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Room vtm^ made for the sorrower, who was followed
by two or three female friends. Maudie Proudfiite had
been hitherto 6nly noticed as a good-looking, black-haired
firoman, believed to be dfnft* and disdainful to those whom
she thought meaner <»* poorer thah herself, and lady and
empress over h€Sr kite bui^band, whom sbe quickly cJlused
to) lower his crest when she chanced to hear him crowing
out of season. But noW, under the mfluence of powerful
pasdi<m, she assumed a far more imposing character.

" Do yott fetughj" Ae said, " you unworthy burghers
of Perth, because one of your own citizens has poured
his blood mto the kennel ?— -or do you laugh because the
deadly lot has lighted on my husband ? How has he de*
served tW^ ? — ^Did he not maintain an honest house by his
own industry, and keep a creditable board, wherfe the sick
had welcome, and the poor had relief ? Did he not lend to
diose who wanted,— -stand by his neighbours as a friend,
keep counsel and do justice like a magistrate ?"



• Oonlcmptuoiis — fcomful of odicn.

2^* vot. II.



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iS ST. YAlElfFIKfi's DAT*

" It is true, it is true," answered the assembly ; ** his
blood is pur blood, as much as if it were Henry Gow's.^

'^ You speak truth, neighbours," said Bailie Craigdal-
lie ; ^^ and this feud cannot be patched up as the former
was— -citizens' blood mu^ not flow unavenged down our
kennels, as if it were ditch-water, oi* we sb^ soon see the
broad Tay crimsoned with it. But this blc^ was never
meant for the po<H: man on whom it has unhappUy fallen.
Every one knew what Oliver Proudfute was, how wide
be would speak, and bow li^ he would do. He has
Henry Smitli's buff-coat, target, and head-piece. All the
town know them as well as I do ; there is no doubt (m^U
He had the trick, as you know, of trying to imitate the
Smith in n^ost things. Some one, blind with rage, or
perhaps through liquor, has stricken the innocent Bonnet-
maker, whom no man either hated or feared,, or mdeed
cared either much or little about, instead of the stout
Smith, who has twenty feuds upon his hands."

" What th^n is to be done, Bailie ?" cried the multitude.

" That, my friends, your magistrates will determine
for you, as we shall instantly meet together when Sir
Patrick Oharteris cometh here, which must be anon.
Meanwhile, let the cMrurgeon Dwining examine &at podr
piece of clay, that he may tell us how he came by his
fatal de^tb ; and then let the corpse be decently swathed
in a clean shroud, as becomes an honest citizen, and plac-
ed before the high altar in the church of St. John, the
patron of the Fair City. Cease all clamour and noise,
and every defensible man of you, as you would wish well
to the Fair Town, keep his weapons in readiness, and be
prepared to assemble on the High Street, at the tolling of
the common bell from the Town-House, and we will either
revenge the death of our fellow citizen, or else we shall
take such fortune as Heaven will send us. Meanwhile
avoid all quarrelling with the knights and their followers,
till we know the innocent from the guilty. — But wherefore
tarries this knave Smith ? He is ready enough in tumults
when his presence is not wanted, and lags he now when
his presence may serve the Fair City ?-*What ails him,

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rvv i y±^KXTttaCM day. 19

doth any 4y^kIlfawi^ Hatli: fae been lipQQ tdiefrofe hsi
Fastem's Even ?.'^ ■ ' . ? :.

*'' Rather be' is^saek or stiQeii^^tRSta' Bailie," sflidT)ne
of the city's mairs^ or seF§eaii€5( ; ^^ ibrthough he isifitbm
door, as his kiiaves report^ jet he will ndther answer to
as nor admit us-" , , . : .

'^ So pko^^ yoQr worships Master Bailie," > said Simon
Glover, ^< i v^ go mysdf to fetch Henry Smith. I havie
some litde difi^enoe lo mak^^up with him. And Uessed
be Our Lady^ who hath so ordered it, lUat I find him alive,
as a quar^r ^ an hour since I could never have expected !"

*^ Bring the st<Rit Smith to '^i&CounciUioade," said
the Bailie, as a mounted yeoman pressed through the
crowd, and whispered m bis ear ,-^" -Here is a'g<t>od fel-
low, wbo says the knight of Kinfatins isf altering llie port."

