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THE BLACK DWARF'S BONES.

'If thou wert grim,

Lame, ugly, crooked, swart, prodigious.'

KING JOHN.

THE BLACK DWARF'S BONES.

THESE

HESE gnarled, stunted, useless old bones, were all that David Ritchie, the original of the Black Dwarf, had for left femur and tibia, and we

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have merely to look at them, and add poverty, to know the misery summed up in their possession. They seem to have been blighted and rickety.

The thigh-bone is very short and slight, and singu larly loose in texture; the leg-bone is dwarfed, but dense and stout. They were given to me many years ago by the late Andrew Ballantyne, Esq., of Woodhouse (the Wudess, as they call it on Tweedside), and their genuineness is unquestionable.

As anything must be interesting about one once so forlorn and miserable, and whom our great wizard has made immortal, I make no apology for printing the following letters from my old friend, Mr. Craig, long surgeon in Peebles, and who is now spending his evening, after a long, hard, and useful day's work, in the quiet vale of Manor, within a mile or two of 'Cannie Elshie's' cottage. The picture he gives is very affecting, and should make us all thankful that we are 'wise-like.' There is much that is additional to Sir Walter's account, in his 'Author's Edition' of the Waverley Novels.

'HALL MANOR, Thursday, May 20, 1858.

'MY DEAR SIR, -David Ritchie, alias Bowed Davie, was born at Easter Happrew, in the parish of Stobo, in the year 1741. He was brought to Woodhouse, in the parish of Manor, when very young. His father was a labourer, and occupied a cottage on that farm; his mother, Anabel Niven, was a delicate woman, severely afflicted with rheumatism, and could not take care of him when an

infant. To this cause he attributed his deformity, and this, if added to imperfect clothing, and bad food, and poverty, will account for the grotesque figure which he became. He never was at school, but he could read tolerably; had many books; was fond of poetry, especially Allan Ramsay; he hated Burns. His father and mother both died early, and poor Davie became a homeless wanderer; he was two years at Broughton Mill, employed in stirring the husks of oats, which were used for drying the corn on the kiln, and required to be kept con stantly in motion; he boasted, with a sort of rapture, of his doings there. From thence he went to Lyne's Mill, near his birthplace, where he continued one year at the same employment, and from thence he was sent to Edinburgh to learn brush-making, but made no progress in his education there; was annoyed by the wicked boys, or keelies, as he called them, and found his way back to Manor and Woodhouse. The farm now possessed by Mr. Ballantyne was then occupied by four tenants, among whom he lived; but his house was at Old Woodhouse, where the late Sir James Nasmyth built him a house with two apartments, and separate outer doors, one for himself exactly his own height when standing upright in it; and this stands as it was built, exactly four feet. A Mr. Ritchie, the father of the late minister of Athelstaneford, was

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