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Title: Guy Mannering, Or, the Astrologer — Volume 02
Author: Scott, Walter
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Guy Mannering, Or, the Astrologer — Volume 02" ***

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GUY MANNERING

BY SIR WALTER SCOTT


VOLUME II



GUY MANNERING

OR

THE ASTROLOGER


CHAPTER XXXII

     A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with
     thine ears. See how yon justice rails upon yon simple thief.
     Hark in thine ear: Change places; and, handy-dandy, which
     is the justice, which is the thief?

          --King Lear.


Among those who took the most lively interest in endeavouring to
discover the person by whom young Charles Hazlewood had been waylaid
and wounded was Gilbert Glossin, Esquire, late writer in ----, now
Laird of Ellangowan, and one of the worshipful commission of justices
of the peace for the county of----. His motives for exertion on this
occasion were manifold; but we presume that our readers, from what they
already know of this gentleman, will acquit him of being actuated by
any zealous or intemperate love of abstract justice.

The truth was, that this respectable personage felt himself less at
ease than he had expected, after his machinations put him in possession
of his benefactor's estate. His reflections within doors, where so much
occurred to remind him of former times, were not always the
self-congratulations of successful stratagem. And when he looked abroad
he could not but be sensible that he was excluded from the society of
the gentry of the county, to whose rank he conceived he had raised
himself. He was not admitted to their clubs, and at meetings of a
public nature, from which he could not be altogether excluded, he found
himself thwarted and looked upon with coldness and contempt. Both
principle and prejudice cooperated in creating this dislike; for the
gentlemen of the county despised him for the lowness of his birth,
while they hated him for the means by which he had raised his fortune.
With the common people his reputation stood still worse. They would
neither yield him the territorial appellation of Ellangowan nor the
usual compliment of Mr. Glossin: with them he was bare Glossin; and so
incredibly was his vanity interested by this trifling circumstance,
that he was known to give half-a-crown to a beggar because he had
thrice called him Ellangowan in beseeching him for a penny. He
therefore felt acutely the general want of respect, and particularly
when he contrasted his own character and reception in society with
those of Mr. Mac-Morlan, who, in far inferior worldly circumstances,
was beloved and respected both by rich and poor, and was slowly but
securely laying the foundation of a moderate fortune, with the general
good-will and esteem of all who knew him.

Glossin, while he repined internally at what he would fain have called
the prejudices and prepossessions of the country, was too wise to make
any open complaint. He was sensible his elevation was too recent to be
immediately forgotten, and the means by which he had attained it too
odious to be soon forgiven. But time, thought he, diminishes wonder and
palliates misconduct. With the dexterity, therefore, of one who made
his fortune by studying the weak points of human nature, he determined
to lie by for opportunities to make himself useful even to those who
most disliked him; trusting that his own abilities, the disposition of
country gentlemen to get into quarrels, when a lawyer's advice becomes
precious, and a thousand other contingencies, of which, with patience
and address, he doubted not to be able to avail himself, would soon
place him in a more important and respectable light to his neighbours,
and perhaps raise him to the eminence sometimes attained by a shrewd,
worldly, bustling man of business, when, settled among a generation of
country gentlemen, he becomes, in Burns's language,

     The tongue of the trump to them a'.

The attack on Colonel Mannering's house, followed by the accident of
Hazlewood's wound, appeared to Glossin a proper opportunity to impress
upon the country at large the service which could be rendered by an
active magistrate (for he had been in the commission for some time),
well acquainted with the law, and no less so with the haunts and habits
of the illicit traders. He had acquired the latter kind of experience
by a former close alliance with some of the most desperate smugglers,
in consequence of which he had occasionally acted, sometimes as a
partner, sometimes as legal adviser, with these persons, But the
connexion had been dropped many years; nor, considering how short the
race of eminent characters of this description, and the frequent
circumstances occur to make them retire from particular scenes of
action, had he the least reason to think that his present researches
could possibly compromise any old friend who might possess means of
retaliation. The having been concerned in these practices abstractedly
was a circumstance which, according to his opinion, ought in no respect
to interfere with his now using his experience in behalf of the public,
or rather to further his own private views. To acquire the good opinion
and countenance of Colonel Mannering would be no small object to a
gentleman who was much disposed to escape from Coventry, and to gain
the favour of old Hazlewood, who was a leading man in the county, was
of more importance still. Lastly, if he should succeed in discovering,
apprehending, and convicting the culprits, he would have the
satisfaction of mortifying, and in some degree disparaging, Mac-Morlan,
to whom, as sheriff-substitute of the county, this sort of
investigation properly belonged, and who would certainly suffer in
public opinion should the voluntary exertions of Glossin be more
successful than his own.

Actuated by motives so stimulating, and well acquainted with the lower
retainers of the law, Glossin set every spring in motion to detect and
apprehend, if possible, some of the gang who had attacked Woodbourne,
and more particularly the individual who had wounded Charles Hazlewood.
He promised high rewards, he suggested various schemes, and used his
personal interest among his old acquaintances who favoured the trade,
urging that they had better make sacrifice of an understrapper or two
than incur the odium of having favoured such atrocious proceedings. But
for some time all these exertions were in vain. The common people of
the country either favoured or feared the smugglers too much to afford
any evidence against them. At length this busy magistrate obtained
information that a man, having the dress and appearance of the person
who had wounded Hazlewood, had lodged on the evening before the
rencontre at the Gordon Arms in Kippletringan. Thither Mr. Glossin
immediately went, for the purpose of interrogating our old acquaintance
Mrs. Mac-Candlish.

The reader may remember that Mr. Glossin did not, according to this
good woman's phrase, stand high in her books. She therefore attended
his summons to the parlour slowly and reluctantly, and, on entering the
room, paid her respects in the coldest possible manner. The dialogue
then proceeded as follows:--

'A fine frosty morning, Mrs. Mac-Candlish.'

'Ay, sir; the morning's weel eneugh,' answered the landlady, drily.

'Mrs. Mac-Candlish, I wish to know if the justices are to dine here as
usual after the business of the court on Tuesday?'

'I believe--I fancy sae, sir--as usual' (about to leave the room).

'Stay a moment, Mrs. Mac-Candlish; why, you are in a prodigious hurry,
my good friend! I have been thinking a club dining here once a month
would be a very pleasant thing.'

'Certainly, sir; a club of RESPECTABLE gentlemen.'

'True, true,' said Glossin, 'I mean landed proprietors and gentlemen of
weight in the county; and I should like to set such a thing a-going.'

The short dry cough with which Mrs. Mac-Candlish received this proposal
by no means indicated any dislike to the overture abstractedly
considered, but inferred much doubt how far it would succeed under the
auspices of the gentleman by whom it was proposed. It was not a cough
negative, but a cough dubious, and as such Glossin felt it; but it was
not his cue to take offence.

'Have there been brisk doings on the road, Mrs. Mac-Candlish? Plenty of
company, I suppose?'

'Pretty weel, sir,--but I believe I am wanted at the bar.'

'No, no; stop one moment, cannot you, to oblige an old customer? Pray,
do you remember a remarkably tall young man who lodged one night in
your house last week?'

'Troth, sir, I canna weel say; I never take heed whether my company be
lang or short, if they make a lang bill.'

'And if they do not, you can do that for them, eh, Mrs. Mac-Candlish?
ha, ha, ha! But this young man that I inquire after was upwards of six
feet high, had a dark frock, with metal buttons, light-brown hair
unpowdered, blue eyes, and a straight nose, travelled on foot, had no
servant or baggage; you surely can remember having seen such a
traveller?'

'Indeed, sir,' answered Mrs. Mac-Candlish, bent on baffling his
inquiries, 'I canna charge my memory about the matter; there's mair to
do in a house like this, I trow, than to look after passengers' hair,
or their een, or noses either.'

'Then, Mrs. Mac-Candlish, I must tell you in plain terms that this
person is suspected of having been guilty of a crime; and it is in
consequence of these suspicions that I, as a magistrate, require this
information from you; and if you refuse to answer my questions, I must
put you upon your oath.'

'Troth, sir, I am no free to swear; [Footnote: Some of the strict
dissenters decline taking an oath before a civil magistrate.] we ay
gaed to the Antiburgher meeting. It's very true, in Bailie
Mac-Candlish's time (honest man) we keepit the kirk, whilk was most
seemly in his station, as having office; but after his being called to
a better place than Kippletringan I hae gaen back to worthy Maister
Mac-Grainer. And so ye see, sir, I am no clear to swear without
speaking to the minister, especially against ony sackless puir young
thing that's gaun through the country, stranger and freendless like.'

'I shall relieve your scruples, perhaps, without troubling Mr.
Mac-Grainer, when I tell you that this fellow whom I inquire after is
the man who shot your young friend Charles Hazlewood.'

'Gudeness! wha could hae thought the like o' that o' him? Na, if it had
been for debt, or e'en for a bit tuilzie wi' the gauger, the deil o'
Nelly Mac-Candlish's tongue should ever hae wranged him. But if he
really shot young Hazlewood--but I canna think it, Mr. Glossin; this
will be some o' your skits now. I canna think it o' sae douce a lad;
na, na, this is just some o' your auld skits. Ye'll be for having a
horning or a caption after him.'

'I see you have no confidence in me, Mrs. Mac-Candlish; but look at
these declarations, signed by the persons who saw the crime committed,
and judge yourself if the description of the ruffian be not that of
your guest.'

He put the papers into her hand, which she perused very carefully,
often taking off her spectacles to cast her eyes up to heaven, or
perhaps to wipe a tear from them, for young Hazlewood was an especial
favourite with the good dame. 'Aweel, aweel,' she said, when she had
concluded her examination, 'since it's e'en sae, I gie him up, the
villain. But O, we are erring mortals! I never saw a face I liked
better, or a lad that was mair douce and canny: I thought he had been
some gentleman under trouble. But I gie him up, the villain! To shoot
Charles Hazlewood, and before the young ladies, poor innocent things! I
gie him up.'

'So you admit, then, that such a person lodged here the night before
this vile business?'

'Troth did he, sir, and a' the house were taen wi' him, he was sic a
frank, pleasant young man. It wasna for his spending, I'm sure, for he
just had a mutton-chop and a mug of ale, and maybe a glass or twa o'
wine; and I asked him to drink tea wi' mysell, and didna put that into
the bill; and he took nae supper, for he said he was defeat wi' travel
a' the night afore. I daresay now it had been on some hellicat errand
or other.'

'Did you by any chance learn his name?'

'I wot weel did I,' said the landlady, now as eager to communicate her
evidence as formerly desirous to suppress it. 'He tell'd me his name
was Brown, and he said it was likely that an auld woman like a gipsy
wife might be asking for him. Ay, ay! tell me your company, and I'll
tell you wha ye are! O the villain! Aweel, sir, when he gaed away in
the morning he paid his bill very honestly, and gae something to the
chambermaid nae doubt; for Grizzy has naething frae me, by twa pair o'
new shoo ilka year, and maybe a bit compliment at Hansel Monanday--'
Here Glossin found it necessary to interfere and bring the good woman
back to the point.

'Ou then, he just said, "If there comes such a person to inquire after
Mr. Brown, you will say I am gone to look at the skaters on Loch
Creeran, as you call it, and I will be back here to dinner." But he
never came back, though I expected him sae faithfully that I gae a look
to making the friar's chicken mysell, and to the crappitheads too, and
that's what I dinna do for ordinary, Mr. Glossin. But little did I
think what skating wark he was gaun about--to shoot Mr. Charles, the
innocent lamb!'

Mr. Glossin having, like a prudent examinator, suffered his witness to
give vent to all her surprise and indignation, now began to inquire
whether the suspected person had left any property or papers about the
inn.

'Troth, he put a parcel--a sma' parcel--under my charge, and he gave me
some siller, and desired me to get him half-a-dozen ruffled sarks, and
Peg Pasley's in hands wi' them e'en now; they may serve him to gang up
the Lawnmarket [Footnote: The procession of the criminals to the
gallows of old took that direction, moving, as the school-boy rhyme had
it, Up the Lawnmarket, Down the West Bow, Up the lang ladder, And down
the little tow.] in, the scoundrel!' Mr. Glossin then demanded to see
the packet, but here mine hostess demurred.

'She didna ken--she wad not say but justice should take its course--but
when a thing was trusted to ane in her way, doubtless they were
responsible; but she suld cry in Deacon Bearcliff, and if Mr. Glossin
liked to tak an inventar o' the property, and gie her a receipt before
the Deacon--or, what she wad like muckle better, an it could be sealed
up and left in Deacon Bearcliff's hands--it wad mak her mind easy. She
was for naething but justice on a' sides.'

Mrs. Mac-Candlish's natural sagacity and acquired suspicion being
inflexible, Glossin sent for Deacon Bearcliff, to speak 'anent the
villain that had shot Mr. Charles Hazlewood.' The Deacon accordingly
made his appearance with his wig awry, owing to the hurry with which,
at this summons of the Justice, he had exchanged it for the Kilmarnock
cap in which he usually attended his customers. Mrs. Mac-Candlish then
produced the parcel deposited with her by Brown, in which was found the
gipsy's purse. On perceiving the value of the miscellaneous contents,
Mrs. Mac-Candlish internally congratulated herself upon the precautions
she had taken before delivering them up to Glossin, while he, with an
appearance of disinterested candour, was the first to propose they
should be properly inventoried, and deposited with Deacon Bearcliff,
until they should be sent to the Crown-office. 'He did not,' he
observed, 'like to be personally responsible for articles which seemed
of considerable value, and had doubtless been acquired by the most
nefarious practices.'

He then examined the paper in which the purse had been wrapt up. It was
the back of a letter addressed to V. Brown, Esquire, but the rest of
the address was torn away. The landlady, now as eager to throw light
upon the criminal's escape as she had formerly been desirous of
withholding it, for the miscellaneous contents of the purse argued
strongly to her mind that all was not right,--Mrs. Mac-Candlish, I say,
now gave Glossin to understand that her position and hostler had both
seen the stranger upon the ice that day when young Hazlewood was
wounded.

Our readers' old acquaintance Jock Jabos was first summoned, and
admitted frankly that he had seen and conversed upon the ice that
morning with a stranger, who, he understood, had lodged at the Gordon
Arms the night before.

'What turn did your conversation take?' said Glossin.

'Turn? ou, we turned nae gate at a', but just keep it straight forward
upon the ice like.'

'Well, but what did ye speak about?'

'Ou, he just asked questions like ony ither stranger,' answered the
postilion, possessed, as it seemed, with the refractory and
uncommunicative spirit which had left his mistress.

'But about what?' said Glossin.

'Ou, just about the folk that was playing at the curling, and about
auld Jock Stevenson that was at the cock, and about the leddies, and
sic like.'

'What ladies? and what did he ask about them, Jock?' said the
interrogator.

'What leddies? Ou, it was Miss Jowlia Mannering and Miss Lucy Bertram,
that ye ken fu' weel yoursell, Mr. Glossin; they were walking wi' the
young Laird of Hazlewood upon the ice.'

'And what did you tell him about them?' demanded Glossin.

'Tut, we just said that was Miss Lucy Bertram of Ellangowan, that
should ance have had a great estate in the country; and that was Miss
Jowlia Mannering, that was to be married to young Hazlewood, see as she
was hinging on his arm. We just spoke about our country clashes like;
he was a very frank man.'

'Well, and what did he say in answer?'

'Ou, he just stared at the young leddies very keen-like, and asked if
it was for certain that the marriage was to be between Miss Mannering
and young Hazlewood; and I answered him that it was for positive and
absolute certain, as I had an undoubted right to say sae; for my third
cousin Jean Clavers (she's a relation o' your ain, Mr. Glossin, ye wad
ken Jean lang syne?), she's sib to the housekeeper at Woodbourne, and
she's tell'd me mair than ance that there was naething could be mair
likely.'

'And what did the stranger say when you told him all this?' said
Glossin.

'Say?' echoed the postilion, 'he said naething at a'; he just stared at
them as they walked round the loch upon the ice, as if he could have
eaten them, and he never took his ee aff them, or said another word, or
gave another glance at the bonspiel, though there was the finest fun
amang the curlers ever was seen; and he turned round and gaed aff the
loch by the kirkstile through Woodbourne fir-plantings, and we saw nae
mair o' him.'

'Only think,' said Mrs. Mac-Candlish, 'what a hard heart he maun hae
had, to think o' hurting the poor young gentleman in the very presence
of the leddy he was to be married to!'

'O, Mrs. Mac-Candlish,' said Glossin, 'there's been many cases such as
that on the record; doubtless he was seeking revenge where it would be
deepest and sweetest.'

'God pity us!' said Deacon Bearcliff, 'we're puir frail creatures when
left to oursells! Ay, he forgot wha said, "Vengeance is mine, and I
will repay it."'

'Weel, aweel, sirs,' said Jabos, whose hard-headed and uncultivated
shrewdness seemed sometimes to start the game when others beat the
bush--'weel, weel, ye may be a' mista'en yet; I'll never believe that a
man would lay a plan to shoot another wi' his ain gun. Lord help ye, I
was the keeper's assistant down at the Isle mysell, and I'll uphaud it
the biggest man in Scotland shouldna take a gun frae me or I had weized
the slugs through him, though I'm but sic a little feckless body, fit
for naething but the outside o' a saddle and the fore-end o' a poschay;
na, na, nae living man wad venture on that. I'll wad my best buckskins,
and they were new coft at Kirkcudbright Fair, it's been a chance job
after a'. But if ye hae naething mair to say to me, I am thinking I
maun gang and see my beasts fed'; and he departed accordingly.

The hostler, who had accompanied him, gave evidence to the same
purpose. He and Mrs. Mac-Candlish were then reinterrogated whether
Brown had no arms with him on that unhappy morning. 'None,' they said,
'but an ordinary bit cutlass or hanger by his side.'

'Now,' said the Deacon, taking Glossin by the button (for, in
considering this intricate subject, he had forgot Glossin's new
accession of rank),'this is but doubtfu' after a', Maister Gilbert; for
it was not sae dooms likely that he would go down into battle wi' sic
sma' means.'

Glossin extricated himself from the Deacon's grasp and from the
discussion, though not with rudeness; for it was his present interest
to buy golden opinions from all sorts of people. He inquired the price
of tea and sugar, and spoke of providing himself for the year; he gave
Mrs. Mac-Candlish directions to have a handsome entertainment in
readiness for a party of five friends whom he intended to invite to
dine with him at the Gordon Arms next Saturday week; and, lastly, he
gave a half-crown to Jock Jabos, whom the hostler had deputed to hold
his steed.

'Weel,' said the Deacon to Mrs. Mac-Candlish, as he accepted her offer
of a glass of bitters at the bar, 'the deil's no sae ill as he's ca'd.
It's pleasant to see a gentleman pay the regard to the business o' the
county that Mr. Glossin does.'

'Ay, 'deed is't, Deacon,' answered the landlady; 'and yet I wonder our
gentry leave their ain wark to the like o' him. But as lang as siller's
current, Deacon, folk maunna look ower nicely at what king's head's
on't.'

'I doubt Glossin will prove but shand after a', mistress,' said Jabos,
as he passed through the little lobby beside the bar; 'but this is a
gude half-crown ony way.'



CHAPTER XXXIII

     A man that apprehends death to be no more dreadful but as a
     drunken sleep, careless, reckless, and fearless of what's
     past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and
     desperately mortal.

          --Measure for Measure.


Glossin had made careful minutes of the information derived from these
examinations. They threw little light upon the story, so far as he
understood its purport; but the better-informed reader has received
through means of this investigation an account of Brown's proceedings,
between the moment when we left him upon his walk to Kippletringan and
the time when, stung by jealousy, he so rashly and unhappily presented
himself before Julia Mannering, and well-nigh brought to a fatal
termination the quarrel which his appearance occasioned.

Glossin rode slowly back to Ellangowan, pondering on what he had heard,
and more and more convinced that the active and successful prosecution
of this mysterious business was an opportunity of ingratiating himself
with Hazlewood and Mannering to be on no account neglected. Perhaps,
also, he felt his professional acuteness interested in bringing it to a
successful close. It was, therefore, with great pleasure that, on his
return to his house from Kippletringan, he heard his servants announce
hastily, 'that Mac-Guffog, the thief-taker, and twa or three
concurrents, had a man in hands in the kitchen waiting for his honour.'

He instantly jumped from horseback, and hastened into the house. 'Send
my clerk here directly, ye'll find him copying the survey of the estate
in the little green parlour. Set things to rights in my study, and
wheel the great leathern chair up to the writing-table; set a stool for
Mr. Scrow. Scrow (to the clerk, as he entered the presence-chamber),
hand down Sir George Mackenzie "On Crimes"; open it at the section "Vis
Publica et Privata," and fold down a leaf at the passage "anent the
bearing of unlawful weapons." Now lend me a hand off with my
muckle-coat, and hang it up in the lobby, and bid them bring up the
prisoner; I trow I'll sort him; but stay, first send up Mac-Guffog.
Now, Mac-Guffog, where did ye find this chield?'

Mac-Guffog, a stout, bandy-legged fellow, with a neck like a bull, a
face like a firebrand, and a most portentous squint of the left eye,
began, after various contortions by way of courtesy to the Justice, to
tell his story, eking it out by sundry sly nods and knowing winks,
which appeared to bespeak an intimate correspondence of ideas between
the narrator and his principal auditor. 'Your honour sees I went down
to yon place that your honour spoke o', that's kept by her that your
honour kens o', by the sea-side. So says she, "What are you wanting
here? ye'll be come wi' a broom in your pocket frae Ellangowan?"--So
says I, "Deil a broom will come frae there awa, for ye ken," says I,
"his honour Ellangowan himsell in former times--"'

'Well, well,' said Glossin, 'no occasion to be particular, tell the
essentials.'

'Weel, so we sat niffering about some brandy that I said I wanted, till
he came in.'

'Who?'

'He!' pointing with his thumb inverted to the kitchen, where the
prisoner was in custody. 'So he had his griego wrapped close round him,
and I judged he was not dry-handed; so I thought it was best to speak
proper, and so he believed I was a Manks man, and I kept ay between him
and her, for fear she had whistled. And then we began to drink about,
and then I betted he would not drink out a quartern of Hollands without
drawing breath, and then he tried it, and just then Slounging Jock and
Dick Spur'em came in, and we clinked the darbies on him, took him as
quiet as a lamb; and now he's had his bit sleep out, and is as fresh as
a May gowan, to answer what your honour likes to speir.' This
narrative, delivered with a wonderful quantity of gesture and grimace,
received at the conclusion the thanks and praises which the narrator
expected.

'Had he no arms?' asked the Justice.

'Ay, ay, they are never without barkers and slashers.'

'Any papers?'

'This bundle,' delivering a dirty pocket-book.

'Go downstairs then, Mac-Guffog, and be in waiting.' The officer left
the room.

The clink of irons was immediately afterwards heard upon the stair, and
in two or three minutes a man was introduced, handcuffed and fettered.
He was thick, brawny, and muscular, and although his shagged and
grizzled hair marked an age somewhat advanced, and his stature was
rather low, he appeared, nevertheless, a person whom few would have
chosen to cope with in personal conflict. His coarse and savage
features were still flushed, and his eye still reeled under the
influence of the strong potation which had proved the immediate cause
of his seizure. But the sleep, though short, which Mac-Guffog had
allowed him, and still more a sense of the peril of his situation, had
restored to him the full use of his faculties. The worthy judge and the
no less estimable captive looked at each other steadily for a long time
without speaking. Glossin apparently recognised his prisoner, but
seemed at a loss how to proceed with his investigation. At length he
broke silence.--'Soh, Captain, this is you? you have been a stranger on
this coast for some years.'

'Stranger?' replied the other. 'Strange enough, I think; for hold me
der deyvil, if I been ever here before.'

'That won't pass, Mr. Captain.'

'That MUST pass, Mr. Justice, sapperment!'

'And who will you be pleased to call yourself, then, for the present,'
said Glossin, 'just until I shall bring some other folks to refresh
your memory concerning who you are, or at least who you have been?'

'What bin I? donner and blitzen! I bin Jans Jansen, from Cuxhaven; what
sall Ich bin?'

Glossin took from a case which was in the apartment a pair of small
pocket pistols, which he loaded with ostentatious care. 'You may
retire,' said he to his clerk, 'and carry the people with you, Scrow;
but wait in the lobby within call.'

The clerk would have offered some remonstrances to his patron on the
danger of remaining alone with such a desperate character, although
ironed beyond the possibility of active exertion, but Glossin waved him
off impatiently. When he had left the room the Justice took two short
turns through the apartment, then drew his chair opposite to the
prisoner, so as to confront him fully, placed the pistols before him in
readiness, and said in a steady voice, 'You are Dirk Hatteraick of
Flushing, are you not?'

The prisoner turned his eye instinctively to the door, as if he
apprehended some one was listening. Glossin rose, opened the door, so
that from the chair in which his prisoner sate he might satisfy himself
there was no eavesdropper within hearing, then shut it, resumed his
seat, and repeated his question, 'You are Dirk Hatteraick, formerly of
the Yungfrauw Haagenslaapen, are you not?'

'Tousand deyvils! and if you know that, why ask me?' said the prisoner.

'Because I am surprised to see you in the very last place where you
ought to be, if you regard your safety,' observed Glossin, coolly.

'Der deyvil! no man regards his own safety that speaks so to me!'

'What? unarmed, and in irons! well said, Captain!' replied Glossin,
ironically. 'But, Captain, bullying won't do; you'll hardly get out of
this country without accounting for a little accident that happened at
Warroch Point a few years ago.'

Hatteraick's looks grew black as midnight.

'For my part,' continued Glossin, 'I have no particular wish to be hard
upon an old acquaintance; but I must do my duty. I shall send you off
to Edinburgh in a post-chaise and four this very day.'

'Poz donner! you would not do that?' said Hatteraick, in a lower and
more humbled tone; 'why, you had the matter of half a cargo in bills on
Vanbeest and Vanbruggen.'

'It is so long since, Captain Hatteraick,' answered Glossin,
superciliously, 'that I really forget how I was recompensed for my
trouble.'

'Your trouble? your silence, you mean.'

'It was an affair in the course of business,' said Glossin, 'and I have
retired from business for some time.'

'Ay, but I have a notion that I could make you go steady about and try
the old course again,' answered Dirk Hatteraick. 'Why, man, hold me der
deyvil, but I meant to visit you and tell you something that concerns
you.'

'Of the boy?' said Glossin, eagerly.

'Yaw, Mynheer,' replied the Captain, coolly.

'He does not live, does he?'

'As lifelich as you or I,' said Hatteraick.

'Good God! But in India?' exclaimed Glossin.

'No, tousand deyvils, here! on this dirty coast of yours,' rejoined the
prisoner.

'But, Hatteraick, this,--that is, if it be true, which I do not
believe,--this will ruin us both, for he cannot but remember your neat
job; and for me, it will be productive of the worst consequences! It
will ruin us both, I tell you.'

'I tell you,' said the seaman, 'it will ruin none but you; for I am
done up already, and if I must strap for it, all shall out.'

'Zounds,' said the Justice impatiently, 'what brought you back to this
coast like a madman?'

'Why, all the gelt was gone, and the house was shaking, and I thought
the job was clayed over and forgotten,' answered the worthy skipper.

'Stay; what can be done?' said Glossin, anxiously. 'I dare not
discharge you; but might you not be rescued in the way? Ay sure! a word
to Lieutenant Brown, and I would send the people with you by the
coast-road.'

'No, no! that won't do. Brown's dead, shot, laid in the locker, man;
the devil has the picking of him.

'Dead? shot? At Woodbourne, I suppose?' replied Glossin.

'Yaw, Mynheer.'

Glossin paused; the sweat broke upon his brow with the agony of his
feelings, while the hard-featured miscreant who sat opposite coolly
rolled his tobacco in his cheek and squirted the juice into the
fire-grate. 'It would be ruin,' said Glossin to himself, 'absolute
ruin, if the heir should reappear; and then what might be the
consequence of conniving with these men? Yet there is so little time to
take measures. Hark you, Hatteraick; I can't set you at liberty; but I
can put you where you may set yourself at liberty, I always like to
assist an old friend. I shall confine you in the old castle for
to-night, and give these people double allowance of grog. MacGuffog
will fall in the trap in which he caught you. The stancheons on the
window of the strong room, as they call it, are wasted to pieces, and
it is not above twelve feet from the level of the ground without, and
the snow lies thick.'

'But the darbies,' said Hatteraick, looking upon his fetters.

'Hark ye,' said Glossin, going to a tool chest, and taking out a small
file, 'there's a friend for you, and you know the road to the sea by
the stairs.' Hatteraick shook his chains in ecstasy, as if he were
already at liberty, and strove to extend his fettered hand towards his
protector. Glossin laid his finger upon his lips with a cautious glance
at the door, and then proceeded in his instructions. 'When you escape,
you had better go to the Kaim of Derncleugh.'

'Donner! that howff is blown.'

'The devil! well, then, you may steal my skiff that lies on the beach
there, and away. But you must remain snug at the Point of Warroch till
I come to see you.'

'The Point of Warroch?' said Hatteraick, his countenance again falling;
'what, in the cave, I suppose? I would rather it were anywhere else; es
spuckt da: they say for certain that he walks. But, donner and blitzen!
I never shunned him alive, and I won't shun him dead. Strafe mich
helle! it shall never be said Dirk Hatteraick feared either dog or
devil! So I am to wait there till I see you?'

'Ay, ay,' answered Glossin, 'and now I must call in the men.' He did so
accordingly.

'I can make nothing of Captain Jansen, as he calls himself, Mac-Guffog,
and it's now too late to bundle him off to the county jail. Is there
not a strong room up yonder in the old castle?'

'Ay is there, sir; my uncle the constable ance kept a man there for
three days in auld Ellangowan's time. But there was an unco dust about
it; it was tried in the Inner House afore the Feifteen.'

'I know all that, but this person will not stay there very long; it's
only a makeshift for a night, a mere lock-up house till farther
examination. There is a small room through which it opens; you may
light a fire for yourselves there, and I'll send you plenty of stuff to
make you comfortable. But be sure you lock the door upon the prisoner;
and, hark ye, let him have a fire in the strong room too, the season
requires it. Perhaps he'll make a clean breast to-morrow.'

With these instructions, and with a large allowance of food and liquor,
the Justice dismissed his party to keep guard for the night in the old
castle, under the full hope and belief that they would neither spend
the night in watching nor prayer.

There was little fear that Glossin himself should that night sleep
over-sound. His situation was perilous in the extreme, for the schemes
of a life of villainy seemed at once to be crumbling around and above
him. He laid himself to rest, and tossed upon his pillow for a long
time in vain. At length he fell asleep, but it was only to dream of his
patron, now as he had last seen him, with the paleness of death upon
his features, then again transformed into all the vigour and comeliness
of youth, approaching to expel him from the mansion-house of his
fathers. Then he dreamed that, after wandering long over a wild heath,
he came at length to an inn, from which sounded the voice of revelry;
and that when he entered the first person he met was Frank Kennedy, all
smashed and gory, as he had lain on the beach at Warroch Point, but
with a reeking punch-bowl in his hand. Then the scene changed to a
dungeon, where he heard Dirk Hatteraick, whom he imagined to be under
sentence of death, confessing his crimes to a clergyman. 'After the
bloody deed was done,' said the penitent, 'we retreated into a cave
close beside, the secret of which was known but to one man in the
country; we were debating what to do with the child, and we thought of
giving it up to the gipsies, when we heard the cries of the pursuers
hallooing to each other. One man alone came straight to our cave, and
it was that man who knew the secret; but we made him our friend at the
expense of half the value of the goods saved. By his advice we carried
off the child to Holland in our consort, which came the following night
to take us from the coast. That man was--'

'No, I deny it! it was not I!' said Glossin, in half-uttered accents;
and, struggling in his agony to express his denial more distinctly, he
awoke.

It was, however, conscience that had prepared this mental
phantasmagoria. The truth was that, knowing much better than any other
person the haunts of the smugglers, he had, while the others were
searching in different directions, gone straight to the cave, even
before he had learned the murder of Kennedy, whom he expected to find
their prisoner. He came upon them with some idea of mediation, but
found them in the midst of their guilty terrors, while the rage which
had hurried them on to murder began, with all but Hatteraick, to sink
into remorse and fear. Glossin was then indigent and greatly in debt,
but he was already possessed of Mr. Bertram's ear, and, aware of the
facility of his disposition, he saw no difficulty in enriching himself
at his expense, provided the heir-male were removed, in which case the
estate became the unlimited property of the weak and prodigal father.
Stimulated by present gain and the prospect of contingent advantage, he
accepted the bribe which the smugglers offered in their terror, and
connived at, or rather encouraged, their intention of carrying away the
child of his benefactor who, if left behind, was old enough to have
described the scene of blood which he had witnessed. The only
palliative which the ingenuity of Glossin could offer to his conscience
was, that the temptation was great, and came suddenly upon him,
embracing as it were the very advantages on which his mind had so long
rested, and promising to relieve him from distresses which must have
otherwise speedily overwhelmed him. Besides, he endeavoured to think
that self-preservation rendered his conduct necessary. He was, in some
degree, in the power of the robbers, and pleaded hard with his
conscience that, had he declined their offers, the assistance which he
could have called for, though not distant, might not have arrived in
time to save him from men who, on less provocation, had just committed
murder.

Galled with the anxious forebodings of a guilty conscience, Glossin now
arose and looked out upon the night. The scene which we have already
described in the third chapter of this story, was now covered with
snow, and the brilliant, though waste, whiteness of the land gave to
the sea by contrast a dark and livid tinge. A landscape covered with
snow, though abstractedly it may be called beautiful, has, both from
the association of cold and barrenness and from its comparative
infrequency, a wild, strange, and desolate appearance. Objects well
known to us in their common state have either disappeared, or are so
strangely varied and disguised that we seem gazing on an unknown world.
But it was not with such reflections that the mind of this bad man was
occupied. His eye was upon the gigantic and gloomy outlines of the old
castle, where, in a flanking tower of enormous size and thickness,
glimmered two lights, one from the window of the strong room, where
Hatteraick was confined, the other from that of the adjacent apartment,
occupied by his keepers. 'Has he made his escape, or will he be able to
do so? Have these men watched, who never watched before, in order to
complete my ruin? If morning finds him there, he must be committed to
prison; Mac-Morlan or some other person will take the matter up; he
will be detected, convicted, and will tell all in revenge!'

While these racking thoughts glided rapidly through Glossin's mind, he
observed one of the lights obscured, as by an opaque body placed at the
window. What a moment of interest! 'He has got clear of his irons! he
is working at the stancheons of the window! they are surely quite
decayed, they must give way. O God! they have fallen outward, I heard
them clink among the stones! the noise cannot fail to wake them. Furies
seize his Dutch awkwardness! The light burns free again; they have torn
him from the window, and are binding him in the room! No! he had only
retired an instant on the alarm of the falling bars; he is at the
window again, and the light is quite obscured now; he is getting out!'

A heavy sound, as of a body dropped from a height among the snow,
announced that Hatteraick had completed his escape, and shortly after
Glossin beheld a dark figure, like a shadow, steal along the whitened
beach and reach the spot where the skiff lay. New cause for fear! 'His
single strength will be unable to float her,' said Glossin to himself;
'I must go to the rascal's assistance. But no! he has got her off, and
now, thank God, her sail is spreading itself against the moon; ay, he
has got the breeze now; would to heaven it were a tempest, to sink him
to the bottom!'

After this last cordial wish, he continued watching the progress of the
boat as it stood away towards the Point of Warroch, until he could no
longer distinguish the dusky sail from the gloomy waves over which it
glided. Satisfied then that the immediate danger was averted, he
retired with somewhat more composure to his guilty pillow.



CHAPTER XXXIV

     Why dost not comfort me, and help me out
     From this unhallowed and blood-stained hole?

          Titus Andronicus.



On the next morning, great was the alarm and confusion of the officers
when they discovered the escape of their prisoner. Mac-Guffog appeared
before Glossin with a head perturbed with brandy and fear, and incurred
a most severe reprimand for neglect of duty. The resentment of the
Justice appeared only to be suspended by his anxiety to recover
possession of the prisoner, and the thief-takers, glad to escape from
his awful and incensed presence, were sent off in every direction
(except the right one) to recover their prisoner, if possible. Glossin
particularly recommended a careful search at the Kaim of Derncleugh,
which was occasionally occupied under night by vagrants of different
descriptions. Having thus dispersed his myrmidons in various
directions, he himself hastened by devious paths through the wood of
Warroch to his appointed interview with Hatteraick, from whom he hoped
to learn at more leisure than last night's conference admitted the
circumstances attending the return of the heir of Ellangowan to his
native country.

With manoeuvres like those of a fox when he doubles to avoid the pack,
Glossin strove to approach the place of appointment in a manner which
should leave no distinct track of his course. 'Would to Heaven it would
snow,' he said, looking upward, 'and hide these foot-prints. Should one
of the officers light upon them, he would run the scent up like a
bloodhound and surprise us. I must get down upon the sea-beach, and
contrive to creep along beneath the rocks.'

And accordingly he descended from the cliffs with some difficulty, and
scrambled along between the rocks and the advancing tide; now looking
up to see if his motions were watched from the rocks above him, now
casting a jealous glance to mark if any boat appeared upon the sea,
from which his course might be discovered.

But even the feelings of selfish apprehension were for a time
superseded, as Glossin passed the spot where Kennedy's body had been
found. It was marked by the fragment of rock which had been
precipitated from the cliff above, either with the body or after it.
The mass was now encrusted with small shell-fish, and tasselled with
tangle and seaweed; but still its shape and substance were different
from those of the other rocks which lay scattered around. His voluntary
walks, it will readily be believed, had never led to this spot; so
that, finding himself now there for the first time after the terrible
catastrophe, the scene at once recurred to his mind with all its
accompaniments of horror. He remembered how, like a guilty thing,
gliding from the neighbouring place of concealment, he had mingled with
eagerness, yet with caution, among the terrified group who surrounded
the corpse, dreading lest any one should ask from whence he came. He
remembered, too, with what conscious fear he had avoided gazing upon
that ghastly spectacle. The wild scream of his patron, 'My bairn! my
bairn!' again rang in his ears. 'Good God!' he exclaimed, 'and is all I
have gained worth the agony of that moment, and the thousand anxious
fears and horrors which have since embittered my life! O how I wish
that I lay where that wretched man lies, and that he stood here in life
and health! But these regrets are all too late.'

Stifling, therefore, his feelings, he crept forward to the cave, which
was so near the spot where the body was found that the smugglers might
have heard from their hiding-place the various conjectures of the
bystanders concerning the fate of their victim. But nothing could be
more completely concealed than the entrance to their asylum. The
opening, not larger than that of a fox-earth, lay in the face of the
cliff directly behind a large black rock, or rather upright stone,
which served at once to conceal it from strangers and as a mark to
point out its situation to those who used it as a place of retreat. The
space between the stone and the cliff was exceedingly narrow, and,
being heaped with sand and other rubbish, the most minute search would
not have discovered the mouth of the cavern without removing those
substances which the tide had drifted before it. For the purpose of
further concealment, it was usual with the contraband traders who
frequented this haunt, after they had entered, to stuff the mouth with
withered seaweed, loosely piled together as if carried there by the
waves. Dirk Hatteraick had not forgotten this precaution.

Glossin, though a bold and hardy man, felt his heart throb and his
knees knock together when he prepared to enter this den of secret
iniquity, in order to hold conference with a felon, whom he justly
accounted one of the most desperate and depraved of men. 'But he has no
interest to injure me,' was his consolatory reflection. He examined his
pocket-pistols, however, before removing the weeds and entering the
cavern, which he did upon hands and knees. The passage, which at first
was low and narrow, just admitting entrance to a man in a creeping
posture, expanded after a few yards into a high arched vault of
considerable width. The bottom, ascending gradually, was covered with
the purest sand. Ere Glossin had got upon his feet, the hoarse yet
suppressed voice of Hatteraick growled through the recesses of the
cave:--

'Hagel and donner! be'st du?'

'Are you in the dark?'

'Dark? der deyvil! ay,' said Dirk Hatteraick; 'where should I have a
glim?'

'I have brought light'; and Glossin accordingly produced a tinder-box
and lighted a small lantern.

'You must kindle some fire too, for hold mich der deyvil, Ich bin ganz
gefrorne!'

'It is a cold place, to be sure,' said Glossin, gathering together some
decayed staves of barrels and pieces of wood, which had perhaps lain in
the cavern since Hatteraick was there last.

'Cold? Snow-wasser and hagel! it's perdition; I could only keep myself
alive by rambling up and down this d--d vault, and thinking about the
merry rouses we have had in it.'

The flame then began to blaze brightly, and Hatteraick hung his bronzed
visage and expanded his hard and sinewy hands over it, with an avidity
resembling that of a famished wretch to whom food is exposed. The light
showed his savage and stern features, and the smoke, which in his agony
of cold he seemed to endure almost to suffocation, after circling round
his head, rose to the dim and rugged roof of the cave, through which it
escaped by some secret rents or clefts in the rock; the same doubtless
that afforded air to the cavern when the tide was in, at which time the
aperture to the sea was filled with water.

'And now I have brought you some breakfast,' said Glossin, producing
some cold meat and a flask of spirits. The latter Hatteraick eagerly
seized upon and applied to his mouth; and, after a hearty draught, he
exclaimed with great rapture, 'Das schmeckt! That is good, that warms
the liver!' Then broke into the fragment of a High-Dutch song,--

     Saufen Bier und Brantewein,
     Schmeissen alle die Fenstern ein;
     Ich bin liederlich,
     Du bist liederlich;
     Sind wir nicht liederlich Leute a?

'Well said, my hearty Captain!' cried Glossin, endeavouring to catch
the tone of revelry,--

     'Gin by pailfuls, wine in rivers,
     Dash the window-glass to shivers!
        For three wild lads were we, brave boys,
        And three wild lads were we;
        Thou on the land, and I on the sand,
        And Jack on the gallows-tree!

That's it, my bully-boy! Why, you're alive again now! And now let us
talk about our business.'

'YOUR business, if you please,' said Hatteraick. 'Hagel and donner!
mine was done when I got out of the bilboes.'

'Have patience, my good friend; I'll convince you our interests are
just the same.'

Hatteraick gave a short dry cough, and Glossin, after a pause,
proceeded.

'How came you to let the boy escape?'

'Why, fluch and blitzen! he was no charge of mine. Lieutenant Brown
gave him to his cousin that's in the Middleburgh house of Vanbeest and
Vanbruggen, and told him some goose's gazette about his being taken in
a skirmish with the land-sharks; he gave him for a footboy. Me let him
escape! the bastard kinchin should have walked the plank ere I troubled
myself about him.'

'Well, and was he bred a foot-boy then?'

'Nein, nein; the kinchin got about the old man's heart, and he gave him
his own name, and bred him up in the office, and then sent him to
India; I believe he would have packed him back here, but his nephew
told him it would do up the free trade for many a day if the youngster
got back to Scotland.'

'Do you think the younker knows much of his own origin now?'

'Deyvil!' replied Hatteraick, 'how should I tell what he knows now? But
he remembered something of it long. When he was but ten years old he
persuaded another Satan's limb of an English bastard like himself to
steal my lugger's khan--boat--what do you call it? to return to his
country, as he called it; fire him! Before we could overtake them they
had the skiff out of channel as far as the Deurloo; the boat might have
been lost.'

'I wish to Heaven she had, with him in her!' ejaculated Glossin.

'Why, I was so angry myself that, sapperment! I did give him a tip over
the side; but split him! the comical little devil swam like a duck; so
I made him swim astern for a mile to teach him manners, and then took
him in when he was sinking. By the knocking Nicholas I he'll plague
you, now he's come over the herring-pond! When he was so high he had
the spirit of thunder and lightning.'

'How did he get back from India?'

'Why, how should I know? The house there was done up; and that gave us
a shake at Middleburgh, I think; so they sent me again to see what
could be done among my old acquaintances here, for we held old stories
were done away and forgotten. So I had got a pretty trade on foot
within the last two trips; but that stupid hounds-foot schelm, Brown,
has knocked it on the head again, I suppose, with getting himself shot
by the colonel-man.'

'Why were not you with them?'

'Why, you see, sapperment! I fear nothing; but it was too far within
land, and I might have been scented.'

'True. But to return to this youngster--'

'Ay, ay, donner and blitzen! HE'S your affair,' said the Captain.

'How do you really know that he is in this country?'

'Why, Gabriel saw him up among the hills.'

'Gabriel! who is he?'

'A fellow from the gipsies, that, about eighteen years since, was
pressed on board that d--d fellow Pritchard's sloop-of-war. It was he
came off and gave us warning that the Shark was coming round upon us
the day Kennedy was done; and he told us how Kennedy had given the
information. The gipsies and Kennedy had some quarrel besides. This Gab
went to the East Indies in the same ship with your younker, and,
sapperment! knew him well, though the other did not remember him. Gab
kept out of his eye though, as he had served the States against
England, and was a deserter to boot; and he sent us word directly, that
we might know of his being here, though it does not concern us a rope's
end.'

'So, then, really, and in sober earnest, he is actually in this
country, Hatteraick, between friend and friend?' asked Glossin,
seriously.

'Wetter and donner, yaw! What do you take me for?'

'For a bloodthirsty, fearless miscreant!' thought Glossin internally;
but said aloud, 'And which of your people was it that shot young
Hazlewood?'

'Sturmwetter!' said the Captain, 'do ye think we were mad? none of US,
man. Gott! the country was too hot for the trade already with that d-d
frolic of Brown's, attacking what you call Woodbourne House.'

'Why, I am told,' said Glossin, 'it was Brown who shot Hazlewood?'

'Not our lieutenant, I promise you; for he was laid six feet deep at
Derncleugh the day before the thing happened. Tausend deyvils, man! do
ye think that he could rise out of the earth to shoot another man?'

A light here began to break upon Glossin's confusion of ideas. 'Did you
not say that the younker, as you call him, goes by the name of Brown?'

'Of Brown? yaw; Vanbeest Brown. Old Vanbeest Brown, of our Vanbeest and
Vanbruggen, gave him his own name, he did.'

'Then,' said Glossin, rubbing his hands, 'it is he, by Heaven, who has
committed this crime!'

'And what have we to do with that?' demanded Hatteraick.

Glossin paused, and, fertile in expedients, hastily ran over his
project in his own mind, and then drew near the smuggler with a
confidential air. 'You know, my dear Hatteraick, it is our principal
business to get rid of this young man?'

'Umph!' answered Dirk Hatteraick.

'Not,' continued Glossin--'not that I would wish any personal harm to
him--if--if--if we can do without. Now, he is liable to be seized upon
by justice, both as bearing the same name with your lieutenant, who was
engaged in that affair at Woodbourne, and for firing at young Hazlewood
with intent to kill or wound.'

'Ay, ay,' said Dirk Hatteraick; 'but what good will that do you? He'll
be loose again as soon as he shows himself to carry other colours.'

'True, my dear Dirk; well noticed, my friend Hatteraick! But there is
ground enough for a temporary imprisonment till he fetch his proofs
from England or elsewhere, my good friend. I understand the law,
Captain Hatteraick, and I'll take it upon me, simple Gilbert Glossin of
Ellangowan, justice of peace for the county of---, to refuse his bail,
if he should offer the best in the country, until he is brought up for
a second examination; now where d'ye think I'll incarcerate him?'

'Hagel and wetter! what do I care?'

'Stay, my friend; you do care a great deal. Do you know your goods that
were seized and carried to Woodbourne are now lying in the custom-house
at Portanferry? (a small fishing-town). Now I will commit this
younker--'

'When you have caught him.'

'Ay, ay, when I have caught him; I shall not be long about that. I will
commit him to the workhouse, or bridewell, which you know is beside the
custom-house.'

'Yaw, the rasp-house; I know it very well.'

'I will take care that the redcoats are dispersed through the country;
you land at night with the crew of your lugger, receive your own goods,
and carry the younker Brown with you back to Flushing. Won't that do?'

'Ay, carry him to Flushing,' said the Captain, 'or--to America?'

'Ay, ay, my friend.'

'Or--to Jericho?'

'Psha! Wherever you have a mind.'

'Ay, or--pitch him overboard?'

'Nay, I advise no violence.'

'Nein, nein; you leave that to me. Sturmwetter! I know you of old. But,
hark ye, what am I, Dirk Hatteraick, to be the better of this?'

'Why, is it not your interest as well as mine?' said Glossin; 'besides,
I set you free this morning.'

'YOU set me free! Donner and deyvil! I set myself free. Besides, it was
all in the way of your profession, and happened a long time ago, ha,
ha, ha!'

'Pshaw! pshaw! don't let us jest; I am not against making a handsome
compliment; but it's your affair as well as mine.'

'What do you talk of my affair? is it not you that keep the younker's
whole estate from him? Dirk Hatteraick never touched a stiver of his
rents.'

'Hush! hush! I tell you it shall be a joint business.'

'Why, will ye give me half the kitt?'

'What, half the estate? D'ye mean we should set up house together at
Ellangowan, and take the barony ridge about?'

'Sturmwetter, no! but you might give me half the value--half the gelt.
Live with you? nein. I would have a lusthaus of mine own on the
Middleburgh dyke, and a blumengarten like a burgomaster's.'

'Ay, and a wooden lion at the door, and a painted sentinel in the
garden, with a pipe in his mouth! But, hark ye, Hatteraick, what will
all the tulips and flower-gardens and pleasure-houses in the
Netherlands do for you if you are hanged here in Scotland?'

Hatteraick's countenance fell. 'Der deyvil! hanged!'

'Ay, hanged, mein Herr Captain. The devil can scarce save Dirk
Hatteraick from being hanged for a murderer and kidnapper if the
younker of Ellangowan should settle in this country, and if the gallant
Captain chances to be caught here reestablishing his fair trade! And I
won't say but, as peace is now so much talked of, their High
Mightinesses may not hand him over to oblige their new allies, even if
he remained in faderland.'

'Poz hagel, blitzen, and donner! I--I doubt you say true.'

'Not,' said Glossin, perceiving he had made the desired impression,
'not that I am against being civil'; and he slid into Hatteraick's
passive hand a bank-note of some value.

'Is this all?' said the smuggler. 'You had the price of half a cargo
for winking at our job, and made us do your business too.'

'But, my good friend, you forget: In this case you will recover all
your own goods.'

'Ay, at the risk of all our own necks; we could do that without you.'

'I doubt that, Captain Hatteraick,' said Glossin, drily; 'because you
would probably find a 'dozen' redcoats at the custom-house, whom it
must be my business, if we agree about this matter, to have removed.
Come, come, I will be as liberal as I can, but you should have a
conscience.'

'Now strafe mich der deyfel! this provokes me more than all the rest!
You rob and you murder, and you want me to rob and murder, and play the
silver-cooper, or kidnapper, as you call it, a dozen times over, and
then, hagel and windsturm! you speak to me of conscience! Can you think
of no fairer way of getting rid of this unlucky lad?'

'No, mein Herr; but as I commit him to your charge-'

'To my charge! to the charge of steel and gunpowder! and--well, if it
must be, it must; but you have a tolerably good guess what's like to
come of it.'

'O, my dear friend, I trust no degree of severity will be necessary,'
replied Glossin.

'Severity!' said the fellow, with a kind of groan, 'I wish you had had
my dreams when I first came to this dog-hole, and tried to sleep among
the dry seaweed. First, there was that d-d fellow there, with his
broken back, sprawling as he did when I hurled the rock over a-top on
him, ha, ha! You would have sworn he was lying on the floor where you
stand, wriggling like a crushed frog, and then--'

'Nay, my friend,' said Glossin, interrupting him, 'what signifies going
over this nonsense? If you are turned chicken-hearted, why, the game's
up, that's all; the game's up with us both.'

'Chicken-hearted? no. I have not lived so long upon the account to
start at last, neither for devil nor Dutchman.'

'Well, then, take another schnaps; the cold's at your heart still. And
now tell me, are any of your old crew with you?'

'Nein; all dead, shot, hanged, drowned, and damned. Brown was the last.
All dead but Gipsy Gab, and he would go off the country for a spill of
money; or he'll be quiet for his own sake; or old Meg, his aunt, will
keep him quiet for hers.'

'Which Meg?'

'Meg Merrilies, the old devil's limb of a gipsy witch.'

'Is she still alive?'

'Yaw.'

'And in this country?'

'And in this country. She was at the Kaim of Derncleugh, at Vanbeest
Brown's last wake, as they call it, the other night, with two of my
people, and some of her own blasted gipsies.'

'That's another breaker ahead, Captain! Will she not squeak, think ye?'

'Not she! she won't start; she swore by the salmon, [Footnote: The
great and invoidable oath of the strolling tribes.] if we did the
kinchin no harm, she would never tell how the gauger got it. Why, man,
though I gave her a wipe with my hanger in the heat of the matter, and
cut her arm, and though she was so long after in trouble about it up at
your borough-town there, der deyvil! old Meg was as true as steel.'

'Why, that's true, as you say,' replied Glossin. 'And yet if she could
be carried over to Zealand, or Hamburgh, or--or--anywhere else, you
know, it were as well.'

Hatteraick jumped upright upon his feet, and looked at Glossin from
head to heel. 'I don't see the goat's foot,' he said, 'and yet he must
be the very deyvil! But Meg Merrilies is closer yet with the kobold
than you are; ay, and I had never such weather as after having drawn
her blood. Nein, nein, I'll meddle with her no more; she's a witch of
the fiend, a real deyvil's kind,--but that's her affair. Donner and
wetter! I'll neither make nor meddle; that's her work. But for the
rest--why, if I thought the trade would not suffer, I would soon rid
you of the younker, if you send me word when he's under embargo.'

In brief and under tones the two worthy associates concerted their
enterprise, and agreed at which of his haunts Hatteraick should be
heard of. The stay of his lugger on the coast was not difficult, as
there were no king's vessels there at the time.



CHAPTER XXXV

     You are one of those that will not serve God if the devil
     bids you. Because we come to do you service, you think we are
     ruffians.

          --Othello.


