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WILLIAM THOM, THE WEAVER POET. 177
a corpse-like infant, whose wailing would not be stilled. Then the man who had been singing entered, and bent over the dying child : —
" I have wearied sadly for your coming, James," said the woman.
" It 's so dark out by the nicht," replied the man, " I only found out this door by our wean greetin'."
The child died during the night.
At length in the town of Methven, without even the necessary sixpence, preliminary to untieing the shoes in a tramp lodging house, an idea struck Thorn that he might make use of his flute to avoid absolute mendicancy. Telling his wife to take the flute from their budget, and to accompany him, he went out into the streets. The story can be told only in his own words.
" We found ourselves in a beautiful green lane, fairly out of town, and opposite a genteel-looking house, at the windows of which sat several well-dressed people. I think that it might be our bewilderment that attracted their notice — perhaps not favorably.
" * A quarter of an hour longer,' said I, ' and it will be darker. Let us walk out a bit.'
" The sun had been down a good while and the gloamin' was lovely. In spite of everything I felt a momentary reprieve. I dipped my dry flute in a