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´╗┐Title: Old Mortality, Volume 2.
Author: Scott, Walter, Sir, 1771-1832
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old Mortality, Volume 2." ***

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David Moynihan



[Illustration: Bookcover]


[Illustration: Spines]



OLD MORTALITY

By Walter Scott


[Illustration: Titlepage]



VOLUME II.



CHAPTER I.

               And look how many Grecian tents do stand
               Hollow upon this plain--so many hollow factions.
                                        Troilus and Cressida.

In a hollow of the hill, about a quarter of a mile from the field of
battle, was a shepherd's hut; a miserable cottage, which, as the only
enclosed spot within a moderate distance, the leaders of the presbyterian
army had chosen for their council-house. Towards this spot Burley guided
Morton, who was surprised, as he approached it, at the multifarious
confusion of sounds which issued from its precincts. The calm and anxious
gravity which it might be supposed would have presided in councils held
on such important subjects, and at a period so critical, seemed to have
given place to discord wild, and loud uproar, which fell on the ear of
their new ally as an evil augury of their future measures. As they
approached the door, they found it open indeed, but choked up with the
bodies and heads of countrymen, who, though no members of the council,
felt no scruple in intruding themselves upon deliberations in which they
were so deeply interested. By expostulation, by threats, and even by some
degree of violence, Burley, the sternness of whose character maintained a
sort of superiority over these disorderly forces, compelled the intruders
to retire, and, introducing Morton into the cottage, secured the door
behind them against impertinent curiosity. At a less agitating moment,
the young man might have been entertained with the singular scene of
which he now found himself an auditor and a spectator.

The precincts of the gloomy and ruinous hut were enlightened partly by
some furze which blazed on the hearth, the smoke whereof, having no legal
vent, eddied around, and formed over the heads of the assembled council a
clouded canopy, as opake as their metaphysical theology, through which,
like stars through mist, were dimly seen to twinkle a few blinking
candles, or rather rushes dipped in tallow, the property of the poor
owner of the cottage, which were stuck to the walls by patches of wet
clay. This broken and dusky light showed many a countenance elated with
spiritual pride, or rendered dark by fierce enthusiasm; and some whose
anxious, wandering, and uncertain looks, showed they felt themselves
rashly embarked in a cause which they had neither courage nor conduct to
bring to a good issue, yet knew not how to abandon, for very shame. They
were, indeed, a doubtful and disunited body. The most active of their
number were those concerned with Burley in the death of the Primate, four
or five of whom had found their way to Loudon-hill, together with other
men of the same relentless and uncompromising zeal, who had, in various
ways, given desperate and unpardonable offence to the government.

With them were mingled their preachers, men who had spurned at the
indulgence offered by government, and preferred assembling their flocks
in the wilderness, to worshipping in temples built by human hands, if
their doing the latter should be construed to admit any right on the part
of their rulers to interfere with the supremacy of the Kirk. The other
class of counsellors were such gentlemen of small fortune, and
substantial farmers, as a sense of intolerable oppression had induced to
take arms and join the insurgents. These also had their clergymen with
them, and such divines, having many of them taken advantage of the
indulgence, were prepared to resist the measures of their more violent
brethren, who proposed a declaration in which they should give testimony
against the warrants and instructions for indulgence as sinful and
unlawful acts. This delicate question had been passed over in silence in
the first draught of the manifestos which they intended to publish, of
the reasons of their gathering in arms; but it had been stirred anew
during Balfour's absence, and, to his great vexation, he now found that
both parties had opened upon it in full cry, Macbriar, Kettledrummle, and
other teachers of the wanderers, being at the very spring-tide of
polemical discussion with Peter Poundtext, the indulged pastor of
Milnwood's parish, who, it seems, had e'en girded himself with a
broadsword, but, ere he was called upon to fight for the good cause of
presbytery in the field, was manfully defending his own dogmata in the
council. It was the din of this conflict, maintained chiefly between
Poundtext and Kettledrummle, together with the clamour of their
adherents, which had saluted Morton's ears upon approaching the cottage.
Indeed, as both the divines were men well gifted with words and lungs,
and each fierce, ardent, and intolerant in defence of his own doctrine,
prompt in the recollection of texts wherewith they battered each other
without mercy, and deeply impressed with the importance of the subject of
discussion, the noise of the debate betwixt them fell little short of
that which might have attended an actual bodily conflict.

Burley, scandalized at the disunion implied in this virulent strife of
tongues, interposed between the disputants, and, by some general remarks
on the unseasonableness of discord, a soothing address to the vanity of
each party, and the exertion of the authority which his services in that
day's victory entitled him to assume, at length succeeded in prevailing
upon them to adjourn farther discussion of the controversy. But although
Kettledrummle and Poundtext were thus for the time silenced, they
continued to eye each other like two dogs, who, having been separated by
the authority of their masters while fighting, have retreated, each
beneath the chair of his owner, still watching each other's motions, and
indicating, by occasional growls, by the erected bristles of the back and
ears, and by the red glance of the eye, that their discord is unappeased,
and that they only wait the first opportunity afforded by any general
movement or commotion in the company, to fly once more at each other's
throats.

Balfour took advantage of the momentary pause to present to the council
Mr Henry Morton of Milnwood, as one touched with a sense of the evils of
the times, and willing to peril goods and life in the precious cause for
which his father, the renowned Silas Morton, had given in his time a
soul-stirring testimony. Morton was instantly received with the right
hand of fellowship by his ancient pastor, Poundtext, and by those among
the insurgents who supported the more moderate principles. The others
muttered something about Erastianism, and reminded each other in
whispers, that Silas Morton, once a stout and worthy servant of the
Covenant, had been a backslider in the day when the resolutioners had led
the way in owning the authority of Charles Stewart, thereby making a gap
whereat the present tyrant was afterwards brought in, to the oppression
both of Kirk and country. They added, however, that, on this great day of
calling, they would not refuse society with any who should put hand to
the plough; and so Morton was installed in his office of leader and
counsellor, if not with the full approbation of his colleagues, at least
without any formal or avowed dissent. They proceeded, on Burley's motion,
to divide among themselves the command of the men who had assembled, and
whose numbers were daily increasing. In this partition, the insurgents of
Poundtext's parish and congregation were naturally placed under the
command of Morton; an arrangement mutually agreeable to both parties, as
he was recommended to their confidence, as well by his personal qualities
as his having been born among them.

When this task was accomplished, it became necessary to determine what
use was to be made of their victory. Morton's heart throbbed high when he
heard the Tower of Tillietudlem named as one of the most important
positions to be seized upon. It commanded, as we have often noticed, the
pass between the more wild and the more fertile country, and must
furnish, it was plausibly urged, a stronghold and place of rendezvous to
the cavaliers and malignants of the district, supposing the insurgents
were to march onward and leave it uninvested. This measure was
particularly urged as necessary by Poundtext and those of his immediate
followers, whose habitations and families might be exposed to great
severities, if this strong place were permitted to remain in possession
of the royalists.

"I opine," said Poundtext,--for, like the other divines of the period, he
had no hesitation in offering his advice upon military matters of which
he was profoundly ignorant,--"I opine, that we should take in and raze
that stronghold of the woman Lady Margaret Bellenden, even though we
should build a fort and raise a mount against it; for the race is a
rebellious and a bloody race, and their hand has been heavy on the
children of the Covenant, both in the former and the latter times. Their
hook hath been in our noses, and their bridle betwixt our jaws."

"What are their means and men of defence?" said Burley. "The place is
strong; but I cannot conceive that two women can make it good against a
host."

"There is also," said Poundtext, "Harrison the steward, and John Gudyill,
even the lady's chief butler, who boasteth himself a man of war from his
youth upward, and who spread the banner against the good cause with that
man of Belial, James Grahame of Montrose."

"Pshaw!" returned Burley, scornfully, "a butler!"

"Also, there is that ancient malignant," replied Poundtext, "Miles
Bellenden of Charnwood, whose hands have been dipped in the blood of the
saints."

"If that," said Burley, "be Miles Bellenden, the brother of Sir Arthur,
he is one whose sword will not turn back from battle; but he must now be
stricken in years."

"There was word in the country as I rode along," said another of the
council, "that so soon as they heard of the victory which has been given
to us, they caused shut the gates of the tower, and called in men, and
collected ammunition. They were ever a fierce and a malignant house."

"We will not, with my consent," said Burley, "engage in a siege which may
consume time. We must rush forward, and follow our advantage by occupying
Glasgow; for I do not fear that the troops we have this day beaten, even
with the assistance of my Lord Ross's regiment, will judge it safe to
await our coming."

"Howbeit," said Poundtext, "we may display a banner before the Tower, and
blow a trumpet, and summon them to come forth. It may be that they will
give over the place into our mercy, though they be a rebellious people.
And we will summon the women to come forth of their stronghold, that is,
Lady Margaret Bellenden and her grand-daughter, and Jenny Dennison, which
is a girl of an ensnaring eye, and the other maids, and we will give them
a safe conduct, and send them in peace to the city, even to the town of
Edinburgh. But John Gudyill, and Hugh Harrison, and Miles Bellenden, we
will restrain with fetters of iron, even as they, in times bypast, have
done to the martyred saints."

"Who talks of safe conduct and of peace?" said a shrill, broken, and
overstrained voice, from the crowd.

"Peace, brother Habakkuk," said Macbriar, in a soothing tone, to the
speaker.

"I will not hold my peace," reiterated the strange and unnatural voice;
"is this a time to speak of peace, when the earth quakes, and the
mountains are rent, and the rivers are changed into blood, and the
two-edged sword is drawn from the sheath to drink gore as if it were
water, and devour flesh as the fire devours dry stubble?"

While he spoke thus, the orator struggled forward to the inner part of
the circle, and presented to Morton's wondering eyes a figure worthy of
such a voice and such language. The rags of a dress which had once been
black, added to the tattered fragments of a shepherd's plaid, composed a
covering scarce fit for the purposes of decency, much less for those of
warmth or comfort. A long beard, as white as snow, hung down on his
breast, and mingled with bushy, uncombed, grizzled hair, which hung in
elf-locks around his wild and staring visage. The features seemed to be
extenuated by penury and famine, until they hardly retained the likeness
of a human aspect. The eyes, grey, wild, and wandering, evidently
betokened a bewildered imagination. He held in his hand a rusty sword,
clotted with blood, as were his long lean hands, which were garnished at
the extremity with nails like eagle's claws.

"In the name of Heaven! who is he?" said Morton, in a whisper to
Poundtext, surprised, shocked, and even startled, at this ghastly
apparition, which looked more like the resurrection of some cannibal
priest, or druid red from his human sacrifice, than like an earthly
mortal.

"It is Habakkuk Mucklewrath," answered Poundtext, in the same tone, "whom
the enemy have long detained in captivity in forts and castles, until his
understanding hath departed from him, and, as I fear, an evil demon hath
possessed him. Nevertheless, our violent brethren will have it, that he
speaketh of the spirit, and that they fructify by his pouring forth."

Here he was interrupted by Mucklewrath, who cried in a voice that made
the very beams of the roof quiver--"Who talks of peace and safe conduct?
who speaks of mercy to the bloody house of the malignants? I say take the
infants and dash them against the stones; take the daughters and the
mothers of the house and hurl them from the battlements of their trust,
that the dogs may fatten on their blood as they did on that of Jezabel,
the spouse of Ahab, and that their carcasses may be dung to the face of
the field even in the portion of their fathers!"

"He speaks right," said more than one sullen voice from behind; "we will
be honoured with little service in the great cause, if we already make
fair weather with Heaven's enemies."

"This is utter abomination and daring impiety," said Morton, unable to
contain his indignation.

"What blessing can you expect in a cause, in which you listen to the
mingled ravings of madness and atrocity?"

"Hush, young man!" said Kettledrummle, "and reserve thy censure for that
for which thou canst render a reason. It is not for thee to judge into
what vessels the spirit may be poured."

"We judge of the tree by the fruit," said Poundtext, "and allow not that
to be of divine inspiration that contradicts the divine laws."

"You forget, brother Poundtext," said Macbriar, "that these are the
latter days, when signs and wonders shall be multiplied."

Poundtext stood forward to reply; but, ere he could articulate a word,
the insane preacher broke in with a scream that drowned all competition.

"Who talks of signs and wonders? Am not I Habakkuk Mucklewrath, whose
name is changed to Magor-Missabib, because I am made a terror unto myself
and unto all that are around me?--I heard it--When did I hear it?--Was it
not in the Tower of the Bass, that overhangeth the wide wild sea?--And it
howled in the winds, and it roared in the billows, and it screamed, and
it whistled, and it clanged, with the screams and the clang and the
whistle of the sea-birds, as they floated, and flew, and dropped, and
dived, on the bosom of the waters. I saw it--Where did I see it?--Was it
not from the high peaks of Dunbarton, when I looked westward upon the
fertile land, and northward on the wild Highland hills; when the clouds
gathered and the tempest came, and the lightnings of heaven flashed in
sheets as wide as the banners of an host?--What did I see?--Dead corpses
and wounded horses, the rushing together of battle, and garments rolled
in blood.--What heard I?--The voice that cried, Slay, slay--smite--slay
utterly--let not your eye have pity! slay utterly, old and young, the
maiden, the child, and the woman whose head is grey--Defile the house and
fill the courts with the slain!"

"We receive the command," exclaimed more than one of the company. "Six
days he hath not spoken nor broken bread, and now his tongue is
unloosed:--We receive the command; as he hath said, so will we do."

Astonished, disgusted, and horror-struck, at what he had seen and heard,
Morton turned away from the circle and left the cottage. He was followed
by Burley, who had his eye on his motions.

"Whither are you going?" said the latter, taking him by the arm.

"Any where,--I care not whither; but here I will abide no longer."

"Art thou so soon weary, young man?" answered Burley. "Thy hand is but
now put to the plough, and wouldst thou already abandon it? Is this thy
adherence to the cause of thy father?"

"No cause," replied Morton, indignantly--"no cause can prosper, so
conducted. One party declares for the ravings of a bloodthirsty madman;
another leader is an old scholastic pedant; a third"--he stopped, and his
companion continued the sentence--"Is a desperate homicide, thou wouldst
say, like John Balfour of Burley?--I can bear thy misconstruction without
resentment. Thou dost not consider, that it is not men of sober and
self-seeking minds, who arise in these days of wrath to execute judgment
and to accomplish deliverance. Hadst thou but seen the armies of England,
during her Parliament of 1640, whose ranks were filled with sectaries and
enthusiasts, wilder than the anabaptists of Munster, thou wouldst have
had more cause to marvel; and yet these men were unconquered on the
field, and their hands wrought marvellous things for the liberties of the
land."

"But their affairs," replied Morton, "were wisely conducted, and the
violence of their zeal expended itself in their exhortations and sermons,
without bringing divisions into their counsels, or cruelty into their
conduct. I have often heard my father say so, and protest, that he
wondered at nothing so much as the contrast between the extravagance of
their religious tenets, and the wisdom and moderation with which they
conducted their civil and military affairs. But our councils seem all one
wild chaos of confusion."

"Thou must have patience, Henry Morton," answered Balfour; "thou must not
leave the cause of thy religion and country either for one wild word, or
one extravagant action. Hear me. I have already persuaded the wiser of
our friends, that the counsellors are too numerous, and that we cannot
expect that the Midianites shall, by so large a number, be delivered into
our hands. They have hearkened to my voice, and our assemblies will be
shortly reduced within such a number as can consult and act together; and
in them thou shalt have a free voice, as well as in ordering our affairs
of war, and protecting those to whom mercy should be shown--Art thou now
satisfied?"

"It will give me pleasure, doubtless," answered Morton, "to be the means
of softening the horrors of civil war; and I will not leave the post I
have taken, unless I see measures adopted at which my conscience revolts.
But to no bloody executions after quarter asked, or slaughter without
trial, will I lend countenance or sanction; and you may depend on my
opposing them, with both heart and hand, as constantly and resolutely, if
attempted by our own followers, as when they are the work of the enemy."

Balfour waved his hand impatiently.

"Thou wilt find," he said, "that the stubborn and hard-hearted generation
with whom we deal, must be chastised with scorpions ere their hearts be
humbled, and ere they accept the punishment of their iniquity. The word
is gone forth against them, 'I will bring a sword upon you that shall
avenge the quarrel of my Covenant.' But what is done shall be done
gravely, and with discretion, like that of the worthy James Melvin, who
executed judgment on the tyrant and oppressor, Cardinal Beaton."

"I own to you," replied Morton, "that I feel still more abhorrent at
cold-blooded and premeditated cruelty, than at that which is practised in
the heat of zeal and resentment."

"Thou art yet but a youth," replied Balfour, "and hast not learned how
light in the balance are a few drops of blood in comparison to the weight
and importance of this great national testimony. But be not afraid;
thyself shall vote and judge in these matters; it may be we shall see
little cause to strive together anent them."

With this concession Morton was compelled to be satisfied for the
present; and Burley left him, advising him to lie down and get some rest,
as the host would probably move in the morning.

"And you," answered Morton, "do not you go to rest also?"

"No," said Burley; "my eyes must not yet know slumber. This is no work to
be done lightly; I have yet to perfect the choosing of the committee of
leaders, and I will call you by times in the morning to be present at
their consultation."

He turned away, and left Morton to his repose.

The place in which he found himself was not ill adapted for the purpose,
being a sheltered nook, beneath a large rock, well protected from the
prevailing wind. A quantity of moss with which the ground was overspread,
made a couch soft enough for one who had suffered so much hardship and
anxiety. Morton wrapped himself in the horse-man's cloak which he had
still retained, stretched himself on the ground, and had not long
indulged in melancholy reflections on the state of the country, and upon
his own condition, ere he was relieved from them by deep and sound
slumber.

The rest of the army slept on the ground, dispersed in groups, which
chose their beds on the fields as they could best find shelter and
convenience. A few of the principal leaders held wakeful conference with
Burley on the state of their affairs, and some watchmen were appointed
who kept themselves on the alert by chanting psalms, or listening to the
exercises of the more gifted of their number.



CHAPTER II.

               Got with much ease--now merrily to horse.
                                             Henry IV. Part I.

With the first peep of day Henry awoke, and found the faithful Cuddie
standing beside him with a portmanteau in his hand.

"I hae been just putting your honour's things in readiness again ye were
waking," said Cuddie, "as is my duty, seeing ye hae been sae gude as to
tak me into your service."

"I take you into my service, Cuddie?" said Morton, "you must be
dreaming."

"Na, na, stir," answered Cuddie; "didna I say when I was tied on the
horse yonder, that if ever ye gat loose I would be your servant, and ye
didna say no? and if that isna hiring, I kenna what is. Ye gae me nae
arles, indeed, but ye had gien me eneugh before at Milnwood."

"Well, Cuddie, if you insist on taking the chance of my unprosperous
fortunes"--

"Ou ay, I'se warrant us a' prosper weel eneugh," answered Cuddie,
cheeringly, "an anes my auld mither was weel putten up. I hae begun the
campaigning trade at an end that is easy eneugh to learn."

"Pillaging, I suppose?" said Morton, "for how else could you come by that
portmanteau?"

"I wotna if it's pillaging, or how ye ca't," said Cuddie, "but it comes
natural to a body, and it's a profitable trade. Our folk had tirled the
dead dragoons as bare as bawbees before we were loose amaist.--But when I
saw the Whigs a' weel yokit by the lugs to Kettledrummle and the other
chield, I set off at the lang trot on my ain errand and your honour's.
Sae I took up the syke a wee bit, away to the right, where I saw the
marks o'mony a horsefoot, and sure eneugh I cam to a place where there
had been some clean leatherin', and a' the puir chields were lying there
buskit wi' their claes just as they had put them on that morning--naebody
had found out that pose o' carcages--and wha suld be in the midst thereof
(as my mither says) but our auld acquaintance, Sergeant Bothwell?"

"Ay, has that man fallen?" said Morton.

"Troth has he," answered Cuddie; "and his een were open and his brow
bent, and his teeth clenched thegither, like the jaws of a trap for
foumarts when the spring's doun--I was amaist feared to look at him;
however, I thought to hae turn about wi' him, and sae I e'en riped his
pouches, as he had dune mony an honester man's; and here's your ain
siller again (or your uncle's, which is the same) that he got at Milnwood
that unlucky night that made us a' sodgers thegither."

"There can be no harm, Cuddie," said Morton, "in making use of this
money, since we know how he came by it; but you must divide with me."

"Bide a wee, bide a wee," said Cuddie. "Weel, and there's a bit ring he
had hinging in a black ribbon doun on his breast. I am thinking it has
been a love-token, puir fallow--there's naebody sae rough but they hae
aye a kind heart to the lasses--and there's a book wi'a wheen papers, and
I got twa or three odd things, that I'll keep to mysell, forby."

"Upon my word, you have made a very successful foray for a beginner,"
said his new master.

"Haena I e'en now?" said Cuddie, with great exultation. "I tauld ye I
wasna that dooms stupid, if it cam to lifting things.--And forby, I hae
gotten twa gude horse. A feckless loon of a Straven weaver, that has left
his loom and his bein house to sit skirling on a cauld hill-side, had
catched twa dragoon naigs, and he could neither gar them hup nor wind,
sae he took a gowd noble for them baith--I suld hae tried him wi' half
the siller, but it's an unco ill place to get change in--Ye'll find the
siller's missing out o' Bothwell's purse."

"You have made a most excellent and useful purchase, Cuddie; but what is
that portmanteau?"

"The pockmantle?" answered Cuddie, "it was Lord Evandale's yesterday, and
it's yours the day. I fand it ahint the bush o' broom yonder--ilka dog
has its day--Ye ken what the auld sang says,

          'Take turn about, mither, quo' Tam o' the Linn.'

"And, speaking o' that, I maun gang and see about my mither, puir auld
body, if your honour hasna ony immediate commands."

"But, Cuddie," said Morton, "I really cannot take these things from you
without some recompense."

"Hout fie, stir," answered Cuddie, "ye suld aye be taking,--for
recompense, ye may think about that some other time--I hae seen gay weel
to mysell wi' some things that fit me better. What could I do wi' Lord
Evandale's braw claes? Sergeant Bothwell's will serve me weel eneugh."

Not being able to prevail on the self-constituted and disinterested
follower to accept of any thing for himself out of these warlike spoils,
Morton resolved to take the first opportunity of returning Lord
Evandale's property, supposing him yet to be alive; and, in the
meanwhile, did not hesitate to avail himself of Cuddie's prize, so far as
to appropriate some changes of linen and other triffling articles amongst
those of more value which the portmanteau contained.

He then hastily looked over the papers which were found in Bothwell's
pocket-book. These were of a miscellaneous description. The roll of his
troop, with the names of those absent on furlough, memorandums of
tavern-bills, and lists of delinquents who might be made subjects of fine
and persecution, first presented themselves, along with a copy of a
warrant from the Privy Council to arrest certain persons of distinction
therein named. In another pocket of the book were one or two commissions
which Bothwell had held at different times, and certificates of his
services abroad, in which his courage and military talents were highly
praised. But the most remarkable paper was an accurate account of his
genealogy, with reference to many documents for establishment of its
authenticity; subjoined was a list of the ample possessions of the
forfeited Earls of Bothwell, and a particular account of the proportions
in which King James VI. had bestowed them on the courtiers and nobility
by whose descendants they were at present actually possessed; beneath
this list was written, in red letters, in the hand of the deceased, Haud
Immemor, F. S. E. B. the initials probably intimating Francis Stewart,
Earl of Bothwell. To these documents, which strongly painted the
character and feelings of their deceased proprietor, were added some
which showed him in a light greatly different from that in which we have
hitherto presented him to the reader.

In a secret pocket of the book, which Morton did not discover without
some trouble, were one or two letters, written in a beautiful female
hand. They were dated about twenty years back, bore no address, and were
subscribed only by initials. Without having time to peruse them
accurately, Morton perceived that they contained the elegant yet fond
expressions of female affection directed towards an object whose jealousy
they endeavoured to soothe, and of whose hasty, suspicious, and impatient
temper, the writer seemed gently to complain. The ink of these
manuscripts had faded by time, and, notwithstanding the great care which
had obviously been taken for their preservation, they were in one or two
places chafed so as to be illegible.

"It matters not," these words were written on the envelope of that which
had suffered most, "I have them by heart."

With these letters was a lock of hair wrapped in a copy of verses,
written obviously with a feeling, which atoned, in Morton's opinion, for
the roughness of the poetry, and the conceits with which it abounded,
according to the taste of the period:

Thy hue, dear pledge, is pure and bright, As in that well-remember'd
night, When first thy mystic braid was wove, And first my Agnes whisper'd
love. Since then, how often hast thou press'd The torrid zone of this
wild breast, Whose wrath and hate have sworn to dwell With the first sin
which peopled hell; A breast whose blood's a troubled ocean, Each throb
the earthquake's wild commotion!--O, if such clime thou canst endure, Yet
keep thy hue unstain'd and pure, What conquest o'er each erring thought
Of that fierce realm had Agnes wrought! I had not wander'd wild and wide,
With such an angel for my guide; Nor heaven nor earth could then reprove
me, If she had lived, and lived to love me. Not then this world's wild
joys had been To me one savage hunting-scene, My sole delight the
headlong race, And frantic hurry of the chase, To start, pursue, and
bring to bay, Rush in, drag down, and rend my prey, Then from the carcass
turn away; Mine ireful mood had sweetness tamed, And soothed each wound
which pride inflamed;--Yes, God and man might now approve me, If thou
hadst lived, and lived to love me!

As he finished reading these lines, Morton could not forbear reflecting
with compassion on the fate of this singular and most unhappy being, who,
it appeared, while in the lowest state of degradation, and almost of
contempt, had his recollections continually fixed on the high station to
which his birth seemed to entitle him; and, while plunged in gross
licentiousness, was in secret looking back with bitter remorse to the
period of his youth, during which he had nourished a virtuous, though
unfortunate attachment.

"Alas! what are we," said Morton, "that our best and most praiseworthy
feelings can be thus debased and depraved--that honourable pride can sink
into haughty and desperate indifference for general opinion, and the
sorrow of blighted affection inhabit the same bosom which license,
revenge, and rapine, have chosen for their citadel? But it is the same
throughout; the liberal principles of one man sink into cold and
unfeeling indifference, the religious zeal of another hurries him into
frantic and savage enthusiasm. Our resolutions, our passions, are like
the waves of the sea, and, without the aid of Him who formed the human
breast, we cannot say to its tides, 'Thus far shall ye come, and no
farther."'

While he thus moralized, he raised his eyes, and observed that Burley
stood before him.

"Already awake?" said that leader--"It is well, and shows zeal to tread
the path before you.--What papers are these?" he continued.

Morton gave him some brief account of Cuddie's successful marauding
party, and handed him the pocket-book of Bothwell, with its contents. The
Cameronian leader looked with some attention on such of the papers as
related to military affairs, or public business; but when he came to the
verses, he threw them from him with contempt.

"I little thought," he said, "when, by the blessing of God, I passed my
sword three times through the body of that arch tool of cruelty and
persecution, that a character so desperate and so dangerous could have
stooped to an art as trifling as it is profane. But I see that Satan can
blend the most different qualities in his well-beloved and chosen agents,
and that the same hand which can wield a club or a slaughter-weapon
against the godly in the valley of destruction, can touch a tinkling
lute, or a gittern, to soothe the ears of the dancing daughters of
perdition in their Vanity Fair."

"Your ideas of duty, then," said Morton, "exclude love of the fine arts,
which have been supposed in general to purify and to elevate the mind?"

"To me, young man," answered Burley, "and to those who think as I do, the
pleasures of this world, under whatever name disguised, are vanity, as
its grandeur and power are a snare. We have but one object on earth, and
that is to build up the temple of the Lord."

"I have heard my father observe," replied Morton, "that many who assumed
power in the name of Heaven, were as severe in its exercise, and as
unwilling to part with it, as if they had been solely moved by the
motives of worldly ambition--But of this another time. Have you succeeded
in obtaining a committee of the council to be nominated?"

"I have," answered Burley. "The number is limited to six, of which you
are one, and I come to call you to their deliberations."

Morton accompanied him to a sequestered grassplot, where their colleagues
awaited them. In this delegation of authority, the two principal factions
which divided the tumultuary army had each taken care to send three of
their own number. On the part of the Cameronians, were Burley, Macbriar,
and Kettledrummle; and on that of the moderate party, Poundtext, Henry
Morton, and a small proprietor, called the Laird of Langcale. Thus the
two parties were equally balanced by their representatives in the
committee of management, although it seemed likely that those of the most
violent opinions were, as is usual in such cases, to possess and exert
the greater degree of energy. Their debate, however, was conducted more
like men of this world than could have been expected from their conduct
on the preceding evening. After maturely considering their means and
situation, and the probable increase of their numbers, they agreed that
they would keep their position for that day, in order to refresh their
men, and give time to reinforcements to join them, and that, on the next
morning, they would direct their march towards Tillietudlem, and summon
that stronghold, as they expressed it, of malignancy. If it was not
surrendered to their summons, they resolved to try the effect of a brisk
assault; and, should that miscarry, it was settled that they should leave
a part of their number to blockade the place, and reduce it, if possible,
by famine, while their main body should march forward to drive
Claverhouse and Lord Ross from the town of Glasgow. Such was the
determination of the council of management; and thus Morton's first
enterprise in active life was likely to be the attack of a castle
belonging to the parent of his mistress, and defended by her relative,
Major Bellenden, to whom he personally owed many obligations! He felt
fully the embarrassment of his situation, yet consoled himself with the
reflection, that his newly-acquired power in the insurgent army would
give him, at all events, the means of extending to the inmates of
Tillietudlem a protection which no other circumstance could have afforded
them; and he was not without hope that he might be able to mediate such
an accommodation betwixt them and the presbyterian army, as should secure
them a safe neutrality during the war which was about to ensue.



CHAPTER III.

               There came a knight from the field of slain,
               His steed was drench'd in blood and rain.
                                             Finlay.

We must now return to the fortress of Tillietudlem and its inhabitants.
The morning, being the first after the battle of Loudon-hill, had dawned
upon its battlements, and the defenders had already resumed the labours
by which they proposed to render the place tenable, when the watchman,
who was placed in a high turret, called the Warder's Tower, gave the
signal that a horseman was approaching. As he came nearer, his dress
indicated an officer of the Life-Guards; and the slowness of his horse's
pace, as well as the manner in which the rider stooped on the saddle-bow,
plainly showed that he was sick or wounded. The wicket was instantly
opened to receive him, and Lord Evandale rode into the court-yard, so
reduced by loss of blood, that he was unable to dismount without
assistance. As he entered the hall, leaning upon a servant, the ladies
shrieked with surprise and terror; for, pale as death, stained with
blood, his regimentals soiled and torn, and his hair matted and
disordered, he resembled rather a spectre than a human being. But their
next exclamation was that of joy at his escape.

"Thank God!" exclaimed Lady Margaret, "that you are here, and have
escaped the hands of the bloodthirsty murderers who have cut off so many
of the king's loyal servants!"

"Thank God!" added Edith, "that you are here and in safety! We have
dreaded the worst. But you are wounded, and I fear we have little the
means of assisting you."

"My wounds are only sword-cuts," answered the young nobleman, as he
reposed himself on a seat; "the pain is not worth mentioning, and I
should not even feel exhausted but for the loss of blood. But it was not
my purpose to bring my weakness to add to your danger and distress, but
to relieve them, if possible. What can I do for you?--Permit me," he
added, addressing Lady Margaret--"permit me to think and act as your son,
my dear madam--as your brother, Edith!"

He pronounced the last part of the sentence with some emphasis, as if he
feared that the apprehension of his pretensions as a suitor might render
his proffered services unacceptable to Miss Bellenden. She was not
insensible to his delicacy, but there was no time for exchange of
sentiments.

"We are preparing for our defence," said the old lady with great dignity;
"my brother has taken charge of our garrison, and, by the grace of God,
we will give the rebels such a reception as they deserve."

"How gladly," said Evandale, "would I share in the defence of the Castle!
But in my present state, I should be but a burden to you, nay, something
worse; for, the knowledge that an officer of the Life-Guards was in the
Castle would be sufficient to make these rogues more desperately earnest
to possess themselves of it. If they find it defended only by the family,
they may possibly march on to Glasgow rather than hazard an assault."

"And can you think so meanly of us, my lord," said Edith, with the
generous burst of feeling which woman so often evinces, and which becomes
her so well, her voice faltering through eagerness, and her brow
colouring with the noble warmth which dictated her language--"Can you
think so meanly of your friends, as that they would permit such
considerations to interfere with their sheltering and protecting you at a
moment when you are unable to defend yourself, and when the whole country
is filled with the enemy? Is there a cottage in Scotland whose owners
would permit a valued friend to leave it in such circumstances? And can
you think we will allow you to go from a castle which we hold to be
strong enough for our own defence?"

"Lord Evandale need never think of it," said Lady Margaret. "I will dress
his wounds myself; it is all an old wife is fit for in war time; but to
quit the Castle of Tillietudlem when the sword of the enemy is drawn to
slay him,--the meanest trooper that ever wore the king's coat on his back
should not do so, much less my young Lord Evandale.--Ours is not a house
that ought to brook such dishonour. The tower of Tillietudlem has been
too much distinguished by the visit of his most sacred"--

Here she was interrupted by the entrance of the Major.

"We have taken a prisoner, my dear uncle," said Edith--"a wounded
prisoner, and he wants to escape from us. You must help us to keep him by
force."

"Lord Evandale!" exclaimed the veteran. "I am as much pleased as when I
got my first commission. Claverhouse reported you were killed, or missing
at least."

"I should have been slain, but for a friend of yours," said Lord
Evandale, speaking with some emotion, and bending his eyes on the ground,
as if he wished to avoid seeing the impression that what he was about to
say would make upon Miss Bellenden. "I was unhorsed and defenceless, and
the sword raised to dispatch me, when young Mr Morton, the prisoner for
whom you interested yourself yesterday morning, interposed in the most
generous manner, preserved my life, and furnished me with the means of
escaping."

As he ended the sentence, a painful curiosity overcame his first
resolution; he raised his eyes to Edith's face, and imagined he could
read in the glow of her cheek and the sparkle of her eye, joy at hearing
of her lover's safety and freedom, and triumph at his not having been
left last in the race of generosity. Such, indeed, were her feelings; but
they were also mingled with admiration of the ready frankness with which
Lord Evandale had hastened to bear witness to the merit of a favoured
rival, and to acknowledge an obligation which, in all probability, he
would rather have owed to any other individual in the world.

Major Bellenden, who would never have observed the emotions of either
party, even had they been much more markedly expressed, contented himself
with saying, "Since Henry Morton has influence with these rascals, I am
glad he has so exerted it; but I hope he will get clear of them as soon
as he can. Indeed, I cannot doubt it. I know his principles, and that he
detests their cant and hypocrisy. I have heard him laugh a thousand times
at the pedantry of that old presbyterian scoundrel, Poundtext, who, after
enjoying the indulgence of the government for so many years, has now,
upon the very first ruffle, shown himself in his own proper colours, and
set off, with three parts of his cropeared congregation, to join the host
of the fanatics.--But how did you escape after leaving the field, my
lord?"

"I rode for my life, as a recreant knight must," answered Lord Evandale,
smiling. "I took the route where I thought I had least chance of meeting
with any of the enemy, and I found shelter for several hours--you will
hardly guess where."

"At Castle Bracklan, perhaps," said Lady Margaret, "or in the house of
some other loyal gentleman?"

"No, madam. I was repulsed, under one mean pretext or another, from more
than one house of that description, for fear of the enemy following my
traces; but I found refuge in the cottage of a poor widow, whose husband
had been shot within these three months by a party of our corps, and
whose two sons are at this very moment with the insurgents."

"Indeed?" said Lady Margaret Bellenden; "and was a fanatic woman capable
of such generosity?--but she disapproved, I suppose, of the tenets of her
family?"

"Far from it, madam," continued the young nobleman; "she was in principle
a rigid recusant, but she saw my danger and distress, considered me as a
fellow-creature, and forgot that I was a cavalier and a soldier. She
bound my wounds, and permitted me to rest upon her bed, concealed me from
a party of the insurgents who were seeking for stragglers, supplied me
with food, and did not suffer me to leave my place of refuge until she
had learned that I had every chance of getting to this tower without
danger."

"It was nobly done," said Miss Bellenden; "and I trust you will have an
opportunity of rewarding her generosity."

"I am running up an arrear of obligation on all sides, Miss Bellenden,
during these unfortunate occurrences," replied Lord Evandale; "but when I
can attain the means of showing my gratitude, the will shall not be
wanting."

All now joined in pressing Lord Evandale to relinquish his intention of
leaving the Castle; but the argument of Major Bellenden proved the most
effectual.

"Your presence in the Castle will be most useful, if not absolutely
necessary, my lord, in order to maintain, by your authority, proper
discipline among the fellows whom Claverhouse has left in garrison here,
and who do not prove to be of the most orderly description of inmates;
and, indeed, we have the Colonel's authority, for that very purpose, to
detain any officer of his regiment who might pass this way."

"That," said Lord Evandale, "is an unanswerable argument, since it shows
me that my residence here may be useful, even in my present disabled
state."

"For your wounds, my lord," said the Major, "if my sister, Lady
Bellenden, will undertake to give battle to any feverish symptom, if such
should appear, I will answer that my old campaigner, Gideon Pike, shall
dress a flesh-wound with any of the incorporation of Barber-Surgeons. He
had enough of practice in Montrose's time, for we had few regularly-bred
army chirurgeons, as you may well suppose.--You agree to stay with us,
then?"

"My reasons for leaving the Castle," said Lord Evandale, glancing a look
towards Edith, "though they evidently seemed weighty, must needs give way
to those which infer the power of serving you. May I presume, Major, to
enquire into the means and plan of defence which you have prepared? or
can I attend you to examine the works?"

It did not escape Miss Bellenden, that Lord Evandale seemed much
exhausted both in body and mind. "I think, sir," she said, addressing the
Major, "that since Lord Evandale condescends to become an officer of our
garrison, you should begin by rendering him amenable to your authority,
and ordering him to his apartment, that he may take some refreshment ere
he enters on military discussions."

"Edith is right," said the old lady; "you must go instantly to bed, my
lord, and take some febrifuge, which I will prepare with my own hand; and
my lady-in-waiting, Mistress Martha Weddell, shall make some friar's
chicken, or something very light. I would not advise wine.--John Gudyill,
let the housekeeper make ready the chamber of dais. Lord Evandale must
lie down instantly. Pike will take off the dressings, and examine the
state of the wounds."

"These are melancholy preparations, madam," said Lord Evandale, as he
returned thanks to Lady Margaret, and was about to leave the hall,--"but
I must submit to your ladyship's directions; and I trust that your skill
will soon make me a more able defender of your castle than I am at
present. You must render my body serviceable as soon as you can, for you
have no use for my head while you have Major Bellenden."

With these words he left the apartment.

"An excellent young man, and a modest," said the Major.

"None of that conceit," said Lady Margaret, "that often makes young folk
suppose they know better how their complaints should be treated than
people that have had experience."

"And so generous and handsome a young nobleman," said Jenny Dennison, who
had entered during the latter part of this conversation, and was now left
alone with her mistress in the hall, the Major returning to his military
cares, and Lady Margaret to her medical preparations.

Edith only answered these encomiums with a sigh; but, although silent,
she felt and knew better than any one how much they were merited by the
person on whom they were bestowed. Jenny, however, failed not to follow
up her blow.

"After a', it's true that my lady says--there's nae trusting a
presbyterian; they are a' faithless man-sworn louns. Whae wad hae thought
that young Milnwood and Cuddie Headrigg wad hae taen on wi' thae rebel
blackguards?"

"What do you mean by such improbable nonsense, Jenny?" said her young
mistress, very much displeased.

"I ken it's no pleasing for you to hear, madam," answered Jenny hardily;
"and it's as little pleasant for me to tell; but as gude ye suld ken a'
about it sune as syne, for the haill Castle's ringing wi't."

"Ringing with what, Jenny? Have you a mind to drive me mad?" answered
Edith, impatiently.

"Just that Henry Morton of Milnwood is out wi' the rebels, and ane o'
their chief leaders."

"It is a falsehood!" said Edith--"a most base calumny! and you are very
bold to dare to repeat it to me. Henry Morton is incapable of such
treachery to his king and country--such cruelty to me--to--to all the
innocent and defenceless victims, I mean, who must suffer in a civil
war--I tell you he is utterly incapable of it, in every sense."

"Dear! dear! Miss Edith," replied Jenny, still constant to her text,
"they maun be better acquainted wi' young men than I am, or ever wish to
be, that can tell preceesely what they're capable or no capable o'. But
there has been Trooper Tam, and another chield, out in bonnets and grey
plaids, like countrymen, to recon--reconnoitre--I think John Gudyill ca'd
it; and they hae been amang the rebels, and brought back word that they
had seen young Milnwood mounted on ane o' the dragoon horses that was
taen at Loudon-hill, armed wi' swords and pistols, like wha but him, and
hand and glove wi' the foremost o' them, and dreeling and commanding the
men; and Cuddie at the heels o' him, in ane o' Sergeant Bothwell's laced
waistcoats, and a cockit hat with a bab o' blue ribbands at it for the
auld cause o' the Covenant, (but Cuddie aye liked a blue ribband,) and a
ruffled sark, like ony lord o' the land--it sets the like o' him,
indeed!"

"Jenny," said her young mistress hastily, "it is impossible these men's
report can be true; my uncle has heard nothing of it at this instant."

"Because Tam Halliday," answered the handmaiden, "came in just five
minutes after Lord Evandale; and when he heard his lordship was in the
Castle, he swore (the profane loon!) he would be d--d ere he would make
the report, as he ca'd it, of his news to Major Bellenden, since there
was an officer of his ain regiment in the garrison. Sae he wad have said
naething till Lord Evandale wakened the next morning; only he tauld me
about it," (here Jenny looked a little down,) "just to vex me about
Cuddie."

"Poh, you silly girl," said Edith, assuming some courage, "it is all a
trick of that fellow to teaze you."

"Na, madam, it canna be that, for John Gudyill took the other dragoon
(he's an auld hard-favoured man, I wotna his name) into the cellar, and
gae him a tass o' brandy to get the news out o' him, and he said just the
same as Tam Halliday, word for word; and Mr Gudyill was in sic a rage,
that he tauld it a' ower again to us, and says the haill rebellion is
owing to the nonsense o' my Leddy and the Major, and Lord Evandale, that
begged off young Milnwood and Cuddie yesterday morning, for that, if they
had suffered, the country wad hae been quiet--and troth I am muckle o'
that opinion mysell."

This last commentary Jenny added to her tale, in resentment of her
mistress's extreme and obstinate incredulity. She was instantly alarmed,
however, by the effect which her news produced upon her young lady, an
effect rendered doubly violent by the High-church principles and
prejudices in which Miss Bellenden had been educated. Her complexion
became as pale as a corpse, her respiration so difficult that it was on
the point of altogether failing her, and her limbs so incapable of
supporting her, that she sunk, rather than sat, down upon one of the
seats in the hall, and seemed on the eve of fainting. Jenny tried cold
water, burnt feathers, cutting of laces, and all other remedies usual in
hysterical cases, but without any immediate effect.

"God forgie me! what hae I done?" said the repentant fille-de-chambre. "I
wish my tongue had been cuttit out!--Wha wad hae thought o' her taking on
that way, and a' for a young lad?--O, Miss Edith--dear Miss Edith, haud
your heart up about it, it's maybe no true for a' that I hae said--O, I
wish my mouth had been blistered! A' body tells me my tongue will do me a
mischief some day. What if my Leddy comes? or the Major?--and she's
sitting in the throne, too, that naebody has sate in since that weary
morning the King was here!--O, what will I do! O, what will become o'
us!"

While Jenny Dennison thus lamented herself and her mistress, Edith slowly
returned from the paroxysm into which she had been thrown by this
unexpected intelligence.

"If he had been unfortunate," she said, "I never would have deserted him.
I never did so, even when there was danger and disgrace in pleading his
cause. If he had died, I would have mourned him--if he had been
unfaithful, I would have forgiven him; but a rebel to his King,--a
traitor to his country,--the associate and colleague of cut-throats and
common stabbers,--the persecutor of all that is noble,--the professed and
blasphemous enemy of all that is sacred,--I will tear him from my heart,
if my life-blood should ebb in the effort!"

She wiped her eyes, and rose hastily from the great chair, (or throne, as
Lady Margaret used to call it,) while the terrified damsel hastened to
shake up the cushion, and efface the appearance of any one having
occupied that sacred seat; although King Charles himself, considering the
youth and beauty as well as the affliction of the momentary usurper of
his hallowed chair, would probably have thought very little of the
profanation. She then hastened officiously to press her support on Edith,
as she paced the hall apparently in deep meditation.

"Tak my arm, madam; better just tak my arm; sorrow maun hae its vent, and
doubtless"--

"No, Jenny," said Edith, with firmness; "you have seen my weakness, and
you shall see my strength."

"But ye leaned on me the other morning. Miss Edith, when ye were sae sair
grieved."

"Misplaced and erring affection may require support, Jenny--duty can
support itself; yet I will do nothing rashly. I will be aware of the
reasons of his conduct--and then--cast him off for ever," was the firm
and determined answer of her young lady.

Overawed by a manner of which she could neither conceive the motive, nor
estimate the merit, Jenny muttered between her teeth, "Odd, when the
first flight's ower, Miss Edith taks it as easy as I do, and muckle
easier, and I'm sure I ne'er cared half sae muckle about Cuddie Headrigg
as she did about young Milnwood. Forby that, it's maybe as weel to hae a
friend on baith sides; for, if the whigs suld come to tak the Castle, as
it's like they may, when there's sae little victual, and the dragoons
wasting what's o't, ou, in that case, Milnwood and Cuddie wad hae the
upper hand, and their freendship wad be worth siller--I was thinking sae
this morning or I heard the news."

With this consolatory reflection the damsel went about her usual
occupations, leaving her mistress to school her mind as she best might,
for eradicating the sentiments which she had hitherto entertained towards
Henry Morton.



CHAPTER IV.

          Once more into the breach--dear friends, once more!
                                                  Henry V.

On the evening of this day, all the information which they could procure
led them to expect, that the insurgent army would be with early dawn on
their march against Tillietudlem. Lord Evandale's wounds had been
examined by Pike, who reported them in a very promising state. They were
numerous, but none of any consequence; and the loss of blood, as much
perhaps as the boasted specific of Lady Margaret, had prevented any
tendency to fever; so that, notwithstanding he felt some pain and great
weakness, the patient maintained that he was able to creep about with the
assistance of a stick. In these circumstances he refused to be confined
to his apartment, both that he might encourage the soldiers by his
presence, and suggest any necessary addition to the plan of defence,
which the Major might be supposed to have arranged upon something of an
antiquated fashion of warfare. Lord Evandale was well qualified to give
advice on such subjects, having served, during his early youth, both in
France and in the Low Countries. There was little or no occasion,
however, for altering the preparations already made; and, excepting on
the article of provisions, there seemed no reason to fear for the defence
of so strong a place against such assailants as those by whom it was
threatened.

With the peep of day, Lord Evandale and Major Bellenden were on the
battlements again, viewing and re-viewing the state of their
preparations, and anxiously expecting the approach of the enemy. I ought
to observe, that the report of the spies had now been regularly made and
received; but the Major treated the report that Morton was in arms
against the government with the most scornful incredulity.

"I know the lad better," was the only reply he deigned to make; "the
fellows have not dared to venture near enough, and have been deceived by
some fanciful resemblance, or have picked up some story."

"I differ from you, Major," answered Lord Evandale; "I think you will see
that young gentleman at the head of the insurgents; and, though I shall
be heartily sorry for it, I shall not be greatly surprised."

"You are as bad as Claverhouse," said the Major, "who contended yesterday
morning down my very throat, that this young fellow, who is as
high-spirited and gentleman-like a boy as I have ever known, wanted but
an opportunity to place himself at the head of the rebels."

"And considering the usage which he has received, and the suspicions
under which he lies," said Lord Evandale, "what other course is open to
him? For my own part, I should hardly know whether he deserved most blame
or pity."

"Blame, my lord?--Pity!" echoed the Major, astonished at hearing such
sentiments; "he would deserve to be hanged, that's all; and, were he my
own son, I should see him strung up with pleasure--Blame, indeed! But
your lordship cannot think as you are pleased to speak?"

"I give you my honour, Major Bellenden, that I have been for some time of
opinion, that our politicians and prelates have driven matters to a
painful extremity in this country, and have alienated, by violence of
various kinds, not only the lower classes, but all those in the upper
ranks, whom strong party-feeling, or a desire of court-interest, does not
attach to their standard."

"I am no politician," answered the Major, "and I do not understand nice
distinctions. My sword is the King's, and when he commands, I draw it in
his cause."

"I trust," replied the young lord, "you will not find me more backward
than yourself, though I heartily wish that the enemy were foreigners. It
is, however, no time to debate that matter, for yonder they come, and we
must defend ourselves as well as we can."

As Lord Evandale spoke, the van of the insurgents began to make their
appearance on the road which crossed the top of the hill, and thence
descended opposite to the Tower. They did not, however, move downwards,
as if aware that, in doing so, their columns would be exposed to the fire
of the artillery of the place. But their numbers, which at first seemed
few, appeared presently so to deepen and concentrate themselves, that,
judging of the masses which occupied the road behind the hill from the
closeness of the front which they presented on the top of it, their force
appeared very considerable. There was a pause of anxiety on both sides;
and, while the unsteady ranks of the Covenanters were agitated, as if by
pressure behind, or uncertainty as to their next movement, their arms,
picturesque from their variety, glanced in the morning sun, whose beams
were reflected from a grove of pikes, muskets, halberds, and battle-axes.
The armed mass occupied, for a few minutes, this fluctuating position,
until three or four horsemen, who seemed to be leaders, advanced from the
front, and occupied the height a little nearer to the Castle. John
Gudyill, who was not without some skill as an artilleryman, brought a gun
to bear on this detached group.

"I'll flee the falcon,"--(so the small cannon was called,)--"I'll flee
the falcon whene'er your honour gies command; my certie, she'll ruffle
their feathers for them!"

The Major looked at Lord Evandale.

"Stay a moment," said the young nobleman, "they send us a flag of truce."

In fact, one of the horsemen at that moment dismounted, and, displaying a
white cloth on a pike, moved forward towards the Tower, while the Major
and Lord Evandale, descending from the battlement of the main fortress,
advanced to meet him as far as the barricade, judging it unwise to admit
him within the precincts which they designed to defend. At the same time
that the ambassador set forth, the group of horsemen, as if they had
anticipated the preparations of John Gudyill for their annoyance,
withdrew from the advanced station which they had occupied, and fell back
to the main body.