When Glossin returned home he found, among other letters and papers
sent to him, one of considerable importance. It was signed by Mr.
Protocol, an attorney in Edinburgh, and, addressing him as the agent
for Godfrey Bertram, Esq., late of Ellangowan, and his representatives,
acquainted him with the sudden death of Mrs. Margaret Bertram of
Singleside, requesting him to inform his clients thereof, in case they
should judge it proper to have any person present for their interest at
opening the repositories of the deceased. Mr. Glossin perceived at once
that the letter-writer was unacquainted with the breach which had taken
place between him and his late patron. The estate of the deceased lady
should by rights, as he well knew, descend to Lucy Bertram; but it was
a thousand to one that the caprice of the old lady might have altered
its destination. After running over contingencies and probabilities in
his fertile mind, to ascertain what sort of personal advantage might
accrue to him from this incident, he could not perceive any mode of
availing himself of it, except in so far as it might go to assist his
plan of recovering, or rather creating, a character, the want of which
he had already experienced, and was likely to feel yet more deeply. 'I
must place myself,' he thought, 'on strong ground, that, if anything
goes wrong with Dirk Hatteraick's project, I may have prepossessions in
my favour at least.' Besides, to do Glossin justice, bad as he was, he
might feel some desire to compensate to Miss Bertram in a small degree,
and in a case in which his own interest did not interfere with hers,
the infinite mischief which he had occasioned to her family. He
therefore resolved early the next morning to ride over to Woodbourne.

It was not without hesitation that he took this step, having the
natural reluctance to face Colonel Mannering which fraud and villainy
have to encounter honour and probity. But he had great confidence in
his own savoir faire. His talents were naturally acute, and by no means
confined to the line of his profession. He had at different times
resided a good deal in England, and his address was free both from
country rusticity and professional pedantry; so that he had
considerable powers both of address and persuasion, joined to an
unshaken effrontery, which he affected to disguise under plainness of
manner. Confident, therefore, in himself, he appeared at Woodbourne
about ten in the morning, and was admitted as a gentleman come to wait
upon Miss Bertram.

He did not announce himself until he was at the door of the
breakfast-parlour, when the servant, by his desire, said aloud--'Mr.
Glossin, to wait upon Miss Bertram.' Lucy, remembering the last scene
of her father's existence, turned as pale as death, and had well-nigh
fallen from her chair. Julia Mannering flew to her assistance, and they
left the room together. There remained Colonel Mannering, Charles
Hazlewood, with his arm in a sling, and the Dominie, whose gaunt visage
and wall-eyes assumed a most hostile aspect on recognising Glossin.

That honest gentleman, though somewhat abashed by the effect of his
first introduction, advanced with confidence, and hoped he did not
intrude upon the ladies. Colonel Mannering, in a very upright and
stately manner, observed, that he did not know to what he was to impute
the honour of a visit from Mr. Glossin.

'Hem! hem! I took the liberty to wait upon Miss Bertram, Colonel
Mannering, on account of a matter of business.'

'If it can be communicated to Mr. Mac-Morlan, her agent, sir, I believe
it will be more agreeable to Miss Bertram.'

'I beg pardon, Colonel Mannering,' said Glossin, making a wretched
attempt at an easy demeanour; 'you are a man of the world; there are
some cases in which it is most prudent for all parties to treat with
principals.'

'Then,' replied Mannering, with a repulsive air, 'if Mr. Glossin will
take the trouble to state his object in a letter, I will answer that
Miss Bertram pays proper attention to it.'

'Certainly,' stammered Glossin; 'but there are cases in which a viva
voce conference--Hem! I perceive--I know--Colonel Mannering has adopted
some prejudices which may make my visit appear intrusive; but I submit
to his good sense, whether he ought to exclude me from a hearing
without knowing the purpose of my visit, or of how much consequence it
may be to the young lady whom he honours with his protection.'

'Certainly, sir, I have not the least intention to do so,' replied the
Colonel. 'I will learn Miss Bertram's pleasure on the subject, and
acquaint Mr. Glossin, if he can spare time to wait for her answer.' So
saying, he left the room.

Glossin had still remained standing in the midst of the apartment.
Colonel Mannering had made not the slightest motion to invite him to
sit, and indeed had remained standing himself during their short
interview. When he left the room, however, Glossin seized upon a chair,
and threw himself into it with an air between embarrassment and
effrontery. He felt the silence of his companions disconcerting and
oppressive, and resolved to interrupt it.

'A fine day, Mr. Sampson.'

The Dominie answered with something between an acquiescent grunt and an
indignant groan.

'You never come down to see your old acquaintance on the Ellangowan
property, Mr. Sampson. You would find most of the old stagers still
stationary there. I have too much respect for the late family to
disturb old residenters, even under pretence of improvement. Besides,
it's not my way, I don't like it; I believe, Mr. Sampson, Scripture
particularly condemns those who oppress the poor, and remove landmarks.'

'Or who devour the substance of orphans,' subjoined the Dominie.
'Anathema, Maranatha!' So saying, he rose, shouldered the folio which
he had been perusing, faced to the right about, and marched out of the
room with the strides of a grenadier.

Mr. Glossin, no way disconcerted, or at least feeling it necessary not
to appear so, turned to young Hazlewood, who was apparently busy with
the newspaper.--' Any news, sir?' Hazlewood raised his eyes, looked at
him, and pushed the paper towards him, as if to a stranger in a
coffee-house, then rose, and was about to leave the room. 'I beg
pardon, Mr. Hazlewood, but I can't help wishing you joy of getting so
easily over that infernal accident.' This was answered by a sort of
inclination of the head, as slight and stiff as could well be imagined.
Yet it encouraged our man of law to proceed.--' I can promise you, Mr.
Hazlewood, few people have taken the interest in that matter which I
have done, both for the sake of the country and on account of my
particular respect for your family, which has so high a stake in it;
indeed, so very high a stake that, as Mr. Featherhead is 'turning old
now, and as there's a talk, since his last stroke, of his taking the
Chiltern Hundreds, it might be worth your while to look about you. I
speak as a friend, Mr. Hazlewood, and as one who understands the roll;
and if in going over it together--'

'I beg pardon, sir, but I have no views in which your assistance could
be useful.'

'O, very well, perhaps you are right; it's quite time enough, and I
love to see a young gentleman cautious. But I was talking of your
wound. I think I have got a clue to that business--I think I have, and
if I don't bring the fellow to condign punishment--!'

'I beg your pardon, sir, once more; but your zeal outruns my wishes. I
have every reason to think the wound was accidental; certainly it was
not premeditated. Against ingratitude and premeditated treachery,
should you find any one guilty of them, my resentment will be as warm
as your own.' This was Hazlewood's answer.

'Another rebuff,' thought Glossin; 'I must try him upon the other
tack.' 'Right, sir; very nobly said! I would have no more mercy on an
ungrateful man than I would on a woodcock. And now we talk of sport
(this was a sort of diverting of the conversation which Glossin had
learned from his former patron), I see you often carry a gun, and I
hope you will be soon able to take the field again. I observe you
confine yourself always to your own side of the Hazleshaws burn. I
hope, my dear sir, you will make no scruple of following your game to
the Ellangowan bank; I believe it is rather the best exposure of the
two for woodcocks, although both are capital.'

As this offer only excited a cold and constrained bow, Glossin was
obliged to remain silent, and was presently afterwards somewhat
relieved by the entrance of Colonel Mannering.

'I have detained you some time, I fear, sir,' said he, addressing
Glossin; 'I wished to prevail upon Miss Bertram to see you, as, in my
opinion, her objections ought to give way to the necessity of hearing
in her own person what is stated to be of importance that she should
know. But I find that circumstances of recent occurrence, and not
easily to be forgotten, have rendered her so utterly repugnant to a
personal interview with Mr. Glossin that it would be cruelty to insist
upon it; and she has deputed me to receive his commands, or proposal,
or, in short, whatever he may wish to say to her.'

'Hem, hem! I am sorry, sir--I am very sorry, Colonel Mannering, that
Miss Bertram should suppose--that any prejudice, in short--or idea that
anything on my part--'

'Sir,' said the inflexible Colonel, 'where no accusation is made,
excuses or explanations are unnecessary. Have you any objection to
communicate to me, as Miss Bertram's temporary guardian, the
circumstances which you conceive to interest her?'

'None, Colonel Mannering; she could not choose a more respectable
friend, or one with whom I, in particular, would more anxiously wish to
communicate frankly.'

'Have the goodness to speak to the point, sir, if you please.'

'Why, sir, it is not so easy all at once--but Mr. Hazlewood need not
leave the room,--I mean so well to Miss Bertram that I could wish the
whole world to hear my part of the conference.'

'My friend Mr. Charles Hazlewood will not probably be anxious, Mr.
Glossin, to listen to what cannot concern him. And now, when he has
left us alone, let me pray you to be short and explicit in what you
have to say. I am a soldier, sir, somewhat impatient of forms and
introductions.' So saying, he drew himself up in his chair and waited
for Mr. Glossin's communication.

'Be pleased to look at that letter,' said Glossin, putting Protocol's
epistle into Mannering's hand, as the shortest way of stating his
business.

The Colonel read it and returned it, after pencilling the name of the
writer in his memorandum-book. 'This, sir, does not seem to require
much discussion. I will see that Miss Bertram's interest is attended
to.'

'But, sir,--but, Colonel Mannering,' added Glossin, 'there is another
matter which no one can explain but myself. This lady--this Mrs.
Margaret Bertram, to my certain knowledge, made a general settlement of
her affairs in Miss Lucy Bertram's favour while she lived with my old
friend Mr. Bertram at Ellangowan. The Dominie--that was the name by
which my deceased friend always called that very respectable man Mr.
Sampson--he and I witnessed the deed. And she had full power at that
time to make such a settlement, for she was in fee of the estate of
Singleside even then, although it was life rented by an elder sister.
It was a whimsical settlement of old Singleside's, sir; he pitted the
two cats his daughters against each other, ha, ha, ha!'

'Well, sir,' said Mannering, without the slightest smile of sympathy,
'but to the purpose. You say that this lady had power to settle her
estate on Miss Bertram, and that she did so?'

'Even so, Colonel,' replied Glossin. 'I think I should understand the
law, I have followed it for many years; and, though I have given it up
to retire upon a handsome competence, I did not throw away that
knowledge which is pronounced better than house and land, and which I
take to be the knowledge of the law, since, as our common rhyme has it,

     'Tis most excellent,
     To win the land that's gone and spent.

No, no, I love the smack of the whip: I have a little, a very little
law yet, at the service of my friends.'

Glossin ran on in this manner, thinking he had made a favourable
impression on Mannering. The Colonel, indeed, reflected that this might
be a most important crisis for Miss Bertram's interest, and resolved
that his strong inclination to throw Glossin out at window or at door
should not interfere with it. He put a strong curb on his temper, and
resolved to listen with patience at least, if without complacency. He
therefore let Mr. Glossin get to the end of his self-congratulations,
and then asked him if he knew where the deed was.

'I know--that is, I think--I believe I can recover it. In such cases
custodiers have sometimes made a charge.'

'We won't differ as to that, sir,' said the Colonel, taking out his
pocket-book.

'But, my dear sir, you take me so very short. I said SOME PERSONS MIGHT
make such a claim, I mean for payment of the expenses of the deed,
trouble in the affair, etc. But I, for my own part, only wish Miss
Bertram and her friends to be satisfied that I am acting towards her
with honour. There's the paper, sir! It would have been a satisfaction
to me to have delivered it into Miss Bertram's own hands, and to have
wished her joy of the prospects which it opens. But, since her
prejudices on the subject are invincible, it only remains for me to
transmit her my best wishes through you, Colonel Mannering, and to
express that I shall willingly give my testimony in support of that
deed when I shall be called upon. I have the honour to wish you a good
morning, sir.'

This parting speech was so well got up, and had so much the tone of
conscious integrity unjustly suspected, that even Colonel Mannering was
staggered in his bad opinion. He followed him two or three steps, and
took leave of him with more politeness (though still cold and formal)
than he had paid during his visit. Glossin left the house half pleased
with the impression he had made, half mortified by the stern caution
and proud reluctance with which he had been received. 'Colonel
Mannering might have had more politeness,' he said to himself. 'It is
not every man that can bring a good chance of 400 Pounds a year to a
penniless girl. Singleside must be up to 400 Pounds a year now; there's
Reilageganbeg, Gillifidget, Loverless, Liealone, and the Spinster's
Knowe--good 400 Pounds a year. Some people might have made their own of
it in my place; and yet, to own the truth, after much consideration, I
don't see how that is possible.'

Glossin was no sooner mounted and gone than the Colonel despatched a
groom for Mr. Mac-Morlan, and, putting the deed into his hand,
requested to know if it was likely to be available to his friend Lucy
Bertram. Mac-Morlan perused it with eyes that sparkled with delight,
snapped his fingers repeatedly, and at length exclaimed, 'Available!
it's as tight as a glove; naebody could make better wark than Glossin,
when he didna let down a steek on purpose. But (his countenance
falling) the auld b---, that I should say so, might alter at pleasure!'

'Ah! And how shall we know whether she has done so?'

'Somebody must attend on Miss Bertram's part when the repositories of
the deceased are opened.'

'Can you go?' said the Colonel.

'I fear I cannot,' replied Mac-Morlan; 'I must attend a jury trial
before our court.'

'Then I will go myself,' said the Colonel; 'I'll set out to-morrow.
Sampson shall go with me; he is witness to this settlement. But I shall
want a legal adviser.'

'The gentleman that was lately sheriff of this county is high in
reputation as a barrister; I will give you a card of introduction to
him.'

'What I like about you, Mr. Mac-Morlan,' said the Colonel, 'is that you
always come straight to the point. Let me have it instantly. Shall we
tell Miss Lucy her chance of becoming an heiress?'

'Surely, because you must have some powers from her, which I will
instantly draw out. Besides, I will be caution for her prudence, and
that she will consider it only in the light of a chance.'

Mac-Morlan judged well. It could not be discerned from Miss Bertram's
manner that she founded exulting hopes upon the prospect thus
unexpectedly opening before her. She did, indeed, in the course of the
evening ask Mr. Mac-Morlan, as if by accident, what might be the annual
income of the Hazlewood property; but shall we therefore aver for
certain that she was considering whether an heiress of four hundred a
year might be a suitable match for the young Laird?



CHAPTER XXXVI

     Give me a cup of sack, to make mine eyes look red. For I must
     speak in passion, and I will do it in King Cambyses' vein.

          --Henry IV, part I.


Mannering, with Sampson for his companion, lost no time in his journey
to Edinburgh. They travelled in the Colonel's post-chariot, who,
knowing his companion's habits of abstraction, did not choose to lose
him out of his own sight, far less to trust him on horseback, where, in
all probability, a knavish stable-boy might with little address have
contrived to mount him with his face to the tail. Accordingly, with the
aid of his valet, who attended on horseback, he contrived to bring Mr.
Sampson safe to an inn in Edinburgh--for hotels in those days there
were none--without any other accident than arose from his straying
twice upon the road. On one occasion he was recovered by Barnes, who
understood his humour, when, after engaging in close colloquy with the
schoolmaster of Moffat respecting a disputed quantity in Horace's 7th
Ode, Book II, the dispute led on to another controversy concerning the
exact meaning of the word malobathro in that lyric effusion. His second
escapade was made for the purpose of visiting the field of Rullion
Green, which was dear to his Presbyterian predilections. Having got out
of the carriage for an instant, he saw the sepulchral monument of the
slain at the distance of about a mile, and was arrested by Barnes in
his progress up the Pentland Hills, having on both occasions forgot his
friend, patron, and fellow-traveller as completely as if he had been in
the East Indies. On being reminded that Colonel Mannering was waiting
for him, he uttered his usual ejaculation of 'Prodigious! I was
oblivious,' and then strode back to his post. Barnes was surprised at
his master's patience on both occasions, knowing by experience how
little he brooked neglect or delay; but the Dominie was in every
respect a privileged person. His patron and he were never for a moment
in each other's way, and it seemed obvious that they were formed to be
companions through life. If Mannering wanted a particular book, the
Dominie could bring it; if he wished to have accounts summed up or
checked, his assistance was equally ready; if he desired to recall a
particular passage in the classics, he could have recourse to the
Dominie as to a dictionary; and all the while this walking statue was
neither presuming when noticed nor sulky when left to himself. To a
proud, shy, reserved man, and such in many respects was Mannering, this
sort of living catalogue and animated automaton had all the advantages
of a literary dumb-waiter.

As soon as they arrived in Edinburgh, and were established at the
George Inn, near Bristo Port, then kept by old Cockburn (I love to be
particular), the Colonel desired the waiter to procure him a guide to
Mr. Pleydell's, the advocate, for whom he had a letter of introduction
from Mr. Mac-Morlan. He then commanded Barnes to have an eye to the
Dominie, and walked forth with a chairman, who was to usher him to the
man of law.

The period was near the end of the American war. The desire of room, of
air, and of decent accommodation had not as yet made very much progress
in the capital of Scotland. Some efforts had been made on the south
side of the town towards building houses WITHIN THEMSELVES, as they are
emphatically termed; and the New Town on the north, since so much
extended, was then just commenced. But the great bulk of the better
classes, and particularly those connected with the law, still lived in
flats or dungeons of the Old Town. The manners also of some of the
veterans of the law had not admitted innovation. One or two eminent
lawyers still saw their clients in taverns, as was the general custom
fifty years before; and although their habits were already considered
as old-fashioned by the younger barristers, yet the custom of mixing
wine and revelry with serious business was still maintained by those
senior counsellors who loved the old road, either because it was such
or because they had got too well used to it to travel any other. Among
those praisers of the past time, who with ostentatious obstinacy
affected the manners of a former generation, was this same Paulus
Pleydell, Esq., otherwise a good scholar, an excellent lawyer, and a
worthy man.

Under the guidance of his trusty attendant, Colonel Mannering, after
threading a dark lane or two, reached the High Street, then clanging
with the voices of oyster-women and the bells of pye-men; for it had,
as his guide assured him, just' chappit eight upon the Tron.' It was
long since Mannering had been in the street of a crowded metropolis,
which, with its noise and clamour, its sounds of trade, of revelry, and
of license, its variety of lights, and the eternally changing bustle of
its hundred groups, offers, by night especially, a spectacle which,
though composed of the most vulgar materials when they are separately
considered, has, when they are combined, a striking and powerful effect
on the imagination. The extraordinary height of the houses was marked
by lights, which, glimmering irregularly along their front, ascended so
high among the attics that they seemed at length to twinkle in the
middle sky. This coup d'aeil, which still subsists in a certain degree,
was then more imposing, owing to the uninterrupted range of buildings
on each side, which, broken only at the space where the North Bridge
joins the main street, formed a superb and uniform place, extending
from the front of the Lucken-booths to the head of the Canongate, and
corresponding in breadth and length to the uncommon height of the
buildings on either side.

Mannering had not much time to look and to admire. His conductor
hurried him across this striking scene, and suddenly dived with him
into a very steep paved lane. Turning to the right, they entered a
scale staircase, as it is called, the state of which, so far as it
could be judged of by one of his senses, annoyed Mannering's delicacy
not a little. When they had ascended cautiously to a considerable
height, they heard a heavy rap at a door, still two stories above them.
The door opened, and immediately ensued the sharp and worrying bark of
a dog, the squalling of a woman, the screams of an assaulted cat, and
the hoarse voice of a man, who cried in a most imperative tone, 'Will
ye, Mustard? Will ye? down, sir, down!'

'Lord preserve us!' said the female voice, 'an he had worried our cat,
Mr. Pleydell would ne'er hae forgi'en me!'

'Aweel, my doo, the cat's no a prin the waur. So he's no in, ye say?'

'Na, Mr. Pleydell's ne'er in the house on Saturday at e'en,' answered
the female voice.

'And the morn's Sabbath too,' said the querist. 'I dinna ken what will
be done.'

By this time Mannering appeared, and found a tall, strong countryman,
clad in a coat of pepper-and-salt-coloured mixture, with huge metal
buttons, a glazed hat and boots, and a large horsewhip beneath his arm,
in colloquy with a slipshod damsel, who had in one hand the lock of the
door, and in the other a pail of whiting, or camstane, as it is called,
mixed with water--a circumstance which indicates Saturday night in
Edinburgh.

'So Mr. Pleydell is not at home, my good girl?' said Mannering.

'Ay, sir, he's at hame, but he's no in the house; he's aye out on
Saturday at e'en.'

'But, my good girl, I am a stranger, and my business express. Will you
tell me where I can find him?'

'His honour,' said the chairman, 'will be at Clerihugh's about this
time. Hersell could hae tell'd ye that, but she thought ye wanted to
see his house.'

'Well, then, show me to this tavern. I suppose he will see me, as I
come on business of some consequence?'

'I dinna ken, sir,' said the girl; 'he disna like to be disturbed on
Saturdays wi' business; but he's aye civil to strangers.'

'I'll gang to the tavern too,' said our friend Dinmont, 'for I am a
stranger also, and on business e'en sic like.'

'Na,' said the handmaiden, 'an he see the gentleman, he'll see the
simple body too; but, Lord's sake, dinna say it was me sent ye there!'

'Atweel, I am a simple body, that's true, hinny, but I am no come to
steal ony o' his skeel for naething,' said the farmer in his honest
pride, and strutted away downstairs, followed by Mannering and the
cadie. Mannering could not help admiring the determined stride with
which the stranger who preceded them divided the press, shouldering
from him, by the mere weight and impetus of his motion, both drunk and
sober passengers. 'He'll be a Teviotdale tup tat ane,' said the
chairman, 'tat's for keeping ta crown o' ta causeway tat gate; he'll no
gang far or he'll get somebody to bell ta cat wi' him.'

His shrewd augury, however, was not fulfilled. Those who recoiled from
the colossal weight of Dinmont, on looking up at his size and strength,
apparently judged him too heavy metal to be rashly encountered, and
suffered him to pursue his course unchallenged. Following in the wake
of this first-rate, Mannering proceeded till the farmer made a pause,
and, looking back to the chairman, said, 'I'm thinking this will be the
close, friend.'

'Ay, ay,' replied Donald, 'tat's ta close.'

Dinmont descended confidently, then turned into a dark alley, then up a
dark stair, and then into an open door. While he was whistling shrilly
for the waiter, as if he had been one of his collie dogs, Mannering
looked round him, and could hardly conceive how a gentleman of a
liberal profession and good society should choose such a scene for
social indulgence. Besides the miserable entrance, the house itself
seemed paltry and half ruinous. The passage in which they stood had a
window to the close, which admitted a little light during the daytime,
and a villainous compound of smells at all times, but more especially
towards evening. Corresponding to this window was a borrowed light on
the other side of the passage, looking into the kitchen, which had no
direct communication with the free air, but received in the daytime, at
second hand, such straggling and obscure light as found its way from
the lane through the window opposite. At present the interior of the
kitchen was visible by its own huge fires--a sort of Pandemonium, where
men and women, half undressed, were busied in baking, broiling,
roasting oysters, and preparing devils on the gridiron; the mistress of
the place, with her shoes slipshod, and her hair straggling like that
of Megaera from under a round-eared cap, toiling, scolding, receiving
orders, giving them, and obeying them all at once, seemed the presiding
enchantress of that gloomy and fiery region.

Loud and repeated bursts of laughter from different quarters of the
house proved that her labours were acceptable, and not unrewarded by a
generous public. With some difficulty a waiter was prevailed upon to
show Colonel Mannering and Dinmont the room where their friend learned
in the law held his hebdomadal carousals. The scene which it exhibited,
and particularly the attitude of the counsellor himself, the principal
figure therein, struck his two clients with amazement.

Mr. Pleydell was a lively, sharp-looking gentleman, with a professional
shrewdness in his eye, and, generally speaking, a professional
formality in his manners. But this, like his three-tailed wig and black
coat, he could slip off on a Saturday evening, when surrounded by a
party of jolly companions, and disposed for what he called his
altitudes. On the present occasion the revel had lasted since four
o'clock, and at length, under the direction of a venerable compotator,
who had shared the sports and festivity of three generations, the
frolicsome company had begun to practise the ancient and now forgotten
pastime of HIGH JINKS. This game was played in several different ways.
Most frequently the dice were thrown by the company, and those upon
whom the lot fell were obliged to assume and maintain for a time a
certain fictitious character, or to repeat a certain number of
fescennine verses in a particular order. If they departed from the
characters assigned, or if their memory proved treacherous in the
repetition, they incurred forfeits, which were either compounded for by
swallowing an additional bumper or by paying a small sum towards the
reckoning. At this sport the jovial company were closely engaged when
Mannering entered the room.

Mr. Counsellor Pleydell, such as we have described him, was enthroned
as a monarch in an elbow-chair placed on the dining-table, his scratch
wig on one side, his head crowned with a bottle-slider, his eye leering
with an expression betwixt fun and the effects of wine, while his court
around him resounded with such crambo scraps of verse as these:--

     Where is Gerunto now? and what's become of him?
     Gerunto's drowned because he could not swim, etc., etc.

Such, O Themis, were anciently the sports of thy Scottish children!
Dinmont was first in the room. He stood aghast a moment, and then
exclaimed, 'It's him, sure enough. Deil o' the like o' that ever I saw!'

At the sound of 'Mr. Dinmont and Colonel Mannering wanting to speak to
you, sir,' Pleydell turned his head, and blushed a little when he saw
the very genteel figure of the English stranger. He was, however, of
the opinion of Falstaff, 'Out, ye villains, play out the play!' wisely
judging it the better way to appear totally unconcerned. 'Where be our
guards?' exclaimed this second Justinian; 'see ye not a stranger knight
from foreign parts arrived at this our court of Holyrood, with our bold
yeoman Andrew Dinmont, who has succeeded to the keeping of our royal
flocks within the forest of Jedwood, where, thanks to our royal care in
the administration of justice, they feed as safe as if they were within
the bounds of Fife? Where be our heralds, our pursuivants, our Lyon,
our Marchmount, our Carrick, and our Snowdown? Let the strangers be
placed at our board, and regaled as beseemeth their quality and this
our high holiday; to-morrow we will hear their tidings.'

'So please you, my liege, to-morrow's Sunday,' said one of the company.

'Sunday, is it? then we will give no offence to the assembly of the
kirk; on Monday shall be their audience.'

Mannering, who had stood at first uncertain whether to advance or
retreat, now resolved to enter for the moment into the whim of the
scene, though internally fretting at Mac-Morlan for sending him to
consult with a crack-brained humourist. He therefore advanced with
three profound congees, and craved permission to lay his credentials at
the feet of the Scottish monarch, in order to be perused at his best
leisure. The gravity with which he accommodated himself to the humour
of the moment, and the deep and humble inclination with which he at
first declined, and then accepted, a seat presented by the master of
the ceremonies, procured him three rounds of applause.

'Deil hae me, if they arena a' mad thegither!' said Dinmont, occupying
with less ceremony a seat at the bottom of the table; 'or else they hae
taen Yule before it comes, and are gaun a-guisarding.'

A large glass of claret was offered to Mannering, who drank it to the
health of the reigning prince. 'You are, I presume to guess,' said the
monarch, 'that celebrated Sir Miles Mannering, so renowned in the
French wars, and may well pronounce to us if the wines of Gascony lose
their flavour in our more northern realm.'

Mannering, agreeably flattered by this allusion to the fame of his
celebrated ancestor, replied by professing himself only a distant
relation of the preux chevalier, and added, 'that in his opinion the
wine was superlatively good.'

'It's ower cauld for my stamach,' said Dinmont, setting down the
glass--empty however.

'We will correct that quality,' answered King Paulus, the first of the
name; 'we have not forgotten that the moist and humid air of our valley
of Liddel inclines to stronger potations. Seneschal, let our faithful
yeoman have a cup of brandy; it will be more germain to the matter.'

'And now,' said Mannering, 'since we have unwarily intruded upon your
majesty at a moment of mirthful retirement, be pleased to say when you
will indulge a stranger with an audience on those affairs of weight
which have brought him to your northern capital.'

The monarch opened Mac-Morlan's letter, and, running it hastily over,
exclaimed with his natural voice and manner, 'Lucy Bertram of
Ellangowan, poor dear lassie!'

'A forfeit! a forfeit!' exclaimed a dozen voices; 'his majesty has
forgot his kingly character.'

'Not a whit! not a whit!' replied the king; 'I'll be judged by this
courteous knight. May not a monarch love a maid of low degree? Is not
King Cophetua and the Beggar-maid an adjudged case in point?'

'Professional! professional! another forfeit,' exclaimed the tumultuary
nobility.

'Had not our royal predecessors,' continued the monarch, exalting his
sovereign voice to drown these disaffected clamours,--'had they not
their Jean Logies, their Bessie Carmichaels, their Oliphants, their
Sandilands, and their Weirs, and shall it be denied to us even to name
a maiden whom we delight to honour? Nay, then, sink state and perish
sovereignty! for, like a second Charles V, we will abdicate, and seek
in the private shades of life those pleasures which are denied to a
throne.'

So saying, he flung away his crown, and sprung from his exalted station
with more agility than could have been expected from his age, ordered
lights and a wash-hand basin and towel, with a cup of green tea, into
another room, and made a sign to Mannering to accompany him. In less
than two minutes he washed his face and hands, settled his wig in the
glass, and, to Mannering's great surprise, looked quite a different man
from the childish Bacchanal he had seen a moment before.

'There are folks,' he said, 'Mr. Mannering, before whom one should take
care how they play the fool, because they have either too much malice
or too little wit, as the poet says. The best compliment I can pay
Colonel Mannering is to show I am not ashamed to expose myself before
him; and truly I think it is a compliment I have not spared to-night on
your good-nature. But what's that great strong fellow wanting?'

Dinmont, who had pushed after Mannering into the room, began with a
scrape with his foot and a scratch of his head in unison. 'I am Dandie
Dinmont, sir, of the Charlie's Hope--the Liddesdale lad; ye'll mind me?
It was for me ye won yon grand plea.'

'What plea, you loggerhead?' said the lawyer. 'D'ye think I can
remember all the fools that come to plague me?'

'Lord, sir, it was the grand plea about the grazing o' the Langtae
Head!' said the farmer.

'Well, curse thee, never mind; give me the memorial and come to me on
Monday at ten,' replied the learned counsel.

'But, sir, I haena got ony distinct memorial.'

'No memorial, man?' said Pleydell.

'Na, sir, nae memorial,' answered Dandie; 'for your honour said before,
Mr. Pleydell, ye'll mind, that ye liked best to hear us hill-folk tell
our ain tale by word o' mouth.'

'Beshrew my tongue, that said so!' answered the counsellor; 'it will
cost my ears a dinning. Well, say in two words what you've got to say.
You see the gentleman waits.'

'Ou, sir, if the gentleman likes he may play his ain spring first; it's
a' ane to Dandie.'

'Now, you looby,' said the lawyer, 'cannot you conceive that your
business can be nothing to Colonel Mannering, but that he may not
choose to have these great ears of thine regaled with his matters?'

'Aweel, sir, just as you and he like, so ye see to my business,' said
Dandie, not a whit disconcerted by the roughness of this reception.
'We're at the auld wark o' the marches again, Jock o' Dawston Cleugh
and me. Ye see we march on the tap o' Touthop-rigg after we pass the
Pomoragrains; for the Pomoragrains, and Slackenspool, and Bloodylaws,
they come in there, and they belang to the Peel; but after ye pass
Pomoragrains at a muckle great saucer-headed cutlugged stane that they
ca' Charlie's Chuckie, there Dawston Cleugh and Charlie's Hope they
march. Now, I say the march rins on the tap o' the hill where the wind
and water shears; but Jock o' Dawston Cleugh again, he contravenes
that, and says that it bauds down by the auld drove-road that gaes awa
by the Knot o' the Gate ower to Keeldar Ward; and that makes an unco
difference.'

'And what difference does it make, friend?' said Pleydell. 'How many
sheep will it feed?'

'Ou, no mony,' said Dandie, scratching his head; 'it's lying high and
exposed: it may feed a hog, or aiblins twa in a good year.'

'And for this grazing, which may be worth about five shillings a year,
you are willing to throw away a hundred pound or two?'

'Na, sir, it's no for the value of the grass,' replied Dinmont; 'it's
for justice.'

'My good friend,' said Pleydell, 'justice, like charity, should begin
at home. Do you justice to your wife and family, and think no more
about the matter.'

Dinmont still lingered, twisting his hat in his hand. 'It's no for
that, sir; but I would like ill to be bragged wi' him; he threeps he'll
bring a score o' witnesses and mair, and I'm sure there's as mony will
swear for me as for him, folk that lived a' their days upon the
Charlie's Hope, and wadna like to see the land lose its right.'

'Zounds, man, if it be a point of honour,' said the lawyer, 'why don't
your landlords take it up?'

'I dinna ken, sir (scratching his head again); there's been nae
election-dusts lately, and the lairds are unco neighbourly, and Jock
and me canna get them to yoke thegither about it a' that we can say;
but if ye thought we might keep up the rent--'

'No! no! that will never do,' said Pleydell. 'Confound you, why don't
you take good cudgels and settle it?'

'Odd, sir,' answered the farmer, 'we tried that three times already,
that's twice on the land and ance at Lockerby Fair. But I dinna ken;
we're baith gey good at single-stick, and it couldna weel be judged.'

'Then take broadswords, and be d--d to you, as your fathers did before
you,' said the counsel learned in the law.

'Aweel, sir, if ye think it wadna be again the law, it's a' ane to
Dandie.'

'Hold! hold!' exclaimed Pleydell, 'we shall have another Lord Soulis'
mistake. Pr'ythee, man, comprehend me; I wish you to consider how very
trifling and foolish a lawsuit you wish to engage in.'

'Ay, sir?' said Dandie, in a disappointed tone. 'So ye winna take on
wi' me, I'm doubting?'

'Me! not I. Go home, go home, take a pint and agree.' Dandie looked but
half contented, and still remained stationary. 'Anything more, my
friend?'

'Only, sir, about the succession of this leddy that's dead, auld Miss
Margaret Bertram o' Singleside.'

'Ay, what about her?' said the counsellor, rather surprised.

'Ou, we have nae connexion at a' wi' the Bertrams,' said Dandie; 'they
were grand folk by the like o' us; but Jean Liltup, that was auld
Singleside's housekeeper, and the mother of these twa young ladies that
are gane--the last o' them's dead at a ripe age, I trow--Jean Liltup
came out o' Liddel water, and she was as near our connexion as second
cousin to my mother's half-sister. She drew up wi' Singleside, nae
doubt, when she was his housekeeper, and it was a sair vex and grief to
a' her kith and kin. But he acknowledged a marriage, and satisfied the
kirk; and now I wad ken frae you if we hae not some claim by law?'

'Not the shadow of a claim.'

'Aweel, we're nae puirer,' said Dandie; 'but she may hae thought on us
if she was minded to make a testament. Weel, sir, I've said my say;
I'se e'en wish you good-night, and--' putting his hand in his pocket.

'No, no, my friend; I never take fees on Saturday nights, or without a
memorial. Away with you, Dandie.' And Dandie made his reverence and
departed accordingly.



CHAPTER XXXVII

     But this poor farce has neither truth nor art
     To please the fancy or to touch the heart
     Dark but not awful dismal but yet mean,
     With anxious bustle moves the cumbrous scene,
     Presents no objects tender or profound,
     But spreads its cold unmeaning gloom around

          Parish Register


'Your majesty,' said Mannering, laughing, 'has solemnised your
abdication by an act of mercy and charity. That fellow will scarce
think of going to law.'

'O, you are quite wrong,' said the experienced lawyer. 'The only
difference is, I have lost my client and my fee. He'll never rest till
he finds somebody to encourage him to commit the folly he has
predetermined. No! no! I have only shown you another weakness of my
character: I always speak truth of a Saturday night.'

'And sometimes through the week, I should think,' said Mannering,
continuing the same tone.

'Why, yes; as far as my vocation will permit. I am, as Hamlet says,
indifferent honest, when my clients and their solicitors do not make me
the medium of conveying their double-distilled lies to the bench. But
oportet vivere! it is a sad thing. And now to our business. I am glad
my old friend Mac-Morlan has sent you to me; he is an active, honest,
and intelligent man, long sheriff-substitute of the county of--under
me, and still holds the office. He knows I have a regard for that
unfortunate family of Ellangowan, and for poor Lucy. I have not seen
her since she was twelve years old, and she was then a sweet pretty
girl, under the management of a very silly father. But my interest in
her is of an early date. I was called upon, Mr. Mannering, being then
sheriff of that county, to investigate the particulars of a murder
which had been committed near Ellangowan the day on which this poor
child was born; and which, by a strange combination that I was
unhappily not able to trace, involved the death or abstraction of her
only brother, a boy of about five years old. No, Colonel, I shall never
forget the misery of the house of Ellangowan that morning! the father
half-distracted--the mother dead in premature travail--the helpless
infant, with scarce any one to attend it, coming wawling and crying
into this miserable world at such a moment of unutterable misery. We
lawyers are not of iron, sir, or of brass, any more than you soldiers
are of steel. We are conversant with the crimes and distresses of civil
society, as you are with those that occur in a state of war, and to do
our duty in either case a little apathy is perhaps necessary. But the
devil take a soldier whose heart can be as hard as his sword, and his
dam catch the lawyer who bronzes his bosom instead of his forehead! But
come, I am losing my Saturday at e'en. Will you have the kindness to
trust me with these papers which relate to Miss Bertram's business? and
stay--to-morrow you'll take a bachelor's dinner with an old lawyer,--I
insist upon it--at three precisely, and come an hour sooner. The old
lady is to be buried on Monday; it is the orphan's cause, and we'll
borrow an hour from the Sunday to talk over this business, although I
fear nothing can be done if she has altered her settlement, unless
perhaps it occurs within the sixty days, and then, if Miss Bertram can
show that she possesses the character of heir-at-law, why--But, hark!
my lieges are impatient of their interregnum. I do not invite you to
rejoin us, Colonel; it would be a trespass on your complaisance, unless
you had begun the day with us, and gradually glided on from wisdom to
mirth, and from mirth to-to-to--extravagance. Good-night. Harry, go
home with Mr. Mannering to his lodging. Colonel, I expect you at a
little past two to-morrow.'

The Colonel returned to his inn, equally surprised at the childish
frolics in which he had found his learned counsellor engaged, at the
candour and sound sense which he had in a moment summoned up to meet
the exigencies of his profession, and at the tone of feeling which he
displayed when he spoke of the friendless orphan.

In the morning, while the Colonel and his most quiet and silent of all
retainers, Dominie Sampson, were finishing the breakfast which Barnes
had made and poured out, after the Dominie had scalded himself in the
attempt, Mr. Pleydell was suddenly ushered in. A nicely dressed
bob-wig, upon every hair of which a zealous and careful barber had
bestowed its proper allowance of powder; a well-brushed black suit,
with very clean shoes and gold buckles and stock-buckle; a manner
rather reserved and formal than intrusive, but withal showing only the
formality of manner, by no means that of awkwardness; a countenance,
the expressive and somewhat comic features of which were in complete
repose--all showed a being perfectly different from the choice spirit
of the evening before. A glance of shrewd and piercing fire in his eye
was the only marked expression which recalled the man of 'Saturday at
e'en.'

'I am come,' said he, with a very polite address, 'to use my regal
authority in your behalf in spirituals as well as temporals; can I
accompany you to the Presbyterian kirk, or Episcopal meeting-house?
Tros Tyriusve, a lawyer, you know, is of both religions, or rather I
should say of both forms;--or can I assist in passing the fore-noon
otherwise? You'll excuse my old-fashioned importunity, I was born in a
time when a Scotchman was thought inhospitable if he left a guest alone
a moment, except when he slept; but I trust you will tell me at once if
I intrude.'

'Not at all, my dear sir,' answered Colonel Mannering. 'I am delighted
to put myself under your pilotage. I should wish much to hear some of
your Scottish preachers whose talents have done such honour to your
country--your Blair, your Robertson, or your Henry; and I embrace your
kind offer with all my heart. Only,' drawing the lawyer a little aside,
and turning his eye towards Sampson, 'my worthy friend there in the
reverie is a little helpless and abstracted, and my servant, Barnes,
who is his pilot in ordinary, cannot well assist him here, especially
as he has expressed his determination of going to some of your darker
and more remote places of worship.'

The lawyer's eye glanced at Dominie Sampson. 'A curiosity worth
preserving; and I'll find you a fit custodier. Here you, sir (to the
waiter), go to Luckie Finlayson's in the Cowgate for Miles Macfin the
cadie, he'll be there about this time, and tell him I wish to speak to
him.'

The person wanted soon arrived. 'I will commit your friend to this
man's charge,' said Pleydell; 'he'll attend him, or conduct him,
wherever he chooses to go, with a happy indifference as to kirk or
market, meeting or court of justice, or any other place whatever; and
bring him safe home at whatever hour you appoint; so that Mr. Barnes
there may be left to the freedom of his own will.'

This was easily arranged, and the Colonel committed the Dominie to the
charge of this man while they should remain in Edinburgh.

'And now, sir, if you please, we shall go to the Grey-friars church, to
hear our historian of Scotland, of the Continent, and of America.'

They were disappointed: he did not preach that morning. 'Never mind,'
said the Counsellor, 'have a moment's patience and we shall do very
well.'

The colleague of Dr. Robertson ascended the pulpit. [Footnote: This was
the celebrated Doctor Erskine, a distinguished clergyman, and a most
excellent man.] His external appearance was not prepossessing. A
remarkably fair complexion, strangely contrasted with a black wig
without a grain of powder; a narrow chest and a stooping posture; hands
which, placed like props on either side of the pulpit, seemed necessary
rather to support the person than to assist the gesticulation of the
preacher; no gown, not even that of Geneva, a tumbled band, and a
gesture which seemed scarce voluntary, were the first circumstances
which struck a stranger. 'The preacher seems a very ungainly person,'
whispered Mannering to his new friend.

'Never fear, he's the son of an excellent Scottish lawyer; [Footnote:
The father of Doctor Erskine was an eminent lawyer, and his Institutes
of the Law of Scotland are to this day the text-book of students of
that science.] he'll show blood, I'll warrant him.'

The learned Counsellor predicted truly. A lecture was delivered,
fraught with new, striking, and entertaining views of Scripture
history, a sermon in which the Calvinism of the Kirk of Scotland was
ably supported, yet made the basis of a sound system of practical
morals, which should neither shelter the sinner under the cloak of
speculative faith or of peculiarity of opinion, nor leave him loose to
the waves of unbelief and schism. Something there was of an antiquated
turn of argument and metaphor, but it only served to give zest and
peculiarity to the style of elocution. The sermon was not read: a scrap
of paper containing the heads of the discourse was occasionally
referred to, and the enunciation, which at first seemed imperfect and
embarrassed, became, as the preacher warmed in his progress, animated
and distinct; and although the discourse could not be quoted as a
correct specimen of pulpit eloquence, yet Mannering had seldom heard so
much learning, metaphysical acuteness, and energy of argument brought
into the service of Christianity.

'Such,' he said, going out of the church, 'must have been the preachers
to whose unfearing minds, and acute though sometimes rudely exercised
talents, we owe the Reformation.'

'And yet that reverend gentleman,' said Pleydell, 'whom I love for his
father's sake and his own, has nothing of the sour or pharisaical pride
which has been imputed to some of the early fathers of the Calvinistic
Kirk of Scotland. His colleague and he differ, and head different
parties in the kirk, about particular points of church discipline; but
without for a moment losing personal regard or respect for each other,
or suffering malignity to interfere in an opposition steady, constant,
and apparently conscientious on both sides.'

'And you, Mr. Pleydell, what do you think of their points of
difference?'

'Why, I hope, Colonel, a plain man may go to heaven without thinking
about them at all; besides, inter nos, I am a member of the suffering
and Episcopal Church of Scotland--the shadow of a shade now, and
fortunately so; but I love to pray where my fathers prayed before me,
without thinking worse of the Presbyterian forms because they do not
affect me with the same associations.' And with this remark they parted
until dinner-time.

From the awkward access to the lawyer's mansion, Mannering was induced
to form very moderate expectations of the entertainment which he was to
receive. The approach looked even more dismal by daylight than on the
preceding evening. The houses on each side of the lane were so close
that the neighbours might have shaken hands with each other from the
different sides, and occasionally the space between was traversed by
wooden galleries, and thus entirely closed up. The stair, the
scale-stair, was not well cleaned; and on entering the house Mannering
was struck with the narrowness and meanness of the wainscotted passage.
But the library, into which he was shown by an elderly,
respectable-looking man-servant, was a complete contrast to these
unpromising appearances. It was a well-proportioned room, hung with a
portrait or two of Scottish characters of eminence, by Jamieson, the
Caledonian Vandyke, and surrounded with books, the best editions of the
best authors, and in particular an admirable collection of classics.

'These,' said Pleydell, 'are my tools of trade. A lawyer without
history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he
possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an
architect.'

But Mannering was chiefly delighted with the view from the windows,
which commanded that incomparable prospect of the ground between
Edinburgh and the sea--the Firth of Forth, with its islands, the
embayment which is terminated by the Law of North Berwick, and the
varied shores of Fife to the northward, indenting with a hilly outline
the clear blue horizon.

When Mr. Pleydell had sufficiently enjoyed the surprise of his guest,
he called his attention to Miss Bertram's affairs. 'I was in hopes,' he
said, 'though but faint, to have discovered some means of ascertaining
her indefeasible right to this property of Singleside; but my
researches have been in vain. The old lady was certainly absolute fiar,
and might dispose of it in full right of property. All that we have to
hope is, that the devil may not have tempted her to alter this very
proper settlement. You must attend the old girl's funeral to-morrow, to
which you will receive an invitation, for I have acquainted her agent
with your being here on Miss Bertram's part; and I will meet you
afterwards at the house she inhabited, and be present to see fair play
at the opening of the settlement. The old cat had a little girl, the
orphan of some relation, who lived with her as a kind of slavish
companion. I hope she has had the conscience to make her independent,
in consideration of the peine forte et dure to which she subjected her
during her lifetime.'

Three gentlemen now appeared, and were introduced to the stranger. They
were men of good sense, gaiety, and general information, so that the
day passed very pleasantly over; and Colonel Mannering assisted, about
eight o'clock at night, in discussing the landlord's bottle, which was,
of course, a magnum. Upon his return to the inn he found a card
inviting him to the funeral of Miss Margaret Bertram, late of
Singleside, which was to proceed from her own house to the place of
interment in the Greyfriars churchyard at one o'clock afternoon.

At the appointed hour Mannering went to a small house in the suburbs to
the southward of the city, where he found the place of mourning
indicated, as usual in Scotland, by two rueful figures with long black
cloaks, white crapes and hat-bands, holding in their hands poles,
adorned with melancholy streamers of the same description. By two other
mutes, who, from their visages, seemed suffering under the pressure of
some strange calamity, he was ushered into the dining-parlour of the
defunct, where the company were assembled for the funeral.

In Scotland the custom, now disused in England, of inviting the
relations of the deceased to the interment is universally retained. On
many occasions this has a singular and striking effect, but it
degenerates into mere empty form and grimace in cases where the defunct
has had the misfortune to live unbeloved and die unlamented. The
English service for the dead, one of the most beautiful and impressive
parts of the ritual of the church, would have in such cases the effect
of fixing the attention, and uniting the thoughts and feelings of the
audience present in an exercise of devotion so peculiarly adapted to
such an occasion. But according to the Scottish custom, if there be not
real feeling among the assistants, there is nothing to supply the
deficiency, and exalt or rouse the attention; so that a sense of
tedious form, and almost hypocritical restraint, is too apt to pervade
the company assembled for the mournful solemnity. Mrs. Margaret Bertram
was unluckily one of those whose good qualities had attached no general
friendship. She had no near relations who might have mourned from
natural affection, and therefore her funeral exhibited merely the
exterior trappings of sorrow.

Mannering, therefore, stood among this lugubrious company of cousins in
the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth degree, composing his countenance
to the decent solemnity of all who were around him, and looking as much
concerned on Mrs. Margaret Bertram's account as if the deceased lady of
Singleside had been his own sister or mother. After a deep and awful
pause, the company began to talk aside, under their breaths, however,
and as if in the chamber of a dying person.

'Our poor friend,' said one grave gentleman, scarcely opening his
mouth, for fear of deranging the necessary solemnity of his features,
and sliding his whisper from between his lips, which were as little
unclosed as possible--'our poor friend has died well to pass in the
world.'

'Nae doubt,' answered the person addressed, with half-closed eyes;
'poor Mrs. Margaret was aye careful of the gear.'

'Any news to-day, Colonel Mannering?' said one of the gentlemen whom he
had dined with the day before, but in a tone which might, for its
impressive gravity, have communicated the death of his whole generation.

'Nothing particular, I believe, sir,' said Mannering, in the cadence
which was, he observed, appropriated to the house of mourning.

'I understand,' continued the first speaker, emphatically, and with the
air of one who is well informed--'I understand there IS a settlement.'

'And what does little Jenny Gibson get?'

'A hundred, and the auld repeater.'

'That's but sma' gear, puir thing; she had a sair time o't with the
auld leddy. But it's ill waiting for dead folk's shoon.'

'I am afraid,' said the politician, who was close by Mannering, 'we
have not done with your old friend Tippoo Sahib yet, I doubt he'll give
the Company more plague; and I am told, but you'll know for certain,
that East India Stock is not rising.'

'I trust it will, sir, soon.'

'Mrs. Margaret,' said another person, mingling in the conversation,
'had some India bonds. I know that, for I drew the interest for her; it
would be desirable now for the trustees and legatees to have the
Colonel's advice about the time and mode of converting them into money.
For my part I think--but there's Mr. Mortcloke to tell us they are gaun
to lift.'

Mr. Mortcloke the undertaker did accordingly, with a visage of
professional length and most grievous solemnity, distribute among the
pall-bearers little cards, assigning their respective situations in
attendance upon the coffin. As this precedence is supposed to be
regulated by propinquity to the defunct, the undertaker, however
skilful a master of these lugubrious ceremonies, did not escape giving
some offence. To be related to Mrs. Bertram was to be of kin to the
lands of Singleside, and was a propinquity of which each relative
present at that moment was particularly jealous. Some murmurs there
were on the occasion, and our friend Dinmont gave more open offence,
being unable either to repress his discontent or to utter it in the key
properly modulated to the solemnity. 'I think ye might hae at least
gi'en me a leg o' her to carry,' he exclaimed, in a voice considerably
louder than propriety admitted. 'God! an it hadna been for the rigs o'
land, I would hae gotten her a' to carry mysell, for as mony gentles as
are here.'

A score of frowning and reproving brows were bent upon the unappalled
yeoman, who, having given vent to his displeasure, stalked sturdily
downstairs with the rest of the company, totally disregarding the
censures of those whom his remarks had scandalised.

And then the funeral pomp set forth; saulies with their batons and
gumphions of tarnished white crape, in honour of the well-preserved
maiden fame of Mrs. Margaret Bertram. Six starved horses, themselves
the very emblems of mortality, well cloaked and plumed, lugging along
the hearse with its dismal emblazonry, crept in slow state towards the
place of interment, preceded by Jamie Duff, an idiot, who, with weepers
and cravat made of white paper, attended on every funeral, and followed
by six mourning coaches, filled with the company. Many of these now
gave more free loose to their tongues, and discussed with unrestrained
earnestness the amount of the succession, and the probability of its
destination. The principal expectants, however, kept a prudent silence,
indeed ashamed to express hopes which might prove fallacious; and the
agent or man of business, who alone knew exactly how matters stood,
maintained a countenance of mysterious importance, as if determined to
preserve the full interest of anxiety and suspense.

At length they arrived at the churchyard gates, and from thence, amid
the gaping of two or three dozen of idle women with infants in their
arms, and accompanied by some twenty children, who ran gambolling and
screaming alongside of the sable procession, they finally arrived at
the burial-place of the Singleside family. This was a square enclosure
in the Greyfriars churchyard, guarded on one side by a veteran angel
without a nose, and having only one wing, who had the merit of having
maintained his post for a century, while his comrade cherub, who had
stood sentinel on the corresponding pedestal, lay a broken trunk among
the hemlock, burdock, and nettles which grew in gigantic luxuriance
around the walls of the mausoleum. A moss-grown and broken inscription
informed the reader that in the year 1650 Captain Andrew Bertram, first
of Singleside, descended of the very ancient and honourable house of
Ellangowan, had caused this monument to be erected for himself and his
descendants. A reasonable number of scythes and hour-glasses, and
death's heads and cross-bones, garnished the following sprig of
sepulchral poetry to the memory of the founder of the mausoleum:--

     Nathaniel's heart, Bezaleel's hand
        If ever any had,
     These boldly do I say had he,
        Who lieth in this bed.

Here, then, amid the deep black fat loam into which her ancestors were
now resolved, they deposited the body of Mrs. Margaret Bertram; and,
like soldiers returning from a military funeral, the nearest relations
who might be interested in the settlements of the lady urged the
dog-cattle of the hackney coaches to all the speed of which they were
capable, in order to put an end to farther suspense on that interesting
topic.



CHAPTER XXXVIII

     Die and endow a college or a cat.

          POPE.


There is a fable told by Lucian, that while a troop of monkeys, well
drilled by an intelligent manager, were performing a tragedy with great
applause, the decorum of the whole scene was at once destroyed, and the
natural passions of the actors called forth into very indecent and
active emulation, by a wag who threw a handful of nuts upon the stage.
In like manner, the approaching crisis stirred up among the expectants
feelings of a nature very different from those of which, under the
superintendence of Mr. Mortcloke, they had but now been endeavouring to
imitate the expression. Those eyes which were lately devoutly cast up
to heaven, or with greater humility bent solemnly upon earth, were now
sharply and alertly darting their glances through shuttles, and trunks,
and drawers, and cabinets, and all the odd corners of an old maiden
lady's repositories. Nor was their search without interest, though they
did not find the will of which they were in quest.

Here was a promissory note for 20 Pounds by the minister of the
nonjuring chapel, interest marked as paid to Martinmas last, carefully
folded up in a new set of words to the old tune of 'Over the Water to
Charlie'; there was a curious love correspondence between the deceased
and a certain Lieutenant O'Kean of a marching regiment of foot; and
tied up with the letters was a document which at once explained to the
relatives why a connexion that boded them little good had been suddenly
broken off, being the Lieutenant's bond for two hundred pounds, upon
which NO interest whatever appeared to have been paid. Other bills and
bonds to a larger amount, and signed by better names (I mean
commercially) than those of the worthy divine and gallant soldier, also
occurred in the course of their researches, besides a hoard of coins of
every size and denomination, and scraps of broken gold and silver, old
earrings, hinges of cracked, snuff-boxes, mountings of spectacles, etc.
etc. etc. Still no will made its appearance, and Colonel Mannering
began full well to hope that the settlement which he had obtained from
Glossin contained the ultimate arrangement of the old lady's affairs.
But his friend Pleydell, who now came into the room, cautioned him
against entertaining this belief.

'I am well acquainted with the gentleman,' he said, 'who is conducting
the search, and I guess from his manner that he knows something more of
the matter than any of us.'

