And, as I lay on the bank and wept, there drew nigh to me a man in the habiliments of a fisher. He was bare-legged, of a weather-beaten countenance, and of stature approaching to the gigantic. ’What is the callant greeting for?’ said he, as he stopped and surveyed me. ’Has onybody wrought ye ony harm?’
‘Not that I know of,’ I replied, rather guessing at than understanding his question; ’I was crying because I could not help it! I say, old one, what is the name of this river?’
’Hout! I now see what you was greeting at—at your ain ignorance, nae doubt—’tis very great! Weel, I will na fash you with reproaches, but even enlighten ye, since you seem a decent man’s bairn, and you speir a civil question. Yon river is called the Tweed; and yonder, over the brig, is Scotland. Did ye never hear of the Tweed, my bonny man?’
‘No,’ said I, as I rose from the grass, and proceeded to cross the bridge to the town at which we had arrived the preceding night; ’I never heard of it; but now I have seen it, I shall not soon forget it!’
The Castle—A father’s inquiries—Scotch language—A determination—Bui hin Digri—Good Scotchman—Difference of races—Ne’er a haggis—Pugnacious people—Wha are ye, man?—The Nor Loch—Gestures wild—The bicker—New Town champion—Wild-looking figure—Headlong.
It was not long before we found ourselves at Edinburgh, or rather in the Castle, into which the regiment marched with drums beating, colours flying, and a long train of baggage-waggons behind. The Castle was, as I suppose it is now, a garrison for soldiers. Two other regiments were already there; the one an Irish, if I remember right, the other a small Highland corps.
It is hardly necessary to say much about this Castle, which everybody has seen; on which account, doubtless, nobody has ever yet thought fit to describe it—at least that I am aware. Be this as it may, I have no intention of describing it, and shall content myself with observing that we took up our abode in that immense building, or caserne, of modern erection, which occupies the entire eastern side of the bold rock on which the Castle stands. A gallant caserne it was—the best and roomiest that I had hitherto seen—rather cold and windy, it is true, especially in the winter, but commanding a noble prospect of a range of distant hills, which I was told were ‘the hieland hills,’ and of a broad arm of the sea, which I heard somebody say was the Firth of Forth.