The envoy of the Covenanters, to judge by his mien and manner, seemed
fully imbued with that spiritual pride which distinguished his sect. His
features were drawn up to a contemptuous primness, and his half-shut eyes
seemed to scorn to look upon the terrestial objects around, while, at
every solemn stride, his toes were pointed outwards with an air that
appeared to despise the ground on which they trode. Lord Evandale could
not suppress a smile at this singular figure.

"Did you ever," said he to Major Bellenden, "see such an absurd
automaton? One would swear it moves upon springs--Can it speak, think
you?"

"O, ay," said the Major; "that seems to be one of my old acquaintance, a
genuine puritan of the right pharisaical leaven.--Stay--he coughs and
hems; he is about to summon the Castle with the but-end of a sermon,
instead of a parley on the trumpet."

The veteran, who in his day had had many an opportunity to become
acquainted with the manners of these religionists, was not far mistaken
in his conjecture; only that, instead of a prose exordium, the Laird of
Langcale--for it was no less a personage--uplifted, with a Stentorian
voice, a verse of the twenty-fourth Psalm:

"Ye gates lift up your heads! ye doors, Doors that do last for aye, Be
lifted up"--

"I told you so," said the Major to Evandale, and then presented himself
at the entrance of the barricade, demanding to know for what purpose or
intent he made that doleful noise, like a hog in a high wind, beneath the
gates of the Castle.

"I come," replied the ambassador, in a high and shrill voice, and without
any of the usual salutations or deferences,--"I come from the godly army
of the Solemn League and Covenant, to speak with two carnal malignants,
William Maxwell, called Lord Evandale, and Miles Bellenden of Charnwood."

"And what have you to say to Miles Bellenden and Lord Evandale?" answered
the Major.

"Are you the parties?" said the Laird of Langcale, in the same sharp,
conceited, disrespectful tone of voice.

"Even so, for fault of better," said the Major.

"Then there is the public summons," said the envoy, putting a paper into
Lord Evandale's hand, "and there is a private letter for Miles Bellenden
from a godly youth, who is honoured with leading a part of our host. Read
them quickly, and God give you grace to fructify by the contents, though
it is muckle to be doubted."

The summons ran thus: "We, the named and constituted leaders of the
gentlemen, ministers, and others, presently in arms for the cause of
liberty and true religion, do warn and summon William Lord Evandale and
Miles Bellenden of Charnwood, and others presently in arms, and keeping
garrison in the Tower of Tillietudlem, to surrender the said Tower upon
fair conditions of quarter, and license to depart with bag and baggage,
otherwise to suffer such extremity of fire and sword as belong by the
laws of war to those who hold out an untenable post. And so may God
defend his own good cause!"

This summons was signed by John Balfour of Burley, as quarter-master
general of the army of the Covenant, for himself, and in name of the
other leaders.

The letter to Major Bellenden was from Henry Morton. It was couched in
the following language:

"I have taken a step, my venerable friend, which, among many painful
consequences, will, I am afraid, incur your very decided disapprobation.
But I have taken my resolution in honour and good faith, and with the
full approval of my own conscience. I can no longer submit to have my own
rights and those of my fellow-subjects trampled upon, our freedom
violated, our persons insulted, and our blood spilt, without just cause
or legal trial. Providence, through the violence of the oppressors
themselves, seems now to have opened a way of deliverance from this
intolerable tyranny, and I do not hold him deserving of the name and
rights of a freeman, who, thinking as I do, shall withold his arm from
the cause of his country. But God, who knows my heart, be my witness,
that I do not share the angry or violent passions of the oppressed and
harassed sufferers with whom I am now acting. My most earnest and anxious
desire is, to see this unnatural war brought to a speedy end, by the
union of the good, wise, and moderate of all parties, and a peace
restored, which, without injury to the King's constitutional rights, may
substitute the authority of equal laws to that of military violence, and,
permitting to all men to worship God according to their own consciences,
may subdue fanatical enthusiasm by reason and mildness, instead of
driving it to frenzy by persecution and intolerance.

"With these sentiments, you may conceive with what pain I appear in arms
before the house of your venerable relative, which we understand you
propose to hold out against us. Permit me to press upon you the
assurance, that such a measure will only lead to the effusion of
blood--that, if repulsed in the assault, we are yet strong enough to
invest the place, and reduce it by hunger, being aware of your
indifferent preparations to sustain a protracted siege. It would grieve
me to the heart to think what would be the sufferings in such a case,
and upon whom they would chiefly fall.

"Do not suppose, my respected friend, that I would propose to you any
terms which could compromise the high and honourable character which you
have so deservedly won, and so long borne. If the regular soldiers (to
whom I will ensure a safe retreat) are dismissed from the place, I trust
no more will be required than your parole to remain neuter during this
unhappy contest; and I will take care that Lady Margaret's property, as
well as yours, shall be duly respected, and no garrison intruded upon
you. I could say much in favour of this proposal; but I fear, as I must
in the present instance appear criminal in your eyes, good arguments
would lose their influence when coming from an unwelcome quarter. I will,
therefore, break off with assuring you, that whatever your sentiments may
be hereafter towards me, my sense of gratitude to you can never be
diminished or erased; and it would be the happiest moment of my life that
should give me more effectual means than mere words to assure you of it.
Therefore, although in the first moment of resentment you may reject the
proposal I make to you, let not that prevent you from resuming the topic,
if future events should render it more acceptable; for whenever, or
howsoever, I can be of service to you, it will always afford the greatest
satisfaction to
                                     "Henry Morton."

Having read this long letter with the most marked indignation, Major
Bellenden put it into the hands of Lord Evandale.

"I would not have believed this," he said, "of Henry Morton, if half
mankind had sworn it! The ungrateful, rebellious traitor! rebellious in
cold blood, and without even the pretext of enthusiasm, that warms the
liver of such a crack-brained fop as our friend the envoy there. But I
should have remembered he was a presbyterian--I ought to have been aware
that I was nursing a wolf-cub, whose diabolical nature would make him
tear and snatch at me on the first opportunity. Were Saint Paul on earth
again, and a presbyterian, he would be a rebel in three months--it is in
the very blood of them."

"Well," said Lord Evandale, "I will be the last to recommend surrender;
but, if our provisions fail, and we receive no relief from Edinburgh or
Glasgow, I think we ought to avail ourselves of this opening, to get the
ladies, at least, safe out of the Castle."

"They will endure all, ere they would accept the protection of such a
smooth-tongued hypocrite," answered the Major indignantly; "I would
renounce them for relatives were it otherwise. But let us dismiss the
worthy ambassador.--My friend," he said, turning to Langcale, "tell your
leaders, and the mob they have gathered yonder, that, if they have not a
particular opinion of the hardness of their own skulls, I would advise
them to beware how they knock them against these old walls. And let them
send no more flags of truce, or we will hang up the messenger in
retaliation of the murder of Cornet Grahame."

With this answer the ambassador returned to those by whom he had been
sent. He had no sooner reached the main body than a murmur was heard
amongst the multitude, and there was raised in front of their ranks an
ample red flag, the borders of which were edged with blue. As the signal
of war and defiance spread out its large folds upon the morning wind, the
ancient banner of Lady Margaret's family, together with the royal ensign,
were immediately hoisted on the walls of the Tower, and at the same time,
a round of artillery was discharged against the foremost ranks of the
insurgents, by which they sustained some loss. Their leaders instantly
withdrew them to the shelter of the brow of the hill.

"I think," said John Gudyill, while he busied himself in re-charging his
guns, "they hae fund the falcon's neb a bit ower hard for them--It's no
for nought that the hawk whistles."

But as he uttered these words, the ridge was once more crowded with the
ranks of the enemy. A general discharge of their fire-arms was directed
against the defenders upon the battlements. Under cover of the smoke, a
column of picked men rushed down the road with determined courage, and,
sustaining with firmness a heavy fire from the garrison, they forced
their way, in spite of opposition, to the first barricade by which the
avenue was defended. They were led on by Balfour in person, who displayed
courage equal to his enthusiasm; and, in spite of every opposition,
forced the barricade, killing and wounding several of the defenders, and
compelling the rest to retreat to their second position. The precautions,
however, of Major Bellenden rendered this success unavailing; for no
sooner were the Covenanters in possession of the post, than a close and
destructive fire was poured into it from the Castle, and from those
stations which commanded it in the rear. Having no means of protecting
themselves from this fire, or of returning it with effect against men who
were under cover of their barricades and defences, the Covenanters were
obliged to retreat; but not until they had, with their axes, destroyed
the stockade, so as to render it impossible for the defenders to
re-occupy it.

Balfour was the last man that retired. He even remained for a short space
almost alone, with an axe in his hand, labouring like a pioneer amid the
storm of balls, many of which were specially aimed against him. The
retreat of the party he commanded was not effected without heavy loss,
and served as a severe lesson concerning the local advantages possessed
by the garrison.

The next attack of the Covenanters was made with more caution. A strong
party of marksmen, (many of them competitors at the game of the
popinjay,) under the command of Henry Morton, glided through the woods
where they afforded them the best shelter, and, avoiding the open road,
endeavoured, by forcing their way through the bushes and trees, and up
the rocks which surrounded it on either side, to gain a position, from
which, without being exposed in an intolerable degree, they might annoy
the flank of the second barricade, while it was menaced in front by a
second attack from Burley. The besieged saw the danger of this movement,
and endeavoured to impede the approach of the marksmen, by firing upon
them at every point where they showed themselves. The assailants, on the
other hand, displayed great coolness, spirit, and judgment, in the manner
in which they approached the defences. This was, in a great measure, to
be ascribed to the steady and adroit manner in which they were conducted
by their youthful leader, who showed as much skill in protecting his own
followers as spirit in annnoying the enemy.

He repeatedly enjoined his marksmen to direct their aim chiefly upon the
red-coats, and to save the others engaged in the defence of the Castle;
and, above all, to spare the life of the old Major, whose anxiety made
him more than once expose himself in a manner, that, without such
generosity on the part of the enemy, might have proved fatal. A dropping
fire of musketry now glanced from every part of the precipitous mount on
which the Castle was founded. From bush to bush--from crag to crag--from
tree to tree, the marksmen continued to advance, availing themselves of
branches and roots to assist their ascent, and contending at once with
the disadvantages of the ground and the fire of the enemy. At length they
got so high on the ascent, that several of them possessed an opportunity
of firing into the barricade against the defenders, who then lay exposed
to their aim, and Burley, profiting by the confusion of the moment, moved
forward to the attack in front. His onset was made with the same
desperation and fury as before, and met with less resistance, the
defenders being alarmed at the progress which the sharp-shooters had made
in turning the flank of their position. Determined to improve his
advantage, Burley, with his axe in his hand, pursued the party whom he
had dislodged even to the third and last barricade, and entered it along
with them.

"Kill, kill--down with the enemies of God and his people!--No
quarter--The Castle is ours!" were the cries by which he animated his
friends; the most undaunted of whom followed him close, whilst the
others, with axes, spades, and other implements, threw up earth, cut
down trees, hastily labouring to establish such a defensive cover in the
rear of the second barricade as might enable them to retain possession
of it, in case the Castle was not carried by this coup-de-main.

Lord Evandale could no longer restrain his impatience. He charged with a
few soldiers who had been kept in reserve in the court-yard of the
Castle; and, although his arm was in a sling, encouraged them, by voice
and gesture, to assist their companions who were engaged with Burley. The
combat now assumed an air of desperation. The narrow road was crowded
with the followers of Burley, who pressed forward to support their
companions. The soldiers, animated by the voice and presence of Lord
Evandale, fought with fury, their small numbers being in some measure
compensated by their greater skill, and by their possessing the upper
ground, which they defended desperately with pikes and halberds, as well
as with the but of the carabines and their broadswords. Those within the
Castle endeavoured to assist their companions, whenever they could so
level their guns as to fire upon the enemy without endangering their
friends. The sharp-shooters, dispersed around, were firing incessantly on
each object that was exposed upon the battlement. The Castle was
enveloped with smoke, and the rocks rang to the cries of the combatants.
In the midst of this scene of confusion, a singular accident had nearly
given the besiegers possession of the fortress.

Cuddie Headrigg, who had advanced among the marksmen, being well
acquainted with every rock and bush in the vicinity of the Castle, where
he had so often gathered nuts with Jenny Dennison, was enabled, by such
local knowledge, to advance farther, and with less danger, than most of
his companions, excepting some three or four who had followed him close.
Now Cuddie, though a brave enough fellow upon the whole, was by no means
fond of danger, either for its own sake, or for that of the glory which
attends it. In his advance, therefore, he had not, as the phrase goes,
taken the bull by the horns, or advanced in front of the enemy's fire. On
the contrary, he had edged gradually away from the scene of action, and,
turning his line of ascent rather to the left, had pursued it until it
brought him under a front of the Castle different from that before which
the parties were engaged, and to which the defenders had given no
attention, trusting to the steepness of the precipice. There was,
however, on this point, a certain window belonging to a certain pantry,
and communicating with a certain yew-tree, which grew out of a steep
cleft of the rock, being the very pass through which Goose Gibbie was
smuggled out of the Castle in order to carry Edith's express to
Charnwood, and which had probably, in its day, been used for other
contraband purposes. Cuddie, resting upon the but of his gun, and looking
up at this window, observed to one of his companions,--"There's a place I
ken weel; mony a time I hae helped Jenny Dennison out o' the winnock,
forby creeping in whiles mysell to get some daffin, at e'en after the
pleugh was loosed."

"And what's to hinder us to creep in just now?" said the other, who was a
smart enterprising young fellow.

"There's no muckle to hinder us, an that were a'," answered Cuddie; "but
what were we to do neist?"

"We'll take the Castle," cried the other; "here are five or six o' us,
and a' the sodgers are engaged at the gate."

"Come awa wi' you, then," said Cuddie; "but mind, deil a finger ye maun
lay on Lady Margaret, or Miss Edith, or the auld Major, or, aboon a', on
Jenny Dennison, or ony body but the sodgers--cut and quarter amang them
as ye like, I carena."

"Ay, ay," said the other, "let us once in, and we will make our ain terms
with them a'."

Gingerly, and as if treading upon eggs, Cuddie began to ascend the
well-known pass, not very willingly; for, besides that he was something
apprehensive of the reception he might meet with in the inside, his
conscience insisted that he was making but a shabby requital for Lady
Margaret's former favours and protection. He got up, however, into the
yew-tree, followed by his companions, one after another. The window was
small, and had been secured by stancheons of iron; but these had been
long worn away by time, or forced out by the domestics to possess a free
passage for their own occasional convenience. Entrance was therefore
easy, providing there was no one in the pantry, a point which Cuddie
endeavoured to discover before he made the final and perilous step. While
his companions, therefore, were urging and threatening him behind, and he
was hesitating and stretching his neck to look into the apartment, his
head became visible to Jenny Dennison, who had ensconced herself in said
pantry as the safest place in which to wait the issue of the assault. So
soon as this object of terror caught her eye, she set up a hysteric
scream, flew to the adjacent kitchen, and, in the desperate agony of
fear, seized on a pot of kailbrose which she herself had hung on the fire
before the combat began, having promised to Tam Halliday to prepare his
breakfast for him. Thus burdened, she returned to the window of the
pantry, and still exclaiming, "Murder! murder!--we are a' harried and
ravished--the Castle's taen--tak it amang ye!" she discharged the whole
scalding contents of the pot, accompanied with a dismal yell, upon the
person of the unfortunate Cuddie. However welcome the mess might have
been, if Cuddie and it had become acquainted in a regular manner, the
effects, as administered by Jenny, would probably have cured him of
soldiering for ever, had he been looking upwards when it was thrown upon
him. But, fortunately for our man of war, he had taken the alarm upon
Jenny's first scream, and was in the act of looking down, expostulating
with his comrades, who impeded the retreat which he was anxious to
commence; so that the steel cap and buff coat which formerly belonged to
Sergeant Bothwell, being garments of an excellent endurance, protected
his person against the greater part of the scalding brose. Enough,
however, reached him to annoy him severely, so that in the pain and
surprise he jumped hastily out of the tree, oversetting his followers, to
the manifest danger of their limbs, and, without listening to arguments,
entreaties, or authority, made the best of his way by the most safe road
to the main body of the army whereunto he belonged, and could neither by
threats nor persuasion be prevailed upon to return to the attack.


[Illustration: Jenny Dennison--050]


As for Jenny, when she had thus conferred upon one admirer's outward man
the viands which her fair hands had so lately been in the act of
preparing for the stomach of another, she continued her song of alarm,
running a screaming division upon all those crimes, which the lawyers
call the four pleas of the crown, namely, murder, fire, rape, and
robbery. These hideous exclamations gave so much alarm, and created such
confusion within the Castle, that Major Bellenden and Lord Evandale
judged it best to draw off from the conflict without the gates, and,
abandoning to the enemy all the exterior defences of the avenue, confine
themselves to the Castle itself, for fear of its being surprised on some
unguarded point. Their retreat was unmolested; for the panic of Cuddie
and his companions had occasioned nearly as much confusion on the side
of the besiegers, as the screams of Jenny had caused to the defenders.

There was no attempt on either side to renew the action that day. The
insurgents had suffered most severely; and, from the difficulty which
they had experienced in carrying the barricadoed positions without the
precincts of the Castle, they could have but little hope of storming the
place itself. On the other hand, the situation of the besieged was
dispiriting and gloomy. In the skirmishing they had lost two or three
men, and had several wounded; and though their loss was in proportion
greatly less than that of the enemy, who had left twenty men dead on the
place, yet their small number could much worse spare it, while the
desperate attacks of the opposite party plainly showed how serious the
leaders were in the purpose of reducing the place, and how well seconded
by the zeal of their followers. But, especially, the garrison had to fear
for hunger, in case blockade should be resorted to as the means of
reducing them. The Major's directions had been imperfectly obeyed in
regard to laying in provisions; and the dragoons, in spite of all warning
and authority, were likely to be wasteful in using them. It was,
therefore, with a heavy heart, that Major Bellenden gave directions for
guarding the window through which the Castle had so nearly been
surprised, as well as all others which offered the most remote facility
for such an enterprise.



CHAPTER V.

               The King hath drawn
               The special head of all the land together.
                                   Henry IV. Part II.

The leaders of the presbyterian army had a serious consultation upon the
evening of the day in which they had made the attack on Tillietudlem.
They could not but observe that their followers were disheartened by the
loss which they had sustained, and which, as usual in such cases, had
fallen upon the bravest and most forward. It was to be feared, that if
they were suffered to exhaust their zeal and efforts in an object so
secondary as the capture of this petty fort, their numbers would melt
away by degrees, and they would lose all the advantages arising out of
the present unprepared state of the government. Moved by these arguments,
it was agreed that the main body of the army should march against
Glasgow, and dislodge the soldiers who were lying in that town. The
council nominated Henry Morton, with others, to this last service, and
appointed Burley to the command of a chosen body of five hundred men, who
were to remain behind, for the purpose of blockading the Tower of
Tillietudlem. Morton testified the greatest repugnance to this
arrangement.

"He had the strongest personal motives," he said, "for desiring to remain
near Tillietudlem; and if the management of the siege were committed to
him, he had little doubt but that he would bring it to such an
accommodation, as, without being rigorous to the besieged, would fully
answer the purpose of the besiegers."

Burley readily guessed the cause of his young colleague's reluctance to
move with the army; for, interested as he was in appreciating the
characters with whom he had to deal, he had contrived, through the
simplicity of Cuddie, and the enthusiasm of old Mause, to get much
information concerning Morton's relations with the family of
Tillietudlem. He therefore took the advantage of Poundtext's arising to
speak to business, as he said, for some short space of time, (which
Burley rightly interpreted to mean an hour at the very least), and seized
that moment to withdraw Morton from the hearing of their colleagues, and
to hold the following argument with him:

"Thou art unwise, Henry Morton, to desire to sacrifice this holy cause to
thy friendship for an uncircumcised Philistine, or thy lust for a
Moabitish woman."

"I neither understand your meaning, Mr Balfour, nor relish your
allusions," replied Morton, indignantly; "and I know no reason you have
to bring so gross a charge, or to use such uncivil language."

"Confess, however, the truth," said Balfour, "and own that there are
those within yon dark Tower, over whom thou wouldst rather be watching
like a mother over her little ones, than thou wouldst bear the banner of
the Church of Scotland over the necks of her enemies."

"If you mean, that I would willingly terminate this war without any
bloody victory, and that I am more anxious to do this than to acquire any
personal fame or power, you may be," replied Morton, "perfectly right."

"And not wholly wrong," answered Burley, "in deeming that thou wouldst
not exclude from so general a pacification thy friends in the garrison of
Tillietudlem."

"Certainly," replied Morton; "I am too much obliged to Major Bellenden
not to wish to be of service to him, as far as the interest of the cause
I have espoused will permit. I never made a secret of my regard for him."

"I am aware of that," said Burley; "but, if thou hadst concealed it, I
should, nevertheless, have found out thy riddle. Now, hearken to my
words. This Miles Bellenden hath means to subsist his garrison for a
month."

"This is not the case," answered Morton; "we know his stores are hardly
equal to a week's consumption."

"Ay, but," continued Burley, "I have since had proof, of the strongest
nature, that such a report was spread in the garrison by that wily and
grey-headed malignant, partly to prevail on the soldiers to submit to a
diminution of their daily food, partly to detain us before the walls of
his fortress until the sword should be whetted to smite and destroy us."

"And why was not the evidence of this laid before the council of war?"
said Morton.

"To what purpose?" said Balfour. "Why need we undeceive Kettledrummle,
Macbriar, Poundtext, and Langcale, upon such a point? Thyself must own,
that whatever is told to them escapes to the host out of the mouth of the
preachers at their next holding-forth. They are already discouraged by
the thoughts of lying before the fort a week. What would be the
consequence were they ordered to prepare for the leaguer of a month?"

"But why conceal it, then, from me? or why tell it me now? and, above
all, what proofs have you got of the fact?" continued Morton.

"There are many proofs," replied Burley; and he put into his hands a
number of requisitions sent forth by Major Bellenden, with receipts on
the back to various proprietors, for cattle, corn, meal, to such an
amount, that the sum total seemed to exclude the possibility of the
garrison being soon distressed for provisions. But Burley did not inform
Morton of a fact which he himself knew full well, namely, that most of
these provisions never reached the garrison, owing to the rapacity of the
dragoons sent to collect them, who readily sold to one man what they took
from another, and abused the Major's press for stores, pretty much as Sir
John Falstaff did that of the King for men.

"And now," continued Balfour, observing that he had made the desired
impression, "I have only to say, that I concealed this from thee no
longer than it was concealed from myself, for I have only received these
papers this morning; and I tell it unto thee now, that thou mayest go on
thy way rejoicing, and work the great work willingly at Glasgow, being
assured that no evil can befall thy friends in the malignant party, since
their fort is abundantly victualled, and I possess not numbers sufficient
to do more against them than to prevent their sallying forth."

"And why," continued Morton, who felt an inexpressible reluctance to
acquiesce in Balfour's reasoning--"why not permit me to remain in the
command of this smaller party, and march forward yourself to Glasgow? It
is the more honourable charge."

"And therefore, young man," answered Burley, "have I laboured that it
should be committed to the son of Silas Morton. I am waxing old, and this
grey head has had enough of honour where it could be gathered by danger.
I speak not of the frothy bubble which men call earthly fame, but the
honour belonging to him that doth not the work negligently. But thy
career is yet to run. Thou hast to vindicate the high trust which has
been bestowed on thee through my assurance that it was dearly
well-merited. At Loudon-hill thou wert a captive, and at the last assault
it was thy part to fight under cover, whilst I led the more open and
dangerous attack; and, shouldst thou now remain before these walls when
there is active service elsewhere, trust me, that men will say, that the
son of Silas Morton hath fallen away from the paths of his father."

Stung by this last observation, to which, as a gentleman and soldier, he
could offer no suitable reply, Morton hastily acquiesced in the proposed
arrangement. Yet he was unable to divest himself of certain feelings of
distrust which he involuntarily attached to the quarter from which he
received this information.

"Mr Balfour," he said, "let us distinctly understand each other. You have
thought it worth your while to bestow particular attention upon my
private affairs and personal attachments; be so good as to understand,
that I am as constant to them as to my political principles. It is
possible, that, during my absence, you may possess the power of soothing
or of wounding those feelings. Be assured, that whatever may be the
consequences to the issue of our present adventure, my eternal gratitude,
or my persevering resentment, will attend the line of conduct you may
adopt on such an occasion; and, however young and inexperienced I am, I
have no doubt of finding friends to assist me in expressing my sentiments
in either case."

"If there be a threat implied in that denunciation," replied Burley,
coldly and haughtily, "it had better have been spared. I know how to
value the regard of my friends, and despise, from my soul, the threats of
my enemies. But I will not take occasion of offence. Whatever happens
here in your absence shall be managed with as much deference to your
wishes, as the duty I owe to a higher power can possibly permit."

With this qualified promise Morton was obliged to rest satisfied.

"Our defeat will relieve the garrison," said he, internally, "ere they
can be reduced to surrender at discretion; and, in case of victory, I
already see, from the numbers of the moderate party, that I shall have a
voice as powerful as Burley's in determining the use which shall be made
of it."

He therefore followed Balfour to the council, where they found
Kettledrummle adding to his lastly a few words of practical application.
When these were expended, Morton testified his willingness to accompany
the main body of the army, which was destined to drive the regular troops
from Glasgow. His companions in command were named, and the whole
received a strengthening exhortation from the preachers who were present.
Next morning, at break of day, the insurgent army broke up from their
encampment, and marched towards Glasgow.

It is not our intention to detail at length incidents which may be found
in the history of the period. It is sufficient to say, that Claverhouse
and Lord Ross, learning the superior force which was directed against
them, intrenched, or rather barricadoed themselves, in the centre of the
city, where the town-house and old jail were situated, with the
determination to stand the assault of the insurgents rather than to
abandon the capital of the west of Scotland. The presbyterians made their
attack in two bodies, one of which penetrated into the city in the line
of the College and Cathedral Church, while the other marched up the
Gallowgate, or principal access from the south-east. Both divisions were
led by men of resolution, and behaved with great spirit. But the
advantages of military skill and situation were too great for their
undisciplined valour.

Ross and Claverhouse had carefully disposed parties of their soldiers in
houses, at the heads of the streets, and in the entrances of closes, as
they are called, or lanes, besides those who were intrenched behind
breast-works which reached across the streets. The assailants found their
ranks thinned by a fire from invisible opponents, which they had no means
of returning with effect. It was in vain that Morton and other leaders
exposed their persons with the utmost gallantry, and endeavoured to bring
their antagonists to a close action; their followers shrunk from them in
every direction. And yet, though Henry Morton was one of the very last to
retire, and exerted himself in bringing up the rear, maintaining order in
the retreat, and checking every attempt which the enemy made to improve
the advantage they had gained by the repulse, he had still the
mortification to hear many of those in his ranks muttering to each other,
that "this came of trusting to latitudinarian boys; and that, had honest,
faithful Burley led the attack, as he did that of the barricades of
Tillietudlem, the issue would have been as different as might be."

It was with burning resentment that Morton heard these reflections thrown
out by the very men who had soonest exhibited signs of discouragement.
The unjust reproach, however, had the effect of firing his emulation, and
making him sensible that, engaged as he was in a perilous cause, it was
absolutely necessary that he should conquer or die.

"I have no retreat," he said to himself. "All shall allow--even Major
Bellenden--even Edith--that in courage, at least, the rebel Morton was
not inferior to his father."

The condition of the army after the repulse was so undisciplined, and in
such disorganization, that the leaders thought it prudent to draw off
some miles from the city to gain time for reducing them once more into
such order as they were capable of adopting. Recruits, in the meanwhile,
came fast in, more moved by the extreme hardships of their own condition,
and encouraged by the advantage obtained at Loudon-hill, than deterred by
the last unfortunate enterprise. Many of these attached themselves
particularly to Morton's division. He had, however, the mortification to
see that his unpopularity among the more intolerant part of the
Covenanters increased rapidly. The prudence beyond his years, which he
exhibited in improving the discipline and arrangement of his followers,
they termed a trusting in the arm of flesh, and his avowed tolerance for
those of religious sentiments and observances different from his own,
obtained him, most unjustly, the nickname of Gallio, who cared for none
of those things. What was worse than these misconceptions, the mob of the
insurgents, always loudest in applause of those who push political or
religious opinions to extremity, and disgusted with such as endeavour to
reduce them to the yoke of discipline, preferred avowedly the more
zealous leaders, in whose ranks enthusiasm in the cause supplied the want
of good order and military subjection, to the restraints which Morton
endeavoured to bring them under. In short, while bearing the principal
burden of command, (for his colleagues willingly relinquished in his
favour every thing that was troublesome and obnoxious in the office of
general,) Morton found himself without that authority, which alone could
render his regulations effectual. [Note: These feuds, which tore to
pieces the little army of insurgents, turned merely on the point whether
the king's interest or royal authority was to be owned or not, and
whether the party in arms were to be contented with a free exercise of
their own religion, or insist upon the re-establishment of Presbytery in
its supreme authority, and with full power to predominate over all other
forms of worship. The few country gentlemen who joined the insurrection,
with the most sensible part of the clergy, thought it best to limit their
demands to what it might be possible to attain. But the party who urged
these moderate views were termed by the more zealous bigots, the Erastian
party, men, namely, who were willing to place the church under the
influence of the civil government, and therefore they accounted them, "a
snare upon Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor." See the Life of Sir
Robert Hamilton in the Scottish Worthies, and his account of the Battle
of Both-well-bridge, passim.]

Yet, notwithstanding these obstacles, he had, during the course of a few
days, laboured so hard to introduce some degree of discipline into the
army, that he thought he might hazard a second attack upon Glasgow with
every prospect of success.

It cannot be doubted that Morton's anxiety to measure himself with
Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse, at whose hands he had sustained such
injury, had its share in giving motive to his uncommon exertions. But
Claverhouse disappointed his hopes; for, satisfied with having the
advantage in repulsing the first attack upon Glasgow, he determined that
he would not, with the handful of troops under his command, await a
second assault from the insurgents, with more numerous and better
disciplined forces than had supported their first enterprise. He
therefore evacuated the place, and marched at the head of his troops
towards Edinburgh. The insurgents of course entered Glasgow without
resistance, and without Morton having the opportunity, which he so deeply
coveted, of again encountering Claverhouse personally. But, although he
had not an opportunity of wiping away the disgrace which had befallen his
division of the army of the Covenant, the retreat of Claverhouse, and the
possession of Glasgow, tended greatly to animate the insurgent army, and
to increase its numbers. The necessity of appointing new officers, of
organizing new regiments and squadrons, of making them acquainted with at
least the most necessary points of military discipline, were labours,
which, by universal consent, seemed to be devolved upon Henry Morton, and
which he the more readily undertook, because his father had made him
acquainted with the theory of the military art, and because he plainly
saw, that, unless he took this ungracious but absolutely necessary
labour, it was vain to expect any other to engage in it.

In the meanwhile, fortune appeared to favour the enterprise of the
insurgents more than the most sanguine durst have expected. The Privy
Council of Scotland, astonished at the extent of resistance which their
arbitrary measures had provoked, seemed stupified with terror, and
incapable of taking active steps to subdue the resentment which these
measures had excited. There were but very few troops in Scotland, and
these they drew towards Edinburgh, as if to form an army for protection
of the metropolis. The feudal array of the crown vassals in the various
counties, was ordered to take the field, and render to the King the
military service due for their fiefs. But the summons was very slackly
obeyed. The quarrel was not generally popular among the gentry; and even
those who were not unwilling themselves to have taken arms, were deterred
by the repugnance of their wives, mothers, and sisters, to their engaging
in such a cause.

Meanwhile, the inadequacy of the Scottish government to provide for their
own defence, or to put down a rebellion of which the commencement seemed
so trifling, excited at the English court doubts at once of their
capacity, and of the prudence of the severities they had exerted against
the oppressed presbyterians. It was, therefore, resolved to nominate to
the command of the army of Scotland, the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth,
who had by marriage a great interest, large estate, and a numerous
following, as it was called, in the southern parts of that kingdom. The
military skill which he had displayed on different occasions abroad, was
supposed more than adequate to subdue the insurgents in the field; while
it was expected that his mild temper, and the favourable disposition
which he showed to presbyterians in general, might soften men's minds,
and tend to reconcile them to the government. The Duke was, therefore,
invested with a commission, containing high powers for settling the
distracted affairs of Scotland, and dispatched from London with strong
succours to take the principal military command in that country.



CHAPTER VI.

                    I am bound to Bothwell-hill,
                    Where I maun either do or die.
                                             Old Ballad.


[Illustration: The Battle of Bothwell Bridge--128


There was now a pause in the military movements on both sides. The
government seemed contented to prevent the rebels advancing towards the
capital, while the insurgents were intent upon augmenting and
strengthening their forces. For this purpose, they established a sort of
encampment in the park belonging to the ducal residence at Hamilton, a
centrical situation for receiving their recruits, and where they were
secured from any sudden attack, by having the Clyde, a deep and rapid
river, in front of their position, which is only passable by a long and
narrow bridge, near the castle and village of Bothwell.

Morton remained here for about a fortnight after the attack on Glasgow,
actively engaged in his military duties. He had received more than one
communication from Burley, but they only stated, in general, that the
Castle of Tillietudlem continued to hold out. Impatient of suspense upon
this most interesting subject, he at length intimated to his colleagues
in command his desire, or rather his intention,--for he saw no reason why
he should not assume a license which was taken by every one else in this
disorderly army,--to go to Milnwood for a day or two to arrange some
private affairs of consequence. The proposal was by no means approved of;
for the military council of the insurgents were sufficiently sensible of
the value of his services to fear to lose them, and felt somewhat
conscious of their own inability to supply his place. They could not,
however, pretend to dictate to him laws more rigid than they submitted to
themselves, and he was suffered to depart on his journey without any
direct objection being stated. The Reverend Mr Poundtext took the same
opportunity to pay a visit to his own residence in the neighbourhood of
Milnwood, and favoured Morton with his company on the journey. As the
country was chiefly friendly to their cause, and in possession of their
detached parties, excepting here and there the stronghold of some old
cavaliering Baron, they travelled without any other attendant than the
faithful Cuddie.

It was near sunset when they reached Milnwood, where Poundtext bid adieu
to his companions, and travelled forward alone to his own manse, which
was situated half a mile's march beyond Tillietudlem. When Morton was
left alone to his own reflections, with what a complication of feelings
did he review the woods, banks, and fields, that had been familiar to
him! His character, as well as his habits, thoughts, and occupations, had
been entirely changed within the space of little more than a fortnight,
and twenty days seemed to have done upon him the work of as many years. A
mild, romantic, gentle-tempered youth, bred up in dependence, and
stooping patiently to the control of a sordid and tyrannical relation,
had suddenly, by the rod of oppression and the spur of injured feeling,
been compelled to stand forth a leader of armed men, was earnestly
engaged in affairs of a public nature, had friends to animate and enemies
to contend with, and felt his individual fate bound up in that of a
national insurrection and revolution. It seemed as if he had at once
experienced a transition from the romantic dreams of youth to the labours
and cares of active manhood. All that had formerly interested him was
obliterated from his memory, excepting only his attachment to Edith; and
even his love seemed to have assumed a character more manly and
disinterested, as it had become mingled and contrasted with other duties
and feelings. As he revolved the particulars of this sudden change, the
circumstances in which it originated, and the possible consequences of
his present career, the thrill of natural anxiety which passed along his
mind was immediately banished by a glow of generous and high-spirited
confidence.

"I shall fall young," he said, "if fall I must, my motives misconstrued,
and my actions condemned, by those whose approbation is dearest to me.
But the sword of liberty and patriotism is in my hand, and I will neither
fall meanly nor unavenged. They may expose my body, and gibbet my limbs;
but other days will come, when the sentence of infamy will recoil against
those who may pronounce it. And that Heaven, whose name is so often
profaned during this unnatural war, will bear witness to the purity of
the motives by which I have been guided."

Upon approaching Milnwood, Henry's knock upon the gate no longer
intimated the conscious timidity of a stripling who has been out of
bounds, but the confidence of a man in full possession of his own rights,
and master of his own actions,--bold, free, and decided. The door was
cautiously opened by his old acquaintance, Mrs Alison Wilson, who started
back when she saw the steel cap and nodding plume of the martial visitor.

"Where is my uncle, Alison?" said Morton, smiling at her alarm.

"Lordsake, Mr Harry! is this you?" returned the old lady. "In troth, ye
garr'd my heart loup to my very mouth--But it canna be your ainsell, for
ye look taller and mair manly-like than ye used to do."

"It is, however, my own self," said Henry, sighing and smiling at the
same time; "I believe this dress may make me look taller, and these
times, Ailie, make men out of boys."

"Sad times indeed!" echoed the old woman; "and O that you suld be
endangered wi'them! but wha can help it?--ye were ill eneugh guided, and,
as I tell your uncle, if ye tread on a worm it will turn."

"You were always my advocate, Ailie," said he, and the housekeeper no
longer resented the familiar epithet, "and would let no one blame me but
yourself, I am aware of that,--Where is my uncle?"

"In Edinburgh," replied Alison; "the honest man thought it was best to
gang and sit by the chimley when the reek rase--a vex'd man he's been and
a feared--but ye ken the Laird as weel as I do."

"I hope he has suffered nothing in health?" said Henry.

"Naething to speak of," answered the housekeeper, "nor in gudes
neither--we fended as weel as we could; and, though the troopers of
Tillietudlem took the red cow and auld Hackie, (ye'll mind them weel;)
yet they sauld us a gude bargain o' four they were driving to the
Castle."

"Sold you a bargain?" said Morton; "how do you mean?"

"Ou, they cam out to gather marts for the garrison," answered the
housekeeper; "but they just fell to their auld trade, and rade through
the country couping and selling a' that they gat, like sae mony
west-country drovers. My certie, Major Bellenden was laird o' the least
share o' what they lifted, though it was taen in his name."

"Then," said Morton, hastily, "the garrison must be straitened for
provisions?"

"Stressed eneugh," replied Ailie--"there's little doubt o' that."

A light instantly glanced on Morton's mind.

"Burley must have deceived me--craft as well as cruelty is permitted by
his creed." Such was his inward thought; he said aloud, "I cannot stay,
Mrs Wilson, I must go forward directly."

"But, oh! bide to eat a mouthfu'," entreated the affectionate
housekeeper, "and I'll mak it ready for you as I used to do afore thae
sad days," "It is impossible," answered Morton.--"Cuddie, get our horses
ready."

"They're just eating their corn," answered the attendant.

"Cuddie!" exclaimed Ailie; "what garr'd ye bring that ill-faur'd, unlucky
loon alang wi' ye?--It was him and his randie mother began a' the
mischief in this house."

"Tut, tut," replied Cuddie, "ye should forget and forgie, mistress.
Mither's in Glasgow wi' her tittie, and sall plague ye nae mair; and I'm
the Captain's wallie now, and I keep him tighter in thack and rape than
ever ye did;--saw ye him ever sae weel put on as he is now?"

"In troth and that's true," said the old housekeeper, looking with great
complacency at her young master, whose mien she thought much improved by
his dress. "I'm sure ye ne'er had a laced cravat like that when ye were
at Milnwood; that's nane o' my sewing."

"Na, na, mistress," replied Cuddie, "that's a cast o' my hand--that's ane
o' Lord Evandale's braws."

"Lord Evandale?" answered the old lady, "that's him that the whigs are
gaun to hang the morn, as I hear say."

"The whigs about to hang Lord Evandale?" said Morton, in the greatest
surprise.

"Ay, troth are they," said the housekeeper. "Yesterday night he made a
sally, as they ca't, (my mother's name was Sally--I wonder they gie
Christian folk's names to sic unchristian doings,)--but he made an
outbreak to get provisions, and his men were driven back and he was taen,
'an' the whig Captain Balfour garr'd set up a gallows, and swore, (or
said upon his conscience, for they winna swear,) that if the garrison was
not gien ower the morn by daybreak, he would hing up the young lord, poor
thing, as high as Haman.--These are sair times!--but folk canna help
them--sae do ye sit down and tak bread and cheese until better meat's
made ready. Ye suldna hae kend a word about it, an I had thought it was
to spoil your dinner, hinny."

"Fed, or unfed," exclaimed Morton, "saddle the horses instantly, Cuddie.
We must not rest until we get before the Castle."

And, resisting all Ailie's entreaties, they instantly resumed their
journey.

Morton failed not to halt at the dwelling of Poundtext, and summon him to
attend him to the camp. That honest divine had just resumed for an
instant his pacific habits, and was perusing an ancient theological
treatise, with a pipe in his mouth, and a small jug of ale beside him, to
assist his digestion of the argument. It was with bitter ill-will that he
relinquished these comforts (which he called his studies) in order to
recommence a hard ride upon a high-trotting horse. However, when he knew
the matter in hand, he gave up, with a deep groan, the prospect of
spending a quiet evening in his own little parlour; for he entirely
agreed with Morton, that whatever interest Burley might have in rendering
the breach between the presbyterians and the government irreconcilable,
by putting the young nobleman to death, it was by no means that of the
moderate party to permit such an act of atrocity. And it is but doing
justice to Mr Poundtext to add, that, like most of his own persuasion, he
was decidedly adverse to any such acts of unnecessary violence; besides,
that his own present feelings induced him to listen with much complacence
to the probability held out by Morton, of Lord Evandale's becoming a
mediator for the establishment of peace upon fair and moderate terms.
With this similarity of views, they hastened their journey, and arrived
about eleven o'clock at night at a small hamlet adjacent to the Castle at
Tillietudlem, where Burley had established his head-quarters.

They were challenged by the sentinel, who made his melancholy walk at the
entrance of the hamlet, and admitted upon declaring their names and
authority in the army. Another soldier kept watch before a house, which
they conjectured to be the place of Lord Evandale's confinement, for a
gibbet of such great height as to be visible from the battlements of the
Castle, was erected before it, in melancholy confirmation of the truth of
Mrs Wilson's report. [Note: The Cameronians had suffered persecution, but
it was without learning mercy. We are informed by Captain Crichton, that
they had set up in their camp a huge gibbet, or gallows, having many
hooks upon it, with a coil of new ropes lying beside it, for the
execution of such royalists as they might make prisoners. Guild, in his
Bellum Bothuellianum, describes this machine particularly.] Morton
instantly demanded to speak with Burley, and was directed to his
quarters. They found him reading the Scriptures, with his arms lying
beside him, as if ready for any sudden alarm. He started upon the
entrance of his colleagues in office.

"What has brought ye hither?" said Burley, hastily. "Is there bad news
from the army?"

"No," replied Morton; "but we understand that there are measures adopted
here in which the safety of the army is deeply concerned--Lord Evandale
is your prisoner?"

"The Lord," replied Burley, "hath delivered him into our hands."

"And you will avail yourself of that advantage, granted you by Heaven, to
dishonour our cause in the eyes of all the world, by putting a prisoner
to an ignominious death?"

"If the house of Tillietudlem be not surrendered by daybreak," replied
Burley, "God do so to me and more also, if he shall not die that death to
which his leader and patron, John Grahame of Claverhouse, hath put so
many of God's saints."

"We are in arms," replied Morton, "to put down such cruelties, and not to
imitate them, far less to avenge upon the innocent the acts of the
guilty. By what law can you justify the atrocity you would commit?"

"If thou art ignorant of it," replied Burley, "thy companion is well
aware of the law which gave the men of Jericho to the sword of Joshua,
the son of Nun."

"But we," answered the divine, "live under a better dispensation, which
instructeth us to return good for evil, and to pray for those who
despitefully use us and persecute us."

"That is to say," said Burley, "that thou wilt join thy grey hairs to his
green youth to controvert me in this matter?"

"We are," rejoined Poundtext, "two of those to whom, jointly with
thyself, authority is delegated over this host, and we will not permit
thee to hurt a hair of the prisoner's head. It may please God to make him
a means of healing these unhappy breaches in our Israel."

"I judged it would come to this," answered Burley, "when such as thou
wert called into the council of the elders."

"Such as I?" answered Poundtext,--"And who am I, that you should name me
with such scorn?--Have I not kept the flock of this sheep-fold from the
wolves for thirty years? Ay, even while thou, John Balfour, wert fighting
in the ranks of uncircumcision, a Philistine of hardened brow and bloody
hand--Who am I, say'st thou?"

"I will tell thee what thou art, since thou wouldst so fain know," said
Burley. "Thou art one of those, who would reap where thou hast not sowed,
and divide the spoil while others fight the battle--thou art one of those
that follow the gospel for the loaves and for the fishes--that love their
own manse better than the Church of God, and that would rather draw their
stipends under prelatists or heathens, than be a partaker with those
noble spirits who have cast all behind them for the sake of the
Covenant."

"And I will tell thee, John Balfour," returned Poundtext, deservedly
incensed, "I will tell thee what thou art. Thou art one of those, for
whose bloody and merciless disposition a reproach is flung upon the whole
church of this suffering kingdom, and for whose violence and
blood-guiltiness, it is to be feared, this fair attempt to recover our
civil and religious rights will never be honoured by Providence with the
desired success."

"Gentlemen," said Morton, "cease this irritating and unavailing
recrimination; and do you, Mr Balfour, inform us, whether it is your
purpose to oppose the liberation of Lord Evandale, which appears to us a
profitable measure in the present position of our affairs?"

"You are here," answered Burley, "as two voices against one; but you will
not refuse to tarry until the united council shall decide upon this
matter?"

"This," said Morton, "we would not decline, if we could trust the hands
in whom we are to leave the prisoner.--But you know well," he added,
looking sternly at Burley, "that you have already deceived me in this
matter."

"Go to," said Burley, disdainfully,--"thou art an idle inconsiderate boy,
who, for the black eyebrows of a silly girl, would barter thy own faith
and honour, and the cause of God and of thy country."

"Mr Balfour," said Morton, laying his hand on his sword, "this language
requires satisfaction."

"And thou shalt have it, stripling, when and where thou darest," said
Burley; "I plight thee my good word on it."

Poundtext, in his turn, interfered to remind them of the madness of
quarrelling, and effected with difficulty a sort of sullen
reconciliation.

"Concerning the prisoner," said Burley, "deal with him as ye think fit. I
wash my hands free from all consequences. He is my prisoner, made by my
sword and spear, while you, Mr Morton, were playing the adjutant at
drills and parades, and you, Mr Poundtext, were warping the Scriptures
into Erastianism. Take him unto you, nevertheless, and dispose of him as
ye think meet.--Dingwall," he continued, calling a sort of aid-de-camp,
who slept in the next apartment, "let the guard posted on the malignant
Evandale give up their post to those whom Captain Morton shall appoint to
relieve them.--The prisoner," he said, again addressing Poundtext and
Morton, "is now at your disposal, gentlemen. But remember, that for all
these things there will one day come a term of heavy accounting."

So saying, he turned abruptly into an inner apartment, without bidding
them good evening. His two visitors, after a moment's consideration,
agreed it would be prudent to ensure the prisoner's personal safety, by
placing over him an additional guard, chosen from their own parishioners.
A band of them happened to be stationed in the hamlet, having been
attached, for the time, to Burley's command, in order that the men might
be gratified by remaining as long as possible near to their own homes.
They were, in general, smart, active young fellows, and were usually
called by their companions, the Marksmen of Milnwood. By Morton's desire,
four of these lads readily undertook the task of sentinels, and he left
with them Headrigg, on whose fidelity he could depend, with instructions
to call him, if any thing remarkable happened.

This arrangement being made, Morton and his colleague took possession,
for the night, of such quarters as the over-crowded and miserable hamlet
could afford them. They did not, however, separate for repose till they
had drawn up a memorial of the grievances of the moderate presbyterians,
which was summed up with a request of free toleration for their religion
in future, and that they should be permitted to attend gospel ordinances
as dispensed by their own clergymen, without oppression or molestation.
Their petition proceeded to require that a free parliament should be
called for settling the affairs of church and state, and for redressing
the injuries sustained by the subject; and that all those who either now
were, or had been, in arms, for obtaining these ends, should be
indemnified. Morton could not but strongly hope that these terms, which
comprehended all that was wanted, or wished for, by the moderate party
among the insurgents, might, when thus cleared of the violence of
fanaticism, find advocates even among the royalists, as claiming only the
ordinary rights of Scottish freemen.

He had the more confidence of a favourable reception, that the Duke of
Monmouth, to whom Charles had intrusted the charge of subduing this
rebellion, was a man of gentle, moderate, and accessible disposition,
well known to be favourable to the presbyterians, and invested by the
king with full powers to take measures for quieting the disturbances in
Scotland. It seemed to Morton, that all that was necessary for
influencing him in their favour was to find a fit and sufficiently
respectable channel of communication, and such seemed to be opened
through the medium of Lord Evandale. He resolved, therefore, to visit the
prisoner early in the morning, in order to sound his dispositions to
undertake the task of mediator; but an accident happened which led him to
anticipate his purpose.



CHAPTER VII.

                    Gie ower your house, lady, he said,--
                    Gie ower your house to me.
                                        Edom of Gordon.

Morton had finished the revisal and the making out of a fair copy of the
paper on which he and Poundtext had agreed to rest as a full statement of
the grievances of their party, and the conditions on which the greater
part of the insurgents would be contented to lay down their arms; and he
was about to betake himself to repose, when there was a knocking at the
door of his apartment.

"Enter," said Morton; and the round bullethead of Cuddie Headrigg was
thrust into the room. "Come in," said Morton, "and tell me what you want.
Is there any alarm?"

"Na, stir; but I hae brought ane to speak wi' you."

"Who is that, Cuddie?" enquired Morton.

"Ane o' your auld acquaintance," said Cuddie; and, opening the door more
fully, he half led, half dragged in a woman, whose face was muffled in
her plaid.--"Come, come, ye needna be sae bashfu' before auld
acquaintance, Jenny," said Cuddie, pulling down the veil, and discovering
to his master the well-remembered countenance of Jenny Dennison. "Tell
his honour, now--there's a braw lass--tell him what ye were wanting to
say to Lord Evandale, mistress."

"What was I wanting to say," answered Jenny, "to his honour himsell the
other morning, when I visited him in captivity, ye muckle hash?--D'ye
think that folk dinna want to see their friends in adversity, ye dour
crowdy-eater?"

This reply was made with Jenny's usual volubility; but her voice
quivered, her cheek was thin and pale, the tears stood in her eyes, her
hand trembled, her manner was fluttered, and her whole presence bore
marks of recent suffering and privation, as well as nervous and
hysterical agitation.

"What is the matter, Jenny?" said Morton, kindly. "You know how much I
owe you in many respects, and can hardly make a request that I will not
grant, if in my power."