Such was Che occasion of Simon Olover presenting hin»-
self at the house of Henry Gow at the period already no-
ticed.

Unrestrained by the considerations of doubt and hes^
tation which mfhienced others, l^e repaired to the parlour ;
and having overheard the bustling of Dame Shoolbred, he
took the privilege of intimacy to ascend to the bed-room,
and, with the slight apology of*-*-" I crave your pardon,
good neigUbDur," he opeiied the door, and entered the
apartment, where a singulai^nd unexpected sight awaited
him. At the sound of his voice, May Catharine experi-
enced a reidval much speedier than Dame Sboolbred's
restoratives had been able to poduce ; and the paleness
of her complexion changed into a deep glow of the most
lovely red. She pushed her lover from her with both her
hands, which, until this minute, her want of consciousness,
or her affection, awakened by the events of the morning,
had well nigh abandoned to his caresses. Henry Smith,
bashfiil as we know him, stuknbled as he rose up | and
none of the party were without a share of con&sion, ex^
ceptmg Dame Shoolbred, who- was glad to make some
j»retext to turn her back to the others, in order that she
might enjoy a laugh at their expense, which she felt her-
self utterly unable to restrain, and in which die Glover,

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"irdboB^ sttrpHse^ thov^ ' grfeal, ms 6f . idio^ ^duralioiiy and
of a joyful character, sincerely joined;:

^^Now, by.g^KMi Sti Jptei^?' he aaiicir^' Iithoughcl had
rseien.aiii^t idiiB;mcarnu!)g that ^oiild cvms me of laughter,
(Et iesst.tilLkiDi wda over ; hut this : would, make me curl
my cheek, if I were djdng. Why, here- sfands honest
f Henry: iSmitb^ who was faunqnted as.demly^iid toHfd out
ftr.i from, i every, steeple >in[ towby-fH^e^ ttierry, ajid^ as it
.seensifirom his iiiddy cpqqptexiosi, ftshke to Ixve as any
.moain Pttth.< Amdhereismy precioos daughter, that
yesterday <woidd. speak of notlHiig but the Wickedness of
;tbe Wigksjbat haimt profiBine. sq^rts, and protect glee-
^likaidemir^-tAy, ishe who set St. Valentine and St. Cupid
-both nt defianee,*i-hera die is^ tMhied a gjec^maiden her-
self, for what! caa see ! .Truly, lam glad to see that you,
4ny good Diune. Shoolbred, who give way to no. disorder,
^Some been of thii^ bving paiiy»"

" You do me wrong, my dearest father," said Catharine,
as if about to. weep. '^ I came here wilfaiar diiSerent
•expectotiohs than you suppose. I only came because —
bfecause— *tt-"

^^ Because, you expee^d to 6nd a dead, lover," said
,her father, << and you have found a Hying one) who can
receire the tdkens of your negard^ and return > them. Now,
were k not a sin, I could find«in my heart to diank Heav-
en, that thou hast been.sur{Mrised at last into owildng.thy-
i^elf a womaft^^SimoniGlover is not worthy, to hive an
Absolute saint for his dm^hter.— Nay, look not so pit-
«ously^ nor expect condetence fixon me ! Only I will try
cot to look iDerry, if you will be pleased ta stop your
tears,, or confess them to.be tears of joy." ,

" If I were to die for such a ooinfoasion," said poor
CallMTine,. M I could not teU what to call diem. Only
fceMeve, dear fathwi and let Henry beliete,^ that I would
never have come hither, wtes-^-unlessr— **-"

^.Unless yoil bad thoughtthat Henry, could not come
\o you," said, her father. « iWl now, shake hfwids in
-peace and concord, and ^ee.as Vulentiaes should. Yes-
lerday.waa Shrovetide, Henry-r-We. will bold that thou

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inue €M*fcssed ^tlgr icdlbs) bast ciitidiied jabsolutidhyaiHl
mrt relievect of all the guilt thoti stobdeBt dharged tiith.^
«• Ndy, tbaching that; Fathferfiipaon/^ said the Smithy
♦* nowiiiatyau are cool enougb to faearme, I can sirear
on the Goepel9,'&iid I can call mj mirse, Dame Sboolbred^
to "wftness— *—*-♦'*