Meantime, while the search proceeds, let us take a brief glance at one
or two of the company who seem most interested.

Of Dinmont, who, with his large hunting-whip under his arm, stood
poking his great round face over the shoulder of the homme d'affaires,
it is unnecessary to say anything. That thin-looking oldish person, in
a most correct and gentleman-like suit of mourning, is Mac-Casquil,
formerly of Drumquag, who was ruined by having a legacy bequeathed to
him of two shares in the Ayr bank. His hopes on the present occasion
are founded on a very distant relationship, upon his sitting in the
same pew with the deceased every Sunday, and upon his playing at
cribbage with her regularly on the Saturday evenings, taking great care
never to come off a winner. That other coarse-looking man, wearing his
own greasy hair tied in a leathern cue more greasy still, is a
tobacconist, a relation of Mrs. Bertram's mother, who, having a good
stock in trade when the colonial war broke out, trebled the price of
his commodity to all the world, Mrs. Bertram alone excepted, whose
tortoise-shell snuff-box was weekly filled with the best rappee at the
old prices, because the maid brought it to the shop with Mrs. Bertram's
respects to her cousin Mr. Quid. That young fellow, who has not had the
decency to put off his boots and buckskins, might have stood as forward
as most of them in the graces of the old lady, who loved to look upon a
comely young man; but it is thought he has forfeited the moment of
fortune by sometimes neglecting her tea-table when solemnly invited,
sometimes appearing there when he had been dining with blyther company,
twice treading upon her cat's tail, and once affronting her parrot.

To Mannering the most interesting of the group was the poor girl who
had been a sort of humble companion of the deceased, as a subject upon
whom she could at all times expectorate her bad humour. She was for
form's sake dragged into the room by the deceased's favourite female
attendant, where, shrinking into a>corner as soon as possible, she saw
with wonder and affright the intrusive researches of the strangers
amongst those recesses to which from childhood she had looked with
awful veneration. This girl was regarded with an unfavourable eye by
all the competitors, honest Dinmont only excepted; the rest conceived
they should find in her a formidable competitor, whose claims might at
least encumber and diminish their chance of succession. Yet she was the
only person present who seemed really to feel sorrow for the deceased.
Mrs. Bertram had been her protectress, although from selfish motives,
and her capricious tyranny was forgotten at the moment, while the tears
followed each other fast down the cheeks of her frightened and
friendless dependent. 'There's ower muckle saut water there, Drumquag,'
said the tobacconist to the ex-proprietor, 'to bode ither folk muckle
gude. Folk seldom greet that gate but they ken what it's for.' Mr.
Mac-Casquil only replied with a nod, feeling the propriety of asserting
his superior gentry in presence of Mr. Pleydell and Colonel Mannering.

'Very queer if there suld be nae will after a', friend,' said Dinmont,
who began to grow impatient, to the man of business.

'A moment's patience, if you please. She was a good and prudent woman,
Mrs. Margaret Bertram--a good and prudent and well-judging woman, and
knew how to choose friends and depositaries; she may have put her last
will and testament, or rather her mortis causa settlement, as it
relates to heritage, into the hands of some safe friend.'

'I'll bet a rump and dozen,' said Pleydell, whispering to the Colonel,
'he has got it in his own pocket.' Then addressing the man of law,
'Come, sir, we'll cut this short, if you please: here is a settlement
of the estate of Singleside, executed several years ago, in favour of
Miss Lucy Bertram of Ellangowan.' The company stared fearfully wild.
'You, I presume, Mr. Protocol, can inform us if there is a later deed?'

'Please to favour me, Mr. Pleydell'; and so saying, he took the deed
out of the learned counsel's hand, and glanced his eye over the
contents.

'Too cool,' said Pleydell, 'too cool by half; he has another deed in
his pocket still.'

'Why does he not show it then, and be d-d to him!' said the military
gentleman, whose patience began to wax threadbare.

'Why, how should I know?' answered the barrister; 'why does a cat not
kill a mouse when she takes him? The consciousness of power and the
love of teasing, I suppose. Well, Mr. Protocol, what say you to that
deed?'

'Why, Mr. Pleydell, the deed is a well-drawn deed, properly
authenticated and tested in forms of the statute.'

'But recalled or superseded by another of posterior date in your
possession, eh?' said the Counsellor.

'Something of the sort, I confess, Mr. Pleydell,' rejoined the man of
business, producing a bundle tied with tape, and sealed at each fold
and ligation with black wax. 'That deed, Mr. Pleydell, which you
produce and found upon, is dated 1st June 17-; but this (breaking the
seals and unfolding the document slowly) is dated the 20th--no, I see
it is the 21st--of April of this present year, being ten years
posterior.'

'Marry, hang her, brock!' said the Counsellor, borrowing an exclamation
from Sir Toby Belch; 'just the month in which Ellangowan's distresses
became generally public. But let us hear what she has done.'

Mr. Protocol accordingly, having required silence, began to read the
settlement aloud in a slow, steady, business-like tone. The group
around, in whose eyes hope alternately awakened and faded, and who were
straining their apprehensions to get at the drift of the testator's
meaning through the mist of technical language in which the conveyance
had involved it, might have made a study for Hogarth.

The deed was of an unexpected nature. It set forth with conveying and
disponing all and whole the estate and lands of Singleside and others,
with the lands of Loverless, Liealone, Spinster's Knowe, and heaven
knows what beside, 'to and in favours of (here the reader softened his
voice to a gentle and modest piano) Peter Protocol, clerk to the
signet, having the fullest confidence in his capacity and
integrity--these are the very words which my worthy deceased friend
insisted upon my inserting--but in TRUST always (here the reader
recovered his voice and style, and the visages of several of the
hearers, which had attained a longitude that Mr. Mortcloke might have
envied, were perceptibly shortened) --in TRUST always, and for the
uses, ends, and purposes hereinafter mentioned.'

In these 'uses, ends, and purposes' lay the cream of the affair. The
first was introduced by a preamble setting forth that the testatrix was
lineally descended from the ancient house of Ellangowan, her respected
great-grandfather, Andrew Bertram, first of Singleside, of happy
memory, having been second son to Allan Bertram, fifteenth Baron of
Ellangowan. It proceeded to state that Henry Bertram, son and heir of
Godfrey Bertram, now of Ellangowan, had been stolen from his parents in
infancy, but that she, the testatrix, WAS WELL ASSURED THAT HE WAS YET
ALIVE IN FOREIGN PARTS, AND BY THE PROVIDENCE OF HEAVEN WOULD BE
RESTORED TO THE POSSESSIONS OF HIS ANCESTORS, in which case the said
Peter Protocol was bound and obliged, like as he bound and obliged
himself, by acceptance of these presents, to denude himself of the said
lands of Singleside and others, and of all the other effects thereby
conveyed (excepting always a proper gratification for his own trouble),
to and in favour of the said Henry Bertram, upon his return to his
native country. And during the time of his residing in foreign parts,
or in case of his never again returning to Scotland, Mr. Peter
Protocol, the trustee, was directed to distribute the rents of the
land, and interest of the other funds (deducting always a proper
gratification for his trouble in the premises), in equal portions,
among four charitable establishments pointed out in the will. The power
of management, of letting leases, of raising and lending out money, in
short, the full authority of a proprietor, was vested in this
confidential trustee, and, in the event of his death, went to certain
official persons named in the deed. There were only two legacies; one
of a hundred pounds to a favourite waiting-maid, another of the like
sum to Janet Gibson (whom the deed stated to have been supported by the
charity of the testatrix), for the purpose of binding her an apprentice
to some honest trade.

A settlement in mortmain is in Scotland termed a mortification, and in
one great borough (Aberdeen, if I remember rightly) there is a
municipal officer who takes care of these public endowments, and is
thence called the Master of Mortifications. One would almost presume
that the term had its origin in the effect which such settlements
usually produce upon the kinsmen of those by whom they are executed.
Heavy at least was the mortification which befell the audience who, in
the late Mrs. Margaret Bertram's parlour, had listened to this
unexpected destination of the lands of Singleside. There was a profound
silence after the deed had been read over.

Mr. Pleydell was the first to speak. He begged to look at the deed,
and, having satisfied himself that it was correctly drawn and executed,
he returned it without any observation, only saying aside to Mannering,
'Protocol is not worse than other people, I believe; but this old lady
has determined that, if he do not turn rogue, it shall not be for want
of temptation.'

'I really think,' said Mr. Mac-Casquil of Drumquag, who, having gulped
down one half of his vexation, determined to give vent to the rest--'I
really think this is an extraordinary case! I should like now to know
from Mr. Protocol, who, being sole and unlimited trustee, must have
been consulted upon this occasion--I should like, I say, to know how
Mrs. Bertram could possibly believe in the existence of a boy that a'
the world kens was murdered many a year since?'

'Really, sir,' said Mr. Protocol, 'I do not conceive it is possible for
me to explain her motives more than she has done herself. Our excellent
deceased friend was a good woman, sir--a pious woman--and might have
grounds for confidence in the boy's safety which are not accessible to
us, sir.'

'Hout,' said the tobacconist, 'I ken very weel what were her grounds
for confidence. There's Mrs. Rebecca (the maid) sitting there has
tell'd me a hundred times in my ain shop, there was nae kenning how her
leddy wad settle her affairs, for an auld gipsy witch wife at Gilsland
had possessed her with a notion that the callant--Harry Bertram ca's
she him?--would come alive again some day after a'. Ye'll no deny that,
Mrs. Rebecca? though I dare to say ye forgot to put your mistress in
mind of what ye promised to say when I gied ye mony a half-crown. But
ye'll no deny what I am saying now, lass?'

'I ken naething at a' about it,' answered Rebecca, doggedly, and
looking straight forward with the firm countenance of one not disposed
to be compelled to remember more than was agreeable to her.

'Weel said, Rebecca! ye're satisfied wi' your ain share ony way,'
rejoined the tobacconist.

The buck of the second-head, for a buck of the first-head he was not,
had hitherto been slapping his boots with his switch-whip, and looking
like a spoiled child that has lost its supper. His murmurs, however,
were all vented inwardly, or at most in a soliloquy such as this--'I am
sorry, by G-d, I ever plagued myself about her. I came here, by G-d,
one night to drink tea, and I left King and the Duke's rider Will Hack.
They were toasting a round of running horses; by G-d, I might have got
leave to wear the jacket as well as other folk if I had carried it on
with them; and she has not so much as left me that hundred!'

'We'll make the payment of the note quite agreeable,' said Mr.
Protocol, who had no wish to increase at that moment the odium attached
to his office. 'And now, gentlemen, I fancy we have no more to wait for
here, and I shall put the settlement of my excellent and worthy friend
on record to-morrow, that every gentleman may examine the contents, and
have free access to take an extract; and'--he proceeded to lock up the
repositories of the deceased with more speed than he had opened
them--'Mrs. Rebecca, ye'll be so kind as to keep all right here until
we can let the house; I had an offer from a tenant this morning, if
such a thing should be, and if I was to have any management.'

Our friend Dinmont, having had his hopes as well as another, had
hitherto sate sulky enough in the armchair formerly appropriated to the
deceased, and in which she would have been not a little scandalised to
have seen this colossal specimen of the masculine gender lolling at
length. His employment had been rolling up into the form of a coiled
snake the long lash of his horse-whip, and then by a jerk causing it to
unroll itself into the middle of the floor. The first words he said
when he had digested the shock contained a magnanimous declaration,
which he probably was not conscious of having uttered aloud--'Weel,
blude's thicker than water; she's welcome to the cheeses and the hams
just the same.' But when the trustee had made the above-mentioned
motion for the mourners to depart, and talked of the house being
immediately let, honest Dinmont got upon his feet and stunned the
company with this blunt question, 'And what's to come o' this poor
lassie then, Jenny Gibson? Sae mony o' us as thought oursells sib to
the family when the gear was parting, we may do something for her amang
us surely.'

This proposal seemed to dispose most of the assembly instantly to
evacuate the premises, although upon Mr. Protocol's motion they had
lingered as if around the grave of their disappointed hopes. Drumquag
said, or rather muttered, something of having a family of his own, and
took precedence, in virtue of his gentle blood, to depart as fast as
possible. The tobacconist sturdily stood forward and scouted the
motion--'A little huzzie like that was weel eneugh provided for
already; and Mr. Protocol at ony rate was the proper person to take
direction of her, as he had charge of her legacy'; and after uttering
such his opinion in a steady and decisive tone of voice, he also left
the place. The buck made a stupid and brutal attempt at a jest upon
Mrs. Bertram's recommendation that the poor girl should be taught some
honest trade; but encountered a scowl from Colonel Mannering's
darkening eye (to whom, in his ignorance of the tone of good society,
he had looked for applause) that made him ache to the very backbone. He
shuffled downstairs, therefore, as fast as possible.

Protocol, who was really a good sort of man, next expressed his
intention to take a temporary charge of the young lady, under protest
always that his so doing should be considered as merely eleemosynary;
when Dinmont at length got up, and, having shaken his huge dreadnought
great-coat, as a Newfoundland dog does his shaggy hide when he comes
out of the water, ejaculated, 'Weel, deil hae me then, if ye hae ony
fash wi' her, Mr. Protocol, if she likes to gang hame wi' me, that is.
Ye see, Ailie and me we're weel to pass, and we would like the lassies
to hae a wee bit mair lair than oursells, and to be neighbour-like,
that wad we. And ye see Jenny canna miss but to ken manners, and the
like o' reading books, and sewing seams, having lived sae lang wi' a
grand lady like Lady Singleside; or, if she disna ken ony thing about
it, I'm jealous that our bairns will like her a' the better. And I'll
take care o' the bits o' claes, and what spending siller she maun hae,
so the hundred pound may rin on in your hands, Mr. Protocol, and I'll
be adding something till't, till she'll maybe get a Liddesdale joe that
wants something to help to buy the hirsel. What d'ye say to that,
hinny? I'll take out a ticket for ye in the fly to Jethart; od, but ye
maun take a powny after that o'er the Limestane Rig, deil a wheeled
carriage ever gaed into Liddesdale. [Footnote: See Note I.] And I'll be
very glad if Mrs. Rebecca comes wi' you, hinny, and stays a month or
twa while ye're stranger like.'

While Mrs. Rebecca was curtsying, and endeavouring to make the poor
orphan girl curtsy instead of crying, and while Dandie, in his rough
way, was encouraging them both, old Pleydell had recourse to his
snuff-box. 'It's meat and drink to me now, Colonel,' he said, as he
recovered himself, 'to see a clown like this. I must gratify him in his
own way, must assist him to ruin himself; there's no help for it. Here,
you Liddesdale--Dandie--Charlie's Hope--what do they call you?'

The farmer turned, infinitely gratified even by this sort of notice;
for in his heart, next to his own landlord, he honoured a lawyer in
high practice.

'So you will not be advised against trying that question about your
marches?'

'No, no, sir; naebody likes to lose their right, and to be laughed at
down the haill water. But since your honour's no agreeable, and is
maybe a friend to the other side like, we maun try some other advocate.'

'There, I told you so, Colonel Mannering! Well, sir, if you must needs
be a fool, the business is to give you the luxury of a lawsuit at the
least possible expense, and to bring you off conqueror if possible. Let
Mr. Protocol send me your papers, and I will advise him how to conduct
your cause. I don't see, after all, why you should not have your
lawsuits too, and your feuds in the Court of Session, as well as your
forefathers had their manslaughters and fire-raisings.'

'Very natural, to be sure, sir. We wad just take the auld gate as
readily, if it werena for the law. And as the law binds us, the law
should loose us. Besides, a man's aye the better thought o' in our
country for having been afore the Feifteen.'

'Excellently argued, my friend! Away with you, and send your papers to
me. Come, Colonel, we have no more to do here.'

'God, we'll ding Jock o' Dawston Cleugh now after a'!' said Dinmont,
slapping his thigh in great exultation.



CHAPTER XXXIX

          I am going to the parliament;
     You understand this bag. If you have any business
     Depending there be short, and let me hear it,
     And pay your fees.

          Little French Lawyer


'Shall you be able to carry this honest fellow's cause for him?' said
Mannering.

'Why, I don't know; the battle is not to the strong, but he shall come
off triumphant over Jock of Dawston if we can make it out. I owe him
something. It is the pest of our profession that we seldom see the best
side of human nature. People come to us with every selfish feeling
newly pointed and grinded; they turn down the very caulkers of their
animosities and prejudices, as smiths do with horses' shoes in a white
frost. Many a man has come to my garret yonder that I have at first
longed to pitch out at the window, and yet at length have discovered
that he was only doing as I might have done in his case, being very
angry, and of course very unreasonable. I have now satisfied myself
that, if our profession sees more of human folly and human roguery than
others, it is because we witness them acting in that channel in which
they can most freely vent themselves. In civilised society law is the
chimney through which all that smoke discharges itself that used to
circulate through the whole house, and put every one's eyes out; no
wonder, therefore, that the vent itself should sometimes get a little
sooty. But we will take care our Liddesdale man's cause is well
conducted and well argued, so all unnecessary expense will be saved: he
shall have his pine-apple at wholesale price.'

'Will you do me the pleasure,' said Mannering, as they parted, 'to dine
with me at my lodgings? My landlord says he has a bit of red-deer
venison and some excellent wine.'

'Venison, eh?' answered the Counsellor alertly, but presently
added--'But no! it's impossible; and I can't ask you home neither.
Monday's a sacred day; so's Tuesday; and Wednesday we are to be heard
in the great teind case in presence, but stay--it's frosty weather, and
if you don't leave town, and that venison would keep till Thursday--'

'You will dine with me that day?'

'Under certification.'

'Well, then, I will indulge a thought I had of spending a week here;
and if the venison will not keep, why we will see what else our
landlord can do for us.'

'O, the venison will keep,' said Pleydell; 'and now good-bye. Look at
these two or three notes, and deliver them if you like the addresses. I
wrote them for you this morning. Farewell, my clerk has been waiting
this hour to begin a d-d information.' And away walked Mr. Pleydell
with great activity, diving through closes and ascending covered stairs
in order to attain the High Street by an access which, compared to the
common route, was what the Straits of Magellan are to the more open but
circuitous passage round Cape Horn.

On looking at the notes of introduction which Pleydell had thrust into
his hand, Mannering was gratified with seeing that they were addressed
to some of the first literary characters of Scotland. 'To David Hume,
Esq.'

To John Home, Esq.' 'To Dr. Ferguson.' 'To Dr. Black.' 'To Lord
Kaimes.' 'To Mr. Button.' 'To John Clerk, Esq., of Eldin.' 'To Adam
Smith, Esq.' 'To Dr. Robertson.'

'Upon my word, my legal friend has a good selection of acquaintances;
these are names pretty widely blown indeed. An East-Indian must rub up
his faculties a little, and put his mind in order, before he enters
this sort of society.'

Mannering gladly availed himself of these introductions; and we regret
deeply it is not in our power to give the reader an account of the
pleasure and information which he received in admission to a circle
never closed against strangers of sense and information, and which has
perhaps at no period been equalled, considering the depth and variety
of talent which it embraced and concentrated.

Upon the Thursday appointed Mr. Pleydell made his appearance at the inn
where Colonel Mannering lodged. The venison proved in high order, the
claret excellent, and the learned counsel, a professed amateur in the
affairs of the table, did distinguished honour to both. I am uncertain,
however, if even the good cheer gave him more satisfaction than the
presence of Dominie Sampson, from whom, in his own juridical style of
wit, he contrived to extract great amusement both for himself and one
or two friends whom the Colonel regaled on the same occasion. The grave
and laconic simplicity of Sampson's answers to the insidious questions
of the barrister placed the bonhomie of his character in a more
luminous point of view than Mannering had yet seen it. Upon the same
occasion he drew forth a strange quantity of miscellaneous and
abstruse, though, generally speaking, useless learning. The lawyer
afterwards compared his mind to the magazine of a pawnbroker, stowed
with goods of every description, but so cumbrously piled together, and
in such total disorganisation, that the owner can never lay his hands
upon any one article at the moment he has occasion for it.

As for the advocate himself, he afforded at least as much exercise to
Sampson as he extracted amusement from him. When the man of law began
to get into his altitudes, and his wit, naturally shrewd and dry,
became more lively and poignant, the Dominie looked upon him with that
sort of surprise with which we can conceive a tame bear might regard
his future associate, the monkey, on their being first introduced to
each other. It was Mr. Pleydell's delight to state in grave and serious
argument some position which he knew the Dominie would be inclined to
dispute. He then beheld with exquisite pleasure the internal labour
with which the honest man arranged his ideas for reply, and tasked his
inert and sluggish powers to bring up all the heavy artillery of his
learning for demolishing the schismatic or heretical opinion which had
been stated, when behold, before the ordnance could be discharged, the
foe had quitted the post and appeared in a new position of annoyance on
the Dominie's flank or rear. Often did he exclaim 'Prodigious!' when,
marching up to the enemy in full confidence of victory, he found the
field evacuated, and it may be supposed that it cost him no little
labour to attempt a new formation. 'He was like a native Indian army,'
the Colonel said, 'formidable by numerical strength and size of
ordnance, but liable to be thrown into irreparable confusion by a
movement to take them in flank.' On the whole, however, the Dominie,
though somewhat fatigued with these mental exertions, made at unusual
speed and upon the pressure of the moment, reckoned this one of the
white days of his life, and always mentioned Mr. Pleydell as a very
erudite and fa-ce-ti-ous person.

By degrees the rest of the party dropped off and left these three
gentlemen together. Their conversation turned to Mrs. Bertram's
settlements. 'Now what could drive it into the noddle of that old
harridan,' said Pleydell, 'to disinherit poor Lucy Bertram under
pretence of settling her property on a boy who has been so long dead
and gone? I ask your pardon, Mr. Sampson, I forgot what an affecting
case this was for you; I remember taking your examination upon it, and
I never had so much trouble to make any one speak three words
consecutively. You may talk of your Pythagoreans or your silent
Brahmins, Colonel; go to, I tell you this learned gentleman beats them
all in taciturnity; but the words of the wise are precious, and not to
be thrown away lightly.'

'Of a surety,' said the Dominie, taking his blue-checqued handkerchief
from his eyes, 'that was a bitter day with me indeed; ay, and a day of
grief hard to be borne; but He giveth strength who layeth on the load.'

Colonel Mannering took this opportunity to request Mr. Pleydell to
inform him of the particulars attending the loss of the boy; and the
Counsellor, who was fond of talking upon subjects of criminal
jurisprudence, especially when connected with his own experience, went
through the circumstances at full length. 'And what is your opinion
upon the result of the whole?'

'O, that Kennedy was murdered: it's an old case which has occurred on
that coast before now, the case of Smuggler versus Exciseman.'

'What, then, is your conjecture concerning the fate of the child?'

'O, murdered too, doubtless,' answered Pleydell. 'He was old enough to
tell what he had seen, and these ruthless scoundrels would not scruple
committing a second Bethlehem massacre if they thought their interest
required it.'

The Dominie groaned deeply, and ejaculated, 'Enormous!'

'Yet there was mention of gipsies in the business too, Counsellor,'
said Mannering, 'and from what that vulgar-looking fellow said after
the funeral--'

'Mrs. Margaret Bertram's idea that the child was alive was founded upon
the report of a gipsy?' said Pleydell, catching at the half-spoken
hint. 'I envy you the concatenation, Colonel; it is a shame to me not
to have drawn the same conclusion. We'll follow this business up
instantly. Here, hark ye, waiter, go down to Luckie Wood's in the
Cowgate; ye'll find my clerk Driver; he'll be set down to high jinks by
this time--for we and our retainers, Colonel, are exceedingly regular
in our irregularities--tell him to come here instantly and I will pay
his forfeits.'

'He won't appear in character, will he?' said Mannering.

'Ah! "no more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me,"' said Pleydell. 'But we
must have some news from the land of Egypt, if possible. O, if I had
but hold of the slightest thread of this complicated skein, you should
see how I would unravel it! I would work the truth out of your
Bohemian, as the French call them, better than a monitoire or a plainte
de Tournelle; I know how to manage a refractory witness.'

While Mr. Pleydell was thus vaunting his knowledge of his profession,
the waiter reentered with Mr. Driver, his mouth still greasy with
mutton pies, and the froth of the last draught of twopenny yet
unsubsided on his upper lip, with such speed had he obeyed the commands
of his principal. 'Driver, you must go instantly and find out the woman
who was old Mrs. Margaret Bertram's maid. Inquire for her everywhere,
but if you find it necessary to have recourse to Protocol, Quid the
tobacconist, or any other of these folks, you will take care not to
appear yourself, but send some woman of your acquaintance; I daresay
you know enough that may be so condescending as to oblige you. When you
have found her out, engage her to come to my chambers tomorrow at eight
o'clock precisely.'

'What shall I say to make her forthcoming?' asked the aid-de-camp.

'Anything you choose,' replied the lawyer. 'Is it my business to make
lies for you, do you think? But let her be in praesentia by eight
o'clock, as I have said before.' The clerk grinned, made his reverence,
and exit.

'That's a useful fellow,' said the Counsellor; 'I don't believe his
match ever carried a process. He'll write to my dictating three nights
in the week without sleep, or, what's the same thing, he writes as well
and correctly when he's asleep as when he's awake. Then he's such a
steady fellow; some of them are always changing their ale-houses, so
that they have twenty cadies sweating after them, like the bare-headed
captains traversing the taverns of Eastcheap in search of Sir John
Falstaff. But this is a complete fixture; he has his winter seat by the
fire and his summer seat by the window in Luckie Wood's, betwixt which
seats are his only migrations; there he's to be found at all times when
he is off duty. It is my opinion he never puts off his clothes or goes
to sleep; sheer ale supports him under everything. It is meat, drink,
and cloth, bed, board, and washing.'

'And is he always fit for duty upon a sudden turnout? I should distrust
it, considering his quarters.'

'O, drink, never disturbs him, Colonel; he can write for hours after he
cannot speak. I remember being called suddenly to draw an appeal case.
I had been dining, and it was Saturday night, and I had ill will to
begin to it; however, they got me down to Clerihugh's, and there we sat
birling till I had a fair tappit hen [Footnote: See Note 2.] under my
belt, and then they persuaded me to draw the paper. Then we had to seek
Driver, and it was all that two men could do to bear him in, for, when
found, he was, as it happened, both motionless and speechless. But no
sooner was his pen put between his fingers, his paper stretched before
him, and he heard my voice, than he began to write like a scrivener;
and, excepting that we were obliged to have somebody to dip his pen in
the ink, for he could not see the standish, I never saw a thing
scrolled more handsomely.'

'But how did your joint production look the next morning?' said the
Colonel.

'Wheugh! capital! not three words required to be altered: [Footnote:
See Note 3. ] it was sent off by that day's post. But you'll come and
breakfast with me to-morrow, and hear this woman's examination?'

'Why, your hour is rather early.'

'Can't make it later. If I were not on the boards of the Outer House
precisely as the nine-hours' bell rings, there would be a report that I
had got an apoplexy, and I should feel the effects of it all the rest
of the session.'

'Well, I will make an exertion to wait upon you.'

Here the company broke up for the evening.

In the morning Colonel Mannering appeared at the Counsellor's chambers,
although cursing the raw air of a Scottish morning in December. Mr.
Pleydell had got Mrs. Rebecca installed on one side of his fire,
accommodated her with a cup of chocolate, and was already deeply
engaged in conversation with her. 'O no, I assure you, Mrs. Rebecca,
there is no intention to challenge your mistress's will; and I give you
my word of honour that your legacy is quite safe. You have deserved it
by your conduct to your mistress, and I wish it had been twice as much.'

'Why, to be sure, sir, it's no right to mention what is said before
ane; ye heard how that dirty body Quid cast up to me the bits o'
compliments he gied me, and tell'd ower again ony loose cracks I might
hae had wi' him; now if ane was talking loosely to your honour, there's
nae saying what might come o't.'

'I assure you, my good Rebecca, my character and your own age and
appearance are your security, if you should talk as loosely as an
amatory poet.'

'Aweel, if your honour thinks I am safe--the story is just this. Ye
see, about a year ago, or no just sae lang, my leddy was advised to go
to Gilsland for a while, for her spirits were distressing her sair.
Ellangowan's troubles began to be spoken o' publicly, and sair vexed
she was; for she was proud o' her family. For Ellangowan himsell and
her, they sometimes 'greed and some times no; but at last they didna
'gree at a' for twa or three year, for he was aye wanting to borrow
siller, and that was what she couldna bide at no hand, and she was aye
wanting it paid back again, and that the Laird he liked as little. So
at last they were clean aff thegither. And then some of the company at
Gilsland tells her that the estate was to be sell'd; and ye wad hae
thought she had taen an ill will at Miss Lucy Bertram frae that moment,
for mony a time she cried to me, "O Becky, O Becky, if that useless
peenging thing o' a lassie there at Ellangowan, that canna keep her
ne'er-do-weel father within bounds--if she had been but a lad-bairn
they couldna hae sell'd the auld inheritance for that fool-body's
debts"; and she would rin on that way till I was just wearied and sick
to hear her ban the puir lassie, as if she wadna hae been a lad-bairn
and keepit the land if it had been in her will to change her sect. And
ae day at the spaw-well below the craig at Gilsland she was seeing a
very bonny family o' bairns--they belanged to ane Mac-Crosky--and she
broke out--"Is not it an odd like thing that ilka waf carle in the
country has a son and heir, and that the house of Ellangowan is without
male succession?" There was a gipsy wife stood ahint and heard her, a
muckle sture fearsome-looking wife she was as ever I set een on. "Wha
is it," says she, "that dare say the house of Ellangowan will perish
without male succession?" My mistress just turned on her; she was a
high-spirited woman, and aye ready wi' an answer to a' body. "It's me
that says it," says she, "that may say it with a sad heart." Wi' that
the gipsy wife gripped till her hand--"I ken you weel eneugh," says
she, "though ye kenna me. But as sure as that sun's in heaven, and as
sure as that water's rinning to the sea, and as sure as there's an ee
that sees and an ear that hears us baith, Harry Bertram, that was
thought to perish at Warroch Point, never did die there. He was to have
a weary weird o't till his ane-and-twentieth year, that was aye said o'
him; but if ye live and I live, ye'll hear mair o' him this winter
before the snaw lies twa days on the Dun of Singleside. I want nane o'
your siller," she said, "to make ye think I am blearing your ee; fare
ye weel till after Martinmas." And there she left us standing.'

'Was she a very tall woman?' interrupted Mannering.

'Had she black hair, black eyes, and a cut above the brow?' added the
lawyer.

'She was the tallest woman I ever saw, and her hair was as black as
midnight, unless where it was grey, and she had a scar abune the brow
that ye might hae laid the lith of your finger in. Naebody that's seen
her will ever forget her; and I am morally sure that it was on the
ground o' what that gipsy-woman said that my mistress made her will,
having taen a dislike at the young leddy o' Ellangowan. And she liked
her far waur after she was obliged to send her L20; for she said Miss
Bertram, no content wi' letting the Ellangowan property pass into
strange hands, owing to her being a lass and no a lad, was coming, by
her poverty, to be a burden and a disgrace to Singleside too. But I
hope my mistress's is a good will for a' that, for it would be hard on
me to lose the wee bit legacy; I served for little fee and bountith,
weel I wot.'

The Counsellor relieved her fears on this head, then inquired after
Jenny Gibson, and understood she had accepted Mr. Dinmont's offer. 'And
I have done sae mysell too, since he was sae discreet as to ask me,'
said Mrs. Rebecca; 'they are very decent folk the Dinmonts, though my
lady didna dow to hear muckle about the friends on that side the house.
But she liked the Charlie's Hope hams and the cheeses and the muir-fowl
that they were aye sending, and the lamb's-wool hose and mittens--she
liked them weel eneugh.'

Mr. Pleydell now dismissed Mrs. Rebecca. When she was gone, 'I think I
know the gipsy-woman,' said the lawyer.

'I was just going to say the same,' replied Mannering.

'And her name,' said Pleydell--

'Is Meg Merrilies,' answered the Colonel.

'Are you avised of that?' said the Counsellor, looking at his military
friend with a comic expression of surprise.

Mannering answered that he had known such a woman when he was at
Ellangowan upwards of twenty years before; and then made his learned
friend acquainted with all the remarkable particulars of his first
visit there.

Mr. Pleydell listened with great attention, and then replied, 'I
congratulated myself upon having made the acquaintance of a profound
theologian in your chaplain; but I really did not expect to find a
pupil of Albumazar or Messahala in his patron. I have a notion,
however, this gipsy could tell us some more of the matter than she
derives from astrology or second-sight. I had her through hands once,
and could then make little of her, but I must write to Mac-Morlan to
stir heaven and earth to find her out. I will gladly come to--shire
myself to assist at her examination; I am still in the commission of
the peace there, though I have ceased to be sheriff. I never had
anything more at heart in my life than tracing that murder and the fate
of the child. I must write to the sheriff of Roxburghshire too, and to
an active justice of peace in Cumberland.'

'I hope when you come to the country you will make Woodbourne your
headquarters?'

'Certainly; I was afraid you were going to forbid me. But we must go to
breakfast now or I shall be too late.'

On the following day the new friends parted, and the Colonel rejoined
his family without any adventure worthy of being detailed in these
chapters.



CHAPTER XL

     Can no rest find me, no private place secure me,
     But still my miseries like bloodhounds haunt me?
     Unfortunate young man, which way now guides thee,
     Guides thee from death? The country's laid around for thee.

          Women Pleased.


Our narrative now recalls us for a moment to the period when young
Hazlewood received his wound. That accident had no sooner happened than
the consequences to Miss Mannering and to himself rushed upon Brown's
mind. From the manner in which the muzzle of the piece was pointed when
it went off, he had no great fear that the consequences would be fatal.
But an arrest in a strange country, and while he was unprovided with
any means of establishing his rank and character, was at least to be
avoided. He therefore resolved to escape for the present to the
neighbouring coast of England, and to remain concealed there, if
possible, until he should receive letters from his regimental friends,
and remittances from his agent; and then to resume his own character,
and offer to young Hazlewood and his friends any explanation or
satisfaction they might desire. With this purpose he walked stoutly
forward, after leaving the spot where the accident had happened, and
reached without adventure the village which we have called Portanferry
(but which the reader will in vain seek for under that name in the
county map). A large open boat was just about to leave the quay, bound
for the little seaport of Allonby, in Cumberland. In this vessel Brown
embarked, and resolved to make that place his temporary abode, until he
should receive letters and money from England.

In the course of their short voyage he entered into some conversation
with the steersman, who was also owner of the boat, a jolly old man,
who had occasionally been engaged in the smuggling trade, like most
fishers on the coast. After talking about objects of less interest,
Brown endeavoured to turn the discourse toward the Mannering family.
The sailor had heard of the attack upon the house at Woodbourne, but
disapproved of the smugglers' proceedings.

'Hands off is fair play; zounds, they'll bring the whole country down
upon them. Na, na! when I was in that way I played at giff-gaff with
the officers: here a cargo taen--vera weel, that was their luck; there
another carried clean through, that was mine; na, na! hawks shouldna
pike out hawks' een.'

'And this Colonel Mannering?' said Brown.

'Troth, he's nae wise man neither, to interfere; no that I blame him
for saving the gangers' lives, that was very right; but it wasna like a
gentleman to be righting about the poor folk's pocks o' tea and brandy
kegs. However, he's a grand man and an officer man, and they do what
they like wi' the like o' us.'

'And his daughter,' said Brown, with a throbbing heart, 'is going to be
married into a great family too, as I have heard?'

'What, into the Hazlewoods'?' said the pilot. 'Na, na, that's but idle
clashes; every Sabbath day, as regularly as it came round, did the
young man ride hame wi' the daughter of the late Ellangowan; and my
daughter Peggy's in the service up at Woodbourne, and she says she's
sure young Hazlewood thinks nae mair of Miss Mannering than you do.'

Bitterly censuring his own precipitate adoption of a contrary belief,
Brown yet heard with delight that the suspicions of Julia's fidelity,
upon which he had so rashly acted, were probably void of foundation.
How must he in the meantime be suffering in her opinion? or what could
she suppose of conduct which must have made him appear to her
regardless alike of her peace of mind and of the interests of their
affection? The old man's connexion with the family at Woodbourne seemed
to offer a safe mode of communication, of which he determined to avail
himself.

'Your daughter is a maid-servant at Woodbourne? I knew Miss Mannering
in India, and, though I am at present in an inferior rank of life, I
have great reason to hope she would interest herself in my favour. I
had a quarrel unfortunately with her father, who was my commanding
officer, and I am sure the young lady would endeavour to reconcile him
to me. Perhaps your daughter could deliver a letter to her upon the
subject, without making mischief between her father and her?'

The old man, a friend to smuggling of every kind, readily answered for
the letter's being faithfully and secretly delivered; and, accordingly,
as soon as they arrived at Allonby Brown wrote to Miss Mannering,
stating the utmost contrition for what had happened through his
rashness, and conjuring her to let him have an opportunity of pleading
his own cause, and obtaining forgiveness for his indiscretion. He did
not judge it safe to go into any detail concerning the circumstances by
which he had been misled, and upon the whole endeavoured to express
himself with such ambiguity that, if the letter should fall into wrong
hands, it would be difficult either to understand its real purport or
to trace the writer. This letter the old man undertook faithfully to
deliver to his daughter at Woodbourne; and, as his trade would speedily
again bring him or his boat to Allonby, he promised farther to take
charge of any answer with which the young lady might entrust him.

And now our persecuted traveller landed at Allonby, and sought for such
accommodations as might at once suit his temporary poverty and his
desire of remaining as much unobserved as possible. With this view he
assumed the name and profession of his friend Dudley, having command
enough of the pencil to verify his pretended character to his host of
Allonby. His baggage he pretended to expect from Wigton; and keeping
himself as much within doors as possible, awaited the return of the
letters which he had sent to his agent, to Delaserre, and to his
lieutenant-colonel. From the first he requested a supply of money; he
conjured Delaserre, if possible, to join him in Scotland; and from the
lieutenant-colonel he required such testimony of his rank and conduct
in the regiment as should place his character as a gentleman and
officer beyond the power of question. The inconvenience of being run
short in his finances struck him so strongly that he wrote to Dinmont
on that subject, requesting a small temporary loan, having no doubt
that, being within sixty or seventy miles of his residence, he should
receive a speedy as well as favourable answer to his request of
pecuniary accommodation, which was owing, as he stated, to his having
been robbed after their parting. And then, with impatience enough,
though without any serious apprehension, he waited the answers of these
various letters.

It must be observed, in excuse of his correspondents, that the post was
then much more tardy than since Mr. Palmer's ingenious invention has
taken place; and with respect to honest Dinmont in particular, as he
rarely received above one letter a quarter (unless during the time of
his being engaged in a law-suit, when he regularly sent to the
post-town), his correspondence usually remained for a month or two
sticking in the postmaster's window among pamphlets, gingerbread,
rolls, or ballads, according to the trade which the said postmaster
exercised. Besides, there was then a custom, not yet wholly obsolete,
of causing a letter from one town to another, perhaps within the
distance of thirty miles, perform a circuit of two hundred miles before
delivery; which had the combined advantage of airing the epistle
thoroughly, of adding some pence to the revenue of the post-office, and
of exercising the patience of the correspondents. Owing to these
circumstances Brown remained several days in Allonby without any
answers whatever, and his stock of money, though husbanded with the
utmost economy, began to wear very low, when he received by the hands
of a young fisherman the following letter:--

'You have acted with the most cruel indiscretion; you have shown how
little I can trust to your declarations that my peace and happiness are
dear to you; and your rashness has nearly occasioned the death of a
young man of the highest worth and honour. Must I say more? must I add
that I have been myself very ill in consequence of your violence and
its effects? And, alas! need I say still farther, that I have thought
anxiously upon them as they are likely to affect you, although you have
given me such slight cause to do so? The C. is gone from home for
several days, Mr. H. is almost quite recovered, and I have reason to
think that the blame is laid in a quarter different from that where it
is deserved. Yet do not think of venturing here. Our fate has been
crossed by accidents of a nature too violent and terrible to permit me
to think of renewing a correspondence which has so often threatened the
most dreadful catastrophe. Farewell, therefore, and believe that no one
can wish your happiness more sincerely than

    'J. M.'

This letter contained that species of advice which is frequently given
for the precise purpose that it may lead to a directly opposite conduct
from that which it recommends. At least so thought Brown, who
immediately asked the young fisherman if he came from Portanferry.

'Ay,' said the lad; 'I am auld Willie Johnstone's son, and I got that
letter frae my sister Peggy, that's laundry maid at Woodbourne.'

'My good friend, when do you sail?'

'With the tide this evening.'

'I'll return with you; but, as I do not desire to go to Portanferry, I
wish you could put me on shore somewhere on the coast.'

'We can easily do that,' said the lad.

Although the price of provisions, etc., was then very moderate, the
discharging his lodgings, and the expense of his living, together with
that of a change of dress, which safety as well as a proper regard to
his external appearance rendered necessary, brought Brown's purse to a
very low ebb. He left directions at the post-office that his letters
should be forwarded to Kippletringan, whither he resolved to proceed
and reclaim the treasure which he had deposited in the hands of Mrs.
MacCandlish. He also felt it would be his duty to assume his proper
character as soon as he should receive the necessary evidence for
supporting it, and, as an officer in the king's service, give and
receive every explanation which might be necessary with young
Hazlewood. 'If he is not very wrong-headed indeed,' he thought, 'he
must allow the manner in which I acted to have been the necessary
consequence of his own overbearing conduct.'

And now we must suppose him once more embarked on the Solway Firth. The
wind was adverse, attended by some rain, and they struggled against it
without much assistance from the tide. The boat was heavily laden with
goods (part of which were probably contraband), and laboured deep in
the sea. Brown, who had been bred a sailor, and was indeed skilled in
most athletic exercises, gave his powerful and effectual assistance in
rowing, or occasionally in steering the boat, and his advice in the
management, which became the more delicate as the wind increased, and,
being opposed to the very rapid tides of that coast, made the voyage
perilous. At length, after spending the whole night upon the firth,
they were at morning within sight of a beautiful bay upon the Scottish
coast. The weather was now more mild. The snow, which had been for some
time waning, had given way entirely under the fresh gale of the
preceding night. The more distant hills, indeed, retained their snowy
mantle, but all the open country was cleared, unless where a few white
patches indicated that it had been drifted to an uncommon depth. Even
under its wintry appearance the shore was highly interesting. The line
of sea-coast, with all its varied curves, indentures, and embayments,
swept away from the sight on either hand, in that varied, intricate,
yet graceful and easy line which the eye loves so well to pursue. And
it was no less relieved and varied in elevation than in outline by the
different forms of the shore, the beach in some places being edged by
steep rocks, and in others rising smoothly from the sands in easy and
swelling slopes. Buildings of different kinds caught and reflected the
wintry sunbeams of a December morning, and the woods, though now
leafless, gave relief and variety to the landscape. Brown felt that
lively and awakening interest which taste and sensibility always derive
from the beauties of nature when opening suddenly to the eye after the
dulness and gloom of a night voyage. Perhaps--for who can presume to
analyse that inexplicable feeling which binds the person born in a
mountainous country to, his native hills--perhaps some early
associations, retaining their effect long after the cause was
forgotten, mingled in the feelings of pleasure with which he regarded
the scene before him.

'And what,' said Brown to the boatman, 'is the name of that fine cape
that stretches into the sea with its sloping banks and hillocks of
wood, and forms the right side of the bay?'

'Warroch Point,' answered the lad.

'And that old castle, my friend, with the modern house situated just
beneath it? It seems at this distance a very large building.'

'That's the Auld Place, sir; and that's the New Place below it. We'll
land you there if you like.'

'I should like it of all things. I must visit that ruin before I
continue my journey.'

'Ay, it's a queer auld bit,' said the fisherman; 'and that highest
tower is a gude landmark as far as Ramsay in Man and the Point of Ayr;
there was muckle fighting about the place lang syne.'

Brown would have inquired into farther particulars, but a fisherman is
seldom an antiquary. His boatman's local knowledge was summed up in the
information already given, 'that it was a grand landmark, and that
there had been muckle fighting about the bit lang syne.'

'I shall learn more of it,' said Brown to himself, 'when I get ashore.'

The boat continued its course close under the point upon which the
castle was situated, which frowned from the summit of its rocky site
upon the still agitated waves of the bay beneath. 'I believe,' said the
steersman, 'ye'll get ashore here as dry as ony gate. There's a place
where their berlins and galleys, as they ca'd them, used to lie in lang
syne, but it's no used now, because it's ill carrying gudes up the
narrow stairs or ower the rocks. Whiles of a moonlight night I have
landed articles there, though.'

While he thus spoke they pulled round a point of rock, and found a very
small harbour, partly formed by nature, partly by the indefatigable
labour of the ancient inhabitants of the castle, who, as the fisherman
observed, had found it essential for the protection of their boats and
small craft, though it could not receive vessels of any burden. The two
points of rock which formed the access approached each other so nearly
that only one boat could enter at a time. On each side were still
remaining two immense iron rings, deeply morticed into the solid rock.
Through these, according to tradition, there was nightly drawn a huge
chain, secured by an immense padlock, for the protection of the haven
and the armada which it contained. A ledge of rock had, by the
assistance of the chisel and pickaxe, been formed into a sort of quay.
The rock was of extremely hard consistence, and the task so difficult
that, according to the fisherman, a labourer who wrought at the work
might in the evening have carried home in his bonnet all the shivers
which he had struck from the mass in the course of the day. This little
quay communicated with a rude staircase, already repeatedly mentioned,
which descended from the old castle. There was also a communication
between the beach and the quay, by scrambling over the rocks.

'Ye had better land here,' said the lad, 'for the surf's running high
at the Shellicoat Stane, and there will no be a dry thread amang us or
we get the cargo out. Na! na! (in answer to an offer of money) ye have
wrought for your passage, and wrought far better than ony o' us. Gude
day to ye; I wuss ye weel.'

So saying, he pushed oil in order to land his cargo on the opposite
side of the bay; and Brown, with a small bundle in his hand, containing
the trifling stock of necessaries which he had been obliged to purchase
at Allonby, was left on the rocks beneath the ruin.

And thus, unconscious as the most absolute stranger, and in
circumstances which, if not destitute, were for the present highly
embarrassing, without the countenance of a friend within the circle of
several hundred miles, accused of a heavy crime, and, what was as bad
as all the rest, being nearly penniless, did the harassed wanderer for
the first time after the interval of so many years approach the remains
of the castle where his ancestors had exercised all but regal dominion.



CHAPTER XLI

          Yes ye moss-green walls,
     Ye towers defenceless, I revisit ye
     Shame-stricken! Where are all your trophies now?
     Your thronged courts, the revelry, the tumult,
     That spoke the grandeur of my house, the homage
     Of neighbouring barons?

          Mysterious Mother.


Entering the castle of Ellangowan by a postern doorway which showed
symptoms of having been once secured with the most jealous care, Brown
(whom, since he has set foot upon the property of his fathers, we shall
hereafter call by his father's name of Bertram) wandered from one
ruined apartment to another, surprised at the massive strength of some
parts of the building, the rude and impressive magnificence of others,
and the great extent of the whole. In two of these rooms, close beside
each other, he saw signs of recent habitation. In one small apartment
were empty bottles, half-gnawed bones, and dried fragments of bread. In
the vault which adjoined, and which was defended by a strong door, then
left open, he observed a considerable quantity of straw, and in both
were the relics of recent fires. How little was it possible for Bertram
to conceive that such trivial circumstances were closely connected with
incidents affecting his prosperity, his honour, perhaps his life!

After satisfying his curiosity by a hasty glance through the interior
of the castle, Bertram now advanced through the great gateway which
opened to the land, and paused to look upon the noble landscape which
it commanded. Having in vain endeavoured to guess the position of
Woodbourne, and having nearly ascertained that of Kippletringan, he
turned to take a parting look at the stately ruins which he had just
traversed. He admired the massive and picturesque effect of the huge
round towers, which, flanking the gateway, gave a double portion of
depth and majesty to the high yet gloomy arch under which it opened.
The carved stone escutcheon of the ancient family, bearing for their
arms three wolves' heads, was hung diagonally beneath the helmet and
crest, the latter being a wolf couchant pierced with an arrow. On
either side stood as supporters, in full human size or larger, a
salvage man PROPER, to use the language of heraldry, WREATHED AND
CINCTURED, and holding in his hand an oak tree ERADICATED, that is,
torn up by the roots.

'And the powerful barons who owned this blazonry,' thought Bertram,
pursuing the usual train of ideas which flows upon the mind at such
scenes--'do their posterity continue to possess the lands which they
had laboured to fortify so strongly? or are they wanderers, ignorant
perhaps even of the fame or power of their fore-fathers, while their
hereditary possessions are held by a race of strangers? Why is it,' he
thought, continuing to follow out the succession of ideas which the
scene prompted--'why is it that some scenes awaken thoughts which
belong as it were to dreams of early and shadowy recollection, such as
my old Brahmin moonshie would have ascribed to a state of previous
existence? Is it the visions of our sleep that float confusedly in our
memory, and are recalled by the appearance of such real objects as in
any respect correspond to the phantoms they presented to our
imagination? How often do we find ourselves in society which we have
never before met, and yet feel impressed with a mysterious and
ill-defined consciousness that neither the scene, the speakers, nor the
subject are entirely new; nay, feel as if we could anticipate that part
of the conversation which has not yet taken place! It is even so with
me while I gaze upon that ruin; nor can I divest myself of the idea
that these massive towers and that dark gateway, retiring through its
deep-vaulted and ribbed arches, and dimly lighted by the courtyard
beyond, are not entirely strange to me. Can it be that they have been
familiar to me in infancy, and that I am to seek in their vicinity
those friends of whom my childhood has still a tender though faint
remembrance, and whom I early exchanged for such severe task-masters?
Yet Brown, who, I think, would not have deceived me, always told me I
was brought off from the eastern coast, after a skirmish in which my
father was killed; and I do remember enough of a horrid scene of
violence to strengthen his account.'

It happened that the spot upon which young Bertram chanced to station
himself for the better viewing the castle was nearly the same on which
his father had died. It was marked by a large old oak-tree, the only
one on the esplanade, and which, having been used for executions by the
barons of Ellangowan, was called the Justice Tree. It chanced, and the
coincidence was remarkable, that Glossin was this morning engaged with
a person whom he was in the habit of consulting in such matters
concerning some projected repairs and a large addition to the house of
Ellangowan, and that, having no great pleasure in remains so intimately
connected with the grandeur of the former inhabitants, he had resolved
to use the stones of the ruinous castle in his new edifice. Accordingly
he came up the bank, followed by the land-surveyor mentioned on a
former occasion, who was also in the habit of acting as a sort of
architect in case of necessity. In drawing the plans, etc., Glossin was
in the custom of relying upon his own skill. Bertram's back was towards
them as they came up the ascent, and he was quite shrouded by the
branches of the large tree, so that Glossin was not aware of the
presence of the stranger till he was close upon him.

'Yes, sir, as I have often said before to you, the Old Place is a
perfect quarry of hewn stone, and it would be better for the estate if
it were all down, since it is only a den for smugglers.' At this
instant Bertram turned short round upon Glossin at the distance of two
yards only, and said--'Would you destroy this fine old castle, sir?'

His face, person, and voice were so exactly those of his father in his
best days, that Glossin, hearing his exclamation, and seeing such a
sudden apparition in the shape of his patron, and on nearly the very
spot where he had expired, almost thought the grave had given up its
dead! He staggered back two or three paces, as if he had received a
sudden and deadly wound. He instantly recovered, however, his presence
of mind, stimulated by the thrilling reflection that it was no
inhabitant of the other world which stood before him, but an injured
man whom the slightest want of dexterity on his part might lead to
acquaintance with his rights, and the means of asserting them to his
utter destruction. Yet his ideas were so much confused by the shock he
had received that his first question partook of the alarm.

'In the name of God, how came you here?' said Glossin.

'How came I here?' repeated Bertram, surprised at the solemnity of the
address; 'I landed a quarter of an hour since in the little harbour
beneath the castle, and was employing a moment's leisure in viewing
these fine ruins. I trust there is no intrusion?'

'Intrusion, sir? No, sir,' said Glossin, in some degree recovering his
breath, and then whispered a few words into his companion's ear, who
immediately left him and descended towards the house. 'Intrusion, sir?
no, sir; you or any gentleman are welcome to satisfy your curiosity.'

'I thank you, sir,' said Bertram. 'They call this the Old Place, I am
informed?'

'Yes, sir; in distinction to the New Place, my house there below.'

Glossin, it must be remarked, was, during the following dialogue, on
the one hand eager to learn what local recollections young Bertram had
retained of the scenes of his infancy, and on the other compelled to be
extremely cautious in his replies, lest he should awaken or assist, by
some name, phrase, or anecdote, the slumbering train of association. He
suffered, indeed, during the whole scene the agonies which he so richly
deserved; yet his pride and interest, like the fortitude of a North
American Indian, manned him to sustain the tortures inflicted at once
by the contending stings of a guilty conscience, of hatred, of fear,
and of suspicion.

'I wish to ask the name, sir,' said Bertram, 'of the family to whom
this stately ruin belongs.'

'It is my property, sir; my name is Glossin.'

'Glossin--Glossin?' repeated Bertram, as if the answer were somewhat
different from what he expected. 'I beg your pardon, Mr. Glossin; I am
apt to be very absent. May I ask if the castle has been long in your
family?'

'It was built, I believe, long ago by a family called Mac-Dingawaie,'
answered Glossin, suppressing for obvious reasons the more familiar
sound of Bertram, which might have awakened the recollections which he
was anxious to lull to rest, and slurring with an evasive answer the
question concerning the endurance of his own possession.

'And how do you read the half-defaced motto, sir,' said Bertram, 'which
is upon that scroll above the entablature with the arms?'

'I--I--I really do not exactly know,' replied Glossin.

'I should be apt to make it out, OUR RIGHT MAKES OUR MIGHT.'

'I believe it is something of that kind,' said Glossin.

'May I ask, sir,' said the stranger, 'if it is your family motto?'

'N--n--no--no--not ours. That is, I believe, the motto of the former
people; mine is--mine is--in fact, I have had some correspondence with
Mr. Cumming of the Lyon Office in Edinburgh about mine. He writes me
the Glossins anciently bore for a motto, "He who takes it, makes it."'

'If there be any uncertainty, sir, and the case were mine,' said
Bertram, 'I would assume the old motto, which seems to me the better of
the two.'

Glossin, whose tongue by this time clove to the roof of his mouth, only
answered by a nod.

