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Title: Ringan Gilhaize - or The Covenanters
Author: Galt, John, 1779-1839
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.

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Transcriber's note


Inconsistencies in language and dialect found in the original book have
been retained. Minor punctuation errors have been changed without
notice. Printer errors have been changed and are listed at the end.



   RINGAN GILHAIZE



   Their constancy in torture and in death--
   These on Tradition's tongue still live, these shall
   On History's honest page be pictured bright
   To latest times.

                               GRAHAME'S SABBATH.



   Ringan
   Gilhaize

   OR

   _THE COVENANTERS_



   BY

   JOHN GALT

   AUTHOR OF

   "_Annals of the Parish_," "_Sir Andrew Wylie_," "_The Entail_," _Etc._

   EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION, BY

   Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS, Bart.



   London
   GREENING & CO., LTD.
   20 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road
   1899



INTRODUCTION

A NEGLECTED MASTERPIECE


There have, of course, been many men of genius who have united with
great laxity and waywardness in their lives a high and perfect respect
for their art; but instances of the directly contrary practice are much
rarer, and among these there is probably none more prominent than that
of the author of _Ringan Gilhaize_. Gifted by nature with a faculty
which was at once brilliant, powerful and genial, he led an industrious
life, the upright and generally exemplary character of which has never
for a moment been called in question. But, in the sphere of his art, it
is as undeniable as unaccountable that he cared little or nothing to do
his best. The haps or whims of the moment seem, indeed, to have governed
his production with an influence as of stars malign or fortunate.
Furthermore, we know that the profession of authorship--that most
distinguished of all professions, as, speaking in sober sadness without
arrogance, we cannot but be bold to call it--that profession from which
he was himself so well equipt to derive honour--was held by him in low
esteem. So that, speaking of the time of his residence in Upper Canada,
he thinks no shame to observe that he did _then_ consider himself
qualified to do something more useful than "stringing blethers[1] into
rhyme," or "writing 'clishmaclavers' in a closet." And again says he,
"to tell the truth, I have sometimes felt a little shamefaced in
thinking myself so much an author, in consequence of the estimation in
which I view the profession of book-making in general. A mere literary
man--an author by profession--stands low in my opinion." Such remarks as
these from a man of commanding literary talent are the reverse of
pleasant reading. But let us deal with the speaker, as we would
ourselves be dealt by--mercifully, and regard these petulant utterances
as a mere expression of bitterness or perversity in one much tried and
sorely disappointed. Even so, the fact remains that the sum of Galt's
immense and varied production exhibits inequalities of execution for
which only carelessness or contempt in the worker for his task can
adequately account. We shall presently have occasion to speak of him in
his relation to the great contemporary writer to whose life and work his
own work and life present so many interesting points of similarity and
diversity; but we may here note that, in the glaringly disparate
character of his output, the author of _The Provost_ is in absolute
contrast to the author of _The Antiquary_. For, if Scott's work viewed
as a whole be rarely of the very finest literary quality, its evenness
within its own limits is on the other hand very striking indeed. For, of
his twenty-seven novels, there are perhaps but three which fall
perceptibly below the general level of excellence; whilst probably any
one of at least as many as six or eight might by a quorum of competent
judges be selected as the best of all. And hence, where in the case of
other authors we are called on to read this masterpiece or those
specimens, and, having done so, are held to have acquitted ourselves,
in the case of Scott we cannot feel that we have done our duty till we
have read through the Waverley Novels. How entirely different is it with
Galt--where we find _The Omen_ occupying one shelf with _The Radical_,
_The Annals of the Parish_ catalogued with _Lawrie Todd_, and _The
Spaewife_ side by side with _The Covenanters_! And obviously it is in
this inequality in its author's work--in the magnitude, that is, of the
rubbish-heap in which he chose to secrete his jewels--that the
explanation of the neglect, if not rather oblivion, into which the work
last-named has fallen can alone be sought and found. For, once in the
threescore years of his busy life, Galt did his best, consistently and
on a large scale, with the pen; and that once was in the novel of
_Ringan Gilhaize, or the Covenanters_. What is more--however lamentably
he may appear in general to lack the faculty of self-criticism--he knew
when he had done his best, and among all his books this one remained his
favourite. But a man has to pay for artistic as he has for moral
delinquencies, and it would seem that the penalty of many a careless
tome has been exacted in the obscuration of one of the finest and truest
of historical romances in our language.[2] A word or two as to the
genesis and character of the book which we have ventured thus to
describe may not be out of place as preface to our endeavour to obtain
for it a second hearing.

It was in the year 1822 or 1823 that Galt, aged then about forty-three,
and having already seen much of life in various countries and
capacities, settled at Esk Grove, Musselburgh, to apply himself to
writing historical fiction. He was for the moment elated--carried away,
perhaps, for his temper was enthusiastic even to a fault--by the recent
and deserved success of his novels of Scottish manners, _Sir Andrew
Wylie_ and _The Entail_; and the soaring idea appears to have entered
his head of deliberately attempting to rival Scott in the very field
which "the Wizard" had made peculiarly his own. From the point of view
of prudence, though not from that of art or of sport, this enterprise
was a mistake. For an author, serving as he does the public, shows no
more than common sense if he endeavour to study, in the proper degree,
the idiosyncrasies of that employer on whose favour his reputation, nay,
perhaps the payment of his butcher's bill, depends. And it has long been
observed that when the public has once made up its mind that one man is
supreme in his own line, it has generally little attention to spare for
those who seek to have it reconsider its decision. (This, by the way,
was amply illustrated in the sequel of the very case now under
discussion.) But the names of Galt and Prudence do not naturally go
together: indeed, the two were never well or for any length of time
acquainted. At Esk Grove, either in earnest, or, as seems more likely,
in banter of the architectural incongruities of Abbotsford, Galt
announced his intention of building a "veritable fortress," exactly in
the fashion of the oldest times of rude warfare. _En attendant_, he
worked hard with his pen, the first fruits of his industry appearing in
the novel which is here reprinted after some six-and-seventy years.

What of the merits of this first attempt in a line that was new to him?
In the first place, he had at least been guided in his choice of subject
by an unerring historical instinct. For, surpassingly rich as is
Scottish history in the elements both of picturesque and romantic
incident and of wild and fascinating character, it is none the less a
fact that there is but one period during which that history rises to the
dignity of a really wide and permanent interest. And that period is of
course the century, or century and a half, of the national struggle for
religious liberty. It is not necessary to remind the reader that upon
that struggle, and on those who maintained it, much has been written as
well in the terms of undiscriminating eulogy as in those of
uncomprehending condemnation. Nor is it more to the purpose to add that
the truth lies neither entirely on one side nor the other. For--as in
the earlier struggle for political independence, and, indeed, more or
less in all other great national movements--the motives of most of those
who took part were mixed, and varied with the individual. Thus it is
undeniable that in the breast of many a reforming Scottish laird of the
sixteenth century, mistrust of Rome was a subordinate feeling to the
covetousness excited by the sight of extensive and well-cultivated
Church lands; whilst, again, there are, on the other hand, probably few
persons now in existence who would be prepared to justify the
intolerance embodied even by the martyr Guthrie in his celebrated
Remonstrance--to say nothing of that which made the mere hearing of the
mass, under certain circumstances, a capital offence. These things are,
however, more or less accidental, and supply no criterion by which the
true character of the reforming movement may be tested; for during the
Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, the very nature of tolerance, if
understood by one here and there, was beyond the comprehension of the
masses of the people. And yet we believe that, notwithstanding the
intolerant and implacable spirit too often manifested by the
Covenanters, no candid reader will read this book to the end without
acknowledging (what is, indeed, the truth) that the soul of the
Covenanting movement was a great and noble one. And that soul we here
find personified in the younger Gilhaize--a type, if there be one in
literature, of the Covenanter of the best kind.

For, whatever may have been the temper of his associates in the
aggregate, the hero of the book holds the scales between the rival
parties with admirable evenness--and this notwithstanding the strong
bias of his temper and upbringing. Indeed, until the time when he has
become, not metaphorically, but literally maddened by the wrongs and
outrages to which he has been subjected, the book, in so far as it
constitutes an expression of his personal sentiments, is a perfect
homily on fairness. And how much such fairness has to do with the
winning and retaining of sympathy, perhaps only a modern reader is
qualified to say. Gifted with the saving graces of humour and of
fellow-feeling, the supposed annalist of our chronicle is no less
prepared to make allowance for the faults of the other side than to
acknowledge the shortcomings of his own. In fact he is the pattern of a
spirit at once upright, humble, and self-respecting, whose ruling
passion is an earnest piety, and who asks no more of those set over him
than freedom to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience.
And for this little boon, so harshly and unjustly withheld, we see him
called upon to sacrifice home, kindred and estate, to know his wife and
daughters given over to death and worse than death, and finally to
surrender his liberty and his last remaining child. Unless pity and
terror in a master's hand have lost their power, surely this spectacle
is a moving one! Nor must we forget that, even in the culminating scene
of the tragedy--where Ringan makes his bold and inspired oration at the
meeting of the Cameronian leaders with Renwick in a dell near
Lasswade--the hero, for all his wrongs, remains unembittered, and
retains unimpaired the gentleness and the manliness which are his
characteristics. That there were such men as this among the Covenanters,
or that they constituted the salt which gave its savour to the movement,
we are forbidden to doubt. But, saving in the pages which follow, we
know not where to seek for the ideal presentment of one such. This is
what we mean by saying, as we have said above, that Galt has in this
romance laid bare the soul of the Covenanting movement. And this, we may
add, is what Scott in _Old Mortality_ most signally failed to do. For in
that novel--in place of Galt's subtle and penetrating analysis of the
motives which animated the Covenanters nobly to dare and nobly to
endure--we find the author content himself with using the
characteristics and the disturbances of the time for the mere purpose of
providing incident and adventure, and a strong local colour for his
puppets--in a word, for the most ordinary and conventional purposes of
the romantic novelist. Nor is this the only instance of such
psychological obtuseness in his work. That, in spite of this initial and
damning defect, he does succeed in producing a fine novel, is but one
more proof of the amazing fecundity of his genius. None the less does
the fact remain that it is a novel, so to speak, without a soul--that,
so far from being of the essence of the Covenant, the Burleys,
Mucklewraths, Mauses and Macbrairs are but so many of its accidents, and
that thus the main issues of the historical drama are not involved in
the romance. In other words, it is as though the tragedy of _Hamlet_
had been performed with great skill and _éclat_, only without the
appearance of the Prince of Denmark upon the stage. And thus, if the
historical novel is to play a part of any dignity in our literature, we
may safely predict that it is upon the stock here supplied by Galt,
rather than upon that supplied by Scott in _Old Mortality_, that it will
have to be grafted.

Having now assigned to our author the credit due to him for his choice
and general treatment of a fine subject, it remains to touch briefly
upon the technical skill which he has brought to bear upon the handling
of its details. By resorting, then, to an ingenious and yet perfectly
natural and legitimate device, he has contrived to extend his "household
memorial" (for it is thus that he describes the story) so as to make it
embrace the entire period of the religious struggle--from its inception
under the regency of Marie of Lorraine to its close, or practical close,
under the rule of the enlightened and tolerant William of Orange,--a
period in all of full one hundred and thirty years. For the narrative,
opening with the martyrdom of Walter Mill at St Andrews in 1558, is
continued to the death of Claverhouse at Killiecrankie in 1689. And by
this means the varying phases of the struggle are traced almost step by
step, through the preachings of John Knox and the early image-breaking
outrages, to the comparative lull of the reign of James the First of
England, and thence again from the renewed exasperating of opposition by
the shifty and infatuated Martyr King to the climax of the "Killing
Time" under the younger of his sons. Few incidents of really primary or
representative importance are omitted, and the skill shown by the Author
in stringing the pearls of history upon the thread of his narrative is
not the least of the merits he displays. But, as should be in a novel,
the historical never overweights the human or fictitious interest, but
is always properly subordinated to it.

We have spoken elsewhere[3] of Galt the novelist as being "in advance of
his time"--a facile phrase which it is expedient to use with due reserve
and after due consideration. But the fact that the author with whose
work we are instinctively impelled to compare the novel of _Ringan
Gilhaize_ is the great chief of the French "Naturalistic" School would
appear, at least so far, to support that characterisation. It is, of
course, undeniable that, at the outset, there confront us several
striking points of contrast or divergence between the two authors. For
example, of that _triste amour du laid_, which, with its concomitants,
was for so long, and perhaps is even yet, regarded by the general public
as Zola's one prominent characteristic--of this, Galt has absolutely
nothing, his preoccupation being uniformly with beauty in one form or
another, whether of matter or of spirit. With him, a gloom which, did we
not fear to be less than just to Galt we might denominate Byronic, fills
perhaps the place of Zola's pessimism. Next, of that misbegotten passion
for the painter's brush which has vitiated so much of modern French
writing, and of which Zola in inferior works has even more than his due
share, the novel of _Ringan Gilhaize_ shows equally no trace. On the
contrary, its brief descriptive passages, of which it is noticeable how
many are nocturnal or crepuscular, or paint effects of mist or
rain-cloud--these might serve as models, at once in their breadth of
execution, their aptness and their pregnancy, or quality of
moral suggestiveness, of what descriptions in literature
should be. How different from those laboured outlines, laboriously
filled in, of such a piece of writing as _La Curée_!

So much, then, for the divergence of the two authors; and now as to
their relationship. It is, perhaps, in their power of putting their
sense of a multitude before the reader, of exhibiting the passions by
which that multitude is animated, and of tracing the phases and
fluctuations of that passion, that the Frenchman or Italian and the Scot
come first and most strikingly together. Witness in this book the scene
of the advance of the congregations to the trial of the Ministers, or
that of the return of the Reformer, Knox, to Scotland. This of itself,
however, is not much; nor should we have felt justified in drawing
special attention to it, but for the fact that it seems to us to be an
outward and visible sign of what is a vital, perhaps _the_ vital
characteristic of either writer--or, at least, that of Galt in this
book, and of Zola in his masterwork. It is associated, then, as we read
it, with a desire to rise in art above the limitation of the merely
individual, and the springs of this desire we take to lie in that noble
and abounding pity which is the dominant passion of either author, or of
either book. In either case it is an "objective" or artistic pity,
called into being by the spectacle of human suffering as specific as it
is intolerable to contemplate. Only that with Galt it is felt for a
particular historical group of men, with Zola for a particular section
of his contemporaries. And from this characteristic there naturally
results a gain of the quality of artistic grandeur in the books. For it
is less the fortunes of the individual colliers than the Rights of
Labour and their chances of recognition which form the true theme of
_Germinal_; whilst in _Ringan Gilhaize_ we are called to gaze upon
nothing less than the grandiose spectacle of a nation in death-grips
with a race of mansworn sovereigns. Hence, in either case, the
individual characters, measured by the greatness of the issues at stake,
sink into comparative insignificance. But this very insignificance
serves to illustrate a fundamental truth. For, to quote the words of a
great modern thinker, "This is the law which governs humanity: an
immense prodigality in regard to the mere individual, a contemptuous
heaping together of the unit of human life." He continues, "I can
picture to myself the artificer letting great quantities of his material
go to waste--undisturbed, indeed, although three parts of it fall
useless to the ground. For it is the fate of the vast majority of the
human race to serve as a mere floor-cloth on which Destiny may celebrate
her revel, or, rather, to contribute towards the making up of one of
those numerous persons who were known to the classical drama as the
Chorus."[4] Impressively to exhibit this truth in art is of itself to
accomplish much; but in the infinite pathos of the individual lot there
is a converse side to every great drama too, and to this neither of our
writers is insensible. Hence it is that, against the shadowy curtain or
background formed by the crowded and suffering masses of humanity, are
relieved and detached such tragic silhouettes as those of Ringan and of
La Maheude. In the nature of the long-drawn unrelenting ordeal to which
each of these is subjected they are identical; for both of them are rich
only in human affection, and of this both live to see themselves
entirely denuded. Gilhaize, who is raised above the struggle for mere
daily bread, is animated by a spiritual and intellectual passion which
would have been altogether beyond the comprehension of the miner's wife
of Montsou; but that he is on that account the nobler or more
interesting figure of the two, we do not take upon us to say. Neither,
of course, must we be understood to insist unduly on the few points of
resemblance in two books which, after all, are in so many respects
radically unlike.

There is a lighter side to Galt's book, too, and this is seen
principally, ere the stress of the action has become intense, in the
adventures of the astute Michael Gilhaize. At this point in his
narrative it is probably with Stevenson that Galt suggests comparison,
nor is it any disparagement to the delightful author of _Kidnapped_ and
_Catriona_ to say that the best of his work is to the best of Galt's as
a clever boy's to that of a clever man. For whilst Galt presents
incident with all, or nearly all, the charm of Stevenson, he is master,
besides, of an adult psychology to which the other, in his short life,
never attained.

                                           GEORGE DOUGLAS.

SPRINGWOOD PARK, _August_ 1899.

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote 1: Scots expletives, signifying different varieties of
nonsense.]

[Footnote 2: Dismissed in the _Dictionary of National Biography_, _sub
voce_ Galt, as one of "three forgotten novels."]

[Footnote 3: In "The _Blackwood_ Group": Famous Scots' Series; Essay on
Galt.]

[Footnote 4: Ernest Renan in _L'Avenir de la Science_.]



RINGAN GILHAIZE



CHAPTER I


It is a thing past all contesting, that, in the Reformation, there was a
spirit of far greater carnality among the champions of the cause than
among those who in later times so courageously, under the Lord, upheld
the unspotted banners of the Covenant. This I speak of from the
remembrance of many aged persons, who either themselves bore a part in
that war with the worshippers of the Beast and his Image, or who had
heard their fathers tell of the heart and mind wherewith it was carried
on, and could thence, with the helps of their own knowledge, discern the
spiritual and hallowed difference. But, as I intend mainly to bear
witness to those passages of the late bloody persecution in which I was
myself both a soldier and a sufferer, it will not become me to brag of
our motives and intents, as higher and holier than those of the great
elder Worthies of "the Congregation." At the same time it is needful
that I should rehearse as much of what happened in the troubles of the
Reformation as, in its effects and influences, worked upon the issues of
my own life. For my father's father was out in the raids of that
tempestuous season, and it was by him, and from the stories he was wont
to tell of what the Government did when drunken with the sorceries of
the gorgeous Roman harlot, and rampaging with the wrath of Moloch and of
Belial, it trampled on the hearts and thought to devour the souls of the
subjects that I first was taught to feel, know and understand the divine
right of resistance.

He was come of a stock of bein burghers in Lithgow; but his father
having a profitable traffic in saddle-irons and bridle-rings among the
gallants of the court, and being moreover a man who took little heed of
the truths of religion, he continued with his wife in the delusions of
the papistical idolatry till the last, by which my grandfather's young
soul was put in great jeopardy. For the monks of that time were eager to
get into their clutches such men-children as appeared to be gifted with
any peculiar gift, in order to rear them for stoops and posts to sustain
their Babylon, in the tower and structure whereof many rents and cracks
were daily kithing.

The Dominican friars, who had a rich howf in the town, seeing that my
grandfather was a shrewd and sharp child, of a comely complexion, and
possessing a studious observance, were fain to wile him into their
power; but he was happily preserved from all their snares and devices in
a manner that shows how wonderfully the Lord worketh out the purposes of
His will, by ways and means of which no man can fathom the depth of the
mysteries.

Besides his traffic in the polished garniture of horse-gear, my
grandfather's father was also a ferrier, and enjoyed a far-spread repute
for his skill in the maladies of horses; by which, and as he dwelt near
the palace-yett, on the south side of the street, fornent the grand
fountain-well, his smiddy was the common haunt of the serving-men
belonging to the nobles frequenting the court, and as often as any
newcomers to the palace were observed in the town, some of the monks and
friars belonging to the different convents were sure to come to the
smiddy to converse with their grooms and to hear the news, which were
all of the controversies raging between the priesthood and the people.

My grandfather was then a little boy, but he thirsted to hear their
conversations, and many a time, as he was wont to tell, has his very
heart been raspet to the quick by the cruel comments in which those
cormorants of idolatry indulged themselves with respect to the brave
spirit of the reformers; and he rejoiced when any retainers of the
protestant lords quarrelled with them, and dealt back to them as hard
names as the odious epithets with which the hot-fed friars reviled the
pious challengers of the papal iniquities. Thus it was, in the green
years of his childhood, that the same sanctified spirit was poured out
upon him, which roused so many of the true and faithful to resist and
repel the attempt to quench the relighted lamps of the Gospel, preparing
his young courage to engage in those great first trials and strong tasks
of the Lord.

The tidings and the bickerings to which he was a hearkener in the
smiddy, he was in the practice of relating to his companions, by which
it came to pass that, it might in a manner be said, all the boys in the
town were leagued in spirit with the reformers, and the consequences
were not long of ripening.

In those days there was a popish saint, one St Michael, that was held in
wonderful love and adoration by all the ranks and hierarchies of the
ecclesiastical locust then in Lithgow; indeed, for that matter, they
ascribed to him power and dominion over the whole town, lauding and
worshipping him as their special god and protector. And upon a certain
day of the year they were wont to make a great pageant and revel in
honour of this supposed saint, and to come forth from their cloisters
with banners, and with censers burning incense, shouting and singing
paternosters in praise of this their Dagon, walking in procession from
kirk to kirk, as if they were celebrating the triumph of some mighty
conqueror.

This annual abomination happening to take place shortly after the
martyrdom of that true saint and gospel preacher Mr George Wishart, and
while kirk and quire were resounding, to the great indignation of all
Christians, with lamentations for the well-earned death of the cruel
Cardinal Beaton, his ravenous persecutor, the monks and friars received
but little homage as they passed along triumphing, though the streets
were, as usual, filled with the multitude to see their fine show. They
suffered, however, no molestation nor contempt till they were passing
the Earl of Angus' house, on the outside stair of which my grandfather,
with some two or three score of other innocent children, was standing;
and even there they might, perhaps, have been suffered to go by
scaithless, but for an accident that befel the bearer of a banner, on
which was depicted a blasphemous type of the Holy Ghost in the shape and
lineaments of a cushy-doo.

It chanced that the bearer of this blazon of iniquity was a particular
fat monk, of an arrogant nature, with the crimson complexion of surfeit
and constipation, who for many causes and reasons was held in greater
aversion than all the rest, especially by the boys, that never lost an
opportunity of making him a scoff and a scorn; and it so fell out, as he
was coming proudly along, turning his Babylonish banner to pleasure the
women at the windows, to whom he kept nodding and winking as he passed,
that his foot slipped and down he fell as it were with a gludder, at
which all the thoughtless innocents on the Earl of Angus' stair set up a
loud shout of triumphant laughter, and from less to more began to hoot
and yell at the whole pageant, and to pelt some of the performers with
unsavoury missiles.

This, by those inordinate ministers of oppression, was deemed a horrible
sacrilege, and the parents of all the poor children were obligated to
give them up to punishment, of which none suffered more than did my
grandfather, who was not only persecuted with stripes till his loins
were black and blue, but cast into a dungeon in the Blackfriars' den,
where for three days and three nights he was allowed no sustenance but
gnawed crusts and foul water. The stripes and terrors of the oppressor
are, however, the seeds which Providence sows in its mercy to grow into
the means that shall work his own overthrow.

The persecutions which from that day the monks waged, in their conclaves
of sloth and sosherie, against the children of the town, denouncing them
to their parents as worms of the great serpent and heirs of perdition,
only served to make their young spirits burn fiercer. As their joints
hardened and their sinews were knit, their hearts grew manful, and
yearned, as my grandfather said, with the zealous longings of a
righteous revenge, to sweep them away from the land as with a whirlwind.

After enduring for several years great affliction in his father's house
from his mother, a termagant woman, who was entirely under the dominion
of her confessor, my grandfather entered into a paction with two other
young lads to quit their homes for ever, and to enter the service of
some of those pious noblemen who were then active in procuring adherents
to the protestant cause, as set forth in the first covenant.
Accordingly, one morning in the spring of 1558, they bade adieu to their
fathers' doors, and set forward on foot towards Edinburgh.

"We had light hearts," said my grandfather, "for our trust was in
Heaven; we had girded ourselves for a holy enterprise, and the
confidence of our souls broke forth into songs of battle, the melodious
breathings of that unison of spirit which is alone known to the soldiers
of the great Captain of Salvation."

About noon they arrived at the Cross of Edinburgh, where they found a
crowd assembled round the Luckenbooths, waiting for the breaking up of
the States, which were then deliberating anent the proposal from the
French king that the Prince Dolphin, his son, should marry our young
queen, the fair and faulty Mary, whose doleful captivity and woful end
scarcely expiated the sins and sorrows that she caused to her ill-used
and poor misgoverned native realm of Scotland.

While they were standing in this crowd, my grandfather happened to see
one Icener Cunningham, a servant in the household of the Earl of
Glencairn, and having some acquaintance of the man before at Lithgow, he
went towards him, and after some common talk, told on what errand he and
his two companions had come to Edinburgh. It was in consequence agreed
between them that this Icener should speak to his master concerning
them, the which he did as soon as my Lord came out from the Parliament;
and the Earl was so well pleased with the looks of the three young men
that he retained them for his service on the spot, and they were
conducted by Icener Cunningham home to his Lordship's lodgings in St
Mary's Wynd.

Thus was my grandfather enlisted into the cause of the Lords of the
Congregation, and in the service of that great champion of the
Reformation, the renowned, valiant and pious Earl of Glencairn, he saw
many of those things, the recital of which kindled my young mind to
flame up with no less ardour than his against the cruel attempt that was
made, in our own day and generation, to load the neck of Scotland with
the grievous chains of prelatic tyranny.



CHAPTER II


The Earl of Glencairn, having much to do with the other Lords of the
Congregation, did not come to his lodging till late in the afternoon,
when, as soon as he had passed into his privy chamber, he sent for his
three new men, and entered into some conversation with them concerning
what the people at Lithgow said and thought of the Queen-dowager's
government, and the proceedings at that time afoot on behalf of the
reformed religion. But my grandfather jealoused that in this he was less
swayed by the expectation of gathering knowledge from them, than by a
wish to inspect their discretion and capacities; for, after conversing
with them for the space of half an hour or thereby, he dismissed them
courteously from his presence, without intimating that he had any
special service for them to perform.

One evening as the Earl sat alone at supper, he ordered my grandfather
to be brought again before him, and desired him to be cup-bearer for
that night. In this situation, as my grandfather stood holding the
chalice and flagon at his left elbow, the Earl, as was his wonted custom
with such of the household as he from time to time so honoured, entered
into familiar conversation with him; and when the servitude and homages
of the supper were over, and the servants were removing the plate and
trenchers, he signified, by a look and a whisper, that he wished him to
linger in the room till after they were gone.

"Gilhaize," said he, when the serving-men had retired, and they were by
themselves, "I am well content with your prudence, and therefore, before
you are known to belong to my train, I would send you on a confidential
errand, for which you must be ready to set forth this very night."

My grandfather made no reply in words to this mark of trust, but bowed
his head in token of his obedience to the commands of the Earl.

"I need not tell you," resumed his master, "that among the friends of
the reformed cause there are some for policy and many for gain, and that
our adversaries, knowing this, leave no device or stratagem untried to
sow sedition among the Lords and Leaders of the Congregation. This very
day the Earl of Argyle has received a mealy-mouthed letter from that
dissolute papist, the Archbishop of St Andrews, entreating him, with
many sweet words, concerning the ancient friendship subsisting between
their families, to banish from his protection that good and pious
proselyte, Douglas, his chaplain, evidently presuming, from the easy
temper of the aged Earl, that he may be wrought into compliance. But
Argyle is an honest man, and is this night to return, by the
Archbishop's messenger and kinsman, Sir David Hamilton, a fitting and
proper reply. It is not, however, to be thought that this attempt to
tamper with Argyle is the sole trial which the treacherous priest is at
this time making to breed distrust and dissension among us, though as
yet we have heard of none other. Now, Gilhaize, what I wish you to do,
and I think you can do it well, is to throw yourself in Sir David's way,
and, by hook or crook, get with him to St Andrews, and there try by all
expedient means to gain a knowledge of what the Archbishop is at this
time plotting--for plotting we are assured from this symptom he is--and
it is needful to the cause of Christ that his wiles should be
circumvented."

In saying these words the Earl rose, and, taking a key from his belt,
opened a coffer that stood in the corner of the room, and took out two
pieces of gold, which he delivered to my grandfather, to bear the
expenses of his journey.

"I give you, Gilhaize," said he, "no farther instructions; for, unless I
am mistaken in my man, you lack no better guide than your own
discernment. So God be with you, and His blessing prosper the
undertaking."

My grandfather was much moved at being so trusted, and doubted in his
own breast if he was qualified for the duty which his master had thus
put upon him. Nevertheless he took heart from the Earl's confidence,
and, without saying anything either to his two companions or to Icener
Cunningham, he immediately, on parting from his master, left the house,
leaving his absence to be accounted for to the servants according to his
lord's pleasure.

Having been several times on errands of his father in Edinburgh before,
he was not ill-acquainted with the town, and the moon being up, he had
no difficulty in finding his way to Habby Bridle's, a noted stabler's at
the foot of Leith Wynd, nigh the mouth of the North Loch, where gallants
and other travellers of gentle condition commonly put up their horses.
There he thought it was likely Sir David Hamilton had stabled his steed,
and he divined that, by going thither, he would learn whether that
knight had set forward to Fife, or when he was expected so to do; the
which movement, he always said, was nothing short of an instinct from
Heaven; for just on entering the stabler's yard, a groom came shouting
to the hostler to get Sir David Hamilton's horses saddled outright, as
his master was coming.

Thus, without the exposure of any inquiry, he gained the tidings that he
wanted, and with what speed he could put into his heels, he went forward
to the pier of Leith, where he found a bark, with many passengers on
board, ready to set sail for Kirkcaldy, waiting only for the arrival of
Sir David, to whom, as the Archbishop's kinsman, the boatmen were fain
to pretend a great outward respect; but many a bitter ban, my
grandfather said, they gave him for taigling them so long, while wind
and tide both served--all which was proof and evidence how much the
hearts of the common people were then alienated from the papistical
churchmen.

Sir David having arrived, and his horses being taken aboard, the bark
set sail, and about daybreak next morning she came to anchor at
Kirkcaldy. During the voyage, my grandfather, who was of a mild and
comely aspect, observed that the knight was more affable towards him
than to the lave of the passengers, the most part of whom were coopers
going to Dundee to prepare for the summer fishing. Among them was one
Patrick Girdwood, the deacon of the craft, a most comical character, so
vogie of his honours and dignities in the town council that he could not
get the knight told often enough what a load aboon the burden he had in
keeping a' things douce and in right regulation amang the bailies. But
Sir David, fashed at his clatter, and to be quit of him, came across the
vessel and began to talk to my grandfather, although, by his apparel, he
was no meet companion for one of a knight's degree.

It happened that Sir David was pleased with his conversation, which was
not to be wondered at, for in his old age, when I knew him, he was a man
of a most enticing mildness of manner, and withal so discreet in his
sentences that he could not be heard without begetting respect for his
observance and judgment. So out of the vanity of that vogie tod of the
town council was a mean thus made by Providence to further the ends and
objects of the Reformation in so far as my grandfather was concerned;
for the knight took a liking to him, and being told, as it was
expedient to give a reason for his journey to St Andrews, that he was
going thither to work as a ferrier, Sir David promised him not only his
own countenance, but to commend him to the Archbishop.

There was at that time in Kirkcaldy one Tobit Balmutto, a horse-setter,
of whom my grandfather had some knowledge by report. This Tobit being
much resorted to by the courtiers going to and coming from Falkland, and
well known to their serving-men, who were wont to speak of him in the
smiddy at Lithgow as a zealous reformer--chiefly, as the prodigals among
them used to jeer and say, because the priests and friars in their
journeyings atween St Andrews and Edinburgh took the use of his beasts
without paying for them, giving him only their feckless benisons instead
of white money.

To this man my grandfather resolved to apply for a horse, and such a
one, if possible, as would be able to carry him as fast as Sir David
Hamilton's. Accordingly, on getting to the land, he inquired for Tobit
Balmutto, and several of his striplings and hostlers being on the shore,
having, on seeing the bark arrive, come down to look out for travellers
that might want horses, he was conducted by one of them to their
employer, whom he found an elderly man of the corpulent order, sitting
in an elbow-chair by the fireside, toasting an oaten bannock on a pair
of tormentors, with a blue puddock-stool bonnet on his head, and his
grey hose undrawn up, whereby his hairy legs were bare, showing a power
and girth such as my grandfather had seen few like before, testifying to
what had been the deadly strength of their possessor in his younger
years. He was thought to have been an off-gett of the Boswells of
Balmutto.

When he had made known his want to Tobit, and that he was in a manner
obligated to be at St Andrews as soon as Sir David Hamilton, the
horse-setter withdrew the bannock from before the ribs, and seeing it
somewhat scowthert and blackent on the one cheek, he took it off the
tormentors and scraped it with them, and blew away the brown burning
before he made any response; then he turned round to my grandfather, and
looking at him with the tail of his eye from aneath his broad bonnet,
said,--

"Then ye're no in the service of his Grace, my Lord the Archbishop? And
yet, frien', I think na ye're just a peer to Sir Davie, that you need to
ettle at coping with his braw mare, Skelp-the-dub, whilk I selt to him
mysel'; but the de'il a bawbee hae I yet han'let o' the price; howsever,
that's neither here nor there, a day of reckoning will come at last."

My grandfather assured Tobit Balmutto it was indeed very true he was not
in the service of the Archbishop, and that he would not have been so
instant about getting to St Andrews with the knight had he not a dread
and fear that Sir David was the bearer of something that might be sore
news to the flock o' Christ, and he was fain to be there as soon as him
to speak in time of what he jealoused, that any of those in the town who
stood within the reverence of the Archbishop's aversion, on account of
their religion, might get an inkling and provide for themselves.

"If that's your errand," said the horse-setter, "ye s'all hae the
swiftest foot in my aught to help you on, and I redde you no to spare
the spur, for I'm troubled to think ye may be owre late--Satan, or they
lie upon him, has been heating his cauldrons yonder for a brewing, and
the Archbishop's thrang providing the malt. Nae farther gane than
yesterday, auld worthy Mr Mill of Lunan, being discovered hidden in a
kiln at Dysart, was ta'en, they say, in a cart, like a malefactor, by
twa uncircumcised loons, servitors to his Grace, and it's thought it
will go hard wi' him on account of his great godliness; so mak what
haste ye dow, and the Lord put mettle in the beast that bears you."

With that Tobit Balmutto ordered the lad who brought my grandfather to
the house to saddle a horse that he called Spunkie; and in a trice he
was mounted and on the road after Sir David, whom he overtook
notwithstanding the spirit of his mare, Skelp-the-dub, before he had
cleared the town of Pathhead, and they travelled onward at a brisk trot
together, the knight waxing more and more pleased with his companion, in
so much that by the time they had reached Cupar, where they stopped to
corn, he lamented that a young man of his parts should think of
following the slavery of a ferrier's life, when he might rise to trusts
and fortune in the house of some of the great men of the time, kindly
offering to procure for him, on their arrival at St Andrews, the favour
and patronage of his kinsman, the Archbishop.



CHAPTER III


It was the afternoon when my grandfather and Sir David Hamilton came in
sight of St Andrews, and the day being loun and bright, the sky clear,
and the sea calm, he told me that when he saw the many lofty spires and
towers and glittering pinnacles of the town rising before him, he verily
thought he was approaching the city of Jerusalem, so grand and glorious
was the apparition which they made in the sunshine, and he approached
the barricaded gate with a strange movement of awe and wonder rushing
through the depths of his spirit.

They, however, entered not into the city at that time, but, passing
along the wall leftward, came to a road which led to the gate of the
castle where the Archbishop then dwelt; and as they were approaching
towards it, Sir David pointed out the window where Cardinal Beaton sat
in the pomp of his scarlet and fine linen to witness the heretic
Wishart, as the knight called that holy man, burnt for his sins and
abominations.

My grandfather, on hearing this, drew his bridle in, and falling behind
Sir David, raised his cap in reverence and in sorrow at the thought of
passing over the ground that had been so hallowed by martyrdom, but he
said nothing, for he knew that his thoughts were full of offence to
those who were wrapt in the errors and delusions of popery like Sir
David Hamilton; and, moreover, he had thanked the Lord thrice in the
course of their journey for the favour which it had pleased Him he
should find in the sight of the kinsman of so great an adversary to the
truth as was the Archbishop of St Andrews, whose treasons and
treacheries against the Church of Christ he was then travelling to
discover and waylay.

On reaching the castle-yett they alighted; my grandfather, springing
lightly from the saddle, took hold of Sir David's mare by the
bridle-rings, while the knight went forward, and whispered something
concerning his Grace to a stalwart, hard-favoured, grey-haired
man-at-arms, that stood warder of the port, leaning on his sword, the
blade of whilk could not be shorter than an ell. What answer he got was
brief, the ancient warrior pointing at the same time with his right hand
towards a certain part of the city, and giving a Belial smile of
significance; whereupon Sir David turned round without going into the
court of the castle, and bidding my grandfather give the man the beasts
and follow, which he did, they walked together under the town wall
towards the east till they came to a narrow sallyport in the rampart,
wherewith the priory and cathedral had of old been fenced about with
turrets and bastions of great strength against the lawless kerns of the
Highlands, and especially the ships of the English, who have in all ages
been of a nature gleg and glad to mulct and molest the sea-harbour towns
of Scotland.

On coming to the sallyport, Sir David chapped with his whip twice, and
from within a wicket was opened in the doors, ribbed with iron
stainchers on the outside, and a man with the sound of corpulency in his
voice looked through and inquired what they wanted. Seeing, however, who
it was that had knocked, he forthwith drew the bar and allowed them to
enter, which was into a pleasant policy adorned with jonquils and
jelly-flowers, and all manner of blooming and odoriferous plants, most
voluptuous to the smell and ravishing to behold, the scents and
fragrancies whereof smote my grandfather for a time, as he said, with
the very anguish of delight. But, on looking behind to see who had given
them admittance, he was astounded when, instead of an armed and mailed
soldier, as he had thought the drumly-voiced sentinel there placed was,
he saw a large, elderly monk, sitting on a bench with a broken pasty
smoking on a platter beside him, and a Rotterdam greybeard jug standing
by, no doubt plenished with cordial drink.

Sir David held no parlance with the feeding friar, but going straight up
the walk to the door of a lodging, to the which this was the parterre
and garden, he laid his hand on the sneck, and opening it, bade my
grandfather come in.

They then went along the trance towards an open room, and on entering it
they met a fair damsel in the garb of a handmaid, to whom the knight
spoke in familiarity, and kittling her under the chin, made her giggle
in a wanton manner. By her he was informed that the Archbishop was in
the inner chamber at dinner with her mistress, upon which he desired my
grandfather to sit down, while he went ben to his Grace.

The room where my grandfather took his seat was parted from the inner
chamber, in which the Archbishop and his lemane were at their
festivities, by an arras partition, so that he could hear all that
passed within, and the first words his Grace said on his kinsman going
ben was,--

"Aweel, Davie, and what says that auld doddard Argyle, will he send me
the apostate to mak a benfire?"

"He has sent your Grace a letter," replied Sir David, "wherein he told
me he had expounded the reasons and causes of his protecting Douglas,
hoping your Grace will approve the same."

"Approve heresy and reprobacy!" exclaimed the Archbishop; "but gi'e me
the letter, and sit ye down, Davie. Mistress Kilspinnie, my dauty, fill
him a cup of wine, the malvesie, to put smeddam in his marrow; he'll no
be the waur o't, after his gallanting at Enbro. Stay! what's this? the
auld man's been at school since him and me hae swappit paper. My word,
Argyle, thou's got a tongue in thy pen neb! but this was ne'er indited
by him; the cloven foot of the heretical Carmelite is manifest in every
line. Honour and conscience truly!--braw words for a Hielant schore,
that bigs his bield wi' other folks' gear!"

"Be composed, your sweet Grace, and dinna be so fashed," cried a
silver-tongued madam, the which my grandfather afterwards found, as I
shall have to rehearse, was his concubine, the Mrs Kilspinnie. "What
does he say?"

"Say? Why, that Douglas preaches against idolatry, and he remits to my
conscience forsooth, gif that be heresy--and he preaches against
adulteries and fornications too--was ever sic varlet terms written in
ony nobleman's letter afore this apostate's time--and he refers that to
my conscience likewise."

"A faggot to his tail would be ower gude for him," cried Mrs Kilspinnie.

"He preaches against hypocrisy," said his Grace, "the which he also
refers to my conscience--conscience again! Hae, Davie, tak thir
clishmaclavers to Andrew Oliphant. It'll be spunk to his zeal. We maun
strike our adversaries wi' terror, and if we canna wile them back to the
fold, we'll e'en set the dogs on them. Kind Mistress Kilspinnie, help me
frae the stoup o' sherries, for I canna but say that this scalded heart
I hae gotten frae that auld shavling-gabbit Hielander has raised my
corruption, and I stand in need, my lambie, o' a' your winsome
comforting."

At which words Sir David came forth the chamber with the letter in his
hand; but seeing my grandfather, whom it would seem he had forgotten, he
went suddenly back and said to his Grace,--

"Please you, my Lord, I hae brought with me a young man of a good
capacity and a ripe understanding that I would commend to your Grace's
service. He is here in the outer room waiting your Grace's pleasure."

"Davie Hamilton," replied the Archbishop, "ye sometimes lack discretion.
What for did ye bring a stranger into this house--knowing, as ye ought
to do, that I ne'er come hither but when I'm o' a sickly frame, in need
o' solace and repose? Howsever, since the lad's there, bid him come
ben."

Upon this, Sir David came out and beckoned my grandfather to go in; and
when he went forward, he saw none in that inner chamber but his Grace
and the Mrs Kilspinnie, with whom he was sitting on a bedside before a
well-garnished table, whereon was divers silver flagons, canisters of
comfits, and goblets of the crystal of Venetia.

He looked sharp at my grandfather, perusing him from head to foot, who
put on for the occasion a face of modesty and reverence, but he was none
daunted, for all his eyes were awake, and he took such a cognition of
his Grace as he never afterwards forgot. Indeed, I have often heard him
say that he saw more of the man in the brief space of that interview
than of others in many intromissions, and he used to depict him to me as
a hale, black-avised carl, of an o'ersea look, with a long dark beard
inclining to grey; his abundant hair, flowing down from his cowl, was
also clouded and streaked with the kithings of the cranreuch of age.
There was, however, a youthy and luscious twinkling in his eyes, that
showed how little the passage of three-and-fifty winters had cooled the
rampant sensuality of his nature. His right leg, which was naked, though
on the foot was a slipper of Spanish leather, he laid o'er Mistress
Kilspinnie's knees as he threw himself back against the pillar of the
bed, the better to observe and converse with my grandfather; and she,
like another Delilah, began to prattle it with her fingers, casting at
the same time glances, unseen by her papistical paramour, towards my
grandfather, who, as I have said, was a comely and well-favoured young
man.

After some few questions as to his name and parentage, the prelate said
he would give him his livery, being then anxious, on account of the
signs of the times, to fortify his household with stout and valiant
youngsters; and bidding him draw near and to kneel down, he laid his
hand on his head and mumbled a benedicite; the which, my grandfather
said, was as the smell of rottenness to his spirit, the lascivious
hirkos, then wantoning so openly with his adulterous concubine, for no
better was Mistress Kilspinnie, her husband, a creditable man, being
then living, and one of the bailies of Crail. Nor is it to be debated
that the scene was such as ought not to have been seen in a Christian
land; but in those days the blasphemous progeny of the Roman harlot were
bold with the audacious sinfulness of their parent, and set little store
by the fear of God or the contempt of man. It was a sore trial and a
struggle in the bosom of my grandfather that day to think of making a
show of homage and service towards the mitred Belial and high priest of
the abominations wherewith the realm was polluted, and when he rose from
under his paw he shuddered, and felt as if he had received the foul erls
of perdition from the Evil One. Many a bitter tear he long after shed in
secret for the hypocrisy of that hour, the guilt of which was never
sweetened to his conscience, even by the thought that he maybe thereby
helped to further the great redemption of his native land in the blessed
cleansing of the Reformation.



CHAPTER IV


Sir David Hamilton conducted my grandfather back through the garden and
the sallyport to the castle, where he made him acquainted with his
Grace's seneschal, by whom he was hospitably entertained when the knight
had left them together, receiving from him a cup of hippocras and a
plentiful repast, the like of which, for the savouriness of the viands,
was seldom seen out of the howfs of the monks.

The seneschal was called by name Leonard Meldrum, and was a most douce
and composed character, well stricken in years, and though engrained
with the errors of papistry, as was natural for one bred and cherished
in the house of the speaking horn of the Beast, for such the high priest
of St Andrews was well likened to, he was nevertheless a man of a humane
heart and great tenderness of conscience.

The while my grandfather was sitting with him at the board, he lamented
that the Church, so he denominated the papal abomination, was so far
gone with the spirit of punishment and of cruelty as rather to shock
men's minds into schism and rebellion than to allure them back into
worship and reverence, and to a repentance of their heresies--a strain
of discourse which my grandfather so little expected to hear within the
gates and precincts of the guilty castle of St Andrews that it made him
for a time distrust the sincerity of the old man, and he was very
guarded in what he himself answered thereto. Leonard Meldrum was,
however, honest in his way, and rehearsed many things which had been
done within his own knowledge against the reformers that, as he said,
human nature could not abide, nor the just and merciful Heavens well
pardon.

Thus, from less to more, my grandfather and he fell into frank
communion, and he gave him such an account of the bloody Cardinal Beaton
as was most awful to hear, saying that his then present master, with all
his faults and prodigalities, was a saint of purity compared to that
rampagious cardinal, the which to hear, my grandfather thinking of what
he had seen in the lodging of Madam Kilspinnie, was seized with such a
horror thereat that he could partake no more of the repast before him,
and he was likewise moved into a great awe and wonder of spirit that the
Lord should thus, in the very chief sanctuary of papistry in all
Scotland, be alienating the affections of the servants from their
master, preparing the way, as it were, for an utter desertion and
desolation to ensue.

They afterwards talked of the latter end of that great martyr, Mr George
Wishart, and the seneschal informed him of several things concerning the
same that were most edifying, though sorrowful to hear.

"He was," said he, "placed under my care, and methinks I shall ever see
him before me, so meek, so holy, and so goodly was his aspect. He was of
tall stature, black haired, long bearded, of a graceful carriage,
elegant, courteous, and ready to teach. In his apparel he was most
comely, and in his diet of an abstemious temperance. On the morning of
his execution, when I gave him notice that he was not to be allowed to
have the sacrament, he smiled with a holiness of resignation that almost
melted me to weep. I then invited him to partake of my breakfast, which
he accepted with cheerfulness, saying,--

"'I will do it very willingly, and so much the rather, because I
perceive you to be a good Christian, and a man fearing God.'

"I then ordered in the breakfast, and he said,--

"'I beseech you, for the love you bear to our Saviour, to be silent a
little while, till I have made a short exhortation, and blessed this
bread we are to eat.'

"He then spoke about the space of half an hour of our Saviour's death
and passion, exhorting me, and those who were present with me, to mutual
love and holiness of life; and giving thanks, brake the bread,
distributing a part to those about him; then taking a cup, he bade us
remember that Christ's blood was shed to wash away our sins, and,
tasting it himself, he handed it to me, and I likewise partook of it:
then he concluded with another prayer, at the end of which he said, 'I
will neither drink nor eat any more in this world,' and he forthwith
entered into an inner chamber where his bed was, leaving us filled with
admiration and sorrow, and our eyes flowing with tears."

To this the seneschal added, "I fear, I fear, we are soon to have
another scene of the same sort, for to-morrow the Bishops of Murray, and
Brechin, and Caithness, with other dignitaries, are summoned to the
cathedral to sit in judgment on the aged priest of Lunan, that was
brought hither from Dysart yestereen, and from the head the newfangled
heresies are making, there's little doubt that the poor auld man will be
made an example. Woes me! far better would it be an they would make an
example of the like of the Earls of Argyle and Glencairn, by whom the
reprobates are so encouraged."

"And is this Mill," inquired my grandfather with diffidence, for his
heart was so stung with what he heard, that he could scarcely feign the
necessary hypocrisy which the peril he stood in required--"Is this Mill
in the castle?"

"Sorry am I to say it," replied the seneschal, "and under my keeping;
but I darena show him the pity that I would fain do to his grey hairs
and aged limbs. Some of the monks of the priory are with him just now,
trying to get him to recant his errors, with the promise of a bein
provision for the remainder of his days in the abbey of Dunfermline, the
whilk I hope our blessed Lady will put it into his heart to accept."

"I trust," said my grandfather in the core of his bosom, "that the Lord
will fortify him to resist the temptation."

This, however, the seneschal heard not, for it was ejaculated inwardly,
and he subjoined,--

"When the monks go away, I will take you in to see him, for truly he is
a sight far more moving to compassion than displeasure, whatsoever his
sins and heresies may be."

In this manner, for the space of more than an hour, did my grandfather
hold converse and communion with Leonard Meldrum, in whom, he was often
heard to say, there was more of the leaven of a sanctified nature than
in the disposition of many zealous and professing Christians.

When the two shavlings that had been afflicting Master Mill with the
offer of the wages of Satan were departed from the castle, the seneschal
rose, and bidding my grandfather to come after him, they went out of the
room, and traversing a narrow dark passage with many windings, came to
the foot of a turnpike stair which led up into the sea-tower, so called
because it stood farthermost of all the castle in the sea, and in the
chamber thereof they found Master Mill alone, sitting at the window,
with his ancient and shrivelled lean hand resting on the sole and
supporting his chin, as he looked through the iron stainchers abroad on
the ocean that was sleeping in a blessed tranquillity around, all
glowing and golden with the shimmer of the setting sun.

"How fares it with you?" said the seneschal with a kindly accent;
whereupon the old man, who had not heard them enter, being tranced in
his own holy meditations, turned round, and my grandfather said he felt
himself, when he beheld his countenance, so smitten with awe and
admiration, that he could not for some time advance a step.

"Come in, Master Meldrum, and sit ye down by me!" said the godly man.
"Draw near unto me, for I am a thought hard of hearing. The Lord has of
late, by steeking the doors and windows of my earthly tabernacle, been
admonishing me that the gloaming is come, and the hour of rest cannot be
far off."

His voice, said my grandfather, was as the sound of a mournful melody,
but his countenance was brightened with a solemn joyfulness. He was of a
pale and spiritual complexion; his eyes beamed, as it were, with a
living light, and often glanced thoughts of heavenly imaginings, even as
he sat in silence. He was then fourscore and two years old; but his
appearance was more aged, for his life had been full of suffering and
poverty; and his venerable hands and skinny arms were heart-melting
evidences of his ineffectual power to struggle much longer in the
warfare of this world. In sooth, he was a chosen wheat-ear, ripened and
ready for the garnels of salvation.

"I have brought, Master Mill," said the seneschal, "a discreet youth to
see you, not out of a vain curiosity, for he sorrows with an exceeding
grief that such an aged person should be brought into a state of so
great jeopardy; but I hope, Master Mill, it will go well with you yet,
and that ye'll repent and accept the boon that I hae heard was to be
proffered."

To these words the aged saint made no reply for the space of about a
minute; at the end of which he raised his hands, and casting his eyes
heavenward, exclaimed,--

"I thank Thee, O Lord, for the days of sore trial, and want, and hunger,
and thirst, and destitution which Thou hast been pleased to bestow upon
me, for by them have I, even now as I stand on the threshold of life,
been enabled, through Thy merciful heartenings, to set at nought the
temptations wherewith I have been tempted."

And, turning to the seneschal, he added mildly, "But I am bound to you,
Master Meldrum, in great obligations, for I know that in the hope you
have now expressed there is the spirit of much charitableness, albeit
you discern not the deadly malady that the sin of compliance would bring
to my poor soul. No, sir, it would na be worth my while now, for world's
gain, to read a recantation. And, blessed be God, it's no in my power to
yield, so deeply are the truths of His laws engraven upon the tablet of
my heart."

They then fell into more general discourse, and while they were
speaking, a halberdier came into the room with a paper, whereby the
prisoner was summoned to appear in the cathedral next day by ten
o'clock, to answer divers matters of heresy and schism laid to his
charge; and the man having delivered the summons, said to the seneschal
that he was ordered by Sir Andrew Oliphant to bid him refrain from
visiting the prisoner, and to retire to his own lodging.

The seneschal to this command said nothing, but rose, and my grandfather
likewise rose. Fain would he have knelt down to beg the blessing of the
martyr, but the worthy Master Meldrum signified to him with a look to
come at once away; and when they were returned back into his chamber
where the repast had been served, he told him that there was a danger of
falling under the evil thoughts of Oliphant, were he to be seen
evidencing anything like respect towards prisoners accused of the sin of
heresy.



CHAPTER V


The next day was like a cried fair in St. Andrews. All the country from
ayont Cupar, and many reformed and godly persons even from Dundee and
Perth, were gathered into the city to hear the trial of Master Walter
Mill. The streets were filled with horses and men with whips in their
hands and spurs at their heels, and there was a great going to and fro
among the multitude; but, saving in its numbers, the congregation of the
people was in no other complexion either like a fair or a tryst. Every
visage was darkened with doure thoughts; none spoke cheerfully aloud;
but there was whispering and muttering, and ever and anon the auld men
were seen wagging their heads in sorrow, while the young cried often
"Shame! shame!" and with vehement gestures clave the air with their
right hands, grasping their whips and staffs with the vigour of
indignation.

At last the big bell of the cathedral began to jow, at the doleful sound
of which there was, for the space of two or three minutes, a silence and
pause in the multitude as if they had been struck with panic and
consternation, for till then there was a hope among them that the
persecutors would relent; but the din of the bell was as the signal of
death and despair, and the people were soon awakened from their
astonishment by the cry that "the bishops are coming," whereat there
was a great rush towards the gates of the church, which was presently
filled, leaving only a passage up the middle aisle.

In the quire a table was spread with a purple velvet cloth, and at the
upper end, before the high place of the mass, was a stool of state for
the Archbishop; on each side stood chairs for the Bishops of Murray,
Brechin and Caithness and his other suffragans, summoned to sit in
judgment with him.

My grandfather, armed and wearing the Archbishop's livery, was with
those that guarded the way for the cruel prelates, and by the pressure
of the throng in convoying them into their place, he was driven within
the screen of the quire, and saw and heard all that passed.

When they had taken their seats, Master Mill was brought before them
from the prior's chamber, whither he had been secretly conducted early
in the morning, to the end that his great age might not be seen of the
people to work on their compassion. But, notwithstanding the forethought
of this device, when he came in, his white hair and his saintly look and
his feeble, tottering steps softened every heart. Even the very legate
of Antichrist, the Archbishop himself, my grandfather said, was
evidently moved, and for a season looked at the poor infirm old man as
he would have spared him, and a murmur of universal commiseration ran
through the church.

On being taken to the bottom of the table and placed fornent the
Archbishop, Master Mill knelt down and prayed for support in a voice so
firm and clear and eloquent that all present were surprised, for it rung
to the farthest corner of that great edifice, and smote the hearts of
his oppressors as with the dread of a menacing oracle.

Sir Andrew Oliphant, who acted as clerk and chancellor on the occasion,
began to fret as he heard him thus strengthened of the Lord, and cried
peevishly,--

"Sir Walter Mill, get up and answer, for you keep my lords here too
long."

He, however, heeded not this command, but continued undisturbed till he
had finished his devotion, when he rose and said,--

"I am bound to obey God more than man, and I serve a mightier Lord than
yours. You call me Sir Walter, but I am only Walter. Too long was I one
of the Pope's knights; but now say what you have to say."

Oliphant was somewhat cowed by this bold reply, and he bowed down, and
turning over his papers, read a portion of one of them to himself, and
then raising his head, said,--

"What thinkest thou of priests' marriage?"

The old man looked bravely towards the bishops, and answered with an
intrepid voice,--

"I esteem marriage a blessed bond, ordained by God, approved by Christ,
and made free to all sorts of men; but you abhor it, and in the meantime
take other men's wives and daughters; you vow chastity, and keep it
not."

My grandfather at these words looked unawares towards the Archbishop,
thinking of what he had seen in the lodging of Mistress Kilspinnie, and
their eyes chancing to meet, his Grace turned his head suddenly away as
if he had been rebuked.

Divers other questions were then put by Oliphant touching the
sacraments, the idolatry of the mass, and transubstantiation, with other
points concerning bishops and pilgrimages, and the worshipping of God in
unconsecrated places, to all which Master Mill answered in so brave a
manner, contrary to the papists, that even Oliphant himself often looked
reproved and confounded. At last the choler of that sharp weapon of
persecution began to rise, and he said to him sternly,--

"If you will not recant I will pronounce sentence against you."

"I know," replied Master Mill, with an apostolic constancy and
fortitude, "I know that I must die once, and therefore, as Christ said
to Judas, What thou doest do quickly. You shall know that I will not
recant the truth, for I am corn and not chaff. I will neither be blown
away by the wind nor burst with the flail, but will abide both."

At these brave words a sough of admiration sounded through the church,
but, instead of deterring the prelates from proceeding with their wicked
purpose, it only served to harden their hearts and to rouse their anger,
for when they had conferred a few minutes apart, Oliphant was ordered to
condemn him to the fire, and to deliver him over to the temporal
magistrates to see execution done.

No sooner was the sentence known, than a cry like a howl of wrath rose
from all the people, and the provost of the town, who was present with
the bailies, hastily quitted the church and fled, abhorring the task,
and fearful it would be put upon him to see it done, he being also
bailie of the Archbishop's regalities.

When the sentence was pronounced, the session of the court was
adjourned, and the bishops, as they were guarded back to the castle,
heard many a malison from the multitude who were ravenous against them.

The aged martyr being led back to the prior's chamber, was, under cloud
of night, taken to the castle; but my grandfather saw no more of him,
nor of Master Meldrum, the seneschal; for there was a great fear among
the bishops' men that the multitude would rise and attempt a rescue; and
my grandfather, not being inclined to go so far with his disguise as to
fight against that cause, took occasion, in the dusk of the evening, to
slip out of the castle, and to hide himself in the town, being resolved,
after what he had witnessed, no longer to abide, even as a spy, in a
service which his soul loathed.

All the night long there was a great commotion in the streets, and
lights in many houses, and a sound of lamentation mingled with rage. The
noise was as if some dreadful work was going on. There was no shouting,
nor any sound of men united together, but a deep and hoarse murmur rose
at times from the people, like the sound of the bandless waves of the
sea when they are driven by the strong impulses of the tempest. The
spirit of the times was indeed upon them, and it was manifest to my
grandfather that there wanted that night but the voice of a captain to
bid them hurl their wrath and vengeance against the towers and
strongholds of the oppressors.

At the dawn of day the garrison of the castle came forth, and, on the
spot where the martyrdom of Mr George Wishart had been accomplished, a
stake was driven into the ground, and faggots and barrels of tar were
placed around it, piled up almost as high as a man; in the middle, next
to the stake, a place was left for the sufferer.

But when all things were prepared, no rope could be had--no one in all
the town would give or sell a cord to help that sacrifice of iniquity,
nor would any of the magistrates come forth to see the execution done,
so it was thought for a time that the hungry cruelty of the persecutors
would be disappointed of its banquet. One Somerville, however, who was
officer of the Archbishop's guard, bethought himself, in this extremity,
of the ropes wherewith his master's pavilion was fastened, and he went
and took the same; and then his men brought forth the aged martyr, at
the sight of whom the multitude set up a dreadful imprecation, the roar
and growling groan of which was as if a thousand furious tigresses had
been robbed of their young. Many of Somerville's halberdiers looked
cowed, and their faces were aghast with terror; and some cried,
compassionately, as they saw the blessed old man brought, with his hands
tied behind him, to the stake, "Recant, recant!"

The monks and friars of the different monasteries, who were all there
assembled around, took up the word, and bitterly taunting him, cried
likewise, "Recant, recant and save thyself!" He, however, replied to
them with an awful austerity,--

"I marvel at your rage, ye hypocrites, who do so cruelly pursue the
servants of God. As for me, I am now fourscore and two years old, and by
course of nature cannot live long; but hundreds shall rise out of my
ashes who shall scatter you, ye persecutors of God's people."

Sir Andrew Oliphant, who was that day the busiest high priest of the
horrible sacrifice, at these words pushed him forward into the midst of
the faggots and fuel around the stake. But, nothing moved by this
remorseless indignity, the martyr looked for a moment at the pile with a
countenance full of cheerful resignation, and then requested permission
to say a few words to the people.

"You have spoken too much," cried Oliphant, "and the bishops are
exceedingly displeased with what you have said."

But the multitude exclaimed, "Let him be heard! let him speak what he
pleases! Speak, and heed not Oliphant." At which he looked towards them
and said,--

"Dear friends, the cause why I suffer this day is not for any crime laid
to my charge, though I acknowledge myself a miserable sinner, but only
for the defence of the truths of Jesus Christ, as set forth in the Old
and New Testaments."

He then began to pray, and while his eyes were shut, two of Somerville's
men threw a cord with a running loop round his body, and bound him to
the stake. The fire was then kindled, and at the sight of the smoke the
multitude uttered a shriek of anguish, and many ran away, unable to bear
any longer the sight of that woful tragedy. Among others, my grandfather
also ran, nor halted till he was come to a place under the rocks on the
south side of the town, where he could see nothing before him but the
lonely desert of the calm and soundless ocean.



CHAPTER VI


Many a time did my grandfather, in his old age, when all things he spoke
were but remembrances, try to tell what passed in his bosom while he was
sitting alone, under those cliffy rocks, gazing on the silent and
innocent sea, thinking of that dreadful work, more hideous than the
horrors of winds and waves, with which blinded men, in the lusts of
their idolatry, were then blackening the ethereal face of heaven; but he
was ever unable to proceed for the struggles of his spirit and the
gushing of his tears. Verily it was an awful thing to see that
patriarchal man overcome by the recollections of his youth; and the
manner in which he spoke of the papistical cruelties was as the pouring
of the energy of a new life into the very soul, instigating thoughts and
resolutions of an implacable enmity against those ruthless adversaries
to the hopes and redemption of the world, insomuch that, while yet a
child, I was often worked upon by what he said, and felt my young heart
so kindled with the live coals of his godly enthusiasm, that he himself
has stopped in the eloquence of his discourse, wondering at my fervour.
Then he would lay his hand upon my head, and say, the Lord had not
gifted me with such zeal without having a task in store for my riper
years. His words of prophecy, as shall hereafter appear, have greatly
and wonderfully come to pass. But it is meet that for a season I should
rehearse what ensued to him, for his story is full of solemnities and
strange accidents.

Having rested some time on the sea-shore, he rose and walked along the
toilsome shingle, scarcely noting which way he went--his thoughts being
busy with the martyrdom he had witnessed, flushing one moment with a
glorious indignation, and fainting the next with despondent reflections
on his own friendless state. For he looked upon himself as adrift on the
tides of the world, believing that his patron, the Earl of Glencairn,
would to a surety condemn his lack of fortitude in not enduring the
servitude of the Archbishop, after having been in so miraculous a manner
accepted into it, even as if Providence had made him a special
instrument to achieve the discoveries which the Lords of the
Congregation had then so much at heart. And while he was walking along
in this fluctuating mood, he came suddenly upon a man who was sitting,
as he had so shortly before been himself, sad and solitary, gazing on
the sea. The stranger, on hearing him approach, rose hastily, and was
moving quickly away; but my grandfather called to him to stop and not to
be afraid, for he would harm no one.

"I thought," said the melancholy man, "that all his Grace's retainers
were at the execution of the heretic."

There was something in the way in which he uttered the latter clause of
the sentence that seemed to my grandfather as if he would have made use
of better and fitter words, and therefore, to encourage him into
confidence, he replied,--

"I belong not to his Grace."

"How is it, then, that you wear his livery, and that I saw you, with Sir
David Hamilton, enter the garden of that misguided woman?"

He could proceed no farther, for his heart swelled, and his utterance
was for a while stifled, he being no other than the misfortunate Bailie
of Crail, whose light wife had sunk into the depravity of the
Archbishop's lemane. She had been beguiled away from him and her five
babies, their children, by the temptations of a Dominican, who, by habit
and repute, was pandarus to his Grace, and the poor man had come to try
if it was possible to wile her back.

My grandfather was melted with sorrow to see his great affection for the
unworthy concubine, calling to mind the scene of her harlotry and wanton
glances, and he reasoned with him on the great folly of vexing his
spirit for a woman so far lost to all shame and given over to iniquity.
But still the good man of Crail would not be persuaded, but used many
earnest entreaties that my grandfather would assist him to see his wife,
in order that he might remonstrate with her on the eternal perils in
which she had placed her precious soul.

My grandfather, though much moved by the importunity of that weak,
honest man, nevertheless withstood his entreaties, telling him that he
was minded to depart forthwith from St Andrews, and make the best of his
way back to Edinburgh, and so could embark in no undertaking whatever.

Discoursing on that subject in this manner, they strayed into the
fields, and being wrapt up in their conversation, they heeded not which
way they went, till, turning suddenly round the corner of an orchard,
they saw the castle full before them, about half a mile off, and a dim
white vapour mounting at times from the spot, still surrounded by many
spectators, where the fires of martyrdom had burnt so fiercely.
Shuddering and filled with dread, my grandfather turned away, and seeing
several countrymen passing, he inquired if all was over.

"Yes," said they, "and the soldiers are slockening the ashes; but a' the
waters of the ocean-sea will never quench in Scotland the flame that was
kindled yonder this day."

The which words they said with a proud look, thinking my grandfather, by
his arms and gabardine, belonged to the Archbishop's household; but the
words were as manna to his religious soul, and he gave inward praise and
thanks that the selfsame tragical means which had been devised to
terrify the reformers was thus, through the mysterious wisdom of
Providence, made more emboldening than courageous wine to fortify their
hearts for the great work that was before them.

Nothing, however, farther passed; but, changing the course of their
walk, my grandfather and the sorrowful Master Kilspinnie--for so the
poor man of Crail was called--went back, and, entering the bow at the
Shoegate, passed on towards a vintner's that dwelt opposite to the
convent of the Blackfriars; for the day was by this time far advanced,
and they both felt themselves in need of some refreshment.

While they were sitting together in the vintner's apartment, a stripling
came several times into the room, and looked hard at my grandfather, and
then went away without speaking. This was divers times repeated, and at
last it was so remarkable that even Master Kilspinnie took notice of
him, observing, that he seemed as if he had something very particular to
communicate, if an opportunity served, offering at the same time to
withdraw, to leave the room clear for the youth to tell his errand.

My grandfather's curiosity was, by this strange and new adventure to
him, so awakened, that he thought what his companion proposed a discreet
thing; so the honest Bailie of Crail withdrew himself, and, going into
the street, left my grandfather alone.

No sooner was he gone out of the house than the stripling, who had been
sorning about the door, again came in, and, coming close up to my
grandfather's ear, said, with a significance not to be misconstrued,
that if he would follow him he would take him to free quarters, where he
would be more kindly entertained.

My grandfather, though naturally of a quiet temperament, was
nevertheless a bold and brave youth, and there was something in the
mystery of this message--for such he rightly deemed it--that made him
fain to see the end thereof. So he called in the vintner's wife and paid
her the lawin', telling her to say to the friend who had been with him,
when he came back, that he would soon return.

The vintner's wife was a buxom and jolly dame, and before taking up the
money, she gave a pawkie look at the stripling, and as my grandfather
and he were going out at the door, she hit the gilly a bilf on the back,
saying it was a ne'er-do-weel trade he had ta'en up, and that he wasna
blate to wile awa' her customers, crying after him, "I redde ye warn
your madam that gin she sends you here again, I'll maybe let his Grace
ken that her cauldron needs clouting." However, the graceless gilly but
laughed at the vintner's wife, winking as he patted the side of his nose
with his fore-finger, which testified that he held her vows of vengeance
in very little reverence; and then he went on, my grandfather following.

They walked up the street till they came to the priory yett, when,
turning down a wynd to the left, he led my grandfather along between two
dykes, till they were come to a house that stood by itself within a fair
garden. But instead of going to the door in an honest manner, he bade
him stop, and going forward he whistled shrilly, and then flung three
stones against a butt, that was standing at the corner of the house on a
gauntrees to kep rain water from the spouting image of a stone puddock
that vomited what was gathered from the roof in the rones, and soon
after an upper casement was opened, and a damsel looked forth; she
however said nothing to the stripling, but she made certain signs which
he understood, and then she drew in her head, shutting the casement
softly, and he came back to my grandfather, to whom he said it was not
commodious at that time for him to be received into the house, but if he
would come back in the dark, at eight o'clock, all things would be ready
for his reception.

To this suggestion my grandfather made no scruple to assent, but
promised to be there; and he bargained with the lad to come for him,
giving him at the same time three placks for a largess. He then returned
to the vintner's, where he found the Crail man sitting waiting for him;
and the vintner's wife, when she saw him so soon back, jeered him, and
would fain have been jocose, which he often after thought a woful
immorality, considering the dreadful martyrdom of a godly man that had
been done that day in the town; but at the time he was not so over
strait-laced as to take offence at what she said; indeed, as he used to
say, sins were not so heinous in those papistical days as they
afterwards became, when men lost faith in penance, and found out the
perils of purchased pardons.



CHAPTER VII


My grandfather having, as I have told, a compassion for the silly
affection wherewith the honest man of Crail still regarded his wanton
wife, told him the circumstantials of his adventure with the stripling;
without, however, letting wot he had discovered that the invitation was
from her; the which was the case, for the damsel who looked out at the
window was no other than the giglet he had seen in her lodging when he
went thither with Sir David Hamilton, and he proposed to the
disconsolate husband that he should be his friend in the adventure;
meaning thereby to convince the unhappy man, by the evidence of his own
eyes and ears, that her concubinage with the Antichrist was a blessed
riddance to him and his family.

At first Master Kilspinnie had no zest for any such frolic, for so it
seemed to him, and he began to think my grandfather's horror at the
martyrdom of the aged saint but a long-fac't hypocrisy; nevertheless he
was wrought upon to consent; and they sat plotting and contriving in
what manner they should act their several parts, my grandfather
pretending great fear and apprehension at the thoughts of himself, a
stranger, going alone into the traps of a house where there were sic
forerunners of shame and signs of danger. At last he proposed that they
should go together and spy about the precincts of the place, and try to
discover if there was no other entrance or outgate to the house than the
way by which the stripling conducted him, though well he remembered the
sallyport, where the fat friar kept watch, eating the pasty.

Accordingly they went forth from the vintner's, and my grandfather, as
if he knew not the way, led his companion round between the priory and
the sea, till they came near the aforesaid sallyport, when, mounting
upon a stone, he affected to discover that the house of the madam stood
in the garden within, and that the sallyport could be no less than a
back yett thereto.

While they were speaking concerning the same, my grandfather observed
the wicket open in the gate, and guessing therefrom that it was one
spying to forewarn somebody within who wanted to come out unremarked, he
made a sign to his companion, and they both threw themselves flat on the
ground, and hirsled down the rocks to conceal themselves. Presently the
gate was opened, and then out came the fat friar, and looked east and
west, holding the door in his hand; and anon out came his Grace the
Antichrist, hirpling with a staff in his hand, for he was lame with that
monkish malady called the gout. The friar then drew the yett to, and
walked on towards the castle, with his Grace leaning on his arm. In the
meantime the poor man of Crail was grinding the teeth of his rage at the
sight of the cause of his sorrow, and my grandfather had a sore struggle
to keep him down, and prevent him from running wud and furious at the
two sacerdotal reprobates, for no lightlier could they be called.

Thus, without any disclosure on my grandfather's part, did Master
Kilspinnie come to jealouse that the lemane who had trysted him was no
other than his own faithless wife, and he smote his forehead and wept
bitterly, to think how she was become so dreadless in sin. But he vowed
to put her to shame; so it was covenanted between them, that in the
dusk of the evening the afflicted husband should post himself near to
where they then stood, and that when my grandfather was admitted by the
other entrance to the house, he should devise some reason for walking
forth into the garden, and while there admit Master Kilspinnie.

Accordingly, betimes my grandfather was ready, and the stripling, as had
been bargained, came for him to the vintner's, and conducted him to the
house, where, after giving the signals before enumerated, the damsel
came to the door and gave him admittance, leading him straight to the
inner chamber before described, where her mistress was sitting in a
languishing posture, with the table spread for a banquet.

She embraced my grandfather with many fond protestations, and filled him
a cup of hot malvesie, while her handmaid brought in divers savoury
dishes; but he, though a valiant young man, was not at his ease, and he
thought of the poor husband and the five babies that the adultress had
left for the foul love of the papist high-priest, and it was a chaste
spell and a restraining grace. Still he partook a little of the rich
repast which had been prepared, and feigned so long a false pleasance,
that he almost became pleased in reality. The dame, however, was herself
at times fearful, and seemed to listen if there was any knocking at the
door, telling my grandfather that his Grace was to be back after he had
supped at the castle. "I thought," said she, "to have had you here when
he was at the burning of the heretic, but my gilly could not find you
among the troopers till it was owre late; for when he brought you my
Lord had come to solace himself after the execution. But I was so
nettled to be so baulked, that I acted myself into an anger till I got
him away, not, however, without a threat of being troubled with him
again at night."

Scarcely had madam said this, when my grandfather started up and feigned
to be in great terror, begging her to let him hide himself in the garden
till his Grace was come and gone. To this, with all her blandishments,
the guilty woman made many obstacles, but he was fortified of the Lord
with the thoughts of her injured children, and would not be entreated,
but insisted on scogging himself in the garden till the Archbishop was
sent away, the hour of his coming being then near at hand. Seeing him
thus peremptory, Madam Kilspinnie was obligated to conform; so he was
permitted to go into the garden, and no sooner was he there than he went
to the sallyport and admitted her husband; and well it was that he had
been so steadfast in his purpose, for scarcely were they moved from the
yett into a honeysuckle bower hard by when they heard it again open, and
in came his Grace with his corpulent pandarus, who took his seat on the
bench before spoken of, to watch, while his master went into the house.

The good Bailie of Crail breathed thickly, and he took my grandfather by
the hand, his whole frame trembling with a passion of grief and rage. In
the lapse of some four or five minutes, the giglet damsel came out of
the house, and by the glimpse of a light from a window as she passed
they saw she had a tankard of smoking drink in her hand, with which she
went to the friar; and my grandfather and his companion, taking
advantage of this, slipped out of their hiding-place and stole softly
into the house and reached the outer chamber that was parted from
madam's banquet bower by the arras partition. There they stopped to
listen, and heard her complaining in a most dolorous manner of great
heart-sickness, ever and anon begging the deluded prelate Hamilton to
taste the feast she had prepared for him, in the hope of being able to
share it with him and the caresses of his sweet love, to which his Grace
as often replied, with great condolence and sympathy, how very grieved
he was to find her in that sad and sore estate, with many other fond
cajoleries, most odious to my grandfather to hear from a man so far
advanced in years, and who, by reason of the reverence of his office,
ought to have had his tongue schooled to terms of piety and temperance.

The poor husband meanwhile said nothing, but my grandfather heard his
heart panting audibly, and three or four times he was obligated to brush
away his hand, for, having no arms himself, the bailie clutched at the
hilt of his sword and would have drawn it from the scabbard.

The Antichrist, seeing his lemane in such great malady as she so well
feigned, he at last, to her very earnest supplication, consented to
leave her that night, and kissed her as he came away; but her husband
broke in upon them with the rage of a hungry lion, and seizing his
Grace by the cuff of the neck, swung him away from her with such
vehemence that he fell into the corner of the room like a sack of duds.
As for madam, she uttered a wild cry, and threw herself back on the
couch where she was sitting and seemed as if she had swooned, having no
other device so ready to avoid the upbraidings and just reproaches of
her spouse. But she was soon roused from that fraudulent dwam by my
grandfather, who, seizing a flagon of wine, dashed it upon her face.



CHAPTER VIII


Mrs Kilspinnie uttered a frightful screech, and, starting up, attempted
to run out of the room, but her husband caught her by the arm, and my
grandfather was empowered, by a signal grant of great presence of mind
to think that the noise might cause alarm, whereupon he sprang instanter
to the door that led into the garden just as the damsel was coming up,
and the fat friar hobbling as fast as he could behind her; and he had
but time to say to her, as it was with an inspiration, to keep all quiet
in the garden and he would make his escape by the other door. She, on
hearing this, ran back to stop the pandarus, and my grandfather closed
and bolted fast that back door, going forthwith to the one by which he
had been himself admitted, and which, having opened wide to the wall, he
returned to the scene of commotion.

In the meantime the prelatic dragon that was so ravished from the woman
had hastily risen upon his legs, and, red with a dreadful wrath, raged
as if he would have devoured her husband. In sooth, to do his Grace
justice, he lacked not the spirit of a courageous gentleman, and he
could not, my grandfather often said, have borne himself more proudly
and valiantly had he been a belted knight, bred in camps and fields of
war, so that a discreet retreat and evasion of the house was the best
course they could take. But Master Kilspinnie fain would have continued
his biting taunts to the mistress, who was enacting a most tragical
extravagance of affliction and terror. My grandfather, however, suddenly
cut him short, crying, "Come, come, no more of this; an alarm is given,
and we must save ourselves." With that he seized him firmly by the arm,
and in a manner harled him out of the house and into the lane between
the dykes, along which they ran with nimble heels. On reaching the
Showgate they slackened their speed, still, however, walking as fast as
they could till they came near the port, when they again drew in the
bridle of their haste, going through among the guards that were
loitering around the door of the wardroom, and passed out into the
fields as if they had been indifferent persons.

On escaping the gate they fell in with divers persons going along the
road, who, by their discourse, were returning home to Cupar, and they
walked leisurely with them till they came to a cross-road, where my
grandfather, giving Master Kilspinnie a nodge, turned down the one that
went to the left, followed by him, and it happened to be the road to
Dysart and Crail.

"This will ne'er do," said Master Kilspinnie, "they will pursue us this
gait."

Upon hearing this reasonable apprehension, my grandfather stopped and
conferred with himself, and received on that spot a blessed experience
and foretaste of the protection wherewith, to a great age, he was all
his days protected. For it was in a manner revealed to him that he
should throw away the garbardine and sword which he had received in the
castle, and thereby appear in his simple craftsman's garb, and that they
should turn back and cross the Cupar road, and go along the other, which
led to the Dundee waterside ferry. This he told to his fearful
companion, and likewise, that as often as they fell in with or heard
anybody coming up, the bailie should hasten on before or den himself
among the brechans by the roadside, to the end that it might appear they
were not two persons in company together.

But they had not long crossed the Cupar road and travelled the one
leading to the ferry when they heard the whirlwind sound of horsemen
coming after them, at which the honest man of Crail darted aside and lay
flat on his grouff ayont a bramble bush, while my grandfather began to
lilt as blithely as he could, "The Bonny Lass of Livingston," and the
spring was ever after to him as a hymn of thanksgiving, but the words he
then sang was an auld, ranting, godless and graceless ditty of the
grooms and serving-men that sorned about his father's smiddy, and the
closer that the horsemen came he was strengthened to sing the louder and
the clearer.

"Saw ye twa fellows ganging this gait?" cried the foremost of the
pursuers, pulling up.

"What like were they?" said my grandfather, in a simple manner.

"Ane of them was o' his Grace's guard," replied the man, "but the other,
curse tak me gin I ken what he was like, but he's the bailie or provost
of a burrough's town, and should by rights hae a big belly."

To this my grandfather answered briskly, "Nae sic twa ha'e past me, but
as I was coming along whistling, thinking o' naething, twa sturdy loons,
ane o' them no unlike the hempies o' the castle, ran skirring along, and
I hae a thought that they took the road to Crail or Dysart."

"That was my thought, too," cried the horseman, as he turned his beast,
and the rest that were with him doing the same, bidding my grandfather
good-night, away they scampered back; by which a blessed deliverance was
there wrought to him and his companion on that spot, in that night.

As soon as the horsemen had gone by, Bailie Kilspinnie came from his
hiding-place, and both he and my grandfather proved that no bird-lime
was on their feet till they got to the ferry-house at the waterside,
where they found two boats taking passengers on board, one for Dundee
and the other for Perth. Here my grandfather's great gift of
foreknowledge was again proven, for he proposed that they should bargain
with the skipper of the Dundee boat to take them to that town and pay
him like the other passengers, at once, in an open manner, but that, as
the night was cloudy and dark, they should go cannily aboard the boat
for Perth, as it were in mistake, and feign not to discover their error
till they were far up the river when they should proceed to the town,
letting wot that by the return of the tide they would go in the morning
by the Perth boat to Dundee, with which Master Kilspinnie was well
acquainted, he having had many times, in the way of his traffic as a
plaiding merchant, cause to use the same, and thereby knew it went twice
a week, and that the morrow was one of the days. All this they were
enabled to do with such fortitude and decorum that no one aboard the
Perth boat could have divined that they were not honest men in great
trouble of mind at discovering they had come into the wrong boat.

But nothing showed more that Providence had a hand in all this than what
ensued, for all the passengers in the boat had been at St Andrews to
hear the trial and see the martyrdom, and they were sharp and vehement
not only in their condemnation of the mitred Antichrist, but grieved
with a sincere sorrow that none of the nobles of Scotland would stand
forth in their ancient bravery to resist and overthrow a race of
oppressors more grievous than the Southrons that trode on the neck of
their fathers in the hero-stirring times of the Wallace wight and King
Robert the Bruce. Truly, there was a spirit of unison and indignation in
the company on board that boat, everyone thirsting with a holy ardour to
avenge the cruelties of which the papistical priesthood were daily
growing more and more crouse in the perpetration, and they made the
shores ring with the olden song of--

   "O for my ain king, quo' gude Wallace,
     The rightfu' king of fair Scotlan';
   Between me and my sovereign dear
     I think I see some ill seed sawn."

It was the grey of the morning before they reached Perth, and as soon as
they were put on the land the bailie took my grandfather with him to the
house of one Sawners Ruthven, a blanket-weaver with whom he had
dealings, a staid and discreet man, who, when he had supplied them with
breakfast, exhorted them not to tarry in the town, then a place that had
fallen under the suspicion of the clergy, the lordly monks of Scoone
taking great power and authority, in despite of the magistrates, against
all that fell under their evil thoughts anent heresy. And he counselled
them not to proceed, as my grandfather had proposed, straight on to
Edinburgh by the Queensferry, but to hasten up the country to Crieff and
thence take the road to Stirling. In this there was much prudence, but
Bailie Kilspinnie was in sore tribulation on account of his children,
whom he had left at his home in Crail, fearing that the talons of
Antichrist would lay hold of them and keep them as hostages till he was
given up to suffer for what he had done, none doubting that Baal, for so
he nicknamed the prelatic Hamilton, would impute to him the
unpardonable sin of heresy and schism, and leave no stone unturned to
bring him to the stake.

But Sawners Ruthven comforted him with the assurance that his Grace
would not venture to act in that manner, for it was known how Mistress
Kilspinnie then lived at St Andrews as his concubine. Nevertheless, the
poor man was in sore affliction, and as he and my grandfather travelled
towards Crieff, many a bitter prayer did his vexed spirit pour forth in
its grief that the right arm of the Lord might soon be manifested
against the Roman locust that consumed the land and made its corruption
naught in the nostrils of Heaven.

Thus was it manifest that there was much of the ire of a selfish revenge
mixt up with the rage which was at that time kindled in so unquenchable
a manner against the Beast and its worshippers, for in the history of
the honest man of Crail there was a great similitude to other foul and
worse things which the Roman idolaters seemed to regard among their
pestiferous immunities, and counted themselves free to do without dread
of any earthly retribution.



CHAPTER IX


My grandfather and his companion hastened on in their journey, but
instead of going to Stirling they crossed the river at Alloa, and so
passed by the water-side way to Edinburgh, where, on entering the
West-port, they separated. The bailie, who was a fearful man and in
constant dread and terror of being burned as a heretic for having broke
in upon the dalliance of his incontinent wife and the carnal-minded
primate of St Andrews, went to a cousin of his own, a dealer in serge
and temming in the Lawnmarket, with whom he concealed himself for some
weeks, but my grandfather proceeded straight towards the lodging of the
Earl of Glencairn to recount to his lordship the whole passages of what
he had been concerned in, from the night that he departed from his
presence.

It was by this time the mirkest of the gloaming, for they had purposely
tarried on their journey that they might enter Edinburgh at dusk. The
shops of the traders were shut, for in those days there was such a
resort of sorners and lawless men among the trains of the nobles and
gentry that it was not safe for honest merchants to keep their shops
open after nightfall. Nevertheless the streets were not darkened, for
there were then many begging-boxes, with images of the saints, and
cruisies burning afore them, in divers parts of the High Street and
corners of the wynds, insomuch that it was easy, as I have heard my
grandfather tell, to see and know anyone passing in the light thereof.
And, indeed, what befel himself was proof of it, for as he was coming
through St Giles' Kirkyard, which is now the Parliament Close, and
through which at that time there was a style and path for passengers, a
young man, whom he had observed following him, came close up just as he
reached a begging image of the Virgin Mary with its lamp that stood on a
pillar at the south-east corner of the cathedral, and touching him on
the left shoulder at that spot made him look round in such a manner that
the light of the Virgin's lamp fell full on his face.

"Dinna be frighted," said the stranger, "I ken you, and I'm in Lord
Glencairn's service; but follow me and say nothing."

My grandfather was not a little startled by this salutation; he,
however, made no observe, but replied, "Go on, then."

So the stranger went forward, and, after various turnings and windings,
led him down into the Cowgate and up a close on the south side thereof,
and then to a dark timber stair that was so frail and creaking and
narrow that his guide bade him haul himself up with the help of a rope
that hung down dangling for that purpose.

When they had raised themselves to the stairhead, the stranger opened a
door and they went together into a small and lonesome chamber, in the
chimla-nook of which an old iron cruisie was burning with a winking and
wizard light.

"I hae brought you here," said his conductor, "for secrecy, for my Lord
disna want that ye should be seen about his lodging. I'm ane of three
that hae been lang seeking you, and, as a token that ye're no deceived,
I was bade to tell you that before parting from my lord he gi'ed you two
pieces of gold out of his coffer in the chamber where he supped."

My grandfather thought this very like a proof that he had been so
informed by the Earl himself, but happening to remark that he sat with
his back to the light and kept his face hidden in the shadow of the
darkness, Providence put it into his head to jealouse that he might
nevertheless be a spy, one perhaps that had been trusted in like manner
as he had himself been trusted, and who had afterwards sold himself to
the perdition of the adversaries' cause; he was, accordingly, on his
guard, but replied with seeming frankness that it was very true he had
received two pieces of gold from the Earl at his departure.

"Then," said the young man, "by that token ye may know that I am in the
private service of the Earl, who, for reasons best known to himsel',
hath willed that you should tell me, that I may report the same secretly
to him, what espionage you have made."

My grandfather was perplexed by this speech, but distrust having crept
into his thoughts, instead of replying with a full recital of all his
adventures, he briefly said that he had indeed effected nothing, for his
soul was sickened by the woful martyrdom of the godly Master Mill to so
great a disease that he could not endure to abide in St Andrews, and
therefore he had come back.

"But you have been long on the way--how is that?--it is now many days
since the burning," replied the stranger.

"You say truly," was my grandfather's answer, "for I came round by
Perth, but I tarried at no place longer than was needful to repair and
refresh nature."

"Perth was a wide bout gait to take frae St Andrews to come to
Edinburgh. I marvel how ye went so far astray," said the young man,
curiously.

"In sooth it was, but being sorely demented with the tragical end of the
godly old man," replied my grandfather, "and seeing that I could do the
Earl no manner of service, I wist not well what course to take, so after
meickle tribulation of thought and great uncertainty of purpose I e'en
resolved to come hither."

Little more passed; the young man rose and said to my grandfather he
feared the Earl would be so little content with him that he had better
not go near him but seek some other master. And when they had descended
the stair and were come into the street he advised him to go to the
house of a certain Widow Rippet, that let dry lodgings in the
Grass-market, and roost there for that night. The which my grandfather
in a manner signified he would do, and so they parted.

The stranger at first walked soberly away, but he had not gone many
paces when he suddenly turned into a close leading up to the
High-street, and my grandfather heard the pattering of his feet running
as swiftly as possible, which confirmed to him what he suspected; and
so, instead of going towards the Widow Rippet's house he turned back and
went straight on to St Mary's Wynd, where the Earl's lodging was, and
knocking at the yett was speedily admitted and conducted instanter to my
Lord's presence, whom he found alone reading many papers which lay on a
table before him.

"Gilhaize," said the Earl, "how is this? why have you come back? and
wherefore is it that I have heard no tidings from you?"

Whereupon my grandfather recounted to him all the circumstantials which
I have rehearsed, from the hour of his departure from Edinburgh up till
the very time when he then stood in his master's presence. The Earl made
no inroad on his narrative while he was telling it, but his countenance
often changed and he was much moved at different passages--sometimes
with sorrow and sometimes with anger; and he laughed vehemently at the
mishap which had befallen the grand adversary of the Congregation and
his concubine. The adventure, however, with the unknown varlet in the
street appeared to make his Lordship very thoughtful, and no less than
thrice did he question my grandfather if he had indeed given but those
barren answers which I have already recited; to all which he received
the most solemn asseverations that no more was said. His Lordship then
sat some time cogitating with his hands resting on his thighs, his brows
bent, and his lips pursed as with sharp thought. At last he said,--

"Gilhaize, you have done better in this than I ought to have expected of
one so young and unpractised. The favour you won with Sir David Hamilton
was no more than I thought your looks and manners would beget. But you
are not only well-favoured but well-fortuned; and had you not found
yourself worthily bound to your duty I doubt not you might have
prospered in the Archbishop's household. The affair with Madam
Kilspinnie was a thing I reckoned not of, yet therein you have proved
yourself not only a very Joseph, but so ripe in wit beyond your years
that your merits deserve more commendation than I can afford to give,
for I have not sufficient to bestow on the singular prudence and
discernment wherewith you have parried the treacherous thrusts of that
Judas Iscariot, Winterton, for so I doubt not is the traitor who waylaid
you. He was once in my service and is now in the Queen Regent's. In
sending off my men on errands similar to yours, I was wont to give them
two pieces of gold, and this the false loon has gathered to be a custom
from others as well as by his own knowledge, and he has made it the key
to open the breasts of my servants. To know this, however, is a great
discovery. But, Gilhaize, not to waste words, you have your master's
confidence. Go, therefore, I pray you, with all speed to the Widow
Rippet's and do as Winterton bade you and as chance may require. In the
morning come again hither, for I have this night many weighty affairs,
and you have shown yourself possessed of a discerning spirit, that may,
in these times of peril and perjury, help the great cause of all good
Scotchmen."

In saying these most acceptable words, he clapped my grandfather on the
shoulder, and encouraged him to be as true-hearted as he was
sharp-witted, and he could not fail to earn both treasure and trusts. So
my grand-father left him, and went to the Widow Rippet's in the
Grass-market; and around her kitchen fire he found some four or five
discarded knaves that were bargaining with her for beds, or for leave to
sleep by the hearth; and he had not been long seated among them when his
heart was grieved with pain to see Winterton come in, and behind him the
two simple lads of Lithgow that had left their homes with him, whom, it
appeared, the varlet had seduced from the Earl of Glencairn's service
and inveigled into the Earl of Seaton's, a rampant papist, by the same
wiles wherewith he thought he had likewise made a conquest of my
grandfather, whom they had all come together to see; for the two Lithgow
lads, like reynard the fox when he had lost his tail, were eager that he
too should make himself like them. He feigned, however, great weariness,
and indeed his heart was heavy to see such skill of wickedness in so
young a man as he saw in Winterton. So, after partaking with them of
some spiced ale which Winterton brought from the Salutation tavern,
opposite the gallow's-stone, he declared himself overcome with sleep,
and perforce thereof obligated to go to bed. But when they were gone,
and he had retired to his sorry couch, no sleep came to his eyelids, but
only hot and salt tears; for he thought that he had been in a measure
concerned in bringing away the two thoughtless lads from their homes,
and he saw that they were not tempered to resist the temptations of the
world, but would soon fall away from their religious integrity, and
become lewd and godless roisters, like the wuddy worthies that paid
half-price for leave to sleep on the widow's hearth.



CHAPTER X


At the first blink of the grey eye of the morning my grandfather rose,
and, quitting the house of the Widow Rippet, went straight to the Earl's
lodgings, and was admitted. The porter at the door told him that their
master, having been up all night, had but just retired to bed; but while
they were speaking, the Earl's page, who slept in the ante-chamber,
called from the stairhead to inquire who it was that had come so early,
and being informed thereof, he went into his master, and afterwards came
again and desired my grandfather to walk up, and conducted him to his
Lordship, whom he found on his couch, but not undressed, and who said to
him on his entering, when the page had retired,--

"I am glad, Gilhaize, that you have come thus early, for I want a trusty
man to go forthwith into the west country. What I wish you to do cannot
be written, but you will take this ring;" and he took one from the
little finger of his right hand, on the gem of which his cipher was
graven, and gave it to my grandfather. "On showing it to Lord Boyd, whom
you will find at the Dean Castle, near Kilmarnock, he will thereby know
that you are specially trusted of me. The message whereof you are the
bearer is to this effect,--That the Lords of the Congregation have, by
their friends in many places, received strong exhortations to step
forward and oppose the headlong fury of the churchmen; and that they
have in consequence deemed it necessary to lose no time in ascertaining
what the strength of the Reformed may be, and to procure declarations
for mutual defence from all who are joined in professing the true
religion of Christ. Should he see meet to employ you in this matter, you
will obey his orders and instructions, whatsoever they may be."

The Earl then put his hand aneath his pillow and drew out a small
leathern purse, which he gave to my grandfather, who, in the doing of
this, observed that he had several other similar purses ready under his
head. In taking it, my grandfather was proceeding to tell him what he
had observed at the Widow Rippet's, but his Lordship interrupted him,
saying,--

"Such things are of no issue now, and your present duty is in a higher
road; therefore make haste, and God be with you."

With these words, his Lordship turned himself on his couch, and composed
himself to sleep, which my grandfather, after looking on for about a
minute or so, observing, came away; and having borrowed a frock and a
trot-cozey for the journey from one of the grooms of the hall, he went
straight to Kenneth Shelty's, a noted horse-setter in those days, who
lived at the West-port, and bargained with him for the hire of a beast
to Glasgow, though Glasgow was not then the nearest road to Kilmarnock;
but he thought it prudent to go that way, in case any of the papistical
emissaries should track his course.

There was, however, a little oversight in this, which did not come to
mind till he was some miles on the road, and that was the obligation it
put him under of passing through Lithgow, where he was so well known,
and where all his kith and kin lived--there being then no immediate
route from Edinburgh to Glasgow but by Lithgow. And he debated with
himself for a space of time whether he ought to proceed, or turn back
and go the other way, and his mind was sorely troubled with doubts and
difficulties. At last he considered that it was never deemed wise or
fortunate to turn back in any undertaking, and besides, having for the
service of the Saviour left his father's house and renounced his
parents, like a bird that taketh wing and knoweth the nest where it was
bred no more, he knit up his ravelled thoughts into resolution, and
clapping spurs to his horse, rode bravely on.