"Many thanks, Milnwood," said the weeping damsel; "but ye were aye a kind
gentleman, though folk say ye hae become sair changed now."

"What do they say of me?" answered Morton.

"A' body says," replied Jenny, "that you and the whigs hae made a vow to
ding King Charles aff the throne, and that neither he, nor his posteriors
from generation to generation, shall sit upon it ony mair; and John
Gudyill threeps ye're to gie a' the church organs to the pipers, and burn
the Book o' Common-prayer by the hands of the common hangman, in revenge
of the Covenant that was burnt when the king cam hame."

"My friends at Tillietudlem judge too hastily and too ill of me,"
answered Morton. "I wish to have free exercise of my own religion,
without insulting any other; and as to your family, I only desire an
opportunity to show them I have the same friendship and kindness as
ever."

"Bless your kind heart for saying sae," said Jenny, bursting into a flood
of tears; "and they never needed kindness or friendship mair, for they
are famished for lack o' food."

"Good God!" replied Morton, "I have heard of scarcity, but not of famine!
It is possible?--Have the ladies and the Major"--

"They hae suffered like the lave o' us," replied Jenny; "for they shared
every bit and sup wi' the whole folk in the Castle--I'm sure my poor een
see fifty colours wi' faintness, and my head's sae dizzy wi' the
mirligoes that I canna stand my lane."

The thinness of the poor girl's cheek, and the sharpness of her features,
bore witness to the truth of what she said. Morton was greatly shocked.

"Sit down," he said, "for God's sake!" forcing her into the only chair
the apartment afforded, while he himself strode up and down the room in
horror and impatience. "I knew not of this," he exclaimed in broken
ejaculations,--"I could not know of it.--Cold-blooded, iron-hearted
fanatic--deceitful villain!--Cuddie, fetch refreshments--food--wine, if
possible--whatever you can find."

"Whisky is gude eneugh for her," muttered Cuddie; "ane wadna hae thought
that gude meal was sae scant amang them, when the quean threw sae muckle
gude kail-brose scalding het about my lugs."

Faint and miserable as Jenny seemed to be, she could not hear the
allusion to her exploit during the storm of the Castle, without bursting
into a laugh which weakness soon converted into a hysterical giggle.
Confounded at her state, and reflecting with horror on the distress which
must have been in the Castle, Morton repeated his commands to Headrigg in
a peremptory manner; and when he had departed, endeavoured to soothe his
visitor.

"You come, I suppose, by the orders of your mistress, to visit Lord
Evandale?--Tell me what she desires; her orders shall be my law."

Jenny appeared to reflect a moment, and then said, "Your honour is sae
auld a friend, I must needs trust to you, and tell the truth."

"Be assured, Jenny," said Morton, observing that she hesitated, "that you
will best serve your mistress by dealing sincerely with me."

"Weel, then, ye maun ken we're starving, as I said before, and have been
mair days than ane; and the Major has sworn that he expects relief daily,
and that he will not gie ower the house to the enemy till we have eaten
up his auld boots,--and they are unco thick in the soles, as ye may weel
mind, forby being teugh in the upper-leather. The dragoons, again, they
think they will be forced to gie up at last, and they canna bide hunger
weel, after the life they led at free quarters for this while bypast; and
since Lord Evandale's taen, there's nae guiding them; and Inglis says
he'll gie up the garrison to the whigs, and the Major and the leddies
into the bargain, if they will but let the troopers gang free themsells."

"Scoundrels!" said Morton; "why do they not make terms for all in the
Castle?"

"They are fear'd for denial o' quarter to themsells, having dune sae
muckle mischief through the country; and Burley has hanged ane or twa o'
them already--sae they want to draw their ain necks out o' the collar at
hazard o' honest folk's."

"And you were sent," continued Morton, "to carry to Lord Evandale the
unpleasant news of the men's mutiny?"

"Just e'en sae," said Jenny; "Tam Halliday took the rue, and tauld me a'
about it, and gat me out o' the Castle to tell Lord Evandale, if possibly
I could win at him."

"But how can he help you?" said Morton; "he is a prisoner."

"Well-a-day, ay," answered the afflicted damsel; "but maybe he could mak
fair terms for us--or, maybe, he could gie us some good advice--or,
maybe, he might send his orders to the dragoons to be civil--or"--

"Or, maybe," said Morton, "you were to try if it were possible to set him
at liberty?"

"If it were sae," answered Jenny with spirit, "it wadna be the first time
I hae done my best to serve a friend in captivity."

"True, Jenny," replied Morton, "I were most ungrateful to forget it. But
here comes Cuddie with refreshments--I will go and do your errand to Lord
Evandale, while you take some food and wine."

"It willna be amiss ye should ken," said Cuddie to his master, "that this
Jenny--this Mrs Dennison, was trying to cuittle favour wi' Tam Rand, the
miller's man, to win into Lord Evandale's room without ony body kennin'.
She wasna thinking, the gipsy, that I was at her elbow."

"And an unco fright ye gae me when ye cam ahint and took a grip o' me,"
said Jenny, giving him a sly twitch with her finger and her thumb--"if ye
hadna been an auld acquaintance, ye daft gomeril"--

Cuddie, somewhat relenting, grinned a smile on his artful mistress, while
Morton wrapped himself up in his cloak, took his sword under his arm, and
went straight to the place of the young nobleman's confinement. He asked
the sentinels if any thing extraordinary had occurred.

"Nothing worth notice," they said, "excepting the lass that Cuddie took
up, and two couriers that Captain Balfour had dispatched, one to the
Reverend Ephraim Macbriar, another to Kettledrummle," both of whom were
beating the drum ecclesiastic in different towns between the position of
Burley and the head-quarters of the main army near Hamilton.

"The purpose, I presume," said Morton, with an affectation of
indifference, "was to call them hither."

"So I understand," answered the sentinel, who had spoke with the
messengers.

He is summoning a triumphant majority of the council, thought Morton to
himself, for the purpose of sanctioning whatever action of atrocity he
may determine upon, and thwarting opposition by authority. I must be
speedy, or I shall lose my opportunity.

When he entered the place of Lord Evandale's confinement, he found him
ironed, and reclining on a flock bed in the wretched garret of a
miserable cottage. He was either in a slumber, or in deep meditation,
when Morton entered, and turned on him, when aroused, a countenance so
much reduced by loss of blood, want of sleep, and scarcity of food, that
no one could have recognised in it the gallant soldier who had behaved
with so much spirit at the skirmish of Loudon-hill. He displayed some
surprise at the sudden entrance of Morton.

"I am sorry to see you thus, my lord," said that youthful leader.

"I have heard you are an admirer of poetry," answered the prisoner; "in
that case, Mr Morton, you may remember these lines,--

              'Stone walls do not a prison make,
               Or iron bars a cage;
               A free and quiet mind can take
               These for a hermitage.'

But, were my imprisonment less endurable, I am given to expect to-morrow
a total enfranchisement."

"By death?" said Morton.

"Surely," answered Lord Evandale; "I have no other prospect. Your
comrade, Burley, has already dipped his hand in the blood of men whose
meanness of rank and obscurity of extraction might have saved them. I
cannot boast such a shield from his vengeance, and I expect to meet its
extremity."

"But Major Bellenden," said Morton, "may surrender, in order to preserve
your life."

"Never, while there is one man to defend the battlement, and that man has
one crust to eat. I know his gallant resolution, and grieved should I be
if he changed it for my sake."

Morton hastened to acquaint him with the mutiny among the dragoons, and
their resolution to surrender the Castle, and put the ladies of the
family, as well as the Major, into the hands of the enemy. Lord Evandale
seemed at first surprised, and something incredulous, but immediately
afterwards deeply affected.

"What is to be done?" he said--"How is this misfortune to be averted?"

"Hear me, my lord," said Morton. "I believe you may not be unwilling to
bear the olive branch between our master the King, and that part of his
subjects which is now in arms, not from choice, but necessity."

"You construe me but justly," said Lord Evandale; "but to what does this
tend?"

"Permit me, my lord"--continued Morton. "I will set you at liberty upon
parole; nay, you may return to the Castle, and shall have a safe conduct
for the ladies, the Major, and all who leave it, on condition of its
instant surrender. In contributing to bring this about you will only
submit to circumstances; for, with a mutiny in the garrison, and without
provisions, it will be found impossible to defend the place twenty-four
hours longer. Those, therefore, who refuse to accompany your lordship,
must take their fate. You and your followers shall have a free pass to
Edinburgh, or where-ever the Duke of Monmouth may be. In return for your
liberty, we hope that you will recommend to the notice of his Grace, as
Lieutenant-General of Scotland, this humble petition and remonstrance,
containing the grievances which have occasioned this insurrection, a
redress of which being granted, I will answer with my head, that the
great body of the insurgents will lay down their arms."

Lord Evandale read over the paper with attention.

"Mr Morton," he said, "in my simple judgment, I see little objection that
can be made to the measure here recommended; nay, farther, I believe, in
many respects, they may meet the private sentiments of the Duke of
Monmouth: and yet, to deal frankly with you, I have no hopes of their
being granted, unless, in the first place, you were to lay down your
arms."

"The doing so," answered Morton, "would be virtually conceding that we
had no right to take them up; and that, for one, I will never agree to."

"Perhaps it is hardly to be expected you should," said Lord Evandale;
"and yet on that point I am certain the negotiations will be wrecked. I
am willing, however, having frankly told you my opinion, to do all in my
power to bring about a reconciliation."

"It is all we can wish or expect," replied Morton; "the issue is in God's
hands, who disposes the hearts of princes.--You accept, then, the safe
conduct?"

"Certainly," answered Lord Evandale; "and if I do not enlarge upon the
obligation incurred by your having saved my life a second time, believe
that I do not feel it the less."

"And the garrison of Tillietudlem?" said Morton.

"Shall be withdrawn as you propose," answered the young nobleman. "I am
sensible the Major will be unable to bring the mutineers to reason; and I
tremble to think of the consequences, should the ladies and the brave old
man be delivered up to this bloodthirsty ruffian, Burley."

"You are in that case free," said Morton. "Prepare to mount on horseback;
a few men whom I can trust shall attend you till you are in safety from
our parties."

Leaving Lord Evandale in great surprise and joy at this unexpected
deliverance, Morton hastened to get a few chosen men under arms and on
horseback, each rider holding the rein of a spare horse. Jenny, who,
while she partook of her refreshment, had contrived to make up her breach
with Cuddie, rode on the left hand of that valiant cavalier. The tramp of
their horses was soon heard under the window of Lord Evandale's prison.
Two men, whom he did not know, entered the apartment, disencumbered him
of his fetters, and, conducting him down stairs, mounted him in the
centre of the detachment. They set out at a round trot towards
Tillietudlem.

The moonlight was giving way to the dawn when they approached that
ancient fortress, and its dark massive tower had just received the first
pale colouring of the morning. The party halted at the Tower barrier, not
venturing to approach nearer for fear of the fire of the place. Lord
Evandale alone rode up to the gate, followed at a distance by Jenny
Dennison. As they approached the gate, there was heard to arise in the
court-yard a tumult, which accorded ill with the quiet serenity of a
summer dawn. Cries and oaths were heard, a pistol-shot or two were
discharged, and every thing announced that the mutiny had broken out. At
this crisis Lord Evandale arrived at the gate where Halliday was
sentinel. On hearing Lord Evandale's voice, he instantly and gladly
admitted him, and that nobleman arrived among the mutinous troopers like
a man dropped from the clouds. They were in the act of putting their
design into execution, of seizing the place into their own hands, and
were about to disarm and overpower Major Bellenden and Harrison, and
others of the Castle, who were offering the best resistance in their
power.

The appearance of Lord Evandale changed the scene. He seized Inglis by
the collar, and, upbraiding him with his villainy, ordered two of his
comrades to seize and bind him, assuring the others, that their only
chance of impunity consisted in instant submission. He then ordered the
men into their ranks. They obeyed. He commanded them to ground their
arms. They hesitated; but the instinct of discipline, joined to their
persuasion that the authority of their officer, so boldly exerted, must
be supported by some forces without the gate, induced them to submit.

"Take away those arms," said Lord Evandale to the people of the Castle;
"they shall not be restored until these men know better the use for which
they are intrusted with them.--And now," he continued, addressing the
mutineers, "begone!--Make the best use of your time, and of a truce of
three hours, which the enemy are contented to allow you. Take the road to
Edinburgh, and meet me at the House-of-Muir. I need not bid you beware of
committing violence by the way; you will not, in your present condition,
provoke resentment for your own sakes. Let your punctuality show that you
mean to atone for this morning's business."

The disarmed soldiers shrunk in silence from the presence of their
officer, and, leaving the Castle, took the road to the place of
rendezvous, making such haste as was inspired by the fear of meeting with
some detached party of the insurgents, whom their present defenceless
condition, and their former violence, might inspire with thoughts of
revenge. Inglis, whom Evandale destined for punishment, remained in
custody. Halliday was praised for his conduct, and assured of succeeding
to the rank of the culprit. These arrangements being hastily made, Lord
Evandale accosted the Major, before whose eyes the scene had seemed to
pass like the change of a dream.

"My dear Major, we must give up the place."

"Is it even so?" said Major Bellenden. "I was in hopes you had brought
reinforcements and supplies."

"Not a man--not a pound of meal," answered Lord Evandale.

"Yet I am blithe to see you," returned the honest Major; "we were
informed yesterday that these psalm-singing rascals had a plot on your
life, and I had mustered the scoundrelly dragoons ten minutes ago in
order to beat up Burley's quarters and get you out of limbo, when the dog
Inglis, instead of obeying me, broke out into open mutiny.--But what is
to be done now?"

"I have, myself, no choice," said Lord Evandale; "I am a prisoner,
released on parole, and bound for Edinburgh. You and the ladies must take
the same route. I have, by the favour of a friend, a safe conduct and
horses for you and your retinue--for God's sake make haste--you cannot
propose to hold out with seven or eight men, and without provisions--
Enough has been done for honour, and enough to render the defence of the
highest consequence to government. More were needless, as well as
desperate. The English troops are arrived at Edinburgh, and will speedily
move upon Hamilton. The possession of Tillietudlem by the rebels will be
but temporary."

"If you think so, my lord," said the veteran, with a reluctant sigh,--"I
know you only advise what is honourable--if, then, you really think the
case inevitable, I must submit; for the mutiny of these scoundrels would
render it impossible to man the walls.--Gudyill, let the women call up
their mistresses, and all be ready to march--But if I could believe that
my remaining in these old walls, till I was starved to a mummy, could do
the King's cause the least service, old Miles Bellenden would not leave
them while there was a spark of life in his body!"

The ladies, already alarmed by the mutiny, now heard the determination of
the Major, in which they readily acquiesced, though not without some
groans and sighs on the part of Lady Margaret, which referred, as usual,
to the /dejeune/; of his Most Sacred Majesty in the halls which were now
to be abandoned to rebels. Hasty preparations were made for evacuating
the Castle; and long ere the dawn was distinct enough for discovering
objects with precision, the ladies, with Major Bellenden, Harrison,
Gudyill, and the other domestics, were mounted on the led horses, and
others which had been provided in the neighbourhood, and proceeded
towards the north, still escorted by four of the insurgent horsemen. The
rest of the party who had accompanied Lord Evandale from the hamlet, took
possession of the deserted Castle, carefully forbearing all outrage or
acts of plunder. And when the sun arose, the scarlet and blue colours of
the Scottish Covenant floated from the Keep of Tillietudlem.



CHAPTER VIII.

               And, to my breast, a bodkin in her hand
               Were worth a thousand daggers.
                                             Marlow.

The cavalcade which left the Castle of Tillietudlem, halted for a few
minutes at the small town of Bothwell, after passing the outposts of the
insurgents, to take some slight refreshments which their attendants had
provided, and which were really necessary to persons who had suffered
considerably by want of proper nourishment. They then pressed forward
upon the road towards Edinburgh, amid the lights of dawn which were now
rising on the horizon. It might have been expected, during the course of
the journey, that Lord Evandale would have been frequently by the side of
Miss Edith Bellenden. Yet, after his first salutations had been
exchanged, and every precaution solicitously adopted which could serve
for her accommodation, he rode in the van of the party with Major
Bellenden, and seemed to abandon the charge of immediate attendance upon
his lovely niece to one of the insurgent cavaliers, whose dark military
cloak, with the large flapped hat and feather, which drooped over his
face, concealed at once his figure and his features. They rode side by
side in silence for more than two miles, when the stranger addressed Miss
Bellenden in a tremulous and suppressed voice.

"Miss Bellenden," he said, "must have friends wherever she is known; even
among those whose conduct she now disapproves. Is there any thing that
such can do to show their respect for her, and their regret for her
sufferings?"

"Let them learn for their own sakes," replied Edith, "to venerate the
laws, and to spare innocent blood. Let them return to their allegiance,
and I can forgive them all that I have suffered, were it ten times more."

"You think it impossible, then," rejoined the cavalier, "for any one to
serve in our ranks, having the weal of his country sincerely at heart,
and conceiving himself in the discharge of a patriotic duty?"

"It might be imprudent, while so absolutely in your power," replied Miss
Bellenden, "to answer that question."

"Not in the present instance, I plight you the word of a soldier,"
replied the horseman.

"I have been taught candour from my birth," said Edith; "and, if I am to
speak at all, I must utter my real sentiments. God only can judge the
heart--men must estimate intentions by actions. Treason, murder by the
sword and by gibbet, the oppression of a private family such as ours, who
were only in arms for the defence of the established government, and of
our own property, are actions which must needs sully all that have
accession to them, by whatever specious terms they may be gilded over."

"The guilt of civil war," rejoined the horseman--"the miseries which it
brings in its train, lie at the door of those who provoked it by illegal
oppression, rather than of such as are driven to arms in order to assert
their natural rights as freemen."

"That is assuming the question," replied Edith, "which ought to be
proved. Each party contends that they are right in point of principle,
and therefore the guilt must lie with them who first drew the sword; as,
in an affray, law holds those to be the criminals who are the first to
have recourse to violence."

"Alas!" said the horseman, "were our vindication to rest there, how easy
would it be to show that we have suffered with a patience which almost
seemed beyond the power of humanity, ere we were driven by oppression
into open resistance!--But I perceive," he continued, sighing deeply,
"that it is vain to plead before Miss Bellenden a cause which she has
already prejudged, perhaps as much from her dislike of the persons as of
the principles of those engaged in it."

"Pardon me," answered Edith; "I have stated with freedom my opinion
of the principles of the insurgents; of their persons I know
nothing--excepting in one solitary instance."

"And that instance," said the horseman, "has influenced your opinion of
the whole body?"

"Far from it," said Edith; "he is--at least I once thought him--one in
whose scale few were fit to be weighed--he is--or he seemed--one of early
talent, high faith, pure morality, and warm affections. Can I approve of
a rebellion which has made such a man, formed to ornament, to enlighten,
and to defend his country, the companion of gloomy and ignorant fanatics,
or canting hypocrites,--the leader of brutal clowns,--the brother-in-arms
to banditti and highway murderers?--Should you meet such an one in your
camp, tell him that Edith Bellenden has wept more over his fallen
character, blighted prospects, and dishonoured name, than over the
distresses of her own house,--and that she has better endured that famine
which has wasted her cheek and dimmed her eye, than the pang of heart
which attended the reflection by and through whom these calamities were
inflicted."

As she thus spoke, she turned upon her companion a countenance, whose
faded cheek attested the reality of her sufferings, even while it glowed
with the temporary animation which accompanied her language. The horseman
was not insensible to the appeal; he raised his hand to his brow with the
sudden motion of one who feels a pang shoot along his brain, passed it
hastily over his face, and then pulled the shadowing hat still deeper on
his forehead. The movement, and the feelings which it excited, did not
escape Edith, nor did she remark them without emotion.

"And yet," she said, "should the person of whom I speak seem to you too
deeply affected by the hard opinion of--of--an early friend, say to him,
that sincere repentance is next to innocence;--that, though fallen from a
height not easily recovered, and the author of much mischief, because
gilded by his example, he may still atone in some measure for the evil he
has done."

"And in what manner?" asked the cavalier, in the same suppressed, and
almost choked voice.

"By lending his efforts to restore the blessings of peace to his
distracted countrymen, and to induce the deluded rebels to lay down their
arms. By saving their blood, he may atone for that which has been already
spilt;--and he that shall be most active in accomplishing this great end,
will best deserve the thanks of this age, and an honoured remembrance in
the next."

"And in such a peace," said her companion, with a firm voice, "Miss
Bellenden would not wish, I think, that the interests of the people were
sacrificed unreservedly to those of the crown?"

"I am but a girl," was the young lady's reply; "and I scarce can speak on
the subject without presumption. But, since I have gone so far, I will
fairly add, I would wish to see a peace which should give rest to all
parties, and secure the subjects from military rapine, which I detest as
much as I do the means now adopted to resist it."

"Miss Bellenden," answered Henry Morton, raising his face, and speaking
in his natural tone, "the person who has lost such a highly-valued place
in your esteem, has yet too much spirit to plead his cause as a criminal;
and, conscious that he can no longer claim a friend's interest in your
bosom, he would be silent under your hard censure, were it not that he
can refer to the honoured testimony of Lord Evandale, that his earnest
wishes and most active exertions are, even now, directed to the
accomplishment of such a peace as the most loyal cannot censure."

He bowed with dignity to Miss Bellenden, who, though her language
intimated that she well knew to whom she had been speaking, probably had
not expected that he would justify himself with so much animation. She
returned his salute, confused and in silence. Morton then rode forward to
the head of the party.

"Henry Morton!" exclaimed Major Bellenden, surprised at the sudden
apparition.

"The same," answered Morton; "who is sorry that he labours under the
harsh construction of Major Bellenden and his family. He commits to my
Lord Evandale," he continued, turning towards the young nobleman, and
bowing to him, "the charge of undeceiving his friends, both regarding the
particulars of his conduct and the purity of his motives. Farewell, Major
Bellenden--All happiness attend you and yours--May we meet again in
happier and better times!"

"Believe me," said Lord Evandale, "your confidence, Mr Morton, is not
misplaced; I will endeavour to repay the great services I have received
from you by doing my best to place your character on its proper footing
with Major Bellenden, and all whose esteem you value."

"I expected no less from your generosity, my lord," said Morton.

He then called his followers, and rode off along the heath in the
direction of Hamilton, their feathers waving and their steel caps
glancing in the beams of the rising sun. Cuddie Headrigg alone remained
an instant behind his companions to take an affectionate farewell of
Jenny Dennison, who had contrived, during this short morning's ride, to
re-establish her influence over his susceptible bosom. A straggling tree
or two obscured, rather than concealed, their /tete-a-tete/, as they
halted their horses to bid adieu.

"Fare ye weel, Jenny," said Cuddie, with a loud exertion of his lungs,
intended perhaps to be a sigh, but rather resembling the intonation of a
groan,--"Ye'll think o' puir Cuddie sometimes--an honest lad that lo'es
ye, Jenny; ye'll think o' him now and then?"

"Whiles--at brose-time," answered the malicious damsel, unable either to
suppress the repartee, or the arch smile which attended it.


[Illustration: Whiles--at Brose-Time--pa098]


Cuddie took his revenge as rustic lovers are wont, and as Jenny probably
expected,--caught his mistress round the neck, kissed her cheeks and lips
heartily, and then turned his horse and trotted after his master.

"Deil's in the fallow," said Jenny, wiping her lips and adjusting her
head-dress, "he has twice the spunk o' Tam Halliday, after a'.--Coming,
my leddy, coming--Lord have a care o' us, I trust the auld leddy didna
see us!"

"Jenny," said Lady Margaret, as the damsel came up, "was not that young
man who commanded the party the same that was captain of the popinjay,
and who was afterwards prisoner at Tillietudlem on the morning
Claverhouse came there?"

Jenny, happy that the query had no reference to her own little matters,
looked at her young mistress, to discover, if possible, whether it was
her cue to speak truth or not. Not being able to catch any hint to guide
her, she followed her instinct as a lady's maid, and lied.

"I dinna believe it was him, my leddy," said Jenny, as confidently as if
she had been saying her catechism; "he was a little black man, that."

"You must have been blind, Jenny," said the Major: "Henry Morton is tall
and fair, and that youth is the very man."

"I had ither thing ado than be looking at him," said Jenny, tossing her
head; "he may be as fair as a farthing candle, for me."

"Is it not," said Lady Margaret, "a blessed escape which we have made,
out of the hands of so desperate and bloodthirsty a fanatic?"

"You are deceived, madam," said Lord Evandale; "Mr Morton merits such a
title from no one, but least from us. That I am now alive, and that you
are now on your safe retreat to your friends, instead of being prisoners
to a real fanatical homicide, is solely and entirely owing to the prompt,
active, and energetic humanity of this young gentleman."

He then went into a particular narrative of the events with which the
reader is acquainted, dwelling upon the merits of Morton, and expatiating
on the risk at which he had rendered them these important services, as if
he had been a brother instead of a rival.

"I were worse than ungrateful," he said, "were I silent on the merits of
the man who has twice saved my life."

"I would willingly think well of Henry Morton, my lord," replied Major
Bellenden; "and I own he has behaved handsomely to your lordship and to
us; but I cannot have the same allowances which it pleases your lordship
to entertain for his present courses."

"You are to consider," replied Lord Evandale, "that he has been partly
forced upon them by necessity; and I must add, that his principles,
though differing in some degree from my own, are such as ought to command
respect. Claverhouse, whose knowledge of men is not to be disputed, spoke
justly of him as to his extraordinary qualities, but with prejudice, and
harshly, concerning his principles and motives."

"You have not been long in learning all his extraordinary qualities, my
lord," answered Major Bellenden. "I, who have known him from boyhood,
could, before this affair, have said much of his good principles and
good-nature; but as to his high talents"--

"They were probably hidden, Major," replied the generous Lord Evandale,
"even from himself, until circumstances called them forth; and, if I have
detected them, it was only because our intercourse and conversation
turned on momentous and important subjects. He is now labouring to bring
this rebellion to an end, and the terms he has proposed are so moderate,
that they shall not want my hearty recommendation."

"And have you hopes," said Lady Margaret, "to accomplish a scheme so
comprehensive?"

"I should have, madam, were every whig as moderate as Morton, and every
loyalist as disinterested as Major Bellenden. But such is the fanaticism
and violent irritation of both parties, that I fear nothing will end this
civil war save the edge of the sword."

It may be readily supposed, that Edith listened with the deepest interest
to this conversation. While she regretted that she had expressed herself
harshly and hastily to her lover, she felt a conscious and proud
satisfaction that his character was, even in the judgment of his
noble-minded rival, such as her own affection had once spoke it.

"Civil feuds and domestic prejudices," she said, "may render it necessary
for me to tear his remembrance from my heart; but it is not small relief
to know assuredly, that it is worthy of the place it has so long retained
there."

While Edith was thus retracting her unjust resentment, her lover arrived
at the camp of the insurgents, near Hamilton, which he found in
considerable confusion. Certain advices had arrived that the royal army,
having been recruited from England by a large detachment of the King's
Guards, were about to take the field. Fame magnified their numbers and
their high state of equipment and discipline, and spread abroad other
circumstances, which dismayed the courage of the insurgents. What favour
they might have expected from Monmouth, was likely to be intercepted by
the influence of those associated with him in command. His
lieutenant-general was the celebrated General Thomas Dalzell, who, having
practised the art of war in the then barbarous country of Russia, was as
much feared for his cruelty and indifference to human life and human
sufferings, as respected for his steady loyalty and undaunted valour.
This man was second in command to Monmouth, and the horse were commanded
by Claverhouse, burning with desire to revenge the death of his nephew,
and his defeat at Drumclog. To these accounts was added the most
formidable and terrific description of the train of artillery and the
cavalry force with which the royal army took the field.

     [Note:  Royal Army at Bothwell Bridge. A Cameronian muse was
     awakened from slumber on this doleful occasion, and gave the
     following account of the muster of the royal forces, in poetry
     nearly as melancholy as the subject:--

                    They marched east through Lithgow-town
                    For to enlarge their forces;
                    And sent for all the north-country
                    To come, both foot and horses.

                    Montrose did come and Athole both,
                    And with them many more;
                    And all the Highland Amorites
                    That had been there before.

                    The Lowdien Mallisha--Lothian Militia they
                    Came with their coats of blew;
                    Five hundred men from London came,
                    Claid in a reddish hue.

                    When they were assembled one and all,
                    A full brigade were they;
                    Like to a pack of hellish hounds,
                    Roreing after their prey.

                    When they were all provided well,
                    In armour and amonition,
                    Then thither wester did they come,
                    Most cruel of intention.

     The royalists celebrated their victory in stanzas of equal merit.
     Specimens of both may be found in the curious collection of Fugitive
     Scottish Poetry, principally of the Seventeenth Century, printed for
     the Messrs Laing, Edinburgh.]

Large bodies, composed of the Highland clans, having in language,
religion, and manners, no connexion with the insurgents, had been
summoned to join the royal army under their various chieftains; and these
Amorites, or Philistines, as the insurgents termed them, came like eagles
to the slaughter. In fact, every person who could ride or run at the
King's command, was summoned to arms, apparently with the purpose of
forfeiting and fining such men of property whom their principles might
deter from joining the royal standard, though prudence prevented them
from joining that of the insurgent Presbyterians. In short, everyrumour
tended to increase the apprehension among the insurgents, that the King's
vengeance had only been delayed in order that it might fall more certain
and more heavy.

Morton endeavoured to fortify the minds of the common people by pointing
out the probable exaggeration of these reports, and by reminding them of
the strength of their own situation, with an unfordable river in front,
only passable by a long and narrow bridge. He called to their remembrance
their victory over Claverhouse when their numbers were few, and then much
worse disciplined and appointed for battle than now; showed them that the
ground on which they lay afforded, by its undulation, and the thickets
which intersected it, considerable protection against artillery, and even
against cavalry, if stoutly defended; and that their safety, in fact,
depended on their own spirit and resolution.

But while Morton thus endeavoured to keep up the courage of the army at
large, he availed himself of those discouraging rumours to endeavour to
impress on the minds of the leaders the necessity of proposing to the
government moderate terms of accommodation, while they were still
formidable as commanding an unbroken and numerous army. He pointed out to
them, that, in the present humour of their followers, it could hardly be
expected that they would engage, with advantage, the well-appointed and
regular force of the Duke of Monmouth; and that if they chanced, as was
most likely, to be defeated and dispersed, the insurrection in which they
had engaged, so far from being useful to the country, would be rendered
the apology for oppressing it more severely.

Pressed by these arguments, and feeling it equally dangerous to remain
together, or to dismiss their forces, most of the leaders readily agreed,
that if such terms could be obtained as had been transmitted to the Duke
of Monmouth by the hands of Lord Evandale, the purpose for which they had
taken up arms would be, in a great measure, accomplished. They then
entered into similar resolutions, and agreed to guarantee the petition
and remonstrance which had been drawn up by Morton. On the contrary,
there were still several leaders, and those men whose influence with the
people exceeded that of persons of more apparent consequence, who
regarded every proposal of treaty which did not proceed on the basis of
the Solemn League and Covenant of 1640, as utterly null and void,
impious, and unchristian. These men diffused their feelings among the
multitude, who had little foresight, and nothing to lose, and persuaded
many that the timid counsellors who recommended peace upon terms short of
the dethronement of the royal family, and the declared independence of
the church with respect to the state, were cowardly labourers, who were
about to withdraw their hands from the plough, and despicable trimmers,
who sought only a specious pretext for deserting their brethren in arms.
These contradictory opinions were fiercely argued in each tent of the
insurgent army, or rather in the huts or cabins which served in the place
of tents. Violence in language often led to open quarrels and blows, and
the divisions into which the army of sufferers was rent served as too
plain a presage of their future fate.



CHAPTER IX.

               The curse of growing factions and divisions
               Still vex your councils!
                                   Venice Preserved.

The prudence of Morton found sufficient occupation in stemming the
furious current of these contending parties, when, two days after his
return to Hamilton, he was visited by his friend and colleague, the
Reverend Mr Poundtext, flying, as he presently found, from the face of
John Balfour of Burley, whom he left not a little incensed at the share
he had taken in the liberation of Lord Evandale. When the worthy divine
had somewhat recruited his spirits, after the hurry and fatigue of his
journey, he proceeded to give Morton an account of what had passed in the
vicinity of Tillietudlem after the memorable morning of his departure.

The night march of Morton had been accomplished with such dexterity,
and the men were so faithful to their trust, that Burley received no
intelligence of what had happened until the morning was far advanced.
His first enquiry was, whether Macbriar and Kettledrummle had arrived,
agreeably to the summons which he had dispatched at midnight. Macbriar
had come, and Kettledrummle, though a heavy traveller, might, he was
informed, be instantly expected. Burley then dispatched a messenger to
Morton's quarters to summon him to an immediate council. The messenger
returned with news that he had left the place. Poundtext was next
summoned; but he thinking, as he said himself, that it was ill dealing
with fractious folk, had withdrawn to his own quiet manse, preferring a
dark ride, though he had been on horseback the whole preceding day, to a
renewal in the morning of a controversy with Burley, whose ferocity
overawed him when unsupported by the firmness of Morton. Burley's next
enquiries were directed after Lord Evandale; and great was his rage when
he learned that he had been conveyed away over night by a party of the
marksmen of Milnwood, under the immediate command of Henry Morton
himself.

"The villain!" exclaimed Burley, addressing himself to Macbriar; "the
base, mean-spirited traitor, to curry favour for himself with the
government, hath set at liberty the prisoner taken by my own right hand,
through means of whom, I have little doubt, the possession of the place
of strength which hath wrought us such trouble, might now have been in
our hands!"

"But is it not in our hands?" said Macbriar, looking up towards the Keep
of the Castle; "and are not these the colours of the Covenant that float
over its walls?"

"A stratagem--a mere trick," said Burley, "an insult over our
disappointment, intended to aggravate and embitter our spirits."

He was interrupted by the arrival of one of Morton's followers, sent to
report to him the evacuation of the place, and its occupation by the
insurgent forces. Burley was rather driven to fury than reconciled by the
news of this success.

"I have watched," he said--"I have fought--I have plotted--I have striven
for the reduction of this place--I have forborne to seek to head
enterprises of higher command and of higher honour--I have narrowed their
outgoings, and cut off the springs, and broken the staff of bread within
their walls; and when the men were about to yield themselves to my hand,
that their sons might be bondsmen, and their daughters a laughing-stock
to our whole camp, cometh this youth, without a beard on his chin, and
takes it on him to thrust his sickle into the harvest, and to rend the
prey from the spoiler! Surely the labourer is worthy of his hire, and the
city, with its captives, should be given to him that wins it?"

"Nay," said Macbriar, who was surprised at the degree of agitation which
Balfour displayed, "chafe not thyself because of the ungodly. Heaven will
use its own instruments; and who knows but this youth"--

"Hush! hush!" said Burley; "do not discredit thine own better judgment.
It was thou that first badest me beware of this painted sepulchre--this
lacquered piece of copper, that passed current with me for gold. It fares
ill, even with the elect, when they neglect the guidance of such pious
pastors as thou. But our carnal affections will mislead us--this
ungrateful boy's father was mine ancient friend. They must be as earnest
in their struggles as thou, Ephraim Macbriar, that would shake themselves
clear of the clogs and chains of humanity."

This compliment touched the preacher in the most sensible part; and
Burley deemed, therefore, he should find little difficulty in moulding
his opinions to the support of his own views, more especially as they
agreed exactly in their high-strained opinions of church government.

"Let us instantly," he said, "go up to the Tower; there is that among the
records in yonder fortress, which, well used as I can use it, shall be
worth to us a valiant leader and an hundred horsemen."

"But will such be the fitting aids of the children of the Covenant?" said
the preacher. "We have already among us too many who hunger after lands,
and silver and gold, rather than after the Word; it is not by such that
our deliverance shall be wrought out."

"Thou errest," said Burley; "we must work by means, and these worldly men
shall be our instruments. At all events, the Moabitish woman shall be
despoiled of her inheritance, and neither the malignant Evandale, nor the
erastian Morton, shall possess yonder castle and lands, though they may
seek in marriage the daughter thereof."

So saying, he led the way to Tillietudlem, where he seized upon the plate
and other valuables for the use of the army, ransacked the charter-room,
and other receptacles for family papers, and treated with contempt the
remonstrances of those who reminded him, that the terms granted to the
garrison had guaranteed respect to private property.

Burley and Macbriar, having established themselves in their new
acquisition, were joined by Kettledrummle in the course of the day, and
also by the Laird of Langcale, whom that active divine had contrived to
seduce, as Poundtext termed it, from the pure light in which he had been
brought up. Thus united, they sent to the said Poundtext an invitation,
or rather a summons, to attend a council at Tillietudlem. He remembered,
however, that the door had an iron grate, and the Keep a dungeon, and
resolved not to trust himself with his incensed colleagues. He therefore
retreated, or rather fled, to Hamilton, with the tidings, that Burley,
Macbriar, and Kettledrummle, were coming to Hamilton as soon as they
could collect a body of Cameronians sufficient to overawe the rest of the
army.

"And ye see," concluded Poundtext, with a deep sigh, "that they will then
possess a majority in the council; for Langcale, though he has always
passed for one of the honest and rational party, cannot be suitably or
preceesely termed either fish, or flesh, or gude red-herring--whoever has
the stronger party has Langcale."

Thus concluded the heavy narrative of honest Poundtext, who sighed
deeply, as he considered the danger in which he was placed betwixt
unreasonable adversaries amongst themselves and the common enemy from
without. Morton exhorted him to patience, temper, and composure; informed
him of the good hope he had of negotiating for peace and indemnity
through means of Lord Evandale, and made out to him a very fair prospect
that he should again return to his own parchment-bound Calvin, his
evening pipe of tobacco, and his noggin of inspiring ale, providing
always he would afford his effectual support and concurrence to the
measures which he, Morton, had taken for a general pacification.

     [Note:  Moderate Presbyterians. The author does not, by any means,
     desire that Poundtext should be regarded as a just representation of
     the moderate presbyterians, among whom were many ministers whose
     courage was equal to their good sense and sound views of religion.
     Were he to write the tale anew, he would probably endeavour to give
     the character a higher turn. It is certain, however, that the
     Cameronians imputed to their opponents in opinion concerning the
     Indulgence, or others of their strained and fanatical notions, a
     disposition not only to seek their own safety, but to enjoy
     themselves. Hamilton speaks of three clergymen of this description
     as follows:--

     "They pretended great zeal against the Indulgence; but alas! that
     was all their practice, otherwise being but very gross, which I
     shall but hint at in short. When great Cameron and those with him
     were taking many a cold blast and storm in the fields and among the
     cot-houses in Scotland, these three had for the most part their
     residence in Glasgow, where they found good quarter and a full
     table, which I doubt not but some bestowed upon them from real
     affection to the Lord's cause; and when these three were together,
     their greatest work was who should make the finest and sharpest
     roundel, and breathe the quickest jests upon one another, and to
     tell what valiant acts they were to do, and who could laugh loudest
     and most heartily among them; and when at any time they came out to
     the country, whatever other things they had, they were careful each
     of them to have a great flask of brandy with them, which was very
     heavy to some, particularly to Mr Cameron, Mr Cargill, and Henry
     Hall--I shall name no more."--Faithful Contendings, p. 198.]

Thus backed and comforted, Poundtext resolved magnanimously to await the
coming of the Cameronians to the general rendezvous.

Burley and his confederates had drawn together a considerable body of
these sectaries, amounting to a hundred horse and about fifteen hundred
foot, clouded and severe in aspect, morose and jealous in communication,
haughty of heart, and confident, as men who believed that the pale of
salvation was open for them exclusively; while all other Christians,
however slight were the shades of difference of doctrine from their own,
were in fact little better than outcasts or reprobates. These men entered
the presbyterian camp, rather as dubious and suspicious allies, or
possibly antagonists, than as men who were heartily embarked in the same
cause, and exposed to the same dangers, with their more moderate brethren
in arms. Burley made no private visits to his colleagues, and held no
communication with them on the subject of the public affairs, otherwise
than by sending a dry invitation to them to attend a meeting of the
general council for that evening.

On the arrival of Morton and Poundtext at the place of assembly, they
found their brethren already seated. Slight greeting passed between them,
and it was easy to see that no amicable conference was intended by those
who convoked the council. The first question was put by Macbriar, the
sharp eagerness of whose zeal urged him to the van on all occasions. He
desired to know by whose authority the malignant, called Lord Evandale,
had been freed from the doom of death, justly denounced against him.

"By my authority and Mr Morton's," replied Poundtext; who, besides being
anxious to give his companion a good opinion of his courage, confided
heartily in his support, and, moreover, had much less fear of
encountering one of his own profession, and who confined himself to the
weapons of theological controversy, in which Poundtext feared no man,
than of entering into debate with the stern homicide Balfour.

"And who, brother," said Kettledrummle, "who gave you authority to
interpose in such a high matter?"

"The tenor of our commission," answered Poundtext, "gives us authority to
bind and to loose. If Lord Evandale was justly doomed to die by the voice
of one of our number, he was of a surety lawfully redeemed from death by
the warrant of two of us."

"Go to, go to," said Burley; "we know your motives; it was to send that
silkworm--that gilded trinket--that embroidered trifle of a lord, to bear
terms of peace to the tyrant."

"It was so," replied Morton, who saw his companion begin to flinch before
the fierce eye of Balfour--"it was so; and what then?--Are we to plunge
the nation in endless war, in order to pursue schemes which are equally
wild, wicked, and unattainable?"

"Hear him!" said Balfour; "he blasphemeth."

"It is false," said Morton; "they blaspheme who pretend to expect
miracles, and neglect the use of the human means with which Providence
has blessed them. I repeat it--Our avowed object is the re-establishment
of peace on fair and honourable terms of security to our religion and our
liberty. We disclaim any desire to tyrannize over those of others."

The debate would now have run higher than ever, but they were interrupted
by intelligence that the Duke of Monmouth had commenced his march towards
the west, and was already advanced half way from Edinburgh. This news
silenced their divisions for the moment, and it was agreed that the next
day should be held as a fast of general humiliation for the sins of the
land; that the Reverend Mr Poundtext should preach to the army in the
morning, and Kettledrummle in the afternoon; that neither should touch
upon any topics of schism or of division, but animate the soldiers to
resist to the blood, like brethren in a good cause. This healing overture
having been agreed to, the moderate party ventured upon another proposal,
confiding that it would have the support of Langcale, who looked
extremely blank at the news which they had just received, and might be
supposed reconverted to moderate measures. It was to be presumed, they
said, that since the King had not intrusted the command of his forces
upon the present occasion to any of their active oppressors, but, on the
contrary, had employed a nobleman distinguished by gentleness of temper,
and a disposition favourable to their cause, there must be some better
intention entertained towards them than they had yet experienced. They
contended, that it was not only prudent but necessary to ascertain, from
a communication with the Duke of Monmouth, whether he was not charged
with some secret instructions in their favour. This could only be learned
by dispatching an envoy to his army.

"And who will undertake the task?" said Burley, evading a proposal too
reasonable to be openly resisted--"Who will go up to their camp, knowing
that John Grahame of Claverhouse hath sworn to hang up whomsoever we
shall dispatch towards them, in revenge of the death of the young man his
nephew?"

"Let that be no obstacle," said Morton; "I will with pleasure encounter
any risk attached to the bearer of your errand."

"Let him go," said Balfour, apart to Macbriar; "our councils will be well
rid of his presence."

The motion, therefore, received no contradiction even from those who were
expected to have been most active in opposing it; and it was agreed that
Henry Morton should go to the camp of the Duke of Monmouth, in order to
discover upon what terms the insurgents would be admitted to treat with
him. As soon as his errand was made known, several of the more moderate
party joined in requesting him to make terms upon the footing of the
petition intrusted to Lord Evandale's hands; for the approach of the
King's army spread a general trepidation, by no means allayed by the high
tone assumed by the Cameronians, which had so little to support it,
excepting their own headlong zeal. With these instructions, and with
Cuddie as his attendant, Morton set forth towards the royal camp, at all
the risks which attend those who assume the office of mediator during the
heat of civil discord.

Morton had not proceeded six or seven miles, before he perceived that he
was on the point of falling in with the van of the royal forces; and, as
he ascended a height, saw all the roads in the neighbourhood occupied by
armed men marching in great order towards Bothwell-muir, an open common,
on which they proposed to encamp for that evening, at the distance of
scarcely two miles from the Clyde, on the farther side of which river the
army of the insurgents was encamped. He gave himself up to the first
advanced-guard of cavalry which he met, as bearer of a flag of truce, and
communicated his desire to obtain access to the Duke of Monmouth. The
non-commissioned officer who commanded the party made his report to his
superior, and he again to another in still higher command, and both
immediately rode to the spot where Morton was detained.

"You are but losing your time, my friend, and risking your life," said
one of them, addressing Morton; "the Duke of Monmouth will receive no
terms from traitors with arms in their hands, and your cruelties have
been such as to authorize retaliation of every kind. Better trot your nag
back and save his mettle to-day, that he may save your life to-morrow."

"I cannot think," said Morton, "that even if the Duke of Monmouth should
consider us as criminals, he would condemn so large a body of his
fellow-subjects without even hearing what they have to plead for
themselves. On my part I fear nothing. I am conscious of having consented
to, or authorized, no cruelty, and the fear of suffering innocently for
the crimes of others shall not deter me from executing my commission."

The two officers looked at each other.

"I have an idea," said the younger, "that this is the young man of whom
Lord Evandale spoke."

"Is my Lord Evandale in the army?" said Morton.

"He is not," replied the officer; "we left him at Edinburgh, too much
indisposed to take the field.--Your name, sir, I presume, is Henry
Morton?"

"It is, sir," answered Morton.

"We will not oppose your seeing the Duke, sir," said the officer, with
more civility of manner; "but you may assure yourself it will be to no
purpose; for, were his Grace disposed to favour your people, others are
joined in commission with him who will hardly consent to his doing so."

"I shall be sorry to find it thus," said Morton; "but my duty requires
that I should persevere in my desire to have an interview with him."

"Lumley," said the superior officer, "let the Duke know of Mr Morton's
arrival, and remind his Grace that this is the person of whom Lord
Evandale spoke so highly."

The officer returned with a message that the General could not see Mr
Morton that evening, but would receive him by times in the ensuing
morning. He was detained in a neighbouring cottage all night, but treated
with civility, and every thing provided for his accommodation. Early on
the next morning the officer he had first seen came to conduct him to his
audience.

The army was drawn out, and in the act of forming column for march, or
attack. The Duke was in the centre, nearly a mile from the place where
Morton had passed the night. In riding towards the General, he had an
opportunity of estimating the force which had been assembled for the
suppression of the hasty and ill-concerted insurrection. There were three
or four regiments of English, the flower of Charles's army--there were
the Scottish Life-Guards, burning with desire to revenge their late
defeat--other Scottish regiments of regulars were also assembled, and a
large body of cavalry, consisting partly of gentlemen-volunteers, partly
of the tenants of the crown who did military duty for their fiefs. Morton
also observed several strong parties of Highlanders drawn from the points
nearest to the Lowland frontiers, a people, as already mentioned,
particularly obnoxious to the western whigs, and who hated and despised
them in the same proportion. These were assembled under their chiefs, and
made part of this formidable array. A complete train of field-artillery
accompanied these troops; and the whole had an air so imposing, that it
seemed nothing short of an actual miracle could prevent the ill-equipped,
ill-modelled, and tumultuary army of the insurgents from being utterly
destroyed. The officer who accompanied Morton endeavoured to gather from
his looks the feelings with which this splendid and awful parade of
military force had impressed him. But, true to the cause he had espoused,
he laboured successfully to prevent the anxiety which he felt from
appearing in his countenance, and looked around him on the warlike
display as on a sight which he expected, and to which he was indifferent.

"You see the entertainment prepared for you," said the officers.

"If I had no appetite for it," replied Morton, "I should not have been
accompanying you at this moment. But I shall be better pleased with a
more peaceful regale, for the sake of all parties."

As they spoke thus, they approached the commander-in-chief, who,
surrounded by several officers, was seated upon a knoll commanding an
extensive prospect of the distant country, and from which could be easily
discovered the windings of the majestic Clyde, and the distant camp of
the insurgents on the opposite bank. The officers of the royal army
appeared to be surveying the ground, with the purpose of directing an
immediate attack. When Captain Lumley, the officer who accompanied
Morton, had whispered in Monmouth's ear his name and errand, the Duke
made a signal for all around him to retire, excepting only two general
officers of distinction. While they spoke together in whispers for a few
minutes before Morton was permitted to advance, he had time to study the
appearance of the persons with whom he was to treat.

It was impossible for any one to look upon the Duke of Monmouth without
being captivated by his personal graces and accomplishments, of which the
great High-Priest of all the Nine afterwards recorded--

"Whate'er he did was done with so much ease, In him alone 'twas natural
to please; His motions all accompanied with grace, And Paradise was
open'd in his face." Yet to a strict observer, the manly beauty of
Monmouth's face was occasionally rendered less striking by an air of
vacillation and uncertainty, which seemed to imply hesitation and doubt
at moments when decisive resolution was most necessary.

Beside him stood Claverhouse, whom we have already fully described, and
another general officer whose appearance was singularly striking. His
dress was of the antique fashion of Charles the First's time, and
composed of shamoy leather, curiously slashed, and covered with antique
lace and garniture. His boots and spurs might be referred to the same
distant period. He wore a breastplate, over which descended a grey beard
of venerable length, which he cherished as a mark of mourning for Charles
the First, having never shaved since that monarch was brought to the
scaffold. His head was uncovered, and almost perfectly bald. His high and
wrinkled forehead, piercing grey eyes, and marked features, evinced age
unbroken by infirmity, and stern resolution unsoftened by humanity. Such
is the outline, however feebly expressed, of the celebrated General
Thomas Dalzell,

     [Note:  Usually called Tom Dalzell. In Crichton's Memoirs, edited by
     Swift, where a particular account of this remarkable person's dress
     and habits is given, he is said never to have worn boots. The
     following account of his rencounter with John Paton of Meadowhead,
     showed, that in action at least he wore pretty stout ones, unless
     the reader be inclined to believe in the truth of his having a
     charm, which made him proof against lead.

     "Dalzell," says Paton's biographer, "advanced the whole left wing of
     his army on Colonel Wallace's right. Here Captain Paton behaved with
     great courage and gallantry. Dalzell, knowing him in the former
     wars, advanced upon him himself, thinking to take him prisoner. Upon
     his approach, each presented his pistol. On their first discharge,
     Captain Paton, perceiving his pistol ball to hop upon Dalzell's
     boots, and knowing what was the cause, (he having proof,) put his
     hand in his pocket for some small pieces of silver he had there for
     the purpose, and put one of them into his other pistol. But Dalzell,
     having his eye upon him in the meanwhile, retired behind his own
     man, who by that means was slain."]

a man more feared and hated by the whigs than even Claverhouse himself,
and who executed the same violences against them out of a detestation of
their persons, or perhaps an innate severity of temper, which Grahame
only resorted to on political accounts, as the best means of intimidating
the followers of presbytery, and of destroying that sect entirely.