'It is odd enough,' said Bertram, fixing his eye upon the arms and
gateway, and partly addressing Glossin, partly as it were thinking
aloud--'it is odd the tricks which our memory plays us. The remnants of
an old prophecy, or song, or rhyme of some kind or other, return to my
recollection on hearing that motto; stay--it is a strange jingle of
sounds:--

     The dark shall be light,
     And the wrong made right,
     When Bertram's right and Bertram's might
     Shall meet on---

I cannot remember the last line--on some particular height; HEIGHT is
the rhyme, I am sure; but I cannot hit upon the preceding word.'

'Confound your memory,' muttered Glossin, 'you remember by far too much
of it!'

'There are other rhymes connected with these early recollections,'
continued the young man. 'Pray, sir, is there any song current in this
part of the world respecting a daughter of the King of the Isle of Man
eloping with a Scottish knight?'

'I am the worst person in the world to consult upon legendary
antiquities,' answered Glossin.

'I could sing such a ballad,' said Bertram, 'from one end to another
when I was a boy. You must know I left Scotland, which is my native
country, very young, and those who brought me up discouraged all my
attempts to preserve recollection of my native land, on account, I
believe, of a boyish wish which I had to escape from their charge.'

'Very natural,' said Glossin, but speaking as if his utmost efforts
were unable to unseal his lips beyond the width of a quarter of an
inch, so that his whole utterance was a kind of compressed muttering,
very different from the round, bold, bullying voice with which he
usually spoke. Indeed, his appearance and demeanour during all this
conversation seemed to diminish even his strength and stature; so that
he appeared to wither into the shadow of himself, now advancing one
foot, now the other, now stooping and wriggling his shoulders, now
fumbling with the buttons of his waistcoat, now clasping his hands
together; in short, he was the picture of a mean-spirited, shuffling
rascal in the very agonies of detection. To these appearances Bertram
was totally inattentive, being dragged on as it were by the current of
his own associations. Indeed, although he addressed Glossin, he was not
so much thinking of him as arguing upon the embarrassing state of his
own feelings and recollection. 'Yes,' he said, 'I preserved my language
among the sailors, most of whom spoke English, and when I could get
into a corner by myself I used to sing all that song over from
beginning to end; I have forgot it all now, but I remember the tune
well, though I cannot guess what should at present so strongly recall
it to my memory.'

He took his flageolet from his pocket and played a simple melody.
Apparently the tune awoke the corresponding associations of a damsel
who, close beside a fine spring about halfway down the descent, and
which had once supplied the castle with water, was engaged in bleaching
linen. She immediately took up the song:--

     'Are these the Links of Forth, she said,
       Or are they the crooks of Dee,
     Or the bonnie woods of Warroch Head
       That I so fain would see?'

'By heaven,' said Bertram, 'it is the very ballad! I must learn these
words from the girl.'

'Confusion!' thought Glossin; 'if I cannot put a stop to this all will
be out. O the devil take all ballads and ballad-makers and
ballad-singers! and that d--d jade too, to set up her pipe!'--'You will
have time enough for this on some other occasion,' he said aloud; 'at
present' (for now he saw his emissary with two or three men coming up
the bank)--'at present we must have some more serious conversation
together.'

'How do you mean, sir?' said Bertram, turning short upon him, and not
liking the tone which he made use of.

'Why, sir, as to that--I believe your name is Brown?' said Glossin.
'And what of that, sir?'

Glossin looked over his shoulder to see how near his party had
approached; they were coming fast on. 'Vanbeest Brown? if I mistake
not.'

'And what of that, sir?' said Bertram, with increasing astonishment and
displeasure.

'Why, in that case,' said Glossin, observing his friends had now got
upon the level space close beside them--'in that case you are my
prisoner in the king's name!' At the same time he stretched his hand
towards Bertram's collar, while two of the men who had come up seized
upon his arms; he shook himself, however, free of their grasp by a
violent effort, in which he pitched the most pertinacious down the
bank, and, drawing his cutlass, stood on the defensive, while those who
had felt his strength recoiled from his presence and gazed at a safe
distance. 'Observe,' he called out at the same time, 'that I have no
purpose to resist legal authority; satisfy me that you have a
magistrate's warrant, and are authorised to make this arrest, and I
will obey it quietly; but let no man who loves his life venture to
approach me till I am satisfied for what crime, and by whose authority,
I am apprehended.'

Glossin then caused one of the officers show a warrant for the
apprehension of Vanbeest Brown, accused of the crime of wilfully and
maliciously shooting at Charles Hazlewood, younger of Hazlewood, with
an intent to kill, and also of other crimes and misdemeanours, and
which appointed him, having been so apprehended, to be brought before
the next magistrate for examination. The warrant being formal, and the
fact such as he could not deny, Bertram threw down his weapon and
submitted himself to the officers, who, flying on him with eagerness
corresponding to their former pusillanimity, were about to load him
with irons, alleging the strength and activity which he had displayed
as a justification of this severity. But Glossin was ashamed or afraid
to permit this unnecessary insult, and directed the prisoner to be
treated with all the decency, and even respect, that was consistent
with safety. Afraid, however, to introduce him into his own house,
where still further subjects of recollection might have been suggested,
and anxious at the same time to cover his own proceedings by the
sanction of another's authority, he ordered his carriage (for he had
lately set up a carriage) to be got ready, and in the meantime directed
refreshments to be given to the prisoner and the officers, who were
consigned to one of the rooms in the old castle, until the means of
conveyance for examination before a magistrate should be provided.



CHAPTER XLII

     Bring in the evidence.
     Thou robed man of justice, take thy place,
     And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,
     Bench by his side; you are of the commission,
     Sit you too.

          King Lear.


While the carriage was getting ready, Glossin had a letter to compose,
about which he wasted no small time. It was to his neighbour, as he was
fond of calling him, Sir Robert Hazlewood of Hazlewood, the head of an
ancient and powerful interest in the county, which had in the decadence
of the Ellangowan family gradually succeeded to much of their authority
and influence. The present representative of the family was an elderly
man, dotingly fond of his own family, which was limited to an only son
and daughter, and stoically indifferent to the fate of all mankind
besides. For the rest, he was honourable in his general dealings
because he was afraid to suffer the censure of the world, and just from
a better motive. He was presumptuously over-conceited on the score of
family pride and importance, a feeling considerably enhanced by his
late succession to the title of a Nova Scotia baronet; and he hated the
memory of the Ellangowan family, though now a memory only, because a
certain baron of that house was traditionally reported to have caused
the founder of the Hazlewood family hold his stirrup until he mounted
into his saddle. In his general deportment he was pompous and
important, affecting a species of florid elocution, which often became
ridiculous from his misarranging the triads and quaternions with which
he loaded his sentences.

To this personage Glossin was now to write in such a conciliatory style
as might be most acceptable to his vanity and family pride, and the
following was the form of his note:--

'Mr. Gilbert Glossin' (he longed to add of Ellangowan, but prudence
prevailed, and he suppressed that territorial designation)--'Mr.
Gilbert Glossin has the honour to offer his most respectful compliments
to Sir Robert Hazlewood, and to inform him that he has this morning
been fortunate enough to secure the person who wounded Mr. C.
Hazlewood. As Sir Robert Hazlewood may probably choose to conduct the
examination of this criminal himself, Mr. G. Glossin will cause the man
to be carried to the inn at Kippletringan or to Hazlewood House, as Sir
Robert Hazlewood may be pleased to direct. And, with Sir Robert
Hazlewood's permission, Mr. G. Glossin will attend him at either of
these places with the proofs and declarations which he has been so
fortunate as to collect respecting this atrocious business.'

     Addressed,

     'Sir ROBERT HAZLEWOOD of Hazlewood, Bart.
     'Hazlewood House, etc. etc.

     'ELLN GN.

     'Tuesday.'

This note he despatched by a servant on horseback, and having given the
man some time to get ahead, and desired him to ride fast, he ordered
two officers of justice to get into the carriage with Bertram; and he
himself, mounting his horse, accompanied them at a slow pace to the
point where the roads to Kippletringan and Hazlewood House separated,
and there awaited the return of his messenger, in order that his
farther route might be determined by the answer he should receive from
the Baronet. In about half an hour, his servant returned with the
following answer, handsomely folded, and sealed with the Hazlewood
arms, having the Nova Scotia badge depending from the shield:--

'Sir Robert Hazlewood of Hazlewood returns Mr. G. Glossin's
compliments, and thanks him for the trouble he has taken in a matter
affecting the safety of Sir Robert's family. Sir R.H. requests Mr. G.G.
will have the goodness to bring the prisoner to Hazlewood House for
examination, with the other proofs or declarations which he mentions.
And after the business is over, in case Mr. G.G. is not otherwise
engaged, Sir R. and Lady Hazlewood request his company to dinner.'

     Addressed,

     'Mr. GILBERT GLOSSIN, etc.
     'HAZLEWOOD HOUSE, Tuesday.'

'Soh!' thought Mr. Glossin, 'here is one finger in at least, and that I
will make the means of introducing my whole hand. But I must first get
clear of this wretched young fellow. I think I can manage Sir Robert.
He is dull and pompous, and will be alike disposed to listen to my
suggestions upon the law of the case and to assume the credit of acting
upon them as his own proper motion. So I shall have the advantage of
being the real magistrate, without the odium of responsibility.'

As he cherished these hopes and expectations, the carriage approached
Hazlewood House through a noble avenue of old oaks, which shrouded the
ancient abbey-resembling building so called. It was a large edifice,
built at different periods, part having actually been a priory, upon
the suppression of which, in the time of Queen Mary, the first of the
family had obtained a gift of the house and surrounding lands from the
crown. It was pleasantly situated in a large deer-park, on the banks of
the river we have before mentioned. The scenery around was of a dark,
solemn, and somewhat melancholy cast, according well with the
architecture of the house. Everything appeared to be kept in the
highest possible order, and announced the opulence and rank of the
proprietor.

As Mr. Glossin's carriage stopped at the door of the hall, Sir Robert
reconnoitred the new vehicle from the windows. According to his
aristocratic feelings, there was a degree of presumption in this novus
homo, this Mr. Gilbert Glossin, late writer in---, presuming to set up
such an accommodation at all; but his wrath was mitigated when he
observed that the mantle upon the panels only bore a plain cipher of
G.G. This apparent modesty was indeed solely owing to the delay of Mr.
Gumming of the Lyon Office, who, being at that time engaged in
discovering and matriculating the arms of two commissaries from North
America, three English-Irish peers, and two great Jamaica traders, had
been more slow than usual in finding an escutcheon for the new Laird of
Ellangowan. But his delay told to the advantage of Glossin in the
opinion of the proud Baronet.

While the officers of justice detained their prisoner in a sort of
steward's room, Mr. Glossin was ushered into what was called the great
oak-parlour, a long room, panelled with well-varnished wainscot, and
adorned with the grim portraits of Sir Robert Hazlewood's ancestry. The
visitor, who had no internal consciousness of worth to balance that of
meanness of birth, felt his inferiority, and by the depth of his bow
and the obsequiousness of his demeanour showed that the Laird of
Ellangowan was sunk for the time in the old and submissive habits of
the quondam retainer of the law. He would have persuaded himself,
indeed, that he was only humouring the pride of the old Baronet for the
purpose of turning it to his own advantage, but his feelings were of a
mingled nature, and he felt the influence of those very prejudices
which he pretended to flatter.

The Baronet received his visitor with that condescending parade which
was meant at once to assert his own vast superiority, and to show the
generosity and courtesy with which he could waive it, and descend to
the level of ordinary conversation with ordinary men. He thanked
Glossin for his attention to a matter in which 'young Hazlewood' was so
intimately concerned, and, pointing to his family pictures, observed,
with a gracious smile, 'Indeed, these venerable gentlemen, Mr. Glossin,
are as much obliged as I am in this case for the labour, pains, care,
and trouble which you have taken in their behalf; and I have no doubt,
were they capable of expressing themselves, would join me, sir, in
thanking you for the favour you have conferred upon the house of
Hazlewood by taking care, and trouble, sir, and interest in behalf of
the young gentleman who is to continue their name and family.'

Thrice bowed Glossin, and each time more profoundly than before; once
in honour of the knight who stood upright before him, once in respect
to the quiet personages who patiently hung upon the wainscot, and a
third time in deference to the young gentleman who was to carry on the
name and family. Roturier as he was, Sir Robert was gratified by the
homage which he rendered, and proceeded in a tone of gracious
familiarity: 'And now, Mr. Glossin, my exceeding good friend, you must
allow me to avail myself of your knowledge of law in our proceedings in
this matter. I am not much in the habit of acting as a justice of the
peace; it suits better with other gentlemen, whose domestic and family
affairs require less constant superintendence, attention, and
management than mine.'

Of course, whatever small assistance Mr. Glossin could render was
entirely at Sir Robert Hazlewood's service; but, as Sir Robert
Hazlewood's name stood high in the list of the faculty, the said Mr.
Glossin could not presume to hope it could be either necessary or
useful.

'Why, my good sir, you will understand me only to mean that I am
something deficient in the practical knowledge of the ordinary details
of justice business. I was indeed educated to the bar, and might boast
perhaps at one time that I had made some progress in the speculative
and abstract and abstruse doctrines of our municipal code; but there is
in the present day so little opportunity of a man of family and fortune
rising to that eminence at the bar which is attained by adventurers who
are as willing to plead for John a' Nokes as for the first noble of the
land, that I was really early disgusted with practice. The first case,
indeed, which was laid on my table quite sickened me: it respected a
bargain, sir, of tallow between a butcher and a candlemaker; and I
found it was expected that I should grease my mouth not only with their
vulgar names, but with all the technical terms and phrases and peculiar
language of their dirty arts. Upon my honour, my good sir, I have never
been able to bear the smell of a tallow-candle since.'

Pitying, as seemed to be expected, the mean use to which the Baronet's
faculties had been degraded on this melancholy occasion, Mr. Glossin
offered to officiate as clerk or assessor, or in any way in which he
could be most useful. 'And with a view to possessing you of the whole
business, and in the first place, there will, I believe, be no
difficulty in proving the main fact, that this was the person who fired
the unhappy piece. Should he deny it, it can be proved by Mr.
Hazlewood, I presume?'

'Young Hazlewood is not at home to-day, Mr. Glossin.'

'But we can have the oath of the servant who attended him,' said the
ready Mr. Glossin; 'indeed, I hardly think the fact will be disputed. I
am more apprehensive that, from the too favourable and indulgent manner
in which I have understood that Mr. Hazlewood has been pleased to
represent the business, the assault may be considered as accidental,
and the injury as unintentional, so that the fellow may be immediately
set at liberty to do more mischief.'

'I have not the honour to know the gentleman who now holds the office
of king's advocate,' replied Sir Robert, gravely; 'but I presume,
sir--nay, I am confident, that he will consider the mere fact of having
wounded young Hazlewood of Hazlewood, even by inadvertency, to take the
matter in its mildest and gentlest, and in its most favourable and
improbable, light, as a crime which will be too easily atoned by
imprisonment, and as more deserving of deportation.'

'Indeed, Sir Robert,' said his assenting brother in justice, 'I am
entirely of your opinion; but, I don't know how it is, I have observed
the Edinburgh gentlemen of the bar, and even the officers of the crown,
pique themselves upon an indifferent administration of justice, without
respect to rank and family; and I should fear--'

'How, sir, without respect to rank and family? Will you tell me THAT
doctrine can be held by men of birth and legal education? No, sir; if a
trifle stolen in the street is termed mere pickery, but is elevated
into sacrilege if the crime be committed in a church, so, according to
the just gradations of society, the guilt of an injury is enhanced by
the rank of the person to whom it is offered, done, or perpetrated,
sir.'

Glossin bowed low to this declaration ex cathedra, but observed, that
in the case of the very worst, and of such unnatural doctrines being
actually held as he had already hinted, 'the law had another hold on
Mr. Vanbeest Brown.'

'Vanbeest Brown! is that the fellow's name? Good God! that young
Hazlewood of Hazlewood should have had his life endangered, the
clavicle of his right shoulder considerably lacerated and dislodged,
several large drops or slugs deposited in the acromion process, as the
account of the family surgeon expressly bears, and all by an obscure
wretch named Vanbeest Brown!'

'Why, really, Sir Robert, it is a thing which one can hardly bear to
think of; but, begging ten thousand pardons for resuming what I was
about to say, a person of the same name is, as appears from these
papers (producing Dirk Hatteraick's pocket-book), mate to the smuggling
vessel who offered such violence at Woodbourne, and I have no doubt
that this is the same individual; which, however, your acute
discrimination will easily be able to ascertain.'

'The same, my good sir, he must assuredly be; it would be injustice
even to the meanest of the people to suppose there could be found among
them TWO persons doomed to bear a name so shocking to one's ears as
this of Vanbeest Brown.' 'True, Sir Robert; most unquestionably; there
cannot be a shadow of doubt of it. But you see farther, that this
circumstance accounts for the man's desperate conduct. You, Sir Robert,
will discover the motive for his crime--you, I say, will discover it
without difficulty on your giving your mind to the examination; for my
part, I cannot help suspecting the moving spring to have been revenge
for the gallantry with which Mr. Hazlewood, with all the spirit of his
renowned forefathers, defended the house at Woodbourne against this
villain and his lawless companions.'

'I will inquire into it, my good sir,' said the learned Baronet. 'Yet
even now I venture to conjecture that I shall adopt the solution or
explanation of this riddle, enigma, or mystery which you have in some
degree thus started. Yes! revenge it must be; and, good Heaven!
entertained by and against whom? entertained, fostered, cherished
against young Hazlewood of Hazlewood, and in part carried into effect,
executed, and implemented by the hand of Vanbeest Brown! These are
dreadful days indeed, my worthy neighbour (this epithet indicated a
rapid advance in the Baronet's good graces)--days when the bulwarks of
society are shaken to their mighty base, and that rank which forms, as
it were, its highest grace and ornament is mingled and confused with
the viler parts of the architecture. O, my good Mr. Gilbert Glossin, in
my time, sir, the use of swords and pistols, and such honourable arms,
was reserved by the nobility and gentry to themselves, and the disputes
of the vulgar were decided by the weapons which nature had given them,
or by cudgels cut, broken, or hewed out of the next wood. But now, sir,
the clouted shoe of the peasant galls the kibe of the courtier. The
lower ranks have their quarrels, sir, and their points of honour, and
their revenges, which they must bring, forsooth, to fatal arbitrament.
But well, well! it will last my time. Let us have in this fellow, this
Vanbeest Brown, and make an end of him, at least for the present.'



CHAPTER XLIII

     'Twas he
     Gave heat unto the injury, which returned,
     Like a petard ill lighted, into the bosom
     Of him gave fire to't. Yet I hope his hurt
     Is not so dangerous but he may recover

          Fair Maid of the Inn.


The prisoner was now presented before the two worshipful magistrates.
Glossin, partly from some compunctious visitings, and partly out of his
cautious resolution to suffer Sir Robert Hazlewood to be the ostensible
manager of the whole examination, looked down upon the table, and
busied himself with reading and arranging the papers respecting the
business, only now and then throwing in a skilful catchword as
prompter, when he saw the principal, and apparently most active,
magistrate stand in need of a hint. As for Sir Robert Hazlewood, he
assumed on his part a happy mixture of the austerity of the justice
combined with the display of personal dignity appertaining to the
baronet of ancient family.

'There, constables, let him stand there at the bottom of the table. Be
so good as look me in the face, sir, and raise your voice as you answer
the questions which I am going to put to you.'

'May I beg, in the first place, to know, sir, who it is that takes the
trouble to interrogate me?' said the prisoner; 'for the honest
gentlemen who have brought me here have not been pleased to furnish any
information upon that point.'

'And pray, sir,' answered Sir Robert, 'what has my name and quality to
do with the questions I am about to ask you?'

'Nothing, perhaps, sir,' replied Bertram; 'but it may considerably
influence my disposition to answer them.'

'Why, then, sir, you will please to be informed that you are in
presence of Sir Robert Hazlewood of Hazlewood, and another justice of
peace for this county--that's all.'

As this intimation produced a less stunning effect upon the prisoner
than he had anticipated, Sir Robert proceeded in his investigation with
an increasing dislike to the object of it.

'Is your name Vanbeest Brown, sir?'

'It is,' answered the prisoner.

'So far well; and how are we to design you farther, sir?' demanded the
Justice.

'Captain in his Majesty's---regiment of horse,' answered Bertram.

The Baronet's ears received this intimation with astonishment; but he
was refreshed in courage by an incredulous look from Glossin, and by
hearing him gently utter a sort of interjectional whistle, in a note of
surprise and contempt. 'I believe, my friend,' said Sir Robert, 'we
shall find for you, before we part, a more humble title.'

'If you do, sir,' replied his prisoner, 'I shall willingly submit to
any punishment which such an imposture shall be thought to deserve.'

'Well, sir, we shall see,' continued Sir Robert. 'Do you know young
Hazlewood of Hazlewood?'

'I never saw the gentleman who I am informed bears that name excepting
once, and I regret that it was under very unpleasant circumstances.'

'You mean to acknowledge, then,' said the Baronet, 'that you inflicted
upon young Hazlewood of Hazlewood that wound which endangered his life,
considerably lacerated the clavicle of his right shoulder, and
deposited, as the family surgeon declares, several large drops or slugs
in the acromion process?'

'Why, sir,' replied Bertram, 'I can only say I am equally ignorant of
and sorry for the extent of the damage which the young gentleman has
sustained. I met him in a narrow path, walking with two ladies and a
servant, and before I could either pass them or address them, this
young Hazlewood took his gun from his servant, presented it against my
body, and commanded me in the most haughty tone to stand back. I was
neither inclined to submit to his authority nor to leave him in
possession of the means to injure me, which he seemed disposed to use
with such rashness. I therefore closed with him for the purpose of
disarming him; and, just as I had nearly effected my purpose, the piece
went off accidentally, and, to my regret then and since, inflicted upon
the young gentleman a severer chastisement than I desired, though I am
glad to understand it is like to prove no more than his unprovoked
folly deserved.'

'And so, sir,' said the Baronet, every feature swoln with offended
dignity, 'you, sir, admit, sir, that it was your purpose, sir, and your
intention, sir, and the real jet and object of your assault, sir, to
disarm young Hazlewood of Hazlewood of his gun, sir, or his
fowling-piece, or his fuzee, or whatever you please to call it, sir,
upon the king's highway, sir? I think this will do, my worthy
neighbour! I think he should stand committed?'

'You are by far the best judge, Sir Robert,' said Glossin, in his most
insinuating tone; 'but if I might presume to hint, there was something
about these smugglers.'

'Very true, good sir. And besides, sir, you, Vanbeest Brown, who call
yourself a captain in his Majesty's service, are no better or worse
than a rascally mate of a smuggler!'

'Really, sir,' said Bertram, 'you are an old gentleman, and acting
under some strange delusion, otherwise I should be very angry with you.'

'Old gentleman, sir! strange delusion, sir!' said Sir Robert, colouring
with indignation. 'I protest and declare--Why, sir, have you any papers
or letters that can establish your pretended rank and estate and
commission?'

'None at present, sir,' answered Bertram; 'but in the return of a post
or two---'

'And how do you, sir,' continued the Baronet, 'if you are a captain in
his Majesty's service--how do you chance to be travelling in Scotland
without letters of introduction, credentials, baggage, or anything
belonging to your pretended rank, estate, and condition, as I said
before?'

'Sir,' replied the prisoner, 'I had the misfortune to be robbed of my
clothes and baggage.'

'Oho! then you are the gentleman who took a post-chaise from---to
Kippletringan, gave the boy the slip on the road, and sent two of your
accomplices to beat the boy and bring away the baggage?'

'I was, sir, in a carriage, as you describe, was obliged to alight in
the snow, and lost my way endeavouring to find the road to
Kippletringan. The landlady of the inn will inform you that on my
arrival there the next day, my first inquiries were after the boy.'

'Then give me leave to ask where you spent the night, not in the snow,
I presume? You do not suppose that will pass, or be taken, credited,
and received?'

'I beg leave,' said Bertram, his recollection turning to the gipsy
female and to the promise he had given her--'I beg leave to decline
answering that question.'

'I thought as much,' said Sir Robert. 'Were you not during that night
in the ruins of Derncleugh?--in the ruins of Derncleugh, sir?'

'I have told you that I do not intend answering that question,' replied
Bertram.

'Well, sir, then you will stand committed, sir,' said Sir Robert, 'and
be sent to prison, sir, that's all, sir. Have the goodness to look at
these papers; are you the Vanbeest Brown who is there mentioned?'

It must be remarked that Glossin had shuffled among the papers some
writings which really did belong to Bertram, and which had been found
by the officers in the old vault where his portmanteau was ransacked.

'Some of these papers,' said Bertram, looking over them, 'are mine, and
were in my portfolio when it was stolen from the post-chaise. They are
memoranda of little value, and, I see, have been carefully selected as
affording no evidence of my rank or character, which many of the other
papers would have established fully. They are mingled with
ship-accounts and other papers, belonging apparently to a person of the
same name.'

'And wilt thou attempt to persuade me, friend,' demanded Sir Robert,
'that there are TWO persons in this country at the same time of thy
very uncommon and awkwardly sounding name?'

'I really do not see, sir, as there is an old Hazlewood and a young
Hazlewood, why there should not be an old and a young Vanbeest Brown.
And, to speak seriously, I was educated in Holland, and I know that
this name, however uncouth it may sound in British ears---'

Glossin, conscious that the prisoner was now about to enter upon
dangerous ground, interfered, though the interruption was unnecessary,
for the purpose of diverting the attention of Sir Robert Hazlewood, who
was speechless and motionless with indignation at the presumptuous
comparison implied in Bertram's last speech. In fact, the veins of his
throat and of his temples swelled almost to bursting, and he sat with
the indignant and disconcerted air of one who has received a mortal
insult from a quarter to which he holds it unmeet and indecorous to
make any reply. While, with a bent brow and an angry eye, he was
drawing in his breath slowly and majestically, and puffing it forth
again with deep and solemn exertion, Glossin stepped in to his
assistance. 'I should think now, Sir Robert, with great submission,
that this matter may be closed. One of the constables, besides the
pregnant proof already produced, offers to make oath that the sword of
which the prisoner was this morning deprived (while using it, by the
way, in resistance to a legal warrant) was a cutlass taken from him in
a fray between the officers and smugglers just previous to their attack
upon Woodbourne. And yet,' he added, 'I would not have you form any
rash construction upon that subject; perhaps the young man can explain
how he came by that weapon.'

'That question, sir,' said Bertram, 'I shall also leave unanswered.'

'There is yet another circumstance to be inquired into, always under
Sir Robert's leave,' insinuated Glossin. 'This prisoner put into the
hands of Mrs. MacCandlish of Kippletringan a parcel containing a
variety of gold coins and valuable articles of different kinds.
Perhaps, Sir Robert, you might think it right to ask how he came by
property of a description which seldom occurs?'

'You, sir, Mr. Vanbeest Brown, sir, you hear the question, sir, which
the gentleman asks you?'

'I have particular reasons for declining to answer that question,'
answered Bertram.

'Then I am afraid, sir,' said Glossin, who had brought matters to the
point he desired to reach, 'our duty must lay us under the necessity to
sign a warrant of committal.'

'As you please, sir,' answered Bertram; 'take care, however, what you
do. Observe that I inform you that I am a captain in his
Majesty's---regiment, and that I am just returned from India, and
therefore cannot possibly be connected with any of those contraband
traders you talk of; that my lieutenant-colonel is now at Nottingham,
the major, with the officers of my corps, at Kingston-upon-Thames. I
offer before you both to submit to any degree of ignominy if, within
the return of the Kingston and Nottingham posts, I am not able to
establish these points. Or you may write to the agent for the regiment
if you please, and---'

'This is all very well, sir,' said Glossin, beginning to fear lest the
firm expostulation of Bertram should make some impression on Sir
Robert, who would almost have died of shame at committing such a
solecism as sending a captain of horse to jail--'this is all very well,
sir; but is there no person nearer whom you could refer to?'

'There are only two persons in this country who know anything of me,'
replied the prisoner. 'One is a plain Liddesdale sheep-farmer, called
Dinmont of Charlie's Hope; but he knows nothing more of me than what I
told him, and what I now tell you.'

'Why, this is well enough, Sir Robert!' said Glossin. 'I suppose he
would bring forward this thick-skulled fellow to give his oath of
credulity, Sir Robert, ha, ha, ha!'

'And what is your other witness, friend?' said the Baronet.

'A gentleman whom I have some reluctance to mention because of certain
private reasons, but under whose command I served some time in India,
and who is too much a man of honour to refuse his testimony to my
character as a soldier and gentleman.'

'And who is this doughty witness, pray, sir?' said Sir Robert,' some
half-pay quartermaster or sergeant, I suppose?'

'Colonel Guy Mannering, late of the---regiment, in which, as I told
you, I have a troop.'

'Colonel Guy Mannering!' thought Glossin, 'who the devil could have
guessed this?'

'Colonel Guy Mannering?' echoed the Baronet, considerably shaken in his
opinion. 'My good sir,' apart to Glossin, 'the young man with a
dreadfully plebeian name and a good deal of modest assurance has
nevertheless something of the tone and manners and feeling of a
gentleman, of one at least who has lived in good society; they do give
commissions very loosely and carelessly and inaccurately in India. I
think we had better pause till Colonel Mannering shall return; he is
now, I believe, at Edinburgh.'

'You are in every respect the best judge, Sir Robert,' answered
Glossin--'in every possible respect. I would only submit to you that we
are certainly hardly entitled to dismiss this man upon an assertion
which cannot be satisfied by proof, and that we shall incur a heavy
responsibility by detaining him in private custody, without committing
him to a public jail. Undoubtedly, however, you are the best judge, Sir
Robert; and I would only say, for my own part, that I very lately
incurred severe censure by detaining a person in a place which I
thought perfectly secure, and under the custody of the proper officers.
The man made his escape, and I have no doubt my own character for
attention and circumspection as a magistrate has in some degree
suffered. I only hint this: I will join in any step you, Sir Robert,
think most advisable.' But Mr. Glossin was well aware that such a hint
was of power sufficient to decide the motions of his self-important but
not self-relying colleague. So that Sir Robert Hazlewood summed up the
business in the following speech, which proceeded partly upon the
supposition of the prisoner being really a gentleman, and partly upon
the opposite belief that he was a villain and an assassin:--

'Sir, Mr. Vanbeest Brown--I would call you Captain Brown if there was
the least reason or cause or grounds to suppose that you are a captain,
or had a troop in the very respectable corps you mention, or indeed in
any other corps in his Majesty's service, as to which circumstance I
beg to be understood to give no positive, settled, or unalterable
judgment, declaration, or opinion,--I say, therefore, sir, Mr. Brown,
we have determined, considering the unpleasant predicament in which you
now stand, having been robbed, as you say, an assertion as to which I
suspend my opinion, and being possessed of much and valuable treasure,
and of a brass-handled cutlass besides, as to your obtaining which you
will favour us with no explanation,--I say, sir, we have determined and
resolved and made up our minds to commit you to jail, or rather to
assign you an apartment therein, in order that you may be forthcoming
upon Colonel Mannering's return from Edinburgh.'

'With humble submission, Sir Robert,' said Glossin, 'may I inquire if
it is your purpose to send this young gentleman to the county jail? For
if that were not your settled intention, I would take the liberty to
hint that there would be less hardship in sending him to the bridewell
at Portanferry, where he can be secured without public exposure, a
circumstance which, on the mere chance of his story being really true,
is much to be avoided.'

'Why, there is a guard of soldiers at Portanferry, to be sure, for
protection of the goods in the custom-house; and upon the whole,
considering everything, and that the place is comfortable for such a
place, I say, all things considered, we will commit this person, I
would rather say authorise him to be detained, in the workhouse at
Portanferry.'

The warrant was made out accordingly, and Bertram was informed he was
next morning to be removed to his place of confinement, as Sir Robert
had determined he should not be taken there under cloud of night, for
fear of rescue. He was during the interval to be detained at Hazlewood
House.

'It cannot be so hard as my imprisonment by the looties in India,' he
thought; 'nor can it last so long. But the deuce take the old formal
dunderhead, and his more sly associate, who speaks always under his
breath; they cannot understand a plain man's story when it is told
them.'

In the meanwhile Glossin took leave of the Baronet with a thousand
respectful bows and cringing apologies for not accepting his invitation
to dinner, and venturing to hope he might be pardoned in paying his
respects to him, Lady Hazlewood, and young Mr. Hazlewood on some future
occasion.

'Certainly, sir,' said the Baronet, very graciously. 'I hope our family
was never at any time deficient in civility to our neighbours; and when
I ride that way, good Mr. Glossin, I will convince you of this by
calling at your house as familiarly as is consistent--that is, as can
be hoped or expected.'

'And now,' said Glossin to himself, 'to find Dirk Hatteraick and his
people, to get the guard sent off from the custom-house; and then for
the grand cast of the dice. Everything must depend upon speed. How
lucky that Mannering has betaken himself to Edinburgh! His knowledge of
this young fellow is a most perilous addition to my dangers.' Here he
suffered his horse to slacken his pace. 'What if I should try to
compound with the heir? It's likely he might be brought to pay a round
sum for restitution, and I could give up Hatteraick. But no, no, no!
there were too many eyes on me--Hatteraick himself, and the gipsy
sailor, and that old hag. No, no! I must stick to my original plan.'
And with that he struck his spurs against his horse's flanks, and rode
forward at a hard trot to put his machines in motion.



CHAPTER XLIV

     A prison is a house of care,
     A place where none can thrive,
     A touchstone true to try a friend,
     A grave for one alive
     Sometimes a place of right,
     Sometimes a place of wrong,
     Sometimes a place of rogues and thieves,
     And honest men among

          Inscription on Edinburgh Tolbooth


Early on the following morning the carriage which had brought Bertram
to Hazlewood House was, with his two silent and surly attendants,
appointed to convey him to his place of confinement at Portanferry.
This building adjoined to the custom-house established at that little
seaport, and both were situated so close to the sea-beach that it was
necessary to defend the back part with a large and strong rampart or
bulwark of huge stones, disposed in a slope towards the surf, which
often reached and broke upon them. The front was surrounded by a high
wall, enclosing a small courtyard, within which the miserable inmates
of the mansion were occasionally permitted to take exercise and air.
The prison was used as a house of correction, and sometimes as a chapel
of ease to the county jail, which was old, and far from being
conveniently situated with reference to the Kippletringan district of
the county. Mac-Guffog, the officer by whom Bertram had at first been
apprehended, and who was now in attendance upon him, was keeper of this
palace of little-ease. He caused the carriage to be drawn close up to
the outer gate, and got out himself to summon the warders. The noise of
his rap alarmed some twenty or thirty ragged boys, who left off sailing
their mimic sloops and frigates in the little pools of salt water left
by the receding tide, and hastily crowded round the vehicle to see what
luckless being was to be delivered to the prison-house out of
'Glossin's braw new carriage.' The door of the courtyard, after the
heavy clanking of many chains and bars, was opened by Mrs.
Mac-Guffog--an awful spectacle, being a woman for strength and
resolution capable of maintaining order among her riotous inmates, and
of administering the discipline of the house, as it was called, during
the absence of her husband, or when he chanced to have taken an
overdose of the creature. The growling voice of this Amazon, which
rivalled in harshness the crashing music of her own bolts and bars,
soon dispersed in every direction the little varlets who had thronged
around her threshold, and she next addressed her amiable helpmate:--

'Be sharp, man, and get out the swell, canst thou not?'

'Hold your tongue and be d-d, you--,' answered her loving husband, with
two additional epithets of great energy, but which we beg to be excused
from repeating. Then addressing Bertram--'Come, will you get out, my
handy lad, or must we lend you a lift?'

Bertram came out of the carriage, and, collared by the constable as he
put his foot on the ground, was dragged, though he offered no
resistance, across the threshold, amid the continued shouts of the
little sansculottes, who looked on at such distance as their fear of
Mrs. Mac-Guffog permitted. The instant his foot had crossed the fatal
porch, the portress again dropped her chains, drew her bolts, and,
turning with both hands an immense key, took it from the lock and
thrust it into a huge side-pocket of red cloth.

Bertram was now in the small court already mentioned. Two or three
prisoners were sauntering along the pavement, and deriving as it were a
feeling of refreshment from the momentary glimpse with which the
opening door had extended their prospect to the other side of a dirty
street. Nor can this be thought surprising, when it is considered that,
unless on such occasions, their view was confined to the grated front
of their prison, the high and sable walls of the courtyard, the heaven
above them, and the pavement beneath their feet--a sameness of
landscape which, to use the poet's expression, 'lay like a load on the
wearied eye,' and had fostered in some a callous and dull misanthropy,
in others that sickness of the heart which induces him who is immured
already in a living grave to wish for a sepulchre yet more calm and
sequestered.

Mac-Guffog, when they entered the courtyard, suffered Bertram to pause
for a minute and look upon his companions in affliction. When he had
cast his eye around on faces on which guilt and despondence and low
excess had fixed their stigma--upon the spendthrift, and the swindler,
and the thief, the bankrupt debtor, the 'moping idiot, and the madman
gay,' whom a paltry spirit of economy congregated to share this dismal
habitation, he felt his heart recoil with inexpressible loathing from
enduring the contamination of their society even for a moment.

'I hope, sir,' he said to the keeper, 'you intend to assign me a place
of confinement apart?'

'And what should I be the better of that?'

'Why, sir, I can but be detained here a day or two, and it would be
very disagreeable to me to mix in the sort of company this place
affords.'

'And what do I care for that?'

'Why then, sir, to speak to your feelings,' said Bertram, 'I shall be
willing to make you a handsome compliment for this indulgence.'

'Ay, but when, Captain? when and how? that's the question, or rather
the twa questions,' said the jailor.

'When I am delivered, and get my remittances from England,' answered
the prisoner.

Mac-Guffog shook his head incredulously.

'Why, friend, you do not pretend to believe that I am really a
malefactor?' said Bertram.

'Why, I no ken,' said the fellow; 'but if you ARE on the account, ye're
nae sharp ane, that's the daylight o't.'

'And why do you say I am no sharp one?'

'Why, wha but a crack-brained greenhorn wad hae let them keep up the
siller that ye left at the Gordon Arms?' said the constable. 'Deil
fetch me, but I wad have had it out o' their wames! Ye had nae right to
be strippit o' your money and sent to jail without a mark to pay your
fees; they might have keepit the rest o' the articles for evidence. But
why, for a blind bottle-head, did not ye ask the guineas? and I kept
winking and nodding a' the time, and the donnert deevil wad never ance
look my way!'

'Well, sir,' replied Bertram, 'if I have a title to have that property
delivered up to me, I shall apply for it; and there is a good deal more
than enough to pay any demand you can set up.'

'I dinna ken a bit about that,' said Mac-Guffog; 'ye may be here lang
eneugh. And then the gieing credit maun be considered in the fees. But,
however, as ye DO seem to be a chap by common, though my wife says I
lose by my good-nature, if ye gie me an order for my fees upon that
money I daresay Glossin will make it forthcoming; I ken something about
an escape from Ellangowan. Ay, ay, he'll be glad to carry me through,
and be neighbour-like.'

'Well, sir,' replied Bertram, 'if I am not furnished in a day or two
otherwise, you shall have such an order.'

'Weel, weel, then ye shall be put up like a prince,' said Mac-Guffog.
'But mark ye me, friend, that we may have nae colly-shangie afterhend,
these are the fees that I always charge a swell that must have his
lib-ken to himsell:--Thirty shillings a week for lodgings, and a guinea
for garnish; half a guinea a week for a single bed; and I dinna get the
whole of it, for I must gie half a crown out of it to Donald Laider
that's in for sheep-stealing, that should sleep with you by rule, and
he'll expect clean strae, and maybe some whisky beside. So I make
little upon that.'

'Well, sir, go on.'

'Then for meat and liquor, ye may have the best, and I never charge
abune twenty per cent ower tavern price for pleasing a gentleman that
way; and that's little eneugh for sending in and sending out, and
wearing the lassie's shoon out. And then if ye're dowie I will sit wi'
you a gliff in the evening mysell, man, and help ye out wi' your
bottle. I have drank mony a glass wi' Glossin, man, that did you up,
though he's a justice now. And then I'se warrant ye'll be for fire thir
cauld nights, or if ye want candle, that's an expensive article, for
it's against the rules. And now I've tell'd ye the head articles of the
charge, and I dinna think there's muckle mair, though there will aye be
some odd expenses ower and abune.'

'Well, sir, I must trust to your conscience, if ever you happened to
hear of such a thing; I cannot help myself.'

'Na, na, sir,' answered the cautious jailor, 'I'll no permit you to be
saying that. I'm forcing naething upon ye; an ye dinna like the price,
ye needna take the article. I force no man; I was only explaining what
civility was. But if ye like to take the common run of the house, it's
a' ane to me; I'll be saved trouble, that's a'.'

'Nay, my friend, I have, as I suppose you may easily guess, no
inclination to dispute your terms upon such a penalty,' answered
Bertram. 'Come, show me where I am to be, for I would fain be alone for
a little while.'

'Ay, ay, come along then, Captain,' said the fellow, with a contortion
of visage which he intended to be a smile; 'and I'll tell you now--to
show you that I HAVE a conscience, as ye ca't --d--n me if I charge ye
abune six-pence a day for the freedom o' the court, and ye may walk
in't very near three hours a day, and play at pitch-and-toss and hand
ba' and what not.'

With this gracious promise he ushered Bertram into the house, and
showed him up a steep and narrow stone staircase, at the top of which
was a strong door, clenched with iron and studded with nails. Beyond
this door was a narrow passage or gallery, having three cells on each
side, wretched vaults, with iron bed-frames and straw mattresses. But
at the farther end was a small apartment of rather a more decent
appearance, that is, having less the air of a place of confinement,
since, unless for the large lock and chain upon the door, and the
crossed and ponderous stanchions upon the window, it rather resembled
the 'worst inn's worst room.' It was designed as a sort of infirmary
for prisoners whose state of health required some indulgence; and, in
fact, Donald Laider, Bertram's destined chum, had been just dragged out
of one of the two beds which it contained, to try whether clean straw
and whisky might not have a better chance to cure his intermitting
fever. This process of ejection had been carried into force by Mrs.
Mac-Guffog while her husband parleyed with Bertram in the courtyard,
that good lady having a distinct presentiment of the manner in which
the treaty must necessarily terminate. Apparently the expulsion had not
taken place without some application of the strong hand, for one of the
bed-posts of a sort of tent-bed was broken down, so that the tester and
curtains hung forward into the middle of the narrow chamber, like the
banner of a chieftain half-sinking amid the confusion of a combat.

'Never mind that being out o' sorts, Captain,' said Mrs. Mac-Guffog,
who now followed them into the room; then, turning her back to the
prisoner, with as much delicacy as the action admitted, she whipped
from her knee her ferret garter, and applied it to splicing and
fastening the broken bed-post; then used more pins than her apparel
could well spare to fasten up the bed-curtains in festoons; then shook
the bed-clothes into something like form; then flung over all a
tattered patch-work quilt, and pronounced that things were now
'something purpose-like.' 'And there's your bed, Captain,' pointing to
a massy four-posted hulk, which, owing to the inequality of the floor,
that had sunk considerably (the house, though new, having been built by
contract), stood on three legs, and held the fourth aloft as if pawing
the air, and in the attitude of advancing like an elephant passant upon
the panel of a coach,--'there's your bed and the blankets; but if ye
want sheets, or bowster, or pillow, or ony sort o' nappery for the
table, or for your hands, ye'll hae to speak to me about it, for that's
out o' the gudeman's line (Mac-Guffog had by this time left the room,
to avoid, probably, any appeal which might be made to him upon this new
exaction), and he never engages for ony thing like that.'

'In God's name,' said Bertram, 'let me have what is decent, and make
any charge you please.'

'Aweel, aweel, that's sune settled; we'll no excise you neither, though
we live sae near the custom-house. And I maun see to get you some fire
and some dinner too, I'se warrant; but your dinner will be but a puir
ane the day, no expecting company that would be nice and fashious.' So
saying, and in all haste, Mrs. Mac-Guffog fetched a scuttle of live
coals, and having replenished 'the rusty grate, unconscious of a fire'
for months before, she proceeded with unwashed hands to arrange the
stipulated bed-linen (alas, how different from Ailie Dinmont's!), and,
muttering to herself as she discharged her task, seemed, in inveterate
spleen of temper, to grudge even those accommodations for which she was
to receive payment. At length, however, she departed, grumbling between
her teeth, that 'she wad rather lock up a haill ward than be fiking
about thae niff-naffy gentles that gae sae muckle fash wi' their
fancies.'

When she was gone Bertram found himself reduced to the alternative of
pacing his little apartment for exercise, or gazing out upon the sea in
such proportions as could be seen from the narrow panes of his window,
obscured by dirt and by close iron bars, or reading over the records of
brutal wit and blackguardism which despair had scrawled upon the
half-whitened walls. The sounds were as uncomfortable as the objects of
sight; the sullen dash of the tide, which was now retreating, and the
occasional opening and shutting of a door, with all its accompaniments
of jarring bolts and creaking hinges, mingling occasionally with the
dull monotony of the retiring ocean. Sometimes, too, he could hear the
hoarse growl of the keeper, or the shriller strain of his helpmate,
almost always in the tone of discontent, anger, or insolence. At other
times the large mastiff chained in the courtyard answered with furious
bark the insults of the idle loiterers who made a sport of incensing
him.

At length the tedium of this weary space was broken by the entrance of
a dirty-looking serving-wench, who made some preparations for dinner by
laying a half-dirty cloth upon a whole-dirty deal table. A knife and
fork, which had not been worn out by overcleaning, flanked a cracked
delf plate; a nearly empty mustard-pot, placed on one side of the
table, balanced a salt-cellar, containing an article of a greyish, or
rather a blackish, mixture, upon the other, both of stoneware, and
bearing too obvious marks of recent service. Shortly after, the same
Hebe brought up a plate of beef-collops, done in the frying-pan, with a
huge allowance of grease floating in an ocean of lukewarm water; and,
having added a coarse loaf to these savoury viands, she requested to
know what liquors the gentleman chose to order. The appearance of this
fare was not very inviting; but Bertram endeavoured to mend his commons
by ordering wine, which he found tolerably good, and, with the
assistance of some indifferent cheese, made his dinner chiefly off the
brown loaf. When his meal was over the girl presented her master's
compliments, and, if agreeable to the gentleman, he would help him to
spend the evening. Bertram desired to be excused, and begged, instead
of this gracious society, that he might be furnished with paper, pen,
ink, and candles. The light appeared in the shape of one long broken
tallow-candle, inclining over a tin candlestick coated with grease; as
for the writing materials, the prisoner was informed that he might have
them the next day if he chose to send out to buy them. Bertram next
desired the maid to procure him a book, and enforced his request with a
shilling; in consequence of which, after long absence, she reappeared
with two odd volumes of the 'Newgate Calendar,' which she had borrowed
from Sam Silverquill, an idle apprentice, who was imprisoned under a
charge of forgery. Having laid the books on the table she retired, and
left Bertram to studies which were not ill adapted to his present
melancholy situation.



CHAPTER XLV

     But if thou shouldst be dragg'd in scorn
       To yonder ignominious tree,
     Thou shall not want one faithful friend
       To share the cruel fates' decree.

          SHENSTONE.


Plunged in the gloomy reflections which were naturally excited by his
dismal reading and disconsolate situation, Bertram for the first time
in his life felt himself affected with a disposition to low spirits. 'I
have been in worse situations than this too,' he said; 'more dangerous,
for here is no danger; more dismal in prospect, for my present
confinement must necessarily be short; more intolerable for the time,
for here, at least, I have fire, food, and shelter. Yet, with reading
these bloody tales of crime and misery in a place so corresponding to
the ideas which they excite, and in listening to these sad sounds, I
feel a stronger disposition to melancholy than in my life I ever
experienced. But I will not give way to it. Begone, thou record of
guilt and infamy!' he said, flinging the book upon the spare bed; 'a
Scottish jail shall not break, on the very first day, the spirits which
have resisted climate, and want, and penury, and disease, and
imprisonment in a foreign land. I have fought many a hard battle with
Dame Fortune, and she shall not beat me now if I can help it.'

Then bending his mind to a strong effort, he endeavoured to view his
situation in the most favourable light. Delaserre must soon be in
Scotland; the certificates from his commanding officer must soon
arrive; nay, if Mannering were first applied to, who could say but the
effect might be a reconciliation between them? He had often observed,
and now remembered, that when his former colonel took the part of any
one, it was never by halves, and that he seemed to love those persons
most who had lain under obligation to him. In the present case a
favour, which could be asked with honour and granted with readiness,
might be the means of reconciling them to each other. From this his
feelings naturally turned towards Julia; and, without very nicely
measuring the distance between a soldier of fortune, who expected that
her father's attestation would deliver him from confinement, and the
heiress of that father's wealth and expectations, he was building the
gayest castle in the clouds, and varnishing it with all the tints of a
summer-evening sky, when his labour was interrupted by a loud knocking
at the outer gate, answered by the barking of the gaunt half-starved
mastiff which was quartered in the courtyard as an addition to the
garrison. After much scrupulous precaution the gate was opened and some
person admitted. The house-door was next unbarred, unlocked, and
unchained, a dog's feet pattered upstairs in great haste, and the
animal was heard scratching and whining at the door of the room. Next a
heavy step was heard lumbering up, and Mac-Guffog's voice in the
character of pilot--'This way, this way; take care of the step; that's
the room.' Bertram's door was then unbolted, and to his great surprise
and joy his terrier, Wasp, rushed into the apartment and almost
devoured him with caresses, followed by the massy form of his friend
from Charlie's Hope.

'Eh whow! Eh whow!' ejaculated the honest farmer, as he looked round
upon his friend's miserable apartment and wretched
accommodation--'What's this o't! what's this o't!'

'Just a trick of fortune, my good friend,' said Bertram, rising and
shaking him heartily by the hand, 'that's all.'

'But what will be done about it? or what CAN be done about it?' said
honest Dandie. 'Is't for debt, or what is't for?'

'Why, it is not for debt,' answered Bertram; 'and if you have time to
sit down, I'll tell you all I know of the matter myself.'

'If I hae time?' said Dandie, with an accent on the word that sounded
like a howl of derision. 'Ou, what the deevil am I come here for, man,
but just ance errand to see about it? But ye'll no be the waur o'
something to eat, I trow; it's getting late at e'en. I tell'd the folk
at the Change, where I put up Dumple, to send ower my supper here, and
the chield Mac-Guffog is agreeable to let it in; I hae settled a' that.
And now let's hear your story. Whisht, Wasp, man! wow, but he's glad to
see you, poor thing!'

Bertram's story, being confined to the accident of Hazlewood, and the
confusion made between his own identity and that of one of the
smugglers who had been active in the assault of Woodbourne, and chanced
to bear the same name, was soon told. Dinmont listened very
attentively. 'Aweel,' he said, 'this suld be nae sic dooms desperate
business surely; the lad's doing weel again that was hurt, and what
signifies twa or three lead draps in his shouther? if ye had putten out
his ee it would hae been another case. But eh, as I wuss auld Sherra
Pleydell was to the fore here! Od, he was the man for sorting them, and
the queerest rough-spoken deevil too that ever ye heard!'

'But now tell me, my excellent friend, how did you find out I was here?'

'Od, lad, queerly eneugh,' said Dandie; 'but I'll tell ye that after we
are done wi' our supper, for it will maybe no be sae weel to speak
about it while that lang-lugged limmer o' a lass is gaun flisking in
and out o' the room.'

Bertram's curiosity was in some degree put to rest by the appearance of
the supper which his friend had ordered, which, although homely enough,
had the appetising cleanliness in which Mrs. Mac-Guffog's cookery was
so eminently deficient. Dinmont also, premising he had ridden the whole
day since breakfast-time without tasting anything 'to speak of,' which
qualifying phrase related to about three pounds of cold roast mutton
which he had discussed at his mid-day stage--Dinmont, I say, fell
stoutly upon the good cheer, and, like one of Homer's heroes, said
little, either good or bad, till the rage of thirst and hunger was
appeased. At length, after a draught of home-brewed ale, he began by
observing, 'Aweel, aweel, that hen,' looking upon the lamentable relics
of what had been once a large fowl, 'wasna a bad ane to be bred at a
town end, though it's no like our barn-door chuckies at Charlie's Hope;
and I am glad to see that this vexing job hasna taen awa your appetite,
Captain.'

'Why, really, my dinner was not so excellent, Mr. Dinmont, as to spoil
my supper.'

'I daresay no, I daresay no,' said Dandie. 'But now, hinny, that ye hae
brought us the brandy, and the mug wi' the het water, and the sugar,
and a' right, ye may steek the door, ye see, for we wad hae some o' our
ain cracks.' The damsel accordingly retired and shut the door of the
apartment, to which she added the precaution of drawing a large bolt on
the outside.

As soon as she was gone Dandie reconnoitred the premises, listened at
the key-hole as if he had been listening for the blowing of an otter,
and, having satisfied himself that there were no eavesdroppers,
returned to the table; and, making himself what he called a gey stiff
cheerer, poked the fire, and began his story in an undertone of gravity
and importance not very usual with him.

'Ye see, Captain, I had been in Edinbro' for twa or three days, looking
after the burial of a friend that we hae lost, and maybe I suld hae had
something for my ride; but there's disappointments in a' things, and
wha can help the like o' that? And I had a wee bit law business
besides, but that's neither here nor there. In short, I had got my
matters settled, and hame I cam; and the morn awa to the muirs to see
what the herds had been about, and I thought I might as weel gie a look
to the Touthope Head, where Jock o' Dawston and me has the outcast
about a march. Weel, just as I was coming upon the bit, I saw a man
afore me that I kenn'd was nane o' our herds, and it's a wild bit to
meet ony other body, so when I cam up to him it was Tod Gabriel, the
fox-hunter. So I says to him, rather surprised like, "What are ye doing
up amang the craws here, without your hounds, man? are ye seeking the
fox without the dogs?" So he said, "Na, gudeman, but I wanted to see
yoursell."

'"Ay," said I, "and ye'll be wanting eilding now, or something to pit
ower the winter?"

'"Na, na," quo' he, "it's no that I'm seeking; but ye tak an unco
concern in that Captain Brown that was staying wi' you, d'ye no?"

'"Troth do I, Gabriel," says I; "and what about him, lad?"