•• NajT) nay,'* said Ae Glorer, " but wherefore rakeiip
deferences, i^iick shotild all be forgotten ?" '

•* Hark ye, Simon I — Simon Glover !" Thi» was now
echoed from beneath*

** True, son Smith,** said the Glover seriously, " we
have odtei* work m hand. You and I must to the coun-
cil ifisti»dy. Gadiarine shall remain here with Dame
Sboolbred, wbo will tike charge q( her till we. return.;
and then, as the town is m misrule, we two, Harry, wiD
carry her borne, and they will be bold men that cross.us."
*< Nay, my dear father,'* said Caduorine, with a smile,
** now you are taking Oliver Proud&te's office. Thait
doughty burgher is Henry's brother^at-arnur.'*^
Her father's countenance grew dark.
" You have spoke a stinging word, daughter 5 but you
know not what has happened* Kiss him, Catharine, in
^ken of fi>rgiven8S8."

. " Nbt so,'* saidi CathaoriBe ; " Ibave done Wm to6
much grace ialreadyi When he bas seen the.erraht damsel
«afe home, it will be time enou|a;b to daim his reward."
<c ' Meantime,'^ saidr Heary, ^ I will daim, as your hdst,
'wnat yo« wUV not aUow meon:otber terms."

He folded the fair maiden in his arms, and was permit-
ted' to take the ^sdote which she/ had .refused ko bestow.
t As they dtescentied- die 'stdk-itc^etbcirv the old.man.Iard
hii band on the Siittb'sidipuhijsr; aikd scad, <^ Heavy, my
dearest wishesf are fulfilled ; :bhtiit:]a(the pleasure of the
taints tbatit'Sbdidd be in an hoar bf:idiffioi]ky and terror."
« True,*' said the Smilfa ; '^but ihou knewestj-fathec,
if our riots be frequent at Perth, at least th^ynseldoni last
long.'*

Then, opening a door whtch li^.from the lifeDuaeinto
the smithy, " Here, comrades," he cried, " Anton, Cuih-

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ft2 gr. TAi;EimKE's iDirT4

bcrly Oin^well) dsd Rsngan I Lebnbnelofyonlilir'firofll
the phce till I return. Be as true as the weQ(>oiis I bave
taught jrou to forge ; a J^eiih crown, and a Sluttish
merry-^making for you, if you obey my eormf^od* I
leave a mighty tre^tsurein your cfaarge. Wtttch die doors
well — let little Jannekin scout upland dow»4be^wynd, and
have your arms ready if any one approaches the house.
Open the doors to no man, till Father Gttover or I returo ;
it concerns my life and happiness.?'

The strong swarthy giants to whom he spbke, atiswered^
" Death to him who attempts it !** -

" My Catharine is now as safe," said lie to Iwr father,
*^ as if twenty men garrisoned a royal Dasde m h&t cause.
We shall pass most quiedy tt) the^CouheiMiouse by walkr
ing through the garden."

He led the <way througli a Httle orchard atcordingly,
where the biirds, which had been shehered and fed dur-
. ing the winter by die good natiired ardzaii, earlv in the
season as it was, were saluting the precarious smiles of a
February sun, with a few faint and interrupted attempts
at melody.

" Hear these minstrels, father," '. said the Sno^ 5. " I
laughed at them this morning in the bitterness o£ my hear^
because the little wetches ning, with! so much of winter
before them. But new, metlb^s, I could bear a blitlie
chorus, for I have my Valentuie as jthey have: theirs ; and
ivhatever ill may lie before me fiar to-morrow, I am to-day
the happiest man in Perth, city or county^ biirgh or landr
ward."

" Yet I must aHay your joy," said the old Glover,
" though. Heaven knows, I shfflre it-r-Poor OBver Prdud-
fute, the inofii^osive fool diat you and I knew so well, ha^
been found this morning dead in the streets.^

" Only dead drunk, I trust ?" said the Simdi r" n«y> «
caudle »id a dose of matrimonial advice will bring him
to life again."