The presence of these two generals, one of whom he knew by person, and
the other by description, seemed to Morton decisive of the fate of his
embassy. But, notwithstanding his youth and inexperience, and the
unfavourable reception which his proposals seemed likely to meet with, he
advanced boldly towards them upon receiving a signal to that purpose,
determined that the cause of his country, and of those with whom he had
taken up arms, should suffer nothing from being intrusted to him.
Monmouth received him with the graceful courtesy which attended even his
slightest actions; Dalzell regarded him with a stern, gloomy, and
impatient frown; and Claverhouse, with a sarcastic smile and inclination
of his head, seemed to claim him as an old acquaintance.

"You come, sir, from these unfortunate people, now assembled in arms,"
said the Duke of Monmouth, "and your name, I believe, is Morton; will you
favour us with the pupport of your errand?"

"It is contained, my lord," answered Morton, "in a paper, termed a
Remonstrance and Supplication, which my Lord Evandale has placed, I
presume, in your Grace's hands?"

"He has done so, sir," answered the Duke; "and I understand, from Lord
Evandale, that Mr Morton has behaved in these unhappy matters with much
temperance and generosity, for which I have to request his acceptance of
my thanks."

Here Morton observed Dalzell shake his head indignantly, and whisper
something into Claverhouse's ear, who smiled in return, and elevated his
eyebrows, but in a degree so slight as scarce to be perceptible. The
Duke, taking the petition from his pocket, proceeded, obviously
struggling between the native gentleness of his own disposition, and
perhaps his conviction that the petitioners demanded no more than their
rights, and the desire, on the other hand, of enforcing the king's
authority, and complying with the sterner opinions of the colleagues in
office, who had been assigned for the purpose of controlling as well as
advising him.

"There are, Mr Morton, in this paper, proposals, as to the abstract
propriety of which I must now waive delivering any opinion. Some of them
appear to me reasonable and just; and, although I have no express
instructions from the King upon the subject, yet I assure you, Mr Morton,
and I pledge my honour, that I will interpose in your behalf, and use my
utmost influence to procure you satisfaction from his Majesty. But you
must distinctly understand, that I can only treat with supplicants, not
with rebels; and, as a preliminary to every act of favour on my side, I
must insist upon your followers laying down their arms and dispersing
themselves."

"To do so, my Lord Duke," replied Morton, undauntedly, "were to
acknowledge ourselves the rebels that our enemies term us. Our swords are
drawn for recovery of a birthright wrested from us; your Grace's
moderation and good sense has admitted the general justice of our
demand,--a demand which would never have been listened to had it not been
accompanied with the sound of the trumpet. We cannot, therefore, and dare
not, lay down our arms, even on your Grace's assurance of indemnity,
unless it were accompanied with some reasonable prospect of the redress
of the wrongs which we complain of."

"Mr Morton," replied the Duke, "you are young, but you must have seen
enough of the world to perceive, that requests, by no means dangerous or
unreasonable in themselves, may become so by the way in which they are
pressed and supported."

"We may reply, my lord," answered Morton, "that this disagreeable mode
has not been resorted to until all others have failed."

"Mr Morton," said the Duke, "I must break this conference short. We are
in readiness to commence the attack; yet I will suspend it for an hour,
until you can communicate my answer to the insurgents. If they please to
disperse their followers, lay down their arms, and send a peaceful
deputation to me, I will consider myself bound in honour to do all I can
to procure redress of their grievances; if not, let them stand on their
guard and expect the consequences.--I think, gentlemen," he added,
turning to his two colleagues, "this is the utmost length to which I can
stretch my instructions in favour of these misguided persons?"

"By my faith," answered Dalzell, suddenly, "and it is a length to which
my poor judgment durst not have stretched them, considering I had both
the King and my conscience to answer to! But, doubtless, your Grace knows
more of the King's private mind than we, who have only the letter of our
instructions to look to."

Monmouth blushed deeply. "You hear," he said, addressing Morton, "General
Dalzell blames me for the length which I am disposed to go in your
favour."

"General Dalzell's sentiments, my lord," replied Morton, "are such as we
expected from him; your Grace's such as we were prepared to hope you
might please to entertain. Indeed I cannot help adding, that, in the case
of the absolute submission upon which you are pleased to insist, it might
still remain something less than doubtful how far, with such counsellors
around the King, even your Grace's intercession might procure us
effectual relief. But I will communicate to our leaders your Grace's
answer to our supplication; and, since we cannot obtain peace, we must
bid war welcome as well as we may."

"Good morning, sir," said the Duke; "I suspend the movements of attack
for one hour, and for one hour only. If you have an answer to return
within that space of time, I will receive it here, and earnestly entreat
it may be such as to save the effusion of blood."

At this moment another smile of deep meaning passed between Dalzell and
Claverhouse. The Duke observed it, and repeated his words with great
dignity.

"Yes, gentlemen, I said I trusted the answer might be such as would save
the effusion of blood. I hope the sentiment neither needs your scorn, nor
incurs your displeasure."

Dalzell returned the Duke's frown with a stern glance, but made no
answer. Claverhouse, his lip just curled with an ironical smile, bowed,
and said, "It was not for him to judge the propriety of his Grace's
sentiments."

The Duke made a signal to Morton to withdraw. He obeyed; and, accompanied
by his former escort, rode slowly through the army to return to the camp
of the non-conformists. As he passed the fine corps of Life-Guards, he
found Claverhouse was already at their head. That officer no sooner saw
Morton, than he advanced and addressed him with perfect politeness of
manner.

"I think this is not the first time I have seen Mr Morton of Milnwood?"

"It is not Colonel Grahame's fault," said Morton, smiling sternly, "that
he or any one else should be now incommoded by my presence."

"Allow me at least to say," replied Claverhouse, "that Mr Morton's
present situation authorizes the opinion I have entertained of him, and
that my proceedings at our last meeting only squared to my duty."

"To reconcile your actions to your duty, and your duty to your
conscience, is your business, Colonel Grahame, not mine," said Morton,
justly offended at being thus, in a manner, required to approve of the
sentence under which he had so nearly suffered.

"Nay, but stay an instant," said Claverhouse; "Evandale insists that I
have some wrongs to acquit myself of in your instance. I trust I shall
always make some difference between a high-minded gentleman, who, though
misguided, acts upon generous principles, and the crazy fanatical clowns
yonder, with the bloodthirsty assassins who head them. Therefore, if they
do not disperse upon your return, let me pray you instantly come over to
our army and surrender yourself, for, be assured, they cannot stand our
assault for half an hour. If you will be ruled and do this, be sure to
enquire for me. Monmouth, strange as it may seem, cannot protect
you--Dalzell will not--I both can and will; and I have promised to
Evandale to do so if you will give me an opportunity."

"I should owe Lord Evandale my thanks," answered Morton, coldly, "did not
his scheme imply an opinion that I might be prevailed on to desert those
with whom I am engaged. For you, Colonel Grahame, if you will honour me
with a different species of satisfaction, it is probable, that, in an
hour's time, you will find me at the west end of Bothwell Bridge with my
sword in my hand."

"I shall be happy to meet you there," said Claverhouse, "but still more
so should you think better on my first proposal."

They then saluted and parted.

"That is a pretty lad, Lumley," said Claverhouse, addressing himself to
the other officer; "but he is a lost man--his blood be upon his head."

So saying, he addressed himself to the task of preparation for instant
battle.



CHAPTER X.

               But, hark! the tent has changed its voice,
               There's peace and rest nae langer.
                                                  Burns.

               The Lowdien Mallisha they
               Came with their coats of blew;
               Five hundred men from London came,
               Claid in a reddish hue.
                                        Bothwell Lines.

When Morton had left the well-ordered outposts of the regular army, and
arrived at those which were maintained by his own party, he could not but
be peculiarly sensible of the difference of discipline, and entertain a
proportional degree of fear for the consequences. The same discords which
agitated the counsels of the insurgents, raged even among their meanest
followers; and their picquets and patrols were more interested and
occupied in disputing the true occasion and causes of wrath, and defining
the limits of Erastian heresy, than in looking out for and observing the
motions of their enemies, though within hearing of the royal drums and
trumpets.

There was a guard, however, of the insurgent army, posted at the long and
narrow bridge of Bothwell, over which the enemy must necessarily advance
to the attack; but, like the others, they were divided and disheartened;
and, entertaining the idea that they were posted on a desperate service,
they even meditated withdrawing themselves to the main body. This would
have been utter ruin; for, on the defence or loss of this pass the
fortune of the day was most likely to depend. All beyond the bridge was a
plain open field, excepting a few thickets of no great depth, and,
consequently, was ground on which the undisciplined forces of the
insurgents, deficient as they were in cavalry, and totally unprovided
with artillery, were altogether unlikely to withstand the shock of
regular troops.

Morton, therefore, viewed the pass carefully, and formed the hope, that
by occupying two or three houses on the left bank of the river, with the
copse and thickets of alders and hazels that lined its side, and by
blockading the passage itself, and shutting the gates of a portal, which,
according to the old fashion, was built on the central arch of the bridge
of Bothwell, it might be easily defended against a very superior force.
He issued directions accordingly, and commanded the parapets of the
bridge, on the farther side of the portal, to be thrown down, that they
might afford no protection to the enemy when they should attempt the
passage. Morton then conjured the party at this important post to be
watchful and upon their guard, and promised them a speedy and strong
reinforcement. He caused them to advance videttes beyond the river to
watch the progress of the enemy, which outposts he directed should be
withdrawn to the left bank as soon as they approached; finally, he
charged them to send regular information to the main body of all that
they should observe. Men under arms, and in a situation of danger, are
usually sufficiently alert in appreciating the merit of their officers.
Morton's intelligence and activity gained the confidence of these men,
and with better hope and heart than before, they began to fortify their
position in the manner he recommended, and saw him depart with three loud
cheers.

Morton now galloped hastily towards the main body of the insurgents, but
was surprised and shocked at the scene of confusion and clamour which it
exhibited, at the moment when good order and concord were of such
essential consequence. Instead of being drawn up in line of battle, and
listening to the commands of their officers, they were crowding together
in a confused mass, that rolled and agitated itself like the waves of the
sea, while a thousand tongues spoke, or rather vociferated, and not a
single ear was found to listen. Scandalized at a scene so extraordinary,
Morton endeavoured to make his way through the press to learn, and, if
possible, to remove, the cause of this so untimely disorder. While he is
thus engaged, we shall make the reader acquainted with that which he was
some time in discovering.

The insurgents had proceeded to hold their day of humiliation, which,
agreeably to the practice of the puritans during the earlier civil war,
they considered as the most effectual mode of solving all difficulties,
and waiving all discussions. It was usual to name an ordinary week-day
for this purpose, but on this occasion the Sabbath itself was adopted,
owing to the pressure of the time and the vicinity of the enemy. A
temporary pulpit, or tent, was erected in the middle of the encampment;
which, according to the fixed arrangement, was first to be occupied by
the Reverend Peter Poundtext, to whom the post of honour was assigned, as
the eldest clergyman present. But as the worthy divine, with slow and
stately steps, was advancing towards the rostrum which had been prepared
for him, he was prevented by the unexpected apparition of Habakkuk
Mucklewrath, the insane preacher, whose appearance had so much startled
Morton at the first council of the insurgents after their victory at
Loudon-hill. It is not known whether he was acting under the influence
and instigation of the Cameronians, or whether he was merely compelled by
his own agitated imagination, and the temptation of a vacant pulpit
before him, to seize the opportunity of exhorting so respectable a
congregation. It is only certain that he took occasion by the forelock,
sprung into the pulpit, cast his eyes wildly round him, and, undismayed
by the murmurs of many of the audience, opened the Bible, read forth as
his text from the thirteenth chapter of Deuteronomy, "Certain men, the
children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the
inhabitants of their city, saying, let us go and serve other gods, which
you have not known;" and then rushed at once into the midst of his
subject.

The harangue of Mucklewrath was as wild and extravagant as his intrusion
was unauthorized and untimely; but it was provokingly coherent, in so far
as it turned entirely upon the very subjects of discord, of which it had
been agreed to adjourn the consideration until some more suitable
opportunity. Not a single topic did he omit which had offence in it; and,
after charging the moderate party with heresy, with crouching to tyranny,
with seeking to be at peace with God's enemies, he applied to Morton, by
name, the charge that he had been one of those men of Belial, who, in the
words of his text, had gone out from amongst them, to withdraw the
inhabitants of his city, and to go astray after false gods. To him, and
all who followed him, or approved of his conduct, Mucklewrath denounced
fury and vengeance, and exhorted those who would hold themselves pure and
undefiled to come up from the midst of them.

"Fear not," he said, "because of the neighing of horses, or the
glittering of breastplates. Seek not aid of the Egyptians, because of the
enemy, though they may be numerous as locusts, and fierce as dragons.
Their trust is not as our trust, nor their rock as our rock; how else
shall a thousand fly before one, and two put ten thousand to the flight!
I dreamed it in the visions of the night, and the voice said, 'Habakkuk,
take thy fan and purge the wheat from the chaff, that they be not both
consumed with the fire of indignation and the lightning of fury.'
Wherefore, I say, take this Henry Morton--this wretched Achan, who hath
brought the accursed thing among ye, and made himself brethren in the
camp of the enemy--take him and stone him with stones, and thereafter
burn him with fire, that the wrath may depart from the children of the
Covenant. He hath not taken a Babylonish garment, but he hath sold the
garment of righteousness to the woman of Babylon--he hath not taken two
hundred shekels of fine silver, but he hath bartered the truth, which is
more precious than shekels of silver or wedges of gold."

At this furious charge, brought so unexpectedly against one of their most
active commanders, the audience broke out into open tumult, some
demanding that there should instantly be a new election of officers, into
which office none should hereafter be admitted who had, in their phrase,
touched of that which was accursed, or temporized more or less with the
heresies and corruptions of the times. While such was the demand of the
Cameronians, they vociferated loudly, that those who were not with them
were against them,--that it was no time to relinquish the substantial
part of the covenanted testimony of the Church, if they expected a
blessing on their arms and their cause; and that, in their eyes, a
lukewarm Presbyterian was little better than a Prelatist, an
Anti-Covenanter, and a Nullifidian.

The parties accused repelled the charge of criminal compliance and
defection from the truth with scorn and indignation, and charged their
accusers with breach of faith, as well as with wrong-headed and
extravagant zeal in introducing such divisions into an army, the joint
strength of which could not, by the most sanguine, be judged more than
sufficient to face their enemies. Poundtext, and one or two others, made
some faint efforts to stem the increasing fury of the factious,
exclaiming to those of the other party, in the words of the
Patriarch,--"Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee,
and between thy herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we be brethren." No
pacific overture could possibly obtain audience. It was in vain that
even Burley himself, when he saw the dissension proceed to such ruinous
lengths, exerted his stern and deep voice, commanding silence and
obedience to discipline. The spirit of insubordination had gone forth,
and it seemed as if the exhortation of Habakkuk Mucklewrath had
communicated a part of his frenzy to all who heard him. The wiser, or
more timid part of the assembly, were already withdrawing themselves
from the field, and giving up their cause as lost. Others were
moderating a harmonious call, as they somewhat improperly termed it, to
new officers, and dismissing those formerly chosen, and that with a
tumult and clamour worthy of the deficiency of good sense and good order
implied in the whole transaction. It was at this moment when Morton
arrived in the field and joined the army, in total confusion, and on the
point of dissolving itself. His arrival occasioned loud exclamations of
applause on the one side, and of imprecation on the other.

"What means this ruinous disorder at such a moment?" he exclaimed to
Burley, who, exhausted with his vain exertions to restore order, was now
leaning on his sword, and regarding the confusion with an eye of resolute
despair.

"It means," he replied, "that God has delivered us into the hands of our
enemies."

"Not so," answered Morton, with a voice and gesture which compelled many
to listen; "it is not God who deserts us, it is we who desert him, and
dishonour ourselves by disgracing and betraying the cause of freedom and
religion.--Hear me," he exclaimed, springing to the pulpit which
Mucklewrath had been compelled to evacuate by actual exhaustion--"I bring
from the enemy an offer to treat, if you incline to lay down your arms. I
can assure you the means of making an honourable defence, if you are of
more manly tempers. The time flies fast on. Let us resolve either for
peace or war; and let it not be said of us in future days, that six
thousand Scottish men in arms had neither courage to stand their ground
and fight it out, nor prudence to treat for peace, nor even the coward's
wisdom to retreat in good time and with safety. What signifies
quarrelling on minute points of church-discipline, when the whole edifice
is threatened with total destruction? O, remember, my brethren, that the
last and worst evil which God brought upon the people whom he had once
chosen--the last and worst punishment of their blindness and hardness of
heart, was the bloody dissensions which rent asunder their city, even
when the enemy were thundering at its gates!"

Some of the audience testified their feeling of this exhortation, by loud
exclamations of applause; others by hooting, and exclaiming--"To your
tents, O Israel!"

Morton, who beheld the columns of the enemy already beginning to appear
on the right bank, and directing their march upon the bridge, raised his
voice to its utmost pitch, and, pointing at the same time with his hand,
exclaimed,--"Silence your senseless clamours, yonder is the enemy! On
maintaining the bridge against him depend our lives, as well as our hope
to reclaim our laws and liberties.--There shall at least one Scottishman
die in their defence.--Let any one who loves his country follow me!"

The multitude had turned their heads in the direction to which he
pointed. The sight of the glittering files of the English Foot-Guards,
supported by several squadrons of horse, of the cannon which the
artillerymen were busily engaged in planting against the bridge, of the
plaided clans who seemed to search for a ford, and of the long succession
of troops which were destined to support the attack, silenced at once
their clamorous uproar, and struck them with as much consternation as if
it were an unexpected apparition, and not the very thing which they ought
to have been looking out for. They gazed on each other, and on their
leaders, with looks resembling those that indicate the weakness of a
patient when exhausted by a fit of frenzy. Yet when Morton, springing
from the rostrum, directed his steps towards the bridge, he was followed
by about an hundred of the young men who were particularly attached to
his command.

Burley turned to Macbriar--"Ephraim," he said, "it is Providence points
us the way, through the worldly wisdom of this latitudinarian youth.--He
that loves the light, let him follow Burley!"

"Tarry," replied Macbriar; "it is not by Henry Morton, or such as he,
that our goings-out and our comings-in are to be meted; therefore tarry
with us. I fear treachery to the host from this nullifidian Achan--Thou
shalt not go with him. Thou art our chariots and our horsemen."

"Hinder me not," replied Burley; "he hath well said that all is lost, if
the enemy win the bridge--therefore let me not. Shall the children of
this generation be called wiser or braver than the children of the
sanctuary?--Array yourselves under your leaders--let us not lack supplies
of men and ammunition; and accursed be he who turneth back from the work
on this great day!"

Having thus spoken, he hastily marched towards the bridge, and was
followed by about two hundred of the most gallant and zealous of his
party. There was a deep and disheartened pause when Morton and Burley
departed. The commanders availed themselves of it to display their lines
in some sort of order, and exhorted those who were most exposed to throw
themselves upon their faces to avoid the cannonade which they might
presently expect. The insurgents ceased to resist or to remonstrate; but
the awe which had silenced their discords had dismayed their courage.
They suffered themselves to be formed into ranks with the docility of a
flock of sheep, but without possessing, for the time, more resolution or
energy; for they experienced a sinking of the heart, imposed by the
sudden and imminent approach of the danger which they had neglected to
provide against while it was yet distant. They were, however, drawn out
with some regularity; and as they still possessed the appearance of an
army, their leaders had only to hope that some favourable circumstance
would restore their spirits and courage.

Kettledrummle, Poundtext, Macbriar, and other preachers, busied
themselves in their ranks, and prevailed on them to raise a psalm. But
the superstitious among them observed, as an ill omen, that their song of
praise and triumph sunk into "a quaver of consternation," and resembled
rather a penitentiary stave sung on the scaffold of a condemned criminal,
than the bold strain which had resounded along the wild heath of
Loudon-hill, in anticipation of that day's victory. The melancholy melody
soon received a rough accompaniment; the royal soldiers shouted, the
Highlanders yelled, the cannon began to fire on one side, and the
musketry on both, and the bridge of Bothwell, with the banks adjacent,
were involved in wreaths of smoke.



CHAPTER XI.

                    As e'er ye saw the rain doun fa',
                    Or yet the arrow from the bow,
                    Sae our Scots lads fell even down,
                    And they lay slain on every knowe.
                                        Old Ballad.

Ere Morton or Burley had reached the post to be defended, the enemy had
commenced an attack upon it with great spirit. The two regiments of
Foot-Guards, formed into a close column, rushed forward to the river; one
corps, deploying along the right bank, commenced a galling fire on the
defenders of the pass, while the other pressed on to occupy the bridge.
The insurgents sustained the attack with great constancy and courage; and
while part of their number returned the fire across the river, the rest
maintained a discharge of musketry upon the further end of the bridge
itself, and every avenue by which the soldiers endeavoured to approach
it. The latter suffered severely, but still gained ground, and the head
of their column was already upon the bridge, when the arrival of Morton
changed the scene; and his marksmen, commencing upon the pass a fire as
well aimed as it was sustained and regular, compelled the assailants to
retire with much loss. They were a second time brought up to the charge,
and a second time repulsed with still greater loss, as Burley had now
brought his party into action. The fire was continued with the utmost
vehemence on both sides, and the issue of the action seemed very dubious.

Monmouth, mounted on a superb white charger, might be discovered on the
top of the right bank of the river, urging, entreating, and animating the
exertions of his soldiers. By his orders, the cannon, which had hitherto
been employed in annoying the distant main body of the presbyterians,
were now turned upon the defenders of the bridge. But these tremendous
engines, being wrought much more slowly than in modern times, did not
produce the effect of annoying or terrifying the enemy to the extent
proposed. The insurgents, sheltered by copsewood along the bank of the
river, or stationed in the houses already mentioned, fought under cover,
while the royalists, owing to the precautions of Morton, were entirely
exposed. The defence was so protracted and obstinate, that the royal
generals began to fear it might be ultimately successful. While Monmouth
threw himself from his horse, and, rallying the Foot-Guards, brought them
on to another close and desperate attack, he was warmly seconded
by Dalzell, who, putting himself at the head of a body of
Lennox-Highlanders, rushed forward with their tremendous war-cry of
Loch-sloy.

     [Note: This was the slogan or war-cry of the MacFarlanes, taken from
     a lake near the head of Loch Lomond, in the centre of their ancient
     possessions on the western banks of that beautiful inland sea.]

The ammunition of the defenders of the bridge began to fail at this
important crisis; messages, commanding and imploring succours and
supplies, were in vain dispatched, one after the other, to the main body
of the presbyterian army, which remained inactively drawn up on the open
fields in the rear. Fear, consternation, and misrule, had gone abroad
among them, and while the post on which their safety depended required
to be instantly and powerfully reinforced, there remained none either to
command or to obey.

As the fire of the defenders of the bridge began to slacken, that of the
assailants increased, and in its turn became more fatal. Animated by the
example and exhortations of their generals, they obtained a footing upon
the bridge itself, and began to remove the obstacles by which it was
blockaded. The portal-gate was broke open, the beams, trunks of trees,
and other materials of the barricade, pulled down and thrown into the
river. This was not accomplished without opposition. Morton and Burley
fought in the very front of their followers, and encouraged them with
their pikes, halberds, and partisans, to encounter the bayonets of the
Guards, and the broadswords of the Highlanders. But those behind the
leaders began to shrink from the unequal combat, and fly singly, or in
parties of two or three, towards the main body, until the remainder were,
by the mere weight of the hostile column as much as by their weapons,
fairly forced from the bridge. The passage being now open, the enemy
began to pour over. But the bridge was long and narrow, which rendered
the manoeuvre slow as well as dangerous; and those who first passed had
still to force the houses, from the windows of which the Covenanters
continued to fire. Burley and Morton were near each other at this
critical moment.

"There is yet time," said the former, "to bring down horse to attack
them, ere they can get into order; and, with the aid of God, we may thus
regain the bridge--hasten thou to bring them down, while I make the
defence good with this old and wearied body."

Morton saw the importance of the advice, and, throwing himself on the
horse which cuddie held in readiness for him behind the thicket, galloped
towards a body of cavalry which chanced to be composed entirely of
Cameronians. Ere he could speak his errand, or utter his orders, he was
saluted by the execrations of the whole body.

"He flies!" they exclaimed--"the cowardly traitor flies like a hart from
the hunters, and hath left valiant Burley in the midst of the slaughter!"

"I do not fly," said Morton. "I come to lead you to the attack. Advance
boldly, and we shall yet do well."

"Follow him not!--Follow him not!"--such were the tumultuous exclamations
which resounded from the ranks;--"he hath sold you to the sword of the
enemy!"

And while Morton argued, entreated, and commanded in vain, the moment was
lost in which the advance might have been useful; and the outlet from the
bridge, with all its defences, being in complete possession of the enemy,
Burley and his remaining followers were driven back upon the main body,
to whom the spectacle of their hurried and harassed retreat was far from
restoring the confidence which they so much wanted.

In the meanwhile, the forces of the King crossed the bridge at their
leisure, and, securing the pass, formed in line of battle; while
Claverhouse, who, like a hawk perched on a rock, and eyeing the time to
pounce on its prey, had watched the event of the action from the opposite
bank, now passed the bridge at the head of his cavalry, at full trot,
and, leading them in squadrons through the intervals and round the flanks
of the royal infantry, formed them in line on the moor, and led them to
the charge, advancing in front with one large body, while other two
divisions threatened the flanks of the Covenanters. Their devoted army
was now in that situation when the slightest demonstration towards an
attack was certain to inspire panic. Their broken spirits and
disheartened courage were unable to endure the charge of the cavalry,
attended with all its terrible accompaniments of sight and sound;--the
rush of the horses at full speed, the shaking of the earth under their
feet, the glancing of the swords, the waving of the plumes, and the
fierce shouts of the cavaliers. The front ranks hardly attempted one
ill-directed and disorderly fire, and their rear were broken and flying
in confusion ere the charge had been completed; and in less than five
minutes the horsemen were mixed with them, cutting and hewing without
mercy. The voice of Claverhouse was heard, even above the din of
conflict, exclaiming to his soldiers--"Kill, kill--no quarter--think on
Richard Grahame!" The dragoons, many of whom had shared the disgrace of
Loudon-hill, required no exhortations to vengeance as easy as it was
complete. Their swords drank deep of slaughter among the unresisting
fugitives. Screams for quarter were only answered by the shouts with
which the pursuers accompanied their blows, and the whole field presented
one general scene of confused slaughter, flight, and pursuit.

About twelve hundred of the insurgents who remained in a body a little
apart from the rest, and out of the line of the charge of cavalry, threw
down their arms and surrendered at discretion, upon the approach of the
Duke of Monmouth at the head of the infantry. That mild-tempered nobleman
instantly allowed them the quarter which they prayed for; and, galloping
about through the field, exerted himself as much to stop the slaughter as
he had done to obtain the victory. While busied in this humane task he
met with General Dalzell, who was encouraging the fierce Highlanders and
royal volunteers to show their zeal for King and country, by quenching
the flame of the rebellion with the blood of the rebels.

"Sheathe your sword, I command you, General!" exclaimed the Duke, "and
sound the retreat. Enough of blood has been shed; give quarter to the
King's misguided subjects."

"I obey your Grace," said the old man, wiping his bloody sword and
returning it to the scabbard; "but I warn you, at the same time, that
enough has not been done to intimidate these desperate rebels. Has not
your Grace heard that Basil Olifant has collected several gentlemen and
men of substance in the west, and is in the act of marching to join
them?"

"Basil Olifant?" said the Duke; "who, or what is he?"

"The next male heir to the last Earl of Torwood. He is disaffected to
government from his claim to the estate being set aside in favour of Lady
Margaret Bellenden; and I suppose the hope of getting the inheritance has
set him in motion."

"Be his motives what they will," replied Monmouth, "he must soon disperse
his followers, for this army is too much broken to rally again.
Therefore, once more, I command that the pursuit be stopped."

"It is your Grace's province to command, and to be responsible for your
commands," answered Dalzell, as he gave reluctant orders for checking the
pursuit.

But the fiery and vindictive Grahame was already far out of hearing of
the signal of retreat, and continued with his cavalry an unwearied and
bloody pursuit, breaking, dispersing, and cutting to pieces all the
insurgents whom they could come up with.

Burley and Morton were both hurried off the field by the confused tide of
fugitives. They made some attempt to defend the streets of the town of
Hamilton; but, while labouring to induce the fliers to face about and
stand to their weapons. Burley received a bullet which broke his
sword-arm.

"May the hand be withered that shot the shot!" he exclaimed, as the sword
which he was waving over his head fell powerless to his side. "I can
fight no longer." [Note: This incident, and Burley's exclamation, are
taken from the records.]

Then turning his horse's head, he retreated out of the confusion. Morton
also now saw that the continuing his unavailing efforts to rally the
fliers could only end in his own death or captivity, and, followed by the
faithful Cuddie, he extricated himself from the press, and, being well
mounted, leaped his horse over one or two enclosures, and got into the
open country.

From the first hill which they gained in their flight, they looked back,
and beheld the whole country covered with their fugitive companions, and
with the pursuing dragoons, whose wild shouts and halloo, as they did
execution on the groups whom they overtook, mingled with the groans and
screams of their victims, rose shrilly up the hill.

"It is impossible they can ever make head again," said Morton.

"The head's taen aff them, as clean as I wad bite it aff a sybo!"
rejoined Cuddie. "Eh, Lord! see how the broadswords are flashing! war's
a fearsome thing. They'll be cunning that catches me at this wark
again.--But, for God's sake, sir, let us mak for some strength!"

Morton saw the necessity of following the advice of his trusty squire.
They resumed a rapid pace, and continued it without intermission,
directing their course towards the wild and mountainous country, where
they thought it likely some part of the fugitives might draw together,
for the sake either of making defence, or of obtaining terms.



CHAPTER XII.

                            They require
               Of Heaven the hearts of lions, breath of tigers,
               Yea and the fierceness too.
                                             Fletcher.

Evening had fallen; and, for the last two hours, they had seen none of
their ill-fated companions, when Morton and his faithful attendant gained
the moorland, and approached a large and solitary farmhouse, situated in
the entrance of a wild glen, far remote from any other habitation.

"Our horses," said Morton, "will carry us no farther without rest or
food, and we must try to obtain them here, if possible."

So speaking, he led the way to the house. The place had every appearance
of being inhabited. There was smoke issuing from the chimney in a
considerable volume, and the marks of recent hoofs were visible around
the door. They could even hear the murmuring of human voices within the
house. But all the lower windows were closely secured; and when they
knocked at the door, no answer was returned. After vainly calling and
entreating admittance, they withdrew to the stable, or shed, in order to
accommodate their horses, ere they used farther means of gaining
admission. In this place they found ten or twelve horses, whose state of
fatigue, as well as the military yet disordered appearance of their
saddles and accoutrements, plainly indicated that their owners were
fugitive insurgents in their own circumstances.

"This meeting bodes luck," said Cuddie; "and they hae walth o' beef,
that's ae thing certain, for here's a raw hide that has been about the
hurdies o' a stot not half an hour syne--it's warm yet."

Encouraged by these appearances, they returned again to the house, and,
announcing themselves as men in the same predicament with the inmates,
clamoured loudly for admittance.

"Whoever ye be," answered a stern voice from the window, after a long and
obdurate silence, "disturb not those who mourn for the desolation and
captivity of the land, and search out the causes of wrath and of
defection, that the stumbling-blocks may be removed over which we have
stumbled."

"They are wild western whigs," said Cuddie, in a whisper to his master,
"I ken by their language. Fiend hae me, if I like to venture on them!"

Morton, however, again called to the party within, and insisted on
admittance; but, finding his entreaties still disregarded, he opened one
of the lower windows, and pushing asunder the shutters, which were but
slightly secured, stepped into the large kitchen from which the voice had
issued. Cuddie followed him, muttering betwixt his teeth, as he put his
head within the window, "That he hoped there was nae scalding brose on
the fire;" and master and servant both found themselves in the company of
ten or twelve armed men, seated around the fire, on which refreshments
were preparing, and busied apparently in their devotions.

In the gloomy countenances, illuminated by the fire-light, Morton had no
difficulty in recognising several of those zealots who had most
distinguished themselves by their intemperate opposition to all moderate
measures, together with their noted pastor, the fanatical Ephraim
Macbriar, and the maniac, Habakkuk Mucklewrath. The Cameronians neither
stirred tongue nor hand to welcome their brethren in misfortune, but
continued to listen to the low murmured exercise of Macbriar, as he
prayed that the Almighty would lift up his hand from his people, and not
make an end in the day of his anger. That they were conscious of the
presence of the intruders only appeared from the sullen and indignant
glances which they shot at them, from time to time, as their eyes
encountered.

Morton, finding into what unfriendly society he had unwittingly intruded,
began to think of retreating; but, on turning his head, observed with
some alarm, that two strong men had silently placed themselves beside the
window, through which they had entered. One of these ominous sentinels
whispered to Cuddie, "Son of that precious woman, Mause Headrigg, do not
cast thy lot farther with this child of treachery and perdition--Pass on
thy way, and tarry not, for the avenger of blood is behind thee."

With this he pointed to the window, out of which Cuddie jumped without
hesitation; for the intimation he had received plainly implied the
personal danger he would otherwise incur.

"Winnocks are no lucky wi' me," was his first reflection when he was in
the open air; his next was upon the probable fate of his master. "They'll
kill him, the murdering loons, and think they're doing a gude turn! but
I'se tak the back road for Hamilton, and see if I canna get some o' our
ain folk to bring help in time of needcessity."

So saying, Cuddie hastened to the stable, and taking the best horse he
could find instead of his own tired animal, he galloped off in the
direction he proposed.

The noise of his horse's tread alarmed for an instant the devotion of the
fanatics. As it died in the distance, Macbriar brought his exercise to a
conclusion, and his audience raised themselves from the stooping posture,
and louring downward look, with which they had listened to it, and all
fixed their eyes sternly on Henry Morton.

"You bend strange countenances on me, gentlemen," said he, addressing
them. "I am totally ignorant in what manner I can have deserved them."

"Out upon thee! out upon thee!" exclaimed Mucklewrath, starting up: "the
word that thou hast spurned shall become a rock to crush and to bruise
thee; the spear which thou wouldst have broken shall pierce thy side; we
have prayed, and wrestled, and petitioned for an offering to atone the
sins of the congregation, and lo! the very head of the offence is
delivered into our hand. He hath burst in like a thief through the
window; he is a ram caught in the thicket, whose blood shall be a
drink-offering to redeem vengeance from the church, and the place shall
from henceforth be called Jehovah-Jireh, for the sacrifice is provided.
Up then, and bind the victim with cords to the horns of the altar!"

There was a movement among the party; and deeply did Morton regret at
that moment the incautious haste with which he had ventured into their
company. He was armed only with his sword, for he had left his pistols at
the bow of his saddle; and, as the whigs were all provided with
fire-arms, there was little or no chance of escaping from them by
resistance. The interposition, however, of Macbriar protected him for the
moment.

"Tarry yet a while, brethren--let us not use the sword rashly, lest the
load of innocent blood lie heavy on us.--Come," he said, addressing
himself to Morton, "we will reckon with thee ere we avenge the cause thou
hast betrayed.--Hast thou not," he continued, "made thy face as hard as
flint against the truth in all the assemblies of the host?"

"He has--he has," murmured the deep voices of the assistants.

"He hath ever urged peace with the malignants," said one.

"And pleaded for the dark and dismal guilt of the Indulgence," said
another.

"And would have surrendered the host into the hands of Monmouth," echoed
a third; "and was the first to desert the honest and manly Burley, while
he yet resisted at the pass. I saw him on the moor, with his horse bloody
with spurring, long ere the firing had ceased at the bridge."

"Gentlemen," said Morton, "if you mean to bear me down by clamour, and
take my life without hearing me, it is perhaps a thing in your power; but
you will sin before God and man by the commission of such a murder."

"I say, hear the youth," said Macbriar; "for Heaven knows our bowels have
yearned for him, that he might be brought to see the truth, and exert his
gifts in its defence. But he is blinded by his carnal knowledge, and has
spurned the light when it blazed before him."

Silence being obtained, Morton proceeded to assert the good faith which
he had displayed in the treaty with Monmouth, and the active part he had
borne in the subsequent action.

"I may not, gentlemen," he said, "be fully able to go the lengths you
desire, in assigning to those of my own religion the means of tyrannizing
over others; but none shall go farther in asserting our own lawful
freedom. And I must needs aver, that had others been of my mind in
counsel, or disposed to stand by my side in battle, we should this
evening, instead of being a defeated and discordant remnant, have
sheathed our weapons in an useful and honourable peace, or brandished
them triumphantly after a decisive victory."

"He hath spoken the word," said one of the assembly--"he hath avowed his
carnal self-seeking and Erastianism; let him die the death!"

"Peace yet again," said Macbriar, "for I will try him further.--Was it
not by thy means that the malignant Evandale twice escaped from death and
captivity? Was it not through thee that Miles Bellenden and his garrison
of cut-throats were saved from the edge of the sword?"

"I am proud to say, that you have spoken the truth in both instances,"
replied Morton.

"Lo! you see," said Macbriar, "again hath his mouth spoken it.--And didst
thou not do this for the sake of a Midianitish woman, one of the spawn of
prelacy, a toy with which the arch-enemy's trap is baited? Didst thou not
do all this for the sake of Edith Bellenden?"

"You are incapable," answered Morton, boldly, "of appreciating my
feelings towards that young lady; but all that I have done I would have
done had she never existed."

"Thou art a hardy rebel to the truth," said another dark-brow'd man; "and
didst thou not so act, that, by conveying away the aged woman, Margaret
Bellenden, and her grand-daughter, thou mightest thwart the wise and
godly project of John Balfour of Burley for bringing forth to battle
Basil Olifant, who had agreed to take the field if he were insured
possession of these women's worldly endowments?"

"I never heard of such a scheme," said Morton, "and therefore I could not
thwart it.--But does your religion permit you to take such uncreditable
and immoral modes of recruiting?"

"Peace," said Macbriar, somewhat disconcerted; "it is not for thee to
instruct tender professors, or to construe Covenant obligations. For the
rest, you have acknowledged enough of sin and sorrowful defection, to
draw down defeat on a host, were it as numerous as the sands on the
sea-shore. And it is our judgment, that we are not free to let you pass
from us safe and in life, since Providence hath given you into our hands
at the moment that we prayed with godly Joshua, saying, 'What shall we
say when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies?'--Then camest
thou, delivered to us as it were by lot, that thou mightest sustain the
punishment of one that hath wrought folly in Israel. Therefore, mark my
words. This is the Sabbath, and our hand shall not be on thee to spill
thy blood upon this day; but, when the twelfth hour shall strike, it is a
token that thy time on earth hath run! Wherefore improve thy span, for it
flitteth fast away.--Seize on the prisoner, brethren, and take his
weapon."

The command was so unexpectedly given, and so suddenly executed by those
of the party who had gradually closed behind and around Morton, that he
was overpowered, disarmed, and a horse-girth passed round his arms,
before he could offer any effectual resistance. When this was
accomplished, a dead and stern silence took place. The fanatics ranged
themselves around a large oaken table, placing Morton amongst them bound
and helpless, in such a manner as to be opposite to the clock which was
to strike his knell. Food was placed before them, of which they offered
their intended victim a share; but, it will readily be believed, he had
little appetite. When this was removed, the party resumed their
devotions. Macbriar, whose fierce zeal did not perhaps exclude some
feelings of doubt and compunction, began to expostulate in prayer, as if
to wring from the Deity a signal that the bloody sacrifice they proposed
was an acceptable service. The eyes and ears of his hearers were
anxiously strained, as if to gain some sight or sound which might be
converted or wrested into a type of approbation, and ever and anon dark
looks were turned on the dial-plate of the time-piece, to watch its
progress towards the moment of execution.

Morton's eye frequently took the same course, with the sad reflection,
that there appeared no posibility of his life being expanded beyond the
narrow segment which the index had yet to travel on the circle until it
arrived at the fatal hour. Faith in his religion, with a constant
unyielding principle of honour, and the sense of conscious innocence,
enabled him to pass through this dreadful interval with less agitation
than he himself could have expected, had the situation been prophesied to
him. Yet there was a want of that eager and animating sense of right
which supported him in similar circumstances, when in the power of
Claverhouse. Then he was conscious, that, amid the spectators, were many
who were lamenting his condition, and some who applauded his conduct. But
now, among these pale-eyed and ferocious zealots, whose hardened brows
were soon to be bent, not merely with indifference, but with triumph,
upon his execution,--without a friend to speak a kindly word, or give a
look either of sympathy or encouragement,--awaiting till the sword
destined to slay him crept out of the scabbard gradually, and as it were
by strawbreadths, and condemned to drink the bitterness of death drop by
drop,--it is no wonder that his feelings were less composed than they had
been on any former occasion of danger. His destined executioners, as he
gazed around them, seemed to alter their forms and features, like
spectres in a feverish dream; their figures became larger, and their
faces more disturbed; and, as an excited imagination predominated over
the realities which his eyes received, he could have thought himself
surrounded rather by a band of demons than of human beings; the walls
seemed to drop with blood, and the light tick of the clock thrilled on
his ear with such loud, painful distinctness, as if each sound were the
prick of a bodkin inflicted on the naked nerve of the organ.


[Illustration: Morton Awaiting Death--frontispiece2]


It was with pain that he felt his mind wavering, while on the brink
between this and the future world. He made a strong effort to compose
himself to devotional exercises, and unequal, during that fearful strife
of nature, to arrange his own thoughts into suitable expressions, he had,
instinctively, recourse to the petition for deliverance and for composure
of spirit which is to be found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Church
of England. Macbriar, whose family were of that persuasion, instantly
recognised the words, which the unfortunate prisoner pronounced half
aloud.

"There lacked but this," he said, his pale cheek kindling with
resentment, "to root out my carnal reluctance to see his blood spilt. He
is a prelatist, who has sought the camp under the disguise of an
Erastian, and all, and more than all, that has been said of him must
needs be verity. His blood be on his head, the deceiver!--let him go down
to Tophet, with the ill-mumbled mass which he calls a prayer-book, in his
right hand!"

"I take up my song against him!" exclaimed the maniac. "As the sun went
back on the dial ten degrees for intimating the recovery of holy
Hezekiah, so shall it now go forward, that the wicked may be taken away
from among the people, and the Covenant established in its purity."

He sprang to a chair with an attitude of frenzy, in order to anticipate
the fatal moment by putting the index forward; and several of the party
began to make ready their slaughter-weapons for immediate execution, when
Mucklewrath's hand was arrested by one of his companions.

"Hist!" he said--"I hear a distant noise."

"It is the rushing of the brook over the pebbles," said one.

"It is the sough of the wind among the bracken," said another.

"It is the galloping of horse," said Morton to himself, his sense of
hearing rendered acute by the dreadful situation in which he stood; "God
grant they may come as my deliverers!"

The noise approached rapidly, and became more and more distinct.

"It is horse," cried Macbriar. "Look out and descry who they are."

"The enemy are upon us!" cried one who had opened the window, in
obedience to his order.

A thick trampling and loud voices were heard immediately round the house.
Some rose to resist, and some to escape; the doors and windows were
forced at once, and the red coats of the troopers appeared in the
apartment.

"Have at the bloody rebels!--Remember Cornet Grahame!" was shouted on
every side.

The lights were struck down, but the dubious glare of the fire enabled
them to continue the fray. Several pistol-shots were fired; the whig who
stood next to Morton received a shot as he was rising, stumbled against
the prisoner, whom he bore down with his weight, and lay stretched above
him a dying man. This accident probably saved Morton from the damage he
might otherwise have received in so close a struggle, where fire-arms
were discharged and sword-blows given for upwards of five minutes.

"Is the prisoner safe?" exclaimed the well-known voice of Claverhouse;
"look about for him, and dispatch the whig dog who is groaning there."

Both orders were executed. The groans of the wounded man were silenced by
a thrust with a rapier, and Morton, disencumbered of his weight, was
speedily raised and in the arms of the faithful Cuddie, who blubbered for
joy when he found that the blood with which his master was covered had
not flowed from his own veins. A whisper in Morton's ear, while his
trusty follower relieved him from his bonds, explained the secret of the
very timely appearance of the soldiers.

"I fell into Claverhouse's party when I was seeking for some o' our ain
folk to help ye out o' the hands of the whigs, sae being atween the deil
and the deep sea, I e'en thought it best to bring him on wi' me, for
he'll be wearied wi' felling folk the night, and the morn's a new day,
and Lord Evandale awes ye a day in ha'arst; and Monmouth gies quarter,
the dragoons tell me, for the asking. Sae haud up your heart, an' I'se
warrant we'll do a' weel eneugh yet."

     [Note: NOTE TO
CHAPTER XII. The principal incident of the foregoing
     Chapter was suggested by an occurrence of a similar kind, told me by
     a gentleman, now deceased, who held an important situation in the
     Excise, to which he had been raised by active and resolute exertions
     in an inferior department. When employed as a supervisor on the
     coast of Galloway, at a time when the immunities of the Isle of Man
     rendered smuggling almost universal in that district, this gentleman
     had the fortune to offend highly several of the leaders in the
     contraband trade, by his zeal in serving the revenue.

     This rendered his situation a dangerous one, and, on more than one
     occasion, placed his life in jeopardy. At one time in particular, as
     he was riding after sunset on a summer evening, he came suddenly
     upon a gang of the most desperate smugglers in that part of the
     country. They surrounded him, without violence, but in such a manner
     as to show that it would be resorted to if he offered resistance,
     and gave him to understand he must spend the evening with them,
     since they had met so happily. The officer did not attempt
     opposition, but only asked leave to send a country lad to tell his
     wife and family that he should be detained later than he expected.
     As he had to charge the boy with this message in the presence of the
     smugglers, he could found no hope of deliverance from it, save what
     might arise from the sharpness of the lad's observation, and the
     natural anxiety and affection of his wife. But if his errand should
     be delivered and received literally, as he was conscious the
     smugglers expected, it was likely that it might, by suspending alarm
     about his absence from home, postpone all search after him till it
     might be useless. Making a merit of necessity, therefore, he
     instructed and dispatched his messenger, and went with the
     contraband traders, with seeming willingness, to one of their
     ordinary haunts. He sat down at table with them, and they began to
     drink and indulge themselves in gross jokes, while, like Mirabel in
     the "Inconstant," their prisoner had the heavy task of receiving
     their insolence as wit, answering their insults with good-humour,
     and withholding from them the opportunity which they sought of
     engaging him in a quarrel, that they might have a pretence for
     misusing him. He succeeded for some time, but soon became satisfied
     it was their purpose to murder him out-right, or else to beat him in
     such a manner as scarce to leave him with life. A regard for the
     sanctity of the Sabbath evening, which still oddly subsisted among
     these ferocious men, amidst their habitual violation of divine and
     social law, prevented their commencing their intended cruelty until
     the Sabbath should be terminated. They were sitting around their
     anxious prisoner, muttering to each other words of terrible import,
     and watching the index of a clock, which was shortly to strike the
     hour at which, in their apprehension, murder would become lawful,
     when their intended victim heard a distant rustling like the wind
     among withered leaves. It came nearer, and resembled the sound of a
     brook in flood chafing within its banks; it came nearer yet, and was
     plainly distinguished as the galloping of a party of horse. The
     absence of her husband, and the account given by the boy of the
     suspicious appearance of those with whom he had remained, had
     induced Mrs--to apply to the neighbouring town for a party of
     dragoons, who thus providentially arrived in time to save him from
     extreme violence, if not from actual destruction.]



CHAPTER XIII.

               Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife!
               To all the sensual world proclaim,
               One crowded hour of glorious life
               Is worth an age without a name.
                                        Anonymous.

When the desperate affray had ceased, Claverhouse commanded his soldiers
to remove the dead bodies, to refresh themselves and their horses, and
prepare for passing the night at the farm-house, and for marching early
in the ensuing morning. He then turned his attention to Morton, and there
was politeness, and even kindness, in the manner in which he addressed
him.

"You would have saved yourself risk from both sides, Mr Morton, if you
had honoured my counsel yesterday morning with some attention; but I
respect your motives. You are a prisoner-of-war at the disposal of the
king and council, but you shall be treated with no incivility; and I will
be satisfied with your parole that you will not attempt an escape."

When Morton had passed his word to that effect, Claverhouse bowed
civilly, and, turning away from him, called for his sergeant-major.

"How many prisoners, Halliday, and how many killed?"

"Three killed in the house, sir, two cut down in the court, and one in
the garden--six in all; four prisoners."

"Armed or unarmed?" said Claverhouse.

"Three of them armed to the teeth," answered Halliday; "one without
arms--he seems to be a preacher."

"Ay--the trumpeter to the long-ear'd rout, I suppose," replied
Claverhouse, glancing slightly round upon his victims, "I will talk with
him tomorrow. Take the other three down to the yard, draw out two files,
and fire upon them; and, d'ye hear, make a memorandum in the orderly book
of three rebels taken in arms and shot, with the date and name of the
place--Drumshinnel, I think, they call it.--Look after the preacher till
to-morrow; as he was not armed, he must undergo a short examination. Or
better, perhaps, take him before the Privy Council; I think they should
relieve me of a share of this disgusting drudgery.--Let Mr Morton be
civilly used, and see that the men look well after their horses; and let
my groom wash Wild-blood's shoulder with some vinegar, the saddle has
touched him a little."

All these various orders,--for life and death, the securing of his
prisoners, and the washing his charger's shoulder,--were given in the
same unmoved and equable voice, of which no accent or tone intimated that
the speaker considered one direction as of more importance than another.

The Cameronians, so lately about to be the willing agents of a bloody
execution, were now themselves to undergo it. They seemed prepared alike
for either extremity, nor did any of them show the least sign of fear,
when ordered to leave the room for the purpose of meeting instant death.
Their severe enthusiasm sustained them in that dreadful moment, and they
departed with a firm look and in silence, excepting that one of them, as
he left the apartment, looked Claverhouse full in the face, and
pronounced, with a stern and steady voice,--"Mischief shall haunt the
violent man!" to which Grahame only answered by a smile of contempt.

