The Ayrshire Legatees, , the Pringle Family

Author: John Galt

Chapter VIII—The Queen’s Trial

As the spring advanced, the beauty of the country around Garnock was gradually unfolded; the blossom was unclosed, while the church was embraced within the foliage of more umbrageous boughs. The schoolboys from the adjacent villages were, on the Saturday afternoons, frequently seen angling along the banks of the Lugton, which ran clearer beneath the churchyard wall, and the hedge of the minister’s glebe; and the evenings were so much lengthened, that the occasional visitors at the manse could prolong their walk after tea. These, however, were less numerous than when the family were at home; but still Mr. Snodgrass, when the weather was fine, had no reason to deplore the loneliness of his bachelor’s court.

It happened that, one fair and sunny afternoon, Miss Mally Glencairn and Miss Isabella Tod came to the manse. Mrs. Glibbans and her daughter Becky were the same day paying their first ceremonious visit, as the matron called it, to Mr. and Mrs. Craig, with whom the whole party were invited to take tea; and, for lack of more amusing chit-chat, the Reverend young gentleman read to them the last letter which he had received from Mr. Andrew Pringle. It was conjured naturally enough out of his pocket, by an observation of Miss Mally’s "Nothing surprises me," said that amiable maiden lady, "so much as the health and good-humour of the commonality. It is a joyous refutation of the opinion, that the comfort and happiness of this life depends on the wealth of worldly possessions."

"It is so," replied Mr. Snodgrass, "and I do often wonder, when I see the blithe and hearty children of the cottars, frolicking in the abundance of health and hilarity, where the means come from to enable their poor industrious parents to supply their wants."

"How can you wonder at ony sic things, Mr. Snodgrass? Do they not come from on high," said Mrs. Glibbans, "whence cometh every good and perfect gift? Is there not the flowers of the field, which neither card nor spin, and yet Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these?"

"I was not speaking in a spiritual sense," interrupted the other, "but merely made the remark, as introductory to a letter which I have received from Mr. Andrew Pringle, respecting some of the ways of living in London."

Mrs. Craig, who had been so recently translated from the kitchen to the parlour, pricked up her ears at this, not doubting that the letter would contain something very grand and wonderful, and exclaimed, "Gude safe’s, let’s hear’t—I’m unco fond to ken about London, and the king and the queen; but I believe they are baith dead noo."

Miss Becky Glibbans gave a satirical keckle at this, and showed her superior learning, by explaining to Mrs. Craig the unbroken nature of the kingly office. Mr. Snodgrass then read as follows:-


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Chicago: John Galt, "Chapter VIII— The Queen’s Trial," The Ayrshire Legatees, , the Pringle Family, trans. Evans, Sebastian in The Ayrshire Legatees, , the Pringle Family Original Sources, accessed March 30, 2023,

MLA: Galt, John. "Chapter VIII— The Queen’s Trial." The Ayrshire Legatees, , the Pringle Family, translted by Evans, Sebastian, in The Ayrshire Legatees, , the Pringle Family, Original Sources. 30 Mar. 2023.

Harvard: Galt, J, 'Chapter VIII— The Queen’s Trial' in The Ayrshire Legatees, , the Pringle Family, trans. . cited in , The Ayrshire Legatees, , the Pringle Family. Original Sources, retrieved 30 March 2023, from