But when he beheld the towers of the palace, and the steeples of his
native town, rising before him, many remembrances came rushing to his
heart, and all the vexations he had suffered there were lost in the
sunny recollections of the morning of life, when everyone was kind, and
the eyes of his parents looked on him with the brightness of delight, in
so much, that his soul yearned within him, and his cheeks were wetted
with fast-flowing tears. Nevertheless, he overcame this thaw of his
fortitude, and went forward in the strength of the Lord, determined to
swerve not in his duty to the Earl of Glencairn, nor in his holier
fealty to a far greater Master. But the softness that he felt in his
nature made him gird himself with a firm purpose to ride through the
town without stopping. Scarcely, however, had he entered the port, when
his horse stumbled and lost a shoe, by which he was not only constrained
to stop, but to take him to his father's smiddy, which was in sight when
the mischance happened.

On going to the door, he found, as was commonly the case, a number of
grooms and flunkies of the courtiers, with certain friars, holding
vehement discourse concerning the tidings of the time, the burden of
which was the burning of the aged Master Mill, a thing that even the
monks durst not, for humanity, venture very strenuously to defend. His
father was not then within; but one of the prentice lads, seeing who it
was that had come with a horse to be shod, ran to tell him; and at the
sight of my grandfather, the friars suspended their controversies with
the serving-men, and gathered round him with many questions. He replied,
however, to them all with few words, bidding the foreman to make haste
and shoe his horse, hoping that he might thereby be off and away before
his father came.

But, while the man was throng with the horse's foot, both father and
mother came rushing in, and his mother was weeping bitterly, and
wringing her hands, chiding him as if he had sold himself to the Evil
One, and beseeching him to stop and repent. His father, however, said
little, but inquired how he had been, what he was doing, and where he
was going; and sent the prentice lad to bring a stoup of spiced ale from
a public hard by, in which he pledged him, kindly hoping he would do
well for himself and he would do well for his parents. The which
fatherliness touched my grandfather more to the quick than all the loud
lament and reproaches of his mother; and he replied that he had entered
into the service of a nobleman, and was then riding on his master's
business to Glasgow; but he mentioned no name, nor did his father
inquire. His mother, however, burst out into clamorous revilings,
declaring her dread that it was some of the apostate heretics; and,
giving vent to her passion, was as one in a frenzy, or possessed of a
devil. The very friars were confounded at her distraction, and tried to
soothe her and remove her forth the smiddy, which only made her more
wild, so that all present compassionated my grandfather, who sat silent
and made no answer, wearying till his horse was ready.

But greatly afflicted as he was by this trial, it was nothing to what
ensued, when, after having mounted, and shaken his father by the hand,
he galloped away to the West-port. There, on the outside, he was met by
two women and an old man, parents of the lads whom he had taken with him
to Edinburgh. Having heard he was at his father's smiddy, instead of
going thither, they had come to that place, in order that they might
speak with him more apart, and free from molestation, concerning their
sons.

One of the women was a poor widow, and she had no other child, nor the
hope of any other bread-winner for her old age. She, however, said
nothing, but stood with the corner of her apron at her eyes, sobbing
very afflictedly, while her friends, on seeing my grandfather coming out
of the port, stepped forward, and the old man caught the horse by the
bridle, and said gravely,--

"Ye maun stop and satisfy three sorrowful parents! What hae ye done with
your twa thoughtless companions?"

My grandfather's heart was as if it would have perished in his bosom;
for the company he had seen the lads with, and the talk they had held,
and above all their recklessness of principle, came upon him like a
withering flash of fire. He, however, replied soberly, that he had seen
them both the night before, and that they were well in health and jocund
in spirit.

The mother that was standing near her husband was blithe to hear this,
and reminded her gudeman, how she had often said, that when they did
hear tidings of their son her words would be found true, for he had ever
been all his days a brisk and a valiant bairn.

But the helpless widow was not content, and she came forward drying her
tears, saying, "And what is my poor fatherless do-na-gude about? I'm
fearfu, fearfu to be particular; for, though he was aye kind-hearted to
me, he was easily wised, and I doubt, I doubt he'll prove a blasting or
a blessing, according to the hands he fa's among."

"I hope and pray," said my grandfather, "that he'll be protected from
scaith, and live to be a comfort to all his friends." And, so saying, he
disengaged his bridle with a gentle violence from the old man's hold,
telling them he could not afford to stop, being timed to reach Glasgow
that night. So he pricked the horse with his rowals, and shot away; but
his heart, all the remainder of his day's journey, was as if it had been
pierced with many barbed arrows, and the sad voice of the poor anxious
widow rung in his ears like the sound of some doleful knell.

Saving this affair at Lithgow, nothing befell him till he came to the
gates of Glasgow; by which time it was dark, and the ward and watch set,
and they questioned him very sharply before giving him admission. For
the Queen Regent was then sojourning in the castle, and her fears and
cares were greatly quickened at that time, by rumours from all parts of
the kingdom concerning the murder, as it was called, of Master Mill. On
this account the French guards, which she had with her, were instructed
to be jealous of all untimeous travellers, and they being joined with a
ward of burghers, but using only their own tongue, caused no small
molestation to every Scotsman that sought admission after the sun was
set: for the burghers, not being well versed in military practices, were
of themselves very propugnacious in their authority, making more ado
than even the Frenchmen. It happened, however, that there was among
those valiant traders and craftsmen of Glasgow one Thomas Sword, the
deacon of the hammermen, and he having the command of those stationed at
the gate, overheard what was passing with my grandfather, and coming out
of the wardroom, inquired his name, which when he heard, and that he was
son to Michael Gilhaize, the Lithgow ferrier, he advised to let him in,
saying he knew his father well, and that they had worked together, when
young men, in the King's armoury at Stirling; and he told him where he
lived, and invited him, when his horse was stabled, to come to supper,
for he was glad to see him for his father's sake.



CHAPTER XI


At this time an ancient controversy between the Archbishops of St
Andrews and of Glasgow, touching their respective jurisdictions, had
been resuscitated with great acrimony, and in the debates concerning the
same the Glasgow people took a deep interest, for they are stouthearted
and of an adventurous spirit, and cannot abide to think that they or
their town should, in anything of public honour, be deemed either slack
or second to the foremost in the realm, and none of all the worthy
burgesses thereof thought more proudly of the superiority and renown of
their city than did Deacon Sword. So it came to pass, as he was sitting
at supper with my grandfather, that he enlarged and expatiated on the
inordinate pretensions of the Archbishop of St Andrews, and took
occasion to diverge from the prelate's political ambition to speak of
the enormities of his ecclesiastical government, and particularly of
that heinous and never-to-be-forgotten act, the burning of an aged man
of fourscore and two years, whose very heresies, as the deacon
mercifully said, ought rather to have been imputed to dotage than
charged as offences.

My grandfather was well pleased to observe such vigour of principle and
bravery of character in one having such sway and weight in so great a
community as to be the chief captain of the crafts who were banded with
the hammermen, namely, the cartwrights, the saddlers, the masons, the
coopers, the mariners, and all whose work required the use of
edge-tools, the hardiest and buirdliest of the trades, and he allowed
himself to run in with the deacon's humour, but without letting wot
either in whose service he was, or on what exploit he was bound, sowing
however, from time to time, hints as to the need that seemed to be
growing of putting a curb on the bold front wherewith the Archbishop of
St Andrews, under the pretext of suppressing heresies, butted with the
horns of oppression against all who stood within the reverence of his
displeasure.

Deacon Sword had himself a leaning to the reformed doctrines, which,
with his public enmity to the challenger of his own Archbishop, made him
take to those hints with so great an affinity, that he vowed to God,
shaking my grandfather by the hand over the table, that if some steps
were not soon taken to stop such inordinate misrule, there were not
wanting five hundred men in Glasgow who would start forward with weapons
in their grip at the first tout of a trump to vindicate the liberties of
the subject, and the wholesome administration by the temporal judges of
the law against all offenders as of old. And, giving scope to his
ardour, he said there was then such a spirit awakened in Glasgow that
men, women and children thirsted to see justice executed on the
churchmen, who were daily waxing more and more wroth and insatiable
against everyone who called their doctrines or polity in question.

Thus out of the very devices which had been devised by those about the
Queen Regent to intercept the free communion of the people with one
another was the means brought about whereby a chosen emissary of the
Congregation came to get at the emboldening knowledge of the sense of
the citizens of Glasgow with regard to the great cause which at that
period troubled the minds and fears of all men.

My grandfather was joyfully heartened by what he heard, and before
coming away from the deacon who, with the hospitality common to his
townsmen, would fain have had him to prolong their sederunt over the
gardevine, he said that if Glasgow were as true and valiant as it was
thought, there could be no doubt that her declaration for the Lords of
the Congregation would work out a great redress of public wrongs. For,
from all he could learn and understand, those high and pious noblemen
had nothing more at heart than to procure for the people the free
exercise of their right to worship God according to their conscience and
the doctrines of the Old and New Testaments.

But though over the liquor-cup the deacon had spoken so dreadless and
like a manly citizen, my grandfather resolved with himself to depart
betimes for Kilmarnock, in case of any change in his temper.
Accordingly, he requested the hostler of the hostel where he had taken
his bed, to which his day's hard journey early inclined him, to have his
horse in readiness before break of day. But this hostel, which was
called the Cross of Rhodes, happened to be situated at the Water-port,
and besides being a tavern and inn, was likewise the great ferryhouse of
the Clyde when the tide was up, or the ford rendered unsafe by the
torrents of the speats and inland rains--the which caused it to be much
frequented by the skippers and mariners of the barks that traded to
France and Genoa with the Renfrew salmon, and by all sorts of travellers
at all times even to the small hours of the morning. In short it was a
boisterous house, the company resorting thereto of a sort little in
unison with the religious frame of my grandfather. As soon, therefore,
as he came from the deacon's, he went to bed without taking off his
clothes, in order that he might be fit for the road as he intended; and
his bed being in the public room, with sliding doors, he drew them upon
him, hoping to shut out some of the din and to win a little repose. But
scarcely had he laid his head on the pillow when he heard the voice of
one entering the room, and listening eagerly, he discovered that it was
no other than the traitor Winterton's, the which so amazed him with
apprehension that he shook as he lay, like the aspen leaf on the tree.

Winterton called like a braggart for supper and hot wine, boasting he
had ridden that day from Edinburgh, and that he must be up and across
his horse by daylight in the morning, as he had need to be in Kilmarnock
by noon. In this, which vanity made him tell in bravado, my grandfather
could not but discern a kind Providence admonishing himself, for he had
no doubt that Winterton was in pursuit of him, and thankful he was that
he had given no inkling to anyone in the house as to whence he had come
and where he was going. But had this thought not at once entered his
head, he would soon have had cause to think it, for while Winterton was
eating his supper he began to converse with their host, and to inquire
what travellers had crossed the river. Twice or thrice, in as it were an
off-hand manner, he spoke of one whom he called a cousin, but, in
describing his garb, he left no doubt in my grandfather's bosom that it
was regarding him he seemed at once both so negligent and so anxious.
Most providential therefore it was that my grandfather had altered his
dress before leaving Edinburgh, for the marks which Winterton gave of
him were chiefly drawn from his ordinary garb, and by them their host in
consequence said he had seen no such person.

When Winterton had finished his repast, and was getting his second
stoup of wine heated, he asked where he was to sleep, to the which
question the host replied that he feared he would, like others, be
obligated to make a bench by the fireside his couch, all the beds in the
house being already bespoke or occupied. "Every one of them is double,"
said the man, "save only one, the which is paid for by a young man that
goes off at break of day and who is already asleep."

At this Winterton swore a dreadful oath that he would not sleep by the
fire after riding fifty miles while there was half a bed in the house,
and commanded the host to go and tell the young man that he must half
blankets with him.

My grandfather knew that this could only refer to him; so, when their
host came and opened the sliding doors of the bed, he feigned himself to
be very fast asleep at the back of the bed, and only groaned in
drowsiness when he was touched.

"O, let him alane," cried Winterton, "I ken what it is to be tired; so,
as there's room enough at the stock, when I have drank my posset I'll
e'en creep in beside him."

My grandfather, weary as he was, lay panting with apprehension, not
doubting that he should be speedily discovered; but when Winterton had
finished his drink and came swaggering and jocose to be his bedfellow,
he kept himself with his face to the wall, and snored like one who was
in haste to sleep more than enough, insomuch that Winterton, when he lay
down, gave him a deg with his elbow and swore at him to be quiet. His
own fatigue, however, soon mastered the disturbance which my grandfather
made, and he began himself to echo the noise in defenceless sincerity.

On hearing him thus fettered by sleep, my grandfather began to consider
with himself what he ought to do, being both afraid and perplexed he
knew not wherefore; and he was prompted by a power that he durst not and
could not reason with to rise and escape from the jeopardy wherein he
then was. But how could this be done, for the house was still open, and
travellers and customers were continually going and coming. Truly his
situation was one of great tribulation, and escape therefrom a thing
seemingly past hope and the unaided wisdom of man.



CHAPTER XII


After lying about the period of an hour in great perturbation, he began
to grow more collected, and the din and resort of strangers in the house
also subsided, by which he was enabled, with help from on high, to
gather his scattered thoughts and to bind them up into the sheaves of
purpose and resolution. Accordingly, when all was still, and several
young men that were sitting by the fire on account of every bed being
occupied, gave note, by their deep breathing, that sleep had descended
upon them, and darkened their senses with her gracious and downy wings,
he rose softly from the side of Winterton, and stepping over him,
slipped to the door, which he unbarred, and the moon shining bright he
went to the stable to take out his horse. It was not his intent to have
done this, but to have gone up into the streets of the city and walked
the walls thereof till he thought his adversary was gone, but seeing the
moon so fair and clear he determined to take his horse and forthwith
proceed on his journey, for the river was low and fordable, and trintled
its waters with a silvery sheen in the stillness of the beautiful light.

Scarcely, however, had he pulled the latch of the stable door--even as
he was just entering in--when he heard Winterton coming from the house
rousing the hostler, whom he profanely rated for allowing him to
oversleep himself. For, wakening just as his bedfellow rose, he thought
the morning was come and that his orders had been neglected.

In this extremity my grandfather saw no chance of evasion. If he went
out into the moonshine he would to a surety be discovered, and in the
stable he would to a certainty be caught. But what could he do and the
danger so pressing? He had hardly a choice; however, he went into the
stable, shut the door, and running up to the horses that were farthest
ben, mounted into the hack, and hid himself among the hay.

In that concealment he was scarcely well down when Winterton, with an
hostler that was half asleep, came with a lantern to the door, banning
the poor knave as if he had been cursing him with bell, book and candle,
the other rubbing his eyes and declaring it was still far from morning,
and saying he was sure the other traveller was not gone. To the which
there was speedy evidence, for on going towards Winterton's horse the
hostler saw my grandfather's in its stall and told him so.

At that moment a glimpse of the lantern fell on the horse's legs, and
its feet being white, "Oho!" cried Winterton, "let us look here--Kenneth
Shelty's Lightfoot--the very beast; and hae I been in the same hole wi'
the tod and no kent it. The deil's black collie worry my soul, but this
is a soople trick. I did nae think the sleekit sinner had art enough to
play't. Nae doubt he's gane to hide himsel in the town till I'm awa, for
he has heard what I said yestreen. But I'll be up sides wi' him. The
de'il a foot will I gang this morning till he comes back for his horse."
And with these words he turned out of the stable with the hostler and
went back to the house.

No sooner were they well gone than my grandfather came from his
hiding-place, and twisting a wisp of straw round his horse's feet, that
they might not dirl or make a din on the stones, he led it cannily out
and down to the river's brink, and, there mounting, took the ford, and
was soon free on the Gorbals side. Riding up the gait at a brisk trot,
he passed on for a short time along the road that he had been told led
to Kilmarnock, but fearing he would be followed, he turned off at the
first wynd he came to on the left, and a blessed thing it was that he
did so, for it led to the Reformation-leavened town of Paisley, where he
arrived an hour before daylight. Winterton, little jealousing what had
happened, went again to bed, as my grandfather afterwards learnt, and
had fallen asleep. In the morning when he awoke and was told that both
man and horse were flown, he flayed the hostler's back and legs in more
than a score of places, believing he had connived at my grandfather's
secret flight.

My grandfather had never before been in the town of Paisley, but he had
often heard from Abercorn's serving-men that were wont to sorn about his
father's smiddy, of a house of jovial entertainment by the water-side,
about a stone-cast from the abbey-yett, the hostess whereof was a
certain canty dame called Maggy Napier, then in great repute with the
shavelings of the abbey. Thither he directed his course, the abbey
towers serving him for her sign, and the moonlight and running river
were guides to her door, at the which he was not blate in chapping. She
was, however, long of giving entrance, for it happened that some nights
before the magistrates of the town had been at a carousal with the abbot
and chapter, the papistical denomination for the seven heads and ten
horns of a monastery, and when they had come away and were going home,
one of them, Bailie Pollock, a gaucy widower, was instigated by the
devil and the wine he had drunk to stravaig towards Maggy Napier's--a
most unseemly thing for a bailie to do--especially a bailie of Paisley,
but it was then the days of popish sinfulness. And when Bailie Pollock
went thither the house was full of riotous swankies, who, being the waur
of drink themselves, had but little reverence for a magistrate in the
same state, so they handled him to such a degree that he was obliged to
keep his bed and put collops to his eyes for three days. The consequence
of which was that the house fell under the displeasure of the Town
Council, and Maggie was admonished to keep it more orderly and
doucely--though the fault came neither from her nor her customers, as
she told my grandfather, for detaining him so long, it being requisite
that she should see he was in a condition of sobriety before letting him
in. But, when admitted, he was in no spirit to enjoy her jocosity
concerning Bailie Pollock's spree, so he told her that he had come far
and had far to go, and that having heard sore tidings of a friend, he
was fain to go to bed and try if he could compose himself with an hour
or two of sleep.

Maggie accordingly refrained from her jocularity, and began to soothe
and comfort him, for she was naturally of a winsome way, and prepared a
bed for him with her best sheets, the which, she said, were gi'en her in
gratus gift frae the Lord Abbot, so that he undressed himself and
enjoyed a pleasant interregnum of anxiety for more than five hours; and
when he awoke and was up, he found a breakfast worthy of the abbot
himself ready, and his hostess was most courtly and kind, praising the
dainties, and pressing him to eat. Nor when he proposed to reckon with
her for the lawin would she touch the money, but made him promise, when
he came back, he would bide another night with her, hoping he would then
be in better spirits, for she was wae to see so braw a gallant sae
casten down, doless and dowie.

When they had settled their contest, and my grandfather had come out to
mount his beast, which a stripling was holding ready for him at a
louping-on-stane near the abbey-yett, as he was going thither, a young
friar, who was taking a morning stroll along the pleasant banks of the
Cart, approached towards him, and, after looking hard at him for some
time, called him by name and took him by both the hands, which he
pressed with a brotherly affection.

This friar was of Lithgow parentage and called Dominick Callender, and
when he and my grandfather were playing-bairns, they had spent many a
merry day of their suspicion-less young years together. As he grew up,
being a lad of shrewd parts, and of a very staid and orderly deportment,
the monks set their snares for him, and before he could well think for
himself he was wiled into their traps, and becoming a novice, in due
season professed himself a monk. But it was some time before my
grandfather knew him again, for the ruddy of youth had fled his cheek,
and he was pale and of a studious countenance; and when the first
sparklings of his pleasure at the sight of his old play-marrow had gone
off, his eyes saddened into thoughtfulness, and he appeared like one
weighed down with care and heavy inward dule.



CHAPTER XIII


After Dominick Callender and my grandfather had conversed some time,
with many interchanges of the kindly remembrances of past pleasures, the
gentle friar began to bewail his sad estate in being a professed monk,
and so mournfully to deplore the rashness with which inexperienced youth
often takes upon itself a yoke it can never lay down, that the
compassion of his friend was sorrowfully awakened, for he saw he was
living a life of bitterness and grief. He heard him, however, without
making any reply or saying anything concerning his own lot of hazard and
adventure; for, considering Dominick to be leagued with the papistical
orders, he did not think him safe to be trusted, notwithstanding the
unchanged freshness of the loving-kindness which he still seemed to bear
in his heart; nor even, had he not felt this jealousy, would he have
thought himself free to speak of his errand, far less to have given to
any stranger aught that might have been an inkling of his noble master's
zealous, but secret, stirrings for the weal of Scotland and the
enfranchisement of the worshippers of the true God.

When my grandfather had arrived at his horse, and prepared to mount,
Dominick Callender said to him if he would ride slowly for a little way
he would walk by his side, adding, "For maybe I'll ne'er see you
again--I'm a-weary of this way of life, and the signs of the times bode
no good to the church. I hae a thought to go into some foreign land
where I may taste the air of a freeman, and I feel myself comforted
before I quit our auld, hard-favoured but warm-hearted Scotland, in
meeting wi' ane that reminds me how I had once sunny mornings and summer
days."

This was said so much in the sincerity of a confiding spirit that my
grandfather could not refrain from observing, in answer, that he feared
his friar's cloak did not sit easy upon him, which led him on to
acknowledge that it was so.

"I am speaking to you, Gilhaize," said he, "with the frank heart of auld
langsyne, and I dinna scruple to confess to one that I hae often thought
of, and weary't to see again, and wondered what had become of, that my
conscience has revolted against the errors of the papacy, and that I am
now upon the eve of fleeing my native land and joining the Reformed at
Geneva. And maybe I'm no ordain'd to spend a' my life in exile, for no
man can deny that the people of Scotland are not inwardly the warm
adversaries of the church. That last and cruellest deed, the sacrifice
of the feckless old man of fourscore and upward, has proven that the
humanity of the world will no longer endure the laws and pretensions of
the church, and there are few in Paisley whom the burning of auld Mill
has not kindled with the spirit of resistance."

The latter portion of these words was as joyous tidings to my
grandfather, and he tightened his reins and entered into a more
particular and inquisitive discourse with his companion, by which he
gathered that the martyrdom of Master Mill had indeed caused great
astonishment and wrath among the pious in and about Paisley, and not
only among them, but had estranged the affections even of the more
worldly from the priesthood, of whom it was openly said that the sense
of pity towards the commonalty of mankind was extinguished within them,
and that they were all in all for themselves.

But as they were proceeding through the town and along the road,
conversing in a familiar but earnest manner on these great concerns,
Dominick Callender began to inveigh against the morals of his brethren,
and to lament again, in a very piteous manner, that he was decreed, by
his monastic profession, from the enjoyment of the dearest and tenderest
pleasures of man. And before they separated, it came out that he had
been for some time touched with the soft enchantments of love for a
young maiden, the daughter of a gentleman of good account in Paisley,
and that her chaste piety was as the precious gum wherewith the
Egyptians of old preserved their dead in everlasting beauty, keeping
from her presence all taint of impurity and of thoughts sullying to
innocence, insomuch that, even were he inclined, as he said many of his
brethren would have been, to have acted the part of a secret canker to
that fair blossom, the gracious and holy embalmment of her virtues would
have proved an incorruptible protection.

"But," he exclaimed, with a sorrowful voice, "that which is her glory
and my admiration and praise is converted by the bondage of my unnatural
vows into a curse to us both. The felicity that we might have enjoyed
together in wedded life is forbidden to us as a great crime. But the
laws of God are above the canons of the church, the voice of Nature is
louder than the fulminations of the Vatican, and I have resolved to obey
the one and give ear to the other despite the horrors that await on
apostacy. Can you, Gilhaize, in aught assist my resolution?"

There was so much vehemence and the passion of grief in these
ejaculations, that my grandfather wist not well what to say. He told
him, however, not to be rash in what he did, nor to disclose his intents
save only to those in whom he could confide, for the times were perilous
to everyone that slackened in reverence to the papacy, particularly to
such as had pastured within the chosen folds of the church.

"Bide," said he, "till you see what issue is ordained to come from this
dreadful deed which so shaketh all the land, making the abbey towers
topple and tremble to their oldest and deepest foundations. Truth is
awakened and gone forth conquering and to conquer. It cannot be that
ancient iniquities will be much longer endured, the arm of Wrath is
raised against them, the sword of Revenge is drawn forth from its
scabbard by Justice, and Nature has burst asunder the cords of the Roman
harlot and stands in her freedom, like Samson, when the Spirit of the
Lord was mightily poured upon him, as he awoke from the lap of Delilah."

The gentle friar, as my grandfather often told, stood for some time
astounded at this speech, and then he said,--

"I dreamt not, Gilhaize, that beneath a countenance so calm and comely,
the zealous fires of a warrior's bravery could have been kindled to so
vehement a heat. But I will vex you with no questions. Heaven is on your
side, and may its redeeming promptings never allow its ministers to rest
till the fetters are broken and the slaves are set free."

With these words he stepped forward to shake my grandfather by the hand
and to bid him farewell, but just as he came to the stirrup he halted
and said,--

"It is not for nothing that the remembrance of you has been preserved so
much brighter and dearer to me than that of all my kin. There was aye
something about you in our heedless days that often made me wonder, I
could not tell wherefore, and now, when I behold you in the prime of
manhood, it fills me with admiration and awe and makes me do homage to
you as a master."

Much more he added to the same effect, which the modesty of my
grandfather would not allow him to repeat; but when they had parted, and
my grandfather had ridden forward some two or three miles, he recalled
to mind what had passed between them, and he used to say that this
discourse with his early friend first opened to him a view of the
grievous captivity which Nature suffered in the monasteries and
convents, notwithstanding the loose lives imputed to their inmates; and
he saw that the Reformation would be hailed by many that languished in
the bondage of their vows as a great and glorious deliverance. But still
he was wont to say, even with such as these, it was overly mingled with
temporal concernments, and that they longed for it less on account of
its immortal issues than for its sensual emancipations.

And as he was proceeding on his way in this frame of mind, and thinking
on all that he had seen and learnt from the day in which he bade adieu
to his father's house, he came to a place where the road forked off in
two different airts, and not knowing which to take, he stopped his horse
and waited till a man drew nigh whom he observed coming towards him. By
this man he was told that the road leading leftward led to Kilmarnock
and Ayr, and the other on the right to Kilwinning; so, without saying
anything, he turned his horse's head into the latter, the which he was
moved to do by sundry causes and reasons. First, he had remarked that
the chances in his journey had, in a very singular manner, led him to
gain much of that sort of knowledge which the Lords of the Congregation
thirsted for; and second, he had no doubt that Winterton was in pursuit
of him to Kilmarnock, for some purpose of frustration or circumvention,
the which, though he was not able to divine, he could not but consider
important, if it was, as he thought, the prime motive of that varlet's
journey.

But he was chiefly disposed to prefer the Kilwinning road, though it was
several miles more of bout-gait, on account of the rich abbacy in that
town, hoping he might glean and gather some account how the clergy there
stood affected, the meeting with Dominick Callender having afforded him
a vista of friends and auxiliaries in the enemy's camp little thought
of. Besides all this, he reflected, that as it was of consequence he
should reach the Lord Boyd in secrecy, he would be more likely to do so
by stopping at Kilwinning and feeing someone there to guide him to the
Dean Castle by moonlight. I have heard him say, however, the speakable
motives of his deviation from the straight road were at the time far
less effectual in moving him thereto than a something which he could not
tell, that with an invisible hand took his horse, as it were, by the
bridle-rings and constrained him to go into the Kilwinning track. In the
whole of this journey there was indeed a very extraordinary
manifestation of a special providence, not only in the protection
vouchsafed towards himself, but in the remarkable accidents and
occurrences by which he was enabled to enrich himself with the knowledge
so precious at that time to those who were chosen to work the great work
of the Gospel in Scotland.



CHAPTER XIV


As my grandfather came in sight of Kilwinning, and beheld the abbey with
its lofty horned towers and spiky pinnacles and the sands of Cunningham
between it and the sea, it seemed to him as if a huge leviathan had come
up from the depths of the ocean and was devouring the green inland,
having already consumed all the herbage of the wide waste that lay so
bare and yellow for many a mile, desert, and lonely in the silent
sunshine, and he ejaculated to himself that the frugal soil of poor
Scotland could ne'er have been designed to pasture such enormities.

As he rode on, his path descended from the heights into pleasant tracks
along banks feathered with the fragrant plumage of the birch and hazel,
and he forgot, in hearkening to the cheerful prattle of the Garnock
waters, as they swirled among the pebbles by the roadside, the
pageantries of that mere bodily worship which had worked on the
ignorance of the world to raise such costly monuments of the
long-suffering patience of Heaven, while they showed how much the divine
nature of the infinite God and the humility of His eternal Son had been
forgotten in this land among professing Christians.

When he came nigh the town he inquired for an hostel, and a stripling,
the miller's son, who was throwing stones at a flock of geese belonging
to the abbey, then taking their pleasures uninvited in his father's
mill-dam, guided him to the house of Theophilus Lugton, the chief
vintner, horse-setter and stabler in the town, where, on alighting, he
was very kindly received; for the gudewife was of a stirring, household
nature, and Theophilus himself, albeit douce and temperate for a
publican, was a man obliging and hospitable, not only as became him in
his trade but from a disinterested good-will. He was, indeed, as my
grandfather came afterwards to know, really a person holden in great
respect and repute by the visitors and pilgrims who resorted to the
abbey, and by none more than by the worthy wives of Irvine, the most
regular of his customers. For they being then in the darkness of
papistry, were as much given to the idolatry of holidays and masses as,
thanks be and praise! they are now to the hunting out of sound gospel
preachers and sacramental occasions. Many a stoup of burnt wine and
spiced ale they were wont at Pace and Yule and other papistal high times
to partake of together in the house of Theophilus Lugton, happy and well
content when their possets were flavoured with the ghostly conversation
of some gawsie monk well versed in the mysteries of requiems and
purgatory.

Having parted with his horse to be taken to the stable by Theophilus
himself, my grandfather walked into the house, and Dame Lugton set for
him an elbow-chair by the chimla lug, and while she was preparing
something for a repast they fell into conversation, in the course of
which she informed him that a messenger had come to the abbey that
forenoon from Edinburgh, and a rumour had been bruited about soon after
his arrival that there was great cause to dread a rising among the
heretics, for, being ingrained with papistry, she so spoke of the
Reformers.

This news troubled my grandfather not a little, and the more he inquired
concerning the tidings the more reason he got to be alarmed and to
suspect that the bearer was Winterton, who being still in the town, and
then at the abbey--his horse was in Theophilus Lugton's stable--he could
not but think that in coming to Kilwinning instead of going right on to
Kilmarnock he had run into the lion's mouth. But, seeing it was so, and
could not be helped, he put his trust in the Lord and resolved to swerve
in no point from the straight line which he had laid down for himself.

While he was eating of Dame Lugton's fare with the relishing sauce of a
keen appetite, in a manner that no one who saw him could have supposed
he was almost sick with a surfeit of anxieties, one James Coom, a smith,
came in for a mutchkin-cap of ale, and he, seeing a traveller, said,--

"Thir's sair news! The drouth of cauld iron will be slockened in men's
blood ere we hear the end o't."

"'Deed," replied my grandfather, "it's very alarming; Lucky, here, has
just been telling me that there's likely to be a straemash among the
Reformers. Surely they'll ne'er daur to rebel."

"If a' tales be true, that's no to do," said the smith, blowing the
froth from the cap in which Dame Lugton handed him the ale, and taking a
right good-willy waught.

"But what's said?" inquired my grandfather, when the smith had fetched
his breath.

"Naebody can weel tell," was his response; "a' that's come this length
is but the sough afore the storm. Within twa hours there has been a
great riding hither and yon, and a lad straight frae Embro' has come to
bid my Lord Abbot repair to the court; and three chiels hae been at me
frae Eglinton Castle to get their beast shod for a journey. My Lord
there is hyte and fykie; there's a gale in his tail, said they, light
where it may. Now, atween oursels, my Lord has na the heart of a true
bairn to that aged and worthy grannie of the papistry, our leddy the
Virgin Mary--here's her health, poor auld deaf and dumb creature--she
has na, I doubt, the pith to warsle wi' the blast she ance in a day
had."

"Haud that heretical tongue o' thine, Jamie Coom," exclaimed Dame
Lugton. "It's enough to gaur a body's hair stand on end to hear o' your
familiarities wi' the Holy Virgin. I won'er my Lord Abbot has na
langsyne tethert thy tongue to the kirk door wi' a red-het nail for sic
blasphemy. But fools are privileged, and so's seen o' thee."

"And wha made me familiar wi' her, Dame Lugton, tell me that?" replied
James; "was na it my Lord himself at last Marymas, when he sent for me
to make a hoop to mend her leg that sklintered aff as they were dressing
her for the show. Eh! little did I think that I was ever to hae the
honour and glory of ca'ing a nail intil the timber hip o' the Virgin
Mary! Ah, Lucky, ye would na hae tholed the dirl o' the dints o' my
hammer as she did. But she's a saint, and ye'll ne'er deny that ye're a
sinner."

To this Dame Lugton was unable to reply, and the smith, cunningly
winking, dippet his head up to the lugs in the ale-cap.

"But," said my grandfather, "no to speak wi' disrespeck of things
considered wi' reverence, it does na seem to me that there is ony cause
to think the Reformers hae yet rebelled."

"I am sure," replied the smith, "if they hae na they ought, or the de'il
a spunk's amang them. Isna a' the monks frae John o' Groat's to the
Border getting ready their spits and rackses, frying-pans and branders
to cook them like capons and doos for Horney's supper? I never hear my
ain bellows snoring at a gaud o' iron in the fire but I think o' fat
Father Lickladle, the abbey's head kitchener, roasting me o'er the low
like a laverock in his collop-tangs; for, as Dame Lugton there weel
kens, I'm ane o' the Reformed. Heh! but it's a braw thing this
Reformation. It used to cost me as muckle siller for the sin o' getting
fu', no aboon three or four times in the year, as would hae kept ony
honest man blithe and ree frae New'erday to Hogmanæ; but our worthy
hostess has found to her profit that I'm now ane of her best customers.
What say ye, Lucky?"

"Truly," said Dame Lugton, laughing, "thou's no an ill swatch o' the
Reformers; and naebody need be surprised at the growth o' heresy wha
thinks o' the dreadfu' cost the professors o't used to be at for
pardons. But maybe they'll soon find that the de'il's as hard a taxer as
e'er the kirk was; for ever since thou has refraint frae paying penance,
thy weekly calks ahint the door ha'e been on the increase, Jamie, and no
ae plack has thou mair to spare. So muckle gude thy reforming has done
thee."

"Bide awee, Lucky," cried the smith, setting down the ale-cap which he
had just emptied; "bide awee, and ye'll see a change. Surely it was to
be expecket, considering the spark in my hass, that the first use I
would mak' o' the freedom o' the Reformation would be to quench it,
which I never was allowed to do afore; and whenever that's done, ye'll
see me a geizen't keg o' sobriety, tak the word o' a drouthy smith
for't."

At this jink o' their controversy who should come into the house,
ringing ben to the hearth-stane with his iron heels and the rattling
rowels o' his spurs, but Winterton, without observing my grandfather,
who was then sitting with his back to the window light, in the arm-chair
at the chimla lug; and when he had ordered Dame Lugton to spice him a
drink of her best brewing, he began to joke and jibe with the
blacksmith, the which allowing my grandfather time to compose his wits,
which were in a degree startled. He saw that he could not but be
discovered, so he thought it was best to bring himself out. Accordingly,
in as quiet a manner as he was able to put on, he said to Winterton,--

"I hae a notion that we twa ha'e forgathered no lang sincesyne."

At the sound of these words Winterton gave a loup, as if he had tramped
on something no canny, syne a whirring sort of triumphant whistle, and
then a shout, crying,--

"Ha, ha! tod lowrie! hae I yirded you at last?" But instanter he
recollected himsel', and giving my grandfather a significant look, as if
he wished him no to be particular, he said, "I heard o' you, Gilhaize,
on the road, and I was fain to hae come up wi' you, that we might hae
travelled thegither. Howsever, I lost scent at Glasgow." And then he
continued to haver with him, in his loose and profligate manner, anent
the Glasgow damsels, till the ale was ready, when he pressed my
grandfather to taste, never letting wot how they had slept together in
the same bed; and my grandfather, on his part, was no less circumspect,
for he discerned that Winterton intended to come over him, and he was
resolved to be on his guard.



CHAPTER XV


When Winterton had finished his drink, which he did hastily, he proposed
to my grandfather that they should take a stroll through the town; and
my grandfather being eager to throw stour in his eyes, was readily
consenting thereto.

"Weel," said the knave, when he had warily led him into the abbey
kirk-yard, "I didna think ye would hae gane back to my Lord; but it's a'
very weel, since he has looked o'er what's past, and gi'en you a new
dark."

"He's very indulgent," replied my grandfather, "and I would be looth to
wrang so kind a master;" and he looked at Winterton. The varlet,
however, never winced, but rejoined lightly,--

"But I wish you had come back to Widow Rippet's, for ye would hae spar't
me a hard ride. Scarcely had ye ta'en the road when my Lord mindit that
he had neglekit to gie you the sign, by the which ye were to make
yoursel and message kent to his friends, and I was sent after to tell
you."

"I'm glad o' that," replied my grandfather; "what is't?" Winterton was a
thought molested by this thrust of a question, and for the space of
about a minute said nothing, till he had considered with himself, when
he rejoined,--

"Three lads were sent off about the same time wi' you, and the Earl was
nae quite sure, he said, whilk of you a' he had forgotten to gie the
token whereby ye would be known as his men. But the sign for the Earl of
Eglinton, to whom I guess ye hae been sent, by coming to Kilwinning, is
no the same as for the Lord Boyd, to whom I thought ye had been
missioned; for I hae been at the Dean Castle, and finding you not there,
followed you hither."

"I'll be plain wi' you," said my grandfather to this draughty speech.
"I'm bound to the Lord Boyd; but coming through Paisley, when I reached
the place where the twa roads branched, I took the ane that brought me
here, instead of the gate to Kilmarnock; so, as soon as my beast has
eaten his corn, I mean to double back to the Dean Castle."

"How, in the name of the saints and souls, did ye think, in going frae
Glasgow to Kilmarnock, o' taking the road to Paisley?"

"'Deed, an' ye were acquaint," said my grandfather, "wi' how little I
knew o' the country, ye would nae speir that question; but since we hae
fallen in thegither, and are baith, ye ken, in my Lord Glencairn's
service, I hope you'll no objek to ride back wi' me to the Lord Boyd's."

"Then it's no you that was sent to the Earl of Eglinton?" exclaimed
Winterton, pretending more surprise than he felt; "and all my journey
has been for naething. Howsever, I'll go back wi' you to Kilmarnock, and
the sooner we gang the better."

Little farther discourse then passed, for they returned to the hostel,
and ordering out their horses, were soon on the road; and as they
trotted along, Winterton was overly outspoken against the papisticals,
calling them all kinds of ill names, and no sparing the Queen Regent.
But my grandfather kept a calm tongue, and made no reflections.

"Howsever," said Winterton, pulling up his bridle and walking his horse
as they were skirting the moor of Irvine, leaving the town about a mile
off on the right, "you and me, Gilhaize, that are but servants, need nae
fash our heads wi' sic things. The wyte o' wars lie at the doors of
kings, and the soldiers are free o' the sin o' them. But how will ye get
into the presence and confidence of the Lord Boyd?"

"I thought," replied my grandfather, pawkily, "that ye had gotten our
master's token; and I maun trust to you."

"Oh," cried Winterton, "I got but the ane for the lad sent to Eglinton
Castle."

"And ha'e ye been there?" said my grandfather.

Winterton didna let wot that he heard this, but, stooping over on the
off-side of his horse, pretended he was righting something about his
stirrup-leather. My grandfather was, however, resolved to prob him to
the quick; so, when he was again sitting upright, he repeated the
question, if he had been to Eglinton Castle.

"O, ay," cried the false loon; "I was there, but the bird was flown."

"And how got he the ear of the Earl," said my grandfather, "not having
the sign?"

"In for a penny in for a pound," was Winterton's motto, and ae lie with
him was father to a race. "Luckily for him," replied he, "some of the
serving-men kent him as being in Glencairn's service, so they took him
to their master."

My grandfather had no doubt that there was some truth in this, though he
was sure Winterton knew little about it; for it agreed with what James
Coom, the smith, had said about the lads from Eglinton that had been at
his smiddy to get the horses shod, and remembering the leathern purses
under the Earl his master's pillow, he was persuaded that there had been
a messenger sent to the head of the Montgomeries, and likewise to other
lords, friends of the Congregation; but he saw that Winterton went by
guess, and lied at random. Still, though not affecting to notice it, nor
expressing any distrust, he could not help saying to him, that he had
come a long way, and after all it looked like a gowk's errand.

The remark, however, only served to give Winterton inward satisfaction,
and he replied with a laugh, that it made little odds to him where he
was sent, and that he'd as lief ride in Ayrshire as sorn about the
causey of Enbrough.

In this sort of talk and conference they rode on together, the o'ercome
every now and then of Winterton's discourse being concerning the proof
my grandfather carried with him, whereby the Lord Boyd would know he was
one of Glencairn's men. But, notwithstanding all his wiles and devices
to howk the secret out of him, his drift being so clearly discerned, my
grandfather was enabled to play with him till they were arrived at
Kilmarnock, where Winterton proposed to stop till he had delivered his
message to the Lord Boyd, at the Dean Castle.

"That surely cannot be," replied my grandfather; "for ye ken, as there
has been some mistak about the sign whereby I am to make myself known,
ye'll ha'e to come wi' me to expound, in case of need. In trooth, now
that we hae forgatherit, and as I ha'e but this ae message to a' the
shire of Ayr, I would fain ha'e your company till I see the upshot."

Winterton could not very easily make a refusal to this, but he hesitated
and swithered, till my grandfather urged him again;--when, seeing no
help for it, and his companion, as he thought, entertaining no suspicion
of him, he put on a bold face and went forward.

When they had come to the Dean Castle, which stands in a pleasant green
park about a mile aboon the town-head of Kilmarnock, on entering the
gate, my grandfather hastily alighted, and giving his horse a sharp
prick of his spur as he lap off, the beast ran capering out of his hand,
round the court of the castle.

With the well-feigned voice of great anxiety, my grandfather cried to
the servants to shut the gate and keep it in; and Winterton alighting,
ran to catch it, giving his own horse to a stripling to hold. At the
same moment, however, my grandfather sprung upon him, and seizing him by
the throat, cried out for help to master a spy.

Winterton was so confounded that he gasped and looked round like a man
demented, and my grandfather ordered him to be taken by the serving-men
to their master, before whom, when they were all come, he recounted the
story of his adventures with the prisoner, telling his Lordship what his
master, the Earl of Glencairn, suspected of him. To which, when
Winterton was asked what he had to say, he replied bravely, that it was
all true, and he was none ashamed to be so catched, when it was done by
so clever a fellow.

He was then ordered by the Lord Boyd to be immured in the dungeon-room,
the which may be seen to this day; and though his captivity was
afterwards somewhat relaxed, he was kept a prisoner in the castle till
after the death of the Queen Dowager, and the breaking-up of her
two-faced councils. This exploit won my grandfather great favour, and he
scarcely needed to show the signet-ring when he told his message from
the Lords of the Congregation.



CHAPTER XVI


By such devices and missions, as my grandfather was engaged in for the
Earl Glencairn with the Lord Boyd, a thorough understanding was
concerted among the Reformed throughout the kingdom; and encouraged by
their great strength and numbers, which far exceeded what was expected,
the Lords of the Congregation set themselves roundly to work, and the
protestant preachers openly published their doctrines.

Soon after my grandfather had returned from the shire of Ayr, there was
a weighty consultation held at the Earl his patron's lodging in
Edinburgh, whereat, among others present, was that pious youth,
afterwards the good Regent Murray. He was, by office and appointment,
then the head and lord of the priory of St Andrews; but his soul
cleaving to the Reformation and the Gospel, he laid down the use of that
title, and about this time began to be called the Lord James Stuart.

The Lords of the Congregation, feeling themselves strong in the goodness
of their cause and the number of their adherents, resolved at this
council, that they should proceed firmly but considerately to work, and
seek redress as became true lieges, by representation and supplication.
Accordingly a paper was drawn up, wherein they set forth how, for
conscience sake, the Reformed had been long afflicted with banishment,
confiscation of goods, and death in its cruellest forms. That continual
fears darkened their lives till, being no longer able to endure such
calamities, they were compelled to beg a remedy against the oppressions
and tyranny of the Estate Ecclesiastical, which had usurped an unlimited
domination over the minds of men,--the faggot and the sword being the
weapons which the prelates employed to enforce their mandates,--plain
truths that were thus openly stated in order to show that the suppliants
were sincere; and they concluded with a demand, that the original purity
of the Christian religion should be restored, and the government so
improved as to afford them security in their persons, opinions, and
property.

Sir James Calder of Sandilands was the person chosen to present this
memorial to the Queen Regent; and never, said my grandfather, was an
agent more fitly chosen to uphold the dignity of his trust, or to
preserve the respect which, as good subjects, the Reformed desired to
maintain and manifest towards the authority regal. He was a man far
advanced in life; but there was none of the infirmities of age under the
venerable exterior with which time had clothed his appearance. Of great
honour and a pure life, he was reverenced by all parties, and had
acquired both renown and affection, through his services to the realm
and his manifold virtues.

On a day appointed by the Queen Regent, the Lords and leaders of the
Congregation attended Sandilands, each with a stately retinue, to
Holyrood House; my grandfather having leave from the Earl, his master,
to wait on his person on that occasion.

It was a solemn day to the worshippers of the true God, who came in
great multitudes to the town, many from distant parts, to be present,
and to hear the issue of a conference that was to give liberty to the
consciences of all devout Scotchmen. From the house in the Lawnmarket,
where the Lords assembled, down to the very yetts of the palace, the
sight was as if the street had been paved with faces, and windows over
windows, roofs and lum-heads, were clustered with women and children.
All temporal cares and businesses were that day suspended: in the
accents and voices of men there was an awful sobriety, few speaking, and
what was said, sounded as if every one was affected with the sense of
some high and everlasting interest at stake.

When the Lords went down into the street, there was, for a brief
interval, a stir and a murmur in the multitude, which opened to the
right and left as when the waves of the Red Sea were opened, and through
the midst thereof prepared a miraculous road for the children of Israel.
A deep silence succeeded, and Sandilands, with his hoary head uncovered,
bearing in his hand the supplication and remonstrance, walked forward;
and the Lords went after also all bareheaded, and every one with them
followed in like manner as reverentially as their masters. The people,
as they passed along, slowly and devoutly, took off their caps and
bonnets, and bowed their heads as when the ark of the covenant of the
Lord was of old brought back from the Philistines; and many wept, and
others prayed aloud, and there was wonder, and awe, and dread, mingled
with thoughts of unspeakable confidence and glory.

When Sandilands and those with him were conducted into the presence of
the Queen Dowager, she was standing under a canopy of state, surrounded
by many of the nobles and prelates, and by her maidens of honour. My
grandfather had not seen her before, and having often heard her
suspected of double-dealing, and of a superstitious zeal and affection
for the papal abominations and cruelties, he had pictured to himself a
lean and haggard woman, with a pale and fierce countenance, and was
therefore greatly amazed when he beheld a lady of a most sweet and
gracious aspect, with mild dark eyes beaming with a chaste dignity, and
a high and fair forehead, bright and unwrinkled with any care, and lips
formed to speak soft and gentle sentences. In her apparel she was less
gay than her ladies, but nevertheless she was more queenly. Her dress
and mantle were of the richest purple Genoese unadorned with embroidery,
and round her neck she wore a ruff of fine ermine and a string of
princely pearls. A small golden cross of curious graven gold dangled to
her waist from a loup in the vale of her bosom.

Sandilands advanced several paces before the Lords by whom he was
attended, and falling on his knees, read with a loud and firm voice the
memorial of the Reformed; and when he had done so and was risen, the
Queen received a paper that was given to her by her secretary, who stood
behind her right shoulder, and also read an answer which had been
prepared, and in which she was made to deliver many comfortable
assurances, that at the time were received as a great boon with much
thankfulness by all the Reformed, who had too soon reason to prove the
insincerity of those courtly flatteries. For no steps were afterwards
taken to give those indulgences by law that were promised; but the
papists stirring themselves with great activity, and foreign matters and
concerns coming in aid of their stratagems, long before a year passed
the mind of the Queen and government was fomented into hostility against
the protestants. She called into her favour and councils the Archbishop
of St Andrews, with whom she had been at variance; and the devout said,
when they heard thereof, that when our Saviour was condemned, on the
same day Herod and Pilate were made friends, applying the text to this
reconcilation; and boding therefrom woe to the true church. Moved by the
hatred which his Grace bore to the Reformers, the Queen cited the
protestant preachers to appear at Stirling to answer to the charges
which might there be preferred against them.

My grandfather, when this perfidy came to a head, was at
Finlayston-house, in the shire of Renfrew, with the Earl, his master,
who, when he heard of such a breach of faith, smote the table, as he was
then sitting at dinner, with his right hand, and said, "Since the false
woman has done this, there is nothing for us but the banner and the
blade;" and starting from his seat he forthwith ordered horses, and,
attended by my grandfather and ten armed servants, rode to Glasgow,
where Sir Hugh Campbell of Loudon, then sheriff of Ayr, and other
worthies of the time, were assembled on business before the Lords of
Justiciary; and it was instanter agreed, that they should forthwith
proceed to Stirling where the court was, and remonstrate with the Queen.
So, leaving all temporal concerns, Sir Hugh took horse, and they arrived
at Stirling about the time her Highness supped, and going straight to
the castle, they stood in the ante-chamber to speak, if possible, with
her as she passed.

On entering the room to pass to her table she saw them, and looked
somewhat surprised and displeased; but without saying anything
particular she desired the Earl to follow her, and Sir Hugh, unbidden,
went also into the banquet-room. It was seldom that she used state in
her household, and on this occasion, it being a popish fast, her table
was frugally spread, and only herself sat at the board.

"Well, Glencairn," said she, "what has brought you hither from the west
at this time? Is the realm to be forever tossed like the sea by this
tempest of heresies? The royal authority is not always to be insulted
with impunity, and in spite of all their friends the protestant
preachers shall be banished from Scotland, aye, though their doctrines
were as sound as St Paul's."

The Earl, as my grandfather heard him afterwards relate, replied, "Your
Majesty gave your royal promise that the Reformed should be protected,
and they have done nothing since to cause the forfeiture of so gracious
a boon: I implore your Majesty to call that sacred pledge to mind."

"You lack reason, my Lord," she cried, sharply; "it becomes not subjects
to burden their princes with promises which it may be inconvenient to
keep."

"If these, madam, are your sentiments," replied the Earl, proudly, "the
Congregation can no longer acknowledge your authority, and must renounce
their allegiance to your government."

She had, at the moment, lifted the salt-cellar to sprinkle her
salad,--but she was so astonished at the boldness of this speech, that
she dropped it from her hand, and the salt was spilt on the floor,--an
evil omen which all present noted.

"My Lord Glencairn," said she, thoughtfully, "I would execute my great
duties honestly, but your preachers trouble the waters, and I know not
where the ford lies that I may safest ride. Go ye away and try to keep
your friends quiet, and I will consider calmly what is best to be done
for the weal of all."

At these words the Earl and Sir Hugh Campbell bowed, and, retiring, went
to the lodging of the Earl of Monteith, where they were minded to pass
the night, but when they had consulted with that nobleman, my
grandfather was ordered to provide himself with a fresh horse from
Monteith's stable, and to set out for Edinburgh with letters for the
Lord James Stuart.

"Gilhaize," said his master, as he delivered them, "I foresee we must
buckle on our armour; but the cause of the Truth does not require that
the first blow should come from our side. By this time John Knox, who
has been long expected, may be hourly looked for; and as no man stands
higher in the aversion of the papists than that brave, honest man, we
shall know by the reception he meets with what we ought to do."

So my grandfather, putting the letters in his bosom, retired from the
presence of the Earl, and by break of day reached the West-port and went
straight on to the Lord James Stuart's lodging in the Canongate. But,
though the household were astir, it was some time before he got
admittance, for their master was a young man of great method in all
things, and his chaplain was at the time reading the first prayers of
the morning, during which the doors were shut, and no one, however
urgent his business, could gain admission into that house while the
inmates were doing their homage to the King of kings.



CHAPTER XVII


As my grandfather, in the grey of the morning, was waiting in the
Canongate till the worship was over in the house of the Lord James
Stuart, he frequently rode up and down the street as far the
Luckenbooths and the Abbey's sanctuary siver, and his mind was at times
smitten with the remorse of pity when he saw, as the dawn advanced, the
numbers of poor labouring men that came up out of the closes and
gathered round the trone, abiding there to see who would come to hire
them for the day. But his compassion was soon changed into a frame of
thankfulness at the boundless variety of mercies which are dealt out to
the children of Adam, for he remarked, that, for the most part, these
poor men, whose sustenance was as precarious as that of the wild birds
of the air, were cheerful and jocund, many of them singing and whistling
as blithely as the lark, that carries the sweet incense of her melodious
songs in the censer of a sinless breast to the golden gates of the
morning.

Hitherto he had never noted, or much considered, the complicated cares
and trials wherewith the lot of man in every station is chequered and
environed; and when he heard those bondmen of hard labour, jocund after
sound slumbers and light suppers, laughing contemptuously as they beheld
the humiliating sight, which divers gallants and youngsters, courtiers
of the court, degraded with debauch, made of themselves as they stumbled
homeward, he thought there was surely more bliss in the cup that was
earned by the constancy of health and a willing mind, than in all the
possets and malvesia that the hoards of ages could procure. So he
composed his spirit, and inwardly made a vow to the Lord, that as soon
as the mighty work of the redemption of the Gospel from the perdition of
papistry was accomplished, he would retire into the lea of some pleasant
green holm, and take, for the purpose of his life, the attainment of
that happy simplicity which seeks but the supply of the few wants with
which man comes so rich from the hands of his Maker, that all changes in
his natural condition of tilling the ground and herding the flocks only
serve to make him poorer by increasing.

While he was thus ruminating in the street, he observed two strangers
coming up the Canongate. One of them had the appearance of a servant,
but he was of a staider and more thoughtful aspect than belongs to men
of that degree, only he bore on his shoulder a willease, and had in his
hand a small package wrapt in a woollen cover and buckled with a
leathern strap. The other was the master; and my grandfather halted his
horse to look at him as he passed, for he was evidently no common man
nor mean personage, though in stature he was jimp the ordinary size. He
was bent more with infirmities than the load of his years. His hair and
long flowing beard were very grey and venerable, like those of the
ancient patriarchs who enjoyed immediate communion with God. But though
his appearance was thus aged, and though his complexion and countenance
betokened a frail tenement, yet the brightness of youth shone in his
eyes, and they were lighted up by a spirit over which time had no power.

In his steps and gait he was a little hasty and unsteady, and twice or
thrice he was obliged to pause in the steep of the street to draw his
breath; but even in this there was an affecting and great earnestness, a
working of a living soul within, as if it panted to enter on the
performance of some great and solemn hest.

He seemed to be eager and zealous like the apostle Peter in his temper,
and as dauntless as the mighty and courageous Paul. Many in the street
stopped, and looked after him with reverence and marvelling, as he
proceeded with quick and desultory steps, followed by his sedate
attendant. Nor was it surprising, for he was, indeed, one of those who,
in their lives, are vast and wonderful,--special creations that are sent
down from heaven, with authority attested by the glowing impress of the
signet of God on their hearts, to avenge the wrongs done to His truths
and laws in the blasphemies of the earth.--It was John Knox!

When he had passed, my grandfather rode back to the yett of the Lord
James Stuart's lodgings, which by this time was opened, and instanter,
on mentioning to the porter from whom he had come, was admitted to his
master.

That great worthy was at the time sitting alone in a back chamber, which
looked towards Salisbury Crags, and before him, but on the opposite side
of the table, among divers letters and papers of business, lay a large
Bible, with brass clasps thereon, in which, it would seem, some one had
been expounding to him a portion of the Scriptures.

When my grandfather presented to him the letter from the Earl of
Glencairn, he took it from him without much regarding him, and broke
open the seal, and began to peruse it to himself in that calm and
methodical manner for which he was so famed and remarkable. Before,
however, he had read above the half thereof, he gave as it were a sudden
hitch, and turning round, looked my grandfather sharply in the face, and
said,--

"Are you Gilhaize?"

But before any answer could be made, he waved his hand graciously,
pointing to a chair, and desired him to sit down, resuming at the same
time the perusal of the letter; and when he had finished it, he folded
it up for a moment; but, as if recollecting himself, he soon runkled it
up in his hand and put it into the fire.

"Your Lord informs me," said he, "that he has all confidence, not only
in your honesty, Gilhaize, but in your discernment; and says, that in
respect to the high question anent Christ's cause, you may be trusted to
the uttermost. Truly, for so young a man, this is an exceeding renown.
His letter has told me what passed last night with the Queen's Highness.
I am grieved to hear it. She means well; but her feminine fears make her
hearken to counsels that may cause the very evils whereof she is so
afraid. But the sincerity of her favour to the Reformed will soon be
tried, for last night John Knox arrived, and I was with him; and, strong
in the assurances of his faith, he intends to lead on to the battle.
This morning he was minded to depart for Fife.--'Our Captain, Christ
Jesus,' said he, 'and Satan, his adversary, are now at open defiance;
their banners are displayed, and the trumpet is blown on both sides for
assembling their armies.' As soon as it is known that he is within the
kingdom, we shall learn what we may expect, and that presently too; for
this very day the clergy meet in the monastery of the Greyfriars, and
doubtless they will be advertised of his coming. You had as well try if
you can gain admittance among the other auditors, to hear their
deliberations; afterwards come again to me, and report what takes place;
by that time I shall be advised whether to send you back to Glencairn or
elsewhere."

My grandfather, after this and some farther discourse, retired to the
hall, and took breakfast with the household, where he was much edified
with the douce deportment of all present, so unlike that of the lewd and
graceless varlets who rioted in the houses of the other nobles. Verily,
he used to say, the evidences of a reforming spirit were brightly seen
there; and, to rule every one into a chaste sobriety of conversation, a
pious clerk sate at the head of the board, and said grace before and
after the meal, making it manifest how much all things about the Lord
James Stuart were done in order.

Having taken breakfast, and reposed himself some time, for his long ride
had made him very weary, he rose, and, changing his apparel, went to the
Greyfriars church, where the clergy were assembling, and elbowing
himself gently into the heart of the people waiting around for
admission, he got in with the crowd when the doors were opened.

The matter that morning to be considered concerned the means to be
taken, within the local jurisdictions of those there met, to enforce the
process of the summons which had been issued against the reformed
preachers to appear at Stirling.

But while they were busily conversing and contriving how best to aid and
further that iniquitous aggression of perfidious tyranny, there came in
one of the brethren of the monastery, with a frightened look, and cried
aloud, that John Knox was come, and had been all night in the town. At
the news the spectators, as if moved by one spirit, gave a triumphant
shout,--the clergy were thunderstruck,--some started from their seats,
unconscious of what they did,--others threw themselves back where they
sat,--and all appeared as if a judgment had been pronounced upon them.
In the same moment the church began to skail,--the session was
adjourned,--and the people ran in all directions. The cry rose
everywhere, "John Knox is come!" All the town came rushing into the
streets,--the old and the young, the lordly and the lowly, were seen
mingling and marvelling together,--all tasks of duty, and servitude, and
pleasure, were forsaken,--the sick-beds of the dying were deserted,--the
priests abandoned their altars and masses, and stood pale and trembling
at the doors of their churches,--mothers set down their infants on the
floors, and ran to inquire what had come to pass,--funerals were
suspended, and the impious and the guilty stood aghast, as if some
dreadful apocalypse had been made;--travellers, with the bridles in
their hands, lingering in profane discourse with their hosts, suddenly
mounted, and speeded into the country with the tidings. At every cottage
door and wayside bield, the inmates stood in clusters, silent and
wondering, as horseman came following horseman, crying, "John Knox is
come!" Barks that had departed, when they heard the news, bore up to
tell others that they saw afar at sea. The shepherds were called in from
the hills;--the warders on the castle, when, at the sound of many
quickened feet approaching, they challenged the comers, were answered,
"John Knox is come!" Studious men were roused from the spells of their
books;--nuns, at their windows, looked out fearful and inquiring,--and
priests and friars were seen standing by themselves, shunned like
lepers. The whole land was stirred as with the inspiration of some new
element, and the hearts of the persecutors were withered.

"No tongue," often said my grandfather, "could tell the sense of that
great event through all the bounds of Scotland, and the papistical
dominators shrunk as if they had suffered in their powers and
principalities, an awful and irremediable overthrow."



CHAPTER XVIII


When my grandfather left the Greyfriars, he went to the lodging of the
Lord James Stuart, whom he found well instructed of all that had taken
place, which he much marvelled at, having scarcely tarried by the way in
going thither.

"Now, Gilhaize," said my Lord, "the tidings fly like wildfire, and the
Queen Regent, by the spirit that has descended into the hearts of the
people, will be constrained to act one way or another. John Knox, as you
perhaps know, stands under the ban of outlawry for conscience sake. In a
little while we shall see whether he is still to be persecuted. If left
free, the braird of the Lord, that begins to rise so green over all the
land, will grow in peace to a plentiful harvest. But if he is to be
hunted down, there will come such a cloud and storm as never raged
before in Scotland. I speak to you thus freely, that you may report my
frank sentiments to thir noble friends and trusty gentlemen, and say to
them that I am girded for the field, if need be."

He then put a list of several well-known friends of the Reformation
ayont the frith into my grandfather's hands, adding, "I need not say
that it is not fitting now to trust to paper, and therefore much will
depend on yourself. The confidence that my friend the Earl, your master,
has in you, makes me deal thus openly with you; and I may add, that if
there is deceit in you, Gilhaize, I will never again believe the
physiognomy of man--so go your ways; see all these, wheresoever they may
be,--and take this purse for your charges."

My grandfather accepted the paper and the purse; and reading over the
paper, imprinted the names in it on his memory, and then said--

"My Lord, I need not risk the possession of this paper; but it may be
necessary to give me some token by which the lords and lairds therein
mentioned may have assurance that I come from you."

For some time the Lord James made no reply, but stood ruminating, with
the forefinger of his left hand pressing his nether lip; then he
observed,--

"Your request is very needful;" and taking the paper, he mentioned
divers things of each of the persons named in it, which he told my
grandfather had passed between him and them severally, when none other
was present. "By remembering them of these things," said he, "they will
know that you are in verity sent from me."

Being thus instructed, my grandfather left the Lord James, and
proceeding forthwith to the pier of Leith, embarked in the Burntisland
ferry-boat--and considering with himself, that the farthest way of those
whom he was missioned to see ought to be the first informed, as the
nearer had other ways and means of communion, he resolved to go forward
to such of them as dwelt in Angus and Merns; by which resolution he
reached Dundee shortly after the arrival there of the champion of the
Reformation, John Knox.

This resolution proved most wise and fortunate, for, on landing in that
town, he found a great concourse of the Reformed from the two shires
assembled there, and among them many of those to whom he was specially
sent. They had come to go with their ministers before the Queen Regent's
counsel at Stirling, determined to avow their adherence to the doctrines
of which those pious men were accused. And it being foreseen that, as
they went forward others would join, my grandfather thought he could do
no better in his mission than mingle with them, the more especially as
John Knox was also to be of that great company.

On the day following, they accordingly all set forward towards
Perth,--and they were a glorious army, mighty with the strength of their
great ally the Lord of the hosts of heaven. No trumpet sounded in their
march, nor was the courageous drum heard among them,--nor the shouts of
earthly soldiery,--nor the neigh of the war-horse,--nor the voice of any
captain. But they sang hymns of triumph, and psalms of the great things
that Jehovah had of old done for his people; and though no banner was
seen there, nor sword on the thighs of men of might, nor spears in the
grasp of warriors, nor crested helmet, nor aught of the panoply of
battle, yet the eye of faith beheld more than all these, for the hills
and heights of Scotland were to its dazzled vision covered that day with
the mustered armies of the dreadful God: the angels of his wrath in
their burning chariots; the archangels of his omnipotence, calm in their
armour of storms and flaming fires, and the Rider on the white horse,
were all there.

As the people with their ministers advanced, their course was like a
river, which continually groweth in strength and spreadeth its waters as
it rolls onward to the sea. On all sides came streams of new adherents
to their holy cause, in so much that when they arrived at Perth it was
thought best to halt there, lest the approach of so great a multitude,
though without weapons, should alarm the Queen Regent's government.
Accordingly they made a pause, and Erskine of Dun, one of the Lord James
Stuart's friends, taking my grandfather with him, and only two other
servants, rode forward to Stirling to represent to her Highness the
faith and the firmness of the people.

When they arrived, they found the town in consternation. Busy were the
bailies, marshalling such of the burgesses as could be persuaded to take
up arms, but all who joined them were feckless aged men, dealers and
traffickers in commodities for the courtiers. Proud was the provost that
day, and a type of the cause for which he was gathering his papistical
remnants. At the sight of Dun and his three followers riding up the
street to the castle, he was fain to draw out his sword and make a
salutation; but it stuck sae dourly in that he was obligated to gar ane
of the town-officers hold the scabbard, while he pulled with such might
and main at the hilt, that the blade suddenly broke off, and back he
stumbled, and up flew his heels, so that even my grandfather was
constrained, notwithstanding the solemnity of the occasion, to join in
the shout of laughter that rose thereat from all present. But provosts
and bailies, not being men of war, should not expose themselves to such
adversities.

Nor was the fyke of impotent preparation within the walls of the castle
better. The Queen had been in a manner lanerly with her ladies when the
sough of the coming multitude reached her. The French guards had not
come from Glasgow, and there was none of the warlike nobles of the
papistical sect at that time at Stirling. She had therefore reason both
for dread and panic, when the news arrived that all Angus and Merns had
rebelled, for so it was at first reported.

On the arrival of Dun, he was on the instant admitted to her presence;
for she was at the time in the tapestried chamber, surrounded by her
priests and ladies, and many officers, all consulting her according to
their fears. The sight, said my grandfather, for he also went into the
presence, was a proof to him that the cause of the papacy was in the
dead-thraws, the judgments of all present being so evidently in a state
of discomfiture and desertion.

Dun going forward with the wonted reverences, the Queen said to him
abruptly,--

"Well, Erskine, what is this?"

Whereupon he represented to her, in a sedate manner, that the Reformed
ministers were not treated as they had been encouraged to hope;
nevertheless, to show their submission to those in temporal authority
over them, they were coming, in obedience to the citation, to stand
trial.

"But their retinue--when have delinquents come to trial so attended?"
she exclaimed eagerly.

"The people, please your Highness," said Dun, with a steadfastness of
manner that struck every one with respect for him, "the people hold the
same opinions and believe the same doctrines as their preachers, and
they feel that the offence, if it be offence, of which the ministers are
accused, lies equally against them, and therefore they have resolved to
make their case a common cause."

"And do they mean to daunt us from doing justice against seditious
schismatics?" cried her Highness somewhat in anger.

"They mean," replied Dun, "to let your Highness see whether it be
possible to bring so many to judgment. Their sentiment, with one voice,
is, Cursed be they that seek the effusion of blood, or war, or
dissension. Let us possess the evangile, and none within Scotland shall
be more obedient subjects. In sooth, madam, they hold themselves as
guilty of the crime charged as their ministers are, and they will suffer
with them."

"Suffer! Call you rebellion suffering?" exclaimed the Queen.

"They have not yet rebelled," said Dun, calmly; "they come to
remonstrate with your Highness first; for, as Christians, they are loth
to draw the sword. They have no arms with them, to the end that no one
may dare to accuse them of any treason."

"It is a perilous thing when subjects," said the Queen, much troubled,
"declare themselves so openly against the authority of their rulers."

"It is a bold thing for rulers," replied Dun, "to meddle with the
consciences of their subjects."

"How!" exclaimed the Queen, startled and indignant.

"I will deal yet more plainly with your Highness," said he, firmly.
"This pretended offence of which the Reformed are accused is not against
the royal authority. They are good and true subjects, and, by their walk
and conversation, bear testimony to the excellence and purity of those
doctrines for which they are resolved to sacrifice their lives rather
than submit to any earthly dictation. Their controversies pertain to
things of Christ's kingdom,--it is a spiritual warfare. But the papists,
conscious of their weakness in the argument, would fain see your
Highness abandon that impartial justice which you were called of Heaven
to administer in your great office, and to act factiously on their
side, as if the cause of the Gospel could be determined by the arm of
flesh."

"What has brought you here?" exclaimed the Queen, bursting into tears.

"To claim the fulfilment of your royal promises," said Dun, making a
lowly reverence that by its humility took away all arrogance from the
boldness of the demand.

"I will," said she. "I am ever willing to be just, but this rising has
shaken me with apprehensions; therefore, I pray you, Erskine, write to
your brethren; bid them disperse; and tell them from me, that their
ministers shall neither be tried nor molested."

At these words, she took the arm of one of her ladies and hastily
retired. Dun also withdrew, and the same hour sent my grandfather back
to Perth with letters to the Congregation to the effect of her request
and assurance.

That same evening the multitude broke up and returned to their
respective homes, rejoicing with an exceeding great joy at so blessed a
termination of their weaponless Christian war. Dun, however, distrusting
the influence of some of those who were of the Queen's council, and who
had arrived at the castle soon after my grandfather's departure, did not
return, as he had intended, next morning to Perth, but resolved to wait
over the day of trial; or, at least, until the ministers were absolved
from attendance on the summons, either by proclamation or other forms of
law.



CHAPTER XIX


John Knox, among all the ministers who remained at Perth after the
Congregation of the Reformed had dispersed, was the only one, my
grandfather has been heard to say, that expressed no joy nor exultation
at the assurances of the Queen Regent. "We shall see, we shall see," was
all he said to those among them who gloried in the victory; adding, "But
if there is truth in the Word of God, it is not in the nature of the
Beast to do otherwise than evil," and his words of discernment and of
wisdom were soon verified.

Erskine of Dun, while he remained at Stirling, had his eyes and ears
open; and in their porches he placed for sentinels, Distrust and
Suspicion. He knew the fluctuating nature of woman; how every succeeding
wave of feeling washes away the deepest traces that are traced on the
quicksands of her unstable humours; and the danger having passed, he
jealoused that the Queen Regent would forget her terrors, and give
herself up to the headlong councils of the adversaries, whom, from her
known adherence to the Romish ritual, he justly feared she was inclined
to favour. Nor was he left long in doubt.

On the evening before the day which had been appointed for the trial, no
proclamation or other token was promulged to appease the anxiety of the
cited preachers. He, therefore, thought it needful to be prepared for
the worst; so, accordingly, he ordered his two serving-men to have his
horses in readiness forth the town in the morning, and there to abide
his orders.

Without giving any other about him the slightest inkling of what he had
conceited, he went up betimes to the castle, having learnt that the
Queen Regent was that day to hold a council. And being a man held in
great veneration by all parties, and well known to the household of the
court, he obtained access to the ante-chamber after the council was met;
and standing there, he was soon surprised by her Highness coming out,
leaning on the arm of the Lord Wintoun, and seemingly much disturbed. On
seeing him she was startled, and paused for a moment, but soon
collecting all her pride, she dropped the Lord Wintoun's arm, and walked
straight through the apartment without noticing any one, and holding
herself aloft with an air of resolute dignity.

Dun augured no good from this; but following till the Lord Wintoun had
attended her to the end of the long painted gallery, where she stopped
at the door that opened to her private apartments, he there awaited that
nobleman's return, and inquired of him if the process against the
protestant ministers had been rescinded.

"No," said Wintoun, peevishly; "the summons have been called over, and
they have not appeared, either in person or by agents."

"Say you so, my Lord?" cried Dun; "and what is the result?"

"Outlawry, for non-appearance, is pronounced against them," replied
Wintoun, haughtily, and went straight back into the council-chamber.

Dun thought it unnecessary to inquire farther; so, without making more
ado, he instanter left the castle, and, going down the town, went to the
spot where his horses stood ready, and, mounting, rode off with the
tidings to Perth, grieving sorely at the gross perfidy and sad deceit
which the Queen Regent had been so practised on, by the heads of the
papist faction, to commit.

It happened on the same day, that John Knox, who remained at Perth, a
wakeful warder on a post of peril, was moved by the Spirit of God to
preach a sermon, in which he exposed the idolatry of the mass and the
depravity of image-worship. My grandfather was present, and he often
said that preaching was an era and epoch worthy to be held in
everlasting remembrance. It took place in the Greyfriars church. There
was an understanding among the people that it was to be there; but many
fearing the monks might attempt to prevent it, a vast concourse, chiefly
men, assembled at the ordinary mass hour, and remained in the church
till the Reformer came, so that, had the friars tried to keep him out,
they could not have shut the doors.

A lane was made through the midst of the crowd to admit the preacher to
the pulpit; and when he was seen advancing, aged and feeble, and leaning
on his staff, many were moved with compassion, and doubted if it could
be the wonderful man of whom every tongue spoke. But when he had
ascended and began, he seemed to undergo a great transfiguration. His
abject mien and his sickly visage became majestic and glorious. His eyes
lightened; his countenance shone as with the radiance of a spirit that
blazed within; and his voice dirled to the heart like vehement thunder.

Sometimes he spoke to the understandings of those who heard him, of that
insane doctrine which represented the mission of the Redeemer to consist
of believing, in despite of sight, and smell, and touch, and taste, that
wafers and wine were actually the flesh and blood of a man that was
crucified, with nails driven through his feet and hands, many hundred
years ago. Then, rising into the contemplation of the divinity of the
Saviour, he trampled under the feet of his eloquence a belief so
contrary to the instincts and senses with which Infinite Wisdom has
gifted his creatures; and bursting into ecstasy at the thought of this
idolatrous invention, he called on the people to look at the images and
the effigies in the building around them, and believe, if they could,
that such things, the handy-works of carpenters and masons, were endowed
with miraculous energies far above the faculties of man. Kindling into a
still higher mood, he preached to those very images, and demanded of
them, and those they represented, to show any proof that they were
entitled to reverence. "God forgive my idolatry!" he exclaimed. "I
forget myself--these things are but stocks and stones."

Not one of all who heard him that day ever gave ear again to papistry.

When he had made an end, and retired from the church, many still
lingered, discoursing of his marvellous lecture, and among others, my
grandfather.

An imprudent priest belonging to the convent, little aware of the great
conversion which had been wrought, began to prepare for the celebration
of the mass, and a callan who was standing near, encouraged by the
contempt which some of those around expressed at this folly, jibed the
priest, and he drove him away. The boy, however, returned, and levelling
a stone at a crucifix on the altar, shattered it to pieces. In an
instant, as if caught by a whirlwind, the whole papistical trumpery was
torn down and dashed into fragments. The cry of "Down with the idols!"
became universal: hundreds on hundreds came rushing to the spot. The
magistrates and the ministers came flying to beseech order and to soothe
the multitude; but a Divine ire was upon the people, who heard no voice
but only the cry of "Down with the idols!" and their answer was, "Burn,
burn, and destroy!"

The monasteries of the Black and the Grey Friars were sacked and
rendered desolate, and the gorgeous edifice of the Carthusian monks
levelled to the ground.

So dreadful a tumult had never before been heard of within the realm.
Many of the best of the Reformed deplored the handle it would give to
the blasphemies of their foes. Even my grandfather was smitten with
consternation and grief; for he could not but think that such a temporal
outrage would be followed by a terrible temporal revenge as ruthless and
complete. Sober minds shuddered at the sudden and sacrilegious
overthrow of such venerable structures; and many that stood on the
threshold of the house of papistical bondage, and were on the point of
leaving it, retired in again, and barred the doors against the light,
and hugged their errors as blameless compared with such enormities. To
no one did the event give pleasure but to John Knox. "The work," said
he, "has been done, it is true, by the rascal multitude; but when the
nests are destroyed the rooks will fly away."

The thing, however, most considered at that time was the panic which
this intemperance would cause to the Queen Regent; and my grandfather,
seeing it had changed the complexion of his mission, resolved to return
the same evening by the Queensferry to the Lord James Stuart at
Edinburgh. For the people no sooner cooled and came to a sense of
reflection, than they discerned that they had committed a heinous
offence against the laws, and, apprehending punishment, prepared to
defend themselves.

Thus, by the irresolute and promise-breaking policy of the Queen was the
people maddened into grievous excesses, and many of those who submitted
quietly in the faith of her assurances, and had returned to their
respective homes, considered the trumpet as sounded, and began to gird
themselves for battle.



CHAPTER XX


It's far from my hand and intent to write a history of the tribulations
which ensued from the day of the uproar and first outbreaking of the
wrath of the people against the images of the Romish idolatry; and
therefore I shall proceed, with all expedient brevity, to relate what
farther, in those sore times, fell under the eye of my grandfather, who,
when he returned to Edinburgh, found the Lord James Stuart on the point
of proceeding to the Queen Regent at Stirling, and he went with him
thither.

On arriving at the castle, they found the French soldiery all collected
in the town, and her Highness, like another fiery Bellona, vowing to
avenge the calamities that had befallen the idols and images of Perth;
and summoning and envoking the nobility, and every man of substance she
could think of, to come with their vassals, that she might be enabled to
chastise such sacrilegious rebellion.

The Lord James Stuart seeing her so bent on extremities, and knowing by
his secret intelligences, that strong powers were ready to start forward
at a moment's warning, both in the West, and in Fife, Angus and Merns,
entreated her to listen to more moderate councils than those of revenge
and resentment, and rather to think of pacification than of punishment.
But she was fiery with passion, and a blinded instrument in the hands of
Providence to work out the deliverance of the land, even by the crooked
policy that her papistical counsellors hurried her into. So that the
Lord James, seeing she was transported beyond reason, sent my
grandfather and other secret emissaries to warn the Lords and leaders of
the Congregation, and to tell them that her Highness was minded to
surprise Perth as soon as she had gathered a sufficient array.

The conduct of that great worthy was in this full of wisdom, and
foresight, and policy. By staying with the Queen he incurred the
suspicion of the Reformed, to whom he was a devoted friend; but he
gained a knowledge of the intents of their enemies, by which he was
enabled to turn aside the edge of vengeance when it was meant to be most
deadly. Accordingly, reckless of the opinions of men, he went forward
with the Queen's army towards Perth; but before they had crossed the
Water of Earn, word was brought to her Highness that the Earl of
Glencairn, at the head of two thousand five hundred of the Reformed, was
advancing from the shire of Ayr.

Such were the fruits of my grandfather's mission to the Lord Boyd, and
he heard likewise that the bold and free lairds of Angus and Merns, with
all their followers, had formed themselves in battle-array to defend the
town. Still, however, her Highness was resolute to go on; for she was
instigated by her feminine anger, even as much as by the wicked councils
of the papist lords by whom she was surrounded.

But when she reached the heights that overlooked the sweet valley of the
Tay, whose green and gentle bosom was then sparkling with the glances of
warlike steel, her heart was softened, and she called to her the Lord
James Stuart and the young Earl of Argyle--the old Lord, his father, had
died some time prior,--and sent them to the army of the Congregation,
that peace might still be preserved. They accordingly went into the
town, and sending notice to the leaders of the Reformed to appoint two
of their party to confer with them, John Knox and the Master Willocks
were nominated. My grandfather, who attended the Lord James on this
occasion, was directed by him to receive the two deputies at the door
and to conduct them in; and when they came he was much troubled to
observe the state of their minds; for Master Willocks was austere in his
looks as if resolved on quarrel, and the Reformer was agitated and
angry, muttering to himself as he ascended the stairs, making his staff
often dirl on the steps. No sooner were they shown into the presence of
the two lords, even before the door was shut, than John Knox began to
upbraid the Lord James for having broken the covenant and forsaken the
Congregation.

Much to that effect, my grandfather afterwards learnt, passed; but the
Lord James pacified him with the assurance that his heart and spirit
were still true to the cause, and that he had come with Argyle to
prevent, if possible, the shedding of blood; he likewise declared both
for himself and the Earl, who had hitherto always abided by the Queen,
that if she refused to listen to reasonable terms, or should break any
treaty entered into, they would openly take part against her.

Upon these assurances a treaty was concluded, by which it was agreed
that both armies should retire peaceably to their respective
habitations; that the town should be made accessible to the Queen
Regent; that no molestation should be given to those who were then in
arms for the Congregation, and no persecutions undertaken against the
Reformed,--with other covenants calculated to soothe the Congregation
and allay men's fears. But no sooner was this treaty ratified, the army
of the Congregation dispersed, and her Highness in possession of the
town, than it was manifest no vows nor obligations were binding towards
the heretics, as the Reformed were called. The Queen's French guards,
even when attending her into the town, fired into the house of a known
zealous protestant and killed his son; the inhabitants were plundered
and insulted with impunity, and the magistrates were dismissed to make
way for men devoted to papistry.

The Earl of Argyle and Lord James Stuart, filled with wrath and
indignation at such open perfidy, went straight into her Highness'
presence without asking audience, and reproached her with deceit and
craftiness; and having so vented their minds, instanter quitted the
court and the town, and, attended by my grandfather and a few other
servants, departed for Fife, to which John Knox had also retired after
the dispersion of the Congregation at Perth. The Lord James, in virtue
of being Prior of St Andrews, went thither attended by the Earl, and
sent my grandfather to Crail, where the Reformer was then preaching, to
invite him to meet them and others of the Congregation with all
convenient expedition.

My grandfather never having been before in Crail, and not knowing how
the people there might stand affected, instead of inquiring for John
Knox, bethought himself of his acquaintance with Bailie Kilspinnie, and
so speired his way to his dwelling, little hoping, from the fearful
nature of that honest man, he would find him within. But, contrary to
his expectation, he was not only there, but he welcomed my grandfather
as an old and very cordial friend, leading him into his house and making
much of him, telling him, with a voice of cheerfulness, that the day of
reckoning had at last overtaken the lascivious idolaters.

Then he caused to be brought in before my grandfather the five pretty
babies that his wife had abandoned for her papistical paramour, the
eldest of whom was but turned of nine years. The thoughts of their
mother's shame overcame their father at that moment, and the tears
coming into his eyes he sobbed aloud as he looked at them, and wept
bitterly, while they flocked around, and wreathed him, as it were, with
their caresses and innocent blandishments. So tender a scene melted my
grandfather's spirit into sadness; and he could not remain master of
himself, when the eldest, a mild and meek little maiden, said to him, as
if to excuse her father's sorrow, "A foul friar made my mother an
ill-doer, and took her away ae night when she was just done wi'
harkening our prayers."

At this juncture, a blooming and modest-eyed damsel came into the room;
but, seeing a stranger, she drew back and was going away, when the
bailie, drying his eyes, said,--

"Come ben, Elspa; this is the young man that ye hae heard me sae commend
for his kind friendship to me, in that dotage-dauner that I made in my
distraction to St Andrews. This," he added, turning to my grandfather,
"is Elspa Ruet, the sister of that misfortunate woman;--to my helpless
bairns she does their mother's duty."

Elspa made a gentle beck as her brother-in-law was speaking, and,
turning round, dropt a tear on the neck of the youngest baby, as she
leant down to take it up for a screen to hide her blushing face, that
reddent with the thought at seeing one who had so witnessed her sister's
shame.

From that hour her image had a dear place in my grandfather's bosom, and
after the settlement of the Reformation throughout the realm, he courted
her, and she became his wife, and in process of time my grandmother. But
of her manifold excellencies I shall have occasion to speak more at
large hereafter, for she was no ordinary woman, but a saint throughout
life, returning in a good old age to her Maker, almost as blameless as
she came from His pure hands; and nothing became her more in all her
piety, than the part she acted towards her guilty sister.

Having taken away the children, she then brought in divers refreshments,
and a flagon of posset; but she remained not with the bailie and my
grandfather while they partook thereof; so that they were left free to
converse as they listed, and my grandfather was glad to find, as I have
already said, that the poor man had triumphed over his fond grief, and
was reconciled to his misfortunes as well as any father could well be,
with so many deserted babies, and three of them daughters.

He likewise learnt, with no less solace and satisfaction, that the
Reformed were strong in Crail, and that the magistrates and beinest
burgesses had been present on the day before at the preaching of John
Knox, and had afterwards suffered the people to demolish the images and
all the monuments of papistry, without molestation or hinderance; so
that the town was cleansed of the pollution of idolatry, and the worship
of humble and contrite hearts established there, instead of the pagan
pageantry of masses and altars.

After the repast was finished, the bailie conducted my grandfather to
the house where John Knox then lodged, to whom he communicated his
message from the Lord James Stuart.

"Tell your master," was the reply of the Reformer, "that I will be with
him, God willing; and God is willing, for this invitation, and the state
of men's minds, maketh His will manifest. Yea, I was minded myself to go
thither; for that same city of St Andrews is the Zion of Scotland. Of
old, the glad tidings of salvation were first heard there,--there,
amidst the damps and the darkness of ages, the ancient Culdees, men
whose memory is still fragrant for piety and purity of faith and life,
supplied the oil of the lamp of the living God for a period of four
hundred years, independent of pope, prelate, or any human supremacy.
There it was that a spark of their blessed embers was, in our own day,
first blown into a flame,--and there, please God, where I, His unworthy
instrument, was condemned as a criminal for His truth's sake, shall I,
in His strength, be the herald of His triumph and great victory."



CHAPTER XXI


When my grandfather had returned to the bailie's house after delivering
his message to the Reformer, he spent an evening of douce but pleasant
pastime with him and the modest Elspa Ruet, whose conversation was far
above her degree, and seasoned with the sweet savour of holiness. But
ever and anon, though all parties strove to eschew the subject, they
began to speak of her erring sister, the bailie compassionating her
continuance in sin as a man and a Christian should, but showing no wish
nor will to mind her any more as kith or kin to him or his; a temper
that my grandfather was well content to observe he had attained. Not so
was that of Elspa; but her words were few and well chosen, and they made
a deep impression on my grandfather; for she seemed fain to hide what
was passing in her heart.

Twice or thrice she spoke of the ties of nature, intimating that they
were as a bond and obligation laid on by THE MAKER, whereby kindred were
bound to stand by one another in weal or in woe, lest those who sinned
should be utterly abandoned by all the world. The which tender and
Christian sentiment, though it was melodious to my grandfather's spirit,
pierced it with a keen pain; for he thought of the manner in which he
had left his own parents, even though it was for the blessed sake of
religion, and his bosom was at the moment filled with sorrow. But, when
he said how much he regretted and was yet unrepentant of that step,
Elspa cheered him with a consolation past utterance, by reminding him,
that he had neither left them to want nor to sin; that, by quitting the
shelter of their wing, he had but obeyed the promptings of nature, and
that if, at any time hereafter, father or mother stood in need of his
aid or exhortation, he could still do his duty.

Without well considering what he said, the bailie observed on this, that
he was surprised to hear her say so, and yet allow her sister to remain
so long unreproved in her offences.

Elspa Ruet to this made no immediate reply,--she was indeed unable; and
my grandfather sympathised with her, for the sting had plainly
penetrated to the very marrow of her soul. At last, however, she said,--

"Your reproach is just, I hae been to blame baith to Heaven and man--but
the thing has na been unthought, only I kent na how to gang about the
task; and yet what gars me say sae but a woman's weakness, for the
road's no sae lang to St Andrews, and surely iniquity does not there so
abound, that no ane would help me to the donsie woman's bower."

My grandfather, on hearing this, answered, that if she was indeed minded
to try to rescue her sister, he was ready and willing to do all with her
and for her that she could desire; but, bearing in mind the light
woman's open shame, he added, "I'm fearful it's yet owre soon to hope
for her amendment: she'll hae to fin the evil upshot of her ungodly
courses, I doubt, before she'll be wrought into a frame of sincere
penitence."

"Nevertheless," replied Elspa Ruet, "I will try; it's my duty, and my
sisterly love bids me no to be slothful in the task." At which words she
burst into sore and sorrowful weeping, saying, "Alas, alas! that she
should have so fallen!--I loved her--oh! naebody can tell how
dearly--even as I loved myself. When I first saw my ain face in a
looking-glass I thought it was her, and kissed it for the likeness, in
pity that it didna look sae fair as it was wont to be. But it's the
Lord's pleasure, and in permitting her to sink so low HE has no doubt
some lesson to teach."

Thus, from less to more, as they continued conversing, it was agreed
that Elspa Ruet should ride on a pad ahint my grandfather next morning
to St Andrews, in order to try if the thing could be to move her sister
to the humiliation of contrition for her loose life. And some small
preparations being needful, Elspa departed and left the bailie and my
grandfather together.

"But," said my grandfather to him, after she had been some time away,
"is't your design to take the unfortunate woman back among your innocent
lassie bairns?"

"No," replied the bailie; "that's no a thing to be now thought of;
please Providence, she'll ne'er again darken my door; I'll no, however,
allow her to want. Her mother, poor auld afflicted woman, that has ne'er
refraint from greeting since her flight, she'll tak her in; but atween
her and me there's a divorce for ever."

By daylight my grandfather had his horse at the door; and Elspa having
borrowed the provost's lady's pad overnight, it was buckled on, and they
were soon after on the road.

It was a sunny morning in June, and all things were bright, and blithe,
and blooming. The spirits of youth, joy and enjoyment were spread about
on the earth. The butterflies, like floating lilies, sailed from blossom
to blossom, and the gowans, the bright and beautiful eyes of the summer,
shone with gladness, as Nature walked on bank and brae, in maiden pride,
spreading and showing her new flowery mantle to the sun. The very airs
that stirred the glittering trees were soft and genial as the breath of
life; and the leaves of the aspine seemed to lap the sunshine like the
tongues of young and happy creatures that delight in their food.

As my grandfather and Elspa Ruet rode along together, they partook of
the universal benignity with which all things seemed that morning so
graciously adorned, and their hearts were filled with the hope that
their united endeavours to save her fallen sister would be blessed with
success. But when they came in sight of the papal towers and gorgeous
edifices of St Andrews, which then raised their proud heads, like Babel,
so audaciously to the heavens, they both became silent.

My grandfather's thoughts ran on what might ensue if the Archbishop were
to subject him to his dominion, and he resolved, as early as possible,
to make known his arrival to the Lord James Stuart, who, in virtue of
being head of the priory, was then resident there, and to claim his
protection. Accordingly he determined to ride with Elspa Ruet to the
house of the vintner in the Shoegate, of which I have already spoken,
and to leave her under the care of Lucky Kilfauns, as the hostess was
called, until he had done so. But fears and sorrows were busy with the
fancy of his fair companion; and it was to her a bitter thing, as she
afterwards told him, to think that the purpose of her errand was to
entreat a beloved sister to leave a life of shame and sin, and sadly
doubting if she would succeed.

Being thus occupied with their respective cogitations, they entered the
city in silence, and reached the vintner's door without having exchanged
a word for several miles. There Elspa alighted, and being commended to
the care of Lucky Kilfauns, who, though of a free outspoken nature, was
a most creditable matron, my grandfather left her, and rode up the gait
to the priory yett, where, on his arrival, he made himself known to the
porter, and was admitted to the Lord Prior, as the Lord James was there
papistically called.

Having told his Lordship that he had delivered his message to John Knox,
and that the Reformer would not fail to attend the call, he then related
partly what had happened to himself in his former sojourn at St Andrews,
and how and for what end he had brought Elspa Ruet there that day with
him, entreating the Lord James to give him his livery and protection,
for fear of the Archbishop; which, with many pleasing comments on his
devout and prudent demeanour, that noble worthy most readily vouchsafed,
and my grandfather returned to the vintner's.



CHAPTER XXII


When my grandfather had returned to the vintner's, he found that Elspa
had conferred with Lucky Kilfauns concerning the afflicting end and
intent of her journey to St Andrews; and that decent woman sympathising
with her sorrow, telling her of many woful things of the same sort she
had herself known, and how a cousin of her mother's, by the father's
side, had been wiled away from her home by the abbot of Melrose, and
never heard tell of for many a day, till she was discovered, in the
condition of a disconsolate nun, in a convent, far away in Nithsdale.
But the great difficulty was to get access to Marion Ruet's bower, for
so, from that day, was Mrs Kilspinnie called again by her sister; and,
after no little communing, it was proposed by Lucky Kilfauns, that Elspa
should go with her to the house of a certain Widow Dingwall, and there
for a time take up her abode, and that my grandfather, after putting on
the Prior's livery, should look about him for the gilly, his former
guide, and, through him, make a tryst, to meet the dissolute madam at
the widow's house. Accordingly the matter was so settled, and while
Lucky Kilfauns, in a most motherly and pitiful manner, carried Elspa
Ruet to the house of the Widow Dingwall, my grandfather went back to the
priory to get the cloak and arms of the Lord James' livery.

When he was equipped, he then went fearless all about the town, and met
with no molestation; only he saw at times divers of the Archbishop's
men, who recollected him, and who, as he passed, stopped and looked
after him, and whispered to one another and muttered fierce words. Much
he desired to fall in with that humane Samaritan, Leonard Meldrum, the
seneschal of the castle, and fain would he have gone thither to inquire
for him; but, until he had served the turn of the mournful Elspa Ruet,
he would not allow any wish of his own to lead him to aught wherein
there was the hazard of any trouble that might balk her pious purpose.

After daunering from place to place, and seeing nothing of the
stripling, he was obligated to give twalpennies to a stabler's lad to
search for him, who soon brought him to the vintner's, where my
grandfather, putting on the look of a losel and roister, gave him a
groat, and bade him go to the madam's dwelling, and tell her that he
would be, from the gloaming, all the night at the Widow Dingwall's,
where he would rejoice exceedingly if she could come and spend an hour
or two.

The stripling, so fee'd, was right glad, and made himself so familiar
towards my grandfather, that Lucky Kilfauns observing it, the better to
conceal their plot, feigned to be most obstreperous, flyting at him with
all her pith and bir, and chiding my grandfather, as being as scant o'
grace as a gaberlunzie, or a novice of the Dominicans. However, they
worked so well together, that the gilly never misdoubted either her or
my grandfather, and took the errand to his mistress, from whom he soon
came with a light foot and a glaikit eye, saying she would na fail to
keep the tryst.

That this new proof of the progress she was making in guilt and sin
might be the more tenderly broken to her chaste and gentle sister, Lucky
Kilfauns herself undertook to tell Elspa what had been covenanted to
prepare her for the meeting. My grandfather would fain have had a milder
mediatrix, for the vintner's worthy wife was wroth against the
concubine, calling her offence redder than the crimson of schism, and
blacker than the broth of the burning brimstone of heresy, with many
other vehement terms of indignation, none worse than the wicked woman
deserved, though harsh to be heard by a sister, that grieved for her
unregenerate condition far more than if she had come from Crail to St
Andrews only to lay her head in the coffin.

The paction between all parties being thus covenanted, and Lucky
Kilfauns gone to prepare the fortitude of Elspa Ruet for the trial it
was to undergo, my grandfather walked out alone to pass the time till
the trysted hour. It was then late in the afternoon, and as he sauntered
along he could not but observe that something was busy with the minds
and imaginations of the people. Knots of the douce and elderly
shopkeepers were seen standing in the streets with their heads laid
together; and as he walked towards the priory he met the provost between
two of the bailies, with the dean of guild, coming sedately, and with
very great solemnity in their countenances, down the crown of the
causey, heavily laden with magisterial fears. He stopped to look at
them, and he remarked that they said little to one another, but what
they did say seemed to be words of weight; and when any of their friends
and acquaintances happened to pass, they gave them a nod that betokened
much sadness of heart.

