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А MAN'S A MAN FOR A' THAT."
YA. IKE a good many Scotchmen, Peter Macgregor He sang it at the Rose and Thistle; and someu had found his way into Yorkshire; but, times he sang it when he was leaving it, scarcely
unlike so many of his countrymen who cross able to walk straight home; which we are sorry the Border, he was not the steady man he ought to to say, was very often. have been, indeed, he seemed to have left behind Peter was by trade a cabinet-maker, in one of him in Scotland both his sobriety and his religion; the first establishments in Leeds; and there was that is to say, what he had of either.
not a better workman in the place; that is, when To hear Peter talk, you might think there was he had his wits about him, which was not always, nothing in Yorkshire at all to be compared with for sometimes he was sadlý dazed and muddled by what he had left in Scotland. The Scotch oat- the driuk he had taken the previous night. It was meal was better than the English; there was not said, indeed, in the shop, that he might have been a mountain in England to be compared with Ben foreman if only he could have kept himself from Nevis, or an English lake like Loch Lomond or the drink. Peter himself had a suspicion of that; Loch Katrine; there was not an English preacher and he did not like Edward Powell, who had been worth naming along with preachers he had heard “put over his head,” any the better for it; still, in Scotland ; and of this he was certain—and the if there was at any time a bit of work which man was a fool who thought otherwise—that required special skill, it was entrusted to Peter. neither Shakespeare nor Milton, nor Tennyson, Such a piece of work had been given to him one nor any other English poet, was fit to hold the Monday morning, when, unfortunately, he was candle to Robert Burns.
suffering from the effects of both the Saturday There were some of his Yorkshire friends who nights and the Sunday's drinking. It was a very now and then expressed their wonder that Peter beautiful and elaborate piece of lady's work, which should have ever left Scotland; or that, having was intended for a wedding-present; and the found how inferior Yorkshire was, he did not go wedding was to take place in a few days. It had back again; but Peter always had his answer been sent to Peter's employers to be made up into ready. There were so many clever men in Scot- an article of drawing-room furniture; and when land, that there was no room for them all; and the foreman gave it into his hands, he gave him then, how poor England would be if all the also very clear directions about it; and at the Scotchmen left it. To which it was more than same time the strictest charge to take the utmost once replied, that if they were all such as he was, care that it was done well. England might, perhaps, get along without them. A little before the hour of leaving, Peter's work
Peter spent most of his evenings at the Rose was completed, and he asked the foreman to look and Thistle; and he was one of the landlord's best at it. What was the dismay of the latter to sec at customers. There was many a week in which it the first glance, that Peter had entirely mistaken his took nearly half his week's wages to clear off the directions, and that, besides having done it wrongly, week's score for drink.
the workmanship was altogether discreditable. Peter was fond of singing, and he was not a bad The lady's work, on which she had spent the singer by any means. He did not confine himself leisure time of months, was, to all appearances, to the songs of Robert Burns; but he liked them hopelessly spoilt. better than anybody else's, and he sang them most The foreman looked first at the work, and then frequently. Nor was it only at the Rose and at Peter, and his look spoke volumes. If Peter Thistle that you heard him sing them; but every had been wise, he would have been silent, for he now and then as he went about his work. Some could not help knowing what the look meant; but times he would sing such snatches as these : he was in one of his worst and most perverse
tempers. No wonder; for besides that his head “ The cock may craw, the day may daw,
still ached from the effects of yesterday's drink, he But aye we'el taste the barley bree;"
was vexed and dissatisfied with himself, and he
could not but be dissatisfied with his work. “ We're na’ that fou, we're na' that fou,
“Well,” he said, doggedly, “what are you lookBut just a wee drap in our ee.”
ing me in that way for? Is not it right ?”
· Right!" said the foreman, indignantly. “It's On the other hand, however, he was fond of the worst bit of work that has been done in this spouting or singing bits of his favourite poet, shop for many a long day; and you know it is. which expressed high moral sentiments; and of There's hardly an apprentice-lad in the shop who these there was none he repeated more frequently could not have done it better. Then, too, it is not than
as if you had spoilt a bit of our own stuff; it's the “ A man's a man for a' that."
lady's work that's ruined.
