THE last of the West Bow balls before Lady Charlotte ran away with her dancing-master was on a dirty evening in November. Edinburgh was all day wrapped in haar, and now came rain that made the gutters run like mountain burns and overflow into the closes, to fall in shallow cataracts to the plain below. There was a lively trade in the taverns. “Lord! there’s a sneezer for ye!” said the customers ordering in their ale, not really minding the weather much, for it was usual and gave a good excuse for more assiduous scourging of the nine-gallon tree; but their wives, spanging awkwardly on pattens through the mud on their way to the fishwife at the Luckenbooths for the supper haddocks, had such a breeze in their petticoats and plaids they were in a terror that they should be blown away upon the blasts that came up the gulleys between the towering “lands,” and daring slates and chimney-pots, and the hazards of emptied vessels from the flats above, kept close to the wall as luggers scrape the shore of Fife when the gale’s nor’-west.