They had no sooner left the room than Claverhouse applied himself to some
food, which one or two of his party had hastily provided, and invited
Morton to follow his example, observing, it had been a busy day for them
both. Morton declined eating; for the sudden change of circumstances--the
transition from the verge of the grave to a prospect of life, had
occasioned a dizzy revulsion in his whole system. But the same confused
sensation was accompanied by a burning thirst, and he expressed his wish
to drink.

"I will pledge you, with all my heart," said Claverhouse; "for here is a
black jack full of ale, and good it must be, if there be good in the
country, for the whigs never miss to find it out.--My service to you, Mr
Morton," he said, filling one horn of ale for himself, and handing
another to his prisoner.

Morton raised it to his head, and was just about to drink, when the
discharge of carabines beneath the window, followed by a deep and hollow
groan, repeated twice or thrice, and more faint at each interval,
announced the fate of the three men who had just left them. Morton
shuddered, and set down the untasted cup.

"You are but young in these matters, Mr Morton," said Claverhouse, after
he had very composedly finished his draught; "and I do not think the
worse of you as a young soldier for appearing to feel them acutely. But
habit, duty, and necessity, reconcile men to every thing."

"I trust," said Morton, "they will never reconcile me to such scenes as
these."

"You would hardly believe," said Claverhouse in reply, "that, in the
beginning of my military career, I had as much aversion to seeing blood
spilt as ever man felt; it seemed to me to be wrung from my own heart;
and yet, if you trust one of those whig fellows, he will tell you I drink
a warm cup of it every morning before I breakfast. [Note: The author is
uncertain whether this was ever said of Claverhouse. But it was currently
reported of Sir Robert Grierson of Lagg, another of the persecutors, that
a cup of wine placed in his hand turned to clotted blood.] But in truth,
Mr Morton, why should we care so much for death, light upon us or around
us whenever it may? Men die daily--not a bell tolls the hour but it is
the death-note of some one or other; and why hesitate to shorten the span
of others, or take over-anxious care to prolong our own? It is all a
lottery--when the hour of midnight came, you were to die--it has struck,
you are alive and safe, and the lot has fallen on those fellows who were
to murder you. It is not the expiring pang that is worth thinking of in
an event that must happen one day, and may befall us on any given
moment--it is the memory which the soldier leaves behind him, like the
long train of light that follows the sunken sun--that is all which is
worth caring for, which distinguishes the death of the brave or the
ignoble. When I think of death, Mr Morton, as a thing worth thinking of,
it is in the hope of pressing one day some well-fought and hard-won
field of battle, and dying with the shout of victory in my ear--that
would be worth dying for, and more, it would be worth having lived for!"

At the moment when Grahame delivered these sentiments, his eye glancing
with the martial enthusiasm which formed such a prominent feature in his
character, a gory figure, which seemed to rise out of the floor of the
apartment, stood upright before him, and presented the wild person and
hideous features of the maniac so often mentioned. His face, where it was
not covered with blood-streaks, was ghastly pale, for the hand of death
was on him. He bent upon Claverhouse eyes, in which the grey light of
insanity still twinkled, though just about to flit for ever, and
exclaimed, with his usual wildness of ejaculation, "Wilt thou trust in
thy bow and in thy spear, in thy steed and in thy banner? And shall not
God visit thee for innocent blood?--Wilt thou glory in thy wisdom, and in
thy courage, and in thy might? And shall not the Lord judge thee?--Behold
the princes, for whom thou hast sold thy soul to the destroyer, shall be
removed from their place, and banished to other lands, and their names
shall be a desolation, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a curse.
And thou, who hast partaken of the wine-cup of fury, and hast been
drunken and mad because thereof, the wish of thy heart shall be granted
to thy loss, and the hope of thine own pride shall destroy thee. I summon
thee, John Grahame, to appear before the tribunal of God, to answer for
this innocent blood, and the seas besides which thou hast shed."

He drew his right hand across his bleeding face, and held it up to heaven
as he uttered these words, which he spoke very loud, and then added more
faintly, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge
the blood of thy saints!"

As he uttered the last word, he fell backwards without an attempt to save
himself, and was a dead man ere his head touched the floor.

Morton was much shocked at this extraordinary scene, and the prophecy of
the dying man, which tallied so strangely with the wish which Claverhouse
had just expressed; and he often thought of it afterwards when that wish
seemed to be accomplished. Two of the dragoons who were in the apartment,
hardened as they were, and accustomed to such scenes, showed great
consternation at the sudden apparition, the event, and the words which
preceded it. Claverhouse alone was unmoved. At the first instant of
Mucklewrath's appearance, he had put his hand to his pistol, but on
seeing the situation of the wounded wretch, he immediately withdrew it,
and listened with great composure to his dying exclamation.

When he dropped, Claverhouse asked, in an unconcerned tone of voice--"How
came the fellow here?--Speak, you staring fool!" he added, addressing the
nearest dragoon, "unless you would have me think you such a poltroon as
to fear a dying man."

The dragoon crossed himself, and replied with a faltering voice,--"That
the dead fellow had escaped their notice when they removed the other
bodies, as he chanced to have fallen where a cloak or two had been flung
aside, and covered him."

"Take him away now, then, you gaping idiot, and see that he does not bite
you, to put an old proverb to shame.--This is a new incident, Mr. Morton,
that dead men should rise and push us from our stools. I must see that my
blackguards grind their swords sharper; they used not to do their work so
slovenly.--But we have had a busy day; they are tired, and their blades
blunted with their bloody work; and I suppose you, Mr Morton, as well as
I, are well disposed for a few hours' repose."

So saying, he yawned, and taking a candle which a soldier had placed
ready, saluted Morton courteously, and walked to the apartment which had
been prepared for him.

Morton was also accommodated, for the evening, with a separate room.
Being left alone, his first occupation was the returning thanks to Heaven
for redeeming him from danger, even through the instrumentality of those
who seemed his most dangerous enemies; he also prayed sincerely for the
Divine assistance in guiding his course through times which held out so
many dangers and so many errors. And having thus poured out his spirit in
prayer before the Great Being who gave it, he betook himself to the
repose which he so much required.



CHAPTER XIV.

               The charge is prepared, the lawyers are met,
               The judges all ranged--a terrible show!
                                        Beggar's Opera.

So deep was the slumber which succeeded the agitation and embarrassment
of the preceding day, that Morton hardly knew where he was when it was
broken by the tramp of horses, the hoarse voice of men, and the wild
sound of the trumpets blowing the /reveille/. The sergeant-major
immediately afterwards came to summon him, which he did in a very
respectful manner, saying the General (for Claverhouse now held that
rank) hoped for the pleasure of his company upon the road. In some
situations an intimation is a command, and Morton considered that the
present occasion was one of these. He waited upon Claverhouse as speedily
as he could, found his own horse saddled for his use, and Cuddie in
attendance. Both were deprived of their fire-arms, though they seemed,
otherwise, rather to make part of the troop than of the prisoners; and
Morton was permitted to retain his sword, the wearing which was, in those
days, the distinguishing mark of a gentleman. Claverhouse seemed also to
take pleasure in riding beside him, in conversing with him, and in
confounding his ideas when he attempted to appreciate his real character.
The gentleness and urbanity of that officer's general manners, the high
and chivalrous sentiments of military devotion which he occasionally
expressed, his deep and accurate insight into the human bosom, demanded
at once the approbation and the wonder of those who conversed with him;
while, on the other hand, his cold indifference to military violence and
cruelty seemed altogether inconsistent with the social, and even
admirable qualities which he displayed. Morton could not help, in his
heart, contrasting him with Balfour of Burley; and so deeply did the idea
impress him, that he dropped a hint of it as they rode together at some
distance from the troop.

"You are right," said Claverhouse, with a smile; "you are very right--we
are both fanatics; but there is some distinction between the fanaticism
of honour and that of dark and sullen superstition."

"Yet you both shed blood without mercy or remorse," said Morton, who
could not suppress his feelings.

"Surely," said Claverhouse, with the same composure; "but of what
kind?--There is a difference, I trust, between the blood of learned and
reverend prelates and scholars, of gallant soldiers and noble gentlemen,
and the red puddle that stagnates in the veins of psalm-singing
mechanics, crackbrained demagogues, and sullen boors;--some distinction,
in short, between spilling a flask of generous wine, and dashing down a
can full of base muddy ale?"

"Your distinction is too nice for my comprehension," replied Morton. "God
gives every spark of life--that of the peasant as well as of the prince;
and those who destroy his work recklessly or causelessly, must answer in
either case. What right, for example, have I to General Grahame's
protection now, more than when I first met him?"

"And narrowly escaped the consequences, you would say?" answered
Claverhouse--"why, I will answer you frankly. Then I thought I had to do
with the son of an old roundheaded rebel, and the nephew of a sordid
presbyterian laird; now I know your points better, and there is that
about you which I respect in an enemy as much as I like in a friend. I
have learned a good deal concerning you since our first meeting, and I
trust that you have found that my construction of the information has not
been unfavourable to you."

"But yet," said Morton--

"But yet," interrupted Grahame, taking up the word, "you would say you
were the same when I first met you that you are now? True; but then, how
could I know that? though, by the by, even my reluctance to suspend your
execution may show you how high your abilities stood in my estimation."

"Do you expect, General," said Morton, "that I ought to be particularly
grateful for such a mark of your esteem?"

"Poh! poh! you are critical," returned Claverhouse. "I tell you I thought
you a different sort of person. Did you ever read Froissart?"

"No," was Morton's answer.

"I have half a mind," said Claverhouse, "to contrive you should have six
months' imprisonment in order to procure you that pleasure. His chapters
inspire me with more enthusiasm than even poetry itself. And the noble
canon, with what true chivalrous feeling he confines his beautiful
expressions of sorrow to the death of the gallant and high-bred knight,
of whom it was a pity to see the fall, such was his loyalty to his king,
pure faith to his religion, hardihood towards his enemy, and fidelity to
his lady-love!--Ah, benedicite! how he will mourn over the fall of such a
pearl of knighthood, be it on the side he happens to favour, or on the
other. But, truly, for sweeping from the face of the earth some few
hundreds of villain churls, who are born but to plough it, the high-born
and inquisitive historian has marvellous little sympathy,--as little, or
less, perhaps, than John Grahame of Claverhouse."

"There is one ploughman in your possession, General, for whom," said
Morton, "in despite of the contempt in which you hold a profession which
some philosophers have considered as useful as that of a soldier, I would
humbly request your favour."

"You mean," said Claverhouse, looking at a memorandum book, "one
Hatherick--Hedderick--or--or--Headrigg. Ay, Cuthbert, or Cuddie
Headrigg--here I have him. O, never fear him, if he will be but
tractable. The ladies of Tillietudlem made interest with me on his
account some time ago. He is to marry their waiting-maid, I think. He
will be allowed to slip off easy, unless his obstinacy spoils his good
fortune."

"He has no ambition to be a martyr, I believe," said Morton.

"'Tis the better for him," said Claverhouse. "But, besides, although the
fellow had more to answer for, I should stand his friend, for the sake of
the blundering gallantry which threw him into the midst of our ranks last
night, when seeking assistance for you. I never desert any man who trusts
me with such implicit confidence. But, to deal sincerely with you, he has
been long in our eye.--Here, Halliday; bring me up the black book."

The sergeant, having committed to his commander this ominous record of
the disaffected, which was arranged in alphabetical order, Claverhouse,
turning over the leaves as he rode on, began to read names as they
occurred.

"Gumblegumption, a minister, aged 50, indulged, close, sly, and so
forth--Pooh! pooh!--He--He--I have him here--Heathercat; outlawed--a
preacher--a zealous Cameronian--keeps a conventicle among the Campsie
hills--Tush!--O, here is Headrigg--Cuthbert; his mother a bitter
puritan--himself a simple fellow--like to be forward in action, but of
no genius for plots--more for the hand than the head, and might be drawn
to the right side, but for his attachment to"--(Here Claverhouse looked
at Morton, and then shut the book and changed his tone.) "Faithful and
true are words never thrown away upon me, Mr Morton. You may depend on
the young man's safety."

"Does it not revolt a mind like yours," said Morton, "to follow a system
which is to be supported by such minute enquiries after obscure
individuals?"

"You do not suppose we take the trouble?" said the General, haughtily.
"The curates, for their own sakes, willingly collect all these materials
for their own regulation in each parish; they know best the black sheep
of the flock. I have had your picture for three years."

"Indeed?" replied Morton. "Will you favour me by imparting it?"

"Willingly," said Claverhouse; "it can signify little, for you cannot
avenge yourself on the curate, as you will probably leave Scotland for
some time."

This was spoken in an indifferent tone. Morton felt an involuntary
shudder at hearing words which implied a banishment from his native land;
but ere he answered, Claverhouse proceeded to read, "Henry Morton, son of
Silas Morton, Colonel of horse for the Scottish Parliament, nephew and
apparent heir of Morton of Milnwood--imperfectly educated, but with
spirit beyond his years--excellent at all exercises--indifferent to forms
of religion, but seems to incline to the presbyterian--has high-flown and
dangerous notions about liberty of thought and speech, and hovers between
a latitudinarian and an enthusiast. Much admired and followed by the
youth of his own age--modest, quiet, and unassuming in manner, but in his
heart peculiarly bold and intractable. He is--Here follow three red
crosses, Mr Morton, which signify triply dangerous. You see how important
a person you are.--But what does this fellow want?"

A horseman rode up as he spoke, and gave a letter. Claverhouse glanced it
over, laughed scornfully, bade him tell his master to send his prisoners
to Edinburgh, for there was no answer; and, as the man turned back, said
contemptuously to Morton--"Here is an ally of yours deserted from you, or
rather, I should say, an ally of your good friend Burley--Hear how he
sets forth--'Dear Sir,' (I wonder when we were such intimates,) 'may it
please your Excellency to accept my humble congratulations on the
victory'--hum--hum--'blessed his Majesty's army. I pray you to understand
I have my people under arms to take and intercept all fugitives, and have
already several prisoners,' and so forth. Subscribed Basil Olifant--You
know the fellow by name, I suppose?"

"A relative of Lady Margaret Bellenden," replied Morton, "is he not?"

"Ay," replied Grahame, "and heir-male of her father's family, though a
distant one, and moreover a suitor to the fair Edith, though discarded as
an unworthy one; but, above all, a devoted admirer of the estate of
Tillietudlem, and all thereunto belonging."

"He takes an ill mode of recommending himself," said Morton, suppressing
his feelings, "to the family at Tillietudlem, by corresponding with our
unhappy party."

"O, this precious Basil will turn cat in pan with any man!" replied
Claverhouse. "He was displeased with the government, because they would
not overturn in his favour a settlement of the late Earl of Torwood, by
which his lordship gave his own estate to his own daughter; he was
displeased with Lady Margaret, because she avowed no desire for his
alliance, and with the pretty Edith, because she did not like his tall
ungainly person. So he held a close correspondence with Burley, and
raised his followers with the purpose of helping him, providing always he
needed no help, that is, if you had beat us yesterday. And now the rascal
pretends he was all the while proposing the King's service, and, for
aught I know, the council will receive his pretext for current coin, for
he knows how to make friends among them--and a dozen scores of poor
vagabond fanatics will be shot, or hanged, while this cunning scoundrel
lies hid under the double cloak of loyalty, well-lined with the fox-fur
of hypocrisy."

With conversation on this and other matters they beguiled the way,
Claverhouse all the while speaking with great frankness to Morton, and
treating him rather as a friend and companion than as a prisoner; so
that, however uncertain of his fate, the hours he passed in the company
of this remarkable man were so much lightened by the varied play of his
imagination, and the depth of his knowledge of human nature, that since
the period of his becoming a prisoner of war, which relieved him at once
from the cares of his doubtful and dangerous station among the
insurgents, and from the consequences of their suspicious resentment, his
hours flowed on less anxiously than at any time since his having
commenced actor in public life. He was now, with respect to his fortune,
like a rider who has flung his reins on the horse's neck, and, while he
abandoned himself to circumstances, was at least relieved from the task
of attempting to direct them. In this mood he journeyed on, the number of
his companions being continually augmented by detached parties of horse
who came in from every quarter of the country, bringing with them, for
the most part, the unfortunate persons who had fallen into their power.
At length they approached Edinburgh.

"Our council," said Claverhouse, "being resolved, I suppose, to testify
by their present exultation the extent of their former terror, have
decreed a kind of triumphal entry to us victors and our captives; but as
I do not quite approve the taste of it, I am willing to avoid my own part
in the show, and, at the same time, to save you from yours."

So saying, he gave up the command of the forces to Allan, (now a
Lieutenant-colonel,) and, turning his horse into a by-lane, rode into the
city privately, accompanied by Morton and two or three servants. When
Claverhouse arrived at the quarters which he usually occupied in the
Canongate, he assigned to his prisoner a small apartment, with an
intimation, that his parole confined him to it for the present.

After about a quarter of an hour spent in solitary musing on the strange
vicissitudes of his late life, the attention of Morton was summoned to
the window by a great noise in the street beneath. Trumpets, drums, and
kettle-drums, contended in noise with the shouts of a numerous rabble,
and apprised him that the royal cavalry were passing in the triumphal
attitude which Claverhouse had mentioned. The magistrates of the city,
attended by their guard of halberds, had met the victors with their
welcome at the gate of the city, and now preceded them as a part of the
procession. The next object was two heads borne upon pikes; and before
each bloody head were carried the hands of the dismembered sufferers,
which were, by the brutal mockery of those who bore them, often
approached towards each other as if in the attitude of exhortation or
prayer. These bloody trophies belonged to two preachers who had fallen at
Bothwell Bridge. After them came a cart led by the executioner's
assistant, in which were placed Macbriar, and other two prisoners, who
seemed of the same profession. They were bareheaded, and strongly bound,
yet looked around them with an air rather of triumph than dismay, and
appeared in no respect moved either by the fate of their companions, of
which the bloody evidences were carried before them, or by dread of their
own approaching execution, which these preliminaries so plainly
indicated.

Behind these prisoners, thus held up to public infamy and derision, came
a body of horse, brandishing their broadswords, and filling the wide
street with acclamations, which were answered by the tumultuous outcries
and shouts of the rabble, who, in every considerable town, are too happy
in being permitted to huzza for any thing whatever which calls them
together. In the rear of these troopers came the main body of the
prisoners, at the head of whom were some of their leaders, who were
treated with every circumstance of inventive mockery and insult. Several
were placed on horseback with their faces to the animal's tail; others
were chained to long bars of iron, which they were obliged to support in
their hands, like the galleyslaves in Spain when travelling to the port
where they are to be put on shipboard. The heads of others who had fallen
were borne in triumph before the survivors, some on pikes and halberds,
some in sacks, bearing the names of the slaughtered persons labelled on
the outside. Such were the objects who headed the ghastly procession, who
seemed as effectually doomed to death as if they wore the sanbenitos of
the condemned heretics in an auto-da-fe. [Note: David Hackston of
Rathillet, who was wounded and made prisoner in the skirmish of
Air's-Moss, in which the celebrated Cameron fell, was, on entering
Edinburgh, "by order of the Council, received by the Magistrates at the
Watergate, and set on a horse's bare back with his face to the tail, and
the other three laid on a goad of iron, and carried up the street, Mr
Cameron's head being on a halberd before them."]

Behind them came on the nameless crowd to the number of several hundreds,
some retaining under their misfortunes a sense of confidence in the cause
for which they suffered captivity, and were about to give a still more
bloody testimony; others seemed pale, dispirited, dejected, questioning
in their own minds their prudence in espousing a cause which Providence
seemed to have disowned, and looking about for some avenue through which
they might escape from the consequences of their rashness. Others there
were who seemed incapable of forming an opinion on the subject, or of
entertaining either hope, confidence, or fear, but who, foaming with
thirst and fatigue, stumbled along like over-driven oxen, lost to every
thing but their present sense of wretchedness, and without having any
distinct idea whether they were led to the shambles or to the pasture.
These unfortunate men were guarded on each hand by troopers, and behind
them came the main body of the cavalry, whose military music resounded
back from the high houses on each side of the street, and mingled with
their own songs of jubilee and triumph, and the wild shouts of the
rabble.

Morton felt himself heart-sick while he gazed on the dismal spectacle,
and recognised in the bloody heads, and still more miserable and agonized
features of the living sufferers, faces which had been familiar to him
during the brief insurrection. He sunk down in a chair in a bewildered
and stupified state, from which he was awakened by the voice of Cuddie.

"Lord forgie us, sir!" said the poor fellow, his teeth chattering like a
pair of nut-crackers, his hair erect like boar's bristles, and his face
as pale as that of a corpse--"Lord forgie us, sir! we maun instantly gang
before the Council!--O Lord, what made them send for a puir bodie like
me, sae mony braw lords and gentles!--and there's my mither come on the
lang tramp frae Glasgow to see to gar me testify, as she ca's it, that is
to say, confess and be hanged; but deil tak me if they mak sic a guse o'
Cuddie, if I can do better. But here's Claverhouse himsell--the Lord
preserve and forgie us, I say anes mair!"

"You must immediately attend the Council Mr Morton," said Claverhouse,
who entered while Cuddie spoke, "and your servant must go with you. You
need be under no apprehension for the consequences to yourself
personally. But I warn you that you will see something that will give you
much pain, and from which I would willingly have saved you, if I had
possessed the power. My carriage waits us--shall we go?"

It will be readily supposed that Morton did not venture to dispute this
invitation, however unpleasant. He rose and accompanied Claverhouse.

"I must apprise you," said the latter, as he led the way down stairs,
"that you will get off cheap; and so will your servant, provided he can
keep his tongue quiet."

Cuddie caught these last words to his exceeding joy.

"Deil a fear o' me," said he, "an my mither disna pit her finger in the
pie."

At that moment his shoulder was seized by old Mause, who had contrived to
thrust herself forward into the lobby of the apartment.

"O, hinny, hinny!" said she to Cuddie, hanging upon his neck, "glad and
proud, and sorry and humbled am I, a'in ane and the same instant, to see
my bairn ganging to testify for the truth gloriously with his mouth in
council, as he did with his weapon in the field!"

"Whisht, whisht, mither!" cried Cuddie impatiently. "Odd, ye daft wife,
is this a time to speak o' thae things? I tell ye I'll testify naething
either ae gate or another. I hae spoken to Mr Poundtext, and I'll tak the
declaration, or whate'er they ca'it, and we're a' to win free off if we
do that--he's gotten life for himsell and a' his folk, and that's a
minister for my siller; I like nane o' your sermons that end in a psalm
at the Grassmarket." [Note: Then the place of public execution.]

"O, Cuddie, man, laith wad I be they suld hurt ye," said old Mause,
divided grievously between the safety of her son's soul and that of his
body; "but mind, my bonny bairn, ye hae battled for the faith, and dinna
let the dread o' losing creature-comforts withdraw ye frae the gude
fight."

"Hout tout, mither," replied Cuddie, "I hae fought e'en ower muckle
already, and, to speak plain, I'm wearied o'the trade. I hae swaggered
wi' a' thae arms, and muskets, and pistols, buffcoats, and bandoliers,
lang eneugh, and I like the pleughpaidle a hantle better. I ken naething
suld gar a man fight, (that's to say, when he's no angry,) by and
out-taken the dread o'being hanged or killed if he turns back."

"But, my dear Cuddie," continued the persevering Mause, "your bridal
garment--Oh, hinny, dinna sully the marriage garment!"

"Awa, awa, mither," replied. Cuddie; "dinna ye see the folks waiting for
me?--Never fear me--I ken how to turn this far better than ye do--for
ye're bleezing awa about marriage, and the job is how we are to win by
hanging."

So saying, he extricated himself out of his mother's embraces, and
requested the soldiers who took him in charge to conduct him to the place
of examination without delay. He had been already preceded by Claverhouse
and Morton.



CHAPTER XV.

                    My native land, good night!
                                        Lord Byron.

The Privy Council of Scotland, in whom the practice since the union of
the crowns vested great judicial powers, as well as the general
superintendence of the executive department, was met in the ancient dark
Gothic room, adjoining to the House of Parliament in Edinburgh, when
General Grahame entered and took his place amongst the members at the
council table.

"You have brought us a leash of game to-day, General," said a nobleman of
high place amongst them. "Here is a craven to confess--a cock of the game
to stand at bay--and what shall I call the third, General?"

"Without further metaphor, I will entreat your Grace to call him a person
in whom I am specially interested," replied Claverhouse.

"And a whig into the bargain?" said the nobleman, lolling out a tongue
which was at all times too big for his mouth, and accommodating his
coarse features to a sneer, to which they seemed to be familiar.

"Yes, please your Grace, a whig; as your Grace was in 1641," replied
Claverhouse, with his usual appearance of imperturbable civility.

"He has you there, I think, my Lord Duke," said one of the Privy
Councillors.

"Ay, ay," returned the Duke, laughing, "there's no speaking to him since
Drumclog--but come, bring in the prisoners--and do you, Mr Clerk, read
the record."

The clerk read forth a bond, in which General Grahame of Claverhouse and
Lord Evandale entered themselves securities, that Henry Morton, younger
of Milnwood, should go abroad and remain in foreign parts, until his
Majesty's pleasure was further known, in respect of the said Henry
Morton's accession to the late rebellion, and that under penalty of life
and limb to the said Henry Morton, and of ten thousand marks to each of
his securities.

"Do you accept of the King's mercy upon these terms, Mr Morton?" said the
Duke of Lauderdale, who presided in the Council.

"I have no other choice, my lord," replied Morton.

"Then subscribe your name in the record."

Morton did so without reply, conscious that, in the circumstances of his
case, it was impossible for him to have escaped more easily. Macbriar,
who was at the same instant brought to the foot of the council-table,
bound upon a chair, for his weakness prevented him from standing, beheld
Morton in the act of what he accounted apostasy.

"He hath summed his defection by owning the carnal power of the tyrant!"
he exclaimed, with a deep groan--"A fallen star!--a fallen star!"

"Hold your peace, sir," said the Duke, "and keep your ain breath to cool
your ain porridge--ye'll find them scalding hot, I promise you.--Call in
the other fellow, who has some common sense. One sheep will leap the
ditch when another goes first."

Cuddie was introduced unbound, but under the guard of two halberdiers,
and placed beside Macbriar at the foot of the table. The poor fellow cast
a piteous look around him, in which were mingled awe for the great men in
whose presence he stood, and compassion for his fellow-sufferers, with no
small fear of the personal consequences which impended over himself. He
made his clownish obeisances with a double portion of reverence, and then
awaited the opening of the awful scene.

"Were you at the battle of Bothwell Brigg?" was the first question which
was thundered in his ears.

Cuddie meditated a denial, but had sense enough, upon reflection, to
discover that the truth would be too strong for him; so he replied, with
true Caledonian indirectness of response, "I'll no say but it may be
possible that I might hae been there."

"Answer directly, you knave--yes, or no?--You know you were there."

"It's no for me to contradict your Lordship's Grace's honour," said
Cuddie.

"Once more, sir, were you there?--yes, or no?" said the Duke,
impatiently.

"Dear stir," again replied Cuddie, "how can ane mind preceesely where
they hae been a' the days o' their life?"

"Speak out, you scoundrel," said General Dalzell, "or I'll dash your
teeth out with my dudgeonhaft!--Do you think we can stand here all day to
be turning and dodging with you, like greyhounds after a hare?" [Note:
The General is said to have struck one of the captive whigs, when under
examination, with the hilt of his sabre, so that the blood gushed out.
The provocation for this unmanly violence was, that the prisoner had
called the fierce veteran "a Muscovy beast, who used to roast men."
Dalzell had been long in the Russian service, which in those days was no
school of humanity.]

"Aweel, then," said Cuddie, "since naething else will please ye, write
down that I cannot deny but I was there."

"Well, sir," said the Duke, "and do you think that the rising upon that
occasion was rebellion or not?"

"I'm no just free to gie my opinion, stir," said the cautious captive,
"on what might cost my neck; but I doubt it will be very little better."

"Better than what?"

"Just than rebellion, as your honour ca's it," replied Cuddie.

"Well, sir, that's speaking to the purpose," replied his Grace. "And are
you content to accept of the King's pardon for your guilt as a rebel, and
to keep the church, and pray for the King?"

"Blithely, stir," answered the unscrupulous Cuddie; "and drink his health
into the bargain, when the ale's gude."

"Egad," said the Duke, "this is a hearty cock.--What brought you into
such a scrape, mine honest friend?"

"Just ill example, stir," replied the prisoner, "and a daft auld jaud of
a mither, wi' reverence to your Grace's honour."

"Why, God-a-mercy, my friend," replied the Duke, "take care of bad advice
another time; I think you are not likely to commit treason on your own
score.--Make out his free pardon, and bring forward the rogue in the
chair."

Macbriar was then moved forward to the post of examination.

"Were you at the battle of Bothwell Bridge?" was, in like manner,
demanded of him.

"I was," answered the prisoner, in a bold and resolute tone.

"Were you armed?"

"I was not--I went in my calling as a preacher of God's word, to
encourage them that drew the sword in His cause."

"In other words, to aid and abet the rebels?" said the Duke.

"Thou hast spoken it," replied the prisoner.

"Well, then," continued the interrogator, "let us know if you saw John
Balfour of Burley among the party?--I presume you know him?"

"I bless God that I do know him," replied Macbriar; "he is a zealous and
a sincere Christian."

"And when and where did you last see this pious personage?" was the query
which immediately followed.

"I am here to answer for myself," said Macbriar, in the same dauntless
manner, "and not to endanger others."

"We shall know," said Dalzell, "how to make you find your tongue."

"If you can make him fancy himself in a conventicle," answered
Lauderdale, "he will find it without you.--Come, laddie, speak while the
play is good--you're too young to bear the burden will be laid on you
else."

"I defy you," retorted Macbriar. "This has not been the first of my
imprisonments or of my sufferings; and, young as I may be, I have lived
long enough to know how to die when I am called upon."

"Ay, but there are some things which must go before an easy death, if you
continue obstinate," said Lauderdale, and rung a small silver bell which
was placed before him on the table.

A dark crimson curtain, which covered a sort of niche, or Gothic recess
in the wall, rose at the signal, and displayed the public executioner, a
tall, grim, and hideous man, having an oaken table before him, on which
lay thumb-screws, and an iron case, called the Scottish boot, used in
those tyrannical days to torture accused persons. Morton, who was
unprepared for this ghastly apparition, started when the curtain arose,
but Macbriar's nerves were more firm. He gazed upon the horrible
apparatus with much composure; and if a touch of nature called the blood
from his cheek for a second, resolution sent it back to his brow with
greater energy.

"Do you know who that man is?" said Lauderdale, in a low, stern voice,
almost sinking into a whisper.

"He is, I suppose," replied Macbriar, "the infamous executioner of your
bloodthirsty commands upon the persons of God's people. He and you are
equally beneath my regard; and, I bless God, I no more fear what he can
inflict than what you can command. Flesh and blood may shrink under the
sufferings you can doom me to, and poor frail nature may shed tears, or
send forth cries; but I trust my soul is anchored firmly on the rock of
ages."

"Do your duty," said the Duke to the executioner.

The fellow advanced, and asked, with a harsh and discordant voice, upon
which of the prisoner's limbs he should first employ his engine.

"Let him choose for himself," said the Duke; "I should like to oblige him
in any thing that is reasonable."

"Since you leave it to me," said the prisoner, stretching forth his right
leg, "take the best--I willingly bestow it in the cause for which I
suffer." [Note: This was the reply actually made by James Mitchell when
subjected to the torture of the boot, for an attempt to assassinate
Archbishop Sharpe.]

The executioner, with the help of his assistants, enclosed the leg and
knee within the tight iron boot, or case, and then placing a wedge of the
same metal between the knee and the edge of the machine, took a mallet in
his hand, and stood waiting for farther orders. A well-dressed man, by
profession a surgeon, placed himself by the other side of the prisoner's
chair, bared the prisoner's arm, and applied his thumb to the pulse in
order to regulate the torture according to the strength of the patient.
When these preparations were made, the President of the Council repeated
with the same stern voice the question, "When and where did you last see
John Balfour of Burley?"

The prisoner, instead of replying to him, turned his eyes to heaven as if
imploring Divine strength, and muttered a few words, of which the last
were distinctly audible, "Thou hast said thy people shall be willing in
the day of thy power!"

The Duke of Lauderdale glanced his eye around the council as if to
collect their suffrages, and, judging from their mute signs, gave on his
own part a nod to the executioner, whose mallet instantly descended on
the wedge, and, forcing it between the knee and the iron boot, occasioned
the most exquisite pain, as was evident from the flush which instantly
took place on the brow and on the cheeks of the sufferer. The fellow then
again raised his weapon, and stood prepared to give a second blow.

"Will you yet say," repeated the Duke of Lauderdale, "where and when you
last parted from Balfour of Burley?"

"You have my answer," said the sufferer resolutely, and the second blow
fell. The third and fourth succeeded; but at the fifth, when a larger
wedge had been introduced, the prisoner set up a scream of agony.

Morton, whose blood boiled within him at witnessing such cruelty, could
bear no longer, and, although unarmed and himself in great danger, was
springing forward, when Claverhouse, who observed his emotion, withheld
him by force, laying one hand on his arm and the other on his mouth,
while he whispered, "For God's sake, think where you are!"

This movement, fortunately for him, was observed by no other of the
councillors, whose attention was engaged with the dreadful scene before
them.

"He is gone," said the surgeon--"he has fainted, my Lords, and human
nature can endure no more."

"Release him," said the Duke; and added, turning to Dalzell, "He will
make an old proverb good, for he'll scarce ride to-day, though he has had
his boots on. I suppose we must finish with him?"

"Ay, dispatch his sentence, and have done with him; we have plenty of
drudgery behind."

Strong waters and essences were busily employed to recall the senses of
the unfortunate captive; and, when his first faint gasps intimated a
return of sensation, the Duke pronounced sentence of death upon him, as a
traitor taken in the act of open rebellion, and adjudged him to be
carried from the bar to the common place of execution, and there hanged
by the neck; his head and hands to be stricken off after death, and
disposed of according to the pleasure of the Council, [Note: The pleasure
of the Council respecting the relics of their victims was often as savage
as the rest of their conduct. The heads of the preachers were frequently
exposed on pikes between their two hands, the palms displayed as in the
attitude of prayer. When the celebrated Richard Cameron's head was
exposed in this manner, a spectator bore testimony to it as that of one
who lived praying and preaching, and died praying and fighting.] and all
and sundry his movable goods and gear escheat and inbrought to his
Majesty's use.

"Doomster," he continued, "repeat the sentence to the prisoner."

The office of Doomster was in those days, and till a much later period,
held by the executioner in commendam, with his ordinary functions. [Note:
See a note on the subject of this office in the Heart of Mid-Lothian.]
The duty consisted in reciting to the unhappy criminal the sentence of
the law as pronounced by the judge, which acquired an additional and
horrid emphasis from the recollection, that the hateful personage by whom
it was uttered was to be the agent of the cruelties he denounced.
Macbriar had scarce understood the purport of the words as first
pronounced by the Lord President of the Council; but he was sufficiently
recovered to listen and to reply to the sentence when uttered by the
harsh and odious voice of the ruffian who was to execute it, and at the
last awful words, "And this I pronounce for doom," he answered boldly--"
My Lords, I thank you for the only favour I looked for, or would accept
at your hands, namely, that you have sent the crushed and maimed carcass,
which has this day sustained your cruelty, to this hasty end. It were
indeed little to me whether I perish on the gallows or in the
prison-house; but if death, following close on what I have this day
suffered, had found me in my cell of darkness and bondage, many might
have lost the sight how a Christian man can suffer in the good cause. For
the rest, I forgive you, my Lords, for what you have appointed and I have
sustained--And why should I not?--Ye send me to a happy exchange--to the
company of angels and the spirits of the just, for that of frail dust
and ashes--Ye send me from darkness into day--from mortality to
immortality--and, in a word, from earth to heaven!--If the thanks,
therefore, and pardon of a dying man can do you good, take them at my
hand, and may your last moments be as happy as mine!"

As he spoke thus, with a countenance radiant with joy and triumph, he was
withdrawn by those who had brought him into the apartment, and executed
within half an hour, dying with the same enthusiastic firmness which his
whole life had evinced.

The Council broke up, and Morton found himself again in the carriage with
General Grahame.

"Marvellous firmness and gallantry!" said Morton, as he reflected upon
Macbriar's conduct; "what a pity it is that with such self-devotion and
heroism should have been mingled the fiercer features of his sect!"

"You mean," said Claverhouse, "his resolution to condemn you to death?--
To that he would have reconciled himself by a single text; for example,
'And Phinehas arose and executed judgment,' or something to the same
purpose.--But wot ye where you are now bound, Mr Morton?"

"We are on the road to Leith, I observe," answered Morton. "Can I not be
permitted to see my friends ere I leave my native land?"

"Your uncle," replied Grahame, "has been spoken to, and declines visiting
you. The good gentleman is terrified, and not without some reason, that
the crime of your treason may extend itself over his lands and
tenements--he sends you, however, his blessing, and a small sum of money.
Lord Evandale continues extremely indisposed. Major Bellenden is at
Tillietudlem putting matters in order. The scoundrels have made great
havoc there with Lady Margaret's muniments of antiquity, and have
desecrated and destroyed what the good lady called the Throne of his most
Sacred Majesty. Is there any one else whom you would wish to see?"

Morton sighed deeply as he answered, "No--it would avail nothing.--But my
preparations,--small as they are, some must be necessary."

"They are all ready for you," said the General. "Lord Evandale has
anticipated all you wish. Here is a packet from him with letters of
recommendation for the court of the Stadtholder Prince of Orange, to
which I have added one or two. I made my first campaigns under him, and
first saw fire at the battle of Seneff. [Note: August 1674. Claverhouse
greatly distinguished himself in this action, and was made Captain.]
There are also bills of exchange for your immediate wants, and more will
be sent when you require it."

Morton heard all this and received the parcel with an astounded and
confused look, so sudden was the execution of the sentence of banishment.

"And my servant?" he said.

"He shall be taken care of, and replaced, if it be practicable, in the
service of Lady Margaret Bellenden; I think he will hardly neglect the
parade of the feudal retainers, or go a-whigging a second time.--But here
we are upon the quay, and the boat waits you."

It was even as Claverhouse said. A boat waited for Captain Morton, with
the trunks and baggage belonging to his rank. Claverhouse shook him by
the hand, and wished him good fortune, and a happy return to Scotland in
quieter times.

"I shall never forget," he said, "the gallantry of your behaviour to my
friend Evandale, in circumstances when many men would have sought to rid
him out of their way."

Another friendly pressure, and they parted. As Morton descended the pier
to get into the boat, a hand placed in his a letter folded up in very
small space. He looked round. The person who gave it seemed much muffled
up; he pressed his finger upon his lip, and then disappeared among the
crowd. The incident awakened Morton's curiosity; and when he found
himself on board of a vessel bound for Rotterdam, and saw all his
companions of the voyage busy making their own arrangements, he took an
opportunity to open the billet thus mysteriously thrust upon him. It ran
thus:--"Thy courage on the fatal day when Israel fled before his
enemies, hath, in some measure, atoned for thy unhappy owning of the
Erastian interest. These are not days for Ephraim to strive with Israel.
--I know thy heart is with the daughter of the stranger. But turn from
that folly; for in exile, and in flight, and even in death itself, shall
my hand be heavy against that bloody and malignant house, and Providence
hath given me the means of meting unto them with their own measure of
ruin and confiscation. The resistance of their stronghold was the main
cause of our being scattered at Bothwell Bridge, and I have bound it upon
my soul to visit it upon them. Wherefore, think of her no more, but join
with our brethren in banishment, whose hearts are still towards this
miserable land to save and to relieve her. There is an honest remnant in
Holland whose eyes are looking out for deliverance. Join thyself unto
them like the true son of the stout and worthy Silas Morton, and thou
wilt have good acceptance among them for his sake and for thine own
working. Shouldst thou be found worthy again to labour in the vineyard,
thou wilt at all times hear of my in-comings and out-goings, by enquiring
after Quintin Mackell of Irongray, at the house of that singular
Christian woman, Bessie Maclure, near to the place called the Howff,
where Niel Blane entertaineth guests. So much from him who hopes to hear
again from thee in brotherhood, resisting unto blood, and striving
against sin. Meanwhile, possess thyself in patience. Keep thy sword
girded, and thy lamp burning, as one that wakes in the night; for He who
shall judge the Mount of Esau, and shall make false professors as straw,
and malignants as stubble, will come in the fourth watch with garments
dyed in blood, and the house of Jacob shall be for spoil, and the house
of Joseph for fire. I am he that hath written it, whose hand hath been on
the mighty in the waste field."

This extraordinary letter was subscribed J. B. of B.; but the signature
of these initials was not necessary for pointing out to Morton that it
could come from no other than Burley. It gave him new occasion to admire
the indomitable spirit of this man, who, with art equal to his courage
and obstinacy, was even now endeavouring to re-establish the web of
conspiracy which had been so lately torn to pieces. But he felt no sort
of desire, in the present moment, to sustain a correspondence which must
be perilous, or to renew an association, which, in so many ways, had been
nearly fatal to him. The threats which Burley held out against the family
of Bellenden, he considered as a mere expression of his spleen on account
of their defence of Tillietudlem; and nothing seemed less likely than
that, at the very moment of their party being victorious, their fugitive
and distressed adversary could exercise the least influence over their
fortunes.

Morton, however, hesitated for an instant, whether he should not send
the Major or Lord Evandale intimation of Burley's threats. Upon
consideration, he thought he could not do so without betraying his
confidential correspondence; for to warn them of his menaces would have
served little purpose, unless he had given them a clew to prevent them,
by apprehending his person; while, by doing so, he deemed he should
commit an ungenerous breach of trust to remedy an evil which seemed
almost imaginary. Upon mature consideration, therefore, he tore the
letter, having first made a memorandum of the name and place where the
writer was to be heard of, and threw the fragments into the sea.

While Morton was thus employed the vessel was unmoored, and the white
sails swelled out before a favourable north-west wind. The ship leaned
her side to the gale, and went roaring through the waves, leaving a long
and rippling furrow to track her course. The city and port from which he
had sailed became undistinguishable in the distance; the hills by which
they were surrounded melted finally into the blue sky, and Morton was
separated for several years from the land of his nativity.



CHAPTER XVI.

                    Whom does time gallop withal?
                                        As You Like It.

It is fortunate for tale-tellers that they are not tied down like
theatrical writers to the unities of time and place, but may conduct
their personages to Athens and Thebes at their pleasure, and bring them
back at their convenience. Time, to use Rosalind's simile, has hitherto
paced with the hero of our tale; for betwixt Morton's first appearance as
a competitor for the popinjay and his final departure for Holland hardly
two months elapsed. Years, however, glided away ere we find it possible
to resume the thread of our narrative, and Time must be held to have
galloped over the interval. Craving, therefore, the privilege of my cast,
I entreat the reader's attention to the continuation of the narrative, as
it starts from a new era, being the year immediately subsequent to the
British Revolution.

Scotland had just begun to repose from the convulsion occasioned by a
change of dynasty, and, through the prudent tolerance of King William,
had narrowly escaped the horrors of a protracted civil war. Agriculture
began to revive, and men, whose minds had been disturbed by the violent
political concussions, and the general change of government in Church and
State, had begun to recover their ordinary temper, and to give the usual
attention to their own private affairs, in lieu of discussing those of
the public. The Highlanders alone resisted the newly established order of
things, and were in arms in a considerable body under the Viscount of
Dundee, whom our readers have hitherto known by the name of Grahame of
Claverhouse. But the usual state of the Highlands was so unruly that
their being more or less disturbed was not supposed greatly to affect the
general tranquillity of the country, so long as their disorders were
confined within their own frontiers. In the Lowlands, the Jacobites, now
the undermost party, had ceased to expect any immediate advantage by open
resistance, and were, in their turn, driven to hold private meetings, and
form associations for mutual defence, which the government termed
treason, while they cried out persecution.

The triumphant Whigs, while they re-established Presbytery as the
national religion, and assigned to the General Assemblies of the Kirk
their natural influence, were very far from going the lengths which the
Cameronians and more extravagant portion of the nonconformists under
Charles and James loudly demanded. They would listen to no proposal for
re-establishing the Solemn League and Covenant; and those who had
expected to find in King William a zealous Covenanted Monarch, were
grievously disappointed when he intimated, with the phlegm peculiar to
his country, his intention to tolerate all forms of religion which were
consistent with the safety of the State. The principles of indulgence
thus espoused and gloried in by the Government gave great offence to the
more violent party, who condemned them as diametrically contrary to
Scripture,--for which narrow-spirited doctrine they cited various texts,
all, as it may well be supposed, detached from their context, and most of
them derived from the charges given to the Jews in the Old Testament
dispensation to extirpate idolaters out of the Promised Land. They also
murmured highly against the influence assumed by secular persons in
exercising the rights of patronage, which they termed a rape upon the
chastity of the Church. They censured and condemned as Erastian many of
the measures by which Government after the Revolution showed an
inclination to interfere with the management of the Church, and they
positively refused to take the oath of allegiance to King William and
Queen Mary until they should, on their part, have sworn to the Solemn
League--and Covenant, the Magna Charta, as they termed it, of the
Presbyterian Church.

This party, therefore, remained grumbling and dissatisfied, and made
repeated declarations against defections and causes of wrath, which, had
they been prosecuted as in the two former reigns, would have led to the
same consequence of open rebellion. But as the murmurers were allowed to
hold their meetings uninterrupted, and to testify as much as they pleased
against Socinianism, Erastianism, and all the compliances and defections
of the time, their zeal, unfanned by persecution, died gradually away,
their numbers became diminished, and they sunk into the scattered remnant
of serious, scrupulous, and harmless enthusiasts, of whom Old Mortality,
whose legends have afforded the groundwork of my tale, may be taken as no
bad representative. But in the years which immediately succeeded the
Revolution, the Cameronians continued a sect strong in numbers and
vehement in their political opinions, whom Government wished to
discourage, while they prudently temporised with them. These men formed
one violent party in the State; and the Episcopalian and Jacobite
interest, notwithstanding their ancient and national animosity, yet
repeatedly endeavoured to intrigue among them, and avail themselves of
their discontents, to obtain their assistance in recalling the Stewart
family. The Revolutionary Government in the mean while, was supported by
the great bulk of the Lowland interest, who were chiefly disposed to a
moderate Presbytery, and formed in a great measure the party who in the
former oppressive reigns were stigmatized by the Cameronians for having
exercised that form of worship under the declaration of Indulgence issued
by Charles II. Such was the state of parties in Scotland immediately
subsequent to the Revolution.

It was on a delightful summer evening that a stranger, well mounted, and
having the appearance of a military man of rank, rode down a winding
descent which terminated in view of the romantic ruins of Bothwell Castle
and the river Clyde, which winds so beautifully between rocks and woods
to sweep around the towers formerly built by Aymer de Valence. Bothwell
Bridge was at a little distance, and also in sight. The opposite field,
once the scene of slaughter and conflict, now lay as placid and quiet as
the surface of a summer lake. The trees and bushes, which grew around in
romantic variety of shade, were hardly seen to stir under the influence
of the evening breeze. The very murmur of the river seemed to soften
itself into unison with the stillness of the scene around.

The path through which the traveller descended was occasionally shaded by
detached trees of great size, and elsewhere by the hedges and boughs of
flourishing orchards, now laden with summer fruits.

The nearest object of consequence was a farmhouse, or, it might be, the
abode of a small proprietor, situated on the side of a sunny bank which
was covered by apple and pear trees. At the foot of the path which led up
to this modest mansion was a small cottage, pretty much in the situation
of a porter's lodge, though obviously not designed for such a purpose.
The hut seemed comfortable, and more neatly arranged than is usual in
Scotland. It had its little garden, where some fruit-trees and bushes
were mingled with kitchen herbs; a cow and six sheep fed in a paddock
hard by; the cock strutted and crowed, and summoned his family around him
before the door; a heap of brushwood and turf, neatly made up, indicated
that the winter fuel was provided; and the thin blue smoke which ascended
from the straw-bound chimney, and winded slowly out from among the green
trees, showed that the evening meal was in the act of being made ready.
To complete the little scene of rural peace and comfort, a girl of about
five years old was fetching water in a pitcher from a beautiful fountain
of the purest transparency, which bubbled up at the root of a decayed old
oak-tree about twenty yards from the end of the cottage.

The stranger reined up his horse and called to the little nymph, desiring
to know the way to Fairy Knowe. The child set down her water-pitcher,
hardly understanding what was said to her, put her fair flaxen hair apart
on her brows, and opened her round blue eyes with the wondering "What's
your wull?" which is usually a peasant's first answer, if it can be
called one, to all questions whatever.

"I wish to know the way to Fairy Knowe."

"Mammie, mammie," exclaimed the little rustic, running towards the door
of the hut, "come out and speak to the gentleman."

Her mother appeared,--a handsome young country-woman, to whose features,
originally sly and espiegle in expression, matrimony had given that
decent matronly air which peculiarly marks the peasant's wife of
Scotland. She had an infant in one arm, and with the other she smoothed
down her apron, to which hung a chubby child of two years old. The elder
girl, whom the traveller had first seen, fell back behind her mother as
soon as she appeared, and kept that station, occasionally peeping out to
look at the stranger.

"What was your pleasure, sir?" said the woman, with an air of respectful
breeding not quite common in her rank of life, but without anything
resembling forwardness.

The stranger looked at her with great earnestness for a moment, and then
replied, "I am seeking a place called Fairy Knowe, and a man called
Cuthbert Headrigg. You can probably direct me to him?"

"It's my gudeman, sir," said the young woman, with a smile of welcome.
"Will you alight, sir, and come into our puir dwelling?--Cuddie,
Cuddie,"--a white-headed rogue of four years appeared at the door of the
hut--"rin awa, my bonny man, and tell your father a gentleman wants him.
Or, stay,--Jenny, ye'll hae mair sense: rin ye awa and tell him; he's
down at the Four-acres Park.--Winna ye light down and bide a blink, sir?
Or would ye take a mouthfu' o' bread and cheese, or a drink o' ale, till
our gudeman comes. It's gude ale, though I shouldna say sae that brews
it; but ploughmanlads work hard, and maun hae something to keep their
hearts abune by ordinar, sae I aye pit a gude gowpin o' maut to the
browst."

As the stranger declined her courteous offers, Cuddie, the reader's old
acquaintance, made his appearance in person. His countenance still
presented the same mixture of apparent dulness with occasional sparkles,
which indicated the craft so often found in the clouted shoe. He looked
on the rider as on one whom he never had before seen, and, like his
daughter and wife, opened the conversation with the regular query,
"What's your wull wi' me, sir?"

"I have a curiosity to ask some questions about this country," said the
traveller, "and I was directed to you as an intelligent man who can
answer them."