The cause of all this anxiety was not, in its effects and influence,
meted only to the men and magistrates: the women partook of them even to
a greater degree. They were seen passing from house to house, out at one
door and into the next, and their faces were full of strange matters.
One in particular, whom my grandfather noticed coming along, was often
addressed with brief questions, and her responses were seemingly as
awful as an oracle's. She was an aged carlin, who, in her day, had been
a midwife, but having in course of time waxed old, and being then
somewhat slackened in the joints of the right side by a paralytic, she
eked out the weakly remainder of her thread of life in visitations among
the families that, in her abler years, she had assisted to increase and
multiply. She was then returning home after spending the day, as my
grandfather afterwards heard from the Widow Dingwall, with the provost's
daughter, at whose birth she had been the howdy, and who, being married
some months, had sent to consult her anent a might-be occasion.

As she came toddling along, with pitty-patty steps, in a rose satin
mantle that she got as a blithemeat gift when she helped the young
master of Elcho into the world, drawn close over her head, and leaning
on a staff with her right hand, while in her left she carried a Flanders
pig of strong ale, with a clout o'er the mouth to keep it from jawping,
scarcely a door or entry mouth was she allowed to pass, but she was
obligated to stop and speak, and what she said appeared to be tidings of
no comfort.

All these things bred wonder and curiosity in the breast of my
grandfather, who, not being acquaint with any body that he saw, did not
like for some time to inquire; but at last his diffidence and modesty
were overcome by the appearance of a strong party of the Archbishop's
armed retainers, followed by a mob of bairns and striplings, yelling,
and scoffing at them with bitter taunts and many titles of derision; and
on inquiring at a laddie what had caused the consternation in the town,
and the passage of so many soldiers from the castle, he was told that
they expected John Knox the day following, and that he was mindet to
preach, but the Archbishop has resolved no to let him. It was even so;
for the Lord James Stuart, who possessed a deep and forecasting spirit,
had, soon after my grandfather's arrival with the Reformer's answer,
made the news known to try the temper of the inhabitants and burghers.
But, saving this marvelling and preparation, nothing farther of a public
nature took place that night; so that, a short time before the hour
appointed, my grandfather went to the house of Widow Dingwall, where he
found Elspa Ruet sitting very disconsolate in a chamber by herself,
weeping bitterly at the woful account which Lucky Kilfauns had brought
of her sister's loose life, and fearing greatly that all her kind
endeavours and humble prayers would be but as water spilt on the ground.



CHAPTER XXIII


As the time of appointment drew near, Elspa Ruet was enabled to call in
her wandering and anxious thoughts, and, strengthened by her duty, the
blessing of the tranquil mind was shed upon her. Her tears were dried
up, and her countenance shone with a serene benignity. When she was an
aged, withered woman, my grandfather has been heard to say that he never
remembered her appearance without marvelling at the special effusion of
holiness and beauty which beamed and brightened upon her in that trying
hour, nor without thinking that he still beheld the glory of its
twilight glowing through the dark and faded clouds of her old age.

They had not sat long when a tapping was heard at the widow's door, and
my grandfather, starting up, retired into a distant corner of the room,
behind a big napery press, and sat down in the obscurity of its shadow.
Elspa remained in her seat beside the table, on which a candle was
burning, and, as it stood behind the door, she could not be seen by any
coming in till they had passed into the middle of the floor.

In little more than the course of a minute, the voice of her sister was
heard, and light footsteps on the timber stair. The door was then
opened, and Marion swirled in with an uncomely bravery. Elspa started
from her seat. The guilty and convicted creature uttered a shriek; but
in the same moment her pious sister clasped her with loving-kindness in
her arms, and bursting into tears, wept bitterly, with sore sobs, for
some time on her bosom, which was wantonly unkerchiefed.

After a short space of time, with confusion of face, and frowns of
mortification, and glances of rage, the abandoned Marion disengaged
herself from her sister's fond and sorrowful embraces, and, retreating
to a chair, sat down, and seemed to muster all the evil passions of the
guilty breast,--fierce anger, sharp hatred, and gnawing contempt; and a
bad boldness of look that betokened a worse spirit than them all.

"It was na to see the like of you I cam' here," said she, with a
scornful toss of her head.

"I ken that, Marion," replied Elspa, mournfully.

"And what business then hae ye to come to snool me?"

Elspa for a little while made no answer to this, but, drying her eyes,
she went to her seat composedly, and then said,--

"'Cause ye're my sister, and brought shame and disgrace on a' your
family. O, Marion, I'm wae to say this! but ye're owre brave in your
sin."

"Do ye think I'll e'er gae back to that havering, daunering cuif o' a
creature, the Crail bailie?"

"He's a man o' mair worth and conduct, Marion," replied her sister,
firmly, "than to put that in your power--even, woman, if ye were
penitent, and besought him for charity."

"Weel, weel, no to clishmaclaver about him. How's a' wi' the bairns?"

"Are ye no frighted, Marion, to speer sic a question, when ye think how
ye left them, and what for ye did sae?"

"Am na I their mither, have na I a right to speer?"

"No," said Elspa; "when ye forgot that ye were their father's wife, they
lost their mother."

"Ye need na be sae snell wi' your taunts," exclaimed Marion, evidently
endeavouring to preserve the arrogance she had assumed; "ye need na be
sae snell; I'm far better off, and happier than e'er I was in James
Kilspinnie's aught."

"That's no possible," said her sister. "It would be an unco thing of
Heaven to let wickedness be happier than honesty."

"But, Marion, dinna deceive yoursel, ye hae nae sure footing on the
steading where ye stan'. The Bishop will nae mair, than your guidman,
thole your loose life to him. If he kent ye were here, I doubt he would
let you bide, and what would become of you then?"

"He's no sic a fool as to be angry that I am wi' my sister."

"That may be," replied Elspa: "I'm thinking, however, if in my place
here he saw but that young man," and she pointed to my grandfather,
whom her sister had not till then observed, "he would have some cause to
consider."

Marion attempted to laugh scornfully, but her heart gurged within her,
and instead of laughter, her voice broke out into wild and horrid yells,
and falling back in her chair, she grew stiff and ghastly to behold, in
so much that both Elspa and my grandfather were terrified, and had to
work with her for some time before they were able to recover her; nor
indeed did she come rightly to herself till she got relief by tears; but
they were tears of rage, and not shed for any remorse on account of her
foul fault. Indeed, no sooner was she come to herself, than she began to
rail at her sister and my grandfather, calling them by all the terms of
scorn that her tongue could vent. At last she said,--

"But nae doubt ye're twa Reformers."

"Ay," replied Elspa, "in a sense we are sae, for we would fain help to
reform you."

But after a long, faithful, and undaunted endeavour on the part of
Elspa, in this manner, to reach the sore of her sinful conscience, she
saw that all her ettling was of no avail, and her heart sank, and she
began to weep, saying, "O, Marion, Marion, ye were my dear sister ance;
but frae this night, if ye leave me to gang again to your sins, I hope
the Lord will erase the love I bear you utterly out of my heart, and
leave me but the remembrance of what ye were when we were twa wee
playing lassies, clapping our young hands, and singing for joy in the
bonny spring mornings that will never, never come again."

The guilty Marion was touched with her sorrow, and for a moment seemed
to relent and melt, replying in a softened accent,--

"But tell me, Eppie, for ye hae na telt me yet, how did ye leave my
weans?"

"Would you like to see them?" said Elspa, eagerly.

"I would na like to gang to Crail," replied her sister, thoughtfully;
"but if--" and she hesitated.

"Surely, Marion," exclaimed Elspa, with indignation, "ye're no sae lost
to all shame as to wish your innocent dochters to see you in the midst
of your iniquities?"

Marion reddened, and sat abashed and rebuked for a short time in
silence, and then reverting to her children, she said, somewhat
humbly,--

"But tell me how they are--poor things!"

"They are as weel as can be hoped for," replied Elspa, moved by her
altered manner; "but they'll lang miss the loss of their mother's care.
O, Marion, how could ye quit them! The beasts that perish are kinder to
their young, for they nourish and protect them till they can do for
themselves; but your wee May can neither yet gang nor speak. She's your
very picture, Marion, as like you as--God forbid that she ever be like
you!"

The wretched mother was unable to resist the energy of her sister's
appeal, and, bursting into tears, wept bitterly for some time.

Elspa, compassionating her contrition, rose, and, taking her kindly by
the hand, said, "Come, Marion, we'll gang hame--let us leave this guilty
city--let us tarry no longer within its walls--the curse of Heaven is
darkening over it, and the storm of the hatred of its corruption is
beginning to lighten:--let us flee from the wrath that is to come."

"I'll no gang back to Crail--I dare na gang there--everyone would haud
out their fingers at me--I canna gang to Crail--Eppie, dinna bid
me--I'll mak away wi' mysel' before I'll gang to Crail."

"Dinna say that," replied her sister: "O, Marion, if ye felt within the
humiliation of a true penitent, ye would na speak that way, but would
come and hide your face in your poor mother's bosom; often, often,
Marion, did she warn you no to be ta'en up wi' the pride an' bravery of
a fine outside."

"Ye may gang hame yoursel'," exclaimed the impenitent woman, starting
from her seat; "I'll no gang wi' you to be looket down on by every one.
If I should hae had a misfortune, nane's the sufferer but mysel'; and
what would I hae to live on wi' my mother? She's pinched enough for her
ain support. No; since I hae't in my power, I'll tak my pleasure o't.
Onybody can repent when they like, and it's no convenient yet for me.
Since I hae slippit the tether, I may as well tak a canter o'er the
knowes. I won'er how I could be sae silly as to sit sae lang willy-waing
wi' you about that blethering bodie, James Kilspinnie. He could talk o'
naething but the town-council, the cost o' plaiding, and the price o'
woo'. No, Eppie, I'll no gang wi' you, but I'll be glad if ye'll gang
o'er the gait and tak your bed wi' me. I hae a braw bower--and, let me
tell you, this is no a house of the best repute."

"Is yours ony better?" replied Elspa, fervently. "No, Marion; sooner
would I enter the gates of death, than darken your guilty door. Shame
upon you, shame!--But the sweet Heavens, in their gracious hour of
mercy, will remember the hope that led me here, and some day work out a
blessed change. The prayers of an afflicted parent, and the cries of
your desolate babies, will assuredly bring down upon you the purifying
fires of self-condemnation. Though a wicked pride at this time withholds
you from submitting to the humiliation which is the just penalty of your
offences, still the day is not far off when you will come begging for a
morsel of bread to those that weep for your fall, and implore you to
eschew the evil of your way."

To these words, which were spoken as with the vehemence of prophecy, the
miserable woman made no answer, but plucked her hand sharply from her
sister's earnest pressure, and quitted the room with a flash of anger.
My grandfather then conveyed the mournful Elspa back to the house of
Lucky Kilfauns, and returned to the priory.



CHAPTER XXIV


The next day, Elspa Ruet, under the escorting of my grandfather, was
minded to have gone home to Crail, but the news that John Knox was to
preach on the morrow at St Andrews had spread far and wide; no man could
tell by what wonderful reverberation the tidings had awakened the whole
land. From all quarters droves of the Reformed and the pious came
pressing to the gates of the city, like sheep to the fold and doves to
the windows. The Archbishop and the priests and friars were smitten with
dread and consternation; the doom of their fortunes was evident in the
distraction of their minds--but the Earl of Argyle and the Lord James
Stuart, at the priory, remained calm and collected.

Foreseeing that the step they had taken would soon be visited by the
wrath of the Queen Regent, they resolved to prepare for the worst, and
my grandfather was ordered to hold himself in readiness for a journey.
Thus was he prevented from going to Crail with Elspa Ruet, who, with a
heavy heart, went back in the evening with the man and horses that
brought the Reformer to the town. For John Knox, though under the ban of
outlawry, was so encouraged with inward assurances from on High, that he
came openly to the gate, and passed up the crown of the causey on to the
priory, in the presence of the Archbishop's guards, of all the people,
and of the astonished and dismayed priesthood.

As soon as the Antichrist heard of his arrival, he gave orders for all
his armed retainers, to the number of more than a hundred men-at-arms,
to assemble in the cloisters of the monastery of the Blackfriars; for he
was a man of a soldierly spirit, and though a loose and immoral
churchman, would have made a valiant warrior; and going thither himself,
he thence sent word to the Lord James Stuart at the priory, that if John
Knox dared to preach in the cathedral, as was threatened, he would order
his guard to fire on him in the pulpit.

My grandfather, with others of the retinue of the two noblemen, had
accompanied the Archbishop's messenger into the Prior's chamber, where
they were sitting with John Knox when this bold challenge to the
champion of Christ's cause was delivered; and it was plain that both
Argyle and the Lord James were daunted by it, for they well knew the
fearlessness and the fierceness of their consecrated adversary.

After the messenger had retired, and the Lord James, in a particular
manner, had tacitly signified to my grandfather to remain in the room,
and had taken a slip of paper, he began to write thereon, while Argyle
said to the Reformer,--

"Master Knox, this is what we could na but expect; and though it may
seem like a misdooting of our cause now to desist, I'm in a swither if
ye should mak the attempt to preach."

The Reformer made no answer; and the Lord James, laying down his pen,
also said, "My thoughts run wi' Argyle's,--considering the weakness of
our train and the Archbishop's preparations, with his own regardless
character,--I do think we should for a while rest in our intent. The
Queen Regent has come to Falkland wi' her French force, and we are in
no condition to oppose their entrance into the town; besides, your
appearance in the pulpit may lead to the sacrifice of your own most
precious life, and the lives of many others who will no doubt stand
forth in your defence. Whether, therefore, you ought, in such a
predicament, to think of preaching, is a thing to be well considered."

"In the strength of the Lord," exclaimed John Knox, with the voice of an
apostle, "I will preach. God is my witness that I never preached in
contempt of any man, nor would I willingly injure any creature; but I
cannot delay my call to-morrow if I am not hindered by violence. As for
the fear of danger that may come to me, let no man be solicitous; for my
life is in the custody of HIM whose glory I seek, and threats will not
deter me from my duty when Heaven so offereth the occasion. I desire
neither the hand nor the weapon of man to defend me; I only crave
audience, which, if it be denied to me here at this time, I must seek
where I may have it."

The manner and confidence with which this was spoken silenced and
rebuked the two temporal noblemen, and they offered no more
remonstrance, but submitted as servants, to pave the way for this intent
of his courageous piety. Accordingly, after remaining a short time, as
if in expectation to hear what the Earl of Argyle might further have to
say, the Lord James Stuart took up his pen again, and when he had
completed his writing, he gave the paper to my grandfather (it was a
list of some ten or twelve names) saying, "Make haste, Gilhaize, and let
these, our friends in Angus, know the state of peril in which we stand.
Tell them what has chanced; how the gauntlet is thrown; and that our
champion has taken it up, and is prepared for the onset."

My grandfather forthwith departed on his errand, and spared not the spur
till he had delivered his message to every one whose names were written
in the paper; and their souls were kindled and the spirit of the Lord
quickened in their hearts.

The roads sparkled with the feet of summoning horsemen, and the towns
rung with the sound of warlike preparations.

On the third day, towards the afternoon, my grandfather embarked at
Dundee on his return, and was landed at the Fife water-side. There were
many in the boat with him; and it was remarked by some among them, that,
for several days, no one had been observed to smile, and that all men
seemed in the expectation of some great event.

The weather being loun and very sultry, he travelled slowly with those
who were bound for St Andrews, conversing with them on the troubles of
the time, and the clouds that were gathering and darkening over poor
Scotland; but every one spoke from the faith of his own bosom, that the
terrors of the storm would not be of long duration--so confident were
those unlettered men of the goodness of Christ's cause in that epoch of
tribulation.

While they were thus communing together, they came in sight of the city,
with its coronal of golden spires, and Babylonian pride of idolatrous
towers, and they halted for a moment to contemplate the gorgeous
insolence with which Antichrist had there built up and invested the
blood-stained throne of his blasphemous usurpation.

"The walls of Jericho," said one of the travellers, "fell at the sound
but of ram's horns, and shall yon Babel withstand the preaching of John
Knox?"

Scarcely had he said the words, when the glory of its magnificence was
wrapt with a shroud of dust; a dreadful peal of thunder came rolling
soon after, though not a spark of vapour was seen in all the ether of
the blue sky; and the rumble of a dreadful destruction was then heard.
My grandfather clapped spurs to his horse, and galloped on towards the
town. The clouds rose thicker and filled the whole air. Shouts and
cries, as he drew near, were mingled with the crash of falling edifices.
The earth trembled, and his horse stood still, regardless of the rowels,
as if it had seen the angel of the Lord standing in his way. On all
sides monks and nuns came flying from the town, wringing their hands as
if the horrors of the last judgment had surprised them in their sins.
The guards of the Archbishop were scattered among them like chaff in the
swirl of the wind: then his Grace came himself on Sir David Hamilton's
fleet mare, with Sir David and divers of his household fast following.
The wrath of heaven was behind them, and they rattled past my
grandfather like the distempered phantoms that hurry through the dreams
of dying men.

My grandfather's horse at last obeyed the spur, and he rode on and into
the city, the gates of which were deserted. There he beheld on all sides
that the Lord had indeed put the besom of destruction into the hands of
the Reformers; and that not one of all the buildings which had been
polluted by the papistry--no, not one--had escaped the erasing
fierceness of its ruinous sweep. The presence of the magistrates lent
the grace of authority to the zeal of the people, and all things were
done in order. The idols were torn down from the altars, and
deliberately broken by the children with hammers into pieces. There was
no speaking; all was done in silence; the noise of the falling churches,
the rending of the shrines, and the breaking of the images were the only
sounds heard. But for all that, the zeal of not a few was, even in the
midst of their dread solemnity, alloyed with covetousness. My
grandfather himself saw one of the town-council slip the bald head, in
silver, of one of the twelve apostles into his pouch.



CHAPTER XXV


The triumph of the truth at St Andrews was followed by the victorious
establishment, from that day thenceforward, of the Reformation in
Scotland. The precautions taken by the deep forecasting mind of the Lord
James Stuart, through the instrumentality of my grandfather and others,
were of inexpressible benefit to the righteous cause. It was foreseen
that the Queen Regent, who had come to Falkland, would be prompt to
avenge the discomfiture of her sect, the papists; but the zealous
friends of the Gospel, seconding the resolution of the Lords of the
Congregation, enabled them to set all her power at defiance.

With an attendance of few more than a hundred horse, and about as many
foot, the Earl of Argyle and the Lord James set out from St Andrews to
frustrate, as far as the means they had concerted might, the wrathful
measures which they well knew her Highness would take. But this small
force was by the next morning increased to full three thousand fighting
men; and so ardently did the spirit of enmity and resistance against the
papacy spread, that the Queen Regent, when she came with her French
troops and her Scottish levies, under the command of the Duke of
Chatelherault, to Cupar, found that she durst not encounter in battle
the growing strength of the Congregation, so she consented to a truce,
and, as usual in her dissimulating policy, promised many things which
she never intended to perform. But the protestants, by this time knowing
that the papists never meant to keep their pactions with them,
discovering the policy of her Highness, silently moved onward. They
proceeded to Perth, and having expelled the garrison, took the town, and
fired the abbey of Scone. But as my grandfather was not with them in
those raids, being sent on the night of the great demolition at St
Andrews to apprise the Earl of Glencairn, his patron, of the extremities
to which matters had come there, it belongs not to the scope of my story
to tell what ensued, farther than that from Perth the Congregation
proceeded to Stirling, where they demolished the monasteries;--then they
went to Lithgow, and herret the nests of the locusts there; and
proceeding bravely on, purging the realm as they went forward, they
arrived at Edinburgh, and constrained the Queen Regent, who was before
them with her forces there, to pack up her ends and her awls, and make
what speed she could with them to Dunbar. But foul as the capital then
was, and covered with the leprosy of idolatry, they were not long in
possession till they so medicated her with the searching medicaments of
the Reformation, that she was soon scrapit of all the scurf and kell of
her abominations. There was not an idol or an image within her bounds
that, in less than three days, was not beheaded like a traitor and
trundled to the dogs, even with vehemence, as a thing that could be
sensible of contempt. But as all these things are set forth at large in
the chronicles of the kingdom, let suffice it to say that my grandfather
continued for nearly two years after this time a trusted emissary among
the Lords of the Congregation in their many arduous labours and perilous
correspondencies, till the Earl of Glencairn was appointed to see
idolatry banished and extirpated from the West Country; in which
expedition his Lordship, being minded to reward my grandfather's
services in the cause of the Reformation, invited him to be of his
force; to which my grandfather, not jealousing the secularities of his
patron's intents, joyfully agreed, hoping to see the corner-stone placed
on the great edifice of the Reformation, which all good and pious men
began then to think near completion.

Having joined the Earl's force at Glasgow, my grandfather went forward
with it to Paisley. Before reaching that town, however, they were met by
a numerous multitude of the people, half way between it and the castle
of Cruikstone, and at their head my grandfather was blithened to see his
old friend, the gentle monk Dominick Callender, in a soldier's garb, and
with a ruddy and emboldened countenance, and by his side, with a sword
manfully girded on his thigh, the worthy Bailie Pollock, whose nocturnal
revels at the abbey had brought such dule to the winsome Maggy Napier.

For some reason, which my grandfather never well understood, there was
more lenity shown to the abbey here than usual; but the monks were
rooted out, the images given over to destruction, and the old bones and
miraculous crucifixes were either burnt or interred. Less damage,
however, was done to the buildings than many expected, partly through
the exhortations of the magistrates, who were desirous to preserve so
noble a building for a protestant church, but chiefly out of some
paction or covenant secretly entered into anent the distribution of the
domains and property, wherein the house of Hamilton was concerned, the
Duke of Chatelherault, the head thereof, notwithstanding the papistical
nature of his blood and kin, having some time before gone over to the
cause of the Congregation.

The work of the Reformation being thus abridged at Paisley, the Earl of
Glencairn went forward to Kilwinning, where he was less scrupulous; for
having himself obtained a grant of the lands of the abbacy, he was fain
to make a clean hand o't, though at the time my grandfather knew not of
this.

As soon as the army reached the town, the soldiers went straight on to
the abbey, and entering the great church, even while the monks were
chanting their paternosters, they began to show the errand they had come
on. Dreadful was the yell that ensued, when my grandfather, going up to
the priest at the high altar, and pulling him by the scarlet and fine
linen of his pageantry, bade him decamp, and flung the toys and trumpery
of the mass after him as he fled away in fear.

This resolute act was the signal for the general demolition, and it
began on all sides; my grandfather giving a leap, caught hold of a fine
effigy of the Virgin Mary by the leg to pull it down; but it proved to
be the one which James Coom the smith had mended, for the leg came off,
and my grandfather fell backwards, and was for a moment stunned by his
fall. A band of the monks, who were standing trembling spectators, made
an attempt, at seeing this, to raise a shout of a miracle; but my
grandfather, in the same moment recovering himself, seized the Virgin's
timber leg, and flung it with violence at them, and it happened to
strike one of the fattest of the flock with such a bir, that it was said
the life was driven out of him. This, however, was not the case; for,
although the monk was sorely hurt, he lived many a day after, and was
obligated, in his auld years, when he was feckless, to be carried from
door to door on a hand-barrow begging his bread. The wives, I have heard
tell, were kindly to him, for he was a jocose carl; but the weans little
respected his grey hairs, and used to jeer him as auld Father
Paternoster, for even to the last he adhered to his beads. It was
thought, however, by a certain pious protestant gentlewoman of Irvine,
that before his death he got a cast of grace; for one day, when he had
been carried over to beg in that town, she gave him a luggie of kail
ower het, which he stirred with the end of the ebony crucifix at his
girdle, thereby showing, as she said, a symptom that it held a lower
place in his spiritual affections than if he had been as sincere in his
errors as he let wot.



CHAPTER XXVI


Although my grandfather had sustained a severe bruise by his fall, he
was still enabled, after he got on his legs, to superintend the
demolishment of the abbey till it was complete. But in the evening, when
he took up his quarters in the house of Theophilus Lugton with Dominick
Callender, who had brought on a party of the Paisley Reformers, he was
so stiff and sore that he thought he would be incompetent to go over
next day with the force that the Earl missioned to herry the Carmelyte
convent at Irvine. Dominick Callender had, however, among other things,
learnt, in the abbey at Paisley, the salutary virtues of many herbs, and
how to decoct from them their healing juices; and he instructed Dame
Lugton to prepare an efficacious medicament, that not only mitigated the
anguish of the pain, but so suppled the stiffness that my grandfather
was up by break of day, and ready for the march, a renewed man.

In speaking of this, he has been heard to say, it was a thing much to be
lamented, that when the regular abolition of the monastries was decreed,
no care was taken to collect the curious knowledges and ancient
traditionary skill preserved therein, especially in what pertained to
the cure of maladies; for it was his opinion--and many were of the same
mind--that among the friars were numbers of potent physicians, and an
art in the preparation of salves and syrups, that has not been surpassed
by the learning of the colleges. But it is not meet that I should detain
the courteous reader with such irrelevancies; the change, however, which
has taken place in the realm in all things pertaining to life, laws,
manners and conduct since the extirpation of the Roman idolatry, is,
from the perfectest report, so wonderful, that the inhabitants can
scarcely be said to be the same race of people; and, therefore, I have
thought that such occasional ancestral intimations might, though they
proved neither edifying nor instructive, be yet deemed worthy of
notation in the brief spaces which they happen herein to occupy. But
now, returning from this digression, I will take up again the thread and
clue of my story.

The Earl of Glencairn, after the abbey of Kilwinning was sacked, went
and slept at Eglinton Castle, then a stalwart square tower, environed
with a wall and moat, of a rude and unknown antiquity, standing on a
gentle rising ground in the midst of a bleak and moorland domain. And
his Lordship having ordered my grandfather to come to him betimes in the
morning with twenty chosen men, the discreetest of the force, for a
special service in which he meant to employ him, he went thither
accordingly, taking with him Dominick Callender and twelve godly lads
from Paisley, with seven others, whom he had remarked in the march from
Glasgow, as under the manifest guidance of a sedate and pious temper.

When my grandfather with his company arrived at the castle yett, and he
was admitted to the Earl his patron, his Lordship said to him, more as a
friend than a master,--

"I am in the hope, Gilhaize, that, after this day, the toilsome and
perilous errands on which, to the weal of Scotland and the true church,
you have been so meritoriously missioned ever since you were retained in
my service, will soon be brought to an end, and that you will enjoy in
peace the reward you have earned so well, that I am better pleased in
bestowing it than you can be in the receiving. But there is yet one task
which I must put upon you. Hard by to this castle, less than a mile
eastward, stands a small convent of nuns, who have been for time out of
mind under the protection of the Lord Eglinton's family, and he, having
got a grant of the lands belonging to their house, is desirous that they
should be flitted in an amiable manner to a certain street in Irvine
called the Kirkgate, where a lodging is provided for them. To do this
kindly I have bethought myself of you, for I know not in all my force
any one so well qualified. Have you provided yourself with the twenty
douce men that I ordered you to bring hither?"

My grandfather told his Lordship that he had done as he was ordered.
"Then," resumed the Earl, "take them with you, and this mandate to the
superior, and one of Eglinton's men to show you the way; and when you
have conveyed them to their lodging, come again to me."

So my grandfather did as he was directed by the Earl, and marched
eastward with his men till he came to the convent, which was a humble
and orderly house, with a small chapel and a tower, that in after times,
when all the other buildings were erased, was called the Stane Castle,
and is known by that name even unto this day. It stood within a high
wall, and a little gate, with a stone cross over the same, led to the
porch.

Compassionating the simple and silly sisterhood within, who, by their
sequestration from the world, were become as innocent as birds in a
cage, my grandfather halted his men at some distance from the yett, and
going forward, rung the bell; to the sound of which an aged woman
answered, who, on being told he had brought a letter to the superior,
gave him admittance, and conducted him to a little chamber, on the one
side of which was a grating, where the superior, a short, corpulent
matron, that seemed to bowl rather than to walk as she moved along, soon
made her appearance within.

He told her in a meek manner, and with some gentle prefacing, the
purpose of his visit, and showed her the Earl's mandate; to all which,
for some time, she made no reply, but she was evidently much moved; at
last she gave a wild skreigh, which brought the rest of the nuns, to the
number of thirteen, all rushing into the room. Then ensued a dreadful
tempest of all feminine passions and griefs, intermingled with
supplications to many a saint; but the powers and prerogatives of their
saints were abolished in Scotland, and they received no aid.

Though their lamentation, as my grandfather used to say, could not be
recited without moving to mirth, it was yet so full of maidenly fears
and simplicity at the time to him, that it seemed most tender, and he
was disturbed at the thought of driving such fair and helpless creatures
into the bad world; but it was his duty;--so, after soothing them as
well as he could, and representing how unavailing their refusal to go
would be, the superior composed her grief, and exhorting the nuns to be
resigned to their cruel fate, which, she said, was not so grievous as
that which many of the saints had in their day suffered, they all became
calm and prepared for the removal.

My grandfather told them to take with them whatsoever they best liked in
the house; and it was a moving sight to see their simplicity therein.
One was content with a flower-pot; another took a cage in which she had
a lintie; some of them half-finished patterns of embroidery. One aged
sister, of a tall and spare form, brought away a flask of eye-water
which she had herself distilled; but, saving the superior, none of them
thought of any of the valuables of the chapel, till my grandfather
reminded them, that they might find the value of silver and gold
hereafter, even in the spiritual-minded town of Irvine.

There was one young and graceful maiden among them who seemed but little
moved by the event; and my grandfather was melted to sympathy and sorrow
by the solemn serenity of her deportment, and the little heed she took
of anything. Of all the nuns she was the only one who appeared to have
nothing to care for; and when they were ready, and came forth to the
gate, instead of joining in their piteous wailings as they bade their
peaceful home a long and last farewell, she walked forward alone. No
sooner, however, had she passed the yett, than, on seeing the armed
company without, she stood still like a statue, and, uttering a shrill
cry, fainted away, and fell to the ground. Every one ran to her
assistance; but when her face was unveiled to give her air, Dominick
Callender, who was standing by, caught her in his arms, and was
enchanted by a fond and strange enthusiasm. She was indeed no other than
the young maiden of Paisley, for whom he had found his monastic rows the
heavy fetters of a bondage that made life scarcely worth possessing; and
when she was recovered, an interchange of great tenderness took place
between them, at which the superior of the convent waxed very wroth, and
the other nuns were exceedingly scandalised. But Magdalene Sauchie, for
so she was called, heeded them not; for, on learning that popery was put
down in the land by law, she openly declared that she renounced her
vows; and during the walk to Irvine, which was jimp a mile, she leant
upon the arm of her lover: and they were soon after married, Dominick
settling in that town as a doctor of physic, whereby he afterwards
earned both gold and reputation.

But to conclude the history of the convent, which my grandfather had in
this gentle manner herret, the nuns, on reaching the foot of the
Kirkgate, where the Countess of Eglinton had provided a house for them,
began to weep anew with great vehemence, fearing that their holy life
was at an end, and that they would be tempted of men to enter into the
temporalities of the married state; but the superior, on hearing this
mournful apprehension, mounted upon the steps of the Tolbooth stair,
and, in the midst of a great concourse of people, she lifted her hands
on high, and exclaimed, as with the voice of a prophetess, "Fear not, my
chaste and pious dochters; for your sake and for my sake, I have an
assurance at this moment from the Virgin Mary herself, that the calamity
of the marriage-yoke will never be known in the Kirkgate of Irvine, but
that all maidens who hereafter may enter, or be born to dwell therein,
shall live a life of single blessedness unasked and untempted of men."
Which delightful prediction the nuns were so happy to hear, that they
dried their tears, and chanted their Ave Maria, joyfully proceeding
towards their appointed habitation. It stood, as I have been told, on
the same spot where King James the Sixth's school was afterwards
erected, and endowed out of the spoils of Carmelytes' monastery, which,
on the same day, was, by another division of the Earl of Glencairn's
power, sacked and burnt to the ground.



CHAPTER XXVII


When my grandfather had, in the manner rehearsed, disposed of those
sisters of simplicity in the Kirkgate of Irvine, he returned back in the
afternoon to the Earl of Glencairn at Eglinton Castle to report what he
had done; and his Lordship again, in a most laudatory manner, commended
his prudence and singular mildness of nature, mentioning to the Earl and
Countess of Eglinton, then present with him, divers of the missions
wherein he had been employed, extolling his zeal, and above all his
piety. And the Lady Eglinton, who was a household character, striving,
with great frugality, to augment the substance of her Lord, by keeping
her maidens from morning to night eydent at work, some at their
broidering drums, and some at their distaffs, managing all within the
castle that pertained to her feminine part in a way most exemplary to
the ladies of her time and degree, indeed to ladies of all times and
degrees, promised my grandfather that when he was married, she would
give his wife something to help the plenishing of their house, for the
meek manner in which he had comported himself toward her friend, the
superior of the nuns. Then the Earl of Glencairn said,--

"Gilhaize, madam, is now his own master, and may choose a bride when it
pleases himself; for I have covenanted with my friend, your Lord, to let
him have the mailing of Quharist, in excambio for certain of the lands
of late pertaining to the abbacy of Kilwinning, the which lie more
within the vicinage of this castle; and, Gilhaize, here is my warrant to
take possession."

With which words the Earl rose and presented him with a charter for the
lands, signed by Eglinton and himself, and he shook him heartily by the
hand, saying, that few in all the kingdom had better earned the guerdon
of their service than he had done.

Thus it was that our family came to be settled in the shire of Ayr; for
after my grandfather had taken possession of his fee, and mindful of the
vow he had made in the street of Edinburgh on that blessed morning when
John Knox, the champion of the true church, arrived from Geneva, he went
into the east country to espouse Elspa Ruet, if he found her thereunto
inclined, which happily he soon did. For their spirits were in unison;
and from the time they first met, they had felt toward one another as if
they had been acquaint in loving-kindness before, which made him
sometimes say, that it was to him a proof and testimony that the souls
of mankind have, perhaps, a living knowledge of each other before they
are born into this world.

At their marriage, it was agreed that they should take with them into
the west Agnes Kilspinnie, one of the misfortunate bailie's daughters.
As for her mother, from the day of the overthrow and destruction of the
papistry at St Andrews, she had never been heard of; all the tidings her
sister could gather concerning her were, that the same night she had
been conveyed away by some of the Archbishop's servants, but whither no
one could tell. So they came with Agnes Kilspinnie to Edinburgh; and,
for a ploy to their sober wedding, they resolved to abide there till the
coming of Queen Mary from France, that they might partake of the shows
and pastimes then preparing for her reception. They, however, during the
season of their sojourn, feasted far better than on royal fare, in the
gospel banquet of John Knox's sermons, of which they enjoyed the
inexpressible beatitude three several Sabbath-days before the Queen
arrived.

Of the joyous preparations to greet Queen Mary withal neither my
grandfather nor grandmother were ever wont to discourse much at large,
for they were holy-minded persons, little esteeming the pageantries of
this world. But my aunt, for Agnes Kilspinnie being in progress of time
married to my father's fourth brother, became sib to me in that degree,
was wont to descant and enlarge on the theme with much wonderment and
loquacity, describing the marvellous fabrics that were to have been hung
with tapestry to hold the ladies, and the fountains that were to have
spouted wine, which nobody was to be allowed to taste, the same being
only for an ostentation, in order that the fact thereof might be
recorded in the chronicles for after-times. And great things have I
likewise heard her tell of the paraphernalia which the magistrates and
town-council were getting ready. No sleep, in a sense, she used to say,
did Maccalzean of Cliftonhall, who was then provost, get for more than a
fortnight. From night to morning the sagacious bailies sat in council,
exercising their sagacity to contrive devices to pleasure the Queen, and
to help the custom of their own and their neighbours' shops. Busy and
proud men they were, and no smaller were the worshipful deacons of the
crafts. It was just a surprise and consternation to everybody, to think
how their weak backs could bear such a burden of cares. No time had they
for their wonted jocosity. To those who would fain have speered the
news, they shook their heads in a Solomon-like manner, and hastened by.
And such a battle and tribulation as they had with their vassals, the
magistrates of Leith! who, in the most contumacious manner, insisted
that their chief bailie should be the first to welcome the Sovereign on
the shore. This pretence was thought little short of rebellion, and the
provost and the bailies, and all the wise men that sat in council with
them, together with the help of their learned assessors, continued
deliberating anent the same for hours together. It was a dreadful
business that for the town of Edinburgh. And the opinions of the judges
of the land, and the lords of the council, were taken, and many a device
tried to overcome the upsetting, as it was called, of the Leith
magistrates; but all was of no avail. And it was thought there would
have been a fight between the bailies of Leith and the bailies of
Edinburgh, and that blood would have been shed before this weighty
question, so important to the dearest interests of the commonweal of
Scotland, could be determined. But, in the midst of their contention,
and before their preparations were half finished, the Queen arrived in
Leith Roads; and the news came upon them like the cry to the foolish
virgins of the bridegroom in the street. Then they were seen flying to
their respective places of abode to dress themselves in their coats of
black velvet, their doublets of crimson satin, and their hose of the
same colour which they had prepared for the occasion. Anon they met in
the council-chamber--what confusion reigned there! Then how they flew
down the street! Provost Maccalzean, with the silver keys in his hand,
and the eldest bailie with the crimson-velvet cod, whereon they were to
be delivered to her Majesty, following as fast as any member of a city
corporation could be reasonably expected to do. But how the provost
fell, and how the bailies and town-council tumbled over him, and how the
crowd shouted at the sight, are things whereof to understand the
greatness it is needful that the courteous reader should have heard my
aunty Agnes herself rehearse the extraordinary particularities.

Meanwhile the Queen left her galley in a small boat, and the bailies of
Leith had scarcely time to reach the pier before she was on shore. Alas!
it was an ill-omened landing. Few were spectators, and none cheered the
solitary lady, who, as she looked around and heard no loyal greeting,
nor beheld any show of hospitable welcome, seemed to feel as if the
spirit of the land was sullen at her approach, and grudged at her return
to the dark abodes of her fierce ancestors. In all the way from Leith to
Holyrood she never spoke, but the tear was in her eye and the sigh in
her bosom; and though her people gathered when it was known she had
landed, and began at last to shout, it was owre late to prevent the
mournful forebodings, which taught her to expect but disappointments and
sorrows from subjects so torn with their own factions, as to lack even
the courtesies due to their sovereign, a stranger, and the fairest lady
of all her time.



CHAPTER XXVIII


Soon after Queen Mary's return from France, my grandfather, with his
wife and Agnes Kilspinnie, came from Edinburgh and took up their
residence on his own free mailing of Quharist, where the Lady Eglinton
was as good as her word in presenting to them divers articles of fine
napery, and sundry things of plenishing both for ornament and use; and
there he would have spent his days in blameless tranquillity, serving
the Lord, but for the new storm that began to gather over the church,
whereof it is needful that I should now proceed to tell some of the
circumstantials.

No sooner had that thoughtless Princess, if indeed one could be so
called, who, though reckless of all consequences, was yet double beyond
the imagination of man; no sooner, I say, had she found herself at home,
than, with all the craft and blandishments of her winning airs and
peerless beauty, she did set herself to seduce the Lords of the
Congregation from the sternness wherewith they had thrown down, and were
determined to resist, the restoration of the Roman idolatry; and with
some of them she succeeded so far, that the popish priests were
hearkened, and, knowing her avowed partiality for their sect, the Beast
began to shoot out its horns again, and they dared to perform the
abomination of the mass in different quarters of the kingdom.

It is, no doubt, true, that the Queen's council, by proclamation,
feigned to discountenance that resuscitation of idolatry; but the words
of their edict being backed by no demonstration of resolution, save in
the case of a few worthy gentlemen in the shire of Ayr and in Galloway,
who took up some of the offenders in their district and jurisdiction,
the evil continued to strike its roots, and to bud and nourish in its
pestiferous branches.

When my grandfather heard of these things, his spirit was exceedingly
moved, and he got no rest in the night, with the warsling of troubled
thoughts and pious fears. Some new call, he foresaw, would soon be made
on the protestants, to stand forth again in the gap that the Queen's
arts had sapped in the bulwarks of their religious liberty, and he
resolved to be ready against the hour of danger. So, taking his wife and
Agnes Kilspinnie with him, he went in the spring to Edinburgh, and hired
a lodging for them; and on the same night he presented himself at the
lodging of the Lord James Stuart, who had some time before been created
Earl of Murray; but the Earl was gone with the Queen to Loch Leven. Sir
Alexander Douglas, however, the master of his Lordship's horse, was then
on the eve of following him with John Knox, to whom the Queen had sent a
peremptory message, requiring his attendance; and Sir Alexander invited
my grandfather to come with them; the which invitation he very joyfully
accepted, on account of the happy occasion of travelling in the
sanctified company of that brave worthy.

In the journey, however, save in the boat when they crossed the ferry,
he showed but little of his precious conversation; for the knight and
the Reformer rode on together some short distance before their train,
earnestly discoursing, and seemingly they wished not to be overheard.
But when they were all seated in the ferry-boat, the ardour of the
preacher, which on no occasion would be reined in, led him to continue
speaking, by which it would seem that they had been conversing anent the
Queen's prejudices in matters of religion and the royal authority.

"When I last spoke with her Highness," said John Knox, "she laid sore to
my charge, that I had brought the people to receive a religion different
from what their princes allowed, asking sharply, if this was not
contrary to the Divine command, which enjoins that subjects should obey
their rulers; so that I was obliged to contend plainly, that true
religion derived its origin and authority, not from princes, but from
God; that princes were often most ignorant respecting it, and that
subjects never could be bound to frame their religious sentiments
according to the pleasure of their rulers, else the Hebrews ought to
have conformed to the idolatry of Pharaoh, and Daniel and his associates
to that of Nebuchadnezzar, and the primitive Christians to that of the
Roman emperors."

"And what could her Highness answer to this?" said Sir Alexander.

"She lacketh not the gift of a shrewd and ready wit," replied Master
Knox; for she nimbly remarked, "That though it was as I had said, yet
none of those men raised the sword against their princes;"--which
enforced me to be more subtle than I was minded to have been, and to
say, "that nevertheless, they did resist, for those who obey not the
commandments given them, do in verity resist." "Ay," cried her Highness,
"but not with the sword," which was a thrust not easy to be turned
aside, so that I was constrained to speak out, saying, "God, madam, had
not given them the means and the power." Then said she, still more
eagerly, "Think you that subjects, having the power, may resist their
princes?" And she looked with a triumphant smile, as if she had caught
me in a trap; but I replied, "If princes exceed their bounds, no doubt
they may be resisted, even by power. For no greater honour or greater
obedience is to be given to kings and princes than God has commanded to
be given to father or mother. But the father may be struck with a
frenzy, in which he would slay his children; in such a case, if the
children arise, join together, apprehend the father, take the sword from
him, bind his hands and keep him in prison till the frenzy be over,
think you, madam," quo' I, "that the children do any wrong? Even so is
it with princes that would slay the children of God that are subject to
them. Their blind zeal is nothing but frenzy, and therefore to take the
power from them till they be brought to a more sober mind, is no
disobedience to princes, but a just accordance to the will of God. So I
doubt not," continued the Reformer, "I shall again have to sustain the
keen encounter of her Highness' wit in some new controversy."

This was the chief substance of what my grandfather heard pass in the
boat; and when they were again mounted, the knight and preacher set
forward as before, some twenty paces or so in advance of the retinue.

On reaching Kinross, Master Knox rode straight to the shore, and went
off in the Queen's barge to the castle, that he might present himself to
her Highness before supper, for by this time the sun was far down. In
the meantime, my grandfather went to the house in Kinross where the Earl
of Murray resided, and his Lordship, though albeit a grave and reserved
man, received him with the familiar kindness of an old friend, and he
was with him when the Reformer came back from the Queen, who had dealt
very earnestly with him to persuade the gentlemen of the west country to
desist from their interruption of the popish worship.

"But to this," said the Reformer to the Earl, "I was obligated, by
conscience and the fear of God, to say, that if her Majesty would exert
her authority in executing the laws of the land, I would undertake for
the peaceable behaviour of the protestants; but if she thought to evade
them, there were some who would not let the papists offend with
impunity."

"Will you allow," exclaimed her Highness, "that they shall take my sword
in their hands?"

"The sword of justice is God's," I replied, "and is given to princes
and rulers for an end, which if they transgress, sparing the wicked and
oppressing the innocent, they who in the fear of God execute judgment
where God has commanded, offend not God, although kings do it not. The
gentlemen of the west, madam, are acting strictly according to law; for
the act of parliament gave power to all judges within their jurisdiction
to search for and punish those who transgress its enactments;" and I
added, "it shall be profitable to your Majesty to consider what is the
thing your Grace's subjects look to receive of your Majesty, and what it
is that ye ought to do unto them by mutual contract. They are bound to
obey you, and that not but in God; ye are bound to keep laws to them--ye
crave of them service, they crave of you protection and defence. Now,
madam, if you shall deny your duty unto them (which especially craves
that ye punish malefactors), can ye expect to receive full obedience of
them? I fear, madam, ye shall not."

"You have indeed been plain with her Highness," said the Earl,
thoughtfully; "and what reply made she?"

"None," said the Reformer; "her countenance changed; she turned her head
abruptly from me, and, without the courtesy of a good-night, signified
with an angry waving of her hand, that she desired to be rid of my
presence; whereupon I immediately retired, and, please God, I shall,
betimes in the morning, return to my duties at Edinburgh. It is with a
sad heart, my Lord, that I am compelled to think, and to say to you, who
stand so near to her in kin and affection, that I doubt she is not only
proud but crafty; not only wedded to the popish faith, but averse to
instruction. She neither is nor will be of our opinion; and it is plain
that the lessons of her uncle, the Cardinal, are so deeply printed in
her heart, that the substance and quality will perish together. I would
be glad to be deceived in this, but I fear I shall not; never have I
espied such art in one so young; and it will need all the eyes of the
Reformed to watch and ward that she circumvent not the strong hold in
Christ, that has been but so lately restored and fortified in this
misfortunate kingdom."

Nothing farther passed that night; but the servants being called in, and
the preacher having exhorted them in their duties, and prayed with even
more than his wonted earnestness, each one retired to his chamber, and
the Earl gave orders for horses to be ready early in the morning, to
convey Master Knox back to Edinburgh. This, however, was not permitted;
for by break of day a messenger came from the castle, desiring him not
to depart until he had again spoken with her Majesty; adding, that as
she meant to land by sunrise with her falconer, she would meet him on
the fields where she intended to take her pastime, and talk with him
there.



CHAPTER XXIX


In the morning, all those who were in the house with the Earl of Murray
and John Knox were early afoot, and after prayers had been said, they
went out to meet the Queen at her place of landing from the castle,
which stands on an islet at some distance from the shore; but, before
they reached the spot, she was already mounted on her jennet and the
hawks unhooded, so that they were obligated to follow her Highness to
the ground, the Reformer leaning on the Earl, who proffered him his left
arm as they walked up the steep bank together from the brim of the lake.

The Queen was on the upland when they drew near to the field, and on
seeing them approach she came ambling towards them, moving in her
beauty, as my grandfather often delighted to say, like a fair rose
caressed by the soft gales of the summer. A smile was in her eye, and it
brightened on her countenance like the beam of something more lovely
than light; the glow, as it were, of a spirit conscious of its power,
and which had graced itself with all its enchantments to conquer some
stubborn heart. Even the Earl of Murray was struck with the unwonted
splendour of her that was ever deemed so surpassing fair; and John Knox
said, with a sigh, "THE MAKER had indeed taken gracious pains with the
goodly fashion of such perishable clay."

When she had come within a few paces of where they were advancing
uncovered, she suddenly checked her jennet, and made him dance proudly
round till she was nigh to John Knox, where, seeming in alarm, she
feigned as if she would have slipped from the saddle, laying her hand
on his shoulder for support; and while he, with more gallantry than it
was thought in him, helped her to recover her seat, she said, with a
ravishing look, "The Queen thanks you, Master Knox, for this upholding,"
dwelling on the word this in a special manner; which my grandfather
noticed the more, as he as well as others of the retinue observed, that
she was playing as it were in dalliance.

She then inquired kindly for his health, grieving she had not given
orders for him to bed in the castle; and turning to the Earl of Murray,
she chided his Lordship with a gentleness that was more winning than
praise, why he had not come to her with Master Knox, saying, "We should
then perhaps have not been so sharp in our controversy." But, before the
Earl had time to make answer, she noticed divers gentlemen by name, and
taking off her glove, made a most sweet salutation with her lily hand to
the general concourse of those who had by this time gathered around.

In that gracious gesture, it was plain, my grandfather said, that she
was still scattering her feminine spells; for she kept her hand for some
time bare, and though enjoying the pleasure which her beautiful presence
diffused, like a delicious warmth into the air, she was evidently
self-collected, and had something more in mind than only the triumph of
her marvellous beauty.

Having turned her horse's head, she moved him a few paces, saying,
"Master Knox, I would speak with you." At which he went towards her, and
the rest of the spectators retired and stood aloof.

They appeared for some time to be in an easy and somewhat gay discourse
on her part; but she grew more and more earnest, till Mr Knox made his
reverence and was coming away, when she said to him aloud, "Well, do as
you will, but that man is a dangerous man."

Their discourse was concerning the titular Bishop of Athens, a brother
of the Earl of Huntly, who had been put in nomination for a
superintendent of the church in the West Country, and of whose bad
character her Highness, as it afterwards proved, had received a just
account.

But scarcely had the Reformer retired two steps when she called him
back, and holding out to him her hand, with which, when he approached to
do his homage, she familiarly took hold of his and held it, playing with
his fingers as if she had been placing on a ring, saying, loud enough
to be heard by many on the field,--

"I have one of the greatest matters that have touched me since I came
into this realm to open to you, and I must have your help in it."

Then, still holding him earnestly by the hand, she entered into a long
discourse concerning, as he afterwards told the Earl of Murray, a
difference subsisting between the Earl and Countess of Argyle.

"Her Ladyship," said the Queen, for my grandfather heard him repeat what
passed, "has not perhaps been so circumspect in everything as one could
have wished, but her lord has dealt harshly with her."

Master Knox having once before reconciled the debates of that honourable
couple, told her Highness he had done so, and that not having since
heard anything to the contrary, he had hoped all things went well with
them.

"It is worse," replied the Queen, "than ye believe. But, kind sir, do
this much for my sake, as once again to put them at amity, and if the
Countess behave not herself as she ought to do, she shall find no favour
of me; but in no wise let Argyle know that I have requested you in this
matter."

Then she returned to the subject of their contest the preceding evening,
and said, with her sweetest looks and most musical accents, "I promise
to do as ye required. I shall order all offenders to be summoned, and
you shall see that I shall minister justice."

To which he replied, "I am assured then, madam, that you shall please
God, and enjoy rest and tranquillity within your realm, which to your
Majesty is more profitable than all the Pope's power can be." And having
said this much he made his reverence, evidently in great pleasure with
her Highness.

Afterwards, in speaking to the Earl of Murray, as they returned to
Kinross, my grandfather noted that he employed many terms of soft
courtliness, saying of her that she was a lady who might, he thought,
with a little pains, be won to grace and godliness, could she be
preserved from the taint of evil counsellors; so much had the winning
sorceries of her exceeding beauty and her blandishments worked even upon
his stern honesty and enchanted his jealousy asleep.

When Master Knox had, with the Earl, partaken of some repast, he
requested that he might be conveyed back to Edinburgh, for that it
suited not with his nature to remain sorning about the skirts of the
court; and his Lordship bade my grandfather be of his company, and to
bid Sir Alexander Douglas, the master of his horse, choose for him the
gentlest steed in his stable.

But it happened before the Reformer was ready to depart, that Queen Mary
had finished her morning pastime, and was returning to her barge to
embark for the castle, which the Earl hearing, went down to the brim of
the loch to assist at her embarkation. My grandfather, with others, also
hastened to the spot.

On seeing his Lordship, she inquired for "her friend," as she then
called John Knox, and signified her regret that he had been so list to
leave her, expressing her surprise that one so infirm should think so
soon of a second journey; whereby the good Earl being minded to cement
their happy reconciliation, from which he augured a great increase of
benefits both to the realm and the cause of religion, was led to speak
of his concern thereat likewise, and of his sorrow that all his own
horses at Kinross being for the chase and road, he had none well-fitting
to carry a person so aged, and but little used to the toil of riding.

Her Highness smiled at the hidden counselling of this remark, for she
was possessed of a sharp spirit; and she said, with a look which told
the Earl and all about her that she discerned the pith of his Lordship's
discourse, she would order one of her own palfreys to be forthwith
prepared for him.

When the Earl returned from the shore and informed Master Knox of the
Queen's gracious condescension, he made no reply, but bowed his head in
token of his sense of her kindness; and soon after, when the palfrey was
brought saddled with the other horses to the door, he said, in my
grandfather's hearing, to his Lordship, "It needs, you see, my Lord,
must be so; for were I not to accept this grace, it might be thought I
refused from a vain bravery of caring nothing for her Majesty's favour;"
and he added, with a smile of jocularity, "whereas I am right well
content to receive the very smallest boon from so fair and blooming a
lady."

Nothing of any particularity occurred in the course of the journey; for
the main part of which Master Knox was thoughtful and knit up in his own
cogitations, and when from time to time he did enter into discourse with
my grandfather, he spoke chiefly of certain usages and customs that he
had observed in other lands, and of things of indifferent import; but
nevertheless there was a flavour of holiness in all he said, and my
grandfather treasured many of his sweet sentences as pearls of great
price.



CHAPTER XXX


Before the occurrence of the things spoken of in the foregoing chapter,
the great Earl of Glencairn, my grandfather's first and constant patron,
had been dead some time; but his son and successor, who knew the
estimation in which he had been held by his father, being then in
Edinburgh, allowed him, in consideration thereof, the privilege of his
hall. It suited not, however, with my grandfather's quiet and sanctified
nature to mingle much with the brawlers that used to hover there;
nevertheless, out of a respect to the Earl's hospitality, he did
occasionally go thither, and where, if he heard little to edify the
Christian heart, he learnt divers things anent the Queen and court that
made his fears and anxieties wax stronger and stronger.

It seemed to him, as he often was heard to say, that there was a better
knowledge of Queen Mary's true character and secret partialities among
those loose varlets than among their masters; and her marriage being
then in the parlance of the people, and much dread and fear rife with
the protestants that she would choose a papist for her husband, he was
surprised to hear many of the lewd knaves in Glencairn's hall speak
lightly of the respect she would have to the faith or spirituality of
the man she might prefer.

Among those wuddy worthies he fell in with his ancient adversary
Winterton, who, instead of harbouring any resentment for the trick he
played him in the Lord Boyd's castle, was rejoiced to see him again: he
himself was then in the service of David Rizzio, the fiddler, whom the
Queen some short time before had taken into her particular service.

This Rizzio was by birth an Italian of very low degree; a man of
crouched stature, and of an uncomely physiognomy, being yellow-skinned
and black-haired, with a beak-nose, and little quick eyes of a free and
familiar glance, but shrewd withal, and possessed of a pleasant way of
winning facetiously on the ladies, to the which his singular skill in
all manner of melodious music helped not a little; so that he had great
sway with them, and was then winning himself fast into the Queen's
favour, in which ambition, besides the natural instigations of his own
vanity, he was spirited on by certain powerful personages of the
papistical faction, who soon saw the great efficacy it would be of to
their cause, to have one who owed his rise to them constantly about the
Queen, and in the depths of all her personal correspondence with her
great friends abroad. But the subtle Italian, though still true to his
papal breeding, built upon the Queen's partiality more than on the
favour of those proud nobles, and, about the time of which I am now
speaking, he carried his head at court as bravely as the boldest baron
amongst them. Still in this he had as yet done nothing greatly to
offend. The protestant Lords, however, independent of their aversion to
him on account his religion, felt, in common with all the nobility, a
vehement prejudice against an alien, one too of base blood, and they
openly manifested their displeasure at seeing him so gorgeous and
presuming even in the public presence of the Queen, but he regarded not
their anger.

In this fey man's service Winterton then was, and my grandfather never
doubted that it was for no good he came so often to the Earl of
Glencairn's, who, though not a man of the same weight in the realm as
the old Earl his father, was yet held in much esteem, as a sincere
protestant and true nobleman, by all the friends of the Gospel cause;
and, in the sequel, what my grandfather jealoused was soon very plainly
seen. For Rizzio learning, through Winterton's espionage and that of
other emissaries, how little the people of Scotland would relish a
foreign prince to be set over them, had a hand in dissuading the Queen
from accepting any of the matches then proposed for her; and the better
to make his own power the more sicker, he afterwards laid snares in the
water to bring about a marriage with that weak young prince, the Lord
Henry Darnley. But it falls not within the scope of my narrative to
enter into any more particulars here concerning that Italian, and the
tragical doom which, with the Queen's imprudence, he brought upon
himself; for, after spending some weeks in Edinburgh, and in visiting
their friends at Crail, my grandfather returned with his wife and Agnes
Kilspinnie to Quharist, where he continued to reside several years, but
not in tranquillity.

Hardly had they reached their home, when word came of quarrels among the
nobility; and though the same sprung out of secular debates, they had
much of the leaven of religious faction in their causes, the which
greatly exasperated the enmity wherewith they were carried on. But even
in the good Earl of Murray's raid, there was nothing which called on my
grandfather to bear a part. Nevertheless, those quarrels disquieted his
soul, and he heard the sough of discontents rising afar off, like the
roar of the bars of Ayr when they betoken a coming tempest.

After the departure of the Earl of Murray to France, there was a syncope
in the land, and men's minds were filled with wonder and with
apprehensions to which they could give no name; neighbours distrusted
one another: the papists looked out from their secret places, and were
saluted with a fear that wore the semblance of reverence. The Queen
married Darnley, and discreet men marvelled at the rashness with which
the match was concluded, there being seemingly no cause for such
uncomely haste, nor for the lavish favours that she heaped upon him. It
was viewed with awe, as a thing done under the impulses of fraud, or
fainness, or fatality. Nor was their wedding-cheer cold when her eager
love changed into aversion. Then the spirit of the times, which had long
hovered in willingness to be pleased with her intentions, began to alter
its breathings, and to whisper darkly against her. At last the murder of
Rizzio, a deed which, though in the main satisfactory to the nation, was
yet so foul and cruel in the perpetration, that the tidings of it came
like a thunder-clap over all the kingdom.

The birth of Prince James, which soon after followed, gave no joy; for
about the same time a low and terrible whispering began to be heard of
some hideous and universal conspiracy against all the protestants
throughout Europe. None ventured to say that Queen Mary was joined with
the conspirators; but many preachers openly prayed that she might be
preserved from their leagues in a way that showed what they feared;
besides this suspicion, mournful things were told of her behaviour, and
the immoralities of her courtiers and their trains rose to such a pitch,
compared with the chastity and plain manners of her mother's court, that
the whole land was vexed with angry thoughts, and echoed to the rumours
with stern menaces.

No one was more disturbed by these things than my pious grandfather; and
the apprehensions which they caused in him came to such a head at last,
that his wife, becoming fearful of his health, advised him to take a
journey to Edinburgh, in order that he might hear and see with his own
ears and eyes; which he accordingly did, and on his arrival went
straight to the Earl of Glencairn, and begged permission to take on
again his livery, chiefly that he might pass unnoticed, and not be
remarked as having neither calling nor vocation. That nobleman was
surprised with his request; but, without asking any questions, gave him
leave, and again invited him to use the freedom of his hall; so he
continued as one of his retainers till the Earl of Murray's return from
France. But, before speaking of what then ensued, there are some things
concerning the murder of the the Queen's protestant husband--the
blackest of the sins of that age--of which, in so far as my grandfather
participated, it is meet and proper I should previously speak.



CHAPTER XXXI


While the cloud of troubles, whereof I have spoken in the foregoing
chapter was thickening and darkening over the land, the event of the
King's dreadful death came to pass; the which, though in its birth most
foul and monstrous, filling the hearts of all men with consternation and
horror, was yet a mean in the hands of Providence, as shall hereafter
appear, whereby the kingdom of THE LORD was established in Scotland.

Concerning that fearful treason, my grandfather never spoke without
taking off his bonnet, and praying inwardly with such solemnity of
countenance that none could behold him unmoved. Of all the remarkable
passages of his long life it was indeed the most remarkable; and he has
been heard to say that he could not well acquit himself of the actual
sin of disobedience in not obeying an admonition of the Spirit which was
vouchsafed to him on that occasion.

For some time there had been a great variance between the King and
Queen. He had given himself over to loose and low companions; and though
she kept her state and pride, ill was said of her, if in her walk and
conversation she was more sensible of her high dignity. All at once,
however, when he was lying ill at Glasgow of a malady, which many
scrupled not to say was engendered by a malignant medicine, there was a
singular demonstration of returning affection on her part, the more
remarkable and the more heeded of the commonality, on account of its
suddenness, and the events that ensued; for while he was at the worst
she minded not his condition, but took her delights and pastimes in
divers parts of the country. No sooner, however, had his strength
overcome the disease, than she was seized with this fond sympathy, and
came flying with her endearments, seemingly to foster his recovery with
caresses and love. The which excessive affection was afterwards ascribed
to a guilty hypocrisy; for in the sequel it came to light that, while
she was practising all those winning blandishments, which few knew the
art of better, and with which she regained his confidence, she was at
the same time engaged in unconjugal correspondence with the Earl of
Bothwell. The King, however, was won by her kindness, and consented to
be removed from among the friends of his family at Glasgow to Edinburgh,
in order that he might there enjoy the benefits of her soft cares and
the salutary attendance of the physicians of the capital. The house of
the provost of Kirk o' Field, which stood not far from the spot where
the buildings of the college now stand, was accordingly prepared for his
reception, on account of the advantages which it afforded for the free
and open air of a rising ground; but it was also a solitary place--a fit
haunt for midnight conspirators and the dark purposes of mysterious
crime.

There, for some time, the Queen lavished upon him all the endearing
gentleness of a true and loving wife, being seldom absent by day, and
sleeping near his sick-chamber at night. The land was blithened with
such assurances of their reconciliation; and the King himself, with the
frank ardour of flattered youth, was contrite for his faults, and
promised her the fondest devotion of all his future days. In this sweet
cordiality, on Sunday, the 9th of February, A.D. 1567, she parted from
him to be present at a masquing in the palace; for the Reformation had
not so penetrated into the habits and business of men as to hallow the
Sabbath in the way it has since done amongst us. But before proceeding
farther, it is proper to resume the thread of my grandfather's story.

He had passed that evening, as he was wont to tell, in pleasant gospel
conversation with several acquaintances in the house of one Raphael
Doquet, a pious lawyer in the Canongate; for even many writers in those
days were smitten with the love of godliness; and as he was returning to
his dry lodgings in an entry now called Baron Grant's Close, he
encountered Winterton, who, after an end had been put to David Rizzio,
became a retainer in the riotous household of the Earl of Bothwell. This
happened a short way aboon the Netherbow, and my grandfather stopped to
speak with him; but there was a haste and confusion in his manner which
made him rather eschew this civility. My grandfather at the time,
however, did not much remark it; but scarcely had they parted ten paces
when a sudden jealousy of some unknown guilt or danger, wherein
Winterton was concerned, came into his mind like a flash of fire, and he
felt as it were an invisible power constraining him to dog his steps, in
so much that he actually did turn back. But on reaching the Bow he was
obligated to stop, for the ward was changing; and observing that the
soldiers then posting were of the Queen's French guard, his thoughts
began to run on the rumour that was bruited of a league among the papist
princes to cut off all the Reformed with one universal sweep of the
scythe of persecution, and he felt himself moved and incited to go to
some of the Lords and leaders of the Congregation to warn them of what
he feared; but, considering that he had only a vague and unaccountable
suspicion for his thought, he wavered, and finally returned home. Thus,
though manifestly and marvellously instructed of the fruition of some
bloody business in hand that night, he was yet overruled by the wisdom
which is of this world to suppress and refuse obedience to the
promptings of the inspiration.

On reaching his chamber, he unbuckled his belt, as his custom was, and
laid down his sword and began to undress, when again the same alarm
from on high fell upon him, and the same warning spirit whispered to his
mind's ear unspeakable intimations of dreadful things. Fear came upon
him and trembling, which made all his bones to shake, and he lifted his
sword and again buckled on his belt. But again the prudence of this
world prevailed, and, heeding not the admonition to warn the Lords of
the Congregation, he threw himself on his bed, without, however,
unbuckling his sword, and in that condition fell asleep. But though his
senses were shut, his mind continued awake, and he had fearful visions
of bloody hands and glimmering daggers gleaming over him from behind his
curtains, till in terror he started up, gasping like one that had
struggled with a stronger than himself.

When he had in some degree composed his thoughts, he went to the window
and opened it, to see by the stars how far the night had passed. The
window overlooked the North Loch and the swelling bank beyond, and the
distant frith and the hills of Fife. The skies were calm and clear, and
the air was tempered with a bright frost. The stars in their courses
were reflected in the still waters of the North Loch, as if there had
been an opening through the earth showing the other concave of the
spangled firmament. But the dark outline of the swelling bank on the
northern side was like the awful corpse of some mighty thing prepared
for interment.

As my grandfather stood in contemplation at the window, he heard the
occasional churme of discourse from passengers still abroad, and now and
then the braggart flourish of a trumpet resounded from the royal
masquing at the palace,--breaking upon the holiness of the night with
the harsh dissonance of a discord in some solemn harmony.--And as he was
meditating on many things, and grieving in spirit at the dark fate of
poor Scotland, and the woes with which the children of salvation were
environed, he was startled by the apparition of a great blaze in the
air, which for a moment lighted up all the land with a wild and fiery
light, and he beheld in the glass of the North Loch, reflected from
behind the shadow of the city, a tremendous eruption of burning beams
and rafters burst into the sky, while a horrible crash, as if the
chariots of destruction were themselves breaking down, shook the town
like an earthquake.

He was for an instant astounded; but soon roused by the clangour of an
alarm from the castle; and while a cry rose from all the city, as if the
last trumpet itself was sounding, he rushed into the street, where the
inhabitants, as they had flown from their beds, were running in
consternation like the sheeted dead startled from their graves. Drums
beat to arms;--the bells rang;--some cried the wild cry of fire, and
there was wailing and weeping, and many stood dumb with horror, and
could give no answer to the universal question.--"God of the heavens,
what is this?" Presently a voice was heard crying, "The King, the King!"
and all, as if moved by one spirit, replied, "The King, the King!" Then
for a moment there was a silence stiller than the midnight hour, and
drum, nor bell, nor voice was heard, but a rushing of the multitude
towards St Mary's Port, which leads to the Kirk o' Field.

Among others, my grandfather hastened to the spot by Todrick's Wynd; and
as he was running down towards the postern gate, he came with great
violence against a man who was struggling up through the torrent of the
people, without cap or cloak, and seemingly maddened with terrors. Urged
by some strong instinct, my grandfather grasped him by the throat; for,
by the glimpse of the lights that were then placing at every window, he
saw it was Winterton. But a swirl of the crowd tore them asunder, and he
had only time to cry, "It's ane of Bothwell's men."

The people caught the Earl's name; but instead of seizing the fugitive,
they repeated, "Bothwell, Bothwell, he's the traitor!" and pressed more
eagerly on to the ruins of the house, which were still burning. The
walls were rent, and in many places thrown down; the west gable was
blown clean away, and the very ground, on the side where the King's
chamber had been, was torn as with a hundred ploughshares. Certain trees
that grew hard by were cleft and riven as with a thunderbolt, and stones
were sticking in their timber like wedges and the shot of cannon.

It was thought, that in such a sudden blast of desolation, nothing in
the house could have withstood the shock, but that all therein must have
been shivered to atoms. When, however, the day began to dawn, it was
seen that many things had escaped unblemished by the fire; and the
King's body, with that of the servant who watched in his chamber, was
found in a neighbouring garden, without having suffered any material
change,--the which caused the greater marvelling; for it thereby
appeared that they were the only sufferers in that dark treason, making
the truth plain before the people, that the contrivance and firing
thereof was concerted and brought to maturity by some in authority with
the Queen,--and who that was the people answered by crying as the royal
corpse was carried to the palace, "Bothwell, Lord Bothwell, he is the
traitor!"



CHAPTER XXXII


All the next day, and for many days after, consternation reigned in the
streets of the city, and horror sat shuddering in all her
dwelling-places. Multitudes stood in amazement from morning to night
around the palace; for the Earl of Bothwell was within, and still
honoured with all the homages due to the greatest public trusts. Ever
and anon a cry was heard, "Bothwell is the murderer!" and the multitude
shouted, "Justice, justice!" But their cry was not heard.

Night after night the trembling citizens watched with candles at their
casements, dreading some yet greater alarm; and in the stillness of the
midnight hour a voice was heard crying, "The Queen and Bothwell are the
murderers!" and another voice replied, "Vengeance, vengeance!--Blood for
blood!"

Every morning on the walls of the houses writings were seen, demanding
the punishment of the regicides--and the Queen's name, and the name of
Bothwell, and the names of many more, with the Archbishop of St Andrews
at their head, were emblazoned on all sides as the names of the
regicides. But Bothwell, with the resolute bravery of guilt in the
confidence of power, heeded not the cry that thus mounted continually
against him to Heaven, and the Queen feigned a widow's sorrow.

The whole realm was as when the ark of the covenant of the Lord was
removed from Israel and captive in the hands of the Philistines. The
injured sought not the redress of their wrongs; even the guilty were
afraid of one another, and by the very cowardice of their distrust were
prevented from banding at a time when they might have rioted at will.
What aggravated these portents of a kingdom falling asunder, was the
mockery of law and justice which the court attempted. Those who were
accused of the King's death ruled the royal councils, and were greatest
in the Queen's favour. The Earl of Bothwell dictated the very
proceedings by which he was himself to be brought to trial,--and when
the day of trial arrived, he came with the pomp and retinue of a
victorious conqueror--to be acquitted.

But acquitted, as the guilty ever needs must be whom no one dares to
accuse, nor any witness hazards to appear against, his acquittal served
but to prove his guilt, and the forms thereof the murderous
participation of the Queen. Thus, though he was assoilzied in form of
law, the libel against him was nevertheless found proven by the
universal verdict of all men. Yet, in despite of the world, and even of
the conviction recorded within their own bosoms, did the infatuated Mary
and that dreadless traitor, in little more than three months from the
era of their crime, rush into an adulterous marriage; but of the
infamies concerning the same, and of the humiliated state to which poor
Scotland sank in consequence, I must refer the courteous reader to the
histories and chronicles of the time--while I return to the narrative of
my grandfather.

When the Earl of Bothwell, as I have been told by those who heard him
speak of these deplorable blots on the Scottish name, had been created
Duke of Orkney, the people daily expected the marriage. But instead of
the ordinary ceremonials used at the marriages of former kings and
princes, the Queen and all about her, as if they had been smitten from
on high with some manifest and strange phrenzy, resolved, as it were in
derision and blasphemy, notwithstanding her own and the notour popery of
the Duke, to celebrate their union according to the strictest forms of
the protestants; and John Knox being at the time in the West Country,
his colleague, Master Craig, was ordered by the Queen in council to
publish the bans three several Sabbaths in St Giles' kirk.

On the morning of the first appointed day my grandfather went thither; a
vast concourse of the people were assembled, and the worthy minister,
when he rose in the pulpit with the paper in his hand, trembled and was
pale, and for some time unable to speak; at last he read the names and
purpose of marriage aloud, and he paused when he had done so, and an
awful solemnity froze the very spirits of the congregation. He then laid
down the paper on the pulpit, and lifting his hands and raising his
eyes, cried with a vehement sadness of voice,--"Lord God of the pure
heavens, and all ye of the earth that hear me, I protest, as a minister
of the gospel, my abhorrence and detestation of this hideous and
adulterous sin; and I call all the nobility and all of the Queen's
council to remonstrate with her Majesty against a step that must cover
her with infamy for ever and ruin past all remede." Three days did he
thus publish the bans, and thrice in that manner did he boldly proclaim
his protestation; for which he was called before the privy council,
where the guilty Bothwell was sitting; and being charged with having
exceeded the bounds of his commission, he replied with an apostolic
bravery,--

"My commission is from the word of God, good laws, and natural reason,
to all which this proposed marriage is obnoxious. The Earl of Bothwell,
there where he sits, knows that he is an adulterer,--the divorce that he
has procured from his wife has been by collusion,--and he knows likewise
that he has murdered the king and guiltily possessed himself of the
Queen's person."

Yet, notwithstanding, Mr Craig was suffered to depart, even unmolested
by the astonished and overawed Bothwell; but, as I have said, the
marriage was still celebrated; and it was the last great crime of
papistical device that the Lord suffered to see done within the bounds
of Scotland. For the same night letters were sent to the Earl of Murray
from divers of the nobility, entreating him to return forthwith; and my
grandfather, at the incitement of the Earl of Argyle, was secretly sent
by his patron Glencairn to beg the friends of the state and the lawful
prince, the son whom the Queen had born to her murdered husband, to meet
without delay at Stirling.

Accordingly, with the flower of their vassals and retainers, besides
Argyle and Glencairn, came many of the nobles; and having protested
their detestation of the conduct of the Queen, they entered into a
Solemn League and Covenant, wherein they rehearsed, as causes for their
confederating against the misrule with which the kingdom was so humbled,
that the Scottish people were abhorred and vilipendit amongst all
Christian nations; declaring that they would never desist till they had
revenged the foul murder of the King, rescued the Queen from her
thraldom to the Earl of Bothwell, and dissolved her ignominious
marriage.

The Queen and her regicide, for he could not be called her husband, were
panic-struck when they heard of this avenging paction. She issued a bold
proclamation, calling on her insulted subjects to take arms in her
defence, and she published manifestoes, all lies. She fled with Bothwell
from Edinburgh to the castle of Borthwick; but scarcely were they within
the gates when the sough of the rising storm obliged him to leave her,
and the same night, in the disguise of man's apparel, the Queen of all
Scotland was seen flying, friendless and bewildered, to her sentenced
paramour.

The covenanting nobles in the meantime were mustering their clans and
their vassals; and the Earls of Morton and Athol having brought the
instrument of the League to Edinburgh, the magistrates and town-council
signed the same, and, taking the oaths, issued instanter orders for the
burghers to prepare themselves with arms and banners, and to man the
city walls. The whole kingdom rung with the sound of warlike
preparations, and the ancient valour of the Scottish heart was blithened
with the hope of erasing the stains that a wicked government had brought
upon the honour of the land.

Meanwhile the regicide and the Queen drew together what forces his power
could command and her promises allure, and they advanced from Dunbar to
Carberry Hill, where they encamped. The army of the Covenanters at the
same time left Edinburgh to meet them. Mary appeared at the head of her
troops; but they felt themselves engaged in a bad cause, and refused to
fight. She exhorted them with all the pith of her eloquence;--she wept,
she implored, she threatened, and she reproached them with cowardice,
but still they stood sullen.

To retreat in the face of an enemy who had already surrounded the hill
on which she stood was impracticable. In this extremity she called with
a voice of despair for Kirkcaldy of Grange, a brave man, whom she saw
at the head of the cavalry by whom she was surrounded, and he having
halted his horse and procured leave from his leaders, advanced toward
her. Bothwell, with a few followers, during the interval, quitted the
field; and, as soon as Kirkcaldy came up, she surrendered herself to
him, and was conducted by him to the headquarters of the Covenanters, by
whom she was received with all the wonted testimonials of respect, and
was assured, if she forsook Bothwell and governed her kingdom with
honest councils, they would honour and obey her as their sovereign. But
the common soldiers overwhelmed her with reproaches, and on the march
back to Edinburgh poured upon her the most opprobrious names.

"Never was such a sight seen," my grandfather often said, "as the return
of that abject Princess to her capital. On the banner of the League was
depicted the corpse of the murdered king, her husband, lying under a
tree, with the young prince, his son, kneeling before it, and the motto
was, 'Judge and revenge my cause, O Lord.' The standard-bearer rode with
it immediately before the horse on which she sat weeping and wild, and
covered with dust, and as often as she raised her distracted eye the
apparition of the murder in the flag fluttered in her face. In vain she
supplicated pity--yells and howls were all the answers she received, and
volleys of execrations came from the populace, with Burn her, burn her,
bloody murderess! Let her not live!"

In that condition she was conducted to the provost's house, into which
she was assisted to alight, more dead than alive, and next morning she
was conveyed a prisoner to Lochleven Castle, where she was soon after
compelled to resign the crown to her son, and the regency to the Earl of
Murray, by whose great wisdom the Reformation was established in truth
and holiness throughout the kingdom--though for a season it was again
menaced when Mary effected her escape, and dared the cause of the Lord
to battle at Langside. But of that great day of victory it becomes not
me to speak, for it hath received the blazon of many an abler pen; it is
enough to mention, that my grandfather was there, and after the battle
that he returned with the army to Glasgow, and was present at the
thanksgiving. The same night he paid his last respects to the Earl of
Murray, who permitted him to take away, as a trophy and memorial, the
gloves which his Lordship had worn that day in the field; and they have
ever since been sacredly preserved at Quharist, where they may be still
seen. They are of York buff; the palm of the one for the right hand is
still blue with the mark of the sword's hilt, and the fore-finger stool
is stained with the ink of a letter which the Earl wrote on the field to
Argyle, who had joined the Queen's faction; the which letter, it has
been thought, caused the swithering of that nobleman in the hour of the
onset, by which Providence gave the Regent the victory--a conquest which
established the Gospel in his native land for ever.



CHAPTER XXXIII


After the battle of Langside, many of the nobles and great personages of
the realm grew jealous of the good Regent Murray, and, by their own
demeanour, caused him to put on towards them a reserve and coldness of
deportment, which they construed as their feelings and fancies led them,
much to his disadvantage; for he was too proud to court the good-will
that he thought was his due. But to all people of a lower degree, like
those in my grandfather's station, he was ever the same punctual and
gracious superior, making, by the urbanity of his manner, small
courtesies recollected and spoken of as great favours, in so much that,
being well-beloved of the whole commonality, his memory, long after his
fatal death, was held in great estimation among them, and his fame as
the sweet odour of many blessings.

Few things, my grandfather often said, gave him a sorer pang than the
base murder by the Hamiltons of that most eminent worthy; and in all the
labours and business of his long life, nothing came ever more pleasant
to his thoughts than the remembrance of the part he had himself in the
retribution with which their many bloody acts were in the end overtaken
and punished. Indeed, as far as concerns their guiltiest instigator and
kinsman, the adulterous Antichrist of St Andrews, never was a just
vengeance and judgment more visibly manifested, as I shall now, with
all expedient brevity, rehearse, it being the last exploit in which my
grandfather bore arms for the commonweal.

Bailie Kilspinnie of Crail having dealings with certain Glasgow
merchants, who sold plaiding to the Highlanders of Lennox and Cowal,
finding them dour in payment, owing, as they said, to their customers
lengthening their credit of their own accord, on account of the times,
the west having been from the battle of Langside unwontedly tranquil,
he, in the spring of 1571, came in quest of his monies, and my
grandfather having notice thereof, took on behind him on horseback, to
see her father, Agnes Kilspinnie, who had lived in his house from the
time of his marriage to her aunt, Elspa Ruet. And it happened that
Captain Crawford of Jordanhill, who was then meditating his famous
exploit against the castle of Dumbarton, met my grandfather by chance in
the Trongait, and knowing some little of him, and of the great regard in
which he was held by many noblemen, for one of his birth, spoke to him
cordially, and asked him to be of his party, assigning, among other
things, as a motive, that the great adversary of the Reformation, the
Archbishop of St Andrews, had, on account of the doom and outlawry
pronounced upon him, for being accessory both to the murder of King
Henry, the Queen's protestant husband, and of the good Regent Murray,
taken refuge in that redoubtable fortress.

Some concern for the state of his wife and young family weighed with my
grandfather while he was in communion with Jordanhill; but after parting
from him, and going back to the Saracen's inn in the Gallowgait, where
Bailie Kilspinnie and his daughter were, he had an inward urging of the
spirit, moving him to be of the enterprise, on a persuasion, as I have
heard him tell himself, that without he was there something would arise
to balk the undertaking. So he was in consequence troubled in thought,
and held himself aloof from the familiar talk of his friends all the
remainder of the day, wishing that he might be able to overcome the
thirst which Captain Crawford had bred within him to join his company.

Bailie Kilspinnie seeing him in this perplexity of soul, spoke to him as
a friend, and searched to know what had taken possession of him, and my
grandfather, partly moved by his entreaty and partly by the thought of
the great palpable Antichrist of Scotland, who had done the bailie's
fireside such damage and detriment, being in a manner exposed to their
taking, told him what had been propounded by Jordanhill.

"Say you so," cried the bailie, remembering the offence done to his
family, "say you so; and that he is in a girn that wants but a manly
hand to grip him. Body and soul o' me, if the thing's within the power
of the arm of flesh he shall be taken and brought to the wuddy, if the
Lord permits justice to be done within the realm of Scotland."

The which bold and valorous breathing of the honest magistrate of Crail
kindled the smoking yearnings of my grandfather into a bright and
blazing flame, and he replied,--

"Then, sir, if you be so minded, I cannot perforce abide behind, but
will go forth with you to the battle, and swither not with the sword
till we have effected some notable achievement."

They accordingly went forthwith to Captain Crawford and proffered to him
their service; and he was gladdened that my grandfather had come to so
warlike a purpose; but he looked sharply at the bailie, and twice smiled
to my grandfather, as if in doubt of his soldiership, saying, "But,
Gilhaize, since you recommend him, he must be a good man and true."

So the same night they set out at dusk, with a chosen troop and band of
not more than two hundred men. A boat, provided with ladders, dropped
down the river with the tide, to be before them.

By midnight the expedition reached the bottom of Dumbuckhill, where,
having ascertained that the boat was arrived, Jordanhill directed those
aboard to keep her close in with the shore, and move with their march.

The evening when they left Glasgow was bright and calm, and the moon, in
her first quarter, shed her beautiful glory on mountain and tower and
tree, leading them as with the light of a heavenly torch; and when they
reached the skirts of the river, it was soon manifest that their
enterprise was favoured from on high. The moon was by that time set, and
a thick mist came rolling from the Clyde and the Leven, and made the
night air dim as well as dark, veiling their movements from all mortal
eyes.

Jordanhill's guide led them to a part of the rock which was seldom
guarded, and showed them where to place their ladders. He had been in
the service of the Lord Fleming, the governor, but on account of
contumelious usage had quitted it, and had been the contriver of the
scheme.

Scarcely was the first ladder placed when the impatience of the men
brought it to the ground; but there was a noise in the ebbing waters of
the Clyde that drowned the accident of their fall, and prevented it from
alarming the soldiers on the watch. This failure disconcerted Jordanhill
for a moment; but the guide fastened the ladder to the roots of an ash
tree which grew in a cleft of the rock, and to the first shelf of the
precipice they all ascended in safety.

The first ladder was then drawn up and placed against the upper story,
as it might be called, of the rock, reaching to the gap where they could
enter into the fortress, while another ladder was tied in its place
below. Jordanhill then ascended, leading the way, followed by his men,
the bailie of Crail being before my grandfather.

They were now at a fearful height from the ground; but the mist was
thick, and no one saw the dizzy eminence to which he had attained. It
happened, however, that just as Jordanhill reached the summit, and while
my grandfather and the bailie were about half-way up the ladder, the
mist below rolled away, and the stars above shone out, and the bailie,
casting his eyes downward, was so amazed and terrified at the eagle
flight he had taken, that he began to quake and tremble, and could not
mount a step farther.

At that juncture delay was death to success. It was impossible to pass
him. To tumble him off the ladder and let him be dashed to pieces, as
some of the men both above and below roughly bade my grandfather do, was
cruel. All were at a stand.

Governed, however, by a singular inspiration, my grandfather took off
his own sword-belt and also the bailie's, and fastened him with them to
the ladder by the oxters and legs, and then turning round the ladder,
leaving him so fastened pendent in the air on the lower side, the
assailants ascended over his belly, and courageously mounted to their
perilous duty.

Jordanhill shouted as they mustered on the summit. The officers and
soldiers of the garrison rushed out naked, but sword in hand. The
assailants seized the cannon. Lord Fleming, the governor, leaped the
wall into the boat that had brought the scaling ladders and was rowed
away. The garrison, thus deserted, surrendered, and the guilty prelate
was among the prisoners.

As soon as order was in some degree restored, my grandfather went with
two other soldiers to where the bailie had been left suspended, and
having relieved him from his horror, which the breaking daylight
increased by showing him the fearful height at which he hung, he brought
him to Jordanhill, who, laughing at his disaster, ordered him to be one
of the guard appointed to conduct the Archbishop to Stirling.

In that service the worthy magistrate proved more courageous, and
upbraided the prisoner several times on the road for the ill he had done
to him. But that traitorous high priest heard his taunts in silence, for
he was a valiant and proud man; such, indeed, was his gallant bearing in
the march that the soldiers were won by it to do him homage as a true
knight: and had he been a warrior as he was but a priest, it was thought
by many that, though both papist and traitor, they might have been
worked upon to set him free. To Stirling, however, he was carried; and
on the fourth day from the time he was taken he was executed on the
gallows, where, notwithstanding his guilty life, he suffered with the
bravery of a gentleman dying in a righteous cause, in so much that the
papists honoured his courage as if it had been the virtue of a holy
martyr; and Bailie Kilspinnie all his days never ceased to wonder how so
wicked a man could die so well.



CHAPTER XXXIV


Having thus set forth the main passages in my grandfather's life, I
should now quit the public highway of history, and turn for a time into
the pleasant footpath of his domestic vineyard, the plants whereof,
under his culture, and the pious waterings of Elspa Ruet, my excellent
progenitrix, were beginning to spread their green tendrils and goodly
branches, and to hang out their clusters to the gracious sunshine, as it
were in demonstration to the heavens that the labourer was no sluggard,
and as an assurance that in due season, under its benign favour, they
would gratefully repay his care with sweet fruit. But there is yet one
thing to be told, which, though it may not be regarded as germane to the
mighty event of the Reformation, grew so plainly out of the signal
catastrophe related in the foregoing chapter, that it were to neglect
the instruction mercifully intended were I not to describe all its
circumstances and particularities as they came to pass.

Accordingly to proceed. In the winter after the storming of Dumbarton
Castle, Widow Ruet, the mother of my grandmother, hearing nothing for a
long time of her poor donsie daughter Marion, had, from the hanging of
Archbishop Hamilton, the anti-Christian paramour of that misguided
creature, fallen into a melancholy state of moaning and inward grief, in
so much that Bailie Kilspinnie wrote a letter invoking my grandfather to
come with his wife to Crail, that they might join together in comforting
the aged woman; which work of duty and of charity they lost no time in
undertaking, carrying with them Agnes Kilspinnie to see her kin.

Being minded both in the going and the coming to partake of the feast of
the heavenly and apostolic eloquence of the fearless Reformer's
life-giving truths, they went by the way of Edinburgh; and in going
about while there to show Agnes Kilspinnie the uncos of the town, it
happened as they were coming down from the Castlehill, in passing the
Weigh-house, that she observed a beggar woman sitting on a stair
seemingly in great distress, for her hands were fervently clasped, and
she was swinging her body backwards and forwards like a bark without a
rudder on a billowy sea, when the winds of an angry heaven are let loose
upon't.

What made this forlorn wretch the more remarkable was a seeming remnant
of better days in something about herself, besides the silken rags of
garments that had once been costly. For, as she from time to time lifted
her delicate hands aloft in her despairing ecstasy, the scrap of
blanket, which was all her mantle, fell back and showed such lily and
lady-like arms that it was impossible to look upon her without
compassion, and not also to wonder from what high and palmy estate she
had fallen into such abject poverty.

My grandfather and his wife, with Agnes, stopped for a moment, and
conferred together about what alms they would offer to a gentlewoman
brought so low; when she, observing them, came wildly towards them
crying, "For the Mother of God, to save a famishing outcast from death
and perdition."

Her frantic gesture, far more than her papistical exclamation, made
their souls shudder; and before they had time to reply, she fell on her
knees, and taking Elspa by the hand, repeated the same vehement prayer,
adding, "Do, do, even though I be the vilest and guiltiest of
womankind."

"Marion Ruet!--O, my sister!--O, my dear Marion!" as wildfully and as
wofully did my grandmother in that instant also cry aloud, falling on
the beggar-woman's neck, and sobbing as if her heart would have burst;
for it was indeed the bailie's wife, and the mother of Agnes, that
supplicated for a morsel.

This sad sight brought many persons around, among others a decent
elderly carlin that kept a huxtry shop close by, who pitifully invited
them to come from the public causey into her house; and with some
difficulty my grandfather removed the two sisters thither. Agnes
Kilspinnie, poor thing, following like a demented creature, not even
able to drop a tear at so meeting with her humiliated parent, who, from
the moment that she was known, could only gaze like the effigy of some
extraordinary consternation carved in alabaster stone.

When they had been some time in the house of old Ursie Firikins, as the
kind carlin was called, Elspa Ruet all the while weeping like a constant
fountain and repeating, "Marion, Marion!" with a fond and sorrowful
tenderness that would allow her to say no more, my grandfather having
got a drink of meal and water prepared, gave it to the famished outcast,
and she gradually recovered from her stupor.

For many minutes, however, she sat still and said nothing, and when she
did speak it was in a voice of such misery of soul that my grandfather
never liked to tell what terrible thoughts the remembrance of it ever
gave him. I shall therefore not venture to repeat what she said, farther
than to mention that, having sunk down on her knees, she spread her
hands aloft and exclaimed, "Ay, the time's come now, and the words of
her prophecy, that never ceased to dirl in my soul, are fulfilled. I
will go back to Crail--my penitence shall be seen in my shame;--I will
go openly, that all may take warning--and before all, in the face of
day, will I confess the wrongs I hae done to my gudeman and bairns."

She then rose and said to her sister, "Elspa, ye hae heard my vow, and
this very hour I will begin my pilgrimage."

Some further conversation ensued, in which she told them that she had
run a woful course after the havock at St Andrews; but, though humbled
to the dust, and almost perishing of hunger, pride had still warsled
with penitence, and would not let her return to seek shelter from her
mother. "But at last," said she, "all has now come to pass, and it is
meet I submit to what is so plainly required of me." Then turning to her
daughter she looked at her for some time with a watery and inquiring
eye, and would have spoken, but her heart filled full and she could only
weep.

By way of consolation my grandfather told her they were then on their
way to Crail, and that as soon as they had procured for her some fit
apparel, they would take her with them. At these words she lifted the
skirt of her ragged gown, and looking at it for a moment, smiled, as if
in contempt of all things, saying,--

"No, this is the livery of Him that I hae served so weel. It is fit that
my friends should behold the coat of many colours, and the garment of
praise wherewith He rewards all those that serve Him as I hae done." And
no admonition, nor any affectionate petition, could shake her sad
purpose.

"But," said she, "I ought not to shame you on the road; and yet, Elspa,
at least till the entrance of the town, let me travel with you; for when
I hae dreed my penance, we must part, never to meet again. Darkness and
dule is my portion now in this world. I hae earnt them, and it is just
that I should enjoy them. They are my ain conquest, bought wi' the price
of everything but my soul, and wha kens but for this meeting that it
might hae been bartered away too."

In nothing, however, of all that then passed was there anything which so
moved the tranquil heart of my grandfather as the looks which, from
time to time, the desolate woman cast at her daughter. Fain she seemed
to speak and to catch her in her arms; but ever and anon the sense of
her own condition came upon her, and she began to weep, crying, "No, no,
I darena do that--I darena even mysel' to a parent's privilege after
what I hae done."

The poor lassie sat unable to make any answer; but at last, in a timid
manner, she took her mother softly by the hand, and the fond and lowly
penitent for a few moments allowed it to linger in her grip, willing to
have left it there; but suddenly stung by her conscience she snatched it
away, and again broke out into piercing lamentations and confessions of
unworthiness.

Meanwhile the charitable Ursie Firikins had made ready a mess of
porridge, and the mournful Magdalen being soothed and consoled, was
persuaded to partake. And afterwards, when they had sat some time, and
the crowd which had gathered out of doors in the street was dispersed,
my grandfather went to his lodgings; and having paid his lawin, returned
to the two sisters and Agnes Kilspinnie, and they all walked to the
shore of Leith together, where they found a boat going to Kinghorn, into
which they embarked; and having slept there, they hired a cart to take
them to Crail next morning, everyone who saw them wondering at the
dejected and ruinous appearance of the penitent. The particulars,
however, of their journey and of her reception in her native place, will
furnish matter for another chapter.



CHAPTER XXXV


When they came within a mile of the town, where a small public stood
that wayfaring men were wont to stop and refresh themselves at, my
grandfather urged the disconsolate Marion, who had come all the way from
Kinghorn without speaking a single word, to alight from the cart, and
remain there till the cloud of night, when she might go to her mother's
unafflicted by the gaze of the pitiless multitude.

To this, at first, she made no answer; but leaping out of the cart, and
standing still for a moment, she looked wistfully at her sister and
daughter, and then began to weep, crying, "Gang ye awa, and no mind me;
ye canna thole, and oughtna to share what I maun bear; and I'll never
break another vow: so, in the face o' day, and of a' people, I'm
constrained to enter Crail--first, to confess my guilt at the door of
the honest man and his bairns that I hae sae disgraced; and syne to beg
my mother to take in the limmer that was scofft frae door to door, till
the blessed time when ye were sent to stop me laying desperate hands on
mysel'."

Elspa remonstrated with her for some time, but she was not to be
entreated: "My guilt and my shamelessness were public," said she, "and
it is meet that the world should behold what hae been the wages I hae
earnt, and the depth of the humiliation to which my vain and proud heart
has been brought; so, go ye on wi' your gudeman and Agnes, and let me
come by mysel'."

"No, Marion," replied her sister, "that sha'na be; I'll no let you do
that. If you will make sic a pilgrimage, I'll bear you company, for I
can ne'er be ashamed nor mortified in being wi' you, when ye are seeking
again the path of righteousness that ye were sae beguil't to quit."

"Say nae I was beguil't; say naething to gar me think less o' my fault
than I should: there was nae beguiler but my ain vain and sinful
nature."

Her daughter, who had all this time stood silent with the tear in her
e'e, then said, "I'll gang wi' you, mother, too."

"Mother!--O Agnes Kilspinnie, dinna sae wrang yoursel', and your honest
father, as to ca' the like o' me mother. But did ye say ye would come
wi' me?" and she dropped vehemently on her knees, and, spreading her
arms to the skies, cried out with a loud and wild voice,--

"God, God! is thy goodness so great, that thou canst already vouchsafe
to me a mercy like this?"

Seeing her so bent on going into the town in her miserable estate, and
his wife and her daughter so mindit to go with her, my grandfather said
it would be as well for him to run forward and prepare her mother for
her coming; so he left them, and hastened into the town, thinking they
would come in the cart; but when he was gone, Marion, still in the hope
she might get her sister and daughter dissuaded from accompanying her,
told them that she was resolved to go on her bare feet, which, however,
made them in pity still adhere the more closely to their determination;
and, having paid the Kinghorn man for his cart, the three set forward
together, Elspa on the right hand and Agnes on the left hand of the
lowly penitent.

In the meantime my grandfather hastened to the dwelling of Widow Ruet,
his gude-mother, to tell her who was coming, and to prepare her aged
mind for the sore shock. For though she was a sectarian of the Roman
seed, she was nevertheless a most devout character, and abided more in
the errors of her religion, because she thought herself too old to learn
a new faith, than from that obstinacy of spirit which in those days so
abounded in the breasts of the papisticals.

