Long ago, in thedays when our caged blackbirds never saw a king’s soldier without whistlingimpudently, “Come ower the water to Charlie,” a minister of Thrums was to bemarried, but something happened, and he remained a bachelor. Then, when hewas old, he passed in our square the lady who was to have been his wife, andher hair was white, but she, too, was still unmarried. The meeting had onlyone witness, a weaver, and he said solemnly afterwards, “They didna speak,but they just gave one another a look, and I saw the love-light in theireen.” No more is remembered of these two, no being now living ever saw them,but the poetry that was in the soul of a battered weaver makes them human tous for ever.
It is of another minister I am totell, but only to those who know that light when they see it. I am notbidding good-bye to many readers, for though it is true that some men, ofwhom Lord Rintoul was one, live to an old age without knowing love, few of uscan have met them, and of women so incomplete I never heard.
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