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Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald


1 It amuses a Scotchman to find that the word cakes, as in |The Land of Cakes,| is taken, not only by foreigners, but by some English people -- as how, indeed, should it be otherwise? -- to mean compositions of flour, more or less enriched, and generally appreciable; whereas, in fact, it stands for the dryest, simplest preparation in the world. The genuine cakes is -- (My grammar follows usage: cakes is; broth are.) -- literally nothing but oatmeal made into a dough with cold water and dried over the fire -- sometimes then in front of it as well.

2 Metrical paraphrases of passages of Scripture, always to be found at the end of the Bibles printed for Scotland.

3 See Sir Thomas Dick Lauder's account of the Morayshire Floods in 1829 (1st Ed., p.181) -- an enchanting book, especially to one whose earliest memories are interwoven with water-floods. For details in such kind here given, I am much indebted to it. Again and again, as I have been writing, has it rendered me miserable -- my tale showing so flat and poor beside Sir Thomas's narrative. Known to me from childhood, it wakes in me far more wonder and pleasure now, than it did even in the days when the marvel of things came more to the surface.

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