The news was at first as glad tidings to the humane old woman; but every
now and then she began to start, and to listen--and a tear fell from her
eye. When she heard the voice of anyone talking in the street, or the
sound of a foot passing, she hurried to the window and looked hastily
out. The struggle within her was great, and it grew every minute
stronger and stronger; and after walking very wofully divers times
across the floor, she went and closed the shutters of her window, and
sitting down gave full vent to her grief. In that state she had not been
long, when the sough of a din gathering at a distance was heard.

"Mother of Christ!" she cried, starting up, clapping her hands; "Mother
of Jesus, thou hast seen the fruit of thy womb exposed to ignominy. By
thine own agonies in that hour, I implore thy support. O blessed Mary,
thy sorrow was light compared to my burden, for thy bairn was holy, and
meek, and kind, and without sin. But thou hast known what it was to sit
by thy baby sleeping in its innocence; thou hast known what it was to
love it for the very troubles it then gave thee. By the remembrance of
that sweet watching and care, O pity me, and help me to receive my
erring bairn!"

My grandfather could not stand her lament and ejaculations, and hearing
the sound drawing nearer and nearer, he went out of the house to see if
his presence might be any protection; but the sight he saw was even more
sorrowful than the aged mother's grief.

Instead of the cart in which he expected to see the women, he beheld
them coming along, side by side, together attended by a great
multitude; doors and windows flew open as they came along, and old and
young looked out. Many cried, "She has been well serv't for her shame."
Some laughed; and the young turned aside their heads to hide their
tears. Among others that ran from the causey-side to look in the face of
Marion--still beautiful, though faded, but shining with something
brighter than beauty--there was a little boy that went up close to her,
and took her by the hand, without speaking, and led her along. He was
her own son; but still she moved not her solemn heavenward eye, though a
universal sobbing burst from ail the multitude; and my grandfather, at
the piteous pageantry, was no longer able to remain master of his
feelings. Seeing, however, that the mournful actors therein were going
on towards Bailie Kilspinnie's, and not intending to stop, as he
expected they would, at Widow Ruet's door, he ran forward to warn his
old friend; but in this he was too late; some one had been already
there; and he found the poor man, with his three other children,
standing at the door, seemingly utterly at a loss to know what his duty
should be; nor was my grandfather in any condition of mind to help him
with advice.

At that juncture the multitude came rushing on before the women, and
halted in front of the bailie's house; for, seeing him and his bairns,
they were taught, by some sense of gentle sympathy, to divide and retire
to a distance, leaving an open and silent space for the penitent to go
forward.

When Agnes Kilspinnie and her brother saw their father and brother and
sisters at the door, they quitted their mother and joined them, as if
instructed by an instinct, while she slowly approached.

Elspa Ruet, who had hitherto maintained a serene and resigned composure
of countenance, was so moved at this sad spectacle, that my grandfather,
seeing her distress, stepped out and caught her in his arms, and
supported her from falling, she was so faint with anguish of heart.

In the same moment, with a look that struck awe and consternation into
every one around, Marion stepped on towards her husband and children,
and gazed at them, and was dropping on her knees when the bailie caught
her in his arms as if he would have carried her into the house. But he
faltered in his purpose; and, casting his eyes on the five weans whom
she had so deserted, he unloosed his embrace, and, gathering them before
him, went in and shut the door.

The multitude uttered a fearful sough; Elspa Ruet, roused by it, rushed
from my grandfather towards her sister, and stooping, tried to raise her
up. Poor Marion, still kneeling, looked around to the people, who stood
all as still as mourners at an interment, and her dark ringlets falling
loose, made her pale face appear of an unearthly fairness. She seemed as
if she would have said something to her sister, who had clasped her by
the hand, but litherly swinging backwards, she laid her head down on her
husband's threshold and gave a heavy sigh, and died.



CHAPTER XXXVI


The burial of Marion Ruet was decently attended by Bailie Kilspinnie and
all his family; and though he did not carry the head himself, he yet
ordered their eldest son to do so, because, whatever her faults had
been, she was still the youth's mother. And my grandfather, with his
wife, having spent some time after with their friends at Crail, returned
homeward by themselves, passing over to Edinburgh, that they might taste
once more of the elixir of salvation as dispensed by John Knox, who had
been for some time in a complaining way, and it was by many thought that
the end of his preaching was drawing nigh.

It happened that the dreadful tidings of the murder of the protestants
in France, by the command of "the accursed king," reached Edinburgh in
the night before my grandfather and wife returned thither; and he used
to speak of the consternation that they found reigning in the city when
they arrived there, as a thing very awful to think of. Every shop was
shut, and every window closed; for it was the usage in those days, when
death was in a house, to close all the windows, so that the appearance
of the town was as if, for the obduracy of their idolatrous sovereign,
the destroying angel had slain all the first-born, and that a dead body
was then lying in every family.

There was also a terrifying solemnity in the streets; for, though they
were as if all the people had come forth in panic and sad wonderment,
many were clothed in black, and there was a funereal stillness--a dismal
sense of calamity that hushed the voices of men, and friends meeting one
another, lifted their hands, and shuddering, passed by without speaking.
My grandfather saw but one, between Leith Wynd and the door of the house
in the Lawnmarket, where he proposed to lodge, that wore a smile, and it
was not of pleasure, but of avarice counting its gains.

The man was one Hans Berghen, an armourer that had feathered his nest in
the raids of the war with the Queen Regent. He was a Norman by birth,
and had learnt the tempering of steel in Germany. In his youth he had
been in the Imperator's service, and had likewise worked in the arsenal
of Venetia. Some said he was perfected in his trade by the infidel at
Constantinopolis; but, however this might be, no man of that time was
more famous among roisters and moss-troopers, for the edge and metal of
his weapons, than that same blasphemous incomer, who thought of nothing
but the greed of gain, whether by dule to protestant or papist; so that
the sight of his hard-favoured visage, blithened with satisfaction, was
to my grandfather, who knew him well by repute, as an omen of portentous
aspect.

For two days the city continued in that dismal state, and on the third,
which was Sabbath, the churches were so filled that my grandmother,
being then in a tender condition, did not venture to enter the High
Kirk, where the Reformer was waited for by many thirsty and languishing
souls from an early hour in the morning, who desired to hear what he
would say concerning the dark deeds that had been done in France. She
therefore returned to the Lawnmarket; but my grandfather worked his way
into the heart of the crowd, where he had not long been when a murmur
announced that Master Knox was coming, and soon after he entered the
kirk.

He had now the appearance of great age and weakness, and he walked with
slow and tottering steps, wearing a virl of fur round his neck, and a
staff in one hand; godlie Richie Ballanden, his man, holding him up by
the oxter. And when he came to the foot of the pulpit, Richie, by the
help of another servant that followed with the Book, lifted him up the
steps into it, where he was seemingly so exhausted that he was
obligated to rest for the space of several minutes. No man who had never
seen him before could have thought that one so frail would have had
ability to have given out even the psalm; but when he began the spirit
descended upon him, and he was so kindled that at last his voice became
as awful as the thunders of wrath, and his arm was strengthened as with
the strength of a champion's. The kirk dirled to the foundations; the
hearts of his hearers shook, till the earth of their sins was shaken
clean from them; and he appeared in the wirlwind of inspiration, as if
his spirit was mounting, like the prophet Elijah, in a fiery chariot
immediately to the gates of heaven.

His discourse was of the children of Bethlehem slain by Herod, and he
spoke of the dreadful sound of a bell and a trumpet heard suddenly in
the midnight hour, when all were fast bound and lying defenceless in the
fetters of sleep. He described the dreadful knocking at the doors--the
bursting in of men with drawn swords--how babies were harled by the arms
from their mothers' beds and bosoms, and dashed to death upon the marble
floors. He told of parents that stood in the porches of their houses and
made themselves the doors that the slayers were obliged to hew in pieces
before they could enter in. He pictured the women flying along the
street, in the nakedness of the bedchamber, with their infants in their
arms, and how the ruffians of the accursed king, knowing their prey by
their cries, ran after them, caught the mother by the hair and the bairn
by the throat, and, in one act, flung the innocent to the stones and
trampled out its life. Then he paused, and said, in a soft and thankful
voice, that in the horrors of Bethlehem there was still much mercy; for
the idolatrous dread of Herod prompted him to slay but young children,
whose blameless lives were to their weeping parents an assurance of
their acceptance into heaven.

"What then," he cried, "are we to think of that night, and of that king,
and of that people, among whom, by whom, and with whom, the commissioned
murderer twisted his grip in the fugitive old man's grey hairs, to draw
back his head that the knife might the surer reach his heart? With what
eyes, being already blinded with weeping, shall we turn to that city
where the withered hands of the grandmother were deemed as weapons of
war by the strong and black-a-vised slaughterer, whose sword was owre
vehemently used for a' the feckless remnant of life it had to cut! But
deaths like these were brief and blessed compared to other
things--which, Heaven be praised, I have not the power to describe, and
which, among this protestant congregation, I trust there is not one able
to imagine, or who, trying to conceive, descries but in the dark and
misty vision the pains of mangled mothers; babes, untimely and
unquickened, cast on the dung-hills and into the troughs of swine; of
black-iron hooks fastened into the mouths, and driven through the cheeks
of brave men, whose arms are tied with cords behind, as they are dragged
into the rivers to drown, by those who durst not in fair battle endure
the lightning of their eyes. O, Herod!--Herod of Judea--thy name is
hereafter bright, for in thy bloody business thou wast thyself nowhere
to be seen. In the vouts and abysses of thy unstained palace, thou hidst
thyself from the eye of history, and perhaps humanely sat covering thine
ears with thy hands to shut out the sound of the wail and woe around
thee. But this Herod--let me not call him by so humane a name. No: let
all the trumpets of justice sound his own to everlasting infamy--Charles
the Ninth of France! And let his ambassador that is here aye yet, yet to
this time audaciously in this Christian land, let him tell his master
that sentence has been pronounced against him in Scotland; that the
Divine vengeance will never depart from him or his house until
repentance has ensued, and atonement been made in their own race; that
his name will remain a blot--a blot of blood, a stain never to be
effaced--a thing to be pronounced with a curse by all posterity; and
that none proceeding from his loins shall ever enjoy his kingdom in
peace."

The preacher, on saying these prophetic words, paused, and, with his
eyes fixed upwards, he stood some time silent, and then, clasping his
hands together, exclaimed with fear and trembling upon him, "Lord, Lord,
thy will be done?"

Many thought that he had then received some great apocalypse; for it was
observed of all men that he was never after like the man he had once
been, but highly and holily elevated above earthly cares and
considerations, saving those only of his ministry, and which he
hastened to close. He was as one that no longer had trust, portion, or
interest in this temporal world, which in less than two months after he
bade farewell, and was translated to a better. Yes, to a better; for
assuredly, if there is aught in this life that may be regarded as the
symbols of infeftment to the inheritance of Heaven, the labours and
ministration of John Knox were testimonies that he had verily received
the yird and stane of an heritage on High.



CHAPTER XXXVII


Shortly after my grandfather had returned with his wife to their quiet
dwelling at Quharist on the Garnock side, he began, in the course of the
winter following, to suffer an occasional pang in that part of his body
which was damaged by the fall he got in rugging down the Virgin Mary out
of her niche in the idolatrous abbeykirk of Kilwinning, and the anguish
of his suffering grew to such an head by Candlemas that he was obligated
to send for his old acquaintance, Dominick Callender, who had, after his
marriage with the regenerate nun, settled as a doctor of physic in the
godly town of Irvine. But for many a day all the skill and medicamenting
of Doctor Callender did him little good, till Nature had, of her own
accord, worked out the root of the evil in the shape of a sklinter of
bone. Still, though the wound then closed, it never was a sound part,
and he continued in consequence a lamiter for life. Yet were his days
greatly prolonged beyond the common lot of man; for he lived till he was
ninety-one years, seven months, and four days old, and his end at last
was but a pleasant translation from the bodily to the spiritual life.

For some days before the close he was calm and cheerful, rehearsing to
the neighbours that came to speer for him, many things like those of
which I have spoken herein. Towards the evening a serene drowsiness fell
upon him, like the snow that falleth in silence, and froze all his
temporal faculties in so gentle a manner, that it could not be said he
knew what it was to die; being, as it were, carried in the downy arms of
sleep to the portal door of Death, where all the pains and terrors that
guard the same were hushed, and stood mute around, as he was softly
received in.

No doubt there was something of a providential design in the singular
prolongation of such a pious and a blameless life; for through it the
possessor became a blessed mean of sowing, in the hearts of his children
and neighbours, the seeds of those sacred principles, which afterwards
made them stand firm in their religious integrity when they were so
grievously tried. For myself I was too young, being scant of eight years
when he departed, to know the worth of those precious things which he
had treasured in the garnel of his spirit for seed-corn unto the Lord;
and therefore, though I often heard him speak of the riddling wherewith
that mighty husbandman of the Reformation, John Knox, riddled the truths
of the gospel from the errors of papistry, I am bound to say that his
own exceeding venerable appearance, and the visions of past events,
which the eloquence of his traditions called up to my young fancy,
worked deeper and more thoroughly into my nature than the reasons and
motives which guided and governed many of his other disciples. But,
before proceeding with my own story, it is meet that I should still tell
the courteous reader some few things wherein my father bore a part--a
man of very austere character, and of a most godly, though, as some
said, rather of a stubbornly affection for the forms of worship which
had been established by John Knox and the pious worthies of his times;
he was withal a single-minded Christian, albeit more ready for a raid
than subtle in argument. He had, like all who knew the old people his
parents, a by-common reverence for them; and spoke of the patriarchs
with whom of old the Lord was wont to hold communion, as more favoured
of Him than David or Solomon, or any other princes or kings.

When he was very young, not passing, as I have heard him often tell,
more than six or seven years of age, he was taken, along with his
brethren, by my grandfather, to see the signing at Irvine of the
Covenant, with which, in the lowering time of the Spanish armada, King
James, the son of Mary, together with all the Reformed, bound themselves
in solemn compact to uphold the protestant religion. Afterwards, when he
saw the country rise in arms, and heard of the ward and watch, and the
beacons ready on the hills, his imagination was kindled with some
dreadful conceit of the armada, and he thought it could be nothing less
than some awful and horrible creature sent from the shores of perdition
to devour the whole land. The image he had thus framed in his fears
haunted him continually; and night after night he could not sleep for
thinking of its talons of brass, and wings of thunder, and nostrils
flaming fire, and the iron teeth with which it was to grind and gnash
the bodies and bones of all protestants, in so much that his parents
were concerned for the health of his mind, and wist not what to do to
appease the terrors of his visions.

At last, however, the great Judith of the protestant cause, Queen
Elizabeth of England, being enabled to drive a nail into the head of
that Holofernes of the idolaters, and many of the host of ships having
been plunged, by the right arm of the tempest, into the depths of the
seas, and scattered by the breath of the storm, like froth over the
ocean, it happened that, one morning about the end of July, a cry arose
that a huge galley of the armada was driven on the rocks at Pencorse;
and all the shire of Ayr hastened to the spot to behold and witness her
shipwreck and overthrow. Among others my grandfather, with his three
eldest sons, went, leaving my father at home; but his horrors grew to
such a passion of fear that his mother, the calm and pious Elspa Ruet,
resolved to take him thither likewise, and to give him the evidence of
his eyes, that the dreadful armada was but a navy of vessels like the
ship which was cast upon the shore. By this prudent thought of her, when
he arrived at the spot his apprehensions were soothed; but his mind had
ever after a strange habitude of forming wild and wonderful images of
every danger, whereof the scope and nature was not very clearly
discerned, and which continued with him till the end of his days.

Soon after the death of my grandfather, he had occasion to go into
Edinburgh anent some matter of legacy that had fallen to us through the
decease of an uncle of my mother, a bonnet-maker in the Canongate; and,
on his arrival there, he found men's minds in a sore fever concerning
the rash councils wherewith King Charles the First, then reigning, was
mindit to interfere with the pure worship of God, and to enact a part in
the kirk of Scotland little short of the papistical domination of the
Roman Antichrist. To all men this was startling tidings; but to my
father it was an enormity that fired his blood and spirit with the
fierceness of a furnace. And it happened that he lodged with a friend of
ours, one Janet Geddes, a most pious woman, who had suffered great
molestation in her worldly substance, from certain endeavours for the
restorations of the horns of the mitre, and the prelatic buskings with
which that meddling and fantastical bodie, King James the Sixth, would
fain have buskit and disguised the sober simplicity of gospel
ordinances.

No two persons could be more heartily in unison upon any point of
controversy than was my worthy father and Janet Geddes, concerning the
enormities that would of a necessity ensue from the papistical
pretensions and unrighteous usurpation of King Charles; and they sat
crooning and lamenting together all the Saturday afternoon and night
about the woes of idolatry that were darkening again over Scotland.

No doubt there was both reason and piety in their fears; but in the
method of their sorrow, from what I have known of my father's earnest
and simple character, I redde there might be some lack of the decorum of
wisdom. But be this as it may, they heated the zeal of one another to a
pitch of great fervour, and next morning, the Sabbath, they went
together to the high Kirk of St Giles to see what the power of an
infatuated government would dare to do.

The kirk was filled to its uttermost bunkers; my father, however, got
for Janet Geddes, she being an aged woman, a stool near the skirts of
the pulpit; but nothing happened to cause any disturbance till the godly
Mr Patrick Henderson had made an end of the morning prayer, when he
said, with tears in his eyes, with reference to the liturgy, which was
then to be promulgated, "Adieu, good people, for I think this is the
last time of my saying prayers in this kirk;" and the congregation being
much moved thereat, many wept.

No sooner had Mr Henderson retired, than Master Ramsay, that horn of the
Beast, which was called the Dean of Edinburgh, appeared in the pulpit in
the pomp of his abominations, and began to read the liturgy. At the
first words of which Janet Geddes was so transported with indignation
that, starting from her stool, she made it fly whirring at his head, as
she cried, "Villain, dost thou say the mass at my lug?" Then such an
uproar began as had not been witnessed since the destruction of the
idols; the women screaming, and clapping their hands in terrification as
if the legions of the Evil One had been let loose upon them; and the men
crying aloud, "Antichrist! Antichrist! down wi' the Pope!" and all
exhortation to quiet them was drowned in the din.

Such was the beginning of those troubles in the church and state so
wantonly provoked by the weak and wicked policy of the first King
Charles, and which in the end brought himself to an ignominious death;
and such the cause of that Solemn League and Covenant, to which, in my
green years, my father, soon after his return home, took me to be a
party, and to which I have been enabled to adhere, with unerring
constancy, till the glorious purpose of it has all been fulfilled and
accomplished.



CHAPTER XXXVIII


When my father returned home, my mother and all the family were grieved
to see his sad and altered looks. We gathered around him, and she
thought he had failed to get the legacy, and comforted him by saying
they had hitherto fenn't without it, and so might they still do.

To her tender condolements he however made no answer; but, taking a
leathern bag, with the money in it, out of his bosom, he flung it on the
table, saying, "What care I for this world's trash, when the ark of the
Lord is taken from Israel?" which to hear daunted the hearts of all
present. And then he told us, after some time, what was doing on the
part of the King to bring in the worship of the Beast again, rehearsing,
with many circumstances, the consternation and sorrow and rage and
lamentations that he had witnessed in Edinburgh.

I, who was the ninth of his ten children, and then not passing nine
years old, was thrilled with an unspeakable fear; and all the dreadful
things, which I had heard my grandfather tell of the tribulations of his
time, came upon my spirit like visions of the visible scene, and I began
to weep with an exceeding sorrow, in so much that my father was amazed,
and caressed me, and thanked Heaven that one so young in his house felt
as a protestant child should feel in an epoch of such calamity.

It was then late in the afternoon, towards the gloaming, and having
partaken of some refreshment, my father took the big Bible from the
press-head, and, after a prayer uttered in great heaviness of spirit, he
read a portion of the Revelations, concerning the vials and the woes,
expounding the same like a preacher; and we were all filled with
anxieties and terrors; some of the younger members trembled with the
thought that the last day was surely at hand.

Next morning a sough and rumour of that solemn venting of Christian
indignation which had been manifested at Edinburgh, having reached our
country-side, and the neighbours hearing of my father's return, many of
them came at night to our house to hear the news; and it was a meeting
that none present thereat could ever after forget:--well do I mind
everything as if it had happened but yestreen. I was sitting on a laigh
stool at the fireside, between the chumley-lug and the gown-tail of old
Nanse Snoddie, my mother's aunty, a godly woman, that in her eild we
took care of; and as young and old came in, the salutation was in
silence, as of guests coming to a burial.

The first was Ebenezer Muir, an aged man, whose grandson stood many a
blast in the persecution of the latter days, both with the Blackcuffs
and the bloody dragoons of the remorseless Graham of Claver. He was bent
with the burden of time, and leaning on his staff, and his long white
hair hung down from aneath his broad blue bonnet. He was one whom my
grandfather held in great respect for the sincerity of his principles
and the discretion of his judgment, and among all his neighbours, and
nowhere more than in our house, was he considered a most patriarchal
character.

"Come awa, Ebenezer," said my father, "I'm blithe and I'm sorrowful to
see you. This night we may be spar't to speak in peace of the things
that pertain unto salvation; but the day and the hour is not far off,
when the flock of Christ shall be scattered and driven from the pastures
of their Divine Master."

To these words of affliction Ebenezer Muir made no response, but went
straight to the fireside, facing Nanse Snoddie, and sat down without
speaking; and my father, then observing John Fullarton of Dykedivots
coming in, stretched out his hand, and took hold of his, and drew him to
sit down by his side.

They had been in a manner brothers from their youth upward. An uncle of
John Fullarton's, by whom he was brought up, had been owner, and he
himself had heired, and was then possessor of, the mailing of Dykedivot,
beside ours. He was the father of four brave sons, the youngest of whom,
a stripling of some thirteen or fourteen years, was at his back: the
other three came in afterwards. He was, moreover, a man of a stout and
courageous nature, though of a much-enduring temper.

"I hope," said he to my father--"I hope, Sawners, a' this straemash and
hobbleshow that fell out last Sabbath in Embro' has been seen wi' the
glamoured een o' fear, and that the King and government canna be sae far
left to themsels as to meddle wi' the ordinances of the Lord."

"I doot, I doot, it's owre true, John," replied my father in a very
mournful manner; and while they were thus speaking, Nahum Chapelrig came
ben. He was a young man, and his father being precentor and schoolmaster
of the parish, he had more lair than commonly falls to the lot of
country folk; over and aboon this, he was of a spirity disposition, and
both eydent and eager in whatsoever he undertook, so that for his years
he was greatly looked up to amang all his acquaintance, notwithstanding
a small spicin of conceit that he was in with himself.

On seeing him coming in, worthy Ebenezer Muir made a sign for him to
draw near and sit by him; and when he went forward, and drew in a stool,
the old man took hold of him by the hand, and said, "Ye're weel come,
Nahum;" and my father added, "Ay, Nahum Chapelrig, it's fast coming to
pass, as ye hae been aye saying it would; the King has na restit wi'
putting the prelates upon us."

"What's te prelates, Robin Fullarton?" said auld Nanse Snoddie, turning
round to John's son, who was standing behind his father.

"They're the red dragons o' unrighteousness," replied the sincere laddie
with great vehemence.

"Gude guide us!" cried Nanse with the voice of terror; "and has the
King daur't to send sic accursed things to devour God's people?"

But my mother, who was sitting behind me, touched her on the shoulder,
bidding her be quiet; for the poor woman, being then doited, when left
to the freedom of her own will, was apt to expatiate without ceasing on
whatsoever she happened to discourse anent; and Nahum Chapelrig said to
my father,--

"'Deed, Sawners Gilhaize, we could look for nae better; prelacy is but
the prelude o' papistry; but the papistry o' this prelude is a perilous
papistry indeed; for its roots of rankness are in the midden-head of
Arminianism, which, in a sense, is a greater Antichrist than Antichrist
himself, even where he sits on his throne of thraldom in the Roman
vaticano. But, nevertheless, I trust and hope, that though the virgin
bride of protestantism be for a season thrown on her back, she shall not
be overcome, but will so strive and warsle aneath the foul grips of that
rampant Arminian, the English high-priest Laud, that he shall himself be
cast into the mire, or choket wi' the stoure of his own bakiefu's of
abominations, wherewith he would overwhelm and bury the Evangil. Yea,
even though the shield of his mighty men is made red, and his valiant
men are in scarlet, he shall recount his worthies, but they shall
stumble in their walk."

While Nahum was thus holding forth, the house filled even to the
trance-door with the neighbours, old and young; and several from time to
time spoke bitterly against the deadly sin and aggression which the King
was committing in the rape that the reading of the liturgy was upon the
consciences of his people. At last Ebenezer Muir, taking off his bonnet,
and rising, laid it down on his seat behind him, and then resting with
both his hands on his staff, looked up, and every one was hushed. Truly
it was an affecting sight to behold that very aged, time-bent and
venerable man so standing in the midst of all his dismayed and pious
neighbours,--his grey hairs flowing from his haffets,--and the light of
our lowly hearth shining upon his bald head and reverent countenance.

"Friens," said he, "I hae lived lang in the world; and in this house I
hae often partaken the sweet repast of the conversations of that
sanctified character, Michael Gilhaize, whom we a' revered as a parent,
not more for his ain worth than for the great things to which he was a
witness in the trials and troubles of the Reformation; and it seems to
me, frae a' the experience I hae gatherit, that when ance kings and
governments hae taken a step, let it be ne'er sae rash, there's a
something in the nature of rule and power that winna let them confess a
fau't, though they may afterwards be constrained to renounce the evil of
their ways. It was therefore wi' a sore heart that I heard this day the
doleful tidings frae Embro', and moreover, that I hae listened to the
outbreathings this night of the heaviness wherewith the news hae
oppressed you a'. Sure am I, that frae the provocation given to the
people of Scotland by the King's miscounselled majesty, nothing but
tears and woes can ensue; for by the manner in which they hae already
rebutted the aggression, he will in return be stirred to aggrieve them
still farther. I'm now an auld man, and may be removed before the woes
come to pass; but it requires not the e'e of prophecy to spae bloodshed
and suffering, and many afflictions in your fortunes. Nevertheless,
friens, be of good cheer, for the Lord will prosper his own cause.
Neither king, nor priest, nor any human authority has the right to
interfere between you and your God; and allegiance ends where
persecution begins. Never, therefore, in the trials awaiting you, forget
that the right to resist in matters of conscience is the
foundation-stone of religious liberty; O see, therefore, that you guard
it weel!"

The voice and manner of the aged speaker melted every heart. Many of the
women sobbed aloud, and the children were moved, as I was myself, and as
I have often heard them in their manhood tell, as if the spirit of faith
and fortitude had entered into the very bones and marrow of their
bodies; nor ever afterwards have I heard psalm sung with such melodious
energy of holiness as that pious congregation of simple country folk
sung the hundred and fortieth psalm before departing for their lowly
dwellings on that solemn evening.



CHAPTER XXXIX


It was on the Wednesday that my father came home from Edinburgh. On
Friday the farmer lads and their fathers continued coming over to our
house to hear the news, and all their discourse was concerning the
manifest foretaste of papistry which was in the praying of the prayers,
that an obdurate prince and an alien Arminian prelate were attempting to
thrust into their mouths, and every one spoke of renewing the Solemn
League and Covenant, which, in the times of the Reformation and the
dangers of the Spanish Armada, had achieved such great things for THE
TRUTH AND THE WORD.

On Saturday, Mr Sundrum, our minister, called for my father about twelve
o'clock. He had heard the news, and also that my father had come back. I
was doing something on the green, I forget now what it was, when I saw
him coming towards the door, and I ran into the house to tell my father,
who immediately came out to meet him.

Little passed in my hearing between them, for, after a short inquiry
concerning how my father had fared in the journey, the minister took
hold of him by the arm, and they walked together into the fields, where,
when they were at some distance from the house, Mr Sundrum stopped, and
began to discourse in a very earnest and lively manner, frequently
touching the palm of his left hand with the fingers of his right, as he
spoke to my father, and sometimes lifting both his hands as one in
amaze, ejaculating to the heavens.

While they were thus reasoning together, worthy Ebenezer Muir came
towards the house, but, observing where they were, he turned off and
joined them, and they continued all three in vehement deliberation, in
so much that I was drawn by the thirst of curiosity to slip so near
towards them that I could hear what passed; and my young heart was
pierced at the severe terms in which the minister was condemning the
ringleaders of the riot, as he called the adversaries of popedom in
Edinburgh, and in a manner rebuking my honest father as a sower of
sedition.

My father, however, said stiffly, for he was not a man to controvert
with a minister, that in all temporal things he was a true and leil
subject, and in what pertained to the King as king, he would stand as
stoutly up for as any man in the three kingdoms; but against a
usurpation of the Lord's rights, his hand, his heart, and his father's
sword, that had been used in the Reformation, were all alike ready.

Old Ebenezer Muir tried to pacify him, and reasoned in great gentleness
with both, expressing his concern that a presbyterian minister could
think that the attempt to bring in prelacy, and the reading of
court-contrived prayers, was not a meddling with things sacred and
rights natural, which neither prince nor potentate had authority to do.
But Mr Sundrum was one of those that longed for the flesh-pots of Egypt,
and the fat things of a lordly hierarchy; and the pacific remonstrances
of the pious old man made him wax more and more wroth at what he
hatefully pronounced their rebellious inclinations; at which bitter
words both my father and Ebenezer Muir turned from him, and went
together to the house with sadness in their faces, leaving him to return
the way he had come alone--a thing which filled me with consternation,
he having ever before been treated and reverenced as a pastor ought
always to be.

What comment my father and the old man made on his conduct when they
were by themselves I know not; but on the Sabbath morning the kirk was
filled to overflowing, and my father took me with him by the hand, and
we sat together on the same form with Ebenezer Muir, whom we found in
the church before us.

When Mr Sundrum mounted into the pulpit, and read the psalm and said the
prayer, there was nothing particular; but when he prepared to preach,
there was a rustle of expectation among all present, for the text he
chose was from Romans, chapter xiii. and verses 1 and 2; from which he
made an endeavour to demonstrate, as I heard afterwards, for I was then
too young to discern the matter of it myself, the duty and advantages of
passive obedience--and, growing warm with his ungospel rhetoric, he
began to rail and to daud the pulpit in condemnation of the spirit which
had kithed in Edinburgh.

Ebenezer Muir and my father tholed with him for some time; but at last
he so far forgot his place and office, that they both rose and moved
towards the door. Many others did the same, and presently the whole
congregation, with the exception of a very few, also began to move, so
that the kirk skayled; and from that day, so long as Mr Sundrum
continued in the parish, he was as a leper and an excommunicant.

Meanwhile the alarm was spreading far and wide, and a blessed thing it
was for the shire of Ayr, though it caused its soil to be soakened with
the blood of martyrs, that few of the ministers were like the
time-serving Mr Sundrum, but trusty and valiant defenders of the green
pastures whereon they had delighted, like kind shepherds, to lead their
confiding flocks, and to cherish the young lambs thereof with the tender
embraces of a holy ministry. Among the rest, that godly and great saint,
Mr Swinton of Garnock, our neighbour parish, stood courageously forward
in the gap of the broken fence of the vineyard, announcing, after a most
weighty discourse, on the same day on which Mr Sundrum preached the
erroneous doctrine of passive obedience, that next Sabbath he would
administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, not knowing how long it
might be in the power of his people to partake of it. Every body around
accordingly prepared to be present on that occasion, and there was a
wonderful congregation. All the adjacent parishes in succession did the
same thing Sabbath after Sabbath, and never was there seen, in the
memory of living man, such a zealous devotion and strictness of life as
then reigned throughout the whole West Country.

At last the news came, that it was resolved among the great and faithful
at Edinburgh to renew the Solemn League and Covenant; and the ministers
of our neighbourhood having conferred together concerning the same, it
was agreed among them, that the people should be invited to come forward
on a day set apart for the purpose, and that as the kirk of Irvine was
the biggest in the vicinage, the signatures both for the country and
that town should be received there. Mr Dickson, the minister, than whom
no man of his day was more brave in the Lord's cause, accordingly made
the needful preparation, and appointed the time.

In the meanwhile the young men began to gird themselves for war. The
swords that had rested for many a day were drawn from their idle places;
and the women worked together, that their brothers and their sons might
be ready for the field; but at their work, instead of the ancient
lilts, they sung psalms and godly ballads. However, as I mean not to
enter upon the particulars of that awakening epoch, but only to show
forth the pure and the holy earnestness with which the minds of men were
then actuated, I shall here refer the courteous reader to the annals and
chronicles of the time,--albeit the truth in them has suffered from the
alloy of a base servility.



CHAPTER XL


The sixteenth day of June, in the year of our Lord 1638, was appointed
for the renewal at Irvine of the Solemn League and Covenant. On the
night before, my five elder brothers, who were learning trades at
Glasgow and Kilmarnock, came home that they might go up with their
father to the house of God, in order to set down their names together;
me and my four sisters, the rest of his ten children, were still biding
with our mother and him at the mailing.

From my grandfather's time there had been a by-common respect among the
neighbours for our family on his account; and that morning my brother
Jacob, who happened to be the first that went, at break of day, to the
door, was surprised to see many of the cotters and neighbouring farmer
lads already assembled on the lone, waiting to walk with us to the town,
as a token of their reverence for the principles and the memory of that
departed worthy; and they were all belted and armed with swords like men
ready for battle.

Seeing such a concourse of the neighbours, instead of making exercise in
the house, my father, as the morning was bright and lown, bade me carry
the Bible and a stool to the dykeside, that our friends might have room
to join us in worship,--which I did accordingly, placing the stool under
the ash-tree, at the corner of the stack-yard, and by all those who were
present on that occasion the spot was ever afterwards regarded as a
hallowed place. Truly there was a scene and a sight there not likely to
be soon forgotten; for the awful cause that had brought together that
meeting was a thing which no man who had a part therein could ever in
all his days forget.

My father chose the seventy-sixth psalm, and when it was sung, he opened
the Scriptures in Second Kings, and read aloud, with a strong voice, the
twenty-third chapter, and every one likened Josiah to the old King, and
Jehoahaz to his son Charles, by whose disregard of the Covenant the
spirit of the land was then in such tribulation; and at the conclusion,
instead of kneeling to pray, as he was wont, my father stood up, and, as
if all temporal things were then of no account, he only supplicated that
the work they had in hand for that day might be approved and sanctified.

The worship being over, the family returned into the house, and having
partaken of a repast of bread and milk, my father put on his father's
sword, and my brothers, who had brought weapons of their own home with
them, also belted themselves for the road. I was owre young to be yet
trysted for war, so my father led me out by the hand, and walking
forward, followed by my brothers, the neighbours, two and two, fell into
the rear, and the women, in their plaids, came mournful and in tears at
some short distance behind.

As we were thus proceeding towards the main road, we heard the sound of
a drum and fife, and saw over the hedge of the lane that leads to the
clachan, a white banner waving aloft with the words, "SOLEMN LEAGUE AND
COVENANT" painted thereon; at the sight of which my father was much
disturbed, saying,--"This is some silly device of Nahum Chapelrig, that,
if we allow to proceed, may bring scoff and scorn upon the cause as we
enter the town;" and with that, dropping my hand, he ran forward and
stopped their vain bravery; for it was, as he had supposed, the work of
Nahum, who was marching, like a man of war, at the head of his band.
However, on my father's remonstrance, he consented to send away his
sounding instruments and idle banner, and to walk composedly along with
us.

As we reached the town-end port, we fell in with a vast number of other
persons, from different parts of the country, going to sign the
Covenant, and, on a cart, worthy Ebenezer Muir and three other aged men
like himself, who, being all of our parish, it was agreed that they
should alight and walk to the kirk at the head of those who had come
with my father. While this was putting in order, other men and lads
belonging to the parish came and joined us, so that, to the number of
more than a hundred, we went up the town together.

When we arrived at the Tolbooth, we were obligated, with others, to halt
for some time, by reason of the great crowd at the Kirkgatefoot waiting
to see if the magistrates, who were then sitting in council, would come
forth and go to the kirk; and the different crafts and burgesses, with
their deacons, were standing at the Cross in order to follow them, if
they determined, in their public capacity, to sign the Covenant,
according to the pious example which had been set to all in authority by
the magistrates and town-council of Edinburgh three days before. We had
not, however, occasion to be long detained; for it was resolved, with a
unanimous heart, that the provost should sign in the name of the town,
and that the bailies and councillors should, in their own names, sign
each for himself; so they came out, with the town-officers bearing their
battle-axes before them, and the crafts, according to their privilege,
followed them to the kirk.

The men of our parish went next; but on reaching the kirk-yard yett, it
was manifest that, large as the ancient fabric was, it would not be able
to receive a moité of the persons assembled. Godly Mr David Dickson, the
minister, had, however, provided for this; and on one of the old tombs,
on the south side of the kirk, he had ordered a table and chair to be
placed, where that effectual preacher, Mr Livingstone, delivered a great
sermon,--around him the multitude from the country parishes were
congregated; but my father being well acquainted with Deacon Auld of the
wrights, was invited by him to come into his seat in the kirk, where he
carried me in with him, and we heard Mr Dickson himself.

Of the strain and substance of his discourse I remember nothing, save
only the earnestness of his manner; but well do I remember the awful
sough and silence that was in the kirk when, at the conclusion of the
sermon, he prepared to read the words of the Covenant.

"Now," said he, when he had come to the end, and was rolling it up, "as
no man knoweth how long, after this day, he may be allowed to partake of
the sacrament of the Supper, the elders will bring forward the elements;
and it is hoped that sisters in Christ will not come to communion till
the brethren are served, who, as they take their seats at the Lord's
table, are invited to sign their names to this solemn charter of the
religious rights and liberties of God's people in Scotland."

He then came down from the pulpit with the parchment in his hand, and
going to the head of the sacramental table, he opened it again, and laid
it down over the elements of the bread and wine which the elders had
just placed there; and a minister, whose name I do not well recollect,
sitting at his right hand, holding an inkstand, presented him with a
pen, which, when he had taken, he prayed in silence for the space of a
minute, and then, bending forward, he signed his name; having done so,
he raised himself erect and said, with a loud voice, holding up his
right hand, "Before God and these witnesses, in truth and holiness, I
have sworn to keep this Covenant." At that moment a solemn sound rose
from all the congregation, and every one stood up to see the men, as
they sat at the table, put down their names.



CHAPTER XLI


From the day on which the Covenant was signed, though I was owre young
to remember the change myself, I have heard it often said that a great
alteration took place in the morals and manners of the Covenanters. The
Sabbath was observed by them with far more than the solemnity of times
past; and there was a strictness of walk and conversation among them,
which showed how much in sincerity they were indeed regenerated
Christians. The company of persons inclined to the prelatic sect was
eschewed as contagious, and all light pastimes and gayety of heart were
suppressed, both on account of their tendency to sinfulness, and because
of the danger with which the Truth and the Word were threatened by the
Arminian Antichrist of the King's government.

But the more immediate effect of the renewal of the Solemn League and
Covenant was the preparation for defence and resistance, which the
deceitful policy of that false monarch, King Charles the First, taught
every one to know would be required. The men began to practise firing
at butts and targets, and to provide themselves with arms and munitions
of war; while, in order to maintain a life void of offence in all
temporal concerns, they were by ordinare obedient and submissive to
those in authority over them, whether holding jurisdiction from the
King, or in virtue of baronies and feudalities.

In this there was great wisdom; for it left the sin of the provocation
still on the heads of the King and his evil counsellors, in so much that
even, when the General Assembly, holden at Glasgow, vindicated the
independence and freedom of Christ's kingdom, by continuing to sit in
despite of the dissolution pronounced by King Charles' commissioner, the
Marquis Hamilton, and likewise by decreeing the abolition of prelacy as
an abomination, there was no political blame wherewith the people, in
their capacity of subjects to their earthly prince, could be wyted or
brought by law to punishment.

In the meantime, the King, who was as fey as he was false, mustered his
forces, and his rampant high-priest, Laud, was, with all the voices of
his prelatic emissaries, inflaming the honest people of England to wage
war against our religious freedom. The papistical Queen of Charles was
no less busy with the priesthood of her crafty sect, and aids and
powers, both of men and money, were raised wherever they could be had,
in order to reinstall the discarded episcopacy of Scotland.

The Covenanters, however, were none daunted, for they had a great ally
in the Lord of Hosts; and, with Him for their captain, they neither
sought nor wished for any alien assistance, though they sent letters to
their brethren in foreign parts, exhorting them to unite in the
Covenant, and to join them for the battle. General Lesley, in Gustavus
Adolphus' army, was invited by his kinsman, the Lord Rothes, to come
home, that, if need arose, he might take the temporal command of the
Covenanters.

The King having at last, according to an ancient practice of the English
monarchs, when war in old times was proclaimed against the Scots,
summoned his nobles to attend him with their powers at York, the
Covenanters girded their loins, and the whole country rung with the din
of the gathering of an host for the field.

One Captain Bannerman, who had been with Lesley in the armies of
Gustavus, was sent from Edinburgh to train the men in our part; and our
house being central for the musters of the three adjacent parishes, he
staid a night in the week with us at Quharist for the space of better
than two months, and his military discourse greatly instructed our
neighbours in the arts and stratagems of war.

He was an elderly man, of a sedate character, and had gone abroad with
an uncle from Montrose when he was quite a youth. In his day he had seen
many strange cities, and places of wonderful strength to withstand the
force of sieges. But, though bred a soldier, and his home in the camp,
he had been himself but seldom in the field of battle. In appearance he
was tall and lofty, and very erect and formal; a man of few words, but
they were well chosen; and he was patient and pains-taking; of a
contented aspect, somewhat hard-favoured, and seldom given to smile. To
little children he was, however, bland and courteous; taking a pleasure
in setting those that were of my age in battle array, for he had no
pastime, being altogether an instructive soldier; or, as William, my
third brother, used to say, who was a free out-spoken lad, Captain
Bannerman was a real dominie o' war.

Besides him, in our country-side, there was another officer, by name
Hepburn, who had also been bred with the great Gustavus, sent to train
the Covenanters in Irvine; but he was of a more mettlesome humour, and
lacked the needful douceness that became those who were banding
themselves for a holy cause; so that when any of his disciples were not
just so list and brisk as they might have been, which was sometimes the
case, especially among the weavers, he thought no shame, even on the
Golf-fields, before all the folks and onlookers, to curse and swear at
them as if he had been himself one of the King's cavaliers, and they no
better than ne'erdoweels receiving the wages of sin against the
Covenant. In sooth to say, he was a young man of a disorderly nature,
and about seven months after he left the town twa misfortunate creatures
gave him the wyte of their bairns.

Yet, for all the regardlessness of his ways and moral conduct, he was
much beloved by the men he had the training of; and, on the night before
he left the town, lies were told of a most respectit and pious officer
of the town's power, if he did not find the causey owre wide when he
was going home, after partaking of Captain Hepburn's pay-way supper. But
how that may have been is little of my business at present to
investigate; for I have only spoken of Hepburn, to notify what happened
in consequence of a brag he had with Bannerman, anent the skill of their
respective disciples, the which grew to such a controversy between them,
that nothing less would satisfy Hepburn than to try the skill of the
Irvine men against ours, and the two neighbouring parishes of Garnock
and Stoneyholm. Accordingly a day was fixt for that purpose, and the
Craiglands-croft was the place appointed for this probation of
soldiership.

On the morning of the appointed day the country folk assembled far and
near, and Nahum Chapelrig, at the head of the lads of his clachan, was
the first on the field. The sight to my young eyes was as the greatest
show of pageantry that could be imagined; for Nahum had, from the time
of the covenanting, been gathering arms and armour from all quarters,
and had thereby not only obtained a glittering breastplate for himself,
but three other coats of mail for the like number of his fellows; and
when they were coming over the croft, with their fife and drum, and the
banner of the Covenant waving aloft in the air, every one ran to behold
such splendour and pomp of war; many of the women, that were witnesses
among the multitude, wept at such an apparition of battles dazzling our
peaceful fields.

My father, with my five brothers, headed the Covenanters of our parish.
There was no garnish among that band. They came along with austere looks
and douce steps, and their belts were of tanned leather. The hilts of
many of their swords were rusty, for they had been the weapons of their
forefathers in the raids of the Reformation. As my father led them to
their station on the right flank of Nahum Chapelrig's array, the crowd
of onlookers fell back, and stood in silence as they passed by.

Scarcely had they halted, when there was a rushing among the onlookers,
and presently the townsmen, with Hepburn on horseback, were seen coming
over the brow of the Gowan-brae. They were scant the strength of the
country folk by more than a score; but there was a band of sailor boys
with them that made the number greater; so that, when they were all
drawn up together forenent the countrymen, they were more than man for
man.

It is not to be suppressed nor denied, that, in the first show of the
day, Hepburn got far more credit and honour than old sedate Bannerman;
for his lads were lighter in the heel, glegger in the eye, and brisker
in the manoeuvres of war: moreover, they were all far more similar in
their garb and appearance, which gave them a seeming compactness that
the countrymen had nothing like. But when the sham contest began, it was
not long till Bannerman's disciples showed the proofs of their master's
better skill to such a mark, that Hepburn grew hot, and so kindled his
men by reproaches, that there was like to have been fighting in true
earnest; for the blood of the country folk was also rising. Their eyes
grew fierce, and they muttered through their teeth.

Old Ebenezer Muir, who was among the multitude, observing that their
blood was heating, stepped forward, and lifting up his hand, cried,
"Sirs, stop;" and both sides instanter made a pause. "This maunna be,"
said he. "It may be sport to those who are by trade soldiers to try the
mettle o' their men, but ye're a covenanted people, obligated by a
grievous tyranny to quit your spades and your looms only for a season;
therefore be counselled, and rush not to battle till need be, which may
the Lord yet prevent."

Hepburn uttered an angry ban, and would have turned the old man away by
the shoulder; but the combatants saw they were in the peril of a
quarrel, and many of them cried aloud, "He's in the right, and we're
playing the fool for the diversion o' our adversaries." So the townsmen
and the country folk shook hands; but instead of renewing the contest,
Captain Bannerman proposed that they should all go through their
discipline together, it being manifest that there were little odds in
their skill, and none in their courage. The which prudent admonition
pacified all parties, and the remainder of the day was spent in
cordiality and brotherly love. Towards the conclusion of the exercises,
worthy Mr Swinton came on the field; and when the business of the day
was over, he stepped forward, and the trained men being formed around
him, the onlookers standing on the outside, he exhorted them in prayer,
and implored a blessing on their covenanted union, which had the effect
of restoring all their hearts to a religious frame and a solemnity
befitting the spirituality of their cause.



CHAPTER XLII


One night, about a month after the ploy whereof I have spoken in the
foregoing chapter, just as my father had finished the worship, and the
family were composing themselves round the fireside for supper, we were
startled by the sound of a galloping horse coming to the door; and
before any one had time to open it, there was a dreadful knocking with
the heft of the rider's whip. It was Nahum Chapelrig, who being that day
at Kilmarnock, had heard, as he was leaving the town, the cry get up
there that the Aggressor was coming from York with all the English
power, and he had flown far and wide on his way home publishing the
dismal tidings.

My father, in a sober manner, bade him alight and partake of our supper,
questioning him sedately anent what he had heard; but Nahum was raised,
and could give no satisfaction in his answers; he, however, leapt from
his horse, and drawing the bridle through the ring at the door-cheek,
came ben to the fire where we had all so shortly before been
harmoniously sitting. His eyes were wide and wild; his hair, with the
heat he was in, was as if it had been pomated; his cheeks were white,
his lips red, and he panted with haste and panic.

"They're coming," he cried, "in thousands o' thousands; never sic a
force has crossed the Border since the day o' Flodden Field. We'll a'
either be put to the sword, man, woman, and child, or sent in slavery to
the plantations."

"No," replied my father, "things are no just come to that pass; we have
our swords yet, and hearts and hands to use them."

The consternation, however, of Nahum Chapelrig that night was far ayont
all counsel; so, after trying to soothe and reason him into a more
temperate frame, my father was obligated to tell him, that since the
battle was coming so near our gates, it behoved the Covenanters to be
in readiness for the field, advising Nahum to go home, and be over with
him betimes in the morning.

While they were thus speaking, James Newbigging also came to the door
with a rumour of the same substance, which his wife had brought from
Eglinton Castle, where she had been with certain cocks and hens, a
servitude of the Eglintons on their mailing; so that there was no longer
any dubiety about the news, though matters were not in such a desperate
condition as Nahum Chapelrig had terrified himself with the thought of.
Nevertheless, the tidings were very dreadful; and it was a judgment-like
thing to hear that an anointed king was so far left to himself as to be
coming with wrath, and banners, and trampling war-horses, to destroy his
subjects for the sincerity of their religious allegiance to that
Almighty Monarch, who has but permitted the princes of the earth to be
set up as idols by the hands of men.

James Newbigging, as well as Nahum, having come ben to the fireside, my
father called for the Books again, and gave out the eight first verses
of the forty-fourth psalm, which we all sung with hearts in holy unison
and zealous voices.

When James Newbigging and Nahum Chapelrig were gone away home, my father
sat for some time exhorting us, who were his youngest children, to be
kind to one another, to cherish our mother, and no to let auld doited
aunty want, if it was the Lord's will that he should never come back
from the battle. The which to hear caused much sorrow and lamentation,
especially from my mother, who, however, said nothing, but took hold of
his hand and watered it with her tears. After this he walked out into
the fields, where he remained some time alone; and during his absence,
me and the three who were next to me, were sent to our beds; but, young
as we then were, we were old enough to know the danger that hung over
us, and we lay long awake, wondering and woful with fear.

About two hours after midnight the house was again startled by another
knocking, and on my father inquiring who was at the door, he was
answered by my brother Jacob, who had come with Michael and Robin from
Glasgow to Kilmarnock, on hearing the news, and had thence brought
William and Alexander with them to go with their father to the war. For
they had returned to their respective trades after the day of the
covenanting, and had only been out at Hepburn's raid, as the ploy with
the Irvine men was called in jocularity, in order that the neighbours,
who venerated their grandfather, might see them together as Covenanters.

The arrival of her sons, and the purpose they had come upon, awakened
afresh the grief of our mother; but my father entreated us all to be
quiet, and to compose ourselves to rest, that we might be the abler on
the morn to prepare for what might then ensue. Yet, though there was no
sound in the house, save only our mother's moaning, few closed their
eyes, and long before the sun every one was up and stirring, and my
father and my five brothers were armed and belted for the march.

Scarcely were they ready, when different neighbours in the like trim
came to go with them; presently also Nahum Chapelrig, with his banner,
and fife, and drum, at the head of some ten or twelve lads of his
clachan, came over; and on this occasion no obstacle was made to that
bravery which was thought so uncomely on the day of the covenanting.

While the armed men were thus gathering before our door, with the intent
of setting forward to Glasgow, as the men of the West had been some time
before trysted to do, by orders from General Lesley, on the first alarm,
that godly man and minister of righteousness, the Reverend Mr Swinton,
made his appearance with his staff in his hand, and a satchel on his
back, in which he carried the Bible.

"I am come, my friens," said he, "to go with you. Where the ensigns of
Christ's Covenant are displayed, it is meet that the very lowest of his
vassals should be there;" and having exhorted the weeping women around
to be of good cheer, he prayed for them and for their little children,
whom the Aggressor was, perhaps, soon to make fatherless. Nahum
Chapelrig then exalted his banner, and the drum and fife beginning to
play, the venerable man stepped forward, and heading the array with his
staff in his hand, they departed amidst the shouts of the boys, and the
loud sorrow of many a wife and mother.

I followed them, with my companions, till they reached the high road,
where, at the turn that led them to Glasgow, a great concourse of other
women and children belonging to the neighbouring parishes were
assembled, having there parted from their friends. They were all
mourning and weeping, and mingling their lamentations with bitter
predictions against the King and his evil counsellors; but seeing Mr
Swinton, they became more composed, and he having made a sign to the
drum and fife to cease, he stopped, and earnestly entreated them to
return home and employ themselves in the concerns of their families,
which, the heads being for a season removed, stood the more in need of
all their kindness and care.

This halt in the march of their friends brought the onlookers, who were
assembled round our house, running to see what was the cause; and, among
others, it gave time to the aged Ebenezer Muir to come up, whom Mr
Swinton no sooner saw than he called on him by name, and bade him
comfort the women, and invite them away from the high road, where their
presence could only increase the natural grief that every covenanted
Christian, in passing to join the army, could not but suffer, on seeing
so many left defenceless by the unprovoked anger of the Aggressor. He
then bade the drum again beat, and, the march being resumed, the band of
our parish soon went out of sight.

While our men continued in view Ebenezer Muir said nothing; but as soon
as they had disappeared behind the brow of the Gowan-brae, he spoke to
the multitude in a gentle and paternal manner, and bade them come with
him into the neighbouring field, and join him in prayer; after which he
hoped they would see the wisdom of returning to their homes. They
accordingly followed him, and he having given out the twenty-third
psalm, all present joined him, till the lonely fields and silent woods
echoed to the melody of their pious song.

As we were thus standing around the old man in worship and unison of
spirit, the Irvine men came along the road; and seeing us, they hushed
their drums as they passed by, and bowed down their banners in reverence
and solemnity. Such was the outset of the worthies of the renewed
Covenant, in their war with the first Charles.



CHAPTER XLIII


After my father and brothers, with our neighbours that went with them,
had returned from the bloodless raid of Dunse Law, as the first
expedition was called, a solemn thanksgiving was held in all the
country-side; but the minds of men were none pacified by the treaty
concluded with the King at Berwick. For it was manifest to the world,
that coming in his ire, and with all the might of his power, to punish
the Covenanters as rebels, he would never have consented to treat with
them on anything like equal terms, had he not been daunted by their
strength and numbers; so that the spirit awakened by his Ahab-like
domination continued as alive and as distrustful of his word and
pactions as ever.

After the rumours of his plain juggling about the verbals of the
stipulated conditions, and his arbitrary prorogation of the parliament
at Edinburgh, a thing which the best and bravest of the Scottish
monarchs had never before dared to do without the consent of the States
then assembled, the thud and murmur of warlike preparation was renewed
both on anvil and in hall. And when it was known that the King, fey and
distempered with his own weak conceits and the instigations of cruel
counsellors, had, as soon as he heard that the Covenanters were
disbanded, renewed his purposes of punishment and oppression, a gurl of
rage, like the first brush of the tempest on the waves, passed over the
whole extent of Scotland, and those that had been in arms fiercely
girded themselves again for battle.

As the King's powers came again towards the borders, the Covenanters,
for the second time, mustered under Lesley at Dunse; but far different
was this new departure of our men from the solemnity of their first
expedition. Their spirits were now harsh and angry, and their drums
sounded hoarsely on the breeze. Godly Mr Swinton, as he headed them
again, struck the ground with his staff, and, instead of praying, said,
"It is the Lord's pleasure, and he will make the Aggressor fin' the
weight of the arm of flesh. Honest folk are no ever to be thus obligated
to leave their fields and families by the provocations of a prerogative
that has so little regard for the people. In the name and strength of
God, let us march."

With six-and-twenty thousand horse and foot Lesley crossed the Tweed,
and in the first onset the King's army was scattered like chaff before
the wind. When the news of the victory arrived among us, every one was
filled with awe and holy wonder; for it happened on the very day which
was held as a universal fast throughout the land; on that day, likewise,
even in the time of worship, the castle of Dumbarton was won, and the
covenanted Earl of Haddington repelled a wasteful irruption from the
garrison of Berwick.

Such disasters smote the King with consternation; for the immediate
fruit of the victory was the conquest of Newcastle, Tynemouth, Shields
and Durham.

Baffled and mortified, humbled but not penitent, the rash and vindictive
monarch, in a whirlwind of mutiny and desertion, was obligated to
retreat to York, where he was constrained, by the few sound and
sober-minded that yet hovered around him, to try the effect of another
negotiation with his insulted and indignant subjects. But as all the
things which thence ensued are mingled with the acts of perfidy and
aggression by which, under the disastrous influence of the fortunes of
his doomed and guilty race, he drew down the vengeance of his English
subjects, it would lead me far from this household memorial to enter
more at large on circumstances so notour, though they have been
strangely palliated by the supple spirit of latter times, especially by
the sordid courtliness of the crafty Clarendon. I shall therefore skip
the main passages of public affairs, and hasten forward to the time when
I became myself enlisted on the side of our national liberties, briefly,
however, noticing, as I proceed, that after the peace which was
concluded at Ripon my father and my five brothers came home. None of
them received any hurt in battle; but in the course of the winter the
old man was visited with a great income of pains and aches, in so much
that, for the remainder of his days, he was little able to endure
fatigue or hardship of any kind; my second brother, Robin, was therefore
called from his trade in Glasgow to look after the mailing, for I was
still owre young to be of any effectual service; Alexander continued a
bonnet-maker at Kilmarnock; but Michael, William and Jacob, joined and
fought with the forces that won the mournful triumph of Marston Moor,
where fifty thousand subjects of the same King and laws contended with
one another, and where the Lord, by showing himself on the side of the
people, gave a dreadful admonition to the government to recant and
conciliate while there was yet time.

Meanwhile the worthy Mr Swinton, having observed in me a curiosity
towards books of history and piety, had taken great pains to instruct me
in the rights and truths of religion, and to make it manifest alike to
the ears and eyes of my understanding, that no human authority could, or
ought to, dictate in matters of faith, because it could not discern the
secrets of the breast, neither know what was acceptable to Heaven in
conduct or in worship. He likewise expounded to me in what manner the
Covenant was not a temporal but a spiritual league, trenching in no
respect upon the natural and contributed authority of the kingly office.
But, owing to the infirm state of my father's health, neither my brother
Robin nor I could be spared from the farm, in any of the different raids
that germinated out of the King's controversy with the English
parliament; so that in the whigamore expedition, as it was profanely
nicknamed, from our shire, with the covenanted Earls of Cassilis and
Eglinton, we had no personality, though our hearts went with those that
were therein.

When, however, the hideous tidings came of the condemnation and
execution of the King, there was a stop in the current of men's minds,
and as the waters of Jordan, when the ark was carried in, rushed back to
their fountain-head, every true Scot on that occasion felt in his heart
the ancient affections of his nature returning with a compassionate
horror. Yet even in this they were true to the Covenant; for it was not
to be hidden that the English parliament, in doing what it did in that
tragical event, was guided by a speculative spirit of political
innovation and change, different and distinct, both in principle and
object, from the cause which made our Scottish Covenanters have recourse
to arms. In truth, the act of bringing kings to public condign
punishment was no such new thing in the chronicles of Scotland, as that
brave historian, George Buchanan, plainly shows, to have filled us with
such amazement and affright, had the offences of King Charles been
proven as clearly personal, as the crimes for which the ancient tyrants
of his pedigree suffered the death;--but his offences were shared with
his counsellors, whose duty it was to have bridled his arbitrary
pretensions. He was in consequence mourned as a victim, and his son, the
second Charles, at once proclaimed and acknowledged King of Scotland.
How he deported himself in that capacity, and what gratitude he and his
brother showed the land for its faith and loyalty in the wreck and
desperation of their royal fortunes, with a firm and a fearless pen I
now purpose to show. But as the tale of their persecutions is ravelled
with the sorrows and the sufferings of my friends and neighbours, and
the darker tissue of my own woes, it is needful, before proceeding
therein, that I should entreat the indulgence of the courteous reader to
allow a few short passages of my private life now to be here recorded.



CHAPTER XLIV


Some time before the news of King Charles' execution reached us in the
West, the day had been set for my marriage with Sarah Lochrig; but the
fear and consternation which the tidings bred in all minds, many
dreading that the event would be followed by a total breaking up of the
union and frame of society, made us consent to defer our happiness till
we saw what was ordained to come to pass.

When, however, it was seen and felt that the dreadful beheading of an
anointed monarch as a malefactor, had scarcely more effect upon the
tides of the time than the death of a sparrow,--and that men were called
as usual to their daily tasks and toils,--and that all things moved
onward in their accustomed courses,--and that laws and jurisdictions,
and all the wonted pacts and processes of community between man and man,
suffered neither molestation nor hindrance, godly Mr Swinton bestowed
his blessing on our marriage, and our friends their joyous countenance
at the wedding feast.

My lot was then full of felicity, and I had no wish to wander beyond the
green valley where we established our peaceful dwelling. It was in a
lown holm of the Garnock, on the lands of Quharist, a portion of which
my father gave me in tack; and Sarah's father likewise bestowed on us
seven rigs, and a cow's grass of his own mailing, for her tocher, as
the beginning of a plenishment to our young fortunes. Still, like all
the neighbours, I was deeply concerned about what was going on in the
far-off world of conflicts and negotiations; and this was not out of an
idle thirst of curiosity, but from an interest mingled with sorrows and
affections; for, after the campaign in England, my three brothers,
Michael, William and Alexander, never domiciled themselves at any civil
calling. Having caught the roving spirit of camps, they remained in the
skirts of the array which the covenanted Lords at Edinburgh continued to
maintain; and here, poor lads! I may digress a little, to record the
brief memorials of their several unhappy fates.

When King Charles the Second, after accepting and being sworn to abide
by the Covenant, was brought home, and the crown of his ancient
progenitors placed upon his head at Scoone, by the hands of the Marquis
of Argyle, in the presence of the great and the godly Covenanters, my
brothers went in the army that he took with him into England. Michael
was slain at the battle of Worcester, by the side of Sir John Shaw of
Greenock, who carried that day the royal banner. Alexander was wounded
in the same fight, and left upon the field, where he was found next
morning by the charitable inhabitants of the city, and carried to the
house of a loyal gentlewoman, one Mrs Deerhurst, that treated him with
much tenderness; but after languishing in agony, as she herself wrote to
my father, he departed this life on the third day.

Of William I have sometimes wished that I had never heard more; for
after the adversity of that day, it would seem he forgot the Covenant
and his father's house. Ritchie Minigaff, an old servant of the Lord
Eglinton's, when the Earl his master was Cromwell's prisoner in the
Tower of London, saw him there among the guard, and some years after the
Restoration he met him again among the King's yeomen at Westminster,
about the time of the beginning of the persecution. But Willy then
begged Ritchie, with the tear in his eye, no to tell his father; nor was
ever the old man's heart pierced with the anguish which the thought of
such backsliding would have caused, though he often wondered to us at
home, with the anxiety of a parent's wonder, what could have become of
blithe light-hearted Willy. No doubt he died in the servitude of the
faithless tyrant; but the storm that fell among us, soon after Ritchie
had told me of his unfortunate condition, left us neither time nor
opportunity to inquire about any distant friend. But to return to my own
story.

From my marriage till the persecution began, I took no part in the
agitations of the times. It is true, after the discovery of Charles
Stuart's perfidious policy, so like his father's, in corresponding with
the Marquis of Montrose for the subjection of Scotland by the tyranny of
the sword, at the very time he was covenanting with the commissioners
sent from the Lords at Edinburgh with the offer of the throne of his
ancestors, that with my father and my brother Robin, together with many
of our neighbours, I did sign the Remonstrance against making a prince
of such a treacherous and unprincipled nature king. But in that we only
delivered reasons and opinions on a matter of temporal expediency; for
it was an instrument that neither contained nor implied obligation to
arm; indeed our deportment bore testimony to this explanation of the
spirit in which it was conceived and understood. For when the prince had
received the crown and accepted the Covenant, we submitted ourselves as
good subjects. Fearing God, we were content to honour in all rights and
prerogatives, not contrary to Scripture, him whom, by His grace in the
mysteries of His wisdom, He had, for our manifold sins as a nation and a
people, been pleased to ordain and set over us for king. And verily no
better test of our sincerity could be, than the distrust with which our
whole country-side was respected by Oliver Cromwell, when he thought it
necessary to build that stronghold at Ayr, by which his Englishers were
enabled to hold the men of Carrick, Kyle and Cunningham in awe,--a race
that, from the days of Sir William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce,
have ever been found honest in principle, brave in affection, and
dauntless and doure in battle. But it is not necessary to say more on
this head; for full of griefs and grudges as were the hearts of all true
Scots, with the thought of their country in southern thraldom, while
Cromwell's Englishers held the upper hand amongst us, the season of
their dominion was to me and my house as a lown and pleasant spring. All
around me was bud, and blossom, and juvenility, and gladness, and hope.
My lot was as the lot of the blessed man. I ate of the labour of my
hands, I was happy, and it was well with me; my wife, as the fruitful
vine that spreads its clusters on the wall, made my lowly dwelling more
beautiful to the eye of the heart than the golden palaces of crowned
kings, and our pretty bairns were like olive plants round about my
table;--but they are all gone. The flood and the flame have passed over
them;--yet be still, my heart; a little while endure in silence; for I
have not taken up the avenging pen of history, and dipped it in the
blood of martyrs, to record only my own particular woes and wrongs.



CHAPTER XLV


It has been seen, by what I have told concerning the part my grandfather
had in the great work of the Reformation, that the heads of the house of
Argyle were among the foremost and the firmest friends of the
resuscitated Evangil. The aged Earl of that time was in the very front
of the controversy as one of the Lords of the Congregation; and though
his son, the Lord of Lorn, hovered for a season, like other young men of
his degree, in the purlieus and precincts of the Lady Regent's court,
yet when her papistical counsels broke the paction with the protestants
at Perth, I have rehearsed how he, being then possessed of the
inheritance of his father's dignities, did, with the bravery becoming
his blood and station, remonstrate with her Highness against such
impolitic craft and perfidy, and, along with the Lord James Stuart,
utterly eschew her presence and method of government.

After the return of Queen Mary from France, and while she manifested a
respect for the rights of her covenanted people, that worthy Earl was
among her best friends; and even after the dismal doings that led to her
captivity in Lochleven Castle, and thence to the battle of Langside, he
still acted the part of a true nobleman to a sovereign so fickle and so
faithless. Whether he rued on the field that he had done so, or was
smitten with an infirmity that prevented him from fighting against his
old friend and covenanted brother, the good Regent Murray, belongs not
to this history to inquire; but certain it is, that in him the
protestant principles of his honourable house suffered no dilapidation;
and in the person of his grandson, the first marquis of the name, they
were stoutly asserted and maintained.

When the first Charles, and Laud, that ravenous Arminian Antichrist,
attempted to subvert and abrogate the presbyterian gospel worship, not
only did the Marquis stand forth in the van of the Covenanters to stay
the religious oppression then meditated against his native land, but
laboured with all becoming earnestness to avert the pestilence of civil
war. In that doubtless Argyle offended the false counsellors about the
King; but when the English parliament, with a lawless arrogance, struck
off the head of the miscounselled and bigoted monarch, faithful to his
covenants and the loyalty of his race, the Marquis was amongst the
foremost of the Scottish nobles to proclaim the Prince of Wales king.
With his own hands he placed on Charles the Second's head the ancient
diadem of Scotland. Surely it might therefore have been then supposed
that all previous offence against the royal family was forgotten and
forgiven; yea, when it is considered that General Monk himself, the
boldest in the cause of Cromwell's usurpation, was rewarded with a
dukedom in England for doing no more for the King there than Argyle had
done for him before in greater peril here, it could not have entered
into the imagination of Christian men, that Argyle, for only submitting
like a private subject to the same usurped authority when it had become
supreme, would, after the Restoration, be brought to the block. But it
was so; and though the machinations of political enemies converted that
submission into treasons to excuse their own crime, yet there was not an
honest man in all the realm that did not see in the doom of Argyle a
dismal omen of the cloud and storm which so soon after burst upon our
religious liberties.

Passing, however, by all those afflictions which took the colour of
political animosities, I hasten to speak of the proceedings which, from
the hour of the Restoration, were hatched for the revival of the
prelatic oppression. The tyranny of the Stuarts is indeed of so fell a
nature that, having once tasted of blood in any cause, it will return
again and again, however so often baffled, till it has either devoured
its prey, or been itself mastered; and so it showed in this instance.
For, regardless of those troubles which the attempt of the first Charles
to exercise an authority in spiritual things beyond the rights of all
earthly sovereignty caused to the realm and to himself, the second no
sooner felt the sceptre in his grip than he returned to the same
enormities; and he found a fit instrument in James Sharp, who, in
contempt of the wrath of God, sold himself to Antichrist for the prelacy
of St Andrews.

But it was not among the ambitious and mercenary members of the clergy
that the evidences of a backsliding generation were alone to be seen;
many of the people, nobles and magistrates were infected with the sin of
the same reprobation; and in verity, it might have been said of the
realm that the restoration of King Charles the Second was hailed as an
advent ordained to make men forget all vows, sobriety and solemnities.
It is, however, something to be said in commendation of the constancy of
mind and principle of our West Country folk that the immorality of that
drunken loyalty was less outrageous and offensive to God and man among
them, and that although we did submit and were commanded to commemorate
the anniversary of the King's restoration, it was nevertheless done with
humiliation and anxiety of spirit. But a vain thing it would be of me to
attempt to tell the heartburning with which we heard of the manner that
the Covenant, and of all things which had been hallowed and honourable
to religious Scotland, were treated in the town of Lithgow on that
occasion, although all of my grandfather's stock knew that from of old
it was a seat and sink of sycophancy, alien to holiness, and prone to
lick the dust aneath the feet of whomsoever ministered to the corruption
abiding there.

Had the general inebriation of the kingdom been confined only to such
mockers as the papistical progeny of the unregenerate town of Lithgow,
we might perhaps have only grieved at the wantonness of the world; but
they were soon followed by more palpable enormities. Middleton, the
King's commissioner, coming on a progress to Glasgow, held a council of
state there, at which was present the apostate Fairfoul, who had been
shortly before nominated Archbishop of that city; and at his wicked
incitement, Middleton, in a fit of actual intoxication from strong
drink, let loose the bloodhounds of persecution by that memorable act
of council which bears the date of the 1st of October, 1662,--an
anniversary that ought ever to be held as a solemn fast in Scotland, if
such things might be, for by it all the ministers that had received
Gospel ordination from and after the year forty-nine, and who still
refused to bend the knee to Baal, were banished, with their families,
from their kirks and manses.

But to understand in what way that wicked act, and the blood-causing
proclamation which ensued, came to take effect, it is needful, before
proceeding to the recital, to bid the courteous reader remember the
preaching of the doctrine of passive obedience by our time-serving
pastor, Mr Sundrum, and how the kirk was deserted on that occasion;
because, after his death, which happened in the forty-nine, godly Mr
Swinton became our chosen pastor, and being placed and inducted
according to the apostolic ordination of Presbytery, fell, of course,
like many of his Gospel brethren, under the ban of the aforesaid
proclamation, of which some imperfect sough and rumour reached us on the
Friday after it was framed.

At first the particulars were not known, for it was described as the
muttering of unclean spirits against the purity of the Truth; but the
tidings startled us like the growl of some unknown and dreadful thing,
and I dreamt that night of my grandfather, with his white hair and the
comely venerableness of his great age, appearing pale and sorrowful in a
field before me, and pointing with a hand of streaming light to
horsemen, and chariots, and armies with banners, warring together on the
distant hills.

Saturday was then the market-day at Irvine; and though I had but little
business there, I yet went in with my brother Robin, chiefly to hear the
talk of the town. In this I but partook of the common sympathy of the
whole country-side; for, on entering the town-end port, we found the
concourse of people there assembled little short of the crowd at Marymas
Fair, and all eager to learn what the council held at Glasgow had done;
but no one could tell. Only it was known that the Earl of Eglinton, who
had been present at the council, was returned home to the castle, and
that he had sent for the provost that morning on very urgent business.

While we were thus all speaking and marvelling one with another, a cry
got up that a band of soldiers was coming into the town from Ayr, the
report of which, for the space of several minutes, struck every one with
awe and apprehension. And scarcely had the sough of this passed over us,
when it was told that the provost had privately returned from Eglinton
Castle by the Gallows-knowes to the backsides, and that he had sent for
the minister and the bailies, with others of the council, to meet him in
the clerk's chamber.

No one wist what the meaning of such movements and mysteries could be;
but all boded danger to the fold and flock, none doubting that the
wolves of episcopalian covetousness were hungering and thirsting for the
blood of the covenanted lambs. Nor were we long left to our guesses;
for, soon after the magistrates and the minister had met, a copy of the
proclamation of the council held at Glasgow was put upon the Tolbooth
door, by which it was manifested to every eye that the fences of the
vineyard were indeed broken down, and that the boar was let in and
wrathfully trampling down and laying waste.



CHAPTER XLVI


The proclamation was as a stunning blow on the forehead of the
Covenanters, and for the next two Sabbaths Mr Swinton was plainly in
prayer a weighed down and sorrowful-hearted man, but he said nothing in
his discourses that particularly affected the marrow of that sore and
solemn business. On the Friday night, however, before the last Lord's
day of that black October, he sent for my brother, who was one of his
elders, and told him that he had received a mandatory for conformity to
the proclamation, and to acknowledge the prelatic reprobation that the
King's government had introduced into the church; but that it was his
intention, strengthened of the Lord, to adhere to his vows and
covenants, even to the uttermost, and not to quit his flock, happen what
would.

"The beild of the kirk and the manse," said he, "being temporalities,
are aneath the power and regulation of the earthly monarch; but in the
things that pertain to the allegiance I owe to the King of Kings, I will
act, with His heartening, the part of a true and loyal vassal."

This determination being known throughout the parish, and the first of
November being the last day allowed for conforming, on the Sabbath
preceding we had a throng kirk and a solemneezed congregation. According
to their wonted custom, the men, before the hour of worship, assembled
in the kirk-yard, and there was much murmuring and marvelling among us,
that nobody in all the land would stand forth to renew the Covenant, as
was done in the year thirty-eight; and we looked around and beheld the
green graves of many friends that had died since the great day of the
covenanting, and we were ashamed of ourselves and of our time, and
mourned for the loss of the brave spirits which, in the darkness of His
mysterious wisdom, the Lord had taken away.

The weather, for the season, was bright and dry; and the withered leaf
still hung here and there on the tree, so that old and young, the infirm
and the tender, could come abroad; and many that had been bed-rid were
supported along by their relations to hear the word of Truth, for the
last time, preached in the house of God.

Mr Swinton came, followed by his wife and family. He was, by this time,
a man well stricken in years, but Mrs Swinton was of a younger
generation; and they had seven children,--Martha, the eldest, a fine
lassie, was not passing fourteen years of age. As they came slowly up
the kirk-stile, we all remarked that the godly man never lifted his eyes
from the ground, but came along perusing, as it were, the very earth for
consolation.

The private door which, at that epoch, led to the minister's seat and
the pulpit, was near to where the bell-rope hung on the outer wall, and
as the family went towards it, one of the elders stepped from the plate
at the main door to open it. But after Mrs Swinton and the children were
gone in, the minister, who always stopped till they had done so, instead
of then following, paused and looked up with a compassionate aspect, and
laying his hand on the shoulder of old Willy Shackle, who was ringing
the bell, he said,--

"Stop, my auld frien,--they that in this parish need a bell this day to
call them to the service of their Maker winna come on the summons o'
yours."

He then walked in; and the old man, greatly affected, mounted the stool,
and tied up the rope to the ring in the wall in his usual manner, that
it might be out of the reach of the school weans. "But," said he, as he
came down, "I needna fash; for after this day little care I wha rings
the bell; since it's to be consecrat to the wantonings o' prelacy, I wis
the tongue were out o' its mouth and its head cracket, rather than that
I should live to see't in the service of Baal and the hoor o' Babylon."

After all the congregation had taken their seats, Mr Swinton rose and
moved towards the front of the pulpit, and the silence in the church was
as the silence at the martyrdom of some holy martyr. He then opened THE
BOOK, and having given out the ninety-fourth psalm, we sang it with
weeping souls; and during the prayer that followed there was much
sobbing and lamentations, and an universal sorrow. His discourse was
from the fifth chapter of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, verse first, and
first clause of the verse; and with the tongue of a prophet, and the
voice of an apostle, he foretold, as things already written in the
chronicles of the kingdom, many of those sufferings which afterwards
came to pass. It was a sermon that settled into the bottom of the hearts
of all that heard it, and prepared us for the woes of the vial that was
then pouring out.

At the close of the discourse, when the precentor rose to read the
remembering prayer, old Ebenezer Muir, then upwards of fourscore and
thirteen, who had been brought into the church on a barrow by two of his
grandsons, and was, for reason of his deafness, in the bench with the
elders, gave him a paper, which, after rehearsing the names of those in
distress and sickness, he read, and it was "The persecuted kirk of
SCOTLAND."

"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem! let my right hand forget her cunning,"
cried Mr Swinton at the words, with an inspiration that made every heart
dirl; and surely never was such a prayer heard as that with which he
followed up the divine words.

Then we sang the hundred and fortieth psalm, at the conclusion of which
the minister came again to the front of the pulpit, and with a calm
voice, attuned to by ordinare solemnity, he pronounced the blessing;
then, suddenly turning himself, he looked down to his family and said,
"The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son
of man hath not where to lay his head." And he covered his face with
his hands, and sat down and wept.

Never shall I forget the sound which rose at that sight; it was not a
cry of woe, neither was it the howl of despair, nor the sob of sorrow,
nor the gurl of wrath, nor the moan of anguish, but a deep and dreadful
rustling of hearts and spirits, as if the angel of desolation, in
passing by, had shaken all his wings.

The kirk then began to skail; and when the minister and his family came
out into the kirk-yard, all the heads of families present, moved by some
sacred instinct from on high, followed them with one accord to the
manse, like friends at a burial, where we told them, that whatever the
Lord was pleased to allow to ourselves, a portion would be set apart for
His servant. I was the spokesman on that occasion, and verily do I think
that, as I said the words, a glorious light shone around me, and that I
felt a fanning of the inward life, as if the young cherubims were
present among us, and fluttering their wings with an exceeding great joy
at the piety of our kind intents.

So passed that memorable Sabbath in our parish; and here I may relate,
that we had the satisfaction and comfort to know, in a little time
thereafter, that the same Christian faithfulness with which Mr Swinton
adhered to his gospel-trusts and character, was maintained on that day
by more than three hundred other ministers, to the perpetual renown of
our national worth and covenanted cause. And therefore, though it was an
era of much sorrow and of many tears, it was thus, through the
mysterious ways of Providence, converted into a ground of confidence in
our religion, in so much that it may be truly said, out of the ruins and
the overthrow of the first presbyterian church the Lord built up among
us a stronghold and sanctuary for his truth and law.



CHAPTER XLVII


Nothing particular happened till the second week of November, when a
citation came from Irvine, commanding the attendance of Mr Swinton, on a
suffragan of Fairfoul's, under the penalties of the proclamation. In the
meantime we had been preparing for the event; and my father having been
some time no more, and my brother with his family in a house of their
own, it was settled between him and me, that I should take our mother
into mine, in order that the beild of Quharist might be given up to the
minister and his houseless little ones; which all our neighbours much
commended; and there was no slackness on their part in making a
provision to supply the want of his impounded stipend.

As all had foreseen, Mr Swinton, for not appearing to the citation, was
pronounced a non-conformist; and the same night, after dusk, a party of
the soldiers, that were marched from Ayr into Irvine on the day of the
proclamation, came to drive him out of the manse.

There was surely in this a needless and exasperating severity, for the
light of day might have served as well; but the men were not to blame,
and the officer who came with them, having himself been tried in the
battles of the Covenant, and being of a humane spirit, was as meek and
compassionate in his tyrannical duty as could reasonably be hoped for.
He allowed Mrs Swinton to take away her clothes, and the babies, that
were asleep in their beds, time to be awakened and dressed, nor did he
object to their old ploughman, Robin Harrow, taking sundry articles of
provision for their next morning's repast; so that, compared with the
lewd riots and rampageous insolence of the troopers in other places, we
had great reason to be thankful for the tenderness with which our
minister and his small family of seven children were treated on that
memorable night.

It was about eight o'clock when Martha, the eldest daughter, came flying
to me like a demented creature, crying the persecutors were come, with
naked swords and dreadful faces; and she wept and wrung her hands,
thinking they were then murdering her parents and brothers and sisters.
I did, however, all that was in my power to pacify her, saying our lots
were not yet laid in blood, and, leaving her to the consolatory
counsellings of my wife, I put on my bonnet and hastened over to the
manse.

The night was troubled and gusty. The moon was in her first quarter, and
wading dim and low through the clouds on the Arran hills. Afar off, the
bars of Ayr, in their roaring, boded a storm, and the stars were
rushing through a swift and showery south-west carry. The wind, as it
hissed over the stubble, sounded like the whisperings of desolation; and
I was thrice startled in my walk by passing shapes and shadows, whereof
I could not discern the form.

At a short distance from the manse door I met the godly sufferer and his
destitute family, with his second youngest child in his arms. Mrs
Swinton had their baby at her bosom, and the other four poor, terrified,
helpless creatures were hirpling at their sides, holding them by the
skirts, and often looking round in terror, dreading the persecutors, by
whom they were in that dismal and inclement night so cast upon the mercy
of the elements. But He that tempers the wind to the shorn lamb was
their protector.

"You see, Ringan Gilhaize," said the minister, "how it fares with them
in this world whose principles are at variance with the pretensions of
man. But we are mercifully dealt by--a rougher manner and a harder
heart, in the agent of persecution that has driven us from house and
home, I had laid my account for; therefore, even in this dispensation, I
can see the gentle hand of a gracious Master, and I bow the head of
thankfulness."

While we were thus speaking and walking towards Quharist, several of the
neighbours, who had likewise heard the alarm of what had thus come to
pass, joined us on the way; and I felt within myself that it was a proud
thing to be able to give refuge and asylum to an aged gospel minister
and his family in such a time and on such a night.

We had not been long in the house when a great concourse of his friends
and people gathered around, and among others Nahum Chapelrig, who had
been some time his father's successor in the school. But all present
were molested and angry with him, for he came in battle array, with the
sword and gun that he had carried in the raids of the civil war, and was
bragging of valorous things then needful to be done.

"Nahum Chapelrig," said the Worthy to him with severity, "this is no
conduct for the occasion. It would hae been a black day for Scotland had
her children covenanted themselves for temporal things. No, Nahum; if
the prelatic reprobation now attempted on the kirk gang nae farther
than outing her ministers from their kirks and manses, it maun be
tholet; so look to it, that ye give not the adversary cause to reproach
us with longing for the flesh-pots of Egypt when we are free to taste of
the heavenly manna. I redde ye, therefore, Nahum Chapelrig, before these
witnesses, to unbuckle that belt of war, and lay down thae weapons of
offence. The time of the shield and banner may come owre soon upon us.
Let us not provoke the smiter, lest he draw his sword against us, and
have law and reason on his side. Therefore, I say unto thee, Peter, put
up thy sword."

The zealous dominie, being thus timeously rebuked, unharnessed himself,
and the minister having returned thanks for the softness with which the
oppression was let down upon him, and for the pious affection of his
people, we returned home to our respective dwellings.

But though by this Christian submission the power of cruelty was at that
time rendered innocent towards all those who did as Mr Swinton had done,
we were, nevertheless, not allowed to remain long unvisited by another
swirl of the rising storm. Before the year was out, Fairfoul, the
Glasgow Antichrist, sent upon us one of the getts that prelacy was then
so fast adopting for her sons and heirs. A lang, thin, bare lad he was,
that had gotten some spoonful or two of pagan philosophy at college, but
never a solid meal of learning, nor, were we to judge by his greedy
gaping, even a satisfactory meal of victuals. His name was Andrew
Dornock; and, poor fellow, being eschewed among us on account of his
spiritual leprosy, he drew up with divers loose characters, that were
nae overly nice of their company.

This made us dislike him more and more, in so much that, like others of
his nature and calling, he made sore and secret complaints of his
parishioners to his mitred master; representing, for aught I ken to the
contrary, that, instead of believing the Gospel according to Charles
Stuart, we preferred that of certain four persons, called Matthew, Mark,
Luke and John, of whom, it may be doubted, if he, poor man, knew more
than the names. But be that as it may, to a surety he did grievously
yell and cry, because we preferred listening to the Gospel melody of Mr
Swinton under a tree to his feckless havers in the kirk; as if it was
nae a more glorious thing to worship God in the freedom and presence of
universal Nature, beneath the canopy of all the heavens, than to bow the
head in the fetters of episcopal bondage below the stoury rafters of an
auld bigging, such as our kirk was, a perfect howf of cloks and spiders.
Indeed, for that matter, it was said that the only sensible thing Andrew
Dornock ever uttered from the pulpit was, when he first rose to speak
therein, and which was caused by a spider, that just at the moment
lowered itself down into his mouth: "O Lord," cried the curate, "we're
puzhened wi' speeders!"



CHAPTER XLVIII


It might have been thought, considering the poor hand which the prelatic
curates made of it in their endeavours to preach, that they would have
set themselves down content with the stipend, and allowed the flocks to
follow their own shepherds in peace; but their hearts were filled with
the bitterness of envy at the sight of the multitudes that went forth to
gather the manna in the fields, and their malice was exasperated to a
wonderful pitch of wickedness by the derision and contempt with which
they found themselves regarded. No one among them all, however, felt
this envy and malice more stirring within him, than did the
arch-apostate James Sharp; for the faithfulness of so many ministers was
a terror and a reproach to his conscience and apostacy, and made him
labour with an exceeding zeal and animosity to extirpate so many
evidences of his own religious guilt. Accordingly, by his malignant
counsellings, edicts and decrees came out against our tabernacle in the
wilderness, and under the opprobrious name of conventicles, our holy
meetings were made prohibited offences, and our ministers subjected to
pains and penalties, as sowers of sedition.

It is a marvellous thing to think of the madness with which the minds of
those in authority at that time were kindled; first, to create causes of
wrong to the consciences of the people, and afterwards to enact laws for
the natural fruit of that frantic policy. The wanton imposition of the
prelatic oppression begat our field preachings, and the attempts to
disperse us by the sword brought on resistance. But it belongs not to me
and my story to treat of the folly of a race and government, upon whom a
curse was so manifestly pronounced; I shall therefore return from this
generality to those particulars wherein I was myself a witness or a
sufferer.

During the greater part of the year after the banishment of Mr Swinton
from the manse and kirk, we met with little molestation; but from time
to time rumours came over us like the first breathings of the cold
blasts in autumn, that forerun the storms of winter. All thoughts of
innocent pastimes and pleasures passed away, like the yellow leaves that
fall from the melancholy trees; and there was a heaviness in the tread,
and a solemnity in the looks of every one, that showed how widely the
shadows of coming woes were darkening the minds of men.

But though the Court of Commission, which the apostate James Sharp
procured to be established for the cognisance of those who refused to
acknowledge the prelatic usurpation, was, in its proceedings, guided by
as little truth or principle as the Spanish inquisition, the violence
and tyranny of its awards fell less on those of my degree than on the
gentry; and it was not till the drunkard Turner was appointed general of
the West Country that our personal sufferings began.

The curates furnished him with lists of recusants; and power having been
given unto him to torment men for many days, he was as remorseless as
James Sharp's own Court in the fines which he levied, and in eating the
people up, by sending his men to live upon them at free quarters, till
the fines were paid.

In our neighbourhood we were for some time gently dealt with; for the
colonel who, at Ayr, had the command under Turner, was of a humane
spirit, and for a season, though the rumour of the oppressions in
Dumfries-shire and Galloway, where the drunkard himself reigned and
ruled, dismayed and troubled us beyond utterance, we were still
permitted to taste of the Gospel pastures with our own faithful
shepherd.

But this was a blessing too great in those days to be of a continuance
to any flock. The mild and considerate gentleman, who had softened the
rigour of the prelatic rage, was removed from his command, and in his
place came certain cruel officers, who, like the serpents that were sent
among the children of Israel in the desert, defiled our dwellings, and
afflicted many of us even unto death. The change was the more bitterly
felt, because it was sudden, and came upon us in an unexpected manner,
of which I will here set down some of the circumstantials.

According to the usage among us, from the time when Mr Swinton was
thrust from the ministry, the parish had assembled, on the third Lord's
Day of May, in the year 1665, under the big sycamore-tree at Zachariah
Smylie's gable, and which has ever since been reverenced by the name of
the Poopit Tree. A cart served him for the place of lecture and
exhortation; and Zachariah Smylie's daughter, Rebecca Armour, a godly
widow, who resided with him, had, as her custom was in fine weather,
ordered and arranged all the stools and chairs in the house, with the
milk and washing-boynes upside down, around the cart as seats for the
aged. When the day was wet or bleak, the worship was held in the barn;
but on this occasion the morning was lown and the lift clear, and the
natural quietude of the Sabbath reigned over all the fields. We had sung
a portion of the psalm, and the harmonious sound of voices and spirits
in unison was spreading into the tranquil air, as the pleasant fragrancy
of flowers diffuses itself around, and the tune, to which we sung the
divine inspiration, was the sweet and solemn melody of the Martyrs.

Scarcely, however, had we proceeded through the second verse, when Mr
Swinton, who was sitting on a stool in the cart, with his back to the
house, started up and said, "Christians, dinna be disheartened, but I
think I see yonder the glimmerin' of spears coming atween the hedges."

At these words we all rose alarmed, and, on looking round, saw some
eight or ten soldiers, in the path leading from the high road, coming
towards us. The children and several of the women moved to run away, but
Mr Swinton rebuked their timerarious fear, and said,--

"O! ye of little faith, wherefore are ye thus dismayed? Let us put our
trust in Him, who is mightier than all the armies of all the kings of
all the earth. We are here doing homage to Him, and He will protect His
true vassals and faithful people. In His name, therefore, Christians, I
charge you to continue His praises in the psalm; for in His strength I
will, to the end of my intent, this day fulfil the word and the
admonition; yea, even in the very flouting of the adversary's banner."

The vehemence of Elijah was in his voice; we resumed our former
postures; and he himself leading on the psalm, we began to sing anew in
a louder strain, for we were fortified and encouraged by his holy
intrepidity. No one moved as it were an eyelid; the very children were
steadfast; and all looked towards the man of God as he sat in his humble
seat, serene, and more awful than ever was Solomon on the royal throne
of the golden lions, arrayed in all his glory.

The rough soldiers were struck for a time with amazement at the
religious bravery with which the worshipping was continued, and they
halted as they drew near, and whispered together, and some of them spoke
as if the fear of the Lord had fallen upon them. During the whole time
that we continued singing, they stood as if they durst not venture to
disturb us; but when the psalm was finished, their sergeant, a lewd
roister, swore at them, and called on them to do their duty.

The men then advanced, but with one accord we threw ourselves in between
them and the cart, and cried to Mr Swinton to make his escape; he,
however, rose calmly from his seat and said,--

"Soldiers, shed no blood; let us finish our prayer,--the worst of men
after condemnation are suffered to pray,--ye will, therefore, not surely
refuse harmless Christians the boon that is aloo't to malefactors? At
the conclusion I will go peaceably with you, for we are not rebels; we
yield all bodily obedience to the powers that be, but the upright mind
will not bend to any earthly ordinance. Our bodies are subject to the
King's authority, and to you as his servants, if ye demand them, we are
ready to deliver them up."

But the sergeant told him harshly to make haste and come down from the
cart. Two of the men then went into the house, and brought out the churn
and bread and cheese, and with much ribaldry began to eat and drink, and
to speak profane jests to the young women. But my brother interposed,
and advised all the women and children to return to their homes. In the
meantime, Zachariah Smylie had gone to the stable and saddled his horse,
and Rebecca Armour had made a small providing of provisions for Mr
Swinton to take with him to the Tolbooth of Irvine; for thither the
soldiers were intending to carry him that night, in order that he might
be sent to Glasgow next day with other sufferers. When, however, the
horse was brought out, and the godly man was preparing to mount the
sergeant took him by the sleeve, and pulled him back, saying, "The horse
is for me."

Verily at this insult I thought my heart would have leapt out; and every
one present gurled and growled; but the soldiers laughed at seeing the
sergeant on horseback. Mr Swinton, however, calmly advised us to make no
obstacle: "Good," said he, "will come of this, and though for a season
we are ordained to tribulation, and to toil through the slough of
despond, yet a firm footing and a fair and green path lies in a peaceful
land beyond."

The soldiers then took him away, the blasphemous sergeant riding, like a
Merry Andrew, on Zachariah Smylie's horse before them, and almost the
whole congregation following with mournful and heavy hearts.



CHAPTER XLIX


The testimony of the regard and respect which we showed to Mr Swinton in
following him to the prison-door, was wickedly reported against us as a
tumult and a riot, wearing the aspect of rebellion; and accordingly, on
the second day after he was sent from Irvine to Glasgow, a gang of
Turner's worst troopers came to live at heck and manger among us. None
suffered more from those ruthless men than did my brother's house and
mine; for our name was honoured among the true and faithful, and we had
committed the unpardonable sin against the prelacy of harbouring our
minister and his destitute family, when they were driven from their home
in a wild and wintry night.

We were both together, with old Zachariah Smylie, fined each in a heavy
sum.

Thinking that by paying the money down we should rid ourselves and our
neighbours of the presence and burden of the devouring soldiery, our
friends, to enable us, made a gathering among them, and brought us the
means, for we had not a sufficiency of our own. But this, instead of
mitigating the oppression, became a reason with the officer set over us
to persecute us still more; for he pretended to see in that
neighbourliness the evidences of a treasonous combination; so that he
not only took the money, but made a pretext of the readiness with which
it was paid to double his severity. Sixteen domineering camp reprobates
were quartered on four honest families, and five of them were on mine.

What an example their conduct and conversation was at my sober hearth I
need not attempt to describe. For some days they rampaged as if we had
been barbarians, and the best in the house was not good enough for their
ravenous wastrie;--but I was resolved to keep a uniform and steady
abstinence from all cause of offence. So seeing they were passing from
insolence into a strain of familiarity towards my wife and her two
servant-lasses, we gave up the house and made our abode in the barn.

This silent rebuke for some time was not without a wholesome effect; and
in the end they were so far tamed into civility by our blameless and
peaceful demeanour that I could discern more than one of them beginning
to be touched with the humanity of respect for our unmerited punishment.
But their officer, Lieutenant Swaby, an Englisher by birth, and a sinner
by education, was of an incorrigible depravity of heart. He happened to
cast his eye on Martha Swinton, the minister's eldest daughter, then but
in her sixteenth year, and notwithstanding the sore affliction that she
was in, with her mother, on account of her godly father's uncertain
fate, he spared no stratagem to lure her to his wicked will. She was,
however, strengthened against his arts and machinations; but her
fortitude, instead of repressing the rigour of his persecutions, only
made him more audacious, in so much that she was terrified to trust
herself unguarded out of the house,--and the ire of every man and woman
was rising against the sensual Swaby, who was so destitute of grace and
human charity. But out of this a mean was raised, that in the end made
him fain to be removed from among us.

For all the immoral bravery of the rampant soldiery, and especially of
their libertine commander, they had not been long among us till it was
discerned that they were as much under the common fears and
superstitions as the most credulous of our simple country folk, in so
much that what with our family devotions and the tales of witches and
warlocks with which every one, as if by concert, delighted to awe them,
they were loth to stir out of their quarters after the gloaming. Swaby,
however, though less under those influences than his men, nevertheless
partook largely of them, and would not at the King's commands, it was
thought, have crossed the kirk-stile at midnight.

But though he was thus infirm with the dread of evil spirits, he was not
daunted thereby from ill purposes; and having one day fallen in with old
Mysie Gilmour on the road, a pawkie carlin of a jocose nature, he
entered into a blethering discourse with her anent divers things, and
from less to more, propounded to honest Mysie that she should lend a
cast of her skill to bring about a secret meeting between him and the
bonny, defenceless Martha Swinton.