"Nae doubt, sir," said Cuddie, after a moment's hesitation. "But I would
first like to ken what sort of questions they are. I hae had sae mony
questions speered at me in my day, and in sic queer ways, that if ye kend
a', ye wadna wonder at my jalousing a' thing about them. My mother gar 'd
me learn the Single Carritch, whilk was a great vex; then I behoved to
learn about my godfathers and godmothers to please the auld leddy; and
whiles I jumbled them thegether and pleased nane o' them; and when I cam
to man's yestate, cam another kind o' questioning in fashion that I liked
waur than Effectual Calling; and the 'did promise and vow' of the tape
were yokit to the end o' the tother. Sae ye see, sir, I aye like to hear
questions asked befor I answer them."

"You have nothing to apprehend from mine, my good friend; they only
relate to the state of the country."

"Country?" replied Cuddie; "ou, the country's weel eneugh, an it werena
that dour deevil, Claver'se (they ca' him Dundee now), that's stirring
about yet in the Highlands, they say, wi' a' the Donalds and Duncans and
Dugalds, that ever wore bottomless breeks, driving about wi' him, to set
things asteer again, now we hae gotten them a' reasonably weel settled.
But Mackay will pit him down, there's little doubt o' that; he'll gie him
his fairing, I'll be caution for it."

"What makes you so positive of that, my friend?" asked the horseman.

"I heard it wi' my ain lugs," answered Cuddie, foretauld to him by a man
that had been three hours stane dead, and came back to this earth again
just to tell him his mind. It was at a place they ca' Drumshinnel."

"Indeed?" said the stranger. "I can hardly believe you, my friend."

"Ye might ask my mither, then, if she were in life," said Cuddie; "it was
her explained it a' to me, for I thought the man had only been wounded.
At ony rate, he spake of the casting out of the Stewarts by their very
names, and the vengeance that was brewing for Claver'se and his dragoons.
They ca'd the man Habakkuk Mucklewrath; his brain was a wee ajee, but he
was a braw preacher for a' that."

"You seem," said the stranger, "to live in a rich and peaceful country."

"It's no to compleen o', sir, an we get the crap weel in," quoth Cuddie;
"but if ye had seen the blude rinnin' as fast on the tap o' that brigg
yonder as ever the water ran below it, ye wadna hae thought it sae bonnie
a spectacle."

"You mean the battle some years since? I was waiting upon Monmouth that
morning, my good friend, and did see some part of the action," said the
stranger.

"Then ye saw a bonny stour," said Cuddie, "that sail serve me for
fighting a' the days o' my life. I judged ye wad be a trooper, by your
red scarlet lace-coat and your looped hat."

"And which side were you upon, my friend?" continued the inquisitive
stranger.

"Aha, lad?" retorted Cuddie, with a knowing look, or what he designed for
such,--"there 's nae use in telling that, unless I kend wha was asking
me."

"I commend your prudence, but it is unnecessary; I know you acted on that
occasion as servant to Henry Morton."

"Ay!" said Cuddie, in surprise, "how came ye by that secret? No that I
need care a bodee about it, for the sun's on our side o' the hedge now. I
wish my master were living to get a blink o't"

"And what became of him?" said the rider.

"He was lost in the vessel gaun to that weary Holland,--clean lost; and
a' body perished, and my poor master amang them. Neither man nor mouse
was ever heard o' mair." Then Cuddie uttered a groan.

"You had some regard for him, then?" continued the stranger.

"How could I help it? His face was made of a fiddle, as they say, for a'
body that looked on him liked him. And a braw soldier he was. Oh, an ye
had but seen him down at the brigg there, fleeing about like a fleeing
dragon to gar folk fight that had unto little will till 't! There was he
and that sour Whigamore they ca'd Burley: if twa men could hae won a
field, we wadna hae gotten our skins paid that day."

"You mention Burley: do you know if he yet lives?"

"I kenna muckle about him. Folk say he was abroad, and our sufferers wad
hold no communion wi' him, because o' his having murdered the archbishop.
Sae he cam hame ten times dourer than ever, and broke aff wi' mony o' the
Presbyterians; and at this last coming of the Prince of Orange he could
get nae countenance nor command for fear of his deevilish temper, and he
hasna been heard of since; only some folk say that pride and anger hae
driven him clean wud."

"And--and," said the traveller, after considerable hesitation,--"do you
know anything of Lord Evan dale?"

"Div I ken onything o' Lord Evandale? Div I no? Is not my young leddy up
by yonder at the house, that's as gude as married to him?"

"And are they not married, then?" said the rider, hastily.

"No, only what they ca' betrothed,--me and my wife were witnesses. It's
no mony months bypast; it was a lang courtship,--few folk kend the reason
by Jenny and mysell. But will ye no light down? I downa bide to see ye
sitting up there, and the clouds are casting up thick in the west ower
Glasgow-ward, and maist skeily folk think that bodes rain."

In fact, a deep black cloud had already surmounted the setting sun; a few
large drops of rain fell, and the murmurs of distant thunder were heard.

"The deil's in this man," said Cuddie to himself; "I wish he would either
light aff or ride on, that he may quarter himsell in Hamilton or the
shower begin."

But the rider sate motionless on his horse for two or three moments after
his last question, like one exhausted by some uncommon effort. At length,
recovering himself as if with a sudden and painful effort, he asked
Cuddie "if Lady Margaret Bellenden still lived."

"She does," replied Cuddie, "but in a very sma' way. They hae been a sad
changed family since thae rough times began; they hae suffered eneugh
first and last,--and to lose the auld Tower and a' the bonny barony and
the holms that I hae pleughed sae often, and the Mains, and my kale-yard,
that I suld hae gotten back again, and a' for naething, as 'a body may
say, but just the want o' some bits of sheep-skin that were lost in the
confusion of the taking of Tillietudlem."

"I have heard something of this," said the stranger, deepening his voice
and averting his head. "I have some interest in the family, and would
willingly help them if I could. Can you give me a bed in your house
to-night, my friend?"

"It's but a corner of a place, sir," said Cuddie, "but we'se try, rather
than ye suld ride on in the rain and thunner; for, to be free wi' ye,
sir, I think ye seem no that ower weel."

"I am liable to a dizziness," said the stranger, but it will soon wear
off."

"I ken we can gie ye a decent supper, sir," said Cuddie; "and we'll see
about a bed as weel as we can. We wad be laith a stranger suld lack what
we have, though we are jimply provided for in beds rather; for Jenny has
sae mony bairns (God bless them and her) that troth I maun speak to Lord
Evandale to gie us a bit eik, or outshot o' some sort, to the onstead."

"I shall be easily accommodated," said the stranger, as he entered the
house.

"And ye may rely on your naig being weel sorted," said Cuddie; "I ken
weel what belangs to suppering a horse, and this is a very gude ane."
Cuddie took the horse to the little cow-house, and called to his wife to
attend in the mean while to the stranger's accommodation. The officer
entered, and threw himself on a settle at some distance from the fire,
and carefully turning his back to the little lattice window. Jenny, or
Mrs. Headrigg, if the reader pleases, requested him to lay aside the
cloak, belt, and flapped hat which he wore upon his journey, but he
excused himself under pretence of feeling cold, and, to divert the time
till Cuddie's return, he entered into some chat with the children,
carefully avoiding, during the interval, the inquisitive glances of his
landlady.



CHAPTER XVII.

                    What tragic tears bedim the eye!
                    What deaths we suffer ere we die!
                    Our broken friendships we deplore,
                    And loves of youth that are no more.
                                        LOGAN.

Cuddie soon returned, assuring the stranger, with a cheerful voice, "that
the horse was properly suppered up, and that the gudewife should make a
bed up for him at the house, mair purpose-like and comfortable than the
like o' them could gie him."

"Are the family at the house?" said the stranger, with an interrupted and
broken voice.

"No, stir, they're awa wi' a' the servants,--they keep only twa nowadays,
and my gudewife there has the keys and the charge, though she's no a
fee'd servant. She has been born and bred in the family, and has a' trust
and management. If they were there, we behovedna to take sic freedom
without their order; but when they are awa, they will be weel pleased we
serve a stranger gentleman. Miss Bellenden wad help a' the haill warld,
an her power were as gude as her will; and her grandmother, Leddy
Margaret, has an unto respect for the gentry, and she's no ill to the
poor bodies neither.--And now, wife, what for are ye no getting forrit
wi' the sowens?"

"Never mind, lad," rejoined Jenny, "ye sall hae them in gude time; I ken
weel that ye like your brose het."

Cuddie fidgeted and laughed with a peculiar expression of intelligence at
this repartee, which was followed by a dialogue of little consequence
betwixt his wife and him, in which the stranger took no share. At length
he suddenly interrupted them by the question: "Can you tell me when Lord
Evandale's marriage takes place?"

"Very soon, we expect," answered Jenny, before it was possible for her
husband to reply; "it wad hae been ower afore now, but for the death o'
auld Major Bellenden."

"The excellent old man!" said the stranger; "I heard at Edinburgh he was
no more. Was he long ill?"

"He couldna be said to haud up his head after his brother's wife and his
niece were turned out o' their ain house; and he had himsell sair
borrowing siller to stand the law,--but it was in the latter end o' King
James's days; and Basil Olifant, who claimed the estate, turned a papist
to please the managers, and then naething was to be refused him. Sae the
law gaed again the leddies at last, after they had fought a weary sort o'
years about it; and, as I said before, the major ne'er held up his head
again. And then cam the pitting awa o' the Stewart line; and, though he
had but little reason to like them, he couldna brook that, and it clean
broke the heart o' him; and creditors cam to Charnwood and cleaned out a'
that was there,--he was never rich, the gude auld man, for he dow'd na
see onybody want."

"He was indeed," said the stranger, with a faltering voice, "an admirable
man,--that is, I have heard that he was so. So the ladies were left
without fortune, as well as without a protector?"

"They will neither want the tane nor the tother while Lord Evandale
lives," said Jenny; "he has been a true friend in their griefs. E'en to
the house they live in is his lordship's; and never man, as my auld
gudemother used to say, since the days of the Patriarch Jacob, served sae
lang and sae sair for a wife as gude Lord Evandale has dune."

"And why," said the stranger, with a voice that quivered with emotion,
"why was he not sooner rewarded by the object of his attachment?"

"There was the lawsuit to be ended," said Jenny readily, "forby many
other family arrangements."

"Na, but," said Cuddie, "there was another reason forby; for the young
leddy--"

"Whisht, hand your tongue, and sup your sowens," said his wife; "I see
the gentleman's far frae weel, and downa eat our coarse supper. I wad
kill him a chicken in an instant."

"There is no occasion," said the stranger; "I shall want only a glass of
water, and to be left alone."

"You'll gie yoursell the trouble then to follow me," said Jenny, lighting
a small lantern, "and I'll show you the way."

Cuddie also proffered his assistance; but his wife reminded him, "That
the bairns would be left to fight thegither, and coup ane anither into
the fire," so that he remained to take charge of the menage.
His wife led the way up a little winding path, which, after threading
some thickets of sweetbrier and honeysuckle, conducted to the back-door
of a small garden. Jenny undid the latch, and they passed through an
old-fashioned flower-garden, with its clipped yew hedges and formal
parterres, to a glass-sashed door, which she opened with a master-key,
and lighting a candle, which she placed upon a small work-table, asked
pardon for leaving him there for a few minutes, until she prepared his
apartment. She did not exceed five minutes in these preparations; but
when she returned, was startled to find that the stranger had sunk
forward with his head upon the table, in what she at first apprehended to
be a swoon. As she advanced to him, however, she could discover by his
short-drawn sobs that it was a paroxysm of mental agony. She prudently
drew back until he raised his head, and then showing herself, without
seeming to have observed his agitation, informed him that his bed was
prepared. The stranger gazed at her a moment, as if to collect the sense
of her words. She repeated them; and only bending his head, as an
indication that he understood her, he entered the apartment, the door of
which she pointed out to him. It was a small bedchamber, used, as she
informed him, by Lord Evandale when a guest at Fairy Knowe, connecting,
on one side, with a little china-cabinet which opened to the garden, and
on the other, with a saloon, from which it was only separated by a thin
wainscot partition. Having wished the stranger better health and good
rest, Jenny descended as speedily as she could to her own mansion.

"Oh, Cuddie!" she exclaimed to her helpmate as she entered, "I doubt
we're ruined folk!"

"How can that be? What's the matter wi' ye?" returned the imperturbed
Cuddie, who was one of those persons who do not easily take alarm at
anything.

"Wha d' ye think yon gentleman is? Oh that ever ye suld hae asked him to
light here!" exclaimed Jenny.

"Why, wha the muckle deil d'ye say he is? There's nae law against
harbouring and intercommunicating now," said Cuddie; "sae, Whig or Tory,
what need we care wha he be?"

"Ay, but it's ane will ding Lord Evandale's marriage ajee yet, if it 's
no the better looked to," said Jenny; "it's Miss Edith's first joe, your
ain auld maister, Cuddie."

"The deil, woman!" exclaimed Cuddie, starting up, "Crow ye that I am
blind? I wad hae kend Mr. Harry Morton amang a hunder."

"Ay, but, Cuddie lad," replied Jenny, "though ye are no blind, ye are no
sae notice-taking as I am."

"Weel, what for needs ye cast that up to me just now; or what did ye see
about the man that was like our Maister Harry?"

"I will tell ye," said Jenny. "I jaloused his keeping his face frae us,
and speaking wi' a madelike voice, sae I e'en tried him wi' some tales o"
lang syne; and when I spake o' the brose, ye ken, he didna just
laugh,--he's ower grave for that nowadays, but he gae a gledge wi' his
ee that I kend he took up what I said. And a' his distress is about Miss
Edith's marriage; and I ne'er saw a man mair taen down wi' true love in
my days,--I might say man or woman, only I mind how ill Miss Edith was
when she first gat word that him and you (ye muckle graceless loon) were
coming against Tillietudlem wi' the rebels.--But what's the matter wi'
the man now?"

"What's the matter wi' me indeed!" said Cuddie, who was again hastily
putting on some of the garments he had stripped himself of; "am I no gaun
up this instant to see my maister?"

"Atweel, Cuddie, ye are gaun nae sic gate," said Jenny, coolly and
resolutely.

"The deil's in the wife!" said Cuddie. "D 'ye think I am to be John
Tamson's man, and maistered by women a' the days o' my life?"

"And whase man wad ye be? And wha wad ye hae to maister ye but me,
Cuddie, lad?" answered Jenny. "I'll gar ye comprehend in the making of a
hay-band. Naebody kens that this young gentleman is living but oursells;
and frae that he keeps himsell up sae close, I am judging that he's
purposing, if he fand Miss Edith either married, or just gaun to be
married, he wad just slide awa easy, and gie them nae mair trouble. But
if Miss Edith kend that he was living, and if she were standing before
the very minister wi' Lord Evandale when it was tauld to her, I'se
warrant she wad say No when she suld say Yes."

"Weel," replied Cuddie, "and what's my business wi' that? If Miss Edith
likes her auld joe better than her new ane, what for suld she no be free
to change her mind like other folk? Ye ken, Jenny, Halliday aye threeps
he had a promise frae yoursell."

"Halliday's a liar, and ye're naething but a gomeril to hearken till him,
Cuddie. And then for this leddy's choice, lack-a-day! ye may be sure a'
the gowd Mr. Morton has is on the outside o' his coat; and how can he
keep Leddy Margaret and the young leddy?"

"Isna there Milnwood?" said Cuddie. "Nae doubt the auld laird left his
housekeeper the liferent, as he heard nought o' his nephew; but it's but
speaking the auld wife fair, and they may a' live brawly thegither, Leddy
Margaret and a'."

"Rout tout, lad," replied Jenny; "ye ken them little to think leddies o'
their rank wad set up house wi' auld Ailie Wilson, when they're maist
ower proud to take favours frae Lord Evandale himsell. Na, na, they maun
follow the camp, if she tak Morton."

"That wad sort ill wi' the auld leddy, to be sure," said Cuddie; "she wad
hardly win ower a lang day in the baggage-wain."

"Then sic a flyting as there wad be between them, a' about Whig and
Tory," continued Jenny.

"To be sure," said Cuddie, "the auld leddy 's unto kittle in thae
points."

"And then, Cuddie," continued his helpmate, who had reserved her
strongest argument to the last, "if this marriage wi' Lord Evandale is
broken off, what comes o' our ain bit free house, and the kale-yard, and
the cow's grass? I trow that baith us and thae bonny bairns will be
turned on the wide warld!"

Here Jenny began to whimper; Cuddie writhed himself this way and that
way, the very picture of indecision. At length he broke out, "Weel,
woman, canna ye tell us what we suld do, without a' this din about it?"

"Just do naething at a'," said Jenny. "Never seem to ken onything about
this gentleman, and for your life say a word that he suld hae been here,
or up at the house! An I had kend, I wad hae gien him my ain bed, and
sleepit in the byre or he had gane up by; but it canna be helpit now. The
neist thing's to get him cannily awa the morn, and I judge he'll be in
nae hurry to come back again."

"My puir maister!" said Cuddie; "and maun I no speak to him, then?"

"For your life, no," said Jenny. "Ye're no obliged to ken him; and I
wadna hae tauld ye, only I feared ye wad ken him in the morning."

"Aweel," said Cuddie, sighing heavily, "I 'se awa to pleugh the outfield
then; for if I am no to speak to him, I wad rather be out o' the gate."

"Very right, my dear hinny," replied Jenny. Naebody has better sense than
you when ye crack a bit wi' me ower your affairs; but ye suld ne'er do
onything aff hand out o' your ain head."

"Ane wad think it's true," quoth Cuddie; "for I hae aye had some carline
or quean or another to gar me gang their gate instead o' my ain. There
was first my mither," he continued, as he undressed and tumbled himself
into bed; "then there was Leddy Margaret didna let me ca' my soul my ain;
then my mither and her quarrelled, and pu'ed me twa ways at anes, as if
ilk ane had an end o' me, like Punch and the Deevil rugging about the
Baker at the fair; and now I hae gotten a wife," he murmured in
continuation, as he stowed the blankets around his person, "and she's
like to tak the guiding o' me a' thegither."

"And amna I the best guide ye ever had in a' your life?" said Jenny, as
she closed the conversation by assuming her place beside her husband and
extinguishing the candle.

Leaving this couple to their repose, we have next to inform the reader
that, early on the next morning, two ladies on horseback, attended by
their servants, arrived at the house of Fairy Knowe, whom, to Jenny's
utter confusion, she instantly recognised as Miss Bellenden and Lady
Emily Hamilton, a sister of Lord Evandale.

"Had I no better gang to the house to put things to rights?" said Jenny,
confounded with this unexpected apparition.

"We want nothing but the pass-key," said Miss Bellenden; "Gudyill will
open the windows of the little parlour."

"The little parlour's locked, and the lock's, spoiled," answered Jenny,
who recollected the local spmpathy between that apartment and the
bedchamber of her guest.

"In the red parlour, then," said Miss Bellenden, and rode up to the front
of the house, but by an approach different from that through which Morton
had been conducted.

"All will be out," thought Jenny, "unless I can get him smuggled out of
the house the back way."

So saying, she sped up the bank in great tribulation and uncertainty.

"I had better hae said at ante there was a stranger there," was her next
natural reflection. "But then they wad hae been for asking him to
breakfast. Oh, safe us! what will I do?--And there's Gudyill walking in
the garden too!" she exclaimed internally on approaching the wicket; "and
I daurna gang in the back way till he's aff the coast. Oh, sirs! what
will become of us?"

In this state of perplexity she approached the cidevant butler, with the
purpose of decoying him out of the garden. But John Gudyill's temper was
not improved by his decline in rank and increase in years. Like many
peevish people, too, he seemed to have an intuitive perception as to what
was most likely to teaze those whom he conversed with; and, on the
present occasion, all Jenny's efforts to remove him from the garden
served only to root him in it as fast as if he had been one of the
shrubs.

Unluckily, also, he had commenced florist during his residence at Fairy
Knowe; and, leaving all other things to the charge of Lady Emily's
servant, his first care was dedicated to the flowers, which he had taken
under his special protection, and which he propped, dug, and watered,
prosing all the while upon their respective merits to poor Jenny, who
stood by him trembling and almost crying with anxiety, fear, and
impatience.

Fate seemed determined to win a match against Jenny this unfortunate
morning. As soon as the ladies entered the house, they observed that the
door of the little parlour--the very apartment out of which she was
desirous of excluding them on account of its contiguity to the room in
which Morton slept--was not only unlocked, but absolutely ajar. Miss
Bellenden was too much engaged with her own immediate subjects of
reflection to take much notice of the circumstance, but, desiring the
servant to open the window-shutters, walked into the room along with her
friend.

"He is not yet come," she said. "What can your brother possibly mean? Why
express so anxious a wish that we should meet him here? And why not come
to Castle Dinnan, as he proposed? I own, my dear Emily, that, even
engaged as we are to each other, and with the sanction of your presence,
I do not feel that I have done quite right in indulging him."

"Evandale was never capricious," answered his sister; "I am sure he will
satisfy us with his reasons, and if he does not, I will help you to scold
him."

"What I chiefly fear," said Edith, "is his having engaged in some of the
plots of this fluctuating and unhappy time. I know his heart is with that
dreadful Claverhouse and his army, and I believe he would have joined
them ere now but for my uncle's death, which gave him so much additional
trouble on our account. How singular that one so rational and so deeply
sensible of the errors of the exiled family should be ready to risk all
for their restoration!"

"What can I say?" answered Lady Emily,--"it is a point of honour with
Evandale. Our family have always been loyal; he served long in the
Guards; the Viscount of Dundee was his commander and his friend for
years; he is looked on with an evil eye by many of his own relations, who
set down his inactivity to the score of want of spirit. You must be
aware, my dear Edith, how often family connections and early
predilections influence our actions more than abstract arguments. But I
trust Evandale will continue quiet,--though, to tell you truth, I believe
you are the only one who can keep him so."

"And how is it in my power?" said Miss Bellenden.

"You can furnish him with the Scriptural apology for not going forth with
the host,--'he has married a wife, and therefore cannot come.'"

"I have promised," said Edith, in a faint voice; "but I trust I shall not
be urged on the score of time."

"Nay," said Lady Emily, "I will leave Evandale (and here he comes) to
plead his own cause."

"Stay, stay, for God's sake!" said Edith, endeavouring to detain her.

"Not I, not I," said the young lady, making her escape; "the third person
makes a silly figure on such occasions. When you want me for breakfast, I
will be found in the willow-walk by the river."

As she tripped out of the room, Lord Evandale entered. "Good-morrow,
Brother, and good-by till breakfast-time," said the lively young lady;
"I trust you will give Miss Bellenden some good reasons for disturbing
her rest so early in the morning."

And so saying, she left them together, without waiting a reply.

"And now, my lord," said Edith, "may I desire to know the meaning of your
singular request to meet you here at so early an hour?"

She was about to add that she hardly felt herself excusable in having
complied with it; but upon looking at the person whom she addressed, she
was struck dumb by the singular and agitated expression of his
countenance, and interrupted herself to exclaim, "For God's sake, what is
the matter?"

"His Majesty's faithful subjects have gained a great and most decisive
victory near Blair of Athole; but, alas! my gallant friend Lord Dundee--"

"Has fallen?" said Edith, anticipating the rest of his tidings.

"True, most true: he has fallen in the arms of victory, and not a man
remains of talents and influence sufficient to fill up his loss in King
James's service. This, Edith, is no time for temporizing with our duty. I
have given directions to raise my followers, and I must take leave of you
this evening."

"Do not think of it, my lord," answered Edith; "your life is--essential
to your friends,--do not throw it away in an adventure so rash. What can
your single arm, and the few tenants or servants who might follow you, do
against the force of almost all Scotland, the Highland clans only
excepted?"

"Listen to me, Edith," said Lord Evandale. "I am not so rash as you may
suppose me, nor are my present motives of such light importance as to
affect only those personally dependent on myself. The Life Guards, with
whom I served so long, although new-modelled and new-officered by the
Prince of Orange, retain a predilection for the cause of their rightful
master; and "--and here he whispered as if he feared even the walls of
the apartment had ears--"when my foot is known to be in the stirrup, two
regiments of cavalry have sworn to renounce the usurper's service, and
fight under my orders. They delayed only till Dundee should descend into
the Lowlands; but since he is no more, which of his successors dare take
that decisive step, unless encouraged by the troops declaring themselves!
Meantime, the zeal of the soldiers will die away. I must bring them to a
decision while their hearts are glowing with the victory their old leader
has obtained, and burning to avenge his untimely death."

"And will you, on the faith of such men as you know these soldiers to
be," said Edith, "take a part of such dreadful moment?"

"I will," said Lord Evandale,--"I must; my honour and loyalty are both
pledged for it."

"And all for the sake," continued Miss Bellenden, "of a prince whose
measures, while he was on the throne, no one could condemn more than Lord
Evandale?"

"Most true," replied Lord Evandale; "and as I resented, even during the
plenitude of his power, his innovations on Church and State, like a
freeborn subject, I am determined I will assert his real rights, when he
is in adversity, like a loyal one. Let courtiers and sycophants flatter
power and desert misfortune; I will neither do the one nor the other."

"And if you are determined to act what my feeble judgment must still term
rashly, why give yourself the pain of this untimely meeting?"

"Were it not enough to answer," said Lord Evandale, "that, ere rushing on
battle, I wished to bid adieu to my betrothed bride? Surely it is judging
coldly of my feelings, and showing too plainly the indifference of your
own, to question my motive for a request so natural."

"But why in this place, my lord," said Edith; and why with such peculiar
circumstances of mystery?"

"Because," he replied, putting a letter into her hand, "I have yet
another request, which I dare hardly proffer, even when prefaced by these
credentials."

In haste and terror, Edith glanced over the letter, which was from her
grandmother.

     "My dearest childe," such was its tenor in style and spelling, "I
     never more deeply regretted the reumatizm, which disqualified me
     from riding on horseback, than at this present writing, when I would
     most have wished to be where this paper will soon be, that is at
     Fairy Knowe, with my poor dear Willie's only child. But it is the
     will of God I should not be with her, which I conclude to be the
     case, as much for the pain I now suffer, as because it hath now not
     given way either to cammomile poultices or to decoxion of wild
     mustard, wherewith I have often relieved others. Therefore, I must
     tell you, by writing instead of word of mouth, that, as my young
     Lord Evandale is called to the present campaign, both by his honour
     and his duty, he hath earnestly solicited me that the bonds of holy
     matrimony be knitted before his departure to the wars between you
     and him, in implement of the indenture formerly entered into for
     that effeck, whereuntill, as I see no raisonable objexion, so I
     trust that you, who have been always a good and obedient childe,
     will not devize any which has less than raison. It is trew that the
     contrax of our house have heretofore been celebrated in a manner
     more befitting our Rank, and not in private, and with few witnesses,
     as a thing done in a corner. But it has been Heaven's own free will,
     as well as those of the kingdom where we live, to take away from us
     our estate, and from the King his throne. Yet I trust He will yet
     restore the rightful heir to the throne, and turn his heart to the
     true Protestant Episcopal faith, which I have the better right to
     expect to see even with my old eyes, as I have beheld the royal
     family when they were struggling as sorely with masterful usurpers
     and rebels as they are now; that is to say, when his most sacred
     Majesty, Charles the Second of happy memory, honoured our poor house
     of Tillietudlem by taking his /disjune/ therein," etc., etc., etc.

We will not abuse the reader's patience by quoting more of Lady
Margaret's prolix epistle. Suffice it to say that it closed by laying her
commands on her grandchild to consent to the solemnization of her
marriage without loss of time.

"I never thought till this instant," said Edith, dropping the letter from
her hand, "that Lord Evandale would have acted ungenerously."

"Ungenerously, Edith!" replied her lover. "And how can you apply such a
term to my desire to call you mine, ere I part from you, perhaps for
ever?"

"Lord Evandale ought to have remembered," said Edith, "that when his
perseverance, and, I must add, a due sense of his merit and of the
obligations we owed him, wrung from me a slow consent that I would one
day comply with his wishes, I made it my condition that I should not be
pressed to a hasty accomplishment of my promise; and now he avails
himself of his interest with my only remaining relative to hurry me with
precipitate and even indelicate importunity. There is more selfishness
than generosity, my lord, in such eager and urgent solicitation."

Lord Evandale, evidently much hurt, took two or three turns through the
apartment ere he replied to this accusation; at length he spoke: "I
should have escaped this painful charge, durst I at once have mentioned
to Miss Bellendon my principal reason for urging this request. It is one
which she will probably despise on her own account, but which ought to
weigh with her for the sake of Lady Margaret. My death in battle must
give my whole estate to my heirs of entail; my forfeiture as a traitor,
by the usurping Government, may vest it in the Prince of Orange or some
Dutch favourite. In either case, my venerable friend and betrothed bride
must remain unprotected and in poverty. Vested with the rights and
provisions of Lady Evandale, Edith will find, in the power of supporting
her aged parent, some consolation for having condescended to share the
titles and fortunes of one who does not pretend to be worthy of her."

Edith was struck dumb by an argument which she had not expected, and was
compelled to acknowledge that Lord Evandale's suit was urged with
delicacy as well as with consideration.

"And yet," she said, "such is the waywardness with which my heart reverts
to former times that I cannot," she burst into tears, "suppress a degree
of ominous reluctance at fulfilling my engagement upon such a brief
summons."

"We have already fully considered this painful subject," said Lord
Evandale; "and I hoped, my dear Edith, your own inquiries, as well as
mine, had fully convinced you that these regrets were fruitless."

"Fruitless indeed!" said Edith, with a deep sigh, which, as if by an
unexpected echo, was repeated from the adjoining apartment. Miss
Bellenden started at the sound, and scarcely composed herself upon Lord
Evandale's assurances that she had heard but the echo of her own
respiration.

"It sounded strangely distinct," she said, "and almost ominous; but my
feelings are so harassed that the slightest trifle agitates them."

Lord Evandale eagerly attempted to soothe her alarm, and reconcile her to
a measure which, however hasty, appeared to him the only means by which
he could secure her independence. He urged his claim in virtue of the
contract, her grandmother's wish and command, the propriety of insuring
her comfort and independence, and touched lightly on his own long
attachment, which he had evinced by so many and such various services.
These Edith felt the more, the less they were insisted upon; and at
length, as she had nothing to oppose to his ardour, excepting a causeless
reluctance which she herself was ashamed to oppose against so much
generosity, she was compelled to rest upon the impossibility of having
the ceremony performed upon such hasty notice, at such a time and place.
But for all this Lord Evandale was prepared, and he explained, with
joyful alacrity, that the former chaplain of his regiment was in
attendance at the Lodge with a faithful domestic, once a non-commissioned
officer in the same corps; that his sister was also possessed of the
secret; and that Headrigg and his wife might be added to the list of
witnesses, if agreeable to Miss Bellenden. As to the place, he had chosen
it on very purpose. The marriage was to remain a secret, since Lord
Evandale was to depart in disguise very soon after it was solemnized,--a
circumstance which, had their union been public, must have drawn upon him
the attention of the Government, as being altogether unaccountable,
unless from his being engaged in some dangerous design. Having hastily
urged these motives and explained his arrangements, he ran, without
waiting for an answer, to summon his sister to attend his bride, while he
went in search of the other persons whose presence was necessary.
When Lady Emily arrived, she found her friend in an agony of tears, of
which she was at some loss to comprehend the reason, being one of those
damsels who think there is nothing either wonderful or terrible in
matrimony, and joining with most who knew him in thinking that it could
not be rendered peculiarly alarming by Lord Evandale being the
bridegroom. Influenced by these feelings, she exhausted in succession all
the usual arguments for courage, and all the expressions of sympathy and
condolence ordinarily employed on such occasions. But when Lady Emily
beheld her future sister-in-law deaf to all those ordinary topics of
consolation; when she beheld tears follow fast and without intermission
down cheeks as pale as marble; when she felt that the hand which she
pressed in order to enforce her arguments turned cold within her grasp,
and lay, like that of a corpse, insensible and unresponsive to her
caresses, her feelings of sympathy gave way to those of hurt pride and
pettish displeasure.

"I must own," she said, "that I am something at a loss to understand all
this, Miss Bellenden. Months have passed since you agreed to marry my
brother, and you have postponed the fulfilment of your engagement from
one period to another, as if you had to avoid some dishonourable or
highly disagreeable connection. I think I can answer for Lord Evandale
that he will seek no woman's hand against her inclination; and, though
his sister, I may boldly say that he does not need to urge any lady
further than her inclinations carry her. You will forgive me, Miss
Bellenden; but your present distress augurs ill for my brother's future
happiness, and I must needs say that he does not merit all these
expressions of dislike and dolour, and that they seem an odd return for
an attachment which he has manifested so long, and in so many ways."

"You are right, Lady Emily," said Edith, drying her eyes and endeavouring
to resume her natural manner, though still betrayed by her faltering
voice and the paleness of her cheeks,--"you are quite right; Lord
Evandale merits such usage from no one, least of all from her whom he has
honoured with his regard. But if I have given way, for the last time, to
a sudden and irresistible burst of feeling, it is my consolation, Lady
Emily, that your brother knows the cause, that I have hid nothing from
him, and that he at least is not apprehensive of finding in Edith
Bellenden a wife undeserving of his affection. But still you are right,
and I merit your censure for indulging for a moment fruitless regret and
painful remembrances. It shall be so no longer; my lot is cast with
Evandale, and with him I am resolved to bear it. Nothing shall in future
occur to excite his complaints or the resentment of his relations; no
idle recollections of other days shall intervene to prevent the zealous
and affectionate discharge of my duty; no vain illusions recall the
memory of other days--"

As she spoke these words, she slowly raised her eyes, which had before
been hidden by her hand, to the latticed window of her apartment, which
was partly open, uttered a dismal shriek, and fainted. Lady Emily turned
her eyes in the same direction, but saw only the shadow of a man, which
seemed to disappear from the window, and, terrified more by the state of
Edith than by the apparition she had herself witnessed, she uttered
shriek upon shriek for assistance. Her brother soon arrived, with the
chaplain and Jenny Dennison; but strong and vigorous remedies were
necessary ere they could recall Miss Bellenden to sense and motion. Even
then her language was wild and incoherent.


[Illustration: Uttered A Dismal Shriek, And Fainted--224]


"Press me no farther," she said to Lord Evandale,--"it cannot be; Heaven
and earth, the living and the dead, have leagued themselves against this
ill-omened union. Take all I can give,--my sisterly regard, my devoted
friendship. I will love you as a sister and serve you as a bondswoman,
but never speak to me more of marriage."

The astonishment of Lord Evandale may easily be conceived.
"Emily," he said to his sister, "this is your doing. I was accursed when
I thought of bringing you here; some of your confounded folly has driven
her mad!"

"On my word, Brother," answered Lady Emily, "you're sufficient to drive
all the women in Scotland mad. Because your mistress seems much disposed
to jilt you, you quarrel with your sister, who has been arguing in your
cause, and had brought her to a quiet hearing, when, all of a sudden, a
man looked in at a window, whom her crazed sensibility mistook either for
you or some one else, and has treated us gratis with an excellent tragic
scene."

"What man?  What window?" said Lord Evandale, in impatient displeasure.
"Miss Bellenden is incapable of trifling with me; and yet what else could
have--"

"Hush! hush!" said Jenny, whose interest lay particularly in shifting
further inquiry; "for Heaven's sake, my lord, speak low, for my lady
begins to recover."

Edith was no sooner somewhat restored to herself than she begged, in a
feeble voice, to be left alone with Lord Evandale. All retreated,--Jenny
with her usual air of officious simplicity, Lady Emily and the chaplain
with that of awakened curiosity. No sooner had they left the apartment
than Edith beckoned Lord Evandale to sit beside her on the couch; her
next motion was to take his hand, in spite of his surprised resistance,
to her lips; her last was to sink from her seat and to clasp his knees.
"Forgive me, my lord!" she exclaimed, "forgive me! I must deal most
untruly by you, and break a solemn engagement. You have my friendship, my
highest regard, my most sincere gratitude; you have more,--you have my
word and my faith; but--oh, forgive me, for the fault is not mine--you
have not my love, and I cannot marry you without a sin!"

"You dream, my dearest Edith!" said Evandale, perplexed in the utmost
degree, "you let your imagination beguile you; this is but some delusion
of an over-sensitive mind. The person whom you preferred to me has been
long in a better world, where your unavailing regret cannot follow him,
or, if it could, would only diminish his happiness."

"You are mistaken, Lord Evandale," said Edith, solemnly; "I am not a
sleep-walker or a madwoman. No, I could not have believed from any one
what I have seen. But, having seen him, I must believe mine own eyes."

"Seen him,--seen whom?" asked Lord Evandale, in great anxiety.

"Henry Morton," replied Edith, uttering these two words as if they were
her last, and very nearly fainting when she had done so.

"Miss Bellenden," said Lord Evandale, "you treat me like a fool or a
child. If you repent your engagement to me," he continued, indignantly,
"I am not a man to enforce it against your inclination; but deal with me
as a man, and forbear this trifling."

He was about to go on, when he perceived, from her quivering eye and
pallid cheek, that nothing less than imposture was intended, and that by
whatever means her imagination had been so impressed, it was really
disturbed by unaffected awe and terror. He changed his tone, and exerted
all his eloquence in endeavouring to soothe and extract from her the
secret cause of such terror.

"I saw him!" she repeated,--"I saw Henry Morton stand at that window, and
look into the apartment at the moment I was on the point of abjuring him
for ever. His face was darker, thinner, and paler than it was wont to be;
his dress was a horseman's cloak, and hat looped down over his face; his
expression was like that he wore on that dreadful morning when he was
examined by Claverhouse at Tillietudlem. Ask your sister, ask Lady Emily,
if she did not see him as well as I. I know what has called him up,--he
came to upbraid me, that, while my heart was with him in the deep and
dead sea, I was about to give my hand to another. My lord, it is ended
between you and me; be the consequences what they will, she cannot marry
whose union disturbs the repose of the dead."

"Good Heaven!" said Evandale, as he paced the room, half mad himself with
surprise and vexation, "her fine understanding must be totally
overthrown, and that by the effort which she has made to comply with my
ill-timed, though well-meant, request. Without rest and attention her
health is ruined for ever."

At this moment the door opened, and Halliday, who had been Lord
Evandale's principal personal attendant since they both left the Guards
on the Revolution, stumbled into the room with a countenance as pale and
ghastly as terror could paint it.

"What is the matter next, Halliday?" cried his master, starting up. "Any
discovery of the--"

He had just recollection sufficient to stop short in the midst of the
dangerous sentence.

"No, sir," said Halliday, "it is not that, nor anything like that; but I
have seen a ghost!"

"A ghost, you eternal idiot!" said Lord Evandale, forced altogether out
of his patience. "Has all mankind sworn to go mad in order to drive me
so? What ghost, you simpleton?"

"The ghost of Henry Morton, the Whig captain at Bothwell Bridge," replied
Halliday. "He passed by me like a fire-flaught when I was in the garden!"

"This is midsummer madness," said Lord Evandale, "or there is some
strange villainy afloat. Jenny, attend your lady to her chamber, while I
endeavour to find a clue to all this."

But Lord Evandale's inquiries were in vain. Jenny, who might have given
(had she chosen) a very satisfactory explanation, had an interest to
leave the matter in darkness; and interest was a matter which now weighed
principally with Jenny, since the possession of an active and
affectionate husband in her own proper right had altogether allayed her
spirit of coquetry. She had made the best use of the first moments of
confusion hastily to remove all traces of any one having slept in the
apartment adjoining to the parlour, and even to erase the mark of
footsteps beneath the window, through which she conjectured Morton's face
had been seen, while attempting, ere he left the garden, to gain one look
at her whom he had so long loved, and was now on the point of losing for
ever. That he had passed Halliday in the garden was equally clear; and
she learned from her elder boy, whom she had employed to have the
stranger's horse saddled and ready for his departure, that he had rushed
into the stable, thrown the child a broad gold piece, and, mounting his
horse, had ridden with fearful rapidity down towards the Clyde. The
secret was, therefore, in their own family, and Jenny was resolved it
should remain so.

"For, to be sure," she said, "although her lady and Halliday kend Mr.
Morton by broad daylight, that was nae reason I suld own to kenning him
in the gloaming and by candlelight, and him keeping his face frae Cuddie
and me a' the time."

So she stood resolutely upon the negative when examined by Lord Evandale.
As for Halliday, he could only say that as he entered the garden-door,
the supposed apparition met him, walking swiftly, and with a visage on
which anger and grief appeared to be contending.

"He knew him well," he said, "having been repeatedly guard upon him, and
obliged to write down his marks of stature and visage in case of escape.
And there were few faces like Mr. Morton's." But what should make him
haunt the country where he was neither hanged nor shot, he, the said
Halliday, did not pretend to conceive.

Lady Emily confessed she had seen the face of a man at the window, but
her evidence went no farther. John Gudyill deponed /nil novit in causa/.
He had left his gardening to get his morning dram just at the time when
the apparition had taken place. Lady Emily's servant was waiting orders
in the kitchen, and there was not another being within a quarter of a
mile of the house.

Lord Evandale returned perplexed and dissatisfied in the highest degree
at beholding a plan which he thought necessary not less for the
protection of Edith in contingent circumstances, than for the assurance
of his own happiness, and which he had brought so very near perfection,
thus broken off without any apparent or rational cause. His knowledge of
Edith's character set her beyond the suspicion of covering any capricious
change of determination by a pretended vision. But he would have set the
apparition down to the influence of an overstrained imagination, agitated
by the circumstances in which she had so suddenly been placed, had it not
been for the coinciding testimony of Halliday, who had no reason for
thinking of Morton more than any other person, and knew nothing of Miss
Bellenden's vision when he promulgated his own. On the other hand, it
seemed in the highest degree improbable that Morton, so long and so
vainly sought after, and who was, with such good reason, supposed to be
lost when the "Vryheid" of Rotterdam went down with crew and passengers,
should be alive and lurking in this country, where there was no longer
any reason why he should not openly show himself, since the present
Government favoured his party in politics. When Lord Evandale reluctantly
brought himself to communicate these doubts to the chaplain, in order to
obtain his opinion, he could only obtain a long lecture on demonology, in
which, after quoting Delrio and Burthoog and De L'Ancre on the subject of
apparitions, together with sundry civilians and common lawyers on the
nature of testimony, the learned gentleman expressed his definite and
determined opinion to be, either that there had been an actual apparition
of the deceased Henry Morton's spirit, the possibility of which he was,
as a divine and a philosopher, neither fully prepared to admit or to
deny; or else that the said Henry Morton, being still in /rerum natura/,
had appeared in his proper person that morning; or, finally, that some
strong /deceptio visus/, or striking similitude of person, had deceived
the eyes of Miss Bellenden and of Thomas Halliday. Which of these was the
most probable hypothesis, the doctor declined to pronounce, but expressed
himself ready to die in the opinion that one or other of them had
occasioned that morning's disturbance.

Lord Evandale soon had additional cause for distressful anxiety. Miss
Bellenden was declared to be dangerously ill.

"I will not leave this place," he exclaimed, "till she is pronounced to
be in safety. I neither can nor ought to do so; for whatever may have
been the immediate occasion of her illness, I gave the first cause for it
by my unhappy solicitation."

He established himself, therefore, as a guest in the family, which the
presence of his sister, as well as of Lady Margaret Bellenden (who, in
despite of her rheumatism, caused herself to be transported thither when
she heard of her granddaughter's illness), rendered a step equally
natural and delicate. And thus he anxiously awaited until, without injury
to her health, Edith could sustain a final explanation ere his departure
on his expedition.

"She shall never," said the generous young man, "look on her engagement
with me as the means of fettering her to a union, the idea of which seems
almost to unhinge her understanding."



CHAPTER XVIII.

               Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shades!
               Ah, fields beloved in vain!
               Where once my careless childhood strayed,
               A stranger yet to pain.
                       Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.

It is not by corporal wants and infirmities only that men of the most
distinguished talents are levelled, during their lifetime, with the
common mass of mankind. There are periods of mental agitation when the
firmest of mortals must be ranked with the weakest of his brethren, and
when, in paying the general tax of humanity, his distresses are even
aggravated by feeling that he transgresses, in the indulgence of his
grief, the rules of religion and philosophy by which he endeavours in
general to regulate his passions and his actions. It was during such a
paroxysm that the unfortunate Morton left Fairy Knowe. To know that his
long-loved and still-beloved Edith, whose image had filled his mind for
so many years, was on the point of marriage to his early rival, who had
laid claim to her heart by so many services as hardly left her a title to
refuse his addresses, bitter as the intelligence was, yet came not as an
unexpected blow.

During his residence abroad he had once written to Edith. It was to bid
her farewell for ever, and to conjure her to forget him. He had requested
her not to answer his letter; yet he half hoped, for many a day, that she
might transgress his injunction. The letter never reached her to whom it
was addressed, and Morton, ignorant of its miscarriage, could only
conclude himself laid aside and forgotten, according to his own
self-denying request. All that he had heard of their mutual relations
since his return to Scotland prepared him to expect that he could only
look upon Miss Bellenden as the betrothed bride of Lord Evandale; and
even if freed from the burden of obligation to the latter, it would still
have been inconsistent with Morton's generosity of disposition to disturb
their arrangements, by attempting the assertion of a claim proscribed by
absence, never sanctioned by the consent of friends, and barred by a
thousand circumstances of difficulty. Why then did he seek the cottage
which their broken fortunes had now rendered the retreat of Lady Margaret
Bellenden and her granddaughter? He yielded, we are under the necessity
of acknowledging, to the impulse of an inconsistent wish which many might
have felt in his situation.

Accident apprised him, while travelling towards his native district, that
the ladies, near whose mansion he must necessarily pass, were absent; and
learning that Cuddie and his wife acted as their principal domestics, he
could not resist pausing at their cottage to learn, if possible, the real
progress which Lord Evandale had made in the affections of Miss Bellen
den--alas! no longer his Edith. This rash experiment ended as we have
related, and he parted from the house of Fairy Knowe, conscious that he
was still beloved by Edith, yet compelled, by faith and honour, to
relinquish her for ever. With what feelings he must have listened to the
dialogue between Lord Evandale and Edith, the greater part of which he
involuntarily overheard, the reader must conceive, for we dare not
attempt to describe them. An hundred times he was tempted to burst upon
their interview, or to exclaim aloud, "Edith, I yet live!" and as often
the recollection of her plighted troth, and of the debt of gratitude
which he owed Lord Evandale (to whose influence with Claverhouse he
justly ascribed his escape from torture and from death), withheld him
from a rashness which might indeed have involved all in further distress,
but gave little prospect of forwarding his own happiness. He repressed
forcibly these selfish emotions, though with an agony which thrilled his
every nerve.

"No, Edith!" was his internal oath, "never will I add a thorn to thy
pillow. That which Heaven has ordained, let it be; and let me not add, by
my selfish sorrows, one atom's weight to the burden thou hast to bear. I
was dead to thee when thy resolution was adopted; and never, never shalt
thou know that Henry Morton still lives!"

As he formed this resolution, diffident of his own power to keep it, and
seeking that firmness in flight which was every moment shaken by his
continuing within hearing of Edith's voice, he hastily rushed from his
apartment by the little closet and the sashed door which led to the
garden.

But firmly as he thought his resolution was fixed, he could not leave the
spot where the last tones of a voice so beloved still vibrated on his
ear, without endeavouring to avail himself of the opportunity which the
parlour window afforded to steal one last glance at the lovely speaker.
It was in this attempt, made while Edith seemed to have her eyes
unalterably bent upon the ground, that Morton's presence was detected by
her raising them suddenly. So soon as her wild scream made this known to
the unfortunate object of a passion so constant, and which seemed so
ill-fated, he hurried from the place as if pursued by the furies. He
passed Halliday in the garden without recognising or even being sensible
that he had seen him, threw himself on his horse, and, by a sort of
instinct rather than recollection, took the first by-road in preference
to the public route to Hamilton.

In all probability this prevented Lord Evandale from learning that he was
actually in existence; for the news that the Highlanders had obtained a
decisive victory at Killiecrankie had occasioned an accurate look-out to
be kept, by order of the Government, on all the passes, for fear of some
commotion among the Lowland Jacobites. They did not omit to post
sentinels on Bothwell Bridge; and as these men had not seen any traveller
pass westward in that direction, and as, besides, their comrades
stationed in the village of Bothwell were equally positive that none had
gone eastward, the apparition, in the existence of which Edith and
Halliday were equally positive, became yet more mysterious in the
judgment of Lord Evandale, who was finally inclined to settle in the
belief that the heated and disturbed imagination of Edith had summoned up
the phantom she stated herself to have seen, and that Halliday had, in
some unaccountable manner, been infected by the same superstition.
Meanwhile, the by-path which Morton pursued, with all the speed which his
vigorous horse could exert, brought him in a very few seconds to the
brink of the Clyde, at a spot marked with the feet of horses, who were
conducted to it as a watering-place. The steed, urged as he was to the
gallop, did not pause a single instant, but, throwing himself into the
river, was soon beyond his depth. The plunge which the animal made as his
feet quitted the ground, with the feeling that the cold water rose above
his swordbelt, were the first incidents which recalled Morton, whose
movements had been hitherto mechanical, to the necessity of taking
measures for preserving himself and the noble animal which he bestrode. A
perfect master of all manly exercises, the management of a horse in water
was as familiar to him as when upon a meadow. He directed the animal's
course somewhat down the stream towards a low plain, or holm, which
seemed to promise an easy egress from the river. In the first and second
attempt to get on shore, the horse was frustrated by the nature of the
ground, and nearly fell backwards on his rider. The instinct of
self-preservation seldom fails, even in the most desperate circumstances,
to recall the human mind to some degree of equipoise, unless when
altogether distracted by terror, and Morton was obliged to the danger in
which he was placed for complete recovery of his self-possession. A third
attempt, at a spot more carefully and judiciously selected, succeeded
better than the former, and placed the horse and his rider in safety upon
the farther and left-hand bank of the Clyde.

"But whither," said Morton, in the bitterness of his heart, "am I now to
direct my course? or rather, what does it signify to which point of the
compass a wretch so forlorn betakes himself? I would to God, could the
wish be without a sin, that these dark waters had flowed over me, and
drowned my recollection of that which was, and that which is!"
The sense of impatience, which the disturbed state of his feelings had
occasioned, scarcely had vented itself in these violent expressions, ere
he was struck with shame at having given way to such a paroxysm. He
remembered how signally the life which he now held so lightly in the
bitterness of his disappointment had been preserved through the almost
incessant perils which had beset him since he entered upon his public
career.