" No, Henry, no. He is slain — slain with a battle-
'axe, or some such weapon."



vGooQle



** Icm>os?dbl€i 1". i^U^d the Simth : ". he was ;light-
ibpted ei^pi^gt^,^ would not fof allJBerth have trusted
to his hands, yvliep he CQuld e3tiripate hknself by li^ heels."
'* No choice was allowed bim^ THe ^Ipw was dealt in
the very back of his head ; he who struck mu^ have been
a shorter inan than bims^i and used a horseman V battle-
axe, or some such wetpoh, for a Locbaber-aze must have
struck the upper part of his head — ^But there he lies d6ad,
brained, I may say > by a most frightful wound," ^

*' This is inccwi^vable," ^id Hemy Wynd. " H^
was in my hoase. at inidnigbt ux a morricer's habit j se^mr
ed to have heen drinking, though not to excess. ' He told
me a tale of V^vin| been beaet by reyelHers^ and being tn
danger ; but, alasT you know the mail J I deemed it was
a swaggering fit, as be sometimes topk when he was in
liquor ; and, may the Merciful Virgin forgive me ! I lejt
him go without pompany, in which 1 did him inhuman
wrong. Holy St. John be my w^tpess ! 1 V^qi^ld have
gone with amr helpless creature ; and far more with him,
with whom IhaVe SQ often sat at the same board, and
drunken of the sanie cup. Who, of the race of man,
could ]teve thought, 9f ha?;ming a crpatui|e so simple,, and
so unoffending^ e^^cepting by his idle vaunts !" .

" Henry, he wore diy headmepe, thy ,bui^coat, thy
target— How caipae he by these r : •-

. " Why, he denjianded thie.use of; them for ih^ fli^^
and I was 111 at ease, and well pleased to be rid of hi^
company ; having kept no holiday, and being determined
to keep none, in .respect of our misunderstinuding." .

" It is the ppinicm of Bailie Craigdallie, and all our
sagest counsellors, that the blow was intended for your-
self, and that it becomes you to prosecute the due ven^
geance of onr fellow-citizen, who received the.death which
was meant for you."

The Snaith was for some time silent. . They had now
left the gardei>, and were walking in a lonely lane, by
which they ipeant to approach the Council-toiise of the
burgh, without being exposed to observation or idle in-
quiry. .

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"Yon'art silrat, hfy sdn, y'eft we^.two have inAch to
,9peak*of,7 s?tid #riton GloV€*r, " B^Mik 4iee that this
v?ri(Jowe(f wbmaiiM^5lIiii,'if jSbe i^h6rf^ cause to bring
k charge agairiS*^ ai^ oixe' for the wrbrig dohe to her and
her orphati children, mir$t snj^ort it, by a champion, ac-
conjmg to law arid custom ; for be the mtirderer who he
majt, we/know ejiough of these followers of the nobles to
be assinreA that the party suspected TiiH appeal to the
combat, in derisloti, perhaps,.pf tho^e^oifb th^ will call
the cowardly burgbers. While we.ar^ men with bTood in
bur veins, this nrast not be, Henry Wynd.**

« I $ee where yDu would dtawtte, ftthei^," ari^w^rfed
Heiity, dgectedfy ; " and St. John know^ I haye h'eard A
summon^ to" battle as wiflingly as ^^r-hotse ' ^er heard
the.ti^mpet. 9iit. t)ethink you, Father, ^how'f have lost
Cafliarine's fevoqr repeatedly, and havo been driven well
"nigh to desp^r of ever regaining it, fo;i: beirig,'if I may
say so, even too ready a man of m/^hiiiids. 'And here
are all bur quarrels inade tip, and the hbpe$,.that seemed
this morning removed beyond earthly plroSp^ct, have be-
come neater arid brighteir than iverj and*iriustl, with
tite dear 6np^^ kiss df ibi^veiiess on my lips, engage in
a new scene, of Ifclettci,, \wiich you are well aware will
^eh^t the'd^estio^nte'?^* . . '

/* It is,har(l for me to ad^seydu, Henry," said Sfanon ;
" Birt ^ r \ibifet. ask* iou^Hav-e ybtr, at have v6u not,
reason id ifiinf,*tltef tm^pbor urifortiinate OlH^er has*been
kiista^ i^P yoti .^ • - ' • i