Mysie Gilmour was a Christian woman, and her soul was troubled with the
proposal to herself, and for the peril with which she saw her minister's
daughter environed. But she put on the mask of a light hypocrisy, and
said she would maybe do something if he fee'd her well, making a tryst
with him for the day following; purposing in the meanwhile, instead of
furthering his wicked ends, to devise, with the counselling of some of
her acquaintances, in what manner she could take revenge upon the
profligate prodigal for having thought so little of her principle,
merely because she was a lanerly widow bent with age and poortith.

Among others that she conferred with was one Robin Finnie, a lad who,
when a callan, had been drummer to the host that Nahum Chapelrig led in
the times of the civil war to the raid of Dunse-hill. He was sib to
herself, had a spice of her pawkrie, and was moreover, though not
without a leavening of religion, a fellow fain at any time for a spree;
besides which he had, from the campaigns of his youth, brought home a
heart-hatred and a derisive opinion of the cavaliers, taking all seasons
and occasions to give vent to the same, and he never called Swaby by any
other name than the cavalier.

Between Mysie and Robin, with some of his companions, a paction was made
that she should keep her tryst with Swaby, and settle on a time and
place for him to come to the delusion of expecting to find Martha
Swinton; Robin covenanting that between him and his friends the
cavalier should meet with a lemane worthy of his love. Accordingly, at
the time appointed, when she met Swaby on the road where they had
foregathered the day before, she trysted him to come to her house on
Hallowe'en, which happened to be then at hand, and to be sure no to
bring his sword, or any weapon that might breed mischief.

After parting from him, the cavalier going one way and the carlin the
other, Robin Finnie threw himself in his way, and going up to him with a
seeming respectfulness, said,--

"Ye were speaking, sir, to yon auld wife; I hope ye hae gi'en her nae
offence?"

The look with which Robin looked at Swaby, as he said this, dismayed the
gallant cavalier, who cried, gazing back at Mysie, who was hirpling
homeward--"The devil! is she one of that sort?"

"I'll no say what she is, nor what others say o' her," replied Robin
with solemnity; "but ye'll no fare the waur that ye stand weel in her
liking."

Swaby halted, and again looked towards the old woman, who was then
nearly out of sight. Robin at the same time moved onward.

"Friend!" cried the cavalier, "stop. I must have some talk with you
about the old--"

"Whisht!" exclaimed Robin, "she's deevilish gleg o' the hearing. I would
na for twenty merks she jealoused that I had telt you to take tent o'
her cantrips."

"Do you mean to say that she's a witch?" said Swaby in a low and
apprehensive voice.

"I would na say sic a thing o' her for the world," replied Robin very
seriously; "I would ne'er expek to hae a prosperous hour in this world
were I to ca' honest Mysie Gilmour onything sae uncanny. She's a pious
wife, sir,--deed is she. Me ca' her a witch! She would deserve to be
hang'd if she was a witch,--an' it could be proven upon her."

But these assurances gave no heartening to the gallant cavalier; on the
contrary, he looked like one that was perplexed, and said, "Devil take
her, I wish I had had nothing to do with her."

"Do," cried Robin; "sir, she's an auld withered hag, would spean a foal.
Surely she did na sae beglamour your senses as to appear like a winsome
young lass? But I hae heard o' sic morphosings. I'll no say, howsever,
that honest Mysie ever tried her art sae far;--and what I hae heard tell
of was done in the cruelty of jealously. But it's no possible, captain,
that ye were making up to auld Mysie. For the love o' peace, an ye were
sae deluded, say nothing about it; for either the parish will say that
ye hae an unco taste, or that Mysie has cast her cantrips o'er your
judgment,--the whilk would either make you a laughing-stock, or, gin ye
could prove that she kithed afore you like a blooming damsel, bring her
to the wuddy. So I redde ye, captain, to let this story gang nae
farther. But mind what I hae been saying, keep weel wi' her, as ye
respek yoursel."

In saying these words Robin turned hastily into the wynd that led to the
clachan, laughing in his sleeve, leaving the brave cavalier in a sore
state o' dread and wonderment.



CHAPTER L


It seems that shortly after Robin Finnie had departed from the gallant
cavalier, a lad, called Sandy Macgill, who was colleagued with him in
the plot, came towards the captain with looks cast to the earth, and so
full of thought, that he seemingly noticed nothing. Going forward in
this locked-up state of the outward sense, he came close upon Swaby,
when, affecting to be startled out of his meditations, he stopped
suddenly short, and looked in the lieutenant's broad face, with all the
alarm he could put into his own features, till he saw he was frightened
out of his judgment, when he said,--

"Gude be about us, sir, ye hae gotten scaith; the blighting blink o' an
ill e'e has lighted upon you.--O, sir; O, sir! tak tent o' yoursel!"

Sandy had prepared a deal more to say, but finding himself overcome with
an inward inclination to risibility at the sight of Swaby's
terrification, he was obligated to flee as fast as he could from the
spot; the which wild-like action of his no doubt dismayed the cavalier
fully as meikle as all he had said.

But it's the nature of man to desire to do whatever he is forbidden.
Notwithstanding all their mystical admonitions, Swaby still persevered
in his evil intents, and accordingly he was seen lurking, without his
sword, about the heel of the evening, on Hallowe'en, near the skirts of
the clachan where Mysie Gilmour lived. And, as it had been conspired
among her friends, Mungo Affleck, her gude-brother, a man weel stricken
in years, but of a youthy mind, and a perfect pen-gun at a crack, came
across the cavalier in his path, and Swaby having before some slight
acquaintance with his garb and canny observes, hovered for a little in
discourse with Mungo.

"I counsel you, sir," said the pawkie auld carl as they were separating,
"no to gang far afield this night, for this is a night that there is na
the like o' in a' the year round. It's Hallowe'en, sir, so be counselled
by me, and seek your hame betimes; for mony a ane has met with things on
Hallowe'en that they never after forgot."

Considering the exploit on which the cavalier was then bowne, it's no to
be thought that this was very heartening music; but for all that, he
said blithely, as Mungo told me himself, "Nae, not so fast, governor,
tell us what you mean by Hallowe'en!"

"Hallowe'en!" cried Mungo Affleck, with a sound o' serious sincerity.
"Do ye no ken Hallowe'en? but I need na say that. Ye'll excuse me,
captain, what can you Englishers, that are brought up in the darkness o'
human ordinances in Gospel things, and who live in the thraldom of
episcopalian ignorance, ken o' Hallowe'en, or o' any other solemn day
set apart for an occasion?--O, sir, Hallowe'en among us is a dreadful
night! Witches and warlocks, and a' lang-nebbit things, hae a power and
a dominion unspeakable on Hallowe'en. The de'il at other times gi'es,
it's said, his agents a mutchkin o' mischief, but on this night it's
thought they hae a chappin; and one thing most demonstrable is;--but,
sir, the sun's down--the blessed light o' day is ayont the hill, and
it's no safe to be subjek to the whisking o' the mildew frae the tails
o' the benweed ponies that are saddled for yon awfu' carnavaulings,
where Cluty plays on the pipes! so I wis you, sir, gude night and weel
hame.--O, sir, an ye could be persuaded!--Tak an auld man's advice, and
rather read a chapter of THE BOOK, an it should even be the unedyfying
tenth of Nehemiah, than be seen at the gloaming in this gait, about the
dyke-sides, like a wolf yearning for some tender lamb of a defenceless
fold."

Mungo having thus delivered himself, went away, leaving Swaby as it were
in a swither; for, on looking back, the old man saw him standing half
turned round as if he was minded to go home. The power of the sin was,
however, strong upon him, and shortly after the dusk had closed in, when
the angels had lighted their candles at their windows in the sky, to
watch over the world in the hours of sleep, Swaby, with stealthy steps,
came to Mysie Gilmour's door, and softly tirling at the pin was
admitted; for all within was ready for his reception.

Robin Finnie and Sandy Macgill having carried thither Zachariah Smylie's
black ram, a condumacious and outstropolous beast, which they had laid
in Mysie's bed, and keepit frae baaing with a gude fothering of
kail-blades and a cloute soaken in milk.

Mysie, on opening the door, said to the gallant cavalier,--

"Just step in, ye'll fin' a' ready," and she blew out her crusie which
she had in her hand, and letting the captain grope in by himself,
hirpled as fast as she could to one of the neighbours; for, although she
had covenanted with him to come without his sword, she was terrified
with the fear of some dreadful upshot.

As soon as he was in, Robin Finnie and Sandy Macgill went and hearkened
at the window, where they heard the gay gallant stumbling in the floor,
churming sweet and amorous words as he went groping his way towards the
bed where the auld toop was breathing thickly, mumbling and crunching
the kail-blades in a state of as great sensual delight and satisfaction
as any beast could well be. But no sooner had the cavalier placed his
hand on the horned head of the creature than he uttered a yell of
despair; in the same moment the toop, in little less fright, jumpit out
of the bed against him and knocked him down over a stool with a lounder.
Verily Providence might be said, with reverence, to have had a hand in
the mirth of his punishment; for the ram recovering its senses before
the cavalier, and being in dread of danger, returned to the charge, and
began to butt him as if it would have been his death. The cries that
ensued are not to be told; all the neighbours came running to the door,
to see what was the matter, some with lighted sticks in their hands, and
some with burning coals in the tongs. Robin Finnie and Sandy Macgill
were like to die of laughing; but fearing the wrathful ram might dunt
out the bowels or the brains, if he had any, of the poor young cavalier,
they opened the door, and so delivered him from its horns. He was,
however, by this time, almost in a state of distraction, believing the
beast was the real Evil One; so that he no sooner felt himself free and
saw the lights, than he flew to his quarters as if he had been pursued
by a legion.

Some of his own soldiers that were lying in the clachan, and who had
come out with the rest of the folk, saw through the stratagem, and,
forgetting all reverence for their afflicted commander, laughed louder
and longer than any body. In short, the story was o'er the whole parish
next day, and the very weans, wherever the cavalier appeared, used to
cry ba at him, by which his very life was made a shame and a burden to
him, insomuch that he applied for leave to give up his commission, and
returned home to his kindred in the south of England, and we never heard
tell of him after.



CHAPTER LI


But although in the exploit of Mysie Gilmour, and Robin Finnie with his
confederates, we had a tasting of mirth and merriment, to the effect of
lessening the dread and fear in which our simple country folk held his
Majesty's ungracious fine-levers, the cavalier captains and soldiers,
still there was a gradual ingrowth of the weight of the oppression,
wherewith we were laden more as bondsmen and slaves than as subjects;
and, in the meantime, the spirit of that patriarch, my apostolic
grandfather, was gathering to heart and energy within the silent
recesses of my afflicted bosom.

I heard the murmuring, deep and sad, of my neighbours, at the insult and
the contumely which they were obligated to endure from the irresponsible
licentiousness of military domination,--but I said nothing; I was
driven, with my pious wife and our simple babies, from my own hearth by
the lewd conversation of the commissioned freebooters, and obligated to
make our home in an outhouse, that we might not be molested in our
prayers by their wicked ribaldry,--but I said nothing; I saw my honest
neighbours plundered--their sons insulted--and their daughters put to
shame,--but I said nothing; I was a witness when our godly minister,
after having been driven with his wife and family out to the mercy of
the winter's wind, was seized in the very time while he was worshipping
the Maker of us all, and taken like a malefactor to prison,--but I said
nothing; and I was told the story of the machinations against his
innocent virgin daughter, when she was left defenceless among us,--and
still I said nothing. Like the icy winter, tyranny had so encrusted my
soul that my taciturnity seemed as hard, impenetrable, cold and cruel as
the frozen river's surface, but the stream of my feelings ran stronger
and fiercer beneath; and the time soon came when, in proportion to the
still apathy that made my brother and my friends to wonder how I so
quietly bore the events of so much, my inward struggles burst through
all outward passive forms, and, like the hurling and the drifting ice,
found no effectual obstacle to its irresistible and natural destination.

Mrs Swinton, the worthy lady of that saint, our pastor, on hearing what
had been plotted against the chaste innocence of her fair and blooming
child, came to me, and with tears, in a sense the tears of a widow, very
earnestly entreated of me that I would take the gentle Martha to her
cousin, the Laird of Garlins, in Dumfries-shire, she having heard that
some intromissions, arising out of pacts and covenants between my wife's
cousin and the Laird of Barscob, obligated me to go thither. This was on
the Monday after the battering that the cavalier got from Zachariah
Smylie's black ram; and I, reasonably thinking that there was judgment
in the request, and that I might serve, by my compliance, the helpless
residue, and the objects of a persecuted Christian's affections, I
consented to take the damsel with me as far as Garlins, in Galloway; the
which I did.

When I had left Martha Swinton with her friends, who, being persons of
pedigree and opulence, were better able to guard her, I went to the end
of my own journey; and here, from what ensued, it is needful I should
relate that, in this undertaking, I left my own house under the care of
my brother, and that I was armed with my grandfather's sword.

It happened that, on Tuesday the 13th November 1666, as I was returning
homeward from Barscob, I fell in with three godly countrymen, about a
mile south of the village of Dalry, in Galloway, and we entered into a
holy and most salutary conversation anent the sufferings and the
fortitude of God's people in that time of trouble. Discoursing with
great sobriety on that melancholious theme, we met a gang of Turner's
blackcuffs, driving before them, like beasts to the slaughter, several
miserable persons to thrash out the corn, that it might be sold, of one
of my companions, who, being himself a persecuted man, and unable to pay
the fine forfeited by his piety, had some days before been forced to
flee his house.

On seeing the soldiers and their prey coming towards us, the poor man
would have run away; but we exhorted him not to be afraid, for he might
pass unnoticed, and so he did; for, although those whom the military
rabiators were driving to thrash his corn knew him well, they were
enabled to bear up, and were so endowed with the strength of martyrdom,
that each of them, only by a look, signified that they were in the
spirit of fellowship with him.

After they had gone by, his heart, however, was so afflicted that so
many worthy persons should be so harmed for his sake, that he turned
back, and, in despite of all our entreaties, went to them, while we went
forward to Dalry, where we entered a small public, and, having ordered
some refreshment, for we were all weary, we sat meditating on what could
be the upshot of such tyranny.

While we were so sitting, a cry got up that our companion was seized by
the soldiers, and that they were tormenting him on a red-hot gridiron
for not having paid his fine.

My blood boiled at the news. I rose, and those who were with me
followed, and we ran to the house--his own house--where the poor man
was. I beseeched two of the soldiers who were at the door to desist from
their cruelty; but while I was speaking, other two that were within came
raging out, like curs from a kennel, and flew at me; and one of them
dared to strike me with his nieve in the mouth. My grandfather's sword
flew out at the blow, and the insulter lay wounded and bleeding at my
feet. My companions in the same moment rushed on the other soldiers,
dashed their teeth down their throats, and, twisting their firelocks
from their hands, set the prisoner free.

In this there was rashness, but there was also redemption and glory. We
could not stop at what we had done;--we called on those who had been
brought to thrash the corn to join with us, and they joined;--we
hastened to the next farm;--the spirit of indignation was there before
us, and master and man, and father and son, there likewise found that
the hilts of their fathers' covenanted swords fitted their avenging
grasps. We had now fired the dry stubble of the land--the flame
spread--we advanced, and grew stronger and stronger. The hills, as it
were, clapped their hands, and the valleys shouted of freedom. From all
sides men and horse came exulting towards us; the gentleman and the hind
knew no distinction. The cry was, "Down with tyranny--we are and we will
make free!" The fields rejoiced with the multitude of our feet as we
advanced towards Dumfries, where Turner lay. His blackcuffs flung down
their arms and implored our mercy. We entered Dumfries, and the
Oppressor was our prisoner.



CHAPTER LII


Hitherto the rising at Dalry had been as a passion and a spreading fire.
The strength of the soldiers was consumed before us, and their arms
became our weapons; but when we had gained possession of Dumfries, and
had set a ward over the house where we had seized Turner, I saw that we
had waded owre far into the river to think of returning, and that to go
on was safer than to come back. It was indeed manifest that we had been
triumphant rather by our haste than by the achievements of victorious
battle; and it could be hidden from no man's thought that the power and
the vengeance both of the government and the prelacy would soon be set
in array against us. I therefore bethought myself, in that peril of our
lives and cause, of two things which seemed most needful; first, Not to
falter in our enterprise until we had proved the utmost of the Lord's
pleasure in our behalf; and second, To use the means under Him which, in
all human undertakings, are required to bring whatsoever is ordained to
pass.

Whether in these things I did well or wisely, I leave to the
adjudication of the courteous reader; but I can lay my hand upon my
heart, and say aloud, yea, even to the holy skies, "I thought not of
myself nor of mine, but only of the religious rights of my
sorely-oppressed countrymen."

From the moment in which I received the blow of the soldier, up till the
hour when Turner was taken, I had been the head and leader of the
people. My sword was never out of my grip, and I marched as it were in a
path of light, so wonderful was the immediate instinct with which I was
directed to the accomplishment of that adventure, the success of which
overwhelmed the fierce and cruel Antichrists at Edinburgh with
unspeakable consternation and panic. But I lacked that knowledge of the
art of war by which men are banded into companies and ruled, however
manifold their diversities, to one end and effect, so that our numbers,
having by this time increased to a great multitude, I felt myself
utterly unable to govern them. We were as a sea of billows, that move
onward all in one way, obedient to the impulse and deep fetchings of the
tempestuous breath of the awakened winds of heaven, but which often
break into foam, and waste their force in a roar of ineffectual rage.

Seeing this, and dreading the consequences thereof, I conferred with
some of those whom I had observed the most discreet and considerate in
the course of the raid, and we came to a resolve to constitute and
appoint Captain Learmont our chief commander, he having earned an
experience of the art and stratagems of war under the renowned Lesley.
Had we abided by that determination, some have thought our expedition
might have come to a happier issue; but no human helps and means could
change what was evidently ordained otherwise. It happened, however, that
Colonel Wallace, another officer of some repute, also joined us, and his
name made him bright and resplendent to our enthusiasm. While we were
deliberating whom to choose for our leader, Colonel Wallace was in the
same breath, for his name's sake, proposed, and was united in the
command with Learmont. This was a deadly error, and ought in all time
coming to be a warning and an admonition to people and nations in their
straits and difficulties, never to be guided, in the weighty shocks and
controversies of disordered fortunes, by any prejudice or affection so
unsubstantial as the echo of an honoured name. For this Wallace, though
a man of questionless bravery, and a gentleman of good account among all
who knew him, had not received any gift from Nature of that spirit of
masterdom without which there can be no command; so that he was no
sooner appointed to lead us on, with Learmont as his second, than his
mind fell into a strange confusion, and he heightened disorder into
anarchy by ordering over much. We could not, however, undo the evil,
without violating the discipline that we were all conscious our forces
so grievously lacked; but, from the very moment that I saw in what
manner he took upon him the command, I augured of nothing but disaster.

Learmont was a collected and an urbane character, and did much to temper
and turn aside the thriftless ordinances of his superior. He, seeing how
much our prosperity was dependent on the speed with which we could reach
Edinburgh, hastened forward everything with such alacrity that we were
ready on the morrow by mid-day to set out from Dumfries. But the element
of discord was now in our cause, and I was reproached by many for having
abdicated my natural right to the command. It was in vain that I tried
to redeem the fault by taking part with Learmont, under the
determination, when the black hour of defeat or dismay should come upon
us, to take my stand with him, and, regardless of Wallace, to consider
him as the chief and champion of our covenanted liberties. But why do I
dwell on these intents? Let me hasten to describe the upshot of our
enterprise.

As soon as we had formed, in the manner herein related, something like a
head and council for ourselves, we considered, before leaving Dumfries,
what ought to be done with General Turner, and ordered him to be brought
before us; for those who had suffered from his fell orders and
licentious soldiery were clamorous for his blood. But when the man was
brought in, he was so manifestly mastered by his wine, as his vice often
made him, that we thought it would be as it were to ask a man mad, or
possessed, to account for his actions, as at that time to put the
frantic drunkard on his defence; so we heeded not his obstreperous
menaces, but ordered him to be put into bed, and his papers to be
searched for and laid before us.

In this moderation there was wisdom; for, by dealing so gently by one
who had proved himself so ruthless an agent of the prelatic aggressions,
we bespoke the good opinion even of many among our adversaries; and in
the end it likewise proved a measure of justice as well as of mercy.
For, on examining his papers, it appeared, that pitiless as his
domineering had been, it was far short of the universal cruelty of his
instructions from the apostate James Sharp, and those in the council
with him, who had delivered themselves over as instruments to the
arbitrary prerogatives and tyrannous pretensions of the court. We
therefore resolved to proceed no farther against him, but to keep him as
an hostage in our hands. Many, however, among the commonalty complained
of our lenity; for they had endured in their persons, their gear and
their families, great severities; and they grudged that he was not
obligated to taste the bitterness of the cup of which he had forced them
to drink so deeply.

In the meantime all the country became alive with the news of our
exploit. The Covenanters of the shire of Ayr, headed by several of their
ejected ministers, whom they had cherished in the solitary dens and
hidings in the moors and hills, to which they had been forced to flee
from the proclamation against the field-preachings, advanced to meet us
on our march. Verily it was a sight that made the heart of man dinle at
once with gladness and sorrow to behold, as the day dawned on our
course, in crossing the wide and lonely wilderness of Cumnock-moor,
those religious brethren coming towards us, moving in silence over the
heath, like the shadows of the slowly-sailing clouds of the summer sky.

As we were toiling through the deep heather on the eastern skirts of the
Mearns-moor, a mist hovered all the morning over the pad of Neilston,
covering like a snowy fleece the sides of the hills down almost to the
course of our route, in such a manner that we could see nothing on the
left beyond it. We were then within less than fourteen miles of Glasgow,
where General Dalziel lay with the King's forces, keeping in thraldom
the godly of that pious city and its neighbourhood. Captain Learmont,
well aware, from the eager character of the man, that he would be fain
to intercept us, and fearful of being drawn into jeopardy by the mist,
persuaded Wallace to halt us some time.

As November was far advanced, it was thought by the country folk that
the mist would clear away about noon. We accordingly made a pause, and
sat down on the ground; for many were weary, having over-fatigued
themselves in their zeal to come up with the main body, and we all stood
in need of rest.

Scarcely, however, had we cast ourselves in a desultory manner on the
heather, when some one heard the thud of a distant drum in the mist, and
gave the alarm; at which we all again suddenly started to our feet, and
listening, were not long left in doubt of the sound. Orders were
accordingly given to place ourselves in array for battle; and while we
were obeying the command in the best manner our little skill allowed,
the beating of the drum came louder and nearer, intermingled with the
shrill war-note of the spirity fife.

Every one naturally thought of the King's forces; and the Reverend Mr.
Semple, seeing that we were in some measure prepared to meet them,
stepped out in front with all his worthy brethren in the camp, and
having solemneezed us for worship, gave out a psalm.

By the time we had sung the first three verses the drum and fife sounded
so near, that I could discern they played the tune of "John, come kiss
me now," which left me in no doubt that the soldiers in the mist were my
own friends and neighbours; for it was the same tune which was played
when the men of our parish went to the raid of Dunse-hill, and which, in
memorial of that era, had been preserved as a sacred melody amongst us.

Being thus convinced, I stepped out from my place to the ministers, and
said, "They are friends that are coming." The worship was in consequence
for a short space suspended, and I presently after saw my brother at the
head of our neighbours coming out of the cloud; whereupon I went forward
to meet him, and we shook hands sorrowfully.

"This is an unco thing, Ringan," were his first words; "but it's the
Lord's will, and HE is able to work out a great salvation."

I made no answer; but inquiring for my family, of whom it was a
cheering consolation to hear as blithe an account as could reasonably be
hoped for, I walked with him to our captains, and made him known to them
as my brother.



CHAPTER LIII


Saving the innocent alarm of the drum in the mist, our march to Lanerk
was without hinderance or molestation; and when we arrived there, it was
agreed and set forth, on the exhortation of the ministers who were with
us, that the Solemn League and Covenant should be publicly renewed; and,
to the end that no one might misreport the spirituality of our zeal and
intents, a Protestation was likewise published, wherein we declared our
adherence and allegiance to the King undiminished in all temporalities;
that we had been driven to seek redress by the sword for oppressions so
grievous, that they could be no longer endured; and that all we asked
and sought for was the re-establishment of the presbyterian liberty of
worship, and the restoration of our godly pastors to their Gospel rights
and privileges.

The morrow after was appointed for the covenanting, and to be held as a
day of fasting and humiliation for our own sins, which had provoked the
Lord to bring us into such state of peril and suffering; and it was a
sacred consolation, as Mr Semple showed in his discourse on the
occasion, that, in all our long and painful travels from Dumfries, we
had been guided from the commission of any offence, even towards those
whose hearts were not with us, and had been brought so far on our way as
blameless as a peaceable congregation going in the lown of a Sabbath
morning to worship their Maker in the house of prayer.

But neither the sobriety of our demeanour, nor the honest protestation
of our cause, had any effect on the obdurate heart of the apostate James
Sharp, who happened, by reason of the Lord Rothes going to London, to be
then in the chief chair of the privy-council at Edinburgh. He knew the
deserts of his own guilt, and he hated us, even unto death, for the woes
he had made us suffer. The sough, therefore, of our approach was to the
consternation of his conscience as the sound of the wheels of an
avenging God, groaning heavily in their coming with the weight of the
engines of wrath and doom. Some said that he sat in the midst of the
counsellors like a demented man; and others, that he was seen flying to
and fro, wringing his hands, and weeping, and wailing, and gnashing his
teeth. But though all power of forethought and policy was taken from
him, there were others of the council who, being less guilty, were more
governed, and they took measures to defend the capital against us. They
commanded the gates to be fenced with cannon, and working on the terrors
of the inhabitants with fearful falsehoods of crimes that were never
committed, thereby caused them to band themselves for the protection of
their lives and property, while they interdicted them from all egress,
in so much that many who were friendly to us were frustrated in their
desire to come with the aid of their helps and means.

The tidings of the preparations for the security of Edinburgh, with the
unhappy divisions and continual controversies in our councils, between
the captains and the ministers, anent the methods of conducting the
raid, had, even before we left Lanerk, bred much sedition among us, and
an ominous dubiety of success. Nevertheless, our numbers continued to
increase, and we went forward in such a commendable order of battle,
that, had the Lord been pleased with our undertaking, there was no
reason to think the human means insufficient for the end. But in the
mysteries of the depths of His wisdom He had judged, and for the great
purposes of His providence He saw that it was meet we should yet suffer.
Accordingly, even while we were issuing forth from the port of the town,
the face of the heavens became overcast, and a swift carry and a rising
wind were solemn intimations to my troubled spirit that the heartening
of His countenance went no farther with us at that time.

Nor indeed could less than a miracle in our behalf have availed; for the
year was old in November, the corn was stacked, the leaf fallen, and
Nature, in outcast nakedness, sat, like the widows of the martyrs,
forlorn on the hills: her head was bound with the cloud, and she mourned
over the desolation that had sent sadness and silence into all her
pleasant places.

As we advanced the skies lowered, and the blast raved in the leafless
boughs; sometimes a passing shower, as it travelled in the storm,
trailed its watery skirts over our disheartened host, quenching the zeal
of many,--and ever and anon the angry riddlings of the cruel hail still
more and more exasperated our discontent. I observed that the men began
to turn their backs to the wind, and to look wistfully behind, and to
mutter and murmur to one another. But still we all advanced, gradually,
however, falling into separate bands and companies, like the ice of the
river's stream breaking asunder in a thaw.

In the afternoon the fits of the wind became less vehement; the clouds
were gathered more compactly together, and the hail had ceased, but the
rain was lavished without measure. The roads became sloughs,--our feet
were drawn heavily out of the clay,--the burns and brooks raged from
bank to brae,--and the horses swithered at the fords, in so much, that
towards the gloaming, when we were come to Bathgate, several of our
broken legions were seen far behind; and when we halted for the night,
scarcely more than half the number with whom we had that morning left
Lanerk could be mustered, and few of those who had fallen behind came
up. But still Captain Learmont thought, that as soon as the men had
taken some repose after that toilsome march, we should advance outright
to Edinburgh. Wallace, however, objected, and that night was spent
between them and the ministers in thriftless debate; moreover, our
hardships were increased; for, by the prohibition of the privy-council
against the egress of the inhabitants of the city, we were, as I have
said, disappointed of the provisions and succour we had trusted to
receive from them, and there was no hope in our camp, but only
bitterness of spirit and the breathings of despair.

Seeing, what no man could hide from his reason, our cause abandoned of
the Lord, I retired from the main body of the host, and sat alone on a
rock, musing with a sore heart on all that had come so rashly to pass.
It was then the last hour of the gloaming, and every thing around was
dismayed and dishevelled. The storm had abated, and the rain was over,
but the darkness of the night was closing fast in, and we were environed
with perils. A cloud, like the blackness of a mort-cloth, hung over our
camp; the stars withheld their light, and the windows of the castle
shone with the candles of our enemies, who, safe in their stronghold,
were fresh in strength and ready for battle.

I thought of my home, of the partner of my anxieties and cares, of the
children of our love, and of the dangers of their defencelessness, and I
marvelled with a weeping spirit at the manner in which I had been
snatched up, and brought, as it were in a whirlwind, to be an actor in a
scene of such inevitable woe. Sometimes, in the passion of that grief, I
was tempted to rise, and moved to seek my way back to the nest of my
affections. But as often as the thought came over my heart, with its
soft and fond enticements, some rustle in the camp of the weary men who
had borne in the march all that I had borne, and many of them in the
cause far more, yea, even to the martyrdom of dear friends, I bowed my
head and prayed for constancy of purpose and fortitude of mind, if the
arm of flesh was ordained to be the means of rescuing the Gospel, and
delivering poor Scotland from prelatic tyranny, and the thraldom of an
anti-Christian usurpation in the kingly power.

While I was thus sitting in this sad and solitary state, none doubting
that before another night our covenanted army would be, as the hail that
smote so sorely on our march, seen no more, and only known to have been
by the track of its course on the fields over which we had passed, a
light broke in upon the darkness of my soul, and amidst high and holy
experiences of consolation, mingled with awe and solemn wonder, I beheld
as it were a bright and shining hand draw aside the curtain of time, and
disclose the blessings of truth and liberty that were ordained to rise
from the fate of the oppressors, who, in the pride and panoply of
arbitrary power, had so thrown down the temple of God, and laid waste
His vineyard.

I saw that from our hasty enterprise they would be drawn to commit still
more grievous aggressions, and thereby incur some fearful forfeiture of
the honours and predominancy of which they had for so many years shown
themselves so unworthy; and I had a foretaste in that hour of the
fulfilment of my grandfather's prophecy concerning the tasks that were
in store for myself in the deliverance of my native land. So that,
although I rose from the rock whereon I was sitting, in the clear
conviction that our array would be scattered like chaff before the wind,
I yet had a blessed persuasion that the event would prove in the end a
link in the chain, or a cog in the wheel, of the hidden enginery with
which Providence works good out of evil.



CHAPTER LIV


In the course of the night, shortly after the third watch had been set,
some of those who had tarried by the way came to the camp with the
tidings that Dalziel and all the royal forces in Glasgow were coming
upon us. This, though foreseen, caused a great panic, and a council of
war, consisting, as usual, of ministers and officers, was held, to
determine what should be done; but it was likewise, as usual, only a
fruitless controversy. I, however, on this occasion, feeling myself
sustained in spirit by the assurances I had received in my meditations
on the rock, ventured to speak my mind freely; which was to the effect
that, taking our dejected condition, the desertion of our friends, and
our disappointments from the city, into consideration, we could do no
better thing than evade the swords of our adversaries by disbanding
ourselves, that each might be free to seek safety for himself.

Many were inclined to this counsel; and I doubt not it would have been
followed; but, while conferring together, an officer came from the
privy-council to propose a cessation of arms till our demands could be
considered. It was manifest that this was a wily stratagem to keep us in
the snare till Dalziel had time to come up, and I did all in my power to
make the council see it in the same light; but there was a blindness of
mind among us, and the greater number thought it augured a speedy
redress of the wrongs for which we had come to seek reparation. Nor did
their obstinacy in this relax till next morning, when, instead of
anything like their improbable hopes, came a proclamation ordering us to
disperse, and containing neither promise of indemnity nor of pardon. But
then it was too late. Dalziel was in sight. His army was coming like a
stream along the foot of the Pentland-hills,--we saw his banners and the
glittering of his arms, and the sound of his musicants came swelling on
the breeze.

It was plain that his purpose was to drive us in towards the town; but
had we dispersed we might even then have frustrated his intent. There
happened, however, besides Learmont and Wallace, to be several officers
among us who had stubborn notions of military honour; and they would not
permit so unsoldier-like a flight. There were also divers heated and
fanatical spirits, whom, because our undertaking had been for religious
ends, nothing could persuade that Providence would not interfere in some
signal manner for their deliverance, yea, even to the overthrow of the
enemy; and Mr Whamle, a minister, one of these, getting upon the top of
the rock where I had sat the night before, began to preach of the mighty
things that the Lord did for the children of Israel in the valley of
Ajalon, where He not only threw down great stones from the heavens, but
enabled Joshua to command the sun and moon to stand still,--which to any
composed mind was melancholious to hear.

In sequence to these divisions and contrarieties which enchanted us to
the spot, Dalziel, considering that we were minded to give him battle,
brought on his force; and it is but due to the renown of the valour of
those present to record that, notwithstanding a fearful odds, our men,
having the vantage ground, so stoutly maintained their station that we
repulsed him thrice.

But the victory, as I have said, was not ordained for us. In the
afternoon Dalziel was reinforced by several score of mounted gentlemen
from the adjacent counties, and with their horse, about sunset, our
phalanx was shattered, our ranks broken,--and then we began to quit the
field. The number of our slain, and of those who fell into the hands of
the enemy, did not in the whole exceed two hundred men. The dead might
have been greater, but for the compassion of the gentlemen, who had
respect to the cause which had provoked us to arms, and who, instead of
doing as Dalziel's men did, without remorse or pity, cried to the
fugitives to flee, and spared many in consideration of the common
wrongs.

When I saw that our host was dashed into pieces, and the fragments
scattered over the fields, I fled with the flying, and gained, with
about some thirty other fugitives, the brow of a steep part of the
Pentland-hills, where the mounted gentlemen, even had they been
inclined, could not easily follow us. There, while we halted to rest a
little, we heard a shout now and then rise startling from the field of
battle below; but night coming on, all was soon silent, and we sat, in
the holiness of our mountain-refuge, in silent rumination till the moon,
rolling slowly from behind Arthur's Seat, looked from her window in the
clouds, as if to admonish us to flee farther from the scene of danger.

The Reverend Mr Witherspoon being among us, was the first to feel the
gracious admonition, and, rising from the ground, he said,--

"Friends, we must not tarry here, the hunters are forth, and we are the
prey they pursue. They will track us long, and the hounds are not of a
nature to lose scent, especially when they have tasted, as they have
done this day, the rich blood of the faithful and the true. Therefore
let us depart; but where, O where shall we find a home to receive
us?--Where a place of rest for our weary limbs, or a safe stone for a
pillow to our aching heads? But why do I doubt? Blameless as we are,
even before man, of all offence, save that of seeking leave to worship
God according to our conscience, it cannot be that we shall be left
without succour. No, my friends! though our bed be the damp grass and
our coverlet the cloudy sky, our food the haws of the hedge, and our
drink the drumly burn, we have made for our hearts the down-beds of
religious faith, and have found a banquet for our spirits in the
ambrosial truths of the Gospel--luxuries that neither a James Sharp nor
a Charles Stuart can ever enjoy, nor all the rents and revenues, fines
and forfeitures, which princes may exact and prelates yearn to partake
of, can buy."

He then offered up a thanksgiving that we had been spared from the sword
in the battle; after which we shook hands in silence together, and each
pursued his own way.

Mr Witherspoon lingered by my side as we descended the hill, and I
discerned that he was inclined to be my companion; so we continued
together, stretching towards the north-west, in order to fall into the
Lithgow road, being mindet to pass along the skirts of Stirlingshire,
thence into Lennox, in the hope of reaching Argyle's country by the way
of the ferry of Balloch. But we had owre soon a cruel cause to change
the course of our flight.

In coming down towards the Amond-water, we saw a man running before us
in the glimpse of the moonshine, and it was natural to conclude, from
his gestures and the solitude of the place, that no one could be so
far-a-field at such a time, but some poor fellow-fugitive from
Rullion-green where the battle was fought; so we called to him to stop,
and to fear no ill, for we were friends. Still, however he fled on, and
heeded not our entreaty, which made us both marvel and resolve to
overtake him. We thought it was not safe to follow long an unknown
person who was so evidently afraid, and flying, as we supposed, to his
home. Accordingly we hastened our speed, and I, being the nimblest
reached him at a place where he was stopped by a cleft in the rocks on
the river's woody brink.

"Why do you fly so fast from us?" said I; "we're frae the Pentland-hills
too."

At these words he looked wildly round, and his face was as ghastly as a
ghost's in the moonlight; but, distorted as he was by his fears, I
discovered in him my neighbour, Nahum Chapelrig, and I spoke to him by
name.

"O, Ringan Gilhaize!" said he, and he took hold of me with his right
hand, while he raised his left and shook it in a fearful and frantic
manner, "I am a dead man, my hours are numbered, and the sand-glass of
my days is amaist a' run out. I had been saved from the sword, spared
from the spear, and, flying from the field, I went to a farm-house
yonder; I sought admission and shelter for a forlorn Christian man; but
the edicts of the persecutors are more obeyed here than the laws of God.
The farmer opened his casement, and speering if I had been at the raid
of the Covenanters, which, for the sake of truth and the glory of God, I
couldna deny, he shot me dead on the spot; for his bullet gaed in my
breast, and is fast in my--"

He could say no more; for in that juncture he gave as it were a gurgle
in the throat, and swirling round, fell down a bleeding corpse on the
ground where he stood, before Mr Witherspoon had time to come up.

We both looked at poor guiltless Nahum as he lay on the grass, and,
after some sorrowful communion, we lifted the body, and carrying it down
aneath the bank of the river, laid stones and turfs upon it by the
moonlight, that the unclean birds might not be able to molest his
martyred remains. We then consulted together; and having communed
concerning the manner of Nahum's death, we resolved not to trust
ourselves in the power of strangers in those parts of the country, where
the submission to the prelatic enormity had been followed with such
woful evidence of depravity of heart. So, instead of continuing our
journey to the northward, we changed our course, and, for the remainder
of the night, sought our way due west, by the skirts of the moors and
other untrodden ways.



CHAPTER LV


At break of day we found ourselves on a lonely brae-side, sorely weary,
hungry and faint in spirit; a few whin-bushes were on the bank, and the
birds in them were beginning to chirp,--we sat down and wist not what to
do.

Mr Witherspoon prayed inwardly for support and resignation of heart in
the trials he was ordained to undergo; but doure thoughts began to
gather in my bosom. I yearned for my family,--I mourned to know what had
become of my brother in the battle,--and I grudged and marvelled
wherefore it was that the royal and the great had so little respect for
the religious honesty of harmless country folk.

It was now the nine-and-twentieth day of November, but the weather for
the season was open and mild, and the morning rose around us in the
glory of her light and beauty. As the gay and goodly sun looked over the
eastern hills, we cast our eyes on all sides, and beheld the scattered
villages and the rising smoke of the farms, but saw not a dwelling we
could venture to approach, nor a roof that our fears, and the woful end
of poor Nahum Chapelrig, did not teach us to think covered a foe.

While we were sitting communing on these things, we discovered, at a
little distance on the left, an aged woman hirpling aslant the route we
intended to take. She had a porringer in the one hand, and a small kit
tied in a cloute in the other, by which we discerned that she was
probably some laborous man's wife conveying his breakfast to him in the
field.

We both rose, and going towards her, Mr Witherspoon said, "For the love
of God have compassion on two famishing Christians."

The old woman stopped, and, looking round, gazed at us for a space of
time, with a countenance of compassionate reverence.

"Hech, sirs!" she then said; "and has it come to this, that a minister
of the Gospel is obligated to beg an almous frae Janet Armstrong?" And
she set down the porringer on the ground, and began to untie the cloute
in which she carried the kit, saying, "Little did I think that sic an
homage was in store for me, or that the merciful Heavens would e'er
requite my sufferings, in this world, wi' the honour of placing it in my
power to help a persecuted servant of the living God. Mr Witherspoon, I
ken you weel; meikle sweet counselling I hae gotten frae you when ye
preached for our minister at Camrachle in the time of the great
covenanting. I was then as a lanerly widow, for my gudeman was at the
raid of Dunse-hill, and my heart was often sorrowful and sinking wi' a
sinful misdooting of Providence, for I had twa wee bairns and but a toom
garnel."

She then opened the kit, which contained a providing of victual that she
was carrying, as we had thought, to her husband, a quarrier in a
neighbouring quarry; and bidding us partake, she said,--

"This will be a blithe morning to John Armstrong, to think that out of
our basket and store we hae had, for ance in our day, the blessing of
gi'eing a pick to ane o' God's greatest corbies; and he'll no fin' his
day's dark ae hue the dreigher for wanting his breakfast on account of
sic a cause."

So we sat down, and began to partake of the repast with a greedy
appetite, and the worthy woman continued to talk.

"Aye," said she, "the country-side has been in a consternation ever
since Dalziel left Glasgow;--we a' jealoused that the Lanerk Covenanters
would na be able to withstand his power and the King's forces; for it
was said ye had na a right captain of war among you a'.--But, Mr
Witherspoon, ye could ne'er be ane of the ministers that were said to
meddle with the battering-rams o' battle.--No; weel I wat that yours is
a holier wisdom--ye would be for peace;--blessed are the peacemakers."

Seeing the honest woman thus inclined to prattle of things too high for
her to understand, Mr Witherspoon's hunger being somewhat abated, he
calmly interposed, and turned the discourse into kind inquiries
concerning the state of her poor soul and her straitened worldly
circumstances; and he was well content to find that she had a pleasant
vista of the truths of salvation, and a confidence in the unceasing care
of Providence.

"The same gracious hand that feeds the ravens," said she, "will ne'er
let twa auld folk want, that it has been at the trouble to provide for
so long. It's true we had a better prospek in our younger days; but our
auld son was slain at the battle of Worcester, when he gaed in to help
to put the English crown on the head of that false Charlie Stuart, who
has broken his oath and the Covenant; and my twa winsome lassies diet in
their teens, before they were come to years o' discretion. But 'few and
evil are the days of man that is born of a woman,' as I hae heard you
preach, Mr Witherspoon, which is a blessed truth and consolation to
those who have not in this world any continued city."

We then inquired what was the religious frame of the people in that part
of the country, in order that we might know how to comport ourselves;
but she gave us little heartening.

"The strength and wealth o' the gentry," said she "is just sooket awa
wi' ae fine after anither, and it's no in the power of nature that they
can meikle langer stand out against the prelacy."

"I hope," replied Mr Witherspoon, "that there's no symptom of a laxity
of principle among them?"

"I doot, I doot, Mr Witherspoon," said Janet Armstrong, "we canna hae a
great dependence either on principle or doctrine when folk are driven
demented wi' oppression. Many that were ance godly among us can thole no
more, and they begin to fash and turn awa' at the sight of their
persecuted friends."

Mr Witherspoon sighed with a heavy heart on hearing this, and mournfully
shook his head. We then thanked Janet for her hospitable kindness, and
rising, were moving to go away.

"I hope, Mr Witherspoon," said she, "that we're no to part in sic a
knotless manner. Bide here till I gang for John Armstrong and the other
twa men that howk wi' him in the quarry. They're bearing plants o' the
vineyard--tarry, I pray you, and water them wi' the water of the Word."

And so saying, she hastened down the track she was going, and we
continued on the spot to wait her return.

"Ringan," said Mr Witherspoon to me, "I fear there's owre meikle truth
in what she says concerning the state of religion, not only here, but
among all the commonality of the land. The poor beast that's overladen
may be stubborn, and refuse for a time to draw; but the whip will at
last prevail, until, worn out and weary, it meekly lies down to die. In
like manner, the stoutness of the covenanted heart will be overcome."

Just as he was uttering these words, a whiz in a whin-bush near to where
we were standing, and the sound of a gun, startled us, and on looking
round we saw five men, and one of the black-cuffs with his firelock
still at his shoulder, looking towards us from behind a dyke that ran
along the bottom of the brae. There was no time for consultation. We
fled, cowering behind the whin-bushes till we got round a turn in the
hill, which, protecting us from any immediate shot, enabled us to run in
freedom till we reached a hazel-wood, which having entered, we halted to
take breath.

"We must not trust ourselves long here, Mr Witherspoon," said I. "Let us
go forward, for assuredly the blood-hounds will follow us in."

Accordingly we went on. But it is not to be told what we suffered in
passing through that wood; for the boughs and branches scourged us in
the face, and the ground beneath our feet was marshy and deep, and
grievously overspread with brambles that tore away our very flesh.

After enduring several hours of unspeakable suffering beneath those wild
and unfrequented trees, we came to a little glen, down which a burn ran,
and having stopped to consult, we resolved to go up rather than down the
stream, in order that we might not be seen by the pursuers whom we
supposed would naturally keep the hill. But by this time our strength
was in a manner utterly gone with fatigue, in so much that Mr
Witherspoon said it would be as well to fall into the hands of the enemy
as to die in the wood. I however encouraged him to be of good cheer;
and it so happened, in that very moment of despair, that I observed a
little cavern nook aneath a rock that overhung the burn, and thither I
proposed we should wade and rest ourselves in the cave, trusting that
Providence would be pleased to guide our persecutors into some other
path. So we passed the water, and laid ourselves down under the shelter
of the rock, where we soon after fell asleep.



CHAPTER LVI


We were graciously protected for the space of four hours, which we lay
asleep under the rock. Mr Witherspoon was the first who awoke, and he
sat watching beside me for some time, in great anxiety of spirit, as he
afterwards told me; for the day was far spent, and the weather, as is
often the custom in our climate, in the wane of the year, when the
morning rises bright, had become coarse and drumly, threatening a rough
night.

At last I awoke, and according to what we had previously counselled
together, we went up the course of the burn, and so got out of that
afflicting wood, and came to an open and wide moorland, over which we
held our journeying westward, guided by the sun, that with a sickly eye
was then cowering through the mist to his chamber ayont the hill.

But though all around us was a pathless scene of brown heather, here and
there patched with the deceitful green of some perilous well-e'e; though
the skies were sullen, and the bleak wind gusty, and every now and then
a straggling flake of snow, strewed in our way from the invisible hand
of the cloud, was a token of a coming drift, still a joyous
encouragement was shed into our bosoms, and we saw in the wildness of
the waste, and the omens of the storm, the blessed means with which
Providence, in that forlorn epoch, was manifestly deterring the pursuer
and the persecutor from tracking our defenceless flight. So we journeyed
onward, discoursing of many dear and tender cares, often looking round,
and listening when startled by the wind whispering to the heath and the
waving fern, till the shadows of evening began to fall, and the dangers
of the night season to darken around us.

When the snow hung on the heather like its own bells, we wished, but we
feared to seek a place of shelter. Fain would we have gone back to the
home for the fugitive, which we had found under the rock, but we knew
not how to turn ourselves; for the lights of the moon and stars were
deeply concealed in the dark folds of the wintry mantle with which the
heavens were wrapt up. Our hearts then grew weary, and more than once I
felt as if I was very willing to die.

Still we struggled on; and when it had been dark about an hour, we came
to the skirts of a field, where the strips of the stubble through the
snow showed us that some house or clachan could not be far off. We then
consulted together, and resolved rather to make our place of rest in the
lea of a stack, or an outhouse, than to apply to the dwelling; for the
thought of the untimely end of harmless Nahum Chapelrig lay like clay on
our hearts, and we could not but sorrow that, among the other woes of
the vial of the prelatic dispensation, the hearts of the people of
Scotland should be so turned against one another.

Accordingly going down the rigs, with as little interchange of discourse
as could well be, we descried, by the schimmer of the snow, and a
ghastly streak of moonlight that passed over the fields, a farm
steading, with several trees and stacks around it, and thither we softly
directed our steps. Greatly, however, were we surprised and touched with
distress, when, as we drew near, we saw that there was no light in the
house, nor the sign of fire within, nor inhabitant about the place.

On reaching the door we found it open, and on entering in, everything
seemed as if it had been suddenly abandoned; but by the help of a
pistol, which I had taken in the raid from one of Turner's disarmed
troopers, and putting our trust in the protection we had so far enjoyed,
I struck a light and kindled the fire, over which there was still
hanging, on the swee, a kail-pot, wherein the family at the time of
their flight had been preparing their dinner; and we judged by this
token, and by the visible desertion, that we were in the house of some
of God's people who had been suddenly scattered. Accordingly we scrupled
not to help ourselves from the aumrie, knowing how readily they would
pardon the freedom of need in a Gospel minister, and a covenanted
brother dejected with want and much suffering.

Having finished our supper, instead of sitting by the fire, as we at
first proposed to do, we thought it would be safer to take the blankets
from the beds and make our lair in the barn; so we accordingly retired
thither, and lay down among some unthreshed corn that was lying ready on
the floor for the flail.

But we were not well down when we heard the breathings of two persons
near us. As there was no light, and Mr Witherspoon guessing by what we
had seen, and by this concealment, that they must be some of the family,
he began to pray aloud, thereby, without letting wot they were
discovered, making them to understand what sort of guests we were. At
the conclusion an old woman spoke to us, telling us dreadful things
which a gang of soldiers had committed that afternoon, and her sad story
was often interrupted by the moans of her daughter, the farmer's wife,
who had suffered from the soldiers an unspeakable wrong.

"But what has become of our men, or where the bairns hae fled, we know
not,--we were baith demented by the outrage, and hid oursel's here after
it was owre late," said that aged person, in a voice of settled grief
that was more sorrowful to hear than any lamentation could have been,
and all the sacred exhortations that Mr Witherspoon could employ
softened not the obduracy of her inward sorrowing over her daughter, the
dishonoured wife. He, however, persuaded them to return with us to the
house; for the enemy having been there, we thought it not likely he
would that night come again. As for me, during the dismal recital, I
could not speak. The eye of my spirit was fixed on the treasure I had
left at home. Every word I heard was like the sting of an adder. My
horrors and fears rose to such a pitch, that I could no longer master
them. I started up and rushed to the door, as if it had been possible to
arrest the imagined guilt of the persecutors in my own unprotected
dwelling.

Mr Witherspoon followed me, thinking I had gone by myself, and caught me
by the arm and entreated me to be composed, and to return with him into
the house. But while he was thus kindly remonstrating with me,
something took his foot, and he stumbled and fell to the ground. The
accident served to check the frenzy of my thoughts for a moment, and I
stooped down to help him up; but in the same instant he uttered a wild
howl that made me start from him; and he then added, awfully,--

"In the name of Heaven, what is this?

"What is it?" said I, filled with unutterable dread.

"Hush, hush," he replied as he rose, "lest the poor women hear us," and
he lifted in his arms the body of a child of some four or five years
old. I could endure no more; I thought the voices of my own innocents
cried to me for help, and in the frenzy of the moment I left the godly
man, and fled like a demoniac, not knowing which way I went.



CHAPTER LVII


A keen frost had succeeded the snow, and the wind blew piercingly cold;
but the gloom had passed away. The starry eyes of the heavens were all
wakefully bright, and the moon was moving along the fleecy edge of a
cloud, like a lonely barque that navigates amidst the foaming perils of
some dark inhospitable shore. At the time, however, I was in no frame of
thought to note these things, but I know that such was then the aspect
of that night; for as often yet, as the freezing wind sweeps over the
fields strewed with snow, and the stars are shining vigilantly, and the
moon hastily travels on the skirts of the cloud, the passion of that
hour, at the sight thereof, revives in my spirit; and the mourning
women, and the perished child in the arms of Mr Witherspoon, appear like
palpable imagery before the eyes of my remembrance.

The speed with which I ran soon exhausted my strength.--I began to
reflect on the unavailing zeal with which I was then hastening to the
succour of those for whom my soul was suffering more than the tongue of
the eloquent orator can express.--I stopped to collect my reason and my
thoughts, which, I may well say, were scattered, like the wrack that
drifts in the tempestuous air.--I considered, that I knew not a footstep
of the road, that dangers surrounded me on all sides, and that the
precipitation of my haste might draw me into accidents, whereby the very
object would be lost which I was so eager to gain; and the storm within
me abated, and the distraction of my bosom, which had so well nigh
shipwrekt my understanding, was moderated, like the billows of the ocean
when the blasts are gone by; so that, after I was some four or five
miles away from yon house of martyrdom and mourning, a gracious
dispensation of composure was poured into my spirit, and I was thereby
enabled to go forward in my journey with the circumspection so needful
in that woful time.

But in proportion as my haste slackened, and the fiery violence of the
fears subsided wherewith I was hurried on, the icy tooth of the winter
grew feller in the bite, and I became in a manner almost helpless. The
mind within me was as if the faculty of its thinking had been frozen up,
and about the dawn of morning I walked in a willess manner, the blood in
my veins not more benumbed in its course than was the fluency of my
spirit in its power of resolution.

I had now, from the time that our covenanted host was scattered on
Rullion-green, travelled many miles; and though like a barque drifting
rudderless on the ocean tides, as the stream flows and the blast blows,
I had held no constant course, still my progress had been havenward, in
so much that about sunrise I found myself, I cannot well tell how, on
the heights to the south of Castlemilk, and the city of Glasgow, with
her goodly array of many towers, glittering in the morning beams, lay in
sight some few miles off on the north. I knew it not; but a herd that I
fell in with on the hill told me what town it was, and the names of
divers clachans, and the houses of men of substance in the lowlands
before me.

Among others he pointed out to me Nether Pollock in the midst of a
skirting of trees, the seat and castle of that godly and much-persecuted
Christian and true Covenanter, Sir George Maxwell, the savour of whose
piety was spread far and wide; for he had suffered much, both from sore
imprisonment and the heavy fine of four thousand pounds imposed upon
him, shortly after that conclave of Satan, Middleton's sederunt of the
privy-council at Glasgow, where prelatic cruelty was brought to bed of
her first-born, in that edict against the ministers at the beginning of
the Persecution, whereof I have described the promulgation as it took
place at Irvine.

Being then hungered and very cold, after discoursing with the poor herd,
who was a simple stripling in the ignorance of innocence, I resolved to
bend my way toward Nether Pollock, in the confident faith that the
master thereof, having suffered so much himself, would know how to
compassionate a persecuted brother. And often since I have thought that
there was something higher than reason in the instinct of this
confidence; for indeed, had I reasoned from what was commonly said--and,
alas! owre truly--that the covenanted spirit was bent, if not broken, I
would have feared to seek the gates of Sir George Maxwell, lest the love
he had once borne to our cause had been converted, by his own sufferings
and apprehensions, into dread or aversion. But I was encouraged of the
spirit to proceed.

Just, however, as I parted from the herd, he cried after me, and pointed
to a man coming up the hill at some distance, with a gun in his hand,
and a bird-bag at his side, and two dogs at his heel, saying, "Yon'er's
Sir George Maxwell himsel ganging to the moors. Eh! but he has had his
ain luck to fill his pock so weel already."

Whereupon I turned my steps towards Sir George, and, on approaching him,
beseeched him to have compassion on a poor famished fugitive from the
Pentlands.

He stopped, and looked at me in a most pitiful manner, and shook his
head, and said, with a tender grief in his voice, "It was a hasty
business, and the worst of it no yet either heard nor over; but let us
lose no time, for you are in much danger if you tarry so near to
Glasgow, where Colonel Drummond came yesterday with a detachment of
soldiers, and has already spread them over the country."

In saying these words, the worthy gentleman opened his bag, which,
instead of being filled with game, as the marvelling stripling had
supposed, contained a store of provisions.

"I came not for pastime to the moor this morning," said he, presenting
to me something to eat, "but because last night I heard that many of the
outcasts had been seen yesterday lurking about thae hills, and as I
could not give them harbour, nor even let them have any among my
tenants, I have come out with some of my men, as it were to the
shooting, in order to succour them. But we must not remain long
together. Take with you what you may require, and go away quickly; and I
counsel you not to take the road to Paisley, but to cross with what
speed you can to the western parts of the shire, where, as the people
have not been concerned in the raid, there's the less likelihood of
Drummond sending any of his force in that direction."

Accordingly, being thus plentifully supplied by the providence of that
Worthy, my strength was wonderfully recruited, and my heart cheered.
With many thanks I then hastened from him, praying that his private
charitable intents might bring him into no trouble. And surely it was a
thing hallowing to the affections of the afflicted Scottish nation to
meet with such Christian fellowship. For to the perpetual renown of many
honourable West Country families be it spoken, both master and men were
daily in the moors at that time succouring the persecuted, like the
ravens that fed Elijah in the wilderness.

After parting from Sir George Maxwell, I continued to bend my course
straight westward, and having crossed the road from Glasgow to Paisley,
I directed my steps to the hillier parts of the country, being minded,
according to the suggestions of that excellent person, to find my way by
the coast-side into the shire of Ayr. But though my anxiety concerning
my family was now sharpened as it were with the anguish of fire, I began
to reason with myself on the jeopardy I might bring upon them, were I to
return while the pursuit was so fierce; and in the end I came to the
determination only to seek to know how it fared with them, and what had
become of my brother in the battle, trusting that in due season the Lord
would mitigate the ire and the cruelty that was let loose on all those
who had joined in the Protestation and renewed the Covenant at Lanerk.



CHAPTER LVIII


Towards the afternoon I found myself among the solitudes of the
Renfrewshire moors. Save at times the melancholious note of the
peese-weep, neither the sound nor the voice of any living thing was
heard there. Being then wearied in all my limbs, and willingly disposed
to sleep, I laid myself down on a green hollow on the banks of the
Gryffe, where the sun shone with a pleasing warmth for so late a period
of the year. I was not, however, many minutes stretched on the grass
when I heard a shrill whistle of some one nigh at hand, and presently
also the barking of a dog. From the kindly experience I had received of
Sir George Maxwell's care this occasioned at first no alarm; but on
looking up I beheld at some distance three soldiers with a dog, on the
other side of the river.

Near the spot where I lay there was a cloven rock overspread with
brambles and slae-bushes. It seemed to me as if the cleft had been
prepared on purpose by Providence for a hiding-place. I crept into it,
and forgetting Him by whom I was protected, I trembled with a base fear.
But in that very moment He at once rebuked my infirmity, and gave me a
singular assurance of His holy wardenship, by causing an adder to come
towards me from the roots of the bushes, as if to force me to flee into
the view of the pursuers. Just, however, as in my horror I was on the
point of doing so, the reptile looked at me with its glittering eyes,
and then suddenly leapt away into the brake;--at the same moment a hare
was raised by the dog, and the soldiers following it with shouts and
halloes, were soon carried, by the impetuosity of the natural incitement
which man has for the chase, far from the spot, and out of sight.

This adventure had for a time the effect of rousing me from out the
weariness with which I had been oppressed, and I rose and continued my
course westward, over the hills, till I came in sight of the
Shaw's-water,--the stream of which I followed for more than a mile with
a beating heart; for the valley through which it flows is bare and open,
and had any of the persecutors been then on the neighbouring hills, I
must have soon been seen; but gradually my thoughts became more
composed, and the terrors of the poor hunted creature again became
changed into confidence and hope.

In this renewed spirit I slackened my pace, and seeing, at a short
distance down the stream, before me a tree laid across a bridge, I was
comforted with the persuasion that some farm-town could not be far off,
so I resolved to linger about till the gloaming, and then to follow the
path which led over the bridge. For, not knowing how the inhabitants in
those parts stood inclined in their consciences, I was doubtful to trust
myself in their power until I had made some espionage. Accordingly, as
the sun was still above the hills, I kept the hollowest track by the
river's brink, and went down its course for some little time, till I
arrived where the hills come forward into the valley; then I climbed up
a steep hazel bank, and sat down to rest myself on an open green plot on
the brow, where a gentle west wind shook the boughs around me, as if the
silent spirits of the solitude were slowly passing by.

In this place I had not been long when I heard, as if it were not far
off, a sullen roar of falling waters rising hoarsely with the breeze,
and listening again another sound came solemnly mingled with it, which I
had soon the delight to discover was the holy harmony of worship, and to
my ears it was as the first sound of the rushing water which Moses
brought from the rock to those of the thirsty Israelites, and I was for
some time so ravished with joy that I could not move from the spot where
I was sitting.

At last the sweet melody of the psalm died away, and I arose and went
towards the airt from which it had come; but as I advanced, the noise of
the roaring waters grew louder and deeper, till they were as the
breaking of the summer waves along the Ardrossan shore, and presently I
found myself on the brink of a cliff, over which the river tumbled into
a rugged chasm, where the rocks were skirted with leafless brambles and
hazel, and garmented with ivy.

On a green sloping bank, at a short distance below the waterfall,
screened by the rocks and trees on the one side, and by the rising
ground on the other, about thirty of the Lord's flock, old and young,
were seated around the feet of an aged grey-haired man, who was
preaching to them,--his left hand resting on his staff,--his right was
raised in exhortation,--and a Bible lay on the ground beside him.

I stood for the space of a minute looking at the mournful yet edifying
sight,--mournful it was, to think how God's people were so afflicted,
that they durst not do their Heavenly King homage but in secrecy,--and
edifying, that their constancy was of such an enduring nature that
persecution served but to test it, as fire does the purity of gold.

As I was so standing on the rock above the linn, the preacher happened
to lift his eyes towards me, and the hearers who were looking at him,
turned round, and hastily rising, began to scatter and flee away. I
attempted to cry to them not to be afraid, but the sound of the cataract
drowned my voice. I then ran as swiftly as I could towards the spot of
worship, and reached the top of the sloping bank just as a young man was
assisting Mr Swinton to mount a horse which stood ready saddled, tied to
a tree; for the preacher was no other than that godly man; but the
courteous reader must from his own kind heart supply what passed at our
meeting.

Fain he was at that time to have gone no farther on with the exercise,
and to have asked many questions of me concerning the expedition to the
Pentlands; but I importuned him to continue his blessed work, for I
longed to taste the sweet waters of life once more from so hallowed a
fountain; and, moreover, there was a woman with a baby at her bosom,
which she had brought to be baptized from a neighbouring farm, called
the Killochenn,--and a young couple of a composed and sober aspect, from
the Back-o'-the-world, waiting to be joined together, with his blessing,
in marriage.

When he had closed his sermon and done these things, I went with him,
walking at the side of his horse, discoursing of our many grievous
anxieties; and he told me that, after being taken to Glasgow and
confined in prison there like a malefactor for thirteen days, he had
been examined by the Bishop's court, and through the mediation of one of
the magistrates, a friend of his own, who had a soft word to say with
the Bishop, he was set free with only a menace, and an admonishment not
to go within twenty miles of his own parish, under pain of being dealt
with according to the edict.

Conversing in this manner, and followed by divers of those who had been
solaced with his preaching, for the most part pious folk belonging to
the town of Inverkip, we came to a bridge over the river.

"Here, Ringan," said he, "we must part for the present, for it is not
meet to create suspicion. There are many of the faithful, no doubt, in
thir parts, but it's no to be denied that there are likewise goats
among the sheep. The Lady of Dunrod, where I am now going, is, without
question, a precious vessel free of crack or flaw, but the Laird is of a
courtly compliancy, and their neighbour, Carswell, she tells me, is a
man of the dourest idolatry, his mother having been a papistical woman,
and his father, through all the time of the First King Charles, an
eydent ettler for preferment."

So we then parted, he going his way to Dunrod Castle, and one of the
hearers, a farmer hard by, offering me shelter for the night, I went
with him.



CHAPTER LIX


The decent, thoughtful, elderly man, who so kindly invited me to his
house, was by name called Gideon Kemp; and as we were going towards it
together, he told me of divers things that worthy Mr Swinton had not
time to do; among the rest, that the preaching I had fallen in with at
the linn, which should thenceforth be called the Covenanters' Linn, was
the first taste of Gospel-fother that the scattered sheep of those parts
had tasted for more than eight months.

"What's to come out o' a' this oppression," said he, "is wonderful to
think o'. It's no in the power of nature that ony government or earthly
institution framed by the wit and will of man can withstand a whole
people. The prelates may persecute, and the King's power may back their
iniquities, but the day and the hour cannot be far off when both the
power and the persecutors will be set at nought, and the sense of what
is needful and right, no what is fantastical and arbitrary, govern again
in the counsels of this realm. I say not this in the boast of prediction
and prophecy, but as a thing that must come to pass; for no man can say,
that the peaceful worshipping according to the Word is either a sin, a
shame, or an offence against reason; but the extortioning of fines, and
the desolation of families, for attending the same, is manifestly guilt
of a dark dye, and the Judge of Righteousness will avenge it."

As we were thus walking sedately towards his dwelling, I observed and
pointed out to him a lassie coming running towards us. It was his
daughter; and when she came near, panting and out of breath with her
haste she said--

"O, father ye manna gang hame;--twa of Carswell's men hae been speering
for you and they had swords and guns. They're o'er the hill to the linn,
for wee Willie telt them ye were gane there to a preaching."

"This comes," says the afflicted Gideon, "of speaking of secret things
before bairns; wha could hae thought, that a creature no four years old
would have been an instrument of discovery?--It'll no be safe now for
you to come hame wi' me, which I'm wae for, as ye're sae sorely weary't;
but there's a frien o' ours that lives ayont the Holmstone-hill, aboon
the auld kirk; I'll convey you thither, and she'll gi'e you a shelter
for the night."

So we turned back, and again crossed the bridge before spoken of, and
held our course towards the house of Gideon Kemp's wife's stepmother.
But it was not ordained that I was yet to enjoy the protection of a
raftered dwelling; for just as we came to the Daff-burn, down the glen
of which my godly guide was mindet to conduct me, as being a less
observable way than the open road, he saw one of Ardgowan's men coming
towards us, and that family being of the progeny of the Stuarts, were
inclined to the prelatic side.

"Hide yoursel," said he, "among the bushes."

And I den't myself in a nook of the glen, where I overheard what passed.

"I thought, Gideon," said the lad to him, "that ye would hae been at the
conventicle this afternoon. We hae heard o't a'; and Carswell has sworn
that he'll hae baith doited Swinton and Dunrod's leddy at Glasgow afore
the morn, or he'll mak a tawnle o' her tower."

"Carswell shouldna crack sae croose," replied Gideon Kemp; "for though
his castle stands proud in the green valley, the time may yet come when
horses and carts will be driven through his ha', and the foul toad and
the cauld snail be the only visitors around the unblest hearth o'
Carswell."

The way in which that gifted man said these words made my heart dinle;
but I hae lived to hear that the spirit of prophecy was assuredly in
them: for, since the Revolution, Carswell's family has gone all to
drift, and his house become a wastege;--folk say, a new road that's
talked o' between Inverkip and Greenock is to go through the very
middle o't, and so mak it an awful monument of what awaits and will
betide all those who have no mercy on their fellow-creatures, and would
exalt themselves by abetting the strength of the godless and the wrength
of the oppressors.

Ardgowan's man was daunted by the words of Gideon Kemp, and replied in a
subdued manner, "It's really a melancholious thing to think that folk
should hae gane so wud about ministers and religion;--but tak care of
yoursel, Gideon, for a party of soldiers hae come the day to Cartsdyke
to take up ony of the Rullion-green rebels that hae fled to thir parts,
and they catcht, I hear, in a public in the Stenners, three men, and
have sent them to Glasgow to be hanged."

I verily thought my heart would at this have leapt out of my bosom.

"Surely," replied Gideon Kemp, "the wrath of government is no so
unquenchable, that a' the misguided folk concernt in the rising are
doom't to die. But hae ye heard the names of the prisoners, or where
they belong to?"

"They're o' the shire o' Ayr, somewhere frae the skirts o' Irvine or
Kilwinning; and I was likewise told their names, but they're no of a
familiarity easy to be remembered."

The horror which fell upon me at hearing this made me forget my own
peril, and I sprung out of the place of my concealment, and cried,--

"Do you ken if any of them was of the name of Gilhaize?"

Ardgowan's man was astounded at seeing me standing before him in so
instanter a manner, and before making any response, he looked at Gideon
Kemp with a jealous and troubled eye.

"Nay," said I, "you shall deal honestly with me, and from this spot you
shall not depart till you have promised to use nae scaith to this worthy
man." So I took hold of him by the skirts of his coat, and added, "Ye're
in the hands of one that tribulation has made desperate. I, too, am a
rebel, as ye say, from Rullion-green, and my life is forfeited to the
ravenous desires of those who made the laws that have created our
offence. But fear no wrong, if you have aught of Christian compassion
in you. Was Gilhaize the name of any of the prisoners?"

"I'll no swear't," was his answer; "but I think it was something like
that;--one of them, I think, they called Finnie."

"Robin Finnie," cried I, dropping his coat, "he was wi' my brother; I
canna doubt it;" and the thought of their fate flooded my heart, and the
tears flowed from my eyes.

The better nature of Ardgowan's man was moved at the sight of my
distress, and he said to Gideon Kemp,--

"Ye needna be fear't, Gideon; I hope ye ken mair o' me than to think I
would betray either friend or acquaintance. But gang na' to the toun,
for a' yon'er's in a state o' unco wi' the news o' what's being doing
the day at Cartsdyke, and every body's in the hourly dread and fear o'
some o' the black-cuffs coming to devour them."

"That's spoken like yoursel, Johnnie Jamieson," said Gideon Kemp; "but
this poor man," meaning me, "has had a day o' weary travel among the
moors, and is greatly in need of refreshment and a place of rest. When
the sword, Johnnie, is in the hand, it's an honourable thing to deal
stoutly wi' the foe; but when forlorn and dejectit, and more houseless
than the beasts of the field, he's no longer an adversary, but a man
that we're bound by the laws of God and nature to help."

Jamieson remained for a short space in a dubious manner, and looking
mildly towards me, he said, "Gang you your ways, Gideon Kemp, and I'll
ne'er say I saw you; and let your friend den himsel in the glen, and
trust me: naebody in a' Inverkip will jealouse that ony of our house
would help or harbour a covenanted rebel; so I'll can bring him to some
place o' succour in the gloaming, where he'll be safer than he could wi'
you."

Troubled and sorrowful as I was, I could not but observe the look of
soul-searching scrutiny that Gideon Kemp cast at Jamieson, who himself
was sensible of his mistrust, for he replied,--

"Dinna misdoot me, Gideon Kemp; I would sooner put my right hand in the
fire, and burn it to a cinder, than harm the hair of a man that was in
my power."

"And I'll believe you," said I; "so guide me wheresoever you will."

"Ye'll never thrive, Johnnie Jamieson," added honest Gideon, "if ye're
no sincere in this trust."

So after some little farther communing, the worthy farmer left us, and I
followed Jamieson down the Daff-burn, till we came to a mill that stood
in the hollow of the glen, the wheel whereof was happing in the water
with a pleasant and peaceful din that sounded consolatory to my hearing
after the solitudes, the storms and the accidents I had met with.

"Bide you here," said Jamieson; "the gudeman's ane o' your folk, but his
wife's a thought camstrarie at times, and before I tak you into the mill
I maun look that she's no there."

So he hastened forward, and going to the door, went in, leaving me
standing at the sluice of the mill-lade, where, however, I had not
occasion to wait long, for presently he came out, and beckoned to me
with his hand to come quickly.



CHAPTER LX


Sauners Paton, as the miller was called, received me in a kindly manner,
saying to Jamieson,--

"I aye thought, Johnnie, that some day ye would get a cast o' grace, and
the Lord has been bountiful to you at last, in putting it in your power
to be aiding in such a Samaritan work. But," he added, turning to me,
"it's no just in my power to do for you what I could wis; for, to keep
peace in the house, I'm at times, like many other married men, obligated
to let the gudewife tak her ain way; for which reason, I doubt ye'll hae
to mak your bed here in the mill."

While he was thus speaking, we heard the tongue of Mrs Paton ringing
like a bell.

"For Heaven's sake, Johnnie Jamieson," cried the miller, "gang out and
stop her frae coming hither till I get the poor man hidden in the loft."

Jamieson ran out, leaving us together, and the miller placing a ladder,
I mounted up into the loft, where he spread sacks for a bed to me, and
told me to lie quiet, and in the dusk he would bring me something to
eat. But before he had well descended, and removed the ladder from the
trap-door, in came his wife.

"Noo, Sauners Paton," she exclaimed, "ye see what I hae aye prophesied
to you is fast coming to pass. The King's forces are at Cartsdyke, and
they'll be here the morn, and what's to come o' you then, wi' your
covenanted havers? But, Sauners Paton, I hae ae thing to tell ye, and
that's no twa; ye'll this night flit your camp; ye'll tak to the hills,
as I'm a living woman, and no bide to be hang't at your ain door, and to
get your right hand chappit aff, and sent to Lanerk for a show, as they
say is done an doing wi' a' the Covenanters."

"Naebody, Kate, will meddle wi' me, dinna ye be fear't," replied the
miller; "I hae done nae ill, but patiently follow't my calling at home,
so what hae I to dread?"

"Did na ye sign the remonstrance to the laird against the curate's
coming; ca' ye that naething? Ye'll to the caves this night, Sauners
Paton, if the life bide in your body. What a sight it would be to me to
see you put to death, and maybe to fin a sword of cauld iron running
through my ain body, for being colleague wi' you; for ye ken that it's
the law now to mak wives respondable for their gudemen."

"Kate Warden," replied the miller, with a sedate voice, "in sma' things
I hae ne'er set mysel vera obdoorately against you."

"Na! if I e'er heard the like o' that!" exclaimed Mrs Paton. "A
cross-graint man, that has just been as a Covenant and Remonstrance to
happiness, submitting himsel in no manner o' way, either to me or those
in authority over us, to talk o' sma' things! Sauners Paton, ye're a
born rebel to your King, and kintra, and wife. But this night I'll put
it out of your power to rebel on me. Stop the mill, Sauners Paton, and
come out, and tak the door on your back. I hae owre meikle regard for
you to let you bide in jeopardy ony langer here."

"Consider," said Sauners, a little dourly, as if he meditated rebellion,
"that this is the season of December; and where would ye hae me to gang
in sic a night?"

"A grave in the kirk-yard's caulder than a tramp on the hills. My jo,
ye'll hae to conform; for positeevely, Sauners Paton, I'm positive, and
for this night, till the blast has blawn by, ye'll hae to seek a refuge
out o' the reach of the troopers' spear.--Hae ye stoppit the mill?"

The mistress was of so propugnacious a temper, that the poor man saw no
better for't than to yield obedience so far, as to pull the string that
turned off the water of the mill-lade from the wheel.

"Noo," said he, "to pleasure you, Kate, I hae stoppit the mill, and to
pleasure me, I hope ye'll consent to stop your tongue; for, to be plain
wi' you, frae my ain house I'll no gang this night; and ye shall hae't
since ye will hae't, I hae a reason of my ain for biding at hame, and at
hame I will bide;--na, what's mair, Kate, it's a reason that I'll no
tell to you."

"Dear pity me, Sauners Paton!" cried his wife; "ye're surely grown o'
late an unco reasonable man. But Leddy Stuart's quadrooped bird they ca'
a parrot, can come o'er and o'er again ony word as weel as you can do
reason; but reason here or reason there, I'll ne'er consent to let you
stay to be put to the sword before my e'en; so come out o' the mill and
lock the door."

To this the honest man made no immediate answer; but, after a short
silence, he said,--

"Kate, my queen, I'll no say that what ye say is far wrang; it may be as
weel for me to tak a dauner to the top o' Dunrod; but some providing
should be made for a sojourn a' night in the wilderness. The sun has
been set a lucky hour, and ye may as weel get the supper ready, and a
creel wi' some vivers prepared."

"Noo, that's like yoursel, Sauners Paton," replied his wife; "and surely
my endeavour shall not be wanting to mak you comfortable."

At these words Jamieson came also into the mill, and said, "I hope,
miller, the wife has gotten you persuaded o' your danger, and that ye'll
conform to her kind wishes." By which I discernt, that he had purposely
egget her on to urge her gudeman to take the moors for the advantage of
me.

"O, aye," replied the miller; "I could na but be consenting, poor queen,
to lighten her anxieties; and though for a season," he added, in a way
that I well understood, "the eyes above may be closed in slumber, a
watch will be set to gi'e the signal when it's time to be up and ready;
therefore let us go into the house, and cause no further molestation
here."

The three then retired, and, comforted by the words of this friendly
mystery, I confided myself to the care of the defenceless sleeper's
ever-wakeful Sentinel, and for several hours enjoyed a refreshing
oblivion from all my troubles and fears.

Considering the fatigue I had undergone for so many days and nights
together, my slumber might have been prolonged perhaps till morning, but
the worthy miller, who withstood the urgency of his terrified wife to
depart till he thought I was rested, soon after the moon rose came into
the mill and wakened me to make ready for the road. So I left my couch
in the loft, and came down to him; and he conducted me a little way from
the house, where, bidding me wait, he went back, and speedily returned
with a small basket in his hand of the stores which the mistress had
provided for himself.

Having put the handle into my hand, he led me down to a steep shoulder
of a precipice nigh the sea-shore, where, telling me to follow the path
along the bottom of the hills, he shook me with a brotherly affection by
the hand, and bade me farewell,--saying, in a jocose manner, to lighten
the heaviness with which he saw my spirit was oppressed,--that the
gudewife would make baith him and Johnnie Jamieson suffer in the body
for the fright she had gotten. "For ye should ken," said he, "that the
terror she was in was a' bred o' Johnnie's pawkerie. He knew that she
was aye in a dread that I would be laid hands on ever since I signed the
remonstrance to the laird; and Johnnie thought, that if he could get her
to send me out provided for the hills, we would find a way to make the
provision yours. So, Gude be wi' you, and dinna be overly downhearted,
when ye see how wonderfully ye are ta'en care o'."

Being thus cherished, cheered, and exhorted, by the worthy miller of
Inverkip, I went on my way with a sense of renewed hope dawning upon my
heart. The night was frosty, but clear, and the rippling of the sea
glittered as with a sparkling of gladness in the beams of the moon then
walking in the fulness of her beauty over those fields of holiness whose
perennial flowers are the everlasting stars. But though for a little
while my soul partook of the blessed tranquillity of the night, I had
not travelled far when the heaven of my thoughts was overcast. Grief
for my brother in the hands of the oppressors, and anxiety for the
treasures of my hearth, whose dangers were doubtless increased by the
part I had taken in the raid, clouded my reason with many fearful
auguries and doleful anticipations. All care for my own safety was lost
in those overwhelming reflections, in so much that when the morning air
breathed upon me as I reached the brow of Kilbride-hill, had I been then
questioned as to the manner I had come there, verily I could have given
no account, for I saw not, neither did I hear, for many miles, aught,
but only the dismal tragedies with which busy imagination rent my heart
with affliction, and flooded my eyes with the gushing streams of a
softer sorrow.

But though my journey was a continued experience of inward suffering, I
met with no cause of dread, till I was within sight of Kilwinning.
Having purposed not to go home until I should learn what had taken place
in my absence, I turned aside to the house of an acquaintance, one
William Brekenrig, a covenanted Christian, to inquire, and to rest
myself till the evening. Scarcely, however, had I entered on the path
that led to his door when a misgiving of mind fell upon me, and I halted
and looked to see if all about the mailing was in its wonted state. His
cattle were on the stubble--the smoke stood over the lumhead in the lown
of the morning--the plough lay unyoked on the croft, but it had been
lately used, and the furrows of part of a rig were newly turned. Still
there was a something that sent solemnity and coldness into my soul. I
saw nobody about the farm, which at that time of the day was strange and
unaccountable; nevertheless I hastened forward, and coming to a
park-yett, I saw my old friend leaning over it with his head towards me.
I called to him by name, but he heeded me not; I ran to him and touched
him, but he was dead.

The ground around where he had rested himself and expired was covered
with his blood; and it was plain he had not been shot long, for he was
warm, and the stream still trickled from the wound in his side.

I have no words to tell what I felt at the sight of this woful murder;
but I ran for help to the house; and just as I turned the corner of the
barn, two soldiers met me, and I became their prisoner.

One of them was a ruthless reprobate, who wanted to put me to death; but
the other beggit my life: at the moment, however, my spirit was as it
were in the midst of thunders and a whirlwind.

They took from me my pistols and my grandfather's sword and I could not
speak; they tied my hands behind me with a cutting string, and I thought
it was a dream. The air I breathed was as suffocating as sulphur; I
gasped with the sandy thirst of the burning desert, and my throat was as
the drowth of the parched earth in the wilderness of Kedar.

Soon after this other soldiers came from another farm, where they had
been committing similar outrages, and they laughed and were merry as
they rehearsed their exploits of guilt. They taunted me and plucked me
by the lip; but their boasting of what they had done flashed more
fiercely over my spirit than even these indignities, and I inwardly
chided the slow anger of the mysterious Heavens for permitting the rage
of those agents of the apostate James Sharp and his compeers, whom a
mansworn king had so cruelly dressed with his authority.

But even in the midst of these repinings and bitter breathings, it was
whispered into the ears of my understanding, as with the voice of a
seraph, that the Lord in all things moveth according to His established
laws; and I was comforted to think that in the enormities whereof I was
a witness and partaker, there was a tempering of the hearts of the
people, that they might become as swords of steel, to work out the
deliverance of the land from the bloody methods of prelatic and
arbitrary domination; in so much, that when the soldiers prepared to
return to their quarters in Irvine, I walked with them--their captive,
it is true; but my steps were firm, and they marvelled to one another at
the proudness of my tread.

There was at the time a general sorrowing throughout the country, at the
avenging visitations wherewith all those who had been in the raid, or
who had harboured the fugitives, were visited. Hundreds that sympathised
with the sufferings of their friends, flocked to the town to learn who
had been taken, and who were put to death or reserved for punishment.
The crowd came pressing around as I was conducted up the gait to the
tolbooth; the women wept, but the men looked doure, and the children
wondered whatfor an honest man should be brought to punishment. Some
who knew me, cheered me by name to keep a stout heart; and the soldiers
grew fear't for a rescue, and gurled at the crowd for closing so closely
upon us.

As I was ascending the tolbooth-stair, I heard a shriek; and I looked
around, and beheld Michael, my first-born, a stripling then only twelve
years old, amidst the crowd, stretching out his hands and crying, "O, my
father, my father!"

I halted for a moment, and the soldiers seemed to thaw with compassion;
but my hands were tied,--I was a captive on the threshold of the
dungeon, and I could only shut my eyes and bid the stern agents of the
persecutors go on. Still the cry of my distracted child knelled in my
ear, and my agony grew to such a pitch, that I flew forward up the
steps, and, in the dismal vaults within, sought refuge from the misery
of my child.



CHAPTER LXI


I was conducted into a straight and dark chamber, and the cord wherewith
my hands were bound was untied, and a shackle put upon my right wrist;
the flesh of my left was so galled with the cord, that the jailor was
softened at the sight, and from the humanity of his own nature,
refrained from placing the iron on it, lest the rust should fester the
quick wound.

Then I was left alone in the gloomy solitude of the prison-room, and the
ponderous doors were shut upon me, and the harsh bolts driven with a
horrid grating noise, that caused my very bones to dinle. But even in
that dreadful hour an unspeakable consolation came with the freshness of
a breathing of the airs of paradise to my soul. Methought a wonderful
light shone around me, that I heard melodious voices bidding me be of
good cheer, and that a vision of my saintly grandfather, in the glorious
vestments of his heavenly attire, stood before me, and smiled upon me
with that holy comeliness of countenance which has made his image in my
remembrance ever that of the most venerable of men; so that, in the very
depth of what I thought would have been the pit of despair, I had a
delightful taste of those blessed experiences of divine aid, by which
the holy martyrs were sustained in the hours of trial, and cheered
amidst the torments in which they sealed the truth of their testimony.

After the favour of that sweet and celestial encouragement, I laid
myself down on a pallet in the corner of the room, and a gracious sleep
descended upon my eyelids, and steeped the sense and memory of my griefs
in forgetfulness. When I woke the day was far spent, and the light
through the iron stainchers of the little window showed that the shadows
of the twilight were darkening over the world. I raised myself on my
elbow, and listened to the murmur of the multitude that I heard still
lingering around the prison; and sometimes I thought that I discovered
the voice of a friend.

In that situation, and thinking of all those dear cares which filled my
heart with tenderness and fear, and of the agonising grief of my little
boy, the sound of whose cries still echoed in my bosom, I rose upon my
knees and committed myself entirely to the custody of Him that can give
the light of liberty to the captive even in the gloom of the dungeon.
And when I had done so I again prepared to lay myself on the ground; but
a rustle in the darkness of the room drew my attention, and in the same
moment a kind hand was laid on mine.

"Sarah Lochrig," said I, for I knew my wife's gentle pressure,--"How is
it that you are with me in this doleful place? How found you entrance,
and I not hear you come in?"

But before she had time to make any answer, another's fond arms were
round my neck, and my affectionate young Michael wept upon my shoulder.

Bear with me, courteous reader, when I think of those things,--that wife
and that child, and all that I loved so fondly, are no more! But it is
not meet that I should yet tell how my spirit was turned into iron and
my heart into stone. Therefore will I still endeavour to relate, as with
the equanimity of one that writes but of indifferent things, what
further ensued during the thirteen days of my captivity.

Sarah Lochrig, with the mildness of her benign voice, when we had
mingled a few tears, told me that, after I went to Galloway with Martha
Swinton, she had been moved by our neighbours to come with our children
into the town, as being safer for a lanerly woman and a family left
without its head; and a providential thing it was that she had done so;
for on the very night that my brother came off with the men of the
parish to join us, as I have noted down in its proper place, a gang of
dragoons plundered both his house and mine; and but that our treasures
had been timeously removed, his family having also gone that day into
Kilmarnock, the outrages might have been unspeakable.

We then had some household discourse, anent what was to be done in the
event of things coming to the worst with me; and it was an admiration to
hear with what constancy of reason, and the gifts of a supported
judgment, that Gospel-hearted woman spoke of what she would do with her
children, if it was the Lord's pleasure to honour me with the crown of
martyrdom.

"But," said she, "I hae an assurance within that some great thing is yet
in store for you, though the hope be clouded with a doubt that I'll no
be spar't to see it, and therefore let us not despond at this time, but
use the means that Providence may afford to effect your deliverance."

While we were thus conversing together the doors of the prison-room were
opened, and a man was let in who had a cruisie in the one hand and a
basket in the other. He was lean and pale-faced, bordering on forty
years, and of a melancholy complexion; his eye was quick, deep set, and
a thought wild; his long hair was carefully combed smooth, and his
apparel was singularly well composed for a person of his degree.

Having set down the lamp on the floor, he came in a very reverential
manner towards where I was sitting, with my right hand fettered to the
ground, between Sarah Lochrig and Michael our son, and he said, with a
remarkable and gentle simplicity of voice, in the Highland accent, that
he had been requested by a righteous woman, Provost Reid's wife, to
bring me a bottle of cordial wine and some little matters that I might
require for bodily consolation.

"It's that godly creature, Willie Sutherland, the hangman," said my
wife. "Though Providence has dealt hardly with him, poor man, in this
life, every body says he has gotten arles of a servitude in glory
hereafter."

When he had placed the basket at the knees of Michael, he retired to a
corner of the room, and stood in the shadow, with his face turned
towards the wall, saying, "I'm concern't that it's no in my power to
leave you to yoursels till Mungo Robeson come back, for he has lockit me
in, but I'll no hearken to what ye may say;" and there was a modesty of
manner in the way that he said this, which made me think it not possible
he could be of so base a vocation as the public executioner, and I
whispered my opinion of him to Sarah Lochrig. It was, however, the case;
and verily in the life and conduct of that simple and pious man there
was a manifestation of the truth, that to him whom the Lord favours it
signifieth not whatsoever his earthly condition may be.

After I had partaken with my wife and son of some refreshment which they
had brought with them, and tasted of the wine that Provost Reid's lady
had sent, we heard the bolts of the door drawn, and the clanking of
keys, at which Willie Sutherland came forward from the corner where he
had stood during the whole time, and lifting the lamp from the floor,
and wetting his fore-finger with spittle as he did so, he trimmed the
wick, and said, "The time's come when a' persons not prisoners must
depart forth the tolbooth for the night; but, Master Gilhaize, be none
discomforted thereat, your wife and your little one will come back in
the morning, and your lot is a lot of pleasure; for is it not written in
the book of Ecclesiastes, fourth and eighth, 'There is one alone, and
there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother?' and such
an one am I."

The inner door was thrown open, and Mungo Robeson, looking in, said, "I
wae to molest you, but ye'll hae to come out, Mrs Gilhaize." So that
night we were separated; and when Sarah Lochrig was gone, I could not
but offer thanksgiving that my lines had fallen in so pleasant a place,
compared with the fate of my poor brother, suffering among strangers in
the doleful prison of Glasgow, under the ravenous eyes of the prelate of
that city, then scarcely less hungry for the bodies of the faithful and
the true, than even the apostate James Sharp himself.



CHAPTER LXII


The deep sleep into which I had fallen when Sarah Lochrig and my son
were admitted to see me, and during the season of which they had sat in
silence beside me till revived nature again unsealed my eyes, was so
refreshing, that after they were gone away I was enabled to consider my
condition with a composed mind, and free from the heats of passion and
anxiety wherewith I had previously been so greatly tossed. And calling
to mind all that had taken place, and the ruthless revenge with which
the cruel prelates were actuated, I saw, as it were written in a book,
that for my part and conduct I was doomed to die. I felt not, however,
the sense of guilt in my conscience; and I said to myself, that this
sore thing ought not to be, and that, as an innocent man and the head of
a family, I was obligated by all expedient ways to escape, if it were
possible, from the grasps of the tyranny. So from that time, the first
night of my imprisonment, I set myself to devise the means of working
out my deliverance; and I was not long without an encouraging glimmer of
hope.

It seemed to me, that in the piety and simplicity of Willie Sutherland,
instruments were given by which I might break through the walls of my
prison; and accordingly, when he next morning came in to see me, I
failed not to try their edge. I entered into discourse with him, and
told him of many things which I have recorded in this book, and so won
upon his confidence and the singleness of his heart, that he shed tears
of grief at the thought of so many blameless men being ordained to an
untimely end. "It has pleased God," said he, "to make me as it were a
leper and an excommunicant in this world, by the constraints of a low
estate, and without any fault of mine. But for this temporal ignominy,
He will, in His own good time, bestow an exceeding great reward;--and
though I may be called on to fulfil the work of the persecutors, it
shall yet be seen of me, that I will abide by the integrity of my faith,
and that, poor despised hangman as I am, I have a conscience that will
not brook a task of iniquity, whatsoever the laws of man may determine,
or the King's judges decree."

I was, as it were, rebuked by this proud religious declaration, and I
gently inquired how it was that he came to fall into a condition so
rejected of the world.

"Deed, sir," said he, "my tale is easy told. My parents were very poor
needful people in Strathnavar, and no able to keep me; and it happened
that, being cast on the world, I became a herd, and year by year, having
a desire to learn the Lowland tongue, I got in that way as far as
Paisley, where I fell into extreme want and was almost famished; for the
master that I served there being in debt, ran away, by which cause I
lost my penny fee, and was obligated to beg my bread. At that time many
worthy folk in the shire of Renfrew having suffered great molestation
from witchcraft, divers malignant women, suspectit of that black art,
were brought to judgment, and one of them being found guilty, was
condemned to die. But no executioner being in the town, I was engaged,
by the scriptural counsel of some honest men, who quoted to me the text,
'Suffer not a witch to live,' to fulfil the sentence of the law. After
that I bought a Question-book, having a mind to learn to read, that I
might gain some knowledge of THE WORD. Finding, however, the people of
Paisley scorn at my company, so that none would give me a lesson, I came
about five years since to Irvine, where the folk are more charitable;
and here I act the part of an executioner when there is any malefactor
to put to death. But my Bible has instructed me, that I ought not to
execute any save such as deserve to die; so that, if ye should be
condemned, as like is you will be, my conscience will ne'er allow me to
execute you, for I see you are a Christian man."

I was moved with a tender pity by the tale of the simple creature; but a
strong necessity was upon me, and it was needful that I should make use
of his honesty to help me out of prison. So I spoke still more kindly to
him, lamenting my sad estate, and that in the little time I had in all
likelihood to live, the rigour of the jailor would allow but little
intercourse with my family, wishing some compassionate Christian friend
would intercede with him in order that my wife and children, if not
permitted to bide all night, might be allowed to remain with me as long
and as late as possible.

The pious creature said that he would do for me in that respect all in
his power, and that, as Mungo Robeson was a sober man, and aye wanted
to go home early to his family, he would bide in the tolbooth to let out
my wife, though it should be till ten o'clock at night--"for," said he,
piteously, "I hae nae family to care about."

Accordingly, he so set himself, that Mungo Robeson consented to leave
the keys of the tolbooth with him; and for several nights everything was
so managed that he had no reason to suspect what my wife and I were
plotting; for he being of a modest and retiring nature, never spoke to
her when she parted from me, save when she thanked him as he let her
out; and that she did not do every night lest it should grow into a
habit of expectation with him, and cause him to remark when the civility
was omitted.

In the meantime all things being concerted between us, through the mean
of a friend a cart was got in readiness, loaded with seemingly a hogget
of tobacco and grocery wares, but the hogget was empty and loose in the
head.

This was all settled by the nineteenth of December; on the twenty-fourth
of the month the Commissioners appointed to try the Covenanters in the
prisons throughout the shire of Ayr were to open their court at Ayr, and
I was, by all who knew of me, regarded in a manner as a dead man. On the
night of the twentieth, however, shortly before ten o'clock, James
Gottera, our friend, came with the cart in at the town-head port, and in
going down the gait stopped, as had been agreed, to give his beast a
drink at the trough of the cross-well, opposite the tolbooth-stair foot.

When the clock struck ten, the time appointed, I was ready dressed in my
wife's apparel, having, in the course of the day, broken the chain of
the shackle on my arm; and the door being opened by Willie Sutherland in
the usual manner, I came out, holding a napkin to my face and weeping in
sincerity very bitterly, with the thought of what might ensue to Sarah
Lochrig, whom I left behind in my place.

In reverence to my grief the honest man said nothing, but walked by my
side till he had let me out at the outer stair-head door, where he
parted from me, carrying the keys to Mungo Robeson's house, aneath the
tolbooth, while I walked towards James Gottera's cart, and was presently
in the inside of the hogget.

With great presence of mind and a soldierly self-possession, that
venturous friend then drew the horse's head from the trough, and began
to drive it down the street to the town-end port, striving as he did so
to whistle, till he was rebuked for so doing, as I heard, by an old
woman then going home, who said to him that it was a shame to hear such
profanity in Irvine when a martyr doomed to die was lying in the
tolbooth. To the which he replied scoffingly, "that martyr was a new
name for a sworn rebel to king and country,"--words which so kindled the
worthy woman's ire, that she began to ban his prelatic ungodliness to
such a degree that a crowd collected, which made me tremble. For the
people sided with the zealous carlan, and spoke fiercely, threatening to
gar James Gottera ride the stang for his sinfulness in so traducing
persecuted Christians. What might have come to pass is hard to say, had
not Providence been pleased, in that most critical and perilous time, to
cause a foul lum in a thacket house in the Sea-gate to take fire, by
which an alarm was spread that drew off the mob, and allowed James
Gottera to pass without farther molestation out at the town-end port.



CHAPTER LXIII


From the time of my evasion from the tolbooth, and during the
controversy between James Gottera and the mob in the street, there was a
whirlwind in my mind that made me incapable of reason. But when we had
passed through the town-end port, and the cart had stopped at the
minister's carse till I could throw off my female weeds and put on a
sailor's garb, provided for the occasion, tongue nor pen cannot express
the passion wherewith my yearning soul was then affected.