"I am a fool!" he said, "and worse than a fool, to set light by that
existence which Heaven has so often preserved in the most marvellous
manner. Something there yet remains for me in this world, were it only to
bear my sorrows like a man, and to aid those who need my assistance. What
have I seen, what have I heard, but the very conclusion of that which I
knew was to happen? They"--he durst not utter their names even in
soliloquy--"they are embarrassed and in difficulties. She is stripped of
her inheritance, and he seems rushing on some dangerous career, with
which, but for the low voice in which he spoke, I might have become
acquainted. Are there no means to aid or to warn them?"

As he pondered upon this topic, forcibly withdrawing his mind from his
own disappointment, and compelling his attention to the affairs of Edith
and her betrothed husband, the letter of Burley, long forgotten, suddenly
rushed on his memory, like a ray of light darting through a mist.
"Their ruin must have been his work," was his internal conclusion. "If it
can be repaired, it must be through his means, or by information obtained
from him. I will search him out. Stern, crafty, and enthusiastic as he
is, my plain and downright rectitude of purpose has more than once
prevailed with him. I will seek him out, at least; and who knows what
influence the information I may acquire from him may have on the fortunes
of those whom I shall never see more, and who will probably never learn
that I am now suppressing my own grief, to add, if possible, to their
happiness."

Animated by these hopes, though the foundation was but slight, he sought
the nearest way to the high-road; and as all the tracks through the
valley were known to him since he hunted through them in youth, he had no
other difficulty than that of surmounting one or two enclosures, ere he
found himself on the road to the small burgh where the feast of the
popinjay had been celebrated. He journeyed in a state of mind sad indeed
and dejected, yet relieved from its earlier and more intolerable state of
anguish; for virtuous resolution and manly disinterestedness seldom fail
to restore tranquillity even where they cannot create happiness. He
turned his thoughts with strong effort upon the means of discovering
Burley, and the chance there was of extracting from him any knowledge
which he might possess favourable to her in whose cause he interested
himself; and at length formed the resolution of guiding himself by the
circumstances in which he might discover the object of his quest,
trusting that, from Cuddie's account of a schism betwixt Burley and his
brethren of the Presbyterian persuasion, he might find him less
rancorously disposed against Miss Bellenden, and inclined to exert the
power which he asserted himself to possess over her fortunes, more
favourably than heretofore.

Noontide had passed away when our traveller found himself in the
neighbourhood of his deceased uncle's habitation of Milnwood. It rose
among glades and groves that were chequered with a thousand early
recollections of joy and sorrow, and made upon Morton that mournful
impression, soft and affecting, yet, withal, soothing, which the
sensitive mind usually receives from a return to the haunts of childhood
and early youth, after having experienced the vicissitudes and tempests
of public life. A strong desire came upon him to visit the house itself.
"Old Alison," he thought, "will not know me, more than the honest couple
whom I saw yesterday. I may indulge my curiosity, and proceed on my
journey, without her having any knowledge of my existence. I think they
said my uncle had bequeathed to her my family mansion,--well, be it so. I
have enough to sorrow for, to enable me to dispense with lamenting such a
disappointment as that; and yet methinks he has chosen an odd successor
in my grumbling old dame, to a line of respectable, if not distinguished,
ancestry. Let it be as it may, I will visit the old mansion at least once
more."

The house of Milnwood, even in its best days, had nothing cheerful about
it; but its gloom appeared to be doubled under the auspices of the old
housekeeper. Everything, indeed, was in repair; there were no slates
deficient upon the steep grey roof, and no panes broken in the narrow
windows. But the grass in the court-yard looked as if the foot of man had
not been there for years; the doors were carefully locked, and that which
admitted to the hall seemed to have been shut for a length of time, since
the spiders had fairly drawn their webs over the door-way and the
staples. Living sight or sound there was none, until, after much
knocking, Morton heard the little window, through which it was
usual to reconnoitre visitors, open with much caution. The face of
Alison, puckered with some score of wrinkles in addition to those with
which it was furrowed when Morton left Scotland, now presented itself,
enveloped in a /toy/, from under the protection of which some of her grey
tresses had escaped in a manner more picturesque than beautiful, while
her shrill, tremulous voice demanded the cause of the knocking.
"I wish to speak an instant with one Alison Wilson, who resides here,"
said Henry.

"She's no at hame the day," answered Mrs. Wilson, /in propria persona/,
the state of whose headdress, perhaps, inspired her with this direct mode
of denying herself; "and ye are but a mislear'd person to speer for her
in sic a manner. Ye might hae had an M under your belt for Mistress
Wilson of Milnwood."

"I beg pardon," said Morton, internally smiling at finding in old Ailie
the same jealousy of disrespect which she used to exhibit upon former
occasions,--"I beg pardon; I am but a stranger in this country, and have
been so long abroad that I have almost forgotten my own language."
"Did ye come frae foreign parts?" said Ailie; "then maybe ye may hae
heard of a young gentleman of this country that they ca' Henry Morton?"

"I have heard," said Morton, "of such a name in Germany."

"Then bide a wee bit where ye are, friend; or stay,--gang round by the
back o' the house, and ye'll find a laigh door; it's on the latch, for
it's never barred till sunset. Ye 'll open 't,--and tak care ye dinna fa'
ower the tub, for the entry's dark,--and then ye'll turn to the right,
and then ye'll hand straught forward, and then ye'll turn to the right
again, and ye 'll tak heed o' the cellarstairs, and then ye 'll be at the
door o' the little kitchen,--it's a' the kitchen that's at Milnwood
now,--and I'll come down t'ye, and whate'er ye wad say to Mistress
Wilson ye may very safely tell it to me."

A stranger might have had some difficulty, notwithstanding the minuteness
of the directions supplied by Ailie, to pilot himself in safety through
the dark labyrinth of passages that led from the back-door to the little
kitchen; but Henry was too well acquainted with the navigation of these
straits to experience danger, either from the Scylla which lurked on one
side in shape of a bucking tub, or the Charybdis which yawned on the
other in the profundity of a winding cellar-stair. His only impediment
arose from the snarling and vehement barking of a small cocking spaniel,
once his own property, but which, unlike to the faithful Argus, saw his
master return from his wanderings without any symptom of recognition.

"The little dogs and all!" said Morton to himself, on being disowned by
his former favourite. "I am so changed that no breathing creature that I
have known and loved will now acknowledge me!"

At this moment he had reached the kitchen; and soon after, the tread of
Alison's high heels, and the pat of the crutch-handled cane which served
at once to prop and to guide her footsteps, were heard upon the
stairs,--an annunciation which continued for some time ere she fairly
reached the kitchen.

Morton had, therefore, time to survey the slender preparations for
housekeeping which were now sufficient in the house of his ancestors. The
fire, though coals are plenty in that neighbourhood, was husbanded with
the closest attention to economy of fuel, and the small pipkin, in which
was preparing the dinner of the old woman and her maid-of-all-work, a
girl of twelve years old, intimated, by its thin and watery vapour, that
Ailie had not mended her cheer with her improved fortune.

When she entered, the head, which nodded with self-importance; the
features, in which an irritable peevishness, acquired by habit and
indulgence, strove with a temper naturally affectionate and good-natured;
the coif; the apron; the blue-checked gown,--were all those of old Ailie;
but laced pinners, hastily put on to meet the stranger, with some other
trifling articles of decoration, marked the difference between Mrs.
Wilson, life-rentrix of Milnwood, and the housekeeper of the late
proprietor.

"What were ye pleased to want wi' Mrs. Wilson, sir? I am Mrs. Wilson,"
was her first address; for the five minutes time which she had gained for
the business of the toilet entitled her, she conceived, to assume the
full merit of her illustrious name, and shine forth on her guest in
unchastened splendour. Morton's sensations, confounded between the past
and present, fairly confused him so much that he would have had
difficulty in answering her, even if he had known well what to say. But
as he had not determined what character he was to adopt while concealing
that which was properly his own, he had an additional reason for
remaining silent. Mrs. Wilson, in perplexity, and with some apprehension,
repeated her question.

"What were ye pleased to want wi' me, sir? Ye said ye kend Mr. Harry
Morton?"

"Pardon me, madam," answered Henry, "it was of one Silas Morton I spoke."
The old woman's countenance fell.

"It was his father, then, ye kent o', the brother o' the late Milnwood?
Ye canna mind him abroad, I wad think,--he was come hame afore ye were
born. I thought ye had brought me news of poor Maister Harry."

"It was from my father I learned to know Colonel Morton," said Henry; "of
the son I know little or nothing,--rumour says he died abroad on his
passage to Holland."

"That's ower like to be true," said the old woman with a sigh, "and mony
a tear it's cost my auld een. His uncle, poor gentleman, just sough'd awa
wi' it in his mouth. He had been gieing me preceeze directions anent the
bread and the wine and the brandy at his burial, and how often it was to
be handed round the company (for, dead or alive, he was a prudent,
frugal, painstaking man), and then he said, said he, 'Ailie,' (he aye
ca'd me Ailie; we were auld acquaintance), 'Ailie, take ye care and haud
the gear weel thegither; for the name of Morton of Milnwood 's gane out
like the last sough of an auld sang.' And sae he fell out o' ae dwam into
another, and ne'er spak a word mair, unless it were something we cou'dna
mak out, about a dipped candle being gude eneugh to see to dee wi'. He
cou'd ne'er bide to see a moulded ane, and there was ane, by ill luck, on
the table."

While Mrs. Wilson was thus detailing the last moments of the old miser,
Morton was pressingly engaged in diverting the assiduous curiosity of the
dog, which, recovered from his first surprise, and combining former
recollections, had, after much snuffing and examination, begun a course
of capering and jumping upon the stranger which threatened every instant
to betray him. At length, in the urgency of his impatience, Morton could
not forbear exclaiming, in a tone of hasty impatience, "Down, Elphin!
down, sir!"

"Ye ken our dog's name," said the old lady, struck with great and sudden
surprise,--"ye ken our dog's name, and it's no a common ane. And the
creature kens you too," she continued, in a more agitated and shriller
tone,--"God guide us! it's my ain bairn!"

So saying, the poor old woman threw herself around Morton's neck, cling
to him, kissed him as if he had been actually her child, and wept for
joy. There was no parrying the discovery, if he could have had the heart
to attempt any further disguise. He returned the embrace with the most
grateful warmth, and answered,--

"I do indeed live, dear Ailie, to thank you for all your kindness, past
and present, and to rejoice that there is at least one friend to welcome
me to my native country."

"Friends!" exclaimed Ailie, "ye'll hae mony friends,--ye 'll hae mony
friends; for ye will hae gear, hinny,--ye will hae gear. Heaven mak ye a
gude guide o't! But eh, sirs!" she continued, pushing him back from her
with her trembling hand and shrivelled arm, and gazing in his face as if
to read, at more convenient distance, the ravages which sorrow rather
than time had made on his face,--"Eh, sirs! ye're sair altered, hinny;
your face is turned pale, and your een are sunken, and your bonny
red-and-white cheeks are turned a' dark and sun-burnt. Oh, weary on the
wars! mony 's the comely face they destroy.--And when cam ye here, hinny?
And where hae ye been? And what hae ye been doing? And what for did ye na
write to us? And how cam ye to pass yoursell for dead? And what for did
ye come creepin' to your ain house as if ye had been an unto body, to gie
poor auld Ailie sic a start?" she concluded, smiling through her tears.
It was some time ere Morton could overcome his own emotion so as to give
the kind old woman the information which we shall communicate to our
readers in the next chapter.



CHAPTER XIX.

               Aumerle that was,
               But that is gone for being Richard's friend;
               And, madam, you must call him Rutland now.
                                      Richard II.

The scene of explanation was hastily removed from the little kitchen to
Mrs. Wilson's own matted room,--the very same which she had occupied as
housekeeper, and which she continued to retain. "It was," she said,
"better secured against sifting winds than the hall, which she had found
dangerous to her rheumatisms, and it was more fitting for her use than
the late Milnwood's apartment, honest man, which gave her sad thoughts;"
and as for the great oak parlour, it was never opened but to be aired,
washed, and dusted, according to the invariable practice of the family,
unless upon their most solemn festivals. In the matted room, therefore,
they were settled, surrounded by pickle-pots and conserves of all kinds,
which the ci-devant housekeeper continued to compound, out of mere habit,
although neither she herself, nor any one else, ever partook of the
comfits which she so regularly prepared.

Morton, adapting his narrative to the comprehension of his auditor,
informed her briefly of the wreck of the vessel and the loss of all
hands, excepting two or three common seamen who had early secured the
skiff, and were just putting off from the vessel when he leaped from the
deck into their boat, and unexpectedly, as well as contrary to their
inclination, made himself partner of their voyage and of their safety.
Landed at Flushing, he was fortunate enough to meet with an old officer
who had been in service with his father. By his advice, he shunned going
immediately to the Hague, but forwarded his letters to the court of the
Stadtholder.

"Our prince," said the veteran, "must as yet keep terms with his
father-in-law and with your King Charles; and to approach him in the
character of a Scottish malecontent would render it imprudent for him to
distinguish you by his favour. Wait, therefore, his orders, without
forcing yourself on his notice; observe the strictest prudence and
retirement; assume for the present a different name; shun the company of
the British exiles; and, depend upon it, you will not repent your
prudence."

The old friend of Silas Morton argued justly. After a considerable time
had elapsed, the Prince of Orange, in a progress through the United
States, came to the town where Morton, impatient at his situation and the
incognito which he was obliged to observe, still continued, nevertheless,
to be a resident. He had an hour of private interview assigned, in which
the prince expressed himself highly pleased with his intelligence, his
prudence, and the liberal view which he seemed to take of the factions of
his native country, their motives and their purposes.

"I would gladly," said William, "attach you to my own person; but that
cannot be without giving offence in England. But I will do as much for
you, as well out of respect for the sentiments you have expressed, as for
the recommendations you have brought me. Here is a commission in a Swiss
regiment at present in garrison in a distant province, where you will
meet few or none of your countrymen. Continue to be Captain Melville, and
let the name of Morton sleep till better days."

"Thus began my fortune," continued Morton; "and my services have, on
various occasions, been distinguished by his Royal Highness, until the
moment that brought him to Britain as our political deliverer. His
commands must excuse my silence to my few friends in Scotland; and I
wonder not at the report of my death, considering the wreck of the
vessel, and that I found no occasion to use the letters of exchange with
which I was furnished by the liberality of some of them,--a circumstance
which must have confirmed the belief that I had perished."

"But, dear hinny," asked Mrs. Wilson, "did ye find nae Scotch body at the
Prince of Oranger's court that kend ye? I wad hae thought Morton o'
Milnwood was kend a' through the country."

"I was purposely engaged in distant service," said Morton, "until a
period when few, without as deep and kind a motive of interest as yours,
Ailie, would have known the stripling Morton in Major-General Melville."

"Malville was your mother's name," said Mrs. Wilson; "but Morton sounds
far bonnier in my auld lugs. And when ye tak up the lairdship, ye maun
tak the auld name and designation again."

"I am like to be in no haste to do either the one or the other, Ailie,
for I have some reasons for the present to conceal my being alive from
every one but you; and as for the lairdship of Milnwood, it is in as good
hands."

"As gude hands, hinny!" re-echoed Ailie; "I'm hopefu' ye are no meaning
mine? The rents and the lands are but a sair fash to me. And I'm ower
failed to tak a helpmate, though Wylie Mactrickit the writer was very
pressing, and spak very civilly; but I 'm ower auld a cat to draw that
strae before me. He canna whilliwhaw me as he's dune mony a ane. And then
I thought aye ye wad come back, and I wad get my pickle meal and my soup
milk, and keep a' things right about ye as I used to do in your puir
uncle's time, and it wad be just pleasure eneugh for me to see ye thrive
and guide the gear canny. Ye'll hae learned that in Holland, I'se
warrant, for they're thrifty folk there, as I hear tell.--But ye'll be
for keeping rather a mair house than puir auld Milnwood that's gave; and,
indeed, I would approve o' your eating butchermeat maybe as aften as
three times a-week,--it keeps the wind out o' the stamack."

"We will talk of all this another time," said Morton, surprised at the
generosity upon a large scale which mingled in Ailie's thoughts and
actions with habitual and sordid parsimony, and at the odd contrast
between her love of saving and indifference to self-acquisition. "You
must know," he continued, "that I am in this country only for a few days
on some special business of importance to the Government, and therefore,
Ailie, not a word of having seen me. At some other time I will acquaint
you fully with my motives and intentions."

"E'en be it sae, my jo," replied Ailie, "I can keep a secret like my
neighbours; and weel auld Milnwood kend it, honest man, for he tauld me
where he keepit his gear, and that's what maist folk like to hae as
private as possibly may be.--But come awa wi' me, hinny, till I show ye
the oak-parlour how grandly it's keepit, just as if ye had been expected
haine every day,--I loot naebody sort it but my ain hands. It was a kind
o' divertisement to me, though whiles the tear wan into my ee, and I said
to mysell, What needs I fash wi' grates and carpets and cushions and the
muckle brass candlesticks ony mair? for they'll ne'er come hame that
aught it rightfully."

With these words she hauled him away to this sanctum sanctorum, the
scrubbing and cleaning whereof was her daily employment, as its high
state of good order constituted the very pride of her heart. Morton, as
he followed her into the room, underwent a rebuke for not "dighting his
shune," which showed that Ailie had not relinquished her habits of
authority. On entering the oak-parlour he could not but recollect the
feelings of solemn awe with which, when a boy, he had been affected at
his occasional and rare admission to an apartment which he then supposed
had not its equal save in the halls of princes. It may be readily
supposed that the worked-worsted chairs, with their short ebony legs and
long upright backs, had lost much of their influence over his mind; that
the large brass andirons seemed diminished in splendour; that the green
worsted tapestry appeared no masterpiece of the Arras loom; and that the
room looked, on the whole, dark, gloomy, and disconsolate. Yet there were
two objects, "The counterfeit presentment of two brothers," which,
dissimilar as those described by Hamlet, affected his mind with a variety
of sensations. One full-length portrait represented his father in
complete armour, with a countenance indicating his masculine and
determined character; and the other set forth his uncle, in velvet and
brocade, looking as if he were ashamed of his own finery, though entirely
indebted for it to the liberality of the painter.

"It was an idle fancy," Ailie said, "to dress the honest auld man in thae
expensive fal-lalls that he ne'er wore in his life, instead o' his douce
Raploch grey, and his band wi' the narrow edging."

In private, Morton could not help being much of her opinion; for anything
approaching to the dress of a gentleman sate as ill on the ungainly
person of his relative as an open or generous expression would have done
on his mean and money-making features. He now extricated himself from
Ailie to visit some of his haunts in the neighbouring wood, while her own
hands made an addition to the dinner she was preparing,--an incident no
otherwise remarkable than as it cost the life of a fowl, which, for any
event of less importance than the arrival of Henry Morton, might have
cackled on to a good old age ere Ailie could have been guilty of the
extravagance of killing and dressing it. The meal was seasoned by talk of
old times and by the plans which Ailie laid out for futurity, in which
she assigned her young master all the prudential habits of her old one,
and planned out the dexterity with which she was to exercise her duty as
governante. Morton let the old woman enjoy her day-dreams and
castle-building during moments of such pleasure, and deferred till some
fitter occasion the communication of his purpose again to return and
spend his life upon the Continent.

His next care was to lay aside his military dress, which he considered
likely to render more difficult his researches after Burley. He exchanged
it--for a grey doublet and cloak, formerly his usual attire at Milnwood,
and which Mrs. Wilson produced from a chest of walnut-tree, wherein she
had laid them aside, without forgetting carefully to brush and air them
from time to time. Morton retained his sword and fire-arms, without which
few persons travelled in those unsettled times. When he appeared in his
new attire, Mrs. Wilson was first thankful "that they fitted him sae
decently, since, though he was nae fatter, yet he looked mair manly than
when he was taen frae Milnwood."

Next she enlarged on the advantage of saving old clothes to be what she
called "beet-masters to the new," and was far advanced in the history of
a velvet cloak belonging to the late Milnwood, which had first been
converted to a velvet doublet, and then into a pair of breeches, and
appeared each time as good as new, when Morton interrupted her account of
its transmigration to bid her good-by.

He gave, indeed, a sufficient shock to her feelings, by expressing the
necessity he was under of proceeding on his journey that evening.

"And where are ye gaun? And what wad ye do that for? And whar wad ye
sleep but in your ain house, after ye hae been sae mony years frae hame?"

"I feel all the unkindness of it, Ailie, but it must be so; and that was
the reason that I attempted to conceal myself from you, as I suspected
you would not let me part from you so easily."

"But whar are ye gaun, then?" said Ailie, once more. "Saw e'er mortal een
the like o' you, just to come ae moment, and flee awa like an arrow out
of a bow the neist?"

"I must go down," replied Morton, "to Niel Blane the Piper's Howff; he
can give me a bed, I suppose?"

"A bed? I'se warrant can he," replied Ailie, "and gar ye pay weel for 't
into the bargain. Laddie, I daresay ye hae lost your wits in thae foreign
parts, to gang and gie siller for a supper and a bed, and might hae baith
for naething, and thanks t' ye for accepting them."

"I assure you, Ailie," said Morton, desirous to silence her
remonstrances, "that this is a business of great importance, in which I
may be a great gainer, and cannot possibly be a loser."

"I dinna see how that can be, if ye begin by gieing maybe the feck o'
twal shillings Scots for your supper; but young folks are aye
venturesome, and think to get siller that way. My puir auld master took
a surer gate, and never parted wi' it when he had anes gotten 't."

Persevering in his desperate resolution, Morton took leave of Ailie, and
mounted his horse to proceed to the little town, after exacting a solemn
promise that she would conceal his return until she again saw or heard
from him.

"I am not very extravagant," was his natural reflection, as he trotted
slowly towards the town; "but were Ailie and I to set up house together,
as she proposes, I think my profusion would break the good old creature's
heart before a week were out."



CHAPTER XX.

               Where's the jolly host
               You told me of? 'T has been my custom ever
               To parley with mine host.
                                  Lover's Progress.

Morton reached the borough town without meeting with any remarkable
adventure, and alighted at the little inn. It had occurred to him more
than once, while upon his journey, that his resumption of the dress which
he had worn while a youth, although favourable to his views in other
respects, might render it more difficult for him to remain incognito. But
a few years of campaigns and wandering had so changed his appearance that
he had great confidence that in the grown man, whose brows exhibited the
traces of resolution and considerate thought, none would recognise the
raw and bashful stripling who won the game of the popinjay. The only
chance was that here and there some Whig, whom he had led to battle,
might remember the Captain of the Milnwood Marksmen; but the risk, if
there was any, could not be guarded against.

The Howff seemed full and frequented as if possessed of all its old
celebrity. The person and demeanour of Niel Blane, more fat and less
civil than of yore, intimated that he had increased as well in purse as
in corpulence; for in Scotland a landlord's complaisance for his guests
decreases in exact proportion to his rise in the world. His daughter had
acquired the air of a dexterous barmaid, undisturbed by the circumstances
of love and war, so apt to perplex her in the exercise of her vocation.
Both showed Morton the degree of attention which could have been expected
by a stranger travelling without attendants, at a time when they were
particularly the badges of distinction. He took upon himself exactly the
character his appearance presented, went to the stable and saw his horse
accommodated, then returned to the house, and seating himself in the
public room (for to request one to himself would, in those days, have
been thought an overweening degree of conceit), he found himself in the
very apartment in which he had some years before celebrated his victory
at the game of the popinjay,--a jocular preferment which led to so many
serious consequences.

He felt himself, as may well be supposed, a much changed man since that
festivity; and yet, to look around him, the groups assembled in the Howff
seemed not dissimilar to those which the same scene had formerly
presented. Two or three burghers husbanded their "dribbles o' brandy;"
two or three dragoons lounged over their muddy ale, and cursed the
inactive times that allowed them no better cheer. Their cornet did not,
indeed, play at backgammon with the curate in his cassock, but he drank
a little modicum of /aqua mirabilis/ with the grey-cloaked Presbyterian
minister. The scene was another, and yet the same, differing only in
persons, but corresponding in general character.

Let the tide of the world wax or wane as it will, Morton thought as he
looked around him, enough will be found to fill the places which chance
renders vacant; and in the usual occupations and amusements of life,
human beings will succeed each other as leaves upon the same tree, with
the same individual difference and the same general resemblance.

After pausing a few minutes, Morton, whose experience had taught him the
readiest mode of securing attention, ordered a pint of claret; and as the
smiling landlord appeared with the pewter measure foaming fresh from the
tap (for bottling wine was not then in fashion), he asked him to sit down
and take a share of the good cheer. This invitation was peculiarly
acceptable to Niel Blane, who, if he did not positively expect it from
every guest not provided with better company, yet received it from many,
and was not a whit abashed or surprised at the summons. He sat down,
along with his guest, in a secluded nook near the chimney; and while he
received encouragement to drink by far the greater share of the liquor
before them, he entered at length, as a part of his expected functions,
upon the news of the country,--the births, deaths, and marriages; the
change of property; the downfall of old families, and the rise of new.
But politics, now the fertile source of eloquence, mine host did not care
to mingle in his theme; and it was only in answer to a question of Morton
that he replied, with an air of indifference, "Um! ay! we aye hae sodgers
amang us, mair or less. There's a wheen German horse down at Glasgow
yonder; they ca' their commander Wittybody, or some sic name, though he's
as grave and grewsome an auld Dutchman as e'er I saw."

"Wittenbold, perhaps?" said Morton,--"an old man, with grey hair and
short black moustaches; speaks seldom?"

"And smokes for ever," replied Niel Blane. "I see your honour kens the
man. He may be a very gude man too, for aught I see,--that is,
considering he is a sodger and a Dutchman; but if he were ten generals,
and as mony Wittybodies, he has nae skill in the pipes; he gar'd me stop
in the middle of Torphichen's Rant,--the best piece o' music that ever
bag gae wind to."

"But these fellows," said Morton, glancing his eye towards the soldiers
that were in the apartment, are not of his corps?"

"Na, na, these are Scotch dragoons," said mine host,--"our ain auld
caterpillars; these were Claver'se's lads a while syne, and wad be again,
maybe, if he had the lang ten in his hand."

"Is there not a report of his death?" inquired Morton.

"Troth is there," said the landlord; "your honour is right,--there is sic
a fleeing rumour; but, in my puir opinion, it's lang or the deil die. I
wad hae the folks here look to themsells. If he makes an outbreak, he'll
be doun frae the Hielands or I could drink this glass,--and whare are
they then? A' thae hell-rakers o' dragoons wad be at his whistle in a
moment. Nae doubt they're Willie's men e'en now, as they were James's a
while syne; and reason good,--they fight for their pay; what else hae
they to fight for? They hae neither lands nor houses, I trow. There's ae
gude thing o' the change, or the Revolution, as they ca' it,--folks may
speak out afore thae birkies now, and nae fear o' being hauled awa to the
guard-house, or having the thumikins screwed on your finger-ends, just as
I wad drive the screw through a cork."

There was a little pause, when Morton, feeling confident in the progress
he had made in mine host's familiarity, asked, though with the hesitation
proper to one who puts a question on the answer to which rests something
of importance, "Whether Blane knew a woman in that neighbourhood called
Elizabeth Maclure?"

"Whether I ken Bessie Maclure?" answered the landlord, with a landlord's
laugh,--"How can I but ken my ain wife's (haly be her rest!)--my ain
wife's first gudeman's sister, Bessie Maclure? An honest wife she is, but
sair she's been trysted wi' misfortunes,--the loss o' twa decent lads o'
sons, in the time o' the persecution, as they ca' it nowadays; and
doucely and decently she has borne her burden, blaming nane and
condemning nane. If there's an honest woman in the world, it's Bessie
Maclure. And to lose her twa sons, as I was saying, and to hae dragoons
clinked down on her for a month bypast,--for, be Whig or Tory uppermost,
they aye quarter thae loons on victuallers,--to lose, as I was saying--"

"This woman keeps an inn, then?" interrupted Morton.

"A public, in a puir way," replied Blane, looking round at his own
superior accommodations,--"a sour browst o' sma' ale that she sells to
folk that are over drouthy wi' travel to be nice; but naething to ca' a
stirring trade or a thriving changehouse."

"Can you get me a guide there?" said Morton.

"Your honour will rest here a' the night? Ye'll hardly get accommodation
at Bessie's," said Niel, whose regard for his deceased wife's relative by
no means extended to sending company from his own house to hers.

"There is a friend," answered Morton, "whom I am to meet with there, and
I only called here to take a stirrup-cup and inquire the way."

"Your honour had better," answerd the landlord, with the perseverance of
his calling, "send some ane to warn your friend to come on here."

"I tell you, landlord," answered Morton, impatiently, "that will not
serve my purpose; I must go straight to this woman Maclure's house, and
I desire you to find me a guide."

"Aweel, sir, ye'll choose for yoursell, to be sure," said Niel Blane,
somewhat disconcerted; "but deil a guide ye'll need if ye gae doun the
water for twa mile or sae, as gin ye were bound for Milnwoodhouse, and
then tak the first broken disjasked-looking road that makes for the
hills,--ye'll ken 't by a broken ash-tree that stands at the side o' a
burn just where the roads meet; and then travel out the path,--ye canna
miss Widow Maclure's public, for deil another house or hauld is on the
road for ten lang Scots miles, and that's worth twenty English. I am
sorry your honour would think o' gaun out o' my house the night. But my
wife's gude-sister is a decent woman, and it's no lost that a friend
gets."

Morton accordingly paid his reckoning and departed. The sunset of the
summer day placed him at the ash-tree, where the path led up towards the
moors.

"Here," he said to himself, "my misfortunes commenced; for just here,
when Burley and I were about to separate on the first night we ever met,
he was alarmed by the intelligence that the passes were secured by
soldiers lying in wait for him. Beneath that very ash sate the old woman
who apprised him of his danger. How strange that my whole fortunes should
have become inseparably interwoven with that man's, without anything more
on my part than the discharge of an ordinary duty of humanity! Would to
Heaven it were possible I could find my humble quiet and tranquillity of
mind upon the spot where I lost them!"

Thus arranging his reflections betwixt speech and thought, he turned his
horse's head up the path.

Evening lowered around him as he advanced up the narrow dell which had
once been a wood, but was now a ravine divested of trees, unless where a
few, from their inaccessible situation on the edge of precipitous banks,
or clinging among rocks and huge stones, defied the invasion of men and
of cattle, like the scattered tribes of a conquered country, driven to
take refuge in the barren strength of its mountains. These too, wasted
and decayed, seemed rather to exist than to flourish, and only served to
indicate what the landscape had once been. But the stream brawled down
among them in all its freshness and vivacity, giving the life and
animation which a mountain rivulet alone can confer on the barest and
most savage scenes, and which the inhabitants of such a country miss when
gazing even upon the tranquil winding of a majestic stream through plains
of fertility, and beside palaces of splendour. The track of the road
followed the course of the brook, which was now visible, and now only to
be distinguished by its brawling heard among the stones or in the clefts
of the rock that occasionally interrupted its course.

"Murmurer that thou art," said Morton, in the enthusiasm of his reverie,
"why chafe with the rocks that stop thy course for a moment? There is a
sea to receive thee in its bosom; and there is an eternity for man when
his fretful and hasty course through the vale of time shall be ceased and
over. What thy petty fuming is to the deep and vast billows of a
shoreless ocean, are our cares, hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows to the
objects which must occupy us through the awful and boundless succession
of ages!"

Thus moralizing, our traveller passed on till the dell opened, and the
banks, receding from the brook, left a little green vale, exhibiting a
croft, or small field, on which some corn was growing, and a cottage,
whose walls were not above five feet high, and whose thatched roof, green
with moisture, age, houseleek, and grass, had in some places suffered
damage from the encroachment of two cows, whose appetite this appearance
of verdure had diverted from their more legitimate pasture. An ill-spelt
and worse-written inscription intimated to the traveller that he might
here find refreshment for man and horse,--no unacceptable intimation,
rude as the hut appeared to be, considering the wild path he had trod in
approaching it, and the high and waste mountains which rose in desolate
dignity behind this humble asylum.

It must indeed have been, thought Morton, in some such spot as this that
Burley was likely to find a congenial confident.

As he approached, he observed the good dame of the house herself, seated
by the door; she had hitherto been concealed from him by a huge
alder-bush.

"Good evening, Mother," said the traveller. "Your name is Mistress
Maclure?"

"Elizabeth Maclure, sir, a poor widow," was the reply.

"Can you lodge a stranger for a night?"

"I can, sir, if he will be pleased with the widow's cake and the widow's
cruse."

"I have been a soldier, good dame," answered Morton, "and nothing can
come amiss to me in the way of entertainment."

"A sodger, sir?" said the old woman, with a sigh,--"God send ye a better
trade!"

"It is believed to be an honourable profession, my good dame; I hope you
do not think the worse of me for having belonged to it?"

"I judge no one, sir," replied the woman, "and your voice sounds like
that of a civil gentleman; but I hae witnessed sae muckle ill wi'
sodgering in this puir land that I am e'en content that I can see nae
mair o't wi' these sightless organs."

As she spoke thus, Morton observed that she was blind.

"Shall I not be troublesome to you, my good dame?" said he,
compassionately; "your infirmity seems ill calculated for your
profession."

"Na, sir," answered the old woman, "I can gang about the house readily
eneugh; and I hae a bit lassie to help me, and the dragoon lads will look
after your horse when they come hame frae their patrol, for a sma'
matter; they are civiller now than lang syne."

Upon these assurances, Morton alighted.

"Peggy, my bonny bird," continued the hostess, addressing a little girl
of twelve years old, who had by this time appeared, "tak the gentleman's
horse to the stable, and slack his girths, and tak aff the bridle, and
shake down a lock o' hay before him, till the dragoons come back.--Come
this way, sir," she continued; "ye'll find my house clean, though it's a
puir ane."

Morton followed her into the cottage accordingly.



CHAPTER XXI.

               Then out and spake the auld mother,
               And fast her tears did fa
               "Ye wadna be warn'd, my son Johnie,
               Frae the hunting to bide awa!"
                                          Old Ballad.

When he entered the cottage, Morton perceived that the old hostess had
spoken truth. The inside of the hut belied its outward appearance, and
was neat, and even comfortable, especially the inner apartment, in which
the hostess informed her guest that he was to sup and sleep. Refreshments
were placed before him such as the little inn afforded; and though he had
small occasion for them, he accepted the offer, as the means of
maintaining some discourse with the landlady. Notwithstanding her
blindness, she was assiduous in her attendance, and seemed, by a sort of
instinct, to find her way to what she wanted.

"Have you no one but this pretty little girl to assist you in waiting on
your guests?" was the natural question.

"None, sir," replied his old hostess; "I dwell alone, like the widow of
Zarephath. Few guests come to this puir place, and I haena custom eneugh
to hire servants. I had anes twa fine sons that lookit after a' thing.
--But God gives and takes away,--His name be praised!" she continued,
turning her clouded eyes towards Heaven.--"I was anes better off, that
is, waridly speaking, even since I lost them; but that was before this
last change."

"Indeed!" said Morton; "and yet you are a Presbyterian, my good mother?"

"I am, sir; praised be the light that showed me the right way," replied
the landlady.

"Then I should have thought," continued the guest, the Revolution would
have brought you nothing but good."

"If," said the old woman, "it has brought the land gude, and freedom of
worship to tender consciences, it's little matter what it has brought to
a puir blind worm like me."

"Still," replied Morton, "I cannot see how it could possibly injure you."

"It's a lang story, sir," answered his hostess, with a sigh. "But ae
night, sax weeks or thereby afore Bothwell Brigg, a young gentleman
stopped at this puir cottage, stiff and bloody with wounds, pale and dune
out wi' riding, and his horse sae weary he couldna drag ae foot after the
other, and his foes were close ahint him, and he was ane o' our enemies.
What could I do, sir? You that's a sodger will think me but a silly auld
wife; but I fed him, and relieved him, and keepit him hidden till the
pursuit was ower."

"And who," said Morton, "dares disapprove of your having done so?"

"I kenna," answered the blind woman; "I gat ill-will about it amang some
o' our ain folk. They said I should hae been to him what Jael was to
Sisera. But weel I wot I had nae divine command to shed blood, and to
save it was baith like a woman and a Christian. And then they said I
wanted natural affection, to relieve ane that belanged to the band that
murdered my twa sons."

"That murdered your two sons?"

"Ay, sir; though maybe ye'll gie their deaths another name. The tane fell
wi' sword in hand, fighting for a broken national Covenant; the
tother,--oh, they took him and shot him dead on the green before his
mother's face! My auld een dazzled when the shots were looten off, and,
to my thought, they waxed weaker and weaker ever since that weary day;
and sorrow, and heart-break, and tears that would not be dried, might
help on the disorder. But, alas! betraying Lord Evandale's young blood
to his enemies' sword wad ne'er hae brought my Ninian and Johnie alive
again."

"Lord Evandale?" said Morton, in surprise. "Was it Lord Evandale whose
life you saved?"

"In troth, even his," she replied. "And kind he was to me after, and gae
me a cow and calf, malt, meal, and siller, and nane durst steer me when
he was in power. But we live on an outside bit of Tillietudlem land, and
the estate was sair plea'd between Leddy Margaret Bellenden and the
present laird, Basil Olifant, and Lord Evandale backed the auld leddy for
love o' her daughter Miss Edith, as the country said, ane o' the best and
bonniest lassies in Scotland. But they behuved to gie way, and Basil gat
the Castle and land, and on the back o' that came the Revolution, and wha
to turn coat faster than the laird? for he said he had been a true Whig
a' the time, and turned papist only for fashion's sake. And then he got
favour, and Lord Evandale's head was under water; for he was ower proud
and manfu' to bend to every blast o' wind, though mony a ane may ken as
weel as me that be his ain principles as they might, he was nae ill
friend to our folk when he could protect us, and far kinder than Basil
Olifant, that aye keepit the cobble head doun the stream. But he was set
by and ill looked on, and his word ne'er asked; and then Basil, wha's a
revengefu' man, set himsell to vex him in a' shapes, and especially by
oppressing and despoiling the auld blind widow, Bessie Maclure, that
saved Lord Evandale's life, and that he was sae kind to. But he's mistaen
if that's his end; for it will be lang or Lord Evandale hears a word frae
me about the selling my kye for rent or e'er it was due, or the putting
the dragoons on me when the country's quiet, or onything else that will
vex him,--I can bear my ain burden patiently, and warld's loss is the
least part o't."

Astonished and interested at this picture of patient, grateful, and
high-minded resignation, Morton could not help bestowing an execration
upon the poor-spirited rascal who had taken such a dastardly course of
vengeance.

"Dinna curse him, sir," said the old woman; "I have heard a good man say
that a curse was like a stone flung up to the heavens, and maist like to
return on the head that sent it. But if ye ken Lord Evandale, bid him
look to himsell, for I hear strange words pass atween the sodgers that
are lying here, and his name is often mentioned; and the tane o' them has
been twice up at Tillietudlem. He's a kind of favourite wi' the laird,
though he was in former times ane o' the maist cruel oppressors ever rade
through a country (out-taken Sergeant Bothwell),--they ca' him Inglis."

"I have the deepest interest in Lord Evandale's safety," said Morton,
"and you may depend on my finding some mode to apprise him of these
suspicious circumstances. And, in return, my good friend, will you
indulge me with another question? Do you know anything of Quintin Mackell
of Irongray?"

"Do I know whom?" echoed the blind woman, in a tone of great surprise and
alarm.

"Quintin Mackell of Irongray," repeated Morton. "Is there anything so
alarming in the sound of that name?"

"Na, na," answered the woman, with hesitation; "but to hear him asked
after by a stranger and a sodger,--Gude protect us, what mischief is
to come next!"

"None by my means, I assure you," said Morton; "the subject of my inquiry
has nothing to fear from me if, as I suppose, this Quintin Mackell is the
same with John Bal-----."

"Do not mention his name," said the widow, pressing his lips with her
fingers. "I see you have his secret and his pass-word, and I'll be free
wi' you. But, for God's sake, speak lound and low. In the name of Heaven,
I trust ye seek him not to his hurt! Ye said ye were a sodger?"

"I said truly; but one he has nothing to fear from. I commanded a party
at Bothwell Bridge."

"Indeed?" said the woman. "And verily there is something in your voice I
can trust. Ye speak prompt and readily, and like an honest man."

"I trust I am so," said Morton.

"But nae displeasure to you, sir, in thae waefu' times," continued Mrs.
Maclure, "the hand of brother is against brother, and he fears as mickle
almaist frae this Government as e'er he did frae the auld persecutors."

"Indeed?" said Morton, in a tone of inquiry; I was not aware of that. But
I am only just now returned from abroad."

"I'll tell ye," said the blind woman, first assuming an attitude of
listening that showed how effectually her powers of collecting
intelligence had been transferred from the eye to the ear; for, instead
of casting a glance of circumspection around, she stooped her face, and
turned her head slowly around, in such a manner as to insure that there
was not the slightest sound stirring in the neighbourhood, and then
continued,--"I'll tell ye. Ye ken how he has laboured to raise up again
the Covenant, burned, broken, and buried in the hard hearts and selfish
devices of this stubborn people. Now, when he went to Holland, far from
the countenance and thanks of the great, and the comfortable fellowship
of the godly, both whilk he was in right to expect, the Prince of Orange
wad show him no favour, and the ministers no godly communion. This was
hard to bide for ane that had suffered and done mickle,--ower mickle, it
may be; but why suld I be a judge? He came back to me and to the auld
place o' refuge that had often received him in his distresses, mair
especially before the great day of victory at Drumclog, for I sail ne'er
forget how he was bending hither of a' nights in the year on that e'ening
after the play when young Milnwood wan the popinjay; but I warned him off
for that time."

"What!" exclaimed Morton, "it was you that sat in your red cloak by the
high-road, and told him there was a lion in the path?"

"In the name of Heaven! wha are ye?" said the old woman, breaking off her
narrative in astonishment. "But be wha ye may," she continued, resuming
it with tranquillity, "ye can ken naething waur o' me than that I hae
been willing to save the life o' friend and foe."

"I know no ill of you, Mrs. Maclure, and I mean no ill by you; I only
wished to show you that I know so much of this person's affairs that I
might be safely intrusted with the rest. Proceed, if you please, in your
narrative."

"There is a strange command in your voice," said the blind woman, "though
its tones are sweet. I have little mair to say. The Stewarts hae been
dethroned, and William and Mary reign in their stead; but nae mair word
of the Covenant than if it were a dead letter. They hae taen the indulged
clergy, and an Erastian General Assembly of the ante pure and triumphant
Kirk of Scotland, even into their very arms and bosoms. Our faithfu'
champions o' the testimony agree e'en waur wi' this than wi' the open
tyranny and apostasy of the persecuting times, for souls are hardened and
deadened, and the mouths of fasting multitudes are crammed wi' fizenless
bran instead of the sweet word in season; and mony an hungry, starving
creature, when he sits down on a Sunday forenoon to get something that
might warm him to the great work, has a dry clatter o' morality driven
about his lugs, and--"

"In short," said Morton, desirous to stop a discussion which the good old
woman, as enthusiastically attached to her religious profession as to the
duties of humanity, might probably have indulged longer,--"In short, you
are not disposed to acquiesce in this new government, and Burley is of
the same opinion?"

"Many of our brethren, sir, are of belief we fought for the Covenant, and
fasted and prayed and suffered for that grand national league, and now we
are like neither to see nor hear tell of that which we suffered and
fought and fasted and prayed for. And anes it was thought something might
be made by bringing back the auld family on a new bargain and a new
bottom, as, after a', when King James went awa, I understand the great
quarrel of the English against him was in behalf of seven unhallowed
prelates; and sae, though ae part of our people were free to join wi' the
present model, and levied an armed regiment under the Yerl of Angus, yet
our honest friend, and others that stude up for purity of doctrine and
freedom of conscience, were determined to hear the breath o' the
Jacobites before they took part again them, fearing to fa' to the ground
like a wall built with unslaked mortar, or from sitting between twa
stools."

"They chose an odd quarter," said Morton, "from which to expect freedom
of conscience and purity of doctrine."

"Oh, dear sir!" said the landlady, "the natural day-spring rises in the
east, but the spiritual dayspring may rise in the north, for what we
blinded mortals ken."

"And Burley went to the north to seek it?" replied the guest.

"Truly ay, sir; and he saw Claver'se himsell, that they ca' Dundee now."

"What!" exclaimed Morton, in amazement; "I would have sworn that meeting
would have been the last of one of their lives."

"Na, na, sir; in troubled times, as I understand," said Mrs. Maclure,
"there's sudden changes,--Montgomery and Ferguson and mony ane mair that
were King James's greatest faes are on his side now. Claver'se spake our
friend fair, and sent him to consult with Lord Evandale. But then there
was a break-off, for Lord Evandale wadna look at, hear, or speak wi' him;
and now he's anes wud and aye waur, and roars for revenge again Lord
Evandale, and will hear nought of onything but burn and slay. And oh,
thae starts o' passion! they unsettle his mind, and gie the Enemy sair
advantages."

"The enemy?" said Morton; "What enemy?"

"What enemy? Are ye acquainted familiarly wi' John Balfour o' Burley, and
dinna ken that he has had sair and frequent combats to sustain against
the Evil One? Did ye ever see him alone but the Bible was in his hand,
and the drawn sword on his knee? Did ye never sleep in the same room wi'
him, and hear him strive in his dreams with the delusions of Satan? Oh,
ye ken little o' him if ye have seen him only in fair daylight; for nae
man can put the face upon his doleful visits and strifes that he can do.
I hae seen him, after sic a strife of agony, tremble that an infant might
hae held him, while the hair on his brow was drapping as fast as ever my
puir thatched roof did in a heavy rain." As she spoke, Morton began to
recollect the appearance of Burley during his sleep in the hay-loft at
Milnwood, the report of Cuddie that his senses had become impaired, and
some whispers current among the Cameronians, who boasted frequently of
Burley's soul-exercises and his strifes with the foul fiend,--which
several circumstances led him to conclude that this man himself was a
victim to those delusions, though his mind, naturally acute and forcible,
not only disguised his superstition from those in whose opinion it might
have discredited his judgment, but by exerting such a force as is said to
be proper to those afflicted with epilepsy, could postpone the fits which
it occasioned until he was either freed from superintendence, or
surrounded by such as held him more highly on account of these
visitations. It was natural to suppose, and could easily be inferred from
the narrative of Mrs. Maclure, that disappointed ambition, wrecked hopes,
and the downfall of the party which he had served with such desperate
fidelity, were likely to aggravate enthusiasm into temporary insanity. It
was, indeed, no uncommon circumstance in those singular times that men
like Sir Harry Vane, Harrison, Overton, and others, themselves slaves to
the wildest and most enthusiastic dreams, could, when mingling with the
world, conduct themselves not only with good sense in difficulties, and
courage in dangers, but with the most acute sagacity and determined
valour. The subsequent part of Mrs. Maclure's information confirmed
Morton in these impressions.

"In the grey of the morning," she said, "my little Peggy sail show ye the
gate to him before the sodgers are up. But ye maun let his hour of
danger, as he ca's it, be ower, afore ye venture on him in his place of
refuge. Peggy will tell ye when to venture in. She kens his ways weel,
for whiles she carries him some little helps that he canna do
without to sustain life."

"And in what retreat, then," said Morton, "has this unfortunate person
found refuge?"

"An awsome place," answered the blind woman, "as ever living creature
took refuge in; they ca it the Black Linn of Linklater. It's a doleful
place, but he loves it abune a' others, because he has sae often been in
safe hiding there; and it's my belief he prefers it to a tapestried
chamber and a down bed. But ye'll see 't. I hae seen it mysell mony a day
syne. I was a daft hempie lassie then, and little thought what was to
come o't.--Wad ye choose ony thing, sir, ere ye betake yoursell to your
rest, for ye maun stir wi' the first dawn o' the grey light?"

"Nothing more, my good mother," said Morton; and they parted for the
evening.

Morton recommended himself to Heaven, threw himself on the bed, heard,
between sleeping and waking, the trampling of the dragoon horses at the
riders' return from their patrol, and then slept soundly after such
painful agitation.



CHAPTER XXII.

               The darksome cave they enter, where they found
               The accursed man low sitting on the ground,
               Musing full sadly in his sullen mind.
                                      SPENSER.

As the morning began to appear on the mountains, a gentle knock was heard
at the door of the humble apartment in which Morton slept, and a girlish
treble voice asked him, from without, "If he wad please gang to the Linn
or the folk raise?"

He arose upon the invitation, and, dressing himself hastily, went forth
and joined his little guide. The mountain maid tript lightly before him,
through the grey haze, over hill and moor. It was a wild and varied walk,
unmarked by any regular or distinguishable track, and keeping, upon the
whole, the direction of the ascent of the brook, though without tracing
its windings. The landscape, as they advanced, became waster and more
wild, until nothing but heath and rock encumbered the side of the valley.

"Is the place still distant?" said Morton. "Nearly a mile off," answered
the girl. "We'll be there belive."

"And do you often go this wild journey, my little maid?"

"When grannie sends me wi' milk and meal to the Linn," answered the
child.

"And are you not afraid to travel so wild a road alone?"

"Hout na, sir," replied the guide; "nae living creature wad touch sic a
bit thing as I am, and grannie says we need never fear onything else when
we are doing a gude turn."

"Strong in innocence as in triple mail!" said Morton to himself, and
followed her steps in silence.

They soon came to a decayed thicket, where brambles and thorns supplied
the room of the oak and birches of which it had once consisted. Here the
guide turned short off the open heath, and, by a sheep-track, conducted
Morton to the brook. A hoarse and sullen roar had in part prepared him
for the scene which presented itself, yet it was not to be viewed without
surprise and even terror. When he emerged from the devious path which
conducted him through the thicket, he found himself placed on a ledge of
flat rock projecting over one side of a chasm not less than a hundred
feet deep, where the dark mountain-stream made a decided and rapid shoot
over the precipice, and was swallowed up by a deep, black, yawning gulf.
The eye in vain strove to see the bottom of the fall; it could catch but
one sheet of foaming uproar and sheer descent, until the view was
obstructed by the proecting crags which enclosed the bottom of the
waterfall, and hid from sight the dark pool which received its tortured
waters; far beneath, at the distance of perhaps a quarter of a mile, the
eye caught the winding of the stream as it emerged into a more open
course. But, for that distance, they were lost to sight as much as if a
cavern had been arched over them; and indeed the steep and projecting
ledges of rock through which they wound their way in darkness were very
nearly closing and over-roofing their course.

While Morton gazed at this scene of tumult, which seemed, by the
surrounding thickets and the clefts into which the waters descended, to
seek to hide itself from every eye, his little attendant as she stood
beside him on the platform of rock which commanded the best view of the
fall, pulled him by the sleeve, and said, in a tone which he could not
hear without stooping his ear near the speaker, "Hear till him! Eh! hear
till him!"

