Weir of Hermiston: An Unfinished Romance

By Robert Louis

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...Transcribed from the 1913 Chatto and Windus edition by David Price, email
ccx074@pglaf.org





...

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... at the Ballantyne Press, Edinburgh




TO MY WIFE


_I saw rain...

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...corrections of the old, the tale of the Justice-Clerk
and of his son, young Hermiston, that...

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...withered in the
growing, and (whether it was the sins of her sires or the sorrows...

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...as to this unknown male animal that
approached her with the roughness of a ploughman and...

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...next day's meal would
never be a penny the better--and the next cook (when she came)...

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...he unbent so gladly, few
whom he favoured with so many pleasantries. "Kirstie and me...

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...one side, tender innocents
with psalms upon their lips; upon the other, the persecutors, booted,
bloody-minded, flushed...

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...the immortal men, on what
black, downward path were many of them wending, and to what...

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...always greeted him.
The judge was that day in an observant mood, and remarked upon the...

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...seven, and beyond his years for curiosity and logic, when he brought
the case up openly....

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...a voice condemns it. He
will instantly submit, privately hold the same opinion. For...

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...returned the first. "A
fushionless quean, a feckless carline."

The poor creature thus discussed rambled a...

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...upon
that pouring tide of lamentation in which women of her class excel and
over-abound.

Lord Hermiston sat...

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...a visit,
entering the sick-room with a facetious and appalling countenance,
letting off a few perfunctory jests,...

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...boy's life.

But Hermiston was not all of one piece. He was, besides, a mighty...

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...to say truth, it was not difficult,
for they were neither of them quick. He...

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...his
father, held him aloof from all. It is a fact, and a strange one,...

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...that society; and there were not, perhaps, in Christendom
two men more radically strangers. The...

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...nature that caught at the
beholder's breath, he was tending a sore throat.

Over against him, my...

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...Had
there been the least redeeming greatness in the crime, any obscurity, any
dubiety, perhaps he might...

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...Speculative, swam up in his mind and
startled him as with voices: and he seemed to...

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...have
the honour of wishing you good-day."

"You won't forget the Spec.?" asked Innes.

"The Spec.?" said Archie....

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...of embarrassment, of something like alarm, passed round the
room, so daring did these words appear...

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...of witnesses--struck him a public buffet before crowds. Who had
called him to judge his...

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...me?"

The doctor turned about and looked him all over with a clinical eye. A
far...

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...the door-step of the lighted house, and was aware of
the figure of his father approaching...

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...order of
the Court was being executit. Forbye which, it would appear that ye've
been airing...

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...steik your mouth on the public
street. What for should I steik mines upon the...

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...in the French--"

"Have ye been so loyal to me?" interrupted his father.

There came no reply.

"I...

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... At every word, this sense of the
greatness of Lord Hermiston's spirit struck more home;...

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...bring a bit of supper,"
and again to Archie, with a very trivial accent: "I was...

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...its
nature from your father: from Glenkindie, yes, his malice sparked out of
him a little grossly....

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...often; the man's
notorious for it, for being--look at my position! he's my father and this
is...

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...father, I
scarcely like to remind you, since it is so trite a commonplace, is older
than...

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...pleasant spectacle," said Glenalmond. "And yet, do you
know, I think somehow a great one."

"I've...

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...whom I have
publicly insulted? What am I to do to him? How do...

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...bear's. At that moment, coming in hissing
from many potations, with a flushed countenance and...

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...night in a
college society against capital punishment. This is the extent of what I
have...

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...tasked a landscape gardener to say
where policy ended and unpolicied nature began. My lord...

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...bloods of the country-side congregated and drank deep on a
percentage of the expense, so that...

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...eyes and tender hearts; if he had but guessed that the Recluse of
Hermiston, young, graceful,...

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...take buffets
or caresses according to the temper of the hour. To Kirstie, thus
situate and...

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...eyes' desire. This
perpetual hunger and thirst of his presence kept her all day on...

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...of
it! God forgive me for a daft wife!" So it befell, by good...

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...all this tissue of crime and misfortune, the Elliotts of
Cauldstaneslap had one boast which must...

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...up about her
hair, it was unco' tender, ye see--'Houts, Miss Jeannie,' I would say,
'just fling...

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...parts asleep, having drunk hard. But it is ill to
catch an Elliott. For...

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...hill, and a
sore road. Kirstie has seen men from Edinburgh dismounting there in
plain day...

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...people bearing in their midst something
that dripped. "For the boady of the saxt," pursued...

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...hand in the red blood, he who
had ridden down Dickieson, became, from that moment on,...

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...is the way of it, I
hear. If ye arena a'thegither dozened with cediocy, ye'll...

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...have no
clearness of mind upon that point," he would reply. If nobody called him
in...

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...the elements of
a corporation." "A provost and corporation," returned Clem. And his
readiness was...

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...these recognitions, almost to be called official, Dandie was made
welcome for the sake of his...

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...The unsatisfactory incumbent of St.
Enoch's Kirk was thus briefly dismissed: "If he had but twa...