The thought of having left Sarah Lochrig within bolts and bars, a ready
victim to the tyranny which so thirsted for blood, lightened within me
as the lightnings of heaven in a storm. I threw myself on the ground,--I
grasped the earth,--I gathered myself as it were into a knot, and howled
with horror at my own selfish baseness. I sprung up and cried, "I will
save her yet!" and I would have run instanter to the town; but the
honest man who was with me laid his grip firmly upon my arm, and said
in a solemn manner,--

"This is no Christian conduct, Ringan Gilhaize; the Lord has not
forgotten to be gracious."

I glowered upon him, as he has often since told me, with a shudder, and
cried, "But I hae left Sarah Lochrig in their hands, and, like a coward,
run away to save mysel."

"Compose yoursel, Ringan, and let us reason together," was his discreet
reply. "It's vera true ye hae come away and left your wife as it were an
hostage in the prison, but the persecutors and oppressors will respek
the courageous affection of a loving wife, and Providence will put it in
their hearts to spare her."

"And if they do not, what shall I then be? and what's to become of my
babies?--Lord, Lord, thou hast tried me beyond my strength!"

And I again threw myself on the earth, and cried that it might open and
swallow me; for, thinking but of myself, I was becoming unworthy to
live.

The considerate man stood over me in compassionate silence for a season,
and allowed me to rave in my frenzy till I had exhausted myself.

"Ringan," said he at last, "ye were aye respekit as a thoughtful and
discreet character, and I'll no blame you for this sorrow; but I entreat
you to collek yersel, and think what's best to be done, for what avails
in trouble the cry of alas, alas! or the shedding of many tears? Your
wife is in prison, but for a fault that will wring compassion even frae
the brazen heart of the remorseless James Sharp, and bring back the
blood of humanity to the mansworn breast of Charles Stuart. But though
it were not so, they daurna harm a hair of her head; for there are
things, man, that the cruellest dread to do for fear o' the world, even
when they hae lost the fear o' God. I count her far safer, Ringan, frae
the rage of the persecutors, where she lies in prison aneath their bolts
and bars, than were she free in her own house; for it obligates them to
deal wi' her openly and afore mankind, whose goodwill the worst of
princes and prelates are from an inward power forced to respek; whereas,
were she sitting lanerly and defenceless, wi' naebody near but only your
four helpless wee birds, there's no saying what the gleds might do.
Therefore be counselled, my frien, and dinna gi'e yoursel up utterly to
despair; but, like a man, for whom the Lord has already done great
things, mak use of the means which, in this jeopardy of a' that's sae
dear to you, he has so graciously put in your power."

I felt myself in a measure heartened by this exhortation, and rising
from the ground completed the change I had begun in my apparel; but I
was still unable to speak,--which he observing, said,--

"Hae ye considered the airt ye ought now to take, for it canna be that
ye'll think of biding in this neighbourhood!"

"No; not in this land," I exclaimed; "would that I might not even in
this life!"

"Whisht! Ringan Gilhaize, that's a sinful wish for a Christian," said a
compassionate voice at my side, which made us both start; and on looking
round we saw a man who, during the earnestest of our controversy, had
approached close to us unobserved.

It was that Gospel-teacher, my fellow-sufferer, Mr Witherspoon; and his
sudden apparition at that time was a blessed accident, which did more to
draw my thoughts from the anguish of my affections than any thing it was
possible for James Gottera to have said.

He was then travelling in the cloud of night to the town, having, after
I parted from him in Lanerkshire, endured many hardships and perils, and
his intent was to pass to his friends, in order to raise a trifle of
money, to transport himself for a season into Ireland.

But James Gottera, on hearing this, interposed his opinion, and said a
rumour was abroad that in all ports and towns of embarkation orders were
given to stay the departure of passengers, so that to a surety he would
be taken if he attempted to quit the kingdom.

By this time my mind had returned into something like a state of
sobriety; so I told him how it had been concerted between me and Sarah
Lochrig that I should pass over to the wee Cumbrae, there to wait till
the destroyers had passed by; for it was thought not possible that such
an inordinate thirst for blood, as had followed upon our discomfiture at
Rullion-green, could be of a long continuance; and I beseeched him to
come with me, telling him that I was provided with a small purse of
money in case need should require it, but in the charitable hearts of
the pious we might count on a richer store.

Accordingly, we agreed to join our fortunes again; and having parted
from James Gottera at Kilwinning, we went on our way together, and my
heart was refreshed by the kind admonitions and sweet converse of my
companion, though ever and anon the thought of my wife in prison, and
our defenceless lambs, shot like a fiery arrow through my bosom. But man
is by nature a sordid creature, and the piercing December blast, the
threatening sky, and the frequent shower, soon knit up my thoughts with
the care of my worthless self: maybe there was in that the tempering
hand of a beneficent Providence; for when I have at divers times since
considered how much the anguish of my inner sufferings exceeded the
bodily molestation, I could not but confess, though it was with a
humbled sense of my own selfishness, that it was well for me, in such a
time, to be so respited from the upbraidings of my tortured affections.

But, not to dwell on the specialities of my own feelings on that
memorable night, let it suffice, that after walking some four or five
miles towards Pencorse ferry, where we meant to pass to the island, I
became less and less attentive to the edifying discourse of Mr
Witherspoon, and his nature also yielding to the influences of the time,
we travelled along the bleak and sandy shore between Ardrossan and
Kilbride hill without the interchange of conversation. The wind came
wild and gurly from the sea,--the waves broke heavily on the shore,--and
the moon, swiftly wading the cloud, threw over the dreary scene a
wandering and ghastly light. Often to the blast we were obligated to
turn our backs, and, the rain being in our faces, we little heeded each
other.

In that state, so like sullenness, we had journeyed onward, it might be
better than a mile, when, happening to observe something lying on the
shore, as if it had been cast out by the sea, I cried, under a sense of
fear,--

"Stop, Mr Witherspoon; what's that?"

In the same moment he uttered a dreadful sound of horror, and, on
looking round, I saw we were three in company.

"In the name of Heaven," exclaimed Mr Witherspoon, "who and what are you
that walk with us?"

But instanter our fears and the mystery of the appearance were
dispelled, for it was my brother.



CHAPTER LXIV


"Weel, Ringan," said my brother, "we have met again in this world; it's
a blessing I never looked for;" and he held out his two hands to take
hold of mine, but the broken links of the shackle still round my wrist
made him cry out,--

"What's this?--Whare hae ye come fra? But I need na inquire."

"I have broken out of the tolbooth o' Irvine," said I, "and I am fleeing
here with Mr Witherspoon."

"I, too," replied my brother, mournfully, "hae escaped from the hands of
the persecutors."

We then entered into some conversation concerning what had happened to
us respectively, from the fatal twenty-eighth of November, when our
power and host were scattered on Rullion-green, wherein Mr Witherspoon,
with me, rehearsed to him the accidents herein set forth, with the
circumstantials of some things that befel the godly man after I left him
with the corpse of the baby in his arms; but which being in some points
less of an adventurous nature than had happened to myself, I shall be
pardoned by the courteous reader for not enlarging upon it at greater
length. I should, however, here note, that Mr Witherspoon was not so
severely dealt with as I was; for though an outcast and a fugitive, yet
he was not a prisoner; on the contrary, under the kindly cover of the
Lady Auchterfardel, whose excellent and truly covenanted husband was a
sore sufferer by the fines of the year 1662, he received great
hospitality for the space of sixteen days, and was saved between two
feather beds, on the top of which the laird's aged mother, a bed-rid
woman, was laid, when some of Drummond's men searched the house on an
information against him.

But disconsolatory as it was to hear of such treatment of a
Gospel-minister, though lightened by the reflection of the saintly
constancy that was yet to be found in the land, and among persons too of
the Lady of Auchterfardel's degree, and severe as the trials were, both
of body and mind, which I had myself undergone, yet were they all as
nothing compared to the hardships of my brother, a man of a temperate
sobriety of manner, bearing all changes with a serene countenance and a
placable mind, while feeling them in the uttermost depths of his
capacious affections.

"On the night of the battle," said he, "it would not be easy of me to
tell which way I went, or what ensued, till I found myself with three
destitute companions on the skirts of the town of Falkirk. By that time
the morning was beginning to dawn, and we perceived not that we had
approached so nigh unto any bigget land; as the day, however, broke, the
steeple caught our eye, and we halted to consider what we ought to do.
And as we were then standing in a field diffident to enter the town, a
young woman came from a house that stands a little way off the road,
close to Graham's dyke, driving a cow to grass with a long staff, which
I the more remarked as such, because it was of the Indian cane, and
virled with silver, and headed with ivory.

"'Sirs,' said Menie Adams, for that was the damsel's name, 'I see what
ye are; but I'll no speir; howsever, be ruled by me, and gang na near
the town of Falkirk this morning, for atwish the hours of dark and dawn
there has been a congregationing o' horses and men, and other sediments
o' war, that I hae a notion there's owre meikle o' the King's power in
the place for any Covenanter to enter in, save under the peril o'
penalties. But come wi' me, and I'll go back wi' you, and in our
hay-loft you may scog yoursels till the gloaming.'

"Who could have thought," said my brother, "that in such discourse from
a young woman, not passing four-and-twenty years of age, and of a
pleasant aspect, any guilty stratagem of blood was hidden!"

He and his friends never questioned her truth, but went with her, and
she conducted them to her father's house, and lodged them in the
hay-loft.

It seems that Menie Adams was, however, at the time betrothed to the
prelatic curate that had been laid upon the parish, and that, in
consequence, aneath her courtesy, she had concealed a very treacherous
and wicked intent. For no sooner had she got my brother and his three
companions into the hay-loft, than she hies herself away to the town,
and, in the hope of pleasing her prelatic lover, informs the captain of
the troop there of the birds she had ensnared.

As soon as the false woman had thus committed the sin of perfidy, she
went to the curate to brag how she had done a service to his cause; but
he, though of the prelatic germination, being yet a person who had some
reverence for truth and the gentle mercies of humanity, was so disturbed
by her unwomanly disposition, that he bade her depart from his presence
for ever, and ran with all possible speed to waken the poor men whom she
had so betrayed.

On his way to the house he saw a party of the soldiers, whom their
officer, as in duty bound, was sending to seize the unsuspecting
sleepers, and running on before them, he just got forward in time to
give the alarm. My brother and one of them, Esau Wardrop, the wife's
brother of James Gottera, who had been so instrumental in my evasion,
were providentially enabled to get out and flee; but the other two were
taken by the soldiers and carried to prison.

The base conduct of that Menie Adams, as we some years after heard, did
not go long unvisited by the displeasure of Heaven, for, some scent of
her guilt taking wind, the whole town, in a sense, grew wud against her,
and she was mobbet, and the wells pumped upon her by the enraged
multitude; and she never recovered from the handling that she therein
suffered.

My brother and Esau Wardrop, on getting into the open fields, made all
the speed they could, like the panting hart when pursued by the hunter,
and distrusting the people of that part of the country, they travelled
all day, not venturing to approach any reeking house. Towards gloaming,
however, being hungry and faint, the craving of nature overcame their
fears, and they went up to a house where they saw a light burning.

As they approached the door they faltered a little in their resolution,
for they heard the dissonance of riot and revelry within. Their need,
however, was great, and the importunities of hunger would not be
pacified, so they knocked, and the door was soon opened by a soldier,
the party within being a horde of Dalziel's men, living at free quarters
in the house of that excellent Christian and much-persecuted man, the
Laird of Ringlewood.



CHAPTER LXV


The moment that the man who came to the door saw, by the glimpse of the
light, that both my brother and Esau Wardrop had swords at their sides,
he uttered a cry of alarm, thinking the house was surrounded, at which
all the riotous soldiers within flew to their arms, while the man who
opened the door seized my brother by the throat and harl't him in. The
panic, however, was but of short duration; for my brother soon expounded
that they were two perishing men who came to surrender themselves; so
the door was again opened and Esau Wardrop commanded to come in.

"It's but a justice to say of those rampageous troopers," said my
brother, "that, considering us as prisoners of war, they were free and
kind enough, though they mocked at our cause, and derided the equipage
of our warfare. But it was a humiliating sight to see in what manner
they deported themselves towards the unfortunate family."

Ringlewood himself, who had remonstrated against their insolence to his
aged leddy, they had tied in his arm-chair and placed at the head of his
own table, round which they sat carousing, and singing the roister
ribaldry of camp songs. At first, when my brother was taken into this
scene of military domination, he did not observe the laird; for in the
uproar of the alarm the candles had been overset and broken, but new
ones being sworn for and stuck into the necks of the bottles of the wine
they were lavishly drinking, he discovered him lying as it were asleep
where he sat, with his head averted, and his eyes shut on the iniquity
of the scene of oppression with which he was oppressed.

Some touch of contrition had led one of the soldiers to take the aged
matron under his care; and on his intercession she was not placed at the
table, but allowed to sit in a corner, where she mourned in silence,
with her hands clasped together, and her head bent down over them upon
her breast. The laird's grandson and heir, a stripling of some fifteen
years or so, was obligated to be page and butler, for all the rest of
the house had taken to the hills at the approach of the troopers.

As the drinking continued the riot increased, and the rioters growing
heated with their drink, they began to quarrel: fierce words brought
angry answers, and threats were followed by blows. Then there was an
interposition, and a shaking of hands, and a pledging of renewed
friendship.

But still the demon of the drink continued to grow stronger and stronger
in their kindling blood, and the tumult was made perfect by one of the
men, in the capering of his inebriety, rising from his seat, and taking
the old leddy by the toupie to raise her head as he rudely placed his
foul cup to her lips. This called up the ire of the fellow who had sworn
to protect her, and he, not less intoxicated than the insulter, came
staggering to defend her; a scuffle ensued, the insulter was cast with a
swing away, and falling against the laird, who still remained as it were
asleep, with his head on his shoulder, and his eyes shut, he overthrew
the chair in which the old gentleman sat fastened, and they both fell to
the ground.

The soldier, frantic with wine and rage, was soon, like a tiger, on his
adversary; the rest rose to separate them. Some took one side, some
another; bottles were seized for weapons, and the table was overthrown
in the hurricane. Their sergeant, who was as drunk as the worst of them,
tried in vain to call them into order, but they heeded not his call,
which so enraged him, that he swore they should shift their quarters,
and with that seizing a burning brand from the chumla, he ran into a
bedchamber that opened from the room where the riot was raging, and set
fire to the curtains.

My brother seeing the flames rising, and that the infuriated war-wolves
thought only of themselves, ran to extricate Ringlewood from the cords
with which he was tied; and calling to the leddy and her grandson to
quit the burning house, every one was soon out of danger from the fire.

The sense of the soldiers were not so overborne by their drink as to
prevent them from seeing the dreadful extent of their outrage; but
instead of trying to extinguish the flames, they marched away to seek
quarters in some other place, cursing the sergeant for having so
unhoused them in such a night.

At first they thought of carrying my brother and Esau Wardrop with them
as prisoners; but one of them said it would be as well to give the wyte
of the burning, at headquarters, to the rebels; so they left them
behind.

Esau Wardrop, with the young laird and my grandfather, seeing it was in
vain to stop the progress of the fire, did all that in them lay to
rescue some of the furniture, while poor old Ringlewood and his aged and
gentle lady, being both too infirm to lend any help, stood on the green,
and saw the devouring element pass from room to room, till their ancient
dwelling was utterly destroyed. Fortunately, however, the air was calm,
and the out-houses escaping the ruinous contagion of the flames, there
was still a beild left in the barn to which they could retire.

In the meantime the light of the burning spread over the country; but
the people knowing that soldiers were quartered in Ringlewood, stood
aloof in the dread of firearms, thinking the conflagration might be
caused by some contest of war; so that the mansion of a gentleman much
beloved of all his neighbours was allowed to burn to the ground before
their eyes, without any one venturing to come to help him, to so great a
degree had distrust and the outrages of military riot at that epoch
altered the hearts of men.

My brother and Esau Wardrop staid with Ringlewood till the morning, and
had, for the space of three or four hours, a restoring sleep. Fain would
they have remained longer there, but the threat of the soldiers to
accuse them as the incendiaries made Ringlewood urge them to depart;
saying, that maybe a time would come when it would be in his power to
thank them for their help in that dreadful night. But he was not long
exposed to many sufferings; for the leddy on the day following, as in
after-time we heard, was seized with her dead-ill, and departed this
life in the course of three days; and the laird also, in less than a
month, was laid in the kirk-yard, with his ancestors, by her side.



CHAPTER LXVI


After leaving Ringlewood, the two fugitives, by divers journeyings and
sore passages through moss and moor, crossed the Balloch ferry, and
coming down the north side of the Clyde frith to Ardmore, they boated
across to Greenock, where, in little more than an hour after their
arrival, they were taken in Euphan Blair's public in Cartsdyke, and the
same night marched off to Glasgow; of all which I have already given
intimation in recording my own trials at Inverkip.

But in that march, as my brother and Esau Wardrop were passing with
their guard at the Inchinnan ferry, the soldiers heedlessly laying their
firelocks all in a heap in the boat, the thought came into my brother's
head, that maybe it might be turned to an advantage if he was to spoil
the powder in the firelocks; so, as they were sitting in the boat, he,
with seeming innocence, drew his hand several times through the water,
and in lifting it took care to drop and sprinkle the powder-pans of the
firelocks, in so much, that by the time they were ferried to the Renfrew
side, they were spoiled for immediate use.

"Do as I do," said he softly to Esau Wardrop, as they were stepping out,
and with that he feigned some small expedient for tarrying in the boat,
while the soldiers, taking their arms, leapt on shore. The ferryman also
was out before them; and my brother seeing this, took up an oar,
seemingly to help him to step out; but pretending at the time to
stumble, he caught hold of Esau's shoulder, and pushing with, the oar,
shoved off the boat in such a manner, that the rope was pulled out of
the ferryman's hand, who was in a great consternation. The soldiers,
however, laughed at seeing how the river's current was carrying away
their prisoners; for my brother was in no hurry to make use of the oar
to pull the boat back; on the contrary he pushed her farther and farther
into the river, until one of the guards, beginning to suspect some
stratagem, levelled his firelock, and threatened to shoot. Whereupon my
brother and Esau quickened their exertions, and soon reached the
opposite side of the river, while the soldiers were banning and tearing
with rage to be so outwitted, and their firelocks rendered useless for
the time.

As soon as the fugitives were within wadeable reach of the bank, they
jumpit out of the boat and ran, and were not long within the scope of
their adversaries' fire.

By this time the sun was far in the west, and they knew little of the
country about where they were; but, before embarking, the ferryman had
pointed out to them the abbey towers of Paisley, and they knew that, for
a long period, many of the humane inhabitants of that town had been
among the faithfullest of Scottishmen to the cause of the Kirk and
Covenant; and therefore they thought that, under the distraction of
their circumstances maybe it would be their wisest course to direct
their steps in the dusk of evening towards the town, and they threw
aside their arms, that they might pass as simple wayfaring men.

Accordingly, having loitered in the way thither, they reached Paisley
about the heel of the twilight, and searching their way into the heart
of the town, they found a respectable public near the Cross, into which
they entered, and ordered some consideration of vivers for supper, just
as if they had been on market business. In so doing nothing particular
was remarked of them; and my brother, by way of an entertainment before
bed-time, told his companion of my grandfather's adventure in Paisley,
the circumstantials whereof are already written in this book; drawing
out of what had come to pass with him cheering aspirations of happier
days for themselves.

While they were thus speaking, one of the town-council, Deacon Fulton,
came in to have a cap and a crack with any stranger that might be in the
house. This deacon was a man who well represented and was a good swatch
of the plain honesty and strict principles which have long governed
within that ancient borough of regality. He seeing them, and being
withal a man of shrewd discernment, eyed them very sharply, and maybe
guessing what they were and where they had come from entered into a
discreet conversation with them anent the troubles of the time. In this
he showed the pawkrie, that so well becomes those who sit in council,
with a spicerie of that wholesome virtue and friendly sympathy of which
all the poor fugitives from the Pentland raid stood in so great need.
For, without pretending to jealouse any thing of what they were, he
spoke of that business as the crack of the day, and told them of many of
the afflicting things which had been perpetrated after the dispersion of
the Covenanters, saying,--

"It's a thing to be deplored in all time coming, that the poor,
misguided folk, concern't in that rash wark, didna rather take refuge in
the towns, and amang their brethren and fellow-subjects, than flee to
the hills, where they are hunted down wi' dog and gun, as beasts o' an
ill kind. Really every body's wae for their folly; though to be sure, in
a government sense, their fault's past pardon. It's no indeed a thing o'
toleration, that subjects are to rise against rulers."

"True," said my brother, "unless rulers fall against subjects."

The worthy magistrate looked a thought seriously at him; no in reproof
for what he had said, or might say, but in an admonitory manner,
saying,--

"Ye're owre douce a like man, I think, to hae been either art or part in
this headstrong Reformation, unless ye had some great cause to provoke
you; and I doubt na ye hae discretion enough no to contest without need
points o' doctrine; at least for me, I'm laith to enter on ony sort o'
polemtic, for it's a Gude's truth, I'm nae deacon at it."

My brother discerning by his manner that he saw through them, would have
refrain't at the time from further discourse; but Esau Wardrop was,
though a man of few words, yet of such austerity of faith, that he could
not abide to have it thought he was in any time or place afraid for
himself to bear his testimony, even when manifestly uncalled on to do;
so he here broke in upon the considerate and worthy counsellor, and
said,--

"That a covenanted spirit was bound at a' times and in a' situations,
conditions, and circumstances, to uphold the cause."

"True, true, we are a' Covenanters," replied the deacon, "and Gude
forbid that I should e'er forget the vows I took when I was in a manner
a bairn; but there's an unco difference between the auld covenanting and
this Lanerk New-light. In the auld times, our forbears and our fathers
covenanted to show their power, that the King and government might
consider what they were doing. And they betook not themselves to the
sword, till the quiet warning of almost all the realm united in one
league had proved ineffectual; and when at last there was nae help
for't, and they were called by their conscience and dangers to gird
themselves for battle, they went forth in the might and power of the arm
of flesh, as weel as of a righteous cause. But, sirs, this donsie
business of the Pentland raid was but a splurt, and the publishing of
the Covenant, after the poor folk had made themselves rebels, was, to
say the least o't, a weak conceit."

"We were not rebels," cried Esau Wardrop.

"Hoot toot, friend," said the counsellor, "ye're owre hasty. I did na
ca' the poor folk rebels in the sense of a rebellion, where might takes
the lead in a controversy wi' right, but because they had risen against
the law."

"There can be nae rebellion against a law that teaches things over which
man can have no control, the thought and the conscience," said Esau
Wardrop.

"Aye, aye," replied the counsellor, "a' that's vera true; but if it
please the wisdom of the King, by and with the advice of his privy
counsellors, to prohibit certain actions,--and surely actions are
neither thoughts nor consciences,--do ye mean to say that the subject's
no bound to obey such royal ordinances?"

"Aye, if the acts are in themselves harmless, and trench not upon any
man's rights of property and person."

"Weel, I'll no debate that wi' you," replied the worthy counsellor; "but
surely ye'll ne'er maintain that conventicles, and the desertion of the
regular and appointed places of worship, are harmless; nor can it be
denied that sic things do not tend to aggrieve and impair the clergy
baith in their minds and means?"

"I confess that," said Esau; "but think, that the conventicles and
desertions, whereof ye speak, sprang out of an arbitrary and
uncalled-for disturbance of the peaceful worship of God. Evil
counselling caused them, and evil counselling punishes them till the
punishment can be no longer endured."

"Ye're a doure-headed man," said Deacon Fulton, "and really ye hae gi'en
me sic a cast o' your knowledge that I can do no less than make you a
return; so tak this, and bide nae langer in Paisley than your needs
call." With that he laid his purse on the table and went away. But
scarcely had he departed the house when who should enter but the very
soldiers from whom my brother and Esau had so marvellously escaped.



CHAPTER LXVII


The noise of taking up my brother and Esau Wardrop to the tolbooth by
the soldiers bred a great wonderment in the town, and the magistrates
came into the prison to see them. Then it was that they recognised their
friendly adviser among those in authority. But he signified by winking
to them that they should not know him; to which they comported
themselves so, that it passed as he could have wished.

"Provost," said he to the chief magistrate, who was then present with
them, "though thir honest men be concerned in a fret against the King's
government, they're no just iniquitous malefactors, and therefore it
behoves us, for the little time they are to bide here, to deal
compassionately with them. This is a damp and cauld place. I'm sure we
might gi'e them the use of the council-chamber, and direk a bit spunk o'
fire to be kindl't. It's, ye ken, but for this night they are to be in
our aught; and their crime, ye ken, provost, was mair o' the judgment
than the heart, and therefore we should think how we are a' prone to do
evil."

By this sort of petitionary exhorting that worthy man carried his point,
and the provost consented that the prisoners should be removed to the
council-chamber, where he directed a fire to be lighted for their
solace.

"Noo, honest men," said their friend the deacon, when he was taking
leave of them, after seeing them in the council-room, "I hope you'll
make yoursels as comfortable as men in your situation can reasonably be;
and look ye," said he to my brother, "if the wind should rise, and the
smoke no vent sae weel as ye could wis, which is sometimes the case in
blowy weather when the door's shut, just open a wee bit jinkie o' this
window," and he gave him a squeeze on the arm--"it looks into my yard.
Heh! but it's weel mindet, the bar on my back-yett's in the want o'
reparation--I maun see til't the morn."

There was no difficulty in reading the whumplet meaning of this
couthiness anent the reeking o' the chamber; and my brother and Esau,
when the door was locket on them for the night, soon found it expedient
to open the window, and next morning the kind counsellor had more
occasion than ever to get the bar o' his back-yett repaired; for it had
yielded to the grip of the prisoners, who, long afore day, were far
beyond the eye and jurisdiction of the magistrates of Paisley.

They took the straight road to Kilmarnock, intending, if possible, to
hide themselves among some of my brother Jacob's wife's friends in that
town. He had himself been dead some short time before; but in the course
of their journey, in eschewing the high-road as much as possible, they
found a good friend in a cottar who lived on the edge of the Mearns
moor, and with him they were persuaded to bide till the day of that
night when we met in so remarkable a manner on the sands of Ardrossan;
and the cause that brought him there was one of the severest trials to
which he had yet been exposed, as I shall now rehearse.

James Greig, the kind cottar who sheltered them for the better part of
three weeks, was but a poor man, and two additional inmates consumed the
meal which he had laid in for himself and his wife, so that he was
obligated to apply twice for the loan of some from a neighbour, which
caused a suspicion to arise in that neighbour's mind; and he being
loose-tongued, and a talking man, let out what he thought in a public at
Kilmarnock, in presence of some one connected with the soldiers then
quartered in the Dean-castle. A party, in consequence, had that morning
been sent out to search for them; but the thoughtless man who had done
the ill was seized with a remorse of conscience for his folly, and came
in time to advise them to flee; but not so much in time as to prevent
them from being seen by the soldiers, who no sooner discovered them than
they pursued them. What became of Esau Wardrop was never known; he was
no doubt shot in his flight; but my brother was more fortunate, for he
kept so far before those who in particular pursued him, that, although
they kept him in view, they could not overtake him.

Running in this way for life and liberty, he came to a house on the
road-side, inhabited by a lanerly woman, and the door being open he
darted in, passing through to the yard behind, where he found himself in
an enclosed place, out of which he saw no other means of escape but
through a ditch full of water. The depth of it at the time he did not
think of, but plunging in, he found himself up to the chin; at that
moment he heard the soldiers at hand; so the thought struck him to
remain where he was, and to go under a bramble-bush that overhung the
water. By this means he was so effectually concealed, that the soldiers,
losing sight of him, wreaked their anger and disappointment on the poor
woman, dragging her with them to the Dean-castle, where they threw her
into the dungeon, in the darkness of which she perished, as was
afterwards well known through all that country-side.

After escaping from the ditch, my brother turned his course more
northerly, and had closed his day of suffering on Kilbride-hill, where,
drawn by his affections to seek some knowledge of his wife and daughter,
he had resolved to risk himself as near as possible to Quharist that
night; and coming along with the shower on his back, which blew so
strong in our faces, he saw us by the glimpses of the tempestuous
moonlight as we were approaching, and had denned himself on the
road-side till we should pass, being fearful we might prove enemies.
Some accidental lament or complaint, uttered unconsciously by me, made
him, however, think he knew the voice, and moved thereby, he started up,
and had just joined us when he was discovered in so awakening a manner.

Thus came my brother and I to meet after the raid of Pentland; and
having heard from me all that he could reasonably hope for, regarding
the most valued casket of his affections, he came along with Mr
Witherspoon; and we were next morning safely ferried over into the wee
Cumbrae, by James Plowter the ferryman, to whom we were both well known.

There was then only a herd's house on the island; but there could be no
truer or kinder Christians than the herd and his wife. We staid with
them till far in the year, hearing often, through James Plowter, of our
friends; and above all the joyous news, in little more than a week after
our landing, of Sarah Lochrig having been permitted to leave the
tolbooth of Irvine, without further dule than a reproof from Provost
Reid, that had more in it of commendation than reproach.



CHAPTER LXVIII


It is well set forth in all the various histories of this dismal epoch,
that the cry of blood had gone so vehemently up to heaven from the
graves of the martyred Covenanters, that the Lord moved the heart of
Charles Stuart to more merciful measures, but only for a season. The
apostate James Sharp and the other counsellors, whose weakness or
wickedness fell in with his tyrannical proselytising purposes, were
wised from the rule of power, and the Earls of Tweeddale and Kincardine,
with that learned sage and philosopher, Sir John Murray, men of more
beneficent dispositions, were appointed to sit in their places in the
Privy Council at Edinburgh;--so that all in our condition were heartened
to return to their homes.

As soon as we heard that the ravenous soldiery were withdrawn from the
shire of Ayr, my brother and I, with Mr Witherspoon, after an abode of
more than seven months in yon solitary and rocky islet, returned to
Quharist. But, O courteous reader, I dare not venture to tell of the joy
of the meeting, and the fond intermingling of embraces, that was too
great a reward for all our sufferings;--for now I approach the memorials
of those things, by which the terrible Heavens have manifested that I
was ordained from the beginning to launch the bolt that was chosen from
the quiver in the armoury of the Almighty avenger, to overthrow the
oppressor and oppression of my native land. It is therefore enough to
state that, upon my return home, where I expected to find my lands waste
and my fences broken down, I found all things in better order than they
maybe would have been had the eye of the master been over them; for our
kind neighbours, out of a friendly consideration for my family, had in
the spring tilled the ground and sown the seed by day-and-day-about
labour; and surely it was a pleasant thing, in the midst of such a
general depravity of the human heart, so prevalent at that period, to
hear of such constancy and Christian-mindedness; for it was not towards
my brother and me only that such things were done; the same was common
throughout the country towards the lands and families of the persecuted.

But the lown of that time was as a pet day in winter. In the harvest,
however, when the proposal came out that we should give bonds to keep
the peace, I made no scruple of signing the same, and of getting my
wife's father, who was not out in the raid, to be my cautioner. In the
doing of this I did not renounce the Covenant; but, on the contrary, I
considered that by the bonds the King was as much bound to preserve
things in the state under which I granted the bond as I was to remain in
the quiet condition I was when I signed it.

After the bonds of peace came the indulgence, and the chief heritors of
our parish having something to say with the Lord Tweeddale, leave was
obtained for Mr Swinton to come back, and we had made a paction with
Andrew Dornock, the prelatic curate and incumbent, to let him have his
manse again. But although Mr Swinton did return, and his family were
again gathered around him, he would not, as he said himself to me, so
far bow the knee to Baal as to bring the church of Christ in any measure
or way into Erastian dependence on the civil magistrate. So he neither
would return to the manse nor enter the pulpit, but continued, for the
space of several years, to reside at Quharist, and to preach on the
summer Sundays from the window in the gable.

In the spring, however, of the year 1674, he, after a lingering illness,
closed his life and ministry. For some time he had felt himself going
hence, and the tenour of his prayers and sermons had for several months
been of a high and searching efficacy; and he never failed, Sabbath
after Sabbath, just before pronouncing the blessing, to return public
thanks that the Lord was drawing him so softly away from the world, and
from the storms that were gathering in the black cloud of prelacy which
still overhung and darkened the ministry of the Kirk of Scotland,--a
method of admonition that was awfully awakening to the souls of his
hearers, and treasured by them as a solemn breathing of the inspiration
of prophecy.

When he was laid in the earth, and Mr Witherspoon, by some handling on
my part, was invited to fill the void which his removal had left among
us, the wind again began to fisle, and the signs of a tempest were seen
in the changes of the royal Councils. The gracious-hearted statesmen
before spoken of were removed from their benignant spheres like falling
stars from the firmament, and the Duke of Lauderdale was endowed with
the power to persecute and domineer.

Scarcely was he seated in the Council when the edicts of oppression were
renewed. The prelates became clamorous for his interference, and the
penalties of the bonds of peace presented the means of supplying the
inordinate wants of his rapacious wife. Steps were accordingly soon
taken to appease and pleasure both. The court-contrived crime of hearing
the Gospel preached in the fields, as it was by John in the Wilderness
and Jesus on the Mount, was again prohibited with new rigour; and I for
one soon felt that, in the renewed persecution of those who attended the
conventicles, the King had again as much broken the conditions under
which I gave the bond of peace as he had before broken the vows of the
Solemn League and Covenant; so that when the guilty project was ripened
in his bloody councils, that the West Country should be again
exasperated into rebellion, that a reason might be procured for keeping
up a standing army, in order that the three kingdoms might be ruled by
prerogative instead of parliament, I freely confess that I was one of
those who did refuse to sign the bonds that were devised to provoke the
rebellion,--bonds, the terms whereof sufficiently manifested the purpose
that governed the framers in the framing. We were required by them,
under severe penalties, to undertake that neither our families, nor our
servants, nor our tenants, nor the servants of our tenants, nor any
others residing upon our lands, should withdraw from the churches or
adhere to conventicles, or succour field preachers, or persons who had
incurred the penalties attached to these prelate-devised offences. And
because we refused to sign these bonds, and continued to worship God in
the peacefulness of the Gospel, the whole country was treated by the
Duke of Lauderdale as in a state of revolt.

The English forces came mustering against us on the borders, the Irish
garrisons were drawn to the coast to invade us, and the lawless
Highlanders were tempted, by their need and greed, and a royal promise
of indemnity for whatsoever outrages they might commit, to come down
upon us in all their fury. By these means ten thousand ruthless soldiers
and unreclaimed barbarians were let loose upon us, while we were sitting
in the sun listening, I may say truly, to those gracious counsellings
which breathe nothing but peace and good-will. When, since the burning
days of Dioclesian, the Roman Emperor,--when, since the massacre of the
protestants by orders of the French king on the eve of St Bartholomew,
was so black a crime ever perpetrated by a guilty government on its own
subjects? But I was myself among the greatest of the sufferers; and it
is needful that I should now clothe my thoughts with sobriety, and
restrain the ire of the pen of grief and revenge.--Not revenge! No; let
the word be here--justice.

The Highland host came on us in want, and, but for their license to
destroy, in beggary. Yet when they returned to their wild homes among
the distant hills, they were laden as with the household wealth of a
realm, in so much that they were rendered defenceless by the weight of
their spoil. At the bridge of Glasgow the students of the College and
the other brave youths of that town, looking on them with true Scottish
hearts, and wrathful to see that the barbarians had been such robbers of
their fellow-subjects, stopped above two thousand of them, and took from
them their congregations of goods and wares, wearing apparel, pots,
pans, and gridirons, and other furniture, wherewith they had burdened
themselves like bearers at a flitting. My house was stript to a wastage,
and every thing was taken away; what was too heavy to be easily
transported was, after being carried some distance, left on the road.
The very shoes were taken off my wife's feet, and "ye'll no be a refuse
to gi'e me that," said a red-haired reprobate as he took hold of Sarah
Lochrig's hand and robbed her of her wedding-ring. I was present and saw
the deed; I felt my hands clench, but in my spirit I discovered that it
was then the hour of outrage, and that the Avenger's time was not yet
come.



CHAPTER LXIX


Rarely has it fallen to the lot of man to be so blessed with such
children as mine; but surely I was unworthy of the blessing. And yet,
though maybe unworthy, Lord, thou knowest by the nightly anthems of
thankfulness that rose from my hearth, that the chief sentiment in my
breast, in those moments of melody, was my inward acknowledgment to
Thee for having made this world so bright to me, with an offspring so
good and fair, and with Sarah Lochrig, their mother, she whose life was
the sweetness in the cup of my felicity. Let me not, however, hurry on,
nor forget that I am but an historian, and that it befits not the
juridical pen of the character to dwell upon my own woes when I have to
tell of the sufferings of others.

The trials and the tribulations which I had heard so much of, and
whereof I had witnessed so many, made me in a sense but little liable to
be moved when told of any new outrage. But the sight of that Highlander
wrenching from Sarah Lochrig's finger our wedding-ring did, in its
effects and influences, cause a change in my nature as sudden and as
wonderful as that which the rod of Moses underwent in being quickened
into a serpent.

For some time I sat as I was sitting while the deed was doing; and when
my wife, after the plunderers had departed, said to me, soothingly, that
we had reason to be thankful for having endured no other loss than a
little world's gear, she was surprised at the sedateness with which I
responded to her pious condolements. Michael, our first-born, then in
the prime beauty of his manhood, had been absent when the robbery was
committed, and coming in, on hearing what had been done, flamed with the
generous rage of youth, and marvelled that I had been so calm. My blithe
and blooming Mary joined her ingenuous admiration to theirs, but my mild
and sensible Margaret fell upon my neck, and weeping, cried, "O! father,
it's no worth the doure thought that gars your brows sae gloom;" while
Joseph, the youngest of the flock, then in his twelfth year, brought the
Bible and laid it on my knees.

I opened the Book, and would have read a portion, but the passage which
caught my eye was the beginning of the sixth chapter of Jeremiah, "O ye
children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of
Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in
Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great
destruction." And I thought it was a voice calling me to arm, and to
raise the banner against the oppressor; and thereupon I shut the Book,
and retiring to the fields, communed with myself for some time.

Having returned into the house, and sent Michael to my brother's to
inquire how it had fared with him and his family, I at the same time
directed Joseph to go to Irvine, and tell our friends there to help us
with a supply of blankets, for the Highlanders had taken away my horses
and driven off my cattle, and we had no means of bringing any thing.

But Joseph was not long gone when Michael came flying back from my
brother's, and I saw by his looks that something very dreadful had been
committed, and said,--

"Are they all in life?"

"Aye in life!" and, the tears rushing into his eyes, he exclaimed, "But
O! I wish that my cousin Bell had been dead and buried!"

Bell Gilhaize, my brother's only daughter, was the lightest-hearted
maiden in all our parish. It had long been a pleasure both to her father
and me to observe a mingling of affections between her and Michael, and
the year following had been fixt for their marriage.

"The time of weeping, Michael," said I, "is past, and the time of
warring will soon come. It is not in man to bear always aggression, nor
can it be required of him ever to endure contumely."

"What has befallen Bell?" said his mother to him; but instead of making
her any answer, he uttered a dreadful sound, like the howl of madness,
and hastily quitted the house.

Sarah Lochrig, who was a woman of a serene reason, and mild and gracious
in her nature, looked at me with a silent sadness, that told all the
anguish with which the horror that she guessed had darted into her soul;
and then, with an energy that I never saw in her before, folded her own
two daughters to her bosom, as if she was in terror for them, and bathed
their necks with tears.

While we were in this state my brother himself came in. He was now a man
well stricken in years, but of a hale appearance, and usually of an open
and manly countenance. Nor on this occasion did he appear greatly
altered; but there was a fire in his eye, and a severity in his aspect,
such as I'd never seen before, yet withal a fortitude that showed how
strong the self-possession was, which kept the tempest within him from
breaking out in word or gesture.

"Ringan," said he, "we have met with a misfortune. It's the will of
Providence, and we maun bear it. But surely in the anger that is caused
by provocation, our Creator tells us to resent. From this hour, all
obligation, obedience, allegiance, all whatsoever that as a subject I
did owe to Charles Stuart is at an end. I am his foe; and the Lord put
strength into my arm to revenge the ruin of my bairn!"

There was in the utterance of these words a solemnity at first
terrifying to hear; but his voice in the last clause of the sentence
faltered, and he took off his bonnet and held it over his face, and wept
bitterly.

I could make him no answer for some time; but I took hold of his hand,
and when he had a little mastered his grief, I said, "Brother, we are
children of the same parents, and the wrongs of one are the wrongs of
both. But let us not be hasty."

He took the bonnet from his face, and looked at me sternly for a little
while, and then he said,--

"Ringan Gilhaize, till you have felt what I feel, you ne'er can know
that the speed o' lightning is slow to the wishes and the will of
revenge."

At that moment his daughter Bell was brought in, led by my son Michael.
Her father, at the sight of her, clasped his hands wildly above his
head, and rushed out of the house. My wife went towards her, but stopped
and fell back into my arms at the sight of her demented look. My
daughters gazed, and held up their trembling hands.

"Speak to her," said Michael to his sisters; "she'll maybe heed you;"
and he added, "Bell, it's Mary and Peggy," and dropping her hand, he
went to lead Mary to her, while she stood like a statue on the spot.

"Dear Bell," said I, as I moved myself gently from the arms of my
afflicted wife, "come wi' me to the open air;" and I took her by the
hand which poor Michael had dropped, and led her out to the green, but
still she looked the same demented creature.

Her father, who had by this time again overcome his distress, seeing us
on the green, came towards us, while my wife and daughters also came
out; but Michael could no longer endure the sight of the rifled rose
that he had cherished for the ornament of his bosom, and he remained to
hide his grief in the house.

"Her mind's gone, Ringan," said my brother, "and she'll ne'er be better
in this world!" Nor was she; but she lived many months after, and in all
the time never shed a tear, nor breathed a sigh, nor spoke a word; where
she was led she went; where she was left, she stood. At last she became
so weak that she could not stand; and one day, as I was sitting at her
bedside, I observed that she lay unusually still, and touching her hand,
found that all her sorrows were over.



CHAPTER LXX


From the day of the desolation of his daughter, my brother seldom held
any communion with me; but I observed that with Michael he had much
business, and though I asked no questions, I needed not to be told that
there was a judgment and a doom in what they did. I was therefore
fearful that some rash step would be taken at the burial of Bell; for it
was understood that all the neighbours, far and near, intended to be
present to testify their pity for her fate. So I spoke to Mr Witherspoon
concerning my fears, and by his exhortations the body was borne to the
kirk-yard in a solemn and peaceable manner.

But just as the coffin was laid in the grave, and before a spadeful of
earth was thrown, a boy came running crying, "Sharp's kill't!--the
apostate's dead!" which made every one turn round and pause; and while
we were thus standing, a horseman came riding by, who confirmed the
tidings, that a band of men whom his persecutions had made desperate,
had executed justice on the apostate as he was travelling in his
carriage with his daughter on Magus-moor. While the stranger was telling
the news, the corpse lay in the grave unburied; and dreadful to tell!
when he had made an end of his tale, there was a shout of joy and
exultation set up by all present, except by Michael and my brother. They
stood unmoved, and I thought--do I them any wrong?--that they looked
disconsolate and disappointed.

But though the judgment on James Sharp was a cause of satisfaction to
all covenanted hearts, many were not yet so torn by the persecution as
entirely to applaud the deed. I shall not therefore enter upon the
particulars of what was done anent those who dealt his doom, for they
were not of our neighbourhood.

The crime, however, of listening peacefully in the fields to the truths
of the Gospel became, in the sight of the persecutors, every day more
and more heinous, and they gave themselves up to the conscience-soothing
tyranny of legal ordinances, as if the enactment and execution of bloody
laws, contrary to those of God, and against the unoffending privileges
of our nature, were not wickedness of as dark a stain as the murderer's
use of his secret knife. Edict and proclamation against field-preachings
and conventicles came following each other, and the latest was the
fiercest and fellest of all which had preceded. But the cause of truth,
and the right of communion with the Lord, was not to be given up: "It is
not for glory," we said in the words of those brave Scottish barons that
redeemed, with King Robert the Bruce, their native land from the
thraldom of the English Edward, "nor is it for riches, neither is it for
honour, but it is for liberty alone we contend, which no true man will
lose but with his life;" and therefore it was that we would not yield
obedience to the tyranny, which was revived with new strength by the
death of James Sharp, in revenge for his doom, but sought, in despite of
decrees and statutes, to hear THE WORD where we believed it was best
spoken.

The laws of God, which are above all human authority, require that we
should worship him in truth and in holiness, and we resolved to do so to
the uttermost, and prepared ourselves with arms to resist whoever might
be sent to molest us in the performance of that the greatest duty. But
in so exercising the divine right of resistance, we were not called upon
to harm those whom we knew to be our adversaries. Belting ourselves for
defence, not for war, we went singly to our places of secret meeting in
the glens and on the moors, and when the holy exercise was done, we
returned to our homes as peacefully as we went thither.

Many a time I have since thought, that surely in no other age or land
was ever such a solemn celebration of the Sabbath as in those days. The
very dangers with which we were environed exalted the devout heart;
verily it was a grand sight to see the fearless religious man moving
from his house in the grey of the morning, with the Bible in his hand,
and his sword for a staff, walking towards the hills for many a weary
mile, hoping the preacher would be there, and praying as he went that
there might be no molestation.

Often and often on those occasions has the Lord been pleased to shelter
his worshippers from their persecutors by covering them with the mantle
of His tempest; and many a time at the dead of night, when the winds
were soughing around, and the moon was bowling through the clouds, we
have stood on the heath of the hills and the sound of our psalms has
been mingled with the roaring of the gathering waters.

The calamities which drove us thus to worship in the wilderness, and
amidst the storm, rose to their full tide on the back of the death of
the arch-apostate James Sharp; for all the religious people in the realm
were in a manner regarded by the government as participators in the
method of his punishment. And Claverhouse, whom I have now to speak of,
got that special commission on which he rode so wickedly, to put to the
sword whomsoever he found with arms at any preaching in the fields; so
that we had no choice in seeking to obtain the consolations of religion,
which we then stood so much in need of, but to congregate in such
numbers as would deter the soldiers from venturing to attack us. This it
was which caused the second rising, and led to the fatal day of
Bothwell-brigg, whereof it is needful that I should particularly speak,
not only on account of the great stress that was thereon laid by the
persecutors, in making out of it a method of fiery ordeal to afflict the
covenanted, but also because it was the overflowing fountain-head of the
deluge that made me desolate. And herein, courteous reader, should aught
of a fiercer feeling than belongs to the sacred sternness of truth and
justice escape from my historical pen, thou wilt surely pardon the same,
if there be any of the gracious ruth of Christian gentleness in thy
bosom; for now I have to tell of things that have made the annals of the
land as red as crimson and filled my house with the blackness of ashes
and universal death.

For a long period there had been, from the causes and circumstances
premised, sore difficulties in the assembling of congregations, and the
sacrament of the Supper had not been dispensed in many parts of the
shire of Ayr from the time of the Highland host; so that there was a
great longing in the hearts of the covenanted to partake once again of
that holy refreshment; and shortly after the seed-time it began to be
concerted, that early in the summer a day should be set apart, and a
place fixed for the celebration of the same. About the time of the
interment of my brother's desolated daughter, and the judgment of the
death executed on James Sharp, it was settled that the moors of
Loudon-hill should be the place of meeting, and that the first Sabbath
of June should be the day. But what ministers would be there was not
settled; for who could tell which, in those times, would be spared from
prison?

It was, however, forethought and foreseen, that the assemblage of
communicants would be very considerable; for, in order that there might
be the less risk of molestation, a wish that it should be so was put
forth among us, to the end that the King's forces might swither to
disperse us. Accordingly, with my disconsolate brother and son, I went
to be present at that congregation, and we carried our arms with us, as
we were then in the habit of doing on all occasions of public testimony
by worship.

In the meantime a rent had been made in the Covenant, partly by the
over-zeal of certain young preachers, who, not feeling, as we did, that
the duty of presbyterians went no farther than defence and resistance,
strove, with all the pith of an effectual eloquence, to exasperate the
minds of their hearers into hostility against those in authority; and it
happened that several of those who had executed the judgment on James
Sharp, seeing no hope of pardon for what they had done, leagued
themselves with this party, in the hope of thereby making head against
their pursuers.

I have been the more strict in setting down these circumstantials,
because in the bloody afterings of that meeting they were altogether
lost sight of; and also because the implacable rage with which
Claverhouse persecuted the Covenanters has been extenuated by some
discreet historians, on the plea of his being an honourable officer,
deduced from his soldierly worth elsewhere; whereas the truth is, that
his cruelties in the shire of Ayr, and other of our western parts, were
less the fruit of his instructions, wide and severe as they were, than
of his own mortified vanity and malignant revenge.



CHAPTER LXXI


It was in the cool of the evening, on Saturday, the last day of May,
when my brother came over to my house, where, with Michael, I had
prepared myself to go with him to Loudon-hill. Our intent was to walk
that night to Kilmarnock, and abide till the morning with our brother
Jacob's widow, not having seen her for a long time.

We had in the course of that day heard something of the publication of
"The Declaration and Testimony," which, through the vehemence of the
preachers before spoken of, had been rashly counselled at Ruglen, the
twenty-ninth of the month; but there was no particulars, and what we did
hear was like, as all such things are, greatly magnified beyond the
truth. We, however, were grieved by the tidings; for we feared some
cause of tribulation would be thereby engendered detrimental to the
religious purposes of our journey.

This sentiment pressing heavily on our hearts, we parted from my family
with many misgivings, and the bodements of further sorrows. But the
outward expression of what we all felt was the less remarkable, on
account of what so lately had before happened in my brother's house. Nor
indeed did I think at the time, that the foretaste of what was ordained
so speedily to come to a head was at all so lively in his spirit, or
that of my son, as it was in mine, till, in passing over the top of the
Gowan-brae, he looked round on the lands of Quharist, and said,--

"I care nae, Ringan, if I ne'er come back; for though we hae lang dwelt
in affection together yon'er, thae that were most precious to me are now
both aneath the sod,"--alluding to his wife who had been several years
dead,--and poor Bell, that lovely rose which the ruthless spoiler had so
trampled into the earth.

"I feel," said Michael, "as if I were going to a foreign land, there is
sic a farewell sadness upon me."

But we strove to overcome this, and walked leisurely on the high road
towards Kilmarnock, trying to discourse of indifferent things; and as
the gloaming faded, and the night began to look forth, from her
watch-tower in the heavens, with all her eyes of beautiful light, we
communed of the friends that we trusted were in glory, and marvelled if
it could be that they saw us after death, or ever revisited the persons
and the scenes that they loved in life. Rebellion or treason, or any
sense of thoughts and things that were not holy, had no portion in our
conversation: we were going to celebrate the redemption of fallen man;
and we were mourning for friends no more; our discourse was of eternal
things, and the mysteries of the stars and the lights of that world
which is above the firmament.

When we reached Kilmarnock we found that Jacob's widow had, with several
other godly women, set out towards the place of meeting, to sojourn with
a relation that night, in order that they might be the abler to gather
the manna of the word in the morning. We therefore resolved not to halt
there, but to go forward to the appointed place, and rest upon the spot.
This accordingly doing, we came to the eastern side of Loudon-hill, the
trysted place, shortly after the first scad of the dawn.

Many were there before us, both men and women and little children, and
horses intermingled, some slumbering, and some communing with one
another; and as the morning brightened, it was a hallowed sight to
behold from that rising ground the blameless persecuted coming with
sedate steps to worship their Maker on the mountain.

The Reverend Mr Thomas Douglas, who was to open the action, arrived
about the rising of the sun with several other ministers, and behind
them four aged men belonging to Strathaven bearing the elements.

A pious lady, whose name I never heard, owing to what ensued, spread
with her own hands a damask tablecloth on the ground, and the bread and
wine were placed upon it with more reverence than ever was in kirk.

Mr Douglas having mounted upon a rock nigh to where this was done, was
about to give out the psalm, when we observed several country lads, that
were stationed as watchers afar off, coming with great haste in; and
they brought word, that Claverhouse and his dragoons were coming to
disperse us, bringing with them the Reverend Mr King, a preacher of the
gospel at Hamilton, and others that they had made prisoners, tied with
cords two and two.

The tidings for a moment caused panic and consternation; but as the men
were armed, and resolved to resist, it was thought, in consideration of
the women and children, that we ought to go forward, and prevent the
adversaries from advancing. Accordingly, to the number of forty
horsemen, and maybe near to two hundred foot, we drew ourselves apart
from the congregation, and marched to meet Claverhouse, thinking,
perhaps, on seeing us so numerous, that he would not come on,--while Mr
Douglas proceeded with the worship, the piety of none with him being
abated by this grievous visitation.

Mr William Clelland, with Mr Hamilton, who had come with Mr Douglas,
were our leaders, and we met Claverhouse on the moor of Drumclog.

The dragoons were the first to halt, and Claverhouse, having ordered his
prisoners to be drawn aside, was the first who gave the word to fire.
This was without any parley or request to know whether we came with
hostile intent or no. Clelland, on seeing the dragoons make ready, cried
to us all to den ourselves among the heather; by which forethought the
shot flew harmless. Then we started up, and every one, with the best aim
he could, fired at the dragoons as they were loading their carabines.
Several men and horses were killed, and many wounded. Claverhouse seeing
this, commanded his men to charge upon us; but the ground was rough, the
heather deep, and the moss broken where peats had been dug, and the
horses floundered, and several threw their riders, and fell themselves.

We had now loaded again, and the second fire was more deadly than the
first. Our horsemen also seeing how the dragoons were scattered, fell in
the confusion as it were man for man upon them. Claverhouse raged and
commanded, but no one now could or would obey. In that extremity his
horse was killed, and, being thrown down, I ran forward to seize him, if
I could, prisoner; but he still held his sword in his hand, and rising
as I came up, used it manfully, and with one stroke almost hewed my
right arm from my shoulder. As he fled I attempted for a moment to
follow, but staggered and fell. He looked back as he escaped, and I
cried--"Blood for blood;" and it has been so, as I shall hereafter in
the sequel relate.

When the day was won, we found we numbered among the slain on the side
of the vanquished nearly twenty of the dragoons: on our side we lost but
one man, John Morton--a ripe saint; but several were wounded; and John
Weir and William Daniel died of their wounds. Such was the day of
Drumclog.

Being wounded, I was carried to a neighbouring farm, attended by my
brother and son, and there put upon a cart and sent home to Quharist, as
it was thought I would be best attended there. They then returned to the
rest of the host, who, seeing themselves thus brought into open war,
resolved forthwith to proceed to Glasgow, and to raise again the banner
of the Covenant.

But Claverhouse had fled thither, burning with the thought of being so
shorn in his military pride by raw and undisciplined countrymen, whom,
if we had been bred soldiers, maybe he would have honoured, but being
what we were, though our honour was the greater, he hated us with the
deadly aversion that is begotten of vanity chastised; for that it was
which incited him to ravage the West Country with such remorselessness,
and which, when our men were next day repulsed at Glasgow with the loss
of lives, made him hinder the removal of the bodies from the streets,
till it was said the butchers' dogs began to prey upon them.

But not to insist on matters of hearsay, nor to dwell at any greater
length on those afflicting events, I must refer the courteous reader to
the history of the times for what followed, it being enough for me to
state here that as soon as the news spread of the battle and the
victory, the persecuted ran flocking in from all quarters, by which the
rope of sand, that the Lord permitted Monmouth to break at
Bothwell-brigg, was soon formed. My brother and my son were both there,
and there my gallant Michael lies. My brother, then verging on
threescore, being among the prisoners, was, after sore sufferings in the
Greyfriars church-yard of Edinburgh, sent on board a vessel as a
bondsman to the plantations in America. His wrongs, however, were
happily soon over; for the ship in which he was embarked perished among
the Orkney islands, and he, with two hundred other sufferers, received
the crown of martyrdom from the waves.

O Charles Stuart, king of Scotland! and thou, James Sharp!--false and
cruel men--But ye are called to your account; and what avails it now to
the childless father to rail upon your memory?



CHAPTER LXXII


Before proceeding farther at this present time with the doleful tale of
my own sufferings, it is required of me, as an impartial historian, to
note here a very singular example of the spirit of piety which reigned
in the hearts of the Covenanters, especially as I shall have to show
that such was the cruel and implacable nature of the Persecution, that
time had not its wonted influence to soften in any degree its rigour.
Thirteen years had passed from the time of the Pentland raid; and surely
the manner in which the country had suffered for that rising might, in
so long a course of years, have subdued the animosity with which we were
pursued; especially, as during the Earl of Tweeddale's administration
the bonds of peace had been accepted. But Lauderdale, now at the head of
the councils, was rapacious for money; and therefore all offences, if I
may employ that courtly term, by which our endeavours to taste of the
truth were designated,--all old offences, as I was saying, were renewed
against us as recent crimes, and an innocent charity to the remains of
those who had suffered for the Pentland raid was made a reason, after
the battle of Bothwell-brigg, to revive the persecution of those who had
been out in that affair.

The matter particularly referred to arose out of the following
circumstances:

The number of honest and pious men who were executed in different
places, and who had their heads and their right hands with which they
signed the Covenant at Lanerk cut off, and placed on the gates of towns
and over the doors of tolbooths, had been very great. And it was very
grievous, and a sore thing to the friends and acquaintances of those
martyrs, when they went to Glasgow, or Kilmarnock, or Irvine, or Ayr, on
their farm business, to tryst or market, to see the remains of persons,
whom they so loved and respected in life, bleaching in the winds and the
rains of Heaven. It was, indeed, a matter of great heart-sadness, to
behold such animosity carried beyond the grave; and few they were who
could withstand the sight of the orphans that came thither, pointing out
to one another their fathers' bones, and weeping as they did so, and
vowing, with an innocent indignation, that they would avenge their
martyrdom.

Well do I remember the great sorrow that arose one market-day in Irvine,
some five or six years after the Pentland raid, when Mrs M'Coul came,
with her four weans and her aged gudemother, to look at the relics of
her husband, who was martyred for his part in that rising. The bones
were standing, with those of another martyr of that time, on a shelf
which had been put up for the purpose, below the first wicket-hole in
the steeple, just above the door. The two women were very decent in
their apparel, rather more so than the common country wives. The
gudemother, in particular, had a cast of gentility both in her look and
garments; and I have heard the cause of it expounded, from her having
been the daughter of one of the Reformation preachers in the
Gospel-spreading epoch of John Knox. She had a crimson satin plaid over
her head, and she wore a black silk apron and a grey camlet gown. With
the one hand she held the plaid close to her neck, and the youngest
child, a lassie of seven years or so, had hold of her by the fore-finger
of the other.

Mrs M'Coul was more of a robust fabric, and she was without any plaid,
soberly dressed in the weeds of a widow, with a clean cambric
handkerchief very snodly prined over her breast. The children were
likewise beinly apparelled, and the two sons were buirdly and brave
laddies, the one about nine, and the other maybe eleven years old.

It would seem that this had been the first of their pilgrimages of
sorrow; for they stood some time in a row at the foot of the tolbooth
stair, looking up at the remains, and wondering, with tears in their
eyes, which were those they had come to see.

Their appearance drew around them many onlookers, both of the country
folk about the Cross and inhabitants of the town; but every one
respected their sorrow, and none ventured to disturb them with any
questions; for all saw that they were kith or kin to the godly men who
had testified to the truth and the Covenant in death.

It happened, however, that I had occasion to pass by, and some of the
town's folk who recollected me, said whisperingly to one another, but
loud enough to be heard, that I was one of the persecuted; whereupon Mrs
M'Coul turned round and said to me, with a constrained composure,--

"Can ye tell me whilk o' yon's the head and hand o' John M'Coul, that
was executed for the covenanting at Lanerk?"

I knew the remains well, for they had been pointed out to me and I had
seen them very often, but really the sight of the two women and the
fatherless bairns so overcame me that I was unable to answer.

"It's the head and the hand beside it, that has but twa fingers left, on
the Kirkgate end o' the shelf!" replied a person in the crowd, whom I
knew at once by his voice to be Willy Sutherland the hangman, although I
had not seen him from the night of my evasion. And here let me not
forget to set down the Christian worth and constancy of that simple and
godly creature, who, rather than be instrumental in the guilty judgment
by which John M'Coul and his fellow-sufferer were doomed to die, did
himself almost endure martyrdom, and yet never swerved in his purpose,
nor was abated in his integrity, in so much, that when questioned
thereafter anent the same by the Earl of Eglinton, and his Lordship,
being moved by the simplicity of his piety, said, "Poor man, you did
well in not doing what they would have had you to do."

"My Lord," replied Willy, "you are speaking treason! and yet you
persecute to the uttermost, which shows that you go against the light of
your conscience."

"Do you say so to me, after I kept you from being hanged?" said his
Lordship.

"Keep me from being drowned, and I will still tell you the verity." The
which honesty in that poor man begat for him a compassionate regard that
the dignities of many great and many noble in that time could never
command.

When the sorrowful M'Couls had indulged themselves in their melancholy
contemplation, they went away, followed by the multitude with silence
and sympathy, till they had mounted upon the cart which they had brought
with them into the town. But from that time every one began to speak of
the impiety of leaving the bones so wofully exposed; and after the
skirmish at Drumclog, where Robin M'Coul, the eldest of the two
striplings above spoken of, happened to be, when Mr John Welsh, with
the Carrick men that went to Bothwell-brigg, was sent into Glasgow to
bury the heads and hands of the martyrs there, Robin M'Coul came with a
party of his friends to Irvine to bury his father's bones. I was not
myself present at the interment, being, as I have narrated, confined to
my bed by reason of my wound. But I was told by the neighbours, that it
was a very solemn and affecting scene. The grieved lad carried the
relics of his father in a small box in his hands, covered with a white
towel; and the godly inhabitants of the town, young and old, and of all
denominations, to the number of several hundreds, followed him to the
grave where the body was lying; and Willy Sutherland, moved by a simple
sorrow, was the last of all; and he walked, as I was told, alone,
behind, with his bonnet in his hand; for, from his calling, he counted
himself not on an equality with other men. But it is time that I should
return from this digression to the main account of my narrative.



CHAPTER LXXIII


Being wounded, as I have rehearsed, at Drumclog, and carried to my own
house, Sarah Lochrig, while she grieved with a mother's grief for the
loss of our first-born and the mournful fate of my honest brother,
advanced my cure more by her loving ministrations to my aching mind,
than by the medicaments that were applied to the bodily wound, in so
much that something like a dawn of comfort was vouchsafed to me.

Our parish was singularly allowed to remain unmolested when, after the
woful day of Bothwell-brigg, Claverhouse came to ravage the shire of
Ayr, and to take revenge for the discomfiture which he had suffered, in
his endeavour to disturb the worship and sacrament at Loudon-hill.
Still, however, at times clouds overcame my spirit; and one night my
daughter Margaret had a remarkable dream, which taught us to expect some
particular visitation.

It was surely a mysterious reservation for the greater calamity which
ensued, that while the vial of wrath was pouring out around us, my house
should have been allowed to remain so unmolested. Often indeed when in
our nightly worship I returned thanks for a blessing so wonderful in
that time of general woe, has a strange fear fallen upon me and I have
trembled in thought, as if the thing for which I sent up the incense of
my thanks to heaven, was a device of the Enemy of man, to make me think
myself more deserving of favour than the thousands of covenanted
brethren who then, in Scotland, were drinking of the bitterness of the
suffering. But in proportion as I was then spared, the heavier
afterwards was my trial.

Among the prisoners taken at Bothwell-brigg were many persons from our
parish and neighbourhood, who, after their unheard-of sufferings among
the tombs and graves of the Greyfriars church-yard at Edinburgh, were
allowed to return home. Though in this there was a show of clemency, it
was yet but a more subtle method of the tyranny to reach new victims.
For those honest men were not long home till grievous circuit-courts
were set agoing, to bring to trial not only all those who were at
Bothwell, or approved of that rising, but likewise those who had been at
the Pentland raid; and the better to ensure condemnation and punishment,
sixteen persons were cited from every parish to bear witness as to who,
among their neighbours, had been out at Bothwell, or had harboured any
of those who were there. The wicked curates made themselves, in this
grievous matter, engines of espionage, by giving in the names of those,
their parishioners, whom they knew could bear the best testimony.

Thus it was, that many who had escaped from the slaughter--from the
horrors of the Greyfriars church-yard--and from the drowning in the
Orkneys,--and, like myself, had resumed their quiet country labour, were
marked out for destruction. For the witnesses cited to Ayr against us
were persons who had been released from the Greyfriars church-yard, as I
have said, and who, being honest men, could not, when put to their
oaths, but bear witness to the truth of the matters charged against us.
And nothing surely could better show the devilish spirit with which
those in authority were at that time actuated, nor the unchristian
nature of the prelacy, than that the prisoners should thus have been set
free to be made the accusers of their neighbours; and that the curates,
men professing to be ministers of the Gospel, should have been such fit
instruments for such unheard-of machinations. But to hasten forward to
the fate and issue of this self-consuming tyranny, I shall leave all
generalities, and proceed with the events of my own case; and, in doing
so, I shall endeavour what is in me to inscribe the particulars with a
steady hand; for I dare no longer now trust myself with looking to the
right or to the left of the field of my matter. I shall, however, try to
narrate things just as they happened, leaving the courteous reader to
judge what passed at the time in the suffocating throbs wherewith my
heart was then affected.

It was the last day of February, of the year following Bothwell-brigg,
that, in consequence of these subtle and wicked devices, I was taken up.
I had, from my wound, been in an ailing state for many months, and could
then do little in the field; but the weather for the season was mild,
and I had walked out in the tranquillity of a sunny afternoon to give my
son Joseph some instructions in the method of ploughing; for, though he
was then but in his thirteenth year, he was a by-common stripling in
capacity and sense. He was indeed a goodly plant; and I had hoped, in my
old age, to have sat beneath the shelter of his branches; but the axe of
the feller was untimely laid to the root, and it was too soon, with all
the blossoms of the fairest promise, cast down into the dust. But my
task now is of vengeance and justice, not of sorrowing, and I must more
sternly grasp the iron pen.

A party of soldiers, who had been that afternoon sent out to bring in
certain persons (among whom I was one) in a list malignantly transmitted
to the Archbishop of Glasgow, by Andrew Dornoch, the prelatic usurper of
our minister's place, as I was leaving the field where my son was
ploughing, saw me from the road, and ordered me to halt till they came
up, or they would fire at me.

It would have been unavailing of me, in the state I then was, to have
attempted to flee, so I halted; and, after some entreaty with the
soldiers, got permission from them to have my horse and cart yoket, as I
was not very well, and so to be carried to Ayr. And here I should note
down that, although there was in general a coarse spirit among the
King's forces, yet in these men there was a touch of common humanity.
This was no doubt partly owing to their having been some months
quartered in Irvine, where they became naturally softened by the
friendly spirit of the place. It was not, however, ordained that men so
merciful should be permitted to remain long there.

As it was an understood thing that the object of the trials to which the
Covenanters were in this manner subjected was chiefly to raise money and
forfeitures for the rapacious Duke of Lauderdale, then in the rule and
power of the council at Edinburgh, my being carried away prisoner to Ayr
awakened less grief and consternation in my family than might have been
expected from the event. Through the humane permission of my guard,
having a little time to confer with Sarah Lochrig before going away, it
was settled between us that she should gather together what money she
could procure, either by loan or by selling our corn and cattle, in
order to provide for the payment of the fine that we counted would be
laid upon us. I was then taken to the tolbooth of Ayr, where many other
covenanted brethren were lying to await the proceedings of the
circuit-court, which was to be opened by the Lord Kelburne from Glasgow,
on the second day after I had been carried thither.

Among the prisoners were several who knew me well, and who condoled as
Christians with me for the loss I had sustained at Bothwell; so, but for
the denial of the fresh and heavenly air, and the freedom of the fields,
the time of our captivity might have been a season of much solace: for
they were all devout men, and the tolbooth, instead of resounding with
the imprecations of malefactors, became melodious with the voice of
psalms and of holy communion, and the sweet intercourse of spirits that
delighted in one another for the constancy with which they had borne
their testimony.

When the Lord Kelburne arrived, on the first day that the court opened,
I was summoned to respond to the offences laid to my charge, if any
charge of offence it may be called, wherein the purpose of the court was
seemingly to search out opinions that might serve as matter to justify
the infliction of the fines,--the whole end and intent of those circuits
not being to award justice, but to find the means of extorting money. In
some respects, however, I was more mercifully dealt by than many of my
fellow-sufferers; but in order to show how, even in my case, the laws
were perverted, I will here set down a brief record of my examination or
trial, as it was called.



CHAPTER LXXIV


The council-room was full of people when I was taken thither, and the
Lord Kelburne, who sat at the head of the table, was abetted in the
proceedings by Murray, an advocate from Edinburgh. They were sitting at
a wide round table, within a fence which prevented the spectators from
pressing in upon them. There were many papers and letters folded up in
bundles lying before them, and a candle burning, and wax for
sigillation. Besides Lord Kelburne and his counsellor, there were divers
gentlemen seated at the table, and two clerks to make notations.

Lord Kelburne, in his appearance, was a mild-looking man, and for his
years his hair was very hoary; for though he was seemingly not passing
fifty, it was in a manner quite blanched. In speech he was moderate, in
disposition indulgent, and verily towards me he acted in his harsh duty
with much gentleness.

But Murray had a doure aspect for his years, and there was a smile among
his features not pleasant to behold, breeding rather distrust and dread
than winning confidence or affection, which are the natural fruit of a
countenance rightly gladdened. He looked at me from aneath his brows as
if I had been a malefactor, and turning to the Lord Kelburne, said,--

"He has the true fanatical yellow look."

This was a base observe; for naturally I was of a fresh complexion, but
my long illness, and the close air of the prison, had made me pale.

After some more impertinences of that sort, he then said,--

"Ringan Gilhaize, you were at the battle of Bothwell-brigg."

"I was not," said I.

"You do not mean to say so, surely?"

"I have said it," was my answer.

Whereupon one of the clerks whispered to him that there were three of
the name in the list.

"O!" cried he, "I crave your pardon, Ringan; there are several persons
of your name; and though you were not at Bothwell yourself, maybe ye ken
those of your name who were there,--Do you?"

"I did know two," was my calm answer; "one was my brother, and the other
my son."

All present remained very silent as I made this answer; and the Lord
Kelburne bending forward, leant his cheek on his hand as he rested his
elbow on the table, and looked very earnestly at me. Murray resumed,--

"And pray now, Ringan, tell us what has become of the two rebels?"

"They were covenanted Christians," said I; "my son lies buried with
those that were slain on that sore occasion."

"But your brother; he was of course younger than you?"

"No; he was older."

"Well, well, no matter as to that; but where is he?"

"I believe he is with his Maker; but his body lies among the rocks at
the bottom of the Orkney seas."

The steadiness of the Lord Kelburne's countenance saddened into the look
of compassion, and he said to Murray,--

"There is no use in asking him any more questions about them; proceed
with the ordinary interrogatories."

There was a murmur of satisfaction towards his Lordship at this; and
Murray said,--

"And so you say that those in the late rebellion at Bothwell were not
rebels?"

"I said, sir, that my son and my brother were covenanted Christians."

This I delivered with a firm voice, which seemed to produce some effect
on the Lord Kelburne, who threw himself back in his chair, and crossing
his arms over his breast, looked still more eagerly towards me.

"Do you mean then to deny," said Murray, "that the late rebellion was
not a rebellion?"

"It would be hard, sir, to say what it was; for the causes thereto
leading," replied I, "were provocations concerning things of God, and to
those who were for that reason religiously there, I do not think, in a
right sense, it can be called rebellion. Those who were there for
carnal motives, and I doubt not there were many such, I fancy every
honest man may say it was with them rebellion."

"I must deal more closely with him," said Murray to his Lordship; but
his Lordship, before allowing him to put any more questions, said
himself to me,--

"But you know, to state the thing plainly, that the misguided people who
were at Bothwell had banded themselves against the laws of the realm,
whether from religious or carnal motives is not the business we are here
to sift, that point is necessarily remitted to God and their
consciences."

Murray added, "It is most unreasonable to suppose that every subject is
free to determine of what is lawful to be obeyed. The thought is
ridiculous. It would destroy the end of all laws which are for the
advantage of communities, and which speak the sense of the generality,
touching the matter and things to which they refer."

"My Lord," said I, addressing myself to Lord Kelburne, "it surely will
ne'er be denied that every subject is free to exercise his discretion
with respek to his ain conduct; and your Lordship kens vera weel that it
is the duty of subjects to know the laws of the land; and your Lordship
likewise knows that God has given laws to all rulers as well as
subjects, and both may and ought to know His laws. Now if I, knowing
both the laws of God and the laws of the land, find the one contrary to
the other, undoubtedly God's laws ought to hae the preference in my
obedience."

His Lordship looked somewhat satisfied with this answer; but Murray said
to him,--

"I will pose him with this question. If presbyterian government were
established, as it was in the year 1648, and some ministers were not
free to comply with it, and a law were made that none should hear them
out o' doors, would you judge it reasonable that such ministers or their
people should be at liberty to act in contempt of that law."

And he looked mightily content with himself for this subtlety; but I
said,--

"Really, sir, I canna see a reason why hearkening to a preaching in the
fields should be a greater guilt than doing the same thing indoors."

"If I were of your principles," said the advocate, "and thought in my
conscience that the laws of the land were contrary to the laws of God,
and that I could not conform to them, I would judge it my duty rather to
go out of the nation and live elsewhere, than disturb the peace of the
land."

"That were to suppose two things," said I; "first, that rulers may make
laws contrary to the laws of God, and that when such laws are once made,
they ought to be submitted to. But I think, sir, that rulers being under
the law of God act wickedly and in rebellion to Him, when they make
enactments contrary to His declared will; and surely it can ne'er be
required that we should allow wickedness to be done."

"I am not sure," said Murray to his Lordship, "that I do right in
continuing this irrelevant conversation."

"I am interested in the honest man's defence," replied Lord Kelburne;
"and as 'tis in a matter of conscience, let us hear what makes it so."

"Well, then," resumed the advocate, "what can you say to the barbarous
murder of Archbishop Sharp?--You will not contend that murder is not
contrary to the law of God?"

"I ne'er contended," said I, "that any sin was permitted by the law of
God--far less murder, which is expressly forbidden in the Ten Commands."

"Then ye acknowledge the murder of the Archbishop to have been murder?"

"That's between those that did it and God."

"Hooly, hooly, friend!" cried Murray; "that, Ringan, winna do; was it or
was it not murder?"

"Can I tell, who was not there?"

"Then to satisfy your conscience on that score, Ringan, I would ask you,
if a gang of ruffians slay a defenceless man, do or do they not commit
murder?"

"I can easily answer that."

Lord Kelburne again bent eagerly forward, and rested his cheek again on
his hand, placing his elbow on the table, while I continued,--

"A gang of ruffians coming in wantonness, or for plunder, upon a
defenceless man, and putting him to death, there can be no doubt is
murder; but it has not yet been called murder to kill an enemy in
battle; and therefore, if the captain of a host go to war without arms,
and thereby be defenceless, it cannot be said that those of the adverse
party, who may happen to slay him, do any murder."

"Do you mean to justify the manner of the death of the Archbishop?"
exclaimed the advocate, starting back and spreading out his arms in
wonderment.

"'Deed no, sir," replied I, a little nettled at the construction he
would put upon what I said; "but I will say, even here, what Sir Davie
Lindsay o' the Mount said on the similar event o' Cardinal Beaton's
death,--

   'As for this Cardinal, I grant
   He was the man we might well want;
             God will forgive it soon:
   But of a truth, the sooth to say,
   Although the loon be well away,
             The fact was foully done.'"

There was a rustle of gratification among all in the court as I said the
rhyme, and Lord Kelburne smiled; but Murray, somewhat out of humour,
said,--

"I fancy, my Lord, we must consider this as an admission that the
killing of the Archbishop was murder."

"I fear," said his Lordship, "that neither of the two questions have
been so directly put as to justify me to pronounce any decision, though
I am willing to put the most favourable construction on what has
passed." And then his Lordship, looking to me, added,--

"Do you consider the late rebellion, being contrary to the King's
authority, rebellion?"

"Contrary to the King's right authority," replied I, "it was not
rebellion; but contrary to an authority beyond the right taken by him,
despite the law of God, it was rebellion."

"Wherefore, honest man," rejoined his Lordship kindly, "would you make a
distinction that may bring harm on your own head? Is not the King's
authority instituted by law and prerogative, and knowing that, cannot ye
say that those who rise in arms against it are rebels?"

"My Lord," said I, "you have my answer; for in truth and in conscience I
can give none other."

There was a pause for a short space, and one of the clerks looking to
Lord Kelburne, his Lordship said, with a plain reluctance, "It must even
be so; write down that he is not clear the late rebellion should be
called a rebellion;" and casting his eyes entreatingly towards me, he
added, "But I think you acknowledge that the assassination of Archbishop
Sharp was a murder?"

"My Lord," said I, "your questions are propounded as tests and
therefore, as an honest man, I cannot suffer that my answers should be
scant, lest I might be thought to waver in faith and was backward in my
testimony. No, my Lord, I will not call the killing of Sharp murder; for
on my conscience, I do verily think he deserved the death: First,
because of his apostacy; second, because of the laws of which he was the
instigator, whereby the laws of God have been contravened; and, third,
for the woes that those laws have brought upon the land, the which
stirred the hearts of the people against him. Above all, I think his
death was no murder, because he was so strong in his legalities, that he
could not be brought to punishment by those to whom he had caused the
greatest wrong;" and I thought, in saying these words, of my brother's
desolated daughter--of his own sad death in the stormy seas of the
Orkneys--and of my brave and gallant Michael, that was lying in his
shroudless grave in the cold clay of Bothwell.

Lord Kelburne was troubled at my answer, and was about to remonstrate;
but seeing the tear start into my eye as those things came into my mind,
he said nothing, but nodding to the clerk, he bade him write down that I
would not acknowledge the killing of the Archbishop a murder. He then
rose and adjourned the court, remanding me to prison, saying that he
would send me word what would be the extent of my punishment.



CHAPTER LXXV


The same night it was intimated to me that I was fined in five hundred
marks, and that bonds were required to be given for the payment; upon
the granting of which, in consideration of my ill-health, the Lord
Kelburne had consented I should be set free.

This was, in many respects, a more lenient sentence than I had expected;
and in the hope that perhaps Sarah Lochrig might have been able to
provide the money, so as to render the granting of the bonds and the
procuring of cautioners unnecessary, I sent over a man on horseback to
tell her the news, and the man in returning brought my son Joseph
behind him, sent by his mother to urge me to give the bonds at once, as
she had not been able to raise so much money; and the more to incite me,
if there had been need for incitement, she had willed Joseph to tell me
that a party of Claverhouse's dragoons had been quartered on the house
that morning, to live there till the fine was paid.

Of the character of those freebooters I needed no certificate. They had
filled every other place wherever they had been quartered with shame and
never-ceasing sorrow, and therefore I was indeed roused to hear that my
defenceless daughters were in their power, so I lost no time in sending
my son to entreat two of his mother's relations, who were bein merchants
in Ayr, to join me in the bond,--a thing which they did in the most
compassionate manner;--and, the better to expedite the business, I got
it to be permitted by the Lord Kelburne that the bonds should be sent
the same day to Irvine, where I hoped to be able next morning to
discharge them. All this was happily concerted and brought to a pleasant
issue before sunset;--at which time I was discharged from the tolbooth,
carrying with me many pious wishes from those who were there, and who
had not been so gently dealt by.

It was my intent to have proceeded home the same night, but my son was
very tired with the many errands he had run that day, and by his long
ride in the morning; moreover, I was myself in need of repose, for my
anxiety had brought on a disturbance in my blood, and my limbs shook,
and I was altogether unable to undertake any journey. I was therefore
too easily entreated of Archibald Lochrig, my wife's cousin, and one of
my cautioners, to stop in his house that evening. But next morning,
being much refreshed with a pleasant sleep and the fallacious cheering
of happy dreams, I left Ayr, with my son, before the break of day, and
we travelled with light feet, for our hearts were lifted up with hope.

Though my youth was long past, and many things had happened to sadden my
spirit, I yet felt on that occasion an unaccountable sense of kindliness
and joy. The flame of life was as it were renewed, and brightened in the
pure and breezy air of the morning, and a bounding gladness rose in my
bosom as my eye expatiated around in the freedom of the spacious fields.
On the left-hand the living sea seemed as if the pulses of its moving
waters were in unison with the throbbings of my spirit; and, like jocund
maidens disporting themselves in the flowing tide, the gentle waves,
lifting their heads, and spreading out their arms and raising their
white bosoms to the rising sun, came as it were happily to the smooth
sands of the sparkling shore. The grace of enjoyment brightened and
blithened all things. There was a cheerfulness in the songs of the
little birds that enchanted the young heart of my blooming boy to break
forth into singing, and his carol was gayer than the melody of the lark.
But that morning was the last time that either of us could ever after
know pleasure any more in this world.

Eager to be home, and that I might share with Sarah Lochrig and our
children the joy of thankfulness for my deliverance, I had resolved to
call, in passing through Irvine, at the clerk's chamber, to inquire if
the bonds had been sent from Ayr, that my cautioners might be as soon as
possible discharged. But we had been so early a-foot that we reached the
town while the inhabitants were yet all asleep, so that we thought it
would be as well to go straight home; and accordingly we passed down the
gait and through the town-end port without seeing any person in the
street, save only the town-herd, as he was going with his horn to sound
for the cows to be sent out to go with him to the moor.

The sight of a town in the peacefulness of the morning slumbers, and of
a simple man going forth to lead the quiet cattle to pasture filled my
mind with softer thoughts than I had long known, and I said to my son,--

"Surely those who would molest the peace of the poor hae ne'er rightly
tasted the blessing of beholding the confidence with which they trust
themselves in the watches of the night, and amidst the perils of their
barren lot." And I felt my heart thaw again into charity with all men,
and I was thankful for the delight.

As I was thus tasting again the luxury of gentle thoughts, a band of
five dragoons came along the road, and Joseph said to me that they were
the same who had been quartered in our house. I looked at them as they
passed by, but they turned their heads aside.

"I wonder," said my son, "that they did na speak to me: I thought they
had a black look."

"No doubt, Joseph," was my answer, "the men are no lost to a' sense of
shame. They canna but be rebuked at the sight of a man that, maybe
against their will, poor fellows, they were sent to oppress."

"I dinna like them the day, father, they're unco like ill-doers," said
the thoughtful and observing stripling.

But my spirit was at the time full of good-will towards all men, and I
reasoned with him against giving way to unkind thoughts, expounding, to
the best of my ability, the nature of Gospel-charity, and the
heavenlyness of good-will, saying to him,--

"The nature of charity's like the light o' the sun, by which all things
are cherished. It is the brightness of the soul, and the glorious
quality which proves our celestial descent. Our other feelings are
common to a' creatures, but the feeling of charity is divine. It's the
only thing in which man partakes of the nature of God."

Discoursing in this scriptural manner, we reached the Gowan-brae. My
heart beat high with gladness. My son bounded forward to tell his mother
and sisters of my coming. On gaining the brow of the hill he leapt from
the ground with a frantic cry and clasped his hands. I ran towards
him--but I remember no more--though at times something crosses my mind,
and I have wild visions of roofless walls, and a crowd of weeping women
and silent men digging among ashes, and a beautiful body, all dropping
wet, brought on a deal from the mill-dam, and of men, as it was carried
by, seizing me by the arms and tying my hands,--and then I fancy myself
in a house fastened to a chair;--and sometimes I think I was lifted out
and placed to beek in the sun and to taste the fresh air. But what these
things import I dare only guess, for no one has ever told me what became
of my benign Sarah Lochrig and our two blooming daughters;--all is
phantasma that I recollect of the day of my return home. I said my soul
was iron, and my heart converted into stone. O that they were indeed so!
But sorrowing is a vain thing, and my task must not stand still.

When I left Ayr the leaves were green, and the fields gay, and the
waters glad; and when the yellow leaf rustled on the ground, and the
waters were drumly, and the river roaring, I was somehow, I know not by
what means, in the kirk-yard, and a film fell from the eyes of my
reason, and I looked around, and my little boy had hold of me by the
hand, and I said to him, "Joseph, what's yon sae big and green in our
lair?" and he gazed in my face, and the tears came into his eyes, and he
replied,--

"Father, they are a' in the same grave." I took my hand out of his;--I
walked slowly to the green tomb;--I knelt down, and I caused my son to
kneel beside me, and I vowed enmity for ever against Charles Stuart and
all of his line; and I prayed, in the words of the Psalmist, that when
he was judged he might be condemned. Then we rose; but my son said to
me,--

"Father, I canna wish his condemnation; but I'll fight by your side till
we have harlt him down from his bloody throne."

And I felt that I had forgotten I was a Christian, and I again knelt
down and prayed, but it was for the sin I had done in the vengeance of
the latter clause. "Nevertheless, Lord," I then cried, "as Thou Thyself
didst take the sceptre from Saul, and gave the crown to David, make me
an instrument to work out the purposes of Thy dreadful justice, which in
time will come to be."

Then I rose again, and went towards the place where my home had been;
but when I saw the ruins I ran back to the kirk-yard, and threw myself
on the grave, and cried to the earth to open and receive me.

But the Lord had heard my prayer, and while I lay there he sent down his
consoling angel, and the whirlwind of my spirit was calmed, and I
remembered the promise of my son to fight by my side, and I rose to
prepare myself for the warfare.

While I was lying on the ground several of the neighbours had heard my
wild cries, and came into the kirk-yard; but by that time the course of
the tempest had been staid, and they stood apart with my son, who told
them I was come again to myself, and they thought they ought not to
disturb me; when, however, they saw me rise, they drew near and spoke
kindly to me, and Zachariah Smylie invited me to go back with him to his
house; for it was with him that I had been sheltered during the frenzy.
But I said,--

"No: I will neither taste meat nor drink, nor seek to rest myself, till
I have again a sword." And I entreated him to give me a little money,
that, with my son, we might go into Irvine and provide ourselves with
weapons.

The worthy man looked very sorrowful to hear me so speak, and some of
the others, that were standing by, began to reason with me, and to
represent the peril of any enterprise at that time. But I pointed to the
grave, and said,--

"Friens, do you ken what's in yon place, and do ye counsel me to peace?"
At which words they turned aside and shook their heads; and Zachariah
Smylie went and brought me a purse of money, which having put into my
bosom, I took my son by the hand, and bidding them all farewell, we
walked to the town silently together, and I thought of my brother's
words in his grief, that the speed of lightning was slow to the wishes
of revenge.



CHAPTER LXXVI


On arriving in Irvine, we went to the shop of Archibald Macrusty, a
dealer in iron implements, and I bought from him two swords without
hilts, which he sold, wrapt in straw-rope, as scythe-blades,--a method
of disguise that the ironmongers were obligated to have recourse to at
that time, on account of the search now and then made for weapons by the
soldiers, ever from the time that Claverhouse came to disarm the people;
and when I had bought the two blades we went to Bailie Girvan's shop,
which was a nest of a' things, and bought two hilts, without any
questions being asked; for the bailie was a discreet man, with a warm
heart to the Covenant, and not selling whole swords, but only hilts and
hefts, it could not be imputed to him that he was guilty of selling arms
to suspected persons.

Being thus provided with two swords, we went into James Glassop's
public, where, having partaken of some refreshment, we remained solemnly
sitting by ourselves till towards the gloaming, when, recollecting that
it would be a comfort to us in the halts of our undertaking, I sent out
my son to buy a Bible, and while he was absent I fell asleep.

On awaking from my slumber I felt greatly composed and refreshed. I
reflected on the events of the day, and the terrible truths that had
broken in upon me, and I was not moved with the same stings of
desperation that, on my coming to myself, had shot like fire through my
brain; so I began to consider of the purpose whereon I was bowne, and
that I had formed no plan, nor settled towards what airt I should direct
my steps. But I was not the less determined to proceed, and I said to my
son, who was sitting very thoughtful with THE BOOK lying on the table
before him,--

"Open the Bible, and see what the Lord instructs us to do at this time."
And he opened it, and the first words he saw and read were those of the
nineteenth verse of the forty-eighth chapter of the Prophet Jeremiah,--

"O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way and espy; ask him that fleeth,
and her that escapeth, and say, What is done?"

So I rose, and bidding my son close the Book, and bring it with him, we
went out, with our sword-hilts, and the blades still with the straw-rope
about them in our hands, into the street together, where we had not long
been when a soldier on horseback passed us in great haste; and many
persons spoke to him as he rode by, inquiring what news he had brought;
but he was in trouble of mind, and heeded them not till he reached the
door of the house where the captain of the soldiers then in Irvine was
abiding.

When he had gone into the house and delivered his message, he returned
to the street, where by that time a multitude, among which we were, had
assembled, and he told to the many, who inquired, as it were, with one
voice,--That Mr Cargill, and a numerous party of the Cameronians, had
passed that afternoon through Galston, and it was thought they meditated
some disturbance on the skirts of Kilmarnock, which made the commander
of the King's forces in that town send for aid to the captain of those
then in Irvine.

As soon as I heard the news, I resolved to go that night to Kilmarnock,
and abide with my sister-in-law, the widow of my brother Jacob, by whose
instrumentality I thought we might hear where the Cameronians then were.
For, although I approved not of their separation from the general
presbyterian kirk of Scotland, nor was altogether content with their
declaration published at Sanquhar, there was yet one clause which, to
my spirit, impoverished of all hope, was as food and raiment; and that
there may be no perversion concerning the same in after times, I shall
here set down the words of the clause, and the words are these:--

"Although we be for government and governors such as the Word of God and
our Covenant allows, yet we for ourselves, and all that will adhere to
us, do, by thir presents, disown Charles Stuart, that has been reigning
(or rather tyrannizing as we may say) on the throne of Britain these
years bygone, as having any right or title to, or interest in, the crown
of Scotland for government, he having forfeited the same several years
since by his perjury and breach of Covenant both to God and His kirk;"
and further, I did approve of those passages wherein it was declared,
that he "should have been denuded of being king, ruler, or magistrate,
or having any power to act or to be obeyed as such:" as also, "we being
under the standard of our Lord Jesus Christ, Captain of Salvation, do
declare a war with such a tyrant and usurper, and all the men of his
practices, as enemies to our Lord."

Accordingly, on hearing that the excommunicated and suffering society of
the Cameronians were so near, I resolved, on receiving the soldier's
information, and on account of that recited clause of the Sanquhar
declaration, to league myself with them, and to fight in their avenging
battles; for, like me, they had endured irremediable wrongs, injustice,
and oppressions, from the persecutors, and for that cause had, like me,
abjured the doomed and papistical race of the tyrannical Stuarts. With
my son, therefore, I went toward Kilmarnock, in the hope and with the
intent expressed; and though the road was five long miles, and though I
had not spoken more to him all day, nor for days, and weeks, and months
before, than I have set down herein, we yet continued to travel in
silence.

The night was bleak, and the wind easterly, but the road was dry, and my
thoughts were eager; and we hastened onward, and reached the widow's
door, without the interchange of a word in all the way.

"Wha do ye want?" said my son, "for naebody hae lived here since the
death of aunty."

I was smote upon the heart, by these few words, as it were with a
stone; for it had not come into my mind to think of inquiring how long
the eclipse of my reason had lasted, nor of what had happened among our
friends in the interim. This shock, however, had a salutary effect in
staying the haste which was still in my thoughts, and I conversed with
my son more collectedly than I could have done before it, and he told me
of many things very doleful to hear, but I was thankful to learn that
the end of my brother's widow had been in peace, and not caused by any
of those grievous unchances which darkened the latter days of so many of
the pious in that epoch of the great displeasure.

But the disappointment of finding that Death had barred her door against
us, made it needful to seek a resting-place in some public, and as it
was not prudent to carry our blades and hilts into any such place of
promiscuous resort, we went up the town, and hid them by the star-light
in a field at a dyke-side, and then returning as wayfarers, we entered a
public, and bespoke a bed for the night.

While we were sitting in that house by the kitchen fire, I bethought me
of the Bible which my son had in his hand, and told him that it would do
us good if he would read a chapter; but just as he was beginning, the
mistress said,--

"Sirs, dinna expose yoursels; for wha kens but the enemy may come in
upon you. It's an unco thing now-a-days to be seen reading the Bible in
a change-house."

So, being thus admonished, I bade my son put away the Book, and we
retired from the fireside and sat by oursels in the shadow of a corner;
and well it was for us that we did so, and a providential thing that the
worthy woman had been moved to give us the admonition; for we were not
many minutes within the mirk and obscurity into which we had removed,
when two dragoons, who had been skirring the country, like blood-hounds,
in pursuit of Mr Cargill, came in and sat themselves down by the fire.
Being sorely tired with their day's hard riding, they were wroth and
blasphemous against all the Covenanters for the trouble they gave them;
and I thought when I heard them venting their bitterness, that they
spoke as with the voice of the persecutors that were the true cause of
the grievances whereof they complained; for no doubt it was a hateful
thing to persons dressed in authority not to get their own way, yet I
could not but wonder how it never came into the minds of such persons
that if they had not trodden upon the worm it would never have turned.
As for the Cameronians they were at war with the house of Stuart, and
having disowned King Charles, it was a thing to be looked for, that all
of his sect and side would be their consistent enemies. So I was none
troubled by what the soldiers said of them, but my spirit was chafed
into the quick to hear the remorselessness of their enmity against all
the Covenanters and presbyterians, respecting whom they swore with the
hoarseness of revenge, wishing in such a frightful manner the whole of
us in the depths of perdition, that I could no longer hear them without
rebuking their cruel hatred and most foul impiety.



CHAPTER LXXVII


"What gars you, young man," said I to the fiercest of the two dragoons,
an Englisher, "what gars you in that dreadful manner hate and blaspheme
honest men, who would, if they were permitted, dwell in peace with all
mankind?"

"Permitted!" cried he, turning round and placing his chair between me
and the door, "and who does not permit them? Let them seek the way to
heaven according to law, and no one will trouble them."

"The law, I'm thinking," replied I very mildly, "is mair likely to
direct them to another place."

"Here's a fellow," cried the soldier, riotously laughing to his
companion, "that calls the King's proclamation the devil's finger-post.
I say, friend, come a little nearer the light. Is your name Cargill?"

"No," replied I; and the light of the fire then happening to shine
bright in his face, my son laid his trembling hand on mine, and
whispered to me with a faltering tongue,--

"O! it's one of the villains that burnt our house, and--"

What more he added I know not, for at the word I leapt from my seat, and
rushed upon the soldier. His companion flew in between us; but the
moment that the criminal saw my son, who also sprung forward, he uttered
a fearful howl of horror, and darted out of the house.

The other soldier was surprised, but collected; and shutting the door,
to prevent us from pursuing or escaping, said,--

"What the devil's this?"

"That's my father," said my son boldly, "Ringan Gilhaize of Quharist."

The dragoon looked at me for a moment, with concern in his countenance,
and then replied, "I have heard of your name but I was not of the party.
It was a damned black job. But sit down, Ecclesfield will not be back.
He has ever since of a night been afraid of ghosts, and he's off as if
he had seen one. So don't disturb yourself, but be cool."

I made no answer, nor could I; but I returned and sat down in the corner
where we had been sitting, and my son, at the same time, took his place
beside me, laying his hand on mine: and I heard his heart beating, but
he too said not a word.