'Says he, "There's mair tak an interest in him than you, and some that
I am bound to obey; and it's no just on my ain will that I'm here to
tell you something about him that will no please you."

'"Faith, naething will please me," quo' I, "that's no pleasing to him."

'"And then," quo' he, "ye'll be ill-sorted to hear that he's like to be
in the prison at Portanferry, if he disna tak a' the better care o'
himsell, for there's been warrants out to tak him as soon as he comes
ower the water frae Allonby. And now, gudeman, an ever ye wish him
weel, ye maun ride down to Portanferry, and let nae grass grow at the
nag's heels; and if ye find him in confinement, ye maun stay beside him
night and day for a day or twa, for he'll want friends that hae baith
heart and hand; and if ye neglect this ye'll never rue but ance, for it
will be for a' your life."

'"But, safe us, man," quo' I, "how did ye learn a' this? it's an unco
way between this and Portanferry."

'"Never ye mind that," quo' he, "them that brought us the news rade
night and day, and ye maun be aff instantly if ye wad do ony gude; and
sae I have naething mair to tell ye." Sae he sat himsell doun and
hirselled doun into the glen, where it wad hae been ill following him
wi' the beast, and I cam back to Charlie's Hope to tell the gudewife,
for I was uncertain what to do. It wad look unco-like, I thought, just
to be sent out on a hunt-the-gowk errand wi' a landlouper like that.
But, Lord! as the gudewife set up her throat about it, and said what a
shame it wad be if ye was to come to ony wrang, an I could help ye; and
then in cam your letter that confirmed it. So I took to the kist, and
out wi' the pickle notes in case they should be needed, and a' the
bairns ran to saddle Dumple. By great luck I had taen the other beast
to Edinbro', sae Dumple was as fresh as a rose. Sae aff I set, and Wasp
wi' me, for ye wad really hae thought he kenn'd where I was gaun, puir
beast; and here I am after a trot o' sixty mile or near by. But Wasp
rade thirty o' them afore me on the saddle, and the puir doggie
balanced itsell as ane of the weans wad hae dune, whether I trotted or
cantered.'

In this strange story Bertram obviously saw, supposing the warning to
be true, some intimation of danger more violent and imminent than could
be likely to arise from a few days' imprisonment. At the same time it
was equally evident that some unknown friend was working in his behalf.
'Did you not say,' he asked Dinmont, 'that this man Gabriel was of
gipsy blood?'

'It was e'en judged sae,' said Dinmont, 'and I think this maks it
likely; for they aye ken where the gangs o' ilk ither are to be found,
and they can gar news flee like a footba' through the country an they
like. An' I forgat to tell ye, there's been an unco inquiry after the
auld wife that we saw in Bewcastle; the Sheriff's had folk ower the
Limestane Edge after her, and down the Hermitage and Liddel, and a'
gates, and a reward offered for her to appear o' fifty pound sterling,
nae less; and Justice Forster, he's had out warrants, as I am tell'd,
in Cumberland; and an unco ranging and ripeing they have had a' gates
seeking for her; but she'll no be taen wi' them unless she likes, for
a' that.'

'And how comes that?' said Bertram.

'Ou, I dinna ken; I daur say it's nonsense, but they say she has
gathered the fern-seed, and can gang ony gate she likes, like Jock the
Giant-killer in the ballant, wi' his coat o' darkness and his shoon o'
swiftness. Ony way she's a kind o' queen amang the gipsies; she is mair
than a hundred year auld, folk say, and minds the coming in o' the
moss-troopers in the troublesome times when the Stuarts were put awa.
Sae, if she canna hide hersell, she kens them that can hide her weel
eneugh, ye needna doubt that. Od, an I had kenn'd it had been Meg
Merrilies yon night at Tibb Mumps's, I wad taen care how I crossed her.'

Bertram listened with great attention to this account, which tallied so
well in many points with what he had himself seen of this gipsy sibyl.
After a moment's consideration he concluded it would be no breach of
faith to mention what he had seen at Derncleugh to a person who held
Meg in such reverence as Dinmont obviously did. He told his story
accordingly, often interrupted by ejaculations, such as, 'Weel, the
like o' that now!' or, 'Na, deil an that's no something now!'

When our Liddesdale friend had heard the whole to an end, he shook his
great black head--'Weel, I'll uphaud there's baith gude and ill amang
the gipsies, and if they deal wi' the Enemy, it's a' their ain business
and no ours. I ken what the streeking the corpse wad be, weel eneugh.
Thae smuggler deevils, when ony o' them's killed in a fray, they'll
send for a wife like Meg far eneugh to dress the corpse; od, it's a'
the burial they ever think o'! and then to be put into the ground
without ony decency, just like dogs. But they stick to it, that they'll
be streekit, and hae an auld wife when they're dying to rhyme ower
prayers, and ballants, and charms, as they ca' them, rather than
they'll hae a minister to come and pray wi' them--that's an auld threep
o' theirs; and I am thinking the man that died will hae been ane o' the
folk that was shot when they burnt Woodbourne.'

'But, my good friend, Woodbourne is not burnt,' said Bertram.

'Weel, the better for them that bides in't,' answered the store-farmer.
'Od, we had it up the water wi' us that there wasna a stane on the tap
o' anither. But there was fighting, ony way; I daur to say it would be
fine fun! And, as I said, ye may take it on trust that that's been ane
o' the men killed there, and that it's been the gipsies that took your
pockmanky when they fand the chaise stickin' in the snaw; they wadna
pass the like o' that, it wad just come to their hand like the bowl o'
a pint stoup.'

'But if this woman is a sovereign among them, why was she not able to
afford me open protection, and to get me back my property?'

'Ou, wha kens? she has muckle to say wi' them, but whiles they'll tak
their ain way for a' that, when they're under temptation. And then
there's the smugglers that they're aye leagued wi', she maybe couldna
manage them sae weel. They're aye banded thegither; I've heard that the
gipsies ken when the smugglers will come aff, and where they're to
land, better than the very merchants that deal wi' them. And then, to
the boot o' that, she's whiles cracked-brained, and has a bee in her
head; they say that, whether her spaeings and fortune-tellings be true
or no, for certain she believes in them a' hersell, and is aye guiding
hersell by some queer prophecy or anither. So she disna aye gang the
straight road to the well. But deil o' sic a story as yours, wi'
glamour and dead folk and losing ane's gate, I ever heard out o' the
tale-books! But whisht, I hear the keeper coming.'

Mac-Guffog accordingly interrupted their discourse by the harsh harmony
of the bolts and bars, and showed his bloated visage at the opening
door. 'Come, Mr. Dinmont, we have put off locking up for an hour to
oblige ye; ye must go to your quarters.'

'Quarters, man? I intend to sleep here the night. There's a spare bed
in the Captain's room.'

'It's impossible!' answered the keeper.

'But I say it IS possible, and that I winna stir; and there's a dram t'
ye.'

Mac-Guffog drank off the spirits and resumed his objection. 'But it's
against rule, sir; ye have committed nae malefaction.'

'I'll break your head,' said the sturdy Liddesdale man, 'if ye say ony
mair about it, and that will be malefaction eneugh to entitle me to ae
night's lodging wi' you, ony way.'

'But I tell ye, Mr. Dinmont,' reiterated the keeper, 'it's against
rule, and I behoved to lose my post.'

'Weel, Mac-Guffog,' said Dandie, 'I hae just twa things to say. Ye ken
wha I am weel eneugh, and that I wadna loose a prisoner.'

'And how do I ken that?' answered the jailor.

'Weel, if ye dinna ken that,' said the resolute farmer, 'ye ken this:
ye ken ye're whiles obliged to be up our water in the way o' your
business. Now, if ye let me stay quietly here the night wi' the
Captain, I'se pay ye double fees for the room; and if ye say no, ye
shall hae the best sark-fu' o' sair banes that ever ye had in your life
the first time ye set a foot by Liddel Moat!'

'Aweel, aweel, gudeman,' said Mac-Guffog, 'a wilfu' man maun hae his
way; but if I am challenged for it by the justices, I ken wha sall bear
the wyte,' and, having sealed this observation with a deep oath or two,
he retired to bed, after carefully securing all the doors of the
bridewell. The bell from the town steeple tolled nine just as the
ceremony was concluded.

'Although it's but early hours,' said the farmer, who had observed that
his friend looked somewhat pale and fatigued, 'I think we had better
lie down, Captain, if ye're no agreeable to another cheerer. But troth,
ye're nae glass-breaker; and neither am I, unless it be a screed wi'
the neighbours, or when I'm on a ramble.'

Bertram readily assented to the motion of his faithful friend, but, on
looking at the bed, felt repugnance to trust himself undressed to Mrs.
Mac-Guffog's clean sheets.

'I'm muckle o' your opinion, Captain,' said Dandie. 'Od, this bed looks
as if a' the colliers in Sanquhar had been in't thegither. But it'll no
win through my muckle coat.' So saying, he flung himself upon the frail
bed with a force that made all its timbers crack, and in a few moments
gave audible signal that he was fast asleep. Bertram slipped off his
coat and boots and occupied the other dormitory. The strangeness of his
destiny, and the mysteries which appeared to thicken around him, while
he seemed alike to be persecuted and protected by secret enemies and
friends, arising out of a class of people with whom he had no previous
connexion, for some time occupied his thoughts. Fatigue, however,
gradually composed his mind, and in a short time he was as fast asleep
as his companion. And in this comfortable state of oblivion we must
leave them until we acquaint the reader with some other circumstances
which occurred about the same period.



CHAPTER XLVI

     Say from whence
     You owe this strange intelligence? or why
     Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
     With such prophetic greeting?
     Speak, I charge you.

          Macbeth.


Upon the evening of the day when Bertram's examination had taken place,
Colonel Mannering arrived at Woodbourne from Edinburgh. He found his
family in their usual state, which probably, so far as Julia was
concerned, would not have been the case had she learned the news of
Bertram's arrest. But as, during the Colonel's absence, the two young
ladies lived much retired, this circumstance fortunately had not
reached Woodbourne. A letter had already made Miss Bertram acquainted
with the downfall of the expectations which had been formed upon the
bequest of her kinswoman. Whatever hopes that news might have
dispelled, the disappointment did not prevent her from joining her
friend in affording a cheerful reception to the Colonel, to whom she
thus endeavoured to express the deep sense she entertained of his
paternal kindness. She touched on her regret that at such a season of
the year he should have made, upon her account, a journey so fruitless.

'That it was fruitless to you, my dear,' said the Colonel, 'I do most
deeply lament; but for my own share, I have made some valuable
acquaintances, and have spent the time I have been absent in Edinburgh
with peculiar satisfaction; so that on that score there is nothing to
be regretted. Even our friend the Dominie is returned thrice the man he
was, from having sharpened his wits in controversy with the geniuses of
the northern metropolis.'

'Of a surety,' said the Dominie, with great complacency, 'I did
wrestle, and was not overcome, though my adversary was cunning in his
art.'

'I presume,' said Miss Mannering, 'the contest was somewhat fatiguing,
Mr. Sampson?'

'Very much, young lady; howbeit I girded up my loins and strove against
him.'

'I can bear witness,' said the Colonel; 'I never saw an affair better
contested. The enemy was like the Mahratta cavalry: he assailed on all
sides, and presented no fair mark for artillery; but Mr. Sampson stood
to his guns notwithstanding, and fired away, now upon the enemy and now
upon the dust which he had raised. But we must not fight our battles
over again to-night; to-morrow we shall have the whole at breakfast.'

The next morning at breakfast, however, the Dominie did not make his
appearance. He had walked out, a servant said, early in the morning. It
was so common for him to forget his meals that his absence never
deranged the family. The housekeeper, a decent old-fashioned
Presbyterian matron, having, as such, the highest respect for Sampson's
theological acquisitions, had it in charge on these occasions to take
care that he was no sufferer by his absence of mind, and therefore
usually waylaid him on his return, to remind him of his sublunary
wants, and to minister to their relief. It seldom, however, happened
that he was absent from two meals together, as was the case in the
present instance. We must explain the cause of this unusual occurrence.

The conversation which Mr. Pleydell had held with Mr. Mannering on the
subject of the loss of Harry Bertram had awakened all the painful
sensations which that event had inflicted upon Sampson. The
affectionate heart of the poor Dominie had always reproached him that
his negligence in leaving the child in the care of Frank Kennedy had
been the proximate cause of the murder of the one, the loss of the
other, the death of Mrs. Bertram, and the ruin of the family of his
patron. It was a subject which he never conversed upon, if indeed his
mode of speech could be called conversation at any time; but it was
often present to his imagination. The sort of hope so strongly affirmed
and asserted in Mrs. Bertram's last settlement had excited a
corresponding feeling in the Dominie's bosom, which was exasperated
into a sort of sickening anxiety by the discredit with which Pleydell
had treated it. 'Assuredly,' thought Sampson to himself, 'he is a man
of erudition, and well skilled in the weighty matters of the law; but
he is also a man of humorous levity and inconsistency of speech, and
wherefore should he pronounce ex cathedra, as it were, on the hope
expressed by worthy Madam Margaret Bertram of Singleside?'

All this, I say, the Dominie THOUGHT to himself; for had he uttered
half the sentence, his jaws would have ached for a month under the
unusual fatigue of such a continued exertion. The result of these
cogitations was a resolution to go and visit the scene of the tragedy
at Warroch Point, where he had not been for many years; not, indeed,
since the fatal accident had happened. The walk was a long one, for the
Point of Warroch lay on the farther side of the Ellangowan property,
which was interposed between it and Woodbourne. Besides, the Dominie
went astray more than once, and met with brooks swoln into torrents by
the melting of the snow, where he, honest man, had only the summer
recollection of little trickling rills.

At length, however, he reached the woods which he had made the object
of his excursion, and traversed them with care, muddling his disturbed
brains with vague efforts to recall every circumstance of the
catastrophe. It will readily be supposed that the influence of local
situation and association was inadequate to produce conclusions
different from those which he had formed under the immediate pressure
of the occurrences themselves. 'With many a weary sigh, therefore, and
many a groan,' the poor Dominie returned from his hopeless pilgrimage,
and weariedly plodded his way towards Woodbourne, debating at times in
his altered mind a question which was forced upon him by the cravings
of an appetite rather of the keenest, namely, whether he had
breakfasted that morning or no? It was in this twilight humour, now
thinking of the loss of the child, then involuntarily compelled to
meditate upon the somewhat incongruous subject of hung beef, rolls, and
butter, that his route, which was different from that which he had
taken in the morning, conducted him past the small ruined tower, or
rather vestige of a tower, called by the country people the Kaim of
Derncleugh.

The reader may recollect the description of this ruin in the
twenty-seventh chapter, as the vault in which young Bertram, under the
auspices of Meg Merrilies, witnessed the death of Hatteraick's
lieutenant. The tradition of the country added ghostly terrors to the
natural awe inspired by the situation of this place, which terrors the
gipsies who so long inhabited the vicinity had probably invented, or at
least propagated, for their own advantage. It was said that, during the
times of the Galwegian independence, one Hanlon Mac-Dingawaie, brother
to the reigning chief, Knarth Mac-Dingawaie, murdered his brother and
sovereign, in order to usurp the principality from his infant nephew,
and that, being pursued for vengeance by the faithful allies and
retainers of the house, who espoused the cause of the lawful heir, he
was compelled to retreat, with a few followers whom he had involved in
his crime, to this impregnable tower called the Kaim of Derucleugh,
where he defended himself until nearly reduced by famine, when, setting
fire to the place, he and the small remaining garrison desperately
perished by their own swords, rather than fall into the hands of their
exasperated enemies. This tragedy, which, considering the wild times
wherein it was placed, might have some foundation in truth, was larded
with many legends of superstition and diablerie, so that most of the
peasants of the neighbourhood, if benighted, would rather have chosen
to make a considerable circuit than pass these haunted walls. The
lights, often seen around the tower, when used as the rendezvous of the
lawless characters by whom it was occasionally frequented, were
accounted for, under authority of these tales of witchery, in a manner
at once convenient for the private parties concerned and satisfactory
to the public.

Now it must be confessed that our friend Sampson, although a profound
scholar and mathematician, had not travelled so far in philosophy as to
doubt the reality of witchcraft or apparitions. Born, indeed, at a time
when a doubt in the existence of witches was interpreted as equivalent
to a justification of their infernal practices, a belief of such
legends had been impressed upon the Dominie as an article indivisible
from his religious faith, and perhaps it would have been equally
difficult to have induced him to doubt the one as the other. With these
feelings, and in a thick misty day, which was already drawing to its
close, Dominie Sampson did not pass the Kaim of Derncleugh without some
feelings of tacit horror.

What, then, was his astonishment when, on passing the door--that door
which was supposed to have been placed there by one of the latter
Lairds of Ellangowan to prevent presumptuous strangers from incurring
the dangers of the haunted vault--that door, supposed to be always
locked, and the key of which was popularly said to be deposited with
the presbytery--that door, that very door, opened suddenly, and the
figure of Meg Merrilies, well known, though not seen for many a
revolving year, was placed at once before the eyes of the startled
Dominie! She stood immediately before him in the footpath, confronting
him so absolutely that he could not avoid her except by fairly turning
back, which his manhood prevented him from thinking of.

'I kenn'd ye wad be here,' she said, with her harsh and hollow voice;
'I ken wha ye seek; but ye maun do my bidding.'

'Get thee behind me!' said the alarmed Dominie. 'Avoid ye! Conjuro te,
scelestissima, nequissima, spurcissima, iniquissima atque miserrima,
conjuro te!!!'

Meg stood her ground against this tremendous volley of superlatives,
which Sampson hawked up from the pit of his stomach and hurled at her
in thunder. 'Is the carl daft,' she said, 'wi' his glamour?'

'Conjuro,' continued the Dominie, 'abjuro, contestor atque viriliter
impero tibi!'

'What, in the name of Sathan, are ye feared for, wi' your French
gibberish, that would make a dog sick? Listen, ye stickit stibbler, to
what I tell ye, or ye sail rue it while there's a limb o' ye hings to
anither! Tell Colonel Mannering that I ken he's seeking me. He kens,
and I ken, that the blood will be wiped out, and the lost will be found,

     And Bertram's right and Bertram's might
     Shall meet on Ellangowan height.

Hae, there's a letter to him; I was gaun to send it in another way. I
canna write mysell; but I hae them that will baith write and read, and
ride and rin for me. Tell him the time's coming now, and the weird's
dreed, and the wheel's turning. Bid him look at the stars as he has
looked at them before. Will ye mind a' this?'

'Assuredly,' said the Dominie, 'I am dubious; for, woman, I am
perturbed at thy words, and my flesh quakes to hear thee.'

'They'll do you nae ill though, and maybe muckle gude.'

'Avoid ye! I desire no good that comes by unlawful means.'

'Fule body that thou art,' said Meg, stepping up to him, with a frown
of indignation that made her dark eyes flash like lamps from under her
bent brows--'Fule body! if I meant ye wrang, couldna I clod ye ower
that craig, and wad man ken how ye cam by your end mair than Frank
Kennedy? Hear ye that, ye worricow?'

'In the name of all that is good,' said the Dominie, recoiling, and
pointing his long pewter-headed walking cane like a javelin at the
supposed sorceress--'in the name of all that is good, bide off hands! I
will not be handled; woman, stand off, upon thine own proper peril!
Desist, I say; I am strong; lo, I will resist!' Here his speech was cut
short; for Meg, armed with supernatural strength (as the Dominie
asserted), broke in upon his guard, put by a thrust which he made at
her with his cane, and lifted him into the vault, 'as easily,' said he,
'as I could sway a Kitchen's Atlas.'

'Sit down there,' she said, pushing the half-throttled preacher with
some violence against a broken chair--'sit down there and gather your
wind and your senses, ye black barrow-tram o' the kirk that ye are. Are
ye fou or fasting?'

'Fasting, from all but sin,' answered the Dominie, who, recovering his
voice, and finding his exorcisms only served to exasperate the
intractable sorceress, thought it best to affect complaisance and
submission, inwardly conning over, however, the wholesome conjurations
which he durst no longer utter aloud. But as the Dominie's brain was by
no means equal to carry on two trains of ideas at the same time, a word
or two of his mental exercise sometimes escaped and mingled with his
uttered speech in a manner ludicrous enough, especially as the poor man
shrunk himself together after every escape of the kind, from terror of
the effect it might produce upon the irritable feelings of the witch.

Meg in the meanwhile went to a great black cauldron that was boiling on
a fire on the floor, and, lifting the lid, an odour was diffused
through the vault which, if the vapours of a witch's cauldron could in
aught be trusted, promised better things than the hell-broth which such
vessels are usually supposed to contain. It was, in fact, the savour of
a goodly stew, composed of fowls, hares, partridges, and moor-game
boiled in a large mess with potatoes, onions, and leeks, and from the
size of the cauldron appeared to be prepared for half a dozen of people
at least. 'So ye hae eat naething a' day?' said Meg, heaving a large
portion of this mess into a brown dish and strewing it savourily with
salt and pepper. [Footnote: See Note 4.]

'Nothing,' answered the Dominie, 'scelestissima!--that is, gudewife.'

'Hae then,' said she, placing the dish before him, 'there's what will
warm your heart.'

'I do not hunger, malefica--that is to say, Mrs. Merrilies!' for he
said unto himself,' the savour is sweet, but it hath been cooked by a
Canidia or an Ericthoe.'

'If ye dinna eat instantly and put some saul in ye, by the bread and
the salt, I'll put it down your throat wi' the cutty spoon, scaulding
as it is, and whether ye will or no. Gape, sinner, and swallow!'

Sampson, afraid of eye of newt, and toe of frog, tigers' chaudrons, and
so forth, had determined not to venture; but the smell of the stew was
fast melting his obstinacy, which flowed from his chops as it were in
streams of water, and the witch's threats decided him to feed. Hunger
and fear are excellent casuists.

'Saul,' said Hunger, 'feasted with the witch of Endor.' 'And,' quoth
Fear, 'the salt which she sprinkled upon the food showeth plainly it is
not a necromantic banquet, in which that seasoning never occurs.' 'And,
besides,' says Hunger, after the first spoonful, 'it is savoury and
refreshing viands.'

'So ye like the meat?' said the hostess.

'Yea,' answered the Dominie, 'and I give thee thanks,
sceleratissima!--which means, Mrs. Margaret.'

'Aweel, eat your fill; but an ye kenn'd how it was gotten ye maybe
wadna like it sae weel.' Sampson's spoon dropped in the act of
conveying its load to his mouth. 'There's been mony a moonlight watch
to bring a' that trade thegither,' continued Meg; 'the folk that are to
eat that dinner thought little o' your game laws.'

'Is that all?' thought Sampson, resuming his spoon and shovelling away
manfully; 'I will not lack my food upon that argument.'

'Now ye maun tak a dram?'

'I will,' quoth Sampson, 'conjuro te--that is, I thank you heartily,'
for he thought to himself, in for a penny in for a pound; and he fairly
drank the witch's health in a cupful of brandy. When he had put this
copestone upon Meg's good cheer, he felt, as he said, 'mightily
elevated, and afraid of no evil which could befall unto him.'

'Will ye remember my errand now?' said Meg Merrilies; 'I ken by the
cast o' your ee that ye're anither man than when you cam in.'

'I will, Mrs. Margaret,' repeated Sampson, stoutly; 'I will deliver
unto him the sealed yepistle, and will add what you please to send by
word of mouth.'

'Then I'll make it short,' says Meg. 'Tell him to look at the stars
without fail this night, and to do what I desire him in that letter, as
he would wish

     That Bertram's right and Bertram's might
     Should meet on Ellangowan height.

I have seen him twice when he saw na me; I ken when he was in this
country first, and I ken what's brought him back again. Up an' to the
gate! ye're ower lang here; follow me.'

Sampson followed the sibyl accordingly, who guided him about a quarter
of a mile through the woods, by a shorter cut than he could have found
for himself; then they entered upon the common, Meg still marching
before him at a great pace, until she gained the top of a small hillock
which overhung the road.

'Here,' she said, 'stand still here. Look how the setting sun breaks
through yon cloud that's been darkening the lift a' day. See where the
first stream o' light fa's: it's upon Donagild's round tower, the
auldest tower in the Castle o' Ellangowan; that's no for naething! See
as it's glooming to seaward abune yon sloop in the bay; that's no for
naething neither. Here I stood on this very spot,' said she, drawing
herself up so as not to lose one hair-breadth of her uncommon height,
and stretching out her long sinewy arm and clenched hand--'here I stood
when I tauld the last Laird o' Ellangowan what was coming on his house;
and did that fa' to the ground? na, it hit even ower sair! And here,
where I brake the wand of peace ower him, here I stand again, to bid
God bless and prosper the just heir of Ellangowan that will sune be
brought to his ain; and the best laird he shall be that Ellangowan has
seen for three hundred years. I'll no live to see it, maybe; but there
will be mony a blythe ee see it though mine be closed. And now, Abel
Sampson, as ever ye lo'ed the house of Ellangowan, away wi' my message
to the English Colonel, as if life and death were upon your haste!'

So saying, she turned suddenly from the amazed Dominie and regained
with swift and long strides the shelter of the wood from which she had
issued at the point where it most encroached upon the common. Sampson
gazed after her for a moment in utter astonishment, and then obeyed her
directions, hurrying to Woodbourne at a pace very unusual for him,
exclaiming three times, 'Prodigious! prodigious! pro-di-gi-ous!'



CHAPTER XLVII

     It is not madness
     That I have utter'd, bring me to the test,
     And I the matter will re-word, which madness
     Would gambol from.
          Hamlet.


As Mr. Sampson crossed the hall with a bewildered look, Mrs. Allan, the
good housekeeper, who, with the reverent attention which is usually
rendered to the clergy in Scotland, was on the watch for his return,
sallied forth to meet him--'What's this o't now, Mr. Sampson, this is
waur than ever! Ye'll really do yoursell some injury wi' these lang
fasts; naething's sae hurtful to the stamach, Mr. Sampson. If ye would
but put some peppermint draps in your pocket, or let Barnes cut ye a
sandwich.'

'Avoid thee!' quoth the Dominie, his mind running still upon his
interview with Meg Merrilies, and making for the dining-parlour.

'Na, ye needna gang in there, the cloth's been removed an hour syne,
and the Colonel's at his wine; but just step into my room, I have a
nice steak that the cook will do in a moment.'

'Exorciso te!' said Sampson; 'that is, I have dined.'

'Dined! it's impossible; wha can ye hae dined wi', you that gangs out
nae gate?'

'With Beelzebub, I believe,' said the minister.

'Na, then he's bewitched for certain,' said the housekeeper, letting go
her hold; 'he's bewitched, or he's daft, and ony way the Colonel maun
just guide him his ain gate. Wae's me! Hech, sirs! It's a sair thing to
see learning bring folk to this!' And with this compassionate
ejaculation she retreated into her own premises.

The object of her commiseration had by this time entered the
dining-parlour, where his appearance gave great surprise. He was mud up
to the shoulders, and the natural paleness of his hue was twice as
cadaverous as usual, through terror, fatigue, and perturbation of mind.

'What on earth is the meaning of this, Mr. Sampson?' said Mannering,
who observed Miss Bertram looking much alarmed for her simple but
attached friend.

'Exorciso,' said the Dominie.

'How, sir?' replied the astonished Colonel.

'I crave pardon, honourable sir! but my wits---'

'Are gone a wool-gathering, I think; pray, Mr. Sampson, collect
yourself, and let me know the meaning of all this.'

Sampson was about to reply, but finding his Latin formula of exorcism
still came most readily to his tongue, he prudently desisted from the
attempt, and put the scrap of paper which he had received from the
gipsy into Mannering's hand, who broke the seal and read it with
surprise. 'This seems to be some jest,' he said, 'and a very dull one.'

'It came from no jesting person,' said Mr. Sampson.

'From whom then did it come?' demanded Mannering.

The Dominie, who often displayed some delicacy of recollection in cases
where Miss Bertram had an interest, remembered the painful
circumstances connected with Meg Merrilies, looked at the young ladies,
and remained silent. 'We will join you at the tea-table in an instant,
Julia,' said the Colonel; 'I see that Mr. Sampson wishes to speak to me
alone. And now they are gone, what, in Heaven's name, Mr. Sampson, is
the meaning of all this?'

'It may be a message from Heaven,' said the Dominie, 'but it came by
Beelzebub's postmistress. It was that witch, Meg Merrilies, who should
have been burned with a tar-barrel twenty years since for a harlot,
thief, witch, and gipsy.'

'Are you sure it was she?' said the Colonel with great interest.

'Sure, honoured sir? Of a truth she is one not to be forgotten, the
like o' Meg Merrilies is not to be seen in any land.'

The Colonel paced the room rapidly, cogitating with himself. 'To send
out to apprehend her; but it is too distant to send to Mac-Morlan, and
Sir Robert Hazlewood is a pompous coxcomb; besides, the chance of not
finding her upon the spot, or that the humour of silence that seized
her before may again return. No, I will not, to save being thought a
fool, neglect the course she points out. Many of her class set out by
being impostors and end by becoming enthusiasts, or hold a kind of
darkling conduct between both lines, unconscious almost when they are
cheating themselves or when imposing on others. Well, my course is a
plain one at any rate; and if my efforts are fruitless, it shall not be
owing to over-jealousy of my own character for wisdom.'

With this he rang the bell, and, ordering Barnes into his private
sitting-room, gave him some orders, with the result of which the reader
may be made hereafter acquainted.

We must now take up another adventure, which is also to be woven into
the story of this remarkable day.

Charles Hazlewood had not ventured to make a visit at Woodbourne during
the absence of the Colonel. Indeed, Mannering's whole behaviour had
impressed upon him an opinion that this would be disagreeable; and such
was the ascendency which the successful soldier and accomplished
gentleman had attained over the young man's conduct, that in no respect
would he have ventured to offend him. He saw, or thought he saw, in
Colonel Mannering's general conduct, an approbation of his attachment
to Miss Bertram. But then he saw still more plainly the impropriety of
any attempt at a private correspondence, of which his parents could not
be supposed to approve, and he respected this barrier interposed
betwixt them both on Mannering's account and as he was the liberal and
zealous protector of Miss Bertram. 'No,' said he to himself, 'I will
not endanger the comfort of my Lucy's present retreat until I can offer
her a home of her own.'

With this valorous resolution, which he maintained although his horse,
from constant habit, turned his head down the avenue of Woodbourne, and
although he himself passed the lodge twice every day, Charles Hazlewood
withstood a strong inclination to ride down just to ask how the young
ladies were, and whether he could be of any service to them during
Colonel Mannering's absence. But on the second occasion he felt the
temptation so severe that he resolved not to expose himself to it a
third time; and, contenting himself with sending hopes and inquiries
and so forth to Woodbourne, he resolved to make a visit long promised
to a family at some distance, and to return in such time as to be one
of the earliest among Mannering's visitors who should congratulate his
safe arrival from his distant and hazardous expedition to Edinburgh.
Accordingly he made out his visit, and, having arranged matters so as
to be informed within a few hours after Colonel Mannering reached home,
he finally resolved to take leave of the friends with whom he had spent
the intervening time, with the intention of dining at Woodbourne, where
he was in a great measure domesticated; and this (for he thought much
more deeply on the subject than was necessary) would, he flattered
himself, appear a simple, natural, and easy mode of conducting himself.

Fate, however, of which lovers make so many complaints, was in this
case unfavourable to Charles Hazlewood. His horse's shoes required an
alteration, in consequence of the fresh weather having decidedly
commenced. The lady of the house where he was a visitor chose to
indulge in her own room till a very late breakfast hour. His friend
also insisted on showing him a litter of puppies which his favourite
pointer bitch had produced that morning. The colours had occasioned
some doubts about the paternity--a weighty question of legitimacy, to
the decision of which Hazlewood's opinion was called in as arbiter
between his friend and his groom, and which inferred in its
consequences which of the litter should be drowned, which saved.
Besides, the Laird himself delayed our young lover's departure for a
considerable time, endeavouring, with long and superfluous rhetoric, to
insinuate to Sir Robert Hazlewood, through the medium of his son, his
own particular ideas respecting the line of a meditated turnpike road.
It is greatly to the shame of our young lover's apprehension that,
after the tenth reiterated account of the matter, he could not see the
advantage to be obtained by the proposed road passing over the Lang
Hirst, Windy Knowe, the Goodhouse Park, Hailziecroft, and then crossing
the river at Simon's Pool, and so by the road to Kippletringan; and the
less eligible line pointed out by the English surveyor, which would go
clear through the main enclosures at Hazlewood, and cut within a mile
or nearly so of the house itself, destroying the privacy and pleasure,
as his informer contended, of the grounds. In short, the adviser (whose
actual interest was to have the bridge built as near as possible to a
farm of his own) failed in every effort to attract young Hazlewood's
attention until he mentioned by chance that the proposed line was
favoured by 'that fellow Glossin,' who pretended to take a lead in the
county. On a sudden young Hazlewood became attentive and interested;
and, having satisfied himself which was the line that Glossin
patronised, assured his friend it should not be his fault if his father
did not countenance any other instead of that. But these various
interruptions consumed the morning. Hazlewood got on horseback at least
three hours later than he intended, and, cursing fine ladies, pointers,
puppies, and turnpike acts of parliament, saw himself detained beyond
the time when he could with propriety intrude upon the family at
Woodbourne.

He had passed, therefore, the turn of the road which led to that
mansion, only edified by the distant appearance of the blue smoke
curling against the pale sky of the winter evening, when he thought he
beheld the Dominie taking a footpath for the house through the woods.
He called after him, but in vain; for that honest gentleman, never the
most susceptible of extraneous impressions, had just that moment parted
from Meg Merrilies, and was too deeply wrapt up in pondering upon her
vaticinations to make any answer to Hazlewood's call. He was therefore
obliged to let him proceed without inquiry after the health of the
young ladies, or any other fishing question, to which he might by good
chance have had an answer returned wherein Miss Bertram's name might
have been mentioned. All cause for haste was now over, and, slackening
the reins upon his horse's neck, he permitted the animal to ascend at
his own leisure the steep sandy track between two high banks, which,
rising to a considerable height, commanded at length an extensive view
of the neighbouring country.

Hazlewood was, however, so far from eagerly looking forward to this
prospect, though it had the recommendation that great part of the land
was his father's, and must necessarily be his own, that his head still
turned backward towards the chimneys of Woodbourne, although at every
step his horse made the difficulty of employing his eyes in that
direction become greater. From the reverie in which he was sunk he was
suddenly roused by a voice, too harsh to be called female, yet too
shrill for a man: 'What's kept you on the road sae lang? Maun ither
folk do your wark?'

He looked up. The spokeswoman was very tall, had a voluminous
handkerchief rolled round her head, grizzled hair flowing in elf-locks
from beneath it, a long red cloak, and a staff in her hand, headed with
a sort of spear-point; it was, in short, Meg Merrilies. Hazlewood had
never seen this remarkable figure before; he drew up his reins in
astonishment at her appearance, and made a full stop. 'I think,'
continued she, 'they that hae taen interest in the house of Ellangowan
suld sleep nane this night; three men hae been seeking ye, and you are
gaun hame to sleep in your bed. D' ye think if the lad-bairn fa's, the
sister will do weel? Na, na!'

'I don't understand you, good woman,' said Hazlewood. 'If you speak of
Miss---, I mean of any of the late Ellangowan family, tell me what I
can do for them.'

'Of the late Ellangowan family?' she answered with great vehemence--'of
the LATE Ellangowan family! and when was there ever, or when will there
ever be, a family of Ellangowan but bearing the gallant name of the
bauld Bertrams?'

'But what do you mean, good woman?'

'I am nae good woman; a' the country kens I am bad eneugh, and baith
they and I may be sorry eneugh that I am nae better. But I can do what
good women canna, and daurna do. I can do what would freeze the blood
o' them that is bred in biggit wa's for naething but to bind bairns'
heads and to hap them in the cradle. Hear me: the guard's drawn off at
the custom-house at Portanferry, and it's brought up to Hazlewood House
by your father's orders, because he thinks his house is to be attacked
this night by the smugglers. There's naebody means to touch his house;
he has gude blood and gentle blood--I say little o' him for
himsell--but there's naebody thinks him worth meddling wi'. Send the
horsemen back to their post, cannily and quietly; see an they winna hae
wark the night, ay will they: the guns will flash and the swords will
glitter in the braw moon.'

'Good God! what do you mean?' said young Hazlewood; 'your words and
manner would persuade me you are mad, and yet there is a strange
combination in what you say.'

'I am not mad!' exclaimed the gipsy; 'I have been imprisoned for
mad--scourged for mad--banished for mad--but mad I am not. Hear ye,
Charles Hazlewood of Hazlewood: d'ye bear malice against him that
wounded you?'

'No, dame, God forbid; my arm is quite well, and I have always said the
shot was discharged by accident. I should be glad to tell the young man
so himself.'

'Then do what I bid ye,' answered Meg Merrilies, 'and ye'll do him mair
gude than ever he did you ill; for if he was left to his ill-wishers he
would be a bloody corpse ere morn, or a banished man; but there's Ane
abune a'. Do as I bid you; send back the soldiers to Portanferry.
There's nae mair fear o' Hazlewood House than there's o' Cruffel Fell.'
And she vanished with her usual celerity of pace.

It would seem that the appearance of this female, and the mixture of
frenzy and enthusiasm in her manner, seldom failed to produce the
strongest impression upon those whom she addressed. Her words, though
wild, were too plain and intelligible for actual madness, and yet too
vehement and extravagant for sober-minded communication. She seemed
acting under the influence of an imagination rather strongly excited
than deranged; and it is wonderful how palpably the difference in such
cases is impressed upon the mind of the auditor. This may account for
the attention with which her strange and mysterious hints were heard
and acted upon. It is certain, at least, that young Hazlewood was
strongly impressed by her sudden appearance and imperative tone. He
rode to Hazlewood at a brisk pace. It had been dark for some time
before he reached the house, and on his arrival there he saw a
confirmation of what the sibyl had hinted.

Thirty dragoon horses stood under a shed near the offices, with their
bridles linked together. Three or four soldiers attended as a guard,
while others stamped up and down with their long broadswords and heavy
boots in front of the house. Hazlewood asked a non-commissioned officer
from whence they came.

'From Portanferry.'

'Had they left any guard there?'

'No; they had been drawn off by order of Sir Robert Hazlewood for
defence of his house against an attack which was threatened by the
smugglers.'

Charles Hazlewood instantly went in quest of his father, and, having
paid his respects to him upon his return, requested to know upon what
account he had thought it necessary to send for a military escort. Sir
Robert assured his son in reply that, from the information,
intelligence, and tidings which had been communicated to, and laid
before him, he had the deepest reason to believe, credit, and be
convinced that a riotous assault would that night be attempted and
perpetrated against Hazlewood House by a set of smugglers, gipsies, and
other desperadoes.

'And what, my dear sir,' said his son, 'should direct the fury of such
persons against ours rather than any other house in the country?'

'I should rather think, suppose, and be of opinion, sir,' answered Sir
Robert, 'with deference to your wisdom and experience, that on these
occasions and times the vengeance of such persons is directed or
levelled against the most important and distinguished in point of rank,
talent, birth, and situation who have checked, interfered with, and
discountenanced their unlawful and illegal and criminal actions or
deeds.'

Young Hazlewood, who knew his father's foible, answered, that the cause
of his surprise did not lie where Sir Robert apprehended, but that he
only wondered they should think of attacking a house where there were
so many servants, and where a signal to the neighbouring tenants could
call in such strong assistance; and added, that he doubted much whether
the reputation of the family would not in some degree suffer from
calling soldiers from their duty at the custom-house to protect them,
as if they were not sufficiently strong to defend themselves upon any
ordinary occasion. He even hinted that, in case their house's enemies
should observe that this precaution had been taken unnecessarily, there
would be no end of their sarcasms.

Sir Robert Hazlewood was rather puzzled at this intimation, for, like
most dull men, he heartily hated and feared ridicule. He gathered
himself up and looked with a sort of pompous embarrassment, as if he
wished to be thought to despise the opinion of the public, which in
reality he dreaded.

'I really should have thought,' he said, 'that the injury which had
already been aimed at my house in your person, being the next heir and
representative of the Hazlewood family, failing me--I should have
thought and believed, I say, that this would have justified me
sufficiently in the eyes of the most respectable and the greater part
of the people for taking such precautions as are calculated to prevent
and impede a repetition of outrage.'

'Really, sir,' said Charles, 'I must remind you of what I have often
said before, that I am positive the discharge of the piece was
accidental.'

'Sir, it was not accidental,' said his father, angrily; 'but you will
be wiser than your elders.'

'Really, sir,' replied Hazlewood, 'in what so intimately concerns
myself---'

'Sir, it does not concern you but in a very secondary degree; that is,
it does not concern you, as a giddy young fellow who takes pleasure in
contradicting his father; but it concerns the country, sir, and the
county, sir, and the public, sir, and the kingdom of Scotland, in so
far as the interest of the Hazlewood family, sir, is committed and
interested and put in peril, in, by, and through you, sir. And the
fellow is in safe custody, and Mr. Glossin thinks---'

'Mr. Glossin, sir?'

'Yes, sir, the gentleman who has purchased Ellangowan; you know who I
mean, I suppose?'

'Yes, sir,' answered the young man; 'but I should hardly have expected
to hear you quote such authority. Why, this fellow--all the world knows
him to be sordid, mean, tricking, and I suspect him to be worse. And
you yourself, my dear sir, when did you call such a person a gentleman
in your life before?'

'Why, Charles, I did not mean gentleman in the precise sense and
meaning, and restricted and proper use, to which, no doubt, the phrase
ought legitimately to be confined; but I meant to use it relatively, as
marking something of that state to which he has elevated and raised
himself; as designing, in short, a decent and wealthy and estimable
sort of a person.'

'Allow me to ask, sir,' said Charles, 'if it was by this man's orders
that the guard was drawn from Portanferry?'

'Sir,' replied the Baronet, 'I do apprehend that Mr. Glossin would not
presume to give orders, or even an opinion, unless asked, in a matter
in which Hazlewood House and the house of Hazlewood--meaning by the one
this mansion-house of my family, and by the other, typically,
metaphorically, and parabolically, the family itself,--I say, then,
where the house of Hazlewood, or Hazlewood House, was so immediately
concerned.'

'I presume, however, sir,' said the son, 'this Glossin approved of the
proposal?'

'Sir,' replied his father, 'I thought it decent and right and proper to
consult him as the nearest magistrate as soon as report of the intended
outrage reached my ears; and although he declined, out of deference and
respect, as became our relative situations, to concur in the order, yet
he did entirely approve of my arrangement.'

At this moment a horse's feet were heard coming very fast up the
avenue. In a few minutes the door opened, and Mr. Mac-Morlan presented
himself. 'I am under great concern to intrude, Sir Robert, but---'

'Give me leave, Mr. Mac-Morlan,' said Sir Robert, with a gracious
flourish of welcome; 'this is no intrusion, sir; for, your situation as
sheriff-substitute calling upon you to attend to the peace of the
county, and you, doubtless, feeling yourself particularly called upon
to protect Hazlewood House, you have an acknowledged and admitted and
undeniable right, sir, to enter the house of the first gentleman in
Scotland uninvited--always presuming you to be called there by the duty
of your office.'

'It is indeed the duty of my office,' said Mac-Morlan, who waited with
impatience an opportunity to speak, 'that makes me an intruder.'

'No intrusion!' reiterated the Baronet, gracefully waving his hand.

'But permit me to say, Sir Robert,' said the sheriff-substitute, 'I do
not come with the purpose of remaining here, but to recall these
soldiers to Portanferry, and to assure you that I will answer for the
safety of your house.'

'To withdraw the guard from Hazlewood House!' exclaimed the proprietor
in mingled displeasure and surprise; 'and YOU will be answerable for
it! And, pray, who are you, sir, that I should take your security and
caution and pledge, official or personal, for the safety of Hazlewood
House? I think, sir, and believe, sir, and am of opinion, sir, that if
any one of these family pictures were deranged or destroyed or injured
it would be difficult for me to make up the loss upon the guarantee
which you so obligingly offer me.'

'In that case I shall be sorry for it, Sir Robert,' answered the
downright Mac-Morlan; 'but I presume I may escape the pain of feeling
my conduct the cause of such irreparable loss, as I can assure you
there will be no attempt upon Hazlewood House whatever, and I have
received information which induces me to suspect that the rumour was
put afloat merely in order to occasion the removal of the soldiers from
Portanferry. And under this strong belief and conviction I must exert
my authority as sheriff and chief magistrate of police to order the
whole, or greater part of them, back again. I regret much that by my
accidental absence a good deal of delay has already taken place, and we
shall not now reach Portanferry until it is late.'

As Mr. Mac-Morlan was the superior magistrate, and expressed himself
peremptory in the purpose of acting as such, the Baronet, though highly
offended, could only say, 'Very well, sir; it is very well. Nay, sir,
take them all with you; I am far from desiring any to be left here,
sir. We, sir, can protect ourselves, sir. But you will have the
goodness to observe, sir, that you are acting on your own proper risk,
sir, and peril, sir, and responsibility, sir, if anything shall happen
or befall to Hazlewood House, sir, or the inhabitants, sir, or to the
furniture and paintings, sir.'

'I am acting to the best of my judgment and information, Sir Robert,'
said Mac-Morlan, 'and I must pray of you to believe so, and to pardon
me accordingly. I beg you to observe it is no time for ceremony; it is
already very late.'

But Sir Robert, without deigning to listen to his apologies,
immediately employed himself with much parade in arming and arraying
his domestics. Charles Hazlewood longed to accompany the military,
which were about to depart for Portanferry, and which were now drawn up
and mounted by direction and under the guidance of Mr. Mac-Morlan, as
the civil magistrate. But it would have given just pain and offence to
his father to have left him at a moment when he conceived himself and
his mansion-house in danger. Young Hazlewood therefore gazed from a
window with suppressed regret and displeasure, until he heard the
officer give the word of command--'From the right to the front, by
files, m-a-rch. Leading file, to the right wheel. Trot.' The whole
party of soldiers then getting into a sharp and uniform pace, were soon
lost among the trees, and the noise of the hoofs died speedily away in
the distance.



CHAPTER XLVIII

     Wi' coulters and wi' forehammers
     We garr'd the bars bang merrily,
     Until we came to the inner prison,
     Where Willie o' Kinmont he did lie.

          Old Border Ballad.


We return to Portanferry, and to Bertram and his honest-hearted friend,
whom we left most innocent inhabitants of a place built for the guilty.
The slumbers of the farmer were as sound as it was possible.

But Bertram's first heavy sleep passed away long before midnight, nor
could he again recover that state of oblivion. Added to the uncertain
and uncomfortable state of his mind, his body felt feverish and
oppressed. This was chiefly owing to the close and confined air of the
small apartment in which they slept. After enduring for some time the
broiling and suffocating feeling attendant upon such an atmosphere, he
rose to endeavour to open the window of the apartment, and thus to
procure a change of air. Alas! the first trial reminded him that he was
in jail, and that the building being contrived for security, not
comfort, the means of procuring fresh air were not left at the disposal
of the wretched inhabitants.

Disappointed in this attempt, he stood by the unmanageable window for
some time. Little Wasp, though oppressed with the fatigue of his
journey on the preceding day, crept out of bed after his master, and
stood by him rubbing his shaggy coat against his legs, and expressing
by a murmuring sound the delight which he felt at being restored to
him. Thus accompanied, and waiting until the feverish feeling which at
present agitated his blood should subside into a desire for warmth and
slumber, Bertram remained for some time looking out upon the sea.

The tide was now nearly full, and dashed hoarse and near below the base
of the building. Now and then a large wave reached even the barrier or
bulwark which defended the foundation of the house, and was flung up on
it with greater force and noise than those which only broke upon the
sand. Far in the distance, under the indistinct light of a hazy and
often overclouded moon, the ocean rolled its multitudinous complication
of waves, crossing, bursting, and mingling with each other.

'A wild and dim spectacle,' said Bertram to himself, 'like those
crossing tides of fate which have tossed me about the world from my
infancy upwards. When will this uncertainty cease, and how soon shall I
be permitted to look out for a tranquil home, where I may cultivate in
quiet, and without dread and perplexity, those arts of peace from which
my cares have been hitherto so forcibly diverted? The ear of Fancy, it
is said, can discover the voice of sea-nymphs and tritons amid the
bursting murmurs of the ocean; would that I could do so, and that some
siren or Proteus would arise from these billows to unriddle for me the
strange maze of fate in which I am so deeply entangled! Happy friend!'
he said, looking at the bed where Dinmont had deposited his bulky
person, 'thy cares are confined to the narrow round of a healthy and
thriving occupation! Thou canst lay them aside at pleasure, and enjoy
the deep repose of body and mind which wholesome labour has prepared
for thee!'

At this moment his reflections were broken by little Wasp, who,
attempting to spring up against the window, began to yelp and bark most
furiously. The sounds reached Dinmont's ears, but without dissipating
the illusion which had transported him from this wretched apartment to
the free air of his own green hills. 'Hoy, Yarrow, man! far yaud, far
yaud!' he muttered between his teeth, imagining, doubtless, that he was
calling to his sheep-dog, and hounding him in shepherds' phrase against
some intruders on the grazing. The continued barking of the terrier
within was answered by the angry challenge of the mastiff in the
courtyard, which had for a long time been silent, excepting only an
occasional short and deep note, uttered when the moon shone suddenly
from among the clouds. Now his clamour was continued and furious, and
seemed to be excited by some disturbance distinct from the barking of
Wasp, which had first given him the alarm, and which, with much
trouble, his master had contrived to still into an angry note of low
growling.

At last Bertram, whose attention was now fully awakened, conceived that
he saw a boat upon the sea, and heard in good earnest the sound of oars
and of human voices mingling with the dash of the billows. 'Some
benighted fishermen,' he thought, 'or perhaps some of the desperate
traders from the Isle of Man. They are very hardy, however, to approach
so near to the custom-house, where there must be sentinels. It is a
large boat, like a long-boat, and full of people; perhaps it belongs to
the revenue service.' Bertram was confirmed in this last opinion by
observing that the boat made for a little quay which ran into the sea
behind the custom-house, and, jumping ashore one after another, the
crew, to the number of twenty hands, glided secretly up a small lane
which divided the custom-house from the bridewell, and disappeared from
his sight, leaving only two persons to take care of the boat.

The dash of these men's oars at first, and latterly the suppressed
sounds of their voices, had excited the wrath of the wakeful sentinel
in the courtyard, who now exalted his deep voice into such a horrid and
continuous din that it awakened his brute master, as savage a ban-dog
as himself. His cry from a window, of 'How now, Tearum, what's the
matter, sir? down, d--n ye, down!' produced no abatement of Tearum's
vociferation, which in part prevented his master from hearing the
sounds of alarm which his ferocious vigilance was in the act of
challenging. But the mate of the two-legged Cerberus was gifted with
sharper ears than her husband. She also was now at the window. 'B--t
ye, gae down and let loose the dog,' she said; 'they're sporting the
door of the custom-house, and the auld sap at Hazlewood House has
ordered off the guard. But ye hae nae mair heart than a cat.' And down
the Amazon sallied to perform the task herself, while her helpmate,
more jealous of insurrection within doors than of storm from without,
went from cell to cell to see that the inhabitants of each were
carefully secured.

These latter sounds with which we have made the reader acquainted had
their origin in front of the house, and were consequently imperfectly
heard by Bertram, whose apartment, as we have already noticed, looked
from the back part of the building upon the sea. He heard, however, a
stir and tumult in the house, which did not seem to accord with the
stern seclusion of a prison at the hour of midnight, and, connecting
them with the arrival of an armed boat at that dead hour, could not but
suppose that something extraordinary was about to take place. In this
belief he shook Dinmont by the shoulder. 'Eh! Ay! Oh! Ailie, woman,
it's no time to get up yet,' groaned the sleeping man of the mountains.
More roughly shaken, however, he gathered himself up, shook his ears,
and asked, 'In the name of Providence what's the matter?'

'That I can't tell you,' replied Bertram; 'but either the place is on
fire or some extraordinary thing is about to happen. Are you not
sensible of a smell of fire? Do you not hear what a noise there is of
clashing doors within the house and of hoarse voices, murmurs, and
distant shouts on the outside? Upon my word, I believe something very
extraordinary has taken place. Get up, for the love of Heaven, and let
us be on our guard.'

Dinmont rose at the idea of danger, as intrepid and undismayed as any
of his ancestors when the beacon-light was kindled. 'Od, Captain, this
is a queer place! they winna let ye out in the day, and they winna let
ye sleep in the night. Deil, but it wad break my heart in a fortnight.
But, Lordsake, what a racket they're making now! Od, I wish we had some
light. Wasp, Wasp, whisht, hinny; whisht, my bonnie man, and let's hear
what they're doing. Deil's in ye, will ye whisht?'

They sought in vain among the embers the means of lighting their
candle, and the noise without still continued. Dinmont in his turn had
recourse to the window--'Lordsake, Captain! come here. Od, they hae
broken the custom-house!'

Bertram hastened to the window, and plainly saw a miscellaneous crowd
of smugglers, and blackguards of different descriptions, some carrying
lighted torches, others bearing packages and barrels down the lane to
the boat that was lying at the quay, to which two or three other
fisher-boats were now brought round. They were loading each of these in
their turn, and one or two had already put off to seaward. 'This speaks
for itself,' said Bertram; 'but I fear something worse has happened. Do
you perceive a strong smell of smoke, or is it my fancy?'

'Fancy?' answered Dinmont, 'there's a reek like a killogie. Od, if they
burn the custom-house it will catch here, and we'll lunt like a
tar-barrel a' thegither. Eh! it wad be fearsome to be burnt alive for
naething, like as if ane had been a warlock! Mac-Guffog, hear ye!'
roaring at the top of his voice; 'an ye wad ever hae a haill bane in
your skin, let's out, man, let's out!'

The fire began now to rise high, and thick clouds of smoke rolled past
the window at which Bertram and Dinmont were stationed. Sometimes, as
the wind pleased, the dim shroud of vapour hid everything from their
sight; sometimes a red glare illuminated both land and sea, and shone
full on the stern and fierce figures who, wild with ferocious activity,
were engaged in loading the boats. The fire was at length triumphant,
and spouted in jets of flame out at each window of the burning
building, while huge flakes of flaming materials came driving on the
wind against the adjoining prison, and rolling a dark canopy of smoke
over all the neighbourhood. The shouts of a furious mob resounded far
and wide; for the smugglers in their triumph were joined by all the
rabble of the little town and neighbourhood, now aroused and in
complete agitation, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, some from
interest in the free trade, and most from the general love of mischief
and tumult natural to a vulgar populace.