Of course, this was a great humiliation to Peter, “ Thou's a foolish fellow," replied Rowntree. and all the more that it was said in the hearing of "Thou'll not find it easy to get a shop like the one the whole shop. He thought, moreover, that thou's in. Besides, thou'll want a character; and every body seemed to enjoy it rather than other what sort of character does thou think thou would wise, and it might be so; for Peter was by no get if thou were sent off; aye, or if thou took thymeans a general favourite.
self off, just now?" To make the matter still worse, the foreman took Peter could say nothing in reply to that; for, from Peter another piece of work of the same kind, with all his pride, and with all his conceit of his saying, it was plain he could not be trusted with it. skill as a workman, he could not help feeling that
Peter was very angry; and he was just about to his friend was right. give utterance to his wrath, when he was checked “ Then,” continued Rowntree,” thou's always by a glance from one of his fellow-workmen, George spouting that stuff about a man being a man for Rowntree, who, it so happened, had greater in- a' that.” fluence with him than anybody else in the shop. “Stuff!" said Peter; “it's a great sentiment.”
That, by the way, was somewhat remarkable, “ The sentiment may be grand enough,” replied considering the kind of man Rowntree was. He Rowntree; “ but I tell thee that as thou uses it was' an honest, outspoken Yorkshireman, a total- there's neither grandeur nor common-sense about abstainer, and a true Christian-in almost every- it; and I'm fair sick of hearing it. If thou would thing the very opposite of Peter. Peter, however, just try to be a man, instead of for ever telling us could not help respecting him for his straightfor- thou is one, there would be some reason in it." ward honesty; and, besides, he had before this had “A man!” said Peter, drawing himself up to good reason to know that Rowntree regarded him his full height, “who says I am not a man ?" very kinaiy.
“ Thou's big enough to be a man,” replied There was no opportunity for Rowntree saying Rowntree, "and thou can sometimes talk big anything just then; but he was quite sure it enough for half-a-dozen; but I'll put it to thyself, would not be long before Peter went to see him if thou is not doing a lot of things which have not and talk over what had passed. He was right. a bit of manliness about them ?" He had scarcely finished his tea the same evening “Well, what?" asked Peter, somewhat indigbefore Peter entered his house.
nantly. Rowntree led the way into his little parlour, and “I saw thee last night,” replied Rowntree, “Sunthere the two sat down together.
day night, though it was, and I heard thee; but I “I tell you what," burst out Peter, as soon as don't think thou saw me. It was about fifty yards they were by themselves, “I am not going to from the Rose and Thistle. Thou would have stand this kind of thing any longer. To think tumbled into the gutter, if one of thy fellows, who of Powell talking to me like that-an upstart was almost as drunk as thyself, had not propped fellow, who has wheedled the governors into thee up; and thou was singing about a man being setting him up above better men! And before the a man for a' that. Now, to my mind, thou was a whole shop, too! I may be poor, and I may have vast deal less than a man: for a man who has made a mistake now and then; but 'A man's a drunk away his senses is hardly a man. And then man for a'that.'”
thy drink costs money-the money thy wife and “I was very sorry for thee, Peter," said Rowntree; children ought to have to make them comfortable; “ and I'll not deny, that if only half as much had and instead of spending it on them, thou goes and been said to me, I should have hardly known spends it on the drink that makes thee little better where to put myself. But thou knows, as well than a beast. Now, I ask thee if there is aught as I do, that thou deserved all thou got. Thou that's manly in that ?" would never have made that mess of the job if Rowntree said all this straight out; but he said thy head had not been muddled by yesterday's it so kindly, that Peter could not be offended. drink. Then, too, thou had not the sense to hold Then," continued Rowntree, “this is a kind of thy tongue. Thou may be thankful Powell did thing that nearly always goes on from bad to not turn thee off at once."
worse; and if thou goes on drinking only a bit Peter was a good deal disappointed; for he had longer, I tell thee frankly I shall have very little expected far more sympathy from his friend. hope for thee. Ah, Peter, it would be the manliest Rowntree, however, knew very well that there was thing thou ever did, if thou would only make up something which Peter needed far more than thy mind to give up the drink and stand to it; sympathy, and that was a bit of straight, plain and let me tell thee thou'll never be a real man talk; and he resolved to give it him.
till thou does." But Peter was by no means inclined as yet to They had some further talk on the subject, and confess himself in the wrong, and he replied, de- at length Peter said, “Well, I'll try." The first fiantly: “Well, who cares? Let him turn me off, time for many a month, his place at the Rose and if he likes. I suppose I could find another shop Thistle was vacant that evening; and we are glad somewhere or other."
to say that he has never filled it since.