It happened that none of the people belonging to the house were present
at the uproar; but hearing the noise, the mistress and the gudeman came
rushing ben. The soldier, who still stood calmly with his back to the
door, nodded to them to come towards him, which they did, and he began
to tell them something in a whisper. The landlord held up his hands and
shook his head, and the mistress cried, with tears in her eyes, "No
wonder! no wonder!"

"Had ye no better gang out and see for Ecclesfield?" said the landlord,
with a significant look to the soldier.

The young man cast his eyes down, and seemed thoughtful.

"I may be blamed," said he.

"Gang but the house, gudewife, and bring the gardivine," resumed the
gudeman; and I saw him touch her on the arm, and she immediately went
again into the room whence they had issued. "Come into the fire, Jack
Windsor, and sit down," continued he; and the soldier, with some
reluctance, quitted the door, and took his seat between me and it, where
Ecclesfield had been sitting.

"Ye ken, Jack," he resumed when they were seated, "that unless there are
two of you present, ye canna put any man to the test, so that every
body who has not been tested is free to go wheresoever it pleasures
himsel."

The dragoon looked compassionately towards me; and the mistress coming
in at the time with a case-bottle under her arm, and a green Dutch
dram-glass in her hand, she filled it with brandy, and gave it to her
husband.

"Here's to you, Jack Windsor," said the landlord, as he put the glass to
his lips, "and I wish a' the English in England were as orderly and
good-hearted as yoursel, Jack Windsor."

He then held the glass to the mistress, and she made it a lippy.

"Hae, Jack," said the landlord, "I'm sure, after your hard travail the
day, ye'll no be the waur o' a dram."

"Curse the liquor," exclaimed the dragoon, "I'm not to be bribed by a
dram."

"Nay," cried the landlord, "Gude forbid that I should be a briber,"
still holding the glass towards the soldier, who sat in a thoughtful
posture, plainly swithering.

"That fellow Ecclesfield," said he, as it were to himself, "the game's
up with him in this world."

"And in the next too, Jack Windsor, if he does na repent," replied the
landlord; and the dragoon put forth his hand, and, taking the glass,
drank off the brandy.

"It's a damned hard service this here in Scotland," said Windsor,
holding the empty glass in his hand.

"'Deed is't, Jack," said the landlord, "and it canna be a pleasant thing
to a warm-hearted lad like you, Jack Windsor, to be ravaging poor
country folk, only because they hae gotten a bee in their bonnets about
prelacy."

"Damn prelacy, says I," exclaimed the dragoon.

"Whisht, whisht, Jack," said the landlord; "but when a man's sae
scomfisht as ye maun be the night after your skirring, a word o'
vexation canna be a great faut. Gudewife, fill Jack's glass again. Ye'll
be a' the better o't, Jack;" and he took the glass from the dragoon's
hand and held it to his wife, who again filled it to the flowing eye.

"I should think," said the dragoon, "that Ecclesfield cannot be far off.
He ought not to have run away till we had tested the strangers."

"Ah! Jack Windsor," replied the landlord, holding out the glass to him,
"that's easy for you, an honest lad wi' a clear conscience, to say, but
think o' what Ecclesfield was art and part in. Ye may thank your stars,
Jack, that ye hae ne'er been guilty o' the foul things that he's wyted
wi'. Are your father and mother living, Jack Windsor?"

"I hope so," said the dragoon; "but the old man was a little so so when
I last heard of 'em."

"Aye, Jack," replied the landlord, "auld folks are failing subjects. Ye
hae some brothers and sisters nae doubt? They maun be weel-looked an
they're ony thing like you, Jack."

"I have but one sister," replied the dragoon, "and there's not a gooder
girl in England, nor a lady in it that has the bloom of Sally Windsor."

"Ye're braw folk, you Englishers, and ye're happy folk, whilk is far
better," said the landlord, presenting the second glass, which Jack
drank off at once, and returned to the mistress, signifying with his
hand that he wanted no more; upon which she retired with the gardivine,
while the landlord continued, "it's weel for you in the south yonder,
Jack, that your prelates do not harass honest folk."

"We have no prelates in England, thank God," said the dragoon; "we
wouldn't have 'em; our parsons are other sort o' things."

"I thought ye had an host o' bishops, Jack," said the landlord.

"True, and good fellows some on 'em are; but though prelates be bishops,
bishops ain't prelates, which makes a difference."

"And a blessed difference it is; for how would ye like to hear of your
father's house being burnt and him in prison, and your bonny innocent
sister?--Eh! is nae that Ecclesfield's foot clampering wi' his spurs at
the door?"

The dragoon listened again, and looked thoughtful for a little time, and
turned his eyes hastily towards the corner where we were sitting.

The landlord eyed him anxiously.

"Yes," cried the poor fellow, starting from his seat, and striking his
closed right hand sharply into his left; "yes, I ought and I will;"
adding calmly to the landlord, "confound Ecclesfield, where the devil is
he gone? I'll go see;" and he instantly went out.

The moment he had left the kitchen the landlord rose and said to us,
"Flee, flee, and quit this dangerous town!"

Whereupon we rose hastily, and my son lifting the Bible, which he had
laid in the darkness of the corner, we instanter left the house, and,
notwithstanding the speed that was in our steps as we hurried up the
street, I had a glimpse of the compassionate soldier standing at the
corner of the house when we ran by.

Thus, in a very extraordinary manner, was the dreadful woe that had
befallen me and mine most wonderfully made a mean, through the
conscience of Ecclesfield, to effectuate our escape.



CHAPTER LXXVIII


On leaving the public we went straight to the place where our blades and
belts lay, and took them up, and proceeded in an easterly direction. But
I soon found that I was no longer the man I had once been; suffering and
the fever of my frenzy had impaired my strength, and the weight of
four-and-fifty years was on my back; so that I began to weary for a
place of rest for the night, and I looked often around to discover the
star of any window; but all was dark, and the bleak easterly wind
searched my very bones; even my son, whose sturdy health and youthy
blood made him abler to thole the night air, complained of the nipping
cold.

Many a time yet, when I remember that night, do I think with wonder and
reverence of our condition. An infirm, grey-haired man, with a deranged
head and a broken heart, going forth amidst the winter's wind, with a
little boy, not passing thirteen years of age, to pull down from his
throne the guarded King of three mighty kingdoms,--and we did it,--such
was the doom of avenging justice, and such the pleasure of Heaven. But
let me proceed to rehearse the trials I was required to undergo before
the accomplishment of that high predestination.

Weary, as I have said, very cold and disconsolate, we walked hirpling
together for some time; at last we heard the rumbling of wheels before
us, and my son running forward came back and told me it was a carrier. I
hastened on, and with a great satisfaction found it was Robin Brown,
the Ayr and Kilmarnock carrier. I had known him well for many years, and
surely it was a providential thing that we met him in our distress, for
he was the brother of a godly man, on whose head, while his family were
around him, Claverhouse, with his own bloody hands, placed the glorious
diadem of martyrdom.

He had been told what had befallen me and mine, and was greatly amazed
to hear my voice, and that I was again come to myself; and he helped
both my son and me into the cart; and, as he walked by the wheel, he
told me of many things which had happened during my eclipse, and of the
dreadful executions at Edinburgh, of the prisoners taken at Airsmoss,
and how that papist James Stuart, Duke of York, the King's brother, was
placed at the head of the Scottish councils, and was then rioting in the
delights of cruelty, with the use of the torture and the thumbikins upon
prisoners suspected, or accused of being honest to their vows and their
religious profession. But my mind was unsettled, and his tale of
calamity passed over it like the east wind that blew that night so
freezingly, cruel to the sense at the time, but of which the morrow
showed no memorial.

I said nothing to Robin Brown of what my intent was, but that I was on
my way to join the Cameronians, if I knew where they might be found; and
he informed me, that after the raid of Airsmoss they had scattered
themselves into the South Country, where, as Claverhouse had the chief
command, the number of their friends was likely to be daily increased,
by the natural issue of his cruelties, and that vindictive exasperation,
which was a passion and an affection of his mind for the discomfiture he
had met with at Drumclog.

"But," said the worthy man, "I hope, Ringan Gilhaize, ye'll yet consider
the step before ye tak it. Ye're no at this time in a condition o'
health to warsle wi' hardship, and your laddie there's owre young to be
o' ony fek in the way o' war; for, ye ken, the Cameronians hae declar't
war against the King, and, being few and far apart, they're hunted down
in a' places."

"If I canna fight wi' men," replied my brave stripling, "I can help my
father; but I'm no fear't. David was but a herd laddie, maybe nae aulder
nor bigger than me, when he fell't the muckle Philistine wi' a stane."

I made no answer myself to Robin Brown's remonstrance, because my
resolution was girded as it were with a gir of brass and adamant, and,
therefore, to reason more or farther concerning aught but of the means
to achieve my purpose, was a thing I could not abide. Only I said to
him, that being weary, and not in my wonted health, I would try to
compose myself to sleep, and he would waken me when he thought fit, for
that I would not go with him to Glasgow, but shape our way towards the
South Country. So I stretched myself out, and my dear son laid himself
at my back, and the worthy man happing us with his plaid, we soon fell
asleep.

When the cart stopped at the Kingswell, where Robin was in the usage of
halting half an hour, he awoke us; and there being no strangers in the
house we alighted, and going in, warmed ourselves at the fire.

Out of a compassion for me the mistress warmed and spiced a pint of ale;
but instead of doing me any good, I had not long partaken of the same
when I experienced a great coldness and a trembling in my limbs, in so
much that I felt myself very ill, and prayed the kind woman to allow me
to lie down in a bed; which she consented to do in a most charitable
manner, causing her husband, who was a covenanted man, as I afterwards
found, to rise out of his, and give me their own.

The cold and the tremblings were but the symptoms and beginnings of a
sore malady, which soon rose to such a head that Robin Brown taiglet
more than two hours for me; but still I grew worse and worse, and could
not be removed for many days. On the fifth I was brought so nigh unto
the gates of death that my son, who never left the bed-stock, thought at
one time I had been released from my troubles. But I was reserved for
the task that the Lord had in store for me, and from that time I began
to recover; and nothing could exceed the tenderness wherewith I was
treated by those Samaritan Christians, the landlord and his wife of the
public at Kingswell. This distemper, however, left a great imbecility of
body behind it; and I wondered whether it could be of providence to
prevent me from going forward with my avenging purpose against Charles
Stuart and his counsellors.

Being one day in this frame of dubiety, lying in the bed, and my son
sitting at my pillow, I said to him, "Get THE BOOK and open, and read,"
which he accordingly did; and the first verse that he cast his eye upon
was the twenty-fourth of the seventh chapter of Isaiah, "With arrows and
with bows shall men come."

"Stop" said I, "and go to the window and see who are coming;" but when
he went thither and looked out he could see no one far nor near. Yet
still I heard the tramp of many feet, and I said to him, "Assuredly,
Joseph, there are many persons coming towards this house, and I think
they are not men of war, for their steps are loose, and they march not
in the order of battle."

This I have thought was a wonderful sharpness of hearing with which I
was for a season then gifted; for soon after a crowd of persons were
discovered coming over the moor towards the house, and it proved to be
Mr Cargill, with about some sixty of the Cameronians, who had been
hunted from out their hiding-places in the south.



CHAPTER LXXIX


It is surely a most strange matter, that whenever I come to think and to
write of the events of that period, and of my sickness at Kingswell, my
thoughts relapse into infirmity, and all which then passed move, as it
were, before me in mist, disorderly and fantastical. But wherefore need
I thus descant of my own estate, when so many things of the highest
concernment are pressing upon my tablets for registration? Be it
therefore enough that I mention here how much I was refreshed by the
prayers of Mr Cargill, who was brought into my sick-chamber, where he
wrestled with great efficacy for my recovery; and that after he had made
an end, I felt so much strengthened that I caused myself to be raised
from my bed and placed in a chair at the open window, that I might see
the men who had been heartened from on high by the sense of their
sufferings, to proclaim war against the man-sworn King, our common foe.

They were scattered before the house, to the number of more than fifty,
some sitting on stones, others stretched on the heather, and a few
walking about by themselves, ruminating on mournful fancies. Their
appearance was a thought wild and raised,--their beards had not been
shaven for many a day,--their apparel was also much rent, and they had
all endured great misfortunes in their families and substance. Their
homes had been made desolate; some had seen their sons put to death, and
not a few the ruin of their innocent daughters and the virtuous wives of
their bosoms,--all by the fruit of laws and edicts which had issued from
the councils of Charles Stuart, and were enforced by men drunken with
the authority of his arbitrary will.

But though my spirit clove to theirs, and was in unison with their
intent, I could not but doubt of so poor a handful of forlorn men,
though it be written, that the race is not to the swift nor the battle
to the strong, and I called to my son to bring me the Book, that I might
be instructed from the Word what I ought at that time to do; and when he
had done so I opened it, and the twenty-second chapter of Genesis met my
eye, and I was awed and trembled, and my heart was melted with sadness
and an agonising grief. For the command to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac
his only son, whom he so loved, on the mountains in the land of Moriah,
required of me to part with my son, and to send him with the
Cameronians; and I prayed with a weeping spirit and the imploring
silence of a parent's heart, that the Lord would be pleased not to put
my faith to so great a trial.

I took the Book again, and I opened it a second time, and the command of
the sacred oracle was presented to me in the fifth verse of the fifth
chapter of Ecclesiastes,--

"Better is it that thou shouldest not vow than that thou shouldest vow
and not pay."

But still the man and the father were powerful with my soul; and the
weakness of disease was in me, and I called my son towards me, and I
bowed my head upon his hands as he stood before me, and wept very
bitterly, and pressed him to my bosom, and was loath to send him away.

He knew not what caused the struggle wherewith he saw me so moved, and
he became touched with fear lest my reason was again going from me. But
I dried my eyes, and told him it was not so, and that maybe I would be
better if I could compose myself to read a chapter. So I again opened
the volume, and the third command was in the twenty-sixth verse of the
eight chapter of St Matthew,--

"Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?"

But still notwithstanding my rebellious heart would not consent;--and I
cried, "I am a poor, infirm, desolate, and destitute man, and he is all
that is left me. O that mine eyes were closed in death, and that this
head, which sorrow and care and much misery have made untimely grey,
were laid on its cold pillow, and the green curtain of the still kirk
yard were drawn around me in my last long sleep."

Then again the softness of a mother's fondness came upon my heart, and I
grasped the wondering stripling's hands in mine, and shook them, saying,
"But it must be so. It is the Lord's will; thrice has he commanded, and
I dare not rebel thrice."

"What has He commanded, father?" said the boy, "what is His will? for ye
ken it maun be done."

"Read," said I, "the twenty-second chapter of Genesis."

"I ken't, father; it's about Abraham and wee Isaac; but though ye tak me
into the land of Moriah, and up to the top of the hill, maybe a ram will
be catched by the horns in a whin-bush for the burnt-offering, and ye'll
no hae ony need to kill me."

At that moment Mr Cargill came again into the room to bid me farewell;
but seeing my son standing with a tear of simplicity in his eye, and me
in the weakness of my infirm estate weeping upon his hands, he stopped
and inquired what then had so moved us; whereupon I looked towards him
and said,--

"When I was taken with the malady that has thus changed the man in me to
more than the gentleness of woman, ye ken, as I have already told you,
we were bowne to seek your folk out and to fight on your side. But when
I beheld your dejected and much-persecuted host, a doubt came to me,
that surely it could not be that the Lord intended through them to bring
about the deliverance of the land; and under this doubt as to what I
should now do, and my limbs being moreover still in the fetters of
sickness, I consulted the oracle of God."

"And what has been the answer?"

"It has instructed me to send my son with you. But O, it is a terrible
probation."

"You have done well, my friend," replied the godly man, "to seek advice
from THE WORD; but apply again, and maybe--maybe, Ringan, ye'll no be
put to so great a trial."

To this I could only say, "Alas! sir, twice have I again consulted the
oracle, and twice has the answer been an exhortation and a reproach that
I should be so loath to obey."

"But what for, father," interposed my son, "need ye be sae fashed about
it. I would ne'er refuse;--I'm ready to gang if ye were na sae
weakly;--and though the folk afore the house are but a wee waff-like, ye
ken it is written in the Book that the race is not to the swift, nor the
battle to the strong."

Mr Cargill looked with admiration at the confidence of this young piety,
and, laying his hand on the boy's head, said, "I have not found so great
faith, no, not in Israel. The Lord is in this, Ringan, put your trust in
Him."

Whereupon I took my son's hand, and I placed it in the martyr's hand,
and I said, "Take him, lead him wheresoever ye will. I have sinned
almost to disobedience, but the confidence has been renewed within me."

"Rejoice," said Mr Cargill, in words that were as the gift of health to
my enfeebled spirit, "rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your
reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before
you."

As he pronounced the latter clause I felt my thoughts flash with a wild
remembrance of the desolation of my house; but he began to return thanks
for the comfort that he himself enjoyed in his outcast condition, of
beholding so many proofs of the unshaken constancy of faith still in the
land, and prayed for me in words of such sweet eloquence, that even in
the parting from my son,--my last, whom I loved so well, they cherished
me with a joy passing all understanding.

At the conclusion of his inspired thanksgiving, I kissed my Joseph on
the forehead, and bidding him remember what his father's house had been,
bade him farewell.

His young heart was too full to reply; and Mr Cargill too was so deeply
affected that he said nothing; so, after shaking me by the hand, he led
him away.

And if I did sin when they were departed, in the complaint of my
childless desolation, for no less could I account it, it was a sin that
surely will not be heavily laid against me. "O Absalom, my son, my
son,--would I had died for thee," cried the warlike King David, when
Absalom was slain in rebellion against him, and he had still many
children; but my innocent Absalom was all that I had left.



CHAPTER LXXX


During the season that the malady continued upon me, through the
unsuspected agency of Robin Brown, a paction was entered into with
certain of my neighbours, to take the lands of Quharist on tack among
them, and to pay me a secret stipend, by which means were obtained to
maintain me in a decency when I was able to be removed into Glasgow. And
when my strength was so far restored that I could bear the journey, the
same good man entered into a stipulation with Mrs Aird, the relict of a
Gospel minister, to receive me as a lodger, and he carried me in on his
cart to her house at the foot of the Stockwell.

With that excellent person I continued several months unmolested, but
without hearing any tidings of my son. Afflicting tales were however of
frequent occurrence, concerning the rigour wherewith the Cameronians
were hunted; so that what with anxiety, and the backwardness of nature
to rally in ailments ayont fifty, I continued to languish, incapable of
doing anything in furtherance of the vow of vengeance that I had vowed.
Nor should I suppress, that in my infirmity there was often a wildness
about my thoughts, by which I was unfitted at times to hold communion
with other men.

On these occasions I sat wondering if the things around me were not the
substanceless imageries of a dream, and fancying that those terrible
truths whereof I can yet only trust myself to hint, might be the
fallacies of a diseased sleep. And I contested as it were with the
reality of all that I saw, touched, and felt, and struggled like one
oppressed with an incubus, that I might awake and find myself again at
Quharist in the midst of my family.

At other times I felt all the loneliness of the solitude into which my
lot was then cast, and it was in vain that I tried to appease my craving
affections with the thought, that in parting with my son I had given him
to the Lord. I durst not say to myself there was aught of frenzy in that
consecration; but when I heard of Cameronians shot on the hills or
brought to the scaffold, I prayed that I might receive some token of an
accepted offering in what I had done.

Sterner feelings too had their turns of predominance. I recalled the
manifold calamities which withered my native land--the guilty
provocations that the people had received--the merciless avarice and
rapacious profligacy that had ruined so many worthies--the crimes that
had scattered so many families--and the contempt with which all our
wrongs and woes were regarded; and then I would remember my avenging
vow, and supplicate for health.

At last, one day Mrs Aird, who had been out on some household cares,
returned home in great distress of mind, telling me that the soldiers
had got hold of Mr Cargill, and had brought him into the town.

This happened about the ninth or tenth of July, in the afternoon; and
the day being very sultry, the heat had oppressed me with langour, and I
was all day as one laden with sleep. But no sooner had Mrs Aird told me
this, than I felt the langour depart from me, as if a cumbrous cloak had
been taken away, and I rose up a recruited and reanimated man. It was so
much the end of my debility of body and sorrowing of mind, that she was
loquacious with her surprise when she saw me, as it were, with a
miraculous restoration, prepare myself to go out in order to learn, if
possible, some account of my son.

When, however, I went into the street, and saw a crowd gathered around
the guard-house, my heart failed me a little, not for fear, but because
the shouts of the multitude were like the yells and derisions of insult;
and I thought they were poured upon the holy sufferer. It was not,
however, so; the Gospel-taught people of Glasgow were, notwithstanding
their prelatic thraldom, moved far otherwise, and their shouts and
scoffings were against a townsman of their own, who had reviled the man
of God on seeing him a prisoner among the soldiers in the guard-house.

Not then knowing this I halted, dubious if I should go forward; and
while standing in a swither at the corner of the Stockwell, a cart came
up from the bridge, driven by a stripling. I saw that the cart and horse
were Robin Brown's, and before I had time to look around, my son had me
by the hand.

We said little, but rejoiced to see each other again. I observed,
however, that his apparel was become old and that his eyes were grown
quick and eager like those of the hunted Cameronians whom I saw at
Kingswell.

"We hae ta'en Robin Brown's cart frae him," said he; "that I might come
wi't unjealoused into the town, to hear what's to be done wi' the
minister; but I maun tak it back the night, and maybe we'll fa' in
thegither again when I hae done my errand."

With that he parted from me, and giving the horse a touch with his whip,
drove it along towards the guard-house, whistling like a blithe country
lad that had no care.

As soon as he had so left me I went back to Mrs Aird, and providing
myself with what money I had in the house, I went to a shop and bought
certain articles of apparel, which having made up into a bundle, I
requested, the better to disguise my intent, the merchant to carry it
himself to Robin Brown the Ayr carrier's cart, and give it to the lad
who was with it, to take to Joseph Gilhaize,--a thing easy to be done,
both the horse and cart being well known in those days to the chief
merchants then in Glasgow.

When I had done this, I went to the bridge, and leaning over it, looked
into the peaceful flowing tide, and there waited for nearly an hour
before I saw my son returning; and when at last he came, I could
perceive, as he was approaching, that he did not wish I should speak to
him, while at the same time he edged towards me, and in passing, said as
it were to himself, "The bundle's safe, and he's for Edinburgh;" by
which I knew that the apparel I had bought for him was in his hands, and
that he had learnt Mr Cargill was to be sent to Edinburgh.

This latter circumstance, however, opened to me a new light with respect
to the Cameronians, and I guessed that they had friends in the town with
whom they were in secret correspondence. But, alas! the espionage was
not all on their part, as I very soon was taught to know by experience.

Though the interviews with Joseph my son passed, as I have herein
narrated, they had not escaped observance. For some time before, though
I was seen but as I was, an invalid man, somewhat unsettled in his mind,
there were persons who marvelled wherefore it was that I dwelt in such
sequestration with Mrs Aird; and their marvelling set the espial of the
prelacy upon me. And it so fell out that some of those evil persons,
who, for hire or malice, had made themselves the beagles of the
persecutors, happened to notice the manner in which my son came up to me
when he entered the city driving Robert Brown's cart, and they jealoused
somewhat of the truth.

They followed him unsuspected, and saw in what manner he mingled with
the crowd; and they traced him returning out of the town with seemingly
no other cause for having come into it, than to receive the little store
of apparel that I had provided for him. This was ground enough to
justify any molestation against us, and accordingly the same night I was
arrested, and carried next morning to Edinburgh. The cruel officers
would have forced me to walk with the soldiers, but every one who beheld
my pale face and emaciated frame, cried out against it, and a cart was
allowed to me.

On reaching Edinburgh, I was placed in the tolbooth, where many other
sufferers for the cause of the Gospel were then lying. It was a foul and
an unwholesome den: many of the guiltless inmates were so wasted that
they were rather like frightful effigies of death than living men. Their
skins were yellow, and their hands were roped and warpt with veins and
sinews in a manner very awful to see. Their eyes were vivid with a
strange distemperature, and there was a charnel-house anatomy in the
melancholy with which they welcomed a new brother in affliction, that
made me feel, when I entered among them, as if I had come into the dark
abode of spectres, and manes, and dismal shadows.

The prison was crowded over-much, and though life was to many not worth
the care of preservation, they yet esteemed it as the gift of their
Maker, and as such considered it their duty to prolong for His sake. It
was, therefore, a rule with them to stand in successive bands at the
windows, in order that they might taste of the living air from without;
and knowing from dismal experience, that those who came in the last
suffered at first more than those who were before, it was a charitable
self-denial among them to allow to such a longer period of the window,
their only solace.

Thus it was that on the morning of the third day after I had been
immured in that doleful place, I was standing with several others
behind a party of those who were in possession of the enjoyment, in
order that we might take their places when the hour expired; and while
we were thus awaiting in patience the tedious elapse of the weary
moments, a noise was heard in the streets, as of the approach of a
multitude.

There was something in the coming sound of that tumult unlike the noise
of any other multitude;--ever and anon a feeble shouting, and then the
roll of a drum; but the general sough was a murmur of horror followed by
a rushing as if the people were scared by some dreadful sight.

The noise grew louder and nearer, and hoarse bursts of aversion and
anger, mingled with lamentations, were distinctly heard. Every one in
the prison pressed to the window, wondering what hideous procession
could occasion the expression of such contrarious feelings in the
populace, and all eager to catch a glimpse of the dismal pageant,
expecting that it was some devoted victim, who, according to the
practice of the time, was treated as a sentenced criminal, even as he
was conveyed to his trial.

"What do you see?" said I to one of the prisoners, who clung to the bars
of iron with which the window near where I stood was grated, and who
thereby saw farther down the street.

"I can see but the crowd coming," said he, "and every one is looking as
if he grewed at something not yet in sight."

At that moment, and while he was speaking, there was a sudden silence in
the street.

"What has happened?" said one of the sufferers near me: my heart beat so
wildly that I would not myself inquire.

"They have stopped," was the answer; "but now they come. I see the
magistrates. Their guard is before them,--the provost is first--they are
coming two and two--and they look very sorrowful."

"Are there but the magistrates?" said I, making an effort to press in
closer to the window.

"Aye, now it is at hand," said the man who was clinging to the grating
of the window. "The soldiers are marching on each side--I see the
prisoners;--their hands are tied behind, ilk loaded wi' a goad of
iron--they are bareheaded--ane--twa--three--four--five--they are five
fatherly-looking men."

"They are Cameronians," said I, somewhat released, I know not wherefore,
unless it was because he spoke of no youth being among them.

"Hush!" said he, "here is another--He is on horseback--I see the horse's
head--Oh! the sufferer is an old grey-headed minister--his head is
uncovered--he is placed with his face to the horse's tail--his hands are
tied, and his feet are fastened with a rope beneath the horse's
belly.--Hush! they are passing under the window."

At that moment a shriek of horror rose from all then looking out, and
every one recoiled from the window. In the same instant a bloody head on
a halbert was held up to us.--I looked--I saw the ghastly features, and
I would have kissed those lifeless lips; for, O! they were my son's.



CHAPTER LXXXI


I had laid that son, my only son, whom I so loved, on the altar of the
Covenant, an offering unto the Lord; but still I did hope that maybe it
would be according to the mercy of wisdom that He would provide a lamb
in the bush for the sacrifice; and when the stripling had parted from
me, I often felt as the mother feels when the milk of love is in her
bosom, and her babe no longer there. I shall not, however, here relate
how my soul was wounded at yon sight, nor ask the courteous reader to
conceive with what agony I exclaimed, "Wherefore was it, Lord, that I
was commanded to do that unfruitful thing!" for in that very moment the
cry of my failing faith was rebuked, and the mystery of the required
sacrifice was brought into wonderful effect, manifesting that it was for
no light purpose I had been so tried.

My fellow-sufferer, who hung by the bars of the prison-window, was, like
the other witnesses, so shaken by the woful spectacle, that he suddenly
jerked himself aside to avoid the sight, and by that action the weight
of his body loosened the bar, so that when the pageantry of horrors had
passed by, he felt it move in his grip, and he told us that surely
Providence had an invisible hand in the bloody scene; for, by the
loosening of that stancher, a mean was given whereby we might all
escape. Accordingly it was agreed that as soon as the night closed over
the world, we should join our strengths together to bend the bar from
its socket in the lintel.

And then it was I told them that what they had seen was the last relic
of my martyred family; and we made ourselves wroth with the recital of
our several wrongs; for all there had endured the scourge of the
persecutors; and we took each other by the hand, and swore a dreadful
oath, never to desist in our endeavours till we had wrenched the sceptre
from the tyrannical grasp of the Stuarts, and broken it into pieces for
ever; and we burst into a wild strain of complaint and clamour, calling
on the blood of our murdered friends to mount, with our cries, to the
gates of Heaven; and we sang, as it were, with the voices of the angry
waters and the winds, the hundred and ninth psalm; and at the end of
every verse we joined our hands, crying, "Upon Charles and James Stuart,
and all their guilty line, O Lord, let it be done;" and a vast multitude
gathered around the prison, and the lamentations of many without was a
chorus in unison with the dismal song of our vengeance and despair.

At last the shadows of the twilight began to darken in the town, and the
lights of the windows were to us as the courses of the stars of that sky
which, from our prison chamber, could not be seen. We watched their
progress, from the earliest yellow glimmering of the lamp in the
darksome wynd, till the last little twinkling light in the dwelling of
the widow that sits and sighs companionless with her distaff in the
summits of the city. And we continued our vigil till they were all one
by one extinguished, save only the candles at the bedsides of the dying.
Then we twined a portion of our clothes into a rope, and, having
fastened it to the iron bar, soon drew it from its place in the stone;
but just as we were preparing to take it in, by some accident it fell
into the street.

The panic which this caused prevented us from attempting any thing more
at that time; for a sentinel walked his rounds on the outside of the
tolbooth, and we could not but think he must have heard the noise. A
sullen despair in consequence entered into many of our hearts, and we
continued for the remainder of the night silent.

But though others were then shaken in their faith, mine was now
confident. I saw, by what had happened in the moment of my
remonstrance, that there was some great deliverance in reservation; so I
sat apart by myself, and I spent the night in inward thanksgiving for
what had been already done. Nor was this confidence long without its
reward.

In the morning a brother of one of my fellow-sufferers coming to condole
with him, it being generally reported that we were all doomed to die, he
happened to see the bar lying on the street, and, taking it up, hid it
till he had gone into a shop and provided himself with a cord. He then
hastened to us, gave us the cord, and making what speed he could,
brought the iron in his plaid; and, we having lowered the string from
the window, he fastened the bar to it, and we drew it up undiscovered,
and reset it in its place, by which the defect could not be seen by any
one, not even from the street.

That morning, by the providence which was visible in this, became, in
our prison, a season indeed of light and gratulation; and the day passed
with us as a Sabbath to our spirits. The anvils of Fear were hushed, and
the shuttles in the looms of Anxiety were at rest, while Hope again
walked abroad in those sunny fields where, amidst vernal blossoms and
shining dews, she expatiates on the delights of the flowing cluster and
the ripened fruit.

The young man, who had been so guided to find the bar of iron, concerted
with another friend of his to be in readiness at night on a signal from
us, to master the sentinel. And at the time appointed they did so; and
it happened that the soldier was the same humane Englisher, Jack
Windsor, who had allowed me to escape at Kilmarnock, and he not only
remained silent, but even when relieved from his post, said nothing; so
that, to the number of more than twenty, we lowered ourselves into the
street and escaped.

But the city gates at that hour being shut, there was no egress from the
town, and many of us knew not where to hide ourselves till the morning.
Such was my condition; and wandering up and down for some time, at last
I turned into the Blackfriars-wynd, where I saw a light in a window: on
looking around I beheld, by that light, engraven on the lintel of an
opposite door, "IN THE LORD IS MY HOPE."

Heartened by the singular providence that was so manifest in that
cheering text, I went to the door and knocked, and a maiden answered to
the knocking.

I told her what I was, and whence I had come, and entreated her to have
compassion, and shelter me for the night.

"Alas!" said she, "what can hae sent you here, for this is a bishop's
house?"

I was astounded to hear that I had been so led into the lion's den; but
I saw pity in the countenance of the damsel, and I told her that I was
the father of the poor youth whose head had been carried by the
executioner through the town the day before, and that I could not but
believe Providence had sent me thither; for surely no one would ever
think of searching for me in a bishop's house.

Greatly moved by what I said, she bade me softly follow her, and she led
me to a solitary and ruinous chamber. She then retired, but presently
returned with some refreshment, which having placed on an old chest, she
bade God be with me, and went away.

With a spirit of inexpressible admiration and thanksgiving I partook of
that repast, and then laying myself down on the bare floor, was blessed
with the enjoyment of a downy sleep.



CHAPTER LXXXII


I slept in that ruinous room in the Bishop's house till far in the
morning, when, on going to the window with the intent of dropping myself
into the wynd, I saw that it was ordained and required of me to remain
where I then was; for the inmates of the houses forenent were all astir
at their respective vocations; and at the foot of the wynd, looking
straight up, was a change-house, into which there was, even at that
early hour, a great resorting of bein elderly citizens for their dram
and snap. Moreover, at the head of the wynd, an aged carlin, with a
distaff in her arms and a whorl in her hand, sat on a doorstep tending a
stand of apples and comfits; so that, to a surety, had I made any
attempt to escape by the window, I must have been seen by some one, and
laid hold of. I therefore retired back into the obscurity of the
chamber, and sat down again on the old kist-lid, to abide the issues
that were in reservation for me. I had not, however, been long there,
till I heard the voices of persons entering into the next chamber behind
where I was sitting, and I soon discerned by their courtesies of speech,
that they were Lords of the Privy Council, who had come to walk with the
Bishop to the palace, where a council was summoned in sudden haste that
morning. The matter whereof they discoursed was not at first easily made
out, for they were conversing on it when they entered; but I very soon
gathered that it boded no good to the covenanted cause nor to the
liberties of Scotland.

"What you remark, Aberdeen," said one, "is very just; man and wife are
the same person; and although Queensberry has observed, that the revenue
requires the penalties, and that husbands ought to pay for their wives,
I look not on the question in that light; for it is not right, in my
opinion, that the revenues of the crown should be in any degree
dependent on fines and forfeitures. But the presbyterians are a sect
whose main principle is rebellion, and it would be happy for the kingdom
were the whole race rooted out; indeed I am quite of the Duke of York's
opinion, that there will be little peace among us till the Lowlands are
made a hunting-field, and therefore am I as earnest as Queensberry that
the fines should be enforced."

"Certainly, my Lord Perth," replied Aberdeen, "it is not to be denied,
that, what with their Covenants, and Solemn Leagues, and Gospel
pretensions, the presbyterians are dangerous and bad subjects; and
though I shall not go so far as to say, with the Duke, that the Lowlands
should be laid waste, I doubt if there be a loyal subject west the
castle of Edinburgh. Still the office which I have the honour to hold
does not allow me to put any interpretation on the law different from
the terms in which the sense is conceived."

"Then," said Perth, "if there is any doubt about the terms, the law must
be altered; for, unless we can effectually crush the presbyterians, the
Duke will assuredly have a rough accession. And it is better to strangle
the lion in his nonage than to encounter him in his full growth."

"I fear, my Lord," replied the Earl of Aberdeen, "that the presbyterians
are stronger already than we are willing to let ourselves believe. The
attempt to make them accept the episcopalian establishment has now been
made, without intermission, for more than twenty years, and they are
even less submissive than they were at the beginning."

"Yes, I confess," said Lord Perth, "that they are most unreasonably
stubborn. It is truly melancholy to see what fools many sensible men
make of themselves about the forms of worship, especially about those of
a religion so ungentlemanly as the presbyterian, which has no respect
for the degrees of rank, neither out nor in the church."

"I'm afraid, Perth," replied Aberdeen, laughing, "that what you say is
applicable both to the King and his brother; for, between ourselves, I
do not think there are two persons in the realm who attach so much
importance to forms as they do."

"Not the King, my Lord, not the King!" cried Perth; "Charles is too much
a man of the world to trouble himself about any such trifles."

"They are surely not trifles, for they overturned his father's throne,
and are shaking his own," replied Aberdeen, emphatically. "Pray, have
you heard any thing of Argyle lately?"

"O yes," exclaimed Perth, merrily; "a capital story. He has got in with
a rich burgomaster's frow at Amsterdam; and she has guilders anew to
indemnify him for the loss of half the Highlands."

"Aye," replied Aberdeen, "I do not like that; for there has been of late
a flocking of the presbyterian malcontents to Holland, and the Prince of
Orange gives them a better reception than an honest man should do,
standing as he does, both with respect to the crown and the Duke. This,
take my word for it, Perth, is not a thing to be laughed at."

"All that, Aberdeen, only shows the necessity of exterminating these
cursed presbyterians. We shall have no peace in Scotland till they are
swept clean away. It is not to be endured that a King shall not rule his
own kingdom as he pleases. How would Argyle, and there was no man
prouder in his jurisdictions, have liked had his tenants covenanted
against him as the presbyterians have so insultingly done against his
Majesty's government? Let every man bring the question home to his own
business and bosom and the answer will be a short one, _Down with the
presbyterians!_"

While they were thus speaking, and I need not advert to what passed in
my breast as I overheard them, Patterson the Bishop of Edinburgh came
in; and with many interjections, mingled with wishes for a calm
procedure, he told the Lords of our escape. He was indeed, to do him
justice, a man of some repute for plausibility, and take him all in all
for a prelate, he was, in truth, not void of the charities of human
nature, compared with others of his sect.

"Your news," said the Lord Perth to him, "does not surprise me. The
societies, as the Cameronians are called, have inserted their roots and
feelers every where. Rely upon't, Bishop Patterson, that, unless we chop
off the whole connexions of the conspiracy, you can hope neither for
homage nor reverence in your appointments."

"I could wish," replied the Bishop, "that some experiment were made of a
gentler course than has hitherto been tried. It is now a long time since
force was first employed: perhaps, were his Royal Highness to slacken
the severities, conformity would lose some of its terrors in the eyes of
the misguided presbyterians; at all events, a more lenient policy could
do no harm; and if it did no good, it would at least be free from those
imputed cruelties, which are supposed to justify the long-continued
resistance that has brought the royal authority into such difficulties."

At this juncture of their conversation a gentleman announced, that his
master was ready to proceed with them to the palace, and they forthwith
retired. Thus did I obtain a glimpse of the inner mind of the Privy
Council, by which I clearly saw, that what with those members who
satisfied their consciences as to iniquity, because it was made
seemingly lawful by human statutes, and what with those who, like Lord
Perth, considered the kingdom the King's estate, and the people his
tenantry, not the subjects of laws by which he was bound as much as
they; together with those others who, like the Bishop, considered mercy
and justice as expedients of state policy, that there was no hope for
the peace and religious liberties of the presbyterians, merely by
resistance; and I, from that time, began to think it was only through
the instrumentality of the Prince of Orange, then heir-presumptive to
the crown, failing James Stuart, Duke of York, that my vow could be
effectually brought to pass.



CHAPTER LXXXIII


As soon as those of the Privy Council had, with their attendants, left
the house, and proceeded to join the Duke of York in the palace, the
charitable damsel came to me, and conveyed me, undiscovered, through the
hall and into the Cowgate, where she had provided a man, a friend of her
own, one Charles Brownlee, who had been himself in the hands of the
Philistines, to conduct me out of the town; and by him I was guided in
safety through the Cowgate, and put into a house just without the same,
where his mother resided.

"Here," said he, "it will be as well for you to bide out the daylight,
and being now forth the town-wall, ye'll can gang where ye like
unquestioned in the gloaming." And so saying he went away, leaving me
with his mother, an ancient matron, with something of the remnant of
ladyness about her, yet was she not altogether an entire gentlewoman,
though at the first glimpse she had the look of one of the very highest
degree.

Notwithstanding, however, that apparition of finery which was about her,
she was in truth and in heart a sincere woman, and had, in the better
days of her younger years, been, as she rehearsed to me, gentlewoman to
the Countess of Argyle's mother, and was on a footing of cordiality with
divers ladies of the bedchamber of what she called the three nobilities,
meaning those of Scotland, England, and Ireland; so that I saw there
might by her be opened a mean of espial into the camp of the
adversaries. So I told her of my long severe malady, and the shock I had
suffered by what I had seen of my martyred son, and entreated that she
would allow me to abide with her until my spirits were more composed.

Mrs Brownlee having the compassion of a Christian, and the tenderness of
her gentle sex, was moved by my story, and very readily consented.
Instead therefore of going forth at random in the evening, as I was at
one time mindet, I remained in her house; where indeed could I at that
time flee in the hope of finding any place of refuge? But although this
was adopted on the considerations of human reason, it was nevertheless a
link in the chain of providential methods by which I was to achieve the
fulfilment of my vow.

The house of Mrs Brownlee being, as I have intimated, nigh to the gate
of the city, I saw from the window all that went into and came out
therefrom; and the same afternoon I had visible evidence of the temper
wherewith the Duke of York and his counsellors had been actuated that
day at Holyrood, in consequence of the manner in which we had been
delivered from prison;--for Jack Windsor, the poor sentinel who was on
guard when we escaped by the window, was brought out, supported by two
of his companions, his feet having been so crushed in the torturous
boots before the Council, during his examination anent us, that he could
scarcely mark them to the ground; his hands were also bound in cloths,
through which the blood was still oozing, from the pressure of those
dreadful thumbikins of iron, that were so often used in those days to
screw accusations out of honest men. A sympathizing crowd followed the
destroyed sufferer, and the sight for a little while afflicted me with
sore regret. But when I considered the compassion that the people showed
for him, I was filled with a strange satisfaction, deducing therefrom
encouraging persuasions, that every new sin of the persecutors removed a
prop from their own power, making its overthrow more and more
inevitable.

While I was peering from the window in these reflections, I saw Quintin
Fullarton, the grandson of John Fullarton of Dykedivots, in the street,
and knowing that from the time of Bothwell-brigg he had been joined with
that zealous and martyred youth, Richard Cameron, and was, as Robin
Brown told me, among other acquaintances at Airsmoss, I entreated Mrs
Brownlee to go after him and bid him come to me,--which he readily did,
and we had a mournful communing for some time.

He told me the particulars of my gallant Joseph's death, and that it was
by the command of Claverhouse himself that the brave stripling's head
was cut off and sent in ignominy to Edinburgh; where, by order of the
Privy Council, it was placed on the Netherbow.

"What I hae suffered from that man," said I, "Heaven may pardon, but I
can neither forget nor forgive."

"The judgment time's coming," replied Quintin Fullarton; "and your part
in it, Ringan Gilhaize, assuredly will not be forgotten, for in the
heavens there is a Doer of justice and an Avenger of wrongs."

And then he proceeded to tell me, that on the following afternoon there
was to be a meeting of the heads of the Cameronian societies, with Mr
Renwick, in a dell of the Esk, about half a mile above Laswade, to
consult what ought to be done, the pursuit and persecution being so hot
against them, that life was become a burden, and their minds desperate.

"We hae many friens," said he, "in Edinburgh, and I am entrusted to warn
them to the meeting, which is the end of my coming to the town; and
maybe, Ringan Gilhaize, ye'll no objek yoursel to be there?"

"I will be there, Quintin Fullarton," said I; "and in the strength of
the Lord I will come armed, with a weapon of more might than the sword
and more terrible than the ball that flieth unseen."

"What mean you, Ringan?" said he, compassionately; for he knew of my
infirmity, and thought that I was still fevered in the mind. But I told
him, that for some time, feeling myself unable for warlike enterprises,
I had meditated on a way to perplex our guilty adversaries, the which
was to menace them with retaliation, for resistance alone was no longer
enough.

"We have disowned Charles Stuart as our king," said I, "and we must wage
war accordingly. But go your ways and execute your purposes; and by the
time you return this way I shall have a paper ready, the sending forth
of which will strike terror into the brazen hearts of our foes."

I perceived that he was still dubious of me; but nevertheless he
promised to call as he came back; and, having gone away, I set myself
down and drew up that declaration, wherein, after again calmly disowning
the royal authority of Charles Stuart, we admonished our sanguinary
persecutors, that, for self-preservation, we would retaliate according
to our power, and the degree of guilt on such privy counsellors, lords
of justiciary, officers and soldiers, their abettors and informers,
whose hands should continue to be imbrued in our blood. And on the
return of Quintin Fullarton, I gave the paper to him, that it might be
seen and considered by Mr Renwick and others, previous to offering it to
the consideration of the meeting.

He read it over very sedately, and folded it up and put it in the crown
of his bonnet without saying a word; but several times, while he was
reading, he cast his eyes towards me, and when he rose to go away he
said, "Ringan Gilhaize, you have endured much; but verily, if this thing
can be brought to pass, your own and all our sufferings will soon be
richly revenged."

"Not revenged," said I; "revenge, Quintin Fullarton, becomes not
Christian men. But we shall be the executioners of the just judgments of
Him whose ministers are flaming fires, and pestilence, and war, and
storms, and perjured kings."

With these words we parted; and next morning, by break of day, I rose,
after the enjoyment of a solacing sleep, such as I had not known for
many days, and searched my way across the fields towards Laswade. I did
not, however, enter the clachan, but lingered among the woods till the
afternoon, when, descending towards the river, I walked leisurely up the
banks, where I soon fell in with others of the associated friends.



CHAPTER LXXXIV


The place where we met was a deep glen, the scroggy sides whereof were
as if rocks, and trees and brambles, with here and there a yellow
primrose and a blue hyacinth between, had been thrown by some wild
architect into many a difficult and fantastical form. Over a ledge of
rock fell the bright waters of the Esk, and in the clear linn the trouts
shuttled from stone and crevice, dreading the persecutions of the
angler, who, in the luxury of his pastime, heedeth not what they may in
their cool element suffer.

It was then the skirt of the afternoon, about the time when the sweet
breathing of flowers and boughs first begins to freshen to the gentle
senses, and the shadows deepen in the cliffs of the rocks and darken
among the bushes. The yellow sunbeams were still bright on the
flickering leaves of a few trees, which here and there raised their
tufty heads above the glen; but in the hollow of the chasm the evening
had commenced, and the sobriety of the fragrant twilight was coming on.

As we assembled one by one, we said little to each other. Some indeed
said nothing, nor even shook hands, but went and seated themselves on
the rocks, round which the limpid waters were swirling with a soft and
pleasant din, as if they solicited tranquillity. For myself, I had come
with the sternest intents, and I neither noticed nor spoke to any one;
but going to the brink of the linn, I sat myself down in a gloomy nook,
and was sullen, that the scene was not better troubled into unison with
the resentful mood of my spirit.

At last Mr Renwick came, and when he had descended into the dell, where
we were gathered together, after speaking a few words of courtesy to
certain of his acquaintance, he went to a place on the shelvy side of
the glen, and took his station between two birch-trees.

"I will be short with you, friends," said he; "for here we are too nigh
unto the adversaries to hazard ourselves in any long debate; and
therefore I will tell you, as a man speaking the honesty that is within
him, I neither can nor do approve of the paper that I understand some
among you desire we should send forth. I have, however, according to
what was exhibited to me in private, brought here a proclamation, such
as those who are most vehement among us wish to propound; but I still
leave it with yourselves to determine whether or not it should be
adopted--entering, as I here do, my caveat as an individual against it.
This paper will cut off all hope of reconciliation--we have already
disowned King Charles, it is true; but this implies, that we are also
resolved to avenge, even unto blood and death, whatsoever injury we may
in our own persons and friends be subjected to suffer. It pledges us to
a war of revenge and extermination; and we have to consider, before we
wage the same, the strength of our adversary--the craft of his
counsellors--and the malice with which their fears and their hatred will
inspire them. For my own part, fellow-sufferers, I do doubt if there be
any warrandice in the Scriptures for such a defiance as this paper
contains, and I would fain entreat you to reflect, whether it be not
better to keep the door of reconciliation open, than to shut it for
ever, as the promulgation of this retaliatory edict will assuredly do."

The earnest manner in which Mr Renwick thus delivered himself had a
powerful effect, and many thought as he did, and several rose and said
that it was not Christian to bar the door on peace, and to shut out even
the chance of contrition on the part of the King and his ministers.

I heard what they said--I listened to what they argued--and I allowed
them to tell that they were willing to agree to more moderate counsels;
but I could abide no more.

"Moderation!--You, Mr Renwick," said I, "counsel moderation--you
recommend the door of peace to be still kept open--you doubt if the
Scriptures warrant us to undertake revenge; and you hope that our
forbearance may work to repentance among our enemies. Mr Renwick, you
have hitherto been a preacher, not a sufferer; with you the resistance
to Charles Stuart's government has been a thing of doctrine--of no more
than doctrine, Mr Renwick--with us it is a consideration of facts. Judge
ye therefore between yourself and us,--I say between yourself and us;
for I ask no other judge to decide, whether we are not, by all the laws
of God and man, justified in avowing, that we mean to do as we are done
by.

"And, Mr Renwick, you will call to mind, that in this sore controversy,
the cause of debate came not from us. We were peaceable Christians,
enjoying the shade of the vine and fig-tree of the Gospel, planted by
the care and cherished by the blood of our forefathers, protected by the
laws, and gladdened in our protection by the oaths and the covenants
which the King had sworn to maintain. The presbyterian freedom of
worship was our property,--we were in possession and enjoyment, no man
could call our right to it in question,--the King had vowed, as a
condition before he was allowed to receive the crown, that he would
preserve it. Yet, for more than twenty years, there has been a most
cruel, fraudulent, and outrageous endeavour instituted, and carried on,
to deprive us of that freedom and birthright. We were asking no new
thing from Government, we were taking no step to disturb Government, we
were in peace with all men, when Government, with the principles of a
robber and the cruelty of a tyrant, demanded of us to surrender those
immunities of conscience which our fathers had earned and defended; to
deny the Gospel as it is written in the Evangelists, and to accept the
commentary of Charles Stuart, a man who has had no respect to the most
solemn oaths, and of James Sharp, the apostate of St Andrews, whose
crimes provoked a deed, that but for their crimson hue, no man could
have doubted to call a most foul murder. The King and his crew, Mr
Renwick, are, to the indubitable judgment of all just men, the causers
and the aggressors in the existing difference between his subjects and
him. In so far, therefore, if blame there be, it lieth not with us nor
in our cause.

"But, sir, not content with attempting to wrest from us our inherited
freedom of religious worship, Charles Stuart and his abettors have
pursued the courageous constancy with which we have defended the same,
with more animosity than they ever did any crime. I speak not to you, Mr
Renwick, of your own outcast condition,--perhaps you delight in the
perils of martyrdom; I speak not to those around us, who, in their
persons, their substance, and their families, have endured the torture,
poverty, and irremediable dishonour,--they may be meek and hallowed men,
willing to endure. But I call to mind what I am and was myself. I think
of my quiet home,--it is all ashes. I remember my brave first-born,--he
was slain at Bothwell-brigg. Why need I speak of my honest brother; the
waves of the ocean, commissioned by our persecutors, have triumphed over
him in the cold seas of the Orkneys; and as for my wife, what was she to
you? Ye cannot be greatly disturbed that she is in her grave. No, ye are
quiet, calm, and prudent persons; it would be a most indiscreet thing of
you, you who have suffered no wrong yourselves, to stir on her account;
and then how unreasonable I should be, were I to speak of two fair and
innocent maidens.--It is weak of me to weep, though they were my
daughters. O men and Christians, brothers, fathers! but ye are content
to bear with such wrongs, and I alone of all here may go to the gates of
the cities, and try to discover which of the martyred heads mouldering
there belongs to a son or a friend. Nor is it of any account whether the
bones of those who were so dear to us, be exposed with the remains of
malefactors, or laid in the sacred grave. To the dead all places are
alike; and to the slave what signifies who is master. Let us therefore
forget the past,--let us keep open the door of reconciliation,--smother
all the wrongs we have endured, and kiss the proud foot of the trampler.
We have our lives; we have been spared; the merciless blood-hounds have
not yet reached us. Let us therefore be humble and thankful, and cry to
Charles Stuart, O King live for ever!--for he has but cast us into a
fiery furnace and a lion's den.

"In truth, friends, Mr Renwick is quite right. This feeling of
indignation against our oppressors is a most imprudent thing. If we
desire to enjoy our own contempt, and to deserve the derision of men,
and to merit the abhorrence of Heaven, let us yield ourselves to all
that Charles Stuart and his sect require. We can do nothing better,
nothing so meritorious, nothing by which we can so reasonably hope for
punishment here and condemnation hereafter. But if there is one man at
this meeting,--I am speaking not of shapes and forms, but of
feelings,--if there is one here that feels as men were wont to feel, he
will draw his sword, and say with me, Woe to the house of Stuart! Woe to
the oppressors! Blood for blood! Judge and avenge our cause, O Lord!"



CHAPTER LXXXV


The meeting, with one accord, agreed that the declaration should go
forth; and certain of those who were ready writers, being provided with
implements, retired apart to make copies, while Mr Renwick, with the
remainder, joined together in prayer.

By the time he had made an end, the task of the writers was finished,
and then lots were cast to see whom the Lord would appoint to affix the
declaration on the trones and kirk doors of the towns where the rage of
the persecutors burnt the fiercest, and He being pleased to choose me
for one to do the duty at Edinburgh, I returned in the gloaming back to
the house of Mrs Brownlee, to abide the convenient season which I knew
in the fit time would be prepared. Nor was it long till the same was
brought to pass, as I shall now briefly proceed to set down.

Heron Brownlee, who, as I have narrated, brought me to his mother's
house, was by trade a tailor, and kept his cloth shop in the Canongate,
some six doors lower down than St Mary's Wynd, just after passing the
flesher's stocks below the Netherbow; for in those days, when the court
was at Holyrood, that part of the town was a place of great resort to
the gallants, and all such as affected a courtly carriage. And it
happened that, on the morning after the meeting, a proclamation was sent
forth, describing the persons and clothing of the prisoners who had
escaped from the tolbooth with me, threatening grievous penalties to all
who dared to harbour them. This Heron Brownlee seeing affixed on the
cheek of the Netherbow, came and told me; whereupon, after conferring
with him, it was agreed that he should provide for me a suit of
town-like clothes, and at the second-hand, that they might not cause
observance by any novelty. This was in another respect needful; for my
health being in a frail state, I stood in want of the halesome cordial
of fresh air, whereof I could not venture to taste but in the dusk of
the evening.

He accordingly provided the apparel, and when clothed therewith, I made
bold to go out in the broad daylight, and even ventured to mingle with
the multitude in the garden of the palace, who went daily there in the
afternoon to see the nobles and ladies of the court walking with their
pageantries, while the Duke's musicants solaced them with melodious airs
and the delights of sonorous harmony. And it happened on the third time
I went thither, that a cry rose of the Duke coming from the garden to
the palace, and all the onlookers pressed to see him.

As he advanced, I saw several persons presenting petitions into his
hands, which he gave, without then looking at, to the Lord Perth, whom I
knew again by his voice; and I was directed, as by a thought of
inspiration, to present, in like manner, a copy of our declaration,
which I always carried about with me; so placing myself among a crowd of
petitioners, onlookers and servants, that formed an avenue across the
road leading from the Canongate to the Abbey kirk-yard, and between the
garden yett and the yett that opened into the front court of the palace.
As the Duke returned out of the garden, I gave him the paper; but
instead of handing it to the Lord Perth, as I had hoped he would do, he
held it in his own hand, by which I perceived that if he had noticed by
whom it was presented, and looked at it before he went into the palace,
I would speedily be seized on the spot, unless I could accomplish my
escape.

But how to effect that was no easy thing; for the multitude around was
very great, and but three narrow yetts allowed of egress from the
enclosure--one leading into the garden, one to the palace, and the other
into the Canongate. I therefore calmly put my trust in Him who alone
could save me, and remained, as it were, an indifferent spectator,
following the Duke with an anxious eye.

Having passed from the garden into the court, the multitude followed him
with great eagerness, and I also went in with them, and walked very
deliberately across the front of the palace to the south-east corner,
where there was a postern door that opened into the road leading to the
King's park from the Cowgate-port, along the outside of the town wall. I
then mended my pace, but not to any remarkable degree, and so returned
to the house of Mrs Brownlee.

Scarcely was I well in, when Heron, her son, came flying to her with a
report that a man was seized in the palace garden who had threatened the
Duke's life, and he was fearful lest it had been me; and I was much
grieved by these tidings, in case any honest man should be put to the
torture on my account; but the Lord had mercifully ordained it
otherwise.

In the course of the night Heron Brownlee, after closing his shop, came
again and told me that no one had been taken, but that some person in
the multitude had given the Duke a dreadful paper, which had caused
great consternation and panic; and that a council was sitting at that
late hour with the Duke, expresses having arrived with accounts of the
same paper having been seen on the doors of many churches, both in
Nithsdale and the shire of Ayr. The alarm, indeed, raged to such a
degree among all those who knew in their consciences how they merited
the doom we had pronounced, that it was said the very looks of many were
withered as with a pestilent vapour.

Yet, though terrified at the vengeance declared against their guilt,
neither the Duke nor the Privy Council were to be deterred from their
malignant work. The curse of infatuation was upon them, and instead of
changing the rule which had caused the desperation that they dreaded,
they heated the furnace of persecution sevenfold; and voted, That
whosoever owned or refused to disown the declaration should be put to
death in the presence of two witnesses, though unarmed when taken; and
the soldiers were not only ordered to enforce the test, but were
instructed to put such as adhered to the declaration at once to the
sword, and to slay those who refused to disown it; and women were
ordered to be drowned. But my pen sickens with the recital of horrors,
and I shall pass by the dreadful things that ensued, with only remarking
that these bloody instructions consummated the doom of the Stuarts; for
scarcely were they well published when the Duke hastened to London, and
soon after his man-sworn brother, Charles, the great author of all our
woes, was cut off by poison, as it was most currently believed, and the
Duke proclaimed King in his stead. What change we obtained by the
calamity of his accession will not require many sentences to unfold.



CHAPTER LXXXVI


As soon as it was known abroad that Charles the Second was dead, the
Covenanters who had taken refuge in Holland from the Persecution
assembled to consult what ought then to be done; for the papist James
Stuart, on the death of his brother, had caused himself to be proclaimed
King of Scotland, without taking those oaths by which alone he could be
entitled to assume the Scottish crown.

At the head of this congregation was the Earl of Argyle, who, some years
before, had incurred the aversion of the tyrant to such a degree that,
by certain of those fit tools for any crime, then in dismal abundance
about the court of Holyrood, he had procured his condemnation as a
traitor, and would have brought him to the scaffold, had the Earl not
fortunately effected his escape. And it was resolved by that
congregation that the principal personages then present should form
themselves into a Council, to concert the requisite measures for the
deliverance of their native land; the immediate issue of which was,
that a descent should be made by Argyle among his vassals, in order to
draw together a sufficient host to enable them to wage war against the
Usurper, for so they lawfully and rightly denominated James Stuart.

The first hint that I gleaned of this design was through the means of
Mrs Brownlee. She was invited one afternoon by the gentlewoman of the
Lady Sophia Lindsay, the Earl's daughter-in-law, to view certain
articles of female bravery which had been sent from Holland by his
Lordship to her mistress; and, as her custom was, she, on her return
home, descanted at large of all that she had seen and heard.

The receipt, at that juncture, of such gear from the Earl of Argyle, by
such a Judith of courage and wisdom as the Lady Sophia Lindsay, seemed
to me very remarkable, and I could not but jealouse that there was some
thing about it like the occultation of a graver correspondence. I
therefore began to question Mrs Brownlee how the paraphernalia had come,
and what the Earl, according to the last accounts, was doing; which led
her to expatiate on many things, though vague and desultory, that were
yet in concordance with what I had overheard the Lord Perth say to the
Earl of Aberdeen in the Bishop's house. In the end, I gathered that the
presents were brought over by the skipper of a sloop, one Roderick
Macfarlane, whom I forthwith determined to see, in order to pick from
him what intelligence I could, without being at the time well aware in
what manner the same would prove useful; I felt myself, however, stirred
from within to do so; and I had hitherto, in all that concerned my
avenging vow, obeyed every instinctive impulse.

Accordingly, next morning I went early to the shore of Leith, and soon
found the vessel and Roderick Macfarlane, to whom I addressed myself,
inquiring, as if I intended to go thither, when he was likely to depart
again for Amsterdam.

While I was speaking to him, I observed something in his mien above his
condition; and that his hands were fair and delicate, unlike those of
men inured to maritime labour. He perceived that I was particular in my
inspection, and his countenance became troubled, and he looked as if he
wist not what to do.

"Fear no ill," said I to him; "I am one in the jaws of jeopardy; in
sooth I have no intent to pass into Holland, but only to learn whether
there be any hope that the Earl of Argyle and those with him will try to
help their covenanted brethren at home."

On hearing me speak so openly the countenance of the man brightened, and
after eyeing me with a sharp scrutiny, he invited me to come down into
the body of the bark, where we had some frank communion, his confidence
being won by the plain tale of who I was and what I had endured. The
Lord indeed was pleased, throughout that period of fears and
tribulation, marvellously to endow the persecuted with a singular and
sympathetic instinct, whereby they were enabled at once to discern their
friends; for the dangers and difficulties, to which we were subject in
our intercourse, afforded no time for those testimonies and experiences
that in ordinary occasions are required to open the hearts of men to one
another.

After some general discourse, Roderick Macfarlane told me, that his
vessel, though seemingly only for traffic, had been hired by a certain
Madam Smith, in Amsterdam, and was manned by Highlanders of a degree
above the common, for the purpose of opening a correspondence between
Argyle and his friends in Scotland. Whereupon I proffered myself to
assist in establishing a communication with the heads and leaders of the
Covenanters in the West Country, and particularly with Mr Renwick and
his associates, the Cameronians, who, though grievously scattered and
hunted, were yet able to do great things in the way of conveying
letters, or of intercepting the emissaries and agents of the Privy
Council that might be employed to contravene the Earl's projects.

Thus it was that I came to be concerned in Argyle's unfortunate
expedition--if that can be called unfortunate, which, though in itself a
failure, yet ministered to make the scattered children of the Covenant
again co-operate for the achievement of their common freedom. Doubtless
the expedition was undertaken before the persecuted were sufficiently
ripened to be of any effective service. The Earl counted overmuch on the
spirit which the Persecution had raised; he thought that the weight of
the tyranny had compressed us all into one body. But, alas! it had been
so great, that it had not only bruised, but broken us asunder into many
pieces; and time, and care, and much persuasion, were all requisite to
solder the fragments together.

As the spring advanced, being, in the manner related, engaged in
furthering the purposes of the exiled Covenanters, I prepared, through
the instrumentality of divers friends, many in the West Country to be in
readiness to join the Earl's standard of deliverance. It is not however
to be disguised, that the work went on but slowly, and that the people
heard of the intended descent with something like an actionless
wonderment, in consequence of those by whom it had been planned not
sending forth any declaration of their views and intents. And this
indisposition, especially among the Cameronians, became a settled
reluctance, when, after the Earl had reached Campbelton, he published
that purposeless proclamation, wherein, though the wrongs and woes of
the kingdom were pithily recited, the nature of the redress proposed was
in no manner manifest. It was plain indeed, by many signs, that the
Lord's time was not yet come for the work to thrive.

The divisions in Argyle's councils were greater even than those among
the different orders into which the Covenanters had been long split--the
very Cameronians might have been sooner persuaded to refrain from
insisting on points of doctrine and opinion, at least till the adversary
was overthrown, than those who were with the ill-fated Earl to act with
union among themselves. In a word, all about the expedition was
confusion and perplexity, and the omens and auguries of ruin showed how
much it wanted the favour that is better than the strength of numbers,
or the wisdom of mighty men. But to proceed.



CHAPTER LXXXVII


Sir John Cochrane, one of those who were with Argyle, had, by some
espial of his own, a correspondence with divers of the Covenanters in
the shire of Ayr; and he was so heartened by their representations of
the spirit among them, that he urged, and overcame the Earl, to let him
make a trial on that coast before waiting till the Highlanders were
roused. Accordingly, with the three ships and the men they had brought
from Holland, he went toward Largs, famed in old time for a great battle
fought there; but, on arriving opposite to the shore, he found it
guarded by the powers and forces of the government, in so much, that he
was fain to direct his course farther up the river; and weighing anchor
sailed for Greenock.

It happened at this juncture, after conferring with several of weight
among the Cameronians, that I went to Greenock for the purpose of taking
shipping for any place where I was likely to find Argyle, in order to
represent to him, that, unless there was a clear account of what he and
others with him proposed to do, he could expect no cooperation from the
societies; and I reached the town just as the three ships were coming in
sight.

I had not well alighted from my horse at Dugal M'Vicar the smith's
public,--the best house it is in the town, and slated. It stands beside
an oak-tree on the open shore, below the Mansion-house-brae, above the
place where the mariners boil their tar-pots. As I was saying, I had not
well alighted there, when a squadron of certain time-serving and
prelatic-inclined inheritors of the shire of Renfrew, under the command
of Houston of that Ilk, came galloping to the town as if they would have
devoured Argyle, host, and ships and all; and they rode straight to the
minister's glebe, where, behind the kirk-yard dyke, they set themselves
in battle array with drawn swords, the vessels having in the meanwhile
come to anchor fornent the kirk.

Like the men of the town I went to be an onlooker, at a distance, of
what might ensue; and a sore heart it was to me, to see and to hear that
the Greenock folk stood so much in dread of their superior, Sir John
Shaw, that they durst not, for fear of his black-hole, venture to say
that day whether they were papists, prelates, or presbyterians, he
himself not being in the way to direct them.

Shortly after the ships had cast anchor, Major Fullarton, with a party
of some ten or twelve men, landed at the burn-foot, near the kirk, and
having shown a signal for parley, Houston and his men went to him, and
began to chafe and chide him for invading the country.

"We are no invaders," said the Major, "we have come to our native land
to preserve the protestant religion; and I am grieved that such brave
gentlemen, as ye appear to be, should be seen in the cause of a papist
tyrant and usurper."

"Ye lee," cried Houston, and fired his pistol at the Major, the like did
his men; but they were so well and quickly answered in the same
language, that they soon were obligated to flee like drift to the brow
of a hill, called Kilblain-brae, where they again showed face.

Those on board the ships seeing what was thus doing on the land, pointed
their great guns to the airt where the cavaliers had rallied, and fired
them with such effect, that the stoure and stones brattled about the
lugs of the heritors, which so terrified them all that they scampered
off; and, it is said, some drew not bridle till they were in Paisley
with whole skins, though at some cost of leather.

When these tyrant tools were thus discomfited, Sir John Cochrane came on
shore, and tried in vain to prevail on the inhabitants to join in
defence of religion and liberty. So he sent for the baron-bailie, who
was the ruling power of the town in the absence of their great Sir John,
and ordered him to provide forthwith two hundred bolls of meal for the
ships. But the bailie, a shrewd and gausie man, made so many
difficulties in the gathering of the meal, to waste time till help would
come, that the knight was glad to content himself with little more than
a fifth part of his demand.

Meanwhile I had made my errand known to Sir John Cochrane, and when he
went off with the meal-sacks to the ships I went with him, and we sailed
the same night to the castle of Allengreg, where Argyle himself then
was.

Whatever doubts and fears I had of the success of the expedition, were
all wofully confirmed, when I saw how things were about that unfortunate
nobleman. The controversies in our councils at the Pentland raid were
more than renewed among those who were around Argyle; and it was plain
to me that the sense of ruin was upon his spirit; for, after I had told
him the purport of my mission, he said to me in a mournful manner,--

"I can discern no party in this country that desire to be relieved;
there are some hidden ones, no doubt, but only my poor friends here in
Argyle seem willing to be free. God hath so ordered it, and it must be
for the best. I submit myself to His will."

I felt the truth of what he said, that the tyranny had indeed bred
distrust among us, and that the patience of men was so worn out that
very many were inclined to submit from mere weariness of spirit;--but I
added, to hearten him, if one of my condition may say so proud a thing
of so great a person, That were the distinct ends of his intents made
more clearly manifest, maybe the dispersed hearts of the Covenanters
would yet be knit together. "Some think, my Lord, ye're for the Duke of
Monmouth to be king, but that will ne'er do,--the rightful heirs canna
be set aside. James Stuart may be, and should be put down; but,
according to the customs registered, as I hae read in the ancient
chronicles of this realm, when our nation in olden times cut off a king
for his misdeeds, the next lawful heir was aye raised to the throne."

To this the Earl made no answer, but continued some time thoughtful, and
then said,--

"It rests not all with me,--those who are with me, as you may well note,
take over much upon them, and will not be controlled. They are like the
waves, raised and driven wheresoever any blast of rumour wiseth them to
go. I gave a letter of trust to one of their emissaries, and, like the
raven, he has never returned. If, however, I could get to Inverary, I
doubt not yet that something might be done; for I should then be in the
midst of some that would reverence Argyle."

But why need I dwell on these melancholious incidents? Next day the Earl
resolved to make the attempt to reach Inverary, and I went with him; but
after the castle of Arkinglass, in the way thither, had been taken, he
was obligated, by the appearance of two English frigates which had been
sent in pursuit of the expedition, to return to Allengreg; for the main
stores and ammunition brought from Holland were lodged in that castle;
the ships also were lying there; all which, in a manner, were at stake,
and no garrison adequate to defend the same from so great a power.

On returning to Allengreg, Argyle saw it would be a golden achievement
if, in that juncture, he could master the frigates; so he ordered his
force, which amounted to about a thousand men, to man the ships and four
prizes which he had, together with about thirty cowan boats belonging to
his vassals, and to attack the frigates. But in this also he was
disappointed, for those who were with him, and wedded to the purpose of
going to the Lowlands, mutinied against the scheme, as too hazardous,
and obliged him to give up the attempt, and to leave the castle with a
weak and incapable garrison.

Accordingly, reluctant, but yielding to these blind counsels, after
quitting Allengreg, we marched for the Lowlands, and at the head of the
Gareloch, where we halted, the garrison which had been left at Allengreg
joined us with the disastrous intelligence that, finding themselves
unable to withstand the frigates, they had abandoned all.

I was near to Argyle when the news of this was brought to him, and I
observed that he said nothing; but his cheek faded, and he hastily wrung
his hands.

Having crossed the river Leven a short way above Dumbarton, without
suffering any material molestation, we halted for the night; but as we
were setting our watches a party of the government force appeared, so
that, instead of getting any rest after our heavy march, we were
obligated to think of again moving.

The Earl would fain have fought with that force, his numbers being
superior, but he was again overruled; so that all we could do was,
during the night, leaving our camp-fires burning for a delusion, to make
what haste we could toward Glasgow.

In this the uncountenanced fortunes of the expedition were again seen.
Our guides in the dark misled us; so that, instead of being taken to
Glasgow, we were, after grievous traversing in the moors, landed on the
banks of the Clyde near Kilpatrick, where the whole force broke up, Sir
John Cochrane, being fey for the West Country, persuading many to go
with him over the water, in order to make for the shire of Ayr.

The Earl, seeing himself thus deserted, and but few besides those of his
own kin left with him, rode about a mile on towards Glasgow, with the
intent of taking some rest in the house of one who had been his servant;
but on reaching the door it was shut in his face and barred, and
admission peremptorily refused. He said nothing, but turned round to us
with a smile of such resigned sadness that it brought tears into every
eye.

Seeing that his fate was come to such extremity, I proposed to exchange
clothes with him, that he might the better escape, and to conduct him to
the West Country, where, if any chance were yet left, it was to be found
there, as Sir John Cochrane had represented. Whereupon he sent his
kinsmen to make the best of their way back to the Highlands, to try what
could be done among his clan; and, having accepted a portion of my
apparel, he went to the ferry-boat with Major Fullarton, and we crossed
the water together.

On landing at the Renfrew side the Earl went forward alone, a little
before the Major and me; but on reaching the ford at Inchinnan he was
stopped by two soldiers, who laid hands upon him, one on each side, and
in the grappling one of them, the Earl fell to the ground. In a moment,
however, his Lordship started up, and got rid of them by presenting his
pistols. But five others at the same instant came in sight, and fired
and ran in at him, and knocked him down with their swords. "Alas!
unfortunate Argyle," I heard him cry as he fell; and the soldiers were
so astonished at having so rudely treated so great a man, that they
stood still with awe and dropped their swords, and some of them shed
tears of sorrow for his fate.

Seeing what had thus happened, Major Fullarton and I fled and hid
ourselves behind a hedge, for we saw another party of troopers coming
towards the spot,--we heard afterwards that it was Sir John Shaw of
Greenock, with some of the Renfrewshire heritors, by whom the Earl was
conducted a prisoner to Glasgow. But of the dismal indignities, and the
degradations to which he was subjected, and of his doleful martyrdom,
the courteous reader may well spare me the sad recital, as they are
recorded in all true British histories, and he will accept for the same
those sweet but mournful lines which Argyle indited in the dungeon:--

   Thou, passenger, that shalt have so much time
   To view my grave, and ask what was my crime;
   No stain of error, no black vice's brand,
   Was that which chased me from my native land.
   Love to my country--twice sentenced to die--
   Constrain'd my hands forgotten arms to try.
   More by friends' fraud my fall proceeded hath
   Than foes, though now they thrice decreed my death.
   On my attempt though Providence did frown,
   His oppress'd people God at length shall own;
   Another hand, by more successful speed,
   Shall raise the remnant, bruise the serpent's head.
   Though my head fall, that is no tragic story,
   Since, going hence, I enter endless glory.



CHAPTER LXXXVIII


The news of the fall of Argyle was as gladdening wine to the cruel
spirit of James Stuart. It was treated by him as victory was of old
among the conquering Romans, and he ordained medals of brass and of
silver to be made, to commemorate, as a glorious triumph, the deed that
was a crime. But he was not content with such harmless monuments of
insensate exultation; he considered the blow as final to the
presbyterian cause, and openly set himself to effect the
re-establishment of the idolatrous abominations of the mass and monkrie.

The Lord Perth and his brother, the Lord Melford, and a black catalogue
of others, whose names, for the fame of Scotland, I would fain expunge
with the waters of oblivion, considering Religion as a thing of royal
regulation, professed themselves papists, and got, as the price of their
apostacy and perdition, certain places of profit in the government.
Clouds of the papistical locust were then allured into the land, to eat
it up leaf and blade again. Schools to teach children the deceits, and
the frauds, and the sins of the jesuits, were established even in the
palace of Holyrood-house; and the chapel, which had been cleansed in the
time of Queen Mary, was again defiled with the pageantries of idolatry.

But the godly people of Edinburgh called to mind the pious bravery of
their forefathers, and all that they had done in the Reformation; and
they rose, as it were with one accord, and demolished the schools, and
purified the chapel, even to desolation, and forced the papist priest to
abjure his own idols. The old abhorrence of the abominations was
revived; for now it was clearly seen what King Charles and his brother
had been seeking, in the relentless persecution which they had so long
sanctioned; and many in consequence, who had supported and obeyed the
prelatic apostasy as a thing but of innocent forms, trembled at the
share which they had taken in the guilt of that aggression, and their
dismay was unspeakable.

The tyrant, however, soon saw that he had over-counted the degree of the
humiliation of the land; and being disturbed by the union which his open
papistry was causing among all denominations of protestants, he changed
his mood, and from force resorting to fraud, publishing a general
toleration,--a device of policy which greatly disheartened the prelatic
faction; for they saw that they had only laboured to strengthen a
prerogative, the first effectual exercise of which was directed against
themselves, every one discerning that the indulgence was framed to give
head-rope to the papists. But the Covenanters made use of it to advance
the cause of the Gospel, as I shall now proceed to rehearse, as well as
how through it I was enabled to perform my avenging vow.

Among the exiled Covenanters who returned with Argyle, and with whom I
became acquainted while with him, was Thomas Ardmillan, when, after my
escape at the time when the Earl was taken, I fell in again with at
Kirkintilloch, as I was making the best of my way into the East Country,
and we went together to Arbroath, where he embarked for Holland.

Being then minded to return back to Edinburgh, and to abide again with
Mrs Brownlee, in whose house I had found a safe asylum, and a convenient
place of espial, after seeing him on board the vessel, I also took
shipping, and returned to Leith under an assurance that I should hear of
him from time to time. It was not, however, until the indulgence was
proclaimed that I heard from him, about which era he wrote to me a most
scriptural letter, by the reverend Mr Patrick Warner, who had received a
call from the magistrates and inhabitants of the covenanted town of
Irvine, to take upon him the ministry of their parish.

Mr Warner having accepted the call, on arriving at Leith sent to Mrs
Brownlee's this letter, with a request that, if I was alive and there,
he would be glad to see me in his lodging before departing to the West
Country.

As the fragrance of Mr Warner's sufferings was sweet among all the true
and faithful, I was much regaled with this invitation, and went
forthwith to Leith, where I found him in a house that is clad with
oyster-shells, in the Tod's-hole Close. He was sitting in a fair chamber
therein, with that worthy bailie that afterwards was next year, at the
time of the Revolution, Mr Cornelius Neilsone, and his no less excellent
compeer on the same great occasion, Mr George Samsone, both persons of
godly repute. Mr Cheyne, the town-clerk, was likewise present, a most
discreet character, but being a lawyer by trade, and come of an
episcopal stock, he was rather a thought, it was said, inclined to the
prelatic sect. Divers others, douce and religious characters, were also
there, especially Mr Jaddua Fyfe, a merchant of women's gear, then in
much renown for his suavity. Mr Warner was relating to them many
consolatory things of the worth and piety of the Prince and Princess of
Orange, to whom the eyes of all the protestants, especially of the
presbyterians, were at that time directed.

"Aye, aye," said Mr Jaddua Fyfe, "nae doot, nae doot, but the Prince is
a man of a sweet-smelling odour,--that's in the way of character;--and
the Princess; aye, aye, it is well known, that she's a pure snowdrop,
and a lily o' the valley in the Lord's garden,--that's in the way of
piety."

"They're the heirs presumptive to the crown," subjoined Mr Cheyne.

"They're weel entitled to the reverence and respect of us a'," added Mr
Cornelius Neilsone.

"When I first got the call from Irvine," resumed Mr Warner, "that
excellent lady, and precious vessel of godliness, the Countess of
Sutherland, being then at the Hague, sought my allowance to let the
Princess know of my acceptance of the call, and to inquire if her
Highness had any commands for Scotland; and the Princess in a most
gracious manner signified to her that the best thing I, and those who
were like me, could do for her, was to be earnest in praying that she
might be kept firm and faithful in the reformed religion, adding many
tender things of her sincere sympathy for the poor persecuted people of
Scotland, and recommending that I should wait on the Prince before
taking my departure. I was not, however, forward to thrust myself into
such honour; but at last yielding to the exhortations of my friends, I
went to the house of Mynheer Bentinck, and gave him my name for an
audience; and one morning, about eight of the clock, his servant called
for me and took me to his house, and he himself conveyed me into the
presence of the Prince, where, leaving me with him, we had a most
weighty and edifying conversation."

"Aye, aye," interposed Mr Jaddua Fyfe, "it was a great thing to converse
wi' a prince; and how did he behave himself,--that's in the way o'
manners?"

"Ye need na debate, Mr Fyfe, about that," replied Mr Samsone, "the
Prince kens what it's to be civil, especially to his friends;" and I
thought, in saying these words, that Mr Samsone looked particular
towards me.

"And what passed?" said the town-clerk, in a way as if he pawkily
jealoused something. Mr Warner, however, in his placid and minister-like
manner, responded,--

"I told his Highness how I had received the call from Irvine, and
thought it my duty to inquire if there was any thing wherein I could
serve him in Scotland.

"To this the Prince replied in a benign manner--"

"Aye, aye," ejaculated Mr Jaddua Fyfe, "nae doubt it was in a benignant
manner, and in a cordial manner. Aye, aye, he has nae his ill-wand to
seek when a customer's afore the counter,--that's in the way o'
business."

"'I understand,' said his Highness," continued Mr Warner, "'you are
called home upon the toleration lately granted; but I can assure you,
that toleration is not granted for any kindness to your party, but to
favour the papists, and to divide you among yourselves; yet I think you
may be so wise as to take good of it, and prevent the evil designed,
and, instead of dividing, come to a better harmony among yourselves when
you have liberty to see and meet more freely.'

"To which," said Mr Warner, "I answered, that I heartily wished it might
prove so, and that nothing would be wanting on my part to make it so;
and I added, the presbyterians in Scotland, Great Sir, are looked upon
as a very despicable party; but those who do so measure them by the
appearance at Pentland and Bothwell, as if the whole power of the
presbyterians had been drawn out there; but I can assure your Highness
that such are greatly mistaken; for many firm presbyterians were not
satisfied as to the grounds and manner of those risings, and did not
join; and others were borne down by the Persecution. In verity I am
persuaded, that if Scotland were left free, of three parts of the people
two would be found presbyterians. We are indeed a poor persecuted party,
and have none under God to look to for our help and relief but your
Highness, on account of that relation you and the Princess have to the
crown."

"That was going a great length, Mr Warner," said Mr Cheyne, the
town-clerk.

"No a bit, no a bit," cried I; and Mr Jaddua Fyfe gave me an approving
gloom, while Mr Warner quietly continued,--

"I then urged many things, hoping that the Lord would incline his
Highness' heart to espouse His interest in Scotland, and befriend the
persecuted presbyterians. To which the Prince replied--"

"Aye, aye, I like to hear what his Highness said, that's in the way of
counselling," said Mr Jaddua Fyfe.

"The Prince," replied Mr Warner, "then spoke to me earnestly, saying,--

"'I have been educated a presbyterian, and I hope so to continue; and I
assure you, if ever it be in my power, I shall make the presbyterian
church-government the established church-government of Scotland, and of
this you may assure your friends, as in prudence you find it
convenient.'"

Discerning the weight and intimation that were in these words, I said,
when Mr Warner had made an end, that it was a great thing to know the
sentiment of the Prince; for by all signs the time could not be far off
when we would maybe require to put his assurance and promise to the
test. At which words of mine there were many exchanges of gathered brows
and significant nods, and Mr Jaddua Fyfe, to whom I was sitting next,
slyly pinched me in the elbow; all which spoke plainer than elocution,
that those present were accorded with me in opinion; and I gave inward
thanks that such a braird of renewed courage and zeal was beginning to
kithe among us.



CHAPTER LXXXIX


Besides Mr Warner, many other ministers, who had taken refuge in foreign
countries, were called home, and it began openly to be talked that King
James would to a surety be set aside, on account of his malversations in
the kingly office in England, and the even-down course he was pursuing
there, as in Scotland, to abolish all property that the subjects had in
the ancient laws and charters of the realm. But the thing came to no
definite head till that jesuit-contrived device for cutting out the
protestant heirs to the crown was brought to maturity, by palming a
man-child upon the nation as the lawful son of the Tyrant and his
papistical wife.

In the meantime, I had not been idle in disseminating throughout the
land, by the means of the Cameronians, a faithful account of what Mr
Warner had related of the pious character and presbyterian dispositions
of the Prince of Orange; and through a correspondence that I opened with
Thomas Ardmillan, Mynheer Bentinck was kept so informed of the growing
affection for his master in Scotland, as soon emboldened the Prince,
with what he heard of the inclinations of the English people, to prepare
a great host and navy for the deliverance of the kingdoms. In the midst
of these human means and stratagems, the bright right hand of Providence
was shiningly visible; for, by the news of the Prince's preparations, it
smote the councils of King James with confusion and a fatal distraction.

Though he had so alienated the Scottish lieges, that none but the basest
of men among us acknowledged his authority, yet he summoned all his
forces into England, leaving his power to be upheld here by those only
who were vile enough to wish for the continuance of slavery. Thus was
the way cleared for the advent of the deliverer; and the faithful nobles
and gentry of Scotland, as the army was removed, came flocking into
Edinburgh, and the Privy Council, which had been so little slack in any
crime, durst not molest them, though the purpose of their being there
was a treason which the members could not but all well know. Every
thing, in a word, was now moving onward to a great event; all in the
land was as when the thaw comes, and the ice is breaking, and the snows
melting, and the waters flowing, and the rivers are bursting their
frozen fetters, and the sceptre of winter is broken, and the wreck of
his domination is drifting and perishing away.

To keep the Privy Council in the confusion of the darkness of ignorance,
I concerted with many of the Cameronians that they should spread
themselves along the highways, and intercept the government expresses
and emissaries, to the end that neither the King's faction in England
nor in Scotland might know aught of the undertakings of each other; and
when Thomas Ardmillan sent me, from Mynheer Bentinck, the Prince's
declaration for Scotland, I hastened into the West Country, that I might
exhort the covenanted there to be in readiness, and from the tolbooth
stair of Irvine, yea, on the very step where my heart was so pierced by
the cries of my son, I was the first in Scotland to publish that
glorious pledge of our deliverance. On the same day, at the same hour,
the like was done by others of our friends at Glasgow and at Ayr; and
there was shouting, and joy, and thanksgiving, and the magnificent voice
of freedom resounded throughout the land, and ennobled all hearts again
with bravery.

When the news of the Prince's landing at Torbay arrived, we felt that
liberty was come; but long oppression had made many distrustful, and
from day to day rumours were spread by the despairing members of the
prelatic sect, the breathings of their wishes, that made us doubt
whether we ought to band ourselves into any array for warfare. In this
state of swithering and incertitude we continued for some time, till I
began to grow fearful lest the zeal which had been so rekindled would
sink and go out if not stirred again in some effectual manner; so I
conferred with Quintin Fullarton, who in all these providences had been
art and part with me, from the day of the meeting with Mr Renwick near
Laswade; and as the Privy Council, when it was known the Prince had been
invited over, had directed beacons to be raised on the tops of many
mountains, to be fired as signals of alarm for the King's party when the
Dutch fleet should be seen approaching the coast, we devised, as a mean
for calling forth the strength and spirit of the Covenanters, that we
should avail ourselves of their preparations.

Accordingly we instructed four alert young men, of the Cameronian
societies, severally and unknown to each other, to be in attendance on
the night of the tenth of December, at the beacons on the hills of
Knockdolian, Lowthers, Blacklarg, and Bencairn, that they might fire the
same if need or signal should so require, Quintin Fullarton having
undertaken to kindle the one on Mistylaw himself.

The night was dark, but it was ordained that the air should be moist and
heavy, and in that state when the light of flame spreads farthest.
Meanwhile fearful reports from Ireland of papistical intents to maintain
the cause of King James made the fancies of men awake and full of
anxieties. The prelatic curates were also so heartened by those rumours
and tidings, that they began to recover from the dismay with which the
news of the Prince's landing had overwhelmed them, and to shoot out
again the horns of antichristian arrogance. But when, about three hours
after sunset, the beacon on the Mistylaw was fired, and when hill after
hill was lighted up, the whole country was filled with such
consternation and panic, that I was myself smitten with the dread of
some terrible consequences. Horsemen passed furiously in all
directions--bells were rung, and drums beat--mothers were seen flying
with their children they knew not whither--cries and lamentations echoed
on every side. The skies were kindled with a red glare, and none could
tell where the signal was first shown. Some said the Irish had landed
and were burning the towns in the south, and no one knew where to flee
from the unknown and invisible enemy.

In the meantime, our Covenanters of the West assembled at their
trysting-place, to the number of more than six thousand armed men, ready
and girded for battle; and this appearance was an assurance that no
power was then in all the Lowlands able to gainsay such a force; and
next day, when it was discovered that the alarm had no real cause, it
was determined that the prelatic priests should be openly discarded from
their parishes. Our vengeance, however, was not meted upon them by the
measure of our sufferings, but by the treatment which our own pastors
had borne; and, considering how many of them had acted as spies and
accusers against us, it is surprising, that of two hundred, who were
banished from the parishes, few received any cause of complaint; even
the poor feckless thing, Andrew Dornock, was decently expelled from the
manse of Quharist, on promising he would never return.

This riddance of the malignants was the first fruit of the expulsion of
James Stuart from the throne; but it was not long till we were menaced
with new and even greater sufferings than we had yet endured. For though
the tyrant had fled, he had left Claverhouse, under the title of
Viscount Dundee, behind him; and in the fearless activity of that proud
and cruel warrior, there was an engine sufficient to have restored him
to his absolute throne, as I shall now proceed to rehearse.



CHAPTER XC


The true and faithful of the West, by the event recorded in the
foregoing chapter, being so instructed with respect to their own power
and numbers, stood in no reverence of any force that the remnants of the
Tyrant's sect and faction could afford to send against them. I therefore
resolved to return to Edinburgh; for the longing of my grandfather's
spirit to see the current and course of public events flowing from their
fountain-head, was upon me, and I had not yet so satisfied the yearnings
of justice as to be able to look again on the ashes of my house and the
tomb of Sarah Lochrig and her daughters. Accordingly, soon after the
turn of the year I went thither, where I found all things in uncertainty
and commotion.

Claverhouse, or, as he was now titled, Lord Dundee, with that scorn of
public opinion and defect of all principle, save only a canine fidelity,
a dog's love, to his papistical master, domineered with his dragoons, as
if he himself had been regnant monarch of Scotland; and it was plain and
probable, that unless he was soon bridled, he would speedily act upon
the wider stage of the kingdom the same Mahound-like part that he had
played in the prenticeship of his cruelties of the shire of Ayr. The
peril, indeed, from his courage and activity, was made to me very
evident, by a conversation that I had with one David Middleton, who had
come from England on some business of the Jacobites there, in connection
with Dundee.

Providence led me to fall in with this person one morning, as we were
standing among a crowd of other onlookers, seeing Claverhouse reviewing
his men in the front court of Holyrood-house. I happened to remark, for
in sooth it must be so owned, that the Viscount had a brave though a
proud look, and that his voice had the manliness of one ordained to
command.

"Yes," replied David Middleton, "he is a born soldier, and if the King
is to be restored, he is the man that will do it. When his Majesty was
at Rochester, before going to France, I was there with my master, and
being called in to mend the fire, I heard Dundee and my Lord, then with
the King, discoursing concerning the royal affairs.

"'The question,' said Lord Dundee to his Majesty, 'is, whether you shall
stay in England or go to France? My opinion, sir, is, that you should
stay in England, make your stand here, and summon your subjects to your
allegiance. 'Tis true, you have disbanded your army, but give me leave,
and I will undertake to get ten thousand men of it together, and march
through all England with your standard at their head, and drive the
Dutch before you;' and," added David Middleton, "let him have time, and
I doubt not, that, even without the King's leave, he will do as much."

Whether the man in this did brag of a knowledge that he had not, the
story seemed so likely, that it could scarcely be questioned; so I
consulted with my faithful friend and companion, Quintin Fullarton, and
other men of weight among the Cameronians; and we agreed, that those of
the societies who were scattered along the borders to intercept the
correspondence between the English and Scottish Jacobites, should be
called into Edinburgh to daunt the rampageous insolence of Claverhouse.

This was done accordingly; and from the day that they began to appear in
the streets, the bravery of those who were with him seemed to slacken.
But still he carried himself as boldly as ever, and persuaded the Duke
of Gordon, then governor of the castle, not to surrender, nor obey any
mandate from the Convention of the States, by whom, in that interregnum,
the rule of the kingdom was exercised. Still, however, the Cameronians
were coming in, and their numbers became so manifest, that the dragoons
were backward to show themselves. But their commander affected not to
value us, till one day a singular thing took place, which, in its
issues, ended the overawing influence of his presence in Edinburgh.

I happened to be standing with Quintin Fullarton, and some four or five
other Cameronians, at an entry-mouth forenent the Canongate-cross, when
Claverhouse, and that tool of tyranny, Sir George Mackenzie the
advocate, were coming up from the palace; and as they passed, the
Viscount looked hard at me, and said to Sir George,--

"I have somewhere seen that doure cur before."

Sir George turned round also to look, and I said,--

"It's true, Claverhouse--we met at Drumclog;" and I touched my arm that
he had wounded there, adding, "and the blood shed that day has not yet
been paid for."

At these words he made a rush upon me with his sword, but my friends
were nimbler with theirs; and Sir George Mackenzie interposing, drew him
off, and they went away together.

The affair, however, ended not here. Sir George, with the subtlety of a
lawyer, tried to turn it to some account, and making a great ado of it,
as a design to assassinate Lord Dundee and himself, tried to get the
Convention to order all strangers to remove from the town. This,
however, was refused; so that Claverhouse, seeing how the spirit of the
times was going among the members, and the boldness with which the
presbyterians and the Covenanters were daily bearding his arrogance,
withdrew with his dragoons from the city and made for Stirling.

In this retreat from Edinburgh he blew the trumpet of civil war; but in
less than two hours from the signal, a regiment of eight hundred
Cameronians was arrayed in the High-street. The son of Argyle, who had
taken his seat in the Convention as a peer, soon after gathered three
hundred of the Campbells, and the safety of Scotland now seemed to be
secured by the arrival of Mackay with three Scotch regiments, then in
the Dutch service, and which the Prince of Orange had brought with him
to Torbay.

By the retreat of Claverhouse the Jacobite party in Edinburgh were so
disheartened, and any endeavour which they afterwards made to rally was
so crazed with consternation, that it was plain the sceptre had departed
from their master. The capacity as well as the power for any effectual
action was indeed evidently taken from them, and the ploughshare was
driven over the ruins of their cause on the ever-memorable eleventh day
of April, when William and Mary were proclaimed King and Queen.

But though thus the oppressor was cast down from his throne, and though
thus, in Scotland, the chief agents in the work of deliverance were the
outlawed Cameronians, as instructed by me, the victory could not be
complete, nor the trophies hung up in the hall, while the Tyrant
possessed an instrument of such edge and temper as Claverhouse. As for
myself, I felt that while the homicide lived the debt of justice and of
blood due to my martyred family could never be satisfied; and I heard of
his passing from Stirling into the Highlands, and the wonders he was
working for the Jacobite cause there, as if nothing had yet been
achieved toward the fulfilment of my avenging vow.



CHAPTER XCI


When Claverhouse left Stirling, he had but sixty horse. In little more
than a month he was at the head of seventeen hundred men. He obtained
reinforcements from Ireland. The Macdonalds, and the Camerons, and the
Gordons, were all his. A vassal of the Marquis of Athol had declared for
him even in the castle of Blair, and defended it against the clan of his
master. An event still more strange was produced by the spell of his
presence,--the clansmen of Athol deserted their chief, and joined his
standard. He kindled the hills in his cause, and all the life of the
North was gathering around him.

Mackay, with the Covenanters, the regiments from Holland, and the
Cameronians, went from Perth to oppose his entrance into the Lowlands.
The minds of men were suspended. Should he defeat Mackay, it was plain
that the crown would soon be restored to James Stuart, and the woes of
Scotland come again.

In that dismal juncture I was alone; for Quintin Fullarton, with all the
Cameronians, was with Mackay.

I was an old man, verging on threescore.

I went to and fro in the streets of Edinburgh all day long, inquiring of
every stranger the news; and every answer that I got was some new
triumph of Dundee.

No sleep came to my burning pillow, or if indeed my eyelids for very
weariness fell down, it was only that I might suffer the stings of
anxiety in some sharper form; for my dreams were of flames kindling
around me, through which I saw behind the proud and exulting visage of
Dundee.

Sometimes in the depths of the night I rushed into the street, and I
listened with greedy ears, thinking I heard the trampling of dragoons
and the heavy wheels of cannon; and often in the day, when I saw three
or four persons speaking together, I ran towards them, and broke in upon
their discourse with some wild interrogation, that made them answer me
with pity.