Bertram began to be seriously anxious for their fate. There was no stir
in the house; it seemed as if the jailor had deserted his charge, and
left the prison with its wretched inhabitants to the mercy of the
conflagration which was spreading towards them. In the meantime a new
and fierce attack was heard upon the outer gate of the correction
house, which, battered with sledge-hammers and crows, was soon forced.
The keeper, as great a coward as a bully, with his more ferocious wife,
had fled; their servants readily surrendered the keys. The liberated
prisoners, celebrating their deliverance with the wildest yells of joy,
mingled among the mob which had given them freedom.

In the midst of the confusion that ensued three or four of the
principal smugglers hurried to the apartment of Bertram with lighted
torches, and armed with cutlasses and pistols. 'Der deyvil,' said the
leader, 'here's our mark!' and two of them seized on Bertram; but one
whispered in his ear,' Make no resistance till you are in the street.'
The same individual found an instant to say to Dinmont--'Follow your
friend, and help when you see the time come.'

In the hurry of the moment Dinmont obeyed and followed close. The two
smugglers dragged Bertram along the passage, downstairs, through the
courtyard, now illuminated by the glare of fire, and into the narrow
street to which the gate opened, where in the confusion the gang were
necessarily in some degree separated from each other. A rapid noise, as
of a body of horse advancing, seemed to add to the disturbance. 'Hagel
and wetter, what is that?' said the leader; 'keep together, kinder;
look to the prisoner.' But in spite of his charge the two who held
Bertram were the last of the party.

The sounds and signs of violence were heard in front. The press became
furiously agitated, while some endeavoured to defend themselves, others
to escape; shots were fired, and the glittering broadswords of the
dragoons began to appear flashing above the heads of the rioters.
'Now,' said the warning whisper of the man who held Bertram's left arm,
the same who had spoken before, 'shake off that fellow and follow me.'

Bertram, exerting his strength suddenly and effectually, easily burst
from the grasp of the man who held his collar on the right side. The
fellow attempted to draw a pistol, but was prostrated by a blow of
Dinmont's fist, which an ox could hardly have received without the same
humiliation. 'Follow me quick,' said the friendly partizan, and dived
through a very narrow and dirty lane which led from the main street.

No pursuit took place. The attention of the smugglers had been
otherwise and very disagreeably engaged by the sudden appearance of
Mac-Morlan and the party of horse. The loud, manly voice of the
provincial magistrate was heard proclaiming the Riot Act, and charging
'all those unlawfully assembled to disperse at their own proper peril.'
This interruption would, indeed, have happened in time sufficient to
have prevented the attempt, had not the magistrate received upon the
road some false information which led him to think that the smugglers
were to land at the bay of Ellangowan. Nearly two hours were lost in
consequence of this false intelligence, which it may be no lack of
charity to suppose that Glossin, so deeply interested in the issue of
that night's daring attempt, had contrived to throw in Mac-Morlan's
way, availing himself of the knowledge that the soldiers had left
Hazlewood House, which would soon reach an ear so anxious as his.

In the meantime, Bertram followed his guide, and was in his turn
followed by Dinmont. The shouts of the mob, the trampling of the
horses, the dropping pistol-shots, sunk more and more faintly upon
their ears, when at the end of the dark lane they found a post-chaise
with four horses. 'Are you here, in God's name?' said the guide to the
postilion who drove the leaders.

'Ay, troth am I,' answered Jock Jabos, 'and I wish I were ony gate
else.'

'Open the carriage then. You, gentlemen, get into it; in a short time
you'll be in a place of safety, and (to Bertram) remember your promise
to the gipsy wife!'

Bertram, resolving to be passive in the hands of a person who had just
rendered him such a distinguished piece of service, got into the chaise
as directed. Dinmont followed; Wasp, who had kept close by them, sprung
in at the same time, and the carriage drove off very fast. 'Have a care
o' me,' said Dinmont, 'but this is the queerest thing yet! Od, I trust
they'll no coup us. And then what's to come o' Dumple? I would rather
be on his back than in the Deuke's coach, God bless him.'

Bertram observed, that they could not go at that rapid rate to any very
great distance without changing horses, and that they might insist upon
remaining till daylight at the first inn they stopped at, or at least
upon being made acquainted with the purpose and termination of their
journey, and Mr. Dinmont might there give directions about his faithful
horse, which would probably be safe at the stables where he had left
him. 'Aweel, aweel, e'en sae be it for Dandie. Od, if we were ance out
o' this trindling kist o' a thing, I am thinking they wad find it hard
wark to gar us gang ony gate but where we liked oursells.'

While he thus spoke the carriage, making a sudden turn, showed them
through the left window the village at some distance, still widely
beaconed by the fire, which, having reached a store-house wherein
spirits were deposited, now rose high into the air, a wavering column
of brilliant light. They had not long time to admire this spectacle,
for another turn of the road carried them into a close lane between
plantations, through which the chaise proceeded in nearly total
darkness, but with unabated speed.



CHAPTER XLIX

     The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter,
     And aye the ale was growing better

          Tam o'Shanter.


We must now return to Woodbourne, which, it may be remembered, we left
just after the Colonel had given some directions to his confidential
servant. When he returned, his absence of mind, and an unusual
expression of thought and anxiety upon his features, struck the ladies,
whom he joined in the drawing-room. Mannering was not, however, a man
to be questioned, even by those whom he most loved, upon the cause of
the mental agitation which these signs expressed. The hour of tea
arrived, and the party were partaking of that refreshment in silence
when a carriage drove up to the door, and the bell announced the
arrival of a visitor. 'Surely,' said Mannering, 'it is too soon by some
hours.'

There was a short pause, when Barnes, opening the door of the saloon,
announced Mr. Pleydell. In marched the lawyer, whose well-brushed black
coat and well-powdered wig, together with his point ruffles, brown silk
stockings, highly-varnished shoes, and gold buckles, exhibited the
pains which the old gentleman had taken to prepare his person for the
ladies' society. He was welcomed by Mannering with a hearty shake by
the hand. 'The very man I wished to see at this moment!'

'Yes,' said the Counsellor, 'I told you I would take the first
opportunity; so I have ventured to leave the court for a week in
session time--no common sacrifice; but I had a notion I could be
useful, and I was to attend a proof here about the same time. But will
you not introduce me to the young ladies? Ah! there is one I should
have known at once from her family likeness! Miss Lucy Bertram, my
love, I am most happy to see you.' And he folded her in his arms, and
gave her a hearty kiss on each side of the face, to which Lucy
submitted in blushing resignation.

'On n'arrete pas dans un si beau chemin,' continued the gay old
gentleman, and, as the Colonel presented him to Julia, took the same
liberty with that fair lady's cheek. Julia laughed, coloured, and
disengaged herself. 'I beg a thousand pardons,' said the lawyer, with a
bow which was not at all professionally awkward; 'age and old fashions
give privileges, and I can hardly say whether I am most sorry just now
at being too well entitled to claim them at all, or happy in having
such an opportunity to exercise them so agreeably.'

'Upon my word, sir,' said Miss Mannering, laughing, 'if you make such
flattering apologies we shall begin to doubt whether we can admit you
to shelter yourself under your alleged qualifications.'

'I can assure you, Julia,' said the Colonel, 'you are perfectly right.
My friend the Counsellor is a dangerous person; the last time I had the
pleasure of seeing him he was closeted with a fair lady who had granted
him a tete-a-tete at eight in the morning.'

'Ay, but, Colonel,' said the Counsellor, 'you should add, I was more
indebted to my chocolate than my charms for so distinguished a favour
from a person of such propriety of demeanour as Mrs. Rebecca.'

'And that should remind me, Mr. Pleydell,' said Julia, 'to offer you
tea; that is, supposing you have dined.'

'Anything, Miss Mannering, from your hands,' answered the gallant
jurisconsult; 'yes, I have dined; that is to say, as people dine at a
Scotch inn.'

'And that is indifferently enough,' said the Colonel, with his hand
upon the bell-handle; 'give me leave to order something.'

'Why, to say truth, 'replied Mr. Pleydell, 'I had rather not. I have
been inquiring into that matter, for you must know I stopped an instant
below to pull off my boot-hose, "a world too wide for my shrunk
shanks,"' glancing down with some complacency upon limbs which looked
very well for his time of life, 'and I had some conversation with your
Barnes and a very intelligent person whom I presume to be the
housekeeper; and it was settled among us, tota re perspecta,--I beg
Miss Mannering's pardon for my Latin,--that the old lady should add to
your light family supper the more substantial refreshment of a brace of
wild ducks. I told her (always under deep submission) my poor thoughts
about the sauce, which concurred exactly with her own; and, if you
please, I would rather wait till they are ready before eating anything
solid.'

'And we will anticipate our usual hour of supper,' said the Colonel.

'With all my heart,' said Pleydell, 'providing I do not lose the
ladies' company a moment the sooner. I am of counsel with my old friend
Burnet; [Footnote: See Note 5] I love the coena, the supper of the
ancients, the pleasant meal and social glass that wash out of one's
mind the cobwebs that business or gloom have been spinning in our
brains all day.'

The vivacity of Mr. Pleydell's look and manner, and the quietness with
which he made himself at home on the subject of his little epicurean
comforts, amused the ladies, but particularly Miss Mannering, who
immediately gave the Counsellor a great deal of flattering attention;
and more pretty things were said on both sides during the service of
the tea-table than we have leisure to repeat.

As soon as this was over, Mannering led the Counsellor by the arm into
a small study which opened from the saloon, and where, according to the
custom of the family, there were always lights and a good fire in the
evening.

'I see,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'you have got something to tell me about
the Ellangowan business. Is it terrestrial or celestial? What says my
military Albumazar? Have you calculated the course of futurity? have
you consulted your ephemerides, your almochoden, your almuten?'

'No, truly, Counsellor,' replied Mannering, 'you are the only Ptolemy I
intend to resort to upon the present occasion. A second Prospero, I
have broken my staff and drowned my book far beyond plummet depth. But
I have great news notwithstanding. Meg Merrilies, our Egyptian sibyl,
has appeared to the Dominie this very day, and, as I conjecture, has
frightened the honest man not a little.'

'Indeed?'

'Ay, and she has done me the honour to open a correspondence with me,
supposing me to be as deep in astrological mysteries as when we first
met. Here is her scroll, delivered to me by the Dominie.'

Pleydell put on his spectacles. 'A vile greasy scrawl, indeed; and the
letters are uncial or semi-uncial, as somebody calls your large text
hand, and in size and perpendicularity resemble the ribs of a roasted
pig; I can hardly make it out.'

'Read aloud,' said Mannering.

'I will try,' answered the Lawyer. '"YOU ARE A GOOD SEEKER, BUT A BAD
FINDER; YOU SET YOURSELF TO PROP A FALLING HOUSE, BUT HAD A GEY GUESS
IT WOULD RISE AGAIN. LEND YOUR HAND TO THE WORK THAT'S NEAR, AS YOU
LENT YOUR EE TO THE WEIRD THAT WAS FAR. HAVE A CARRIAGE THIS NIGHT BY
TEN O'CLOCK AT THE END OF THE CROOKED DYKES AT PORTANFERRY, AND LET IT
BRING THE FOLK TO WOODBOURNE THAT SHALL ASK THEM, IF THEY BE THERE IN
GOD'S NAME."--Stay, here follows some poetry--

     "DARK SHALL BE LIGHT,
     AND WRONG DONE TO RIGHT,
     WHEN BERTRAM'S RIGHT AND BERTRAM'S MIGHT
     SHALL MEET ON ELLANGOWAN'S HEIGHT."

A most mystic epistle truly, and closes in a vein of poetry worthy of
the Cumaean sibyl. And what have you done?'

'Why,' said Mannering, rather reluctantly, 'I was loth to risk any
opportunity of throwing light on this business. The woman is perhaps
crazed, and these effusions may arise only from visions of her
imagination; but you were of opinion that she knew more of that strange
story than she ever told.'

'And so,' said Pleydell, 'you sent a carriage to the place named?'

'You will laugh at me if I own I did,' replied the Colonel.

'Who, I?' replied the Advocate. 'No, truly, I think it was the wisest
thing you could do.'

'Yes,' answered Mannering, well pleased to have escaped the ridicule he
apprehended; 'you know the worst is paying the chaise-hire. I sent a
post-chaise and four from Kippletringan, with instructions
corresponding to the letter; the horses will have a long and cold
station on the outpost to-night if our intelligence be false.'

'Ay, but I think it will prove otherwise,' said the Lawyer. 'This woman
has played a part till she believes it; or, if she be a thorough-paced
impostor, without a single grain of self-delusion to qualify her
knavery, still she may think herself bound to act in character; this I
know, that I could get nothing out of her by the common modes of
interrogation, and the wisest thing we can do is to give her an
opportunity of making the discovery her own way. And now have you more
to say, or shall we go to the ladies?'

'Why, my mind is uncommonly agitated,' answered the Colonel, 'and--but
I really have no more to say; only I shall count the minutes till the
carriage returns; but you cannot be expected to be so anxious.'

'Why, no; use is all in all,' said the more experienced lawyer; 'I am
much interested certainly, but I think I shall be able to survive the
interval, if the ladies will afford us some music.'

'And with the assistance of the wild ducks, by and by?' suggested
Mannering.

'True, Colonel; a lawyer's anxiety about the fate of the most
interesting cause has seldom spoiled either his sleep or digestion.
[Footnote: See Note 6.] And yet I shall be very eager to hear the
rattle of these wheels on their return, notwithstanding.'

So saying, he rose and led the way into the next room, where Miss
Mannering, at his request, took her seat at the harpsichord, Lucy
Bertram, who sung her native melodies very sweetly, was accompanied by
her friend upon the instrument, and Julia afterwards performed some of
Scarlatti's sonatas with great brilliancy. The old lawyer, scraping a
little upon the violoncello, and being a member of the gentlemen's
concert in Edinburgh, was so greatly delighted with this mode of
spending the evening that I doubt if he once thought of the wild ducks
until Barnes informed the company that supper was ready.

'Tell Mrs. Allan to have something in readiness,' said the Colonel; 'I
expect--that is, I hope--perhaps some company may be here to-night; and
let the men sit up, and do not lock the upper gate on the lawn until I
desire you.'

'Lord, sir,' said Julia, 'whom can you possibly expect to-night?'

'Why, some persons, strangers to me, talked of calling in the evening
on business,' answered her father, not without embarrassment, for he
would have little brooked a disappointment which might have thrown
ridicule on his judgment; 'it is quite uncertain.'

'Well, we shall not pardon them for disturbing our party,' said Julia,
'unless they bring as much good-humour and as susceptible hearts as my
friend and admirer, for so he has dubbed himself, Mr. Pleydell.'

'Ah, Miss Julia,' said Pleydell, offering his arm with an air of
gallantry to conduct her into the eating-room, 'the time has been, when
I returned from Utrecht in the year 1738--'

'Pray don't talk of it,' answered the young lady; 'we like you much
better as you are. Utrecht, in Heaven's name! I daresay you have spent
all the intervening years in getting rid so completely of the effects
of your Dutch education.'

'O forgive me, Miss Mannering,' said the Lawyer, 'the Dutch are a much
more accomplished people in point of gallantry than their volatile
neighbours are willing to admit. They are constant as clock-work in
their attentions.'

'I should tire of that,' said Julia.

'Imperturbable in their good temper,' continued Pleydell.

'Worse and worse,' said the young lady.

'And then,' said the old beau garcon, 'although for six times three
hundred and sixty-five days your swain has placed the capuchin round
your neck, and the stove under your feet, and driven your little sledge
upon the ice in winter, and your cabriole through the dust in summer,
you may dismiss him at once, without reason or apology, upon the two
thousand one hundred and ninetieth day, which, according to my hasty
calculation, and without reckoning leap-years, will complete the cycle
of the supposed adoration, and that without your amiable feelings
having the slightest occasion to be alarmed for the consequences to
those of Mynheer.'

'Well,' replied Julia,' that last is truly a Dutch recommendation, Mr.
Pleydell; crystal and hearts would lose all their merit in the world if
it were not for their fragility.'

'Why, upon that point of the argument, Miss Mannering, it is as
difficult to find a heart that will break as a glass that will not; and
for that reason I would press the value of mine own, were it not that I
see Mr. Sampson's eyes have been closed, and his hands clasped for some
time, attending the end of our conference to begin the grace. And, to
say the truth, the appearance of the wild ducks is very appetising.' So
saying, the worthy Counsellor sat himself to table, and laid aside his
gallantry for awhile to do honour to the good things placed before him.
Nothing further is recorded of him for some time, excepting an
observation that the ducks were roasted to a single turn, and that Mrs.
Allan's sauce of claret, lemon, and cayenne was beyond praise.

'I see,' said Miss Mannering, 'I have a formidable rival in Mr.
Pleydell's favour, even on the very first night of his avowed
admiration.'

'Pardon me, my fair lady,' answered the Counsellor, 'your avowed rigour
alone has induced me to commit the solecism of eating a good supper in
your presence; how shall I support your frowns without reinforcing my
strength? Upon the same principle, and no other, I will ask permission
to drink wine with you.'

'This is the fashion of Utrecht also, I suppose, Mr. Pleydell?'

'Forgive me, madam,' answered the Counsellor; 'the French themselves,
the patterns of all that is gallant, term their tavern-keepers
restaurateurs, alluding, doubtless, to the relief they afford the
disconsolate lover when bowed down to the earth by his mistress's
severity. My own case requires so much relief that I must trouble you
for that other wing, Mr. Sampson, without prejudice to my afterwards
applying to Miss Bertram for a tart. Be pleased to tear the wing, sir,
instead of cutting it off. Mr. Barnes will assist you, Mr. Sampson;
thank you, sir; and, Mr. Barnes, a glass of ale, if you please.'

While the old gentleman, pleased with Miss Mannering's liveliness and
attention, rattled away for her amusement and his own, the impatience
of Colonel Mannering began to exceed all bounds. He declined sitting
down at table, under pretence that he never eat supper; and traversed
the parlour in which they were with hasty and impatient steps, now
throwing up the window to gaze upon the dark lawn, now listening for
the remote sound of the carriage advancing up the avenue. At length, in
a feeling of uncontrollable impatience, he left the room, took his hat
and cloak, and pursued his walk up the avenue, as if his so doing would
hasten the approach of those whom he desired to see. 'I really wish,'
said Miss Bertram,' Colonel Mannering would not venture out after
nightfall. You must have heard, Mr. Pleydell, what a cruel fright we
had.'

'O, with the smugglers?' replied the Advocate; 'they are old friends of
mine. I was the means of bringing some of them to justice a long time
since, when sheriff of this county.'

'And then the alarm we had immediately afterwards,' added Miss Bertram,
'from the vengeance of one of these wretches.'

'When young Hazlewood was hurt; I heard of that too.'

'Imagine, my dear Mr. Pleydell,' continued Lucy, 'how much Miss
Mannering and I were alarmed when a ruffian, equally dreadful for his
great strength and the sternness of his features, rushed out upon us!'

'You must know, Mr. Pleydell,' said Julia, unable to suppress her
resentment at this undesigned aspersion of her admirer, 'that young
Hazlewood is so handsome in the eyes of the young ladies of this
country that they think every person shocking who comes near him.'

'Oho!' thought Pleydell, who was by profession an observer of tones and
gestures,' there's something wrong here between my young
friends.'--'Well, Miss Mannering, I have not seen young Hazlewood since
he was a boy, so the ladies may be perfectly right; but I can assure
you, in spite of your scorn, that if you want to see handsome men you
must go to Holland; the prettiest fellow I ever saw was a Dutchman, in
spite of his being called Vanbost, or Vanbuster, or some such barbarous
name. He will not be quite so handsome now, to be sure.'

It was now Julia's turn to look a little out of countenance at the
chance hit of her learned admirer, but that instant the Colonel entered
the room. 'I can hear nothing of them yet,' he said; 'still, however,
we will not separate. Where is Dominie Sampson?'

'Here, honoured sir.'

'What is that book you hold in your hand, Mr. Sampson?'

'It's even the learned De Lyra, sir. I would crave his honour Mr.
Pleydell's judgment, always with his best leisure, to expound a
disputed passage.'

'I am not in the vein, Mr. Sampson,' answered Pleydell; 'here's metal
more attractive. I do not despair to engage these two young ladies in a
glee or a catch, wherein I, even I myself, will adventure myself for
the bass part. Hang De Lyra, man; keep him for a fitter season.'

The disappointed Dominie shut his ponderous tome, much marvelling in
his mind how a person possessed of the lawyer's erudition could give
his mind to these frivolous toys. But the Counsellor, indifferent to
the high character for learning which he was trifling away, filled
himself a large glass of Burgundy, and, after preluding a little with a
voice somewhat the worse for the wear, gave the ladies a courageous
invitation to join in 'We be Three Poor Mariners,' and accomplished his
own part therein with great eclat.

'Are you not withering your roses with sitting up so late, my young
ladies?' said the Colonel.

'Not a bit, sir,' answered Julia; 'your friend Mr. Pleydell threatens
to become a pupil of Mr. Sampson's to-morrow, so we must make the most
of our conquest to-night.'

This led to another musical trial of skill, and that to lively
conversation. At length, when the solitary sound of one o'clock had
long since resounded on the ebon ear of night, and the next signal of
the advance of time was close approaching, Mannering, whose impatience
had long subsided into disappointment and despair, looked at his watch
and said, 'We must now give them up,' when at that instant--But what
then befell will require a separate chapter.



CHAPTER L

     JUSTICE This does indeed confirm each circumstance
     The gipsy told!
     No orphan, nor without a friend art thou.
     _I_ am thy father, HERE'S thy mother, THERE
     Thy uncle, THIS thy first cousin, and THESE
     Are all thy near relations!

          The Critic.


As Mannering replaced his watch, he heard a distant and hollow sound.
'It is a carriage for certain; no, it is but the sound of the wind
among the leafless trees. Do come to the window, Mr. Pleydell.' The
Counsellor, who, with his large silk handkerchief in his hand, was
expatiating away to Julia upon some subject which he thought was
interesting, obeyed the summons, first, however, wrapping the
handkerchief round his neck by way of precaution against the cold air.
The sound of wheels became now very perceptible, and Pleydell, as if he
had reserved all his curiosity till that moment, ran out to the hall.
The Colonel rung for Barnes to desire that the persons who came in the
carriage might be shown into a separate room, being altogether
uncertain whom it might contain. It stopped, however, at the door
before his purpose could be fully explained. A moment after Mr.
Pleydell called out, 'Here's our Liddesdale friend, I protest, with a
strapping young fellow of the same calibre.' His voice arrested
Dinmont, who recognised him with equal surprise and pleasure. 'Od, if
it's your honour we'll a' be as right and tight as thack and rape can
make us.'

But while the farmer stopped to make his bow, Bertram, dizzied with the
sudden glare of light, and bewildered with the circumstances of his
situation, almost unconsciously entered the open door of the parlour,
and confronted the Colonel, who was just advancing towards it. The
strong light of the apartment left no doubt of his identity, and he
himself was as much confounded with the appearance of those to whom he
so unexpectedly presented himself as they were by the sight of so
utterly unlooked-for an object. It must be remembered that each
individual present had their own peculiar reasons for looking with
terror upon what seemed at first sight a spectral apparition. Mannering
saw before him the man whom he supposed he had killed in India; Julia
beheld her lover in a most peculiar and hazardous situation; and Lucy
Bertram at once knew the person who had fired upon young Hazlewood.
Bertram, who interpreted the fixed and motionless astonishment of the
Colonel into displeasure at his intrusion, hastened to say that it was
involuntary, since he had been hurried hither without even knowing
whither he was to be transported.

'Mr. Brown, I believe!' said Colonel Mannering.

'Yes, sir,' replied the young man, modestly, but with firmness, 'the
same you knew in India; and who ventures to hope, that what you did
then know of him is not such as should prevent his requesting you would
favour him with your attestation to his character as a gentleman and
man of honour.'

'Mr. Brown, I have been seldom--never--so much surprised; certainly,
sir, in whatever passed between us you have a right to command my
favourable testimony.'

At this critical moment entered the Counsellor and Dinmont. The former
beheld to his astonishment the Colonel but just recovering from his
first surprise, Lucy Bertram ready to faint with terror, and Miss
Mannering in an agony of doubt and apprehension, which she in vain
endeavoured to disguise or suppress. 'What is the meaning of all this?'
said he; 'has this young fellow brought the Gorgon's head in his hand?
let me look at him. By Heaven!' he muttered to himself, 'the very image
of old Ellangowan! Yes, the same manly form and handsome features, but
with a world of more intelligence in the face. Yes! the witch has kept
her word.' Then instantly passing to Lucy, 'Look at that man, Miss
Bertram, my dear; have you never seen any one like him?'

Lucy had only ventured one glance at this object of terror, by which,
however, from his remarkable height and appearance, she at once
recognised the supposed assassin of young Hazlewood, a conviction which
excluded, of course, the more favourable association of ideas which
might have occurred on a closer view. 'Don't ask me about him, sir,'
said she, turning away her eyes; 'send him away, for Heaven's sake! we
shall all be murdered!'

'Murdered! where's the poker?' said the Advocate in some alarm; 'but
nonsense! we are three men besides the servants, and there is honest
Liddesdale, worth half-a-dozen, to boot; we have the major vis upon our
side. However, here, my friend Dandie--Davie--what do they call you?
keep between that fellow and us for the protection of the ladies.'

'Lord! Mr. Pleydell,' said the astonished farmer, 'that's Captain
Brown; d 'ye no ken the Captain?'

'Nay, if he's a friend of yours we may be safe enough,' answered
Pleydell; 'but keep near him.'

All this passed with such rapidity that it was over before the Dominie
had recovered himself from a fit of absence, shut the book which he had
been studying in a corner, and, advancing to obtain a sight of the
strangers, exclaimed at once upon beholding Bertram, 'If the grave can
give up the dead, that is my dear and honoured master!'

'We're right after all, by Heaven! I was sure I was right,' said the
Lawyer; 'he is the very image of his father. Come, Colonel, what do you
think of, that you do not bid your guest welcome? I think--I believe--I
trust we're right; never saw such a likeness! But patience; Dominie,
say not a word. Sit down, young gentleman.'

'I beg pardon, sir; if I am, as I understand, in Colonel Mannering's
house, I should wish first to know if my accidental appearance here
gives offence, or if I am welcome?'

Mannering instantly made an effort. 'Welcome? most certainly,
especially if you can point out how I can serve you. I believe I may
have some wrongs to repair towards you, I have often suspected so; but
your sudden and unexpected appearance, connected with painful
recollections, prevented my saying at first, as I now say, that
whatever has procured me the honour of this visit, it is an acceptable
one.'

Bertram bowed with an air of distant yet civil acknowledgment to the
grave courtesy of Mannering.

'Julia, my love, you had better retire. Mr. Brown, you will excuse my
daughter; there are circumstances which I perceive rush upon her
recollection.'

Miss Mannering rose and retired accordingly; yet, as she passed
Bertram, could not suppress the words, 'Infatuated! a second time!' but
so pronounced as to be heard by him alone. Miss Bertram accompanied her
friend, much surprised, but without venturing a second glance at the
object of her terror. Some mistake she saw there was, and was unwilling
to increase it by denouncing the stranger as an assassin. He was known,
she saw, to the Colonel, and received as a gentleman; certainly he
either was not the person she suspected or Hazlewood was right in
supposing the shot accidental.

The remaining part of the company would have formed no bad group for a
skilful painter. Each was too much embarrassed with his own sensations
to observe those of the others. Bertram most unexpectedly found himself
in the house of one whom he was alternately disposed to dislike as his
personal enemy and to respect as the father of Julia. Mannering was
struggling between his high sense of courtesy and hospitality, his joy
at finding himself relieved from the guilt of having shed life in a
private quarrel, and the former feelings of dislike and prejudice,
which revived in his haughty mind at the sight of the object against
whom he had entertained them. Sampson, supporting his shaking limbs by
leaning on the back of a chair, fixed his eyes upon Bertram with a
staring expression of nervous anxiety which convulsed his whole visage.
Dinmont, enveloped in his loose shaggy great-coat, and resembling a
huge bear erect upon his hinder legs, stared on the whole scene with
great round eyes that witnessed his amazement.

The Counsellor alone was in his element: shrewd, prompt, and active, he
already calculated the prospect of brilliant success in a strange,
eventful, and mysterious lawsuit, and no young monarch, flushed with
hopes, and at the head of a gallant army, could experience more glee
when taking the field on his first campaign. He bustled about with
great energy, and took the arrangement of the whole explanation upon
himself.

'Come, come, gentlemen, sit down; this is all in my province; you must
let me arrange it for you. Sit down, my dear Colonel, and let me
manage; sit down, Mr. Brown, aut quocunque alio nomine vocaris;
Dominie, take your seat; draw in your chair, honest Liddesdale.'

'I dinna ken, Mr. Pleydell,' said Dinmont, looking at his dreadnought
coat, then at the handsome furniture of the room; 'I had maybe better
gang some gate else, and leave ye till your cracks, I'm no just that
weel put on.'

The Colonel, who by this time recognised Dandie, immediately went up
and bid him heartily welcome; assuring him that, from what he had seen
of him in Edinburgh, he was sure his rough coat and thick-soled boots
would honour a royal drawing-room.

'Na, na, Colonel, we're just plain up-the-country folk; but nae doubt I
would fain hear o' ony pleasure that was gaun to happen the Captain,
and I'm sure a' will gae right if Mr. Pleydell will take his bit job in
hand.'

'You're right, Dandie; spoke like a Hieland [Footnote: It may not be
unnecessary to tell southern readers that the mountainous country in
the south western borders of Scotland is called Hieland, though totally
different from the much more mountainous and more extensive districts
of the north, usually called Hielands.] oracle; and now be silent.
Well, you are all seated at last; take a glass of wine till I begin my
catechism methodically. And now,' turning to Bertram, 'my dear boy, do
you know who or what you are?'

In spite of his perplexity the catechumen could not help laughing at
this commencement, and answered, 'Indeed, sir, I formerly thought I
did; but I own late circumstances have made me somewhat uncertain.'

'Then tell us what you formerly thought yourself.'

'Why, I was in the habit of thinking and calling myself Vanbeest Brown,
who served as a cadet or volunteer under Colonel Mannering, when he
commanded the--regiment, in which capacity I was not unknown to him.'

'There,' said the Colonel, 'I can assure Mr. Brown of his identity; and
add, what his modesty may have forgotten, that he was distinguished as
a young man of talent and spirit.'

'So much the better, my dear sir,' said Mr. Pleydell; 'but that is to
general character. Mr. Brown must tell us where he was born.'

'In Scotland, I believe, but the place uncertain.'

'Where educated?'

'In Holland, certainly.'

'Do you remember nothing of your early life before you left Scotland?'

'Very imperfectly; yet I have a strong idea, perhaps more deeply
impressed upon me by subsequent hard usage, that I was during my
childhood the object of much solicitude and affection. I have an
indistinct remembrance of a good-looking man whom I used to call papa,
and of a lady who was infirm in health, and who, I think, must have
been my mother; but it is an imperfect and confused recollection. I
remember too a tall, thin, kind-tempered man in black, who used to
teach me my letters and walk out with me; and I think the very last
time--'

Here the Dominie could contain no longer. While every succeeding word
served to prove that the child of his benefactor stood before him, he
had struggled with the utmost difficulty to suppress his emotions; but
when the juvenile recollections of Bertram turned towards his tutor and
his precepts he was compelled to give way to his feelings. He rose
hastily from his chair, and with clasped hands, trembling limbs, and
streaming eyes, called out aloud, 'Harry Bertram! look at me; was I not
the man?'

'Yes!' said Bertram, starting from his seat as if a sudden light had
burst in upon his mind; 'yes; that was my name! And that is the voice
and the figure of my kind old master!'

The Dominie threw himself into his arms, pressed him a thousand times
to his bosom in convulsions of transport which shook his whole frame,
sobbed hysterically, and at length, in the emphatic language of
Scripture, lifted up his voice and wept aloud. Colonel Mannering had
recourse to his handkerchief; Pleydell made wry faces, and wiped the
glasses of his spectacles; and honest Dinmont, after two loud
blubbering explosions, exclaimed, 'Deil's in the man! he's garr'd me do
that I haena done since my auld mither died.'

'Come, come,' said the Counsellor at last, 'silence in the court. We
have a clever party to contend with; we must lose no time in gathering
our information; for anything I know there may be something to be done
before daybreak.'

'I will order a horse to be saddled if you please,' said the Colonel.

'No, no, time enough, time enough. But come, Dominie, I have allowed
you a competent space to express your feelings. I must circumduce the
term; you must let me proceed in my examination.'

The Dominie was habitually obedient to any one who chose to impose
commands upon him: he sunk back into his chair, spread his chequered
handkerchief over his face, to serve, as I suppose, for the Grecian
painter's veil, and, from the action of his folded hands, appeared for
a time engaged in the act of mental thanksgiving. He then raised his
eyes over the screen, as if to be assured that the pleasing apparition
had not melted into air; then again sunk them to resume his internal
act of devotion, until he felt himself compelled to give attention to
the Counsellor, from the interest which his questions excited.

'And now,' said Mr. Pleydell, after several minute inquiries concerning
his recollection of early events--'and now, Mr. Bertram,--for I think
we ought in future to call you by your own proper name--will you have
the goodness to let us know every particular which you can recollect
concerning the mode of your leaving Scotland?'

'Indeed, sir, to say the truth, though the terrible outlines of that
day are strongly impressed upon my memory, yet somehow the very terror
which fixed them there has in a great measure confounded and confused
the details. I recollect, however, that I was walking somewhere or
other, in a wood, I think--'

'O yes, it was in Warroch wood, my dear,' said the Dominie.

'Hush, Mr. Sampson,' said the Lawyer.

'Yes, it was in a wood,' continued Bertram, as long past and confused
ideas arranged themselves in his reviving recollection; 'and some one
was with me; this worthy and affectionate gentleman, I think.'

'O, ay, ay, Harry, Lord bless thee; it was even I myself.'

'Be silent, Dominie, and don't interrupt the evidence,' said Pleydell.
'And so, sir?' to Bertram.

'And so, sir,' continued Bertram, 'like one of the changes of a dream,
I thought I was on horseback before my guide.'

'No, no,' exclaimed Sampson, 'never did I put my own limbs, not to say
thine, into such peril.'

'On my word, this is intolerable! Look ye, Dominie, if you speak
another word till I give you leave, I will read three sentences out of
the Black Acts, whisk my cane round my head three times, undo all the
magic of this night's work, and conjure Harry Bertram back again into
Vanbeest Brown.'

'Honoured and worthy sir,' groaned out the Dominie, 'I humbly crave
pardon; it was but verbum volans.'

'Well, nolens volens, you must hold your tongue,' said Pleydell.

'Pray, be silent, Mr. Sampson,' said the Colonel; 'it is of great
consequence to your recovered friend that you permit Mr. Pleydell to
proceed in his inquiries.'

'I am mute,' said the rebuked Dominie.

'On a sudden,' continued Bertram, 'two or three men sprung out upon us,
and we were pulled from horseback. I have little recollection of
anything else, but that I tried to escape in the midst of a desperate
scuffle, and fell into the arms of a very tall woman who started from
the bushes and protected me for some time; the rest is all confusion
and dread, a dim recollection of a sea-beach and a cave, and of some
strong potion which lulled me to sleep for a length of time. In short,
it is all a blank in my memory until I recollect myself first an
ill-used and half-starved cabin-boy aboard a sloop, and then a
schoolboy in Holland, under the protection of an old merchant, who had
taken some fancy for me.'

'And what account,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'did your guardian give of your
parentage?'

'A very brief one,' answered Bertram, 'and a charge to inquire no
farther. I was given to understand that my father was concerned in the
smuggling trade carried on on the eastern coast of Scotland, and was
killed in a skirmish with the revenue officers; that his correspondents
in Holland had a vessel on the coast at the time, part of the crew of
which were engaged in the affair, and that they brought me off after it
was over, from a motive of compassion, as I was left destitute by my
father's death. As I grew older there was much of this story seemed
inconsistent with my own recollections, but what could I do? I had no
means of ascertaining my doubts, nor a single friend with whom I could
communicate or canvass them. The rest of my story is known to Colonel
Mannering: I went out to India to be a clerk in a Dutch house; their
affairs fell into confusion; I betook myself to the military
profession, and, I trust, as yet I have not disgraced it.'

'Thou art a fine young fellow, I'll be bound for thee,' said Pleydell,
'and since you have wanted a father so long, I wish from my heart I
could claim the paternity myself. But this affair of young Hazlewood--'

'Was merely accidental,' said Bertram. 'I was travelling in Scotland
for pleasure, and, after a week's residence with my friend Mr. Dinmont,
with whom I had the good fortune to form an accidental acquaintance--'

"It was my gude fortune that," said Dinmont. "Odd, my brains wad hae
been knockit out by twa black-guards if it hadna been for his four
quarters."

"Shortly after we parted at the town of----I lost my baggage by
thieves, and it was while residing at Kippletringan I accidentally met
the young gentleman. As I was approaching to pay my respects to Miss
Mannering, whom I had known in India, Mr. Hazlewood, conceiving my
appearance none of the most respectable, commanded me rather haughtily
to stand back, and so gave occasion to the fray, in which I had the
misfortune to be the accidental means of wounding him. And now, sir,
that I have answered all your questions--"

"No, no, not quite all," said Pleydell, winking sagaciously; "there are
some interrogatories which I shall delay till to-morrow, for it is
time, I believe, to close the sederunt for this night, or rather
morning."

"Well, then, sir," said the young man, "to vary the phrase, since I
have answered all the questions which you have chosen to ask to-night,
will you be so good as to tell me who you are that take such interest
in my affairs, and whom you take me to be, since my arrival has
occasioned such commotion?"

"Why, sir, for myself," replied the Counsellor, "I am Paulus Pleydell,
an advocate at the Scottish bar; and for you, it is not easy to say
distinctly who you are at present, but I trust in a short time to hail
you by the title of Henry Bertram, Esq., representative of one of the
oldest families in Scotland, and heir of Tailzie and provision to the
estate of Ellangowan. Ay," continued he, shutting his eyes and speaking
to himself, "we must pass over his father, and serve him heir to his
grandfather Lewis, the entailer; the only wise man of his family, that
I ever heard of."

They had now risen to retire to their apartments for the night, when
Colonel Mannering walked up to Bertram, as he stood astonished at the
Counsellor's words. "I give you joy," he said, "of the prospects which
fate has opened before you. I was an early friend of your father, and
chanced to be in the house of Ellangowan, as unexpectedly as you are
now in mine, upon the very night in which you were born. I little knew
this circumstance when--but I trust unkindness will be forgotten
between us. Believe me, your appearance here as Mr. Brown, alive and
well, has relieved me from most painful sensations; and your right to
the name of an old friend renders your presence as Mr. Bertram doubly
welcome."

"And my parents?" said Bertram.

"Are both no more; and the family property has been sold, but I trust
may be recovered. Whatever is wanted to make your right effectual I
shall be most happy to supply."

"Nay, you may leave all that to me," said the Counsellor; "'t is my
vocation, Hal; I shall make money of it."

"I'm sure it's no for the like o' me," observed Dinmont, "to speak to
you gentlefolks; but if siller would help on the Captain's plea, and
they say nae plea gangs ain weel without it--"

"Except on Saturday night," said Pleydell.

"Ay, but when your honour wadna take your fee ye wadna hae the cause
neither, sae I'll ne'er fash you on a Saturday at e'en again. But I was
saying, there's some siller in the spleuchan that's like the Captain's
ain, for we've aye counted it such, baith Ailie and me."

'No, no, Liddesdale; no occasion, no occasion whatever. Keep thy cash
to stock thy farm.'

'To stock my farm? Mr. Pleydell, your honour kens mony things, but ye
dinna ken the farm o' Charlie's Hope; it's sae weel stockit already
that we sell maybe sax hundred pounds off it ilka year, flesh and fell
the gither; na, na.'

'Can't you take another then?'

'I dinna ken; the Deuke's no that fond o' led farms, and he canna bide
to put away the auld tenantry; and then I wadna like mysell to gang
about whistling [Footnote: See Note 7.] and raising the rent on my
neighbours.'

'What, not upon thy neighbour at Dawston--Devilstone--how d 'ye call
the place?'

'What, on Jock o' Dawston? hout na. He's a camsteary chield, and
fasheous about marches, and we've had some bits o' splores thegither;
but deil o' me if I wad wrang Jock o' Dawston neither.'

'Thou'rt an honest fellow,' said the Lawyer; 'get thee to bed. Thou
wilt sleep sounder, I warrant thee, than many a man that throws off an
embroidered coat and puts on a laced nightcap. Colonel, I see you are
busy with our enfant trouve. But Barnes must give me a summons of
wakening at seven to-morrow morning, for my servant's a sleepy-headed
fellow; and I daresay my clerk Driver has had Clarence's fate, and is
drowned by this time in a butt of your ale; for Mrs. Allan promised to
make him comfortable, and she'll soon discover what he expects from
that engagement. Good-night, Colonel; good-night, Dominie Sampson;
good-night, Dinmont the Downright; good-night, last of all, to the
new-found representative of the Bertrams, and the Mac-Dingawaies, the
Knarths, the Arths, the Godfreys, the Dennises, and the Rolands, and,
last and dearest title, heir of tailzie and provision of the lands and
barony of Ellangowan, under the settlement of Lewis Bertram, Esq.,
whose representative you are.'

And so saying, the old gentleman took his candle and left the room; and
the company dispersed, after the Dominie had once more hugged and
embraced his 'little Harry Bertram,' as he continued to call the young
soldier of six feet high.



CHAPTER LI

                        My imagination
       Carries no favour in it but Bertram's;
       I am undone, there is no living, none,
       If Bertram be away.
                        --All's Well that Ends Well.

At the hour which he had appointed the preceding evening the
indefatigable lawyer was seated by a good fire and a pair of wax
candles, with a velvet cap on his head and a quilted silk nightgown on
his person, busy arranging his memoranda of proofs and indications
concerning the murder of Frank Kennedy. An express had also been
despatched to Mr. Mac-Morlan, requesting his attendance at Woodbourne
as soon as possible on business of importance. Dinmont, fatigued with
the events of the evening before, and finding the accommodations of
Woodbourne much preferable to those of Mac-Guffog, was in no hurry to
rise. The impatience of Bertram might have put him earlier in motion,
but Colonel Mannering had intimated an intention to visit him in his
apartment in the morning, and he did not choose to leave it. Before
this interview he had dressed himself, Barnes having, by his master's
orders, supplied him with every accommodation of linen, etc., and now
anxiously waited the promised visit of his landlord.

In a short time a gentle tap announced the Colonel, with whom Bertram
held a long and satisfactory conversation. Each, however, concealed
from the other one circumstance. Mannering could not bring himself to
acknowledge the astrological prediction; and Bertram was, from motives
which may be easily conceived, silent respecting his love for Julia. In
other respects their intercourse was frank and grateful to both, and
had latterly, upon the Colonel's part, even an approach to cordiality.
Bertram carefully measured his own conduct by that of his host, and
seemed rather to receive his offered kindness with gratitude and
pleasure than to press for it with solicitation.

Miss Bertram was in the breakfast-parlour when Sampson shuffled in, his
face all radiant with smiles--a circumstance so uncommon that Lucy's
first idea was that somebody had been bantering him with an imposition,
which had thrown him into this ecstasy. Having sate for some time
rolling his eyes and gaping with his mouth like the great wooden head
at Merlin's exhibition, he at length began--'And what do you think of
him, Miss Lucy?'

'Think of whom, Mr. Sampson?' asked the young lady.

'Of Har--no--of him that you know about?' again demanded the Dominie.

'That I know about?' replied Lucy, totally at a loss to comprehend his
meaning.

'Yes, the stranger, you know, that came last evening, in the post
vehicle; he who shot young Hazelwood, ha, ha, ha!' burst forth the
Dominie, with a laugh that sounded like neighing.

'Indeed, Mr. Sampson,' said his pupil, 'you have chosen a strange
subject for mirth; I think nothing about the man, only I hope the
outrage was accidental, and that we need not fear a repetition of it.'

'Accidental! ha, ha, ha!' again whinnied Sampson.

'Really, Mr. Sampson,' said Lucy, somewhat piqued, 'you are unusually
gay this morning.'

'Yes, of a surety I am! ha, ha, ho! face-ti-ous, ho, ho, ha!'

'So unusually facetious, my dear sir,' pursued the young lady, 'that I
would wish rather to know the meaning of your mirth than to be amused
with its effects only.'

'You shall know it, Miss Lucy,' replied poor Abel. 'Do you remember
your brother?'

'Good God, how can you ask me? No one knows better than you he was lost
the very day I was born.'

'Very true, very true,' answered the Dominie, saddening at the
recollection; 'I was strangely oblivious; ay, ay! too true. But you
remember your worthy father?'

'How should you doubt it, Mr. Sampson? it is not so many weeks since--'

'True, true; ay, too true,' replied the Dominie, his Houyhnhnm laugh
sinking into a hysterical giggle. 'I will be facetious no more under
these remembrances; but look at that young man!'

Bertram at this instant entered the room. 'Yes, look at him well, he is
your father's living image; and as God has deprived you of your dear
parents--O, my children, love one another!'

'It is indeed my father's face and form,' said Lucy, turning very pale.
Bertram ran to support her, the Dominie to fetch water to throw upon
her face (which in his haste he took from the boiling tea-urn), when
fortunately her colour, returning rapidly, saved her from the
application of this ill-judged remedy. 'I conjure you to tell me, Mr.
Sampson,' she said, in an interrupted yet solemn voice, 'is this my
brother?'

'It is, it is! Miss Lucy, it is little Harry Bertram, as sure as God's
sun is in that heaven!'

'And this is my sister?' said Bertram, giving way to all that family
affection which had so long slumbered in his bosom for want of an
object to expand itself upon.

'It is, it is!--it is Miss Lucy Bertram,' ejaculated Sampson, 'whom by
my poor aid you will find perfect in the tongues of France and Italy,
and even of Spain, in reading and writing her vernacular tongue, and in
arithmetic and book-keeping by double and single entry. I say nothing
of her talents of shaping and hemming and governing a household, which,
to give every one their due, she acquired not from me but from the
housekeeper; nor do I take merit for her performance upon stringed
instruments, whereunto the instructions of an honourable young lady of
virtue and modesty, and very facetious withal--Miss Julia
Mannering--hath not meanly contributed. Suum cuique tribuito.'

'You, then,' said Bertram to his sister, 'are all that remains to me!
Last night, but more fully this morning, Colonel Mannering gave me an
account of our family misfortunes, though without saying I should find
my sister here.'

'That,' said Lucy, 'he left to this gentleman to tell you--one of the
kindest and most faithful of friends, who soothed my father's long
sickness, witnessed his dying moments, and amid the heaviest clouds of
fortune would not desert his orphan.'

'God bless him for it!' said Bertram, shaking the Dominie's hand;' he
deserves the love with which I have always regarded even that dim and
imperfect shadow of his memory which my childhood retained.'

'And God bless you both, my dear children!' said Sampson; 'if it had
not been for your sake I would have been contented--had Heaven's
pleasure so been--to lay my head upon the turf beside my patron.'

'But I trust,' said Bertram--'I am encouraged to hope, we shall all see
better days. All our wrongs shall be redressed, since Heaven has sent
me means and friends to assert my right.'

'Friends indeed!' echoed the Dominie, 'and sent, as you truly say, by
HIM to whom I early taught you to look up as the source of all that is
good. There is the great Colonel Mannering from the Eastern Indies, a
man of war from his birth upwards, but who is not the less a man of
great erudition, considering his imperfect opportunities; and there is,
moreover, the great advocate Mr. Pleydell, who is also a man of great
erudition, but who descendeth to trifles unbeseeming thereof; and there
is Mr. Andrew Dinmont, whom I do not understand to have possession of
much erudition, but who, like the patriarchs of old, is cunning in that
which belongeth to flocks and herds; lastly, there is even I myself,
whose opportunities of collecting erudition, as they have been greater
than those of the aforesaid valuable persons, have not, if it becomes
me to speak, been pretermitted by me, in so far as my poor faculties
have enabled me to profit by them. Of a surety, little Harry, we must
speedily resume our studies. I will begin from the foundation. Yes, I
will reform your education upward from the true knowledge of English
grammar even to that of the Hebrew or Chaldaic tongue.'

The reader may observe that upon this occasion Sampson was infinitely
more profuse of words than he had hitherto exhibited himself. The
reason was that, in recovering his pupil, his mind went instantly back
to their original connexion, and he had, in his confusion of ideas, the
strongest desire in the world to resume spelling lessons and half-text
with young Bertram. This was the more ridiculous, as towards Lucy he
assumed no such powers of tuition. But she had grown up under his eye,
and had been gradually emancipated from his government by increase in
years and knowledge, and a latent sense of his own inferior tact in
manners, whereas his first ideas went to take up Harry pretty nearly
where he had left him. From the same feelings of reviving authority he
indulged himself in what was to him a profusion of language; and as
people seldom speak more than usual without exposing themselves, he
gave those whom he addressed plainly to understand that, while he
deferred implicitly to the opinions and commands, if they chose to
impose them, of almost every one whom he met with, it was under an
internal conviction that in the article of eru-di-ti-on, as he usually
pronounced the word, he was infinitely superior to them all put
together. At present, however, this intimation fell upon heedless ears,
for the brother and sister were too deeply engaged in asking and
receiving intelligence concerning their former fortunes to attend much
to the worthy Dominie. When Colonel Mannering left Bertram he went to
Julia's dressing-room and dismissed her attendant. 'My dear sir,' she
said as he entered, 'you have forgot our vigils last night, and have
hardly allowed me time to comb my hair, although you must be sensible
how it stood on end at the various wonders which took place.'

'It is with the inside of your head that I have some business at
present, Julia; I will return the outside to the care of your Mrs.
Mincing in a few minutes.'

'Lord, papa,' replied Miss Mannering, 'think how entangled all my ideas
are, and you to propose to comb them out in a few minutes! If Mincing
were to do so in her department she would tear half the hair out of my
head.'

'Well then, tell me,' said the Colonel, 'where the entanglement lies,
which I will try to extricate with due gentleness?'

'O, everywhere,' said the young lady; 'the whole is a wild dream.'

'Well then, I will try to unriddle it.' He gave a brief sketch of the
fate and prospects of Bertram, to which Julia listened with an interest
which she in vain endeavoured to disguise. 'Well,' concluded her
father, 'are your ideas on the subject more luminous?'

'More confused than ever, my dear sir,' said Julia. 'Here is this young
man come from India, after he had been supposed dead, like Aboulfouaris
the great voyager to his sister Canzade and his provident brother Hour.
I am wrong in the story, I believe--Canzade was his wife; but Lucy may
represent the one and the Dominie the other. And then this lively
crack-brained Scotch lawyer appears like a pantomime at the end of a
tragedy. And then how delightful it will be if Lucy gets back her
fortune.'

'Now I think,' said the Colonel, 'that the most mysterious part of the
business is, that Miss Julia Mannering, who must have known her
father's anxiety about the fate of this young man Brown, or Bertram, as
we must now call him, should have met him when Hazlewood's accident
took place, and never once mentioned to her father a word of the
matter, but suffered the search to proceed against this young gentleman
as a suspicious character and assassin.'

Julia, much of whose courage had been hastily assumed to meet the
interview with her father, was now unable to rally herself; she hung
down her head in silence, after in vain attempting to utter a denial
that she recollected Brown when she met him.

'No answer! Well, Julia,' continued her father, gravely but kindly,
'allow me to ask you, Is this the only time you have seen Brown since
his return from India? Still no answer. I must then naturally suppose
that it is not the first time. Still no reply. Julia Mannering, will
you have the kindness to answer me? Was it this young man who came
under your window and conversed with you during your residence at
Mervyn Hall? Julia, I command--I entreat you to be candid.'

Miss Mannering raised her head. 'I have been, sir--I believe I am
still--very foolish; and it is perhaps more hard upon me that I must
meet this gentleman, who has been, though not the cause entirely, yet
the accomplice, of my folly, in your presence.' Here she made a full
stop.

'I am to understand, then,' said Mannering, 'that this was the author
of the serenade at Mervyn Hall?'

There was something in this allusive change of epithet that gave Julia
a little more courage. 'He was indeed, sir; and if I am very wrong, as
I have often thought, I have some apology.'

'And what is that?' answered the Colonel, speaking quick, and with
something of harshness.

'I will not venture to name it, sir; but (she opened a small cabinet,
and put some letters into his hands) I will give you these, that you
may see how this intimacy began, and by whom it was encouraged.'

Mannering took the packet to the window--his pride forbade a more
distant retreat. He glanced at some passages of the letters with an
unsteady eye and an agitated mind; his stoicism, however, came in time
to his aid--that philosophy which, rooted in pride, yet frequently
bears the fruits of virtue. He returned towards his daughter with as
firm an air as his feelings permitted him to assume.

'There is great apology for you, Julia, as far as I can judge from a
glance at these letters; you have obeyed at least one parent. Let us
adopt a Scotch proverb the Dominie quoted the other day--"Let bygones
be bygones, and fair play for the future." I will never upbraid you
with your past want of confidence; do you judge of my future intentions
by my actions, of which hitherto you have surely had no reason to
complain. Keep these letters; they were never intended for my eye, and
I would not willingly read more of them than I have done, at your
desire and for your exculpation. And now, are we friends? Or rather, do
you understand me?'

'O, my dear, generous father,' said Julia, throwing herself into his
arms, 'why have I ever for an instant misunderstood you?'

'No more of that, Julia,' said the Colonel; 'we have both been to
blame. He that is too proud to vindicate the affection and confidence
which he conceives should be given without solicitation, must meet
much, and perhaps deserved, disappointment. It is enough that one
dearest and most regretted member of my family has gone to the grave
without knowing me; let me not lose the confidence of a child who ought
to love me if she really loves herself.'

'O, no danger, no fear!' answered Julia; 'let me but have your
approbation and my own, and there is no rule you can prescribe so
severe that I will not follow.'