“But, Peter,” said his friend, “mind this: al- who had done the work, asking her to be kind though I am certain thou will never become a true enough to call. She did so, and the circumstances man, unless thou gives up the drink, that of itself were explained to her. She was a kind Christian won't make the one. There's many a fellow who lady, who, amongst other good things that she did, never touches a drop of drink from year's end to took a special interest in all efforts which sought year's end, who is not much of a man after all. the deliverance of those who had fallen beneath Only the Lord Jesus Christ can make us the men the slavery of drink. When she heard how sorry we ought to be."
Peter was, she said she would gladly undertake tu And Rowntree was right. We don't deny that restore the damaged portions of her work, and also there may be a great deal that is noble and manly that she would ask her friend for whom the present about men who do not believe in the Lord Jesus was intended to excuse the delay. Peter, too, Christ; but, there is no manhood like Christian begged to be allowed to do his own part of the manhood. For see what faith in Christ does for a work over again, without any additional wages; man. Through the power of the Holy Spirit it and he never did a better job in his life, and asked makes him “a new creature," delivering him from that he might be permitted to take it to the lady's all vile passions, and filling him with an earnest house himself. love for everything that is good and right. Then Since then Peter has stood firm, and there is not the Gospel sets before him the noblest example, a steadier workman in the shop. It is even said, that of the Lord Jesus Christ; and besides, it that if Powell should leave-and there is some binds him by his love to the Lord Jesus, to follow likelihood of it-he has a good chance of getting after everything that is “ honest, and lovely, and his place; but that remains to be seen. of good report.” Even beyond all this, it promises There is something better still: Peter goes to him the grace of the Holy Spirit, that he “may regularly, every Sunday, to the House of God, grow up into a perfect man, unto the measure of and he takes his wife and children with him. the stature of the fulness of Christ.” There is no In regard to that, we may say, that his friend telling what a man, even the feeblest may become, Rowntree was just a little disappointed; for he is if he will only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. a Methodist, and he thinks there is nothing in all
Peter knew very well that he had not heard the the world like Methodism, and he would have last of his spoilt work, and that the foreman would liked Peter to go with him to the Methodist chapel. have no alternative but to mention it to the heads But Peter found in the town a church of the same of the firm; and the question was what was to be order as that which he had attended in Scotland, done.
and he preferred going there. Any little disap“Tell them honestly how it happened,” said pointment, however, which Rowntree might have Rowntree, “and tell them how sorry thou is; and in regard to this, soon passed away. say that, if they will pass it by, such a thing shall “ It does not much matter," he said to Peter, “so never happen again, because thou's determined not only thou's a Christian ; and I hope thou is one. to touch another drop of drink.”
Besides, as it is the thing thou was accustomed to Peter was wise and manly enough to take his when thou was a lad thy father's and thy friend's advice; and though his employers were mother's religion—they'll maybe keep hold of much grieved, they consented to give him another thee better than we could have done.” trial. He found, moreover, a friend in an unex- And who will deny that there was a good deal pected quarter. A message was sent to the lady in that?
GRIEF AND JOY.
and to offer the prayer of Stephen, “Lord Jesus, An old clergyman once said, “When I come receive my spirit. * For Thou hast redeemed me, to die, I shall have my greatest grief and my O Lord God of truth."- Ibid. greatest joy-my greatest grief that I have done
A penitent and believing sailor said, “To save so little for the Lord Jesus, and my greatest joy such a sinner as I am, He shall never hear the last that the Lord Jesus has done so much for me.”- of it.” We are apt to forget that praise is well Dr. Marsh.
pleasing to God. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me." And St. Paul states the same :
By Him With reference to the hour of death, I have also let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God conoften thought I should like to have the humility tinually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks of the publican, “God be meriful to me, a sinner, to His name' (Hebrews xiii. 15).” — Ibid.
THE HOUR OF DEATH.