Morton listened more attentively; and out of the very abyss into which
the brook fell, and amidst the turnultuary sounds of the cataract,
thought he could distinguish shouts, screams, and even articulate words,
as if the tortured demon of the stream had been mingling his complaints
with the roar of his broken waters.

"This is the way," said the little girl; "follow me, gin ye please, sir,
but tak tent to your feet;" and, with the daring agility which custom had
rendered easy, she vanished from the platform on which she stood, and, by
notches and slight projections in the rock, scrambled down its face into
the chasm which it overhung. Steady, bold, and active, Morton hesitated
not to follow her; but the necessary attention to secure his hold and
footing in a descent where both foot and hand were needful for security,
prevented him from looking around him, till, having descended nigh twenty
feet, and being sixty or seventy above the pool which received the fall,
his guide made a pause, and he again found himself by her side in a
situation that appeared equally romantic and precarious. They were nearly
opposite to the waterfall, and in point of level situated at about
one-quarter's depth from the point of the cliff over which it thundered,
and three-fourths of the height above the dark, deep, and restless pool
which received its fall. Both these tremendous points--the first shoot,
namely, of the yet unbroken stream, and the deep and sombre abyss into
which it was emptied--were full before him, as well as the whole
continuous stream of billowy froth, which, dashing from the one, was
eddying and boiling in the other. They were so near this grand phenomenon
that they were covered with its spray, and well-nigh deafened by the
incessant roar. But crossing in the very front of the fall, and at scarce
three yards distance from the cataract, an old oak-tree, flung across the
chasm in a manner that seemed accidental, formed a bridge of fearfully
narrow dimensions and uncertain footing. The upper end of the tree rested
on the platform on which they stood; the lower or uprooted extremity
extended behind a projection on the opposite side, and was secured,
Morton's eye could not discover where. From behind the same projection
glimmered a strong red light, which, glancing in the waves of the falling
water, and tinging them partially with crimson, had a strange
preternatural and sinister effect when contrasted with the beams of the
rising sun, which glanced on the first broken waves of the fall, though
even its meridian splendour could not gain the third of its full depth.
When he had looked around him for a moment, the girl again pulled his
sleeve, and, pointing to the oak and the projecting point beyond it (for
hearing speech was now out of the question), indicated that there lay his
farther passage.

Morton gazed at her with surprise; for although he well knew that the
persecuted Presbyterians had in the preceding reigns sought refuge among
dells and thickets, caves and cataracts, in spots the most extraordinary
and secluded; although he had heard of the champions of the Covenant, who
had long abidden beside Dobs-lien on the wild heights of Polmoodie, and
others who had been concealed in the yet more terrific cavern called
Creehope-linn, in the parish of Closeburn,--yet his imagination had never
exactly figured out the horrors of such a residence, and he was surprised
how the strange and romantic scene which he now saw had remained
concealed from him, while a curious investigator of such natural
phenomena. But he readily conceived that, lying in a remote and wild
district, and being destined as a place of concealment to the persecuted
preachers and professors of nonconformity, the secret of its existence
was carefully preserved by the few shepherds to whom it might be known.
As, breaking from these meditations, he began to consider how he should
traverse the doubtful and terrific bridge, which, skirted by the cascade,
and rendered wet and slippery by its constant drizzle, traversed the
chasm above sixty feet from the bottom of the fall, his guide, as if to
give him courage, tript over and back without the least hesitation.
Envying for a moment the little bare feet which caught a safer hold of
the rugged side of the oak than he could pretend to with his heavy boots,
Morton nevertheless resolved to attempt the passage, and, fixing his eye
firm on a stationary object on the other side, without allowing his head
to become giddy, or his attention to be distracted by the flash, the
foam, and the roar of the waters around him, he strode steadily and
safely along the uncertain bridge, and reached the mouth of a small
cavern on the farther side of the torrent. Here he paused; for a light,
proceeding from a fire of red-hot charcoal, permitted him to see the
interior of the cave, and enabled him to contemplate the appearance of
its inhabitant, by whom he himself could not be so readily distinguished,
being concealed by the shadow of the rock. What he observed would by no
means have encouraged a less determined man to proceed with the task
which he had undertaken.

Burley, only altered from what he had been formerly by the addition of a
grisly beard, stood in the midst of the cave, with his clasped Bible in
one hand, and his drawn sword in the other. His figure, dimly ruddied by
the light of the red charcoal, seemed that of a fiend in the lurid
atmosphere of Pandemonium, and his gestures and words, as far as they
could be heard, seemed equally violent and irregular. All alone, and in a
place of almost unapproachable seclusion, his demeanour was that of
a man who strives for life and death with a mortal enemy. "Ha!
ha!--there--there!" he exclaimed, accompanying each word with a thrust,
urged with his whole force against the impassible and empty air, "Did I
not tell thee so?--I have resisted, and thou fleest from me!--Coward as
thou art, come in all thy terrors; come with mine own evil deeds, which
render thee most terrible of all,--there is enough betwixt the boards of
this book to rescue me!--What mutterest thou of grey hairs? It was well
done to slay him,--the more ripe the corn, the readier for the sickle.--
Art gone? Art gone?--I have ever known thee but a coward--ha! ha! ha!"

With these wild exclamations he sunk the point of his sword, and remained
standing still in the same posture, like a maniac whose fit is over.

"The dangerous time is by now," said the little girl who had followed;
"it seldom lasts beyond the time that the sun's ower the hill; ye may
gang in and speak wi' him now. I'll wait for you at the other side of the
linn; he canna bide to see twa folk at anes."

Slowly and cautiously, and keeping constantly upon his guard, Morton
presented himself to the view of his old associate in command.

"What! comest thou again when thine hour is over?" was his first
exclamation; and flourishing his sword aloft, his countenance assumed an
expression in which ghastly terror seemed mingled with the rage of a
demoniac.

"I am come, Mr. Balfour," said Morton, in a steady and composed tone,
"to renew an acquaintance which has been broken off since the fight of
Bothwell Bridge."

As soon as Burley became aware that Morton was before him in person,--an
idea which he caught with marvellous celerity,--he at once exerted that
mastership over his heated and enthusiastic imagination, the power of
enforcing which was a most striking part of his extraordinary character.
He sunk his sword-point at once, and as he stole it composedly into the
scabbard, he muttered something of the damp and cold which sent an old
soldier to his fencing exercise, to prevent his blood from chilling. This
done, he proceeded in the cold, determined manner which was peculiar to
his ordinary discourse:--

"Thou hast tarried long, Henry Morton, and hast not come to the vintage
before the twelfth hour has struck. Art thou yet willing to take the
right hand of fellowship, and be one with those who look not to thrones
or dynasties, but to the rule of Scripture, for their directions?"


[Illustration: Morton and Black Linn--272]


"I am surprised," said Morton, evading the direct answer to his question,
"that you should have known me after so many years."

"The features of those who ought to act with me are engraved on my
heart," answered Burley; "and few but Silas Morton's son durst have
followed me into this my castle of retreat. Seest thou that drawbridge of
Nature's own construction?" he added, pointing to the prostrate
oak-tree,--"one spurn of my foot, and it is overwhelmed in the abyss
below, bidding foeman on the farther side stand at defiance, and leaving
enemies on this at the mercy of one who never yet met his equal in single
fight."

"Of such defences," said Morton, "I should have thought you would now
have had little need."

"Little need?" said Burley impatiently. "What little need, when incarnate
fiends are combined against me on earth, and Sathan himself--But it
matters not," added he, checking himself. "Enough that I like my place
of refuge, my cave of Adullam, and would not change its rude ribs of
limestone rock for the fair chambers of the castle of the earls of
Torwood, with their broad bounds and barony. Thou, unless the foolish
fever-fit be over, mayst think differently."

"It was of those very possessions I came to speak," said Morton; "and I
doubt not to find Mr. Balfour the same rational and reflecting person
which I knew him to be in times when zeal disunited brethren."

"Ay?" said Burley; "indeed? Is such truly your hope? Wilt thou express it
more plainly?"

"In a word, then," said Morton, "you have exercised, by means at which I
can guess, a secret, but most prejudicial, influence over the fortunes of
Lady Margaret Bellenden and her granddaughter, and in favour of that
base, oppressive apostate, Basil Olifant, whom the law, deceived by thy
operations, has placed in possession of their lawful property."

"Sayest thou?" said Balfour.

"I do say so," replied Morton; "and face to face you will not deny what
you have vouched by your handwriting."

"And suppose I deny it not," said Balfour; "and suppose that
thy--eloquence were found equal to persuade me to retrace the steps I
have taken on matured resolve,--what will be thy meed? Dost thou still
hope to possess the fair-haired girl, with her wide and rich
inheritance?"

"I have no such hope," answered Morton, calmly.

"And for whom, then, hast thou ventured to do this great thing,--to seek
to rend the prey from the valiant, to bring forth food from the den of
the lion, and to extract sweetness from the maw of the devourer? For
whose sake hast thou undertaken to read this riddle, more hard than
Samson's?"

"For Lord Evandale's and that of his bride," replied Morton, firmly.
"Think better of mankind, Mr. Balfour, and believe there are some who are
willing to sacrifice their happiness to that of others."

"Then, as my soul liveth," replied Balfour, "thou art, to wear beard and
back a horse and draw a sword, the tamest and most gall-less puppet that
ever sustained injury unavenged. What! thou wouldst help that accursed
Evandale to the arms of the woman that thou lovest; thou wouldst endow
them with wealth and with heritages, and thou think'st that there lives
another man, offended even more deeply than thou, yet equally
cold-livered and mean-spirited, crawling upon the face of the earth,
and hast dared to suppose that one other to be John Balfour?"

"For my own feelings," said Morton, composedly, "I am answerable to none
but Heaven; to you, Mr. Balfour, I should suppose it of little
consequence whether Basil Olifant or Lord Evandale possess these
estates."

"Thou art deceived," said Burley; "both are indeed in outer darkness,
and strangers to the light, as he whose eyes have never been opened to
the day. But this Basil Olifant is a Nabal, a Demas, a base churl whose
wealth and power are at the disposal of him who can threaten to deprive
him of them. He became a professor because he was deprived of these lands
of Tillietudlem; he turned a papist to obtain possession of them; he
called himself an Erastian, that he might not again lose them; and he
will become what I list while I have in my power the document that may
deprive him of them. These lands are a bit between his jaws and a hook in
his nostrils, and the rein and the line are in my hands to guide them as
I think meet; and his they shall therefore be, unless I had assurance of
bestowing them on a sure and sincere friend. But Lord Evandale is a
malignant, of heart like flint, and brow like adamant; the goods of the
world fall on him like leaves on the frost-bound earth, and unmoved he
will see them whirled off by the first wind. The heathen virtues of such
as he are more dangerous to us than the sordid cupidity of those who,
governed by their interest, must follow where it leads, and who,
therefore, themselves the slaves of avarice, may be compelled to work
in the vineyard, were it but to earn the wages of sin."

"This might have been all well some years since," replied Morton, "and I
could understand your argument, although I could never acquiesce in its
justice. But at this crisis it seems useless to you to persevere in
keeping up an influence which can no longer be directed to an useful
purpose. The land has peace, liberty, and freedom of conscience,--and
what would you more?"

"More!" exclaimed Burley, again unsheathing his sword, with a vivacity
which nearly made Morton start. "Look at the notches upon that weapon
they are three in number, are they not?"

"It seems so," answered Morton; "but what of that?"

"The fragment of steel that parted from this first gap rested on the
skull of the perjured traitor who first introduced Episcopacy into
Scotland; this second notch was made in the rib-bone of an impious
villain, the boldest and best soldier that upheld the prelatic cause at
Drumclog; this third was broken on the steel head-piece of the captain
who defended the Chapel of Holyrood when the people rose at the
Revolution. I cleft him to the teeth, through steel and bone. It has done
great deeds, this little weapon, and each of these blows was a
deliverance to the Church. This sword," he said, again sheathing it,
"has yet more to do,--to weed out this base and pestilential heresy of
Erastianism; to vindicate the true liberty of the Kirk in her purity;
to restore the Covenant in its glory,--then let it moulder and rust
beside the bones of its master."

"You have neither men nor means, Mr. Balfour, to disturb the Government
as now settled," argued Morton; "the people are in general satisfied,
excepting only the gentlemen of the Jacobite interest; and surely you
would not join with those who would only use you for their own purposes?"

"It is they," answered Burley, "that should serve ours. I went to the
camp of the malignant Claver'se, as the future King of Israel sought the
land of the Philistines; I arranged with him a rising; and but for the
villain Evandale, the Erastians ere now had been driven from the West.--
I could slay him," he added, with a vindictive scowl, "were he grasping
the horns of the altar!" He then proceeded in a calmer tone: "If thou,
son of mine ancient comrade, were suitor for thyself to this Edith
Bellenden, and wert willing to put thy hand to the great work with zeal
equal to thy courage, think not I would prefer the friendship of Basil
Olifant to thine; thou shouldst then have the means that this document
[he produced a parchment] affords to place her in possession of the lands
of her fathers. This have I longed to say to thee ever since I saw thee
fight the good fight so strongly at the fatal Bridge. The maiden loved
thee, and thou her."

Morton replied firmly, "I will not dissemble with you, Mr. Balfour, even
to gain a good end. I came in hopes to persuade you to do a deed of
justice to others, not to gain any selfish end of my own. I have failed;
I grieve for your sake more than for the loss which others will sustain
by your injustice."

"You refuse my proffer, then?" said Burley, with kindling eyes.

"I do," said Morton. "Would you be really, as you are desirous to be
thought, a man of honour and conscience, you would, regardless of all
other considerations, restore that parchment to Lord Evandale, to be used
for the advantage of the lawful heir."

"Sooner shall it perish!" said Balfour; and, casting the deed into the
heap of red charcoal beside him, pressed it down with the heel of his
boot.

While it smoked, shrivelled, and crackled in the flames, Morton sprung
forward to snatch it, and Burley catching hold of him, a struggle ensued.
Both were strong men; but although Morton was much the more active and
younger of the two, yet Balfour was the most powerful, and effectually
prevented him from rescuing the deed until it was fairly reduced to a
cinder. They then quitted hold of each other, and the enthusiast,
rendered fiercer by the contest, glared on Morton with an eye expressive
of frantic revenge.

"Thou hast my secret," he exclaimed; "thou must be mine, or die!"

"I contemn your threats," said Morton; "I pity you, and leave you."
But as he turned to retire, Burley stept before him, pushed the oak-trunk
from its resting place, and as it fell thundering and crashing into the
abyss beneath, drew his sword, and cried out, with a voice that rivalled
the roar of the cataract and the thunder of the falling oak, "Now thou
art at bay! Fight,--yield, or die!" and standing in the mouth of the
cavern, he flourished his naked sword.

"I will not fight with the man that preserved my father's life," said
Morton. "I have not yet learned to say the words, 'I yield;' and my life
I will rescue as I best can."

So speaking, and ere Balfour was aware of his purpose, he sprung past
him, and exerting that youthful agility of which he possessed an uncommon
share, leaped clear across the fearful chasm which divided the mouth of
the cave from the projecting rock on the opposite side, and stood there
safe and free from his incensed enemy. He immediately ascended the
ravine, and, as he turned, saw Burley stand for an instant aghast with
astonishment, and then, with the frenzy of disappointed rage, rush into
the interior of his cavern.

It was not difficult for him to perceive that this unhappy man's mind had
been so long agitated by desperate schemes and sudden disappointments
that it had lost its equipoise, and that there was now in his conduct a
shade of lunacy, not the less striking, from the vigour and craft with
which he pursued his wild designs. Morton soon joined his guide, who had
been terrified by the fall of the oak. This he represented as accidental;
and she assured him, in return, that the inhabitant of the cave would
experience no inconvenience from it, being always provided with materials
to construct another bridge.

The adventures of the morning were not yet ended. As they approached the
hut, the little girl made an exclamation of surprise at seeing her
grandmother groping her way towards them, at a greater distance from her
home than she could have been supposed capable of travelling.

"Oh, sir, sir!" said the old woman, when she heard them approach, "gin
e'er ye loved Lord Evandale, help now, or never! God be praised that left
my hearing when he took my poor eyesight! Come this way,--this way. And
oh, tread lightly. Peggy, hinny, gang saddle the gentleman's horse, and
lead him cannily ahint the thorny shaw, and bide him there."

She conducted him to a small window, through which, himself unobserved,
he could see two dragoons seated at their morning draught of ale, and
conversing earnestly together.

"The more I think of it," said the one, "the less I like it, Inglis;
Evandale was a good officer and the soldier's friend; and though we were
punished for the mutiny at Tillietudlem, yet, by ---, Frank, you must own
we deserved it."

"D--n seize me if I forgive him for it, though!" replied the other; "and
I think I can sit in his skirts now."

"Why, man, you should forget and forgive. Better take the start with him
along with the rest, and join the ranting Highlanders. We have all eat
King James's bread."

"Thou art an ass; the start, as you call it, will never happen,--the
day's put off. Halliday's seen a ghost, or Miss Bellenden's fallen sick
of the pip, or some blasted nonsense or another; the thing will never
keep two days longer, and the first bird that sings out will get the
reward."

"That's true too," answered his comrade; "and will this fellow--this
Basil Olifant--pay handsomely?"

"Like a prince, man," said Inglis. "Evandale is the man on earth whom he
hates worst, and he fears him, besides, about some law business; and were
he once rubbed out of the way, all, he thinks, will be his own."

"But shall we have warrants and force enough?" said the other fellow.
"Few people here will stir against my lord, and we may find him with some
of our own fellows at his back."

"Thou 'rt a cowardly fool, Dick," returned Inglis; he is living quietly
down at Fairy Knowe to avoid suspicion. Olifant is a magistrate, and will
have some of his own people that he can trust along with him. There are
us two, and the laird says he can get a desperate fighting Whig fellow,
called Quintin Mackell, that has an old grudge at Evandale."

"Well, well, you are my officer, you know," said the private, with true
military conscience, "and if anything is wrong--"

"I'll take the blame," said Inglis. "Come, another pot of ale, and let us
to Tillietudlem.--Here, blind Bess!--Why, where the devil has the old hag
crept to?"

"Delay them as long as you can," whispered Morton, as he thrust his purse
into the hostess's hand; "all depends on gaining time."

Then, walking swiftly to the place where the girl held his horse ready,
"To Fairy Knowe? No; alone I could not protect them. I must instantly to
Glasgow. Wittenbold, the commandant there, will readily give me the
support of a troop, and procure me the countenance of the civil power. I
must drop a caution as I pass.--Come, Moorkopf," he said, addressing his
horse as he mounted him, "this day must try your breath and speed."



CHAPTER XXIII.

          Yet could he not his closing eyes withdraw,
          Though less and less of Emily he saw;
          So, speechless for a little space he lay,
          Then grasp'd the hand he held, and sigh'd his soul away.
                                       Palamon and Acite.

The indisposition of Edith confined her to bed during the eventful day on
which she had received such an unexpected shock from the sudden
apparition of Morton. Next morning, however, she was reported to be so
much better that Lord Evandale resumed his purpose of leaving Fairy
Knowe. At a late hour in the forenoon Lady Emily entered the apartment of
Edith with a peculiar gravity of manner. Having received and paid the
compliments of the day, she observed it would be a sad one for her,
though it would relieve Miss Bellenden of an encumbrance: "My brother
leaves us today, Miss Bellenden."

"Leaves us!" exclaimed Edith, in surprise; "for his own house, I trust?"

"I have reason to think he meditates a more distant journey," answered
Lady Emily; "he has little to detain him in this country."

"Good Heaven!" exclaimed Edith, "why was I born to become the wreck of
all that is manly and noble! What can be done to stop him from running
headlong on ruin? I will come down instantly.--Say that I implore he will
not depart until I speak with him."

"It will be in vain, Miss Bellenden; but I will execute your commission;"
and she left the room as formally as she had entered it, and informed her
brother Miss Bellenden was so much recovered as to propose coming
downstairs ere he went away.

"I suppose," she added pettishly, "the prospect of being speedily
released from our company has wrought a cure on her shattered nerves."

"Sister," said Lord Evandale, "you are unjust, if not envious."

"Unjust I maybe, Evandale, but I should not have dreamt," glancing her
eye at a mirror, "of being thought envious without better cause. But let
us go to the old lady; she is making a feast in the other room which
might have dined all your troop when you had one."

Lord Evandale accompanied her in silence to the parlour, for he knew it
was in vain to contend with her prepossessions and offended pride. They
found the table covered with refreshments, arranged under the careful
inspection of Lady Margaret.

"Ye could hardly weel be said to breakfast this morning, my Lord
Evandale, and ye maun e'en partake of a small collation before ye ride,
such as this poor house, whose inmates are so much indebted to you, can
provide in their present circumstances. For my ain part, I like to see
young folk take some refection before they ride out upon their sports or
their affairs, and I said as much to his most sacred Majesty when he
breakfasted at Tillietudlem in the year of grace sixteen hundred and
fifty-one; and his most sacred Majesty was pleased to reply, drinking to
my health at the same time in a flagon of Rhenish wine, 'Lady Margaret,
ye speak like a Highland oracle.' These were his Majesty's very words;
so that your lordship may judge whether I have not good authority to
press young folk to partake of their vivers."

It may be well supposed that much of the good lady's speech failed Lord
Evandale's ears, which were then employed in listening for the light step
of Edith. His absence of mind on this occasion, however natural, cost him
very dear. While Lady Margaret was playing the kind hostess,--a part she
delighted and excelled in,--she was interrupted by John Gudyill, who, in
the natural phrase for announcing an inferior to the mistress of a
family, said, "There was ane wanting to speak to her leddyship."

"Ane! what ane? Has he nae name? Ye speak as if I kept a shop, and was to
come at everybody's whistle."

"Yes, he has a name," answered John, "but your leddyship likes ill to
hear't." What is it, you fool?"

"It's Calf-Gibbie, my leddy," said John, in a tone rather above the pitch
of decorous respect, on which he occasionally trespassed, confiding in
his merit as an ancient servant of the family and a faithful follower of
their humble fortunes,--"It's Calf-Gibbie, an your leddyship will hae't,
that keeps Edie Henshaw's kye down yonder at the Brigg-end,--that's him
that was Guse-Gibbie at Tillietudlem, and gaed to the wappinshaw, and
that--"

"Hold your peace, John," said the old lady, rising in dignity; "you are
very insolent to think I wad speak wi' a person like that. Let him tell
his business to you or Mrs. Headrigg."

"He'll no hear o' that, my leddy; he says them that sent him bade him gie
the thing to your leddyship's ain hand direct, or to Lord Evandale's, he
wots na whilk. But, to say the truth, he's far frae fresh, and he's but
an idiot an he were."

"Then turn him out," said Lady Margaret, "and tell him to come back
to-morrow when he is sober. I suppose he comes to crave some benevolence,
as an ancient follower o' the house."

"Like eneugh, my leddy, for he's a' in rags, poor creature."

Gudyill made another attempt to get at Gibbie's commission, which was
indeed of the last importance, being a few lines from Morton to Lord
Evandale, acquainting him with the danger in which he stood from the
practices of Olifant, and exhorting him either to instant flight, or else
to come to Glasgow and surrender himself, where he could assure him of
protection. This billet, hastily written, he intrusted to Gibbie, whom he
saw feeding his herd beside the bridge, and backed with a couple of
dollars his desire that it might instantly be delivered into the hand to
which it was addressed.

But it was decreed that Goose-Gibbie's intermediation, whether as an
emissary or as a man-at-arms, should be unfortunate to the family of
Tillietudlem. He unluckily tarried so long at the ale-house to prove if
his employer's coin was good that, when he appeared at Fairy Knowe, the
little sense which nature had given him was effectually drowned in ale
and brandy; and instead of asking for Lord Evandale, he demanded to speak
with Lady Margaret, whose name was more familiar to his ear. Being
refused admittance to her presence, he staggered away with the letter
undelivered, perversely faithful to Morton's instructions in the only
point in which it would have been well had he departed from them.
A few minutes after he was gone, Edith entered the apartment. Lord
Evandale and she met with mutual embarrassment, which Lady Margaret, who
only knew in general that their union had been postponed by her
granddaughter's indisposition, set down to the bashfulness of a bride and
bridegroom, and, to place them at ease, began to talk to Lady Emily on
indifferent topics. At this moment Edith, with a countenance as pale as
death, muttered, rather than whispered, to Lord Evandale a request to
speak with him. He offered his arm, and supported her into the small
ante-room, which, as we have noticed before, opened from the parlour. He
placed her in a chair, and, taking one himself, awaited the opening of
the conversation.

"I am distressed, my lord," were the first words she was able to
articulate, and those with difficulty; "I scarce know what I would say,
nor how to speak it."

"If I have any share in occasioning your uneasiness," said Lord Evandale,
mildly, "you will soon, Edith, be released from it."

"You are determined then, my lord," she replied, "to run this desperate
course with desperate men, in spite of your own better reason, in spite
of your friends' entreaties, in spite of the almost inevitable ruin which
yawns before you?"

"Forgive me, Miss Bellenden; even your solicitude on my account must not
detain me when my honour calls. My horses stand ready saddled, my
servants are prepared, the signal for rising will be given so soon as I
reach Kilsyth. If it is my fate that calls me, I will not shun meeting
it. It will be something," he said, taking her hand, "to die deserving
your compassion, since I cannot gain your love."

"Oh, my lord, remain!" said Edith, in a tone which went to his heart;
"time may explain the strange circumstance which has shocked me so much;
my agitated nerves may recover their tranquillity. Oh, do not rush on
death and ruin! remain to be our prop and stay, and hope everything from
time!"

"It is too late, Edith," answered Lord Evandale; "and I were most
ungenerous could I practise on the warmth and kindliness of your feelings
towards me. I know you cannot love me; nervous distress, so strong as to
conjure up the appearance of the dead or absent, indicates a predilection
too powerful to give way to friendship and gratitude alone. But were it
otherwise, the die is now cast."

As he spoke thus, Cuddie burst into the room, terror and haste in his
countenance. "Oh, my lord, hide yoursell! they hae beset the outlets o'
the house," was his first exclamation.

"They? Who?" said Lord Evandale.

"A party of horse, headed by Basil Olifant," answered Cuddie.

"Oh, hide yourself, my lord!" echoed Edith, in an agony of terror.

"I will not, by Heaven!" answered Lord Evandale. "What right has the
villain to assail me or stop my passage? I will make my way, were he
backed by a regiment; tell Halliday and Hunter to get out the horses.--
And now, farewell, Edith!" He clasped her in his arms, and kissed her
tenderly; then, bursting from his sister, who, with Lady Margaret,
endeavoured to detain him, rushed out and mounted his horse.

All was in confusion; the women shrieked and hurried in consternation to
the front windows of the house, from which they could see a small party
of horsemen, of whom two only seemed soldiers. They were on the open
ground before Cuddie's cottage, at the bottom of the descent from the
house, and showed caution in approaching it, as if uncertain of the
strength within.

"He may escape, he may escape!" said Edith; "oh, would he but take the
by-road!"

But Lord Evandale, determined to face a danger which his high spirit
undervalued, commanded his servants to follow him, and rode composedly
down the avenue. Old Gudyill ran to arm himself, and Cuddie snatched down
a gun which was kept for the protection of the house, and, although on
foot, followed Lord Evandale. It was in vain his wife, who had hurried up
on the alarm, hung by his skirts, threatening him with death by the sword
or halter for meddling with other folk's matters.

"Hand your peace, ye b----," said Cuddie; "and that's braid Scotch, or I
wotna what is. Is it ither folk's matters to see Lord Evandale murdered
before my face?" and down the avenue he marched. But considering on the
way that he composed the whole infantry, as John Gudyill had not
appeared, he took his vantage ground behind the hedge, hammered his
flint, cocked his piece, and, taking a long aim at Laird Basil, as he was
called, stood prompt for action.

As soon as Lord Evandale appeared, Olifant's party spread themselves a
little, as if preparing to enclose him. Their leader stood fast,
supported by three men, two of whom were dragoons, the third in dress and
appearance a countryman, all well armed. But the strong figure, stern
features, and resolved manner of the third attendant made him seem the
most formidable of the party; and whoever had before seen him could have
no difficulty in recognising Balfour of Burley.

"Follow me," said Lord Evandale to his servants, "and if we are forcibly
opposed, do as I do." He advanced at a hand gallop towards Olifant, and
was in the act of demanding why he had thus beset the road, when Olifant
called out, "Shoot the traitor!" and the whole four fired their carabines
upon the unfortunate nobleman. He reeled in the, saddle, advanced his
hand to the holster, and drew a pistol, but, unable to discharge it, fell
from his horse mortally wounded. His servants had presented their
carabines. Hunter fired at random; but Halliday, who was an intrepid
fellow, took aim at Inglis, and shot him dead on the spot. At the same
instant a shot from behind the hedge still more effectually avenged Lord
Evandale, for the ball took place in the very midst of Basil Olifant's
forehead, and stretched him lifeless on the ground. His followers,
astonished at the execution done in so short a time, seemed rather
disposed to stand inactive, when Burley, whose blood was up with the
contest, exclaimed, "Down with the Midianites!" and attacked Halliday
sword in hand. At this instant the clatter of horses' hoofs was heard,
and a party of horse, rapidly advancing on the road from Glasgow,
appeared on the fatal field. They were foreign dragoons, led by the Dutch
commandant Wittenbold, accompanied by Morton and a civil magistrate.

A hasty call to surrender, in the name of God and King William, was
obeyed by all except Burley, who turned his horse and attempted to
escape. Several soldiers pursued him by command of their officer, but,
being well mounted, only the two headmost seemed likely to gain on him.
He turned deliberately twice, and discharging first one of his pistols,
and then the other, rid himself of the one pursuer by mortally wounding
him, and of the other by shooting his horse, and then continued his
flight to Bothwell Bridge, where, for his misfortune, he found the gates
shut and guarded. Turning from thence, he made for a place where the
river seemed passable, and plunged into the stream, the bullets from the
pistols and carabines of his pursuers whizzing around him. Two balls took
effect when he was past the middle of the stream, and he felt himself
dangerously wounded. He reined his horse round in the midst of the river,
and returned towards the bank he had left, waving his hand, as if with
the purpose of intimating that he surrendered. The troopers ceased firing
at him accordingly, and awaited his return, two of them riding a little
way into the river to seize and disarm him. But it presently appeared
that his purpose was revenge, not safety. As he approached the two
soldiers, he collected his remaining strength, and discharged a blow on
the head of one, which tumbled him from his horse. The other dragoon, a
strong, muscular man, had in the mean while laid hands on him. Burley, in
requital, grasped his throat, as a dying tiger seizes his prey, and both,
losing the saddle in the struggle, came headlong into the river, and were
swept down the stream. Their course might be traced by the blood which
bubbled up to the surface. They were twice seen to rise, the Dutchman
striving to swim, and Burley clinging to him in a manner that showed his
desire that both should perish. Their corpses were taken out about a
quarter of a mile down the river. As Balfour's grasp could not have been
unclenched without cutting off his hands, both were thrown into a hasty
grave, still marked by a rude stone and a ruder epitaph.

     [Gentle reader, I did request of mine honest friend Peter Proudfoot,
     travelling merchant, known to many of this land for his faithful and
     just dealings, as well in muslins and cambrics as in small wares, to
     procure me on his next peregrinations to that vicinage, a copy of
     the Epitaphion alluded to. And, according to his report, which I see
     no ground to discredit, it runneth thus:--

               Here lyes ane saint to prelates surly,
               Being John Balfour, sometime of Burley,
               Who stirred up to vengeance take,
               For Solemn League and Cov'nant's sake,
               Upon the Magus-Moor in Fife,
               Did tak James Sharpe the apostate's life;
               By Dutchman's hands was hacked and shot,
               Then drowned in Clyde near this saam spot.]

While the soul of this stern enthusiast flitted to its account, that of
the brave and generous Lord Evandale was also released. Morton had flung
himself from his horse upon perceiving his situation, to render his dying
friend all the aid in his power. He knew him, for he pressed his hand,
and, being unable to speak, intimated by signs his wish to be conveyed to
the house. This was done with all the care possible, and he was soon
surrounded by his lamenting friends. But the clamorous grief of Lady
Emily was far exceeded in intensity by the silent agony of Edith.

Unconscious even of the presence of Morton, she hung over the dying man;
nor was she aware that Fate, who was removing one faithful lover, had
restored another as if from the grave, until Lord Evandale, taking their
hands in his, pressed them both affectionately, united them together,
raised his face as if to pray for a blessing on them, and sunk back and
expired in the next moment.



                               CONCLUSION.

I had determined to waive the task of a concluding chapter, leaving to
the reader's imagination the arrangements which must necessarily take
place after Lord Evandale's death. But as I was aware that precedents are
wanting for a practice which might be found convenient both to readers
and compilers, I confess myself to have been in a considerable dilemma,
when fortunately I was honoured with an invitation to drink tea with Miss
Martha Buskbody, a young lady who has carried on the profession of
mantua-making at Ganderscleugh and in the neighbourhood, with great
success, for about forty years. Knowing her taste for narratives of this
description, I requested her to look over the loose sheets the morning
before I waited on her, and enlighten me by the experience which she must
have acquired in reading through the whole stock of three circulating
libraries, in Ganderscleugh and the two next market-towns. When, with a
palpitating heart, I appeared before her in the evening, I found her much
disposed to be complimentary.

"I have not been more affected," said she, wiping the glasses of her
spectacles, "by any novel, excepting the 'Tale of Jemmy and Jenny
Jessamy', which is indeed pathos itself; but your plan of omitting a
formal conclusion will never do. You may be as harrowing to our nerves as
you will in the course of your story, but, unless you had the genius
of the author of 'Julia de Roubignd,' never let the end be altogether
overclouded. Let us see a glimpse of sunshine in the last chapter; it is
quite essential."

"Nothing would be more easy for me, madam, than to comply with your
injunctions; for, in truth, the parties in whom you have had the goodness
to be interested, did live long and happily, and begot sons and
daughters."

"It is unnecessary, sir," she said, with a slight nod of reprimand, "to
be particular concerning their matrimonial comforts. But what is your
objection to let us have, in a general way, a glimpse of their future
felicity?"

"Really, madam," said I, "you must be aware that every volume of a
narrative turns less and less interesting as the author draws to a
conclusion,--just like your tea, which, though excellent hyson, is
necessarily weaker and more insipid in the last cup. Now, as I think the
one is by no means improved by the luscious lump of half-dissolved sugar
usually found at the bottom of it, so I am of opinion that a history,
growing already vapid, is but dully crutched up by a detail of
circumstances which every reader must have anticipated, even though the
author exhaust on them every flowery epithet in the language."

"This will not do, Mr. Pattieson," continued the lady; "you have, as I
may say, basted up your first story very hastily and clumsily at the
conclusion; and, in my trade, I would have cuffed the youngest apprentice
who had put such a horrid and bungled spot of work out of her hand. And
if you do not redeem this gross error by telling us all about the
marriage of Morton and Edith, and what became of the other personages of
the story, from Lady Margaret down to Goose-Gibbie, I apprise you that
you will not be held to have accomplished your task handsomely."

"Well, madam," I replied, "my materials are so ample that I think I can
satisfy your curiosity, unless it descend to very minute circumstances
indeed."

"First, then," said she, "for that is most essential,--Did Lady Margaret
get back her fortune and her castle?"

"She did, madam, and in the easiest way imaginable, as heir, namely, to
her worthy cousin, Basil Olifant, who died without a will; and thus, by
his death, not only restored, but even augmented, the fortune of her,
whom, during his life, he had pursued with the most inveterate malice.
John Gudyill, reinstated in his dignity, was more important than ever;
and Cuddie, with rapturous delight, entered upon the cultivation of the
mains of Tillietudlem, and the occupation of his original cottage. But,
with the shrewd caution of his character, he was never heard to boast of
having fired the lucky shot which repossessed his lady and himself in
their original habitations. 'After a',' he said to Jenny, who was his
only confidant, 'auld Basil Olifant was my leddy's cousin and a grand
gentleman; and though he was acting again the law, as I understand, for
he ne'er showed ony warrant, or required Lord Evandale to surrender, and
though I mind killing him nae mair than I wad do a muircock, yet it 's
just as weel to keep a calm sough about it.' He not only did so, but
ingeniously enough countenanced a report that old Gudyill had done the
deed,--which was worth many a gill of brandy to him from the old butler,
who, far different in disposition from Cuddie, was much more inclined to
exaggerate than suppress his exploits of manhood. The blind widow was
provided for in the most comfortable manner, as well as the little guide
to the Linn; and--"

"But what is all this to the marriage,--the marriage of the principal
personages?" interrupted Miss Buskbody, impatiently tapping her
snuff-box.

"The marriage of Morton and Miss Bellenden was delayed for several
months, as both went into deep mourning on account of Lord Evandale's
death. They were then wedded."

"I hope not without Lady Margaret's consent, sir?" said my fair critic.
"I love books which teach a proper deference in young persons to their
parents. In a novel the young people may fall in love without their
countenance, because it is essential to the necessary intricacy of the
story; but they must always have the benefit of their consent at last.
Even old Delville received Cecilia, though the daughter of a man of low
birth."

"And even so, madam," replied I, "Lady Margaret was prevailed on to
countenance Morton, although the old Covenanter, his father, stuck sorely
with her for some time. Edith was her only hope, and she wished to see
her happy; Morton, or Melville Morton, as he was more generally called,
stood so high in the reputation of the world, and was in every other
respect such an eligible match, that she put her prejudice aside, and
consoled herself with the recollection that marriage went by destiny, as
was observed to her, she said, by his most sacred Majesty, Charles the
Second of happy memory, when she showed him the portrait of her
grand-father Fergus, third Earl of Torwood, the handsomest man of his
time, and that of Countess Jane, his second lady, who had a hump-back
and only one. eye. This was his Majesty's observation, she said, on one
remarkable morning when he deigned to take his /disjune/--"

"Nay," said Miss Buskbody, again interrupting me, "if she brought such
authority to countenance her acquiescing in a misalliance, there was no
more to be said.--And what became of old Mrs. What's her name, the
housekeeper?"

"Mrs. Wilson, madam?" answered I. "She was perhaps the happiest of the
party; for once a year, and not oftener, Mr. and Mrs. Melville Morton
dined in the great wainscotted chamber in solemn state, the hangings
being all displayed, the carpet laid down, and the huge brass candlestick
set on the table, stuck round with leaves of laurel. The preparing the
room for this yearly festival employed her mind for six months before it
came about, and the putting matters to rights occupied old Alison the
other six, so that a single day of rejoicing found her business for all
the year round."

"And Niel Blane?" said Miss Buskbody.

"Lived to a good old age, drank ale and brandy with guests of all
persuasions, played Whig or Jacobite tunes as best pleased his customers,
and died worth as much money as married Jenny to a cock laird. I hope,
ma'am, you have no other inquiries to make, for really--"

"Goose-Gibbie, sir?" said my persevering friend,--"Goose-Gibbie, whose
ministry was fraught with such consequences to the personages of the
narrative?"

"Consider, my dear Miss Buskbody, (I beg pardon for the
familiarity),--but pray consider, even the memory of the renowned
Scheherazade, that Empress of Tale-tellers, could not preserve every
circumstance. I am not quite positive as to the fate of Goose-Gibbie,
but am inclined to think him the same with one Gilbert Dudden, alias
Calf-Gibbie, who was whipped through Hamilton for stealing poultry."

Miss Buskbody now placed her left foot on the fender, crossed her right
leg over her knee, lay back on the chair, and looked towards the ceiling.
When I observed her assume this contemplative mood, I concluded she was
studying some farther cross-examination, and therefore took my hat and
wished her a hasty good-night, ere the Demon of Criticism had supplied
her with any more queries. In like manner, gentle Reader, returning you
my thanks for the patience which has conducted you thus far, I take the
liberty to withdraw myself from you for the present.



                               PERORATION.

It was mine earnest wish, most courteous Reader, that the "Tales of my
Landlord" should have reached thine hands in one entire succession of
tomes, or volumes. But as I sent some few more manuscript quires,
containing the continuation of these most pleasing narratives, I was
apprised, somewhat unceremoniously, by my publisher that he did not
approve of novels (as he injuriously called these real histories)
extending beyond four volumes, and if I did not agree to the first four
being published separately, he threatened to decline the article. (Oh,
ignorance! as if the vernacular article of our mother English were
capable of declension.) Whereupon, somewhat moved by his remonstrances,
and more by heavy charges for print and paper, which he stated to have
been already incurred, I have resolved that these four volumes shall be
the heralds or avant-couriers of the Tales which are yet in my
possession, nothing doubting that they will be eagerly devoured, and the
remainder anxiously demanded, by the unanimous voice of a discerning
public. I rest, esteemed Reader, thine as thou shalt construe me,

JEDEDIAH CLEISHBOTHAM.
GANDERCLEUGH, Nov. 15, 1816.


[Illustration: Interior of Abbotsford--302]



GLOSSARY.

A', all.
A'body, everybody.
Aboon, abune, above.
Ae, one.
Aff, off.
Afore, before.
Again, against, until.
Ahint, behind.
Ain, own.
Ajee, awry.
Amaist, almost.
Amna, am not.
An, if, suppose.
Ane, one.
Anent, regarding.
Anes, once.
Anither, another.
Arles, earnest money.
Asteer, in confusion.
Atweel, aweel, well.
Aught, own, possessed of; also, eight.
Auld, old.
Awa', away.
Awe, to owe. "Awe a day in har'st," to owe a good turn.
Awsome, awful, terrible.

Bab, a bunch.
Back-cast, back-stroke.
Baith, both.
Bang, to beat.
Bannock, a scone.
Bawbee, a halfpenny.
Beild, shelter.
Bein, bien, well provided.
Belive, directly.
Bide, to wait, to suffer. "Bide a blink," stay a minute.
Birky, a lively young fellow.
Birl, to toss, to drink.
Bleeze, a blaze; also, to brag, to talk ostentatiously.
Blithe, happy.
Blude, bluid, blood.
Boddle, a small copper coin.
Branks, a kind of bridle.
Braw, fine, brave.
Brawly, cleverly.
Braws, fine clothes.
Breeks, breeches.
Brigg, a bridge.
Brogue, the Highland shoe.
Browst, a brewing.
Budget, a carabine-socket.
Busk, to deck up.
"By and out-taken," over and above and excepting.

Ca', to call. "Ca' the pleugh," to work the plough.
Canna, cannot. "Canna hear day nor door," as deaf as a post.
Canny, quiet, cautious, snug.
Carcage, a carcass.
Carena, care not.
Carline, an old woman, a witch.
Cast, chance, opportunity, fate.
"Cast o' a cart," chance use of a cart.
Certie! conscience!
Change-house, a small inn or alehouse.
Chield, a fellow.
Chimley, a chimney.
Claes, clothes.
Clatter, tattle.
"Clinked down," quartered.
"Cock laird," a small land holder who cultivates his estate himself.
Copleen, to complain.
Coup, to barter; also, to turn over.
Crap, the produce of the ground.
Crowdy, meal and milk mixed in a cold state.
Cuittle, to wheedle, to curry favour.
Daft, crazy.
Daur, to dare.
Daurna, dare not.
Deil, the devil. "Deil gin," the devil may care if.
Didna, did not.
Dighting, separating, wiping.
Ding, to knock.
Dinna, disna, do not.
Disjasked-looking, decayed looking.
Disjune, breakfast.
Div, do.
Dooms, very, confoundedly.
Douce, douse, quiet, sensible.
Doun, down.
Dour, stubborn.
"Dow'd na," did not like.
Downa, cannot.
"Downs bide," cannot bear, don't like.
Drouthy, dry, thirsty.
Dwam, a swoon.

Ee, an eye.
Een, eyes.
E'en, evening; even.
E'enow, presently, at present.
Eik, an addition.
Eneuch, eneugh, enow, enough.

Fa', fall.
Fairing "gie him a fairing," settle him.
Fallow, a fellow.
Fand, found.
Fash, trouble.
Faured, favoured.
Feared, afraid.
Fearsome, frightful.
Feck, part of a thing.
Feckless, harmless.
Fend, to provide.
Fire-flaught, flash.
Fizenless, tasteless.
Flyte, to scold.
Forby, besides.
Forgie, forgive.
Forrit, forward.
Foumart, a pole-cat.
Frae, from.
Fund, found.
Gae, to go; also, gave.
Gang, go.
Ganging, going.
Gar, to make, to oblige.
Gat, got.
Gate, way, mode, direction.
Gaun, going.
Gay, gey, very. "Gey thick," pretty thick.
Gear, property.
Gentles, aristocracy.
Gie, give.
Gin, if.
Gledge, a side-glance.
Gomeril, a fool, a simpleton.
Gowd, gold.
Gowpen, a handful.
Grewsome, sullen, stern, forbidding.
Gude, God; good.
Gudeman, a husband; head of the household.
Gude-sister, a sister-in-law.
Gudewife, a wife, a spouse.
Guide, to manage.

Ha'arst, harvest.
Hae, have.
Haena, have not.
"Hae 't," have it.
Haill, whole.
Hantle, a great deal.
Harry, to rob, to break in upon.
Hash, a clumsy lout.
Hand, to hold, to have.
Hauld, a habitation.
Hempie, giddy.
Heugh, a dell; also, a crag.
Hinny, a term of endearment=honey.
Holme, a hollow, level low ground.
"Horse of wood, foaled of an acorn," a form of punishment.
Howf, a retreat.
Hunder, a hundred.
Hup! used to a horse in order to make him quicken his pace.
"Hup nor wind," quite unmanageable.
Hurdies, the buttocks.

Ilk, ilka, each, every.
Ill-fard, ill-favoured.
Ill-guide, to ill-treat.
I' se, I shall.
Isna, is not.

Jalouse, to suspect.
Jimply, barely, scantily.
Jo, joe, a sweetheart.
"John Thomson's man," a husband who yields to the influence of his wife.
Justify, to punish with death.

Kail, kale, cabbage greens; broth. "Kail through the reek," to give one a
     severe reproof.
Kail-brose, pottage of meal made with the scum of broth.
Kale-yard, a vegetable garden.
Ken, to know.
Kend, knew.
Kenna, kensna, know not.
Kittle, ticklish.
Kye, kine.

Lane, lone, alone. By a peculiar idiom in the Scotch this is frequently
     conjoined with the pronoun: as, "his lane," "my lane," "their lane,"
     i. e., "by himself," "by myself," "by themselves."
"Lang ten," the ten of trumps in Scotch whist.
Lassie, lassock, a little girl.
Lave, the remainder.
Leatherin', beating, drubbing.
Letten, allowed.
Lift, to carry off by theft.
Linn, a cataract.
Lippie, the fourth part of a peck.
Loon, a fellow.
Loot, looten, let, allowed.
Lound, quiet.
Loup, to leap.
Lug, the ear.

Mains, demesne.
Mair, more.
Maist, most.
Mart, a fatted cow.
Mann, must.
Maunder, palaver.
Maut, malt.
Mensfu', modest, mindful.
Mickle, much.
Mind, to remember.
Mirligoes, dizziness.
Mislear'd, unmannerly.
Mistaen, mistaken.
Many, many.
"Morn, the," to-morrow.
Muckle, much.
Muir, a moor.

Na, no, not.
Naething, nothing.
Naig, a nag.
Neb, the nose, the beak.
Neist, next.
Neuk, a nook, a corner.

Onstead, a farm-steading.
Ony, any.
Or, before.
"Ordinar, by," in an uncommon way.
O 't, of it.
Outshot, a projection in a building.
Out-taken, excepting.
Ower, over.

Peat-hag, a hollow in moss left after digging peats.
Penny-fee, wages.
Dinners, a cap with lappets, formerly worn by women of rank.
Pit, to put.
Pleugh, plough.
Pleugh-paidle, a plough-staff.
Pockmantle, a portmanteau.
Pose, deposit.
Puir, poor.
Putten, put. "Putten up," provided for.
Quean, a flirt, a young woman.

Rade, rode.
Randy, a scold.
Raploch, coarse, undyed homespun.
Rase, rose.
Rax, to stretch, to reach.
Redd, to clear up.
Reek, smoke.
Rin, to run.
Ripe, to rake, to search.
Rue "to take the rue," to repent of a proposal or bargain.
Rugging, pulling roughly.

Sae, so.
"St. Johnstone's tippet," a halter for execution.
Sair, sore.
"Sair travailed," worn out, wearied.
Sark, a shirt.
Sauld, sold.
Set, to suit, to become one; also, to beset.
Shaw, a wood; flat ground at the foot of a hill.
Shune, shoes.
Sic, such.
Siller, money.
Skeily, skilful.
Skellie, to squint.
Skirl, to scream.
Sort, to arrange, to supply.
Sort, a term applied to persons or things when the number is small.
Sough, a sigh, a breath. "Calm sough," an easy mind, a still tongue.
"Sough'd awa," died gently.
Soup, "a bite and a soup," slender support, both as to meat and drink.
Sowens, a sort of gruel.
Spak, spoke.
Speer, to inquire, to ask.
Spunk, fire, activity, spirit.
Stamach, stomach.
Steer, to disturb.
Stir, sir.
Stot, a bullock.
Stour, a battle, a fight.
Strae, straw.
Stressed, distressed, inconvenienced.
Stude, hesitated.
Sud, suld, should.
Sune, soon. "Sune as syne," soon as late.
Sybo, an onion or radish.
Syke, a streamlet dry in summer.
Syne, since, afterwards.

Tae, tane, the one.
Ta'en, taken.
"Tak on," to engage.
Tauld, told.
Tent, care.
Teugh, tough.
"Thack and rape," snug and comfortable.
Thae, these, those.
Thegither, together.
Threep, to aver strongly.
Till, to.
"Till 't," to it.
"Tippet, St. Johnstone's," a halter for execution.
Tirl, to uncover, to strip.
Tittie, a sister.
Tother, the other.
Toy, a close linen cap.
Troth! sure!
Trow, to believe, to think, to guess.
Trysted, overtaken.

Unco, very, particularly, prodigious, terrible; also, strange.

Vivers, victuals.

Wad, would.
Wadna, would not.
Wallie, a valet.
Walth, plenty, abundance.
Wan, got, reached.
Waur, worse.
Wee, little.
Weel, well.
We'se, we shall.
Wha, whae, who.
Whase, whose.
"What for," why.
Wheen, a few.
Whiles, sometimes.
Wi', with.
Win, to get. "To win by," to escape.
"To win ower," to get over.
Winna, will not.
Winnock, a window.
Wotna, know not.
Wud, mad.
Wull, will.
"What's yer wull?" what is your pleasure?

Yerl, earl.
Yestate, estate.
Yokit.
yoked.


THE END.





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