'Well, my love,' kissing her forehead, 'I trust we shall not call upon
you for anything too heroic. With respect to this young gentleman's
addresses, I expect in the first place that all clandestine
correspondence, which no young woman can entertain for a moment without
lessening herself in her own eyes and in those of her lover--I request,
I say, that clandestine correspondence of every kind may be given up,
and that you will refer Mr. Bertram to me for the reason. You will
naturally wish to know what is to be the issue of such a reference. In
the first place, I desire to observe this young gentleman's character
more closely than circumstances, and perhaps my own prejudices, have
permitted formerly. I should also be glad to see his birth established.
Not that I am anxious about his getting the estate of Ellangowan,
though such a subject is held in absolute indifference nowhere except
in a novel; but certainly Henry Bertram, heir of Ellangowan, whether
possessed of the property of his ancestors or not, is a very different
person from Vanbeest Brown, the son of nobody at all. His fathers, Mr.
Pleydell tells me, are distinguished in history as following the
banners of their native princes, while our own fought at Cressy and
Poictiers. In short, I neither give nor withhold my approbation, but I
expect you will redeem past errors; and, as you can now unfortunately
only have recourse to ONE parent, that you will show the duty of a
child by reposing that confidence in me which I will say my inclination
to make you happy renders a filial debt upon your part.'

The first part of this speech affected Julia a good deal, the
comparative merit of the ancestors of the Bertrams and Mannerings
excited a secret smile, but the conclusion was such as to soften a
heart peculiarly open to the feelings of generosity. 'No, my dear sir,'
she said, extending her hand,' receive my faith, that from this moment
you shall be the first person consulted respecting what shall pass in
future between Brown--I mean Bertram--and me; and that no engagement
shall be undertaken by me excepting what you shall immediately know and
approve of. May I ask if Mr. Bertram is to continue a guest at
Woodbourne?'

'Certainly,' said the Colonel, 'while his affairs render it advisable.'

'Then, sir, you must be sensible, considering what is already past,
that he will expect some reason for my withdrawing, I believe I must
say the encouragement, which he may think I have given.'

'I expect, Julia,' answered Mannering, 'that he will respect my roof,
and entertain some sense perhaps of the services I am desirous to
render him, and so will not insist upon any course of conduct of which
I might have reason to complain; and I expect of you that you will make
him sensible of what is due to both.'

'Then, sir, I understand you, and you shall be implicitly obeyed.'

'Thank you, my love; my anxiety (kissing her) is on your account. Now
wipe these witnesses from your eyes, and so to breakfast.'



CHAPTER LII

          And Sheriff I will engage my word to you,
          That I will by to morrow dinner time,
          Send him to answer thee or any man,
          For anything he shall be charged withal

          Henry IV Part I


When the several by-plays, as they may be termed, had taken place among
the individuals of the Woodbourne family, as we have intimated in the
preceding chapter, the breakfast party at length assembled, Dandie
excepted, who had consulted his taste in viands, and perhaps in
society, by partaking of a cup of tea with Mrs. Allan, just laced with
two teaspoonfuls of cogniac, and reinforced with various slices from a
huge round of beef. He had a kind of feeling that he could eat twice as
much, and speak twice as much, with this good dame and Barnes as with
the grand folk in the parlour. Indeed, the meal of this less
distinguished party was much more mirthful than that in the higher
circle, where there was an obvious air of constraint on the greater
part of the assistants. Julia dared not raise her voice in asking
Bertram if he chose another cup of tea. Bertram felt embarrassed while
eating his toast and butter under the eye of Mannering. Lucy, while she
indulged to the uttermost her affection for her recovered brother,
began to think of the quarrel betwixt him and Hazlewood. The Colonel
felt the painful anxiety natural to a proud mind when it deems its
slightest action subject for a moment to the watchful construction of
others. The Lawyer, while sedulously buttering his roll, had an aspect
of unwonted gravity, arising perhaps from the severity of his morning
studies. As for the Dominie, his state of mind was ecstatic! He looked
at Bertram--he looked at Lucy--he whimpered--he sniggled--he
grinned--he committed all manner of solecisms in point of form: poured
the whole cream (no unlucky mistake) upon the plate of porridge which
was his own usual breakfast, threw the slops of what he called his
'crowning dish of tea' into the sugar-dish instead of the slop-basin,
and concluded with spilling the scalding liquor upon old Plato, the
Colonel's favourite spaniel, who received the libation with a howl that
did little honour to his philosophy.

The Colonel's equanimity was rather shaken by this last blunder. 'Upon
my word, my good friend, Mr. Sampson, you forget the difference between
Plato and Zenocrates.'

'The former was chief of the Academics, the latter of the Stoics,' said
the Dominie, with some scorn of the supposition.

'Yes, my dear sir, but it was Zenocrates, not Plato, who denied that
pain was an evil.'

'I should have thought,' said Pleydell, 'that very respectable
quadruped which is just now limping out of the room upon three of his
four legs was rather of the Cynic school.'

'Very well hit off. But here comes an answer from Mac-Morlan.'

It was unfavourable. Mrs. Mac-Morlan sent her respectful compliments,
and her husband had been, and was, detained by some alarming
disturbances which had taken place the preceding night at Portanferry,
and the necessary investigation which they had occasioned.

'What's to be done now. Counsellor?' said the Colonel to Pleydell.

'Why, I wish we could have seen Mac-Morlan,' said the Counsellor, 'who
is a sensible fellow himself, and would besides have acted under my
advice. But there is little harm. Our friend here must be made sui
juris. He is at present an escaped prisoner, the law has an awkward
claim upon him; he must be placed rectus in curia, that is the first
object; for which purpose, Colonel, I will accompany you in your
carriage down to Hazlewood House. The distance is not great; we will
offer our bail, and I am confident I can easily show Mr.--I beg his
pardon--Sir Robert Hazlewood, the necessity of receiving it.'

'With all my heart,' said the Colonel; and, ringing the bell, gave the
necessary orders. 'And what is next to be done?'

'We must get hold of Mac-Morlan, and look out for more proof.'

'Proof!' said the Colonel, 'the thing is as clear as daylight: here are
Mr. Sampson and Miss Bertram, and you yourself at once recognise the
young gentleman as his father's image; and he himself recollects all
the very peculiar circumstances preceding his leaving this country.
What else is necessary to conviction?'

'To moral conviction nothing more, perhaps,' said the experienced
lawyer, 'but for legal proof a great deal. Mr. Bertram's recollections
are his own recollections merely, and therefore are not evidence in his
own favour. Miss Bertram, the learned Mr. Sampson, and I can only say,
what every one who knew the late Ellangowan will readily agree in, that
this gentleman is his very picture. But that will not make him
Ellangowan's son and give him the estate.'

'And what will do so?' said the Colonel.

'Why, we must have a distinct probation. There are these gipsies; but
then, alas! they are almost infamous in the eye of law, scarce capable
of bearing evidence, and Meg Merrilies utterly so, by the various
accounts which she formerly gave of the matter, and her impudent denial
of all knowledge of the fact when I myself examined her respecting it.'

'What must be done then?' asked Mannering.

'We must try,' answered the legal sage, 'what proof can be got at in
Holland among the persons by whom our young friend was educated. But
then the fear of being called in question for the murder of the gauger
may make them silent; or, if they speak, they are either foreigners or
outlawed smugglers. In short, I see doubts.'

'Under favour, most learned and honoured sir,' said the Dominie, 'I
trust HE who hath restored little Harry Bertram to his friends will not
leave His own work imperfect.'

'I trust so too, Mr. Sampson,' said Pleydell; 'but we must use the
means; and I am afraid we shall have more difficulty in procuring them
than I at first thought. But a faint heart never won a fair lady; and,
by the way (apart to Miss Mannering, while Bertram was engaged with his
sister), there's a vindication of Holland for you! What smart fellows
do you think Leyden and Utrecht must send forth, when such a very
genteel and handsome young man comes from the paltry schools of
Middleburgh?'

'Of a verity,' said the Dominie, jealous of the reputation of the Dutch
seminary--'of a verity, Mr. Pleydell, but I make it known to you that I
myself laid the foundation of his education.'

'True, my dear Dominie,' answered the Advocate, 'that accounts for his
proficiency in the graces, without question. But here comes your
carriage, Colonel. Adieu, young folks. Miss Julia, keep your heart till
I come back again; let there be nothing done to prejudice my right
whilst I am non valens agere.'

Their reception at Hazlewood House was more cold and formal than usual;
for in general the Baronet expressed great respect for Colonel
Mannering, and Mr. Pleydell, besides being a man of good family and of
high general estimation, was Sir Robert's old friend. But now he seemed
dry and embarrassed in his manner. 'He would willingly,' he said,
'receive bail, notwithstanding that the offence had been directly
perpetrated, committed, and done against young Hazlewood of Hazlewood;
but the young man had given himself a fictitious description, and was
altogether that sort of person who should not be liberated, discharged,
or let loose upon society; and therefore--'

'I hope, Sir Robert Hazlewood,' said the Colonel, 'you do not mean to
doubt my word when I assure you that he served under me as cadet in
India?'

'By no means or account whatsoever. But you call him a cadet; now he
says, avers, and upholds that he was a captain, or held a troop in your
regiment.'

'He was promoted since I gave up the command.'

'But you must have heard of it?'

'No. I returned on account of family circumstances from India, and have
not since been solicitous to hear particular news from the regiment;
the name of Brown, too, is so common that I might have seen his
promotion in the "Gazette" without noticing it. But a day or two will
bring letters from his commanding officer.'

'But I am told and informed, Mr. Pleydell,' answered Sir Robert, still
hesitating, 'that he does not mean to abide by this name of Brown, but
is to set up a claim to the estate of Ellangowan, under the name of
Bertram.'

'Ay, who says that?' said the Counsellor.

'Or,' demanded the soldier, 'whoever says so, does that give a right to
keep him in prison?'

'Hush, Colonel,' said the Lawyer; 'I am sure you would not, any more
than I, countenance him if he prove an impostor. And, among friends,
who informed you of this, Sir Robert?'

'Why, a person, Mr. Pleydell,' answered the Baronet, 'who is peculiarly
interested in investigating, sifting, and clearing out this business to
the bottom; you will excuse my being more particular.'

'O, certainly,' replied Pleydell; 'well, and he says--?'

'He says that it is whispered about among tinkers, gipsies, and other
idle persons that there is such a plan as I mentioned to you, and that
this young man, who is a bastard or natural son of the late Ellangowan,
is pitched upon as the impostor from his strong family likeness.'

'And was there such a natural son, Sir Robert?' demanded the Counsellor.

'O, certainly, to my own positive knowledge. Ellangowan had him placed
as cabin-boy or powder-monkey on board an armed sloop or yacht
belonging to the revenue, through the interest of the late Commissioner
Bertram, a kinsman of his own.'

'Well, Sir Robert,' said the Lawyer, taking the word out of the mouth
of the impatient soldier, 'you have told me news. I shall investigate
them, and if I find them true, certainly Colonel Mannering and I will
not countenance this young man. In the meanwhile, as we are all willing
to make him forthcoming to answer all complaints against him, I do
assure you, you will act most illegally, and incur heavy
responsibility, if you refuse our bail.'

'Why, Mr. Pleydell,' said Sir Robert, who knew the high authority of
the Counsellor's opinion, 'as you must know best, and as you promise to
give up this young man--'

'If he proves an impostor,' replied the Lawyer, with some emphasis.

'Ay, certainly. Under that condition I will take your bail; though I
must say an obliging, well-disposed, and civil neighbour of mine, who
was himself bred to the law, gave me a hint or caution this morning
against doing so. It was from him I learned that this youth was
liberated and had come abroad, or rather had broken prison. But where
shall we find one to draw the bail-bond?'

'Here,' said the Counsellor, applying himself to the bell, 'send up my
clerk, Mr. Driver; it will not do my character harm if I dictate the
needful myself.' It was written accordingly and signed, and, the
Justice having subscribed a regular warrant for Bertram alias Brown's
discharge, the visitors took their leave.

Each threw himself into his own corner of the post-chariot, and said
nothing for some time. The Colonel first broke silence: 'So you intend
to give up this poor young fellow at the first brush?'

'Who, I?' replied the Counsellor. 'I will not give up one hair of his
head, though I should follow them to the court of last resort in his
behalf; but what signified mooting points and showing one's hand to
that old ass? Much better he should report to his prompter, Glossin,
that we are indifferent or lukewarm in the matter. Besides, I wished to
have a peep at the enemies' game.'

'Indeed!' said the soldier. 'Then I see there are stratagems in law as
well as war. Well, and how do you like their line of battle?'

'Ingenious,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'but I think desperate; they are
finessing too much, a common fault on such occasions.'

During this discourse the carriage rolled rapidly towards Woodbourne
without anything occurring worthy of the reader's notice, excepting
their meeting with young Hazlewood, to whom the Colonel told the
extraordinary history of Bertram's reappearance, which he heard with
high delight, and then rode on before to pay Miss Bertram his
compliments on an event so happy and so unexpected.

We return to the party at Woodbourne. After the departure of Mannering,
the conversation related chiefly to the fortunes of the Ellangowan
family, their domains, and their former power. 'It was, then, under the
towers of my fathers,' said Bertram, 'that I landed some days since, in
circumstances much resembling those of a vagabond! Its mouldering
turrets and darksome arches even then awakened thoughts of the deepest
interest, and recollections which I was unable to decipher. I will now
visit them again with other feelings, and, I trust, other and better
hopes.'

'Do not go there now,' said his sister. 'The house of our ancestors is
at present the habitation of a wretch as insidious as dangerous, whose
arts and villainy accomplished the ruin and broke the heart of our
unhappy father.'

'You increase my anxiety,' replied her brother, 'to confront this
miscreant, even in the den he has constructed for himself; I think I
have seen him.'

'But you must consider,' said Julia, 'that you are now left under
Lucy's guard and mine, and are responsible to us for all your motions,
consider, I have not been a lawyer's mistress twelve hours for nothing,
and I assure you it would be madness to attempt to go to Ellangowan
just now. The utmost to which I can consent is, that we shall walk in a
body to the head of the Woodbourne avenue, and from that perhaps we may
indulge you with our company as far as a rising ground in the common,
whence your eyes may be blessed with a distant prospect of those gloomy
towers which struck so strongly your sympathetic imagination.'

The party was speedily agreed upon; and the ladies, having taken their
cloaks, followed the route proposed, under the escort of Captain
Bertram. It was a pleasant winter morning, and the cool breeze served
only to freshen, not to chill, the fair walkers. A secret though
unacknowledged bond of kindness combined the two ladies, and Bertram,
now hearing the interesting accounts of his own family, now
communicating his adventures in Europe and in India, repaid the
pleasure which he received. Lucy felt proud of her brother, as well
from the bold and manly turn of his sentiments as from the dangers he
had encountered, and the spirit with which he had surmounted them. And
Julia, while she pondered on her father's words, could not help
entertaining hopes that the independent spirit which had seemed to her
father presumption in the humble and plebeian Brown would have the
grace of courage, noble bearing, and high blood in the far-descended
heir of Ellangowan.

They reached at length the little eminence or knoll upon the highest
part of the common, called Gibbie's Knowe--a spot repeatedly mentioned
in this history as being on the skirts of the Ellangowan estate. It
commanded a fair variety of hill and dale, bordered with natural woods,
whose naked boughs at this season relieved the general colour of the
landscape with a dark purple hue; while in other places the prospect
was more formally intersected by lines of plantation, where the Scotch
firs displayed their variety of dusky green. At the distance of two or
three miles lay the bay of Ellangowan, its waves rippling under the
influence of the western breeze. The towers of the ruined castle, seen
high over every object in the neighbourhood, received a brighter
colouring from the wintry sun.

'There,' said Lucy Bertram, pointing them out in the distance, 'there
is the seat of our ancestors. God knows, my dear brother, I do not
covet in your behalf the extensive power which the lords of these ruins
are said to have possessed so long, and sometimes to have used so ill.
But, O that I might see you in possession of such relics of their
fortune as should give you an honourable independence, and enable you
to stretch your hand for the protection of the old and destitute
dependents of our family, whom our poor father's death--'

'True, my dearest Lucy,' answered the young heir of Ellangowan; 'and I
trust, with the assistance of Heaven, which has so far guided us, and
with that of these good friends, whom their own generous hearts have
interested in my behalf, such a consummation of my hard adventures is
now not unlikely. But as a soldier I must look with some interest upon
that worm-eaten hold of ragged stone; and if this undermining scoundrel
who is now in possession dare to displace a pebble of it--'

He was here interrupted by Dinmont, who came hastily after them up the
road, unseen till he was near the party: 'Captain, Captain! ye're
wanted. Ye're wanted by her ye ken o'.'

And immediately Meg Merrilies, as if emerging out of the earth,
ascended from the hollow way and stood before them. 'I sought ye at the
house,' she said, 'and found but him (pointing to Dinmont). But ye are
right, and I was wrang; it is HERE we should meet, on this very spot,
where my eyes last saw your father. Remember your promise and follow
me.'



CHAPTER LIII

     To hail the king in seemly sort
      The ladie was full fain,
     But King Arthur, all sore amazed,
      No answer made again
     'What wight art thou,' the ladie said,
      'That will not speak to me?
     Sir, I may chance to ease thy pain,
      Though I be foul to see'

          The Marriage of Sir Gawaine.


The fairy bride of Sir Gawaine, while under the influence of the spell
of her wicked step-mother, was more decrepit probably, and what is
commonly called more ugly, than Meg Merrilies; but I doubt if she
possessed that wild sublimity which an excited imagination communicated
to features marked and expressive in their own peculiar character, and
to the gestures of a form which, her sex considered, might be termed
gigantic. Accordingly, the Knights of the Round Table did not recoil
with more terror from the apparition of the loathly lady placed between
'an oak and a green holly,' than Lucy Bertram and Julia Mannering did
from the appearance of this Galwegian sibyl upon the common of
Ellangowan.

'For God's sake,' said Julia, pulling out her purse, 'give that
dreadful woman something and bid her go away.'

'I cannot,' said Bertram; 'I must not offend her.'

'What keeps you here?' said Meg, exalting the harsh and rough tones of
her hollow voice. 'Why do you not follow? Must your hour call you
twice? Do you remember your oath? "Were it at kirk or market, wedding
or burial,"'--and she held high her skinny forefinger in a menacing
attitude.

Bertram--turned round to his terrified companions. 'Excuse me for a
moment; I am engaged by a promise to follow this woman.'

'Good Heavens! engaged to a madwoman?' said Julia.

'Or to a gipsy, who has her band in the wood ready to murder you!' said
Lucy.

'That was not spoken like a bairn of Ellangowan,' said Meg, frowning
upon Miss Bertram. 'It is the ill-doers are ill-dreaders.'

'In short, I must go,' said Bertram, 'it is absolutely necessary; wait
for me five minutes on this spot.'

'Five minutes?' said the gipsy, 'five hours may not bring you here
again.'

'Do you hear that?' said Julia; 'for Heaven's sake do not go!'

'I must, I must; Mr. Dinmont will protect you back to the house.'

'No,' said Meg, 'he must come with you; it is for that he is here. He
maun take part wi' hand and heart; and weel his part it is, for redding
his quarrel might have cost you dear.'

'Troth, Luckie, it's very true,' said the steady farmer; 'and ere I
turn back frae the Captain's side I'll show that I haena forgotten 't.'

'O yes,' exclaimed both the ladies at once, 'let Mr. Dinmont go with
you, if go you must, on this strange summons.'

'Indeed I must,' answered Bertram; 'but you see I am safely guarded.
Adieu for a short time; go home as fast as you can.'

He pressed his sister's hand, and took a yet more affectionate farewell
of Julia with his eyes. Almost stupefied with surprise and fear, the
young ladies watched with anxious looks the course of Bertram, his
companion, and their extraordinary guide. Her tall figure moved across
the wintry heath with steps so swift, so long, and so steady that she
appeared rather to glide than to walk. Bertram and Dinmont, both tall
men, apparently scarce equalled her in height, owing to her longer
dress and high head-gear. She proceeded straight across the common,
without turning aside to the winding path by which passengers avoided
the inequalities and little rills that traversed it in different
directions. Thus the diminishing figures often disappeared from the
eye, as they dived into such broken ground, and again ascended to sight
when they were past the hollow. There was something frightful and
unearthly, as it were, in the rapid and undeviating course which she
pursued, undeterred by any of the impediments which usually incline a
traveller from the direct path. Her way was as straight, and nearly as
swift, as that of a bird through the air. At length they reached those
thickets of natural wood which extended from the skirts of the common
towards the glades and brook of Derncleugh, and were there lost to the
view.

'This is very extraordinary,' said Lucy after a pause, and turning
round to her companion; 'what can he have to do with that old hag?'

'It is very frightful,' answered Julia, 'and almost reminds me of the
tales of sorceresses, witches, and evil genii which I have heard in
India. They believe there in a fascination of the eye by which those
who possess it control the will and dictate the motions of their
victims. What can your brother have in common with that fearful woman
that he should leave us, obviously against his will, to attend to her
commands?'

'At least,' said Lucy, 'we may hold him safe from harm; for she would
never have summoned that faithful creature Dinmont, of whose strength,
courage, and steadiness Henry said so much, to attend upon an
expedition where she projected evil to the person of his friend. And
now let us go back to the house till the Colonel returns. Perhaps
Bertram may be back first; at any rate, the Colonel will judge what is
to be done.'

Leaning, then, upon each other's arm, but yet occasionally stumbling,
between fear and the disorder of their nerves, they at length reached
the head of the avenue, when they heard the tread of a horse behind.
They started, for their ears were awake to every sound, and beheld to
their great pleasure young Hazlewood. 'The Colonel will be here
immediately,' he said; 'I galloped on before to pay my respects to Miss
Bertram, with the sincerest congratulations upon the joyful event which
has taken place in her family. I long to be introduced to Captain
Bertram, and to thank him for the well-deserved lesson he gave to my
rashness and indiscretion.'

'He has left us just now,' said Lucy, 'and in a manner that has
frightened us very much.'

Just at that moment the Colonel's carriage drove up, and, on observing
the ladies, stopped, while Mannering and his learned counsel alighted
and joined them. They instantly communicated the new cause of alarm.

'Meg Merrilies again!' said the Colonel. 'She certainly is a most
mysterious and unaccountable personage; but I think she must have
something to impart to Bertram to which she does not mean we should be
privy.'

'The devil take the bedlamite old woman,' said the Counsellor; 'will
she not let things take their course, prout de lege, but must always be
putting in her oar in her own way? Then I fear from the direction they
took they are going upon the Ellangowan estate. That rascal Glossin has
shown us what ruffians he has at his disposal; I wish honest Liddesdale
maybe guard sufficient.'

'If you please,' said Hazlewood, 'I should be most happy to ride in the
direction which they have taken. I am so well known in the country that
I scarce think any outrage will be offered in my presence, and I shall
keep at such a cautious distance as not to appear to watch Meg, or
interrupt any communication which she may make.'

'Upon my word,' said Pleydell (aside), 'to be a sprig whom I remember
with a whey face and a satchel not so very many years ago, I think
young Hazlewood grows a fine fellow. I am more afraid of a new attempt
at legal oppression than at open violence, and from that this young
man's presence would deter both Glossin and his understrappers.--Hie
away then, my boy; peer out--peer out, you'll find them somewhere about
Derncleugh, or very probably in Warroch wood.'

Hazlewood turned his horse. 'Come back to us to dinner, Hazlewood,'
cried the Colonel. He bowed, spurred his horse, and galloped off.

We now return to Bertram and Dinmont, who continued to follow their
mysterious guide through the woods and dingles between the open common
and the ruined hamlet of Derncleugh. As she led the way she never
looked back upon her followers, unless to chide them for loitering,
though the sweat, in spite of the season, poured from their brows. At
other times she spoke to herself in such broken expressions as these:
'It is to rebuild the auld house, it is to lay the corner-stone; and
did I not warn him? I tell'd him I was born to do it, if my father's
head had been the stepping-stane, let alane his. I was doomed--still I
kept my purpose in the cage and in the stocks; I was banished--I kept
it in an unco land; I was scourged, I was branded--my resolution lay
deeper than scourge or red iron could reach;--and now the hour is come.'

'Captain,' said Dinmont, in a half whisper, 'I wish she binna uncanny!
her words dinna seem to come in God's name, or like other folks'. Od,
they threep in our country that there ARE sic things.'

'Don't be afraid, my friend,' whispered Bertram in return.

'Fear'd! fient a haet care I,' said the dauntless farmer; 'be she witch
or deevil, it's a' ane to Dandie Dinmont.'

'Haud your peace, gudeman,' said Meg, looking sternly over her
shoulder; 'is this a time or place for you to speak, think ye?'

'But, my good friend,' said Bertram, 'as I have no doubt in your good
faith or kindness, which I have experienced, you should in return have
some confidence in me; I wish to know where you are leading us.'

'There's but ae answer to that, Henry Bertram,' said the sibyl. 'I
swore my tongue should never tell, but I never said my finger should
never show. Go on and meet your fortune, or turn back and lose it:
that's a' I hae to say.'

'Go on then,' answered Bertram; 'I will ask no more questions.'

They descended into the glen about the same place where Meg had
formerly parted from Bertram. She paused an instant beneath the tall
rock where he had witnessed the burial of a dead body and stamped upon
the ground, which, notwithstanding all the care that had been taken,
showed vestiges of having been recently moved. 'Here rests ane,' she
said; 'he'll maybe hae neibours sune.'

She then moved up the brook until she came to the ruined hamlet, where,
pausing with a look of peculiar and softened interest before one of the
gables which was still standing, she said in a tone less abrupt, though
as solemn as before, 'Do you see that blackit and broken end of a
sheeling? There my kettle boiled for forty years; there I bore twelve
buirdly sons and daughters. Where are they now? where are the leaves
that were on that auld ash tree at Martinmas! The west wind has made it
bare; and I'm stripped too. Do you see that saugh tree? it's but a
blackened rotten stump now. I've sate under it mony a bonnie summer
afternoon, when it hung its gay garlands ower the poppling water. I've
sat there, and,' elevating her voice, 'I've held you on my knee, Henry
Bertram, and sung ye sangs of the auld barons and their bloody wars. It
will ne'er be green again, and Meg Merrilies will never sing sangs
mair, be they blythe or sad. But ye'll no forget her, and ye'll gar big
up the auld wa's for her sake? And let somebody live there that's ower
gude to fear them of another warld. For if ever the dead came back
amang the living, I'll be seen in this glen mony a night after these
crazed banes are in the mould.'

The mixture of insanity and wild pathos with which she spoke these last
words, with her right arm bare and extended, her left bent and shrouded
beneath the dark red drapery of her mantle, might have been a study
worthy of our Siddons herself. 'And now,' she said, resuming at once
the short, stern, and hasty tone which was most ordinary to her, 'let
us to the wark, let us to the wark.'

She then led the way to the promontory on which the Kaim of Derncleugh
was situated, produced a large key from her pocket, and unlocked the
door. The interior of this place was in better order than formerly. 'I
have made things decent,' she said; 'I may be streekit here or night.
There will be few, few at Meg's lykewake, for mony of our folk will
blame what I hae done, and am to do!'

She then pointed to a table, upon which was some cold meat, arranged
with more attention to neatness than could have been expected from
Meg's habits. 'Eat,' she said--'eat; ye'll need it this night yet.'

Bertram, in complaisance, eat a morsel or two; and Dinmont, whose
appetite was unabated either by wonder, apprehension, or the meal of
the morning, made his usual figure as a trencherman. She then offered
each a single glass of spirits, which Bertram drank diluted, and his
companion plain.

'Will ye taste naething yoursell, Luckie?' said Dinmont.

'I shall not need it,' replied their mysterious hostess. 'And now,' she
said, 'ye maun hae arms: ye maunna gang on dry-handed; but use them not
rashly. Take captive, but save life; let the law hae its ain. He maun
speak ere he die.'

'Who is to be taken? who is to speak?' said Bertram, in astonishment,
receiving a pair of pistols which she offered him, and which, upon
examining, he found loaded and locked.

'The flints are gude,' she said, 'and the powder dry; I ken this wark
weel.'

Then, without answering his questions, she armed Dinmont also with a
large pistol, and desired them to choose sticks for themselves out of a
parcel of very suspicious-looking bludgeons which she brought from a
corner. Bertram took a stout sapling, and Dandie selected a club which
might have served Hercules himself. They then left the hut together,
and in doing so Bertram took an opportunity to whisper to Dinmont,
'There's something inexplicable in all this. But we need not use these
arms unless we see necessity and lawful occasion; take care to do as
you see me do.'

Dinmont gave a sagacious nod, and they continued to follow, over wet
and over dry, through bog and through fallow, the footsteps of their
conductress. She guided them to the wood of Warroch by the same track
which the late Ellangowan had used when riding to Derncleugh in quest
of his child on the miserable evening of Kennedy's murder.

When Meg Merrilies had attained these groves, through which the wintry
sea-wind was now whistling hoarse and shrill, she seemed to pause a
moment as if to recollect the way. 'We maun go the precise track,' she
said, and continued to go forward, but rather in a zigzag and involved
course than according to her former steady and direct line of motion.
At length she guided them through the mazes of the wood to a little
open glade of about a quarter of an acre, surrounded by trees and
bushes, which made a wild and irregular boundary. Even in winter it was
a sheltered and snugly sequestered spot; but when arrayed in the
verdure of spring, the earth sending forth all its wild flowers, the
shrubs spreading their waste of blossom around it, and the weeping
birches, which towered over the underwood, drooping their long and
leafy fibres to intercept the sun, it must have seemed a place for a
youthful poet to study his earliest sonnet, or a pair of lovers to
exchange their first mutual avowal of affection. Apparently it now
awakened very different recollections. Bertram's brow, when he had
looked round the spot, became gloomy and embarrassed. Meg, after
uttering to herself, 'This is the very spot!' looked at him with a
ghastly side-glance--'D'ye mind it?'

'Yes!' answered Bertram, 'imperfectly I do.'

'Ay!' pursued his guide, 'on this very spot the man fell from his
horse. I was behind that bourtree bush at the very moment. Sair, sair
he strove, and sair he cried for mercy; but he was in the hands of them
that never kenn'd the word! Now will I show you the further track; the
last time ye travelled it was in these arms.'

She led them accordingly by a long and winding passage, almost
overgrown with brushwood, until, without any very perceptible descent,
they suddenly found themselves by the seaside. Meg then walked very
fast on between the surf and the rocks, until she came to a remarkable
fragment of rock detached from the rest. 'Here,' she said in a low and
scarcely audible whisper--'here the corpse was found.'

'And the cave,' said Bertram, in the same tone, 'is close beside it;
are you guiding us there?'

'Yes,' said the gipsy in a decided tone. 'Bend up both your hearts;
follow me as I creep in; I have placed the fire-wood so as to screen
you. Bide behind it for a gliff till I say, "The hour and the man are
baith come"; then rin in on him, take his arms, and bind him till the
blood burst frae his finger nails.'

'I will, by my soul,' said Henry, 'if he is the man I suppose--Jansen?'

'Ay, Jansen, Hatteraick, and twenty mair names are his.'

'Dinmont, you must stand by me now,' said Bertram, 'for this fellow is
a devil.'

'Ye needna doubt that,' said the stout yeoman; 'but I wish I could mind
a bit prayer or I creep after the witch into that hole that she's
opening. It wad be a sair thing to leave the blessed sun and the free
air, and gang and be killed like a tod that's run to earth, in a
dungeon like that. But, my sooth, they will be hard-bitten terriers
will worry Dandie; so, as I said, deil hae me if I baulk you.' This was
uttered in the lowest tone of voice possible. The entrance was now
open. Meg crept in upon her hands and knees, Bertram followed, and
Dinmont, after giving a rueful glance toward the daylight, whose
blessings he was abandoning, brought up the rear.



CHAPTER LIV

     Die, prophet! in thy speech;
     For this, among the rest, was I ordained.

          Henry VI. Part III.


The progress of the Borderer, who, as we have said, was the last of the
party, was fearfully arrested by a hand, which caught hold of his leg
as he dragged his long limbs after him in silence and perturbation
through the low and narrow entrance of the subterranean passage. The
steel heart of the bold yeoman had well-nigh given way, and he
suppressed with difficulty a shout, which, in the defenceless posture
and situation which they then occupied, might have cost all their
lives. He contented himself, however, with extricating his foot from
the grasp of this unexpected follower. 'Be still,' said a voice behind
him, releasing him; 'I am a friend--Charles Hazlewood.'

These words were uttered in a very low voice, but they produced sound
enough to startle Meg Merrilies, who led the van, and who, having
already gained the place where the cavern expanded, had risen upon her
feet. She began, as if to confound any listening ear, to growl, to
mutter, and to sing aloud, and at the same time to make a bustle among
some brushwood which was now heaped in the cave.

'Here, beldam, deyvil's kind,' growled the harsh voice of Dirk
Hatteraick from the inside of his den, 'what makest thou there?'

'Laying the roughies to keep the cauld wind frae you, ye desperate
do-nae-good. Ye're e'en ower weel off, and wotsna; it will be otherwise
soon.'

'Have you brought me the brandy, and any news of my people?' said Dirk
Hatteraick.

'There's the flask for ye. Your people--dispersed, broken, gone, or cut
to ribbands by the redcoats.'

'Der deyvil! this coast is fatal to me.'

'Ye may hae mair reason to say sae.'

While this dialogue went forward, Bertram and Dinmont had both gained
the interior of the cave and assumed an erect position. The only light
which illuminated its rugged and sable precincts was a quantity of wood
burnt to charcoal in an iron grate, such as they use in spearing salmon
by night. On these red embers Hatteraick from time to time threw a
handful of twigs or splintered wood; but these, even when they blazed
up, afforded a light much disproportioned to the extent of the cavern;
and, as its principal inhabitant lay upon the side of the grate most
remote from the entrance, it was not easy for him to discover
distinctly objects which lay in that direction. The intruders,
therefore, whose number was now augmented unexpectedly to three, stood
behind the loosely-piled branches with little risk of discovery.
Dinmont had the sense to keep back Hazlewood with one hand till he
whispered to Bertram, 'A friend--young Hazlewood.'

It was no time for following up the introduction, and they all stood as
still as the rocks around them, obscured behind the pile of brushwood,
which had been probably placed there to break the cold wind from the
sea, without totally intercepting the supply of air. The branches were
laid so loosely above each other that, looking through them towards the
light of the fire-grate, they could easily discover what passed in its
vicinity, although a much stronger degree of illumination than it
afforded would not have enabled the persons placed near the bottom of
the cave to have descried them in the position which they occupied.

The scene, independent of the peculiar moral interest and personal
danger which attended it, had, from the effect of the light and shade
on the uncommon objects which it exhibited, an appearance emphatically
dismal. The light in the fire-grate was the dark-red glare of charcoal
in a state of ignition, relieved from time to time by a transient flame
of a more vivid or duskier light, as the fuel with which Dirk
Hatteraick fed his fire was better or worse fitted for his purpose. Now
a dark cloud of stifling smoke rose up to the roof of the cavern, and
then lighted into a reluctant and sullen blaze, which flashed wavering
up the pillar of smoke, and was suddenly rendered brighter and more
lively by some drier fuel, or perhaps some splintered fir-timber, which
at once converted the smoke into flame. By such fitful irradiation they
could see, more or less distinctly, the form of Hatteraick, whose
savage and rugged cast of features, now rendered yet more ferocious by
the circumstances of his situation and the deep gloom of his mind,
assorted well with the rugged and broken vault, which rose in a rude
arch over and around him. The form of Meg Merrilies, which stalked
about him, sometimes in the light, sometimes partially obscured in the
smoke or darkness, contrasted strongly with the sitting figure of
Hatteraick as he bent over the flame, and from his stationary posture
was constantly visible to the spectator, while that of the female
flitted around, appearing or disappearing like a spectre.

Bertram felt his blood boil at the sight of Hatteraick. He remembered
him well under the name of Jansen, which the smuggler had adopted after
the death of Kennedy; and he remembered also that this Jansen, and his
mate Brown, the same who was shot at Woodbourne, had been the brutal
tyrants of his infancy. Bertram knew farther, from piecing his own
imperfect recollections with the narratives of Mannering and Pleydell,
that this man was the prime agent in the act of violence which tore him
from his family and country, and had exposed him to so many distresses
and dangers. A thousand exasperating reflections rose within his bosom;
and he could hardly refrain from rushing upon Hatteraick and blowing
his brains out.

At the same time this would have been no safe adventure. The flame, as
it rose and fell, while it displayed the strong, muscular, and
broad-chested frame of the ruffian, glanced also upon two brace of
pistols in his belt, and upon the hilt of his cutlass: it was not to be
doubted that his desperation was commensurate with his personal
strength and means of resistance. Both, indeed, were inadequate to
encounter the combined power of two such men as Bertram himself and his
friend Dinmont, without reckoning their unexpected assistant Hazlewood,
who was unarmed, and of a slighter make; but Bertram felt, on a
moment's reflection, that there would be neither sense nor valour in
anticipating the hangman's office, and he considered the importance of
making Hatteraick prisoner alive. He therefore repressed his
indignation, and awaited what should pass between the ruffian and his
gipsy guide.

'And how are ye now?' said the harsh and discordant tones of his female
attendant.' Said I not, it would come upon you--ay, and in this very
cave, where ye harboured after the deed?'

'Wetter and sturm, ye hag!' replied Hatteraick, 'keep your deyvil's
matins till they're wanted. Have you seen Glossin?'

'No,' replied Meg Merrilies; 'you've missed your blow, ye
blood-spiller! and ye have nothing to expect from the tempter.'

'Hagel!' exclaimed the ruffian, 'if I had him but by the throat! And
what am I to do then?'

'Do?' answered the gipsy; 'die like a man, or be hanged like a dog!'

'Hanged, ye hag of Satan! The hemp's not sown that shall hang me.'

'It's sown, and it's grown, and it's heckled, and it's twisted. Did I
not tell ye, when ye wad take away the boy Harry Bertram, in spite of
my prayers,--did I not say he would come back when he had dree'd his
weird in foreign land till his twenty-first year? Did I not say the
auld fire would burn down to a spark, but wad kindle again?'

'Well, mother, you did say so,' said Hatteraick, in a tone that had
something of despair in its accents; 'and, donner and blitzen! I
believe you spoke the truth. That younker of Ellangowan has been a rock
ahead to me all my life! And now, with Glossin's cursed contrivance, my
crew have been cut off, my boats destroyed, and I daresay the lugger's
taken; there were not men enough left on board to work her, far less to
fight her--a dredge-boat might have taken her. And what will the owners
say? Hagel and sturm! I shall never dare go back again to Flushing.'

'You'll never need,' said the gipsy.

'What are you doing there,' said her companion; 'and what makes you say
that?'

During this dialogue Meg was heaping some flax loosely together. Before
answer to this question she dropped a firebrand upon the flax, which
had been previously steeped in some spirituous liquor, for it instantly
caught fire and rose in a vivid pyramid of the most brilliant light up
to the very top of the vault. As it ascended Meg answered the ruffian's
question in a firm and steady voice: 'BECAUSE THE HOUR'S COME, AND THE
MAN.'

At the appointed signal Bertram and Dinmont sprung over the brushwood
and rushed upon Hatteraick. Hazlewood, unacquainted with their plan of
assault, was a moment later. The ruffian, who instantly saw he was
betrayed, turned his first vengeance on Meg Merrilies, at whom he
discharged a pistol. She fell with a piercing and dreadful cry between
the shriek of pain and the sound of laughter when at its highest and
most suffocating height. 'I kenn'd it would be this way,' she said.

Bertram, in his haste, slipped his foot upon the uneven rock which
floored the cave--a fortunate stumble, for Hatteraick's second bullet
whistled over him with so true and steady an aim that, had he been
standing upright, it must have lodged in his brain. Ere the smuggler
could draw another pistol, Dinmont closed with him, and endeavoured by
main force to pinion down his arms. Such, however, was the wretch's
personal strength, joined to the efforts of his despair, that, in spite
of the gigantic force with which the Borderer grappled him, he dragged
Dinmont through the blazing flax, and had almost succeeded in drawing a
third pistol, which might have proved fatal to the honest farmer, had
not Bertram, as well as Hazlewood, come to his assistance, when, by
main force, and no ordinary exertion of it, they threw Hatteraick on
the ground, disarmed him, and bound him. This scuffle, though it takes
up some time in the narrative, passed in less than a single minute.
When he was fairly mastered, after one or two desperate and almost
convulsionary struggles, the ruffian lay perfectly still and silent.
'He's gaun to die game ony how,' said Dinmont; 'weel, I like him na the
waur for that.'

This observation honest Dandie made while he was shaking the blazing
flax from his rough coat and shaggy black hair, some of which had been
singed in the scuffle. 'He is quiet now,' said Bertram; 'stay by him
and do not permit him to stir till I see whether the poor woman be
alive or dead.' With Hazlewood's assistance he raised Meg Merrilies.

'I kenn'd it would be this way,' she muttered, 'and it's e'en this way
that it should be.'

The ball had penetrated the breast below the throat. It did not bleed
much externally; but Bertram, accustomed to see gunshot wounds, thought
it the more alarming. 'Good God! what shall we do for this poor woman?'
said he to Hazlewood, the circumstances superseding the necessity of
previous explanation or introduction to each other.

'My horse stands tied above in the wood,' said Hazlewood. 'I have been
watching you these two hours. I will ride off for some assistants that
may be trusted. Meanwhile, you had better defend the mouth of the
cavern against every one until I return.' He hastened away. Bertram,
after binding Meg Merrilies's wound as well as he could, took station
near the mouth of the cave with a cocked pistol in his hand; Dinmont
continued to watch Hatteraick, keeping a grasp like that of Hercules on
his breast. There was a dead silence in the cavern, only interrupted by
the low and suppressed moaning of the wounded female and by the hard
breathing of the prisoner.



CHAPTER LV

     For though, seduced and led astray,
       Thoust travell'd far and wander'd long,
     Thy God hath seen thee all the way,
       And all the turns that led thee wrong

          The Hall of Justice.


After the space of about three-quarters of an hour, which the
uncertainty and danger of their situation made seem almost thrice as
long, the voice of young Hazlewood was heard without. 'Here I am,' he
cried, 'with a sufficient party.'

'Come in then,' answered Bertram, not a little pleased to find his
guard relieved. Hazlewood then entered, followed by two or three
countrymen, one of whom acted as a peace-officer. They lifted
Hatteraick up and carried him in their arms as far as the entrance of
the vault was high enough to permit them; then laid him on his back and
dragged him along as well as they could, for no persuasion would induce
him to assist the transportation by any exertion of his own. He lay as
silent and inactive in their hands as a dead corpse, incapable of
opposing, but in no way aiding, their operations. When he was dragged
into daylight and placed erect upon his feet among three or four
assistants who had remained without the cave, he seemed stupefied and
dazzled by the sudden change from the darkness of his cavern. While
others were superintending the removal of Meg Merrilies, those who
remained with Hatteraick attempted to make him sit down upon a fragment
of rock which lay close upon the high-water mark. A strong shuddering
convulsed his iron frame for an instant as he resisted their purpose.
'Not there! Hagel! you would not make me sit THERE?'

These were the only words he spoke; but their import, and the deep tone
of horror in which they were uttered, served to show what was passing
in his mind.

When Meg Merrilies had also been removed from the cavern, with all the
care for her safety that circumstances admitted, they consulted where
she should be carried. Hazlewood had sent for a surgeon, and proposed
that she should be lifted in the meantime to the nearest cottage. But
the patient exclaimed with great earnestness, 'Na, na, na! to the Kaim
o' Derncleugh--the Kaim o' Derncleugh; the spirit will not free itself
o' the flesh but there.'

'You must indulge her, I believe,' said Bertram; 'her troubled
imagination will otherwise aggravate the fever of the wound.'

They bore her accordingly to the vault. On the way her mind seemed to
run more upon the scene which had just passed than on her own
approaching death. 'There were three of them set upon him: I brought
the twasome, but wha was the third? It would be HIMSELL, returned to
work his ain vengeance!'

It was evident that the unexpected appearance of Hazlewood, whose
person the outrage of Hatteraick left her no time to recognise, had
produced a strong effect on her imagination. She often recurred to it.
Hazlewood accounted for his unexpected arrival to Bertram by saying
that he had kept them in view for some time by the direction of
Mannering; that, observing them disappear into the cave, he had crept
after them, meaning to announce himself and his errand, when his hand
in the darkness encountering the leg of Dinmont had nearly produced a
catastrophe, which, indeed, nothing but the presence of mind and
fortitude of the bold yeoman could have averted.

When the gipsy arrived at the hut she produced the key; and when they
entered, and were about to deposit her upon the bed, she said, in an
anxious tone, 'Na, na! not that way--the feet to the east'; and
appeared gratified when they reversed her posture accordingly, and
placed her in that appropriate to a dead body.

'Is there no clergyman near,' said Bertram, 'to assist this unhappy
woman's devotions?'

A gentleman, the minister of the parish, who had been Charles
Hazlewood's tutor, had, with many others, caught the alarm that the
murderer of Kennedy was taken on the spot where the deed had been done
so many years before, and that a woman was mortally wounded. From
curiosity, or rather from the feeling that his duty called him to
scenes of distress, this gentleman had come to the Kaim of Derncleugh,
and now presented himself. The surgeon arrived at the same time, and
was about to probe the wound; but Meg resisted the assistance of
either. 'It's no what man can do that will heal my body or save my
spirit. Let me speak what I have to say, and then ye may work your
will; I'se be nae hindrance. But where's Henry Bertram?' The
assistants, to whom this name had been long a stranger, gazed upon each
other. 'Yes!' she said, in a stronger and harsher tone, 'I said HENRY
BERTRAM OF ELLANGOWAN. Stand from the light and let me see him.'

All eyes were turned towards Bertram, who approached the wretched
couch. The wounded woman took hold of his hand. 'Look at him,' she
said, 'all that ever saw his father or his grandfather, and bear
witness if he is not their living image?' A murmur went through the
crowd; the resemblance was too striking to be denied. 'And now hear me;
and let that man,' pointing to Hatteraick, who was seated with his
keepers on a sea-chest at some distance--'let him deny what I say if he
can. That is Henry Bertram, son to Godfrey Bertram, umquhile of
Ellangowan; that young man is the very lad-bairn that Dirk Hatteraick
carried off from Warroch wood the day that he murdered the gauger. I
was there like a wandering spirit, for I longed to see that wood or we
left the country. I saved the bairn's life, and sair, sair I prigged
and prayed they would leave him wi' me. But they bore him away, and
he's been lang ower the sea, and now he's come for his ain, and what
should withstand him? I swore to keep the secret till he was
ane-an'-twenty; I kenn'd he behoved to dree his weird till that day
cam. I keepit that oath which I took to them; but I made another vow to
mysell, that if I lived to see the day of his return I would set him in
his father's seat, if every step was on a dead man. I have keepit that
oath too. I will be ae step mysell, he (pointing to Hatteraick) will
soon be another, and there will be ane mair yet.'

The clergyman, now interposing, remarked it was a pity this deposition
was not regularly taken and written down, and the surgeon urged the
necessity of examining the wound, previously to exhausting her by
questions. When she saw them removing Hatteraick, in order to clear the
room and leave the surgeon to his operations, she called out aloud,
raising herself at the same time upon the couch, 'Dirk Hatteraick, you
and I will never meet again until we are before the judgment-seat; will
ye own to what I have said, or will you dare deny it?' He turned his
hardened brow upon her, with a look of dumb and inflexible defiance.
'Dirk Hatteraick, dare ye deny, with my blood upon your hands, one word
of what my dying breath is uttering?' He looked at her with the same
expression of hardihood and dogged stubbornness, and moved his lips,
but uttered no sound. 'Then fareweel!' she said, 'and God forgive you!
your hand has sealed my evidence. When I was in life I was the mad
randy gipsy, that had been scourged and banished and branded; that had
begged from door to door, and been hounded like a stray tyke from
parish to parish; wha would hae minded HER tale? But now I am a dying
woman, and my words will not fall to the ground, any more than the
earth will cover my blood!'

She here paused, and all left the hut except the surgeon and two or
three women. After a very short examination he shook his head and
resigned his post by the dying woman's side to the clergyman.

A chaise returning empty to Kippletringan had been stopped on the
highroad by a constable, who foresaw it would be necessary to convey
Hatteraick to jail. The driver, understanding what was going on at
Derncleugh, left his horses to the care of a blackguard boy, confiding,
it is to be supposed, rather in the years and discretion of the cattle
than in those of their keeper, and set off full speed to see, as he
expressed himself, 'whaten a sort o' fun was gaun on.' He arrived just
as the group of tenants and peasants, whose numbers increased every
moment, satiated with gazing upon the rugged features of Hatteraick,
had turned their attention towards Bertram. Almost all of them,
especially the aged men who had seen Ellangowan in his better days,
felt and acknowledged the justice of Meg Merrilies's appeal. But the
Scotch are a cautious people: they remembered there was another in
possession of the estate, and they as yet only expressed their feelings
in low whispers to each other. Our friend Jock Jabos, the postilion,
forced his way into the middle of the circle; but no sooner cast his
eyes upon Bertram than he started back in amazement, with a solemn
exclamation, 'As sure as there's breath in man, it's auld Ellangowan
arisen from the dead!'

This public declaration of an unprejudiced witness was just the spark
wanted to give fire to the popular feeling, which burst forth in three
distinct shouts: 'Bertram for ever!' 'Long life to the heir of
Ellangowan!' 'God send him his ain, and to live among us as his
forebears did of yore!'

'I hae been seventy years on the land,' said one person.

'I and mine hae been seventy and seventy to that,' said another; 'I
have a right to ken the glance of a Bertram.'

'I and mine hae been three hundred years here,' said another old man,
'and I sail sell my last cow, but I'll see the young Laird placed in
his right.'

The women, ever delighted with the marvellous, and not less so when a
handsome young man is the subject of the tale, added their shrill
acclamations to the general all-hail. 'Blessings on him; he's the very
picture o' his father! The Bertrams were aye the wale o' the country
side!'

'Eh! that his puir mother, that died in grief and in doubt about him,
had but lived to see this day!' exclaimed some female voices.

'But we'll help him to his ain, kimmers,' cried others; 'and before
Glossin sail keep the Place of Ellangowan we'll howk him out o't wi'
our nails!'

Others crowded around Dinmont, who was nothing both to tell what he
knew of his friend, and to boast the honour which he had in
contributing to the discovery. As he was known to several of the
principal farmers present, his testimony afforded an additional motive
to the general enthusiasm. In short, it was one of those moments of
intense feeling when the frost of the Scottish people melts like a
snow-wreath, and the dissolving torrent carries dam and dyke before it.

The sudden shouts interrupted the devotions of the clergyman; and Meg,
who was in one of those dozing fits of stupefaction that precede the
close of existence, suddenly started--'Dinna ye hear? dinna ye hear?
He's owned! he's owned! I lived but for this. I am a sinfu' woman; but
if my curse brought it down, my blessing has taen it off! And now I wad
hae liked to hae said mair. But it canna be. Stay'--she continued,
stretching her head towards the gleam of light that shot through the
narrow slit which served for a window--'is he not there? Stand out o'
the light, and let me look upon him ance mair. But the darkness is in
my ain een,' she said, sinking back, after an earnest gaze upon
vacuity; 'it's a' ended now,

     Pass breath,
     Come death!'

And, sinking back upon her couch of straw, she expired without a groan.
The clergyman and the surgeon carefully noted down all that she had
said, now deeply regretting they had not examined her more minutely,
but both remaining morally convinced of the truth of her disclosure.

Hazlewood was the first to compliment Bertram upon the near prospect of
his being restored to his name and rank in society. The people around,
who now learned from Jabos that Bertram was the person who had wounded
him, were struck with his generosity, and added his name to Bertram's
in their exulting acclamations.

Some, however, demanded of the postilion how he had not recognised
Bertram when he saw him some time before at Kippletringan. To which he
gave the very natural answer--'Hout, what was I thinking about
Ellangowan then? It was the cry that was rising e'en now that the young
Laird was found, that put me on finding out the likeness. There was nae
missing it ance ane was set to look for't.'

The obduracy of Hatteraick during the latter part of this scene was in
some slight degree shaken. He was observed to twinkle with his eyelids;
to attempt to raise his bound hands for the purpose of pulling his hat
over his brow; to look angrily and impatiently to the road, as if
anxious for the vehicle which was to remove him from the spot. At
length Mr. Hazlewood, apprehensive that the popular ferment might take
a direction towards the prisoner, directed he should be taken to the
post-chaise, and so removed to the town of Kippletringan, to be at Mr.
Mac-Morlan's disposal; at the same time he sent an express to warn that
gentleman of what had happened. 'And now,' he said to Bertram, 'I
should be happy if you would accompany me to Hazlewood House; but as
that might not be so agreeable just now as I trust it will be in a day
or two, you must allow me to return with you to Woodbourne. But you are
on foot.'--'O, if the young Laird would take my horse!'--'Or mine'--'Or
mine,' said half-a-dozen voices.--'Or mine; he can trot ten mile an
hour without whip or spur, and he's the young Laird's frae this moment,
if he likes to take him for a herezeld, [Footnote: See Note 8.] as they
ca'd it lang syne.' Bertram readily accepted the horse as a loan, and
poured forth his thanks to the assembled crowd for their good wishes,
which they repaid with shouts and vows of attachment.

While the happy owner was directing one lad to 'gae doun for the new
saddle'; another,' just to rin the beast ower wi' a dry wisp o' strae';
a third, 'to hie doun and borrow Dan Dunkieson's plated stirrups,' and
expressing his regret 'that there was nae time to gie the nag a feed,
that the young Laird might ken his mettle,' Bertram, taking the
clergyman by the arm, walked into the vault and shut the door
immediately after them. He gazed in silence for some minutes upon the
body of Meg Merrilies, as it lay before him, with the features
sharpened by death, yet still retaining the stern and energetic
character which had maintained in life her superiority as the wild
chieftainess of the lawless people amongst whom she was born. The young
soldier dried the tears which involuntarily rose on viewing this wreck
of one who might be said to have died a victim to her fidelity to his
person and family. He then took the clergyman's hand and asked solemnly
if she appeared able to give that attention to his devotions which
befitted a departing person.

'My dear sir,' said the good minister, 'I trust this poor woman had
remaining sense to feel and join in the import of my prayers. But let
us humbly hope we are judged of by our opportunities of religious and
moral instruction. In some degree she might be considered as an
uninstructed heathen, even in the bosom of a Christian country; and let
us remember that the errors and vices of an ignorant life were balanced
by instances of disinterested attachment, amounting almost to heroism.
To HIM who can alone weigh our crimes and errors against our efforts
towards virtue we consign her with awe, but not without hope.'

'May I request,' said Bertram, 'that you will see every decent
solemnity attended to in behalf of this poor woman? I have some
property belonging to her in my hands; at all events I will be
answerable for the expense. You will hear of me at Woodbourne.'