But the haste and frenzy of this alarm suddenly changed: I felt that I
was a chosen instrument; I thought that the ruin which had fallen on me
and mine was assuredly some great mystery of Providence: I remembered
the prophecy of my grandfather, that a task was in store for me, though
I knew not what it was; I forgot my old age and my infirmities; I
hastened to my chamber; I put money in my purse; I spoke to no one; I
bought a carabine; and I set out alone to reinforce Mackay.

As I passed down the street, and out at the West-port, I saw the people
stop and look at me with silence and wonder. As I went along the road,
several that were passing inquired where I was going so fast? but I
waived my hand and hurried by.

I reached the Queensferry without, as it were, drawing breath. I
embarked; and when the boat arrived at the northern side I had fallen
asleep; and the ferryman, in compassion, allowed me to slumber
unmolested. When I awoke I felt myself refreshed. I leapt on shore, and
went again impatiently on.

But my mind was then somewhat calmer; and when I reached Kinross I
bought a little bread, and retiring to the brink of the lake, dipped it
in the water, and it was a savoury repast.

As I approached the Brigg of Earn I felt age in my limbs, and though the
spirit was willing, the body could not; and I sat down, and I mourned
that I was so frail and so feeble. But a marvellous vigour was soon
again given to me, and I rose refreshed from my resting-place on the
wall of the bridge, and the same night I reached Perth. I stopped in a
stabler's till the morning. At break of day, having hired a horse from
him, I hastened forward to Dunkeld, where he told me Mackay had encamped
the day before, on his way to defend the Pass of Killicrankie.

The road was thronged with women and children flocking into Perth in
terror of the Highlanders, but I heeded them not. I had but one thought,
and that was to reach the scene of war and Claverhouse.

On arriving at the ferry of Inver, the field in front of the Bishop of
Dunkeld's house, where the army had been encamped, was empty. Mackay had
marched towards Blair-Athol, to drive Dundee and the Highlanders, if
possible, back into the glens and mosses of the North; for he had learnt
that his own force greatly exceeded his adversary's.

On hearing this, and my horse being in need of bating, I halted at the
ferry-house before crossing the Tay, assured by the boatman that I
should be able to overtake the army long before it could reach the
meeting of the Tummel and the Gary. And so it proved; for, as I came to
that turn of the road where the Tummel pours its roaring waters into the
Tay, I heard the echoing of a trumpet among the mountains, and soon
after saw the army winding its toilsome course along the river's brink,
slowly and heavily, as the chariots of Pharaoh laboured through the
sands of the Desert; and the appearance of the long array was as the
many-coloured woods that skirt the rivers in autumn.

On the right hand, hills, and rocks, and trees rose like the ruins of
the ramparts of some ancient world; and I thought of the epochs when the
days of the children of men were a thousand years, and when giants were
on the earth, and all were swept away by the flood; and I felt as if I
beheld the hand of the Lord in the cloud weighing the things of time in
His scales, to see if the sins of the world were indeed become again so
great as that the cause of Claverhouse should be suffered to prevail.
For my spirit was as a flame that blazeth in the wind, and my thoughts
as the sparks that shoot and soar for a moment towards the skies with a
glorious splendour, and drop down upon the earth in ashes.



CHAPTER XCII


General Mackay halted the host on a spacious green plain which lies at
the meeting of the Tummel and the Gary, and which the Highlanders call
Fascali, because, as the name in their tongue signifies, no trees are
growing thereon. This place is the threshold of the Pass of
Killicrankie, through the dark and woody chasms of which the impatient
waters of the Gary come with hoarse and wrathful mutterings and murmurs.
The hills and mountains around are built up in more olden and antic
forms than those of our Lowland parts, and a wild and strange solemnity
is mingled there with much fantastical beauty, as if, according to the
minstrelsy of ancient times, sullen wizards and gamesome fairies had
joined their arts and spells to make a common dwelling-place.

As the soldiers spread themselves over the green bosom of Fascali, and
piled their arms and furled their banners, and laid their drums on the
ground, and led their horses to the river, the General sent forward a
scout through the Pass to discover the movements of Claverhouse, having
heard that he was coming from the castle of Blair-Athol, to prevent his
entrance into the Highlands.

The officer sent to make the espial had not been gone above half an hour
when he came back in great haste to tell that the Highlanders were on
the brow of a hill above the house of Rinrorie, and that unless the Pass
was immediately taken possession of, it would be mastered by Claverhouse
that night.

Mackay, at this news, ordered the trumpets to sound, and as the echoes
multiplied and repeated the alarm, it was as if all the spirits of the
hills called the men to arms. The soldiers looked around as they formed
their ranks, listening with delight and wonder at the universal bravery,
and I thought of the sight, which Elisha the prophet gave to the young
man at Dothan, of the mountains covered with horses and chariots of fire
for his defence against the host of the King of Syria; and I went
forward with the confidence of assured victory.

As we issued forth from the Pass into the wide country, extending
towards Lude and Blair-Athol, we saw, as the officer had reported, the
Highland hosts of Claverhouse arrayed along the lofty brow of the
mountain, above the house of Rinrorie, their plaids waving in the breeze
on the hill and their arms glittering to the sun.

Mackay directed the troops, at crossing a raging brook called the
Girnaig, to keep along a flat of land above the house of Rinrorie, and
to form, in order of battle, on the field beyond the garden, and under
the hill where the Highlanders were posted; the baggage and camp
equipages he at the same time ordered down into a plain that lies
between the bank on the crown of which the house stands and the river
Gary. An ancient monumental stone in the middle of the lower plain
shows, that in some elder age a battle had been fought there, and that
some warrior of might and fame had fallen.

In taking his ground on that elevated shelf of land, Mackay was minded
to stretch his left wing to intercept the return of the Highlanders
towards Blair, and, if possible, oblige them to enter the Pass of
Killicrankie, by which he would have cut them off from their resources
in the North, and so perhaps mastered them without any great slaughter.

But Claverhouse discerned the intent of his movement, and before our
covenanted host had formed their array, it was evident that he was
preparing to descend; and as a foretaste of the vehemence wherewith the
Highlanders were coming, we saw them rolling large stones to the brow of
the hill.

In the meantime the house of Rinrorie having been deserted by the
family, the lady, with her children and maidens, had fled to Lude or
Struan, Mackay ordered a party to take possession of it, and to post
themselves at the windows which look up the hill. I was among those who
went into the house, and my station was at the easternmost window, in a
small chamber which is entered by two doors,--the one opening from the
stair-head, and the other from the drawing-room. In this situation we
could see but little of the distribution of the army or the positions
that Mackay was taking, for our view was confined to the face of the
hill whereon the Highlanders were busily preparing for their descent.
But I saw Claverhouse on horseback riding to and fro, and plainly
inflaming their valour with many a courageous gesture; and as he turned
and winded his prancing war-horse, his breast-plate blazed to the
setting sun like a beacon on the hill.

When he had seemingly concluded his exhortation, the Highlanders stooped
forward and hurled down the rocks which they had gathered for their
forerunners; and while the stones came leaping and bounding with a noise
like thunder, the men followed in thick and separate bands, and Mackay
gave the signal to commence firing.

We saw from the windows many of the Highlanders, at the first volley,
stagger and fall, but the others came furiously down; and before the
soldiers had time to stick their bayonets into their guns, the broad
swords of the Clansmen hewed hundreds to the ground.

Within a few minutes the battle was general between the two armies; but
the smoke of the firing involved all the field, and we could see nothing
from the windows. The echoes of the mountains raged with the din, and
the sounds were multiplied by them in so many different places, that we
could not tell where the fight was hottest. The whole country around
resounded as with the uproar of a universal battle.

I felt the passion of my spirit return; I could no longer restrain
myself, nor remain where I was. Snatching up my carabine, I left my
actionless post at the window, and hurried down stairs, and out of the
house. I saw by the flashes through the smoke, that the firing was
spreading down into the plain where the baggage was stationed, and by
this I knew that there was some movement in the battle; but whether the
Highlanders or the Covenanters were shifting their ground, I could not
discover, for the valley was filled with smoke, and it was only at times
that a sword, like a glance of lightning, could be seen in the cloud
wherein the thunders and tempest of the conflict were raging.



CHAPTER XCIII


As I stood on the brow of the bank in front of Rinrorie-house, a gentle
breathing of the evening air turned the smoke like the travelling mist
of the hills, and opening it here and there, I had glimpses of the
fighting. Sometimes I saw the Highlanders driving the Covenanters down
the steep, and sometimes I beheld them in their turn on the ground
endeavouring to protect their unbonneted heads with their targets, but
to whom the victory was to be given I could discern no sign; and I said
to myself the prize at hazard is the liberty of the land and the Lord;
surely it shall not be permitted to the champion of bondage to prevail.

A stronger breathing of the gale came rushing along, and the skirts of
the smoke where the baggage stood were blown aside, and I beheld many of
the Highlanders among the wagons plundering and tearing. Then I heard a
great shouting on the right, and looking that way, I saw the children of
the Covenant fleeing in remnants across the lower plain, and making
toward the river. Presently I also saw Mackay with two regiments, all
that kept the order of discipline, also in the plain. He had lost the
battle. Claverhouse had won; and the scattered firing, which was
continued by a few, was to my ears as the riveting of the shackles on
the arms of poor Scotland for ever. My grief was unspeakable.

I ran to and fro on the brow of the hill--and I stampt with my feet--and
I beat my breast--and I rubbed my hands with the frenzy of despair--and
I threw myself on the ground--and all the sufferings of which I have
written returned upon me--and I started up and I cried aloud the
blasphemy of the fool, "There is no God."

But scarcely had the dreadful words escaped my profane lips, when I
heard, as it were, thunders in the heavens, and the voice of an oracle
crying in the ears of my soul, "The victory of this day is given into
thy hands!" and strange wonder and awe fell upon me, and a mighty spirit
entered into mine, and I felt as if I was in that moment clothed with
the armour of divine might.

I took up my carabine, which in these transports had fallen from my
hand, and I went round the gable of the house into the garden--and I saw
Claverhouse with several of his officers coming along the ground by
which our hosts had marched to their position--and ever and anon turning
round and exhorting his men to follow him. It was evident he was making
for the Pass to intercept our scattered fugitives from escaping that
way.

The garden in which I then stood was surrounded by a low wall. A small
goose-pool lay on the outside, between which and the garden I perceived
that Claverhouse would pass.

I prepared my flint and examined my fire-lock, and I walked towards the
top of the garden with a firm step. The ground was buoyant to my tread,
and the vigour of youth was renewed in my aged limbs: I thought that
those for whom I had so mourned walked before me--that they smiled and
beckoned me to come on, and that a glorious light shone around me.

Claverhouse was coming forward--several officers were near him, but his
men were still a little behind, and seemed inclined to go down the hill,
and he chided at their reluctance. I rested my carabine on the
garden-wall. I bent my knee and knelt upon the ground. I aimed and
fired,--but when the smoke cleared away I beheld the oppressor still
proudly on his war-horse.

I loaded again, again I knelt, and again rested my carabine upon the
wall, and fired a second time, and was again disappointed.

Then I remembered that I had not implored the help of Heaven, and I
prepared for the third time, and when all was ready, and Claverhouse was
coming forward, I took off my bonnet, and kneeling with the gun in my
hand, cried, "Lord, remember David and all his afflictions;" and having
so prayed, I took aim as I knelt, and Claverhouse raising his arm in
command, I fired. In the same moment I looked up, and there was a vision
in the air as if all the angels of brightness, and the martyrs in their
vestments of glory, were assembled on the walls and battlements of
Heaven to witness the event,--and I started up and cried, "I have
delivered my native land!" But in the same instant I remembered to whom
the glory was due, and falling again on my knees, I raised my hands and
bowed my head as I said, "Not mine, O Lord, but thine is the victory!"

When the smoke rolled away I beheld Claverhouse in the arms of his
officers, sinking from his horse, and the blood flowing from a wound
between the breast-plate and the armpit. The same night he was summoned
to the audit of his crimes.

It was not observed by the officers from what quarter the summoning bolt
of justice came, but thinking it was from the house, every window was
instantly attacked, while I deliberately retired from the spot,--and,
till the protection of the darkness enabled me to make my escape across
the Gary, and over the hills in the direction I saw Mackay and the
remnants of the flock taking, I concealed myself among the bushes and
rocks that overhung the violent stream of the Girnaig.

Thus was my avenging vow fulfilled,--and thus was my native land
delivered from bondage. For a time yet there may be rumours and
bloodshed, but they will prove as the wreck which the waves roll to the
shore after a tempest. The fortunes of the papistical Stuarts are
foundered for ever. Never again in this land shall any king, of his own
caprice and prerogative, dare to violate the conscience of the people.

QUHARIST, _5th November 1696._



GLOSSARY


   _Airt_, direction, point of the compass.

   _almous_, alms.

   _atwish_, betwixt.

   _aught_, possession.

   _aumrie_, store-cupboard.


   _Bakie_, a large square wooden vessel.

   _beek_, _v._ bathe; here, bask.

   _bein_, well-to-do, comfortable.

   _ben_, within.

   _benweed_, ragwort.

   _bield_, shelter.

   _big_, _v._ build.

   _bilf_, a blunt stroke (Jamieson).

   _bir_, impetuosity.

   _blate_, bashful.

   _blether_, _v._ talk foolishly.

   _blithemeat gift_, gift made to those present at a child's birth.

   _bout-gait_, roundabout.

   _bow_, arch, gateway.

   _boyne_, tub.

   _braird_, the first sprouting of grain.

   _brattle_, _v._ clatter.

   _brechan_, bracken.

   _buirdly_, burly.

   _bunker_, bench.

   _busk_, adorn.

   _but_, _but the house_, toward the outer apartment of a house.

   _by ordinare_, out of the common.


   _Ca'_, _v._ drive.

   _callan_, _callant_, boy.

   _camstrarie_, unmanageable, perverse.

   _cantrip_, magical device.

   _canty_, lively.

   _cap_, a wooden bowl.

   _carl_, fellow (_fem._) _carlin_.

   _carry_, motion of the clouds.

   _carse_, low-lying fertile land, generally adjacent to a river.

   _causey_, street or paved road;
     _crown of the causey_, middle of the street.

   _change-house_, a small inn or ale-house.

   _chap_, _v._ strike.

   _chappin_, a quart measure.

   _chimla_, _chumla_, chimney;
     _chimla-lug_, fireside.

   _churme_, murmur.

   _clachan_, hamlet.

   _clamper_, to make a noise with the feet in walking.

   _claught_, snatched (_pret._ of _v._ _clatch_).

   _clishmaclavers_, idle discourse.

   _clok_, beetle.

   _clout_, ragged cloth.

   _Cluty_, _fam._ the "Old One."

   _cod_, pillow, cushion.

   _couthiness_, kindness.

   _cowan-boat_, a fishing-boat.

   _cranreuch_, hoar-frost.

   _creel_, basket.

   _crouse_, confident, _crack crouse_, to "talk big."

   _cruisie_, _crusie_, a small iron lamp.

   _cuif_ simpleton.

   _cushy-doo_, cushat, dove.


   _Dark_, _darg_, task.

   _dauner_, _daunder_, stroll.

   _dauty_, pet.

   _dinle_, thrill.

   _dirl_, _v._ clatter, thrill.

   _doless_, void of energy.

   _dominie_, schoolmaster.

   _donsie_, unfortunate.

   _door-cheek_, door-post.

   _doure_, hard, harsh.

   _dow_, _v._ can compass.

   _dowie_, dull.

   _dreich_, tedious.

   _drumly_, turbid, troubled.

   _duds_, rags.

   _dunt_, to knock out by repeated blows.

   _dwam_, seizure (sickness).

   _dyke_, boundary wall.


   _Ellwand_, yard-measure.

   _erles_, _arles_, an earnest.

   _ettle_, _v._ aim.

   _excambio_, exchange ratified by law.

   _eydent_, zealous, industrious.


   _Fash_, _v._ vex.

   _fek_, "_o' ony fek_," of any effect.

   _fey_, infatuated.

   _fisle_, _v._ rustle.

   _flesher_, butcher.

   _flit_, _v._ word in general use in Scotland for changing residence.

   _flyte_, _v._ scold.

   _foregather_, _v._ get into company together.

   _fornent_, in front of.

   _fyke_, bustle.


   _Gait_, _gate_, way.

   _gar_, compel.

   _gardevine_, cellaret.

   _garnel_, granary.

   _gaud_, a bar of metal.

   _gauntrees_, _gantrees_, a stand for a barrel.

   _gawsie_, _gaucy_, jolly.

   _geizen't_, drought-cracked.

   _gett_, contemptuous term for progeny.

   _gif_, if.

   _gir_, _gird_, hoop.

   _girn_, a snare.

   _glaikit_, foolish.

   _glebe_, land held _ex officio_ by a parish minister.

   _gled_, hawk.

   _gleg_, eager.

   _glower_, _v._ glare.

   _gludder_, the sound caused by a body falling among mire (Jamieson).

   _gowk_, fool, _lit._ cuckoo.

   _greet_, weep.

   _grew_, _v._ shudder.

   _grouff_, belly.

   _gude-mother_, mother-in-law.

   _gurl_, _n._ growl.

   _gurly_, surly.


   _Hack_, a rack for horses or cattle.

   _haffet_, side-lock.

   _Hallowe'en_, the eve of All Saints' Day.

   _hap_, wrap.

   _harl_, _v._ drag.

   _hass_, throat.

   _havers_, foolish or incoherent talk.

   _hempy_, rogue.

   _herry_, harry.

   _hirkos_ (_Lat._ hircus), a he-goat.

   _hirple_, limp.

   _hirstle_, to shove oneself along by the hands in a seated posture.

   _hobbleshow_, a difficulty.

   _Hogmanæ_, the last day of the year.

   _holm_, _howm_, low-lying level ground on the banks of a river.

   _hooly_, cautiously.

   _horse-setter_, job-master.

   _howdy_, midwife.

   _howf_, _n._ haunt.

   _howk_, dig, burrow.

   _hyte and fykie_, anxious and irritable.


   _Jawp_, _v._ dash and rebound as water (Jamieson).

   _jealouse_, suspect.

   _jelly-flowers_, gilliflowers.

   _jimp_, scarcely.

   _jink_, chink (_corruption_).

   _jo_, sweetheart.

   _jow_, _v._ toll.


   _Kail_, cabbage; soup made with the same.

   _kell_, scurf on a child's head (Jamieson).

   _kep_, catch.

   _kist_, chest.

   _kithe_, show, appear.


   _Laigh_, low.

   _lair_, lore.

   _lanerly_, _alanerly_, alone, lonely.

   _laverock_, lark.

   _lawing_, reckoning.

   _lift_, firmament.

   _limmer_, "baggage" (term of depreciation).

   _linn_, waterfall.

   _lippy_, a bumper.

   _litherly_, lazily.

   _lone_, _loaning_, lane.

   _loun_, serene.

   _lounder_, swinging stroke (Jamieson).

   _low_, _n._ flame.

   _lum_, chimney.

   _lug_, ear.

   _luggie_, a small wooden vessel made of staves.


   _Mailing_, farm.

   _manse_, residence of a minister of the Gospel.

   _midden_, refuse-heap.

   _morphosings_, metamorphoses.

   _moss_, a place where peat may be dug (Jamieson).

   _mutchkin_, a measure equal to a pint.


   _Napery_, household linen.

   _neb_, beak of a bird.

   _nieve_, fist.

   _notour_, notorious.


   _O'ercome_, burden of a song or discourse.

   _outstropolous_, obstreperous.

   _oxter_, arm-pit, also arm.


   _Pawkie_, sly; _pawkrie_, slyness.

   _peeseweep_, lapwing.

   _pen-gun_, pop-gun;
     _a pen-gun at a crack_, a "wunner to talk."

   _pet-day_, term applied to a fair day when the weather is generally
foul.

   _pig_, earthenware vessel.

   _plack_, small copper coin.

   _play-marrow_, playmate.

   _prin_, pin.

   _puddock_, toad;
     _puddock-stool bonnet_, toadstool or Tam o' Shanter cap.


   _Rackses_, andirons.

   _raised_, delirious.

   _ree_, half-drunk.

   _reek_, smoke.

   _redde_, rede, counsel.

   _rig_, ridge (of ploughed land).

   _rones_, external waterducts of a building.

   _rug_, _v._ pull roughly.

   _runkle_, crumple.


   _Scad_, gleam, reflection.

   _schore_, a man of high rank.

   _scog_, _v._ hide.

   _scomfisht_, discomfited.

   _scowther_, scorch.

   _scrog_, a stunted shrub.

   _shavling-gabbit_, shavling mouthed, a shavling being a carpenter's tool
of the plane order. Having a mouth which emits sounds like those made in
planing.

   _sicker_, certain.

   _siver_, sewer.

   _skail_, _skayl_, disperse.

   _skelf_, shelf.

   _skirr_, scour.

   _sklinter_, _v._ splinter.

   _skreigh_, cry.

   _sleekit_, deceitful.

   _slocken_, slake.

   _smeddam_, spirit.

   _sneck_, bolt.

   _snell_, keen.

   _snod_, trim.

   _snool_, subjugate by tyrannical means.

   _sole_, sill.

   _sorn_, to "sponge" upon;
     used by Galt for to loiter.

   _sosherie_, social intercourse.

   _sough_, murmur.

   _spae_, _v._ forecast.

   _spean_, _v._ wean.

   _speat_, flood.

   _speer_, _speir_, inquire.

   _spunk_, spark.

   _staincher_, stanchion.

   _stang_, a pole;
     to "ride the stang" was to be subjected to a form of mob justice by
which the patient was borne shoulder-high astride a pole.

   _steek_, stitch, fasten.

   _stock_ (bed-stock), the fore-part of a bed.

   _stoure_, dust in motion.

   _straemash_, disturbance.

   _stravaig_, _v._ stroll.

   _swanky_, strapping young countryman (Brockett).

   _swatch_, sample.

   _swee_, a chimney crane for suspending a pot over the fire (Jamieson).

   _swither_, _v._ to be reluctant, hesitate;
     _n_. reluctance, hesitation, indecision.

   _syne_, then.


   _Tack_, lease.

   _taigle_, hinder, delay.

   _tawnle_, bonfire.

   _temming_, a coarse thin woollen cloth.

   _tent_, heed.

   _thacket_, thatched.

   _thole_, endure.

   _throng_, _adj._ busy.

   _thumbikins_, thumbscrews.

   _tirl at the pin_, old-fashioned mode of intimating desire of admission
to a house.

   _tod_, _tod lowrie_, fox.

   _tolbooth_, a municipal building including a jail.

   _toom_, empty.

   _toop_, a ram.

   _toupie_ (French), toupet.

   _trance_, paved passage.

   _trintle_, _v._ roll.

   _trone_, a public weighing-machine standing in a market-place.


   _Unco_, _adj._ extraordinary, remarkable;
     _n._ remarkable object.


   _Virl_, ring (as those which bind a fishing-rod);
     frill.

   _vivers_, provisions.

   _vogie_, vain, complacent.


   _Wae_, grieved.

   _waff_, feeble, worn out.

   _warrandice_, warrant.

   _warsle_, wrestle.

   _wastage_, a place of desolation (J.).

   _wastrie_, waste.

   _waught_, a large draught.

   _wean_, child.

   _whin_, furze.

   _Whigamore_, sometimes derived from "whig," a word used in the West for
urging on horses, and hence applied as a nickname to a political party.
The expedition of the Covenanters under Eglinton to Edinburgh was known
as the Whigamore Raid.

   _whumple_, overturn, reverse.

   _willease_, valise.

   _willy-wa_, palaver, wheedle.

   _wise, v._ entice, incline.

   _wud_, wild.

   _wuddy_, "gallows-looking";
     widdy is the gallows.

   _wyte_, blame.


   _Yett_, gate.

   _yird_, _n._ earth;
     _v. a._ run to earth.



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     Authors. Each volume is written by a competent authority, and each
     subject is treated in an appreciative, yet critical, manner. The
     following are the first volumes in the Series:--

     =_Rudyard Kipling_=. The Man and His Work. Being an attempt at an
     "Appreciation." By G. F. MONKSHOOD, Author of "Woman and The Wits,"
     "My Lady Ruby," etc. Containing a portrait of Mr Kipling and an
     autograph letter to the author in facsimile. Second Impression.
     Crown 8vo, buckram, gilt lettered, top edge gilt, 5s. nett.

=Daily Telegraph=.--"He writes fluently, and he has genuine enthusiasm for
his subject, and an intimate acquaintance with his work. Moreover, the
book has been submitted to Mr Kipling, whose characteristic letter to
the author is set forth on the preface.... Of Kipling's heroes Mr
Monkshood has a thorough understanding, and his remarks on them are
worth quoting" (extract follows).

=Globe=--"It has at the basis of it both knowledge and
enthusiasm--knowledge of the works estimated and enthusiasm for them.
This book may be accepted as a generous exposition of Mr Kipling's
merits as a writer. We can well believe that it will have many
interested and approving readers."

=Scotsman=.--"This well-informed volume is plainly sincere. It is
thoroughly well studied, and takes pains to answer all the questions
that are usually put about Mr Kipling. The writer's enthusiasm carries
both himself and his reader along in the most agreeable style. One way
and another his book is full of interest, and those who wish to talk
about Kipling will find it invaluable, while the thousands of his
admirers will read it through with delighted enthusiasm."


VOLUMES OF E.W.O.T. (In preparation.)

=_Thomas Hardy_=. By W. L. COURTNEY.

=_George Meredith_=. By WALTER JERROLD.

=_Bret Harte_=. By T. EDGAR PEMBERTON.

=_Richard Le Gallienne_=. By C. RANGER GULL.

=_Arthur Wing Pinero_=. By HAMILTON FYFFE.

=_W. E. Henley_=, and the "NATIONAL OBSERVER" Group. By GEORGE GAMBLE.

=_The Parnassian School in English_= POETRY. (ANDREW LANG, EDMUND GOSSE
and ROBERT BRIDGES.) By Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS.

=_Algernon Charles Swinburne_=. By G. F. MONKSHOOD.

=_Realistic Writers of To-day_=. By JUSTIN HANNAFORD.

       *       *       *       *       *

     =_The Wheel of Life_=. A Few Memories and Recollections (de omnibus
     rebus). By CLEMENT SCOTT, Author of "Madonna Mia," "Poppyland,"
     etc. With Portrait of the Author from the celebrated Painting by J.
     MORDECAI. Third Edition. Crown 8vo, crimson buckram, gilt lettered,
     gilt top, 2s.

=Weekly Sun= (T. P. O'Connor) says:--A Book of the Week--"I have found
this slight and unpretentious little volume bright, interesting reading.
I have read nearly every line with pleasure."

=Illustrated London News=.--"The story Mr Scott has to tell is full of
varied interest, and is presented with warmth and buoyancy."

=Punch=.--"What pleasant memories does not Clement Scott's little book,
'The Wheel of Life,'revive! The writer's memory is good, his style easy,
and above all, which is a great thing for reminiscences, chatty."

=Referee=.--GEORGE R. SIMS (Dagonet) says:--"Deeply interesting are these
last memories and recollections of the last days of Bohemia.... I picked
up 'The Wheel of Life' at one in the morning, after a hard night's work,
and flung myself, weary and worn, into an easy-chair, to glance at it
while I smoked my last pipe. As I read, all my weariness departed, for I
was young and light-hearted once again, and the friends of my young
manhood had come trooping back from the shadows to make a merry night of
it once more in London town. And when I put the book down, having read
it from cover to cover, it was 'past three o'clock and a windy
morning.'"

     =_A Trip to Paradoxia_=, and other Humours of the Hour. Being
     Contemporary Pictures of Social Fact and Political Fiction. By T.
     H. S. ESCOTT, Author of "Personal Forces of the Period," "Social
     Transformation of the Victorian Age," "Platform, Press, Politics,
     and Play," Etc. Crown 8vo, art cloth. Gilt, 5s. nett.

=Standard.=--"A book which is amusing from cover to cover. Bright epigrams
abound in Mr Escott's satirical pictures of the modern world.... Those
who know the inner aspects of politics and society will, undoubtedly, be
the first to recognise the skill and adroitness with which he strikes at
the weak places in a world of intrigue and fashion.... There is a great
deal of very clever sword-play in Mr Escott's description of Dum-Dum
(London), the capital of Paradoxia (England).

=Court Circular.=--"It is brilliantly written, and will afford keen
enjoyment to the discriminating taste. Its satire is keen-edged, but
good-humoured enough to hurt no one; and its wit and (may we say?) its
impudence should cause a run on it at the libraries."

=M. A. P.=--"A sparkling piece of political and social satire. Mr Escott
besprinkles his pages with biting epigram and humorous innuendo. It is a
most amusing book."

=Athenæum.=--"He constantly suggests real episodes and real persons. There
are a good many rather pretty epigrams scattered through Mr Escott's
pages."

=Scotsman.=--"A bright, witty, and amusing volume, which will entertain
everybody who takes it up."

=Newcastle Leader.=--"Messrs Greening are fortunate in being the
publishers of a volume so humorous, so dexterous, written with such
knowledge of men and affairs, and with such solidity and power of style
as Mr T. H. S. Escott's 'A Trip to Paradoxia.'"

=Public Opinion.=--"Mr T. H. S. Escott throws abundant humour blended with
pungent sarcasm into his work, making his pictures very agreeable
reading to all but the victim he has selected, and whose weaknesses he
so skilfully lays bare. But the very clever manner in which the writer
hits the foibles and follies of his fellows must create admiration and
respect even from those who view his satire with a wintry smile. We like
his writing, his power of discernment, and his high literary style."

     =_People, Plays, and Places._= Being the Second Series of "The Wheel
     of Life," Memories and Recollections of "People" I have met,
     "Plays" I have seen, and "Places" I have visited. By CLEMENT SCOTT,
     Author of "The Stage of Yesterday and The Stage of To-day,"
     "Pictures of the World," "Thirty Years at the Play." Crown 8vo,
     cloth gilt. (In preparation.) 5s.

     =_"Sisters by the Sea."_= Seaside and Country Sketches. By CLEMENT
     SCOTT, Author of "Blossom Land," "Amongst the Apple Orchards," Etc.
     Frontispiece and Vignette designed by GEORGE POWNALL. Long 12mo,
     attractively bound in cloth, 1s.

=Observer.=--"The little book is bright and readable, and will come like a
breath of country air to many unfortunates who are tied by the leg to
chair, stool, or counter."

=Sheffield Telegraph.=--"Bright, breezy, and altogether readable.... East
Anglia, Nelson's Land, etc., etc., are all dealt with, and touched
lightly and daintily, as becomes a booklet meant to be slipped in the
pocket and read easily to the pleasing accompaniment of the waves lazily
lapping on the shingle by the shore."

=Dundee Advertiser.=--"It is all delightful, and almost as good as a
holiday. The city clerk, the jaded shopman, the weary milliner, the
pessimistic dyspeptic, should each read the book. It will bring a
suggestion of sea breezes, the plash of waves, and all the accessories
of a holiday by the sea."

     =_Some Famous Hamlets._= (SARAH BERNHARDT, HENRY IRVING, BEERBOHM
     TREE, WILSON BARRETT and FORBES ROBERTSON.) By CLEMENT SCOTT.
     Illustrated with portraits. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

     =_Some Bible Stories Retold._= By "A CHURCHMAN." Crown 8vo, cloth,
     3s. 6d.

     =_Bye-Ways of Crime._= With some Stories from the Black Museum. By R.
     J. POWER-BERREY. Profusely Illustrated. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

=Outlook.=--"Decidedly you should read Mr Power-Berrey's interesting book,
taking laugh and shudder as they come."

=Sheffield Independent.=--"We do not remember to have ever seen a more
popularly-written summary of the methods of thieves than this bright and
chatty volume. It is the work of a writer who evidently has a most
intimate knowledge of the criminal classes, and who can carry on a plain
narrative briskly and forcibly. The book fascinates by its freshness and
unusualness."

=Literature.=--"It contains many interesting stories and new observations
on the _modus operandi_ of swindlers."

=Scotsman.=--"A most interesting account of the dodges adopted by various
criminals in effecting their purposes. The reader will find much that is
instructive within its pages."

=Liverpool Review.=--"This is no fanciful production, but a clear,
dispassionate revelation of the dodges of the professional criminal.
Illustrated by numerous pen and ink sketches, Mr Power-Berrey's
excellent work is useful as well as interesting, for it will certainly
not assist the common pilferer to have all his little tricks made public
property in this lucid and easily rememberable style."

     =_The Art of Elocution_= and Public Speaking. By ROSS FERGUSON. With
     an Introduction by GEO. ALEXANDER. Dedicated by permission to Miss
     ELLEN TERRY. Second Edition. Crown 8vo, strongly bound in cloth,
     1s.

=Australian Mail.=--"A useful little book. We can strongly recommend it to
the chairmen of public companies."

=Stage.=--"A carefully composed treatise, obviously written by one as
having authority. Students will find it of great service."

=People's Friend.=--"Contains many valuable hints, and deals with every
branch of the elocutionist's art in a lucid and intelligible manner."

=Literary World.=--"The essentials of elocution are dealt with in a
thoroughly capable and practical way. The chapter on public speaking is
particularly satisfactory."

=Madame.=--"The work is pleasingly thorough. The instructions are most
interesting, and are lucidly expressed, physiological details are
carefully, yet not redundantly, dwelt on, so that the intending student
may have some very real and definite idea of what he is learning about,
and many valuable hints may be gleaned from the chapters on
'Articulation and Modulation.' Not only for actors and orators will this
little book be found of great service, but everyone may find pleasure
and profit in reading it."

     =_The Path of the Soul._= Being Essays on Continental Art and
     Literature. By S. C. de SOISSONS, Author of "A Parisian in
     America," etc. Illustrated with portraits, etc. Crown 8vo, cloth
     gilt, 10s. 6d.

     =_A History of Nursery Rhymes._= By PERCY B. GREEN. This interesting
     Book is the result of many years research among nursery folklore of
     all nations, and traces the origin of nursery rhymes from the
     earliest times. Crown 8vo, cloth, 4s.

     =_The Year Book of the Stage._= Being an annual record of criticisms
     of all the important productions of the English Stage, with copious
     Index and complete Caste of each Play recorded. A useful
     compilation for students of the Drama. About 260 pages, strongly
     bound in cloth, 3s. 6d.

     =_In Quaint East Anglia._= Descriptive Sketches. By T. WEST CARNIE.
     Illustrated by W. S. ROGERS. Long 12mo, cloth, 1s.

=Observer.=--"That East Anglia exercises a very potent spell over those
who once come under its influence is proved by the case of George
Borrow, and all who share in the fascination will delight in this
brightly written, companionable little volume."

=Birmingham Argus.=--"Interesting matter entertainingly told."

=Glasgow Herald.=--"Mr Carnie's book is thoroughly charming."

=Literature.=--"An aesthetic volume as pleasant to read as to look at."

=Guardian.=--"Just the kind of book that would help a tourist in Norfolk
and Suffolk to see what ought to be seen with the proper measure of
enjoyment."

=Graphic.=--"It is a prettily got up and readable little book."

=Saturday Review.=--"Will be welcomed by all who have come under the charm
of East Anglia."

     =_A Man Adrift._= Being Leaves from a Nomad's Portfolio. By BART
     KENNEDY, Author of "Darab's Wine-Cup," "The Wandering Romanoff,"
     etc. This very entertaining book is a narrative of adventures in
     all parts of the world. Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_Woman and the Wits._= Epigrams on Woman, Love, and Beauty.
     Collected and edited by G. F. MONKSHOOD, Author of "Rudyard
     Kipling: The Man and His Work," "Lady Ruby," etc. Small 8vo, cloth
     gilt extra, gilt edges, 3s. 6d. nett. Paper boards, rough edges,
     2s. 6d. nett.

     =_Weeds and Flowers._= Poems by WILLIAM LUTHER LONGSTAFF, Author of
     "Passion and Reflection." Crown 8vo, art cloth, gilt extra, gilt
     top, 2s. 6d. nett.

=Sun.=--"Mr Longstaff has real fire and passion in all of his work. He has
a graceful touch and a tuneful ear. There is exquisite melody in his
metre."

=Echo.=--"The poetry of passion is no rarity to-day, yet scarcely since
the date of Philip Bourke Marston's 'Song Tide' has such an arresting
and whole-hearted example of this class of poetry been issued by any
English author as the volume which Mr William Luther Longstaff entitles
'Weeds and Flowers.' Passion, tumultuous and unabashed, sensuous rapture
openly flaunting its shame, love in maddest surrender risking all,
daring all, these are the dominant motives of Mr Longstaff's muse. So
wild is the rush of his emotion--all storm and fire and blood--to such
white heat does he forge his burning phrases, so subtly varied are the
constantly recurring expressions of love's ecstasy, its despair, its
bereavement, its appetite, its scorn, so happy sometimes are the
unexpected metrical changes and experiments herein adopted, that the
younger poet might suggest discreet comparisons with the earlier
Swinburne."

=Morning Herald.=--"The book contains _real_ poetry. There is always
thought and force in the work. 'At the Gate' is not merely Swinburnian
in metre; in all things it might well have come from that poet's pen."

       *       *       *       *       *


Greening's Masterpiece Library

     =_Vathek._= An Eastern Romance. By GEO. BECKFORD. Edited with an
     Introduction by JUSTIN HANNAFORD. Full-page illustrations by W. S.
     ROGERS. Crown 8vo, art cloth, gilt, 3s 6d. A superb edition of this
     most interesting and fascinating story.

     =_Asmodeus_=; or, The Devil on Two Sticks. An Illustrated Edition of
     the Celebrated Novel by LE SAGE, Author of "Gil Blas." Edited by
     JUSTIN HANNAFORD. Crown 8vo, 5s.

     =_Ringan Gilhaize._= A Tale of the Covenanters. By JOHN GALT. Edited
     with an Introduction by Sir GEORGE DOUGLAS. Crown 8vo, 5s.

     =_Rasselas_=, Prince of Abyssinia. A Tale of Adventure. By Dr
     JOHNSON. Edited with an Introduction by JUSTIN HANNAFORD. Full-page
     illustrations by W. S. ROGERS. Crown 8vo, 5s.

     =_The Epicurean._= A Tale of Mystery and Adventure. By THOMAS MOORE.
     Edited with an Introduction by JUSTIN HANNAFORD. Illustrated. 8vo,
     art cloth, 3s. 6d.

     _Several well known and popular works by great writers are in
     active preparation for this artistic series of masterpieces._


POPULAR FICTION

NOVELS AT SIX SHILLINGS

     =_An Obscure Apostle._= A Powerful and Dramatic Tale, translated from
     the Polish of Mdme. ORZESZKO by S. C. de SOISSONS. Crown 8vo,
     cloth, 6s.

     =_A Son of Africa._= A Tale of Marvellous Adventures. By ANNA,
     COMTESSE DE BRÉMONT, Author of "The Gentleman Digger," etc. Crown
     8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_Mora_=: One Woman's History. An interesting novel by T. W. SPEIGHT,
     Author of "The Crime in the Wood," "The Mysteries of Heron Dyke,"
     etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_A Girl of the North._= A Tale of London and Canada. By HELEN
     MILICITE. Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_Ashes Tell no Tales._= A Novel. By Mrs ALBERT S. BRADSHAW, Author
     of "The Gates of Temptation," "False Gods," "Wife or Slave," etc.
     Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_Such is the Law._= An Interesting Story by MARIE M. SADLEIR, Author
     of "An Uncanny Girl," "In Lightest London," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth,
     6s.

     =_Fetters of Fire._= A Dramatic Tale. By COMPTON READE, Author of
     "Hard Lines," "Under which King," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_A Virtue of Necessity._= A Powerful Novel. By HERBERT ADAMS. Crown
     8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_A Cry in the Night._= An exciting Detective Story. By ARNOLD
     GOLSWORTHY, Author of "Death and the Woman," "Hands in the
     Darkness," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

     =_A Social Upheaval._= An Unconventional Dramatic Satirical Tale. By
     ISIDORE G. ASCHER, Author of "An Odd Man's Story," "The Doom of
     Destiny," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth gilt, 6s.

=Scotsman.=--"The plot is bold, even to audacity; its development is
always interesting, picturesque, and, towards the close, deeply
pathetic; and the purpose and method of the writer are alike admirable."

=Eastern Morning News.=--"It is a clever book, splendidly written, and
striking in its wonderful power, and keeping the reader interested....
The author has not failed in his effort to prove the case. The awful
truth of its pages is borne home upon us as we read chapter after
chapter. The book should have a good effect in certain quarters. One of
the best features is the dividing line drawn most plainly between
Socialism and Anarchism. To its author we tender our thanks, and predict
a large sale."

=Daily Telegraph.=--"The hero is an interesting dreamer, absorbed in his
schemes, which are his one weakness. To women, save when they can
further the good of his cause, he is obdurate; in business, strong,
energetic, and powerful. He is shown to us as the man with a master mind
and one absorbing delusion, and as such is a pathetic figure. No one can
dispute the prodigality and liveliness of the author's imagination; his
plot teems with striking incidents."

=Vanity Fair.=--"The story tells itself very clearly in three hundred
pages of very pleasant and entertaining reading. The men and women we
meet are not the men and women we really come across in this world. So
much the better for us. But we are delighted to read about them, for all
that; and we prophesy success for Mr Ascher's book, particularly as he
has taken the precaution of telling us that he is 'only in fun.'"

=Aberdeen Free Press.=--"A story in which there is not a dull page, nay,
not even a dull line. The characters are well drawn, the incidents are
novel and often astounding, and the language has a terseness and
briskness that gives a character of vivacity to the story, so that the
reader is never tired going on unravelling the tangled meshes of the
intricate plot until he comes to the end. 'A Social Upheaval' is,
indeed, a rattling good book."

     =_A New Tale of the Terror._= A Powerful and Dramatic Story of the
     French Revolution. By the Author of "The Hypocrite" and "Miss
     Malevolent." (In preparation.) Crown 8vo, cloth, 6s.

       *       *       *       *       *


POPULAR FICTION

NOVELS AT THREE SHILLINGS AND SIXPENCE

     =_Shams!_= A Social Satire. By----? This is a remarkable and
     interesting story of Modern Life in London Society. It is a
     powerful work, written with striking vividness. The plot is
     fascinating, the incidents exciting, and the dialogue epigrammatic
     and brilliant. "Shams" is written by one of the most popular
     novelists of the day. Crown 8vo, art cloth, gilt, 3s. 6d.

     =_Miss Malevolent._= A Realistic Study. By the Author of "The
     Hypocrite." Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d.

     =_A Comedy of Temptation_;= or, The Amateur Fiend. A Tale by TRISTRAM
     COUTTS, Author of "The Pottle Papers," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s.
     6d.

     =_The Weird Well._= A Tale of To-day. By Mrs ALEC M'MILLAN, Author of
     "The Evolution of Daphne," "So Runs my Dream," etc. Crown 8vo,
     cloth, 3s, 6d.

     =_Zoroastro._= An Historical Romance. By CRESWICK J. THOMPSON, Author
     of "Poison Romance and Poison Mysteries," "The Mystery and Romance
     of Alchemy and Pharmacy," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d.

     =_The Temptation of Edith Watson._= By SYDNEY HALL. Crown 8vo, cloth,
     3s. 6d.

     =_The Gentleman Digger._= Realistic Pictures of Life in Johannesburg.
     By ANNA, COMTESSE de BRÉMONT, Author of "A Son of Africa," etc. New
     Edition, revised to date, with a new Preface. Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s.
     6d.

     _The Sword of Fate._ An Interesting Novel. By HENRY HERMAN, Author
     of "Eagle Joe," "Scarlet Fortune," etc., and Joint Author of the
     "Silver King," "Claudian." Crown 8vo, art cloth, 3s. 6d.

=Vanity Fair.=--"The hand that wrote the 'Silver King' has by no means
lost its cunning in painting broad effects of light and shadow. The
description of life in Broadmoor is, we fancy, done from actual
observation. It is quite new." And the critic of =Black and White= sums it
up pithily as "a story which holds our attention and interests us right
from the first chapter. The book is as exciting as even a story of
sensation has any need to be." Speaking of the scene of Mr Herman's
drama, the beautiful county of Devonshire, where the greater part of the
story takes place, the =Manchester Courier= says: "The author's
descriptive powers vividly portray the lovely spots by the winding
Tamar, while the rich dialect of the district is so faithfully
reproduced as to become not the least feature of an exciting tale."

=The Weekly Mercury.=--"Mr Henry Herman has carefully studied the little
weaknesses of the great army of readers. Like a celebrated and much
advertised medicine, he invariably 'touches the spot,' and hence the
popularity of his works. His latest novel, 'The Sword of Fate,' contains
all the essentials of a popular story. It is well written, sufficiently
dramatic, full of life and incident, and above all, right triumphs over
wrong. We must, too, congratulate the author upon the omission of all
that is disagreeable or likely to offend the susceptibilities of the
most delicate minded. It is a clean and healthy novel, a credit to the
writer, and a pleasure to the reader.... These are quite capable of
affording anyone a pleasant evening's reading, a remark which does not
apply to the great majority of the modern novels."

     =_Seven Nights with Satan._= A Novel. By J. L. OWEN, Author of "The
     Great Jekyll Diamond." Cover designed by W. S. ROGERS. Crown 8vo,
     cloth, 3s. 6d.

=St James's Gazette.=--"We have read the book from start to finish with
unflagging interest--an interest, by the way, which derives nothing from
the 'spice,' for though its title may be suggestive of Zolaism, there is
not a single passage which is open to objection. The literary style is
good."

=Truth.=--"I much prefer the ghastly story 'Seven Nights with Satan,' a
very clever study of degeneration."

=London Morning.=--"The story told is a powerful one, evidently based upon
close personal knowledge of the events, places, and persons which figure
in it. A tragic note pervades it, but still there is lightness and wit
in its manner which makes the book a very fascinating as well as
eventful volume."

=Public Opinion.=--"Mr J. L. Owen has given a title to his work which will
cause many conjectures as to the nature of the story. Now, if we
divulged what were the seven nights, we should be doing the author
anything but a service--in fact, we should be giving the whole thing
away; therefore, we will only state that the work is cleverly conceived,
and carried out with great literary ability. There are numerous flashes
of originality that lift the author above ordinary commonplace."

     =_The Green Passion._= The Study of a Jealous Soul. A Powerful Novel.
     By ANTHONY P. VERT. Cover designed by ALFRED PRAGA. Crown 8vo, art
     cloth, 3s. 6d.

Mr DOUGLAS SLADEN in =The Queen=.--"A remarkably clever book.... There is
no disputing the ability with which the writer handles her subject. I
say _her_ subject, because the minuteness of the touches, and the odd,
forcible style in which this book is written, point to it being the work
of a female hand. The book is an eminently readable one, and it is never
dull for a minute."

=Daily Telegraph.=--"It is a study of one of the worst passions which can
ruin a lifetime and mar all human happiness--one of the worst, not
because it is necessarily the strongest, but because of its singular
effect in altering the complexion of things, transforming love into
suspicion, and filling its victim with a petulant and unreasonable
madness. All this Anthony Vert understands, and can describe with very
uncommon power. The soul of a jealous woman is analysed with artistic
completeness, and proved to be the petty, intolerant, half-insane thing
it really is.... The plot is well conceived, and well carried out.
Anthony Vert may be congratulated on having written a very clever
novel."

=The Monitor.=--"A wonderful piece of writing. The only modern parallel we
can find is supplied in Mr F. C. Philip's 'As in a Looking Glass.'"

=World.=--"As the study of a jealous soul, 'The Green Passion' is a
success, and psychological students will be delighted with it.... The
tragedy which forms the _dénouement_ to this story is of such a nature
as to preclude our doing more than remotely alluding to it, for he (or
is it she?) has portrayed an 'exceedingly risky situation.'"

=Whitehall Review.=--"In 'The Green Passion' the author traces with much
ability, and not a little analytical insight, the progress of jealousy
in the breast of a woman who is born with a very 'intense,' although not
a very deep, nature.... There is in Mr Vert's work a certain tendency
towards realism which has its due effect in making his characters real.
They are no loosely-built fancies of the journalistic brain, but
portraits--almost snapshot portraits--of men and women of to-day."

     =_Outrageous Fortune._= Being the Confessions of Evelyn Gray,
     Hospital Nurse. A story founded on fact, proving that truth is
     stranger than fiction. (In preparation.) Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d.

     =_The Dolomite Cavern._= An Exciting Tale of Adventure. By W. PATRICK
     KELLY, Author of "Schoolboys Three," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d.

=Daily Telegraph.=--"Lovers of the sensational in fiction will find
abundance of congenial entertainment in Mr W. P. Kelly's new story. In
the way of accessories to startling situations all is fish that comes to
this ingenious author's net. The wonders of primitive nature, the
marvels of latter-day science, the extravagances of human passion--all
these he dexterously uses for the purpose of involving his hero in
perilous scrapes from which he no less dexterously extricates him by
expedients which, however far-fetched they may appear to the
unimaginative, are certainly not lacking in originality of device, or
cleverness of construction.... This is a specimen incident--those which
succeed it derive their special interest from the action of Rontgen
rays, subterranean torrents, and devastating inundations. The book is
very readable throughout, and ends happily. What more can the average
novel reader wish for in holiday time?"

=Observer.=--"A story full of exciting adventure."

=Saturday Review.=--"The plot is ingenious, and the style pleasant."

=Literature.=--"'The Dolomite Cavern' has the great merit of being very
well written. The plot is sensational and improbable enough, but with
the aid of the author's bright literary manner it carries us on
agreeably until the last chapter."

=Critic.=--"It is a sensational novel with a dash of pseudo-scientific
interest about it which is well calculated to attract the public. It is,
moreover, well written and vigorous."

=Manchester Guardian.=--"Mr Kelly's fluent, rapid style makes his story of
mysteries readable and amusing. His Irish servant, one of the principal
characters, speaks a genuine Irish dialect--almost as rare in fiction as
the imitation is common."

=St James's Budget.=--"Truly thrilling and dramatic, Mr Kelly's book is a
cleverly written and absorbing romance. It concludes with a tremendous
scene, in which a life-and-death struggle with a madman in the midst of
a raging flood is the leading feature."

     =_Madonna Mia_=, and other Stories. By CLEMENT SCOTT, Author of
     "Poppyland," "The Wheel of Life," "The Fate of Fenella,"
     "Blossomland," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 3s. 6d.

=Punch.=--"'Madonna Mia' is genuinely interesting. All the stories are
good; you are 'Scott free' to pick 'em where you like." (The Baron de B.
W.)

=Weekly Sun.=--"Shows Mr Scott's sturdy character painting and love of
picturesque adventure."

=Weekly Dispatch.=--"The book is characteristic of the work of its
author--bright, brilliant, informing, and entertaining, and without a
dull sentence in it."

=St James's Gazette.=--"Full of grace and sentiment. The tales have each
their individuality and interest, and we can recommend the whole as
healthy refreshment for the idle or weary brain."

=Pelican.=--"Full of living, breathing, human interest. Few writers
possess the gift of bringing actual existence to their characters as
does Mr Scott, and in the pages of his newest book you shall find tears
and smiles, and all the emotions skilfully arranged and put in true
literary fashion."

=World.=--"Clement Scott is nothing if not sympathetic, and every one of
the ten stories is not only thoroughly readable, but is instinct with
sentiment; for Mr Scott still retains a wonderful enthusiasm, usually
the attribute of youth. 'Drifting' is a very fresh and convincing
narrative, founded, we understand, upon truth, and containing within a
small compass the materials for a very stirring drama. 'A Cross of
Heather,' too, is a charming romance, told with real pathos and
feeling."

     =_The Shadow on The Manse._= A Tale of Religion and the Stage. By
     CAMPBELL RAE-BROWN, Author of "The Resurrection of His Grace,"
     "Kissing-Cup's Race," etc. Crown 8vo, art cloth, gilt, 3s. 6d.

     =_The Lady of the Leopard._= A Powerful and Fascinating Novel. By
     CHAS. L'EPINE, Author of "The Devil in a Domino." Crown 8vo, art
     cloth, 3s. 6d.

=Public Opinion.=--"A remarkable book.... We are plunged into a delicious
and tantalising romance; incident follows incident like a panorama of
exciting pictures. Fertility of imagination is everywhere apparent, and
the _dénouement_ is artfully concealed till it bursts upon the reader
with a suddenness that fairly takes away his breath."

=Liverpool Mercury.=--"Lovers of the marvellous will enjoy it, for it is
cleverly and dramatically written."

=Dundee Advertiser.=--"Written with dramatic force and vigour."

=North British Advertiser.=--"This is a weird and strange story that
interests and fascinates the reader, with its occult fancies and
marvellous experiences.... It may be added, in conclusion, that it is a
book well worth reading, and will easily bear a second perusal."

=Liverpool Post.=--"A very skilfully constructed story, mysterious and
strange, with a natural explanation suggested of all the mystery which
does not spoil one's enjoyment (here follows analysis of plot). This is
the bare outline of the story up to a certain point; it is impossible to
convey adequately an idea of the awe-inspiring characteristics of the
story. Readers can safely be recommended to turn to the book itself."

       *       *       *       *       *


POPULAR FICTION

HALF-CROWN NOVELS

     =_In Monte Carlo._= A Tale by HENRYK SIENKIEWICZ, Author of "Quo
     Vadis," "With Fire and Sword," etc., etc. Translated by S. C. de
     SOISSONS. Crown 8vo, art cloth, with a new Portrait of the Author,
     2s. 6d.

     =_The Tragedy of The Lady Palmist._= By W. LUTHER LONGSTAFF, Author
     of "Weeds and Flowers," etc. An exciting tale, descriptive of the
     "Behind-the-Scenes of the Palmist's Bohemia." Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s.
     6d.

     =_My Lady Ruby, and Basileon, Chief of Police._= Two stories by G. F.
     MONKSHOOD, Author of "Nightshades," "Rudyard Kipling: The Man and
     His Work," "Woman and The Wits," etc. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

     =_The Hypocrite._= A Modern Realistic Novel of Oxford and London
     Life. Fourth Impression. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

_This book has been "boycotted" by Messrs Mudie and Messrs W. H. Smith &
Son as being "unfit to circulate in their libraries," yet it has been
praised by the press at being "a powerful sermon and a moral book."_

=Daily Telegraph.=--"A book by an anonymous author always arouses a
certain inquiry, and when the book is clever and original the interest
becomes keen; and conjecture is rife, endowing the most unlikely people
with authorship.... It is very brilliant, very forcible, very sad.... It
is perfect in its way, in style clear, sharp and forcible, the dialogue
epigrammatic and sparkling.... Enough has been said to show that 'The
Hypocrite' is a striking and powerful piece of work, and that its author
has established his claim to be considered a writer of originality and
brilliance."

=Daily Graphic.=--"A very moral book."

=Court Circular.=--"The work is decidedly clever, full of ready wit,
sparkling epigram, and cutting sarcasm."

=Echo.=--"The story is thoroughly interesting, the wit and epigram of the
writing are not to be denied, and altogether 'The Hypocrite' is so
brilliant that it can only be fittingly compared with 'The Green
Carnation' or 'The Babe B.A.'"

=Liverpool Courier.=--"A genuinely clever book. Furthermore, it is a book
with a wholesome moral vividly enforced."

=Lady.=--"Whoever the author may be, he has the right literary method, his
work is absolutely realistic, his style is fluent and distinctive, and
he has the rare faculty of gripping the reader's attention at the outset
and retaining it to the very last.... 'The Hypocrite' is something more
than a remarkable novel--it is, in effect, a sermon, conveying a
definite message to those who have the wit to understand it."

=Morning Post.=--"It is entitled to be regarded as one of the clever books
of the day. The writer shows artistic perception. He maintains
throughout an atmosphere perfectly in harmony with the idea that has
suggested his work."

     =_The Wandering Romanoff._= A Romance. By BART KENNEDY, Author of "A
     Man Adrift," "Darab's Wine-Cup," etc. New and Cheaper Edition,
     crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

     =_Dona Rufina._= A Nineteenth Century Romance. Being a Story of
     Carlist Conspiracy. By HEBER DANIELS, Author of "Our Tenants."
     Second Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

=Bookman.=--"A highly emotional, cleverly written story."

=Lady.=--"A thrilling romance with a mediæval atmosphere, although the
scene is laid in the Cotswolds in the year of grace 1898. The story is
well constructed, and is a good example of the widely imaginative type
of fiction that is so eagerly devoured by young people nowadays."

=Lloyd's.=--"The author has woven a clever story out of strange
materials.... The interest of the book only ceases when the end is
reached."

=Society.=--"Altogether a very intelligible and interesting story of
intrigue and love. The author has put some excellent work into the
book."

=Eastern Morning News.=--"Readers will be fascinated by the stirring
scenes, the swiftly moving panorama, the enacted tragedies, the wild,
passionate, lawless loves depicted in the most sensational manner in
this volume."

=Englishman= (Calcutta).--"It is a lurid tale of Spanish plotters....
Around this central figure the author weaves an effective story with
more than considerable skill. He has achieved a brilliant success with
the character of Rufina; it is a masterpiece in its own way, and
invested with freshness, grace, and a magnetic personality."

     =_Lord Jimmy._= A Story of Music-Hall Life. By GEORGE MARTYN. Crown
     8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

=Outlook.=--"The book is both humorous and dramatic."

=Pelican.=--"It is amusing and interesting--two very good qualities for a
novel to possess."

=Sheffield Telegraph.=--"The book is vivaciously written, several of the
characters being human enough to look like studies from life."

=Aberdeen Free Press.=--"The characters are skilfully depicted, and the
whole book is amusing and interesting."

=Glasgow Citizen.=--"'Decidedly clever' will be the verdict of the reader
on closing this book."

=Vanity Fair.=--"The author has a peculiar knowledge of the 'Halls' and
those who frequent them; and especially, as it seems to us, of those
Jewish persons who sometimes run them. And he has made good use of his
knowledge here. But there is more than this in the book; for 'George
Martyn' has considerable descriptive talent. His account, for instance,
of the fight between the hero and the butcher is quite good. The story
is straightforward, convincing, and full of human nature and promise."

     =_The Lady of Criswold._= A Sensational Story. By LEONARD OUTRAM.
     Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

=North British Advertiser.=--"A thrilling tale of love and madness."

=Whitehall Review.=--"No one can complain of lack of sensation, it is full
of startling episodes. The characters are drawn with a rapid and
vigorous touch. The interest is well maintained."

=Court Circular.=--"It reminds us forcibly of a story in real life that
engrossed public attention many years ago. Whether this was in the
author's mind we cannot say, but the book is deeply interesting, the
characters well and strongly drawn, and we doubt not this tale will
fascinate many a reader."

=London Morning.=--"The story is cleverly constructed, is full of incident
with more than a dash of tragedy, and holds the attention of the reader
to the close. Dealing with modern life of the higher class, Mr Outram's
story is consistent, and though it aims at romantic effect, is not
strained or overdrawn."

=Church Gazette.=--"We can heartily recommend 'The Lady of Criswold.' One
likes to meet now and again a book which forsakes the eternal sex
question, or the hairsplitting discussion of ethical or psychological
problems, and treats us to simpler and more satisfying fare.... There
are several good hours' reading in the book, and plenty of excitement of
the dramatic order. Another good point is that it is healthy in tone."

     =_The Gates of Temptation._= A Natural Novel by Mrs ALBERT S.
     BRADSHAW, Author of "False Gods," "Wife or Slave," etc. Crown 8vo,
     cloth, 2s. 6d.

=Weekly Dispatch.=--"This is a story full of power and pathos, the strong
dramatic interest of which is sustained from the opening chapter to the
close."

=Midland Mail.=--"The characters are vividly drawn. There are many
pleasant and painful incidents in the book, which is interesting from
beginning to end."

=London Morning.=--"Mrs Albert Bradshaw has done such uniformly good work
that we have grown to expect much from her. Her latest book is one which
will enhance her reputation, and equally please new and old readers of
her novels. It is called 'The Gates of Temptation,' and professes to be
a natural novel. The story told is one of deep interest. There is no
veneer in its presentation, no artificiality about it."

=Aberdeen Free Press.=--"Mrs Bradshaw has written several good novels, and
the outstanding feature of all of them has been her skilful development
of plot, and her tasteful, pleasing style. In connection with the
present story we are able to amply reiterate those praises. The plot
again is well developed and logically carried out, while the language
used by the authoress is always happy and well chosen, and never
commonplace.... The story is a very powerful one indeed, and may be
highly commended as a piece of painstaking fiction of the very highest
kind."

     =_The Resurrection of His Grace._= Being the very candid Confessions
     of the Honourable BERTIE BEAUCLERC. A Sporting Novel. By CAMPBELL
     RAE-BROWN, Author of "Richard Barlow," "Kissing Cup's Race," etc.
     Second Impression. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

=Gentlewoman.=--"Fantastic and impossible, but at the same time
amusing.... The whole story is strongly dramatic."

=Saturday Review.=--"A grotesquely improbable story, but readers of
sporting novels will find much amusement in it."

=Scotsman.=--"The book is lightly and briskly written throughout. Its
pleasant cynicism is always entertaining."

=Star.=--"An ingeniously horrible story with a diabolically clever plot."

=St James's Budget.=--"A sporting romance which is indisputably cleverly
written.... The book is full of interesting items of sporting life which
are fascinating to lovers of the turf."

=Edinburgh Evening News.=--"It has certainly an audacious idea for its
central motive.... This bright idea is handled with no little skill, and
the interest is kept up breathlessly until the tragic end of the
experiment. The whole story has a racy flavour of the turf."

=Sporting Life.=--"The character of the heartless _roue_, who tells his
story, is very well sustained, and the rich _parvenu_, Peter Drewitt,
the owner of the favourite that is very nearly nobbled by the
unscrupulous Beauclerc, is cleverly drawn. Altogether it is an exciting
and an uncommon tale, and is quite correct in all the sporting details."

     _Anna Marsden's Experiment._ An interesting Novel. By ELLEN
     WILLIAMS. Crown 8vo, art cloth, 2s. 6d.

=Outlook.=--"A good story cleverly told and worked out."

=Echo.=--"A very natural and interesting tale is carefully set forth in
Ellen Williams' clever little book."

=Western Morning News.=--"It is a smartly written and deeply interesting
story, well out of the beaten track of novelists."

=Literary World.=--"The story is well told.... Four racy chapters take us
thus far, and seven lively ones follow."

=Public Opinion.=--"From this point the interest in the story is such that
there is no putting the book down till the _dénouement_ is reached. The
writing is smart, clever, and telling."

=Critic.=--"A powerful story, unconventional as regards both subject and
treatment. [Here the reviewer analyses the plot.] This situation is
handled with extraordinary delicacy and skill, and the book is an
admirable study of repressed emotions."

=Monitor.=--"Miss Williams has here seized on an original concept, and
given it fitting presentation. The 'experiment' is a novel one, and its
working out is a deft piece of writing. The psychology of the work is
faultless, and this study of a beautiful temperament, in a crude frame,
has with it the verity of deep observation and acute insight.... We
await with considerable confidence Miss Williams' next venture."

=Sheffield Independent.=--"The writer has treated a delicate and unusual
situation with delicacy and originality. The heroine's character is
drawn with firmness and clearness, and the whole story is vivid and
picturesque.... The history of the experiment is exceedingly well told.
Keen insight into character, and cleverness in its delineation, as well
as shrewd observation and intense sympathy, mark the writer's work,
while the style is terse and clear, and the management of trying scenes
extremely good."

     =_Darab's Wine-Cup_=, and other Powerful and Vividly-Written Stories.
     By BART KENNEDY, Author of "The Wandering Romanoff," etc. New and
     cheaper Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

=Aberdeen Free Press.=--"Will be welcomed as something fresh in the world
of fiction."

=St James's Budget.=--"A volume characteristic of the author's splendid
powers."

=M. A. P.=--"Mr Kennedy writes powerfully, and can grip the reader's
imagination, or whirl it off into the strangest domains of glamour and
romance at will.... There is a future for this clever young man from
Tipperary. He will do great things."

=Outlook.=--"Mr Bart Kennedy is a young writer of singular imaginative
gifts, and a style as individual as Mr Kipling's."

=Weekly Dispatch.=--"The author has exceptional gifts, a strong and
powerful individuality, a facile pen, rich imagination, and constructive
ability of a high order. This volume ought to find a place on every
library shelf."

=Critic.=--"Of a highly imaginative order, and distinctly out of the
ordinary run.... The author has a remarkable talent for imaginative and
dramatic presentation. He sets before himself a higher standard of
achievement than most young writers of fiction."

=Cork Herald.=--"Gracefully written, easy and attractive in diction and
style, the stories are as choice a collection as we have happened on for
a long time. They are clever; they are varied; they are fascinating. We
admit them into the sacred circle of the most beautiful that have been
told by the most sympathetic and skilled writers.... Mr Kennedy has a
style, and that is rare enough nowadays--as refreshing as it is rare."

     ="_Fame, the Fiddler._"= A Story of Literary and Theatrical Life. By
     S. J. ADAIR FITZ-GERALD. Crown 8vo, cloth, new and cheaper edition,
     2s. 6d.

=Graphic.=--"The volume will please and amuse numberless people."

=Pall Mall Gazette.=--"A pleasant, cheery story. Displays a rich vein of
robust imagination."

=Sun.=--"Interesting all through, and the inclination is towards finishing
it at one sitting."

=Scotsman.=--"An amusing and entertaining story of Bohemian life in
London."

=Standard.=--"There are many pleasant pages in 'Fame, the Fiddler,' which
reminds us of 'Trilby,' with its pictures of Bohemian life, and its
happy-go-lucky group of good-hearted, generous scribblers, artists, and
playwrights. Some of the characters are so true to life that it is
impossible not to recognise them. Among the best incidents in the volume
must be mentioned the production of Pryor's play, and the account of
poor Jimmy Lambert's death, which is as moving an incident as we have
read for a long time. Altogether, 'Fame, the Fiddler' is a very human
book, and an amusing one as well."

=Catholic Times.=--"We read the volume through, and at the conclusion
marvelled at the wonderful knowledge of life the author displays. For
although the whole work is written In a light, humorous vein, underneath
this current of humour there is really an astonishing amount of wisdom,
and wisdom that is not displayed every day.... It is a vivid description
of times gay and melancholy, that occur in many lives. Mr Fitz-Gerald
has done his work well, so well that we loitered on many pages, and
closed the book finally with a feeling that it is a faithful history of
the journalist, the author, the theatrical individual, and the man who
ekes out a living by playing the _rôle_ of all three."


CHEAPER FICTION

     =_Pelican Tails._= A Collection of smart, up-to-date Tales of Modern
     Life, written, edited and selected by FRANK M. BOYD (Editor of "The
     Pelican.") One of the most popular and entertaining volumes of
     short stories that has ever been published. An ideal companion for
     a railway journey or a spare hour or two. Crown 8vo, picture
     wrapper designed and drawn by W. S. ROGERS, 1s. (In active
     preparation.)

     =_The Devil in a Domino._= A Psychological Mystery. By CHAS. L'EPINE,
     Author of "The Lady of the Leopard," "Miracle Plays," etc. Cover
     designed by C H. BEAUVAIS. Long 12mo, cloth, 1s.

=Truth.=--"The story is written with remarkable literary skill, and,
notwithstanding its gruesomeness, is undeniably fascinating."

=Sketch.=--"It is a well-written story. An admirable literary style,
natural and concise construction, succeed in compelling the reader's
attention through every line. We hope to welcome the author again,
working on a larger scene."

=Star.=--"May be guaranteed to disturb your night's rest. It is a
gruesome, ghastly, blood-curdling, hair-erecting, sleep-murdering piece
of work, with a thrill on every page. Read it."

=Sunday Chronicle.=--"A very clever study by 'Charles L'Epine,' who should
by his style be an accomplished author not unknown in other ranks of
literature. Beyond comparison it is the strongest shilling shocker we
have read for many a day. The author has succeeded in heaping horror
upon horror until one's blood is curdled."

     =_That Fascinating Widow_=, and other Frivolous and Fantastic Tales,
     for River, Road and Rail. By S. J. ADAIR FITZ-GERALD. Long 12mo,
     cloth, 1s.

=The Scotsman.=--"The widow is a charmingly wicked person. The stories are
well written, with a pleasant humour of a farcical sort; they are never
dull."

=Whitehall Review.=--"Written with all the dash and ease which Mr
Fitz-Gerald has accustomed us to in his journalistic work. There is a
breezy, invigorating style about this little book which will make it a
favourite on the bookstalls."

=Glasgow Herald.=--"Nonsense, genial harmless nonsense, to which the most
captious and morose of readers will find it difficult to refuse the
tribute of a broad smile, even if he can so far restrain himself as not
to burst out into genuine laughter."

=The Referee.=--"Another little humorous book is 'That Fascinating Widow,'
by Mr S. J. Adair Fitz-Gerald, who can be very funny when he tries. The
story which gives the title to the book would make a capital farce. 'The
Blue-blooded Coster' is an amusing piece of buffoonery."

=The Globe.=--"The author, Mr S. J. Adair Fitz-Gerald, has already shown
himself to be the possessor of a store of humour, on which he has again
drawn for the furnishing of the little volume he has just put together.
Among the tales included are several which might be suitable for reading
or recitation, and none which are dull. Mr Fitz-Gerald frankly addresses
himself to that portion of the public which desires nothing so much as
to be amused, and likes even its amusements in small doses. Such a
public will entertain itself very pleasantly with Mr Fitz-Gerald's
lively tales, and will probably name as its favourites those titled
'Pure Cussedness,' 'Splidgings' First Baby,' and 'The Blue-blooded
Coster.'"

     =_Shadows._= A Series of Side Lights on Modern Society. By ERNEST
     MARTIN. (Dedicated to Sir Henry Irving.) Crown 8vo, art cloth, gilt
     tops, 2s.

=Phoenix.=--"'Shadows' is a very clever work."

=Western Mercury.=--"Clever sketches, intensely dramatic, original and
forceful, based on scenes from actual life, and narrated with much
skill."

=Weekly Times.=--"A series of pictures sketched with considerable power.
The last one, 'Hell in Paradise,' is terrible in the probable truth of
conception."

=Northern Figaro.=--"Mr Martin's descriptive paragraphs are couched in
trenchant, convincing language, without a superfluous word sandwiched in
anywhere.... 'Shadows' may be read with much profit, and will give more
than a superficial insight into various phases of society life and
manners."

     =_Death and the Woman._= A Powerful Tale. By ARNOLD GOLSWORTHY.
     Picture cover drawn by SYDNEY H. SYME. Crown 8vo, 1s.

=Scotsman.=--"A cleverly constructed story about a murder and a gang of
diamond robbers.... The tale never has to go far without a strong
situation. It is a capital book for a railway journey."

=Star.=--"A good shilling's worth of highly coloured sensationalism. Those
readers who want a good melodramatic story smartly told, Mr Golsworthy's
latest effort will suit down to the ground."

=Literary World.=--"We do not remember having read a book that possessed
the quality of _grip_ in a greater degree than is the case with 'Death
and the Woman.' ... Every page of every chapter develops the interest,
which culminates in one of the most sensational _dénouements_ it has
been our lot to read. The flavour of actuality is not destroyed by any
incredible incident; it is the inevitable thing that always happens.
'Death and the Woman' will supply to the brim the need of those in
search of a holding drama of modern London life."

     =_The Fellow-Passengers._= A Mystery and its Solution. A Detective
     Story. By RIVINGTON PYKE, Author of "The Man who Disappeared." Long
     12mo, cloth, 1s.

=Whitehall Review.=--"Those who love a mystery with plenty of 'go,' and a
story which is not devoid of a certain amount of realism, cannot do
better than pick up 'Fellow-Passengers.' The characters are real men and
women, and not the sentimental and artificial puppets to which we have
been so long accustomed by our sensationalists. The book is brightly
written, and of detective stories it is the best I have read lately."

=Weekly Dispatch.=--"If you want a diverting story of realism, bordering
upon actuality, you cannot do better than take up this bright,
vivacious, dramatic volume. It will interest you from first page to
last."

=Catholic Times.=--"This is a well-written story, with a good plot and
plenty of incident. From cover to cover there is not a dull page, and
the interest keeps up to the end."

=Glasgow News.=--"It is a thriller.... The sort of book one cannot help
finishing at a sitting, not merely because it is short, but because it
rivets.... The author uses his materials with great ingenuity, his plot
is cleverly devised, and he very effectively works up to a striking
_dénouement_.


Illustrated Books for Children

     =_Nonsense Numbers and Jocular Jingles_= FOR FUNNY LITTLE FOLK.
     Written by DRUID GRAYL, with full-page Illustrations by WALTER J.
     MORGAN. 4to, cloth boards, 5s.

     =_The Grand Panjandrum_=, and other fanciful Fairy Tales for the
     youthful of all Ages, Climes and Times. By S. J. ADAIR FITZ-GERALD,
     Author of "The Zankiwank and the Bletherwitch," "The Wonders of the
     Secret Cavern," "The Mighty Toltec," etc. Many full-page and
     smaller Illustrations by GUSTAVE DARRÉ. Second Edition. Square 8vo,
     art cloth, gilt, 3s. 6d.

=Truth.=--"A decided acquisition to the children's library."

=Ladies' Pictorial.=--"Quite one of the brightest of the season's gift
books."

=Spectator.=--"Well provided with fun and fancy."

=Morning Post.=--"Bright and thoroughly amusing. It will please all
children. The pictures are excellent."

=Echo.=--"Of the pile (of children's books) before us, Mr Adair
Fitz-Gerald's 'Grand Panjandrum' is the cleverest. Mr Fitz-Gerald needs
no introduction to the nursery of these days."

=Times.=--"Very fanciful."

=Church News.=--"This is one of the most delightful books of nonsense we
have read since we welcomed 'The Wallypug of Why.'"

=Scotsman.=--"Will make the eyes of readers open wide with wonder and
delight."

=Lloyd's.=--"Will amuse all children lucky enough to get this neat and
pretty volume."

=Pall Mall Gazette.=--"A charming little book. Simply written, and
therefore to be comprehended of the youthful mind. It will be popular,
for the writer has a power of pleasing which is rare."

=Literary World.=--"A handsomely bound, mouth-watering, in every way
up-to-date volume, written especially for and on behalf of the toddler
or the newly breeched."

=People.=--"A delightful story for children, something in the style of
'Alice in Wonderland,' but also having some flavour of Kingley's 'Water
Babies.'"

=Sun.=--"Good fairy stories are a source of everlasting joy and delight.
Mr Adair Fitz-Gerald breaks fresh ground and writes pleasantly.... The
book has the added advantage of being charmingly illustrated in colour
by Gustave Darré."

=Nottingham Guardian.=--"It is a merry book, and should keep the nursery
in a good humour for hours. It is artistically got up, the illustrations
by Mr Gustave Darré being of a high order of merit."

=Manchester Courier.=--"It should prove a great favourite with young
people, being written by one who evidently takes the utmost interest in
them and their ways. The full-page illustrations are very pretty."

=Weekly Sun.=--"Mr Adair Fitz-Gerald is a well-known writer of fairy
stories and humorous books for the young. 'The Grand Panjandrum' is just
the sort of book to please youngsters of all ages, being full of
pleasant imaginings, and introducing its readers to a host of curious
people."


Greening's Humorous Books

     =_The Pillypingle Pastorals._= A Series of Amusing Rustic Tales and
     Sketches. By DRUID GRAYL. Profusely Illustrated by WALTER J.
     MORGAN. Crown 8vo, art cloth, 3s. 6d.

     =_The Pottle Papers._= Written by TRISTRAM COUTTS, Author of "A
     Comedy of Temptation." Illustrated by L. RAVEN HILL. Fourth
     Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth, 2s. 6d.

=THE POTTLE PAPERS=, the fourth edition of which is just ready, is a
really funny book written by Saul Smiff, and illustrated by Mr L. Raven
Hill. "Anyone who wants a good laugh should get 'The Pottle Papers,'"
says the =Sheffield Daily Telegraph.= "They are very droll reading for an
idle afternoon, or picking up at any time when 'down in the dumps.' They
are very brief and very bright, and it is impossible for anyone with the
slightest sense of humour to read the book without bursting into 'the
loud guffaw' which does not always 'bespeak the empty mind.'" =The Pall
Mall Gazette= says it contains "Plenty of boisterous humour of the Max
Adeler kind ... humour that is genuine and spontaneous. The author, for
all his antics, has a good deal more in him than the average buffoon.
There is, for example, a very clever and subtle strain of feeling
running through the comedy in 'The Love that Burned'--a rather striking
bit of work. Mr Raven Hill's illustrations are as amusing as they always
are." The =St. James's Budget= accorded this book a very long notice, and
reproduced some of the pictures. The reviewer said: "Who says the sense
of humour is dead when we have 'The Pottle Papers'? We can put the book
down with the feeling that we have spent a very enjoyable hour and
laughed immoderately. 'The Pottle Papers' will be in everybody's hands
before long." H.R.H. the Prince of Wales honoured the author by
accepting a copy of his book; and the =Court Circular= remarked: "The
Prince of Wales has accepted a copy of Saul Smiff's delightfully merry
book, 'The Pottle Papers.' The Prince is sure to enjoy Raven Hill's
clever sketches." This funniest of funny books is published at 2s. 6d.,
strongly bound in cloth.

     =_Dan Leno, Hys Booke._= A Volume of Frivolities: Autobiographical,
     Historical, Philosophical, Anecdotal and Nonsensical. Written by
     DAN LENO. Profusely illustrated by Sidney H. Sime, Frank Chesworth,
     W. S. Rogers, Gustave Darré, Alfred Bryan and Dan Leno. Fifth
     Edition, containing a New Chapter, and an Appreciation of Dan Leno,
     written by Clement Scott. Crown 8vo, art cloth, gilt edges, 2s.
     Popular Edition, sewed, picture cover, 1s.

=DAN LENO, HYS BOOKE=, is, says the =Liverpool Review=, "the funniest
publication since 'Three Men in a Boat.' In this autobiographical
masterpiece the inimitable King of Comedians tells his life story in a
style that would make a shrimp laugh." This enormously successful book
of genuine and spontaneous humour has been received with a complete
chorus of complimentary criticisms and pleasing "Press" praise and
approval. Here are a few reviewers' remarks: "Bombshells of
fun."--=Scotsman.= "One long laugh from start to finish."--=Lloyd's.= "Full
of exuberant and harmless fun."--=Globe.= "A deliciously humorous
volume."--=English Illustrated Magazine.= "The fun is fast and
furious."--=Catholic Times.= "It is very funny."--=St Paul's.= These are a
few opinions taken at random from hundreds of notices. Says the =Daily
News= (Hull): "The funniest book we have read for some time. You must
perforce scream with huge delight at the dry sayings and writings of the
funny little man who has actually killed people with his patter and his
antics. Page after page of genuine fun is reeled off by the great little
man."

     =_Bachelor Ballads_= and other Lazy Lyrics. By HARRY A. SPURR, Author
     of "A Cockney in Arcadia." With Fifty Illustrations by JOHN
     HASSALL. Crown 8vo, art cloth, 3s. 6d.

     =_The Pottle's Progress._= Being the Further Adventures of Mr and Mrs
     Pottle. By TRISTRAM COUTTS, Author of "The Pottle Papers," etc.
     Crown 8vo, 3s. 6d. (In preparation.)

       *       *       *       *       *


Guides, Etc.

     =_London._= A Handy Guide for the Visitor, Sportsman and Naturalist.
     By J. W. CUNDALL. Including an Article on "Literary Restaurants,"
     by CLEMENT SCOTT. Numerous Illustrations. Second Year of
     Publication. Long 12mo, cloth, 6d.

=Vanity Fair.=--"A capital little guide book. No bulky volume this, but a
handy booklet full of pithy information on all the most important
subjects connected with our great city."

=Outlook.=--"A handy booklet, more tasteful than one is accustomed to."

=Pelican.=--"As full of useful and entertaining information as is an egg
of meat."

=Bookman.=--"A very lively and readable little guide."

=To-day.=--"One of the best guide books for visitors to London. It is a
model of lucidity and informativeness, and the profuse illustrations are
admirably executed."

=Glasgow Herald.=--"A useful little work for those who have no desire to
wade through many pages of information before getting what they want."

     =_America Abroad._= A Handy Guide for Americans in England. Edited by
     J. W. CUNDALL. With numerous Illustrations. Ninth Year of
     Publication. 6d.

     =_In Quaint East Anglia._= Descriptive Sketches. By T. WEST CARNIE.
     Illustrated by W. S. ROGERS. Long 12mo, cloth, 1s. (_See page 5._)

     ="_Sisters by the Sea._"= Seaside and Country Sketches. By CLEMENT
     SCOTT, Author of "Blossom Land," "Amongst the Apple Orchards," Etc.
     Frontispiece and Vignette designed by GEORGE POWNALL. Long 12mo,
     attractively bound in cloth, 1s. (_See page 3._)


     A BOOK OF GREAT INTEREST.

     AT ALL BOOKSELLERS AND LIBRARIES. SECOND EDITION.

     =RUDYARD KIPLING:=

     =THE MAN AND HIS WORK.=

     Being an Attempt at Appreciation. By =G. F. MONKSHOOD=. With a
     Portrait of Mr Kipling, and an Autograph Letter to the Author in
     facsimile.

     _Crown 8vo, crimson buckram, gilt top, 5/= nett._ */

=A FEW OF MANY PRESS OPINIONS=

=Daily Telegraph.=--(Mr W. L. COURTNEY in "Books of the Day.")--"He writes
fluently, and has genuine enthusiasm for his subject, and an intimate
acquaintance with his work. Moreover, his book has been submitted to Mr
Kipling, whose characteristic letter to the author is set forth in the
Preface.... Of Mr Kipling's heroes Mr Monkshood has a thorough
understanding, and his remarks on them are worth quoting." (Here follows
a long extract.)

=Scotsman.=--"This well-informed volume ... is plainly sincere. It is
thoroughly well studied, and takes pains to answer all the questions
that are usually put about Mr Kipling. The writer's enthusiasm carries
both himself and his reader along in the most agreeable style.... One
way and another, his book is full of interest; those who wish to talk
about Mr Kipling will find it invaluable, while the thousands of his
admirers will read it through with delighted sympathy."

=Western Daily Press.=--"A very praiseworthy attempt, and by a writer
imbued with a fervent esteem for his subject.... This valuation of the
work of our most virile Empire author should hold the attention of those
who have well studied the subject and can appreciate accordingly."

=Sun.=--"The author has carefully compiled a lot of most interesting
matter, which he has edited with care and conscientiousness, and the
result is a volume which every lover of Kipling can read with pleasure."

=Spectator.=--"It is very readable. It tells us some things which we might
not otherwise have known, and puts together in a convenient form many
things which are of common knowledge."

=Outlook.=--"SOMETHING MORE than an attempt at appreciation.... Mr
Monkshood has written what all the young men at home and abroad who
treasure Mr Kipling's writings think, but have not expressed. The volume
is a striking testimony to the hold which work that is clean and sane
and virile has upon the rising generation. And for this we cannot be
sufficiently thankful."

=Globe.=--"It has at the basis both knowledge and enthusiasm--knowledge of
the works estimated and enthusiasm for them.... This book may be
accepted as a generous exposition of Mr Kipling's merits as a writer. We
can well believe that it will have many interested and approving
readers."

=Irish Times.=--"A well-thought-out and earnest appreciation of the great
writer and his works."

=Academy.=--"The book should give its subject pleasure, for Mr Monkshood
is very keen and cordial. His criticisms have some shrewdness too. Here
is a passage ..." (Long quotation follows.)

=Sunday Times.=--"Sure to attract much attention. In it we are given a
sketch of Mr Kipling's career and the story of his various works, along
with some sane and balanced criticism.... The book is written brightly,
thoughtfully, and informingly."

=Bookseller.=--"It is acute in perception, and sympathetic to the verge of
worship, with just as much criticism as will allow that the hero has his
limitations.... Mr Monkshood's well-informed and well-written critique
possesses undoubted ability and attraction."

=Yorkshire Herald.=--"This work, which is highly appreciative, will be
received with enthusiasm.... From this point the biography becomes even
more interesting.... The author deals at length with Kipling's works,
and with sufficient forcefulness and originality to hold the reader's
attention throughout. The biography has undoubted merit and will be
largely read."



INDEX


   A

   ADAMS, Herbert--
     A Virtue of Necessity                                            7

   ALEXANDER, Geo.--
     Introduction to "Art of Elocution"                               4

   America Abroad (J. W. Cundall)                                    21

   Anna Marsden's Experiment (Ellen Williams)                        15

   Asmodeus (edited by Justin Hannaford)                              6

   Ashes Tell no Tales (Mrs A. S. Bradshaw)                           7

   ASCHER, Isidore G.--
     A Social Upheaval                                                8


   B

   Bachelor Ballads (H. A. Spurr)                                    21

   BECKFORD, Geo.--
     Vathek                                                           6

   Bible Stories Retold                                               4

   BRADSHAW, Mrs Albert S.--
     Ashes Tell no Tales                                              7
     Gates of Temptation                                             14

   Bye-ways of Crime (R. J. Power-Berrey)                             4


   C

   CARNIE, T. West--
     In Quaint East Anglia                                            5

   Comedy of Temptation (T. Coutts)                                   9

   COUTTS, Tristram--
     Pottle Papers                                                   20
     Comedy of Temptation                                             9
     Pottle's Progress                                               21

   CUNDALL, J. W.--
     London                                                          21
     America Abroad                                                  21

   Cry in the Night (A. Golsworthy)                                   7


   D

   DANIELS, Heber--
     Dona Rufina                                                     13

   Darab's Wine-Cup (B. Kennedy)                                     16

   Dan Leno, Hys Booke (Dan Leno)                                    20

   Death and the Woman (A. Golsworthy)                               18

   Devil in a Domino (C. L'Epine)                                    17

   Devil on Two Sticks (Le Sage)                                      6

   DE BRÉMONT, Comtesse--
     A Son of Africa                                                  7
     The Gentleman Digger                                             9

   DE SOISSON--
     The Path of the Soul                                             5

   Dolomite Cavern (W. P. Kelly)                                     11

   Dona Rufina (Heber Daniels)                                       13


   E

   East Anglia, In Quaint (T. W. Carnie)                             21

   "ENGLISH WRITERS OF TO-DAY" Series--
     Rudyard Kipling (G. F. Monkshood)                                1
     Thomas Hardy (W. L. Courtney)                                    2
     Geo. Meredith (Walter Jerrold)                                   2
     Bret Harte (T. E. Pemberton)                                     2
     Richard Le Gallienne (C. R. Gull)                                2
     Arthur Wing Pinero (H. Fyffe)                                    2
     W. E. Henley (G. Gamble)                                         2
     English Parnassian School (Sir G. Douglas)                       2
     Realistic Writers (J. Hannaford)                                 2

   ESCOTT, T. H. S.--
     A Trip to Paradoxia                                              3

   Elocution, The Art of (Ross Ferguson)                              4

   Epicurean, The (edited by Justin Hannaford)                        6


   F

   Fame, the Fiddler (S. J. A. Fitz-Gerald)                          16

   Famous Hamlets (C. Scott)                                          4

   FERGUSON, Ross--
     The Art of Elocution                                             4

   Fetters of Fire (Compton Reade)                                    7

   Fellow-Passengers (R. Pyke)                                       18

   FITZ-GERALD, S. J. Adair--
     Fame, the Fiddler                                               16
     That Fascinating Widow                                          17
     The Grand Panjandrum                                            19


   G

   GALT, John--
     Ringan Gilhaize                                                  6

   Gates of Temptation, The (Mrs A. S. Bradshaw)                     14

   Gentleman Digger, The (Comtesse de Brémont)                        9

   Girl of the North, A (H. Milicite)                                 7

   GOLSWORTHY, Arnold--
     A Cry in the Night                                               7
     Death and the Woman                                             18

   GRAYL, Druid--
     Nonsense Numbers, etc.                                          19
     Pillypingle Pastorals                                           20

   Grand Panjandrum, The (S. J. A. Fitz-Gerald)                      19

   GREEN, Percy B.--
     A History of Nursery Rhymes                                      5

   Green Passion (A. P. Vert)                                        10

   Guides, etc.                                                      21


   H

   HALL, Sydney--
     Temptation of Edith Watson                                       9

   Hamlets, Some Famous (C. Scott)                                    4

   HERMAN, Henry--
     The Sword of Fate                                                9

   Hypocrite, The (Anonymous)                                        13


   I

   In Monte Carlo (H. Sienkiewicz)                                   12

   In Quaint East Anglia (T. W. Carnie)                              21


   J

   Jocular Jingles (Druid Grayl)                                     19

   JOHNSON, Dr--
     Rasselas                                                         6


   K

   KELLY, W. Patrick--
     The Dolomite Cavern                                             11

   KENNEDY, Bart--
     A Man Adrift                                                     5
     Darab's Wine-Cup                                                16
     The Wandering Romanoff                                          13


   L

   Lady of the Leopard, The (C. L'Epine)                             12

   Lady of Criswold, The (L. Outram)                                 14

   LE SAGE--
     Asmodeus; or, The Devil on Two Sticks                            6

   L'EPINE, Charles--
     The Devil in a Domino                                           17
     The Lady of the Leopard                                         12

   LENO, Dan--
     Dan Leno, Hys Booke                                             20

   LONGSTAFF, W. Luther--
     Weeds and Flowers                                                6
     The Tragedy of the Lady Palmist                                 12

   Lord Jimmy (G. Martyn)                                            14

   London (J. W. Cundall)                                            21


   M

   Man Adrift, A (B. Kennedy)                                         5

   Madonna Mia (C. Scott)                                            11

   MARTYN, Geo.--
     Lord Jimmy                                                      14

   MARTIN, Ernest--
     Shadows                                                         18

   M'MILLAN, Mrs Alec--
     The Weird Well                                                   9

   Miss Malevolent (Author of "The Hypocrite")                        9

   MILICITE, Helen--
     A Girl of the North                                              7

   MONKSHOOD, G. F.--
     Woman and the Wits                                               5
     Rudyard Kipling                                                  1
     My Lady Ruby                                                    12

   MOORE, Thomas--
     The Epicurean                                                    6

   Mora (T. W. Speight)                                               7

   My Lady Ruby (G. F. Monkshood)                                    12


   N

   New Tale of the Terror, A (Author of "The Hypocrite")              8

   Nonsense Numbers (D. Grayl)                                       19

   Nursery Rhymes, A History of (P. B. Green)                         5


   O

   Obscure Apostle (Orzeszko)                                         7

   Outrageous Fortune (Anonymous)                                    10

   OUTRAM, Leonard--
     The Lady of Criswold                                            14

   OWEN, J. L.--
     Seven Nights with Satan                                         10


   P

   Path of the Soul (C. S. de Soisson)                                5

   People, Plays, and Places (C. Scott)                               3

   Pelican Tails (F. M. Boyd, etc.)                                  17

   Pillypingle Pastorals (D. Grayl)                                  20

   Pootle Papers, The (T. Coutts)                                    21

   Pootle's Progress, The (T. Coutts)                                21

   POWER-BERREY, R. J.--
     Bye-Ways of Crime                                                4

   PYKE, Rivington--
     The Fellow-Passengers                                           18


   R

   RAE-BROWN, Campbell--
     The Shadow on the Manse                                         12
     The Resurrection of His Grace                                   15

   Rasselas (Edited by Justin Hannaford)                              6

   READE, Compton--
     Fetters of Fire                                                  7

   Resurrection of His Grace (C. Rae-Brown)                          15

   Ringan Gilhaize (Edited by Sir G. Douglas)                         6


   S

   SADLEIR, Mrs Maria M.--
     Such is the Law                                                  7

   SCOTT, Clement--
     The Wheel of Life                                                2
     Madonna Mia                                                     11
     People, Plays, and Places                                        3
     Sisters by the Sea                                               3
     Famous Hamlets                                                   4

   Seven Nights with Satan (J. L. Owen)                              10

   Shadows (E. Martin)                                               18

   Shams (Anonymous)                                                  8

   Shadow on The Manse (C. Rae-Brown)                                12

   SIENKIEWICZ, Henryk--
     In Monte Carlo                                                  12

   Sisters by the Sea (C. Scott)                                      3

   Son of Africa, A (Comtesse de Brémont)                             7

   Social Upheaval, A (I. G. Ascher)                                  8

   SPEIGHT, T. W.--
     Mora; One Woman's History                                        7

   SPURR, Harry A.--
     Bachelor Ballads                                                21

   Stage, Year Book of (Greening and Hannaford)                       5

   Such is the Law (M. M. Sadleir)                                    7

   Sword of Fate, The (H. Herman)                                     9


   T

   Temptation of Edith Watson (S. Hall)                               9

   That Fascinating Widow (S. J. A. Fitz-Gerald)                     17

   THOMPSON, Creswick J.--
     Zoroastro                                                        9

   Tragedy of the Lady Palmist, The (W. L. Longstaff)                12

   Trip to Paradoxia, A (T. H. S. Escott)                             3


   V

   Vathek (Edited by Justin Hannaford)                                6

   VERT, Anthony P.--
     The Green Passion                                               10

   Virtue of Necessity, A (H. Adams)                                  7


   W

   Wandering Romanoff, The (B. Kennedy)                              13

   Weeds and Flowers (W. L. Longstaff)                                6

   Weird Well, The (A. M'Millan)                                      9

   Wheel of Life, The (C. Scott)                                      2

   WILLIAMS, Ellen--
     Anna Marsden's Experiment                                       15

   Woman and the Wits (G. F. Monkshood)                               5


   Y

   Year Book of the Stage (Greening and Hannaford)                    5


   Z

   Zoroastro (C. J. S. Thompson)                                      9



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note


The following changes have been made to the text:

Page 13: "chishmaclavers" changed to "clishmaclavers".

Page 15: "laid his land" changed to "laid his hand".

Page 17: "necessary hyprocrisy" changed to "necessary hypocrisy".

Page 52: "they they well gone" changed to "they well gone".

Page 59: "peebles" changed to "pebbles".

Page 67: "paper was drwan" changed to "paper was drawn".

Page 67: "umlimited domination" changed to "unlimited domination".

Page 71: "mindet to pass" changed to "minded to pass".

Page 80: "therefere" changed to "therefore".

Page 84: "idolaltry" changed to "idolatry".

Page 89: "Eslpa Ruet" changed to "Elspa Ruet".

Page 89: "Elpsa made" changed to "Elspa made".

Page 142: "progenitrex" changed to "progenitrix".

Page 188: "is his discourses" changed to "in his discourses".

Page 201: "acquaintaces" changed to "acquaintances".

Page 220: "No, my friens" changed to "No, my friends".

Page 226: "pursuer and the persecuted" changed to the "pursuer and the
persecutor".

Page 250: "imprisoment" changed to "imprisonment".

Page 252: "soldiery" changed to "soldierly".

Page 261: "riotors" changed to "rioters".

Page 264: "ordered come" changed to "ordered some".

Page 269: "Cumraes" changed to "Cumbrae".

Page 361: "Pharoah" changed to "Pharaoh".

Page 365: "unbonnetted" changed to "unbonneted".

Page 370: "Hogmanae" changed to "Hogmanæ".

Page 3 of ads: "may me say" changed to "may we say".

Page 5 of ads: "asthetic" changed to "aesthetic".

Page 22 of ads: "attact" changed to attract".

Page 1 and 2 of Index: "Asmodens" changed to "Asmodeus".

Page 1 of Index: "((H. Sienkiewicz) 1" changed to
"((H. Sienkiewicz)  12".

Page 1 of Index: "((T. W. Carnie) 25" changed to "((T. W. Carnie)  21".





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