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...that I never see her in church?" said Archie.

"'Deed, and I believe she's in Glesgie...

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...dreadful feud.
Presumably the two women had been principals in the original encounter,
and the laird had...

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...bigger
than a footstool. There sat Archie, an apparent prince, the only
undeniable gentleman and the...

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...this particular Sunday, there was no doubt but that the spring had
come at last. ...

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...him for a moment as he made haste to enter.

He went up the aisle reverently,...

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...he should
think her pretty. At that her heart beat the least thing in the...

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...Whaur's the sense of a jaiket that'll no button
upon you, if it should come to...

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...bright thing like a child. He looked at her
again and yet again, and their...

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...niece
of his housekeeper; he had stared like a lackey and a libertine at a
beautiful and...

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...service ended.
Something of the same sort was going forward in the mind of Archie, as...

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... But still when I'm stopping in the house, if I was to
be visiting my...

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...pleasure, and betook
herself to run. When she had overtaken the stragglers of her family,...

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...trunk. As she now took it in hand the book fell open
where the leaf...

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...of medicine come into
that loft, he would have diagnosed a healthy, well-developed, eminently
vivacious lass lying...

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...said.

There was something unusually soft in her tones that made him look up.
She was pale,...

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...and be content wi'
that!"

That was Dandie's way; a kiss and a comfit to Jenny--a bawbee...

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...back a last time at the farm. It
still lay deserted except for the figure...

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...trembling and sat down glowing with
excitement on the Weaver's stone. She shut her eyes,...

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...gathered under her on the one side, and she leaned
on her bare arm, which showed...

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...brief, and fragile, and
exquisite, that I am afraid to touch life. We are here...

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...her half voice, now sinking
almost to a whisper, now rising to a particular note which...

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...also singing--

"Of old, unhappy far off things,
And...

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...throng of Hob's children.

Only Dandie, waiting till the last, caught Kirstie by the arm. ...

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...it into mockery, and put off
answering it, and in the end lost it, misfortunes of...

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...been noticed (had there been any one to pay heed) that
they were rarely so much...

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...in my
opinion he would do well at the Bar. As for his father, no...

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...advantages, he
failed with every one about Hermiston; with the silent shepherd, with the
obsequious grieve, with...

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...and respect which recoiled from a word of
belittlement.

Nor was Frank more successful when he went...

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...ask.

"O, reclusing away!" Innes would declare, with his bright air of saying
something witty; and immediately...

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...private, in conversations of two, to talk vaguely of bad
habits and low habits. "I...

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...career to be looked for with
uneasiness and confidential whispering. He had done something
disgraceful, my...

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...on his young shoulders. He spoke with a laboured
composure, a laboured kindness even; but...

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...gait
but already dwindled in the distance into less than the smallness of
Lilliput, he could afford...

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...always came home again from
some point between the south and west. From the study...

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...trying to be so," said Frank. "It's none too easy in this
place, and with...

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...what?"--Archie, helpless with irritation, persisted in this
dangerous and ungracious guard.

"Well, the end of the milkmaid;...

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...say, man, don't forget your prayers! I don't often do the
moral--don't go in for...

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...Kirstie at any time when the occasion chanced; but
it so fell out that she was...

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...brightness and love; and behind and beyond, she
saw but the blank butt-end where she must...

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...the
night into his bosom deeply; seeking, perhaps finding, peace after the
manner of the unhappy. ...

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...voice, "ye
mauna think that I canna sympathise wi' ye. Ye mauna think that I...

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...buryin'. But
while he was here, I could take care o' mysel'. And can...

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... And a kind of
horror fell upon her at what she had done. She...

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...And the next
moment, when she had turned her face to him and the quick smile...

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...not frank, not honest truly, and I ought to have seen it. People
have begun...

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...doom. But Archie, with his masculine sense of responsibility, must
reason; he must dwell on...

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...there, I promise you you would have grat, my
dear! And they opened my eyes....

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..."I thocht--I
thocht--I thocht I was sae happy!" and the first sob broke from her like
the...

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...her heart, allows herself to become Frank's victim.
Old Kirstie is the first to perceive something...

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...duty of sending his own son to the gallows, seem clearly to have been
destined to...

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...and did me all the good in the world." The
terms of his inquiry seem...

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...the great
last interview between Richard and Lucy--and the blind, illogical bullet
which smashes all has no...

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...justice, in order to shield his
wife from persecution by a former husband who reappears after...

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...In church,
old Mr. Torrance preached, over eighty and a relic of times forgotten,
with his black...

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...was moved to "take the lid off and look in,"--under the
influence, it would seem, of...

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...work on the _Ebb-Tide_, on a new tale called _St. Ives_,
which was begun during an...

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...Napoleonic
wars--or to put it another way, the generation that elapsed between the
days when Scott roamed...

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...in the heart of the Border,
especially Teviotdale and Ettrick. Some of the geographical names
mentioned...

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...of mutton.

Girzie, lit. diminutive of Grizel, here a playful nickname.

Glaur, mud.

Glint, glance, sparkle.

Gloaming, twilight.

Glower, to...