Dinmont, who had been furnished with a horse by one of his
acquaintance, now loudly called out that all was ready for their
return; and Bertram and Hazlewood, after a strict exhortation to the
crowd, which was now increased to several hundreds, to preserve good
order in their rejoicing, as the least ungoverned zeal might be turned
to the disadvantage of the young Laird, as they termed him, took their
leave amid the shouts of the multitude.

As they rode past the ruined cottages at Derncleugh, Dinmont said, 'I'm
sure when ye come to your ain, Captain, ye'll no forget to bigg a bit
cot-house there? Deil be in me but I wad do't mysell, an it werena in
better hands. I wadna like to live in't, though, after what she said.
Od, I wad put in auld Elspeth, the bedral's widow; the like o' them's
used wi' graves and ghaists and thae things.'

A short but brisk ride brought them to Woodbourne. The news of their
exploit had already flown far and wide, and the whole inhabitants of
the vicinity met them on the lawn with shouts of congratulation. 'That
you have seen me alive,' said Bertram to Lucy, who first ran up to him,
though Julia's eyes even anticipated hers, 'you must thank these kind
friends.'

With a blush expressing at once pleasure, gratitude, and bashfulness,
Lucy curtsied to Hazlewood, but to Dinmont she frankly extended her
hand. The honest farmer, in the extravagance of his joy, carried his
freedom farther than the hint warranted, for he imprinted his thanks on
the lady's lips, and was instantly shocked at the rudeness of his own
conduct. 'Lord sake, madam, I ask your pardon,' he said. 'I forgot but
ye had been a bairn o' my ain; the Captain's sae namely, he gars ane
forget himsell.'

Old Pleydell now advanced. 'Nay, if fees like these are going,' he
said--

'Stop, stop, Mr. Pleydell,' said Julia, 'you had your fees beforehand;
remember last night.'

'Why, I do confess a retainer,' said the Barrister; 'but if I don't
deserve double fees from both Miss Bertram and you when I conclude my
examination of Dirk Hatteraick to-morrow--Gad, I will so supple him!
You shall see, Colonel; and you, my saucy misses, though you may not
see, shall hear.'

'Ay, that's if we choose to listen, Counsellor,' replied Julia.

'And you think,' said Pleydell, 'it's two to one you won't choose that?
But you have curiosity that teaches you the use of your ears now and
then.'

'I declare, Counsellor,' answered the lively damsel, 'that such saucy
bachelors as you would teach us the use of our fingers now and then.'

'Reserve them for the harpsichord, my love,' said the Counsellor.
'Better for all parties.'

While this idle chat ran on, Colonel Mannering introduced to Bertram a
plain good-looking man, in a grey coat and waistcoat, buckskin
breeches, and boots. 'This, my dear sir, is Mr. Mac-Morlan.'

'To whom,' said Bertram, embracing him cordially, 'my sister was
indebted for a home, when deserted by all her natural friends and
relations.'

The Dominie then pressed forward, grinned, chuckled, made a diabolical
sound in attempting to whistle, and finally, unable to stifle his
emotions, ran away to empty the feelings of his heart at his eyes.

We shall not attempt to describe the expansion of heart and glee of
this happy evening.



CHAPTER LVI

          How like a hateful ape,
     Detected grinning 'midst his pilfer'd hoard,
     A cunning man appears, whose secret frauds
     Are open'd to the day!

          Count Basil


There was a great movement at Woodbourne early on the following morning
to attend the examination at Kippletringan. Mr. Pleydell, from the
investigation which he had formerly bestowed on the dark affair of
Kennedy's death, as well as from the general deference due to his
professional abilities, was requested by Mr. Mac-Morlan and Sir Robert
Hazlewood, and another justice of peace who attended, to take the
situation of chairman and the lead in the examination. Colonel
Mannering was invited to sit down with them. The examination, being
previous to trial, was private in other respects.

The Counsellor resumed and reinterrogated former evidence. He then
examined the clergyman and surgeon respecting the dying declaration of
Meg Merrilies. They stated that she distinctly, positively, and
repeatedly declared herself an eye-witness of Kennedy's death by the
hands of Hatteraick and two or three of his crew; that her presence was
accidental; that she believed their resentment at meeting him, when
they were in the act of losing their vessel through the means of his
information, led to the commission of the crime; that she said there
was one witness of the murder, but who refused to participate in it,
still alive--her nephew, Gabriel Faa; and she had hinted at another
person who was an accessory after, not before, the fact; but her
strength there failed her. They did not forget to mention her
declaration that she had saved the child, and that he was torn from her
by the smugglers for the purpose of carrying him to Holland. All these
particulars were carefully reduced to writing.

Dirk Hatteraick was then brought in, heavily ironed; for he had been
strictly secured and guarded, owing to his former escape. He was asked
his name; he made no answer. His profession; he was silent. Several
other questions were put, to none of which he returned any reply.
Pleydell wiped the glasses of his spectacles and considered the
prisoner very attentively. 'A very truculent-looking fellow,' he
whispered to Mannering; 'but, as Dogberry says, I'll go cunningly to
work with him. Here, call in Soles--Soles the shoemaker. Soles, do you
remember measuring some footsteps imprinted on the mud at the wood of
Warroch on--November 17--, by my orders?' Soles remembered the
circumstance perfectly. 'Look at that paper; is that your note of the
measurement?' Soles verified the memorandum. 'Now, there stands a pair
of shoes on that table; measure them, and see if they correspond with
any of the marks you have noted there.' The shoemaker obeyed, and
declared 'that they answered exactly to the largest of the footprints.'

'We shall prove,' said the Counsellor, aside to Mannering, 'that these
shoes, which were found in the ruins at Derncleugh, belonged to Brown,
the fellow whom you shot on the lawn at Woodbourne. Now, Soles, measure
that prisoner's feet very accurately.'

Mannering observed Hatteraick strictly, and could notice a visible
tremor. 'Do these measurements correspond with any of the footprints?'

The man looked at the note, then at his foot-rule and measure, then
verified his former measurement by a second. 'They correspond,' he
said, 'within a hair-breadth to a foot-mark broader and shorter than
the former.'

Hatteraick's genius here deserted him. 'Der deyvil!' he broke out, 'how
could there be a footmark on the ground, when it was a frost as hard as
the heart of a Memel log?'

'In the evening, I grant you, Captain Hatteraick,' said Pleydell, 'but
not in the forenoon. Will you favour me with information where you were
upon the day you remember so exactly?'

Hatteraick saw his blunder, and again screwed up his hard features for
obstinate silence. 'Put down his observation, however,' said Pleydell
to the clerk.

At this moment the door opened, and, much to the surprise of most
present, Mr. Gilbert Glossin made his appearance. That worthy gentleman
had, by dint of watching and eavesdropping, ascertained that he was not
mentioned by name in Meg Merrilies's dying declaration--a circumstance
certainly not owing to any favourable disposition towards him, but to
the delay of taking her regular examination, and to the rapid approach
of death. He therefore supposed himself safe from all evidence but such
as might arise from Hatteraick's confession; to prevent which he
resolved to push a bold face and join his brethren of the bench during
his examination. 'I shall be able,' he thought, 'to make the rascal
sensible his safety lies in keeping his own counsel and mine; and my
presence, besides, will be a proof of confidence and innocence. If I
must lose the estate, I must; but I trust better things.'

He entered with a profound salutation to Sir Robert Hazlewood. Sir
Robert, who had rather begun to suspect that his plebeian neighbour had
made a cat's paw of him, inclined his head stiffly, took snuff, and
looked another way.

'Mr. Corsand,' said Glossin to the other yokefellow of justice, 'your
most humble servant.'

'Your humble servant, Mr. Glossin,' answered Mr. Corsand drily,
composing his countenance regis ad exemplar, that is to say, after the
fashion of the Baronet.

'Mac-Morlan, my worthy friend,' continued Glossin, 'how d' ye do;
always on your duty?'

'Umph,' said honest Mac-Morlan, with little respect either to the
compliment or salutation.

'Colonel Mannering (a low bow slightly returned), and Mr. Pleydell
(another low bow), I dared not have hoped for your assistance to poor
country gentlemen at this period of the session.'

Pleydell took snuff, and eyed him with a glance equally shrewd and
sarcastic. 'I'll teach him,' he said aside to Mannering, 'the value of
the old admonition, Ne accesseris in consilium antequam voceris.'

'But perhaps I intrude, gentlemen?' said Glossin, who could not fail to
observe the coldness of his reception. 'Is this an open meeting?'

'For my part,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'so far from considering your
attendance as an intrusion, Mr. Glossin, I was never so pleased in my
life to meet with you; especially as I think we should, at any rate,
have had occasion to request the favour of your company in the course
of the day.'

'Well, then, gentlemen,' said Glossin, drawing his chair to the table,
and beginning to bustle about among the papers, 'where are we? how far
have we got? where are the declarations?'

'Clerk, give me all these papers,' said Mr. Pleydell. 'I have an odd
way of arranging my documents, Mr. Glossin, another person touching
them puts me out; but I shall have occasion for your assistance by and
by.'

Glossin, thus reduced to inactivity, stole one glance at Dirk
Hatteraick, but could read nothing in his dark scowl save malignity and
hatred to all around. 'But, gentlemen,' said Glossin, 'is it quite
right to keep this poor man so heavily ironed when he is taken up
merely for examination?'

This was hoisting a kind of friendly signal to the prisoner. 'He has
escaped once before,' said Mac-Morlan drily, and Glossin was silenced.

Bertram was now introduced, and, to Glossin's confusion, was greeted in
the most friendly manner by all present, even by Sir Robert Hazlewood
himself. He told his recollections of his infancy with that candour and
caution of expression which afforded the best warrant for his good
faith. 'This seems to be rather a civil than a criminal question,' said
Glossin, rising; 'and as you cannot be ignorant, gentlemen, of the
effect which this young person's pretended parentage may have on my
patrimonial interest, I would rather beg leave to retire.'

'No, my good sir,' said Mr. Pleydell, 'we can by no means spare you.
But why do you call this young man's claims pretended? I don't mean to
fish for your defences against them, if you have any, but--'

'Mr. Pleydell,' replied Glossin, 'I am always disposed to act
above-board, and I think I can explain the matter at once. This young
fellow, whom I take to be a natural son of the late Ellangowan, has
gone about the country for some weeks under different names, caballing
with a wretched old mad-woman, who, I understand, was shot in a late
scuffle, and with other tinkers, gipsies, and persons of that
description, and a great brute farmer from Liddesdale, stirring up the
tenants against their landlords, which, as Sir Robert Hazlewood of
Hazlewood knows--'

'Not to interrupt you, Mr. Glossin,' said Pleydell, 'I ask who you say
this young man is?'

'Why, I say,' replied Glossin, 'and I believe that gentleman (looking
at Hatteraick) knows, that the young man is a natural son of the late
Ellangowan, by a girl called Janet Lightoheel, who was afterwards
married to Hewit the shipwright, that lived in the neighbourhood of
Annan. His name is Godfrey Bertram Hewit, by which name he was entered
on board the Royal Caroline excise yacht.'

'Ay?' said Pleydell, 'that is a very likely story! But, not to pause
upon some difference of eyes, complexion, and so forth--be pleased to
step forward, sir.' (A young seafaring man came forward.) 'Here,'
proceeded the Counsellor, 'is the real Simon Pure; here's Godfrey
Bertram Hewit, arrived last night from Antigua via Liverpool, mate of a
West-Indian, and in a fair way of doing well in the world, although he
came somewhat irregularly into it.'

While some conversation passed between the other justices and this
young man, Pleydell lifted from among the papers on the table
Hatteraick's old pocket-book. A peculiar glance of the smuggler's eye
induced the shrewd lawyer to think there was something here of
interest. He therefore continued the examination of the papers, laying
the book on the table, but instantly perceived that the prisoner's
interest in the research had cooled. 'It must be in the book still,
whatever it is,' thought Pleydell; and again applied himself to the
pocket-book, until he discovered, on a narrow scrutiny, a slit between
the pasteboard and leather, out of which he drew three small slips of
paper. Pleydell now, turning to Glossin, requested the favour that he
would tell them if he had assisted at the search for the body of
Kennedy and the child of his patron on the day when they disappeared.

'I did not--that is, I did,' answered the conscience-struck Glossin.

'It is remarkable though,' said the Advocate, 'that, connected as you
were with the Ellangowan family, I don't recollect your being examined,
or even appearing before me, while that investigation was proceeding?'

'I was called to London,' answered Glossin, 'on most important business
the morning after that sad affair.'

'Clerk,' said Pleydell, 'minute down that reply. I presume the
business, Mr. Glossin, was to negotiate these three bills, drawn by you
on Messrs. Vanbeest and Vanbruggen, and accepted by one Dirk Hatteraick
in their name on the very day of the murder. I congratulate you on
their being regularly retired, as I perceive they have been. I think
the chances were against it.' Glossin's countenance fell. 'This piece
of real evidence,' continued Mr. Pleydell, 'makes good the account
given of your conduct on this occasion by a man called Gabriel Faa,
whom we have now in custody, and who witnessed the whole transaction
between you and that worthy prisoner. Have you any explanation to give?'

'Mr. Pleydell,' said Glossin, with great composure, 'I presume, if you
were my counsel, you would not advise me to answer upon the spur of the
moment to a charge which the basest of mankind seem ready to establish
by perjury.'

'My advice,' said the Counsellor, 'would be regulated by my opinion of
your innocence or guilt. In your case, I believe you take the wisest
course; but you are aware you must stand committed?'

'Committed? for what, sir?' replied Glossin. 'Upon a charge of murder?'

'No; only as art and part of kidnapping the child.'

'That is a bailable offence.'

'Pardon me,' said Pleydell, 'it is plagium, and plagium is felony.'

'Forgive me, Mr. Pleydell, there is only one case upon record, Torrence
and Waldie. They were, you remember, resurrection-women, who had
promised to procure a child's body for some young surgeons. Being upon
honour to their employers, rather than disappoint the evening lecture
of the students, they stole a live child, murdered it, and sold the
body for three shillings and sixpence. They were hanged, but for the
murder, not for the plagium [Footnote: This is, in its circumstances
and issue, actually a case tried and reported.]--Your civil law has
carried you a little too far.'

'Well, sir, but in the meantime Mr. Mac-Morlan must commit you to the
county jail, in case this young man repeats the same story. Officers,
remove Mr. Glossin and Hatteraick, and guard them in different
apartments.'

Gabriel, the gipsy, was then introduced, and gave a distinct account of
his deserting from Captain Pritchard's vessel and joining the smugglers
in the action, detailed how Dirk Hatteraick set fire to his ship when
he found her disabled, and under cover of the smoke escaped with his
crew, and as much goods as they could save, into the cavern, where they
proposed to lie till nightfall. Hatteraick himself, his mate Vanbeest
Brown, and three others, of whom the declarant was one, went into the
adjacent woods to communicate with some of their friends in the
neighbourhood. They fell in with Kennedy unexpectedly, and Hatteraick
and Brown, aware that he was the occasion of their disasters, resolved
to murder him. He stated that he had seen them lay violent hands on the
officer and drag him through the woods, but had not partaken in the
assault nor witnessed its termination; that he returned to the cavern
by a different route, where he again met Hatteraick and his
accomplices; and the captain was in the act of giving an account how he
and Brown had pushed a huge crag over, as Kennedy lay groaning on the
beach, when Glossin suddenly appeared among them. To the whole
transaction by which Hatteraick purchased his secrecy he was witness.
Respecting young Bertram, he could give a distinct account till he went
to India, after which he had lost sight of him until he unexpectedly
met with him in Liddesdale. Gabriel Faa farther stated that he
instantly sent notice to his aunt Meg Merrilies, as well as to
Hatteraick, who he knew was then upon the coast; but that he had
incurred his aunt's displeasure upon the latter account. He concluded,
that his aunt had immediately declared that she would do all that lay
in her power to help young Ellangowan to his right, even if it should
be by informing against Dirk Hatteraick; and that many of her people
assisted her besides himself, from a belief that she was gifted with
supernatural inspirations. With the same purpose, he understood his
aunt had given to Bertram the treasure of the tribe, of which she had
the custody. Three or four gipsies, by the express command of Meg
Merrilies, mingled in the crowd when the custom-house was attacked, for
the purpose of liberating Bertram, which he had himself effected. He
said, that in obeying Meg's dictates they did not pretend to estimate
their propriety or rationality, the respect in which she was held by
her tribe precluding all such subjects of speculation. Upon farther
interrogation, the witness added, that his aunt had always said that
Harry Bertram carried that round his neck which would ascertain his
birth. It was a spell, she said, that an Oxford scholar had made for
him, and she possessed the smugglers with an opinion that to deprive
him of it would occasion the loss of the vessel.

Bertram here produced a small velvet bag, which he said he had worn
round his neck from his earliest infancy, and which he had preserved,
first from superstitious reverence, and latterly from the hope that it
might serve one day to aid in the discovery of his birth. The bag,
being opened, was found to contain a blue silk case, from which was
drawn a scheme of nativity. Upon inspecting this paper, Colonel
Mannering instantly admitted it was his own composition; and afforded
the strongest and most satisfactory evidence that the possessor of it
must necessarily be the young heir of Ellangowan, by avowing his having
first appeared in that country in the character of an astrologer.

'And now,' said Pleydell, 'make out warrants of commitment for
Hatteraick and Glossin until liberated in due course of law. Yet,' he
said, 'I am sorry for Glossin.'

'Now, I think,' said Mannering, 'he's incomparably the least deserving
of pity of the two. The other's a bold fellow, though as hard as flint.'

'Very natural, Colonel,' said the Advocate, 'that you should be
interested in the ruffian and I in the knave, that's all professional
taste; but I can tell you Glossin would have been a pretty lawyer had
he not had such a turn for the roguish part of the profession.'

'Scandal would say,' observed Mannering, 'he might not be the worse
lawyer for that.'

'Scandal would tell a lie, then,' replied Pleydell, 'as she usually
does. Law's like laudanum: it's much more easy to use it as a quack
does than to learn to apply it like a physician.'



CHAPTER LVII

     Unfit to live or die--O marble heart!
     After him, fellows, drag him to the block.

          Measure for Measure.


The jail at the county town of the shire of----was one of those
old-fashioned dungeons which disgraced Scotland until of late years.
When the prisoners and their guard arrived there, Hatteraick, whose
violence and strength were well known, was secured in what was called
the condemned ward. This was a large apartment near the top of the
prison. A round bar of iron,[Footnote: See Note 9.] about the thickness
of a man's arm above the elbow, crossed the apartment horizontally at
the height of about six inches from the floor; and its extremities were
strongly built into the wall at either end. Hatteraick's ankles were
secured within shackles, which were connected by a chain, at the
distance of about four feet, with a large iron ring, which travelled
upon the bar we have described. Thus a prisoner might shuffle along the
length of the bar from one side of the room to another, but could not
retreat farther from it in any other direction than the brief length of
the chain admitted. When his feet had been thus secured, the keeper
removed his handcuffs and left his person at liberty in other respects.
A pallet-bed was placed close to the bar of iron, so that the shackled
prisoner might lie down at pleasure, still fastened to the iron bar in
the manner described.

Hatteraick had not been long in this place of confinement before
Glossin arrived at the same prison-house. In respect to his comparative
rank and education, he was not ironed, but placed in a decent
apartment, under the inspection of Mac-Guffog, who, since the
destruction of the bridewell of Portanferry by the mob, had acted here
as an under-turnkey. When Glossin was enclosed within this room, and
had solitude and leisure to calculate all the chances against him and
in his favour, he could not prevail upon himself to consider the game
as desperate.

'The estate is lost,' he said, 'that must go; and, between Pleydell and
Mac-Morlan, they'll cut down my claim on it to a trifle. My
character--but if I get off with life and liberty I'll win money yet
and varnish that over again. I knew not of the gauger's job until the
rascal had done the deed, and, though I had some advantage by the
contraband, that is no felony. But the kidnapping of the boy--there
they touch me closer. Let me see. This Bertram was a child at the time;
his evidence must be imperfect. The other fellow is a deserter, a
gipsy, and an outlaw. Meg Merrilies, d-n her, is dead. These infernal
bills! Hatteraick brought them with him, I suppose, to have the means
of threatening me or extorting money from me. I must endeavour to see
the rascal; must get him to stand steady; must persuade him to put some
other colour upon the business.'

His mind teeming with schemes of future deceit to cover former
villainy, he spent the time in arranging and combining them until the
hour of supper. Mac-Guffog attended as turnkey on this occasion. He
was, as we know, the old and special acquaintance of the prisoner who
was now under his charge. After giving the turnkey a glass of brandy,
and sounding him with one or two cajoling speeches, Glossin made it his
request that he would help him to an interview with Dirk Hatteraick.
'Impossible! utterly impossible! it's contrary to the express orders of
Mr. Mac-Morlan, and the captain (as the head jailor of a county jail is
called in Scotland) would never forgie me.'

'But why should he know of it?' said Glossin, slipping a couple of
guineas into Mac-Guffog's hand.

The turnkey weighed the gold and looked sharp at Glossin. 'Ay, ay, Mr.
Glossin, ye ken the ways o' this place. Lookee, at lock-up hour I'll
return and bring ye upstairs to him. But ye must stay a' night in his
cell, for I am under needcessity to carry the keys to the captain for
the night, and I cannot let you out again until morning; then I'll
visit the wards half an hour earlier than usual, and ye may get out and
be snug in your ain birth when the captain gangs his rounds.'

When the hour of ten had pealed from the neighbouring steeple
Mac-Guffog came prepared with a small dark lantern. He said softly to
Glossin, 'Slip your shoes off and follow me.' When Glossin was out of
the door, Mac-Guffog, as if in the execution of his ordinary duty, and
speaking to a prisoner within, called aloud, 'Good-night to you, sir,'
and locked the door, clattering the bolts with much ostentatious noise.
He then guided Glossin up a steep and narrow stair, at the top of which
was the door of the condemned ward; he unbarred and unlocked it, and,
giving Glossin the lantern, made a sign to him to enter, and locked the
door behind him with the same affected accuracy.

In the large dark cell into which he was thus introduced Glossin's
feeble light for some time enabled him to discover nothing. At length
he could dimly distinguish the pallet-bed stretched on the floor beside
the great iron bar which traversed the room, and on that pallet reposed
the figure of a man. Glossin approached him. 'Dirk Hatteraick!'

'Donner and hagel! it is his voice,' said the prisoner, sitting up and
clashing his fetters as he rose; 'then my dream is true! Begone, and
leave me to myself; it will be your best.'

'What! my good friend,' said Glossin, 'will you allow the prospect of a
few weeks' confinement to depress your spirit?'

'Yes,' answered the ruffian, sullenly, 'when I am only to be released
by a halter! Let me alone; go about your business, and turn the lamp
from my face!'

'Psha! my dear Dirk, don't be afraid,' said Glossin; 'I have a glorious
plan to make all right.'

'To the bottomless pit with your plans!' replied his accomplice; 'you
have planned me out of ship, cargo, and life; and I dreamt this moment
that Meg Merrilies dragged you here by the hair and gave me the long
clasped knife she used to wear; you don't know what she said.
Sturmwetter! it will be your wisdom not to tempt me!'

'But, Hatteraick, my good friend, do but rise and speak to me,' said
Glossin.

'I will not!' answered the savage, doggedly. 'You have caused all the
mischief; you would not let Meg keep the boy; she would have returned
him after he had forgot all.'

'Why, Hatteraick, you are turned driveller!'

'Wetter! will you deny that all that cursed attempt at Portanferry,
which lost both sloop and crew, was your device for your own job?'

'But the goods, you know--'

'Curse the goods!' said the smuggler, 'we could have got plenty more;
but, der deyvil! to lose the ship and the fine fellows, and my own
life, for a cursed coward villain, that always works his own mischief
with other people's hands! Speak to me no more; I'm dangerous.'

'But, Dirk--but, Hatteraick, hear me only a few words.'

'Hagel! nein.'

'Only one sentence.'

'Tousand curses! nein.'

'At least get up, for an obstinate Dutch brute!' said Glossin, losing
his temper and pushing Hatteraick with his foot.

'Donner and blitzen!' said Hatteraick, springing up and grappling with
him; 'you WILL have it then?'

Glossin struggled and resisted; but, owing to his surprise at the fury
of the assault, so ineffectually that he fell under Hatteraick, the
back part of his neck coming full upon the iron bar with stunning
violence. The death-grapple continued. The room immediately below the
condemned ward, being that of Glossin, was, of course, empty; but the
inmates of the second apartment beneath felt the shock of Glossin's
heavy fall, and heard a noise as of struggling and of groans. But all
sounds of horror were too congenial to this place to excite much
curiosity or interest.

In the morning, faithful to his promise, Mac-Guffog came. 'Mr.
Glossin,' said he, in a whispering voice.

'Call louder,' answered Dirk Hatteraick.

'Mr. Glossin, for God's sake come away!'

'He'll hardly do that without help,' said Hatteraick.

'What are you chattering there for, Mac-Guffog?' called out the captain
from below.

'Come away, for God's sake, Mr. Glossin!' repeated the turnkey.

At this moment the jailor made his appearance with a light. Great was
his surprise, and even horror, to observe Glossin's body lying doubled
across the iron bar, in a posture that excluded all idea of his being
alive. Hatteraick was quietly stretched upon his pallet within a yard
of his victim. On lifting Glossin it was found he had been dead for
some hours. His body bore uncommon marks of violence. The spine where
it joins the skull had received severe injury by his first fall. There
were distinct marks of strangulation about the throat, which
corresponded with the blackened state of his face. The head was turned
backward over the shoulder, as if the neck had been wrung round with
desperate violence. So that it would seem that his inveterate
antagonist had fixed a fatal gripe upon the wretch's throat, and never
quitted it while life lasted. The lantern, crushed and broken to
pieces, lay beneath the body.

Mac-Morlan was in the town, and came instantly to examine the corpse.
'What brought Glossin here?' he said to Hatteraick.

'The devil!' answered the ruffian.

'And what did you do to him?'

'Sent him to hell before me!' replied the miscreant.

'Wretch,' said Mac-Morlan, 'you have crowned a life spent without a
single virtue with the murder of your own miserable accomplice!'

'Virtue?' exclaimed the prisoner. 'Donner! I was always faithful to my
shipowners--always accounted for cargo to the last stiver. Hark ye! let
me have pen and ink and I'll write an account of the whole to our
house, and leave me alone a couple of hours, will ye; and let them take
away that piece of carrion, donnerwetter!'

Mac-Morlan deemed it the best way to humour the savage; he was
furnished with writing materials and left alone. When they again opened
the door it was found that this determined villain had anticipated
justice. He had adjusted a cord taken from the truckle-bed, and
attached it to a bone, the relic of his yesterday's dinner, which he
had contrived to drive into a crevice between two stones in the wall at
a height as great as he could reach, standing upon the bar. Having
fastened the noose, he had the resolution to drop his body as if to
fall on his knees, and to retain that posture until resolution was no
longer necessary. The letter he had written to his owners, though
chiefly upon the business of their trade, contained many allusions to
the younker of Ellangowan, as he called him, and afforded absolute
confirmation of all Meg Merrilies and her nephew had told.

To dismiss the catastrophe of these two wretched men, I shall only add,
that Mac-Guffog was turned out of office, notwithstanding his
declaration (which he offered to attest by oath), that he had locked
Glossin safely in his own room upon the night preceding his being found
dead in Dirk Hatteraick's cell. His story, however, found faith with
the worthy Mr. Skriegh and other lovers of the marvellous, who still
hold that the Enemy of Mankind brought these two wretches together upon
that night by supernatural interference, that they might fill up the
cup of their guilt and receive its meed by murder and suicide.



CHAPTER LVIII

     To sum the whole--the close of all.

          DEAN SWIFT.


As Glossin died without heirs, and without payment of the price, the
estate of Ellangowan was again thrown upon the hands of Mr. Godfrey
Bertram's creditors, the right of most of whom was, however, defeasible
in case Henry Bertram should establish his character of heir of entail.
This young gentleman put his affairs into the hands of Mr. Pleydell and
Mr. Mac-Morlan, with one single proviso, that, though he himself should
be obliged again to go to India, every debt justly and honourably due
by his father should be made good to the claimant. Mannering, who heard
this declaration, grasped him kindly by the hand, and from that moment
might be dated a thorough understanding between them.

The hoards of Miss Margaret Bertram, and the liberal assistance of the
Colonel, easily enabled the heir to make provision for payment of the
just creditors of his father, while the ingenuity and research of his
law friends detected, especially in the accounts of Glossin, so many
overcharges as greatly diminished the total amount. In these
circumstances the creditors did not hesitate to recognise Bertram's
right, and to surrender to him the house and property of his ancestors.
All the party repaired from Woodbourne to take possession, amid the
shouts of the tenantry and the neighbourhood; and so eager was Colonel
Mannering to superintend certain improvements which he had recommended
to Bertram, that he removed with his family from Woodbourne to
Ellangowan, although at present containing much less and much inferior
accommodation.

The poor Dominie's brain was almost turned with joy on returning to his
old habitation. He posted upstairs, taking three steps at once, to a
little shabby attic, his cell and dormitory in former days, and which
the possession of his much superior apartment at Woodbourne had never
banished from his memory. Here one sad thought suddenly struck the
honest man--the books! no three rooms in Ellangowan were capable to
contain them. While this qualifying reflection was passing through his
mind, he was suddenly summoned by Mannering to assist in calculating
some proportions relating to a large and splendid house which was to be
built on the site of the New Place of Ellangowan, in a style
corresponding to the magnificence of the ruins in its vicinity. Among
the various rooms in the plan, the Dominie observed that one of the
largest was entitled THE LIBRARY; and close beside was a snug,
well-proportioned chamber, entitled Mr. SAMPSON'S APARTMENT.
'Prodigious, prodigious, pro-di-gi-ous!' shouted the enraptured Dominie.

Mr. Pleydell had left the party for some time; but he returned,
according to promise, during the Christmas recess of the courts. He
drove up to Ellangowan when all the family were abroad but the Colonel,
who was busy with plans of buildings and pleasure-grounds, in which he
was well skilled, and took great delight.

'Ah ha!' said the Counsellor, 'so here you are! Where are the ladies?
where is the fair Julia?'

'Walking out with young Hazlewood, Bertram, and Captain Delaserre, a
friend of his, who is with us just now. They are gone to plan out a
cottage at Derncleugh. Well, have you carried through your law
business?'

'With a wet finger,' answered the lawyer; 'got our youngster's special
service retoured into Chancery. We had him served heir before the
macers.'

'Macers? who are they?'

'Why, it is a kind of judicial Saturnalia. You must know, that one of
the requisites to be a macer, or officer in attendance upon our supreme
court, is, that they shall be men of no knowledge.'

'Very well!'

'Now, our Scottish legislature, for the joke's sake I suppose, have
constituted those men of no knowledge into a peculiar court for trying
questions of relationship and descent, such as this business of
Bertram, which often involve the most nice and complicated questions of
evidence.'

'The devil they have! I should think that rather inconvenient,' said
Mannering.

'O, we have a practical remedy for the theoretical absurdity. One or
two of the judges act upon such occasions as prompters and assessors to
their own doorkeepers. But you know what Cujacius says, "Multa sunt in
moribus dissentanea, multa sine ratione." [Footnote: The singular
inconsistency hinted at is now, in a great degree, removed.] However,
this Saturnalian court has done our business; and a glorious batch of
claret we had afterwards at Walker's. Mac-Morlan will stare when he
sees the bill.'

'Never fear,' said the Colonel, 'we'll face the shock, and entertain
the county at my friend Mrs. Mac-Candlish's to boot.'

'And choose Jock Jabos for your master of horse?' replied the lawyer.

'Perhaps I may.'

'And where is Dandie, the redoubted Lord of Liddesdale?' demanded the
advocate.

'Returned to his mountains; but he has promised Julia to make a descent
in summer, with the goodwife, as he calls her, and I don't know how
many children.'

'O, the curly-headed varlets! I must come to play at Blind Harry and Hy
Spy with them. But what is all this?' added Pleydell, taking up the
plans. 'Tower in the centre to be an imitation of the Eagle Tower at
Caernarvon--corps de logis--the devil! Wings--wings! Why, the house
will take the estate of Ellangowan on its back and fly away with it!'

'Why, then, we must ballast it with a few bags of sicca rupees,'
replied the Colonel.

'Aha! sits the wind there? Then I suppose the young dog carries off my
mistress Julia?'

'Even so, Counsellor.'

'These rascals, the post-nati, get the better of us of the old school
at every turn,' said Mr. Pleydell. 'But she must convey and make over
her interest in me to Lucy.'

'To tell you the truth, I am afraid your flank will be turned there
too,' replied the Colonel.

'Indeed?'

'Here has been Sir Robert Hazlewood,' said Mannering, 'upon a visit to
Bertram, thinking and deeming and opining--'

'O Lord! pray spare me the worthy Baronet's triads!'

'Well, sir,' continued Mannering, 'to make short, he conceived that, as
the property of Singleside lay like a wedge between two farms of his,
and was four or five miles separated from Ellangowan, something like a
sale or exchange or arrangement might take place, to the mutual
convenience of both parties.'

'Well, and Bertram--'

'Why, Bertram replied, that he considered the original settlement of
Mrs. Margaret Bertram as the arrangement most proper in the
circumstances of the family, and that therefore the estate of
Singleside was the property of his sister.'

'The rascal!' said Pleydell, wiping his spectacles. 'He'll steal my
heart as well as my mistress. Et puis?'

'And then Sir Robert retired, after many gracious speeches; but last
week he again took the field in force, with his coach and six horses,
his laced scarlet waistcoat, and best bob-wig--all very grand, as the
good-boy books say.'

'Ay! and what was his overture?'

'Why, he talked with great form of an attachment on the part of Charles
Hazlewood to Miss Bertram.'

'Ay, ay; he respected the little god Cupid when he saw him perched on
the Dun of Singleside. And is poor Lucy to keep house with that old
fool and his wife, who is just the knight himself in petticoats?'

'No; we parried that. Singleside House is to be repaired for the young
people, and to be called hereafter Mount Hazlewood.'

'And do you yourself, Colonel, propose to continue at Woodbourne?'

'Only till we carry these plans into effect. See, here's the plan of my
bungalow, with all convenience for being separate and sulky when I
please.'

'And, being situated, as I see, next door to the old castle, you may
repair Donagild's tower for the nocturnal contemplation of the
celestial bodies? Bravo, Colonel!'

'No, no, my dear Counsellor! Here ends THE ASTROLOGER.'

THE END



NOTES AND GLOSSARY


NOTES

NOTE 1, p. 93

The roads of Liddesdale, in Dandie Dinmont's days, could not be said to
exist, and the district was only accessible through a succession of
tremendous morasses. About thirty years ago the author himself was the
first person who ever drove a little open carriage into these wilds,
the excellent roads by which they are now traversed being then in some
progress. The people stared with no small wonder at a sight which many
of them had never witnessed in their lives before.


NOTE 2, p. 102

The Tappit Hen contained three quarts of claret--

     Weel she loed a Hawick gill,
       And leugh to see a tappit hen.

I have seen one of these formidable stoups at Provost Haswell's, at
Jedburgh, in the days of yore It was a pewter measure, the claret being
in ancient days served from the tap, and had the figure of a hen upon
the lid. In later times the name was given to a glass bottle of the
same dimensions. These are rare apparitions among the degenerate topers
of modern days.


NOTE 3, p. 102

The account given by Mr. Pleydell of his sitting down in the midst of a
revel to draw an appeal case was taken from a story told me by an aged
gentleman of the elder President Dundas of Amiston (father of the
younger President and of Lord Melville). It had been thought very
desirable, while that distinguished lawyer was king's counsel, that his
assistance should be obtained in drawing an appeal case, which, as
occasion for such writings then rarely occurred, was held to be matter
of great nicety. The solicitor employed for the appellant, attended by
my informant acting as his clerk, went to the Lord Advocate's chambers
in the Fishmarket Close, as I think. It was Saturday at noon, the Court
was just dismissed, the Lord Advocate had changed his dress and booted
himself, and his servant and horses were at the foot of the close to
carry him to Arniston. It was scarcely possible to get him to listen to
a word respecting business. The wily agent, however, on pretence of
asking one or two questions, which would not detain him half an hour,
drew his Lordship, who was no less an eminent ban vivant than a lawyer
of unequalled talent, to take a whet at a celebrated tavern, when the
learned counsel became gradually involved in a spirited discussion of
the law points of the case. At length it occurred to him that he might
as well ride to Arniston in the cool of the evening. The horses were
directed to be put in the stable, but not to be unsaddled. Dinner was
ordered, the law was laid aside for a time, and the bottle circulated
very freely. At nine o'clock at night, after he had been honouring
Bacchus for so many hours, the Lord Advocate ordered his horses to be
unsaddled; paper, pen, and ink were brought; he began to dictate the
appeal case, and continued at his task till four o'clock the next
morning. By next day's post the solicitor sent the case to London, a
chef-d'oeuvre of its kind; and in which, my informant assured me, it
was not necessary on revisal to correct five words. I am not,
therefore, conscious of having overstepped accuracy in describing the
manner in which Scottish lawyers of the old time occasionally united
the worship of Bacchus with that of Themis. My informant was Alexander
Keith, Esq., grandfather to my friend, the present Sir Alexander Keith
of Ravelstone, and apprentice at the time to the writer who conducted
the cause.


NOTE 4, p. 180

We must again have recourse to the contribution to Blackwood's
Magazine, April 1817:--

'To the admirers of good eating, gipsy cookery seems to have little to
recommend it. I can assure you, however, that the cook of a nobleman of
high distinction, a person who never reads even a novel without an eye
to the enlargement of the culinary science, has added to the "Almanach
des Gourmands" a certain Potage a la Meg Merrilies de Derndeugh,
consisting of game and poultry of all kinds, stewed with vegetables
into a soup, which rivals in savour and richness the gallant messes of
Camacho's wedding; and which the Baron of Bradwardine would certainly
have reckoned among the epulae lautiores.'

The artist alluded to in this passage is Mons. Florence, cook to Henry
and Charles, late Dukes of Buccleuch, and of high distinction in his
profession.


NOTE 5, p. 212

The Burnet whose taste for the evening meal of the ancients is quoted
by Mr. Pleydellwas the celebrated metaphysician and excellent man, Lord
Monboddo, whose coenae will not be soon forgotten by those who have
shared his classic hospitality. As a Scottish judge he took the
designation of his family estate. His philosophy, as is well known, was
of a fanciful and somewhat fantastic character; but his learning was
deep, and he was possessed of a singular power of eloquence, which
reminded the hearer of the os rotundum of the Grove or Academe.
Enthusiastically partial to classical habits, his entertainments were
always given in the evening, when there was a circulation of excellent
Bourdeaux, in flasks garlanded with roses, which were also strewed on
the table after the manner of Horace. The best society, whether in
respect of rank or literary distinction, was always to be found in St.
John's Street, Canongate. The conversation of the excellent old man,
his high, gentleman-like, chivalrous spirit, the learning and wit with
which he defended his fanciful paradoxes, the kind and liberal spirit
of his hospitality, must render these noctes coenaeque dear to all who,
like the author (though then young), had the honour of sitting at his
board.


NOTE 6, p. 215

It is probably true, as observed by Counsellor Pleydell, that a
lawyer's anxiety about his case, supposing him to have been some time
in practice, will seldom disturb his rest or digestion. Clients will,
however, sometimes fondly entertain a different opinion. I was told by
an excellent judge, now no more, of a country gentleman who, addressing
his leading counsel, my informer, then an advocate in great practice,
on the morning of the day on which the case was to be pleaded, said,
with singular bonhomie, 'Weel, my Lord (the counsel was Lord Advocate),
the awful day is come at last. I have nae been able to sleep a wink for
thinking of it; nor, I daresay, your Lordship either.'


NOTE 7, p. 235

Whistling, among the tenantry of a large estate, is when an individual
gives such information to the proprietor or his managers as to occasion
the rent of his neighbour's farms being raised, which, for obvious
reasons, is held a very unpopular practice.


NOTE 8, p. 286

This hard word is placed in the mouth of one of the aged tenants. In
the old feudal tenures the herezeld constituted the best horse or other
animal on the vassals' lands, become the right of the superior. The
only remnant of this custom is what is called the sasine, or a fee of
certain estimated value, paid to the sheriff of the county, who gives
possession to the vassals of the crown.


NOTE 9, p. 301

This mode of securing prisoners was universally practised in Scotland
after condemnation. When a man received sentence of death he was put
upon THE GAD, as it was called, that is, secured to the bar of iron in
the manner mentioned in the text. The practice subsisted in Edinburgh
till the old jail was taken down some years since, and perhaps may be
still in use.



GLOSSARY

 'A, he, I.
 a', all.
 abide, endure.
 ablins, aiblins, perhaps.
 abune, above.
 ae, one.
 aff, off.
 afore, before.
 a-guisarding, masquerading.
 ahint, behind.
 aik, an oak.
 ails, hinders, prevents.
 ain, own.
 amang, among.
 an, if.
 ance, once.
 ane, one.
 anent, about.
 aneuch, enough.
 auld, old.
 auld threep, a superstitious notion.
 avise, advise, deliberate.
 awa', away.
 aweel, well.
 awfu', awful.
 awmous, alms.
 aye, ever.

 bairn, a child.
 baith, both.
 ballant, a ballad.
 banes, bones.
 bannock, a flat round or oval cake.
 barken, stiffen, dry to a crust.
 barrow-trams, the shafts of a hand  barrow.
 baulks, ridges.
 berling, a galley.
 bield, a shelter, a house.
 biggit, built.
 billie, a brother, a companion.
 bing out and tour, go out and watch.
 binna, be not.
 birk, a birch tree.
 bit, a little.
 bittle, beat with a bat.
 bittock, a little bit.
 Black Peter, a portmanteau.
 blate, shy, bashful.
 blawn, blown.
 blear, obscure.
 blude, bluid, blood.
 blunker, a cloth printer.
 blythe, glad.
 boddle, a copper coin worth one   third of a penny.
 bogle, a goblin, a spectre.
 bonnet, a cap.
 bonnie, bonny, pretty, fine.
 bonspiel, a match game at curling.
 bottle-head, beetle-head, stupid fellow.
 bow, a boll.
 bowster, a bolster.
 braw, fine.
 brigg, a bridge.
 brock, a badger, a dirty fellow.
 brod, a church collection plate.
 buckkar, a smuggling lugger.
 bully-huff, a bully, a braggart.
 burn, a brook.
 bye, besides.

 ca', call.
 cake-house, a house of entertainment.
 callant, a stripling.
 cam, came.
 canny, lucky, cautious.
 cantle, a fragment.
 canty, cheerful.
 capons, castrated cocks.
 carle, a churl, an old man.
 cast, lot, fate.
 chapping-stick, a stick to strike with.
 cheerer, spirits and hot water.
 chield, a young man.
 chumlay, a chimney.
 clanjamfray, rabble.
 clashes, lies, scandal.
 claught, clutched, caught.
 clecking, hatching.
 clodded, threw heavily.
 close, a lane, a narrow passage.
 clour, a heavy blow.
 cloyed a dud, stolen a rag.
 collieshangie, an uproar.
 come o' will, a child of love.
 cottar, cottage.
 cramp-ring, shackles, fetters.
 cranking, creaking.
 craw, crow.
 creel, a basket.
 cuddy, an ass.
 cusp, an entrance to a house.
 cusser, a courser, a stallion.

 daft, mad, foolish.
 darkmans, night.
 daurna, dare not.
 day-dawing, dawn.
 dead-thraw, death-agony.
 death-ruckle, death-rattle.
 deil-be-lickit, nothing, naught.
 dike, a wall, a ditch.
 dinging, slamming.
 dingle, a dell, a hollow.
 dizzen, a dozen.
 doo, a dove.
 dooket, dukit, a dovecot.
 doun, down.
 douse the glim, put out the light.
 dow, list, wish.
 drap, a drop.
 drumming, driving.
 dub, a puddle.
 duds, clothes.

 eassel, provincial for eastward.
 een, eyes.
 endlang, along.
 eneugh, enough.
 evening, putting on the same level.

 faem, foam.
 fair-strae, natural.
 fambles, hands.
 fash, trouble.
 fauld, a fold.
 fause, false.
 feared, afraid.
 fearsome, frightful.
 feck, a quantity.
 feckless, feeble.
 fell, a skin.
 fernseed, gather the, make invisible.
 fie, mad, foredoomed.
 fient a bit, never a bit
 fient a haet, not the least.
 fire-raising, setting fire.
 firlot, a quarter of a boll.
 fit, a foot.
 flesh, fleesh, a fleece.
 flick, cut.
 flit, remove.
 fond, glad to.
 forbears, ancestors.
 forbye, besides.
 foumart, a polecat.
 fowk, people.
 frae, from.
 frummagem'd, throttled, hanged.
 fu', full.
 fule-body, a foolish person.

 gae, go.
 gaed, went.
 gane, gone.
 gang, go.
 gang-there-out, wandering.
 gangrel, vagrant.
 gar, make.
 gate, gait, way.
 gaun, going.
 gay, gey, very.
 gelding, a castrated horse.
 gentle or semple, high born or common people.
 gie, give.
 gliffing, a surprise, an instant.
 glower, glare.
 gowan, a field daisy.
 gowd, gold.
 gowpen, a double handful.
 greet, weep.
 grieve, an overseer.
 grippet, grasped, caught.
 grunds, grounds.
 gude, guid, good.
 gudeman, master of a house.
 gyre-carlings, witches.

 ha', hall.
 hadden, held, gone.
 hae, have.
 hafflin, half grown.
 haick, hack.
 haill, whole.
 hallan, a partition.
 hame, home.
 hank, a skein of yarn.
 hansel, a present.
 hantle, a quantity.
 haud, hauld, hold.
 hauden, held.
 heezie, a lift.
 herds, herders.
 heuch, a crag, a steep bank.
 hinging, hanging.
 hinney, honey.
 hirsel, a flock.
 hizzie, a housewife, a hussy.
 hog, a young sheep.
 horning, a warrant for a debtor.
 houdie, a midwife.
 howm, flat low ground.
 humble-cow, a cow without horns.
 hunds, hounds.

 ilka, every.
 ingans, onions.
 ingleside, fireside.
 I'se, I'll.
 ither, other.

 jaw-hole, a sink.
 Jethart, Jedburgh.
 jo, a sweetheart.

 kahn, a skiff.
 kaim, a low ridge, a comb.
 kain, part of a farm-rent paid in fowls.
 keep, a stronghold.
 keepit, kept, attended.
 ken, know.
 kenna, do not know.
 kibe, an ulcerated chilblain, a chapped heel.
 killogie, the open space before a kiln fire.
 kilt, upset.
 kilting, girding or tucking up.
 kimmer, a female gossip.
 kinder, children.
 kipper, cured salmon.
 kirk, church.
 kist, a chest, a coffin.
 kitchen-mort, kinchen-mort, a girl.
 kittle, tickle, ticklish.
 kitt, a number, the whole.
 knave, a boy.
 knevell, knead, beat severely.
 kobold, a hobgoblin.

 laird, lord of the manor.
 lampit, a limpet.
 landloupers, persons of wandering tendencies.
 lang, long.
 lang or, long before.
 lang-lugged, long-eared.
 langsyne, long ago.
 lap and paunel, liquor and food.
 lassie, a young girl.
 latch, mire.
 leddy, a lady.
 lee, pasture land.
 leg bail, to give, to run away.
 letter-gae, the precentor is called by Allan Ramsay
 'the letter-gae of haly rhyme.'
 leugh, laughed.
 levin, lightning, scorn.
 licks, blows.
 lift, the sky.
 like, as it were.
 limmer, a jade, a hussy.
 links, the windings of a river.
 lippen, trust.
 loan, an open place, a lane.
 loaning, a milking place.
 long bowls, ninepins.
 looby, a booby, a lout.
 loon, a clown, a rogue.
 loup, leap, start.
 low, blaze, flame.
 luckie, an old woman.
 lugs, ears.
 lunt, blaze, torch.
 lykewake, a watch at night over a dead body.

 mair, more.
 mair by token, especially.
 maist, most.
 maun, must.
 meddling and making, interfering.
 messan, a little dog.
 milling in the darkmans, murder by night.
 mind, remember.
 minded, looked after.
 mirk, dark; pit mirk, pitch dark.
 moaned, mourned.
 Monanday, Monday.
 mony, many.
 moonshie, a secretary.
 morn, tomorrow.
 moss, a morass.
 moss-hag, a pit, a slough.
 muckle, great, much.
 muir, a moor, a heath.
 muscavado, unrefined sugar.
 mutchkin, a measure equal to an English pint.

 na, nae, no.
 nane, none.
 nathless, nevertheless.
 needna, need not.
 nice, simple.
 now, the, at once.

 odd-come-shortly, chance time not far in the future.
 ony, any.
 or, ere.
 orra, odd, occasional.
 orra time, occasionally.
 o't, of it.
 out, out in rebellion.
 out of house and hauld, destitute.
 outcast, a falling out, a quarrel.
 ower, over.
 owt, the exterior, out.

 paiks, punishment.
 parritch, oatmeal porridge.
 peat-hag, a bog.
 penny-stane, a stone quoit.
 periapts, amulets.
 pike, pick.
 pinners, a headdress.
 pirn, a reel.
 pit, put.
 plash, splash.
 plough-gate of land, land that can be tilled with one plough.
 pock, a pouch, a bag.
 poinded, impounded.
 poschay, a post-chaise.
 pouches, pockets.
 pow, the head.
 powny, a pony.
 preceese, exact.
 precentor, a leader of congregational singing.
 prin, a pin.
 puir, poor.

 quean, a young woman, a wench.

 rade, rode.
 ramble, a spree.
 rampauging, raging.
 randle-tree, a horizontal bar across a chimney, on which
  pot-hooks are hung; sometimes used as an opprobrious  epithet.
 randy, wild.
 ranging and riping, scouring and searching.
 rape, rope.
 rasp-house, a custom-house.
 red cock craw, kindle a fire.
 redding-straik, a blow received when trying to separate
     combatants.
 reek, smoke.
 reif and wear, robbery and injury.
 reise, a bough.
 reist, smoke.
 reiver, a robber.
 retour, return of a writ.
 rin, run.
 ripe, search.
 rive, rend, rob.
 rotten, rottan, a rat.
 roup, an auction.
 roupit, sold at auction.
 routing, snoring, bellowing.
 rubbit, robbed.
 rump and dozen, meat and drink, a good dinner.
 run goods, smuggled goods.

 sack, sackcloth.
 sae, so.
 saft, soft.
 sain, bless.
 sair, sore.
 sail, shall.
 samyn, the same.
 sang, song.
 sark, a shirt.
 saugh, a willow tree.
 saul, soul.
 saut, salt.
 sax, six.
 scaff-raff, riff raff.
 scart, scratched, written on.
 schnaps, a dram of liquor.
 scones, flat round cakes.
 scouring the cramp-ring, said metaphorically for being
      thrown into fetters or, generally, into prison.
 screed o' drink, a drinking bout.
 sell'd, sold.
 semple, simple, poor people.
 shake-rag, a tatterdemalion.
 shanks, legs.
 shealing, sheiling, a shed, a hut.
 shear, cut.
 sherra, a sheriff.
 shoeing-horn, something that leads to more drinking.
 shoon, shoes.
 shouther, a shoulder.
 sic, so, such.
 siclike, such.
 siller, money.
 sinsyne, since.
 skeel, a bucket, a tub.
 slack, a hollow, a morass.
 slap, a breach.
 sleepery, sleepy.
 slow-hund, a sleuth hound.
 sma', small.
 smack, smaik, a rogue, a low wretch.
 snaw, snow.
 soup o' drink, a spoonful.
 souple, a cudgel.
 spae, foretell.
 speir, ask.
 sprug, a sparrow.
 spunk, a spark.
 start, betray.
 stell, a stall, a covert.
 stickit, stopped, hindered.
 stir your gear, disturb your goods.
 stark, a heifer, a bullock.
 stiver, a small Dutch coin.
 stoppit, stopped.
 stoup, a drinking vessel, a wooden pitcher.
 stown, stolen.
 strae, straw.
 strammel, straw.
 streik, stretch.
 suld, should.
 sune, soon.
 sunkets, delicacies, provisions of any kind.
 sunkie, a low stool.
 swear, difficult.
 swure, swore.
 syne, since.

 ta'en, taken.
 tait, a tuft.
 tak, take.
 tap, the top.
 tass, a cup.
 tat, that.
 tell'd, told.
 tent, care.
 thack, thatch.
 thae, those.
 thegither, together.
 thereawa', thence, thereabout.
 thrapple, the windpipe, the throat.
 thristle, a thistle.
 till, to.
 tippenny, ale at twopence a bottle.
 tod, a fox.
 tolbooth, a jail.
 toom, empty.
 tow, a rope.
 trine to the cheat, get hanged.
 troking, intercourse, trafficking.
 trow, trust.
 tulzie, tuilzie, a scuffle, a brawl.
 twa, two.
 tweel, a web.
 tyke, a cur.

 umwhile, formerly, late.
 uncanny, weird, unlucky.
 unco, strange, very.
 uphaud, uphold.
 upright man, the leader (and greatest rogue) of the gang.

 wa', wall.
 wad, would.
 wadded, wedded.
 wae, woe.
 waefu', woeful.
 wale, choice.
 ware, spend.
 wark, work.
 warld, the world.
 warlock, a wizard.
 waster, a long spear.
 waur, worse.
 wean, a young child.
 wear, war.
 weary fa', curse.
 wedder, a wether.
 wee, small.
 weel, well.
 weel-faured, well-favored, prepossessing.
 weize, direct, incline.
 wessel, westward.
 wha, who.
 whaap, the (or the Hope), is the sheltered part or hollow of the
     hill. Hoff, howff, haaf, and haven are all modifications of
     the same word.
 wheen, a few.
 whigging, jogging.
 whiles, sometimes.
 whilk, which.
 whin, a few.
 whinger, a kind of knife, a hanger.
 whistle, give information against one.
 whittret, a weasel.
 wi', with.
 win, get.
 witters, the barbs of the spear.
 woo', wool.
 woodie, wuddie, a rope, a halter, the gallows.
 worricow, a hobgoblin.
 wots na, does not know.
 wrang, wrong.
 wrang side of the blanket, illegitimate.
 writer, an attorney.
 wuddie, a rope, the gallows.
 wuss, wish.

 yaffing, chattering, barking.
 yet, yere, your.
 yont, beyond.





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