« I fe^ it top toitthi**^ said He^ty. . *f Hetvas thotight
something %€ be, and thfe po6r'fo6I had sttldied to ape
mygestrires arid iiianher' Of Vallcirig, nay, die very airs
tvhiph Ihaye the trick of whistling, that be'might increase
9 r^^mhlijicB which has cost him de^. I have iU-willers
(enoughyboth ip burgh and landward, to owe me a shrewd
furn } aihdj he, J thfak, cbiild have nOtie such.**

'^ Well,' H^hrjr, X cannot say but my daughter will be
b^nftfed, * She has lleen much with Father Clement, and
has received notions about peace and forgiveness, which
m§tbipk8 suit ill with a country where the laws Caimot

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ST. YALIiNTJNli'5 DAT. 25

protect us, unless we have spirit to protect ourselves. U
you determine for the combat| I will do my best to per*
suade her to look on the matter as the other good woman-
hood in the burgh will do ; and if you resolve to let the
matter rest-*the man who has lost his life for yours re-
maining unavenged — the widow and the orphans without
any reparation for the loss of a husband and father — I
will then do you the justice to remember, that I, at least,
ought not to think the worse of you for your patience,
since it was adopted for love of my child. But, Henry,
we must in that case remove ourselves from bonny St.
Johnston, for here we will be but a disgraced family."

Henry groaned deeply, «nd was silent for an instant, then
replied, ^^ I would rather be dead than dishonoured, though
1 should never see her again ! Had it been yester evening, I
would have met the best blade among these men-at-arms as
blithely as ever I danced at a May-pole. But to-day, when
she had first as good.as said, * Henry Smith, I love thee !' —
Father Glover, it is very hard. Yet it is all my own fault !
This poor unhappy Oliver ! I ought to have allowed him
the shelter of my roof, when he prayed me in his agony
of fear ; or, had I gone with him, I should then have pre-
vented or shared his fate. But I taunted him, ridiculed
him, loaded him with maledictions, though the saints know
they were uttered in idle peevishness of impatience. I
drove him out from my doors, whom I knew so helpless,
to take the fate which was perhaps intended for me. I
must avenge him, or be dishonoured forever. See, father
— I have been called a man hard as the steel I work in —
Does burnished steel ever drop tears like these ? — Shame
on me that I should shed them !"

" It is no shame, my dearest son," said Simon ; " thou
art as kmd as brave, and I have always known it. There
is yet a chance for us. No one may be discovered to
whom suspicion attaches, and where none such is found,
the combat cannot take place. It is a hard thing to wish
that the innocent blood may not be avenged. But it the
perpetrator of this foul murder be hidden for the present,

3 VOL II.



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26 ST. VALBxNTINB S DAY.

tJicTu^lt be daved from the task of seeking tlmi ven-
geance \^icli Heaven, doubtless, will take at its own
proper tirae."

As they spoke thus, they arrived at the point of the
High Street where the Council-house was situated. As
they reached the door, and made tfieh: way through the
multitude who thronged fiie street, they found the
avenues guarded by a select party of airraed MirgJiCTS, and
about fifty spears belon^g t6 the Knight of Kinfauns,
who, with his allies the G^ays, Bkirs, Mohcrieffs, and
others, had brought to Perth a considerable body of horse,
of which these were a part. So soon as the Glover and
Smith presented Aemselves, Aey were admitted to the
chamber in which the magistrates were assembled.



CHAPTER 111.

A womjan yv^Ws for justice at the gate,
A widowM woman, waii and desolate.

fiXRTHA.

The Council-room of Perth presented a singular spec-
tacle.^ In a gloomy apartment, ill and inconveniently
lighted by two windows of different form and of unequal
size, were assembled, around a large oaken table^ a group
of men, of whom those who occupied the higher seats
were merchants, that is, guild brethren, or shop-keepers,
arrayed in decent dresses becoming their station, but most
of them bearing, like tlie Regent York, " signs of war
around their aged necks 5" forgets, namely, and baldricks,
which sjistained their weapons. The lower places around
the table were occupied by mechanics and artizans, the
presidents, or deacons, as they were termed, of the work-
ing classes, in their ordinary clothes, somewhat better
arranged than usual. These too wore pieces of armour
of various descriptions. Some had the black jack, or
doublet, covered with small plates of iron of a lozenge
shape, which, secured through the upper angle, hung in
rows above each, and which, swaying with the motion

