “ you
could not have been very comfortable for these three
months, I daresay.” “ It might have been worse, tho’,”
said Henderson. “ Aye ? how so ?” “ Why the lawyers
cheated themselves; for they had it in their power to
give me four months instead of three.” His companion,
in spite of the dreariness of their walk, could not help
laughing at this odd kind of self-gratulation ; and asked
him how he came to know his rights so precisely. “ O,
I have read Erskine’s Institutes of Scots Law,” said he;
“ it is a very useful book.” This conversation among the
ruins of Dunfermline, if not romantic, may claim at least
the merit of being grotesque.
Another circumstance is told of him which may illus¬
trate his character. He had stolen or made away with
some yarn in Dunfermline ; and there was a hue and cry
to have him apprehended. Whether from absolute apa¬
thy, from stupidity, or from a deeper cunning than he
usually got credit for, he took no pains to hide himself,
but went through the public street (where no one thought
of looking for him at such a time), took a place in the
coach; and rode off on the top, in the face of every body
—while the officers of justice were searching all the holes
and corners of the town to discover him.
But it is unncessary to repeat all that is told of him:
and we cannot do better than make another extract from
the letter we have already quoted.
“ His parents have for several years past been kept
miserable by the criminal and wicked conduct of their
son, regarding whom they more than once expressed a
wish that they had been able to have procured his con¬
finement in a mad-house. For two or three years past
he has rendered himself infamous in this neighbourhood'