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ST. valewtink'j* pay. 27

e£ the wearer's person, Ibrmed a secure defence to the
body^ Others had biiff^oatS} whiq^ as ah-eady men-
tionedy could reffist the blow of a sword, and even a
lance's point, tndess propelled with gr^at force* At the
bottom of the tahie, surrounded as it wa3 wkh this varied
assembly, sat Sir Louis Luadin ; no military inan, but a
prieat and parson of St. Jobn'S) arrafed in his canonical
dress, and baring fats pen and ink before hin^ He was
toivnr-clerk o^ the burgh, and, like aU the priests of the
period, (who were called from that circumstance the
Pope's kni^its,) received the honorable title of dominusy
contradted into Dom, or Dan, or ti^anslated into Sib, tl^e
title of reverence, due to the ocular ohiTflJry*
- On an elevated seat, at the beiad of the couacfl board,
was placed Sir Patrick Cb^eris, in ew^ete anoour,
bngittly burnished ; a singular contrast to the motley
mixture of warlike and peaceful attire exhibited by tbo
burghers, who were only called to arms occasionally.
Tbe»bearing of the Provost, while it com^etely admit-
ted the intimate connection which mutual interests had
created bedvixt himself, the burgh, and the magistracy,
was at the same time calculated to assert the superiority,
which, in virtue of gende blood and chivalrous rank, the
opinbns of the age assigned to him over tlie members of
the assembly in which be presided. Two squires stood
behind him, one of them holding the knight's .pennon,
and another his shield, bearing his armorial distinctions,
being a hand holding a dagger, or short sword, with the
proud motto. This is my charter. A handsome page
di^layed the long sword of bis master, and another bore
his lance ; all which chivalrous emblems and appurtenan-
ces were the more scrupulously exhibited, that the dig*
nitary to whom they belonged was engaged in discharging
the office of a burgh magistrate. In his own person the
Knight of Kinfauns appeared to affect something of state
and stiffiiess, which did not naturally pertain to his frank
and jovial character.

'^ So, you are come at l^n^b, Henry Smith and Simon
Glover," said the Provost. ** Know that you have kept

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28 ST.

us waiting for your attendance. Should it so chance
again while we occupy this place, we will lay such a fine
on you as you will have small pleasure in paying.
' Enough — make no excuses. They arc not asked now,
and anodier time they will not be admitted. Know, sirs,
that our reverend clerk hath taken down i& writing, and
at full length, what I will tell you in brief, that you
may see what is to be required of jrou, Henry Smith, in
particular. Our late fellow-citizen, Oliver Proudfute,
hath been found dead in the High Street, close by the
entrance into the wynd. It seemeth he was slain by a
heavy blow wiUi a short axe, dealt from bebmd and at
unawares ; and the act by which he fell can only be
termed a deed of foul and fore-thought murder. So
much for the crime. The criminal can only be mdicat-
ed by circumstances. It is recorded in the protocol, of
die Reverend Sir Louis Lundin, that divers well-reputed
witnesses saw our deceased citizen, Oliver Proudfute,
till a late period, accompanying the Entry of the morrice-
dancers,^ of whom he was one, as far as the house of
Simon Glover, in Curfew Street, where they again play-
ed their pageant. It is also manifested, that at this place
he separated from the rest of the band, after some dis-
course with Simon Glover, and made an appointment to
meet with the others of his company at the sign of die
Griffin, there to conclude the holiday. — Now, Sunon, I
demand of you whether this be truly stated, so far as
you know ? and further, what was the purport of the
defunct Oliver Proudfute's discourse with you ?"

" My Lord Provost and very worshipful Sir Patrick,"
answered Simon Glover, " you and this honourable
council shall know, that, touching certain reports which
had been made of the conduct of Henry Smith, some
quarrel had arisen between myself and another of my
family, and^ the said Smith here present. Now, this our
poor fellow-citizen, Oliver Proudfute, having been active
in spreading these reports, as indeed his element lay in
such gossipred, some words passed betwixt him and me
on the subject ; and, as I think, he left me with the pui

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ST, val£ntinb'» day. 29

pose of vishing Henry Smith, for he broke off &om the



Online LibraryJohn DrydenChronicles of the Canongate → online text (page 25 of 46)